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Syria civil war: attempt of the USA to create Sunny Theocracy instead of secular Assad government

The testing ground for false flag poisonings: White Helmets as a tool for false flag poisonings

News War is racket Recommended Links Downing of IL-20 reconnaissance plane Israeli support of headchoppers and air raid on Syria military infrastructure Yugoslav wars
False flag poisonings Khan Sheikhoun gas attack Douma gas attack      
White Helmets as a tool for false flag poisonings Hillary role in Syria bloodbath Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA American Imperialism American Exceptionalism Wolfowitz Doctrine
Media-Military-Industrial Complex New American Militarism Nation under attack meme Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair "F*ck the EU": State Department neocons show EU its real place Hillary Clinton and Obama created ISIS
Cold War II Pathological Russophobia of the US elite Merkel as Soft Cop in Neocon Offensive on Eastern Europe and Russia Madeleine Albright Is Hillary Clinton a war criminal? Samantha Power
Robert Kagan Anatol Leiven on American Messianism Demonization of Putin Predator state National Socialism and Military Keysianism Roots of Reaganolatry 
Neoliberalism as a New form of Corporatism Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism IMF as the key institution for neoliberal debt enslavement Neo-fascism Gangster Capitalism: The United States and the Globalization of Organized Crime Power abroad rests on justice and decency at home
The Deep State Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite Corporatist Corruption: Systemic Fraud under Clinton-Bush-Obama Regime Two Party System as polyarchy Neoliberal Propaganda: Journalism In the Service of the Powerful Few Corporatism
Color revolutions Neoliberal Compradors and lumpenelite Neocons Credibility Scam Obama: a yet another Neocon   Conservatives Without Conscience
War is a Racket - Incredible Essay by General Smedley Butler Machiavellism Understanding Mayberry Machiavellis Bureaucracy as a Political Coalition Bureaucratic avoidance of responsibility Bureaucratic Collectivism
Media domination strategy Fighting Russophobia Anti-Americanism Torture Politically Incorrect Humor Etc
  “Control over the production and distribution of oil is the decisive factor in defining who rules whom in the Middle East.”
Christopher Hitchens, The Quotable Hitchens from Alcohol to Zionism: The Very Best of Christopher Hitchens

“Anything that can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence”
Windsor Mann, The Quotable Hitchens: From Alcohol to Zionism--The Very Best of Christopher Hitchens

 

The key idea behind unleashing civil war in Syria using Weapons from Libya and jihadist volunteers from several Arab countries is to reverse the geopolitical gift to Iran which Bush Iraq war created.

Installation of fundamentalist government in Syria also is in the best interests of Israel as this is by definitely a weak sectarian government that terrorizes its own population.  That's why they openly supported head choppers during Syrian civil war.  Politics make strange bedfellows: Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Political Islam emerges are a reaction to colonialism but now it serve as a puppet of neoliberals to weaken and destroy secular governments in Arab countries and to weaken territorial integrity of Russia.  So Russia in an indirect way is interested in preservation of secular government in Syria as creation of another large training camp for jihadism is not in their best interest.

The problem is that the US elite lost people who participated in WWII who understood the consequences of WWIII. now the US is represented by chickenhawks such as Trump, Bolton and the whole gallery of female chickenhawks (which were flourishing in Obama administration) such as Haley.

This generation of the US elite is indoctrinated is the "sole superpower" status and has difficulties to adapting to new realities when economically china will be larger then the USA in 2020 and military Russia is on par in some major categories, returning the situation of mutual assured destruction (MAD) that the USA tried to destroy (and for some succeeded in 1991-2000 due to collapse of the USSR and Yeltsin marionette government ) since Reagan.

Chemical attacks false flag as a standard method of pursuing civil war by West-connected islamists

Poisoning false flag are the  favorite trick used by British intelligence  services and it became an important tool for MI6 supported organizations such as White Helmets.  They proved to be  perfectly suitable for Islamists barbarians (aka "head choppers")  who do not care much about human cost and can kill children and woman in cold blood to achieve their goals.

One of the most interesting features of Syria civil war is the extent of the chemical attacks false flags by islamists to inflict the damage on Assad forces.  They usually resort to it when they are against the wall and need some time to prepare a counterattack,  of escape, or surrender on more favorable conditions.

In this sense political Islam is a national liberation movement that "took the wrong turn on the road"  and which was co-opted by the neoliberals to serve as their geopolitical ram.  Instead of fighting Western neoliberal neo-imperialism they are helping them.

Ghouta 2013 This was Aug 21.2013 false flag disguised as a sarin rocket attack carried out by Assad or his supporters. It was a false-flag stunt carried out by the insurgents using carbon monoxide or cyanide to murder children and use their corpses as bait to lure the Americans into attacking Assadsee  "Murder in the Sun Morgue" by Dr. Denis O'Brien (neuropharmacology expert):

  • "The primary conclusion of this study, based on a pharmacological analysis of the video and photographic evidence, is that the Ghouta Massacre near Damascus on Aug 21.2013 was not a sarin rocket attack carried out by Assad or his supporters. It was a false-flag stunt carried out by the insurgents using carbon monoxide or cyanide to murder children and use their corpses as bait to lure the Americans into attacking Assad."

    288 pp. analysis. Also, some had slit throats:

    https://www.scribd.com/document/230748990/Murder-in-the-SunMorgue


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    [Jul 04, 2020] It's Time to Stop Defending the Status Quo of Foreign Policy Failure by Daniel L. Davis

    Notable quotes:
    "... These failures have not been merely "policy mistakes" but have had profound consequences for our country, both in terms of blood unnecessarily wasted and trillions of dollars irretrievably lost. The very last thing we should do is defend a failed status quo and subvert new thinking. McMaster does both in his essay. ..."
    "... We had won all that was militarily winnable on the ground in Afghanistan by the summer of 2002 and we should have withdrawn. Instead, we have refused to accept reality for eighteen additional years and we have lost thousands of American service members and trillions of American tax dollars to finance permanent failure. ..."
    "... our interests are far better served by being an exemplar to the world rather than trying to force it to behave a certain way. ..."
    "... The time has come to admit our foreign policy theories of the past two decades have utterly failed in their objective. We have not been made safer because of them and the price continually imposed on our service members is unnecessary and unacceptably high. ..."
    Jul 04, 2020 | nationalinterest.org

    In February 1991 I fought as a green 2 nd Lieutenant under then-Captain H.R. McMaster, who would go on to win combat fame in 2005 Iraq and as Trump's National Security Advisor. I watched McMaster provide exceptional leadership of our unit prior to war and watched him perform brilliantly under fire during combat. It gives me no pleasure, therefore, to note that his most recent work in Foreign Affairs has to be one of the most flawed analyses I've ever seen.

    McMaster's essay, " The Retrenchment Syndrome ," is an attempted take-down of a growing number of experts who argue American foreign policy has become addicted to the employment of military power. I, and other likeminded advocates, argue this military-first foreign policy does not increase America's security, but perversely undercuts it.

    We advocate a foreign policy that elevates diplomacy, promotes the maintenance of a powerful military that can defend America globally, and seeks to expand U.S. economic opportunity abroad. This perspective takes the world as it is, soberly assesses America's policy successes and failures of the past decades, and recommends sane policies going forward that have the best chance to achieve outcomes beneficial to our country.

    Adopting this new foreign policy mentality, however, requires an honest recognition that our existing approach -- especially since 9/11 -- has at times been catastrophically bad for America. The status quo has to be jettisoned for us to turn failure into success.

    These failures have not been merely "policy mistakes" but have had profound consequences for our country, both in terms of blood unnecessarily wasted and trillions of dollars irretrievably lost. The very last thing we should do is defend a failed status quo and subvert new thinking. McMaster does both in his essay.

    McMaster grievously mischaracterizes the positions of those who advocate for a sane, rational foreign policy. He tries to pin a pejorative moniker on restraint-oriented viewpoints via the term "retrenchment syndrome."

    Advocates for a restrained foreign policy, he says, "subscribe to the romantic view that restraint abroad is almost always an unmitigated good." McMaster claims Obama's 2011 intervention in Libya failed not because it destabilized the country but because Washington didn't "shape Libya's political environment in the wake of Qaddafi's demise." And he claims Trump's desire to withdraw from Afghanistan "will allow the Taliban, al Qaeda, and various other jihadi terrorists to claim victory."

    In other words, the only policy option is to keep doing what has manifestly failed for the past two decades. Just do it harder, faster, and deeper.

    But the reality of the situation is rather different.

    We had won all that was militarily winnable on the ground in Afghanistan by the summer of 2002 and we should have withdrawn. Instead, we have refused to accept reality for eighteen additional years and we have lost thousands of American service members and trillions of American tax dollars to finance permanent failure.

    We should never have invaded Iraq in 2003. But once we realized the justification for the war had been wrong, we should have rapidly withdrawn our combat troops and diplomatically helped facilitate the establishment of an Iraqi-led state. Instead, we refused to acknowledge our mistake, fought a pointless eight-year insurgency, and then instead of allowing Iraq to solve its own problems when ISIS arose in 2014, unnecessarily went back to help Baghdad fight its battles.

    Likewise, the U.S. continues to fight or support never-ending combat actions in Syria, Libya, Somalia, Niger, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and other lesser-known locations. There is no risk to American national security in any of these locations that engaging in routine and perpetual combat operations will solve.

    Lastly, large portions of the American public -- and even greater percentages of service members who have served in forever-wars -- are against the continuation of these wars and do not believe they keep us safer. What would make the country more secure, however, is adopting a realistic foreign policy that recognizes the world as it truly is, acknowledges that the reason we maintain a world-class military is to deter our enemies without having to fight, and recognizing that our interests are far better served by being an exemplar to the world rather than trying to force it to behave a certain way.

    The time has come to admit our foreign policy theories of the past two decades have utterly failed in their objective. We have not been made safer because of them and the price continually imposed on our service members is unnecessary and unacceptably high. It is time to abandon the status quo and adopt a new policy that is based on a realistic view of the world, an honest recognition of our genuinely powerful military, and realize that there are better ways to assure our security and prosperity.

    Daniel L. Davis is a Senior Fellow for Defense Priorities and a former Lt. Col. in the U.S. Army who retired in 2015 after 21 years, including four combat deployments. Follow him @DanielLDavis1.

    [Jul 03, 2020] Podcast- Empire Has No Clothes, Episode 9, Foreign Policy Dissent Is Patriotic by DANIEL LARISON

    Bolton is just "yet another MIC puppet", who has complete vacuum in his head as for morality and decency. In other words he is a typical Washington psychopath. Like many sociopaths he is a compulsive liar, undeniable careerist and self-promoter.
    Jul 02, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

    This week on Empire Has No Clothes, we spoke with Elizabeth Shackelford, a former Foreign Service Officer and author of The Dissent Channel: American Diplomacy in a Dishonest Age . Kelley Vlahos, Matt Purple and I talked about demoralization in the department, the reasons for her resignation, U.S. policy in South Sudan and Africa, and the need for greater accountability in our foreign policy. We also covered John Bolton's new book, his outdated foreign policy views, and whether anything he says can be trusted.

    Listen to the episode in the player below, or click the links beneath it to subscribe using your favorite podcast app. If you like what you hear, please give us a rating or review on iTunes or Stitcher, which will really help us climb the rankings, allowing more people to find the show.

    [Jul 01, 2020] Three Glaring Problems with the Russian Taliban Bounty Story by Barbara Boland

    Highly recommended!
    This is an attempt to move Trump in the direction of more harsher politics toward Russia. So not Bolton's but Obama ears are protruding above this dirty provocation.
    Notable quotes:
    "... According to the anonymous sources that spoke with the paper's reporters, the White House and President Trump were briefed on a range of potential responses to Moscow's provocations, including sanctions, but the White House had authorized no further action. ..."
    "... Bolton is one of the only sources named in the New York Times article. Currently on a book tour, Bolton has said that he witnessed foreign policy malfeasance by Trump that dwarfs the Ukraine scandal that was the subject of the House impeachment hearings. But Bolton's credibility has been called into question since he declined to appear before the House committee. ..."
    "... "Who can forget how 'successful' interrogators can be in getting desired answers?" writes Ray McGovern, who served as a CIA analyst for 27 years. Under the CIA's "enhanced interrogation techniques," Khalid Sheik Mohammed famously made at least 31 confessions, many of which were completely false. ..."
    "... This story is "WMD [all over] again," said McGovern, who in the 1980s chaired National Intelligence Estimates and prepared the President's Daily Brief. He believes the stories seek to preempt DOJ findings on the origins of the Russiagate probe. ..."
    "... The bungled media response and resulting negative press could also lead Trump to contemplate harsher steps towards Russia in order to prove that he is "tough," which may have motivated the leakers. It's certainly a policy goal with which Bolton, one of the only named sources in the New York Times piece, wholeheartedly approves. ..."
    "... Not only did CIA et al.'s leak get even with Trump for years of insults and ignoring their reports (Trump is politically wounded by this story), but it also achieved their primary objective of keeping Putin out of the G7 and muzzling Trump's threats to withdraw from NATO because Russia is our friend (well his, anyway). ..."
    "... Point 4: the whole point of the Talibans is to fight to the death whichever country tries to control and invade Afghanistan. They didn't need the Russians to tell them to fight the US Army, did they? ..."
    "... Point 5: Russia tried to organise a mediation process between the Afghan government and the Talibans already in 2018 - so why would they be at the same time trying to fuel the conflict? A stable Afghanistan is more convenient to them, given the geographical position of the country. ..."
    "... As much as I love to see everyone pile on trump, this is another example of a really awful policy having bad outcomes. If Bush, Obama, trump, or anyone at the pentagon gave a crap about the troops, they wouldn't have kept them in Afghanistan and lied about the fact they were losing the whole time. ..."
    "... the idea is stupid. Russia doesn't need to do anything to motivate Afghans to want to boot the invaders out of their country, and would want to attract negative attention in doing so. ..."
    "... Contrast with the CIA motivations for this absurd narrative. Chuck Schumer famously commented that the intelligence agencies had ways of getting back at you, and it looks like you took the bait, hook, line and sinker. ..."
    "... And a fourth CIA goal: it undermines Trump's relationship with the military. ..."
    "... Having failed in its Russia "collusion" and "Russia stole the election" campaigns to oust Trump, this is just the latest effort by the Deep State and mass media to use unhinged Russophobia to try to boost Biden and damage Trump. ..."
    "... The contemporary left hate Russia , because Russia is carving out it own sphere of influence and keeping the Americans out, because it saved Assad from the western backed sunni head choppers (that the left cheered on, as they killed native Orthodox, and Catholic Christians). The Contempary left hate Russia because it cracks down on LGBT propaganda, banned porn hub, and return property to the Church , which the leftist Bolsheviks stole, the Contempaty left hate Russia because it cracked down on it western backed oligarchs who plundered Russia in the 90's. ..."
    Jul 01, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

    Bombshell report published by The New York Times Friday alleges that Russia paid dollar bounties to the Taliban in Afghanistan to kill U.S troops. Obscured by an extremely bungled White House press response, there are at least three serious flaws with the reporting.

    The article alleges that GRU, a top-secret unit of Russian military intelligence, offered the bounty in payment for every U.S. soldier killed in Afghanistan, and that at least one member of the U.S. military was alleged to have been killed in exchange for the bounties. According to the paper, U.S. intelligence concluded months ago that the Russian unit involved in the bounties was also linked to poisonings, assassination attempts and other covert operations in Europe. The Times reports that United States intelligence officers and Special Operations forces in Afghanistan came to this conclusion about Russian bounties some time in 2019.

    According to the anonymous sources that spoke with the paper's reporters, the White House and President Trump were briefed on a range of potential responses to Moscow's provocations, including sanctions, but the White House had authorized no further action.

    Immediately after the news broke Friday, the Trump administration denied the report -- or rather, they denied that the President was briefed, depending on which of the frenetic, contradictory White House responses you read.

    Traditionally, the President of the United States receives unconfirmed, and sometimes even raw intelligence, in the President's Daily Brief, or PDB. Trump notoriously does not read his PDB, according to reports.

    Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said in a statement Saturday night that neither Trump nor Vice President Pence "were ever briefed on any intelligence alleged by the New York Times in its reporting yesterday."

    On Sunday night, Trump tweeted that not only was he not told about the alleged intelligence, but that it was not credible."Intel just reported to me that they did not find this info credible, and therefore did not report it to me or @VP" Pence, Trump wrote Sunday night on Twitter.

    Ousted National Security Advisor John Bolton said on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday that Trump was probably claiming ignorance in order to justify his administration's lack of response.

    "He can disown everything if nobody ever told him about it," said Bolton.

    Bolton is one of the only sources named in the New York Times article. Currently on a book tour, Bolton has said that he witnessed foreign policy malfeasance by Trump that dwarfs the Ukraine scandal that was the subject of the House impeachment hearings. But Bolton's credibility has been called into question since he declined to appear before the House committee.

    The explanations for what exactly happened, and who was briefed, continued to shift Monday.

    White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany followed Trump's blanket denial with a statement that the intelligence concerning Russian bounty information was "unconfirmed." She didn't say the intelligence wasn't credible, like Trump had said the day before, only that there was "no consensus" and that the "veracity of the underlying allegations continue to be evaluated," which happens to almost completely match the Sunday night statement from the White House's National Security Council.

    Instead of saying that the sources for the Russian bounty story were not credible and the story was false, or likely false, McEnany then said that Trump had "not been briefed on the matter."

    "He was not personally briefed on the matter," she said. "That is all I can share with you today."

    It's difficult to see how the White House thought McEnany's statement would help, and a bungled press response like this is communications malpractice, according to sources who spoke to The American Conservative.

    Let's take a deeper dive into some of the problems with the reporting here:

    1. Anonymous U.S. and Taliban sources?

    The Times article repeatedly cites unnamed "American intelligence officials." The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal articles "confirming" the original Times story merely restate the allegations of the anonymous officials, along with caveats like "if true" or "if confirmed."

    Furthermore, the unnamed intelligence sources who spoke with the Times say that their assessment is based "on interrogations of captured Afghan militants and criminals."

    That's a red flag, said John Kiriakou, a former analyst and case officer for the CIA who led the team that captured senior al-Qaeda member Abu Zubaydah in Pakistan in 2002. "When you capture a prisoner, and you're interrogating him, the prisoner is going to tell you what he thinks you want to hear," he said in an interview with The American Conservative . "There's no evidence here, there's no proof."

    "Who can forget how 'successful' interrogators can be in getting desired answers?" writes Ray McGovern, who served as a CIA analyst for 27 years. Under the CIA's "enhanced interrogation techniques," Khalid Sheik Mohammed famously made at least 31 confessions, many of which were completely false.

    Kiriakou believes that the sources behind the report hold important clues on how the government viewed its credibility.

    "We don't know who the source is for this. We don't know if they've been vetted, polygraphed; were they a walk-in; were they a captured prisoner?"

    If the sources were suspect, as they appear to be here, then Trump would not have been briefed on this at all.

    With this story, it's important to start at the "intelligence collection," said Kiriakou. "This information appeared in the [CIA World Intelligence Review] Wire, which goes to hundreds of people inside the government, mostly at the State Department and the Pentagon. The most sensitive information isn't put in the Wire; it goes only in the PDB."

    "If this was from a single source intelligence, it wouldn't have been briefed to Trump. It's not vetted, and it's not important enough. If you caught a Russian who said this, for example, that would make it important enough. But some Taliban detainees saying it to an interrogator, that does not rise to the threshold."

    2. What purpose would bounties serve?

    Everyone and their mother knows Trump wants to pull the troops out of Afghanistan, said Kiriakou.

    "He ran on it and he has said it hundreds of times," he said. "So why would the Russians bother putting a bounty on U.S. troops if we're about to leave Afghanistan shortly anyway?"

    That's leaving aside Russia's own experience with the futility of Afghanistan campaigns, learned during its grueling 9-year war there in the 1980s.

    If this bounty campaign is real, it would not appear to be very effective, as only eight U.S. military members were killed in Afghanistan in 2020. The New York Times could not verify that even one U.S. military member was killed due to an alleged Russian bounty.

    The Taliban denies it accepted bounties from Russian intelligence.

    "These kinds of deals with the Russian intelligence agency are baseless -- our target killings and assassinations were ongoing in years before, and we did it on our own resources," Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban, told The New York Times . "That changed after our deal with the Americans, and their lives are secure and we don't attack them."

    The Russian Embassy in the United States called the reporting "fake news."

    While the Russians are ruthless, "it's hard to fathom what their motivations could be" here, said Paul Pillar, an academic and 28-year veteran of the Central Intelligence Agency, in an interview with The American Conservative. "What would they be retaliating for? Some use of force in Syria recently? I don't know. I can't string together a particular sequence that makes sense at this time. I'm not saying that to cast doubt on reports the Russians were doing this sort of thing."

    3. Why is this story being leaked now?

    According to U.S. officials quoted by the AP, top officials in the White House "were aware of classified intelligence indicating Russia was secretly offering bounties to the Taliban for the deaths of Americans" in early 2019. So why is this story just coming out now?

    This story is "WMD [all over] again," said McGovern, who in the 1980s chaired National Intelligence Estimates and prepared the President's Daily Brief. He believes the stories seek to preempt DOJ findings on the origins of the Russiagate probe.

    The NYT story serves to bolster the narrative that Trump sides with Russia, and against our intelligence community estimates and our own soldiers lives.

    The stories "are likely to remain indelible in the minds of credulous Americans -- which seems to have been the main objective," writes McGovern. "There [Trump] goes again -- not believing our 'intelligence community; siding, rather, with Putin.'"

    "I don't believe this story and I think it was leaked to embarrass the President," said Kiriakou. "Trump is on the ropes in the polls; Biden is ahead in all the battleground states."

    If these anonymous sources had spoken up during the impeachment hearings, their statements could have changed history.

    But the timing here, "kicking a man when he is down, is extremely like the Washington establishment. A leaked story like this now, embarrasses and weakens Trump," he said. "It was obvious that Trump would blow the media response, which he did."

    The bungled media response and resulting negative press could also lead Trump to contemplate harsher steps towards Russia in order to prove that he is "tough," which may have motivated the leakers. It's certainly a policy goal with which Bolton, one of the only named sources in the New York Times piece, wholeheartedly approves.

    Barbara Boland is TAC's foreign policy and national security reporter. Previously, she worked as an editor for the Washington Examiner and for CNS News. She is the author of Patton Uncovered , a book about General George Patton in World War II, and her work has appeared on Fox News, The Hill , UK Spectator , and elsewhere. Boland is a graduate from Immaculata University in Pennsylvania. Follow her on Twitter @BBatDC .


    Tomonthebeach 9 hours ago • edited

    Caitlin Johnstone was the first journalist to question this NYT expose' several days ago in her blog. After looking into it, I had to agree with her that the story was junk reporting by a news source eager to stick it to Trump for his daily insults. NYT must love the irony of a "fake news" story catching fire and burning Trump politically. After all, paying people to kill their own enemies? That is a "tip," not a bounty. It is more of an intel footnote than the game-changer in international relations as asserted by Speaker Pelosi on TV as she grabbed her pearls beneath her stylish COVID mask.

    I was surprised that Ms. Boland could not think of any motivation for leaking the story right now given recent grousing on the Hill about Trump's inviting Putin to G7 over the objections of Merkel and several other NATO heads of state. I even posted a congratulatory message in Defense One yesterday to the US Intel community for mission accomplished.

    Not only did CIA et al.'s leak get even with Trump for years of insults and ignoring their reports (Trump is politically wounded by this story), but it also achieved their primary objective of keeping Putin out of the G7 and muzzling Trump's threats to withdraw from NATO because Russia is our friend (well his, anyway).

    Connecticut Farmer Tomonthebeach 3 hours ago

    That "bounty" story never passed the smell test, even to my admittedly untrained nose. My real problem is that it's a story in the first place, given that Trump campaigned on a platform that included bringing the boys home from sand hills like Afghanistan; yet here we are, four years later, and we're still there.

    Lavinia 6 hours ago

    Point 4: the whole point of the Talibans is to fight to the death whichever country tries to control and invade Afghanistan. They didn't need the Russians to tell them to fight the US Army, did they?

    Point 5: Russia tried to organise a mediation process between the Afghan government and the Talibans already in 2018 - so why would they be at the same time trying to fuel the conflict? A stable Afghanistan is more convenient to them, given the geographical position of the country.

    This whole story is completely ridiculous. Totally bogus.

    Wally 5 hours ago

    As much as I love to see everyone pile on trump, this is another example of a really awful policy having bad outcomes. If Bush, Obama, trump, or anyone at the pentagon gave a crap about the troops, they wouldn't have kept them in Afghanistan and lied about the fact they were losing the whole time.

    Of course people are trying to kill US military in Afghanistan. If I lived in Afghanistan, I'd probably hate them too. And let's not forget that just a few weeks ago the 82nd airborne was ready to kill American civilians in DC. The military is our enemy too!

    If you are in the US military today, please quit.

    https://www.washingtonpost....

    Don't ever forget how they lied to us.

    Feral Finster 4 hours ago

    Moreover, the idea is stupid. Russia doesn't need to do anything to motivate Afghans to want to boot the invaders out of their country, and would want to attract negative attention in doing so.

    The purported bounty program doesn't help Russia, but the anonymous narrative does conveniently serve several CIA purposes:
    1. It makes it harder to leave Afghanistan.
    2. It keeps the cold war with Russia going along.
    3. It damages Trump (whose relationship with the CIA is testy at best).

    Then there's the question of how this supposed intelligence was gathered. The CIA tortures people, and there's no reason to believe that this was any different.

    Feral Finster Sidney Caesar 2 hours ago

    1. Russia wants a stable Afghanistan. Not a base for jihadis.

    2. The idea that Russia has to encourage Afghans to kill Invaders is a hoot. They don't ever do that on their own.

    3. Not only do Afghans traditionally need no motivation to kill infidel foreign Invaders, but Russia would have to be incredibly stupid to bring more American enmity on itself.

    Contrast with the CIA motivations for this absurd narrative. Chuck Schumer famously commented that the intelligence agencies had ways of getting back at you, and it looks like you took the bait, hook, line and sinker.

    Either that, or you're just cynical. You'll espouse anything, however absurd and full of lies, as long as it damages Trump.

    I detest Trump, but I am not a list.

    Wally Feral Finster 3 hours ago

    I don't have a clue if this bounty story is correct, but I can imagine plenty of reasons why the Russians would do it. It's easy enough to believe it or believe it was cooked up by CIA as you suggest.

    Feral Finster Feral Finster 2 hours ago

    And a fourth CIA goal: it undermines Trump's relationship with the military.

    FND 4 hours ago

    There will be one of these BS blockbusters every few weeks until the election. There are legions of buried-in democrat political appointees that will continue to feed the DNC press. It will be non-stop. The DNC press is shredding the 1st amendment.

    former-vet FND 2 hours ago

    Not shredding the First Amendment, just shining light on the pitfalls of a right to freedom of speech. There are others ramifications to free speech we consider social goods.

    Kent FND 2 hours ago

    These aren't buried-in democrats. These people could care less which political party the President is a member of. They only care that the President does what they say. Political parties are just to bamboozle the rubes. They are the real power.

    Connecticut Farmer 4 hours ago

    "U.S. Intelligence"-lol--a contradiction in terms. Just repeat three times: "George 'Slam Dunk' Tenet."

    Sidney Caesar Connecticut Farmer 3 hours ago

    Tenet knew his role- he said what his superiors wanted to hear: https://www.motherjones.com... The Iraq debacle was a top-down con job.

    Stephen R Gould 3 hours ago • edited

    The best defence that the WSJ and Fox News could muster was that the story wasn't confirmed as the NSA didn't have the same confidence in the assessment as the CIA. "Is there anything else to which you would wish to draw my attention?" "To the curious incident of the denial from the White House", "There was no denial from the White House". "That was the curious incident".

    I note that Fox News had buried the story "below the scroll" on their home page - if they had though the story was fake, the headlines would be screaming at MSM.

    maxsnafu 3 hours ago

    I was suspicious when I saw it originated in Walter Duranty's newspaper.

    The Derp State 3 hours ago

    "What if Obama...." #4,267

    former-vet 2 hours ago • edited

    Pravda was a far more honest and objective news source than The New York Times is. I say that as someone who read both for long periods of time. The Times is on par with the National Enquirer for credibility, with the latter at least being less propagandistic and agenda-driven.

    SatirevFlesti 2 hours ago

    Having failed in its Russia "collusion" and "Russia stole the election" campaigns to oust Trump, this is just the latest effort by the Deep State and mass media to use unhinged Russophobia to try to boost Biden and damage Trump.

    The extent to which the contemporary Left is driven by a level of Russophobia unseen even by the most stalwart anti-Communists on the Right during the Cold War is truly something to behold. I think at bottom it comes down to not liking Putin or Russia because they refuse to get on board with the Left's social agenda.

    James SatirevFlesti 2 hours ago • edited

    The contemporary left hate Russia , because Russia is carving out it own sphere of influence and keeping the Americans out, because it saved Assad from the western backed sunni head choppers (that the left cheered on, as they killed native Orthodox, and Catholic Christians). The Contempary left hate Russia because it cracks down on LGBT propaganda, banned porn hub, and return property to the Church , which the leftist Bolsheviks stole, the Contempaty left hate Russia because it cracked down on it western backed oligarchs who plundered Russia in the 90's.

    The Contempary left wants Russia to be Woke, Broke, Godless, and Gay.

    The democrats are now the cheerleaders of the warfare -welfare state,, the marriage between the neolibs-neocons under the Democrat party to ensure that President Trump is defeated by the invade the world, invite the world crowd.

    WilliamRD TheSnark 44 minutes ago

    "The Trumpies are right in that this was obviously a leak by the intel community designed to hurt Trump. But what do you expect...he has spent 4 years insulting and belittling them. They are going to get their pound of flesh."

    Intel community was behind an attempted coup of Trump. He has good reason not to trust them and insulting is only natural. Hopefully John Durham will indict several of them

    Kent an hour ago

    I honestly don't find "unnamed officials", the CIA, the NSA, the NYT, John Bolton, or President Trump to be credible sources.

    Sidney Caesar Kent an hour ago • edited

    I've found myself to be the only honest and trustworthy person- everyone should just listen to me.

    WilliamRD 42 minutes ago • edited

    Montage: Mainstream Media Hype About Russia Collusion https://twitter.com/ggreenw...

    WilliamRD 36 minutes ago

    Russiagate's Last Gasp https://consortiumnews.com/...

    phreethink 20 minutes ago • edited

    Interesting take. I certainly take anything anyone publishes based on anonymous sources with a big grain of salt, especially when it comes from the NYT...

    [Jul 01, 2020] Madcap Militarism- H.R. McMaster's Dishonest Attack on Restraint -

    Notable quotes:
    "... The purpose of McMaster's essay is to discredit "retrenchers" -- that's his term for anyone advocating restraint as an alternative to the madcap militarism that has characterized U.S. policy in recent decades. Substituting retrenchment for restraint is a bit like referring to conservatives as fascists or liberals as pinks : It reveals a preference for labeling rather than serious engagement. In short, it's a not very subtle smear, as indeed is the phrase madcap militarism. But, hey, I'm only playing by his rules. ..."
    "... The militarization of American statecraft that followed the end of the Cold War produced results that were bad for the United States and bad for the world. If McMaster can't figure that out, then he's the one who is behind the times. ..."
    "... While Hillary was very clear on her drive against Russia, Trump promised the opposite, so many people had hopes for something on that. Nevertheless, he also promised to go against China and JPCOA, which many people forgot or thought not likely. But lo and behold, with Trump we ended up having the worst of both worlds ..."
    "... just because of Trump's rhetoric against military adventurism, I would have voted for him. I would have been wrong, so now I am now extremely weary of any promises on this direction, but still hoped for Tulsi... ..."
    Jul 01, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

    Home / Articles / Realism & Restraint / Madcap Militarism: H.R. McMaster's Dishonest Attack On Restraint REALISM & RESTRAINT Madcap Militarism: H.R. McMaster's Dishonest Attack On Restraint

    Anyone looking for new grand strategy won't find it in the retired general's latest 'think piece.' Gen. H.R. McMaster in 2013. By CSIS/Flickr

    JUNE 29, 2020

    |

    12:01 AM

    ANDREW J. BACEVICH

    H.R. McMaster looks to be one of those old soldiers with an aversion to following Douglas MacArthur's advice to "just fade away."

    The retired army three-star general who served an abbreviated term as national security adviser has a memoir due out in September. Perhaps in anticipation of its publication, he has now contributed a big think-piece to the new issue of Foreign Affairs. The essay is unlikely to help sell the book.

    The purpose of McMaster's essay is to discredit "retrenchers" -- that's his term for anyone advocating restraint as an alternative to the madcap militarism that has characterized U.S. policy in recent decades. Substituting retrenchment for restraint is a bit like referring to conservatives as fascists or liberals as pinks : It reveals a preference for labeling rather than serious engagement. In short, it's a not very subtle smear, as indeed is the phrase madcap militarism. But, hey, I'm only playing by his rules.

    Yet if not madcap militarism, what term or phrase accurately describes post-9/11 U.S. policy? McMaster never says. It's among the many matters that he passes over in silence. As a result, his essay amounts to little more than a dodge, carefully designed to ignore the void between what assertive "American global leadership" was supposed to accomplish back when we fancied ourselves the sole superpower and what actually ensued.

    Here's what McMaster dislikes about restraint: It is based on "emotions" and a "romantic view" of the world rather than reason and analysis. It is synonymous with "disengagement" -- McMaster uses the terms interchangeably. "Retrenchers ignore the fact that the risks and costs of inaction are sometimes higher than those of engagement," which, of course, is not a fact, but an assertion dear to the hearts of interventionists. Retrenchers assume that the "vast oceans" separating the United States "from the rest of the world" will suffice to "keep Americans safe." They also believe that "an overly powerful United States is the principal cause of the world's problems." Perhaps worst of all, "retrenchers are out of step with history and way behind the times."

    Forgive me for saying so, but there is a Trumpian quality to this line of argument: broad claims supported by virtually no substantiating evidence. Just as President Trump is adamant in refusing to fess up to mistakes in responding to Covid-19 -- "We've made every decision correctly" -- so too McMaster avoids reckoning with what actually happened when the never-retrench crowd was calling the shots in Washington and set out after 9/11 to transform the Greater Middle East.

    What gives the game away is McMaster's apparent aversion to numbers. This is an essay devoid of stats. McMaster acknowledges the "visceral feelings of war weariness" felt by more than a few Americans. Yet he refrains from exploring the source of such feelings. So he does not mention casualties -- the number of Americans killed or wounded in our post-9/11 misadventures. He does not discuss how much those wars have cost , which, of course, spares him from considering how the trillions expended in Afghanistan and Iraq might have been better invested at home. He does not even reflect on the duration of those wars, which by itself suffices to reveal the epic failure of recent U.S. military policy. Instead, McMaster mocks what he calls the "new mantra" of "ending endless wars."

    Well, if not endless, our recent wars have certainly dragged on for far longer than the proponents of those wars expected. Given the hundreds of billions funneled to the Pentagon each year -- another data point that McMaster chooses to overlook -- shouldn't Americans expect more positive outcomes? And, of course, we are still looking for the general who will make good on the oft-repeated promise of victory.

    What is McMaster's alternative to restraint? Anyone looking for the outlines of a new grand strategy in step with history and keeping up with the times won't find it here. The best McMaster can come up with is to suggest that policymakers embrace "strategic empathy: an understanding of the ideology, emotions, and aspirations that drive and constrain other actors" -- a bit of advice likely to find favor with just about anyone apart from President Trump himself.

    But strategic empathy is not a strategy; it's an attitude. By contrast, a policy of principled restraint does provide the basis for an alternative strategy, one that implies neither retrenchment nor disengagement. Indeed, restraint emphasizes engagement, albeit through other than military means.

    Unless I missed it, McMaster's essay contains not a single reference to diplomacy, a revealing oversight. Let me amend that: A disregard for diplomacy may not be surprising in someone with decades of schooling in the arts of madcap militarism.

    The militarization of American statecraft that followed the end of the Cold War produced results that were bad for the United States and bad for the world. If McMaster can't figure that out, then he's the one who is behind the times. Here's the truth: Those who support the principle of restraint believe in vigorous engagement, emphasizing diplomacy, trade, cultural exchange, and the promotion of global norms, with war as a last resort. Whether such an approach to policy is in or out of step with history, I leave for others to divine.

    Andrew Bacevich, TAC's writer-at-large, is president of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft.


    kouroi2 days ago

    Surveys show over and over that the Americans overwhelmingly share Dr. Bacevich's views. There was even hope that Trump will reign on the US military adventurism.

    The fact that all this continues unabated and that the general is given space in the Foreign Affairs is in our face evidence of the glaring democratic deficit existent in the US, and that in fact democracy is nonexistent being long ago fully replaced by a de facto Oligarchy.

    Doesn't matter what Dr. Bachevich writes or says or does. Unless and until the internal political issues in the US are not addressed, the world will suffer.

    libertarianlwyr kouroi2 days ago

    only idiots and fools were under any delusion that Trump would "reign in US military adventurism".

    kouroi libertarianlwyr2 days ago

    While Hillary was very clear on her drive against Russia, Trump promised the opposite, so many people had hopes for something on that. Nevertheless, he also promised to go against China and JPCOA, which many people forgot or thought not likely. But lo and behold, with Trump we ended up having the worst of both worlds...

    and the tragedy is that even if Biden is elected, that direction will not be reversed, or not likely. While I cannot vote, just because of Trump's rhetoric against military adventurism, I would have voted for him. I would have been wrong, so now I am now extremely weary of any promises on this direction, but still hoped for Tulsi...

    [Jul 01, 2020] Control freaks that cannot even control their own criminal impulses!

    Highly recommended!
    Jul 01, 2020 | www.unz.com

    No Friend Of The Devil , says:

    Control freaks that cannot even control their own criminal impulses!

    ...They suffer from god-complexes, since they do not believe in God, they feel an obligation to act as God, and decide the fates of over 7 billion people, who would obviously be better off if the PICs were sent to the Fletcher Memorial Home for Incurable Tyrants!

    [Jun 26, 2020] Don't forget the Oscar given to the Netflix "documentary" on the White Helmets.

    Jun 26, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

    S , Apr 22 2018 1:16 utc | 14

    @Michael Murry: Don't forget the Oscar given to the Netflix "documentary" on the White Helmets.

    Laura Roslin , Apr 22 2018 15:13 utc | 73

    2 things:

    1) R/e Netflix and The White Helmets propaganda.
    Expect more like this. Consider - Susan Rice Added to Netflix Board of Directors
    CEO Reed Hastings says streaming service will benefit from former Obama administration official's "experience and wisdom"
    https://www.thewrap.com/susan-rice-added-netflix-board-directors/

    2) DO watch this new interview by Jimmy Dore with Carla Ortiz. You won't regret it.
    Carla Ortiz Shocking Video From Syria Contradicts Corp. News Coverage
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCu8mNC1JyE

    Ortiz spent 2 years in Syria, she had originally intended to make a documentary about how women of Syria are coping, she also was naive about the White Helmets. She filmed the human corridors, she talked to regular people, she has lots of great footage.

    Comedian Jimmy Dore has been demonetized on any youtube videos that talk about Syria or war. CNN did a smear piece on him and other youtubers.

    kabobyak , Apr 22 2018 12:48 utc | 57
    Someone mentioned the Netflix documentary White Helmets winning the Oscar, and that jogged memories from a couple years ago when the movie was released. While browsing Netflix looking for movies, I came across it and clicked on to watch, quickly discovering it to be a one-sided propaganda piece glorifying White Helmets and demonizing The Syrian "regime". I went to the Netflix reviews for the film expecting to see posts exposing this, but was shocked with what I saw. There were 61 reviews at that time, and 57 of them were rated 5-star, two 4-star, one 3-star, with one 1-star review (it had been posted that day) which brought truth to the issue. I had never seen any film ever which got that percentage of 5-star ratings.

    I posted a review (giving 1-star) pointing out who funded White Helmets, and informed viewers that there was a lot of information available which countered the film's narrative (including Beeley and Bartlett's first-hand reporting from Syria). My review (like the other critical one) was mild with no content which would violate any standards. I checked my posting for the next two days to check response, and was happy to see it listed at the top as the "most helpful" review (based on reviewer clicks). And guess what happened the next day? Both my review and the other 1-star had just disappeared; it was back to 100% positive reviews. Looking for Netflix policy about deleting reviews, I could find no way an ordinary subscriber could do it, and guidelines for management to do it were only if a review was extremely offensive (racist, profanity, etc.).

    I was disgusted with the whole thing and never checked back. I assume there are plenty of critical reviews there now. But there is no question the reviews were manipulated during the critical time period when the film was "hot", just released and leading up to the Oscars, with Hollywood celebrities singing the praises.

    It may seem a trivial affair, but what it did for me was inform me of the depth and extent this propaganda happens, even in the most unlikely of places. Even with a limited diet of MSM consumption, I'm amazed at how many times a day I encounter it, with NPR being just awful. I am both frustrated with how many friends and acquaintances have swallowed this totally, but also encouraged to see the growing number of folks seeking the truth from sources like MOA, Consortium, Saker, etc. I agree with many who see what's happening in Syria as crucial for both the warmongers and for us in exposing it. My little experience with Netflix is just a small piece of a huge and widespread campaign.

    jacobo , Apr 23 2018 2:12 utc | 85
    Laura, thanks for the link to Carla Ortiz's videos. What a contrast to the video clips (Al Jazeera, especially) featured in Sonali Kolhatkar's post at Truthdig.com. These confirm what eyewitnesses told Robert Fisk - that someone burst into a room, yelled 'gas attack' Not heard), after which the video cameras started rolling, as White Helmeteers grabbed children and started hosing them down with water, even though nobody appeared ill, although the children did seem annoyed. Presumably extemporaneous speeches were delivered by (1) a White Helmeteer and (2) a representative of the Syrian American Medical, both organizations CIA funded. Staged events, if ever there was one. Why truthdig allowed such obvious fake news on its website? Well, they simultaneously featured a story by Frank Ritter that challenged the triple alliance (USA, GB & France) of evil's Assad did it line, so perhaps Sonali's piece was published so that when the censors come aknockin,the editors can say, "look, we did provide balance (ie cover their asses).

    [Jun 23, 2020] John Bolton's Mission was to Destroy Donald Trump's Detente with North Korea

    Jun 23, 2020 | nationalinterest.org

    Bolton, of course, dismissed the entire concept of diplomacy from the very start. He never bought into the notion that North Korean officials could be talked to sensibly because they were, well, insane. Bolton's version of North Korea diplomacy was to tighten the economic screws, brandish the U.S. military, and wait until one of two things happened: 1) the Kim regime surrendered its entire nuclear weapons program like Libya's Muammar al-Qaddafi, or 2) the Kim regime continued to spur Washington's demands, in which the White House would have no option but to use U.S. military force. Bolton's record is analogous to a stereotypical linebacker on an obscene amount of steroids -- smash your opponent to pieces and don't think twice about it. Top Beauty Surgeon Says "Forget Facelifts, This at Home Tip is My #1 Wrinkle Red Del Mar Laboratories Dr: This May Be the Best CBD Ever for Arthritis, Aching Joints & Inflammation Mirror News Online Enlarged Prostate Gone - Just Do This Before Bed (Watch) Newhealthylife 3 Ways Your Cat Asks for Help Dr. Marty The content you see here is paid for by the advertiser or content provider whose link you click on, and is recommended to you by Revcontent. As the leading platform for native advertising and content recommendation, Revcontent uses interest based targeting to select content that we think will be of particular interest to you. We encourage you to view our Privacy Policy and your opt out options here . Got it, thanks! Remove Content Link?

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    The only problem: North Korea isn't some helpless punter with string bean arms and a lanky midsection. It's a nuclear weapons state fiercely proud of its independence and sovereignty, constantly on guard for the slightest threat from a foreign power, and cognizant of its weakened position relative to its neighbors. This is one of the prime reasons Bolton's obsession with the Libya-style North Korea deal, in which Pyongyang would theoretically discard its entire nuclear apparatus and allow U.S. weapons inspectors to take custody of its nuclear warheads before flying them back to the U.S. for destruction, was unworkable from the start. The Libya-model trumpeted by Bolton was a politically correct way of demanding Pyongyang's total surrender -- an extremely naive goal if there ever was one. When one remembers the fate of Qaddafi 8 years after he traded sanctions relief for his weapons of mass destruction -- the dictator was assaulted and humiliated before being executed in the desert -- even the word "Libya" is treated by the Kim dynasty as a threat to its existence. As Paul Pillar wrote in these pages more than two years ago, "Libya's experience does indeed weigh heavily on the thinking of North Korean officials, who have taken explicit notice of that experience, as a disincentive to reaching any deals with the United States about dismantling weapons programs."

    One can certainly take issue with Trump's North Korea policy. Two years of personal diplomacy with Kim Jong-un have yet to result in the denuclearization Washington seeks (denuclearization is more of a slogan than a realistic objective at this point, anyway). But Trump's strategy aside, Bolton's alternative was worse. The president knew his former national security adviser's public insistence on the Libya model was dangerously inept. He had to walk back Bolton's comments weeks later to ensure the North Koreans didn't pull out of diplomacy before it got off the ground. Trump hasn't forgotten about the experience; on June 18, Trump tweeted that "Bolton's dumbest of all statements set us back very badly with North Korea, even now. I asked him, "what the hell were you thinking?"

    [Jun 23, 2020] Chickenhawk B olton May Be a Beast, But He's Washington's Creature by Richard Hanania

    Personally he is a bully and as such a coward: he can attack only a weaker opponent. His new book shows that however discredited and intellectually thin his foreign policy views are, they always rise to the top. To Bolton the country is simply a vehicle for smiting his enemies abroad.
    Notable quotes:
    "... Bolton's hawkishness is combined with an equally striking lack of originality. It is possible to be an unorthodox or partisan hawk, as we see in populists who want to get out of the Middle East but ramp up pressure on China, or Democrats who have a particular obsession with Russia. Bolton takes the most belligerent position on every issue without regards for partisanship or popularity, a level of consistency that would almost be honorable if it wasn't so frightening. No alliance or commitment is ever questioned, and neither, for that matter, is any rivalry. ..."
    "... Bolton lacks any intellectual tradition or popular support base that he can call his own. Domestic political concerns are almost completely missing from his book, although we learn that he follows "Adam Smith on economics, Edmund Burke on society," is happy with Trump's judicial appointments, and favors legal, but not illegal, immigration. Other than these GOP clichés, there is virtually no commentary or concern about the state of American society or its trajectory. Unlike those who worry about how global empire affects the United States at home, to Bolton the country is simply a vehicle for smiting his enemies abroad. While Bolton's views have been called "nationalist" because he doesn't care about multilateralism, nation-building, or international law, I have never seen a nationalist that gives so little thought to his nation. ..."
    "... Bolton recounts how his two top aides, Charles Kupperman and Mira Ricardel, had extensive experience working for Boeing. Patrick Shanahan similarly became acting Secretary of Defense after spending thirty years at that company, until he was replaced by Mark Esper, a Raytheon lobbyist. Why working for a company that manufactures aircraft and weapons prepares one for a job in foreign policy, the establishment has never felt the need to explain, any more than it needs to explain continuing Cold War-era military commitments three decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union. ..."
    "... The most important question raised by the career of John Bolton is how someone with his views has been able to achieve so much power. While Bolton gets much worse press and always goes a step too far even for most of the foreign policy establishment, in other ways he is all too typical. Take James Mattis, a foil for Bolton throughout much of the first half of the book. Although more popular in the media, the "warrior monk" slow-walked and obstructed attempts by the president to pull out of the Middle East, and after a career supporting many of the same wars and commitments as Bolton, now makes big bucks in the private sector, profiting off of his time in government. ..."
    Jun 23, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

    The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir, John Bolton, Simon & Schuster, 592 pages

    The release of John Bolton's book today has become a Washington cultural event, because he is, by all measures, Washington's creature.

    Those who dislike the Trump administration have been pleased to find in The Room Where It Happened confirmation in much of what they already believed about the Ukraine scandal and the president's lack of capacity for the job. Some accusations in the book, such as the story about Trump seeking reelection help from China through American farm purchases, are new, and in an alternative universe could have formed the basis of a different, or if Bolton had his way, more comprehensive, impeachment inquiry.

    While Bolton's book has been found politically useful by the president's detractors, the work is also important as a first-hand account from the top of the executive branch over a 19-month period, from April 2018 to September 2019. It also, mostly inadvertently, reveals much about official Washington, the incentive structures that politicians face, and the kind of person that is likely to succeed in that system. Bolton may be a biased self-promoter, but he is nonetheless a credible source, as his stories mostly involve conversations with other people who are free to eventually tell their own side. Moreover, the John Bolton of The Room Where It Happened is no different from the man we know from his three-decade career as a government official and public personality. No surprises here.

    There are three ways to understand John Bolton. In increasing order of importance, they are intellectually, psychologically, and politically -- that is, as someone who is both a product of and antagonist to the foreign-policy establishment -- in many ways typical, and in others a detested outlier.

    On the first of these, there simply isn't much there. Bolton takes the most hawkish position on every issue. He wants war with North Korea and Iran, and if he can't have that, he'll settle for destroying their economies and sabotaging any attempts by Trump to reach a deal with either country. He takes the maximalist positions on great powers like China and Russia, and third world states that pose no plausible threat like Cuba and Venezuela. At one point, he brags about State reversing "Obama's absurd conclusion that Cuban baseball was somehow independent of its government, thus in turn allowing Treasury to revoke the license allowing Major League Baseball to traffic in Cuban players." How this helps Americans or Cubans is left unexplained.

    Bolton's hawkishness is combined with an equally striking lack of originality. It is possible to be an unorthodox or partisan hawk, as we see in populists who want to get out of the Middle East but ramp up pressure on China, or Democrats who have a particular obsession with Russia. Bolton takes the most belligerent position on every issue without regards for partisanship or popularity, a level of consistency that would almost be honorable if it wasn't so frightening. No alliance or commitment is ever questioned, and neither, for that matter, is any rivalry.

    Anyone who picks up Bolton's over 500-page memoir hoping to find serious reflection on the philosophical basis of American foreign policy will be disappointed. The chapters are broken up by topic area, most beginning with a short background explainer on Bolton's views of the issue. In the chapter on Venezuela, we are told that overthrowing the government of that country is important because of "its Cuba connection and the openings it afforded Russia, China, and Iran." The continuing occupation of Afghanistan is necessary for preventing terrorists from establishing a base, and, in an argument I had not heard anywhere before, for "remaining vigilant against the nuclear-weapons programs in Iran on the west and Pakistan on the east." Iran needs to be deterred, though from what we are never told.

    Bolton lacks any intellectual tradition or popular support base that he can call his own. Domestic political concerns are almost completely missing from his book, although we learn that he follows "Adam Smith on economics, Edmund Burke on society," is happy with Trump's judicial appointments, and favors legal, but not illegal, immigration. Other than these GOP clichés, there is virtually no commentary or concern about the state of American society or its trajectory. Unlike those who worry about how global empire affects the United States at home, to Bolton the country is simply a vehicle for smiting his enemies abroad. While Bolton's views have been called "nationalist" because he doesn't care about multilateralism, nation-building, or international law, I have never seen a nationalist that gives so little thought to his nation.

    The more time one spends reading Bolton, the more one comes to the conclusion that the guy just likes to fight. In addition to seeking out and escalating foreign policy conflicts, he seems to relish going to war with the media and the rest of the Washington bureaucracy. His book begins with a quote from the Duke of Wellington rallying his troops at Waterloo: "Hard pounding, this, gentlemen. Let's see who will pound the longest." The back cover quotes the epilogue on his fight with the Trump administration, responding "game on" to attempts to stop publication. He takes a mischievous pride in recounting attacks from the media or foreign governments, such as when he was honored to hear that North Korea worried about his influence over the President. Bolton is too busy enjoying the fight, and as will be seen below, profiting from it, to reflect too carefully on what it's all for.

    Bolton could be ignored if he were simply an odd figure without much power. Yet the man has been at the pinnacle of the GOP establishment for thirty years, serving appointed roles in every Republican president since Reagan. The story of how he got his job in the Trump administration is telling. According to Bolton's account, he was courted throughout the transition process and the early days of the administration by Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner, ironic considering the reputation of the former as a populist opposed to forever wars and the latter as a more liberal figure within the White House. Happy with his life outside government, Bolton would accept a position no lower than Secretary of State or National Security Advisor. Explaining his reluctance to enter government in a lower capacity, Bolton provides a list of his commitments at the time, including "Senior Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute; Fox News contributor; a regular on the speaking circuit; of counsel at a major law firm; member of corporate boards; senior advisor to a global private-equity firm."

    Clearly, being an advocate for policies that can destroy the lives of millions abroad, and a complete lack of experience in business, have proved no hindrance to Bolton's success in corporate America.

    Bolton recounts how his two top aides, Charles Kupperman and Mira Ricardel, had extensive experience working for Boeing. Patrick Shanahan similarly became acting Secretary of Defense after spending thirty years at that company, until he was replaced by Mark Esper, a Raytheon lobbyist. Why working for a company that manufactures aircraft and weapons prepares one for a job in foreign policy, the establishment has never felt the need to explain, any more than it needs to explain continuing Cold War-era military commitments three decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

    Ricardel resigned after a dispute over preparations for the First Lady's trip to Africa, an example of how too often in the Trump administration, nepotism and self-interest have been the only checks on bad policy or even greater corruption ("Melania's people are on the warpath," Trump is quoted as saying). Another is when Trump, according to Bolton, was less than vigorous in pursing destructive Iranian sanctions due to personal relationships with the leaders of China and Turkey. At the 2019 G7 summit, when Pompeo and Bolton try to get Benjamin Netanyahu to reach out to Trump to talk him out of meeting with the Iranian foreign minister, Jared prevents his call from going through on the grounds that a foreign government shouldn't be telling the President of the United States who to meet with.

    The most important question raised by the career of John Bolton is how someone with his views has been able to achieve so much power. While Bolton gets much worse press and always goes a step too far even for most of the foreign policy establishment, in other ways he is all too typical. Take James Mattis, a foil for Bolton throughout much of the first half of the book. Although more popular in the media, the "warrior monk" slow-walked and obstructed attempts by the president to pull out of the Middle East, and after a career supporting many of the same wars and commitments as Bolton, now makes big bucks in the private sector, profiting off of his time in government.

    In the coverage of Bolton, this is what should not be lost. The former National Security Advisor is the product of a system with its own internal logic. Largely discredited and intellectually hollow, and without broad popular support, it persists in its practices and beliefs because it has been extremely profitable for those involved. The most extreme hawks are simply symptoms of larger problems, with the flamboyant Bolton being much more like mainstream members of the foreign policy establishment than either side would like to admit.

    Richard Hanania is a research fellow at the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies at Columbia University.

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    [Jun 23, 2020] John Bolton Tells How Iran Hawks Set Up Trump's Syrian Kurdish Disaster

    Notable quotes:
    "... Bolton's account sheds light on how it happened: hawks in the administration, including Bolton himself, wanted U.S. forces in Syria fighting Russia and Iran. They saw the U.S.-Kurdish alliance against ISIS as a distraction -- and let the Turkish-Kurdish conflict fester until it spiralled out of control. ..."
    Jun 23, 2020 | nationalinterest.org

    The drama eventually ended with President Donald Trump pulling U.S. peacekeepers out of Syria -- and then sending them back in . One hundred thousand Syrian civilians were displaced by an advancing Turkish army, and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces turned to Russia for help. But U.S. forces never fully withdrew -- they are still stuck in Syria defending oil wells .

    Bolton's account sheds light on how it happened: hawks in the administration, including Bolton himself, wanted U.S. forces in Syria fighting Russia and Iran. They saw the U.S.-Kurdish alliance against ISIS as a distraction -- and let the Turkish-Kurdish conflict fester until it spiralled out of control.

    Pompeo issued a statement on Thursday night denouncing Bolton's entire book as "a number of lies, fully-spun half-truths, and outright falsehoods."

    [Jun 22, 2020] MoA community discussion of Bolton book

    Notable quotes:
    "... let us not forget that bolton threatened a un officials kids because they guy wasn't going along with the iraq war propaganda. ..."
    "... Close -- the threatened official was Jose Bustani, at that time (2002) the head of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)as he had been for five years. ..."
    "... Bustani had been working to bring Iraq and Libya into the organization, which would have required those two countries to eliminate all of their chemical weapons. ..."
    "... The US, though, had other ideas -- chiefly invading and destroying both of those nations, and when Bustani insisted on continuing his efforts then Bolton threatened Bustani's adult children. ..."
    Jun 22, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

    pretzelattack , Jun 17 2020 21:49 utc | 14

    let us not forget that bolton threatened a un officials kids because they guy wasn't going along with the iraq war propaganda.

    Duncan Idaho , Jun 17 2020 22:03 utc | 15

    Only with Late Stage Capitalism could we have a vicious war criminal write a book criticizing a psychopathic sociopath.
    Anonymous , Jun 17 2020 22:06 utc | 16
    The political establishment in Canada appeared dismayed at the prospect of Bolton as National Security Adviser. See these interviews with Hill + Knowlton strategies Vice-chairman, Peter Donolo, from 2018:

    https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/video/there-s-risk-trump-s-actions-are-driving-the-u-s-into-a-recession-peter-donolo~1342264
    https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/video/trade-wars-easy-to-start-not-so-easy-to-finish-peter-donolo~1365104

    So Bolton gets in, Meng Wangzhou is detained in Vancouver on the US request (that's another story), and in time, Canada appoints a new Ambassador to China - Mr. Dominic Barton.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dominic_Barton

    Then Bolton gets fired. 'Nuff said. Just to let everyone know that Bolton is well and truly hated, as a government official, in certain circles.

    AntiSpin , Jun 17 2020 22:07 utc | 17
    @ pretzelattack | Jun 17 2020 21:49 utc | 14

    Close -- the threatened official was Jose Bustani, at that time (2002) the head of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)as he had been for five years.

    Bustani had been working to bring Iraq and Libya into the organization, which would have required those two countries to eliminate all of their chemical weapons.

    The US, though, had other ideas -- chiefly invading and destroying both of those nations, and when Bustani insisted on continuing his efforts then Bolton threatened Bustani's adult children.

    Jpc , Jun 17 2020 22:32 utc | 18
    Why was he appointment made in the first place anyone,?
    Ian2 , Jun 17 2020 23:08 utc | 19
    Jpc | Jun 17 2020 22:32 utc | 18:

    My guess Trump went along with the tough guy image that Bolton projected in media and recommendations by others.

    james , Jun 17 2020 23:13 utc | 20
    let the lobbyists with the most money win... that's what defines the usa system, leadership and decision making process... no one in their right mind would support this doofus..
    Jen , Jun 17 2020 23:40 utc | 21
    At least the one saving grace about John Bolton's memoir is that it might be a tad closer to reality than Christopher Steele's infamous dossier and might prove valuable as a source of evidence in a court of law. Maybe Yosemite Sam himself should start quaking in his boots.
    jen , Jun 17 2020 23:42 utc | 22
    Jpc @ 18, Ian2 @ 19:

    Personal interest on DJT's part? :-)

    JC , Jun 17 2020 23:43 utc | 23
    Posted by: Tower | Jun 17 2020 21:43 utc | 13

    This is the most intelligent post so far.

    Yes why not? If Obama awarded the Noble prize even before he begins serving his first term I can't see why Bolton not nominated now. America is a joke, not a banana republic. It deserves Obama, Trump, Bolton or Biden another stoopid joker.

