This article was written for the Unz Review: http://www.unz.com/tsaker/week-twenty-two-of-the-russian-military-intervention-in-syria-putin-announces-a-new-strategy/
These are amazing times indeed. Only two weeks ago I outlined the likelyhood of a dramatic escalation of the war in Syria, and this week Vladimir Putin announced the withdrawal of what I would call the “tactical air strike” component of the Russian task force in Syria. How is that possible? How could the Russian warn about Turkish troops poised to invade Syria and then suddenly pull out a major chunk of their Syrian-based firepower.
The dumbest explanation of them all was offered almost as soon as the Putin made his announcement: “the Russians are afraid and they are running away abandoning Syria”. This explanation was immediately picked-up by a motley collection of very different folks: Americans whose delusion of US military might were shattered in the humiliating comparison between US and Russian military performance, Russian “hurray-patriots” who will always accuse Putin of betraying something or somebody, armchair strategists who always cheer for more military action regardless of anything, etc.
As I have mentioned in a previous article, the fact is that the Russians have simply met all their objectives and those who now accuse Russia of “running away” are either deliberately ignoring the crystal clear set of objectives the Russian mission had (“stabilize the legitimate authority and create conditions for a political compromise”) or never bothered to find out in the first place. The logical impossibility of “running away” after having achieved all goals seems to elude these folks.
For those interested in this topic, I would like to recommend the abasolutely superb analysis of Alexander Mercouris in his article “Russia’s Syrian Withdrawal – Why It Happened and Why Regime Change Remains Off the Agenda” which I consider to be the best and most thorough discussion of this topic.
Still, none of that answers the question – why did the Russian pull forces out right when the Turks and the Saudis were poised to go in?
As with most logical dead-ends, this question makes two very false assumption:
- That the only/best way to keep the Turks out is to deter them by military force.
- That should the Turks decided to invade, the only/best way to deny them their objective is by using Syrian-based Russian military capabilities.
Let’s take these one by one. But before I do that, I will have to, yet again, repeat my 22-week long mantra: the Russian military force in Syria is a small one. It was never designed to repel a Turkish invasion (nevermind protect Syria from the US or NATO), much less so fight a regional war against Turkey, Saudi Arabia and God only knows how many smaller states. This was never the Russian objective and, therefore, the forces sent to Syria never had that kind of capability. Not 22 weeks ago, not today. Secondly, if Erdogan and the House of Saud have relatively little to lose in a crazy invasion of Syria, Russia has plenty to lose and the very last thing Putin, or Russia, want is any kind of military confrontation with Turkey (even if NATO stays out) or the KSA. If we consider this then it becomes self-evidently obvious that using a small and vulnerably military force to deter Turkey+KSA is the worst possible strategy, especially if this might escalate into a regional war.
What the Russians did is yet, again, a typical Putin-style judo move on the Turks. Instead of escalating, they pretended to leave (yes, pretended, more about that later). For the Turks, it would be extremely hard to suddenly invade Syria when even the USA and Europe are tagging along, however reluctantly, with the Russian peace initiative. Not that I expect any sense of timing or, for that matter, decency, from Erdogan. But I think that his advisors are smart enough to realize that if Turkey goes in right after the Russian went out this would make the Turks look awfully bad (yet again). More importantly, it would make those reacting to a Turkish invasion look as the “aggression repelling” party.
Now let’s look at the second proposition: if the Turks invade, would it make military sense to use the Russian forces in Khmeimim to counter a Turkish invasion? First, keep in mind that the pure air-to-air fighters (SU-30SMs and SU-35) have not been withdrawn. In fact, I expect that contingent to be slowly and covertly increased. Second, the SU-34s are long-range strike aircraft and they can attack objectives in Syria by taking off from southern Russia (or Iran). As for the SU-24Ms and SU-25SMs, they would be very helpful in engaging the Turks, but they would also be vulnerable, especially to a direct attack on Khmeimim. Finally, the long range Tu-22M3 and Tu-160 were never based in Syria to begin with. As for the Russian cruise missiles, they have a range of 1,500km (Kalibr) and 4,500km (X-101) and can be delivered from the Caspian, Mediterranean or from the air. So yes, while the current redeployment of forces did reduce the strike-capabilities of the Russian forces in Syria, it in no way reduced the overall Russian strike capability against targets in Syria. As for Khmeimim, the base will remain fully manned, it will retain its formidable air-defense capability (S-400s and Pantsir-F) and an unknown number of advanced Russian air superiority fighters.
Putin himself has clearly said today that Russia will remain in control of the Syrian airspace:
All the components of the deployed air defence system, including close range Pantsir-F and long-range S-400 Triumph units will be on regular duty. I would like to note that we have significantly restored the potential of the Syrian air defence forces as well. All the parties concerned have been made aware of this. We proceed from fundamental international norms – nobody has the right to violate the airspace of a sovereign country, Syria in this case. We have created together with the American side an efficient mechanism to prevent air incidents, but all our partners have been warned that our air defence systems will be used against any target that we deem to be threatening Russian service personnel. I want to stress – any target.
Pretty clear, no?
During the same speech he also send a very clear message to any wannabe invader:
If necessary, of course, Russia will be able to enhance its group in the region in a matter of hours to a size required for a specific situation and to use all the options available.
Again, I would say that the message is crystal-clear: what Putin has announced this week is a new strategy, and not a withdrawal, much less so a retreat.
The final scorecard of this first phase is rather impressive, especially when compared to the lame results of the US-lead coalition whose operations coincided with a massive increase in Daesh controlled terrorist. See for yourself:
All in all during 5,5 months of air strikes the Russian Aerospace Forces carried out more than 9000 flights, 26000 terrorist insfrustructure objects were hit. Among them: 2584 communication and command units, 401 training camps, 181 munition plants, 2043 munition and fuel depots, 9318 fortifications of all types, 287 oil infrustructure objests, 2912 oil tank trucks. 400 towns and over 10,000 square kilometres of territory liberated by the SAA. Province of Latakia completely freed, communications with Aleppo restored. Palmyra is under siege, control over its oil and gas fields reestablished. Most of the provinces of Hama and Homs cleared, Kweires airbase unblocked. Total number of the Russian personnel casualties during the operation: 3. (source)
But these (superb) military results were still only a means to a very specific end, to “ stabilize the legitimate authority and create conditions for a political compromise”. Now, however, it will be the task of the Russian diplomats to capitalize on the work of their military colleagues. However, from now on these diplomats will work in the “shadow” of the Russian armed forces and every person they will be speaking to will, if needed, be reminded of the fact that the Russians can be back in a matter of hours and that they can strike anywhere in, or around, Syria in a matter of minutes. This new reality might be a much more sophisticated form of deterrence than keeping a small Aerospace contingent in Khmeimin, would it not?
If we now zoom out from the topic of a possible Turkish-Saudi invasion, we can begin to discern the outline of what the Russian strategy might really be: instead of defeating Daesh first and then attempting to reform Syria by means of a political dialog, the Russians might be trying to reverse that sequence by first reforming Syria by means of a political dialog and only then helping a “reformatted” and united Syria to truly defeat Daesh. If that is indeed the Russian plan, it is an ambitious and daring one, and one which will demand an enormous effort from the Russian diplomats who will have to painstakingly “win over” the Syrian opposition faction by faction while, at the same time, countering the efforts of all the parties who will want to sabotage that peace process and deny both Russia and the Syria people a much deserved victory.
If the toxic US lead alliance of the Ottomans, the Wahabis and the Zionists succeed in derailing this peace initiative the Russians might have to use their military power again. With the S-400s in place and backed by (an unknown number of) air superiority fighters, the Syrians skies should remain under Russian control for the foreseeable future. The conditions for a resolution of the conflict are here, but whether that will be enough to secure a lasting peace is impossible to predict.
Putin: We are largely restored capacity of Syrian air defense, all interested parties alerted and know about this
on Feb.15,2016,the total cost of US operation against IS since started August 8, 2014, is $6.4 billion
Putin said Russian MoD had spent ~ $464 million on the military campaign in the Syria
Missing 2.. Advisors killed by Turkish artillery and the guy who committed suicide by mortar at the air base..
Putin: Russia lost 4 soldiers in Syria:
Oleg Peshkov, 45 (Su-24 pilot)
Alexander Pozynych, 29 (Marine)
Fedor Zhuravlev, 27 (GRU special forces Senezh)
Ivan Cheremisin, 42 (advisor, artilleryman)
Mi-28N ‘Night Hunter’ over #Latakia
Huge golden dome rises over Paris skyline to crown Russian cathedral (VIDEO)
Stratfor has published data on the partial Russian withdrawal from Syria: https://www.stratfor.com/analysis/even-russians-withdraw-their-legacy-syria-remains
Quite interesting satellite imagery.
