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25 June 2016


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News: A.I. can now drive unmanned fighter-jet dogfighting in the lab. This puts it a couple years out from deployment.


This represents a qualitative increase in the ability to project firepower. The moral hazard that this will create, to start battles with little immediate consequence, will be difficult for either slated candidate's team to resist IMO.

Mark Logan

abla etie,

I suggest watching "the witches" for omens. The campaign circus is one of pleasing the crowd, and the crowd is pleased by gibberish. What Clinton says or doesn't say doesn't mean much. I've been watching Powers and Rice and my overall impression is, with apologies to Bob Dylan, "Now they don't talk so loud, now they don't seem so proud" -or much at all, really. The difference between now and how they behaved when appointed is stark indeed.

It's merely a hopeful omen, but if a few years of real world experience have modified the views they dragged with them out of the academic bubble-world a wee bit it wouldn't be the first time it's happened.

Babak Makkinejad

Yes, but its was the foreigners who paid in blood for their learning experience. And in a few years, like McNamara before them, they will write a book and repent - but the dead cannot be brought back to life; the maimed cannot be made whole, and the exiles will remain so.


"Frankly, I doubt that Suheil has enough men and tanks in hand to accomplish the closure of the Aleppo pocket from the north."

An-Nimr's progress into the life-line to the rebel-held eastern part of Halab city is slowly, but steadily gaining ground since Sunday, it appears. First reports are coming in today that most of al-Mallah farms, excepting the southern portion, have been captured by SAA and allies. Might be a good idea to give the YPG in Sheikh Maqsoud-district to the south a hand to establish firm firing control over the Castello road, or arrange for SAA-forces to pass through said district and do that. On the other hand, there's the Bani Zaid district which would also serve as a point of advance from the south, yet needs to be cleared first which would, of course, be far more difficult.

I also note that, apparently, Jaish al-Fatah hasn't yet been deployed to this northern theater and, with Hezbollah increasing its presence to the south of the city, they haven't made any gains on al-Hadher nor on the road leading south out of Halab to it.

So what's the read on this: is JaF, hence Nusra, happy to see their competition of the Fatah Halab op center ground to dust here in the face of Russian and Syrian barrages, are they just not willing to waste their top tier assault forces here which already are running into problems south of Halab, or both?

In a wider context, Başbakan Erdoğan has now officially apologized for the SU-24 incident and is set to receive a phone-call by Putin tomorrow. Further, Alparslan Çelik, the Gri Kurt-"tourist" to the jihadi-front in Latakia-province, who on camera had bragged about how he and his men would bring in the Russian pilots shall now be charged with the death of one of the Russian rescuers of said pilots:


This, along with scattered reports that Turkey has shut tight its Hatay border to the jihadi-crews on said Latakia-front, might indicate that Başbakan Erdoğan might want a way out of the proxy-war business. And not just him, but maybe Jordan, the other direct neighbour of Syria in on that business as well, given the report sourced to both American and Jordanian officials published a couple days back of corruption in connection to armaments intended for "moderate" rebels.



"a hand to establish firm firing control over the Castello road, or arrange for SAA-forces to pass through said district and do that" Not sure exactly what you mean. This road has been within coverage of SAA artillery all along and it evidently has not been possible to close the road by covering it with fire. pl

alba etie

Babak Makkinejad
Totally agree with you here Sir . - The R2P 'ers have been a disaster that others mostly in the Levant have paid dearly . - But I would hope that President Obama will get some credit for taking the off ramp when it came to getting the CW out of Syria .

alba etie

Mark Logan
" And you stare into the vaccum of his blood shot eyes & ask "do you want to make a deal ?" I hold out hope that the Bernie Sanders wing of the Democratic Party can mitigate against the worst impulses of the neocon Witches & Harpies should Ms Clinton win . Meanwhile I am looking very seriously at the Libertarian ticket .


"firing control" as in manning positions from where smaller arms can readily cover that road. A while ago YPG did hold some buildings from whence they could cover the road with sniper fire, but had to withdraw, which was misreported as them withdrawing from the Sheik Maqsoud district entirely.

About artillery/air covering the road, the question is whether it may not already have effectively halted traffic there. A bridge on Castello Road is said to have been demolished at the beginning of this month:


In your newest post here:


you are right in raising the question how well territory at the Castello road can be held by SAA and allies once they take it. The next question then is how large stockpiles of the insurgents dug in within Aleppo city are, and how much further damage they are willing to do should Fatah Halab and Jaish al-Fatah (latter of whom I do wonder whether they'd actually join such efforts) prove incapable of re-gaining that portion of the road.