    Stoopid president elected by stoopid citizens

    Don Bacon , Jun 17 2020 23:44 utc | 24
    @ Jpc
    When faced with Trump's behavior of employing warmongers, including several generals, some observers opined that Trump wanted people with contrasting opinions so that he could consider them and then say "no." He did more with Bolton eventually, sending him to Mongolia while he (Trump) went to Singapore (or somewhere over there).
    A User , Jun 17 2020 23:47 utc | 25
    re Ian2 | Jun 17 2020 23:08 utc | 19
    who hazarded : My guess Trump went along with the tough guy image that Bolton projected in media and recommendations by others.
    Not at all, if you go back to the earliest days of the orangeman's prezdency, you will see Trump resisted the efforts by Mercer & the zionist casino owner to give Bolton a gig.
    He knew that shrub had problems with the boasts of Bolton and as his reputation was as an arsehole who sounded his own trumpet at his boss's expense orangeman refused for a long time. Trump believes the trump prezdency is about trump no one else.
    Thing was at the time he was running for the prez gig trump was on his uppers, making a few dollars from his tv show, plus licensing other people's buildings by selling his name to be stuck on them. trump tower azerbnajan etc.
    He put virtually none of his own money into the 'race' so when he won the people who had put up the dosh had power over him.
    Bolton has always been an arse kisser to any zionist cause he suspects he can claw a penny outta, so he used the extreme loony end of the totally looney zionist spectrum to hook him (Bolton) up with a gig by pushing for him with trump.

    It was always gonna end the way it did as Bolton is forever briefing the media against anyone who tried to resist his murderous fantasies. Trump is never gonna argue for any scheme that doesn't have lotsa dollars for him in it so he had plenty of run ins with Bolton who then went to his media mates & told tales.
    When bolton was appointed orangey's stakes were at a really low ebb among DC warmongers, so he reluctantly took him on then spent the next 18 months getting rid of the grubby parasite.

    div> Yosemite Sam did it better. I would prefer a Foghorn Leghorn-type character, for US diplomacy.

    Posted by: Ribbit , Jun 18 2020 0:20 utc | 26

    Yosemite Sam did it better. I would prefer a Foghorn Leghorn-type character, for US diplomacy.

    Posted by: Ribbit | Jun 18 2020 0:20 utc | 26

    Kristan hinton , Jun 18 2020 0:46 utc | 27
    Real History: Candidate Trump praised Bolton and named him as THE number one Foreign Policy expert he (Trump) respected.

    Imagine the mustachioed Mister Potatoe (sic) Head and zany highjinks!

    Bolton and one of his first wives were regulars at Plato's Retreat for wife swapping orgies. The wife was not real keen on the behavior, but she allegedly found herself verbally and physically abused for objecting.

    DannyC , Jun 18 2020 1:17 utc | 28
    Trump is at fault for hiring him to appease the Zionist lobby. We all knew the guy was a warmonger and a scumbag. It's not a surprise. Trump surrounds himself with the worst people
    jadan , Jun 18 2020 1:30 utc | 29
    Did John Bolton put his personal interests above the will of congress in an attempt to extort the Ukrainian government? You're making a false equivalence. You seem to have a soft spot for Trump. Bolton is an in-your-face son of a bitch, but Trump, Trump is just human garbage.
    Kay Fabe , Jun 18 2020 2:27 utc | 30
    Pretty much a nothing burger if thats all he has got. Just a distraction. Trumps outrage just meant help Bolton sell some books. Lol. People are so easy to fool.

    I still think Bolton managing the operations as COG in Cheneys old bunker. Coming out for a vacation while next phase is planned

    Jackrabbit , Jun 18 2020 2:56 utc | 31
    Kay Fabe @Jun18 2:27 #29
    Pretty much a nothing burger if thats all he has got.

    You underestimate the craftiness of this kayfabe.

    The tiff with Bolton makes Trump look like a peace-loving moderate so that he's acceptable to Independent voters.

    !!

    Den lille abe , Jun 18 2020 3:03 utc | 32
    Bolton is just another American arsehole. Nothing new. When they do not get their way, the y always turn on their superiors, or those in charge. Bolton is just another "Anhänger" personal gain is what motivates him.
    He should have been a blot on his parents bedsheets or at least a forced abortion, but unfortunately that did not happen...
    Piotr Berman , Jun 18 2020 3:53 utc | 33
    The self-appointed Deep State has pretty much thwarted him (Trump) and his voters.

    Posted by: bob sykes | Jun 17 2020 20:55 utc | 11

    Trump thwarted Trump. Before he got elected, Trump mentioned his admiration of Bolton more than once. Voters of Trump elected a liar and an incoherent person -- at time, incomprehensible, a nice bonus. But it is worth noticing that Trump never liked being binded by agreement, like, say, an agreement to pay money back to creditors, or whatever international agreement would restrict USA from doing what they damn please.

    Superficially, it is mysterious why Trump made an impression that he wants to negotiate with North Korea with some agreement at the end. Was he forced to make a mockery from the negotiation by someone sticking knife to his back?

    Some may remember that Trump promised to abolish Affordable Care Act and replace it with "something marvelous". The latest version is that he will start thinking about it again after re-election. If you believe that...

    Granted, Trump is more sane than Bolton, but just a bit, unlike Bolton he has some moments of lucidity.

    In conclusion, I would advocate to vote for Biden. If you need a reason, that would be that Biden never tweets, or if he does, it is forgettable before the typing is done. Unlike the hideous Trumpian productions.

    jason , Jun 18 2020 3:55 utc | 34
    "men fit to be shaved," Tiberius, on Bolton and Friedman.

    he is the best & brightest we have. when a dreadful mouth is called for. his insights into the Trump WH are probably as deep as his knowledge of VZ, Iran, Cuba, etc. he's a useful idiot, a willing fool. like Trump, he's the verbal equivalent of the cops on the street, in foreign "policy." another abusive father figure

    reading the imperial steak turds - an American form of reading the tea leaves or goat livers or chicken flight or celestial what have you. an emperor craps out a big hairy one like Bolton and the priests and hierophants and lawyers and scribes come for a long, close up inspection and fact-gathering smell of another steaming pile of gmo-corn-and-downer-cow-fed, colon cancer causing, Kansas feed-lot raised, grade A Murkin BEEF. guess what they in their wisdom find? Trump stinks.

    kiwiklown , Jun 18 2020 4:20 utc | 35
    Scotch Bingeington @ 6 -- "Take a look at his face. It's obvious to me that even John Bolton does not enjoy being John Bolton. That mouth, it's drooping to an absurd degree. Comparable to Merkel's face, come to think of it.

    At last, someone who notices physionomy!

    That face drips with false modesty, kind of trying to make his face say, "... look at harmless old me..."

    That walrus bushiness points at an attempt to hide, to camouflage his true thoughts, his malevolence.

    That pretended stoop, with one hand clutching a sheaf of briefing papers, emulating the posture of deferential court clerks, speaks to a lifetime of a snake in the grass "fighting" from below for things important to himself.

    But those of us who have been around the block a couple times will know to watch our backs around this type. Poisoned-tipped daggers are their fave weapons, and your backs are their fave "battle space". LOL

    This statement by Jeffrey Sachs may as well also describe America's leadership crisis: "At the root of America's economic crisis lies a moral crisis: the decline of civic virtue among America's political and economic elite."

    kiwiklown , Jun 18 2020 5:29 utc | 36
    GeorgeV @ 8 -- "It's like standing on a street corner watching two prostitutes calling each other a whore! How low has the US sunk."

    And the US "leadeship" sends these types out to lecture other peoples on "values"? on how to become "normal nations"? on how to "contain" old civilisations such as Iran, Russia, China?

    It is axiomatic that the stupid do not know they are stupid. Same goes for morals. The immoral do not know they are immoral. Or, perhaps, as Phat Pomp-arse shows, they know they are immoral, but do not care. Which makes one rightly guess that people like Bolt-On and him must be depraved.

    Yes, it may take centuries before the leadership in this depraved Exceptionally Indispensable Nation to become truly normal again.

    snake , Jun 18 2020 5:38 utc | 37
    Of course, Trump actually campaigned to leave Afghanistan and Syria, and he was elected to do so. The self-appointed Deep State has pretty much thwarted him and his voters. by: bob sykes 11

    I wondered about He King claims that Trump actually attempted to do those awful things, . .. , I looked for evidence to prove the claim.. I asked just about every librarian I could find to please show me evidence that confirms the deep state over rode Mr. Trump's actual attempt to remove USA anything from Afghanistan and Syria. thus far, no confirming or supporting facts have been produced. to support such a claim. Mr. Trump could easily have tweeted to his supporters something to the effect that the damn military, CIA, homeland security, state department, foreign service, federal reserve, women's underwear association and smiley Joe's hamburger stand in fact every militant in the USA governed America were holding hands, locked in a conspiracy to block President Trumps attempt to remove USA anything from Afghanistan or Syria.. If Mr. Trump has asked for those things, they would have happened. The next day there would have been parties in the streets as the militant agency heads began rolling as Mr. Trump fired them each and everyone.. No firings happened, the party providers were disappointed, no troops, USA contractors or privatization pirates left any foreign place.. as far as I can tell. 500 + military bases still remain in Europe none have been abandoned.. and one was added in Israel. BTW i heard that Mr. Trump managed to get 17 trillion dollars into the hands of many who are contractors or suppliers to those foreign operations. I can't say I am against Trump, but i can ask you to show me some evidence to prove your claim.

    Jackrabbit , Jun 18 2020 5:50 utc | 38
    snake @Jun18 5:38 #36

    As always, watch what they do, not what they say.

    Trump is the Republican Obama. A faux populist 'insider' who pretends to be an 'outsider'.

    Trump was selected to be the nationalist President that meets the challenge from Russia and China. And serves all the usual interests while doing so.

    Americans fools keep electing these establishment stooges and then wonder why nothing seems to get any better.

    !!

    Mao , Jun 18 2020 6:25 utc | 39
    Sack cartoon: Trump's 'swamp'

    https://www.startribune.com/sack-cartoon-trump-s-swamp/401964365/

    https://www.startribune.com/sack-cartoon-the-swamp/420668223/

    Mao , Jun 18 2020 6:39 utc | 40
    Trump searches for new slogan as he abandons Keep America Great amid George Floyd and covid turmoil

    The president has taken to inserting the term 'Transition to Greatness' into his remarks. His 2016 slogan was 'Make America Great Again'. After election he polled audiences on whether to go with 'Keep America Great'. He told CPAC this year and said at the State of the Union 'The Best is Yet to Come'. Tweaks come as he trails Biden in new NBC and CNN polls, as the nation struggles with the coronavirus and protests over police violence.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8398993/Donald-Trump-searches-new-slogan-amid-cratering-polls-against-Joe-Biden.html

    Mao , Jun 18 2020 6:44 utc | 41
    Rudy W. Giuliani @RudyGiuliani

    Ukrainian police seize $6 Million in bribes paid to kill the new case into crooked Burisma.

    This money is a Followup to the multi-millions in bribes Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, and President Poroshenko earned to leverage their offices to kill the original case.

    All covered up!

    https://twitter.com/RudyGiuliani/status/1273298170966159366

    Ghost Ship , Jun 18 2020 7:28 utc | 42
    Christian J. Chuba @ 3
    goals that you consider important are different from personal interests.

    What personal interests has Trump actually advanced during his time as president. Leaving out the fake allegations, I'm hard put to think of any. If you look at Trump's actual behaviour rather than his bullshit or the bullshit aimed at him, I'm also hard put to think of anything illegal he's done while in office that wasn't done by previous administrations.
    Mao , Jun 18 2020 7:41 utc | 43
    US President Donald Trump sought help from Xi Jinping to win the upcoming 2020 election, "pleading" with the Chinese president to boost imports of American agricultural products, according to a new book by former national security adviser John Bolton. The accusations were included in an excerpt from The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir, which is set to be released on June 23. Bolton also wrote that Trump demonstrated other "fundamentally unacceptable behaviour", including privately expressing support for China's mass interment of Uygur Muslims and other ethnic minority groups in Xinjiang.*This video has been updated to fix a spelling mistake.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agk61kyDS1k

    Yeah, Right , Jun 18 2020 8:35 utc | 44
    @42 Mao I'm struggling to see how "pleading" with any country for it to purchase more US goods is "fundamentally unacceptable behaviour" from a US President.

    Pleading to Xi for China to give, say, Israel preferential access to markets, sure.

    Down South , Jun 18 2020 9:56 utc | 45
    The Saker takes an interesting look at this "spontaneous or popular" revolt taking place in America

    https://thesaker.is/what-kind-of-popular-revolution-is-this/#comments

    Mao , Jun 18 2020 10:35 utc | 46
    The Saker:

    I have lived in the United States for a total of 24 years and I have witnessed many crises over this long period, but what is taking place today is truly unique and much more serious than any previous crisis I can recall. And to explain my point, I would like to begin by saying what I believe the riots we are seeing taking place in hundreds of US cities are not about. They are not about:

    * Racism or "White privilege"
    * Police violence
    * Social alienation and despair
    * Poverty
    * Trump
    * The liberals pouring fuel on social fires
    * The infighting of the US elites/deep state

    They are not about any of these because they encompass all of these issues, and more.

    It is important to always keep in mind the distinction between the concepts of "cause" and "pretext". And while it is true that all the factors listed above are real (at least to some degree, and without looking at the distinction between cause and effect), none of them are the true cause of what we are witnessing. At most, the above are pretexts, triggers if you want, but the real cause of what is taking place today is the systemic collapse of the US society.

    https://www.unz.com/tsaker/the-systemic-collapse-of-the-us-society-has-begun/

    Steve , Jun 18 2020 10:57 utc | 47
    The only time I'd be interested in anything Bolton had to say is if he were saying it from the docket at The Hague
    Matt , Jun 18 2020 11:40 utc | 48
    Don't really want to take sides between those two odious characters, but I think there's a difference in what the paper is saying.

    One is about someone pursuing policy goals they favour, the other "personal interest". From what I have seen so far, Bolton's main definition of Trump's "personal interest" is his chances for re-election (rather than any personal business interest).

    I think Bolton was happy for Trump to pursue the policy goals he favoured, at least when they coincided with Bolton's!

    Tadlak Davidovitsh , Jun 18 2020 12:04 utc | 49
    In modern Italy, mentioning Jupiter (Jove) and the ox (Bove) in the same sentence usually implies a demand that the two be treated the same.
    450.org , Jun 18 2020 12:07 utc | 50
    How many people have cashed in on Trump so far? Countless numbers of them. An ocean of them. Scathing books about Trump is one way to cash in on thr Trump effect, and the authors, many of whom don't even write the book themselves, get promoted and their books promoted in the mainstream media and elsewhere.

    There is nothing new under the sun when it comes to Trump. We know everything there is to know about Trump. Some of us knew everything there was to know about him before he became POTUS. And yet, there he is, sitting like the Cheshire Cat in the Oval Office, untouchable and beyond reproach. Meanwhile, even more scathing books are in the pipeline because there's money, so much money, to be made don't you know.

    Bolton is a shitbird every bit as much as Trump is and in fact an argument can be made Bolton is even worse and even more dangerous than Trump because if Bolton had his druthers, Iran would be a failed state right about now and America would be bogged down in a senseless money-making (for the defense contractors owned by the extractive wealthy elite) quagmire in Iran just as it was in Iraq and still is in Afghanistan.

    Colbert is all into the Bolton book because he and his staff managed to secure an interview with Bolton. Bolton, of course, has agreed to this because it's a great way to promote his book to the likes of Cher who is the perfect example of the demographic Colbert caters to with his show. Some of the commercials during Colbert's show last night? One was an Old Navy commercial where they bragged about how they're giving to the poor. The family they used for the commercial, the recipients of this beneficence, was a black family. Biden is proud of Old Navy because don't you know, poor and black are one and the same. In otherwords, there are no poor people except black people. No, that's not racist. Not at all. Also, another commercial during Colbert's show was for the reopening of Las Vegas amidst the spreading pandemic. This is immediately after a segment where Colbert is decrying Republican governors for opening southern states too early. The hypocritical irony is so stark, you can cut it with a chainsaw.

    kiwiklown , Jun 18 2020 12:24 utc | 51
    Mao @ 45 quoting The Saker -- ".... the real cause of what is taking place today is the systemic collapse of the US society."

    And the cause of American societal collapse has been corrupt US leadership.

    In my 50 years of studying American society, I have learned to watch what US leaders do, not what they preach. More profitable is to look at what declassified US documents tell us about the truth, not what the presstitudes of the day pretend to dish up. Also, what other world leaders might, in a candid moment, tell us about America.

    450.org , Jun 18 2020 12:30 utc | 52
    @50
    And the cause of American societal collapse has been corrupt US leadership.

    I would argue that this is a symptom or a feature versus the root of the problem. Afterall, a system that allows for creeping entrenched endemic corruption, is a crappy system. It's the system that's the root of this and it's not just isolated to the United States. It's civilization itself that's the root and what enabled civilization -- the spirit in our genes as Reg asserts.

    450.org , Jun 18 2020 12:47 utc | 53
    @4
    I'm fully expecting the Dem "left" to try and praise the monsterous Bolton for "going against Trump", as they did with war criminal Mad Dog Matis and Bush. Bolton has to be one of the most evil mass murders on the face of the Earth. The world will be an infinitely better place when he and his ilk like Netanyahu, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Chertoff..etc finally go back to hell.

    I agree. They would, because they already have and continue to do so, coddle and provide apologia for any and all monsters who decry Trump. Hell, I'm convinced they would clamor for Derek Chauvin's exoneration if he vocally decried Trump. Chauvin would make the rounds on the media circuit excoriating Trump and telling the world, contritely of course, that it was Trump who made him do it and now he sees the error of his ways. He'd be on Morning Joe and Chris Cuomo's and Don Lemon's shows not to mention Ari Melber and Anderson Cooper and Lawrence O'Donnell. The conservatives and their networks, who have provided apologia for Chauvin thus far, would now be his worst enemy. Colbert and Kimmel would have him on and guffawing with him asking him how it felt to choke the life out of someone, laughing all the way so long as he hates Trump and tells the world how much he hates Trump.

    This world is an insane asylum, especially America. All under the banner and aegis of progress. And to think, humanity wants to export this madness to space and the universe at large. Any intelligent life that would ever make its way to Planet Earth, if ever, would be well-advised to exterminate the species human before it spread its poison to the universe at large. Not that that is possible, but just in case the .000000000001% chance of that does miraculously manifest.

    kiwiklown , Jun 18 2020 12:48 utc | 54
    Mao @ 42

    Concerning Trump "pleading" with Xi, it is only right for a leader to request others to buy more US farm produce. We have only Bolton's word that the request was a plea. We also have only Bolton's word that the request / plea was to seek "help from Xi Jinping to win the upcoming 2020 election". Too early to believe Bolton. Wait till we see the meeting transcripts.

    Bolton also alleged that Trump exhibited "fundamentally unacceptable behaviour" concerning the Uygurs. Again, only Bolton's word. Even so, saying it is "unacceptable behavior" presumes that China does wrong to incarcerate Uygurs. If not, ie, China either does not incarcerate them, or if China has good moral grounds to do so, then Bolton is wrong to disagree with his boss for uttering the right sentiment. Judging by how the anglo-zios shout about China's "crime", I tend to think the opposite just might be the truth, and that says that Bolton is simply mudslinging to sell books; score brownie points with the anglo-zios, virtue-signalling for his next gig.

    Sabine , Jun 18 2020 12:56 utc | 55
    so is Trump or Biden the Yeltsin of the US? And who is gonna be the US version of Putin? Mr. Cotton from Arkansas?
    vk , Jun 18 2020 13:00 utc | 56
    The American people must decide if Trump is anti-China or Xi's bff. He can't be both at the same time.
    murgen23 , Jun 18 2020 13:04 utc | 57
    I don't see a contradiction with both sentences.

    NYT writes Bolton direct US policy to fit his own political agenda,
    while Bolton emphasizes Trump direct US policy in the way that pocket him most money.

    Politician Bolton is consistent with his politician job (like it or not), Trump is corrupted.

    This is how I understand.

    450.org , Jun 18 2020 13:14 utc | 58
    @56, I would argue that if one person could be both at the same time, that one person would be Donald Trump. He's already proven, like Chauncey Gardner, he can walk on water. Seriously, that excellent movie, Being There , starring the incomparable Peter Sellers, was about Donald Trump's ascension to the Oval Office.

    There Are No Limits Except The Limits We Invent And Impose

    augusto , Jun 18 2020 13:44 utc | 59
    Using this 'quod licet jovi ...' the author apparently knows quite a bit of Latin, the dead language!
    But seriously, the nomination of Bolton who had always behaved like 2nd rate advisor, a 3rd rate mcarthist cold warrior was a surprise to me. Such a short sighted heavily biased person could be, yes, chosen a Minister or advisor in a banana Republic but was picked up by the United states.
    One can only conclude such a choice was driven by very specific interests of the deep state.They needed a bulldog and got it for one year and half and threw the stinky perro soon as the job was done.
    BM , Jun 18 2020 14:05 utc | 60
    And the cause of American societal collapse has been corrupt US leadership.
    I would argue that this is a symptom or a feature versus the root of the problem.
    Posted by: 450.org | Jun 18 2020 12:30 utc | 52

    The primary cause of corrupt leadership is corrupt and corruption-accepting population.

    Without a population that is fundamentally corrupt and immoral, corrupt leadership is unstable. Conversely - and this is important to recognise as the same phenomenon - democracy cannot exist if the population accepts and takes for granted corruption, as the two are mutually exclusive. In other words if you root out the corrupt leadership without dealing with the mentality of the population, the corruption will quickly come back and any democratic experiment will collapse very quickly.

    There is one important qualifier - an overwhelming external influence (since WWII always the USA, either directly or as secondary effect) can leverage latent corruption so that it becomes more exaggerated than it normally would be.

    Down South , Jun 18 2020 14:48 utc | 61
    What is clear from only this account of the crucial role of big money foundations behind protest groups such as Black lives Matter is that there is a far more complex agenda driving the protests now destabilizing cities across America. The role of tax-exempt foundations tied to the fortunes of the greatest industrial and financial companies such as Rockefeller, Ford, Kellogg, Hewlett and Soros says that there is a far deeper and far more sinister agenda to current disturbances than spontaneous outrage would suggest.

    https://m.journal-neo.org/2020/06/16/america-s-own-color-revolution/

    michael888 , Jun 18 2020 15:53 utc | 62
    Bolton pretended to be President, screwing up negotiations with his Libya Model talk, threatening Venezuela (and anywhere generally) and directing fleets all over the world (including Britain's to capture that Iranian oil tanker). Vindman revered "Ambassador" Bolton because he was keeping the Ukraine corruption in Americans (and Ukrainian Americans') hands, and daring the Russians to "start" WWIII. Bolton might have been a bit more bearable if he had ever been elected, but was happy to see him go. Trump seemed mystified by him.
    juliania , Jun 18 2020 16:29 utc | 63
    b has presented us (knowingly or not, but I wouldn't put it past him) with the Socratic question of the presumed identity between the morality of the State and personal morality, as best encountered in Plato's dialogue, 'The Republic' ['Politeia' in the Greek] That dialogue begins by examining personal morality, but changes to an examination of what would bring into being a perfect state. In doing the latter, however, it is how to create public spirited persons, in the best sense, which is the actual concern, and the conversation ranges far and wide, becoming more and more complex.

    I've always thought that to consider the perfect state had to be an impossibility if the individual, the person him or herself isn't up to the task - and that is the point of the Politeia enterprise. Like the ongoing relay race on horseback that is happening at the same time in the Piraeus, the passing of the argument one person to another that happens in the dialogue demonstrates that what is most crucial for the state as well as for the individual is personal integrity.

    I take as an example the message of Saker's essay, linked by Down South and commented on above by others. Saker is pointing out that the protests have been seized upon by the anti-Trumpists who have been disrupting things from the beginning of his administration. But he also says:

    "My personal feeling is that Trump is too weak and too much of a coward to fight his political enemies"

    Which comes first, the chicken or the egg? The discussion of different kinds of states, which we often have here pursued, or the discussion of what makes a person able to function in one or another state? I don't think Plato was saying that Greece had it made, that Greece needed to throw its weight around more to be great. He's pointing out that it had lost greatness, the same way every empire loses when it forgets that individual spark that is in a single person, his virtue. And the sad thing is it all comes down to the education of our young people in the values, the virtues that apply both to his own personal life and to the life of the state.

    At its heart, the protests which are beginning, only beginning, and which are peaceful, may be politeia vs. republic, the 'polis' itself against 'things political'. A new and true enlightenment, multipolar.

    karlof1 , Jun 18 2020 16:39 utc | 64
    BM @60--

    Corruption's been a fact of life in North America ever since it was "discovered." Bernard Bailyn captured it quite well in his The New England Merchants in the Seventeenth Century , that is during the very first stages of plantation, with most corruption taking place in Old England then exported to the West. Even the Founders were corrupt, although they didn't see themselves as such. Isn't Adam & Eve's corruption detailed in Genesis merely an indicator of a general human trait that needs to be managed via culture? That human culture has generally failed to contain and discipline corruption speaks volumes about both. John Dos Passos in his opus USA noted that everyone everywhere was on the "hustle"--from the hobo to the banker. "Every child gots to have its own" are some of the truest lyrics ever written. Will humanity ever transcend this major failure in its nature?

    Allen Edmundson , Jun 18 2020 23:30 utc | 65
    Who is behind the claim that China is imprisoning vast numbers of Uighurs in concentration camps and what evidence has been presented? See the Greyzone for its recent report on this.

    Edmundson

    Jpc , Jun 18 2020 23:39 utc | 66
    Thanks to all of you for your insights on Bolton.
    I still don't see anything to explain why he got a second gig in the Whitehouse.
    Or anything that he did that enhanced US security long term.
    And another guy who dodged active service.
    Strange angry dude,!
    Hoarsewhisperer , Jun 19 2020 14:47 utc | 67
    Pat Lang believes that Bolton has breached a law requiring US Officials with access to Top Secret Stuff to submit personal memoirs for scrutiny before publishing. Col Lang is awaiting similar approval for a memoir of his own and thinks Bolton didn't bother waiting for the Official OK.
    There's a diverse range of comments. Most commentators like the idea of Bolton being tossed in the slammer. Others speculate that as a Swamp Creature, Bolton will escape prosecution. It's interesting that no-one has asked to see the publisher's copy of the USG's signed & dated Approval To Publish document, relevant to Bolton's book.
    arby , Jun 19 2020 19:34 utc | 68
    Jut a little thread on Bolton and his book.

    It is amazing the way these clowns sit around and talk about countries and people as if they were so much dirt. The arrogance and power is disgusting.

    link

    [Jun 22, 2020] Does John Bolton deserves a Nobel peace Price? In our perverted world why not.

    Jun 22, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

    Tower , Jun 17 2020 21:43 utc | 13

    It's just about time. John Bolton deserves the Nobel Peace Prize. At this point, why not?

    JC , Jun 17 2020 23:43 utc | 23

    Posted by: Tower | Jun 17 2020 21:43 utc | 13

    This is the most intelligent post so far.

    Yes why not? If Obama awarded the Noble prize even before he begins serving his first term I can't see why Bolton not nominated now. America is a joke, not a banana republic. It deserves Obama, Trump, Bolton or Biden another stoopid joker.

    Stoopid president elected by stoopid citizens

    [Jun 21, 2020] Leaker fell victim of the leak: The neocon-warhawk may not see a penny for his book as the PDf was leaked online

    MIC eventually will pay this neocon prostitute for services, anyway
    Jun 21, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
    As Ben Garrison recent noted, in an interview Bolton stated that it was OK for the government agencies to lie to the American people if national security is at stake. And it always seems to be at stake for dominant men who want secrecy and power. Bolton is a dangerous liar and his anti-Trump screed cannot be trusted.

    It's time to slam the book shut on Bolton.

    [Jun 21, 2020] Paul R. Pillar who pointed out that U.S. sanctions are frequently peddled as a peaceful alternative to war fit the definition of 'crimes against peace'.

    Highly recommended!
    Jun 21, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

    Christian J. Chuba , Jun 21 2020 14:18 utc | 78

    Re: the Nuremberg trials , I became fascinated by the writings of Paul R. Pillar who pointed out that U.S. sanctions are frequently peddled as a peaceful alternative to war fit the definition of 'crimes against peace' . This is when one country sets up an environment for war against another country. I'll grant you that this is vague but if this is applicable at all how is this not an accurate description of what we are doing against Iran and Venezuela?

    In both cases, we are imposing a full trade embargo (not sanctions) on basic civilian necessities and infrastructures and threatening the use of military force. As for Iran, the sustained and unfair demonization of Iranians is preparing the U.S. public to accept a ruthless bombing campaign against them as long overdue. We are already attacking the civilian population of their allies in Syria, Yemen, and Lebanon.

    How Ironic that the country that boasts that it won WW2 is now guilty of the very crimes that it condemned publicly in court.

    [Jun 19, 2020] Bolton should be arrested and charged with any of a number of possible crimes

    Jun 19, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

    Security screening of manuscripts I t is the law in the United States that those who have had legal access to the secrets of the government must submit private manuscripts for removal of such secrets BEFORE they are published or even presented to a potential publisher. Every department of government has an office charged with such work.

    I know this process well because my memoir "Tattoo" has been in the hands of the appropriate Defense Department office for nigh on six months. The book is long, and I was so unlucky as to have DoD shut down its auxiliary services during my wait. I have thought of withdrawing it from screening but, surprisingly, the screeners tell me it has some worth for those who will come after. So, I will wait.

    All this applies to John Bolton, a career State Department man whose adult life has been soaked in government secrets. I first noticed Bolton as a glowering presence at briefings I gave to selected State Department people with regard to national command authority projects I was running. His attitude was consistent. If the idea was not his, it was simply wrong.

    Bolton's "kiss and tell" book about Trump is IMO as much caused by wounded ego as a desire to make money. He submitted the book for security review to DoD and the CIA. Why not State? Ah, Pompeo would tear it to pieces. Bolton evidently grew impatient with the pace of clearance and decided to go ahead with publication without clearance

    To do this is a felony. The release of the book today completes the elements of proof for the crime.

    Bolton should be arrested and charged with any of a number of possible crimes. pl


    Jack , 18 June 2020 at 11:56 AM

    Sir,

    Let's see what Trump does with Bolton now that he has committed a felony.

    My bet is that other than crying on Twitter, he'll not do much. His previous actions/inactions on these matters show weakness.

    In any case bitching on Twitter makes him look like an executive with poor hiring judgement as he was the one that hired him. Just like he hired Mattis and Kelly as well as Rosenstein and Wray.

    Barbara Ann , 18 June 2020 at 12:03 PM
    Bolton being successfully charged with violations associated with his sour grapes hit piece memoir is analogous to Al Capone finally going down for tax evasion. But if that's the way it goes I will not be sad.

    Re "Tattoo", your Memorial Day "Ap Bu Nho" extract alone makes "some worth" an amusingly ludicrous understatement. I wish you luck with the censors & very much look forward to one day reading "Tattoo".

    eakens , 18 June 2020 at 12:05 PM
    Who can we rely on to uphold the rule of law anymore? It's starting to appear we are living in a failed state.
    Artemesia , 18 June 2020 at 01:22 PM
    AIS

    He was a convert to the neocon faith early in life and all else was mischief.

    Posted by: turcopolier | 18 June 2020 at 12:21 PM

    "He was a convert - - -"
    I was going to ask what went wrong with Bolton: was he dropped on his head as an infant? No father in the home? The Dulles brothers spent their childhoods being harangued by their bible-thumping Calvinist grandfather (reports Kinzer in his useful bio on the brothers).

    In Jeff Engel's book about the decision-making behind G H W Bush's decision to wage war against Saddam re Kuwait, he recounts that an argument by Brent Scowcroft was significant, AND that "Scowcroft, who was very short," confronted taller-than-average Bush while knees-to-knees in an airplane.
    Bolton is shorter than the average American male. Does he have 'short-person' compulsion to compensate?

    People psychologize Trump constantly, usually from ignorance and malice. But something is very wrong with Bolton. Pompeo as well. What is it?
    "What huge imago made a psychopathic god?" (Auden, Sept. 1939)

    Polish Janitor , 18 June 2020 at 04:11 PM
    Col Lang,

    #1 I read this WaPo article that argued because the recent DOJ's lawsuit against the release of the book is based on "prior restraint on speech before it occurs", meaning the Trump administration cannot censor speech before it happens, therefore there is no 1st amendment breach against the Trump admin by Bolton. As the court elaborated in Nebraska Press Association v. Stuart, prior restraints are "the most serious and the least tolerable infringement on First Amendment rights" and "one of the most extraordinary remedies known to our jurisprudence."

    #2 Bolton took all of his notes containing classified intelligence with him after he was fired and nobody took an issue. How is that possible?

    #3 The Wapo article says his manuscript was reviewed for four months by one Ellen Knight, an official (doesn't mention which department) responsible for reviewing publishing material and she gave it the green light for publication on April 27th.

    #4 During a press conference, Bill Barr gave an unusual take on Bolton's book as if he was giving publicity to the book. He said he had never seen a book being written on Trump with such pace and in such quick time and that it had a lot of sensitive information and stuff. It sounded really odd what Bill Barr said. I dunno maybe I am reading to much between the lines...

    #5 With regards to Pompeo, back in September during a press conference at the State, when asked by a reporter about Bolton's firing I specifically remember watching him on TV giving a big meaningful chuckle and a smile... it was revealed later that they clearly did not get along with each other and Pompeo had complained on numerous times that Bolton as NSA, who does not have executive authorities, had been doing a lot of policy stuff and running his own show in shadow.

    On a final note, I don't think Bolton is a neocon in the mold of Perle, Wolfowitz, Feith, Abrams, Kagan, Kristol etc...There is this long piece by New Yorker published last year that really gets into detail of how and why Bolton is not a neocon, but adheres to a more hawkish Jacksonian nationalism approach rather than the liberal idealism of arch neocons I mentioned above. However, he does have quite similar F.P. views with neocon oldies such as Irving Kristol, Norman Podhoretz, and Jeane Kirkpatrick.

    JohnH , 18 June 2020 at 04:39 PM
    If Bolton does NOT get the book thrown at him, it will be pretty good evidence of the existence of the Deep State allowing those it favors to write their own rules. Of course, we already knew that after Clapper lied with impunity to Wyden when he was under oath.
    TV , 18 June 2020 at 04:49 PM
    He'll never be prosecuted and neither will Comey, Clapper and the rest of the swamp scum.
    Strozk (lower on the food chain) might be the human sacrifice (with a sentence of "community service") but no one of any significance (or "royal" title) is ever prosecuted in the swamp.
    Trump has tried, but his miserable lack of hiring experience and skill has not made a dent
    Polish Janitor , 18 June 2020 at 04:53 PM
    Artemisia,

    I feel like I have a few words to say about Bolton if I may,

    IMHO Bolton's view of the world is very dark and extremely Hobbesian. He is no slouch by any stretch of imagination, in fact he is extremely knowledgeable and masterful when it comes to policy-making and that basically how things are done in D.C. He has made a brand for himself as the most hawkish national security expert in all of America in my opinion. Honestly I cannot think of anyone else who espouses more hawkishness and zero diplomacy than Bolton, ever... maybe Tom Cotton or Liz Cheney but still not close. This is the reason why Trump hired him. In fact Trump did not want to hire him as the top brass in first place, citing his mustache as one reason that would not look good on TV and wanted to give him 2nd tier jobs at the State or as NSA early on, but Bolton refused. Trump, wanted to hire Bolton's "brand" not his policies or hawkishness to intimidate Nkorea, Iran, and China to force them come into making deals with him and him personally.

    IMO Trump found out after the first Kim summit that Bolton was
    such an ambitious and counterproductive foreign policy maker and one-man-team that if he allowed Bolton to get his way, there would be world war III (Trump's own words) and his most important promise to keep America out of forever wars which was his wining platform over neocons such as Hilary, Jeb and Rubio during 2016 election would disappear into thin air.

    So, Trump found ways to check Bolton and keep him out of the loop in sensitive and crucial moments by Mattis, Kelly, Joe Dunford, Pompeo and even Melania (in the case of getting rid of Bolton's close confidant and neocon Mira Ricardel when she called for bombing Iranian forces back in September 2018 in respone to several rockets by iraqi militias hitting the ground close to the U.S. embassy in Baghdad), and even sent him to Mongolia last year on a goose chase to make an embarrassing example of him for undermining him (i.e. Trump's) authority in the case of sitting down with the Taliban in Camp David to discuss military pullout from Afghanistan back in Sep. whereas at the same time Pompeo was smart enough to tow the same line as Trump and survive.

    I few years ago I came across this interesting but odd piece by B on the Moon of Alabama on Bolton. I honestly dunno what to make of it.

    https://www.moonofalabama.org/2006/02/a_glasshouse_in.html

    ked , 18 June 2020 at 05:11 PM
    The book is already released in the hundreds. It will be on-line soon enough regardless of the niceties of Barr's attempt to slam shut the barn door, or what the legal system does with Bolton going fwd.
    Those close to Trump know his emotional state must be appeased or they will soon be departing - unless there's a DNA match.
    Reaction to it will be a test of one's ability to distinguish Bolton from the events he describes & their veracity. Is there anything of Trump's statements & acts (released so far) that surprises anyone... that rings untrue?
    Those ideologically (or religiously) dependent upon the Trump Phenomenon for validating their core beliefs will demonstrate how creative true believers can be when attached to a personality.
    A.I.S. , 18 June 2020 at 05:34 PM
    For what its worth I am looking forward to buying it, should scratch that Peter Scholl Latour itch.

    Another thing is that I just dont get the Neocons.
    Their politics are bad both from a Machieavellian (dilutes US forces, creates enemies, considerably restricts creative ways in which US power could be employed) and from a moral (obviously) point of view. I also dont get their power, stupid/evil tends to be competed out. Heck, even if they are stupid/evil but very good at beurocratic backbiting stuff, they are still supposedly disadvantadged against skilled beurocratic backbiters that arent stupid/evil (or at least only evil and not stupid).
    Is it internal cohesion or a much higher degree of ruthlessness that maintains their position?

    PB , 18 June 2020 at 07:05 PM
    I've for many years thought that the Bolton problem was best solved with a speedy trial and a swift execution, with remains thrown overboard somewhere in the Indian ocean.
    turcopolier , 18 June 2020 at 07:13 PM
    polish janitor

    He signed an oath to safeguard the secrecy of the information when "read on" for it and another such when he was "read off." The 1st Amendment does not come into it at all

    [Jun 19, 2020] The Imperious Caesar Act Will Crush the Syrian People by Daniel Larison

    Jun 19, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

    Broad and sweeping sanctions inevitably harm the entire population of a targeted country, and in many cases that is exactly what they are meant to do.

    When they are joined to maximalist policy goals, they are guaranteed to fail according to the standards of their supporters. The ongoing failure of sanctions is then cited as a reason to expand them and make them even more obnoxious. A piece of sanctions legislation targeting Syria is a case in point. The Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act has greatly expanded the scope and reach of U.S. sanctions on the Syrian economy, and the first sanctions authorized by the law come into force this week . That practically guarantees imposing further hardship and deprivation on a country that has already been ravaged by eight years of conflict. It is just the latest piece of evidence that the U.S. needs to renounce its use of broad sanctions.

    In their recent analysis of the legislation, Basma Alloush and Alex Simon explain how the Caesar Act will likely stifle Syria's economic recovery, interfere with humanitarian relief and reconstruction efforts, and drive away businesses that might be willing to invest in the country. They emphasize the legislation's "vast scope" as a reason to fear that it will simply add to the burdens that the civilian population has had to bear:

    Within that continuum, the Caesar Act's novelty lies in its vast scope. Previous measures have targeted a mix of individual actors and selected sectors, and have applied almost exclusively to Syrian and American entities. By contrast, the Caesar Act promises to slap so-called "secondary sanctions" onto businesses of any nationality that are found transacting with sanctioned actors in multiple sectors of Syria's economy -- notably energy and construction. As such, the bill aims to deepen Damascus' isolation by deterring investment by any businesses from Beirut to Dubai to Beijing.

    Sanctions are not the primary cause of Syrians' hardships, and the Syrian government bears significant responsibility for the wreckage of the economy. Even so, further strangling the Syrian economy now will succeed only in starving the country of investment and commerce for no real purpose. Sanctions will fuel inflation and make even basic necessities unaffordable for millions of people. The U.S. can choose to assist the people of Syria, or it can choose to grind them down even more. The Caesar Act is the latter. The people of Syria are being made to suffer more in the vain attempt to weaken the Syrian government.

    The Caesar Act's destructive effects won't be limited just to Syria, but are already spilling over into Lebanon:

    The ramifications of Caesar are rippling through Beirut, where traders retain lucrative ties to Syrian officials that are barely keeping Lebanese state revenues ticking over.
    "This is a disaster for the [Lebanese] government, said one Lebanese banker. "They will sanction Lebanese traders and banks. Our currency will plunge as far as theirs. One of the few places we can trade is Damascus. If that's shut down, we're doomed."

    Like any other coercive intervention, sanctions have destabilizing, negative consequences for the targeted country and all of its neighbors.

    The Syria example is a reminder that sanctions are easy to apply but remarkably difficult to remove later. It is politically advantageous for politicians to endorse sanctions bills because it allows them to claim that they are being "tough" on some despised foreign leader, and no one will hold them accountable for the destructive effects of sanctions in the years that follow. There is usually much more political risk in opposing sanctions or calling for their removal, because this is wrongly cast as "rewarding" another government's abuses. It is also often the case that sanctions legislation includes conditions for sanctions relief that are so ambitious and far-fetched that they will never be met. Alloush and Simon comment on some of the unrealistic conditions contained in the Caesar Act:

    As a result, the Caesar Act's true force may lie less in its immediate impact and more in its long-term implications. The law's five-year sunset clause means that these measures are likely to stick until 2025 -- possibly longer. In principle, the president could suspend the sanctions sooner if Damascus and its allies fulfill a set of seven criteria. However, several requirements -- including "releasing all political prisoners" and "taking verifiable steps to establish meaningful accountability" -- are so unrealistic as to render this stipulation meaningless.

    The U.S. tends to impose many overlapping and reinforcing sets of sanctions on the same governments, and that makes it even less likely that all sanctions on a government will ever be lifted. As a result, sanctions on another country become a permanent fixture of their economy, and the targeted government has no incentive to make any concessions on any issue. Writing at the Lawfare website, Edward Fishman makes an excellent observation about how sanctions pile up and then lead to effective policies of regime change:

    The static nature of sanctions not only makes them toothless; it also produces harmful effects on U.S. policy. Because sanctions are rarely lifted, they tend to accumulate over time at a steady, if intermittent, pace. As sanctions snowball, so do their objectives, worsening the convoluted problem outlined above. The net result is that, almost by default, nearly every sanctions program eventually aims for regime change. (It's hardly surprising that one of the only times America has ended a sanctions program in recent history -- when President Obama did so with respect to Burma in 2016 -- came after Aung San Suu Kyi's National League of Democracy won a majority of seats in Burma's parliament.) With a tortuous web of sanctions and policy objectives, most adversary regimes rightly assess that the only way out of sanctions is to call it quits. But no government will commit political suicide to undo sanctions.

    When the U.S. seeks major changes in regime behavior or the overthrow of the regime through sanctions, the policy is most likely to fail. But it will also necessarily harm the civilian population in the meantime. Fishman cuts to the heart of the matter:

    Policymakers and experts need to disabuse themselves of shibboleths that sanctions are precisely targeted at government officials and spare civilian populations and accept that America's most ambitious sanctions programs aim to cause systemic economic damage -- which, by definition, is felt by most if not all members of society.

    Sanctions advocates often cast themselves as supporters and allies of the people in the country whose economy they want to destroy. This has never been credible, and it is long past time that we stop tolerating these deceptions. If you seek to ruin another country's economy, you seek the ruin of the people living there. Sanctions advocates should be held responsible for the results of the policies they promote.

    We have seen this story unfold many times over the last three decades. First, the U.S. imposes sanctions to punish a government for its behavior. Then the government's leadership and its cronies use the economic difficulties created by the sanctions to enrich themselves and buy loyalty by controlling access to limited goods. Legitimate commerce is strangled, smuggling flourishes, and the government and its cronies exploit that to their advantage as well. Meanwhile humanitarian organizations that try to help the people find themselves bogged down in paperwork and struggling to get the simplest items approved, and humanitarian relief ends up being delayed or blocked all together. Financial transactions with the outside world become all but impossible, and essential humanitarian goods can't be brought into the country. Collective punishment strikes down the poor and infirm, and it leaves the well-connected and corrupt to prosper. The Caesar Act sanctions seem very likely to repeat the same pattern. Alloush and Simon add:

    The impact will go far beyond deterring individual companies, trickling down to ordinary Syrians seeking to get on with their lives. For instance, the Caesar Act targets Syria's construction sector, which has sparked concerns among aid organizations working to support small-scale infrastructural rehabilitation -- from fixing up damaged water networks to helping rebuild bombed-out schools or apartments.

    The U.S. increasingly relies on a coercive policy that does a terrible job of advancing American interests, but it excels at impoverishing and killing ordinary people in many countries around the world. Economic sanctions have been a favorite tool for politicians and policymakers to use against many governments in response to a range of undesirable activities, because it seems to offer a low-cost option that allows the U.S. to "do something." The record clearly shows that they fail on their own terms, and they end up costing much more than their advocates will ever admit. It would be bad enough if this were simply a matter of repeating the same error over and over and never learning anything, but the consequences of sanctions have been devastating for millions and fatal for tens of thousands of people.

    Hurting the weakest and most vulnerable people is what sanctions usually do. The broader the sanctions are, the more harm they do to innocent people. Instead of trying to "fix" or reform how the U.S. uses tools of economic warfare, our government should abandon the use of broad, sectoral sanctions entirely. Just as we have sought to limit and restrict the use of force to reduce the harm to civilians in warfare, we need to limit and restrict the use of economic coercion when it comes to sanctioning other governments. Rather than refining tools of collective punishment, the U.S. should stop trying to police the behavior of other states.

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    [Jun 19, 2020] The USG' s definition of Dictator

    Highly recommended!
    Jun 19, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

    Cyndy Tyler L RNY 8 hours ago

    The USG' s definition of Dictator.

    DICTATOR, Noun: Someone who does not let American CEOs dictate how their country is run

    [Jun 18, 2020] Poor Johnny! What's sadder than being a crook, but an ineffective one? I think that's what he is. He may be infamous enough to be a household name, but he never really managed to make a career. Hardly ever did he stay on a job for more than 2 years

    Jun 18, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

    John , Jun 17 2020 19:24 utc | 4

    I'm fully expecting the Dem "left" to try and praise the monsterous Bolton for "going against Trump", as they did with war criminal Mad Dog Matis and Bush. Bolton has to be one of the most evil mass murders on the face of the Earth. The world will be an infinitely better place when he and his ilk like Netanyahu, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Chertoff..etc finally go back to hell.

    karlof1 , Jun 17 2020 19:33 utc | 5

    Bolton deserves having a parasite named after him, if that.
    Scotch Bingeington , Jun 17 2020 19:57 utc | 6
    Poor Johnny! What's sadder than being a crook, but an ineffective one? I think that's what he is. He may be infamous enough to be a household name, but he never really managed to make a career. Hardly ever did he stay on a job for more than 2 years, before his fellow crooks deemed him unfit for his position, again and again. Says a lot.

    I hope they will confiscate his book on some flimsy pretext, only to lose the piles of copies in storage, so they cannot possibly be released to bookstores again. Maybe some mice will make use of it to furnish their nests?

    Take a look at his face. It's obvious to me that even John Bolton does not enjoy being John Bolton. That mouth, it's drooping to an absurd degree. Comparable to Merkel's face, come to think of it.

    GeorgeV , Jun 17 2020 20:25 utc | 8
    John Bolton's tell all book about his tenure with the Trump administration is a perfect example of the pot calling the kettle burned. It is a fitting description of the leadership of the US government and it's capitol city as a den of backstabbing, corkscrewing and double dealing vipers. It's like standing on a street corner watching two prostitutes calling each other a whore! How low has the US sunk.
    bob sykes , Jun 17 2020 20:55 utc | 11
    Of course, Trump actually campaigned to leave Afghanistan and Syria, and he was elected to do so. The self-appointed Deep State has pretty much thwarted him and his voters.
    uncle tungsten , Jun 17 2020 21:00 utc | 12
    karlof1 #5
    Blastocystis hominis could be renamed easily enough. It is a pain in the gut and arse.

    I will not bother to read any more on Bolton the man is beneath contempt. b has said more than enough.

    Tower , Jun 17 2020 21:43 utc | 13
    It's just about time. John Bolton deserves the Nobel Peace Prize. At this point, why not?
    pretzelattack , Jun 17 2020 21:49 utc | 14
    let us not forget that bolton threatened a un officials kids because they guy wasn't going along with the iraq war propaganda.
    Duncan Idaho , Jun 17 2020 22:03 utc | 15
    Only with Late Stage Capitalism could we have a vicious war criminal write a book criticizing a psychopathic sociopath.
    Anonymous , Jun 17 2020 22:06 utc | 16
    The political establishment in Canada appeared dismayed at the prospect of Bolton as National Security Adviser. See these interviews with Hill + Knowlton strategies Vice-chairman, Peter Donolo, from 2018:

    https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/video/there-s-risk-trump-s-actions-are-driving-the-u-s-into-a-recession-peter-donolo~1342264
    https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/video/trade-wars-easy-to-start-not-so-easy-to-finish-peter-donolo~1365104

    So Bolton gets in, Meng Wangzhou is detained in Vancouver on the US request (that's another story), and in time, Canada appoints a new Ambassador to China - Mr. Dominic Barton.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dominic_Barton
    Then Bolton gets fired. 'Nuff said. Just to let everyone know that Bolton is well and truly hated, as a government official, in certain circles.

    AntiSpin , Jun 17 2020 22:07 utc | 17
    @ pretzelattack | Jun 17 2020 21:49 utc | 14

    Close -- the threatened official was Jose Bustani, at that time (2002) the head of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)as he had been for five years.

    Bustani had been working to bring Iraq and Libya into the organization, which would have required those two countries to eliminate all of their chemical weapons.

    The US, though, had other ideas -- chiefly invading and destroying both of those nations, and when Bustani insisted on continuing his efforts then Bolton threatened Bustani's adult children.

    james , Jun 17 2020 23:13 utc | 20
    let the lobbyists with the most money win... that's what defines the usa system, leadership and decision making process... no one in their right mind would support this doofus..
    Jen , Jun 17 2020 23:40 utc | 21
    At least the one saving grace about John Bolton's memoir is that it might be a tad closer to reality than Christopher Steele's infamous dossier and might prove valuable as a source of evidence in a court of law. Maybe Yosemite Sam himself should start quaking in his boots.
    Don Bacon , Jun 17 2020 23:44 utc | 24
    @ Jpc
    When faced with Trump's behavior of employing warmongers, including several generals, some observers opined that Trump wanted people with contrasting opinions so that he could consider them and then say "no." He did more with Bolton eventually, sending him to Mongolia while he (Trump) went to Singapore (or somewhere over there).
    A User , Jun 17 2020 23:47 utc | 25
    re Ian2 | Jun 17 2020 23:08 utc | 19
    who hazarded : My guess Trump went along with the tough guy image that Bolton projected in media and recommendations by others.
    Not at all, if you go back to the earliest days of the orangeman's prezdency, you will see Trump resisted the efforts by Mercer & the zionist casino owner to give Bolton a gig.
    He knew that shrub had problems with the boasts of Bolton and as his reputation was as an arsehole who sounded his own trumpet at his boss's expense orangeman refused for a long time. Trump believes the trump prezdency is about trump no one else.
    Thing was at the time he was running for the prez gig trump was on his uppers, making a few dollars from his tv show, plus licensing other people's buildings by selling his name to be stuck on them. trump tower azerbnajan etc.
    He put virtually none of his own money into the 'race' so when he won the people who had put up the dosh had power over him.
    Bolton has always been an arse kisser to any zionist cause he suspects he can claw a penny outta, so he used the extreme loony end of the totally looney zionist spectrum to hook him (Bolton) up with a gig by pushing for him with trump.

    It was always gonna end the way it did as Bolton is forever briefing the media against anyone who tried to resist his murderous fantasies. Trump is never gonna argue for any scheme that doesn't have lotsa dollars for him in it so he had plenty of run ins with Bolton who then went to his media mates & told tales.
    When bolton was appointed orangey's stakes were at a really low ebb among DC warmongers, so he reluctantly took him on then spent the next 18 months getting rid of the grubby parasite.

    Kristan hinton , Jun 18 2020 0:46 utc | 26
    Real History: Candidate Trump praised Bolton and named him as THE number one Foreign Policy expert he (Trump) respected.

    Imagine the mustachioed Mister Potatoe (sic) Head and zany highjinks!

    Bolton and one of his first wives were regulars at Plato's Retreat for wife swapping orgies. The wife was not real keen on the behavior, but she allegedly found herself verbally and physically abused for objecting.

    DannyC , Jun 18 2020 1:17 utc | 27
    Trump is at fault for hiring him to appease the Zionist lobby. We all knew the guy was a warmonger and a scumbag. It's not a surprise. Trump surrounds himself with the worst people

    [Jun 17, 2020] Collusion with China, wanting to stay in office forever Leaked Bolton book excerpts cash in on anti-Trump frenzy

    If we view Bolton as Adelson puppet, such a behaviour clearly does not make much sense. Or this is a single from Israel lobby to Trump "moor did his duty, moor can go"?
    Notable quotes:
    "... "a variety of instances when he sought to intervene in law enforcement matters for political reasons." ..."
    "... "in effect, give personal favors to dictators he liked," ..."
    "... "The pattern looked like obstruction of justice as a way of life, which we couldn't accept," ..."
    "... "bombshells" ..."
    "... "exactly the right thing to do." ..."
    "... "systematic use of indoctrination camps, forced labor, and intrusive surveillance to eradicate the ethnic identity and religious beliefs of Uyghurs and other minorities in China." ..."
    "... "Panda Hugger." ..."
    "... The mustachioed warhawk had served as Trump's national security adviser from April 2018 to September 2019. While the exact reason for his firing was never revealed, Trump has since commented that Bolton was interfering with his peace initiatives and had "never seen a war he didn't like." ..."
    "... Indeed, the "most irrational thing" Bolton accuses Trump of was to refuse to bomb Iran in June 2019, according to the New York Times excerpt. ..."
    "... "soft on China" ..."
    "... As for Trump supporters, many were indifferent about Bolton's betrayal, noting that Trump hired the neocon in the first place and kept him on for over a year, while ditching the faithful General Michael Flynn after less than two weeks on the job, following a FBI ambush and a Washington Post hit job. ..."
    Jun 17, 2020 | www.rt.com
    Former national security adviser John Bolton has leaked excerpts of his book to major newspapers, accusing President Donald Trump of colluding with leaders in China and Turkey, and obstruction of justice "as a way of life." Facing a DOJ lawsuit seeking to block the publication of his memoir for containing classified information, Bolton decided to go to the press, leaking parts of the book to the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday.

    Breaking News: John Bolton says in his new book that the House should have investigated President Trump for potentially impeachable actions beyond Ukraine https://t.co/8lpd4xAzYu

    -- The New York Times (@nytimes) June 17, 2020

    Bolton famously refused to testify before the Democrat-led impeachment proceedings against Trump over his alleged abuse of power regarding Ukraine, but now claims that they should have expanded the probe to "a variety of instances when he sought to intervene in law enforcement matters for political reasons."

    He accuses Trump of wanting to "in effect, give personal favors to dictators he liked," bringing up companies in China and Turkey as examples, according to the Times. "The pattern looked like obstruction of justice as a way of life, which we couldn't accept," the Times quotes him as saying.

    One of the Bolton "bombshells" is that he sought China's purchase of US soybeans in order to get re-elected, during trade negotiations with President Xi Jinping.

    SOYBEAN DIPLOMACY: The WSJ has published an excerpt of @AmbJohnBolton 's forthcoming book, revealing Trump-Xi conversation and how the American president pleaded his Chinese counterpart to buy U.S. soybeans so he could win farm states in the 2020 presidential elections | #OATT pic.twitter.com/XKAogLCCtN

    -- Javier Blas (@JavierBlas) June 17, 2020

    An excerpt in the Wall Street Journal has Trump telling Xi that – alleged – concentration camps for Uighur Muslims in China's Xinjiang province were "exactly the right thing to do." It also alleges that Trump did Xi a favor by relaxing US sanctions on ZTE, a Chinese telecom company.

    WSJ excerpt of Bolton book has Trump & China bombshells. Trump told Xi building concentration camps for Muslims "was exactly the right thing to do." Trump pleaded w/ Xi to help him w/ re-election by making US farm product buys. And Trump helped Xi w/ ZTE. https://t.co/4CSflQQqcL

    -- Edward Wong (@ewong) June 17, 2020

    This comes as Trump signed into law the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2020, which mandates US sanctions against Chinese officials over "systematic use of indoctrination camps, forced labor, and intrusive surveillance to eradicate the ethnic identity and religious beliefs of Uyghurs and other minorities in China."

    Another excerpt has Bolton referring to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin as a "Panda Hugger."

    According to Bolton, Trump told Xi to "go ahead with building the camps" for imprisoned Uighurs.

    -- Philip Wegmann (@PhilipWegmann) June 17, 2020

    As another proof of Trump's perfidy, Bolton writes that the president told Xi that he would like to stay in office beyond the two terms the US Constitution would allow him. Bolton's one-time colleague Dinesh D'Souza commented that Bolton was unable to recognize a clear joke.

    Really? This is it? John Bolton's smoking gun? Trump has been jokingly putting out memes about this for four years. This conversation, if it occurred at all, seems obviously jocular. Bolton, however, whom I knew quite well from AEI, doesn't have a jocular bone in his body pic.twitter.com/Qe8sXCAT58

    -- Dinesh D'Souza (@DineshDSouza) June 17, 2020

    Trump has on more than one occasion shared a meme showing him staying in power forever, triggering Democrats into denouncing him as an aspiring dictator. Apparently, Bolton thought the same.

    According to John Bolton posting this meme was an impeachable offense https://t.co/q2BHlfVTEu

    -- Will Chamberlain 🇺🇸 (@willchamberlain) June 17, 2020

    The mustachioed warhawk had served as Trump's national security adviser from April 2018 to September 2019. While the exact reason for his firing was never revealed, Trump has since commented that Bolton was interfering with his peace initiatives and had "never seen a war he didn't like."

    Indeed, the "most irrational thing" Bolton accuses Trump of was to refuse to bomb Iran in June 2019, according to the New York Times excerpt.

    Pretty telling that the episode which pissed off Bolton the most during his tenure was Trump calling off airstrikes which would have killed dozens of Iranian soldiers in June 2019 https://t.co/ruFSInj2Mu pic.twitter.com/5zO7UrxMTM

    -- Saagar Enjeti (@esaagar) June 17, 2020

    Arguing that Trump is being "soft on China" and colluding with Xi also happens to be a Democratic Party strategy for the 2020 presidential election, outlined in April and reported by Axios.

    While Democrats and the mainstream media welcomed Bolton's bombshells as validating their position on Trump, he is unlikely to become a #Resistance hero, simply because they still remember he refused to say these things under oath during the impeachment hearings, when they – in theory – could have bolstered their case for getting Trump out of office.

    As for Trump supporters, many were indifferent about Bolton's betrayal, noting that Trump hired the neocon in the first place and kept him on for over a year, while ditching the faithful General Michael Flynn after less than two weeks on the job, following a FBI ambush and a Washington Post hit job.

    Do I care that Bolton is stabbing Trump in the back? Not at all. General Flynn was NSA and Trump made his choices. Being outraged on behalf of a 70+ year old man who makes poor choices is well beyond my job description.

    -- Blue Flu Cernovich (@Cernovich) June 17, 2020

    [Jun 09, 2020] ISIS is a US-Israeli creation

    Jun 09, 2020 | www.unz.com

    Robjil , says: June 8, 2020 at 6:12 pm GMT

    @barr ational interest in one of Untermeyer's pet projects -- the Zionist Movement."

    Others have been even more explicit about the nature of Scofield's service to the Zionist agenda. In "Unjust War Theory: Christian Zionism and the Road to Jerusalem," Prof. David W. Lutz writes, "Untermeyer used Scofield, a Kansas City lawyer with no formal training in theology, to inject Zionist ideas into American Protestantism. Untermeyer and other wealthy and influential Zionists whom he introduced to Scofield promoted and funded the latter's career, including travel in Europe."

