This article was originally written for the Unz Review: http://www.unz.com/tsaker/week-eleven-of-the-russian-intervention-in-syria-a-step-back-from-the-brink
This has been an amazing week. While last week I concluded that “The only way to avoid a war is to finally give up, even if that is initially denied publicly, on the “Assad must go” policy”. Now it is true that various US officials, including Kerry, did make statements about the fact that Assad need not go right now, that a “transition” was important or that “the institutions of the state” had to be preserved, but of course what I, and many others really meant, was that the US needed to fundamentally change its policy towards the Syrian conflict. Furthermore, since Turkey committed an act of war against Russia under the “umbrella” of the US and NATO, this also created a fantastically dangerous situation in which a rogue state like Turkey could have the impression of impunity because of its membership in NATO. Here again, what was needed was not just a positive statement, but a fundamental change in US policy.
There is a possibility that this fundamental change might have happened this week. Others have a very different interpretation of what took place and I am not categorically affirming that it did – only time will show – but at least it is possible that it has. Let’s look at what happened.
First, there were some very unambiguous statements from John Kerry in Moscow. The most noticed ones were:
“As I emphasized today, the United States and our partners are not seeking so-called “regime change,” as it is known in Syria” source.
“Now, we don’t seek to isolate Russia as a matter of policy, no” source.
Now, I am acutely aware that Kerry has “lost” every single negotiation he has had with the Russians and I have written about that many times. I am also aware that Kerry has a record of saying A while with the Russians and non-A as soon as he gets back home. Finally, I also understand that Kerry is not the one really making the decisions but that this is what the US “deep state” does. But with all those caveats in mind, it is undeniable that these two statements constitute an official, if not necessarily factual, 180 degree turn, an abandonment of official US goals towards both Russia and Syria. Furthermore, we have seen not only words, but actual actions from the Americans. First, the US and Russia have agreed to draft a common list of “recognized terrorists” (as opposed to “moderate” freedom fighters). While it is debatable as to who will end up on the “good guys list”, it is certain that all those who matter in Syria – al-Qaeda and Daesh – will make it to the “bad guys” list. That, in turn, will make it much harder, but not impossible (remember the Contras!) for the US to continue to assist and finance them. But the US did something even more interesting:
The USA announced that it was withdrawing 12 of its F-15s from Turkey, 6 F-15C and 6 F-15E. Now this might not look like much, but these are highly symbolic aircraft as they are the aircraft which were suspected of “covering” for the Turkish F-16s which shot down the Russian SU-24. The F-15Cs, in particular, are pure air-to-air fighters which could only have been directed at the Russian aircraft in Syria. Of course, the US declared that this was a normal rotation, that it has been an exercise, but the bottom line is here: while NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg had promised to reinforce the NATO presence in Turkey, the US just pulled out 12 of its top of the line aircraft. Compare that with the Russians who continued to increase their capabilities in Syria, especially their artillery (see here, here and here). Furthermore, there is this very interesting news item: “Erdogan’s Spin Machine Now Blames Su-24 Shoot-Down on Turkish Air Force Chief”. Read the full article, it appears that there is a trial balloon launched in the Turkish social media to blame the downing of the SU-24 on the Turkish Air Force Chief (nevermind that Erdogan publicly declared that he personally gave that order). Finally, Russia succeeded in getting a unanimous decision of the UNSC to adopt a Russian resolution targeting Daesh finances. Needless to say, if the Resolution was officially aimed at Daesh money sources, it really puts Qatar, Saudi Arabia and, especially, Turkey in a very difficult situation: not only does the Resolution foresee sanctions against any country or entity dealing with Daesh, but the investigation of any claims of such financial relationships will be conducted by the UN. According to Russia Today,
The resolution also asks countries to report on what they have accomplished in disrupting IS’ financing within the next 120 days. It also calls on UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to write up a “strategic-level report” analyzing IS’ sources of revenue within 45 days. “We are counting on it to be a very concrete and honest report,” Churkin told RT. Churkin also mentioned Turkey’s involvement in the illegal oil trade with IS, stressing that Turkish individuals as well as companies could be sanctioned under the resolution. He added that countries could even be sanctioned “if it turned out that [one of them] has not implemented enough effective measures against the fight of financial terrorism.” According to the UN envoy, Russia was the only member that could provide proof of concrete schemes used by other countries to engage in illegal oil trade with Islamic State or how IS able to use the revenue from those transactions to purchase weapons from other countries, particularly from a few in Eastern Europe. The document, which is based on UN Charter Article VII and takes effect immediately, calls for members to “move vigorously and decisively to cut the flow of funds” to IS. It says that governments must prevent its citizens from funding or providing services to “terrorist organizations or individual terrorists for any purpose, including but not limited to recruitment, training, or travel, even in the absence of a link to a specific terrorist act.”
So not only do the Russians now have the means to channel their intelligence about the collaboration between Daesh and Turkey to the UNSC, but the Secretary General will now produce a report based, in part, on this intelligence. This is all very, very bad news for Ankara.
So what is happening here?
Here is what I think might have happened.
First, the downing of the Russian SU-24 is becoming a major liability. The Russians have immediately claimed that this was a carefully planned and cowardly ambush, but now top western experts agree. This is very embarrassing, and it could get much worse with the deciphering of the flight recorders of the SU-24 (which the Russians have found and brought to Moscow). The picture which emerges is this: not only was this a deliberate provocation, an ambush, but there is overwhelming evidence that the Turks used the information the Russians have provided to the USA about their planned sorties. The fact that the Americans gave that information to the Turks is bad enough, but the fact that the Turks then used that information to shoot down a Russian aircraft makes the US directly responsible. The USA is also responsible by the simple fact that there is no way the Turks could have set up this complex ambush without the USA knowing about it. Now, it is possible that some in the US military machine knew about it while others didn’t. This entire operation sounds to me like exactly the kind of goofball plan the CIA is famous for, so maybe Kerry at State or even Obama did not really “know” about it. Or they did and are now pretending like they did not. Whatever may be the case, the US is now obviously trying to “off-load” this latest screwup on Erdogan who himself is trying to off-load it on his Air Force chief. What is certain is that the plan failed, the Russians did not take the bait and did not retaliate militarily, and that now the political consequences of this disaster are starting to pile up. As for Erdogan, he wanted to come out of this as the Big Pasha, the tough man of the region, but he now looks like an irresponsible coward (Putin ridiculed how the Turks ran to NATO as soon as the Russian SU-24 was shot down when he said: ”they immediately ran to Brussels, shouting: “Help, we have been hurt.” Who is hurting you? Did we touch anybody there? No. They started covering themselves with NATO.”). Even the US and Europe are, reportedly, fed up and angry with him. As for the Russians, they seem to believe that he is a “Saakashvili v2” – a guy with whom there is nothing to discuss and whom the Kremlin considers as politically dead.
Second, look at Syria. Even under maximal pressure, the Russians did not yield or show signs of hesitation but did the exact opposite: they more than doubled their presence, brought in heavy artillery systems and even floated the idea of opening a 2nd major airport in Syria (this intention was later denied by Russian officials). For the Americans this meant something very simple: while the Russians are much weaker in Syria than the USA, they were clearly undeterred and were not only holding their ground, but digging in. In other words, they were ready for war.
I want to believe that the various warnings issued by many, including myself, might have contributed to convince the US analysts that the Russians were really ready to fight. First, there is Peter Lavelle who on his RT show CrossTalk has been warning about the path to war for literally months now. But there have been many others, including Pepe Escobar, Paul Craig Roberts, Alastair Crooke, Stephen Landeman, Stephen Cohen, who were sounding the alarm and warning the Empire that Russia would not ‘blink’ or ‘back down’ and that war was a very real, possibly inevitable, danger (you can see some my own warnings about that here, here, here and, of course, in my last week’s column). I know how the intelligence process works and I believe that such a loud chorus of warnings might well have played a rule in the US decision to change course, if only for the immediate future.
As I have stressed over and over again, the “tactical-operational contingent of the Russian AirSpace forces in Syria” (that is their official name) is small, isolated and vulnerable. Syria is stuck between NATO and CENTCOM and the US can, if needed, bring an immense amount of firepower into Syria and there is nothing the Russians could do about that. See for yourself how many air bases the US has in CENTCOM and Turkey by clicking here: http://imageshack.com/a/img908/9391/B61WCG.jpg (high resolution, 7MB image created by SouthFront). But there is one thing even a small force can do: become a “tripwire” force.
Regardless of the limited capabilities of the Russian task force in Syria, it was large enough to be considered a “tripwire” force – one which attacked would result in a full-scale war with Russia. If the Americans had any doubts about that, they were instantly dispelled when they heard Putin officially declared that “I order you to act very extreme resolve. Any targets that threaten Russia’s group or our terrestrial infrastructure is to be immediately destroyed”.
The combination of all these factors was, apparently, sufficient to convince the US to step on the brakes before things really got out of hand.
Again, I am not affirming that this is what took place, but I want to believe that I am correct and that somebody in the USA finally understood that war with Russia was inevitable if the USA continued on the same course and took the decision to stop before it was too late. If this is really what happened, this is extremely encouraging and very, very good news. While stupidity and insanity, not to mention outright evil, are definitely present in the AngloZionist Empire’s top command, there is always the possibility for decent and sane men to do the right thing and try to stop the crazies (like Admiral Mike Mullen did when the Neocons wanted to start a war with Iran).
