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19 April 2016

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Barish

"The Borgist media refuses to take much note of the election."

Correct. Mostly just putting up pieces that argue how the election "torpedoes the peace talks" - what? -, which, in fact, have now been unilaterally "post-poned" by the clown-show that is the "High Negotiations Committee", see here:

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-postponement-idUSKCN0XF21T

"World | Mon Apr 18, 2016 11:58am EDT Related: WORLD

Syrian opposition HNC to 'postpone' role in peace talks

Syria's main opposition group, the High Negotiations Committee, is set to decide to "postpone" its participation in U.N. peace talks but has stopped short of suspending its participation or withdrawing altogether, a document seen by Reuters on Monday showed.

"The HNC saw that continuing the negotiations in such conditions will increase the suffering of our people," said the document, an Arabic message sent from the HNC in Geneva to armed opposition groups, and which said the ceasefire was effectively over.

"The decision is to postpone and not suspend nor withdraw but it’s a chance for everyone to implement the UN security Council resolution 2254 and to respond to the core subject of forming a governing body that has no role for (President Bashar al-Assad."

A senior Western diplomat confirmed the validity of the document and said it would be up to U.N. mediator Staffan de Mistura to consider how to formulate his response and how to handle the talks."

"The HNC saw that continuing the negotiations in such conditions will increase the suffering of our people"...might as well say outright that their bargaining position is a full-blown disaster, given their lack of direct control over their jihadi foot-soldiers, who aren't particularly successful in the field to boot, and the very interesting reading of said resolution 2254, which doesn't directly mention any obligation to exclude said persona.

Regarding "their" foot-soldiers, there appears to have been a very interesting development around the town of Dumayr, to the east of Damaskus lately:

https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/isis-presence-dumayr-government-rebels-establish-truce/

"ISIL’s presence in Dumayr is over as the government, rebels establish truce

By Leith Fadel - 19/04/2016

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’s (ISIL) presence in the village of Dumayr has come to an end after a recent meeting between the Syrian government forces and rebels in east Damascus.

The factions fighting under ISIL’s flag, Liwaa Al-Sadeek and Liwaa Rajal Al-Malahm, were given an ultimatum on Monday evening: either leave Dumayr or turn-in their weapons to the rebel or government forces.

If the terrorist factions agree to leave Dumayr, they will be given safe passage by the Syrian Red Crescent to the nearest ISIL controlled area.

No further details were reported; however, this should end ISIL’s presence in Dumayr and the nearby Badiyah region of east Damascus.

On Monday, ISIL attempted to recapture the territory they lost to the Syrian Armed Forces over the weekend, but they were unable to make any progress after sustaining heavy casualties."

Earlier, Masdar noted that among the rebel factions present in Dumayr are Jaish al-Islam, for which Masdar reported that units of them were allowed passage from nearby east Ghouta to fight ISIL in Dumayr and even given a hand by way of Syrian airstrikes on ISIL. This cooperation of at least some JaI-units with the "regime" would be in rather stark contrast to the type of rhetoric that JaI's own Mohammed Alloush, formal head of the mentioned HNC, made use of recently, for example this gem here:

http://www.dw.com/en/rebels-in-syria-launch-retaliation-attacks-amidst-government-air-raids/a-19196071

"Mohammed Alloush, a high-ranking official of Jaish al-Islam and chief negotiator for the opposition in the UN-backed peace talks taking place in Geneva, called on Sunday for retaliation against the government.

"Don't trust the regime. Hit them at their necks... strike them everywhere," Alloush wrote on his Twitter account."

"Hit them at their necks" being a quote from the Quran, as is noted some places.

Might this suggest that not even the JaI-flagship of the "moderates" can keep unity in its ranks any longer?

Matthew

Col: When the Borg is getting briefings like this, how can they change? See http://www.ecfr.eu/page/-/ECFR_166_PUTINS_DOWNFALL.pdf

I'm sure Putin will be happy with the "decline of the Roman Empire" timeline for the end of his "regime."

The Saudis and Arabs aren't the only ones with a Great Dream Machine.

Cesar

Voter turn out in U.S. presidential elections hovers around 55% and around 30% during midterms. A legitimate turnout of 58% during a war is very impressive indeed.

