Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 28, 2015

Russia's "Quagmire" In Syria Turns Out To Be A Well Designed Campaign

Recent "Official Washington" headlines:

The above was all nonsense and propaganda. It represented the typical self delusion of the Washington establishment. The Russian government and military knew exactly what they were doing. After some 100 days of Russian military support for the Syrian government the results are coming in. They look well. The Islamic State lost most of its oil income and is reduced in its capabilities. The Syrian army and its allies are progressing against they various enemies on several fronts. The costs of Russia's expedition is relatively small.

This reality is now setting in.

Three months into his military intervention in Syria, Russian President Vladimir Putin has achieved his central goal of stabilizing the Assad government and, with the costs relatively low, could sustain military operations at this level for years, U.S. officials and military analysts say.
...
"I think it's indisputable that the Assad regime, with Russian military support, is probably in a safer position than it was," said a senior administration official, who requested anonymity. Five other U.S. officials interviewed by Reuters concurred with the view that the Russian mission has been mostly successful so far and is facing relatively low costs.

The U.S. officials stressed that Putin could face serious problems the longer his involvement in the more than four-year-old civil war drags on.

Yet since its campaign began on Sept. 30, Russia has suffered minimal casualties and, despite domestic fiscal woes, is handily covering the operation's cost, which analysts estimate at $1-2 billion a year. The war is being funded from Russia's regular annual defense budget of about $54 billion, a U.S. intelligence official said.

With the Russian help time is now in favor of the Syrian government's position. As longer it takes to get to some negotiated end-state with the various groups supported from the outside, the less power on the ground and the less say in the outcome will those groups and their sponsors have. The Islamic State and several other Salafi groups like Ahrar al Sham will shrink back into underground terrorist forces. These will be able to continue random attacks but will not be able to hold ground. Unfortunately incidents like today's triple suicide bombing in Homs, which killed some 50 civilians, will continue to occur for some time. The biggest challenge will be the defeat of al-Qaeda in Syria under the name Jabhat al-Nusra. That group has pushed roots into the local ground and population and will be the hardest to eradicate. It will have to be isolated from its sponsors and all resupply before it can be defeated. Local intelligence will have to penetrate the group to go after its leadership.

Russia has not yet brought its full power to bear in Syria. It waits until a more complete intelligence picture has formed to pursue smaller and smaller opposition units. This may take some additional month. The big government offense against its enemies in Idleb province and city is also still in preparation. Unless some unforeseen exterior event happens it will be the major move over the next six month.

Posted by b on December 28, 2015 at 11:49 AM | Permalink

Comments
next page »

Thank you for this clear analysis.

Posted by: lindaj | Dec 28, 2015 12:24:52 PM | 1

ref Somebody on the last thread
http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/3/12/177625/Business/Economy/Corrected-Saudi-to-boost-petrol-prices-by-more-tha.aspx
now is the new oil clash
http://www.bbc.com/news/business-35188807
i wonder if this "the kingdom said revenues reached 608bn riyals (£108.7bn; $162bn), down 15% on official expectations" is true or if we should take the measure as an (expected) reaction to the West having resolved to keep Asad.

Posted by: Mina | Dec 28, 2015 12:44:04 PM | 2

Mina @ 2-- Is this going to affect international oil pricing? Or is it just internal to SA?

It may be a result of the costs of war, and the butter, or internal costs to residents of the nation, will go up. Making life harder for the less well off in SA.

Posted by: jawbone | Dec 28, 2015 1:00:33 PM | 3

I must admit that I thought Russia had been tricked into an Afghanistan-like quagmire. It seemed to make sense given neocon NWO ambitions.

I find it hard to believe that the 4+1 Coalition will be allowed to prevail. That is why I am so suspicious of the UN agreements and believe that ultimately the anti-Assad Coalition wants to win the future elections (they say that Sunnis are a majority).

The devil is in the details. How will refugees vote? Who will occupy ISIS territory? Etc.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 28, 2015 1:08:02 PM | 4

"Unless some unforeseen exterior event happens"

Without ISIS as a vehicle for implementing the most extreme neocon/neolib plans (partition of Iraq and Syria, seizing Golan and who knows what else, maybe something with Lebanon), that's exactly what I'm afraid will be used. Because neocons never give up, even when they are crushed by their stupidity and destruction as they were in the mid-late 2000's. Somehow they still retained power in the US and Europe and they're still on a mission.

Posted by: Joanne Leon | Dec 28, 2015 1:08:12 PM | 5

Neocons have proven they will never give up on their long range foreign policy/geopolitical plans, no matter how many times they fail. They just regroup, fashion a new global enemy, and try again. As long as *their* supply lines are intact and they retain massive wealth that buys power in the U.S., they will continue.

What are their supply lines?

Posted by: Joanne Leon | Dec 28, 2015 1:17:51 PM | 6

So the christian Putin is saving Syria?


It is such a good example of East/West dialectic propaganda and the “Putin as Savior” con that I decided it would be a good teaching tool for helping people to get real. And given all the confusing narratives that swirl around Putin and the current world situation, I think the best approach is to focus on two fundamental, telling things…

1) Putin’s cooperation in the globalists’ 9/11 operation, and

2) Putin’s promotion of the globalists’ UN as the solution to our current woes.

So let’s get started…

http://redefininggod.com/2015/11/lets-cut-the-crap-vladimir-putin-is-helping-usher-in-the-globalist-new-world-order/

Posted by: From The Hague | Dec 28, 2015 1:23:24 PM | 7

Via Drudgereport of all places http://tass.ru/en/politics/847380

The Pentagon, refusing to transfer the data on terrorist targets in Syria to the Russian military, continues to fight against the Islamic State terrorist group "in word only", Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov told reporters on Monday.

Posted by: ruralito | Dec 28, 2015 1:30:14 PM | 8

@ 7 - Truth be told. Though I am very glad that Putin has stepped up against the US Neo-Cons, once an oligarch, always an oligarch.

"Putin continues to press the “U.S. as bumbling villain” narrative, while at the same time supporting globalist institutions and the internationalization of economic and political governance. While many people were overly focused on his “calling out” of the U.S. and its involvement in the creation of ISIS in his recent speech at the U.N., they seemed to have completely overlooked his adoration of the United Nations and the development of a global governing body. Putin often speaks at cross purposes just as Barack Obama does — one minute supporting sovereignty and freedom, the next minute calling for global centralization:"

From Brandon Smith at Alt-Market: http://www.alt-market.com/articles/2753-the-fall-of-america-signals-the-rise-of-the-new-world-order

Posted by: ohmyheck | Dec 28, 2015 1:35:10 PM | 9

Follow-up

I could also see how it was in Russia's interest to intervene.

Some have asked why they waited so long. Maybe it was (in part) a fear of getting into an Afghanistan-like quagmire.

Yet the Syrian-intervention is unlike Afghanistan because Russia:

1) is assisting the legitimate government, not toppling a government; and

2)Russia has the support of other countries (notably Iran) in the region.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 28, 2015 1:37:11 PM | 10

@7, he uses the word "dialectic" 28 times meaninglessly, purely as a dog whistle because STALIN!

Posted by: ruralito | Dec 28, 2015 1:40:49 PM | 11

@ 10

Meaningless word?
Education and MSM is full of it.

democracies vs dictatorships
promoting human rights vs suppressing human rights
good vs bad
god vs devil
heaven vs hell
jew vs gentile
christian vs heather

Posted by: From The Hague | Dec 28, 2015 2:19:43 PM | 12

Thierry Meyssan said recently that the next step would look like this:

"The Syrian Arab Army and its allies are preparing a vast operation for the beginning of 2016. The objective is to provoke an uprising of the populations dominated by the jihadists, and to take almost all the cities in the country simultaneously – with the possible exception of Palmyra – so that the foreign mercenaries will fall back to the desert." -- Military operations in preparation in and around Syria

I always had the impression that Russia would be finished with its task by January or so - this was the impression I gained from Russian pronouncements, I mean. I would value some military perspective on the scale of what remains to be done.

But with an agreement now in place (I think?) for Assad to run in the next election, does there come a point where Russia can start to withdraw from Syria soon? Have the impressive gains on the ground so far been merely part of preparations for an even more massive ground campaign? IF Russia leaves, what stays behind? S-400s?

Maybe this is too soon to be speculating about the exit strategy, but I'm sure Russia's planners had the scenarios drawn before they even went in. I look forward to the day. The revelatory shock that will go through the world when Russia actually completes the mission and then leaves the country (plus or minus a base and many advisers and technicians) is something I am eager to see.

Posted by: Grieved | Dec 28, 2015 2:25:00 PM | 13

Remember when most here was saying it would end in 4 months - mindlessly parroting Putins propaganda line, and that I called BS day 1 ? Well guess what.

Remember when I asked how much it was costing the Russians, some idiots here was calling it that the cost of a Russian air campaign would have the costs covered by renting the Latika airbase!!!! Absurd.

Remember when I said this is not like Afghanistan because the Russians have superior numbers on the ground In support of the SAA, Hezbollah fighters, and various currently supportive militia groups - all backed up by Russian airpower and Missle attacks ?

Remember when I questioned - when no one else did here at the time - was how much more manpower numbers on the ground did the Syrian resistance have compared to US proxy terrorists ? That was essential for holding ground they won back, and for supporting supply lines. Also important in terms of numbers is whether they would have to cut deals with Kurds or other groups for political compromises in the future.