The other big even of the week was, of course, the annual press conference of Vladimir Putin. I have posted the full text on my blog, so I will only mention one particularly interesting part here: Putin was asked about whether Russia wanted to keep a base in Syria forever. Here is what he replied:
Some people in Europe and the US repeatedly said that our interests would be respected, and that our [military] base can remain there if we want it to. But I do not know if we need a base there. A military base implies considerable infrastructure and investment. After all, what we have there today is our planes and temporary modules, which serve as a cafeteria and dormitories. We can pack up in a matter of two days, get everything aboard Antei transport planes and go home. Maintaining a base is different. Some believe, including in Russia, that we must have a base there. I am not so sure. Why? My European colleagues told me that I am probably nurturing such ideas. I asked why, and they said: so that you can control things there. Why would we want to control things there? This is a major question. We showed that we in fact did not have any medium-range missiles. We destroyed them all, because all we had were ground-based medium-range missiles. The Americans have destroyed their Pershing ground-based medium-range missiles as well. However, they have kept their sea- and aircraft-based Tomahawks. We did not have such missiles, but now we do – a 1,500-kilometre-range Kalibr sea-based missile and aircraft-carried Kh-101 missile with a 4,500-kilometre range. So why would we need a base there? Should we need to reach somebody, we can do so without a base. It might make sense, I am not sure. We still need to give it some thought. Perhaps we might need some kind of temporary site, but taking root there and getting ourselves heavily involved does not make sense, I believe. We will give it some thought.
I find that reply quiet amazing. Can you imagine a US President actually thinking that way and openly saying it? Putin is quite obviously making fun of the so-called “experts” who have been telling us for years how much Russia cared about a base in Tartus and who now tell us that the airbase in Khmeimim is the next “forever base” for Russia not so much to protect Syria but to project Russian power. It turns out that Russia has no interest and no desire for any such costly power projection: “ Should we need to reach somebody, we can do so without a base”.
By the way, this translation is incorrect. What Putin really said was “Если кого-то надо достать, мы и так достанем”. The word “dostat’” is translated here by “reach” but I would translate it by “get” meaning “if we need to get somebody (in the sense of “strike at somebody”) we can already do that (i.e. without a base)”. This was most definitely a veiled threat even if the official translation does not render it accurately (and yes, a supersonic and stealthy cruise missile with a reach of 4’500km does allow Russia to ‘get’ anybody anywhere on the planet, especially when delivered by aircraft with a 12’000km flying range).
When western leaders and expert assume that Russia is about building bases abroad they are really only projecting their own, imperial, mindset. I have said that over and over again: Russia has no intention of ever become an empire again simply because being an empire is bad for Russia. All Russia wants is to be a truly sovereign state and not to be a colony of the AngloZionists, but she has no intention whatsoever of becoming an “anti-USA” or a “Soviet Union reloaded”. Hillary can scare herself at night with nightmare of Putin rebuilding the USSR, but there is no constituency in Russia for such a plan. Russia wants to be free and strong, yes, but an empire, no.
It is quite amazing to see how western leaders and experts project their own mindset unto others and then end up terrifying themselves in the process. It’s quite pathetic, really.
In conclusion I will just add that it is quite likely that the focus will shift back to the Ukraine again. Not only is the Ukraine hours away from an official default, but the Ukronazis are openly threatening Crimea with, I kid you not, a “naval blockade”! Considering the lack of US and NATO enthusiasm for Erdogan’s shooting down of the Russian SU-24, I very much doubt that anybody in the West will be happy with that goofy idea. So between the economic collapse, the political chaos, the coming winter and the Nazi freaks and their crazy plans to fight Russia, there is a pretty good chance that the next flashpoint will be in the Nazi-occuppied Ukraine again. I doubt that the US has the “mental CPU power” to deal with both crises at the same time, at least not in a sustained and energetic manner. That, again, is good news – the Empire is over-committed and overstretched and that is typically the only situation when it is willing to compromise. We shall soon know if my very cautious optimism is warranted or not.
I have a question: is the US state sufficiently unified for such a change in policy to be entirely credible, given the long-expressed ambition of the neocons and liberal interventionists to partition Iraq and Syria, and given the likely next President?
Is it possible for Russia to not be an empire? Apologies for being so Western in thinking, but it seems to me that holding things together for Moscow looks like an impossible task without a strong and somewhat imperialistic approach. In my opinion, Russia can’t be “just another country”. It wouldn’t be Russia in that case.
It depends on how you look at it. Some would call Russia an “Empire”. And others a “Union, or Federation, or World”. All of those are used to describe Russia at times. But remember whatever we call her,she has had several hundred years of being what she is.
Russia has had periods of growing as an empire and falling apart as an empire over the last 300 years or so. Such a huge place with so many different groups, cultures, and so on within it requires an ideology and a respect for the central authorities to hold it together. Look at how quickly the USSR fell apart. Sure, the elite were full of criminals who wanted to steal everything, but the other side of things was that the center said “We don’t want an empire.” OK, but why should, say, Dagestan stay? Can some area with relatively large natural resources become independent to become rich? Why not? And it goes without saying that there is no real ideology or grand purpose these days. There is a super-aristocracy/oligarchy of those who stole everything. Thus, Russians own more of the so-called super-yachts than any other nationality. More than Americans, Saudis, or anybody. Because they have this super-aristocracy from the privatizations of Soviet assets. And they are perhaps hated more than the aristocracy of 1910.
Many Western analysts expected Russia to fall apart. It would have been natural. It was unnatural in a way that Putin came along and managed to hold things together.
Anyway, it is just an opinion. I don’t think Russia can be a “normal” country even though many Russians think it would be a good idea. First of all, a normal country doesn’t belong on the UN Security Council or have nuclear bombs. It is like saying the US should be a normal country. How could that happen?
But natural “selection” there are 4 nations fated to be World leaders. By size,population,culture,history,military power,resources,location. Those are China,the US,Russia,and India. With probably 20 or so others also of great importance in the World. While no nation isn’t important in its own right. There are just some that for whatever reasons have developed greater than others.
OK, but those are opinions. Others might say that Brazil and Indonesia should be on your list. Brazil’s GDP is probably seriously higher than Russia’s these days, though I could be wrong. My point was simply that, once the logic of something is removed, what are you left with? You talk about how the Ukraine belonged as part of Russia, and that is a totally “imperialistic” approach. True, but imperialistic. Anyway, it is just an opinion. I think Spain, Argentina, and Thailand can hope to be “normal” countries, but not Russia. We wouldn’t be here at this blog if Russia were a normal country, as it wouldn’t matter. Who cares what Thailand thinks about Syria?
It depends upon how you look at things. I see the current borders as being dubious. The Crimea should have been part of Russia at the end of the USSR, and probably various majority-Russian areas should have been in that category as well. The West is working hard to break Russia up, and seems to think it is totally feasible and natural. At least that is what lots of Russian blogs claim.
I think it is more natural in its present state. How would Dagestan even exist separately from Russia? On its own it has no connection to the outside world. Maritime access for Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, and Turkmenistan is only reachable through Russia’s river system. There is also road and airspace that makes them dependent. They cannot exist solely on pipelines unless the people are expecting to seriously devalue their lives.
Sorry in advance, for the Godfather analogy, but Russia (militarily) with China(economic) is the young Vito Corleone played by De Niro, while the US is Fanucci.
Sure Russia can be just another country, as long as it is not being attacked by the empire. When the empire loses Russia can then go back to being just another country. Being an empire is never obligatory, or wise, even if self-defense might be.
Why on earth would Russia want to be an empire? It outgrew that nonsense at the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries, while the US and Europeans became more insane and capitalistic.
I would say Russia is an Empire unto itself. Is it predatory and imperialistic? They are developing good relations with whomever wants to develop good relations according to the rules of the road so to speak. Look at Syria-if Syrian’s were not willing to fight for themselves Russia would not be helping to ensure an even playing field. They walked away from Turkey, South Stream. They turned East when hit with sanctions they didn’t bully twist arms and cut off anyone’s gas or start WW3 even over the fascist coup in Ukraine. And a good example why Russia didn’t go into Ukraine, because it is up to the Ukrainian’s to fight for themselves Will she allow others’ to decide the terms of what is good for Ukraine NO! Not when it involves an existential threat to Russia. That is what Minsk if for. Will Russia ever again let anyone take advantage of her more than once. Not a chance. Not in the foreseeable future anyway. The US can talk all it wants, but it is behaviour that Russia will be watching. Russia will act according to her values and interests as a responsible Sovereign on the world stage. Russia is not drunk with power. Russia is sober and has a sober President. The Victory in Syria will be the Victory of the Syrian people-not Russia’s and that hour is fast approaching. The resistance of the Syrian people to the takfir invasion sponsored by NATO and Co including Israel will see to that. Turkey tried to intrude upon Iraq this past week. One call from Ayatollah Sistani put an end to that. Not the UN not the US and Not Russia. But it is nice to have an honest broker on the field isn’t it?
Turkey tried to intrude upon Iraq this past week.
Anonymous on December 19, 2015 · at 7:52 pm UTC
Yes I am aware of that and NATO support for Israel/Turkey puppet Barzani illegal leader of KRG-More on this here,
Actually a pretty good write up and of course http://www.voltairenet.org/en has always been an excellent source for information on competing interests in MENA.
Thierry Meyssan has been writing from Damascus for the past few years.
The definition of an empire is where a nation conquers peoples and their lands and incorporates them into the polity against their will. By that definition, Russia, China, and the United States are empires, as are several other nations–Canada, Japan and India are three. Another way to look at it is if the people are able to participate in what’s known as Popular Sovereignty or Self Determination with the freedom to form their own state. Tribalism complicates this quite quickly. And colonial powers with no knowledge of the peoples they conquered and arbitrarily drew up states/ borders for created much chaos, strife, misery, and death, and still have much to answer for.
like the entire Mid-East under the British, which divided the Ottoman ’empire’ into Iraq, Iran, etc.
I can see why Erdogan wants to rebuild it but he won’t , poor boy
The modern nation state is one premised upon conquest and assimilation and thus fits your definition of empire. Indeed, there are minority groups found in most nations that have insurgent groups that agitate for self-rule and independence This is true of small and large nations alike–including the imperialist democracies of the West.
Hence, Australia and New Zealand are Anglo colonizer empires based upon the ethnic cleansing and conquest of Maori and Aboriginal peoples. Britain clings to its neocolonies like Northern Ireland, Scotland, etc. Turkey occupies Kurdistan. Spain is hostile to Basque and Catalan struggles for independence, etc.
And then there is Israel.
