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28 August 2016

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The Twisted Genius

Well, the Kurds and their Arab allies are now being pushed back from Jarabulus. It was just a matter of time. The old saying is true. The Kurds have no friends than the mountains. My question now is if Baghdad abhors a Rojava more than an IS with a robust supply line to their Turkish sugar daddy.

Herb

Yes, barring some Clinton catastrophe, she will be president.

I agree entirely that she will be more militarily reckless in foreign affairs than Obama. Less than GWB, but still, more reckless than Obama who has largely confined his militarism to drones and advisors since she left State. But she is going to be drastically confounded by a majority Republican house that won't want her to have a success of any kind, and/or a large Republican minority, if not continued majority in the Senate. The Democrats in the house and senate are by and large also opposed to her militarism, but there is a bipartisan borg war party.

Syria is even more complicated post "coup" than it was before, if possible. America may be Erdogan's bitch, but who's bitch is Erdogan? He was rebuffed by Putin, and ISIL is making life difficult internally, something about "insufficient enthusiasm". It should be pretty obvious that this rebellion is over, and all that is left to know is how long it will take, how many will be killed, and what the map looks like afterward. That is probably where the "Kurds back to east of Euphrates" comes from; drawing the map.

My main worry about Clinton is Iran, and that she will feed the elements that want to break that treaty through attrition, so we are back again facing war with Iran.

turcopolier

Herb

Not bad. It is not clear to me that Erdogan is anyone's bitch. We will see... Yes, Clinton will be opposed by the Republicans in Congress but we must remember that although the Congress can deny funding or seek to impeach, these are very blunt tools and in our system the president/CinC can make war without congressional permission. Yes, Assad will continue to rule most of Syria. pl

BrotherJoe

Is there any possibility, however remote, of China sending men/armaments to Syria as a riposte to our "pivot to the East". I keep thinking about the Book of Revelations reference to the "kings of the East".

Haralambos

Col.,

Welcome home, belatedly, and thank you for more food for thought, especially regarding our backyard here in Greece.

Walrus

The first casualty of a Clinton Presidency will be blogs like this. Bank on it.

turcopolier

walrus

Maybe I'll shut it down when she is inaugurated. pl

Outrage Beyond

I think what Walrus is alluding to is a far more vicious Clinton war on free speech in general; and a particularly murderous focus on whistleblowing.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-08-27/war-whistleblowers-why-americas-next-president-will-kill-julian-assange

Allen Thomson

> Maybe I'll shut it down when she is inaugurated. pl

Oh, no! The Clinton Presidency is exactly when SST would be most valuable. I, contra many here, don't think that the Clintonate would automatically be a disaster, but it sure would need close watching. Hence SST.

The Twisted Genius

Walrus,

The situation under a Trump Administration might be worse. He wants to "open up" libel laws so it's easier to sue critics. And he is notoriously thin skinned.

Chris Chuba

Turkey / Syria / U.S.
Erdogan is very crafty which is why I said that I will refrain from making predictions on what he is going to do. He is a survivor. The thing that frustrates me is that the Borg are so fixated on Russia that Erdogan can play that card at will to manipulate us. I have read some pretty convincing articles on how his rapprochement with Russia/Iran is logical on its own merits but I believe that he is doing this to pull our strings as well.

The next few weeks in Syria are going to be really interesting. There is rumor of some grand new agreement but in the short term it just looks like R+6 is content to pursue taking Aleppo, Turkey to push the Kurds back and the U.S. to observe what looks like a de facto partition of Syria, unless Turkey tells them otherwise (my humble opinion of course).

Hillary
It has become conventional wisdom that Hillary is some sort of genius on foreign affairs but she is just the type of person that Erdogan can wrap around his finger. Since Trump does not suffer from this need to punish Russia for some perceived offenses against us, he would be less susceptible to this manipulation but this is looking more like a hypothetical. If Assange really does have more emails to leak that will reveal how vile HRC really is, I hope he has a food taster.

