Terrorism and national security analyst | Lot of history and religion; regrettably, also some politics | Obligatory Substack plug: check it out, subscribe, etc
1 added to My Authors
Sep 9, 2018 • 5 tweets • 3 min read
A U.S. diplomat met three times with military officers in #Venezuela plotting a coup against Nicolas Maduro; he refused to give the officers even an indication of support, let alone the communications devices they needed to bring off their conspiracy. nyti.ms/2QfP2G2
Some saw #Venezuela's military as a means of stabilizing the situation, allowing practical things like aid deliveries. Others "saw considerable risk in building bridges with leaders of a military that...ha[ve] become a pillar of the cocaine trade and human rights abuses." #pt
Sep 5, 2018 • 5 tweets • 3 min read
More details on the schism between the Hazimis and lesser-extremists in #IS: Abu Anisa al-Dagestani, an Azeri commanded and Hazimi, blames the caliph's insufficiently stern position on takfir for the loss of land and men last year. chechensinsyria.com/?p=26129
According to Abu Anisa al-Dagestani, the caliph reversed the May 2017 expansion by the Delegated Committee of the takfir ruling after his wife had a dream in which Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, and Abu Muhammad al-Furqan came to his house and ignored him. #pt
Sep 4, 2018 • 4 tweets • 2 min read
If true, would seal the case for getting rid of Mattis.
Whatever the truth of Woodward's stuff, Mattis used his influence in April to work Trump down from a strike package that would have targeted the Asad regime itself and also killed some of the Russian and Iranian forces that abet its criminality. This was a disastrous mistake.
Aug 25, 2018 • 4 tweets • 3 min read
We mock Owen Jones for silence now #Venezuela has ended as socialism always does, but having just read a Leftist argument that #China's internment of Muslims is invented by USG fronts like @HRW, the "corporate media", and "reactionary" oppositionists, OJ's looking quite good.
As a side note: I simply do not know where to start with the accusation that @HRW has an "excessively disproportionate focus on designated enemies of Washington". Whatever criticisms of HRW one might have, that one seems completely delusional.
Aug 21, 2018 • 5 tweets • 2 min read
21 August 1968: The Warsaw Pact [USSR, Bulgaria, GDR, Hungary, and Poland] invade Czechoslovakia, where a reformist leader had taken power in January and in April a reformist government took office, intent on "socialism with a human face". Moscow regarded this as a mortal threat.
Yuri Andropov, the KGB chief, advocated invading Czechoslovakia from early in the "crisis". The KGB made innovative use of Illegals, all of them posing as Westerners, to try to kidnap leading Czech reformists and to disseminate active measures to discredit the Prague Spring.
Aug 7, 2018 • 4 tweets • 5 min read
The #YPG/#PKK announces that its operatives have murdered Akash Ahmad Ali, a member of the ruling council in Efrin. #Syrianedaa-sy.com/en/news/7735
The #YPG/#PKK put out a video of its sleeper agents in the Efrin zone assassinating a member of Faylaq al-Sham in a drive-by shooting on 28 July. #Syria
Aug 7, 2018 • 6 tweets • 4 min read
#Saudi Arabia says #Canada's statement on the arrest of activists in the Kingdom is an unacceptable interference in its internal affairs, expels the Canadian ambassador and freezes all future trade. bbc.in/2vs6crl
"In her first public response to Saudi Arabia's actions, Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said on Monday: 'Let me be very clear ... Canada will always stand up for human rights in Canada and around the world, and women's rights are human rights'." aljazeera.com/news/2018/08/s…
Aug 3, 2018 • 4 tweets • 2 min read
A column from me in The @NYPost: in Britain we saw the consequences of Labour's "pas d’ennemis à gauche" (no enemies on the Left) stance; if the Democrats don't start isolating their radicals there's no reason it can't go the same way. nyp.st/2LOdKi7
Jeremy Corbyn became Labour leader "despite a massive smear campaign by Britain’s Zio-establishment", said David Duke, former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. "It’s a really good ... when people are beginning to recognise Zionist power". thetimes.co.uk/article/former…
Aug 1, 2018 • 5 tweets • 4 min read
It's possible The @Independent just slightly tipped its hand at the outset in what it thinks about Seymour Hersh. ind.pn/2mZMZZ7
More carefully written than usual but also still somewhat misleading: in both My Lai and Abu Ghraib, Hersh wrote of atrocities that the US military was already in the process of punishing. He just added sensationalism and used the events for political warfare to assist the enemy.
Jul 28, 2018 • 12 tweets • 4 min read
In Dec. 1950, U.S. Gen. Douglas MacArthur requested that the authority for the use of tactical nuclear weapons be handed to him as battlefield commander. All indicators are he planned to use them in areas of North Korea and Red China. Truman refused and fired him in April 1951.
(It's not entirely clear what MacArthur proposed to hit with nuclear weapons in Korea and China: he did at some point publicly deny he ever intended their use. Other documents suggest he wanted to create a line of nuclear fallout to sever the Korean Peninsula from China.)
