Diplomacy must reflect reality and not be mere attempts at trickery.


"The Syrian army looked poised on Saturday to advance into the Islamic State-held province of Raqqa for the first time since 2014, apparently to pre-empt any move by Saudi Arabia to send ground forces into Syria to fight the jihadist insurgents.'  Reuters



"If its forces retake Aleppo and seal the Turkish border, Damascus would deal a crushing blow to the insurgents who were on the march until Russia intervened, shoring up Assad's rule and paving the way to the current reversal of rebel fortunes.

Russia has said it will keep bombing Islamic State and the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front, which in many areas of western Syria fights government forces in close proximity to insurgents deemed moderates by Western states. " Reuters



"… advances continued Friday with Russian warplanes striking multiple locations across Syria, including in the northern countryside of Aleppo in support of a 10-day-old offensive aimed at laying siege to the rebel-held portion of the city of Aleppo.

Residents of the areas of northern Aleppo that have borne the brunt of the bombing campaign expressed dismay that the cease-fire would not come into effect for a week.

“Within a week everything will have been destroyed,” said Mohammed Najjar, a resident of the town of Marae. On Friday, he joined an accelerating exodus of tens of thousands of civilians toward the Turkish border, where they have been blocked by Turkish authorities from entering the country."  Washpost 



“We will turn Iraq into a “graveyard” for Saudi forces if they dare attack the country,” Ahmad al-Assadi said.  South Front



 I seem to recall that IPMU is the largest grouping of Iraqi Shia militia.  So, pilgrims, al-asadi believes the Saudi led juggernaut of Egyptians/Pakistanis/UAE folks (South American and African mercenaries mostly) and other assorted cats and dogs, would motor march up the long roads from NE SA (KKMC?) through altogether Shia inhabited Iraq to assembly areas west and north of Baghdad whence they would sally forth to to eliminate the "murtadoon" (apostates- according to Hojjat al-Islam Kerry).  Well, sayyid al-asadi, don't do anything to discourage the attempt.  I want to see how this would go down.

CNN aired another Frederick Pleitgen segment from Aleppo today.  He was visiting the front line with Syrian Army people.  It was quiet.  They said they thought the war would be over in a few months.  The anchor blondie who introduced the Pleitgen piece said he was reporting from rebel held Aleppo.  {{!!!!}}  The orthographic device {{—-}} is hereby adopted to indicate irony.

Finally, the Great Diplomatic Dream Machine is clearly trying to persuade the Syrians/Iranians/Russians/Hizbullah to give up a winning hand through media BS.  Good luck on that!  pl


This entry was posted in As The Borg Turns, Current Affairs, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Middle East, Pakistan, Policy, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey. Bookmark the permalink.

61 Responses to Diplomacy must reflect reality and not be mere attempts at trickery.

  1. Hood Canal Gardner says:

    Indeed, CNN’s hand is always ‘out’, it’s overseas reporting has gone from sloppy to sloppier, as for the Saudi juggernaut’s performance in Syrian Superbowl Sunday how many points is Vegas giving?

  2. hemeantwell says:

    I think you’re being too kind to CNN. My admittedly unscientific sampling of their Syria programming indicates that it’s incendiary, steadily trying to generate a sense of humanitarian catastrophe to both justify and goad a foolish attempt to militarily restrict the R+6.
    However, if you were to compare themes over time, say the last four months, you’d see that they have caught themselves in a contradiction, since prior to the recognition that the R+6 offensive was meeting with success they would run endless loops of ISIS looking dangerous. Of course, in Orwellian fashion that’s all to be forgotten.

