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Cold War II

Skepticism > Political Skeptic > Fifth Column of Neoliberal Globalization > Color revolutions

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Nulandgate Who Shot down Malaysian flight MH17? Putin stands up to US and G8 warmongers on Syria Hillary the warmonger Hillary role in Libya disaster Hillary role in Syria bloodbath
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Obama: a yet another Neocon To whom EuroMaidan Sharp-shooters belong? EU-brokered agreement on ending crisis The Far Right Forces in Ukraine Odessa Massacre of May 2, 2014 Suppression of Russian language and culture in Ukraine
Compradors Fifth column NGOs as braintrust of color revolutions Resurgence of ideology of neo-fascism Totalitarian Decisionism & Human Rights: The Re-emergence of Nazi Law Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair
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Secular Stagnation Economics of Peak Energy The Guardian Slips Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment Foreign Agents Registration Act Russian Fifth column Humor Etc

The Russian and US perceptions of war are totally different: for a Russian the war is a fight for survival as an individual and as a nation, for a US person war and killing are just another day in the office. And that includes perception of the risks of "Cold War" turning into hot.  Jingoism of the current US elite is really crazy: ‘Kill Russians and Iranians, threaten Assad,’ says ex-CIA chief backing Clinton. And this is not some drunk schmuck in the pub.  This is a  top CIA official, who twice served as the acting director of the agency

In an interview with Charlie Rose in August 2016, Morell blamed Syrian President Assad, Russia, and Iran for the death toll in Syria.[28] He called on the moderate opposition in Syria to make Russia and Iran "pay a price" for their involvement in Syria, in part by targeting their military personnel in the country.[29] He also called on the US to begin bombing Syrian government targets in order to bring Assad to the negotiating table.[30] Regarding President Bashar al-Assad, Morell argued "I want to go after those things that Assad sees as his personal power base. I want to scare Assad."[29]

You would think that this guys is a crazy psychopath (thanks God he retired form CIA in 2013). But his views reflect the views of a large swat of Washington political establishment. And President Trump actually fulfilled Hillary bidding and attacked Assad's military installations, the action  which Morell argued for.   Which opened a new chapter in Cold War II history.

Key events of Cold War II

Generally we can think about Cold War II as consisting of several phases, signified by particular events:

  1. Phase I
    1. Prehistory (1991-1999). The USA, especially Bill Clinton administration,  wanted to weaken, isolate and subdue Russia since the dissolution of the USSR (using corrupt regime of drunk Yeltsin as a puppet and Harvard mafia as economic advisors; Russian neoliberals who came to power in Russia after the dissolution of the USSR  allowed fox to guard the chickens and faced consequences )  and encouraged efforts to dismember it (via support of Chechen radicals and islamists, in general).
    2. 1999: War against Yugoslavia as the demonstration of Russia neo-colonial status.  Primakov flight U-turn over Athlantic
    3. 2000: Putin ascendance to power as a reaction to Yeltsin regime failings and neo-colonization of Russia.  Kursk submarile disaster CBS news then broke the story that the United States had three ships in the vicinity observing the naval exercise that Kursk was taking part in. Two of the three ships were submarines, later determined to be USS Memphis and USS Toledo, type 688 Los Angeles class fast attack submarines which are often used for covert intelligence gathering.  USS Memphis, reported by Norway to be undergoing repairs at a Norwegian naval yard.
    4. 2001: Neocons get full power in Bush II administration and started to implement PNAC agenda. September 11, 2001 events. Invasion of Afghanistan with Russian support (via North Alliance) with large supplies of Russian arms.
    5. 2003: Colin Powell lies to UN in his speech about Iraq weapons of mass destruction(full text) falsely accusing Iraq regime of producing chemical weapons. Subsequent invasion of Iraq under false evidence and occupation of Iraq. The USA uses events in Afghanistan to establish military bases in former Soviet republics starting the operation of "encirclement" of Russia. For some period of time Russia allowed transport of military cargo via its territory. this stopped only after "NATO sanctions" were introduced in 2014.
    6. 2008: In august 2008 Georgia staged invasion of north Ossetia which resulted in Russian military operation against Georgia (called the war with Georgia). This was the first time Russia opposed US sanctioned actions of US allies. And did it militarily.
    7. 2011: "We say, we came, he died". The USA fooled Russian President Medvedev into supporting "no-fly zones" which were interpreted by West as the cart blanche for full scale bombing of Gaddafi regime. American and British naval forces fired over 110 Tomahawk cruise missiles,[20] the French Air Force, British Royal Air Force, and Royal Canadian Air Force[21] undertaking sorties across Libya and a naval blockade by Coalition forces. French jets launched air strikes against Libyan Army tanks and vehicles. The Libyan government response to the campaign was totally ineffectual. Regime soon fell and Gaddafi was brutally murdered.
    8. 2011-2012 attempt to stage a color revolution in Russia by Obama administration (with Hillary Clinton as the Secretary of State), using the power of NGOs and neoliberal fifth column to prevent return of Putin to power ("white revolution" of 2012)
  2. Phase II
    1. 2014: Anti-Russian hysteria during Sochi Olympics, Ukrainian coup d'état and introduction of sanctions. Malaysian flight MH17  tragegy that points to a false flag operation
    2. 2015: Russian involvement in Syria and Ambush of Russian Su-24 bomber by Turkey.
    3. 2016: US deploy offensive and dangerous to Russian strategic forces "missile shield" in Poland and Romania, continuing the policy of encirclement of Russia. On May 12, 2016 US missile shield in Romania goes live to Russian fury
    4. 2016: Anti-Russian hysteria during and after Presidential elections. Democtatic Pary turns into the second War party in Washington and the level of jingoism and anti-Russian hysteria reached unprecedented level.
    5. 2017: As a reaction to Hillary loss in 2016 election fierce  Neo-Mccratyism campaign against Russia was launched, with the level of demonization of Russia justifiable only if the USA is reading population for a war.  The Congress starts the investigation of Russian meddling into the US Presidential Elections.
    6. April 2017: Hopes about Trump more reasonable approach to foreign policy and detente with Russia vanished. Under relentless attacks of neocons, which actually resemble a color revolution" (called Purple revolution) Trump folded. Attack on Syrian airbase followed, which actually signify direct attack on Russian involvement (and policy) in Syria. It was masked as a reaction on Khan Sheikhoun gas attack (which, most probably, was a false flag operation)

Sanction as official start of Cold War II

What is called "sanctions" is essentially the "official" start of Cold War II. Not everybody  understand this. Russians tend to obscure this fact with bravado. "Sanctions is not only a challenge, but also can serve as a useful resource for our country economic development" -- said the first deputy head of the Presidential Administration Vyacheslav Volodin, in his address to the seminar meeting with officials of the government of subjects of the Russian Federation and representatives of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation which took place Dec 1-3.

"Today, the state conducts an internal policy that really reflects the interests and enjoys the support of the absolute majority of the Russian people. For example, the reunification of the Crimea and Sevastopol to Russia has supported more than 93% of Russian citizens" noted Vyacheslav Volodin. "But the highest level of support for government policy - not a reason to calm down and relax. This is the issue of preversing this huge level of credibility, great expectations of people. It is important to use this social energy for development of the country, addressing major social and economic problems. "

"The current economic situation is today is an inflected on us stress test for the government, for the economy, for the country as a whole," - said Vyacheslav Volodin.

"This is an opportunity to see who is who. World leaders of the 20th century took place at different times this path - the path of development in the face of opposition of the environment, trade wars, sanctions and restrictions. Some of the countries, such as China, have been able, in spite of the sanctions regime, to build one of the strongest economies in the world and dramatically improve the quality of life of its citizens. Such an opportunity does exist for us too. "

According to Vyacheslav Volodin, economic recovery should be a continuing priority for the country. Sanctions - this is an additional opportunity to resolve overdue to restructure the domestic market, provided support for domestic manufactures.

"Import substitution and new industrialization, which we discussed back in the pre-election articles and messages of the President of the Russian Federation in 2012 and 2013 - a key aspect of state sovereignty,"

I would recommend Volodin to listen famous Russian song, almost a hymn of Russian navy Varyag.  Russia now faces the whole NATO alliance, which is by oprder or magnitute is more powerful economically.  

Putin assessed situation in more sober way (From 28 min Putin discuss sanctions), but still I think underestimated the capabilities of the "collective West" led by the USA to wreck Russian economy. And while Biden is a regular neocon chickenhawk (essentially Hillary in pants), behind him  like an aircraft carriers stand 500 largest US companies and the whole US military industrial complex which wants war: 

The U.S. and the European Union imposed sanctions on people and companies close to President Vladimir Putin after Russia annexed the Black Sea Crimea peninsula in March. Ukraine has accused Russia of supplying weapons, military vehicles and mercenaries to separatists, which Russia denies. The two nations are also in conflict over gas, with Russia cutting off supplies this week because of unpaid bills.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said Putin's government faces the threat of further economic sanctions if it doesn’t do more “to exercise its influence among the separatists to lay down their weapons and renounce violence, both of which Russia has thus far failed to do,” according to a statement released by the White House yesterday.

And it is not accidental that  the World Bank, one of the cornerstones of world neoliberal economic order,  has designed two scenarios for the growth of the Russian economy in 2014 taking into account increased risks over the Crimean crisis (MOSCOW, March 26 (RIA Novosti)

The first variant is based on short-term influences of the events in Ukraine on Russia's economy, and the second, threats of a serious shock and downturn of the gross domestic product (GDP).

"The scenario with a low level of risk presupposes that actions over the Crimean crisis will be limited and short-term and with a prognosis of a slowing economic growth to 1.1 percent in 2014 and a slight increase to 1.3 percent in 2015,"

according to a World Bank report on the Russian economy published on Wednesday.

French politician Philippe de Villiers Without Russia Europe has no future by Viacheslav

Q: What do you think about the "war of sanctions" that Russia waged against the West?

Philippe de Villiers: I will answer you as a person, seriously studied history. It was not even a single case where sanctions would lead to the desired result. Moreover, they give the opposite result.

Country against which an embargo is introduced, usually finds the hidden reserves and becomes stronger. Sanctions by themselves - it is an act of war, they hurt the pride of the people, and those mobilized, concentrated, what is happening now in Russia. In French, one of the meanings of the word "sanctions" refers to a school dictionary. Teacher allowed to punish the student to apply to it "sanctions." But as far as I know, Mr. Putin is not a disciple of Mr Barroso. Sanctions lead to retaliatory sanctions to a dangerous chain of mutual blows.

Cooperation between countries - it is an act of peace. Our joint project of theme parks in Russia and indeed this is. Support him, President Putin has committed an act of peace. I appeal to all the French entrepreneurs to follow suit in order to strengthen ties and friendship between France and Russia.

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[Apr 21, 2018] The UN Charter is very vague about a lot of things, but it's very clear about one thing, and that is, when is it legal to go to war

Apr 21, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

tc2011 , 13 Apr 2018 16:21

What Freedland and others are advocating is illegal. They have no moral or legal authority.

For the avoidance of any doubt or confusion, attacking a foreign country without legal basis under international law represents the "supreme international crime". The launching of an "aggressive war" is the "supreme crime" because it is the overarching offense which contains within itself "the accumulated evil of the whole" (e.g. rape, torture, murder, mass murder, ethnic cleansing, etc).

People were tried, convicted and hung at Nuremberg for the crime of waging wars of aggression (as well as crimes against humanity).

Regardless of how unpalatable we may find it, even the verified use of chemical weapons -be they by state or non-state actors - is not a legal basis to attack a country, any country.

As Phyllis Bennis, Fellow and Director of the New Internationalism Project at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C., clearly explained (following the last alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government, and subsequent military strike on the Syrian air base ordered by President Trump):

"The UN Charter is very vague about a lot of things, but it's very clear about one thing, and that is, when is it legal to go to war? When is it legal to use a military strike? There's only two occasions according to the UN Charter The UN Charter says, "A country can use military force under two circumstances: Number one, if the Security Council authorizes it." Number two, Article 51 of the UN Charter, which is about self-defence. But it's a very narrowly constrained version of self-defence It says very explicitly, "If a country has been attacked." "until the Security Council can meet, immediate self-defence is allowed." Neither of those two categories applied here. So, it was clearly an illegal act."

link

[Apr 21, 2018] This guy skipped past the censors. He explains how there has been lots of Western intervention against Syria.

Apr 21, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

GuardianFodder -> LeftOrRightSameShite , 13 Apr 2018 15:36

This guy skipped past the censors.

He explains how there has been lots of Western intervention against Syria.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=-vwKk4pADCw

[Apr 21, 2018] A remarkable part of Syrian constitution that the USA wants to be modified or abandoned

Apr 21, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 | Apr 19, 2018 1:33:09 PM | 77

It's no wonder the Outlaw US Empire desires radical modification of the current Syrian Constitution as it contains this remarkable passage:

"The Syrian Arab role has increased on the regional and international levels over the past decades, which has led to achieving human and national aspirations and achievements in all fields and domains. Syria has occupied an important political position as it is the beating heart of Arabism, the forefront of confrontation with the Zionist enemy and the bedrock of resistance against colonial hegemony on the Arab world and its capabilities and wealth . The long struggle and sacrifices of our people for the sake of its independence, progress and national unity has paved the way for building the strong state and promoting cohesion between the people and their Syrian Arab army which is the main guarantor and protector of the homeland's sovereignty, security, stability and territorial integrity; thus, forming the solid foundation of the people's struggle for liberating all occupied territories."

Perhaps the entire passage ought to be bolded, but I chose to emphasize just that part. Last year, Assad made a speech emphasizing the need to continue to advance the philosophy of Pan Arabism, and his orations highlighting the goal to recover all Syrian lands show his constitutional adherence to what he swore to uphold. Clearly, his convictions give him courage, and that courage is replicated by most of Syria's citizenry and its SAA.

[Apr 21, 2018] The White Helmets claim to support all Syrian people although when Jaish al-Islam surrendered to the SAG and were exiled to northern Aleppo (or where ever), all the White Helmets fled with Jaish al-Islam.

Apr 21, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Ghost Ship | Apr 21, 2018 5:59:05 AM | 70

Further points about the White Helmets and East Ghouta.

The White Helmets claim to support all Syrian people although when Jaish al-Islam surrendered to the SAG and were exiled to northern Aleppo (or where ever), all the White Helmets fled with Jaish al-Islam. I've always thought that volunteer first responders were honor-bound to stay with the people they support so the White Helmets are really there to support terrorists like Jaish al-Islam. As that fat f**k, victor of East Aleppo and high-ranking terrorist official, Sheikh Abdullah al-Muhaysini, said "the White Helmets are the civil defence of the mujahadeen" and only the the mujahadeen.

There have been stories in the western media claiming that the doctors in Douma who had the balls to stay behind with their patients (unlike the ball-less White Helmets) and were denying the attack involved chemical weapons were intimidated by the regime - not something the reporters actually in Douma seemed to detect, which suggest that people on the ground in terrorist-controlled areas felt some degree of safety with the Syrian government, enough at least to risk their lives.

Looking back at Aleppo only about 65% of the local population stayed behind to go under government control, while in East Ghouta it seems that 80% of the local population stayed behind to go under government control even those who fled a while back to government-controlled areas. It looks like the Syrian government really has turned the corner with its real "heart and minds" approach.

[Apr 21, 2018] White Helmets in Douma play the same role as Ahmed Chalabi and the Iraqi National Congress played in Iraq WDM fiasco

It looks more and more that everything was staged and everything was controlled by Western intelligence agencies with the specific goal.
Notable quotes:
"... That kind of reminds me of when Ahmed Chalabi and the Iraqi National Congress were explaining how to get rid of Saddam without plunging Iraq into mayhem and destabilising the wider region. ..."
"... If the price of selling arms to Saudi Arabia is having to stage nerve agent attacks in the UK and in Syria, one has to ask: Is it really worth it? ..."
Apr 21, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

Paul Crow , 13 Apr 2018 15:43

Read Robert Fisk in the Independent. He, as always, has nailed it. The Brits and the US have no authority to take action with their past record of use of Chemical and Atomic weapons.
Celtiberico , 13 Apr 2018 15:42

The Syrian Negotiation Commission has called for action to deter Assad from killing civilians. What they envisage is that each time Assad launches a deadly attack on noncombatants, allied forces reply by taking out one of the strategic assets he uses to kill civilians. It could be an airfield, it could be a command centre. If the target were aircraft, that would simultaneously inflict a cost on the regime and deprive it of the means of dropping its barrel bombs and toxic, yellow cylinders. The objective would be to make Assad pay a price for killing his own people, a price he has not paid until now. Eventually, or so runs the hope, he would be deterred.

That kind of reminds me of when Ahmed Chalabi and the Iraqi National Congress were explaining how to get rid of Saddam without plunging Iraq into mayhem and destabilising the wider region.

Krautolivier , 13 Apr 2018 15:40
If the price of selling arms to Saudi Arabia is having to stage nerve agent attacks in the UK and in Syria, one has to ask: Is it really worth it?
oldeborr , 13 Apr 2018 15:38
The UK andcFrance bares a heavy responsibility for the current situation in Syria. The cavalier attitude that the ConDems took to international law during the Arab spring encouraged the Saudi s and their proxies to distablise the recognised Govt. Assad is no paragon of virtue, but prior to the insurgency steps were in place to make the country a better place for its citizens, and whilst its true poltical dissent was not allowed, people could live their lives and go about their business in safety.

[Apr 21, 2018] In an interview with The Guardian newspaper, Blix said, "I have my detractors in Washington. There are bastards who spread things around, of course, who planted nasty things in the media."

Apr 21, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

harveybrown , 13 Apr 2018 15:37

In an interview on BBC 1 on 8 February 2004, UN Weapons Inspector, Hans Blix accused the US and British governments of dramatizing the threat of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, in order to strengthen the case for the 2003 war against the government of Saddam Hussein.
Ultimately, no stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction were ever found.

In an interview with The Guardian newspaper, Blix said, "I have my detractors in Washington. There are bastards who spread things around, of course, who planted nasty things in the media."

[ It is interesting to note that Allan Ramsay likewise deplored "a friendly alliance between the camp and the counting-house" for exactly the same reasons (Letters on the Present Disturbances, p.34). Ramsay maintained that of the evil consequences of such alliance "the two last wars carried on by England against France and Spain, furnish a most melancholy illustration. To obtain the sole and exclusive commerce of the western world, in which the French and Spaniards were their rivals, was the modest wish of our merchants, in conjunction with our Americans. The fair, and truly commercial, method of effecting this would have been, by superior skill, industry and frugality, to have undersold their rivals at market: but that method appearing slow and troublesome to a luxurious people, whose extraordinary expences* required extraordinary profits, a more expeditous one was devised; which was that of driving their rivals entirely out of the seas, and preventing them from bringing their goods at all to market. For this purpose, not having any fleets or armies of their own, the powers of the State were found necessary, and they applied them accordingly" (ibid., pp.32 f.).

Knorr, K. E. 'Ch02-Part2 British Colonial Theories 1570-1850'. In British Colonial Theories, 1570-1850. The University of Toronto Press, 1944. ]

[Apr 21, 2018] Douma, US imperialism, and While Helmets

Sacrificing women and children to achieve nefarious goals such as preparing the ground for invasion dictated by economic or geopolitical interests is a typical Western intelligence agencies plot.
Apr 21, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com
OlivesNightie , 13 Apr 2018 15:46

The notion of inaction, of standing by and watching as Assad kills and kills and kills, racking up a death toll in Syria of 500,000

On May 12, 1996, Madeleine Albright defended UN sanctions against Iraq on a 60 Minutes segment in which Lesley Stahl asked her "We have heard that half a million children have died. I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?" and Albright replied, "We think the price is worth it."'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbIX1CP9qr4

[Apr 21, 2018] The UN report on previous attacks confirmed that Assad's allegation that a video had been staged have solid ground. It concludes that the patients on the video "appear relatively unaffected by the typical symptoms.

Apr 21, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

StephenDaedalus -> JackDowland , 13 Apr 2018 15:47

Sure, here's the UN OPCW investigation report which directly blames the Assad forces for chemical attacks. Take as much time as you need.

https://undocs.org/S/2016/738

I couldn't find the paragraph which directly blames Assad's forces.

I note it does refer (at para 44) to Assad's allegation that a video had been staged. It concludes that the patients on the video "appear relatively unaffected by the typical symptoms.

No red eyes, tearing, paleness, sweating, cyanosis or breathing difficulties can be observed from the footage. The patients interviewed in the video show little or no signs of having been exposed to a toxic chemical".

This is also consistent with other documented attempts of video-making to trigger the western bombs.

Surely you can see why people might at least reserve judgment about the latest video emanating from Jaish al-Islam controlled territory?

[Apr 21, 2018] White Helmets tend to be hard line Islamists and send out propaganda videos

Notable quotes:
"... "Charities"? Lol. I'll bet money nearly all of those 'charities' are actually PR fronts for thuggish Islamist rebels. ..."
Apr 21, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

LiviaDrusilla -> Bopstar, 13 Apr 2018 16:17

"Charities"? Lol. I'll bet money nearly all of those 'charities' are actually PR fronts for thuggish Islamist rebels.

A bit like how all the Syrians the Guardian manages to reach for 'skype interviews' are positively desperate for massive aeriel bombardment of their own country, chastising the west for not supplying the bearded types with anti-aircraft missiles and even suggesting targets for American bombs.

brambalus -> 1liesalot , 13 Apr 2018 16:16
I have recently taught two Syrian professionals. Of course Assad is evil, but they tell me that some of the rebel militias are much more brutal and intolerant than Assad and if they win Syria will go the way of Libya.

They also told me (which shocked me somewhat) that the White Helmets tend to be hard line Islamists and send out propaganda videos which Western media fail to question thoroughly.

[Apr 21, 2018] When the dust has settled in Syria and people get round to writing their memoirs the White Helmets will be revealed to be nothing more to the British government than a sophisticated black propaganda op

Notable quotes:
"... The "Mannequin challenge" is regarded by many here as demonstrating that the White Helmets are a black op. but I suspect it was a sophisticated effort to discredit the reporting by Vanessa Beeley of the connections between the White Helmets and Al Qaeda/Al Nusra/HTS that seems to have worked. ..."
Apr 21, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Ghost Ship | Apr 19, 2018 5:39:32 AM | 25

When the dust has settled in Syria and people get round to writing their memoirs the White Helmets will be revealed to be nothing more to the British government than a sophisticated black propaganda op.

Their name Syrian Civil Defence means that Syria's real civil defence is invisbile and suggests that the White Helmets are part of an alternative Syrian government.

Their nickname, White Helmets, how can anyone believe they're a black propaganda op?

Their MO, helping people and videoing it even though they seem to only help certain people and disappear when the video cameras stop running.
That they're involved in certain very dubious acts with the terrorists just suggests how evil the Syrian government must be to "force" their opponents to behave in this way and allow their supporters in the West to overlook their murderous brutal nature.

The "Mannequin challenge" is regarded by many here as demonstrating that the White Helmets are a black op. but I suspect it was a sophisticated effort to discredit the reporting by Vanessa Beeley of the connections between the White Helmets and Al Qaeda/Al Nusra/HTS that seems to have worked.


Emily , Apr 19, 2018 6:20:32 AM | 28

24 Ghost Ship
Some back up for you.
The founder James le Mesurier
British Intel
https://www.mintpressnews.com/james-le-mesurier-british-ex-military-mercenary-founded-white-helmets/230320/
http://21stcenturywire.com/2015/10/23/syrias-white-helmets-war-by-way-of-deception-part-1/
https://wikispooks.com/wiki/White_Helmets
uncle tungsten , Apr 19, 2018 6:44:58 AM | 30
@Ghost Ship 24. Total BS logic and totally slanted commentary. I would expect this level of 'analysis' in Guardian commentary but they don't allow commentary.

The White Helmets are terrorist killers who sometimes put on white helmets and do propaganda that only ever supports their terrorist faction. They are guilty of direct and complicit in crimes against humanity and they are fully funded by the UK and USA.

The barbarity of the white helmets is in no way a barometer of how bad Assad is. It is a barometer of the disgraceful terrorism unleashed by western nations against Syrian people and its government. The white helmets are a measure of the depraved warmongering of the west, saudi and israeli governments.

someone , Apr 19, 2018 10:50:07 AM | 49
@ Virgile #42
Where have the White Helmets from Douma gone??

Future will tell, but Russian journalists found one of their victims at Douma:

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bht2xhwHTKt/

S , Apr 19, 2018 11:05:07 AM | 53
I second b's recommendation to watch the Ikhbariya TV short documentary on the alleged attack (16 min). Here are 13 doctors and nurses who actually worked at the Douma hospitals at the time of the alleged attack stating plainly that nothing of the sort happened: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSrRV-zdNic
Babyl-on , Apr 19, 2018 11:28:36 AM | 58
I think it is clear the "Chemical attack" did not happen. If you are the Empire you surly have your operatives securely, and secretly stationed within any "independent" OPCW body, especially if you intend to use "chemical attack" as your justification to slaughter innocent people for the interests of the AngloZionist/Wahhabi Empire.

Martin Scorsese could not have done a better job. From the grad seines of men in haz-mat suits around Surrey to the suffocating children in Duma it could hardly be better orchestrated.

The Empire only needs 30-35% agreement in the public to be successful and so far they have at least that.

Noirette , Apr 19, 2018 1:19:05 PM | 76
Who is stalling the investigation.. ..? A much more complex affair than the present hype and simultaneous denial (different factions) of the Douma 'chem attacks.'

White Helmets are not just masquerades of 'charities' who support the Agressors (US-uk-isr etc.), yes the WH make these clumsy in ya-face false 'savior' vids and so on as propaganda in Syria. But they fulfill other functions, the 'theatrical' actions on the ground and the vids don't justify the expense, which is considerable. Happily I can finally quote ppl more courageous than myself:

Syria: The Darker Side of the NGO Complex. Preying on Children of Conflict.

Feb 2017, 21st Cent Wire, with V. Beeley. (vid 38 mins.)

http://21stcenturywire.com/2017/02/24/syria-the-darker-side-of-the-ngo-complex-preying-on-children-of-conflict/

Anonymous , Apr 19, 2018 4:07:44 PM | 100
The "White Helmets" were supported by murdered British MP Jo Cox . Although apparently a loyal soldier to the war party, Jo became a nuisance to her leftist intellectual husband and to the war party, so an assassin was called in and a patsy was arranged.
Lochearn , Apr 19, 2018 4:51:05 PM | 107
A few days ago (April 14, @314) Bakerpete kindly linked to an article on blogmire.com which discusses the famous Karl Rove quote about how they, the actors, create reality and while we study that reality they have already moved on. A quote from Rob Slane (thank you) from the article:

"Yet while I'm doing so, the narrative is moving on. I'm falling into exactly the trap that Karl and his disciples have laid. They want two sorts of people: those who just blindly accept that it was the Russians wot did it, or that it was Assad wot did it; and those who spend their time asking questions about the official explanations. The first group call the second group conspiracy theorists and nutters. The second group call the first group dumb sheeple. And the Globalist Deep State laughs and laughs and laughs as the two groups battle it out to make sense of what has happened, leaving it free to march on to create the next reality. Truly I tell you, these Bolsheviks have learnt their Hegelian Dialectics well."

If Rove has set a trap for us, is it a trap we can get out of or avoid falling into in the first place? And if so, how? If Karl Rove wants these two sorts of people, who are the people he doesn't want because I want to be one of them. Do I try to predict their next fucking move? Instead of waiting for today's zerohedge article to appear with the headline "Will Armenia Be The Next Victim of Western-backed Regime Change" and thinking I should have guessed that one, maybe I should have been poring over maps, articles weeks, months ago, and gleefully coming up with the solution: the next area of conflict will be Armenia. Take that, Karl Rove. But then what?

Or I could go backwards into history to examine where the real power has always been, how it is wielded, who exactly has wielded it and for what purposes, in order to come up with patterns and likelihoods of future behaviours and realities. That road gets lonelier the further you travel down it, and cold winds there await you.

PavewayIV , Apr 19, 2018 11:14:33 PM | 144
Jen@115 - "...If that's the case, then wouldn't spraying victims of a chlorine gas attack with water - the White Helmets' standard first-response catch-all medical treatment - only make most of their symptoms worse?"

I think the mystery visitors to the Douma clinic were just yelling "Gas attack!" without specifying chlorine as they started the water-dousing panic. They were not White Helmets.

Flushing skin/hair/eyes with reasonable amounts of water would dilute and wash away any hydrochloric/hypochlorous acid that it happened to create. Spritzing with a spray bottle would probably be a bad idea for decontamination.

Jesrad@128 - Eglin is home to the stateside part of CENTCOM and the 4th MISG (formerly PsyOps). Deception of or otherwise 'shaping the opinions of' the American public is part of their mission. Whatever they don't do, the DoD and State Department does through their various propaganda efforts directed at American citizens, who are compelled to pay for that propaganda. Funding Middle East wars is kind of a self-licking ice-cream cone when PsyOps is part of the budget. Thus, my endearing love for CENTCOM - the pall bearers of western democracy.


All - The endless Syrian CW narrative has a much more strategic purpose in case anyone forgot. Israel - SCUDS - CWs. That's why Libya and Iraq were suppose to be and existential threat to Israel that justified ANY preemptive protective attack. And that was exactly why Assad/Syria was suppose to be such a threat to Israel - remember? They can't let the CW narrative die.

Israel needs to keep its own people terrified of Assad's 'hidden' CW-tipped missiles. Americans must fully believe Assad has a hidden CW stockpile for use on Israel. That way, when Israel uses the Assad (or maybe ICRG) CW missile false flag to justify a preemptive, protective attack (and land grab), Americans will willingly send their sons and daughters to die in a war against them for Israel. Nobody will even question it in the US. I can see Wolf Blitzer rolling around under a coffee table in Tel Aviv with his gas mask on backwards and the air raid sirens wailing in the background. CNN: "Wolf! Wolf... for God's sake... Can you hear me? Are you OK, Wolf? Any Sarin symptoms yet? DAMN YOU, Gasser Assad!"

[Apr 21, 2018] The couple Merkel/Sauer knows exactly how to evaluate that so-called evidence in Douma false flag

Apr 21, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Hmpf | Apr 20, 2018 5:51:46 AM | 165

@163 WillyW

Angela Merkel is not stupid - things are way worth than that.
She's got a PhD in physical chemistry, and what's rather mind-boggling in that context is the fact that her husband Joachim Sauer is a professor of chemistry and one of the worlds foremost experts in surface chemistry.
In the 2000s this guy was in the top 30 list of the worlds most extinguished chemists - let that sink in for a second.
The couple Merkel/Sauer knows exactly how to evaluate that so-called evidence, yet... - as I said the situation is way worse as generally anticipated.

[Apr 21, 2018] And another twist to the Duma saga

Apr 21, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

And another twist to the Duma saga - STUNNING coincidence? Chlorine containers from Germany and smoke bombs from Salisbury (Skripal poisoning) found in Syria

Posted by: Fran | Apr 19, 2018 11:38:27 AM | 60


Christian Chuba , Apr 19, 2018 12:48:16 PM | 68

'Chlorine is undetectable' - b
"If, as the terrorist supporters claim, Chlorine was used in the 'chemical attack', the OSCE investigators are unlikely to find any physical evidence of it. Chlorine dissipates and leaves no unique traces in the dead body." - B

Does the OPCW have any coroners? I believe it leaves scarring in the lungs

"Chlorine required a concentration of 1,000 parts per million to be fatal, destroying tissue in the lungs , likely through the formation of hydrochloric acid when dissolved in the water in the lungs (2Cl2 + 2H2O → 4HCl + O2)"

It has been less than two weeks. There should be bodies available to examine unless Assad has carted them off to his Crematorium in Damascus where he disposes of his victims in front of his bust of Adolf Hitler.

Pnyx , Apr 19, 2018 12:49:59 PM | 69
Well, to answer the final question, it is indeed possible...
Thanks for the peace very well done B. But here comes more work to do. The NZZ today is publishing a peace about Belgian firms selling 96 t of Isopropanol to Syria which is described as precursor substance needed for the manufacturing of Sarin, between 2014 and '16(Nervengift, https://www.nzz.ch/international/syrien-belgische-firmen-liefern-stoff-fuer-nervengift-ld.1378789) insinuating the Assad did this. What do you make out of this? It seems to me this is an important matter to counter.
jawbone , Apr 19, 2018 12:54:11 PM | 71
CC @66 -- Re: Autopsies of Douma victims

Could be possible, unless the White Helmets took them all up to Idlib with them on the buses? Heh.

I can't recall where I read it, but it was stated that the bodies of the Douma victims had been buried. Nothing about where.

[Apr 21, 2018] If Edmond Mulet is involve in Douma gas investigation, Syria Arab Republic and Russia Federation are guilty.

Notable quotes:
"... The Russians are stopping the investigation, the BBC informed me, numerous times. Of course they forgot to mention all the real reasons that the UN want to slow them down. Once the OPCW find nothing, they can say 'those pesky Russians stalled the investigation, so that we wouldn't find evidence'. It's brilliant really. Just like the tired old plots from the movies, the UN need some new story writers. Shabby, stale and predictable, to say the least. ..."
Apr 21, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

OJS | Apr 19, 2018 5:29:47 PM | 113

@Don Bacon | Apr 19, 2018 4:26:47 PM | 103

..The joint UN-OPCW team was headed by Guatemalan Edmond Mulet who was presumably vulnerable to blackmail because he was once active in child trafficking as described here.

If Edmond Mulet is involve in Douma gas investigation, Syria Arab Republic and Russia Federation are guilty. Beside a child trafficking he's a fucking anti Dr. Assad.. Pls read NYT below...

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/29/opinion/syria-chemical-weapons-united-nations-security-council.html

OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

How the Security Council Failed the Syria Chemical Weapons Investigators and Victims
By Edmond Mulet

Dec. 29, 2017

"....From August 2015 to October 2016, a team of investigators looked into eight cases of the use of chlorine as a chemical weapon and one case involving the use of sulfur mustard. Three attacks were attributed to the Syrian government and one to the Islamic State. The Security Council failed to reach agreement on any consequences for these crimes.

A few weeks after an April 4 sarin gas attack on Khan Sheikhoun, Syria, which killed approximately 100 and injured at least 200, I accepted the job to lead the investigative team....."


Jen , Apr 19, 2018 6:12:34 PM | 116

This information was posted by Christian Chuba @ 68:

'... Does the OPCW have any coroners? I believe [chlorine gas] leaves scarring in the lungs

"Chlorine required a concentration of 1,000 parts per million to be fatal, destroying tissue in the lungs, likely through the formation of hydrochloric acid when dissolved in the water in the lungs (2Cl2 + 2H2O → 4HCl + O2)" ...'

If that's the case, then wouldn't spraying victims of a chlorine gas attack with water - the White Helmets' standard first-response catch-all medical treatment - only make most of their symptoms worse? The eyeballs need irrigation with water but other symptoms must be treated differently.

From CDC website: symptoms of chlorine poisoning
https://emergency.cdc.gov/agent/chlorine/basics/facts.asp

Blurred vision

Burning pain, redness, and blisters on the skin if exposed to gas. Skin injuries similar to frostbite can occur if it is exposed to liquid chlorine

Burning sensation in the nose, throat, and eyes

Coughing

Chest tightness

Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath. These may appear immediately if high concentrations of chlorine gas are inhaled, or they may be delayed if low concentrations of chlorine gas are inhaled.

Fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema) that may be delayed for a few hours

Nausea and vomiting

Watery eyes

Wheezing

From WWI: The Medical Front
http://www.vlib.us/medical/gaswar/chlorine.htm

"... The first effect of inhalation of chlorine is a burning pain in the throat and eyes, accompanied by a sensation of suffocation; pain, which may be severe, is felt in the chest, especially behind the sternum. Respiration becomes painful, rapid, and difficult ; coughing occurs, and the irritation of the eyes results in profuse lachrymation. Retching is common and may be followed by vomiting, which gives temporary relief. The lips and mouth are parched and the tongue is covered with a thick dry fur. Severe headache rapidly follows with a feeling of great weakness in the legs; if the patient gives way to this and lies down, he is likely to inhale still more chlorine, as the heavy gas is most concentrated near the ground. In severe poisoning unconsciousness follows; nothing more is known about the cases which prove fatal on the field within the first few hours of the "gassing," except that the face assumes a pale greenish yellow colour. When a man lives long enough to be admitted into a clearing station, he is conscious, but restless; his face is violet red, and his ears and finger nails blue ; his expression strained and anxious as he gasps for breath; he tries to get relief by sitting up with his head thrown back, or he lies in an exhausted condition, sometimes on his side with his head over the edge of the stretcher in order to help the escape of fluid from the lungs. His skin is cold and his temperature subnormal; the pulse is full and rarely over 100. Respiration is jerky, shallow and rapid, the rate being often over 40 and sometimes even 80 a minute ; all the auxiliary muscles come into play, the chest being over-distended at the height of inspiration and, as in asthma, only slightly less distended in extreme expiration. Frequent and painful coughing occurs and some frothy sputum is brought up. The lungs are less resonant than normal, but not actually dull, and fine riles with occasional rhonchi and harsh but not bronchial breathing are heard, especially over the back and sides ..."

AntiSpin , Apr 19, 2018 7:03:30 PM | 123
@103, quoting Edmund Mulet

". . .and the Syrian Government was accountable for the release of sarin in an April 2017 attack in Khan Shaykhun, the head of a Security Council-mandated investigation said Tuesday."

That may be what he said "on Tuesday", but here's what the actual UN report said on October 26th of 2017:

"To date the Mechanism has not found specific information confirming whether or not an SAAF Su-22 operating from Al-Shayrat airbase launched an aerial attack against Khan Shaykhun on 4 April 2017."

To the best of my knowledge there has been no subsequent report, so the above quote is the official final statement on the results of the investigation, regardless of anything that Mr. Mulet may have said at some later date.

Also, if one reads the entire report, he will find numerous hintings, not so very subtle, about false flag possibilities, and also hinting that the reader should not take everything in the report at face value. It is a very interesting read, for those things if for no other reason.

Grieved , Apr 19, 2018 9:55:42 PM | 139
So now we live at a moment in history when non-establishment actors have investigated the alleged attack in Douma before the OPCW even gets there. And as is clear, and as b posits, this stalling action holding up the visit is to allow time for someone - anyone, please - among the establishment forces to come up with a counter to the truth already revealed.

I suspect that the evidence on video - captured by simple enough cameras and spread through the Internet around the world now - combined with the fact of numerous ordinary folks strolling around the killing field without suffering any harm, has made this false flag untenable beyond any saving of face.

Propaganda only works to crowd out the truth, so that people never encounter the truth. But propaganda doesn't work in open battle against the truth, when people are hearing both sides. The process takes time, but like water it wears down the tallest wall.

What's really good is that the enemy has shown repeatedly that it doesn't understand the failure of its tactics, and so it keeps using the old playbook. And with each ploy, the tactics fail more miserably, and the true evidence accumulates more forcefully. And probably here in Douma they'll tangle themselves in even more ridiculous fabrications just to keep the OPCW away forever.

So maybe it won't be this one. Maybe this isn't the ploy that builds and builds to leave a big enough smoking gun to discredit the entire western apparatus. Perhaps we are not quite there yet. But it's obvious that Russia thinks we're getting closer.

I'll call it now and say we are in the post-tipping point age of the information war.

The next ploy will fail even more miserably. And the one after that will fail even worse. And very soon, who knows, a smoking gun could appear that brings the common people out in their multitudes, in one of those synchronicity moments of truth that the aristocrats and privileged functionaries of the establishment fear more than anything in creation.

Gumby , Apr 20, 2018 2:23:24 AM | 154
@103
@112
@122

Even more than Mulet's child trafficking, one should look at his role in the coup in Haiti. Mulet, acting on behalf of the UN, attempted to intimidate president Preval into leaving the country on election day. He indicated that the results of the election would not be accepted if they were not in line with American objective. http://cepr.net/blogs/haiti-relief-and-reconstruction-watch/haitis-former-president-preval-has-credible-charges-that-un-tried-to-remove-him

Mulet was in close contact with Hillary Clinton's State Department during this period. Search his name in Wikileaks' diplomatic cables, and you'll come up with numerous results.

In essence, he's a tool of western power. The JIM report was just one more act to bolster the Western narrative. Also, note that his UN-OPCW JIM report was not accepted by either the UN or the OPCW. After the rejection, he wrote the aforementioned op-ed for the New York Times , and he most likely was the source of a leak of OPCW test results to Reuters , which supposedly linked all the sarin attacks to the Syrian government. This article has been essential in providing "independent" confirmation of Assad's guilt, even though it's essentially just leftovers from the politicized JIM investigation.

Recently, Mulet has popped up on 60 Minutes and the neocon Vice News as a talking head to keep the "Assad gasses his own people" narrative alive. On Vice he explicitly advocates for the FUKUS air strikes.

All around, a shady character and Western fixer.

duplicitousdemocracy , Apr 20, 2018 7:00:03 AM | 176
The Russians are stopping the investigation, the BBC informed me, numerous times. Of course they forgot to mention all the real reasons that the UN want to slow them down. Once the OPCW find nothing, they can say 'those pesky Russians stalled the investigation, so that we wouldn't find evidence'. It's brilliant really. Just like the tired old plots from the movies, the UN need some new story writers. Shabby, stale and predictable, to say the least.
Harry , Apr 20, 2018 7:34:41 AM | 179
@ Nick Bailey | 171

Or OPCW could spike samples themselves, they are falsifying reports for years now, and thats a fact, not just "highly likely."

Don Bacon , Apr 20, 2018 8:51:04 AM | 185
A big part of being the "leader of the free world" is to manage events to fit the narrrative.

Given the US/UK strategy of fake chemical attacks to be blamed on Russia and Syria it is important that the work of the Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons be managed. OPCW reports deriving from Fact Finding Missions either have to be buried or prevented.

The OPCW employs an FFM when requested by a country, with the resulting report sent to that country only. The Salisbury FFM was requested by UK, the FFM report was sent to UK, where it was buried and will never be publicized.

Douma has a different dynamic because the FFM was requested by Russia, with the ensuing report bound to be made public, so it was necessary to prevent the FFM from doing its job. That's when the US puppet Peter Drennan with his Keystone Kops UN police agency was injected into Douma, to prevent the FFM from taking place.

Christian Chuba , Apr 20, 2018 11:43:12 AM | 198
UN-OPCW JIM report
Gumby @153 -
"Also, note that his UN-OPCW JIM report was not accepted by either the UN or the OPCW"

Okay, I know that people will say that it was rejected at the UN because of the Russia UNSC veto trump card but do you have a reference to the OPCW rejection?

Assad coercing witnesses in Douma

Yikes, I read the BBC link. I was hoping to find an obvious falsehood because the WH's and NGO's have been getting sloppy lately but it's the perfect lie . They claim 'to have heard from' people who have had their families threatened.

So how does one go about refuting this? The lying NGO's in the UK are basically saying that they got a cell phone call from one of the medical workers left in Syria. Oh, and they can't tell you who because they will face reprisals. I hate those lying SOB's.

james , Apr 20, 2018 1:52:29 PM | 208 Gumby , Apr 20, 2018 2:15:41 PM | 209
Christian Chuba @198

I may have been a bit imprecise there because the OPCW process is extremely murky. But basically, after Russia vetoed the JIM report at the UN, the U.S. made a proposal to the OPCW Executive Council to condemn the Syrian government for its use of chemical weapons. I'm not positive, but my understanding is that if this proposal had succeeded, it would have essentially adopted the JIM report as an official OPCW document. There's very little reporting on this maneuvering around this, but here's what the AP said:

Members of the OPCW's Executive Council were scheduled to meet later Friday to debate their response to the report.

A draft decision put forward by the United States, Colombia, Estonia and Saudi Arabia is expected to be discussed.

It calls for the council to demand that the Syrian government immediately stop using chemical weapons and to express "its strong conviction that those responsible for the use of chemical weapons must be held accountable," according to a copy of the draft text seen by The Associated Press.

Executive Council decisions are generally adopted by consensus, but with the United States and its allies at loggerheads with Russia and its supporters, it is likely to be put to a vote.


https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2017-11-24/opcw-chief-unfortunate-that-syria-probes-mandate-blocked

The U.S. was forced to withdraw its proposal. Again, the specifics of this are murky, but you can read Sputnik 's brief report on that here. Russia doesn't have veto power on the OPCW-EC, meaning, I assume, that the resolution was going to fail in the EC by a vote.: https://sputniknews.com/world/201711241059415284-us-syria-rejection-opcw/

The upshot of all this is that Mulet's JIM Report is not an official document of either the UN or the OPCW. Its official status now is essentially just the opinion of its authors.

Gumby , Apr 20, 2018 2:17:14 PM | 210
By the way, regarding the UN, it's obviously true that Russia exercised it's veto power against adopting the JIM report. And they also used their veto power to strike down the proposal to extend the JIM's mandate (which, thanks to the U.S., was voted on before the JIM's report was even released). However, it's worth noting that the U.S. has a comfortable built-in majority at the UN, which essentially necessitates a veto to combat. Even many of the states that backed the U.S. on both of these proposals agreed with Russia that the JIM was flawed. Russia further argued that its work had become completely politicized. Which is not surprising given Mulet was head of it

Here's a summary of the UN debate on extending the JIM: https://www.un.org/press/en/2017/sc13040.doc.htm

Note for example, the comments by the Ethiopian ambassador:

TEKEDA ALEMU (Ethiopia) expressed regret that the Council had not been able to adopt the draft resolution since the Mechanism had been created on the basis of consensus. Ethiopia had voted in favour of the text because there remained credible allegations of chemical weapons use in Syria, he said, adding that renewing the mandate should ensure continuity of the Mechanism's work. Despite today's outcome, Ethiopia was hopeful that the Council' unity would be restored and compromise found, because failure to renew the mandate would be send the wrong message to the perpetrators. However, today's outcome should not be interpreted as an a priori endorsement of the Mechanism's report, he cautioned, emphasizing that its final version was expected to establish clear responsibility for the two incidents mentioned. Those responsible for the use of chemical weapons should be punished on the basis of robust and conclusive evidence, he said, underlining, however, that it was impossible to overlook the concerns of the Russian Federation and Bolivia, which was the reason why politicization must be avoided.

[Apr 21, 2018] Speaking of propaganda outlets

Apr 21, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

james | Apr 19, 2018 9:35:58 PM | 136

Speaking of propaganda outlets.. how about the usa state dept daily briefings? it is another prime example!

https://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2018/04/280609.htm

example -

" QUESTION: Syria, to pick up on where we were on Tuesday with the OPCW still not having gotten access to Duma and apparently still that situation is still the same. One, do you have anything to say about that? And secondly, you and I had a little bit of a conversation about potential – your belief that the Russians and/or Syrians are tampering with any evidence of the chemical attack. Does the continued delay give you more concern that that might be the case?

MS NAUERT: Yeah. So to address both your questions, we can confirm that the OPCW team has still not been able to enter Duma in Syria. It is now 12 days since the attack took place on men, women, and children, those innocent civilians, in Syria. We have credible information that indicates that Russian officials are working with the Syrian regime to deny and to delay these inspectors from gaining access to Duma. We believe it is an effort to conduct their own staged investigations. Russian officials have worked with the Syrian regime, we believe, to sanitize the locations of those suspected attacks and remove incriminating evidence of chemical weapons use.

We have also watched as some people have seemingly been pressured by the government to change their stories about what actually occurred that night. We have reports from credible people on the ground who have indicated that they have been pressured by both Russia and Syria to change their stories, to try to change their stories so that it doesn't appear that Russia and Syria are responsible for those attacks. We certainly know that Syria is responsible for those attacks."

[Apr 21, 2018] Napalm is worse than chemical weapons. So are white phosphorous and Dense Inert Metal Explosives (DIME) used by "Israel" against Palestinians

Apr 21, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Why is nobody questioning NATO's theatrical assertion that chemical weapons are the worst-of-the-worst? Quite frankly, I don't buy it.

Here's a What's Left article from mid-2015 which examines that specious and overblown claim from several perspectives and concludes that it's hokum...

Rethinking Chemical Weapons https://gowans.wordpress.com/2015/06/27/rethinking-chemical-weapons/

Imo, the only reason NATO's unimaginative weasels, dorks and 'boffins' chose chemical weapons on which to base their childish smear campaign is that Ordinary Citizens are less familiar with chemical weapons, and their effects, than with most of the violent methods used to kill and maim people in times of war (and peace).

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 19, 2018 9:23:59 AM | 43

Hoarsewhisperer , Apr 19, 2018 9:39:57 AM | 46
Napalm is worse than chemical weapons.
So are white phosphorous and Dense Inert Metal Explosives (DIME) used by "Israel" against Palestinians.
They're worse because the intention is to maim without killing.
Tobin Paz , Apr 19, 2018 10:53:39 AM | 50
@43 Hoarsewhisperer
Napalm is worse than chemical weapons.

I don't know whether to laugh or cry at the irony. So we have Bolton in his first week on the job and Mattis "The Butcher of Fallujah" authorize an illegal missile strike in response to an "alleged" chemical weapons attack... both members of the Bush administration that used white phosphorus and napalm in Iraq.

And who reported it at the time... none other than George Monbiot and The Guardian:

The US used chemical weapons in Iraq - and then lied about it

Until last week, the US state department maintained that US forces used white phosphorus shells "very sparingly in Fallujah, for illumination purposes". They were fired "to illuminate enemy positions at night, not at enemy fighters". Confronted with the new evidence, on Thursday it changed its position. "We have learned that some of the information we were provided ... is incorrect. White phosphorous shells, which produce smoke, were used in Fallujah not for illumination but for screening purposes, ie obscuring troop movements and, according to... Field Artillery magazine, 'as a potent psychological weapon against the insurgents in trench lines and spider holes...' The article states that US forces used white phosphorus rounds to flush out enemy fighters so that they could then be killed with high explosive rounds." The US government, in other words, appears to admit that white phosphorus was used in Falluja as a chemical weapon.

...

There were widespread reports that in March 2003 US marines had dropped incendiary bombs around the bridges over the Tigris and the Saddam Canal on the way to Baghdad. The commander of Marine Air Group 11 admitted that "We napalmed both those approaches". Embedded journalists reported that napalm was dropped at Safwan Hill on the border with Kuwait. In August 2003 the Pentagon confirmed that the marines had dropped "mark 77 firebombs". Though the substance these contained was not napalm, its function, the Pentagon's information sheet said, was "remarkably similar". While napalm is made from petrol and polystyrene, the gel in the mark 77 is made from kerosene and polystyrene. I doubt it makes much difference to the people it lands on.

[Apr 21, 2018] Bare-faced lies in the Guardian

Apr 21, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Apr 19, 2018 3:07:17 AM | 15

OT but very relevant to the Skripal/Douma incidents.

The Guardian has an article today headlined " The taboo on chemical weapons has lasted a century – it must be preserved " which is a bare-faced lie as the Guardian should know because the British used chemical weapons against the Russian in August, 1919, less than a century ago, and the Japanese, among America's closest allies used them against the Chinese in World War 2.

The strongest case for Churchill as a chemical warfare enthusiast involves Russia, and was made by Giles Milton in The Guardian on 1 September 2013, which prompted this article. Milton wrote that in 1919,scientists at the governmental laboratories at Porton in Wiltshire developed a far more devastating weapon: the top secret "M Device," an exploding shell containing a highly toxic gas called diphenylaminechloroarsine [DM]. The man in charge of developing it, Major General Charles Foulkes, called it "the most effective chemical weapon ever devised." Trials at Porton suggested that it was indeed a terrible new weapon. Uncontrollable vomiting, coughing up blood and instant, crippling fatigue were the most common reactions. The overall head of chemical warfare production, Sir Keith Price, was convinced its use would lead to the rapid collapse of the Bolshevik regime. "If you got home only once with the gas you would find no more Bolshies this side of Vologda."

A staggering 50,000 M Devices were shipped to Russia: British aerial attacks using them began on 27 August 1919 .Bolshevik soldiers were seen fleeing in panic as the green chemical gas drifted towards them. Those caught in the cloud vomited blood, then collapsed unconscious. The attacks continued throughout September on many Bolshevik-held villages .But the weapons proved less effective than Churchill had hoped, partly because of the damp autumn weather. By September, the attacks were halted then stopped.


The rest of the article defends Churchill against claims that he wanted to use "poison gas" in India and Iraq against tribesmen by suggesting that he meant tear gas but equally he could have been referring to mustard gas which "only" killed about 2.5% of the 165,000 WW1 soldiers it was used against but that was with a level of medical care I doubt Indian or Iraqi tribesmen could even begin to dream off. Peter AU 1 , Apr 19, 2018 4:20:05 AM | 23
"The 'chemical incident' has likely been faked. It suspiciously happened just a few days after U.S. President Trump had announced the he wanted the U.S. military to leave Syria. A year earlier a similar incident was claimed to have happened after a similar announcement by Trump. The U.S. had responded to the 2017 incident by bombing an empty Syrian airfield."

Watching reports coming out of Syria in real time, I thought it was a genuine strike.
Same as I thought the JK build up was the real thing and also the 59 missiles a year ago.

Once the dust, smoke, and the fog of war had cleared, it became apparent that this, was yet again a choreographed move, same as the missiles on Shayrat airfield.

I may well be wrong, as I do not go along with group think here, but this strike seems a preemptive move by Trump to prevent a push for for US military action in Syria that will take us to WWIII.