Paul: You are right in saying that Russia cannot be “just another country.” Russia is a multinational state based on conquest and autocracy. It now faces the challenge of holding the state together by transforming it into a state based on consent. Being so large and diverse, Russia will always have to deal with far more domestic and international hot spots than most states do. But it is not driven to expand, as were the British, French, Belgian, Italian, and German Empires. Being recognized as a great power is all it needs.
In 1992, I took a group of students to Moscow for a course on Russian politics. The FSB had just opened an office for relations with the public. I contacted them, and they agreed to meet with our group. I asked the first question: “What will be the role of your organization in the new democratic Russia.” I will never forget the Colonel’s answer: “The role of our organization will always be determined by the fact that Russia is a great power. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I like it. I would prefer if we could be like Switzerland, but we can’t be.”
This sounded absurd in the summer of 1992, a time when Russia as the rump Soviet Union, was struggling to get up off the ground.
Since then, however, looking at the map, thinking about Russian history and its situation in the world today, I have come to appreciate the Colonel’s remark. Not all countries need to be great powers. Not all countries need to conduct an independent foreign policy–not even former imperial powers, like Great Britain and France. But Russia needs both.
As I remember, it was Davutoglu, not Erdogan, who claimed he gave the shoot-down order.
Russia needs no empire, because: “being an empire is bad for Russia.” Quote of Saker.
1. Russia does need to reunify the Russian people, many of whom were dispersed (and left without rights, or even, protection of their lives and property), after 1990.
Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belorussia, Kazakhstan, Georgia, Ukraine, (South & East Brooklyn – humor), and a few other places to the south of Russia, and in the Caucasian area. Do I need a verb?
2. Russia needs a few alliances, such as the “Anti-Fascist Alliance” with Syria, Hezbollah, Iran, & a few others, (has anyone noted that this boy from Brooklyn has the temerity-unmitigated gaul- to actually Give a Name to the alliance the Russian leaders have established in the Middle East? Do you think the Russians will take note, and adopt the Name for their alliance? The Name holds a VISION. It accurately describes the purpose of the alliance. Hint: the VISION is always moral.
3. A few Russian operated military bases in other parts of the world is a positive idea (specially from a military perspective). It renders more difficult an imperialist attack on Russia, as the foreign Russian bases will expand the areas the Zionist imperialists must attack in order to enable their attacks on central Russia.
For the time being, these Naval and Air bases in Syria, enable the Russian Air Corps and support troops to efficiently operate, and carry the war to the enemy. President Vladimir Putin did hint that the Russian bases in Syria would remain in use – as long as they were needed, (until the job was done).
4. I remain furious at the Russian Leaders’ lack of empathy for the French Resistance. It is a huge moral and political error, and may serve to bite them, and their surrounded nation, in the ass, in the years to come.
*I wish all at the Saker, The Saker and his family, (and including the fools who disagree with me – joke), a Happy Christmas, and successful New Year!
For the Democratic Republics!
[which are far superior to Zionist-American imperialist dictatorships, as well as the “Dictatorship of the Proletariat.”]
Syrian MIG-21 in Deir Ez Zor goes on bombing run…
Tires last change was in 1973
Hmmmm.. Now Canada also directing IS?
There are 69 Canadian special forces trainers on the ground and the incident will likely re-ignite the debate about whether the troops are involved in combat.
Canada’ SpecialForces engaged in largest firefight yet with ISIS in Northern Iraq yesterday
Wreckage of the downed by Turkey Russian #Su24, pilot’s helmet ,ejection seat,parachute
Next to the downed Russia jet wreckage u can see food aid provided by #Qatar to Islamists in that area
Video from crash site of #Russian Su-24 in #Latakia CS
Do you guys still wonder how #ISIS fighter reach #Syria & #Iraq, a story in one photo #TwitterKurds #Turkey
As usual, excellent analysis with thoughtful ideas Saker. There are many excellent analyses out there, but your added value is the unique human and intuitive perspective that you provide.
No matter what is happening on the surface, I do not believe one second that the USA is learning anything at all. They simply change their strategy to suit the changing circumstances. The USA is a fat liar and a resilient psychopath bent on conquering the whole world to serve their own selfish interests at the expense of everyone else. Period.
Everything should be analyzed from that point of view. They are losing everywhere (financially bankrupt, socially decayed, spiritually empty, politically broken) and they are simply trying to catch the broken parts as they are flying all over the room.
Do not trust USA, they are psychopathic liars.
definitely i agree with you. everything they do on their wrong path is, simple said, wrong. it cannot be right. this all things looks like that whole planet is in some permanent ” hostage crisis “, thanks to Washington and EU. i hope that Russia would be able to “negotiate” positive outcome for “hostages”. all of us. including american people.
and this analysis is why ‘the saker’ is a must read! Thanks.
Naval Blockade update:
Russia welcomes the Ukie effort. They are looking for live fire target practice and aerating the Glorious Navy of the Glorious Banderite Junta should provide about ten minutes worth of shooting before all vessels are sunk and all blockaders are sent to their Heavenly Home in Hell.
I keep saying these conflagrations by Kiev should be streamed live. I’d pay to watch them get blown away.
Please, Santa.That’s what I want for Christmas. Bring it on. Let’s get this “war” over. Launch the blockade, and set loose the ground offensive, Porky.
From Putin’s demeanor and language about Turkey licking parts of the Hegemon’s body, it is fairly clear that the default on the loan, the killing of children and raping of women in Donbass by the nazis has Putin thinking of justice time.
I’d say that the nazis will be shredded in their tanks and armored shells, incinerated and turned to cadavers by the thousands fairly rapidly.
Since the EU has already extended the sanctions on Russia there is nothing to lose. An attack on Russian Crimea assets or naval blockade are acts of war which will open the legal doors for Russia to destroy the government of Kiev, seize the remaining regions of Novorossiya and end the proxy war by installing a new border regime much closer geographically to NATO than they thought possible.
The starving Ukies will be clustered as refugees inside the remaining spaces of Ukraine.
Then Europe can have them.
Bring it on. Russia is in the mood for war. LIke the Turkey-Russia war of Syria, it will last 48 hrs.
This is a great analysis that stresses the hope for reason and communication in the face of strategic incoherence. One caveat I have is that notion of a “deep state” becomes prone to occultism.
This strategic incoherence is a consequence of institutional and economic schisms, both psychological and practical. The “deep state,” such as it exists, consists of a common need for omerta.
When Americans were going after Bush and Cheney over “war crimes” and “torture” I cringed because it was myopic historically and crazy politically given the lack of any institution or agreement to hold the accused to account.
In the longer term, the inter- and intraservice rivalries in the US state seem more about the CIA getting access to the Pentagon’s bombs by one method or another.
Europe and Turkey closed airspace for Russian Long-Range Aviation planes carrying out airstrikes on Daesh positions in Syria, forcing Russian pilots to reroute, Deputy Commander Maj. Gen. Anatoly Konovalov said Saturday.
Turkey new ally in Lattakia northern cs.. IslamicState banner seized by SAA
130 Blackwater elite forces killed in #Yemen clashes this month, says Houthi run Defense Ministry
pssst.. How come no one talks about this?
The Germans and French made a deal with Putin to save their terrorists errr mercenaries errr special forces trapped in Ukraine..
The US made a deal with Putin to save their terrorists errr mercenaries errr special forces trapped in Syria..
There must be many hundreds of them.. Just like the almost 500 of them in Ukraine. Easy to get a few dozen out but quite difficult to get hundreds of them out when stealth cruise missiles are flying around and RuAF is bombing unintended targets.. Could also be a major number of nato special forces.. Russia has been killing Turkish intelligence operatives on purpose and targeting them above all else..
When I was in Russia 2 months back, I spoke to a paratrooper* about Debaltseve, and he told me that the (I assumed Russian) Spetsnaz helped out there, and then left – job done. I asked him about whether there had been any mercenaries there – as strelkov had reported that a deal had been done for the Donbass to keep quiet about them – and he said: ‘No’.
* How did I know he was a genuine paratrooper? Because he had a pile of photos over one inch thick, of him in uniform, and with various high ranking military figures.
Ralph, I don’t doubt the honesty of your source. But I do think some foreign mercs may have been pulled out of Debaltsevo before the cauldron was shut. Maybe they were sent to Mariupol?
A lot of effort was put into denying the presence of Western mercs — Interpreter Mag the Khodorkovsky outfit’s Catherine A. Fitzpatrick in particular has fiercely denied it. After German and Russian media reports that ‘son of Blackwater’ Greystone/XE contractors were sent to Donetsk in March 2014, StopFake in particular published a disingenuous piece that completely sidesteps and then obfuscates the question of why these ‘Ukrainian’ operators never spoke a word of Ukrainian or Russian on the video that made it to the Daily Mail, instead discussing the crowd supposedly chanting ‘go to work’ ‘which in Russian can sound like Blackwater’. I wonder which Langley adviser to the SBU came up with that one.
Then there’s the video of the Ukrainian National Guardsman with Western-style gear speaking fluent Italian to a group of reporters from Italy at the start of the conflict:
and one Russian TV video of what sounds like English being spoken to a Turkish reporter with Polish accents outside Slavyansk when the locals angrily confront the mercs in Russian, they’re barely able to respond in what sounds to me like Russian the Poles were trying to recall from (Warsaw Pact era) high school in the late 1980s — these guys look like in their mid 40s to me:
I do have to wonder if the high rates of pay the Saudis, Qataris and UAE are offering mercs to fight their losing war in Yemen might not have diverted some of the Empire’s ‘talent’ from the Donbass front.
After learning about Libya and how SAS were directing mercenaries and how they were the ones who killed ghadifi’s body guards and called in the terrorists to kill ghadifi, I wont believe anything. And here they broke every rule in the book and then some including many UN resolutions and laws of war. I dont expect them to do other wise in places like ukraine..
