Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 16, 2016

Syrian Kurds Risk Their Gains With New Federalization Demands

Everyone seems to agree that the recent Russian surprise move in Syria is to its advantage. The Russian government declared that it had achieved most of its aims in Syria and decided to continue its operations there with a smaller forces. As the current ceasefire seem to hold the necessity of further air attacks is much diminished. About half of its planes in Syria were ordered to fly back home. Significant forces will stay deployed and the planes could be back within 24 hours should the need arise.

A Russian source on the ground explains how this fits into a larger plan:

Russia has managed to turn the balance of power up side down in six months of its intervention in Syria. Regardless the control of a vast strategic land to the regime in Damascus, the Kremlin forces all parties to sit with Assad representative around the Geneva table when these were rejecting the idea for the last four years of war. Russia is pushing for a free election, within the area under the regime and the rebels’ control, under the supervision of the United Nations.
Russia, according to high-ranking sources, informed Washington, Damascus and Tehran of its step of reducing forces in Syria. The Kremlin expects from the United States to exert its promises to impose on regional parties, i.e. Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, to stop all sorts of weapons and financial supply to all rebels without exception. The USA is confident to obtain from its regional allies in the Middle East this commitment at the cost of joining the bombing, with Russia, of all those willing to continue fighting and violate the open-date Cease-fire in Syria. Saudi Arabia and Turkey see no longer Syria as a possibility to implement their old plans and agreed to act accordingly.

We will see if the U.S. is really committed to this plan. Will it stop arming al-Qaeda or will it launch another crazy attempt to achieve "regime change" in Syria.

It would be out of character for Washington to just let go and to let Russia win the cause. That is why I suspect that the U.S. somehow arranged the following scheme.

The Syrian Kurds have no place at the table in Geneva. Russia has pushed for their inclusion but failed. Still the Kurds are in a decent position. They have military support from the U.S. as well as Russia and the Syrian government has agreed to give them some form of autonomy.

It would have been smart of the Kurds, led by the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), to bag these achievements and to stay out of the way of the further process. The Russians can be trusted to take care of the Kurdish interests in Geneva. But in typical Kurdish fashion they try to go for more and overreach:

A powerful Syrian Kurdish political party announced plans Wednesday to declare a federal region in northern Syria, a model it hopes can be applied to the entire country. The idea was promptly dismissed by Turkey and also the Syrian government team at U.N.-brokered peace talks underway in Geneva.

The declaration was expected to be made at the end of a Kurdish conference that began Wednesday in the town of Rmeilan in Syria's northern Hassakeh province.

The Kurds already have autonomy and there were only few, if any, clashes with the Syrian government. There is no need for them to unilaterally federalize some parts of Syria. There is nothing to win with a federalization that no one else will recognize. To demand federalization now is like opening a can of nasty worms just the moment everyone set down to have a nice meal.

Even worse:

Tensions are high in the Al-Qamishli District today, as the Kurdish “Assayish” forces surround the National Defense Forces (NDF) at the Al-Qamishli security box. Reports from the Al-Qamishli District claim that the Assayish forces have arrested several NDF fighters in what is expected to be their expulsion from northern Syria.
The Al-Qamishli District is ethnically diverse, with Kurds, Assyrians, Armenians, and Arabs all living in this densely populated region.
The Assayish Forces will have their hands full if they attempt to seize all of the government-controlled area because the Assyrian “Gozarto Protection Forces” (GPF) are heavily armed and make-up one of the largest militias in the Al-Hasakah Governorate.

So just as everyone is calming down and working on a political solution the Kurds throw a wrench in the works and start a new fight with Syrian government forces.

I do not understand such thinking. Whatever the future political situation in Syria will be, the Kurds will not gain a viable independent state. The Turks hate them and are instigating new schemes against them by supporting their own splinter Kurdish proxy group. The Barzani mafia in north Iraq does not like the PKK/YPK Kurds at all. Neither Russia nor the U.S. will promise them any long term (financial) support. Whatever they try, the Kurds will continue to depend on the capabilities and monies of a Syrian nation state with the capitol in Damascus. They do not have any income source. Attempts to export oil would be blocked by its neighbors and their borders can not be secured without heavy weapons. 

Why upset the Syrian government and its armed forces when the gains made so far are still reversible?

I can think of no sound reason for the Syrian YPG Kurds to do this now. But it may well be that someone in Washington (or elsewhere?) thought that it would be funny to upset the playing board by pushing the Kurds to take these self-defeating steps. But why would the Kurds agree to do this?

UPDATE: As speculated above the PYD Kurds where told by Washington to do this. See the NYT report quoted here.

Posted by b on March 16, 2016 at 14:45 UTC | Permalink


kurd are a nation by themself.I am a seperatist from québec,i understand them,on the contrary i think it's a good time now.
thank you for your internet site.

Posted by: gast | Mar 16 2016 15:17 utc | 1

So what will emerge in Syria now? A loose republic?

Posted by: aaaa | Mar 16 2016 15:39 utc | 2

thanks b.. i agree with you that this move by kurd reps doesn't make sense and the most likely idea for it's introduction is us meddling.. not much more to say on that, as without knowing - it can only be speculation, based on years of observation i might add..

Posted by: james | Mar 16 2016 15:41 utc | 3

Your last paragraph makes sense considering what's going on over there. After all, between the CIA, the U.S.Allies & Turkey, well, it's just another C-F brought to you by the west.

Posted by: originalone | Mar 16 2016 15:43 utc | 4

Thank you for the excellent coverage and analysis as always, b.

The Syrian Kurds seem more competitors than compatriots of the Iraqi Kurds. It must be galling to them that Barzani's lot is projects trillions in oil earnings in 2016. They became a power by exporting their own oil thru Turkey. The Syrian Kurds always mention wanting greater "control" [money] oover "natural resources [oil].

Wouldn't hurt to keep an eye on Syria's oil & Gas & pipelines. Here's two maps of where they are. scroll down to this map.

Posted by: Penelope | Mar 16 2016 15:52 utc | 5

Expecting rational behavior from the YPG/PKK seems beyond their abilities. This is just another of their strange self destructive moves that can't be blamed on outside forces.

Not that long ago the Kurds in Turkey were a powerful and growing political demographic that stopped Erdogan's political power-play with their votes. After the Islamic State bombing they erupted in a frenzy of bloody violence against not just the government but also civilian targets and threw away all their political gains to return to a war they can never win, they're nuts.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Mar 16 2016 16:01 utc | 6

@7 what about rational thought from the whole region? USA finally lit the fuse that the Anglos and Frogs laid with Sykes–Picot, and now the new, more atomized border redrawing is occuring

Posted by: aaaa | Mar 16 2016 16:30 utc | 7

#1- - -
b: "They do not have any income source."
That's the entire point of federalization.

#2- - -
Putin's pulling out after wading in barely up to his ankles. Although it's always been somewhat speculative, that is precisely what JFK was going to do in VN before the hawks/zionists took him out - he was going to get the f*ck out. What a different country US would be today if JFK had lived to cut short the VN war before it became a war.

#3- - -
Hezbollah is also cutting bait, pulling out of Aleppo and concentrating closer to home. Someone here, I believe, offered the speculation that Putin sees attack on Lebanon coming from Government of Ysrael (GoY). Hezbollah pulling its troops back into the Damascus region would seem to support that speculation. It smells like something is about to blow.

#4- - -
b: "Significant forces will stay deployed and the planes could be back within 24 hours should the need arise."

It will be interesting if all those Su-35 pilots now go on 30 day leave to kick back and medicate their livers w/ good Ruskie vodka. Don't think so. Is there any way for us to know whether they remain on alert?

Maybe Putin is baiting Erdogan into pulling a unilateral "no fly zone" without a UNSC or NATO resolution. A NFZ is one thing that would justify Putin kicking Erdogan's butt, which is going to happen one way or the other.

Posted by: Denis | Mar 16 2016 16:30 utc | 8

"...But why would the Kurds agree to do this?..."

'The Kurds' never agreed to do it, b. The usurped PYD party and their Asayish Gestapo in Jazira and Kobane cantons are doing it for their own purposes for their own reasons. Little people Kurds that complain too much will get a visit in the middle of the night from the Asayish and disappear.

The PYD in Afrin is another whole mystery and soap opera - they may as well not even be considered the same organization as the ones in Kobane and Jazira. Similar in name and structure, but usurped for a marginally different set of objectives by slightly different parties. I can't even begin to understand all the moving pieces in Afrin.

"...Whatever the future political situation in Syria will be, the Kurds will not gain a viable independent state..."

The western intelligence usurpers of the PYD work for Team Chaos. They could care less about the Rojava or a viable state. The fake PYD is only designed to agitate for independence, prolong the fighting and keep the Rojava weak and lightly armed (= chaos). Barzani's long game for a unified Kurdistan (that he controls) only requires the PYD to maintain control over the Rojava until they are subjugated to Barzanistan.

The PYD political party (at least in Kobane and Jazira cantons) was never elected masters of their Rojava subjects - they simply declared themselves masters one day and began acting as if the Rojava ARE their subjects. Kobane was 'allowed' to be overrun intentionally to cement the PYD's grip on power in that canton. ISIS was 'steered' to Kobane to get rid of any independent-minded Kurds that wouldn't get on their knees to the new fake PYD. It's the same way ISIS was 'steered' to Sinjar to take out the Ezidis that wouldn't get on their knees to the Barzani clan and the KDP. ISIS does the ethnic cleansing and kills the leaders, then it's driven away so the new western-approved masters can 'reclaim' their cities.

