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16 October 2017


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Babak Makkinejad

Thank you.
I was writing of those poor souls that the Gather of Turks expelled to Greece; often referred to as Pontic Greeks.


Curious thing about this period. Those jihadis, Arab and Kurdish alike, in the period leading up to the US invasion. We had the chance to destroy them then, as the Kurds had hoped we would, but we did not. Some argument about "mandate" I believe, was the reason given but there they stayed and many made it out to participate in the anti-American battle for Iraq. Zarqawi may well have been up there himself at that time. The Kurds did add some new recruits but many had been in Afghanistan, as there was a militant Islamist faction among that group. Interestingly, the hard-core Arabs did not feel comfortable or necessarily trust the Kurds and lived and ate separately and then tried to impose their beliefs on the people of the area, even violently.


Germans and Swiss Germans is another example. I have never any problems understanding Germans but Swiss just speak another German i don't understand.


thanks, Ishmael, of course its Abdullah Öcalan and not (Alpay) Özalan. Stepped into b's orthographic trap. ;)

I am aware of Öcalan. And the Turkish/Kurdish struggle. A SST member linked to an expert analysis of a recent Öcalan document by an Austrian connected to the Ministry of Defense, if I recall correctly, a couple of years ago. Kurds here in Germany had translated the original document. But the closer I looked into the larger Kurdish scene the more perplexed I got. Heavy inner struggles too, suspicions, allegations. One side's nobleman seemed to be the others devil. And I am not referring to the two Iraqi clans here. Well, yes that's politics.

But, they no doubt are quite active all over Europe not only in Greece and Germany. No wonder that even the Turkish services occasionally surface on our ground. Add to that a more recent scandal, supposedly recent Turkish refugees, have encountered informers (translators) while applying for asylum. Official statement, yes, one is aware of the problem, a few unreliable contractors have already been fired. Haven't taken a closer look yet.

But, oh dear. Historically for Turkey both the Syrian and the Iraqi Kurdish areas functioned as military/?terrorist? retreat over the decades. And now these recent WOT developments.




Yazidi, ok technically Kurds and ethnically based on religion "another people".

Phil Cattar

"A select group of citizens would colonize another spot".That is interesting.Maybe the got the idea from the Phoenicians who did the same thing.The Lebanese city Tripoli(three cities) got it's name because the Phoenicians wanted a city,trading post,in the north of the country.They got members of elite families from three of their cities to form Tripoli.They also did the same thing to start Carthage and all over the Med.


Saladin was a Kurd. And his personal physician was Maimonides, whose Hebrew name was moishe Ben maimon - Rambam. Richard the Lion Heary asked him to be his physician and he refused.

History is complicated and full of ironies.



It is being reported that Issam Zakhreddin was just killed in Syria..

Word is - Mine

There would be no shortage of Land Mines in Theatre to make such incidents all to possible. But it is worth to note this would be second major Commander in as many Months of R+6 Forces in Dair-z-Zaur....

Would be interested to Note if this was indeed Mine or Improvised Explosive or Remote Bomb..

General Suheil al-Hassan and his Tigers it seems were issued while ago few examples from Russian Park of Italian IVECO LMV - Of primary benefit against Mines and Road Bombs but also relative high Profile


It was Russian surgeons who operated on Ali Abdallah Saleh last week


The Scots are British. The Jacobites wished to restore the Catholic Stuarts to the throne, indeed even during the English Civil War it was more a case of who would rule the three kingdoms, and how, rather an interest in independence by any of the kingdoms, although perhaps there as an element of resistance to the increasing dominance of the English Kingdom.


Babak Makkinejad -

Thank you for the response.

We have had this conversation before. While what you say is is true in the modern period, there are several points in history that contradict it. Some examples are the Kurdish Shaddadid, Marwanid, and Hazaraspid dynasties. And as Divadab points out below Saladin's Ayyubid dynasty. Then there was the Rojaki Principality of Bitlis which lasted for well over six and a half centuries. Several Kurdish Emirates one of which, the House of Baban, ruled Kirkuk for 150 years. Much longer than the Iran's Pahlavis, Qajars, Ashfarids, and Timurids lasted.

And then there was your own Safavid Dynasty. Probably the greatest since the Achmaenids, that rescued Iran from 800 years of Arab and Mongol rule. Founded by Ismael I who was Kurdish on his father's side.