[Apr 21, 2018] Syria - Who Is Stalling The OPCW Investigation In Douma

Apr 21, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Why has the fact finding mission (FFM)of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) not visited Douma?

The OPCW inspectors are held up by the United Nations Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS) which has a say about any movement of UN aligned organizations in areas that might be dangerous. The UNDSS is led by an Australian police / intelligence officer. The holdup seems to be intended.

On Sunday April 8 videos were published of an alleged 'chemical attack' in Douma near Damascus. At that time the area was under control of Jaish al-Islam, a Salafi terrorist organization financed by Saudi Arabia. The various videos from terrorist supporters like the 'White Helmets' were unconvincing. They showed obviously arranged scenes of an alleged 'barrel bomb' and manipulated bodies of dead children that had been moved and decorated with shaving foam to superficially fit the claims of a 'chemical incident'. Another video showed people in a hospital being doused with water for no apparent reason.

An often quoted opposition news outlet, the Syrian Observatory in Britain, denied that a 'chemical attack' had happened. It reported on April 8 of suffocation after a shelter collapsed due to bombing:

[I]n among the casualties there are 21 civilians including 9 children and 3 women were killed as a result of suffocation caused by the shelling which destroyed basements of houses as a result of the violence bombardment that stopped about an hour ago on Douma area.

The 'chemical incident' was likely faked. It suspiciously happened just a few days after U.S. President Trump had announced the he wanted the U.S. military to leave Syria. A year earlier a similar incident was claimed to have happened after a similar announcement by Trump. The U.S. had responded to the 2017 incident by bombing an empty Syrian airfield. A day after the incident the Salafi terrorists of Jaish al-Islam gave up and left the area under a ceasefire deal arranged with the help of the Russian military in Syria. The ceasefire deal does not allow the Syrian army to enter the area, only the Russian military police is allowed.

Russian military police immediately entered the area and investigated the house where, allegedly, people were killed by 'chemical weapons'. They found no evidence that such an event had taken place. The Syrian government asked the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical aWeapons (OPCW) to investigate the case.

Many international news teams have since visited the area where the incident allegedly took place. The also visited the field hospital shown in one of the opposition videos. Doctors at that hospital deny (vid) that any patient of theirs had been affected by a chemical attack. The cases they had seen had breathing difficulties caused by the inhalation of dust thrown up through exploding bombs and artillery. Alleged 'victims' shown in the hospital video claim (vid) they were paid to perform.

The regime-change shills are denying that any claims of the hospital staff working in the now government controlled Douma could be true. Medics are liars, unless they are controlled by Jihadis. See for example this shoddy propaganda piece by the Guardian: Syrian medics 'subjected to extreme intimidation' after Douma attack by Martin Chulov in Beirut and Kareem Shaheen in Istanbul. karlof1 , Apr 19, 2018 12:56:35 PM | 72

According to Lavrov , the UN security team did come under fire by terrorists who were tipped off as to who they were and when they'd arrive. Lavrov's comment echoes that made by Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, who observed "Someone does not want an unbiased professional investigation to take place."
partisan , Apr 19, 2018 12:59:08 PM | 73
Syrian boy from the Chemical video found by Russian TV crew in Duma.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPFaEG9vJT4

[Apr 21, 2018] When the FO is headed by Boris 'Serial liar' Johnson it becomes very hard to know who to believe. But when neoliberal MSM cut somebody on air, you know is it better to beleave this guy

Notable quotes:
"... Sky News cuts of British General. https://southfront.org/sky-news-cuts-off-former-british-general-while-he-questiones-douma-chemical-attack / ..."
Apr 21, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

Kokkos , 13 Apr 2018 15:41

Sky News cuts of British General. https://southfront.org/sky-news-cuts-off-former-british-general-while-he-questiones-douma-chemical-attack /
TheKingOfHate , 13 Apr 2018 15:41
"Russian claims that UK staged Syria gas attack 'a blatant lie'"

When the FO is headed by Boris 'Serial liar' Johnson it becomes very hard to know who to believe.

JBigglesworth , 13 Apr 2018 15:41
Further to my post on Russell-Moyle's Tweet:

Lloyd Russell-Moyle
(@lloyd_rm)
It is worth noting that the British Government approved exports of dual use precursors for chemical weapons including sarin to Syria between 2004 and 2012, after the civil war began and after Assad was accused of using gas. CAEC report (2015): pic.twitter.com/TsvthAcZRR

April 13, 2018

Further down his thread is a tweet where someone has a screen-grab of a Mail Online story from 2013. It talks about leaked information about clearance given by the US Government for a British security company to stage a chemical weapons attack in Syria in order to provide a pretext for bombing.

I have no idea whether this is true or whether it was genuinely from Mail Online, perhaps someone with more know-how than me could find out.

At first, I laughed at the Russian suggestion that the attack on Douma had been staged. Now I'm not so sure.

[Apr 21, 2018] Operation Timber Sycamore and Douma false falg

Apr 21, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

Jay_Q123 , 13 Apr 2018 15:36

Your article appears to apportion blame solely to Assad and you don't even attempt to address the opposition in Syria. Nobody seriously questions that the Syrian governments war has killed many thousands and thousands of civilians. How can you not refer to the international jihad and the make up of these fighters, as well as the sieges they laid on villages, town and cities and the cruelty they inflicted upon the people?

The Syrian Arab Army is a composite of Sunni, Shia, Christians, and different ethnicity's, what convinces you that they have in any way wantonly killed civilians? The soldiers have family all over Syria, plus no mention of the 300,000+ civilians that have been liberated from Eastern Aleppo and Eastern Ghouta in the last several months.

I find this article very bizarre indeed. The most simple explanation for the disaster in Syria is that a sovereign state protected its national interest from an international contingent of mercenaries. There are Moroccans and Chechnyans, Uighurs and Brits, Saudis as well as Syrians in this armed army. What other options did a state such as Syria have when fighting against ISIS, Al Qaida, Al Nusra and 'The Army of Islam', Jaysh Al-Islam? All have which have direct connections to our major ally in the region, Saudi Arabia.

Somebody correct me if I am wrong but I can not find any reference at all to the enemy in this article. It's written as if the 8 year war has simply been an extermination war against civilians and completely out of context with reality.

Check out Operation Timber Sycamore for more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timber_Sycamore

BoomersStealingMoney , 13 Apr 2018 15:32
The west stoked and funded the Wahabists. Secular Asad is our buffer against the Saudi version of Islam.

Whatever happens we cannot let the Saud version of Islam win.

The Sauds have spread their Wahabi version of Islam using oil money. And we have armed the Sauds.

Justin Thyme , 13 Apr 2018 15:31
The USA and WMD@S

US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld helped Saddam Hussein build up his arsenal of deadly chemical and biological weapons. As an envoy from President Reagan 19 years ago, he had a secret meeting with the Iraqi dictator and arranged enormous military assistance for his war with Iran. Mr Rumsfeld, at the time a successful executive in the pharmaceutical industry, still made it possible for Saddam to buy supplies from American firms. They included viruses such as anthrax and bubonic plague, according to the Washington Post.
The USA provided $1.5 billion worth of Pathogenic, toxigenic and other biological research materials were exported to Iraq; 1985-89.

1) US based company, Alcolac International exported mustard gas to Iraq; 1987-88.
2) Almost 150 foreign companies supported Saddam Hussein's WMD program; 1975-
3) US directly attacked Iran by hitting Iran's oil platforms; 1987.
4) US directly attacked Iran's navy in unproportioned and unreasonable war; 1988.
5) US shot down Iranian civilian airliner in the Iranian territory; 1988.

This is the equivalent of a pathological paedophile giving a sermon against child abuse when the US preaches its corrupt moral practices regarding Syria!!!

[Apr 21, 2018] The scientific service of the german Bundestag calls the bombing contrary to international law

Apr 21, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

The scientific service of the german Bundestag calls the bombing contrary to international law: http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/syrien-bundestags-gutachten-verurteilt-vergeltungsschlag-von-usa-und-co-a-1204004.html

Posted by: Anonymous | Apr 20, 2018 11:25:51 AM | 197

[Apr 21, 2018] S-300 as Carrot and Stick

Apr 21, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

S-300 as Carrot and Stick

RT has an article out this morning quoting Lavrov (whose diction is always, impeccably, exact)

to the effect that Russia now has "no reason to *not* supply its S-300 missile system to Syria"
in light of the US strike. Several well-sourced Syrian accounts were reporting the sale of S-300s
to Syria as a done deal, but I think this is premature. Lavrov is asking the US and Israel to give
Russia a reason not to provide the S-300 to Syria. Lavrov is saying the fate of the S-300 in the
MIddle East is now open for renegotiation. On the other hand, Lavrov knows that neither the US
nor Israel can be trusted to abide by the terms of any negotiated outcome. So in the *best* case
scenario, he may be hoping to gain by this gambit a significant (if temporary) reduction of US / Israeli
/ Saudi military interference in the Russian attempt to bring Syria to political settlement.

Would Israel rather: (1) see the US withdraw from a Syria that does not have the S-300?
(2) see the US remain within a Syria that does have the S-300?

The US will not bomb any Syrian S-300s while Russia is around. Israel would have to
take this task on itself. But does Israel *really* want to take on this task? Given that
it could go very badly in any number of ways?

Posted by: WJ | Apr 20, 2018 11:12:32 AM | 194 Don Bacon , Apr 20, 2018 11:20:44 AM | 195

@193
The S-300 carrot & stick has legs.
> May 30, 2013 - Israel could overcome advanced S-300 anti-aircraft missiles if they were deployed in Syria but any strikes on the system would be difficult.
> Dec 1, 2015 - For Israel, more problematic have been Russia's plans to sell the less advanced, but hardly less problematic S-300 missile system to both Syria and Iran
likklemore , Apr 20, 2018 1:38:08 PM | 204
Apologies if this is already posted:

Coming after the RF Military spokesmen suggested Syria should be allowed S-300 air defense, Mr Lavrov joins:


Lavrov: After US-led strikes, Russia has 'no moral barriers' on S-300 deliveries to Syria
RT

Following the US-led bombardment of Syria last week over an alleged chemical attack by Damascus, Russia says it has no reason to not supply its S-300 missile system to Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.

Moscow agreed with its international partners about 10 years ago to not deliver the S-300 to Damascus. "We took into consideration their argument that this would destabilize the situation, despite the missile systems being a purely defensive system," Lavrov said in an interview to RIA Novosti.

But given the latest spiraling of the crisis – in particular the use of the alleged Douma chemical attack as pre-text for striking Syria – things may take a U-turn. While around a decade ago, Moscow "heeded" the calls of its partners and put the deliveries on hold, the Russian foreign minister said it now has "no such moral obligation."

In the wake of the US-led operation on Syria, Russia said it may consider sending supplies of S-300 missile systems to Damascus. Moscow believes it is "possible to return to mulling over the issue, and not only with regard to Syria but also to other states as well," Russian General Staff Spokesman General Sergey Rudskoy stated[.]

And in other news, DNC today filed $multi-million lawsuit against Russia, Trump and Wikkileaks for conspiring to defeat Hillary in 2016.
ZH link

Guess they filed this action without knowing Rudy Guiliani has just joined Trump's legal team.

First question for Plaintiff: Why was the FBI denied access to the hacked servers?

His name was Seth Rich

Oh, and good luck collecting from Russia and Wikkileaks.


[Apr 21, 2018] Trump and Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

Apr 21, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Posted by: A P | Apr 19, 2018 9:13:10 AM | 41

Trump and Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

The rest of the Rothschild/Zionist/Deep State swamp has long hidden behind such useful idiots, including most of the elected/bureaucratic/bankster/militarist puppets infesting NATO countries.

The Rothschilds et. al. cannot avoid the label of malice, as they have long acted purposefully on the declaration in the mid-1700's: "I care not who sits on the British throne, the man who controls the money supply controls the Empire... and I control the money supply." Baron Mayer Rothschild

"If my sons wanted no wars, there would be none." Baron Mayer Rothschild's wife.

For 300 years the Rothschilds have controlled the political and economic levers that resulted in the endless line of wars. The Balfour Declaration by which the British gov't stupidly endorses to this day was written to (and largely by) the Baron Rothschild of that day.

Attempting to discern intent by the visible layer of the otherwise well-disguised Rothschild Promised Land agenda is a fools errand.

"By deception thou shalt do war." The Mossad motto. The Rothschild modus oprandi.

/div> div
div
ralphieboy , Apr 19, 2018 9:32:18 AM | 45
@A P #41

"For 300 years the Rothschilds have controlled the political and economic levers that resulted in the endless line of wars. The Balfour Declaration by which the British gov't stupidly endorses to this day was written to (and largely by) the Baron Rothschild of that day."

If we have allowed these people to yank our chains for the past three centuries, then it must be because they are a f*ck of a lot smarter and more motivated than the rest of us stupid Gentiles.

But we believe in a system in which the smartest and most motivated should rise to the top...

[Apr 21, 2018] The outcome is that the US can no longer count on air superiority anywhere in the world where Russian air defences operate

Notable quotes:
"... The treaties which promise US allies that an attack on them will draw US military support for their collective defence – Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty (NATO), Article 4 of the Australia New Zealand US Treaty (ANZUS), Article 3 of the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (Rio), and the Japan, Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Pakistan and Israel defence treaties – are dead letters. ..."
Apr 21, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Posted by: Likklemore | Apr 20, 2018 8:46:38 PM | 48

If you haven't read John Helmer's " Bear and sitting Duck suggest it be added to your weekend read.

@ S 33

Thanks for clarifying.

A few snips:

US President Donald Trump didn't mean to start a revolution. President Vladimir Putin tried persuading him not to. But on April 14 the revolution was launched by American warplanes, surface ships and a submarine.

The outcome is that the US can no longer count on air superiority anywhere in the world where Russian air defences operate, backed by Russian command-and-control systems. Without air superiority, the US has no force multiple on the ground of the magnitude required for the Pentagon to attack; that is, the ratio of American men and firepower the Pentagon calculates for making sure their enemies on their ground can be defeated.

This is revolutionary, and has spread instantly to every war front -- the Russian lines with NATO; the Korea-Japan front; the Taiwan Straits and South China Sea for China; and the Indian Ocean for India and Pakistan.

The treaties which promise US allies that an attack on them will draw US military support for their collective defence – Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty (NATO), Article 4 of the Australia New Zealand US Treaty (ANZUS), Article 3 of the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (Rio), and the Japan, Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Pakistan and Israel defence treaties – are dead letters.

So long, shock and awe – that was the American warfighting doctrine against people who lack Russian-standard defences. [.]

The S-300, which Iran and Greece operate, and the S-400, which guards the Russian naval and air bases in Syria and which Turkey is acquiring, are capable of striking both aircraft and missiles. This is the game-changer for Syrian defence against Israel if the S-300 is delivered, as the Russian Defence Ministry is now proposing. [.]


LINK

Oh my, NuttyYahoo is on the phone.

[Apr 21, 2018] Russia has transferred forty Pantsir-S1 air defense systems to Syria' Air Defence

Apr 21, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

tayacase , 13 Apr 2018 15:50

Russia has transferred forty Pantsir-S1 air defense systems to Syria' Air Defence.
This is the latest air defence technology (the system is in service since 2012) - a combined short to medium range surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery weapon system against aircrafts, helicopters, precision munitions, cruise missiles and UAVs.

https://southfront.org/russia-delivered-40-pantsir-s1-air-defense-systems-to-syria-state-media /
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pantsir-S1

[Apr 21, 2018] Amazingly BBC newsnight just started preparing viewers for the possibility that there was no sarin attack, and the missile strikes might just have been for show

Apr 21, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Posted by: Paul Cockshott | Apr 20, 2018 6:56:29 PM | 41


Paul Cockshott , Apr 20, 2018 6:56:29 PM | 41

Amazingly BBC newsnight just started preparing viewers for the possibility that there was no sarin attack, and the missile strikes might just have been for show, i plying Trump did it for political reasons. Narrative changing a bit.
Anonymous , Apr 21, 2018 2:47:25 AM | 57
#Germany's state media senior correspondent (who is in Damascus right now & also visited Douma) on primetime evening news on German television: "#Douma chemical attack is most likely staged. A great many people here seem very convinced."

https://twitter.com/Brasco_Aad/status/987432370595876864

Fran , Apr 21, 2018 2:55:06 AM | 58
Karlofi#35 and frances#18
Michael Quinn on Russia Insider is wondering about the same thing too: Tucker Carlson MIA for 2 Days After Exposing Syria Gas Hoax - Deep State Revenge?

I too hope he will return soon, he seems to be one of the last sane voices of the msm. Hopefully high viewer rates help to bring him back, but he wouldn't be the first one to vanish from the screen, despite high ratings.

[Apr 21, 2018] There's no good option in Syria by Jonathan Freedland

You face the same the liars with the sexed up dossier who went on to murder hundreds of thousands in Iraq and Libya. This is all too reminiscent of previous interventions
Consider WW1, Suez, Iran 1953, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Yemen and every other western militarily intervention in the ME - whether directly or by proxy - and identify one that hasn't just caused more instability, death, violence and displacement than there was already?
Apr 21, 2018 | www.theguardian.com

e are caught between a rock, in the form of the recklessness of Donald Trump, and a hard place, shaped by the cruelty of Bashar al-Assad. This is the choice that now confronts citizens and their representatives in Britain, France and the US. The reasons to resist signing up for any project led by Trump should be obvious, with the newly published testimony of James Comey, the FBI director he fired, providing a fresh reminder.

Trump is a congenital liar who is devoid of empathy, a narcissist with a nihilist's view of the world. These are not mere character defects; they have a bearing on the decisions the de facto leader of any action in Syria would take. Among the reasons I opposed the 2003 invasion of Iraq was my fundamental distrust of George W Bush and his circle, especially on the matter of motive. Trump, with his tweeted mood swings – first, vowing to withdraw from Syria altogether, then threatening an imminent missile bombardment, then signalling a delay – makes Bush look like a statesman.

But even if a moral paragon were sitting in the Oval Office, there would be grounds for restraint. The record of past western military interventions in the Middle East is bloody and shaming, as the peoples of both Iraq and Libya can testify. Barack Obama, no gung-ho cowboy, was the commander-in-chief in the latter case. And yet what was originally billed as a discrete military action to prevent an impending civilian slaughter in Benghazi escalated into a bombardment that led to regime change and mayhem. It stands as a textbook illustration of western bombs' ability to make a bad situation worse.


LiviaDrusilla -> BullNakano , 13 Apr 2018 16:26

It's clear now that although Assad has 'won' the war a status quo of him ruling a predominately Sunni country can't be returned to. He seeks to terrorise and punish the Syrian people under the protection of Russia and Iran.

Even though the army which has made such huge sacrifices for the Syrian state is about 70% Sunni?

The US and her allies have to intervene, otherwise the rule of international law is worthless.

Why? Even if your premise above were true, which it isn't, why is it our job to intervene in every country with an imperfect system? Or are you proposing we bomb every Middle Eastern country where people are privileged and granted citizenship merely on account of their religion?

dannymega -> mjlnkc , 13 Apr 2018 16:26
Yes, because Assad wants to be bombed by the West just as he is winning, I know - makes perfect sense.
solidstae -> John Favre , 13 Apr 2018 16:25
I love these guys who won't do their own research. Why not? Axe to grind? This is just one example from 2013. There's more but I'm too busy to look up public shit for you.

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/may/6/syrian-rebels-used-sarin-nerve-gas-not-assads-regi /

GLT24 -> Squiddlywidget , 13 Apr 2018 16:18
Spot on look what happened to Sadaam after he switched to the Euro for Iraq oil sales.
Ghaddafi had similar plans.
Without reserve currency status and petrodollar with US economy will collapse under the $21T dollar debt.
Russia and China have recently agreed a bilateral trade agreement which cuts out the dollar.
The US cannot permit this ...as always follow the money.
Some people murder others for political and ideological reasons the military industrial complex starts wars and conflicts ,murdering millions for profit....evil personified
Squiddlywidget , 13 Apr 2018 16:10
Could this whole drama be because China and Russia are ditching the petrodollar?
I watched the video of the attack and it looks fake to me.. those children are not crying because of chlorine.. they have their eyes wide open..first thing you do when you have chlorine in your eyes is touch your face and close your eyes..whole thing looks dodge..just my opinion. Those children are wide eyed and looking at the camera..something you wouldn't do if you'd just been gassed.

[Apr 21, 2018] CIA, MI6 and rebels: Rebels can be genuine protesters but they will brutally used by CIA and MI6 for nefarious purposes

Apr 21, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

junglecitizen -> LeftOrRightSameShite , 13 Apr 2018 15:44

We, along with the US, France and Gulf states have supported, armed and trained "rebels" in Syria the whole time. We've had, as have others, special forces operating inside Syria


So, there would never be rebellions against totalitarian dictators if it weren't for the CIA and MI6.

I don't buy this. It's very convenient if you're an anti-war person who doesn't want to face an ethical dilemma. But it's not real.

[Apr 21, 2018] Eight fundamental British lies over the Skripal attack.

Apr 21, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 | Apr 19, 2018 1:07:42 PM | 74

Here we have a translated transcript of Shulgin's testimony at OPCW's Hague HQ where he points out the 8 fundamental British lies over the Skripal attack. He prefaces his remarks thusly:

"I would like to start my speech with the words that belong to the great thinker Martin Luther, "A lie is like a snowball: the further you roll it, the bigger it becomes".

"This wise aphorism is fully applicable to politics. He who has chosen the path of deception will have to lie again and again, making up explanations for discrepancies, spreading disinformation and doing forgery, desperately using all means to cover the tracks of the lies and to hide the truth.

"The United Kingdom has entered this slippery path. We can clearly see all of this on the example of the "Skripal case" fabricated by the British authorities, this poorly disguised anti-Russian provocation accompanied by an unprecedented propaganda campaign, taken up by a group of countries, and the finalized unprecedented expulsion of diplomats under a far-fetched pretext. Please, do not try to pass this group for the international community – it is far from that."


Bakerpete , Apr 19, 2018 9:55:05 PM | 138

A good statement.

http://thesaker.is/statement-of-a-shulgin-at-the-opcw-ec/

anti_republocrat , Apr 19, 2018 11:40:19 PM | 145
@ the pessimist | Apr 19, 2018 1:05:37 AM | 1

Not sure when Shulgin gave his statement, but today's briefing by Zacharova is even more impressive and revealing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8cjrgPc4Ew&feature=youtu.be&t=2026

It seems that BZ was detected not only by Spiez, but also by a lab in the Netherlands. The explanation given is that BZ was added to the specimens in order to validate the competence of the contracted labs. Furthermore, they attempted to explain away the existence of pristine Novichok in the specimens in a dosage that would have been fatal, thus confirming that the Spiez lab did indeed find such pristine Novichok. You can't make this sh*t up.

Oh, what a tangled web! The wonder is not so much that MI5/MI6 would perpetrate such a false flag, but that they would be so utterly incompetent about it.

anti_republocrat , Apr 19, 2018 11:47:20 PM | 147
@anti_republocrat | Apr 19, 2018 11:40:19 PM | 144

Clarification: The reference to "pristine" Novichok is that Spiez found the toxic agent in a non-degraded form that could not have survived either within the human body or in a collected specimen. They thought it was a contamination. My opinion is that it was added by the British before delivering the specimens, just to be sure the contracted labs would detect it. Also, the fact they claimed to have deliberately contaminated the specimens with BZ is a clear indication it could just as easily be that the BZ was there from the beginning and the actual contamination was with the agent from the Novichok family. Zakharova called it "weird." I'll say!

WJ , Apr 20, 2018 12:08:28 AM | 148
PavewayIV @143,
Funny you should mention a "preemptive protective attack." The Bush preemption doctrine must not have been found suitably effective for domestic propagandist purposes; as since then, if I am not mistaken, the preferred move has been to engineer an actual "event" that the US is forced to "respond" to. The WMD bombast fit the preemption doctrine. The relatively more modest "chemical attack" has the advantage of being easily produced whenever necessary. I think this development signals an advance in the rhetoric of propaganda between Bush II and Obama. Perhaps the PR folks judged Americans to be finally more stupid than malicious as a group. Optimistically put.

anti_republocrat @146

I believe there were four samples (2 bio, 2 enviro); I think it is likely that the 2 bio samples are the ones with BZ in the control. Why? Pure coincidence, procedure, unrelated to anything, etc. Or because the Skripals, and not their doorknob, were poisoned with BZ.

[Apr 21, 2018] The vast majority of supposed 'NGO's' are fronts for jihadists 'rebels' who want an Islamist state

NGO now are favorite cover of intelligence agencies.
Apr 21, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

MartinSilenus -> imperium3 , 13 Apr 2018 14:13

"Remarkable how Saddam Hussein gassing Iranian troops by the thousand, while world powers helped him do it and covered for him at the UN is treated as a minor exception to non-use of chemical"

He also used poison gas to kill thousands of his own Kurdish civilians, the Reagan administration was in many ways a moral cesspit. They knew exactly what he was doing. A spokesman said the Iranians - who never used Chemical Weapons on principle - used the poison gas, on Iraqi Kurds. I think Reagan never really understood this, that is my assessment of his character, he saw what reality he wanted to see, but nothing else.

LiviaDrusilla -> Bangorstu , 13 Apr 2018 14:12
There has been no independently gathered or assessed medical evidence. None.

What is this 'NGO' you speak of? The vast majority of supposed 'NGO's' are fronts for jihadists 'rebels' who want an Islamist state.

wryape , 13 Apr 2018 14:12
" Back then the death toll in Syria stood at around 100,000. More than 400,000 have died since that day. The proof is there if we can bear to look at it. Inaction, too, can be deadly"

And how many died after the war was "won" in Iraq. And how many would have died trying to remove assad. Toppling assad would almost certainly not have brought peace. Your analysis is simplistic and blinkered and definately doesn't contain any proof of anything. Sometimes there's just not a solution. The current proposed bombing campaign smacks of somethingmustbedoneism. Those responsible for the gas attacks must face justice. But it might have to be further down the line.

NHSmonami -> Laurence Bury , 13 Apr 2018 14:12
Western countries have been guilty of mudering hundreds of thousands in starting Middle East wars.

[Apr 21, 2018] Whose sarin by Seymour M. Hersh

Notable quotes:
"... 19 December 2013 ..."
Apr 21, 2018 | www.defenddemocracy.press

19 December 2013

Barack Obama did not tell the whole story this autumn when he tried to make the case that Bashar al-Assad was responsible for the chemical weapons attack near Damascus on 21 August. In some instances, he omitted important intelligence, and in others he presented assumptions as facts. Most significant, he failed to acknowledge something known to the US intelligence community: that the Syrian army is not the only party in the country's civil war with access to sarin, the nerve agent that a UN study concluded – without assessing responsibility – had been used in the rocket attack. In the months before the attack, the American intelligence agencies produced a series of highly classified reports, culminating in a formal Operations Order – a planning document that precedes a ground invasion – citing evidence that the al-Nusra Front, a jihadi group affiliated with al-Qaida, had mastered the mechanics of creating sarin and was capable of manufacturing it in quantity. When the attack occurred al-Nusra should have been a suspect, but the administration cherry-picked intelligence to justify a strike against Assad.

In his nationally televised speech about Syria on 10 September, Obama laid the blame for the nerve gas attack on the rebel-held suburb of Eastern Ghouta firmly on Assad's government, and made it clear he was prepared to back up his earlier public warnings that any use of chemical weapons would cross a 'red line': 'Assad's government gassed to death over a thousand people,' he said. 'We know the Assad regime was responsible And that is why, after careful deliberation, I determined that it is in the national security interests of the United States to respond to the Assad regime's use of chemical weapons through a targeted military strike.' Obama was going to war to back up a public threat, but he was doing so without knowing for sure who did what in the early morning of 21 August.

Read also: A looming provocation? Turkey, Syria and the refugees

He cited a list of what appeared to be hard-won evidence of Assad's culpability: 'In the days leading up to August 21st, we know that Assad's chemical weapons personnel prepared for an attack near an area where they mix sarin gas. They distributed gas masks to their troops. Then they fired rockets from a regime-controlled area into 11 neighbourhoods that the regime has been trying to wipe clear of opposition forces.' Obama's certainty was echoed at the time by Denis McDonough, his chief of staff, who told the New York Times : 'No one with whom I've spoken doubts the intelligence' directly linking Assad and his regime to the sarin attacks.

Read more at https://www.lrb.co.uk/v35/n24/seymour-m-hersh/whose-sarin

SOURCE www.lrb.co.uk

[Apr 21, 2018] Timber Sycamore

A classified U.S. State Department cable signed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reported that Saudi donors were a major support for Sunni militant forces globally, and some American officials worried that rebels being supported had ties to Al Qaeda.[14]
Notable quotes:
"... Read more at https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timber_Sycamore ..."
Apr 21, 2018 | www.defenddemocracy.press

Timber Sycamore 20/04/2018 Timber Sycamore was a classified weapons supply and training program run by the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and supported by various Arab intelligence services, most notably that of Saudi Arabia . Launched in 2012 or 2013, it supplied money, weaponry and training to rebel forces fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian Civil War . According to U.S. officials, the program has trained thousands of rebels. President Barack Obama secretly authorized the CIA to begin arming Syria's embattled rebels in 2013. [3] However, the CIA had been facilitating the flow of arms from Libya to Syria "for more than a year" beforehand in collaboration with "the UK ( United Kingdom ), Saudi Arabia and Qatar ."

The program's existence was suspected after the U.S. Federal Business Opportunities website publicly solicited contract bids to ship tons of weaponry from Eastern Europe to Taşucu , Turkey and Aqaba , Jordan. One unintended consequence of the program has been to flood the Middle East's black market with weapons including assault rifles, mortars and rocket-propelled grenades. The U.S. delivered weapons via Ramstein – supposedly in breach of German laws.

In July 2017, U.S. officials stated that Timber Sycamore would be phased out, with funds possibly redirected to fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), or to offering rebel forces defensive capabilities.

... ... ...

According to American officials, the program has been highly effective, training and equipping thousands of U.S.-backed fighters to make substantial battlefield gains.[2][19] American officials state that the program began to lose effectiveness after Russia intervened militarily in the Syrian Civil War.[19] David Ignatius, writing in The Washington Post, remarked that while the CIA program ultimately failed in its objective of removing Assad from power, it was hardly "bootless": "The program pumped many hundreds of millions of dollars to many dozens of militia groups. One knowledgeable official estimates that the CIA-backed fighters may have killed or wounded 100,000 Syrian soldiers and their allies over the past four years."[8]

... ... ...

U.S.-backed rebels often fought alongside al-Qaeda's al-Nusra Front, and some of the U.S. supplied weapons ended up in the hands of the al-Nusra Front, which had been a major concern of the Obama administration when the program was first proposed.[10]

... ... ...

The program remains classified,[14][10] and many details about the program remain unknown, including the total amount of support, the range of weapons transferred, the depth of training provided, the types of U.S. trainers involved, and the exact rebel groups being supported.[18] However, The Canberra Times reported that two thousand tons of Soviet era weapons were delivered to Aqaba as recently as April 2016.

Read more at https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timber_Sycamore

[Apr 21, 2018] Neoliberal media and goverment talking points

Apr 21, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

creelo -> sejong , 13 Apr 2018 14:57

We're now in a strange position where the media is actually behind the government. May is doubtful about bombing because she's a politician and so has to constantly monitor her popularity, but the only people left still writing in 'newspapers' are still programmed to want war and bombing because it always used to sell.

"Since you're here..."

HarrytheHawk -> JackDowland , 13 Apr 2018 14:56
'There is overwhelming evidence...'

Where?

Let's see it.

You might want to show it to James Mattis while you're at it as he doesn't seem to be willing to settle for accusations.

Jazzfunk23 , 13 Apr 2018 14:56
The UN duly investigated and in October concluded unambiguously that the Assad regime had used sarin gas.

You omitted to mention that the same report also concludes that ISIL deployed Sulphur Mustard, isn't this the same gas that France claims to have evidence regarding the recent incident?

Besides, how much evidence do we need? Even before Douma, Assad's use of chemical weapons had been documented seven times this year alone.

The link you provided to back-up this claim contains no substantiative evidence to attribute those incidents to Assad.

Clearly both sides in this conflict appear to have used chemical weapons, making assumptions or false accusations of blame at this stage is incredibly dangerous. I'm in total agreement with Jeremy Corbyn, we need a solid investigation on which the international community can act. Any potential escalation of this awful conflict must be avoided at all costs, particularly when it involves a nuclear armed superstate, considering the on-going humaitarian crisis in Syria and how it has already affected the world. Furthermore we must not allow a cabinet of a minority government to make any final decisions on the UK involvement in further militrary action, our elected representatives MUST be allowed to debate and decide a course of action, otherwise our democracy is in a far worse state than I could have possibly imagined.

thatotherbloke , 13 Apr 2018 14:54
Theresa May leads a minority government propped up by an unlawful bung to a right wing extremist group. May, her Cabinet of half wits and her self serving party have a mandate for sweet FA, and that includes killing people in our name.
sejong , 13 Apr 2018 14:52
MSM has gone full neocon on Syria.

Bomb like it's 2003.

psoptim11 , 13 Apr 2018 14:52
There is massive, overwhelming opposition in the UK to May's attempt to join Trump & Macron in bombing Syria and to by-passing our democratic parliament, but who would have thought it?

The media are generally presenting Theresa May with a free ride to cause death and destruction on a massive scale. Claiming she's joining an international coalition (even though it consists of only 2 other countries) and having the backing of the Cabinet and therefore possessing the authority to go to war.

The reality is that she's virtually politically isolated and working in defiance of the British people. Labour - and most other opposition parties, including the Lib Dems, SNP, Plaid, and the Greens are totally against military intervention and calling for a full, democratic debate in Parliament.

Then the Conservative Party itself is bitterly divided over the issue.

And only 22% of British people would support the war effort, according to a poll in the Times.

The timing is being forced by Donald Trump and the US, so where's the substance in the Conservative claim that they're 'taking back control'?

And then any intervention is likely to cost billions, so what about The Deficit? And what about that magic money tree?

Moreover, the Government maintain we cannot allow such inhumanity in Syria to go unchallenged. So where is the outcry at defenceless citizens being killed in Gaza? And in Yemen? And in Saudi Arabia? What accounts for the blatant double standards? What are they not telling us?

And why does the British Goverment justicfy selling all these lethal and inhumance weapons to these countries in the first place?

Where is the media reminding the Government of what happened in Iraq, in Libya and in Afghanistan?, whenever we intervened?

Where is the media remembering the findings of the Chilcott Report?

If this was Labour nationalising the railways or expropriating land in an emergency bill to launch a massive house-building programme, the BBC and mass media would quote every adversary and critic they could muster and express total outrage at any attempt to by-pass Parliament.

The Syrian conflict is a hugely complex quagmire and we enter it at our peril. We need a much more objective Press to scrutinise Government policy, before this lunacy unravels and triggers a seriously calamitous hot war between the Superpowers, from which we'd all be losers.

Jeremy Corbyn is often mocked and scorned by the media for his measured reactions, but his call for the UK to use its influence to defuse tensions makes him one of the only responsible and mature political leaders around right now!!

dumbwaiter , 13 Apr 2018 14:52
The government and the BBC have been using the words "suspected chemical attack" in Syria and that Russia is "highly likely" to be responsible for the Salisbury affair.

Now if that isn't official doubt I don't know what is.

Still May happy to drop bombs on this basis without parliamentary approval (if Donald says so that is)!

[Apr 21, 2018] OK - its the We Cannot Do Nothing, Therefore We Must Do Something, Therefore We Must Bomb Them argument.

Apr 21, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

bubmachine , 13 Apr 2018 14:39

OK - its the We Cannot Do Nothing, Therefore We Must Do Something, Therefore We Must Bomb Them argument.

Convinced? No.

DZ76 , 13 Apr 2018 14:39
This is pathetic. The mouthpieces of the British government (Guardian and BBC) have spent the last week on a steady pendulum of demanding war, shitting themselves, then when the rhetoric calms down a bit, demanding war again. The U.K., its security agencies and its house-trained media are destabilising the world.

[Apr 21, 2018] How about some basic honesty about the role the US and it's allies have played in fostering and continue if this civil war

Notable quotes:
"... How about some basic honesty about the role the US and it's allies have played in fostering and continue if this civil war. That, coupled by a complete retreat of US imperial neoliberal ambitions across the entire region, you know, might just be incredibly effective ..."
"... Are we seriously going to pretend we and our allies haven't provided financial, technological, diplomatic, political and military support to this extremely heterogenous group of rebels, without which the whole uprising (a legitimate uprising, sure, but certainly not a viable one) would have been over in a few months, without any of the atrocities, tragedies and destruction of the past 6 years? ..."
"... For Europe and the US to have any credibility the double standards applied has to come to an end ..."
"... Sorry but the arguments in the article don't hold water. Reeks of the longstanding agenda of the war profiteers and the Clinton gang to invade this country. On hypocritical reasons. ..."
Apr 21, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

HoublaHoubla , 13 Apr 2018 14:44

Here's an idea Jonathan for another solution. How about some basic honesty about the role the US and it's allies have played in fostering and continue if this civil war. That, coupled by a complete retreat of US imperial neoliberal ambitions across the entire region, you know, might just be incredibly effective
notndmushroom , 13 Apr 2018 14:42

But nor can we watch the brutal dictator slaughter his own people

Why not? We're watching Israelis shoot and kill unarmed Palestinians, we're watching our favourite Saudis bomb and kill Yemeni civilians, we're watching our Nobel-winning inspirational Myanmar leader oversee the persecution, massacre and forced displacement of an entire people, we're watching the North Korean leader oppress and starve his people while stepping closer to a nuclear war against a currently volatile superpower, we're watching the Philipino head of state launching a literal war against low-level drug dealers and junkies, we're watching several central Asian dictators imprison and torture dissidents and oppress their people while robbing them of their national wealth, we're watching the Chinese and Russian leaders do pretty much the same, we're watching the Turkish leader kidnap dissidents from EU countries, imprison thousands of alleged dissidents and invade a neighbouring country to fight against part of said countries' inhabitants, we're watching corrupt politicians, media and judges completing the final touches of a coup in the fifth largest country in the world, and then there's Africa, which is a whole other chapter.

What specifically is it about Syria that made you decide that yeah, all these things are pretty bad, but that's the one thing we really have to do something about?

Perhaps that was why, five years ago, the House of Commons voted to leave the Assad regime untouched. Back then the death toll in Syria stood at around 100,000. More than 400,000 have died since that day. The proof is there if we can bear to look at it. Inaction, too, can be deadly.

Inaction? Really? Are we seriously going to pretend we and our allies haven't provided financial, technological, diplomatic, political and military support to this extremely heterogenous group of rebels, without which the whole uprising (a legitimate uprising, sure, but certainly not a viable one) would have been over in a few months, without any of the atrocities, tragedies and destruction of the past 6 years?

fishandart , 13 Apr 2018 14:42
For Europe and the US to have any credibility the double standards applied has to come to an end. Israel has to comply with UN resolutions and the US has to stop using its veto to block those resolutions that seek to make Israel comply to international standards of acceptable behaviour.

If we can't do that we can forget getting Assad or Putin or anyone else to respect anything we have to say. As it stands the so called West has no moral authority in the Middle East.

Ziontrain , 13 Apr 2018 14:41

But nor can we watch the brutal dictator slaughter his own people

Why is this supposed slaughter such an imperative when we seem to approve of and even profit from selling weapons to slaughters elsewhere in the region

Sorry but the arguments in the article don't hold water. Reeks of the longstanding agenda of the war profiteers and the Clinton gang to invade this country. On hypocritical reasons.

[Apr 21, 2018] Pay for what? Be President of a country marked out for regime change by the West and successfully managing to fight off the West's proxy armies of terrorists over seven years in defence of that country?

Notable quotes:
"... Conveniently missing from this short history of Syria: That the US was actually heavily involved using the CIA in getting rid of Assad. Had that not been the case, perhaps there would have been no prolonged civil war. ..."
"... Oh, I know challenging the holy West and its exceptional leading nation is verboten nowadays, but can we at least be honest about what is really going on today? Syria is being punished for not joining the coalition of the willing in 2003 by being subjected to the same illegal war by false claim as Iraq was then. ..."
Apr 21, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

MightyBuccaneer , 13 Apr 2018 14:14

Conveniently missing from this short history of Syria: That the US was actually heavily involved using the CIA in getting rid of Assad. Had that not been the case, perhaps there would have been no prolonged civil war.

It would be just another dictator, the likes of which can be found all over the world without columnists noticing it.

Strangely though, all that is deplored is that the US didn't do even more. That they didn't also do a full blown invasion.

NewWorldOutOfOrder , 13 Apr 2018 14:14
"Why, of course, the people don't want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship

Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

– Hermann Goering (as told to Gustav Gilbert during the Nuremberg trials)

Briar , 13 Apr 2018 14:14
Pay for what? Be President of a country marked out for regime change by the West and successfully managing to fight off the West's proxy armies of terrorists over seven years in defence of that country?

Oh, I know challenging the holy West and its exceptional leading nation is verboten nowadays, but can we at least be honest about what is really going on today? Syria is being punished for not joining the coalition of the willing in 2003 by being subjected to the same illegal war by false claim as Iraq was then.

solidstae , 13 Apr 2018 14:14
Assad has always acted in this like any other authoritarian government anywhere in the Middle East would, fighting a civil war. Israel is just as ruthless when facing a threat to its authority.

This mess was financed, planned, egged on and armed by the U.S., it's junior partners and its clients in Turkey and the Gulf. And it goes back years before the rebellion against Assad. The Wahabbi rebels have been given billions in cash, arms and training, funneled through Turkey and the Gulf states.

Now we have Washington, London and Paris shrieking outrage and promising revenge against a strongman they unleashed as the result of yet another regime change adventure. And then there's the incredible hypocrisy and cynicism of using Al-Qaeda affiliated actors to do it.

Assad's wartime iteration, like ISIS, is the result of American greed, ambition, pride and the old imperialist bent for aggression as a way of imposing its geopolitical will.

[Apr 21, 2018] These children are not the casualties of a gas attack

Apr 21, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

gragor , 13 Apr 2018 13:48

Watch the Unbearable video gain. The children are no foaming at the mouth, their colouration is not cyanotic, they do not appear to be in respiratory distress. The premise of the argument is not based on fact. These children are not the casualties of a gas attack. GROW UP and recognize the propaganda.
minutehands , 13 Apr 2018 13:38
The article takes a self-righteous moral high ground while calling for some vague affair of violence. I can't help but notice that these articles by people who pretend to be moderates and centrists have a habit of turning reality and morality on their head. It's dangerous and very Orwellian stuff.
entropyrules , 13 Apr 2018 13:44
The question that I struggle to answer is, "Are journalists like this actually duped by propaganda themselves, or are they knowingly part of the process of dissemination?"
What I do not struggle to see is that they are undoubtedly part of the prevailing neolib/neocon philosophy which we rapidly need to dismantle.
ChairmanMayTseTung , 13 Apr 2018 13:36
Cui bono?

Who would gain by getting the US back on the ground in Syria?
Who would gain from Russia and the US coming into conflict?

Rogue elements in the US?
Israel certainly
ISIS terrorists?
Saudi Arabia?

[Apr 21, 2018] First Joust by Israel Shamir

Trump strangely immature twits on Douma attack disqualify his as a statesman.
Notable quotes:
"... the strike has been definitely an act of aggression against a sovereign state despite an objection of a permanent SC member, namely Russia. ..."
"... Now the gates of hell are open, international law has been demolished, and this happened because Putin agreed to accommodate Trump's strike, said Ivashov. ..."
"... I'd consider that a good conclusion of the fictional chemical weapons story. The story has fallen to pieces altogether, anyway. The poisoning of Skripal ended with the old spy in good health; with Boris Johnson being caught lying; with [the chemical weapons control body] OPCW refusing to connect Skripal's poison to Moscow; and with Brits keeping Miss Skripal incommunicado under duress, away from her fiancé and the rest of her family, a clear sign of a collapsing story. ..."
"... The Syrian part of this story collapsed as well, after Robert Fisk , one of the very best British Middle East observers (next to David Hirst) visited Douma and delivered a report straight from the donkey's mouth, i.e. as told by a doctor of the clinic videoed by the White Helmets. ..."
"... The Russians actually located some people who are seen in the video, and they say it was staged. ..."
"... An interesting bit of data, proving that preparations for the strike were carried out before the alleged attack, has been published by the Cyprus banking community blog. They say the British air base of Akrotiri on Cyprus had its perimeter urgently strengthened (by the British company Agility) on April 5, that is before the alleged Douma gas attack ..."
"... The OPCW could dispel the mist around both cases, that of Skripal and that of Douma, but do not hold your breath. It appears that OPCW is as integrated into the machinery of the Masters of Discourse as any other international body. Refusal of OPCW to allow Russia to take part in Skripal investigation, despite the clear requirement of its own charter, makes its conclusion doubtful, at best. ..."
"... While inability of OPCW inspectors to enter Douma despite all efforts of Damascus and Russians to facilitate their entry tells us they are not eager to investigate; like they weren't eager to enter Khan Sheykhun last year. ..."
"... please! Trump validated an obvious false flag – again – and launched the strikes before any kind of investigation could have challenged it – again. He's no "hero". He's a weak man at best . Please don't insult real heroes and real bravery. ..."
"... if somebody looks like an idiot, behaves like an imbecile, speaks like a stupid asshat it's very likely you are dealing with an idiot. Stupid bringing boltons and haleys to his circus just had some unforeseen by idiot consequencies. ..."
Apr 21, 2018 | www.unz.com

... Let us face it: Putin did not stop the strike and he didn't make the offender pay a price for this breach of the Law of Nations.

... ... ...

What is worse, Trump's strike destroyed what was left of the international law structure established by Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin. These three giants created the UN and its Security Council in order to avoid such eventualities by forbidding aggression, and the strike has been definitely an act of aggression against a sovereign state despite an objection of a permanent SC member, namely Russia.

Now the gates of hell are open, international law has been demolished, and this happened because Putin agreed to accommodate Trump's strike, said Ivashov.

... ... ...

The Russian military experts here in Moscow told me that out of a hundred missiles fired by the US and their allies, only one or two were modern cruise missiles ("nice and smart") and they destroyed the research institute in Barzeh. (It was not a "chemical weapons centre", just a chemical research institute; it's destruction was a copy-paste of Bill Clinton's bombing of the pharmaceutical factory in Sudan over a similar pretext.)

All other missiles were old and at the end of their service; they had to be utilised somehow, and so they were. A few of them might have been downed by Syrian anti-aircraft fire, others fell without inflicting much damage.

The Russian experts who were in contact with the US military told me that the US military used this occasion for retraining and refreshing reserve pilots; what they call "a milk run". This combination of old missiles and less experienced pilots helped to lower the efficiency of the strike. And both sides, the Russians and the Americans, admitted that the deconfliction line was operative all the time, to avoid eventualities.

I'd consider that a good conclusion of the fictional chemical weapons story. The story has fallen to pieces altogether, anyway. The poisoning of Skripal ended with the old spy in good health; with Boris Johnson being caught lying; with [the chemical weapons control body] OPCW refusing to connect Skripal's poison to Moscow; and with Brits keeping Miss Skripal incommunicado under duress, away from her fiancé and the rest of her family, a clear sign of a collapsing story. Hopefully, Jeremy Corbyn will be able to use May's debacle for his political advantage.

The Syrian part of this story collapsed as well, after Robert Fisk , one of the very best British Middle East observers (next to David Hirst) visited Douma and delivered a report straight from the donkey's mouth, i.e. as told by a doctor of the clinic videoed by the White Helmets. He said:

"There was a lot of shelling [by government forces] and aircraft were always over Douma at night – but on this night, there was wind and huge dust clouds began to come into the basements and cellars where people lived. People began to arrive here [to the clinic] suffering from hypoxia, oxygen loss. Then someone at the door, a "White Helmet", shouted "Gas!", and a panic began. People started throwing water over each other. Yes, the video was filmed here, it is genuine, but what you see are people suffering from hypoxia – not gas poisoning."

The Russians actually located some people who are seen in the video, and they say it was staged. (Western media says they were threatened into saying what they said). I have more trust in Fisk's report, than in the Russian one, but that may be my own prejudice. Anyway, both versions are not mutually exclusive, they do not contradict each other, but they undermine the fake story that provided the cue for the strike.

An interesting bit of data, proving that preparations for the strike were carried out before the alleged attack, has been published by the Cyprus banking community blog. They say the British air base of Akrotiri on Cyprus had its perimeter urgently strengthened (by the British company Agility) on April 5, that is before the alleged Douma gas attack . The second British air base, Dhekelia, carried out similar works on April 12, a week later, before the decision to strike had been adopted by the British government. The Dhekelia works were done with great speed and urgency, and road-constructing equipment had to be taken from the nearby villages of Xylotympou and Ormideia. The payment to the local workers had been routed via HSBC bank in Hong Kong, they say. And indeed these bases (forcibly retained by Britain) were used for the strike on Syria.

The OPCW could dispel the mist around both cases, that of Skripal and that of Douma, but do not hold your breath. It appears that OPCW is as integrated into the machinery of the Masters of Discourse as any other international body. Refusal of OPCW to allow Russia to take part in Skripal investigation, despite the clear requirement of its own charter, makes its conclusion doubtful, at best.

While inability of OPCW inspectors to enter Douma despite all efforts of Damascus and Russians to facilitate their entry tells us they are not eager to investigate; like they weren't eager to enter Khan Sheykhun last year.

Meanwhile, the Western media and the Jihadi groups on the ground are busy to create a new web of lies instead of the old one. Now they say the Fisk report is suspicious because he was allowed in by the Russians. We can learn of their attitudes from the following twit

"Salih @Salih90119797 Apr 17 More

Replying to @Elizrael

We salute Israel in spite their crimes in Palestine we hope they'll continue their strikes every part of Syria; Iran regime should comedown"

These "Islamic rebels" are actually Israel's stooges rather than warriors of the Prophet. Anyway, people who manufactured these beautiful and complicated simulacra, are still around, and doubtless they will prepare a new one, if it will be necessary. In my view, the two presidents have made heroic efforts at saving their countries and mankind from destruction; both risked their good names, their positions, their reputatiosn to go that far. Trump minimized the bombing, Putin minimized the response.

Both have made some mistakes. Mr Putin made his big mistake when he gave Israel carte blanche to bomb Syria whenever she feels like it. Israeli strikes (and there were more than a hundred of them last year) created the air of permissiveness and that allowed Trump to follow in Israel's footsteps. If Israel bombs Syria, and Russians do not react, why can't Trump? It appears unfair for the US to be bested by its satellite. If you permit Tom to grab your girlfriend's pussy without a single objection, you must be expect that Dick and Harry will try to repeat this feat. Israel created the precedent, the US used it.

I asked Senator Alexey Pushkov, the head of the foreign relations committee, whether he doesn't think it was a mistake, in hindsight. He justified the policy saying that Russia came to Syria in order to fight jihadi groups, ISIS, Al Qaeda et al, not Israel. Russia is friendly to Israel, Iran and Turkey, and it does not want to sort out local disagreements. Pushkov stressed that Russia always censured Israeli raids on Syria, though it didn't act against them. As a matter of fact, if Russia criticized Israel, it was done very, very quietly. The only time this condemnation was made public, happened just now, when the Israeli strike occurred in a very tense moment.

Mr Trump made a mistake when he fired the missiles instead of firing Mueller. But anyway, thank you, Mr Trump, for limiting the damage. Try to complete the withdrawal from Syria, while at it.


Felix Krull , April 19, 2018 at 7:22 am GMT

What is worse, Trump's strike destroyed what was left of the international law structure established by Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin.

That was accomplished by Tony Blair, Bill Clinton and Gerhard Schroeder when they bombed Kosovo without an SC resolution – simultaneously transforming NATO from a defensive pact to an instrument of US imperialism.

Renoman , April 19, 2018 at 9:26 am GMT
The truth can't be hidden any more the army can't just run amuck at will. Trump and Putin are playing the long game they don't want war they can make more money elsewhere. It's a new day thank God.
Andrei Martyanov , Website April 19, 2018 at 1:10 pm GMT

General (Ret) Leonid Ivashov, an important Russian military observer

I would avoid, despite his high public profile, Ivashov as entirely reliable contemporary military observer. At least I would be very cautious when referencing him. He has his moments but many of his "predictions", not to speak of advice, were not exactly prescient, to put it mildly. Paradoxically, it was his consistently grim, almost to the point of being apocalyptic view of Russia all long that I simply stopped paying attention to him. obviously, reality turned out to be much different. In the end, him "cooperating" with Dugin is not exactly a good sign.

Andrei Martyanov , Website April 19, 2018 at 1:39 pm GMT

This would be too good a result even for the best, latest, and most update systems. The unimpressive outcome of the attack can be explained easier by Trump's decision to minimise the damage, as indeed the Israeli military says.