Under the influence of western intelligence services, the PYD re-fashioned the Asayish (previously canton security) into a kind of Gestapo to ensure their continuous control of the Rojava no matter what the outcome of the Syrian war. That started in Jazira at al Qamishli because that's where the oil is. It shouldn't be any mystery why there was a meeting of Kurd leadership in Rmeilan, of all places.

"...Attempts to export oil would be blocked by its neighbors and their borders can not be secured without heavy weapons..."

Um... I think they're exporting an awful lot of oil right now through NW Iraq. The Rmeilan oilfields are producing and the crude is making its way up to Batman for refining. I don't think the Mosel pipeline is still open, but they're trucking it up to the illegal oil markets on the Syrian/Iraqi/Turkish border. The same ones ISIS used. This is how the PYD is funding itself.

Oil smuggling, of course, is Barzani's main source of income - their clan made its millions in Iraq on cross-border oil smuggling. The YPG and local Arab tribes don't need any heavy weaponry to secure the Rmeilan fields, transport the oil or sell it. Barzani's clan is a willing participant in the Syrian oil theft and has been for years. The only parties that threaten the Kurdish oil theft operations are 1) ISIS - no longer a factor in far N.E. Syria, and 2) the Syrian government (because it's their oil and oil fields) - also no longer a factor. Part of the sacrifice of Sinjar and the Ezidis was for Barzani to secure the Syrian/Iraq border for oil smuggling. The Ezidis wanted their own autonomous region around Sinjar and Barzani couldn't allow that.

There are layers of political reasons for the PYD to do what it's doing, but one significant one is to fund itself with stolen Syrian oil. Another longer-range one of interest to Barzani is to provide a secure route through Jazira canton for a Kurdish oil pipeline. The northern Iraqi (now Kurdish) pipelines traveling up and around the tip of Syria are vulnerable to sabotage by the PKK. The PYD (and Barzani) someday hope for a Kurdish pipeline on Kurdish soil all the way to the Mediterranean. Which is also a good reason for Erdogan to go psycho about a unified Syrian Kurdistan. How can the Erdogan crime empire profit from the skim if the Kurds won't use his Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline?

"...The Barzani mafia in north Iraq does not like the PKK/YPK Kurds at all..."

Yet Barzani does seem to have connections with the PYD and partners with them to sell stolen oil. The Rojava YPG/YPJ militias are 'little people' Kurds to Barzani - good for the meat grinder to secure more oil fields, but not much else. Barzani looks to the de facto masters of the Rojava - the usurped PYD political party and their Asayish Gestapo - for arranging deals and making money.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Mar 16 2016 16:34 utc | 9

But why would the Kurds agree to do this?


Common cause with those other 'stateless' folks who told themselves, and the world, that there were no signs of human habitation or enterprise in arid, rocky, infertile, unproductive, 1940 Palestine (right next door to Syria).

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 16 2016 16:44 utc | 10

I heard Joshua Landis talk about Syria last month and he referred to a Kurdistan in northern Syria as a fait accompli. I thought that was strange at the time- maybe he was referring to an autonomous zone?

That wasn't my impression though- it felt like a thought bubble from think tank land.

Posted by: Nana2007 | Mar 16 2016 16:45 utc | 11

Gast @ 1: Re French Canada, the British and VietNam.

1945,British Gen. Gracey (junior to Lord Mountbatten) brought British troops to Saigon after first asking permission from local leaders to enter in order to take the Japanese surrender.

US Pres. Truman at Potsdam conference in March had just agreed with the British to divide the French colony at the 16th parallel just north of Danang.{So VN already quietly divided in 1945. This was done at Potsdam Conference, but without knowledge of Stalin; "since affairs in Cochin China did not concern him".

The entire affair was also kept from the top OSS rep in the area, who had established liaison with HoChiMinh; Archimedes Patti was with Ho and witnessed Ho's independence declaration in Hanoi. Shortly after, as the war was now over, he was surprised (!) to discover that French Civil Service were being returned on American Liberty ships loaned to France; France took back "their" colony.

Gracey entered Saigon, took the Japanese surrender, immediately rearmed the Japanese with orders to hold the country until the French Civil Service returned to re-establish control of their colony.

It was a double-cross of the local population. who thought they were free of the Japanese and no longer a French colony.

The British gave the French quite a gift! But what did the France do in exchange for this British action?

Perhaps the answer may be found in eastern Canada, namely, the long-simmering Quebecois Separatist movement that opposed British dominion.
Eastern Canada grew progressively quiet with minimal support from France.

Posted by: moafan | Mar 16 2016 16:47 utc | 12

Kurds are making this announcement to threat the negotiating parties of a breakup of Syria territorial integrity unless they are included in the Geneva negotiations.

Kurds have been excluded from Geneva and neither Russia nor the Syrian government have sufficiently insisted that they are part of the negotiation. Turkey and Saudi Arabia fear that their inclusion will shift the power balance toward the Syrian government. To please these countries, the USA has not objected to the exclusion of its best allies in the ISIS war.
With this exclusion the Kurds feel insulted as they are told that they have no say in Syria's future.
As both parties of the negotiations and the UN have repeatedly call for a unified Syria, the Kurds announcement is a threat to split Syria unless they are included in the negotiations.
Turkey is now worried that their insistence of excluding the Kurds is blowing back and may lead to worse result. They may drop their objection.
As a result of this announcement, we may see a shift in favor of the Kurds to be part of the Geneva negotiations

Posted by: virgile | Mar 16 2016 16:54 utc | 13

Syria Kurds earning millions from oil sales

22/09/2015 NOW

“Syrian Kurdistan has been exporting its oil from the Rmeilan refinery using a pipeline built by the Baath party government,” Iraqi Kurdish Rudaw news reported Monday. “[The oil is then] transferred to the Alyuka refinery in the [Iraqi Kurdish] Zumar area, from there to Fishkhabour, and then on to Turkey’s Ceyhan port.”

A “well informed source” told the agency that “the revenue from importing this oil exceeds $10 million” a month, a massive boon for the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) that has overseen a dramatic expansion of territory as Kurdish troops have rolled back ISIS in recent months.

The PYD’s booming oil business is being operated in co-operation with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), which has been at odds with the Syrian Kurds politically.

The PYD political party is making tens of millions, not the Rojava Kurds (who don't see a penny of it). Barzani's KDP colludes with the PYD for this oil theft.

The YPG/YPJ militias are marginally involved, but ultimately they are a threat to the PYD's power. The PYD is busy raising its own Gestapo army, the Asayish, to maintain control of Syrian Rojava Kurdistan DESPITE the existence of the YPG/YPJ. The YPG/YPJ's close ties to the PKK only make them more of a threat to the PYD.

Barzani tried to insert his military influence over the YPG/YPJ last year by (supposedly) finding 3000 Rojava volunteers in Syria, training and equipping them as Peshmerga in Iraq and then trying to send them back to Syria. The Rojava rejected them as agents of Barzani and refused to let them back into Syria. Most were not even Syrian. The PYD *wanted* this Barzani army inside Syria to lord over the YPG/YPJ. Since that failed, the PYD has been expanding the Asayish to be their thugs to control the Rojava.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Mar 16 2016 17:48 utc | 14

Long live the thousand year Corduene

Posted by: Cresty | Mar 16 2016 17:50 utc | 15

If they do this, they will face the SAA on one side and the Turks on the other. The US will stand back and do nothing, other than arming them to enhance the bloodshed and destruction. Syria would be destabilised, and Turkish-grabbed territory blocking the link between Syria and Iran.

The Kurds should stay away from sweet promises from the AngloZionists. But will they?

Posted by: Yonatan | Mar 16 2016 18:33 utc | 16

what does this all mean for assad? is the conservative led foreign policy the deep state has been operating under since 2001 still in play or have both sides (the west and russia) moving to a new deal regarding the fate of so many secular and moderately religious syrians? Did the West just give Putin all he wants economically in exchange for leaving Syria? It's tough to decipher what the hell is going on right now.

Posted by: Au | Mar 16 2016 19:11 utc | 17

Disgraceful by b. Not once does he mention that millions of Kurds, let alone Syrian Kurds, actually deserve and are entitled to their human rights of sovereignty.
Obviously the Kurds do not trust the Syrian government or the Russians with Kurdish human rights, and the Kurds are spot on not to.
But people like B would never want expose the Russians and Putin, for the biased fanboys they really are in this crucial area of Kurdish rights.

Of course there is geopolitical BS involved they can have serious consequences, but to willingly ignore Kurdish sovereignty, self determination and their human rights is a disgrace. And b says he can't think of any good reasons for this action. Amazing. Why focus on corrupt Iraqi Kurds leadership instead of the Iraqi Kurdish people ?
This is the closest in a lond time that the Kurds got to self-determination and they are seeing how far they can take it.

Posted by: tom | Mar 16 2016 19:25 utc | 18

My post #13 above reply to "Gast @ 1", paragraphs not in order.

Para # 3 "The entire affair..." and the link both belong at the end of the post.

Posted by: moafan | Mar 16 2016 19:29 utc | 19

They do not have any income source

i don't know how things were before, but the war has apparently inspired a booming marijuana industry all across the north from at least as far west as Idlib to at least as far east as Amude..., i know, it's not fossil fuel

Posted by: john | Mar 16 2016 19:43 utc | 20

I agree 100 percent

Posted by: gast | Mar 16 2016 19:44 utc | 21

moafan @13 Lord Mountbatten

"Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas Mountbatten was born in Windsor on 25 June 1900. A German aristocrat, as the son of Prince Louis of Battenberg and Princess Victoria of Hesse, he also shared close links with the British royal family (his great grandmother was Queen Victoria and he himself was uncle to Prince Philip).