Lesson never learned

Posted by: tom | Dec 28, 2015 2:26:33 PM | 14

I wrote "meaninglessly". And what do Xtians have against heather?

Posted by: ruralito | Dec 28, 2015 2:26:44 PM | 15

@ 14 Don't you know???
Maybe I had to use the word pagans or the word unbelievers.
(evil, worthless, people; will burn in hell)

Posted by: From The Hague | Dec 28, 2015 2:43:16 PM | 16

The Americans are stuck in a quackmire.

Posted by: Patrick Armstrong | Dec 28, 2015 2:47:33 PM | 17

Wow, I was really depressed end of summer. Looked like Assad had his bags packed. Now I can feelt optimistic that the blood thirsty Prgressive Obama and the evil harpys (Rice, Power and Kerry) will be denied their r2p "victory"

Posted by: Anunnaki | Dec 28, 2015 3:01:20 PM | 18

Posted by: jawbone | Dec 28, 2015 1:00:33 PM | 3

I have been wondering. The raise probably puts oil smugglers out of business - at least it will cut their profits.

Depending on how wide spread - the smuggling is bound to lower prices.

Posted by: somebody | Dec 28, 2015 3:44:36 PM | 19

@ruralito@10

@7, he uses the word "dialectic" 28 times meaninglessly, purely as a dog whistle because STALIN!

"dialectic propaganda"

What a crooked load of bullshit, the word "dialectic" brings an immediate association with Marxism, the East, the USSR, the "evil empire," therefore a negative connotation. Next to the word "propaganda" it obtains the desired effect. And wtf is "dialectic propaganda" but a signified without a signifier?

Posting OT trash when the subject at hand is a summary of Russia's well orchestrated campaign in Syria is trolling pure and simple, diverting posters to engage in totally OT meaningless shit. At the same time, it is part of the Western Media Bigotry: US, UK Pundits Obsessive About Bashing Putin

Although Washington claims it welcomes freedom of thought, it obviously does not when it comes to President Vladimir Putin: incredible as it may seem, there is a startling absence of diverse opinions on the Russian leader in the Western press, US political analyst Gilbert Doctorow observes.

There are a large number of American and British scholars and pundits who are remarkably lopsided in their bias against President Vladimir Putin and Russia, US political analyst and historian Gilbert Doctrow notes, adding that their blatant propaganda has recently reached its climax.

"The US establishment writers on Russia are one and all 'presstitutes' and when you put their writings together, back to back, in 40 pages or so as Johnson's Russia List has so kindly done in its Christmas Eve issue, the result is an astounding propaganda barrage… The count was 14 articles or transcripts of video events slamming Russia and Putin to zero articles holding any other view," Doctorow writes in his latest piece for Consortiumnews.com.

Embarrassingly for reputable media outlets, they view the Russian foreign and domestic policy issues solely through the prism of Vladimir Putin's personality. Furthermore, they have become especially obsessive about bashing the Kremlin.

"This is entirely in keeping with the ad hominem argumentation that has become the norm in political discussions generally in the US. Joseph Stalin, with his 'no man, no issue' philosophy of governance must be chuckling, wherever he is, over how this view has caught on in what passes today for polite society," the political analyst remarks with heavy irony.

There is something "McCarthy-ite" about the Western mass media stance on Moscow, since it lacks both pragmatism and objectivity. Furthermore, the attempts to draw a comprehensive picture of what is going on in Russia trigger suspicions that those who do not share "mainstream" views on Putin are on the Kremlin's payroll.

In response, Doctorow asks Western pundits to whose flute they are dancing:

"I turn to my political opponents who have a monopoly on Thursday's JRL and ask how much they are benefiting in terms of grants, professional promotions and access to the high and mighty in Washington for publicly supporting the propaganda lines of State Department handouts."

"I wouldn't dream of accusing them of being on the CIA payroll…" the analyst adds [...]

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Dec 28, 2015 4:11:33 PM | 20

Posting OT trash when the subject at hand is a summary of Russia's well orchestrated campaign in Syria is trolling pure and simple, diverting posters to engage in totally OT meaningless shit.

The Reverend is praying and cursing.

Posted by: From The Hague | Dec 28, 2015 4:22:57 PM | 21

Joanne Leon @ 6 says:

What are their supply lines

the neocon ethos defines the one remaining cohesive ideology in US political culture. a culture fed by an insatiable military/security complex which is, itself, dry-sucking the remaining lifeblood from its complacent, citizenly host, another inherently violent entity, in a demented orgy of extravagant mutualism.

Posted by: john | Dec 28, 2015 4:29:44 PM | 22

Re: Posted by: Grieved | Dec 28, 2015 2:25:00 PM | 12

Why would Russia rush to leave at all?

Have they learnt nothing from the vassalage of countries like Japan, South Korea, Germany and the rest of Europe now to the US?

If the Russians declare 'mission accomplished' and pack up and leave they will be inviting the next NeoCon Western backed assault on Syria all too easily. All the rumbles spent on saving the Syrian Government will be for nought.

The strategic significance of Syria to Russia is not going to change anytime soon, at least not for the next 10-20 years, so why leave until Syria diminishes in strategic importance to Russia?

We're the Russians right to leave Ukraine to its own devices over the past 25 years? I hardly think so!

Posted by: Julian | Dec 28, 2015 4:44:55 PM | 23

*Clearly this device doesn't support the Russian currency - the ruble!

Posted by: Julian | Dec 28, 2015 4:46:38 PM | 24

BRICs is tied at the hip to World Bank/IMF. That being the case, there is no hope for BRICs to break the petrodollar stranglehold. Interesting - the low gas prices. Makes you think we've been ripped off and lied to all those years, but they'll do anything to cripple Russia.

Putin certainly did go along with the 911 boilerplate. Had to be beneficial to him to do so.

Syria is one among the "seven countries in five years" which the Ziocons want to plunder/destroy. They've already done Iraq and Libya. They've (albeit, more quietly) inflicted massive chaos, death, destruction, famine, illness and suffering in a number of other African nations also.

It appears that Putin's defense of Syria/Assad contradicts their intended balkanization of Syria.

Posted by: fast freddy | Dec 28, 2015 5:05:06 PM | 25

Current oil prices do not support Russian currency either...

Posted by: ralphieboy | Dec 28, 2015 5:05:28 PM | 26

@Grieved@12

Thierry Meyssan said recently that the next step would look like this:

Betting on uprisings when the population is under the control of the enemy is a losing proposition. Historically, we have lessons on expected "uprisings" that never happened, e.g. Viet Nam's Tet offensive 1968, and the Salvadorean FMLN guerrillas "final offensive" in 1981.

IS can resort to what it was rumored they did in Ramadi, imprisoning all males of fighting age during Iraq's military offensive. I don't deny there can be isolated cases of uprisings in cities and towns where IS is weak, the resistance strong, and supply lines to the Syrian government have been kept open. Also, spontaneous uprisings could happen in places the population has been under so much pressure from IS, they can risk life and limb to unleash their anger on IS, once they realize the SAA/allies are coming near.

Organizing an uprising in areas under enemy control requires a full-proof clandestine network and a secure logistical apparatus to provide the potential insurrections with weapons, medicines, food, safe-houses, retreat routes, and coordinated outside support in the form of airstrikes or artillery. Not an easy fit at the "vast" level Meyssan is thinking about it.

On the Russian exit from Syria.

As b's summary above informed us (thanks b, as always), three months into the Syrian campaign the predictions of a "Russian quagmire" have been buried along with thousands of takfiris in the Syrian desert. Militarily, Russia retains the strategic initiative gained three months ago, and its position inside Syria has been consolidated by the mistakes of Russia's enemies, e.g. US/NATO/Erdogan. Politically, Assad couldn't be in a better position after almost 5 years of war, the 4+1 has pushed back the "Assad must go" crowd to the point where Assad could run for president in the next elections if he so wishes.

Russia's prediction of a "three month campaign" back in September, doesn't mean Syria is ready for them to pack up and go. Only the Russians know what the "three months campaign" entailed within their entire ME strategy. Russia's presence in Syria is part of a geopolitical positioning in which Syria is only a phase, then there is Iraq, a full member of the 4+1.

In the meantime, and while Iran gets their S-300's Russia is protecting its flank with the S-400s in Syria. Putin clearly stated recently Russia doesn't need permanent military bases in Syria, and in a rare show of boastfulness he said "Russia is able to hit any target anywhere" they wanted to. Putin also said they could dismantle the entire Syrian base in two days, load them in Antonovs, and leave.

I don't think the Russians have any intentions of staying in Syria permanently, on the contrary, it is their intention to teach the world a lesson on international law. but I don't see why they have to leave before finishing the job they started, which is not about Syria only, but marking a red line for the empire/minions, and their interventionist policies in the ME and beyond.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Dec 28, 2015 5:12:58 PM | 27

Monday, 28 December 2015 15:36

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan revealed details about the safe zone Turkey intended to establish in northern Syria during an interview with Al-Arabiya TV channel on Sunday.

In northern Syria and “over 98 kilometers in length and 45 kilometers in width, we have an area that we can expand in the first stage. We can make it a terrorism-free zone. We can declare that zone in which we can house those who became displaced inside Syria and those who want to return from the camps we set up,” President Erdogan said.

President Erdogan added that the Assad regime currently controls 14% of Syria's territory.“In my opinion, Russia’s efforts only aim to enable Assad to establish a small state in Syria,” President Erdogan added.

In a televised speech in Istanbul on Sunday, President Erdogan also said that Iran is fomenting sectarianism in Syria.