  3. Barish says:

    Is this Turkey’s way of showing the finger, or a prelude to something much more reckless?
    “Turkish military shelled Kurdish militia in Syria: government source
    Turkey’s military shelled Kurdish militia targets in northern Syria on Saturday, a Turkish government source said, hours after Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu warned that Ankara would act if it faced a threat from across the border.
    The shelling took place after the Kurdish fighters, backed by Russian bombing raids, drove Syrian rebels from a former military air base near the Turkish border.
    “The Turkish Armed Forces fired shells at PYD positions in the Azaz area,” the source told Reuters, referring to the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), regarded by Ankara as a terrorist organization.
    The shelling was retaliation under Turkish military rules of engagement after the PYD and forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad opened fire on Turkish military outposts on the border, a security official told Reuters.
    The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors Syria’s war, said the shelling had targeted the air base and a village captured from insurgents by the PYD-backed YPG militia.
    A Kurdish official confirmed the shelling of the Menagh base, which he said had been captured by the Kurdish-allied Jaysh al-Thuwwar group rather than the YPG. Both are part of the Syria Democratic Forces alliance.
    The shelling came amid growing anger in Ankara with U.S. backing for the PYD in its fight against Islamic State militants.”
    I’ll spare you all the dog-and-pony-show masque Mr Davutoğlu put on about “ethnic massacre in Aleppo” which, usually, is more of a forte of western hive-mind speak. It did not really get picked up when the pet insurgents started to get thrown out of northern Latakia province, and I doubt actual decision-making will revolve around that even now.
    I read in places that the shelling took place for hours. What are the next steps to be expected from here on out?

  4. Trey N says:

    Holy shinola! Has anybody here seen this yet?
    The Saudis are sending planes to Incirlik, while the Turks are already shelling Kurds at the just-liberated Menagh airfield in NW Syria in the Aleppo area.
    Is this just an all-in raise to bolster a bluff — or are the idiots serious about taking on the R+6 in an all-out invasion of Syria??
    Either way, how do the Russians respond? Do they dare shoot down hostile Saudi/NATO planes invading Syrian air space? If so, what does the US/NATO then do? And what will be the response if/when Turkey closes the Straits?
    It looks like things are going to get real interesting real quick….

  5. Jack says:

    The “mighty wurlitzer” can propagandize us. But…”persuade” Putin, Assad, Khamenei and Nasrallah? That seems rather delusional. Of course that’s all they got now that R+6 has the upper hand.
    Sir, do you think Erdogan is crazy enough to send the 2nd Army south? As you noted in the last thread that raises the prospect of a war with Iran and Russia. Once that starts it could easily spiral out of control.

  6. Mishklji says:

    “Never interrupt an enemy while he is making a mistake.”

  7. turcopolier says:

    Who do you have in mind? pl

  8. cynic says:

    When the Saudis lost a couple of planes in Yemen, Veterans Today reported that they were of a type only sold to Israel, and were probably piloted by Israelis. Maybe the planes attacking Syria in Saudi livery will really be Israeli. Maybe the ‘American’ planes that bombed Aleppo were really flown by Israelis.

  9. turcopolier says:

    What BS! You obviously will believe any stupid rumor. pl

  10. cynic says:

    So far the Syrians and Russians have kept the initiative. The attempts to stop them seem to be a step behind. By the time the Saudi/Turkish etc forces arrive they may find that the defenders are ready for them.

  11. aleksandar says:

    Next phase :Tabaqa Military Airport 24 km south AlTabqah
    This quiet advance through the oil rich part of northeastern Hama has positioned the 555th Brigade and their allies from Kataebat Al-Ba’ath (Al-Ba’ath Battalions) and the National Defense Forces (NDF) approximately 50 km away from the Tabaqa Military Airport. For the first time in a long time, the soldiers in eastern Hama are poised to recapture the Tabaqa Military Airport
    http://www.almasdarnews.com/article/syrian-army-sets-its-sights-on-tabaqa-military-airport-in-al-raqqa/ | Al-Masdar News

  12. plantman says:

    My understanding is that Turkish generals have refused to invade without a greenlight from the UN. If that’s the case, then maybe this mornings shelling was a provocation designed to get a response from Russia??
    Do you think the Obama crew might have a secret agenda here, like getting Erdogan to invade to foment revolution in Ankara to give Erdogan the boot? (Wasn’t Saddam lured into Kuwait the same way?)
    I’m sure Erdogan is despised in Washington. Maybe this creates a unique opportunity to get rid of him.
    Is that too far fetched??