Mountbatten's father was first sea lord at the outbreak of World War One, but anti-German feeling forced his resignation. In 1917, the family changed their name from Battenberg to the less-Germanic sounding Mountbatten."

source -

Au @ 18 - "what does this all mean for assad?"

Last evenings NBS national news referred to Assad as a 'dictator.'

Posted by: ALberto | Mar 16 2016 20:13 utc | 22

@10/15 paveway... thanks for your informed comments.. really appreciated.. i am curious to know how b ingests them.

Posted by: james | Mar 16 2016 20:15 utc | 23

@ ALberto 25

Waiting for the Donald to be interviewed by Lady Jane R. as she did Obama in 2008 before the "selection" - Yes, the interview was reported at TPM TakingPointsMemo with the posted article on the event disappearing into cyber space.

AND YES, as the State of Israel bonds are U.S. government guaranteed all aspiring culled presidential candidates must be vetted by AIPAC and followed by a visit to the WW,. Ask Reuters, in 2011 when S&P downgraded the US they listed all affected entities; low and behold there was the guarantee on those bonds. The guarantee is additional to the annual billions of stipends. Special rights of the master shall not be denied.

Posted by: likklemore | Mar 16 2016 21:26 utc | 24

Daesh Daily report from yesterday:

The Syria Democratic Forces are preparing to launch a campaign to enter Daesh-held Manbij, according to a “well-placed source” in the Tishrin Dam area where the SDF holds territory east of Aleppo. Reinforcements have arrived in the last two days, the source said, including heavy weapons, tanks, artillery, and anti-tank missiles, delivered by American planes. Qasioun’s correspondent reports that Daesh has reinforced its positions inside Manbij, including erecting new checkpoints every night and conducting raid and arrest campaigns in the city, targeting those suspected of having contact with opposition factions. Daesh has also been transferring its foreign families to Raqqa in anticipation of the fighting for Manbij.

Source cited is Qasioun (in Arabic), but the link does not work. Daesh Daily consolidates and occasionally comments on ISIS topics reported on other Arabic language sites, including those of ISIS itself. While it's difficult to verify each report, Daesh Daily does seem to avoid articles of obvious propaganda or outright lies. It points out questionable reports when appropriate and takes an otherwise neutral tone when summarizing reports.

If this is true, then it will be interesting to see how Turkey reacts. Manbij is part of their envisioned 'Safe Zone' - or at least part of the southern border. Turkey, at times, has identified taking Manjib as a red line, similar to warning the Kurds away from crossing the Euphrates at Jarabulus. Manbij is 30km from the Turkish border and within Turkish artillery range. U.S. Special Forces are assumed to be part of the SDF forces that would be advancing on Manbij.

One would think Erdogan's world would become excruciatingly more complex if he smoked a couple of JTACs working Manbij.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Mar 16 2016 21:36 utc | 25

After the annexion of the Kirkuk oil-fields in June 2014, Israël and France have managed to continue the extension of the territory governed by the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq (annexing of the Sinjar Mountains) and launching the conquest of the non-Kurdish territories in the North of Syria by the YPG, now known as the "Syrian Democratic Forces". They intend, finally, to unite the two entities and proclaim the independence of a phoney Kurdish state.

There you have it, the answer was formulated by Meyssan 5 months ago on 23 November 2015

The aim is obviously to liberate the North of Syria from Daesh - but not to return it to Syria, but to proclaim an independent state under Kurdish authority.

Russia did not oppose the resolution, and voted for it. It seems that it prefers for the moment to profit from the Franco-Israeli plan in order to push Daesh out of Syria, without necessarily accepting the principle of a pseudo-Kurdistan.

Posted by: cambo | Mar 16 2016 21:41 utc | 26

I'd like to know whether the PYD represents the interests of all or most Syrian Kurds. I suspect not. Perhaps most Syrian Kurds are actually just happy to be rid of ISIS and are willing to work with Damascus with regard to reconstruction and restoration for the time being.

It may be that the PYD has been put up to making excessive demands and expecting them to be met by the US or parties close to the US. Perhaps the US sees in the PYD an opportunity for a new colour revolution based on ethnic differences, since the religious Sunni-versus-everyone-else difference card failed.

The Syrian government should stick to its guns (heh heh) and continue with its reconciliation and reconstruction plans. If the majority of Kurdish people agree to work with Damascus, we'll see how much support and what kind of support the PYD gets from them.

Posted by: Jen | Mar 16 2016 22:04 utc | 27

@19 tom,

while the kurds may deserve a 'homeland' the big players including russia are dancing a real geo-political dance figuring out a way to capitalize on it all too.. if someone doesn't show there hand, does that mean they are automatically guilty? it is a big poker game with a lot of players..

Posted by: james | Mar 16 2016 22:20 utc | 28

Didn't Kerry say something like "The Bear has seen the light" a few days ago?

Posted by: hbm | Mar 17 2016 0:56 utc | 29

@ Alberto and others,

Please use a link shortener (like when you post long links.
Long links mess up the comment width,
making it tedious to read and post.
Thanks from everyone.

Posted by: kafkananda | Mar 17 2016 1:19 utc | 30

@ All,

And if the comment thread gets messed up,
just break up your sentences by hitting 'enter',
so as to keep new longer sentences to the left margin.
That keeps the disfunction to the offending post and
we can read the others more easily.
Otherwise, it is a pain, it is a pain, it is a pain, it is a pain, it is a pain, it is a pain, it is a pain, it is a pain, it is a pain, it is a pain, etc.


Posted by: kafkananda | Mar 17 2016 1:30 utc | 31

Cambo @28,

This quote is from the Voltaire link you gave:

[Res 2249] "authorises the major powers to interfere as long as they pretend to be fighting against Daesh [14]. The aim is obviously
to liberate the North of Syria from Daesh – but not to return it to Syria, but to proclaim an independent state under Kurdish authority."

"Russia did not oppose the resolution, and voted for it. It seems that it prefers for the moment to profit from the Franco-Israeli
plan in order to push Daesh out of Syria, without necessarily accepting the principle of a pseudo-Kurdistan. The creation of such a
state has no legitimacy in international law – the Kurds of Syria are not oppressed, but enjoy the same rights as other citizens."

We discussed 2249 really a lot at the time. Obviously there is a deep game being played here & we are not privy to anybody's intentions
except the amateur Erdogan & of course Assad. It appears to me that US & Israel are "one firm" and that the intention is to conquer all--
or reduce them to chaos impotent to resist formation of their oligarchical global govt. This govt is being formed in bits and pieces/
WTO, IMF, BIS, TTIP and the global warming hoax are all parts of robbing sovereign states of their powers.

I would think that Turkey is a better target than Syria simply because Syria is sufficiently weakened for decades to come.
Certainly TPTB will not permit Turkey to strengthen herself further with stolen lands. I've no doubt that the Russian action in
Syria was agreed upon with the US, but I cannot guess where the limits of their cooperation lie. If we bear in mind that TPTB are
taking down the economic power of both the EU & the US-- insofar as it benefits the people-- then it becomes mandatory that
Turkey also be weakened. It's a dastardly world we live in, eh?
This re-opens the question of the rights of minorities which was already opened by the creation of Kosovo by NATO.
It authorises de facto all ethnic groups, whatever their political situation, to demand an independent state. This implies
the dissolution of most of the states in the world – including France – and the triumph of « globalisation ».

Posted by: Penelope | Mar 17 2016 1:40 utc | 32

Please use a link shortener (like when you post long links.
Long links mess up the comment width, making it tedious to read and post.
Thanks from everyone.
Posted by: kafkananda | Mar 16, 2016 9:19:35 PM | 33 & 34

I sympathise but, having rarely used the "href" facility nor ever posted a format-disrupting comment, there's surely something more specific to the format problem than that?
For example, which comment on Page 2 of the Open Thread messed it up, and why do most multi-line links not have the stated effect?
Also, in theory at least, one would expect the effect of a disruptive comment to show up at the Preview stage.
I notice that b's links are usually shortened, which probably makes it a good idea.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 17 2016 2:30 utc | 33

@ 37 Hoarsewhisperer,

Not an IT guy, so can't give an explanation, but it happens enough to
be a concern. Maybe someone else can shed more light on the problem.

Posted by: kafkananda | Mar 17 2016 3:45 utc | 34

Gast, the US will pick apart a "sovereign" Quebec like a boiled chicken.

Posted by: ruralito | Mar 17 2016 3:47 utc | 35

@37 Hoarsewhisperer - Since you were curious, most URLs that are long have words broken up by dashes (-) or slashes (/) and this punctuation is what allows long URLs to break into multiple lines. The killer is when someone has a bunch of data in the URL that only a computer could love, like what seems to be a random sequences of characters that go on forever without any breaking punctuation in it. This is what is breaking the format.

Personally I hate link shorteners because I can't see where the link is going or mouse over and see the source of whatever is being cited in a comment. And in threads like this especially it's good to be able to mouse over a link and see where it comes from.

As a long-time webmaster I would feel it my responsibility to make sure long URLs don't break my page format, and I'm surprised that the underlying platform here doesn't suppress those errors.

But, I would even more hate to lay that on b, who does a hero's job here, for which I'm enormously grateful. So I guess I must try to remember to use href links most of the time.

Posted by: Grieved | Mar 17 2016 3:53 utc | 36

@moafan - the British didn't help themselves by doing ethnic cleansing, ripping families apart in Acadia after the French had taken the sermon to the King of England, and killing quite a few of them in the process. Then, when the British got their hands on Quebec, the French colonists were forbidden to be merchants of any kind, the British then importing Jews from the UK to do this kind of work. We still remember. Je me souviens.

p.s. The Anglophone attitude has hardly improved, the Anglos in Quebec going to the UN to defend their human rights for parking tickets written solely in French in a province where 80% speak French.

