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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 reconnaaisance plane Israeli support of headchoppers and air raid on Syria military infrastructure Yugoslav wars
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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
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“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

“Anthing 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 heind unleashing civil war in cyria using Weapons from Libya and jihadist voluteers 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: Izreal and Saudi Arabia.

Political Islam emerges are a reaction to colonialism but now it serve as a puppet of neoliberals to weaksen 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 secur goverment in Syria as cration of another large traning 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 consequnces of WWIII. now the US is represented by chichenhasks such as Trump, Bolton and the whole gallery of female chichenharks (which were floring in Obana administraion) such as Haley.

This generation of the US elite is idoctrinbated is the "sole super[ower" status and has difficulties to adapting to new realities when economically china will be larger then the USA in 2020 and militiary Russia is on par in some major catagories, returing the situation of mutual assured destruction (MAD) that the USA tried to destrowy (and for some suceeded 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 tackits of British intelligence  services and it was important to Syria by MI6 supported organizations such as White Helmets.  They proved to be  perfectly suibale for Islamists barbarians (aka "head choppers")  who do not care much about human cost and can kill children and woman in cold blood to achive 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 recouperate of scape or surrender on more favoarabel 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.

There were at least three provable false flag operation of this type


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[Apr 19, 2019] The situation in Syria is concerning. The CIA is implementing an intense strategy of sabotage against any form of energy supply. The aim is to prevent reconstruction and therefore make life impossible for its people.

Apr 19, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Bart Hansen , Apr 19, 2019 3:57:48 PM | link

The situation in Syria is concerning. Meyssan has a piece on the geopolitics of oil. An excerpt:

"The attitude of the White House towards Syria is different, insofar as this country is currently unable to exploit its reserves, and Russia is allowing time to pass. The aim is to prevent reconstruction and therefore make life impossible for its people. The CIA is implementing an intense strategy of sabotage against any form of energy supply. The majority of the population, for example, has no more gas for heating their homes, nor for cooking purposes."

War by other means...

[Apr 18, 2019] Ask yourself "Is this creature sane or rational?"

Apr 18, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Hoarsewhisperer , Apr 18, 2019 4:05:55 AM | link

John Bolton was interviewed on PBS Newshour on March 17. Look it up and watch it and ask yourself "Is this creature sane or rational?"

[Apr 16, 2019] Is The US Losing Influence In The World's Biggest Oil Region

Apr 16, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Trump also hoped the Sisi meeting would re-invigorate his idea of an "Arab NATO", the proposed Middle East Security Alliance (MESA), raised at the beginning of his Presidency. MESA would, U.S. planners believed, align the Gulf Arab states -- particularly Saudi Arabia -- with Jordan and Egypt to strategically balance and oppose Iran. Cairo cannot realistically support such a position in black and white terms (neither can Qatar or Jordan, at this stage).

Cairo is actually open to improved relations with Iran, particularly because the Egyptian Government feels less than secure that the current Saudi regime is stable and reliable.

Trump, during the White House meeting, strenuously attempted to support Saudi Arabia and MbS, but received strong pushback from al-Sisi on that account.

The measure of Egypt's rejection of the U.S. pressure was indicated when al-Sisi, immediately upon returning to Cairo on April 10, 2019, formally withdrew Egypt from MESA. Egypt had very deliberately not sent a delegation to the MESA summit in Riyadh on April 8, 2019.

...

The ongoing belief in the U.S. that Egypt's defenses are existentially dependent on Washington is something which Cairo cannot comprehend. Washington policy thinking is that Cairo would obey U.S. diktat because it needed spare parts for U.S.-supplied equipment, or because it so needed the relatively small contribution offered by the Camp David Accord aid payments.


supermaxedout , 22 minutes ago link

The author says very little about Egypts relations with Syria. I remember when the US agent Morsi tried to push Egypt to fight against Assad. Genral Al Sisi stopped this because it would have torn also Egypt apart, especially the Army which has very friendly ties with the Syrian army.

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/africa/morsi-role-at-syria-rally-seen-as-tipping-point-for-egypt-army-1.1450612

https://www.middleeastobserver.org/2016/11/25/18-egyptian-pilots-have-started-to-work-at-hama-military-airbase-in-syria/

General Al Sisi and President Assad have something very basic in common. Both want to preserve the culture of their countries which are multi religious, representing the developments in these areas over thousands of years. AL Sisi was acting swiftly to protect the Copts which is a christian religion, maybe the true birthplace of christianity. The copts have deep roots in the old Egyptian religion. In a speech Al Sisi said that the copts are an essential part of Egypt and that they are the link to Egypts great past.

WhiteOakQueen , 1 hour ago link

You sure as hell can't say trump isn't trying! He just vetoed the Senate bill to end all aid to continue the war on Yemen! What did Yemen ever do to us? Not a damn thing! His true colors are shining more every day. His followers will say it's a trick! It's 4d chess! It's disgusting!

J S Bach , 1 hour ago link

The area around Venezuela is actually now the richest "oil region" in the world.

You know... I often ponder how must simpler and peaceful the world could and SHOULD be were the ziombie United States not such a belligerent force. Our Founding Fathers would be outrageously appalled at their descendants to whom they bequeathed responsibility for maintaining and championing their original philosophy.

RoyalDraco , 54 minutes ago link

The question now is who in the Washington bureaucracy will take the blame for pushing Trump to insist on actions by al-Sisi which any fundamental analysis of the situation points to being infeasible and against Egypt's view of its own strategic interests.

i think the question now is whether Trump is such an idiot Zionist that he takes his orders from Sheldon Adelson Bolt-on, and Pompous. MIGA.

J S Bach , 51 minutes ago link

Trump is his own MAGA... Massive Arrogant Goy *******.

Winston Churchill , 46 minutes ago link

Already answered,and the ***-whipping when he takes on Iran will be well deserved,no way to

win short of using nukes. Iran is far too important to Russia and China for that to be allowed. Logistics and demographics are not on the US's side, even the Pentagram wants nothing to do with an actual war with Iran.

High Vigilante , 1 hour ago link

Bonobo and Killary fucked up US foreign policy.

skippy dinner , 1 hour ago link

First Law of Politics: Don't piss people off.

RagaMuffin , 1 hour ago link

"Is The US Losing Influence In The World's Biggest Oil Region?"

Only if you consider the last 40 years of screwing up as success.

Deep Snorkeler , 1 hour ago link

No One Can Trust Trump

erratic and dysfunctional, absurd and incongruous,

fantastic and ludicrous - he rules from an immoral crevasse:

he sustains massive corporate profits and upper caste power.

[Apr 13, 2019] Trump Puts America Last by Daniel Larison

Money quote (from comments): This GOP/Israel connection stinks to high heaven. Anyone who studied or remembers our problem with Communist spies back in the '50s has got to be hearing alarm bells ringing in their ears. Worries about Soviet spying and Russian meddling pale in comparison to what's now going on in plain sight with Israel.
Notable quotes:
"... As usual, Trump made the announcement of recognizing Israel's claim to the Golan Heights without any consultation with any of the relevant administration officials: ..."
"... After more than two years of watching Trump's impulsive and reckless "governing" style, it doesn't come as a surprise to anyone that he makes these decisions without advance warning. There is no evidence that Trump ever thinks anything through, and so he probably sees no reason to tell anyone in advance what he is going to do. ..."
"... Trump almost never bothers consulting with the people who will be responsible for carrying out his policies ..."
"... There is absolutely no upside for the United States in endorsing illegal Israeli claims to the Golan Heights. It is a cynical political stunt intended to boost Netanyahu and Likud's fortunes in the upcoming election, and it is also a cynical stunt aimed at shoring up Trump's support from Republican "pro-Israel" voters and donors. ..."
"... Once again, Trump has put narrow political ambitions and the interests of a foreign government ahead of the interests of the United States. That seems to be the inevitable result of electing a narcissist who conducts foreign policy based on which leaders flatter and praise him. ..."
"... Bolton is usually the culprit responsible any destructive and foolish policy decision over the last year, and his baleful influence continues to grow. We can also see the harmful effects of the administration's Iran obsession at work. In the end, the Syria "withdrawal" hasn't happened and apparently isn't going to, but Trump nonetheless gives Israel whatever it wants in exchange for nothing so that they will be "reassured" of our unthinking support. ..."
"... I wonder what Mr. Kagan has to say now about "authoritarian" regimes?! ..."
"... Trump is making one hell of a mess for the next president to clean up. ..."
"... The decision to leave the INF treaty was taken in a similar way and with a total disregard for the consequences. The leaders of the European NATO countries have shown utter spinelessness in going along with it. ..."
"... I am shocked and horrified by what I've seen under Trump. I am deeply disappointed that so few Republicans (or Democrats, for that matter) have stood up to him on foreign policy, and I will never vote Republican again. This GOP/Israel connection stinks to high heaven. Anyone who studied or remembers our problem with Communist spies back in the '50s has got to be hearing alarm bells ringing in their ears. Worries about Soviet spying and Russian meddling pale in comparison to what's now going on in plain sight with Israel. ..."
"... To be fair, it ain't just Team R that has the sloppy crush on Israel. Team D is just as bad, even if they don't gush quite so publicly. In fact, episodes such as this one are useful in a way, as they make it hard to pretend that this is just a one-off, a misguided decision that we have to go along with to appease a powerful friend. ..."
"... Nevertheless, Israel should be very concerned about Northern Syria. If war breaks out and the US is forced to go to war with its own NATO ally as a result, Israel should prepare to kiss its alliance with the US goodbye. ..."
"... Many (rightfully or not) will blame Israel due to its connections to neoconservatism and Saudi jingoism, and consequently we may end up seeing BOTH parties becoming unfriendly to Israel over the subsequent generation. ..."
"... All of this could be prevented if President Trump would just tell Saudi Arabia to STOP the nonsense. But no. He's too focused on MIC profits. He's not America First. And quite frankly, I'm starting to think Benjamin Netanyahu is not Israel-first either, because if he were he'd be warning Trump about the mess he's going to end up getting America, Israel, and much of Europe and the Middle East into. ..."
Mar 20, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

As usual, Trump made the announcement of recognizing Israel's claim to the Golan Heights without any consultation with any of the relevant administration officials:

President Donald Trump's tweet on Thursday recognizing the Golan Heights as Israeli territory surprised members of his own Middle East peace team, the State Department, and Israeli officials.

U.S. diplomats and White House aides had believed the Golan Heights issue would be front and center at next week's meetings between Trump and Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House. But they were unprepared for any presidential announcement this week.

No formal U.S. process or executive committees were initiated to review the policy before Trump's decision, and the diplomats responsible for implementing the policy were left in the dark.

Even the Israelis, who have advocated for this move for years, were stunned at the timing of Trump's message.

After more than two years of watching Trump's impulsive and reckless "governing" style, it doesn't come as a surprise to anyone that he makes these decisions without advance warning. There is no evidence that Trump ever thinks anything through, and so he probably sees no reason to tell anyone in advance what he is going to do.

Trump almost never bothers consulting with the people who will be responsible for carrying out his policies and dealing with the international fallout, and that is probably why so many of his policy decisions end up being exceptionally poor ones. The substance of most of Trump's foreign policy decisions was never likely to be good, but the lack of an organized policy process on major decisions makes those decisions even more haphazard and chaotic than they would otherwise be.

There is absolutely no upside for the United States in endorsing illegal Israeli claims to the Golan Heights. It is a cynical political stunt intended to boost Netanyahu and Likud's fortunes in the upcoming election, and it is also a cynical stunt aimed at shoring up Trump's support from Republican "pro-Israel" voters and donors.

Whatever short-term benefit Israel gains from it, the U.S. gains nothing and stands to lose quite a bit in terms of our international standing.

There has been no consideration of the costs and problems this will create for the U.S. in its relations with other regional states and beyond because Trump couldn't care less about the long-term effects that his decisions have on the country.

Once again, Trump has put narrow political ambitions and the interests of a foreign government ahead of the interests of the United States. That seems to be the inevitable result of electing a narcissist who conducts foreign policy based on which leaders flatter and praise him.

Trump's bad decision can be traced back to Bolton's visit to Israel earlier this year:

Administration officials said that National Security Advisor John Bolton was instrumental to the decision, after visiting Israel in January to assure officials there that the United States would not abandon them in Syria despite Trump's sudden withdrawal of troops from the battlefield.

Nervous Israeli officials saw an opportunity. "It was an ask," one Israeli source said, "because of the timing -- it suddenly became a relevant issue about Iran."

Bolton is usually the culprit responsible any destructive and foolish policy decision over the last year, and his baleful influence continues to grow. We can also see the harmful effects of the administration's Iran obsession at work. In the end, the Syria "withdrawal" hasn't happened and apparently isn't going to, but Trump nonetheless gives Israel whatever it wants in exchange for nothing so that they will be "reassured" of our unthinking support.


SF Bay March 21, 2019 at 10:28 pm

Well, of course Trump puts America last. There is one and only one person he is interested in -- himself. As you say this is his narcissistic personality at work.

My never ending question is always, "Why does any Republican with a conscience remain silent? Are they really all this shallow and self absorbed? Is there nothing Trump does that will finally force them to put country before party and their own ambition?"

It's a really sad state of events that has put this country on the road to ruin.

Kouros , , March 21, 2019 at 11:39 pm
I wonder what Mr. Kagan has to say now about "authoritarian" regimes?!
Trump 2016 , , March 22, 2019 at 1:45 am
Trump is making one hell of a mess for the next president to clean up. Straightening out all this stupidity will take years. Here's hoping that Trump gets to watch his foreign policy decisions tossed out and reversed from federal prison.
Grumpy Old Man , , March 22, 2019 at 3:29 am
He ought to recognize Russia's seizure of Crimea. Why not? Кто кого?
Tony , , March 22, 2019 at 8:50 am
The decision to leave the INF treaty was taken in a similar way and with a total disregard for the consequences. The leaders of the European NATO countries have shown utter spinelessness in going along with it.

The administration says that a Russian missile violates the treaty but it will not tell us what the range of the missile is. Nor will it allow its weapons inspectors to go and look at it.

The reason is clear: Fear that the weapons inspectors' findings would contradict the administration's claims.

Some Perspective , , March 22, 2019 at 9:08 am
I voted Republican ever since I started voting. I voted for Bush I, Dole, Dubya, and McCain. I couldn't vote for either Obama or Romney, but I voted for Trump because of Hillary Clinton.

I am shocked and horrified by what I've seen under Trump. I am deeply disappointed that so few Republicans (or Democrats, for that matter) have stood up to him on foreign policy, and I will never vote Republican again. This GOP/Israel connection stinks to high heaven. Anyone who studied or remembers our problem with Communist spies back in the '50s has got to be hearing alarm bells ringing in their ears. Worries about Soviet spying and Russian meddling pale in comparison to what's now going on in plain sight with Israel.

We're losing our country. We're losing America.

Sid Finster , , March 22, 2019 at 10:22 am
To be fair, it ain't just Team R that has the sloppy crush on Israel. Team D is just as bad, even if they don't gush quite so publicly. In fact, episodes such as this one are useful in a way, as they make it hard to pretend that this is just a one-off, a misguided decision that we have to go along with to appease a powerful friend.

Europoliticians tell that last one a lot. "We really don't want to but the Americans twisted our arms ZOMG Special Relationship so sorry ZOMG!" Only with a lot more Eurobureaucratese.

G-Pol , , March 22, 2019 at 11:15 am
I agree with the article's premise, but not because of this move regarding Israel.

Personally, I believe this move will have little impact on the outcome of the crisis in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia and the other Arab monarchies are too focused on containing Iran and Turkey to give a crap about what Israel does. The only Arab states that I can see objecting to this move are Syria (obviously) and the others who were already allied with Iran and/or Turkey to begin with.

Right now, the REAL center of attention in the region should be Northern Syria. THAT's where the next major war likely will begin. In that area, Saudi Arabia and to a lesser extent Turkey and the United Arab Emirates are the ones doing the major escalations, while Israel has virtually no role at all aside from sideline cheer-leading. And of course, Trump is doing nothing to stop what could become the next July Crisis. What's "America First" about that?

Nevertheless, Israel should be very concerned about Northern Syria. If war breaks out and the US is forced to go to war with its own NATO ally as a result, Israel should prepare to kiss its alliance with the US goodbye.

There is no way our international reputation will come out of this war unscathed, and odds are we'll be in a far worse position diplomatically than we were at any point in our history, even during the Iraq war. When that happens, the American people will be out to assign blame. Many (rightfully or not) will blame Israel due to its connections to neoconservatism and Saudi jingoism, and consequently we may end up seeing BOTH parties becoming unfriendly to Israel over the subsequent generation.

All of this could be prevented if President Trump would just tell Saudi Arabia to STOP the nonsense. But no. He's too focused on MIC profits. He's not America First. And quite frankly, I'm starting to think Benjamin Netanyahu is not Israel-first either, because if he were he'd be warning Trump about the mess he's going to end up getting America, Israel, and much of Europe and the Middle East into.

[Apr 12, 2019] Douma investigation> discredits OPCW as a source of impartial investigation and undermine it as an international institution fit to be entrusted with maintaining the prohibition of chemical weapons by timhayward

Notable quotes:
"... The apparent removal of the Team Leader, the exclusion of evidence that the hospital dousing scene was staged, the delay in producing this anonymous report and the refusal to allow a briefing by the FFM team raise concerns that criminal activities – the staging of a chemical attack using the bodies of civilians – have been covered up. In most jurisdictions, the duty to disclose such a cover-up would override the confidentiality agreements that OPCW employees are required to sign. ..."
"... This report discredits OPCW as a source of impartial investigation and undermines it as an international institution that is fit to be entrusted with maintaining the prohibition of chemical weapons, let alone with the remit to "identify the perpetrators of the use of chemical weapons" assigned by a resolution of the Conference of States Parties in June 2018. ..."
Apr 12, 2019 | timhayward.wordpress.com

Detailed examination of the final report from the OPCW's Fact-Finding Mission on the alleged chemical attack in Douma on 7 April 2018.

The resultant Briefing Note – by Paul McKeigue, David Miller, and Piers Robinson – exposes deep flaws in the anonymously authored report. These discredit OPCW as a source of impartial investigation and undermine it as an international institution fit to be entrusted with maintaining the prohibition of chemical weapons. Paul McKeigue, David Miller, Piers Robinson

Members of Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media

Summary

This briefing note reviews the Final Report of the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission on the alleged chemical attack in Douma on 7 April 2018, released on 1 March 2019. We focus on the methods and the conduct of the investigation.

Read the full report

[Apr 12, 2019] Skripal, the Russkies and Bellingcat

The fact that Glenn Greenwald proved to be a despicable pressitute cast a long shadow of Snowden and Assange.
Notable quotes:
"... Not mentioned by any of the major news media is the fact that Bellingcat is funded by the National Endowment for Democracy (sic), renowned for its interference in foreign elections, funding terrorists and overthrowing governments the US doesn't approve of. ..."
Sep 27, 2018 | investigatingimperialism.wordpress.com
September 27, 2018 September 27, 2018 27 September 2018 -- Investigating Imperialism

I smell a rat!

A quick comment about the two Russian alleged assassins, exposed, we are told by the 'investigative' Website, Bellingcat. Not mentioned by any of the major news media is the fact that Bellingcat is funded by the National Endowment for Democracy (sic), renowned for its interference in foreign elections, funding terrorists and overthrowing governments the US doesn't approve of.

Media Lens picked up on this awhile back in reference to another Western financed outfit, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), funded by the UK Foreign Office. I've also expanded this by quoting from Media Lens' other article that deals with Western-funded disinfo, ' Douma: Part 1 – Deception In Plain Sight':

Liberal corporate journalists and politicians have been impressed by the fact that SOHR and White Helmets claims have been supported by ostensibly forensic analysis supplied by the Bellingcat website, which publishes 'citizen journalist' investigations. As we noted in a recent alert, Bellingcat is funded by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), which is funded by the US government and is 'a notorious vehicle for US soft power'. – ' The Syrian Observatory – Funded By The Foreign Office ', Media Lens, June 4 2018

It's worth quoting more of the Media Lens article as it exposes the nature of Western so-called lefties and their attachment to Western (funded) propaganda outfits:

In the New Statesman, Paul Mason offered a typically nonsensical argument, linking to the anti-Assad website, Bellingcat:

'Despite the availability of public sources showing it is likely that a regime Mi-8 helicopter dropped a gas container onto a specific building, there are well-meaning people prepared to share the opinion that this was a "false flag", staged by jihadis, to pull the West into the war. The fact that so many people are prepared to clutch at false flag theories is, for Western democracies, a sign of how effective Vladimir Putin's global strategy has been.'