Anyone really believe the British when they say they have special forces on the ground in Syria to engage IS? Especially when there is more than enough evidence that many of the fortifications of the SAA were bypassed or destroyed using modern battlefield tactics.. Which requires decades of learning and first hand experience and the most important thing, situational awareness which only nato like entities are capable off. We also know Russia was using ECM devices in ukraine to negate the advantage of modern field communications and situational awareness and hence why ukraine lost.. Russia did not give Syria such technology hence why it was so successful in Syria and even Iraq.
I would add one point.
The deep state puppeteers added China to the SDR basket with virtually no reduction of the US share. It all came from Europe.
In other words, the EU has paid all costs. The AngloZionists win again — while the military buildup continues on all sides.
We have heard of the names.. But not the details.. Maybe saker can write something up as well.. Putin is well centered compared to those others in power next to Putin. Just imagine if we have a russian version of mccain or samantha powers or hillary or any number of nut cases. They wont remain cam like Putin and take it.. Since their only options is nukes it would be their first option. I can imagine a country shooting down a US fighter.. It would look like Libya or Afghanistan..
The Danger After Putin
America’s neocons are lusting for their ultimate “regime change” – destabilizing Russia and getting rid of President Putin – but they ignore the likelihood that the leader after Putin would be a much more hardline nationalist, a prospect addressed by Gilbert Doctorow.
However, as my well-informed taxi drivers tell me, the man one heart-beat away from Putin is Sergei Ivanov, who would make Putin look like a pussy-cat in dealing with the West. And if not Ivanov, the next in line is likely Dmitry Rogozin, another fervent patriot and Kremlin favorite.
December 18, 2015
John Kerry’s Moscow Lovefest
by Mike Whitney
that’s a great link, I’ll just excerpt some parts here:
The Russian-led coalition is methodically going about its work, reopening the main highways, securing the border, liberating cities and villages across western and northwestern corridor, destroying oil fields, refineries and tanker trucks, rolling up jihadis wherever they find them, and gradually restoring the power of the central government. It’s a much tougher slog than many had anticipated, but that has a lot to do with the fact that anti-regime militias appear to be getting logistical support from allies outside the country. (Who could that be, I wonder?)
In any event, the situation on the ground is bad enough that Kerry decided it was better to swallow his pride and climb-down on the “Assad must go” demand, to see if Russia would go-easy on Obama’s “moderate” terrorists presently fighting in Syria. This is the real reason Kerry flew to Moscow.
This is also why the Saudis convened a two-day conference that included the various Syrian opposition groups just last week. The Saudis are trying desperately to create a fig leaf of legitimacy for the many groups of terrorists that have torn Syria to shreds in order to remove Assad and establish an Islamic Caliphate. The Russian-led offensive has forced the Saudis to rethink their approach. Now the Saudis want to create an umbrella group of so called “moderate” opposition forces who will be spared Russia’s wrath and allowed to participate in future negotiations on Syria’s political future. Unfortunately, it’s all for show. Washington’s objectives haven’t changed and neither have Riyadh’s. The Pentagon hawks are already gearing up for the next phase of the war as are the Saudis, in fact, just this week the Saudis launched an initiative to create a “Islamic military alliance devoted to combating global terrorism.”
Got that? The Saudis want to spearhead the fight against terror, which is bit like Xaviera Hollander chairing the Chastity League. Naturally, the macabre irony of the endeavor was lost on the media which reported the story without questioning the credibility of the source.
Saker’s analysis: This is one of your best. Thanks. We shall see now if the Daesh fighters start to “melt away” to congeal themselves elsewhere as directed. As for the Ukraine, just as Germans said no when Turkey wanted NATO support, it is quite possible that they will let the Ukies self destruct as long as it does not get too chaotic and impacts them. It is a US election year but at the same time Obama is a lame duck so he can set up a much more stable world scenario to turn over to his successor which may be the long term plan to neutralize the “crazies” in US politics.
Your analysis leaves out the ovious; a growing factional situation in the U.S. in response to both the financial and strategic situation. There is a British Empire faction which controls Obama, and then there is the rest. One has a mass kill policy for humanity using the financial collapse of the global ponzi derivative banking system, the other would prefer survival. One wants to stir up as much disruption to stop the BRICS, and the One Road One Belt global developtment persective, the other is not clear on what it wants in this respect. One sees any collaboration between the nation of Russia, and the nation of the U.S, as a strategic threat to the still historically efficient Anglo-Dutch empire, the other is more muddled and confused and not clear on this. One thing is certain. As long as the British Empire faction controls the nuclear button, ie Obama, nuclear war is virtually certain. That is why there are rumblings now in the U.S. for the use of the 25th amendment to remove Obama. How this factional situation is resolved in the U.S. in response to Putin’s actions will determine the fate of humanity.
Nuclear War won’t happen because Nuclear Weapons don’t work, as explained by Anders Björkman. What has worked very well for seventy years now is Nuclear Propaganda, just like Holocaust Gas Chamber Propaganda, Moon Landing Propaganda, and indeed all Human Space Travel Propaganda.
Hoaxes work, and rule. They entirely and completely explain the collusion we’re seeing between the U.S. and Russia with regard to things like 9/11. They seem to have some sort of agreement not to upset each other’s piles of hoaxes.
If you believe in Nukes, please point me to physical evidence of any nuclear detonation ever having occurred anywhere on planet Earth. I’m not talking about fake photos or videos of mushroom clouds, but about huge scale vitrification and cratering. Because sure these thermonuclear babes will have left some traces, hmm?
Reality vs Hoaxters
Spreading a little cognitive dissonance are we?Paris was a hoax!Sandy Hook was a hoax!Life is a hoax!Reality is a hoax!There’s no such thing as a nuclear bomb!removed.C’mon man,this hoax meme seems to me,to be just a huge pysops campaign designed to screw with peoples rational thought.removed
Look,go ask some soldiers if they really witnessed a nuclear blast.Yeah,I know,that’s what they call real research.Try it……
No attacking other commenter. Antagonistic remarks have been removed. Your link wasn’t working.Mod TR
Okay, KM. It seems that you were unable to point me to any physical evidence of a nuclear detonation anywhere on planet Earth. (Reason being there is none.)
What astonishes me is that people often react with anger if told that something very bad didn’t happen or isn’t possible, just as you appear to have done here. People in general cling to their world view even if this world view has crazy, insane, pathological stuff such as souls burning in Hell, people being poisoned in Gas Chambers by the thousands, or humanity facing extermination by Nuclear Weapons.
I think it’s a symptom of people not wanting to be at odds with the authorities, which in “Western” societies are installed into individual minds via the gamut of opinions and attitudes propagated by mass media. Any thought that is not represented in mass media is suspect to the Western mind. The people who are allegedly so individual are indeed very conformist.
The people you mention, and yourself, and other writers I have found, and the books I have read over the last 15 years or so, are quite frighteningly small in number.
You guys however, make all the difference in a world, which on several levels is seemingly descending into a state of near insanity.
I honestly didn’t think it could happen – not in my lifetime. I was born shortly after WWII, and yet now we are dangerously close to a Nuclear WWIII.
Truth – or as close as we can get – and analysis and publication is our only defence.
I thank you guys so much, and regardless of the fact that Christmas has been corrupted and devalued in The West, such that it is close to a commercial farce, my wife and I have just put up a real Christmas tree in our home. Neither of us are religious (we both gave up our Catholic Religion independently at the age of 15), yet we have not given up on the concept of God.
We recognise God (Goodness) in many people we have met of all religions (and atheists), and sometimes the complete absence of God, in those who claim to be “priests”.
However, Christmas is a time of peace and goodwill (even if we trace it back to its original pagan roots – the shortest day (or the longest day) of the year.
Now whether or not you celebrate it on December 22nd (Winter Solstice 2015 ), December 25th or January 7th, I wish you well, and ask only one thing.
Can you please tell these psychopaths – you know these lunatics in power – wherever they may be, to try and be nice – and not blow up the entire world as if they are teenage girls having a strop, and never quite grown up yet.
you can always celebrate Christmas like the Saker does, in January (old calendar). Then you can collect the used poinsettias and trees thrown out by the other ‘believers’.
Very unreported or unanalayzed anywhere is all these claimed reports of the Yemenis hitting perfect strikes with some kind of guided missile—anyone know where they got them & maybe if they’re under CC&C of some foreign power/troops?
Claim now is up to 10 I believe in supposed Saudi ships at sea (likely small, way smaller than say coast guard cutters), so to hit something like that even just a mile away it is just a dot bobbing on the water. Thus it would have to be guided.
But a backward nobody country like Yemen has these? Maybe Putin should get a few before the Minsk II deadline DEC 31 coming as a final warning & let them know they’re there, where many think it’ll be broken at the last days in a final Uke assault.
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Saudi-led Coalition Forces and pro-Hadi militias suffered another devastating blow when a Tochka ballistic missile hit their camp in the province of Ma’rib, and killed over 180 troops, including Saudi and UAE officers.
An ammunition depot and two Apache helicopters of the pro-Saudi aggressors were also destroyed in the Yemeni ballistic missile strikes in Southern Yemen.
At least 180 Saudi and UAE military men as well as forces loyal to the former fugitive president Mansour Hadi were killed in the attack on Saudi-led forces’ military camp in the Ma’rib province.
Iranian techs modified missiles with guidance… They had a lot of years trying to crack US tech in the area of communications and nav systems. I dont see how the hothis could do it.. They are modifying A2A and SAM into S2S missiles and we saw in Syria how useless they were.. The Iranians needed to do it to get things to work.. somehow they even managed to down the most advanced US drone.. They have kept a lot of US equipment working after 40 years with no US help at all.. Think they have cracked quite a bit of US tech.. Houthis only have less than 10 of those missiles with the 1ton warhead.. It causes a huge blast as we saw in ukraine, looks a nuke going off.. It also seems they have spies inside the camps to know their gps locations.. Remember those camps are protected by patriot missile systems..
I think Iran is directly showing its capabilities in case of a US attack just like Russia is showing its capabilities in Syria.
Israel NATO arm, train, support and lead both sides.