Posted by: Mischi | Mar 17 2016 4:13 utc | 37

Kurds are between a rock blah blah. The thing is if kurds don't pull some attention seeking stunts, they will be forgotten.
e.g. During ww2 the only effective internal resistance to Nazi occupation was from cells organised by CP members. Yet when it came time to discuss carve up and who gets what, Russia sat back staying schtum while western Europe was handed over to nazi collaborators or at best those who sat on their hands during occupation. De Gaulle ended up with France despite his FFA's actions outside of north Africa being minimal and pretty much non-existent apart from carefully stage managed media events .

The resistance story was rewritten to exclude the many CP activists who had provided escape networks for jews and usuk servicemen as well as disrupting communication and supply lines, especially at the time of the usuk invasion.

No one gets anything unless they demand it - staying quiet in this situation is a mug's game.
Kurds would have to be crazy to just sit back and let the same thing happen to them that has happened to every other movement who has done what they are told and left major decisions entirely up to the big boys united only by their self interest.

Staying quiet would require Syria's kurds to trust politicians and diplomats from Russia and the US over issues that have been won in no small part thanks to the sacrifice of thousands of Syrian Kurds - to spit on the memories of their martyrs in the name of realpolitik even though no one else has any interest in advancing Syrian Kurds' issues. That is just not going to happen.

Everyone but Kurds themselves believes that Kurds are simply 'inconvenient' right up to the point where someone is needed to get something done, in which case YPG is the first port of call.
There is no doubt that whatever comes outta the 'peace process' will include some form of federalism, albeit with sufficient central government control to prevent anywhere in Syria from becoming a home for head choppers.
Even with all the probable controls on Syrian state governments, Turkey and to a lesser extent Iran, are still gonna fight like fuck to try and prevent this.

From a Kurdish point of view that means right now, when Turkish credibility is at an all time low, is the exact right time to push for a Kurdish state within a Syrian confederation.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Mar 17 2016 4:17 utc | 38

@39 ruralito. The US won't have time to pick apart a sovereign Quebec. The French from France are doing it right now, thanks to the accords that Quebec and France have signed. You cannot walk down the street in Montreal without hearing a Parisian accent, and cannot go for a job interview without running into a French HR person. They even have apartment buildings reserved and named Le Hexagone. And many of these French are Jewish.

Posted by: Mischi | Mar 17 2016 4:22 utc | 39

LONG LINKS - sorry, more distraction from the discussion. Two tools to ease the angst with long links...


Use HREF= ... to make a decent link


Posted by: Grieved | Mar 17 2016 4:25 utc | 40

In Quebec the old francophones were slowly ageing and dying away. Then immigration from all over the francophone world changed that and Quebec is now a solid French enclave again, je me souvien? Kinda.
Putin is a smart guy, he whupped the Islamozombies enough to give Assad a huge chance, Bibi told him about the upcoming war in Lebanon, Putin told Nasrallah and he told the GCC that the problem is with Hezbollah, not the Lebanese people.
The Saudis refused to hand over the money for military upgrades in Lebanese army since they don't want to waste that money on equipment they are going to have the Jews destroy anyway.
Russia will let the Israelis have their fun and mess up Hezbollah and spit a bit at Assad who might have gotten too cocky and isn't listening to the Russians anymore.
The Kurds will be crushed, the Turks will ally with Assad and Iran to crush them. No one wants the Kurds to get their own country, they are too valuable now in their current state. The ability to create further chaos is priceless, why throw that all away? That is why they have no seat at the table, that is why USA uses them as shovels for shit.

Posted by: Fernando Arauxo | Mar 17 2016 5:23 utc | 41

Fernando, no, the old francophones were not ageing and dying away but the growth rate did not match Morgan Stanley's expectations so they had to increase the inflow of people to drive down the wages and suppress the vote for separation.

Posted by: Mischi | Mar 17 2016 5:54 utc | 42

I'm sorry guys/gals but there is simply no way that I will use a 'service' such as bitly just because entering a full url may be inconvenient. Bitly which appears to be a privately held piece of the Zuckerman corporate group uses these links as a way of aiding corporate data mining & as their TOS points out anything else which they (Bitly) deem appropriate.

I realise I am pissing in the wind with this stuff most people have simply given up on trying to keep anything on the net secure and rightly behave as if everything is out there for whoever, but a couple of salient points about the reality of 'free' or loss leading provision of internet services need be considered.

There is no such thing as free I'm sure we are all aware that these services are monetarised at some stage, but how many consider where/how the funds come from to underwrite the cost of services such as Bitly until they can be sufficiently monetarised to trade in the black.

These services which are financed by amazon google apple et al come from the huge tax free profits that the big net corporates have been accumulating since the world changed in 2008.
In one way the neoliberal governments who have dominated us all for a decade or more are correct, they can't afford to pay for health housing education or welfare any more, because the world largest corporations simply fail to pay tax in any meaningful amounts, anywhere. Of course the solution is to tax the bastards but we all know the chances of an Obama, Clintom, Cameron or Hollande doing that are laughable.

The big net transnationals have huge sums of cash sloshing about which they are 'investing' in everything from classy dramas on TV to Bitly, all aimed at dominating markets until all the traditional players are driven out because they cannot afford to compete. Once that happens see how much a Netflix or Amazon TV connection costs then.

So no I won't use Bitly or any of its competitors - it is impossible to completely avoid using all these parasites but I'm gonna try to reduce my patronage to zero of any inessentials such as Bitly.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Mar 17 2016 7:20 utc | 43

@ Mischi #41 (my previous post had wrong dates.)

As the French-British affairs in Canada persist so long in unsettled and grating condition, I am guessing that outsiders are covertly encouraging the hostility.

The British action in 1945 used a ruse to inject their army into southern Cochin China (later VietNam) to then take control and rearm the Jap. occupiers until French could put VN back into colonial status. Using the British was the only way France could get back into their rich colony. There must have been a quid-pro-quo benefit from France to England for such a maneuver.

What did France give to England in return? What did they have to give?
England wanted no Separatist breakaway in "French" Canada; and they were broke and war-damaged and in no way could afford to wage an expensive suppression of Quebec. Voila! France could easily keep the lid on Separatist activity.

FD Roosevelt was outspoken that colonies should have right to self-determination; FDR gave orders thru Donovan/OSS not to help the French. Then he died in April and HS Truman took over and rejected those policies. France was not at the July 1945 Potsdam Conf. (with Churchill/Atlee and Stalin} and HST and Atlee divided VN ostensibly so British would take the Jap. surrender in the south, and Chiang Kai Shek' army take it in the north. That happened and not many heard about it.

(My earlier post had wrong dates for FDR' death and Potsdam Conf.)

Posted by: moafan | Mar 17 2016 9:16 utc | 44

Debs is dead | Mar 17, 2016 3:20:05 AM | 47

Yep. I agree and refuse to kow to the mass market forces. I don't do Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or any other social media. I don't use Google Chrome, Firefox, IE, and use a Russian e-mail, browser. and anti-virus program.
I don't comment much on media blogs, either. I use Duckduckgo and Ixquick Search Engine; both non-tracking and excellent.

Posted by: V. Arnold | Mar 17 2016 10:17 utc | 45

Here's a website most won't have seen.
The blog of Sociology Prof, in Berlin: Andreas Schlüter
Some in German but mostly English.

Posted by: okie farmer | Mar 17 2016 10:29 utc | 46

Debs @ 47: "all aimed at dominating markets until all the traditional players are driven out because they cannot afford to compete. Once that happens see how much a Netflix or Amazon TV connection costs then."

THAT, Debs, is the sole reason for most of the turmoil 'round the globe today. Business uber alles!

Don't think the major PTB will ever let the Kurds attain autonomy, they have resources to plunder.

Posted by: ben | Mar 17 2016 14:26 utc | 47

Today, The Syrian Kurds made good their intent and declared the Federation of Northern Syria - “Rojava”

But there is this little blurb, which IMO, indicate it is a ploy to get an invite to Geneva.

“[..] Nassan stressed, however, that federalization does not mean the Kurdish people will go down the "path of separatism."
“Therefore, I believe that the international players, primarily Russia and the United States will support this approach and advocate for its implementation,” he said.

The move comes after the Syrian Kurdish PYD party's exclusion from political talks in Geneva aimed at ending the Syrian crisis.[.]

However, Moscow has strongly insisted that the Kurds be invited to upcoming peace talks, suggesting that leaving them out could endanger Syria's territorial integrity. Staffan de Mistura, the UN envoy to Syria, has also said the Syrian Kurds deserve a spot at the negotiating table in Geneva.

'Against the constitution'

A source within the Foreign and Expatriates Ministry has warned against any attempt to undermine Syria's unity and territorial integrity, SANA reported.
“Raising the issue of a federation or that of federalization would affect the territorial integrity of Syria, which goes against the constitution, the national concepts and international resolutions,” the source told the media outlet.[.]

~ ~ ~ ~

@ Gaast 1 @ ruralito 39

Not to worry; Quebec is not going anywhere –sucking on the teats of the rest of Canada is too sweet. The last four elections proved the igadgeters are NOT interested in the separatists' movement. “Referendum to separate “ is the feared phrase that dare not be uttered during election campaigns. Old separatists are still dreaming …all the way to their resting places in the cemetery.

Posted by: likklemore | Mar 17 2016 14:58 utc | 48

Remarks to comments above:

Oil: There isn't enough oil in the Kurdish areas to finance a nation state. Some 10 millions is small change, not a viable budget. The transport routes are all through unfriendly areas and could be shut down anytime.