Thus, echoing Freedland's reference to 'denialists and conspiracists', sceptics can only be idiot victims of Putin's propaganda. US media analyst Adam Johnson of FAIR accurately described Mason's piece as a 'mess', adding :

'I love this thing where nominal leftists run the propaganda ball for bombing a country 99 yards then stop at the one yard and insist they don't support scoring goals, that they in fact oppose war.'

Surprisingly, the Bellingcat website, which publishes the findings of 'citizen journalist' investigations, appears to be taken seriously by some very high-profile progressives.

In the Independent, Green Party leader Caroline Lucas also mentioned the Syrian army 'Mi-8' helicopters. Why? Because she had read the same Bellingcat blog as Mason, to which she linked:

'From the evidence we've seen so far it appears that the latest chemical attack was likely by Mi-8 helicopters, probably from the forces of Syria's murderous President Assad.'

On Democracy Now!, journalist Glenn Greenwald said of Douma:

'I think that it's -- the evidence is quite overwhelming that the perpetrators of this chemical weapons attack, as well as previous ones, is the Assad government '

This was an astonishing comment. After receiving fierce challenges (not from us), Greenwald partially retracted, tweeting :

'It's live TV. Something [sic – sometimes] you say things less than ideally. I think the most likely perpetrator of this attack is Syrian Govt.'

We wrote to Greenwald asking what had persuaded him of Assad's 'likely' responsibility for Douma. (Twitter, April 10, direct message)

The first piece of evidence he sent us (April 12) was the Bellingcat blog mentioning Syrian government helicopters cited by Mason and Lucas. Greenwald also sent us a report from Reuters, as well as a piece from 2017, obviously prior to the alleged Douma event.

This was thin evidence indeed for the claim made. In our discussion with him, Greenwald then completely retracted his claim (Twitter, April 12, direct message) that there was evidence of Syrian government involvement in the alleged attack. [My emph. WB] – ' Douma: Part 1 – Deception In Plain Sight'

[Apr 12, 2019] John Bolton Took Money From Clinton Foundation Donor, Banks Tied To Cartels, Terrorists, Iran by William Craddick

Notable quotes:
"... On June 12, 2018 The Washington Post ran an overlooked story where they disclosed that National Security Advisor John Bolton had accepted money from the Victor Pinchuk Foundation, Deutsche Bank and HSBC to return for his participation in speeches and panel discussions ..."
"... John Bolton accepted $115,000 from the Victor Pinchuk Foundation to speak at multiple events hosted by the Foundation including one in September 2017 where Bolton assured his audience that President Donald Trump would not radically change US foreign policy despite his explicit campaign promises to do so. ..."
"... More broadly, John Bolton's work for the Victor Pinchuk Foundation, HSBC and Deutsche Bank shows that while he preaches hardline foreign policy approaches towards nations such as Iran and North Korea he has no issue tying himself to those who openly flaunt American sanctions and diplomatic attempts to pressure these states. For an individual who is the President's National Security Advisor to have taken money from banks who provide financial services to terror groups who have murdered thousands of Americans is totally unacceptable. ..."
Apr 10, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Via Disobedient Media

On June 12, 2018 The Washington Post ran an overlooked story where they disclosed that National Security Advisor John Bolton had accepted money from the Victor Pinchuk Foundation, Deutsche Bank and HSBC to return for his participation in speeches and panel discussions. These three entities have been linked to various kinds of corruption including sanctions evasion for Iran, money laundering on behalf of drug cartels, provision of banking services to backers of Islamic terror organizations and controversial donations to the Clinton Foundation.

The financial ties between Bolton and these institutions highlight serious ethical concerns about his suitability for the position of National Security Advisor.

I. Victor Pinchuk Foundation

John Bolton accepted $115,000 from the Victor Pinchuk Foundation to speak at multiple events hosted by the Foundation including one in September 2017 where Bolton assured his audience that President Donald Trump would not radically change US foreign policy despite his explicit campaign promises to do so.

The Victor Pinchuk Foundation was blasted in 2016 over their donation of $10 to $25 million to the Clinton Foundation between 1994 and 2005. The donations lead to accusations of influence peddling after it emerged that Victor Pinchuk had been invited to Hillary Clinton's home during the final year of her tenure as Secretary of State.

Even more damning was Victor Pinchuk's participation in activities that constituted evasions of sanctions levied against Iran by the American government. A 2015 exposé by Newsweek highlighted the fact that Pinchuk owned Interpipe Group, a Cyprus-incorporated manufacturer of seamless pipes used in oil and gas sectors. A now-removed statement on Interpipe's website showed that they were doing business in Iran despite US sanctions aimed to prevent this kind of activity.

Why John Bolton, a notorious war hawk who has called for a hardline approach to Iran, would take money from an entity who was evading sanctions against the country is not clear. It does however, raise serious questions about whether or not Bolton should be employed by Donald Trump, who made attacks on the Clinton Foundation's questionable donations a cornerstone of his 2016 campaign.

II. HSBC Group

British bank HSBC paid Bolton $46,500 in June and August 2017 to speak at two gatherings of hedge fund managers and investors.

HSBC is notorious for its extensive ties to criminal and terror organizations for whom it has provided illegal financial services. Clients that HSBC have laundered money for include Colombian drug traffickers and Mexican cartels who have terrorized the country and recently raised murder rates to the highest levels in Mexico's history . They have also offered banking services to Chinese individuals who sourced chemicals and other materials used by cartels to produce methamphetamine and heroin that is then sold in the United States. China's Triads have helped open financial markets in Asia to cartels seeking to launder their profits derived from the drug trade.

In 2012, HSBC was blasted by the US Senate for for allowing money from Russian and Latin American criminal networks as well as Middle Eastern terror groups to enter the US. The banking group ultimately agreed to pay a $1.9 billion fine for this misconduct as well as their involvement in processing sanctions-prohibited transactions on behalf of Iran, Libya, Sudan and Burma.

Some of the terror groups assisted by HSBC include the notorious Al Qaeda. During the 2012 scrutiny of HSBC, outlets such as Le Monde , Business Insider and the New York Times revealed that HSBC had maintained ties to Saudi Arabia's Al Rajhi Bank. Al Rajhi Bank was one of Osama Bin Ladin's "Golden Chain" of Al Qaeda's most important financiers. Even though HSBC's own internal compliance offices asked for the bank to terminate their relationship with Al Rajhi Bank, it continued until 2010.

More recently in 2018, reports have claimed that HSBC was used for illicit transactions between Iran and Chinese technology conglomerate Huawei. The US is currently seeking to extradite Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou after bringing charges against Huawei related to sanctions evasion and theft of intellectual property. The company has been described as a "backdoor" for elements of the Chinese government by certain US authorities.

Bolton's decision to accept money from HSBC given their well-known reputation is deeply hypocritical. HSBC's connection to terror organizations such as Al Qaeda in particular is damning for Bolton due to the fact that he formerly served as the chairman of the Gatestone Institute , a New York-based advocacy group that purports to oppose terrorism. These financial ties are absolutely improper for an individual acting as National Security Advisor.

III. Deutsche Bank

John Bolton accepted $72,000 from German Deutsche Bank to speak at an event in May 2017.

Deutsche Bank has for decades engaged in questionable behavior. During World War II, they provided financial services to the Nazi Gestapo and financed construction of the infamous Auschwitz as well as an adjacent plant for chemical company IG Farben.

Like HSBC, Deutsche Bank has provided illicit services to international criminal organizations. In 2014 court filings showed that Deutsche Bank, Citi and Bank of America had all acted as channels for drug money sent to Colombian security currency brokerages suspected of acting on behalf of traffickers. In 2017, Deutsche Bank agreed to pay a $630 million fine after working with a Danish bank in Estonia to launder over $10 billion through London and Moscow on behalf of Russian entities. The UK's financial regulatory watchdog has said that Deutsche Bank is failing to prevent its accounts from being used to launder money, circumvent sanctions and finance terrorism. In November 2018, Deutsche Bank's headquarters was raided by German authorities as part of an investigation sparked by 2016 revelations in the "Panama Papers" leak from Panama's Mossack Fonseca.

Two weeks after the 9/11 terror attacks, the Bush administration signed an executive order linking a company owned by German national Mamoun Darkazanli to Al Qaeda. In 1995, Darkazanli co-signed the opening of a Deutsche Bank account for Mamdouh Mahmud Salim. Salim was identified by the CIA as the chief of bin Laden's computer operations and weapons procurement. He was ultimately arrested in Munich, extradited to the United States and charged with participation in the 1998 US embassy bombings.

In 2017, the Office of the New York State Comptroller opened an investigation into accounts that Deutsche Bank was operating on behalf of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. The PFLP is defined by both the United States and the European Union as a terrorist organization. It is ironic that Bolton, who is a past recipient of the "Guardian of Zion Award" would accept money from an entity who provided services to Palestinian groups that Israel considers to be terror related.

IV. Clinton-esque Financial Ties Unbecoming To Trump Administration

Bolton's engagement in paid speeches, in some cases with well-known donors to the Clinton Foundation, paints the Trump administration in a very bad light. Donald Trump criticized Hillary Clinton during his 2016 Presidential campaign for speeches she gave to Goldman Sachs that were labeled by her detractors as "pay to play" behavior. John Bolton's acceptance of money from similar entities, especially the Victor Pinchuk Foundation, are exactly the same kind of activity and are an embarrassment for a President who claims to be against corruption.

More broadly, John Bolton's work for the Victor Pinchuk Foundation, HSBC and Deutsche Bank shows that while he preaches hardline foreign policy approaches towards nations such as Iran and North Korea he has no issue tying himself to those who openly flaunt American sanctions and diplomatic attempts to pressure these states. For an individual who is the President's National Security Advisor to have taken money from banks who provide financial services to terror groups who have murdered thousands of Americans is totally unacceptable.

It is embarrassing enough that Donald Trump hired Bolton in the first place. The next best remedy is to let him go as soon as possible.

[Apr 11, 2019] Rand Paul to Pompeo You do not have 'permission' for war with Iran by NAHAL TOOSI

Pompeo was Aldeson protege... : Adelson has ‘more influence’ than Pompeo, ‘controlling’ State Dep’t on Israel, says ‘NYT’ columnist Egan, Jan 18, 2019
Notable quotes:
"... "You do not have the permission of Congress to go to war with Iran," Paul responded, while chiding Pompeo for trying to deflect the question. "Only Congress can declare war." ..."
Apr 10, 2019 | www.politico.com

Sen. Rand Paul on Wednesday warned the Trump administration not to go to war with Iran, at least not without getting permission from Congress.

The libertarian-leaning Kentucky Republican spoke directly to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

He asked Pompeo if the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force, which allowed for U.S. troops to fight entities responsible for the 9/11 attacks and associated forces, included Iran.

Pompeo declined to directly answer the question, saying he'd defer to lawyers, but stated that there is "no doubt there's a connection" between the Iranian government and al-Qaeda, the terrorist group behind the 2001 attacks.

"You do not have the permission of Congress to go to war with Iran," Paul responded, while chiding Pompeo for trying to deflect the question. "Only Congress can declare war."

Pompeo was testifying before the Republican-controlled committee, a session that came the same week President Donald Trump designated Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization, prompting concerns about future clashes between the U.S. and Iranian-backed forces.

[Apr 09, 2019] The ruthless neo-colonialists of 21st century

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The destruction of Syria and Libya created massive refugee flows which have proved that the European Union was totally unprepared to deal with such a major issue. On top of that, the latest years, we have witnessed a rapid rise of various terrorist attacks in Western soil, also as a result of the devastating wars in Syria and Libya. ..."
"... Whenever they wanted to blame someone for some serious terrorist attacks, they had a scapegoat ready for them, even if they had evidence that Libya was not behind these attacks. When Gaddafi falsely admitted that he had weapons of mass destruction in order to gain some relief from the Western sanctions, they presented him as a responsible leader who, was ready to cooperate. Of course, his last role was to play again the 'bad guy' who had to be removed. ..."
"... Despite the rise of Donald Trump in power, the neoliberal forces will push further for the expansion of the neoliberal doctrine in the rival field of the Sino-Russian alliance. ..."
"... We see, however, that the Western alliances are entering a period of severe crisis. The US has failed to control the situation in Middle East and Libya. The ruthless neo-colonialists will not hesitate to confront Russia and China directly, if they see that they continue to lose control in the global geopolitical arena. The accumulation of military presence of NATO next to the Russian borders, as well as, the accumulation of military presence of the US in Asia-Pacific, show that this is an undeniable fact. ..."
Apr 09, 2019 | failedevolution.blogspot.com

The start of current decade revealed the most ruthless face of a global neo-colonialism. From Syria and Libya to Europe and Latin America, the old colonial powers of the West tried to rebound against an oncoming rival bloc led by Russia and China, which starts to threaten their global domination.

Inside a multi-polar, complex terrain of geopolitical games, the big players start to abandon the old-fashioned, inefficient direct wars. They use today other, various methods like brutal proxy wars , economic wars, financial and constitutional coups, provocative operations, 'color revolutions', etc. In this highly complex and unstable situation, when even traditional allies turn against each other as the global balances change rapidly, the forces unleashed are absolutely destructive. Inevitably, the results are more than evident.

Proxy Wars - Syria/Libya

After the US invasion in Iraq, the gates of hell had opened in the Middle East. Obama continued the Bush legacy of US endless interventions, but he had to change tactics because a direct war would be inefficient, costly and extremely unpopular to the American people and the rest of the world.
The result, however, appeared to be equally (if not more) devastating with the failed US invasions in Iraq and Afghanistan. The US had lost total control of the armed groups directly linked with the ISIS terrorists, failed to topple Assad, and, moreover, instead of eliminating the Russian and Iranian influence in the region, actually managed to increase it. As a result, the US and its allies failed to secure their geopolitical interests around the various pipeline games.

In addition, the US sees Turkey, one of its most important ally, changing direction dangerously, away from the Western bloc. Probably the strongest indication for this, is that Turkey, Iran and Russia decided very recently to proceed in an agreement on Syria without the presence of the US.

Yet, the list of US failures does not end here. The destruction of Syria and Libya created massive refugee flows which have proved that the European Union was totally unprepared to deal with such a major issue. On top of that, the latest years, we have witnessed a rapid rise of various terrorist attacks in Western soil, also as a result of the devastating wars in Syria and Libya.

Evidence from WikiLeaks has shown that the old colonial powers have started a new round of ruthless competition on Libya's resources. The usual story propagated by the Western media, about another tyrant who had to be removed, has now completely collapsed. They don't care neither to topple an 'authoritarian' regime, nor to spread Democracy. All they care about is to secure each country's resources for their big companies.
The Gaddafi case is quite interesting because it shows that the Western hypocrites were using him according to their interests .

Whenever they wanted to blame someone for some serious terrorist attacks, they had a scapegoat ready for them, even if they had evidence that Libya was not behind these attacks. When Gaddafi falsely admitted that he had weapons of mass destruction in order to gain some relief from the Western sanctions, they presented him as a responsible leader who, was ready to cooperate. Of course, his last role was to play again the 'bad guy' who had to be removed.

Economic Wars, Financial Coups – Greece/Eurozone

It would be unthinkable for the neo-colonialists to conduct proxy wars inside European soil, especially against countries which belong to Western institutions like NATO, EU, eurozone, etc. The wave of the US-made major economic crisis hit Greece and Europe at the start of the decade, almost simultaneously with the eruption of the Arab Spring revolutionary wave and the subsequent disaster in Middle East and Libya.

Greece was the easy victim for the global neoliberal dictatorship to impose catastrophic measures in favor of the plutocracy. The Greek experiment enters its seventh year and the plan is to be used as a model for the whole eurozone. Greece has become also the model for the looting of public property, as happened in the past with the East Germany and the Treuhand Operation after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

While Greece was the major victim of an economic war, Germany used its economic power and control of the European Central Bank to impose unprecedented austerity, sado-monetarism and neoliberal destruction through silent financial coups in Ireland , Italy and Cyprus . The Greek political establishment collapsed with the rise of SYRIZA in power, and the ECB was forced to proceed in an open financial coup against Greece when the current PM, Alexis Tsipras, decided to conduct a referendum on the catastrophic measures imposed by the ECB, IMF and the European Commission, through which the Greek people clearly rejected these measures, despite the propaganda of terror inside and outside Greece. Due to the direct threat from Mario Draghi and the ECB, who actually threatened to cut liquidity sinking Greece into a financial chaos, Tsipras finally forced to retreat, signing another catastrophic memorandum.

Through similar financial and political pressure, the Brussels bureaufascists and the German sado-monetarists along with the IMF economic hitmen, imposed neoliberal disaster to other eurozone countries like Portugal, Spain etc. It is remarkable that even the second eurozone economy, France, rushed to impose anti-labor measures midst terrorist attacks, succumbing to a - pre-designed by the elites - neo-Feudalism, under the 'Socialist' François Hollande, despite the intense protests in many French cities.

Germany would never let the United States to lead the neo-colonization in Europe, as it tries (again) to become a major power with its own sphere of influence, expanding throughout eurozone and beyond. As the situation in Europe becomes more and more critical with the ongoing economic and refugee crisis and the rise of the Far-Right and the nationalists, the economic war mostly between the US and the German big capital, creates an even more complicated situation.

The decline of the US-German relations has been exposed initially with the NSA interceptions scandal , yet, progressively, the big picture came on surface, revealing a transatlantic economic war between banking and corporate giants. In times of huge multilevel crises, the big capital always intensifies its efforts to eliminate competitors too. As a consequence, the US has seen another key ally, Germany, trying to gain a certain degree of independence in order to form its own agenda, separate from the US interests.

Note that, both Germany and Turkey are medium powers that, historically, always trying to expand and create their own spheres of influence, seeking independence from the traditional big powers.

Economic Wars, Constitutional Coups, Provocative Operations – Argentina/Brazil/Venezuela

A wave of neoliberal onslaught shakes currently Latin America. While in Argentina, Mauricio Macri allegedly took the power normally, the constitutional coup against Dilma Rousseff in Brazil, as well as, the usual actions of the Right opposition in Venezuela against Nicolás Maduro with the help of the US finger, are far more obvious.
The special weight of these three countries in Latin America is extremely important for the US imperialism to regain ground in the global geopolitical arena. Especially the last ten to fifteen years, each of them developed increasingly autonomous policies away from the US close custody, under Leftist governments, and this was something that alarmed the US imperialism components.

Brazil appears to be the most important among the three, not only due to its size, but also as a member of the BRICS, the team of fast growing economies who threaten the US and generally the Western global dominance. The constitutional coup against Rousseff was rather a sloppy action and reveals the anxiety of the US establishment to regain control through puppet regimes. This is a well-known situation from the past through which the establishment attempts to secure absolute dominance in the US backyard.

The importance of Venezuela due to its oil reserves is also significant. When Maduro tried to approach Russia in order to strengthen the economic cooperation between the two countries, he must had set the alarm for the neocons in the US. Venezuela could find an alternative in Russia and BRICS, in order to breathe from the multiple economic war that was set off by the US. It is characteristic that the economic war against Russia by the US and the Saudis, by keeping the oil prices in historically low levels, had significant impact on the Venezuelan economy too. It is also known that the US organizations are funding the opposition since Chávez era, in order to proceed in provocative operations that could overthrow the Leftist governments.

The case of Venezuela is really interesting. The US imperialists were fiercely trying to overthrow the Leftist governments since Chávez administration. They found now a weaker president, Nicolás Maduro - who certainly does not have the strength and personality of Hugo Chávez - to achieve their goal.

The Western media mouthpieces are doing their job, which is propaganda as usual. The recipe is known. You present the half truth, with a big overdose of exaggeration. The establishment parrots are demonizing Socialism , but they won't ever tell you about the money that the US is spending, feeding the Right-Wing groups and opposition to proceed in provocative operations, in order to create instability. They won't tell you about the financial war conducted through the oil prices, manipulated by the Saudis, the close US ally.

Regarding Argentina, former president, Cristina Kirchner, had also made some important moves towards the stronger cooperation with Russia, which was something unacceptable for Washington's hawks. Not only for geopolitical reasons, but also because Argentina could escape from the vulture funds that sucking its blood since its default. This would give the country an alternative to the neoliberal monopoly of destruction. The US big banks and corporations would never accept such a perspective because the debt-enslaved Argentina is a golden opportunity for a new round of huge profits. It's happening right now in eurozone's debt colony, Greece.

