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FB Ali
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It is disappointing to read such unsourced trash on SST. It is obviously blatant propaganda. I hold no brief for Turkey or its camp-followers, but these kinds of allegations smell of an agenda, besides being phrased so crudely.
I agree there is no collusion between the SAA and IS. However, I'm not so sure about the SDF and IS. The SDF in Deir Ez-Zor province probably comprises a lot of local Arab tribesmen (some of whom were likely in IS until very recently). IS would much prefer to let them take the oilfields rather than the SAA.
These reports are suspicious. Their source is the Afghan command and the NATO command. They have been denied by the official spokesman of the Taliban. However, if any Taliban did participate in the attack, they were from a 'renegade' group. Some extracts from the news reports: The Taliban denies it was a joint operation...... Zabihullah Amani, a spokesman for the provincial governor, told AFP that the local Taliban commander has pledged allegiance to ISIS. U.S. and Afghan officials have repeatedly alleged that ISIS and the Taliban have collaborated on terrorist attacks, a claim that both groups have denied. The two groups are NOT cooperating. http://tinyurl.com/yc8j89x7
Col Lang, I fully accept your statement that you found no evidence of the US government creating or supporting IS. However, that would not rule out some local US commander turning a blind eye to Afghan military command elements supporting IS in an anti-Iran operation. The facts are that the US enemy in Afghanistan is the Taliban. It is fighting the Taliban by supporting the Afghan government and local anti-Taliban warlords. The IS is also fighting the Taliban. It is not at all inconceivable that some local US commanders would believe that the US war aims are furthered by occasionally (and secretly) assisting the IS against the Taliban (or Iran, another enemy of the US). Much has been written in the comments on this thread and others recently on Pakistan's policies and actions in Afghanistan. In my view, these are mainly governed by the following: - Pakistan will not allow Afghanistan to become an Indian satellite. This is the main reason for its support of the Taliban in Afghanistan, even as it has ruthlessly rooted out the Taliban within Pakistan. - Pakistan has switched from the US sphere to the China sphere. Even though it receives significant monetary assistance from the US, its policies are much more responsive to Chinese interests and wishes than those of the US.
MK Bhadrakumar, in a recent blogpost (Aug 20), says that the US is transforming its war in Afghanistan into a proxy war against Iran, using the IS/Daesh. In this it is being supported by elements of the Afghan military command. Thia issue is being taken seriously by Russia and Iran. http://blogs.rediff.com/mkbhadrakumar/author/bhadrakumaranrediffmailcom/
Good solution, well put. I agree with it, and the many other commenters who said GTFO!
The post refers to the future of the Islamic State (IS). This depends to a considerable degree on the composition of IS. (I don't really have a good sense of that). It is clear that IS consists entirely of Sunnis. And, it has foreigners (non-Syrians and non-Iraqis) serving in it. Many of these are diehard fanatical Jihadis, the hallmark of IS. However, the large areas in Iraq and Syria that IS conquered, and is now defending, need a great deal more manpower than the fanatical core of IS. These areas which IS captured seem to have been inhabited mainly by Sunni tribesmen, and it appears these tribes supported IS in the takeover. It is not clear how much of IS 'governance' was imposed on these areas; I wouldn't be surprised if most of it was left to the locals to manage. If so, it would be significant where this occurred and to what extent, since it can be assumed that these tribes would much more easily switch allegiance if attacked by a superior force. If this estimation is correct, then one can expect that most of the real resistance that the Syrian and Iraqi forces will face will be from 'core' IS. These would occupy built up areas to enable their comparatively small numbers to be used to maximum effect (as shown in Mosul). This will mean that the anti-IS campaigns in both Syria and Iraq will be different from what one would expect if two 'regular' armies were involved. What happens to the remnants of IS after it is defeated would also depend on its composition. I look forward to reading other views and comments on this topic.
TTG, thank you once again for this clear and descriptive report on what is going on in Syria. It is impossible to get any such view from the MSM. The time you spend on unravelling what is happening is greatly appreciated.
Col Lang, I'm glad to see you come to jdledell's defence. Quite apart from being an excellent source on the IDF, he's a very sound commentator, whose comments are always good to read. Also, thank you for 'restarting' SST. For many of us it has become an addiction; if we don't get our 'fix' several times a day, the gap becomes a bit bothersome!
Paul Robinson, on his website, asks a good question: what happened to the US's National Missile Defence system? After all, George Bush Jr opted out of the ABM Treaty in order to be able to construct this shield to also counter the "danger from ‘rogue states’ armed with nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles". The US has spent $195+ billion on this shield since 1985, he says. What is there to show for it? His conclusion: "The military industrial complex is a system of scandalous profligacy and inefficiency, the primary effect of which is not to make the USA (or other countries with similar MICs) any safer but rather to redistribute wealth out of the pockets of the general taxpayer and into the pockets of select constituencies (military personnel, defence contractors, and the like). It is also largely beyond democratic control. http://tinyurl.com/y8wazxn4
Toggle Commented Aug 10, 2017 on Reviewing the Unthinkable at Sic Semper Tyrannis
I fully agree with your comment.