Anything Israel's military says on this issue is irrelevant and, as always, driven by purely ideological and political considerations. Here is a taste:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-19/new-russian-weapons-alarm-israel-may-trigger-next-syrian-crisis

Israel's worst nightmare is competent and properly armed Syrian Air Defense and this is precisely where it is going right now in the area. Per best–subsonic TLAMs of any variety represent with appropriate targeting within integrated system easy targets for something like S1s, which were created from the inception as anti-TLAM systems. Recent IAF strike in Syria (about couple weeks ago) was to prevent deployment of Iranian TOR-M1 in Syria. So, Israelis' opinions on this issue can not absolutely, especially having IDF "stellar" record of bluster and boasting, be taken seriously. Here is an opinion of high ranking US military-intelligence officer which is rather revealing.

http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2018/04/trumps-big-flop-in-syria-by-publius-tacitus.html

Herald , April 19, 2018 at 4:03 pm GMT
@Felix Krull

Kosovo was Blair's first real taste of bombing the innocents and how he liked it. It was hardly surprising to see the veteran warmonger popping up yet again after the Douma hoax and as always he was calling for bombs as the solution. It's always bombs with Blair and it seems he just can't help himself. Which ever side Blair is backing is certain to be the side which is wholly in the wrong. This is the trusted Blair principle and with its 100% record of success, it will save hours of research trying to get a handle on just where the real blame lies in any given crisis. Interestingly, you could substitute the US for Blair and you would get the same result.

Anonymous [232] Disclaimer , April 19, 2018 at 4:38 pm GMT

The main question is whether this Russian fight aversion will encourage the Americans to carry out a future strike, or whether Trump will rein in his adversaries.

Any potential future strikes will diminish Russian fight aversion. Previous Russian restraint was commendable and useful but that part of the conflict is over now. Too many people "in charge" never experienced – or even contemplated – real, personal, consequences for their actions. This will have to change.

In my view, the two presidents have made heroic efforts at saving their countries and mankind from destruction; both risked their good names, their positions, their reputatiosn to go that far. Trump minimized the bombing, Putin minimized the response.

Nigga please! Trump validated an obvious false flag – again – and launched the strikes before any kind of investigation could have challenged it – again. He's no "hero". He's a weak man at best . Please don't insult real heroes and real bravery.

Seamus Padraig , April 19, 2018 at 5:04 pm GMT

Mr Trump made a mistake when he fired the missiles instead of firing Mueller.

My sentiments exactly.

jilles dykstra , April 19, 2018 at 5:48 pm GMT
@RadicalCenter

Putin does not want the last world war.

James Brown , April 19, 2018 at 5:59 pm GMT
@Herald

Well, I don't know how you can be certain that it isn't Putin. Those writing the script might well choose Putin or create another monster to play the role. Putin has been called the new Hitler by the well known democrat and war criminal: Hillary Clinton; and by the clown pretending to be a man and British foreign secretary : BoJo. But I'm not sure that Russia will play the role of Germany. It may well be China. In that case, Hitler will be the Chinese "dictator"

It will be the "whites" against the yellow peril. The MSM and Hollywood, will of course "educate" the masses about this new danger for western "democracy" and "values".. I dare predict that even Russia will be on board

AnonFromTN , April 19, 2018 at 6:31 pm GMT
That's unfair competition. Putin is a normal human being, clearly superior in every way compared to intellectually handicapped nonentities like Trump, Merkel, Macron, May, etc. The West needs Nixons, De Gaulles, and Kohls to stand a chance.
AnonFromTN , April 19, 2018 at 6:38 pm GMT
@James Brown

Suicidal policies of the US have achieved almost impossible: an alliance between Russia and China. Russian poet Alexandr Blok wrote more than 100 years ago the poem "Scythians". Here is a relevant part of it (translated by Alex Miller):

We shall abandon Europe and her charm.
We shall resort to Scythian craft and guile.
Swift to the woods and forests we shall swarm,
And then look back, and smile our slit-eyed smile.

Away to the Urals, all! Quick, leave the land,
And clear the field for trial by blood and sword,
Where steel machines that have no soul must stand
And face the fury of the Mongol horde.

But we ourselves, henceforth, we shall not serve
As henchmen holding up the trusty shield.
We'll keep our distance and, slit-eyed, observe
The deadly conflict raging on the field.

We shall not stir, even though the frenzied Huns
Plunder the corpses of the slain in battle, drive
Their cattle into shrines, burn cities down,
And roast their white-skinned fellow men alive

Steve Naidamast , April 19, 2018 at 7:14 pm GMT
Normally I enjoy Israel Shamir's reporting. However, in this piece he writes as a military analyst, which he is not.

On the one hand there is nothing to be gained by using satire to describe the recent strike on Syria. There is nothing funny about it politically or militarily.

Next, it has already been reported on other sites that the Syrian military hardware used to deflect the large majority of US missiles has been heavily upgraded to support better responses even when using rather dated missile technology.

Israel Shamir has also recently written in other pieces that Putin has little liking for Isreal's Netanayu and that in all of the meetings the two had, the Israeli prime minister received very little to nothing as Putin ignored his requests.

It has also been reported that Syria will receive the upgraded S-300 missile systems. And it is expected they will be moved into the hands of Syrian troops rather quickly.

In terms of US hardware, there is really no such thing as "old" as much of the hardware is junk in any case. Since the Vietnam Conflict, US military suppliers have attained a very well deserved reputation for producing low quality weaponry with only a few exceptions withstanding (ie: F-16). In fact, all of the recent, major US military systems that have been placed into operations or trial-testing have proven to be less than adequate for their tasks.

Finally, quite a number of military analysts have already demonstrated that Russian missile technology is, at the minimum, ten years in advance of similar US technology. Right now there is no contest.

The Russians know how to build exceptional equipment at a fraction of the cost that the US spends on similar equipment. And they will continue to do so.

This is the single reason that the US did not go for the throat in this recent attack as foolish as it was. What we have now is similar to the US Army facing the Wehrmacht in WWII; there was no contest between the two as German soldiers and their equipment were far and away the best in the world at the time. This time however, the US will not be able to count on overwhelming numerical superiority and its manufacturing prowess to subdue a well armed adversary since it has lost both a long time ago

Mark Presco , Website April 19, 2018 at 7:36 pm GMT
This article is a lot of useless verbiage focusing on the kabuki theater by which the masses need to be distracted.

The reason for this madness has nothing to do with any of the reasons stated. My best guess is that It has to do with the global ponzi scheme that is the US dollar. Trump goes along with it because he has been counseled that this is necessary to prevent a global economic collapse. Same for France and Britain. This discredits the conspiracy theory that the global elite want a collapse.

What amazes me is that Russia knows what the real reason for this insanity is, but they also stick to the prescribed talking points. As do the author and most of the commenters

seeing-thru , April 19, 2018 at 8:40 pm GMT
@James Brown

The reason (for Putting being in bed with Israel and generally doing nothing) could be something as simple as Russia's recognition that it is in no position to take on the US-Israel combine. Why resist when you fear getting your nose bloodied?

I suspect that if Putin could turn the clock back, he would do so and rewrite his March 1 speech to refrain from bragging about weaponry and abilities that he himself does not seem to believe in. He is normally a man of very few words, invariably polite in the old nineteenth century style. So what got into him on March 1?

anon [228] Disclaimer , April 19, 2018 at 10:18 pm GMT
@jilles dykstra

Yes but those psychopaths don't mind And they don't mind reminding Putin " you don't want WW3 .Do you ?"
then those psychopaths use the rational thinking on the part of Putin as an endorsement of their cunning treacherous anti human anti citizen anti civilizatioanl activities .

WorkingClass , April 19, 2018 at 11:07 pm GMT
Well, Trump lost me. He is too much like his enemies. The Deplorables are in desperate need of leadership. But none of that matters with regard to Syria. What matters is Imperial aggression, having been blunted, must finally be stopped at Damascus. And this must be done without provoking a nuclear war. Putin has made much progress toward this end. If he is successful he will get full credit. Trump will get none.

Playing rope a dope is painful and makes a fighter appear weak. The Anglo/Zio Empire is in steep decline. Time favors Putin.

Israel is NOT on good terms with Russia. Israel, along with Saudi Arabia, France, Briton and the United States, is AT WAR with Russia. The difference is the Israelis must keep their options open. When the U.S. is just another big country in the Americas Russia will be the arbiter of peace in the region. Israel may have to come to terms with the Palestinians and may have to give up claims on Lebanon and Syria.

Sowhat , April 20, 2018 at 1:15 am GMT
@jilles dykstra

Now, with the neocon madman, Bolton, on board, we will watch our MIIC storm Syria and confront Russia so that manipulating-Israel can keep Syria's Golan heights which it now occupies. The true Endgame, of course, is not Syria but IRAN. THE Neocons hold grudges longer than any.

AnonFromTN , April 20, 2018 at 1:24 am GMT
@James Brown

I agree, civilization-wise Russia is a lot more West than East. The only difference is, over many centuries Russians learned to live peacefully side-by-side with Muslims and Buddhists, who represent the Eastern civilization.

That's why I called the alliance between Russia and China almost impossible. It is quite unnatural. The only driving force for it is the US policy of provoking both Russia and China at the same time. The US and its obedient vassals in the EU succeeded in building high level of distrust in Russia, so that ordinary people (not oligarchs, but looks like Putin got a taste for being popular among the real people, not just the most successful thieves) consider China a lot more trustworthy than the West. While there is certain level of respect for the US in Russia, maybe because its bullying is naively straightforward, a large chunk of the population simply despises spineless, subservient, and utterly hypocritical Europe. I left Russia in 1991. Back then this was unthinkable. Things changed.

A few years ago Pat Buchanan rightly wrote that Obama administration made sure that when the US needs Russia as a counterbalance against China, Russia won't be there for them. Trump faithfully continues this suicidal policy. China has money (enough to finance Russian projects, projects in Asia and Africa, and seriously undermine the US dollar by introducing oil futures trading in yuans at the same time), whereas Russia has weapons. Both have very determined people (as quite a few events in Syria clearly showed). Bottom line is, the US with all its sidekicks stands no chance against Russia or China separately, and even less chance against both of them together. I am sure that, being unnatural, the alliance between Russia and China won't live long after the downfall of the US from its position in the world. But the way things stand now, it will certainly last until that downfall.

Personally, I am not sure that Pax Sinica is going to be any better than Pax Americana, but history shows that all dominant Empires eventually lose that position. In the last 20-30 years the US elites did everything to speed up the demise of this particular Empire.

Big Al , April 20, 2018 at 4:08 am GMT
This is the 4th round of jousting in Syria by my count

1) September 17, 2016 – US warplanes "accidentally" hit Syrian airbase right after cease-fire
2) April 7, 2017 – Trump fires Tomahawks at airbase to punish Assaf for chemical weapons
30 February 7, 2018 – US decimated pro-regime and Russian mercenary forces
3) April 13, 2018 – UK/US/ France fire missiles to punish Assad for chemical weapons

This latest one had the makings of beginning a bigger war but through back channels they both backed down. To their credit, neither military wants to get in to a direct conflict.

James Brown , April 20, 2018 at 4:43 am GMT
@AnonFromTN

"A few years ago Pat Buchanan rightly wrote that Obama administration made sure that when the US needs Russia as a counterbalance against China, Russia won't be there for them. Trump faithfully continues this suicidal policy"

One can not dismiss "stupidity" as an explanation. To be an American president one needs only strong voice, presentation skills and to be ready to serve american"national interest" which is of course private interests of different groups being the "Israel national interest" and MIC the most important ones. They're interlinked.

That said, I don't believe those who really have power in the USA and tell the President what to do, are stupid. So this apparent "US policy of provoking both Russia and China at the same time" seems to me unconvincing. We do not have enough information to know what is really going on.
The division between East and West is an artificial one. Of course "west" is not christian any more. And I don"t know if we can say that "west" was really christian once.
Anyway, Christianity wouldn't have existed without the "East". The Greek Miracle is a Myth. Plato wouldn't have existed without the "East".

"Personally, I am not sure that Pax Sinica is going to be any better than Pax Americana"
Well, historically Chinese empire seems to be less aggressive than any other empire we know of.
They are not interested in civilizing the barbarians But maybe that isn't true anymore.
Empires, like people, do change.

James Brown , April 20, 2018 at 5:52 am GMT
@NoseytheDuke

Thank you. Of course the Russian proverb, if it exists, is "Don't talk with clowns but with the director of circus " . Circus not "circle"

jilles dykstra , April 20, 2018 at 5:58 am GMT
@Sowhat

Grudge ?
I fear the hatred among Muslims against Israel and the USA is greatly underestimated.
Maybe Norman Finkelstein understands, in speeches he explained why Israeli jews are of the opinion that there never can be peace between them and surrounding Muslims, because of what the zionists did, and still do, to Palestinians.
Therefore, I suspect, the Israeli plans, to a large extent already executed, to destabilise the whole Middle East.
Putin therefore is their big enemy.
Now Germany is about to buy USA Predators, I predict more terrorist acts in Germany

yurivku , April 20, 2018 at 11:16 am GMT

If Trump hasn't been skinned yet by the neocons in Washington, it's because he judiciously brought into his camp the worst warmongers, John Bolton and Nikki Haley as human shields in the case of a neocon attack: nobody can accuse a man whose security adviser is Bolton and the UN ambassador is Haley of being soft on Putin. Now they can't voice their indignation. As they say in the army, it's better to have them inside the tent pissing out than outside the tent pissing in.

if somebody looks like an idiot, behaves like an imbecile, speaks like a stupid asshat it's very likely you are dealing with an idiot. Stupid bringing boltons and haleys to his circus just had some unforeseen by idiot consequencies.

As for Putin – it's pure shame, even have no desire to speak about his slick policy. He's surely not an idiot, but his goals more and more differ from mine.

Toy gun , April 20, 2018 at 2:53 pm GMT
I hope this praise of Trump is a rhetorical device. The US has committed to law that is immutable by Congress, which says the US must refrain from use or threat of force (UN Charter Article 2(4).) "But we used armed force in a feckless, half-assed way" doesn't cut it.

What this sissy fight tells us is that the memory of JFK has taught Trump to choose his options from the menu – bomb this or that or the other thing. Bitch about the menu, ask for other options, like peace, and CIA will kill you. As such, Trump is irrelevant to US conduct. He does what CIA will let him do. US policy continues unchanged.

Jean de Peyrelongue , April 20, 2018 at 3:28 pm GMT
I disagree in presenting the aggression on Syria as a fight between Trump and Putin.

This aggression against Syria is a terrorist act made by coward and criminal people throwing bombs and running away. (If they are real christians, they should realized that they have committed a mortal sin). Yet, on the positive side, it has showned that neither Trump nor Putin want a real war and the Apocalypse.

Russia in not fighting the Empire because the Empire is managed by the Devil but because the Empire want to bring Russia to mercy. Russia has no choice; Russia has to fight to avoid "de passer sous le joug".
The Chinese are dealers and traders, the Empire is their biggest customers, they dont want to kill their customers as long as they can do business with him. That is probably the rationale to avoid them being dragged into a conflictual situation.

Both Russia and China are not driven against the Empire by idelogy, only Iran is, and when Iran is fighting against the Empire, Iran is figthing the Devil.

Russia is involved in the Middle-East crisis almost by accident. The 2 Chechnya wars gave Russia some real allergy to the terrorists and Tartus is also an important outpost on the Mediterranean Sea.

The Middle-East crisis is driven by Israel and the Zionists and as long as the zionists are running the Empire, the crisis will go on. They want to reduce all the Arabs in the Middle-East to the state of the Palestinians in Gaza. The victims are the people of Syria, Lybia, Irak, the Yemen and Lebanon and the US, the UK and France do not care.

The US with theirs Europeans dominions are fighting there on behalf the Zionists.

Only a major worldwide economic crisis could bring down the Empire, bring peace to the Middle-East and push the Israelis to an other migration.

FB , April 20, 2018 at 4:34 pm GMT
A heads up to an excellent article by Jim Jatras today

Did the West Just Lose World War III by Forfeit?

Jatras an excellent commentator who has long experience in DC as a senate advisor and US diplomat asks the questions that this silly article by Yoda Shamir fails to ask

' The question remains: will the US peacefully relinquish its position as the sole arbiter of authority, legality, and morality in a unipolar world in favor of a multipolar order where Russia's and China's legitimate interests and spheres of influence are respected? Or will we continue to risk plunging mankind into a global conflict?..'

Jatras also gives a great 35 thousand foot overview of the events of recent days and some of what is being discussed going forward in terms of Syria

And oh yes he does address only tangentially the entire thesis of the silly Yoda Shamir article here

' There was even some speculation that the whole thing was a charade worked out in cooperation with the Russians.

Even if true (and it's unlikely) the mere fact that Trump would have to engage in such a ruse speaks volumes about the weakness of his position.

"Whatever Trump says, America is not coming out of Syria," writes Patrick Buchanan. "We are going deeper in. Trump's commitment to extricate us from these bankrupting and blood-soaked Middle East wars and to seek a new rapprochement with Russia is "inoperative"..'

So much for Yoda Shamir's joustfest

comparing these two articles is a prime example why Jatras is a respected commentator

and Yoda Shamir is a silly claymation figure

FB , April 20, 2018 at 4:56 pm GMT
@seeing-thru

' 3. Russia is in reality militarily weak and tottering economically. Very plausible, very plausible indeed. Putin's March 1st boastful speech then makes perfect sense as the desperate bluff of the desperate leader of a desperate state '

Yet another koolaid addict popping up out of nowhere here on Unz and spreading manure lavishly

This crapola is not what guys with inside info are reporting such as this post on Col Pat Lang's blog

' Another friend who has spoken with military commanders in the CENTCOM AOR told me:

All of the knowledgeable aircraft commanders are usually scared shitless about the prospect of a legitimate air-to-air skirmish with a SU-30 or any Russian air superiority fighter '

And this about Russian air defense capability

' Any air defense engineer with a security clearance that isn't lying through his teeth will admit that Russia's air defense technology surpassed us in the 1950′s and we've never been able to catch up. The systems thy have in place surrounding Moscow make our Patriot 3′s look like fucking nerf guns '

And speaking of Col Lang he has some thoughts today about the koolaid drinkers on this very website

' I wrote a piece for the Unz Review yesterday. You can see it over there. There were over a hundred comments. Most of them were favorable, but some were just awful '

Col Lang's UR article here

No wonder PCR doesn't care to hear from commenters/trolls like this know-nothing 'seeing=thru'

Nobody is interested in more bullshit we get plenty of that as is

white_boy , April 20, 2018 at 5:05 pm GMT
@Thirdeye

The Russians are predestined to fight 'the West'
Instinctively they have always known this
Rationally they have always tried to explain it away
War and Peace can be read as a coming of age story of the Russian Nation
Somehow the Russian Elite is more susceptible to the lure of 'the West' than the Russian commoner
The commoner knows in her gut that 'the West' is her mortal enemy
No doubt that Russia will eventually go all the way against 'the West'
Dragging her feet is just the way Russia always has behaved in existential conflicts
When Napoleon and Hitler came knocking on her door she behaved no different
This time it is different though
I sense that Russia will want to finish this conflict for good
I expect they will go full Carthago on 'the West', erasing them from history

white_boy , April 20, 2018 at 8:26 pm GMT
@AnonFromTN

Russian leaders do seem remarkably sensible, especially when viewed from a western country where hysteria is the norm.
It is because of this sensibility I fear the worst. The mass-delusion gripping the Western political class disconnects them from reality, I can't see this ending well. I would not be surprised if a Western politician announced: "We need to destroy the world in order to save it"
Once the Russian Leaders realize the extent of Western delusion the sensible thing to do might be wiping them out for good.
The only problem with this solution would be that I would be wiped out as well.

FB , April 20, 2018 at 8:48 pm GMT
@James Brown

The nature of power is evil. It's not about "Jewish power". It's about Power.

Agree completely

Also would say that the whole Israel wagging the US dog is not realistic either

Look rationally at the Empire structure we see the vassals like EU and Nato states plus Japan South Korea, Taiwan etc always falling obediently in line

Just today Assad called France a 'Slave' and sent back his silly French Legion of Honor award that they gave him in 2001

Slave just about nicely sums it up

Yet Israel is able to operate with more freedom than the galley slaves why is that ?

It's because Israel is the most valuable of the empire's properties an unassailable fortress in the most geopolitically important region

One could argue that the power of the US Jewish lobby is the thing that let's Israel exercise the kind of independence that the slaves cannot

I have no truck with calling Israel out on its crimes against the Palestinians that has to stop but Israeli society is much smarter and realistic than koolaidland US

FB , April 20, 2018 at 9:09 pm GMT
Another good article heads up

From Conn Hallinan probably the only good writer CounterPunch has left

AnonFromTN , April 20, 2018 at 9:34 pm GMT
@white_boy

I hope it won't come to that, as I live in the US. The hysteria is scary, though. Here it is fuelled by sore losers, Killary and her handlers: she and most of them are guilty of so many crimes (real criminal offenses that put normal people to jail for many years) that they need a distraction. MIC also wants justification for even more money thrown into its maw. Their greed and the perfidy of various self-proclaimed liberals endanger us all.

Miro23 , April 20, 2018 at 10:48 pm GMT
@FB

Yet Israel is able to operate with more freedom than the galley slaves why is that ?

It's because Israel is the most valuable of the empire's properties an unassailable fortress in the most geopolitically important region

One could argue that the power of the US Jewish lobby is the thing that let's Israel exercise the kind of independence that the slaves cannot

In fact quite the opposite. Little Israel controls half a continent (North America) in the same way that little (Imperial) Britain controlled the Indian sub-continent. When Great Britain lost India (the Jewel in the Crown) its power was gone, and when Israel loses the US (its Jewel in the Crown) it's power is also gone.

[Apr 21, 2018] It's a tough old world and we are certainly capable of a Salisbury set-up and god knows what else in Syria.

Notable quotes:
"... It is perfectly possible that the British government manufactured the whole Salisbury thing. We are capable of just as much despicable behavior and murder as the next. ..."
Apr 21, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

wheelbarrow1 , 13 Apr 2018 14:37

Why is the prime minister of the United Kinkdom on the phone discussing whether or not to bomb a Sovereign country with the highly unstable, Donald Trump?

Can she not make up her own mind? Either she thinks it's the right thing to do or it isn't. Hopefully, the person on the other end of the phone was not Trump but someone with at least half a brain.

Proof, let's have some proof. Is that too much to ask? Apparently so. Russia is saying it's all a put up job, show us your facts. We are saying, don't be silly, we're British and besides, you may have done this sort of thing before.

It is perfectly possible that the British government manufactured the whole Salisbury thing. We are capable of just as much despicable behavior and murder as the next.

Part of the Great British act's of bravery and heroism in the second world war is the part played by women agents who were parachuted into France and helped organize local resistance groups. Odette Hallowes, Noor Inayat Khan and Violette Szabo are just a few of the many names but they are the best known. What is not generally know is that many agents when undergoing their training in the UK, were given information about the 'D' day landings, the approx time and place. They were then dropped into France into the hands of the waiting German army who captured and tortured and often executed them.

The double agent, who Winston Churchill met and fully approved of the plan was Henri Dericourt, an officer in the German army and our man on the ground in France. Dericourt organized the time and place for the drop off of the incoming agents, then told the Germans. The information about the 'D' day invasion time and place was false. The British fed the agents (only a small number) into German hands knowing they would be captured and the false information tortured out of them.

Source :- 'A Quiet Courage' Liane Jones.

It's a tough old world and we are certainly capable of a Salisbury set-up and god knows what else in Syria.

I_Wear_Socks , 13 Apr 2018 14:37
From The Guardian articles today that I have read on Syria, it makes absolutely clear that if you in any way question the narrative forwarded here, that you are a stupid conspiracy theorist in line with Richard Spencer and other far-right, American nutcases.

A more traditional form of argument to incline people to their way of thinking would be facts. But social pressure to conform and not be a conspiratorial idiot in line with the far-right obviously work better for most of their readers. My only surprise it that position hasn't been linked with Brexit.

ChairmanMayTseTung , 13 Apr 2018 14:37
Did anyone see the massive canister that was shown on TV repeatedly that was supposed to have been air-dropped and smashed through the window of a house, landed on a bed and failed to go off.

The bed was in remarkable condition with just a few ruffled bedclothes considering it had been hit with a metal object weighing god knows what and dropped from a great height.

MartinSilenus -> ChairmanMayTseTung , 13 Apr 2018 14:36
"More than 40 years after the US sprayed millions of litres of chemical agents to defoliate"

The Defoliant Agent Orange was used to kill jungles, resulting in light getting through to the dark jungle floors & a massive amount of low bush regrowing, making the finding of Vietcong fighters even harder!

It was sprayed even on American troops, it is a horrible stuff. Still compared to Chlorine poison gas, let alone nerve gases, it is much less terrible. Though the long term effects are pretty horrible.

"Some 45 million liters of the poisoned spray was Agent Orange, which contains the toxic compound dioxin"
http://theconversation.com/agent-orange-exposed-how-u-s-chemical-warfare-in-vietnam-unleashed-a-slow-moving-disaster-84572

120Daze , 13 Apr 2018 14:36
Who needs facts when you've got opinions? Non more hypocritical than the British. Its what you get when you lie and distort though a willing press, you get found out and then nobody believes anything you say.anymore. The white helmets are a western funded and founded organisation, they are NOT independent they are NOT volunteers, The UK the US and the Dutch fund them to the tune of over $40 million. They are a propaganda dispensing outlet. The press shouldn't report anything they release because it is utterly unable to substantiate ANY of it, there hasn't been a western journalist in these areas for over 4 years so why do the press expect us to believe anything they print? Combine this with the worst and most incompetent Govt this country has seen for decades and all you have is a massive distraction from massive domestic troubles which the same govt has no answers too.
LiviaDrusilla -> Bangorstu , 13 Apr 2018 14:36
LOL are you having a larf?

The same organisation that receives millions of quid in funding from USAID?

Whose 'executive director' used to work for USAID?

Who have campaigned for 'no fly zones' (ie US bombing)?

Who are affiliated to the Iranian terrorist group MEK?

Who only happen to run hospitals in 'rebel' held areas?

You have a strange idea of 'politically neutral'. Your 'NGO' are fighting for an Islamist state. Enjoy them.

Dominique2 , 13 Apr 2018 14:32
https://www.theguardian.com/world/shortcuts/2013/sep/01/winston-churchill-shocking-use-chemical-weapons

""I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes," [Winston Churchill] declared in one secret memorandum."

The current condemnation by the international community and international law is good and needs enforcement. But no virtue signalling where there is none.

CaptTroyTempest -> StoneRoses , 13 Apr 2018 14:27
But we're still awaiting evidence that a chemical attack has been carried out in Douma, aren't we? And if an attack was carried out, by whom. But before these essential points are verified, you feel that a targeted military response is justified. Are you equally keen for some targeted military response for the use of chemical weapons, namely white phosphorus, in Palestine by the Israaeli military? Unlike Douma, the use of these chemical weapons in the occupied territories by the IDF's personnel is well documented. But we haven't attacked them yet. Funny that.
CMYKilla , 13 Apr 2018 14:26
Instead of "chemicals" why not just firebomb them - you know like we did to entire cities full of women and children in WW2?

Hamburg 27 July 1943 - 46,000 civilians killed in a firestorm
Kassel 22 October 1943 - 9,000 civilians killed 24,000 houses destroyed in a firestorm
Darmstadt 11 September 1944 - 8,000 civilians killed in a firestorm
Dresden 13/14th February - 25,000 civilians killed in a firestorm

Obviously we were fighting Nazism and hadn't actually been invaded - and he is fighting Wahhabism and has had major cities overrun...

Maybe if Assad burnt people to death rather than gassing them we would make a statue of him outside Westminster like the one of Bomber Harris?

Tom1982 , 13 Apr 2018 14:24
Remember the tearful Kuwaiti nurse with her heartrending story of Iraqi troops tipping premature babies out of their incubators after the invasion in 1990? The story was published in pretty much every major Western newspaper, massively increased public support for military intervention............................and turned out to be total bullshit.

Is it too much too ask that we try a bit of collective critical thinking and wait for hard evidence before blundering into a military conflict with Assad; and potentially Putin?

BlutoTheBruto , 13 Apr 2018 14:21
Didn't General Mattis quietly admit at there was no evidence for the alleged Sarin attacks last year by Assad?

http://www.newsweek.com/now-mattis-admits-there-was-no-evidence-assad-using-poison-gas-his-people-801542

Hmmmm.... call me skeptical for not believing it this time around.

AwkwardSquad , 13 Apr 2018 14:19
Well, this is the sort of stuff that the Israelis would be gagging for. They want Assad neutralised and they are assisting ISIS terrorists on the Golan Heights. They tend to their wounded and send them back across the border to fight Assad. What better than to drag the Americans, Brits and French into the ring to finish him off. Job done eh?

Are you sure you are not promoting an Israeli agenda here Jonathan?

Incidentantally what did we in the west do when the Iraqis were gassing the Iranians with nerve agents in the marshes of southern Iraq during the Iran Iraq War? Did we intervene then? No, we didn't we allowed it to happen.

I say stay out it.

dannymega -> fripouille , 13 Apr 2018 14:18
Come on frip, you have to admit there was absolutely no motive for Assad's forces to carry out this attack. Why do you think the Guardian and other main stream media outlets are not even considering the possibility the Jihadi rebels staged it to trigger western intervention? I know, I know.. it's all evil Assad killing his own people for no other reason than he likes butchering people... blah blah. The regime change agenda against Syria has been derailed, no amount of false flag attacks can change the facts on the ground.
Preshous , 13 Apr 2018 14:18
Tucker Carlson of Fox News has it nailed down....
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M28aYkLRlm0
ChairmanMayTseTung , 13 Apr 2018 14:16
More than 40 years after the US sprayed millions of litres of chemical agents to defoliate vast swathes of Vietnam and in the full knowledge it would be have a catastrophic effect on the health of the inhabitants of those area, Vietnam has by far the highest incidence of liver cancer on the planet.

Then more recently we have the deadly depleted uranium from US shells that innocent Iraqis are inhaling as shrill voices denounce Assad.

CodeNameTwiglet , 13 Apr 2018 14:15
The Syrian people are heroically resisting and defeating western imperialism. This "civil war" has been nothing but a war for Syrian resources waged by western proxies. So now, In desperation borne out of their impending defeat, the imperialists have staged a chemical attack in a last throw of the dice to gain popular support for an escalation in military intervention. Like military interventions of the past, it is being justified in the name of humanitarian intervention. But if we have a brief browse of history we can see that US & UK governments have brought only death, misery and destruction on the populations it was supposedly helping. Hands off Syria.

[Apr 21, 2018] In another development (probably to run with the Syria script) the UK announces it has a dossier that proves Russia was experimenting with delivering nerve agents from door handles.

Apr 21, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

ChairmanMayTseTung , 13 Apr 2018 13:27

In another development (probably to run with the Syria script) the UK announces it has a dossier that proves Russia was experimenting with delivering nerve agents from door handles.

Not as hilarious as breathlessly closing a children's playground near the Skripal's days after the event for "contamination checks" even though it had been raining in the days in between (the narrative was presumably the dastardly Russian agents planned to kill a few innocent kids for good measure).

[Apr 21, 2018] Ruling Class Operatives Say the Darndest Things On Devils Known and Not

Notable quotes:
"... New York Times ..."
"... his deep conviction ..."
"... tired of trying to solve other people's problems in the Middle East ..."
Apr 21, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

"Solving Other People's Problems in the Middle East"

Establishment journalists and politicos write and say the darndest things, advanced as common sense under the sway of reigning nationalist and imperial ideology. Take the New York Times ' chief White House correspondent Peter Baker. In a page-one "news analysis" last Sunday, Baker wrote the following about Donald Trump's recent missile strike on Syria:

"The strike brought home Mr. Trump's competing impulses when it comes to Syria -- on the one hand, his manful chest-thumping intended to demonstrate that he is the toughest one on the international block, and on the other, his deep conviction that American involvement in the Middle East since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, has been a waste of blood and treasure .He did little to reconcile those impulses with his retaliatory strike to punish the government of President Bashar al-Assad for a suspected chemical attack a week ago that killed dozens of people. But then again, he reflected the contradictions of an American public that is tired of trying to solve other people's problems in the Middle East ." (emphasis added).

The sheer tonnage of bullshit contained in this short passage is striking. Baker lacked the decency to note that (as everybody knows) Trump's missile spasm was intended to distract U.S. public attention from his troubled political situation at home. It was a transparent dog-wag that worked for a day or two.

[Apr 21, 2018] Macron as greedy neocon. His support of Douma false flag attack is related to selling weapons to Saudi monarchy

Apr 21, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

RudolphS 13 Apr 2018 16:17

Most baffling is is French president Emmanuele Macron's fierce reaction. There's no other nation which has suffered so much from terrorist attacks as France. And yet now its president is determined to use his fighter planes as the de facto airforce for the the jihadi extremists. Macron went even as far as making his statements with the Saudi prince at his side, the leader of a country which is known for funding the jihadis!

Weird times.

Jay_Q123 -> RudolphS 13 Apr 2018 16:25

Macron just got back from a few days hanging on out with the Saudi Arabian elite, who have

AndiMcDodle -> ManUpTheTree , 13 Apr 2018 14:51

Agreed Macron is so proud about the weapons Saudi Arabia bought of him. And strangely enough Saudi Arabia supports the ISIS head choppers in Syria, I think of a coincidence. And I didn't mention the gaz pipeline crossing Syria, that if Russia/Assad win, will be beyond the control of Europeans, a real bummer, given that Russia controls the supply east of Germany. I guess civilian death, is the only thing in the forefront of the France/UK/US preoccupations. Surely, they wouldn't condone civilians dying for geo-political reasons?
NapoleonXIV -> Richmar , 13 Apr 2018 14:48
Yes, I remember Rice, Cheney, Bush, and Rumsfeld telling the world that they had evidence that Saddam was hoarding WMD. I'm still waiting to hear what it was. Now M. Macron spouts the same ambiguous nonsense expecting us to take his word for it.

Trump publicly states that US troops are being withdrawn from Syria. The next thing you know, Assad is allegedly gassing civilians. That makes a whole lot of sense doesn't it? If there's a sure-fire way of making sure you're on the wrong end of a bit of American 'shock and awe,' it's gassing innocents. Assad must have a death wish; or so they'd have us believe. The more I read about this fiasco, the more I think David Icke is the most rational man on the planet.

Ziontrain -> rustledust74 , 13 Apr 2018 14:47
From Pinochet to Mobuto, Kagama and many more, I'd think you'd better to review what the policy of the west actually IS.

[Apr 21, 2018] But where is the incontrovertible proof that the regime is in fact responsible for the attack rather than 'rebel groups' now on the point of final defeat, who'd wish to draw in the major NATO powers

Western neoliberal governments lost the remnants of patina of legitimacy on international scene and now look like bloodthirsty predators, they always were.
Apr 21, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

Labourist , 13 Apr 2018 14:46

But where is the incontrovertible proof that the regime is in fact responsible for the attack rather than 'rebel groups' now on the point of final defeat, who'd wish to draw in the major NATO powers? Why would the regime afford the US, France and UK the pretext to do one thing that'd undermine Assad's otherwise certain victory? The timing seems odd indeed while Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Israel act with impunity against minority populations. Each of the latter has form and interest the destruction of Syria in this proxy war.
comrade1 , 13 Apr 2018 14:50
Let me see if I have this right....

The UK thinks it's "highly likely" Assad is to blame for the chemical attack. France says it has evidence Assad is responsible but won't say what it is. US Secretary of Defence Mattis believes a chemical attack took place but says there's no evidence. And depending on the day of the week, Russia believes there was either no chemical attack or if there was then it was staged by the UK.

And for good measure we appear to be going headlong into war on the basis of all this.

SMKirov -> ID9265089 , 13 Apr 2018 14:46
The UN investigations concluded that the chemicals had come from Syrian Army stocks which there wasn't much doubt about to start with. Where they were less conclusive was the matter of who had deployed them given the capture of large stocks of munitions by the terrorists early in the war. On the basis of cui bono? it seems more likely that it was the terrorist side who sought to provoke Western intervention by staging chemical incidents rather than the Syrian Government who had little to gain and much to lose from the use of any kind of WMD.
ReLuke631 , 13 Apr 2018 14:45
We never learn.

First Blair holding onto an idiot's shirt tails to attack a Middle Eastern country based on hearsay and no coherent withdrawal policy. Now we have May and Macron holding the hands of an even bigger idiot whose populist thoughts change by the minute so no hope of any withdrawal plan.

Does May and her hawks (Gove, Johnson) really want to be compared with Trump, Kim, Putin, Assad, W Bush, Blair et al in the history books?

solidstae , 13 Apr 2018 14:45
The rebels in Syria have a history of using sarin, chlorine and mustard gas against troops and civilians. But Washington, London and Paris are completely dummy on this. Not a whisper. Rather straight to accusations and threats against the regime they have been trying to overthrow for years.

I don't know who did it. But I know who lies every time they take a breath if they consider it in their interests. Truth is the first casualty. I don't believe any of them.

irishinrussia , 13 Apr 2018 14:45
Noticeable that the Guardian live coverage provides Western refutations of Russia's claims of evidence regarding a staged false attack, but doesn't actually cover the evidence the Russians have provided - testimony from medical staff who claim to be witnesses. Now I'm not so stupid as to take these claims as gospel, the Russians are just as capable as anyone of finding a couple of fake or pressured witnesses. However the failure of the Western press to even elaborate on the evidence, even just to ridicule and debunk it, is suspicious.

[Apr 21, 2018] World War is Still in the Cards by Dan Glazebrook

Notable quotes:
"... Once underway, however, an Iranian-Israeli conflict could very easily draw in Russia and the US. ..."
"... Indeed, Putin reportedly warned Netanyahu last week that he can no longer expect to attack Syria with impunity. And once Israelis start getting killed by Russian hardware, it is hard to see how the US could not get involved. ..."
Apr 20, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

Just over a quarter-century before the outbreak of the First World War, global capitalism was in the throes of a deep economic crisis. This original 'Great Depression', which lasted from 1873 to 1896, saw tens of millions perish from famine as the 'great powers' shifted the burden as far as possible onto their colonies; whilst, at home, anti-systemic movements such as the 'New Unionism' burst onto the scene in the capitalist heartlands, presenting a serious challenge to bourgeois rule. Africa was torn apart by imperial powers desperate to secure monopoly access to its riches, and rivalries between these powers constantly threatened to erupt into outright war. In the midst of all this, one particularly astute political commentator gave a disturbingly prophetic insight as to how the crisis would ultimately be resolved, predicting a: "world war of an extent and violence hitherto unimagined. Eight to ten million soldiers will be at each other's throats and in the process they will strip Europe barer than a swarm of locusts. The depredations of the Thirty Years War compressed into three or four years and extended over the entire continent; famine, disease, the universal lapse into barbarism, both of the armies and people, in the wake of acute misery; irretrievable dislocation of our artificial system of trade, industry and credit, ending in general bankruptcy; collapse of the old states and their conventional political wisdom to the point where crowns will roll into the gutter by the dozen, and no one will be around to pick them up; the absolute impossibility of seeing where it will all end and who will emerge as victor from the battle; only one consequence is absolutely certain: general exhaustion and the conditions for the ultimate victory of the working class."

The commentator was Marx's lifelong collaborator Friedrich Engels. The accuracy of his prediction – right down to the numbers killed and the length of the war, not to mention the revolutions and collapse of empires that would result – is truly remarkable. Yet Engels had no crystal ball. What he foresaw was nothing more than the logical outcome of the workings of the global capitalist-imperialist system, which constantly and inexorably pushes towards world war.

The logic is basically this. Capitalism, with its combination of rapid technological progress plus derisory wage payments – both tendencies a 'natural' result of competition – leads to a situation where markets cannot be found for its goods. This is because capital's capacity to produce constantly outstrips the capacity of consumers to consume, as these very consumers are, in the main, the very workers whose wages are driven down, or who are made redundant altogether, by improved technology. Ultimately, this results in a crisis of overproduction, with markets glutted, and workers thrown out of work in their millions. Already in 1848, four decades before his prediction of world war, Engels (and Marx) had written that such crises tended to be "resolved" through "the enforced destruction of a mass of productive forces" – in other words, the wholesale closure of industry. Through closures of the most inefficient industries, surplus production would eventually be reduced, and profitability restored. But in so doing, capitalists were effectively increasing the concentration of capital in the hands of the most 'efficient' industries, whose productive capacity in the future would render the underlying contradiction yet more insoluble still, and were thereby "paving the way for more extensive and more destructive crises, and diminishing the means whereby crises are avoided". For Engels, the crisis underway by the 1880s was so extensive that the destruction of capital required to overcome it would take more than mere closures – it would take all-out war.

The destruction of capital, however, is not the only means by which to overcome overproduction crises. The other option, said Marx and Engels, is "the conquest of new markets or the more thorough exploitation of old ones". The period of the late-nineteenth century saw a renewed 'Scramble for Africa' as each imperial power sought to grab territories which might one day serve as both sources of raw materials and markets for surplus capital. In North America, the USA was completing its own colonisation of the West and South in imperial wars against the Native Americans and Mexico. By the close of the century, however, all the 'available' territories had been conquered. From then on in, argued Lenin, the capture of new colonies could only be at the expense of another colonial power – ushering in a new, imperial, phase of capitalism with an inbuilt drive towards world war.

We have now witnessed two episodes of this cycle of capitalist crisis mutating into world war, the second much more successful in terms of the destruction of capital than the first. Indeed it was so successful that it paved the way for a 'Golden Era' of capitalist prosperity lasting almost three decades. But then, once again, the inevitable crisis tendencies began to set in.

The colonial, imperialist nature of postwar capitalism has, to some extent, been disguised by the formal political independence of most of the formerly colonised world. With an unambiguous and unrivalled lead in technological capacity, the Western nations have not required direct colonisation in order to guarantee essentially 'captive' markets for their goods and capital. The former colonies have largely been dependent on products, finance and technology from the imperial world without the need for formal political control – and this dependence has been backed up with economic blackmail through international financial institutions such as the IMF and World Bank where possible, and direct military force against resistant nations where necessary.

Such dependence, however, has been decisively eroded since the beginning of the new millenium. The rise of China, in particular, has completely destroyed the West's monopoly on finance and market access for the global South: African, Asian and Latin American countries no longer have to rely on US markets for their goods or on World Bank loans for their infrastructure development. China is now an alternative provider of all these, and generally on far superior terms of trade than those offered by the West. In times of continued economic stagnation, however, this loss of their (neo)colonies is entirely unacceptable to the Western capitalist nations, and threatens the entire carefully crafted system of global extortion on which their own prosperity is based.

Increasingly unable to rely on economic coercion alone to keep countries within its 'sphere of influence', then, the West have been turning more and more to military force. Indeed, the US, UK and France have been permanently at war since the eve of the new millennium – starting with Yugoslavia, through Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Mali, Syria and Yemen (to say nothing of proxy wars such as that in the Congo, or the 'drone wars' waged in Pakistan, Somalia and elsewhere). In each case, the aim has been the same – to thwart the possibility of independent development. It is entirely indicative of this new era of decreasing economic power that several of these wars were waged against states whose leaders were once in the pocket of the US (Iraq and Afghanistan) or who they had hoped to buy off (Libya and Syria).

Thus, where it was once, at least in part, the product of productive superiority, the continued supremacy of the West in international affairs is increasingly reliant on military force alone. And even this military superiority is diminishing daily.

Predictions of the length of time left before the Chinese economy overtakes the US economy continue to shrink. In 2016, China's share of the world economy had grown to 15%, compared to the USA's 25%. But with a growth rate currently three times that of the USA, the difference is expected to decline rapidly; at this rate, the Chinese economy is on course to overtake that of the US by 2026 . In fact, once adjustments are made for purchasing power parity and differential prices, the Chinese economy is already larger . Furthermore, Chinese manufacturing output has been higher than that of the US for over a decade, and exports are one third higher, whilst China produces double the number of graduates annually than the US.

Such developments, however, are not of economic significance only: for it is only a matter of time before economic superiority is converted into military superiority. And this gives the US and its hangers-on an ever-diminishing window of opportunity in which to actually USE their military superiority in order to preserve their deteriorating global power.

Clearly the strategy hitherto has been to avoid direct war with China and its key ally Russia, and instead to focus on 'taking out' its real or potential allies amongst states less able to defend themselves. But Russia's role as a spoiler in the regime change operation in Syria has demonstrated to the US that this may no longer be possible. This has led to a split within the US ruling class on the issue of how to deal with Russia, with one side seeking to purchase Russian acquiescence to wars against Iran and China (advocated by the faction supporting Trump) and the other aiming to simply 'regime change' Russia itself (advocated by the Hillary faction). At the heart of both is the attempt to break the alliance between Russia and China, in the case of Hillary by pulling China away from Russia, and for Trump, pulling Russia away from China.

The point is, however, that neither strategy is likely to work, as clearly the breaking of the China-Russia axis is aimed at weakening both of them. Furthermore, even if Putin were prepared to ditch Iran, or even China, for the right price (such as lifting sanctions, or recognising Russian sovereignty over Crimea ), there is no way Congress would allow Trump to pay such a price. Trump would dearly love to offer to lift sanctions – but this is not within his gift; instead he can merely offer sops such as withdrawal from Syria, or pre-warning of missile attacks on Russia's allies – hardly enough to lure Russia into the suicidal severing of alliances with its most important allies.

This conundrum puts the unthinkable squarely on the agenda: direct war with Russia. The last month has shown clearly how, and how rapidly, this is developing. Britain's carefully calibrated efforts to create a worldwide diplomatic break with Russia can now clearly be seen as a prelude to what was almost certainly planned to be – and may yet become – an all-out war with Iran on the Syrian battlefield. This scenario appears to have been averted for now by Russia's refusal to countenance it, and the West's fear of launching such an operation in the face of direct Russian threats, but such incidents are only likely to increase. It is only a matter of time before Russia will be put to the test.

It is easy to see how the Syrian war could lead to a major escalation: indeed, it is difficult to see how it could not. In Washington, there is much talk of the need to 'confront' Iran in Syria, and recent Israeli attacks on Iranian positions in Syria indicate that they are itching to get this confrontation under way, with or without prior US approval. Once underway, however, an Iranian-Israeli conflict could very easily draw in Russia and the US. Russia could hardly be expected to stand back whilst Israel reversed all its hard fought gains of the past two and a half years – whilst demonstrating the feebleness of Russian 'protection' – and would likely retaliate, or at the very least (and more likely) provide its allies with the means to do so . Indeed, Putin reportedly warned Netanyahu last week that he can no longer expect to attack Syria with impunity. And once Israelis start getting killed by Russian hardware, it is hard to see how the US could not get involved.

This is just one possible scenario for the kind of escalation that would lead to war with Russia. Economic war with China is already underway, and US warships are already readying themselves to cut off China's supply lines in the South China Sea. Each specific provocation and escalation may or may not lead to a direct showdown with one or both of these powers. What is clear, however, is that this is the direction in which Western imperialism is clearly headed. It has built up its unparalleled armoury for one reason only – to protect its dominant world position. The time is soon coming when it will have to use it – and use it against a power that can actually fight back – whilst it still has a chance of winning.

An edited version of this article was originally published by Middle East Eye.

[Apr 21, 2018] Ultimately Trump is a typical playground bully

Apr 21, 2018 | theguardian.com
MetellusScipio, 13 Apr 2018 13:23
Ultimately Trump is a typical playground bully, he's a bullshitter, a blowhard. All talk. Trump was the same with Kim, and is the same with Putin and Assad.

Like all bullies underneath he is a coward, he threatens Putin with ridiculous teenager Tweet threats, but as soon as Putin but back Trump backpeddles.

Don't look to Trump for solutions.

[Apr 20, 2018] The most simple explanation for the disaster in Syria is that a sovereign state protected its national interest from an international contingent of mercenaries.

Apr 20, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

harveybrown , 13 Apr 2018 15:37

In an interview on BBC 1 on 8 February 2004, UN Weapons Inspector, Hans Blix accused the US and British governments of dramatizing the threat of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, in order to strengthen the case for the 2003 war against the government of Saddam Hussein.
Ultimately, no stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction were ever found.

In an interview with The Guardian newspaper, Blix said, "I have my detractors in Washington. There are bastards who spread things around, of course, who planted nasty things in the media."

[ It is interesting to note that Allan Ramsay likewise deplored "a friendly alliance between the camp and the counting-house" for exactly the same reasons (Letters on the Present Disturbances, p.34). Ramsay maintained that of the evil consequences of such alliance "the two last wars carried on by England against France and Spain, furnish a most melancholy illustration. To obtain the sole and exclusive commerce of the western world, in which the French and Spaniards were their rivals, was the modest wish of our merchants, in conjunction with our Americans. The fair, and truly commercial, method of effecting this would have been, by superior skill, industry and frugality, to have undersold their rivals at market: but that method appearing slow and troublesome to a luxurious people, whose extraordinary expences* required extraordinary profits, a more expeditous one was devised; which was that of driving their rivals entirely out of the seas, and preventing them from bringing their goods at all to market. For this purpose, not having any fleets or armies of their own, the powers of the State were found necessary, and they applied them accordingly" (ibid., pp.32 f.).

Knorr, K. E. 'Ch02-Part2 British Colonial Theories 1570-1850'. In British Colonial Theories, 1570-1850. The University of Toronto Press, 1944. ]

Jay_Q123 , 13 Apr 2018 15:36
Your article appears to apportion blame solely to Assad and you don't even attempt to address the opposition in Syria. Nobody seriously questions that the Syrian governments war has killed many thousands and thousands of civilians. How can you not refer to the international jihad and the make up of these fighters, as well as the sieges they laid on villages, town and cities and the cruelty they inflicted upon the people?

The Syrian Arab Army is a composite of Sunni, Shia, Christians, and different ethnicity's, what convinces you that they have in any way wantonly killed civilians? The soldiers have family all over Syria, plus no mention of the 300,000+ civilians that have been liberated from Eastern Aleppo and Eastern Ghouta in the last several months.

I find this article very bizarre indeed. The most simple explanation for the disaster in Syria is that a sovereign state protected its national interest from an international contingent of mercenaries. There are Moroccans and Chechnyans, Uighurs and Brits, Saudis as well as Syrians in this armed army. What other options did a state such as Syria have when fighting against ISIS, Al Qaida, Al Nusra and 'The Army of Islam', Jaysh Al-Islam? All have which have direct connections to our major ally in the region, Saudi Arabia.

Somebody correct me if I am wrong but I can not find any reference at all to the enemy in this article. It's written as if the 8 year war has simply been an extermination war against civilians and completely out of context with reality.

Check out Operation Timber Sycamore for more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timber_Sycamore

[Apr 20, 2018] Should Assad subsequently fall - and that is the actual aim of intervention - then Syria will become another anarchic wasteland ruled over by fundamentalist warlords.

Apr 20, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

Vermithrax , 13 Apr 2018 15:39

Freedland recently put this argument on Newsnight.

It is flawed to the point of dishonesty.

He talks of removing assets as if the process was being conducted under laboratory conditions. There are ten nations enmeshed in a warzone with numerous factions under no one's control. It is magical thinking that cannot be achieved and will only result in rapid, uncontrolled escalation. The idea that there will be no collateral damage is laughable and I regret to suggest that it is deliberately misleading.

Moreover, in engaging Assad when he is on the brink of victory, the Syrian Civil War will be extended. The Syrian people will then pay the price.

Should Assad subsequently fall - and that is the actual aim of intervention - then Syria will become another anarchic wasteland ruled over by fundamentalist warlords. The spiral of migration will be renewed bringing loons wrapped in the dispossessed to our own streets. Worse, the militants next stop will be Lebanon and then Israel will be directly involved. Freedland advocates acting against Assad without even attempting to predict the consequences. At the very least I would expect the usual misdirection 'of course this time we must have a plan for rebuilding Syria', secure in the knowledge that by that time there will be another crisis and Syria can be left in entropy.

No good can come from military intervention. The satisfaction of commentators that the right thing has been done is an irrelevance. The right thing is always just public relations. Every bit of ruthless geopolitics has to have a casus belli to make the killing all righteous and unavoidable. It has always been thus. For resources to be expended on this kind of scale there has to be a rock solid bit of bankable realpolitik. In this case its the struggle for regional hegemony between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Syria can either be part of a supply chain selling Sunni gas/oil to Europe or Shi'a gas/oil to Europe. This is about killing Syrians for the glory of Saudi Arabia. You can see why there has to be a casus belli because thats not something that can be sold. We know the proceeds will go unmentioned into offshore havens and the London property market. Britain would derive no geopolitical benefit as a whole. The benefits would accrue only to a kleptocracy who think they have a right to use our country as a loan shark's leg-breaker.

It is therefore my contention that Freedland is promoting an immoral act that will have serious consequences without offering any serious improvement in the situation. This is arguably the most dangerous situation since the Cuban Missile crisis and an analysis that advocates pouring oil on the flames is either ridiculously stupid or calculatedly duplicitous.

thousandautumns -> balancedman , 13 Apr 2018 15:39
"Up to" 13,000 "opponents" killed over five years during a period of war. I'm assuming that number of "opponents" includes a large number of out and out terrorists who have thrown the country into chaos.
Brianto , 13 Apr 2018 15:39
What is Porton Down manufacturing?
oldeborr , 13 Apr 2018 15:38
The UK andcFrance bares a heavy responsibility for the current situation in Syria. The cavalier attitude that the ConDems took to international law during the Arab spring encouraged the Saudi s and their proxies to distablise the recognised Govt. Assad is no paragon of virtue, but prior to the insurgency steps were in place to make the country a better place for its citizens, and whilst its true poltical dissent was not allowed, people could live their lives and go about their business in safety.

