Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 07, 2015

Is Erdogan's Mosul Escapade Blackmail For Another Qatar-Turkey Pipeline?

Update: Iraqi sources confirm to Elijah J. Magnier that Turkey is indeed blackmailing Baghdad to get a Qatar-Turkey pipeline. The blackmail also has a water resource component. I wrote on that here back in August. I recommend to read the above linked Magnier piece together with my speculations below.
---

The Turkish move to annex Mosul is further developing into a serious conflict. Iraq has demanded that Turkey removes its soldiers and heavy weapons from the "training base" near Mosul within 48 hours. It asserts that these were put there without asking or informing the sovereign Iraqi government.

Turkey first denied that any new troops arrived in Iraq. It then said that the troops were only a replacement of the existing training force. Then it claimed that the new troops were there to protect the training force:

Turkish sources say the reinforcement plans were discussed in detail with Brett McGurk, U.S. President Barack Obama’s counter-ISIL fight coordinator, during his latest visit to Ankara on Nov. 5-6. “The Americans are telling the truth,” one high-rank source said. “This is not a U.S.-led coalition operation, but we are informing them about every single detail. This is not a secret operation.”

The U.S. was informed but Iraq was not? That makes it look as if the U.S. is behind this. Brett McGurk has also said that this is not a "U.S.-led coalition" operation but is otherwise playing "neutral" on the issue.

But Reuters now stenographed some other Turkish source which suddenly claims that the tanks and artillery are part of the coalition:

Turkey said on Monday it would not withdraw hundreds of soldiers who arrived last week at a base in northern Iraq, despite being ordered by Baghdad to pull them out within 48 hours.

The sudden arrival of such a large and heavily armed Turkish contingent in a camp near the frontline in northern Iraq has added yet another controversial deployment to a war against Islamic State fighters that has drawn in most of the world's major powers.

Ankara says the troops are there as part of an international mission to train and equip Iraqi forces to fight against Islamic State. The Iraqi government says it never invited such a force, and will take its case to the United Nations if they are not pulled out.

The force to be trained is under control of a former Iraqi state governor who is, like the Kurdish ex-president Barzani, a Turkish tool:

The camp occupied by the Turkish troops is being used by a force called Hashid Watani, or national mobilization, made up of mainly Sunni Arab former Iraqi police and volunteers from Mosul.

It is seen as a counterweight to Shi'ite militias that have grown in clout elsewhere in Iraq with Iranian backing, and was formed by former Nineveh governor Atheel al-Nujaifi, who has close relations with Turkey. A small number of Turkish trainers were already there before the latest deployment.

The former policemen who ran away when the Islamic State took over Mosul are not and will not be a serious fighting force against their Islamic State brethren in Mosul. They are just a fig leave for the Turkish occupation.

There are rumors, not confirmed yet, that Turkey now uses the presence of its force to blackmail the Iraqi government. Turkey, it is said, wants agreement from Baghdad for a gas pipeline from Qatar through Iraq to Turkey.


Map via Fer G

The original plan was to have such a pipeline run through Syrian desert flatland to Turkey and on to Europe. The gas from Qatar would be sold there in competition with gas from Russia. President Assad had rejected that pipeline and preferred one from Iran through Iraq to the Syrian coast. Qatar and Iran collectively own a huge gas field in the Persian Gulf. Whoever gets his pipeline going first will have a big advantage in extracting from the field and selling its gas. The rejection of the original pipeline project was one reason why Qatar engaged heavily in the regime change project in Syria. The Plan B would have the pipeline go through the rather rough east Anatolia - more expensive than the Syria route but feasible. The U.S. supports the Qatar project. Anything that would make Europeans dependent on gas from a U.S. controlled regime is preferable to Europeans who do independent business with Russia.

Erdogan visited Qatar on December 1 for two days and the two countries signed a number of "strategic agreements". The Turkish troops moved to Mosul on December 4 and 5. This makes the pipeline extortion that Turkey is said to try with Iraq at least plausible.

But Iraq and its Prime Minister Abadi can not agree to the pipeline project. Its allies in Iran, Russia and Syria are all against the Qatar-Turkey-(U.S.) project and would see that as treason. Shia militia in Iraq, especially the Badr brigade, have threatened to destroy the Turkish force near Mosul. They would remove Abadi from his office if he would fold under the Turkish-Qatari-(U.S.) extortion scheme.

Possibly related to the Turkish escalation is today's attack on a Syrian government position near Deir Ezzour:

Syria's government said the U.S.-led military coalition has carried out a deadly airstrike on a Syrian army camp, but officials from the alliance said the report was false.

Syria said four coalition jets killed three soldiers and wounded 13 in the eastern Deir al-Zor province on Sunday evening, calling it an act of aggression, the first time it has made such an accusation.
...
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported earlier that jets likely to be from the coalition hit part of the Saeqa military camp near the town of Ayyash in Deir al-Zor province, killing four Syrian army personnel.

But a U.S. military official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the United States is certain that Russia was responsible for the deadly strike on the Syrian army camp .

The official flatly dismissed claims that U.S.-led coalition jets were responsible.

Brett McGurk, U.S. President Barack Obama's envoy to the coalition, also denied claims of coalition responsibility, saying on his Twitter account: "Reports of coalition involvement are false."

Damascus insists that four jets entered Syria from Al-Bukamal, Iraq and fired 9 missiles against al-Saeqa military base in Ayyash near Deir Ezzour.

The U.S. accuses Russia to have committed the strike. I very much doubt that. There have been accidental "friendly fire" strikes by the Russian air force against Syrian troops and against Hizbullah. But those accidents were always immediately admitted and investigated within the 4+1 alliance. The Russians say they did not do this strike and Damascus agrees.

But notice the weasel word in the U.S. statements: "U.S.-led coalition". The Turks in Mosul are not part of the "U.S.-led coalition" even if they first claimed to be. If the air strike in Syria today were not done by the "U.S.-led coalition" it could mean that some country committed these air strikes on its own without the strike being officially within the "U.S.-led coalition" framework. Could that country's name start with a Q?

The U.S. will know who really launched this strike. In both, the Turkish aggression on Iraq and the airstrike in Syria today and even with the earlier mountain ambush on the Russian jet, the U.S. is likely "leading from behind" the curtain. All these events are, like the now forming new alliance with Jihadis, part of Obama's bigger plans and designs for Syria and the Middle East.

Posted by b on December 7, 2015 at 02:26 PM | Permalink

Comments
next page »

Well, Russia, Iran, Iraq, and Syria are already waging asymmetrical war with NATO, so why not directly wage war and end the Outlaw US Empire's terrorist behavior once and for all? I asked before, how many NATO countries will actually wage war with Russia, China and their allies? I don't see any diplomatic path away from wider war. Anyone have a non-befogged crystal ball?

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 7, 2015 2:42:36 PM | 1

Since the UN resolution it's everybody's chance to party and bomb in Syria, Iraq, wherever.

Posted by: From The Hague | Dec 7, 2015 2:52:57 PM | 2

Build a pipeline through Iraq that is at the mercy of hostile Iraqis? Good luck ErDOGcunt! (Excuse the French folks).

Posted by: Irshad | Dec 7, 2015 2:53:35 PM | 3

Interesting point.

Posted by: nmb | Dec 7, 2015 3:02:45 PM | 4

Mad Wolf: Closing the Syrian skies

Posted by: From The Hague | Dec 7, 2015 3:04:19 PM | 5

Thanks b. With tanks amassing in the Donbas and joking joe Biden pushing the anti Russian stolen Crimea bullshit, it looks like the US is going all in with divide and conquer.

Posted by: Nana2007 | Dec 7, 2015 3:15:17 PM | 6

At the end of this whole NATO madness, Turkey will become the most isolated country in the region. They've managed, quite successfully, to piss off all their neighbors on behalf of Washington and Arab petrol Sheikhs. This is the "Turkish model" Washington's been talking about all along.

Posted by: Zico | Dec 7, 2015 3:23:04 PM | 7

"Paris and London are multiplying their categorical declarations against Daesh, its programme of ethnic cleansing and its terrorist attacks. And yet they are preparing in secret for the ethnic cleansing of Northern Syria with a view to creating a pseudo-Kurdistan, and the re-localisation of Daesh to Al-Anbar in order to create a « Sunnistan » there.. . . in order to launch their new war in Iraq and Syria, France, Israël and the United Kingdom forced the Security Council to adopt resolution 2249 " [US & Russia don't have veto power?] http://www.voltairenet.org/article189562.html

Abadi-puppet of course betrayed both Iraq & Syria; US had evicted democratically-elected al-Maliki to install him. He sent a letter to UN that ISIS was attacking him from Syria. As the US & Turkey & the others come to "defend him from ISIS" he objects for domestic consumption only.

