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07 August 2016


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You know, there is a long history of folks underestimating tough little bastards who don't mind fighting. The Green Hmong that I hung out with in the long ago were one set, the Ghurkas another, I would also put the hillbilly Scots-Irish underclass here in America in that set.

I really liked your descriptions of the Zeidi. These are folks I can get along with.

Babak Makkinejad

Col. Lang:

It could get even better; the Africans could use their new weapons and training to take over Saudi Arabia - they have a world to gain and nothing to lose.

It would be just like the Old Times, when the slave soldiers took over in Baghdad and in Cairo.



Be still my heart. Which mamaliik took over Baghdad? pl

Babak Makkinejad

It began under Muátasim, son of a Turkic slave, relying on Berber and Turkic military slaves to take over the Caliphate.

michael brenner

Perhaps Obama should send his A-TEAM of diplomatic mediators to resolve all matters on the Arabian peninsular. We can imagine Susan Rice, Samantha Powers, and Ben Rhodes squatting in the dust and chewing Qat with a liter bottle of Duty Free Blue Label in the middle of the circle. Then, there will be the Hollywood fil recreation with Brad Pitt,......

Bill Herschel

And then there's this:

"But even Mr. Obama has expressed wariness about an enduring deal with Moscow. “I’m not confident that we can trust the Russians or Vladimir Putin,” Mr. Obama said at a news conference on Thursday. “Whenever you are trying to broker any kind of deal with an individual like that or a country like that, you have got to go in there with some skepticism.”"


"Or a country like that..." Mr. Obama, you say that to the American people? Whoever you are serving, and a vile, obsequious servitude it is, it is not the American people. What on earth do you know of "the Russians"?

You would have the American people throw in their lot with Jihadists against one of the oldest Western civilizations on earth.

"I wandered around. Why? I was restless." The French influence. A French Colonel who spent a ton of time in Lebanon said that they always wandered around and learned a ton.

ex-PFC Chuck

re: "I wandered around. Why? I was restless. In doing that, I came to know the various populations of "Yayman," The Zeidi Shia tribesmen from Sanaa north to the Wadi Najran in Saudi Arabia's Asir Province and east to the Rub' al Khali, the Sunni tribal villagers south and SW of Sanaa, the city people. I came to know them well."

Sounds like you took a leaf out of General Stilwell's book. IIRC from reading Barbara Tuchman's book about him in his China days, that's exactly what he did when posted there in the 1920s.


Tidewater to Col. Lang,

I can't help wondering if the conseqences of putting thousands of Senegalese troops in Yemen might be worse than anyone realizes. I've read that French colonial troops, like the Senegalese tirailleurs, were issue a "machette" --like a very heavy cane knife with an acute-angled, almost blunt end, --which they used famously in trench fighting and at close quarters in WWI. They were also well-known to kill wounded German soldiers by right, as sport, with these pangas, and often enough, prisoners. I don't know the historical details, but I know that the reality was that ordinary soldiers in the German army developed a burning hatred for them. Then, after the war, France deployed these black troops to the Rhineland for occupation duty. They got involved with German women. It was a national humiliation. There was scandal at the number of mulatto births. It is mentioned in Mein Kampf. This is one way that post-war German hatred grew for France. (It reminds me that at the Battle of the Crater at Petersburg, captured white union officers were executed on the spot. And then there was Fort Pillow.)

After the fall of France, as at Lyons, in July of 1940, German regular troops did some payback, spontaneously killing scores of Senegalese troops. They were not led or guided into this by SS doctrine. They had heard stories from their fathers and grandfathers. I have read that some 3,000 black French colonial troops were executed in 1940. Afterward, due to pressure from Vichy officials and Vichy army leaders, colonial troops in prison camps were treated about the same as white troops.

What I am afraid is going to happen is that Yemeni civilians as well as Houthi families and prisoners are going to be slaughtered by these Senegalese troops when the opportunity affords itself. Then some Saudi or Gulf troops will be captured by Yemeni rebels and will be treated likewise. The thing could grow and grow. Pretty soon the whole world is watching. If some television footage,
similar to those scenes in the film 'Africa Addio', of widespread massacre of, and sexual outrages against Muslim men and women by Kaffirs, gets widely published abroad in the Islamic world, and it is understood that the US is behind this, then it could become incendiary. Not only another All-American national crime brought out into the light, but one for which the unexpected consequences are hard to figure out at this point.

I think the Saudis and the American government officials behind it have to be stopped. This is evil.


Another part of this story is that the Western states are all sending forces into Africa to defeat the various Islamist groups. Mean while the African leaders are selling their people to the Saudis rather than using them to destroy the Islamists. If the Africans have troops to spare they should be attaching then to UN missions in Africa rather than the west having to send our people.



In spite of their assertions to the contrary, most Arabs are deeply racist about Africans. Bandar bin Sultan was never going to be king of SA because his mother was an Ethiopian concubine (jarriya habeshiya). You read some interesting stuff. pl


ex-PFC Chuck

"Sounds like you took a leaf out of General Stilwell's book" Maybe you would have needed a book to follow. I did not. pl


Michael brenner

Pitt will play which of the women? pl

Allen Thomson

> "wandering around"

Back in the day, I had more than one occasion to admire the defense attaches because of exactly that. Not all of them, but a significant number, would just go out, walk around, talk to people and do stuff. Some of which produced quite interesting IIRs. Other folks at the embassies had their own ways of doing things.


this is interesting stuff
"the insurrection is traditionally believed to have involved enslaved blacks (Zanj) that had originally been captured from the East African coast and transported to the Middle East.[1] It grew to involve many slaves and free men from several regions of the Caliphate, and claimed tens of thousands of lives before it was finally defeated"


yep, there is rampant racism, but as the Col. said, there are contrary currents


I had the ethiopic invasion of the Peninsula and the vassalization by them of Yemen in mind at your mention of Old Times.





Antar is a legendary poet from the Jahiliya (before Islam) and in his tale he could not marry his cousin Ablah because he was part Black. Bilal was one of the Companions of the Prophet and is remembered BECAUSE he was Black but still devoted to the new faith. I have never met an Arab who was not prejudiced against Blacks in spite of their oft repeated saying that there is "no prejudice in Islam." If you think that is not true ask them if they would let their sister marry one and watch their faces. pl


Allen Thomson

"Other folks at the embassies had their own ways of doing things." Now, who would that be? pl


5000 Senegalese child-soldiers?!

Senegal has already sent 2100 regular troops last year, which didn't go down well at all with the population. Although Senegal is 90% muslim, they are no fans of wahhabism.

Also, Senegal does not employ child soldiers, but they have been used by the Casamance rebels south of the country.


A great passage in TE Lawrence's work immediately comes to my mind:
"SO I made a happy start with my sponsor for the journey, Sherif Abd el Kerim el Beidawi, half-brother of Mohammed, Emir of the Juheina, but, to my astonishment, of pure Abyssinian type. Abd el Kerim was a man of middle height, thin and coal black, but debonaire, twenty-six years old; though he looked less, and had only a tiny tuft of beard on his sharp chin. He was restless and active, endowed with an easy, salacious humour. He hated the Turks, who had despised him for his colour (Arabs had little colour-feeling against Africans: it was the Indian who evoked their race-dislike), and was very merry and intimate with me."

I have also noticed what you said about their attitude in my very limited experience with Arabs,I would be very curious to see if Lawrence's observed lack of "color-feeling" prevails amongst cultural Arabs of visibly different race in areas with great amounts of historical sub Saharan admixture among the majority, such as Egypt or even SA for example(the bandar example would not apply, as his mother was a non Arab black. Born with the same black features,would he still be barred if his mother was a clearly negroid Saudi?) The prevalence of many clearly negroid Saudi Arabians in both the political(ulema) and military apparatus comes to mind.These seem to be totally integrated, as if race is not even noticed.


They have done that. Substantial continegtn of Senegalese is with the UN Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) as well as in Central Africal Republic and other missions. 3700 is no small number.
Senegeal is a non-permanent member of the Security Council for this and the next year.
Overall it seems to be quantity over quality. One of their top generals (Babacar Gaye) had to leave after the scandal in CAR.
Problem is that we do in general NOT contribute the quality by sending "our people" - African peacekeeping is largely done by non-Europeans (maybe for all the right reasons).


Speaking of wandering about. All I ever knew of Sir Mark Sykes was the he was 1/2 of of a famous Middle East agreement between Britain and France. I found this background to be interesting. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/08/06/my-grandfather-scapegoat-for-a-century-of-middle-east-madness.html



In my experience the Saudi Blacks, probably part Arab were not treated very well and always seemed to have servile jobs. They tried to deal with Bandar by sending him out of the country for education, flying training, diplomatic work, etc. In the end he came back, though pl


In reply to Will 07 August 2016 at 06:53 PM

I did most of my growing up in two Arab countries, Lebanon and Iraq, to call the endemic, vicious, and savage racism that I saw there "rampant" is to severely understate the case.

What "contrary currents"? Are you really trying to pretend that wikipedia entries dealing with two people who died in 640AD and 608 AD respectively constitute evidence for "contrary currents" to the endemic racism of modern middle eastern societies - in particular the Arabic ones?

Really? That's your "evidence" - Two wikipedia articles dealing with people who died more than one thousand four hundred years ago? Well to quote Groucho Marx "Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?"

Short answer: "not you."


In reply to turcopolier 07 August 2016 at 11:49 PM

I saw the same in Basrah.

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