Jul 26, 2018 • 5 tweets • 7 min read
Our partner force in #Syria, the #SDF/#PKK is further formalizing its close relationship with the #Asad/#Iran system and mulling joint offensive operations against a #NATO member. So that's all going well. reut.rs/2LD074A
As @Reuters notes: our partner in #Syria, the #SDF/#PKK, a paragon of liberalism and Western values, "indefinitely postponed" the final stage of an election that was already a Soviet-style sham, excluding thousands of Arabs and run under conditions of suffocating autocracy.
Jul 25, 2018 • 6 tweets • 4 min read
#Turkey should heed Pompeo and release Andrew Brunson. It's wrong; the case has been hopelessly tainted with politics. It's also self-defeating. Holding him hits on a raw nerve in the U.S. and makes achieving Ankara's own objectives more difficult.
The reboot of 'Firing Line' is not working: it was never conceived as an interview show but a contest of ideas; the new host lacks William F. Buckley's worldview, forensic approach to argument, and killer instinct when someone says something fatuous. warondrivel.com/firing-line-re…
This clip is a perfect illustration of what's wrong with the 'New Firing Line': it doesn't matter about the politics; the host allows Ocasio-Cortez a soft landing when she gets herself caught up in contradiction and exposes her ignorance. Buckley would never have allowed that.
Jul 18, 2018 • 10 tweets • 5 min read
Nelson Mandela, who died on 5 Dec. 2013, would have been 100-years-old today. He oversaw the transition from apartheid to majority rule in South Africa, gaining a near-saintly reputation. But his legacy, and that of his party, the African National Congress, is more complicated.
The Soviet Union before the Second World War had little knowledge of Africa. One of its few focuses was South Africa, the most developed state, and the #ANC from its foundations was tied up with the slavishly pro-Soviet #SACP and more directly with Soviet intelligence.
Jul 16, 2018 • 17 tweets • 9 min read
#Putin's opening to this press conference suggests the takeover of southern #Syria by Asad/Iran is a model of U.S.-Russia cooperation that should be expanded, and flatters Trump that his summit with Kim [which Putin very much liked the look of] resolved the Korean Peninsula.
On #Ukraine, Putin hints broadly that the U.S. agrees with him that Kyiv's intransigence prevented Minsk's implementation, and then carefully lets it be known Trump brought up the election meddling, an assist to Trump politically, before of course dismissing it.
Jul 14, 2018 • 6 tweets • 2 min read
One test of seriousness for Guardian types and others now apparently converted to the reality of Russian subversion: What do they think of Phil Agee?
Many are old enough to have expressed views in real time. Do they now take those back and agree they were fooled?
The psychological barrier to forming a common front with the newly-converted Russia hawks on the Left is the suspicion that they are pressing a political campaign under the banner of national security, and once in office will revert to form.
Jul 13, 2018 • 4 tweets • 2 min read
Here we see Putin's cutout used as evidence against Romney for propaganda purposes, serving Russian interests and damaging America. People were talking about "open collusion" or "public collusion" today. I think we have another suspect.
If we were looking for other instances of public collusion with the Russians:
- Obama promised more "flexibility" to Putin after the election
- Kislyak was taken to browbeat Senators over the Iran deal
- Obama signed a military pact with the Russians to attack Asad's enemies
Jul 13, 2018 • 6 tweets • 6 min read
"It's time to put the myth of 'separating Russia from Iran' to rest. The evidence shows that Russia and Iran are fast allies, and are more likely to remain so than to separate." Great piece by Shlomo Bolts. jpost.com/Opinion/The-my…
SEPT 2017: @Doranimated and @peterrough wrote of "the deep mutual dependence between the Russians and the Iranians [in #Syria]", and thus the unlikelihood of "truly splitting the two". mosaicmagazine.com/essay/2017/09/…
Jul 13, 2018 • 12 tweets • 7 min read
Down at the #TrumpProtest in Parliament Square. Lots of the placards are handed out by the Socialist Workers' Party, Stop the War, and Friends of Al-Aqsa (FOA). There's plenty of sheer obscenity. And large pockets where the smell of cannabis is overwhelming. #TrumpUKVisit
Some kind of song put together by the activists down at the #TrumpProtest. #TrumpUKVisit
Jul 10, 2018 • 5 tweets • 4 min read
Michael Dempsey argues that after the pro-Asad forces roll over Deraa, Idlib is next, and then comes the east, against the U.S. partner, the #SDF/#PKK, unless the U.S. does some creative thinking and stays invested. <Some comments below> warontherocks.com/2018/07/what-d…
I am not sure that #Turkey will stand aside in Idlib. Dempsey is right that the Turks' presence is "limited" but as a military-political matter (calling it a "red line", coping with an influx of 2m refugees plus terrorists, space it gives to PKK) Ankara needs to hold its ground.
Jul 9, 2018 • 17 tweets • 15 min read
<Brief Thread> on some CIA reports as the #PKK insurgency was beginning in #Turkey.
HT @Ayei_Eloheichem, who found these materials. He covers Russia, Israel, terrorism, espionage, and more. Give him a #FF.