  13. Mishklji says:

    Your comment on al-Asadi (don’t do anything to discourage the attempt) prompted me to recall Napoleon’s maxim.

  14. mbrenner says:

    The Russians appear to have anticipated the Turkey intervention, such as it is at this point; it looks like the Defense Ministry’s warning two days ago was more than a move to preempt a merely abstract possibility. Their Intelligence is better than ours. That would not be surprising given the record of the CIA & Assoc. If, however, the White House was alerted, their negligence indicates once again what a feckless bunch the President, Carter and Rice are.

  15. Fred says:

    “Hojjat al-Islam Kerry”
    Truly this reinforces my faith in America’s diplomatic prowess.

  16. gemini33 says:

    The great powers and their friends:
    ‘We demand that Russia, Syria, Iran and allies cease and desist from winning this war and taking back their sovereign territory.’

  17. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Some incident of shooting of protestors by the soldiers were rumored to be by the Israeli soldiers – that was during the 1978-1979 Iranian Revolution.
    Some rumors never die.

  18. gemini33 says:

    This is an interesting interview with a British journo, Peter Oborne, who spent a week in the government-held side of Aleppo. He said that most people there, Sunnis included, kept asking him why Britain was siding with the terrorists. He was also told a lot of stories about what people went through to get to relatively safe territory. They journo disclaims that he’s aware of the atrocities the Assad govt has done, goes to lengths to show he’s not an apologist for either side, but says he just wanted to report what he saw and heard.

  19. FB Ali says:

    I am pretty sure there will not be any Pakistani troops involved in whatever stupidity the Saudis and Gulfies get up to in Syria. Some unfortunate Pakistani ex-servicemen, employed in various security forces in the Gulf (especially Bahrain), may get caught up in the meat-grinder that any such venture is likely to become.

  20. cynic says:

    Here’s a rumour from someone who may be crazy, but he isn’t stupid.
    Clif High predicts that this summer the American economy and financial system will incur severe difficulties, whose effects will, in lesser measure, spread to the rest of the world.Civil disorder is predicted to become widespread. A government under strain at home and desperate to raise enough taxes in a hyper inflationary situation, and find the foreign exchange for overseas interventions, may not be able to continue interfering in Syria and elsewhere in so lavish a fashion. That might influence events on the ground.

  21. pj says:

    Slightly OT – Many press reports cited 600 air strikes that prepared the way for the taking of Ramadi from ISIS. Some reports gave a higher number of strikes.
    Question – I have seen no reports of civilian casualties. Were there none, was this acase of press self-censorship, or were no press ever allowed near enough to report?

  22. The Porkchop Express says:

    This made me laugh, but sadly, once you strip away all the bells and whistles of obtuse, diplomatic language, this basically sums it up.

  23. kooshy says:

    True, but at the same time there where rumors by the opposite side ( monarchies) that the newly formed Islamic republic is employing Palestinian and Libyan (Gaddafi) mercenaries to kill Iranian citizens in the streets. Both stories were BS propaganda.

  24. Chris Chuba says:

    The Turks have done this on multiple occasions. They have also shelled the SAA. Why not, they got away with air attacks on the Kurds. I am wondering if the Russians are eventually going to send some sort of missile back to take out the artillery. I am not up on all of the military state of the art but I recall hearing that since artillery has a predictable ballistic trajectory that there is a way to use that to calculate the origin of the shooter and to accurately send a missile back to the sender.

  25. Aka says:

    “Finally, the Great Diplomatic Dream Machine is clearly trying to persuade the Syrians/Iranians/Russians/Hizbullah to give up a winning hand through media BS. Good luck on that!”
    Doubt these people will fall for it but at least Americans will fall for it. so it is something.