I got quite old, really, before I understood the idea of the Holy Trinity. Once I did, it fascinated me, before my concentration was on the son. This allows me to approach your "Flag Bearers of the Holy Trinity" argument, to pick out one of the groups.

The "Coalition of the Willing"? Europeans shouldn't have pondered about the how the Iraq war was started, but realized it was "just" on a much higher level? Americans should have visited their respective places of prayer and simply shut up?


Maybe I am not sensible enough to grasp the "worshippers of freedom", beyond the basic consent here. I don't think it makes sense to worship freedom, fate always limits it. If that satisfies you.


But: Beyond that, I never stumbled across a man wanting to or marrying his mother. But then even in its most famous fictional setting, it needed a couple of complicating factors: an oracle, whose warning was heard and heeded, precautions taken resulted in an unfortunate chain of events which then led to the predicted. ...

Vague thoughts, a dead friend once wrote a poem for me. Man - husband - wife - mother. In a nutshell, man searching his mother in his wife.

I heard about rumors that boys were misused, I suppose mainly emotionally, but I am not completely sure about the personal stories the group studied or their claims. Concerning sons abused by mothers during the time their fathers were absent in war. Maybe there was even sexual misuse too. I wouldn't put it completely beyond imagination. ...

It is said to happen between father and daughter too, although outside any desire to marry apparently. I know a lawyer who was heavily shocked by what he had to confront. He told me about parts of the evidence and the scenario which included the mother. in this case it concerned no doubt the man's own daughters ...

Babak Makkinejad

Read today that the Joint Chiefs of Iranian Armed Forces was replaced after 27 years. The new JC was given instructions to defend and neutralize all threads to the Islamic Republic of Iran through revolutionary action; also a younger man replacing an older one.


I am honored, jld. I misread. Meaning I am sorry. I didn't try to visualize the areas and present respective fighters concerned first.


Alba etie,

"...the Obama administration has been trying to shift away from the neocon agenda."

Just which neocon did he fire? Oh, yeah, not a single one. He's in charge of the Executive Branch. He's the head of the Borg.



we would call that "interdiction by fire" I think. pl

Babak Makkinejad

I surmise that you have lived much of your life in a very sheltered environment; playing with the likes of Joseph Beuys and his clique, for example.

One has to face the despair of evil first before even attempting to devise prescriptions for other people.


The handling of Celik is very interesting. The charges had actually been dropped against him back in May. Putin has every right to be skeptical about the handling of him by Erdogan.


Wasn't there also a recent change in the Iranian foreign ministry staff that might herald a change in negotiating posture by Iran with regard to Syria?

Babak Makkinejad

I doubt that there is going to be any concession to the Jihadi agenda in the Levant or in Iraq by Iran.

I suspect that the policy adopted by Iran during the nuclear confrontation has been adopted here as well; "From now on, we will answer with pressure."

That also could explain the sudden verbal missiles in regards on Bahrain.


Thanks for the correction, my civilian background shows.



Not a correction, just terminology. FIDO pl


It might be more appropriate to say that Obama is the face of the Borg or the spokesman for the Borg. He is likely listening closely to someone before he speaks or acts. Completely agree with the idea of counting how many R2pers he's fired (or for that matter, how many Wall Street people have been indicted). "Count the number of ships in the harbor not the number of speeches of the politicians" or something like that.

alba etie

Happy 4 of July appending ..
I wonder sometimes how many neocon R2P 'ers are left holed up and burrowed down in the 'deep state' that is our USG, and how much control even POTUS might have over that generational structure ? I believe the best way President Obama had for not ' repeating old mistakes expecting different results ' was simply refuse to create the 'safe zone ' that Big Grandma Clinton wanted in Syria. Now it appears GOP Nominee Trump is also talking about a safe zone in Syria. I am really glad we got the CW out of Syria without bombing the Assad government . Its hard to know what is really going on policy wise with BHO and defeating Daesh , but it sure looks like the Liver Eaters are on the defensive notwithstanding the recent terrorist attacks in Turkey & elsewhere in Europe. But I am encouraged that we are not in Syria helping Erdogan defend a 'safe zone " . It appears to me its much better to have Erdogan on side as we ramp up use of Incirlik - and judiciously add more GB to the mix in places like Manjib . We shall see.



"I am really glad we got the CW out of Syria..."

I believe the thanks should go to Lavrov.

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