    [Jun 06, 2020] Spare Us Your 'Mad Dog' Mattis Worship by Andy Kroll

    Jun 06, 2020 | www.rollingstone.com

    James Mattis and other generals have sent the political class into delirium with their Trump criticism, but there are better voices for this moment than the authors of America's forever wars

    Andy Kroll

    Rolling Stone Washington bureau chief

    @AndyKroll Follow ,

    Here come the generals.

    A procession of decorated former U.S. military leaders has spoken out in recent days to gravely denounce President Trump and his unmistakably authoritarian response to the demonstrations against police violence and racial injustice sparked by the death of George Floyd.

    James Mattis, a retired Marine Corps four-star general, accused Trump of shredding the Constitution with the violent removal of protesters outside the White House so that Trump could stage a photo op. Mattis, who was Trump's first secretary of defense, said Americans were "witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership."

    John Allen, a retired Marine Corps four-star general and former commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, warned that the "slide of the United States into illiberalism may well have begun on June 1, 2020," the day of Trump's crackdown and photo op. "Remember the date. It may well signal the beginning of the end of the American experiment."

    Mike Mullen, a retired Navy admiral and a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the highest ranking military position in the country, penned an essay titled "I Cannot Remain Silent" in which he wrote that Trump's conduct "laid bare his disdain for the rights of peaceful protest in this country, gave succor to the leaders of other countries who take comfort in our domestic strife, and risked further politicizing the men and women of our armed forces."

    [Jun 02, 2020] An Arrested Middle East The 'New Strategy for Securing the Realm' (aka Isreal) Dissipates by Alastair Crooke

    Flirtation with Muslim Brotherhood by Obama was very bad for the USA and the world, especially Syria.
    Notable quotes:
    "... "No one really knows the nature of the Brotherhood project: whether it is that of a sect, or if it is truly mainstream; and this opacity is giving rise to real fears. At times, the Brotherhood presents a pragmatic, even an uncomfortably accommodationist, face to the world, but other voices from the movement, more discretely evoke the air of something akin to the rhetoric of literal, intolerant and hegemonic Salafism. What is clear, however, is that the Brotherhood tone everywhere, is increasingly one of militant sectarian [i.e. Sunni] grievance." ..."
    "... All these supposedly popular dynamics had become tools in the "fervour for the restitution of a Sunni regional primacy – even, perhaps, of hegemony – to be attained through fanning rising Sunni militancy and Salafist acculturation". Containing Iran, of course was a primary aim (encouraged, of course, by Washington). But these forces collectively comprised a project in which Gulf leaders managed and pulled the levers – and paid the bills too. ..."
    "... The American, European and Gulf leaders (i.e. the gods) turned sharply away from the Muslim Brotherhood (Qatar was the exception) – and turned instead to ISIS and Al-Qaida. The 'gods' were set on making an example of a non-compliant Assad and increasingly, they looked to the latter – ISIS – to inject the required savagery to claw down Assad – in the face of the latter's tenacious fight-back. ..."
    "... In any event, sentiment turned violently against the MB from many quarters. Secular Arab nationalists had always heartily detested the MB, and the al-Saud and Emirate leaderships similarly detested the Muslim Brotherhood (albeit for different reasons). ..."
    "... But there was always a fundamental contradiction in the American flirtation with the Muslim Brotherhood: it was that Washington's objective was never regional reform – whether secular or Islamist; the aim always was to preserve a malleable status quo in the Middle East. ..."
    "... U.S. neo-cons were then at the peak of their influence. Since 1996, they had insisted on unqualified U.S. support for the region's Kings and Emirs versus the Ba'athists and Islamists. It was they who won out easily – against CIA officers such as Graham Fuller – in the debate on whether or not to support any sort of 'Arab Awakening'. ..."
    "... The U.S. sided with Saudi Arabia and UAE in mounting the coup against the Muslim Brotherhood President in Cairo. And still today, the U.S. and its European protégés support the UAE's Crown Prince in his vendetta war against Islamists everywhere, from the Horn of Africa to the Magreb – and against Turkey too, as the Muslim Brotherhood's 'mother-ship'. ..."
    "... These 'policy papers' may have been the precursors, but in the final analysis, the 'block' simply is, and has been, Israel – both indirectly and directly. The Clean Break's full title was a New Strategy for Securing the Realm (i.e. Israel). It was a blueprint for underpinning Israel's security. Ditto for Wurmser's paper. ..."
    "... In sum, either U.S. or Israeli fears, or U.S. concerns to appease domestic U.S. constituencies, lie at the bottom of this stasis: Israeli and the U.S. élites are wholly comfortable with this malleable status quo – and fear it changing in any way that they cannot control. No reform for the Middle East – only disruption. ..."
    Jun 01, 2020 | www.strategic-culture.org

    Some eight years ago, I wrote about the outbreak of popular stirring in the Middle East, then labelled the 'Arab Awakening'. Multiple popular discontents were welling: demands for radical change proliferated, but above all, there was anger – anger at mountainous inequalities in wealth; blatant injustices and political marginalisation; and at a corrupt and rapacious élite. The moment had seemed potent, but no change resulted. Why? And what are the portents, as the Corona era covers the region once again with dark clouds of economic gloom and renewed discontent?

    The U.S. was conflicted, as these earlier rumblings of thunder spread from hilltop to hilltop. Some in the CIA, had perceived popular movements – such as the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) (although Islamist) as the useful solvent that could wash away lingering stale Ottoman residues, to usher in a shiny westernised modernity. Many over excited Europeans imagined (wrongly), that the popular Awakenings were made in their own image. They weren't.

    The facile interpretation of the Awakening as a liberal democratic 'impulse' was at best, an exaggeration, if not a pure fantasy. I wrote then (in 2012): "What genuine popular impulse there was at the outset has now been subsumed, and absorbed into three major political projects associated, rather with a push to reassert [Sunni] primacy across the region: a Muslim Brotherhood project, a Saudi-Salafist project, and a militant Salafist project [which subsequently was to evolve into ISIS]".

    The key early player was the Muslim Brotherhood. I wrote :

    "No one really knows the nature of the Brotherhood project: whether it is that of a sect, or if it is truly mainstream; and this opacity is giving rise to real fears. At times, the Brotherhood presents a pragmatic, even an uncomfortably accommodationist, face to the world, but other voices from the movement, more discretely evoke the air of something akin to the rhetoric of literal, intolerant and hegemonic Salafism. What is clear, however, is that the Brotherhood tone everywhere, is increasingly one of militant sectarian [i.e. Sunni] grievance."

    This was the common thread: All these supposedly popular dynamics had become tools in the "fervour for the restitution of a Sunni regional primacy – even, perhaps, of hegemony – to be attained through fanning rising Sunni militancy and Salafist acculturation". Containing Iran, of course was a primary aim (encouraged, of course, by Washington). But these forces collectively comprised a project in which Gulf leaders managed and pulled the levers – and paid the bills too.

    And for an early instant, those in the U.S. who had bet on the Muslim Brotherhood, glimpsed victory. Egypt fell to the MB; Syria was subject to a full-spectrum 'war', and the Muslim Brotherhood openly expressed its objective to 'take' the Gulf, where it had long established covert cells and networks.

    But it was overreach. The Muslim Brotherhood was, it seemed to interested parties, about to steal (like Prometheus), the fire which belonged exclusively to 'the gods'. Plus, the MB were revealing obvious flaws: Its leadership in Cairo was deeply unconvincing. In Syria, where the movement never had significant penetration (single digit percent support), it was being quickly displaced by war-experienced Salafists coming in from the war in Iraq.

    The American, European and Gulf leaders (i.e. the gods) turned sharply away from the Muslim Brotherhood (Qatar was the exception) – and turned instead to ISIS and Al-Qaida. The 'gods' were set on making an example of a non-compliant Assad and increasingly, they looked to the latter – ISIS – to inject the required savagery to claw down Assad – in the face of the latter's tenacious fight-back.

    In any event, sentiment turned violently against the MB from many quarters. Secular Arab nationalists had always heartily detested the MB, and the al-Saud and Emirate leaderships similarly detested the Muslim Brotherhood (albeit for different reasons).

    But there was always a fundamental contradiction in the American flirtation with the Muslim Brotherhood: it was that Washington's objective was never regional reform – whether secular or Islamist; the aim always was to preserve a malleable status quo in the Middle East.

    U.S. neo-cons were then at the peak of their influence. Since 1996, they had insisted on unqualified U.S. support for the region's Kings and Emirs versus the Ba'athists and Islamists. It was they who won out easily – against CIA officers such as Graham Fuller – in the debate on whether or not to support any sort of 'Arab Awakening'.

    The U.S. sided with Saudi Arabia and UAE in mounting the coup against the Muslim Brotherhood President in Cairo. And still today, the U.S. and its European protégés support the UAE's Crown Prince in his vendetta war against Islamists everywhere, from the Horn of Africa to the Magreb – and against Turkey too, as the Muslim Brotherhood's 'mother-ship'.

    This 'war on Islamists' has provided cover for the counter-revolutionary repression of any reform of the 'Arab System' – a rearguard Gulf action initially triggered by fears that any 'Awakening' might sweep away Gulf ruling families. Today, the UAE continues to try to seed compliant strongmen, General Sisi lookalikes, in states such as Libya and now Tunisia .

    So, here we are. But, where are we going? And, above all, why no reform? Can this continue, or will the region explode under the effects of the Covid-triggered, recession?

    No reform at all, for a full decade? What's the block? Well, in the first place, the background lies with those two key neo-con policy papers: the 1996 Clean Break , and David Wurmser's follow-on, Coping with Crumbling States. These two documents laid the basis for the U.S. (and Israeli) endorsement of Gulf States acting as 'policeman' and regional strongmen (a role that the UAE has taken to a new peak), managing any rumblings of dissent (such as in Libya).

    These 'policy papers' may have been the precursors, but in the final analysis, the 'block' simply is, and has been, Israel – both indirectly and directly. The Clean Break's full title was a New Strategy for Securing the Realm (i.e. Israel). It was a blueprint for underpinning Israel's security. Ditto for Wurmser's paper.

    In sum, either U.S. or Israeli fears, or U.S. concerns to appease domestic U.S. constituencies, lie at the bottom of this stasis: Israeli and the U.S. élites are wholly comfortable with this malleable status quo – and fear it changing in any way that they cannot control. No reform for the Middle East – only disruption.

    Here is the point: There has been no reform, but there is a new dynamic at work. Power is an attribute that is based in deference and powerful illusion. So long as people are willing to defer to a leader; so long as people are persuaded by the illusion of power; so long as people fear – the leader leads. But should the illusion become evident as illusion, nothing easily can prop it up. Power is ephemeral; it dissipates like mountain mist. And the U.S. is losing it.

    [Jun 01, 2020] Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov "We Have No Trust, No Confidence Whatsoever" in America by Jacob Heilbrunn

    May 29, 2020 | nationalinterest.org

    TNI editor Jacob Heilbrunn interviews Russian deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov about the New START Treaty and the state of U.S.-Russia relations.

    Jacob Heilbrunn : What is your assessment of the state of U.S.-Russia relations?

    Sergei Ryabkov : The current state of our bilateral relations is probably worse than we have experienced for decades preceding this current moment. I don't want to compare this with Cold War times because that era was different from what we have now -- in some ways, more predictable; in some ways, more dangerous. From Moscow's perspective, the Trump era is worrying because we move from one low point to another, and as the famous Polish thinker Jerzy Lec said once, "We thought we had reached the ground, and then someone knocked from beneath."

    This is exactly how things happen today. We try hard to improve the situation through different proposals in practically all areas that pull Moscow and Washington apart. It doesn't happen. We recognize that everything that is associated with Russia policy is now quite problematic, to put it mildly -- quite toxic for the U.S. mainstream in the broader sense of the word. But the only answer to this, we believe, is to intensify dialogue and search for ways that both governments, businesses -- structures that impact the general mood of the public -- maintain and probably deepen their interaction and discourse so as to remove possible misunderstandings or grounds for miscalculations.

    One of the most troubling areas in this very dark and dull picture is of course arms control. There we see a downward spiral that is being systematically enhanced and intensified by the U.S. government. It looks like America doesn't believe in arms control as a concept altogether. Instead, it tries to find pretexts to depart from as many arms control treaties, agreements, and arrangements that Russia is also a party to. This is very regrettable. But make no mistake: we will not pay any price higher than the one we would pay for our own security in order to save something or keep the U.S. within this system. It's squarely and straightforwardly the choice that the American government may or, in our view, even should make -- because we still think that the maintenance of these agreements ultimately serves American national interests.

    Heilbrunn : What is your view of the Trump administration's approach to the START Treaty?

    Ryabkov : I can easily say that the Trump administration's approach to the START Treaty is quite strange. Number one: we understand the reasons why the Trump administration wants China to become a party to any future arms control talks or arrangements -- although we equally understand the reasons why China doesn't want to be part of these agreements, and thus we believe that it's up to Washington to deal with Beijing on this issue. And in the absence of a very clear and open and considered consent from the other side -- that is, from China -- there would be no talks with China or with China's participation. That's an obvious reality that we face.

    So the next element of this logic brings us to the natural conclusion that it would be in everyone's interest just to extend what we have now -- that is, a new START in the form as it was signed and subsequently ratified -- and then defer contentious issues and unresolved problems, including the one that is associated with U.S. non-compliance with this treaty, to a later point. An eventual extension of the treaty for five more years would give sufficient time to both Washington and Moscow, and eventually for others, to consider the situation and make decisions not in a hurry but with due regard to all aspects and to the gravity of the challenges before us, including those associated with new military technologies. But again, we are not there to trade this approach for anything on the U.S. side, to get something from the U.S. side in return. I think it's quite logical and natural as it stands, so we invite the U.S. to consider what we are telling them at face value.

    Heilbrunn: Traditionally, Russia has worked well with Republican administrations starting with Nixon. Is that era at an end?

    Ryabkov: I don't know. It completely depends on the U.S. We do believe that irrespective of what party is in the government in the U.S., there are choices; there are opportunities; and there are possibilities that at least should be explored with Russia. I don't know if this administration regards Russia as a party worth having a serious dialogue with. I tend to believe it's not because of domestic political reasons, because of different approaches to matters that are quite obvious at least for us, including the international system of treaties and international law in general.

    But then again, it may well be so that the current Republican administration will in effect become a line in history in which a considerable number of useful international instruments were abrogated and that America exited them in the anticipation that this approach would serve U.S. interests better. Having said that, I will never say or never suggest that it was for us -- at least in the mid-2010s -- better with the previous administration.

    It was under the previous Obama administration that endless rounds of sanctions were imposed upon Russia. That was continued under Trump. The pretext for that policy is totally rejected by Russia as an invalid and illegal one. The previous administration, weeks before it departed, stole Russian property that was protected by diplomatic immunity, and we are still deprived of this property by the Trump administration. We have sent 350 diplomatic notes to both the Obama and the Trump administrations demanding the return of this property, only to see an endless series of rejections. It is one of the most vivid and obvious examples of where we are in our relationship.

    There is no such thing as "which administration is better for Russia in the U.S.?" Both are bad, and this is our conclusion after more than a decade of talking to Washington on different topics.

    Heilbrunn: Given the dire situation you portray, do you believe that America has become a rogue state?

    Ryabkov: I wouldn't say so, that's not our conclusion. But the U.S. is clearly an entity that stands for itself, one that creates uncertainty for the world. America is a source of trouble for many international actors. They are trying to find ways to protect and defend themselves from this malign and malicious policy of America that many of the people around the world believe should come to an end, hopefully in the near future.

    Heilbrunn : If President Trump were to respond to your last point, he might say, "What's wrong with uncertainty from the American perspective? What's wrong with keeping your adversaries off balance? Why should the U.S. be a predictable power?" What would your response be to that?

    Ryabkov : My response to this would be that we are not asking the U.S. to be a responsible and predictable partner because we don't believe it would be possible any time soon. We are saying that this is a reality that we all face, and thus we only adjust our own reaction and our own response to it trying the best way possible to protect our own interests.

    Heilbrunn : Related to that, and on the START Treaty, a Trump administration State Department official recently announced that the U.S. was ready, essentially, to bury Russia, to spend it into the ground in a new arms race just as it had in the 1980s.

    Ryabkov : To bring it into oblivion.

    Heilbrunn : Right. What is your response to those kinds of threats?

    Ryabkov : There is no response. We just take note of it, and we draw our lessons from the past. We will never, ever allow anyone to draw us into an arms race that would exceed our own capabilities. But we will find ways how to sustain this pressure, both in terms of rhetoric and also in terms of possible action.

    Heilbrunn : What does this kind of rhetoric imply for the future of an extension of the START Treaty? Doesn't it suggest that the treaty may in fact already be doomed and that the Trump administration is using China as a poison pill to kill the treaty altogether?

    Ryabkov : On China, I think the U.S. administration is obsessed with the issue, and it tries to introduce "Chinese discourse" into every single international issue at the table. So it's not about the START Treaty. It's much broader, deeper, and it's by far more multifaceted than anything that relates to arms control as such. My view on this is that chances for the new START Treaty to be sustained are rapidly moving close to zero, and I think that on February 5, 2021, this treaty will just lapse, and it will end. We will have no START as of February 6, 2021.

    Heilbrunn : Do you feel the American stance toward Russia is inadvertently helping to promote a Russia-China rapprochement that is actually not in Washington's interest?

    Ryabkov : We don't think we can operate on the premise that because of some pressure or some external impact on us, something happens in terms of the evolution of priorities or approaches to China or to anyone else. We don't believe the U.S. in its current shape is a counterpart that is reliable, so we have no confidence, no trust whatsoever. So our own calculations and conclusions are less related to what America is doing than to many, many other things. And we cherish our close and friendly relations with China. We do regard this as a comprehensive strategic partnership in different areas, and we intend to develop it further. Heilbrunn : The U.S. is pushing very hard against China right now, at least rhetorically. China has vowed to smash any Taiwanese move toward independence and looks to be cracking down in Hong Kong as well. Do you see this as another instance where American overt bellicosity ends up boomeranging and pushing its adversaries to take more drastic measures?

    Ryabkov : Of course, it's not possible for me to judge what China will do in those cases or in those instances, but I do think that every single area where the U.S. believes there is an opportunity to pressure China is being currently used in a most energetic and most forceful manner. I think it clearly entails a further growth of uncertainty in international relations. I still hope though that at some point, the natural instinct to talk and agree and conclude deals will prevail rather than this ongoing effort to squeeze something out of others -- not only China, but Russia and others who tend to follow their independent policy from America.

    Heilbrunn : In this regard, when it comes to Russia -- because you see the U.S. as trying to increase the pressure on Russia as well -- do you draw a distinction between President Trump and his administration, or do you see them as aligned in their approach toward Russia? Because during the 2016 election campaign, Trump was explicit about trying to revive the U.S.-Russia relationship.

    Ryabkov : No, I see no lines anywhere. I see no distinction, as you have described. Moreover, I see no distinction between the previous administration and this one.

    Heilbrunn : Let me put it another way: what about differences between Trump and his own advisers? Do you think Trump himself is inclined to take a more diplomatic route, or do you think that U.S.-Russia policy is being driven by him?

    Ryabkov : I don't know who drives U.S. policy toward Russia. We welcome any signal from the Americans, including from the President himself in favor of improvement, in favor of going along, and we are prepared to bear our share in this. But unfortunately, it doesn't work. And I suspect to some extent that it's also my own fear that in my modest position, I was not able to offer anything to my bosses that may help to change things for the better.

    Heilbrunn : Final question: do you think that matters, at least in the area of arms control, would change under a Biden presidency? Because the Democrats are much more sympathetic to arms control agreements than Republicans currently appear to be. What's your take?

    Ryabkov : I have no idea how things will unfold in relation to the forthcoming election in the U.S. No predictions, no expectations. I do think, though, that it would be very late in the process for any administration -- including the second Trump administration if he is reelected -- to deal with the issue of a new START extension after the day of elections in America. I think more broadly that the current, almost one-hundred percent watertight anti-Russian bipartisan consensus in the U.S. doesn't promise much good for this relationship for the future, irrespective of who wins the next election. So we will see. We will continuously work hard to try to devise alternative paths forward, but we have no partner on the American side.

    Sergei Ryabkov is Deputy Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation.

    [May 24, 2020] Unable to communicate in Arabic and with no relevant experience or appropriate educational training

    Highly recommended!
    I wouldn't hold my breath for the slightest change in that status quo any time soon.
    May 24, 2020 | www.unz.com

    anonymous [400] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment May 23, 2020 at 12:34 pm GMT

    Unable to communicate in Arabic and with no relevant experience or appropriate educational training

    Seems rather typical of those making policy, not knowing much about the area they're assigned to. If a person did know Arabic and had an understanding of the culture they wouldn't get hired as they'd be viewed with suspicion, suspected of being sympathetic to Middle Easterners. How and why these neocons can come back into government is puzzling and one wonders who within the establishment is backing them. Judging by the quotes her father certainly seems deranged and not someone to be allowed anywhere near any policy making positions.
    Flynn also seems to be a dolt what with his 'worldwide war against radical Islam'. Someone should clue him in that much of this radical Islam has been created and stoked by the US who hyped up radical Islam, recruiting and arming them to fight the Russians in Afghanistan. Bin Laden was there, remember? Flynn, a general, is unaware of this? Islamic jihadists are America's Foreign Legion and have been used all over the Muslim world, most recently in Syria. Does this portend war with Iran? Possibly, but perhaps Trump wouldn't want to go it alone but would want the financial support of other countries. They've probably war-gamed it to death and found it to be a loser.

    [May 23, 2020] Leading Neocon Directs Pentagon Middle East Planning, by Philip Giraldi

    Notable quotes:
    "... The GWOT was promoted with brain-dead expressions like "there's a new sheriff in town" which, after the destruction of large parts of the Middle East and Central Asia, later morphed into the matrix of the God-awful belief that something called "American Exceptionalism" existed. ..."
    "... Secretary of State Mike Pompeo puts it another way, that the U.S. is a "force for good," but it was former Secretary Madeleine Albright who expressed the fantasy best , stating that " if we have to use force, it is because we are America; we are the indispensable nation. We stand tall and we see further than other countries into the future, and we see the danger here to all of us." ..."
    "... One aspect of the American heavy footprint that is little noted is the ruin of many formerly functioning countries that it brings with it. Iraq and Libya might have been dictatorships before the U.S. intervened, but they gave their people a higher standard of living and more security than has been the case ever since. ..."
    "... Libya, destroyed by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, had the highest standard of living in Africa. Iraq is currently one of the world's most corrupt countries, so corrupt that there have been massive street demonstrations recently against the government's inability to do anything good for the its own people. Electricity and water supplies are, for example, less reliable than before the U.S. intervened seventeen years ago. ..."
    "... The failures of the American foreign policy since George W. Bush have been accredited to the so-called neoconservatives, who successfully hijacked the Bush presidency. Paul Wolfowitz, Doug Feith, Scooter Libby and the merry crowd at the American Enterprise Institute had a major ally in Vice President Dick Cheney and were pretty much able to run wild, creating a casus belli for invading Iraq that was largely fabricated and which was completely against actual U.S. interests in the region. Apparently no one ever told Wolfie that Iraq was the Arab bulwark against Iranian ambitions and that Tehran would be the only major beneficiary in taking down Saddam Hussein. Since Iraq, the chameleonlike neocons have had a prominent voice in the mainstream media and have also played major roles in the shaping the foreign and national security policies of the presidencies that have followed George W. Bush. ..."
    "... The $20 billion disbursed during the 15-month proconsulship of the CPA came from frozen and seized Iraqi assets held in the U.S. Most of the money was in the form of cash, flown into Iraq on C-130s in huge plastic shrink-wrapped pallets holding 40 "cashpaks," each cashpak having $1.6 million in $100 bills. Twelve billion dollars moved that way between May 2003 and June 2004, drawn from the Iraqi accounts administered by the New York Federal Reserve Bank. The $100 bills weighed an estimated 363 tons. ..."
    "... Once in Iraq, there was virtually no accountability over how the money was spent. There was also considerable money "off the books," including as much as $4 billion from illegal oil exports. Thus, the country was awash in unaccountable cash. British sources report that the CPA contracts that were not handed out to cronies were sold to the highest bidder, with bribes as high as $300,000 being demanded for particularly lucrative reconstruction contracts. The contracts were especially attractive because no work or results were necessarily expected in return. ..."
    "... Many of its staff, like Michael Fleischer, were selected for their political affiliations rather than their knowledge of the jobs they were supposed to perform and many of them were not surprisingly neocons. One of them has now resurfaced in a top Pentagon position. She is Simone Ledeen , daughter of leading neoconservative Michael Ledeen. Unable to communicate in Arabic and with no relevant experience or appropriate educational training, she nevertheless became in 2003 a senior advisor for northern Iraq at the Ministry of Finance in Baghdad. ..."
    "... Simone has now been appointed deputy assistant secretary of defense (DASD) for the Middle East, which is the principal position for shaping Pentagon policy for that region. ..."
    "... Apparently Simone's gene pool makes her qualified to lead the Pentagon into the Middle East, where she no doubt has views that make her compatible with the Trump/Pompeo current spin on the Iranian threat. The neocon Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) gushed "Simone Ledeen has worked at the Pentagon & Treasury and at a major bank. Exactly what we should want for such a position." Of course, FDD, the leading advocate of war with Iran, also wants someone who will green light destroying the Persians. ..."
    May 23, 2020 | www.unz.com

    The Global War on Terror or GWOT was declared in the wake of 9/11 by President George W. Bush. It basically committed the United States to work to eliminate all "terrorist" groups worldwide, whether or not the countries being targeted agreed that they were beset by terrorists and whether or not they welcomed U.S. "help." The GWOT was promoted with brain-dead expressions like "there's a new sheriff in town" which, after the destruction of large parts of the Middle East and Central Asia, later morphed into the matrix of the God-awful belief that something called "American Exceptionalism" existed.

    With a national election lurking on the horizon we will no doubt be hearing more about Exceptionalism from various candidates seeking to support the premise that the United States can interfere in every country on the planet because it is, as the expression goes, exceptional. That is generally how Donald Trump and hardline Republicans see the world, that sovereignty exercised by foreign governments is and should be limited by the reach of the U.S. military. Surrounding a competitor with military bases and warships is a concept that many in Washington are currently trying to sell regarding a suitable response to the Chinese economic and political challenge.

    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo puts it another way, that the U.S. is a "force for good," but it was former Secretary Madeleine Albright who expressed the fantasy best , stating that " if we have to use force, it is because we are America; we are the indispensable nation. We stand tall and we see further than other countries into the future, and we see the danger here to all of us." She also said that the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children through U.S. imposed sanctions was " a very hard choice, but the price -- we think the price is worth it." That is the basic credo of the liberal interventionists. Either way, the U.S. gets to make the decisions over life and death, which, since the GWOT began, have destroyed or otherwise compromised the lives of millions of people, mostly concentrated in Asia.

    One aspect of the American heavy footprint that is little noted is the ruin of many formerly functioning countries that it brings with it. Iraq and Libya might have been dictatorships before the U.S. intervened, but they gave their people a higher standard of living and more security than has been the case ever since.

    Libya, destroyed by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, had the highest standard of living in Africa. Iraq is currently one of the world's most corrupt countries, so corrupt that there have been massive street demonstrations recently against the government's inability to do anything good for the its own people. Electricity and water supplies are, for example, less reliable than before the U.S. intervened seventeen years ago.

    Add Afghanistan to the "most corrupt" list after 19 years of American tutelage and one comes up with a perfect trifecta of countries that have been ruined. In a more rational world, one might have hoped that at least one American politician might have stood up and admitted that we have screwed up royally and it is beyond time to close the overseas bases and bring our troops home. Well, actually one did so in explicit terms, but that was Tulsi Gabbard and she was marginalized as soon as she started her run. Alluding to how Washington's gift to the world has been corruption would be to implicitly deny American Exceptionalism, which is a no-no.

    The failures of the American foreign policy since George W. Bush have been accredited to the so-called neoconservatives, who successfully hijacked the Bush presidency. Paul Wolfowitz, Doug Feith, Scooter Libby and the merry crowd at the American Enterprise Institute had a major ally in Vice President Dick Cheney and were pretty much able to run wild, creating a casus belli for invading Iraq that was largely fabricated and which was completely against actual U.S. interests in the region. Apparently no one ever told Wolfie that Iraq was the Arab bulwark against Iranian ambitions and that Tehran would be the only major beneficiary in taking down Saddam Hussein. Since Iraq, the chameleonlike neocons have had a prominent voice in the mainstream media and have also played major roles in the shaping the foreign and national security policies of the presidencies that have followed George W. Bush.

    Ironically, neocons mostly were critics of Donald Trump the candidate because he talked "nonsense" about ending "useless wars" but they have been trickling back into his administration since he has made it clear that he is not about to end anything and might in fact be planning to attack Iran and maybe even Venezuela. The thought of new wars, particularly against Israel's enemy Iran, makes neocons salivate.

    The disastrous American occupation of Iraq from 2003-2004 was mismanaged by something called the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), which might have been the most corrupt quasi-government body to be seen in recent history. At least $20 billion that belonged to the Iraqi people was wasted, together with hundreds of millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars. Exactly how many billions of additional dollars were squandered, stolen, given away, or simply lost will never be known because the deliberate decision by the CPA not to meter oil exports means that no one will ever know how much revenue was generated during 2003 and 2004.

    Some of the corruption grew out of the misguided neoconservative agenda for Iraq, which meant that a serious reconstruction effort came second to doling out the spoils to the war's most fervent supporters. The CPA brought in scores of bright, young true believers who were nearly universally unqualified. Many were recruited through the Heritage Foundation or American Enterprise Institute websites, where they had posted their résumés. They were paid six-figure salaries out of Iraqi funds, and most served in 90-day rotations before returning home with their war stories. One such volunteer was former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer's older brother Michael who, though utterly unqualified, was named director of private-sector development for all of Iraq.

    The $20 billion disbursed during the 15-month proconsulship of the CPA came from frozen and seized Iraqi assets held in the U.S. Most of the money was in the form of cash, flown into Iraq on C-130s in huge plastic shrink-wrapped pallets holding 40 "cashpaks," each cashpak having $1.6 million in $100 bills. Twelve billion dollars moved that way between May 2003 and June 2004, drawn from the Iraqi accounts administered by the New York Federal Reserve Bank. The $100 bills weighed an estimated 363 tons.

    Once in Iraq, there was virtually no accountability over how the money was spent. There was also considerable money "off the books," including as much as $4 billion from illegal oil exports. Thus, the country was awash in unaccountable cash. British sources report that the CPA contracts that were not handed out to cronies were sold to the highest bidder, with bribes as high as $300,000 being demanded for particularly lucrative reconstruction contracts. The contracts were especially attractive because no work or results were necessarily expected in return.

    Many of its staff, like Michael Fleischer, were selected for their political affiliations rather than their knowledge of the jobs they were supposed to perform and many of them were not surprisingly neocons. One of them has now resurfaced in a top Pentagon position. She is Simone Ledeen , daughter of leading neoconservative Michael Ledeen. Unable to communicate in Arabic and with no relevant experience or appropriate educational training, she nevertheless became in 2003 a senior advisor for northern Iraq at the Ministry of Finance in Baghdad.

    Simone has now been appointed deputy assistant secretary of defense (DASD) for the Middle East, which is the principal position for shaping Pentagon policy for that region. Post 9/11, Ledeen's leading neocon father Michael was the source of the expressions "creative destruction" and "total war" as relating to the Muslim Middle East, where "civilian lives cannot be the total war's first priority The purpose of total war is to permanently force your will onto another people." He is also a noted Iranophobe, blaming numerous terrorist acts on that country even when such claims were ridiculous. He might also have been involved in the generation in Italy of the fabricated Iraq Niger uranium documents that contributed greatly to the march to war with Saddam.

    Apparently Simone's gene pool makes her qualified to lead the Pentagon into the Middle East, where she no doubt has views that make her compatible with the Trump/Pompeo current spin on the Iranian threat. The neocon Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) gushed "Simone Ledeen has worked at the Pentagon & Treasury and at a major bank. Exactly what we should want for such a position." Of course, FDD, the leading advocate of war with Iran, also wants someone who will green light destroying the Persians.

    Ledeen, a Brandeis graduate with an MBA from an Italian university, worked in and out of government in various advisory capacities before joining Standard Chartered Bank. One of her more interesting roles was as an advisor to General Michael Flynn in Afghanistan at a time when Flynn was collaborating with her father on a book that eventually came out in 2016 entitled The Field of Fight: How We Can Win the Global War Against Radical Islam and its Allies. The book asserts that there is a global war going on in which "We face a working coalition that extends from North Korea and China to Russia, Iran, Syria, Cuba, Bolivia, Venezuela and Nicaragua." The book predictably claims that Iran is at the center of what is an anti-American alliance.

    The extent to which Simone has absorbed her father's views and agrees with them can, of course, be questioned, but her appointment is yet another indication, together with the jobs previously given to John Bolton, Mike Pompeo and Elliot Abrams , that the Trump Administration is intent on pursuing a hardline aggressive policy in the Middle East and elsewhere. It is also an unfortunate indication that the neoconservatives, pronounced dead after the election of Trump, are back and resuming their drive to obtain the positions of power that will permit endless war, starting with Iran.

    Philip Giraldi, Ph.D. is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest.


    Beavertales , says: Show Comment May 21, 2020 at 1:31 pm GMT

    'Maximum Pressure' is being exerted on Trump.

    How was he leveraged to order the assassination of Iran's general Qasem Soleimani?

    It's all about manufacturing new threats to his presidency, and then offering to switch them off when he trades something the neocons want. The politics of extortion.

    KA , says: Show Comment May 21, 2020 at 5:35 pm GMT
    If "??Operation Iraqi Freedom"? may accurately be regarded as Wolfowitz's War in its conception, then the aftermath of the war should be viewed as the Kissinger-Feith Occupation" and continuation of illegal sanctions by "Democrat, Bill Clinton, and his meretricious Middle East foreign policy team of Samuel "Sandy" Berger, Madeleine "??it's worth it"? Albright, Dennis Ross, and Australian import, Martin Indyk. " but it was "
    Kissinger's partner and frontman in Baghdad, Paul "??Jerry"? Bremer, which has effectively destroyed Iraq as a nation-state, " and But within weeks of the invasion, Garner's tenure as head of the post-war planning office was over: he was replaced by Paul Bremer, a terrorism expert and protege of Henry Kissinger. Bremer immediately countermanded all three of Garner's "musts". [My emphasis.] When, eventually, Garner confronted Rumsfeld, telling him: "There is still time to rectify this," Rumsfeld refused to do so. And who was assisting Dr. Kissinger to program the new U.S. proconsul in Baghdad? Who was Paul Bremer's primary contact at the Pentagon, overseeing the occupation from Washington, with the blessing of Don Rumsfeld? None other than the award winning hyperZionist zealot, Douglas "clean break" Feith, the man who had advised Likud icon, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to attack Iraq, Syria and Lebanon in 1996 and tear up the Oslo "peace process ". Feith is a protege of Richard Perle. Feith is on the Advisory Board of JINSA ,. Feith is a face card in the deck of the Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies, headquartered in Jerusalem. The law office he founded in 1986, Feith & Zell, is based in Israel, catering to Jewish-American "??settlers"? on the West Bank. "

    https://www.takimag.com/article/the_kissinger_connection/

    KA , says: Show Comment May 21, 2020 at 5:38 pm GMT
    If nothing else, Bob Woodward's last fat book on Iraq, State of Denial, has performed a valuable public service by ejecting the furtive Kissinger from the shadows. Woodward reports that vice president Dick Cheney confided to him (Woodward) in the summer of 2005: "I probably talk to Henry Kissinger more than I talk to anybody else. He just comes by and I guess at least once a month, Scooter [Libby] and I sit down with him." [Page 406.] Woodward goes on to state: "The president also met privately with Kissinger every couple of months, making the former secretary the most regular and frequent outside adviser to Bush on foreign affairs." https://www.takimag.com/article/the_kissinger_connection/

    We know who did what ,when and how .

    Mustapha Mond , says: Show Comment May 21, 2020 at 7:30 pm GMT
    Regarding Madeleine Albright: "She also said that the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children through U.S. imposed sanctions was " a very hard choice, but the price -- we think the price is worth it." That is the basic credo of the liberal interventionists."

    I think 'liberal interventionist' is a bit too weak for the 'lovely' Ms Albright and her (in)famous quote.

    Instead, let's try, "That is the basic credo of psychopathically sadistic zionist monsters who exquisitely enjoy the thought of Arab children dying agonizingly slow deaths of preventable diseases and starvation."

    Ah, yes. That's a much more accurate assessment of the situation ..

    Meena , says: Show Comment May 22, 2020 at 3:20 am GMT
    Nixon is recorded as saying, "Any settlement will have to be imposed by both the US and the Soviet Union". Yet, as he had told the Russian ambassador to Washington, "I don't want to anger the American Jews who hold important positions in the press, radio and television".

    The Jewish lobby has enormous influence on Congress. Nixon wanted to wait until he had won his reelection and concluded the withdrawal of US forces from Vietnam and then he could face down the Jewish lobby. Later he told the ambassador, "I will deliver the Israelis".

    In one of his final acts in office, he ordered a complete cutoff of assistance to Israel. It was not to be.

    Watergate consumed his presidency. https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/05/21/a-machiavellian-us-in-the-middle-east/

    Was this Watergate a payback? Carter lost. So did Bush Sr and Kennedys died .

    [May 22, 2020] Having a sense of history, de Gaulle saw that colonialism had been a moment in history that was past. His policy was to foster friendly relations on equal terms with all parts of the world, regardless of ideological differences. I think that Putin's concept of a multipolar world is similar. It is clearly a concept that horrifies the exceptionalists

    Notable quotes:
    "... Mr. de Gaulle like other "leaders" of colonial powers did understand that the moment of overt coercive relations of colonialism had passed and that colonialism to remain qualitatively the same, required covert coercive relations facilitated by the complicity of local "elites" on the basis of perceived self-interest. ..."
    May 22, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

    Herman , May 17, 2020 at 09:00

    Interesting comparison between the aspirations of De Gaulle and Putin.

    "Having a sense of history, de Gaulle saw that colonialism had been a moment in history that was past. His policy was to foster friendly relations on equal terms with all parts of the world, regardless of ideological differences. I think that Putin's concept of a multipolar world is similar. It is clearly a concept that horrifies the exceptionalists."

    Agree with Johnstone.

    OlyaPola , May 19, 2020 at 11:55

    "Having a sense of history, de Gaulle saw that colonialism had been a moment in history that was past. "

    Mr. de Gaulle like other "leaders" of colonial powers did understand that the moment of overt coercive relations of colonialism had passed and that colonialism to remain qualitatively the same, required covert coercive relations facilitated by the complicity of local "elites" on the basis of perceived self-interest.

    The exceptions to such strategies lay within constructs of settler colonialism which were addressed primarily through warfare – "The United States of America", Vietnam/Laos/Cambodia, Indonesia, Algeria, Kenya, Rhodesia, Mozambique, Angola refer – to facilitate such future strategies.

    "I think that Putin's concept of a multipolar world is similar."

    As outlined elsewhere the concept of a multi-polar world is not synonymous with the concept of colonialism except for the colonialists who consistently seek to encourage such conflation through myths of we-are-all-in-this-togetherness.

    [May 21, 2020] The 'Clean Break' Doctrine OffGuardian

    Highly recommended!
    Notable quotes:
    "... A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm ..."
    "... "the right to plunder anything one can get their hands on" ..."
    "... "the UK and France in March 2011 which led the international community to support an intervention in Libya to protect civilians from forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi" ..."
    May 21, 2020 | off-guardian.org

    n 1996 a task force, led by Richard Perle, produced a policy document titled A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm for Benjamin Netanyahu, who was then in his first term as Prime Minister of Israel, as a how-to manual on approaching regime change in the Middle East and for the destruction of the Oslo Accords.

    The "Clean Break" policy document outlined these goals:

    Ending Yasser Arafat's and the Palestinian Authority's political influence, by blaming them for acts of Palestinian terrorism Inducing the United States to overthrow Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq. Launching war against Syria after Saddam's regime is disposed of. Followed by military action against Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt.

    "Clean Break" was also in direct opposition to the Oslo Accords, to which Netanyahu was very much itching to obliterate. The Oslo II Accord was signed just the year before, on September 28th 1995, in Taba, Egypt.

    During the Oslo Accord peace process, Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu accused Rabin's government of being "removed from Jewish tradition and Jewish values." Rallies organised by the Likud and other right-wing fundamentalist groups featured depictions of Rabin in a Nazi SS uniform or in the crosshairs of a gun.

    In July 1995, Netanyahu went so far as to lead a mock funeral procession for Rabin, featuring a coffin and hangman's noose.

    The Oslo Accords was the initiation of a process which was to lead to a peace treaty based on the United Nations Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, and at fulfilling the "right of the Palestinian people to self-determination." If such a peace treaty were to occur, with the United States backing, it would have prevented much of the mayhem that has occurred since.

    However, the central person to ensuring this process, Yitzak Rabin, was assassinated just a month and a half after the signing of the Oslo II Accord, on November 4th, 1995. Netanyahu became prime minister of Israel seven months later. "Clean Break" was produced the following year.

    On November 6th, 2000 in the Israeli daily Ha'aretz, Israeli Justice Minister Yossi Beilin, who was the chief negotiator of the Oslo peace accords, warned those Israelis who argued that it was impossible to make peace with the Palestinians:

    Zionism was founded in order to save Jews from persecution and anti-Semitism, and not in order to offer them a Jewish Sparta or – God forbid – a new Massada."

    On Oct. 5, 2003, for the first time in 30 years, Israel launched bombing raids against Syria, targeting a purported "Palestinian terrorist camp" inside Syrian territory. Washington stood by and did nothing to prevent further escalation.

    "Clean Break" was officially launched in March 2003 with the war against Iraq, under the pretence of "The War on Terror". The real agenda was a western-backed list of regime changes in the Middle East to fit the plans of the United Kingdom, the U.S. and Israel.

    However, the affair is much more complicated than that with each player holding their own "idea" of what the "plan" is. Before we can fully appreciate such a scope, we must first understand what was Sykes-Picot and how did it shape today's world mayhem.

    Arabian Nights

    WWI was to officially start July 28th 1914, almost immediately following the Balkan wars (1912-1913) which had greatly weakened the Ottoman Empire.

    Never one to miss an opportunity when smelling fresh blood, the British were very keen on acquiring what they saw as strategic territories for the taking under the justification of being in war-time, which in the language of geopolitics translates to "the right to plunder anything one can get their hands on" .

    The brilliance of Britain's plan to garner these new territories was not to fight the Ottoman Empire directly but rather, to invoke an internal rebellion from within. These Arab territories would be encouraged by Britain to rebel for their independence from the Ottoman Empire and that Britain would support them in this cause.

    These Arab territories were thus led to believe that they were fighting for their own freedom when, in fact, they were fighting for British and secondarily French colonial interests.

    In order for all Arab leaders to sign on to the idea of rebelling against the Ottoman Sultan, there needed to be a viable leader that was Arab, for they certainly would not agree to rebel at the behest of Britain.

    Lord Kitchener, the butcher of Sudan, was to be at the helm of this operation as Britain's Minister of War. Kitchener's choice for Arab leadership was the scion of the Hashemite dynasty, Hussein ibn Ali, known as the Sherif of Mecca who ruled the region of Hejaz under the Ottoman Sultan.

    Hardinge of the British India Office disagreed with this choice and wanted Wahhabite Abdul-Aziz ibn Saud instead, however, Lord Kitchener overruled this stating that their intelligence revealed that more Arabs would follow Hussein.

    Since the Young Turk Revolution which seized power of the Ottoman government in 1908, Hussein was very aware that his dynasty was in no way guaranteed and thus he was open to Britain's invitation to crown him King of the Arab kingdom.

    Kitchener wrote to one of Hussein's sons, Abdallah, as reassurance of Britain's support:

    If the Arab nation assist England in this war that has been forced upon us by Turkey, England will guarantee that no internal intervention take place in Arabia, and will give Arabs every assistance against foreign aggression."

    Sir Henry McMahon who was the British High Commissioner to Egypt, would have several correspondences with Sherif Hussein between July 1915 to March 1916 to convince Hussein to lead the rebellion for the "independence" of the Arab states.

    However, in a private letter to India's Viceroy Charles Hardinge sent on December 4th, 1915, McMahon expressed a rather different view of what the future of Arabia would be, contrary to what he had led Sherif Hussein to believe:

    [I do not take] the idea of a future strong united independent Arab State too seriously the conditions of Arabia do not and will not for a very long time to come, lend themselves to such a thing."

    Such a view meant that Arabia would be subject to Britain's heavy-handed "advising" in all its affairs, whether it sought it or not.

    In the meantime, Sherif Hussein was receiving dispatches issued by the British Cairo office to the effect that the Arabs of Palestine, Syria, and Mesopotamia (Iraq) would be given independence guaranteed by Britain, if they rose up against the Ottoman Empire.

    The French were understandably suspicious of Britain's plans for these Arab territories. The French viewed Palestine, Lebanon and Syria as intrinsically belonging to France, based on French conquests during the Crusades and their "protection" of the Catholic populations in the region.

    Hussein was adamant that Beirut and Aleppo were to be given independence and completely rejected French presence in Arabia. Britain was also not content to give the French all the concessions they demanded as their "intrinsic" colonial rights.

    Enter Sykes and Picot.

    ... ... ...

    Throughout the 1920s and 1930s violent confrontations between Jews and Arabs took place in Palestine costing hundreds of lives. In 1936 a major Arab revolt occurred over 7 months, until diplomatic efforts involving other Arab countries led to a ceasefire.

    In 1937, a British Royal Commission of Inquiry headed by William Peel concluded that Palestine had two distinct societies with irreconcilable political demands, thus making it necessary to partition the land.

    The Arab Higher Committee refused Peel's "prescription" and the revolt broke out again. This time, Britain responded with a devastatingly heavy hand. Roughly 5,000 Arabs were killed by the British armed forces and police. Following the riots, the British mandate government dissolved the Arab Higher Committee and declared it an illegal body.

    In response to the revolt, the British government issued the White Paper of 1939, which stated that Palestine should be a bi-national state, inhabited by both Arabs and Jews.

    Due to the international unpopularity of the mandate including within Britain itself, it was organised such that the United Nations would take responsibility for the British initiative and adopted the resolution to partition Palestine on November 29th, 1947.

    Britain would announce its termination of its Mandate for Palestine on May 15th, 1948 after the State of Israel declared its independence on May 14th, 1948.

    A New Strategy for Securing Whose Realm?

    Despite what its title would have you believe, "Clean Break" is neither a "new strategy" nor meant for "securing" anything. It is also not the brainchild of fanatical neo-conservatives: Dick Cheney and Richard Perle, nor even that of crazed end-of-days fundamentalist Benjamin Netanyahu, but rather has the very distinct and lingering odour of the British Empire.

    "Clean Break" is a continuation of Britain's geopolitical game, and just as it used France during the Sykes-Picot days it is using the United States and Israel.

    The role Israel has found itself playing in the Middle East could not exist if it were not for over 30 years of direct British occupation in Palestine and its direct responsibility for the construction of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which set a course for destruction and endless war in this region long before Israel ever existed.

    It was also Britain who officially launched operation "Clean Break" by directly and fraudulently instigating an illegal war against Iraq to which the Chilcot Inquiry, aka Iraq Inquiry , released 7 years later, attests to.

    This was done by the dubious reporting by British Intelligence setting the pretext for the U.S.' ultimate invasion into Iraq based off of fraudulent and forged evidence provided by GCHQ, unleashing the "War on Terror", aka "Clean Break" outline for regime change in the Middle East.

    In addition, the Libyan invasion in 2011 was also found to be unlawfully instigated by Britain.

    In a report published by the British Foreign Affairs Committee in September 2016, it was concluded that it was "the UK and France in March 2011 which led the international community to support an intervention in Libya to protect civilians from forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi" .

    The report concluded that the Libyan intervention was based on false pretence provided by British Intelligence and recklessly promoted by the British government.

    If this were not enough, British Intelligence has also been caught behind the orchestrations of Russia-Gate and the Skripal affair .

    Therefore, though the U.S. and Israeli military have done a good job at stealing the show, and though they certainly believe themselves to be the head of the show, the reality is that this age of empire is distinctly British and anyone who plays into this game will ultimately be playing for said interests, whether they are aware of it or not.

    Originally published by Strategic Culture


    Almondson ,

    Yossi B said:

    Zionism was founded in order to save Jews from persecution and anti-Semitism

    Ever heard of Dumbo? He's a flying elephant.

    The crusade in the ME will continue, with Israel the top dog until America's military support is no longer there. Even without the Israeli eastern european invaders, the area is primed for perpetual tribal warfare because the masses are driven by tribalist doctrines and warped metaphysics dictated by insane and inhumane parasites (priests). It is the epicenter of a spiritual plague that has infected most of the planet.

    paul ,

    There is complete continuity between the activities of Zionist controlled western countries and those of the present day.

    In the 1930s, there were about 300,000 adult Palestinian males. Over 10% were killed, imprisoned and tortured or driven into exile. 100,000 British troops were sent to Palestine to destroy completely Palestinian political and military organisations. Wingate set up the Jew terror gangs who were given free rein to murder, rape and burn, in preparation for the complete ethnic cleansing of the country.

    We see the same ruthless, genocidal brutality on an even greater scale in the present day, serving exactly the same interests. Nothing has ever come of trying to negotiate with the Zionists and their western stooges – just further disasters. It is only resolute and uncompromising resistance that has ever achieved anything. Hezbollah kicking their Zionist arses out of Lebanon in 2000 and keeping them out in 2006. Had they not done so, Lebanon would still be under Zionist occupation and covered with their filthy illegal settlements.

    They have never stopped and they never will. The objective is to create a vast Zionist empire comprising the whole of Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, and parts of Egypt, Turkey, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia. This plan has never changed and it never will. The Zionist thieves will shortly steal what little is left of Palestine. But the thieving will not end there. It will just move on to neighbouring countries.

    The prime reason they have been able to get away with this is not their control of British and US golems. It is by playing the old, dirty colonial games of divide and rule, with the Quisling stooge dictators serving their interests. They have always been able to set Sunni against Shia, and different factions against others. The dumb Arabs fall for it every time. Their latest intrigues are directed at the destruction of Iran, the next victim on their target list after Iraq, Libya and Syria. And the Quisling dictators of Saudi Arabia are openly agitating for this and offering to pay for all of it. Syria sent troops to join the US invasion of Iraq in 1991, though Iraqi troops fought and died in Syria in 1973 against Israel. Egypt allows Israel to use its airspace to carry out the genocidal terror bombing of Gaza.

    All this is contemptible enough and fits into racist stereotypes of Arabs as stupid, irrational, corrupt, easily bought, violent and treacherous. This of course does not apply to the populations of those countries, but it is a legitimate assessment of their Quisling dictators, with a (very) few honourable exceptions.

    Seamus Padraig ,

    Of course, Arab rulers who don't tow the Zionist line generally get overthrown, don't they? And that usually requires the efforts/intervention of FUKUS, doesn't it? So you can't really pretend that 'Arab stupidity' is the main factor.

    Richard Le Sarc ,

    The fact that, as the Yesha Council of Rabbis and Torah Sages declared in 2006, as Israel was bombing Lebanon 'back to the Stone Age', under Talmudic Judaism, killing civilians is not just permissible, but a mitzvah, or good deed, explains Zionist behaviour. Other doctrines allow an entire 'city' eg Gaza, to be devastated for the 'crimes' of a few, and children, even babies, to be killed if they would grow up to 'oppose the Jews'. Dare mention these FACTS, seen everyday in Israeli barbarity, and the 'antisemitism' slurs flow, as ever.

    Julia ,

    " is that this age of empire is distinctly British"

    .it takes some balls to make such an absurd statement and still expect to be taken seriously. The US of course with its 800 military bases around the world and gifts of 40 billion a year to Israel has no opinion on the future of the Middle East. You would have us believe that they are just humble onlookers, as a small bankrupt country tells them what to do. We are being told that the CIA, the most formidable spy agency and manipulator of countries in history, sits quietly by as the British and Israel tells the US what to do.
    Absurd isn't it., Clearly the truth is that Israel is just another military base for the US in the Middle East, easily the most important geopolitical region in the world. They fund it, arm it, and protect it from all attacks, Israel does as it is told by the US for the most part despite the pantomime on the surface.
    Many on the far right like to hide US interests behind a wall of antisemitism that likes to paint 'the jews' as an all powerful enemy but this is just cover for Israel's real geopolitical roll as a US puppet.
    Time and time again all we are seeing is attempt to write the US, the largest empire in the history out of the news and out of the history books, like it is some invisible benign force that has not interests, no control and does noting to forward it's interests and it's empire.

    ''To find out who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticise."

    I don't know about you, but I'm not 10 years old and I know I am looking at Empire and it's power being flexed every day in every part do the world, especial in the parts of the world that it funds with trillions of dollars.

    Julia ,

    " is that this age of empire is distinctly British"

    .it takes some balls to make such an absurd statement and still expect to be taken seriously. The US of course with its 800 military bases around the world and gifts of 40 billion a year to Israel has no opinion on the future of the Middle East. You would have us believe that they are just humble onlookers, as a small bankrupt country tells them what to do. We are being told that the CIA, the most formidable spy agency and manipulator of countries in history, sits quietly by as the British and Israel tells the US what to do.
    Absurd isn't it., Clearly the truth is that Israel is just another military base for the US in the Middle East, easily the most important geopolitical region in the world. They fund it, arm it, and protect it from all attacks, Israel does as it is told by the US for the most part despite the pantomime on the surface.
    Many on the far right like to hide US interests behind a wall of antisemitism that likes to paint 'the jews' as an all powerful enemy but this is just cover for Israel's real geopolitical roll as a US puppet.
    Time and time again all we are seeing is attempt to write the US, the largest empire in the history out of the news and out of the history books, like it is some invisible benign force that has not interests, no control and does noting to forward it's interests and it's empire.

    ''To find out who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticise."

    I don't know about you, but I'm not 10 years old and I know I am looking at Empire and it's power being flexed every day in every part do the world, especial in the parts of the world that it funds with trillions of dollars.

    Richard Le Sarc ,

    The antithesis of the truth. It is US politicians who flock to AIPAC's meeting every year to pledge UNDYING fealty to Israel, not Israeli politicians pledging loyalty to the USA. It is Israeli and dual loyalty Jewish oligarchs funding BOTH US parties, it is US politicians throwing themselves to the ground in adulation when Bibi the war criminal addresses the Congress with undisguised contempt, not Israeli politicians groveling to the USA. The master-servant relationship is undisguised.

    Pyewacket ,

    In Daniel Yergin's The Prize, a history of the Oil industry, he provides another interesting angle to explain British interest in the region. He states that at that time, Churchill realised that a fighting Navy powered by Coal, was not nearly as good or efficient as one using Oil as a fuel, and that securing supplies of the stuff was the best way forward to protect the Empire.

    BigB ,

    Yergin would be right. The precursor of the First World War was a technological arms race and accelerated 'scientific' perfection of arsenals – particularly naval – in the service of imperialism. British and German imperialism. The full story involves the Berlin to Cairo railway and the resource grab that went with it. I'm a bit sketchy on the details now: but Churchill had a prominent role, rising to First Lord of the Admiralty.

    Docherty and Macgregor have exposed the hidden history. F W Engdahl has written about WW1 being the first oil war.

    Andreas Schlüter ,

    And don´t forget which of the US Military command regions into which the US Military divided the WHOLE World is named "US CENTCOM"!
    „One Thing Must be Clear to the World: The US Power Elite Regards the Whole Globe as Their Colony!": https://wipokuli.wordpress.com/2016/10/26/one-thing-must-be-clear-to-the-world-the-us-power-elite-regards-the-whole-globe-as-their-colony/

    Antonym ,

    In 1996 a task force, led by Richard Perle, produced a policy document titled A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm for Benjamin Netanyahu

    No source link for this!

    By the way 1996 was during the Clinton administration. Warren Christopher was secretary of state and John Deutch was the Director of Central Intelligence . George Tenet was appointed the Deputy Director of Central Intelligence in July 1995. After John Deutch's abrupt resignation in December 1996, Tenet served as acting director.

    Reg ,

    Here you go, sonny boy

    http://www.dougfeith.com/docs/Clean_Break.pdf

    Richard Le Sarc ,

    Antsie, what are you going to deny next? The USS Liberty? Deir Yassin? The Lavon Affair? Sabra, Shatilla? Qana (twice)? The Five Celebrating Israelis on 9/11?Does not impress.

    [May 15, 2020] "We lied, we cheated, we stole", version 2.0

    May 15, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

    WHY IS THE US IN SYRIA?

    Washington longer bothers to prettify – the boot is straight to the face. ISIS?

    Forget ISIS says Jeffrey : " My job is to make it a quagmire for the Russians ".

    An amazing confession, in the same class as " We lied, we cheated, we stole ".

    [May 13, 2020] Dramatic change of direction for Syrian envoy

    Highly recommended!
    This is MIGA in action...
    Notable quotes:
    "... former CIA Deputy Director Mike Morell admitted in a TV interview he views that the US should be in the business of "killing Russians and Iranians covertly" ). ..."
    "... Ironically, Jeffrey's official title has been Special Envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIL, but apparently the mission is now to essentially "give the Russians hell". His comments were made Tuesday during a video conference hosted by the neocon Hudson Institute : ..."
    "... He also emphasized that the Syrian state would continue to be squeezed into submission as part of long-term US efforts (going back to at least 2011) to legitimize a Syria government in exile of sorts. This after the Trump administration recently piled new sanctions on Damascus. As University of Oklahoma professor and expert on the region Joshua Landis summarized of Jeffrey's remarks: "He pledged that the United States will continue to deny Syria - international funding, reconstruction, oil, banking, agriculture & recognition of government." ..."
    May 13, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

    Washington now says it's all about defeating the Russians . While it's not the first time this has been thrown around in policy circles (recall that a year after Russia's 2015 entry into Syria at Assad's invitation, former CIA Deputy Director Mike Morell admitted in a TV interview he views that the US should be in the business of "killing Russians and Iranians covertly" ).

    And now the top US special envoy to region, James Jeffrey, has this to say on US troops in Syria :

    "My job is to make it a quagmire for the Russians."

    Ironically, Jeffrey's official title has been Special Envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIL, but apparently the mission is now to essentially "give the Russians hell". His comments were made Tuesday during a video conference hosted by the neocon Hudson Institute :

    Asked why the American public should tolerate US involvement in Syria, Special Envoy James Jeffrey points out the small US footprint in the fight against ISIS. "This isn't Afghanistan. This isn't Vietnam. This isn't a quagmire. My job is to make it a quagmire for the Russians."

    He also emphasized that the Syrian state would continue to be squeezed into submission as part of long-term US efforts (going back to at least 2011) to legitimize a Syria government in exile of sorts. This after the Trump administration recently piled new sanctions on Damascus. As University of Oklahoma professor and expert on the region Joshua Landis summarized of Jeffrey's remarks: "He pledged that the United States will continue to deny Syria - international funding, reconstruction, oil, banking, agriculture & recognition of government."

    "My job is to make it a quagmire for the Russians."

    Special US envoy to Syria - James Jeffery

    He pledged that the United States will continue to deny Syria - international funding, reconstruction, oil, banking, agriculture & recognition of government. https://t.co/MSAkQqAmdh

    -- Joshua Landis (@joshua_landis) May 12, 2020

    But no doubt both Putin and Assad have understood Washington's real proxy war interests all along, which is why last year Russia delivered it's lethal S-300 into the hands of Assad (and amid constant Israeli attacks). But no doubt both Putin and Assad have understood Washington's real proxy war interests all along, which is why last year Russia delivered it's lethal S-300 into the hands of Assad (and amid constant Israeli attacks).

    As for oil, currently Damascus is well supplied by the Iranians, eager to dump their stock in fuel-starved Syria amid the global glut. Trump has previously voiced that part of US troops "securing the oil fields" is to keep them out of the hands of Russia and Iran.