I would not place much validity on the analysis of the US military industrial complex who makes even more profit than the corrupt US medical insurance and treatment systems. But I do use their numbers although not as certain facts… Remember the SAT images of Iraqi tanks in the desert the US presented to Saudi Arabia to get them to allow US bases in the country… Or the vial of soap at the UN.. So many tentacles that there are always enough of them to show a picture they present.
I agree with you here; of course, Stratfor is beholden to their interests ultimately.
BTW, I do not recall that “vial of soap at the UN”, what was that all about?
BTW, I do not recall that “vial of soap at the UN”, what was that all about?
Stratfor isn’t misleading.
The American coalition abandoned tons of stuff in Afghanistan and Iraq during their ‘withdrawal’.
While Putin didn’t exactly set a precedent for ambiguous military phrasing, its way cheaper to leave stuff there than haul it back. It will all likely be used up in the fighting anyway.
Condolences for the families of the fallen.
Too bad the volunteers aren’t as easily remembered. They don’t have to be there, although, mercenaries recall mixed emotions even when fighting for a good cause.
So the Turks will still get ‘what’s coming’ if they decide to invade Syria. Just that they will look like the bad guys here (that’s what they are anyways).
I get the whole thing. But how does Putin always manage to shape the future all the time? I mean he just showed the Turks that they will be seen as the bad guys if they invade Syria and that they will be dealt with.
Re: the Mercouris article..
Unfortunately when the Russians use language like “the legitimate Syrian opposition,” they open themselves up to justified criticism.
There is no “legitimate opposition” in the foreign sponsered regime change operation by proxy terrorists.
The Kurds who demand federalization are not the Kurds who live in Syria. They are gangsters and select emigres who play along with Anglozionist fascism.
I will support Putin because I trust him, however, I will not pretend I like everything I see.
Colour revolutions always ride in on the back of genuine protest. Step 1) Use social media, US ambassadors ect to magnify protesters grievances. Step 2) Initiate violence.
No they do not.
Colour revolutions are planned and implemented according to the wishes of zionist oligarchs. ‘Legitimate’protests can be manufactured at the drop of a hat.
The legitimate concerns of ‘the people’ are ever present, due to zionist criminality, however, go ahead and try to make a colour revolution on your own — without direct support of the regime change machine.
Once you understand this distinction, between the interests of the people and those who live parasitically off the fruits of their labour and life force, you will cease to be a tool on their behalf.
You will also gain the correct perspective allowing for a proper interpretation of every revolution since the English and French.
@C I eh?
Look up the Arab spring in Bahrain.
Every country has protests for one thing or another at different times. Same with Refugees. There has always been refugees from some place or another, but now they can also be used.
You have not understood the distinction I am pointing to.
Neither do I.
You seem to be saying that all of the people’s legitimate reasons for protest stem from Zionist criminality.
Plus, on top of that, all color revs are the result of external agitation, etc.
So, I don’t see any distinction being made here.
The protests and teh color revolutions both originate with Zionist criminality and manipulations.
Yeah. Gremlins. My full response starts with the same line… you have not understood..
To free ourselves we must exit the simulacrum and be very precise about the so-called ‘legitimate’ aspirations of the Kurdish people.
The Kurdish people want to be left alone, like all good people everywhere. Zionists want to make hay, and so they do, repeatedly turning the lives of locals upside down, playing their usual great power games.
If PYD leader Salih Muslim was left alone with ‘his’ people, without armed escorts, he would immediately be lynched. The same would happened to the Israeli controlled gangster who lords over Iraqi Kurdistan. All of these people, controlled by zionists, do not give a rat’s arse about the fate of the Kurdish people. They only wish to profit from oul baring lands beneath the feet of those people.
When someone in Europe stands up and says I am the representitive of my people and their legitimate aspirations for self determination, you must understand they are liars — zionists in training, concerned only for themselves and their various foreign banks accounts.
The same thing apllies when someone in the ‘West’ stands up and says ‘I am for steers, queers and rioting pussies!’ Truthfully, they represent nothing and no one except the manufactured desires of an identity based group and maybe themselves.
The same thing applies to feminists and also I’m afraid, white nationalists, who are brainwashed into believing their narrowest concerns can be seperated from the families they love and support. Nor can their interests be seperated from the families of Mexicans or for that matter Jews.
Either we are in it together, against the zionists, or we are all against one another, to the eternal delight of oligarchs, gangsters and parasites the whole world over.
Struggle to make this connection if you haven’t already. The door to exiting the matrix lies dead ahead from this realization.
Forgot to add my name to the last reply (Anonymous 8.15)
You have not understood the distinction I am pointing to. Please see my response to Peter AU.
What is happening in Bahrain is not ‘the Arab Spring.’ The Arab Spring is a marketing gimmick, meant to control what you think about the legitimate aspirations of the good people who live there.
Paraphrasing E. A. Poe:
The nose of a mob may be guided by its imagination. By this, at any time, it may be quietly led.
“The legitimate concerns of ‘the people’ are ever present, due to zionist criminality”
So if there was no Zionists we would be in something like Dennis Leary’s world where everything is love and roses? This is what you are saying.
Underlying problems in Syria, grievances real or imagined have been magnified and radicalised and these need to be defused and changed.
Russia’s actions have started the process of separating Syrian militia groups from foreign fighters and foreign backers. But these can also be separated into the groups on the US ceasefire list and the groups that approached Russia and are on the Russian ceasefire list.
Before this ceasefire, local militia groups where fighting alongside al Nusra and whoever so the “opposition” could be considered as a whole which included the UN designated terrorist groups, but now we are beginning to see a separation.
The US/zionists – whatever, will be working to undermine this
Labeling the indigenous Syrian groups who are willing to negotiate an end to the fighting as legitimate opposition seems as good as any other name for them. Defusing. Groups willing to enter into negotiations legitimate. Groups not willing to observe a ceasefire and enter into negotiations are illegitimate. All foreign fighters automatically get put into the terrorist camp that will be destroyed.
OK, this is getting confusing. I’m having trouble making a complicated argument from my stupid phone..
I am pointing to the idea that our conceptual framework, necessary for understanding the truth of our collective reality in the modern world, has been replaced by a zionist conceptual framework.
The zionist conceptual framework — actually the better term is anglo-zionist, was built to deceive you, from the ground up, probably begining during the reign of Elizabeth I of England (Shakespeare and the King James Bible use ‘weaponized’ language in a way that is no longer discernable — Orwell called it newspeak). We can trace it back even further, through merchant controlled Holland and then to Venice before the fall of Constantinople in 1453.
Think of the econo-babble you hear daily in mainstream media. All of it is twisted to misrepresent the reality of what is actually occuring when, for example, a ‘free trade’ agreement is signed. Free trade is supposedly an inherent good but it actually represents the destruction of free movement of goods, people and services. In reality, free trade agreements represent the interests of deeply entrenched capitalists. Most people who subject themselves to oligarch controlled media genuinely believe free trade is good because they don’t understand what it means. Free trade is only good for the very biggest players, who can use their dominance of the market to destroy all competition and further to rob working people of their power to negotiate reasonable compensation for labour they are forced to sell in a non competitive market.
I’m in my mid forties, the first of the post boomer generation, and I’ve spent most of my life attempting to understand how this specific cohort became so completely screwed up. The rhetoric of Love used by Dennis, often very beautifully, falls squarely into the category of language programmed to be devoid of meaning from a later perspective. It actually divides his generation from everyone else. If you are not a boomer you may understand this because reading him with a closed mind makes you feel queasy (sorry Dennis). Following generations, non-hippies, were captured by a different conceptual framework and so are no longer able to communicate with their elders.
Often when I hear younger people speaking, I am shocked by how much their understandings have been altered from those of my own generation or from their baby boomer grand parents. They do not understand important ideas not because they are stupid but because the meanings of the words have been twisted. They have been effectively dumbed down, intentionally by the anglo-zionist language and thought control machine, to the point where they can no longer see past certain artificially created complexities.
Liberty, Democracy, Revolution and Self Determination, four simple words, do not mean what you think they mean if you exist in the zionist matrix. Western civilization is a globalized society of inversion. The source of this inversion goes back to at least the Enlightenment, where the individual was put at the centre of everything. It is complicated but when you interpret the world exclusively from the position of ‘I’ or the ego, you will inevitably end up as an athiest. This has dramtic reprecussions for everything. The conceptual framework of the ego centred ‘I’ is the zionist perspective — and it leaves you no means of escaping the belief that there is something bigger than yourself, i.e. God.