  26. Babak Makkinejad says:

    When did he become a Shia?

  27. MRW says:

    Correction: the guy is stupid, cynic, not crazy. Uneducated, hasn’t done his homework, has zero understanding of how our monetary system works, peddles myths as fact.
    What is it going to take for you to understand that the US issues its own currency, and what that means?
    The federal government DOES NOT need taxes to pay its expenses, or purchase goods and services to provision itself. The federal government CANNOT go broke unless a majority of idiots in Congress vote to default. The federal government DOES NOT borrow US dollars from other countries (where do you think those other countries get USD? counterfeit ‘em?).
    Here is the US Government’s treasury checkbook for the end of Fiscal Year 2015. It’s two pages. Look at ‘TABLE III-A – Public Debt Transactions’ on page 2.
    In 2015, the US federal government:
    — issued $60.7 trillion in USD (in various forms)
    — redeemed $60.4 trillion.
    That left $326.5 billion in “Net Change in Public Debt Outstanding.” See that?
    This difference is the amount the federal government allowed the non-federal government sector to keep in its bank accounts for the year. “Public Debt Outstanding” is another term for the National Debt. It is the national equity. It’s every USD in every US dollar bank account both domestic and foreign to the penny. Nothing that has to be paid back, contrary to all who think otherwise, and get it wrong. (Including Trump.) If we paid back the National Debt—return the dollars to their Creator—no one would have a penny in their pocket. Everyone would be broke.
    Now scroll down to “TABLE IV – Federal Tax Deposits.” See that?
    The US federal government took in $2.8 trillion in taxes in 2015. That’s it, pal. $2.8 trillion.
    How in god’s name do you think $2.8 trillion pays for even basic federal government operations, electricity, salaries, and maintenance in DC, each of the 50 states, and overseas, much less programs for the people like Social Security and Medicare. It doesn’t.
    The dead giveaway is this guy horking Peter Schiff, the goldbug who proclaims that gold is going to $5,000/oz but Schiff will sell it to you for $1200-1500/oz. Let the lunacy of *that* sink in for a moment.

  28. JoelB says:

    Let me get this straight. The Saudis will send their crack soldiers into Syria. The same KSA that had to hire mercs from Colombia to help defeat a vastly under-powered Houthi rebel force in Yemen? And they want to take on SAA, on their turf, backed up by Russian air power and Spetnaz commandos? Okay, got it [making Trump-esque condescending expression].

  29. Kooshy says:

    Gen. Ali
    Proxy wars are politicly inexpensive instruments of power projection, but undeclared, non-mandated invasion of a sovereign charter member of UN has a big political price tag. For this reason IMO, US/NATO will hesitate to overtly support any such move by thier clientele states. The political price US will have to pay on such support will be similar to what US has had to continuely pay in support of anti Israel resolutions.

  30. Nuff Sed says:

    There is no question that the New Secular Order (aka the Borg) will escalate the situation in Syria to beyond the simple arming of proxies. It seems the US will invade the country, together with their Wahhabistani goons and probably the Turks. The question is: do Russia and Iran have the will to do anything about it, and if so, what the various possible scenarios will look like. Nuff Sed.

  31. LeaNder says:

    Dr. Brenner:”it looks like the Defense Ministry’s warning two days ago was more than a move to preempt a merely abstract possibility.”
    Anyone? Russia issued a warning to Turkey, or a general warning that it should not something silly again? What did I miss? Or is it the American Defense Ministry?
    The only thing I found is from TASS three days ago:
    Very superficial cursory look: strictly this is in tune, with what feels like Russian propaganda operations over here. Of course we do not know who instigates “concerned factions” with a Russian background.
    Unicorns/Aleppo: I didn’t really look into it closely, “moderate rebels” it’s a way too complex scenario for my taste.
    WAPO mentions two groups, both supposedly supported by the US:
    One of them leads us to Aleppo:
    The presence of Turkmen, indicates that Turkey may not be so fond of Russian activities there.

