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25 November 2017


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Shouldn't "hardened positions in Israel" be "hardened positions in Lebanon"? Typing too fast?

Not to be pedantic, but I assume future historians will use this blog as an authoritative source for what it really going on now. God help them if they use the MSM records for anything other than a barometer of the insanity of the age.



Thanks. I fixed that. I am just sloppy sometimes. pl

Klaus Weiß

What about this one?


Babak Makkinejad

This particular horse has left the barn, none of its policy recommendations are practical.


Favorite line in that document: "The United States and SDF – not Assad, Iran, Russia, Hezbollah or Turkey – have borne the battle against IS in Syria."

What sort of parallel universe have we entered

Peter AU

A good article by Crooke though I think US repositioning/refocus in Syria must be taken into account.
Some talk of Trump pulling US out of Syria after the Talk with Erdogan, but then this tweet by Trump..

Donald J. Trump‏Verified account
Nov 24
Will be speaking to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey this morning about bringing peace to the mess that I inherited in the Middle East. I will get it all done, but what a mistake, in lives and dollars (6 trillion), to be there in the first place!

Get it all done? What does Trump mean by that? Seven counties in five years?
Wesley Clark https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RC1Mepk_Sw
Iran was last on the list.


the Sunni Alliance” against Iran

does anyone around here grasp its genesis post 9/11. For me there are only unconnected bits and pieces.



It's genesis? I thought I explained that in the piece. Conceit and self deception by ignorant men who think themselves grander than they are. You are a "cultural marxist?" What parts of Western civilization do you want to destroy? pl


Peter AU

"US repositioning/refocus in Syria must be taken into account." For what? It is an effect, not a cause. IMO Trump is playing his own game with Putin and erdogan. He tried to include MbBS in the game and that has failed. IMO everyone in Washington outside his "family" is just a flunky. That included Mattis, Tillerson and McMaster. Trump is the neocons worst nightmare. He uses people including them. pl

FB Ali

As you say, Col Lang, there is no such thing as a "Sunni Alliance". This is either a clever gimmick that MbS uses to fool the US, or part of his own delusions of grandeur. I suspect it is both.

On Sunday, the first meeting of the Defense Council of the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition (IMCTC) is being held in Riyadh. This is the 41-nation grouping that MbS has cooked up to pander to his own ego, and also to bamboozle witless entities such as Trump, Kushner, and the US establishment.

All that MbS and the Saudis have is money. With it they can buy Blackwater (to do their dirty work for them), and Muslim politicians to attend these grand meetings. Only the stupid fall for these well-staged shows. There is no substance to them. Nor any outcomes.


FB Ali

Yes. "A tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." pl

Babak Makkinejad

Or the aliens, after landing on Earth. The historian will compse a tome titled: "Death of a Planet" while the musicians among them an oratorio of the same title, played on "original native instruments".

Babak Makkinejad

Just bravado for domestic consumption. Russia, for reasons of fear of Sunni Muslim insurgencies in Russia and its environ, has helped Iranians establish their sphere of influence.
They also alienated Turkey from the Western Fortress, by pointing how Kurds were being used. This round goes to the Rus and Putin.



Trump will simply move on. He is not stupid. He is brutal, self centered and treacherous. That is not "stupid." He is the product of the New York City sewer he grew up in. pl

Peter AU

Back when the US election narrowed down to Trump and Clinton, I had two thoughts on Trump if he was genuine about going against the neo-con establishment. First is that if he was to go against the neo-cons, try and take them down, he would have to use very unconventional methods as he was on his own (treachery and so forth). The other thought, was that Trumps hatred of Iran was his Achilles heel and could and would be used.


Pat writes:
"If Crooke is right about this cabal of dunces, the notion circulating that people like Mattis, McMaster, Tillerson, Pence are effective minders for Trump preventing the worst of his potential rogue elephant behavior is just completely wrong. "

Trump just went rogue on them again and offered Erdogan peace. They can't keep him under control. Their attempts to get Kushner fired (or exiled to New York again) has so far failed. The military junta is already trying to circumvent what Trump promised to Erdogan (no longer arming YPG - see at my site).

