November 11, 2016
Nusra On The Run - Trump Induces First Major Policy Change On Syria
The people loyal to the Syrian government are happy with Donald Trump winning the U.S. election:
At the passport counter, a Syrian officer’s face lit up when he saw an American traveler.
“Congratulations on your new president!” he exclaimed, giving an energetic thumbs up. Mr. Trump, he said, would be “good for Syria.”
The first significant step of the new administration comes while Trump is not even in offices. Obama, selfishly concerned with his historic legacy, suddenly makes a 180 degree turn and starts to implement Trump polices. Lets consider the initial position:
Asked about Aleppo in an October debate with Clinton, Trump said it was a humanitarian disaster but the city had "basically" fallen. Clinton, he said, was talking in favor of rebels without knowing who they were.
The rebels fighting Assad in western Syria include nationalists fighting under the Free Syrian Army banner, some of them trained in a CIA-backed program, and jihadists such as the group formerly known as the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front.
The Obama administration, through the CIA led by Saudi asset John Brennan, fed weapons, training and billions of dollars to "moderate rebels". These then turned around (vid) and either gave the CIA gifts to al-Qaeda in Syria (aka Jabhat al Nusra) or joined it themselves. The scheme was no secret at all and Russia as well as Syria pointed this out several times. The Russian foreign Minister Lavrov negotiated with the U.S. Secretary of State Kerry who promised to separate the "moderate rebels" from al-Qaeda. But Kerry never delivered. Instead he falsely accuse Russia of committing atrocities that never happened. The CIA kept the upper hand within the Obama administration and continued its nefarious plans.
That changed the day the president-elect Trump set foot into the White House. While Obama met Trump in the oval office, new policies, prepared beforehand, were launched. The policies were held back until after the election and would likely not have been revealed or implemented if Clinton had won.
The U.S. declared that from now on it will fight against al-Qaeda in Syria:
President Obama has ordered the Pentagon to find and kill the leaders of an al-Qaeda-linked group in Syria that the administration had largely ignored until now and that has been at the vanguard of the fight against the Syrian government, U.S. officials said.
That shift is likely to accelerate once President-elect Donald Trump takes office. ... possibly in direct cooperation with Moscow.
U.S. officials who opposed the decision to go after al-Nusra’s wider leadership warned that the United States would effectively be doing the Assad government's bidding by weakening a group on the front line of the counter-Assad fight.
Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter and other Pentagon leaders initially resisted the idea of devoting more Pentagon surveillance aircraft and armed drones against al-Nusra.
al-Qaeda hears of Clinton's defeat, haz a sad (illustrative pic)
Ash Carter is, together with John Brennan, the major anti-Russian force in the Obama administration. He is a U.S. weapon industry promoter and the anti-Russia campaign, which helps to sell U.S. weapons to NATO allies in Europe, is largely of his doing. He saw al-Qaeda in Syria as a welcome proxy force against Russia.
But Obama has now shut down that policy. We are not yet sure that this is for good but the above Washington Post account is not the only signal:
The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) took action today to disrupt al-Nusrah Front’s military, recruitment, and financing operations. Specifically, OFAC designated four key al-Nusrah Front leaders – Abdallah Muhammad Bin-Sulayman al-Muhaysini, Jamal Husayn Zayniyah, Abdul Jashari, and Ashraf Ahmad Fari al-Allak – pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, which targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism.
These designations were taken in coordination with the U.S. Department of State, which today named Jabhat Fath al Sham as an alias of al-Nusrah Front – al-Qa’ida’s affiliate in Syria.
Abdallah Muhammad Bin-Sulayman al-Muhaysini was designated for acting for or on behalf of, and providing support and services to or in support of, al-Nusrah Front.
This is a major change in U.S. policy. Nusra will from now on be on the run not only from Russian and Syrian attacks but also from the intelligence and military capabilities of the United States.
The newly designated Al-Muhaysini, a Saudi cleric, is Nusra's chief ideologue in Syria. Some considered him the new Osama Bin-Laden. Here he is, on the left, arm in arm with chief al-Qaeda in Syria propagandist and "journalist" Hadi Abdullah.
Hadi Abdullah, friend of the designated al-Qaeda terrorist Muhaysini, just received the 2016 Press Freedom Price from the CIA/Soros financed "regime change" influence operation Reporters Without Borders. Might this mean that Hadi Abdullah is himself a CIA assets? He would not be the first such "journalist" in Syria.
Obama, obviously as a direct consequence of the Trump election, now ordered the Pentagon to wage war on al-Qaeda in Syria just as the Russians do. This after five years of nearly unlimited U.S. support for al-Qaeda and its "moderate" Syrian affiliates. It is not yet know what new orders, if any, Obama gave to the CIA. Will the CIA follow these policies or will it (again) try to counter the Pentagon policies in Syria? It is unusual that the WaPo report above about this new direction includes no commenting voice from the CIA. Why is such missing?
Russia and Syria will welcome the new Obama policies should they come to fruit on the ground. Hillary Clinton had planned and announced to widen the conflict in Syria and with Russia and Iran. Obama would surely not have acted against such policies if she had been elected. But with Trump winning and thereby a new policy on the horizon he now changed course to a direction that will provide "continuity" when Trump takes over.