Notice how one of the two pipelines from Kurdish Iraq through Turkey was shut down recently by the Turks. That was to remind the Brazani mafia that they better do as Erdogan says. Also: Iraq Kurdistan is currently bankrupt. The people on the statelet pay role have not been paid for some 6 month now. The situation in east Turkey will not get better anytime soon. More conflict there will be the end of the Barzani independence dreams which depends on Turkish support. The Iraqi Kurds will again have to find an agreement with the government in Baghdad.


@Tom and others - Kurds as a viable people or nation state are a fantasy. There are three Kurdish languages which are not mutually intelligible. Additionally to those languages the Kurds in Iran learned Farsi in school, in Iraq and Syria Arabic, in Turkey Turkish. This for the last 100+ years which in itself makes for lots of cultural differences between those inner Kurdish groups. There is no unique, united Kurdish people, just various clans and tribes (who often hate each other) thrown together..

As soon as there is no outer enemy the Kurds tend to fight each other. Remember when the Brazani clan begged Saddam Hussein to help him kill off the followers of the Talabani clan? (He helped) A new country Kurdistan would be just as much fun for its people like the new country South Sudan is to its people.

There are sound reasons why the Kurds over centuries never managed to get their own state. Dig a bit into history and you will find them. These sound reasons still exist.


The PYD folks confirm to the NYT that the federalization idea was planted and supported by the U.S. just as I assumed.

Syrian Kurds Hope to Establish a Federal Region in Country’s North

The proposal for a federal system has lately been floated by former Obama administration officials and publicly considered by Secretary of State John Kerry, but rejected not only by the Syrian government but by much of the opposition as well.
“Federalism is going to save the unity of a whole Syria,” said Ibrahim Ibrahim, a spokesman for the Democratic Union Party, or P.Y.D., the leftist Syrian Kurdish party that plays a leading role in the Kurdish areas of Syria.
The discussion is about the possibility of a federal system not only for Kurdish-majority areas but for all of Syria, according to Mr. Ibrahim and three other officials and P.Y.D. members, who were all briefed on the talks or participated in them.

They emphasized that the entity would not be called a Kurdish region but rather a federal region of northern Syria, with equal rights for Arabs and Turkmens.

And they strongly hinted that it was not their idea, but that it was being pushed by the Americans and other powers. A former senior administration official, Philip Gordon, and others recently floated a proposal to divide Syria into zones roughly corresponding to areas now held by the government, the Islamic State, Kurdish militias and other insurgents.

Posted by: b | Mar 17 2016 15:45 utc | 49

@50 thanks b... your speculation didn't surprise me and this revelation doesn't either.. thanks for the greater insight on kurd diversity and the likelihood of a state for all kurds.. perhaps it is a wet dream for some of the players, but makes little sense when looked at more closely..

Posted by: james | Mar 17 2016 16:03 utc | 50

Thanks b,

"And they strongly hinted that it was not their idea, but that it was being pushed by the Americans."

One guess, the group behind the Americans on the idea.
as always, the maggot in the ointment that contaminates.

Posted by: likklemore | Mar 17 2016 16:18 utc | 51

likklemore, I find it interesting that you consider it to be still acceptable to hate on the Québecois.

Posted by: mischi | Mar 17 2016 16:49 utc | 52

Funny the Guardian headline, though I presume the same everywhere else: John Kerry: Isis is committing genocide in Syria and Iraq. I would have thought that genocide was about the only crime you couldn't accuse ISIS of. They haven't killed that many in fact. They've committed pretty much every other sort of crime, but not deaths in large numbers (yet). They're perfectly capable of doing so of course. You might be able to say they were genociding the Yazidis, but are the Yazidis numerous to call a people? They're only a small Kurdish sect.

But I would never want to accuse Kerry of terminological precision. He is not bothered. Any expression will do.

Posted by: Laguerre | Mar 17 2016 17:29 utc | 53

@50 b: I totally agree with this analysis - and this suggests that this IS Kerry's plan B. I think the US is going after 'leverage' within the PYD to effect a 'border-zone', which may have the prospect of a pipeline! This is, of course, highly speculative and we are not privy to any agreement between partners of the Geneva peace-process. It also appears that Sultan Erdogan is upset about this as he obviously thinks that this region of northern Syria is his own land, and the fact that PYD forces commanded, probably, by US special forces advancing on his border presents certain problems!

Interesting times indeed!

Just a thought - there are indications that Israel may again have a go at the Lebanon(Hezbollah forces regrouping, Saudi destabilization of economy, intercepted arms shipments, etc.) - in which case they would likely attempt a strike at the Russian S400 system in Syria to gain air supremacy - and this may be the reason for the Russian pull-out of assets from the scene? Why would Israel want to go to war with Lebanon? I think it's the Leviathan gas fields in the Med lying off of Israel/Lebanon/Cyprus that's the answer to that one(

Cheers, Fred

Posted by: fredjc | Mar 17 2016 17:43 utc | 54

Isis is committing genocide in Syria and Iraq

well, generate a headline, it's the cheapest way to keep our 'ghost army' in the news.

Posted by: john | Mar 17 2016 17:54 utc | 55

some of the folks commenting on the ot quebec topic are giving themselves away for the trolls they are...

Posted by: james | Mar 17 2016 18:10 utc | 56

Putin has warned (in the context of Kurdish Fed Fantasy/ Geneva talks) that Russian military can be back in Syria "within hours."
(via CCTV March 18)

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 17 2016 18:12 utc | 57

As a diehard francophone the only solution for the québécois is for more autonomy within the Canadas. This is very much achieveable if they help sustain the other French areas in North America with soft power, i.e. Northern Maine and Lousiana. The Kurds have no hope and will be crushed, everyone hates them because they think they are better than everyone else in that latrine called the Middle East.

Posted by: Fernando | Mar 17 2016 18:22 utc | 58

Somewhat interesting digression on the topic of Qc independance but to conflate the Kurd's situation with that of the Québécois is clearly uninformed.
Kurds are spread over four nations, francophone are mostly in Qc with some in New Brunswick but forget Maine & Louisiana, those are well integrated (assimilated?) into US culture. In any case, "le nerfs de la guerre" for nation building is controlling resources and neither the Qc people nor Kurds (except for the Barzani mafia) control theirs. Case in point: Who owns the "made in Qc" Eska bottled water brand? An affiliate of Morgan, Stanley & Co..

Posted by: Lozion | Mar 17 2016 19:14 utc | 60

As a diehard francophone the only solution for the québécois is for more autonomy within the Canadas.
Good for you, but I doubt that anything will happen.

The Kurds have no hope and will be crushed,
That is not at all true. The Kurds of Syria and Iraq will have their autonomy, but not independence, because their economies don't allow it. In Turkey, who knows what's going to happen? The Turks, not only Erdogan, won't let the southeast go.

Posted by: Laguerre | Mar 17 2016 19:26 utc | 61

re Mina 60

b is right that the declaration of a Kurdish federal region is American inspired. There was a more or less tacit understanding before between the Kurds and Asad, and the same between the Druze and Asad, that they would be left alone. With the prospect of autonomy in the future. What, other than American pressure, leads to a declaration immediately?

Posted by: Laguerre | Mar 17 2016 19:42 utc | 62

re Paveway IV some time ago

You declare the PYD and the YPG of the Rojava Kurds as corrupt. Could you tell us who among the Syrian Kurds you approve of?

Posted by: Laguerre | Mar 17 2016 19:49 utc | 63

Jen@27 - Re: "...I'd like to know whether the PYD represents the interests of all or most Syrian Kurds..."

Salih Muslim’s brother slams Syrian Kurdish PYD

...Dr Mustafa Muslim, the brother of Salih Muslim, the co-head of the Syrian Kurdish PYD, has said that the PYD represents only 10 percent of the Kurds in Syria and the reason for its strength is the fact that it has weapons.

Speaking to Turkey’s Anadolu Agency, Mustafa Muslim said the PYD was detaining all those opposed to it and does not want to see different ideologies to it arising among Syrian Kurds.

Himself an exile from the Kurdish regions of northern Syria, also known as Rojava, the 60-year-old theology professor who works in Zehra University in the southeastern Turkish province of Gaziantep was one of the critics silenced by his own brother...

...However, Mustafa Muslim pointed out that the PYD had recently began utilising international media to its advantage, adding that despite the fact that there are 15 political parties in northern Syria, the PYD is deemed to represent the Kurds in the international arena...

And their western psyop/MSM campaign has gone rather well - it's difficult to find anybody that even recognizes the fact that the PYD is a self-interested, power-seeking political party with their own agenda. Even the YPG/YPJ has had to distance themselves from PYD proclamations the last couple of months, reminding people that the PYD does not speak for the YPG/YPJ and is only a political party, not the de facto Rojava government. Even if Mustafa Muslim's probably biased reckoning of 10% is way off, it's probably still far less than a third or a half of Syrian Kurds. The PYD merely seek a unified Syrian Kurdistan where they can lord over the little people Kurds and tell them what's best for them.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Mar 17 2016 20:31 utc | 64

re 65. Fine, but which branch of the Rojava Kurds do you support, if you condemn the others?

Posted by: Laguerre | Mar 17 2016 20:44 utc | 65

b@50 - "...Some 10 millions is small change, not a viable budget. The transport routes are all through unfriendly areas and could be shut down anytime..."

I agree that there's not nearly enough to finance a state budget. The '10 million' figure was mentioned in the Rudlaw article, but this was based on direct monthly sales from the PYD to the KDP through one existing pipeline and a direct transfer of cash between the parties.

