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07 June 2016


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IMO the thing we should worry about is a Hillary tantrum leading to war with Russia.

C’mon. How else is she going to prove she’s one tough babe, a real Thatcher or Queen Elizabeth (the first one)? She can’t be a peace prez, Colonel. That’ll prove women are national security weaklings. Veni, vidi, eenie, meenie, miney, mo.

Charles Michael

"Europe is the prize for Russia".

If I read correctly apol, the expected price for Russia is a realistic, sober Europe. Russia doesn't really need Europe on the opposite EU very much needs Russia (Russian ressources and potential for developpment).
In fact it would be a match in heaven and the end of US unipolar world while still enforcing the White Man rule

On second thougth I am not sure I don't prefer this headless subservient EU.


Check it yourself, Google Lavrov and Finland. Monday.


It is possible Finland and Sweden may join NATO in unison. It is actively being debated. This is only happening because the Russians are creating an atmosphere of fear amongst its border states. Russia and NATO have got to dial this down.


Do you think Britain will leave the EU? On my last visit there I came away thinking that it actually would. This is worrisome.

As to Ukraine, I doubt it ever had a chance of joining NATO even if invited which so far as I can tell it never was. In my opinion a gross miscalculation by Putin on what the international reaction would be which will be felt now for years to come.


1982, actually. DIA summed up the Ikhwan-revolt from way back rather succinctly in this here document, released to the public in 2012:


Should you mistrust that particular site providing the document, you can view it here too:


And as you yourself state there:

"[...]precision bombing one at a time times several thousand which soon degrade to barrel bombs and let the rebels booby trap houses with IEDs use human shields."

Thus, said "rebels", supported by various outside parties as they are - whose continued material, political and PR support is instrumental in enabling them to continue doing that -, damn themselves.

Mark Logan


Could Putin be saying to the Euro's behind closed doors: "The key to stopping the refugees is ending the conflict, and if you want me to do that..."?


ISIL propaganda is preparing for the further loss of cities and territory. Promises followers eternity, that even after the death of leaders, its "Caliphate" will remain standing. Al-Naba issue 34 (7 June 2016) pushes a defiant theme that reminds me of the Nazis' last years. For that see Serrano Smith's "German Propaganda in Military Decline". Could be that some of the bigger players of ISIL have already packed their bags, and are preparing for a life elsewhere. UN reports transits through Libya (S/2016/501) at http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=S/2016/501. I think by the end of the year they'll be back underground, much of leadership and middle management in a neighbouring country to Syria, plenty of additional hangers-on to spare. That country will then proceed to find and arrest the "ISIL number three" every couple of months.


'Now if SAA cut off IS supply lines WSW of Lake Assad which I think is doable ...'
Have a closer look at the terrain. Dier Hafer to Meskene is closely settled irrigated farmland, ie lots of buildings, irrigation channels, and other obstacles that IS would be able to put to good use. Advances through this kind of terrain likely to be slow and costly. Also, use of airpower would inevitably result in the destruction of economic assets in this very productive area- things that will be needed once hostilities cease.

Contrast that with the sparsely settled semi-desert terrain along the road south of the Tabqa airbase. Ideal for airpower to clear IS strongpoints ahead of your advance, with minimal co-lateral damage.

Charles Michael

The flaw on the "Bashar Al Assad cannot stay" is quite obvious. In any election process personnality matters.
As you have illustrated by bringing-in the US actual election quigmire: entitled HC ans Jeb, gave birth to the Trump and Sanders phenomenoms.

So apart from the legal and hugely supported BAA where will you find non-terrorist backed contenders ?

The Russian repeated position is: peace, transition by legal Syrian Government, new constitution and elections.

Without peace first there is no chance to let a contender emerge from the chaos in a transition period.


Not that I disagree with your points, I could be counted among the "nobodies", but I mean nobody with a capacity to act.


IMO the 'bth' moniker has been taken over by a PR professional, and a pretty good one at that, too bad he is working for the dark side.
The interesting question is, on whose payroll?

sans racines

I would agree that this is the opinion of those analysing the situation with an open mind.

Babak Makkinejad

Russia can do things in the Baltics to which the NATO states are powerless to respond in any meaningful way.

There could incidents along ethno-linguistic lines in all 3 Baltic states with bombing and so forth; eventually resulting the Russian President sending Russian Army to protect Russia communities from massacre. It would called Humanitarian Intervention - the Slavic flavor.

Russian forces would be reprising what Turkey already had done in Cyprus.

Ultimately, NATO would not and cannot do anything. Even if Russians bisect Tallinn or all but surround Vilnius, no one, absolutely no one, in the United States or Europe would be willing to trade Los Angeles for Kaliningrad or Stockholm for Tallinn.

One has to be able to fight a war. If NATO states are not willing to see their major cities go up in smoke and hundreds of thousands of their soldiers die and join their dead kin from WWII on the steppe, it stands to reason that recognizing the Russian sphere is the better part of valor.

Of course, then, US Think Tanks could continue churning out their anti-Russian diatribes for the next few decades until the world changes again.

Bill Herschel

There has been a lot of conjecture about the relationship between ISIS and Saudi Arabia and the United States. And then there is the video of the State Department spokesperson Kirby, I believe, essentially saying that ISIS was better than Assad.

What the conjecture (and I) miss is that, if ISIS can be construed to be an ally of the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, then what does that say about the power, intelligence, and effectiveness of the U.S. and Saudi Arabia or Israel for that matter? Recall that Israel's army is now used exclusively to kill civilians in Palestine.