Not only is Trump kicking a black family out of its longtime limewashed home, he also ends U.S. government support for the disenfranchised Jihadis in Syria and elsewhere. This even months before taking office. He really is the menace we have all been warned about.
This interview in today's WSJ confirms that Trump is still in the pro-Syrian/anti-Jihadist camp that is opposed to Obama's original policy:
Donald Trump, in Exclusive Interview, Tells WSJ He Is Willing to Keep Parts of Obama Health Law
He said he got a “beautiful” letter from Russian President Vladimir Putin, adding that a phone call between them is scheduled shortly.
Although he wasn’t specific, Mr. Trump suggested a shift away from what he said was the current Obama administration policy of attempting to find moderate Syrian opposition groups to support in the civil war there. “I’ve had an opposite view of many people regarding Syria,” he said.
He suggested a sharper focus on fighting Islamic State, or ISIS, in Syria, rather than on ousting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. “My attitude was you’re fighting Syria, Syria is fighting ISIS, and you have to get rid of ISIS. Russia is now totally aligned with Syria, and now you have Iran, which is becoming powerful, because of us, is aligned with Syria. … Now we’re backing rebels against Syria, and we have no idea who these people are.”
If the U.S. attacks Mr. Assad, Mr. Trump said, “we end up fighting Russia, fighting Syria.”
Posted by b on November 11, 2016 at 10:13 AM | Permalink
>> This even months before taking office. He really is the menace we have all been warned about. <<
One step at a time, he's got a lot to prove.
Posted by: jdmckay | Nov 11, 2016 10:33:05 AM | 1
"Trump plans to kick Black family out of their home."
Too bad that's only coming out now. Could have been a great NYT, WP or CNN headline. Fluff Post would have kept it on top for days.
Posted by: Ken Nari | Nov 11, 2016 10:34:53 AM | 2
The Houthis are anouncing they are holding some territories in Jizan (KSA).
Posted by: Mina | Nov 11, 2016 10:47:05 AM | 3
The second I read kicking a black family out, these lyrics popped into my head.
"Well we're movin on up, to the east side.
To a deluxe apartment in the sky."
Posted by: Morongobill | Nov 11, 2016 10:50:52 AM | 4
Obama shifting policy is probably to protect his legacy from the reality that the US promotes chaos as a national goal. It is also a cynical attempt to pre-empt any Trump induced success in Syria?
The good news is that there is rioting in the DuhMurriKKKan streets as a consequence of Trump being elected rather than Clinton ... and all this time we were supposed to be afraid of Trump-ites hitting the streets if their guy lost. I don't recall anyone suggesting there would be Clintonistas on the streets if Trump won.
Posted by: rg the lg | Nov 11, 2016 11:02:07 AM | 5
@jdmckay | Nov 11, 2016 10:33:05 AM | 1
@rg the lg | Nov 11, 2016 11:02:07 AM | 5
The good news is that...
Hold it! Too early to pass judgment, there are lots of things I feeling uneasy.
Posted by: Jack Smith | Nov 11, 2016 11:06:45 AM | 6
It is telling that the WaPo article emphasizes that "limited" US airstrikes are being conducted and only after notifying Ru. IOW Putin has established a de facto no-fly zone. He is now controlling where and when USG flies in Syria.
DTDuck now starts his balancing act; we'll soon know if he's got what it takes to be a leader. He can't kiss Putin's ass without helping Assad. He can't help Assad and kiss Bibi's ass. And yet he's already kissing Bibi's ass. Syria is about Yisrael. Always has been. If DTDuck can come down on both sides of that fence, he's a genius.
And maybe he is. DTDuck has just proven that he doesn't need the MSM or AIPAC's shekels to get elected. That means the iJews won't be able control him unless they threaten him and his family physically. He's one dangerous dude as far as Ertz Yisrael goes. But so was JFK.
Posted by: Denis | Nov 11, 2016 11:18:04 AM | 9
thanks b. excellent commentary and info on your part - thanks!
it might be too early to say, but 'on the surface' it looks promising. i will believe the usa's 180 turn here, when i see it.. meanwhile, i didn't know that about Hadi Abdullah and etc, but it all makes sense as well.
Posted by: james | Nov 11, 2016 11:34:15 AM | 10
I'm quite certain that Obama is playing his "Trump" card as a last-ditch effort to encourage the Russians to delay their impending (full spectrum) offensive and keep them off-balance for a few more days/ weeks and thus give his 'Russian quagmire' dream another 40 winks. According to Al Jazeera, the Yanks are saying that they'll be restricting the scope of their attacks on 'Terrorist Leaders' in Syria to drone surveillance and strikes. Al Jaz's reporter was speaking to their Washington correspondent and one of them (not sure which) mentioned that the US won't be sending in boots or manned aircraft without the permission of the Syrian Govt. So, if nothing else, this probably spells the end of any present or future (illegal) military involvement by AmeriKKKa's Christian allies in Syria.