    * * *

    Recall the CIA's 2016 admission of what's really going on in terms of US action in Syria:

    https://www.youtube.com/embed/OJ3fTFHQ0KA

    [May 08, 2020] US Envoy: Russia Likely More Flexible On Syria as War Drags On . Says Russia not getting a military victory in Syria

    May 08, 2020 | news.antiwar.com

    Jason Ditz Posted on May 7, 2020 May 7, 2020 Categories News Tags Russia , Syria , Trump

    US envoy on the Syrian conflict James Jeffrey said on Thursday that the US expects Russia to be increasingly willing to cooperate with the US on the future of Syria, saying he believes Russia is getting frustrated with President Assad .

    Jeffrey cited Russian media coverage as showing indication of more flexibility on Syria's post-war constitutional committee, saying that " it's very clear at this point to Russia that they're not going to get a military victory. "

    That would broadly depend on how Russia is calculating victory. The Assad government has survived the war, which is certainly something that many didn't expect earlier in the conflict. What Syria will look like in the long run ultimately depends on the new constitution.

    Which is where the US and Russia split is coming from. The US has insisted any post-war scenario would mandate full regime change, forbidding Assad and others from ever running for office. Russia, however, has said such details should be left up to Syria's voters.

    Jeffrey's comments suggest that the US is still holding out for better terms. This may also put the continued US involvement in Syria, which President Trump insists is just about oil, in a different context, one keeping the US in the conversation at the UN for when the war finally ends.

    [May 08, 2020] Avaaz and We came, we saw, he died (cackle)... Assad must go... Promoting chaos....Cui bono?

    Notable quotes:
    "... Avaaz supported the establishment of a no-fly zone over Libya, which led to the military intervention in the country in 2011. It was criticized for its pro-intervention stance in the media and blogs. [17] ..."
    "... Avaaz supported the civil uprising preceding the Syrian Civil War . This included sending $1.5 million of Internet communications equipment to protesters, and training activists. Later it used smuggling routes to send over $2 million of medical equipment into rebel-held areas of Syria. It also smuggled 34 international journalists into Syria. [10] [18] ..."
    "... Yes, pilgrims, my professional deformation leads me to find pattern where there may be none. ..."
    "... It would be logical for there to exist connective tissue that relates the Sorosistas, The Clintonistas, the media freaks, Tom Perez' DNC, ..."
    "... And then, there is Neil Ferguson the British epidemiologist who sold #10 on the idea of a national lock-down that looks to destroy the UK economy and political system. Antonia Staats his married mistress is a major figure in AVAAZ. He broke curfew twice to get a little bit of that. Coincidence? ..."
    "... Even a small amount of google searching suggests that Avaaz is simply another Zionist-funded pro-Israel controlled opposition cutout type of organization. Funded by Zionist George Soros. Main honcho Ricken Patel is associated with Zionist lobby group J Street. ..."
    "... Per the commentary above, supported the regime change operation in Syria (a longstanding Zionist goal, refer to the Clean Break plan.) ..."
    "... What pillow talk went on between AVAAZ agent Antonia Staats and her Imperial College of London paramour Neil Ferguson right before he briefed Trump/Pence on their corona "we are all gonna die" projections. ..."
    May 08, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

    "Avaaz claims to unite practical idealists from around the world. [8] Director Ricken Patel said in 2011, "We have no ideology per se. Our mission is to close the gap between the world we have and the world most people everywhere want. Idealists of the world unite!" [12] In practice , Avaaz often supports causes considered progressive, such as calling for global action on climate change , challenging Monsanto, and building greater global support for refugees. [13] [14] [15]

    During the 2009 Iranian presidential election protests , Avaaz set up Internet proxy servers to allow protesters to upload videos onto public websites. [16]

    Avaaz supported the establishment of a no-fly zone over Libya, which led to the military intervention in the country in 2011. It was criticized for its pro-intervention stance in the media and blogs. [17]

    Avaaz supported the civil uprising preceding the Syrian Civil War . This included sending $1.5 million of Internet communications equipment to protesters, and training activists. Later it used smuggling routes to send over $2 million of medical equipment into rebel-held areas of Syria. It also smuggled 34 international journalists into Syria. [10] [18] Avaaz coordinated the evacuation of wounded British photographer Paul Conroy from Homs . Thirteen Syrian activists died during the evacuation operation. [10] [19] Some senior members of other non-governmental organizations working in the Middle East have criticized Avaaz for taking sides in a civil war. [16] As of November 2016, Avaaz continues campaigning for no-fly zones over Syria in general and specifically Aleppo . (Gen. Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States, has said that establishing a no-fly zone means going to war against Syria and Russia. [20] ) It has received criticism from parts of the political blogosphere and has a single digit percentage of its users opposing the petitions, with a number of users ultimately leaving the network. The Avaaz team responded to this criticism by issuing two statements defending their decision to campaign. wiki

    ----------------

    Yes, pilgrims, my professional deformation leads me to find pattern where there may be none. BUT, OTOH, there may BE a pattern. It would be logical for there to exist connective tissue that relates the Sorosistas, The Clintonistas, the media freaks, Tom Perez' DNC, etc., etc., ad nauseam. ...

    And then, there is Neil Ferguson the British epidemiologist who sold #10 on the idea of a national lock-down that looks to destroy the UK economy and political system. Antonia Staats his married mistress is a major figure in AVAAZ. He broke curfew twice to get a little bit of that. Coincidence? pl

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avaaz


    Outrage Beyond , 07 May 2020 at 06:41 PM

    Even a small amount of google searching suggests that Avaaz is simply another Zionist-funded pro-Israel controlled opposition cutout type of organization. Funded by Zionist George Soros. Main honcho Ricken Patel is associated with Zionist lobby group J Street.

    Per the commentary above, supported the regime change operation in Syria (a longstanding Zionist goal, refer to the Clean Break plan.)

    Bottom line: not a leftist organization. Faux leftist, controlled opposition, Zionist. Neocons are probably delighted with Avaaz.

    Deap , 07 May 2020 at 06:46 PM
    It was a ground hog day nightmare when I read the AVAAZ website and found all the "progressive" chestnuts, alive, well and kicking into high gear. This AVAAZ agenda fuels the politics in my state, California, so I know each element well plus how each of of them has failed us so badly. They all teeter on OPM, which the state wide corona shut down has decimated.

    What pillow talk went on between AVAAZ agent Antonia Staats and her Imperial College of London paramour Neil Ferguson right before he briefed Trump/Pence on their corona "we are all gonna die" projections.

    It all happened so fast - from runs on toilet paper in Australia reported on March 2 to global shutdown on March 16 due to this Imperial College model in just two weeks. Who and what communication network was behind this radical global shift that generated virtually no push back? The message quickly became one case of corona and we are all gonna die. How did that find such a willing audience?

    I keep hearing that same echo in my nightmares, never let a crisis go to waste - now with this very distinct German accent on the face of a red-lipped blonde. Too weird to see this AVAAZ "global" network is so darn interested in over-turning a US Supreme Court Citizens United ruling - the old Hilary Clinton rallying cry. What is with that - they care in Malaysia?

    Thank you for sunshining this very curious operation and its all too familiar cast of known characters lurking in its history, shadows, funding and leadership circle. Injecting them with Lysol is the better plan.

    It is one thing to sic Barr-Durham on US government operations, but who can even explore let alone touch the world of global NGO's.

    It does explain where a lot of the Bernie Sanders fervor comes from and how it sustains this energy despite defeat in the US election polls. The AVAAZ agenda winning the hearts and minds of many young people around the world. It will be their world to inherit, if they go down this path; not ours. God speed to all of them. Namaste. Dahl and naan for everyone.

    Deap , 07 May 2020 at 07:04 PM
    A little internet search also questions if AVAAZ is an intelligence community funded operation, linking key Obama administration players.

    Good indoor fun during our national lockdowns - track AVAAZ in all its permutations and recurrent players. Samantha Powers and her hundreds of FISA unmasking requests comes to mind as well as her role in the AVAAZ games played in Syria.

    Some AVAAZ fodder from a random internet search: Tinfoil hat fun times - keep digging.

    ......."Curiously, however, the absence of routine information on the Avaaz website -- board of directors, contact information, etc. -- raises the possibility that the organization is one of innumerable such groups created around the world by intelligence organizations with secret funding to advance hidden agendas.

    This was the gist of a 2012 column by Global Research columnist Susanne Posel, headlined Avaaz: The Lobbyist that Masquerades as Online Activism. She alleged that Avaaz purports to be a global avenue for dissent, but channels reform energies on the most sensitive issues into such pro-U.S. positions as support for Israel and the Free Syrian Army......."

    turcopolier , 07 May 2020 at 07:11 PM
    AVAAZ

    It is interesting that AVAAZ stopped accepting foundation and corporate money years ago. So, where do they get their money?

    Harlan Easley , 07 May 2020 at 08:06 PM
    Looking at him and her. She is out of his league. He is beta soy boy material.

    You're probably right.

    Fred , 07 May 2020 at 08:16 PM
    Deap,

    "Who and what communication network ..." ... " but who can even explore let alone touch the world of global NGO's."

    Have you noticed how fast Project Veritas gets shut down, how Twitter, FB, etc silence any effective opposition to the message of the left?

    "It is one thing to sic Barr-Durham on US government operations,..."
    Perhaps now that FlynnFlu is evaporating in the disinfecting sunlight some sunshine should be applied to the H1B visa holders at the aformentioned social media companies and add in Google, Bing, Oath etc. and see how many Communist operatives are there, in addition to "essential employee" non-citizen lefty's pushing the anti-American propaganda. A dinner invitation to Jeff Bezos and his paramore might provide some interesting conversation on just who at Amazon might be involved in the same type of anti-western operations; compare their corporate response to distribution operations in the US vs. France as an example.
    https://twitter.com/JamesOKeefeIII/status/1143127502895898625
    Furthermore, observe the Google leadership team discussion of the 2016 elections.
    https://www.breitbart.com/tech/2018/09/12/leaked-video-google-leaderships-dismayed-reaction-to-trump-election/
    Minute 12:30 CFO Ruth Porat
    Minute 27:00 Q&A Sergey Brin response on matching donations to employee causes.
    Make sure to watch minute 52 on H1B visa holders. With 30,000,000 unemployed Americans just how many of those visas does Google need now? (I don't recall any organization telling China they need open borders immigration since thier hispanic/african/caucasian population percentages are effectively zero, so we might wonder who has been behind that message for the past few decades and why it is only directed at Western democracies).
    And the inevitable campaign against "low information" voters and "fake news". I wonder what their take on Russian election interference is now? (Russia cyber trolling! minute 54:44.)

    56:20 The inevitable arc of "progress". Make sure you join the fight for Hilary's values. That's the actual corporate leadership message. See the final round of applause at 1:01. Our new overlords know best. Too bad they don't own a mirror, or an ability to reflect on why someone can see the same data and come to a different conclusion of than these experts.

    That's just a scratch on the surface. How much money flowed through the Clinton Global Initiative, which NGOs got some cleansed proceeds, which elections were influenced, professors and research sponsored, local communities "organzied". There's plenty to look at and "Isreal, Soros, Zionists" are the least of it.

    J , 07 May 2020 at 09:48 PM
    State sponsorship?
    james , 07 May 2020 at 11:04 PM
    avaaz always struck me like some intel agency psyc op... maybe israel like the poster outrage beyond implies.. either way - one could read stay away based on everything about them..
    eakens , 08 May 2020 at 01:26 AM
    Avaaz means change in Farsi. Interesting.
    LondonBob , 08 May 2020 at 03:31 AM
    A friend of a friend is a research scientist at Imperial in biology, he is as lefty as they get and I think would be happy to falsify his research to serve his political goals. Besides Imperial is a hard science uni, UCL is top in the University of London for medicine.

    Soros and his organisations should be made persona non grata, as the Russians and Hungarians have. Extraordinary his influence in the EU, he has picked up where the Soviet Union left off, funding every organisation that demoralises society, from gay rights to immigration promotion to ethnic lobbies, even in Eastern European countries where there are no minorities.

    CK , 08 May 2020 at 08:34 AM
    An unusual thing happens once; it could be happenstance.
    The thing happens again; it is Reconnaissance.
    The thing happens yet again; it is war.
    turcopolier , 08 May 2020 at 08:59 AM
    J

    That is for us to learn.

    A. Pols , 08 May 2020 at 09:17 AM
    We came, we saw, he died (cackle)... Assad must go...
    Promoting chaos....Cui bono?
    BABAK MAKKINEJAD , 08 May 2020 at 09:33 AM
    eaken

    Avaaz means "song" in Persian.

    Diana Croissant , 08 May 2020 at 09:35 AM
    The one woman standing up to a pompous judge who has called her "selfish" for wanting to earn the money it takes to feed her child is the heroine of this week's news.

    Hers is the story of our Democratic Republic, born in the Age of Reason. Voltaire's Candide comes to the best conclusion for the way our elected representatives should make decisions: what works best to help INDIVIDUALS tend their own gardens is the form of government we should pursue.

    It's true that young people have hearts and good intentions, but older people in most cases have brains and understand human nature better.

    This older person--even when she was young--always distrusted a popular uprising or growing movement.

    And if Obama and Hillary are for it, I know I am against it. (That's a more specific life lesson I've learned.)

    [May 07, 2020] Angry Bear " "cannot remember a single International Crisis in which the United States had no global presence at all"

    Highly recommended!
    Notable quotes:
    "... Anne Applebaum is a bitter neocon. She is furious that people no longer read the Washington Post as the authoritative voice of US foreign policy. She has apparently made a tidy fortune warning us that the Russians are coming, but she wants even more. The Washington Post still views her as an expert, but the American people, as she herself complains, are no longer interested in her worn-out fantasies. She is buried in defense industry funded think tanks and she does the bidding of her masters. Every intelligent American reader should ridicule her as the propagandist she is. ..."
    "... "McMaster's dangerous China hawkishness calls to mind something that Jim Mattis said about him regarding a different issue when they served together in the Trump administration: "Oh my God, that moron is going to get us all killed." His aggressiveness towards China is not driven by an assessment of the threat from China, but comes from his tendency to advocate for aggressive measures everywhere." ..."
    "... The country which spends over trillion dollars on "defense" is by definition an imperial country and its foreign policy priorities are not that difficult to discern. ..."
    "... And due to well fed MIC which maintains an army of lobbyists and along with FIRE sector controls Capitol Hill this is a Catch 22 situation (we can't abandon neocon Full Spectrum Dominance doctrine and can't continue as it will bankrupt the country) which might not end well for the country. ..."
    "... Note how unprepared the country was to COVID-19 epidemic. Zero strategic thinking as if the next epidemic was not in the cards at least since swine fly ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_swine_flu_pandemic_in_the_United_States ). ..."
    "... Some experts now claim that this is criminal incompetence on the part of Trump administration. "So, what does it mean to let thousands die by negligence, omission, failure to act, in a legal sense under international law?" asked Gonsalves, an assistant professor of epidemiology of microbial diseases at the Yale School of Public Health, in a tweet Wednesday morning. https://twitter.com/gregggonsalves/status/1257988303443431425 ..."
    "... Please note that Trump campaigned in 2016 on the idea of disengagement from foreign wars and abandoning the global neoliberal empire built by his predecessors as well as halting neoliberal globalization. ..."
    "... And what we got? We got this warmonger McMaster, bombing Syria on false flag chemical attack pretext, conflict with Russia over North Stream II and Ukraine, and the assassination of Soleimani. Such a bait and switch. ..."
    May 07, 2020 | angrybearblog.com

    likbez , May 6, 2020 11:53 pm

    Hi run75441,

    I do not share your enthusiasm about those two authors.

    Anne Applebaum is married to "Full spectrum Dominance doctrine". Like any neocon she a regular well-paid MIC prostitute

    http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/may/08/neocon-anne-applebaum-give-me-money-to-fight-russian-disinformation/

    Neocon Anne Applebaum has never seen a bed she did not expect to find an evil Russian lurking beneath. More than a quarter of a century after the end of the Cold War, she cannot let go of that hysterical feeling that, "The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming!" In screeching screed after screeching screech, Applebaum is, like most neocons, a one trick pony: the US government needs to spend more money to counter the threat of the month. Usually it's Russia or Putin. But it can also be China, Iran, Assad, Gaddafi, Saddam, etc.

    Nothing new, nothing interesting.

    Anne Applebaum is a bitter neocon. She is furious that people no longer read the Washington Post as the authoritative voice of US foreign policy. She has apparently made a tidy fortune warning us that the Russians are coming, but she wants even more. The Washington Post still views her as an expert, but the American people, as she herself complains, are no longer interested in her worn-out fantasies. She is buried in defense industry funded think tanks and she does the bidding of her masters. Every intelligent American reader should ridicule her as the propagandist she is.

    As for McMaster paper see Daniel Larison take on the subject in his brilliant post "McMaster and the Myths of Empire" https://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/mcmaster-and-the-myths-of-empire/

    Here is what he said:

    "McMaster's dangerous China hawkishness calls to mind something that Jim Mattis said about him regarding a different issue when they served together in the Trump administration: "Oh my God, that moron is going to get us all killed." His aggressiveness towards China is not driven by an assessment of the threat from China, but comes from his tendency to advocate for aggressive measures everywhere."

    And as a China scholar McMaster is not the best choice either:

    McMaster uses the same "paper tiger image" to portray China as an unstoppable aggressor that can nonetheless be stopped at minimal risk.

    I have heard from other colleagues that several CN scholars met w/ McMaster before he wrote this (while working on his book) and corrected him on many issues. He apparently ignored all of their views. This is what we face people: a simple, deceptive narrative is more seductive.

    -- Michael

    likbez, May 7, 2020 6:22 pm

    The main thrust here is the US abandoning the world to China and a much weaker Russia. I am calling for the US to play a much broader role in the world as it has economic and strategic value

    The road to hell is paved with good intentions. This is definitely above my pay grade, but the problem that I see here is that it is very unclear where "a much broader role in the world" ends and where "imperial overstretch" starts.

    The country which spends over trillion dollars on "defense" is by definition an imperial country and its foreign policy priorities are not that difficult to discern.

    And due to well fed MIC which maintains an army of lobbyists and along with FIRE sector controls Capitol Hill this is a Catch 22 situation (we can't abandon neocon Full Spectrum Dominance doctrine and can't continue as it will bankrupt the country) which might not end well for the country.

    Note how unprepared the country was to COVID-19 epidemic. Zero strategic thinking as if the next epidemic was not in the cards at least since swine fly ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_swine_flu_pandemic_in_the_United_States ).

    Some experts now claim that this is criminal incompetence on the part of Trump administration. "So, what does it mean to let thousands die by negligence, omission, failure to act, in a legal sense under international law?" asked Gonsalves, an assistant professor of epidemiology of microbial diseases at the Yale School of Public Health, in a tweet Wednesday morning. https://twitter.com/gregggonsalves/status/1257988303443431425

    Please note that Trump campaigned in 2016 on the idea of disengagement from foreign wars and abandoning the global neoliberal empire built by his predecessors as well as halting neoliberal globalization. That's how he got anti-war independents to vote for him.

    And what we got? We got this warmonger McMaster, bombing Syria on false flag chemical attack pretext, conflict with Russia over North Stream II and Ukraine, and the assassination of Soleimani. Such a bait and switch.

    [May 07, 2020] A Peek On The Situation In And Around Syria

    May 07, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

    JC , May 7 2020 17:53 utc | 1

    The recent financial turbulence in the oil markets and the global depression will have a large impact on the conflicts in the Middle East.

    Iraq:

    Last night the Iraqi parliament elected a new prime minister. Mustafa al-Kadhimi is seen as a technocrat with a good track record and politically neutral to all sides. His cabinet includes a number of experienced people who are known for effective work.

    Astonishingly both, the U.S. and Iran, have supported Kadhimi.

    Secretary Pompeo @SecPompeo - 1:09 UTC · May 7, 2020

    Great to speak today with new Iraqi PrimeMinister Mustafa al-Kadhimi. Now comes the urgent, hard work of implementing the reforms demanded by the Iraqi people. I pledged to help him deliver on his bold agenda for the sake of the Iraqi people.

    Javad Zarif @JZarif - 9:56 AM · May 7, 2020

    Congratulations to Prime Minister @MAKadhimi, his Cabinet, the Parliament and most importantly the people of Iraq for success in forming a new Government.

    Iran always stands with the Iraqi people and their choice of administration.

    Kadhimi has lots of work waiting for him. The low oil price means that Iraq's budget will have a huge deficit. It will have to borrow a lot of money most likely from the IMF. The money may come with U.S. conditions.

    There has recently been a wave a small ISIS attacks. The Jihadis were equipped with night vision devises. There is strong suspicion that the U.S. is again using ISIS to pressure the government.

    The U.S. wants Iraq to take a position against Iran and the Iraqi militia which Iran sponsors. But Kadhimi can not do that without losing support in the parliament. Iraq also depends on Iranian energy.

    Syria:

    The military situation in Syria has changed little. The ceasefire in Idleb governorate seems to hold. Russian and Turkish troops patrol on parts of the M4 highway after Turkey had some harsh exchanges with the Jihadis from Hayat Tahrir al-Sham who had tried to prevent the patrols. Turkey will have to get rid of the Jihadis, who have led the war against Syria from its very beginning, one way or another .

    Throughout the last months Russian foreign policy grandees and oligarchs had published essays that argued that the Syrian government had to look more at the economic situation in Syria, which is very bad, instead of pushing for military solutions. It was not fully clear what they were aiming at.

    Then a conflict between President Assad and Syria's prime oligarch Rami Makhlouf broke into the open. Danni Makki digs into the whole saga . Makhlouf is a maternal cousin of Assad. Whoever wanted to do business in Syria during the war had to go through him. He sponsored his own militia and charity. Makhlouf, the richest man in Syria and owner of Syriatel and lots of other companies, has now been pushed aside. But he is fighting back.

    Makhlouf has little chance to win. In 2017 the Jabar brothers, also oligarchs with their own militia, were also getting too interested in their personal profits and power. Riam Dalati tells their story and how they were unceremoniously moved aside.

    Assad's position is now stronger then ever and Russian companies will now be happy to do business in Syria without a Mr. Five Percent in between.

    Libya:

    Turkey, working together with Qatar, has hired some 10,000 Syrian 'rebels' to fight in Libya on the side of the Government of National Accord and its Jihadi militias. The GNA troops have been trounced by the Libyan National Army under General Haftar. Turkey has also send its own troops with Turkish made drones to attack Haftar's position. But most of the drones were shot down immediately. The UAE, which supports Haftar's LNA, has now send 6 Mirage fighter jets to Egypt and uses them to bomb GNA and Turkish positions in Tripoli and Misrata.

    The 'rebels' Turkey hired have taken a lot of casualties but have not the received their promised money. That news has reached Idleb were further recruitment efforts by Turkey now fail to gain traction .

    Turkey:

    The Turkish Lira continues to fall. The Central Bank, under control of wannabe Sultan Erdogan, had spend more than $25 billion to prevent the Lira from breaking the barrier of 7 Lira per U.S. Dollar. It is now at 7.2 Lira/US$ and sinking further. The 44 year old Turkish Finance Minister Berat Albayrak is Erdogan's son in law and unqualified for the job . The Fed has rejected a request from Turkey for a swap agreement that would have provided the country with more U.S. dollar. Those are urgently needed :

    S&P Global estimated on Wednesday that Turkey's economy needs to refinance close to $168 billion over the next 12 months. That equates to 24% of the country's GDP.

    The record-low lira makes it more costly for the country's government and companies to pay back their dollar-denominated debt. That $168 billion of short-term external debt and only $85 billion in gross FX reserves means the so-called "coverage ratio" is only around 50%, one of the lowest of any emerging- market economy.

    Erdogan can (again) ask the Emir of Qatar to step in but the sum he needs is larger than what Qatar might be willing or able to provide. That leaves the IMF has the only way out. But after previous IMF loans to Turkey and the harsh austerity measures that came with them any talk of IMF loans in Turkey are political poison and a sure way to lose elections.

    Erdogan will have to cut his losses in Libya and Syria as these conflicts have become economically unsustainable.

    Lebanon:

    The Ponzi scheme the Central Bank of Lebanon had used for 30 years to bind the Lebanese Pound to the U.S. Dollar has finally fallen apart. Within months the pound fell from 1.500 per US$ to now below 4.000 per US$. Everybody who had money in a Lebanese bank has lost most of it. Lebanon's riches of the last 30 years are gone. The country needs a new business model which will be difficult to find. Ehsani explains how it came to this.

    Saudi Arabia:

    Today the U.S. announced that it is removing its Patriot missiles from the country. Two fighter squadrons in the area will also leave. The U.S. navy will recall some ships from the Persian Gulf region. In early April Trump had threatened the Saudis with such measures if they would fail to reduce their oil output and to thereby raise the global oil price. Some output was reduced but the old price is falling further for a lack of demand.

    Without U.S. protection a further Saudi war against the Houthi in Yemen will become untenable .

    All the above countries are also massively affected from the current pandemic. This probably less from death in their relatively young populations than from the economic consequences that will lead to more poverty and hunger.

    If there is a winner of all these crises in the region it is Iran.

    Posted by b on May 7, 2020 at 17:40 UTC | Permalink Thanks b hope you are correct "Makhlouf, the richest man in Syria and owner of Syriatel and lots of other companies" out of the pic... it remind me of Indonesia's Suharto mister 10%


    Likklemore , May 7 2020 18:54 utc | 9

    thanks b for revisiting a crucial area pushed off the pages by corona crisis.

    [..] "The U.S. wants Iraq to take a position against Iran and the Iraqi militia which Iran sponsors. But Kadhimi can not do that without losing support in the parliament. Iraq also depends on Iranian energy." [.]

    as usual the U.S. displays its convoluted geopolitics. Repeatedly continues to grant month to month waivers to Iraq for purchase of Iran electricity and gas while at the same time wanting Iraq to take a position against Iran.
    Exceptional idiots attempting to insert barriers between neighbours.

    May 6, 2020. WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The United States will grant a 120-day waiver for Iraq to continue importing electricity from Iran to help the new Iraqi government succeed, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told the newly installed Iraqi prime minister.

    "In support of the new government the United States will move forward with a 120-day electricity waiver as a display of our desire to help provide the right conditions for success," the State Department said in a statement on a call between Pompeo and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi.

    Washington had repeatedly extended the exemption for Baghdad to use crucial Iranian energy supplies for its power grid for periods of 90 or 120 days, [.]

    Michael Droy , May 7 2020 19:04 utc | 10
    Is Trump pulling protection from Saudi because they pump too much oil?
    Or simply because they can't pay the protection money no matter how much they pump?
    Stonebird , May 7 2020 19:11 utc | 11
    Excellent b. If there is one common thread going through all these, it is - If you don't have the money - you can't fight wars.

    With the double whammy of low oil pries and stalled economies we are going to see a lot of changes. I would like it to be less combat, but I fear it more likely to be undisciplined militants and troops who prey even more on local populations.
    -------

    One you could add to the above list is is the worsening situation on the Yemini island of Socotra (Houthis v US and SA, v UAE etc.) A disaster because of it's unique flora.

    and;
    (US Near Iran )
    - Two US jet fighter squadrons also have left the re­gion.
    - US will con­sider a re­duc­tion of the U.S. Navy presence in the Per­sian Gulf.
    - US officials say that Tehran no longer poses immediate threat against Saudi Arabia.

    Horatio , May 7 2020 19:12 utc | 12
    The United States and Turkey have a lot in common. Both countries are led by narcissistic and incompetent clowns nepotistically driving their countries off the proverbial cliff. Both geniuses concocted half baked colonial plans, and felt they could just grab other people property (think Venezuela, Syrian, Libyan oil) in total impunity. Soon enough, Sultan Erdogan will get his first bankruptcy star to match cretin Orange in business failure department.
    bevin , May 7 2020 19:17 utc | 13
    "..all of these tin pot dictatorship oil rich countries are really a sick bunch.... i guess it is the byproduct off having too much money and not enough brains..james@ 3
    karlofi beat me to it james - or were you referring to Alberta?
    DontBelieveEitherPr. , May 7 2020 19:56 utc | 18

    Nice Sitrep as usual.

    Some points:
    -Elijah is seeing the ISIS surge as bigger an more threatening as you. He mentioned the US just cut their intelligence sharing with Iraq when ISIS went on the offensive. PMU is mobilized, but without the intelligence from drones etc. Iraq is sadly blinded to a big extent.
    With ISIS being so well outfitted, using effective strategies, and giving PMU high casualties, this may well become the start of something very ugly. Iraq will win, but casualties in human life and economic damage plus panic on top of Corona will still be a hellish combination.

    -That Turkey will have to end its ottoman ambitions because of economic, has been said since many years. And politically it is at least equally untenable.
    Erdogan lives from his economic policy, but in the last years also from the semi-fashistic mixture of Turkish ultra-nationalism and Islamic Sunni "values" (MB style).

    He can take the IMF money and then just paint the blame on the evil western countries. But leaving Syrian territory believing to be Turkish heartland, or giving up North Syria as buffer zone against PKK would NEVER the excuseable. NEVER. Not for his voters, OR 85% of Turks, who overwhelmingly support one brand or another of Turkish Ultra Nationalism (with the Sunni Islamic ideology also supported by most).

    This mindset can not be rationalized looking through rational eyes, but it has its own kind of logic.

    And giving up even an inch of belived "Turkish soil" is not even an option for the huge majority. Be that "Turkish soil" Turkish or Syrian, or Iraq, or Greek.

    Brendan , May 7 2020 20:09 utc | 19
    It's only a few months since Trump repeatedly declared his ownership of the oil fields in north-east Syria:

    We kept the oil. I kept the oil. (...) we kept the oil. (...) we have the oil
    https://no.usembassy.gov/remarks-by-president-trump-and-nato-secretary-general-stoltenberg-after-11-meeting/

    That's not very much to boast about these days, now that oil prices are a lot less than what they were back then.

    Brendan , May 7 2020 20:14 utc | 20
    If there is a winner of all these crises in the region it is Iran.

    Yup, always, at least for the Iranian government, if not for most Iranians. And it doesn't even have to try to win - it just has to sit back and watch Washington and its puppets acting like idiots and handing victory to Teheran.

    Lurk , May 7 2020 20:21 utc | 21
    If Pompeo is so happy about the new iraqi PM, does that mean that John Bolton knows where Mustafa al-Kadhimi's children live?

    There is activity in Syria on some fronts.

    In the northeastern desert, ISIS hideouts are getting cleaned up slowly. ISIS had an easy time while the action was going on around Idlib, but now they are getting their fair share of attention. Quite possibly the resurgence in Iraq is related to this. I hope that a joint syrian, iraqi, russian and iranian effort will seriously clean out the last bits of the black plague.

    At the same time, Syria is about to root out some stay-behind Al Qaida and ISIS clusters in southern Daraa. That region was pacified by agreement a few years ago and the factions that only pretended to agree have now shown their hand. Spring time weeding time.

    I am not sure that LNA is really successful against Erdogan's brotherhood proxies in western Lybia. If GNA manages to capture the airbase in the west, that would be a very big setback for Hafter.

    H.Schmatz , May 7 2020 22:02 utc | 26
    I had to come back up to see who has written the article from RIAC, which I had not payed attention to at first, to test that it was not written by the SOHR or the Syrian opposition.

    For that travel we, and above all the Syrian people and legitimate government, did not need so many saddlebags...

    For to go now surrendering to the "recommendations" of the US, the IMF and the EU, Assad could have surrendered the country at the very first moment, as he probably was offered.

    That Syria has its own problems with its own oligarchs, is what? A discovery by these thinking brains of the Valdai Club? This guy has probaly gone bald behind his ear after the effort. Why does he not mention as a solution for the reconstruction of Syria the need of the US leaving the oil fields which it has been exploting?

    The oligarchy is very much the most accute problem everywhere, starting with Russia, still not free from that lacra dating the "reform" of the USSR, through its willing demolition, a problem the Coronavirus pandemic has not made but putting in everybody´s sight.

    Because, who are the remaining wealth of the nations being transferred to, in face of the collapse ( willing/planned, or not, I will put my hand on the fire for the first case...since this all resembles way too much the demolition of the USSR, this smells of rat all the way.. ) of the capitalist system?

    We have the German government bailing out Lufthansa under the exigence by its owners of that rescue being under no conditions. the same happens in the US with Boeing and the fracking industry..

    In Spain we have open the economy for the big business already just after Easter, under directive of the Banco de Santander in Spain, permanent guest at the Bliderberg Group meetings.... Some countries in the EU have established there will be no rescue for big corporations who evade taxes through tax havens in the EU, but we, for what it seems, are going to rescue ´em all...

    Taking a look at the state of certain EU banks previous to the pandemic, one gets the real picture on that some were going to collapse with or without Coronavirus anyway.

    Most of the population in the world is facing unemployment, misery, and highly likely hunger, and then, it is Syria who need to ongo reforms, or Lebanon for that matter?. The Lebanese Central Bank belongs to the West Banking System, as all the rest of the Central Banks. The Lebanese government ahs been ALWAYS occupied by West and Saudi puppets, just until recently, when Hezbollah and other representatives of the Lebanese people entered the government, jut when the West decided to bankrupt Lebanon.....

    All Mediterranean countries were making a living of tourism, as they own enough historical sites and good weather to offer this kind of services in the international labor order. But, why tourism was wiped out? Most probably to turn the fortunes of some in Syria and Lebanon, and also, by passing, in the EU.....

    Some were having trouble with the Brexit´s bill, the sanitzing of their biggest banks, and the growing contestation in the streets, what better way to revive themselves and their industries than ruining some southern pigs to then indebt them for the centuries to come as they did with Greece? Curiously, or not so, these are the same actors hoping to take a piece of the cake in Syria and Lebanon and allied in the US coalition...

    Some were losing the war on Syria, the Chinese were willing to invest there, and make her, along with Pakistán, part of the B&R initiative, which would had seen a flourishing Syria and also Pakistán. Instead you have the Chinese economy paralized and the chains of distriution cut off, becuase of the Coronavirus. Terrorism is being pushed against Pakistán and also, as the recent incident with some "afghans" in the border, towards Iran, all aimed at definitely destabilishing the zone and giving the shot of grace to the Chinese initiative.

    The thing is that we all need way too postponed reforms everywhere, so as to not being continuously robbed, and in a cheeky big way every ten years or so. i
    In fact, what we need is a world wide socialist revolution ( never the time was so propice, since when the same illnesses, and I am not talking here about the Covid-19, were affecting us all at unison...? ) and dust off the guillotines...We could start with all those idle people talking heads "thinking" at the clubs of the rich, like the Valdai Club, the Bilderberg Club, the Davos Summit.....and so on...those who never get untidy by any shake of "destiny"... then follow with parasitic politicians, bought and receiving direct orders from these clubs, make the great cleaning, disinfecting it all...

    When the 2008 crisis was starting to hit in Spain, and things started to paint gloom, I was learning a langauge with a charming group of colleagues. One of my peers, a woman with the voice and face of a little girl, a very good person, said once that in face of not being payed she will be willing to go out in the streets with the sawed-off shotgun...
    Of course, she was joking....although, was she really doing it? Do not think, this was not marginal people, but what you would call middle class...

    https://twitter.com/LOQUEDIGAELFMI/status/1258350041749741568

    https://twitter.com/LOQUEDIGAELFMI/status/1258343649793974273

    https://twitter.com/LOQUEDIGAELFMI/status/1258025529770467328

    Walter , May 7 2020 23:34 utc | 27
    @ H. Schmatz 26. "The oligarchy is very much the most accute problem everywhere, starting with Russia, still not free from that lacra dating the "reform" of the USSR, through its willing demolition, a problem the Coronavirus pandemic has not made but putting in everybody´s sight."

    Yes that's true, USSR was "gamed" and so are we being gamed.

    ... ... ..

    james , May 8 2020 1:38 utc | 29
    @ 7 karlof1... i am aware of that, but the money and support qatar are providing turkey is part of turkeys problem as i see it - that is one of the oil rich tin pot dictatorships i was thinking of when i said that... i hope oil stays really low and shuts down the tar sands in alberta permanently... i see oil tutures are putting on a pretty good showing since the beginning of may... the link on oligarch Rami Makhlouf is pretty fascinating...

    i am curious how iraq gets out from under usa servitude...it seems they can be manipulated easily as they are so vulnerable financially... the usa put them in this position for the very reason the usa continues to be in iraq with no interest in leaving.. they will continue to cultivate isis and iraq needs to figure out a way to get rid of them..

    james , May 8 2020 1:41 utc | 30
    @ 13 bevin... i think b was writing an article on the middle east and i happened to note qatar and uaes direct involvement in the libya dynamic.. i was referring to those tin pot dictatorships... but hey - if you want to talk about alberta and canada here - go for it, lol.. i suppose it depends on ones perspective how much of a difference there really is in all this oil money-rape...
    Jen , May 8 2020 1:51 utc | 31
    "... Throughout the last months Russian foreign policy grandees and oligarchs had published essays that argued that the Syrian government had to look more at the economic situation in Syria, which is very bad, instead of pushing for military solutions. It was not fully clear what they were aiming at ..."

    When the partners of the Russian International Affairs Council, on whose platform Aleksandr Aksenenok wrote the article from which B draws the above quote, include such luminaries as the Rand Corporation (itself funded by various beloved US government agencies like the Pentagon and DHS among assorted others), the Carngegie Endowment for International Peace and Voice of America, what these Russian government flunkies and handmaidens of oligarchs like Mikhail Khodorkovsky are advocating for Syria is a neoliberal economic regime that will push the country back into the precarious state it was in before 2011 when the Assad government was persuaded to adopt neoliberal "reforms" that had the effect of alienating people in those parts of Syria that rapidly came under ISIS domination, through the privatisation of natural resources. Doubtless Rami Makhlouf and his family must have benefited from such "reforms".

    There is the possibility that the West may see in Makhlouf the Syrian equivalent of a Khodorkovsky, and Makhlouf might play up to the West to get support. Who thinks the West might be stupid enough to throw its weight behind Makhlouf and drum him up as the legitimate successor to Assad, the worthy Syrian equivalent of ... erm, Venezuela's shining knight in armour Juan Guaido???

    [May 07, 2020] Bolton and the culture of corruption and intimidation

    May 07, 2020 | www.unz.com

    Sam 12123 , says: Show Comment May 6, 2020 at 8:39 pm GMT

    The OPCW is claimed to be an independent agency but we know that it suppressed the results of its own engineers when it reported that the Syrian government was responsible for the alleged chemical attack in Douma. The former head of the agency has publicly asserted that when John Bolton demanded that he step down, he added, "We know where your children live." The US has a history of corruption and intimidation. Any investigation would result in finding China responsible just as Russia was found to be responsible for the airliner that was shot down over Ukraine.

    [Apr 17, 2020] One can wonder who is really a terrorist.

    Apr 17, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

    alaff , Apr 15 2020 20:34 utc | 44

    Interesting (though, not surprising) news from the Russian MoD:

    On the night of 13-14 April 2020, a group of illegal armed groups trained at the United States Armed Forces base in the "Rukban" camp area attempted to withdraw from et-Tanf zone.

    The militants intended to surrender to government forces and return to peaceful life. On the border of the 55-kilometre security zone, the group was attacked by a group of radical armed gang "commandos of the revolution" - "Magavir Al-Saura," controlled by the United States.

    As a result of the fighting, the militants lost three pickup trucks. 27 people managed to escape and are currently in Palmira under guard of Syrian governmental forces. They handed over dozens of small arms, among them grenade-launchers and heavy machine guns, including Western made.

    According to the testimony passed to the government by the illegal armed group members, the weapons and cars "pickup" were provided to them by the Americans. Trainers from the United States trained them to sabotage oil and gas and transport infrastructure, as well as to organize terrorist acts in territory controlled by Syrian government forces .

    One can wonder who is really a terrorist.

    Phil , Apr 15 2020 23:22 utc | 75

    Posted by: vk | Apr 15 2020 19:30 utc | 24

    Perpetrators of recent terrorist attacks in Damascus confess details of recruitment

    may be similar or identical to your Sputnik link.

    [Apr 11, 2020] Hamish de Bretton-Gordon

    An interesting connection between Skripal false flag and Syria false flag.
    Notable quotes:
    "... Main Stream Media ..."
    "... "The same people who assured you Saddam Hussein had WMDs now assure you Russian 'Novichok' nerve agents are being wielded by Vladimir Putin to attack people on British soil." [4] ..."
    Apr 11, 2020 | sunray22b.net

    Hamish de Bretton-Gordon is the pretentious name used by a fellow who seems to have been a lieutenant colonel in the British Army and a chemical weapons expert. He has access to the media and markets the Party Line . Whose? The Foreign Office's version of truth, one that denies the very active role of the Israel Lobby in using American forces to make war in the Middle East.

    de Bretton Gordon's public position is that chemical weapons are nasty dangerous things being used by Bashar al Assad , the president of Syria to attack innocent civilians. Before believing this story look at what Seymour Hersh has to say; that the Syria Gas Attack Carried Out By America .

    ... ... ...

    Civilians were under fire, he went on. He failed to mention that Al-Nusra might be holding them as human shields, as they did in Eastern Aleppo. The Syrian army liberated that area in December twenty-sixteen.

    The UNHCR tweeted in October last year : 'After years of darkness, city of # Aleppo is lit at night, we hope that # Syrians find light at the end of the tunnel finally # SupportSyrians '

    We ran a report on Aleppo's liberation at the time .

    For the first time in five years the city's Christians were able to celebrate Christmas free from constant bombardment from the Al-Nusra terrorists in the east.
    Celebrating Christmas in Aleppo December 2016.
    Celebrating Christmas in Aleppo December 2016.

    The US and UK Governments and the mainstream media hated the liberation of Eastern Aleppo. They will equally bewail the liberation of Eastern Ghouta, when it comes.

    Indeed, during the BBC interview, Hamish de Bretton-Gordon came across as nothing more than a UK government sock-puppet. He confirmed this when he commended what he said were 'the peace talks in Geneva'. We shall come to that below.

    Doctors Under Fire
    Mr David Nott is a respected surgeon but blames 'Assad' for everything.

    Mr David Nott is a respected surgeon but blames 'Assad' for everything.

    But what of this man, and what of 'Doctors Under Fire'? Well, the latter has apparently just two members, De Bretton Gordon and one David Nott, a surgeon who has been in war-torn areas. Mr Nott similarly finds no good word to say about the Syrian government.

    Oddly, in a video on Vimeo from 2016 he says Doctors Under Fire will be a charity. The Charity Commission has no record of it, nor of 'Medics under Fire' which is what the Doctors Under Fire website is called. When you go to the website , at this time of writing, you're invited to a rally on 7th May. On further investigation, that is 7th May 2016. Their website is two years out of date. Of course hospitals should not be attacked in war zones, but the Doctors Under Fire platform gives Messrs De B-G and Nott credibility to advance another agenda.

    Hospital bombing scam
    Furthermore, this astonishing video collated all the times the 'last hospital' in eastern Aleppo was put out of action by 'Syrian regime airstrikes'. Can you guess how many it was? And how do the mainstream media source their footage of sick children, hospitals, and dare we add, 'doctors under fire'? They are entirely dependent on the terrorists. No western journalist can venture into their areas. Why? For fear of being kidnapped and held for ransom by the very people they champion.

    De Bretton Gordon also claimed on the BBC a hospital in eastern Ghouta had been hit. That was why they gave him a platform under his 'Doctors Under Fire' persona. But again, it was second-hand terrorist propaganda. Here, the impressive 'Off-Guardian' website exposes the Syrian totem head of the 'White Helmets', which was a British Foreign Office creation, as we investigated here . This relentless tugging at western heart-strings is a scam and the msm [ Main Stream Media ] know it.

    Hamish de Bretton-Gordon SecureBio spun off from Hamish De Bretton-Gordon's time in the British Army

    SecureBio spun off from Hamish De Bretton-Gordon's time in the British Army

    Hamish de Bretton-Gordon is a retired Colonel with an OBE. He commanded NATO's Rapid Reaction Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Battalion. He ran a company called SecureBio with, we read on this 'military speakers' website , 'an impressive list of blue chip clients globally.' However, Companies House says SecureBio resolved to go into liquidation in June 2015.

    The Colonel now apparently works for a company which makes breathing masks, Avon Protection . His LinkedIn profile claims he is 'Managing Director CBRN' of Avon, despite not actually being a director. He also claims still to be director of SecureBio. He does not mention that company was dissolved in August 2017 with debts over £715,000.

    Call for France to drop bombs on Syria

    De Bretton-Gordon has teamed up with Avon Protection which makes breathing masks.

    De Bretton-Gordon teamed up with Avon in 2014 . Avon then took over the SecureBio name in June 2015 as SecureBio Ltd shut down. Avon did not take over SecureBio Ltd's large debts.

    De Bretton-Gordon no longer has any connection with military field-work. Nevertheless, he has continued access to the world's media when subjects like Syria and alleged chemical weapons come up.

    Securebio's YouTube channel is still online and has a number of videos of the colonel calling for 'safe havens' for terrorists. He has appeared frequently on Sunni-Muslim Qatar's Al Jazeera TV channel.

    And as this Guardian opinion piece shows , he is not slow to blame 'Assad' and 'Putin' for each and every alleged chemical attack, just as the UK Foreign Office would want him to do. In this belligerent BBC article he even calls on France to declare war by dropping bombs on Syria.

    Geneva vs Astana Peace Talks

    Finally, why did the Colonel's promotion of the Geneva peace talks raise the alarm? Because this is a UK-driven political view. In reality the Geneva talks stalled in February twenty-seventeen. The Kurds took against the inconsequential opposition in exile pompously called the High Negotiations Committee.

    The Geneva talks finally collapsed in November when the Syrians would not agree to President Assad stepping aside, a key, but stupid, UK and US demand. The Guardian's highly-respected Patrick Wintour says the talks De Bretton Gordon extols are 'perilously shorn of credibility'.

    Meanwhile, the real peace talks, unmentioned by the Colonel, have been held in Astana, capital of Kazakhstan. They are brokered by Russia, so the UK wants them to fail. But the UN's Staffan de Mistura says the Astana talks are making small but 'clear progress' to reducing violence in Syria. They have now moved to Sochi on the Black Sea and we need to pray for them.

    Terrorists should lay down their arms

    Make no mistake, the UK government helped start the dreadful civil war in Syria . Even now its tame media pundits cannot bear the idea that the Islamic terrorists we assisted are mercifully losing.

    They need to lay down their arms. But don't expect the Colonel to agree. The Bible says in Psalm 120:7:

    I am for peace: but when I speak, they are for war.

    Colonel Hamish de Bretton-Gordon will keep ringing the UK Government bell. A knighthood cannot be far away. But we must take what he and the rest of the BBC's pro-Foreign Office pundits say with a very large pinch of salt.

    Hamish de Bretton-Gordon ex Wikispooks
    Hamish de Bretton-Gordon (born September 1963) is a chemical weapons expert and chief operating officer of SecureBio Limited . He was formerly a British Army officer for 23 years and Commanding Officer of the UK's Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Regiment and NATO 's Rapid Reaction CBRN Battalion. [1]

    De Bretton-Gordon is Managing Director CBRN at Avon Protection , the recognised global market leader in respiratory protection system technology specialising primarily in Military, Law Enforcement, Firefighting, and Industrial. [2]

    Novichok nerve agent
    On 4 March 2018, a Russian double agent Sergei Skripal was reported to have been poisoned in Salisbury with a nerve agent which British authorities identified as Novichok . Theresa May told Parliament that she held Russia responsible for Skripal's attempted murder.

    According to Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, Novichok was allegedly developed in the Soviet Union at a laboratory complex in Shikhany, in central Russia. Vil Mirzayanov , a Russian chemist involved in the development of Novichok, who later defected to the United States , said the Novichok was tested at Nukus, in Uzbekistan . [3]

    Former British ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray , who visited the site at Nukus, said it had been dismantled with US help. He is among those advocating scepticism about the UK placing blame on Russia for the poisoning of Sergei Skripal. In a blog post, Murray wrote:

    "The same people who assured you Saddam Hussein had WMDs now assure you Russian 'Novichok' nerve agents are being wielded by Vladimir Putin to attack people on British soil." [4]
    Deployments
    Hamish de Bretton-Gordon's operational deployments included the 1st Gulf War , Cyprus , Bosnia , Kosovo , Iraq (multiple tours) and Afghanistan (2 tours) and has been in Syria & Iraq frequently in the last 3 years. This considerable experience in the field places Hamish de Bretton-Gordon as one of the world's leading and most current experts in chemical and biological counter terrorism and warfare.

    De Bretton-Gordon is a visiting lecturer in disaster management at Bournemouth University . [5]

    Doctors Under Fire
    In December 2017, Hamish de Bretton-Gordon and fellow director David Nott of Doctors Under Fire highlighted the case of seven children with curable cancer who were said to be dying in Ghouta, Syria, for want of drugs and nourishment. They claimed Union of Syrian Medical Care and Relief Organisations (UOSSM) hospitals in Ghouta were on their knees with very few medicines left, and that kind words for the dying children were the only palliative care available. [6]
    UNQUOTE
    This Christian has been abused; he does not approve of Homosexuality or abortion. In other words, he is not a heretic.

    Hamish de Bretton-Gordon ex Wiki
    Hamish de Bretton-Gordon
    OBE (born September 1963) is a chemical weapons expert and chief operating officer of SecureBio Limited. He was formerly a British Army officer for 23 years and commanding officer of the UK's CBRN Regiment and NATO's Rapid Reaction CBRN Battalion . [1] He is a visiting lecturer in disaster management at Bournemouth University . [2] He attended Tonbridge School and has a degree in agriculture from the University of Reading (1987).

    Joint Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Regiment ex Wiki
    A temporary formation that has been and gone.

    Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defence Battalion
    A NATO outfit.

    Al-Nusra Front ex Wiki
    Al-Nusra Front or Jabhat al-Nusra ( Arabic : جبهة النصرة ‎), known as the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham ( Arabic : جبهة فتح الشام ‎, transliteration : Jabhat Fataḥ al-Šām ) after July 2016, and also described as al-Qaeda in Syria or al-Qaeda in the Levant, [34] [35] is a Salafist jihadist organization fighting against Syrian government forces in the Syrian Civil War , with the aim of establishing an Islamic state in the country. [36] The group announced its formation on 23 January 2012. [37]

    The United States designated Jabhat al-Nusra as a foreign terrorist organization, followed by the United Nations Security Council and many other countries. [38] It was the official Syrian branch of al-Qaeda until July 2016, when it ostensibly split. [39] [40]

    In early 2015, the group became one of the major components of the powerful jihadist joint operations room named the Army of Conquest , which took over large territories in Northwestern Syria . It also operates in neighbouring Lebanon . [41] In November 2012, The Washington Post described al-Nusra as the most successful arm of the rebel forces. [[42]

    In July 2016, al-Nusra formally separated from al-Qaeda and re-branded as Jabhat Fateh al-Sham ("Front for the Conquest of the Levant"). [39]

    On 28 January 2017, following violent clashes with Ahrar al-Sham and other rebel groups, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham merged with four other groups to become Their al-Sham .

    Al-Qaeda ex Wiki
    Al-Qaeda ( / æ l ˈ k aɪ d ə , ˌ æ l k ɑː ˈ iː d ə / ; Arabic : القاعدة ‎ al-qāʿidah , IPA: [ælqɑːʕɪdɐ] , translation: "The Base", "The Foundation" or " The Fundament " and alternatively spelled al-Qaida, al-Qæda and sometimes al-Qa'ida) is a militant Sunni Islamist multi-national organization founded in 1988 [31] by Osama bin Laden , Abdullah Azzam , [32] and several other Arab volunteers who fought against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the 1980s. [6]

    Christian Voice ex Wiki
    Christian Voice (CV) is a Christian advocacy group based in the United Kingdom . [1] Its stated objective is "to uphold Christianity as the Faith of the United Kingdom, to be a voice for Biblical values in law and public policy, and to defend and support traditional family life." [2] It is independent of religious, denominational, or political parties. [3]

    CV is led by Stephen Green, with Lord Ashburn as its patron. [3] Green is the group's spokesperson, producing scores of press releases from 2005 to 2010. According to Green, Christian Voice had in excess of 600 members in 2005. [4]

    The group has been criticised for its positions. David Peel, leader of the United Reformed Church called Christian Voice "a disgrace" [4] and described their "claim to represent Christians" in the UK as "absurd". [[5]

    Leadership
    Stephen Green
    The leader, and sole staff member, of Christian Voice is Stephen Green [6] , a former Chairman of the Conservative Family Campaign, who attends an Assemblies of God Church. In the early 1990s, Green was a prominent campaigner against homosexuality through the Conservative Family Campaign, and wrote a book called The Sexual Dead-End .

    In January 2011, Green's former wife, Caroline Green, accused him of repeatedly physically assaulting her and their children, including one incident where he allegedly beat her with a weapon until she bled, and another in which their son allegedly required hospital treatment after having been beaten with a piece of wood. The couple subsequently divorced. [7] Stating that the article was "highly defamatory" and calling it a "catalogue of smears and distortions stitched together," Green denied some of the allegations. On his blog he wrote: [8]

    I sincerely tried to lead my marriage and household in a loving and responsible way, and one which was faithful to the Lord.

    ... ... ...

    https://ww.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/04/08/will-chemical-weapons-attacks-like-douma-fail-punish-assad-crimes/

    Medics Under Fire - com

    Medics Under Fire - org
    Anti-Syrian government [ of 2016 ]
    The repeated targeting of healthcare workers and hospitals by the Russian and Syrian governments are war crimes. We call on you to give Syria's heroic healthcare workers and the communities they serve a zone free from bombing to ensure their protection. The international community has agreed the bombs need to stop. The resolutions are in place. They simply need to be enforced.

    Secure Bio Limited ex Companies House
    Registered office address
    Bell Advisory, Tenth Floor 3 Hardman Street, Spinningfields, Manchester, M3 3H
    Company status
    Dissolved
    Dissolved on
    17 August 2017
    Company type
    Private limited Company
    Incorporated on
    29 June 2011
    Last accounts made up to 31 December 2013
    Nature of business (SIC)
    82990 - Other business support service activities not elsewhere classified

    Appointment of Hamish De Bretton-Gordon as a director View PDF Appointment of Hamish De Bretton-Gordon as a director - link opens in a new window - 3 pages (3 pages)
    05 Sep 2011 Appointment of Andrew Duckworth as a director View PDF Appointment of Andrew Duckworth as a director - link opens in a new window - 3 pages (3 pages)
    29 Jun 2011 Termination of appointment of Yomtov Jacobs as a director

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5589207/Syrian-government-intensifies-offensive-against-rebel-stronghold-Eastern-Ghouta.html awful innit?

    Syrian activists and doctors being trained to combat chemical attacks - Allegation Made By Bretton Gordon
    More Quislinggraph , more propaganda.

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/04/08/dozens-reported-dead-chemical-attack-insyria-us-blames-russia/
    Believe it if you want.

    [Apr 01, 2020] For just $27K USD you can see John Bolton's relatives in natural environment

    Apr 01, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

    Piotr Berman , Mar 31 2020 17:22 utc | 151

    Given some time and currency, I guess Morocco would offer more value for money if you want some exotic customs and landscapes. If you have more money, you could spend them on a carbon-free cruise with stunning vistas and off-the-beaten route: North Pole on board of nuclear-powered ice breaker! It is wise to have swimming costume (a pool is on board, heated, I presume) and sensible apparel -- enough for normal winter (in Moscow). The number of places is below 150, with a little hospital on board too. In the latest ads I read about discounts, but the deal was that you can pay in rubbles with prices below the rubble plunged by 25%, still, for 27 k USD you can see John Bolton's relatives in natural environment (like mommy walrus taking care of youngsters), polar bears, seals, and landscapes of Franz Josef Land. Helicopter rides included. You can also take a plunge into the arctic water -- with safety precautions .

    [Mar 15, 2020] Free Syrian Army Deserter Reveals How the U.S. Sent Fighters to Idlib to Carry Out Sabotage and Intimidate the Population

    Mar 15, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

    ak74 , Mar 15 2020 1:17 utc | 59

    Free Syrian Army Deserter Reveals How the U.S. Sent Fighters to Idlib to Carry Out Sabotage and Intimidate the Population
    https://syria360.wordpress.com/2020/03/14/free-syrian-army-deserter-reveals-how-the-u-s-sent-fighters-to-idlib-to-carry-out-sabotage-and-intimidate-the-population/

    [Mar 12, 2020] US now openly admits its goal in Syria is to make it 'difficult' for Moscow and Damascus to defeat terrorists

    Notable quotes:
    "... The State Department's special envoy for Syria has just admitted that the US aims to defend jihadist militants in Idlib against 'Russian aggression,' proving once again that the swamp in Foggy Bottom is alive and well ..."
    "... "are out to get a military victory in all of Syria," ..."
    "... Our goal is to make it very difficult for them to do that by a variety of diplomatic, military, and other actions. ..."
    "... "in a very savage military way" ..."
    "... "a favorite tactic of the Syrian regime in making advances." ..."
    "... "a complication" ..."
    "... "three million-plus innocent civilians, the majority of whom are women and children," ..."
    "... "Russian aggression" ..."
    "... I think you can forget ground troops. Turkey has demonstrated ably that it and its opposition forces are more than capable of holding ground on their own. ..."
    "... "Idlib province seems to be a magnet for terrorist groups, especially because it is an ungoverned space in many ways," ..."
    "... "There are [a] variety of groups there -- all of them are a nuisance, a menace and a threat to hundreds of thousands of civilians who are just trying to make it through the winter." ..."
    "... "endless wars" ..."
    Mar 12, 2020 | www.rt.com

    https://www.rt.com/op-ed/482787-syria-us-troops-terrorists/

    The State Department's special envoy for Syria has just admitted that the US aims to defend jihadist militants in Idlib against 'Russian aggression,' proving once again that the swamp in Foggy Bottom is alive and well . Russia and the Syrian government "are out to get a military victory in all of Syria," Ambassador James Jeffrey told reporters on a conference call out of Brussels on Tuesday.

    Our goal is to make it very difficult for them to do that by a variety of diplomatic, military, and other actions.

    To illustrate these methods, Jeffrey cited the US threat to respond "in a very savage military way" against any chemical attacks, which he described as "a favorite tactic of the Syrian regime in making advances." This is factually untrue, since the alleged attacks always happen after Syrian Army victories, as a pretext for US intervention.

    Jeffrey also noted that there are US and coalition troops in parts of Syria – officially there to fight Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS), but in actuality "guarding" the oil fields. He tellingly described their presence as "a complication" for the Syrian government.

    Also on rt.com US exploring NATO aid for Turkey in Idlib, says sanctions could be applied if Russia or Syria violate ceasefire – reports

    Jeffrey and US ambassador to Turkey David Satterfield were in Brussels after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's visit, to discuss ways the US and NATO can help Ankara protect its pet militants in their last remaining redoubt – Syria's Idlib province.

    But while Satterfield described Idlib as containing "three million-plus innocent civilians, the majority of whom are women and children," and accused "Russian aggression" of seeking to displace them, listen to how Jeffrey chose to describe the situation, when asked by a CNN reporter if NATO was considering sending in ground troops:

    I think you can forget ground troops. Turkey has demonstrated ably that it and its opposition forces are more than capable of holding ground on their own.

    This is either appallingly ignorant or downright delusional, as the Syrian army had successfully rolled up the Turkish-backed militants and the ceasefire Ankara agreed to in Moscow last week confirmed that.

    Résumé par dates clés de l'opération de l'armée syrienne dans la région d' #Idlib jusqu'à l'accord de cessez-le-feu négocié par la #Russie et la #Turquie (phase 1 : 6 mai - 31 août 2019 ; phase 2 : 19 déc 2019 - 6 mars 2020) pic.twitter.com/FcNWUThWBa

    -- Syria Intelligence (@syriaintel) March 8, 2020

    The real revelation here is that the militants are described as Turkey's "opposition." Contrast this with the words of Colonel Myles Caggins, spokesman for the anti-ISIS coalition's military arm, just three weeks ago:

    "Idlib province seems to be a magnet for terrorist groups, especially because it is an ungoverned space in many ways," Caggins told Sky News. "There are [a] variety of groups there -- all of them are a nuisance, a menace and a threat to hundreds of thousands of civilians who are just trying to make it through the winter."

