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Col. W. Patrick Lang

The Russians and Sultan Tayyip?

It is not clear to me what, if anything, the Russians and Sultan Tayyip have agreed on. The battle east of Aleppo City out on the green plains of the fertile crescent seems a muddle. I don't see evidence of Russian participation, for or against the Turkish invasion of north Syria.

The offended party in the muddle, other than the Kurds themselves, seems to the US. Joe Biden was treated like a dog by Erdogan, and rose to the occasion by licking his master's hand and attempting to order what he evidently thought were other (Kurdish) dogs back to their kennel east of the Euphrates. It seems that the public example from Havana and Riyadh of how to deal with the Obamanites was absorbed at the renovated Sublime Porte. And now Obama plans to meet with Erdogan privately? He plans to do what, talk him down out of the tree? Obama is a city boy. He will find that this quarry has the measure of him.
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Syria Elects a Parliament and the Tiger Man Will Lead at Aleppo City

According to news report Major General (not colonel) Suhail al-Hassan will be the overall coordinating commander in the reduction of the rebel held piece of Aleppo city. The Russian staff advisers are further reported to have played a key role in the selection (presumably by the president) of the commander of the Tiger Forces armored brigade. Bravo!  Always reinforce success and he is successful as hell. I presume that is he in the picture with radios hung all over his field gear. He should get on with this task. Not even the Borgist mainstream media will be able to ignore government capture of the rest of Aleppo. By the way, those look like real soldiers to me. I have seen many such and am a harsh judge of men at arms.
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Obama: 'I Don't Want to be Iraq's Air Force...'

A friend pointed out to me that in this White House interview Obama told Thomas Friedman (paraphrasing) that during the process of ISIS overrunning much of northern Iraq he deliberately withheld massive air attacks on ISIS so that he could maintain political pressure on the Iraqi government to reform itself in directions that are the goals of US policy, i.e., inclusiveness, power sharing with the Sunnis, etc.  

I, too, think that the intensely Shia run government that the US helped come into being in Iraq is unlikely to ever be able to run the country, but the notion that in the face of the onrushing horde of Sunni jihadi "reivers" one could withhold aerial fire support as leverage to bend the Shia government to  one's will is bizarre.
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The US Must Purge Itself

CIA Director Brennan's self administered auto-de-fé fell flat.  He met with the president this morning and was evidently told to get his statement in line with the president's position "or else." The "else" is pretty clear. He could easily find himself doing the "Hagel Two Step."  As a result the gospel according to Brennan backed away from any real defense of the deeds of CIA in its tormented and torturing history since 9/11.

On the one hand, he told us that information derived from torture was, at times, useful. On the other hand he told us that it is "unknowable" if the information so derived had any real value. He said that some of the things done by CIA officials were "abhorrent" but in answer to a question was ambiguous and non-committal as to whether or not it might be necessary to do the same kind of things in the future.
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Most Egyptians Oppose Messianic American Democratizers

It is comical to watch American TV anchors question reporters on the ground in Cairo concerning the sentiment of the Egyptian masses with regard to the army backed government that replaced Muslim Brotherhood rule. The anchors are sure that the masses must be hostile to the military's rule and they question the reporters in the field with the obvious intention of eliciting reponses that will confirm the expected narrative.

They seem befuddled when the most they can tease out of reporters is an admission that there still exists a sizable minority in the population who back the Salafists including the Muslim Brotherhood in their desire to create a sharia law state in Egypt.

The truth is that most Egyptians want a continuation of the long tradition of a semi-westernized, mildly Islamic culture in Egypt. That culture extends back in history to the Muhammad Ali dynasty and the middle of the 19th Century. The khedival government in Egypt at that time was an extension of the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman government of that time followed a path called the "tanzimaat" (reorganization).
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'Muddled Thinking' on Afghanistan

Barry McCaffrey told Chuck Todd of MSNBC this morning that the proposed Afghan security agreement reflects "muddled thinking" in terms of the foolishness of leaving a necessarily embattled remnant in a "vast and hostile country." He also pointed out the fact that the remnant would be 800 miles from the sea and the US Navy.

I could not agree more. The fate of the British mission at Kabul in 1879 comes to mind. Major Sir Louis Cavagnari and his escort of soldiers from the Guides were wiped out to the last man after a pitched battle with a Kabul mob. McCaffrey insisted that there are no important US security interests in Afghanistan. Once again, I agree. The civil war in Afghanistan is an intra-Pushtun war. It is not a war against the shattered al-Qaeda who once were a powerful force in the country.
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Are Israel And The US Edging Closer To a Divorce?

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seems frustrated to find that the Americans are harder to push than he famously once said. His Saudi crypto-allies appear to feel the same way. 

"... what Kerry said on Thursday should disqualify him as a mediator for the peace process."

Interesting.  These same Zionist types did not seem to mind at all when the openly Zionist Dennis Ross served their interest in his belief that the Israelis are "his people."
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Intelligence Community Chiefs Push Back Against White House

It appears to me that James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), and Michael Hayden, former Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) and NSA director, have decided that the Obama White House has been trying to "stake them out" as sacrificial goats in the kerfluffle over NSA intercepts in Europe. 

The Obama Administration has been trying to claim that such intercepts are a new development brought on by technological advances in the last decade. They are also trying to imply that NSA and the Intelligence Community (IC) generally have been "off the reservation" and conducting intercept operations that Barack Obama (the commander in chief of the IC) did not know of.
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Does Anyone Believe Obama Did Not Know?

So Sen. Feinstein as Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, did not know what the NSA did and does?  Is this some sort of sick joke? Agencies like the NSA, CIA, DIA, etc. are quick to brief key members of Congress and the president about their accomplishments.  Boasting is the order of the day in the contest for appropriations. So, just accept the fact that our “seeker after justice,” President Obama, knew all about it, all of it.
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