They’re makin’ jihadis.
Things aren’t going that well for the Houthi’s at the moment. A pro-Hadi force of some 1000 people has invaded Yemen from the North (from Saudi territory) right into the heart of Houthi territory and they have conquered some towns. They are not that far from Sanaa now.
Would not think it would be that difficult, they don’t have enough fire power to stop backwater from over running their positions.. But that dont mean blackwater wont be turned into burntmeat as time passes.. US conquered Iraq in under a week.. And then the pain started…
So much for NATO’s ability to act with Impunity. You think Russia can get those bases with their Nuclear armed Kalibr Missiles? Putin doesn’t seemed to worried about them. He did say that hopefully he would not have to use such weapons against the terrorists and we all know who they are don’t we? Or don’t we?
special runway just for Santa’s sleigh?
TEHRAN (FNA)- The US is reconstructing a disused airbase in the province of Hasakah in Northeastern Syria in order to land fighter jets and supply planes there, the Lebanese media said, confirming an early December report by FNA.
US Air Force specialists are working to reconstruct and equip a disused airbase in northern Syria, the Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar reported.
The overriding fact that needs to be kept in mind with regard to the USA/USG is that it wants to be – and remain – the ONLY superpower THIS century, in line with PNAC, which means keeping any other country in its place – containment – like Russia, and China, and any other aspiring nation.
Having a permanent base in Syria may or may not be a good idea for Russia, but would not make Russia an empire. Having a base in a friendly country that would clearly want and welcome it is not imperial behavior. Imperial behavior would be working to destabilize and overthrow a government simply for the purpose of having a base. That is something Russia would never want to do anyway, but is something that is the very nature of the Anglo-zionists.
Also, this may be a dumb question, but if Russia really and truly was faced with war in Syria, could it, hypothetically, march through Georgia and eastern Turkey and put an Army in Syria/Iraq if it truly had to? I’m certainly not suggesting Russia ever do anything of the sort. I’m only wondering if 1) Is that within Russia’s capabilities if needed and 2) if that capability exists, would it modify the behavior of the AZ empire?
I’ve wondered the same thing — can the Russians build and supply a large force in the MER if the Bosphorus is closed by NATO.
The answer is probably yes, with some difficulty, they coukd manage.
The Greek army made it almost half way across Anatolia in the Greco-Turkish war, roughly 1920, so it is doable for the Russians.
Mountainous terrain is more difficult to pass and easier to defend. To defeat determined defenders and burrow a path through eastern Anatolia would be costly and difficult for the smallish Russian army. The costs of maintaining such a corridor would grow exponentially over time.
There are two ways Russia can get large volumes of supplies to Iraq and Syria if the
Bosphorus is closed. Over land it would probably be better for Russia to go via Azerbaijan and Iran. The path via Georgia would be treacherous and require many more soldiers to defend against larger hostile forces and possibly populations. Via Azerbaijan you would encounter first Shia Turks then mostly Kurds before getting to Iraq. This is why Russian offers to Kurds must be made. Better that they stand aside instead of actively resisting.
Russia could also bypass Azerbaijan using the Caspian Sea, docking ships at a new Iranian port with very long dock, required because Iranian Caspian waters are very shallow. This would be the legally correct way of moving a large Russian force but it would take time to buildup sufficient forces and keeping them supplied would be expensive.
The latter option across the Caspian, I believe, is already in use.
Eventually, I believe, bearded Siberians (joint Russo-Persian forces) will sweep across Iraq and Syria to confront NATO terror forces now assembling from across the Arab/Muslim world — hence the wind down of jihadi training ops in Yemen.
Or, does anyone believe Putin is willing to bluff on such a massive scale?
I don’t and I don’t believe the Russian President gets into things without considering the most obvious and long gamed out scenarios, such as closure of the Bosphorus.
When Putin recently said he was willing to use nukes, he was thinking of exactly this scenario. Russo-Syrian-Persian forces would be outnumbered and sorrounded across the fertile cresent. Putin let it be known he is willing to use nukes to redress this imbalance, if it becomes necessary, which is possible if NATO doesn’t back down.
And I don’t think they will.
too bad the Greeks could not keep Constinople (i.e. Istanbul) and the various straits. then they wouldn’t be Turkish, and therefor international. But, alas they could not.
Because the British Empire on multiple occasions threatened war against Russia if Russia tried to take Constantinople back for the Christians. The very worst example was 1878, when Russia could have done so after defeating Turkey in the Balkans, if not for open threat of war by British Prime Minister Disreali. There were also earlier occasions, but this was the main one after Protestant England had openly supported Islamic tyranny against Orthodox Christians in the Crimean War. The British Empire has caused an immense amount of harm and disaster in the world.
“Russia has no intention of ever become an empire again simply because being an empire is bad for Russia.”Russia for many reasons,force to be an empire,otherwise will dissolve as USSR.
Folks, we are being played. The whole thing is Kabuki theater, to keep you in constant fear, so you can allow yourselves to keep being slaves, as they use this fabricated “War on Terror” to keep the people complacent and in line. I would not be that surprised if MR. Putin is in on the scam. Think about it. Russia is the world’s second largest weapons dealer behind the US. The Russian economy basically is propped up identically to The USA’s economy. Russia is a two trick pony economically, that being oil/gas and weapons sales. Americans suffer from thinking of themselves as exceptional, but now the Russian people are falling for the same hubris, as thinking themselves the vanguard fighting the evil empire. Also, the Russian economy isn’t the best. It certainly is not Ukraine by a long shot, but the ruble is falling as oil prices take a dive. Best to keep the average Russian all shot up with nationalism as to keep his/her mind off of the current troubles at home. Just like Orwell wrote in 1984 about global war that never ended, but never had any ral major battles. Putin just might be in on the “Game”.
It is highly likely that this is true. The masons/illuminati created Marx, Lenin and the Bolsheviks. Stalin was most likely also a Mason. Divide and conquer, order out of chaos are their methods. They have been doing it for hundreds of years. The U.S founding fathers seem to have been masons as well. Unfortunately as a Russian you cannot be quite sure of what the plans are. Russians need to dig in for themselves. For example weren’t the Russian terrorist acts also false flags like in the West? Why are the Russians silent about 9/11 and keep playing in the GWOT?
The Lord of the Rings does not share power. Sorry but NATO is lying.
The red line for nuke bombing. To close Bosphorus or to outnumbered the russian force in Syria.
Empire can now choose. To loose in Syria or WW 3. Very dangerous time.
Putin’s annual ‘naughty or nice’ list is out.
Count is bipeds only.
If you count all the usual suspect quadrupeds, too, there’s many more to add.
TEHRAN (FNA)- Vladimir Putin said Russian security services revealed over 320 employees and agents of foreign intelligence agencies in 2015.
Russian security services revealed over 320 employees and agents of foreign intelligence agencies in 2015 operating in the country, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Saturday, Sputnik reported.
Sometimes I think the bad Vlad has fun everytime he can put the western, american brains to steam to boil up, while spinning in reverse.
I ´ll think it over.
‘This entire operation sounds to me like exactly the kind of goofball plan the CIA is famous for, so maybe Kerry at State or even Obama did not really “know” about it’.
It makes no difference whether they knew about it or not. They are still wholly and entirely responsible for it. “The buck stops here”.
Very rare good news: German state media, which mostly repeats western Russia-bashing, says: Assads troops are protecting Syrian christians from islamists (not IS) in Aleppo.
I don’t share this optimism regarding Syria.
First of all I don’t believe that the US really has changed its position. See the following quotes from the Washington Post:
To keep Russia and Iran in the tent, the United States has diluted its rhetoric on Assad and emphasized shared concerns about terrorism. To convince Saudi Arabia, Turkey and others that it recognizes the broad opposition to Assad inside Syria, the Obama administration has quietly dropped its refusal to recognize the Islamist groups they back as legitimate actors in a negotiated solution.
While not seeking “regime change,” Kerry said, the United States and its partners “don’t believe that Assad himself has the ability to be able to lead the future Syria.” Some regional allies — and U.S. critics of the administration’s Syria policy — saw his statement as caving in to Russian demands by stepping back from insistence that Assad leave office.
Administration officials insisted that was not the case, saying that Kerry is merely setting aside the question of Assad to be taken up later in negotiations among Syrians. Kerry said he hopes those talks can begin as early as next month.
Then there is this UN resolution and the armistice. It reminds me of Ukraine: when things are going badly for its stooges the US asks for an armistice so that it can reinforce them. I suspect that the US has the same motives in Syria. It must have watched the developments in Aleppo with sorrow: if the rebels lose Aleppo that would be a major blow for their morale. So my expectation is that the US will be serious about the armistice but make a farce of the negotiations.
Anytime they kick the can down the road is good.
The reason the west experts always assume others have the same mindset as them is because they are hoodlums, scoundrel , n psychopaths
Russia in the 21st century wants to make money like everyone else. A couple of Russians I talked to have clearly stated Putin is trying his best to root out corruption. It can be an impossible task to perform. Also Putin’s love for his country makes one humble. I wish leaders here in the US had that love for their country. But those days are gone. As an immigrant myself to the US, back in 1964, the US of that time compared to the US of today are universes apart. And that world will never come back. As for Putin trying to bring back some kind of empire, here is his quote, “Whoever does not miss the Soviet Union has no heart. Whoever wants it back has no brain.” Very straight to the point.
In spite of all put out for public consumption during the Kerry Carnival this week you can rest assured the goal of removing Assad remaind unchanged behind closed doors in the Emperial City. Nothing in actuallity has or will change. The ultimate goals remains unchanged.
No good will ever come from putting trust in the devils who are the empire’s decision makers. You just can’t trust this.
