“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

"What The Hell Are We Doing in Syria?"

What Just Happened in Syria?

Last week, after the White House announced its support for Syrian rebels was finished, the United States said it dropped 50 tons of ammunition from the air into Syria, ostensibly for unnamed Arab groups fighting ISIS. That, supposedly, was the last assistance those people were going to get.
A few days later, various anti-ISIS Syrian Arabs issued a collective, huh?
What happened to that ammo that supposedly fell out of the sky?
Nobody seemed to get any ammo.
All became clear the next day when Eli Lake and Josh Rogin reported in Bloombergthat, according to various officials, the aid was never intended for Syrian Arabs. That 50 tons of ammo actually went to the Kurds.
“Turkey cannot accept any kind of cooperation with terror organizations that have declared war against Turkey,” Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said.
That ammunition went to no kind of terrorist organization. It went to the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, or YPG, the only half-way sane militia in all of Syria that’s capable of taking on ISIS and winning.
The YPG is allegedly linked to the quasi-Marxist Kurdistan Worker’s Party, or PKK, over the border in Turkey which is listed by the United States government, among others, as a terrorist organization. But the PKK and the YPG are different organizations. They have different goals, different ideas, different leaders, and different enemies. They aren’t even in the same country. And the extent of their linkage is hotly disputed.
The Pentagon later said that, no, that ammunition did in fact go to Syrian Arab fighters and that, to the best of its knowledge, none of it was shared with anyone else.
The officials who told Lake and Rogin that it went to the Kurds are anonymous sources. They spoke unofficially and off the record. But this isn’t a case of one person said “this” and another said “that.” Lake and Rogin have American, Kurdish and Syrian Arab sources who back up that claim.
The Pentagon is almost certainly lying so it won’t infuriate Turkey.
Look. Running guns and ammo under the radar to legitimate proxies in a fight against a terrorist army is entirely reasonable behavior on the part of the United States government. We’ve been doing that sort of thing for decades. Pretty much everyone else in the Middle East does it, too, but they almost always run guns and ammo to terrorist organizations rather than to groups fighting terrorist organizations.
Regardless, it’s high time we come out and say exactly what we’re doing and why. Everyone already knows we’re backing the Kurds against ISIS, and everyone already knows the Turks would rather see an ISIS victory than a Kurdish victory. None of this is even remotely a secret. It’s all right out in the open. Official denials aren’t fooling anybody.
Besides, pretending we’re not doing what we clearly are doing just makes it look like the Turkish government’s complaint is legitimate.
It’s not.
Turkey says arming Syrian Kurds is unacceptable. Well. You know what’s unacceptable from everyone else’s point of view? Telling the rest of the world that we all have to suffer the plague of ISIS because an independent Syrian Kurdistan is inconvenient to Turkey.


  1. Turkey supports Hamas. It funds, supplies and helps a world recognized terrorist group.

    Turkey's actions have directly led to the murder of scores of Jews across the region and that's just in the last 20 years.

    If we look at Turkey's history?

    From the GENOCIDE of the Armenians to the slaughter of the Kurds?

    When will Turkey give back Constantinople to the Christians it stole? The Great Church?

    Ah well who cares...

    maybe it's time to allow the Turks to rule over the arabs for another 500 years...

  2. I agree. They ought to give Constantinople back to the Christians. Right is right.

    Also, I think Turkey was better off with the Generals running it.

    I believe I recall a good deal of co operation between the Israeli military and the Turkish military.

    The best outcome of all would be for the Turkish military and the Israelis to rule over the Arabs...............

    Things would go better......

  3. You know it is a FUBAR when folk say things l8ke :
    "That ammunition went to no kind of terrorist organization. It went to the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, or YPG, the only half-way sane militia in all of Syria that’s capable of taking on ISIS and winning."

    1. Tonto, the ammo ought to go to the Kurds.

      Shoo, shoo, shoo, go away now, and get a tattoo like your idiot new ruler.

    2. Do you get hives when brushed by an intelligent comment?

  4. Well, considering this a little further, the very best outcome would be for WiO, myself, and my Niece to run Turkey. I envisage WiO running the military and defense, myself generalized cultural affairs, and my Niece having total control of women's issues.