So imo, overall, it's a crock and a trick - small bikkies with a high risk of Yankee treachery. If the Yankees were sincere (cough, cough) they'd cooperate directly with Syria/Russia and agree on who's in charge of the joint mission. And if the Russians are sincere they'll ask the Yankees to respect Syria's sovereignty and stay out of Syria.
Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 11, 2016 11:34:57 AM | 11
Inasmuch as the CIA has a very good idea where the leaders of al-Nusrah front are, this is ostensibly a directive to bomb the CIA. Will the US campaign against al-Nusrah inexplicably fail?
Jack Smith: Clinton won the election. The electoral college overturns the popular vote of course...unless the electors keep faith with democracy, and vote for the winner?
Posted by: s | Nov 11, 2016 11:36:44 AM | 12
@11 hoarsewhisperer.. i have to agree with you on all that, but it is fun to be optimistic, if only for a second!
Posted by: james | Nov 11, 2016 11:47:05 AM | 13
A clean up operation maybe? Who knows what kind of dirt those moder...oops terrorist leaders may have and who they could probably implicate. With Hillary in the white house, any info that may come from them, could easily go under the carpet as propaganda. Who knows what Trump could do?
Posted by: Erlindur | Nov 11, 2016 11:57:56 AM | 14
This should make it untenable for the other colonial powers in NATO to keep supporting AQ as well. So hopefully we have seen the end of any more white helmets and other propaganda and we won't hear any more from that idiot sitting in his basement in the UK that all the MSM take as the new messiah of truth. Maybe Ken Roth will lose his job lose his job to.
@12 The democrats were perfectly fine with the electoral college when it was going to work for them so they can STFU.
Posted by: BraveNewWorld | Nov 11, 2016 12:03:27 PM | 15
That would be as part of the carveup that we are not supposed to talk about because it is a wicked "conspiracy theory"...
Posted by: paul | Nov 11, 2016 12:12:44 PM | 17
b - please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but are you suggesting those millions of Saudi/Qatari/Israeli dollars that personally enriched the Clinton's, funded their private family foundation and bankrolled the DNC machine to anoint ONLY Queen Clinton BOUGHT the necessary United States influence (CIA, Military, State, WH, DNC) to ensure U.S. foreign policy 'stay the course no matter the damned consequences' in Syria? Russia? Ukraine? until November 8 when she was to be crowned?
And now that she and her diabolical neocon pals have lost the opportunity to rip apart the Middle East the U.S. client states - the Saudi's, Qatari's and Israeli's - are taking there marbles back and going home b/c the new guy refuses to play their way?
Might this provocative suggestion also account for the record breaking U.S. arms sales to the Saudi's and Israeli's this year in preparation for that 'all hell would break loose WWIII' she, her neocon pals and the Saudi's, Israeli's and Qatari's were all lusting after.
Might this suggestion also account for Adelson's buying Trump's silence, loyalty to Israel? We'll see how far Trump goes, but here's a link to his Israeli policy position pre 11/8 - http://bit.ly/2fIqhir (the joint statement is posted at Medium. I posted a bit.ly link b/c I feared the Medium link would have blown out the thread)
Finally, Giuliani's advice that the FBI investigation into the Clinton Foundation stay the course when asked about Obama pardoning the almost crowned Queen, make's a great deal more sense, that is, if I'm reading your underlying suggestion correctly, b.
P.S. - I can't help but to remain curious why we didn't see more leaked emails from the Podesta stash between Hillary, John and maybe Obama, but at least Hillary and John. After all, he kept nearly 60k emails on his gmail account and few that were released dealt with foreign policy/donors/deals. Maybe a get out of the Ecuadorian Embassy card is being played? Absolutely delicious if my reading into b's post today is correct.
Posted by: h | Nov 11, 2016 12:13:42 PM | 18
A clean up operation maybe?
Certainly one of the major factors in this about-face.
Posted by: SmoothieX12 | Nov 11, 2016 12:15:38 PM | 19
those of you who keep harping about the electoral college need a little homework about the USA Constitution which mandates the electoral college
let's see you actually go about attempting the amend it
likewise, those who wail about appointments to the US Supreme Court, please be informed that it originally had only 6 members,
later 7, 9, 10, then 9 again, never with any difficulty
this subject is not a constitutional requirement but a merely legislative matter
Posted by: mauisurfer | Nov 11, 2016 12:17:33 PM | 20
Everything potentially happening in Syria now revolves around Turkey and Russia. Either Erdogan will invade with Turkish troops/armor to carve off his Kurdish buffer zone/concentration camp in northern Syria, or he won't. Russia will either let them or it won't.
The Turkmen/Al Zenki FSA head-choppers are over-extended and can't take al Bab (or ar Raqqa) by themselves anymore. They will either be abandoned (which I don't think will happen) to die at the hands of the Kurds and SAA, or they'll be reinforced by the invading Turkish Army to 'finish' the creation of Turkmeneli (or as much as they can grab). The U.S. will sit on the sidelines and watch, with the occasional coalition air strikes to make it look like we still matter - at least as much as Russia.