“If Iran had not stood beside the Assad regime with its sectarian-driven policies, maybe we would not have been talking about a Syrian issue today. Turkey has always stood beside the Syrian people and endeavored to ensure their rights and security.”

President Erdogan also said that “puppet terrorist organizations such as Daesh, PYD and YPG are mercilessly massacring innocent people. They are attacking ruthlessly to destroy a history, a civilization." (Source: Agencies)

Posted by: Neretva'43 | Dec 28, 2015 5:38:59 PM | 28

“If Iran had not stood beside the Assad regime with its sectarian-driven policies, maybe we would not have been talking about a Syrian issue today. Turkey has always stood beside the Syrian people and endeavored to ensure their rights and security.”

In this above part is he absolutely right. In certain degree regarding sectarianism he is also right but he is no less chauvinistic. I saw some news that Badr (death squad) brigade from Baghdad is in Syria, that's not good news.

Posted by: Neretva'43 | Dec 28, 2015 5:44:45 PM | 29

@27 Neretva'43
To me that looks like Erdogan has lost touch with reality. Turkey has "has always stood beside the Syrian people and endeavored to ensure their rights and security"?

How did Turkey do this? By supporting ISIS? Is that his idea of ensuring Syrian people's rights and security?

His talk about a safety zone seems to me a bit obsolete now. My understanding is that is completely off the table now.

Posted by: Joanne Leon | Dec 28, 2015 6:17:45 PM | 30

Erdogan is been squeezed on all sides, by Russia, by Iran, by Iraq and even by the Arab League. Signs of panic are appearing in Turkey: Davutoglu does not have his hamster smile anymore...

http://www.todayszaman.com/diplomacy_turkey-warns-hostile-forces-west-of-euphrates_408165.html

Posted by: virgile | Dec 28, 2015 6:23:16 PM | 31

28
'Turkey has always stood beside the Syrian people and endeavored to ensure their rights and security.”;'

rubbish

Posted by: brian | Dec 28, 2015 6:26:11 PM | 32

One more deadly trap for rebels leaders kills 17

http://www.independent.ie/world-news/middle-east/boobytrap-bomb-kills-17-at-syrian-rebel-groups-meeting-34317451.html

In view of the successful operations on destroying rebels leaders, it seems that the Syrian army has now a flurry of inside informers that have infiltrated the different rebels organizations.
It is a sign that many rebel fighters are becoming aware that they are on the loosing side and are now collaborating with the Syrian intelligence.
That may snowball in the next few days as the leaders have to place to hide except in Turkey.

Posted by: virgile | Dec 28, 2015 6:36:32 PM | 33

@30 virgile
I think your assessment is right. Also, after awhile you develop a sense for the western media propaganda machine and you can tell when it is zeroing in on a new villain and lately it sure looks like that villain is Erdogan. The question is, will he have one last terrible act (as a useful idiot) before the powers that be decide it's time for him to go? And if he was going to go down, why hasn't it happened already? Was it because he was useful as a patsy to blame for various things?

This is all pure speculation, of course.

Posted by: Joanne Leon | Dec 28, 2015 6:37:40 PM | 34

The western press continues to call non ISIS militants in Syria "rebels". This means that the Ziocons consider them to be good guys despite their atrocities. ISIS bad, but other armed terrorists good.

Posted by: Vollin | Dec 28, 2015 6:48:34 PM | 35

"To me that looks like Erdogan has lost touch with reality."

Well, maybe he believes they can create own reality, to paraphrase Karl Rove. But Turkey, today, is no different of the rest of the world's states, oppressive, totalitarian with feudal ruling system.

Here in this interesting interview is given picture of Turkey and wider by PKK leader.

http://www.lemonde.fr/proche-orient/article/2015/12/24/cemil-bayik-il-n-y-a-aucune-raison-que-nous-mettions-fin-a-la-lutte-armee-dans-l-etat-actuel-des-choses_4837446_3218.html

Founder of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which he is now one of the main leaders, Cemil Bayik agreed to meet with Le Monde in the isolated mountains of Qandil, on the Iraqi-Iranian border, home to the headquarters of the Kurdish armed movement. Established in 1978 in Turkey, the PKK book a guerrilla war against the Turkish state since 1984, claiming to defend the interests of the Kurdish minority. After a short cease-fire launched in 2013, hostilities resumed last summer. The success of the civilian component of the Kurdish movement in elections in June blocked the institutional process as a wave of attacks hit sympathizers and fellow of the Kurdish movement, the PKK attacks attributed to the Turkish state. Meanwhile, hostilities resumed in the Kurdish cities of Turkey where the Kurdish movement unilaterally declared independence and sent armed militants to protect it. The violence, which have increased in intensity this fall, fall within the context of a regional conflict in which the PKK is a central player. Fighter Ankara, the Kurdish movement is also in the front line of the organization Islamic state (EI) through his Syrian allies who have the support of the international coalition against EI.

Since last August collapse of the peace process between the Kurdistan Workers' Party and the Turkish state, several Kurdish cities in Turkey are immersed in a state of chronic violence. Armed PKK militants who have declared it unilaterally local self-confront the army and the Turkish security forces in street battles that reach these days in Diyarbakir unprecedented intensity. Any hope of a return to negotiations is it doomed?

The Turkish state is no longer in a logic of negotiation or solution but removal of the Kurdish movement. The first agreement that was reached between the Kurdish movement and the government Dolmabahce Palace 28 February 2015 was denounced by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The choice we now offer the following: surrender or eradication. We will not surrender. We will resist. We carry this existential battle that we will continue to pursue with all the means and resources in our possession. We plan to soon announce the creation of a Revolutionary Resistance Front coming with other organizations within and outside of Turkey, which I can not reveal any names but share our struggle and will fight with us against the Erdogan regime. The Kurdish regions of Turkey have turned into battlefields. The cities are attacked by tanks, special forces, snipers. The Turkish state are destroyed houses, historical monuments and openly kills civilians. This happened in the cities of Syria in recent years, now occurs in a comparable way in Turkey. On behalf of the restoration of public order, the Turkish state is about to commit a massacre he wants to adopt a legal form. Its aim is to empty the Kurdish cities of their inhabitants as they did campaigns in the 1990s, destroying thousands of villages. Also, we reserve the right to send additional fighters soon in Kurdish cities in Turkey as our duty to protect our people. Erdogan is also prepared to use all possible forms of pressure so no one raises his voice against his policy towards the Kurds. In order to buy the silence of European countries, he brandished the weapon of refugees by threatening to let them pass to the EU, knowing that lurk among them members of the Islamic state.

Channels of communication with Ankara are there forever?

All channels of communication with the Turkish state are closed. We no longer have any contact. We wanted to build a bridge between the Kurds and the state through our civil movement, the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (HDP) which participated in the last elections and thanks to the action of our President Abdullah Öcalan who played a role in the negotiations since his detention on the island of Imrali. However, since April 5, 2014, Mr. Öcalan is silenced and could not meet with our civil movement. The results of the elections of June 7 [who saw the Kurdish movement achieve a historic score on an opening program to the Turkish institutions and society] were the embodiment of our will for peace. Erdogan has not accepted the results, and we returned to a state of war.

Abdullah Öcalan has played a major role in launching the peace process in 2013. If he was able to speak again, could it work for an output current military escalation?

We know our leader, he would never make a call to disarmament. Anyway, it is to us that the decision belongs. We are on the ground, we see what is happening from a practical point of view. There is no reason for us to end the armed struggle in the present state of things. On the contrary, in the months that followed the civil war in Turkey will worsen. It falls within the context of a regional war in which everyone pursues its interests and that nobody in the region can stand aside. Developments in Turkey, Iraq and Syria belong to a single conflict. The Middle East will experience a new era after the war. Kurdistan is the Middle East from the center, between Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran. That is why we consider that the heart of the regional war is underway in Kurdistan and that this war will continue to intensify before leading them to a new situation.


As such, how the PKK, which is present in the north of Iraq he positioned relative to the apparent willingness of Ankara to play a greater military role?

We consider that the Turkish state's ambition to dominate northern Iraq by forming a Sunni Front that will replace the Islamic state. It claims to support the forces fighting the Islamic state in this region but actually wished advance its own interests. In this project it seeks to attract the Kurdistan Democratic Party [KDP] which militarily controls the regions between Mosul and the Turkish border. We see this as an attempt to divide the Kurds and threaten the PKK in Iraq. Moreover, Turkish politics arouses unanimous rejection of other Iraqi and regional forces and Russia. The Turkish state decides to send troops on Iraqi territory without the approval of Baghdad even as he killed in the name of its territorial sovereignty a Russian plane that had flown over the border for a few seconds.


The special relationship between Turkey and the KDP of Massoud Barzani they may strengthen existing tensions and lead to clashes between Kurdish forces?

Turkey aspires to use the KDP against our movement. That is why Massoud Barzani was received with all the consideration in Ankara on December 9, shortly after visiting Saudi Arabia. I hope he will not fall into this trap. We do not want a war between Kurds. I also hope that a meeting will soon be organized between the PKK and Barzani although hopes for a positive outcome are low. The KDP is the only Kurdish organization which supports Turkey in its projects in Iraq. He runs the risk of being isolated because the behavior of Turkey in Iraq is unacceptable.


Are the Russian-Turkish tensions bodes well for the PKK? Do you hope to get the support of Moscow whose views oppose that of Ankara on the regional scene?