It is not like all the people of sub-ethnic group a live in territory A and sub-ethnic group live in territory B. It is more divided by class and profession and being different from the next village. So a fisherman in territory A to Z are x, traders y or z, upper-class u, entertainers v, day-labour w and farming villages a mosaic of r,s or t.



The parts I've read in the book describe the Aden Emergency in the mid 60s as Britain allied with Saudi Arabia against Egyptian-backed rebels who proclaimed the liberation of Dhofar provence in southern Oman. Britain responded by bombing rebel villages and bribing local tribal leaders. In 1967 Britain was forced to withdraw by the Nasser backed National Liberation Front.

"Increasing British reliance on the Saudis to maintain the pro western status quo, and to deter Nasserite infiltration of Arabia and the wider Middle East, coincided with [KSA's mission to wahhabise Islam] that would have huge consequences for the eventual advance of global terrorism."


Mike, admittedly I hesitated once the name Zarqawi surfaced.

Reminds me of my worst times of bewilderment in the early post 9/11 universe. ... you don't want to follow my associations all the way down to neighbors... where b led me.

But Scott Peterson sends the appropriate signals, the necessary mental demarcation lines. Considering it was 2003. Reporting from inside the fogs and mirrors. CSM was an anchor occasionally, especially in the sea of easy repetition and consent all around.

Concerning Musab al-Zarqawi's, the crowned early Iraqi king of Al Qaeda fame, took quite a while till he got on the US most wanted list, two month later he was dead. Who got the 25 million by the way? Do you know?

I mean if we talk of neighbors, cooperators and informers? that may have triggered my response to b's otherwise quite rhythmically written, meaning good to read, contribution to our debate here.

Babak Makkinejad

The mechanism of rule were different in the periods you refer to; often a local ruling house was left intact as long as he paid tribute in cash or in kind; sort of like the feudal system in Europe without any of its rules or advantages.

But a Kurdish Kingdom, reminiscent of the historical kingdoms created by Georgians or Armenians, have never seen the light of day. Of this, I am certain.

I also think no country has ever existed but born of war and violence; not even our Western Diocletian friends are exempt from this rule; all of the existing extant states between the Urals to the Atlantic Ocean are products of wars.

This pernicious leap of logic - from some basic underlying cultural unity to the right to a state - has done more harm than good.

When victors of World War I destroyed the Austro-Hungarian Empire, they made possible the destruction of European Jews.

When they dismembered the Ottoman Empire, the planted the seed for all the subsequent wars among Arabs - the judgement of history is this: Turks were fit to rules, Arabs were not.

When the victors of World War II created the State of Israel, they set the stage for all that we see - until US & EU became co-belligerent in the wars to preserve Israel.

And so on and so forth.

The latest catastrophe, created by US & EU, was the South Sudan.

You guys in US or EU, singly or combined, do not have the power to create functioning states out of the thin tissue of "democratic rights" and "rights of nations to self-determination - you cannot - just like everyone else on this planet - cannot predict the future course of events and your state-building projects - where none had existed before - had always - always - been failures.

And then you are in occupation of other peoples: NATO member Italy still rules over Occupied Tyrol, US still sits on top of stolen Cherokee Nation's Lands, US & EU are still occupying Bosnia and Kosovo.

May be the Turks can be persuaded to come back and take over their rule over their former Arab provinces; it will be superior to anything that obtains there now.

May be the English can be hired to come and rule over large areas of India, Pakistan, Nigeria - Heaven knows that the English will not be doing any worse than the current fiefdoms run by this or that chief-minister in an ostensibly federal but really Asiatic system of rule.

Incidentally, Iranians cannot be persuaded to take over Afghanistan - they do not want to share their oil money with anyone.


(That last quote directly followed Curtis' description of the British withdrawl from Aden.)


Annem -

Yes, Zarqawi was hosted by Ansar al-Islam in 2002.

Meanwhile, Mullah Kekar the Emir of Ansar al-Islam, is in Norway. The Norwegians have locked him up several times but last I heard he was out of jail. The Kurdish PUK want him extradited to the KRG and reportedly once tried to assassinate him in Oslo. The Iraqis also want him extradited.


james -

Nothing I have said implies that Israel is A-OK. I cannot speak for Lemur.