And in all this time while we waited for the Turkish supply line to be cut, and we waited for Iran to come in, in strength, what were we waiting for?
-- For the little bit of territory that's to remain Syria to be cleared;
-- For the heavy lifting of the secret diplomacy to bring the laggards to the same plan;
-- For the Sinai, Paris & San Bernardino to pacify the public;
-- For the fig-leaf of Res 2249

If Iran had come in force in October & the supply line cut, victory wd've been prompt. What was Iran waiting for?
“Russians seek coordination with Iran in measures against terrorist groups. The Russians at times had had a different standpoint but they reached a common stance with Iran after consultation” with the Islamic Republic, Velayati said in a live televised interview on Saturday. [12/5]

Are we just watching a play? Or is there another explanation of why Iran didn't come in, in force? Syria is her strategic defense, her shiite crescent, her everything. She activated her militias, sent advisors, a few thousand troops or specl forces when Palmyra fell.

Posted by: Penelope | Dec 7, 2015 3:25:28 PM | 8

Hi
How come they don't take the Qatari gas through Saudi to some Jordani port, or under water pipeline? That investment must be cheaper than what's going on right now. But of course this would enable competion from Iran.

Posted by: dudrick | Dec 7, 2015 3:25:40 PM | 9

Sorry, I meant Israeli port or under water pipeline.

Posted by: dudrick | Dec 7, 2015 3:28:50 PM | 10

b: "The U.S. was informed but Iraq was not? ... the U.S. is likely "leading from behind" the curtain"

As I noted in the last thread, the US decided to send an "expeditionary force" to Iraq about the same time that Turkey would have decided to mount the Mosul incursion.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 7, 2015 3:31:20 PM | 11

So the freaking Qatari pipeline might be back. Weird, I was just yesterday telling someone about the Qataris pipeline efforts.

If so, this would mean they realize they're not going to get their pipeline thru KSA and Syria (which was at least part of the reason for the destabilization of Syria) and the slice and dice plan.

I wonder if the gas pipeline through Iraq was planned before the 2003 invasion, and that went all wrong too.

This is getting worse and worse. The race to get the gas to Europe. Is this really worth it? If pipelines turn out to be the cause, then Pepe Escobar has been right from the start with his Pipelineistan theory.

Posted by: Joanne Leon | Dec 7, 2015 3:35:50 PM | 12

I'd be highly surprised if Erdogan really wants to annex Mosul. It is true that Britain took Mosul after the cease-fire on October 30th 1918. Legally, Britain had no right.

However from a demographic point of view, the act was not unreasonable. There are no Turks in Mosul. If we supposed Erdogan's ambition, there'd be a lot of trouble trying to integrate these sunni Arabs into the Turkish world, without Turks in place.

Posted by: Laguerre | Dec 7, 2015 3:36:30 PM | 13

Ankara says the troops are there as part of an international mission to train and equip Iraqi forces to fight against Islamic State.

Repeating my comment from the other thread:

The Turks have claimed that they are training the Kurds to fight ISIS for a reason. People forget that the recently passed UN resolution calls for "all means necessary" to combat ISIS and Kurdistan has de-facto autonomy.

I criticized the UN resolution as leaving too much lee-way for mischief. This elicited the response that the resolution "didn't authorize" attacks on Syria and wasn't done under Ch. 7. But territory that ISIS controls isn't NOT controlled by the States of Syria or Iraq so it's hard to see attacking/occupying those territories as "aggression" against a State.

And the resolution also gives ISSG, whose members are mostly anti-Assad, the lead in decision-making for anti-ISIS matters in Iraq and Syria.

In short, the US+UK+France *WILL* block any condemnation of Turkey - and will cite UNSC 2249 when doing so.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 7, 2015 3:38:10 PM | 14

No matter what pipeline is built, how will it be protected if all the interested parties are never pacified? Kurds and Baghdad can't even agree how to fairly divvy up profits, how will 12 plus different interested parties be able to split the wealth. Somehow, I just don't think we will be seeing any pipeline anytime soon.

Posted by: shadyl | Dec 7, 2015 3:38:51 PM | 15

The Witless West seems to have decided on war. Clinton the Second is onboard, as likely will be the repub candidate.

The little froggies nestle down in the pot as it begins to boil. By the time any clarity emerges from this miasma it will be too late for protest. We have been played.

Posted by: chuckvw | Dec 7, 2015 3:39:31 PM | 16

Extend the (Western-backed, Western-allied) Kurdish State into northeastern Syria and you could move the pipeline 100 miles (or more) West.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 7, 2015 3:40:27 PM | 17

Vlad was sleeping: The United Nations has vowed to fight Islamic State "by all means"

Posted by: From The Hague | Dec 7, 2015 3:43:53 PM | 18

Turkish troops remain in Iraq despite the warning


Ankara has not withdrawn, from Iraq, its military forces, despite the demands of Baghdad, Interfax reported with reference to the representative of the Turkish government.

US-led coalition airstrike on SAA position in Deir Ezzor

The bombardment from the missile was directed accurately to cause the destruction of vehicles and mechanisms of the army, the fatalities of soldiers and the wounding of others. The elite forces in the Syrian army managed to repel the ISIS attack immediately after the bombing stopped, which led to many terrorist losses of large equipment and many personnel, with the attack being disrupted.

Basurin: Kiev has amassed 238 tanks, 101 ceasefire violations over the past week

With Joe Biden and Victoria Nuland visiting Ukraine this week, it would seem they have brought some gifts with them - death and destruction. Towns such as Gorlovka are a 24/7 hot spot of action, with Pisky, Spartak and the New airport Terminal also receiving a daily barrage. The concern is that the UAF has regrouped since the Minsk II ceasefire agreement and has many new recruits and new toys from Washington/

Iraq, Syria, Ukraine ... step by step. The Nobel Peace Prize Laureate proceeds to total war.

Posted by: jfl | Dec 7, 2015 3:46:48 PM | 19

@dudrick "How come they don't take the Qatari gas through Saudi to some Jordani port, or under water pipeline?"

A direct pipeline, without transfer to ships, allows for not liquefied gas to be transported over long distances. It is cheap but one depends on the customer who hangs on that pipeline. Russia depends on Germany and others buying its gas because the pipelines lead there.

Transport by sea requires expensive liquefication (extreme freezing) of the gas. That is expensive to do but one does not depend on one customer as the ship can go anywhere where a de-liquefication terminal exists.

Qatar wants to go with model 1 and hopes for U.S. protection of its business.

Iran knows that there is no real protection available for business and goes with model 2 that allows more independence.

Posted by: b | Dec 7, 2015 3:51:40 PM | 20

Wow. Looks like "america" is going to drag the rest of the world down to hell with it. Hey "ThunderDome," after you.

Posted by: Some Guy | Dec 7, 2015 4:00:15 PM | 21

Dudrick, thats just cutting some sea miles. It wouldnt compete w/ russian gas, price wise. The initial route was jordan, syria, turkey to the rest of eu. but guess the turks realize that this objective died.
The us want qatar gas to eu because this would slow/stop the russian rise, which is financed by gas. Bet erdogan would profit huge, transiting qatar gas. Yeah, his muslim brother would make sure of that.
Poor iran, having no exit for their gas to regions were it could sell it.

I am convinced since a while that gas from the pars field is a major (there are other interests for other countries - side objectives) factor for the chaos in syria and iraq. The main objective is to contain russia, it is the only effective tool. The us sees russia as their strongest opponent.

Posted by: Slekkus | Dec 7, 2015 4:01:56 PM | 22

Don't pay too much attention to the UNSC resolution. It clearly says 'in line with the UN Charter' and aggression is not 'allowed' under the UN Charter. The answer is that, like Turkey, the UN is a US property and the Charter is just another 'obsolete' piece of paper, like the US Constitution.

When asked when is the right time to 'hip' a child, Moms Mabley replied 'The minute he is born. You got to tell him, Honey it ain't the lights ... it's the cars gonna kill ya.'

US/EU/NATO is trying to kill Russia and to enslave the US/EU/NATO devastated and destroyed Middle East. It ain't the UN Charter, it's defensive arms and manpower gonna save Syriaq and Ukriane from US/EU/NATO aggression.

Posted by: jfl | Dec 7, 2015 4:09:24 PM | 23

Plan A1: 'Moderate rebels' topple Assad

Plan A2: 'Political Solution': Win Syrian election

Plan B: Partition Iraq

Also note: Plan B' does more than just allow for a pipeline.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 7, 2015 4:13:32 PM | 24

Oh, and as speaking of this. What happens when a country neglects their own lomg term interest under pressure by the bully, compensated with short lived dollars, disappearing in the elites pockets.