This isn't being sold by the Rojava administration, but privately by the PYD party to Barzani's KDP party at some rip-off price ($10 - $20/bbl was mentioned). I'll leave it to you to guess who gets the profit once it goes into the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline at prevailing prices. The 10" pipeline runs from a transfer facility in NE Syria to an Iraqi refinery and was actually built to send oil TO Syria in the early 2000's to meet Syrian refinery's demands. The flow was reversed a few years ago for PYD sales to the KDP.

The KDP buys it at a deep discount because the PYD has no other choices. That pipeline can send maybe 15 - 17k/bbl a day to Iraq. It runs through PYD-controlled territory in Syria and KDP-controlled territory in Iraq - no hostile territory along the way and ISIS never seemed interested. Both parties have a financial interest in keeping the pipeline open. That's $10 million a month directly into the PYD's coffers. Not enough to run a state, but plenty for golden toilets for the party leader's palaces.

The PYD also gets paid to sell the Syrian government's oil back to them. Most of those sales are via tanker truck, but they amount to millions a month as well. The PYD had plenty of tanker sales through the Qamishli crossing to the Batman refinery, but that may have ended a few months ago. The PYD also gets a skim from the locally-refined Rmeilan oil sales. The question I have is how much of that money goes for the Kurdish people, and how much is diverted to the PYD for its golden toilets or beefing up their Gestapo?

The big money potential for the PYD will come from international reconstruction grants and loans. If they can't be trusted with a few million a month from (essentially illegal) oil sales, then why would anyone expect them to be honest handling hundreds of millions in aid? I'm sure their U.S. and assorted ZATO handlers have already greased the skids with plenty of bribes to ensure future influence in the Balkanization-Lite version of Syrian Kurdistan.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Mar 17 2016 21:07 utc | 66

Laguerre@64 - You declare the PYD and the YPG of the Rojava Kurds as corrupt.

No, I only declared the PYD is corrupt and self-serving rather than acting in the interests of the Kurdish people. I have never 'declared' the YPG corrupt. In fact, just the opposite. The YPG is made up of little people Kurds, not power-seeking oligarchs.

"Could you tell us who among the Syrian Kurds you approve of?

Sure - the little-people Syrian Kurds, which constitute probably 99.9% of Syrian Kurds. Why are you so touchy about my distaste for a power-hungry, money-grubbing, self-interested political party? Is it impossible in your government-sycophant CNN-view of the world to understand that they may not have the best interests of their fellow Kurds at heart?

You seemed pretty miffed a while back about my calling out Barzani and his oil-smuggling clan as well, as if that was some global slur on all six million or so Iraqi Kurds. Do you not understand that they are victims of Barzani, not accomplices? Or is this some Stockholm-syndrome driven knee-jerk reaction to anyone criticizing 'the government'?

Posted by: PavewayIV | Mar 17 2016 21:23 utc | 67

Dear Paveway

I was simply trying to figure out your point of view. To talk of 'the little-people Syrian Kurds' doesn't tell us very much. Particularly why you're so much against the PYD.

As for me there's no great secret, I'm a westerner who's worked with the Sunni Arabs of north Iraq, in Ana and Samarra. And I support those people, but not Da'ish.

You need to present your position, as we on MoA don't know it. In as far as I understand, you are against Barzani, you are against the PYD. What is your vision?

Posted by: Laguerre | Mar 17 2016 22:16 utc | 68

No fighting in the war room.

Posted by: blues | Mar 17 2016 23:55 utc | 69

@50 b @55 fjc

Good commentary on the overall situation with the Kurds. US involvement with the Kurds has never been anything but cynical manipulation, and it continues now in Syria, apparently. The USA is as poisonous to the Kurds interests as Erdogan is, with his new Turkish genocide in Southeast Turkey, if less spectacular. The difference between Turkish smallpox and the US' tuberculosis. The Kurds need to forget the USA. Which is, I suppose, equivalent to saying the Syrians, Iraqis, and Iranians need to take them seriously and to meet their needs. Turkey seems to hold no hope, the Kurds there need to remember the Turkish Armenian solution, and act accordingly.

Posted by: jfl | Mar 18 2016 0:26 utc | 70

There is a lot of shit being spoken in here about kurds, specifically that they aren't one people, they are blow-ins from elsewhere and that they are corrupt trouble makers who just want to exploit the situation for themselves.

Where have we heard this talk before? The catalan people of Northern Spain and Southern France cop this regularly. Last time I hung out with Catalans in Spain, French Catalans used to come down across the border to celebrate Catalan festivals because the celebrations of the Catalan culture were banned in France as being 'un-French' Both French and Castillians in Spain made the same sort of racist culturally superior digs at Catelonia which I see here in this thread about Kurds yet in both cases the people are the local indigenous citizens who have been repressed and discriminated against since forever.
The Luzonese who fronted for the spanish, japanese and amerikan colonists in the philippines and have been brutally oppressing the Maguindanao, Badjao,Sangirese and other indigenous people of Mindanao for over two centuries. The more these people are oppressed, the closer they grow together yet conversly the louder their oppressors shout that "they are all different".

Where else do we hear the same accusations? Why just across the ME a tad in Palestine, where the legitimacy of Palestinians is called into question in exactly the same manner.
Zionists are forever trying to highlight cultural and dialect differences between Palestinain farmers and nomadic bedouin. By playing them off against each other the zionists know they can prevent a unified voice.

If the YPG is so unrepresentative why is it so many Syrian kurds fight for them? This divide and conquer mealy mouthed bulldust ill suits MoA.

The Catalans were often ridiculed for their pragmatic calls during and after the Spanish Civil war yet they have much more political & cultural freedom than Basques who got sucked into being aligned with a particular group during Spain's internal ructions. The Stalinists didn't give a toss about the basques when it mattered, they only pretended to, just as the Soviets tossed the european communist party resistance fighters aside, trading Soviet advantage off for the right of western europeans to elect leftist governments at the stalin, churchill, roosevelt/truman negotiations during and after ww2.

The Kurds aren't asking for a seperate state and they also won't be agreeing to any pipeline just because amerika tells them to. They understand better than anyone that amerika is a transitory presence but Damascus will always be just down the road.
They have been through all this before, after ww1 and the collapse of the Ottoman empire, kurds who had fought against the turks in support of england france and amerika were tossed aside and denied a seat at the negotiating table. The ended up with no political power despite having been the most determined and reliable resistance to the Pashas' autocratic & murderous Ottoman rule.
The result was that just like the shi'ite tribes in Lebanon & iraq, kurds got shat upon by the favoured to deliver the oil cheaply and without fuss, sunni lackeys of fukus.

I oppose the euromerikan interference in the ME because I'm a humanist - I want to see all all humans get a fair shake, not just some who I have decided that are like a favourite pet poodle and have acquired a few of my characteristics.
Turning on the kurds because they fought hard and well to ensure their voice is heard is a scummy act, particularly when the cheerleaders for this racist behaviour are outsiders determined to marginalise anything authentic so a deal which best suits the greedies among the big players can be cut with minimal fuss.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Mar 18 2016 1:09 utc | 71

@72 debs is dead.. thanks for your comments.. i plead ignorance on the complex history and your analogies that are mostly over my head in so far as my being able to fully appreciate them.. i think most ordinary people want the best for others.. it is only a few that are looking at exploiting others for their own benefit.. to me coming to moa is periodically a mostly educational experience..

Posted by: james | Mar 18 2016 1:35 utc | 72

Thanks James I appreciate your comments. It is true that I prolly get obscure in my references, but it seems to me that too often we see the same old shit all dressed up with a new name. I guess I get hot under the collar about issues like the denial of a chance for Kurds to argue their case in Geneva, because this is a very familiar ploy for anyone who has scratched the surface of how it is empires do what they do.
If you want to know any more about the colonisation of the ME, I found this doco online on Tuesday night. I don't agree with all of the filmmaker's analysis but he/she has worked at presenting the facts however they are subsequently interpreted.
Nevertheless I look forward to the usual 'shoot the messenger' type comments from those pissed that the writers don't 100% go along with whomever's personal view.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Mar 18 2016 2:32 utc | 73

Laguerre@69 - You pretty much stated my position: Barzani and his clan are psychopaths, i.e., evil. I don't equate his lust for power and control with the desires of the average powerless impoverished Iraqi Kurd that just wants people to stop shooting at them. Psychopaths like Barzani are on an eternal quest for more power and control so they can exploit anyone weaker than them = the little-people Iraqi Kurds. Like all psychopaths, Barzani seeks alliances with other powerful psychopaths like Erdogan and the U.S. and Israeli intelligence agencies.

The PYD and its leaders are also acting exactly like a psychopathic organization - angry and paranoid about not being recognized for the power, control and military might they have amassed, and readily exploiting powerless little-people Syrian Kurds for land- and resource-theft and military adventurism. Like Barzani and the KDP, the PYD is careful to craft the perception of popular support (marginal in reality) and champions of the Kurdish cause (as long as they can consolidate more power, money and control through those efforts). They depend on others tendency to equate the self-serving goals of their organization - the PYD - with legitimate Rojava causes. Call the PYD corrupt and you're accused of being a Kurd-hater.

And in case you're wondering, I'll put MY country, the U.S., at the top of the list of psychopathic-infested governments.

I use the term 'psychopathy' in the particular way Lobaczewski and his collaborators used to describe essential psychopathy. Lobaczewski's book, Political Ponerology, is a tough read for most, but the web site summary for it gives 95% of the meat of his research. Whether they agree with Lobaczewski or not, your Sunni friends would immediately recognize the themes Lobaczewski presents from studying repressive Soviet-era governments and their effects on the populations. Saddam Hussein, Malaki and their psychopathic organizations are fundamentally no different in their underlying pathology. The only thing they differ on is their methods.