In fact the opposite is true. It is your ego that is an illusion. Orthodox Christianity understands this and so does Shia Islam. Many faiths touch upon this idea. It is imprinted into the DNA of Orthodox and Shia belief systems although I’m afraid there are very few nominal adherents who would understand this today.
Great piece by Andrew Korybko. Hope it gets featured at Saker..
Why are the Kurds saying that Chechens are “Genuinely Native” to Syria?
Syrian Kurds want be liberated by the Syrian Arab Army. If we are concerned for them we must support the SAR, as does Russia.
Why don’t you just say, if someone talks enough nonsense and some of it makes sense as our brains will try to understand it and a new reality based on nonsense is created. It is also called mass hysteria and psychosis.
Fortunately lateral thinkers, dyslexics and autistics can ignore one another at the Saker blog.
C I eh? You are doing well to type all that on a phone. I hate the things.
I am also the offspring of baby boomers, though a decade earlier.
Most of my life I have simply observed the crowd rather than fitting in. Observing how easily a crowd can be manipulated, especially by the MSM.
When my children started school we moved away from all that, not some hippy type alternative lifestyle but to where my children were free to grow and develop their own character without MSM, nut box (TV), news papers, radio, “peer” pressure, ect ect influences.
Religion – I guess I’m an atheist in that I am comfortable with believing that once I die, that is the end – nothing more. Yet I am an agnostic in that I would not – could not, tell anyone with a religious belief that their god or version of a god does not exist. Nor even say that a “god” does not exist.
In human character, in the factory programming of the mind, similar to the programing that enables birds to build nests, there seems to be a place for belief in religion – a god. That place can also be used for a belief in the supernatural or an ideology or perhaps even a football team.
Putin I suspect, has very deeply held belief based on Orthodox Christian, which can be traced back directly without break to the origin of “Christianity” Something that sets boundary’s basic guidelines ect and puts his feet on a rock so he cannot be bought nor swayed from what he believes is right.
In saying that – the term free thinking, I have heard it expressed as original thought or lateral thinking or whatever, perhaps is something Russia excels at.
US/ Zionist/ MSM fully understand how the human mind works and use the understanding to manipulate it.
I suspect this is also well understood by Putin and the Russian leadership and they will have a strategy to counter it, perhaps not in the large (MSM) scale, but in Syria, with individual groups that have signed onto the ceasefire.
I think what we are witnessing here is a battle between one side that has guidelines and boundaries in a deeply held belief, plus a deep knowledge of human character, and the other side that has no boundaries or guidelines but also has a deep knowledge of human character.
May I suggest you to watch the film “Jesus of Nazareth” by Franco Zefirelli,with Robert Powell in the main role.It is one of the greatest film regarding the life of Jesus.There is on youtube.If you want,skip the first part and take on the second but the scene,the colours,the actors are beautiful to watch.
Putin is a military man in pure,and he knows there is a Higher Commander in Chief who suffered on that Cross.This Commander is the Truth.All of us who are religious or not but believe in the Truth,we are in fact soldiers of that Truth for our lust is the Truth
Your point about lateral thinking is a good one.
C I eh?
You’ve done a great job with those explanations,really enjoy it.As long as the “rotted thing” is there,cannot be any real deal,for infection is spreading and multiplying.”Good for those who have ears and can hear, and eyes and can see”
Thank you ioan. I will check out that movie as well. Lately I’ve been watching lots of older movies, since I can’t endure the garbage made today.
The para below is where you lose me. It seems to me logical consistency requires a slight rephrasing:
Liberty, Democracy, Revolution and Self Determination, four simple words, do not mean what you think they mean if you exist in the zionist matrix. Western civilization is a globalized society of inversion. The source of this inversion goes back to at least the Enlightenment, where the individual was put at the centre of everything. It is complicated but when you interpret the world exclusively from the position of ‘I’ or the ego, you will inevitably end up as an athiest. This has dramtic reprecussions for everything. The conceptual framework of the ego centred ‘I’ is the zionist perspective — and it leaves you [no way to entertain] the belief that there is something bigger than yourself, i.e. God.
In fact the opposite is true. It is your ego that is an illusion. Orthodox Christianity understands this and so does Shia Islam. Many faiths touch upon this idea. It is imprinted into the DNA of Orthodox and Shia belief systems although I’m afraid there are very few nominal adherents who would understand this today.
Sorry, p, for being a little late to the party of this thread by Ci, eh? and Peter AU and all.
The 2 paragraphs you quote do not lose me, so let me give the re-phrasing a try, at least from my limited but growing understanding, since I can’t sleep:
The purpose of our existence as individual beings with Egos in this space/time continuum or “physical /spiritual domain” is to advance in consciousness individually, but more fundamentally by individually affecting consciousness IN THE AGGREGATE, of the planet Earth, for starters.
The individual human Ego, while a necessary existence so that something is responsible for taking care of the vessel or container of the someone containing an individual consciousness, that is the body/brain/mind of the individual, is at the same time a hurdle or barrier to the small “s” individual self growing in identification and active participation with the capital “S” larger Self of Humanity as a whole.
The individual ego is pathetically small and impotent and transitory in comparison to the Self of universal or even planetary consciousness. Thus, CI, eh? can call your ego “an illusion” and I have no problem with that! Granted, it is a slightly more challenging concept, when he says the same of my ego……………….but I’m working on it! (Small joke.)
This barrier is evident when an individual is brainwashed by the mind control of a false existence (not existing in nature) like Money, into believing that their worth is a number (left to heirs or charity, or the government) rather than any active part in any ascendance in his or her level of individual consciousness or participation in raising the aggregate consciousness of this community or this planet or the Universe.
Peter AU is a brave soul, willing to stare into the abyss of death and nothingness years before that time comes for him. But I would say that no religious belief is required of him to face the passing of “this mortal coil” with much more optimism than his post above (with the included bit about death) radiates. Is he here, and elsewhere, in his thoughts and actions better positioned to participate in a growth of the aggregate consciousness of the whole of humanity than the ego-driven businessman or entreprenuer that has concluded that the ultimate Meaning of Life can be expressed as “He Who Dies With The Most Toys Wins!” ? Absolutely, he is, in my opinion. He cares, he has an intellect and he has a body capable of carrying out a will inspired by his thoughts and his spirit, a will that can raise his own consciousness and potentially many, many others.
It seems to me that Ci, eh? is getting at the plain fact that the average individual in the West is more brainwashed, more spiritually degraded (ego driven, identifying his or her person almost exclusively with the small self, and extremely estranged from the larger Self) than many of those not in this currently declining culture.
Enough for now. Those are my current thoughts on the matter. Goodnight.
“It seems to me that Ci, eh? is getting at the plain fact that the average individual in the West is more brainwashed, more spiritually degraded (ego driven, identifying his or her person almost exclusively with the small self, and extremely estranged from the larger Self) than many of those not in this currently declining culture.”
Excellent comment , although I do not understand why you have limited this to “Western” individuals?
Anonymous at 8:22 am says “……I do not understand why you have limited this to “Western” individuals?
I limit my comment because I want the focus of my attack there, on the Western spiritual condition, due to limitations of time and space, and because I KNOW more about “Western Individuals” being one of them and living among many others of them.
I am fully aware that Eastern individuals also confront the same spiritual tests, but for the most part they and their governments are not in the forefront of the attempt to impose worldwide mind control, economic slavery and genocide on a massive scale, as far as I can see.
Some of them may read English and visit this Vineyard of the Saker. My ears are open if you are such an Eastern individual or if more such persons offer their perspective here. But in my judgment, limited and fallible as it may be, I am presently concluding that 90% + here are Westerners who form a sort of resistance to being flushed down the spiritual and cultural toilet that our deeply sick, spiritually evil elites are filling the toilet’s tank for. Call it the Big Flush.
Some of us do not want to “Go quietly into that dark and putrid spiritual cesspool.” they have set up for Planet Earth and its inhabitants.
IMHO, the toilet (I’m hoping that you and I, although in the vicinity of the bathroom, haven’t fallen into the toilet bowl yet……) is Western, the water supply filling the tank (propaganda, mind control, economic slavery, etc ) is primarily Western, and that’s where the focus of our time and energy were better spent, than in the East, which is now dominated by the Win, Win proclamations of the Chinese leadership, at least publicly.
Now, I am not naive, but at the rate we in the West are declining, the East (China) may be severely spiritually tested, after the collapse of the West, should they be in a position to “take it all”. Ergo, we in the West would be well served to NOT allow our elites to complete the Big Flush they have been preparing for many decades, out of their own spiritual deficiencies.
Sorry about the horrible, stinky metaphor, but I am really big on pungency and pith that pack a metaphorical punch, and I hope it pushes some more potent participation, from someone, in some particular part of the planet somewhere, West or East! Resist! Ascend, do not get passively flushed down that hole in the spiritual floor of the Planet Earth. To the Great Work! Onward and upward! The air at the top (I imagine!) is pure and clean. It’s already pretty good, IMHO only half way up!
