Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 03, 2015

BREAKING NEWS: Russia's Position On Assad Unchanged Since 2011 - Reuters, BBC

A typical part of propaganda campaigns is to claim that the "villain" has very recently changed his political positions. Then follows "analysis" which interprets the "change" as a sure sign that the villain is under pressure and on the verge of loosing the fight. Often such claims are completely unfounded as the villain only repeated a long standing position. They are only made to repeat, repeat, repeat ... that the villain is or was up to something bad.

When Iran, for example, states again that it does not want nuclear weapons it is repeating a decades old political position. But "BREAKING NEWS" headlines will claim that the position is new "Ayatollah: Iran to refrain from nuclear weapons". This lets people assume that Iran was planing to make nuclear weapons and that it just now changed that position.

Here is a live example of this propaganda technique.





How do we we know that this "BREAKING NEWS" is pure propaganda? Because Russia said over and over again that it is not supporting the person of Bashar Assad but the Syrian state and its people. A few examples:

June 5 2012: Russia says Assad could go in Syria settlement

Russia said Tuesday it was prepared to see Syrian President Bashar al-Assad leave power in a negotiated solution to 15 months of bloodshed that has claimed more than 13,000 lives.
"We have never said or insisted that Assad necessarily had to remain in power at the end of the political process," Gatilov told the ITAR-TASS news agency in Switzerland.

"This issue has to be settled by the Syrians themselves."

September 15 2012: Russia says not 'clinging' to Syria's Assad

"We are not clinging to any political figures," Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said in brief comments reaffirming the country's official position.

"And anyone who claims otherwise is distorting the picture," Gatilov told the Interfax news agency.
"It is only through the political process -- and not through any decision of the UN Security Council -- that the Syrians should determine the future of their state and its make-up," he added.

December 20 2012: Putin Says Russia Not Wedded to Assad, Wants End to Strife

Russia isn’t wedded to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and its main goal is to end the civil war in the country, President Vladimir Putin said.
“We aren’t concerned about Assad’s fate, we understand that the same family has been in power for 40 years and changes are obviously needed,” Putin said.

This point was made over the years again and again. It has been Russia's position from the beginning of the Syria conflict and had never changed.

September 15 2015: Russia's Vladimir Putin Says Only Syrian People Can Decide The Future Of President Assad

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that only Syrian people are entitled to decide who should govern their country and how. He was reacting to the reference of the U.S. coalition partners who want to see Syrian President Bashar Assad leave his office.

Most recently the ever unchanged position was stated on October 30 by Russia's Foreign minister Lavrov in a press conference with U.S. Secretary of State:

Lavrov: As John has said, we have no agreement on the destiny of Assad. Russia believes that it is up to Syrian people to decide within the framework of the political process. It is said in the joint statement that the political process should be done by the Syrian people and belong to the Syrian people, and the Syrian people should decide the future of their country.
"Journalist": [...] Russia has said, as you said just a few moments ago, that you do not necessarily believe that Mr. Assad needs to go?
Lavrov: I did not say that Assad has to go or that Assad has to stay. I said that Assad’s destiny should be decided by the Syrian people, as well as all other aspects of further development of the Syrian state.

So there. Nothing changed in Russia's position from 2011 through 2012, 2013, 2014 up to 2015.

Any journalist who follows the news on Syria knows this:

@DavidKenner Retweeted Reuters World

This is something Russia has said again and again, but will now be touted as some sort of breakthrough.

How then, if not for nefarious reasons, can a restatement of the unchanged Russian position be "BREAKING NEWS" for Reuters and the BBC?

It is not Russia but the U.S. which has been totally inflexible in its position regarding Assad. It arrogantly demands, without having any authority over the issue, that Assad must leave. Since 2012 at least it delivers weapons to jihadists who kill the Syrian people. It is thereby the U.S. which is blocking any solution and prolonging the war on Syria.

Posted by b on November 3, 2015 at 10:43 AM | Permalink

next page »


Reuters is THE lying, spinning, inventing, creative "news" agency par excellence.

Despite the fact that the remains of the Russian Jet are scattered over 8 square miles it
pretends that:
CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt’s civil aviation ministry said on Tuesday there were no facts to substantiate assertions by Russian officials that the Russian airliner that crashed in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula on Saturday broke up in mid-air.

SO please, before you even read the news piece ascertain that it is not from Reuters,

By the way, Reuters is the name of one of the Rothschild scions.

Posted by: CarlD | Nov 3, 2015 11:09:37 AM | 1

Disagree. Russia simply wants to retain its powerbase/position in the Middle East. With or without Assad. In that regard Assad is expendable for the russians as many other (US) sockpuppets.

Posted by: Willy2 | Nov 3, 2015 11:15:34 AM | 2

West 'ignored Russian offer in 2012 to have Syria's Assad step aside'

Posted by: nmb | Nov 3, 2015 11:15:52 AM | 3

Great article, what really happens and happened in Syrie:

Posted by: From The Hague | Nov 3, 2015 11:54:18 AM | 4

Reuters may as well have the CIA stamp of approval. NPR? Govt sponsored mouthpiece. All MSM is greater or lesser gradations of govt bullhorn. Even Netflix is little more than streaming propaganda nowadays.
The only changes anyone wanted to see (and in order to make these changes, the Syrian state needed to be smashed to bits, ala Iraq and Libya) was getting these last 7 or so nations on to the teat of BIS, of which Syria was one. In other words, a Rothschild bank needed to control Syrian money. Even israel, and the coincidentally-abused and broken nations around her, would be insane to prefer this chaos to the cold peace they had with Assad and Gaddafi (Saddam I know he paid off Palestinian resistance and launched a few scuds into israel during Gulf war I but was largely hemmed in by a no-fly zone and sanctions which killed so many).
Russia dooming the plan for greater israel is satisfying enough. Throwing monkey wrenches in carefully laid plans of the Empire is a bonus.

Posted by: farflungstar | Nov 3, 2015 12:05:40 PM | 5

thanks b.. it is just biz as usual with the msm.. they need to make a story out of nothing. regarding your last sentence - the usa is just following that peace loving bastion of true democracy - saudi arabia.. these folks really want to see the best for syria!

Posted by: james | Nov 3, 2015 12:14:52 PM | 6

Mike Whitney explains what Russia is really doing in Vienna:

Kerry's debacle in Vienna

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, has refused to make any concessions on any of the points that are being discussed. (in Vienna) As far as Lavrov is concerned, all of Russia’s demands are going to be met or there’s not going to be a deal. The state and its institutions will remain intact, the terrorist groups will be exterminated, Assad will be a part of the “transitional government”, and the Syrian people will decide for themselves who leads them in the future. This is the basic Geneva roadmap and Lavrov is sticking to it like glue. Washington is going to comply because they’re not going to be given a choice in the matter. …

if a country, like the US, decides to conduct military operations in Syria illegally, (which it is) then they do so at their own risk. Russia is going to continue to aggressively implement its battle plan whether US Special Forces put themselves in harms way or not.