Worst case: the Turks abandon the FSA/Al Zenki head-choppers because they don't want to start WWIII with Russia. The U.S. will turn into Al Zenki's air force and 'support' their land-grabbing. CJTF-OIR commander Townsend will send the 101st to ar Raqqa and maybe Deir Ez Zor to clean up our mess, but then pull out and abandon Syria (the WW III thing) to roving gangs of well-armed head-choppers. It will be a hell-hole of violence, but since no ISIS-held territory will be left on the map, we'll declare victory and 'Mission: Accomplished!" just like we did in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Putin: "Do you now realize what you have done?"
Americans: "Huh? Do you mean us? Hey - look over there! SQUIRREL!"
Posted by: PavewayIV | Nov 11, 2016 12:18:07 PM | 21
If Trump is to confront China, Germany and Mexico (their trade surpluses destabilize the world and hollow out America's economy, among others), then the US has no other options but to try to normalize relations with Russia. Otherwise, US foreign policy will remain stuck. Fascinating to see how hard the EU is pushing to maintain hostility towards Moscow. For as long as that's in place, Washington can't deal with the its bloodsucking "allies".
Posted by: telescope | Nov 11, 2016 12:18:54 PM | 22
What I DO like about this story is that it's a Golden Opportunity for Vlad to test Trump's sincerity BEFORE he becomes POTUS. I'd like Russia to start slaughtering Obama's Ter'rists in Syria, en masse, tomorrow morning. It's a reliable way to find out how much 'daylight' there is between the Trump Doctrine and the Obama Doctrine - keeping in mind that this slice of Hopie Changie-ness has nothing whatsoever to do with President-elect Trump.
Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 11, 2016 12:21:44 PM | 23
@ Posted by: Mina | Nov 11, 2016 10:47:05 AM | 3
The Houthis are anouncing they are holding some territories in Jizan (KSA).
I'm not sure if the U.S.G. complicit media has issued a time-out to allow outrage over war crimes to cool or if the absence of "news" is indicative of some either re-alignment or falling out (but its been conspicuous).
If the government, with its wealth and haughty superiority complex, has actually lost territory, my impression is that this would be genuinely huge in terms of domestic perception of the regime, particularly the "new guys" The Saudis really are not good at this "war stuff" ... They've been aggressively (with our help) been trying to secure their southern border since 2009, so if the border was breached and territory lost ... shocking.
Almasgarnews from September 8 -- I confessed missed this completely...
I was baffled by the silence (suggesting turmoil) since this "struggle" has been going on for so very long since all countries at war must learn to "multi-task." Has the kingdom been paralyzed? This has my rapt attention now.
Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Nov 11, 2016 12:23:43 PM | 24
@15 "The democrats were perfectly fine with the electoral college when it was going to work for them so they can STFU." Untrue, the Democrats thought they were going to win both the popular vote and the electoral college. It was the Second Coming Trump who was refusing to accept the results until they turned out his way. And his predecessor Bush whose campaign had done some planning to contest the electoral college vote when they thought it might go against them. Not it's the Trumpers who should STFU. But they won't because too many of them are antidemocratic, in the small "d," non-partisan way.
Posted by: s | Nov 11, 2016 12:26:08 PM | 25
Ahhh, nothing like the smell of real change in the morning air...
"But Obama has now shut down that policy. . . . Not only is Trump kicking a black family out of its longtime limewashed home, he also ends U.S. government support for the disenfranchised Jihadis in Syria and elsewhere. This even months before taking office. He really is the menace we have all been warned about."
So, Malcolm X's 21st century 'house negro' has apparently heard the new "Voice of America" and is now following the new non-Clintonian orders of the future administration in all its three offices of government majority.
And he'd want to -- he runs the risk of war crimes and other charges along with his Madam Hillary Clinton. Hmmmm, I wonder if his Tuesday Morning 'Killing List' meetings are now also gone with the winds as well?
Come on Trumpy-boy ... show 'em what you got under the hood and order the 'boy in da house' to shut down Gitom Bay!!!
Of course the paradox problem is they'll have to charge Clinton before da boy can pardon her.... big risk there for the criminals in question.
Posted by: x | Nov 11, 2016 12:27:05 PM | 26
@11 Hoarsewhisperer - I think it's unrealistic to expect the US simply to leave Syria. The loss of face would be appalling, and it's unnecessary. If in fact the US is coordinating with Russia and Syria, there's no loss of face, and Russia has always accommodated the US presence in all its public pronouncements, conditional on that coordination.
I think b's take makes sense - there were two sets of plans on Obama's desk, and these moves are the Trump set.
There remains that school of thought long speculating that part of the US "deep state" for lack of a better term, supported Trump as the man to reverse some of these disastrous policies that simply can no longer win, and which must be walked back from with as much tough face-saving as possible.
Personally, I'm curious to see what Trump's support turns out to be in the serving military. Since I'm no expert, I'd like to see analysis one day that shows a war between the Pentagon and the CIA, with the soldiers winning, and choosing Trump.
Posted by: Grieved | Nov 11, 2016 12:33:02 PM | 27
Absolutely a mop-up op. That it will pre-empt Trump's own "success" is just gravy.