< A HREF="http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/12/07/440741/Iran-India-Gas-pipeline/">iran india pipeline

Good job pakistan. Hope iran dismantles their part of the line when the first gas molecules arrive in india.

Posted by: Slekkus | Dec 7, 2015 4:14:01 PM | 25

@10 Penelope That was an excellent comment.

I have thought, for at least a year, that these were pieces of a bigger puzzle but I've also thought for at least a year that if they could not achieve what they wanted (dominance) via a step-by-step process (that keeps failing), they'd go for the big war and try to get it that way.

Posted by: Joanne Leon | Dec 7, 2015 4:21:20 PM | 26

"The U.S. supports the Qatar project. Anything that would make Europeans dependent on gas from a U.S. controlled regime is preferable to Europeans who do independent business with Russia."

this doesn't necessarily have much to do with US machination, Europeans have always feared a powerful Russia, the memory of soviet occupation is still fresh in their mind. European want to do business with Russia, but only with a weak Russia that Europe can easily control. It's a myth that European elites are controlled by US, what do you think Bilderberg Group is for.

Posted by: meofios | Dec 7, 2015 4:24:18 PM | 27

thanks b..

this is beautiful as it completely destroys the rationale for regime change.. it was all about running a pipeline from qatar to turkey and then onto europe.. even a complete idiot can see it now! - i am thinking of a few of the exceptional nations trolls when i say that!

the part about who did the murdering of syrian army personal in dier ezzor sure looks like more of the same bs on a part of this coalition of the willing to take out assad, i mean get rid of isis.. further confirmation wasn't necessary, but thanks zato for all of that..

Posted by: james | Dec 7, 2015 4:28:38 PM | 28

In the end, NATO's goal is the same as Hitler and Napoleon's goal, which is a Russia under Western European (Franco-German) control.

Posted by: meofios | Dec 7, 2015 4:29:01 PM | 29

@8 penelope.. i think it's good to ask questions.. i don't believe it's wise to draw premature conclusions though.. it is like when you read a book and you want to conclude how the end goes.. we are still in the early chapters on this one. i would wait.. it is fine to question anyone's role in all of this, but coming up with a conclusion is premature as i see it.. the sykes-picot agreement folks are now going to come after me!

Posted by: james | Dec 7, 2015 4:35:29 PM | 30

@28 let me qualify that.. it was all about the easiest route which was initially thru syria to the med..

Posted by: james | Dec 7, 2015 4:41:57 PM | 31

@16 chuckvw "We have been played"
It's really quite something to watch several parties doing things all in the name of fighting ISIS. The Iraqis have been skeptical about ISIS for a long time. Now with the Russians exposing the fact that nobody knocked out those tankers for a solid year, there are a lot of Americans asking the same kinds of questions. In fact there are some people asking questions about San Bernadino that I never expected to do so. But all in all, the fearmongering and riling up people who believe they're under attack still works to a large extent.

There was a big US-Israel forum this past weekend with some big speeches. The Israeli defense minister's comments were interesting. They're also interested in being an energy hegemon with pipelines into Greece & EU. Somebody else (I forget who now) was talking about how there's only 40 more weeks of Obama. I guess that's a short time for empires and their friends.

Posted by: Joanne Leon | Dec 7, 2015 4:53:06 PM | 32

Biden and Nuland arrive in Kiev, IED goes off in Moscow shortly after. Predictable or what?

Posted by: Yonatan | Dec 7, 2015 4:55:48 PM | 33

@32Joanne Leon

If only all these pesky Arabs would just back to where they belong and leave the ME to its rightful biblical owners...

Posted by: chuckvw | Dec 7, 2015 5:10:22 PM | 34

james: ... it was all about running a pipeline from qatar to turkey and then onto europe.

No. Every country in the anti-Assad Coalition has something to gain - and its not only economic.

KSA wants to counter their religious rival, the Shia.

Israel wants to destroy Hezbollah and eliminate/weaken the Palestinian resistance.

US wants to eliminate Russian military presence in Syria, and promote Russian regime change (Qatar gas helps to isolate Russia).

All fear a resurgent, nuclear-capable Iran that has control/influence from Lebanon to Afghanistan.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 7, 2015 5:16:54 PM | 35

How has Russia reacted to the news of Turkey's move near Mosul, US presence in northeast Syria and yesterday's airstrike?

Posted by: Lozion | Dec 7, 2015 5:23:55 PM | 36

@32

there's more than 40 weeks of Obama... there's 52 + 3 in December + 3 in January

whomever you heard can't count

Posted by: crone | Dec 7, 2015 5:24:16 PM | 37

Erdogan is nuts and the Qataris are in desperate need of some abuse.

The iraqi president has allegedly ordered the Iraqi air force to be ready to hit the turkish troops if they don't leave by tomorrow.

I suspect the turks will use an attack on their forces which have invaded a neighbor as a pretext to launch a larger force into Iraq, out of you know....."self defense." Iraqi pilots should be very careful if it comes to that because I don't put it beyond Turkey to hit them with SAMS.

Posted by: alaric | Dec 7, 2015 5:46:45 PM | 38

Slekkus @ 22,
Absolutely you're right, there are bigger interests than oil at play, here. After all, WHY do US & other oligarchs want to control oil? Clearly for the unltd power of their emerging NWO, no? So power is the ultimate goal even thru the medium of oil control.

---
Re: LNG
There's at least a 10% energy loss of the final product, so less bang for the buck.
Volume of LNG is reduced to 1/600th of standard pressure & temp.
"The construction of an LNG plant costs at least US$ 1,500,000,000 per 1 mmtpa capacity, a receiving terminal costs US $ 1,000,000,000 per 1 bcf/day throughput capacity, and LNG vessels cost US $ 200,000,000 to 300,000,000 per ship."
---Wiki

Posted by: Penelope | Dec 7, 2015 6:00:59 PM | 39

Fifteen years ago, Big Oil simply wasted the gas, allowing it to escape into the atmosphere. The gas is on top of the oil. When they drilled, they hit the gas layer first and they allowed it to escape. They had no interest in saving it and selling it.

We don't appreciate the economics of it. Big Oil is a major controller of the US Government. Other world governments too, no doubt. Big Oil gets billions of dollars worth of freebies. Tax breaks, Royalty payments due the government for drilling on government land are often forgiven.

Big Oil has obviously created the market conditions which make profitable the sale of natural gas.

Posted by: fast freddy | Dec 7, 2015 6:21:11 PM | 40

@35 jackrabbit. well that is true too.. it is an important plank, but not the only one.. thanks for the reminder..

Posted by: james | Dec 7, 2015 6:49:21 PM | 41

Meofios @ 27, "Anything that would make Europeans dependent on gas from a U.S. controlled regime is preferable to Europeans who do independent business with Russia.. It's a myth that European elites are controlled by US, what do you think Bilderberg Group is for."

Germany wants to do business w Russia. They negotiated Nordstream 2, but the "Eastern European bloc" whose head is Poland kisses up to US wishes & is enthusiastically opposing Nordstream 2 on environmantal grounds. (It will somehow damage the Baltic; never mind that there's already one pipeline & losts of cables there.) 6,200 German companies operate in Russia with investments totaling 20 billion euros.

Evidence for Germany's being controlled by US:

-- "According to official information provided by the Department of Defense (DoD) and its Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) there are still about 40,000 US troops, and 179 US bases in Germany, over 50,000 troops in Japan (and 109 bases), and tens of thousands of troops, with hundreds of bases, all over Europe." http://qz.com/#374138/these-are-all-the-countries-where-the-us-has-a-military-presence/

The only Russian member of Bilderberg Group is Professor of Economics Sergei Guriev, who was previously employed by Morgan Stanley, is a US insider, and left Russia after being questioned in 2013.

-- Germany has no constitution, is still legally listed by UN as an "enemy combatant", legally must consult w US and UK before taking significant actions. Russia, as a WWII ally had the same rights over Germany but rescinded them when she permitted reunification. Germany's actual legal status is given by the link below. I have researched this from several sources, a book contemporary w post WWII agreements & by consultation w a knowledgeable German citizen. However counter-intuitive, it's true & I can give more sources, but here's one. http://www.rense.com/general69/germany.htm

PS: US threatened to block reunification unless Germany agreed to a treaty giving US control over specified media until ??? (I don't remember, maybe 2029)

Posted by: Penelope | Dec 7, 2015 6:50:54 PM | 42

@penelope: i believe the control of oil resources by the us is mainly to protect their petrodollar. Done by sustaining allies or destabilizing and toppling those not submitting. It might sound farfetched, but the dollar/us needs oil to survive. A nwo as in pursuing global hegemony, yes, and controlling important resources helps.

Oil itself has no future, it is even being shorted by big money. The producing countries know and soon enough demand will fade with billions of barrels still in the ground. Gas is the new oil.