Toggle Commented Aug 9, 2017 on Reviewing the Unthinkable at Sic Semper Tyrannis
Nuclear weapons have not been used since 1946. Partly because of a taboo against being the first to open this Pandora's Box. Because no one was quite sure what the effects, both short-term and long-term, would be. In my view, it would be a great mistake for the US to initiate the use of nuclear weapons in the Korean peninsula. Because, firstly, there is no guarantee that such use could be confined to only tactical weapons with limited effects. Secondly, and more importantly, once the taboo against the use of nuclear weapons was broken, we would be living in a different world altogether. Every country that could, would try to develop such weapons. Those that had them would find it much easier to use them. How long humanity could survive under such conditions would be an open question. Overall, the USA would come out a big loser. Would some short-term gain in Korea be worth all this?
Toggle Commented Aug 9, 2017 on Reviewing the Unthinkable at Sic Semper Tyrannis
BM's comment on your Point #1 is incorrect. The NW province, where a lot of Pashtuns live, also has large numbers of people from the Punjab and other parts of Pakistan, who live mostly in the cities, especially Peshawar, the capital of the province. The ethnic Pashtuns largely inhabit smaller towns and villages; they are NOT being assimilated into Punjabi (or any other) culture. As I said in a previous comment, Afghanistan has never been a unitary state in any reasonable sense of that term. It is futile to try and achieve anything of that sort now. Nor is there any prospect of BM's 'Indic' and 'Iranic' spheres being established in the foreseeable future.
I find most of the comments on this topic to be strange. There was some sense and logic behind the original (2001) US invasion of Afghanistan. There is absolutely none in the US's continued presence there. All the arguments for how to make it work now are ridiculous. The most that the US can do is prop up (for a while) a friendly President in Kabul (while the rest of the country is overrun by the Taliban). Ultimately, there will be nothing left for the US but the rooftop of the US embassy!
According to CNN (sources) the Mooch was fired after he and Kelly had an exchange very similar to the one you forecast in your previous post. (However, DJT kept Kelly and let him fire the Mooch - which you didn't expect. Don't know if that signifies anything particular). I also think that Trump will remember that Kelly forced him to fire the Mooch, and will pretty soon pay him back in the same coin. Interesting that the Mooch's wife filed for divorce because he was going to work for Trump - for all of 10 days!
Lovely little vignette of your retired life. May it long continue in the peace and contentment displayed here!
"....India vis a vis Sunni Pakistan...." I presume you mean "India instead of Sunni Pakistan". I would suggest that this might be an overly simple view of the situation. The reason is China, and its planned Belt and Road Initiative. Once this Initiative matures (it has already started) it will be China that will determine tactical alliances for these countries, including Iran. Pakistan is an important part of this Initiative (the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is the first major project of BRI), whereas India believes it is China's rival for Asian dominance. China will ensure that Iran works with Pakistan rather than India.
TTG, You say your "years of experience" and NOT "any evidence" leads you to believe that Russia carried out the hack (rather than someone else, or the stuff being leaked). I'm afraid that is as clear a statement of bias as any I've come across in this discussion. The above discussion also leads me to believe that no conclusive technical proof is possible. That forces one to consider the balance of probabilities. As in any crime, motive is critical. Here I would go along with Ingolf (above). It is extremely unlikely that such an act would be worth the risk for Russia. Putin runs a tight ship, and he has much bigger fish to fry than getting involved in US domestic political dirty tricks.
I would! But I'm surprised that no one 'official' is treating it as such.
I think the VIPS memorandum is quite conclusive on the subject. The DNC "hack" was in fact a leak. The leaked data was then doctored (on the East coast of the US) to implicate the Russians. In fact, there was no Russian hack. The real story in all this is the lack of any serious investigation of these shenanigans by the FBI or anyone else. Thus allowing the 'Russiagate' story to spread and dominate the narrative. I recall that TTG here was quite adamant about an official Russian hack of the DNC computers. I'm afraid I find the VIPS to be a much more reliable source on this subject.
I'm afraid I'm out of touch with the latest situation. However, my general impression is that the "old" units of the Pakistan Army still treasure their past history and traditions, and try to imbue new arrivals with these. The Guides certainly think of themselves as the "premier unit" of the Pakistan Army (though I'm sure many other old regiments would contest this!).
I think you have it right. However, I am puzzled by Sisi's actions/role. You have suggested that it was a dissident group in the WH who nudged him into this. There could perhaps be other possibilities. One is that he is not 'all-powerful', and some other generals don't support his pro-princelings stance. Another is that he doesn't want to foreclose all other options, and is preparing the ground in case he has to make a switch.
"...the best way to learn a language was to get a "long haired dictionary." Absolutely superb! The others are very good, too, but this is the best. I hope you'll try to recall some more and share them with us.
Toggle Commented Jun 30, 2017 on Not a Gentleman ... at Sic Semper Tyrannis
1664RM, Glad to read a first-hand perspective on Mattis - especially from an 'old soldier'. I have little doubt that you are correct in your assessment of him. It seems most US military men in high command positions today conform to this pattern - little actual combat experience, lots of staff etc background.
The BBC is reporting that Trump is saying another chemical attack is being planned by the Syrian government, and is warning of a severe reprisal: ( http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-40413563 ) I don't know what new lunacy this is, but something very like it seems to have erupted again in the White House. Will the US military and State Department be able to stop the craziness this time around? Or, is the future to be one crazy US action after another until everything gets blown up in Armageddon?