My 'vision' is that people recognize psychopaths when they see them, understand how psychopaths manipulate them and understand the infectious nature of psychopathy. That's it. No regime change or bloody wars. No psychopath witch hunts or psychopath concentration camps. No forehead tattoos that spell psychopath backwards. Just a simple, basic psychopath awareness by the average person. People are not helpless - I trust normal social change and democracy to take care of the rest.

I realize there's a lot more to social justice, governance and nation-building than just keeping the psychopaths out of leadership positions. But if a nation or a people cannot even perform that fundamental act of psychopath prevention at the start, then their efforts are ultimately doomed.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Mar 18 2016 4:14 utc | 74

Harrison Koehli's article on the origins of Ponerology provide an easier read and a clearer connection to (what I see) are damn near identical issues with psychopaths on all sides in the Middle East:

Ponerology 101: Lobaczewski and the origins of Political Ponerology

Posted by: PavewayIV | Mar 18 2016 4:23 utc | 75

@74 debs is dead. thanks.. i will have a look at the doco when i get some time. i am a bit swamped at present. i have a book called paris 1919 '6 months that changed the world' by margaret macmillan that appears to cover the same ground as the doco, but i have yet to read it.. it was lent to me about a month ago by a friend.. here is a book review from 2012 on it from the wapo..

@75 paveway.. thanks for your ongoing comments.. i am curious if you have any ideas on how the kurds could get rid of barzani.. it is a bit like wondering how the us public could be given some different choices other then frump and frillary at the ballot box.. people seem to get what they might not actually deserve especially in my lifetime..

Posted by: james | Mar 18 2016 5:22 utc | 76


-so how does psychopath prevention not involve sending this 6% on a one way ticket to Mars?

Posted by: Nana2007 | Mar 18 2016 5:31 utc | 77

Yeah; We should make way for psychopaths.

Of course. Why be intolerant?

If this is a real thing (of course it is) then we must deal with it.

Sending them to Mars? Why not?

Posted by: blues | Mar 18 2016 5:45 utc | 78

Not sure if this was posted, but Pepe Escobar gives his analysis.. Bargain??

Posted by: aaaa | Mar 18 2016 5:50 utc | 79

Debs the Kurds have a lot of blood on their hands. They formed the Ottoman bashi-bazouks when the Armenian and Assyrian genocides were taking place. After all those Christians were murdered and pushed out, who do you think occupied their land and homes, who took their orphaned daughters and sons, absorbing them into the milieau? It wasn't the Catalans. So yes the Kurds are trouble makers and they deserve to be crushed.

Posted by: Fernando Arauxo | Mar 18 2016 7:25 utc | 80

james@77 - "...i am curious if you have any ideas on how the kurds could get rid of barzani..."

Barzani is one man. Getting rid of him will only result in another psychopath scrambling to the top of the heap to replace him. The political organizations and process in Iraqi Kurdistan is diseased (much like ours in the U.S.). Even if they could - by some miracle - put a healthy individual at the top, that would not be able to cure the organization.

One school of thought extending Lobaczewski's ideas proposes that human social organizations have the equivalent of an immune system. If you fill that organization with psychopaths (or members that tolerate them by choice or force) you have essentially suppressed and will eventually reverse that socially-enforced immune system.

Psychopaths are normally shunned, rejected and removed from a healthy organization. In a psychopathic one, they will be encouraged, rewarded and eventually promoted. Healthy people will be lured into psychopathic behaviors themselves, either just to survive in that organization or to thrive in it. Healthy individuals that reject organizationally-enforced psychopathy will undergo increasing amounts of chronic stress. They either quit/are forced out - or shut their mouths and tolerate it as an obedient worker bees to be exploited by the psychopaths they work for. Disobedient or rebellious healthy people are a threat to the other psychopaths and are usually kicked out.

The top leader psychopaths don't like equally-powerful competition, but they love layers of lesser psychopaths underneath them trying to brown-nose their way to the top. If Barzani was an exception and ended up in a healthy organization by chance, then replacing him might work. Since Barzani built most of the organizations he lords over, there's no chance of that. There is an entire hierarchy of psychopaths underneath him waiting for their bigger piece of the pie.

Malaki was a disastrous psychopath that set Iraq back decades. The CIA/State Department loved him because they understand and love other psychopaths, especially lesser ones they feel they can control. Malaki fit the bill perfectly until he left the reservation. He left an entirely psychopath-infested government behind. Iraq can't just elect a healthy person to fix it - you're talking tens of thousands of lesser psychopaths and the worker bees that are forced to tolerate them. The reason I bring that up is because it empowers other psychopaths like Barzani. You can't fix anything in Iraqi Kurdistan without fixing Baghdad, short of a war for independence followed by an internal rebellion and a complete replacement of the Iraqi Kurdish political organizations with healthy ones run by healthy individuals. In order to do that, the Kurds would have to distinguish a healthy individual from a psychopath. They don't think in those terms (and neither do we in the U.S.). Voting is a broken process when it selects FOR psychopaths rather than against them.

Nana2007@78 - " how does psychopath prevention not involve sending this 6% on a one way ticket to Mars?..."

The same way that preventing chicken pox or staph infections does not involve killing or banishing anyone unfortunate enough to become infected. Lobaczewski's earliest work with psychiatric patients originally led to him postulating the 6% figure. In later works, he backed off that and focused on the infectious nature of psychopathy. The fact is that most people can succumb to various degrees of psychopathy under the right conditions throughout their lives. His collaborators were much more interested in why previously healthy family or neighbors would succumb to psychopathic behaviors and voluntarily (and eagerly) falsely rat out each other to the Soviet Checka, East German Stasi or other organs of a repressive state. Why did average nobodys turn into psychopaths when they had little chance of any meaningful personal gain? THAT is the aspect of psychopathy they were really concerned with, not the 6%.

Psychopathy needs to be treated like every other common infectious disease. You can't eradicate it, you just take precautions to prevent and contain it when it does pop up. You start by recognize your own susceptibility to psychopathy first and protect your own humanity. Then you learn to recognize it in other individuals and organizations and protect yourself (and your society) from them. Then you see how many people can't do anything about psychopaths they must subjugate themselves to in the workplace or government - tolerating psychopaths is like tolerating a little bit of staph infection. It will spread, guaranteed because that's what it does. Then you understand the enormity of the problem. Getting rid of a few of the worst ones doesn't really fix anything when everything is broken. Worse yet, many normal people start accepting psychopathic behaviors in this environment - it's dog-eat-dog. So now you're talking about shipping maybe two-thirds of the population to Mars in a futile attempt to 'cure' psychopathy.

I don't have an answer to how to cure an entire infected society. Whatever the answer is, it involves people understanding the nature of psychopathy first, recognizing it where it exists and changing their behaviors to prevent its spread. Quick fixes like Mars? Sorry - I have nothing for you. Maybe some other smart person can come up with something.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Mar 18 2016 8:31 utc | 81

Debs @72 re Stalinists didn't give a toss ...

I could not understand Stalin's minimal assistance in Spain's Civil War even after 1 read Orwell' and several others' first-hand reputable accounts. Bothered me.

Then I read of Stalin's "Socialism in one country" policy [1920s] and that single datum explained so much.

Posted by: moafan | Mar 18 2016 8:55 utc | 82

@ PavewayIV | Mar 18, 2016 4:31:52 AM | 82

Before you go too far with your prescriptions, you might get and read:

Kevin Dutton - "The Wisdom of Psychopaths: Lessons in Life from Saints, Spies and Serial Killers" (ISBN 978-0-434-02067-6).

From back cover encomium: *'Psychopath', no sooner is the word out than images of murders, rapists, suicide bombers and gangsters flash across our minds. But unlike their box-office counterparts, not all psychopaths are violent, or even criminal. Far from it. In fact, they have a lot of good things going for them. Psychopaths are fearless, confident, charismatic, ruthless and focused - qualities tailor-made for success in twenty-first-century society* and continues … . When people in general have no experience with the spectrum of human nature and are ignorant or anything outside some disney cartoon representation of the human experience, it removes the necessary limitations that psychopaths need for guidance - others that can say - NO !!! to them.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Mar 18 2016 9:40 utc | 83

@ 84 Addendum:

The back cover indicates there is an E-book available also.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Mar 18 2016 9:50 utc | 84

T-Bear@85 - Unfortunately, I have a copy. Fortunately, I wasn't the one that threw my money away buying it.

Dutton makes his weak case for the utility of functional psychopaths, that they offer some special benefit for society that a healthy human beings couldn't provide or provide as well.

First off, that's preposterous. Among his examples are lawyers, doctors and military types. While he may be able to find examples in isolation, his contrived examples are basically defective human beings that are ONLY good at their professions. He ignores the fact that they are otherwise failures in life. He also conveniently ignores perfectly good doctors, lawyers and soldiers that have NOT lost their humanity and are decidedly not psychopaths, but still have certain characteristics that make them successful at their job. So, be *like* a psychopath, but don't be one? Good advice for a hermit, I guess.

Without saying so, he subtly encourages the reader to ignore their humanity and become a little bit psychopathic to enhance those 'skills of success'. Yet he does not offer a strategy for the fact that other people (with the exception of other psychopaths) will grow to despise you. Psychopaths lives revolve around exploiting others for their personal gain. They can do that because they are unable to experience the emotions of their victims.