I do support US troops, but not all US policies.


a good summary on the events in Kirkuk: What Events in Kirkuk Mean for Iraq



Phil -

Hamsho got 53 stitches to mend his face after his title match with Marvin Hagler. But he managed to bloody Hagler too. Sports Illustrated said "it looked as though he [Hamsho] would run out of blood before he ran out of heart."

Wiki says he is Syriac. But Mustafa is surely not a Syriac or Assyrian name, is it? Perhaps a mixed heritage?


Leander -

Zarqawi was named as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist by the US in 2003.

I don't know if anyone got the reward. He was finally found by multiple efforts of Jordanian, Iraqi and US intel services, and by a six-week period of watching and waiting for him to appear at a supposed safe house in Baqubah. Some allege he was double-crossed by someone in al-Quaeda.


Babak Makkinejad -

Thanks again for responding.

Many of those mechanisms of rule still exist, except that cash is not directly involved. And we no longer call them tributary states, the modern terms are by a different name: client states or satellite states. The new way to get tribute is the system of using globalization, corporatism, and cultural dominance instead of military threats.

Regarding Cherokee Lands, you and I agree. It was a major felony perpetrated by the Feds and the state of Georgia. Other tribes also. And then when oil was discovered on their treaty land in Oklahoma during the early 20th century they were robbed again.

Turks and English to re-invent their colonies? No thank you. Erdogan may be salivating to do that, but I somehow doubt that Theresa May or even Boris Johnson would be up for that.

Afghanistan??? Not sure why you brought that up. Have I accused Iran of such an intent? I don't think so.

Babak Makkinejad

Accurate, thanks.


Tidewater says to Mike,

'Some measure of independence'? Catalonia already had that. It was called 'Autonomy.' That's not what they want. They want complete independence. Their own navy, for example. They'll claim the Ebro River for their own. They'll get financing from Qatar and build the biggest mosque in the world in the old Monumental bull ring. Adios to the 'Old Blood and Pus.' Stars in their eyes.

They must never have seen the films of Joris Ivens. Such as 'Morir en Espana'. They have learned nothing. Unbelievable.

Madrid is now in process of making plans for rescinding autonomy in Catalonia if the province declares independence.

This is only hours from now!

I think I know enough about Spain to know what is going to happen. It could get out of hand very quickly.

I think that we will see the Spanish army in Barcelona soon, maybe this week, if Puigdemont doesn't eat his words. And he's a Spaniard. He won't. He's going to be arrested on sedition charges. A lot of Catalans are going to jail this week. Some are going to die.

What do I think about all this? It's what you get from the ancient blood mix of African and Visigothic DNA. Strong, unfettered emotion and cold, steely determination.

It's happening.

It's about time.


English Outsider

(From the article linked to by LG above) " Minorities need strong central government, because strong central governments are the only bodies who can afford to decentralize. They are secure enough to do so."

That "strong central government" doesn't look like any strong central government we're used to in the West. It sounds like autocratic government in which consensus is not primarily achieved through the ballot box but through the central government responding to and mediating local pressures directly.

Might I ask - could this be termed the ME model? In the ME minorities seem to remain separate for centuries, in contrast to the Western national model in which minorities have been under strong pressure to integrate, both linguistically and culturally, within a generation or so.

Given that in the ME these minorities that hold tenaciously to their identity are often geographically intertwined, and most are in any case too small to form self-sufficient national units especially when it comes to defence, is this "ME model" therefore the only model possible for the ME? That or perpetual chaos?

I ask because in modern times, in the the more or less mono-cultural national units that became our model in the West, a rough and ready consensus has until now been achievable through the ballot box. That mechanism is not effective when there is are "patchwork" units such as we see in the ME because instead of consensus all that would be achieved is the tyranny of the largest minority.

It's irrelevant here that the Western democratic system no longer seems to serve us well in the West because it has been captured by this or that interest group. Functional or dysfunctional it's the system we're used to. It's the system we think in terms of. Is it not a fundamental error to assume that this system of governance can be expected to work in the entirely different environment of the ME?


Zarqawi was named as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist by the US in 2003.

And the designation "Global Terrorist" justified "Operation Iraqi Freedom"?

Semi-irony: Bringing down Saddam Hussein's Statue was the appropriate symbolism to heal the American soul. Relieve them of the images of the 24/7 broadcasted symbolism of the attack on the WTC?

My reference to the reward was ironical. But, yes I had something on the back of my mind in this context.

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