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03 October 2016


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Thank you for clearing that up but it certainly wasn't my intention nor did I mean to imply that the CIA was running its own war in Syria. I was always aware that the CIA answers directly to the president. Some years ago, reportedly, USAID was completely taken over by State but as you say, State would answer to the president.

I hope you won't take this the wrong way but while I now understand how you interpreted my remark, I am still not clear how you could derive such a conclusion from my words. I am a stranger in these parts but even though I've only commented a few times here, that's more than I've commented on all other blogs during the 15 years I've been writing for the public.

Why SST? Because I agree with your views 90 percent of the time and that's a record for me. And actually it's only 4 percent disagreement because I don't understand the other 6 percent. Which is to say that sometimes you make remarks that are so 'inside baseball' regarding intelligence work that I can't follow them.

Which leads me to wonder whether what I consider to be a 'misinterpretation' of my remark is grounded in your many years of intelligence work. In other words I am wondering if you 'heard' something that people outside the intelligence community wouldn't hear.

Again, please don't take offense. But I am making a little issue of this because no matter how much I like your blog and comment section, I don't want to give offense and worry that I might be crossing lines which are invisible to anyone who's not in the intelligence and/or military community.

Finally, it's "Pundita." I mention this only because it was the second time you addressed me as Pundit. I appreciate the compliment but I wouldn't want to offend any Brahmins by using the masculine version of the term; that's because I'm a dame.

mike allen

As for the Nobel Peace Prize, it should go to Nadia Murad. Unfortunately, she does not appear to be in the running.

But how can they be serious to even consider Edward Snowden. Must be some serious whackjobs on the nominating committee.




Babak Makkinejad

"disgrace themselves beyond redemption"?

The Nobel Committee is an organization, a collection of individuals, which cannot neither be in a state of grace of disgrace; only individuals can be in such a state.

Likewise for Redemption, extends only to individuals and not institutions.

As far as I understand ideas of Christianity.

Babak Makkinejad

I think that is right and further, that people have a right to change their minds - even if they do not publicly admit that.


An earlier staged disaster in which dead bodies were used in propaganda videos, and moved from place to place for photo ops, goes under the name of "Zamalka Ghost House" and was substantially researched by "Urs" from Germany. This propaganda amplified the Ghouta chemical attack of August 21, 2013.


Nice analysis by neuropharmacology PhD "Murder in the SunMorgue":


b, Max' June 20, 2012 piece is quite interesting. One month later Obama issued his "red line" for Syria. But not least interesting is the article of the Al-Akbar's editor in chief 9 days earlier, he apparently had mixed feelings about.

Ibrahim al-Amin, Fire in Syria (I): Preparations on the Turkish and Lebanese Borders


So Max didn't believe the government's intelligence about smuggled weapons surfaced among arrested terrorists at that point in time? I may have had mixed feelings too, admittedly.

Below a December 2011 interview with Bassel Shehadeh and Karam Nachar, Princeton on Democracy Now, there are passages in which Bassel admits it's dangerous in the streets at night and hard to find out who shoots. Karam reports about the support for activists on the ground both concerning publicity and smuggling phones and other stuff to them.

Can there ever be a neutral word for someone that never errs? I wonder right now? Bassel may have erred too in trusting his guardian angle in a war context with a camera. He was aware the camera made it even more dangerous.


The Tagesspiegel in Berlin had a guest comment yesterday. The White Helmets or Putin?


Are the nominations made public?

The statutes of the Nobel Foundation restrict disclosure of information about the nominations, whether publicly or privately, for 50 years. The restriction concerns the nominees and nominators, as well as investigations and opinions related to the award of a prize.

Check the suggested candidates for 2016:



bomb, bomb, bomb Iran. ... Ukraine, early visits? Not sure if it is "has become".


Max now writes a piece (most from material Vanessa Beeley and others already published over the last year:

Are you suggesting he is plagiarizing matters already focused on by others, discussed or looked into by someone first, without acknowledgement by whoever picks up the relay later? ... He should have linked to her research or blog including James' comments, his earlier suspicions? Wrong to spread "the message further"? Update matters?

most from material

Could you be slightly less vague? Or define the rules? No one allowed to write about the matter by adding, choosing one's own angle, perspective and/or update?

Personally, I was fascinated by Vanessa's work, not least concerning matters Max doesn't pick up in his pieces.


Now the UN officials are speaking out of turn. See http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-37561755

Seamus Padraig

Vanessa Beeley has just released a statement via Facebook on Max's article. She's glad that he's finally "seen the light" on Syria and hopes that he can bring the real story to a wider audience. But like Bernd, she's upset that, after so many years of denigrating all those who were consistently saying exactly what he's saying now as a bunch of 'Assad apologists', he hasn't seen fit to apologize and acknowledge their hard work--work on which Max's own article obviously rests.



An election related update by Max:


"An" UN official, rather. As per cited Reuters-bit:


"UNOSAT manager Einar Bjorgo, who took part in the briefing, contacted Reuters hours later to say it was not possible to be 100 percent. "There is significant damage, and we believe it may be air strikes, but it's not conclusive," he said.