Trey N

Here is a breakdown of the Syrian election results by gender and religious preference:

http://www.globalresearch.ca/syrian-parliamentary-elections-2016-national-assembly-dominated-by-sunni-large-representation-of-women/5520560

Overall, the vast majority of the seats were won by Sunni candidates with the Alawi winning the Latakia and Tartous sectors and the Druze the Suwaydaa sector. About a dozen women, ten Christians, a couple of Shia and an Armenian scattered here and there round out the picture.

I don't believe that this predominantly Sunni parliament matches the image of Syria that most of the Western public has, with the lamestream media constantly bleating about "Assad and the Alawite dictatorship." I'm not holding my breath waiting to see this breakdown published in the NYT or the Washington Post....

LeaNder

"No elections were held there. Western governments, such as the USA, have dismissed the Syrian election out of hand, though the participation rate in the last US election was only 48%."

Hmmm? 'Western purity'? ...

Where could we find stable information about the supposedly 80 countries the fighters come from?

Context, Syrian Palestinians: "invasion into their neighbourhoods of the terrorist mercenaries from over 80 countries."

Assuming foreign fighters from 80 countries didn't necessarily invade the specific camp but are active in Syria overall.

cynic

It's quite usual for only about half the potential voters to actually vote in Britain or America. I recall reading that when Tony Blair won his first general election out every 20 possible voters, 8 didn't vote, 7 voted for other parties and only 5 voted Labour.
Even then, it seems that roughly half the electorate doesn't vote, and those who do are almost evenly split, so you can be a great democratic hero if only about one voter in four even votes for your party. Three out of four not wanting you isn't good!

El Sid

And Macaroon (son of MoreBlair) won the uk election in 2015 with 36.8% of the vote. On a turnout of 66.1%. I.e. below 25% of the electorate.

Ergo: bomb the UK!!!!

Old Microbiologist

Plus, any international inspection of the US political process would disqualify our entire "Democratic" process. We love to hold other countries to standards we can't achieve ourselves. That extends to a lot more than elections.

LeaNder

I strictly don't want to dive back into my earliest post 9/11 sentiments and vaguely by whatever US activists inspired dot connecting.

If I may warn anyway, whoever is going to pick up your link here. The European Council on Foreign Relations is not Europe. But without doubt think thanks have quite a bit of influence. And this more recent one seems to be quite well funded. Founded by the way in 2007.

Matthew

El Cid: The permutations are endless. When Putin gets a 90% approval rating, that's because (1) he's an autocrat and the pollsters lie; or (2) the Russian people are ignorant.

But if you read Western publications, Russian politicians like Garry Kasparov (who polls around 2%) are the "real" legitimate Russian leaders.

Somewhere, right now, there is an obscure iPhone-carrying Russian completing his internship at Goldman Sachs, dreaming of the day when he returns to Mother Russia, disarms and defunds the Russian military, and then auctions off all the state's assets to Western banks. For an encore, he will show real courage, i.e., cancel some state pensions. I mean, who remembers The Great Patriotic War anyway?

And Mr. Non-Putin will be the toast of Davos.

cynic

Vlad is sharpening his impaling stake for the Sultan if he doesn't stop interfering in Syria. Final decision on the validity of the election in Syria.

http://awdnews.com/top-news/putin-if-turkey-s-erdo%C4%9Fan-doesn-t-stop-supporting-terrorists-in-syria,-i-shall-restore-constantinople-istanbul-to-christendom

He will restore Constantinople to Christendom - but not necessarily to Greece!

"Should Turkey not stop supporting al-Qaeda's Syria branch, I am indeed eager to end the job the late Tsar Nicholas II left unfinished. During the World War I , He [Tsar] sought to restore Constantinople (Istanbul) to Christendom and protect Russian maritime security by liberating Dardanelles and Bosphorus straits but fate prevented him," TASS Russian News Agency cited President Putin as saying on Saturday. We also advocate Greek sovereignty over the Cyprus, added Putin, and call the Turkish regime to end its decades-long occupation of this Mediterranean island.

Cortes

Pilgrims may wish to use ordinary, non threatening abbreviations and endearing forms of Vladimir (Vova, or Volodya) which are authentic and slide right round the Borg attempt to identify the President of the RF with nefarious figures like Vlad the Impaler?

cynic

If you'd like some targets...

