sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Hot Spots

North Korea

US, Japanese and South Korean official sources reported that North Korea attempted to launch a missile on 22 March, but that it exploded seconds after launch. The missile was launched from a location near Wonsan on North Korea’s east coast. No official service or open source reported the type of missile.

The Norks continue to experience reliability issues. As this blog cited previously, the 50/50 standard of launch reliability and guidance to hit in the general vicinity of where the missile is aimed that they're going for -- remains elusive to them. The nightmare scenario for the Norks is that the people's rocket would launch and guide on South Korea, China or Japan without controls. That sort of situation would almost certainly prompt a military response of some sort. Then we're off to the races and who knows where we'll end up.

Syria

On 22 March, Hurriyet Daily News reported that Turkish intelligence sources claim that Russia is building a base in Afrin. A four-vehicle Russian convoy was seen arriving there.

The Russians are sticking to the storyline that they are building a branch center that is linked to the reconciliation center in Latakia. Earlier this week, a Russian spokesman denied Russians were building anything in Afrin.

I have no idea how to comment other than wait, and see. The Russians were invited into Syria and they have done what they did with the permission of the Syrian government.

The fifth round of peace talks on the Syrian Issue will be held in Geneva on 23 March. This will be the first time that the Syrian government and the opposition hold talks on topics on which they have agreed. All parties to the talks expect modest progress at best.

   US Involvement

Military. The US acted openly on the side of the Syrian Democratic Forces and the Syrian Kurdish militia, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), on 22 March. US helicopters lifted 500 SDF fighters with US advisors to a blocking position west of Raqqa. They were supported by US Marine Corps artillery fire and by US air strikes.

The operation is proceeding without the assistance of the Turks, whose intervention force and proxy, the Free Syrian Army, are boxed at al Bab, between the Russians and the Syrian Kurds in Afrin and the US and Syrian Kurds at Manbij and encircling Raqqa.

Open sources reported four main areas of fighting on 22 March. One is around Raqqa, mentioned above.

The second and third are Hama and a suburb of Damascus. Groups of fighters affiliated with the Free Syrian Army are fighting Syrian forces and their allies. The fourth area is in eastern Aleppo Governate where the Syrian army is fighting a pocket of Islamic State fighters in Deir Hafer. 

The Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) and the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are coalitions of fighting groups. Supposedly these groups all signed up to observe the ceasefire which is monitored by the Russians and the Turks. 

Collectively, they are referred to by the UN and others as the Armed Opposition Groups (AOGs), to distinguish them from the hard-core groups that have not agreed to observe the ceasefire. Those groups include the al-Qaida affiliated Jabhat Fateh al-Sham/Al Nusra Front, the Islamic State, and others.

The FSA groups began offensives at Hama and near Damascus about the time the US clarified its position as backing the SDF at Manbij. Their operations would seem to be ceasefire violations.

These operations have several implications. First, they indicate that the Turks are frustrated by the evolution of developments in northern Syria, where they intended to dominate. They have lost their military edge, lost Turkish soldiers and are no closer to creating a Turkish-protected safe zone now than they were months ago.

The second implication of the FSA offensives is that they demonstrate that Turkey continues to support fighting groups who intend to overthrow the Asad government. Turkish politicians had indicated that Turkey stopped those operations.

A final implication is that these operations area reminders that there are so many armed fighting groups with grievances that consolidation and restoration of normality will be lengthy operations, best left to the locals to manage. Syria will remain overrun with armed young men looking for work for years.

The Arab Summit

29 March marks the beginning of the Arab Summit (2017) in Jordan. There are elements of this event that hold my interest because they touch on a consulting project that I'm engaged with. There was a question as to whether I'd fly there or remain in the US. There seems to be no particularly useful purpose for me to be there personally, and I can fly (first class) and be there the next day if I need to. 

The preparatory meetings begin today and I expect some behind-the-scenes fireworks. I can't discuss my project, however, in a larger context, there is a serious concern about Iran and the expansionist dreams of the Shiia Empire. I don't know what will come of those discussions but the Arabs are often long on talk and short on action where this is concerned because of the Byzantine nature of the Summit (think of twenty-two chameleons making love in the same confined space).





Compendium (a few - Things that tick me off)

Things Swedish

I'm not going on a rant of how much I hate shopping as Ikea, or how Swedish meatballs are inferior to Italian meatballs, but the Swedes are a strange bunch.

Swedish women are known to be some of the friendliest in Europe but will they remain so since they are under siege? Time will tell. 

What happened to the viking blood? Has it all washed away?

Following the US Democrat playbook, they are now blaming Russia rather than accepting responsibility for allowing savage, unemployable, military age Muslim men into their country where they prey on Swedes. There is a much larger threat to Sweden coming from the lawless wolves that they've let in than there is from a Russia. But you wouldn't know it by reading the dishonest, elite, lying Swedish Mainstream Media.

Have at the Russians, Sweden, let us all know what you find. The invasion is upon you (by your own hand) but not the one that you envision.

Electronic Surveillance

Now we know that members of the Trump Transition Team did end up being collected against under a FISA warrant 'incidentally'.  We also know that whichever agency did the collection (FBI), leaked the incidental collection to the corrupt, elite, lying, smug, nasty, untrustworthy, mainstream media.

Somebody needs to go to prison.

My trust level for the integrity of FBI Director James Comey is roughly equal to my trust for the integrity of Whoopie Goldberg and the women of "The View". Maybe Comey could go to work for The View after his term at FBI ends?

Witness if you will how the evil, corrupt, elite, smug, lying, filthy mainstream media spin "wiretapping" into "monitoring". Tonight, MSNBC will focus on the difference between the two words while trying to parse completely different meanings out of them. By the end of the program (if you're a prog), you may believe that a FISA warrant, followed by felonious, unauthorized disclosure is a good thing - so long as it didn't happen to YOU. There will be a bevy of talking heads who nod and agree with this. They will come to the conclusion that President Trump must be impeached. They may even praise the FBI for the leak.

Mohammedan Rampage in London

Nothing new here, folks, move along. The Home Secretary calls for tolerance for savages. More senseless police violence perpetrated against the Religion of Peace. 

If the UK would submit to Islam, if the women stopped driving automobiles and going to school and served only as breeders (who had been subject to genital mutilation) and wore black tents over their bodies with a slit to see through, everything would be perfect. Will British women accept their role as chattel? Additionally, the British homosexuals need to come out of the closet in support for Islam. It will help that they can be more readily identified...

There are a lot of potential causes for the slaughter people going about their daily business. Islam has so many complaints. Is the UK bringing enough human lice from Syria and Sudan, settling them in nice, quiet, respectable British neighborhoods and putting them on welfare? Time to re-evaluate those programs and increase the immigration quotas. Maybe that will pacify the savages. Time for MORE tolerance and political correctness! Only then will the jihadis join hands with the Brits and dance around the May pole in a celebration of Spring.