[Apr 20, 2018] The Great Game Comes to Syria by Conn Hallinan

Apr 20, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

An unusual triple alliance is emerging from the Syrian war, one that could alter the balance of power in the Middle East, unhinge the NATO alliance, and complicate the Trump administration's designs on Iran. It might also lead to yet another double cross of one of the region's largest ethnic groups, the Kurds.

However, the "troika alliance" -- Turkey, Russia and Iran -- consists of three countries that don't much like one another, have different goals, and whose policies are driven by a combination of geo-global goals and internal politics. In short, "fragile and complicated" doesn't even begin to describe it.

How the triad might be affected by the joint U.S., French and British attack on Syria is unclear, but in the long run the alliance will likely survive the uptick of hostilities.

But common ground was what came out of the April 4 meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Meeting in Ankara, the parties pledged to support the "territorial integrity" of Syria, find a diplomatic end to the war, and to begin a reconstruction of a Syria devastated by seven years of war. While Russia and Turkey explicitly backed the UN-sponsored talks in Geneva, Iran was quiet on that issue, preferring a regional solution without "foreign plans."

"Common ground," however, doesn't mean the members of the "troika" are on the same page.

Turkey's interests are both internal and external. The Turkish Army is currently conducting two military operations in northern Syria, Olive Branch and Euphrates Shield, aimed at driving the mainly Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) out of land that borders Turkey. But those operations are also deeply entwined with Turkish politics.

Erdogan's internal support has been eroded by a number of factors: exhaustion with the ongoing state of emergency imposed following the 2016 attempted coup, a shaky economy , and a precipitous fall in the value of the Turkish pound. Rather than waiting for 2019, Erdogan called for snap elections this past week and beating up on the Kurds is always popular with right-wing Turkish nationalists. Erdogan needs all the votes he can get to imlement his newly minted executive presidency that will give him virtually one-man rule.

To be part of the alliance, however, Erdogan has had to modify his goal of getting rid of Syrian President Bashar Assad and to agree -- at this point, anyhow -- to eventually withdraw from areas in northern Syria seized by the Turkish Army. Russia and Iran have called for turning over the regions conquered by the Turks to the Syrian Army.

Moscow's goals are to keep a foothold in the Middle East with its only base, Tartus, and to aid its long-time ally, Syria. The Russians are not deeply committed to Assad personally, but they want a friendly government in Damascus. They also want to destroy al-Qaeda and the Islamic State, which have caused Moscow considerable trouble in the Caucasus.

Russia also wouldn't mind driving a wedge between Ankara and NATO. After the U.S., Turkey has NATO's second largest army. NATO broke a 1989 agreement not to recruit former members of the Russian-dominated Warsaw Pact into NATO as a quid pro quo for the Soviets withdrawing from Eastern Europe. But since the Yugoslav War in 1999 the alliance has marched right up to the borders of Russia. The 2008 war with Georgia and 2014 seizure of the Crimea were largely a reaction to what Moscow sees as an encirclement strategy by its adversaries.

Turkey has been at odds with its NATO allies around a dispute between Greece and Cyprus over sea-based oil and gas resources , and it recently charged two Greek soldiers who violated the Turkish border with espionage. Erdogan is also angry that European Union countries refuse to extradite Turkish soldiers and civilians who he claims helped engineer the 2016 coup against him. While most NATO countries condemned Moscow for the recent attack on two Russians in Britain, the Turks pointedly did not .

Turkish relations with Russia have an economic side as well. Ankara want a natural gas pipeline from Russia, has broken ground on a $20 billion Russian nuclear reactor, and just shelled out $2.5 billion for Russia's S-400 anti-aircraft system.

The Russians do not support Erdogan's war on the Kurds and have lobbied for the inclusion of Kurdish delegations in negotiations over the future of Syria. But Moscow clearly gave the Turks a green light to attack the Kurdish city of Afrin last month, driving out the YPG that had liberated it from the Islamic State and Turkish-backed al-Qaeda groups. A number of Kurds charge that Moscow has betrayed them .

The question now is, will the Russians stand aside if the Turkish forces move further into Syria and attack the city of Manbij, where the Kurds are allied with U.S. and French forces? And will Erdogan's hostility to the Kurds lead to an armed clash among three NATO members?

Such a clash seems unlikely, although the Turks have been giving flamethrower speeches over the past several weeks. "Those who cooperate with terrorists organizations [the YPG] will be targeted by Turkey," says Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said in a pointed reference to France's support for the Kurds. Threatening the French is one thing, picking a fight with the U.S. military quite another.

Of course, if President Trump pulls U.S. forces out of Syria, it will be tempting for Turkey to move in. While the "troika alliance" has agreed to Syrian "sovereignty," that won't stop Ankara from meddling in Kurdish affairs. The Turks are already appointing governors and mayors for the areas in Syria they have occupied.

Iran's major concern in Syria is maintaining a buffer between itself and a very aggressive alliance of the U.S., Israel and Saudi Arabia, which seems to be in the preliminary stages of planning a war against the second-largest country in the Middle East.

Iran is not at all the threat it has been pumped up to be. Its military is miniscule and talk of a so-called "Shiite crescent" -- Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon -- is pretty much a western invention (although the term was dreamed up by the King of Jordan).

Tehran has been weakened by crippling sanctions and faces the possibility that Washington will withdraw from the nuclear accord and re-impose yet more sanctions. The appointment of National Security Advisor John Bolton, who openly calls for regime change in Iran, has to have sent a chill down the spines of the Iranians. What Tehran needs most of all is allies who will shield it from the enmity of the U.S., Israel and Saudi Arabia. In this regard, Turkey and Russia could be helpful.

Iran has modified its original goals in Syria of a Shiite-dominated regime by agreeing to a "non-sectarian character" for a post-war Syria. Erdogan has also given up on his desire for a Sunni-dominated government in Damascus.

War with Iran would be catastrophic, an unwinnable conflict that could destabilize the Middle East even more than it is now. It would, however, drive up the price of oil, currently running at around $66 a barrel. Saudi Arabia needs to sell its oil for at least $100 a barrel, or it will very quickly run of money. The on-going quagmire of the Yemen war, the need to diversify the economy, and the growing clamor by young Saudis -- 70 percent of the population -- for jobs requires lots of money, and the current trends in oil pricing are not going to cover the bills.

War and oil make for odd bedfellows . While the Saudis are doing their best to overthrow the Assad regime and fuel the extremists fighting the Russians, Riyadh is wooing Moscow to sign onto to a long-term OPEC agreement to control oil supplies. That probably won't happen -- the Russians are fine with oil at $50 to $60 a barrel -- and are wary of agreements that would restrict their right to develop new oil and gas resources. The Saudi's jihad on the Iranians has a desperate edge to it, as well it might. The greatest threat to the Kingdom has always come from within.

The rocks and shoals that can wreck alliances in the Middle East are too numerous to count, and the "troika" is riven with contradictions and conflicting interests. But the war in Syria looks as if it is coming to some kind of resolution, and at this point Iran, Russia and Turkey seem to be the only actors who have a script that goes beyond lobbing cruise missiles at people.

[Apr 20, 2018] The Syrian situation was made far worse by the USA / France and the UK arming extremist Islamic groups during the ' Arab Spring ' in an attempt to depose the legitimate ruler of a sovereign nation.

Notable quotes:
"... The best solution being that he defeats all rebel forces as quickly as possible. The UN Chemical Weapons people can then go in ( or even before ) and try to collect some evidence. ..."
"... It is all about oil and supremacy in the region. Since when has our government or that of any western Country - cared about their people. Canon fodder - that is what we are. ..."
Apr 20, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

Artusov , 13 Apr 2018 15:56

'.....Given Russia's presence, it would not be easy...... '

Understatement of the century. If you start bombing strategic military targets you are quite, likely to hit Russian planes and troops.

As I said yesterday - What is the point ? Assad ( helped by his ally Russia ) has all but won the war ( which makes his use of chemical weapons surprising / a big mistake ) - The best solution being that he defeats all rebel forces as quickly as possible. The UN Chemical Weapons people can then go in ( or even before ) and try to collect some evidence.

Meanwhile, the Saudis are bombing Yemeni children with UK manufactured bombs.

The Syrian situation was made far worse by the USA / France and the UK arming extremist Islamic groups during the ' Arab Spring ' in an attempt to depose the legitimate ruler of a sovereign nation.

We don't say much about China's interference in Tibet these days, do we ?

Or the effect of Agent Orange in the Vietnam War ?

MartinSilenus -> Norman_Finklesteen , 13 Apr 2018 15:50
"here are many, many notable historians who state the death toll as high as 135,000 "

The biggest single death toll in WWII was the low level firebombing of Tokyo, large areas of Japans capital city were wiped out. With houses as flammable as you can ever imagine, an unimaginably horror filled event. The Japanese death toll was around 100,000 dead. You are saying more died in Dresden?

"On this day, U.S. warplanes launch a new bombing offensive against Japan, dropping 2,000 tons of incendiary bombs on Tokyo over the course of the next 48 hours. Almost 16 square miles in and around the Japanese capital were incinerated, and between 80,000 and 130,000 Japanese civilians were killed in the worst single firestorm in recorded history."
https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/firebombing-of-tokyo

mudlark123 -> BoomersStealingMoney , 13 Apr 2018 15:50
It is all about oil and supremacy in the region. Since when has our government or that of any western Country - cared about their people. Canon fodder - that is what we are.
rockyrex -> LordThumpworthy , 13 Apr 2018 15:50
OK so let's attack Saudi for what they are doing in Yemen. And Myanmar for their behaviour. Then there's Mexico, where the cartels keep murdering people. Really, let's apply the same standards everywhere.

How will this proposed action change anything? The Syrians have hidden everything that matters, the Russians will get 90 minutes warning of the targets .... It's a PR exercise on the usual lines of "Something must be done .... this is something ..... "

[Apr 20, 2018] Russia has transferred forty Pantsir-S1 air defense systems to Syria' Air Defence

Apr 20, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

tayacase

, 13 Apr 2018 15:50
Russia has transferred forty Pantsir-S1 air defense systems to Syria' Air Defence.
This is the latest air defence technology (the system is in service since 2012) - a combined short to medium range surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery weapon system against aircrafts, helicopters, precision munitions, cruise missiles and UAVs.

https://southfront.org/russia-delivered-40-pantsir-s1-air-defense-systems-to-syria-state-media /
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pantsir-S1

[Apr 20, 2018] It is hard to be pro interventionist after the epical f up in Iraq and Libya and previous chemical weapons false flag staged by jihadists

Israeli's deep incursions in Syria and the bombing of military bases also used by Russian military have provided a lot of information about the capabilities and limitations of the Russian military technology deployed in Syria.
Apr 20, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

StephenDaedalus -> JackDowland , 13 Apr 2018 15:47

Sure, here's the UN OPCW investigation report which directly blames the Assad forces for chemical attacks. Take as much time as you need.

https://undocs.org/S/2016/738

I couldn't find the paragraph which directly blames Assad's forces.

I note it does refer (at para 44) to Assad's allegation that a video had been staged. It concludes that the patients on the video "appear relatively unaffected by the typical symptoms. No red eyes, tearing, paleness, sweating, cyanosis or breathing difficulties can be observed from the footage. The patients interviewed in the video show little or no signs of having been exposed to a toxic chemical".

This is also consistent with other documented attempts of video-making to trigger the western bombs.

Surely you can see why people might at least reserve judgment about the latest video emanating from Jaish al-Islam controlled territory?

LiviaDrusilla -> SummerPatch , 13 Apr 2018 15:47
As I've said , I consider the term 'putinbot' - infantile and indicative of a lack of logical argumentation as it is - as a compliment, since it appears to be code for those who retain the ability to think for themselves and not fall glumly for the latest official line.

since the OPCW proved it was Putin who tried to murder British civilians with nerve agents.

Actually, they proved no such thing, but in any case it's irrelevant to the discussion at hand.

BoomersStealingMoney -> thousandautumns , 13 Apr 2018 15:47
I would like to cargo the arm chair generals into the battlefield of Syria.

Let Asad deal with them.

Terry Haller , 13 Apr 2018 15:47
Personally I am uncertain what has happened regarding the chemical attack in Syria however it is pretty clear to me what has happened and continues to happen in Yemen and Palestine.
Fomalhaut88 , 13 Apr 2018 15:47
Send Dearest Jeremy to Damascus with one of his megaphones and a bunch of his most loyal.
I am not sure what he will yell down the megaphone, but whatever it is I am sure it will make him feel better about protesting, something.
Rumbero -> dannymega , 13 Apr 2018 15:47
so you have an answer for the Russian narrative but not for the British viewpoint.
Laughable and ridiculous. What source do you have for the Russian military's claim ?
Let me guess ? Some obscure blog site or RT?
OlivesNightie , 13 Apr 2018 15:46

The notion of inaction, of standing by and watching as Assad kills and kills and kills, racking up a death toll in Syria of 500,000

On May 12, 1996, Madeleine Albright defended UN sanctions against Iraq on a 60 Minutes segment in which Lesley Stahl asked her "We have heard that half a million children have died. I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?" and Albright replied, "We think the price is worth it."'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbIX1CP9qr4

Kokkos -> dharps , 13 Apr 2018 15:46
And who presents the Summons to the United States for Vietnam....and the other countries,where they used chemicals.
BabylonianSheDevil03 -> grumpybrewer , 13 Apr 2018 15:46
From tomorrow the weather in some parts of the UK stops being an utter bastard and starts to look like spring. The sun will get its hat on, hip, hip, hip, hooray!
Go out and listen to the birds, look at the blossom. Lots of good in the world.
Xerxes2 , 13 Apr 2018 15:46
This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn't abide by our community standards . Replies may also be deleted. For more detail see our FAQs .
Haverer -> circuit , 13 Apr 2018 15:46
Yes of course. Russia could just cross over into Alaska and from there ithey can easily drive their tanks down through Canada to reach the US.
DZ76 -> DZ76 , 13 Apr 2018 15:46
Just in case anyone asks for an example of US diverging from Israeli objectives (I realise that I did not elucidate on that in my post), US air strikes have focused entirely on ISIS and have, up to now, left the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and Hezbollah alone. There's no doubt that the Americans are very closely tied to Israeli objectives, but they certainly aren't being controlled by a 'Zionist elite', America still fights for America. As I outlined above, it's really only the British government that doesn't appear to have anything even beginning to resemble an independent foreign policy.
pash meia -> harveybrown , 13 Apr 2018 15:46
so kets excuse putin and assad shall we based on a labour govt fuck up
gooner4thewin -> urbanegorrila , 13 Apr 2018 15:45
Corbyn has not been a proponent of boosting our military budget.
BoomersStealingMoney , 13 Apr 2018 15:45
Not a single terrorist attack on British soil has been inspired by Shiah Islam.

And yet we arm the Wahabis to dislodge the secular Asad.

Our government is crooked.

georgina45 -> Squadra , 13 Apr 2018 15:45
I watched RT for the first time last night and it was interesting.
But right now its like we are being ruled by lunatics. It is absolutely sickening. Quite literally some moron in the White House is tweeting, 'My bombs are bigger than yours' and 'The missiles are coming.' And they still let him in rule one of the most powerful countries on the Earth with a vast mass of WMD and Theresa May is trying reason with a fucking moron. Hey Guardian if Trump is talking like this my swearing is the least of our problems, so please don't moderate. We need someone to Moderate the madmen.
TheKingOfHate -> mikew67 , 13 Apr 2018 15:45
How do you compare a serial killer with twenty kills to one with one kills?

Why, they're both serial killers.

/That's/ how we compare the blood on our hands to those drenched to our shoulders.

Sceptical Walker -> NHSmonami , 13 Apr 2018 15:45
UK
ID3555673 , 13 Apr 2018 15:45
Whatever the strategic complications are that would prevent this, Assad deserves a Tomahawk enema.
gooner4thewin , 13 Apr 2018 15:45
hallelujah - the Russians have decided to allow the UN chemical weapons inspectors to now visit the site. Of course they vetoed it initially because out of a sense of tidiness, they wanted to clean up the place before guests came.
billhicks00 , 13 Apr 2018 15:44
The red line is the use of chemical weapons it seems. Bullets, conventional weaponry and starvation are OK.
Swilkerin -> dharps , 13 Apr 2018 15:44
Overthrowing the B'aathist regime would also cause chaos. You have several proxy wars going on in Syria. Having jihadists groups with links to Saudi/ Iran etc fill the void is hardly a great prospect. We've just seen the back of ISIS after all.
dannymega -> Rumbero , 13 Apr 2018 15:44
Perhaps the place they visited to check if an attack happened was the wrong place, who knows? Does seem rather perverse though to predict an impending gas attack and then go and carry it out yourself.
junglecitizen -> LeftOrRightSameShite , 13 Apr 2018 15:44

We, along with the US, France and Gulf states have supported, armed and trained "rebels" in Syria the whole time. We've had, as have others, special forces operating inside Syria


So, there would never be rebellions against totalitarian dictators if it weren't for the CIA and MI6.

I don't buy this. It's very convenient if you're an anti-war person who doesn't want to face an ethical dilemma. But it's not real.

LordThumpworthy , 13 Apr 2018 15:44
This is a sensible article. Funny how those shouting abuse offer NO alternative and would rather turn a blind eye to children being gassed, than be part of a country that has the moral fibre to stand up to this butchery.
pash meia , 13 Apr 2018 15:44
st petersburgh on double bubble it seems.
Guimard -> Succe55 , 13 Apr 2018 15:44
They been doing for years , there is nothing new about it .
They just got 'better ' at it .
SummerPatch -> LiviaDrusilla , 13 Apr 2018 15:44
Sergei, you are the one with imagination. I wonder why the putinbots have gone quiet about salibusry since the OPCW proved it was Putin who tried to murder British civilians with nerve agents.
NHSmonami -> dharps , 13 Apr 2018 15:44
Evidence that would not stand up in court.
oreilly62 , 13 Apr 2018 15:44
Stop the conflict,here comes Freedland to save the world.
pash meia -> Krautolivier , 13 Apr 2018 15:44
better the devil than allah looking at the state of the islsmic world maybe?
but meanwhike lets excuse putin and asdad...
you are jeremy corbyn and i donate my 5 pounds to charity
mudlark123 -> RLB2808 , 13 Apr 2018 15:44
Thanks Colonel Blimp. I do, however, entirely agree with you.
Blackdawn , 13 Apr 2018 15:43
If it came to it, i wouldn't fight. Story is.. ordinary people head to the front the elite, politicians and royals head to their bunkers.
Celtiberico , 13 Apr 2018 15:42

The Syrian Negotiation Commission has called for action to deter Assad from killing civilians. What they envisage is that each time Assad launches a deadly attack on noncombatants, allied forces reply by taking out one of the strategic assets he uses to kill civilians. It could be an airfield, it could be a command centre. If the target were aircraft, that would simultaneously inflict a cost on the regime and deprive it of the means of dropping its barrel bombs and toxic, yellow cylinders. The objective would be to make Assad pay a price for killing his own people, a price he has not paid until now. Eventually, or so runs the hope, he would be deterred.

That kind of reminds me of when Ahmed Chalabi and the Iraqi National Congress were explaining how to get rid of Saddam without plunging Iraq into mayhem and destabilising the wider region.

[Apr 20, 2018] Skripal and Douma incidents were preceded by extremely intense diplomatic activity between Saudi Arabia, Washington, Paris and London this year, with multiple top level visits between capitals, is presumably supposed to be coincidence.

Apr 20, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

dumbwaiter -> Kevin Watson, 13 Apr 2018 15:50

I'm going to post a comment by another user posted yesterday as he said it far more eloquently than I could

R Reddington InterestedReader2 1d ago

Your just another armchair warrior.

So you think going to war is a good idea well you first then and dont forget your flack jacket and rifle.

The media onslaught has moved past the attack in Salisbury by a "weapon of mass destruction" (quoting Theresa May) which could only be Russian, except that was untrue, and was extremely deadly, except that was untrue too. It now focuses on an attack by chemical weapons in Douma which "could only be" by the Russian-backed Assad regime, except there is no evidence of that either, and indeed neutral verified evidence from Douma is non-existent. The combination of the two events is supposed to have the British population revved up by jingoism, and indeed does have Tony Blair and assorted Tories revved up, to attack Syria and potentially to enter conflict with Russia in Syria.

The "Russian" attack in Salisbury is supposed to negate the "not our war" argument, particularly as a British policeman was unwell for a while. Precisely what is meant to negate the "why on earth are we entering armed confrontation with a nuclear power" argument, I do not know.

Saudi Arabia has naturally offered facilities to support the UK, US and France in their attempt to turn the military tide in Syria in favour of the Saudi sponsored jihadists whom Assad had come close to defeating. That the Skripal and Douma incidents were preceded by extremely intense diplomatic activity between Saudi Arabia, Washington, Paris and London this year, with multiple top level visits between capitals, is presumably supposed to be coincidence.

I am not a fan of Assad any more than I was a fan of Saddam Hussein. But the public now understand that wars for regime change in Muslim lands have disastrous effects in dead and maimed adults and children and in destroyed infrastructure; our attacks unleash huge refugee waves and directly cause terrorist attacks here at home. There is no purpose in a military attack on Syria other than to attempt to help the jihadists overthrow Assad. There is a reckless disregard for evidence base on the pretexts for all this. Indeed, the more the evidence is scrutinised, the dodgier it seems. Finally there is a massive difference between mainstream media narrative around these events and a deeply sceptical public, as shown in social media and in comments sections of corporate media websites.

The notion that Britain will take part in military action against Syria with neither investigation of the evidence nor a parliamentary vote is worrying indeed. Without Security Council authorisation, any such action is illegal in any event. It is worth noting that the many commentators who attempt to portray Russia's veto of a Syria resolution as invalid, fail to note that last week, in two separate 14 against 1 votes, the USA vetoed security council resolutions condemning Israeli killings of unarmed demonstrators in Gaza.

The lesson the neo-cons learnt from the Iraq war is not that it was disastrous. It was only disastrous for the dead and maimed Iraqis, our own dead and maimed servicemen, and those whose country was returned to medievalism. It was a great success for the neo-cons, they made loads of money on armaments and oil. The lesson the neo-cons learned was not to give the public in the West any time to mount and organise opposition. Hence the destruction of Libya was predicated on an entirely false "we have 48 hours to prevent the massacre of the population of Benghazi" narrative. Similarly this latest orchestrated "crisis" is being followed through into military action at a blistering pace, as the four horsemen sweep by, scything down reason and justice on the way.

[Apr 20, 2018] The United States, fully aware it was Iraq who gased Kurds, accused Iran, Iraq's enemy in a fierce war, of being partly responsible for the attack. The State Department instructed its diplomats to say that Iran was partly to blame."

Apr 20, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

Andersie , 13 Apr 2018 14:45

I've just stumbled on this absolute gem, from the New York Times, 17/1/2003:

"Analysis of thousands of captured Iraqi secret police documents and declassified U.S. government documents, as well as interviews with scores of Kurdish survivors, senior Iraqi defectors and retired U.S. intelligence officers, show

(1) that Iraq carried out the attack on Halabja [a 1988 chemical attack on Kurdish villages that killed 5000 civilians], and

(2) that the United States, fully aware it was Iraq, accused Iran, Iraq's enemy in a fierce war, of being partly responsible for the attack. The State Department instructed its diplomats to say that Iran was partly to blame."

[Apr 20, 2018] How come other countries are not getting involved in a Iraq 2.0 just the same warmongers who want to test their new toys... USA, France and us

Apr 20, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

ISON2015 -> uncommodified , 13 Apr 2018 15:25

As much bad as Assad did, nothing is more worse than the killings on civilians done my the "freedom fighters". Why is it for us Syria so important? How come other countries are not getting involved in a Iraq 2.0 just the same warmongers who want to test their new toys... USA, France and us... fighting a fight that costs us so much, plus the Brexit, plus the eventual payment afterwards , I really do not understand. What the frick are we doing in Middle East? Is there a English colony that we have forgotten? Or a France colony or even a USA colony? This strikes me as a fight for either resources or for influence or for pleasing the master Israel. I am clear of how this White Helmets operate , Eva Bartlett told us, and do not forget that there are plenty of vids on the whole internet of how they operate "Lights camera action" actors.

[Apr 20, 2018] How neoliberal MSM twist facts

Apr 20, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

Ruby4 , 13 Apr 2018 14:15

Labour calls for the attack on Douma to be "fully investigated". That sounds unarguable. But then what? Jeremy Corbyn issued the same call after the chemical attack that killed at least 74 at Khan Sheikhoun a year ago: demanding there be a "UN investigation and those responsible be held to account". The UN duly investigated and in October concluded unambiguously that the Assad regime had used sarin gas. But Corbyn greeted that verdict with silence.

The report that Mr Freedland provides a link to, actually says:

"5. While the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission in the Syrian Arab Republic works to establish the facts surrounding allegations of the use of toxic chemicals for hostile purposes in the country, it is not mandated to reach conclusions about attributing responsibility for chemical weapons use. 1 Following a determination by the FactFinding Mission that a specific incident in the Syrian Arab Republic involved or likely involved the use of chemicals as weapons, the Mechanism conducts an investigation to identify, to the greatest extent feasible, the perpetrators, organizers, sponsors or those otherwise involved. In conducting its investigation, the Mechanism relies on findings of the Fact-Finding Mission regarding the use of chemicals as weapons in each incident and pursues a rigorous independent examination of the available information surrounding such use so as to identify, to the greatest extent feasible, those responsible."

It doesn't appear to be claiming to be concluding "unambiguously that the Assad regime had used sarin gas." Am I missing something here?

Mr Freedland's allegation that "Corbyn greeted that verdict with silence" is highly suspect:

"RT:Today, Moscow says it has evidence that rebels have used sarin gas. Earlier Britain said that Assad forces were behind the chemical attack. But why didn't Britain and the US come forward with the same sort of hard evidence that Russia has come forward with?

JC: That's an interesting question. I can't speak for the British or the US governments, but they made these allegations about the use of chemical weapons – and there are apparently stocks of chemical weapons being held in Syria, which may well have fallen into opposition hands, or may still be in government hands, or maybe both – but the assertion was made that they had been used. But no hard evidence came up, and indeed, there was a great deal of skepticism surrounding the evidence that was never presented. And the Russian evidence today appears much stronger, and they said they were going to put that evidence in the hands of the United Nations - that has got to be a good thing. However, proving or not proving this doesn't end the crisis, there has to be the rapid resumption of talks by Geneva too, all parties must be involved – including Iran. If we're to bring about a settlement, there's got to be involvement of Iran, as well as all the different parties in Syria."

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/syria-chemical-weapons-evidence-926 /

[Apr 20, 2018] As the British government release shedloads of crocodile tears over their paid for White Helmet video footage, and moan like spiteful children how they want to bomb more people, let look at some other inconvenient facts

Apr 20, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

Metreemewall , 13 Apr 2018 15:27

This post by Just in Thyme has just been mode rated:

"As the British government release shedloads of crocodile tears over their paid for White Helmet video footage, and moan like spiteful children how they want to bomb more people, let look at some other inconvenient facts.

The Yemeni Ministry of Human Rights announced on March 25 that the Saudi-led war had left 600,000 civilians dead and injured since March 2015. The United Nations says a record 22.2 million Yemenis are in need of food aid, including 8.4 million threatened by severe hunger. Meanwhile the Saudis shovel their bits of silver into the empty coffers of the NATO warmongers.

Who said money cannot buy influence, Its was the UK that backed Britain backed Saudi Arabia's election to the United Nations top human right's body as part of a vote trading deal – despite the Gulf State's appalling abuse record. Secret cables reportedly show that Britain approached Saudi Arabia about the trade ahead of the 2013 election for membership of the Human Rights Council (UNHRC). The Saudi regime has executed 135 people since January on charges ranging from murder to witchcraft.

The lynch mob government, we all voted for, and this is what democracy is really all about???"

Would anyone like to say why?

[Apr 20, 2018] In an age of fake news and endless propaganda it's very difficult these days to see the woods from the trees

When Hitler launched his V1 cruise missiles us killing 5,000 Londoners we called them a vengeance weapon...
Apr 20, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

Patrick Ryan , 13 Apr 2018 13:28

In an age of fake news and endless propaganda it's very difficult these days to see the woods from the trees... The words butcher and thug are easily thrown around in the Syrian civil war.
It appears some people have short memories as it wasn't that long ago when we were witnessing the alternative world of Islamic State in Syria. Head choppers running amok and anyone suspected of being gay being chucked off tall buildings. Women being flogged to death for trumped up charges of adultery. Kids having their hands cut off for stealing apples.
To make matters worse these sadistic psychopaths were armed and driving around in vehicles supplied by the West... It had developed into a living hell for many as the death cult of Isis took hold.
I remember the so called thug Putin saying someone had to take on these terrorists...
The West were reluctant to do the dirty work required... So it came down to Russia to get boots on the ground to help defeat Islamic State.
jparmetler , 13 Apr 2018 13:27
Why does the UK supply the terror supporters of the Arabian Peninsula with weapons while fighting and vilifying Assad? This is real hypocrisy. Yemenis suffer horrendously from Saudi attacks, the UK's close friends. Assad always guaranteed religious freedom and Syrians enjoyed much more freedom than any of the Middle Eastern countries.
Karega , 13 Apr 2018 13:23
What's actually is disconcerting is the fact that mainline media have taken the alleged chemical attack as a fact. They don't have their reporters on the ground or even Western military personnel in the area. But a claim and some unauthenticated videos from headchoppers are taken as a fact. A fact which is not allowed to be tested or critiqued. Does it mean they just want more bombs and missiles to hammer Syria and any reason/justification would do?

[Apr 20, 2018] Haley has been an embarrassment for the US at the UN. It was thought that Haley could not be worse than Samantha Power, but she proved otherwise

Apr 20, 2018 | www.unz.com

Mikhail , Website April 19, 2018 at 12:56 pm GMT

Pretty much agree with the above article that brings into play points raised in this piece from 2015:

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2015/10/09/answering-russia-critics-on-syria.html

Unsurprising to see the likes of CNN and MSNBC siding with Haley. Trump should've dumped her awhile back. Contrary to the CNN/MSNBC spin, she has been an embarrassment for the US at the UN. Upon her UN appointment, it was thought that Haley couldn't be worse than Samantha Power.

During his presidential bid, Trump spoke of bringing in competent non-establishment types. The case for Jim Jatras as UN ambassador:

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2017/04/11/latest-bump-in-us-russian-relations.html

As noted, Tulsi Gabbard would've been a good selection as well.

The US didn't challenge Russia's more updated missile defense system in Syria shielding Russian forces. It's not like Washington can control everything.

Through their anti-Syrian proxies, the US has a roughly 30% control of Syria. A few days before the most recent alleged Syrian government chemical attack, Trump said he wanted out of Syria. I believe he was either duped into bombing, or knows that the chemical weapon claim is in the very suspect/outright BS ranges of probality.

Related:

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/04/17/latest-atlanticist-tough-guy-act.html

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/04/13/cruising-for-bruising-with-russia.html

At least one thing seems to have become clear. The enthusiasm for Trump fostering improved US-Russian relations has diminished.

Pardon some Captain Obvious moments.

[Apr 20, 2018] Stench of hypocrisy British 'war on terror' strategic ties with radical Islam by John Wight

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... British governments, both Labour and Conservative, have, in pursuing the so-called 'national interest' abroad, colluded for decades with radical Islamic forces, including terrorist organizations. They have connived with them, worked alongside them and sometimes trained and financed them, in order to promote specific foreign policy objectives. Governments have done so in often desperate attempts to maintain Britain's global power in the face of increasing weakness in key regions of the world, being unable to unilaterally impose their will and lacking other local allies. Thus the story is intimately related to that of Britain's imperial decline and the attempt to maintain influence in the world. ..."
"... But whereas Sharif Hussein was a follower of orthodox Sunni Islam, Ibn Saud adhered to the radical doctrine of Wahhabism, which Winston Churchill was moved to describe as " bloodthirsty ..."
"... British support for the mujahideen, married to the huge support provided by Washington, was indispensable in the eventual success of these self-styled 'holy warriors' in taking control of a country that had embraced modernity and turning it into a failed state mired in religious oppression, brutality, backwardness and poverty. ..."
"... Britain, along with the US, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, covertly supported the resistance to defeat the Soviet occupation of the country. Military, financial and diplomatic backing was given to Islamist forces which, while forcing a Soviet withdrawal, soon organized themselves into terrorist networks ready to strike Western targets. ..."
"... Islamic resistance ..."
"... We trust the Western leaders are prepared for the enormous beneficial possibilities that could just possibly open up if the Afghan rebellion were to succeed. ..."
"... Manchester, England is home to the largest Libyan community in Britain, and there is strong evidence to suggest that when the Libyan uprising broke out MI6 facilitated the ability of Libyan Islamists in Britain to travel to Libya to participate in the fighting. Among them was Salman Abedi, who it is thought received military training in the country before being allowed to return to the UK thereafter. ..."
"... This brings us on to Syria and, as with Libya, the question of how so many British Muslims have been able to travel from the UK to Syria via Turkey to take part in the anti-Assad insurgency since 2011? It also brings into sharp focus a policy that has veered between the ludicrous and the reckless. ..."
"... As for the recklessness of Britain's actions in Syria, look no further than the country's recent participation in the illegal missile strikes that were carried out in conjunction with the US and France, justified on the basis of as yet unproven allegations that Syrian government forces had carried out a chemical weapons attack on Douma, just outside Damascus. The only beneficiaries of such actions by the Western powers are Salafi-jihadist groups such as ISIS (whom it was later reported took advantage of the missile strike to mount a short-lived offensive), Al-Nusra and Jaysh al-Islam. ..."
"... The latter of those groups, Jaysh al-Islam, is a Saudi proxy. It was the dominant group in Douma and throughout Eastern Ghouta until the district's liberation by the Syrian Army and its allies with Russian support. ..."
Apr 20, 2018 | www.rt.com

Britain's strategic relationship with radical Islam goes back decades and continues to this day. There is no more foul a stench than the stench of hypocrisy, and there is no more foul a hypocrisy than the British government painting Bashar al-Assad as a monster when in truth he and the Syrian people have been grappling with a twin-headed monster in the shape of Salafi-jihadi terror and Western imperialism. Both are committed to destroying Syria as an independent, non-sectarian state, and both are inextricably linked.

Author and journalist Mark Curtis charts in detail the contours of this history in his book 'Secret Affairs: Britain's Collusion with Radical Islam':

" British governments, both Labour and Conservative, have, in pursuing the so-called 'national interest' abroad, colluded for decades with radical Islamic forces, including terrorist organizations. They have connived with them, worked alongside them and sometimes trained and financed them, in order to promote specific foreign policy objectives. Governments have done so in often desperate attempts to maintain Britain's global power in the face of increasing weakness in key regions of the world, being unable to unilaterally impose their will and lacking other local allies. Thus the story is intimately related to that of Britain's imperial decline and the attempt to maintain influence in the world. "

As far back as the First World War, when the Middle East began to assume strategic importance in the capitals of Western imperial and colonial powers, the British ruling class went out of its way to identify and recruit loyal local proxies in pursuit of its regional objectives. Britain's relationship with the Arab tribal chief, Ibn Saud, who would go on to establish Saudi Arabia in the early 1930s, began in 1915 with the Darin Pact, demarcating the territory then controlled by Saud as a British protectorate.

The following year, the Arab Revolt against the Ottomans erupted. Begun and inspired by Saud's fierce rival, Sharif Hussein, head of the Hashemite Arab tribe, the revolt was heavily bankrolled and supported by the British – a period immortalized in the exploits of British military agent T E Lawrence, known to the world as Lawrence of Arabia.

But whereas Sharif Hussein was a follower of orthodox Sunni Islam, Ibn Saud adhered to the radical doctrine of Wahhabism, which Winston Churchill was moved to describe as " bloodthirsty " and " intolerant ." Regardless, when it came to its imperial interests there was no tiger upon whose back the British ruling class was not willing to ride during this period, and which, as events have proved, it has not been willing to ride since.

The most egregious example of this policy, one that continues to have ramifications today, was the support provided by the UK to the Afghan mujahideen in the late 1970s and 1980s. The insurgency's objective was the overthrow of Kabul's secular and left-leaning government, whose crime in the eyes of the Islamist insurgency's US and UK sponsors was that it had embraced the social and economic model of Moscow rather than Washington during the first Cold War.

British support for the mujahideen, married to the huge support provided by Washington, was indispensable in the eventual success of these self-styled 'holy warriors' in taking control of a country that had embraced modernity and turning it into a failed state mired in religious oppression, brutality, backwardness and poverty.

Mark Curtis again:

" Britain, along with the US, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, covertly supported the resistance to defeat the Soviet occupation of the country. Military, financial and diplomatic backing was given to Islamist forces which, while forcing a Soviet withdrawal, soon organized themselves into terrorist networks ready to strike Western targets. "

While Washington's primary role in channeling military and financial support to the Afghan mujahideen, known as Operation Cyclone , may until have succeeded in overshadowing London's role in this dirty war, declassified British government cabinet papers which were made public in 2010 and reported in the UK media make grim reading.

They reveal that three weeks after Soviet forces arrived in Afghanistan at the request of the Afghan government in Kabul, struggling to deal with an insurgency that had broken out in the countryside, the Thatcher government was planning to supply military aid to the " Islamic resistance ." A confidential government memo provides a chilling insight into the insanity that passed for official policy: " We trust the Western leaders are prepared for the enormous beneficial possibilities that could just possibly open up if the Afghan rebellion were to succeed. "

It will be recalled that out of the ensuing collapse of Afghanistan emerged the Taliban, under whose rule the country was turned into a vast militant jihadist school and training camp. Many of the most notorious Islamist terrorists began their careers there, fighting the Soviets and then later broadening out their activities to other parts of the region and wider world. In this regard, Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda loom large.

Other notorious names from the world of Salafi-jihadism for whom Afghanistan proved indispensable include the Jordanian Abu al-Zarqawi, who founded Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) during the US-UK occupation, an organization that would over time morph into ISIS.

Abdelhakim Belhaj and other Libyan Islamists cut their jihadist teeth in Afghanistan in the 1980s. Returning to Libya, they formed the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) in the eastern city of Benghazi. Though the group may have been disbanded in 2010, having failed to topple Gaddafi despite repeated attempts to assassinate the Libyan leader with, it's been claimed , the support of Britain's MI6, former members of the LIFG, including Belhaj, were important actors in the 2011 Libyan uprising.

By way of a reminder, the uprising in Libya started in Benghazi and would not have succeeded without the air support it received from NATO. Britain's then prime minister, David Cameron, was key in pushing for that air support and the sanction of the UN under the auspices of Security Council Resolution 1973. Though protecting civilians was central in wording of this UNSC resolution, it was shamefully distorted to justify regime change, culminating in Gaddafi's murder by the 'rebels.'

Staying with the LIFG, in the wake of the Manchester suicide-bomb attack in May 2017, which left 23 people dead and 500 injured, the fact that the bomber, a young Libyan by the name of Salman Abedi, was the son of a former member of the LIFG, did not receive anything like the media attention it should have at the time.

Manchester, England is home to the largest Libyan community in Britain, and there is strong evidence to suggest that when the Libyan uprising broke out MI6 facilitated the ability of Libyan Islamists in Britain to travel to Libya to participate in the fighting. Among them was Salman Abedi, who it is thought received military training in the country before being allowed to return to the UK thereafter.

This brings us on to Syria and, as with Libya, the question of how so many British Muslims have been able to travel from the UK to Syria via Turkey to take part in the anti-Assad insurgency since 2011? It also brings into sharp focus a policy that has veered between the ludicrous and the reckless.

Emblematic of the former was ex-prime minister David Cameron's claim , which he made during a 2015 Commons debate over whether the Royal Air Force should engage in air strikes against ISIS in Syria, that fighting as part of the Syrian were 70,000 moderates.

As for the recklessness of Britain's actions in Syria, look no further than the country's recent participation in the illegal missile strikes that were carried out in conjunction with the US and France, justified on the basis of as yet unproven allegations that Syrian government forces had carried out a chemical weapons attack on Douma, just outside Damascus. The only beneficiaries of such actions by the Western powers are Salafi-jihadist groups such as ISIS (whom it was later reported took advantage of the missile strike to mount a short-lived offensive), Al-Nusra and Jaysh al-Islam.

The latter of those groups, Jaysh al-Islam, is a Saudi proxy. It was the dominant group in Douma and throughout Eastern Ghouta until the district's liberation by the Syrian Army and its allies with Russian support.

Given the deep and longstanding ties between London and Riyadh; given the fact, reported towards the end of 2017, that British military personnel were embedded in a training role with Saudi forces in Yemen; given the news that a British special forces sergeant was killed in northern Syria at the end of March this year while embedded with the Kurds, revealing for the first time that British troops were operating in the country on the ground – given all that, the question of who else British special forces and military personnel may be embedded with in Syria is legitimate.

In the context of the British state's long and sordid history when it comes to riding the back of radical Islam in pursuit of its strategic objectives, readers will doubtless draw their own conclusions.

Read more

John Wight has written for newspapers and websites across the world, including the Independent, Morning Star, Huffington Post, Counterpunch, London Progressive Journal, and Foreign Policy Journal. He is also a regular commentator on RT and BBC Radio. John is currently working on a book exploring the role of the West in the Arab Spring. You can follow him on Twitter @JohnWight1

[Apr 19, 2018] The biggest damage from the strikes on Syria was to the credibility of the US, French and Airstrip One governments. In the days of dubya at least some effort was put into the false flags

Apr 19, 2018 | www.unz.com

RobinG , April 19, 2018 at 4:22 am GMT

More from Douma, with Pearson Sharp -

OAN'S PEARSON SHARP REFUTES MSM REPORTS OF ALLEGED SYRIAN CHEMICAL ATTACK

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iD9C9koRmro&feature=youtu.be

WhiteWolf , April 19, 2018 at 4:23 am GMT
The biggest damage from the strikes on Syria was to the credibility of the US, French and Airstrip One governments. In the days of dubya at least some effort was put into the false flags.
Carlton Meyer , Website April 19, 2018 at 4:30 am GMT
Great article, except the USA did not "acquire the Philippine Islands", it invaded! The Syrian disaster is best explained by a Columbia University professor, who was mistakenly booked on MSNBC, as Jimmy Dore explains:

Bombshell Professor Stuns MSNBC Panel On Syria - YouTube

[Apr 19, 2018] The Neocons Are Selling Koolaid Again! by W. Patrick Lang

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Middle East Policy ..."
"... Such people, then and now, fervently believe in the Manifest Destiny of the United States as mankind's best hope of a utopian future and concomitantly in the responsibility of the United States to lead mankind toward that future. Neocons believe that inside every Iraqi, Filipino or Syrian there is an American waiting to be freed from the bonds of tradition, local culture and general backwardness. ..."
"... Local rulers must be removed as the principal obstacle to popular emulation of Western and especially American culture and political forms. In the run up to the invasion of Iraq I was often told by leading neocon figures that the Muslims and particularly the Iraqis had no culture worth keeping and that once we had created new facts, (a Karl Rove quote) these people would quickly abandon their old ways and beliefs as they sought to become something like Americans. ..."
"... This notion has one major flaw. It is not necessarily correct. Often the natives are willing to fight you long and hard to retain their own ways. In the aftermath of the Spanish-American War the US acquired the Philippine Islands and sought to make the islands American in all things. The result was a terrible war against Filipino nationalists who did not want to follow the example of the "shining city on a hill." No, the "poor fools" wanted to go their own way in their own way. The same thing happened in Iraq after 2003. The Iraqis rejected occupation and American "reform" of their country and a long and bloody war ensued. ..."
"... I am told that the old neocon crew argued as hard as possible for a disabling massive air and missile campaign intended to destroy the Syrian government's ability to fight the mostly jihadi rebels. John Bolton, General (ret.) Jack Keane and many other neocons argued strongly for this campaign as a way to reverse the outcome of the civil war. James Mattis managed to obtain President Trump's approval for a much more limited and largely symbolic strike but Trump was clearly inclined to the neocon side of the argument. What will happen next time? ..."
"... Paul Wolfowitz infamously told the US Senate "we chose to use the fear of nuclear weapons because we knew that would sell." ..."
"... The current US is rather like a cross country trip in bad weather. The vehicle is bogged down in deep mud, giving the driver and occupants two options 1) Look out the windows and say, "We're bogged down in deep mud. What are we going to do?" 2) Refuse to look out the windows and say, "There's something wrong with this vehicle. Can we fix the engine?" ..."
"... Well clearly the US's European satrapies don't share directly in the US updated Manifest Destiny idea, but the US sphere elites in general are fully indoctrinated in the universalist ideology of internationalist social-liberalism and "democracy"-uber-alles (where "democracy" – whether in Republican, constitutional monarchic or other form – is in reality a kind of managed gerrymander to keep the established and US-favoured elites safely in control and ensure "populists" are excluded by any means necessary), and sees itself as on a mission to promote the spread of US style liberal (managed) "democracy" throughout the world (except where it's currently inconvenient to push it too hard for reasons of temporary expedience, such as in places like Saudi Arabia). ..."
"... The current breed of opportunists operating without any kind of responsibility makes the international corps of political whores-in-charge. These politicians look at the Blairs (a $100 million fortune) and Cheney & Bush (both getting richer with every day) and they know that the opportunisms, however criminal, will be rewarded by the "deciders." The incompetent and sycophantic politicians in the EU/UK governments have zero regards for their citizenry. We can be absolutely sure that there are no idealists among the leading UK politicians in power. ..."
"... Short answer, F,UK were the world's leading imperial powers before WWII and seek to leverage American military and financial power to restore some degree of imperial power. The Atlantic Charter and the UN Charter were bitter pills for the old empires. France sought to override the UN Charter by force in Vietnam and Algeria, but lacked the wherewithall. Britain, France, and Israel sought to override it by force in the 1956 Suez Crisis until Daddy Ike told them that it wasn't cool. The umbrella of American power is their best remaining means of re-establishing imperial power. It puts the onus on the US for violations of international law, but promises them some restoration of imperial power in MENA. ..."
"... "Making the world safe for democracy" was the sales pitch for preserving the F, UK empires long before there was Israel. That effort was driven largely by American Blue Blood bankers who had risky investments in the UK war effort. American Jews were suspected of loyalty to the Kaiser because they loathed the Russian Tsar. ..."
Apr 19, 2018 | www.unz.com

In 2004 I published an article in the journal, Middle East Policy that was entitled "Drinking the Koolaid." The article reviewed the process by which the neocon element in the Bush Administration seized control of the process of policy formation and drove the United States in the direction of invasion of Iraq and the destruction of the apparatus of the Iraqi state. They did this through manipulation of the collective mental image Americans had of Iraq and the supposed menace posed by Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. Not all the people who participated in this process were neocon in their allegiance but there were enough of them in the Bush Administration to dominate the process. Neoconism as it has evolved in American politics is a close approximation of the imperialist political faction that existed in the time of President William McKinley and the Spanish-American War. Barbara Tuchman described this faction well in "The Proud Tower."

Such people, then and now, fervently believe in the Manifest Destiny of the United States as mankind's best hope of a utopian future and concomitantly in the responsibility of the United States to lead mankind toward that future. Neocons believe that inside every Iraqi, Filipino or Syrian there is an American waiting to be freed from the bonds of tradition, local culture and general backwardness. For people with this mindset the explanation for the continuance of old ways lies in the oppressive and exploitative nature of rulers who block the "progress" that is needed. The solution for the imperialists and neocons is simple. Local rulers must be removed as the principal obstacle to popular emulation of Western and especially American culture and political forms. In the run up to the invasion of Iraq I was often told by leading neocon figures that the Muslims and particularly the Iraqis had no culture worth keeping and that once we had created new facts, (a Karl Rove quote) these people would quickly abandon their old ways and beliefs as they sought to become something like Americans.

This notion has one major flaw. It is not necessarily correct. Often the natives are willing to fight you long and hard to retain their own ways. In the aftermath of the Spanish-American War the US acquired the Philippine Islands and sought to make the islands American in all things. The result was a terrible war against Filipino nationalists who did not want to follow the example of the "shining city on a hill." No, the "poor fools" wanted to go their own way in their own way. The same thing happened in Iraq after 2003. The Iraqis rejected occupation and American "reform" of their country and a long and bloody war ensued.

The neocons believe so strongly that America must lead the world and mankind forward that they accept the idea that the achievement of human progress justifies any means needed to advance that goal. In the case of the Iraq invasion the American people were lectured endlessly about the bestialities of Saddam's government. The bestialities were impressive but the constant media display of these horrors was not enough to persuade the American people to accept war. From the bestialities meme the neocons moved on to the WMD meme. The Iraqi government had a nuclear weapons program before the First Gulf War but that program had been thoroughly destroyed in the inspection regime that followed Iraq's defeat and surrender. This was widely known in the US government because US intelligence agencies had cooperated fully with the international inspectors in Iraq and in fact had sent the inspectors to a long list of locations at which the inspectors destroyed the program. I was instrumental in that process.

After 9/11 the US government knew without any doubt that the Iraqi government did not have a nuclear weapons program, but that mattered not at all to the neocons. As Paul Wolfowitz infamously told the US Senate "we chose to use the fear of nuclear weapons because we knew that would sell." Once that decision was made an endless parade of administration shills appeared on television hyping the supposed menace of Iraqi nuclear weapons. Vice President Cheney and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice were merely the most elevated in position of the many vendors of the image of the "mushroom shaped cloud."

And now we have the case of Syria and its supposed chemical weapons and attacks. After the putative East Gouta chemical attack of 2013, an OPCW program removed all the chemical weapons to be found in Syria and stated its belief that there were no more in the country. In April of 2017 the US-Russian de-confliction process was used to reach agreement on a Syrian Air Force strike in the area of Khan Sheikoon in southern Idlib Province. This was a conventional weapons attack and the USAF had an unarmed reconnaissance drone in the area to watch the strike go in against a storage area. The rebel run media in the area then claimed the government had attacked with the nerve gas Sarin, but no proof was ever offered except film clips broadcast on social media. Some of the film clips from the scene were ludicrous. Municipal public health people were filmed at the supposed scene standing around what was said to be a bomb crater from the "sarin attack." Two public health men were filmed sitting on the lip of the crater with their feet in the hole. If there had been sarin residue in the hole they would have quickly succumbed to the gas. No impartial inspection of the site was ever done, but the Khan Sheikoon "gas attack" has become through endless repetition a "given" in the lore of the "constant Syrian government gas attacks against their own civilians."

On the 4th of April it is claimed that the Syrian Government, then in the process of capturing the town of Douma caused chlorine gas to be dropped on the town killing and wounding many. Chlorine is not much of a war gas. It is usually thought of as an industrial chemical, so evidently to make the story more potent it is now suggested that perhaps sarin was also used.

No proof that such an attack occurred has been made public. None! The Syrian and Russian governments state that they want the site inspected. On the 15th of April US Senator Angus King (I) of Maine told Jake Tapper on SOTU that as of that date the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence had not been given any proof by the IC or Trump Administration that such an attack had occurred. "They have asserted that it did" he said.

The US, France and the UK struck Syria with over a hundred cruise missiles in retaliation for this supposed attack but the Administration has not yet provided any proof that the Syrian attack took place.

I am told that the old neocon crew argued as hard as possible for a disabling massive air and missile campaign intended to destroy the Syrian government's ability to fight the mostly jihadi rebels. John Bolton, General (ret.) Jack Keane and many other neocons argued strongly for this campaign as a way to reverse the outcome of the civil war. James Mattis managed to obtain President Trump's approval for a much more limited and largely symbolic strike but Trump was clearly inclined to the neocon side of the argument. What will happen next time?

Colonel W. Patrick Lang is a retired senior officer of U.S. Military Intelligence and U.S. Army Special Forces (The Green Berets). He served in the Department of Defense both as a serving officer and then as a member of the Defense Senior Executive Service for many years


Chet Roman , April 19, 2018 at 5:15 am GMT
The most important part of this article on neocons and their policies is what was never mentioned: Israel. While superficially the neocons may claim they believe in the Manifest Destiny of the United States to impose American democracy on other cultures, the truth is that below the superficial is a deep and unquestioning obedience to further Zionist policies and the promotion of Israel über alles. Syria is a prime example of this and any article on U.S. policies regarding regime change or bombing Syria that leaves out a mention of Israeli influence is all foreplay and nothing else and just about as satisfying.
HooperHooper , April 19, 2018 at 5:18 am GMT
@Carlton Meyer

I understand your point, but Col. Lang's statement of acquired is correct. The USA "acquired" the Phillipine islands as a result of the treaty ending the Spanish-American war. There was a following military occupation and war against nationalist rebels, but that doesn't make his wording incorrect.

Wally , April 19, 2018 at 5:25 am GMT
But who are the "Neo-Cons"? Who is their loyalty to?

http://www.codoh.com

joseph51 , April 19, 2018 at 7:04 am GMT
The neocons have a right to their opinion and their desired world order, just like anyone else. What they DO NOT have, is the right to perpetrate WARS OF AGRESSION, which include both War Crimes an Crimes Against Humanity under its purview, to reach those goals. Under our Constitution and system of government ONLY Congress is legally authorized to declare war on another nation. Congress has NOT declared war on the sovereign nation of Syria, there is no self defense issue here and such an attack has not been approved by the United Nations so, IT IS NOT UP TO THE PRESIDENT AND SOME GROUP OF HIS ADVISORS.