And the view is fantastically beautiful!
@C I eh?
Please provide a legitimate source for your statement “the kurds who demand federalization are not the Kurds who live in Syria”. Or qualify your statement by making obvious this is your opinion.
Do you not read Penny every day?
Did you read the Korbyko article above? Do you think Kurds want to ruled over by Chechens or Turkomen?
The people who supposedly speak for Kurds are Western sponsered jihadi terrorist gangsters.
Penny is biased.. Not that she is incorrect but it is all slated. Like anything I read, I only take the content and use my own analysis on it. We are human and to err is human.. Out bias and perceptions place a great deal on how we see things. Since I do not see the kurds as bad guys I take what they do as good, which is very simplistic as they have done great harm to Christians.. But I take the turks as evil and hence what they do is evil and well I don’t know of any good they have done for Christians so what the heck.. There is nothing positive for me to support the turks over.. No matter how bad the kurds are, I would prefer them to the turks..
Thierry Meyssan is a Frenchman who lives in Syria. I have enormous respect for him, as he seems to have the very best contacts, and wrote about The Russian intervention 4 weeks before I read it anywhere else.
He is well worth reading now about current events.
“Russia and Victory by Thierry Meyssan”
That’s right, Meyssan had it even before the Israelis did, as he reminds us in this piece you cite – and the Israelis jumped all over it with propaganda like they were scalded (which they were, I suspect).
I love the concluding paragraph of the Meyssan piece:
We have seen throughout the whole campaign that the Syrians have been expected and honored with the principal tasks of this fight at every turn, as their strength permitted. The pride and morale of the Syrian forces must be enormous right now.
I really enjoyed Ghassan Hadi’s article yesterday here, when he cited the high morale of the Syrians, and their unshakable bond with the Russians. This is a point that’s been neglected throughout all the commentary regarding this announcement, and I expect we’ll begin to see more now. The glory of their Victory,
Let’s not forget that the war is continuing. Thanks to the ceasefire, which works much better than anyone could have hoped for, huge numbers of SAA personnel have been freed up and redeployed to new battle fronts. Furiously battered ISIS on the retreat everywhere.
Hottest front: Palmyra. Last chance for the CIA-jihadis to take selfies in front of Roman temple ruins before they run off to Raqqa.
And almost unreported: the Iraqi army & allies, on their part, are doing a great job decimating ISIS in Iraq.
By the time the main roads that connect the desert lands between Syria and Iraq will be under Syrian/Iraqi Government control, Mossad/CIA will have their ISIS clown show fully migrated to Tunisia, Marocco, Lybia and Egypt.
A word about the House of Saud? Don’t make me laugh – they are non-players.
And the Turks?? Busy avoiding a CIA regime change in the coming months.
“The announcement of the partial withdrawal of the Russian Army from Syria has spawned a great number of commentaries which illustrate the preconceived bias of their authors rather than reality. ”
Yes, I agree. I heard the news at a busy time and read the Russian announcements carefully and concluded that it was some tactical readjustments to help facilitate diplomatic goals etc. Then I watched and read with some puzzlement all the reactionary responses over the next few days — what had I missed?
It took about a week but as well set above by Meyssan the following days was more about watching the “preconceived bias” of various authors.
Thanks. You put the pieces of the puzzle together in a masterful way. If Putin is a chess master, your analysis of his moves somehow gets into his mind in a way that makes sense.
As for predicting the future, well that’s a whole other level of analysis.
“your analysis of his moves somehow gets into his mind in a way that makes sense”
Putin and Fedor Emelianenko fight in very different arenas but I suspect their characters are very similar. There a number of videos on Emelianenko that start to give an insight into his character.
How he reacts on the occasions when he loses, how he reacts when he wins, what is the last thing he does before a bout, and first thing after a bout, ect ect.
This one is a good start.
Dennis, I forgot to add my name again but anon at 11.46 was myself.
Thanks. I had no idea there was this kind of intensity.
An observation – the western press have turned against Turkey. Snide comments are happening all the time, something that never happened even 2 months ago.
BBC world news – hardtalk, interviews guests straight out of CIS casting. Litvinenko widow & Goldfarb, Tymoshenko daughter, Khordokovsky son, Poroshenko in Nov 2013 etc. yats in April 2014.
3 days ago it was the editor of Today’s Zaman (English language sister paper to Zaman).
I know we get brief periods when those guiding the western media really have no guidance about what to say on Syria. But this seems more like a change of policy. Turkey is no longer getting media support from the CIA/US PR teams.
Yeah! I noticed that too! Would not be surprised if this is propaganda prepping the people for a potential coup in Turkey. Hey live by the sword …
The west wants to place nookoolear wahrheads in Turkey to neuter any Russian response.. Ofcourse they ARE biased.. In war, turkey would be one of the first places nucked because of this.. You think a someone is going to do things against their best interests when you are ragging on them? The bribes better be that good to take the risk of turning into sheesh kabab..
The thing is, you only have to bribe a few people to get an entire country to do things against their best interests.
The silence coming from Geneva is deafening. I take it the real peace talks are taking place on the ground in Syria.
It is clear that Russian forces are remaining in Syria to a significant degree- but this is not the point. The ‘perception’ is everything to the Anglo-zionist recruiters, funders, armers and trainers of the Wahhabi terror gangs, for perception propaganda is all that matters to the foolish young Muslim males who think they are joining a genuine ‘crusade’ against foreign influence in the Muslim world.
The West understands propaganda in a way Russia never can- and this has to do with the laughably clumsy and ineffective propaganda methods developed in the old days of the Soviet Union, vs the razor sharp methods the ‘chosen people’ utilise in the controlled mainstream media of the West.
99% of the entire planet’s population ‘knows’ what they ‘know’ as a result of reading, hearing or watching the controlled media propaganda produced by the West. We here are the ‘enlightened’ 1%, and our numbers are so small we hardly count. Worse, amongst that 1% are ‘hero worshipping’ fools who constantly distort all logical thinking to heap praise on their ‘alpha male’ heroes, no matter how mistaken such heroes may be in certain decisions.
Putin was gaining an upper hand in the propaganda war, but now sneaky Anglo-zionist tacticians have persuaded Putin to fumble the ball. For sure, Russian might still dominates in the Syrian region, but the ability of the Anglo-zionists to massively up their recruitment of terrorist fighters on the perception of Russian actions gives the current victory very much to the masters of the West. Putin has the lesser ‘internal’ morale. The West has the vastly more valuable ‘external’ morale where the billions of sheeple have their minds very much lined up against Russia. In this game you must not only be a winner, but also be perceived to be a winner by the masses- something Putin just doesn’t get.
Look at how the putrid warmongering Obama is hero-worshipped by the intellectual ‘liberal’ left in the USA for instance. This is how effective the propaganda services of the ‘chosen people’ in the West are. And Obama is just another ‘white’ friendly ‘black’ male in the mould of O J Simpson, remember. Yes, Putin has the genuine affection and appreciation of his own population- but outside of Russia his reputation is largely toxic with the ordinary member of the sheeple class. Putin needs to care more about his planetary reputation if he is to stand any chance of defeating the Demons of the West. Winning the propaganda war is everything.
the Anglo-Zionist strength in propaganda is also its weakness.
Our Anglo-Zionist masters actually believe their own propaganda. They believe propaganda determines reality. Ie. Anglo-Zionists position themselves in the world as if the fictions they themselves created were real … and so are caught flat-footed by actual reality every time. Especially when Putin throws a warp into reality which is exactly orthogonal to the current propaganda. (Ie. some total unheard of novelty which is beyond the ability of warmongering Anglo-Zionists to comprehend .. Which leaves them scrambling in all directions to create propaganda scenarios => which brings to the attention of the target populations that obvious propaganda is under construction)
Propaganda is like the paint job on a car. At the moment the US is busy polishing the paintwork on their car but the engine is seized, whereas Putins motor is running strong.
No matter how good the paint job people will gravitate to what works. We have seen that in Syria where judging by comments in the MSM, nobody believes the crap that is printed.
You raise an interesting point. Given a statistically relevant number of comments on any one article, how relevant in turn does that represent the overall readership of that article?
Unfortunately it depends on many factors including but not limited to -how much of a hot button issue, how ‘organised’ was the comment response -pixel personas, paid and unpaid trolls etc. other media manipulation, how long the article stays up and its positioning with other media and even time zones when published.
I agree with you that cynicism has increased. Unfortunately that is countered by well-designed divisive propaganda, lack of continuity, poor attention span and non-critical thinking of the public and unlimited propaganda spackle to plug any cracks in the propaganda wall.