That belief and the behaviors they drive cannot be turned on and off like a lightbulb - a psychopath is a psychopath 24 hours a day - they are unpleasant human beings. And if they are in leadership positions in psychopathic organizations, then nobody is going to say 'NO' to them, least of all their subordinates. Nobody is going to 'guide' them into restraint. Other people exist to be used - why would a psychopath care what they think?

But, hey... I guess if you want to be a top-notch neurosurgeon or Supreme Court Judge or a Navy SEAL, then take Dutton's advice and screw your humanity and everyone else's. As long as you're not a serial killer, than a little psychopathy is OK.

Sorry, but Dutton comes off as painfully naive about humanity and society. I can only picture someone like Zuckerberg fawning over his book in college.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Mar 18 2016 11:15 utc | 85

PavewayIV says:

I don't have an answer to how to cure an entire infected society. Whatever the answer is, it involves people understanding the nature of psychopathy first, recognizing it where it exists and changing their behaviors to prevent its spread

well, if we, say, look at the electoral process in the USA, a process that repeats itself over and over and over again, and view this cumulative experience as a learning curve, we reveal a genuinely dysfunctional psychology writ large.

i mean, Hillary Clinton reaps massive support from what is supposed to be the most educated and/or progressive slice of the American pie...

and yet she's a clearly clinically sociopathic and perilous personality...

which makes her adherents what?

(expressed as a mathematical function it does not compute)

Posted by: john | Mar 18 2016 11:19 utc | 86

The Syrian Kurds may reportedly ‘not have a seat at the table’ in the negotiations, but they are present in Geneva, and have made their demand known. Reading between the lines, supported by/ through / ?… the Syrian Opposition, now called the High Negotiations Committee.

They have been roundly rebuffed (completely inacceptable, can’t be considered, etc.) by the Syrian delegation, by the Turks, and by the Americans. For the last reuters

does report some of the facts: guardian


Nawaf Khalil of the Democratic Union party said his party was not lobbying for an only-Kurdish region but wanted to see the “model of federalism applied to all of Syria” —- Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister, Adel al-Jubeir, welcomed the Russian move as a very positive step, adding he hoped it would compel Assad to make concessions — UN officials said they would welcome the Moscow Group to the talks. The group includes Syria’s former deputy premier Qadri Jamil, who was sacked by Assad in 2013 and is now viewed by Damascus as a moderate opponent.

The Moscow Group (newish actors) are actually called the Russian Opposition Group.

Posted by: Noirette | Mar 18 2016 11:24 utc | 87

I don't have an answer to how to cure an entire infected society. Whatever the answer is, it involves people understanding the nature of psychopathy first, recognizing it where it exists and changing their behaviors to prevent its spread. Quick fixes like Mars? Sorry - I have nothing for you. Maybe some other smart person can come up with something.

I'm not going to hold my breath for the other smart people to chime in on how ponerology can change the world. If we're ruled by psychopaths it's pretty obvious that we're doomed to perpetual trauma and servitude. You might as well say we're ruled by shape shifting alien reptiles- at least there's some psychic truth to that.

'It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it."

Posted by: Nana2007 | Mar 18 2016 16:10 utc | 88

@ paveway.. thank you.. i see the world presently being taken over by this disease - don't know what to call it - where psychopaths excel.. it might be called capitalism to some... the concept of creating a world where we can all live together happily seems extremely naive and yet i continue to hold to it..

Posted by: james | Mar 18 2016 16:14 utc | 89

It is high time Homo sapiens Ethicus replaces our current breed of saps..

Posted by: Lozion | Mar 18 2016 21:53 utc | 90

@ PavewayIV | Mar 18, 2016 7:15:20 AM | 86

A considered response to your reply is in order, if nothing more than acknowledgement of your opinions.

Being merely a lay reader, particularly of 'professional' subjects requiring extensive training, I usually find the more competent an author is in their command of their subject, their books reflect that facility in the interest they instil in their readers. Kevin Dutton certainly accomplished that in his book. A point we shall disagree upon. Others will have to decide for themselves complying with their own standards.

Amazing the plethora of emotionally loaded manipulative words you have used in your reply. A sampling: Unfortunately/Fortunately; threw away (waste); weak case; preposterous; examples in isolation; contrived examples; basically defective; ONLY good; ignores; otherwise failures; also conveniently ignores; he subtly encourages the reader; enhance those 'skills of success', etc., etc., etc. throughout the balance of your reply. Fine opinion based bias framing all, what is the uninitiated reader to think? Why would another suggest something beyond your approved exposure to the subject?

To answer that ultimate question is illustrative. First they liquidated (the approved word) the mentally defectives, then labour and socialists, followed by gypsies and homosexuals, all the while the jews as well. Now what you are suggesting is that psychopaths are to be added to that list. That was the 'core' reason another point of view was necessary to be presented. You disapprove - that can be understandable.

I do appreciate the effort you had taken to reply to my comments nonetheless - we do definitely disagree. I don't know whether my macular degeneration will allow obtaining and perusing your recommended text, it does sound interesting, but other reading is priority. And mention must be made that your reply and the opinions expressed therein have served my imagination of what it would be like to read the opinion page(s) of the NYT. Good show that.

End of response.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Mar 19 2016 5:29 utc | 91

When people in general have no experience with the spectrum of human nature and are ignorant or anything outside some disney cartoon representation of the human experience, it removes the necessary limitations that psychopaths need for guidance - others that can say - NO !!! to them.

Posted by: Nana2007 | Mar 19 2016 6:21 utc | 92

For the record I'd like to come clean here as someone who scores high on the hare test.  This is not uncommon for anyone who has spent a significant amount of time in penitentiary.  I think it's one in five among the us prison population.  

Another thing to consider is we experience little physical pain.  You could skin psychopaths alive like dead chickens.  Stack them like yurtle the turtle to the moon and back and set them on fire- no feeling at all.

And besides being less empathic than a lizard, we tend to blame our victims for trusting us in the first place.  You let the fox in the henhouse after all.


It's time for a psychopath heavens gate.  I'm willing to join Dick Cheney, Hilary, Charles Manson, et al. Western leaders.  But I think they may need some encouragement.  

Let's make America great. 

Posted by: Nana2007 | Mar 19 2016 17:18 utc | 93

Formerly T-Bear@92 - I sincerely apologize for the rude and over-the-top reply to your suggestion re Dutton's book. I am neither an educated person nor a writer - I depend entirely too much on a 'delete' function that does not exist on MoA to fix my stupidity after-the-fact. Your gracious reply was more than my rant deserved.

I am passionate about the subject, but have published exactly zero books compared to Dutton's. His book was given to me by a rather slimy relative that was trying to make a point about why he was such a huge business success and maybe I should be more like him, etc. I started reading it again and see it's not the how-to-be-a-psychopath manual that I made it out to be when I first read it, so my superlative-filled scred also suffers from mostly mischaracterizing the author's intent throughout.

Sorry for the idiotic reply.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Mar 19 2016 23:02 utc | 94

@ Nana2007 | Mar 19, 2016 1:18:47 PM | 94
@ PavewayIV | Mar 19, 2016 7:02:24 PM | 95

First, a disclaimer: I have no formal training in this subject, only a lay curiosity and interest. I firmly recommend finding professionally trained assistance for council about your specific needs; this is not intended as such.

@ Nana####
Taking what you have posted at face value, that you have experienced what you say and come here with what you have shared, you are a very durable person. People make mistakes and sometimes they are brought to account, that does not make them evil, a concept of very limited utility. I think you might benefit from at least reading the referred book, it acknowledges what is broad-brush painted psychopathic as a broad spectrum of characteristics, not all in evidence in any at any given moment - somewhat like saying there is a human normalcy in the psychopathic. You may self-identify with some of the characteristics and find an honest mirror for your reflection. As far as empathy, there are few superior in empathic practice than the psychopathic, it is how they obtain approval for their needs; don't denigrate yourself on that point, please. From Dutton's book, psychopathy may be the basis of efficient or effective complex decision making when emotional factors may hinder arriving at a final decision. That should be a valuable characteristic for good as well as bad leadership, it is to the rest of the group to decide which they are most comfortable with.
By the way, whatever is a hare test? will I need to wikipedia it?

@ Paveway#
Your first response certainly surprised at both its narrowness as well as its vituperativeness; quite unlike the output of one with a body of respectable considerations as you have produced. Your later response brings much relief, particularly in not having to reassess that esteem. Thanks for all the civilised responses nonetheless. I hope you may revisit Dutton with fresh eyes and flexibility of judgment. Again, I am only a lay reader; my opinions are just that - opinions, at the end of the day, bottom line. Now, enough OT use of the host's bandwidth for me. Thanks all

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Mar 20 2016 10:13 utc | 95

@96- thanks, I think I'll skip Dutton's apology for psychopathy. I have a lifetime of anecdotal evidence, although an expert opinion can always be illuminating.

I think you've confused the empathic with the mimetic- think chameleon or caricature, Hitler or Walt Disney. It's a common mistake characteristic of psychopaths, and speaks to the double bind they present to humanity.

You might want to consider donning a plastic space helmet and rocketing into the fifth dimension yourself. Just my non expert opinion.

Don't take any wooden nickels.

Posted by: Nana2007 | Mar 20 2016 18:57 utc | 96

@ Nana2007 | Mar 20, 2016 2:57:39 PM | 97

Thanks yourself. Suit yourself about Dutton's book, his credentials are therein contained should you be concerned about those.

Congratulations, you successfully conned me into replying. I'll know better henceforth, but that will not dim my interest in the human condition. Keep your own council since others with you is worthless; will trust it gets you somewhere, even though it might be prison - best of whatever.

Keep your trinkets for your own amusement.

End of discussion

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Mar 21 2016 8:21 utc | 97

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