As Whitney makes clear, the US "plan" is to get Russia to stop bombing by means of the Vienna talks, while the US sets up a safe zone for insurgents on the Turkish border – whom Obama just announced US special forces will supervise – to continue their efforts to destroy the Syrian state.

USG appears to be clueless. As I said in a previous comment, part of the Russian way of war is to understand the enemy. If Mike Whitney can figure out what USG is up to in Syria and the Vienna talks, I think Moscow can, too.

Posted by: Demian | Nov 3, 2015 12:16:30 PM | 7

Russia will never abandon Assad if the next in line in Syria is loyal to the Western hegemony.

To say that Russia intervenes in Syria, and then spends all this effort, money and time with its crucial military support, and only then later on let a Western puppet Syria get in power, is ridiculous.
Russia doesn't think like that whatsoever, so why would Putin-bots pretend that Putin or Russia thinks like that too ?
Putin had a lot of influence in Ukraine with Poroshenko, but he was a corrupt fuck-wit. Did Ukrainians get a lot worse later on with its Western puppet, of course they did and a whole lot worse, but that doesn't mean Putin is a good guy, or has the best interests of Syrians at heart, as already evidenced right next door to Russia, in Ukraine.

Posted by: tom | Nov 3, 2015 12:20:47 PM | 8

Can't wait till all those mercenaries start singing to the Russians:

Captured ISIS Leaders in Iraq Confess to Receiving Military and Intelligence Support from the United States
Iraqi military commander: 'We saw US coalition jets transporting terrorists'


I noticed in the Frontline piece, the smirking rebels were hesitant to disclose who was supplying weapons.

Posted by: shadyl | Nov 3, 2015 12:43:37 PM | 9

Is there any information on the opposition that have been fighting Assad now being assisted by Russia? Who are they?

Posted by: Bob | Nov 3, 2015 12:53:10 PM | 10

Don't we already have evidence that "rebels" include any number of Russian speaking jihadists ... no, I don't think that Putin's Russians are going to assist them ... but if you want Russian speakers for some quick-and-dirty youtube disinformation, I'm sure they can be found.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Nov 3, 2015 1:01:52 PM | 11

tom @8,

Only partisans to Western infantilism care about this woo-woo "heart" nonsense, mainly because they receive profit and thrills from starving and murdering people with the best of marketing, er, intentions.

To me, anyone who kicks the rapist empire in the nuts is, in that moment, a friend of all humanity. However, unlike proud Western authoritarians, I can tie my shoes in the morning without a license from corporate authority or permission from daddy. What's your problem?

Posted by: Jonathan | Nov 3, 2015 1:24:30 PM | 12

If you're blue and you don't know where to go to
Why don't you go where fashion sits?
Vlad Putin on the ritz

Posted by: Penguin | Nov 3, 2015 1:33:13 PM | 13

Normally, I would suspect disinformation from NSA, but clearly, the US National Security State wants us to think it's a bomb. If that's the case, this may be a clarification of a message that may have gotten lost otherwise. After all, a US senator recently said he intended to put US SAMs in the hands of terrorists to shoot down Russian clearly DC is publicly stating terrorism is a legitimate form of military engagement.

Posted by: S Brennan | Nov 3, 2015 1:36:48 PM | 14

@10 I imagine quite a few among the opposition are helping with information, targeting etc.. It makes no sense to name them.

Posted by: dh | Nov 3, 2015 1:39:14 PM | 15

Here's Reuters propaganda piece:
Russia stance on Assad suggests divergence with Iran
But down in the 3rd paragraph there's this:
However, one senior regional official cautioned against reading too much into the public statements on Assad, saying there is no difference between Russia and Iran over him. They agree on his staying in office, and that it is up to the Syrian people to elect their president, the official said.

Read more at Reuters

Posted by: okie farmer | Nov 3, 2015 2:07:26 PM | 16

@S Brennan #14:

clearly, the US National Security State wants us to think it's a bomb. If that's the case, this may be a clarification of a message that may have gotten lost otherwise.

I think that's a fair interpretation. And Russian media are noting what USG said it saw with its satellite, as Colonel Cassad reports (in Russian).

It's interesting that USG is hinting it was a bomb, whereas no one has taken credit for that. (IS took credit for it, but they didn't say anything about a bomb.)

Posted by: Demian | Nov 3, 2015 2:11:45 PM | 17

I just ran into this "interesting" concern about Vienna conference --- "but the Rebels, Assad and the Kurds weren't invited" -- as if that invalidated the conference, as if the Rebels (whoever they are) had not emphatically declared that they refuse to negotiate with Assad -- not that they have ever spoken in one voice about anything else** ... and Assad representatives to Geneva II utterly wasted their time with Rebels who refused to negotiate ... The Kurds have no actual sovereignty being "landless" for their interests can only be "negotiated" after some sovereign authority is recognized or acknowledged.

I wonder what the fallout from NYT revelations that the non-jihadi "rebels" we are in alliance with are in fact pretty much all Kurds will be ... it was kind-of-sort-of obvious ... (as others have cynically noted, many if not most still-living non-Assad supporting males are now "migrants") ... fascinating how Average Americans have been taught fetishize some elections (that produce "good" results) and discount others (where the "wrong side" win). I've found folks weepy about the brave Ukranians who want to join the EU ... as if the will of those individuals was being thwarted by those nasty russian separatists (hint -- they won!!!) ...
** I'm convinced the "rebels" also wisely refuse to attend because they would be revealed to be small in number and hopelessly divided amongst themselves.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Nov 3, 2015 2:22:17 PM | 18

Thank you, b. It IS maddening to watch them manipulate public opinion. I have never understood why, with so much radio frequency, we have never managed to get a truthful talk radio station -- or even a program going.

Posted by: Penelope | Nov 3, 2015 2:28:21 PM | 19

fuzzwords for pliant minds sell life-crushing debt dressed up as economic relief, saturation bombing dressed up as R2P. for sure you don't need much in the way of finesse

Posted by: john | Nov 3, 2015 2:28:26 PM | 20

@14 S Brennan 'clearly DC is publicly stating terrorism is a legitimate form of military engagement'

The DoD especially has officially embraced The Dark Side ...

The Pentagon’s Law of War Manual: Part one

Notwithstanding its repeated invocations of the Nuremberg precedent, the Pentagon’s Law of War Manual features a strong element of “do as I say, not as I do.”

For example, on the subject of aggressive war, the document declares, “Aggression is the most serious and dangerous form of the illegal use of force… Initiating a war of aggression is a serious international crime.” (P. 44) This is a plain statement of the Nuremberg precedent.

However, as one reads further, it emerges that this principle applies only to countries other than the United States. The manual notes that the US has refused to recognize the authority of the International Criminal Court (ICC), under which the US could be prosecuted for crimes of aggression.

The document states, “The United States has expressed the view that the definition of the act of aggression in the Kampala amendments to the Rome Statute does not reflect customary international law.” (P. 45) The US also expressed “concerns regarding the possibility of the ICC exercising jurisdiction over the crime of aggression without a prior determination by the Security Council that a State has committed an act of aggression.” (P. 1,112) Such a Security Council determination, of course, would be subject to a US veto.

The refusal of the United States to recognize the authority of the ICC has deep historical significance. The United States played a leading role in establishing the Nuremberg precedent, but now refuses to submit to its enforcement. This amounts to an admission that if the United States were subject to an impartial application of the Nuremberg precedent today, virtually all of official Washington would have to be transported to jail. It exposes as fraudulent all of America’s posturing as a kind of self-appointed “world policeman” with the authority to sanction and attack other states that allegedly violate international law.

Kanpala Amendments on the crime of aggression (2010)

Acts of aggression are:
  1. invading another state;
  2. bombing another state;
  3. blockading the ports or coastlines of another state;
  4. attacking the land, sea, or air forces, or marine or sea fleets of another state;
  5. violating a status of forces agreement;
  6. using armed bands, groups, irregulars or mercenaries against another state;
  7. allowing territory to be used by another state to perpetrate an act of aggression against a third state.

One, two and six are obviously applicable to the USA ... three is one of the most salient modes of Israeli and Saudi aggession against Gaza and Yemen respectively, both vigorously supported by the USA.

Posted by: jfl | Nov 3, 2015 2:47:13 PM | 21

Penelope: I have never understood why, with so much radio frequency, we have never managed to get a truthful talk radio station -- or even a program going.

Because it would be very hard to set up, then shut down and the organisors riks their lives. Oppo is now on the 'internets' but it is managed.

Posted by: Noirette | Nov 3, 2015 2:49:54 PM | 22

This amounts to an admission that if the United States were subject to an impartial application of the Nuremberg precedent today, virtually all of official Washington would have to be transported to jail.

As I have walked among the desperate, rejected, and angry young men, I have told them that Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their problems. I have tried to offer them my deepest compassion while maintaining my conviction that social change comes most meaningfully through nonviolent action. But they ask -- and rightly so -- what about Vietnam? They ask if our own nation wasn't using massive doses of violence to solve its problems, to bring about the changes it wanted. Their questions hit home, and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today -- my own government.

Martin Luther King, Jr.
Beyond Vietnam -- A Time to Break Silence
Delivered 4 April 1967, Riverside Church, New York City

Posted by: Penguin | Nov 3, 2015 3:39:47 PM | 23

The Syrian Deputy Economy Minister Hayan Salman said "The Saudis are not living at the present time and they also want to take Syria back to the middle ages; Saudi officials need psychotherapy before advising others on what to do,"

He said that the Al Saud family supposes that they can buy the people of the world with their petrodollars, but they have forgotten that they can only build palaces with their money and not humanity. Couldn't agree more.
In my opinion the Russians,Iranians and Hez would eat grass before capitulating to the Saudi half men.

Posted by: harry law | Nov 3, 2015 3:41:41 PM | 24

ShadyLady @9,
Tony Cartalucci indicates that Turkey's supplying ISIS is slid into NYT & WaPo articles at times.

Sure looks like US is partitioning Syria. Technique ro be used is laid out in a Brookings report months ago, as Cartalucci reprises here. I wonder what Russia/Iran can do to prevent northern Syria from being chopped off for Israeli or US occupation-- or if they care?

Russia does have an add'l reason for not wanting Syria to lose the north (Kurdish) areas: They coincide in Syria & Iraq w the gas/oil map. The Kurds earlier and the US now are intent on expanding the Kurdish area to include more oil. Syria & Iraq gas/oil map
In a recent interview, Assad said, “From a purely economic perspective, there are several agreements between Syria and Russia for various goods and materials. As for a loan from Russia, this should be viewed as beneficial to both parties; for Russia it is an opportunity for its national industries and companies to expand into new markets.”

Russia's support for Assad includes selling Syrian oil on world markets. In 2013 Russia was the only country still developing Syria's oil resources. Syria also has shale oil.

Posted by: Penelope | Nov 3, 2015 3:45:20 PM | 25

Now, NATO mission in Syria essentially ended.
Blinded radars, disrupted the electronic guidance systems, and also set a hindrance satellite imagery in a "bubble" with a diameter of 600 kilometers, according to one of NATO generals
From the combat zone in northern Syria came news about the deployment of the new Russian system of electronic interference that can, reportedly, blind radar, disrupt the electronic guidance system, and to prevent the satellite imagery.
This latest revelation follows an earlier report on the Russian cruiser with the established missile defense system S-300, deployed off the coast of Latakia. Both of these systems constitute what is NATO's supreme commander, General Philip Breedlove describes as "Russian bubble, » A2 / AD (anti-access / exclusion zone) in Syria, as a result, NATO has effectively blinded inside the bubble diameter of 600 km.

Posted by: ALAN | Nov 3, 2015 3:52:57 PM | 26

@ 21 thanks!

Posted by: thirsty | Nov 3, 2015 3:55:46 PM | 27

Noirette @ 22, No, I meant a LEGAL radio station or even a program that is truthful, Radio could reach other people who aren't reachable by computer. Lots & lots of people lsten to talk radio while driving or at work, etc.

Posted by: Penelope | Nov 3, 2015 3:56:28 PM | 28

@Penelope 25, I would not doubt if weapons were coming in from Israel either. Looks like they want to cut off route to the north as well.

Posted by: shadyl | Nov 3, 2015 4:16:33 PM | 29

@23, Penguin

Thanks for reminding us all of The Speech ...

The war in Vietnam is but a symptom of a far deeper malady within the American spirit, and if we ignore this sobering reality, we will find ourselves organizing “clergy and laymen concerned” committees for the next generation. They will be concerned about Guatemala and Peru. They will be concerned about Thailand and Cambodia. They will be concerned about Mozambique and South Africa. We will be marching for these and a dozen other names and attending rallies without end unless there is a significant and profound change in American life and policy.

... delivered 4 April 1967. Martin Luther King Jr. was gunned down on 4 April 1968 ... the date being the 'calling card' of the CIA.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was certainly prescient in his vision of the need for unending protest, if our deeper malady was ignored.

Protests lasted right up until the election of that other Nobel Peace Prize Laureate in 2008, when we decided to embrace our malady, and to avoid at all costs a significant and profound change in American life and policy.

Posted by: jfl | Nov 3, 2015 4:21:50 PM | 30

If USSA indeed blinded by that 'bubble' then this story out today makes sense!
50000-foot ceiling Sentinel RQ-170 drone, not even necessarily armed, collides with Russian flight at 31000 feet.

Someone in all those alphabet agencies better hope to hell that no pieces of any drone are found in that wreckage.

But wouldn’t the drone have been picked up on radar? Not necessarily. The U.S. RQ-170 Sentinel drone is a stealth drone capable of evading radar. Therefore, it would also be manufactured from mostly composites, thus the wreckage of one will take a lot of time to discover if it collided with this airliner. We know these drones are in the Middle East because Iran captured one back in 2011. It has an operational ceiling of up to 50,000 feet. The plane impacted something at around 31,000 feet, well within the altitude range of a Sentinel drone. The latest is that the crew was incapacitated. Yes, and that’s why I think the airliner ran into the drone head-on. They also say the plane lost speed rapidly, again pointing to a head-on midair collision.

Posted by: Schlub | Nov 3, 2015 4:28:26 PM | 31

@Schlub - #31

Are you sure it wasn't a spaceship or maybe a leftover pterodactyl?

If a plane in flight has its fuselage severed in two then it would no longer able to balance on its wings, which in turn would cause it to either go nose-up like TWA 800 did, or if the tail section of the plane had broken off, to take a nose-down attitude.

Either outcome would likely result in the immediate disintegration of the wings from the remaining fuselage as the aerodynamic forces of such an abrupt maneuver would far exceed those forces considered to be within the realm of normal, or even emergency, flight.

This plane was either shot down or blown out of the air; it didn't hit a Reaper drone.

Posted by: Rick Sanchez | Nov 3, 2015 4:41:41 PM | 32

Maybe this?

November 3, 2015

Komsomolskaya Pravda

Israel Shamir

Translated by Kristina Rus

Could a missile fired by Israeli or American plane shoot down A321?

Aerial duels were conducted near the Egyptian border, along Metrojet flight path

Israeli and Western bloggers are linking the plane crash "Metrojet-9268" to "Blue Flag 2015" air exercises conducted in the area of the crash. These are the largest exercises of the Israeli air force with participation of the U.S. Air Force, Poland and Greece.

Israeli and American planes simulated air duels, simulated fighting two dozens kilometers from the crash site of the Russian aircraft. The exercises were based at Ovda airport, 70 km from Eilat and close to the Egyptian border, along which Metrojet flew.

Posted by: Schlub | Nov 3, 2015 4:58:46 PM | 33

Susan Sunflower @ 18,

With all the countries that were in Vienna for talks on Syria it does seem strange (in a normal world) that Syria was not present. Thierry Meyssan makes a spectacular claim about Israel's absence:

"The Press also said nothing about the persistent absence of the major regional power, Israël. This last point can only be explained in the case that the Hebrew state had previously obtained a guarantee that it would be able to realise one of its war objectives, the creation of a colonial state in Northern Syria.

"The participants were all required to sign a final declaration which only Russia and Iran saw fit to publish [6]. There’s a good reason for this oversight – it signals the defeat of the US hawks."

You know it does LOOK as if US is trying to partition off the north. See my comment @ 25.
The voltaire article goes on to say that Turkey & KSA are to be broken up as well, which has been a long term US/Israeli plan. Dances w Bears, much to my anger & disgust, even claimed last month

10/8/15 London sources familiar with Israeli politics add that Russian strategy has the tacit backing of Israel. “This is because [President Vladimir] Putin has told [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu that Israel can count on a no-threat zone running from Damascus south and east to the Golan. No threat means no Syrian Army, no jihadists. Russia and Israel will now have what [Israeli Prime Minister David] Ben-Gurion once explained was Israel’s long-term objective – the breakup of the large, potentially powerful secular Arab states into small sectarian territories too weak to do anything but threaten each other.”

Of course KSA isn't secular.

Posted by: Penelope | Nov 3, 2015 5:07:06 PM | 34

Syria wasted its time and lost face at Geneva II. The "rebels" refuse to negotiate with them (and refused 2 years ago at Geneva). The Kurds have no sovereignty from which to negotiate and until the civil war ends Syria (Assad) is not really in a position to publicly make promises or cede them territory (there have been ongoing Assad/Kurd negotiations ... mostly to keep the Kurds out of the civil war in exchange to concessions later).

Compared to the alternative(s), the Kurds have reason to support Assad (particularly with whatever promises/understanding have already been agreed to).

Also, Assad is currently too weak to make promises to anyone without the approval of Russia and/or Iran ... so better to stay away and let Iran and Russia sit at the table ...

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Nov 3, 2015 5:19:33 PM | 35

I remember when Putin last visited Britain. Following an interview with The Times, when Putin again repeated this position, it carried a front page headline "Putin shifts on Assad". It was inexplicably detached from reality. The rest is history.

Posted by: Pat Bateman | Nov 3, 2015 5:45:20 PM | 36

@35 Susan Sunflower--

What ever reasons the Syrian government might have had (not had) for being (not being) at the Vienna talks, the reason the Syrian government was not at the talks was the US refused to admit them.


Posted by: Gaianne | Nov 3, 2015 5:51:15 PM | 37

Yes, Assad cannot participate in Vienna without it being taken as a "concession" ... which is an appearance he cannot afford and can avoid by staying away ... which will be claimed as evidence of his weakness or whatever ... After the rebels, the ISIS needs to be sufficiently routed for any promises made to the Kurds (and anyone else) have meaning ... I think that makes it much too early to be "negotiating"... Vienna set up some very important ground-rules wrt agreed upon intentions (which I largely assume KSA and the USA will renege on... but that doesn't make it useless) ...
I was more surprised that the "alliance" members in the NYT were whining about needing more weaponry ... you'd think coals-to-Newcastle by now? There's this bottomless pit and I think all countries in the region should be very concerned about where these weapons are going ... I'd assume many are being converted into currency on the black market ...

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Nov 3, 2015 5:53:25 PM | 38

11/2/15 US & Israel Begin Colonization N Syria. Creation of an independent state in the north of the country in order to control Syria from behind, just as Israel had created the state of Southern Sudan in 2011, to control Egypt from behind.

Historically, Kurds have occupied only the small northeast corner of Syria. In mid-October Syrian Kurds immediately decided to ’Kurdicise’ the territories in Northern Syria. They therefore began to occupy the houses of non-Kurds, and sent a threatening letter to local schools ordering them to fire their Arab teachers and replace them with Kurdish teachers in order to ensure exclusively Kurdish teaching.

The Arabs, who have been in the majority in these territories for thousands of years, protested vigorously, as did the other minorities. In the space of two weeks, the movement spread, and many schools were forced to obey, except for those of the Assyrian Christian minority, who deployed their own militia to defend them.

Posted by: Penelope | Nov 3, 2015 6:22:42 PM | 39

WRT Vienna & "no Syria": IMO having Iran & Saudi Arabia at same table is akin to a miracle. Whatever diplomacy is (meaning really so different then what we have seen for years and become "conditioned" to)... this is a damn good exercise of it IMO. Everything to date (eg: before Putin "stepped in") has been playing those 2, on off the other... in backrooms and unspoken policy decisions.

Those 2 are the regional power brokers. I have no idea how many years (decades) since they talked. Journey of a 1000 miles begins (...).

Along with what I mentioned earlier, I'm quite impressed. These are big shifts, in the right directions, on multiple fronts... in a very short time. 13 years we've been f**king this up: 6 weeks and can see some pieces coming together.

Look forward to seeing neocons go ballistic (maybe bad choice of word there) if Putin is awared Nobel Peace Prize. :)

Posted by: jdmckay | Nov 3, 2015 6:43:52 PM | 40

Don't know if anything's been posted about the caged human shields, but here're two links to angry arab's deconstruction of the NY Times and HRW's justification for and abetting of these war crimes,

And his take on Syrian Observatory,

The Times's item is despicable to the max.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 3, 2015 6:47:43 PM | 41

AND BTW wrt Syia/Vienna: Syria was represented by their UN Special Envoy: Staffan de Mistura

Posted by: jdmckay | Nov 3, 2015 6:48:22 PM | 42

I (eventually) found a link (via wikipedia, not google) that says that neither Assad nor the rebels were invited -- I had looked earlier -- since both had previously attended at Geneva ... I found any number of other reports of various parties emphatically refusing to negotiate ... or participate in negotiations ...
al arabiya.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Nov 3, 2015 6:51:59 PM | 43

Makes sense Penelope, including the fact Israel gets a lot of their oil now from the Kurds, selling independent of Baghdad. That has been covered in many articles the past year & more.
Because that was one of the plans with the invasion of Iraq.

Also explains Putin's complicity & duplicity these past 3 years, when Syria was getting its Assad handed to it, with Vlad not anywhere to be found.

Now he can ride in on his steed, looking like a hero, when in fact the plans are not just well along but near complete, at least for this phase.

Notice also the outrageously blatant double standard in how the 2 airline downings MH-17 July 2014 & now the Oct 31 Sinai destruction were handled by the Russians; this time they couldn't wait to trot out some official within 24 hours declaring the problem to be obviously a maintenance defect, with the airline grounded. Nothing to see here, happens all the time!

That alone could go a long way in imploding the air industry inside Russia.

Posted by: Schlub | Nov 3, 2015 6:54:54 PM | 44

note: I had assumed no invitation was "offered" since there had been emphatic (possibly preemptive) declarations wrt refusing to negotiate ... At Geneva the rebels proved to be unable to sit at the same conference table -- their in-fighting was dramatically exposed ...

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Nov 3, 2015 6:57:47 PM | 45

Oh, please. The reason why the Syrian Government wasn't at the Vienna talks has nothing to do with any political cost/benefit calculations that Assad might be making.

The Syrian Government wasn't at those talks because the Government of the United States of America would have gagged at the very sight of them.

As simple as that: Kerry would refuse to be in the same room as any representative of Bashir Assad for fear that such a representative would extend his hand towards Kerry.

D.i.s.a.s.t.r.o.u.s. What would Lurch do? Shake that hand? Refuse?

Better that people continue to die than that there be the possibility that Lurch be photographed in such a compromising position......

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Nov 3, 2015 7:13:32 PM | 46

@25,@34,@39 penelope

Not only your luminaries of late but also the US neocon dark forces - since 2006, at least - have been projecting just this Yinon plan inspired sort of partition of the Middle East.

Whereas as the Vienna "participants" made a point - number one - of saying "Syria‘s unity, independence, territorial integrity. and secular character are fundamental." I assume that at least one of them - Russia - is not lying.

Posted by: jfl | Nov 3, 2015 7:24:32 PM | 47

Schlub @ 33

Theories abound right now. That one seems on the outer periphery of likelihood IMO.

I confess, reading that reminded me of the USS Liberty "incident". Took a moment to look it up and refresh my memory. Interestingly (at least to me), I found this article (book excerpt) from 2012, making the case Israel's intent was to "take out our ears" so that, against agreement with LBJ, they could go get the Golan.

Given my recollection was Liberty was "officially" written off as an accident, thought this tidbit reasonable.

Posted by: jdmckay | Nov 3, 2015 7:30:16 PM | 48

It's been interesting that this "not invited" has not been mentioned in the literally dozens of stories I have read about the conference ... even those that bemoaning Assad's absence ....
Japan Times: Assad the key no-show at Vienna talks to seal his fate, strike Syria peace deal. I usually assume a no-show is someone who was invited -- even accepted -- but didn't turn up.

Regardless, given the state of affairs I still think that it's a red-herring complaint used to cast doubt on the Vienna conference and possibly the agreements that were reached ... I'd love to have more than one source for "not invited" but yes, it's entirely possible that Assad would have led to an American boycott ... which I guess needed to be avoided, still Obama's announcement he was sending in 50 Special Forces soldiers on the very morning of the conference "left no doubt" about his resolute manly stance .... ugh.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Nov 3, 2015 7:30:18 PM | 49

@42 No. Staffan de Mistura represented the United Nations Secretary General at those talks.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Nov 3, 2015 7:30:46 PM | 50

Here's my take after looking at the wreckage photos:

In the photo footage that is out there, I can not see the horizontal stabilizers in the photograph of the tail empennage, while vertical stabilizer appears to have survived until impact with the ground. The forward fuselage and wings are together at impact.

I can not see how any combination of aerodynamic loads ALONE could sequentially, part the horizontal stabilizer, THEN break off the tail empennage from the fuselage and leave the vertical stabilized unscathed until impact with the ground.

From the photos of the tail empennage, damage appears to initiate/emanate from lower aft hull to the rear of the aft exit. Although I favor HE aft in the aft cargo hold, I can not account for the apparent horizontal stabilizer loss unless the blast was of sufficient capacity to partially destroy the lower portion of aft bulkhead and procede to destroy the structure that supports the horizontal stabilizer, which could lead to an un-commanded angle of attack that diverged to a complete structural separation. However, that set of events would not explain the tail empennage separation.

However, if the blast is that great, the entire lower structure could be lost in an instant, causing the entire tail empennage to sag downward, aerodynamically loading the horizontal stabilizer causing it to lift upward...the two undamped forces alternating in a violent dolphin tail [mammalian] motion that would quickly separate the tail empennage and lead the air craft into an unstable climb and possibly, from the photograph, a stable, but unsurvivable stall to ground impact.

One Caveat, I did not see the horizontal stabilizer photos, nor do I know the position in relation to the rest of the wreckage and that is a mighty big unknown.

Posted by: S Brennan | Nov 3, 2015 7:42:46 PM | 51

Just saw this: " A large number of body parts may indicate that a powerful explosion took place aboard the plane before it hit the ground," said an Egyptian forensic expert who took part in the examination of the bodies of the A321 crash victims.--

sorry, gruesome.

Posted by: Penelope | Nov 3, 2015 7:58:44 PM | 52

Yeah, Right @ 50

You are right, I "sit" corrected! Although, seems to me his presence was at least somewhat, "unofficial" backdoor Syrian presence. De Mistura was in Damascus 2 days after "talks" ended.

Posted by: jdmckay | Nov 3, 2015 8:02:26 PM | 53

@53 Oh, there is no doubt that De Mistura will want to talk to Assad following a meeting to which the latter was not invited, it would be part of his job to find out what Assad thought about that Vienna Conference and then report said thoughts back to Moon in New York.

Imagine it something along these lines:
DM: Vienna was great, boss! Good food, lotsa' hookers.
Ban: And what did Assad think about the whole business?
DM: Err, dunno. He wasn't there.
Ban: [sighs] Then. Go. And. Ask. Him.
DM: Oh, good idea. What's the food like in Damascus?
Ban: [sighs] Good help is so hard to find.....

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Nov 3, 2015 8:23:34 PM | 54

The 'creative embarrassment' style of propaganda can probably be traced back to the old vaudeville throwaway line "When did you stop beating your wife?"
Politics is a lot like comedy - there's nothing new under the sun / if you can't dream up a new trick, it's safer to recycle an old classic.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 3, 2015 8:24:33 PM | 55

@S Brennan@14

Normally, I would suspect disinformation from NSA, but clearly, the US National Security State wants us to think it's a bomb.

All evidence so far is inconclusive, and all opinions on the issue fall in the realm of speculation, mine included. However, with MANPAD and SAMs out of the question, and mechanical failure still in examination, a bomb is a strong possibility, given CIA/Mossad broad presence in Egypt, and the desire expressed by US officials/politicians to make Russia pay for its support of Syria. The RT article on the "flash" caught by a satellite explains it is very easy to access a plane in Egypt for any purposes with a simple bribe. After all, Egypt is a third world country, corrupt to the core, where bribing is "normal." Bombing a civilian plane would be a strong message for Russia, about the price it could pay for daring to challenge the empire's full spectrum dominance. Regardless of what caused the downing of the plane, Russian airlines will have to take strict security measures immediately to avoid further disasters of this kind. After all, they are at war against the world's main terror-state, the US.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Nov 3, 2015 9:03:01 PM | 56


I guess you haven't seen the follow-up stories about the Iranian and Saudi's nasty dog and cat exchanges.

The Iran rep is refusing to attend further meetings unless there are some vague, significant improvements.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Nov 3, 2015 9:41:04 PM | 57


The story I linked to was not RT, but CNBC

Posted by: S Brennan | Nov 3, 2015 10:02:11 PM | 58

@49 Even if he WAS invited, Austrian authorities would probably arrest him as soon as he set foot in the country on some kind of humanitarian war crimes or something.

Posted by: Massinissa | Nov 3, 2015 10:02:56 PM | 59


That's why Assad can't just leave Syria and will have to be removed, no one wants him not even the Russians.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Nov 3, 2015 10:22:41 PM | 60


Thanks for reiterating the failed US policy that has cost so many American Soldiers & Marines their lives, this nation's treasure, the worlds good will and God knows how many innocent civilian lives.

"That's why Assad...will have to be removed."

I wish DC's sycophants could understand, we are running an empire, not a girls sorority.

Posted by: S Brennan | Nov 3, 2015 10:37:24 PM | 61

Schlub @ 44,

I think you're jumping to conclusions. We certainly haven't enough data to know Putin's motivation for any of the things you mention; in fact, I believe it was mentioned that Assad was reluctant to ask for help, until the numbers against him were recently increased. There was also the matter that add'l ground troops were needed, but Iran probably couldn't be seen to be active in Syria until the nuke deal had its initial signature on July 14. On that very day, Lavrov said that the way was now clear for Rus/Iranian cooperation to fight terrorism.

Regarding the aircrash, before visiting the site Russian officials only repeated a conclusion drawn from the Egyptian lies that the pilot had reported a technical difficulty & was making an alternate-airport landing.

The possibilities that I mention in Syria are not my conclusions; I am only reporting what Thierry Meyssan believes to be the case. I am making people aware of his articles.

Posted by: Penelope | Nov 3, 2015 11:36:45 PM | 62 Putin Valdai speech plus Q&A, w attack on US amb Matlock, who was present.

Posted by: Penelope | Nov 4, 2015 12:54:09 AM | 63

#5- re Netflix is little more than assuming propaganda nowadays... You could say that again. That and social engineering, at least with their original shows. Terrible.

Posted by: Colinjames | Nov 4, 2015 12:57:13 AM | 64

Streaming propaganda. Sheesh I'm the worst at not checking what I swype.

Posted by: Colinjames | Nov 4, 2015 12:58:32 AM | 65

@S Brennan@58


The story I linked to was not RT, but CNBC

I know, but I saw a headline at RT with the same subject, a possible explosion, and wrote my post based on it. IMHO, it made sense to check the Russian version on the possible bomb.

Crash victims' injuries show midair explosion likely caused A321 crash - investigator

At the same time, Russians are warning about the spread of rumors, coming from inside the investigating units.

ISIS releases video claiming revenge ‘downing’ of Russian passenger jet over Sinai

[...] Meanwhile, an unnamed Russian investigator told RIA Novosti that media reports citing sources close to the investigation are “negatively impacting” the progress of the probe, as preliminary conclusions are misinforming the public and complicating things for the investigating officials.

“We are talking about the dissemination of statements from informed sources in Cairo as well as experts, allegedly close to the investigation,” a source, said to be from the technical side of the investigation, told the agency [...]

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Nov 4, 2015 2:51:12 AM | 66

@39 Penelope

This illustrates how wrong it is to advocate ethnic nation building.
Those Kurds-lovers are stupid or have an agenda.

Posted by: From The Hague | Nov 4, 2015 2:55:19 AM | 67

@59, @60. @61

Three of a kind

Posted by: jfl | Nov 4, 2015 3:08:03 AM | 68

@tom: Over months of reading Moon of Alabama comments, I've concluded that you're either a laughably inconsistent forum troll, or a schizophrenic. Your comments veer from racist stereotyping, to juvenile "anger trolling", to claiming outright falsehoods (usually racial or ethnic accusations). One day your comments make you sound like a racist marxist, the next day you sound like a racist neocon. One day you're spewing bile towards the English, the next day it's the Russians, then the Kurds, then the Shia, and on and on ad infinitum.

So, are you paid by the Americans or the Israelis? (Minimum wage, or a little higher?)


@Penelope: "I have never understood why, with so much radio frequency, we have never managed to get a truthful talk radio station."

Seriously? You genuinely don't know? It's because a cartel of 6 Jewish-dominated media giants owns the TV news, newspapers, and radio. In the 80s, they bought out the independent radio stations and banktupted the small fry that couldn't be bought out (by undercutting their advertising rates). They co-opted the FCC and licensing authorities through kickbacks, directorships and golden parachutes - so you can't get or keep a radio station license if they don't want you to. They successfully lobbied Congress to introduce monopolistic laws to keep out competitors, too.

Most big businesses in America won't advertise on a radio station that rocks the boat, either because they're part of the problem or they don't want to get torn to pieces by the cartel's own "news" media. The cartel can destroy a business' reputation and profitability overnight.

Most small businesses can be intimidated by threats of SPLC and AIPAC lawsuits if they advertise on radio stations that tell the truth. Jeff Rense says he has something similar going on right now with his advertisers. Rense Radio also comes right out 24/7/365 and says that Israel runs ISIS - and as a result, national Jewish groups regularly threaten Rense's advertisers with lawsuits. ("Lawfare", as pro-Israel Jews refer to it.)

N.B. You posted a link to Thierry Meyssan at Voltairenet. Thierry Meyssan usually produces a slurry of unsubstantiated claims and wild hypothesizing on the back of real-world events. In the rare instances Meyssan cites "evidence", almost always he turns out to be guessing/distorting/quoting himself. Every footnote "supporting" his conclusions simply cites another Voltairnet article by Meyssan himself.

Posted by: Cassandra | Nov 4, 2015 4:27:31 AM | 69

I think you have an agenda, hasbara turd.

Posted by: Cassandra | Nov 4, 2015 4:28:25 AM | 70

jfl @ 68, You're right. Here's a useful interactive map. Click on the little blue balloons & it tells you the history of the combat there.

Posted by: Penelope | Nov 4, 2015 4:29:37 AM | 71

@59 Err, no, even if the Syrian Government was invited to send a representative, that representative would not be Assad.

After all, Russia sent Lavrov, they didn't send Putin. The USA sent Kerry, they didn't send Obama.

So it was clearly a Ministerial-level meeting, not a Heads of Government meeting. So if the Syrian government had been invited then they would have sent Walid Muallem, precisely because He Is The Relevant Minister.

After all, as recently as 2014 Muallem went to the Geneva II talks, and he did so without being bothered by the local constabulary.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Nov 4, 2015 5:00:04 AM | 72

All right. Bear with me you lot. I have been reading quite a bit today on ISIS, but only material that is written in support of their ideology. Everyone hates these guys, so I was looking for a different perspective. It started off with a Google search of " in defence of ISIS" and went on from there. I won't provide links because the whole experience was a journey. But I have to admit that certain material was rather compelling, and I dare say that my previous preconceptions about why politically educated, well off youngsters would want to travel to the ME to martyr themselves, was way off. I was also wondering why it is that even the most revolutionary western souls refuse to even try to empathize with these guys. From what I have read today, the beheading videos that are not fake come from utterly extreme mercenary groups funded by the US to justify their occupation. The Idea of a Caliphate is ancient, but has become revolutionary. And because they are apparently fighting the US and Russia, absolutely no positive media concerning their efforts is immediately available. Now, before you shit all over me for this post, understand I want the Truth... Any links would be welcome, but no videos. Rural Africa...

Posted by: Dan | Nov 4, 2015 9:09:04 AM | 73

@ Dan | 73

to even try to empathize with these guys.

So ISIS officially reached MoA in their propaganda campaign.

Oh, and since you want the Truth, here it is - no civilized person empathize with ISIS precisely because these are psychopaths stuck in medieval times, who literally kill everyone who dont agree with their way of life, regardless if these poor people are Christians, Shias, atheists or fellow (non-fanatic) Sunnis.

Posted by: Harry | Nov 4, 2015 9:21:33 AM | 74

"All right. Bear with me you lot..."
Posted by: Dan | Nov 4, 2015 9:09:04 AM | 73

That's a very Magister-ial form of address, 'Dan'.
In fact Rufus-ly so.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 4, 2015 9:33:07 AM | 75

@73 That's quite clever Dan. No direct links to ISIS websites. I particularly like the idea of a Caliphate as revolutionary. I bet that line works well with disaffected young muslims.

But we're a cynical bunch here at MOA. Please try again.

Posted by: dh | Nov 4, 2015 9:39:44 AM | 76

Dan -- if you haven't read Graeme Wood's "What Does ISIS Want?" -- I recommend it. It's pretty convincing in arguing that ISIS is a literalist fundamentalist doomsday / end times prophesy cult. It's not the Taliban, which arguably also wanted to set up a caliphate and live strict and pure Muslim lives under sharia as THEY interpreted it. ISIS has very very little claim to "self-determinism" -- it seeks to subjugate the local population via very harsh punishment and conversion on threat of death (and, yes, they have killed those who refuse to convert -- in other situation, they just impose an infidel tax and second-class (or lower) rights). Al-Qa’eda broke with ISIS as too brutal, too scorched earth -- and then, of course, significant youthful Taliban members began to align with the more-radical ISIS leading to some creative realignments. There is no idealistic back-to-Eden in ISIS, rather there is enactment of the prophesy that leads to the final battle and end times -- by any means necessary. The idealism and self-sacrifice of those to travel to join the jihad should not be misinterpreted ...

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Nov 4, 2015 9:49:30 AM | 77


Western interpretations of Islamic eschatology and the projections of that interpretation onto the Islamic State misses the fact that the IS plan on surviving while the Infidel West will confront its End Time.

Western Civilization is the controlling Death Cult bent on destruction of humanity and the biosphere for its worshipped profits and resurgent Political Islam led by the IS plans to challenge that hegemony.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Nov 4, 2015 10:44:45 AM | 78

Wayout, I've figured out who you are:

Musa Cerantonio, an Australian preacher reported to be one of the Islamic State’s most influential recruiters...

Posted by: okie farmer | Nov 4, 2015 10:57:47 AM | 79

Who runs the security at that airport in Egypt?Israel?hmm...Were there any Russian Jews on that flight?
Kerry makes the rounds of the Stans,promoting human rights!They must be laughing hysterically at him when he exits each.
How is Russian aviation impacted by a French built jet and Irish ownership?

Posted by: dahoit | Nov 4, 2015 11:09:38 AM | 80

@ 69 Cassandra, thanks for outing tom.

Posted by: Sun Tzu | Nov 4, 2015 11:18:27 AM | 81

Captagon supply is running quite low which is affecting morale & performance in all theaters across Yemen, Iraq and Syria. At this rate, all is lost for the al Saud & al Nut&yahoo alliance.

Posted by: Sun Tzu | Nov 4, 2015 11:34:02 AM | 82

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Nov 4, 2015 10:44:45 AM | 78
Yes, there appears to be those conflicted about opposing ISIS on the basis of enemy-of-my-enemy ... even people on whom ISIS would spare no mercy.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Nov 4, 2015 11:39:42 AM | 83


Western Civilization is the controlling Death Cult bent on destruction of humanity and the biosphere for its worshipped profits and resurgent Political Islam led by the IS plans to challenge that hegemony.

...blah, blah, blah...last time I checked, head-choppers and cannibals "plan on surviving" is not going so well, they and their "plans" are getting blown to bits by the bushel, and as stooges of the West, they cannot "challenge" Western civilization. Islam has no concept of "political Islam," that exists only in your twisted fantasy world, as Islam cannot be broken into conceptual pieces. Islam, like Taoism, is a unifying worldview that comprehends all aspects of life, social, political, economic and religious. Only an ignorant in Islamic traditions (and many other subjects) can speak about the notion of "political Islam."

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Nov 4, 2015 11:40:10 AM | 84

@82 I wonder who will pick up the supply gap.. the withdrawal symptoms for ISIL and Al Queda must be absolute murder!

Posted by: bbbbb | Nov 4, 2015 11:49:55 AM | 85

@ 85 Yeah, when they are high on Captagon their fighters think they can walk on water and fight non stop without sleeping. But, under the withdrawal symptoms they are ready to throw in the towel. The Lebanese airport seizure on board the Saudi prince's personal jet was their largest in history. The Saudi's inventories must be running low since they are losing ground across all fronts.

Posted by: Sun Tzu | Nov 4, 2015 12:13:29 PM | 86

By making statements like this I one look like it is breaking news, the statement appears to reflect the opinion of those who published it. When I read " Russia wants solution of future of Syria to be decided by the Syrians" in the New York Times for example, I subconsciously might think, that the New York Times supports this idea also since there is no contradictory statements such as " the US on the other hand would like to impose their selected government on the Syrians.

This is a way to start making people get used to the idea that all along that is what the West always wanted and a face saving way out of the dead end.

Posted by: Demeter | Nov 4, 2015 12:41:52 PM | 87

@Lone Wolf #84:

Only an ignorant in Islamic traditions (and many other subjects) can speak about the notion of "political Islam."

I have a very naive and innocent question for you. Why do I get the impression that the kind of political system that Iran has, with religious clerics having central positions of power, is perfectly fine? Whereas in the case of Sunni-majority countries, only a secular government seems to work (Iraq, Libya, Syria, with only the last left standing)?

I can't help getting the feeling that for one reason or another, Shiite Islam can find an accommodation with modernity, but Sunni Islam can't. I'm not going to write any more before I make an even bigger fool of myself.

Posted by: Demian | Nov 4, 2015 12:58:10 PM | 88

By Reuters, London
Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Britain said on Wednesday that the Russian plane that crashed in Egypt this week after taking off from the resort of Sharm al-Sheikh might have been brought down by an explosive device.

"While the investigation is still ongoing we cannot say categorically why the Russian jet crashed," Prime Minister David Cameron’s office said in a statement.

"But as more information has come to light we have become concerned that the plane may well have been brought down by an explosive device," it added.

As a precautionary measure, the government has decided that flights due to leave Sharm for Britain on Wednesday evening will be delayed to allow time for a team of UK aviation experts, currently travelling to Sharm, to make an assessment of the security arrangements in place at the airport.

Meanwhile, investigators have extracted and validated the contents of the flight data recorder, one of two so-called black boxes recovered from the Russian airplane that crashed in Egypt, Egypt's Civil Aviation Ministry said on Wednesday.

Posted by: okie farmer | Nov 4, 2015 1:01:29 PM | 89

Posted by: Demeter | Nov 4, 2015 12:41:52 PM | 87
I wish ... but I'm afraid we're doubling down ... I fear instead the tension will build until there's a false flag ... look at the lack of outrage over the MSF in Afghanistan ... if they can "get away" with that ... sky's the limit ... is unquestioning party loyalty and "patriotism" a bug or a feature? Why is Russian nationalism bad when American exceptionalism (and assuming something like the MSF attack was an unavoidable error by "good people") is patriotic?

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Nov 4, 2015 1:01:54 PM | 90

@Sun Tzu OMG....I laugh out loud every time I read this:

al Nut&yahoo

Posted by: shadyl | Nov 4, 2015 1:22:32 PM | 91

According to the BBC, ISIS has again insisted THEY brought the plane down -- fwiw.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Nov 4, 2015 1:33:12 PM | 92

@ shadyl ;-) Better to laugh after you watch this or that.

Posted by: Sun Tzu | Nov 4, 2015 1:38:49 PM | 93

Oh, I think I've figured out why "we" are so anxious that the plane crash was ISIS (and we certainly are) -- because then Putin and his intervention can be blamed ...which "we" hope will help tank his popularity and the popularity of the Russian intervention domestically ... the question of where ISIS might have laid hands on the requisite firepower will go unanswered.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Nov 4, 2015 1:44:19 PM | 94

On-board bomb may have downed Russian jet

Posted by: okie farmer | Nov 4, 2015 1:52:19 PM | 95


Displays of ignorance may get you some points here but the real world would cease to function without its daily dose of speed and that includes all the militaries in combat.

Performance enhancing drugs are part of the daily ration for combat military operations, the US uses Ritalin and Adderall for troops and pilots.

The mild stimulant Captagon popular in the ME, not just with fighters in Syria, is cheap and readily available. I imagine the Saudi that was busted was headed home to supply the local market demand for this popular drug, supplies for soldiers are readily available from government supplies.

The IS use of this drug is nothing unusual and it is surely tightly controlled as in any other military operation.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Nov 4, 2015 1:53:48 PM | 96

Wayoutwest says:

Performance enhancing drugs are part of the daily ration for combat military operations

ritalin, captagon, coca, khat, bah humbug...

...someday in the probably not-so-distant future DARPA and the military industrial pharmaceutical complex will 'gene tamper' warriors to feel no pain, fatigue, or hunger, and with beta blocking drugs to subdue all feelings of remorse they'll even be able to reintegrate harmoniously with family and friends after an unemotional bout of slaughter on the battlefield.

Posted by: john | Nov 4, 2015 2:42:00 PM | 97

@ WW I feel your pain. [Me thinks I have hit the raw nerve of addiction]

Posted by: Sun Tzu | Nov 4, 2015 3:15:47 PM | 98

@ 70 Cassandra

You're an idiot.

Posted by: From The Hague | Nov 4, 2015 3:22:59 PM | 99

After having made for 4 years the headlines with "Bashar Al Assad will go in a matter of weeks", the western media has now a hard time using the headline' "Bashar al Assad is staying until the next election"
It is too much to ask from them. Therefore they gradually distillate the idea that Russia is dumping him, that neither Saudi Arabia nor its poodle Hollande will never accept that he stays one minute, that Turkey is hinting they accept 6 months etc...
In a few months, will they dare write" Bashar al Assad has been re-elected as the President of Syria with a large majority"

Posted by: Virgile | Nov 4, 2015 3:46:36 PM | 100

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