Category Archives: Syria

Peace through Strength

Our Russian friends have a funny idea about how to conduct a war: they go and bomb and then dig out the people who are their declared enemies. They support their friends. They are not so much winning in Syria as not losing.

America has a rather vast response capacity. Tomorrow morning President Obama could let lose his heavy bombers and flatten, with a week, every known rallying point of ISIS, all of its oil resources and it’s so called capital.

Obama could send in the attack helios and the AC-130s and kill every formation of ISIS on the ground.

Obama could deploy the several thousand special forces personel at his command and shoot up ISIS at a granular level.

Russia does a lot with, relatively speaking, very little. But what Russia has is a strategic vision. It may be brutal. It may accept civilian casualties. But it gets the job done for Russia.

Tolstoy wrote a little less than a dozen chapters at the end of War and Peace on the philosophy of war. He made the point that the will of an Army and it’s commanders turns destiny in its direction. But without that will nothing occurs. All is chaos.

Pugin, outgunned, knows this. He cannot defeat America, but he can defeat America’s pathetic proxies. Hell, he has them shooting each other. Putin understood Tolstoy… I suspect Obama skipped the last few chapters.

Tagged , , ,

Long views

A long break from writing my blog but not from thinking about the questions which drive it.  In the interim we have seen the rise of IS, the economic laming of Europe, the collapse of high oil prices and the end of the Democratic Congress.

Oh and I nearly forgot, the end of alarmist climate change as anything but a fringe issue… When you are reduced to the Pope and Prince Charles you know that the shark jump has occurred.

At end I have been reading history and Gore Vidal’s essays and Proust. To really get a handle on IS you need a sense of the murderous history of the Near and Middle East. To capture the spirit of massacre which permeates the politics of the Levant you need to recognize that it stretches all the way back to the Early Byzantine. If you want to understand the nastiness of elements of Sicilian and Spanish cultural attitudes towards women you have to see how far into Europe Islam advanced. Similarly it is useful to know that before the Islamic invasion much of the Middle East was Christian, pagan or Jewish. The Crusaders, in their brutish way were protecting Christian holy places from invaders. (Not that the Crusaders were adverse to killing the Jews as well as Muslims in wholesale numbers. Not to mention attacking Byzantine, populated by fellow Christians.)

When you get a bit of a historical feel for the place a lot of the vexed questions of whose land is it vanish – it is contested land open to whomever can hold it. So then the question become who would we like to hold it. And that question can be answered in a number of defensible ways.

So, back to blogging. It is an emptier world than when I tapered off. But it will be interesting to see who is new.

Time for Fury

A second journalist, Steven Sotloff, has been beheaded by the medieval Islamists of IS.

There are many good reasons to eradicate IS and its enablers: genocide, ethnic and religious cleansing, rape as a tool of war, slavery – and the murder of one more person should not tip the balance. Rather, the balance should have been tipped long ago.

Pinprick airstrikes are not doing the job. Hellfire missles are too little, too late. It is time for serious air attack. Cluster munitions will make some impression. It is time for the Saudi airforce to start flying its 300 F-15s.

It is also time for there to be a single, short phone call from the American President to his allies saying that the US is going in and, if they would like to help they would be welcome.

Now, if the empty seat who occupies that office cannot bestir himself to defend the citizens of the Republic he serves the Constitution has provisions for that. Meanwhile, it is still important for Canada, Australia, the UK, Germany, France, Saudi, Jordan, Egypt, the UAE and Israel to begin the process of rolling back IS.

Tagged , , ,

IS to ISN’T

If ever there was an opportunity to set Islamic terror back a couple of decades that opportunity is now in the wastelands of Syria and Iraq. 

The Islamic State is estimated to have 15,000 fighters out there beheading and crucifying and raping assorted minorities and lots of other Muslims.  They have a few ranks and APCs plus a fair bit of heavy weaponry and lots of cash. (Though given the intelligence failures of the current American regime it would be wise to double those estimates.) 

A division of Marines and serious air strikes – think cluster bomb more than precision munitions  get will stop IS and then Saudi financed Egyptians and Pakistani infantry can go in and kill them.  Not capture,  not take as prisoners,  kill. The actual killing needs to be done by their fellow Muslims and it needs to be done pretty much immediately. 

Soft power has been proven bullshit.  Time to let Is know what happens to bullies. 

Tagged , , ,

Go Kurds, GO!

http://time.com/2898883/iraq-turkey-kurd-isis/

If there is any glimmer of light in the Iraq debacle it is that the Kurt are well on their way to sovereignty. The crazed Arabs and equally insane Persians will fight it all out. The Kurt will hold their borders, straighten their lines, and be recognised as a state. One which will prosper and ignore the idiotic of the sale fists and the Khomanists.

Tagged

The Reality Deficit

Newly elected Premier Wynne is about to run into the fact the bond raters don’t think much of the most progressive budget in Ontario history.

It turns out that the Sunni Triangle never went away and the jihad is are taking full advantage.

The IRS has “lost” two critical year of email communications with external agencies on its targeting of Tea Party groups.

Surface temperatures are the wrong way to measure the effects of global warming/climate change (possibly because they don’t show any for the last 17 years).