@jackrabbit: isreal has a binary interests in a submissive syria: isolating iran and degrading its regional role, which is the same goal for s.a. And it faces the same issue as qatar, gas resources to transit via lebanon or syria.

Wonder if there are any existing gas pipelines on the seabed? Iran-india seem to planning one for 4.5bn. And it is quite a distance.

Posted by: Slekkus | Dec 7, 2015 6:54:13 PM | 43

Turkey--with the help of its friends the U.S. and Israel--has done an end move around Syria and Mother Russia. Much of the stolen oil transshipped through Turkey went to Israel anyway. By building an airbase right on the old Haifa-Mosul pipeline, and bringing in 1500 troops, Turkey can now send stolen oil shipments directly to Israel, keeping the flow of money to ISIS and the Erdogan clan. It can use its air force and drones to patrol the pipeline. I'm guessing that's where U.S. and U.K. patrols will go also. Plus, the U.S. recently moved troops into the area now, it seems, intended to bolster the Turko-ISIS supply lines. Unless Iraq directly asks Russia for help, I'm guessing Iraq will have to rely on its own forces, the Iranian al Quds brigade and Hezbollah to stop this flow once it starts.

Posted by: Tom | Dec 7, 2015 7:07:35 PM | 44

Syrian Kurdish factions will host a two-day conference from Tuesday on a vision for Syria's future, after being excluded from a meeting of opposition groups in Saudi Arabia.

"The National Coordination Committee for Democratic Change, a domestic opposition group that will also be present at the Riyadh talks, will also attend, its spokesman Munzer Khaddam said.

And Haytham Manna, co-founder of the opposition coalition Cairo Conference, told AFP that members of his grouping had withdrawn from the Riyadh talks and would instead attend those in Hasakeh.

Manna said Saudi Arabia had invited Ahrar al-Sham, an Islamist group allied with Al-Qaeda's Syria affiliate, and was sidelining moderate opposition factions.

The PYD's armed branch, the People's Protection Units (YPG), are also not invited to the Saudi meeting.

Also excluded is the new Syrian Democratic Forces alliance, which groups the YPG with smaller Arab and Christian forces that are fighting the Islamic State group with US support.


Kurds plan Syria summit after exclusion from Saudi meet

Posted by: virgile | Dec 7, 2015 7:20:09 PM | 45

A man explained to me once how the top people in oil companies think. They think in terms of annual production and sales. Everything they do is based on getting more new production and of course safeguarding what they have, and ultimately it's all about making the year's numbers good. Along the way, anything they have to do to further that end is fair game. What country do they have to destabilize, whom do they have to have killed or arrested, whom do they lobby and bribe? And they think on a large scale because governments and military machines are their peers. I can't personally verify any of this, but it fits well enough that I accept it as likely. And interests tend to coincide between national security concerns and reliable energy supplies.

Geopolitics has always been about pipelines, but that's only one coincident part of the struggle in the world. All the rest of the geopolitical considerations are also real, and in play. Pipelines are just another huge check mark in the spreadsheet of alliances and plunder and territory that comprise the activities of humans at the top of the food chain.

In my view.

Posted by: Grieved | Dec 7, 2015 7:57:27 PM | 46

I was expecting this but it still raised a smirk when I read that the US actually blamed Russia for the attack in Deir Ez Zor. Fuck me.

Posted by: Bob | Dec 7, 2015 8:17:06 PM | 47

@37 crone
I wondered why they used the number "40 weeks" too. Bush tuned out even before the election during his last year in office. Maybe there's some metric, I don't know. Or maybe the person at the forum was just a dumbass

Posted by: Joanne Leon | Dec 7, 2015 8:24:35 PM | 48

@jfl@23

Don't pay too much attention to the UNSC resolution. It clearly says 'in line with the UN Charter' and aggression is not 'allowed' under the UN Charter. The answer is that, like Turkey, the UN is a US property and the Charter is just another 'obsolete' piece of paper, like the US Constitution.

Bingo! It was about time someone would call on the broken records who believe a UN resolution would have kept the coalition of the bastards from going after their long-term plans in Syria, Iraq, and the greater ME. Putin's ruse about getting a UN resolution was to make an emphasis on the LEGAL use of force, not hoping a piece of paper was going to keep the bastards from going forward, or prevent them from using force.

Force is the only language the US empire knows, and if UN resolutions would mean something, Palestinians wouldn't be suffering from extrajudicial executions every day, and Israelis wouldn't be an occupying power. Obama cleans his ass with UN resolutions, and Putin knows it, better reason to have one, even if lacking, than none at all.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Dec 7, 2015 8:25:04 PM | 49

@Bob #47 - it almost seems that Russia could refute that with electronic evidence. But I wonder if perhaps these provocations are simply as some suggest, that the US is probing by fire, trying to map the technical capabilities of the Russians.

There's a lot of noise out there right now with bombings and troop invasions in Syria and Iraq, and then Biden to Ukraine, with the obligatory front-line artillery buildup.

I believe most of this is theater. Bluster and bluff. Russia will clear the skies of Syria when the stakes are high enough - I note she has already said formally that another plane downed would mean Russia needs no help in Syria to fight ISIS. So there's one of the red lines. I guess the US and friend Erdogan are testing for the rest.

Posted by: Grieved | Dec 7, 2015 8:25:16 PM | 50

Another pipe dream by amerikas neo-conns with the useful puppet. Failed.

Posted by: jo6pac | Dec 7, 2015 8:31:30 PM | 51

Sidenote - is Iran present or absent in the Syrian struggle? Like many people, I wondered if Iran is really pulling its weight in the Syraq theater. Then I noticed that the downed Russian navigator was rescued 6 miles behind enemy lines by a team of Hezbollah and Syrian specials controlled personally by Qasem Soleimani himself, who promised the Russians that he would get their man back.

Iran's top fighter, and I believe current head of Quds Force, was so long and deeply embedded in the Syrian operations that he could instantly govern the situation and command an integrated force in a hugely delicate operation. None of his team received injury. All of the enemy encountered along the way were killed silently.

Russian media has been picking up on this story:
Russian Media Hail Iran's General Soleimani for Rescuing Russia's Pilot
These two great civilizations are liking each other on the media level. It seems there is also a coming together at the strategic level, a merging of viewpoints between the two countries with regard to the Middle East.

I note that all the forces fighting in Syria have let the Syrian army do most of the work, and only moved to augment its force at need. Russia indeed only offered air support. And with that little help from their friends, the Syrians seem to be kicking ass.

Iran's Supreme Leader and other officials make it plain that they have 100,000 soldiers and more, to commit to the cause, however one cares to define that cause, whatever geopolitical shifts may make that necessary. For Iran the greater battles probably are not in Syria, perhaps not in Iraq. Maybe in Qatar, maybe in Yemen and Saudi Arabia. Maybe Lebanon, maybe Israel. The point is that I believe Iran is ready, willing and able to appear on the field of battle, to satisfy our desire for action, thrills and superficially satisfying outcomes. We just have to wait until it makes sense to their commanders to send their soldiers into martyrdom.

But I do not see any absence of Iran in Syria or Iraq. Instead, it appears below the surface that Iran runs like thin veins of silver through all the ore of the Middle East. And I do not perceive any complaints from the locals that the Iranians didn't show up yet.

Posted by: Grieved | Dec 7, 2015 8:48:03 PM | 52

I don't understand all this talk of Iran being absent. How many IRGC generals have we heard about being martyred? Those are not the casualties of someone not pulling his weight. Even last year there was the Israeli airstrike that killed an Iranian general along with some Hizbullah fighters. (Hizbullah's retaliation was swift) So Iran has been fighting since the beginning. And that's not even mentioning the financial support that kept the Syrian economy going.

Posted by: Lysander | Dec 7, 2015 8:57:46 PM | 53

@Joanne Leon@12

This is getting worse and worse. The race to get the gas to Europe. Is this really worth it? If pipelines turn out to be the cause, then Pepe Escobar has been right from the start with his Pipelineistan theory.

Pipelineistan is only a layer in a complex matrix of multiple interacting powers fighting for short/medium/long term interests/goals/objectives (see Jackrabbit@35), mostly driven by "greed and possessiveness" (Sun Tzu), a dynamic strata where the strong trample the weak, where countries and peoples are just pieces on a dehumanized chessboard.

It's not just the pipeline, it is the relative power the pipeline will provide to those who will ultimately benefit, power to be acquired in the process of building the pipeline, if needed, as in Turkey bribing Iraq with force. A pipeline requires geopolitical space, to be opened and preserved by force when required. We are privileged to be witnessing those historical forces at work.

So, it is not just the pipelines, even though my dear Pepe Escobar is almost always right, except the rare times when he's wrong...