Those in the military have sworn an oath to defend the Constitution. You are not obligated to obey obviously criminal orders, in fact you are obligated to defend against all those violating our Constitution. By God, do your duty.

Where is Congress? They should be making sure that these criminals do not exercise authority that is reserved to Congress. By not preventing these crimes the military and Congress become accomplices and accessories to the most heinous crime defined by mankind WAR OF AGRESSION.

Any and all those in authority who ordered past attacks and or order future attacks are guilty of WAGING AGGRESSIVE WAR. Any one who assisted in any way are accomplices, and/or accessories to the crimes and are equally guilty and subject to arrest and prosecution without time limit. The excuse of following orders will not be accepted.

If the neocons actually carry out the criminal act of "a disabling massive air and missile campaign intended to destroy the Syrian government's ability to fight the mostly jihadi rebels," don't be surprised if the Russians and Chinese vaporize the United States.

Ronald Thomas West , Website April 19, 2018 at 7:25 am GMT

the putative East Gouta chemical attack of 2013

I have to wonder why, with the known facts of this 2013 attack in the public domain, our 'other IC' never goes there except with the most vague allusions. Here is the 2013 attack in known detail:

https://ronaldthomaswest.com/2018/04/15/what-can-be-known-vs-what-will-be-known/

I'm no fan of 'Realpolitik', let the chips fall as they should. In fact, the reality of 2013 should inform us of the reality of 2018, and where to bring the pressure to pop the abscess – before the abscess becomes WWIII

Randal , April 19, 2018 at 7:44 am GMT
Great to see Colonel Lang added to the list of Unz writers. His direct expertise and experience in ME military and intel matters are unsurpassed, and as someone who has been intentionally excluded from the mainstream media because of his determination to express inconvenient truths that the powerful would prefer remain unsaid, he fits perfectly into the Unz mission statement: "A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media."

After the putative East Gouta chemical attack of 2013, an OPCW program removed all the chemical weapons to be found in Syria and stated its belief that there were no more in the country.

Let's recall whilst considering this point that the OPCW is not some anti-American bureaucracy uninfluenced by US power. Here is what happened to an OPCW leader who crossed the US neocons:

"We can't accept your management style," Bolton told Bustani in 2002, as Bustani recounted to The Intercept.

"You have 24 hours to leave the organization, and if you don't comply with this decision by Washington, we have ways to retaliate against you," he reportedly continued. After a pause, Bolton reportedly said, "We know where your kids live. You have two sons in New York."

Bustani was taken aback by Bolton's directness, but did not back down, according to The Intercept.

Bustani eventually was forced to step down after the US convinced its allies in the organization to rally against him, according to The Times. He was forced out by a stunning vote of 48 to 7 and 43 abstentions.

http://uk.businessinsider.com/john-bolton-threatened-family-of-brazilian-diplomat-iraq-war-2002-2018-3

If the OPCW appears to be cooperating suspiciously with US objectives on an issue, that's credible. The contrary, not so much.

On that note, let's also recall that the OPCW inspected one of the main targets of the recent US action, claimed by the US and its collaborators to be an active chemical weapons site, the Barzeh research centre, in 2017:

He said it's "totally incorrect" that chemical weapons were being developed there. "The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) visited here and didn't report anything wrong with this place."
.
CBS News looked into the OPCW report from Barzeh and it noted the Syrians had delayed the visit for security concerns, but didn't find any red flags.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/syria-airstrikes-brazeh-complex-damascus-2018-04-14/

Realist , April 19, 2018 at 8:19 am GMT
@WhiteWolf

In the days of dubya at least some effort was put into the false flags.

The shallowness and insouciance of Americans has rendered that superfluous.

Mishra , April 19, 2018 at 8:27 am GMT
While I certainly agree with the gist of this essay, the following quotation is news to me and I'd appreciate a citation–I can't find it anywhere.

Paul Wolfowitz infamously told the US Senate "we chose to use the fear of nuclear weapons because we knew that would sell."

English Outsider , April 19, 2018 at 9:05 am GMT
I have long been a fan of Colonel Lang's stand against the current neocon policy in the Middle East. Here I find the most authoritative account of the thinking behind the Syrian disaster I have seen.

I am still puzzled by the support given by our European and UK politicians to this destructive policy. Is it merely a matter of catching the crumbs from the neocon's table? Our politicians surely can't think they're exceptional too. Though in a way one hopes they might be – I no longer believe that those politicians represent the thinking of the great mass of people in Europe and the UK.

SolontoCroesus , April 19, 2018 at 9:09 am GMT
@Chet Roman

Lang spelled that out in "Drinking the Koolaid," the 2004 article mentioned in the first sentence.

He wrote:

" . . .single-minded intensity in pursuing his goals was nothing new for [Douglas] Feith. In July 1996, he had been a principal author of a study prepared for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. This paper advocated abrogation of the Oslo accords and the launch of a new regional balance-of-power scheme based on American-Israeli military dominance with a subsidiary military role for Turkey and Jordan . The study was produced by the "Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies" (IASPS), a Jerusalem-based Likud-party-linked think tank, and was called "A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm." In it, Feith and company wrote,

"Israel can shape its strategic environment, in cooperation with Turkey and Jordan, by weakening, containing and even rolling back Syria. This effort can focus on removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq -- an important Israeli strategic objective in its own right -- as a means of foiling Syria's regional ambitions."

The study-group leader was Richard Perle . Other members of the team included Charles Fairbanks Jr., a longtime friend of Paul Wolfowitz since their student days together at the University of Chicago; and David Wurmser , an American Enterprise Institute Middle East fellow, and his wife, Meyrav Wurmser , who headed the Washington, DC office of the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). Her boss in that group was a retired Israeli intelligence officer, Yigal Carmon.

On July 8, 1996, Richard Perle presented the "Clean Break" document to Netanyahu, who was visiting Washington. Two days later, the Israeli prime minister unveiled the document as his own regional foreign-policy design in a speech before a joint session of the U.S. Congress.

http://www.mepc.org/journal/middle-east-policy-archives/drinking-kool-aid?print

Regulars on Unz forum regularly mention "A Clean Break," but noting the "regional balance-of-power scheme based on American-Israeli military dominance with a subsidiary military role for Turkey and Jordan, " and given the amount of money and military aid US taxpayers provide to Israel, why is this group hiring, training and arming "moderate rebels" to "foil Syria's regional ambitions" rather than carrying out the mission themselves?

Also, and based on comments by US Congressman Steven Russell (R-OK) (among others) in appearances on C Span, where praise is lavished on Jordan's king Abdullah, it appears Jordan is still on board the aging ship Clean Break , tho Turkey is threatening mutiny.

https://www.c-span.org/video/?444201-5/washington-journal-representative-steve-russell-r-ok-discusses-congress-role-syria-conflict

The same actors -- including the sociopathic Michael Ledeen– of this neocon cabal have been reading the same script from the run-up to war with Iraq

to the fulfillment of their obsession with attacking Iran:

Notice that fifteen years on, the neocon criminal gang has added new, younger members, i.e. Richard Goldberg and Michaela Dodge. Goldberg is fanatically pro-Israel from his Jewish day school primary school to his anti-BDS activities in Illinois government and anti-Iran achievements in US senate.

SolontoCroesus , April 19, 2018 at 9:23 am GMT
@Carlton Meyer

Disagree because Jimmy Dore made a mistake in heaping so much praise on Sache without knowing who he was. In my opinion, Jeffrey Sachs's appearance on MSNBC is a smokescreen, political cover to exonerate the Deep State, banister predators and Israel firsters from complicity in the destruction of Syria. Sachs was a leading actor, together with George Soros, Paul Wolfowitz and Jonathan Bush, brother-in-law of the late, sainted Barbara Bush, in the Rape of Russia in the Yeltsin years.

h/t The Saker, complete w/ transcript: https://thesaker.is/the-rape-of-russia-saker-blog-exclusive-interview/

EliteCommInc. , April 19, 2018 at 10:04 am GMT
Our southern neighbors are the largest threat to the US than any Middle Eastern State.

I will continue to contend to drop the label "neoconservative" because it is inaccurate. What we have are those who desire intervention for political and mercantilism *economic" ambitions -- interventionists.
-- -- -- -- -- -- –

" I was often told by leading neocon figures that the Muslims and particularly the Iraqis had no culture worth keeping and that once we had created new facts, (a Karl Rove quote) these people would quickly abandon their old ways and beliefs as they sought to become something like Americans. This notion has one major flaw. It is not necessarily correct. Often the natives are willing to fight you long and hard to retain their own ways. In the aftermath of the Spanish-American War the US acquired the Philippine Islands and sought to make the islands American in all things."

I am unclear why you are equivocating here. It is entirely incorrect as demonstrated throughout the region repeatedly.

Seamus Padraig , April 19, 2018 at 10:05 am GMT
@Chet Roman

True. I love Col. Lang's blog and have followed it for years now. He's really good at military strategy, and–as a ME specialist–is very helpful in analyzing and predicting events in Syria, Iraq, etc. But the main thing that's missing at his blog ('Sic Semper Tyrannis') is any analysis of Israel's role in this. There's no mention of the Oded Yinon plan, or the Clean Break memo, or the 'Pearl Harbor-type event' paper. And while Lang is very good at pointing out the absurdity of Washington's statements relative to reality, he's not so good at untangling propaganda from what really motivates the highest-level people who are behind all of this . Hint: it's not 'democracy promotion'.

jilles dykstra , April 19, 2018 at 10:12 am GMT
I wonder if the neocons have any idea about forward. Their forward for me is just world domination, that what Franklin Roosevelt already tried, but what failed miserably. In 1946 the Soros then, Bernard Baruch, in vain pleaded for a world government, that is, the USA governing the world. Stalin and Mao tse Tung had other ideas.

We now have Putin, the Chinese government, India, Iran, IS, the other BRICS countries, I think the majority of Muslims, most S and Middle American countries, with other ideas. Even on German sites debate exists on the continuing USA occupation. Soros' conflict with Hungary is there for anyone to see.

Fool Macron states that the EU must have more power, to destroy increasing nationalism. He does not see that with more EU power nationalism rises. Shortly before the Brexit referendum someone in Britain said 'they even interfere with vacuum cleaners'.

Ivan K. , Website April 19, 2018 at 10:18 am GMT
You're just wasting your nerves, and time. Just looking at what is done rather than what is being said, I see the world geopolitically moving in a splendid direction, with practically enlightened leaders in the major three countries. I see a false flag that had cost no lives, Syria becoming invincible to both NATO and Israel – a dream come true, I also see Russia firmly establishing itself on the Med for a first time, a forging of peace between the two Koreas after 60 years. All those are results to which the White House under Trump crucially contributes. (*)

In the rest of the world, we can see improvement in the living conditions in most parts of the world unparalleled in history.

The biggest problem are the European & American chattering and fear-mongering classes, imperialists and anti-imperialists alike. Surprisingly, they look like two sides of a same coin. On his website, Mr. Patrick Lang speaks about Mr. Trump, his president, in the most pejorative terms, while he has the highest praises for Collin Powell, who steadily and with a pronounced servility served the neocons. It was exactly Mr. Lang that, by serving Collin Powell, assisted the neocon dominance in the White House, and, among else, the Iraq disaster. Our greatest enemy demons are those inside ourselves.

(*) Trump's critics want to have their cake and eat it: Trump is wrong because of his stupendous warmongering, and by being such "a moron" as to be disastrous for his mad plans. Occam's Razor applied to those two extraordinary observations points to the solid likelihood they are illusions. Illusion-making would be consistent with what I know about DJT personally anda fine a tit-for-tat to what the msm do to him. When surrounded by open mouths of beasts, throw them a bone or two.

iffen , April 19, 2018 at 11:34 am GMT
@Chet Roman

The most important part of this article on neocons and their policies is what was never mentioned: Israel.

Yeah, one has to willfully ignore the overwhelming historical evidence of the perfidious Jewish cabal dragging TR and his "conscripts" by the nose up San Juan Hill.

Jake , April 19, 2018 at 11:37 am GMT
If the Neocons would follow the example of (atheist or perhaps actual demon worshipping, socialist/Marxist, drug addict, bisexual) Jones and his main female inner circle and its largely black male inner circle of enforcers and also drink the kool-aid and die, then we'd be happy they were making a batch.

The world would become safer and more sane.

iffen , April 19, 2018 at 11:43 am GMT
@Randal

Great to see Colonel Lang added to the list of Unz writers.

Yes, excellent addition.

Seamus Day , April 19, 2018 at 12:20 pm GMT
@Michael Kenny

Trump has made a complete mess of this and "next time" thus inevitably means something much more solid. He has dug himself deeper into the Russiagate hole and there's only one way out. Since Putin is totally bogged down in Syria, there's no hurry on "next time". All Putin can do is sit and wait for it to happen. Trump will probably have to act before the midterms.

I think this whole charade served another purpose. And Nikki Haley's comments added to it ("we will never be friends with Russia and will we smack Russia whenever we want"). It allowed the Russians to start thinking the unthinkable. Unleashing the nuclear genie and using MAD to end the madness. I believe it will create a ramping up of nuclear forces in Russia. I don't believe the option was really on the table until the false flag and the completely irrational and unhinged response from the West. Preceded by the other ludicrous Skripal affair which the U.S. and other Western countries accepted as true and evicted Russian officials based on it. I think in the final hours before the missile strikes of last Friday it was a somber mood among Russian military planners and there was a a begrudging willingness to consider the unthinkable nuclear option. Now I think it is fully on the table and Russian planners will start thinking and visualizing about scenarios and will make its future use more real and thus much easier to undertake. In fact, merely thinking about and visualizing about scenarios will create an excitement which will animate their future decision. If the Punjabi Clemson accounting major, Nimrata Randhawa, is correct and will not be friends with Russia and smack them whenever "we" want, you'd better get right with God and live your final days virtuously because the end of the world as we know it is at hand.

for-the-record , April 19, 2018 at 12:30 pm GMT
@Randal

Regarding Barzah/Barzeh, here is the actual OPCW document dated 23 March 2018 referring to the November 2017 inspection:

In accordance with paragraph 11 of Council decision EC-83/DEC.5, the second round of inspections at the Barzah and Jamrayah facilities of the SSRC was concluded on 22 November 2017. The results of the inspections were reported as an addendum (EC-87/DG.15/Add.1, dated 28 February 2018) to the report entitled "Status of Implementation of Executive Council Decision EC-83/DEC.5 (dated 11 November 2016)" (EC-87/DG.15, dated 23 February 2018). The analysis of samples taken during the inspections did not indicate the presence of scheduled chemicals in the samples, and the inspection team did not observe any activities inconsistent with obligations under the Convention during the second round of inspections at the Barzah and Jamrayah facilities

https://www.opcw.org/fileadmin/OPCW/EC/88/en/ec88dg01_e_.pdf

Interestingly, this document is not particularly easy to find, for some (no doubt innocent) reason it has not (yet?) been included among the list of "Progress Reports" on the OPCW site:

https://www.opcw.org/special-sections/syria/related-official-documents/

Miro23 , April 19, 2018 at 12:41 pm GMT

Such people, then and now, fervently believe in the Manifest Destiny of the United States as mankind's best hope of a utopian future and concomitantly in the responsibility of the United States to lead mankind toward that future. Neocons believe that inside every Iraqi, Filipino or Syrian there is an American waiting to be freed from the bonds of tradition, local culture and general backwardness.

So the Neocons want to better the lives of Iraqis, Filipinos and Syrians by "introducing" them to the American way of life?? – Such kind and well meaning people.

The current US is rather like a cross country trip in bad weather. The vehicle is bogged down in deep mud, giving the driver and occupants two options 1) Look out the windows and say, "We're bogged down in deep mud. What are we going to do?" 2) Refuse to look out the windows and say, "There's something wrong with this vehicle. Can we fix the engine?"

The US as a society, isn't going anywhere until it can face reality, and have an open and frank public debate about the Israeli/Zionist subversion of US institutions.

Carlton Meyer , Website April 19, 2018 at 12:45 pm GMT
@HooperHooper

Your view is a common myth. Why do people assume the Philippines belonged to Spain, who could give it away? Anyway, by the time the American Army arrived, there was an established Filipino government and a large regular army that was running the nation. Just a few tiny pockets of Spanish troops remained waiting for rescue. After the Americans saved them, they attacked and invaded the Philippines, fighting the regular Army for over a year until it was destroyed, then the resulting insurgency. The US military conquered the Philippines beginning with the bloody "Battle of Manila".

DESERT FOX , April 19, 2018 at 12:48 pm GMT
The fact is that Israel and the dual citizen ziocons aka neocons control the U.S. gov and proof of this is that Israel did the attack on the WTC on 911 and got away with it, and also did the attack on the USS LIBERTY and got away with that, and numerous other subversive things that would take a book to document, and got away with it all.

Israel is destroying America.

Seamus Padraig , April 19, 2018 at 1:05 pm GMT
@Mishra

Lang may have been loosely paraphrasing here. The version I'm familiar with is:

"The truth is that for reasons that have a lot to do with the U.S. government bureaucracy, we settled on the one issue that everyone could agree on which was weapons of mass destruction as the core reason," Wolfowitz was quoted as saying in a Pentagon transcript of an interview with Vanity Fair.

Inter alia: https://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/world/iraq/2003-05-30-wolfowitz-iraq_x.htm

Z-man , April 19, 2018 at 1:09 pm GMT
@Chet Roman

The Zionist Entity, the great albatross around America's neck. In a way it was fine that W. Patrick Lang did not mention the Zionist Entity by name. It's smart not to mention it all the time as it can be like 'beating a dead horse' among other things . Not mentioning it directly and just saying Neocon deflects the accusation of the anti-'S' label but in a subtle manner associates Zionism with Neocons, which can be a more persuasive way to make the point without screaming, like me (lol), that it's the same thing.

Ozymandias , April 19, 2018 at 1:16 pm GMT
" administration shills appeared on television hyping the supposed menace of Iraqi nuclear weapons. Vice President Cheney and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice "

I propose that international politics would be greatly clarified if we were to place a 'CFR' next to the name of every member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Patrick Lang , Website April 19, 2018 at 1:33 pm GMT
@Carlton Meyer

Spain ceded the Philippine Islands to the US at the end of the Spanish American War.

anonymous [340] Disclaimer , April 19, 2018 at 2:01 pm GMT
@Seamus Padraig

If so, that's awfully sloppy, even for a paraphrase, and in no way a legitimate use of quotation marks.

Mike Whitney , April 19, 2018 at 2:04 pm GMT
I'm very glad to see Colonel Pat Lang writing for the Unz review. His own website–Sic Semper Tyrannis– is one of the best, most informative sites on the internet. It is "must read" for anyone who wants to follow national security issues, Syria, Ukraine and beyond.

Lang doesn't mince words or pull his punches. And his analysis is never short of brilliant. This is really a great addition for the Unz Review. Good work, Ron and a hearty "Welcome" to Colonel Lang!

SolontoCroesus , April 19, 2018 at 2:52 pm GMT
@Svigor

re:

"This is what you get when you have too much Jewish influence over opinion. Friedlander says "regime change never works," but obviously it does, sometimes, like in Japan and Germany after WWII. "

WWII actions against Japan and Germany were not "regime changes" that "worked," they were total wars of destruction, conquest and genocide of the German people, in the case of Germany, which lost ~10 of its pop. while Japan lost ~5%.

Japan has recovered, to a certain extent, probably because Japan's adversary was not Jews. Germany is still a fully occupied and de-culturalized state. Witness, for example, the Thompson article where Hindemann is compelled to discuss "Nazis" totally out of context.

Wally , April 19, 2018 at 3:06 pm GMT
@jilles dykstra

Another hasbarist in disguise has spoken. "To themselves" only after satisfying the demands of "that shitty little country". http://www.codoh.com

anon [228] Disclaimer , April 19, 2018 at 3:38 pm GMT
"I was often told by leading neocon figures that the Muslims and particularly the Iraqis had no culture worth keeping and that once we had created new facts, (a Karl Rove quote) these people would quickly abandon their old ways and beliefs as they sought to become something like Americans. This notion has one major flaw. It is not necessarily correct."

Only the meanest culture -free bastards can get away with this as a policy statement . It is millions times worse when someone condones it by saying " It is not necessarily correct"

SolontoCroesus , April 19, 2018 at 3:41 pm GMT
@Svigor

That argument rests on assumptions that I consider ugly, a-historical, and counterproductive. What was done to Germany and Japan -- and to the former Ottoman empire as well as Iran -- from ~1907 'til today, was precipitated by some of the world's greatest psychopaths. They are still at large. THAT is the problem, not "HBD."

anon [228] Disclaimer , April 19, 2018 at 3:44 pm GMT
@SolontoCroesus

One of the reasons Tom Friedman supplied for his support to Iraq war among many similar excuses, was the support Saddam offered to the suicide bombers. One of the reason the terrorist one day may think is the support given by the Zionists to the bombers attacker gentile politicians .

SolontoCroesus , April 19, 2018 at 5:16 pm GMT
@Chet Roman

Come to think of it, I mostly agree with this comment: Col. Lang conflated American operating principle of "Manifest Destiny" with the zionist / neoconservative ideology (psychopathology).

imo the process is more subtle: Manifest Destiny/Anglos and zionist/neoconservatives share mythological roots in Abrahamism, which posits that the "chosen" have a lock on truth, morality and god, and that they have the right and obligation to destroy anyone who fails to subscribe to that truth and their overlordship of it -- Evangelical Christians and Anglicans hold this concept fast.

The zionist twist on this is twofold: First, Jews believe they are the ordained by god to be in charge; Jews have been chosen by god to "teach the world ethics, to drag the rest of the world kicking and screaming to behave morally." http://www.aish.com/sp/ph/96037069.html Apparently, some Jews really believe this.

Second, but the larger zionist agenda is to establish Jews as a hegemonic if not global imperial power from a base in Israel, and they are using USA treasure, political and military power as its tool to achieve what are, ultimately, Jewish goals.

To be sure, US policymakers, elites, and tens of thousands of ordinary citizens willingly and/or unwittingly subscribe to a similar predatory and dominating agenda. But if (when?) Jewish zionists achieve their goals, US will be discarded like toilet paper.

It's useful to recognize that the early leaders of the zionist movement -- Herzl, Nordau, Pinsker and others -- recognized early on that Jews needed the support of a major power to achieve their goals, and solicited that support from the German kaiser, the Ottoman sultan, and the British.

When Chaim Weizmann's activities to gain British support were successful, the same zionist Jews who had earlier petitioned Germany and Ottoman turned violently against those same powers and brought about their destruction. Germany's destruction was maneuvered in short order; the destruction of the Ottoman empire successor states has taken longer.

Maybe those Arabs aren't so dumb after all.

EliteCommInc. , April 19, 2018 at 5:43 pm GMT
@Svigor

there are plenty of interventionists on the press for democracy and "capitalism" as cause for stabilizing regions that are not Jews or all that active in Zionists policies.

The desire to regime change in North Korea and parts of Africa are not all that beneficial to Zionist ambitions. I am not all convinced that Israel is a democracy. But it's clear that neither Libya, Iraq or Afghanistan are going to raving democratic capitalist states – every. Muslim faith precludes such a system. even if said states did embrace democracy -- there is no evidence and would in all likelihood not reflect what exists in the US. Because what exists in the US is founded on a particular history and environment and inter-relational dynamics.

The grand narrative they advance would be attractive as policy even minus the existence of Israel.

-- Cutting off nonsense at the pass: I do think Israel has a right to exist. –

Patrick Lang , Website April 19, 2018 at 5:44 pm GMT
@Seamus Padraig

Ah, you want me to propagandize for your preferred positions. You want me to scream every day that the JEWS did it. You are supposed to be able to read between the lines and understand the truth of things. You are more of sa simpleton than I had thought. You should stay off my blog.

jilles dykstra , April 19, 2018 at 5:57 pm GMT
@SolontoCroesus

There was neither regime change nor unconditional surrender in Japan. Germany was destroyed, physically and politically. Indoctrination of the Germans with their guilt for two world wars, and the murder of six million jews, goes on to this day. But even this indoctrination is crumbling.

Many Germans do not see how the country they live in, that should just have a defensive army, cooperates in wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. Many Germans see how the poor jews who survived the holocaust treat the Palestinians. Germany now is going to buy Predators:

https://kenfm.de/keine-kampfdrohnen/

Trans 'No drones for battle'.

RobinG , April 19, 2018 at 6:06 pm GMT
@SolontoCroesus

Okay, Sachs has corpses in his closet. And yes, Dore is dopey. (Sachs has been on MSNBC many times. It was no mistake.) But, IMO, take gold where you find it . limited hangout or not.

If your adversary speaks some truth, that doesn't make it a lie. Plus, you're not going to get every angle covered n every clip. The fact that he called out US covert fomentation of regime-change in Syria makes this golden.

Here's the clip without Jimmy Dore's interruptions, only 5 min.

Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs on Syria

Anon [673] Disclaimer , April 19, 2018 at 6:23 pm GMT
If you split the difference between two extremes, you end up pleasing no one and being attacked by both sides. Democracy is a flower that smells sweet and ends up in the pipe of every crackpot loon in history. In this world, facts and reality matter. Ideology is the shortcut that retards use to move the masses towards easy solutions that make life hard.

Blood and religion form bonds. Ideas just make the stupid angry and the smart embrace theories and abandon reliable methods. New ideas can be beneficial or they can be fair, they rarely can be both. Without winners there are no losers. Unless you benefit from work, there is no incentive to do it.

There are no simple solutions. There are no complex problems. Problems can always be simplified by division and parsing. Solutions can only be simplified to avoid the hard facts and avoid actually solving them.

What has any of this have to do with the subject? These are the things you need to bring to the table.

Discussing this issue will lead to nothing but overly emotional hype and obfuscation. Using the above can stop the endless appeals to emotionalism that carries the masses away from facts.

Patrick Lang , Website April 19, 2018 at 6:24 pm GMT
@Chet Roman

I'll say to you what I say to others. I beat up the Zionists both here and in Israel all the time but I am not going to say that all Jews are responsible for the ills of the world. As for the neocons their agenda is much larger than just Zionism.

Randal , April 19, 2018 at 6:30 pm GMT
@English Outsider

I am still puzzled by the support given by our European and UK politicians to this destructive policy. Is it merely a matter of catching the crumbs from the neocon's table? Our politicians surely can't think they're exceptional too.

Well clearly the US's European satrapies don't share directly in the US updated Manifest Destiny idea, but the US sphere elites in general are fully indoctrinated in the universalist ideology of internationalist social-liberalism and "democracy"-uber-alles (where "democracy" – whether in Republican, constitutional monarchic or other form – is in reality a kind of managed gerrymander to keep the established and US-favoured elites safely in control and ensure "populists" are excluded by any means necessary), and sees itself as on a mission to promote the spread of US style liberal (managed) "democracy" throughout the world (except where it's currently inconvenient to push it too hard for reasons of temporary expedience, such as in places like Saudi Arabia). There might well be a psychological component akin to Stockholm Syndrome, whereby people like Blair, Macron etc see the power of the US and the US exceptionalist ideology over their countries, know they are subordinate to it, and seek to internalise a wider version of it for themselves so that they can tell themselves that when they are serving Washington's objectives and profiting handsomely thereby, they are actually doing it for their own noble ideals.

Then of course, human beings being human, there are also other self-serving motivations underlying the idealist pretext – collaboration for personal gain with the jewish/Israeli lobby that is hugely powerful in the UK and Europe as well as in the US, military-industrial types wanting to boost the status and budgets of the military, etc. These are the real motivations, as opposed to the legitimising pretext that is the supposedly noble ideal of American exceptionalism or internationalist social liberalism.

Lately the British regime's enthusiasm for the interventionist project seems to be greater even than that of the US regime, for instance.

Titus I , Website April 19, 2018 at 6:37 pm GMT
@Chet Roman

The American Empire is facing a historical junction: does become a mercenary putative force for Zionist Israel or Will the USA priorize its own NATIONAL interests over Israeli. The prize of becoming a Zionist surrogate will mean the progressive deterioration of the American empeirein the Middle East, and the world. America faces severe national debt, decaying infrastructure, and internal social fragmentation. On the other hand Israel is poised to become the ENERGY hub for the European, African, Asian economies,without Israeli OIL supply lines all those economies will be paralyzed. Furthermore American blind,almost irrational support for Israel will mean more dangerous terrorists attacks and more frequent..The Trump presidency is in fact a Neocon presidency, the democratic decision making (war) process is dead, and this Syrian war means that it doesn't matter whom iselected president ultimately AIPAC, Israel, make the final decisions.

annamaria , April 19, 2018 at 6:51 pm GMT
@RobinG

More from The Jimmy Dore Show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=292&v=_O2TRzA2ezk

kemerd , April 19, 2018 at 7:06 pm GMT
I don't know if anyone outside US believes so called "theoretical background"of the neocons that they think US is the pinnacle of the human civilization that they want to export their model to the other places in the world, etc. This is so absurdly stupid is that it is hard to believe anyone would buy it. All of what they do just talks volumes about what they care for: money and power; the rest, as can be understood from their lousy "philosophy", are just details.

I also think that their affection to Israel is fake. People in the power positions do not have such dispositions. I am sure there is some genuine idiots among US political class who buys what they actually say but most of them just ride the tide while it is useful for them. I am sure that once Israel loses its usefulness for the ones who actually wield power inside US political class, Israel would also be trashed just like Arab countries they destroyed.

RobinG , April 19, 2018 at 7:17 pm GMT
@English Outsider

Don't assume US neocons are calling all the shots. It was Sarkozy (goaded by Zionist Bernard Henri Levy) took the lead to attack Libya. And at least some believe London is still the core of Imperialist aggression.

Yesterday, for the first time, a Russian general pierced this lie on RT when he stated that there was proof that the UK was behind the well-orchestrated and completely staged "gas attacks" in Douma.

Yes, you read that right, he said the UK. Not the US, not Israel, not Saudi Arabia, but the UK. Those of you familiar with my writing know that I am constantly pointing my finger at the City of London for the lies, deception, and wars which dominate the headlines of their propaganda rags."

Crown Bulldog Attacks Syria

https://hendersonlefthook.wordpress.com/2018/04/14/crown-bulldog-attacks-syria/

As fort the "[non] thinking of the great mass of people," since when does that matter?

annamaria , April 19, 2018 at 7:17 pm GMT
@English Outsider

"Is it merely a matter of catching the crumbs from the neocon's table? "

-- Correct. The current breed of opportunists operating without any kind of responsibility makes the international corps of political whores-in-charge. These politicians look at the Blairs (a $100 million fortune) and Cheney & Bush (both getting richer with every day) and they know that the opportunisms, however criminal, will be rewarded by the "deciders." The incompetent and sycophantic politicians in the EU/UK governments have zero regards for their citizenry. We can be absolutely sure that there are no idealists among the leading UK politicians in power.

To believe that American ruling class (which is heavily zionized) has any idealistic motivations instead of a rabid drive for money and power is an illusion. The majority of the US politicians are committed to the criminal enterprises, whether local or global, when the enterprises promise a gesheft, which is the only criterion.

SolontoCroesus , April 19, 2018 at 8:14 pm GMT
@Svigor

OK. I understand the basic thing you are saying in #69. I don't get your bit about HBD being the reason regime change won't work wrt Arabs.

WHY will regime change "not work w/ Arabs" ? Is it because Arab states have fewer and less complex political structures and institutions? That surely does not apply to Iran, but then Iran is not Arab (tho many Arabs are in the Iranian population. Thus, Iran is already a more complex culture than USA/Europe is willing to be).

I cannot buy the notion that Arabs as Arabs are biologically capable of lesser civilizational attainment -- different, maybe, but it takes an exceptionalist to claim that civilization A is superior to civilization B, for solely biological reasons.

Svigor , April 19, 2018 at 8:27 pm GMT
@RobinG

Reading the Wikipedia article on Timber Sycamore, I'm struck by the significance of Sachs' omission; TS is a US program, but the overall effort it's a part of is more of a Sunni Arab project than an American one. Saudi Arabia is providing more money and weapons, Jordan is hosting the effort, Qatar gives money, etc; it's a US-backed Sunni program.

I'm talking about the moral component; I think our Zionist interventionist policies are stupid, not in American interests, and really only serve Zionist interests. but it's not really "our" mess, as Sachs states, so much as a Sunni/Zionist mess.

SolontoCroesus , April 19, 2018 at 8:39 pm GMT
@Patrick Lang

hmmm.

Glad you made that distinction, between zionists and neocons.

Zionism is just about the most complex -ism on the planet.

Neocons are just what they say they are: Trotskyites in Beltway drag. Trotskyites dominated the Jerusalem Conference in 1979 when GWOT was birthed; G H W Bush did doula duty.

I wonder what the linkage is between Jabotinsky and Trotsky? Both are revolutionaries, both advocate violence. Jabotinsky picked up on that change in Jewish behavior from petitioning from a posture of subservience– shtadlones – to demanding, with arrogance; Netanyahu is his worthy acolyte.

Neocons have some genuine psychopaths among them -- the world would be a better place if an ice axe were wielded in Ledeen's vicinity.
It's consistent with what Ronen Bergman told Brian Williams http://www.nbcnews.com/video/rock-center/46318982#46318982
"Israel has long used assassination against its enemies, "hoping that by taking out individuals, they can alter, change the course of history,"

JerseyJeffersonian , April 19, 2018 at 9:44 pm GMT
@Svigor

Svigor,

It would be really nice if it were possible to "put this tired, tattered old straw man to bed", but it is not likely to happen. The radical Zionists immediately use criticism of Israel to conflate criticism of Zionism with anti-Semitism. This is made far easier for them by the confusion around "Jewishness" that is deliberately (and conveniently, for their purposes) cultivated; is being a Jew a racial thing, a religious thing, a cultural thing regardless of the individual Jew's adherence to and practice of the tenets of Judaism? This ambiguity opens the door for claims that criticisms of the excesses of radical Zionism are at root leveled against all Jews regardless of their actual beliefs, political behaviors, and their self-perception regarding their roles in the life of the nation. Of course, true anti-Semites do in fact hold all Jews responsible for the actions of rabid Zionists, so everybody "wins".

Except for real flesh and blood Jews, who are individuals with their own agency. My oldest friend is a Jew, I work with Jews, I make classical music with Jews. So I will never buy the blanket condemnation of Jews qua Jews. Do I wish that more American Jews would distance themselves from and be more critical of the "professional Jews" who are in leadership roles at radical Zionist organizations? Yes, but I have some sympathy for why this does not happen. As a historically disparaged minority, albeit with some reasons for that status, the reluctance is self-enforcing; there is a disincentive to talk smack on your "community" for fear of the ostracism, and reputational and career damage that might follow (there is no reasoning with one-issue fanatics, after all).

Look at how blacks who lodge criticism of the behaviors of some in their community make out. Not too well, even when the criticisms are justified, and the ills perpetuated by these criticized behaviors work to the detriment not only of individual blacks, but also to the perception of blacks in general in the wider society.

So I think that Col. Lang is justified in his refusal to tar all Jews with the sins and excesses of some portion of that community. This seems to me to be intellectually and morally correct. Certainly it serves to help put the criticisms of NeoConservatism out there while yet insulating him to a degree from the blanket charges of anti-Semitism. And indeed, the NeoCons are not strictly radical Zionists, and some among them have other motivations behind their actions.

Thirdeye , April 19, 2018 at 9:56 pm GMT
@English Outsider

Short answer, F,UK were the world's leading imperial powers before WWII and seek to leverage American military and financial power to restore some degree of imperial power. The Atlantic Charter and the UN Charter were bitter pills for the old empires. France sought to override the UN Charter by force in Vietnam and Algeria, but lacked the wherewithall. Britain, France, and Israel sought to override it by force in the 1956 Suez Crisis until Daddy Ike told them that it wasn't cool. The umbrella of American power is their best remaining means of re-establishing imperial power. It puts the onus on the US for violations of international law, but promises them some restoration of imperial power in MENA.

Looking at the parade of toads that have occupied the White House in recent years, I have more and more respect for Eisenhower's balls in the 1956 crisis. Such a move by an American President seems unimaginable today.

Anon [425] Disclaimer , April 19, 2018 at 10:31 pm GMT
Neocon-run Twitter took out Red Elephants account.

Twitter bans Red Elephants but lets CNN have many accounts. Twitter favors Official Lies of the Conspiratorial Deep State against Speculative Dissent of Free Thinkers. PC is War against ASK SPEECH. We are not supposed to ASK questions of the Globalist Power.

According to Rules of Political Correctness, ASK SPEECH is not FREE SPEECH. Don't you dare ASK Questions. Just accept the Answers provided by Ministry of Propaganda or MSM that colludes with Deep State of NSA, CIA, FBI, Wall Street, and Hollywood. PC says we should Ass-kiss than Ask Questions.

World is divided between Askingers and Ass-Kissers. Those who ask questions of the power and those who ass-kiss the power. Unsurprisingly, most people in power got there by ass-kissing and being ass-kissed. We must ASK WHY.

Thirdeye , April 19, 2018 at 11:00 pm GMT
@Chet Roman

"Making the world safe for democracy" was the sales pitch for preserving the F, UK empires long before there was Israel. That effort was driven largely by American Blue Blood bankers who had risky investments in the UK war effort. American Jews were suspected of loyalty to the Kaiser because they loathed the Russian Tsar.

bjondo , April 20, 2018 at 2:09 am GMT
@RobinG

In addition to corpses in his closet, wonder how much looted Russian loot in his off-shore account(s)?

[Apr 19, 2018] Effectiveness of anti cruse missiles weapons: 47 of the 71 intercepts they claim were done by modern Pantsir and Buk systems that Syria purchased around 2010.

Notable quotes:
"... The Russians have clearly prepared for such an attack ever since the Shayrat strike the very powerful Russian radars in Syria are capable of tracking any flying object and the Syrian SAM batteries are networked into that system and are fed that radar data in real time ..."
"... As for the Pantsir yes this point defense system is the perfect tool to shoot down cruise missiles it is the successor of the Tor SAM system that was designed specifically to shoot down T-hawks ..."
"... The older SAMs did not perform badly according to the Russian MoD assessment the S125 is a 1950s era system that the Serbs used to down two F117s and an F16 much more difficult targets than a T-hawk ..."
Apr 19, 2018 | www.unz.com

Zogby , April 18, 2018 at 7:45 pm GMT

In case people missed it, The Russian MOD published more detailed statistics about the attack which can be found here

http://tass.com/defense/1000148

If taken at face value, one detail that stands out is that the Russians' original boast that the missile attack was thwarted by "old Soviet-era air defense" is not true. 47 of the 71 intercepts they claim were done by modern Pantsir and Buk systems that Syria purchased around 2010. The older systems had noticeably worse performance than the modern systems.

The other interesting tidbit there is that the Russian General claims that "the survey of this and other facilities revealed neither this number of ammunition fragments nor the corresponding number of craters". In other words, as FB states above, that even though 25 missiles hypothetically got through in the attacks on Barzeh and Djaramani, the damage on the ground does not correspond to that many missiles.

FB , April 18, 2018 at 1:36 pm GMT

@The Scalpel

' I don't believe that "the fix was in" because the runways of major military airports were targeted. There was no guarantee that the Pantsir and Buk's would be as effective as they were. I don't see Putin happily agreeing to have those airport runways put out of commission. a bit of deconfliction, yes, a total charade, no '

I agree with this on the basis of sound logic. There is no way that we can know the facts about what kind of communuication and coordination [if any] took place behind the scenes. But we have a lot of inconsistencies in the US narrative first we were told that eight targets were going to be hit then, post facto, it was just three.

One of the sites the Barzeh research center in Damascus area was supposedly hit 76 times this on an area of about one acre [half a hectare...5,000 square meters]. Looking at high quality pictures of the site after the attack it is clear that adjacent buildings only meters from the targeted site are undamaged as are light poles surrounding the whole complex as well as stands of pine trees again only meters away

The idea that 76 450kg high explosive warheads detonated here is visibly absurd and is quite easy to analyze technically using accepted and authoritative engineering methods for explosive effects

As I have done on my comment on another thread

I consider it proven beyond doubt that there is no chance whatsoever that 76 missiles hit that site I doubt it would even be one tenth of that

And it is also logical to ask why would you even launch 76 missiles on a one acre complex that has three buildings a single T-hawk can take out a building or even a ship as seen on the pentagon show off video below

The answer is obvious of course no military professional would send 76 missiles on one small target that is simply bullshit

So that brings us to the next logical question if they did not send 76 missiles at Barzeh where did they go ?

Well that's what makes the story of airfields targeted but the missiles intercepted believable

Let's remember we are dealing with Proven Liars here everybody knows that recetly Phil Giraldi had an article here titled 'Liars Lying About Everything '

Not to mention that Robert Fisk has now blown the Douma 'chemical attack' story out of the water

Philip Owen , Website April 18, 2018 at 3:29 pm GMT
The few pictures I've seen of interception attempts were all too high in the sky to be targetting a TLAM or a Storm Shadow which are ground following missiles. They need to fly high enough to avoid power lines but that's it. (Apparently in Iraq 1, hitting power lines was the main mechanism by which they and most lost US Marine Corps helicopters were destroyed ).
exiled off mainstreet , April 18, 2018 at 4:39 pm GMT
The professional military people knew what was at stake in limiting the damage engendered by the war crime engaged in to placate the neocon power structure. Since armageddon was at stake, even according to Mattis's own statements, he apparently was able to rein Trump in to some degree, according to this contribution and more clearly from some other reports. We now also have increasing proof that the "chemical weapons" thing was a provocation, though the yankee regime's worldwide propaganda wurlitzer keeps playing the same nihilist song. I agree with others who have concluded that if Mattis is eliminated, that is when we will have to worry. Presumably, for now, since the normal secrecy is combined with a laudable profound survival instinct, the military will keep a lid on any investigations this generates. If not, as Whitney has indicated, we are in deep shit.
FB , April 18, 2018 at 4:41 pm GMT
@Philip Owen

Quick question Tampon Phil

What exactly do you know about the flight characteristics of cruise missiles ?

Over on the other thread you first tried to argue that the Barzeh site I discussed in my technical analysis was not the site of the missile strike

Then when I provided a sat image released by the pentagon and published in newspapers around the world confirming definitively that the site I analyzed in my original comment was indeed the site of the missile strike you said this

' I didn't say it was a fake picture. I said it was a demolition site. The same site being demolished as a conjecture. The best alternative at the moment is that the payloads were not 450 kg '

I then pointed out to you the physical fact of flight that removing 450 kg from the nose of a winged cruise missile would shift its center of gravity in the aft direction and make the missile unflyable

Not being able to argue with the laws of physics you then suggested that the 450 kg warhead was replaced by an equal weight with less explosive power since we had already established that the lack of damage to nearby structures was inconsistent with 76 claimed T-hawk hits on that small site

At which point I mentioned that your statements were on a level with the Prince Charles infamous 'tampon' phone call hence your new nickname Tampon Phil

Now here you are again just asking for more punishment

Ok as a start you may wish to review my technical discussion of the T-hawk flight characteristics on the 800 lb Gorilla thread

You may also wish to consult a topographical map of Syria to see some of the mountains that these cruise missiles would have to fly over to reach those inland targets

You will note the north to south mountain chain along the coast including the Anti-Lebanese Mountains that rise to 10,000 ft

My discussion of the T-hawk technical characteristics in that link above includes such crucial parameter as wing loading and thrust to weight ratio which determine this flight vehicle's climb rate and turn rate

' The few pictures I've seen of interception attempts were all too high in the sky to be targetting a TLAM or a Storm Shadow which are ground following missiles.

They need to fly high enough to avoid power lines but that's it '

And how do they get over those mountains Tampon Phil ?

Are they ground following there too ?

And also please let us know the scaling method you used to determine the height of those missiles from photos that would be helpful

FB , April 18, 2018 at 10:49 pm GMT
@Zogby

Thanks for the Tass article link

Yes there is no question that the US would have targeted Syrian airfields apparently a few did get through at one airfield but the others were fully rejected

Laymen who know nothing about aircraft or missiles do not understand the complexities and detail involved they simply accept the brochure 'information' presented on wikipedia and such about the capabilities of such flight vehicles

This does not shed any light on a fascinating and important subject important because now we have had some air combat between US and Nato airpower [Ship, sub and air launched cruise missiles vs. Russian air defenses]

Clearly the Russians won there was not a single death on the Syrian side the US did destroy a few buildings most notably the Barzeh research center in the Damascus area

We can tell the Russians won this round because the US is claiming completely ridiculous stuff that they launched 76 T-hawks with a combined TNT tonnage of nearly 40 tons yet little pine shrubs standing 20 feet away are completely intact

I mean how stupid ?

Clearly the US is claiming such a high number of attacks on the three buildings that they did hit because they failed to hit those airfields and we know that they failed to hit those airfields because if they did we would have satellite imagery being boastfully released

You can tell as much by the information that is withheld as you can by the information they give out

Now for some basic technical facts cruise missiles are not hard to shoot down once they are spotted but the hard part is spotting them because they are small and thus do not bounce back strong radar reflections

They can fly close to terrain although this is not always the case as I have explained previously and depends on the ingress route and the type of terrain along that flight path ie if it is required to fly over mountainous terrain it must fly quite high

In 1999 the Serbs shot down a number T-hawks with their 1950s era Soviet equipment here is the remains of one T-hawk airframe in the Belgrade Aviation Museum

Once spotted on radar the T-hawks and similar subsonic cruise missiles are sitting ducks they have no means of evading missile shots either from an air to air missile launched from a fighter jet or a surface to air missile launched from an air defense battery

A fighter jet relies on a radar warning receiver to alert the crew that it has been targeted by a missile shot and the crew can instantly commence evasive maneuver which is basically going into a steep banked turn so as to break radar lock and evade the missile shot

Cruise missiles have no such RWR and it would be pointless to equipment with such since they have very poor turning performance

This is due to their very high wing loading which is the ratio of wing area to aircraft weight a T-hawk weighs about 3,000 lb but has a wing area of only about 10 square feet for a wing loading of 300 lb/ft^2

That is about three times as high as a passenger jet's wing loading and as much as five times higher than a fighter jet

Think of wing loading and how it relates to maneuverability by considering a person carrying a backpack if that person is running and they need to change course having that extra weight on their back will not let them zigzag like a runner carrying no weight

The same is true for climb performance think of carrying 100 lb in your backpack and climbing up a set of stairs

The physical laws of flight performance are based on Newtonian Mechanics and cannot be argued with

The thrust to weight ratio of a cruise missile is about comparable to that of a passenger jet the thrust of the T-hawks Williams turbofan engine is about 700 lb against a weight of 3,000 lb that is less than 0.25 thrust to weight

A powerful fighter like an F15 will have a thrust to weight ratio of close to unity or even above ie it's engine thrust is actually equal to or greater than its weight and the airplane can thus climb straight up like a rocket

So the key in defending against subsonic cruise missiles which fly at about the same speed as passenger jet, about 500 mph [800 km/hr] is to pick them up on radar

The Russians have clearly prepared for such an attack ever since the Shayrat strike the very powerful Russian radars in Syria are capable of tracking any flying object and the Syrian SAM batteries are networked into that system and are fed that radar data in real time

We also saw in some of those missile intercept videos near the Damascus airport that Syrian jets were taking off and landing this is because the jets would use their onboard radar to find the cruise missiles and data link that info back to the SAM batteries

A fighter is easily capable of taking down a cruise missile with an AA shot also but this all comes down to pilot skill and training something which the SyAAF may not be dealing with on a regular basis considering their focus on the fight against ground targets in Jihadist areas

As for the Pantsir yes this point defense system is the perfect tool to shoot down cruise missiles it is the successor of the Tor SAM system that was designed specifically to shoot down T-hawks

The older SAMs did not perform badly according to the Russian MoD assessment the S125 is a 1950s era system that the Serbs used to down two F117s and an F16 much more difficult targets than a T-hawk

The S200 is a huge missile with a 350 km range exceeded only by the latest S400 long range missile introduced into service only a couple of years ago

It flies extremely fast 2,500 m/s which is about Mach 8 it is even faster than the new S400 missiles which fly at 2,000 m/s by comparison the USN Raytheon SM6 air defense missile used on Aegis missile ships flies only at M3.5 about 1,000 m/s

The high speed of the S200 is actually its disadvantage against a slow moving target like a cruise missile the laws of physics tell us that the faster the vehicle is flying, the larger its turn radius will be thus the big S200 is not going to do well against cruise missiles this is not surprising

Overall the Russian MoD version of events is certainly way more credible than the US version which is full of holes

[Apr 19, 2018] Trump's Missile Fiasco: Did the Pentagon collaborate with Moscow on which targets to hit? by Mike Whitney

Looks like it was all about Turkey. "Turkey seems to me to be the swing state here. You cannot isolate Russia without Turkey. Not only do they uncork themselves form the Black Sea , there will be no NATO fodder with casualties that no one cares about. Turkey is a big chunk of NATO. This is to sy nothing about trade. Sanction sound nice and dandy in the US, but in Turkey it wrecks their economy."
Notable quotes:
"... Suffice it to say, that the information from these US-funded organizations is invariably unreliable. Their sole task is to create a justification for more carnage. ..."
"... In fact, the appointments of warhawks John Bolton and Mike Pompeo to the national security team, suggests that Trump may be planning a major escalation in the near future. The president has aligned himself with a Zionist right-wing fringe who see the conflict as a proxy-war with Iran that must be won in order to establish US-Israeli regional hegemony and maintain a stranglehold on vital resources and pipeline corridors. Trump's missile attack is just a minor skirmish in that much larger war. ..."
"... I am a card carrying deplorable. I prefer Trump to Mueller. But I can no longer defend Trump. He is a Zionist first and an American second. ..."
"... I don't believe that "the fix was in" because the runways of major military airports were targeted. There was no guarantee that the Pantsir and Buk's would be as effective as they were. ..."
"... If Trump gets in trouble for a fake missile attack in response to a fake chemical weapons attack that made use of non-existent WMD, then what can I say? ..."
"... Regardless of Trump's ignorance, who still believes in presidents having real power by status of function alone, Obama never mattered neither, the pot-shots were a worthy experiment on how to apply global rule, by global consensus ..."
"... "Or perhaps we should judge Trump by the company he keeps. Bolton in Washington and Israel/Saudi Arabia in the MENA. The scum of the earth." ..."
"... Yes, I base my opinion of Trump's loyalties on exactly that. It started with his appointment of Nikki Haley and all the Trumpeteers on ZH chanting "keep your friends close and your enemies closer". Just seeing the way his choices of neocons and Goldman Sachs thieves for his inner circle were being defended by people who claimed to have voted for him kept me from defending Trump. ..."
"... Turkey seems to me to be the swing state here. You cannot isolate Russia without Turkey. Not only do they uncork themselves form the Black Sea , there will be no NATO fodder with casualties that no one cares about. Turkey is a big chunk of NATO. This is to sy nothing about trade. Sanction sound nice and dandy in the US, but in Turkey it wrecks their economy. ..."
"... Seems to me that Trump is trying to walk a tightrope here he likely knows the 'chemical' attack is a false flag and his response was designed to appease the zios without actually causing much damage ..."
Apr 19, 2018 | www.unz.com

In short, the attacks accomplished nothing except, perhaps, to temporarily mollify the warmongering western media and their bloodthirsty puppetmasters in the foreign policy establishment.

The fact that Trump felt compelled to launch the attacks before the chemical weapons inspectors from the OPCW had even touched down in Damascus, shows that Washington is not interested in providing justifications for its criminal aggression. Similar to claims of Russia hacking the 2016 US elections or the alleged use of toxic nerve agent in the Skripal incident, the case against Syrian President Bashar al Assad was based on the thin gruel of uncorroborated allegations by jihadist-linked organizations on the ground whose long history of staging provocative incidents to foment a crisis is part of the public record. We're not going to waste our time on that nonsense here. Suffice it to say, that the information from these US-funded organizations is invariably unreliable. Their sole task is to create a justification for more carnage.

... ... ...

Some readers will remember that Trump tacitly revealed his motivation for the attacks in a tweat he delivered just days before the incident. Here's what he said on April 11:

"Much of the bad blood with Russia is caused by the Fake & Corrupt Russia Investigation, headed up by the all Democrat loyalists, or people that worked for Obama. Mueller is most conflicted of all (except Rosenstein who signed FISA & Comey letter). No Collusion, so they go crazy!" The Real Donald Trump

What Trump is saying is that his real enemy is Mueller not Putin. It's Mueller, the bigwig Dems and the media that are fomenting this Russphobic hysteria and trying to destroy Trump. And that's what precipitated the 'wag the dog' scenario that unfolded on April 14th. Trump was trying to get his enemies off his back by incinerating a few empty buildings in Syria. And, it almost worked, but now information is beginning to leak-out that could be damaging to both Trump and his chief lieutenants.

... ... ...

...how does one explain this tidbit from RT:

"Before we took the action, the United States communicated with the Russian Federation to reduce the danger of any Russian or civilian casualties," (US Ambassador to Russia) Jon Huntsman said, claiming that "all the targets were linked with the Assad regime's illegal chemical weapons program."