Posted by: sejomoje | Nov 11, 2016 12:34:59 PM | 28
I agree with Hoarsewhisperer @11: ... it's a crock and a trick.
I doubt very much that the Obama is providing "continuity". IMO this is a naive reading. Obama has just created a smokescreen that allows for preparing to 'facts on the ground' that will force Trump to respond accordingly.
We are at a very very dangerous point in time.
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Also, giving ANY credence to 'Obama legacy' BS is misguided in the extreme. His 'legacy' is dissembling and treachery. Anything thing beyond that is just BS meant to keep adversary's off-balance.
Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 11, 2016 12:47:24 PM | 29
@22 Where do you get the idea that those countries are somehow bad for USA? If we ramp up industries in USA it will cost substantially more than in those countries. They've benefitted USA immensely. If the industries come back to USA it won't go over too well, unless slave wages are truly instituted
Posted by: bbbb | Nov 11, 2016 12:47:39 PM | 30
I don't know if Trump can take credit ... but rather that the Clinton wing of the Pentagon and CIA, etc. has been defanged and the threat of a coup (if Obama acted in ways contrary to Clinton and the General's plans) is now neutralized ... Clinton's loss, I hope, will mean future books will be more candid than might have been possible if she were in office... yes, I wanna know how bad it's been these last 8 years.
Obama's personal stock wrt his future as a consultant, motivational speaker and all around leader fell dramatically both with Clinton's campaign (and anticipated sharp turn from Obama's foreign policy) but also with her defeat (now his legacy). He was spared the ongoing shaming by a Clinton administration. Likely too little, too late ... when does Kerry get back from the Antarctica? He's got a chance at some legacy mending as well.
I believe reports that the Clintons and the Obamas loathe each other ... particularly since the Clintons hate everyone/anyone who does not grovel perfectly. Did Obama sell-out to the DLC Democrats to secure his future $$$ with all their and the foundation's friends... it will be fun to watch and look for breadcrumbs, particularly if the foundation implodes under scrutiny.
Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Nov 11, 2016 12:53:18 PM | 31
I think your worst case senario is now off the table. I believe Turkey has been told to keep its planes out of Syria, and the US only conducts missions within reach of the Russian air defences with Russian approval.
Turkey using only ground forces to achieve its aims? I suspect this is part of the reason the Russian naval force is loitering off the Syrian coast (apart from securing the area prior to constructing the naval base at Tartus).
Cruise missiles would decimate any conventional ground forces, and I believe the Granit anti ship missiles have a land strike capability, also the S-300 S-400 may also have a ground strike capability.
Posted by: Peter AU | Nov 11, 2016 12:58:58 PM | 32
That would be as part of the carveup that we are not supposed to talk about because it is a wicked "conspiracy theory"...
Posted by: paul | Nov 11, 2016 12:12:44 PM | 17
That's a mini-conspiracy compared with the one that the Fake War Of Terror has distracted people's attention from. The Privatisation of almost every Publicly-owned asset and piece of infrastructure in the West. The Neolib takeover was well-advanced in 1999 but slipped into overdrive in 2001.
Banks, Insurance Cos, Telcos, Airlines, Childcare, Hospitals, Health Clinics (preventative), Roads, Rail, Electrical Generation and distribution.
In Oz the Govt/people used to own all of the above, or a competitive participant in the 'market' in the case of banking, insurance, health clinics, airlines etc. In 2016 the govt owns only unprofitable burdens. Public Education is currently under extreme pressure to be Privatised for Profit.
(The Yanks call it Anti-Communism but consumers call it an Effing Expensive way to get much crappier service than in the Good Old Days).
Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 11, 2016 1:03:45 PM | 33
I think you give Barrack Obongo way too much credit. He is a "selfishly concerned" narcissist alright but that's about it. All his years at the bathhouses and public lavatories with his wookie-in-drag in Chicago, has not made him particularly smarter you know, rather the opposite...
Posted by: Fuckus Assclown | Nov 11, 2016 1:11:07 PM | 34
Dropping AQ means dropping KSA, i.e. the 9/11 enquiry will probably go ahead. As for the MB/Qatar who run a bunch of other groups, this is left to the EU to decide what it want to do with Turkey. You bet the Eurocrats are having a headache. And Hollande shows his muscles (sic) and claims he will talk with Trump on the phone and gets some "clarifications" about his programme.
MSM are reporting on a daily basis of the huge problems with the "Syrian refugees" crossing the Mediterranean Sea although there is just a handful of Syrians compared to Eritreans, Sudanese, Gambians etc.
Posted by: Mina | Nov 11, 2016 1:19:52 PM | 35
Ahhh yes. Bath House Barry. The community ORGANizer.
Posted by: ALberto | Nov 11, 2016 1:23:12 PM | 36
To claim the trump is more powerful and has more influence over the US deep state on day one is just ludicrous.