Mark Sleboda is tweeting about the Israeli bombing of HB in Damascus, seemingly frustrated that the S-400s didn’t shoot it down. Perhaps Mark doesn’t closely read this blog, for The Saker recently provided some insight into the likely answer to Mark’s questioning of Russia’s reluctance to shoot down Israeli jets over Damascus attacking HB:
“The counterpart on Russia side was just as obvious, if not officially admitted: when the Israelis bombed a Hezbollah weapons depot near Damascus the Russians “looked the other way”. Considering that almost at the same time Hezbollah operatives were risking their lives to rescue a downed Russian airman, this kind of deal is of less than exemplary morality, but Hezbollah people are also realists: just look at the way they put up with Assad even while he was torturing people for the CIA (the infamous “rendition” program) or when Imad Mughniyeh was murdered with obvious complicity of high-ranking members of the Assad regime). The leaders of Hezbollah understand what is happening here: like it or not, but Russia and Israel do have a “special relationship” which, while hardly a love fest, does include a unique combination of hard realism, often bordering on cynicism, and a mutual recognition that neither side wants an overt conflict. In this case, the Israelis were told in no uncertain terms that the Russian intervention to save the Syria from Daesh was not negotiable, but that Russia does not intend to protect Hezbollah from Israeli actions as long as these actions do not threaten the Russian objectives in Syria. Being a realist, Netanyahu took the deal.”
Mark Sleboda hasn’t re-tweeted yet the Lebanese sources saying the Israelis hit the Damascus suburb with standoff weapons. Russia won’t shoot down IAF jets flying over the Israeli-held Golan Heights firing SLAMs or other weapons at Damascus from 40 miles away. People forget how close the Israelis are to the Syrian capitol. And of course, this fact won’t stop neocons and NATO disinfo-trolls from insisting S400 is useless or Russia is weak has no will blah blah blah. Putin is not taking his eyes off the prize and knows the Israelis can only provoke, they can’t stop the SAA/Hezbollah advance.
Syria: Scores of Civilian Casualties in Israeli Airstrike on Hezbollah Commander’s Residence Near Damascus
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Israeli regime carried out an airstrike on a residential area near the Syrian capital city of Damascus on Sunday, killing Samir Qantar, a high ranking member of the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement. [VIDEO]
#Kasakhstan will meet with EU Federica Mogherini tomorow in Astana to discuss a “Cooperation Agreement“
Charles Fasola: The last time Kerry met with VV Putin in Sochi, everything was hunky-dory. Then Kerry falls on his bicycle and disappears for a month. Then Victoria Nuland (may bozza deal with her soon) comes out with a stance that was far off hunky-dory. A stance exactly opposite of what Kerry said.
This is evidence of a huge divide in the Deep State. Everything goes from being OK, Filtered through diseased minds of the NeoCons, and back to WW3. And that poor fool Obama trys to cover up the schism in the PTB. You can’t make this up.
Red Ryder: You go boy/girl!!!!!! Putin needs to take Ukraine up to the left bank.
Well now after this article was written Obama has said “again”, Assad must go. And today on RT there is a story where Kerry did an interview with the Russian press and he said ‘US not after regime change in Syria, but Assad must go’. How that isn’t what “regime change” means isn’t clear to me. But once again,its the same thing,”never trust the West”. If Russia just keeps that thought in mind everything will be OK. They will mess up is they ever forget that,or don’t believe its true.
On another note. RT is reporting that Israel “once again” bombed Damascus trying to kill a Hezbollah leader. Its time for Hezbollah to ask Russia “why are you standing around doing nothing while “we” who are helping you are getting bombed”. And if the answer isn’t adequate,ask the Iranians to provide some anti-aircraft missiles of their own. It is beyond stupid that the Syrians,Russians,and Iranians stand around with their fingers up their….you get the idea. And let people fighting for them get attacked while they do nothing. It might mean that Hezbollah may have to do the job themselves. Maybe start showering Israel with missiles. Some of the thousands of missiles they are said to have in Lebanon. If I was a Hezbollah member I’d be livid at my “so-called” allies. That my people were fighting and dying trying to protect.
I wrote a reply to you, but it was not posted.
@ Moderator: what was wrong with it / why don’t you post it? It would be the third time that a critical comment of me related to Putin or this site is not posted.
Shit just got real.. Israel has assassinated a senior Hezbollah leader in Damascus.. I dont think Russia agreed to let Israel assassinate senior leaders of allied troops. This WILL have costs… What ever nutyahoo thinks..
Reports that Samir Quntar was killed following Israeli airstrikes on Jaramana in the countryside of #Damascus
Whiteman speak with forked tongue – part umpteenth:
Kerry claims US not seeking ‘regime change’ but the popular , democratically-elected president of Syria, Bashar al-Assad ‘must go’ because he is a ‘magnet for terrorists.’
Nothing at all to do with financing, logistics and armed support from, among others, the neo-con controlled factions in the military and Intel services.
It’s all down to one man’s magic powers of attraction.
One wonders if even Kerry can believe this brain-rot.
Russia must change tactics here… Allowing other countries to kill people like this makes them look weak to allow allied troop commanders and their families can be killed with impunity on your watch.
Farhan Issam She’lan, commander in the Syrian Resistance was martyred in #Israel-i airstrike on Jaramana
9 people incl. Farhan She’lan, a #Hezbollah member were also killed by the #Israel-i airstrike on Kuntar’s house in Jaramana in #Damascus
Claims of #Israel airstrike in #Damascus countryside killing Samir Quntar, a Lebanese Druze in #Hezbollah
Report of US, Turkey and Saudi plan to ‘create’ a Sunni state in Northern Iraq, to include the current ‘Kurdistan’ headed by the Barfly, um, Barzani:
Barzani will lead a new Sunni state in the region: media
So the Zionist plot proceeds apace.
Wonder how the peshmerga – fighting those ISIS Sunnis for so long – will take the news?
Or how Turkey’s PKK Kurds will react?
Is Russia, should Russia be an Empire? Is she not rather a “Commonwealth”, The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS; Russian: Содружество Независимых Государств, СНГ, tr. Sodruzhestvo Nezavisimykh Gosudarstv, SNG; also called the Russian Commonwealth). A confederation, a league. It was established after the dissolution of the Soviet Union but retained many of its features. What Russia does is trying to keep it alive.
Documentary “World Order” by Vladimir Solovëv to be aired 20th Dec.
video preview here:
Attention Dear Moderator at The Saker:
Here is a better link to the video of Vlad S. interviewing Vlad P. Thanks.
Thank you,I have forwarded your note to webmaster.
Why Russia lets Israel still bomb Syria and kill Hezbollah members (Samir Kantar,) ? Russia should not forget that the pilot of SU 24 was saved with the help of Hezbollah fighters…
Russian anti-aircraft system in Syria likely to lead to more death, refugees: Analysis
I won’t go into the lack of follow through logical argument in this or the fact that these rags are, like so many other MSM sewer outlets, total sensationalist tabloid trash. Nice picture though of four S-400 missiles unloading from an AN-124 -thanks Star!
The article has in addition to a graphic picture of civilian injured, almost all the required memes -barrel bomb cause, ‘Killer’ Assad regime, Kremlin, Putin ‘gloating’, S-400, and today a non-governmental group ‘expert’ from the International Crisis Group who advocates revenge on Assad.
(ICG is 49% funded by Western governments and private funding from such as -wait for it- George Soros)
“Crisis Group has been criticised for serving the interests of its corporate and government funders”
I have just one question: Why is the ‘Soviet’ meme nowhere to be found in the article? Normally ‘Putin’ and ‘Soviet’ are found in the same sentence along with ‘expansion’.
Was this just an oversight or is the word now rationed for some inexplicable reason and can only be used on certain days of the week?
Astonishing as well as under-reported are the implications of the UN resolution to expose and cut off the financial suppliers to ISIS. Assuming this is done, and no deals are made to suppress “embarrassing” evidence (it will ALL be HIGHLY embarrassing), I do not see how the US, EU, Saudis and Qataris can avoid being implicated, but also Israel, who for some reason, I presume an oversight, the Saker does not mention, as we already know that the Israelis are the chief recipients, and therefore funders, of ISIS via acquisition of illegal oil. And will the Saudis and Israelis in some way be penalized, other than the usual trial in the court of (non-MSM) world opinion? While I cannot imagine that possibility being allowed, it remains a possibility.
Since the UNSC, I’ve harped on what you’ve written again and again about Israel being deeply implicated in support for Daesh, that there’s lots of evidence already in the public domain proving such, so it ought to be fairly simple to sanction all those involved and politically very dangerous to veto same. What we all want to see is the undoing of one of the Big Lies–Western support for the terrorists–that can no longer be hidden by the Propaganda System. Indeed, this whole affair ought to become massive blowback further delegitimizing the Outlaw US Empire, finally ousting it as the “honest broker” for peace anywhere.
Shortly after the Russian jet was shot down, the Chinese People Liberation Army reported on its website that the Turkish military had told them that they did not know it was a Russian plane when they shot it down. So that seemed out of this world when I first heard it, but now that the Turkish Air Force is being blamed, there seems to be some schizophrenic logic. Best not to assume that Turks are behaving rational at this moment
You might want to read Pierre Sprey’s take on the whole thing. He was one of the designers of the F-16 type used to shoot down the SU-24, so he ought to know the F-16.
The competition who will control energy supplies to Southern Europe is 20 years old. BP was unable to muster finances and they were outmaneuvered by Gasprom with the proposal of the South Stream line across the Black Sea.
If the South Stream had become a reality Gasprom would have controlled gas and oil supplies from Central Asia and the Middle East. This energy corridor is Russia Gordian Knot which the West has been cutting every time it was tied.
Gas and oil are reserve currency of Russia at this time. This flow of cash to Russia is a threat to US petro dollar, IMF as well as the World Bank which are US weapons used to dominate and control small nations around the world.
The BRICS countries and the BRICS bank are a threat to this US financial domination. The wars in Iraq, North Africa and now Syria are US wars to destabilize the growth of the BRICS union and a process to eliminate nations like Libya, Iraq Iran and Syria, from dumping the petro dollar and joining the BRICS as they intended to do.
EU and USA and consortium of Western Oil and Gas companies succeeded in brow beating Bulgaria so Bulgarians caved in and did not allow Russia to make land in Bulgaria with the South Stream gas pipeline.