The US ambassador to Russia said that the US strikes were coordinated with Russia to avoid a great power confrontation." (RT)

Military analyst Publius Tacitus is even more explicit in a post at Colonel Pat Lang's website, Sic Semper Tyrannis. He says:

"Russia was told where we were going to strike. Russia in turn warned the Syrians. Both the Syrians and the Russians evacuated key personnel and equipment from the target sites. Any claim by the United States that we caused devastating damage or destroyed essential capabilities is total fantasy." (Trump's big Flop in Syria", Publius Tacitus, Sic semper Tyrannis)

... ... ...

In any event, we can see that the April 14 missile attacks were largely a symbolic muscle-flexing exercise that was aimed at pacifying Trump's domestic rivals rather than punishing Assad for crimes he never committed. (It is worth mentioning that there have been many credible reports that the US used banned substances in its siege of Raqqa last year.) The fact that Putin limited his response to a perfunctory denunciation, suggests that Trump achieved his objectives. (In other words, he avoided WW3) Here's part of what Putin said:

"Russia condemns in the strongest possible terms the attack against Syria, where Russian military personnel are assisting the legitimate government in its counterterrorism efforts.

Through its actions, the US makes the already catastrophic humanitarian situation in Syria even worse and brings suffering to civilians. In fact, the US panders to the terrorists who have been tormenting the Syrian people for seven years, leading to a wave of refugees fleeing this country and the region.

The current escalation around Syria is destructive for the entire system of international relations." (Kremlin, RU)

Putin is right. Washington's support for the Sunni extremists in Syria has prolonged the war and turned the country into a smoldering wastelands. Unfortunately, it does not look like the US is going to throw in the towel anytime soon. In fact, the appointments of warhawks John Bolton and Mike Pompeo to the national security team, suggests that Trump may be planning a major escalation in the near future. The president has aligned himself with a Zionist right-wing fringe who see the conflict as a proxy-war with Iran that must be won in order to establish US-Israeli regional hegemony and maintain a stranglehold on vital resources and pipeline corridors. Trump's missile attack is just a minor skirmish in that much larger war.


reiner Tor , April 17, 2018 at 2:03 pm GMT

I'd find it scary if it turned out that Dunford had to defy orders to avoid WW3. It'd confirm that Trump was actually insane.
WorkingClass , April 17, 2018 at 2:38 pm GMT
"What Trump is saying is that his real enemy is Mueller not Putin."

What the failure to withdraw from Syria is saying is that Mueller is Commander In Chief.

Or perhaps we should judge Trump by the company he keeps. Bolton in Washington and Israel/Saudi Arabia in the MENA. The scum of the earth.

I am a card carrying deplorable. I prefer Trump to Mueller. But I can no longer defend Trump. He is a Zionist first and an American second.

Dan Hayes , April 18, 2018 at 4:35 am GMT
Mike Whitney:

Prof Emeritus Steve Cohen essentially concurs with your analysis. Tonight Cohen expressed concern that the national drumbeat against Trump essentially checkmates any efforts to repair US-Russian relations.

As an aside, UR readers are referred to Robert Fisk's very recent report in the UK Independent that the purported Syrian gas attack actually arose from artillery-induced asphyxiation in underground tunnels.

The Scalpel , Website April 18, 2018 at 5:56 am GMT
I don't believe that "the fix was in" because the runways of major military airports were targeted. There was no guarantee that the Pantsir and Buk's would be as effective as they were. I don't see Putin happily agreeing to have those airport runways put out of commission. a bit of deconfliction, yes, a total charade, no. This could have quite easily escalated
jilles dykstra , April 18, 2018 at 6:58 am GMT
Why fiasco ? The effectiveness of anything can only be judged by knowing what the objective was. Those who want Syria, or/and Assad attacked, most of them, have the idea that something was done. Difficult for USA propaganda media to state that Trump did nothing.

Then there now is the fact that Syrian systems are quite capable of resisting missile attacks. Possibly Israel will think twice before launching another attack. So in my opinion, what Trump did is possibly a great success.

Seamus Padraig , April 18, 2018 at 7:50 am GMT
If Trump gets in trouble for a fake missile attack in response to a fake chemical weapons attack that made use of non-existent WMD, then what can I say? It's really Trump himself more than the neocons who's to blame. His refusal to grow a pair and stand up to Washington will ultimately be his downfall.

What Trump is saying is that his real enemy is Mueller not Putin. It's Mueller, the bigwig Dems and the media that are fomenting this Russphobic hysteria and trying to destroy Trump. And that's what precipitated the 'wag the dog' scenario that unfolded on April 14th.

It's long past time for Trump to fire Mueller. The fake 'RussiaGate' investigation is over and didn't find anything actionable. How much longer is Trump going to allow this little fishing expedition to go on?

Trump was trying to get his enemies off his back by incinerating a few empty buildings in Syria. And, it almost worked, but now information is beginning to leak-out that could be damaging to both Trump and his chief lieutenants.

As a candidate, Trump never hesitated to call out the BS in DC. But if, as president, he goes along with this kabuki-theater, then he deserves what he gets.

Realist , April 18, 2018 at 8:55 am GMT
@reiner Tor

I'd find it scary if it turned out that Dunford had to defy orders to avoid WW3. It'd confirm that Trump was actually insane.

I don't know about insane but he is certainly a feckless, nutless POS.

m___ , April 18, 2018 at 11:35 am GMT
Regardless of Trump's ignorance, who still believes in presidents having real power by status of function alone, Obama never mattered neither, the pot-shots were a worthy experiment on how to apply global rule, by global consensus. Next to it, Gaza comes to mind, even the South African government of "natives" see the potential for Boers containment as inspired by Gaza.

Pot-shots, latter Russia moves, Chinese containment attitudes:

By experimenting, science progresses, the science of governing, the size of experiments, containment, all these goodies that matter and can make for advancements in efficiently, ruling the human mess into survival. Building data, in a few years, resulting into something of predictability in a global context, over longer periods of time. More of this dipping into the chest of tools.

The element to be accented: local experiments, global intent.

Twodees Partain , April 18, 2018 at 12:10 pm GMT
@WorkingClass

"Or perhaps we should judge Trump by the company he keeps. Bolton in Washington and Israel/Saudi Arabia in the MENA. The scum of the earth."

Yes, I base my opinion of Trump's loyalties on exactly that. It started with his appointment of Nikki Haley and all the Trumpeteers on ZH chanting "keep your friends close and your enemies closer". Just seeing the way his choices of neocons and Goldman Sachs thieves for his inner circle were being defended by people who claimed to have voted for him kept me from defending Trump.

I figured that he was getting support from a pool of neocons and that made him one of them.

DESERT FOX , April 18, 2018 at 12:42 pm GMT
The missile attacks confirmed Israels control over the U.S. gov which was proven by the fact that Israel did 911 and got away with killing some 3000 Americans. Israel and her ziocons control the U.S. gov lock stock and gun barrel and are destroying America.

Assad has never used gas attacks on the Syrian people , these attacks were perpetrated by the CIA and the MOSSAD and MI6 and NATOs Operation Gladio, these people are satanist war mongers straight from HELL.

God bless Assad and Syria and Putin and Russia for standing against these satanic forces that are HELL bent on destroying Syria.

Carroll Price , April 18, 2018 at 3:05 pm GMT
"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American people believe is false." CIA director William Casey (CIA director, 1981-1987)

gwynedd1 , April 18, 2018 at 4:51 pm GMT

@WorkingClass

Turkey seems to me to be the swing state here. You cannot isolate Russia without Turkey. Not only do they uncork themselves form the Black Sea , there will be no NATO fodder with casualties that no one cares about. Turkey is a big chunk of NATO. This is to sy nothing about trade. Sanction sound nice and dandy in the US, but in Turkey it wrecks their economy.

gda , April 18, 2018 at 5:58 pm GMT
@reiner Tor

What a bunch of shite. It just shows that Mike Whitney and his fans have no idea of what is actually going on behind the scenes, and continue to glom on to the MSM shrieks of Mueller and Russia, Russia, Russia.

If you believe this had anything whatsoever to do with Mueller then you're a chump and clearly don't even deserve to be enlightened. I would suggest turning off the CNN, but you're already infected.

Mueller has been cock-blocked and Trump is in command. The revelations to come from the IG Report and more are going to be delicious. There will be much wailing and gnashing of teeth.

gda , April 18, 2018 at 6:03 pm GMT
@Michael Kenny

Sorry mate, Trump Derangement Syndrome seems to have taken over your brain. Turn off the CNN and take the red pill.

gda , April 18, 2018 at 6:05 pm GMT
@FB

Robert Fisk? Seriously? LOL

anonymous [353] Disclaimer , April 18, 2018 at 6:11 pm GMT
The point was to send a message to Assad that the US and it's allies are able and willing to take action should he try to cross the red line drawn around Saudi Arabia. Once the war winds down and the Syrian state starts regrouping and rebuilding there's naturally going to be a payback time against the regional actors who poured so many resources into trying to demolish the Syrian state. This means Saudi Arabia which is vulnerable in a number of ways. SA is a huge customer and spends billions in the US and allied countries and is thus under the US umbrella of protection as a valuable ally. There's bound to be a lot of nervousness in Riyadh right now so the US must demonstrate a willingness to act militarily to them.
gda , April 18, 2018 at 6:16 pm GMT
@Realist

So he's brought NATO to the table regarding funding, is about to solve the greatest crisis/threat to the world by bringing NK to the table re; Denuclearization, and has plans to solve the ME situation (which you clearly know nothing about) using the GCC.

Yet he's a feckless, nutless POS.

You seem to be somewhat lacking in judgement. Beyond redemption with your TDS. A crazed loon.

Did you miss the first part of the IG's report? Do you realize what's to come? Nah, it's all Russia, Russia, Russia nonsense with your ilk.

Keep it up – you keep us amused with your ignorant thrashing about.

Anon [425] Disclaimer , April 18, 2018 at 7:46 pm GMT
Redemption of Sachs?
Herald , April 18, 2018 at 7:48 pm GMT
@The Scalpel

You raise points of doubt and effectively deal with them yourself. Putin would have been very unlikely to have been involved in any detailed negotiations over targets. These would have been dealt with by his military commanders. If airfields were targeted then it would appear details were indeed known to the Syrian defenders. This goes some of the way to explain the abysmal success rate of the US missiles in this fiasco as Mike Whitney and many others rightly call it. So a hoax it certainly was and one to compare with the hoax gas attack in Eastern Ghouta.

Moi , April 18, 2018 at 9:14 pm GMT
@WorkingClass

Trump is in the pockets of the Zionists, and has become a Zionist because the one thing he understands is which side his bread is buttered on. To make sense of anything we do in the ME, you only need to ask one question: "What does Israel want."

Carroll Price , April 18, 2018 at 9:29 pm GMT
@Sean

It just seems like a very dangerous ploy for a meaningless reward (the natural resources Syria and strategic importance of Syria are very modest).

Maybe true, except for the fact that Syria, under Assad's leadership serves as a convenient land route over which sophisticated weapons produced in Iran are delivered to Hezbollah defense forces in Lebanon. In my opinion, this is the primary reason behind current US and Israeli efforts being made to destroy Assad. The bottom line is that Israel has been attacking it's weak neighbors for such a long time, until they simply find it impossible to live with the reality of being unable to invade Lebanon on the slightest pretext. In addition and more ominous, Hezbollah's leader Hassan Rouhani has publically stated that Hezbollah defense forces may eventually extend their protection to the Palestinian people held captive in the Gaza Strip

Sowhat , April 18, 2018 at 9:38 pm GMT
This is what tomfoolery looks like- when "I love mah Generals" and you allow them to "lead the way."
At the same time we have a "three-pete" of the absolutely idiotic accusations that Assad used chem-WMDs on his own civilians. Everyone that uses the internet can ferret out the truth. This isn't ten years ago. This is 2018. Doesn't Intel realize how immature they appear? I'm not only mad as hell, I'm SO disappointed in just how stupid the Government of the United States appears to anyone with half a brain.
I'm ashamed of the Country I thought I loved.
GourmetDan , April 18, 2018 at 9:48 pm GMT
@WorkingClass

I am a card carrying deplorable. I prefer Trump to Mueller. But I can no longer defend Trump. He is a Zionist first and an American second.

Seems to me that Trump is trying to walk a tightrope here he likely knows the 'chemical' attack is a false flag and his response was designed to appease the zios without actually causing much damage

KA , April 19, 2018 at 1:53 am GMT
Iran doesn't want to escalate the situation and give Trump any leverage on Iran deal. Iran wants to deprive any moral political or legal supports from EU to USA on this. Trump pulls out. Rest remains same. This will give Iran moral political and legal authorities to pursue its nuclear program with China and Russia . This will have domino effects on other areas of these 3 countries – how to conduct business internationally.

So a choreographed coordinated attack works for Iran. Trump is happy. His base angry. His enemies can't go after him for few hours or days . Mad madam prostitute Nick Halley has to be soothed by Kudlow telling her she was not a demented rat.

anon [119] Disclaimer , April 19, 2018 at 2:16 am GMT
@AnonFromTN

Why are many commenters so excited? Everything is appropriate: fake missile strike in response to fake chemical weapons use.

That's a good way to put it. Just wish Trump had exercised more restraint in his tweet, he should not have called Assad a "monster". The real monsters are right here in the US, the Israel Lobby and the Deep State led by Rod Rosenstein the fucking weasel, and the biggest monster of them all is right there in the White House with him, Mike Pence, the one who hired Rosenstein, Nikki Haley, Mike Pompeo, John Bolton. Pence the Ziocon has been working hard to subvert Trump since Day 1. He wants to be president.

[Apr 19, 2018] Theresa May ties with military-industrial complex

Apr 19, 2018 | www.unz.com

anon [107] Disclaimer , April 19, 2018 at 1:47 am GMT

@S. N.

UK PM's husband's Capital Group is largest shareholder in BAE, shares soar since Syrian airstrikes: https://www.rt.com/uk/424392-may-husbands-capital-group/

"Philip May, husband of the UK prime minister, works for a company that is the largest shareholder in arms manufacturer, BAE Systems, whose share price has soared since the recent airstrikes in Syria.
The company, Capital Group, is also the second-largest shareholder in Lockheed Martin -- a US military arms firm that supplies weapons systems, aircraft and logistical support. Its shares have also rocketed since the missile strikes last week. . . ."

h/t http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2018/04/real-reporting-on-syria-by-publius-tacitus.html

annamaria , April 19, 2018 at 2:14 am GMT
@Philip Owen

We have got it: Philip Owen believes religiously in the words of Theresa May, Boris Johnson, and Gavin Willaimson. And, of course, Blair is a paragon of honesty for Philip Owen.

What are you doing here, on the Unz Review? -- This is not a ziocon stink-tank source of (dis)information, and this is not the ziocons-controlled MSM's presstitutes' haven.

You make yourself ridiculous by parroting the MSM "wisdom." Your frustration over the impending defeat of "moderate" terrorists in Syria affects your reason and amplifies your rabid hatred of Russia. Don't expect any sympathy for your "victimhood" on this site.

This is the reality: "Salisbury Nerve Agent Attack Reveals $70 Million Pentagon Program at Porton Down," by Dilyana Gaytandzhieva – https://southfront.org/salisbury-nerve-agent-attack-reveals-70-million-pentagon-program-porton/

"Porton Down is just one of the Pentagon-funded military laboratories in 25 countries across the world, where the US Army produces and tests man-made viruses, bacteria and toxins in direct violation of the UN convention . These US bio-laboratories are funded by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) under a $ 2.1 billion military program– Cooperative Biological Engagement Program (CBEP), and are located in former Soviet Union countries such as Georgia and Ukraine, the Middle East, South East Asia and Africa.
The Pentagon-funded military facilities are not under the direct control of the host state as the US military and civilian personnel is working under diplomatic cover. The local governments are prohibited from public disclosure of sensitive information about the foreign military program running on their own territory."
– All statements in this article are sourced, unlike the pronouncement of the miserable puppets Blair, May, Johnson, and Willaimson.

[Apr 19, 2018] Mad madam prostitute Nick Halley has to be soothed by Kudlow telling her she was not a demented rat.

Notable quotes:
"... So a choreographed coordinated attack works for Iran. Trump is happy. His base angry. His enemies can't go after him for few hours or days ..."
Apr 19, 2018 | www.unz.com

KA , April 19, 2018 at 1:53 am GMT

Iran doesn't want to escalate the situation and give Trump any leverage on Iran deal. Iran wants to deprive any moral political or legal supports from EU to USA on this. Trump pulls out. Rest remains same. This will give Iran moral political and legal authorities to pursue its nuclear program with China and Russia.

This will have domino effects on other areas of these 3 countries -- how to conduct business internationally.

So a choreographed coordinated attack works for Iran. Trump is happy. His base angry. His enemies can't go after him for few hours or days . Mad madam prostitute Nick Halley has to be soothed by Kudlow telling her she was not a demented rat.

[Apr 18, 2018] Ever heard of the British Army s 77th Brigade?

Notable quotes:
"... It turns out that news reports citing UOSSM tend *also* to cite or refer to "French intelligence," especially if the report has to do with local conditions or events within Syria. So perhaps the "partnership" between the UOSSM and the White Helmets in Syria represents, in large part, the coordination of British and French military propaganda/intelligence services ..."
"... I had already heard that French intelligence was using Doctors Without Borders (MSF) as cover in Syria, but was not aware that UOSSM in Syria is likely--at least in part--another French intelligence front. ..."
"... My own impression is that the NGO-ification of military and state intelligence of the degree and sophistication we see in Syria is a relatively recent phenomenon, predicated in part on the disseminating capacities of social media platforms. Is this right? ..."
"... My wife and I stopped donating to MSF a few months ago, based on their evident lack of neutrality in Syria. ..."
Apr 18, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Pat Lang Mod -> Wj , a day ago

Ever heard of the British Army's 77th Brigade?
Wj -> Pat Lang , a day ago
PLang,

No, but you just sent me down a fascinating rabbit hole. From what I can tell, there is the already established link between White Helmets and Mayday Rescue, which seems to be an extension of or front for the 77th.

It turns out that news reports citing UOSSM tend *also* to cite or refer to "French intelligence," especially if the report has to do with local conditions or events within Syria. So perhaps the "partnership" between the UOSSM and the White Helmets in Syria represents, in large part, the coordination of British and French military propaganda/intelligence services.

I had already heard that French intelligence was using Doctors Without Borders (MSF) as cover in Syria, but was not aware that UOSSM in Syria is likely--at least in part--another French intelligence front. How common is this kind of multinational coordination of intelligence/propaganda front groups, if that is what this is?

My own impression is that the NGO-ification of military and state intelligence of the degree and sophistication we see in Syria is a relatively recent phenomenon, predicated in part on the disseminating capacities of social media platforms. Is this right?

TTG -> Wj , a day ago
Wj,

"How common is this kind of multinational coordination of intelligence/propaganda front groups, if that is what this is?"

The coordination and interoperability among these special operations units is intense and has grown rapidly over the last decade. Even in the 80s this joint combined exchange training was the norm. Now it extends into live operations.

This 77th Brigade is an odd mashup linking civil affairs and PSYOP capabilities, but kept within the Tier 1 special operations community. I never heard of it before, but it's a logical progression. We probably have a similar military capability, but i have no idea what it is.

JJackson -> TTG , a day ago
I note it also has close links to the close ties with the 361st Civil Affairs Brigade.
Peter C. -> Wj , 7 hours ago
My wife and I stopped donating to MSF a few months ago, based on their evident lack of neutrality in Syria. The reply from their Donor Relations office did nothing to dispel that impression. In it, MSF admitted that "extreme insecurity has forced us to remove our medical teams from the front lines of the conflict. As a result, in order to do what we can to help alleviate the suffering of Syrians, we have partnered with several hospitals and medical clinics to provide support, with medical supplies and expertise from a distance...Though our teams may not be physically present on the front lines, we receive regular reports..."

I think we can guess who those "reports" are from.

[Apr 18, 2018] Douma Chemical Attack False Flag Operation EXPOSED!

Looks like people were bombed and the shelter became full of dust and smoke. That led to some suffocations. Later this was played as chemical attack.
The scenario is classic. Put artillery near residential houses and mercilessly shell residential building on government side killing civilians. Wait for return fire which produce its own set of victims. Stage the false flag operation based on return fire victims and the fact that civilians suffered.
Apr 18, 2018 | www.youtube.com

Annie , 15 hours ago (edited)

Thanks for this video. I have had a gut-full of the west and it's lies to take over countries in the Middle East. It's making me sick. What's happening on a daily basis to the people of Palestine and Syria are war crimes, pure and simple.

The country I live in, Australia, is not on the side of the good guys. We were not on the right side in Libya and Iraq either. I'm so sick of this shit. This is all so the US and their creepy allies, including the head-choppin' Saudis, can put a pipeline through Syria to Europe to compete with Russia and so they can use Syria as a jumping off point to invade Iran. Poor Iran.

The CIA threw out their Democratically elected leader and installed a Dictator who they kept in place for 48 years, using the Shah's brutal secret police. The US hates the Iranians for chucking the puppet out. Iran had every right to do so. God knows how they must feel being under constant threat. Israel have been assassinating their citizens for years and launched the Stuxnet virus (with help from the US) to attack their infrastructure, accidentally infecting the world, including Australia at the time. Thanks to them, every group in the world now has the code for that virus. They modified the code and released it again behind Obama's back.

Israel's illegal nukes can't reach Iran but they will definitely use them against Iran if they can get into Syria to use it as a base for attack. Then what happens to the world? Israel have demonstrated clearly, their disinterest in Human Rights. The only people on the planet they care about are Israelis. Damn Israel and damn the US. Macron is a wanna-be Napoleon and Theresa May is Thatcher- Lite. Both of them are sucking on the tail-pipe of that clown, Trump and are keeping the world in a state of perpetual war. Hands off Syria, wankers!

madex4u , 6 hours ago

The western media has covered up so much lies about Syria and Iraq that only few still brainwashed people believe their fake news

M.K. Styllinski , 9 hours ago (edited)

Aside from this video, there is now overwhelming evidence confirming that this was yet another false flag chemical attack designed to demonise Assad. This isn't the first time. Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Iraq, the Balkans - all suffered a similar fate designed to hoodwink the public in supporting war and resource grab.

it was only a couple of years ago that Assad and Russia were subjected to the same scenario and proven to be utterly false. How long must we swallow these crimes? History is replete with the same state-sponsored crimes against populations. Governments are not acting in our best interests and never have.

Therefore, there is absolutely no excuse for people to believe the utter bullshit spread around the mainstream media which excels in poor journalism and is determined to push this disgusting propaganda on behalf of their respective governments and intel agencies.

Until the public is prepared to comprehend that such false flag attacks are a long used formula by US-NATO for carving up the Middle East then it will continue with impunity. I hope everyone shares this video on social media in order to counter lazy thinking and the obvious lies that characterize what passes for news.

ameen ayob , 3 hours ago

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/syria-chemical-attack-gas-douma-robert-fisk-ghouta-damascus-a8307726.html

[Apr 18, 2018] The video is definitely genuine. I watched it all, and it looked very credible

White Helmets are a jihadists propaganda team
Apr 18, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com
FarNorthSolitude , a day ago
Can't vouch for the authenticity - video claims to be interviewing 13 staff from the hospital at Douma. It's from a news service privately owned and loyal to Assad. Definitely some of the same info emerging from Fisk and Sharp.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSrRV-zdNic&feature=youtu.be

Play Hide

disqus_Z5X4Hq25Pl -> FarNorthSolitude , 9 hours ago
The video is definitely genuine. I watched it all, and it looked very credible. Fisk mentioned that the doctors present at the event in their ER were away in Damascus and not available - there were obviously here making this video. It may be that they were under some constraint, and not able to speak entirely freely.

LaGuerre

[Apr 18, 2018] The Great American Unspooling Is Upon Us

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The New York Times ..."
"... collusion with Russia ..."
Apr 18, 2018 | russia-insider.com

With spring, things come unstuck; an unspooling has begun. The turnaround at the FBI and Department of Justice has been so swift that even The New York Times has shut up about collusion with Russia -- at the same time omitting to report what appears to have been a wholly politicized FBI upper echelon intruding on the 2016 election campaign, and then laboring stealthily to un-do the election result.

The ominous silence enveloping the DOJ the week after Andrew McCabe's firing -- and before the release of the FBI Inspector General's report -- suggests to me that a grand jury is about to convene and indictments are in process, not necessarily from Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller's office. The evidence already publicly-aired about FBI machinations and interventions on behalf of Hillary Clinton and against Donald Trump looks bad from any angle, and the wonder was that it took so long for anyone at the agency to answer for it.

McCabe is gone from office and, apparently hung out to dry on the recommendation of his own colleagues. Do not think for a moment that he will just ride off into the sunset. Meanwhile, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, Bruce Ohr, have been sent to the FBI study hall pending some other shoes dropping in a grand jury room. James Comey is out hustling a book he slapped together to manage the optics of his own legal predicament (evidently, lying to a congressional committee). And way out in orbit beyond the gravitation of the FBI, lurk those two other scoundrels, John Brennan, former head of the CIA (now a CNN blabbermouth), and James Clapper, former Director of National Intelligence, a new and redundant post in the Deep State's intel matrix (and ditto a CNN blabbermouth). Brennan especially has been provoked to issue blunt Twitter threats against Mr. Trump, suggesting he might be entering a legal squeeze himself.

None of these public servants have cut a plea bargain yet, as far as is publicly known, but they are all, for sure, in a lot of trouble. Culpability may not stop with them. Tendrils of evidence point to a coordinated campaign that included the Obama White House and the Democratic National Committee starring Hillary Clinton. Robert Mueller even comes into the picture both at the Uranium One end of the story and the other end concerning the activities of his old friend, Mr. Comey. Most tellingly of all, Attorney General Jeff Sessions was not shoved out of office but remains shrouded in silence and mystery as this melodrama plays out, tick, tick, tick.

None of this makes President Trump a more reassuring figure. His lack of decorum remains as awesome as his apparent lack of common sense. But he has labored against the most intense campaign of coordinated calumny ever seen against a chief executive and his fortitude, at least, is impressive. What is unspooling for him, and the body politic, are the nation's finances, and the dog of an economy that gets wagged by finance. Yesterday's 724-point dump in the Dow Jones Industrial Average is liable to not be a fluke event, but the beginning of a cascade into the pitiless maw of reality -- the reality that just about everything is grossly mispriced.

[Apr 18, 2018] The Rape of Russia, an Interview with F. William Engdahl (Audio)

Notable quotes:
"... What the US Government under George Herbert Walker Bush, Bush Senior organised together with CIA, old boy networks of his, in terms of the breaking up of the Soviet Union and the looting of the assets, this open theft, the destruction of pensions, security, the health system and everything. The only appropriate word is the rape of Russia. They just pondered anything that they could. ..."
"... And the West, the Bush networks recruited a handful of KGB agents around Yeltsin who literally promoted Yeltsin to the top when they engineered the August 1991 fake coup. ..."
"... And through that the – this network, this corrupt network within the KGB that was working with the CIA, working with General Philip, Bob [unclear] is one of them, so called at that time the KGB brain. He was head of the KGB Fifth Directorate controlling to roll this in. ..."
"... They engineered a complete opening up of the assets of the Russian Federation which called today the Russian Federation, the largest part of the former Soviet Union and they made it such that the Russian Federation would assume all of the debts of Ukraine, of Kazakhstan and the other socialist republics of the Soviet and all the assets, all the crucial assets that were within the Russian Federation so the aluminium Rusal that's in the headlines yesterday, the nickel, the oil, the gas, just hundreds of billions if not trillions of dollars' worth of assets that came into Yeltsin's control. ..."
"... Soros was very intermittently tied with Jeffrey Sachs and the whole Harvard to become a shock therapy group and working with Lawrence Summers team at the US Treasury under Clinton. ..."
"... So, Chubais was as an adviser to Yeltsin at that time and the key person on the economy arranged the secret meeting with George Soros. And Soros agreed to finance of course on behalf of Yeltsin, the referendum campaign. So he funnelled money over a million dollars by some accounts to offshore accounts set up to be used by Chubais to buy media. ..."
"... In 1989 President George H. W. Bush began the multi-billion dollar Project Hammer program using an investment strategy to bring about the economic destruction of the Soviet Union including the theft of the Soviet treasury, the destabilization of the ruble, funding a KGB coup against Gorbachev in August 1991 and the seizure of major energy and munitions industries in the Soviet Union. ..."
"... Given the depth of the fall, the rise (under Putin) has been remarkable. ..."
Apr 18, 2018 | russia-insider.com

The Rape of Russia (full transcript)

Lars Schall: Hello ladies and gentlemen. I am now connected with F. William Engdahl, who has written a new book, Manifest Destiny: Democracy as Cognitive Dissonance. Hi William.

F. William Engdahl: Hello, Lars. Good to be with you again.

LS: Great to have you with us. And first off, let me read something to you and our audience that was written by the economist Dean Baker earlier this month.

As a long-term columnist at the NYT, Thomas Friedman apparently never feels the need to know anything about the topics on which he writes. This explains his sarcastic speculation that Putin could be a CIA agent since he has done so much to hurt Russia.

For all his authoritarian tendencies, it is likely that most Russians think primarily about Putin's impact on the economy, just as is typically the case among voters in the United States. On that front, Putin has a very good record.

According to data from the IMF Russia's economy had plunged in the 1990s under the Yeltsin presidency. When Putin took over in 1998, per capita income in the country had shrunk by more than 40 percent from its 1990 level. This is a far sharper downturn than the United States saw in the Great Depression. Since Putin took power its per capita income has risen by more than 115 percent, an average annual growth rate of more than 3.9 percent.

While this growth has been very unequal, that was also the case even as Russia's economy was collapsing under Yeltsin. The typical Russian has done hugely better in the last two decades under Putin than they did in the period when Yeltsin was in power.

For this reason, there are probably few Russians who would have sympathy for Friedman's speculation about Putin's ties to the CIA. The same would not be the case for Boris Yeltsin.

Now, I think this is a good starting point for our discussion William because in your book, you have a chapter entitled The Rape of Russia, the CIA's Yeltsin Coup d'état. Why do you talk about rape related to Russia?

FWE: What the US Government under George Herbert Walker Bush, Bush Senior organised together with CIA, old boy networks of his, in terms of the breaking up of the Soviet Union and the looting of the assets, this open theft, the destruction of pensions, security, the health system and everything. The only appropriate word is the rape of Russia. They just pondered anything that they could.

And what you just read from Mr. Friedman is of course horse rubbish but the real CIA asset of this whole collapse of the Soviet Union in the late 1980s was in fact Boris Yeltsin and the so called Yeltsin Family, the Yeltsin Mafia. And in my book, the Manifest Destiny book I document and detail at great lengths the relation of a handful of KGB very, very senior persons who worked with the Bush Senior old boys CIA networks in the West and their banks to create a group of oligarchs around Yeltsin, you know the famous Russian oligarchs, well, The New York Times and other Western Media portrayed them as Russian Mafia. They were kind of mafia but the real point was that they were a CIA-run mafia. They were run by the West. They betrayed their own country, their own people and literally stole billions and billions and billions of dollars of assets. And that's the reason for the title in that chapter.

LS: And Boris Yeltsin was very essential for this.

FWE: He was the key figure. He had been selected as a regional governor and brought into Moscow and a certain point Gorbachev saw him as a rising star and someone that could help with a little bit more liberal image as [unclear] was – the Russian economy was running into serious trouble in the '80s, the Star Wars of Reagan, the Nicaragua and above all the war in Afghanistan which is a CIA project with the Mujahideen, that took 10 years long that was bleeding the Soviet economy, the Soviet Union's Vietnam, as Brzezinski used to call it.

And the West, the Bush networks recruited a handful of KGB agents around Yeltsin who literally promoted Yeltsin to the top when they engineered the August 1991 fake coup. You remember, I'm sure many people remember the picture of Boris Yeltsin standing there courageously on top of a Soviet tank in front of the Russian White House or Soviet House, the Supreme Soviet building and reading a speech defying Gorbachev and so forth. Well, that was a KGB CIA-engineered coup d'état in June 1991. And through that the – this network, this corrupt network within the KGB that was working with the CIA, working with General Philip, Bob [unclear] is one of them, so called at that time the KGB brain. He was head of the KGB Fifth Directorate controlling to roll this in. And he later joined the [#inaudible 00:06:40-0#] oil and to this day he's still a member of the State Duma giving him prosecution immunity.

So, some of these people are still around after some 23, 25 years and incredibly enough but others of them have died off, have been killed, or murdered or whatever. But the operation that was done with Yeltsin, this corrupt KGB network working with the CIA financed Yeltsin's the silent seat of the presidency of the Russian Federation. And once they had their man in controlling the Russian Federation which is the largest of the former Soviet Union, the Socialist Republic, they were able to engineer through the international monetary fund that was mandated to oversee the transformation of the Soviet economy.

They engineered a complete opening up of the assets of the Russian Federation which called today the Russian Federation, the largest part of the former Soviet Union and they made it such that the Russian Federation would assume all of the debts of Ukraine, of Kazakhstan and the other socialist republics of the Soviet and all the assets, all the crucial assets that were within the Russian Federation so the aluminium Rusal that's in the headlines yesterday, the nickel, the oil, the gas, just hundreds of billions if not trillions of dollars' worth of assets that came into Yeltsin's control.

LS: But those assets were sold to a price that was rather ridiculous.

FWE: Someone estimated that that gets into the whole coupon privatisation that was set up under Yeltsin in the '90s. The coupon privatisation issued one coupon to every single Russian man, woman and child 140 million in total. And the value of those coupons was such someone estimated that the totality of Russian Soviet's Fed assets or Russian Federation assets now was equal to the value of the stock at that point of General Electric Company on the New York Stock Exchange. I mean that's just laughable. Russia had financial bankruptcy because the shock therapy, the Jeffrey Sachs and others from Harvard and elsewhere brought in, George Soros and his pals. That created bankrupt companies that couldn't stand on their own and suddenly they had no, no resources. But the assets, the assets on the ground, the nickel, the aluminium, the uranium that Hillary Clinton knows more than a little bit about them, all of these were estimated to be in the trillions of dollars. And this is what the Bush operation aimed at. And they used NGOs, they used the National Endowment for Democracy, they used, George Soros' Open Society Foundation and so forth to bring this about.

LS: You've mentioned already the coup d'etat attempt of August 1991. Highly important for things to come was something that took place in early 1991 and that was the theft of the Soviet gold. Please tell us about this.

FWE: The, under the Soviet Union, this is a very crucial point about the transition that Washington forced on the Russian Federation because Yeltsin was, I think as long as he was well-supplied with vodka he didn't protest very much. But under the Soviet system and the Russian Federation took this over, there was a state bank, not a private central bank like the Federal Reserve or the European Central Bank today but a state bank that was an entity of the Russian State apparatus and that was called the Gosbank. And a man named Viktor Gerashchenko was the chairman of Gosbank at the time of Yeltsin's early start in 1991.

And Gerashchenko made a speech around that time in November of '91 to the Russian Duma or the parliament such as it was and said, "I have to report to you ladies and gentlemen that of perhaps 3,000 tons of Gosbank state-owned gold reserves, we have an estimated less than 400 tons that we can account for." And then he had to go to tell, shock members of parliament that he had no idea what happened to the missing gold, which of course was a lie. And Gerashchenko had created right after 1989 to prepare this coup d'etat coup, which was the CIA and Bush's old boys, he had created something called [unclear] on the Channel Islands in the Island of Jersey to handle the Russian foreign currency reserves.

And the Jersey was exempt from European supervision, so this was a perfect place to hide money, dirty money or stolen money and they managed something like $37 billion between 1993 and 1998. The Gerashchenko and the Gosbank even went to the lengths of hiring a New York Financial Detective firm called the Financial CIA back then called Jules Kroll Associate. And they were told to track the Soviet gold, find out what happened to it and something like $14 billion of communist party assets that were missing as well. And the Cruel which was tied with the CIA linked AIG Insurance Group Hank Greenberg whom you remember from the 2008 to the bail out of Henry Paulson.

LS: Yes.

FEW: The Kroll Associates after a few months announced that they had no results in the attempt to find the missing Soviet Gosbank gold. Then to add insult to injury, the IMF came in and rewrote the constitution of the Russian Federation under Yeltsin and took the power of money creation just like the Federal Reserve took the power of money creation from the congress in 1913. They took the power of money creation from the state and created the Russian Federation Central Bank, the Russian Central Bank and gave it a mandate for two things. One, to control inflation and the other to create currency stability.

Now, in Russia that day that meant stability of the ruble against the US dollar. So it effectively hammer-locked the Russian money creation into the US dollar. And unfortunately that constitution amendment holds until the present day. It's one of the difficulties that Vladimir Putin has been having to try to persuade the Independent Central Bank to lower interest rates more rapidly as inflation is simply managed as a problem in Russia in the last two years.

So, they looted the gold so that there would be no stability to the ruble. If you don't have any gold-backing, then western investors are going to lack confidence which is sort of what happened. And then they began working with very select western bankers to get their money out of Russia.

LS: And instrumental to get money out of Russia were Valmet and Riggs. Can you tell us please about some crucial personnel that was employed there at Valmet and Riggs?

FWE: Valmet Riggs was kind of a fusion of a Swiss bank and Riggs Bank of Washington D. C. And Riggs Bank, this is really quite a fascinating and very little discussed aspect of the reign of Russia back in the '90s.

So you have something called Riggs Bank in Washington and they were set up decades earlier since the 1960s CIA Bay of Pigs operation, they were known as the CIA tied bank. They invested the assets of people like Marcos of the Philippines until when he was close to the CIA. And there was a former NATO Ambassador named Alton Keel and in 1989 when the Soviet KGB generals and they had a group of protégés called the 'Kids' by George Bush Senior. The protégés were in their 30s and a couple of them were in their 40s but rather young. And they were the ones who were nominated to become the oligarchs, the frontal men for taking these state assets the aluminium, the oil assets and other things and looting the Russian Federation.

And Alton Keel just as the Russians were setting up men at a bank for the oligarchs to funnel their stolen assets, de facto stolen assets, Keel went from NATO and the National Security Council to become a head of international banking of Riggs Bank in Washington and its deputy chairman.

Now, it gets even more interesting because the international banking group of Riggs included a new entity that had been created called Riggs Valmet SA in Switzerland, and Riggs Valmet was set up by a man named Jonathan J. Bush, a private banker, who just happened to be the brother of George Herbert Walker Bush. So, Bush brother and Alton Keel set up Riggs Valmet, there was a money laundering apparatus in Geneva and Riggs then through their help bought the major share in Geneva Valmet to create Riggs Valmet.

So, you have the brother of the president of the United States up to his eyeballs in this whole Yeltsin CIA money laundering operation. And then Jonathan Bush was created CEO of something called Riggs Investment in Connecticut where he lived and at that point the looting and taking of the dollar assets out of Russia was just unstoppable. It was in the billions and tens of billions of dollars.

LS: William, there is one guy who was working closely with those people and he was working on Wall Street but later on he was personally recruited by George Tenet then the Director of CIA to become the number three at the CIA, and this is Alvin Bernard "Buzzy" Krongard.

FWE: Yes. We meet "Buzzy" Krongard at Bankers Trust, which bought up Alex Brown, and Krongard became vice chairman of Bankers Trust along with another charming character named Carter Beese. And at the time of the 1998 collapse of the ruble, Krongard was formally made, as you've pointed out, number three, the executive director at the CIA under George Tenet. So, it's a CIA network from beginning to end, from the banking side to you know the direct CIA side. You have Carter Beast, you have "Buzzy" Krongard, Jonathan Bush and Alton Keel and they were the ones working with Valmet as the Riggs Valmet Bank in Geneva to pull this money out through shell companies.

And the oligarchs, this is an interesting part of this whole thing that you know right now Theresa May and the foreign secretary Boris Johnson in the UK are accusing Putin of murdering almost everybody since the birth of Jesus Christ. And one of them was the person who had been the trusted bodyguard of one of the oligarchs living in London Boris Berezovsky.

And Berezovsky was one of the dirtiest of these oligarchs. He'd financed the Ukrainian Colour Revolution back in 2003, 2004 as a revenge against Putin because he at first thought Putin could be bought like Yeltsin and suddenly he realized that he was up against the faction of nationalists within of what had been the KGB but wanted to stabilise and preserve Russia as a functioning nation today. And so Mikhail Khodorkovskyi, Roman Abramovich, who is listed on the sanctions list yesterday, and Berezovsky were some of the leading oligarchs that were created by this Bush operation.

LS: And to jumpstart all of this, we have to talk about something that is well, that is stranger than fiction and that is something called for example "Yamashita's Gold". If our audience is interested in this, they could for example look for an article written by Chalmers Johnson, the famous Asian expert, The Looting of Asia, which was published at the London Review of Books on the 20 th of November of 2003 because then they can find something on this topic of Yamashita's gold on an instant basis in the internet ( https://www.lrb.co.uk/v25/n22/chalmers-johnson/the-looting-of-asia ). I think this is just fair

FWE: Yeah.

LS: because no one really is aware of this whole story. Please tell us about this.

FWE: The Yamashita Gold story is one of the, as you've said really incredible stories of post-World War II. During the Second World War, the Japanese Imperial Family looted the gold of occupied Arch of China, they looted the gold of all the parts of Asia that they had conquered.

LS: Basically from 1895 to 1945.

FWE: Yeah, yeah. And because they had no guarantee that Japan was going to win the war, the emperor ordered the gold to be hidden away in, mostly in the Philippines as far as we know and literally untold tons of gold were buried so deep underground in tunnels around the Philippines and the people who dug the tunnels in many cases were later shot you know so that they couldn't tell. But Marcos who was a CIA asset initially, the dictator of the Philippines through much of the '70s and into the '80s, yeah through the '70, Ferdinand Marcos somehow came upon some of this gold. So, the Japanese looted war body was buried in the early '40s before the end of the war on orders of Emperor Hirohito should they lose the war.

And at some point in the 1970s, Marcos discovered some of the sites where Hirohito's soldiers had buried the gold and the gold was stolen from China, Korea, Philippines, Indonesia and other countries occupied by the Japanese forces. And Marcos, and I think this is the major reason the CIA dumped him, got a little bit greedy and took that gold and started selling it under the market through selective secret Swiss banks. But he used the CIA asset, the Saudi billionaire named Adnan Khashoggi to help them get the gold under the market. And what he didn't realise was that Khashoggi would double cross him. He got a better deal from Bush Senior and the old boys.

LS: We have to say Khashoggi is a figure who is involved for example in B.C.C.I. and in Iran-Contra.

FWE: Back in the '70s he was involved in everything dirty that Bush and the CIA were involved in. B.C.C.I. Bank, the money laundering bank of the CIA, the arms deals, Khashoggi was a huge arms dealer during the Iran and Iraq war the CIA was feeding. He was involved in almost every dirty thing the CIA was doing.

LS: He was aware of this gold.

FWE: Supposedly he was helping Marcos to sell the gold out of the market. So he was not only aware of it, he was right in the middle of it. But then once Marcos was tackled by the CIA Bush got rid of Marcos in 1986. Then someone named Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Armitage and Khashoggi began to work with someone in Canada to create something called – Peter Munk was his name, a rather dubious businessman there – to found something called Barrick Gold of Canada and later it went on to become the world's largest gold mining company.

But Barrick Gold, all available evidence is that buried gold was used to melt down the – I don't want to get too much into the details of this but basically to melt down the Emperor Hirohito's gold that had been discovered by Marcos in the Philippines, to melt it down and use that as collateral for derivatives that would be the collateral used to take over the Russian Federation assets.

LS: The money was basically transformed into bank loans into Russia so that the would-become oligarch people could buy up those assets

FWE: Yes, exactly. So, Yegor Gaidar, the economic privatisation adviser of Yeltsin and his sidekick Anatoly Chubais privatisation had kind of guided this whole process together with Jeffrey Sachs and a group from Harvard University. #00:28:37-8#

LS: Yeah. Let us talk about this. This is known as Harvard Shock Therapy.

FEW: Well, the Jeffrey Sachs Shock Therapy, but the Harvard shock therapy is – well, what happened, the next phase of this incredible story and it's important to keep all this in mind, this is one reason that I wrote the book because of what was clear after the CIA coup d'etat of 2014 in Ukraine and all the sanctions against Putin's Russia and so forth, that if you don't understand what really happened in the '90s, the deep-seated hatred there is on these neoconservatives around Washington and their think tanks as well as, the US political establishment for Putin's Russia and the nationalism behind group Russia. You can't make much sense out of what's going on today with all these incredible lies and accusations against Russia for every crime under the book.

So, what happened is the, as I mentioned the IMF, the International Monetary Fund which had done a beautiful job for Washington in terms of, and George Soros and others in terms of looting the assets of the dead economies of Latin America, Yugoslavia, Poland and others during the oil crisis in the 1970s. The IMF was used and a group of economists around Jeffrey Sachs, a young professor at Harvard University then to impose what Sachs called shock therapy.

And the idea was that Sachs convinced Yeltsin, let prices rise through western market prices and this will increase the supply of goods, you know the stores had a paucity of goods back in the Soviet Times and get rid of trade barriers so foreign commodities could flow in to fill the shelves of Russian stores. The problem was that was a lie. The shops had been full. Okay, you could say it wasn't Kellogg's Corn Flakes and Fried Perdue Chickens or whatever, but they were full of Russian food products until November of '91 when Yeltsin announced that the exact date on December 31 st of 1991, that price controls would be suddenly lifted. So, shop owners immediately hid their goods and waited for December 31 st . So, suddenly the shops were empty and rationing was imposed and so forth. It's just unbelievable.

So, into this, this was Jeffrey Sachs on shock therapy and a group of Harvard University under the auspices of the Harvard Institute for International Development, a group of, among other things later documented CIA agents set up shop in Moscow and worked with Yeltsin's economic team Gaidar and Yegor Gaidar and Anatoly Chubais and themselves got in on the thunder the Russian East Harvard economist working. Now we have a transition in '93 through the Clinton Administration and there former Harvard professor and former World Bank Chief Economist Lawrence Summers became the deputy secretary of treasury responsible for the looting of Russia, effective and responsible for the gold economic transition in the Russian Federation.

And all of the key actors were named by Summers and they were all involved in the privatisation of Russia. They were all from this Harvard Mafia. For example of David Lipton, a former consulting partner of the Jeffrey Sachs, became deputy assistant secretary of treasure for former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe and Sachs himself was named Director of Harvard HIID that oversaw the looting of Russia through the voucher privatisation and so forth. And they got grants from the USAID, AID works very closely with the CIA in different parts of the world, this is documented. And so it was really a tight-knit cabal around Lawrence Summers that oversaw this complete theft through these pieces of paper called privatisation coupons.

And what you had was the economic situation under Yeltsin had become so severe I mean people literally they had no jobs because of the freeing up of prices, they could afford to buy little or nothing. So, most people, millions of Russians sold their privatisation vouchers on the street corners to the highest bidder. And of course the would-be oligarchs were the ones with hard currency dollars that they could buy these things up as you pointed out earlier when we talked about them. So, they had credits from their friends in the West, the Riggs Valmet and so forth to buy up these vouchers and therefore they were able when the cost came up, were able to simply steal the property titles, the ownership titles of some of the most valuable investor assets and mineral assets in the world.

LS: And we can talk about this as a classical case of leveraged buyout – even though it was a covered leveraged buyout, if it was?

FEW: Well, you could call it a leveraged buyout. I know Anne Williamson has used that term, the earlier descriptions of it. I think it was simply legalised theft, leveraged buyout gives it too much dignity. That was a term that was quite popular in the financial world back in the '80s and the early '90s. But whatever name you want to give it, it was certainly not a conventional leveraged buyout, it was bizarre in every sense of the word.

LS: An influential figure in this was mentioned by you already, George Soros. And in 1994, as you point out in your book, he was described with the following words from The Guardian in London, "Soros extraordinary role not only as the world's most successful investor but now possibly fantastically as the senior most powerful foreign influence in the whole of the former Soviet Empire, it tricks more suspicion than curiosity." What was he doing back then in Russia?

FWE: Soros was very intermittently tied with Jeffrey Sachs and the whole Harvard to become a shock therapy group and working with Lawrence Summers team at the US Treasury under Clinton. And in 1993 already the opposition inside what was left of Russia when the old communist party was in the Duma and so forth and the population generally was such that the opposition threatened to get out of hand and Yeltsin was forced to agree to hold a national referendum on the entire privatisation. So, this was in April of '93 and the referendum that was given to the population had four questions, yes or no. Do you support Yeltsin? Yes or no? Do you support Yeltsin's economic policy? Yes or no? Do you want early election for president? Yes or no? And do you want early elections for parliament? Yes or no?

So, Chubais was as an adviser to Yeltsin at that time and the key person on the economy arranged the secret meeting with George Soros. And Soros agreed to finance of course on behalf of Yeltsin, the referendum campaign. So he funnelled money over a million dollars by some accounts to offshore accounts set up to be used by Chubais to buy media. And so the media campaign and by this time most of the national media had been bought up by the oligarchs around Yeltsin so they were able to exercise undue influence. So they barely squeak through and got a yes to the privatisation scheme that Harvard, Jeffrey Sachs and George Soros and others had going on. And then of course Soros' company himself benefitted enormously from this privatisation just a little bit later when the auctions took place.

LS: A figure that connects yesterday with today is Vladimir Putin who came to international attention first in 1998, the same year when the ruble crisis took place.

FWE: This was 1999 and in August '98 you had the collapse of the ruble. This was part of the Bush "Operation Hammer's" original design. You had a huge scam going on in the GKO Russian Bond market where the interest rates were just unbelievably high. So, you had all sorts of hot money coming in, making profits and pulling it up including Soros Fund, quantum fund and so forth.

And finally, Yeltsin was getting near the end of his ability to hold this thing together. And he appointed in August '99, he appointed a young former KGB officer who served during the Cold War in East Germany named Vladimir Putin. And briefly Putin had been a deputy mayor in St. Petersburg and briefly had been the head of the successor to the KGB called FSB and the oligarchs around Putin, I've heard various Russian accounts have had this happen but Berezovsky, Brzezinski and other, the Yeltsin oligarchs thought they could take this young guy Putin and do business with him and you know that he was young and had no political base.

So, at that point Putin gave the ultimatum to Yeltsin, resign or face serious consequences and it turned out that Putin which has later been confirmed was the spokesperson for a nationalist faction within the intelligence community, a patriotic faction, call it what you want but Russian nationalist. And so Yeltsin was told, "If you resign and just get out of politics, we'll leave you alone." So he took the offer and ran. And before he did that he named Vladimir Putin as acting president until elections in March the following year.

So, Putin then came into power and called a meeting as it were of the most powerful oligarchs who had made staggering fortunes at the expense of Russia and he called them creators of a corrupt state through insider dealings and began criminal prosecution against oligarchs like Vladimir Gusinsky and Media-Most, a financial group led by Vladimir Potanin who is in the newspaper today and soon left an oil company controlled by a Roman Abramovich and Boris Berezovsky. So, at that point Putin began the uphill battle of trying to stabilise Russia as a functioning economy. And the recent re-election of Putin indicates that the Russian people by and large support that effort of Putin's.

LS: Meanwhile he also had to react to something new that was taking place then and that was NATO was marching east.

FWE: The negotiations and this is, has been confirmed by former US Ambassador to Russia Jack Matlock and that was the negotiations between the Bush administration in 1991 Germany and Gorbachev included a solemn guarantee as Jack Matlock, Ambassador Matlock who was in Moscow in '87 until '91 in this period. He said that we gave a categorical assurance to Gorbachev when the Soviet Union still existed that if United Germany was able to stay in NATO, NATO would not move eastward. So, of course that pledge like so many pledges of Washington under Bush successor governance was honoured in the breach and the newly created National Endowment for Democracy that I write about quite a bit in the Manifest Destiny.

You had, Vin Weber was the chairman of the NED at that time and he took US taxpayer money through the NED to supposedly bring democracy into former communist states. Then Weber was also a member of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), the neocon think tank which really shaped the personnel of George W. Bush in the year 2000 and 2001. And Vin Weber was also a lobbyist for the largest military industrial conglomerate of the US Lockheed Martin.

So, he was instrumental together with another military industrial Lockheed Martin, former Vice President for Strategy named Bruce Jackson, Bruce P. Jackson to promote back democracy in former communist countries including Russia. And they started the process of expanding NATO to the east in strict violation of the pledges that had been given back in the early '90s. So, by 2003, they had begun this whole expansion of NATO into Poland, into Hungary, all the former communist countries.

LS: And the countries at the Baltic Sea.

FWE: So, at the Baltic Sea right on the doorstep of the Russian Federation, and Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and so forth. And you began to see a very definite NATO encirclement of Russia. And then in 2003-2004, the National Endowment for Democracy, George Soros' Foundation, the whole arm of the fake democracy NGOs of Washington, began to create the so called Orange Revolution in Ukraine, and also the Rose Revolution in Georgia next door. And if you look at a map, if you bring a pro NATO government into power in Ukraine, this they did under Viktor Gerashchenko in 2004, then you're presenting a pretty formidable military threat to the national security of Russia.

Now, at that time 2003, Russia was in no shape to do much more than feebly protest as loud as they could but of course they were ignored. Then you had something quite dramatic in 2006, the end of 2006. The George W. Bush administration Donald Rumsfeld was Secretary of Defence back then announced that they were installing ballistic missile defence now I'll get to that in a minute but it's anything but defensive. In Poland, in the Czech Republic and that those anti-missile defence installations which included missiles would be aimed at a rogue nuclear attack from Iran.

