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15 December 2016


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mike allen

RE Palmyra:

US airstrikes claim destruction of "14 tanks, three artillery systems, two ISIL-held buildings, two tactical vehicles, and an air defense artillery system," that had been captured by Daesh from the Syrian Army a few days ago.


Chris Chuba

I read that as a confession that we supported rebels who were hopelessly aligned with Al Qaeda for at least two years.

'Why we failed' reads like a rhetorical question.

What if we got every single thing we asked for, what was our plan, did we expect the rebels who were buddies with Al Qaeda to suddenly turn on their brothers the day that Assad fell, defeat them, then drive ISIS out of the country? This was never explored.


And what's off the coast of Brazil? Probably just a few weeks supply.

Babak Makkinejad

Yup and before that was Kosovo, Bosnia, East Timor...

Always ready to breakup other people's states in heart beat, yet so reluctant to apply the same policies to their own countries.

And the hero to many of them is the man most responsible for the break up of British India - one Mohandas Kramchand Gandhi...

It must be the Beige Third-Worlder in me speaking...


Right sir, I was speeking about "shade" in commmon french.


Yes, you can add " Umma" as a strong sign of this thinking mode.


A very interesting detail in an otherwise unremarkable politico article on the Mosul situation:
"One senior Pentagon officer with access to daily battle reports on the Mosul fight says the battle for the city has been so intense that the Golden Division’s veteran battalions “are suffering upwards of 50 percent casualties. If that rate stays constant,” he told me, “the division could become combat ineffective in a little over a month, and perhaps even sooner.”


At the end of the day none of the countries in the area can afford to leave an American presence sitting there like a tumour. Syria can't afford it because the US will continue to push arms in there and use it as a staging area for the next war against Syria. The Turks can't have it because the US is backing the Kurds. Iran can't have it because every one Trump wants to nominate is foaming at the mouth about Iran. Iraq can't have it because ... the last 15 years. Russia can't have it because it gives NATO a new attack vector against Russia.

Trump could pull the special forces out of the region but almost no one in the Republican or Democratic parties or any one Trump is going to nominate are on board, so that looks dubious. So sooner or later the Kurds are going to have to turn on their handlers if they want any kind of peace with their neighbours. That will happen later rather than sooner, but happen it will.


Estimates of oil reserves are slippery because they have to include estimates of extraction costs, and thus of likely prices. You have to look closely at how the estimate has been defined. If it will cost $100 to extract a barrel of oil from a site but the price of oil is only $50, it's not economic to extract, and estimates of reserves will reflect this. Increase the price and suddenly it becomes economic to get oil from higher extraction cost reserves.

Recent low oil prices have depressed estimates of 'economically extractable' oil.

Ishmael Zechariah

Per Col. Lang we need to evaluate any news separate from their source but some validation links would always be welcome.
Ishmael Zechariah
P.s: Here is an earlier bit of news from rudaw.net.

mike allen

Ishmael Zechariah -

Here is a link to the Coalition strike release for 15 December. I make no claim to its veracity. But I take it at face value. Other than a pilot's possible exaggeration of his strike results. I would hope that CJTF-OIR had gun camera evidence or independent verification of BDA by other sources.


Babak Makkinejad


One has to observe a string of wreckage from Hindu Kush to the Atlas Mountains to despair.


I saw a clip of a actual independent journalist who had actually spent time on the ground in Allepo talking to civilians. At least she seemed to be legitimately independent. She gave a report on the Ron Paul report. Her name is Vanessa Beeley. She's a brave journalist. She's not a fan of the white helmets or our American Pravda media.



Not to be confused with Ferengi https://projectsanctuary.com/the_complete_ferengi_rules_of_acquisition.htm


Mike, as other situation in the region for iran, it is all about and depends on Iran being a minority nation both ethnically and religiously in region what I call the sea of neighbouring sunnis, including Arab and Turk Sunnis, as well as Arab and Turk Shia who also wouldnt appreciate if Iran recognized part of their country passes to another Iranian ethnicity the Kurds, remember Tip O'Neill " all politics are local" you seating in the west don't have that problem you are not local, Iranians do. The closest people in the region to Kurds are not Israelis or the US Kurd simpetizers , it's the Iranian, this is since, Kurds are ethnically also Iranian. Iran will not compromise it's national and her respected arab shia minority' security siding with Kurds independence, or whatever federalism you like, or in same way, recognizing Israel and or becoming bosom buddies with US. IMO that is minimum security requirement for Iran, trying not to alienate neighbouring muslim streets as much as possible, that is cheapest and safest security you can buy.

mike allen

James -

Isn't Iran already providing PKK with support?