'Color Revolutions' - Ukraine

The events in Ukraine have shown that, the big capital has no hesitation to ally even with the neo-nazis, in order to impose the new world order. This is not something new of course. The connection of Hitler with the German economic oligarchs, but also with other major Western companies, before and during the WWII, is well known.

The most terrifying of all however, is not that the West has silenced in front of the decrees of the new Ukrainian leadership, through which is targeting the minorities, but the fact that the West allied with the neo-nazis, while according to some information has also funded their actions as well as other extreme nationalist groups during the riots in Kiev.

Plenty of indications show that US organizations have 'put their finger' on Ukraine. A video , for example, concerning the situation in Ukraine has been directed by Ben Moses (creator of the movie "Good Morning, Vietnam"), who is connected with American government executives and organizations like National Endowment for Democracy, funded by the US Congress. This video shows a beautiful young female Ukrainian who characterizes the government of the country as "dictatorship" and praise some protesters with the neo-nazi symbols of the fascist Ukranian party Svoboda on them.

The same organizations are behind 'color revolutions' elsewhere, as well as, provocative operations against Leftist governments in Venezuela and other countries.

Ukraine is the perfect place to provoke Putin and tight the noose around Russia. Of course the huge hypocrisy of the West can also be identified in the case of Crimea. While in other cases, the Western officials were 'screaming' for the right of self-determination (like Kosovo, for example), after they destroyed Yugoslavia in a bloodbath, they can't recognize the will of the majority of Crimeans to join Russia.

The war will become wilder

The Western neo-colonial powers are trying to counterattack against the geopolitical upgrade of Russia and the Chinese economic expansionism.

Despite the rise of Donald Trump in power, the neoliberal forces will push further for the expansion of the neoliberal doctrine in the rival field of the Sino-Russian alliance. Besides, Trump has already shown his hostile feelings against China, despite his friendly approach to Russia and Putin.

We see, however, that the Western alliances are entering a period of severe crisis. The US has failed to control the situation in Middle East and Libya. The ruthless neo-colonialists will not hesitate to confront Russia and China directly, if they see that they continue to lose control in the global geopolitical arena. The accumulation of military presence of NATO next to the Russian borders, as well as, the accumulation of military presence of the US in Asia-Pacific, show that this is an undeniable fact.

[Apr 07, 2019] The Increasingly Dangerous Iran Obsession by Daniel Larison

Notable quotes:
"... Trump is turning all of Israel’s “asks” into American foreign policy now, doing things that presidents of both parties rejected or refused to do, in some cases because they put the security of the United States at risk. ..."
"... Another pre-election gift for Netanyahu? The timing is about right, and the former general who’s running against him seems to have traction with the voters. ..."
"... It will be interesting to see if any countries actually do respond by declaring the US armed forces a terrorist organization. Based on support of the Saudi-UAE war crimes in Yemen, it would be a truthful declaration, assuming that by terrorism you mean its original definition: acts of mass violence committed against innocent civilians with the intent of intimidating them or a government. ..."
"... The Israelis and the Saudis want a war between the US and Iran. It appears that Trump must obey them. Yes, what happened to “America First?” ..."
"... That the Trump administration has been looking for an excuse to attack Iran is obvious to anyone not a Kool Aid guzzling cultist. ..."
"... No comprehension that diplomatic agreements can lead to reduced hostility, which in turn can reduce the likelihood of war. ..."
"... It’s no wonder that Trump is able to bamboozle these idiots so easily and endlessly. They’re all a pack of saps who want to be played for fools. It’d be delightful entertainment, except that they’re dragging the decent into the gutter with them. ..."
Apr 05, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
The Trump administration is reportedly going ahead with its terrible idea of designating the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) a terrorist group:

The Trump administration is preparing to designate Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a foreign terrorist organization, U.S. officials said, a step that would vastly escalate the American pressure campaign against Tehran but which has divided U.S. officials.

The decision, which could be announced as early as Monday, would mark the first time that an element of a foreign state has been officially designated as a terrorist entity.

Designating the IRGC as a terrorist group is a bad idea that has been kicking around for more than a decade, and previous administrations correctly chose not to do this because it is a very dangerous move that will achieve very little. Pentagon officials have been against it because they are understandably worried that this could expose U.S. forces to retribution. It is possible that it could encourage some governments to designate our soldiers as terrorists as well. Labeling part of another state's military terrorists is what you do if you are looking to provoke an attack or launch an attack on that state.

At the very least, the designation will ratchet up tensions and put U.S. forces in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan at greater risk. At worst, it will serve as the pretext for military action against Iran and its proxies. The Trump administration's Iran policy is about to escalate significantly without any debate here at home, and the hard-liners pushing for this decision are doing everything they can to spark conflict with Iran and the armed groups that it supports. The administration's Iran obsession is becoming even more dangerous, and the malign influence of Bolton and Pompeo on our foreign policy keeps making things worse.

Update: An Iranian official has said that Iran will likewise designate the U.S. military if the U.S. labels the IRGC as terrorists.


Procivic April 5, 2019 at 6:26 pm

Washington is far too modest. Surely the designation is more richly deserved by those who destroyed Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria and are currently putting the finishing touches to the obliteration of Yemen.
foreign affairs , says: April 5, 2019 at 7:00 pm

Trump is turning all of Israel’s “asks” into American foreign policy now, doing things that presidents of both parties rejected or refused to do, in some cases because they put the security of the United States at risk.

Yet all Trump seems to do in foreign policy is whatever Israel wants. What happened to “America First”?

It’s like the regular Americans in our government have disappeared, replaced by people who are working for another country. Where did they go?

Who Knows , says: April 5, 2019 at 7:53 pm
Another pre-election gift for Netanyahu? The timing is about right, and the former general who’s running against him seems to have traction with the voters.
Gene Smolko , says: April 5, 2019 at 8:11 pm
Regime change is the goal. It’s why you never hear them offer an alternative to the Iran deal. They hate it because they really want the regime gone.
Clyde Schechter , says: April 5, 2019 at 8:18 pm
Clearly another step down the road towards war with Iran.

It will be interesting to see if any countries actually do respond by declaring the US armed forces a terrorist organization. Based on support of the Saudi-UAE war crimes in Yemen, it would be a truthful declaration, assuming that by terrorism you mean its original definition: acts of mass violence committed against innocent civilians with the intent of intimidating them or a government.

Kouros , says: April 5, 2019 at 9:43 pm
War presidents get reelected… A nice war with Iran, in which the situation presented to the US public and the world will look like Iran attacked US, probably those troops stationed illegally in Syria.

Will NATO be dragged into it? Probably UK will join, and maybe even France, but there will be a lot of lawyers squabbling at UN due to the illegal presence of US in Syria.

Uncle Billy , says: April 6, 2019 at 11:00 am
The Israelis and the Saudis want a war between the US and Iran. It appears that Trump must obey them. Yes, what happened to “America First?”
Do Your Job, Trump , says: April 6, 2019 at 11:30 am
Trump needs to stop worrying about Iran. He needs to stop doing favors for Israel. He needs instead to focus on the main job we hired him to do, which is to fix the border and deport the illegals.
rayray , says: April 6, 2019 at 11:43 am
@Do Your Job, Trump

I completely disagree with Trump’s ideas on “fixing the border” and “deporting the illegals” which seem ineffective, wasteful, toxically ignorant (which is par for the course for Trump), and lacking humanity.

But I do agree that that is what Trump’s voters really wanted from him. Trump was elected on American fear, American ignorance, and American animus. But that same fear and animus which animates the “base” also works through white evangelical voters who have been sold Israel as some sort of eschatalogical lodestone. So Trump is entirely consistent with his major goal which is not “America First” (which he has no real understanding of or affection for) but is keeping himself in office.

liberal , says: April 6, 2019 at 3:06 pm
Anyone who talks about what Trump stood for during the election needs to remember him speaking against the JCPOA during the campaign. If you don’t like it, you weren’t paying attention then.
Groverton , says: April 6, 2019 at 4:57 pm
liberal said

“Anyone who talks about what Trump stood for during the election needs to remember him speaking against the JCPOA during the campaign. If you don’t like it, you weren’t paying attention then.”

I heard him talk against the JCPOA. That was fine with me. Go ahead. Tear up the Iran deal. We want no part of it. We shouldn’t be involved over there at all.

I never heard him say he would start a war with Iran, or that he would designate the Iranian military a terrorist organization. I didn’t hear that because he never said it. If he’s saying it now, that’s new, and it’s not what I voted for. If he had run on a “I’ll start a war with Iran” platform he would have lost.

he's outta here , says: April 6, 2019 at 6:24 pm
” So Trump is entirely consistent with his major goal which is not “America First” (which he has no real understanding of or affection for) but is keeping himself in office.”

No. If the idea were to keep himself in office he would have built the wall, stopped immigration, ended the “foreign worker visa” programs, and deported the illegals.

Instead he’s doing stuff for Israel like the stupid Iran military = terrorism bs. And he continues to do stuff for Wall Street like this:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/04/06/trump-administration-nearly-doubles-h-b-guest-visa-program-which-brings-many-mexican-workers/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.7b41d7d4eaae

He obviously wants to lose in 2020, but in the meantime he’s doing as many favors as possible for rich Israel and Wall Street donors. After all, those donors will still be helping out him, his kids, and his cronies long after his presidency has become a bad memory.

Sid Finster , says: April 6, 2019 at 7:50 pm
That the Trump administration has been looking for an excuse to attack Iran is obvious to anyone not a Kool Aid guzzling cultist.
rayray , says: April 6, 2019 at 11:18 pm
@Groverton

I know I’m pointing out the obvious but the whole point of the JPCOA was to create a situation where we would NOT go to war with Iran. It was a canny and far sighted diplomatic move designed to keep us OUT of being involved in Iran.

So, to follow the logic here – why would Trump tear up the JPCOA?

bore hole , says: April 7, 2019 at 8:53 am
Trump is focused on the wrong problem. Here is the problem, Donnie: https://www.apnews.com/aabc13ab07604b39b09710f08bc42a4f

Now drop the Iran **** and get to work.

gnt , says: April 7, 2019 at 1:49 pm
“I heard him talk against the JCPOA. That was fine with me. Go ahead. Tear up the Iran deal. We want no part of it. We shouldn’t be involved over there at all.”

Tearing up the JCPOA meant not fulfilling our obligation to end the sanctions we had imposed on Iran, with the consequence that we are continuing to carry out economic warfare on Iran. If you wanted us not to be involved in the Mideast, you should have supported the JCPOA, because it was a huge step to normalizing our dealings with Iran.

You did not understand the consequences of his promises because you chose not to understand the consequences of his promises. It is galling to listen to Trump voters who are surprised that he is behaving as president exactly in the way he said he would behave as president.

liberal , says: April 7, 2019 at 2:10 pm
Groverton wrote,

I heard him talk against the JCPOA. That was fine with me. Go ahead. Tear up the Iran deal. We want no part of it. We shouldn’t be involved over there at all.

This very blog routinely has photos of him behind a podium with the web address endtheirandeal.com emblazoned on front. If you go to that site (the site has moved, but you can find the new location using archive.org , it’s clear that the people behind that address were against the JCPOA because they’re in favor of taking an aggressive stance against Iran. Whether that entails war with Iran is unclear, but that’s usually the case with hawkish pronouncements of any kind.

liberal , says: April 7, 2019 at 2:13 pm
bore hole wrote,

Here is the problem, Donnie:

If you really think there’s too much immigration, there’s a simple and cheap way to solve it: throw people who employ illegal immigrants in jail for a minimum of a year (after having convicted them of a crime which is made a felony), and charge them $100K for each illegal immigrant they employ. Problem solved.

sglover , says: April 7, 2019 at 2:14 pm
@ Groverton

I heard him talk against the JCPOA. That was fine with me. Go ahead. Tear up the Iran deal. We want no part of it. We shouldn’t be involved over there at all.

I never heard him say he would start a war with Iran, or that he would designate the Iranian military a terrorist organization. I didn’t hear that because he never said it. If he’s saying it now, that’s new, and it’s not what I voted for. If he had run on a “I’ll start a war with Iran” platform he would have lost.

Thanks for the lab-grade specimen of Trump cult “thinking” at its best. No comprehension that diplomatic agreements can lead to reduced hostility, which in turn can reduce the likelihood of war.

Nope, far more satisfying to imagine that if the Maximum Leader only shouts louder , good things will inevitably follow.

It’s no wonder that Trump is able to bamboozle these idiots so easily and endlessly. They’re all a pack of saps who want to be played for fools. It’d be delightful entertainment, except that they’re dragging the decent into the gutter with them.

[Apr 04, 2019] avu o lu just compared Turkey to Ukraine, saying Ukraine let itself be told it had to decide between West and Russia, and look what happened; Turkey cannot be forced into same choice

Turkey vs Ukraine.
Notable quotes:
"... Well, since 2002, people made a lot about the neo-cons being heavily influenced by Leo Strauss. I think this is only part of it. These people seem to me to be just as heavily influenced by George Berekeley: things don't really exist, there's no causation, therefore there's no consequences to one's own actions. ..."
"... "Corruption cannot lead to prosperity." Nor can it field a competent military with functional weapon systems. ..."
"... The comments at the end about how Turkey can maintain good relations with NATO and at the same time develop cooperation with Russia is clearly nonsense. NATO whole reason for existence now is as an anti-Russia military alliance. Pence is absolutely right about that ... you cannot be a member of NATO and develop close cooperation with Russia. ..."
Apr 04, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
karlof1 , Apr 4, 2019 2:06:15 PM | link

Tweeting direct from NATO meeting provides inside details not found in press articles, particularly the NATO talking-point ending. IMO, the tweeter Mehta was right to highlight this exchange:

"Bennan: Do you know what the US policy in syria is?
"Çavuşoğlu: No, and this is the problem.

"He points to different statements from WH, Pentagon, CENTCOM, State. 'There is no clear strategy. This is the problem.'"

Further on:

"Wow. Çavuşoğlu just compared Turkey to Ukraine, saying Ukraine let itself be told it had to decide between West and Russia, and look what happened; Turkey cannot be forced into same choice."

Please take the few minutes to read.


vk , Apr 4, 2019 2:07:04 PM | link

Pence threat is also stupid as there is no mechanism to expulse any member from NATO. NATO members can only leave voluntarily.

Since when this stopped the USA?

The reason Turkey won't exit NATO are many. Among them:

1) Turkey's economy is in meltdown. It only didn't collapse yesterday because, luckily, Turkey has only "burnt" one third of its Dollar reserves. For comparison, the usurper government which toppled Dilma Rousseff burnt almost 50% of Brazil's then gigantic US$ 795 billion -- only to try to keep interest at a staggering 9.5% rate. Lucky for the Turkish people, Erdogan survived the 2016 coup, but he was already trounced in the three main cities and those reserves won't last forever. Time is in favor of the Americans in this case;

2) Contrary to, e.g. China and Russia, Turkey has a strong pro-USA political-popular base. It really doesn't need to topple Erdogan through a violent coup (Obama made an unforced error in 2016) in order to install a puppet government in Turkey;

3) The USA has the IMF. The IMF is the only institution which can do regime change and nobody will question. Erdogan is, for now, refusing its "aid", but he's just one man. That means that, even if Turkey remains with an Islamist (Ottomanist) or end up electing a neutral government, the Americans will still be capable of exerting formidable pressure;

4)Turkey is, perhaps, the geostrategically most important individual country for NATO. If the Americans still dream of defeating and balkanizing Russia through a hot war, then the path will go through Turkey and the Bosphorus. It is not on rogue POTUS or Veep who will change that.

Clueless Joe , Apr 4, 2019 3:10:41 PM | link
"But current American elites have no concept of own actions having consequences."

Well, since 2002, people made a lot about the neo-cons being heavily influenced by Leo Strauss. I think this is only part of it. These people seem to me to be just as heavily influenced by George Berekeley: things don't really exist, there's no causation, therefore there's no consequences to one's own actions.

karlof1 , Apr 4, 2019 3:50:45 PM | link

Bolton unwittingly utters truism but has no idea that it applies to him and the Outlaw US Empire billions of times over: "Corruption cannot lead to prosperity." Nor can it field a competent military with functional weapon systems.

Another OT note, this one about the technical development of generation 6 military aircraft, Hypersonic and hydrogen fueled and most likely piloted by droids or remotely given speed and G-forces.

Harry Law , Apr 4, 2019 4:22:04 PM | link
The US are threatening friend and foe alike, whereas those sanctions against their foe's are real, sanctions against NATO members can be counterproductive, for instance Germany being told to stop Nord Stream 2 and increase its contributions to NATO, 2% of Germany's GDP [4 trillion dollars] is an enormous amount of money to protect against a non existent enemy.

The time will come when the US will be ignored, then, unless the US acts on those threats, its own credibility will be called into question, then the only way is down.

Christian J Chuba , Apr 4, 2019 6:37:15 PM | link
BUT What about the Saudi Model???

Whenever anyone suggests that we should stop supplying bombs and military equipment to the Saudis who are murdering Yemenis, moralists like Mike Pence, Pompeo, and the rest of the religious right thunder, 'THEY WILL BUY ARMS FROM THE ROOOSHINS!'

So it is quite funny that they are willing to play hardball with the Turks.

SteveK9 , Apr 4, 2019 8:20:30 PM | link
S @22

The comments at the end about how Turkey can maintain good relations with NATO and at the same time develop cooperation with Russia is clearly nonsense. NATO whole reason for existence now is as an anti-Russia military alliance. Pence is absolutely right about that ... you cannot be a member of NATO and develop close cooperation with Russia.

At least in the eyes of NATO (i.e. the US) Russia is the enemy.

[Apr 02, 2019] Russiagate as a smoke screen for the struggle between two powerful groups of the US elite

Apr 02, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Zachary Smith , Apr 1, 2019 5:14:39 PM | 93 ">link

@ bevin #90

But that doesn't bother Trump, Bolton, Pompeo and their mob. They think quarter by quarter. Immediate gratification is the name of their game. They know that "in the long run we are all dead". And they don't care what happens then.

Your viewpoint is the same as that of Jonathon Cook. He says "Russiagate" was a faction fight between two groups of the Power Elites.

One wanted to keep 'putting the lipstick on the pig' which is predatory Capitalism, and the other wants to let it all hang out and rape the planet NOW.

Just as there was a clueless "liberal" cheering group for Mueller, the Looters have a fan club among the "right". Both sets of the applauding groups are just puppets. And of course neither has recognized their true role in the unfolding dramas.

[Apr 02, 2019] So now it is somehow acceptable to block a merchant ship from an international waterway? WTF. This is an act of war.

Apr 02, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Christian J Chuba , Mar 31, 2019 3:08:20 PM | link

"U.S. Regime blocks international waterway" [actual story, Reuters title story] ... "Iranian fuel oil cargo sits off Malaysia as U.S. urges sanctions compliance"

https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-asia-fueloil/iranian-fuel-oil-cargo-sits-off-malaysia-as-u-s-urges-sanctions-compliance-idUKKCN1RA0XT
I cannot stand the tone of this article, apparently the U.S. was able to coerce Singapore and Malaysia into not buying Iranian oil. The story is peppered with the usual loaded terms such as, 'evading U.S sanctions' as if they are lawful. If Iran blocked access to the Persian Guld would we hear stories about Qatar and the Saudis 'evading Iranian sanctions'?

What got my attention post this common story was this statement ...

talks were to make sure Malaysian and Singaporean authorities "are alert and make important decisions about whether or not to even allow the vessels to come through their waterways."

So now it is somehow acceptable to block a merchant ship from an international waterway? WTF. This is an act of war.