    I remember how I told my Niece one time that out this way we old farm folk always refer to our wives, and have done this forever, as "our better half".

    She was quite impressed by this old long standing cultural habit of ours, tilted her beautiful thoughtful head aslant, and said:

    "That is the way it should be"

    She would introduce this cultural way into Turkish society and it would take root. She would make many other changes to Turkish life as well, particularly in the area of higher education for women.

    I asked her once too about women in open society in India and she said women and men were supposed to walk on opposite sides of the street but this was rapidly fading, especially in the big cities. I told her how here in the old days the man was always expected to walk streetside, the lady away from the street. This was an old habit now dying, and the purpose way to keep the lady from getting the wet and mud or dust from the passing horses and carriages.

    WiO, myself, my Niece.....we'd get Turkey cracking again, a place the entire international community would be proud to visit.

    WiO would keep the Turks and Israel safe from aggression, and I would open the universities to rational thought and discussion on a whole range of issues and my Niece would see to it that women are treated as fully human, not 1/2 human, as in islam.

    There is a place for Quirk in all this......I am working on it.

  5. WASHINGTON — In the winter of 2012, when the civil war in Syria had already consumed tens of thousands of lives, Vladimir V. Putin, the Russian president, sounded dismissive of Syria’s beleaguered leader, Bashar al-Assad, and unconcerned about his future. Mr. Assad, he said, acidly, had spent more time courting leaders in European capitals than he ever had in Moscow.

    “We are not that preoccupied with the fate of Assad’s regime,” Mr. Putin said then.

    Three years later, the two presidents have bound themselves together in an alliance that reflects not only the urgent priority of salvaging the crumbling central government in Syria, but also each man’s eroded standing on the international stage.

    Assad Makes Unannounced Trip to Moscow to Discuss Syria With PutinOCT. 21, 2015
    President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia spent his 63rd birthday in Sochi playing hockey with N.H.L. veterans. He scored seven goals in a match that was broadcast live on national TV.For Vladimir Putin’s Birthday, Ice Hockey and a Missile StrikeOCT. 7, 2015
    President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, in Paris on Friday for a summit meeting with Western leaders on Ukraine. That conflict has lately been overshadowed by the intervention in Syria.News Analysis: In Putin’s Syria Intervention, Fear of a Weak Government HandOCT. 4, 2015

    Mr. Putin’s military has forcefully intervened to shore up Mr. Assad’s government in its struggle against an array of insurgents, but, even as Mr. Assad flew secretly to Moscow on Tuesday night for a meeting to assess the fighting in Syria, the chilly personal relationship between the two men has not changed, according to officials, diplomats and analysts.

  6. Deuce ☂Wed Oct 21, 09:52:00 PM EDT

    Do you get hives when brushed by an intelligent comment?

    I would willingly suffer the hives in the unlikely event, it has never happened yet, of an intelligent comment ever coming from Ash, and you too, since your undergoing of the sufferings of your changeling.

    1. Come, you vile ass, you boastful fool, you must be blushing.

  7. All this is very simple to my experienced Niece.


    The moslems are a bunch of assholes.

    As bad as the ones are in her area....

    "The ones in the Middle East are the worst, Uncle Bob"

  8. .


    Sounds like some fiction written by H. Rider Haggard.


    1. Up yours, you absolutley dumb fuck.

      80,000,000 millions of Hindus killed by the moslems over the centuries.

      And you, moron, make joke.

      Just fuck you altogether.

    2. Eighty million.

      And you make joke.

      You are a total 100% asshole.

    3. .

      Who said I was joking. You read the novel. The perspective of the novel is that of the period and the place, Victorian England. You personify it well. The fixation on women. The imperialistic view that colored races as just not quite 'white' enough. How many times must we hear of how great it was for India to have Britain conquer and rule them?

      Face it, Bob, you were just born in the wrong century.


    4. What I said Quirk was that they got a common language out of it, the idea of democracy, a functioning court system............

      All to the good.

      That's about it.

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. .

    Bibi Goes Reverse Godwin on Hitler

    Courtesy of Rabbi Eliyahu Fink over at

    Hitler Rants:

    [I would have put up a clickable link but I don't know how you do it with a Facebook page.}