Nothing good is the answer. Nothing good. Can it be so ironic as to be the case that we spend >$500 billion a year on "Defense" and it is no good? Signs point that way. And I haven't even mentioned the F-35.

One wonders how long it would take the Russian forces in Syria to destroy the Harry Truman battle group.


My point was that I don't see the destructive difference to a city under a short siege and intense conventional artillery bombardment and a long siege with thousands of 'smart' bombs. Both destroy the infrastructure and innocent people. The only difference being that Assad's dad's approach worked in putting down rebellion and his son's demonstratively has not.

Further you asked me Monday if I thought Syria would fracture into essentially state-lets. I answered you with probabilities and assessments based on obtaining 3 goals (destruction of JAN, destruction of IS and negotiated confederation with Kurds) under one scenario where Russia greatly stepped up its game in Syria in August with boots on the ground (men and armor) and one scenario where they did not for a two year period. Odds of Syria staying together in 2 years were about 1:3 in the intervention scenario and almost nothing if Russia did not. Also that Assad removal was a known condition to peace by at least two governments that could prevent peace.

So you don't like the answer? Don't ask the question. Then you let nearly a dozen St. Pete factory trollers 'fill the space' which is what the technique is called by the EU disinformation committee. Col, I am used to the incessant Russian trolling but your Borgist accusation cuts deeply.

Babak Makkinejad

Two items:

"Innocent Civilians" - in the Siege of Vicksburg by Grant, the people being maimed and killed, where they, by any chance, the "guilty civilians" and thus deserving of what they got?

"Odds...about 1:3" - how does one calculate the odds which require, in probability theory, to be based on many repeatable and repeated events. Unless you are invoking some sort of Bayesian statistics?

I think one can have peace if one agrees to be subjugated by the other side - Mankind does not behave that way. Invoking Peace, as an ultimate metaphysical moral principle, will inevitably mean acceptance of subjugation - in my opinion.

we spend >$500 billion a year on "Defense" and it is no good?
The Archdruid has an interesting piece on just that and its probable causes: http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/2016/06/they-died-of-progress.html

Sir, it is very difficult to explain anything to anyone who comes here not to learn but to push pretty primitive propaganda and agenda, as you do. You are not here to learn and the fact that you continue to spread basic lies (such as your repetition of grossly overstated problems with Russia's budget, as one example)is a manifest proof of that. If you don't know basic facts on Russia and Russian history and present state of the affairs--I am of no help to you, except repeating what I already told you: your sources on Russia are complete crap and are run either by neocons or by "Russians" such as crook and murderer Khodorkovsky and his ilk. I am ready to talk to people, even if they have different opinion than me, if they are able to communicate with real facts and avoid platitudes and blanket statements. You are not the case. Either change your "sources", which, as I already pointed out are simply propaganda and a very incompetent one at that, or we have nothing to talk about. Good luck.


Thanks for the correction. I don't know why I thought 1985


Your point is well taken but your scenario is conditioned upon the Syrian government's crushing defeat of both JAN and IS. Neither appears likely without a large Russian ground presence to stiffing the SAA.


So I asked you this question, "If Russia wants to reduce the anxiety level, how would she go about it? What tangible indicator would a western observer experience?" I ask this because it is a critical step in the diplomatic process of Russia and NATO countries coming together in some sort of Syrian co-strategy as I am reasonably certain issues in Ukraine and the subsequent economic sanctions on Russia are linked in the back channel to the ME policies. There is diplomatic linkage.

Your vitriolic response answers sufficiently thank you. There isn't going to be a progressive step(s) to reduce tensions. I am sad to hear it. It is a missed opportunity for the western world.


"So you don't like the answer? Don't ask the question. Then you let nearly a dozen St. Pete factory trollers 'fill the space' which is what the technique is called by the EU disinformation committee. Col, I am used to the incessant Russian trolling but your Borgist accusation cuts deeply."

I think we can all agree that accusations of "being a bot", "shill" or "troll" go nowhere and are below acceptable threshold. Having said that, they should be dropped and points made be the focus.

On to those:

"Also that Assad removal was a known condition to peace by at least two governments that could prevent peace."

The problem is that there's a lot more attached to "Assad must go!", including forcing a hand-picked "opposition" whose only job is to execute the desires of Tayyip and al-Saud (those are the "two governments" you allude to, right?). Understandable course of action to take in those "at least two governments'" interests, but it doesn't have much of anything to do with the Syrians themselves deciding their country's post-war order, no?
Now, Syrians deciding over Syria themselves as called for by the ISSG would be best translated into an election to be held, including the current head of state, Assad, and accept said election's result. Colonel Lang himself suggested as much.
That this does not come to pass indicates first, that Assad still has significant backing in the populace and, two, sponsors of the opposition cannot be certain it could beat that support base. Of course, one could also consider the distinct lack of any leading figure said "opposition" in the country could rally around, and observe that the "opposition" mostly meant by that term, that is the Syrian National Coalition/SNC and now HNC, for all intents and purposes only exists and acts outside the country, which doesn't help with their popularity either.

As for the "rebels", who aren't the same thing as that exile opposition, whose acts you, too, fully acknowledge, I'd like to point out that back in the day IRA expressing its demands through bombings and assassinations weren't yielded to either by authorities. The "rebels" in Syria have meanwhile committed a far greater amount of atrocities of that kind, so why should that be yielded to rather than them renounce those ways the way practically all IRA-factions eventually did?


In 82 there were no massive foreign support/fighters. Now there are



"Col, I am used to the incessant Russian trolling but your Borgist accusation cuts deeply." You are accusing me? I am not "bth." pl

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