[Mar 31, 2019] New Middle East Alliance Shakes World Powers

Notable quotes:
"... On March 18, 2019, the military commanders of Iran, Syria, and Iraq convened in Damascus in order to discuss long-term strategic and operational cooperation. The delegations were led by Mohammad Bagheri (Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces), Ali Abdullah Ayyoub (the Syrian Defense Minister), and Othman al-Ghanmi (Chief of Staff of the Iraqi Military). Officially, the summit addressed coordination in counter-terrorism operations, joint securing and opening of borders, and restoring Damascus' control over the en-tire Syrian territory. ..."
"... In mid-March 2019, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Muhterem Ince and his Iranian counterpart, Hussein Zulfiqari, reached "an agreement on launching a simultaneous operation against terror groups that threat-en the security of both countries" during a meeting in Ankara. If successful, this would be the first of many operations. The first joint operation was conducted on March 18-23, 2019, mainly in northern Iraq. In addition to widespread bombing and shelling, around 600 Turkish and Iranian special forces carried out joint raiding operations against Kurdish "terrorist camps". In the last days of the operation, aerial bombings were directed at all Kurdish nemeses in Syria, Iraq, Turkey, and Iran. On March 24, 2019, Ankara and Tehran announced that they "are determined to continue carrying out such joint counter-terrorism operations". ..."
"... The first priority was to build Qatar's new oil and gas pipelines to the Mediterranean via Iran-Iraq-Syria and also connect to the pipelines in Turkey. These pipelines would substitute for the originally planned "Sunni pipelines" which were to transverse Qatar-Saudi Arabia-Iraq-Syria and which had originally led to the Qatari support for the Syrian jihad. The new pipelines would move to the shores of the Mediterranean -- mainly the Syrian port of Latakia -- gas and oil from both Qatar and Iran. The pipelines would be followed by electricity lines and a fully integrated transportation infrastructure on a regional basis. ..."
"... Taken together, the transportation cooperation agreement between the three bloc members (Qatar, Iran, and Turkey), and the transportation agreement between Iran, Iraq, and Syria, provide for a road and rail-way system linking all these states. This makes Iran the lynchpin of the regional transportation networks, and, thus, a crucial purveyor of access for the PRC. Indeed, PRC senior officials consider Iran to be "a key pivot to China's BRI in the region". ..."
Mar 31, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

The key to the success of the bloc is the emerging correlation of influence of the great powers in the aftermath of the wars in Syria and Iraq . Russia and the People's Republic of China are ready to compromise with the regional powers in order to secure their vital and global interests, while the US, Saudi Arabia and, to a lesser extent, Israel, are the nemeses of the bloc.

The roots of "the Middle Eastern Entente" are in Doha. Qatar in Summer 2017 initiated a myriad of bilat-eral and trilateral discussions with Iran and Turkey after Saudi Arabia and the GCC allies imposed the siege on Qatar in June of that year. However, it was not until the second half of 2018, with the initial impact of the siege largely ameliorated, that the long-term post-war posture of the greater Middle East became a major priority.

It was then that Doha, Tehran, and Ankara started talking about forming a coherent strategic bloc.

According to Iman Zayat, the Managing Editor of The Arab Weekly, in late November 2018, the three coun-tries struck a deal in Tehran to create a "joint working group to facilitate the transit of goods between the three countries". This was the beginning of a profound realignment of the three regional powers. "Qatar has irrevocably joined with Ankara and Tehran against its former Arab allies. It has conclusively positioned itself in a regional alliance that pursues geopolitical dominance by driving instability," Zayat noted.

It did not take long for the three powers to realize that for such a bloc to succeed it must focus on security issues and not just economic issues.

Hectic negotiations followed. In mid-December 2018, the three foreign ministers -- Muhammad bin Ab-dulrahman al-Thani, Mohammad Javad Zarif, and Mevlut Çavusoglu -- signed the protocols and agree-ments for the new bloc on the sidelines of the 18th Doha Forum. In the Forum, Qatar formally called for "a new alliance that would replace the four-decade-old Gulf Cooperation Council". Since then, specific and concrete negotiations on the consolidation of the bloc have been taking place. The final modalities for joint actions and common priorities, particularly the integration of the Arab states, were formulated in ear-ly March 2019.

Iran was the dominant force in this phase.

The last decisive push for the Arab integration took place during Bashar al-Assad's visit to Tehran on Feb-ruary 25, 2019. There, he submitted to the demands of the Iranian mullahs and to tight supervision by Teh-ran. Significantly, during his stay in Tehran, Assad was constantly escorted by Qassem Soleimani, Mahmoud Alavi, and Ali Akbar Velayati, who attended all his meetings with Iranian leaders. In Tehran, Assad commit-ted to supporting the new bloc and to support the greater Middle East the bloc members were trying to create.

The geo-strategic and geo-economic objectives of the bloc are huge, and, as things stand in late March 2019, largely attainable.

The first objective of "the Middle Eastern Entente" was to quickly consolidate strong influence, if not he-gemony, over Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan before the Fertile Crescent of Minorities could re-emerge as a viable geo-strategic and political entity. The primary rôle of the revived Fertile Crescent of Minorities was to constitute a buffer containing the upsurge of the Sunni Arab milieu and blocking the access of both Iran and Turkey to the heartlands of al-Jazira.

The greatest fear of the bloc members, however, was the possible ascent of the Kurds as a regional power once they internalized the US betrayal and were ready to strike deals with Moscow and Damascus. The overall susceptibility of the four Arab countries to the new regional posture was evident from their blatant disregard of the US sanctions on Iran. Hence, this region would soon become the key to a new grand-strategic and grand-economic posture for the entire greater Middle East.

Tehran emerged as the dominant power in the security posture.

The surge has been conducted under the command of Maj.-Gen. Qassem Soleimani, Commander of the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC: Pasdaran). Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamene'i on March 11, 2019, awarded Soleimani a unique and high State honor: the Order of Zolfaghar. [Significantly, this order, established in 1856 as The Decoration of the Commander of the Faithful by Em-peror Naser al-Din Shah, was awarded until 1925 where it was renamed as The Order of Zolfaghar by Em-peror Reza Shah I. It had not been awarded since the downfall of the Shah in 1979 until the award -- pre-sumably in the highest of the three classes of the Order -- to Maj.-Gen. Soleimani.]

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told the Mehr News Agency that Soleimani received the award on account of his leading "the fight against terrorism and extremism in the region". Zarif stressed that So-leimani's achievements "have prepared the grounds for creating a strong and stable region free from violence and radicalization".

On March 18, 2019, the military commanders of Iran, Syria, and Iraq convened in Damascus in order to discuss long-term strategic and operational cooperation. The delegations were led by Mohammad Bagheri (Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces), Ali Abdullah Ayyoub (the Syrian Defense Minister), and Othman al-Ghanmi (Chief of Staff of the Iraqi Military). Officially, the summit addressed coordination in counter-terrorism operations, joint securing and opening of borders, and restoring Damascus' control over the en-tire Syrian territory.

In reality, the tripartite summit discussed the emerging regional posture now that the wars in Syria and Iraq are nearing their end. Bashar al-Assad addressed the summit and stressed long-term security and policy issues.

Bagheri explained that the objective of "the tripartite summit between Iran, Syria and Iraq with the participation of their senior commanders [was] to coordinate efforts on the fight against terrorist groups in the region. ... Over the last few years, excellent coordination has been achieved between Iran, Syria, Russia and Iraq, and there has been solidarity with the Resistance Axis that led to significant victories in counter-ing terrorism, and today, on the basis of these victories, the consolidation of sovereignty and progress to-wards the liberation of the rest of Syria is taking place."

Concurrently, the initial indications of things to come were already unfolding.

In mid-March 2019, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Muhterem Ince and his Iranian counterpart, Hussein Zulfiqari, reached "an agreement on launching a simultaneous operation against terror groups that threat-en the security of both countries" during a meeting in Ankara. If successful, this would be the first of many operations. The first joint operation was conducted on March 18-23, 2019, mainly in northern Iraq. In addition to widespread bombing and shelling, around 600 Turkish and Iranian special forces carried out joint raiding operations against Kurdish "terrorist camps". In the last days of the operation, aerial bombings were directed at all Kurdish nemeses in Syria, Iraq, Turkey, and Iran. On March 24, 2019, Ankara and Tehran announced that they "are determined to continue carrying out such joint counter-terrorism operations".

Meanwhile, Qatar has emerged as the dominant power regarding all issues pertaining to the regional economy.

The first priority was to build Qatar's new oil and gas pipelines to the Mediterranean via Iran-Iraq-Syria and also connect to the pipelines in Turkey. These pipelines would substitute for the originally planned "Sunni pipelines" which were to transverse Qatar-Saudi Arabia-Iraq-Syria and which had originally led to the Qatari support for the Syrian jihad. The new pipelines would move to the shores of the Mediterranean -- mainly the Syrian port of Latakia -- gas and oil from both Qatar and Iran. The pipelines would be followed by electricity lines and a fully integrated transportation infrastructure on a regional basis.

The long-term strategic infrastructure envisioned by "the Middle Eastern Entente" reflected the grand-strategic aspirations of Iran and Turkey.

The key arteries would be from Iran to the shores of the Mediterranean, and from western Turkey to the Red Sea and the Hijaz. Ultimately, these roads would be supplanted by railways. Iran and Iraq have already started constructing the railway line from the Shalamcheh border crossing to Basra in Iraq. This is the first segment of a line which would reach Latakia. Tehran is negotiating with Damascus Iranian management of the civilian port in Latakia (the Russians control the military facilities) in the next few months as a major outlet for Iran's international trade.

Taken together, the new railroads would provide access for the New Silk Road to the eastern Mediterra-nean and the Red Sea; would connect the Russia-Iran north-south route with the Mediterranean; and would constitute an extension of the Europe-Turkey rail-line much like the old Baghdad and Persian Gulf railway. The existing Iranian railroad system connects the north-south rail-line to the Pakistani border and, thus, ultimately to western China.

Both Beijing and Moscow are most interested in the speedy completion of these rail-lines as part of the extended Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Taken together, the transportation cooperation agreement between the three bloc members (Qatar, Iran, and Turkey), and the transportation agreement between Iran, Iraq, and Syria, provide for a road and rail-way system linking all these states. This makes Iran the lynchpin of the regional transportation networks, and, thus, a crucial purveyor of access for the PRC. Indeed, PRC senior officials consider Iran to be "a key pivot to China's BRI in the region".

On March 19, 2019, PRC Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan stressed the rôle of Iran as "the strategic partner" in the greater Middle East for "the further development of economic and trade ties" with the entire region. "Iran is China's strategic partner in the Middle-East and China is the biggest trade partner and im-porter of oil from Iran," Zhong said. Ultimately, this would secure for Iran a central place in the overall PRC strategic and economic calculations.

The second objective of "the Middle Eastern Entente" was to use the Arab bloc, particularly its Sunni elements, in conjunction with escalation in Yemen and growing hostility of (non-Sunni, but Ibadi) Oman, in order to smother and subdue Saudi Arabia. With Saudi Arabia already near implosion as a result of the erratic reign of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin 'Abd al-'Aziz al-Saud, the leaders in Doha, Tehran, and Ankara appear convinced that it would only take little pressure in order to bring about the break-up and self-dismemberment of Saudi Arabia.

The key to the bloc's anticipated success was in its capitalizing on heritage-based trends already growing throughout Saudi Arabia. The aggregate impact of the Turkish-Jordanian and Islamist-jihadist subversion in the Hejaz, the growing impact of the anti-al-Saud tribal and jihadist movements organizing in the Nejdi highlands, and the Iran-facilitated radicalization and militancy of the Shi'ite communities in the Saudi Arabian east would accelerate the self-dismemberment of Saudi Arabia along traditional lines. Even if the House of al-Saud did not lose power soon, the myriad of internal problems would prevent Saudi Arabia from playing a regional rôle against the new bloc and its allies.

A large number of intelligence officials and experts throughout the Middle East concur with this assessment.

... ... ...

Meanwhile, the Qataris and their allies have made it clear that they do not fear a US reaction to the emergence of "the Middle Eastern Entente".

Qatari senior officials attribute this to repeated threats from Doha that should the US interfere with the new bloc and its ascent to prominence, Doha would order the immediate closure of the huge US base in Al-Udeid, Qatar, and would also stop interceding with Tehran to prevent Iran-sponsored Shi'ite jihadists from attacking the US Navy base in Bahrain. As well, the growing dependence of the US Intelligence Community on Turkish Intelligence (Milli ?stihbarat Te?kilat?: MIT) for clandestine operations in Central Asia and in sup-port of the secessionist Muslim communities of both Russia and China accounts for the US muted reaction to the Turkish abandonment of NATO.

The same logic would negate US resistance to the ascent of the bloc. Similarly, the US eagerness for a Trump-Rouhani summit (tailored after the Trump-Kim summit), where Qatar and Oman were the chief mediators, would also restrain a harsh reaction to Iran's growing regional rôle.

The Trump Administration is cognizant of the US limitations in the greater Middle East.

At the same time, the US remains adamant on preventing the PRC and Russia from consolidating their influence in the greater Middle East and bringing the New Silk Road into the region. Senior US officials, mainly National Security Adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, have warned repeatedly that there could be no compromise with the PRC, nor tolerance of the ascent of the PRC anywhere. "This is a very big issue, how to deal with China in this century -- probably the biggest international issue we face," Bolton said on March 21, 2019.

... ... ...

[Mar 29, 2019] Trump Supports Israel Sovereignty Over Golan, Aiding Netanyahu by Nick Wadhams and David Wainer

Notable quotes:
"... Netanyahu is scheduled to visit the White House next week ahead of his April 9 re-election vote. While he's officially coming for the AIPAC conference, an annual pro-Israel policy gathering, his visit will serve up excellent campaign material back home. He's certain to be photographed meeting Trump while his speech, delivered in his American-accented baritone, will get plenty of airtime in Israel. ..."
"... "What Trump is doing is totally gratuitous," said Martin Indyk, a former U.S. ambassador to Israel under President Bill Clinton. "He is intervening in an Israeli election for the sake of his friend Bibi Netanyahu, and in the process undermining Israel's chances of achieving peace with its neighbor Syria." ..."
"... Asked about the report, which dropped the previous use of the word "occupied" in reference to the Golan Heights, West Bank, and Gaza, Pompeo said the change in language was intentional. "It wasn't a mistake; it wasn't an error. It was done knowingly. We believe it's the most factual description that was appropriate for the report," he said. ..."
"... "I can say that all of you can imagine what would have happened if Israel were not in the Golan," Netanyahu said. "I think it's time the international community recognizes Israel's stay in the Golan, the fact that the Golan will always remain part of the state of Israel." ..."
"... Pompeo told reporters at a briefing in Kuwait on Wednesday that there had been no change in U.S. policy toward the Golan Heights. In a media roundtable on Thursday, he declined to say whether the U.S. was weighing whether to recognize Israel's annexation of the Golan. ..."
Mar 21, 2019 | www.bloomberg.com

Trump Supports Israel Sovereignty Over Golan, Aiding Netanyahu

President Donald Trump said it's time for the U.S. to "fully recognize" Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, a political gift to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu just weeks before a tough re-election vote.

The remark -- which would break with decades of U.S. policy -- could prove decisive in swaying Israeli voters just as Netanyahu faces corruption allegations that have marred his campaign. It is also likely to draw a rebuke from the international community, which never recognized Israel's sovereignty over the territory it captured in 1967.

"The message that President Trump has given the world is that America stands by Israel," Netanyahu said Thursday after Trump's tweet.

Trump's message came a day after Netanyahu, in a press briefing with Secretary of State Michael Pompeo in Jerusalem, called for the U.S. and the rest of the world to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Israel extended its law to the area in 1981.

The future of the plateau, a scenic area containing important water sources, had long been considered a subject for negotiation in any potential peace agreement with Syria. Now, with Syria wracked by a civil war that includes support from Iran, Israel wants its control over the area to be recognized worldwide.

"I've been thinking about doing that for a long time," Trump said in an interview to be broadcast Friday on Fox Business Network's "Mornings With Maria." "It's been a very hard decision for every president, no president has done it. This is very much like Jerusalem, moving the embassy to Jerusalem -- I did that."

While the news was welcomed by most Israelis, some saw it as a cynical ploy to interfere in their election and help Netanyahu at a time when he's facing increasing scrutiny in a sprawling corruption probe. Merav Michaeli, a member of the opposition Labor party, said there's little national debate that the Golan should stay in Israeli hands.

It "only helps public opinion for Netanyahu," she added. "That's why it came now. And so it doesn't really benefit Israel now, it benefits Netanyahu."

Netanyahu is scheduled to visit the White House next week ahead of his April 9 re-election vote. While he's officially coming for the AIPAC conference, an annual pro-Israel policy gathering, his visit will serve up excellent campaign material back home. He's certain to be photographed meeting Trump while his speech, delivered in his American-accented baritone, will get plenty of airtime in Israel.

"What Trump is doing is totally gratuitous," said Martin Indyk, a former U.S. ambassador to Israel under President Bill Clinton. "He is intervening in an Israeli election for the sake of his friend Bibi Netanyahu, and in the process undermining Israel's chances of achieving peace with its neighbor Syria."

Trump's move may also give the president a political boost as he courts Jewish voters in the U.S.

The U.S. had signaled strongly in recent weeks it was ready to accept Israeli sovereignty. In an annual report on human rights released last week, the State Department referred to the Golan Heights, the West Bank and Gaza as "Israeli-controlled," not "Israeli-occupied."

Asked about the report, which dropped the previous use of the word "occupied" in reference to the Golan Heights, West Bank, and Gaza, Pompeo said the change in language was intentional. "It wasn't a mistake; it wasn't an error. It was done knowingly. We believe it's the most factual description that was appropriate for the report," he said.

American support for Israel has strengthened under Trump, who moved the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in 2018 and backed out of the nuclear agreement his predecessor Barack Obama negotiated with Iran, a cherished goal of Netanyahu.

Saeb Erekat, a senior Palestinian official, said Trump's move would destabilize the region.

"I can say that all of you can imagine what would have happened if Israel were not in the Golan," Netanyahu said. "I think it's time the international community recognizes Israel's stay in the Golan, the fact that the Golan will always remain part of the state of Israel."

The U.S. recognition underscores the changing reality on the ground, as the chances of Israel returning the northern territory to Syria diminished.

Pompeo told reporters at a briefing in Kuwait on Wednesday that there had been no change in U.S. policy toward the Golan Heights. In a media roundtable on Thursday, he declined to say whether the U.S. was weighing whether to recognize Israel's annexation of the Golan.

"The administration's considering lots of things always, and I try to make sure we get to answers before we talk

[Mar 29, 2019] Early troubling sign of Trump: most individuals Trump is considering for his administration, including those already picked have a deep-seated obsession with Iran

One of the rare early realistic assessments of Trump foreign policy. most were wrong. Circe was right in major points. The appointment of CIA director was the litmus test and Trump failed it by appointing neocon Pompeo.
Trump foreign policy is a typical neocon foreign policy. People just tried to overlook it in vain hopes that Trump will change the US foreign policy
Notable quotes:
"... 95% or more of the individuals Trump is considering for his administration, including those already picked have a deep-seated obsession with Iran. This is very troubling. It's going to lead to war and not a regular war where 300,000 people die. This is a catastrophic error in judgment I don't give a sh...t who makes such an error, Trump or the representative from Kalamazoo! This is so bad that it disqualifies whatever else appears positive at this time. ..."
"... And one more deeply disturbing thing; Pompeo, chosen to head the CIA has threatened Ed Snowden with the death penalty, if Snowden is caught, and now as CIA Director he can send operatives to chase him down wherever he is and render him somewhere, torture him to find out who he shared intelligence with and kill him on the spot and pretend it was a foreign agent who did the job. He already stated before he was assigned this powerful post that Snowden should be brought back from Russia and get the death penalty for treason. ..."
"... Pompeo also sided with the Obama Administration on using U. S. military force in Syria against Assad and wrote this in the Washington Post: "Russia continues to side with rogue states and terrorist organizations, following Vladimir Putin's pattern of gratuitous and unpunished affronts to U.S. interests,". ..."
"... Aside: I find those who talk about "factions" in foreign policy making to be un-credible. Among these were those that spoke of 'Obama's legacy'. A bullshit concept for a puppet. The neocons control FP. And they could only be unseated if a neocon -unfriendly President was elected. ..."
"... Trump is turning animosity away from Russia and toward Iran. But I doubt that it will result in a shooting war with Iran. The 'deep-state' (arms industry and security agencies) just wants a foreign enemy as a means of ensuring that US govt continues to fund security agencies and buy arms. ..."
"... And really, Obama's "peace deal" with Iran was bogus anyway. It was really just a placeholder until Assad could be toppled. Only a small amount of funds were released to Iran, and US-Iranian relations have been just as bad as they were before the "peace deal". So all the hand-wringing about Trump vs. Iran is silly. ..."
"... What is important is that with Iran as the nominal enemy du jour plus Trump's campaign pledge to have the "strongest" military (note: every candidate was for a strong military), the neocons have no case to make that Trump is weak on defense. ..."
"... he is close to Jews/Zionists/Israel or even Jewish himself. Funny that Trump wasn't attacked like that before the election, huh? ..."
www.moonofalabama.org
Circe | Nov 19, 2016 8:37:46 PM | 23

95% or more of the individuals Trump is considering for his administration, including those already picked have a deep-seated obsession with Iran. This is very troubling. It's going to lead to war and not a regular war where 300,000 people die. This is a catastrophic error in judgment I don't give a sh...t who makes such an error, Trump or the representative from Kalamazoo! This is so bad that it disqualifies whatever else appears positive at this time.

