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Germany Calls Out Saudi Arabia for Fostering Extremism

Next Cold War Roundup 12-9-15

M/W/F 10ish Eastern.

Syria Talks

_ Continuation of Vienna talks on Syria will be held in New York on Dec. 18

_ There’s a jihadi meet-up in Riyadh this week. Al Qaeda is not technically attending but some of their partners are. The Kurds, according to this article, are not invited and there are reports that they will hold their own meetings. Foreign Policy asks the question: “Will an al Qaeda Ally Be a Peacemaker in Syria?”

Germany Does (and Doesn’t) Call out Saudi Arabia for Fostering Extremism

_ Germany’s BND intelligence agency and the government’s Vice Chancellor Gabriel are lashing out against Saudi Arabia’s funding extremism. Merkel responded by distancing herself from the comments which Telegraph (conservative media) mentions, more than once, are a rare thing to hear from Western governments.  And Gabriel’s criticisms and warnings were actually mild on the subject of terrorist proxies.  Still Merkel could not even tolerate mild criticisms for things that the whole world know are true, even though it came from her own intelligence org and her coalition partner.  Meanwhile Spiegel is floating a trial balloon “Are German Ground Troops Inevitable in Syria?”  Also in Germany, “nipsters” or neo-Nazi hipsters are a fad.

Turkey, Iraq and Pipelineistan

_ Escobar’s long held Pipelinistan theory renewed and applied to the current situation. He has three new articles: “Syria: Ultimate Pipelineistan War” and “What is Erdogan’s Game in Syria and Iraq?” and “Crippled in Syria, Turkey goes for a ‘Sunnistan’ in Iraq

_ The deadline imposed by the Iraqi government has passed and Turkey has not removed their troops from the Mosul area. Iraqi PM Abadi spoke to NATO’s Stoltenberg and asked NATO to use its authority to “urge Turkey to withdraw immediately from Iraqi territory.” The UN Security Council held a closed door meeting on Turkey’s incursion into Iraq. The Iraqi ambassador spoke afterward:

Amb Alhakim: “We believe that Ankara understood the Iraqi position, strongly. We have made it very clear that what came through the border has to go back… There is a meeting between the Russian ambassador in Baghdad, and that’s normal, because we summoned as well by the prime minister, as well as the foreign minister, and also the ambassador of US, Britain, as well as, there will be a brief tomorrow at the foreign ministry to the P5…”.

_ Sec of State John Kerry plans to travel to Moscow next week to meet with Lavrov and Putin “on the subject of Syria and Ukraine.”

New Russian Bases in Syria and Iranian Air Force Squadrons

_ Russia defence ministry spokesperson denied that they are setting up two new air bases, claiming that it’s just chatter from an irrelevant Kuwaiti news source (even though that same source is on the ground in Syria and Iraq and has been providing accurate information on this war for three months).  “There has not been and there is no operational necessity to set up additional Russian airbases in the territory of Syria.”  Russia has also been saying they have no plans for Russian ground forces and the US coalition has not talked about the air base they are reported to be building in northeastern Syria.  The US coalition also denies bombing Syrian ground troops near Raqqa while the Syrian government has provided evidence, announced by this same spokesperson.

_ Former Israeli national security advisor, Maj. Gen. Yaakov Amidror, commented on recent news that two Iranian air force squadrons will be stationed over the border in Syria near Homs but the jets are Israel would  “not have to respond so long as the Iranian jets don’t interfere with us. We are free to dislike it, but if they don’t interfere with us, they can bomb their targets. It doesn’t require a change of course on our part.”  The Israeli govt and military have not commented on the subject yet.

Bombing Syria gives Britain mojo

_ Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne: “’My message to you is that Britain has got its mojo back and we are going to be with you as we reassert western values, confident that our best days lie ahead,’” Osborne told the Council on Foreign Relations.”

_ “US, UK, French and Israeli oil firms hope… to take advantage of the ‘new Syrian state’ in a post-conflict Syria”


_ “Biden gives Ukraine ‘one more chance’ to reform“. It might be comical if post-coup Ukraine wasn’t so tragic. Biden says that unfortunately the war in eastern Ukraine is still raging. What he doesn’t mention is that the Ukraine military that the US & NATO has been training & equipping has been massing on the front lines. And there’s a history of new attacks after visits from US officials who are in charge of the Ukraine project (Biden, Nuland, Brennan). Geoffrey Pyatt, the US ambassador to Ukraine (heavily involved in Maidan coup) has been lobbying for the Ukraine prosecutor to be ousted. He has been making public statements about the oligarch owner of  Burisma Holdings (energy firm which has employed Biden’s son Hunter) and his corrupt dealings for which the prosecutor has obstructing justice.  You can’t make this stuff up. I don’t think anyone doubts stories about corruption but one has to wonder if the Burisma owner also isn’t playing ball re: future plans for Ukraine’s oil & gas or agricultural goodies and that’s why he might be dislodged.

_ Ukraine’s Maidan anti-corruption front has largely ended up trading one set of corrupt oligarchs for another as described here in an article titled “Revolutions Without Benefits“.  Robert Parry is one of the best sources on the co-opted Maidan “revolution”,  the US involvement (past and present) and has many articles on the topic.

_ Crimea has not been part of the discussion on a solution for Ukraine for many months and was not addressed in the Minsk agreement or follow up talks.  But today, Biden not only brought it up but he is now claiming that Russia must return Crimea to Ukraine.  And Ukraine president Poroshenko said Ukraine wants to join the US coalition in Syria. What’s ironic is that in that war in Syria & Iraq, Turkey is in the process of taking over Mosul, a  territorial integrity issue that if consistency was the goal, would generate the same kinds of protests from Turkey’s allies, but so far has not.

_ Ukraine neo-Nazis are now selling stolen Dutch masterpiece paintings.“Our collection is in the hands of corrupt people, deep in the heart of the Ukrainian political elite,” and in other news, Ukraine’s Minister of Truth resigned on Tuesday.

Joanne Leon

Joanne Leon

Joanne is a blogger with focus on issues of war and peace, a mom, engineer, software developer and amateur photographer.