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Dec 7, 2015 9:13:47 PM | 54

@ 23&49

It is almost as if the world needs another total world war. It has forgotten about the true horror of war. Sleeping through the pockets of violence visited upon others and disguised through our TV sets as something else, desensitising us. Yes, UN Charter is treated like toilet paper...as is the US Constitution - the constitution being a great human achievement with the instructions on how the US government is to avoid the hi-jacking it currently enjoys. With mass shootings happenings every day in the US, police brutality out of control, the massive prison-industrial complex...you can't help but almost wish on a US revolution, forcing our global overlords to retract it's binding tentacles, clean up its own backyard and enter a period where it is forced to repent for its duplicity and immorality in pursuit of hegemony. But, a pipe dream...no pun intended.

@43

Yes, the preservation of the petrodollar is of utmost importance. See Iraq, Libya. Given that it was Nixon who finally de-linked the US Dollar from gold, and attached it to the fortunes of a finite resource. Just think about that for a second...the de-facto world currency attached to the fortunes of a finite resource. How short-sighted can leadership be...? But short term gain is what you gonna get from a form of parliament that ought to force its members to wear the logos of it's corporate sponsors. When the US finally mind f***s the world into believing that it has property rights on the sun, we'd all be buying US licence to own solar panels.

We are about 4-5years overdue for a major systemic change in the way the globe conducts its finance. Does it happen behind another World War...? Or are we on the way to a multi-polar hegemony via a series of ongoing flash points of conflicting interest...?

Its pretty annoying. Russia is open for business. Europe is broke. US is imploding. Doing business here should be the natural capitalist way. But no, it was never the war for democracy...only the war for the petrodollar.

Posted by: MadMax2 | Dec 7, 2015 9:39:47 PM | 55

jfl @ 23:

"US/EU/NATO is trying to kill Russia and to enslave the US/EU/NATO devastated and destroyed Middle East. It ain't the UN Charter, it's defensive arms and manpower gonna save Syriaq and Ukriane from US/EU/NATO aggression."

Another BINGO!

Not to worry though, they're coming for everyone who labors.

Posted by: ben | Dec 7, 2015 9:40:16 PM | 56

Pipelines planning involves a lot of pipe dreams. Take the project of bringing natural gas from Turkmenistan to Pakistan and India through Afghanistan. Allegedly, a motivation to occupy Afghanistan, but IMHO, it is just a pipe dream added to a sales pitch. Economically, it would make more sense to route this gas through Iran, Afghanistan is not much of a shortcut and it has "security problems", More or less the same is true with Qatar-Turkey pipeline. On pure economics and security, Iran would offer the best connection, and barring that, KSA-Jordan-Syria (but with security to be solved later).

Qataris are most interested in the greatness of the name of al-Thani in the Ummah and that precludes deals with heretics (i.e. the Shia). More precisely, Qatari policy is al-Thani policy. Strangely enough, al-Thani are historically an tribe that was Wahhabi and came to Qatar from Najd, Wahhabi heartland. However, for years they were least cosy with KSA among Arab statelets of the nameless Gulf (Kuweit, Bahrein and Emirates are not Wahhabi). Namely, the Brotherhood opposed Salafism and royal privileges earning deep hostility of Gulf dynasts, except in Qatar. I can only surmise that al-Thanis had some ancestral grievance agains the house of Saud, so they support the Brotherhood in part out of spite, in part to have "wide political support", lest KSA decides to impose control. Nevertheless, they were kind of beaten to submission by KSA around the time when KSA was extinguishing disloyal opposition to Bahreini feudal rulers, and Brothers in exile moved to Turkey.

Before I digress further, the project of creating "Sunnistan" that would be as independent from Baghdad as the Kurdish Region is in itself enormously attractive to all Sunni crazies, which at this point means Gulf Arabs and Turkey. If it allows for construction of useful pipelines, this is icing on the cake, but the cake is delicious even without icing (I actually hate gooey white stuff on top).

"Geopolitics has always been about pipelines..." One has to generalize it to make it true. Long distance trade had symbiotic relationship with powerful political superstructures, typically offering prestige goods for the elite and technological progress to shepherds, peasants and warriors, but the prestige objects could be parrot feathers, sea shells, cocoa beans, silk, spices, swords and sabres from excellent steel, fine horses and so on.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 7, 2015 9:45:41 PM | 57

@55 MadMax2 said, "Given that it was Nixon who finally de-linked the US Dollar from gold, and attached it to the fortunes of a finite resource."

I'm laughing my ass off here at the lack of self-awareness that makes America what it is. As if gold were any less finite or maldistributed than oil!

Posted by: Jonathan | Dec 7, 2015 9:57:33 PM | 58

Posted by: Lysander | Dec 7, 2015 8:57:46 PM | 53

Sidenote - is Iran present or absent in the Syrian struggle? Like many people, I wondered if Iran is really pulling its weight in the Syraq theater.

=====

My partial understanding is that the Iranian party line is that the Islamic Republic has no military presence in Syria and Iraq, but merely provides friendly expert advise to popular movements, and those include local and not-so-local militias. In particular, the militias that have some Iranian auspices are composed of Iraqi Shias, Afghan Shias and even some Pakistani Shias. Given how many internal differences you can find among the Iraqi Shias, the prestige and expertise from the Islamic Republic helps in making them into a cohesive force.

According to some opposition sources, almost entire force of Assad government is foreign, but this manifestly does not add up (same source usually claim that there are hardly any foreign fighters among the "moderate rebels"). My estimate is ca. 10,000 of those Iran-aided militias.

There was some talk of Iran actually sending troops and planes, but so far, the closest to it is an admission that "Afghani volunteer" units may have Iranians as well (Afghan Shias do not speak Pathan but Tadjik, a Persian dialect, so it is easy to form mixed units).

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 7, 2015 9:58:53 PM | 59

@Grieved@52

A beautiful piece you wrote, pal. Should we call it and "Ode to Iran"?

[...] I note that all the forces fighting in Syria have let the Syrian army do most of the work, and only moved to augment its force at need [...]

If there is a better way to help a half-demoralized army, almost defeated, than propping up their morale by discovering its own strength and capabilities, the ways and means to victory, I am all ears. Syria needs to stand on its own feet, and its army has been, is, and will be, the guarantor of Syria's existence.

[...] For Iran the greater battles probably are not in Syria, perhaps not in Iraq [...]

I disagree. Iran's investment in both Iraq and Syria has a long term perspective and the same pattern: they have trained multiple forces in both countries to fight the long fight for their own countries, while Iran "appears below the surface" leading the pack from behind, steering them in the direction of resistance. Iran's political/military hold on both Iraq and Syria is very strong and defining, otherwise those two countries would have gone into pieces long ago.

Iraq and Syria are Iran's greatest battle, what sidetracked you is you're envisioning a classic battleground, such as the Iraq-Iran war. This is a different kind of war, a hybrid war, and Iran has been forced to learn to master it, from sanctions to Stuxnet to assassination of nuclear scientists, terrorist penetration, fifth column, you name it, they threw everything in the book. Iran is now, next to Russia, one of the masters of hybrid war, and it shows.

If Iran (and Russia) lose this war, their geopolitical power will be greatly reduced, their enemies will jump on them like hyenas and jackals on the spoil, and neither one will be able to fight another war, the classic war of positions you're visualizing.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Dec 7, 2015 10:10:23 PM | 60

A pipeline would be part of how this war would eventually be paid for by the victors, but there's no way it would explain all the misery and destruction we've witnessed over the past 14 years.

There's way more going on here and the stakes are way higher, for everyone. As many here have posited, Russia and China are the ultimate prizes here, but the rest of the world is in play, too. That's why it's called a world war.

The only question now is whether the empire can keep it's story straight long enough to win abroad before it loses the support at home.

Posted by: Information_Agent | Dec 7, 2015 10:12:12 PM | 61

@Grieved@52

A beautiful piece you wrote, pal. Should we call it and "Ode to Iran"?

[...] I note that all the forces fighting in Syria have let the Syrian army do most of the work, and only moved to augment its force at need [...]

If there is a better way to help a half-demoralized army, almost defeated, than propping up their morale by discovering its own strength and capabilities, the ways and means to victory, I am all ears. Syria needs to stand on its own feet, and its army has been, is, and will be, the guarantor of Syria's existence.

[...] For Iran the greater battles probably are not in Syria, perhaps not in Iraq [...]

I disagree. Iran's investment in both Iraq and Syria has a long term perspective and the same pattern: they have trained multiple forces in both countries to fight the long fight for their own countries, while Iran "appears below the surface" leading the pack from behind, steering them in the direction of resistance. Iran's political/military hold on both Iraq and Syria is very strong and defining, otherwise those two countries would have gone into pieces long ago.

Iraq and Syria are Iran's greatest battle, what sidetracked you is you're envisioning a classic battleground, such as the Iraq-Iran war. This is a different kind of war, a hybrid war, and Iran has been forced to learn to master it, from sanctions to Stuxnet to assassination of nuclear scientists, terrorist penetration, fifth column, you name it, they threw everything in the book at them. Iran is now, next to Russia, one of the masters of hybrid war, and it shows.

If Iran (and Russia) lose this war, their geopolitical power will be greatly reduced, their enemies will jump on them like hyenas and jackals on the spoil, and neither one will be able to fight another war, the classic war of positions you're visualizing.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Dec 7, 2015 10:17:12 PM | 62

All this talk about geopolitics and no reference to the global plutocrats that own private finance, along with everything else including governments. This is all about the ongoing control that private finance, and the people that own it, have over global finance and that myth called capitalism.

If private finance is not taken down in these kabuki wars, the incentives in our class based social organization stay the same. If inheritance keeps the same families in charge over centuries, it limits our species to the whims of very few.

Oh, but I am sure this war kabuki is about Armageddon and not private finance......snark

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 7, 2015 10:24:26 PM | 63

@58

Laugh all you like. I realise there is probably next to no gold left in Fort Knox - such a heist you'd expect that from the country that was proudly built on a gun in the wild west. Seeing that 100% of fiat eventually fails, we'll be forced to agree on something new in the future. I'm not saying a new gold standard is around the corner - although China and Russia have been hoarding gold for a couple of years now.

Posted by: MadMax2 | Dec 7, 2015 10:38:28 PM | 64

I do not think that it is about an oil pipeline.

I think that Erdogan is trying to reestablish the Ottoman empire.

Posted by: Matthew G. Saroff | Dec 7, 2015 10:41:54 PM | 65

@58

Not boring you with the properties that separates gold and oil as a store of value. We do live under the Petrodollar, not a stable format.

Posted by: MadMax2 | Dec 7, 2015 10:46:06 PM | 66

@karlof1@1

Well, Russia, Iran, Iraq, and Syria are already waging asymmetrical war with NATO, so why not directly wage war and end the Outlaw US Empire's terrorist behavior once and for all? I asked before, how many NATO countries will actually wage war with Russia, China and their allies? I don't see any diplomatic path away from wider war. Anyone have a non-befogged crystal ball?

My crystal ball is really foggy, but one of the many reasons not to wish for total Armageddon is that we might not be able to follow its unfolding, since MoA might cease to exist, many powers are already pointing some nukes in the direction of b, and a nuclear winter without MoA would really be a drag, don't you THINK?

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Dec 7, 2015 11:00:26 PM | 67

“Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what the hell is going on,” he said, adding the word “hell" for emphasis this time. [From WP, but the words are of one and only Donald Trump referring to himself in the third person]

As usual, Trump mixes worthy ideas with, how to say, questionable ones. For example, American foreign and military policy should be shut down until our country's representatives can figure out what the hell is going on. And if that will not happen soon, "primum non nocere". The less worthy idea is one that is a cornerstone of the wide spectrum of stinking political belching, namely, "they are all the same".

For example, even though I live in remote Appalachia, I have my share of Muslim acquaintances, and honestly, also folks that i cannot figure out: Muslim or not Muslim?

At least I know how to implement the no-admission policy. The no-immigration policy in respect to Communists was implemented by having a box on immigration questionnaire requiring to state if one ever belonged to an organization associated with a Communist party, and a line to write the full name of thereof. After some hassles, I got a statement from State Department that "Piotr Berman belonged to an organization affiliated with the Communist party and therefore he should be denied immigrant visa because of McArran act, but this requirement can be waived because he did not belonged to that organization in a meaningful way."

So folks at every border crossing would have to fill a form. And there is already a form with boxes for drugs, firearms, explosives and agricultural produce. And if that does not always work, there are dogs that can sniff out the stuff: once a happy little mongrel discovered apples on my person, the apples were duly confiscated, but luck had it, I was not detained. Perhaps halal food smells differently from kosher food.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 7, 2015 11:13:38 PM | 68

Iran is waiting for the nuclear deal to be implemented ( in January). Then it may show its teeth..

Posted by: virgile | Dec 7, 2015 11:21:42 PM | 69

@karlof1@1

Well, Russia, Iran, Iraq, and Syria are already waging asymmetrical war with NATO, so why not directly wage war and end the Outlaw US Empire's terrorist behavior once and for all? I asked before, how many NATO countries will actually wage war with Russia, China and their allies? I don't see any diplomatic path away from wider war. Anyone have a non-befogged crystal ball?

My crystal ball is really foggy, but one of the many reasons not to wish for total Armageddon is that we might not be able to follow its unfolding, since MoA might cease to exist, many powers are already pointing some nukes in the direction of b, and a nuclear winter without MoA would really be a drag, don't you THINK?

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Dec 8, 2015 12:03:58 AM | 70

This fantasy pipeline from Qatar to Turkey was an interesting diversion until I read that Qatar is the worlds largest LNG hub. Why would anyone, even nutty Erdogan, want to be dependent on a pipeline that runs through war-torn, unfriendly countries?

LNG deliveries is the only way to avoid these infrastructure and political roadblocks even if it is more expensive.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Dec 8, 2015 12:14:29 AM | 71

Posted by: From The Hague | Dec 7, 2015 2:52:57 PM | 2

Since the UN resolution it's everybody's chance to party and bomb in Syria, Iraq, wherever.

Posted by: From The Hague | Dec 7, 2015 3:43:53 PM | 18

Vlad was sleeping: The United Nations has vowed to fight Islamic State "by all means"

A broken record retard.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Dec 8, 2015 12:16:46 AM | 72

Being 'Israel's best friend', Canada is also in on the 'training' game in the Kurdistan Kosovo with JTF2, Special Ops etc. Trudeau's campaign promise was to end the RCAF component and pull the jets out from what Pepe Escobar calls the Coalition of the Dodgy Opportunists but they're still bombing, pretending to, or whatever they've been doing for the past year and the Defence Minister now says vaguely March. Little news emerges. This was the last amusing titbit:

Paranoid Iraq Seized Canadian Military Plane Hauling Weapons For Special Forces in Kurdistan
http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/paranoid-iraq-seized-canadian-military-plane-hauling-weapons-for-special-forces-in-kurdistan

'Paranoid Iraq' with good reason to be so too...

Posted by: John Gilberts | Dec 8, 2015 12:48:32 AM | 73

@Lone Wolf #60 - Excellent comment, thank you.

I agree about the reasons behind the bare minimum help given to the Syrian army. Either from pride or practicality, the honor of winning Syria back belongs to the Syrians. I can only imagine the joy of those soldiers nowadays, after such a long slog, determined to go the end, but without hope. And now, as they've said, there is hope.

I also agree about Syria being the make or break battleground for both Iran and Russia. And looking at the forces involved, I have no doubt that Syria will prevail. I appreciate your description of Iran's having created the indigenous resistance force in both Syria and Iraq. I get the impression that Soleimani has been a large part of this, but I'm not well studied in this area.

I yield on the subject of hybrid war. You're right about the battlefields, and this is a very large point. But there's still something to be said here. It's time for a better way of describing the escalation of warfare.

Even in hybrid warfare, I believe there is still a place for massive force. If one had that force and could maneuver one's enemy into a position where one could utterly destroy his force, one would. Massive force is something that both Russia and Iran seem to value, and seem to know is a thing you save for the uttermost need. Something that the US never quite learned actually, to its ruin.

One day we may see a thing happen that we've forgotten about, in all the hybrid warfare, and the sleight of hand. One day a massive presence of soldiers may appear somewhere, on some plain, and blow away the enemy in all his presumption. In the land of the hybrid, the one-eyed conventional force is king. Perhaps. And you could perhaps only play that card once. But somewhere in this world, and perhaps the Middle East, I'll venture the speculation that we'll see it appear sometime, and win the day.

Posted by: Grieved | Dec 8, 2015 2:20:57 AM | 74

War, violence, destruction of all sorts is increasing in the MENA and eastern Europe.

There are cycles of pauses then lurches with greater violence than the last.

Except for Syria's allies helping a secular state all the others in this tragic drama are supporting their favorite head choppers of the month.

Just in Iraq alone multiple ancient civilizations have been destroyed or scattered.

The world is racing toward a bigger war. All the great powers are arming for it.

The key to turning this around is for the US to pull its near abroad sphere of interest back from the entire world to near its borders and cut it military spending by at least 50%. Since it is unlikely that either will happen I fear we are racing toward a world wide catastrophe.

Posted by: AriusArmenian | Dec 8, 2015 2:25:50 AM | 75

About Iran's input into Syria I see a lot of great points in this thread.

I would personally prefer more overt military involvement which would lead to much quicker resolution in Syria, but I understand why Iran is so cautious and prefers "to lead from behind." They cant afford to rock the boat too much. Currently its because the nuclear deal is in fragile state and sanctions still in place, but even after that we have to understand Resistance axis is facing MUCH more powerful Evil empire. When you face enemy like that, the correct approach is asymmetric warfare, not head-on collision.

Iran simply cant allow Syria to fall, therefore we'll continue seeing thousands of Iranian "volunteers" going to Syria, training of local militias, billions in credit line, thousands tons of weapons delivered. But what we wont see is IRGC army marching to Syria.

Posted by: Harry | Dec 8, 2015 3:38:12 AM | 76

Elijah Magnier confirms my take on the Turksih blackmailing and a bits about water.

Turkish forces in Iraq to impose: The Gas versus the water

...“Turkey expressed to Iraqi visitors it readiness to pay whatever needed to allow the Qatari gas pipeline to go through their country and up to the Turkish borders to feed Turkey with the needed energy, fearing further Russian sanctions. Since it is n longer possible to use the Syrian territory for this purpose, Ankara needs to create an alternative for Qatar pipeline in case the Kremlin decides to increase its economic punitive as a reaction to the downing of the Sukhoi Su-24 last month over the Syrian borders and the killing of the Russian pilot. Turkey can provide and increase, in agreement with Iraq, all financial, economical facilities and engagement to raise the financial exchange and secure in any military support needed to fight terrorism. Ankara expressed willingness to release more water – or reduce it if necessary as insinuated – if Baghdad refuses to negotiate in order to resolve this crisis. Water levels on the Euphrates River flowing Eastern Turkey have already fallen more than half this year. As there is no international agreement for the Tigris with Iraq, the Llisu and Cizre dams on the Tigris (once concluded) and the Ataturk dam on the Euphrates can be regulated”.
...
” At the moment, Iraq, as a state, is not in a position to engage with a war against Turkey. The war with ISIS is using the country resources and keeps its military force engaged. Therefore, declaring war on Turkey won’t be simple. Nevertheless, there are enormous economical projects that could be damaged. The Iranian-Turkish relationship is also at stake. Iran is also looking for alternative partners to Turkey’s economic relations in the field of energy. The situation is progressing for the worse in the Middle East and especially the style of Turkey blackmailing, not only Iraq, but also Europe. For the question of refugees President Erdogan is receiving $ 3 billion to stem the flow of displaced people. But today, Turkey enters the critical area of ​​security to Iran under a sectarian cover “to protect the Sunni” as “Iran is protecting the Shia”. Mr. Erdogan is escaping Russia in Syria towards the Iraqi Kurdish areas, which is considered the softer side. ”

In regard to Russia – Turkey relationship: “Russia has one condition to restore warmth to its relations with Ankara. A part form apologizing, on top of the condition is Turkey withdraw completely from the Syrian dossier and stop support for its proxy militias and cease all military and economical facilities offered to ISIS.
...


The original in Arabic:
http://www.alraimedia.com/ar/article/special-reports/2015/12/08/641116/nr/iran

On the water war between Turkey, Syria and Iraq I published this back in August

The Wars In Syria And Iraq Are Also Water Wars - More Will Come

Posted by: b | Dec 8, 2015 3:43:20 AM | 77

46

It's ALL 'pipelines', oil & gas; agricultural commodities and the Cold Chain; pharmaceuticals, herbicides, pesticides; the news and sat comm; commodities; refugees; defense contracts; ...and all controlled by the illegitimate private Fed money pipeline to the illegitimate unelected private super-ordinate EU central banks.

One ring to rule them all.

'War pron' is no more signifcant or useful to understanding the state of the world and its pipelines than tits on a boar. More Americans die every year of bedsores than all the mass killings, staged or nutbar. War pron is a shiney object, a diversion, anodyne to cognitive dissonance.

It's Mr. Feel Good, KilltheCommies pablum for the easily distracted.

Posted by: Chipnik | Dec 8, 2015 4:22:59 AM | 78

75

"Since it is unlikely that either will happen I fear we are racing toward a world wide catastrophe."

We've been in a global catastrophe since the Reagan-Thatcher NeoCons took over in 1980, screwed the pooch with Volker, then rolled over in 1984 to the Deep State Black Ops, for example, Silverado, Iran/Contra, Just Say No. Clintons were deep into Papa Bush's back pocket, and remain Crypto NeoCons. Baby Bush and the Rat Pack took over with the 2000 Coup, $10sTRILLIONS looted, millions and millions slaughtered, "...but on the whole we think it was worth it",.. Trump setting up NeoCon Cruz-Rubio v NeoCon Clinton... and only now you think there's maybe a catastrophe?

Go check the world currency charts on XE. We're in an economic and trade APOCALYPSE. The manifestation of war is only the slime on the cheese.

Posted by: Chipnik | Dec 8, 2015 4:36:59 AM | 79

How The Netherlands have been creating psychotics with their fake Cannabis "skunk" and its effects on crime

"The family of a man charged with attempted murder after a stabbing at London Underground train station in a suspected terror attack had earlier called the authorities to warn them of his erratic behaviour, his brother said.

Mohamed Mire said that his brother Muhaydin, who appeared in court Monday, suffered from paranoia and hallucinations made worse by drug use, but that he was judged as no threat to the public.

"Drugs influenced him, just cannabis," he told Channel 4 News."
http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/9/172921/World/International/Police-were-warned-about-London-suspect-Brother.aspx

Posted by: Mina | Dec 8, 2015 5:58:00 AM | 80

this catastrophe GWOT was conceived by the royal we

knowing that it takes three or four generations to ameliorate the grief and psychological destruction caused by wanton slaughter.

the psychopaths, being well-versed in such philosophical anthropology, are counting on it.

why they even hatched the term blowback to effect near total mindfuckery.

Posted by: john | Dec 8, 2015 6:27:39 AM | 81

fast freddy | Dec 7, 2015 6:21:11 PM | 40

' Big Oil is a major controller of the US Government. Other world governments too, no doubt. Big Oil gets billions of dollars worth of freebies. Tax breaks, '

Forget climate change, that quote above plus polluting our air and water, not to mention running up the price of oil/gas under cartel conditions - and they will again, when cheap oil has served its purpose, or failed to - are all excellent reasons for pulling the fossil fuel needle out of all our arm, getting clean, and giving clean livin' a chance.

Joanne Leon | Dec 7, 2015 8:24:35 PM | 48

Maybe they meant 400 days ... it's coming up

Grieved | Dec 7, 2015 8:25:16 PM | 50 'I believe most of this is theater. Bluster and bluff.'

Me too.

MadMax2 | Dec 7, 2015 9:39:47 PM | 55

'It has forgotten about the true horror of war.'

The USA - the country with the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate president - has never known the horror of war : war's always been war 'over there' and overtime and partytime have coincidently been over here. That's the 500kg answer to why the USA loves war, sitting right in the middle of the room.


Piotr Berman | Dec 7, 2015 11:13:38 PM | 68

' So folks at every border crossing would have to fill a form. '

Shall we'll have one for Jews, too, as well as one for Musilms? No? I guess that brings home just what it is that you are suggesting?

Posted by: jfl | Dec 8, 2015 6:29:33 AM | 82

Some strange remarks about the UNSC resolution of 20 November 2015 (UNSCR 2249):
@ 23 jfl
Don't pay too much attention to the UNSC resolution.
@ 49 Mad Wolf
Putin's ruse about getting a UN resolution was to make an emphasis on the LEGAL use of force.

What’s the matter?
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has five permanent members with veto power( China, France, Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States).

Putin after the adoption of UNSCR 1973 (17 March 2011):

Criticizing the United Nations Security Council resolution authorizing a no-fly zone over Libya and military action to back it up, Putin called it "obviously incomplete and flawed."

Putin said it's clear that "it allows anyone to do anything they want -- to take any actions against a sovereign state."

"It resembles a medieval appeal for a crusade in which somebody calls upon somebody to go to a certain place and liberate it," he said.

On Thursday, acting on instructions from Medvedev, Russia abstained from the U.N. Security Council resolution imposing a no-fly zone over Libya but did not veto it, something that Putin obviously thought should have happened.
http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/europe/03/21/russia.leaders.libya/


On 28 september 2015 Putin addressed the General Assembly of the United Nations:
We think it is an enormous mistake to refuse to cooperate with the Syrian government and its armed forces, who are valiantly fighting terrorism face to face.

And Russia gave an excellent example of legal and effective action: helping Syria ON REQUEST.

But with accepting UNSCR 2249 Russia made it legal for all those ‘Assad Must Go’-countries to enter Syria.
After UNSCR 1441 (Iraq) and UNSCR 1973 (Libya) everybody should know that these resolutions are (mis-)used to legalize war.
Not vetoing UNSCR 2249 was a very serious blunder.

Posted by: From The Hague | Dec 8, 2015 7:20:44 AM | 83

Poor guys... no hope from that side either. The Muslim Luther is nowhere to be found.
http://angryarab.blogspot.de/2015/12/problems-pitfalls-and-fallacies-in.html

Posted by: Mina | Dec 8, 2015 7:25:34 AM | 84

Beautifully piece, insightfully objectively well presented. Bravo.

Posted by: Michael Mille | Dec 8, 2015 7:35:25 AM | 85

@77 b
As you noted in your water wars post and as has been underreported, Turkey has been using more and more of the water for their agriculture. I don't know if I'd trust their promise to let more water flow to Iraq. Maybe the "stick" (we could easily create a drought or even flood parts of Iraq) part of that proposal was more relevant than the "carrot" (we can regulate the dams and give you more water).

I'm referring more to the Mosul dam with the threat part, not the dams in Turkey, and maybe that's not part of the equation in this case. I'm not sure exactly who is in control of the Mosul dam right now but my understanding is that compromising it could wipe out Baghdad.

In any case, for what it's worth, someone I know who is plugged into this situation on a daily basis has publicly indicated a lack of confidence in the Iraq govt's ability to fight back against this threat from Turkey and thinks that unless they're ready to ask Russia to intervene (assuming that Russia would) the Iraqi govt will only bluster.

Also, I don't sense much sympathy for the Iraqi govt from the official US side.

My own speculation is that if Iraq makes this deal with Turkey, it won't end with just a gas pipeline for water arrangement. I'm also not really buying the "Turkey needs energy" argument. Turkey and their sponsors have been obsessed with making Turkey the transit area, energy hub for East-West trade. Do they still have this goal?

Posted by: Joanne Leon | Dec 8, 2015 8:24:28 AM | 86

@Joanne "In any case, for what it's worth, someone I know who is plugged into this situation on a daily basis has publicly indicated a lack of confidence in the Iraq govt's ability to fight back against this threat from Turkey and thinks that unless they're ready to ask Russia to intervene (assuming that Russia would) the Iraqi govt will only bluster. "

The Iraq government may not be able to do anything, but the militia can do a lot. Every Turkish interest in Iraq, lots of building contractors for example, will become a target. As one of the militia leaders said: As we managed to kick out the U.S., we will also kick out Turkey.

Posted by: b | Dec 8, 2015 8:44:31 AM | 87

@ Bernard

Carlos Latuff has a great cartoon :

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CVsY2KeU4AA5VZH.png

after Turkey issued an order to ban his cartoons:

https://latuffcartoons.wordpress.com/2015/12/08/turkey-has-issued-an-order-to-block-my-cartoon-page/

Posted by: Yul | Dec 8, 2015 8:45:57 AM | 88

In terms of where the ISIS oil is going. I have an idea - maybe some "ISIS" pirates could target some of Bilal Erdogan's tankers in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Would the Erdogans be shocked if some ISIS pirates hijacked some of Erdogan's tankers and blew them up and sent them to the bottom of the Mediterranean?!?!?

It would be interesting to see how the Erdogans react when "ISIS" starts blowing up their oil tankers.

Posted by: Julian | Dec 8, 2015 9:31:51 AM | 89

re 86

I'm not sure exactly who is in control of the Mosul dam right now but my understanding is that compromising it could wipe out Baghdad.
No, it couldn't. There's another dam at Samarra, with an overflow channel leading to Lake Tharthar. It was specifically built to prevent Baghdad being flooded (which used to be common in the spring).

Posted by: Laguerre | Dec 8, 2015 9:54:37 AM | 90

"…100% of fiat eventually fails…"

Evidence please. There is certainly no history of failure so these kinds of claims are little more than wishful thinking.

Posted by: paulmeli | Dec 8, 2015 9:59:48 AM | 91

@Mina@84

Thanks for the link, Mina, very useful to have a peek into the little debate Muslim scholars are having about the takfiri phenomenon. The article stops at #11, but there is a #12 with nothing written. I wonder if that's all there is to it, or there is more and it was cut off.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Dec 8, 2015 10:00:32 AM | 92

Piotr Berman | Dec 7, 2015 11:13:38 PM | 68

' So folks at every border crossing would have to fill a form. '

Shall we'll have one for Jews, too, as well as one for Musilms? No? I guess that brings home just what it is that you are suggesting?

Posted by: jfl | Dec 8, 2015 6:29:33 AM | 82

No, you just add a box to an existing form. Of course, it is a total lunacy, but objection that it cannot be implemented is false. Nevertheless, who would not prefer occasional massacres committed for totally baffling reasons (google "Batman massacre") from incidents ascribed to an alien ideology? So one can understand Trump motivations, and why he did not use the occasion to promote permits for concealed firearms as it often happens after a baffling massacre.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 8, 2015 10:59:47 AM | 93

68;Trumps statement was about non citizens not entering,he said citizens can move freely.Yes its a radical statement,but the American people are behind it 98%,other than the real ones we should ban,Zionists.We are in a war vs Islam,initiated by the Zionists and their whores.Yes,a terrible policy has delivered hatred for US from Muslims.I think it would be advisable to restrict non citizen Muslims,as did we let German,Japanese or Italians freely enter during ww2?
We need an American nationalist badly,to rescue US from the Ziomonsters.Is Trump the guy?I don't know,but he seems more attuned to the American peoples problems a hell of a lot more than the Ziowarmongers.
On the TV news today;Chinese woman tells child Santa is Chinese,as all the toys are made in China!That goes with the Indian at my wifes job who said he's going back to India,America is no fun anymore!
How the mighty have fallen down the rabbit hole of globalization.

Posted by: dahoit | Dec 8, 2015 11:48:10 AM | 94

Oh,and a side benefit of all these wars;Penis transplants.NYlying times.

Posted by: dahoit | Dec 8, 2015 12:17:45 PM | 95

PS;aka,How I lost my dick for Zion.

Posted by: dahoit | Dec 8, 2015 12:19:07 PM | 96

…We need an American nationalist badly…

Trump, while not a fascist per se, appeals to fascists and people that would participate in or condone a lynch mob.

Is that the direction we want the US to go? The US isn't nasty enough? Seems like the US political system is dangerously close to fascism if not already there.

Posted by: paulmeli | Dec 8, 2015 12:23:13 PM | 97

RT: 34 Syrian civilians reported killed in suspected US-led coalition airstrikes. The airstrike was on Monday, yesterday.

Posted by: lysias | Dec 8, 2015 12:57:37 PM | 98

@93 sddd

You sound like a classical Iran hater.
Before the implementation of the nuclear deal in January 2016, there is little Iran can do and it was designed this way.
Personally I think that the deal will be sabotaged by the usual culprits and then it will be the turn of the SL of Iran and the promises he gave to Putin.

http://english.khamenei.ir/photo/2547/Photos-Putin-offered-an-old-Quran-manuscript-to-Ayatollah-Khamenei

Posted by: Sufi | Dec 8, 2015 12:59:44 PM | 99


Washington is using Syria, as it used Ukraine, to demonstrate Russia’s impotence to Europe— and to China, as an impotent Russia is less attractive to China as an ally.

For Russia, responsible response to provocation has become a liability, because it encourages more provocation.

To end the conflict in Ukraine, or to escalate it to a level beyond Europe’s willingness to participate, Russia could accept the requests of the breakaway provinces to be reunited with Russia. For Kiev to continue the conflict, Ukraine would have to attack Russia herself.

The Russian government has relied on responsible, non-provocative responses. Russia has taken the diplomatic approach, relying on European governments coming to their senses, realizing that their national interests diverge from Washington’s, and ceasing to enable Washington’s hegemonic policy. Russia’s policy has failed. To repeat, Russia’s low key, responsible responses have been used by Washington to paint Russia as a paper tiger that no one needs to fear.

We are left with the paradox that Russia’s determination to avoid war is leading directly to war.

Whether or not the Russian media, Russian people, and the entirety of the Russian government understand this, it must be obvious to the Russian military. All that Russian military leaders need to do is to look at the composition of the forces sent by NATO to “combat ISIS.” As George Abert notes, the American, French, and British aircraft that have been deployed are jet fighters whose purpose is air-to-air combat, not ground attack. The jet fighters are not deployed to attack ISIS on the ground, but to threaten the Russian fighter-bombers that are attacking ISIS ground targets.

http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2015/12/07/war-is-on-the-horizon-is-it-too-late-to-stop-it-paul-craig-roberts/


Posted by: From The Hague | Dec 8, 2015 1:13:14 PM | 100

next page »

The comments to this entry are closed.

 

Site Meter