AuthorTopic: The Aleppo/Mosul Riddle  (Read 4410 times)

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The Aleppo/Mosul Riddle
« on: October 22, 2016, 09:26:15 AM »


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  Published on Strategic Culture on October 21, 2016



The Aleppo/Mosul Riddle



Discuss this article at the Geopolitics Table inside the Diner



There’s no question Baghdad needs to take back Mosul from ISIS/ISIL/Daesh. It could not do it before. In theory, the time is now.



The real question is the conflicting motivations of the large “who’s who” doing it; the Iraqi Army’s 9th Division; the Kurdish Peshmerga, under the baton of wily, corrupt opportunist Barzani; Sunni tribal lords; tens of thousands of Shi’ite militias from southern Iraq; operational “support” from US Special Forces; “targeted” bombing by the US Air Force; and lurking in the background, Turkish Special Forces and air power.



Now that’s a certified recipe for trouble.



Much like Aleppo, Mosul is – literally – the stuff of legend. The successor of ancient Nineveh, settled 8000 years ago; former capital of the Assyrian Empire under Sennacherib in the 7th century B.C.; conquered by Babylon in the 6th century B.C.; a thousand years later, annexed to the Muslim empire and ruled by the Umayyads and the Abbasids; the key hub, from the 11th to the 12th century, of the Atabegs medieval state; a key Ottoman hub in a 16th century post-Silk Road spanning the Indian Ocean all the way to the Persian Gulf, the Tigris valley, Aleppo and Tripoli in the Mediterranean.



After WWI, everyone craved Mosul – from Turkey to France. But it was the Brits who managed to dupe France into letting Mosul be annexed to the British Empire’s brand new colony: Iraq. Then came the long Arab nationalist Ba’ath party domination. And afterwards, Shock and Awe and hell; the US invasion and occupation; the tumultuous Shi’ite-majority government of Nouri al-Maliki in Baghdad; and the ISIS/ISIL/Daesh takeover in the summer of 2014.



Mosul’s historic parallels could not but have a special flavor. That 11th/12th century medieval state happened to have roughly the same borders of Daesh’s phony “Caliphate” – incorporating both Aleppo and Mosul. In 2004, Mosul was de facto ruled by disgraced, failed “presidential material” Gen. David Petraeus. Ten years later, after Petraeus’s phony “surge”, Mosul was ruled by a phony Caliphate born in a US prison near the Kuwaiti border.



Since then, hundreds of thousands of residents fled Mosul. The population may be as much as halved compared to the original 2 million. That’s a mighty lot to be properly “liberated”.



Aleppo “falls”



The hegemonic narrative about the ongoing Battle of (East) Aleppo is that an “axis of evil” (as coined by Hillary Clinton) of Russia, Iran and “the Syrian regime” is relentlessly bombing innocent civilians and “moderate rebels” while causing a horrendous humanitarian crisis.



In fact, the absolute majority of these several thousand-strong “moderate rebels” is in fact incorporated and/or affiliated with Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (Conquest of Syria Front), which happens to be none other than Jabhat al-Nusra, a.k.a. al-Qaeda in Syria, alongside a smatter of other jihadi groups such as Ahrar al-Sham (Al-Nusra’s goals – and who supports them – are fully documented here).



Meanwhile, few civilians remain trapped in eastern Aleppo – arguably no more than 30,000 or 40,000 out of an initial population of 300,000.



And that brings us to the crux of the matter explaining the Pentagon sabotage of the Russia-US ceasefire; those fits of rage by Samantha Batshit Crazy Power; the non-stop spin that Russia is committing “war crimes”.



If Damascus controls, apart from the capital, Aleppo, Homs, Hama and Latakia, it controls the Syria that matters; 70% of the population and all the important industrial/business centers. It’s practically game over. The rest is a rural, nearly empty back of beyond.



For the headless chicken school of foreign policy currently practiced by the lame duck Obama administration, the ceasefire was a means to buy time and rearm what the Beltway describes as “moderate rebels”. Yet even that was too much for the Pentagon, which faces a determined Syria/Iran/Russia alliance fighting all declinations of demented Salafi-jihadis, whatever their terminology, and committed to keep a unitary Syria.