Posted by: tom | Nov 11, 2016 1:25:03 PM | 37
If I am not mistaken, that picture with hadi is not with muhsinny! This is a different guy. Muhsinny is another guy
Posted by: Ya know | Nov 11, 2016 1:29:05 PM | 38
@24 "Susan Sunflower"
Are you just plain stupid or is this naive drivel of yours written while you´r drunk? I certainly and sincerely hope so. For your own sake....
Posted by: Rufus Magister | Nov 11, 2016 12:58:15 PM | 32
The Doofus Maximus Melt-down continues . . . . .
Posted by: Killary PAC | Nov 11, 2016 1:32:15 PM | 39
I had earlier reported here that Turkey was told by Russia not to enter Syrian airspace after it killed some 100 Kurds on their way to al-Bab.
An Erdogan daily now confirms it: Turkish jets not participating in airstrikes in Syria
According to the report, the last time Turkish jets participated in airstrikes against terrorists in Syria was on October 23, three days after around 200 PKK/PYD terrorists were killed.
Posted by: b | Nov 11, 2016 1:33:18 PM | 40
Ash Carter is, together with John Brennan, the major anti-Russian force in the Obama administration. He is a U.S. weapon industry promoter and the anti-Russia campaign, which helps to sell U.S. weapons to NATO allies in Europe, is largely of his doing.
Why did u leave out equal credit to Mad Dog McCain, aka Lawrence of Insania---short memory?
BTW, I do believe he re-won his senate seat, against the true patriot Arpaio there.
Hence his absence from the public scene these months.
So things have not changed much if at all, since still 70 days to Jan20, except for appearances as they've rearranged some furniture & color-matched the curtains to the upholstery in the act/play is all.
Posted by: schlub | Nov 11, 2016 1:34:28 PM | 41
@11 Hoarsewhisperer - I think it's unrealistic to expect the US simply to leave..
Posted by: Grieved | Nov 11, 2016 12:33:02 PM | 27
Today, your guess is as good as mine (at least).
But I regard FrUKUS as Ter'rism Central and if Russia & China et al think they can put a stop to TerCent without dislodging some teeth and kneecapping them, they're pissing into the wind/dreaming.
It's a bit ambiguous but China, according to CCTV Nov 12, during a chat about Sun Yat Sen and China/Taiwan unity, seems to be issuing a Global reminder to Loyal Chinese Citizens overseas similar to the one that Russia issued a month ago.
Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 11, 2016 1:40:45 PM | 42
REuters: Saudi Arabia sets aside $26.7 billion to settle delayed private sector payments: document.
Saudi Arabia’s government has set aside 100 billion riyals ($26.7 billion) to pay debts that it owes to private sector companies after payment delays that have lasted months, an official document seen by Reuters shows.
To help curb a huge budget deficit caused by low oil prices, the government of the world’s largest oil exporter has slashed spending and reduced or suspended payments that it owes to construction firms, medical establishments and even some of the foreign consultants who helped to design its economic reforms.
But the payment delays have seriously damaged some companies, slowing the economy, and earlier this week the government said it would make all delayed payments by the end of this year.
This seems to suggest that Saudi mismanagement is or is about to cost citizens their paychecks even jobs ... KSA is such a black box police state, it's dangerous to speculate what public opinion "might be."
The "loss of face" of retreating from Syria could be of smaller priority than Egypt's alleged pivot to Iran and Egypt finding new funding (2.7 billion) from the IMF after KSA's largess ... Middleeasteye (11/07/2016): Saudi Arabia halts $23bn oil aid deal to Egypt 'indefinitely' #EgyptTurmoil - Egypt and Iran deny talks over alternative deal after Riyadh pulls supplies under $23bn agreement which included handover of Red Sea islands.
The interwebs are full of reports and denials, but big money as leverage. Financially, Egypt is completely dependent on the generosity of others and the Sinai has been "restive" recently ... Change is gonna come but no telling when or what it will look like.. or how US influences will shape it.
I figured the "rebels" in Syria would keep fighting until the paychecks stopped coming, but I've wondered how many "rebels" were dislodged from relatively personally safe "rebel strongholds" recently and decided they'd rather quit than die.
Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Nov 11, 2016 1:48:15 PM | 44
x @ 26
"...the paradox problem is they'll have to charge Clinton before da boy can pardon her..."
That's one of those facts that sounds right but isn't true.
If the law was logical that might be correct, but then mathematicians would get the highest scores on the Law School Admission Test (which supposedly tests aptitude to "think like a lawyer.")
The President of the U.S. can't pardon someone in advance for possible later crimes, but can give a pardon for any and all past crimes without specifying those crimes. That's how Ford was able to pardon Nixon, who had not been indicted, for any crimes "he might have committed."
If Obama wants he can pardon the Clintons for everything and anything they MIGHT have done up to the final minutes of swearing in Trump. In that case they would never need to concede they had ever broken any laws at all.
Remember, the U.S. Constitution was written by aristocrats who were still in many ways monarchists who didn't want to give up all their power. That mindset also put the electoral college process into the constitution.
Posted by: Ken Nari | Nov 11, 2016 1:51:55 PM | 45
Are you saying that Obama could pardon Bill Clinton and his entire foundation for financial crimes (apparently) being investigated in New York wrt New York's laws regarding charitable foundation practices? That seems like it would be "bigger than Marc Rich" demonstration of Democratic misuse / abuse of power, cronyism, etc.