"Their (Israels) ambition in this cabal was likely to find others to do their fighting for them while they made threatening noises."

Everyone in that cabal tried that and all failed. The Israelis wanted to get the Saudis and the U.S. to do the fighting. The Saudis wanted the U.S. and Israel to bleed and Kushner thought that Israel and the Saudis would unite and do the dirty business.

Good material for a slapstick skit.


"The military junta" Disingenuous. A junta rules. These people do not rule. pl


Peter AU

I am not sure that DJT hates Iran. His play may include that gambit. pl

Peter AU

I had wondered about that. Have been trying to find how far it goes back, but seems to have only appeared for the election campaign.


I just blame it on getting old when I do it...
Excellent work as always. I'll just have to settle for being the copy editor.


Any time. Pl 

Bill Herschel

There is a side to Donald Trump (and there are many more than one) which sensibly believes that there should not be a single American soldier in the Middle East. Maybe believing that is equivalent to believing in the tooth fairy, but based on his rhetoric in the primaries I believe it.

When he says "get it all done" I sincerely believe that he means get every American soldier out of the Middle East. He may be contemplating war on the Korean peninsula, but that tweet just doesn't equal war in Iran/Lebanon/Syria to me. Yes, he has to get several thousand troops out of the ME, but I think that's what he wants to do. Sensibly, is there anything else for him to do?

In other words, he may, just may, be smart and independent enough to detach himself from his lunatic, moronic son-in-law and Bibi.


This is the key question in my mind. Is there a "Nixon Goes to China" nexus on the horizon where "Trump Goes to XXX", declares victory, and brings the troops home? Or does someone whack the hornet's nest? It would be a real game changer if XXX was again China.



What I think Alastair Crooke overlooked in the Saudi-Israeli game with Hariri was a likely desired effect to bring pressure for anti-Iraian action on the EU.

Shortly after the Saudis started the Hariri game, the very pro-Israel German paper "Die Welt" published an interview with "ex-Mossad top-woman" Sima Shine, titled "Our next war will definitely be more intense." Read it here:


A quick translation by Google and me of the introduction and some key phrases:

"The escalation between Saudi Arabia and Iran increases the likelihood of an armed conflict in the region. Whether it comes to that depends also on Europe, says ex-Mossad-top-woman Sima Shine.

... But there are alternatives to this war. Iran could also be repressed in the region by diplomatic and economic means. And that's where the Europeans could help. ... The wars of the Iranian militias are destabilizing the region everywhere and exacerbating the danger of new wars. But the world is looking at Iran's nuclear program because of the threat of US President Donald Trump to terminate the joint agreement. "This is exactly where the Europeans can start," says Shine. "You can make it clear to Iran: We are committed against the USA for the preservation of the nuclear deal, if you withhold yourself with militias and rockets." One could contain Iran quite well, if one builds - also with the Gulf Arabs - a strong alliance. It does not need a war in Lebanon. The new proximity between Israel and the Saudis could also be used quite differently. ..."

So, the Israeli idea seems to have been to use the Saudi bellingerence towards Iran for pressuring the Europeans to a policy more confrontational stance against Iran. It was a clear threat: either you Europeans will be more confrontational against Iran or we will explode the region in more wars.

Of course, that didn't work. Instead of being more confrontational against Iran, German foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel said - while meeting the Iran-friendly Lebanesse FM - it was time to speak out against Saudi adventures. That meant this scheme to pressure the EU to a more confrontational stance against Iran failede, and the Saudis were so angry about it, that they recalled their ambassador to Germany over this - for consultations.



The problem that I see is that we have two (2) unelected Presidents/SecOStates/NatSec Advisors named Ivanka and Jared. The two (2) unelected knots-on-a-fence-post are being handled by both Israeli Intelligence and Netanyahu's office. I say Israeli Intel is because they are using one of their Intel satellites known as Chabad to handle Ivanka and Jared and they don't even know they're being 'handled'.

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