So reconquering the whole of Aleppo has to be the top priority for Damascus, Tehran and Moscow. The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) will never have enough military to reconquer the rural, ultra hardcore Sunni back of beyond. Damascus may also never reconquer the Kurdish northeast, the embryonic Rojava; after all the YPG is directly backed by the Pentagon. Whether an independent Rojava will ever see the light of day is an interminable future issue to be solved.



The SAA, once again, is tremendously overextended. Thus, the method to reconquer East Aleppo is indeed hardcore. There is a humanitarian crisis. There is collateral damage. And this is only the beginning. Because sooner or later the SAA, supported by Hezbollah and Iraqi Shi’ite militias, will have to reconquer East Aleppo with boots on the ground as well – supported by Russian fighter jets.



The heart of the matter is that the former “Free Syrian Army”, absorbed by al-Qaeda in Syria and other Salafi-jihadis, is about to lose East Aleppo. Regime change and/or “Assad must go” – the military way – in Damascus is now impossible. Thus the utter desperation exhibited by the Pentagon’s Ash “Empire of Whining” Carter, neocon cells implanted all across lame duck Team Obama, and their hordes of media shills.



Enter Plan B; the Battle of Mosul.



Fallujah remixed?



The Pentagon plan is deceptively simple; erase any signs of Damascus and the SAA east of Palmyra. And this is where the Battle of Mosul converges with the recent Pentagon attack on Deir Ezzor. Even if we have an offensive in the next few months against Raqqa – by the YPG Kurds or even by Turkish forces – we still have a “Salafist principality” from eastern Syria to western Iraq all mapped up, exactly as the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) was planning (dreaming?) in 2012.



London-based Syrian historian Nizar Nayouf, as well as unnamed diplomatic sources, have confirmed that Washington and Riyadh closed a deal to let thousands of phony Caliphate jihadis escape Mosul from the west, as long as they head straight to Syria. A look at the battle map tells us that Mosul is encircled from all directions, except west.



But what about Sultan Erdogan in all this? He’s been spinning that Turkish Special Forces will enter Mosul just as they entered Jarablus in the Turkish-Syrian border; without firing a shot, when the city will be cleaned of jihadis.



Meanwhile, Ankara is preparing its spectacular entrance in the battlefield, with Erdogan in full regalia shooting at random. For him, “Baghdad” is no more than “an administrator of an army composed of Shi’ites”; and the YPG Kurds “will be removed from the Syrian town of Manbij” after the Mosul operation. Not to mention that Ankara and Washington are actively discussing the offensive against Raqqa, as Erdogan has not abandoned his dream of a “safe zone” of 5,000 km in northern Syria.



In a nutshell; for Erdogan, Mosul is a sideshow. His priorities remain a fractured, fragmented Syria, “safe zone” included; and to smash the YPG Kurds (while working side by side with the Peshmerga in Iraq).



As far as the US Plan B is concerned, Hezbollah’s Sheikh Nasrallah has clearly seen through the whole scheme; “The Americans intend to repeat the Fallujah plot when they opened a way for ISIL to escape towards eastern Syria before the Iraqi warplanes targeted the terrorists’ convoy.” He added that “the Iraqi army and popular forces” must defeat ISIS/ISIL/Daesh in Mosul; otherwise, they will have to chase them out across eastern Syria.



It's also no wonder that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has also clearly seen The Big Picture: “As far as I know, the city is not fully encircled. I hope it’s because they simply couldn’t do it, not because they wouldn’t do it. But this corridor poses a risk that Islamic State fighters could flee from Mosul and go to Syria.”



It’s clear Moscow won’t sit idly by if that’s the case;“I hope the US-led coalition, which is actively engaged in the operation to take Mosul, will take it into account.”



Of course Mosul – even more than Aleppo – poses a serious humanitarian question.



The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) estimates as many as 1 million people may be affected. Lavrov goes straight to the point when he insists “neither Iraq nor its neighbors currently have the capacity to accommodate such a large number of refugees, and this should have been a factor in the planning of the Mosul operation.”



It may not have been. After all, for the “US-led” (from behind?) coalition, the number one priority is to ensure the phony Caliphate survives, somewhere in eastern Syria. Over 15 years after 9/11, the song remains the same, with the war on terra the perennial gift that keeps on giving.



