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12 February 2018


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The other 1/4 are NTs (humanities type).

IMO that's actually quite high. Pretty impressive if you're still able as an organization to host so many thinkers.

I wish these numbers would apply to the politicians of this world.

Yeah, scars come with the job. We have a saying: Fighting against the beer quay



Some clown who call himself dogear who may live at Canberra in Aussieland wrote yesterday to tell me that I am a has been who scribbles vainly without merit and who by implication should shut up. Well, I AM NOT going to shut up no matter how much ugly crap I am sent by trolls. So, don't worry SST will continue so long as I draw breath. As for integer, I do not accept the utopian visions of those who seek a more perfect world. IMO we must do better at dealing with the defects of human nature and must mitigate the effects of stupidity in human action but in reality "only the dead have seen the end of war." pl



It is not quite 25% because there are a handful of SPs and NFs in the mix. Interestingly enlisted soldiers are about 50% SP in the force. pl


I'm not sure if Graves can be described as a "professional" soldier. He volunteered at the outbreak of war in 1914, soldiered his way through it, and then left at the end of the war.

His serious "profession" was poetry which he dedicated his life to. Probably his most influential work was his historical/cultural/mythological "history" of neo-lithic poetic culture, "The White Goddess." He always regarded his classical novels - "I, Claudius" and "Belisarius" - essentially as moneymakers.

I know descendents of his who still live in the Wylie Valley in Wiltshire, and recently attended the funeral of a lady there brought up by him. She could vigorously remember precisely how he smelt when he was shaving,and the picnics he used to hold on the Wiltshire Downs with such as Siegried Sassoon, Christopher Hollis and other literary figures.

The churchyard at Mells is well worth visiting as its filled with ex-military upper class, foxhunting, homosexual socialist poets and literateurs of that set. Graves wasn't homosexual and is buried in Majorca.

Account Deleted

Amen to every word of that Colonel. Perhaps this is Mankind's single biggest failing; the seemingly perpetual inability to accept his own nature. Those who do & celebrate it are a rarity.


With regard to Iran, US, and Israel, for years all one could hear was that Israel is going to bomb Iran if not today, for sure will do so tomorrow. Same type of threats was leveled on Iran by, Israel’ mommy statesmen and military brass, we were hearing US will obliterate Iran, Bomb, Bomb, Iran, US will turn Iran to stone age. To my knowledge no one ever reasonably explained for what reason, and why, such a violence was necessary. Now days the war with Iran no longer is to Bomb Iran inside Iran or to obliterate Iran, but to stop Iran’ influence, to stop Iran in Syria and Iraq, Etc. Etc. To me this looks like that in less than a decade, Iranians have successfully shift the threat from inside or near their borders closer to Israel and US’ sacred holly waters of Mediterranean Sea.

IMO, unlashing of extremist Sunni Muslim, by US and her allies, against, and on Iran, and the Shia Muslim resistance (to western interference) not only did not achieve it’s intended goals and plans, but it rather solidified the so-called Shia crescent for many years to come. It is because of this US’ repeated and elementary strategic mistake(s) that the war has moved further from Iran’ borders and closer to US’ strategic sacred waters. Iranian statesmen have repeatedly and correctly said, if we don’t fight them there, we will have to fight them here.


Sorry to hear that. Thank you for doing what you do. I greatly appreciate it.

Sylvia 1

Off topic--dangerous games are being played in Syria.
According to a report on Bloomberg today--US strikes have killed "scores" for Russian fighters in Syria. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-02-13/u-s-strikes-said-to-kill-scores-of-russian-fighters-in-syria
"More than 200 contract soldiers, mostly Russians fighting on behalf of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, died in a failed attack on a base held by U.S. and mainly Kurdish forces in the oil-rich Deir Ezzor region, two of the Russians said. The U.S. official put the death toll at about 100, with 200 to 300 injured."


Using “Farsi” instead of “Persian” by English speaking westerners IMO is to imply (showoff) how familiar they are with the Iranian language. I have seen that done by a few western journalists, and a few western analysts. Specially, those westerners who insist using “Farsi” instead of Persian, sally except for a few common words, they don’t speak or understand Persian, Robin Wright comes to mind. For a while this showoff was noticed when various US politicians were showing off their knowledge of the region, by clownishly trying to pronounce the name of various ME country as the local pronunciation instead of common version in English, Paak eastan and Afghaan eastan comes to mind.


Cortes -

Long ago I searched for copies of Bill Slim's novels but with no luck. Have they been republished? Or perhaps I should be looking in used bookstores in England instead of Amazon and Alibris?


My sincere apologies for having 'cast aspersions,' even if inadvertently. I take this as a lesson in the virtue in slowing down and thinking through what I say before I speak.
On reflection, my comment did include an implied insult. The Colonels' instinctive rebuke was warranted. That he later treated me graciously is a sign of his 'inner grace.' Thank you for that.
Others gave examples of "cultured" soldiers. Cultured is in quotes to emphasize the somewhat hypocritical usage that word can be bent to. Basically, why do soldiers get such a 'bad press' in some quarters of the society? Discovering it in myself is a shock. It's an inner bias to be fought against all the time.