Turkey came onboard and a new route was planned through Turkey, Greece and via Macedonia to Southern Europe and Northern Italy as well. A branch line was planned across the Adriatic to Southern Italy. .
This project was a go but now the EU and USA went after Macedonia just like they did against Bulgaria. US and EU here used Albanian Muslims and opposition parties in Macedonia supplying them with cash and advisors to topple the Macedonian government that wanted this project. That is an ongoing politial battle now.
Now that Turkey was onboard for the new gas line from Central Asia . EU and BP had to eliminate that move and they did that by shooting down Russia’s SU-24. The Syrian war has nothing to do with EU or US hate for Assad they want Syria so that they can connect gas pipelines from the Middle East and Leviathan-Tamar fields off the coast of Israel and bring this gas into Southern Europe (Balkans, Italy, and the countries surrounding the Balkans) thus eliminating Russia.
Even Germany is under attack for planning to twin the Nord Stream and use Russian gas from the Arctic. This is a chess game and every mover that Russia makes the West counters with their own move using illegal pressure and criminality to achieve their goal control of this market from the Middle East and at the same time slow down Russia’s rise as a world power. If you think that this security council agreement on Syria will be honored you also believe in leprechauns . US did not honor many resolutions and the most blatant one was the Kosovo resolution which they did not honor either.
I, after seeing almost half of the Annual Press Conference of Comrade Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin ( I say almost half, because, yesterday, I fell asleep in the last half hour of the first half that I have, therefore, to re-see, as it was dealing with a very interesting topic on some protests of truckers about which I had no news at all, with a Rotenberg junior in the middle obtaining gain from all this ), after seeing how Kerry and, above all, Nuland makd Christmas purchases smilling and replete strolling around Moscow, and after seeing how IDF shelled, unhindered, despite the deployment of S-400, a suburb of Damascus killing leaders of the Lebanese resistance Hezbollah who is fighting alongside the Russians in Syria and actively assisted in the rescue of the Russian pilot fallen, I wonder if, after all, someone will not be vividly kidding us who waste hours of sleep and our sight here, and with the Election Day that is before me, I can not but agree with my fellow Communists comrades in twitter that:
“Capital is an extra-parlamentarian force which always has an absolute majority”
I leave an article by Blog del Viejo Topo where is illustrated the 180-degree turn that has made Podemos from presenting itself as “pure left” to total “desideologization”, more convenient for to get votes or, as we say in Spain, “Donde dije “digo” digo “Diego” ” ( try to translate, has no waste ):
“The delirious circus of Podemos : collection-reminder of its cultured pearls”:
(….) Pablo Iglesias reassure Wall Street:
“Investors should be comfortable with Podemos because we believe there is no alternative to the free market” (….)
(….)Santiago Alba Rico or the American Friend:
“I do not think that the US has right now an international policy more aggressively than in the past”
“The US has never intervened so little, at least in conventional military terms”
“The United States spent ten years without military intervention anywhere.”
“The US in Libya left the French and English prominence, has been repressed in Syria, has withdrawn from Iraq, is withdrawing from Afghanistan, will reduce its armed forces and its defense budget.”
And in another article the same portal:
“It is not NATO who is bombing Libyans but Gaddafi”
“In Libya there has been a popular revolution”
For S.A.R., the blame for the crisis of Syrian refugees and pain of the Syrian people are, first, the Syrian government, and secondly Russia, Iran and Hizbullah (rebelion.org). Such statements cause many ask ourselves who is behind this illustrious Podemite.(….)
(….)Acceptance of NATO and military bases of US imperialism
In its early days, in 2014, Pablo Iglesias said that if elected prime minister would try to get Spain out of NATO. Last March, in a press conference in Madrid with Foreign Minister García-Margallo, the secretary general of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, sent a message to Podemos warning about the problems that will entail that Spain abandon the NATO military alliance . And the leader of Podemos, all willing to accept anything to satisfy their lust for power, took note. For this, he signed as Podemos candidate a man of trust for Washington and NATO dome: Julio Rodriguez, former Chief of Staff of Defense (CDS) with the government of Zapatero and Head of the Spanish Military Mission to NATO which designed, in 2011, the bombing of Libya. Now he is running for Congress in the list of Podemos for Zaragoza. His name appeared on Wikileaks documents: the CIA, in a 2008 report, gave its endorsement to whom is considered a loyal military to NATO who guaranteed US interests
Podemos thus reassured this way the masters of the Empire. This man, signed as guarantor of Podemite fidelity to commitment with NATO, acted as Podemos spokesmen publicly sending a reassuring message to the Empire:
“NATO is needed and we will respect the commitments”
“[Podemos] will strengthen the strategic position of Spain and Europe in NATO”(….)
It is quite amazing to see how NATOISTS and experts project their own mindset unto others and then end up terrifying themselves in the process. It’s quite pathetic, really.
Once again it appears that Russia has stood by and allowed, or even encouraged, Israel to bomb Damascus. Russia seems to be very good at standing by and watching – and even helping – as carnage unfolds in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria. Apparently it’s all realpolik to Putin and his pals, the price of doing business with his western ‘partners’. It’s the art of cutting the geopolitical deal.
Just don’t expect anyone in the world to shed any tears when Russia is torn apart by its own cynicism. His brutal cynicism more than matches that of his western ‘partners’.
“It is quite amazing to see how western leaders and experts project their own mindset unto others and then end up terrifying themselves in the process. It’s quite pathetic, really.”
The Saker has hit upon the key to understanding the West. Out of their own mouths they tell us clearly what they intend to do or are already doing.
Psychological projection drags parts of the personal shadow with it onto the object, followed by its demonization in the object. This shows fear of the self which is reviled in the object.
I listen and hear the unconscious speak out of the minds of western leaders which is why I fear that we are in great danger.
“Russia has no intention of ever become an empire again simply because being an empire is bad for Russia.”
Amazon! after win 31.5 out of 33 war of last 300 years, and take god now how many people’s land, ethnically cleansed how many people from their home, now Russian do not want to be empire any more. I do not think so!
As long as you still holding those and, you are a empire, and the people who lost those land and 31.5 wars will keep you spend all your treasures and all your young men on military. If you do not want to be empire, then return to your borders at beginning of 17 century!
Sun Dec 20, 2015 12:16
Yemen Strikes Saudi Coalition with More Ballistic Missiles, Several Apache Helicopters, Drones Destroyed
New name here: Qaher I
Not a Tochka, not that other name either, & not one of Santa’s sleighs that unhitched mid-flight and turned rogue.
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Yemeni army and popular forces destroyed the Saudi military positions in the province of Ma’rib with their new Qaher-I ballistic missiles, killing tens of the kingdom’s forces.
The first Qaher-I missile hit Al-Tawwal border crossing in Saudi Arabia and the second missile targeted the Saudi-led special forces’ military base, destroying several Apache helicopters and spying drones in Safer region of Ma’rib province.
The Saudi-led forces’ drone control unit and several armored vehicles were destroyed during the Yemeni missile attack.
Getting close! 4 calling birds sighted.
Sun Dec 20, 2015 2:49
Four Russian Fighter Jets to Escort President Assad’s Plane in Visit to Tehran
TEHRAN (FNA)- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s plane will be escorted by four Russian fighter jets during his upcoming visit to Iran, reports said, adding that the US coalition has been alerted to stand down as the Russian jets will have the permission to fire at will at any incoming aircraft.
“Four strategic Russian fighter jets will accompany the plane carrying the Syrian president during the visit to and from Iran,” the Lebanese al-Diyar daily reported on Sunday.
The newspaper also added that the Syrian president is due to travel to Tehran via the Iraqi airspace.
“Week Eleven of the Russian Intervention in Syria: a step back from the brink?”
Then again, the cynic in me thinks that this is all for show.
Most congresses, parliaments (etc) in the west are gonna be out [celebrating the death and re-birth of the Sun – so-called X-mas] for about a month time. They won’t be back until mid January next year at the earliest (same goes for the Russian government, if their last year’s X-mas radio silence period is anything to go by).
Same happens around summer holidays / summer-break; everything goes quiet, but yeah, Christmas is even worse in that regard.
Someone with a longer memory than mine can correct me if I’m wrong, but I think to recall there was a media propaganda frenzy going on against Iraq, with a crescendo all the way up to November, early December 2002, and then it subsided amidst the passed Nov 2002 UN resolution on weapons inspections…
…which it made it look as if there was still a change for peace and no war, only for the pro-war propaganda to come back with a vengeance late January / February.
And as we know; March 2003 is a date which will forever live in infamy in human history [March = Mars = Roman god of war].
Once bitten, twice shy.
In other words; I’m not buying any of this charade for one second.
And as others in the comments already pointed out: just hours after Horse Face supposedly had a change of heart in Syria, we had Oblongo & Co still insisting on ‘Assad must go.’ Groundhog Day, or what!? (Don’t forget groundhog day is Feb the 2nd)
Why do I feel we’re all being played… time and time again?
Jordan, as mentioned yesterday, clearly complicit , at best playing both sides.
They are hostage to that big ngas import delivery deal signed with israhole not long ago.
The Zionist F-16 was flying over Jordanian airspace at the time it fired its rocket at the building in which Sameer was visiting friends. There can be no doubt the Jordanian authorities knew the jet was flying in their airspace because the Patriot missile system would have certainly picked it up. The rocket was fired “off-target” so as not to ignite a situation in which the Zionist murdering pilot would be trying to evade the Pantsir and S-300 systems Syria is now free to use.
Dear Saker: I agree with most of your judicious ‘both feet on the ground’ analysis. Whether the Administration has had a real “change of heart” or this is simply a tactical retreat remains to be seen. But though it is a minor matter, I can’t agree with your statement that “There is no way the Turks could have set up this complex ambush without the US knowing about it.” Washington may have been complicit or–as is more likely– the CIA or another faction may have encouraged the Turks. But this is not neccessarily so. Here, by my lights at least, is why.