  32. Will says:

    yep, but the congress raids the social security trust fund and then complains that the benefits have to be cut b/c social security is broke. but largely after reading Krugman and having read “Animal Spirits,” i largely agree. the problem is not the debt but liquidity traps.

  33. linda says:

    I have been wondering for the past couple of years if US actions are not reinforcing an independent Kurdish state in Syria and Iraq and if anyone has thought this through. So many implications that it is even hard to express them all.

  34. Babak Makkinejad says:

    The war in Syria has not been a proxy war since Iran and Hezbollah joined it; 4 years ago. It is much less so now that the Russian Federation has also entered the war.
    This war reminds me of the Spanish Civil War with the Jihadists being the analogues of the Leftist Dreamers of the Spanish Republic and SAR being counter part of the “Law & Order” Loyalists.
    The Republic attracted leftist fighters from abroad and was supported by USSR and the Loyalists had Italians fighting with them and for them.
    The interesting question is if the analogy is complete with a world war to follow the cessation of hostilities in Syria within a few years.

  35. Old Microbiologist says:

    The real problem with fiat currencies are they are faith based and valueless otherwise. If everyone with depsosits wanted cash at the same time it would collapse the system. This partially happened when the drug cartels liquidated their dollar assets from US banks which created a liquidity crisis. It is a large part of the reason the banksters want to eliminate cash altogether.
    The part that always amazes me is they print money at any whim, especially for weapons and war, but no one seems to ever consider asking why not go into debt for healthcare, retirement, education, railroads, etc.? Why pay taxes at all?

  36. Chris Chuba says:

    PJ, are you engaging in a rhetorical question?
    Obviously all of our 600+ air strikes in Ramadi were able to only hit the 200 to 400 ISIS fighters without damaging the city in any other manner whatsoever. No bakeries were harmed in the making of this movie. Any resemblance to the surface of the Moon was completely coincidental or caused by Russian dumb bombs that accidentally hit Ramadi while trying to bomb some other location.

  37. The Beaver says:

    As if on cue, the israelis have their bête noire:
    “As long as Iran is in Syria, the country will not return to what it was, and it will certainly find it difficult to become stable as a country that is divided into enclaves, because the Sunni forces there will not allow this,” Yaalon said in an earlier statement.
    Nothing on Russia since they are signing a free trade deal but Iran, why not?
    They forgot that’s what their Zionists friends in DC and Manhattan hav ebeen preaching for Iraq since 1998.
    Do they have their goal to take the “Syrian Druzistan”? Who has been helping the “rebels” in that part of Syria?
    What did they discuss with the Haschemite King?
    Surprisingly no one in Munich sees ISIS as the real S.O.Bs in that whole affair

  38. Tyler says:

    Scalia is dead and now this stuff. The world is teetering on the brink of a Westphalian reorganization in the West.
    Also funny you use brackets to indicate irony. The new thing on the Alt Right is to use ((((echoes)))) to indicate Zionism.

  39. jr786 says:

    With all the talk of Nato’s preoccupation with Russian expansionism it would be surprising if they were not panicked by the reality of a Russian blue water fleet in the Mediterranean. I always reckoned Lattakia the prize in this game; conceding it to Russia without a fight seems unlikely. I imagine the Turks will intervene at some point and engage the Russians, at our behest.

  40. turcopolier says:

    Different brackets. pl

  41. Swami Bhut Jolokia says:

    Saudi Arabia will no doubt leverage the skills and experience gained in their successful campaign in Yemen.

  42. Babak Makkinejad says:

    If I understand things correctly, per MRW’s earlier postings, there is no Social Security Trust Fund.

  43. Babak Makkinejad says:

    That would be MRW’s Fiscal Policy prescription.
    US fiat currency is in demand by foreigners – so are Pound Sterling, and Swiss Francs.
    That distinguishes these currencies from other fiat currencies such as Yen or Rials.