And one more deeply disturbing thing; Pompeo, chosen to head the CIA has threatened Ed Snowden with the death penalty, if Snowden is caught, and now as CIA Director he can send operatives to chase him down wherever he is and render him somewhere, torture him to find out who he shared intelligence with and kill him on the spot and pretend it was a foreign agent who did the job. He already stated before he was assigned this powerful post that Snowden should be brought back from Russia and get the death penalty for treason.

Pompeo also sided with the Obama Administration on using U. S. military force in Syria against Assad and wrote this in the Washington Post: "Russia continues to side with rogue states and terrorist organizations, following Vladimir Putin's pattern of gratuitous and unpunished affronts to U.S. interests,".

That's not all, Pompeo wants to enhance the surveillance state, and he too wants to tear up the Iran deal.

Many of you here are extremely naïve regarding Trump.

b's speculation has the ring of truth. I've often wondered if Trump was encouraged to run by a deep-state faction that found the neocons to be abhorrent and dangerous.

Aside: I find those who talk about "factions" in foreign policy making to be un-credible. Among these were those that spoke of 'Obama's legacy'. A bullshit concept for a puppet. The neocons control FP. And they could only be unseated if a neocon-unfriendly President was elected.

Jackrabbit | Nov 19, 2016 10:20:57 PM | 26

Trump is turning animosity away from Russia and toward Iran. But I doubt that it will result in a shooting war with Iran. The 'deep-state' (arms industry and security agencies) just wants a foreign enemy as a means of ensuring that US govt continues to fund security agencies and buy arms.

And really, Obama's "peace deal" with Iran was bogus anyway. It was really just a placeholder until Assad could be toppled. Only a small amount of funds were released to Iran, and US-Iranian relations have been just as bad as they were before the "peace deal". So all the hand-wringing about Trump vs. Iran is silly.

What is important is that with Iran as the nominal enemy du jour plus Trump's campaign pledge to have the "strongest" military (note: every candidate was for a strong military), the neocons have no case to make that Trump is weak on defense.

And so it is interesting that those that want to undermine Trump have resorted to the claim that he is close to Jews/Zionists/Israel or even Jewish himself. Funny that Trump wasn't attacked like that before the election, huh?

The profound changes and profound butt-hurt lead to the following poignant questions:

>> Have we just witnessed a counter-coup?

>> Isn't it sad that, in 2016(!), the only check on elites are other elite factions? An enormous cultural failure that has produced a brittle social fabric.

>> If control of NSA snooping power is so crucial, why would ANY ruling block ever allow the another to gain power?

Indeed, the answer to this question informs one's view on whether the anti-Trump protests are just Democratic Party ass-covering/distraction or a real attempt at a 'color revolution'.

[Mar 27, 2019] Saudi Arabia has rejected US President Donald Trump's recognition of Syria's Golan Heights as Israeli territory

Mar 27, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

arby , Mar 26, 2019 9:55:59 AM | link

AFP news agency
‏Verified account @AFP
2h2 hours ago

#UPDATE Saudi Arabia has rejected US President Donald Trump's recognition of Syria's Golan Heights as Israeli territory, condemning it as a violation of international law http://u.afp.com/JqPV #GolanHeights

karlof1 , Mar 26, 2019 1:02:24 PM | link

Was Reagan the last anti-Zionist POTUS? :

"US President Ronald Reagan on Israel's decision to annex the 🇸🇾 Syrian Golan Heights 🇸🇾 in 1981:

"'We do deplore this unilateral action by Israel, which has increased the difficulty of seeking peace in the Middle East under the terms of the U.N. Resolutions 242 and 338.'"

His attitude made UNSCR 497 possible. Trump's move shows he's anti-Reagan, which is a point his opponents could use if they weren't pro-Zionist like Trump.

[Mar 27, 2019] An Iranian April Surprise by Philip Giraldi

Mar 27, 2019 | www.unz.com

The situation that is developing around both this year's Israeli election and next year's ballot in the United States smacks of something like a developing conspiracy to renew the mandates of both Benjamin Netanyahu and Donald Trump somewhat reminiscent of the October Surprise that helped bring Ronald Reagan to the White House. Back then, the Reagan campaign team led by William Casey secretly negotiated with Iranian representatives to prolong the U.S. Embassy hostage crisis past the 1980 election, enabling Reagan to use the continuing stand-off as a wedge issue to attack the "weakness" of Carter foreign policy. If Carter had been able to bring the hostages home, he might have won reelection. In exchange for a Reagan offer of considerable military hardware, the Iranians agreed to release the U.S. hostages after the new president took office, which they did. And Reagan provided the hardware in an exchange that eventually morphed into Iran-Contra.

What is less known is that the initial secret meetings between Casey and the Iranians were set up by a group of CIA Chiefs of Station who had served in the Middle East but were at that time in Europe. The first meetings were in Paris. The Chiefs, all active-duty, serving CIA officers, were working for the Carter administration but were conspiring to defeat him and contributed materially to that outcome. Several of them were rewarded when Casey was subsequently named Director of Central Intelligence.

Curiously, both then and now Iran was and is at the center of what might or might not develop and there are clear signs that the United States is escalating its crisis with Tehran artificially to produce a conflict that would benefit no one in the short term but Bibi Netanyahu, Israel's Prime Minister, who is struggling to get re-elected. A critical question becomes "Since Trump has pledged disengagement in the Middle East, is it he who is pulling the strings or is it National Security Advisor John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, somewhat reminiscent of the cabal of CIA Chiefs conspiring behind the back of the elected president in 1980?" But the more important question is, perhaps, whether Bolton and Pompeo actually want Trump reelected or might they be engaged in something even more devious? Is a Mitt or a Marco lurking, either of whom would be seen very favorably by Israel and the neocons versus an extremely narcissistic and ultimately unreliable Trump?

That Washington has been slowly tightening the screws on Iran is undeniable, starting with the withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear agreement last year, which has led to a level of economic warfare initiated by Washington that is unprecedented between two countries that are not actually at war. Ironically and inevitably, though the suffering of the Iranian people is real, the elites who run the country are largely immune to the hardships being experienced.

As there has been no sign that the Iranian people will overthrow their government, which is the White House's stated objective, more pressure is being contemplated. New sanctions were initiated last Friday and a move that mighty actually bring about an armed confrontation is being considered by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is clearly favoring declaring the Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) to be a foreign terrorist group.

Qassim Suleimani , commander of the IRGC's elite Quds Force component, has already been designated a terrorist by the U.S., but no armed forces entity from any country has ever before been awarded that distinction and it would likely produce a serious response from Iran, possibly including an attack on some U.S. military installation in the Middle East or against a U.S. Navy warship patrolling the Straits of Hormuz. That would in turn justify a response and the crisis could easily escalate.

According to the New York Times, the Pompeo " plans also would designate some Iraqi Shiite militias as foreign terrorist organizations. As a result, the Iranian-trained militias -- and Iraqi officials who support them -- would be subject to new economic sanctions and travel restrictions." This scenario would also compound problems with Baghdad, which is already reluctant to accept the stationing of U.S. troops in the country without placing severe restrictions on when, how and where they might be able to operate, and it would also be seen by the rulers in Tehran as a major threat to Iran's national security.

So, there would be complications and also considerable downside if Washington were to take the lead on designating Iranian or Iranian connected militias terrorists, but bear in mind the considerable upside, which is that war is, generally speaking, good for incumbency unless it quickly and undeniably goes disastrously wrong. A quick strike to punish Iran before the Israeli election would help Netanyahu, just as a successful and not too prolonged "cakewalk" engagement with the Mullahs would elevate Trump next year. The president and his close advisors have surely noted that the only time he was regarded as "presidential" by the media and inside the Beltway talking heads was when he ordered the launch of cruise missiles to punish Syria for an alleged chemical attack back in April 2017. The fact that the attack was based on false intelligence was irrelevant and it did not produce any damage to key voter constituencies, apart from that segment of the population that voted for Trump because he was perceived to be the anti-war choice for president.

The Israelis are, of course, deep into the planning for a conflict, and have recently again been promoting their repeatedly discredited casus belli claim that Iran has a secret nuclear program. It would be reasonable to suggest that war with Iran is coming and it is only a matter of timing concerning when and exactly how it starts. There may not be enough time left to do Netanyahu a favor that he would surely reciprocate in American elections next year, but you can also bet that the Israeli Mossad intelligence service is hard at work coming up with "false flag" contingency plans to jump start a war sooner rather than later. There have long been concerns that intelligence agencies might go rogue but we are now living in an age where the existence of a "deep state" in many countries suggests that they have already been rogue for some time, most particularly in the United States.

Suggesting the possibility of some covert intrigues behind the scenes in the Administration does not necessarily mean that there is an actual conspiracy apart from that which is being run by the White House and Congress against the American people. But because we live in a world where we can no longer expect the government to behave honorably, it is wise to expect just about anything. Politicians care only about retaining power by being re-elected in both Israel and in the United States and, since the two governments are currently joined at the hip and likely perceiving war as part of an electoral strategy, why not expect the worst?

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org .

[Mar 27, 2019] Iran resistance

Mar 27, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Mar 26, 2019 12:30:42 PM | link

In this twitter post by Canthama , note that two of the states developing "nightmares" are active partners with a major component of the Resistance--Iran. This news item , was linked in Alastair Crooke's latest essay about Syria at Strategic Culture and tells us that UAE is Iran's 3rd largest outward trade partner:

"Late in December, Trade Promotion Organization announced that Iraq, China, and the UAE were respectively the top three destinations of Iran's outward flow of trade in the first 8 months of the current Iranian year (started on March 21), adding that the country's exports to Azerbaijan had registered a 50% rise in the same period as well."

So, the political-economic relations are far more twisted and complex than appear at first. Trump's idiotic law breaking recognition of Golan as Zionist has helped to coalesce the entire Arab world with Saudi making what almost seems an unprecedented step in the MbS era of telling the Outlaw US Empire it's wrong and opposes its decision. That the UAE and Iran have reached a détente of sorts will likely influence MbS and Saudi's position, likely helped along with goading from China and Russia regarding BRI integration, which is in Saudi's great interest to become entwined as the Outlaw US Empire cannot offer anything of a similar nature.

And so we reach what ought to be Zionistan's massive problem: Being shutout of the biggest development/economic boom project in human history because of its Anti-Semitism and genocidal treatment of Palestinians. Seeing how money's more important to Zionists than morals, not allowing them to participate in BRI might just be the kick required to change their behavior.

[Mar 23, 2019] Perpetuating the Syrian Delusion by Larry Johnson

Notable quotes:
"... But facts matter little when it comes to dishing out propaganda to a largely clueless American public. Conveniently excluded from our mythical account of the defeat of ISIS is the critical role played by Russia and Iran in bolstering Syria's military capabilities and carrying out a decisive ground campaign that is the real cause of the death of ISIS. ..."
"... I agree with damned near every word you said, Larry. Our policies and actions in Syria have been horrid from the beginning. The only bright spot was the assistance we provided to the Kurds against the IS jihadis. ..."
"... What good we did there, although still illegal under international law, is being wiped out by our insistence on staying there and obstruction of Kurdish reconciliation with Damascus. ..."
Mar 21, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com
I wish we could say that the lies and self-deception that are the core of U.S. policy and actions in Syria are an isolated incident. Sadly, no. On almost every issue--from the Russian threat to the 12 doom countdown on climate change--Americans are being fed a steady stream of bullshit and there is virtually no pushback or derision.

I bring this up in light of the media's current coverage of the "defeat" of ISIS in Syria. According to the media and punditry meme, this is the result of vigorous and persistent action by U.S. ground forces in Syria and that 2000 brave men (and very few women) have flushed ISIS into the bowels of history. No one dare mention the fact that the United States is violating international law by carrying out military operations on Syrian territory. Nope. Don't fit the meme.

The Washington Post piece is representative of the nonsense being reported :

Nearly a third of territory reclaimed from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria since 2014 has been won in the past six months, due to new policies adopted by the Trump administration, a senior State Department official said Friday.

Brett McGurk, the State Department's senior envoy to the anti-Islamic State coalition, said that steps President Trump has taken, including delegating decision-making authority down from the White House to commanders in the field, have "dramatically accelerated" gains against the militants.

Trump has worked this miracle with a measly 2000 Special Ops and Special Forces troops. Or so we are told. Now for the facts:

The United States ground forces have not carried out nor spearheaded a single major ground campaign or attack in Iraq. If you recall the assault on Fallujah during the early days of the war in Iraq, the US Marines employed 15,000 marines in that effort. Two thousand troops can defend a fixed position but are virtually useless as a military force going up against an entrenched enemy.

The 2000 U.S. military personnel have been involved for the most part in training and intel collection. When U.S. assets were employed it involved almost exclusively air attacks from drones, fixed wing and helicopters.

Oh yeah--EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THESE AIR OPERATIONS WERE COORDINATED WITH THE RUSSIAN MILITARY COMMAND FROM THE CAOC (COMBINED AIR OPERATIONS CENTER) IN AL-UDEID AIR FORCE BASE IN QATAR.

But facts matter little when it comes to dishing out propaganda to a largely clueless American public. Conveniently excluded from our mythical account of the defeat of ISIS is the critical role played by Russia and Iran in bolstering Syria's military capabilities and carrying out a decisive ground campaign that is the real cause of the death of ISIS.

Despite our supposedly decisive victory, we are still being told that we must keep ground forces in Syria. Donald Trump's initial instinct in 2015--i.e., we should not be in Syria--has been trumped by die hard neocons like John Bolton with the help self-serving twits in Congress and the media. That list includes the disgraced and deceased Senator John McCain. When McCain was still emitting flatulence and helping speed the doom of the planet from climate change, he was a leading cheerleader for invading a country, Syria, which had not attacked us.

Why care about international law when we, as a nation, seem so content to embrace the illegal and the immoral. A true head scratcher. +


Boris , a day ago

No one dare mention the fact that the United States is violating international law by carrying out military operations on Syrian territory. Nope.

International Law vs the so-called "liberal international rules-based order". Liberal, international?

Graham Allison: Basically, if you look at the piece I wrote for Foreign Affairs last year -- about which there was great controversy -- it argues that the concept of the liberal international rules-based order is mostly mythology.

Contrary to the conventional claims about this "liberal international rules-based order," as I explain in that article:

(1) The primary cause of the "long peace" of the past seven decades has not been some liberal international order, but rather, for the first four decades of that period, the stalemate between two deadly adversaries in the Cold War;

(2) the primary driver of U.S. involvement in the world over these decades was not to build some liberal international order but to defeat what it saw as an existential threat to itself posed by an expansionist, revolutionary, Communist Soviet Union;

(3) and although Trump is undermining key elements of the current order, he is far from the biggest threat to global stability. The main changes that have happened in the arrangements and procedures of the past seven decades are: the decline in U.S. share of global power as China has risen meteorically; the return of Russia as a player that is still a nuclear superpower, or certainly second to none with respect to destructive power, with a military that's willing and ready to fight for the Kremlin's objectives; and the discrediting of the American foreign policy establishment in the 21st century, from the 2003 invasion of Iraq to attempts to create a democracy in Afghanistan.

All those, in my view, are much greater factors in the changing world order than Donald Trump -- though most people want to avoid these painful truths and just blame Trump.

https://www.russiamatters.o...

The Myth of the Liberal Order. From Historical Accident to Conventional Wisdom

By Graham Allison

These misconceptions about the liberal order's causes and consequences lead its advocates to call for the United States to strengthen the order by clinging to pillars from the past and rolling back authoritarianism around the globe. Yet rather than seek to return to an imagined past in which the United States molded the world in its image, Washington should limit its efforts to ensuring sufficient order abroad to allow it to concentrate on reconstructing a viable liberal democracy at home.

https://www.foreignaffairs....

Fred , a day ago
"Donald Trump's initial instinct in 2015...." Perhaps he should bring back Steve Bannon for some balance.
Boris -> Fred , a day ago
Bannon is busy helping to re-nationalize Europe: https://www.politico.eu/art...
Fred -> Boris , 16 hours ago
You mean all those politicians leading Europe have no leadership ability, or do you mean all those Europeans are rubes who just don't get the truth about what a great job Merkel and Macron and what's his name in Brussels have really been doing all these years.
TTG , a day ago
I agree with damned near every word you said, Larry. Our policies and actions in Syria have been horrid from the beginning. The only bright spot was the assistance we provided to the Kurds against the IS jihadis.

What good we did there, although still illegal under international law, is being wiped out by our insistence on staying there and obstruction of Kurdish reconciliation with Damascus.

[Mar 21, 2019] Trump s Terrible Golan Heights Recognition Decision by Daniel Larison

Notable quotes:
"... Perhaps most dangerous of all is the signal that it sends to Israeli hard-liners that want to annex some or all of the West Bank. ..."
"... Trump's statement is just the latest in a string of bad decisions that are absurdly biased in favor of Israel. No U.S. interests are advanced by doing this, and it discredits any criticisms that the U.S. wants to make of any other government's illegal occupation and annexation of territory. The double standard that the U.S. applies when it comes to violations of international law by itself and its clients could not be more obvious, and it will make it much more difficult to challenge similarly egregious violations in the future. ..."
Mar 21, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

March 21, 2019, 1:11 PM

There were hints in recent days that U.S. recognition of Israel's claim to the Golan Heights was coming, and now the president has done it. Israel's control of this territory dates back to the 1967 war, when Israel grabbed this part of Syria and refused to return it. Israel has no legitimate claim to this territory, and in recognizing Israeli sovereignty over land that it seized during a war the U.S. is sending a potentially very dangerous message to governments all around the world.

Perhaps most dangerous of all is the signal that it sends to Israeli hard-liners that want to annex some or all of the West Bank. It tells them that illegal occupation will eventually be rewarded with full U.S. recognition, and it also tells them that the U.S. isn't going to pay any attention to international law when it comes to making decisions regarding Israeli control over occupied territories.

Trump's statement is just the latest in a string of bad decisions that are absurdly biased in favor of Israel. No U.S. interests are advanced by doing this, and it discredits any criticisms that the U.S. wants to make of any other government's illegal occupation and annexation of territory. The double standard that the U.S. applies when it comes to violations of international law by itself and its clients could not be more obvious, and it will make it much more difficult to challenge similarly egregious violations in the future.

[Mar 20, 2019] Shades of Trump betrayal: Trump says he agrees 100% with keeping US troops in Syria

Notable quotes:
"... In a copy of the letter obtained by NBC News, Trump highlighted a paragraph in the letter about the U.S. goals in Syria, which said, "Like you, we seek to ensure that all of the gains made in Syria are not lost, that ISIS never returns, that Iran is not emboldened, and that we consolidate our gains and ensure the best outcome in Geneva for American interests." ..."
Mar 07, 2019 | www.nbcnews.com

Two months after saying all U.S. troops are leaving Syria, the president wrote members of Congress that he agrees with keeping a U.S. presence in Syria. A bipartisan group of Senators and Representatives wrote to Trump on Feb. 22, applauding his decision to keep a small residual force in Syria.

"We support a small American stabilizing force in Syria," the group wrote, adding that a force "which includes a small contingent of American troops and ground forces from our European allies, is essential to ensure stability and prevent the return of ISIS ."

In a copy of the letter obtained by NBC News, Trump highlighted a paragraph in the letter about the U.S. goals in Syria, which said, "Like you, we seek to ensure that all of the gains made in Syria are not lost, that ISIS never returns, that Iran is not emboldened, and that we consolidate our gains and ensure the best outcome in Geneva for American interests."

"I agree 100%. ALL is being done," President Trump responded, writing directly on the letter and signing it.

Click here to read the letter

[Mar 20, 2019] In a remarkable report by British Channel 4, former CIA officials and a Reuters correspondent spoke candidly about the systematic dissemination of propaganda and misinformation in reporting on geopolitical conflicts

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... A study of the Syria war coverage by nine leading European newspapers clearly illustrates these issues: 78% of all articles are based in whole or in part on agency reports, yet 0% on investigative research. Moreover, 82% of all opinion pieces and interviews are in favor of the US and NATO intervention, while propaganda is attributed exclusively to the opposite side... ..."
Mar 07, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

ex-SA , Mar 5, 2019 3:55:53 PM | 13

Thank you! This may well be the most important link I've encountered in my years of lurking here @ MoA and elsewhere.