    Read more Idlib is a 'magnet for terrorist groups', says US military spokesman -- contradicting MSM narrative on Syria

    Bear in mind that Jeffrey doubles as Washington's special envoy to the coalition against IS, that infamous Schroedinger entity that either doesn't exist any more – when US President Donald Trump seeks to claim victory against the self-proclaimed caliphate – or is about to make a resurgence big time and requires US military presence in perpetuity to prevent that, as the State Department and the Pentagon prefer to see it.

    Needless to say, this entrenched insistence on legacy policies doesn't do much for Trump's promise to pull out US troops from "endless wars" in the Middle East.

    Neither Jeffrey nor Satterfield, nor any of the reporters asking them questions, mentioned even once the existence of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham – the latest incarnation of the notorious Al-Nusra, an Al-Qaeda affiliate whose fighters dominate the ranks of the militants in Idlib. Listening to them, one might think it doesn't exist!

    Jeffrey and Satterfield openly admit that an outright Syrian victory over these terrorists would deny the "international community" – as they style the US and its allies – the leverage to insist on regime change in Damascus. Which is incredibly rich in irony given that the sole legal pretext on which the US has any troops in Syria, in open violation of international law, is a congressional authorization to use force against... Al-Qaeda.

    Nebojsa Malic is a Serbian-American journalist, blogger and translator, who wrote a regular column for Antiwar.com from 2000 to 2015, and is now senior writer at RT. Follow him on Twitter @NebojsaMalic

    [Mar 11, 2020] US now openly admits its goal in Syria is to make it 'difficult' for Moscow and Damascus to defeat terrorists

    Notable quotes:
    "... The State Department's special envoy for Syria has just admitted that the US aims to defend jihadist militants in Idlib against 'Russian aggression,' proving once again that the swamp in Foggy Bottom is alive and well ..."
    "... "are out to get a military victory in all of Syria," ..."
    "... Our goal is to make it very difficult for them to do that by a variety of diplomatic, military, and other actions. ..."
    "... "in a very savage military way" ..."
    "... "a favorite tactic of the Syrian regime in making advances." ..."
    "... "a complication" ..."
    "... "three million-plus innocent civilians, the majority of whom are women and children," ..."
    "... "Russian aggression" ..."
    "... I think you can forget ground troops. Turkey has demonstrated ably that it and its opposition forces are more than capable of holding ground on their own. ..."
    "... "Idlib province seems to be a magnet for terrorist groups, especially because it is an ungoverned space in many ways," ..."
    "... "There are [a] variety of groups there -- all of them are a nuisance, a menace and a threat to hundreds of thousands of civilians who are just trying to make it through the winter." ..."
    "... "endless wars" ..."
    Mar 11, 2020 | www.rt.com

    https://www.rt.com/op-ed/482787-syria-us-troops-terrorists/

    The State Department's special envoy for Syria has just admitted that the US aims to defend jihadist militants in Idlib against 'Russian aggression,' proving once again that the swamp in Foggy Bottom is alive and well . Russia and the Syrian government "are out to get a military victory in all of Syria," Ambassador James Jeffrey told reporters on a conference call out of Brussels on Tuesday.

    Our goal is to make it very difficult for them to do that by a variety of diplomatic, military, and other actions.

    To illustrate these methods, Jeffrey cited the US threat to respond "in a very savage military way" against any chemical attacks, which he described as "a favorite tactic of the Syrian regime in making advances." This is factually untrue, since the alleged attacks always happen after Syrian Army victories, as a pretext for US intervention.

    Jeffrey also noted that there are US and coalition troops in parts of Syria – officially there to fight Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS), but in actuality "guarding" the oil fields. He tellingly described their presence as "a complication" for the Syrian government.

    Also on rt.com US exploring NATO aid for Turkey in Idlib, says sanctions could be applied if Russia or Syria violate ceasefire – reports

    Jeffrey and US ambassador to Turkey David Satterfield were in Brussels after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's visit, to discuss ways the US and NATO can help Ankara protect its pet militants in their last remaining redoubt – Syria's Idlib province.

    But while Satterfield described Idlib as containing "three million-plus innocent civilians, the majority of whom are women and children," and accused "Russian aggression" of seeking to displace them, listen to how Jeffrey chose to describe the situation, when asked by a CNN reporter if NATO was considering sending in ground troops:

    I think you can forget ground troops. Turkey has demonstrated ably that it and its opposition forces are more than capable of holding ground on their own.

    This is either appallingly ignorant or downright delusional, as the Syrian army had successfully rolled up the Turkish-backed militants and the ceasefire Ankara agreed to in Moscow last week confirmed that.

    Résumé par dates clés de l'opération de l'armée syrienne dans la région d' #Idlib jusqu'à l'accord de cessez-le-feu négocié par la #Russie et la #Turquie (phase 1 : 6 mai - 31 août 2019 ; phase 2 : 19 déc 2019 - 6 mars 2020) pic.twitter.com/FcNWUThWBa

    -- Syria Intelligence (@syriaintel) March 8, 2020

    The real revelation here is that the militants are described as Turkey's "opposition." Contrast this with the words of Colonel Myles Caggins, spokesman for the anti-ISIS coalition's military arm, just three weeks ago:

    "Idlib province seems to be a magnet for terrorist groups, especially because it is an ungoverned space in many ways," Caggins told Sky News. "There are [a] variety of groups there -- all of them are a nuisance, a menace and a threat to hundreds of thousands of civilians who are just trying to make it through the winter."

    Read more Idlib is a 'magnet for terrorist groups', says US military spokesman -- contradicting MSM narrative on Syria

    Bear in mind that Jeffrey doubles as Washington's special envoy to the coalition against IS, that infamous Schroedinger entity that either doesn't exist any more – when US President Donald Trump seeks to claim victory against the self-proclaimed caliphate – or is about to make a resurgence big time and requires US military presence in perpetuity to prevent that, as the State Department and the Pentagon prefer to see it.

    Needless to say, this entrenched insistence on legacy policies doesn't do much for Trump's promise to pull out US troops from "endless wars" in the Middle East.

    Neither Jeffrey nor Satterfield, nor any of the reporters asking them questions, mentioned even once the existence of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham – the latest incarnation of the notorious Al-Nusra, an Al-Qaeda affiliate whose fighters dominate the ranks of the militants in Idlib. Listening to them, one might think it doesn't exist!

    Jeffrey and Satterfield openly admit that an outright Syrian victory over these terrorists would deny the "international community" – as they style the US and its allies – the leverage to insist on regime change in Damascus. Which is incredibly rich in irony given that the sole legal pretext on which the US has any troops in Syria, in open violation of international law, is a congressional authorization to use force against... Al-Qaeda.

    Nebojsa Malic is a Serbian-American journalist, blogger and translator, who wrote a regular column for Antiwar.com from 2000 to 2015, and is now senior writer at RT. Follow him on Twitter @NebojsaMalic

    [Mar 11, 2020] The web site with the communiques of Islamist political groups in Syria and Iraq, particularly those affiliated with Sunni jihadism like ISIS and AQ

    Religious fundamentalists in full grace on the WEB.
    Mar 11, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

    Daniel , Mar 10 2020 20:58 utc | 27

    Thought I'd share the website http://www.aymennjawad.org/ as it might be of interest to people who post on/read this blog.

    I came across this website during the height of the ISIS rampage. It's by a guy named Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi who specializes in translating into English the communiques of Islamist political groups in Syria and Iraq, particularly those affiliated with Sunni jihadism like ISIS and AQ.

    He also sometimes interviews non jihadist groups, like the Iraqi Hashd al Sha'abi, and civilians who live in the conflict zones.

    I am not sure who his sponsors are but he seems to be associated with the International Crisis Group. It's a good site for getting the perspective of the "other side" in their own words. There doesn't seem to be a propagandistic angle or hidden agenda, at least not overtly.

    @Daniel #27:
    Thought I'd share the website http://www.aymennjawad.org/ as it might be of interest to people who post on/read this blog.

    Thank you. It really is an interesting and useful site. For example, if one's relatives, friends, co-workers or acquaintances start the "democratic activists" lament again, one can send them a link to this article:

    Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham's Abu Abdullah al-Shami on Meeting Western Analysts
    March 10, 2020

    Not too long ago the leadership of Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS)- the main insurgent faction in northwest Syria- held meetings with Patrick Haenni and Dareen Khalifa, two monstrous analysts from the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue and International Crisis Group respectively.

    Whatever one thinks of Shami's general portrayal of continuity in positions with the original Jabhat al-Nusra (for one thing, it was not very plausible to imagine a meeting with Western think-tanks in the days of Jabhat al-Nusra), there are some important insights to draw here. For instance, the insistence on Shari'a as the sole reference authority is consistent with the reaffirmation of HTS principles by Abu al-Fatah al-Farghali (an Egyptian Shari'i official in the group), who made clear the group rejects democracy and secularism (contrary to those who imagine HTS is going in a more 'secular' and 'nationalist' direction).

    Or to this article:

    "Oh People of al-Sham: Be Steadfast, Be Steadfast"- New Speech by Sheikh Abu Himam al-Shami of Hurras al-Din
    March 9, 2020


    - The battle in Syria is one of the monotheist mujahideen against the idolater enemies. There is a great international disbeliever/apostate conspiracy against the jihad in Syria. The people of al-Sham and the mujahid factions need to beware of this conspiracy and avoid falling into the trap of losing their decision-making to malign actors.

    - The people of al-Sham and the mujahideen need to be steadfast and endure and remember that tribulation of the believers is something by which God tests His servants and distinguishes the truly faithful.

    - The mujahideen should pursue guerrilla warfare against the enemy and do all they can from various tactics to terrorize the enemy. They should not despair despite their poverty and hardship.

    - The youth of the Islamic Ummah should support the jihad in Syria.

    - Please God, destroy Assad, his followers, the Jews, Christians, Shi'a and other enemies of the religion.

    Posted by: S | Mar 11 2020 9:59 utc | 89

    [Mar 09, 2020] In the end, Ankara knew that Russia also did not want a direct conflict with Turkey and would not bring the matter to a break

    Mar 09, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

    A User , Mar 9 2020 1:30 utc | 50

    re alaff | Mar 8 2020 23:57 utc | 43

    I read Rostislav Ishchenko's puff piece about how well Russia had done in the negotiations with Turkey, yet as suspected couldn't find one example of wins for the Syrian administration.
    We are told "Russia showed tremendous indifference to the Turkish threats"
    &
    "Turkey gave too much, even for its current (far from brilliant) position."
    But no evidence is supplied to support either broad but utterly flimsy statement
    Joint Turko-Russian patrols on the M4 means two things detrimental to Syria, it is the perfect excuse for Turkey to keep troops inside Syria's borders and, it makes it impossible for Syria to reclaim it's highway.

    The most accurate statement I found in the article was:
    "In the end, Ankara knew that Russia also did not want a direct conflict with Turkey and would not bring the matter to a break."
    Many people who like to maintain the self-delusion that Russia is a non-interventionist state, will disagree but rather than argue in circles I say 'let's check out the state of play at the end of August, when if Russia hadn't backed down the Syrian government would have won back total control of M4 & M5 as well as the administration of all major population centers in the Idlib Governorate.

    It always saddens me when humans rightly swear off one brand of propaganda only to lap up the same type of tosh generated by the original brand's major competitor.
    They all lie this is evidenced by simply swapping the placename's in Ishchenko's article for those of a state amerika has invaded by stealth, say Colombia with FARQ as the enemy protagonist. Do that and the article reads like a b grade NYT pile of steaming tosh, full of historical analogies which have little relevance other than a vain attempt to boost the author's credentials.
    It makes me mad because it has become obvious that Syria isn't ever going to completely recover it's territory.

    Maximus , Mar 9 2020 1:38 utc | 51

    Turkey still playing games?? posted at Syrian perspective blog: RUSSIAN "CHOPPER" GOT IN THE WAY OF THE TURKISH F-16 IN SYRIAN IDLIB
    Lajoie Parrot
    "Russian aviation using an electronic warfare system (EW) prevented the Turkish F-16 fighter from shooting down the Syrian fighter-bomber Su-22 in the sky over Idlib province. The incident occurred on March 4, and now it became known that Russian reconnaissance aircraft equipped with the Il-22PP Porubshchik jamming system helped to get away from the Turkish missile to the Syrian Air Force combat vehicle.
    Over the past few days, Syrian aircraft have been repeatedly attacked by Turkish forces. In particular, a combat training L-39 was recently shot down, before which the Turkish Air Force destroyed two Syrian Su-24 bombers. All three combat vehicles of the Arab Republic were hit after the Turkish Army launched Operation Spring Shield in Syrian Idlib on March 1. Earlier, several unsuccessful attempts were made to shoot down Russian bombers from man-made anti-aircraft missile systems (MANPADS) FIM-92 Stinger American-made.
    The situation is complicated by the fact that attacks, as military experts note, are carried out by Turkish F-16s with long-range AIM-120 air-to-air missiles (up to 105 km range), and the target is guided by a Boeing early warning and control reconnaissance aircraft 737AEW & C Turkish Air Force (equipped with electronic warfare, which includes the system of optoelectronic counteraction AN / AAQ-24 (V) "Nemesis"). It is important to note that Turkish fighters conducted operations on Idlib without entering Syrian airspace, thus avoiding getting into the affected area air defense systems from the Russian Khmeimim air base, since Moscow had previously warned Ankara that it did not guarantee the safety of Turkish aviation in the sky of the northwestern ATS region.
    However, a recent incident showed that in this case, the Russian Aerospace Forces and the Syrian Air Force have prepared countermeasures. The Syrian Su-22 last Wednesday, March 4, was able to escape from the AIM-120 rocket, launched by the Turkish F-16. According to military experts, such a maneuver was made possible thanks to the Russian integrated reconnaissance aircraft Tu-214R. "Syrian troops, with the support of the Russian air forces, responded to the insidious strategy of Turkey with deterrence tactics. Russia has significantly increased its EW forces in the region. First of all, due to the Tu-214 and Il-22PP, which were able to not only detect the approaching Turkish F-16s, but also warn Syrian fighters, "writes the Chinese news portal Sina.
    The Russian "Logger" also disrupted the tactical network Link 16, which made the Turkish Boeing 737AEW & C useless in monitoring the terrain and warning strike fighters. In fact, experts say that Moscow, having not entered into an open confrontation with Ankara, competently neutralized the Turkish Air Force in the region, which again realized that they could neither control the airspace over Idlib nor provide support to their ground forces and allied fighters.
    "The Russian air forces continue to provide air support to the Syrian government forces, thereby condemning the Turks and their allied gangs to failure. A vivid example of this is the restoration of Syrian army control over the city of Sarakib," notes Sina."
    [note that this may now be altered by the agreement reached in Moscow under the new ROE, which prevent the Turk turd from any hostile act against Russian assets, no matter where initiated. Maybe.] ... numbers of missiles doesn't matter if you have effective/electronic warfare capabilities that enable setting missile neutralization fields (fry all the electronics in the missile/plane/ship etc) ...which is what Russia has - quality beats quantity any day... Got that Uncle Sam and friends?

    [Mar 09, 2020] Idlib: Undeclared War

    Mar 09, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

    S , Mar 9 2020 9:55 utc | 87

    ANNA-News has released a new 44-minute documentary Idlib: Undeclared War .

    As usual, there are two versions available:

    1. Russian version in high quality (1080p);
    2. Russian version with English subtitles in low quality (720p, but feels like 480p).

    [Mar 06, 2020] The Swiss Propaganda Research Group (SPR) on syria war

    Mar 06, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

    Ashino Wolf Sushanti , Mar 6 2020 13:34 utc | 56

    The Swiss Propaganda Research Group (SPR)
    https://swprs.org/

    Understanding the geopolitical and psychological war against Syria.
    Published: March 2020; Languages: DE, EN, NO

    The Syria Deception -- a position paper by the Swiss Propaganda Research group
    https://swprs.org/the-syria-deception/
    or
    https://www.greanvillepost.com/2020/03/04/the-syria-deception-a-position

    -paper-by-the-swiss-propaganda-research-group/


    Contrary to the depiction in Western media, the Syria war is not a civil war. This is because the initiators, financiers and a large part of the anti-government fighters come from abroad.


    Nor is the Syria war a religious war, for Syria was and still is one of the most

    secular countries in the region, and the Syrian army, like its direct opponents,
    is itself mainly composed of Sunnis.

    But the Syria war is also not a pipeline war, as some critics suspected, because

    the allegedly competing gas pipeline projects never existed to begin with, as even the Syrian president confirmed.

    Instead, the Syria war is a war of conquest and regime change, which developed

    into a geopolitical proxy war between NATO states on one side – especially the

    US, Great Britain and France – and Russia, Iran, and China on the other side.

    [Mar 05, 2020] US to Give Turkey Ammunition for Syria's Idlib by Jason Ditz

    Notable quotes:
    "... It comes as US Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft visited northern Syria to meet with White Helmets, and to pledge US aid money to them for the humanitarian crisis there. ..."
    "... Officials are keen to make the humanitarian crisis wholly Syria's fault, and support for Turkey's war there as having humanitarian intentions, though specifically Turkey is looking to reinstall Islamist rebels into the area just so Syria won't have it. ..."
    Mar 03, 2020 | news.antiwar.com
    While Defense Secretary Mark Esper says the US has no interest in reentering the Syrian War to back Turkey, the White House says that the US is willing to provide military aid to Turkey for the fight , including a recently committed influx of ammunition.

    The State Department downplayed the comments, made by US Special Envoy James Jeffrey, saying that they weren't really new policy, but rather that he just stated the policy as it already existed.

    It comes as US Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft visited northern Syria to meet with White Helmets, and to pledge US aid money to them for the humanitarian crisis there.

    Officials are keen to make the humanitarian crisis wholly Syria's fault, and support for Turkey's war there as having humanitarian intentions, though specifically Turkey is looking to reinstall Islamist rebels into the area just so Syria won't have it.

    [Mar 04, 2020] The Syria Deception by Mark Taliano

    Mar 04, 2020 | www.globalresearch.ca

    What is the Syria war about?

    Contrary to the depiction in Western media, the Syria war is not a civil war. This is because the initiators, financiers and a large part of the anti-government fighters come from abroad .

    Nor is the Syria war a religious war, for Syria was and still is one of the most secular countries in the region, and the Syrian army – like its direct opponents – is itself mainly composed of Sunnis.

    But the Syria war is also not a pipeline war, as some critics suspected, because the allegedly competing gas pipeline projects never existed to begin with, as even the Syrian president confirmed .

    Instead, the Syria war is a war of conquest and regime change , which developed into a geopolitical proxy war between NATO states on one side – especially the US, Great Britain and France – and Russia, Iran, and China on the other side.

    In fact, already since the 1940s the US has repeatedly attempted to install a pro-Western government in Syria, such as in 1949, 1956, 1957, after 1980 and after 2003, but without success so far. This makes Syria – since the fall of Libya – the last Mediterranean country independent of NATO.

    Thus, in the course of the „Arab Spring" of 2011, NATO and its allies, especially Israel and the Gulf States, decided to try again. To this end, politically and economically motivated protests in Syria were used and were quickly escalated into an armed conflict.

    NATO's original strategy of 2011 was based on the Afghanistan war of the 1980s and aimed at conquering Syria mainly through positively portrayed Islamist militias (so-called „rebels"). This did not succeed, however, because the militias lacked an air force and anti-aircraft missiles.

    Hence from 2013 onwards, various poison gas attacks were staged in order to be able to deploy the NATO air force as part of a „humanitarian intervention" similar to the earlier wars against Libya and Yugoslavia. But this did not succeed either, mainly because Russia and China blocked a UN mandate.

    As of 2014, therefore, additional but negatively portrayed Islamist militias („terrorists") were covertly established in Syria and Iraq via NATO partners Turkey and Jordan, secretly supplied with weapons and vehicles and indirectly financed by oil exports via the Turkish Ceyhan terminal.

    ISIS: Supply and export routes through NATO partners Turkey and Jordan (ISW / Atlantic, 2015)

    Media-effective atrocity propaganda and mysterious „terrorist attacks" in Europe and the US then offered the opportunity to intervene in Syria using the NATO air force even without a UN mandate – ostensibly to fight the „terrorists", but in reality still to conquer Syria and topple its government.

    This plan failed again, however, as Russia also used the presence of the „terrorists" in autumn 2015 as a justification for direct military intervention and was now able to attack both the „terrorists" and parts of NATO's „rebels" while simultaneously securing the Syrian airspace to a large extent.

    By the end of 2016, the Syrian army thus succeeded in recapturing the city of Aleppo.

    From 2016 onwards, NATO therefore switched back to positively portrayed but now Kurdish-led militias (the SDF) in order to still have unassailable ground forces available and to conquer the Syrian territory held by the previously established „terrorists" before Syria and Russia could do so themselves.

    This led to a kind of „race" to conquer cities such as Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor in 2017 and to a temporary division of Syria along the Euphrates river into a (largely) Syrian-controlled West and a Kurdish (or rather American) controlled East (see map below).

    This move, however, brought NATO into conflict with its key member Turkey, because Turkey did not accept a Kurdish-controlled territory on its southern border. As a result, the NATO alliance became increasingly divided from 2018 onwards.

    Turkey now fought the Kurds in northern Syria and at the same time supported the remaining Islamists in the north-western province of Idlib against the Syrian army, while the Americans eventually withdrew to the eastern Syrian oil fields in order to retain a political bargaining chip.

    While Turkey supported Islamists in northern Syria, Israel more or less covertly supplied Islamists in southern Syria and at the same time fought Iranian and Lebanese (Hezbollah) units with air strikes, though without lasting success: the militias in southern Syria had to surrender in 2018.

    Ultimately, some NATO members tried to use a confrontation between the Turkish and Syrian armies in the province of Idlib as a last option to escalate the war. In addition to the situation in Idlib, the issues of the occupied territories in the north and east of Syria remain to be resolved, too.

    Russia, for its part, has tried to draw Turkey out of the NATO alliance and onto its own side as far as possible. Modern Turkey, however, is pursuing a rather far-reaching geopolitical strategy of its own, which is also increasingly clashing with Russian interests in the Middle East and Central Asia.

    As part of this geopolitical strategy, Turkey in 2015 and 2020 even used the so-called "weapon of mass migration" , which may serve to destabilize both Syria (so-called strategic depopulation ) and Europe, as well as to extort financial, political or military support from the European Union.

    Syria: The situation in February 2020

    What role did the Western media play in this war?

    The task of NATO-compliant media was to portray the war against Syria as a „civil war", the Islamist „rebels" positively, the Islamist „terrorists" and the Syrian government negatively, the alleged „poison gas attacks" credibly and the NATO intervention consequently as legitimate.

    An important tool for this media strategy were the numerous Western-sponsored „media centres" , „activist groups" , „Twitter girls" , „human rights observatories" and the like, which provided Western news agencies and media with the desired images and information.

    Since 2019, NATO-compliant media moreover had to conceal or discredit various leaks and whistleblowers that began to prove the covert Western arms deliveries to the Islamist „rebels" and „terrorists" as well as the staged „poison gas attacks" .

    But if even the „terrorists" in Syria were demonstrably established and equipped by NATO states, what role then did the mysterious „caliph of terror" Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi play? He possibly played a similar role as his direct predecessor , Omar al-Baghdadi – who was a phantom .

    Thanks to new communication technologies and on-site sources, the Syria war was also the first war about which independent media could report almost in real-time and thus for the first time significantly influenced the public perception of events – a potentially historic change.

    *

    Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

    All images in this article are from SPR


    Order Mark Taliano's Book "Voices from Syria" directly from Global Research.

    Mark Taliano combines years of research with on-the-ground observations to present an informed and well-documented analysis that refutes the mainstream media narratives on Syria.

    [Mar 04, 2020] The two OPCW whistleblowers respond to the OPCW's attacks on them

    Mar 04, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

    S , Mar 3 2020 8:18 utc | 108

    The two OPCW whistleblowers respond to the OPCW's attacks on them: Justice Denied - How Authority Tried to Ignore and then Bury Honest Dissent by Responsible Scientists ( Peter Hitchens's blog ).

    [Mar 03, 2020] In October 2018, Turkey and Russia signed an agreement in Astana to establish a de-confliction zone along the Damascus-Aleppo (M5) and Aleppo-Latakia (M4) highways. It was agreed that all belligerents would withdraw and render the roads accessible to civilian traffic and foreign jihadists leave Syria

    Mar 03, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

    DontBelieveEitherPr. , Mar 1 2020 21:02 utc | 31

    To those idiots here calling critque on Putins descion "anti-Putin troll": Please add Elijah J. Magnier and the Syrian and Iranian command and even Russian military commanders the same:

    https://ejmagnier.com/2020/03/01/erdogan-idlib-is-mine/

    A significant development took place in Syria on Friday. A Russian attack on a Turkish convoy in Idlib in north-west Syria killed 36 Turkish soldiers and officers. In retaliation, Turkey launched an unprecedented armed drone attack that lasted several hours and resulted in the killing and wounding of over 150 Syrian officers and soldiers and their allies of Hezbollah and the Fatimiy'oun. The Turkish drones destroyed dozens of tanks and rocket launchers deployed by the Syrian Army along the front line. Russia ceased air support for Syria and its allies demanded from Russia an explanation for the lack of coordination of its unilateral stoppage of air support, allowing the Turkish drones to kill so many Syrian Army and allied forces. What happened, why, and what will be the consequences?

    In October 2018, Turkey and Russia signed an agreement in Astana to establish a de-confliction zone along the Damascus-Aleppo (M5) and Aleppo-Latakia (M4) highways. It was agreed that all belligerents would withdraw and render the roads accessible to civilian traffic. Moreover, it was decided to end the presence of all jihadists, including the Tajik, Turkistan, Uighur and all other foreign fighters present in Idlib alongside Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (former ISIS, former al-Qaeda in Syria), Hurras al-Din (al-Qaeda in Syria), and Ahrar al-Sham with their foreign fighters and all "non-moderate" rebels. Last year, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham took full control of Idlib and its rural area under the watchful eyes of Turkey.

    Over a year later, the Turkish commitment to end the presence of jihadists and to open the M5 and M4 had not been respected. The Syrian Army and its allies, along with Russia, agreed to impose the Astana agreement by force. In a few weeks, the jihadists defence line crumbled under heavy Russian bombing. According to field commanders, the jihadists left fewer than 100 men in every village, who withdrew under the heavy bombing and preferred to leave rather than be surrounded by the Syrian Army and their fast advance.

    Turkey, according to the military commanders in Syria, saw the withdrawal of jihadists and decided to move thousands of troops into Syria to lead a counter-attack against the Syrian Army and its allies. This action made it impossible for Russia to distinguish between jihadists and the Turkish Army. Moreover, Turkey refrained from informing Russia – as it had agreed to according to the deconfliction agreement between Russia and Turkey – about the position of its regular forces. This was when Russia bombed a convoy killing 36 Turkish officers along with 17 jihadists who were present together with the Turkish Army.

    According to decision-maker sources in Syria, the Russian Air Force was not aware of the presence of the Turkish convoy when it was almost decimated in Idlib. The Turkish command has supplied Turkish vehicles and deployed thousands of Turkish soldiers with the jihadists. "It almost appears that Turkish President Recep Tayyeb Erdogan wanted this high number of Turkish casualties to stop the successful and rapid attack of the Syria army on Idlib front, and to curtail the fast withdrawal of jihadists."

    According to the sources, Russia was surprised by the number of Turkish soldiers killed and declared a unilateral ceasefire to calm down the front and de-escalate. Moscow ordered its military operational room in Syria to stop the military push and halt the attack on rural Idlib. Engaging in a war against Turkey is not part of President Putin's plans in Syria. Russia thought it the right time to quieten the front and allow Erdogan to lick his wounds.

    This Russian wishful thinking did not correspond to Turkish intentions and plans in Syria. Turkey moved its military command and control base on the borders with Syria to direct attacks against the Syrian Army and its allies. Turkish armed drones mounted an unprecedented organised drone attack lasting several hours, destroying the entire Syrian defence line on the M5 and M4 and undermining the effectiveness of the Syrian Army, equipped and trained by Russia. Furthermore, Iran had informed Turkey of the presence of its forces and allied forces along the Syrian Army, and asked Turkey to stop the attack to avoid casualties. Turkey, which maintains over 2000 officers and soldiers in 14 observation locations that are today under Syrian Army control, ignored the Iranian request and bombed Iranian HQ and that of its allies, including a military field hospital killing 30 (9 Hezbollah and 21 Fatimiyoun) and tens of the Syrian army officers. The Turkish attack wounded more than 150 soldiers of the Syrian Army and their allies.
    Turkish backed jihadists and foreign fighters preparing an attack against the Syrian Army position around Idlib.

    It was now clear that Russia, Iran and its allies had misunderstood President Erdogan: Turkey is in the battle of Idlib to defend what Erdogan considers Turkish territory (Idlib). That is the meaning of the Turkish message, based on the behaviour and deployment of the Turkish Army along with the jihadists. Damascus and its allies consider that Russia made a mistake in not preventing the Turkish drones from attacking Syrian-controlled territory in Idlib. Moreover, Russia made another grave mistake in not warning its allies that the political leadership in Moscow had declared a one-sided ceasefire, exposing partners in the battlefield and denying them air cover.

    This is not the first time Russia has stopped a battle in the middle of its course in Syria. It happened before at al-Ghouta, east Aleppo, el-Eiss, al-Badiya and Deir-ezzour. It was Russia who asked the Syrian Army and its allies to prepare for the M5 and M4 battle. Militarily speaking, such an attack cannot be halted unless a ceasefire is agreed to on all fronts by all parties. The unilateral ceasefire was a severe mistake because Russia neither anticipated the Turkish reaction nor did it allow the Syrian Army and its allies to equip themselves with air defence systems. Moreover, while Turkey was bombing the Syrian Army and its allies for several hours, it took many hours for Russian commanders to convince Moscow to intervene and ask Turkey to stop the bombing.

    The military command of Syria and its allies believe that Turkey could now feel encouraged to repeat such an attack by Russian hesitation to stand against it. Thus Syria, Iran and allies have decided to secure air coverage for their forces spread over Idlib and to make sure they have independent protection even if Russia were to promise – according to the source – to lead a future attack and recover total air control.

    It is understandable that Russia is not in Syria to trigger a war against NATO member Turkey. However, NATO is not in a position to support Turkey because Turkey is occupying Syrian soil. Nevertheless, the war in Syria has shown how little the rule of law is respected by the West. A possible US intervention is not excluded with the goal of spoiling Russia, Iran and Syria's victory and their plans to liberate the Levant from jihadists and to unite the country. Possible US intervention is a source of concern to Russia and Iran, particularly when President Erdogan keeps asking for US direct intervention, a 30 km no-fly-zone, a buffer zone along the borders with Syria, US Patriot interception missiles to confront the Russian air force, and a protection for internally displaced Syrian refugees (at the same time as he organises their departure to Europe).

    Moscow maintains good commercial and energy ties with Turkey, and President Putin is not in Syria to start a new war with Syria's enemies Turkey, the US and Israel, notwithstanding the importance of the Levant for Russia's air force (Hmeymeem airbase) and navy (Tartous naval base).

    The options are limited: either Russia agrees to support the preparation of the inevitable Syrian counter-attack in the coming days and before a Putin-Erdogan summit, or the situation in Idlib will hibernate and remain static until jihadists attack Aleppo again in the next 6-7 months.


    uncle tungsten , Mar 1 2020 21:48 utc | 36

    DontBelieveEitherPr. #31
    The options are limited: either Russia agrees to support the preparation of the inevitable Syrian counter-attack in the coming days and before a Putin-Erdogan summit, or the situation in Idlib will hibernate and remain static until jihadists attack Aleppo again in the next 6-7 months.

    Magnier may be correct but one dimensional. Whatever, but methinks he ignores the Iranian position in this battle. The confidence of all the Middle Eastern allies including Syia must be seriously shaken at the Russian mistake (if there was one). That will generate a new battle command structure and Russia might have to work much harder and smarter to maintain its friends.

    There may well be shared responsibility in that neither Syria or Russian forces thought Erdoghan would use attack drones instead of reconnaissance drones. I am gobsmacked that any one would make that mistake when dealing with Erdoghan. He is a repeat offender.

    Zico , Mar 1 2020 21:53 utc | 38
    Russia's policy of pleasing everyone will end in a disaster. They're trying to please Erdogan, Assad and Bibi all at the same time on different levels.

    My hunch is that Russia sees Iran and Inranian influenc in Syria as a potential problem for them in future and wants them out. Hence the double game being played in partnership with Erdogan and Bibi. Much like what happened in Aleppo(Russia stopped providing air support) before it was re-captured by Syrian army and Iranian backed fighters, Russia will be sidelined in Idlib and the resistance axis will have to go it alone.

    They "helped" get rid of Suleimani, who they saw as an obstacle to their plans in Syria.. Funny enough, it was Suleimani who brought the Russians into the war. Before that, they're hanging out in their bases and issueing useless statements about dialogue with fsa etc etc.

    Ghost Ship , Mar 2 2020 0:05 utc | 45
    I wonder if the unilateral ceasefire by Russia was intended to allow Erdogan the chance to back off from making further mistakes in Syria. Now that he's rejected that opportunity and the Turkey/jihadists appear to have launched a drone attack on Hmymim air base, I suspect the ceasefire just ended. Now Putin has political cover for the onslaught that's going to hit the jihadists.
    uncle tungsten , Mar 2 2020 1:27 utc | 55
    Syrian counter force is assembling, Russia is participating in air cover.

    Y.N.M.S. is not a bad site for immediate info here but he does sleep at night Syria time. Solidly backs Assad, the SAA and allied forces.

    uncle tungsten , Mar 2 2020 3:06 utc | 66
    @dennis #20
    Erdogan isn't doing anything, anyone who understands Turkey's historical behavior would be shocked by.

    Turkey wants to make a place for itself - it, like Iran, shares a general religion with the Middle East but is both ethnically and religiously different.

    Unlike Iran or Saudi Arabia, Turkey doesn't have oil to speak of. But it does have a prime geopolitical position between the Middle East, Central Asia, Russia and Europe.

    Turkey has historically played the fan dancer between whatever factions seek to extend/maintain power across these borderland regions.

    Let's not forget, Turkey shot down a Russian plane not so long ago. While Turkey craves US and EU money (and still hosts Incirlik), at the same time, it has other opportunities including Qatari and Israeli gas; Russian gas cartel/Turk Stream, pipelines for gas and oil from Central Asia. On top of this, Turkey has a severe Kurd problem (large minority that is out-reproducing the natives) and an ambiguous religious position (doesn't possess a holy site for either Shi'a or Sunni).

    Bad luck for Syrian terrorists fighting for Erdoghan and GNA forces in Libya
    Lindsey Snell @LindseySnell
    ·
    5h
    In accordance with the MoU signed in Damascus, the first group of captured Syrian mercenaries will be deported soon. When I mentioned this development to a Hamza Division fighter today, he was dumbfounded. This possibility never occurred to them, and it's terrifying.
    Quote Tweet
    M.LNA
    @LNA2019M
    · 11h
    Parts of the agreement signed with the Syrian government are full Intelligence cooperation in the fields of military and counter #Terrorism and transferring all captured Syrian mercenary #terrorists to the Syrian authorities after being questioned in #libya
    #HoR #LNA #Syria

    There goes Erdoghan's strategy to shift the jihadis away from Turkey via Libya. He had better hope the Yemen channel remains open. It would be nice to see him stew in his own juice.

    c1ue , Mar 2 2020 2:38 utc | 60

    No one should be surprised by Turkey switching positioning with the breezes.

    [Mar 02, 2020] In October 2018, Turkey and Russia signed an agreement in Astana to establish a de-confliction zone along the Damascus-Aleppo (M5) and Aleppo-Latakia (M4) highways. It was agreed that all belligerents would withdraw and render the roads accessible to civilian traffic and foreign jihadists leave Syria

    Mar 02, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

    DontBelieveEitherPr. , Mar 1 2020 21:02 utc | 31

    To those idiots here calling critque on Putins descion "anti-Putin troll": Please add Elijah J. Magnier and the Syrian and Iranian command and even Russian military commanders the same:

    https://ejmagnier.com/2020/03/01/erdogan-idlib-is-mine/

    A significant development took place in Syria on Friday. A Russian attack on a Turkish convoy in Idlib in north-west Syria killed 36 Turkish soldiers and officers. In retaliation, Turkey launched an unprecedented armed drone attack that lasted several hours and resulted in the killing and wounding of over 150 Syrian officers and soldiers and their allies of Hezbollah and the Fatimiy'oun. The Turkish drones destroyed dozens of tanks and rocket launchers deployed by the Syrian Army along the front line. Russia ceased air support for Syria and its allies demanded from Russia an explanation for the lack of coordination of its unilateral stoppage of air support, allowing the Turkish drones to kill so many Syrian Army and allied forces. What happened, why, and what will be the consequences?

    In October 2018, Turkey and Russia signed an agreement in Astana to establish a de-confliction zone along the Damascus-Aleppo (M5) and Aleppo-Latakia (M4) highways. It was agreed that all belligerents would withdraw and render the roads accessible to civilian traffic. Moreover, it was decided to end the presence of all jihadists, including the Tajik, Turkistan, Uighur and all other foreign fighters present in Idlib alongside Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (former ISIS, former al-Qaeda in Syria), Hurras al-Din (al-Qaeda in Syria), and Ahrar al-Sham with their foreign fighters and all "non-moderate" rebels. Last year, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham took full control of Idlib and its rural area under the watchful eyes of Turkey.

    Over a year later, the Turkish commitment to end the presence of jihadists and to open the M5 and M4 had not been respected. The Syrian Army and its allies, along with Russia, agreed to impose the Astana agreement by force. In a few weeks, the jihadists defence line crumbled under heavy Russian bombing. According to field commanders, the jihadists left fewer than 100 men in every village, who withdrew under the heavy bombing and preferred to leave rather than be surrounded by the Syrian Army and their fast advance.

    Turkey, according to the military commanders in Syria, saw the withdrawal of jihadists and decided to move thousands of troops into Syria to lead a counter-attack against the Syrian Army and its allies. This action made it impossible for Russia to distinguish between jihadists and the Turkish Army. Moreover, Turkey refrained from informing Russia – as it had agreed to according to the deconfliction agreement between Russia and Turkey – about the position of its regular forces. This was when Russia bombed a convoy killing 36 Turkish officers along with 17 jihadists who were present together with the Turkish Army.

    According to decision-maker sources in Syria, the Russian Air Force was not aware of the presence of the Turkish convoy when it was almost decimated in Idlib. The Turkish command has supplied Turkish vehicles and deployed thousands of Turkish soldiers with the jihadists. "It almost appears that Turkish President Recep Tayyeb Erdogan wanted this high number of Turkish casualties to stop the successful and rapid attack of the Syria army on Idlib front, and to curtail the fast withdrawal of jihadists."

    According to the sources, Russia was surprised by the number of Turkish soldiers killed and declared a unilateral ceasefire to calm down the front and de-escalate. Moscow ordered its military operational room in Syria to stop the military push and halt the attack on rural Idlib. Engaging in a war against Turkey is not part of President Putin's plans in Syria. Russia thought it the right time to quieten the front and allow Erdogan to lick his wounds.

    This Russian wishful thinking did not correspond to Turkish intentions and plans in Syria. Turkey moved its military command and control base on the borders with Syria to direct attacks against the Syrian Army and its allies. Turkish armed drones mounted an unprecedented organised drone attack lasting several hours, destroying the entire Syrian defence line on the M5 and M4 and undermining the effectiveness of the Syrian Army, equipped and trained by Russia. Furthermore, Iran had informed Turkey of the presence of its forces and allied forces along the Syrian Army, and asked Turkey to stop the attack to avoid casualties. Turkey, which maintains over 2000 officers and soldiers in 14 observation locations that are today under Syrian Army control, ignored the Iranian request and bombed Iranian HQ and that of its allies, including a military field hospital killing 30 (9 Hezbollah and 21 Fatimiyoun) and tens of the Syrian army officers. The Turkish attack wounded more than 150 soldiers of the Syrian Army and their allies.
    Turkish backed jihadists and foreign fighters preparing an attack against the Syrian Army position around Idlib.

    It was now clear that Russia, Iran and its allies had misunderstood President Erdogan: Turkey is in the battle of Idlib to defend what Erdogan considers Turkish territory (Idlib). That is the meaning of the Turkish message, based on the behaviour and deployment of the Turkish Army along with the jihadists. Damascus and its allies consider that Russia made a mistake in not preventing the Turkish drones from attacking Syrian-controlled territory in Idlib. Moreover, Russia made another grave mistake in not warning its allies that the political leadership in Moscow had declared a one-sided ceasefire, exposing partners in the battlefield and denying them air cover.

    This is not the first time Russia has stopped a battle in the middle of its course in Syria. It happened before at al-Ghouta, east Aleppo, el-Eiss, al-Badiya and Deir-ezzour. It was Russia who asked the Syrian Army and its allies to prepare for the M5 and M4 battle. Militarily speaking, such an attack cannot be halted unless a ceasefire is agreed to on all fronts by all parties. The unilateral ceasefire was a severe mistake because Russia neither anticipated the Turkish reaction nor did it allow the Syrian Army and its allies to equip themselves with air defence systems. Moreover, while Turkey was bombing the Syrian Army and its allies for several hours, it took many hours for Russian commanders to convince Moscow to intervene and ask Turkey to stop the bombing.

    The military command of Syria and its allies believe that Turkey could now feel encouraged to repeat such an attack by Russian hesitation to stand against it. Thus Syria, Iran and allies have decided to secure air coverage for their forces spread over Idlib and to make sure they have independent protection even if Russia were to promise – according to the source – to lead a future attack and recover total air control.

    It is understandable that Russia is not in Syria to trigger a war against NATO member Turkey. However, NATO is not in a position to support Turkey because Turkey is occupying Syrian soil. Nevertheless, the war in Syria has shown how little the rule of law is respected by the West. A possible US intervention is not excluded with the goal of spoiling Russia, Iran and Syria's victory and their plans to liberate the Levant from jihadists and to unite the country. Possible US intervention is a source of concern to Russia and Iran, particularly when President Erdogan keeps asking for US direct intervention, a 30 km no-fly-zone, a buffer zone along the borders with Syria, US Patriot interception missiles to confront the Russian air force, and a protection for internally displaced Syrian refugees (at the same time as he organises their departure to Europe).

    Moscow maintains good commercial and energy ties with Turkey, and President Putin is not in Syria to start a new war with Syria's enemies Turkey, the US and Israel, notwithstanding the importance of the Levant for Russia's air force (Hmeymeem airbase) and navy (Tartous naval base).

    The options are limited: either Russia agrees to support the preparation of the inevitable Syrian counter-attack in the coming days and before a Putin-Erdogan summit, or the situation in Idlib will hibernate and remain static until jihadists attack Aleppo again in the next 6-7 months.

    [Mar 01, 2020] That the whistleblower works for the CIA is a matter of public record, not some conspiracy theory

    Notable quotes:
    "... The Democrats did not want Adam Schiff to have to answer questions about the whistleblower, and they don't want the whistleblower's identity to be officially revealed. Such things do not contribute to the greatest cause of our time, the destruction of Donald Trump. ..."
    "... The whole point of having the House impeachment investigation proceed from the House Intelligence Committee, headed by Adam Schiff, was to send the signal that Trump is unacceptable to the nefarious powers that make up the Deep State, especially the intelligence agencies, especially the CIA. ..."
    "... What a world, then, when OP Democrats are cheering on John Bolton, hoping again for a savior to their sacred resistance cause, and meanwhile they aren't too excited about Rand Paul's intervention. For sure, it is a sign that a "resistance" isn't real when it needs a savior; it's not as if the French Resistance sat back waiting for Gen. de Gaulle. In any case, in the procession of horrible reactionary figures that Democrats have embraced, Bolton is probably the worst, and that's saying quite a lot. ..."
    "... People are even talking about "getting used to accepting the help of the CIA with the impeachment," and the like. (I realize I'm being repetitious here, but this stuff blows my mind, it is so disturbing.) At least they are recognizing the reality -- at least partially; that's something. But then what they do with this recognition is something that requires epic levels of TDS -- and, somehow, a great deal of the Left is going down this path. ..."
    "... The USA Deep State is a Five Eyes partner and as such Trump must be given the proverbial boot for being an uneducated boor lacking political gravitas & business gravitas with his narcissistic Smoot-Hawley II 2019 trade wars. Screw the confidence man-in-chief. He is a liability for the USA and global business. Trump is not an asset. ..."
    "... Almost as a by product of his 2016 victory, Trump showed up the MSM hacks for what they were, lying, partisan shills utterly lacking in any integrity and credibility. The same applies to the intrigues and corruption of the Dirty Cops and Spookocracy. They had to come out from behind the curtain and reveal themselves as the dirty, lying, seditious, treasonous, rabid criminal scum they are. The true nature of the State standing in the spotlight for all the world to see. This cannot be undone. ..."
    Mar 01, 2020 | off-guardian.org

    First , the whistleblower was ruled out as a possible witness -- this was essentially done behind the scenes, and in reality can be called a Deep State operation, though one exposed to some extent by Rand Paul. This has nothing to do with protecting the whistleblower or upholding the whistleblower statute, but instead with the fact that the whistleblower was a CIA plant in the White House.

    That the whistleblower works for the CIA is a matter of public record, not some conspiracy theory. Furthermore, for some time before the impeachment proceedings began, the whistleblower had been coordinating his efforts to undermine Trump with the head of the House Intelligence Committee, who happens to be Adam Schiff. It is possible that the connections with Schiff go even further or deeper. Obviously the Democrats do not want these things exposed.

    ... ... ...

    In this regard, there was a very special moment on January 29, when Chief Justice John Roberts refused to allow the reading of a question from Sen. Rand Paul that identified the alleged whistleblower. Paul then held a press conference in which he read his question.

    The question was directed at Adam Schiff, who claims not to have communicated with the whistleblower, despite much evidence to the contrary. (Further details can be read at here .) A propos of what I was just saying, Paul is described in the Politico article as "a longtime antagonist of Republican leaders." Excellent, good on you, Rand Paul.

    Whether this was a case of unintended consequences or not, one could say that this episode fed into the case against calling witnesses -- certainly the Democrats should not have been allowed to call witnesses if the Republicans could not call the whistleblower. But clearly this point is completely lost on those working in terms of the moving line of bullshit.

    One would think that Democrats would be happy with a Republican Senator who antagonizes leaders of his own party, but of course Rand Paul's effort only led to further "outrage" on the part of Democratic leaders in the House and Senate.

    The Democrats did not want Adam Schiff to have to answer questions about the whistleblower, and they don't want the whistleblower's identity to be officially revealed. Such things do not contribute to the greatest cause of our time, the destruction of Donald Trump.

    However, you see, there is a complementary purpose at work here, too. The whole point of having the House impeachment investigation proceed from the House Intelligence Committee, headed by Adam Schiff, was to send the signal that Trump is unacceptable to the nefarious powers that make up the Deep State, especially the intelligence agencies, especially the CIA.

    The only way these machinations can be combatted is to pull the curtain back further -- but the Republicans do not want this any more than the Democrats do, with a few possible exceptions such as Rand Paul. (As the Politico article states, Paul was chastised publicly by McConnell for submitting his question in the first place, and for criticizing Roberts in the press conference.)

    What a world, then, when OP Democrats are cheering on John Bolton, hoping again for a savior to their sacred resistance cause, and meanwhile they aren't too excited about Rand Paul's intervention. For sure, it is a sign that a "resistance" isn't real when it needs a savior; it's not as if the French Resistance sat back waiting for Gen. de Gaulle. In any case, in the procession of horrible reactionary figures that Democrats have embraced, Bolton is probably the worst, and that's saying quite a lot.

    ... ... ...

    Now we are at a moment when "the Left" is recognizing the role that the CIA and the rest of the "intelligence community" is played in the impeachment nonsense. This "Left" was already on board for the "impeachment process" itself, perhaps at moments with caveats about "not leaving everything up to the Democrats," "not just relying on the Democrats," but still accepting their assigned role as cheerleaders and self-important internet commentators. (And, sure, maybe that's all I am, too -- but the inability to distinguish form from content is one of the main problems of the existing Left.)

    Now, though, people on the Left are trying to get comfortable with, and trying to explain to themselves how they can get comfortable with, the obvious role of the "intelligence community" (with, in my view, the CIA in the leading role, but of course I'm not privy to the inner workings of this scene) in the impeachment process and other efforts to take down Trump's presidency.

    People are even talking about "getting used to accepting the help of the CIA with the impeachment," and the like. (I realize I'm being repetitious here, but this stuff blows my mind, it is so disturbing.) At least they are recognizing the reality -- at least partially; that's something. But then what they do with this recognition is something that requires epic levels of TDS -- and, somehow, a great deal of the Left is going down this path.

    They might think about the "help" that the CIA gave to the military in Bolivia to remove Evo Morales from office. They might think about the picture of Donald Trump that they find necessary to paint to justify what they are willing to swallow to remove him from office. They might think about the fact that ordinary Democrats are fine with this role for the CIA, and that Adam Schiff and others routinely offer the criticism/condemnation of Donald Trump that he doesn't accept the findings of the CIA or the rest of the intelligence agencies at face value.

    The moment for the Left, what calls itself and thinks of itself as that, to break with this lunacy has passed some time ago, but let us take this moment, of "accepting the help of the CIA, because Trump," as truly marking a point of no return.

    MASTER OF UNIVE ,

    The USA Deep State is a Five Eyes partner and as such Trump must be given the proverbial boot for being an uneducated boor lacking political gravitas & business gravitas with his narcissistic Smoot-Hawley II 2019 trade wars. Screw the confidence man-in-chief. He is a liability for the USA and global business. Trump is not an asset.

    paul ,

    Trump, Sanders and Corbyn were all in their own way agents of creative destruction. Trump tapped into the popular discontent of millions of Americans who realised that the system no longer even pretended to work in their interests, and were not prepared to be diverted down the Identity Politics Rabbit Hole.

    The Deep State was outraged that he had disrupted their programme by stealing Clinton's seat in the game of Musical Chairs. Being the most corrupt, dishonest and mendacious political candidate in all US history (despite some pretty stiff opposition) was supposed to be outweighed by her having a vagina. The Deplorables failed to sign up for the programme.

    Almost as a by product of his 2016 victory, Trump showed up the MSM hacks for what they were, lying, partisan shills utterly lacking in any integrity and credibility. The same applies to the intrigues and corruption of the Dirty Cops and Spookocracy. They had to come out from behind the curtain and reveal themselves as the dirty, lying, seditious, treasonous, rabid criminal scum they are. The true nature of the State standing in the spotlight for all the world to see. This cannot be undone.

    For all his pandering to Adelson and the Zionist Mafia, for all his Gives to Netanyahu, Trump has failed to deliver on the Big Ticket Items. Syria was supposed to have been invaded by now, with Hillary cackling demonically over Assad's death as she did over Gaddafi, and rapidly moving on to the main event with Iran. They will not forgive him for this.

    They realise they are under severe time pressure. It took them a century to gain their stranglehold over America, and this is a wasting asset. America is in terminal decline, and may soon be unable to fulfil its ordained role as dumb goy muscle serving Zionist interests. And the parasite will find it difficult to find a replacement host.

    George Mc ,

    Haven't you just agreed with him here?

    He thinks the left died in the 1960s, over a half century ago. It's pretty simple to identify a leftist: anti-imperialist/ anti-capitalist. The Democrats are imperialists. People who vote for the Democrats and Republicans are imperialists. This article is a confused mess, that's my whole point;)

    If the Democrats and Republicans (and those who vote for them) are imperialists (which they are) then the left are indeed dead – at least as far as political representation goes.

    Koba ,

    He's sent more troops to Iraq and Afghanistan he staged several coups in Latin America and wanted to take out the dprk and thier nukes and wants to bomb Iran! Winding down?!

    sharon marlowe ,

    First, an attempted assassination-by-drone on President Maduro of Venezuela happened. Then Trump dropped the largest conventional bomb on Afghanistan, with a mile-wide radius. Then Trump named Juan Guido as the new President of Venezuela in an overt coup. Then he bombed Syria over a fake chemical weapons claim. He bombed it before even an investigation was launched. Then the Trump regime orchestrated a military coup in Bolivia. Then he claimed that he was pulling out of Syria, but instead sent U.S. troops to take over Syrian oil fields. trump then assassinated Gen. Solemeni. Then he claimed that he will leave Iraq at the request of the Iraqi government, the Iraqi government asked the U.S. to leave, and Trump rejected the request. The Trump regime has tried orchestrating a coup in Iran, and a coup in Hong Kong. He expelled Russian diplomats en masse for the Skripal incident in England, before an investigation. He has sanctioned Russia, Iran, North Korea, China, and Venezuela. He has bombed Yemen, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Those are the things I'm aware of, but what else Trump has done in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and South America you can research if you wish. And now, the claim of leaving Afghanistan is as ridiculous as when he claimed to be leaving Syria and Iraq.

    Dungroanin ,

    Yeah yeah and 'he' gave Maduro 7 days to let their kid takeover in Venezuela! And built a wall. And got rid of obamacare and started a nuke war with Rocketman and and and ...

    sharon marlowe ,

    There were at least nine people killed when Trump bombed Douma.

    Only a psychopath would kill people because one of its spy drones was shot down. You don't get points for considering killing people for it and then changing your mind.

    People should get over Hillary and pay attention to what Trump has been doing. Why even mention what Hillary would have done in Syria, then proceed to be an apologist for what Trump has done around the world in just three years? Trump has been quite a prolific imperialist in such a short time. A second term could well put him above Bush and Obama as the 21st century's most horrible leaders on earth.

    Dungroanin ,

    ...If you think that the potus is the omnipotent ruler of everything he certainly seems to be having some problems with his minions in the CIA, NSA, FBI..State Dept etc.

    Savorywill ,

    Yes, what you say is right. However, he did warn both the Syrian and Russian military of the attack in the first instance, so no casualties, and in the second attack, he announced that the missiles had been launched before they hit the target, again resulting in no casualties. When the US drone was shot down by an Iranian missile, he considered retaliation. But, when advised of likely casualties, he called it off saying that human lives are more valuable than the cost of the drone. Yes, he did authorize the assassination of the Iranian general, and that was very bad. His claims that the general had organized the placement of roadside bombs that had killed US soldiers rings rather hollow, considering those shouldn't have been in Iraq in the first place.

    I am definitely not stating that he is perfect and doesn't do objectionable things. And he has authorized US forces to control the oil wells, which is against international law, but at least US soldiers are not actively engaged in fighting the Syrian government, something Hillary set in motion. However, the military does comprise a huge percentage of the US economy and there have to be reasons, and enemies, to justify its existence, so his situation as president must be very difficult, not a job I would want, that is for sure.

    The potus is best described (by Assad actually) as a CEO of a board of directors appointed by the shareholders who collectively determine their OWN interests.

    Your gaslighting ain't succeeding round here – Regime! So desperate, so so sad 🤣

    [Feb 29, 2020] Rand Paul says he will oppose John Bolton and Rudy Giuliani for Secretary of State

    Notable quotes:
    "... "Bolton is a longtime member of the failed Washington elite that Trump vowed to oppose, hell-bent on repeating virtually every foreign policy mistake the U.S. has made in the last 15 years - particularly those Trump promised to avoid as president," ..."
    "... "It's important that someone who was an unrepentant advocate for the Iraq War, who didn't learn the lessons of the Iraq War, shouldn't be the secretary of state for a president who says Iraq was ..."
    Nov 20, 2016 | rare.us

    Senator Rand Paul said Tuesday in an op-ed for Rare that he would oppose President-elect Donald Trump's rumored selection of former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton as Secretary of State.

    "Bolton is a longtime member of the failed Washington elite that Trump vowed to oppose, hell-bent on repeating virtually every foreign policy mistake the U.S. has made in the last 15 years - particularly those Trump promised to avoid as president,"

    Paul wrote citing U.S. interventions in Iraq and Libya that Trump has criticized but that Bolton strongly advocated.

    Reports since have indicated that former New York City mayor and loyal Trump ally, Rudy Giuliani is being considered for the post.

    The Washington Post's David Weigel reports , "Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), a newly reelected member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said this morning that he was inclined to oppose either former U.N. ambassador John Bolton or former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani if they were nominated for secretary of state."

    "It's important that someone who was an unrepentant advocate for the Iraq War, who didn't learn the lessons of the Iraq War, shouldn't be the secretary of state for a president who says Iraq was a big lesson," Paul told the Post. "Trump said that a thousand times. It would be a huge mistake for him to give over his foreign policy to someone who [supported the war]. I mean, you could not find more unrepentant advocates of regime change."

    Related: Rand Paul: Will Donald Trump betray voters by hiring John Bolton?

    [Feb 28, 2020] Media s Deafening Silence On Latest WikiLeaks Drops Is Its Own Scandal by Caitlin Johnstone

    Highly recommended!
    Notable quotes:
    "... Yet the mass media, freakishly, has had absolutely nothing to say about this extremely newsworthy story. ..."
    "... The mass media's stone-dead silence on the OPCW scandal is becoming its own scandal, of equal or perhaps even greater significance than the OPCW scandal itself. It opens up a whole litany of questions which have tremendous importance for every citizen of the western world; questions like, how are people supposed to participate in democracy if all the outlets they normally turn to to make informed voting decisions adamantly refuse to tell them about the existence of massive news stories like the OPCW scandal? How are people meant to address such conspiracies of silence when there is no mechanism in place to hold the entire mass media to account for its complicity in it? And by what mechanism are all these outlets unifying in that conspiracy of silence? ..."
    "... This is the FOURTH leak showing how the OPCW fabricated a report on a supposed Syrian 'chemical' attack," tweeted journalist Ben Norton. "And mainstream Western corporate media outlets are still silent, showing how authoritarian these 'democracies' are and how tightly they control info." "Media silence on this story is its own scandal," "Media silence on this story is its own scandal," "Media silence on this story is its own scandal," tweeted journalist Aaron Maté. ..."
    Dec 28, 2019 | caitlinjohnstone.com

    This is getting really, really, really weird. WikiLeaks has WikiLeaks has published yet another set of leaked internal documents from within the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) adding even more material to the mountain of evidence that we've been lied to about an alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma, Syria last year which resulted in airstrikes upon that nation from the US, UK and France.

    ... ... ...

    [Feb 28, 2020] The jihadis have managed to retake Saraqib and cut the M5 afters days of relentless and costly attacks

    Feb 28, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

    This back and forth on the battlefield is to be expected, especially with the direct support provided by Turkey to the jihadis. However something changed today. Russian and Syrian air attacks have increased with devastating results. Wild reports of a strike on a Turkish convoy and/or positions with up to a hundred dead Turkish soldiers are flashing across social media.

    Up to this point Turkish casualties have been a few here and a few there every day. This is a direct threat to Erdogan's authority. Twitter has been shut down within Turkey to hide the news.

    Turkish-Russian talks to redefine the Idlib deescalation zone have ended in failure. Erdogan has told all jihadis to be prepared to go for broke and has declared all Syria to be a target of the Grand Sultan's wrath.

    Putin has told Erdogan that his presence on any Syrian territory is temporary. All Syria will be ruled from Damascus.


    Christian J Chuba , 28 February 2020 at 08:18 AM

    I hope that the SAA withdrawal is in line with what they learned about conserving strength. For this style of fighting I bet the SAA is better at it than the Turks.

    CNN

    CNN was practically in tears over the 'Syrian regime's attack' that killed 33 Turkish soldiers, that both of them are in Syria is an unimportant detail. They then went on a long segue over the Russians systematically bombing civilian targets in Idlib and showed footage of a family living in a cave where the mothers have to keep watch at night to prevent scorpions and snakes from attacking their children. The correspondent was in Istanbul so she was relying on the usual suspects.