Offline RE

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Re: The Aleppo/Mosul Riddle
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2016, 10:56:12 AM »
You can't fix this problem with air strikes.  It's going to take a lot of boots on the ground, and more boots then anyone wants to send in either.

RE

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Offline Petty Tyrant

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Re: The Aleppo/Mosul Riddle
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2016, 02:27:43 PM »
You can't fix this problem with air strikes.  It's going to take a lot of boots on the ground, and more boots then anyone wants to send in either.

RE

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Ive noticed in the last 6 months many, many people switching "then" with "than" and "to" with "too", including several diners. It's a very recent phenomena across the net and diners, I know, have decades of treating these words as having seperate meanings and distinct applications. I know the diners have adopted this in the last 5 months because I have been reading their posts for the last 5 years. I have been wondering about this craze springing up across so many forums, that I suspect is a step in the dumbing down and dystopia shown in "Idiocracy". Can anyone apply introspection enough to explain to me why old habits don't die hard, but easily in this process? Does this spring from Common Cores 'no right method' and the economy of 140 characters needed on Twitter? I believe the question is relevant to collapse.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2016, 02:58:14 PM by Uncle Bob »
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Re: The Aleppo/Mosul Riddle
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2016, 03:14:57 PM »

Ive noticed in the last 6 months many, many people switching "then" with "than" and "to" with "too", including several diners. It's a very recent phenomena across the net and diners, I know, have decades of treating these words as having seperate meanings and distinct applications. I know the diners have adopted this in the last 5 months because I have been reading their posts for the last 5 years. I have been wondering about this craze springing up across so many forums, that I suspect is a step in the dumbing down and dystopia shown in "Idiocracy". Can anyone apply introspection enough to explain to me why old habits don't die hard, but easily in this process? Does this spring from Common Cores 'no right method' and the economy of 140 characters needed on Twitter? I believe the question is relevant to collapse.

I haven;t noticed much change in this usage, and it doesn't seem very significant to me either.

RE
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Offline Petty Tyrant

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Re: The Aleppo/Mosul Riddle
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2016, 03:45:50 PM »
There are less than ten posts containing diners own words this morning and two have this. That would be a million per cent increase from a year ago.

A dumbed down populace is easier to control, its meant to be part of A21. Logic itself is based on if-then premises,  which is why our primary/elementary teachers insisted on our knowing the differences. Suppose a civilian in Mosul asks to hitch a ride on a moderate rebels toyota pickup outta there before the invasion, theres a significant difference in where he ends up. Somewhere safe if "take me to" retains its meaning, or the next battle if "take me too" retains its specific meaning.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2016, 03:48:43 PM by Uncle Bob »
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Re: The Aleppo/Mosul Riddle
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2016, 03:53:36 PM »
There are less than ten posts containing diners own words this morning and two have this. That would be a million per cent increase from a year ago.

A dumbed down populace is easier to control, its meant to be part of A21

So you think Diners are dumber now than they were a year ago?

RE
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Re: The Aleppo/Mosul Riddle
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2016, 04:11:12 PM »
There are less than ten posts containing diners own words this morning and two have this. That would be a million per cent increase from a year ago.

A dumbed down populace is easier to control, its meant to be part of A21

So you think Diners are dumber now than they were a year ago?

RE

No, but I believe the complexity of our communicated mental manipulations are limited by our vocabulary, especially  the listener/readers. Already for many people today the only difference between a positive and negative description of anything is "that stuff is the shit" vs "that stuff is shit". 
« Last Edit: October 22, 2016, 04:22:48 PM by Uncle Bob »
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Offline RE

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Re: The Aleppo/Mosul Riddle
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2016, 04:19:14 PM »
There are less than ten posts containing diners own words this morning and two have this. That would be a million per cent increase from a year ago.

A dumbed down populace is easier to control, its meant to be part of A21

So you think Diners are dumber now than they were a year ago?

RE

No, but I believe the complexity of our communicated mental manipulations are limited by our vocabulary, in particular the listener/readers. The way it is going, in 20 years only intonation will  differentiate positive from negative or amount/extent because "that stuff is the shit" could be the standard description of everything.

Maybe, but I don't see this as a major existential crisis on the Diner at the moment.

RE
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Offline g

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Re: The Aleppo/Mosul Riddle
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2016, 04:24:24 PM »
What is the difference between too and to?