We must have tactical relations with all forces in the Middle East and keep our online without choosing one side or the other. The Cold War is over, we can have convergences of interest with powers that seem to conflict.

Among these tactics relationships, coordination of military allies of Syrian Kurdish PKK with Washington led coalition has significantly increase their territory in the northeast of the country in fighting the Islamic state. Is the relationship of the US with Turkey within NATO could condemn this cooperation?

No action is possible against the Islamic state in Syria without the support of Kurdish forces which are most effective on the ground. The United States are perfectly aware. They represent the only secular component involved in the Syrian conflict and are the basis of the fight against the Islamic state in the country. I can not think that Washington will end its relationship with the Syrian Kurds only in deference to Turkey. For example, decision-Rakka can not be considered without the support of the Syrian Kurdish forces.

Posted by: Neretva'43 | Dec 28, 2015 7:22:36 PM | 36

@Virgile,

That's really interesting. A YPG commander, asked by ARA about the Turkish red line against Kurds crossing the Euphrates said "Turkey has a lot of red lines. What can they do? Nothing?" Davotoglu seems to confirm him. "We are so committed to our stance that Kurds can not cross the Euphrates that we will define anyone who crosses the Euphrates as ipso facto not Kurdish!"

Or is it possible that the YPG didn't send any Kurdish units across the dam when they took it? Given the bravado of the YPG interviewee, I doubt it. I guess we'll see in the next few days. After all, the US focused today's heaviest air strikes against ISIS positions near Manbij. That seems to point to a ground assault there very soon.

Posted by: falcone | Dec 28, 2015 7:27:53 PM | 37

He gave very gloomy picture of the region.

"There is no reason for us to end the armed struggle in the present state of things. On the contrary, in the months that followed the civil war in Turkey will worsen. It falls within the context of a regional war in which everyone pursues its interests and that nobody in the region can stand aside. Developments in Turkey, Iraq and Syria belong to a single conflict. The Middle East will experience a new era after the war. Kurdistan is the Middle East from the center, between Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran. That is why we consider that the heart of the regional war is underway in Kurdistan and that this war will continue to intensify before leading them to a new situation."

Posted by: Neretva'43 | Dec 28, 2015 7:41:19 PM | 38

The 'western MSM' narrative of Russia will be entangled in syria just like afghanistan , is a fantasy born out of the russophobic MSM in the western world.. In their hate toward all thing russian and their rush to create a fantastic scenario where russian forces beaten by ISIS , they forgo their common sense and analytical thinking ability.

because Syria is not afghanistan and the ground troops fighting with russia came from syrian government forces, Lebanon Hezbollah military wing and Iranian 'volunteers'..

The MSM narrative foolishly swipe the iranian deeper involvement in syria , when it is obvious to any syrian watcher that syrian conflict primary goal is removal of iranian influence in syria proper and lebanon , thus removing the major threat to israel (the hezbollah and it's rockets and syrian government support / supplyline to hezbollah)

The MSM narrative are paid to tell lies , when the truth is in front of everyone to see .. Saudi and Israel allied together ? to defeat the increasingly potent iranian influence in the region.. Saudi wants to isolate iran , and israel want to remove hezbollah,.. This is also why the Saudi think it's a good time to attack yemen and remove possible future iranian client state there..

The whole western world (US and EU) are all bribed to dance on Saudi & Israeli tune , using their global influence and military powers to help saudi/israeli..

The turks , are also the tool for the west (with it's NATO connection) , are used as ISIS supply line , as long as they are allowed to loot materiel and oil from syrian soil without protest from the west.. Thats WHY the oil caper never been reported by MSM until russia start to bomb them..

let's face it , the whole Western MSM is a propaganda tool WORSE than the old Soviet propaganda media.. the western people of today think they are the good guys and their government will never do anything to harm innocent people , except to those foreign leaders who are cruelly repress their own people..

Never in the history of mankind there's a massive delusion on free people in the west , that even in their freedom they are still willingly believed in the government propaganda instead of using their own brain to analyze and think for themselves

Posted by: milomilo | Dec 28, 2015 7:44:57 PM | 39

Great theme, b!
It was obvious (from all the whining) during the first week of Russia's Syria campaign that the Christians were not only seriously pissed off that Putin had a coherent plan, but green with envy that he knew what he was doing.
Competence is hard to fake.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 28, 2015 8:00:20 PM | 40

Yet the Syrian-intervention is unlike Afghanistan because Russia:
1) is assisting the legitimate government, not toppling a government; and
2)Russia has the support of other countries (notably Iran) in the region.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 28, 2015 1:37:11 PM | 9

Concerning 1), the situation was a bit different, few weeks before the Russian invasion there was a coup that the invasion reversed. However, that was part of a major problem: Afghan Communists were Communist, but Afghan first, and that meant that they were hopelessly split into factions. But pro-government Syrians, apparently, a majority, are not. Who wanted to defect, defected, and now it is rebels that have a large problem: successes of government intelligence probably mean that government moles among the rebels have easier time converting new human assets. And 2) is indeed a major difference. It is hard to tell exact numbers, but the number of Iran-directed volunteers in Syria seems to be growing at a slow but steady way.

Moreover, I did not see news about large flows of new recruits to the rebels, although they still receive weapons.

One major aspect that will make a difference is that ISIS will probably be defeated in Iraq. The Iraqi military is more of a fighting force, and the integration of "Popular Commitees" into war operations improved, resulting in better results in Anbar. As ISIS lost quite a bit of manpower, it negotiated evacuation of a suburb of Damascus where it has a major presence (2000-4000 fighters), which will simplify government positions in that region. Would ISIS collapse, the spoils will be divided mostly between the government and YPG dominated coalition, and the latter will probably reach a compromise with the government.

That said, the operation proceed at WWI pace, a war of attrition. However, with foolish war against Kurds in Turkey, Russia has a lever to cut supplies of the rebels and ISIS from Turkey. For example, PKK can develop an interest in attacking jihadists when they are in Turkey if properly convinced.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 28, 2015 9:02:47 PM | 41

Neretva'43 | Dec 28, 2015 7:22:36 PM | 35

I can not think that Washington will end its relationship with the Syrian Kurds only in deference to Turkey. For example, decision-Rakka can not be considered without the support of the Syrian Kurdish forces.

For a leader of the Kurdistan Worker's Party, it is absolutely naive at this day and age to believe that Washington will not dump them "in deference to Turkey." Washington will use them to carve a piece of Syria, and will clean their ass with the Syrian Kurds once is done. The best bet for the Syrian Kurds is to aim for an autonomous region WITHIN Syria, remaining under the Syrian, and by extension Iran and Russia, umbrella of protection.

Believing the US is not going to dump them in due time is not only naive, is politically and strategically blind. Clearly they haven't learned much from history, particularly from the history of US support of "rebel" movements/ethnic groups. I really thought the PKK had a better leadership, but the interview with this founder of the PKK, even when there is a lot lost in translation, is really disappointing.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Dec 28, 2015 9:04:21 PM | 42

@39 Ziocons please Hoarse. I know some very decent Christians. The Christian Orthodox Church is big in Russia.

Posted by: dh | Dec 28, 2015 9:08:56 PM | 43

@joanne 29... Yeah, Erdogan has lost the plot. Well, he's at least on the edge. That dodgy stage act the other day looked extremely desperate - the one where Erdogan saves a man via cell phone intervention from hurling himself off a bridge. Awesome stuff Tacip, cool photo op as well. Judging by his comments re-Syria above, he's somewhere between step 10 & 11.
12 Steps To Insanity
http://www.mental-health-today.com/Healing/aa.htm
Its what you get when you act like head gangster, but in reality, you're just another Yankee doodle vassal state.

@41 LoneWolf
Very recent history is saying the smart money is on the 4 + 1. Kurds gotta get on board. It has to be a better bet than the flip-flopping the Empire engages in - friends one day, pillaged the next.

Fantastic OP by the author. Just....ridiculously damning propaganda.

Posted by: MadMax2 | Dec 28, 2015 9:43:57 PM | 44

Lone Wolf | Dec 28, 2015 9:04:21 PM | 41

Not sure why you are focused at single sentence. I personally not judging him in any way, nor I dare, he is there for 40 + years in struggle with enemies from all sides. Naive? Hardly.

Maybe you are too close to the trees so you do not see the forest?

Posted by: Neretva'43 | Dec 28, 2015 9:56:45 PM | 45

Short video from the Saker on Syrian ops:

http://thesaker.is/international-military-review-syria-dec-28-2015/

Posted by: ben | Dec 28, 2015 11:16:45 PM | 46

the quagmire created by usa-nato and heaped on the mideast isn't working so well.... people can't recognize western supported dictators verses a true quagmire!! if they lose these quagmires, they hope the msm will do the heavy lifting for them, perpetuating more quagmire looking results!!! is this a colour revolution, a bona-fide new leader, dictator, chocolate king, or whatever, or is this democracy in action? it'd be friggin funny if no innocent people got murdered with all this quagmire building.. the exceptional quagmire knows no bounds to it's quagmire building and murdering of innocent people.. that's how they qualify for 'exceptional' status..

Posted by: james | Dec 29, 2015 12:27:35 AM | 47

Thanks for another eye opener, b.

If you listen to the opinion pouring out of the msm's faucets you'd think that Syria + 4 were in big trouble.

If you follow the facts on the ground, as you do, you realize that just the opposite is the case on the ground.

Thanks for consistently delivering the facts of the matter.

@24 fast freddy

interesting take on the BRI-CS.