    I don't know if the footage was fake but according to our MSM militaries other than Russia, Iran, and Syria have mastered the art of non-disruptive advances to the degree that the U.S. likes them.

    turcopolier , 28 February 2020 at 09:00 AM
    All

    IMO there is little chance that Trump will establish a no-fly zone in Idlib. Milley will be making it clear to him that to do so is commit the US to fighting Russia. A declaration of a no-fly zone, like a naval blockade, is an act of war which has to be enforced to have any meaning. Russia is still a nuclear power. Trump has a lot on his plate nd will not add something like this to his burden of risk. IMO Erdogan will back away after he loses some more people. As I had previously written the lack of actual combat experience and repeated political purges of the Turkish officer corps have made the TSK an easy mark for a small but very experienced SAA.

    JJackson , 28 February 2020 at 09:46 AM
    White Helmets appeal for help from world powers in Syria's Idlib
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/world-middle-east-51642406/white-helmets-appeal-for-help-from-world-powers-in-syria-s-idlib

    The White helmets are hurting and begging for help, with a little assistance from the BBC.

    Vegetius , 28 February 2020 at 09:50 AM
    If NATO is too feeble to defend Europe's borders from an Islamic invasion, Putin should to step in.

    Russia should simply assume Greece's debt and pay it over time with higher gas rates charged to western Europe. Then fly in the necessary men an material. Maybe call for Orthodox volunteers from Serbia and the Donbass and call it a coalition.

    How many battalions would it take to close Greece's land border with Turkey?

    Leith , 28 February 2020 at 10:26 AM
    Erdodog knows he will be toast if he retaliates on Russians. So he is now taking out his wrath on the Kurds and their SDF allies near Tel Rifaat in the northern Aleppo Shabha Canton. The Turks are heavily bombing (and shelling) there at Maranaz, Milkiyah, Alaqsah, Samouqa, Sheikh 'Isa, al Shabah Dam, Hassiya, Dayr Jamal, Ziarah, Kafr Naya, Sheikh Hilal, and Umm Hosh. Plus south of there they are bombing the Shiite cities of Nubl and Zahraa.

    I saw a single report from the STEP news agency that Russian and US Chiefs of Staff were meeting. But have not seen any verification of that in US news or in RT.

    Andrei Martyanov , 28 February 2020 at 12:03 PM
    If NATO is too feeble to defend Europe's borders from an Islamic invasion, Putin should to step in.

    Why? It is Europe's business and responsibility. No foot of Russian servicemen should step on European soil ever. Europe should enjoy its policies to the fullest--it is not Russia's business. Europe got exactly what it wanted and, frankly, deserved. In fact, the calls for Iron Curtain with Europe are stronger and stronger in Russia and I am not embellishing or exaggerating. Never in my life did I think that overwhelming majority of Russians would look at Europe with disdain and contempt, but this is precisely a mood in Russia. It also explains why increasing number of West Europeans (not least of them Germans) choose to immigrate to Russia.

    Sam Iam , 28 February 2020 at 12:36 PM
    Andrei,

    Like it or not, Russia IS a European power, and by definition impossible to not step its foot in European affairs. If you really believe that, than all military to military exchanges with Belarus should also cease.

    Saying that, I do agree with you that Russia should not assume more risk by getting in the way of a EU collapse. Only after Greece comes to its senses and realizes that the EU (bureaucracy) does not care about its plight as the Sultan directs more migrants its way, should Greece seek Russian assistance, at which point Putin should think long and hard whether its worth it on condition of Greece also leaving the hapless NATO organization.

    Just my two cents.

    Andrei Martyanov , 28 February 2020 at 01:38 PM
    Like it or not, Russia IS a European power, and by definition impossible to not step its foot in European affairs. If you really believe that, than all military to military exchanges with Belarus should also cease.

    Russia has zero obligations to Europe other than economic contractual obligations and referendum on April 22 (funny, B-day of Lenin, coincidence?)for amendments to Constitution WILL solidify primacy of Russian Law over any international obligations. Those amendments are accepted having primarily EU in mind. Belarus is a completely different case, since it is the same, in fact, even stronger connection to Russia than that of Canada's to US. But even here, Russia stopped being charitable (finally) for the benefit of Lukashenko's cottage industry and it is conceivable, albeit not as probable as was the case with Ukraine, that some sort of "color revolution" is possible there. Culturally, Russia has increasingly less and less in common with modern Europe. Here is an exhibit A.

    https://www.rt.com/op-ed/481934-greta-thunberg-bristol-coronavirus/

    One doesn't talk with this people, one builds fortifications and cordon sanitaire. This is the future of Europe. Or, if any resistance arises--other extremum. Either way--it is not good.

    [Feb 25, 2020] It will be hard for Russia to bring anything in if Turkey shuts down the Bosphorus and the US shuts down the eastern skies of Syria I think.

    Feb 25, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

    paul , Feb 23 2020 17:55 utc | 31

    I'm glad to have been wrong - so far - it seems - about Russia backing off when the Turkish forces and proxies went on the attack. It seems that after the initial Turkish advance, Russia entered the battle and drove the attackers back. Erdogan seems to have gotten the message that Russia wasn't going to abandon Syria to his tenderness. Turkey seems to be sending mixed messages now; continuing bluster and talk of talking. Turkey also seems to be bringing in a lot more weaponry, as if preparing to escalate. Is Russia ready for this? It will be hard for Russia to bring anything in if Turkey shuts down the Bosphorus and the US shuts down the eastern skies of Syria I think.

    Blue Dotterel , Feb 23 2020 18:06 utc | 33

    Paul, if Turkey shuts down the straits, it will be tantamount to a declaration of war. Would Erdoğan want that? Would NATO want that? It would quickly lead to WWIII.

    [Feb 25, 2020] How John Bolton and a Phony Script Brought Us to the Brink of War by Scott Ritter

    Bolton is a typical "Full Spectrum Dominance" hawk, a breed of chickenhawks that recently proliferated in Washinton corridors of power and which are fed by MIC.
    Notable quotes:
    "... the way the IRGC came to be designated as an FTO is itself predicated on a lie. ..."
    "... The person responsible for this lie is President Trump's former national security adviser John Bolton, who while in that position oversaw National Security Council (NSC) interagency policy coordination meetings at the White House for the purpose of formulating a unified government position on Iran. Bolton had stacked the NSC staff with hardliners who were pushing for a strong stance. But representatives from the Department of Defense often pushed back . During such meetings, the Pentagon officials argued that the IRGC was "a state entity" (albeit a "bad" one), and that if the U.S. were to designate it as a terrorist group, there was nothing to stop Iran from responding by designating U.S. military personnel or CIA officers as terrorists. ..."
    "... The memoranda on these meetings, consisting of summaries of the various positions put forward, were doctored by the NSC to make it appear as if the Pentagon agreed with its proposed policy. The Defense Department complained to the NSC that the memoranda produced from these meetings were "largely incorrect and inaccurate" -- "essentially fiction," a former Pentagon official claimed. ..."
    "... This was a direct result of the bureaucratic dishonesty of John Bolton. Such dishonesty led to a series of policy decisions that gave a green light to use military force against IRGC targets throughout the Middle East. ..."
    Feb 25, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com
    President Trump's decision to assassinate Qassem Soleimani back in January took the United States to the brink of war with Iran.

    Trump and his advisors contend that Soleimani's death was necessary to protect American lives, pointing to a continuum of events that began on December 27, when a rocket attack on an American base in Iraq killed a civilian translator. That in turn prompted U.S. airstrikes against a pro-Iranian militia, Khati'ab Hezbollah, which America blamed for the attack. Khati'ab Hezbollah then stormed the U.S. embassy in Baghdad in protest. This reportedly triggered the assassination of Soleimani and a subsequent Iranian retaliatory missile strike on an American base in Iraq. The logic of this continuum appears consistent except for one important fact -- it is all predicated on a lie.

    On the night of December 27, a pickup truck modified to carry a launchpad capable of firing 36 107mm Russian-made rockets was used in an attack on a U.S. military compound located at the K-1 Airbase in Iraq's Kirkuk Province. A total of 20 rockets were loaded onto the vehicle, but only 14 were fired. Some of the rockets struck an ammunition dump on the base, setting off a series of secondary explosions. When the smoke and dust cleared, a civilian interpreter was dead and several other personnel , including four American servicemen and two Iraqi military, were wounded. The attack appeared timed to disrupt a major Iraqi military operation targeting insurgents affiliated with ISIS.

    The area around K-1 is populated by Sunni Arabs, and has long been considered a bastion of ISIS ideology, even if the organization itself was declared defeated inside Iraq back in 2017 by then-prime minister Haider al Abadi. The Iraqi counterterrorism forces based at K-1 consider the area around the base an ISIS sanctuary so dangerous that they only enter in large numbers.

    For their part, the Iraqis had been warning their U.S. counterparts for more than a month that ISIS was planning attacks on K-1. One such report, delivered on November 6, using intelligence dating back to October, was quite specific: "ISIS terrorists have endeavored to target K-1 base in Kirkuk district by indirect fire (Katyusha rockets)."

    Another report, dated December 25, warned that ISIS was attempting to seize territory to the northeast of K-1. The Iraqis were so concerned that on December 27, the day of the attack, they requested that the U.S. keep functional its tethered aerostat-based Persistent Threat Detection System (PTSD) -- a high-tech reconnaissance balloon equipped with multi-mission sensors to provide long endurance intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR) and communications in support of U.S. and Iraqi forces.

    Instead, the U.S. took the PTSD down for maintenance, allowing the attackers to approach unobserved.

    The Iraqi military officials at K-1 immediately suspected ISIS as the culprit behind the attack. Their logic was twofold. First, ISIS had been engaged in nearly daily attacks in the area for over a year, launching rockets, firing small arms, and planting roadside bombs. Second, according to the Iraqis , "The villages near here are Turkmen and Arab. There is sympathy with Daesh [i.e., ISIS] there."

    As transparent as the Iraqis had been with the U.S. about their belief that ISIS was behind the attack, the U.S. was equally opaque with the Iraqis regarding whom it believed was the culprit. The U.S. took custody of the rocket launcher, all surviving ordnance, and all warhead fragments from the scene.

    U.S. intelligence analysts viewed the attack on K-1 as part of a continuum of attacks against U.S. bases in Iraq since early November 2019. The first attack took place on November 9, against the joint U.S.-Iraqi base at Qayarrah , and was very similar to the one that occurred against K-1 -- some 31 107mm rockets were fired from a pickup truck modified to carry a rocket launchpad. As with K-1, the forces located in Qayarrah were engaged in ongoing operations targeting ISIS, and the territory around the base was considered sympathetic to ISIS. The Iraqi government attributed the attack to unspecified "terrorist" groups.

    The U.S., however, attributed the attacks to Khati'ab Hezbollah, a Shia militia incorporated with the Popular Mobilization Organization (PMO), a pro-Iranian umbrella organization that had been incorporated into the Iraqi Ministry of Defense. The PMO blamed the U.S. for a series of drone strikes against its facilities throughout the summer of 2019. The feeling among the American analysts was that the PMO attacked the bases as a form of retaliation.

    The U.S. launched a series of airstrikes against Khati'ab Hezbollah bases and command posts in Iraq and Syria on December 29, near the Iraqi city of al-Qaim. These attacks were carried out unilaterally, without any effort to coordinate with America's Iraqi counterparts or seek approval from the Iraqi government.

    Khati'ab Hezbollah units had seized al-Qaim from ISIS in November 2017, and then crossed into Syria, where they defeated ISIS fighters dug in around the Syrian town of al-Bukamal. They were continuing to secure this strategic border crossing when they were bombed on December 29.

    Left unsaid by the U.S. was the fact that the al-Bukamal-al Qaim border crossing was seen as a crucial "land bridge," connecting Iran with Syria via Iraq. Throughout the summer of 2019, the U.S. had been watching as Iranian engineers, working with Khati'ab Hezbollah, constructed a sprawling base that straddled both Iraq and Syria. It was this base, and not Khati'ab Hezbollah per se, that was the reason for the American airstrike. The objective in this attack was to degrade Iranian capability in the region; the K-1 attack was just an excuse, one based on the lie that Khati'ab Hezbollah, and not ISIS, had carried it out.

    The U.S. had long condemned what it called Iran's "malign intentions" when it came to its activities in Iraq and Syria. But there is a world of difference between employing tools of diplomacy to counter Iranian regional actions and going kinetic. One of the reasons the U.S. has been able to justify attacking Iranian-affiliated targets, such as the al-Bukamal-al-Qaim complex and Qassem Soleimani, is that the Iranian entity associated with both -- the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or IRGC -- has been designated by the U.S. as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO), and as such military attacks against it are seen as an extension of the ongoing war on terror. Yet the way the IRGC came to be designated as an FTO is itself predicated on a lie.

    The person responsible for this lie is President Trump's former national security adviser John Bolton, who while in that position oversaw National Security Council (NSC) interagency policy coordination meetings at the White House for the purpose of formulating a unified government position on Iran. Bolton had stacked the NSC staff with hardliners who were pushing for a strong stance. But representatives from the Department of Defense often pushed back . During such meetings, the Pentagon officials argued that the IRGC was "a state entity" (albeit a "bad" one), and that if the U.S. were to designate it as a terrorist group, there was nothing to stop Iran from responding by designating U.S. military personnel or CIA officers as terrorists.

    The memoranda on these meetings, consisting of summaries of the various positions put forward, were doctored by the NSC to make it appear as if the Pentagon agreed with its proposed policy. The Defense Department complained to the NSC that the memoranda produced from these meetings were "largely incorrect and inaccurate" -- "essentially fiction," a former Pentagon official claimed.

    After the Pentagon "informally" requested that the NSC change the memoranda to accurately reflect its position, and were denied, the issue was bumped up to Undersecretary of Defense John Rood. He then formally requested that the memoranda be corrected. Such a request was unprecedented in recent memory, a former official noted. Regardless, the NSC did not budge, and the original memoranda remained as the official records of the meetings in question.

    President Trump designated the IRGC a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) in April 2018.

    This was a direct result of the bureaucratic dishonesty of John Bolton. Such dishonesty led to a series of policy decisions that gave a green light to use military force against IRGC targets throughout the Middle East. The rocket attack against K-1 was attributed to an Iranian proxy -- Khati'ab Hezbollah -- even though there was reason to believe the attack was carried out by ISIS. This was a cover so IRGC-affiliated facilities in al-Bakumal and al-Qaim, which had nothing to do with the attack, could be bombed. Everything to do with Iran's alleged "malign intent." The U.S. embassy was then attacked. Soleimani killed. The American base at al-Assad was bombarded by Iranian missiles. America and Iran were on the brink of war.

    All because of a lie.

    Scott Ritter is a former Marine Corps intelligence officer who served in the former Soviet Union implementing arms control treaties, in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm, and in Iraq overseeing the disarmament of WMD. He is the author of several books, most recently, Deal of the Century: How Iran Blocked the West's Road to War (2018).

    [Feb 23, 2020] The US Is World Leader In Bio-Weapons Research, Production, Use Against Mankind

    This is mostly fear mongering as an affective bioengineered virus will create a pandemic, but the truth is that Anthrax false flag attack after 9/11 was not an accident...
    Trump administration beahaves like a completely lawless gang (stealing Syrian oil is one example. Killing Soleimani is another ) , as for its behaviour on international arena, but I do not believe they go that far. Even for for such "ruptured" gangster as Pompeo
    Notable quotes:
    "... Consider that a deadly virus created by the U.S. and used against another country was found out and verified, and in retaliation, that country or others decided to strike back with other toxic agents against America. Where would this end, and over time, how many billions could be affected in such a scenario? ..."
    "... "In vast laboratories in the Ministry of Peace, and in experimental stations, teams of experts are indefatigably at work searching for new and deadlier gases; or for soluble poisons capable of being produced in such quantities as to destroy the vegetation of whole continents; or for breeds of disease germs immunised against all possible antibodies." ..."
    "... Additional notes: here , here , here , here , here and here . ..."
    Feb 23, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

    ... ... ...

    Interestingly, in the past, U.S. universities and NGOs went to China specifically to do illegal biological experimentation, and this was so egregious to Chinese officials, that forcible removal of these people was the result. Harvard University, one of the major players in this scandal, stole the DNA samples of hundreds of thousands of Chinese citizens, left China with those samples, and continued illegal bio-research in the U.S. It is thought that the U.S. military, which puts a completely different spin on the conversation, had commissioned the research in China at the time. This is more than suspicious.

    The U.S. has, according to this article at Global Research , had a massive biological warfare program since at least the early 1940s, but has used toxic agents against this country and others since the 1860s . This is no secret, regardless of the propaganda spread by the government and its partners in criminal bio-weapon research and production.

    As of 1999, the U.S. government had deployed its Chemical and Biological Weapons (CBW) arsenal against the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Vietnam, China, North Korea, Laos, Cambodia, Cuba, Haitian boat people, and our neighbor Canada according to this article at Counter Punch . Of course, U.S. citizens have been used as guinea pigs many times as well, and exposed to toxic germ agents and deadly chemicals by government.

    Keep in mind that this is a short list, as the U.S. is well known for also using proxies to spread its toxic chemicals and germ agents, such as happened in Iraq and Syria. Since 1999 there have been continued incidences of several different viruses, most of which are presumed to be manmade , including the current Coronavirus that is affecting China today.

    There is also much evidence of the research and development of race-specific bio-warfare agents. This is very troubling. One would think, given the idiotic race arguments by post-modern Marxists, that this would consume the mainstream news, and any participants in these atrocious race-specific poisons would be outed at every level. That is not happening, but I believe it is due to obvious reasons, including government cover-up, hypocrisy at all levels, and leftist agenda driven objectives that would not gain ground with the exposure of this government-funded anti-race science.

    I will say that it is not just the U.S. that is developing and producing bio-warfare agents and viruses, but many developed countries around the globe do so as well. But the United States, as is the case in every area of war and killing, is by far the world leader in its inhuman desire to be able to kill entire populations through biological and chemical warfare means. Because these agents are extremely dangerous and uncontrollable, and can spread wildly, the risk to not only isolated populations, but also the entire world is evident. Consider that a deadly virus created by the U.S. and used against another country was found out and verified, and in retaliation, that country or others decided to strike back with other toxic agents against America. Where would this end, and over time, how many billions could be affected in such a scenario?

    All indications point to the fact that the most toxic, poisonous, and deadly viruses ever known are being created in labs around the world. In the U.S. think of Fort Detrick, Maryland, Pine Bluff Arsenal, Arkansas, Horn Island, Mississippi, Dugway Proving Ground, Utah, Vigo Ordinance Plant, Indiana, and many others. Think of the fascist partnerships between this government and the pharmaceutical industry. Think of the U.S. military installations positioned all around the globe. Nothing good can come from this, as it is not about finding cures for disease, or about discovering vaccines, but is done for one reason only, and that is for the purpose of bio-warfare for mass killing.

    The drive to find biological weapons that will sicken and kill millions at a time is not only a travesty, but is beyond evil. This power is held by the few, but the potential victims of this madness include everyone on earth. How can such insanity at this level be allowed to continue? If any issue could ever unite the masses, governments participating in biological and germ warfare, race-specific killing, and creating viruses with the potential to affect disease and death worldwide, should cause many to stand together against it. The first step is to expose that governments, the most likely culprit being the U.S. government, are planting these viruses purposely to cause great harm. Once that is proven, the unbelievable risk to all will be known, and then people everywhere should put their divisiveness aside, stand together, and stop this assault on mankind.

    "In vast laboratories in the Ministry of Peace, and in experimental stations, teams of experts are indefatigably at work searching for new and deadlier gases; or for soluble poisons capable of being produced in such quantities as to destroy the vegetation of whole continents; or for breeds of disease germs immunised against all possible antibodies." ~ George Orwell – 1984

    Additional notes: here , here , here , here , here and here .

    [Feb 23, 2020] Where Have You Gone, Smedley Butler The Last General To Criticize US Imperialism by Danny Sjursen

    Here's a link to a free online copy of War is a Racket if anyone wants to read it. It's a short read. Pretty good too. https://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/warisaracket.html
    From comments (Is the USA government now a "regime"): In 2018, Republicans (AND Democrats) voted to cut $23 billion dollars from the budget for food stamps (42 million Americans currently receive them). Regimes disobey international law. Like America's habit of blowing up wedding parties with drones or the illegal presence of its troops in Syria, Iraq and God knows where else. Regimes carry out illegal assassination programs – I need say no more here than Qasem Soleimani. Regimes use their economic power to bully and impose their will – sanctioning countries even when they know those sanctions will, for example, be responsible for the death of 500,000 Iraqi children (the 'price worth paying', remember?). Regimes renege on international treaties – like Iran nuclear treaty, for example. Regimes imprison and hound whistle-blowers – like Chelsea manning and Julian Assange. Regimes imprison people. America is the world leader in incarceration. It has 2.2 million people in its prisons (more than China which has 5 times the US's population), that's 25% of the world's prison population for 5% of the world's population, Why does America need so many prisoners? Because it has a massive, prison-based, slave labour business that is hugely profitable for the oligarchy.
    Regimes censor free speech. Just recently, we've seen numerous non-narrative following journalists and organisations kicked off numerous social media platforms. I didn't see lots of US senators standing up and saying 'I disagree completely with what you say but I will fight to the death to preserve your right to say it'. Did you?
    Regimes are ruled by cliques. I don't need to tell you that America is kakistocratic Oligarchy ruled by a tiny group of evil, rich, Old Men, do I?
    Regimes keep bad company. Their allies are other 'regimes', and they're often lumped together by using another favourite presstitute term – 'axis of evil'. America has its own little axis of evil. It's two main allies are Saudi Arabia – a homophobic, women hating, head chopping, terrorist financing state currently engaged in a war of genocide (assisted by the US) in Yemen – and the racist, genocidal undeclared nuclear power state of Israel.
    Regimes commit human rights abuses. Here we could talk about…ooh…let's think. Last year's treatment of child refugees from Latin America, the execution of African Americans for 'walking whilst black' by America's militarized, criminal police force or the millions of dollars in cash and property seized from entirely innocent Americans by that same police force under 'civil forfeiture' laws or maybe we could mention huge American corporations getting tax refunds whilst ordinary Americans can't afford decent, effective healthcare.
    Regimes finance terrorism. Mmmm….just like America financed terrorists to help destroy Syria and Libya and invested $5 billion dollars to install another regime – the one of anti-Semites and Nazis in Ukraine…
    Highly recommended!
    Some comments edited for clarity...
    Notable quotes:
    "... But after retirement, Smedley Butler changed his tune. ..."
    "... "I spent thirty-three years and four months in active military service... And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street, and for the Bankers." ..."
    "... Smedley Butler's Marine Corps and the military of his day was, in certain ways, a different sort of organization than today's highly professionalized armed forces. History rarely repeats itself, not in a literal sense anyway. Still, there are some disturbing similarities between the careers of Butler and today's generation of forever-war fighters. All of them served repeated tours of duty in (mostly) unsanctioned wars around the world. Butler's conflicts may have stretched west from Haiti across the oceans to China, whereas today's generals mostly lead missions from West Africa east to Central Asia, but both sets of conflicts seemed perpetual in their day and were motivated by barely concealed economic and imperial interests. ..."
    "... When Smedley Butler retired in 1931, he was one of three Marine Corps major generals holding a rank just below that of only the Marine commandant and the Army chief of staff. Today, with about 900 generals and admirals currently serving on active duty, including 24 major generals in the Marine Corps alone, and with scores of flag officers retiring annually, not a single one has offered genuine public opposition to almost 19 years worth of ill-advised, remarkably unsuccessful American wars . As for the most senior officers, the 40 four-star generals and admirals whose vocal antimilitarism might make the biggest splash, there are more of them today than there were even at the height of the Vietnam War, although the active military is now about half the size it was then. Adulated as many of them may be, however, not one qualifies as a public critic of today's failing wars. ..."
    "... The big three are Secretary of State Colin Powell's former chief of staff, retired Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson ; Vietnam veteran and onetime West Point history instructor, retired Colonel Andrew Bacevich ; and Iraq veteran and Afghan War whistleblower , retired Lieutenant Colonel Danny Davis . All three have proven to be genuine public servants, poignant voices, and -- on some level -- cherished personal mentors. For better or worse, however, none carry the potential clout of a retired senior theater commander or prominent four-star general offering the same critiques. ..."
    "... Consider it an irony of sorts that this system first received criticism in our era of forever wars when General David Petraeus, then commanding the highly publicized " surge " in Iraq, had to leave that theater of war in 2007 to serve as the chair of that selection committee. The reason: he wanted to ensure that a twice passed-over colonel, a protégé of his -- future Trump National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster -- earned his star. ..."
    "... At the roots of this system lay the obsession of the American officer corps with " professionalization " after the Vietnam War debacle. This first manifested itself in a decision to ditch the citizen-soldier tradition, end the draft, and create an "all-volunteer force." The elimination of conscription, as predicted by critics at the time, created an ever-growing civil-military divide, even as it increased public apathy regarding America's wars by erasing whatever " skin in the game " most citizens had. ..."
    "... One group of generals, however, reportedly now does have it out for President Trump -- but not because they're opposed to endless war. Rather, they reportedly think that The Donald doesn't "listen enough to military advice" on, you know, how to wage war forever and a day. ..."
    "... That beast, first identified by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, is now on steroids as American commanders in retirement regularly move directly from the military onto the boards of the giant defense contractors, a reality which only contributes to the dearth of Butlers in the military retiree community. For all the corruption of his time, the Pentagon didn't yet exist and the path from the military to, say, United Fruit Company, Standard Oil, or other typical corporate giants of that moment had yet to be normalized for retiring generals and admirals. Imagine what Butler would have had to say about the modern phenomenon of the " revolving door " in Washington. ..."
    "... Today, generals don't seem to have a thought of their own even in retirement. And more's the pity... ..."
    "... Am I the only one to notice that Hollywood and it's film distributors have gone full bore on "war" productions, glorifying these historical events while using poetic license to rewrite history. Prepping the numbheads. ..."
    "... Forget rank. As Mr Sjursen implies, dissidents are no longer allowed in the higher ranks. "They" made sure to fix this as Mr Butler had too much of a mind of his own (US education system also programmed against creative, charismatic thinkers, btw). ..."
    "... Today, the "Masters of the Permawars" refer to the international extortion, MIC, racket as "Defending American Interests"! .....With never any explanation to the public/American taxpayer just what "American Interests" the incredible expenditures of American lives, blood, and treasure are being defended! ..."
    "... "The Americans follow the principle that when one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it. They keep up their lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous." - Jospeh Goebbels ..."
    "... The greatest anti-imperialist of our times is Michael Parenti: ..."
    "... The obvious types of American fascists are dealt with on the air and in the press. These demagogues and stooges are fronts for others. Dangerous as these people may be, they are not so significant as thousands of other people who have never been mentioned. The really dangerous American fascists are not those who are hooked up directly or indirectly with the Axis. The FBI has its finger on those. The dangerous American fascist is the man who wants to do in the United States in an American way what Hitler did in Germany in a Prussian way. The American fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information. With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power. ..."
    "... If we define an American fascist as one who in case of conflict puts money and power ahead of human beings, then there are undoubtedly several million fascists in the United States. There are probably several hundred thousand if we narrow the definition to include only those who in their search for money and power are ruthless and deceitful. Most American fascists are enthusiastically supporting the war effort. ..."
    Feb 23, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

    Authored by Danny Sjursen via TomDispatch.com,

    There once lived an odd little man - five feet nine inches tall and barely 140 pounds sopping wet - who rocked the lecture circuit and the nation itself. For all but a few activist insiders and scholars, U.S. Marine Corps Major General Smedley Darlington Butler is now lost to history. Yet more than a century ago, this strange contradiction of a man would become a national war hero, celebrated in pulp adventure novels, and then, 30 years later, as one of this country's most prominent antiwar and anti-imperialist dissidents.

    Raised in West Chester, Pennsylvania, and educated in Quaker (pacifist) schools, the son of an influential congressman, he would end up serving in nearly all of America's " Banana Wars " from 1898 to 1931. Wounded in combat and a rare recipient of two Congressional Medals of Honor, he would retire as the youngest, most decorated major general in the Marines.

    A teenage officer and a certified hero during an international intervention in the Chinese Boxer Rebellion of 1900, he would later become a constabulary leader of the Haitian gendarme, the police chief of Philadelphia (while on an approved absence from the military), and a proponent of Marine Corps football. In more standard fashion, he would serve in battle as well as in what might today be labeled peacekeeping , counterinsurgency , and advise-and-assist missions in Cuba, China, the Philippines, Panama, Nicaragua, Mexico, Haiti, France, and China (again). While he showed early signs of skepticism about some of those imperial campaigns or, as they were sardonically called by critics at the time, " Dollar Diplomacy " operations -- that is, military campaigns waged on behalf of U.S. corporate business interests -- until he retired he remained the prototypical loyal Marine.

    But after retirement, Smedley Butler changed his tune. He began to blast the imperialist foreign policy and interventionist bullying in which he'd only recently played such a prominent part. Eventually, in 1935 during the Great Depression, in what became a classic passage in his memoir, which he titled "War Is a Racket," he wrote:

    "I spent thirty-three years and four months in active military service... And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street, and for the Bankers."

    Seemingly overnight, the famous war hero transformed himself into an equally acclaimed antiwar speaker and activist in a politically turbulent era. Those were, admittedly, uncommonly anti-interventionist years, in which veterans and politicians alike promoted what (for America, at least) had been fringe ideas. This was, after all, the height of what later pro-war interventionists would pejoratively label American " isolationism ."

    Nonetheless, Butler was unique (for that moment and certainly for our own) in his unapologetic amenability to left-wing domestic politics and materialist critiques of American militarism. In the last years of his life, he would face increasing criticism from his former admirer, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the military establishment, and the interventionist press. This was particularly true after Adolf Hitler's Nazi Germany invaded Poland and later France. Given the severity of the Nazi threat to mankind, hindsight undoubtedly proved Butler's virulent opposition to U.S. intervention in World War II wrong.

    Nevertheless, the long-term erasure of his decade of antiwar and anti-imperialist activism and the assumption that all his assertions were irrelevant has proven historically deeply misguided. In the wake of America's brief but bloody entry into the First World War, the skepticism of Butler (and a significant part of an entire generation of veterans) about intervention in a new European bloodbath should have been understandable. Above all, however, his critique of American militarism of an earlier imperial era in the Pacific and in Latin America remains prescient and all too timely today, especially coming as it did from one of the most decorated and high-ranking general officers of his time. (In the era of the never-ending war on terror, such a phenomenon is quite literally inconceivable.)

    Smedley Butler's Marine Corps and the military of his day was, in certain ways, a different sort of organization than today's highly professionalized armed forces. History rarely repeats itself, not in a literal sense anyway. Still, there are some disturbing similarities between the careers of Butler and today's generation of forever-war fighters. All of them served repeated tours of duty in (mostly) unsanctioned wars around the world. Butler's conflicts may have stretched west from Haiti across the oceans to China, whereas today's generals mostly lead missions from West Africa east to Central Asia, but both sets of conflicts seemed perpetual in their day and were motivated by barely concealed economic and imperial interests.

    Nonetheless, whereas this country's imperial campaigns of the first third of the twentieth century generated a Smedley Butler, the hyper-interventionism of the first decades of this century hasn't produced a single even faintly comparable figure. Not one. Zero. Zilch. Why that is matters and illustrates much about the U.S. military establishment and contemporary national culture, none of it particularly encouraging.

    Why No Antiwar Generals

    When Smedley Butler retired in 1931, he was one of three Marine Corps major generals holding a rank just below that of only the Marine commandant and the Army chief of staff. Today, with about 900 generals and admirals currently serving on active duty, including 24 major generals in the Marine Corps alone, and with scores of flag officers retiring annually, not a single one has offered genuine public opposition to almost 19 years worth of ill-advised, remarkably unsuccessful American wars . As for the most senior officers, the 40 four-star generals and admirals whose vocal antimilitarism might make the biggest splash, there are more of them today than there were even at the height of the Vietnam War, although the active military is now about half the size it was then. Adulated as many of them may be, however, not one qualifies as a public critic of today's failing wars.

    Instead, the principal patriotic dissent against those terror wars has come from retired colonels, lieutenant colonels, and occasionally more junior officers (like me), as well as enlisted service members. Not that there are many of us to speak of either. I consider it disturbing (and so should you) that I personally know just about every one of the retired military figures who has spoken out against America's forever wars.

    The big three are Secretary of State Colin Powell's former chief of staff, retired Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson ; Vietnam veteran and onetime West Point history instructor, retired Colonel Andrew Bacevich ; and Iraq veteran and Afghan War whistleblower , retired Lieutenant Colonel Danny Davis . All three have proven to be genuine public servants, poignant voices, and -- on some level -- cherished personal mentors. For better or worse, however, none carry the potential clout of a retired senior theater commander or prominent four-star general offering the same critiques.

    Something must account for veteran dissenters topping out at the level of colonel. Obviously, there are personal reasons why individual officers chose early retirement or didn't make general or admiral. Still, the system for selecting flag officers should raise at least a few questions when it comes to the lack of antiwar voices among retired commanders. In fact, a selection committee of top generals and admirals is appointed each year to choose the next colonels to earn their first star. And perhaps you won't be surprised to learn that, according to numerous reports , "the members of this board are inclined, if not explicitly motivated, to seek candidates in their own image -- officers whose careers look like theirs." At a minimal level, such a system is hardly built to foster free thinkers, no less breed potential dissidents.

    Consider it an irony of sorts that this system first received criticism in our era of forever wars when General David Petraeus, then commanding the highly publicized " surge " in Iraq, had to leave that theater of war in 2007 to serve as the chair of that selection committee. The reason: he wanted to ensure that a twice passed-over colonel, a protégé of his -- future Trump National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster -- earned his star.

    Mainstream national security analysts reported on this affair at the time as if it were a major scandal, since most of them were convinced that Petraeus and his vaunted counterinsurgency or " COINdinista " protégés and their " new " war-fighting doctrine had the magic touch that would turn around the failing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In fact, Petraeus tried to apply those very tactics twice -- once in each country -- as did acolytes of his later, and you know the results of that.

    But here's the point: it took an eleventh-hour intervention by America's most acclaimed general of that moment to get new stars handed out to prominent colonels who had, until then, been stonewalled by Cold War-bred flag officers because they were promoting different (but also strangely familiar) tactics in this country's wars. Imagine, then, how likely it would be for such a leadership system to produce genuine dissenters with stars of any serious sort, no less a crew of future Smedley Butlers.

    At the roots of this system lay the obsession of the American officer corps with " professionalization " after the Vietnam War debacle. This first manifested itself in a decision to ditch the citizen-soldier tradition, end the draft, and create an "all-volunteer force." The elimination of conscription, as predicted by critics at the time, created an ever-growing civil-military divide, even as it increased public apathy regarding America's wars by erasing whatever " skin in the game " most citizens had.

    More than just helping to squelch civilian antiwar activism, though, the professionalization of the military, and of the officer corps in particular, ensured that any future Smedley Butlers would be left in the dust (or in retirement at the level of lieutenant colonel or colonel) by a system geared to producing faux warrior-monks. Typical of such figures is current chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army General Mark Milley. He may speak gruffly and look like a man with a head of his own, but typically he's turned out to be just another yes-man for another war-power -hungry president.

    One group of generals, however, reportedly now does have it out for President Trump -- but not because they're opposed to endless war. Rather, they reportedly think that The Donald doesn't "listen enough to military advice" on, you know, how to wage war forever and a day.

    What Would Smedley Butler Think Today?

    In his years of retirement, Smedley Butler regularly focused on the economic component of America's imperial war policies. He saw clearly that the conflicts he had fought in, the elections he had helped rig, the coups he had supported, and the constabularies he had formed and empowered in faraway lands had all served the interests of U.S. corporate investors. Though less overtly the case today, this still remains a reality in America's post-9/11 conflicts, even on occasion embarrassingly so (as when the Iraqi ministry of oil was essentially the only public building protected by American troops as looters tore apart the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, in the post-invasion chaos of April 2003). Mostly, however, such influence plays out far more subtly than that, both abroad and here at home where those wars help maintain the record profits of the top weapons makers of the military-industrial complex.

    That beast, first identified by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, is now on steroids as American commanders in retirement regularly move directly from the military onto the boards of the giant defense contractors, a reality which only contributes to the dearth of Butlers in the military retiree community. For all the corruption of his time, the Pentagon didn't yet exist and the path from the military to, say, United Fruit Company, Standard Oil, or other typical corporate giants of that moment had yet to be normalized for retiring generals and admirals. Imagine what Butler would have had to say about the modern phenomenon of the " revolving door " in Washington.

    Of course, he served in a very different moment, one in which military funding and troop levels were still contested in Congress. As a longtime critic of capitalist excesses who wrote for leftist publications and supported the Socialist Party candidate in the 1936 presidential elections, Butler would have found today's nearly trillion-dollar annual defense budgets beyond belief. What the grizzled former Marine long ago identified as a treacherous nexus between warfare and capital "in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives" seems to have reached its natural end point in the twenty-first century. Case in point: the record (and still rising ) "defense" spending of the present moment, including -- to please a president -- the creation of a whole new military service aimed at the full-scale militarization of space .

    Sadly enough, in the age of Trump, as numerous polls demonstrate, the U.S. military is the only public institution Americans still truly trust. Under the circumstances, how useful it would be to have a high-ranking, highly decorated, charismatic retired general in the Butler mold galvanize an apathetic public around those forever wars of ours. Unfortunately, the likelihood of that is practically nil, given the military system of our moment.

    Of course, Butler didn't exactly end his life triumphantly. In late May 1940, having lost 25 pounds due to illness and exhaustion -- and demonized as a leftist, isolationist crank but still maintaining a whirlwind speaking schedule -- he checked himself into the Philadelphia Navy Yard Hospital for a "rest." He died there, probably of some sort of cancer, four weeks later. Working himself to death in his 10-year retirement and second career as a born-again antiwar activist, however, might just have constituted the very best service that the two-time Medal of Honor winner could have given the nation he loved to the very end.

    Someone of his credibility, character, and candor is needed more than ever today. Unfortunately, this military generation is unlikely to produce such a figure. In retirement, Butler himself boldly confessed that, "like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical..."

    Today, generals don't seem to have a thought of their own even in retirement. And more's the pity...

    2 minutes ago
    Am I the only one to notice that Hollywood and it's film distributors have gone full bore on "war" productions, glorifying these historical events while using poetic license to rewrite history. Prepping the numbheads.
    14 minutes ago
    TULSI GABBARD.

    Forget rank. As Mr Sjursen implies, dissidents are no longer allowed in the higher ranks. "They" made sure to fix this as Mr Butler had too much of a mind of his own (US education system also programmed against creative, charismatic thinkers, btw).

    The US Space Force has been created as part of a plan to disclose the deep state's Secret Space Program (SSP), which has been active for decades, and which has utilized, and repressed, advanced technologies that would provide free, unlimited renewable energy, and thus eliminate hunger and poverty on a planetary scale.

    14 minutes ago
    • What imperialism?
    • We are spreading freedumb and dumbocracy.
    • We are saving the world from socialism and communism.
    • We are energy independent, with innate exceptionalism and #MAGA# will usher in a new era of American prosperity.
    • Any and all accusations of USSA imperialism, are made by the "woke" and those jealous of the greatest Capitalist system in the world.
    • The swamp is being drained as I speak, and therefore will continue with unwavering support for my 5x draft dodging, Zionist supporting, multiple times bankrupt, keeper of broken promises POTUS.
    • Smedley Butler's book is not worthy of reading once you have the seminal work known as "The Art Of The Deal"

      ​​​​​​​#MIGA#

    14 minutes ago

    ALL wars are EVIL. Period .

    29 minutes ago

    Sadly enough, in the age of Trump, as numerous polls demonstrate, the U.S. military is the only public institution Americans still truly trust. Under the circumstances, how useful it would be to have a high-ranking, highly decorated, charismatic retired general in the Butler mold galvanize an apathetic public around those forever wars of ours. Unfortunately, the likelihood of that is practically nil, given the military system of our moment.

    This is why I feel an oath keeping constitutionally oriented American general is what we need in power, clear out all 545 criminals in office now, review their finances (and most of them will roll over on the others) and punish accordingly, then the lobbyist, how many of them worked against the country? You know what we do with those.

    And then, finally, Hollywood, oh yes I long to see that **** hole burn with everyone in it.

    30 minutes ago
    Republicrat: the two faces of the moar war whore.
    32 minutes ago

    Given the severity of the Nazi threat to mankind

    Do tell, from what I've read the Nazis were really only a threat to a few groups, the rest of us didn't need to worry.

    35 minutes ago
    Today, the "Masters of the Permawars" refer to the international extortion, MIC, racket as "Defending American Interests"! .....With never any explanation to the public/American taxpayer just what "American Interests" the incredible expenditures of American lives, blood, and treasure are being defended!

    Why are we sending our children out into the hellholes of the world to be maimed and killed in the fauxjew banksters' quest for world domination.

    How stupid can we be!

    41 minutes ago
    (Edited) "Smedley Butler"... The last time the UCMJ was actually used before being permanently turned into a "door stop"!
    49 minutes ago
    He was correct about our staying out of WWII. Which, BTW, would have never happened if we had stayed out of WWI.
    22 minutes ago
    (Edited) Both wars were about the international fauxjew imposition of debt-money central bankstering.

    Both wars were promulgated by the Financial oligarchyof New York. The communist Red Army of Russia was funded and supplied by the Financial oligarchyof New York. It was American Financial oligarchythat built the Russian Red Army that vexed the world and created the Cold War. How many hundreds of millions of goyim were sacrificed to create both the Russian and the Chinese Satanic behemoths.......and the communist horror that is now embedded in American academia, publishing, American politics, so-called news, entertainment, The worldwide Catholic religion, the Pentagon, and the American deep state.......and more!

    How stupid can we be. Every generation has the be dragged, kicking and screaming, out of the eternal maw of historical ignorance to avoid falling back into the myriad dark hellholes of history. As we all should know, people who forget their own history are doomed to repeat it.

    53 minutes ago
    Today's General is a robot with with a DNA.
    54 minutes ago
    All the General Staff is a bunch of #asskissinglittlechickenshits
    57 minutes ago
    want to stop senseless Empire wars>>well do this

    War = jobs and profit..we get work "THEY" get the profit.. If we taxed all war related profit at 99% how many wars would our rulers start? 1 hour ago

    Here is a simple straightforward trading maxim that might apply here: if it works or is working keep doing it, but if it doesn't work or stops working, then STOP doing it. There are plenty of people, now poorer, for not adhering to that simple principle. Where is the Taxpayer's return on investment from the Combat taking place on their behalf around the globe? 'Nuff said - it isn't working. It is making a microscopic few richer & all others poorer so STOP doing it. 36 seconds ago We don't have to look far to figure out who they are that are getting rich off the fauxjew permawars.

    How can we be so stupid???

    1 hour ago

    See also:

    TULSI GABBARD

    1 hour ago

    The main reason you don't see the generals criticizing is that the current crop have not been in actual long term direct combat with the enemy and have mostly been bureaucratic paper pushers.

    Take the Marine Major General who is the current commander of CENTCOM. By the time he got into the Iraq/Afghanistan war he was already a Lieutenant Colonel and far removed from direct action.

    He was only there on and off for a few years. Here are some of his other career highlights aft as they appear on his official bio:

    • 2006-07: he served as the Military Secretary to the 33rd and 34th Commandants of the Marine Corps
    • 2008: he was selected by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to be the Director of the Chairman's New Administration Transition Team (CNATT)
    • 2009: he reported to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Kabul, Afghanistan to serve as the Deputy to the Deputy Chief of Staff (DCOS) for Stability. ..... Deputy to the Deputy for Stability ???? WTF is that?
    • 2010: he was assigned as the Director, Strategy, Plans, and Policy (J-5) for the U.S. Central Command
    • 2012: he reported to Headquarters Marine Corps to serve as the Marine Corps Representative to the Quadrennial Defense Review

    In short, these top guys aren't warriors they're bureaucrats so why would we expect them to be honest brokers of the truth?

    51 minutes ago

    are U saying Chesty Puller he's NOT? 1 hour ago
    (Edited) The purpose of war is to ensure that the Federal Reserve Note remains the world reserve paper currency of choice by keeping it relevant and in demand across the globe by forcing pesky energy producing nations to trade with it exclusively.

    It is a 49 year old policy created by the private owners of quasi public institutions called central banks to ensure they remain the Wizards of Oz doing gods work conjuring magic paper into existence with a secret spell known as issuing credit.

    How else is a technologically advanced society of billions of people supposed to function w/out this divinely inspired paper?

    1 hour ago

    Goebbels in "Churchill's Lie Factory" where he said: "The Americans follow the principle that when one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it. They keep up their lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous." - Jospeh Goebbels, "Aus Churchills Lügenfabrik," 12. january 1941, Die Zeit ohne Beispiel

    1 hour ago

    The greatest anti-imperialist of our times is Michael Parenti:

    Imperialism has been the most powerful force in world history over the last four or five centuries, carving up whole continents while oppressing indigenous peoples and obliterating entire civilizations. Yet, it is seldom accorded any serious attention by our academics, media commentators, and political leaders. When not ignored outright, the subject of imperialism has been sanitized, so that empires become "commonwealths," and colonies become "territories" or "dominions" (or, as in the case of Puerto Rico, "commonwealths" too). Imperialist military interventions become matters of "national defense," "national security," and maintaining "stability" in one or another region. In this book I want to look at imperialism for what it really is.

    https://www.historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/imperialism.html

    49 minutes ago
    "Imperialism has been the most powerful force in world history over the last four or five centuries, carving up whole continents while oppressing indigenous peoples and obliterating entire civilizations. Yet, it is seldom accorded any serious attention by our academics, media commentators, and political leaders."

    Why would it when they who control academia, media and most of our politicians are our enemies.

    1 hour ago

    "The big three are Secretary of State Colin Powell's former chief of staff, retired Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson ; ..."

    Yep, Wilkerson, who leaked Valerie Plame's name, not that it was a leak, to Novak, and then stood by to watch the grand jury fry Scooter Libby. Wilkerson, that paragon of moral rectitude. Wilkerson the silent, that *******.

    sheesh,

    1 hour ago
    (Edited)

    " A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence against foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home. Among the Romans it was a standing maxim to excite a war, whenever a revolt was apprehended. Throughout all Europe, the armies kept up under the pretext of defending, have enslaved the people."

    James Madison Friday June 29, 1787

    https://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/debates_629.asp

    "What, Sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty.... Whenever Governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins." (Rep. Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts, spoken during floor debate over the Second Amendment [I Annals of Congress at 750, August 17, 1789])

    http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/amendIIs6.html

    1 hour ago

    A particularly pernicious example of intra-European imperialism was the Nazi aggression during World War II, which gave the German business cartels and the Nazi state an opportunity to plunder the resources and exploit the labor of occupied Europe, including the slave labor of concentration camps. - M. PARENTI, Against empire

    See Alexander Parvus

    1 hour ago

    Collapse is the cure. It's too far gone.

    1 hour ago

    Russia Wants to 'Jam' F-22 and F-35s in the Middle East: Report

    https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/russia-wants-jam-f-22-and-f-35s-middle-east-report-121041

    1 hour ago

    ZH retards think that the American mic is bad and all other mics are good or don't exist. That's the power of brainwashing. Humans understand that war in general is bad, but humans are becoming increasingly rare in this world.

    1 hour ago

    The obvious types of American fascists are dealt with on the air and in the press. These demagogues and stooges are fronts for others. Dangerous as these people may be, they are not so significant as thousands of other people who have never been mentioned. The really dangerous American fascists are not those who are hooked up directly or indirectly with the Axis. The FBI has its finger on those. The dangerous American fascist is the man who wants to do in the United States in an American way what Hitler did in Germany in a Prussian way. The American fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information. With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power.

    If we define an American fascist as one who in case of conflict puts money and power ahead of human beings, then there are undoubtedly several million fascists in the United States. There are probably several hundred thousand if we narrow the definition to include only those who in their search for money and power are ruthless and deceitful. Most American fascists are enthusiastically supporting the war effort.

    https://truthout.org/articles/the-dangers-of-american-fascism/

    2 hours ago
    The swamp is bigger than the military alone. Substitute Bureaucrat, Statesman, or Beltway Bandit for General and Colonel in your writing above and you've got a whole new article to post that is just as true.
    2 hours ago
    (Edited) War = jobs and profit..we get work "THEY" get the profit..If we taxed all war related profit at 99% how many wars would our rulers start?
    2 hours ago [edited for clarity]
    War is a racket. And nobody loves a racket more than Financial oligarchy. Americans come close though, that's why Financial oligarchy use them to project their own rackets and provide protection reprisals.

    [Feb 18, 2020] Escobar It's Time To Reclaim Syria's Road To Recovery by Pepe Escobar

    Feb 17, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

    Authored by Pepe Escobar via The Asia Times,

    Erdogan de facto supports al-Qaeda remnants while facing either humiliating retreat from or total war against Syria

    Recep Tayyip Erdogan, neo-Ottoman extraordinaire, is not exactly inclined to commit seppuku , the Japanese act of ritual suicide.

    But if not through the perspective of neo-Ottomanism, how to explain the fact he is de facto supporting al-Qaeda remnants in Syria while facing two unsavory options – a humiliating retreat from or total war against the Syrian Arab Army?

    Everything about the slowly evolving, messy chessboard in Idlib hinges on highways: the imperative for the government in Damascus to control both the M5 highway between Damascus and Aleppo and the M4 highway between Latakia and Aleppo. Fully reclaiming these two crucial axes will finally turbo-charge the ailing Syrian economy.

    Very few players nowadays remember the all-important Sochi memorandum of understanding signed between Russia and Turkey in September 2018.

    The Western spin was always about whether Damascus would comply. Nonsense. In the memorandum, Ankara guaranteed protection of civilian traffic on both highways. It's Ankara that is not complying, not only in terms of ensuring that "radical terrorist groups" are out of the demilitarized zone, but especially on point number 8:

    "In the interests of ensuring free movement of local residents and goods, as well as restoring trade and economic ties, transit traffic along the routes M4 (Aleppo-Latakia) and M5 (Aleppo-Hama) will be restored before the end of 2018."

    Vast stretches of Idlib are in fact under the yoke of Hayat Tahrir al Shams (HTS), shorthand for al-Qaeda in Syria. Or "moderate rebels," as they are known inside the Beltway – even though the United States government itself brands it as a terror organization.

    For all practical purposes, the Erdogan system is supporting and weaponizing HTS in Idlib. When the SAA reacts against HTS's attacks, Erdogan goes ballistic and threatens war.

    The West uncritically buys Ankara propaganda. How dare the "Assad regime" take back the M5, which "had been under rebel control since 2012"? Erdogan is lauded for warning "Iran and Russia to end the support for the Assad regime." NATO invariably condemns "attacks on Turkish troops."

    The official Ankara explanation for the Turkish presence in Idlib hinges on bringing reinforcements to "observation posts." Nonsense. These posts are not meant to go away. On top of it, Ankara demands that the SAA should retreat to the positions it held months ago – away from Idlib.

    There's no way Damascus will "comply" because these Turkish troops are a de facto occupation body-protecting "moderate rebels" fighting for "democracy" who were decisively excluded by Moscow – and even Ankara – from the Sochi memorandum. One can't make this stuff up.

    Got airpower, will travel

    Now let's look at the facts on the ground – and in the skies. Moscow and Damascus control the airspace over Idlib. Su-34 jets patrol all of northwest Syrian territory. Moscow has warships – crammed with cruise missiles – deployed in the Eastern Mediterranean.

    The whole SAA offensive for these past few months to liberate national territory has been a graphic demonstration of top Russian intel – planning, execution, logistics.

    What's being set up is a classic cauldron – a Southwest Asia replica of the cauldron in Donbass in 2014 that destroyed Kiev's army. The SAA is encircling the Turks from the north, east and south. There will be only one way out for the Turks: the border crossing at Bab al-Hawa. Back to Turkey.

    Facing certified disaster, no wonder Erdogan had to talk "de-escalation" with Putin on Tuesday. The red lines, from Moscow's side, are immutable: the highways will be liberated (according to the Sochi agreement). The neo-Ottoman sultan can't afford a war with Russia. So, yes: he's bluffing .

    But why is he bluffing? There are three main possibilities.

    1. Washington is forcing him to, pledging full support to "our NATO ally."
    2. The Turkish Armed Forces cannot afford to lose face.
    3. The "moderate rebels" don't give a damn about Ankara.

    Option 1 seems the most plausible – even as Erdogan is being actually forced to directly confront a Moscow with which he has signed extremely important economic/energy contracts. Erdogan may not be a General Zhukov, but he knows that a bunch of jihadis and only 6,000 demoralized Turkish soldiers stand no chance against the SAA and Russian airpower.

    It's enlightening to compare the current Turkish predicament with the Turk/Free Syrian Army (FSA) proxy gang alliance when they were fighting the Kurds in Afrin.

    Ankara then had control of the skies and enormous artillery advantage – from their side of the border. Now Syria/Russia rules the skies and Turkish artillery simply cannot get into Idlib. Not to mention that supply lines are dreadful.

    Neo-Ottomanism, revisited

    So what is Erdogan up to? What's happening is Erdogan's Muslim Brotherhood network is now managing Idlib on the ground – a fascinating repositioning gambit able to ensure that Erdogan remains a strongman with whom Bashar al-Assad will have to talk business when the right time comes.

    Erdogan's partial endgame will be to "sell" to Assad that ultimately he was responsible for getting rid of the HTS/FSA jihadi nebulae. Meanwhile, circus prevails – or, rather, a lousy opera, with Erdogan once again relishing playing the bad guy. He knows Damascus has all but won a vicious nine-year proxy war – and is reclaiming all of its sovereign territory. There's no turning back.

    And that brings us to the complex dynamics of the Turkish-Iranian puzzle. One should always remember that both are members of the Astana peace process, alongside Russia. On Syria, Tehran supported Damascus from the start while Ankara bet on – and weaponized – the "democratic freedom fighter" jihadi nebulae.

    From the 16th century to the 19th, Shi'ite Iran and the Sunni Ottoman empire were engaged in non-stop mutual containment. And under the banner of Islam, Turkey de facto ruled over the Arab world.

    Jump cut, in the 21st century, to Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who codified neo-Ottomanism. Davutoglu came up with the idea that eastern Anatolia did not end with the borders with Armenia and Iran but extended to the western coast of the Caspian Sea. And he also came up with the idea that eastern Anatolia did not end at the borders with Iraq and Syria – but extended all the way to Mosul.

    Essentially, Davutoglu argued that the Middle East had to be Turkey's backyard. And Syria would be the golden gate through which Turkey would "recover" the Middle East.

    All these elaborate plans now lie in dust. The Big Picture, of course, remains: the US determined by all means necessary to prevent Eurasian unity, and the Russia-China strategic partnership from having access to maritime routes, especially in the Eastern Mediterranean through Syria via Iran.

    The micro-picture is way more prosaic. It comes down to Erdogan making sure his occupying troops do not get routed by Assad's army. How the mighty (neo-Ottoman) have fallen.

    [Feb 15, 2020] US Strategy in Syria: 'Create Quagmires Until We Get What We Want by Jason Ditz

    Aug 31, 2018 | news.antiwar.com
    In seeking to control post-war Syria, US determined to keep war going ,

    In 2013, top Obama Administration officials described their policy in the Syrian War as one of keeping the war going. The administration wanted a big seat at the table for a political settlement, which officials clarified meant ensuring that the war kept going so that there was never a clear victor .

    The Trump Administration seems to be slipping into that same destructive set of priorities in Syria. The Washington Post this week quoted an unnamed Administration official as saying that "right now, our job is to help create quagmires [for Russia and the Syrian regime] until we get what we want."

    As ever, hat the US really wants is to have a dominant position in post-war negotiations, so they can dictate the form that post-war Syria takes. This means ensuring that the Syrian government doesn't win the war outright.

    That's not as realistic as it once was, with the Assad government, backed by Russia, having retaken virtually all of the rebel-held territory except for a far north bastion in Idlib, dominated by al-Qaeda. This means the US now has to save al-Qaeda to keep the war going, which if we're being honest has been a recurring undercurrent in US policy in Syria for years.

    It is this desire that has the US repeatedly threatening Syria and warning them not to attack Idlib. It is this desire that is sparking almost daily US threats to intervene militarily if the Idlib offensive involves chemical weapons. Most importantly, it is this desire that has Russia very much believing media reports that the rebels could "stage" a fake chemical attack just to suck the US into the war, and be fairly confident it would work.

    The US is, after all, constantly talking about an imminent chemical attack despite there being no reason to think Syria is poised to launch one. At times, US officials have privately conceded that there is no sign Syria is making any moves to even ready such weapons for the offensive. Yet several times a week, the US issues statements with allegations of a chemical plot featuring prominently, setting the stage for a reaction.

    The Syrian War has been nearing its endgame for months now, with Israeli officials conceding it is all but over as far as they are concerned (while vowing not to honor any post-war deals ). When a war is lost and a plan has failed, however, the US government is often the last to know, and that has them determined to drag the war on as long as possible.

    [Feb 15, 2020] US Officials Feel 'Challenged' by Russia in Northeast Syria by Jason Ditz

    Notable quotes:
    "... The challenges appear to be largely of America's own making, with troops going on patrol into the area finding themselves having run-ins with Russian troops. The Pentagon says Russia is violating a pledge to keep US and Russian troops apart, but with Trump arguing the US is only there for the oil, it's not clear that there's a reason for the US troops to go on walkabouts in the Turkish-controlled border region, where Russian troops are known to be. ..."
    "... Since the US is militarily hostile toward the Syrian government much of the time, it's not surprising they'd call Russia to help them protect their checkpoint. These potential flashpoints are likely to continue so long as the US keeps its troops, uninvited, in Syria, and the Pentagon is clearly determined to blame Russia whenever anything happens. ..."
    Feb 14, 2020 | news.antiwar.com

    Run-ins with Russian troops increasingly common in the area ,

    The 500 US ground troops that remain in Syria, according to President Trump purely to control the oil, are finding themselves less and less welcome in Syria's northeast, and officials are presenting Russia as presenting them a constant set of challenges to stay .

    The challenges appear to be largely of America's own making, with troops going on patrol into the area finding themselves having run-ins with Russian troops. The Pentagon says Russia is violating a pledge to keep US and Russian troops apart, but with Trump arguing the US is only there for the oil, it's not clear that there's a reason for the US troops to go on walkabouts in the Turkish-controlled border region, where Russian troops are known to be.

    The most recent problem was in the city of Qamishli, where a US patrol happened on a Syrian government checkpoint. They weren't welcome, unsurprisingly, and locals started mocking the US troops, and some threw stones. This pretty quickly escalated into a small arms exchange, with the US killing one civilian.

    Russians were present for the incident, and documented it, adding to the embarrassment. The US troops shooting the civilian was the embarrassing thing, however, just to be clear. That Russia was there is a secondary matter, and this clearly wasn't Russia's fault.

    Since the US is militarily hostile toward the Syrian government much of the time, it's not surprising they'd call Russia to help them protect their checkpoint. These potential flashpoints are likely to continue so long as the US keeps its troops, uninvited, in Syria, and the Pentagon is clearly determined to blame Russia whenever anything happens.

    [Feb 15, 2020] "Syrian Army in full control of Aleppo-Damascus Highway for first time 8 years" - TTG - Sic Semper Tyrannis

    Feb 15, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

    "Syrian Army in full control of Aleppo-Damascus Highway for first time 8 years" - TTG
    BEIRUT, LEBANON (12:10 P.M.) – The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) is officially in full control of the Aleppo-Damascus Highway (M-5) after eight years of battle. The Syrian Army said they captured the last points along the highway on Tuesday evening, when their forces took control of the strategic town of Khan Al-'Assal and the nearby Rashiddeen 4 sector in southwestern Aleppo.

    According to the Syrian Army, their forces were able to achieve this imperative victory after capturing several important sites in eastern Idlib, including the cities of Saraqib and Ma'arat Al-Nu'man. While the Aleppo-Damascus Highway is under their control, the roadway will not likely be reopened to the public until the Syrian Army pushes west towards the Turkish border.