” how ‘organised’ was the comment response -pixel personas, paid and unpaid trolls etc”
In the Guardian comments, I recognise most of the regulars that are constantly posting. The anti Russia regular crowd are unchanging no matter. It is the others that don’t post regularly, or just one or two posts per article that have changed (regarding Russia in Syria)
I think we are looking at a new era, starting from Putins UNGA speech. If Putin/Russia can keep driving around getting things done, people will start to notice.
In fact I’ve noticed the absence of many “usual suspects” at the Graun (Great Mountain Eagle, Jezzam, etc) who I can only assume were real trolls. As to the efficacy of Western MSM propaganda, it has obviously bombed, as the ratio of pro-Russia comments outweighs the pro-West by something like 10 or 20-1, and all the top-ranked comment are critical of the West. Same all over, whether the Graun, Indie, NYT, whatever. The canard of the West’s propaganda prowess is a joke. They’re useless at that too.
Re “Yes, Putin has the genuine affection and appreciation of his own population- but outside of Russia his reputation is largely toxic with the ordinary member of the sheeple class.”
I dunno, it might seem that way, in one way, . . . but how do you explain bumper stickers that say “Putin for President”? And even neocon fanboyism—jeez, wish we had someone that decisive and effective on *our* side!! Who can ride a bear . . . (Davy Crockett, anyone? )
Yes, there are a lot of sheeple out there demonizing on cue, but is it possible that the size and cluelessness of this herd is also magnified by the media because the latter keep repeating the demonization formulae without checking to see whether the sheeple are really still following along? How would they know? And how would we know? The failure to convince that Putin is Satan incarnate might partially explain the utter disgust that so many Americans feel toward the whole political process and its designated winners (most esp. Bushy boy Jeb and Hillary Clinton).
I think there might be more than a little envy that the Russkies have produced a real leader—even if people can’t figure out from the MSM just what is going on in Syria. The MSM don’t seem to have an account of the Syria debacle that makes Obama or our military look competent.
In Germany, it seems like people are not buying the MSM “Putin caused the refugee crisis” snake oil.
“We here are the ‘enlightened’ 1%, and our numbers are so small we hardly count. Worse, amongst that 1% are ‘hero worshipping’ fools who constantly distort all logical thinking to heap praise on their ‘alpha male’ heroes, no matter how mistaken such heroes may be in certain decisions.”
Enlightened 1%? I don’t think so.
Power and money in the hands of the few is the source of all our problems – Russia is at the head of that problem but here is what one of the “enlightened” thinks http://thesaker.is/very-important-speech-of-vladimir-putin/comment-page-1/#comment-219983 on the subject:
“I don’t think Russia is returning to communism and firing squads any time soon. Someone already put that one over on them. They are over it. You’re not, that’s very clear.
Thanks for providing a live example of a red diaper baby living in the past, jealous of all other babies who have moved out of that past.”
The Russian “elite” are no better/worse than any other elite – “Ted” is rather than enlightened part of the 99% unenlightened (as are many others here of the same opinion).
Anonymous at 10:00 pm you are a very humorless chap. I answered your last death threat retort in the above referenced thread and paste it below, in case you or others don’t trouble to go back there;
“In your homicidal dreams, Anonymous at 2:57 pm.
Your spirit is not very appealing. Vengeance, threats, jealousy. It’s all fear based nonsense. Keep working on it. If the moderator is going to continue to publish your death threats, I really don’t care. It gives people a clinical example to briefly study and be able to better deal with when they run into that not uncommon psychosis again.
By the way, I don’t mind most of the communists here at all. But it seems like I nailed it with the “red diaper baby” hypothesis. And you been seeing blood red ever since. Try a cool shower.”
Chill, brother, chill. And get “Kill, brother, kill.” out of your currently unfortunate consciousness. Not the best place from which to judge the consciousness of an entire community. Or Russia itself. Dos vidanya.
Daesh won’t be defeated until it’s eradicated from both Iraq and Syria. The underlying job of restoring sovereignty to Syria and Iraq won’t be done until the Outlaw US Empire’s forces are eradicated too. Then there’s the problem of Palestine from which the whole modern chapter of terrorism arose. Putin has said the UN Charter is THE standard, must be returned to its proper place, and upheld; the Chinese concurred. The action taken in Syria is only the beginning of a long journey. In his latest speech, Putin said “Russia’s main agenda today is that of peace.” But establishing peace means defeating in detail the Outlaw US Empire’s goal of Full Spectrum Domination of the planet and holding its leaders accountable for their many crimes; otherwise, there’s no way the Rule of Law can become the Force it must.
Re: “Daesh won’t be defeated until it’s eradicated from both Iraq and Syria.”
Daesh won’t be defeated until it’s masters are eradicated from Washington DC, Riyadh and Tel Aviv.
Another very good article, Saker. You have nailed this topic again.
The instant I heard of the pullout, I thought that it was a feint. I looked for the components of diplomacy and tactics on the ground. I always have felt Russia is never going to leave Syria because it really cannot. Has nothing to do with the Assad regime or US.
And, so, Russia has economic and strategic positioning interests there. It gives them a border with Turkey, it makes them a player for oil and gas in the Golan and off-shore. It positions them with Saudi and Iraq. And it allows them access to Lebanon and Hezbollah. It connects them directly with Kurds. It positions them to keep Israel off-balance. It is much closer to Greece and Egypt, friends and customers.
So, Syria is piece of real estate not unlike the distant Pacific Islands which the US uses to let it influence the Asia Pacific region. Guam, Okinawa, Philippines, even Taiwan has its uses.
Syria and Russia have a long history in modern times. Russia is never leaving.
It makes Russia a super power, a region force and counters the US, Turkey, Iran, Israel and the Arabs of the Gulf States, while it gains access to North Africa and Southern Europe along the Mediterranean.
With the gradual retrenchment of US after ISIS (openly planned by Trump), Russia should do very well in the ME for the coming decade. It’s arms sales alone should net them 50x what the war has cost.
I agree with you Larchmonter. Once I heard the news about Russia “pulling-out” from Syria and many pro-Russians were like: “OMG, the sky is falling, Erdogan will invade, Putin betrayed his allies again when they were on the brink of victory” I was sure, that this was purely a feint as well as publicity stunt.
Russia’s tactic in the informational sphere in recent years has always been to manipulate the simulacrum created by the Western MSM. In this case, it goes like this:
a) MSM: Russia is trying to destabilize the EU and Merkel, by creating a refugee wave with her indiscriminate bombing.
b) Russia is economically crumbling and cannot afford her wars.
c) Russia is bombing the “good rebels” while leaving ISIS largely intact.
By announcing the withdrawal, the Western MSM have to readjust their propaganda in some kind of semi-coherent way:
a) Russia is out of money, that’s why they left Syria and abandoned Assad.
b) Assad is now weakened.
But this creates the following problems:
a) If Russia cannot afford the bombs that create refugee waves, then who is doing it? If Russia “has abandoned Assad” then who is responsible for the refugees? Is it Erdogan? Is it the EU itself?
b) If Russia is out of Syria, then should we help the rebels even more? Should we(NATO) escalate? Won’t that make us look even more of warmongers?
At the same time, the feint, has ramifications beyond the simulacrum. NATO-GCC find themselves in a real dilemma: “Should we escalate against Assad and Iraq, but then risk another Russian surprise counter-move?”
Otherwise, I agree with you on Syria’s immense strategic value for Russia on all the points that you have underlined. But I would also like to add the pipeline business. It seems that a Russian victory in Syria will destroy any hopes for the Qatari-Saudi pipeline to Europe. I am unsure whether something substantial can be sourced from Northern (Kurdish) Iraq and combine with Azeri gas and create Brezhinsky’s wet dream, Nabucco.
So whatsup in the front?..nothing on Palmyra,quarytian or zor?..great tidings of bright joy of victory over team chaos field operatives?..lets get some real news plz!
You will find the day by day, blow by blow stuff here
Here’s the best website for info on events in Syria, as seen from a pro-Assad perspective:
The father has more amusing phrases, but the son and the team with him give the daily accounts of what is happening in Syria in the almasdarnews
Great father & son team.
99% of what I know about the Syria conflict comes from their blogs, 1% from Russian sources. As far as Western news outlets are concerned, controlled or alternative – it is all way off the mark and utterly useless.
As an American, I find this somewhat embarrassing. If I am understanding correctly, Putin went in, achieved his military objectives quickly and decisevely, and then withdrew those forces he no longer needed. What a novel concept.
Perhaps the Nobel Peace Prize winning Obama could learn something from his Russian counterpart!
“Perhaps the Nobel Peace Prize winning Obama could learn something from his Russian counterpart!” I nominate Ronn Parsely for the Understatement of the Decade Prize.