In early 2007, Vladimir Putin personally came as president of Russia Federation to the Munich Security Conference, the International Security Conference held here in Munich Germany and gave a speech which really defines the security position of Russia right up to the present date. He said of course this is not aimed at Iran or North Korea as Washington says. That's a lie. It's like taking your right arm to scratch your left ear we say in Russian. It's aimed at Russia. And we consider this intolerable as a threat to our national security and we will be forced to respond.

LS: And it is aimed at Russia as a first strike possibility.

FWE: Yeah. Well, the point about the missile defence is I – in connection with the book, I interviewed, in an earlier book I wrote, I interviewed Colonel Robert Bowman who had been briefly the head of Ronald Reagan's Star Wars or missile defence programme. And became a very, very severe critic of the Bush administration's reckless policies withdrawing from the antiballistic missile ABM Treaty and so forth, said that missile defence is the missing link to Nuclear Primacy. First strike capability.

And that's something that Pentagon planners had been opting for since the 1950s. And he said, "If you can block the counterattack from your opponent and you then have this possibility to make a first strike and wipe them out because they can't simultaneously fire an effective counterstrike." So, that in a nutshell destroys the whole cold war doctrine of mutual and sure destruction that kept nuclear options off the table up until that time. And the Russians understand military strategy rather well I would say. And said, "This is simply intolerable. We have to respond and we will respond but in our own way and you will see."

LS: And the Russians have reacted.

B: The Russians have reacted, and if we can go for a minute up until the present

LS: Please

FEW: On March 1st Putin gave an address to the Federal Assembly in Moscow televised to the nation. The beginning part of the speech, his annual speech there, was about the Russian economy and plans for the future. This was shortly before the Russian elections that overwhelmingly gave him a new term. But the crucial part of that speech to the Federal Assembly was Russia's military technologies and this is as he put it. He referred to that 2007 speech in Munich and he said, "We said at that time that Russia would have to reply and since the expansion of NATO to the east which really to be honest that's – see there is no reason after 1991 or certainly after 2000 for the existence of NATO other than the reason given when NATO was created by the first secretary general of NATO to keep the Russians out the Germans down and the Americans in."

But Putin's speech talked about nuclear primacy and the Russian response and he outlined the military are the developments that they had quietly brought online since Washington tore up, unilaterally tore up the ABM Treaty in 2002/2003. So he outlined an awesome array of missiles, hypersonic low flying stealth missiles carrying nuclear warheads, unpredictable trajectories, invisible against perspective missile defence and air defence systems, unmanned submersible vehicles to great depth that could go many times higher than the speed of submarines cutting edge torpedoes just and commentators in the West like CNN. They said, "Oh, this is just bluff and so forth."

People who know Russian military technology and the intensity of the kind of research and development that's focused on defending the nation confirm that this is no joke. Hypersonic aircraft five times the speed of sound, that's hypersonic and they have something called the [unclear] which goes 10 times mark 10 and as Putin described it, "This missile flying 10 times faster than sound can manoeuvre in all phases of the flight trajectory, overcome all prospective and aircraft county missile defences in a range of 2000 kilometres."

He outlined about six or seven of these I would call them not even cutting edge, bleeding edge military technology and as The Saker commented in his blogpost after the speech, it's indeed set marching game over for the empire. There's no more military option against Russia.

This all is to make a point that the entire history up until now, these fake accusations of Putin would have an interest or Russia would have an interest to meddle with the US elections when you have a choice between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump to accuse Putin and Russia of international violations of law by allowing a referendum to take place in Crimea after the CIA coup d'etat in Kiev and now it's come out from actual mercenary snipers that were brought in from Georgia under [#inaudible 00:55:08-0#] umbrella that they were paid by the CIA or promised to be paid by cut outs to the CIA to create the Maidan Square February 2014 chaos that led to the collapse of the government and the coup d'etat.

So, you know, this is not Russia is the arch Evel Knievel looking for a fight every corner of the world. It's not Russia doing bad things in Syria. It's Russia trying to stop a NATO and Saudi and other embedded destruction of the Middle East and create some kind of peace and stability. And anyone modest to take the slightest bit of care and follow this, they can read a running commentary on my website williamengdahl.com but not only there, it's all over the place. You realise that the fake media is the media that dominates and is guided by NATO public relations strategy in the West and it's not the so called critical media that's being sanctioned and censored right now.

LS: Let's talk further about the present, William, by closing one circle of our interview. As we've discussed the Russian gold vaults were empty since the early 1990s. This has changed since basically the financial crisis broke out in 2007, 2008, 2009. Since then the Russian Central Bank is buying gold like basically no other nation in a very rapid tempo.

FWE: Since the financial crisis and especially since the opposition of sanctions after the annexation of Crimea in 2014, it's been the policy of the Russian Central Bank and the Russian Federation to buy as much gold for reserves of the ruble as they can get their hands on. And they are now I think number five or number six in the world in terms of gold reserves and correct me if I'm wrong but just slightly behind the people's republic of China which has also been vigorously adding gold towards Central Bank reserves for the yuan.

So, what Russia is doing is creating a buffer gold, by the way in my view has never ceased being an object of value to stand behind currencies. If you have currencies like the dollar after all this 1971 when Nixon took the dollar off the bread and wood, gold exchange [unclear], then if you have a military you might or manipulate the oil price petrodollar and so forth, you can create money if you have the reserve currency you can create money without them. So what the Russia is doing is creating a security in terms of its currency and now that security is probably going to be tested by the economic warfare division of the US Treasury in these new sanctions.

But Russia is merging together with China. Interestingly enough after 2014 when the CIA coup d'etat Ukraine took place, Putin responded not by getting bogged down in the destructive war inside the Eastern Ukraine but he responded by turning east, strengthening his relationships with China, with the new president of China then Xi Jinping bringing the Asian economic Union which Russia is the leading economy in, together with Belarus and Kazakhstan, Armenia and others, bringing that in a coherence with Xi Jinping's Belt and Road Initiative One Belt, One Road to link the infrastructure, the energy pipelines, the high-speed rail networks, the deep water ports and so forth to create a Eurasian, some people call it the land bridge but it's an economic space in Eurasia that would have the majority of the world's population, would have every raw material resource that the world needs including rare earth metals that China is world's leading supplier of at the moment.

And Russia has vast oil and gas reserves and military technology, civilian technology, an educated labour force that is probably one of the finest in the world and scientific country and so forth. And independent of the bankrupt economies of Britain and the United States and very rapidly of the European Union where this banking crisis has, since the crisis of 2008 has just been swept under the rug but it's ready to explode on a moment's notice. So, you have a depth loaded western NATO world. Let's call it a NATO world, a world of the NATO member countries and you have Russia together, which by the way, Russia has unbelievably small

LS: Debt.

FWE: National debt.

LS: Yes.

FWE: Something like 13 to 17% of the gross domestic product.

LS: And now they have this huge stock of gold relative to very little sovereign debt. It's almost ideal.

FWE: Yes, and that's by design. That is by Putin's intention to create this independence. And one thing, I am very often in Russia, have a very, very dear special friends in Russia over the years, the first time I was there was 1994. That was a vastly different, that was in the middle of the Yeltsin and the insanity. The Russians are very not only proud people but they are very determined and they protect their existence and have done that I would say for well over 1000 years going back to the great schism between the Western church in Rome and the Eastern Church in 1054. I think that was a pivotal date in modern history, the division there.

But certainly the Russians have gone through two World Wars and the rape of Russia under Yeltsin, unbelievable trials and tribulations and they are not shying away from defending their existence. That's something I think the west or certainly Washington with these neocons really doesn't have a sense of.

LS: One thing that I would like to ask you about as my final question is the following. You are a renowned expert for the geopolitics and the history of oil. And since this month we have a future's contract in Shanghai, denominated in yuan for oil and we also hear that the Chinese are planning to price oil that they import in yuan which is safe for this buying of oil internationally via yuan, Russia would be the candidate number one as the exporter?

FWE: Definitely. Most definitely and Russia and China are connecting their financial markets ever closer. The Russian government is the in the process sometime this year of issuing Russian bonds denominated new Chinese yuan. The announcing of the petrol yuan, the oil futures contracts being sold in Shanghai, ultimately it won't happen overnight but it's certainly off to a positive start in the marketing acceptance. That has the basis for taking oil sales.

Let's step back a moment to the 1970s and I document this at length in two of my books, Myths, Lies and Oil Wars and A Century of War. In the early 1970s when Nixon took the dollar off of gold, the dollar relative to the German mark and the Japanese yen dropped like a stone, something like 40% over a period of five or six months. And in order to stop that because the New York Banks were hurting quite a bit from that, there was a oil price shock that was orchestrated. I won't go into the details it's documented quite extensively in those two books of mine.

LS: And Sheikh Yamani had said something about this, too.

FWE: Yes. He invited me after reading my book to his annual energy retreat in London in 2000, September 2000. And then called me to a private dinner discussion at his home outside of London to talk about what I wrote about in the book. And he later went on CNN on an interview and mentioned my book by name. In the written transcript it's in there and in the television version they spliced it out so that you couldn't realise that it'd been in there. But Sheikh Yamani told me you are the first journalist or the first person outside of myself that writes correctly what happened with that oil shock. And that was manipulated by among others Henry Kissinger, the Secretary of State and by a group in the Atlantic establishment called the Bilderberg meeting in Saltsjöbaden, Sweden back in May of that period before the Yom Kippur War.

In any case, the US circles around Rockefeller, who at that point was the chairman of the board of USA Incorporated, I would say. They had engineered a 400% price rise in oil and to make sure that Germany and Japan and other countries wouldn't make deals to buy oil in German mark but keep the dollar demand high and the dollar value high. They send a delegation from the US Treasury to sign an agreement with the Saudi Arabian monetary agency for a new relationship taking surplus Saudi petrodollars or OPEC petrodollars and buying US government debt.

LS: Yeah, and outside of the normal auction to privileged conditions.

FWE: Yes. In return, Washington agreed to give the Saudis tens and billions of dollars of defence equipment.

LS: Yeah, and Saudi Arabia would use its status as a swing producer in OPEC that it would only accept dollars as a pricing for oil.

FEW: And the quid pro quo was after 1975, this was formalised that Saudis would as swing producer in OPEC guarantee that OPEC sold its oil only in dollars and that held up until the time of Saddam Hussein during the sanctions shortly before the US invasion and Saddam Hussein began buying oil through a French bank denominated in Euros and not in dollars.

LS: And he made a plus, he made a net plus because he did sell his oil in Euro.

FWE: Yeah, yeah. And so this, what that has done up until the present is prop up the US dollars despite the fact that the internal industrial economy import activity of the United States went down the tubes over the past 40 years since the taking the dollar off of gold and the, putting of English dollars for the world economy. So, the idea than China and Russia would trade in energy and that other economies would begin to sell oil to China, Iran for example is a prime candidate in the petro yuan not in petrodollars, this began slowly like acid drops begins to erode the reserve currency status of the US dollar. And if that goes, it's end game for the US as a financial global power.

LS: We have to make clear to our audience. The fact that you have to buy oil in dollar makes sure that you need dollar, that you acquire dollar in order to buy oil.

FWE: Yeah.

LS: And so if this mechanism goes, well then the US has a problem because the dollars that are floating around internationally would find their way back into the homeland of the US.

FWE: Well, the other thing is that in order to sell now you have under this wonderful Trumponomics as I call it, you have projections that the US annual government deficit, shortage of tax income from tax outgo, spending outgo will by 2020 exceed one trillion dollars a year for every year as far as the eye can see. And by end of 2020, 2028 I think was figured by the congressional budget office, the US public debt is estimated to be well over $33 trillion, it's 20 now, 38 maybe, it's just out of control. So, if the ability of the US dollar to command use in the world economy is severely undermined, you're going to have to raise interest rates so high to sell this debt and it just becomes dysfunctional.

LS: Yes, but you have already in the last few years interest rates payments on this already existing that of per annum $400 billion.

FWE: Yeah.

LS: And if interest rates go up

FWE: Yeah and that was under zero interest rates, but now, you know, if they have to put up interest rates to five, six, seven, 8% like it was in the 1980s. the whole thing just blows up sky high.

LS: And so coming back to gold, gold has the advantage relative to bonds or shares or the US dollar or other Fiat currencies that there is no counterparty risk. If you have the gold in physical form, there is no counterparty risk.

FWE: Right.

LS: So would you say that gold will be one of the ultimate winners of the ongoing financial crisis when it goes into full gear?

FWE: Well, it's documented that J. P. Morgan, Chase and other select banks with this collusion of the Federal Reserve have been artificially depressing the price of gold for years. Every time there's a new financial crisis, they intervene and keep gold within a very tight range. At a certain point that's not going to work anymore and then some people estimate to follow the gold markets much more than I do but it could quickly go up to $10,000 an ounce or even beyond that.

Be that as it may, gold as you point out has no counterparty risk and it's a historic store of value. It's one of the beautiful commodities out there and it has a special – the other just being special significance economically and historically, the other thing is that China is the number one mining producer of gold in the world today, not South Africa. South Africa has fallen far behind

LS: Yeah, and Russia is number three.

FWE: Russia is number three.

LS: And a lot of member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation are producers or are buying gold.

FWE: At the rail connections of the circle of the China Belt Road Initiative in part are aiming to go in the areas where there are known gold reserves but no infrastructure during the Soviet era to bring that gold down to market. So, we have an extremely fascinating prospect, not just for China and Russia, for the world really to build up instead of tear down, destroy and burn and bankrupt which is the only policy that Washington seems able to follow these days.

LS: Yeah. To sum it up with a famous Chinese proverb. "May you live in interesting times" – you and all the others.

FWE: We certainly do.

LS: Okay. great. Thank you very much, William, for this interview.

FWE: Thank you, Lars.


Omega a day ago ,

Two things:

1. Operation Hammer:

In 1989 President George H. W. Bush began the multi-billion dollar Project Hammer program using an investment strategy to bring about the economic destruction of the Soviet Union including the theft of the Soviet treasury, the destabilization of the ruble, funding a KGB coup against Gorbachev in August 1991 and the seizure of major energy and munitions industries in the Soviet Union.

Those resources would subsequently be turned over to international bankers and corporations. On November 1, 2001, the second operative in the Bush regime, President George W. Bush, issued Executive Order 13233 on the basis of "national security" and concealed the records of past presidents, especially his father's spurious activities during 1990 and 1991.

http://www.conspiracyarchiv...

2. Why can't Putin touch Yeltsinist oligarchs:

Yeltsin's oligarchs remained as rich as they were; Yeltsin's family still possesses immense riches. And Putin does not dare to touch them. He goes hat in hand to open a Yeltsin's Memorial Centre; he is courteous with Yeltsin's widow and daughter. Putin's establishment cautiously avoided celebration, or even mention of the Revolution centenary, in keeping with Yeltsin's anticommunism. This is the Deal.

https://www.unz.com/ishamir...

Fraser a day ago ,

Given the depth of the fall, the rise (under Putin) has been remarkable.

Guy Fraser a day ago ,

The rise has been astounding and all because they have a leader that can't be bought , not corrupt and loves his country. That is why he literally was swept in in the last election. The Western leaders will not admit it but I am sure they are terribly envious .

Tommy Jensen a day ago ,

Very good article to bring to RI also.

It open eyes on how the West political elite are a criminal rotten cancer syndicate and Georg Bush Sr. shows up to be even worse than the disgusting profile he already has in media and Georg Soros bad reputation gets confirmed.

No police or court are available to take this out. We only have John Connor or The One to count on.
Choice is the problem now. We will have to make a choice.

Play Hide
Nicole Temple a day ago ,

The photo of Yeltsin and Clinton that accompanies this article should remind readers of this story:

https://viableopposition.bl...

There is something rotten in Washington and it has been in existence for decades.

Guy a day ago ,

Great interview .William Engdahl is a very knowledgeable person. I have read a few of his books. Superb in my view.

Jimi Thompson a day ago ,

Quite a few unknown tidbits for me in all of this... very eye-opening even for someone that is aware of the games being played at the higher levels.

To imagine all of what remains unknown, including many of the players, leaves much to the imagination.

[Apr 18, 2018] The magnitude and complexity of the task Russia took on when it agreed to intervene in Syria.

Edited for clarity...
Apr 18, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 18, 2018 4:28:52 AM | 105

The Colonial ratfuckers recent unprovoked, lie-based attack on Syria got me wondering about Russia's apparent impotence. I'm quite uncomfortable with that notion but can't dismiss it completely because I can't get a 'handle' on what Russia's strategy is.

Steve Gowans' latest commentary on Syria sets out his summary of US/NATO's Permanent War agenda in Syria.

https://gowans.wordpress.com/2018/04/16/a-prolonged-war-in-syria-is-on-the-us-agenda/

Despite its pessimism (if one takes it as a 'realistic' assessment), it goes a long way toward explaining the magnitude and complexity of the task Russia took on when it agreed to intervene in Syria.

Being pessimistic, it doesn't broach the subject of potential Bright Sides to the conflict, or the flaws in the US/NATO Strategy.

One rather obvious flaw which came to mind is the fact that Neoliberal Colonialism has inflicted pain on almost every country on the planet and have recently underlined their God-given right to continue doing so ad nauseum - without opposition or consequences.

[Apr 18, 2018] The USA as a huge, immensely strong, obnoxious drunk that is being belligerent and needs to be arrested

That's a clear exaggeration. But the fact that the US elite is in decline is undisputable. Trump as a leader of free world. give me a break.
Apr 18, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Bakerpete | Apr 18, 2018 9:01:53 AM | 117

@Hoarsewhisperer

While this isn't a great analogy consider the USA as a huge, immensely strong, obnoxious drunk that is being belligerent and needs to be arrested. The police show up, a bunch of them, and now need to corral the drunk. The drunk is so insensate that it can't feel any damage and the police need to be careful of how they use force. Generally the best outcome for the cops is the drunk trips and collapses whereby the police restrain him and hope he doesn't choke to death on his own vomit.

The USA is a zombie(drunk) country; dead but doesn't know it yet. Yet it is enormously significant in the world. If it suddenly collapses the rest of the world is going to be hugely impacted. While it has an enormous military it is extremely brittle and has virtually no depth; it can't sustain any meaningful military engagement for more than a couple of months.

Israel has created a really stupid situation for itself. It's dug this very small pit and stuffed it full of Jewish folk. A single nuke dropped on it would end the question of Israel. Yet the strut and bully like they are bullet proof.

In each case be too aggressive with them and they will panic. Conversely, and frustrating as hell, both the US and Israel have lots of leeway to cause mischief.

Russia and China are doing their best to patiently sheppard the USA along the path of its decline. They will grit their teeth and suffer humiliation but the alternative is a global economic collapse and many millions dying.

[Apr 18, 2018] An excellent summary of the whole Syrian war right up to the present

Apr 18, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

apHarri | Apr 18, 2018 6:41:29 AM | 109

An excellent summary of the whole Syrian war right up to the present, should open the minds of friends, family and colleagues still partially under the MSM propaganda spell but starting to realise the truth not what they've been told.

Listen and share:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=wHsfc49Y_Fk

[Apr 18, 2018] IRGC-controlled Syrian militia declares jihad against US forces in Syria

Israel is very concerned about Iranian forces in Syria, and the US should also take note.
Apr 18, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Don Bacon | Apr 18, 2018 11:09:19 AM | 137

IRGC-controlled Syrian militia declares jihad against US forces in Syria

Syrian militia led by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) declared jihad on April 6 against US and allied forces in Syria. Since 2017, the US has twice come into direct contact with the group. The IRGC is likely to boost its military support to the group as it explores avenues to drive the US out of Syria.

The Baqir Brigade (AKA Liwa al Baqir or Liwa al Imam al Baqir) published on its social media page a statement with the Baqqara Tribe, to which its members belong. The tribe claims descent from the fifth Shiite Imam, Muḥammad al Baqir, the brigade's namesake. The group's open declaration features a militia logo that is a replication of the rising hand and AK-47 in the official logo of the IRGC and militias under its control. . .

here

The US military units in Syria are not in a contiguous force. Vulnerable US "bases" in Syria are small spread-out outposts, totaling (they say) 2,000 troops plus probably several thousand contractors . . .(latest report on Iraq and Syria (combined) here .)

[Apr 18, 2018] I don't find anything convincing about this FUBAR administration intention to go to full scale war in Syria. Certainly it is not a government fit to go to another war (not having won a war in fifty years, not for lack of trying).

Notable quotes:
"... The simple fact is that Syria [government] controls the majority of the populated part of the country, and gaining more every day. The US can do nothing about it on a lasting basis. That's clear and pretty convincing. ..."
"... The French "explanation" for a chemical attack (Assad's ostensible need to create negative PR for himself by sadistically punishing people who did not leave town on the Idlib Express) is literally the only theory true believers can come up with. ..."
"... Almost as funny as the Pentagon's "all 100+ missiles we fired successfully hit their targets" and then showing pictures of the sites with barely any debris visible and no large craters. ..."
Apr 18, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Don Bacon | Apr 18, 2018 11:18:07 AM | 139

@WJ 131

I find all this pretty convincing.

Myself, I don't find anything convincing about the FUBAR administration you describe. Certainly it is not a government fit to go to another war (not having won a war in fifty years, not for lack of trying).

The simple fact is that Syria [government] controls the majority of the populated part of the country, and gaining more every day. The US can do nothing about it on a lasting basis. That's clear and pretty convincing.

Moshe Mossad Schlomostein , Apr 18, 2018 11:26:30 AM | 140

@7 Cassandra,

The French "explanation" for a chemical attack (Assad's ostensible need to create negative PR for himself by sadistically punishing people who did not leave town on the Idlib Express) is literally the only theory true believers can come up with.

Because killing and punishing Syrians who chose not to collaborate with the forces fighting the state totally makes sense....if you desperately need a gas attack story to keep your narrative from unraveling.

Almost as funny as the Pentagon's "all 100+ missiles we fired successfully hit their targets" and then showing pictures of the sites with barely any debris visible and no large craters. Must have been brand new super duper nano missiles or something. Sadly the average dimwit will believe it because for him the "news" is a proxy for thinking. Besides( everybody knows the "news" is never wrong.

[Apr 18, 2018] CBS correspondents as members of White Helmets

Apr 18, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

ninel | Apr 18, 2018 9:33:17 AM | 122

A correspondent for US network CBS gained access to the alleged attack site in Douma on Monday. Seth Doane spoke to residents of a building where at least 30 bodies are reported to have been found.

"All of a sudden some gas spread around us," one man said. "We couldn't breathe, it smelled like chlorine."

Another resident, who said many members of his family were among those killed, showed the CBS crew a yellow compressed gas canister that appeared to have punched a hole in the roof of the building. The canister looked similar to others photographed in the wake of other alleged chlorine attacks.

A Swedish journalist who also visited the building in Douma said he had felt a discomfort in his throat and smelled a strong odour as he entered its basement.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-43792120

[Apr 18, 2018] The videos showing persons (White Helmets?) rushing into the site of the alleged chemical attack and pouring water on the "victims" speak for themselves.

Apr 18, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

"All of a sudden some gas spread around us," one man said. "We couldn't breathe, it smelled like chlorine."
_____________________________________

The videos showing persons (White Helmets?) rushing into the site of the alleged chemical attack and pouring water on the "victims" speak for themselves. Likewise, the ancillary first-person reports by medical personnel: 1) affirming that there were no symptoms of chemical poisoning among the dead or injured, and 2) corroborating the reports of third parties rushing in and clamoring "Gas!", "Chemical attack!", etc.

It's obvious enough to any observer with a modicum of rational skepticism that this is the old "fait accompli" version of the Big Lie: just keep repeatedly and firmly insisting that X took place (or X never happened), until a critical mass of complacent, credulous, and submissive useful idiots accept the assertions as fact.

It wouldn't surprise me if, along with all that water being thrown around, a few White Helmet-types also poured around, or even boiled, some ordinary household laundry bleach to provide the unmistakable whiff of chlorine gas in the air.

In sleight-of-hand and similar deceptions, once the audience buys into the premise, it only takes minimal cues to reinforce the fake reality projected by the illusion-master.

Posted by: Ort | Apr 18, 2018 2:03:48 PM | 162 dewn , Apr 18, 2018 2:04:39 PM | 163

@Peter AU

I agree calling him "an actor" is wrong, however this particular boy, according to their (the boy and his father) interview did this for food, he wasn't affected by the dust and smoke event.

[Apr 18, 2018] Syrian boy Hasan Diab, who was presented in a staged White Helmets video as a victim of a chemical attack in Douma, revealed the details of its filming.

Apr 18, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

S | Apr 18, 2018 2:23:51 PM | 165

Rossiya 24 TV channel has interviewed a Syrian boy named Hasan Diab who participated in the filming of the "chemical attack" video. Here is my translation of the article:

Syrian boy Hasan Diab, who was presented in a staged White Helmets video as a victim of a chemical attack in Douma, revealed the details of its filming.

"We were in a basement. Mom told me there's nothing to eat today, we'll only eat tomorrow. We heard someone yelling on the street, they yelled "go to the hospital". We ran to the hospital, and as soon as I have entered, they grabbed me and started to douse me with water. Then they put us on a bed with other people." -- said the boy during his appearance on Rossiya 24 channel.

The channel's military reporter Evgeniy Poddubny noted that the boy was compelled to take part in the video.

"The boy had nothing to eat, he was offered rice, dates, and cookies for this filming." -- said Poddubny.

Hasan's story was confirmed by his father, who added that there had been no chemical attach in the town.

"When I found out that my child was in the hospital, I asked for time off at my work and ran there. There were no chemical weapons whatsoever. I smoked on the street and felt nothing. I entered the hospital and saw my family. The militants gave me dates, cookies, and rice for participating in that filming and let us go home. My child was fine." -- the boy's father told the channel.

[Apr 18, 2018] Macron Napoleonic complex

Apr 18, 2018 | russia-insider.com

In the space of a few days Macron has:

Inadequacy much? How needy for recognition is this guy?

CHUCKMAN 9 hours ago ,

France used to produce some pretty fine leaders, but lately, it's like a different place.

Hollande was the most ridiculous, gutless thing we ever saw. He was laughably pompous and ineffective and dishonest and even cowardly, vis a vis the US.

Macron probably ranks second worst. He's making a mess of France, he's blubbering all kinds of nonsense about the EU, he's busy putting troops in Syria against all international law, he is not liked by the people, and he is virtually a French doormat for America.

Sarkozy showed the odd bit of promise, but he was largely talk with no worthy efforts. And he was immensely corrupt. Imagine taking 20 million euros from Qaddafi and then participating in the scheme to kill him? Or the case of the senile woman who was France's wealthiest woman, from whom he took many millions for his campaigns, doing so in private without other members of the family or strict legal supervision.

Hard to see the same country we saw in de Gaulle's time and that of his immediate successors.

Muriel Kuri 8 hours ago ,

'I am an equal of Putin' - well, he's right in a way - they're both leaders of a country. Beyond that, there is NO comparison. Maybe he admires Putin - which is good, if he tries to emulate him, even better because Putin, after all, is one of the few great current leaders of the world. Macron has a very long way to go, but with many years experience, if he gets the chance, MAY become a better leader than some, but never will be the match of Putin.

[Apr 18, 2018] No coherent or rational narrative behind US action in Syria, but rather a series of self-contradicting escalations and de-escalations, depending upon who holds the strongest hand at any given moment

The simple fact is that the US failed to overthrow Assad and thus is defeated in Syria, and the recent episodes are merely the dying throes of a defeated neoliberal empire
Notable quotes:
"... The truth of this scenario is * one* thing that leads Russia to point out that the US is essentially incapable of acting as a rational international "partner." ..."
Apr 18, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

WJ | Apr 18, 2018 10:57:39 AM | 135

Don Bacon @123,

I agree with almost everything you say. But, from my perspective, your account and the account of Kori Schake simplifies and somewhat idealizes the mechanism of--call it--"US policy." What Trump himself wants the US to do in Syria--disengage completely--may very well be true. But "US policy" is not determined by what Trump wants, but by the negotiations and struggles between the President and other powerful state-corporate factions. The ongoing nature of these negotiations and struggles produces no coherent or rational narrative behind US action in Syria, but rather a series of self-contradicting escalations and de-escalations, depending upon who holds the strongest hand at any given moment.

The truth of this scenario is * one* thing that leads Russia to point out that the US is essentially incapable of acting as a rational international "partner." It is not *just* the US's deception that makes this so, but the fact that not even the US' deception in recent years can be gamed, because there is no *single* coherent aim behind it: not even American deception can be trusted, in other words.

I find all this pretty convincing. And so I am less certain than some others that *anybody* is yet in a position to say what the US will do or not do in relation to Syria in the next few weeks or months. I do think that a careful reading of several reports coming out of the White House since late February suggest that Trump is neither in control of nor even always aware of the concrete policies toward Syria and Russia that have been planned and implemented by his administration. So while I hope that you are right, and that everybody is able to recognize what is obvious--that there is no way for the US to "win" in Syria at this point without risking nuclear war--I am unfortunately not convinced that this is so.

[Apr 18, 2018] Damage inflicted and the number of rocket that hit university campus

Apr 18, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Indrid Cold | Apr 18, 2018 11:06:21 AM | 136

We dont have to rely on seeing missile parts to know the Pentagon is lying about the air strikes. We have high resolution pictures of the target site at the research center and we have the claim that they hit that site with 76 cruise missiles with 1000 lb warheads! The level of damage does not match that claim. Not even close.

Carefully examine the photos. One building is still heavily intact...maybe 30-40 %. Only the smaller one is obliterated. But notice, not only are these rather small college campus size buildings, each one is hollow. They all have an open courtyard inside. So they are in fact smaller than they first appear. It would take no more than 3 or 4 missiles to destroy each one, if that.

We are looking at a strike from about 10 missiles, not 76.

That is an absurd claim, and they were forced into it because that was the only site they could show extensive damage on. The other two shown were much too small to obscure the truth. This claim of an electronic attack and the Syrians firing at phantom targets is also absurd. While Russia certainly networked the Syrian long range radars to tighten up their airspace, most of Syria's guns and missile systems are elderly.

They are not even digital nor can they be slaved to a network. For a buk system, for example, to fire on a target...the operator must acquire that target on his tracking and guidance radar on the launcher. If the target cant be detected (it's not really there) by the guidance radar, no launch is possible. It doesn't matter if the networked surveillance radar tells them something is out there, the guidance radar must lock onto something to fire.

Even more so for some of their other systems. The only thing they would possibly launch towards a phantom target would be an s 200, on the chance that its semi active homing head would be operational by the time it was near the presumed target...sort of like getting a jump on the target.

[Apr 18, 2018] Theresa May and her family personally have made possibly millions, by the illegal and unsanctioned attack on Syria the other day

Apr 18, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Emily | Apr 18, 2018 3:42:56 AM | 100

We have been hearing stories of the financial political corruption increasingly common here in Britain and in high places.

However confirmation now of one of the most sordid stories - buried of course by the British apology for news - our MSM.

Theresa May and her family personally have made possibly millions, by the illegal and unsanctioned attack on Syria the other day.

The British media is silent. But Russia Today has now exposed what is clearly - I would say in the eyes of most - a resigning matter.

Her family blatantly and it seems secretly making money out of her disgusting warmongering. Her hands covered in blood from Iraq, Libya, Syria etc etc profiting every time Bae systems are involved. You couldn't make it up - as they say.

https://www.rt.com/uk/424392-may-husbands-capital-group/

[Apr 18, 2018] Rand Paul Tells Wolf Blitzer He Thinks Syria Gassing Was False Flag

Apr 18, 2018 | www.defenddemocracy.press

This happened 3 hours ago. Wolf Blitzer can't believe his ears he does his best to argue the other side, saying well, France and UK joined the bombing, so it must true, you aren't suggesting everyone was wrong or something? – are you suggesting the president had bad intelligence? – but Paul isn't buying.

This is great TV:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/K4V3jQCi8-o

"I still look at the attack and say, you know, either Assad must be the dumbest dictator on the planet -- or maybe he didn't do it. I have yet to see evidence that he did do it,"

"The only thing that would galvanize the world to attack Assad directly is a chemical attack. It killed relatively few people compared to what can be killed with traditional bombs and so you wonder really what logic would there be for Assad to be using chemical weapons,"

We have a feeling this bombing is going to turn into a major scandal as it becomes clear what is intuitively obvious – it was a false flag, and this time they're going to get caught on it.

Was the whole thing 3D chess on Trump's part? Did he deliberately go along with the hoax knowing that he would make sure the hoaxers get caught?, and finally free himself from the neocon morons in Washington?

Published at https://russia-insider.com/en/breaking-rand-paul-tells-wolf-blitzer-he-thinks-syria-gassing-was-false-flag-video/ri23194?mc_cid=fd2d25d4a9&mc_eid=4021fa169b

[Apr 18, 2018] The US Deep State doesn't want to "conquer" any country. Then they'd have to pay the bill for the destruction they caused... think an actual Marshall Plan, not the Iraq and Afghan Debacles. It is not trying to "win". It is trying to destroy those countries' ability to function outside the iron-fist influence of the IMF/BIS

Notable quotes:
"... Trumpty Dumbdy is trapped, just trying to convince his base that he really is getting the US out ..."
Apr 18, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

A P | Apr 18, 2018 1:42:41 PM | 160

The US Deep State doesn't want to "conquer" any country. Then they'd have to pay the bill for the destruction they caused... think an actual Marshall Plan, not the Iraq and Afghan Debacles. It is not trying to "win". It is trying to destroy those countries' ability to function outside the iron-fist influence of the IMF/BIS/etc. banks/economy.

... ... ..

As for US operations in Syria being handed off "to others", i.e. to Prince's latest iteration of Blackwater/Xi/Academia, the last we heard of Erik was trying to sell a budget airforce/drone system to countries in Africa. What a joke.

Not going to happen in Syria, because Russia, Iran, Hezbolla and Syria would have no qualms about directly assaulting Prince's Kurd/Arab/Wahabbist mercenaries... Eric may be a self-serving parasite, but he's not stupid enough to directly take on the Russian military, or even the SAA for that matter. Especially with no NATO air cover...

Killary is not around to unilaterally impose a Libya-style no-fly-zone.

Trumpty Dumbdy is trapped, just trying to convince his base that he really is getting the US out of being Israel's and the Rothschilds' bitch, but that is not a potential reality.

It would involve dismantling the FED and cutting off the yearly $multi-billion military aid tap to Israel. I doubt he is smart or informed enough to comprehend the situation he is in. Any sane, intelligent person would walk away and tell the Zionist/Rothschild/Deep State to find another patsy.

[Apr 18, 2018] Catch 22 in Douma false flag

Apr 18, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Anon | Apr 18, 2018 4:10:40 AM | 103

So what will happen now?

... ... ...

[Apr 18, 2018] The strategies put in place during the Yeltsin years to plunder the assets of the new CIS.

Apr 18, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Lozion | Apr 17, 2018 1:56:16 PM | 3

I know b is not fond of us posting content from other blogs but the Saker has just put up a must-read interview with a personal favorite author of mine, F. William Engdhal, entitled "The rape of Russia". Very informative, it documents the strategies put in place during the Yeltsin years to plunder the assets of the new CIS. Enjoy!

http://thesaker.is/the-rape-of-russia-saker-blog-exclusive-interview/

[Apr 18, 2018] A Note on KGB Style -- Central Intelligence Agency

Apr 18, 2018 | www.cia.gov

After collapse of the USSR the mount of infometion that has flown to the West is staggering. KGB might be then most open of intelleigence services in this sense. multiple defector probably created a very complete picture of the organization and its methods.

July 2, 1996

A NOTE ON KGB STYLE

Wayne Lambridge

The KGB like any enduring institution has a style, its own way of doing things. When we seek to understand the service and its officers, we should perhaps pay attention to how they do business as well as to what kind of business they do. This article is intended to raise the subject for discussion, to present largely one man's opinion. It is far from a definitive study.

By way of indicating something about KGB style, consider the implications for the organization as a whole of a communication system that carries one tenth or less as much traffic -- both electric and by pouch -- as its American equivalent. The KGB sends very few cables and its dispatches are infrequent. For maximum security, they are pouched on undeveloped microfilm, which is recovered and printed when the dispatch reaches its destination. Although Moscow headquarters does excellent and prompt printing, both exposure and development are sometimes haphazard in the field. Ten years ago, they were downright unreadable at times. Now, the quality is generally better. Volume, however, does not seem to have risen much.

The prints of the developed films are seen by the Rezident (the KGB Chief of Station) and by the case officer concerned. In large Rezidentury (KGB Stations) some intermediate may also read the traffic, but that is by no means always the case. The Rezident keeps a file -- sometimes in the form of notes or perhaps as copies of pertinent cables and dispatches -- for reference. The case officer keeps all his files in a briefcase or a notebook. Calling them "files" is perhaps misleading. It is better to say that the KGB officer keeps a movable In-Box. When a document leaves that box it is either returned to the Rezident or destroyed and the fact of destruction recorded. The case file is really in the case officer's head. The excellent memory that KGB officers often display concerning the details of their operations may well be traceable to the necessity of remembering the vital information on each operation that they cannot look up anywhere. Of course, when a new case officer replaces an old one, especially if the latter has been unable to brief his successor fully, complications may ensue. Illness, car accidents and PNG'ing have led to real chaos in some KGB operations when a harassed new man has tried to tie down the broken threads of a departed colleague's dropped contacts.

Although the amount of paper that he sees is small, the KGB case officer is held strictiy accountable for each sheet of it. When he destroys a document, a notation to that effect is included on a record. Even his scrap paper may bear a serial number and have to be accounted for. At the Moscow headquarters each document is sewn into the file by the senior officer directly responsible for the case. A special record of all documents in the file is kept by the case officer and its accuracy is regularly verified by the case officer's supervisor. Safe storage areas are locked and sealed with wax each night.

The ritual of sewing in the documents is often regarded as a waste of time by senior case officers in Moscow. Nevertheless, they would not dream of delegating the job. It seems to have a symbolic significance as an embodiment of both their authority and their responsibility.

The KGB case officer is his own intel assistant. At headquarters he does his own traces, gets his own documents from the archives and handcarries his own messages. Not too long ago, he also often wrote or typed his own dispatches. Even now he may write his own telegrams and personally take them and dispatches to his supervisor for review. In the field he is, if anything, even more responsible for doing everything connected with his operation except for technical surveillance and the like where he must call on experts.

The field case officer under official cover often works at his cover job about as much as do his colleagues who do not have intelligence responsibilities. This obligation is usually not as demanding on the case officer's time as it might first appear because KGB cover slots are usually selected so that cover duties complement intelligence tasks to a substantial degree. By contrast, other KGB officers have virtually no serious cover responsibilities and rely on the all-embracing security system of the Soviet colony to protect their true affiliation. In either case, the 'KGB officer is not expected to spend much time on the administrative or reporting aspects of his intelligence job. Within the limitations of his cover assignment, he is supposed to be out on the street, making contacts, working agents and performing other intelligence tasks, reporting only the highlights and the most crucial information back to headquarters.

In developing new sources, he will usually bring things along to the point where recruitment or some other substantial development is clearly foreseeable before asking for traces from headquarters or getting approval to go ahead with his plan. Local informers and support agents are sometimes picked up without reference to headquarters at all, except perhaps after the fact of recruitment. The KGB officer must account with some precision, however, for his operational expenditures and is usually quite limited in what he can spend for development prior to coming up with a concrete proposal for recruiting a source.

Once an agent is recruited or is established as a source, headquarters' control and demands for accountability are exacting, though never voluminous. For a recruited source with significant access, a senior officer, such as a branch chief or his deputy is specifically charged with responsibility for the case. Moscow's concern to insure that information is really coming from the source as described by the case officer and that the source is bona fide is very considerable. Somewhat by contrast, Moscow's requirements (outside of S&T operations) sometimes seem quite general, apparently leaving it up to the case officer and source to report what seems to them most important. On the other hand, reporting is expected to be factual and documentary, if possible. Sometimes the KGB seems obsessed with documents as the only reliable sources. Speculation is not usually encouraged.

In such a system of extreme compartmentation and vertical lines of communication and authority, the advisory role of staffs and other elements not within the chain of command is small. The First Chief Directorate, the foreign intelligence arm of the KGB, has a counterintelligence unit, for example, that actually takes over a case from the regular chain of command in the event that the agent appears to be doubled, compromised or in danger of compromise. The field case officer may remain the same, but in Moscow the Counterintelligence Service assumes full authority for directing the case. Deception and some types of complex political action operations often appear to be run directly by the headquarters element, Department A, that prepares the operation in Moscow. In such cases, of course, local assets of a Rezidentura may well be employed in support, but the operations are frequently run by specialists.

The typical KGB officer, trained in an environment where political agitation is part of daily fare, sees political action and propaganda as part of his regular routine. There are numerous examples of Soviet officers around the world who seem to concentrate almost exclusively on pushing the Soviet line on the issues of the day with whatever contacts they meet. To them the political approach is not something apart from spotting, developing, assessing, recruiting and agent handling. It is integral to that effort. Some do it crudely, some ineffectively, some with great skill. The point is that in almost all cases, it is a part of the operation.

In addition to politics, KGB recruiting and training of staff personnel emphasizes operational and area knowledge and experience from bottom to top. The main sources for new KGB officers are the institutes of International Affairs and Eastern Languages in Moscow. These institutions, which are better compared to the U.S. service academies than to other organizations of higher learning in America, prepare young Soviet citizens for careers abroad not only in the intelligence services, but for the foreign service, the Ministry of Foreign Trade, Radio Moscow, etc. Assignment of a student after graduation is worked out among the various consuming organizations. The students are under what amounts to military discipline and are required to accept the assignment given them. Few students, see much difference among the organizations these days except for differences in pay, length and location of overseas service and other practical matters.

In the course of their education the students learn two or three foreign languages well and study the history and culture of the area in which they specialize in considerable detail, although current politics is likely tobe a much weaker course than history. Access to native sources is still circumscribed. A substantial number of students go for a year or more as exchange students or as trainees with Soviet organizations working abroad. As a result, they often end up knowing the area, its language, its politics, customs, police systems, local geography and so on very well. Although the old-style Soviet intelligence officer who was raised in the shadow if not the institutions of the Komintern and could recruit agents through appeals to an international revolutionary ideology are long since past, the newest generation of Soviet intelligence officers can be quite effective by trading on their precise knowledge of target personalities and the problems and frustrations of the countries in which they operate.

A KGB officer is ranked in his service by two systems. He progresses up the ladder from junior lieutenant to senior lieutenant and so on up to colonel and general. At the same time, he is classified as a junior case officer, case officer or senior case officer and then as he progresses further by his position, such as Rezident, which he may hold. His pay depends on his ranking in both hierarchies and there is no necessary coincidence between where he stands in one and where he stands in the other. The operational designations are based on his experience and performance as an operator. His formal rank is largely based on length of service up through major or lieutenant colonel. The chain of command is designated through the operational positions rather than formal rank. For example, a major of State Security from some other part of the KGB might be transferred into the First Chief Directorate under the designation of junior case officer and find himself subordinate to a senior lieutenant who had attained the position of case officer.

The phenomenon of marked disparity between formal rank and operational designation was probably more common during the period of considerable expansion of the First Chief Directorate's personnel ten and more years ago than it is today. At that time officers from other branches of the service were being brought into the First Chief Directorate more frequently than they are now. Nevertheless, the emphasis on operational experience and operational ability continues to be a marked element of the KGB style. The top officers in the service, for example, usually involve themselves directly in operations. They meet and develop agent candidates, they recruit and they handle agents.

In part this is a consequence of the strongly operational orientation of the KGB as a whole. A direct involvement in operations comes naturally to almost everyone in the organization. This operational orientation is manifest also in the concentration of relatively few cases per case officer. Generally, one man may handle four or five agents or targets under development. He is not expected to spread his range of intelligence activities further, although he may well be encouraged to develop a large circle of casual contacts from whom a relatively small number of serious targets may be selected.

From the foregoing one can see that the typical KGB officer is a man who sees himself in a strict vertical chain of command. He expects to do everything necessary for his operation without much outside help, except in technical matters. Depending upon circumstances, the case officer may be closely guided by the Rezident in a particular operation, but he is not supposed to discuss it with anyone else. (Gossip and shop-talk are endemic, however, in part to overcome the excessive official compartmentation.) Although the case officer is held strictly to account for the results of his actions, he is not expected to report on day-to-day developments to headquarters and in fact the capacity of his communications system is far too limited to permit him to do so. He is street-oriented in the concept of his job and does not put in a lot of time at the desk writing reports, reading guidance from headquarters or maintaining his files. When he has a problem he takes it up with his boss and he is generally not expected to have many problems. He is supposed to know the difference between what he really needs consultation about and what he ought to be able to handle on his own.

His boss in turn has the responsibility of not only guiding the case officers that work for him, but of ensuring that vital information pertinent to the work of one case officer but acquired through another is made available. In both operational guidance and information sharing, the role of the Rezident is crucial. There is virtually no lateral distribution of communications and an extreme emphasis on compartmentation. Although the rigid compartmentation of the system is probably a major vulnerability, superiors both in the field and headquarters are usually able to keep up with each case because they are not overwhelmed with paper. Relatively primitive (in terms of capacity) communications equipment and the custom that each officer prepare his own reports and keep them brief make it possible for such reports as do get written to be read all the way up the chain of command. The general in command of the First Chief Directorate has been reported on several occasions as reading all the incoming traffic. Much of the outgoing traffic is also signed personally by him.

The strictness of the chain of command and the limited amount of communications place a great weight of responsibility on each Rezident and on each case officer. As with all Soviet officials, KGB case officers have a norm to fulfill for the year and are usually called to account for their activities during part of the annual home leave in the Soviet Union. In a system like that, if something goes wrong, someone must be found to have been responsible. This can encourage an extreme of caution, particularly when the relations between case officer and the Rezident are not of the best or when the headquarters desk officer is not cooperative and understanding of the problems in the field.

Although we are accustomed to think of Soviet organizations as highly impersonal, in the KGB personalities and the private connections of individual officers are often crucial to the success or failure of an operation -- or a career. In many ways, the KGB is an organization made to order for the man who wants to claim all the glory for himself and put all the mistakes on the backs of his subordinates. Family connections or other personal contacts have special significance in this sort of an organization because they can provide a secure and effective second channel for communication in a system in which there is otherwise only one narrow route watched over by jealous monitors for all the messages an officer may want to send.

The emphasis on the role of the individual in the organization also has its advantages, of course. A capable officer, particularly one from an influential family, working under a Rezident who knows his business and will accept responsibility is likely to find himself in a stimulating work environment that may compensate very well for shortcomings of the service or the Soviet system as a whole that might otherwise disturb him.

While the KGB style as outlined above is in many ways admirably suited to running operations, it appears to have limitations in the way it makes use of the product of its operations and in evaluating whether the operations themselves are really worthwhile. There are enough instances on record to permit the generalization that in political matters especially Moscow is often reluctant to receive bad news. The ambitious case officer may find himself frustrated by pressure to conform, either from his Rezident or from Moscow, when he tries to report things as he sees them. To a large degree this is probably an inevitable manifestation of the extreme isolation from the outside world in which the Soviet policy makers live and their lack of exposure to unwelcome information. In addition, the emphasis on operations as such and the overall environment of the KGB, which is predominantly an internal security, criminal investigation, and antisubversive organization, probably discourages the kind of critical intellect by whom frank reporting, regardless of its content, is most prized.

This last consideration, the emphasis on an investigative, operational style at the expense of analytical curiosity, may well be the source of considerable tension within the First Chief Directorate today. Bigoted and inflexible ultimate consumers are problems enough. But also the older generation of KGB officers, including many of today's Rezidenty, was largely trained in war time and internal security operations. Their juniors, speaking broadly, are more academically inclined, more tempted to discourse on their theories, more interested in foreign societies and politics per se and less dedicated to fulfilling the obligations of the party and the state. They are often perceptive and realistic about developments not only abroad, but also in their own country. Bearing in mind the importance of personal relations and the dependence of juniors on seniors in the rigid chain of command, the signs we see these days of tension and cynicism among these younger officers should not be surprising.

As they rise in the KGB, we may see some organizational changes over time. If these changes preserve the laconic style of communication while at the same time do away with some of the most cumbersome and archaic aspects of the communications and records keeping systems, the KGB could become an even more formidable institution than it is today. The problem of encouraging intelligence analysis and imaginative, critical thinking is a problem for Soviet society as a whole. As a part of that society, the KGB shares the problem, but probably not in greater degree than other Soviet institutions and possibly less than many.

Judgments about the influence the KGB style has on KGB officers as individuals, about the implications for KGB operations of the way they do business, about the relevance of the style to Western operations against Soviet targets, and about many other related matters lead us beyond the scope of this note which, as stated in the introductory paragraph, hopes only to raise an interesting topic for further comment. If this piece succeeds in making the point that KGB organizational style is important to Western intelligence and that we should concern ourselves with it more than we have, it will have served its purpose.

[Apr 18, 2018] The topic of China is delicate here in Russia. If one considers the total and basically psychotic enmity from the West, offer of friendship from China is a godsend.

Notable quotes:
"... The topic of China is delicate here in Russia. If one considers the total and basically psychotic enmity from the West, offer of friendship from China is a godsend. ..."
"... If you read very carefully the articles written by high level advisors of Putin, you would see that they harbor no illusions. Russia itself contains a significant number of former apparatchiks whose "Russian soul" evolved through the 1990s to a point exactly resembling what you described about the Chinese. I am convinced that president Putin is a patriot, and when he meets this type of people, he recognized right away what they were, whether they were Russian or Chinese. ..."
Apr 18, 2018 | thesaker.is

Antoni on April 15, 2018 , · at 10:49 am UTC

Shame on Arabs and China! My personal experience with Chinese convinced me that the real God for them is money. Beside collecting money by any means possible, these people have no other issue to talk or discuss. They had shown zero interest in the geopolitics or the dire situation of the planet, or suffering of humanity. They did not show any emotional or sentiment towards what is happening in the World.

Majority of them express some kind of inferiority complex towards West. China Will soon or later betray Russia, They do not think about any higher moral or human value, heroism, solidarity, except for collecting money.

But the Number one betrayal came from Arabs, 22 Arab countries, and some 90% of them are happy in their slave minded status. They are the biggest disgrace for humanity and Muslims. Some of them are more aggressive then their masters in the West.

If not for the virus of Wahabism which infected the body of many Muslims, there could emerge a true alliance of Orthodox Christians and True Muslims. Such an alliance would be undefeatable, even without money worshiping China.

Charles on April 15, 2018 , · at 12:31 pm UTC
Antoni, you know obviously what you are talking about. Especially since I myself am Chinese, and spent almost two decades coordinating the visit of Chinese officials and business folks to US, on behalf of the US government. This was my previous career, before I abandoned it and moved to Russia.

The topic of China is delicate here in Russia. If one considers the total and basically psychotic enmity from the West, offer of friendship from China is a godsend. One would not want to speak too undiplomatically about the Chinese mentality, and the current state of Chinese National psyche.

If you read very carefully the articles written by high level advisors of Putin, you would see that they harbor no illusions. Russia itself contains a significant number of former apparatchiks whose "Russian soul" evolved through the 1990s to a point exactly resembling what you described about the Chinese. I am convinced that president Putin is a patriot, and when he meets this type of people, he recognized right away what they were, whether they were Russian or Chinese.

The overseas Russian get very emotional at such trying times for their motherland. I more than relate to that. But they show a natural tendency to idealize everything about Russia, and gets instantly suspicious on hearing a different opinion. The same eagerness to believe is now extended to the new great Asian ally of Russia. I wrote something a couple of days ago to the same effect. The moderator even did not allow me to post. I hope now that this war charade has temporarily abated, the moderator would regain a minimal level of calmness and openness for dialogue.

Darius on April 15, 2018 , · at 3:30 pm UTC
"Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth." – Mahatma Gandhi

Hizbullah, Persia, Russia vs China

The real power and fearlessness is not about numbers. It is about soul and its vibrant energetic radiation.
How can a small movement of people like Hizbullah be more vibrant and fearless and outspoken against oppression and international criminals then the so called giant nation of China?
How could Bolivia a small nation can be so to the point then China?

How can Iran (Persia) with its 70 millions people and totally surrounded by Kosher Nostra mafia can be so brave and standing tall against the international oppressors of humanity in compare to China, which doing practically nothing?
It is not about numbers, it is about power of soul, about life philosophy, about way of life, about believe in true and one God. So that is way Persians historically influenced humanity more then anything China can dream of.
There is reason why King Cyrus, is mentioned several times in Bible. There is a reason why Saadi poetry about humanity is written in the entrance of UN:

Human beings are members of a whole,
In creation of one essence and soul.
If one member is afflicted with pain,
Other members uneasy will remain.
If you've no sympathy for human pain,
The name of human you cannot retain!

"Saadi Persian poet"

But perhaps, the most significant solid power and force which has not only the soul of justice, solidarity and humanity, but even instrument of physical power and ability to fight back a total war is Mother Russia. Despite its shortcomings, Russia is a gift from God, Russia is the historic Rom of our time, mentioned in Sura 30 of Quran (30:1-5 "To Whom Power Belongs" Declares the truth of the universe).