Posted by: jfl | Dec 29, 2015 2:59:31 AM | 48

@jfl

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Dec 27, 2015 8:38:41 PM | 128

Yr absence has been noted. Enjoyed the holidays? Glad to see yr contribution again. ;-)

Posted by: Oui | Dec 29, 2015 3:23:20 AM | 49

Posted by: virgile | Dec 28, 2015 6:36:32 PM | 32

That Jordanian list on US/Russia agreend terrorists. Jordanian intelligence?

Posted by: somebody | Dec 29, 2015 3:25:10 AM | 50

Posted by: ralphieboy | Dec 28, 2015 5:05:28 PM | 25

Which helps exporting weapons ....

Posted by: somebody | Dec 29, 2015 3:28:59 AM | 51

@ 39 Hoarsewhisperer

that the Christians were not only seriously pissed off that Putin had a coherent plan

@ 42 dh

Ziocons please Hoarse. I know some very decent Christians.


Christians they are.

Some examples (I had to visit the Wikipedia-lemma's of these bastards):

Protestant:
Donald Rumsfeld
Barrack Obama

United Methodist:
Dick Cheney
Hillary Clinton
GW Bush

Roman Catholicism:
Tony Blair

Anglicanism:
David Cameron


'Ziocon', what an ugly vague word, do you use that in your daily life?
Just take it as it is:
One of the traits of Christians is, that they feel and behave like slaves to jews/Israël.


Posted by: From The Hague | Dec 29, 2015 3:41:12 AM | 52

Posted by: Joanne Leon | Dec 28, 2015 6:37:40 PM | 33

You may hate Erdogan but he has a very sound Turkish voters' base. He also seems to have made a pact recently with the Turkish - deep - nationalist/military state. There is no way Turkish nationalist interest vs Kurds can be reconciled with US/British/corporate plans to split Iraq. Barzani does not have the power within Kurdish politics to negotiate a Turkish/Kurdish reconciliation Turkey can live with. Öcalan probably has but Erdogan stopped negotiations to ally with the Turkish right wing.
It is not so much the US who are on a war path with Turkey - they need Turkey as an ally, but Russia whose influence in Turkish politics is considerable. Russia has made a point of supporting Turkish Kurds. The US have made a point supporting Syrian and Iraqi Kurds. Something has got to give.
Iran seems to try to position themselves as mediators.

Posted by: somebody | Dec 29, 2015 3:44:52 AM | 53

All Recent Posting Activity
Topics & Issues
Events
Polls
Search
Donate
Shop
Advertise
Contact
About
The News
Most Recent Threads
The Blogs
Most Recent Threads
The Forums
Most Recent Threads
Home » news links » AntiSpin's news links

Russia's "Quagmire" In Syria Turns Out To Be A Well Designed Campaign
AntiSpin's picture
submitted by AntiSpin on December 29, 2015 - 11:44am

click to view article from www.moonofalabama.org

Quote:
Recent "Official Washington" headlines:
U.S. to Putin: Welcome to the ISIS ‘Quagmire’ - Sep 29
Obama: Russia heading for 'quagmire' in Syria - Oct 2
Russia's ‘quagmire’ destroys all hope of defeating ISIS - Oct 16
Russians support airstrikes in Syria, despite haunting memories of quagmire in Afghanistan - Oct 20
Russia risks Syrian quagmire -U.S. deputy secretary of state - Oct 31
The Syrian quagmire - Nov 3
Putin's Quagmire in Syria Proves Obama Prescient - Dec 9
Putin's Middle East Misadventures - Dec 11
Is Syria Already A Quagmire For Putin? - Dec 12

(Links are live in the original)

Then suddenly –

Quote:
This reality is now setting in:
"U.S. sees bearable costs, key goals met for Russia in Syria so far" - Dec 28
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-russia-syria-idUSKBN0UB0BA20151228
» add new comment | add to favorites | email this storylink | write to author | 61 reads

Comment viewing options

Save settings
Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Affordable War, Thanks to
Affordable War, Thanks to the Pentagon’s non-retirement program of leaving the one of the procurement branches of the military and moving into a big corner office at one of the MIC contractors the United States will never have to face this horror.

(Blowing up mud huts with million dollar cruise missiles would probably get you stationed to walking guard duty Siberia if you tried it in the Russian Army...If you were lucky, more likely you'd be inside the prison instead of guard duty at 50 below zero.)


Two Obvious Reasons for the "Success"...

1. Russia is helping a sitting head of state (and lets face it, a popularly selected one, who isnt THAT unpopular with his own people) to defeat an insurgency that never really cared about winning over the entire Syrian public. Even when they do kill a few civilians, Russia will still be seen as a legitimate "friend of Syria" which is trying to restore a safe and stable country for the Syrian people. Even in its kindest and calmest moments ISIS has never tried to cultivate support from the local people. ISIS is NOT a movement aimed at creating a permanent, broad-based, administratively effective government. ISIS is, and always has been, a movement aimed at punishing "Westerners" for their meddling in local and regional affairs, and perhaps enjoying a bit of plunder, power and sadistic vengeance while theyre at it. . . . and this leads directly to reason #2.

2. Russia is not the enemy ISIS was planning to fight, nor the enemy that the actual foot-soldiers of ISIS ever WANTED to fight. Maybe back in the late 70s the USSR was still seen as another bully, and even if not as despised as the US, at least an enemy worth fighting. Nowadays that is not the case. Its one thing to lose your life while fighting a "heroic" battle against US imperialists; quite another to die ignominiously in a Russian bombing, or at the hands of Iraqi/Syrian troops supported by Russian armour and air support.

Posted by: KMatsu | Dec 29, 2015 3:52:49 AM | 54


Two Obvious Reasons for the "Success"...

1. Russia is helping a sitting head of state (and lets face it, a popularly selected one, who isnt THAT unpopular with his own people) to defeat an insurgency that never really cared about winning over the entire Syrian public. Even when they do kill a few civilians, Russia will still be seen as a legitimate "friend of Syria" which is trying to restore a safe and stable country for the Syrian people. Even in its kindest and calmest moments ISIS has never tried to cultivate support from the local people. ISIS is NOT a movement aimed at creating a permanent, broad-based, administratively effective government. ISIS is, and always has been, a movement aimed at punishing "Westerners" for their meddling in local and regional affairs, and perhaps enjoying a bit of plunder, power and sadistic vengeance while theyre at it. . . . and this leads directly to reason #2.

2. Russia is not the enemy ISIS was planning to fight, nor the enemy that the actual foot-soldiers of ISIS ever WANTED to fight. Maybe back in the late 70s the USSR was still seen as another bully, and even if not as despised as the US, at least an enemy worth fighting. Nowadays that is not the case. Its one thing to lose your life while fighting a "heroic" battle against US imperialists; quite another to die ignominiously in a Russian bombing, or at the hands of Iraqi/Syrian troops supported by Russian armour and air support.

Posted by: KMatsu | Dec 29, 2015 3:54:00 AM | 55

RE: #10 and #7
He uses the word "dialectic" 28 times meaninglessly, purely as a dog whistle because STALIN!

What a crooked load of bullshit, the word "dialectic" brings an immediate association with Marxism, the East, the USSR, the "evil empire," therefore a negative connotation.

----------

That's an interesting viewpoint. Now that you point this out, I can see how some people may have that association. When I hear the word "dialectic", however, I think of Plato, and my old Latin courses way back in . . . well . . . Id rather not admit how long ago its been. In the eyes of Plato, and apparently his teacher Socrates as well, dialectic was the means by which men arrived at truth. It therefore would seem to have almost an exact opposite meaning to the word "propaganda". Unlike careful, dialectical analysis, propaganda relies on rhetorical appeals to the emotions, or if necessary, on deliberate falsehoods and malapropisms which would be exposed as bullspit if ever subjected to a true dialectical analysis.

Can either of you suggest sources, or reasons why you think that people have begun to associate the word "dialectic" with Marxism???

Posted by: KMatsu | Dec 29, 2015 4:05:05 AM | 56

@47 oui @128 LW

I'm touched! Actually it was my own proactive stupidity ... I changed the user agent string sent by my browser from its 1 in 65,000 unique setting to something in the hundreds - but typepad choked on it. Didn't give me a useful diagnostic, though ... gave me a 404 page, not found. Since 18 December! I thought MoA was down for the count. Think about it ... who do you contact in the event that MoA actually does go down?

I encountered trouble following another link to empty wheel - which gave a more precise diagnostic - fixed the problem, and now MoA just works again. I'd gone cold turkey for 10 dark and chilly days ... it's great to have access to my jones again!

Thanks b! We - well, I - take you for granted most of the time. You're a utility. ... well, you're not! Thanks for more than a decade of perseverance! You've become my main source of news on the topics you cover.

You don't miss your water till your well, it runs dry. Thankfully, when we tap MoA, we've tapped a stone cold reliable aquifer.

Posted by: jfl | Dec 29, 2015 4:14:54 AM | 57

Interesting take on the difference of Russias and US policy vs "Sunni tribes"

I don't share it but it has some enlightening parts.

Although suicide bombers and money from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf contributed heavily to the casualties that Iraqi Sunnis inflicted on Americans and Shia during the Occupation, the US government never forced them to halt such activities by using the many levers it could exercise on the Saudi regime. This included the relatively small step of restricting Saudi visa to the US. Nor did the Saudis ever stop such activities. Instead, the US government viewed Saudi help in killing and wounding Americans in Iraq as even more reason to make concessions to Iraqi Sunnis. Nor did the Saudis stop supporting these tribes when they look to hosting the Islamic State. They offered them US weapons in addition to food, lodging, and amenities. In short, so long as these tribes receive Saudi backing for championing common Sunni causes, they will tend to do so.

