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12 September 2017


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How would you compare the rise of the SDF and the collapse of IS in 2017 with the rise of the Sahwat and the collapse of ISI in the late 2000s?

I predict a long war ahead with Israeli-Iranian competing interests in the greater Levant and the "de facto" IS taking advantage of it all with the crumbling future of the GCC concomitant to this. Turkey is a wildcard in this calculus IMO


Mike -

Your tone is, well, it's abrasive and sucks. It is obvious you always throw the baby out with the bathwater just from your comments here. In this world of disinfo gone rampant, it is quite possible that people can have one thing correct and surround it with trivia or trash, just as they can be from another political group and disagree with you, but still be right about a specific thing or idea.

There are lots of shills out there - in fact, most journalists are in the 'age of disinfo'.

When was the last time YOU were in Erbil? Because for me, it was right before the Syria thing broke out, just before everybody executed their GTFO plans. I was there for oil business with some Egyptian and Syrian buddies from years back. I don't need a "source" - I have mostly been one, wrt oilfields.

Ishmael Zechariah

1-Our ideas of "fun" might not be the same.
2-I am aware of Golan. Harsbarista par excellence. Only the faithful will swallow his reassuring drivel.
3-settlers of izziistan really need to think about its long term viability. They are the most hated (colonial) ethnicity in MENA. (native) kurds come second.Gulf states and saudi trash come third. Fourth place has several claimants...
Ishmael Zechariah


If my impression is correct the Iraqi Kurds have crossed this bridge insofar as making deals for oil with players across the field, https://www.yahoo.com/news/russias-gazprom-neft-inks-deals-iraqi-kurds-075403371--finance.html

Thus, with the inter-connectedness of petroleum, Israel presumably has some stake, if indirect, which will be protected by US, Canada, France, and Russia.

As for the Syrian Kurds, is their relationship much worse with Assad than it is with Talabani? Is a federated Kurdistan possible in Syria whereby the Russo-Iranian strength is offered in exchange for stability? Without oil wells under Kurdish ownership, presumably.



As you say, there's an assumption underlying this and that Bulgarian reporter's revelations. Sloppy work by US operatives, my guess. Curious to see if this goes anywhere, but who knows. Will it rise as far as Iran-Contra or has the world been hardened enough to shrug it off as the usual suspects doing what they do? Coming on the heels of 9/11, auspicious timing, I'd say.


For at least last 150 years we have several political Irans, we have a Iran, that up to WWII was tossed around by Imperial Russia and Bertain, we have a post WWII that soviets encouraged some Kurds to declare their own independent state in Iran. Then we have a post 1953 Iran which basically was a US client state. That Iran, the Iran of Mohammad Reza Shah was the one cooperating with Israel and US supporting one Kurd warlord against Saddam' and in turn Saddam was supporting his own Kurd warlords separatist against Iran and to some extent against Turkey. This was going on till the 1975 Algeria agreement between Iran and Iraq which they agreed to divide the disputed waterway between the two countries called (Arvand Rood = Arvand River), as a part of that agreement both sides agreed to end support for their Kurd warlords and to throw them under the bus ( Iran and israeli' American supported favorit Kurd warlord Talibani I think moved to Nashville) where Croker is senator (ask Mike). Then after Iranian revolution of 1979 Saddam burned the Algier agreement he himself had signed in 1975, and he started the Iran Iraq war, which guess what? the usual cycle of supporting useful idiot Kurd separatist warlords started all over again. Sorry since I am writing this from memory didn't fully check dates or details.
FYI, and Mike' here is a chronology of US Kurdish, under bus relations by PBS' frontline , once again Colonel Lang is totally correct and knows the history well, more importantly he is honest with it, that's why we all hang around here.


Sorry incase I didn't add the link to Frontline


It surfaced in the Treaty of Sèvres, Toivo. I doubt it was influenced by either the French or the British. They had different matters on their minds.


This is the map presented by the Kurdish delegation at the San Francisco Peace Conference in 1945:



re: "the original dumpkopf US behavior"

Whatever you meant when writing this is irrelevant to me.

My point is this: IMO the term 'dumpkopf' is a rather unlucky choice in terms. Since I speak german I have an idea where the word you chose comes from.

In german there is a derisive term 'Dummkopf'. Note that in has the part 'dumm', with a double 'm'.

'Dumm' in German means stupid. Translated into english the term 'Dummkopf' would mean something like 'dumb head/brain' or, in simple terms, 'idiot', or perhaps 'numb brain'.

A 'dumpkopf', with 'mp', would be a 'waste disposal brain in a head' or something like that - an new insult not just silly but at the same time, so to speak, silly in two languages.

Proposal: Be less creative with your terms. Likely we get your point even when you are less creative


Col. Lang - do I understand you to believe that the Vietnam War was not in fact a thoroughgoing tactical failure? That the American Army's ground combat in the villages of South Vietnam was not soul-destroying as well as futile? That the air war over Vietnam was not a dismal and destructive failure?