There is a video linked in the article which may be more important than the article itself. Easily overlooked, so here: https://swprs.org/video-the-cia-and-the-media/

It appears in the article here:

"In a remarkable report by British Channel 4, former CIA officials and a Reuters correspondent spoke candidly about the systematic dissemination of propaganda and misinformation in reporting on geopolitical conflicts:"

Many thanks, and much respect to you Sir for bringing this important piece to my attention.

May I humbly offer in return, https://archive.org/details/publicenemyno1 (don't neglect the 2nd reel)

Desolation Row , Mar 5, 2019 6:41:25 PM | link
I apologize for another somewhat off topic posting, but I have not seen it posted here earlier, and I think that this should be seen by as many eyes as possible.

The Propaganda Multiplier:How Global News Agencies and Western Media Report on Geopolitics

By Swiss Propaganda Research

It is one of the most important aspects of our media system -- and yet hardly known to the public: most of the international news coverage in Western media is provided by only three global news agencies based in New York, London and Paris.

The key role played by these agencies means that Western media often report on the same topics, even using the same wording. In addition, governments, military and intelligence services use these global news agencies as multipliers to spread their messages around the world.

A study of the Syria war coverage by nine leading European newspapers clearly illustrates these issues: 78% of all articles are based in whole or in part on agency reports, yet 0% on investigative research. Moreover, 82% of all opinion pieces and interviews are in favor of the US and NATO intervention, while propaganda is attributed exclusively to the opposite side...

[Mar 18, 2019] The Why are the media playing lapdog and not watchdog – again – on war in Iraq?

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... General Electric, the world's largest military contractor, still controls the message over at the so-called "liberal" MSNBC. MSNBC's other owner is Comcast, the right wing media conglomerate that controls the radio waves in every major American Market. Over at CNN, Mossad Asset Wolf Blitzer, who rose from being an obscure little correspondent for an Israeli Newspaper to being CNN's Chief "Pentagon Correspondent" and then was elevated to supreme anchorman nearly as quickly, ensures that the pro-Israeli Message is always in the forefront, even as the Israeli's commit one murderous act after another upon helpless Palestinian Women and Children. ..."
"... Every single "terrorism expert", General or former Government Official that is brought out to discuss the next great war is connected to a military contractor that stands to benefit from that war. Not surprisingly, the military option is the only option discussed and we are assured that, if only we do this or bomb that, then it will all be over and we can bring our kids home to a big victory parade. I'm 63 and it has never happened in my lifetime--with the exception of the phony parade that Bush Senior put on after his murderous little "First Gulf War". ..."
"... The Generals in the Pentagon always want war. It is how they make rank. All of those young kids that just graduated from our various academies know that war experience is the only thing that will get them the advancement that they seek in the career that they have chosen. They are champing at the bit for more war. ..."
"... the same PR campaign that started with Bush and Cheney continues-the exact same campaign. Obviously, they have to come back at the apple with variations, but any notion that the "media will get it someday" is willfully ignorant of the obvious fact that there is an agenda, and that agenda just won't stop until it's achieved-or revolution supplants the influence of these dark forces. ..."
"... The US media are indeed working overtime to get this war happening ..."
"... In media universe there is no alternative to endless war and an endless stream of hyped reasons for new killing. ..."
"... The media machine is a wholly owned subsidiary of the United States of Corporations. ..."
"... Oh, the greatest propaganda arm the US government has right now, bar none, is the American media. It's disgraceful. we no longer have journalists speaking truth to power in my country, we have people practicing stenography, straight from the State Department to your favorite media outlet. ..."
"... But all that research from MIT, from the UN, and others, has been buried by the American media, and every single story on Syria and Assad that is written still refers to "Assad gassing his own people". It's true, it's despicable, and it's just one example of how our media lies and distorts and misrepresents the news every day. ..."
Oct 10, 2014 | The Guardian
BradBenson, 10 October 2014 6:14pm
The American Public has gotten exactly what it deserved. They have been dumbed-down in our poor-by-intention school systems. The moronic nonsense that passes for news in this country gets more sensational with each passing day. Over on Fox, they are making the claim that ISIS fighters are bringing Ebola over the Mexican Border, which prompted a reply by the Mexican Embassy that won't be reported on Fox.

We continue to hear and it was even reported in this very fine article by Ms. Benjamin that the American People now support this new war. Really? I'm sorry, but I haven't seen that support anywhere but on the news and I just don't believe it any more.

There is also the little problem of infiltration into key media slots by paid CIA Assets (Scarborough and brainless Mika are two of these double dippers). Others are intermarried. Right-wing Neocon War Criminal Dan Senor is married to "respected" newsperson Campbell Brown who is now involved in privatizing our school system. Victoria Nuland, the slimey State Department Official who was overheard appointing the members of the future Ukrainian Government prior to the Maidan Coup is married to another Neo-Con--Larry Kagan. Even sweet little Andrea Mitchell is actually Mrs. Alan Greenspan.

General Electric, the world's largest military contractor, still controls the message over at the so-called "liberal" MSNBC. MSNBC's other owner is Comcast, the right wing media conglomerate that controls the radio waves in every major American Market. Over at CNN, Mossad Asset Wolf Blitzer, who rose from being an obscure little correspondent for an Israeli Newspaper to being CNN's Chief "Pentagon Correspondent" and then was elevated to supreme anchorman nearly as quickly, ensures that the pro-Israeli Message is always in the forefront, even as the Israeli's commit one murderous act after another upon helpless Palestinian Women and Children.

Every single "terrorism expert", General or former Government Official that is brought out to discuss the next great war is connected to a military contractor that stands to benefit from that war. Not surprisingly, the military option is the only option discussed and we are assured that, if only we do this or bomb that, then it will all be over and we can bring our kids home to a big victory parade. I'm 63 and it has never happened in my lifetime--with the exception of the phony parade that Bush Senior put on after his murderous little "First Gulf War".

Yesterday there was a coordinated action by all of the networks, which was clearly designed to support the idea that the generals want Obama to act and he just won't. The not-so-subtle message was that the generals were right and that the President's "inaction" was somehow out of line-since, after all, the generals have recommended more war. It was as if these people don't remember that the President, sleazy War Criminal that he is, is still the Commander in Chief.

The Generals in the Pentagon always want war. It is how they make rank. All of those young kids that just graduated from our various academies know that war experience is the only thing that will get them the advancement that they seek in the career that they have chosen. They are champing at the bit for more war.

Finally, this Sunday every NFL Game will begin with some Patriotic "Honor America" Display, which will include a missing man flyover, flags and fireworks, plenty of uniforms, wounded Vets and soon-to-be-wounded Vets. A giant American Flag will, once again, cover the fields and hundreds of stupid young kids will rush down to their "Military Career Center" right after the game. These are the ones that I pity most.

BaronVonAmericano , 10 October 2014 6:26pm
Let's be frank: powerful interests want war and subsequent puppet regimes in the half dozen nations that the neo-cons have been eyeing (Iraq, Iran, Libya, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan). These interests surely include industries like banking, arms and oil-all of whom make a killing on any war, and would stand to do well with friendly governments who could finance more arms purchases and will never nationalize the oil.

So, the same PR campaign that started with Bush and Cheney continues-the exact same campaign. Obviously, they have to come back at the apple with variations, but any notion that the "media will get it someday" is willfully ignorant of the obvious fact that there is an agenda, and that agenda just won't stop until it's achieved-or revolution supplants the influence of these dark forces.

IanB52, 10 October 2014 6:57pm

The US media are indeed working overtime to get this war happening. When I'm down at the gym they always have CNN on (I can only imagine what FOX is like) which is a pretty much dyed in the wool yellow jingoist station at this point. With all the segments they dedicate to ISIS, a new war, the "imminent" terrorist threat, they seem to favor talking heads who support a full ground war and I have never, not once, heard anyone even speak about the mere possibility of peace. Not ever.

In media universe there is no alternative to endless war and an endless stream of hyped reasons for new killing.

I'd imagine that these media companies have a lot stock in and a cozy relationship with the defense contractors.

Damiano Iocovozzi, 10 October 2014 7:04pm

The media machine is a wholly owned subsidiary of the United States of Corporations. The media doesn't report on anything but relies on repeating manufactured crises, creating manufactured consent & discussing manufactured solutions. Follow the oil, the pipelines & the money. Both R's & D's are left & right cheeks of the same buttock. Thanks to Citizens United & even Hobby Lobby, a compliant Supreme Court, also owned by United States of Corporations, it's a done deal.

ID5868758 , 10 October 2014 10:20pm
Oh, the greatest propaganda arm the US government has right now, bar none, is the American media. It's disgraceful. we no longer have journalists speaking truth to power in my country, we have people practicing stenography, straight from the State Department to your favorite media outlet.

Let me give you one clear example. A year ago Barack Obama came very close to bombing Syria to kingdom come, the justification used was "Assad gassed his own people", referring to a sarin gas attack near Damascus. Well, it turns out that Assad did not initiate that attack, discovered by research from many sources including the prestigious MIT, it was a false flag attack planned by Turkey and carried out by some of Obama's own "moderate rebels".

But all that research from MIT, from the UN, and others, has been buried by the American media, and every single story on Syria and Assad that is written still refers to "Assad gassing his own people". It's true, it's despicable, and it's just one example of how our media lies and distorts and misrepresents the news every day.

[Mar 15, 2019] Will Democrats Go Full Hawk by Jack Hunter

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Warren could have easily gone either way, succumbing to the emotive demands of the Never Trump mob. She instead opted to stick to the traditional progressive position on undeclared war, even if it meant siding with the president. ..."
"... Bravo Congressman Khanna. And to those progs who share his sympathies with those of us who have consistently opposed US military adventurism. Howard Dean's comments that American troops should take a bullet in support of "women's rights" in Afghanistan (!) only underscores why he serves as comic relief and really should consider wearing tassels and bells. ..."
"... Trump – and Bernie – put their fingers on the electoral zeitgeist in 2016: the oligarchy is out of control, its servants in Washington have turned their backs on the middle class, and we need to stop getting into stupid, needless wars. ..."
"... "Principles", LOL? What principles? When have Democrats ever not campaigned on a "bring them home, no torture, etc" peace platform and then governed on a deep state neocon foreign policy, with entitlements to drone anyone on earth in Obama's case? At least horrible neocon Republicans are honest enough to say what they believe when they run. ..."
"... Hillary was full hawk. It was Trump who said he was less hawkish. Yeah, he hasn't lived up to that either. But Democrats can't go hawkish in response. They already were the hawks. ..."
Mar 14, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

When President Donald Trump announced in December that he wanted an immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria, there was more silence and opposition from the Left than approval. The 2016 election's highest-profile progressive, Senator Bernie Sanders, said virtually nothing at the time. The 2018 midterm election's Left celeb, former congressman Beto O'Rourke, kept mum too. The 2004 liberal hero, Howard Dean, came out against troop withdrawals, saying they would damage women's rights in Afghanistan.

The liberal news outlet on which Warren made her statement, MSNBC, which had already been sounding more like Fox News circa 2003, warned that withdrawal from Syria could hurt national security. The left-leaning news channel has even made common cause with Bill Kristol and other neoconservatives in its shared opposition to all things Trump.

Maddow herself has not only vocally opposed the president's decision, but has become arguably more popular than ever with liberal viewers by peddling wild-eyed anti-Trump conspiracy theories worthy of Alex Jones. Reacting to one of her cockamamie theories, progressive journalist Glenn Greenwald tweeted , "She is Glenn Beck standing at the chalkboard. Liberals celebrate her (relatively) high ratings as proof that she's right, but Beck himself proved that nothing produces higher cable ratings than feeding deranged partisans unhinged conspiracy theories that flatter their beliefs."

The Trump derangement that has so enveloped the Left on everything, including foreign policy, is precisely what makes Democratic presidential candidate Warren's Syria withdrawal position so noteworthy. One can safely assume that Sanders, O'Rourke, Dean, MSNBC, Maddow, and many of their fellow progressive travelers' silence on or resistance to troop withdrawal is simply them gauging what their liberal audiences currently want or will accept.

Warren could have easily gone either way, succumbing to the emotive demands of the Never Trump mob. She instead opted to stick to the traditional progressive position on undeclared war, even if it meant siding with the president.

... ... ...

Jack Hunter is the former political editor of Rare.us and co-authored the 2011 book The Tea Party Goes to Washington with Senator Rand Paul.


WorkingClass March 13, 2019 at 10:36 pm

Only a crushing defeat and massive casualties on the battlefield will cause ANY change in foreign policy by either party.
PAX , says: March 13, 2019 at 10:45 pm
The antiwar movement is not a "liberal" movement. Hundreds of mainly your people addressed the San Francisco board of supervisors asking them to condemn an Israeli full-fledged attack on Gaza. When they were finished, without objection from one single supervisor, the issued was tabled and let sink permanently in the Bay, never to be heard of again. Had the situation been reversed and Israel under attack there most probably would have been a resolution in nanoseconds. Maybe even half the board volunteering to join the IDF? People believed Trump would act more objectively. That is why he got a lot of peace votes. What AIPAC wants there is a high probability our liberal politicians will oblige quickly and willingly. Who really represents America remains a mystery?
Donald , says: March 13, 2019 at 11:40 pm
"That abiding hatred will continue to play an outsized and often illogical role in determining what most Democrats believe about foreign policy."

True, but the prowar tendency with mainstream liberals ( think Clintonites) is older than that. The antiwar movement among mainstream liberals died the instant Obama entered the White House. And even before that Clinton and Kerry and others supported the Iraq War. I think this goes all the way back to Gulf War I, and possibly further. Democrats were still mostly antiwar to some degree after Vietnam and they also opposed Reagan's proxy wars in Central America and Angola. Some opposed the Gulf War, but it seemed a big success at the time and so it became centrist and smart to kick the Vietnam War syndrome and be prowar. Bill Clinton has his little war in Serbia, which was seen as a success and so being prowar became the centrist Dem position. Obama was careful to say he wasn't antiwar, just against dumb wars. Gore opposed going into Iraq, but on technocratic grounds.

And in popular culture, in the West Wing the liberal fantasy President was bombing an imaginary Mideast terrorist country. Showed he was a tough guy, but measured, unlike some of the even more warlike fictitious Republicans in that show. I remember Toby Ziegler, one of the main characters, ranting to his pro diplomacy wife that we needed to go in and civilize those crazy Muslims.

So it isn't just an illogical overreaction to Trump, though that is part of it.

polistra , says: March 14, 2019 at 2:18 am
Won't happen. Gabbard is solid and sincere but she's not Hillary so she won't be the candidate. Hillary is the candidate forever. If Hillary is too drunk to stand up, or too obviously dead, Kamala will serve as Hillary's regent.
ked_x , says: March 14, 2019 at 2:48 am
The problem isn't THAT Trump is pulling the troops out of Syria. The problem is HOW Trump is pulling the troops out of Syria. The Left isn't fighting about 'keeping troops indefinitely in Syria' vs pulling troops out of Syria'. Its a fight over 'pulling troops out in a way that makes it so that we don't have to go back in like Obama and Iraq' vs 'backing the reckless pull out Trump is going to do'.
Kasoy , says: March 14, 2019 at 3:42 am
Will Democrats go full hawk?

For Democrats, everything depends on what the polls say, which issues seem important to get elected. They will say anything, no matter how irrational & outrageously insane if the polls say Democrat voters like them. If American involvement in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan are less important according to the polls, Democratic 2020 hopefuls will not bother to focus on it.

For True Christian conservatives, everything depends on how issues line up to God's laws. Polls do not change what is morally right, & what is morally evil.

Connecticut Farmer , says: March 14, 2019 at 8:47 am
"I am glad Donald Trump is withdrawing troops from Syria. Congress never authorized the intervention."

Bravo Congressman Khanna. And to those progs who share his sympathies with those of us who have consistently opposed US military adventurism. Howard Dean's comments that American troops should take a bullet in support of "women's rights" in Afghanistan (!) only underscores why he serves as comic relief and really should consider wearing tassels and bells.

M. Orban , says: March 14, 2019 at 9:35 am
Having grown up under communism, I learned that it is dangerous but inevitable that propagandists eventually come to believe their own fabrications.
Argon , says: March 14, 2019 at 11:23 am
Kasoy: "For True Christian conservatives, everything depends on how issues line up to God's laws. Polls do not change what is morally right, & what is morally evil."

I think that needs the trademark symbol, i.e True Christians™

What do True Scotsmen do?

Dave , says: March 14, 2019 at 12:53 pm
Recent suggests that more Christian Identity Politics will not keep us out of unwise wars.
Dave , says: March 14, 2019 at 1:19 pm
The Second Coming of Jack Hunter. Given his well-documented views on race, it's no surprise he's all in on Trump. That surely outweighs Trump's massive spending and corruption that most true libertarians oppose.
EarlyBird , says: March 14, 2019 at 3:04 pm
Trump – and Bernie – put their fingers on the electoral zeitgeist in 2016: the oligarchy is out of control, its servants in Washington have turned their backs on the middle class, and we need to stop getting into stupid, needless wars.

Of course, the left would come out against puppies and sunshine if Trump came out for those things.

But if they are smart, they'd recognize that on war, or his lack of interest in starting new wars, even the broken Trump clock has been right twice a day.

Erin , says: March 14, 2019 at 3:11 pm
The flip side of this phenomenon is that so many Republican voters supported Trump's withdrawal from Syria. Had it been Obama withdrawing the troops, I suspect 80-90% of Republicans would have opposed the withdrawal.

This does show that Republicans are listening to Trump more than Lindsey Graham or Marco Rubio on foreign policy. But once Trump leaves office, I fear the party will swing back towards the neocons.

Andrew , says: March 14, 2019 at 5:14 pm
"Principles", LOL? What principles? When have Democrats ever not campaigned on a "bring them home, no torture, etc" peace platform and then governed on a deep state neocon foreign policy, with entitlements to drone anyone on earth in Obama's case? At least horrible neocon Republicans are honest enough to say what they believe when they run.

Dopey Trump campaigned on something different and has now surrounded himself with GOP hawks, probably because he's lazy and doesn't know any better.

Bernie, much like Ron Paul was, 180 degrees away, is the only one who might do different if he got into office, and the rate the left is going he may very well be the nominee.

Mark Thomason , says: March 15, 2019 at 11:23 am
Hillary was full hawk. It was Trump who said he was less hawkish. Yeah, he hasn't lived up to that either. But Democrats can't go hawkish in response. They already were the hawks.

The least bad comment on Democrats is that everyone in DC is a hawk, not just them.

[Mar 14, 2019] CIA Is Conspiring With ISIS, Turning Syrian Refugee Camps Into ISIS Hotbeds

Mar 14, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

The CIA is conspiring with ISIS commanders in northeastern Syria supplying them with fake documents and then transferring them to Iraq, according to reports in Turkish pro-government media.

About 2,000 ISIS members were questioned in the areas of Kesra, Buseira, al-Omar and Suwayr in Deir Ezzor province and at least 140 of them then received fake documents. Some of the questioned terrorists were then moved to the camps of al-Hol, Hasakah and Rukban, which are controlled by US-backed forces. The CIA also reportedly created a special facility near Abu Khashab with the same purpose.

Israeli, French and British special services are reportedly involved.

An interesting observation is that the media of the country, which in the previous years of war, used to conspire with ISIS allowing its foreign recruits to enter Syria and buying smuggled oil from the terrorists, has now become one of the most active exposers of the alleged US ties with ISIS elements.

Another issue often raised in Turkish media is the poor humanitarian situation in the refugee camps controlled by US-backed forces. These reports come in the course of other revelations. According to the International Rescue Committee, about 100 people, mostly children, died in combat zones or in the al-Hol camp controlled by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces just recently.

In its turn, the Russian Defense Ministry released a series of satellite images revealing the horrifying conditions in the al-Rukban camp. The imagery released on March 12 shows at least 670 graves, many of them fresh, close to the camp's living area. The tents and light constructions used to settle refugees are also located in a close proximity to large waste deposits.

A joint statement by the Russian and Syrian Joint Coordination Committees for Repatriation of Syrian Refugees said that refugees in al-Rukban are suffering from a lack of water, food, medication and warm clothing, which is especially important during winter. According to the statement, members of the US-backed armed group Maghawir al-Thawra disrupt water deliveries to the camp, using this as a bargaining chip for blackmailing and profiteering purposes.