FkDahl

Carl Bildt is on the board, I am sad to say.

charly

The UK has a big problem with the fact that non coalition governments never get a majority of the vote (also true if one would exclude the Northern Ireland voters)

Chris Chuba

This post could go on the Saudi thread because it has to do with similar legal issues but that thread is extremely long. In any case, it is Syria related ... https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/family-steven-sotloff-sues-syrian-government/
"Family of Steven Sotloff sues Syrian Government
...
The Sotloff family claims that the Syrian government provided money and military support to ISIS during the time their son was executed by the terrorist organization in 2014.
...
According to the National Law Journal, the Sotloff family filed the law suit through the U.S. District Court in Washington D.C.; they will be represented by Steven Perles of the Perles Law Firm.
...
The Syrian Government has not responded to these allegations."

I don't expect the Syrian govt to go to a U.S. court to defend themselves, that would be tantamount to accepting U.S. jurisdiction. I already posted why I am against these types of lawsuits at the end of this thread ... http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2016/04/saudis-warn-of-economic-reprisals-if-congress-passes-911-bill-ttg.html

I should go to the ACLU website and see if they take submissions. They like to take cases that tick people off and challenging a U.S. law of this nature would certainly do that, or perhaps my perception of things is way off base. I'm not a lawyer; I'm certain that this is not a shocking revelation to anyone.

BraveNewWorld

Here, here. In most western states 58% is a good voter turn out. I have real doubts you see that in the US this year.

BraveNewWorld

Thanks for posting that. It made my day.

Dubhaltach

In reply to El Sid 19 April 2016 at 12:34 PM

For some utterly unreasonable reason I think you'll find that bombing them makes them dig their heels in. It's what it's always resulted in before.

ISL

Dear Colonel,

Russia has a deep state, just like the US, and no one speaks of the Obama regime. Given his popularity, President Putin seems well aligned with the Russian deep state, and moreover, seems to have this strange to American idea of putting Russian national interests first.

They help the poles open late! Wow. In NY they accidentally purged 100s of thousands - And I have never heard of the poles held open late.

Tigermoth

Here are the Syrians celebrating "Independence Day" which they also call "Clearance Day":

https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/thousands-syria-join-marathon-celebrate-independence-day/ | Al-Masdar News

"Thousands of Syrians took part in a marathon in Damascus on Sunday to celebrate Independence Day which is also known as Evacuation or Clearance Day. The national holiday commemorates the evacuation of French colonial forces from Syria on April 17, 1946 despite Syria proclaiming its independence in 1941. The holiday is known as Jalaa Day and Damascus resident explained to NPR that “no matter who rules it (Syria), from before the Greeks and Romans or Ottomans or the French, everyone eventually clears out, hence, Clearance Day!” The holiday coincides as Syrian government forces battle Western and Gulf backed terrorist forces in what can be described as the Syrian army resisting neo-Colonial forces."

Looking at the pictures of all these young people dressed in brightly coloured western clothes enjoying themselves; made me think of what a massive tragedy would have occurred had ISIS reached Damascus last year as was gleefully awaited by the US and EU partners. What future would these young people have under a Saudi inspired government? A poor one is my guess.

turcopolier

ISL

Define "deep state." There is no state within a state in the US in the sense that the Turks coined the phrase to describe a cadre of submerged operatives operating WITHIN the government and in opposition to Erdogan's Islamism. What exists in the US is an alignment of collective assumptions and beliefs among the intelligentsia, business interests, media and many career politicians regarding the nature of humanity and history. that is not a "deep state." In the US, the armed forces do not constitute a political bloc. They do not have a "program." I do not know Russia well enough to have a worthwhile opinion about the survival of the Soviet nomenklatura or something like it. pl

Babak Makkinejad

The Saudi and Gulf Perspective on President Obama’s Visit by Anthony Cordesman:

http://csis.org/publication/saudi-and-gulf-perspective-president-obamas-visit

ISL

Dear Colonel, to me the Borg corresponds to the deep state (no secret, just group think). Although one feature of group think is inability to adapt, Leader changes tend not to change policy significantly. Maybe I am thinking about a significantly entrenched and powerful bureaucracy. Since group think occurs in many gov'ts.

This would explain why group think in dictatorships does not survive the death of the dictator - the bureaucracy is not co-aligned by interest, but by fear.

Although the armed forces are not a political block, top brass seem to push a very aggressive weapons procurement policy, even for weapons the military does not need. On the other hand, the brass push for closing unneeded bases and that never goes anywhere.

Fred

Col.,

On a prior thread discussing, among other topics, the US election, you mentioned the possibility that the Borg would try and force US involvement in Africa to free "the girls". From today's NYT it appears the Borg are laying the groundwork for the IO campaign:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/21/world/africa/boko-haram-kidnapped-girls.html

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