Kosovo
(too many topics but I can't resist), the consortium had two excellent articles on the Clinton Kosovo intervention.
https://consortiumnews.com/2016/08/24/the-bogus-humanitarian-war-on-serbia/
https://consortiumnews.com/2016/08/24/television-wars-crossing-a-line-in-serbia/
Milosevic has been exonerated in the Hague Investigation of all war crimes related to the Bosnian war. I lost whatever respect I might have had for Bill Clinton and Hillary is cut from the same interventionist clothe.

crf

I wonder if Clinton will try at the bat an African and Asia policy coordinating financial aspects, military alliances, aid and science. Such ideas might have bipartisan congressional prospects. She can point to Japan and China making huge investments in Africa and ask Congress why the US can't, and why US influence has been allowed to wither. Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia are worse off, especially socially, for the neglect shown by the US. For example: Saudi Arabia might be extremely crude in massively bribing the Malaysian PM to do their bidding, but the US does have methods (aid and investment) to counteract this, if the US chose to use them.

Unexpected events can sometimes have an effect on steering foreign policy in new directions. Clinton hasn't been skilled in using outside events in the past, but she (unlike Obama) seems to on guard to the possibility.

Jack

Sir

That is when SST and your analysis would be needed the most. If the Borg Queen is crowned as the Empress, the Borg will revel in its triumph and what limited characteristics of a constitutional republic that remains will be under assault. The only zones of realism that will likely remain will be committee's like SST. It would be a tragedy if they were shutdown.

Lemur

There was an article in Pravda Report complaining the Chinese were moving in with their investment dollars while Russia did the dirty work and shouldered the political risk.

Herb

My opinion is that that Erdogan is also pushing the limits to determine if he is boss.

Lemur

If Trump loses, the incoming Clinton administration will have to deal with the white hot rage of flyover country. So her initial focus may be on domestic matters. US is fast approaching eighties USSR - ethnic tensions, imperial overreach, atrophying economic system, duplicitous elites, etc.

Dubhaltach

In reply to The Twisted Genius 28 August 2016 at 07:58 PM

He's very quick to have his lawyers issue writs.

Dubhaltach

In reply to turcopolier 28 August 2016 at 06:58 PM

I hope you do not as I feel that America is at present caught between the Devil and deep blue sea.

johnf

"Maybe I'll shut it down when she is inaugurated. pl "

Just you dare!

ToivoS

People seem to over-estimate Hillary's intelligence. I think she is quite stupid,at least at the level of taking in the big picture. Her talents lie in her abilities to engage in short term manipulation. As is the case for many stupid people she seems to surround herself with other stupid people or obsequious toadies. The big danger with her is that she will not be getting any good advice or will be impervious to it if she does.

I doubt that she intends to engage Russia in a shooting war but I fear that her efforts to intimidate Russia (or China) will lead to a situation where the Russians will feel sufficiently threatened and will strike back. Somehow I doubt she will recognize when she has crossed that line Russia is warning us about (especially being surrounded by the neocons who really do want war) and will blunder into a terrible conflict.

Nightsticker

Col Lang,

Glad you are back. You were well served by
the guest editors in your absence.
I am sitting here on a river cruise boat slowly going
from Budapest to Amsterdam. Rather mixed clientele;
I represent myself as a retired systems engineer in response
to the frequent "what did you do?" This rules out my
best stories but at least I don't have to look
over my shoulder so much. Very dodgy internet
connections. SST is the first place I go to
when there is a connection.
Regards.
NS

turcopolier

Nightsticker

Budapest to Amsterdam? There must be acanal or two in there somewhere. pl

Chris Chuba

On the subject of Erdogan's unpredictability, I read an article (sorry I don't have a link) where the author argued that he might actually favor a partitioned Syria with a separate Kurdistan. Now after you stop laughing, his argument is that if the Kurds had their own state carved out of Syria then it could serve as a place to ethnically cleanse the troublesome Kurds out of Turkey. In effect it could be a lightning rod.

Do I believe this? As I said, I'm done trying to figure out Erdogan. However, I do believe that he is smart enough to sell this idea to the U.S. if he believes that we want to hear this, or perhaps it could be part of his grand scheme. All I know is that I believe that we are on the short end of the stick in terms of leverage.

Erdogan is both smarter than his counter parts and he has more leverage. I don't like the place that we are in.

MRW

I fear you are correct, ToivoS.

LeaNder

Seriously, could we force him legally as some type of SSTC United?

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