Except that I would add that the possibility of Barack Obama learning from Vladimir Putin is next to nil due to the fact that Obama was carefully groomed and selected to be a slave of the NWO slave-masters, and as such is under deep occult Mind Control perfected by those satanic elites. As is much of our American citizenry.
Since Barack Obama more than almost any of the other mental slaves among his brainwashed supporters and brainwashed “counter-gang” republican opponents has an enormously inflated EGO, which makes it almost impossible for him to ever utter the 3 Magic Words of personal spiritutal growth ” I Was Wrong!” I would not hold your breath waiting for that miracle breakthrough, Ronn.
However, I would seek out others, such as yourself (me included) that absolutely love the growth of True Self infinitely more than the false little self of Ego, and look forward to saying those 3 magic words very, very often. It is among those humble Americans (not their current so-called “leaders” ) that we will find “Hope and Change”, IMHO.
Best reading on the Kurds surprisingly found in Newsweek:
OT but include because it has been totally censored by Western MSM.
After trial lasting seven years, six indivduals in France have been found guilty of assaulting peaceful protestors. The trial involved five judges, four of whom resigned from the case after facing intense pressure. At least one of the attackers has previous form for violent acts. Three of the six attackers have received jail sentences, but the other three have disappeared and believed to have flown to a country that doesn’t have an extradition treaty with France. One of the victims’ lawyers stated “Normally, this type of case is dealt with within three months. It has to be said that this is a very sensitive issue.” It was clearly a racist hate crime given the nature of the victims and their attackers.
I guess it is no surprise that the case took 7 years rather than 3 months is because the attackers were members of the JDL (defined as a terrorist organisation in some other countries) and the 3 who fled are believed to have gone to Israel.
Full details at
Please spread the details of this event as the MSM won’t.
ZH calls it correctly, imo:
“Now, the zeitgeist has changed. Ms. Merkel is out of style and out of step. In Britain, France, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Hungary, and the U.S., the candidates getting the most enthusiastic support are those who urge closing borders, restricting trade, and looking to protect themselves from all that is threatening, different, or new. Forget free trade! Forget freedom of travel! Stop immigration… especially of the Muslims and Mexicans! Build a wall! Torture your enemies! Stop trying to expand the empire!”
And RT headlines shouts Erdogan’s blowback: “Istanbul suicide bomber identified as ISIS member – Turkish interior minister”.
Indeed, the times they are a changing (rather rapidly it seems) — hardly surprising when the ‘End of Ideology’ is neigh and the slimy criminal classes have looted the banks and the future of a whole generation of otherwise honest working people. Will those walls of the gated communities stand the pressure of the revolting classes?
No,they won’t,that’s why they will create a WAR…a large one
Here is the video with English subtitles, posted in Fort Russ, on the speech of Comrade Vladímir Valdímirovich Putin to the members of the Russian Army who have performed in such an effective and clean way the tasks assigned in Syria.
I especially thank the sensibility in making a special mention to thank the women within these forces “who have chosen this career and this path to life”, if already difficult and full of sacrifices for a man, much more for a woman.
Also I do not know if anyone has noticed, but we can see at minute 1:08, our dear, at least for me, Comrade Konashenkov, who, despite not having received any public recognition, I hope that at least has received a private one. If not, at least I send him my appreciation and affection from here, for me it was a pleasure to hear and see his pleasant and sharp briefings.
What face of a good person he has!
Here the video for those who missed it:
I think I was one of the few who rejoiced in hearing about the cease fire. After reading Alexander Mercouris
I think I was one of the few who rejoiced when reading about the ceasefire in Syria. However, like the millions here in USA, I could not grasped the meaning of Russia reaching her goals in general :). This article reaffirms my confidence in Mr. Putin who is a believer and practitioner of International law and diplomacy. Great to see a great mind in our midst. Is even fun to be struck by the surprise of not knowing the direction of decisions made by people like Mr. Putin.
The sad thing is to realize the leadership we have in USA, they are the product of our ignorance. I feel like we are in the Roman Empire and that Nero (Clinton, Trump or anybody of the bunch) is about to take power. Power really corrupts even such sacred things as Christianity. Our blindness in not realizing that USA is promoting chaos and destruction instead of democracy is one of the greatest tragedies of our age. Thank you Saker you are the man!!!
USA & the west have only one goal, REGIME CHANGE (as they succeeded with Libya, Iraq, Serbia). The issues that America has with Syria are the following:
1) It is ruled by Baath which is an Arabic
anti-colonial national liberation socialistic movement [it is no coincidence that the Iraqi Baath was banned by american occupation authorities and all baath members were persecuted and dismissed from public sector jobs].
2) Syria was allied with Ussr and has a close relationship with Russia & Iran while it has refused to recognize Israel (as Egypt , Jordan did). It was the last country in the area opposed to Israel. Syrian Golan heights are illegally annexed by Israel.
2) Syrian economy was and to some extent remains a state owned and centrally planned economy (similar to the eastern bloc economies). Western investors cannot exploit the Syrian economy as long as it remains a state owned protectionist economy.
The same things were true about Qaddafi and Libya. Libya under qaddafi was transformed into a non aligned state and had a nationalised economy. Because of Gaddaffi’s government, the West lost its Libyan military bases and
western corporations could not exploit Libya’s mineral wealth (as they did before Gaddafi’s ascendance to power).
Western elites don’t care if Libya or Syria will become failed states. They only care about controlling and opening up their economies.
In addition, they don’t care about “democracy”.
Yes it is true that Syria and Libya are not democratic and the Assad and Gaddaffi families had great control, as it happened with Bashar Assad succession of his father and with the grooming of Gaddaffi’s children to take control.
But neither the west is democratic. It is an oligarchic political and economic system. In addition, a few established families interchange in power as we can see with the Bush family, the Clintons, the Kennedy’s etc in USA.
Bush family (George Bush 1988-1992, Bush Jr 2000-2008, Jeb Bush Florida governor & 2016 failed presidential candidate)
Clinton family ( Bill 1992-2000, Hillary NY Senator 2001-2009, state secretary 2009-2013, 2016 presidential candidate)
It’s like having a few aristocrats and their immediate family members that divide power and posts between them every few years.
The western hypocricy becomes more evident because of the western support of the puppet gulf states and Saudi Arabia . These regimes are reactionary medieval absolute monarchies, theocratic dictatorships, that severely suppress women and violate many human rights. On the other hand, Syria (as well as Sadam’s Iraq, Gaddaffi’s Libya) is a secular country and women enjoy many more freedoms.
But western media and politicians remain silent on the true nature of Qatar, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia (and even Turkey) etc.
One reason is that the elites of the gulf states have invested billions of Petro dollars on buying property, stocks, corporations, media, banks etc on western economies.
But the main reason is because the gulf states are puppet regimes that preferentially sell their oil to the west (under american terms), they allow the stationing if numerous American troops and bases, and follow neoliberal trade and economic policies so that western banks, corporations and funds can invest their billions in real estate/ construction projects, stock exchange etc
it takes time, to get distance to the huge mountain in history of V.V.’s order of last Monday , like it is in my recognition part of a fifty-years-mountain.
Therefore a second reading: “Additional musings of the Eurasian Way: To Winn by Retreat.”
Every of your readings is a profound revelation.
You wrote on March 7th”
“Mars now newly in Sagittarius
upon the wide funnel of chance signifying new
beginnings and breakthroughs for
like the super-confessional
Syrian – Russian Islam
harboring the different languages
Allah uses to speak in
Jupiter shining on the conditions
fostering fortune and wide view
and with him carries the paradox unison
in the mighty cross
together with father Saturn
solemn guest in the realm of
On earth, as it is in heaven. Ah?
Gives me chills.
The imagery not only shows that the Russians are still expanding infrastructure and facilities at the air base, but also that they have deployed additional assets in the past few days there. These prominently include Mi-28 and Ka-52 helicopter gunships that have a variety of uses: In addition to protecting the facilities, they can conduct combat search and rescue operations and provide close air support to ground forces. The Russians have also emphasized that their air defenses will remain in place, as shown in the imagery of the active S-400 battery at Bassel al Assad air base.
BTW, I have read that Freidman has moved on from Stratfor, leaving his 50 employee firm behind to start another one (I forget the name). I guess the money pipeline is gushing so much frei money he can’t set up companies fast enough.
Take that to mean there’s a war being brewed up.
The poor military results by the West, led by the U.S., are clearly intentional. Why would you destroy the tool you need to destabilize Syria? Much easier to write it off as a poorly functioning military and beg for more money to fix it than actually admit what they’re doing. In fact, if the U.S. really wanted to stop ISIS it would simply go to those funding it and threaten to stop military aide, etc.