Russia may be is the second period of Zul-Qarnain mentioned in the Sura 18 of Quran. Russia is an exceptional Caucasian (White race, i personally do not believe in race ) people, (if we exclude Persians as Caucasians) which does not participate in the oppression of non-Europeans and blocking the total subjugation of planet by Western and its minions.

When you talk with Russians and Westerners, you will immediately recognize the difference. Russians are not arrogant and it is exactly what Quran describing a kind of Christians, who are not arrogant, but a people with love and affection. I have no illusions, but i talking in general terms, i talking about sum of all vectors and direction of this common vector.
Numbers are not important, historically majority always were wrong. Truth is still truth even you are a minority.

So, the conclusion is that, if I am right and if Russia is righteous and just and hold on rope of God, no force of this plant can defeat Russia. Russia does not need China, China is not a nation of ideology, faith or religion, they only believe in money, which is also the god of Western world and its minions. China is not a natural ally of Mother Russia, natural ally of Russia is nations with believe in God, justice, solidarity, soul and judgment day.
My personal encounter with Chinese convinced me that they have a completely different mindset and I was completely disappointed.

With love and respect to Russia and its heroic people

Charles on April 15, 2018 , · at 9:58 pm UTC
Yow Darius my man, you speak the truth. It is fire and light in one's soul, and nothing else. And if one might add, a preparedness to die, a simplicity and gentleness of character. Labels mean nothing.

Degeneration afflicted many nations, comes in many forms, it can be a well-mannered and finely dressed German so proud of himself, it can be an oily and greedy petty Chinese businessman, it can be a Mercedes driving Arab in front of some big hotel in Dubai.

Globalism is a satanic cult of our times. They are huge in numbers, but their souls are small, enslaved, and twisted. We have no fear of them. Keep well brother.

Ahmed on April 15, 2018 , · at 6:37 pm UTC
@Antoni

I agree with everything you said. I will take a more wait and see approach with China. I hope for the sake of the world they jump onboard. Ultimately the issue is materialism. The Anglo zios want to deal with a world in which everyone has a price on their head, so they can be easy to buyout and compromised. Since the Zionists are the one with the most capital, anyone who wants a piece of the world, will have to go through them. So that materialistic outlook the Chinese have, can be a huge opening for the zios to exploit.

The state of the Arab leaders are even more pitiful. A bunch of animals who are enslaved to their lusts, and desires. I would tell them to enjoy it, because their end will not be good. Most of them have sold out to the highest bidder(Zionists) a ling time ago.

Now the Wahhabi movement, what's left to say about this devious, malicious cult. If you're interested check this article out. It talks about the founder of the Wahhabi movement, Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab, and how he was in cahoots with British spy's who were looking for a way to bring down the ottoman empire. I have to do more research on this article, however as someone who has studied wahhabisim, I'm fairly certain it was a movement that had malicious intent from the beginning, regardless of the article I linked below. It's just somewhat hard to explain to non Muslim's because some of it deals with matters of theology. Anyways I enjoyed reading you're post. Peace my friend.

http://www.conspiracyschool.com/wahhabis

Pindos on April 15, 2018 , · at 10:49 am UTC
Imagine how many would die in a war. What is happening is acceptable and necessary losses. Russia and China understand this.
Anonymous on April 15, 2018 , · at 10:54 am UTC
Saker says "But what could the Russians have done?" is the right question.
Ans: Provide advanced defensive weapons well-ahead of time so that the Syrians themselves can impose a cost.

In addition what the Russians have already done, why is Russia not selling advanced anti-ship and anti-aircraft weapons to countries in the cross-hairs of the West? Often, they talk about selling S-300 to Syria. Now imagine, Syria has Bastion, anti-sub weapons, and S-300. There will be costs to the West in this case. I think, this possibility is something Russia can do. Why wait, as it is obvious that promises by the West are basically lies. (Despite, dismantling the CW, the same argument is used to justify the attack. The Skripal case uses this method against Russia itself.)

What has the Russians got by withholding the sale of such weapons? What is the Russian calculus?

Arioch on April 17, 2018 , · at 8:48 am UTC
> What has the Russians got by withholding the sale of such weapons?

Those weapons was not re-sold to USA to make them research it and either clone or devise countermeasures or both

James2 on April 15, 2018 , · at 10:55 am UTC
Russia may take the issue economic route

They should target key UK business Like BP and other British entities and exclude them from the Russian Market – force majeur can be put into effect

Then do the same with the French

They don't need China for this.

the pessimist on April 15, 2018 , · at 10:57 am UTC
The attack was pretty clearly highly coreographed and followed strict rules that were not violated. The US provided a turkey shoot for the Syrian AD restricting the missile flight path to lanes with no typical deviations to confuse the AD. I'm sure this is what the Russians required in order to guarantee no response from them.

So there are a number of important questions here.

There was insistence that an attack must occur, despite Russian objections. The US and Russian militaries worked out a way for this to occur as safely as possible. Good that they pulled it off safely as it implies a high level of competence and discipline on both sides.

It seems likely from public behavior that the Pentagon thought this a bad idea and was fully aware of the dangers.

Where is Trump on this and was he forced to acquiesce?

It also seems clear that the pressure on Russia has not diminished and that the 'allies' intend to try and force an agreement on Syria through Geneva process that partitions the country and likely deposes Assad.

The Russian side said that the president of Russia had been insulted/disrespected and that there would be consequences for this action.

There has not been much effective push back in Europe to this policy of direct confrontation.

China is wearing a mask in public but is not pleased and has offered some diplomatic support in public.

I rate the situation as highly dangerous, unpredictable, with a great deal going on behind the scenes.

the pessimist on April 15, 2018 , · at 11:33 am UTC
As an addendum b over at moa has pointed out in his summary that while the US Defense Dept is claiming only 3 targets Russian and Syrian sources claim many more, specifically airports. I also read that B1s, I believe, used laser guided bombs in the attack and I have no idea what the targets were as all discussion has focused only on the cruise missiles. Perhaps more sites were targeted than was agreed upon.

Also, regarding the Skripal poisoning, Russia has obtained the evidence of BZ use from the Swiss OPCW lab, perhaps through back channels. I see this as hopeful – Russia does have friends in Europe, although the remain afraid or without the power to assist openly.

the pessimist on April 15, 2018 , · at 12:57 pm UTC
Postings in various places suggest that the US deviated from the agreed on plan and that the Russian jets that scrambled near the end of the attack put a stop to further deviations. Perhaps a broken promise like this led to the specific assertions of disrespect.

Thanks to the Saker especially and all the commenters for this forum and the robust discussion.

Mark Hadath on April 15, 2018 , · at 11:04 am UTC
The Saker's frustration is clear and valid.

However, I think Russian behaviour is consistent with the long game strategy. Syria lost three buildings and its citizens were celebrating in the streets. The US had the bulk of its missiles shot down. This is quite simply posturing by the Empire. I don't think the last 48 hours add to the perception the US can whatever it wants whenever it wants. If anything its the opposite.

I think the US will try again. Its attempt will be no more powerful or successful than what just occurred. They will continue to do so for many years yet. They will continue the delusional narrative delivered ad nauseam to its own people for another decade at least.

My point is that as each month goes by, it matters less.

The American hrandstanding is becoming white noise.

I am encouraged by the last 48 hours. I admire Russian restraint. I have for years now and I expect to continue to do so for some time yet.

ReneR on April 15, 2018 , · at 11:04 am UTC
What Russia does imo is trying to buy time.

As former analyses of you spoke of, the russians Lack the number of planes etc the Wallstreet-fascists have. This time they will use to speed up the stuff they need. The stuff Putin spoke off in his march speech. The provocation as much to to with it I guess.

And time Saker is not at the Side of the US, as the petro dollar Will be replaced and their debts Will reach astronimical figures. Remember China is a creditor of this fascist regime. Simply stop funding this moron shit. Why did China buy worthless state-papers from the US??

The americans didnt dare to kill Any russian a hoge difference to the event Pompeo was bluffing about. So ..?

Nathan on April 15, 2018 , · at 11:22 am UTC
China bought the worthless state-papers from the US because it give it's leader's the good life and the illusion of great wealth. If they sell off the Treasuries than that illusion with evaporate in hyperinflation. The Russians are only waist deep into the Global Economy, they probably can crawl out with some effort -- the Chinese are up to their eyeballs in it, they cannot.
one minion on April 16, 2018 , · at 8:26 am UTC
China was being pragmatic and keeping its major market afloat. Little point in being the factory of the world if the world stops buying what you produce through lack of liquidity.
I have faith in the Chinese leadership–they are ordinary people like everyone else but their culture and mindset gives them a clever edge that the west has lost, long ago.
Guest on April 15, 2018 , · at 11:07 am UTC
China is not bowing down. They however don't play the game with the same strategy as Russia does.
Jacobs Ladder on April 15, 2018 , · at 11:13 am UTC
It is indeed not over, because in history there is seldom a clear beginning and an end.

However, the Saker is being too pessimistic. The FUKUS coalition avoided the Russian positions (ie showed a wariness and respect), and Syria did stand tall in defending herself.

For Russia to have taken the bait and reacted reflexively would have been counterproductive. As things stand, no escalation occurred, and Russia comes out looking cool-headed and mature. In effect the good guys.

The US is in sharp decline. It's current behaviour demonstrates that it is in the final stages of Empire. Time is on Russia and China's side. To engage the US unless absolutely necessary would work to favour the US and against the rising powers of China and Russia.

Martin Giuffrida on April 15, 2018 , · at 11:14 am UTC
Kevin Barrett re-posted a Gordon Duff censored article re the SAA capturing a Takfiri chemical weapons facility in East Ghouta with western weapon components and reporting the capture of AZ personnel:

https://kevinbarrett.heresycentral.com/2018/04/duff-fb/

Some excerpts:
"The Syrian Arab Army and with the help of Russian captured a shipment of chemical weapons destined for the Eastern Ghouta. These were British weapons produced at Porton Down in Salisbury.
"American, British and Israeli military personnel captured in Syria have confirmed they were ordered to stage chemical attacks in East Ghouta by their governments.
"The Americans are still being held along with Israeli's while British prisoners are being negotiated for. Sources in Damascus told us that representatives of Oman in Damascus approached the Russian Office of Reconciliation on behalf of Britain for the return of British chemical warfare personnel.
"The shells are identified as VX gas from British stockpiles.
"Russian officials in Syria informed Britain through Oman that they would have to directly deal with Syria for the return of their personnel. We have received no further information since, Damascus has remained silent on how or if negotiations were proceeding.
"Last week, VT Damascus received evidence that Americans, US Army Special Forces along with Israeli chemical weapons officers had been captured in East Ghouta. We were told that not only was a command facility captured with modern weapons but a stockpile of British made 81mm poison gas mortar shells, numbering in the hundreds, was seized as well.
"Videos were viewed by former MOD weapons specialists who identified the green stripe on the shells seized in East Ghouta as VX gas from British stockpiles."

Just pencil in that article.

My comment:
Regarding Russian response, my feeling is Russia recived plenty of assurance the US was unwilling to hit Russian facilities, and got special corridors for attacks. The Russians could sit this out and watch and the US failed in a major way again militarily against only Syrian defenses. I think it is a wise principle for Russia to avoid the temptation to reveal the real power of its weapons prematurely until there is a real need for them at which time they may be a rather significant surprise.
-Martin

Nathan on April 15, 2018 , · at 11:15 am UTC
Saker,

I view Russia's position as unassailable. After the bombing of Friday night is it even conceivable that the US could ever gain air superiority over the Russian homeland? Yes the attack was made with second-tier missiles at third-rate targets without the element of surprise and poorly coordinated, but it was still easily repelled by a combination of Soviet-era junk and modern EW equipment and radars. Even those in the West who are apathetic, if they are listening at all before they change the channel, must at some unconscious level realize that the US could not have a "perfect" air strike with over a hundred missiles and destroy only three unoccupied buildings.

A conventional WWIII of any length of time will destroy the Global Economy. The Russians will win easily simply because they are tougher and more prepared. They may not desire that outcome, but of all people they probably have the best chance to survive. Except if the nukes end up being released by accident or through escalation. So the Russians, being just about the only moral actors around, have a moral responsibility not to fight back until there is no other choice.

NOTE: Not that all western nations or the people within them are immoral actors, the greater population and smaller countries are just bystanders.

sallysdad on April 15, 2018 , · at 2:24 pm UTC
I am not convinced the US used second-tier missiles. These were launched from active duty warships and I can only assume it is the standard cruise missile weapon employed. There is way too much not yet known about the details of this operation.
If, and it is a big "if", the missiles moved along agreed corridors, it is not surprising so many were shot down.
As I say, so much is not yet known.
Nathan on April 16, 2018 , · at 12:21 am UTC
I always figure that the best stuff is under wraps, although available in no great quantity.

BTW, I think a technology that isn't discussed much is passive detection systems, which may have taken the element of surprise away from standoff weapons.

pogohere on April 16, 2018 , · at 8:46 pm UTC
The A-Ha Moment.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Here comes this important question of purely tactical nature which many flag-waving uber-patriots miss completely, while, I am sure, Pentagon and not only, is puzzled with what went wrong. The question is not about excellent performance of Syrian AD–what and how about this performance are being unveiled with each passing hour. Russian EW? Absolutely, no doubt it. Massive shooting down of Tomahawks and Scalpel TLAMs? Absolutely. But, but what about JASSMs. It is conceivable that these were they Trump was bragging about in his idiotic twits when spoke about those "Smart" missiles that "are coming". There are still no firm numbers about the number of intercepted JASSMs, what is clear, however, is the fact that many of them were intercepted. If JASSM passes today for "Smart", it kind of puts good ol' Tomahawks, logically, into the category of "Dumb". Obviously, as latest Syria's experience shows, Tomahawks are not an overwhelming threat, as they were positioned as for decades, for truly (not in Saddam Hussein's, or, rather US media, way) highly integrated and EW capable air-defense system.

But JASSMs, "stealthy" and supposedly "Smart", even by preliminary data pouring in didn't fare much better than Tomahawks and this was against Syrian AD assets which are pretty damn old. So, what about "stealth"? Ah, but in the modern signal processing, including well developed now sensor-fusion (or data-fusion) techniques it really doesn't matter for advanced adversary. But that is purely technological aspect, however influential for operational and strategic levels. Truly global, geopolitical issue is this, as Apps concludes:

Therein lies one of the greatest challenges of this situation. In 1990, after Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait, the George H. W. Bush administration was relieved to find that Russia – then still in the hands of Mikhail Gorbachev – was inclined to avoid turning the conflict into a Cold War-style standoff. In the years that followed, successive U.S. presidents became used to acting without such worries. Putin has now successfully signaled that those days are entirely over.

http://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/search/label/JASSM

Izaates bar Monobazeus on April 15, 2018 , · at 11:16 am UTC
No it ain't over. It has just begun. Call it the great tribulation or Jacob's troubles or whatever you like but understand we have another half dozen years to go. In any event Daniel says Damascus will have terror fall upon it at night and become a smoking ruin byvmorning. So Damascus will fall to align reality with prophecy. The ultimate vanity.
Anonymous on April 15, 2018 , · at 11:17 am UTC
"The Chinese and the rest of them are not willing to do anything at this time to support Russia."

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-04-15/china-arrogant-us-has-record-launching-wars-deceptive-grounds

Anon on April 15, 2018 , · at 11:17 am UTC
Yes, it's over.

The recent events are complete theatre but the first act is about setting up the second act.

In the second act, America's tough actions force Iran Russia and Syria to the negotiating table where a grand accord is hammered out.

In the third act, the Empire cuts its losses and gets the fuck out of the ME because it no longer has interests there. Israel BTFO. KSA BTFO. They are really the worst allies ever.

In the epilogue Russia becomes the main broker in the ME and balances out the competing interests while keeping the peace. France and England BTFO. Nobody wants these douche bags around anymore. America goes back to squabbling in South America and Asia where it arguably does have strategic interests.

FURNARIUS on April 15, 2018 , · at 11:19 am UTC
The world Zio-Massonic movement has just shown that it can not dispense with provocations and plots that can unleash bloody world wars.

The United Nations are a farce and should be dismantled!

Just remembering, it is always England and Judea that press for war as they did in 1938-1939 or release the great and relentless butcher – the only true holocaust – 1914-1918 !

Jake on April 15, 2018 , · at 11:20 am UTC
There is another possibility: These "empty strikes" were strictly intended for domestic consumption. Consider: The US openly telegraphed the coming strikes. Syria and Russia cleared some areas for the West to hit that would result in no injuries to personnel and limited damage to infrastructure. The West dutifully hit those evacuated areas and proclaimed "Mission Accomplished". Syrians danced in the streets for "surviving" the missile strikes while Russia threatened consequences. What form those consequences take will tell us if these countries are merely dancing a rather peculiar dance together or whether they are about to starting fighting in earnest. So far Russia has been playing it cool as a cucumber, but these strikes – empty as they might have been – demand some sort of response or Russia will risk looking weak. The fly in the ointment is Israel and their attack on an Iranian base within Syria that reportedly killed 20 Iranian officers. Will that loss of life influence Russia's response after the West made every effort to avoid drawing blood?
Anonymous on April 15, 2018 , · at 3:59 pm UTC
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QF60VV3G3_Y
mike k on April 15, 2018 , · at 11:28 am UTC
Saker, many commenters here give me the impression that they will go to any lengths to reassure themselves that we are not teetering on the brink of all out nuclear war. All of their theories and reasonings seem to avoid facing that grim reality. Is that also your impression, or have I misjudged your position?
Simon Chow on April 15, 2018 , · at 11:30 am UTC
I think this blog may have misread China. I think I can read the Chinese mind and the 'Western' more subtly since I am ethnic Chinese but educated in the 'West'. But I follow Sun Tzu and therefore will not expound anymore on China's strategy as far as the Yanks are concern lest they are wised up.

Suffice to say that a catastrophic decline of the empire ala the Ottoman Empire which led to WW1 and WW2 due to fighting over the spoils, is on nobody's interests, not even Russia's.

The best case scenario is to ease the Yanks into a break-up ala the late great USSR.

China's economic, diplomatic and political strength will be critically needed to do this and to rebuild the new independent states of Western North America, Eastern North America and the Southern Confederation.

Anonymous on April 16, 2018 , · at 6:37 am UTC
A Chinese Empire with its new social contract would be like jumping from the frying pan into the fire.
Simon Chow on April 16, 2018 , · at 9:20 am UTC
Anonymous. No Chinese empire. The Chinese don't want to occupy other countries. Too troublesome ruling them. Philippines president Duterte recently suggested half-jokingly that the Chinese should just make the Philippines a Chinese province. China don't want that. Just to make the Philippines more prosperous and stable in order to trade with it – which is far better. If China wanted make the Philippines as its own province, She would have done so 600 years ago when Admiral Zheng He sailed his then unmatchable in the South China Sea and onwards to India, Persian Gulf, Africa and possibly beyond.
Bro 93 on April 15, 2018 , · at 11:35 am UTC
Over?

"It ain't over till it's over." Yogi Berra

Which means never, unless you're talking about the individual organism, is it "over".

So get over it never being over.

What would you (we) do if it were "over"? Contemplate our navels??

Oh, you mean stress inducing bluster , bluff and brinksmanship of a dying entity. What else has it got, except blowing itself and everybody else up?

Patience, perserverance. Look at the reaction in the US. Don't forget this terrain, even if Trump's Unreality Show self destructs.

Is there progress? I think there is. None but the most cretinous deplorables are so stupid as to cheer the Donald in the last week. Most are dismayed.

And even Alex Jones is allowing open talk of Israel's Empire role in putting DT on this war mongering course that those who buy his supplements refuse to buy .:

https://youtu.be/IabdFIMCTfM

Although Dr P is the one to explicitly state that Israel is a total liability.

So I wouldn't quibble too much about AJ and his mistakes and prejudices. Weaker on Israel than you would like but as good on Russia as you can expect.

Stupid on China. But Dr P isn't. And anyone watching can see that and see that AJ panders to his base's fears and prejudices.

But if they are wising up on Israel (as they have!) they can wise up on China and the whole picture, as well.

Who would want that process of improving consciousness to end, to be "over"??

To relax go back to what??

Actually, I like Snow Leopard's comment the most. And I am contemplating a surgical procedure on my navel, soon. It's just that Action is part of Being, and I see certain actions other than handwringing and brow wiping being more productive right now. Especially in terms of encouraging the process in the US where increasing numbers of people are realizing they have to think and act to grease the skids for the out of touch geriatrics like McCain, Feintsein, Pelosi, etc .or DT will go out with them, if he keeps acting just as ridiculously untruthful as they are.

one minion on April 16, 2018 , · at 9:16 am UTC
'ridiculously untruthful' -- - that and deceit is the sea that the Donald has swum in his entire life, do you really believe that he could recognise reality if it smashed him in the face like a two ton truck?
Precious little chance of that happening in this lifetime, I'd say. It is by now part of his cell make-up and ineradicable.
Ahsahyah on April 15, 2018 , · at 11:54 am UTC
The US has backed Russia into a DEEP, DEEP corner . Sooner or later Russia will have to respond to the AmeriKKKan madness or surrender and become a vassal State like Europe, Australia, Canada, Japan and South Korea .After Syria is Iran and China. If Russia goes so is China. Now is the time to stand upp to AmeriKKKa (the empire of chaos)
Check out the work of Dr. Paul Craig Roberts.org and Professor William Engdahl
Simon Chow on April 15, 2018 , · at 11:57 am UTC
All I can say at this stage is that Sun Tzu said not to fight out of anger, fear or enemy's provocation to a fight. Russia should stay cool. Pick carefully the battlefield (not necessarily a battlefield like Borodino), pick her own fight (not necessarily in the battlefield with guns and missiles but just as decisive) and pick the issues to fight for. This way retain the initiative and not let the enemy drive and maneuver Russia. Drive and maneuver the enemy instead.

The full-frontal 'love-in' with the Germans in WW2 is a no no type of war to be avoided. If unavoidable, must be very well prepared. But both the West and the semi-West seem addicted to the prospect of such an 'orgasmic' love-in. They seems locked into the paradigm of such logic. But beneath the rationalisation is simply a love for war.

Here is an extract from Richard Lovelace on the English Civil War. He reflects accurately on what, me as an Oriental, views as what drives the West's and the semi-West's mindset to war:

1) Tell me not (Sweet) I am unkind,
That from the Nunnery
Of thy chaste breast, and quiet mind,
To War and Arms I flee.

2) True, a new Mistress now I chase,
The first Foe in the Field;
And with a stronger Faith embrace
A Sword, a Horse, a Shield.

3) Yet this inconstancy is such
As you too shall adore;
I could not love thee, Dear, so much,
Loved I not War.

Some version replace the last line in stanza 3) with: "Loved I not Honour more". But you get the drift. "war" and "Honour" (in or through war), are essentially the same.

So Russians, please calm down.

Anonymous on April 16, 2018 , · at 1:29 am UTC
Speaking of Borodino, we must not lose sight of the fact that the Russians not only repelled Napoleon, but crushed him definitively in the end (thing somehow overlooked in 'histories' of the 1812-14 war genre 'War and Peace') and reorganized Europe on their own terms. Of course, it did not last too long (due to the usual British treachery), but the subsequent attempts to destroy Russia ended in the same way. Now if Hitler has not learned anything from Napoleon, how do you expect a Tramp like Donald, to learn anything from Hitler (and the Kaiser and Napoleon, for that matter)?
Simon Chow on April 16, 2018 , · at 6:32 am UTC
Yeah, the Yanks know about Borodino. So unlikely they will attack that way. They are trying to provoke Russia into making a mistake and self-impale!
one minion on April 16, 2018 , · at 9:31 am UTC
I am in complete agreement with you Simon. All indications are that Mr Putin and team has a firm grasp on reality also, whatever that may bring in the future. It may not be too pretty for the western sphere but delusion and rank stupidity never has a pretty outcome.
Albrecht on April 15, 2018 , · at 11:58 am UTC
Not over. Not even close. The reason this isn't over is that the causes and conditions causing the root of the problem have not been dealt with. The cause of the problem can only be dealt peacefully through diplomacy. In the Empire's current configuration diplomacy is near impossible as there is no competent partner to negotiate with on this side. The Empire will signal their openness to negotiation by removing Bolton aka Captain Crunch, Haley and their ilk. This doesn't seem likely and I'm not sure who a competent replacement would be.

In short, prepare for war.

Mike Reich on April 15, 2018 , · at 12:00 pm UTC
Russia needs to sell to Syria and to Iran ~30 nukes each plus delivery vehicles able to reach New York (thus also Israel, Paris, London). Also S400 systems to protect nukes enough to guarantee launch. Syria and Iran then declare next attack from any of the Gang of Four states will mean a nuclear response to all.
mikhas on April 15, 2018 , · at 12:01 pm UTC
You forgot to mention that without adults Mattis & Dunford, WW3 would have started the last time they "bombed" Syria, now because of they talked the volatile, impulsive and emotional Trump out of it, it landed on a compromise, on Moscow's terms.
Alan on April 15, 2018 , · at 12:06 pm UTC
The PRC is one of the only other 2countries that supported the Russian UN resolution, so it's not clear to me what the Saker is referring to re "just standing by" ? Do you expect PRC to send troops to Syria? has Syria or Russia made such a request or invitation? Do you know if such a move by the PRC has wide support by the Chinese public? Please do not respond with nonsense like public opinions don't matter in china. The Chinese government uses public opinion polls frequently and widely. Fact is I believe majority of Chinese are also affected by all the lies from the western msm, especially the well educated elites, most of whom studied in the West. This explains why their Global Times pieces tend to be much more pro Russia than their better educated elites
grrr on April 15, 2018 , · at 12:35 pm UTC
Diplomacy??? It degraded beyond recognition. We used to have the likes of Jeane Kirkpatrick. Now we have geniuses like Samantha Powers and Nikki Haley. We also had a joke of an ambassador to Saddam's Iraq that triggered 1-st Iraq war, although I tend to think (more and more lately) that her blurb to Saddam was a deliberate in order to advance Bush's understanding of his "new world order" idea.
Serbian girl on April 15, 2018 , · at 12:52 pm UTC
Yes, but the previous UNSC meeting where Russia submitted a text requesting a full and objective investigation of the chemical attack in Syria only Bolivia voted yes. China abstained! So Russia looked isolated just prior to the attack
Hydro on April 15, 2018 , · at 3:11 pm UTC
China abstained on the US-sponsored "poison pill" resolution which was set up to be vetoed, and allowed the US to say they tried to resolve the chemical attack diplomatically but since the resolution was vetoed the only avenue left is to retaliate by missile strikes. However, China voted FOR the "clean" Russian-sponsored resolution to investigate but this seems to be lost.
Serbian girl on April 15, 2018 , · at 9:29 pm UTC
Yes you are right. So there we're a total 4 resolutions. 3 resolutions on chemical weapons investigation and 1 on violation of international and UN charter.

For the chemical weapons: Russia submitted 2 resolutions and US 1. None of them passed. China abstained on one, the US one, which Bolivia and Russia vetoed. Here are the links:

Security council fails to adopt three resolutions on chemical weapons use in Syria
https://news.un.org/en/story/2018/04/1006991

And then there was last one on violation of international law and UN charter also didn't pass:

Russia's UNSC resolution calling to stop aggression against Syria does not receive enough votes
https://www.rt.com/news/424171-unsc-russia-resolution-syria/

grrr on April 15, 2018 , · at 12:19 pm UTC
It is impossible to quickly overcome a ~30 years misguided attempt to impose physical hegemony forever. No complex dynamical system deviates from stable trajectory for too long and too far without breaking apart. And since nobody wants (or foolish enough not to be afraid) of a WWIII (a.k.a. breaking the system apart), the US will be forced to change its guiding principle of perpetuating its sole hegemony. Hopefully sooner than later and peacefully.
ThereisaGod on April 15, 2018 , · at 12:21 pm UTC
Is Putin not putting himself at a huge disadvantage if he allows the carriers group now crossing the Atlantic to get close to Syria and Russia. As this confrontation is obviously not over should Russia not draw a red line at the straits of Gibraltar or somewhere?

I don't understand military issues but can see that the USA/UK/France cannot in the slightest way, be trusted to do anything other than wait for what they perceive to be a moment of advantage, then attack.

Coast Guard on April 15, 2018 , · at 12:34 pm UTC
I saw him in a fastboat carrying an RPG. He'll be stopping the carrier task force momentarily.
Don't worry. They won't get close to Syria.
Justice coming for US on April 15, 2018 , · at 1:22 pm UTC
I understand he has a "Dagger" or six under his arm. Not only will that stop the Carrier Group, it will place it where it belongs. At the bottom of the sea.
ReneR on April 15, 2018 , · at 12:24 pm UTC
Another possible option would be to simply bring the Warsaw pact again new life.

The US in the past didnt dare to attack pact-members in the cold war. Now we have a situation that the US considers other States as his toy for torture.

Syria, China Venezuela Belarus, and Donbass even North Korea should become members of it.

ThereisaGod on April 15, 2018 , · at 12:25 pm UTC
It is dreadful to have to wonder if the history of Donald Trump's ***** might play a major role in the continuance or otherwise of life on earth.
gatobart on April 15, 2018 , · at 12:29 pm UTC
Two days ago Vladimir Putin was handed the worst and most humilliating political (and military) defeat of his entire life, something that in other, more normal times, would have immediately forced a man in his stature to resign his post and go away (Chamberlain anyone ?) yet his own adoring fans seem to be the only ones who haven`t noticed it, preferring instead to keep living in that universe of denial they have been dwelling in for years already. What shows best the extent of this attitude of denial is the fact that they were gloating about the fact that Russia didnt even intervene–contrary to what the man himself had promised he would do only a month ago if one of Russia`s allies was attacked. By now is evident that his word is not worth the saliva that was wasted in saying it and that the US has absolutely no respect for him or for Russia. There are just two things to notice to see the truth in these words: a gloating, exulting Nimrata in the UNO, knowing well how cheap was for her and her country, or rather her neocon masters, this victory was (Russia didnt do a thing, so no WW3) and the headlines in the web "Russia furious". If there is still any doubt about this conclusion, well, beware, the Gang Of Three now plans to present to the UNSC a proposition celebrating the illegal attack on Syria of the 14th and they intend to invite ALL members of it, including Russia, to accept it and take it as a fait accompli. But that will be only a prelude for what is to come, which is of course the demand by the U.S. that the UNO accepts her way of conducting business as the norm, as something they will be able to do in every possible occasion they will wish to do it. Which means, more fake chemical attacks and more bombing in Syria until Russia is thrown out of the country. So much for our master chess player in the Kremlin. Only last year he was still insisting, against all caution and the warning of people as knowledgeable as PCR, that his first priority in foreign policy was a good relationship with Amerika, see how well he has done in this regard (Chamberlain anyone, again ?) All in all, things wont become better but much worse after this devastating defeat of the master chess player, they will only become worse until they get him and Russia cornered and with only two possible options, which we all know well. This is not about Russia being alone or being weaker than the US NATO gang, it is all about Putin`s deliberate policy of putting above everything else his vain and useless attempts at being respected and even liked by his worst enemies, the Western elites.
one minion on April 16, 2018 , · at 9:48 am UTC
I thank the gods that Mr Putin is not as simple minded as the picture you have just painted.
Nano Bagonghi on April 15, 2018 , · at 12:30 pm UTC
Regarding China. China it's a great and powerful nation with a vision and a strategy that span far in the future. His policy has always been to go on with extreme caution and as low as possibile exposure. First and foremost she takes care of his own interest, as any other, however. His main opponent is, that for sure, the "western" empire. In this long term fight, China finds herself in company of other nations who are fighting the same long term struggle. Yes, China doesn't share the same cultural, historical, ethnical heritage with Russia, wich in that regard is part of the Euro family, but shares a vital, long term surviving fight with Russia (and Iran, Syria). This is a matter of fact that can not be underestimated. So, in long term, and in spite of some annoying behavior, I'm quite sure that China will stand with Russia. I read that Chinese warships were placed in front of Syria together with Russian navy, maybe someone forgot that, this is a strong message to me.
one minion on April 16, 2018 , · at 9:51 am UTC
To me also, "This is a matter of fact that can not be underestimated."
Jean Lasson on April 15, 2018 , · at 12:31 pm UTC
Did you read this post from Paul Craig Roberts :
https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2018/04/14/russias-humanity-moral-conscience-leading-war/ ?

I side with PCR. Only a public military humiliation can stop the Empire. Russia had a golden opportunity to inflict such an humiliation yesterday and she missed that opportunity.

Let's suppose that Russia downed as many attacking warplanes as possible, whatever their location was, plus a few ships like the USS Donal Cook. What would happen next ? Would the USA launch their strategic missiles on Russia ? I very much doubt it, since the US know as a hard fact that they would be destroyed in retaliation. MAD has been restored. The would have no military response at all and the whole world would see it. And this would have been the end of the Empire, with many vassals leaving it.

Of course, such strikes will happen again. Let's hope that Russia will strike back then.

Ozzie on April 15, 2018 , · at 10:12 pm UTC
The public is brainwashed because they are hooked to the mass media and they are the product of our "educational" system. Americans are about sports and shopping. A good portrait is the rabbits of Watership Down.

In 1958, I still believed that there was a significant intellectual difference between the American bourgeosie and the cattle one sees peering between the slats of large trucks as they contentedly munch hay on their way to the abattoir.–R. Oliver

mundanomaniac on April 15, 2018 , · at 12:32 pm UTC
Donald T' s inheritance was a loose canon. I'm sure he knew it when he ran, as a proved tower – builder, against floating sands and the satanic Hillary-fan-club.

America is in psychiatric treatment since 2014 by the spirit of the north.

April 14 was a peace of the art of political wisdom, 'taking two to tango
above the triggers of the planet's doom

Anonymous on April 15, 2018 , · at 12:34 pm UTC
London to Pressure Financially Russian Businessmen With Assets in UK – Reports

https://sputniknews.com/europe/201804151063587256-uk-russian-oligarchs-assets/

US to Impose Sanctions on Russia Over Support of Assad – Envoy to UN

https://sputniknews.com/us/201804151063584536-haley-us-troops-syria/

More sanctions against Russia to be announced on Monday – Haley

https://www.rt.com/usa/424212-us-sanctions-russia-haley/

Hank on April 15, 2018 , · at 12:35 pm UTC
Saker, no it is not over by a long shot. Haley again today (it appears she is running US foreign policy by herself) says empire gonna sanction Russia again via Treasury tomorrow. It looks like empire trying to ride the false flag chem thing to build a coalition of the "fools" against Russia or some kind of mass movement to give them cover for military action. They are furiously trying to bring massive pressure on the Russian leadership so they will back off and let them have Syria, admit US is almighty god and so they can then go after Iran. It seems US and Brits so knocked off balance by Putin and his election victory and weapons announcement that empire frantically trying to reassert that they and only they are the "decider" of right and wrong and what is moral and immoral. This will go on all of April and into May as Trump backs out of nuke deal with Iran. Then things will really get ugly and fast. And that doesn't even factor in North Korea.

I notice that Russian MOD states that the "allies" were configured to launch 300 missiles not the 110 that were sent. He indicates that they had poor planning and that no one was in charge. But, it may be that they have decided to come back for another hit when the next false flag chem attack is perpetrated probably soon. The chem thing is all they have that is working for them and that isn't much. I finally got emails announcing anti-war protests by ANSWER and I hope they will continue. I have been to some strong street actions with ANSWER in the past although impacting these monsters is nearly impossible.

I agree with you that Russia should flood both Syria and Iran with anti missile systems and they should do it now.

It looks like the Duma gonna finally sanction the US back with some pretty good things including stuffing US "intellectual" property rights in the US ass by turning Russian companies loose to use patents without paying license fees. They can also fuck up US space program and rocket programs.

Actually, Saker, I think what US empire is really up to is to create enough mass hysteria globally that they think they can build some kind of "coalition of the truly stupid" to attack Russia and take it. I honestly think they are that stupid and desperate. Because if that is not it then at some point they are going to have to back off, admit defeat and be seen as the losers they really are. They just don't have the basic decency to do that.

Best

Anonymous on April 15, 2018 , · at 3:44 pm UTC
Yes you are right about the U.S. intention to create mass hysteria , and a " coalition of the truly stupid."
The lead item on RNZ news at 5 a.m. this morning referred to the silly little girl who is currently P.M. of N.Z. condoning the U.K. /France / U.S. strike; presumably she will also support the Israel strike against Iranian assets in Syria.
Every day , the lies and propaganda start in NZ, and are halfway around the world before the truth gets out of bed.
Count on it. Thank you Rupert.
eagle eye on April 15, 2018 , · at 7:14 pm UTC
And Rupert's whores are at it in Australia as well, reporting on the grovelling snot bag Turnbull's obsequious offering of more Australian lives to lubricate the Anglo Zionist machine. I say lets put his kids in the first jet to attack Syrian positions and see if he still thinks it is worth the cost.

http://www.themercury.com.au/news/world/australia-poised-to-step-in-on-syria/news-story/8b6fbf8de47d22a197a9ce002cefcc77?utm_source=The%20Mercury&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=editorial

Anonymous on April 16, 2018 , · at 12:31 am UTC
In 2001 Australians have marched in their thousands to protest the imminent strike on Irak.
Today they blabbered non stop about the the 'tampered ball' and protesting the punishment of the cheaters and hounding the pedophile clergy.
lizzie dw on April 15, 2018 , · at 12:35 pm UTC
I appreciate your comments but do not share you perceptions. Reportedly, the USA informed Russia before they dropped the bombs. Does that make sense? Reportedly, they bombed a factory which has not been in use since 2013. Reportedly, either no one was killed or 4 unfortunate civilians were killed. Reportedly, no Russian personnel or equipment was affected. Reportedly, the 3 attacking countries dropped 103 bombs and 71 or 73 or whatever were intercepted, yet the USA said the complete opposite. "We are confident ..". Amazingly, the USA has developed a bomb, or a method of bombing, which, if it hits a factory producing chemical weapons and therefore is full of lethal substances, will not, repeat not, dissipate these into the air, thereby insuring that no one will be affected!!! (emphasis mine) I agree that some people might think that the attack actually did something, but who are they? Nobody I know. My perception is that people working in the our government are isolated and out of touch and they are the ones who had to be satisfied(?). I also think that Mr. Trump is so surrounded by liars that he can trust no one. He stated he wanted the US to leave Syria, then, shortly after, the USA performed this inane bombing attack. Maybe this is Mr. Trump's response to the immense pressure I think he gets from those around him. It was very confusing but certainly did not make me feel that our country is great again – I am just embarrassed. I feel very badly for the citizens of Syria who unfortunately live in a country located in the center of the world, surrounded by all that gas and oil.
ProtoSec on April 15, 2018 , · at 2:43 pm UTC
I have seen reports that said they did, and I have seen reports that Moscow was furious because they were not given notice on the deconfliction channel.

Its anyones guess which version is the truth,

metamars on April 15, 2018 , · at 12:39 pm UTC
"The western general public is so terminally zombified that false flag attacks can now be announced 4 weeks in advance"

Even though you live in the US, you seem sadly out of touch with what Americans know and believe. "America" is NOT your blog audience, any more than "America" is Donald Trump and the US State Department.

I found out last Thursday that my own mother took seriously the idea that Assad gassed people in Douma. So, yesterday I asked 4 of my coworkers what they thought about the US led missile attack. I was actually more interested in finding out whether they believed Assad had any culpability in Douma.

It turns out that everybody approved, including a guy that I knew for a fact was a Trump supporter (who, as a candidate, would not have approved of meddling in Syria, or at least pretended to be such). This particular guy explained by asking a question: "If you saw your neighbor beating his wife to a pulp, would you jump in to stop him, or just stand around and let it happen?"

The sense I got from everybody is that intervention was a moral act. Most zombies that I have seen in movies are, at best, amoral (assuming they have no agency).

Consequently, you are misusing the term "zombified"!

The appropriate term is "brainwashed". They believe in a pseudo-reality.

That is why the absence of a 4th category in your graph is potentially tragic. You are missing the category of communication/education, which would encompass benign (truthful) propaganda and benign (truthful) psyops, targeting the American public directly (American elites more indirectly). While this was better done as prevention, the resultiing de-legitimization of the American War Party could be thought of as retaliation.

To a person looking at things in a detached manner, prevention (going forward) is better than retaliation (looking backwards), but such considerations are secondary to solving the problem of the ignorance and brainwashing of American citizens. Doing so would provide at least fertile soil for the emergence of corrective political pressure from the bottom, up.

Do you SERIOUSLY think your own efforts, plus Russian government efforts in the form of rt.com and sputniknews.com, are sufficient to deprogram and educate Americans? (There is no disrespect for you efforts intended by asking this question.)

Then please do the following: learn how to use the video feature on your smart phone, or tablet; then do a walking video poll of passersby on some crowded street near you. (You probably won't be allowed to do so in a shopping mall, but it might be worth a try.) I suggest you use the same technique I used when doing a video poll of TPP awareness amongst the public (which proved, to my satisfaction, that polls showing popular acceptance were a complete fraud; most American HAD NEVER HEARD OF THE TPP, Pew notwithstanding). I asked people "May I ask you 1 yes/no question?" About half the people won't give you the time of day, even for that. Of those that do, maybe 1/3 will be interested in talking about it; typically, they they will ask the same question of you.

Afterwards, tabulate the results, upload the video to youtube, and write it up here.

Better yet, do this and ask you audience to do the same. Then, include the links to their youtube channels in your write-up.

You should try to get your results (which are almost sure to be similar to mine) to the Russian government, because they act AS IF they had the same viewpoint as you.

Putin could reach millions of Americans by tweeting to @realDonaldTrump, but doesn't bother. I have to wonder, why? If he assumed that the American public are all "zombies", instead of containing moral but brainwashed citizens in their 10's if not 100's of millions, then his lack of action would make more sense.

He'd be wrong, but at least his actions would logically follow from his mistaken notions.

DannyO on April 15, 2018 , · at 12:44 pm UTC
It is over. It was over in 2000 and the hammer came down in 2006. With the defeat of the anglo/zionists in Lebanon by Hezbollah it marked the beginning of the end for the occultists. Hezbollah was not actually fighting the iof but rather the combined forces of western zionist imperialism. And they won.
Iraq, Libya and now Syria are a direct result of the ouster of the baby killers from Lebanon. The chaos in the ME – the Arab bullshit spring – the propping up of the gulf monarchy muppets is panic mode by the zionist oligarchy. There is no policy only blind reactionary behaviour – this is evidenced even in the propaganda of the MSM which not only makes no sense but speaks continuous transparent lies.
The west has been forced to use moderate and not so moderate head chopper orc mercs to fight its battles. Proxy war by orc is a sign of desperation and with the collapse of the hegemon on the horizon.
The Russians and the axis of resistance is simply trying to mitigate the damage that the oligarchy can still do and keep the US and the western vassals from imploding.
Izaates bar Monobazeus on April 15, 2018 , · at 12:49 pm UTC
I think the UK is exhibiting signs of genuine fear because it has dawned on the UK elite after the miserable performance of their Three Amigo's missile strike that Russia has a special present for instigators of ww3.

The great harlot is going to fall. A smoking ruin no man will ever wish to tread. England has whored itself to the gallows.

ProtoSec on April 15, 2018 , · at 2:36 pm UTC
Mystery Babylon comes down in one hour.
One hour, that is all.
Francis Lee on April 16, 2018 , · at 2:07 am UTC
Yes, I also think that Russia is reserving a special treatment for the UK. Unfortunately I live in London!
Den Lille Abe on April 15, 2018 , · at 12:50 pm UTC
N, it is not over, that much , we agree on. But the Chinese, I believe are not short sighted nor are they stupid. The will probably not do much for Syria, but I think they will raise their voice immediately if Russia is seriously threatened. China knows if Russia falls, she is next. Iran knows this too. So I cant see other than these three will have to stand together. But other may join India, possibly, Pakistan, possibly. And possibly further some smaller countries.
But I am 100 % certain that in all these countries, the people, the knowledgeable of the people, we know that if we end up, in a unipolar world, we will be slaves and remain slaves, forever.
And those countries I just summed up are more than 3 Billion.
Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Who knows. But
Better die standing, than live crawling.

I think you underestimate how hated and despised the US is around the world. In most of the non western world, the United States story of oppression and murder is very well known and it is not forgotten. But fear keeps people in bondage, and the US has shown it will spare no excesses to reach its goal, so when the battle comes it will be long bloody and brutal.
And yes it will come.

Anonymous on April 15, 2018 , · at 9:25 pm UTC
From today's Global Times editorial, semi-official organ of the Chinese politburo:

"However, the stronger a country is, the greater the responsibility it has to maintain world peace and order. The military actions of the US and its allies have breached the framework of the United Nations and violated the foundation of modern international relations. If the will of Washington and the West represents the will of all mankind and they can punish whoever they want, why do we need the UN, or international law?

Without UN authorization, the US, UK and France behaved like rogues. No matter how touching the excuses they find for themselves, they cannot change the fact that they were lynching Syria without due evidence "

More of this in the UNSC please.

[Apr 18, 2018] There was a credible interview of an ISIS commander sometime last year, he stated that they had direct guidance and on-the ground advisors from many countries

Apr 18, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

English Outsider | Apr 17, 2018 5:19:54 PM | 44

I've been puzzling over the frequent claims that Western Special Forces were "embedded" with the Jihadists.

This is an article by Seymour Hersh, via a comment on SST by "ISL", about the Khan Shaykhun alleged poison gas attack -

https://www.welt.de/politik/ausland/article165905578/Trump-s-Red-Line.html

- and this is the passage that caught my attention:-

"One reason for the Russian message to Washington about the intended target was to ensure that any CIA asset or informant who had managed to work his way into the jihadist leadership was forewarned not to attend the meeting. I was told that the Russians passed the warning directly to the CIA. "They were playing the game right," the senior adviser said."

We know that Syrian Intelligence had penetrated many Jihadist groups. It is therefore likely that Western Intelligence agents had done the same.

Could the existence of such "assets" or "informants" account for the frequent reports that there are Western Special Forces embedded with the Jihadis?

Could that also account for the fact that if those Western "assets" are in place then neither the Syrians nor the Russians would wish to expose them when they are found amongst groups of defeated or surrendered Jihadists? That would account for the frequent complaints on the more partisan pro-Syrian websites that the Russians keep passing up the chance of a propaganda victory by putting such "assets" on public display when found.

The whole question of Western support for the Jihadists in Syria is a vexed one. For my part I believe that we went further than merely hoping they'd unseat Assad. We were instrumental in supplying arms, training, and indeed foreign Juhadists. We did this on the transparent pretext that we were helping "moderate" rebels. We ourselves were therefore largely responsible for the death and destruction visited on the Syrian people.

But, for all the claims made, I've seen no proof put forward that we went further than that and were directing or assisting the Jihadist onslaught. Nor that we were doing this indirectly through mercenaries and the like. This is in contrast to our activities in the Ukraine, where it was clear that Western forces of one sort or another were directing or assisting the Ukrainian forces.

Perhaps there's been no proof put forward because it simply didn't happen in Syria. Those claimed "embedded" Western Forces were merely intelligence "assets" of the type Sy Hersh refers to. Is this a reasonable conclusion to come to on the basis of what is known of our involvement in the Syrian conflict?

jonku , Apr 17, 2018 5:42:55 PM | 46

English Outsider 44

"I believe that we went further than merely hoping they'd unseat Assad."

There was a credible interview of an ISIS commander sometime last year, he stated that they had direct guidance and on-the ground advisors from many countries, implied US, UK, and Israel at least were supplying things like maps, satellite data and other information about their opponents. He spoke of a fully equipped, modern command center.

In addition there is US news about training, arming and paying these attackers. The US has supplied false end user certificates for literally tons of armaments and munitions bought from eastern European countries that have ramped up factories to produce AK-47s, ammunition and more. The EUCs state that the destination for the weapons is US however they are passed on to rebel forces.

I believe "we" went further than merely hoping too.

sejomoje , Apr 17, 2018 5:51:13 PM | 47
Oh there is proof all right. Guys like this African American "muslim" , a "former comedian" who was on some sort of embedded mission in Aleppo. His cover was of a religious "journalist". Take away the beard and the "bio" and he's clearly a spec ops guy. During Aleppo's "fall"(liberation) he was filming himself in the location where days later, piles of massacred locals were found after the jihadis were bussed away. Sorry no link maybe someone can help me out.
Castellio , Apr 17, 2018 6:03:33 PM | 52
@44

It's a good question.

My response: where's the distinction between "arming and training" and "directing and assisting"?

Then, if you do find a distinction there: where's the distinction between "arming and training in the field" and "directing and assisting"?

Jen , Apr 17, 2018 6:09:38 PM | 53
English Outsider @ 44:

The Syrian Arab Army apparently found a makeshift chemistry lab in East Ghouta in mid-March this year after the area was liberated from the jihadis. Sharmine Narwani was one of the first journalists if not the first or only reporter to visit the site. You can see some of the photos taken of the site and the equipment (some of it with American brand names) within at this link:
https://steemkr.com/ghouta/@syrianaanalysis/terrorists-own-chemical-weapons-sharmine-narwani-reveals-shocking-info-from-ghouta

The Bulgarian journalist Dilyana Gaytandzhieva has been investigating a massive covert weapons shipment network linking eastern Europe and the Caucasus region (Azerbaijan in particular) to Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, apparently supervised by the CIA and other Western intel agencies. Weapons and equipment from eastern European countries were being flown under diplomatic cover by the state Azerbaijani airline company Silk Way Airlines to the Middle East and then forwarded on to jihadi groups in Syria and Iraq.
https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-08-28/journalist-interrogated-fired-story-linking-cia-and-syria-weapons-flights

Buzzfeed.com has been running a series of reports on a small US firm Purple Shovel which has been running weaponry from eastern Europe including Belarus to Syrian jihadi groups:
https://www.buzzfeed.com/aramroston/the-secret-arms-deal-behind-americas-syria-fiasco?utm_term=.ramx5rxgq#.ycr7Oq7NB

Jen , Apr 17, 2018 6:18:52 PM | 55
English Outsider @ 44:

More information from Bulgarian newspaper Trud (Gaytandzhieva's employer before she was fired) including copies of documents about the Silk Way Airlines "diplomatic" flights between Europe and the Middle East in which weaponry - some of it heavy weaponry - was flown to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf oil sheikhdom sponsors of the jihadis in Syria. These documents implicate not only the US but also several EU countries including Bulgaria, Denmark, Germany and Sweden.

https://trud.bg/350-diplomatic-flights-carry-weapons-for-terrorists/

If Gaytanzhieva sounds familiar to some MoA barflies, that's because she's the one who tweeted about Vil Mirzayanov's million-dollar home in Colorado in a recent MoA post on the Skripal poisoning incident.

English Outsider , Apr 17, 2018 6:26:48 PM | 56
Jonku @ 46,

Thanks. The information in your penultimate paragraph is near as dammit certain. Also Israeli assistance, though the report from a UN observer was of an observation made at a distance. Also there's a lot of murky stuff about MI6 or their pals doing propaganda work though I doubt we'll ever get to the bottom of that. If it wasn't Obama romancing, then his admission that they "didn't throw a bunch of airstrikes" at ISIS when they were going into Iraq, and that that was to put pressure on the then Iraqi government, is further proof that we weren't interested in saving the local populations from atrocities but were using ISIS for our own purposes. I suppose my intense disillusionment with Obama stems from the realisation then that he'd swallowed the Brzezinski nonsense and had bought into the Grand Chessboard; and tough luck on the pawns. That was when for me he ceased to be the mouthy, ineffectual but well intentioned loser and became the standard model Drone King. Welcome to the world of the neocon psychos, Mr President.

So there's all that. As you say, we did go further than "merely hoping".

But where's the proof for the pre-penultimate paragraph? Are the Syrians now showing journalists round the remnants of the command centre? Are the more credible pro-Syrian journalists giving us chapter and verse? Do we not undercut our true statement that we've visited mayhem on the Syrians by advancing that further unproved statement that our forces fought with the Jihadis?

Maybe it'll come out later, but nothing solid's come out yet and there's been time for it. That's why I put in my query. Maybe we should put up or shut up on that one.


By the way, "we" means just that. We voted the bastards in, after all.

ben , Apr 17, 2018 9:40:36 PM | 72
English Outsider @ 44: This is where it all began, and still continues.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Cyclone

Hiring Jihadists to destabilize other governments is no secret..

[Apr 18, 2018] Douma Chemical Attack False Flag Operation Exposed

Apr 18, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

https://youtu.be/vSrRV-zdNic

" I think there was a pre-planned coordination to stage this chemical attack."

Posted by: John Gilberts | Apr 17, 2018 6:43:21 PM | 58

[Apr 18, 2018] Russian show with Yakov Kedmi really surprised and disturbed me

Apr 18, 2018 | thesaker.is

Paul II on April 15, 2018 , · at 10:40 am UTC

What about a fourth type of retaliation, cleaning out the financier/Zionist/pro-Western/liberal infestation inside Russia? This wouldn't require China's approval, and would lead to a much healthier and stronger Russia in the long run.

In my view, China has done far more to get itself out of AZ control and on the path to pursuing its national interests than Russia has. It is depressing to read most Russian blogs as they keep harping on what needed to be done years ago.

Martin Giuffrida on April 15, 2018 , · at 12:12 pm UTC
Yes and this Russian show with Yakov Kedmi really surprised and disturbed me:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VwYcItJp4O8&t=1s