By contrast, when Putin met with Saudi and Gulf leaders — the Sunni world’s powers — he did so as the embodiment of the power behind their chief sectarian and geopolitical enemy — Iran. He did not have to spell out to them, any more than to the Islamic State’s Sunni hosts in former Syria and Iraq, that he has the power to increase or to decrease the amount of deadly pressure that Iran can bring against them. In exchange for their good behavior on a matter so peripheral to them as the northern Sunni tribes’ behavior regarding the Russian/Shia enclave, Putin can forbear harming their central interests. This is an offer that they can’t afford to refuse.

In sum, the contrasts between America’s and Putin’s approach to pacifying the Northern Sunni tribes illustrates the contrasts between our foreign policy establishment consisting of Liberal Internationalists, Neoconservatives and Realists and, on the other hand, a statesman who follows the normal rules of human behavior.

Posted by: somebody | Dec 29, 2015 4:20:00 AM | 58

@7 @10 @54

In this context dialectic refers to the Hegelian Dialectic; the idea of creating a problem, managing the reaction, and providing the solution. Basically divide and conquer.

The thinking goes that Putin was put in place with the intention of providing the good cop to the West's bad cop. Whether or not thats true I'm not sure. Its possible.

If you believe Sutton then this is exactly what happened with WW2 and the cold war.

For Hegelians, the State is almighty, and seen as "the march of God on earth." Indeed, a State religion. Progress in the Hegelian State is through contrived conflict: the clash of opposites makes for progress. If you can control the opposites, you dominate the nature of the outcome.

We trace the extraordinary Skull and Bones influence in a major Hegelian conflict: Naziism vs. Communism.

Skull and Bones members were in the dominant decision-making positions - Bush, Harriman, Stimson, Lovett, and so on - all Bonesmen, and instrumental in guiding the conflict through use of "right" and "left."

They financed and encouraged the growths of both philosophies and controlled the outcome to a significant extent

Posted by: Bob | Dec 29, 2015 4:29:29 AM | 59

@56 sbody


Although suicide bombers and money from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf contributed heavily to the casualties that Iraqi Sunnis inflicted on Americans and Shia during the Occupation, the US government never forced them to halt such activities by using the many levers it could exercise on the Saudi regime.

That's an astounding quote from the LATimes! ... but of course it's not from the LATimes, I misread the status line before I clicked on the link. It's the Asia Times and so less than astounding.

But more Americans should be exposed to it! That's one of the enlightening parts, in your view? I certainly agree with it, although I've previously been enlightened. Don't forget ... the USA trained the caliph of the caliphate himself in its prison (training?) camp in Iraq, knowing full well who he'd be killing. The Saudi- financed Sunni uprising in Iraq when the Americans were there certainly did kill Americans as well.

Like Israel - remember the USS Liberty sunk by the Israelis, 34 crew dead, 171 wounded some; Rachel Corrie; Furkan Dugan? - some 'allies' can kill Americans with impunity. Hell, Obama does it himself. Israel and Saudi Arabia are like Yin/Yang, Heads/Tails of the same coin when it comes to the oligarchs' plans. Both come out ahead of American citizens. Certainly ahead of GIs. All of us were born to die for the oligarchs' interests.

Not the Israelis/Saudis/other 'US allies' though.

Posted by: jfl | Dec 29, 2015 4:48:31 AM | 60

Some more interesting stuff - history of oil smuggling in Iraq.

In the 1990s Saddam Hussein organized criminal gangs to smuggle oil to break United Nations’ sanctions. Traditional trade routes throughout the Persian Gulf and Middle East were adapted for these operations. Trucks sent to Turkey, Jordan, Syria, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, and boats going through the Persian Gulf were all used to ship crude to bring in illicit revenue for the Baathist government. Sheikh Abu Risha, who would later form the Anbar Awakening in 2006, and his tribe, ran an oil smuggling ring to Jordan during this period.

And for some reason Saudi Arabia just discovered a huge oil smuggling operation.

Riyadh: Saudi Arabia, whose subsidised fuel prices are among the world’s lowest, said Thursday it foiled a large-scale attempt to illegally export diesel fuel.

Nine million litres of the fuel in 450 tankers “had been prepared at a number of locations” in Riyadh and the Eastern region before movement to Dammam port, the oil ministry said, quoted by the official Saudi Press Agency.

No details were given on the planned destination of the fuel, or whether any arrests were made.

The ministry said it was the largest attempt to smuggle diesel since it introduced technology to “mark” the fuel.

SPA said the large difference between the domestic and external price of fuel motivates such smuggling attempts.

Saudi seem to have raised the internal oil price by 50% now.

Putin has concentrated on oil smuggling recently.

"You know, I am looking and analyzing everything that was happening there and what is happening there now. I think ISIL [Islamic State or Daesh, outlawed in Russia] is a secondary thing now," Putin said at his annual press conference.

The Russian leader reminded of the vacuum that was created after the war in Iraq.

"Then elements emerged related to the oil trade. And this situation has been unfolding for years. A business was established there, smuggling on huge, industrial scale. Then in order to protect this smuggling and illegal export, military force is needed. It is very easy to use the Islamic factor, attract cannon fodder there under Islamic slogans, who are only playing a role linked to economic interests," Putin explained.

Posted by: somebody | Dec 29, 2015 5:44:24 AM | 61

@jfl

Beautifully said.

Posted by: Oui | Dec 29, 2015 6:33:25 AM | 62

@Neretva'43

Thanks for the interview with the Kurdish leader.
He tries to preserve the unity of the Kurds that Erdogan is working to undermine.
What he does not say is that Barzani is in trouble as his mandate has finished and he still hangs on the power together with his family.
There are kurdish movements within the KRG that are growing, especially denouncing the corruption of the Barzani regime and the weakening of the economy despite Turkey's investments.
I am convinced that the KRG is heavily infiltrated by spies from Syria, Iraq and Russia working to prepare the fall of Barzani. Time is not ripe as these countries do no want that Kurds to get into a divisive civil war until ISIS has been eradicated.
In the contrary Turkey is in favor of such split that would weaken the YPG in Syria, yet worried how it would affect it economy very dependent on the KRG oil.
The KRG is a time bomb.

Posted by: virgile | Dec 29, 2015 8:33:26 AM | 63

@jfl@55

Think about it ... who do you contact in the event that MoA actually does go down?

You go here,

Is It Down Right Now?

if it tells you whatever website you check is not down, double-check from another PC/laptop/iPad and if up, you've got a problem with your gadget configuration, which seems to have been your case. Or depending on where you are, you are being blocked.

Many a times I get a 404 page instead of MoA page, I click a few times for a new identity (I use Tor browser), and voila, there it is again. The connection corrupts after being static for a while, since Tor changes IP every 10 minutes or so, and MoA's server security doesn't follow the IP changes.

Good to have you back. Happy holidays!

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Dec 29, 2015 8:54:16 AM | 64

Posted by: Bob | Dec 29, 2015 4:29:29 AM | 57

You can trace that type of politics from British colonialism up to Bill Clinton's triangulation but keep Hegel out of it. In the case of business people - they are completely unideological - and good at business only. So when they think a political movement will win they will do business with that movement.

But yes, you can understand German Nazism as right Hegelian and Soviet communism as left Hegelian as the emphasis is on the state as opposed to the individual.

Posted by: somebody | Dec 29, 2015 9:05:23 AM | 65

@jfl, same as above, re "MoA actually go down".

Indeed an edge situation and a matter of our own existence as informed citizens. Sorry that you got caught on an agent string bubble out of MoA... Anyways, some day, one way or another, we all gonna go down, blogs and beings. Did you read the About this site section? It works :)

Worth noting that the Internet Archive Wayback Machine has a mirror (imperfect?) of this site:
https://web.archive.org/web/*/moonofalabama.org

Posted by: citizen X | Dec 29, 2015 9:16:42 AM | 66

@50 "One of the traits of Christians is, that they feel and behave like slaves to jews/Israël."

That's true. Christianity has been subverted. But just because people like Blair, Clinton et al call themselves Christians doesn't justify blanket condemnation. I don't think all Christians are Crusaders anymore than all Muslims are Jihadis ....or all Jews are Land grabbers. I'm a devout atheist BTW.....does that make me a Satanist?

Posted by: dh | Dec 29, 2015 9:27:58 AM | 67

1. NATO was never able to get an offensive no-fly zone set up the way they were able to get past the UNSC in Libya.
2. Russia has more experience fighting Islamic insurgencies after Chechnya, Georgia, etc. Iran and Hezbollah militias also have that experience as well as local intelligence.
3. Unlike Afghanistan, almost all of the rebels are foreign. If you count Pashtunistan which spans Afghanistan and Pakistan, there's a considerable larger source of fighters and civilian support to draw on.
4. Afghanistan was divided geographically along ethnic lines. The north was never interested in conquering the south. Even after the Soviets left, Afghanistan was essentially divided in two between the Northern Alliance of ethnic tribes and the Pashtun to the south.

Posted by: Les | Dec 29, 2015 9:36:27 AM | 68

@Neretva'43@44

Not sure why you are focused at single sentence. I personally not judging him in any way, nor I dare, he is there for 40 + years in struggle with enemies from all sides. Naive? Hardly.

Seniority in leadership doesn't prevent you from being naive, or from political stupidity. Barzani has as many years as a "leader" of the KDP, and ended up being a corrupt thug and a puppet of the US/ISrael/Turkey. For the PKK Kurds, an ethnic group struggling for decades to break out of a geopolitical encirclement from all sides, tactic and strategic alliances are key to their purpose. Hoping for the US to hold on to a tactical, opportunistic alliance, and then pray the US won't dump them in favor of Turkey, is what I call historical ignorance. And political naivete. And strategic blindness.

Maybe you are too close to the trees so you do not see the forest?

Is that the extent of your, ehem, "wisdom?"

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Dec 29, 2015 9:39:14 AM | 69

virgile | Dec 29, 2015 8:33:26 AM | 61

I agree with you. However, KRG will exist as long as it's able to serve its master's interests. There are many examples in the world of such entities.

I do not see the US any different, difference is that instead of one family it is ruled by 100 of oligarch which privatized in feudal fashion every socio-economic activity. As the economic situation is deteriorating an oligarch's "body of armed men" (i.e. militarized police and FBI) is getting more and more vicious. Any talk about "justice" is simply, nonsense.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CXWKqhzWwAAnjML.jpg:large

Posted by: Neretva'43 | Dec 29, 2015 9:41:52 AM | 70

@Lone Wolf | Dec 29, 2015 9:39:14 AM | 67

no need for "ehem". I live in country where insults and murder by "body of armed men" , are part of daily life. As for "wisdom", did I mention it anywhere? Again, in the US being a refuge and wisdom are not going together.

Just as Lennon says it nicely:

"They hurt you at home and they hit you at school
They hate you if you're clever and they despise a fool
Till you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules "

Posted by: Neretva'43 | Dec 29, 2015 10:10:18 AM | 71

Good piece by Eric Draitser at Counterpunch, Turkey: A criminal state, a NATO state.http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/12/29/turkey-a-criminal-state-a-nato-state/

Posted by: harry law | Dec 29, 2015 10:21:04 AM | 72

@62 LW @64 citizen x

I mispoke/miswrote ... I didn't mean down as in off the net ... moonofalabam.org was still being resolved and typepad/cloudfront were still responding to gets ... they were just responding with a bogus page, because they didn't like the user agent string my browser was giving them. A couple of months ago there was somesort of 'billing snafu', and they ran b around for a couple of days before straightening that out. I did email b asking what was up and was he ok and I hoped he'd return ... but he probably thought wtf? and so didn't answer. As the days went by I got more concerned ... but, no problem. Or, my problem, rather.

I realize that someday MoA is going to bite the dust. In fact I had just done a 'wget -r moonofalabama.org' on the 12th. I suppose I ought to automate that to once a week. It's only about 640 mb. Doesn't take that long and storage is relatively cheap these days. Of course that's just the data, not the database and server-side scripts that make it work. It'd need a little stroking to make it work out of the box, but it could be done. If I backed up the site once a week I'd lose at most a week's worth of posts and comments ... probably 3 1/2 days worth. Maybe I'll do that.

Posted by: jfl | Dec 29, 2015 10:23:48 AM | 73

Tug of War of who can be killed...(Iran’s top diplomat threatening to push for the CIA to be designated a terrorist organization...) http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/12/23/in-syria-moscows-terrorist-is-washingtons-freedom-fighter/?utm_content=bufferb3444&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Posted by: Daisee | Dec 29, 2015 10:37:28 AM | 74

Christians haven't been seen in America since its inception,although many profess as being one.
Religion in America is at an all time low in attendance and faith,other than heretics who would run over Christ in a heartbeat.
This alleged Christian Jewish thing is belied by the Jews absolute hatred of JC,one of the first accused self hating Jews.Our poohbahs just need that Ziodough,that's all,the whores.
The lying times tells US,back to Afghanistan,AlQaeda(IsUS)are back!
What is it,the further away it is,we feel the more threatened?
And the only worthy news in Wapo was awesome pictures of Lake Erie waves.
Check them out.
Yankee come home.

Posted by: dahoit | Dec 29, 2015 11:18:58 AM | 76

Another assassinated journalist who was critical of Erdegon dead in Turkish border town.Hmmmm...

Posted by: dahoit | Dec 29, 2015 11:20:57 AM | 77

74

wow!!!

Posted by: john | Dec 29, 2015 11:38:02 AM | 78

Gery Young of The Guardian left US in horror. Good for him and his family otherwise he could find himself in cross-hair of the Death Squad from the picture.
http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/jul/01/gary-younge-farewell-to-america

Mine continues, this murderous and rapacious regime have no match on the planet earth. By far the most dominant feature is "zoological hate" to everything, as such it is a threat for all living organisms.

In all honesty all this talk about Syria, Iraq, Russia etc. is useless in comparisons with the US and lawlessness of the system.

Posted by: Neretva'43 | Dec 29, 2015 12:10:05 PM | 79

Very very interesting:

Middle East Reporting Dangers

War and foreign affairs correspondents talked about the dangers of reporting from the Middle East. The panelists were CBS News foreign affairs correspondent Lara Logan, international freelance journalist Matthieu Akins, and author Sebastian Junger, a Vanity Fair contributing editor. The moderator was Kevin Peraino, former Jerusalem bureau chief for Newsweek.

http://www.c-span.org/video/?401313-1/discussion-reporting-middle-east

Posted by: shadyl | Dec 29, 2015 12:35:51 PM | 80

http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/2015/10/13/Can-Russia-Afford-Its-Syria-Campaign

According to this, yes, easily.

Posted by: Neretva'43 | Dec 29, 2015 12:43:07 PM | 81

#77

From the article:

"My decision to come back to Britain was prompted by banal, personal factors that have nothing to do with current events; if my aim was to escape aggressive policing and racial disadvantage, I would not be heading to Hackney."

What is the point of the article if his departure actually is not connected to the recent shootings by police referred in the photo, and, as he notes, his destination has its own serious issues with police brutality and racism?

Posted by: Inkan1969 | Dec 29, 2015 1:19:33 PM | 82

Russia seems to be playing a double game. On the one hand, the NWO agenda, on the other, her invincible sovereignty. To me, it seems very cleverly orchestrated order. They know what they are doing. But when I look at the bigger picture, they have a truly nationalistic agenda, one that I am very grateful for. Us BRICS countries have a very alternative vision for the ME. One of prosperity and mutual benefit. Every step in that direction has Russian support.

Posted by: Dan | Dec 29, 2015 2:05:39 PM | 83

somebody@61 "...Saudi seem to have raised the internal oil price by 50% now..."

WSJ numbers show Saudi premium gas went up from $.62 to $.93/gal. and regular from $.44 to $.74/gal. Both are controlled/subsidized by the government. Not sure of diesel prices, but jet fuel (Jet A1 - unsubsidized) is reported to be nearly $2/gal at Riyadh. Regarding the price increases:

Saudi rulers weigh political cost of tough economic reforms

...Petrol prices are still very cheap and rises in power costs will only affect very big consumers, officials said. The budget calls for a gradual increase in fuel prices over the next five years in order to "achieve efficiency", but sets no eventual targets.

Jihad al-Najjar, a woolly hat pulled down low against the chilly winter weather as he queued for a last fill of petrol at the old price, was sanguine.

"It's not the real price. It's supported by the government, but now they are entering too many wars and need more money," the 22-year-old medical student said.

Whether he and other Saudis will remain philosophical if prices rise further, and other reforms that inconvenience citizens are enacted, and how Prince Mohammed responds to that, will determine the monarchy's future.


Posted by: PavewayIV | Dec 29, 2015 3:30:50 PM | 84

@36 Neretva'43
Thanks for that long reply. Food for thought.

Posted by: Joanne Leon | Dec 29, 2015 3:35:12 PM | 85

@53 somebody
Thanks for that insight on Turkey, which is mostly an enigma to me. I find it hard to believe US and Russia could just sell out the Kurds again but there are a lot of people who seem to think that will happen. I also agree that Turkey is too important from a geopolitical standpoint for US to break with them. But what I really don't understand is who has the real control in Turkey. It seems to be mainly a massively corrupt corridor of organized crime and smuggling. Does Erdogan really have that much control? From Sy Hersh's recent article we find that our most credible and reliable intelligence says that Erdogan is a huge problem from US standpoint. Now "US standpoint" itself is a fractured thing, so there's that. From the neocon/neolib standpoint, presumably Erdogan is just fine because he is helping destabilize and presumably serves the oligarchs. But from the US military and military intelligence standpoint, apparently he is a major problem. The interesting thing is that in US media, it's clear that they are building an Erdogan villain persona. That's not a good sign for Erdogan.

P.S. I don't have personal like or dislike of Erdogan. I do loathe ISIS and whoever is propping them up. I tend to favor the Kurds, from what I know of them, which is not enough (that does not include the Barzani gang). And I favor the average people who live in these countries and hope they'll be able to have a normal life sometime soon.

Posted by: Joanne Leon | Dec 29, 2015 4:08:30 PM | 86

@From The Hague #52:

Christians they are.

Some examples …

One of the traits of Christians is, that they feel and behave like slaves to jews/Israël.

There are no Orthodox or Lutherans in that list. (Your point about behaving like slaves is well taken though; I know a Lutheran former pastor who is enamored of Judaism, even though that goes completely against Luther's own views.)

Your remark would be easier to take seriously if you hadn't classified Obama as a Christian. (Blair yes; he is just an example of the usual Catholic and English hypocrisy.) I would be surprised if Obama has been baptized. That means that he is not a Christian, if you come at this issue from a liturgical Christian perspective. It is only evangelical Christianity that defines whether a person is a Christian in terms of his or her belief; for Catholics, Anglicans (Episcopalians in US), Lutherans, and Orthodox (the four liturgical churches), it is baptism that matters. Few people know this because it is the evangelicals that set the tone for Christianity in the Anglosphere.

Hehe, after I wrote that, I googled and came up with this:

Obama grew up living all across the world with plenty of spiritual influences, but without any particular religion. He is now a Christian, having been baptized in the early 1990s at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago.
So when I suspected that Obama was not baptized, I was underestimating his handlers. Obama converted to Christianity (on paper) in his thirties, after he had embarked on a political career.

Sorry, that you can take seriously the idea that Obama is a Christian shows, I think, that you have an irrational contempt for Christianity.

I will leave why one should take Putin at his word when he thinks that government should be guided by morality to another comment. (And no, I don't think that Putin is a believer. But that does not stop him from being a Christian in the liturgical sense.)

Posted by: Demian | Dec 29, 2015 5:09:55 PM | 88

Posted by: Joanne Leon | Dec 29, 2015 4:08:30 PM | 86

Nothing like "the Kurds". And nothing to be romantic about. PKK is a Marxist sect killing Turkish/Kurdish conscripts and police, Turkish retaliation leading to utter destruction of Kurdish/Turkish cities/villages. They are designated as a terrorist organization by the EU but are able to run an office in France and the Guardian calls them "activists" - for - you guess it - geopolitical reasons.
Google "PKK" and "extortion" and you will find many court cases proving that PKK are not funded out of solidarity.
Back to "romantic" - PKK definitively is not - "Romantic relationships are strictly forbidden, and all PKK members are celibate." - I leave it to your imagination how this is enforced.
You can compare them to Irish IRA (and US attitudes towards the IRA) or Basque ETA minus the geopolitics.
Turkey is haunted by the clash of Turkish nationalism and Osman empire multicultural heritage. Being situated between Syria, Iraq, Europe, Caucasus/Russia and Iran as a NATO member does not really help either.


Posted by: somebody | Dec 29, 2015 6:38:41 PM | 89

The standardized "Christian Baptism" of American Politicians has served to move the Overton window rightward. This rightward lurch has advanced the exponential growth of the Military Industrial Complex; nurtured in group/out group mentality with its inherent bigotry and xenophobia; my country - right or wrong - patriotism; God Bless America and everyone else can go to hell.

At the extreme, you have Christian Zionists who endeavor to trigger and accelerate "end-times prophesy" at the expense of all life on earth. They are useful tools for the war profiteers and the PNAC/Yinon Plan remapping of the Middle East for Greater Israel.

Posted by: fast freddy | Dec 29, 2015 7:52:55 PM | 90

Demian @ 88, I am sorry to disagree with you on the point about belief. You must be referring to the ecumenical side of Orthodoxy which takes a Christian baptism from a recognized denomination to be that with respect to entering Orthodoxy, and certainly one must be baptized into the church. However, in the performance of that important ceremony, it would not be baptism without the recitation of the Creed, which fundamentally comes down to belief in Christ's resurrection. Without that, one is not, in the Orthodox sense, Christian.

My objection to referring to western disruption of the Middle East as 'Christian' is that ancient Christian communities have been eradicated because of the actions of these so-called 'Christians' with no attention to these perpetrated horrors. That doesn't pass the test for me. But being a Christian woman, as Dorothy's Auntie Em would say.

I'm puzzled you don't think Putin is Christian in more than the sense that he was baptized. The latter is an event often performed before a child has reached the age of determination, so I would count the recitation of the Creed to be what defines the adult Christian. It begins: I believe. . .There is a wonderful body of music that has been composed for it - one I remember has the alto voice simply repeating "I believe" all the way through it. (The recitation of the Creed is an important part of every liturgy.)

Posted by: juliania | Dec 29, 2015 8:56:12 PM | 91

I apologize; I misspoke. The musical rendering of the Creed has the alto voice reciting the text, while the accompanying choir sings "I believe" all along the way, in different chordal harmonies. Wonderful music for the soul.

Posted by: juliania | Dec 29, 2015 9:01:05 PM | 92

ot - christianity/politicians and etc...

i am reading a book right now by marilynne robinson called 'the givenness of things'. i see she was quoted by obama this year : "On June 26, 2015, President Barack Obama quoted Robinson in his eulogy for the Reverend Clementa C. Pinckney of Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina. In speaking about "an open heart," President Obama said: "[w]hat a friend of mine, the writer Marilynne Robinson, calls 'that reservoir of goodness, beyond, and of another kind, that we are able to do each other in the ordinary cause of things.'”

robinson is a thought provoking author - winner of the pulitzer prize and more in literature.. if anyone wants to challenge themselves intellectually, they might enjoy reading this book i am reading which touches on the idea of what it means to be a person in a world that has sort of replaced religion with science...i am enjoying this book! here is one review of the book from the nyt - dec 7 2015 karen armstrong..
karen armstrong is an interesting person herself and i have read some of her books..

Posted by: james | Dec 29, 2015 9:02:39 PM | 93

With respect to believers all the talk about Liturgy and Baptism is moot IMO. Freud came up with guilt-free sex and it was game over for Christianity.

Posted by: dh | Dec 29, 2015 9:03:34 PM | 94

They have moved on in the propaganda narrative. Now Russia is going to disintegrate from within because of the low price of oil and domestic unrest. Or so they say. Neocons are never short a story line. A credible one perhaps but they have no problem with the incredible.

Posted by: Paul Bogdanich | Dec 29, 2015 9:07:52 PM | 95

in re 52 --

Slaves of people you committed genocide against? Slaves of the "Christ Killers'?

Really?

Posted by: rufus magister | Dec 29, 2015 9:48:36 PM | 96

@dh ##94:

Freud came up with guilt-free sex and it was game over for Christianity.

It will be game over for Christianity when Christian values are realized in society. (Hegelian speaking here.) I thought that was beginning to happen after WW II with the welfare state, but it is now clear that I was mistaken. Interestingly, talk of us entering into a "post-Christian" world appeared at the same time that neoliberalism began to dismantle the welfare state.

@juliania #91:

This question of what you have to believe is a complicated one. Yes, the Creed states very nicely what Christians have to believe, but how exactly are you to believe it? Lutherans have to believe that Christ's body and blood are actually present to take communion. What is one to make of this? I am working my way through the Concordia; hopefully things will become a little clearer once I get to the Small Catechism.

By the way, I have come to the conclusion that Western Christians should now look toward Orthodoxy. This is because Western Christianity has failed, because the West has become "post-Christian" while at the same time jettisoning morality. (It goes without saying that the Anglosphere had to incessantly prod the rest of the West to do this.) Russia on the other hand is still Christian.

And then there is the point that you taught me, unless I'm mistaken, that Orthodoxy never had a just war theory.

As for Putin, I didn't mean to suggest that he is Christian only in "the sense that he was baptized". Maybe one should say that there is a third way that one is a Christian, by taking the Christian tradition seriously and as an ideal. Putin is certainly a Christian in this sense.

Posted by: Demian | Dec 29, 2015 10:11:16 PM | 97

Y'all know, the Sky People really aren't that into you, right? Cuz, they ain't real. They are just primitive, simplistic, pre-Scientific Revolution fictions to explain complexity.

Rationalwiki on the theological stylings of Sister Robinson.

The truth of particular religious beliefs are not important to Armstrong. Rather, it is the fact of belief that provides the benefit of religious practice. This would be an example of what Dan Dennett calls "belief in belief"....

Dawkins in his Wall Street Journal exchange with Karen Armstrong spoke of the silliness of any notion of promoting a God who does not exist in a common-sense use of the term. He wrote:

"If sophisticated theologians or postmodern relativists think they are rescuing God from the redundancy scrap-heap by downplaying the importance of existence, they should think again. Tell the congregation of a church or mosque that existence is too vulgar an attribute to fasten onto their God, and they will brand you an atheist. They'll be right."

You'll get a similar answer if you claim the particular content of religious beliefs or practice does not matter as well. Body and blood of Christ, anyone? Is he God? Man? God-Man? Or should that be Man-God? And what's up with the Holy Spirit?

These gentlemen seem to have some very firm and specific views on what their Sky Guy demands and allows. They certainly seem to believe in their belief. I think most religious are more like these guys than what Rationalwiki calls Armstrong's "a religion-generic version of a Cafeteria Christian."

Posted by: rufus magister | Dec 29, 2015 10:43:27 PM | 98

@89 somebody

'Romantic relationships are strictly forbidden, and all PKK members are celibate." - I leave it to your imagination how this is enforced.'

Ho ho ho - you surely shine in... er? Inanity?

Posted by: fredjc | Dec 29, 2015 10:52:43 PM | 99

Speaking of quagmire stories for the Russians, Russia-insider has a couple of articles by some Driezen character making that argument. The author seems to be some kind public affairs officer in the US State Dept. Sort of weird decision by the editors of RI to publish this but I guess they did so to show their readers the emptiness of these arguments. Also Driezen's two articles have set some kind of record for the number of comments so maybe traffic considerations led to the editors decision.

Posted by: ToivoS | Dec 29, 2015 10:53:08 PM | 100

next page »

The comments to this entry are closed.

 

Site Meter