If he can do it, he might do it ... if the punishment/threat for not doing it was sufficient. I've not been impressed by Obama's "brilliance" or "vision" ... I have been impressed rather by his self-promotion and self-interest -- Neither Bush or Bill Clinton had the sort of job opportunities that GHWB enjoyed.
Oh, what does anyone know about Pence? Folks have been saying he's going to be Trump's Cheney (and apparently Cheney is a Pence's avowed role model and personal hero). Cheney had a lifetime of insider experience and I'm guessing is both ambitious and intelligent (if evil). Does Pence have genuine potential as Cheney II ... and where does the awkward relationship between the GOP establishment and Trump put "Pence as a new Cheney" ... The GOP might love it. Is Trump ideologically consistent enough (don't laugh) to recognize the contradictions?
Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Nov 11, 2016 2:07:03 PM | 46
Did anyone catch Peter Thiel's speech to the National Press Club? Listen to this and tell me it is not spot on. His is actually on Rumps transition team.
Posted by: Trixie from Dixie | Nov 11, 2016 2:14:28 PM | 47
Jack Smith @6
Early days indeed. An alternative view of the recent events, by someone who said more or less the same about Obama when he was selected.
"The deep state ushered in Trump because he’s clearly their most useful decoy. As the country hopes in vain, the crooked men behind the curtain will go on with business as usual. Trump is simply an Obama for a different demographic. Nothing will change for the better."
So Trump is Hope and Change for the Angry White Male demographic?
Posted by: Yonatan | Nov 11, 2016 2:15:41 PM | 48
Haha. He has to start tying off loose ends. Some former friends are about to be on the receiving end of what other former friends received.
Posted by: Elwood | Nov 11, 2016 2:49:45 PM | 52
Susan Sunflower @ 48
Disgusting as it is, yes, my understanding is Obama can do exactly that. My guess is, want to or not, he probably will come under so much pressure he will have to pass out plenty of pardons. Or maybe Lynch will give everyone involved in the Clinton Foundation immunity to testify and then seal the testimony -- or never bother to get any testimony. So many games.
For Obama, it might not even take all that much pressure. From about his second day in office, from his body language, he's always looked like he was scared.
Instead of keeping his mouth shut, which he would do, being the lawyer he is, Giuliani has been screaming for the Clintons' scalps. That's exactly what a sharp lawyer would do if he was trying to force Obama to pardon them. If he really meant to get them he would be agreeing with the FBI, saying there doesn't seem to be any evidence of wrong doing, and then change his mind once (if) he's AG and it's too late for deals.
With so many lawyers, Obama, the Clintons, Lynch, Giuliani, Comey, no justice is likely to come out of this.
Posted by: Ken Nari | Nov 11, 2016 2:51:53 PM | 53
Ken Nari @ 55
From what I've read, prez pardon comes with explicit admission of guilt. Highly questionable either (or both) Clintons would accept that.
Posted by: jdmckay | Nov 11, 2016 2:58:20 PM | 55
@ Posted by: Ken Nari | Nov 11, 2016 2:51:53 PM | 55
I heard a podcast on Batchelor with Charles Ortel which explained some things -- even if there are no obvious likely criminal smoking guns -- given that foundations get away with a lot of "leniency" because they are charities, incomplete financial statements and chartering documents, as I recall. I was most interested in his description of the number of jurisdictions the Foundation was operating under, some of whom, like New York were already investigating; and others, foreign who might or might be, who also have very serious regulations, opening the possibility that if the Feds drop their investigation, New York (with very very strict law) might proceed, and that they might well be investigated (prosecuted/banned??) in Europe.
The most recent leak wrt internal practices was just damning ... it sounded like a playground of favors and sinecures ... no human resources department, no written policies on many practices ... This was an internal audit and OLD (2008, called "the Gibson Review") so corrective action may have been taken, but I thought was damning enough to deter many donors (even before Hillary's loss removed that incentive) particularly on top of the Band (2011) memo. Unprofessional to the extreme. It's part of my vast relief that Clinton lost and will not be in our lives 24/7/365 for the next 4 years. (I think Trump is an unprincipled horror, but that's as may be, I'm not looking for a fight). After the mess Clinton made of Haiti (and the accusations/recriminations) I somehow thought they'd have been more careful with their "legacy" -- given that it was founded in 1997, 2008 is a very long time to be operating without written procedures wrt donations, employment
from 11/08/2016, Batchelor segment page
Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Nov 11, 2016 3:12:12 PM | 57
Predictive programming in the puppet theater.
Bigger stuff weighing on the entire world & economy.
A post today on syrianperspective made me remember a few ugly coincidences not mentioned there.
(look around 1:27 PM post mentions WAY back 2000 Simpsons episode predicting Prez Trump, & even detailing he would reign during a time of great hardship & duress).
There's of course also their infamous 911 predictive episode.
and of course the all-time 'in-your-face sheep' programming, the pilot (no pun) episode of The Lone Gunmen, aired on Fox March, 6 months before 911.