"Our observations of the imagery show indications of it possibly being an air strike. But it's a very damaged area and we cannot definitely conclude that it's an air strike."

The United Nations has referred officially only to an "attack", which led to a brief suspension of its convoys in Syria. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies initially referred to "air strikes" in a statement.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Friday he would establish an internal U.N. board of inquiry to investigate the attack and urged all parties to fully cooperate.

UNOSAT (U.N. Operational Satellite Applications Programme), which reviews only commercially available satellite images, has not been asked to share its analysis with the U.N. investigators, but is prepared to do so, Bjorgo said.

"Our images are from time to time used in order to brief Security Council members," he said.

Bjorgo, speaking generally, said: "We are neutral. We don't have a political agenda, we simply state the facts."

Seems Mr Bromley didn't give much attention to not having a "political agenda". Further, images perused came via this particular connection here, as per AP:


"12:10 p.m.

The U.N. has released satellite images showing most recent destruction of Syria's embattled northern city of Aleppo. Officials with the U.N.'s satellite imagery program say new pictures from rebel-held parts of Aleppo show "an awful lot of new damage" — presumably by airstrikes.

Lars Bromley of UNOSAT says the commercial images from Digital Globe, obtained by the U.N. agency through an arrangement with the U.S. State Department, show mostly "formerly blasted and blown-up areas" during Syria's 5-1/2-year war "experiencing a great deal of additional damage."

He told reporters on Wednesday in Geneva: "To a certain extent you're looking at rubble being pushed around."

The images mostly show before-and-after pictures from mid to late September showing destruction of buildings, including homes, after the breakdown of a short-lived U.S. and Russia-brokered cease-fire.

One image, dated Saturday, shows the damage to a school or athletic facility in Aleppo's Owaija district."

Digital Globe, same source provided the couple less-than-clear pictures on MH17, and going by Bjorgo, they are less than clear once more.

The Beaver

So spinless UNSG, on his way out, is saying, based on internal report and expertise, that the Red Crescent convoy bombing is from air strikes. Guess someone wants Russia to be blamed for it.

However, Matt Lee from ICP is reporting that :
the new UNSG will be from Portugal ( all those members of the gent feminine that 2016 would be their year for the first female UNSG - from NZ to Eastern Europe must be dissapointed) and that there will be some musical chair going on as far as Deputy SG and Political Affairs. Jeffrey Feltman may have to look for another job, should Antonio Guterres decide that he would rather see another American in that post. Everyone knows that Feltman is/was controlling Ban Ki Moon.


I think Col Lang will answer to your question.
IMO, no.
Before installation of the next POTUS ? Yes.
SAA is advancing on a good pace in east Aleppo, and at the end, terrorist defence line will collapse rather quickly.
Should be over before the end of the year.


1) You can't stay in power 5 years during a civil war without a strong support of your people.
2 ) They think they will " win". And that's terrific


I think the russians will retaliate with a Kaliber against an US ship as a strong warning first.
Then if necessary they will destroy the 7 fleet.
Cut the logistic lines.
And manage a global uprising in ME against US troops.


I think it's the unicorn disease, one that has been around for centuries.

These people (or, at least people like them) would believe (and probably did/do believe) that if some "good and competent" people rather than Kerensky took over Russia in 1917, there would have been neither Tsars or Bolsheviks and Russia would be a perfect democracy.

The same people would believe that, if there were some miracle worker instead of Mao and Chiang, China would be a perfect democracy.

I suppose the same people would believe that, if there were some morally perfect people instead of Washington, Jefferson, and Adams, there would have been no Civil War, no slavery, and no federalism questions either.

Some people oppose everything because of a lack of moral perfection, and, in so doing, enable hucksters who weasel their way around the universal vilification. I miss cynics.


The problem here is not that the humanitarian work is faked, but that it is used as a vehicle and shelter for propaganda messages.

Exactly!!!! Vanessa gets that. Qoppa, I love you!

mike allen

The Portuguese nominee to replace Ban Ki Moon, Antonio Guterres, is said to be a “close friend” of Jalal Talabani, a Kurd, former President of Iraq, and founder of the Kurdish PUK (Patriotic Union of Kurdistan party).

Guterres is favored by Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s ambassador to the UN.

Guterres used to be Director of the UN’s refugee body, the UNHCR, from 2005 to 2015 and frequently visited Iraq when Talabani was President.

different clue

On another blog I read, I found posted a "travelogue video" featuring a younger Barack Obama on a family-reunion visit to Kenya. I don't know whether this video would offer any not-yet-known insights into the Obama of from-then-to-now. And I wasn't sure what thread ( if any) this would really fit into. So I post it here in case it might be useful. If the video is considered to offer no insights worth being published for, then I expect it won't be published. I just take a chance posting it here in case it might be considered useful.

Here is the link.


That would. Indeed, be perfect.


Ask and you shall...





sorry, my response was a bit superficial. I understand it was sarcasm. But, while it was easy to understand Pat's outrage against the decision of the Nobel Price committee at the time, I wonder to what extend the decision was inspired by the hope and change meme the Obama campaign propagated.

Let's see, if they dare to give the price to the White Helmets.

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