Pepe Escobar asks:
Is There a US-Russia Grand Bargain in Syria?http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article44478.htm
“The grand bargain is based on the current ceasefire (or “cessation of hostilities”) holding, which is far from a given. Assuming all these positions hold, a federal Syria could emerge, what could be dubbed Break Up Light.
Essentially, we would have three major provinces: a Sunnistan, a Kurdistan and a Cosmopolistan.
Sunnistan would include Deir ez-Zor and Raqqa, assuming the whole province may be extensively purged of ISIS/ISIL/Daesh.
Kurdistan would be in place all along the Turkish border – something that would freak out Sultan Erdogan to Kingdom Come.
And Cosmopolistan would unite the Alawi/ Christian/ Druze/ secular Sunni heart of Syria, or the Syria that works, from Damascus up to Latakia and Aleppo.
Syrian Kurds are already busy spinning that a federal Syria would be based on community spirit, not geographical confines.”
Irani General Soleimani, explains some reasons why the Russian forces are not so necessary now:
(…)”As the Iranian General Soleimani said the bombing only have effectiveness to some extent, the release must be made town by town street by street to ensure Syria at 100% .
For almost two months ago the Russian Air Force just launched bombing since the main terrorist targets were destroyed leaving the remaining in civil in areas of high population which is used as human shields.
The Russian forces in Syria continue to have an important role which is to deter the Western powers to invade Syria, thereby Russia is not completely removed until there is security and comprehensive warranties in Syria, any way the Russian aircraft could return if necessary”.(…)
Also, ISIS seems that now has moved to the Lebanese border:
(…)”In a statement read by two ISIS Lebanese terrorists fighting in their ranks and expressed themselves with their faces covered, they asked the Sunni community in Lebanon to “renounce its local leaders,” calling them “tyrants on earth”. The images showed all the leaders of the Lebanese political class: Sunnis, Shiites and Christians.
The message also addressed the soldiers of the Lebanese army, especially the Sunnis, whom he accused of being vassals of the US and Iran and asked them to leave their ranks to join ISIS.
ISIS called Hezbollah of “military of crime in Lebanon” and called the Shiites with the derogatory name of “Raafidis”. The statement read says that ISIS will attack Lebanon and nobody will prevent its extension.
These statements coincided with an upsurge in the actions of the terrorist group along the border between Syria and Lebanon.”(…)
The west is like a crazy uncle, let’s call him Sam. Sam really can’t hold a job and “couch surfs” between different relatives and friends.
One Thanksgiving Sam came up from the basement wearing his ratty old bath robe, Kleenex
boxes for shoes and carrying a shot gun. He went out side, followed by concerned friends and relatives, and pointed to some turkeys in a tree. There were no turkeys. So he pops off a couple of shells and down comes a tree branch. Sam picks up the branch and runs inside triumphantly with his ‘turkey’, which he then tries to shove in the oven.
“My Sam that’s a big turkey” his relatives exclaim, “why don’t you cook it in the fire place?”
So Sam runs to the fire place and puts his ‘turkey’ in before he wanders back to the basement muttering to himself about saving Thanksgiving.
Probably best to humor a crazy guy with a gun, so everybody complements him on his ‘turkey’.
Recall when Russia “cooperated” with Uncle Sam to get rid of the chemical weapons? Recall also that the west never ever said anything about getting rid of said weapons as a possible way of avoiding the punishment strike (as if the west is the worlds daddy) on Assad’s forces, until John ‘the horse faced genius’ Kerry opened his mouth in a press conference. Kerry’s comments were immediately walked back, but it was to late.
Long story, short Uncle Sam wanted to bomb, Russia didn’t want the bombing to happen, and no bombs were dropped. Russia didn’t “cooperate” with Uncle Sam, they thwarted him. Wish I could find this press conference with Kerry and Lavrov that seemed to show Lavrov holding back a laugh as Kerry went on about this “cooperation”. Yes Uncle Sam a nice “turkey” indeed!
Of course Uncle Sam is going to spin Russia’s partial pullout in a way that conforms to his delusions. Russia came to it’s senses (they spin) and now knows Assad is a bad guy and they are getting stuck in the dreaded quagmire.
Thus Russia is pulling out to force Assad to the negotiating table and agree to elections. Never mind Assad has always been willing to stand for elections, nice ‘turkey’ Uncle Sam! If America wants to believe having Assad stand for elections was their idea the Russians won’t care, best to humor a crazy guy with a gun, and now Russia can ask for some reciprocity. If mere Russia can force Assad to the table, as the delusional uncle spins it, certainly the worlds hyper power can use it’s much greater influence on the Saudis and the Turks. America may have to try or risk being exposed as powerless or even complicit in the horrible Syrian tragedy.
Cruise missile jamming was the real reason the U.S. and Russia worked out a face-saving way to solve the Red Line Crisis of September 2013.
NATO couldn’t make a clean strike upon Assad; most of the cruise missiles would have failed to find their targets. Assad on the other hand, has scores of Russian anti-ship missiles that can span the Mediterranean. With Russian help, they wouldn’t miss.
With Russian blessing, Assad was willing to go down in a blaze of glory, taking with him the NATO Mediterranean surface fleet. He would never survive the war, but after experiencing the devastation of his country, to say Assad may be furious behind his calm demeanor, would be an understatement. He’s a dead man walking, and knows it.
Many in the U.S. Navy, understood their tactical disadvantage and protested against the potential war on Facebook. It would have been a pointless confrontation leading either to critical NATO losses excusing massive escalation to another pointless world war on the spot, or severe politically untenable U.S. humiliation leading to world war anyway. Entering such a war, with U.S./NATO saddled with first losses, was the likelihood they also knew what we know now, that Russian capabilities can defeat NATO conventionally.
The official story going about now is that Obama and his intel staff acted responsibly and refused to bomb because of a lack of ‘slam dunk’ evidence Assad used chemical weapons on civilians. The truth did come out, that the rebels aided by Turkey manufactured the entire incident to try and get the U.S. to fight the war for them directly. Odds are, Team Obama were realists and unwilling to act on flimsy evidence, but that usually doesn’t mean much in the face of neocon pressure. The only other explanation is real threat of military loss.
Jeffrey Goldberg’s article, The Obama Doctrine (The Atlantic, April 2016) was extremely misleading about the Red Line incident. It was a cheap shot, since Goldberg knew or should know as a journalist, what everyone else who reads reliable alternative news sources knows, attacking Syria was militarily unfeasible. Only the neocons wanted massive American/NATO casualties, that would likely allow them to whip up public hysteria for a massive U.S. commitment to break the region, essentially to give Israel the Middle Eastern empire it can’t win on its own.
However, Obama can never officially admit the real reasons for pulling back, or the details behind whatever deal was made for Kerry’s seemingly inadvertent olive branch to be so quickly accepted by Putin and Assad.
Most of the lame explanations of Russia’s announced withdrawal are from people who are used to seeing a corrupt and indebted nation, invade third world countries and then spend years giving tax payer reconstruction money to a minute and select group of FOMs (friends of the military) who become wealthy building $43,000,000,000 gas stations and $150,000,000,000 luxury hotels. So naturally, cockamamie excuses have to be made, otherwise, even the most obtuse proletariat my begin to wonder about the great and glorious military adventures continuosly initiated and why they go on and on and on and….
The Russians are already complaining that US is not holding up to their promises of the cease fire agreement. Why in all of US history made the Russians expect US to hold up to a promise?? What to do now? Fly back in? This back and forth would not look good.
I completely disagree with Saker this time. Him ringing the victory bells that soon is just not right. Nothing has been achieved yet. Stabilize Assad. What kind of goal is that. He didn’t even take Aleppo yet. I guess if you set the bar low enough you can always clear it. How about set a goal of getting rid of 500 tonnes of old bombs. Goal achieved! Lets celebrate.
The withdrawal is premature and demoralizing, and in best case scenarios dooms the poor Syrians for more years of bloody battle. The conflict is way too far from being militarily resolved.
For the first time I hope Putin is lying and he will keep bombing those bastards.
Air power missions in the Western context, dependent on dedicated aircraft types:
Strategic bombing (bombers) – Attacking civilian morale by attacking infrastructure supportive of military operations, especially production and logistics, especially if located in civilian areas, such as depots, factories and transportation hubs. Also called ‘terror bombing’ by the Germans since WWII, as Allied-inflicted collateral damage to civilians was indistinguishable from deliberately bombing civilians.
Air superiority (AS fighters) – Achieving military dominance of airspace, with emphasis on dominating enemy airspace for all other air missions.