Sorry folks but I'm a fool! I've just experienced another attack of 'foot in mouth' disease. That second paragraph comes out as flawed to the extreme. I used "cultured" here as an example of a smear. I see everywhere the juxtaposition of the words 'soldier' and 'culture' as if the two cannot describe the same person. As I said, a smear. I was trying to argue the opposite, that the smear itself is the hypocricy.
I've got a lot to learn.


"Some clown who call himself dogear..."


A proposal to clean-up the trolls here in this small oasis of sanity:

A couple of days ago you asked this aussie wolfhound a direct question about his military service which, of course, he didn't answer. Therefore the proposal, if you ask any commentator a question they must answer it for you and all of us here or cease posting. If one truly believes in what they are saying then show the courage to defend your position and prove your experience.

It has been amazing recently watching wave after wave of trolls posting across the cyber space and somewhat funny, in the dark humorous way, only because their masters in charge can still do grave damage to all of us.


Colonel, no doubt on US, ME and military matters you are a professional. Like, in the old western movie “The Professionals”, the professionals are not appreciated, accepted or taken seriously as professionals by the unprofessional who hired them ( in this case by your site’ newcomers) until he gets shafted up in the arse by his own hired professionals.


Speaking of The White Goddess by Robert Graves. I've read it twice. 'Magnificent' is an understatement. Probably it needs another go-round shortly. An unexpected reminder. Though one is always surprised by what one learns here.

And yes, (my un-military mind chimes in) one hopes the SAA can clean up the Homs desert pocket in short order. Speaking of Syria I'm amazed at how reporting of the downed Israeli plane has fallen off the 'news' radar. Though I'm sure not off the radar that matters.


All, From today's SF report it appears a move is being made against the Rastan Pocket. Why has it taken so long begin work on clearing this? Back when SST ran the war game I had assumed this would be much earlier on the list, given its strategic position on the M5 and control of an important water resource. What am I missing?

Fellow Traveler

"More than 200 contract soldiers, mostly Russians fighting on behalf of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, died in a failed attack on a base held by U.S. and mainly Kurdish forces in the oil-rich Deir Ezzor region, two of the Russians said. "


Phil Cattar

"A fool lies here who tried to hustle the East."................Kipling


I haven’t read them , JPB, “Defeat Into Victory” is all I’ve read of his. A couple of quick online searches make me believe that your best option may be to get the titles and publisher details from one of the biographies and speak to a friendly local bookseller to gauge how easily and at what expense you could buy copies. If you were happy just reading them, then speak to your local library about inter-library loans.
Sorry I can’t be of more help.

Babak Makkinejad

I wonder - do they use ebri, arabi, hangook?

I hear you about the pronunciation of the names.

Unless one knows German very well, one cannot pronounce the name of that city commonly known as Munich correctly.

And I am tired of saying "Beijing" - I am not Chinese and do not care - "Pe-Kan" is for me.


According to a report on Bloomberg today

False. If there were some "Russians" there--these were volunteers and no--not "hundreds", not even tens and, possibly, none at all. Bloomberg merely repeated Ukrainian propaganda. Even if vehemently anti-Russian and anti-Putin Novaya Gazeta talks about 13 KIAs then one may only guess the, obviously, at best insignificant number. And, NO--those are not Russian Armed Forces servicemen, those are volunteers or, as some speculate, Vagner Private Security Company members.


I just don't get it, maybe you can explain it to me.
I was sitting at a computer at the big library in Melbourne, and the man next to me was quite agitated. So I asked him, "is something wrong?", and he explained his situation, pointing at his computer screen. So I looked over, and there was a language I had never seen, and I asked him what it was, and he said "Farsi".
So I don't get why that is anything but a precise clear answer, I do not comprehend the baggage that comes with "Farsi".


A couple of takeaways from Southfront's report today:

1) Israel is moving anti-aircraft missiles towards Syria, including one Iron Dome.

2) Then there's this:


On the same day, the Pentagon requested $550 million to train and equip units operating under the brand of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the Kurdish-dominated group described by Ankara as a terrorist organization. The YPG is the core of the SDF. The $550 million will be separated into two parts:

$300 million to train and equip the SDF;
$250 million for so-called “border security requirements related to the counter-[ISIS] mission”.

In other words, Washington not only tricked the Erdogan government with its promises to drop support to the SDF, but hasn’t even abandoned the idea of establishing the so-called “border force” in northern Syria. On January 17, US State Secretary Rex Tillerson officially said that the US has no intention to establish a “border force”. But, the reality seems to be quite different. The Pentagon’s request sparked outrage in the Turkish media and negative comments by the Turkish leadership further complicating the diplomatic relations between the sides.

End Quote

Also, as to these reports that "hundreds" of Russian contractors died in recent attacks, the reality appears to be somewhat less. According to Reuters, only two contractors could be identified in the Deir Ezzor incident, one a Cossack, the other a "radical Russian nationalist." And their deaths have not been verified but merely referenced by associates of theirs, including persons in Russian political parties, i.e. rivals to Putin. These Russian politicians have called on Putin to reveal any Russian losses. So the reports are likely politically motivated.

I suspect if "hundreds" of Russians have died that Putin would be taking a considerably harder line in Syria than he has.


Thanks Cortes! I'll try to find my copy of "Uncle Bill" and see if the titles are listed.



You are obviously an Israeli hasbara troll. Your indignation at our willingness to tell the truth here about Syria betrays you. pl

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