    The reason for this is due to the fact that the jihadist rebels of Hay'at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) and their allies from the Turkish-backed National Liberation Front (NLF) still maintain a presence along the western part of the Aleppo-Damascus Highway. Furthermore, there are still grave concerns of a potential large-scale Turkish military offensive to reclaim the areas lost by the jihadist rebels over the last few weeks. (AMN)

    -- -- -- --

    A lot went on in the last week to get to this point. I and other observers saw this clearing of the M5 as the objective of this phase of operation Idlib Dawn. The SAA is still on the offensive and may be aiming for more. One thing is for certain. The jihadis are having their asses handed to them.

    Let's look at the SAA's progress in maps. I wish I could make one of those animated battlefield maps like the American Battlefield Trust created for many of our Civil War battles, but that's beyond my reach. You'll have to settle for this series of borrowed maps along with my comments. Most of the recent action took place well north of Saraqib and Idlib. The 25th Special operations Division continued to move north along the M5 forcing the jihadis east of that highway to retreat to avoid encirclement. The 25th linked up with the Republican Guard near Al Barfoum and Zerbeh along the M5 on 8 February. At that point, the 25th did the unexpected. They struck northwest from ICARDA agricultural research station towards Kafr Aleppo.

    The axis of this advance took the high ground in the middle of the Idlib plain. It appeared the 25th was heading towards Kafr Nouran, Al Atarib and the Bab al Hawa Highway, Turkey's main supply route to Idlib.

    However, the 25th surprised everyone and pivoted northward Arnaz and the Highway 60 cutting that road on 12 February.


    Perhaps we shouldn't have been too surprised. Just prior to this pivot, the Russian and Syrian Aerospace Forces conducted heavy strikes against jihadist forces in the path of the 25th.

    Meanwhile, Erdogan continued pouring in additional troops and equipment and threatening massive retaliation against the SAA. They established several new "observation posts" at Al Atarib and other points along the Bab al Hawa Highway leading to Idlib. The Turks and the SAA traded artillery strikes and more Turkish casualties were shipped back north of the border. Finally, on 10 February the jihadis began launching several counterattacks armed with Turkish equipment and supported by Turkish artillery.

    The counterattack towards Saraqib began with a jihadi VBIED which was stopped by SAA fire before it could reach its target. The counterattack did not get far. Reports indicate the SAA was alerted to the impending attack by Russian reconnaissance aircraft. The SAA targeted the jihadis with BM-27 Uragan and BM-30 Smerch rocket launchers. Of the 80 attacking jihadists, 60 were killed and the rest wounded. Eight vehicles including Turkish supplied armored vehicles were destroyed. Infantry is the queen of battle. Artillery is the king of battle. And the king always puts it where the queen wants it.

    The jihadists launched two other counterattacks towards 25th Division positions at Kafr Aleppo and Arnaz on 12 February. Both attacks were turned back in a matter of hours. The 25th immediately went on the offensive and captured two more towns. It seems the SAA has learned to consolidate on the objective and then some. The jihadists failed to initiate another counterattack after these defeats until today. They tried again on the Kafr Halab/Kafr Aleppo front with the same results - over 100 dead jihadis and dozens of vehicles including at least four Turkish supplied APCs turned into smoking hulks. All this was done in an effort to secure the Bab al Hawa-Idlib road, an LOC critical to Erdogan's and the jihadists' desire to retain Idlib.

    The 25th did not stop there. They took the Regiment 46 installation today on the way to Atarib on the Bab al Hawa Highway. A Turkish unit was surrounded at Regiment 46


    Things have also gone well on the Aleppo front. The 4th Armored Division steadily marched westward pushing the jihadis out of Aleppo's suburbs in spite of the jihadis' extensive tunnels and well prepared fortifications.


    It now appears another front has opened from the YPG and SAA held territory northwest of Aleppo pushing south into jihadi held territory. This is certainly not tank country, but it is also not fortified built up areas of the west Aleppo suburbs. If this push south is successful and the 25th captures Atarib and continues north, the jihadis will be encircled or forced to retreat. They will be far removed from Aleppo and pushed towards the Turkish border of Hatay. The map below shows a possible scenario, not actual progress.

    Erdogan's Ottoman dreams for Idlib will have to be rethought. My guess is that Erdogan regrets sending those 3,000 plus jihadi fighters to Libya. They were probably some of his better fighters. Well, life's a bitch Tayyip.

    TTG

    https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/syrian-army-in-full-control-of-aleppo-damascus-highway-for-first-time-8-years/


    james , 14 February 2020 at 02:56 PM

    great overview ttg.. thank you..

    " Finally, on 10 February the jihadis began launching several counterattacks armed with Turkish equipment and supported by Turkish artillery."

    i guess that's why the pompous one was throwing all his support towards turkey the past few days..

    elaine , 14 February 2020 at 04:36 PM
    Arwa Damon of CNN reported on children freezing to death in refugee
    camps in Idlib. Apparently the temp has fallen below freezing &
    some of the kids didn't have shoes or coats.

    So many factions fighting in an area sounds like hell on earth for
    civilians.

    CNN also showed a small U.S. contingent in the midst of the chaos
    however I didn't understand where they were or their mission.

    Barbara Ann , 14 February 2020 at 04:52 PM
    Another great update, thanks TTG.

    I really get the feeling we are watching history in the making as the SAA & friends carve a swathe through what remains of occupied Idlib. I am sure the outcome will prove to be a great turning point in the balance of power in the ME. This makes it all the more fascinating, from the safe spectator's standpoint.

    I wonder if we should see it as encouraging that the TSK has not directly engaged the SAA again, since the exchange of fire a few days ago that you describe. Perhaps this is the calm before the storm. I'd like to think Erdogan has carefully weighed the risks of going to war over the bones of his ancestors. However, I'm not at all sure that the rational actor model can accurately forecast the actions of a neo-Ottoman fantasist. We shall soon see I guess.

    turcopolier , 14 February 2020 at 04:56 PM
    all
    It remains to be seen of Pompeo and the other Ziocons can push turkey into war against Syria.
    Barbara Ann , 14 February 2020 at 05:47 PM
    On the subject of Pompeo's efforts to goad Turkey into war, has the State Dept. scrubbed the designation of HTS from its website?

    Here is an archive of the designation of HTS as an alias of al-Nusrah Front - note the date.

    https://web.archive.org/web/20180602153815/https://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2018/05/282880.htm ">https://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2018/05/282880.htm">https://web.archive.org/web/20180602153815/https://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2018/05/282880.htm

    And here is the list of press releases by the Office of the Spokesperson covering the same period.

    The link was live a few weeks ago, as I saw it myself. Nusrah is still on the FTO list, but if I'm not mistaken, this looks like an attempt to whitewash HTS.

    Elora Danan , 14 February 2020 at 05:56 PM
    Erdogan will be pushed to whatever by whoever, since he is spending way too much a money he really has not in his overarching campaigns through the Mediterranean...

    Como turco en la neblina

    Why this behavior? Why does the Turkish government agree with Russia and Syria and very few days later it fails to fulfill its obligations? The answers must be sought in the internal situation of Turkey; and above all to the growing opposition that is maintaining the Turkish social democracy that has led to the fact that in the last elections the Erdogan party has lost nothing less than the mayor of Istanbul (formerly Constantinople) .

    But there is also another reason of enormous weight in Turkey that is the situation of its economy. Turkey has a huge financial deficit caused by the "Ottoman" dreams of Erdogan, who tries to get out of his isolation, through large military expenses that are not justified, since Turkey is under the umbrella of NATO, and maintains the largest army within that organization, with an impossible cost to cope with. The Turkish industry is very late, and its manufacturing methods are not competitive, making its costs unassuming.(...)


    Elora Danan , 14 February 2020 at 05:59 PM
    What do you think, TTG, Pat, pilgrims, of the death menaces denounced by Russian Ambassador to Turkey received through "social media"?
    JohninMK , 14 February 2020 at 06:00 PM
    The moves by the SAA in our last diagram are, as you say, not in tank country. It is rugged mountains currently in the middle of winter. The SAAs best chance is that the militants are on the run with few supplies pre-positioned in the area as they would probably not have been expecting to have to defend it yet. Whilst they think that the best thing to do is to keep on moving west, before they get slaughtered. A problem might be that I read somewhere that there are a lot of Uygurs there who will martyr themselves.

    A long and costly operation doesn't seem to be in the SAA plans currently.

    prawnik , 14 February 2020 at 06:41 PM
    Gank 'em all, SAA!

    No doubt Pompeo and his merry band of neocons are whispering something like "you can't let this Assad guy do that to you! You know what you gotta do? You gotta stand up for yourself, you gotta go on the attack! What are you, chicken?" in Erdogan's ear.

    turcopolier , 14 February 2020 at 08:09 PM
    johninMK

    IMO there is at least a 50% chance that jihadi resistance will collapse in Idlib Province if the pursuit is pressed hard enough.

    Morongobill , 15 February 2020 at 09:56 AM
    The way the SAA is killing jihadists, a hundred here etc, perhaps they'll rid the Turks of all of them. Maybe Erdogan is smart like a fox.

    [Feb 14, 2020] Erdogan has requested NATO via Trump to help him

    Feb 14, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

    Taffyboy , Feb 12 2020 17:48 utc | 34

    That rat Erdogan has requested NATO via Trump to help him. Looks like that rotten no good for nothing skunk is going all in. Let us see if his grunts can match the battle hardened Syrians. My vote is for the Syrians.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/erdogan-ready-hit-assad-forces-anywhere-us-vows-full-support-our-nato-ally


    Virgile , Feb 12 2020 17:51 utc | 35

    "The civilians are suffering because of provocations in Idlib de-escalation zone by the terrorist groups that use 'live shield' against the Syrian government forces. The situation is exacerbated by the arrival of weapons and ammunition in the de-escalation zone via the Syrian-Turkish border, as well as the arrival of Turkish armoured vehicles and troops in the province of Idlib," the Russian ministry said in a press release.

    "The real reason of the crisis in Idlib de-escalation zone is, unfortunately, the failure of our Turkish colleagues to adhere to their commitments on separating moderate opposition fighters from terrorists of Jabhat Nusra (banned in Russia) and Hurras ad-Din (linked to Al Qaeda, which is banned in Russia)," the press release read.

    https://sputniknews.com/world/202002121078294391-kremlin-refutes-claims-that-syrian-army-attacked-civilians-in-idlib/

    ARN , Feb 12 2020 20:56 utc | 62
    Look like Erdo get even more from US for scalation..
    https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200212-us-treasury-lifts-sanctions-off-turkey-ministries/
    Bruce , Feb 12 2020 19:56 utc | 53
    @b

    "Meanwhile, Turkish suppliers complained about difficulties sending tomatoes to Russia, said Ahmet Hamdi Gyrdogan, head of the Union of East Black Sea Exporters.

    This is notable, since one of the sanctions Russia imposed on Turkey over the downing of the Russian Su-24 back in 2015, was related to tomatoes and they're a big part of Ankara-Moscow agricultural trade.

    "We are ready to supply our products to Russia instead of the Chinese, which it has now abandoned because of the coronavirus. However, unfortunately, our historical friendship with Russia due to events in Syria, and especially in Idlib, is under great pressure, relations are deteriorating. Now we can't send tomatoes to Russia: they say that the quota has ended. < > I hope that the leadership of Russia and Turkey will be able to act on the basis of common sense," a source of RIA said.

    According to him, exporters requested an additional quota from the Russian side, but so far no answer has been received, and the delivered goods are being returned back."
    https://southfront.org/u-s-nato-rush-to-add-fuel-to-fire-of-idlib-conflict/

    Precisely as you predicted. Better tomatoes than bodies. My hat is off to you and to VVP.

    Miss Lacy , Feb 12 2020 20:03 utc | 54
    Yes, turkey has been helping izzyhell to stolen oil for a very very long time. Remember Erdogan's son and the conveys of oil trucks? A very nasty viper is Erdogan. Does anyone else think he just set up Putie big time??? I'm referring to taffyboy's link at #34... syria and libya too. Pompeous must be dancing on his desk.

    [Feb 14, 2020] The Syrian Government and its armed forces have finally taken control and regained control of the M5 highway joining Damascus, the capitol, to the south with the major industrial city of Aleppo in the north

    Feb 14, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

    uncle tungsten , Feb 13 2020 8:52 utc | 140

    The Syrian Government and its armed forces have finally taken control and regained control of the M5 highway joining Damascus, the capitol, to the south with the major industrial city of Aleppo in the north. They have achieved what Turkey lacked the will and capacity to achieve.

    Syrian soldiers and their leader President Assad have demonstrated their capacity to defend their country against huge malign odds. With any sense Turkey will withdraw its lunatic interference and work with regional governments to eliminate the jihadis and resettle the refugees currently in Turkey. I wont hold my breath but that would be the sane way out of its self created dilemma.

    Finally Aleppo city is free from murderous jihadis at its doorstep. Thanks to Russia and Syria working together and their regional allies.

    [Feb 14, 2020] Seems like Uncle Sam is making himself popular again during a clash with local militias in Qamishli

    Feb 14, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

    Vato , Feb 12 2020 15:24 utc | 14

    Seems like Uncle Sam is making himself popular again during a clash with local militias in Qamishli

    Mao , Feb 13 2020 7:34 utc | 131

    Posted by: Vato | Feb 12 2020 15:24 utc | 14

    Seems like Uncle Sam is making himself popular again during a clash with local militias in Qamishli

    A Syrian was killed and another was wounded when government supporters attacked American troops and tried to block their way as their convoy drove through an army checkpoint in northeastern Syria, prompting a rare clash, state media and activists reported.

    https://apnews.com/5af57c4ce873b35c22ceb7360f9323ee

    snake , Feb 13 2020 10:58 utc | 146
    the link itself
    https://www.veteranstoday.com/2020/02/12/usaf-f15-attacks-syrian-army-checkpoint-after-russians-save-us-column-from-angry-kurds/ <===the same link as amended for the bar ===>
    Russia stops Syria so USA can get safely home
    Maybe we now know Putin's position in Syria < == he is going to help the oil companies divide up Syria.

    On the issue of Bernie.. might as well put Miss Julia my first grade teacher into the paint deceiving white house.. the problem Bernie cannot solve, is keeping the USA from using America and Americans to make the USA great. The USA has destroyed America, does not matter who has been elected its more of the same, just a different clown in a different clown suit.

    Bernie cannot overcome the make the USA great syndrome he does understand the problem is how to return America to its Greatness, but he does not have the moxey it takes to deal with the mobster community? His legs will be broken before he gets installed. Even so no body is going to defeat the electoral college system, and Bernie ain't on the approved list.

    alaff , Feb 13 2020 11:28 utc | 148
    Yesterday's briefing by the Russian Defense Ministry:

    At 10:30 a.m. on February 12, 2020, at a checkpoint near Kharbat Khamo, located east of Qamyshlia, al-Hasakah province, a unit of the Syrian Arab Republic stopped a convoy of the US Armed Forces deviating from the route. There was a conflict between US troops and the local civilians, as a result of which the US military opened fire on civilians. One local resident was injured. Another, a 14-year-old boy, Faisal Khalid Muhammad, died. Only through the efforts of the Russian servicemen who arrived at the scene of the incident, it was possible to prevent a further escalation of the conflict with local residents and to ensure the exit of the US Armed Forces column in the direction of the base point in the area of the KhImo, al-Hasakah province.

    Amid the general hype, the US military shot and killed a 14-year-old child in Syria. A simple, insignificant, unimportant incident.
    I doubt that CNN will talk about it in prime time.

    [Feb 14, 2020] Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi warned on Wednesday that Iran's response to any Israeli aggression against its interests in the region or in Syria will be "crushing."

    Feb 14, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

    psychohistorian , Feb 13 2020 5:14 utc | 120

    Below is another short Xinhuanet posting about current political posturing and threats in the ME

    "
    TEHRAN, Feb. 12 (Xinhua) -- Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi warned on Wednesday that Iran's response to any Israeli aggression against its interests in the region or in Syria will be "crushing."

    Mousavi said over the past 70 years Israel has resorted to violence to occupy Palestine and target its neighboring countries.

    Iran's presence in Syria has been at invitation with the aim of fighting terrorism, the spokesman added.

    "Our country will not hesitate to protect its interests in Syria or in the region and will defend its national security," he noted, vowing "decisive and crushing response to any aggression or stupid act of Israel against its interests."
    "

    Sitting here on the West coast of North America all I can do is wish them well in working out the 70+ years of jamming the Occupied Palestine/Israel state into the middle of the ME...and then occupying more and into Syria....

    And once again let me close by noting that the above is a proxy part of the current civilization war about public/private global finance in the social contract.....socialism or barbarism

    [Feb 14, 2020] Deadly 'Occupation' Video Shows Moment Syrian Villagers Open Fire On US Patrol

    Feb 14, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

    Deadly 'Occupation': Video Shows Moment Syrian Villagers Open Fire On US Patrol by Tyler Durden Wed, 02/12/2020 - 15:20

    Via Al-Masdar News,

    A new video from the Al-Qamishli countryside was released this afternoon following a skirmish between the U.S. Armed Forces and residents of the Syrian village of Khirbat Amo , east of Qamishli in Syria's northeast.

    According to a report from the Al-Hasakah Governorate, the residents of Khirbat Amo attempted to block the U.S. Armed Forces from bypassing a checkpoint belonging to the National Defense Forces (NDF) in the southern countryside of Al-Qamishli.

    Below is the video of the gunfire exchange from Khirbat Amo on Wednesday:

    https://www.youtube.com/embed/rMnyzjDButw

    As a result of this obstruction, two U.S. military vehicles had to be towed from the area after they became stuck in the grass.

    The incident also prompted false reports of airstrikes, which were said to have been carried out by the U.S. Coalition on the Syrian military's positions in Khirbat Amo on Wednesday.

    The Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) said at least one resident of Khirbat Amo was wounded during the brief exchange . This was later updated to one civilian killed by U.S. gunfire, according to ABC News .

    AP photo of the aftermath of the deadly shootout, which left one Syrian civilian dead.

    The U.S. Coalition confirmed the dangerous and rare incident:

    "After Coalition troops issued a series of warnings and de-escalation attempts, the patrol came under small arms fire from unknown individuals. In self-defense, Coalition troops returned fire," an official statement by U.S. spokesman Col. Myles B. Caggins III said.

    Coalition statement on the incident in Qamishli earlier today

    * Came under fire from unknown individuals near a SAA checkpoint

    * U.S troops fired backed

    * Nothing on injuries

    * Convoy returned to base

    * Why is the U.S military passing though Syrian army checkpoints? pic.twitter.com/kIMIvqeEHe

    -- Danny Makki (@Dannymakkisyria) February 12, 2020

    "The situation was de-escalated and is under investigation," the statement added.

    Pro-Syrian government media sources said the villagers were outraged over an earlier skirmish that resulted in the death of a 14-year old from the town, though this is yet to be confirmed.

    Locals opning fire at US military vehciles in Khirbat Amo in northern al-Hasakah today. Earlier US forces hadkilled a 14 year old teenager from the town. pic.twitter.com/fTA5NxrCMr

    -- Within Syria (@WithinSyriaBlog) February 12, 2020

    The U.S. Coalition spokesperson later reported that one U.S. soldier suffered a superficial wound and was allowed to return to active duty following the incident.

    * * *

    Other local videos emerged on Arabic social media Wednesday, showing villagers confronting American troops as 'occupiers'.

    "What are you doing in our country?" the local Syrian man asks while approaching the US convoy.

    [Feb 10, 2020] How Low Can Israelis Go - Sputnik International

    Feb 10, 2020 | sputniknews.com

    How Low Can Israelis Go? © Sputnik / MArina Lystseva Columnists 11:52 GMT 08.02.2020 Get short URL by Finian Cunningham 17 105 3 Subscribe https://cdn1.img.sputniknews.com/images/107568/96/1075689687.jpg Sputnik International https://cdn2.img.sputniknews.com/i/logo.png Finian Cunningham. Sputnik International https://sputniknews.com/columnists/202002081078260458-how-low-can-israelis-go/ Not only is Israel bombing neighboring Syria in acts of aggression, the Israeli air force is compounding its criminality by using civilian airliners as cover for their assaults. That's the assessment from Russia's Ministry of Defense which says flight data shows that an air raid by four Israeli F-16 warplanes this week near Damascus deliberately put in danger a civilian airliner with 172 passengers onboard.

    Russian MOD spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said the Israeli jets effectively hid behind the radar signal of an Airbus A-320 as it approached Damascus international airport in order to launch airstrikes on targets near the Syrian capital.

    It was only due to the skill of the Syrian air defense operators that the passenger plane was correctly identified and escorted out of the firing line. The aircraft was diverted to a safe landing at the Russian air base at Hmeymim further north at Latakia.

    Israel has a cynical policy of neither confirming or denying its forces are conducting offensive operations. So, its side of the story remains ambiguous. However, Israeli commanders have admitted previously to carrying out hundreds of airstrikes on Syrian territory over the past two years.

    Russian military spokesman Konashenkov said what happened this week was a "typical" ploy used during recent Israeli air raid maneuvers. He said the Israeli air force was knowingly putting civilians in danger as a "shield" for their offensive operation.

    The implications are appalling. Not only is Israel violating international law and Syrian sovereignty by carrying out acts of aggression with airstrikes, the Jewish state is also using civilian aircraft as de facto hostages in mid-air. It appears that the nefarious calculation at work by the Israelis is that they are betting the Syrian air defense systems will refrain from taking defensive action so as to avoid civilian casualties. The Israelis are thus able to freely launch their illegal airstrikes while using human shields in the air.

    This is by no means the first time the Israelis have used such a dastardly ploy. Russia claims that in the recent past other civilian airliners have been similarly exploited by Israeli warplanes to enable strikes on Syria.

    Also, in September 2018, Moscow accused Israel of deliberately putting a Russian reconnaissance plane in danger which led to the death of 15 crew. On that occasion, Israeli F-16s are believed to have knowingly flown behind the radar signal of an IL-20 aircraft as it approached Hmeymim air base and then fired off missiles at Syrian territory. Syrian air defenses mistook the IL-20 for an enemy target and shot down the recon plane with tragic results.

    Israel denied on that occasion that it was using the Russian spy plane as a decoy. The Israelis sought to blame the Syrians for incompetent defense operations. Moscow, however, was having none of the Israeli excuses and condemned Tel Aviv for sacrificing Russian lives. Russia then responded by upgrading allied Syrian air defenses with the S-300 system .

    Perhaps that S-300 upgrade was a factor in why the civilian airliner escaped this week from accidental shoot-down by Syrian air defense.

    In any case, what needs to be called out is the absolute disgraceful behavior of Israel. It has no right to launch airstrikes on Syria in the first place. Countless such attacks have occurred over recent years. Israeli claims about hitting "Iranian targets" within Syria are null and void and indefensible under international law. Israeli strikes are acts of aggression, plain and simple.

    As if that it is not bad enough, now we see Israel using civilian airliners in a cowardly and wicked way as a form of protection so that its warplanes can commit their crimes of aggression.

    If any other state were to do this, the Western media would be heaping endless vilification upon it. Any other state would be globally condemned as a rogue, terrorist pariah. The United Nations would be inundated with resolutions to impose severe sanctions.

    The double standards with which, say Iran, is treated is dumbfounding.

    Another astounding hypocrisy is the way Syria is sanctioned left, right and center by the European Union. The war-torn Arab country is unable to import vital medicines because of EU sanctions . Yet the EU does nothing to reprimand Israel for brazen violations of international law.

    The question of "how low can you go?" does not just apply to Israel, but also to the Western news media and Israel's international political supporters, chiefly the American government.

    Russia might also rethink its position vis-a-vis Israel the next time Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants a reception in Moscow.

    Until Israel begins to abide by international law, it should be treated with a cold shoulder. The despicable event this week of endangering a civilian airliner should be seen as the last straw for indulging Israel as if it is a normal state.

    [Feb 09, 2020] US troops have stolen tens of millions in Iraq and Afghanistan

    Many of these crimes grew out of shortcomings in the military's management of the deployments that experts say are still present: a heavy dependence on cash transactions, a hasty award process for high-value contracts, loose and harried oversight within the ranks, and a regional culture of corruption that proved seductive to the Americans troops transplanted there.
    Notable quotes:
    "... "this thing going on" ..."
    "... a regional culture of corruption that proved seductive to the Americans troops transplanted there. ..."
    May 09, 2015 | slate.com

    The Fraud of War: U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have stolen tens of millions through bribery, theft, and rigged contracts.

    U.S. Army Specialist Stephanie Charboneau sat at the center of a complex trucking network in Forward Operating Base Fenty near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border that distributed daily tens of thousands of gallons of what troops called "liquid gold": the refined petroleum that fueled the international coalition's vehicles, planes, and generators.

    A prominent sign in the base read: "The Army Won't Go If The Fuel Don't Flow." But Charboneau, 31, a mother of two from Washington state, felt alienated after a supervisor's harsh rebuke. Her work was a dreary routine of recording fuel deliveries in a computer and escorting trucks past a gate. But it was soon to take a dark turn into high-value crime.

    She began an affair with a civilian, Jonathan Hightower, who worked for a Pentagon contractor that distributed fuel from Fenty, and one day in March 2010 he told her about "this thing going on" at other U.S. military bases around Afghanistan, she recalled in a recent telephone interview.

    Troops were selling the U.S. military's fuel to Afghan locals on the side, and pocketing the proceeds. When Hightower suggested they start doing the same, Charboneau said, she agreed.

    In so doing, Charboneau contributed to thefts by U.S. military personnel of at least $15 million worth of fuel since the start of the U.S. war in Afghanistan. And eventually she became one of at least 115 enlisted personnel and military officers convicted since 2005 of committing theft, bribery, and contract-rigging crimes valued at $52 million during their deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq, according to a comprehensive tally of court records by the Center for Public Integrity.

    Many of these crimes grew out of shortcomings in the military's management of the deployments that experts say are still present: a heavy dependence on cash transactions, a hasty award process for high-value contracts, loose and harried oversight within the ranks, and a regional culture of corruption that proved seductive to the Americans troops transplanted there.

    Charboneau, whose Facebook posts reveal a bright-eyed woman with a shoulder tattoo and a huge grin, snuggling with pets and celebrating the 2015 New Year with her children in Seattle Seahawks jerseys, now sits in Carswell federal prison in Fort Worth, Texas, serving a seven-year sentence for her crime.

    [Feb 09, 2020] Syria Russia Publish Evidence Of US Weapons Recovered In Idlib 'Terrorist Enclave'

    Feb 09, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

    Syria & Russia Publish Evidence Of US Weapons Recovered In Idlib 'Terrorist Enclave' by Tyler Durden Sat, 02/08/2020 - 22:00 0 SHARES The Syrian Army is making major gains inside Idlib in a military offensive condemned by Turkey and the United States, over the weekend capturing the key town of Saraqib from al-Qaeda linked Hayat Tahrir al-Sham .

    Amid the military advance, the Syrian and Russian governments say they've recovered proof of US support for the anti-Assad al-Qaeda insurgent terrorists, publishing photographs of crates of weapons and supplies to state-run SANA :

    Syrian Arab Army units have found US-made weapons and ammunition, and medicines made in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait at the positions and caches of terrorist organizations in the towns of Mardikh and Kafr Amim in Idleb southeastern countryside after crushing terrorism in them.

    Syrian reporters say they were recovered in newly liberated areas of southeastern Idlib province, where army units "found weapons, ammunition and US-made shells and Grad missiles left behind by terrorists at their positions in the town of Kafr Amim after they fled from the area after the advancement of the army."

    The Russian Embassy in Syria also circulated the photos on Saturday, saying there were some "interesting findings" in areas that were controlled by terrorists:

    #SYRIA | The #Syrian Army is coming across interesting findings as it liberates new areas in #Idlib from terrorists: lots of ammunition and medical supplies from various foreign countries ➡️ https://t.co/YqlSd0GZYZ | #IdlibBattle #سوريا #ادلب #إدلب_تحت_النار #USA #Nusra #grad pic.twitter.com/WyfFbvTfW6

    -- Russian Embassy, Syria (@RusEmbSyria) February 8, 2020

    For years since nearly the start of the war in 2011 and 2012, Damascus and Moscow have repeatedly offered proof of US weaponry in the hands of jihadist terrorist groups, including ISIS.

    Pentagon and even some former CIA officials have since admitted the covert US program 'Timber Sycamore' resulted in American arms 'unintentionally' making their way to terrorists in Syria; however, many informed commentators have said Washington knew exactly what it was doing in its 'at all costs' push to overthrow Assad.

    Meanwhile, in the past days the US State Department has issued repeat warnings to Damascus that it must halt its joint offensive with Russia - going so far as to release a new video framing the operation as an attack on civilians .

    The US State Dept has issued a propaganda video that warns against any assaults on #Idlib & promises to "use all its power to oppose normalization of the Assad regime into the int'l community". This is the US playing a part in supporting Al-Qaeda's war effort in #Syria . pic.twitter.com/jyb8zHPzBZ

    -- Walid (@walid970721) February 7, 2020

    The US has charged that Damascus is harming "peace" in Idlib despite the fact that as of 2017 the US Treasury had quietly designated the main anti-Assad group in control of Idlib, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham , as a terrorist organization .

    At the same time, top Turkish and Russian officials held high level talks in Ankara on Saturday over the worsening humanitarian crisis in Idlib.

    syrian forces begins combing the city of Saraqib after controlling it.. pic.twitter.com/PNrTpZOwHz

    -- Geo_monitor (@ConstantinGreco) February 8, 2020

    Turkey fears the fallout and strain of the hundreds of thousands of refugees now fleeing Idlib toward the Turkish border, while Russia has charged that Erdogan has failed in his promises to bring neutralize terrorist groups, who have even begun attacking civilians deep inside of neighboring Aleppo province.


    Floki_Ragnarsson , 1 minute ago link

    The guns Hillary, Obama, Juan McLame, and Eric Dickholder ran to Libya and beyond. That was what got the US Amb whacked and why the stand down order was given by Valerie Jarrett.

    OliverAnd , 16 minutes ago link

    Of course the weapons are made in the USA! This is what happens when you allow Turkey into NATO and sell it weapons. The weapons were made in the USA, sold to Turkey and then the Turks sold/gave them to their brothers the Syrian Turkmen and ISIS fighters.

    porco rosso , 20 minutes ago link

    While the US the "land of the free and brave" is giving weapons to murderous islamistic gangs, Iran, the "ultimate evil" is fighting these same inhumane rats for years.

    Alice-the-dog , 16 minutes ago link

    Land of the tax slave, home of the subservient. Since when are the US Sociopaths In Charge guilty of morality? Israel wants Syria destroyed, they happily send our sons and daughters to their death to accommodate them, and supply weapons to the very faction they claim to oppose.

    yerfej , 22 minutes ago link

    It would be nice if the ******* assholes who run the MIC would realize that they can just stand back and watch war WITHOUT participating. Nothing EVER gets accomplished in any war except a transfer of real estate. What a complete waste, just look at the total destruction. Then once done the idiots will go looking for another war to play in.

    William Dorritt , 32 minutes ago link

    The boxes are signed "With Love" John McCain

    E5 , 36 minutes ago link

    "'Timber Sycamore' resulted in American arms 'unintentionally' making their way to terrorists in Syria"

    and yet the Sycamore tree is the icon of Syria. I don't understand why they think we are going to believe it was unintentional?

    wdg , 39 minutes ago link

    Make America...oops Israel....Great Again. The US and Israel funded and equipped the ISIS to attack the Syrian government while pretending to be fighting ISIS. Bush, Clinton, Obama and Trump, it makes little difference despite Trump's rhetoric...or should we say blatant lies. Trump is actually more dangerous than Obama because so many conservatives/patriots are sucked in by the lies and disarmed as a result.

    NuYawkFrankie , 57 minutes ago link

    USSA Weapons To ISIS....

    Meanwhile at an Auto-Dealership in Galveston Texas:

    " Gee... Where The FCK did all my Toyota Trucks disappear to???"

    madashellron , 38 minutes ago link

    Some guy who said he works for the state department ordered 200 of them.

    NuYawkFrankie , 1 hour ago link

    USSA - The Planet's PREMIER PROMOTER of TERRORISM

    wdg , 37 minutes ago link

    The US is now the Evil American Empire and the greatest threat to peace and prosperity in the entire world.

    VW Nerd , 1 hour ago link

    Syria and Russian forces attack enemy insurgents illegally occupying Syria's Idlib and the US CIA and State Department condemn it as a threat to civilians, yet one of Syria's neighbors hit Damascus with repeated airstrikes, risking civilians, and the same US operatives are silent about these actions??? I'm confused....

    madashellron , 59 minutes ago link

    No they weren't silent. The State Department came out and said Israel was justified in attacking Syria. Despite the fact Israel was using yet again a commerical airliner has bate. Hoping that Syria would shoot down the jet.

    VW Nerd , 50 minutes ago link

    Very true. I'm just wanting to bring to light the empty, mendacious argument about the "threat to civilians".

    madashellron , 1 hour ago link

    Imagine that, the District of Criminals. Using false pretexts in Syria and Iraq. To justify killing a Iranian General and bomb Syria and Iraq.

    https://thegrayzone.com/2020/02/07/washington-false-pretext-escalation-iraq/amp/

    Geocen Trist , 1 hour ago link

    Or to perhaps further a New World Order. :-D

    booboo , 20 minutes ago link

    My uncle worked for the federal government as a shoveler at the Money Hole. Retired there to as a manager at the Money Hole. He said the weapons pickers at the Weapons Tree had it tough, said jobs at the weapons tree went to mainly undocumented workers after Haliburton took over the Weapons Tree contract.

    Equinox7 , 1 hour ago link

    The White House needs to figure out how to drip the information out that the Retarded Bush 43 regime and Barry Sotoro regime, along with their cabinets, were running Deep State regime change in the middle East and around the world. Congress isn't going to drop anything. 50%+ of Congress is the Deep State.

    I realize most Americans couldn't mentally handle a total information dump of truth all at once. Their patriotism would be destroyed if they truly understood what the Demoncrats and the Rhino Republicans and the Deep State Intelligence network have been doing since 1947 around the globe. They turned the US into a warmonger Empire, just like Rome.

    McStain needs to be exposed though. Perhaps exposing a dead man's crimes first could start the drip.

    freedommusic , 1 hour ago link

    At least we know these weapons will NOT trace back to John McCain .

    Equinox7 , 1 hour ago link

    They need to trace back to John McStain, a treasonous traitor.

    Truthistheagenda , 2 hours ago link

    All done under Obama's watch... with the help of McStain, HRC, Jarret, Rice and many more.

    And you thought Benghazi was just a spontaneous protest over some video... It was arms running and they needed to make sure there were no Ambass, oops I mean loose ends.

    ZKnight , 2 hours ago link

    The US are the Terroists

    Truthistheagenda , 2 hours ago link

    No, the Obama Administration was Terrorist...

    it isn't the people, it's the ******* leadership.

    simpson seers , 1 hour ago link

    https://www.fort-russ.com/2020/01/u-s-regime-has-killed-20-30-million-people-since-world-war-ii/

    cashback , 2 hours ago link

    CIA had the ISIS program up and running since 1999. Iraq war, among other reasons, was designed to get ISIS up and running. Took a decade and still didn't pay off.

    mog , 33 minutes ago link

    It was going strong before the Iraq war.

    The USA and NATO were creating, arming, training, financing and importing islam terrorists against the Serbs in the early 1990s.

    Even the Guardian exposes the US link with the Mujahareem in Bosnia = https://www.theguardian.com/world/2002/apr/22/warcrimes.comment

    More

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-33345618

    https://balkaninsight.com/2016/04/21/bosnian-serb-soldier-recalls-mujahideen-cutting-off-heads-04-21-2016/

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/3254890.stm

    http://serbianna.com/blogs/bozinovich/archives/732

    Just the tip of.....

    Musum , 2 hours ago link

    So now Trump too is arming and supporting terrorists, like Obama and Clinton, the Saudis and Israelis.

    What clusterfcuks -- all of them.

    demoses , 2 hours ago link

    Trump is Bibis lil handpuppet...

    zerofucks , 2 hours ago link

    trump was turned by the MIC/MIGA back in 2017 when he bombed syria

    wake up

    Totin , 3 hours ago link

    That "From the USA for mutual defense" with the unaligned symbol and text is a dead giveaway. No way anyone would fake that. Were these found in a baby milk factory? Or maybe the maternity ward of a hospital?

    Truthistheagenda , 2 hours ago link

    The West Bank

    Whopper Goldberg , 3 hours ago link

    All the Trumptards are still blaming Obomber even though Trump has been President for 3 years.

    schroedingersrat , 3 hours ago link

    Trump increased Obombers bombing campaigns by +400% & increased troops in ME by 15k. Trump is even worse than Obomber. Maybe not as bad as Bush Jr. tough.

    tuetenueggel , 2 hours ago link

    at least not as stupid as those 2 idiots were.

    beemasters , 3 hours ago link

    Israhell has been very careful not to have their name associated with terrorists; they get Americans to do their dirty work and supply the terrorists instead. Good to be the puppet master, especially when you have control of American politicians/POTUS.

    Largebrneyes1 , 4 hours ago link

    Wow, 6 whole crates, huh?

    Now let's have russia and syria count how many hundreds of thousands of Russian AKs, PKMs, VKSs, RPKs, NSVs, RGNs, RPGs, Koronets, Konkurs, Fagots, and all the rest of the russian millitary hardware is being used in Syria every day....but I am sure they cannot count that high.

    Stop posting trash.

    schroedingersrat , 3 hours ago link

    Russian military hardware is used in Syria because the Russians were invited to the country. Quite a difference :)

    Largebrneyes1 , 47 minutes ago link

    And yet russian hardware is the ubiquitous weapon of choice for the Hajis head choppers...nicely done.

    simpson seers , 1 hour ago link

    https://www.fort-russ.com/2020/01/u-s-regime-has-killed-20-30-million-people-since-world-war-ii/

    grumpygus , 38 minutes ago link

    Those are USSR / Warsaw pact weapons not Russian weapons. They come from Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland and the Ukraine not Russia. AK-47 and most RPG's are open source design. They make them all over the world.

    Barney Fife , 4 hours ago link

    I smell ******** on the first photo. Dark ops policy executors are never stupid enough to ever put a "courtesy of America" on any weapons shipments in order to maintain plausible deniability. Otherwise how could they claim a fabricated story like "they were stolen out of a NATO depot" or something like that?

    Sorry, seems bullshitty to me. Russian press lies too. Everybody lies.

    dogfish , 3 hours ago link

    The US never thought this war would ever end its defeat and did not care what the crates had printed on them, arrogance told the US that the truth would never be known.

    cashback , 3 hours ago link

    In the beginning no one expected Russians to jump in the Syrian war and if it wasn't for the Russians, no one would have known the truth about ISIS like people are still oblivious to all the terrorism in Iraq was sponsored by Mossad.

    Barney Fife , 3 hours ago link

    Nah, that's conjecture. Nothing more. Sorry, I still smell BS. Black-ops are never this sloppy. If they were we'd have revolted decades ago.

    dogfish , 2 hours ago link

    So are you denying that the anti tank missiles are made in the US?

    simpson seers , 1 hour ago link

    ." Black-ops are never this sloppy."........seriously?

    booboo , 14 minutes ago link

    The US has openly admitted and acknowledge arming ISIS. You are either in denial or just playing dumb. Stop already, you only look foolish.

    BlueLightning , 4 hours ago link

    Holly **** batman there's a surprise, America a zionist controlled terrorist state.

    simpson seers , 1 hour ago link

    never.........these people were all terrorists I'm sure, all 30 million....

    https://www.fort-russ.com/2020/01/u-s-regime-has-killed-20-30-million-people-since-world-war-ii/

    [Feb 07, 2020] Our Military is Clashing With Russians While Defending Syrian Oil. Why

    Feb 07, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

    Last month, American military forces physically blocked Russian troops from proceeding down a road near the town of Rmelan, Syria. U.S. troops were acting on orders of President Trump, who said back in October that Washington would be "protecting" oil fields currently under control of the anti-Assad, Kurdish Syrian Defense Forces.

    Meanwhile, the Russians are acting on behalf of Syrian president Bashar Assad, who says the state is ultimately in control of those fields. While no shots were fired in this case, the next time Moscow's forces might not go so quietly.

    U.S. officials offered few details about the January stand-off, but General Alexus Grynkewich, deputy commander of the anti-ISIS campaign, said: "We've had a number of different engagements with the Russians on the ground." Late last month the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported: "Tensions have continued to increase significantly in recent days between U.S. and Russian forces in the northeastern regions of Syria."

    Stationed in Syria illegally, with neither domestic nor international legal authority, American personnel risked life and limb to occupy another nation's territory and steal its resources. What is the Trump administration doing?

    American policy in Syria has long been stunningly foolish, dishonest, and counterproductive. When the Arab Spring erupted in 2011, Washington first defended Assad. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton even called him a "reformer." Then she decided that he should be ousted and demanded that the rest of the world follow Washington's new policy.

    [Feb 05, 2020] Syrian Army Progress Leads To New Scuffle Between Turkey And Russia

    Feb 05, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

    GMJ , Feb 3 2020 19:40 utc | 21

    Thank you for another good article. What strikes me is that so many automatically go to, or refer to, Mr Putin as the voice of reason these days and not Washington DC or any NATO country. I never thought that I will live to see the US become less trusted than our old enemy, the commies. BUT, as I say in my books, the Russia of today is not the USSR at all. Anyway, for those interested in interesting military history, I recently discovered this myself, see https://www.georgemjames.com/blog/the-fuhrers-commando-order-origins. I wanted to post on the open thread but got busy and forgot. GMJ.

    [Feb 04, 2020] Turkey openly sided with jihadists

    Feb 04, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

    Likklemore , Feb 3 2020 19:44 utc | 22

    @ Brendan 18

    Turkey is still in NATO, realizes his strategic importance and from time immoral has always played both sides.

    2019 Erdo got what he wanted from Russia - TurkStream. The pipeline is operational and income flows.
    There is this; when one plays both sides of the fence, one day the fence will disappear.

    Action in Saraqib.
    Top Russian, Turkish diplomats hold phone talks, says source in Turkish ministry

    The phone call comes amid deterioration in Syria

    ANKARA, February 3. /TASS/. Turkish and Russian Foreign Ministers Mevlut Cavusoglu and Sergey Lavrov have held phone talks on Monday, a source in the Turkish diplomatic agency told TASS.[.]

    Earlier, the Turkish Ministry of National Defense said that Turkish positions near the town of Saraqib in Syria's Idlib Province had been shelled, killing six soldiers and wounding nine more. Ankara claims that the Syrian army was behind the attack in spite of the fact that it was timely informed about where Turkish forces are located. Erdogan later revealed that Turkish aviation and artillery had retaliated, striking 40 targets in Idlib and "neutralizing 30-35 Syrians."[.]


    les7 , Feb 3 2020 19:52 utc | 23

    Erdogan has a serious delusion/problem with seeing himself as the head of a pan-turkik empire. The US in particular plays with fire feeding this obsession.

    Instead ofjust supporting militants to destabilize and keep clients dependent (ala gladio), the empire seems to be mobilizing to use the Turkik racial entity as a block to the Russian-Chinese OBOR connectivity in Asia.

    While the militants destabilization technique works in Africa and Arab areas, it lacks traction in central Asia -although it cannot be ignored as a potential trigger (Pakistan-India)

    For central Asia, the US is mobilizing pan-turkik feelings. Putin and Xi run a great risk mollifying (putin) or financing (Xi) such delusion.

    It all starts or ends in Syria.

    Likklemore , Feb 3 2020 19:57 utc | 24
    More from Reuters
    Turkey's Erdogan says developments in Syria's Idlib 'unmanageable'
    Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday developments in Syria's northwestern region of Idlib had become "unmanageable", after Ankara said Syrian shelling killed five of its soldiers there.

    Russia, Turkey agree to observe deal in Syria's Idlib: Ifax cites Russian foreign ministry

    The foreign ministers of Russia and Turkey on Monday agreed that a deal over Syria's Idlib region must be observed, amid rising tensions between opposing forces, the Interfax news agency cited the Russian foreign ministry as saying.[.]

    les7 , Feb 3 2020 19:58 utc | 25
    For Erdogan the Arabs are racially inferior and will be pushed aside. Kurds, unfortunately for them in Erdogans eyes, are a kind of half-breed that threatens turkik racial purity- they will be subservient or cease to exist.
    Red Ryder , Feb 3 2020 20:05 utc | 26
    @16, Casey

    Not true. Russian doesn't even have a passive "no fly" via S-400s. They don't have full coverage from the installations at Latakia and Tartus. A no fly zone requires fighter jets to maintain the clear skies. Russia has no intention of suppressing US air power over Syria (eastern sector). They use de-confliction talks daily to separate aircraft.

    Also, Assad has not asked Russia to impose a "No Fly Zone". At times, for Russian military uses, they have announced zones where all aircraft are warned to stay clear. But those are common practice and of limited duration, usually for military exercises.

    DontBelieveEitherPr. , Feb 3 2020 20:18 utc | 29
    The thing is, which even the totally Pro-Russian Southfront admits: Turkey has more (economic) leverage over Putin as the other way around.
    The Turk Stream pipeline is critical for Putin, even more with the long delays North Stream II faces.
    With the renewed US-Turkey allaince, Putin and Turkey payed lobbyists like Peskov have manuvered themselves into a pretty shitty situation. Again, as even Southfront admits, this could damage all of Russias new prestige in the middle east.
    And again, as Southfront even notes, Russia would not admit it if Turkey did strike the SAA.
    In the middle east, if you can not protect your protectorate, you are seen as impotent. SF seems to believe Turkey did indeed strike the SAA. And with SF sources in Russian military circles, i would not doubt that.
    Either Putin now gives Erdo a bloody nose, and pushes back hard, Russias standing will be severly damaged.
    And everything concerning the middle east Putin build up in the last years, will threaten to unravel.
    I sad for over a year this day would come, while many here dreamed of some mythical/esoteric alliance between Turkey and Russia. That delusion now finally comes to its predictable end.
    Good riddance.
    Bubbles , Feb 3 2020 20:21 utc | 31
    Another potential contributing factor to Erdogan's erratic behaviour is the Lira is being squeezed again similar to when the US sought to pressure him to release the US pastor and to dissuade him from purchasing the S400's. They got the pastor when the Lira hit 6.18 to the USD after a sudden mercurial rise.

    It's a hair shy of 6 per right now after another rapid devaluation. Turkey is very vulnerable in this area due to a large amount of foreign debt denominated in USD that's due in the near term. Last time this happened many experts opined the 6 per level was a watershed moment which threatens to bring down the Turk's economy if it continued for brief period. Erdogan isn't as popular nor as resilient politically as he used to be especially with inflation remaining a huge problem and interest rates that would give an American oligarch a heart attack. Pocket book issues are important everywhere.

    "It's the economy stupid."

    That said I read an article earlier about Netanyahu flying directly to Moscow after taking a victory lap with the 'Don' and instead of his usual all about Binyamin bloviating, he busied himself heaping effusive praise on Putin..who btw demurred. Deal of Century stone thrown into still waters rippling far and wide methinks. Maximum pressure on the 'Don's' good friend Recep, the Mob Boss who resides in his new Gilded quarters /Palace in Turkey.

    Lastly a worthy read. A story of hope and tragedy;

    Leila Janah, Entrepreneur Who Hired the Poor, Dies at 37

    "A child of Indian immigrants, she created digital jobs that pay a living wage to thousands in Africa and India, believing that the intellect of the poor was "the biggest untapped resource" in the world."

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/30/business/leila-janah-dead.html?searchResultPosition=2

    Probably the only chance a significant % of the public will have to hear about her and her passion. Sadly the mobsters steal the headlines, and capture most of the attention.

    ak74 , Feb 3 2020 20:23 utc | 32
    Sultan Erdogan seems to have forgotten who saved his ass when America backed and supported a coup against him in 2016.

    If it weren't for Russia, Erdogan would likely be in a Turkish prison somewhere being subjected to America's Abu Ghraib-style "naked pyramids" or even worse.

    Turkish state terrorism in Syria must be ended.

    Gary M , Feb 3 2020 20:26 utc | 33
    @23 Pompeo said this today in his trip to Kazakhstan: "More than a million persons of Oyghour and Kazakh Muslims have been imprisoned in China's coercive camps. I demand all of countries to try for ending the China's pressures. Also we want the international community to act for providing the security of the Oyghour and Kazakh Turks, that are trying for flee from China and refuge in another country."
    He added: "Pioneering of Kazakhstan in returning the terrorists and their families from Iraq and Syria , is promising and should be considered by other countries."
    Barovsky , Feb 3 2020 20:37 utc | 34
    Likklemore @ 22
    2019 Erdo got what he wanted from Russia - TurkStream. The pipeline is operational and income flows. There is this; when one plays both sides of the fence, one day the fence will disappear.

    Or, as John le Carre said in 'Funeral in Berlin', 'if you sit on the fence, they'll run the barbed wire right through you.'

    augusto , Feb 3 2020 20:45 utc | 38
    Yes, folks what the heck the turks have to do with Idlib or syrian territory, IF it is guaranteed that neither russia nor Assad will support their enemies - the Kurds - from builing up a state in northwest syria? It is a done deal that there will be no kurd state there.

    Never trust a turk is the old saying, but who s insisting on trying make it true? They deserve a new direct treason from the empire and from europeans just to find out who is the faithful partner.

    chet380 , Feb 3 2020 21:02 utc | 39
    If the Syrian AF attacks the HTS scum in close proximity to any of the observation posts and more Turks are killed, will Turd.O.Wan bring the Turkish AF into play in Syria?
    uncle tungsten , Feb 3 2020 21:14 utc | 40
    Gary M #33
    Good to hear. Pontious will be repatriating IS and Al Qaida terrorists to California then? The guy is a lying turd just like his USA boss and his little friend Erdoghan.
    Bubbles , Feb 3 2020 21:19 utc | 41
    Pompeo did the same in Uzbekistan recently.

    Posted by: les7 | Feb 3 2020 20:41 utc | 36


    trump Regime Secretary of State Job Description; Evangelical Terrorist in Chief..

    Differs somewhat from Obama era Red Queen of the Clinton Dynasty, and the not so artful dodger long john Kerry who wasn't above alluding to the good works of Brown Noses @ Bellingcat to justify the proxy war his Country wrought upon the innocents in secular Syria by decree of King Barrack the 1st, a fully accredited member of the Court of the Betters than the rest of us .

    So much reality, so little time.

    0use4msm , Feb 3 2020 21:33 utc | 42
    SAA already entering the outskirts of Saraqib!

    The fact that Turkey has to step in itself is a sign of how just weak its Al-Qaeda proxies have become. The SAA is taking town after town with little or no resistance from HTS.

    SteveK9 , Feb 3 2020 21:35 utc | 44
    I really have a hard time understanding Turkey. In addition to the list in the article Turkey is depending on Russia for:

    1) S-400 - these deliveries are not complete
    2) Akkuyu nuclear power station - this is not 'a' reactor, it is 4 reactors and $25B financed by Russia (although they are looking for a Turkish investor)
    3) Turkstream gas pipeline - just connected amidst great fanfare ... with others leaders present (Serbia, Bulgaria, ..)
    4) The general economic trade.

    Erdogan has stated support for Syrian integrity.

    So, why not just get out of Idlib (let the headchoppers die or send them to Libya), make a deal with Syria to control the border in the East against the Kurds and be done with it?

    SteveK9 , Feb 3 2020 21:37 utc | 45
    The idea that Russia is so desperate for gas sales to Turkey or for that matter the EU is wrong. Russia wants to build good relations with as many countries as possible. But, in terms of trade, what does Russia need that they can't make for themselves or buy from the Chinese? I keep thinking that at some point Russia will simply say, 'fine, you don't want the gas, get it elsewhere, instead of putting up with all this garbage.
    Innocent Civilian , Feb 3 2020 21:41 utc | 46
    So much hate against Turkey without a proper knowledge of its recent history. People blame how Turks misbehave against the Kurds, but they do not even know Turkey had a Kurdish president and prime minister in 80s. Erdogan was actually quite warm towards Kurds at the beginning of his tenure and a lot of ethnic rights were granted to them by his government which the history of Turkey has never seen before (causing a lot of friction between his party and the nationalists). They were politically welcome into the parliament, which never happened in the history of Turkey. But this changed after US fueled up its efforts to oust Erdogan and the political and militia arm of the Kurds were the first ones to collude with US, as is the cases in Syria and Iraq. That is why they turned bitter against each other in the first half of the last decade. Both sides are no angels!

    It is easy for Putin to talk about the international law in Syria but act brazenly against it in Libya and Crimea. It is all about influence. Just as Russia holds a considerable influence and historical ties in Crimea and annexed it by holding a referendum that was illegal according to the Ukrainian constitution (which openly states that territorial changes must be approved by a national vote involving all Ukrainian citizens), Turkey's acts in Idlib region must be seen in the same direction. I am sure that if Turkey held a referendum in Idlib region, which would be illegal according to the Syrian constitution, and asked if they wanted to join Turkey in the cover of self-determination, a high majority would say yes.

    karlof1 , Feb 3 2020 21:42 utc | 47
    chet380 @39--

    Erdo has already tried to get his jets to help but the RuAF won't allow them into Syrian airspace. And SAaF have bombed next to those Turk OPs.

    Roughly an hour ago the SAA's main push began into Saraqib from the West. Again using superior night vision advantage. An additional attack axis is reported to be aimed at Sarmin, beyond which is Idlib City.

    les7 , Feb 3 2020 21:44 utc | 48
    @ 37 Walter

    "The cat might really be nuts, you know...I mean they used to say "transient schizophrenic psychoses" from the stress... And he's in a pressure cooker. Yeah, he's probably nutty."

    I once heard the statement "To do a great evil the devil requires a good man with one or two proound weaknesses. A really evil / insane man will not do, for the simple reason that he will never gain enough power to do a great evil."

    Theology aside, the point remains. Erdogan is not insane. He has a couple profound weaknesses one of which is the racially motivated pan-turkic delusion which the Americans play on.

    2nd, like many of pointed out here is his support base, which is partially religious and partially economic. The economic side is definitely crumbling.

    Putin seems to be gambling on the pressure he can apply via the economic side. That pressure is essentially a negative pressure. Once it's gone there is no control. The pressure the Americans exert is a positive, visionary pressure. It remains regardless of the economic or religious support that Erdogan can put together. It may well be the stronger of the two motivations.

    Bubbles , Feb 3 2020 21:54 utc | 49
    Posted by: SteveK9 | Feb 3 2020 21:35 utc | 44

    What Erdogan says and what the wannabe Don trump says holds about the same value. Both bullshit in the hope it will give them leverage.

    US Presidents have used bullshit and attacks against innocents to feather their political nests because stupid people are easy to fool, Erdogan's base are even dumber than dubya's base which has become trump's base. They never learn anything. Erdogan has an advantage in his hood that even trump doesn't have, he completely destroyed any media that opposed his quest to be the Dictator that rules with an iron fist. His religious base (think US Evangelical base) love that strong man stuff. Even though the US evangelicals have to be the world's worst hypocrites. Sad that, BIGLY sad.

    les7 , Feb 3 2020 21:59 utc | 50
    @46

    Hmmm .. Crimea vs Idlib

    90 + percent of the crimeans spoke Russian as a mother tongue. 90 + percent of the inhabitants of idlib spoke Arabic as her mother tongue, not Turkish.

    The Turkish Army invaded the Idlib province. Arabs were forced to flee, some of them residing here in Canada. Turks have been resettled in their place throughout the province. Of course with ethnic cleansing it's easy to get the census that agrees with you. For you to equate Idlib and Crimea is beyond laughable.

    Just what is your agenda oh innocent one?

    El Cid , Feb 3 2020 21:59 utc | 51
    Even if Turkish military supplies arrive to outposts, they will still be surrounded and unable to supply their terrorist. Turks will spend their time bored, gambling, drinking and watching porn. Their morale will sink.
    Hausmeister , Feb 3 2020 22:02 utc | 52
    les7 | Feb 3 2020 21:44 utc | 48

    "He has a couple profound weaknesses one of which is the racially motivated pan-turkic delusion which the Americans play on."

    Again - no. This is not the motivation of Erdogan, but the motivation of other players so important that he must follow them. These do not accept his Muslim Brotherhood stance. There is, if you like, a partnership between both attitudes.

    Any US-hope of using the pan-turanistic dreams against China and Russia is in vain. It may create unnecessary disturbances but will fail at the end.

    Innocent Civilian | Feb 3 2020 21:41 utc | 46

    The part dealing with the Kurds is plain political dreamstuff. They were accepted as long as they were not Kurds, but Turks from the perspective of the Kemalist nightmare. But ok, I guess it is difficult to get access to unspoilt informations where you live. This is what I assume.

    In Turkey , Feb 3 2020 22:04 utc | 53
    In Istanbul right now.

    Erdogan on Turkish TV stating Turkish F16s bombed the Syrian army in Idlib killing 70-75 Syrian soldiers.

    Putin and his Russians did not prevent the Turkish attack, which only means they collaborated in the bombing of their Syrian allies.

    SteveK9 , Feb 3 2020 22:13 utc | 54
    Posted by: Bubbles | Feb 3 2020 21:54 utc | 49

    My question was not whether Erdogan can manipulate his people (that seems to be true of every country), but what advantage does Erdogan see for himself or his country in persevering in Idlib, with the possible result of a blowup with Russia, that will be very costly indeed ... for him and Turkey, not Russia.

    SteveK9 , Feb 3 2020 22:14 utc | 55
    Posted by: In Turkey | Feb 3 2020 22:04 utc | 53

    What makes you think this is true? What I mean is not an insult, I'd like to know your reasons for believing this.

    Sid Finster , Feb 3 2020 22:15 utc | 56
    The problem with a a strategy of constantly trying to play one side off against the other is that nobody will end up trusting you.
    JohninMK , Feb 3 2020 22:19 utc | 57
    DontBelieveEitherPr. | Feb 3 2020 20:18 utc | 29

    You might be overestimating the importance to Russia of Turkstream and Nordstream2. Russia had a financial insurance policy in operation, the new gas pipeline into China that started pumping last month. Also Turkstream is not properly connected into the EU yet so Turkey is the only customer of Russia for its gas. Also, given the slowdown in Germany's economy, there would probably not been much of a net gain in gas sales even if Nordstream2 had been completed, just a re-balancing of Nordstream1 and Ukraine transit.

    Bubbles , Feb 3 2020 22:27 utc | 58
    " The pressure the Americans exert is a positive, visionary pressure. It remains regardless of the economic or religious support that Erdogan can put together. It may well be the stronger of the two motivations."

    Posted by: les7 | Feb 3 2020 21:44 utc | 48

    I would be most interested in your assertion " The pressure the Americans exert is a positive, visionary pressure."

    Could you indulge me and explain that in detail..as in a significant way?

    JohninMK , Feb 3 2020 22:27 utc | 59
    The video evidence from Libya is that Turkish APCs etc are of questionable quality. This could give the Turks in Syria the same problems.

    Another problem for the Turkish Army is that they are facing a battle hardened SAA with CAS. The Turks and their proxies are not and don't have air cover.

    Hausmeister , Feb 3 2020 22:42 utc | 60
    In Turkey | Feb 3 2020 22:04 utc | 53

    If such a claim is not 100% assured by sources that have no sympathy for the political interests of Erdogan it is just a matter of political intelligence to believe that stuff or not. The Turks are no champions in this discipline.

    @All: latest news about this Michael d'Andrea available?

    Edward , Feb 3 2020 22:48 utc | 61
    The Syrian military has probably gamed out the different possible scenarios with Turkey ahead of time. They probably have plans for responding to this Turkish activity.
    Bubbles , Feb 3 2020 22:55 utc | 62
    what advantage does Erdogan see for himself or his country in persevering in Idlib, with the possible result of a blowup with Russia, that will be very costly indeed ... for him and Turkey, not Russia.

    Posted by: SteveK9 | Feb 3 2020 22:13 utc | 54


    See my post on the rapid devaluation of the Turk Lira. The Sultan for all his bravado, survives at the pleasure of the US / UK based Money Changers.