Phil Cattar

BTW,There is a lot more Native American land in the USA than most people realize.The Navajo reservation in the 4 corners area of the Southwest is larger than the smallest 3 states of New England combined.

Babak Makkinejad

That is really funny, a few years ago Speaker of Iranian Parliament took evidence with him to Turkey that purported to show US material support for PKK.

Babak Makkinejad

Heard in a Café in Aleppo a while back...

The Christian Owner:

- The guns are blasting again, the Takfiris are gathering.

- The ex-intelligence officer from Turkey: Yes, but Iranians are gathering the Fatemiyoon and Zeinabiyoon. Nasty bunch, from what I hear.

- Let me get you a drink effendi -

Gives him a drink which the fellow sips:

- Good God Man, what is this? It is awful.

- Ah, this is a common Iranian drink, Borage tea.

- It is vile.

- Yes, I know, just like the Iranians. But you know what? After a while it starts growing on you.

- Do you think they can stop the Takfiris?

- I do not know my friend, by I sure hope so.

different clue

Babak Makkinejad,

" Borage for courage." ---old English saying.

Years ago I grew some borage in the garden once. I had read that the leaves were edible boiled. And they were, but they had a sort of woolly hairy tongue-feel/ texture even when cooked. Maybe some day I will try it again. Maybe I will try younger leaves.

Here's a bunch of pictures of borage.

mike allen

Babak Makkinejad -

That was before Turkish overt support of Salafis in Syria. The game has changed now.

Or maybe even back then the Speaker of Parliament you mentioned was trying to deflect the blame?

Cemil Bayik, one of the PKK co-founders has reportedly been in talks with the IRGC. PKK has had bases in the Qandil mountains right on the Iran/Iraq border a couple of years without apparent Iranian interference. And al-Monitor claims that Iran and Iranian-supported Iraqi militias are allying with the PKK in Sinjar to counterbalance Turkish military presence near Bashiqa. Perhaps that is all Turkish & Saudi agitprop.

But even Breitbart had a recent article on PKK in Iran having a firefight with members of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI). And Breitbart never pushes fake news do they (snark alert). But they may have got that from LtGen Flynn, Trump's National Security Adviser, who has close ties to Turkey. So that too could be BS.

But the PKK is getting support from somewhere. If not Iran, then who? Russia? Could be. Saudis or Qatar? No way. The US as per your Speaker? Horse pucky I say.

Ishmael Zechariah

We (secular Turkish progressives) consider the PKK- in fact, the whole kurd gambit-a Borg operation. The nations which support this operation, as well as the kurdish "role" designated by the "Masters of the Universe™" are well documented. For example, this operation has similarities to the Ukraine and the social/ethnical disintegration engineered there. However, such issues are not mentioned in polite company, where it is better to bemoan the massacres in Aleppo conducted by the vile Russians, Iranians and SAA.
Ishmael Zechariah


It might be worth distinguishing Arab Muslim culture from *all* Muslims in general. For example, Muslims in Bangaladesh, Indonesia, and Malaysia have a different political and cultural history especially with respect to European colonial history and related extant governance and political systems. Similarly for Muslim populations in India and China. This diversity reflects a population much higher orders of magnitude than the total of Arab Muslims. This may also be one reason why Wahabbi (Arab style) Sunni Islam appears to always be looking to export and replicate itself among non arab muslim populations outside the ME. It has the ME money but not the populations.

Still, the question of whether federalism can work suitably is a good question. Recent experience in Nepal is that trying to define federal states that loosely reflect indigenous ethnic and cultural residential population history is a tricky but not necessarily impossible business. One problem is that the nature of electoral politics is short term in interests, often to used by parties to obstruct the political systems from productivity, so naturally providing inertial resistance to any long term structural developments like government administering creation of federal states and so forth.

medhat behjed

Kurds not iranian and not Turks or Arabs.Kurds are Kurds only nothing to do with Iran.


Yes, I guess that is what makes Pat's SST interesting. It's not a pure echo chamber.

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