Too
(1) Too means as well. For example:

    Your eye is swollen. Your lip is swollen too.

(2) Too conveys the idea of in excess. For example:

    Your cat is too fat.

To
(1) To is a preposition. For example:

    Give it to him.

(2) To shows the infinitive form of a verb. For example:

    I want to run.


Too and To
There is often confusion over the words too and to. Both words have two uses.
Too
Too has two uses:


(1) Too means as well or also.

    I can do it too.
    Did you think that too?

Read more about too meaning as well or also.

(2) Too portrays the idea of in excess or more than it should be.

    This cat is too chubby.
    The shoes were too expensive.
    I'm glad to hear you smoke. A man should always have an occupation of some kind. There are far too many idle men in London as it is. (Oscar Wilde)

Read more about too meaning in excess.
To
To has two uses:

(1) To is used in expressions like to walk, to run, to paint, etc. (These are all verbs in their infinitive forms.)

    I want to run around the planet.
    Did you tell her what to think?
    I'm glad to hear you smoke. A man should always have an occupation of some kind. There are far too many idle men in London as it is. (Oscar Wilde)

Read more about to show the infinitive form.

(2) To is used in expressions like to the park, to the postman, and agree to a proposal. (The word to in these examples is a preposition.)

    She handed the parcel to the stranger.
    I am going to the park.

Read more about to used as a preposition.

http://www.grammar-monster.com/easily_confused/too_to.htm :icon_study:

Offline Petty Tyrant

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Re: The Aleppo/Mosul Riddle
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2016, 04:40:22 PM »
There are less than ten posts containing diners own words this morning and two have this. That would be a million per cent increase from a year ago.

A dumbed down populace is easier to control, its meant to be part of A21

So you think Diners are dumber now than they were a year ago?

RE

No, but I believe the complexity of our communicated mental manipulations are limited by our vocabulary, in particular the listener/readers. The way it is going, in 20 years only intonation will  differentiate positive from negative or amount/extent because "that stuff is the shit" could be the standard description of everything.

Maybe, but I don't see this as a major existential crisis on the Diner at the moment.

RE

To fully autistic readers, using the wrong word doesnt register any better than wrong computer code will run on a machine. Anyway the answer so far as to why people take up the new interchangeability is it doesnt matter.
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Offline g

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Re: The Aleppo/Mosul Riddle
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2016, 04:45:58 PM »
There are less than ten posts containing diners own words this morning and two have this. That would be a million per cent increase from a year ago.

A dumbed down populace is easier to control, its meant to be part of A21



So you think Diners are dumber now than they were a year ago?

RE

No, but I believe the complexity of our communicated mental manipulations are limited by our vocabulary, especially  the listener/readers. Already for many people today the only difference between a positive and negative description of anything is "that stuff is the shit" vs "that stuff is shit".

Advertising, Social Media, Smileys, Urban slang, Acronyms, Sound Bites, No more written news being replaced mostly by videos prefaced with ads for ass holes, Texting shortcuts, Twitter etc, have created universal sloppiness Uncle.

Nothing is going to change it. It will only get worse, and like our Constitution, Freedom, Food and everything else being corrupted; no one gives a fat shit.

Collapse will hopefully call meticulous attention to details and precision again, until then, get used to it Unc.  :-\


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Re: The Aleppo/Mosul Riddle
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2016, 06:56:21 PM »
Considering UB's spelling, grammar, punctuation and overall understandability is one of the worst on DD, I am surprised that he is able to pick out such mistakes in other peoples' posts.  It might be that he reads them, but doesn't read his own posts before hitting Post.

Quote
UB: Suppose a civilian in Mosul asks to hitch a ride on a moderate rebels toyota pickup outta there before the invasion, theres a significant difference in where he ends up. Somewhere safe if "take me to" retains its meaning, or the next battle if "take me too" retains its specific meaning.

Apart from 2 missing apostrophes, 1 lack of capitalization of proper noun, and 1 use of slang, the second sentence doesn't actually make sense.  In this case I suppose we can all guess what you meant, but often it is impossible.

In case it turns out that MY posts contain errors, I must mention now that as a result of my second stroke I lost the skill of typing - I still knew how it all worked, but the fluidity had just gone.  I had to re-learn it, and I know I make far more mistakes now than I used to, and fixing the mistakes is harder too. 