    I repeat, "It's the economy stupid". Erdogan gained support for being a hopey changey Economic miracle worker who stroked the Turk version of the Evangelicals. He became a God like figure, then his aura began to wain and he lost elections in places like Ankara where his 'faith based' Make Turkey Great Again movement began.

    He's a nut, and nuts are dangerous. Like Netanyahu.


    I read an article some time back when Binyamin Nyet and the Erdogan were jousting, the headline was "Dictator vs. Tyrant" I thought it substantive and appropriate.

    bevin , Feb 3 2020 22:58 utc | 63
    When someone in Erdogan's position seems to being acting in an unaccountable fashion, it is best to take a look at the military. The Turkish Army is, by far the most powerful in the region. And it is traditionally allied with "the west", NATO and the US. It hosts US bases, it is linked at all levels with the Pentagon. The relationship is not unlike that in most Latin American countries where the military invariably is the US government's last resort.
    Almost invariably: in Cuba and Venezuela bringing the Generals under control was the primary aim of the revolutionaries. But it is hard to do, as a glance at Egypt reminds us.
    It could be that Erdogan is under pressure from the original deep state which has been oriented against Russia throughout its existence.
    In Turkey , Feb 3 2020 23:12 utc | 64
    @Hausmeister and Steve K9

    Erdogan is the president of Turkey and privy to all the info collected by Turkish Intelligence and the Turkish army.
    These guys have the latest technology drones and modern reconaiasance jets with sophisticated sensors.

    It would be unreasonable to suggest that the president of Turkey is lying on national TV about the number of
    Syrian soldiers killed by Turkish jets. The Russians and other western sources could easily expose Erdogan if
    he's lying. Neither the Russians nor the Syrians denied the aforementioned attacks by the Turks.

    Furthermore, the Jihadis presently have stepped up their attacks even capturing a Syrian T-90 tank.

    In Turkey , Feb 3 2020 23:22 utc | 67
    Bubbles,

    The official Syrian News Agency says they did:

    https://mobile.almasdarnews.com/article/turkish-f-16-fighter-jets-bomb-syrian-troops-inside-idlib/

    Likklemore , Feb 3 2020 23:37 utc | 72
    Turkey trying to block Syrian army advance towards Saraqib
    Earlier, the Russian center for reconciliation in Syria said Turkish military personnel had come under an attack of Syrian troops in Idlib, because Turkey had failed to notify Russia about the movements of its troops in advance

    MOSCOW, February 3. /TASS/. /TASS/. Turkey has sent a convoy of armored vehicles to Syria's Idlib Governorate in order to block the advance of the Syrian army towards the town of Saraqib, located on the intersection of Latakia-Aleppo and Damascus-Aleppo highways, the Al-Watan daily reported on Monday.

    According to the paper, Turkish military is strengthening observation posts on the approaches to Saraqib and is installing one more post on the Kfar Amim-Abu al Duhur line. Turkish armored vehicles have also been spotted in al-Mastum and west of that town. A camp of the Turkestan Islamic Party, an extremist organization made up of Uyghur mercenaries, is located there.[.]

    So what's going on with Erdo? Is it a complete falling out with Russia?

    Today Erdo held a joint presser with Ukraine's Zelensky. Both signed an agreement.
    LINK
    Turkey reiterates its support for sovereignty, territorial integrity of Ukraine, says President Recep Tayyip Erdogan [and repeated]
    "no recognition of annexation of Crimea"

    What a snake whisperer?
    A friend like Erdo, you keep him very close.

    Red Ryder , Feb 3 2020 23:40 utc | 74
    @ 67 Bubbles

    You link to a report that is from the Turks, not the official Syrian News Agency which is not listed nor quoted. It's all Turkey pronouncements.

    That it is published as news in Lebanon means nothing.

    https://www.sana.sy/en/ . This is the official news agency of Syria, SANA.

    What is important is the Russian military says no Turk planes flew over Syrian troops. I believe them not the Turks.

    No question the trapped rats of al Nusra and Uyghur terrorists are fighting the Syrians strongly. They are on the verge of being wiped off the face of the earth. Russian military came to kill them.

    And there is a report in Russian media of four FSB officers killed in IED or mortar attack in the region, their injured bodies then executed by the terrorists. Big payback will be coming if this report is fully factual. Colonel Cassad had photos of two of the fallen today.

    Kadath , Feb 3 2020 23:45 utc | 77
    I personally hope that the Syria government avoids getting drag into a outright war with Turkey due to Erdogan's latest zany scheme to slice off a part of Idleb. However, in comparing the two forces it's important to remember that Turkey's military still hasn't fully recovered from Erodogan's earlier purge after the failed coup. Erodogan fired or imprisoned something like 5000 troops and more than a dozen senior officers and replaced them with loyalists and So far their track record against the Syrian Kurds isn't something to brag about. I suspect Russian diplomacy will once again come to the rescue and arrange some face saving escape for the Turkish troops.
    arby , Feb 3 2020 23:51 utc | 81
    Saw this on Fars News on FB.


    "Fars News Agency
    10 hrs ·
    Turkish Military Hits Syrian Troops Near Strategic City in Idlib, Damascus, Moscow Reject Casualties Claimed by Ankara"

    And for evidence of " The pressure the Americans exert is a positive, visionary pressure. "
    How about the positive pressure they put on Iraq, or libya, or Afghanistan, or Haiti, or Russia, or China, or 8000 sanctions , or, or ,or and on and on.

    les7 , Feb 4 2020 0:06 utc | 84
    @ 58 Bubbles

    Erdogan definitely has a pan- turkic vision.

    In terms of the psychology of motivation, for Erdogan, this is a positive motivation. It remains regardless of the obstacles that get put in its way.It is something to build towards, the emphasis on building. Again this is from the perspective of Erdogan and other pan-turkik nationalists within Turkey. Therefore, any deals that are made to achieve this goal remain valued until it is fully realized. This potentially gives the Americans a lot of long-term leveridge.

    By contrast, the economic problems Turket faces are essentially negative obstacles to be overcome. The deals that are made to achieve that only last as long as a situation is bad. Once the economic solution is in, or an alternative is found, there is no need to keep the deal. Putin's pressure point is short term and Russias role can be replaced.

    In making this comment I am only trying to make clear the power of the motivation that the two power blocks seek to use on Erdogan

    My own views on the value, possibility or utility of a pan-turkic grouping is something quite different

    S , Feb 4 2020 0:21 utc | 86
    @In Turkey #82:
    That's how they captured Afrin, thanks to Russian acquiescence.

    Afrin was captured because the stupid, over-confident Kurds refused to let the Syrian Army come and help them. They only came to their senses and accepted the Syrian Army assistance after most of the Kurdish-held territories were already lost. Russia advised Kurds to accept the Syrian Army's help, but Kurds rejected Russia's advice.

    uncle tungsten , Feb 4 2020 0:22 utc | 87
    In Turkey #73

    A small addition to your insistence that turkey invaded Idlib etc... The full picture needs to be appreciated. Syria has been at war on numerous fronts. At the time of the attempted turkish annexation of Idlib, Syrian army was fully stretched retaking the East at Deir Ezzor and the south at Darra along the Golan border and relieving the pressure on Damascus. Given the belligerent neighbours to the south and west - Jordan and Israel - and turkey to the north and north west, they chose to secure the South first as the Northern belligerent was partly 'in the camp'.

    It is in the context of achievability and resources that Syria made that strategic decision. Plus working with Russia to have somewhere to accommodate the terrorist close to their least capable ally. Had Syria taken Idlib first and sent the terrorists South they would have been fully in the arms and support of USA and its Jordanian and Israeli vassals.

    Assad acts in order to protect the Syrian people as best he can with the limited military capability that he has. He will protect the capitol as would any sensible leader and his persistent work with the Russian 'deconflit strategy' has worked well while he maintains his military strategy of gradual liberation and minimal soldiers deaths.

    Erdoghan on the other hand is acting out a different military strategy (somewhat like the invading wehrmacht) and opening many fronts, one far from home and across vulnerable seas.

    The rout in Idlib may well happen quickly, I have no idea but if exit fever grips the jihadis in Idlib then Erdoghan may be well advised to give them all safe passage to Libya - IF he can. He is trapped by strong political challengers emerging at home, powerful turkish chauvinism that will not tolerate more land being ceded to 'foreigners from the east' let alone vicious killer refugees. And he is trapped by his Moslem Brotherhood expectation of success which he MUST achieve. Otherwise the garrote awaits him.

    He has just been conned by the USA who's only goal is to prevent his full use of the S400 in turkey. The USA will go to extremes to prevent that weapon system being installed and rendered operational anywhere. His citizens will not be entirely happy with that capitulation as it paints a picture of failure.

    IMO Erdoghan has found his Dien Bien Phu in Idlib AND Libya. It is only a matter of time before he is demised.

    Bubbles , Feb 4 2020 0:28 utc | 88
    Posted by: les7 | Feb 4 2020 0:06 utc | 84


    This is what you said;


    " The pressure the Americans exert is a positive, visionary pressure. It remains regardless of the economic or religious support that Erdogan can put together. It may well be the stronger of the two motivations."

    Posted by: les7 | Feb 3 2020 21:44 utc | 48


    This is what I asked;

    I would be most interested in your assertion " The pressure the Americans exert is a positive, visionary pressure."

    Could you indulge me and explain that in detail..as in a significant way?


    Your response doesn't even come close to answering the simple question I posed to you.


    You seem to be endorsing US foreign policy that in essence is whatever it takes to feather the nests of rich psychopaths regardless of brown folks body count? Christians too. Like,"All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others. "

    By proclamation of the Pigs.

    arby , Feb 4 2020 0:33 utc | 89
    I don't understand why ISIS and the rest still hang on. Surely they must see how they keep getting knocked back into less and less territory.
    Peter , Feb 4 2020 0:39 utc | 90
    Erdogan is spinning like a whirling dervish for domestic purposes. Idleb will be liberated.
    Lorna MacKay , Feb 4 2020 0:39 utc | 91
    @ Innocent Civilian 46
    I am sure that if Turkey held a referendum in Idlib region, which would be illegal according to the Syrian constitution, and asked if they wanted to join Turkey in the cover of self-determination, a high majority would say yes.

    If only Syians were allowed to vote, I doubt this would be true. If; however, all the foreign fighters and their families were given a vote, there might be a majority in favour. But it would beg the question, should foreigners be given any say in Syrian internal unity?

    I think your understanding of the Crimean situation is also simplistic. Crimea was an autonomous republic within Ukraine Oblast, and should properly have had a say in whether or not it was incorporated into Ukraine. My understanding is that they tried to declare themselves independant when the Soviet Union broke up. Regardless of what the Ukraine constitution said, the Crimean constitution gave them authority to leave Ukraine.

    In Turkey , Feb 4 2020 0:45 utc | 92
    Uncle Tungsten,

    I only said Turkish jets bombed (and most likely killed)Syrian soldiers in Idlib with
    Russian collusion simply because it could not have happened if the Russians did
    permit it. S-400s were deactivated. Why?

    Just like why are Russians building a nuclear power plant in Turkey with their own
    money (vendor financing).

    Just doesn't make sense if the Russians do not envision a long-term economic and
    military alliance with Erdogan's Turkey.

    I think it's sad and lends credence to the theory that Putin and his administration are
    compromised.

    In Turkey , Feb 4 2020 0:47 utc | 93
    did not...
    les7 , Feb 4 2020 0:59 utc | 94
    @88

    What is it about the psychology of motivation that you don't understand? If you dangle a carrot on a stick,the donkey keeps pushing forward in the vain belief he will get it.

    Whether it's the American dream, the coming of some Messiah, or World Peace; it's astounding what lengths people will go to in the hope that their dream can be fulfilled

    When Pompeo calls on Kazakhstan to interfere in China on behalf of a turkic group there, completely unrelated to the kazakhs except by turkic racial identity, he is stoking a pan-turkik dream.

    Pompeo is also indirectly threatening Erdogan by backing the Kazakh leader as a international spokesman to realize this role, a role that Erdogan had played up until recentlywhen he fell out with the Americans over the S400.

    I also have little doubt that Pompeo is also waving the red flag in front of the bull in preparation for a lance to be driven home at a suitable time


    Walter , Feb 4 2020 1:03 utc | 95
    I too see the forms of the Red Army in the battles SAA and Ru fight.

    I too think the SAA must now be in superb fighting shape.

    I note Sputnik >
    Sputnik
    @SputnikInt
    ·
    4h
    DETAILS: According to the Russian MoD, a group of 15 #WhiteHelmets members arrived in the #Idlib de-escalation zone on 1 February to prepare a chemical provocation. https://sptnkne.ws/Bp77 @mod_russia

    Which, if we are to consider the implications, means that the Turkish and their client thugs agree that the SAA and the Ru are, ah, "better at the business"...

    They always double because if they are seen to have lost....well, they have to keep Toto away from that Green Curtain.

    Paul , Feb 4 2020 1:51 utc | 99
    Do not forget Turkey is still a member of NATO. He is working with Trump to break up Iraq so that the US can set up permanent military bases in Iraqi Kurdistan. This is a revival of Joe Biden's 2007 plan to carve up Iraq. No doubt, [Neosultan] Erdoğan is planning on charging transit fees for Iraqi and Syrian oil being looted by the US/Kurds. This may well lead to a major escalation in Syria.

    Notes

    1. Biden plan for 'soft partition' of Iraq gains momentum By Helene Cooper July 30, 2007

    Link: www.nytimes.com/2007/07/30/world/americas/30iht-letter.1.6894357.html

    2. Russia Obliterated Turkish Column in Idlib While Erdogan Claims Imaginary Retaliation Against Syria By Gordon Duff, Senior Editor Feb 3, 2020; Link: www.veteranstoday.com/2020/02/03/intel-drop-russia-obliterated-turkish-column-in-idlib-while-erdogan-claims-imaginary-retaliation-against-syria/

    [Feb 02, 2020] The most interesting issue is the role of NSC in this impeachment story

    Highly recommended!
    Edited for clarity
    Notable quotes:
    "... Currently they can wrap themselves into constitution defenders flag and be pretty safe from any criticism. Because charges that Schiff brought to the floor are bogus, and probably were created out of thin air by NSC plotters. Senators on both sides understand this, creating a classic Kabuki theater environment. ..."
    "... In any case, it is clear that Trump is just a marionette of more powerful forces behind him, and his impeachment does not means much, if those forces are untouchable. Impeachment Kabuki theatre is an attempt of restoration of NSC (read neocons) favored foreign policy from which Trump slightly deviated. ..."
    Feb 02, 2020 | angrybearblog.com

    likbez , February 2, 2020 10:40 pm

    Far more interesting issue is the role of NSC in this impeachment story.

    Potential whistleblower (actually CIA informant) was from NSC as were Fiona Hill, Alex Vindman and a couple of other major Ukrainegate players.

    In this NSC coup d'état against the President or what ? About earlier role of NSC see

    https://off-guardian.org/2020/02/01/secret-wars-forgotten-betrayals-global-tyranny-who-is-really-in-charge-of-the-u-s-military/

    As for "evil republican senators", they would be viewed as evil by electorate if and only only if actual crimes of Trump regime like Douma false flag, Suleimani assassination (actually here Trump was set up By Bolton and Pompeo) and other were discussed.

    Currently they can wrap themselves into constitution defenders flag and be pretty safe from any criticism. Because charges that Schiff brought to the floor are bogus, and probably were created out of thin air by NSC plotters. Senators on both sides understand this, creating a classic Kabuki theater environment.

    Both sides are afraid to discuss real issues, real Trump regime crimes.

    Schiff proved to be patently inept in this whole story even taking into account limitations put by Kabuki theater on him, and in case of Trump acquittal *which is "highly probable" borrowing May government terminology in Skripals case :-) to resign would be a honest thing for him to do.

    Assuming that he has some honestly left. Which is highly doubtful with statements like:

    "The United States aids Ukraine and her people so that we can fight Russia over there so we don't have to fight Russia here."

    And

    "More than 15,000 Ukrainians have died fighting Russian forces and their proxies. 15,000."

    Actually it was the USA interference in Ukraine (aka Nulandgate) that killed 15K Ukrainians, mainly Donbas residents and badly trained recruits of the Ukrainian army sent to fight them, as well as volunteers of paramilitary "death squads" like Asov battalion financed by oligarch Igor Kolomyskiy

    In any case, it is clear that Trump is just a marionette of more powerful forces behind him, and his impeachment does not means much, if those forces are untouchable. Impeachment Kabuki theatre is an attempt of restoration of NSC (read neocons) favored foreign policy from which Trump slightly deviated.

    [Feb 01, 2020] Bolton's mustache is trying to impeach his face: Trump tweets 'game over' after Bolton, Schiff videos resurface

    Feb 01, 2020 | www.youtube.com

    Matthew Rand , 22 hours ago

    Bolton's mustache is trying to impeach his face.

    G Blizzard , 1 day ago

    Well, if his credibility is done, Michael Bolton can always go back to singing.


    Curt Stolpe
    , 1 day ago

    "We can't beat him so we have to impeach him" no truer words were ever spoken. Too bad they couldn't come up with a reason. I think November will be a Democrat Slaughter.

    IJJ , 1 day ago

    Bolton & Schiff - Bozo 1 and Bozo 2 😂


    MoralHi
    , 1 day ago

    That old man Bolton would sell his Gandma to sell his book !

    [Feb 01, 2020] The Real John Bolton - CounterPunch.org

    Notable quotes:
    "... Washington Post, ..."
    "... Bolton targeted every arms control and disarmament agreement over the past several decades, and played a major role in abrogating two of the most significant ones. As an arms control official in the Bush administration, he lobbied successfully for the abrogation of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty of 1972. As soon as he joined the Trump administration, he went after the Intermediate-Nuclear Forces Treaty, which was abrogated in 2018. He criticized the Nunn-Lugar agreement in the 1990s, which played a key role in the denuclearization of former Soviet republics, and maligned the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons as well as the Iran nuclear accord. He helped to derail the Biological Weapons Conference in Geneva in 2001. ..."
    Feb 01, 2020 | www.counterpunch.org

    It isn't enough for the corporate media to praise John Bolton for his timely manuscript that confirms Donald Trump's explicit linkage between military aid to Ukraine and investigations into his political foe Joe Biden. As a result, the media have made John Bolton a "man of principle," according to the Washington Post, and a fearless infighter for the "sovereignty of the United States." Writing in the Post , Kathleen Parker notes that Bolton isn't motivated by the money he will earn from his book (in the neighborhood of $2 million), but that he is far more interested in "saving his legacy." Perhaps this is a good time to examine that legacy.

    Bolton, who used student deferments and service in the Maryland National Guard to avoid serving in Vietnam, is a classic Chicken Hawk. He supported the Vietnam War and continues to support the war in Iraq. Bolton endorsed preemptive military strikes in North Korea and Iran in recent years, and lobbied for regime change in Cuba, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen. When George W. Bush declared an "axis of evil" in 2002 consisting of Iran, Iraq, and North Korea, Bolton added an equally bizarre axis of Cuba, Libya, and Syria.

    When Bolton occupied official positions at the Department of State and the United Nations, he regularly ignored assessments of the intelligence community in order to make false arguments regarding weapons of mass destruction in the hands of Cuba and Syria in order to promote the use of force. When serving as President Bush's Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and Disarmament, Bolton ran his own intelligence program, issuing white papers on WMD that lacked support within the intelligence community. He used his own reports to testify to congressional committees in 2002 in effort to justify the use of military force against Iraq.

    Bolton presented misinformation to the Congress on a Cuban biological weapons program. When the Central Intelligence Agency challenged the accuracy of Bolton's information in 2003, he was forced to cancel a similar briefing on Syria. In a briefing to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 2005, the former chief of intelligence at the Department of State, Carl Ford, referred to Bolton as a "serial abuser" in his efforts to pressure intelligence analysts. Ford testified that he had "never seen anybody quite like Secretary Bolton in terms of the way he abuses his power and authority with little people."

    The hearings in 2005 included a statement from a whistleblower, a former contractor at the Agency for International Development, who accused Bolton of using inflammatory language and even throwing objects at her. The whistleblower told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee staff that Bolton made derogatory remarks about her sexual orientation and weight among other improprieties. The critical testimony against Bolton meant that the Republican-led Foreign Relations Committee couldn't confirm his appointment as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. President Bush made Bolton a recess appointment, which he later regretted.

    The United Nations, after all, was an ironic assignment for Bolton, who has been a strong critic of the UN and most international organizations throughout his career because they infringed on the "sovereignty of the United States." In 1994, he stated there was no such thing as the United Nations, but there is an international community that "can be led by the only real power left in the world," the United States. Bolton stated that the "Secretariat Building in New York has 38 stories," and that if it "lost ten stories, it wouldn't make any difference."

    Bolton said the "happiest moment" in his political career was when the United States pulled out of the International Criminal Court. Years later, he told the Federalist Society that Bush's withdrawal from the UN's Rome Statute, which created the ICC, was "one of my proudest achievements."

    Bolton targeted every arms control and disarmament agreement over the past several decades, and played a major role in abrogating two of the most significant ones. As an arms control official in the Bush administration, he lobbied successfully for the abrogation of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty of 1972. As soon as he joined the Trump administration, he went after the Intermediate-Nuclear Forces Treaty, which was abrogated in 2018. He criticized the Nunn-Lugar agreement in the 1990s, which played a key role in the denuclearization of former Soviet republics, and maligned the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons as well as the Iran nuclear accord. He helped to derail the Biological Weapons Conference in Geneva in 2001.

    U.S. efforts at diplomatic reconciliation have drawn Bolton's ire. The two-state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian situation as well as Richard Nixon's one-China policy have been particular targets. He is also a frequent critic of the European Union, and a passionate supporter of Brexit. From 2013 to 2018, he was the chairman of the Gatestone Institute, a well-known anti-Muslim organization. He was the director of the Project for the New American Century, which led the campaign for the use of force against Iraq. The fact that he was a protege of former senator Jesse Helms should come as no surprise.

    It is useful to have Bolton's testimony at the climactic moment in the current impeachment trial, but it should't blind us to his deceit and disinformation over his thirty years of opposition to U.S. international diplomacy. As an assistant attorney general in the Reagan administration, he fought against reparations to Japanese-Americans who had been held in internment camps during World War II. Two secretaries of state, Colin Powell and Condi Rice, have accused Bolton with holding back important information on important international issues, and Bolton did his best to sabotage Powell's efforts to pursue negotiations with North Korea. Bolton had a hand in the disinformation campaign against Iraq in the run-up to the U.S. invasion of 2003. The legacy of John Bolton is well established; his manuscript will not alter this legacy. Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: Melvin Goodman Melvin A. Goodman is a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy and a professor of government at Johns Hopkins University. A former CIA analyst, Goodman is the author of Failure of Intelligence: The Decline and Fall of the CIA and National Insecurity: The Cost of American Militarism . and A Whistleblower at the CIA . His most recent book is "American Carnage: The Wars of Donald Trump" (Opus Publishing), and he is the author of the forthcoming "The Dangerous National Security State" (2020)." Goodman is the national security columnist for counterpunch.org .

    [Jan 31, 2020] Tucker John Bolton has always been a snake

    Bolton was appointed by Adelson.
    Jan 27, 2020 | www.youtube.com

    Bolton's tell-all book leaks during Senate trial. #FoxNews


    Yamaha Venture , 3 days ago

    Mitt Romney is a joke.

    Michael Harvey , 2 days ago

    John Bolton wants war everywhere to line his pockets with money.

    Stephen C , 1 day ago

    The "right" gets the left, but doesn't agree with them. The "left" doesn't understand the "right".

    Citizen Se7en , 2 days ago

    "Bolton's resignation was one of the highlights of the president's first term." Truer words have never been spoken.

    Jack Albright , 2 days ago

    This story is also called "the scorpion and the frog".

    Ragnar Lothbrok , 3 days ago

    John Bolton should be given a helmet and a gun and sent to the next war. Let's see how he likes it.

    Stratchona , 1 day ago

    Trump.." I don't know John Bolton,never met him,don't know what he does."

    Jaret Glenn , 2 days ago

    Time to investigate Romney's son working for the oil company in the Ukraine.

    Regan Orr , 2 days ago

    Romney's Holy Underwear is Cutting off the Blood Supply to his Deep St Brain!

    Marjo , 2 days ago (edited)

    I never liked Bolton. I sensed he was out for himself, at anyone's expense. War monger too. He had many people fooled.

    Shara Kirkby , 3 days ago

    Bolton wants war anywhere and forever!

    David Dorrell , 1 day ago (edited)

    Frickin' Globalist peckerwoods. John Bolton and his pal, Mitt Romney.

    Olivier Bolton , 2 days ago

    Bolton wanted war so he got the boot...the fact he brings out his book now just looks like vengean$$

    Max Liftoff , 2 days ago

    2:30 Because Bolton never served in the military he truly passionately loved war :)) LMAO Tucker nailed it.

    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ , 1 day ago

    The left's championing of John Bolton is further proof that TDS has made their minds turn to sludge.

    j abe , 3 days ago

    Can someone expaine to me how mit romney is still geting votes from ppl

    Mark Whitley , 2 days ago

    Bolton is a war mongering narcissist that wanted his war, didn't get it, & is now acting like a spoilt child that didn't get his way & is laying on the floor kicking & screaming!

    Tim Fronimos , 2 days ago

    Regarding John Bolton's book, is this the first book that he's colored. just curious

    newuserandhiscrew 22 , 2 days ago

    Everyone: Bolton: "take me in oh tender woman, take me in for heaven's sake"

    Brittany Ward , 1 day ago

    I can't fathom that people actually believe everything the media says!

    [Jan 31, 2020] Trump excoriates Bolton in tweets this morning

    Highly recommended!
    Trump is lying. Bolton was appointed by Adelson and Trump can't refuse Adelson protégé.
    Jan 31, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

    Trump excoriates Bolton in tweets this morning:
    "For a guy who couldn't get approved for the Ambassador to the U.N. years ago, couldn't get approved for anything since, 'begged' me for a non Senate approved job, which I gave him despite many saying 'Don't do it, sir,' takes the job, mistakenly says 'Libyan Model' on T.V., and ... many more mistakes of judgement [sic], gets fired because frankly, if I listened to him, we would be in World War Six by now, and goes out and IMMEDIATELY writes a nasty & untrue book. All Classified National Security. Who would do this?"

    IMO, Trump is a fantastic POTUS for this day and age, but he wasn't on his A game when he brought Bolton onboard. He should have known better and, was, apparently, warned. Maybe Trump thought he could control him and use him as a threatening pit bull. Mistake. Bolton is greedy as well as vindictive.

    Posted by: Eric Newhill | 29 January 2020 at 09:30 AM

    [Jan 29, 2020] Pompeo about Hezbollah threat

    Jan 29, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

    J Villain 19 hours ago

    It leaves me yearning for the integrity of the Nixon foreign policy team and they were a certified pack of sociopaths.

    [Jan 29, 2020] Pompeo Iranian Proxy Mobilizing in America's Backyard

    Notable quotes:
    "... Yet the U.S. has little real insight into what happens in hostile regimes like Maduro's, and "Pompeo is probably the least reliable person in the world when it comes to information about Iran or its proxies," said Abrahms. "He has a terrible track record; he is an ideologue. He is the opposite of an impartial empiricist. I would never accept anything he says without corroborating sources." ..."
    "... According to what we know, a Hezbollah agent conducted years of surveillance on potential targets , and alleged sleeper agents within U.S. cities have so far not been activated, even in the wake of Iranian Quds force General Soleimani's death and the series of crippling sanctions the Trump administration has put on Iran. ..."
    Jan 28, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

    Why is Pompeo suddenly directing increasingly heated rhetoric towards Iran and its proxies in South America?

    "Anti-Iran hawks like Pompeo like to emphasize that Iran is not a defensively-minded international actor, but rather that it is offensively-minded and poses a direct threat to the United States," said Max Abrahms, associate professor of political science at Northeastern and fellow of the Quincy Institute said in an interview with The American Conservative. "And so for obvious reasons, underscoring Hezbollah's international tentacles helps to sell their argument that Iran needs to be dealt with in a military way, and that the key to dealing with Iran is through confrontation and pressure."

    Stories highlighting the role of Hezbollah in America's backyard "are almost always peddled by anti-Iran hawks," he said.

    Like Clare Lopez, vice president for research and analysis at the Center for Security Policy, who aligns with the argument that Hezbollah has been populating South America since the days of the Islamic revolution.

    "From at least the 1980s, many Lebanese fled to South America, and among that flow Hezbollah embedded themselves," she told The American Conservative in a recent interview. Their activity "really expanded throughout the continent" during the presidencies of Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Venezuela's Hugo Chavez.

    During that time, Lopez added, "there was a really strong relationship that developed Iranians established diplomatic facilities, enormous embassies and consulates, embedded IRGC cover positions and MOIS (intelligence services) within commercial companies and mosques and Islamic centers. This took place in Brazil in particular but Venezuela also."

    Iran and Hezbollah intensified their involvement throughout the region in technical services like tunneling, money laundering, and drug trafficking. Venezuela offered Iran an international banking work-around during the period of sanctions, said Lopez.

    Obviously security analysts like Lopez and even Pompeo, have been following this for years. But the timing here, as the Senate impeachment inquiry heats up, looks suspicious.

    Last week, just as it looks increasingly likely that former national security advisor John Bolton and Pompeo himself will be hauled before the Senate as witnesses about the foreign aid hold-up to Ukraine, Pompeo praised Colombia, Honduras, and Guatemala for designating "Iran-backed Hezbollah a terrorist organization," and slammed Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro for embracing the terrorist group.

    Hezbollah "has found a home in Venezuela under Maduro. This is unacceptable," Pompeo said when he met with Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido last week.

    Asked by Bloomberg News how significant a role Hezbollah plays in the region, Pompeo responded, "too much."

    From the interview:

    Pompeo : " I mentioned it in Venezuela, but in the Tri-Border Area as well. This is again an area where Iranian influence – we talk about them as the world's largest state sponsor of terror. We do that intentionally. It's the world's largest; it's not just a Middle East phenomenon. So while – when folks think of Hezbollah, they typically think of Syria and Lebanon, but Hezbollah has now put down roots throughout the globe and in South America, and it's great to see now multiple countries now having designated Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. It means we can work together to stamp out the security threat in the region."

    Question: "I'm struck by this, because even hearing you – what you're saying, right, now – I mean, to take a step back, an Iranian-backed terrorist organization has found a home in America's backyard."

    Pompeo: "It's – it's something that we've been talking about for some time. When you see the scope and reach of what the Islamic Republic of Iran's regime has done, you can't forget they tried to kill someone in the United States of America. They've conducted assassination campaigns in Europe. This is a global phenomenon. When we say that Iran is the leading destabilizing force in the Middle East and throughout the world, it's because of this terror activity that they have now spread as a cancer all across the globe. "

    Pompeo has also been publicly floating increasing sanctions on Venezuela. He called the behavior of Maduro's government "cartel-like" and "terror-like," intensifying the sense that there is a real security "threat" in our hemisphere.

    Yet the U.S. has little real insight into what happens in hostile regimes like Maduro's, and "Pompeo is probably the least reliable person in the world when it comes to information about Iran or its proxies," said Abrahms. "He has a terrible track record; he is an ideologue. He is the opposite of an impartial empiricist. I would never accept anything he says without corroborating sources."

    There's no question that Hezbollah has a presence in South America, said Abrahms, "but the nature of its presence has been politicized."

    According to what we know, a Hezbollah agent conducted years of surveillance on potential targets , and alleged sleeper agents within U.S. cities have so far not been activated, even in the wake of Iranian Quds force General Soleimani's death and the series of crippling sanctions the Trump administration has put on Iran.

    "What this underscores is that Iran could pull the trigger, it could bloody the U.S., including the U.S. homeland, but tends to avoid such violence. I think the question that needs to be asked isn't just, 'where in the world could Iran commit an attack?' but whether Iran is a rational actor that can be deterred," said Abrahms. "Interestingly, this administration as well as its hawkish supporters tend to emphasize their belief that Iran can in fact be deterred," since that is the logic behind "maximum pressure" against Iran, after all. "The main causal mechanism according to advocates of maximum pressure, is that it will force Iran as a rational actor to reconsider whether it wants to irritate the U.S By applying economic pressure through sanctions, [they hope to] succeed in coaxing Iran to restructure the nuclear deal and making additional concessions to the west and reigning in its activities in the Persian Gulf and the Levant. At least on a rhetorical level, the hawks say they believe Iran can be deterred," he said.

    It would not be the first time that a president reacted to an intensifying impeachment inquiry by redirecting national focus to threats abroad. In December 1998, as the impeachment inquiry into then-President Bill Clinton heated up, Clinton launched airstrikes against Iraq. We should therefore apply some caution when we see decades-old threats amplified by administration officials.

    Barbara Boland is TAC's foreign policy and national security reporter. Previously, she worked as an editor for the Washington Examiner and for CNS News. She is the author of Patton Uncovered, a book about General George Patton in World War II, and her work has appeared on Fox News, The Hill, UK Spectator, and elsewhere. Boland is a graduate from Immaculata University in Pennsylvania. Follow her on Twitter

    [Jan 28, 2020] Syria Army Liberates Maarat al-Numan - U.S. Plans New Mischief

    Jan 28, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

    John Gilberts , Jan 28 2020 20:10 utc | 23

    Terrorism to Turkey means the PKK/YPG Kurds in Syria which also fight Turkish forces within Turkey and Iraq. In east Syria the Kurds are cooperating with U.S. troops who occupy the Syrian oil resources. Turkey wants Syria to at least disarm the Kurds. The Kurds though use their U.S. relations to demand autonomy and to prevent any agreement with the Syrian government.

    Neither Ankara nor Damascus seem yet ready to make peace. But both countries have economic problems and will have to come to some solution. There are still ten thousand of Jihadis in Idleb governorate that need to be cleaned out. Neither country wants to keep these people. The export of these Jihadis to Libya which Turkey initiated points to a rather unconventional solution to that problem.

    The U.S. has still not given up its efforts to overthrow the Syrian government through further economic sanctions. It also pressures Iraq to keep its troops in the country.

    After the U.S. murder of the Iranian general Soleimani and the Iraqi PMU leader al-Muhandis its position in Iraq is under severe threat . If the U.S. were forced to leave Iraq it would also have to remove its hold on Syria's oil. To prevent that the U.S. has reactivated its old plan to split Iraq into three statelets :

    At the height of the war in Iraq Joe Biden publicly supported it. The original plan failed when in 2006 Hizbullah defeated Israel's attack on Lebanon and when the Iraqi resistance overwhelmed the U.S. occupation forces.

    It is doubtful that the plan can be achieved as long as the government in Baghdad is supported by a majorities of Shia. Baghdad as well as Tehran will throw everything they have against the plan.

    After the U.S. murder of Soleimani Iran fired well aimed ballistic missiles against U.S. forces at the Ain al Assad airbase west of Ramadi in Anbar province and against the airport of Erbil in the Kurdish region. This because those are exactly the bases the U.S. wants to keep control of. The missiles demonstrated that the U.S. would have to fight a whole new war to implement and protect its plan.

    From the perspective of the resistance the new plan is just another U.S. attempt to rule the region after its many previous attempts have failed.

    Posted by b on January 28, 2020 at 16:28 UTC | Permalink

    Nine months ago, a group of Iraqi politicians and businessmen from Anbar, Salah al-Din and Nineveh provinces were invited to the private residence of the Saudi ambassador to Jordan in Amman.

    Their host was the Saudi minister for Gulf affairs, Thamer bin Sabhan al-Sabhan, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's point man for the region.

    It is not known whether Mohammed al-Halbousi, the speaker of parliament with ties to both Iran and Saudi Arabia, attended the secret Amman conference, but it is said that he was informed of the details.

    On the agenda was a plan to push for a Sunni autonomous region, akin to Iraqi Kurdistan.

    The plan is not new. But now an idea which has long been toyed with by the US, as it battles to keep Iraq within its sphere of influence, has found a new lease of life as Saudi Arabia and Iran compete for influence and dominance.

    Anbar comprises 31 percent of the Iraqi state's landmass. It has significant untapped oil, gas and mineral reserves. It borders Syria.

    If US troops were indeed to be forced by the next Iraqi government to quit the country, they would have to leave the oil fields of northern Syria as well because it is from Anbar that this operation is supplied. Anbar has four US military bases.

    The western province is largely desert, with a population of just over two million. As an autonomous region, it would need a workforce. This, the meeting was told, could come from Palestinian refugees and thus neatly fit into Donald Trump's so-called "Deal of the Century" plans to rid Israel of its Palestinian refugee problem.

    Anbar is almost wholly Sunni, but Salah al-Din and Nineveh aren't. If the idea worked in Anbar, other Sunni-dominated provinces would be next.

    At least three large meetings have already been held over the plan, the last one in the United Arab Emirates. The timing indicates that the plan was initiated when John Bolton as Trump's national security advisor.

    To split Iraq into three statelets the U.S. would control is a long standing neoconservative dream .

    Canada also has troops in the Kurdish/Erbil region. One wonders if/when Iraq will demand they go as well, since they are part of the US-led coalition and reflect US/Israeli geostrategic objectives there


    dh , Jan 28 2020 20:18 utc | 24

    @20 Strange isn't it? The statement by ISIS is most unusual. Prevailing wisdom has them allied with US/Israel against the Syrian government.
    les7 , Jan 28 2020 20:24 utc | 25
    It seems to me that in the Idlib pocket we are seeing an emerging Russian form of offensive/deterrence military strategy when up against proxies backed by the overwhelming force of empire.

    By using proxies the empire forfeits much of its military mass advantage.

    The repeated strike and ceasefire combined with continual negotiation approach negates the hybrid/media warfare of the empire which requires a period of time to mobilize public opinion. The empire cannot maintain more than three foci for that dis-information campaign due to the social engineered response it has manufactured

    By constantly maneuvering, especially in coordinating with friends like Xi, opportunities of attack open up

    Choosing moments of maximum empire distraction is also part of the process

    This is a far cry from the classic mass formation attack strategy that most present warfare strategists endlessly debate.

    Let the empire wear out it's own heart through an abuse of the hybrid/media warfare til it's own people vomit up the diet of fear

    [Jan 27, 2020] The SAA has cut the M5 highway north of Maraat al-Numan and is blockading it. This will cut off Erdogan's resupply of his pet headchoppers.

    Jan 27, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

    Leith , 26 January 2020 at 09:42 PM

    Off topic: the SAA has cut the M5 highway north of Maraat al-Numan and is blockading it. This will cut off Erdogan's resupply of his pet headchoppers. Will this be the beginning of the end for HTS and the TIP? Long way to go, but this is a good start.

    Sooner or later Trump is going to have to let go of his blockade of the Baghdad-Damascus highway at al-Tanf.

    [Jan 24, 2020] Peter Hitchen to Eliot Higgins of Bellingcat: You're not in the ladies' lingerie trade now, sweetie

    Highly recommended!
    Kevin Smith: "Higgins is currently frantically trying to prop up the Douma narrative against a mountain of evidence disproving his conclusions. For those who’ve followed his story, it’s clear that Higgins is an intelligence asset, set up to take the fall when the currently collapsing narratives take hold in the mainstream.
    Jan 24, 2020 | off-guardian.org

    "You didn't think that one through, did you, @eliothiggins sweetie? You're not in the ladies' lingerie trade now. This discussion is about truth, which endures, is not held together by elastic, and is not for sale." ~Peter Hitchens responding to Eliot Higgins of Bellingcat over the OPCW scandal on Twitter – 2 January 2020.

    [Jan 24, 2020] Crimes of the century truth, perception and punishment

    Highly recommended!
    Notable quotes:
    "... I believe more people nowadays recognise that the devastating wars in Iraq and Libya and events in Syria were pushed by our governments and media. They can even accept, when you explain, that we've been assisting terrorists to unseat governments for years. But they seem hesitant of taking the next step and we need to encourage them on this path. ..."
    "... This path leads to recognising the sheer evil in our midst and getting out of this mindset that criminal behavior and lying in governments and in our media is normal or should in any way be tolerated. Perhaps some people appreciate this already but don't want to address it out of concern to what they might find. Maybe some people dread the thought of a global conflict so ignore it. But we need to hammer home the consequences of simply doing nothing. ..."
    "... I've been trying to think of an analogy to try to get this point across. I sometimes say to people, we wouldn't have released a serial killer like Harold Shipman from prison and appointed him Foreign Secretary. Therefore, why do we tolerate a long line of Foreign Secretaries complicit in laying waste to the world? Sadly, with this analogy most people usually look back at me blankly so I have been searching for one more complete and rooted in history which people can relate better to events today. ..."
    Jan 24, 2020 | off-guardian.org

    Kevin Smith

    "You didn't think that one through, did you, @eliothiggins sweetie? You're not in the ladies' lingerie trade now. This discussion is about truth, which endures, is not held together by elastic, and is not for sale."
    Peter Hitchens responding to Eliot Higgins of Bellingcat over the OPCW scandal on Twitter – 2 January 2020.

    Like many, I've been following the Douma scandal for some time and particularly since the OPCW whistleblowers and leaked emails blew the lid off the official narrative that Assad used chemical weapons there.

    This issue is being discussed on one of my 'go to' accounts on Twitter – Peter Hitchens who has brought this to the attention of the mainstream .

    For the past few weeks he's been debating the topic with Eliot Higgins of Bellingcat, Scott Lucas and various Middle East based journalists who created and then pushed the false narrative.

    In fact, it's not really a debate. Peter Hitchens is quite literally slaughtering these narrative managers – his logic and clear thinking – and wit exposing the numerous gaps in their story and their desperate deflections.

    Hitchens position is not exactly the same as many of us here hold – that Douma was a clear false flag. What he is saying is the evidence points to there being no chemical attack by the Syrian government, the pretext used for the attack on Syria. He doesn't wish to speculate on matters which aren't conclusively proven, for example precisely on what did actually happen.

    I respect that position in many ways and his refusal to comment on the dead civilians in the Douma images makes sense from a journalist in the mainstream. I think by having a position which is clear and unassailable enables him to easily brush off his online detractors and not allow them to deflect to other issues.

    While I don't agree with everything he says, Hitchens has a calm and rational argument for all the issues he covers. This puts clear ground between him and his online opponents who often resort to childish abuse.

    My 80-year old mum admires him too. She describes him as 'frightfully posh'. Perhaps someone who might have belonged in a previous age – but I'm glad we have him in this one.

    Anyway, I think we can be sure that Hitchens will continue his important work within the remit he's chosen and others will investigate the unanswered questions which arise from the Douma incident.

    Ultimately the question about the dead civilians in the images is simply too dreadful to ignore.

    This is because if a chemical attack did not take place and Assad was not responsible it seems highly likely that the civilians including children were murdered to facilitate a fabrication.

    And were our own intelligence agencies involved in a staged event, considering the refusal to even establish the basic facts in the days following?

    And then, of course, the resulting air strikes nearly caused us to go to war with Russia, with all that would entail.

    While these investigations continue, I think it's timely to see where these events fit into the way the general public think and perceive wrongdoing and to try to radically to change this.

    I believe more people nowadays recognise that the devastating wars in Iraq and Libya and events in Syria were pushed by our governments and media. They can even accept, when you explain, that we've been assisting terrorists to unseat governments for years. But they seem hesitant of taking the next step and we need to encourage them on this path.

    This path leads to recognising the sheer evil in our midst and getting out of this mindset that criminal behavior and lying in governments and in our media is normal or should in any way be tolerated. Perhaps some people appreciate this already but don't want to address it out of concern to what they might find. Maybe some people dread the thought of a global conflict so ignore it. But we need to hammer home the consequences of simply doing nothing.

    I've been trying to think of an analogy to try to get this point across. I sometimes say to people, we wouldn't have released a serial killer like Harold Shipman from prison and appointed him Foreign Secretary. Therefore, why do we tolerate a long line of Foreign Secretaries complicit in laying waste to the world? Sadly, with this analogy most people usually look back at me blankly so I have been searching for one more complete and rooted in history which people can relate better to events today.

    So, here follows an analogy of a character who lived in the 17th century. His traits, his crimes, the political climate and peoples misguided perceptions in response can be compared to recent events and one particular individual causing havoc in the world today.

    Of course I refer to Eliot Higgins of Bellingcat.

    Eliot ( 'suck my balls' ) Higgins and Titus Oates 1. Eliot Higgins and Bellingcat

    Higgins probably doesn't need much of an introduction here. It seems he has no specific qualifications relevant to his role and a bit of a drop-out in terms of education.

    Higgins has been quoted as saying :

    Before the Arab spring I knew no more about weapons than the average Xbox owner. I had no knowledge beyond what I'd learned from Arnold Schwarzenegger and Rambo."

    But this didn't prevent him blogging about world events and then setting himself up and his site as investigator for several incidents most notably the shooting down of the MH17 passenger plane over Ukraine and allegations of chemical weapons use in Syria. It's now known that Bellingcat is funded by pro-war groups including the Atlantic Council

    Higgins has been accused by chemical weapons experts, academics and independent journalists on the ground of fabricating evidence to reach a predetermined outcome decided on by his funders.

    His rise to prominence was fast and apparently some media editors now refer their journalists to Bellingcat fabrications rather than allowing them to do any journalism themselves.

    Higgins is currently frantically trying to prop up the Douma narrative against a mountain of evidence disproving his conclusions.

    For those who've followed his story, it's clear that Higgins is an intelligence asset, set up to take the fall when the currently collapsing narratives take hold in the mainstream.

    2. Titus Oates and the Popish Plot

    Oates was a foul-mouthed charlatan , serial liar and master of deception who lived in the 17th century. His earlier life included being expelled from school and he was labelled a 'dunce' by people who knew him. He became a clergyman and later joined the Navy. His career was plagued by various sex scandals and charges of perjury.

    In the 1670s during the time of Charles II, religious tensions threatened to spill over into civil war but the pragmatic King, by and large, kept a lid on it.

    However, along with Dr Israel Tonge an anti-Catholic rector, Oates started writing conspiracy theories and inventing plots and later began writing a manuscript alleging of a plan to assassinate King Charles II and replace him with his openly Catholic brother.

    When the fabrication started to gather momentum, the King had an audience with Oates and was unconvinced and was said to have found discrepancies in his story.

    However, the tense political and religious climate at that time was ideal for conspiracy theories and scaremongering. The King's ministers took Oates at his word and over a dozen Catholics were executed for treason. This story created panic and paranoia lasting several years taking the nation to the brink of civil war.

    Over time Oates lies were exposed and when the Catholic King James II came to the throne, he tried Oates with perjury and he was whipped and placed in the pillory.

    After James II fled England during the so-called 'Glorious Revolution' King William and Queen Mary pardoned Oates and gave him a pension.

    For me, this whole episode has many obvious parallels with Higgins, the long-running Russia and the anti-Semitism witch-hunts in the media and the false narratives over Iraq, Libya and Syria. Like those in power today, Oates had a knack for getting away with it. And I guess we can all relate this to Julian Assange – the victims or whistleblowers being punished and the perpetrators getting off.

    I had wondered why James II, often ruthless and unforgiving had not executed Oates. But apparently the crime of perjury even then didn't carry the death sentence. The judge who convicted Oates was said to have tried his best to finish him off through the whipping, though he survived.

    But perhaps even the King and judiciary in failing in this or not using other means at their disposal, couldn't comprehend the enormity of his crimes. Oates was after all a rather absurd character, open to ridicule.

    Perhaps this is a bit similar to people today when discovering that Eliot Higgins is also a foul-mouthed fraud – but they can't reconcile this comical ex-lingerie employee as a menace to humanity.

    3. Modern day

    In the past few weeks I've read various older articles on Iraq and Syria. US troops shooting people for fun from a helicopter . The perpetrators are still free – the whistle-blowers who exposed that, and other events in prison or exile.

    Last year we learned about a shocking massacre of Syrian children, unreported in the mainstream media . Mainstream journalists through their one-sided distortions of the conflict and silence, perpetuating the myth that the terrorists who carried out this mass murder are freedom fighters.

    And as I've mentioned, we've seen firmer evidence of what many of us knew along – that Douma was a staged fabrication as a pretext for air-strikes and dangerously escalating the Syrian war. The likes of Eliot Higgins and others in the media, colluding in the cover-up of mass murder which likely facilitated this event. And for those honest journalists and experts who bring the truth of these staged events to us, smears will no doubt continue .

    Higgins and others in the media who lie, misinform or remain silent are no better than those shooting civilians from helicopters or starting these wars in the first place. In fact, they have killed more and keep killing.

    This modern-day Titus Oates, and others share a big responsibility for death and destruction in the Middle East and a dangerous new Cold War.

    As I say, I think people are waking up to the distorted narratives and misdirections which have inflicted war on others. Now they need to take the next step and grasp the sheer enormity of the crimes and the risks of global conflict if we don't act.

    So, how do we achieve this and get in a position of holding the criminals and war propagandists to account?

    By confronting them directly and mercilessly. As Jeremy Corbyn should have done over the anti-Semitism hoax. Perhaps we should adopt some of the tactics they use against the truth-tellers and whistle-blowers. I don't mean by lies or smears. Maybe even ridiculing these people and their nonsense might have the effect of trivialising the crimes they have committed.

    No, I think it is time for plainer, no-holds-barred language describing these people for the true evil they are – until the truth and label sticks.

    We need to recognise more the seriousness of the crimes. This commentary from the usually measured Piers Robinson about the staged event in Douma reflects the true gravity of the situation in terms of the OPCW complicity .

    4. The hijacking of OPCW

    The cover-up of evidence that the Douma incident was staged is not merely misconduct. As the staging of the Douma incident entailed mass murder of civilians, those in OPCW who have suppressed the evidence of staging are, unwittingly or otherwise, colluding with mass murder."

    We need to now apply this strong language to all crimes committed, be it from the soldiers on the ground, the governments starting these wars or supplying terrorists or the media which promote mass murder through their lies, distortions and silence when presented with the true facts.

    We need to go on the offensive and call out the criminals and spell out in no uncertain terms what we are dealing with. With the evidence and fact-based analogies or arguments we publish we should be using more commentary such as 'mass murderer', 'traitor' or 'terrorist propagandist'.

    This is particularly important in light of events in recent days. The assassination of General Qasem Soleimani has been normalised in both mainstream and on social media. The people legitimising state-sponsored murder in offices thousands of miles away from Iran, woefully ignorant of the potential of this causing a chain of events which could visit our door soon.

    Above all, we should specifically name and shame the individuals promoting war. This needs to be relentless. The official war narratives which have crumbled so far are ample evidence of wrongdoing on a vast scale. So, we can be confident in doing this with the truth firmly on our side.

    Filed under: Douma "Chemical Attack" , historical perspectives , latest , Syria Tagged with: Bellingcat. Eliot Higgins , douma chemical attack , Glorious Revelution , Kevin Smith , OPCW , Peter Hitchens , Titus Oates can you spare $1.00 a month to support independent media

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    wardropper ,

    No, I think it is time for plainer, no-holds-barred language describing these people for the true evil they are – until the truth and label sticks.
    Yes indeed.
    I was, however, reminded today of the huge mountain we yet have to climb before it can be normal again NOT to be corrupt and wicked. The scenario was a session of acrimony in a US Senate chamber, and according to the NYTimes, "Tensions grew so raw after midnight that Chief Justice Roberts cut in just before 1 a.m. to admonish the managers and the president's lawyers to "remember where they are" and return to "civil discourse." "
    "Remembering where you are", when dealing with Titus Oates and other vulgar frauds is perhaps not entirely appropriate ?

    wardropper ,

    Apologies, I forgot to set the first sentence in quotes

    Thom ,

    Hitchens may be on the level on this particular issue but it is part of a wider deception where Hitchens poses as a friend to critical thinkers and then tells them they are helpless and/or can do nothing about it. If he really had journalistic integrity he wouldn't be taking a salary from the Mail on Sunday, a newspaper that relentlessly lied for the Tories at the last election, with the help of the itelligence agencies.

    Koba ,

    As good as Hitchens has done here he's still at heart a Trotskyist he lives a good split and a toothless display just like the Trotskyists he used to side with. His brother went from Trotskyist to soft neocon and peter went from Trotskyist to an ardent Christian Conservative in a veeeeeery short space of time. Plus there dad was deeeeep in with the establishment and his mum Jewish. So .

    Richard Le Sarc ,

    what?

    Gall ,

    Bellingcrap is just another scam like Dupes (Snopes) and Politi"facts". All of them are funded by the Atlantic Council and the CIA front National Endowment for "Democracy". Their cover as an "independent objective fact checking service" is about as transparent as Saran Wrap.

    tonyopmoc ,

    I really liked this when I read it this morning, before the grandkids came round, but I thought some of the comments a bit severe..

    I mean this photo is of some 40 year old kid, who lives in Leicester, and his Mum/wife/sister or whatever works in the local Post Office .

    I personally had never heard of Brown Noses, and I have never personnally succeeded in getting anything I wrote, posted above our below the line, since The Manchester Guardian moved from Manchester to London, and whilst I do love reading some of the posters' comments well look face it.

    Even though Rhys probabaly doesn't like what this kid writes – Elliot is it? he is hardly going to come round with a chainsaw, to cut his head off is he? He probably never even thought of it.

    He did say he is small fry, and he probably is still a virgin (been brainwashed – so he actually belives the model doll is better. What has he got to compare it to?)

    So I can't blame any of them.

    There are alternatives as well as Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, and all those Dating Websites, when almost everything you write gets deleted.

    Just go down the local pub when there is a good band on. Even I can pull there, but I am better looking than both Rhys and Elliot

    I Like Girls.

    I am a man. It's Normal

    Just keep fit dancing and smiling, and you will be O.K.

    Tony

    paul ,

    The prime importance of these endless hoaxes, smears, lies, fabrications and official approved conspiracy theories, lies not so much in the events themselves as what it says about the nature of the people who rule over us and their courtiers and handmaidens in the MSM.

    It would take a whole forest of trees merely to catalogue all their lies over the years, whether it's the Iraq Incubator Babies, the black Viagra fuelled rape gangs in Libya, the Syrian Gas Hoaxes, 9/11, Iraq's WMD, Iran's non existent nuclear weapons, Skripal, Russiagate, Ukrainegate, or the communist spy/ terrorist/ anti semitic smear campaign against Corbyn. And that is only the tip of a very large iceberg. You could go back further to Gladio, Operation Northwoods, Tonkin Gulf, the "Holocaust", Zinoviev Letter, Bayonetted Belgian Babies, Raped Belgian Nuns, Human Bodies Made Into Soap. The list is endless.

    We have been lied to consistently for years, decades, and generations. And these lies have been peddled endlessly in the MSM, no matter how ludicrous and transparently false they are. In the absence of direct personal knowledge or very convincing evidence to the contrary, you just have to assume that everything we have ever been told, are being told, and will be told, and most of the accepted historical record, are simply false. Nothing, nothing at all, can ever be taken at face value.

    And those who rule over us and who are responsible for these lies are psychopathic subhuman filth devoid of any moral values or any redeeming features whatsoever. They are a thousand times worse than the worst mass murderers or child killers who have ever been through our courts. The Moors Murderers, the Ted Bundys, the Jeffrey Dahmers, were seriously damaged individuals who killed a handful of victims. And they did their own dirty work. The Blairs, the Campbells, the Straws, the Bushes, the Cheneys, the Rumsfelds, the Allbrights, the Macrons, the Camerons, the Netanyahus, the Trumps, have the blood of millions on their hands. They and their wire pullers are responsible for the death, starvation and misery of tens and hundreds of millions.

    So when Blair, or Johnson, or Trump or whoever is interviewed on television, you have to remember that individual is a thousand times worse than the Moors Murderers, and we would actually be that much better off if Brady or Hindley were ruling over us. They deserve no respect or deference or legitimacy. They plot the murders of millions and the starvation of tens of millions – and laugh and giggle as they do so. They should be simply recognised for what they awe – psychopathic subhuman filth.

    austrian peter ,

    I do agree with you Paul and of course all you say is true. One of the main problems is that these people have the power to build artificial constructs sufficient for the masses to believe and perpetuated through their bought and paid for MSM whose journalists are mere foot soldiers and wish only to get their pay checks. They have no reason to question the lies and distortions pedaled to them by TPTB – they merely repeat the false narrative:
    "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" – Upton Sinclair

    And we, the great 99%, have little power to change things except within our local network. We can shout all we like on social media but it changes nothing until the great crisis reoccurs and perhaps the masses will rise and demand a just and equitable system. Until that day perhaps this little video will provide an understanding:

    https://www.youtube.com/embed/rStL7niR7gs?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

    Roberto ,

    The business of the MSM throughout the ages has been to traumatise or at least just generally worry the public with headlines focused on fear, envy, anger, revenge, and hate. Include all five in your story and you're well on the way to a Pulitzer Prize, bestowed on the profession by one of the great muckrakers of all time. It's not incidental that there have been a disturbing number of winners that have turned out to be dissembling frauds. Add to this the fact that 'journalism' training apparently does not teach entrants to distinguish the difference between opinion and news, and the die is cast: propaganda as news.

    Dungroanin ,

    Here is what BellEndScat supporting Rusbridger is moaning about.

    "For some years now – largely unreported – two chancery court judges have been dealing with literally hundreds of cases of phone hacking against MGN Ltd and News Group, the owners, respectively, of the Daily Mirror and the Sun (as well as the defunct News of the World).
    The two publishers are, between them, forking out eye-watering sums to avoid any cases going to trial in open court. Because the newspaper industry lobbied so forcefully to scrap the second part of the Leveson inquiry, which had been due to shine a light on such matters, we can only surmise what is going on.

    But there are clues. Mirror Group (now Reach) had by July 2018 set aside more than £70m to settle phone-hacking claims without risking any of them getting to court. The BBC reported last year that the Murdoch titles had paid out an astonishing £400m in damages and calculated that the total bill for the two companies could eventually reach £1bn."

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jan/19/there-is-a-reason-why-royals-demonised-but-wont-read-all-about-it-prince-harry-meghan-markle

    On the overall perfidious msm he quips:

    "Because the newspaper industry lobbied so forcefully to scrap the second part of the Leveson inquiry, which had been due to shine a light on such matters, we can only surmise what is going on."

    -- --

    Completely ignoring that the Integrity Iniative infested Guardian ITSELF objected to the recommendation of Levesons thoroughly public Inquiry and opposition to a independent press regulator!

    It would have been a building block and certainly stopped most of the continued press misbehaviour over the last 5 years.

    Neither Fish nor Fowl Mr Rusbridger. More sinner that saint, more like.

    Hugh O'Neill ,

    Going to the heart of what Bellingcat, MI6 and CIA is Pompeo's: "We lie, we cheat, we steal." These evil filth are devoid of any moral code and have no respect whatsoever for the laws of God or Man. At which point, consider Moses' (how apt) Ten Commandments. There among them is: "Thou shalt not bear false witness". Think what you will of these Ten, but as a moral code, they were quite useful.

    Richard Le Sarc ,

    Would that all these scum could share the fate of their progenitor, Streicher-without the ' necktie party'. Life at hard labour would do the lot of them much good.

    Brianeg ,

    I looked at the Veterans Today link and it all sounds very plausible'

    However in today's world nothing makes sense especially when the questions arise.

    Is it possible to change the signal of an aircrafts transponder remotely. Can the target acquisition radar on the missile be spoofed remotely. Just why did the flight control officer sanction the take off of this plane in the middle of a war unless they were party to the whole thing.. Just what were the six Israeli F-35 jets doing flying close to the Iranian border?

    Okay there is a lot of smoke but just where is the fire.

    Just as interesting is that none of the twelve Iranian missiles was intercepted and there are rumours that the Iranians were able to take out of action American air defences.

    I am sure that like with Douma when the majority of NATO missiles were intercepted by missiles that were decades old, you wonder what might happen when most of the middle east is covered by the S-300 and later versions.

    This is a story that has got a long way to run and we might never hear the ending.

    Dungroanin ,

    Facts are inconvenient.
    Many planes took off.
    This one was delayed by the pilot 'to remove overloading'.
    Reports of Cruise missiles heading in.

    Mucho ,

    For the best info on this, g