The notion (expressed by Escobar and several others) that the operation couldn’t have been carried out without AWACS is clearly wrong. The Turks are well known to have ground based radar–which was almost certainly involved– along the border. But bear in mind that there is a 5700 ft mountain rising from virtual sea level just across the border from Kassab that overlooks the region where the ambush took place. On a clear day (which it was) observers on the mountain with optical equipment and secure communications could have easily reported the activities and approximate bearing of the SU-24s. The ambush (was it really all that complex?) could probably have been pulled off even without radar.
I imagine most people posting read the Cockburn interview with Pierre Sprey in Harpers magazine that was reprinted in RI. For those who haven’t, Sprey, who helped design the F-16 makes it perfectly clear, based on his analysis of radar records, that the attack was, beyond question, a planned and deliberate ambush. The two Russian SU-24s arrived from Latakia about 9.45 AM 30 miles or so east of the Mediterranian area where the “loitered” ,at about 19,000 ft (under full surveilance of Turkish ground radar) until they received an order to attack vehicles on the road south of the Kayladagi border crossing near Kassab. After attacking,the planes returned to their holding pattern but were given new targets only 8 minutes later. The downed SU-24 was hit by an air to air missile “out of the blue” as it was pulling out of its attack at about 10.24.
Shrey says that the two Turkish F-16’s involved left the airbase at Diyarbakir, 250 miles east of the ambush area and began loitering over the Nut Daglari mountains about 25 miles north of the border about 9.15, about the time the SU crews were preparing to depart. They loitered over the mountains for about 75 minutes before receiving confirmation that the SU 24s were returning for their second attack at which point the F-16s “quite certainly under Turkish ground control” flew directly south to intercept them. “The crucial thing” says Shrey, that proves the Turks set a deliberate ambush, was that instead of loitering at twenty to thirty thousand feet to conserve fuel as would be the case with a routine patrol, the F-16s loitered at 7500-8000 feet, low enough that they would be shadowed by the mountains and the Russian radar at Latakia could not see them. To loiter this long at fuel guzzling low altitude he says, the F-16s “must have been topped up on fuel” en route from their base and would have needed to rendezvous with a tanker (of which the Turks have several) again on the way home. As for the claim that the SU-24s spent 17 seconds over a mile wide finger of Turkish territory: there is no way to know whether it happened or the Turks made it up. Nor can anyone be sure whether the missile was fired from Turkish or Syrian territory. What is certain though, says Shrey, is ” that the Turkish F-16 penetrated Syrian airspace in executing his diving turn to get out of the area.” Nothing new about that. The Turks, in fact, shot down a Syrian Mig 23 (without bothering to contrive excuses)well within Syrian territory during the 2014 fighting around Kassab.
I recount this not to be pedantic but to simply point out that we have no way to be sure whether or not the Americans had fore-knowledge of Turkish intentions. Anything the Russians told them they doubtless passed on to the Turks. They certainly monitored radio transmissions during the event and If, in fact, the Americans had an AWACS up they would have had a window on the whole action. But that’s all we, on the outside know. Neither can we be certain–no matter what Putin says–what those who ordered the attack intended to achieve. One aspect that no-one seems to mention involves internal Turkish politics. To gain the votes needed for a costitutional amendment to protract his grip on power, Erdogan needs the support of the Nationalist party. Both the current leader of the Nationalists and his would be successor have railed–as well they should–over Ergogan’s failure to protect the Iraqi Turkmen population from Daesh. ISIL has carried out numerous atrocities against Shiite Turkmen who make up about a third of the total; Tel Afar, which was a Turkmen city is said to be depopulated with over 100,000 people fleeing across the border to Turkey. Some Turkmen villagers in Iraq (as documented by “War Is Boring” ) formed their own self defense militias against Daesh receiving help from the Kurds–especially the Talabani faction–but none from Turkey. As for the Syrian Turkmen; Alas. They have been cynically used by Erdogean, bombed by the Russians and Syrians and if the plane downing was designed,in part, to impress the Nationalist party, it has only served to worsen their lot.
Enough of that. If someone is interested, perhaps we could try to explore the situation in detail along with the real, as opposed to the on-paper or hyped up capability of the Turkish army. I suspect, based on my own experience in Korea–granted that that was the big part of a human life span ago– that most people overestimate them. The “terrible Turks” were indeed terrible, but not in sense the press hyped. Their initial performance during the rout of the 8th Army on the Chongchon river was disastrous. Subsequent Turkish brigades were barely better. When the Turks moved it looked like the retreat from Moscow. Such was their maintainance. Worse, they made themselves feared and loathed by Korean civiians. I don’t remember hearing a kind word about the Turks (We got on fine with other national contingents) and my own encounters with them were not encouraging. Times have changed; they may have overcome technical incompetence; the air force surely has. But ground forces are still largely conscripts and the bullying and brutality we saw in Korea seems almost ingrained. I’d like to see what others think. Everyone knows that if there is a major clash between the powers the Turks will be central to it.
Well Ok. Thanks for the penetrating articles and comments.
“BRING HIM THE HEAD OF PRINCE BANDAR!”
Seymour M. Hersh rewrites the secret history of the U.S. State Department’s war on Syria: Inside sources tell that CIA and State Department efforts to topple Assad were sabotaged by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who wanted to defeat ISIS and keep Assad in power.
Pentagonia has always been at war with East-Erdogania? Do these new revelations reflect a future change in U.S. military policy?
” Pentagonia has always been at war with East-Erdogania? Do these new revelations reflect a future change in U.S. military policy?”
You must be kidding. Hersh is CIA. Everything he writes is misdirection within deceit that leads to a hall of mirrors. Uttery laughable!
So it seems that Israel can assassinate anyone they want within Syria, while the Russians look away ?
Meanwhile, huge news in Irania…
You all know what that means!
IAEA resolution on Iran nuclear program
Sun Dec 20, 2015 6:8AM
1. IAEA Iran vote
The UN watchdog agency in a much-awaited announcement said it had closed investigations into the “possible military dimensions” of Iran’s past nuclear activities. The closure of Iran’s so-called PMD file will now pave the ground for the removal of sanctions against Iran.
Perhaps even more to it than that:
“All those who had claimed that Iran had a hidden nuclear weapons program are now proven to have been lying”
No surprise to anyone here.
Kerry writes letter of assurance to Iran after visa restrictions
Sun Dec 20, 2015 7:11PM
The US has sought to reassure Iran that recently devised visa restrictions in the US, which affect dual national Iranians and people who have visited Iran, will not come in the way of the implementation of America’s commitments under a nuclear agreement with the Islamic Republic.
On Saturday, Washington passed a law affecting its Visa Waiver Program (VWP), which normally exempts nationals from 38 countries from having to obtain visas to visit the United States. As a result of the changes, the program no longer includes dual nationals from Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Sudan, and anyone else who has traveled to those countries in the past five years.
Mein Hair speaks:
Donald Trump reiterates ban on Muslims
Sun Dec 20, 2015 3:56PM
The Boland Amendment was made to be broken.
“It is quite amazing to see how western leaders and experts project their own mindset unto others and then end up terrifying themselves in the process. It’s quite pathetic, really.”
This is an interesting point. I think it’s actually one of the key weaknesses of empire; no matter how sophisticated they try to be, the kind of people who build, run and extend empires are hobbled by their mindset. In order to want to build empires at everyone else’s expense, you have to either start out as a psychopath or do various psychological tricks to yourself that justify your actions. But there aren’t that many true psychopaths; most people need to use the psychological tricks. There are a few of these, but they tend to be about dehumanizing those others to limit empathy for them, puffing up your own group, and defining the way you do things as the only possible way. “American exceptionalism” is an echo of all the jingoistic empires of history.
The “only possible way” means both that anyone not following that way needs to get with the program by force if necessary and that you’re not at fault for anything that may seem bad about following that way. But it also means that even if you’ve determined that someone is failing to follow the way and needs to be put down, it’s hard to actually internalize; you envision their decisions as if they’re doing things “your way” because gut level understanding that other ways can really exist and work hurts you.
It’s easier to dehumanize others, and believe you’re better than they are, if you don’t know much about them. Oh, sure, you want “intelligence”, but you do your best to avoid letting that lead to any kind of understanding. And you certainly can’t believe that others are more moral than you if you’re going to be screwing them over systematically.
So, an imperialist doesn’t know much about the people he’s messing with, doesn’t regard them as real people, doesn’t empathize with them, has to assume they are at least as immoral as he is in order to survive psychologically, and cannot really envision anyone doing anything differently from how he does things. One result: When he has to predict someone’s actions, he creates a construct that’s more or less a mirror of the only group he does know something about–his own. So he cannot predict an opponent who doesn’t think like that.
Corollary: Imperialists probably think everyone who doesn’t lick their boots must really be a committed enemy. Sure it’s partly an excuse to attack, but partly it’s that they know if their nation were smaller and there were an imperial power, they would lick the imperial power’s boots unless they saw a chance to overthrow it and take its place. Ergo, anyone not licking their boots is plotting against them. Even if all their intelligence says different, they are incapable of really believing it.
The EU legalized the import of Syrian oil from so-called “rebel-held territories in 2013!
»Neither EU Ambassador to Iraq, Jana Hybášková, Turkey’s Energy Minister Taner Yildiz, nor any of the mainstream media in EU and NATO member states, however, appear to recall that the EU legalized the import of Syrian oil from so-called “rebel-held territories”.
On Monday, April 22, 2013, the 27 EU foreign ministers decided to lift the EU’s embargo on the import of Syrian oil from rebel-held territories to support more economic support for the so-called Syrian opposition«
Farsnews should get their facts straight before teasing Erdogan, even if they are right in the statement, that he should keep his promise and leave his presidency.
The claim, that a Danish newspaper discloses a rapport proving the Daesh—Turkish collaboration, is actually a Norwegian newspaper, Klassepampen.no disclosing a Norwegian rapport.
… and then there is also the fact, that the »EU legalized the import of Syrian oil from so-called »rebel-held territories««