The promise of amnesty, or even its discussion, leads to waves of illegal migrants.

Humans, especially well meaning, sincere, progressive humans, like to be optimistic believing that an appeal to our better angels will somehow change facts so as to fit the preferred narrative. They hope that human nature, and indeed mother nature, will see the justice of their cause and adjust itself accordingly.

Suggesting otherwise makes one a racist or a denier or an islamophobe or some sort of xenophobe. The bond raters and climate scientists and policy analysts rude enough to pay attention to reality are excluded, attacked and marginalised.

Which creates what I would describe as a reality deficit. It is very difficult to get big questions exactly right. Every answer to a big question will be a little bit wrong in its details. It will be an approximation subject to revision as more information and data is brought to bear on the question. Sensible people understand this.

However, when new information or data is ignored, suppressed or filtered through an ideological lens understanding is undermined. The narrative begins to depart from its underlying reality.

As the reality deficit grows the ability of policy makers to reach good decisions is diminished. In the long run this is a self correcting problem. But the cost and pain of adjustment back to reality is huge and grows with every decision made on faulty data or flawed premise.

Whether it is government spending, climate policy, the legal morass of the IRS or a pragmatic response to the jihad is the bigger the reality deficit the nastier the adjustment shock.

Tagged , , , , ,

ISIS

As I write this I suspect some other poor Shi’ite bastard is having his head hacked off by the charming men of Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shams continue their march on Baghdad. Where, apparently they will run into the equally charming hard men of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Two groups who deserve each other.

One hopes the jihadi/Guard fight lasts a long time with many, many casualties on both sides. But, when they have exhausted each other lets also hope that Obama is bright enough to send serious air strikes at the jihadi rear. And not just fighters. Send the B-2s with cluster munitions and by all means the AC-130s.

There is a kill zone which stretches from Syria to Iraq. The Kurds will hold the Western flank and the Shi’ites should be able to bottle up the jihadis to the South. American, Jordanian and Saudi forces should be able to hold the borders of those countries.

If Obama had the will he could kill or assist in the killing of the flower of the jihadi movement. In every crisis there is opportunity and the opportunity here is scorched earth in an area pretty much built for bombing, strafing and cluster munitions.

Tagged , , , ,

Good Guys

News of an impending chem weapons “deal” in Syria is a reminder of how surreal Middle Eastern politics can be. There is next to no chance the terms of the deal will have any reality but that does not seem to matter much.

Assorted rebel factions are shooting at each other while Assad, not quite believing his luck, keeps up the pressure. It’s a mess.

The only bright spot I can see is the quiet emergence of a Kurdish enclave in Syria just across the largely imaginary border from the semi autonomus Kurdish region of Iraq.

There are very few good reasons to support any of the facrions in Syria, Iraq, Iran or Turkey. In most cases the choice is between the bad and the awful. However, the Kurds – though Muslim – seem to avoid the fanaticism which infects so much od the Middle East. They would like their own country carved out of various other countries – and they have pursued low level wars to attain that; but they are more slaughtered than slaughtering.

From the West’s perspective, supporting Kurdish independence would weaken any number of bad actors in the ME and might establish a second, pro-Western nation in the region. At the moment the West, and paticularily the US, is playing a directionless, losing game. Changing that game by supporting Kurdish nationalist ambitions might establish a course toward a more stable Middle East.

Tagged , , ,

Crunch

The crunch and clangs you are hearing is the sound of the car wreck which passes for American foreign policy at the moment.

Russia is not keen at this stage for a binding U.N. Security Council resolution that would provide a framework to control Syria’s chemical weapons’ stocks, France’s foreign minister said after talks with his Russian counterpart on Tuesday. reuters

There was never much chance that Syria and Russia would actually act to sequester the chemical weapons. In the middle of a civil war it is not all that terrifically easy to deal with the logistics leave aside the politics.

However, faced with certain defeat in the House and a good chance of defeat in the Senate and the American people 3 or 4 to 1 against the idy, biddy, no really, really small, attack on Syria, Obama needed a way out. Putin threw a lead life buoy and the very dim Obama and the even dumber Kerry grabbed it. (The laughter echoing through the halls of the Kremlin can be heard in Damascus.)

Hitting Syria, or, more accurately blowing a raspberry in its general direction, was not the credibility piece here. Everyone knows that the US has awesome raspberry blowing capacity. The credibility was all about the President’s ability to deal with a complicated international situation. While the Court Press will hail the Russian “deal” as proof Obama can wield the power of his office for a peaceful outcome, anyone paying attention will know just how badly he and his team have done.

The audience here is not the Washington tounge bathing media nor, in fact, the American people: rather it is the Iranian, North Korean, Syrian, Russian, Israeli, Egyptian and world strategic elite. People whose job it is to assess the resolve of the American President.

I rather suspect that, no matter what the Big Zero and his spinners say tonight, the universal verdict will be:

Pwned

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Someone is playing checkers

Syria to give up control of chemical weapons.

Do they even play checkers in Russia?

Do the Big 0 and Big, Dumb, John even know how to play checkers?

Sadly, America has been completely outplayed. Kerry should resign citing his own inability to do the job of Secretary of State.

Tagged , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: