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24 August 2016


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Babak Makkinejad

Chechens in the Russian Federation speak flawless Russian; they are very clearly Russified to a certain extent.

John Ison

Dear Colonel Lang,

A Happy Anniversary to you and Mrs. Lang. May there be many more.
Thank you again for hosting this fine committee.

John Ison


Daesh is using decoys to mislead Coalition airstrikes. They appear to have read the history on Patton's Phantom Army of canvas airplanes and inflatable rubber tanks:


alba etie

There have been several media reports that the PRC will be actively advising and assisting the Syrian Government in the near future . There should be substantial work to be done rebuilding Syria from its Civil War - Yes the G-20 would be a great place to close out this conflict & make that the PRC gets its piece of the Syrian "Marshall Plan " . This bodes not well for the Liver Eaters - I wonder too if this might be were the Kurds get there federated status with Assad ?

David Habakkuk


The élite consensus that emerged here in the wake of the retreat and collapse of Soviet power and of socialism more generally was essentially neoconservative and neoliberal. To this, Blair and ‘New Labour’ added ‘multiculturalism’ etc, in which they were followed by Cameron and Osborne.

For complex reasons, what Babak Makkinejad aptly termed the ‘secular cult of the Shoah’ is a key part of this. It is ideology, as much as interest, that dictates deference to Israeli and Zionist susceptibilities. But, by the same token, as confidence in élites has collapsed, this deference is also coming into question, and the question of ‘dual loyalty’ becoming an issue.

In relation to British participation in the ongoing trainwrecks in the Middle East, what has been at issue, since the Iraq fiasco, is not really direct military involvement. Involvement in ‘covert’ operations, and in particular the ‘information operations’ of which neoconservatives are so fond, is however a different matter.

Here, it can be very advantageous to have certain matters run out of London – it makes it more difficult for avoid awkward questions being asked on your side.

David Habakkuk
David Habakkuk

Babak Makkinejad,

I do not think this is really off-topic.

An interesting analysis of relations between Russia and Iran has just been produced by Dmitri Trenin.

(See http://carnegie.ru/2016/08/18/russia-and-iran-historic-mistrust-and-contemporary-partnership/j3qm .)

What do you – and others – think?

The Beaver


From the spin twitter a/c:


Despite US assurances, terrorist organization PYD not retreating. #Jarablus


Or is Biden's comment designed to soothe Turkish public opinion, covering for the Kurds who "obedezcan pero no cumplen" by "redeploying their Kurdish units" while leaving only their "SDF units" in the Manbij rif? Meanwhile, the Kurdish advance shows little sign of being halted. Even in the days since the Turkish advance, they've pushed their northern flank nearly to Jarabulus and invested Arima. ISIS of Jarabulus may have fled to al Bab, but other reports have the Babish fleeing to Raqqa.



"I wonder too if this might be were the Kurds get there federated status with Assad?"

That would be the end game for those competent statesmen wanting to cool the cauldron and would be a model for others in the region wanting to maintain territorial integrity while properly dealing with their minority issues.

Since information gathering is a natural byproduct of your business, and one of your clients seems to be in tune with Kid King and his contentious courtiers, have you learned anything new regarding the current status of policy conflicts within the District Circle?

The Twisted Genius

Looks like the YPG/SDF forces are still holding their own against the Turks/jihadis. The YPG have even taken a few villages south and west of Jarabulus in the face of Turkish bombardment.

One source has reported that the new US Commander of Operation Inherent Resolve, LTG Steven Townsend, ordered all US Operational personnel to withdraw from YPG units. They were (or will be) sent to Rmeilan airfield in the northeast corner of Syria. US stopped all artillery ammo supplies to YPG and stopped all transfer of field Intelligence. The US allegedly told the Kurdish PYD leader Salih Muslim Muhammed, “These US measures are temporary."

This would be the time for the Russians to up their contacts with the Kurds. Even if they do, the thought of taking out Turkish tanks or troops has to give them pause.



In a news brief this morning about US-Russia inability to reach a Syrian agreement for now, Kerry did his usual boilerplate BorgSpeak but Lavrov's comment was about the need for the Kurds to be represented in future talks.

It seems that current battlefield maneuvering is a rearranging of chip stacks on the table for an impending conference that will count.

alba etie

No sir - but the all the buzz right now is about defeating Trump before he retweets the Grand Kleagle again .



Thanks and take care.

alba etie

My two cents regarding Erdogan , the Kurds & Russia . I believe that Erdogan & Putin have arrived at at least a short term deal - that the Kurds can keep a federated status with a still seated President Assad ( but with no PPK or other elements that want Turkish real estate ) after cessations of hostilities once Daesh is defeated . In return Erdogan gets to give join Eurasian Economic Union ( Shanghai Cooperation Council 2.O ) . Turkey can then tell EU to pound sand and Erdogan gets to participate in the rebuilding of Syria.
And yes I will continue to take care - you as well Thomas .



Seems that the YPG Kurds have decided to "follow their own destiny" and are advancing on Al-Bab from west and east. I wonder who encouraged them to do that. Can this represent US resentment at turkish indifference to Ben Rhodes' will? pl

The Twisted Genius


I did see reports of an advance from Afrin towards Al-Bab with US air support. Maybe that is the US message to the Turks that they have advanced far enough on the Jarabulus front. The Turks may get their safe zone along the border, but it does their IS allies no good if the Kurds link up at Al-Bab. You're right about the Kurds following their own destiny. The only thing that will stop them is outright military defeat with or without US support.

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