  44. SmoothieX12 says:

    I am not up on all of the military state of the art but I recall hearing that since artillery has a predictable ballistic trajectory that there is a way to use that to calculate the origin of the shooter and to accurately send a missile back to the sender.
    Counter-battery operations are a very peculiar part of combat. Today, specially designed radar are used to deliver (calculate) instant firing solution against the battery whose salvo is detected by radar.

  45. Good questions from the PYD on Turkey shelling of the Menagh air base:
    “Speaking to Reuters, PYD leader Saleh Muslim said on Sunday Turkey had no right to intervene in Syria’s internal affairs, adding that an air base shelled by the Turkish army on Saturday had been in the hands of the al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front until forces allied to the PYD captured it last week.
    “Do they want the Nusra Front to stay there, or for the regime to come and occupy it?” Muslim said by telephone. When asked about Davutoğlu’s demand that the PYD withdraw from areas north of Aleppo, Muslim said he rejects that demand. He pointed out that the air base was captured by the PYD-allied Syria Democratic Forces, which includes Arabs and Turkmens alongside the YPG militia. Müslim said if Turkey intervened in Syria they would find the entire Syrian people confronting them.”

  46. Bill Herschel says:

    This post purports to contain a statement by a Russian officer in the Baghdad command center. If it is bonafide (and I find it very hard to believe it isn’t), it is a remarkable statement.
    It can be summed up, “We don’t like Jihadists,” and following on from that one is entitled to fill in, “This is Chechnya III”.
    Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the US, etc., etc. The Russians are aware of them and have some ideas of what they are doing or won’t do, but they don’t care. They are taking care of business and will continue to do so.
    Business? Security Council Resolution passed unanimously 2254. Simple.

  47. SmoothieX12 says:

    a Russian blue water fleet in the Mediterranean.
    Russia does not have Blue Water Fleet in its original understanding, which is US-made–that is Russian Navy can not “project power” as it is envisioned by US Navy. Russia simply does not have means nor real necessity to do that. Russian Navy CAN “project power” by means of launching long range cruise missiles of Kalibr variety from its submarines (both nuclear and SSK)and latest surface ships but it still remains primarily Sea Denial force. That means its main task is to prevent any kind of operations against Russia from the sea. As of now, Russia has very limited force in Med.

  48. Bill Herschel says:

    The original text of what I have just posted in these comments is in Arabic.

  49. LondonBob says:

    Slightly OT.
    Very surprising article by Jeffrey Sachs on HRC, the CIA and Syria.
    I think Trump signaled in his clashes with Jeb over Iraq that should it be Clinton Trump in the Presidential, that Iraq will be a big theme for him, with attacks on her role in Syria and Libya/Benghazi thrown in for good measure. Apparently Trump’s message on bringing the troops home and using the money to rebuild America is the single highest polling line recorded in the US. I expect it will bury her as it did when she lost to Obama.

  50. pj says:

    Only half-rhetorical. Even knowing the bias of the MSM, I am surprised that I can find no reports of civilian casualties from any credible source.

  51. kooshy says:

    This, like all wars for Syria, for eastern Mediterranean sea, for what Brzezinski calls Eroasia, is nothing new, is as old as history. From the time of easterner Persian fighting with the westerner Greeks, continued through Persian Sassanid waring with westerner Romans and on to Muslim east in war with western Christian crusaders, ottomans and European fighting over the eastern Europe and western Asia, up to today
    American/West vs Persian/Russian/Chinese is all the same. After almost 3000 years we are in same place, and on same planes, is the easterners, the silk roaders who are fighting for Halab at the end of the ever most important trade road in men’civilization. Is again the Iranians with the help from eastern European Russians and the trade of goods from China that is at stake here. All accesses to entire Mediterranean sea, the most important body of water that connects 3 continents, 2 oceans and at least 5 seas that is at stake again. Bab al Mandab, Suez, Gibraltar, Dardanelle, north African shores including east up to Haifa, entire southern European shores, entire eastern European shores of Mediterranean sea from Turkey to Croatia, both sides of read sea, is all access controlled by US and the west. That is why the only fight is left, is the fight for the only access that is still available for the east to reach the eastern shores of the Mediterranean sea, which is Syria and Lebanon. I don’t see how east including Iran can concede on this, to the west. Iranians, they understand denial of access well, they know and have seen that done by the ottomans, Romans, crusaders and more recently by the Americans. Post-soviet Russians were slow and too optimistic, now they are beginning to learn what the denial of access means and is. This war is still a proxy war, since the only conventional ranked ground forces who are fighting on and in land is the SAA, everybody else in this war are gorillas, militias, or rebels, who in one way or other are all proxies(bitches) of somebody who is not willing/Risking to show his face. IMO this war will continue to be a proxy war on SAA, the only ranked conventional army that is defending her home.