I also lost my skill with the mouse and had to re-learn that.  I can remember learning it the first time with my first PC, and it only took 15 minutes before it became automatic.  Now after 5 years of re-learning, I still can't double click better than once in 5 tries, and trying to hit a small target (like window borders that are only 1 pixel wide) is not even worth the effort.

I also lost my skill at spelling error-prone words.  I still remember that "i before e except after c, except when it's an exception to the rule", but I'm damned if I can remember how to spell "receipt", so I type it and rely on the browser's spelling-checker to tell me if it's wrong.  Unfortunately it is not clever enough to recognise the incorrect use of "than" and "then" or "to" and too".

Anyway, I propose that everyone uses a spelling-checker, even if it is only an English(US) one with all those "-ize"s instead of "-ise"s, and checks for spelling mistakes before posting.
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Offline azozeo

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Re: The Aleppo/Mosul Riddle
« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2016, 07:10:30 PM »
Considering UB's spelling, grammar, punctuation and overall understandability is one of the worst on DD, I am surprised that he is able to pick out such mistakes in other peoples' posts.  It might be that he reads them, but doesn't read his own posts before hitting Post.

Quote
UB: Suppose a civilian in Mosul asks to hitch a ride on a moderate rebels toyota pickup outta there before the invasion, theres a significant difference in where he ends up. Somewhere safe if "take me to" retains its meaning, or the next battle if "take me too" retains its specific meaning.

Apart from 2 missing apostrophes, 1 lack of capitalization of proper noun, and 1 use of slang, the second sentence doesn't actually make sense.  In this case I suppose we can all guess what you meant, but often it is impossible.

In case it turns out that MY posts contain errors, I must mention now that as a result of my second stroke I lost the skill of typing - I still knew how it all worked, but the fluidity had just gone.  I had to re-learn it, and I know I make far more mistakes now than I used to, and fixing the mistakes is harder too. 

I also lost my skill with the mouse and had to re-learn that.  I can remember learning it the first time with my first PC, and it only took 15 minutes before it became automatic.  Now after 5 years of re-learning, I still can't double click better than once in 5 tries, and trying to hit a small target (like window borders that are only 1 pixel wide) is not even worth the effort.

I also lost my skill at spelling error-prone words.  I still remember that "i before e except after c, except when it's an exception to the rule", but I'm damned if I can remember how to spell "receipt", so I type it and rely on the browser's spelling-checker to tell me if it's wrong.  Unfortunately it is not clever enough to recognise the incorrect use of "than" and "then" or "to" and too".

Anyway, I propose that everyone uses a spelling-checker, even if it is only an English(US) one with all those "-ize"s instead of "-ise"s, and checks for spelling mistakes before posting.


Palloy.... Go fuck yourself, & get a life.
I'm so god damn sick & tired of you doggin' folks around
the diner.
I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why youre here. Youre here because you know something. What you know you cant explain, but you feel it. Youve felt it your entire life, that theres something wrong with the world.
You dont know what it is but its there, like a splinter in your mind

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Re: The Aleppo/Mosul Riddle
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2016, 07:36:53 PM »
I propose that Diners not obsess over spelling or grammar as long as you can make sense of the post.  Overall, Diner posting is a good deal more literate than you find anywhere else, try reading the posting on Kunstler's blog or on ZH.  ::)  I have a few sticky keys and often I have letters dropped out in a few words.  I'll also do stuff like type "hear" instead of "here".  Generally speaking this is easy to figure out from context, so it is just not a big deal.  Incomprehensible prose is a much bigger problem, and that should be avoided.

RE
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Re: The Aleppo/Mosul Riddle
« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2016, 08:08:45 PM »
Quote
AZ: Palloy.... Go fuck yourself, & get a life.
I'm so god damn sick & tired of you doggin' folks around
the diner.

I've never been accused of "doggin' folks around" before.  I tried to look it up in a slang dictionary but I couldn't find it - must be some really cool kind of slang, popular with teenagers or aliens. 

Quote
RE: Generally speaking this is easy to figure out from context, so it is just not a big deal.

The problem is it breaks the flow of what is being read, while the reader goes into "figuring out context" mode, and then getting back into reading mode.  Once or twice is not a problem, but repeatedly doing it through sheer laziness (or a positive choice of style) is.
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