Or does saying so amounts, in your view, to mere "leftist agitprop"?


Maybe I should have added this:

“It is clear to us that damage will be inflicted on the Israeli side as well and that there will be many casualties,” a senior Israel military source told Al-Monitor on the condition of anonymity. “But the other side will suffer significantly much more damage, much more strategic damage. It will set Lebanon back by decades.”

In the next round, Israel is intent on marking Lebanese sovereignty as a legitimate target. From the first minute, it will attack the country’s strategic infrastructure. As far as Israel is concerned, the country of Lebanon has become Hezbollahstan. At the moment, none of the sides really want to get to that stage.

Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/09/israel-idf-drill-syria-golan-russia-putin-iran-hezbollah.html#ixzz4sexGdCOx


After I read this, I had to flee into the larger space of the C't Magazine/Heise, CCC (Chaos computer club), and one or the other US/European Black Hat presentations. I find that both interesting and relaxing.

Not before reading Ben Caspit's next article. Seems he--as maybe some of us--is getting ready for his next UN (cartoon, red line) presentation round. Remember? Can that event ever be trumped? We'll see, how many creatives will help him.

This seemed odd: The beginnings of a rapprochement between Saudi Arabia and Iran are also being watched closely by Jerusalem. Reports that the Saudi defense minister visited Israel recently are perhaps related to this development.

Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/09/israel-us-iran-syria-nuclear-agreement-benjamin-netanyahu.html#ixzz4sey4GITi



Like a lot of communist sympathizers you have a poor and selective understanding of history. There was very rarely any combat in villages unless the communists attacked the villages. US initiated combat was just about always out in the woods. With very few exceptions the US won all the tactical engagements. One such exception was at LZ Albany, but, you have never heard of that. The air war over North Vietnam forced the North Vietnamese to accept an armistice. You are really a remarkably ignorant agitprop type. pl


Oilman2 -

My tone was abrasive to Meyssan and not intended for you. Meyssan is a known liar. Like all good liars he sometimes weaves threads of truth into his lies. Those threads are only to make his lies more palatable. It does not make him a reliable source.

I would be interested in your thoughts on the oilfields in Iraqi Kurdistan. You say you were there with some Syrian buddies? Was that before or after 2013 when many Exxon workers and staff were pulled out?


Kooshy -

Talabani, or Uncle Jalal as he is referred to, was President of Iraq for nine years up until 2014. He is a lawyer and a politician who advocates against the repression of Kurds. He is not and has never been a 'warlord. He never immigrated to Tennessee. He did spend some time in a hospital in Germany due to a stroke and blocked arteries, but is back in Iraq now.

PS - Robert Phillips Corker Jr. is a United States Senator for all of the state of Tennessee, not just Nashville. Serving since 2007, he is currently the Chairman of the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations in the 115th Congress.


CP _

Apologies for my ignorance of German terms, and thanks for the correction. My intent was idiot US behavior, or 'Dummkopf' as you pointed out.


Patrick -

There are many, if not all, Syrian Kurds in sympathy with their ancient kinsmen in Turkey who are being now ethnically cleansed by the Erdogan regime. Why shouldn't they be? The Irish in America felt the same way about the 'Troubles' in Northern Ireland. The Turks feel the same way about their distant Turkmen cousins in Syria and Iraq.


I lay no claim to specialist knowledge and defer to your expertise in military matters, Col. Lang. But with respect, I wonder if you think it shows "a poor and selective grasp of history" to say that:

a. The war was an epic struggle between Vietnamese nationalism and American armed might, with victory - armistice notwithstanding - ultimately going, and seen by all to have gone, to tiny Vietnam. A combination of Vietcong guerillas and North Vietnam's well-oiled war machine, supported by the industrial might of the Soviet Union and its tanks and guns, proved too much for the American military. It tried everything. Nothing worked. The Vietnamese were an equal match for American and ARVN soldiers: it was their greater skill, motivation, morale and more expert use of jungle terrain that proved decisive.

b. Whatever else it was, the war was many things, inter alia a contest between a Third World country and a modern industrialised nation, and a proxy war between the Communist bloc keen to spread its influence and the USA concerned with 'domino theory' that the loss of Vietnam would lead to the loss of other countries (a theory that was to prove false.) Both sides claimed the war as a fight for liberation from imperialism and defence of the free world between Soviet and American arms.

c. Among the many lessons the war taught, two are of paramount importance. First, that, however great it may be, air superiority alone cannot subdue a determined enemy. Second, that in revolutionary war it is loss of morale rather than destruction of armed power that leads to defeat of the enemy's forces. (This was a lesson the USA learned too late or not at all.) Insurgents must acknowledge the limits of guerilla war - on its own and in the absence of conventional war-fighting machinery to back it, guerilla war is doomed to fail - and states must be wary of losing the battle of perception lest a war detonate domestic opposition and become non-viable.)

About the war being a straightforward contest between Socialism and the American way of life/democracy etc., the less said the better. About this being nonsense on stilts, I hope at least that we can agree.