Tensions are once again growing between Syria and Israel. Earlier in March, Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad submitted an official letter to the head of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) Kristin Lund that Damascus "will not hesitate to confront Israel" if it continues refusing to withdraw from the Golan Heights.

Israeli media and officials responded with a new round of allegations that Hezbollah is entrenching in southern Syria therefore justifying a further militarization of the Golan Heights.

[Mar 13, 2019] Syria Ready for War to Regain Oil-Rich Golan Heights

Mar 13, 2019 | www.blacklistednews.com

https://www.blacklistednews.com/article/71541/syria-ready-for-war-to-regain-oilrich-golan.html

[Mar 11, 2019] How do US courts value lives. It seems to depend on "who did it".

Mar 11, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Zachary Smith , Mar 10, 2019 9:11:43 PM | link

How do US courts value lives. It seems to depend on "who did it". In the case of Syria, the sum is a very large one.

U.S. Court Finds Syria Responsible for Killing American Journalist Marie Colvin

A federal judge in Washington, D.C. has ordered the Syrian government to pay $302 million in damages for the murder of journalist Marie Colvin in a 2012 artillery strike. The decision, issued on Wednesday, marks the first time in the seven-year conflict that a court has declared Syrian forces loyal to the government of President Bashar al-Assad responsible for deliberately attacking civilians.

Then there is the case of Iran's destruction of the Twin Towers on 9/11/2001.

US judge: Iran must pay $6bn to victims of 9/11 attacks

Iran is ordered to pay "$12,500,000 per spouse, $8,500,000 per parent, $8,500,000 per child, and $4,250,000 per sibling" to the families and estates of the deceased, court filings say.

A 4.96 annual interest rate will also be applied to the amount, starting from September 11, 2001 to the date of the judgement.

I'm mentioning this because of a story I saw on a blog operated by the son of America's Most Famous Jewish Orthodox Author. The fellow was gloating about the apartheid Jewish state "...cutting terror salaries from Palestinian Authority taxes..."

The guy's smug satisfaction gave me an idea. What If the US of A chose a number somewhere between the "life value" of Marie Colvin and the values assigned to the 9/11 victims, and subtracted the money from the 'allowance" given to the apartheid Jewish state. Every time they murder a Palestinian, they lose XX million dollars. Naturally the same thing would apply to times Palestinians murder one of their occupiers.

Or is it "anti-semitic" to even compare God's Most Favorite Thieves and Murderers with the subhuman creatures they're trampling underfoot?

[Mar 07, 2019] John Bolton Is Exploiting Donald Trump's Weakness - Bloomberg

Mar 07, 2019 | www.bloomberg.com

Just how weak a president has Donald Trump become? For an illustration, see a terrific Washington Post article on the foreign-policy decision-making process since John Bolton became Trump's national security adviser. Or, rather, the absence of anything resembling a process.

As Heather Hurlburt pointed out when Bolton took the job, he's ill-suited for it. Bolton is a policy advocate, not the honest broker that the position calls for. That's a particular problem for Trump. Because the president is inexperienced in national-security matters, he doesn't know whether Bolton is speaking for the experts on a policy question or just advocating for his own preferences. Because Trump knows little about the executive branch, Bolton can use his bureaucratic skills to advance his own agenda -- including impeding Trump's plan to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria.

This isn't to say that Bolton's policies are necessarily wrong; that's for others to judge. But it creates a real problem for the presidency when top advisers are looking out for their own interests and not the president's.

On this point, Ronald Reagan's administration is instructive. By all accounts, Reagan was more informed about policy than Trump is. He was also a pragmatic politician, capable of compromising or even backing down entirely when it was in his interests. Reagan's weakness, however, was that he could be curiously passive at times, and (like many presidents) too easily swayed by anecdotes. That meant he needed high-level staffers who could serve as honest brokers. His first-term chief of staff, James Baker, allowed him to make good decisions. Baker's replacement, Donald Regan, failed to do so. Partly as a result, Reagan's presidency had almost completely collapsed by the time Regan was fired amid the Iran-Contra scandal.

[Mar 04, 2019] Business as usual .

Mar 01, 2019 | syria360.wordpress.com

Syria's Permanent Representative at the UN, Dr. Bashar al-Jaafari, said that Western states, particularly the United States, are working to prolong the crisis in Syria by investing in terrorism, stressing that a military resolution in Idleb is inevitable if the political efforts to implement the Sochi agreement fail.

In an interview given to Al-Mayadeen TV channel on Friday, al-Jaafari said that US President Donald Trump has said more than once that his country's forces which occupy parts of Syrian territory will withdraw from them, but this hasn't happened yet because his administration wants to continue investing in terrorism in Syria and Iraq in order to carry out its agenda in the region in collusion with Turkey and militias in the Syrian al-Jazeera area.

He said that the so-called international coalition which Washington created without Security Council approval continues to support Daesh (ISIS), as it has transported leaders and members of the terrorist organization more than once, with the latest chapter in the US cooperation with Daesh involved a deal with the terrorists by which Washington received tens of tons of gold in exchange for allowing Daesh leaders and members to leave areas in Deir Ezzor, with US army helicopters transporting the gold under cover of night.

Al-Jaafari said that terrorism is used as a tool by its sponsors and financers, and from time to time they recycle it to utilize it in one area or another, as proven by the incident when Algerian authorities arrested hundreds of terrorists on its borders with Nigeria, and after interrogating the terrorists it was revealed that they had come from Aleppo's countryside, wondering who transported these terrorists from Syria to the Algerian-Nigerian borders.

Syria's Representative said that since the beginning of the crisis, the Turkish regime has been facilitating the transit of terrorists through its territories and into Syria, sponsoring all sorts of international terrorists from all over the world.

He added that the Turkish regime has yet to implement its commitments as per the Sochi agreement regarding the removal of terrorist organizations from the de-escalation zone in Idleb, stressing that a military resolution in Idleb is inevitable if the political efforts to implement the Sochi agreement fail.

Regarding the situation in al-Rukban camp, al-Jaafari said that two humanitarian corridors have been opened at the outskirts of al-Tanf area on February 16th by Syria and Russia to evacuate the displaced people being detained in the camp.

He said that Western states are not comfortable with any objective effort carried out by UN envoys to Syria, and they always pester them at the Security Council when they make statements by making preconditions and objections to pressure them to act outside their mission.

Al-Jaafari said that the current UN envoy Geir Pedersen understands his role correctly, which is why Syria is ready to cooperate with him to help carry out his task of facilitating intra-Syrian dialogue led and owned by Syria in order to move forward along the political track.

He concluded by asserting that Syria always has and always will view the Palestinian cause as the central cause, adding that all that is happening in the region seeks to liquidate this cause, and that the Warsaw conference came to achieve this end, in addition to normalizing relations between the Israeli enemy and certain Arab regimes.

Hazem Sabbagh

[Mar 04, 2019] Believe or not to believe -- this is the question

Mar 04, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Aule Valar March 1, 2019 at 11:34 pm

OPCW released it's report on Douma 2018: https://www.opcw.org/sites/default/files/documents/2019/03/s-1731-2019%28e%29.pdf

Tl;dr: two cylinders were likely dropped from up high and probably released chlorine which poisoned an unknown number of people.

Moscow Exile March 1, 2019 at 11:49 pm
Remarkably little damage suffered by such cylinders dropped from on high.

Likewise th Byk missile, which was also remarkably found near intact where the aeroplane it allegedly downed eventually crashed and broke up.

Mark Chapman March 2, 2019 at 9:40 am

"dropped from up high" – gosh, the technical terminology scientists use makes their reports difficult to follow. Naturally only Assad possessed the capability to drop something from up high, so it must have been him.

I also note the report says some guy who was not from the hospital ran in shouting "Chemical! Chemical!", whereupon others started grabbing people and washing them, and that the alleged victims did not present as victims of a chemical attack.

But I daresay the press will conclude this is irrefutable proof that a chemical attack occurred in Douma and that Assad – backed by the Russians – was responsible.

Patient Observer March 2, 2019 at 11:19 am
"dropped from up high" is in the 1 to 2 meter range, I would say.

[Mar 02, 2019] The "Exceptional Nation" has now become the "Detestable Nation"!

Notable quotes:
"... The Puppet show display by Pence & Pompeo to rap Europeans over the knuckles for everything from not exiting the Iran Nuclear deal to not stopping the Nordstream pupeline & trying to contain Hiawei is blowing up in the Trump Administration's faces as these so called Allies or Vassals of the American Empire are refusing to tow the line? ..."
"... A failure for US oligarchy foreign policy is a win for the US and the rest of the world. ..."
Mar 02, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

KiwiAntz , February 20, 2019 at 6:31 am

The "Exceptional Nation" has now become the "Detestable Nation"!

The Puppet show display by Pence & Pompeo to rap Europeans over the knuckles for everything from not exiting the Iran Nuclear deal to not stopping the Nordstream pupeline & trying to contain Hiawei is blowing up in the Trump Administration's faces as these so called Allies or Vassals of the American Empire are refusing to tow the line?

Trump has alienated & disgusted it's Allies, so much that they can now see how deranged, unworkable & destructive is the Americans Foreign Policy & its bankrupt disfunctional , delusional Policies?

It's ridiculous, irrational & pathological hatred for Iran has shown that the US is the main Terrorist Nation on Earth not Iran who has never invaded anyone unlike the hypocritical US Empire!

Meanwhile in Sochi, the real Diplomacy for peace is taking place with Russia, Iran, Turkey & Syria having won the War against the US Empire & its cowardly, crony white helmeted, ragtag bunch of proxy Army misfits made up of Israel, ISIS, SDF & the Kurds now scurrying out of the Country like rats leaving a sinking ship!

And what was really laughable about VP Pences speech in Warsaw was the defeating silence to the pauses in that speech expecting people to clap on demand which never happened?

How embarrassing & really showed the lack of respect & utter contempt that everyone has for America these days!

Sam F, February 20, 2019 at 12:32 pm

A failure for US oligarchy foreign policy is a win for the US and the rest of the world.

Let's hope we see the end of NATO as an excuse for US bully tyrants to "defend" us with greedy aggression.

Perhaps that will lead to strengthening the UN and isolating it from the economic power of US tyrants.
The UN would be far stronger if it taxed its members instead of begging for support, on pain of embargo by all members, and monitored for corrupt influence.

[Feb 27, 2019] US-led Coalition Evacuated ISIS Gold From Euphrates Valley Report

Feb 27, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

SouthFront , Feb 18, 2019 10:31:38 PM | link

US-led Coalition Evacuated ISIS Gold From Euphrates Valley – Report

https://southfront.org/us-led-coalition-evacuated-isis-gold-from-euphrates-valley-report/

[Feb 27, 2019] Syria Chemical Weapons Used... But Used by Whom?

Feb 27, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Charles Shoebridge , Feb 18, 2019 3:34:25 PM | link

Syria Chemical Weapons Used... But Used by Whom?

Given the gravity of this claim and its consequences, as well as a recent history of unevidenced assertions based on inaccurate intelligence being used to justify involvement in foreign wars, how does the evidence in the latest assertion stack up?

https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/charles-shoebridge/syria-chemical-weapons-us_b_3443185.html

[Feb 27, 2019] 400 US troops in Syria? OK

Notable quotes:
"... This is rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Trump will have to meet with Assad (following in the footsteps of the hated Tulsi Gabbard) to declare an end to the policy of regime change in Syria. Another Peace Prize for sure, following his ending of the Korean War. Which leaves us with the question, "Who is the most dangerous man in the United States today?" ..."
"... Rubio is batsh*t nuts. God knows what goes through his head. God forbid he should become President. ..."
turcopolier.typepad.com
  1. The 200 soldiers left in the north as part of an international contingent will be there to act as a tripwire to keep the Turks with their armored army and strong air force from simply butchering the SDF Kurds whom the Turks regard as the enemies of their blood.
  2. The 200 at al-Tanf will remain in place for the purpose of blocking the shortest Damascus-Baghdad-Iran land route. This reflects the continuing policy of the US government of seeking regime change in Syria. This policy's effect is clear in the utterances of the Borg (foreign policy establishment) concerning the defeat of the IS caliphate and the other rebel; riff-raff around the country. How? Simple! If you listen to the Borg, you will easily be led to believe that the forces of the Syrian government have done very little to liberate their country. In fact the opposite is true.
  3. "A lot of people like that idea." I am sure that they do. Lindsay Graham has said and done a lot of good things since his office wife died but in the matter of Middle East policy he remains as goofy and conditioned by the Israelis as he and John John ever were. Do the Borgists think that they will slowly ratchet up the number of soldiers engaged in the "Syria Problem?" Yes, the Borgists and the generals are sure they can pull that off.
  4. One little problem for the Borgists and generals is the hard surface road that runs through Palmyra to Deir al-Zor to Abu Kamil to Baghdad and thence to Iran. Will the Iraqi government and militias allow the US to block that road as well? pl

https://thehill.com/policy/defense/431289-trump-backs-off-total-syria-withdrawal

James Thomas , 2 days ago

I am dismayed by the fact that the Borg always wins. I think Trump really wanted to pull out of Syria, which the Syrian people would very much appreciate and which would allow them to start to rebuild their country - but it gets delayed long enough for this "we are going to leave 400 troops behind to be augmented by a couple of thousand European troops".

The Syrian's are not going to get their country back. That is too bad - I really like the Syrians.

Chris Chuba , 17 hours ago
The 400 troops matter as a means to hurt the SAR. It can prevent / delay reconciliation between the Kurds and the Syrian govt by giving the Kurds some reassurance that the U.S. supports their autonomy.

I hate that we are playing the spoiler and sitting their oil fields. They can use that revenue to rebuild their country but since we don't live there we can play games like that.

Eugene Owens , 2 days ago
If we attempt to block the Baghdad/AbuKamal/DeZ/Palmyra Road the Iraqi government will undoubtedly tell us to leave their country - where that "very powerful base" is that Trump mentions. Then we lose some of the immediate air support for those 400 troops in Syria.

We are however in a position to observe that road. And maybe pass on info to Netanyahu of likely IRGC convoys.

John Waddell , a day ago
I suspect that keeping the SAA out of Syria east of the Euphrates is at least as important to the US as stopping the Turks kill the Kurds.

Colonel, do you have a view on how many 'irregulars' there would be in there supporting those stay behind US troops? Also, how do you think the US will react if/when Idlib finally gets hit?

Eugene Owens -> John Waddell , a day ago
John W -

SDF has in the past been estimated to be 60,000. But some of the Arab elements, such as Liwa Thuwwar al-Raqqa a former FSA unit, had already left the SDF last year. And many more Arab tribal units in the SDF are being actively proselytized by Assad's government to return to the fold, And undoubtedly Erdogan's MIT is trying the same with Syrian Turcomans in the Seljuk Brigade. And many of those 60,000 numbers are non-deployable village protection forces - teenagers, old men, and women manning checkpoints.

The Kurdish YPG is the biggest element with perhaps 25,000 fighters.

The Christian Syriac Military Council has perhaps 3000 plus. The al-Sanadid Forces of the Arab Shammar tribe claims to have 4,500. Many smaller Arab tribal militias, but I have no clue of their numbers or whether they wish to stay in the SDF once the so-called caliphate gets reduced down to sleeper cells.

BTW Idlib has been getting hit hard with artillery and airstrikes for several weeks. Just in the past 24 hours both the Syrian military and the Russian Air Force have hit Saraqeb, Jisr al-Shugour, Maarat al-Numan, Jarjanaz, al-Tah, Tamaniyah, Khan Sheikoun, and other smaller locations in Idlib.

TTG -> John Waddell , a day ago
Remember the original support offered to the YPG/SDF was limited to 50 Green Berets. 200 is more than enough to advise and support those forces now that IS is more or less licked.

I don't think there are "irreguIars" other than the YPG/SDF forces.

JJackson , 2 days ago
What do you think counts as 400 soldiers? Would this include SF, contractors/mercenaries or just Army/Marines? There seems to have become something of a grey area about soldiers who are on the Army payroll and contractors who were but are now funded by a more indirect route but may be performing the same function.
Bill Herschel , 2 days ago
This is rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Trump will have to meet with Assad (following in the footsteps of the hated Tulsi Gabbard) to declare an end to the policy of regime change in Syria. Another Peace Prize for sure, following his ending of the Korean War. Which leaves us with the question, "Who is the most dangerous man in the United States today?"

Rubio is batsh*t nuts. God knows what goes through his head. God forbid he should become President. He gets my vote. Bolton, etc. As nuts for sure, but they aren't President nor will they be.

[Feb 27, 2019] Trump policy is Syria ia classis divide and conquer tactic, plus money for weapons

Feb 27, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

barovsky , Feb 20, 2019 10:02:04 AM | link

Circe , Feb 20, 2019 10:27:36 AM | link

I see someone f'd up the thread with their link making it impossible for the rest to read or comment so I'll write this and move on. The U.S. ruled by Zionist Trump already has what it wants: despite Russia and Syria calling the shots, not so much, since the U.S. has chaos it can control indefinitely several ways and with money. The U.S. tried to pull the same dirty business in Iraq but it didn't work out so well. Leaving a country it attacks in a weakened, chaotic state is a Zionist tactic. Zionists have been using this strategy against the Palestinians for decades pitting Hamas against Fatah and vice versa. The Kurds are blinded by U.S. money and weapons that leave them in a holding catch-22 pattern. Unless they take a leap of faith accepting the best possible option they will never be free of US pawn-limbo.

Why didn't you bring up the fact that Trump bragged he stopped Russia, Syria and Iran from killing 3 million people in Idleb therefore deserves the Nobel prize? Trump's bullshet aptly represents how dirty and scheming the U.S. behave in battle, every day more and more like their chickenshit Zionist brethren they love so much and are morphing into.

They leave muck and destruction wherever they intervene for humanitarian reasons.

Trump didn't save Idleb from anything; it's just a chaos they want to control, a muck they want Assad and Russia to perpetually get stuck in. The U.S. claims Iran is a supporter of terrorism? There are no greater supporters of terrorism than shithole Israel and the dumb hee-haw donkey it rides, the U.S. Two thoroughly depraved patrons of terrorism using Kurds and Syrians with pipe dreams that never materialize cause these patrons of misfortune only care for AmerikkanZionist domination.

They don't give shet about brown bearded, turbaned tools and their kin. Reality check! Yes, that's how they really view their loyal pawns! The prouder they are to fight with the U.S. the easier they are to use and abuse indefinitely. The only way for these people to be free is to screw the Zio strategy by smoking the peace pipe with the real enemy of the U.S., no not the terrorists, but Russia, Iran and Syria in this case.

If everyone made friends with the enemy of the AZEmpire they would be free from decades of battle-misery and servitude and be able to live normal lives. Not perfect lives; as there will always be squabbles, but normal lives.

[Feb 27, 2019] Of course, everyone can interpret international humanitarian law in his own way. As Belgrade was being bombed, the targets were a train moving on a bridge, or a television centre, and this was also regarded as normal. But we don't intend to follow these sorts of international humanitarian law interpretations

Feb 27, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Feb 19, 2019 4:08:14 PM | link

Lavrov, Munich SC Q&A In response to (assumed) Washington Post reporter, Lavrov provides the following comparison in policy:

"Addressing a news conference in Sochi President Putin said clearly that we could not put up with "this hotbed of terrorism" forever. How to solve this problem is a question we should put to the military. I am confident that they will do it differently from how the terrorists were being destroyed in Raqqa, where bodies of peaceful civilians and mines are still lying in the open, with no one to attend to them. But it is the military that should draw up a plan in keeping with international humanitarian law requirements.

"Of course, everyone can interpret international humanitarian law in his own way. As Belgrade was being bombed, the targets were a train moving on a bridge, or a television centre, and this was also regarded as normal. But we don't intend to follow these sorts of international humanitarian law interpretations."

Ouch! Perhaps the WaPost scribe felt a pang in his conscious. The next exchange clearly shows Lavrov's feelings after years of total bullshit:

"Question: Elaborating on what The Washington Post correspondent has said, I would like to ask the following. Since Russia is a guarantor of security in Syria, can you guarantee that the Assad regime will stop threatening the region and will end its atrocities against its own people?

"Sergey Lavrov: No matter what I say in reply, you will write what you want. So, go on, write what you want."

It continues, and Lavrov decides to parry then provide a fatal thrust:

"Question: The Russian government attempted to interfere in the affairs of Greece and North Macedonia, pandering to the nationalist forces in these countries. How does this relate to your statements on supporting the European Union?