  52. Amir says:

    Belgium does what you describe: the government has 110% BNP debt but almost entirely to it’s own population.

  53. Amir says:

    What I forgot to add, they spend the money in education, social projects, research, healthcare …and get the return. The nominal tax burden is high but then again everyone is a champion in tax dudging.

  54. Hood Canal Gardner says:

    Bob..as for the ‘as is’ end Feb election candidates it’s still a puzzle ie the ‘pieces’ have a lot more moves to make.
    Someone out there must be willing to bell the US-SA cat. I wish the intel was better. All I seem able to see is diplomatic/military tourism.

  55. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Thank you for your comments.
    The empires of yore that you have mentioned were all from a pre-industrial era which depended on extraction of wealth from human (and animal) labor. Plunder and rapine was a way of life with them since none other existed.
    EU states, the Russian Federation, the United States, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran, Qatar are not fighting in Syria or for Syria for material gains.
    The access (or rather denial of access) that NATO states enjoy is real but I think the Suez Canal cannot accommodate the larger container ships already and I am not sure all of this denial of access is as important as it used to be – or will be in the future with the developments of the land and maritime routes to the Orient.
    And I think that calling the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, whose general officers, officers, and rank-and-file dead are being buried every day in Iran or those of Hezbollah “irregular soldiers” is accurate. They certainly are not “bitches”, in my opinion, and nor are the Russian pilots.
    I suppose you are saying that unless a conventional army is defending its homeland, it is otherwise a proxy force? Red Army fighting in Germany? US in Anzio? The English in Burma?
    And what about the Great King @ Apadana: “The Persian man has fought far from home…” to create the present perfect state.

  56. cynic says:

    Issuing nicely coloured pieces of paper in ever greater quantities in exchange for items of value is a great idea which lots of people have found works well until quite suddenly – it doesn’t.

  57. cynic says:

    Government financing it’s expenditure by borrowing works in stable circumstances, but who will want to make dollar denominated loans in hyper-inflationary circumstances? Then deficits have to be financed by plunder. The advantage of being a Reserve Currency diminishes as international trade diminishes. Foreigners will have less need of dollars, and they will seek to make more use of their own and other currencies as they see the dollar is no longer a store of value. Overseas expenditure by the American government would become much more difficult.
    This would not be the first American experience of hyper inflation. Wasn’t the first currency issued by the revolutionary government called a ‘Continental’, and didn’t the depreciation of its value by over issue to meet war expenses give rise to the expression, ‘not worth a Continental’?

  58. cynic says:

    The ‘guy’ is not stupid. He looks more like an absent-minded professor type. He may be wrong. He may have got hold of something but hasn’t managed to fully elucidate it or to make full use of his understanding of it. No stupid person could come up with such a strange idea as that monitoring temporary shifts in linguistic usage on unrelated topics could be used to predict events, or be able to work out what events and when and where they will happen. He claims a record somewhat better than chance, although he admits to being optimistic on timing and that sometimes the outcome is unexpected.
    Actually stupid people believe what politicians say, and that things will continue indefinitely as they are now.

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