Stumpy -

Thanks for that link. There are later deals also with Russia, one signed just this year. I saw no reference to Israel though, why do you think they have a stake, other than buying oil on the open market?

I hope you are correct about Kurdish autonomy in Syria (and Arab, Syriac, and Druze also).



No. You are factually wrong in all your assertions Where did you get this misinformation? a - The main forces of the NVA and the Viet Cong's forces were defeated by the US, RVN, Australians Koreans, Thai , etc. The COIN effort initiated in 1967 was also highly successful in establishing RVN control over all the significant population centers. The NVA fought well but I have seen their bodies stacked 10 feet high many times on fields they were driven off. The anti-communist side won the fighting war but the enemy's propaganda war was effective when supported by leftists in the US and Canada, you know, like you. The Congress responded to this disaffection among constituents and passed a law in 1975 forbidding further assistance to the RVN. c- Your point here is so trite that it is not worth discussing . It is a kind of re-hash of all "anchor books" written by former US offciers like Nagl and McMaster. They were all graduate school papers originally. They never fought in VN - too young but they made their names by criticizing those who did fight there in a previous generation. It is always fun for the next generation to criticize those who went before them. Ah, you don't want the communists to be called communists. This a telling thing. I never said anything about the "American way of life. " I never talk tripe like that. I judge that you are a graduate student at a Canadian university (Montreal area)and what you have served up here is the essence of your dissertation. If I were on your supervisory committee you would not get the degree because of your confirmation bias and inadequate research. I have been on many graduate school supervisory committees as well as the Fulbright post-doc board and the HR Guggenheim fellowship award board. pl

English Outsider

Babak - I'm not sure the West as it is at present offers much of a vision to itself either. Except maybe a "don't go there" sign for the future. That aside, Western consumer and popular culture seems to be irresistible all over the planet, vision or not. Should one see that as a form of soft power?


It's your blog, Col. Lang: yours, naturally, is going to be the last word. But other than declaring them to be patently false the points I have made are nowhere shown in your reply to be substantively untrue. Trite points, you say? No doubt. But that is neither here nor there and can scarcely surprise: can anything strikingly new no be said about so controversial and painful a matter as the war in Vietnam, its causes and outcome? As to your claim that the United States was defeated by a stab in the back the back by homegrown troublemakers and by foreign leftists like me,that is no less of a tired cliche and certainly open to dispute. Nor is it obvious that the accident of birth must rule out from serious consideration authors like McMaster (from whom you imagine me to be cribbing): thoughtful commentary on historical events, though it may be mistaken or misguided, is hardly the exclusive preserve of those who witnessed them or took part in them.

For the record, I am a man exactly your age: not an academic and certainly not some graduate student anxiously bent on recycling his dissertation. Your readiness to let fly with personal abuse at someone you know nothing about seems a pity.


Mike, I read that Amo Jalal and many other Kurds like Zibari lived in Iran for a few years during Iran Iraq war, I think in Tehran' Sharak Gharb, I remember Moula Mostafa Barezani moved to D.C. And he died there. I think most of the Kurds in US are of Iranian Kurds and not Iraqi or Syrian. As far as I know they are not supporting the separation. Well, unless our heavenly better ones in DOS likes of our own Vicky Nuland find one that sudenly lands in Kurdistan and obviously with majority vote becomes president for life.



"other than declaring them to be patently false the points I have made are nowhere shown in your reply to be substantively untrue." I was there for two years and fought from one end of the country to the other. your imaginings are from library research. I am a primary source on that war. Your imaginings are just that. Yet another anti-American Canadian. pl


Kooshy -

Talabani has traveled to Tehran many times for friendly visits, even now. His PUK party sided with the Iranians during Sadaam's war with Iran. What does 'amo', is that 'uncle' in Persian?

Mullah Mustafa Barzani never lived in the US. In 79 he sought treatment for lung cancer at Georgetown U. Hospital in DC. Before that he and his family had been living in Karaj Iran where he had fled to in 74. He also fled to Iran back after WW2 with many followers. During the Russian supported Mahabad Republic he was one of the few commanders to never be defeated by the Shah's Army. But he and his followers left when the Russians left. He spent twelve years in the Soviet Union before returning to Iraq.

I have never been a fan of the undiplomatic diplomat, Vicky Nuland. But if my memory serves me, I don't recall her being an enemy of Tehran, only of Moscow and most of Europe. Did I miss something? Tehran has more to worry about with President Trump and the Kushner connections to Rivlin and Bibi than it does with Nuland.


Mike, I'm sure there is more behind the scenes but here are some links to help triangulate:

Israel accepts first delivery of disputed Kurdish pipeline oil

Iraqi Kurds Send Israel First Oil Delivery From Disputed Kurdish Pipeline

Israel looks to Kurdistan Region to satisfy oil demand

My feeling is that Israel benefits from a stable oil-producing region, especially when it can entrain a Kurdistan that aspires to independence and would need support, in exchange for access to resources.

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