sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Monday, February 8, 2016

Subtle Positive Changes in Syria

This is not a comment on the millions of military age male refugees who have flooded into Europe, putting unreasonable demands on the social welfare states there (they want "money for nothing and chicks for free").  They will remain in Europe sucking down free kabob and raping the local ladies  on their way to and from work and the mothers taking their children to soccer practice (referred to as 'western whores' in Islam).

On 7 February, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced it was ready to supply ground troops to help support and train an international military coalition against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Syria, provided such efforts were led by the United States.
Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said, "I think that this has been our position throughout ... that a real campaign against Daesh (ISIL) has to include ground elements... We are not talking about a thousand troops, but we are talking about troops on the ground that will lead the way, that will train, that will support ... And I think our position remains the same and we will have to see how this progresses. Of course an American leadership in this effort is a pre-requisite," Gargash said.
The UAE is the second Gulf State to declare its readiness to commit ground troops to the fight against ISIL in Syria. Saudi Arabia made an even stronger declaration on 4 February. The Saudi and Emirates leaders apparently have decided that the most efficient way to build an Arab coalition against terrorism, as announced on 15 December, is to join the existing Coalition. 

Syrian state media today reported on 6 February that the military had “returned security and stability to the town of Ataman,” a small town just north of the Jordanian border, and near the main city on that border, Dara’a, which was where the initial protests leading to the civil war were held.

This is a continuation of the offensive operation that began around 25 January. The government objective is to take Dara’a. Ataman/Athman is only 4 kms from the city center of Dara’a. Past attempts to recapture the south have stalled after running short of supplies. The latest offensive has lasted two weeks and continues to make progress.

The fact that Syrian government and allied forces are maintaining two strategically important offensive operations simultaneously is a good measure of the health of the regime at this time. Syrian forces are having success fighting on two major fronts. It also is significant that both offensives are on Syria’s periphery. Violent instability begins and ends on the periphery. The Syrian government has stopped collapsing and falling inward and is now expanding outward to the national boundaries in the western part of Syria. Much of this reversal has to do with Russian support of the regime, which also wiped out the CIA's program near Ataman and Dara'a, designed to replace Assad. Russian airpower disrupted the American clandestine effort (not really very secret these days) and Syrian ground troops, backed by Cubans in tanks helped to push that effort back into Jordan. 

Once the Russians entered with a limited ground force and airpower, the resistance both US backed and ISIL/Daesh has been diminished. The US has a horse in the race with the Kurds in the eastern portion of Syria and Iraq, but the Kurds don't have the manpower or will to take over Syria. They just grow opium in their little corner of the world and sell it to US markets (in New Hampshire) and elsewhere. Strange how all this connects, isn't it?

I think that a sovereign Syria is a good thing in the short term. It will stem the flood of military age male refugees and at the same time will check ISIL. The US is embarrassed, but when you consider that Obama-Clinton-Kerry have been running the foreign policy ship on the rocks, it's not surprising.

Year of the Monkey

Happy New Year to all those of you who observe the Lunar New Year, set off firecrackers, bark at the moon and burn hell money.

As those of you who know me understand, I have a number of friends who are Buddhists and attach sacred (sorta) significance to the blooming new year. I'm definitely not a Buddhist, though I was just named to be chief financial officer to a Buddhist trust last week. I asked "why me". They said a Buddhist would ignore responsibility, give money away or go on a retreat, allowing disaster to befall the stupa and surroundings. Maybe I'm better off not being Buddhist given all that.

Some cynics say that today is also the day when we should honor all of the flying monkeys who attend and advise Hillary Clinton.