"Sergey Lavrov: I will take up this question, although I could answer it in the same way as I did with the previous question.

"Russia has been accused of interfering in the matter of changing Macedonia's name, but these accusations have not been supported with any clear or reliable facts. Yesterday, I talked with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and several other colleagues. Mr Stoltenberg, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and some of the American colleagues, I believe it was the US Defence Secretary – in all, five or six of the leading Western politicians – visited Skopje and publicly urged the people to vote for changing the republic's name in the referendum. They did this publicly and openly. Had we done one hundredth of what they did, new sanctions would have been imposed on Russia. But these "first class passengers" get away with anything.

"When Kosovo seceded [from Serbia] and unilaterally declared independence, which the majority of Western countries recognised, we warned them about the possible consequences of this. Now Pristina does what it wants....

"By the way, yesterday Prime Minister of Albania Edi Rama said openly in an interview with a Greek newspaper that Kosovo is part of Albania. Well, you wanted it, you got it."

The text omitted via ellipsis is also rather important to read, some of which I included while discussing this topic on the Open Thread. IMO, the ability of BigLie Media to have an impact has dwindled to the point of being nil. But as Lavrov observes, EU leadership is incapable of summoning the courage to demand a divorce and thus maintains a Clintonian Public and Private Face that only serves to confirm the nth degree of hypocrisy being employed. On Syria, the best possible things EU nations can do is end ALL their illegal sanctions, withdrawal their military assets, and support the repatriation and reconstruction projects.

[Feb 27, 2019] Compromise With Terrorists In Idlib Is Impossible, They Must Be Eliminated: Russian Deputy Foreign Minister

Feb 27, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

SouthFront , Feb 18, 2019 5:02:33 PM | link

Compromise With Terrorists In Idlib Is Impossible, They Must Be Eliminated: Russian Deputy Foreign Minister

Russia's principled stance is that a compromise with terrorists in Syria's Idlib is impossible and that they must be eliminated, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin said on February 17.

"Idlib is a serious problem, this is probably a major concentration of terrorists in the region and maybe beyond its borders," he said on the sidelines of the discussion on the Syrian settlement at the Munich Security Conference, according to TASS. "Our principled stance is no to any compromise with terrorists, they must be eliminated."

Vershinin recalled that 90% of Idlib's territory is controlled by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra) terrorist group, which is excluded from the de-escalation agreement.

"It's impossible to say that we can make peace with Jabhat al-Nusra terrorists and similar organizations," he said adding that Ankara, Teheran and Moscow will think about the ways in order not to harm or put in danger the civilians.

Regarding the situation in northeastern Syria, the diplomat said that the dialogue between the Kurds and the Damascus government will be the best solution.

"Various options were named of what can be done after or in case the US leaves Syria or if there are no foreign forces in northeast Syria, which were also mentioned here. We believe that probably the best option here would be solving these problems through dialogue between the Kurds and Damascus," he said. "Certainly, we know about those problems which exist in relations between Damascus and the Kurds. We would support this dialogue, this is the path that should be chosen."

[Feb 27, 2019] Kurds always pick the worst option possible because on the surface it looks most attractive

Feb 27, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Kiza , Feb 18, 2019 4:17:53 PM | link

I think that the Kurds are gegetting too much of everything, including attention. I know I will read racist, but there is a very good reason why the Kurds never achieved autonomy let alone a nation state throughout centuries . They are congenitally stupid and always pick the worst option possible because on the surface it looks most attractive. In 2012, when US (that is Israel) started mulling using YPG as the third tier anti-Syrian force, after ISIS and Al Qaida, I wrote that Kurds are going to get shafted again in such an un-natural alliance. It is an endless cycle in which the Israelis keep using the Kurds to destabilise their Arab neighbors and let them down, rinse and repeat.

So here we are again, the Kurds were given control over Syrian oil by US and hopes of statehood with even riches on top, to then be let down by the same "allies" for the one thousandth time. Now they will drag on negotiations with the real owner of oil, trying to get their state (with oil) within a state, and let two mutual enemies, Syria and Turkey, gang up on them to solve the Kurdish problem that both states have (Iraq as well). Do not accuse only the Kurdish leadership just to make it read non-racist, this is one whole "nation" that I really do not fell sorry for. You need more proof how stupid they really are? They are asking US to stay, still not having a faintest clue that the Israeli war on Syria has been lost and what their own role in it has always been?


Syriana Analysis , Feb 18, 2019 4:19:17 PM | link

Highlights of President Assad speech (17 February 2019)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_XjcwxVIjA

SouthFront , Feb 18, 2019 4:52:18 PM | link
Assad To U.S. Proxies: Nobody Will Protect You

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad warned on February 17 that the U.S. would not protect those depending on it, in a clear hint to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) which control northeastern Syria.

"We say to those groups who are betting on the Americans, the Americans will not protect you The Americans will put you in their pockets so you can be tools in the barter, and they have started with (it)," the Syrian President said while he was welcoming the heads of local councils, according to Reuters.

Assad called on these US proxies to hand over their weapons to the army and join the reconciliation process while stressing that this is the only way to "retreat from mischief."

"Nobody will protect you except your state If you do not prepare yourselves to defend your country, you will be nothing but slaves to (Turkey)," he added.

U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw all U.S. troops from Syria revived Turkey's plans to invade the northeastern part of the country. This forced the SDF to resume its talks with Damascus. However, the Kurdish-dominated group made very high demands, such as maintaining its independent military force.

Assad's warning may indicate that a deal between his government and the SDF has been still not reached. Despite this, he appears to be confident that the U.S. will eventually carry on with the withdrawal decision.

SouthFront , Feb 18, 2019 4:57:43 PM | link
SDF Official: We Are Ready To Consider Deployment Of Egyptian Troops East Of Euphrates

The Syrian Democratic Council (SDC) is ready to consider the deployment of Egyptian troops in its areas east of the Euphrates River in order to prevent any attack by Turkey, Riad Darar, a co-chairman of the Kurdish-dominated council told the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) on February 17.

"We can coordinate with the Egyptian side to allow a deployment in eastern Euphrates, they can have a presence there in many ways, we can agree on this," Darar said.

The SDC governs northeastern Syria with direct support from the US-led coalition. Turkey began preparations to invade the entire region following President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw all US troops from Syria.

Darar said that he understands that Turkey will not welcome any communication between them and Egypt. However, he stressed that it is within their rights to communicate with any side that could "protect their future," especially Egypt, who has historical ties with Syria.

"We always wanted to open an office [in Egypt] to maintain relations with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Egypt We are ready to visit Egypt in anytime that would be suitable for our Egyptian brothers," the Kurdish official added.

Egypt and several other Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia and the UAE, have been working to counter Turkey's growing influence in Syria. However, it remains unclear if Cairo is willing to deploy troops in the northeastern part of the country.

Reuters , Feb 18, 2019 5:12:35 PM | link
U.S. cannot back Syrian forces who align with Assad - U.S. commander

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The United States will have to sever its military assistance to the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) battling Islamic State if the fighters partner with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad or Russia, a senior U.S. general said on Sunday.

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-mideast-crisis-syria-usa-idUKKCN1Q60OG

Jen , Feb 18, 2019 5:54:04 PM | link
Kiza @ 11: The main reason the Kurds have never achieved unity despite one of their number having been the famous Salahuddin (Saladin) a thousand years ago is that they were never really one ethnic group in the first place but rather several groups speaking related Northwestern Iranian languages and dialects. The close linguistic relationship is the basis for the various communities being lumped together as "Kurds".

Apart from their languages and dialects, there is not much else that really unites them. Living in a similar environment and having a similar lifestyle and even culture because they are neighbours doesn't count if all they've done in the past is fight each other.

I understand the Kurds have traditionally been Sunnis, Shi'a Muslims, Zoroastrians and even Alevi Sufi believers and members of various esoteric faiths like Yazidism so they don't even have a common set of religious beliefs.

Pnyx , Feb 18, 2019 7:02:58 PM | link
"How many more Kurds will have to die until their leadership finally accepts that?"
The problem is they only accept facts. If they see u.s. troops leaving, then and only then will they change their attitude.
stonebird , Feb 19, 2019 6:21:25 AM | link
It is clear that the US will continue to send arms to the Kurds Why? Simple, - 50% of US arms in 2018 were sold to the ME. So continual conflict zones are "good" for business. Kurds. Qatar, saudi's etc, are all willing "consumers"

The Russians (Lavrov) have accused the US of trying to set up a "mini-sate" in Syria east of the Euphrates, with EU troops and others "supporting" their aim.

So - I no longer believe that there will be a pull-out from E. Syria- just a "war under new management" sign.

====
incidentally it seems that the ISIS groups are "appearing" in Idlib. (ie. They are saved (or buy their exit with Syrian Gold) and sent towards Turkey and then Turkey sends them to Idlib.

Penny , Feb 19, 2019 7:44:16 AM | link
Assad knows they will reject because they have no impetus to accept the offer. Assad speaks quite harshly about the Kurdish usurpers- His language makes his stance very clear.

"From the beginning, you offered yourselves and the homeland (notice he does not say your homeland?) for sale. I wouldn't say you offered your principles, because you had none to begin with. You offered yourselves and the homeland for sale, and there was demand for this kind of goods at the time, and you were paid handsomely and bought, but after the new owners tried you out, and despite all the plastic surgery and improvements and upgrading and modifications , you failed to achieve the required tasks, so they decided to sell you at a discount after demand for you decreased in the international slave market, but at a low price, and they won't find a buyer and they'll probably give you away for free, and no-one will take you.

Assad is being brutally honest with the SDF aka PKK rebrand- Which is the reference to plastic surgery and upgrades- He's clear that the land is not their homeland- It is the homeland.
"And no one will take you" This is a reference,to the fact that now the Kurds have made themselves lepers in Iran & Turkey as well as in Syria (Peace talks between AKP and PKK failed in 2013- the Syrian situation was undoubtedly a factor With the PKK thinking they'd have leverage should they be able to annex Syrian territory all the way to the Med)


"But you were sold without the homeland , because the homeland has actual owners, not thieves. The homeland has a people who view their homeland as their soul whose death would mean their death, while brokers consider the homeland a commodity that they can replace if it's gone after they pay the price. The homeland is like a soul; these are phrases you don't understand the homeland is sacred; these are words whose meaning you don't know, because you are cheap brokers who understand nothing but humiliation and disgrace and who deserve only contempt and disdain."

Assad continues... The soil is not yours. You are not of the soil. The land or soil has real owners who identify with this (true citizens of the land) A reference to the idea of birthright and citizenship.
A solid old world view- when the world had some sense

"The homeland is like a soul" Beautiful.

"Cheap brokers who understand nothing but humiliation and disgrace and who deserve only contempt and disdain." Accurate


BuzzL , Feb 19, 2019 11:01:22 AM | link
The United States is asking Britain, France, Germany and other European allies to take back over 800 ISIS fighters that we captured in Syria and put them on trial. The Caliphate is ready to fall. The alternative is not a good one in that we will be forced to release them ..

-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 17, 2019
"But They Are Dangerous!" European Leaders Shocked At Trump's ISIS Ultimatum

President of the United States of America who promissed to leave Syria (which he won't, not NE and not Al Tanf) informed his European "allies" that the Daesh/IS scum rotting away in SDF jails will soon be set free so they can return to Europe or Europe can voluntarely take them back. So after years of indoctrination committing the most heinous crimes to further Zionist, US and Saudi interests these battle hardened terrorists are forced onto Europe by president US Trump.

Why not make room in that stolen land Guantanamo Bay? Why not move them to their Saudi ideological friends? Or have them set on trial in Syria or Iraq? Even if they're incarcerated in Europe, it's not that they will keep their extreme crazy ideologies to themselves. Daesh itself was nurtured in Iraqi jail cell's.

US president Donald Trump knows perfectly well his insideous plan not only sows division but knows these religious fanatics will launch a new avalanche of terrorist attacks throughout Europe. Trump is not only at war with China and Russia but also with Europe.

William Bowles , Feb 19, 2019 11:45:14 AM | link
bevin | Feb 19, 2019 11:28:40 AM | 49

Balkanisation. Yugoslavia is a perfect example and going back a few years, Biafra in Nigeria. Mini-states have no power, above all, no armies! It was the plan for Iraq and the former USSR.

juliania , Feb 19, 2019 1:49:29 PM | link
Penny@41

I could not find a transcript of Assad's speech, but I do
think your interpretation is wrong. I went to the Syrian
site b linked to, and there are quotations there that do
not sound like a slur on the Syrian Kurds as a community
but rather on those who oppose the government:

"...President al-Assad said that today, terrorism is suffering
defeats in one area after the other, and security is being
restored to millions of Syrians in liberated areas, adding
"with every inch that is liberated, there is an enemy that
is thwarted, and with every inch that is cleansed there is
an agent and a traitor and a mercenary who complains. Why
do they complain? According to their statements, they
complain because their sponsors failed them...today and in
the future, we must realize the fact that the war was between
us Syrians [including Kurds] and terrorists exclusively. We
triumph together, not against each other."

He further states, without naming any group directly, that
"...they have a choice: to be masters in their own land, or
slaves and pawns in the hand of occupiers."

To me that latter statement is that the Syrian Kurds (as
do Chechnyans in Russia) have the choice to be masters
in their own land, which does not sound a bad choice to me.


[Feb 27, 2019] Syria Sitrep - French Officer Criticizes U.S. Way Of War - Assad Offers Kurds Some Autonomy

Feb 27, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jerry , Feb 18, 2019 2:34:45 PM | link

A French colonel who led an artillery group in the fight against ISIS criticized the U.S. way of fighting that war:
Colonel Francois-Regis Legrier, who has been in charge of directing French artillery supporting Kurdish-led groups in Syria since October, said the coalition's focus had been on limiting its own risks and this had greatly increased the death toll among civilians and the levels of destruction.

"Yes, the Battle of Hajin was won, at least on the ground but by refusing ground engagement, we unnecessarily prolonged the conflict and thus contributed to increasing the number of casualties in the population," Mr Legrier wrote in an article in the National Defence Review.

" We have massively destroyed the infrastructure and given the population a disgusting image of what may be a Western-style liberation leaving behind the seeds of an imminent resurgence of a new adversary ," he said, in rare public criticism by a serving officer.

Several times during the last months bad weather prevented the use of aerial bombing and artillery fire against ISIS. The terrorists always used these pauses to counterattack. The poorly armed and led Kurdish/Arab SDF suffered a lot of casualties because of these. The colonel opines that a well armed professional ground force would have shortened the conflict with less casualties and much less damage.

The original essay by the soon to be former colonel was taken down from the web. It is available in French on page 65 of this pdf .

It is still not clear if or when the U.S. forces will leave northeast Syria. President Trump had asked Turkey to take over the area but Syria, Russia, Iran and the Kurdish forces the U.S. used as proxies against ISIS are against this. A U.S. attempt to recruit British, German or French forces to occupy the area failed.

The Syrian ground must obviously be turned back to the Syrian government. The Kurdish forces, controlled by the anarcho-marxist PKK/YPG which Turkey and others designate as terrorists, use their current position to demand political autonomy in the area they now control. The Syrian government is strongly against this. Any federalization of Syria would be the beginning of its end.

Yesterday the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad offered a compromise to the Kurds. In a speech in front of the heads of local councils he announced local council elections and the decentralization of some political decisions. The required law 107 is already in place but its implementation was held up by the war:

[Assad] said that the essence of the local administration law is achieving balance in development across all areas by giving local administrative units the authority to develop their areas in terms of economy, urban development, culture, and services , thereby improving citizens' living conditions by launching projects, providing job opportunities, and providing services locally, particularly in remote areas.

President al-Assad said it is no longer practical to manage the affairs of the society and state and achieved balanced development in the same centralized way that had been used for decades, noting that the population of Syria in 1971 when the previous law was issued was around 7 million, while the population in 2011 when law 107 was issued had reached around 22 million.

That the implementation of elected local administrations is offered now is a clear sign to the Kurds that they can get some autonomy but not the wide ranging one that they ask for. While they can have local elections, councils and administrations as all other areas will have, there will be no separate armed force, police of judicative in Kurdish majority areas.

Several times over the war the Kurds overreached, made too large demands and lost because of it. Turkey took the Afrin area and the Kurdish population had to flee because the Kurdish leadership did not want the Syrian army to take over control. In a later part of the speech Assad again addressed the Kurds without specifically naming them. He warned:

"The Americans will not protect you you will be a bargaining chip in their pocket along with the dollars they have, and they have already started bargaining. If you don't prepare yourselves to defend your country, you will be mere slaves for the Ottomans. Only your state will protect you and only the Syrian Arab Army will defend you when you join it and fight under its banner.

"When we stand in one position and in the same trench, face a single enemy, and aim in the same direction instead of aiming at each other, there will be no worry of any threat no matter how big, His Excellency said.

President al-Assad said the time has come for those groups to decide how history will judge them, and that they have a choice: to be masters in their own land, or slaves and pawns in the hand of occupiers.

The offer is quite clear and the consequences of not accepting it would be harsh. The Kurds and the area they hold must come back under Syrian government control or Turkey will grab it and will put the Kurds under its boots. The pigheadedness of their leadership could easily lead to that. In his speech Assad already predicts that they will reject his offer before - maybe - accepting it.

"As you noticed, I will not name these groups, but as usual, for a few hours or maybe for a few days, they will issue statements attacking this speech, then you will know who I'm talking about," he added.

A few hours after Assad's speech the Kurdish commander of the SDF was again begging the U.S. to keep 1,500 of its troops there.

Mazloum Kobani, commander-in-chief of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), called on international coalition allies to keep 1,000-1,500 troops in Syria.
...
"We would like to have air cover, air support and a force on the ground to coordinate with us," Kobani told reporters at an undisclosed airbase in northeast Syria, Reuters reports.

It is very unlikely that Trump will change his position. The U.S. troops will leave. Only the Syrian government can give the Kurds the protection they need.

How many more Kurds will have to die until their leadership finally accepts that? To the French Colonel:
Wake up dummy as ISIS is C$IA, Mo$$$ad, Deep State.

Go back to France and join the yellow vests. Arrest the Roth$child family, Soros and the other dual citizen banksters who have bled France dry and turned France into Africa. The enemy is in Paris there Colonel and at the bIS in Switzerland, NATO and also in Tel$$ Aviv$.

Syria, Assad and the Russians are not the enemy.

james , Feb 18, 2019 3:08:44 PM | link

thanks b...

erdogan is not going to change... putin has to address this, however he addresses it..

usa-west is not going to change either.. the withdrawal sounds good on paper, but they will find a way to throw a spoke in everything.

kurds have an outside chance of changing..

so, it is a frozen type dynamic at present, waiting on turkey or russia to make the next move... kurds don't seem capable of making the right move here... they find whatever the usa dangles in front of them, enough to continue to fantasize about their future independence.

erdogan never saw a renamed terrorist he didn't like, so long as it wasn't a kurd... until this changes, we are still on track for ww3.. we just had a slight pause in the same direction..

psychohistorian , Feb 18, 2019 3:12:05 PM | link
Thanks for the ongoing Syria reporting b

The Kurds I suspect are getting mixed messages from other members of NATO and some of those message promise them a better position then where they are headed if the US completes its pull out and doesn't backfill with mercenaries as the only choice now.

I don't see the US EVER leaving the ME unless the private finance issue is resolved or the US goes bankrupt and can't project war anymore . I think the later is most likely and fast approaching but will the cancer of private finance empire find another host to control by then is the question

Mikalina , Feb 18, 2019 3:22:33 PM | link
"How many more Kurds will have to die until their leadership finally accepts that?"

Syrian Kurds were second class inhabitants of Syria before the US invasion and there is nothing to suggest that they will not be second class inhabitants after the 'peace'. Perhaps they would prefer to die fighting, rather than live in chains; the true meaning of the real 'peshmerga' - their souls go on before.

John Daywww.johndayblog.com , Feb 21, 2019 12:16:39 PM | link
The French Colonel's essay is available here, translated to English quite well.

http://www.johndayblog.com/2019/02/wars-fail.html

Eleni Tsigante, an Athenian of ancient family, has translated to English, the essay by a French Colonel, commander of artillery of NATO coalition forces in Syria, which was referenced in the Moon of Alabama article.
This essay has ceased to be available online, but I copy what she has sent me, with thanks to her and to Colonel François-Régis Legrier.