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05 June 2016


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Turks (aka erdogan) & sauds(aka the dictators) have no such veto role or anything to do with who rules syria.
they CAN stop funding/arming their creatures


all thats needed is to block the turkish border, and cut the fiow of oxygen to ISIS and alnusra etc


its not a 'civil war' like the US civil war


why are u so keen to see Assad go? its up to syrians to decide..not a wanna be dictator like u

Willy B

Hi, Smoothie, Do you have any hints for me as to how I might study Russia's internal analytical scene? This would be very useful for me in the work that I'm doing, but I might be very limited by the fact that I don't speak Russian, which I realize is a serious limitation on that sort of analysis.


I can give you names of leading (and I may add--extraordinary competent) Russian analysts. Evgeniy Satanovsky is superb in anything dealing with ME and Middle Asia, so is Semyon Bagdasarov, Rostislav Ishenko is a world class geopolitical analyst. Number of people from Izborsky Club are of interest too. Evgeniy Kulikov from Zinoviev's Club is an excellent realist. Military analysis--a whole range of people and publications. Economics wise--from Glazyev through Mikhail Delyagin, these are people who talk about real economy. Thankfully, today, not knowing a language could be mitigated somewhat through Google Translate which, at least, is capable of giving a gist. Anyhow, if you need anything just ask.

P.S. Basically, anything originating from Russia's "liberal" that is "pro-Western" NGO and other shady sources financed "sources" is crap. Apart from the fact that those are utterly incompetent, such as "sources" Bth uses. Those merely play to the "narrative".

Willy B

Thank you, very much. Glazyev I know but the others are new to me.
I also just discovered that you, too, have a blog, which I'll be adding to my read list.


I accept your take on Assad's hypothetical status post civil war. Seems to make a lot of sense in our larger context. Not least due to what we assume we know by now.

Concerning Enlightenment, or its respective contemporary challengers, the Romantics (the non-political branch of them, mind you)I am not so sure. The representatives of Enlightenment obviously had their respective "enlightened blind spots" too. ...

Concerning the above: radical enlightenment may make sense. But do you assume it could ever be possible without "Romantic" challengers of all sorts?


"Finally, enough of a success that the outcome can be spun into an acceptable chapter in the Second volume of Obama's memoirs? Sure - 100%!"

This is superb. From your permission I will steal this for my own use. I totally intent to mention the originator.


No problem, my pleasure. Another guy I would strongly recommend on political and economic issues is Mikhail Remizov--a superbly erudite analyst and young, I may add. Per my blog, I tend to concentrate on more fundamental issues such as military power and doctrines (I do go a bit into the operational art and Operations Theory). I don't have much time nor qualifications to make major operational predictions (I did at early stages of Donbass conflict--was pretty close, but stopped since--no time) on such issues as Syria and I gladly leave that to people of Colonel Lang's scale, who do much better job than I ever would.

Babak Makkinejad

I am not familiar with the Western European intellectual history sufficiently deeply to answer your last question.

Babak Makkinejad

"Iran regime", as you put it, still is the best government that those people on that part of the Iranian plateau have experienced over the last 3000 years.

You guys were in Iran from 1953 until 1978 and had a lot of leverage with the Shah of Iran, why did you not establish a Liberal Democracy there?


In contrast to Senator Black


The Turks and the Saudis and friends have a veto on the peace process in Syria because they can and likely will continue to fund rebel forces one way or another. Therefore when they say that Assad will have to go as a condition of a long-term peace settlement, then that effectively is a veto as used in this context. Sadly many have a veto on peace in Syria.

Chris Chuba

The Russian economy and budget which are closely related are not in a tailspin.
The inflation rate has declined from 15% to 7.3% meaning that the devaluation of the ruble has not led to hyper-inflation, Latin America style.

As I mentioned before, their foreign currency reserves have climbed to $385B.
Even their stock market has increased almost 50% from the beginning of the year.

I don't know, maybe I am not reading the tea leaves correctly but even Bloomberg puts them within a hair of them having a balanced budget, they are already within 3% with oil hovering near $50.
Also, it looks like the worst of their GDP declines are behind them ... http://www.tradingeconomics.com/russia/gdp-growth-annual

A lot of their aircraft, shipbuilding, and even some defense industry was tightly coupled with Ukraine which got derailed (for obvious reasons) and for the most part that has been redirected to the Russian Federation. This process will continue which should help with future GDP growth.

different clue


The only way for the R + 6 to overcome that Erdo-Saudi-Gulfie veto would be for the R + 6 to be able to increase their aid and fighting so much as to physically exterminate all traces of rebellion and rebels within every part of Syria. If they can achieve that, then the Erdo-SaudiGulfies will have no pet jihadis left to support. And then peace will be achieved.

different clue


Well I should hope so.

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