Tactical bombing (attack and multirole fighters, attack helicopters) – Attacks on military targets, including combatants, installations and equipment. This includes close air support (CAS) in direct support of ground operations and deep air support (DAS), interdiction bombing in indirect support of ground operations.
Interception (AS and multirole fighters, ADS radar and missiles) – Preventing opposing air power to operate in your airspace. This role is dominated by ground-based missile defense systems independent of, but augmented by, interceptor aircraft.
The Russian strategic component was never based in Syria. The reasonably surgical ‘shock and awe’ was very entertaining on Youtube. There are likely few, if any, strategic targets remaining requiring dedicated bombers.
Air superiority never was intended or possible by the Russian intervention. The combined Syrian and Russian forces could not easily sustain a protracted extension of air power over one of Syria’s better-armed neighbors, like Turkey. The close distances and capabilities of Russian air defense and aircraft grant healthy flexibility, but not as the outright aggressor.
DAS/air interdiction capability has been reduced in proportion to the reduced number of targets. CAS has remained unchanged, centred as it was on M-24 helicopters and SU 24 strike fighters.
Interception likely has increased, with the S-400 air defense system and Su-30/35 fighter component settled in more or less permanently. A2AD lite is in effect with appropriate ground force protection.
More honest commentators were in disagreement over the definition of “create conditions for a political compromise” part of the statement. While withdrawing half the air component was inevitable, ceasefire was a little more ambiguous.
All DAESH factions preferably needed to be reduced so as to be unable to easily stage harassing assaults. Americans sniggering up their sleeves at serial violations is hardly unexpected. As are prolonged negotiations while NATO figures out what to do other than lose.
On the bright side, the ceasefire does identify liver-eating factions that can otherwise be reliably dealt with. It also exposes the degree to which NATO can begin to coordinate its proxies in a campaign of harassment. So far the nightmare scenario of repeated terrorist bombings in government held areas has not manifested, and ceasefire DAESH are confined to overt sniping and shelling.
Saudi Arabia and Turkey are never going to attack because they lack Suppression of Enemy Air Defense (SEAD) capable aircraft. Only the U.S. has SEAD capable fighters. Electronic warfare fighters would be needed, because advanced cruise missile jamming negates cruise missiles.
Its non-option for Saudi Arabia and Turkey to attack Syria; fighters, ships, artillery and tanks would suffer pyrrhic losses. The Americans are not anywhere nearby to be forced into backing them up. They would be gambling that Syrian-based forces run out of ammunition before Turkey/Saud run out of assets to throw away, leaving them at the mercy the Kurdish and IS militants within Turkey.
Whatever Russia’s plan really is, does appear to be working and creating favourable options. While a drawdown of forces was inevitable with or without a ceasefire, another couple of weeks to a month with a free hand against all DAESH factions would have been useful in assuring conditions for meaningful negotiations while reducing the burden on ground forces.
Maybe one could always say, just a couple of more weeks and Putin was right to kabosh open-ended mission creep. But yeah, just a couple of more weeks of unrestricted DAESH bombing…
I think there is another reason: Once the SAA has reassured the initiative on war, Russia changes strategy and is not “so implied”; in order to “not to darken” SAA’s victory,
Syrians have been who suffered and sacrifices, so the victory must be Syrian, not Russia, nor Iranian, nor either’s, but Syrian.
A good observation. However, a quick look at two maps detailing the situation on the ground suggests the Syrians are a long way from winning ‘on their own’.
Ceasefire locations are centrally located. The largest northernmost safe zone is close to the Turkish border – which means easy resupply. It also effectively bridges two blue Al-Nusra DAESH arms embracing a large swath of green ‘rebel’ territory between them. Is this happenstance or evidence of far better rebel DAESH command and control than usually reported, that a strategic formation exists?
The extent of DAESH occupation is, well, extensive.
IS Daesh are in an awkward position in having their supply lines cut off by the Kurds at Tishinn, and now have to run a gauntlet along Lake al-Assad, from Jarabulus through Manbij to al Thrawa before ar Raqqah. IS Daesh are essentially isolated and connected to Turkey by an easily spied upon and interdicted chokepoint.
Non IS Daesh are not so constrained. Apart from the northernmost ceasefire arcs, two ceasefire zones north and south of Hama likewise place the rebels in secured critical geography, although an obvious military formation is not as evident. Its always been assumed by popular media, that all DAESH groups were independent units with organic service branches. Some were more well-defined complete packages than others.
However, what if some groups were, at least as far as their NATO/GCC backers were concerned, divided into more realistic military branches? For example, some disparate threads of the Free Syrian Army actually connected as a real army and not a collection of fighting formations?
Some DAESH groups are assault infantry, some general infantry, others logistics, procurement and transport, then artillery (including VIEDs), engineering, and especially reconnaissance and intelligence.
All would have nominal fighting capability, but their planners would know what their task really is. For example, when al-Nusra overwhelms an otherwise well-armed ‘rebel’ group, one has to wonder if that rebel group was really intended for combat and able/willing to put up much of a fight, or simply stocked to be mugged as needed by IS or al-Nusra.
So-called ‘moderate’ DAESH lack of coordination might be a problem, but if logistics, support, and recon/intel DAESH (whether or not they see themselves as such) are protected by ceasefire, in theory dedicated combat DAESH now have ‘secured’ rear echelons to rotate fighters and supplies in-and-out of. Combat DAESH are also expendable as recon/intel is more needed in non-hot war scenarios. Eventually the clutter of non-compliant DAESH factions will sort out and NATO/GCC can attempt more elaborately coordinated operations.
The NATO/GCC objective now is to set the stage for some form of Syrian balkanization. This one map from Almasdar news, for examples, suggests a very large Sunnistan, and very reduced Kurdish Rojava, an Allwaite rump sector, and enlarged Druze sector along the Israeli/Jordan border.
Notice that the enlarged Sunnistan dominates the Iraq border and can the support Iraqi Sunnistan operations, which by that time may or may not be called the Islamic State. All these mini-stans save for Allawite-stan are landlocked, positioned to be dependent on outside aid and a black market economy to get around tariffs, and not the natural economics flowing from a united Syria with no internal tariffs and a thriving white market economy.
“The guerrilla must move amongst the people as a fish swims in the sea.” – Mao Zedong
That goes without saying, the black market economy is the sea in which agents of terrorism swim. Russia could not compete on this plane of corruption for long without endangering its own vital white market. The shadow economy has been growing out of control in the region for some time. All the cash and guns funneled in by the West/GCC was intended to change the economic landscape as well, not just the political.
NATO/GCC DAESH core operational capacity to bridge strategic goals with tactical capabilities, remains by appearances intact. Its only threatened by superficial internal divisions. The NATO/GCC plan appears to be, consolidate ‘their’ DAESH and preserve operational capabilities, while allowing Russia to soften or remove their too-independent rivals, al-Nusra and especially, IS for the duration of the peace process. Especially, IS domination of the black market trans-national economy the West/GCC/Israeli operatives need to operate freely within.
The Syrian people are far from being able to win this on their own. Literally they are fighting the full resources of the neo-con captured Western World and Westernized Arab world, as can be channeled into DAESH proxies.
Here on the west side of the pond (US) the mainstream-media has had a complete blackout on what has been going on in Syria. That is except to tell us that instead of going after ISIS those damn dirty rat Russians are bombing all of our good buddy’s, (like the Free Syrian Army) the dirty rats.
Anybody that knows anything about anything knows the Big Bad Bear has been kickin’ ass and takin’ names and now Assad’s military can pretty much handle the mop up. So why not throw Obama a bone and let the US help the Kurds, and Assad’s Army finish the job and of course take the credit and glory for a great victory over the few ISIS fighters that are left. I mean after all, as it is, if Putin does not allow us a hoo-raa we might die of embarrassment.
Look at the map; does that morass look like ‘mop-up’ conditions to you?
Western Anglo-Zionist operational capacity on the ground, the ability to organize, is not diminished.
The strategic goal, conquest, has been changed to partition to match diminished tactical capacity. There are many formulae for partition, but the preeminence of an Anglo-Zionist Sunnistan will be a constant. Even the Kurds will be in service to this, as only enslaved Sunni would have the raw numbers within and without Syria to serve the Empire.
An interesting development; IS diplomatic recognition is again being floated, only without any cosmetic rehabilitation.
The Islamic State terrorist group is so odious it normally wouldn’t be considered for diplomatic recognition, but, a Sunnistan is needed for Syrian partition and IS otherwise fits the bill for useful idiocy.
So, work may be beginning to rehabilitate IS from the point of faux pragmatism, while retaining the useful popular disdain needed to inflict whatever atrocity is needed to make them compliant to Anglo-Zionism.
Of course, real non-terrorist people held hostage by DAESH are worse than just dehumanized, they’re forgotten.