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17 October 2019


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Erodogan needs Putin as much as Putin needs Erdogan. Where is Turkey going to get weapons? The gas can only come to Turkey from Syria or Iraq, both of which are firmly in the R+6 sphere of influence.

Turkey and Russia have convergent interests. Together they would have a monopoly on the flow of gas into Europe and would be able to form a de facto gas cartel (excluding NGL, but nobody knows how long this shale gas boom is going to last).

Babak Makkinejad

The idea was to capture Baghdad, not to scare it. That is when ayatollahs in Baghdad and Tehran mobilized Shia Arabs and Shia Iranians to defend Iraq.

Until then, the US-organized and US-led Coaltion of Europeans and Gulfies were waging a phony war (including France & UK)

Babak Makkinejad

I agree with Elaine, you yourself stated "US-Israeli machinations": which are for the religious cause of Jewish power over Palestine. There is also the sectarian animosities unleashed by Jihadists.
Why is the secular state in the middle of all of that?

SAC Brat

If the deplorables are getting fed up with forever wars were will the US military recruit from? Immigrants?


Kurds, Jews, Arabs, Turks, Persians, what's not tribal? And then there's numerous subsets of tribes too numerous to try & mention. Shake & add a good portion of religious differences & a helping of neo-fanaticism. We
under emphasise this @ our peril.

I agree, "Turkey's territorial ambitions are primarily imperial originating from the breakup of the Ottoman empire..." yes, & who can best reestablish that empire better than an autocratic sultan. Does that description remind you of anyone? Remember the quote: "Democracy is just a train you can get off of when it reaches your destination." or something like that. The House of Saud seems autocratic to me, but what do I know. It can all be "geopolitical", that's just a term I can easily agree with. Guess rather than looking at a big forest I was hung up paying attention to the trees in a portion of the forest. We all have basic needs so in that sense all ppl share much in common however I think
there are very real cultural differences. Just bc someone is wearing jeans & t-shirt doesn't imply they feel, think or react like an American.

The USA is a very young country messing around with tribal cultures that
are centuries/thousands of years old. Seems like everybody wants/needs energy, I believe that can be worked out without shooting wars, that's just business. Now territory, that's a big one especially when so many borders were sketched out after WWI, which really wasn't that long ago by M.E. standard time.

That was one strange alliance the U.S. formed with Stalin during WWII to
defeat a common threat & then things went downhill fast. Sometimes it seems the commies have all adopted more than a little smithering of capitalism & if some of the Dems win in the U.S. elections we may be copy catting a lot more of Marxist collectivism. I doubt you care about my ancestry anymore than I care about yours but that's just not true everywhere & ditto religion including all the devout atheists.



I'm sure the Taliban know how to put an end to that, they did it once before. Meanwhile in Mexico the Sinaloa cartel defeats the Mexican Army and drug running across the US border continues unabated. How many Americans have died from all those drugs and why don't any of the US presidential candidates, press, or retired officials give a damn about them?

Babak Makkinejad

Neither Persians nor Turks are tribes or tribal. Kurds are. So are many, but not Arabs. Jews are a religion and not a tribe.

The real problematic is that the management of the particularities of the Near East is beyond the cognitive capacities of USG, US politicians, or the Think Tanks.

Babak Makkinejad

Erdogan does not want to expand Turkey and include more Arabs and Kurds. Neither do Turkish people. Calling him Neo-Ottoman is just silly.


Are you sure Erdogan doesn't want to expand his territory after cleansing
it of Arabs & Kurds?

Ghost Ship

I think the original intention was to scare Nouri al-Maliki enough for him to hand power to someone Washington found more pliable but ISIS were too successful.

Mike Wallens

So now Trump is wrong for "Bring our troops home" because it will mean less opportunity for current military members? This is a legitimate problem? I think many people here would hate the number 4 if Trump said that is what 2+2 equals.

I voted for Trump because he spoke out against foreign interventions and promised to secure the border. On those two issues he is far superior to anyone on the Democratic side.

Mike Wallens

How could the removal of US troops from foreign soil ever be a bad thing?

Babak Makkinejad

I cannot be certain.

JP Billen


It would be a good thing if it happened. But did it happen? Unfortunately for us he left some US troops in Syria at al-Tanf in support of the Israelis. Plus he recently claimed that we secured the Syrian oil fields. How many is he leaving in Syria?

And no matter how many he takes out, those numbers are dwarfed by the 3000+ he just sent to Saudi Arabia to buck up Prince Bone-Saw.

Babak Makkinejad

Washinton and her allies had adjudicated among Muslim sects and had consigned the Shia to the category of "The Enemy". How could Al Malaki hand over power to someone more acceptable to Washington, for such a person would almost certainly be an enemy of the Shia as well?


"... exceeds the cognitive abilities of the USG, American politicians or Think Tanks."

Very funny. A little humour to brighten up a dark evening.
Let's go further, there seems to be a lot of things that are "beyond the cognitive capacities of the USG, American politicians, or Think Tanks". Not surprisingly, when the power of weapons replaces diplomatic thinking.
I'm mean, but it doesn't matter. North of the Golan Heights, the United States is toasted. Discredited and discarded.


Babak Makkinejad

I think we are dealing with the practical consequences of the philosophical position of Enlightenment Tradition, namely denial of particularity in favor of rationalistic universalim as applied to human scene. The Communists, with their belief in the new Soviet Man were another manifestation of that.

different clue

Lebanon needs to privatize its inept state-run electricity company?
Really? A privatized privately run electricity company would be epter?

Some private privately-run electricity companies are ept. But privatism doesn't necessarily guarantee eptness. PG & E is private and how ept has it shown itself to be?


Saw Kedmi on Rus TV with smoke coming out of his ears over Syria. He was laying the thinly veiled references to the Izzies Samson Option-ing Iran on mighty thick. Still, to my eye, he looked shocked, in a way, and not just shocked but literally shamed, if Kedmi is capable of shame, which seems unlikely. Syria is even more of an affront to Izzy self-regard, perhaps, than getting their hat handed to them by Hezz.


Only when it creates an opening for groups such as ISIS

JP Billen

And apparently they are NOT being removed from foreign soil. They're not coming home. Trump's Secretary of Defense, Mark Esper, says they will stay in Iraq.


Looking back on what went on in Iraq a fews ago I think I recall the Shia
doing a real number on many Sunnis. Was that just vengeance for for their
ill treatment under Saddam's reign or did it also have a religious component? I don't know how to separate these things.

Currently there seems to a budding lovefest between Iran & Turkey so
perhaps the Shia Sunni divide can be overcome when the end goal benefits
both parties & exactly what that end goal is remains elusive to me but
I'm guessing it's the main reason Trump is moving so many troops into
Saudi Arabia on Saudi's dime.


I think there are still French, German & Dutch special ops in NE Syria but exactly
where I'm not sure. Anybody know?


Elaine, per Reuters the French special ops troops will leave or may already be in the process of leaving. The Times of London reported that British SAS units will leave.

I don't know of any German and Dutch ground troops there. Although Damascus once claimed there were. My sense is that the German and Dutch contibutions against ISIS was by their respective Air Forces. But I'm no expert.


Thanks Leith, It sounds like Turkey now occupies the cat bird seat in NATO.

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