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11 March 2017


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You stated your position but unless I misunderstand, you didn't state the reasoning behind it, or why my position is wrong.


"Has any consensus for this military action been sought at the UN?"

Do your homework: read UNSCR 2249

Babak Makkinejad

The area in question will revert to SAR; US will not administer Raqqa.

Trump's approach is politically astute, he will leave Assad alone and destroy ISIS - who could argue with the destruction of ISIS?

Not even France or Saudi Arabia or the Shoah Cultists could criticize him publicly.

The capture of Raqqa, like the capture of any belligerent's capital, means the end for ISIS even though its ideas will live on for many more years.

If Trump is indeed the astute businessman that he claims to be, then he knows that the equities that the Western Fortress and Gulfies have sunk in Syria have been lost an it is best not to throw good money after bad.

So he is now fulfilling another of his promises, destroying ISIS - which was always a strategic threat to every single US-friendly government in that part of the world, save Israel.

He will politically come on top if ISIS is destroyed in Raqqa in an expeditious manner.


Assay was recently interviewed and asked about U.S. Troops on Syrian soil, to which Assad called them "invaders" since they had not been invited into Syria.


Here is the url of the Assad interview with Chinese TV where he refers to uninvited guests as invaders:


Babak Makkinejad

May be, but I think many a devout Muslim man would expect to be rewarded with those seven virgins.

Once I asked one of the senior professors advice on how to handle grading errors; I has mistakenly given full marks where I should not have.

His reply was that it was very difficult to take back marks after they had been given out.

While it is difficult, nary impossible, to fathom the Almighty, I for one would not be surprised if He acts on the basis of charity and generosity and to reward the faithful as they had been led to expect.

In other words, I would be surprised if God nickle-and-dimes them.



Have also seen unconfirmed reports that rebels from the el-Waar neighborhood of Homs will be bussed to Idlib. That supposedly is based on the initial round of negotiations Saturday the 11th between Homs rebels and Russian/Syrian representatives. Some of the rebels had wanted to go to Jarabulus but the regime is not going for that. Russian MPs to enter el-Waar and guarantee the exit.

If true, then what? Hard to tell deception from truth on the ground.


1664RM -

68 worlwide but only a few of those are in Syria. Others are in Iraq, or have signed up to engage Daesh in their own neighborhoods.

List is here: http://theglobalcoalition.org/en/partners/

But I agree that mission creep may take place after Raqqa. Let's hope not.

PS - I'll raise a pint to you on 28 October.



Further evidence? Netanyahu's plea to Putin to rid Syria of Iranian influence (rebuffed).


Sid_finster -

RT as usual left out the full story of that Assad interview, and just published the parts that suited Moscow.

"Assad said on Saturday that he is open to cooperation with the new US administration over President Donald Trump’s ‘promising’ policies for the civil war in Syria.

Asked whether there was potential for cooperation with the new US administration, the Syrian president said: “In theory, yes, but practically, not yet, because there’s no link between Syria and the United States on the formal level.”

Although there was no contact between Damascus and Washington, Assad said he was open to formal talks."


Perhaps Moscow is miffed that Assad is offering China the opportunity to take part in reconstruction work in every sector of Syria's economy. After the war of course.


Sid_finster -

PS - Assad's China offer is here:



Col., i think you're right that the Trump Admin and the Kremlin are quietly on the same page.

The Manbij maneuver blocking the Turks looked highly coordinated - America showed force in the city, while Russia handled the perimeter saving two NATO forces from coming to blows.

Had the Russians wanted to be difficult, they could have left the Kurds and the Turks to go at it, which would have scuttled the Kurdish push toward Raqqah City, and given the SAA a head start.

However, Putin did state recently he believed securing the territorial integrity of Syria was a prerequisite to the peace process. Evidently the Russian believe their diplomatic clout will be sufficient to reunify Syria after the US proxies have done their job.


"Do you want to fight to defense shared civilization or do you wan to surrender to the medievalists? Make your choice or shut up. pl" Sounds like 2003 again. I guess I shouldn't have raised the question of the exit strategy.


I hope this is the case. The fact that Mattis and McMaster are running the show gives me a lot of confidence. Mattis, in particular, is definitely the most respected General officer of my generation. I hope and pray he can navigate the minefields of the Pentagon as well as those in Iraq.

To be honest, I'm not sold on Trump at all (I don't regret my vote for Johnson one bit), but this is certainly a 1000 times better than a Clintonian R2P no fly zone nonsense. If she had won we'd have a bunch of think-tank academics running the show, doubling down on 25 years of foreign policy failure.


Seems the the Russians and Americans aim for a repeat of the cold war scenario in Europe. The Russians kept "their" Germans on a short leash, the Americans likewise, whilst both pursued their own interests and never crossed red lines. Both sides want a ceasefire, the question is not terrorist or not terrorist, it is ceasefire or not. Those on both sides unwilling to agree to a ceasefire will be allowed to be taken out by the other side. Diplomacy and wheeling and dealing will rule. And of course, diplomacy is the continuation of war by other means.




The big difference is that you Germans on both sides could be trusted after the Cold War. None of the jihadis can ever be trusted. pl



We have several Andys on SST. Pls pick a different name. pl



The "exit strategy" is that you leave and don't indulge yourself in R2P nation building nonsense. pl


Will the House of Saud fall when the jihadis are routed?



not unless they really run out of money. pl


Thanks, Col. for injecting the clear distinctions between roles, goals, and contexts re war v. diplomacy v. civil administration etc., even though the cogwheels are interlocked or confounded to some degree especially in the case of autocrats and dreams of neocons.

No doubt this muddling in US recent past has led to excessive tail-wagging-the-dog leadership and exploitation of US foreign policy by KSA, Israel, NATO members, etc. A new day seems to have dawned. Still, let us never consider due diligence and accountability optional privileges, considering the sanctity of human lives at stake.

Regarding the partition meme, perhaps parties *eventually* could aim for a buffer zone model in those eastern border regions, if a modicum of enduring peace and stability could be achieved for its foundations?

One thing USA and Russia and ME players all know is that Europe is not interested in playing permament domicile hostess to refugees (ditto for China and India where they also turn up), so whatever coalition strategy it takes to keep Syria intact and viable for swift return of refugees will be given strong if unspoken support, no matter how many tears are shed by regime-changists wherever they are.

My thoughts and prayers are with those fighting on the ground and I pray for swift and merciful dignities for all casualties and their families.


It's the part after that concerns me. A longer term occupation force shows that some old bad habits remain (Israel and Saudi Arabia first, lessons not learnt from Iraq etc.), however should Raqqa be transferred over to the Syrian government then Trump et al. deserve an enormous amount of credit.



You are Australian but your "handle" would indicate a British Marine. As to the legality in international law of what we are now doing you should consult the UN resolution that mishkilji cited. UNSCR 2249 pl


I am not a long time reader of the SST so am not really the best one to speak on this, but the forum is a committtee of correspondence and not a debating society.

This is a historical reference that might help:



The indigenous Native American "Two Row Wampum" treaty establishment process can be viewed as a historical precedent to the Committee of Correspondence.

Chief Oren Lyons dates the use to the early 1600s, and gives a 4 minute introduction here (there are longer seminars online too):


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