We also have, to add:
amazing! predicted in 1988 yet:
1988 Economist cover predicting a world currency by 2018 .
But worst coincidence of all is the 1980's Arnold movie 'Running Man'. Any source tells u it's set in the "future" of L.A. 2017-19, with food riots from collapsed world, etc.
BUT they moved it up, lots!
Book it was based on had it set in the 2030's. How DID they get that timing so right?
So, your controllers & betters request that in homage & respect for, & in awe of their almighty powers, you:
& above all just STFU ask no intelligent or pointed questions, nor critique any of their acts, plays, ploys, or plots!
Don't ever think that (perhaps only) temporarily sidelining 1 of their evil beestes or whirling dervishes will delay anything, let alone stop it. They gots lots more debutante wannabes waiting in the wings eager to please their masters.
(They) thankee you very much. Yes they do.
That is all!
Posted by: schlub | Nov 11, 2016 3:33:07 PM | 59
jdmckay @ 57 -- "...prez pardon comes with explicit admission of guilt."
Although, ahem, I'm not a lawyer, I'm always glad to proffer my legal opinion. I've never heard of anyone who was pardoned ever apologizing or admitting guilt. Did Marc Rich? I know Nixon never did.
Susan Sunflower @ 59 -- Thanks, you give hope.
Posted by: Ken Nari | Nov 11, 2016 3:42:45 PM | 60
Take a guess....
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he knew who killed Yasser Arafat, as he marked the 12th anniversary of the former leader’s death, but stopped short of giving a name. Speaking in front of thousands in Ramallah, Abbas said, “You ask me who killed him, I know, but my testimony alone is not enough.”
“A commission of inquiry is digging into that, but you’ll find out at the earliest opportunity and be amazed when you know who did it,” he said.
Arafat died on November 11, 2004, at a hospital near Paris after his health deteriorated severely.
Posted by: schlub | Nov 11, 2016 4:19:13 PM | 61
A bit optimistic to suppose that Trump will do what he says.
Posted by: Laguerre | Nov 11, 2016 4:24:56 PM | 62
Slate Explainer: Pre-emptive Presidential Pardons.
""As the Explainer has pointed out before, there aren't many limits to the president's pardon power, at least when it comes to criminal prosecutions under federal law. The president's clemency power has its origins in the practices of the English monarchy, and as a result, the Supreme Court has given the president wide leeway under Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution. ** There are some exceptions: The chief executive can't pardon someone for a violation of state law or nullify a civil ruling, ** and his power doesn't extend to convictions handed down in an impeachment proceeding. (It's also not clear whether the president can pardon himself for future convictions.) ""
I doubt admission of guilt is necessary because "5th amendment" --otherwise, receiving a pardon would be an admission of guilt ... however, per wiki, "fine print" and conditions can be imposed ...
As a condition of the pardon, it was made clear that Rich would drop all procedural defenses against any civil actions brought against him by the United States upon his return there. That condition was consistent with the position that his alleged wrongdoing warranted only civil penalties, not criminal punishment. Rich never returned to the United States.
Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Nov 11, 2016 4:43:20 PM | 63
OK folks. the honeymoon is over for me. The war in Syria may soon be of the past. Trump may patch up with Vladimir Putin and targeting China's Xi,,, The key question will Vladimir Putin continue to support Xi?
The US president-elect will likely seek to gain Tokyo’s support in countering China’s rising influence in Asia despite existing rift over Japanese funding for American troops stationed in that country, according to Donald Trump’s security adviser.
A meeting between Trump and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in New York next Thursday may include discussing tougher stance on China which seeks to extend its influence over Southeast Asia, Reuters reported on Friday.
Posted by: Jack Smith | Nov 11, 2016 4:56:32 PM | 64
I think we should wait to see what Trump actually does.
Posted by: Laguerre | Nov 11, 2016 5:02:50 PM | 66
"..kicking a Black family out of the White House....." HUH!???
"...he really is the menace..." WHAT?
Man...you are 100% lost, 'moon'.
Scary there's people like you out there.
Posted by: Occams | Nov 11, 2016 5:08:10 PM | 67
Rufus Register has gone completely off the rails, that penny whistle of the neocon epoch. He leaves nothing to the imagination.
Posted by: Copeland | Nov 11, 2016 5:08:40 PM | 68
Dear B: Could you eliminate the comment at 47 please? It adds nothing to the conversation. The commnenter has been exposed as a twat by Killary PAC earlier in the comments thread. Thank you! (And thanks to Killary PAC too.)
Posted by: Jen | Nov 11, 2016 5:08:48 PM | 69
(eta: admission of guilt is a condition of plea bargains ... which also often (always?) include waiving any right to appeal ever, for any reason, which is ridiculous and is being legally challenged wrt to new evidence or incompetent legal representation)
Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Nov 11, 2016 5:16:51 PM | 70
Occams, can't you understand b's rant as a joke?
Posted by: Mina | Nov 11, 2016 5:31:42 PM | 71
some lively & witty stuff going on in the comments section over at zerohedge.com
many speculating what the order will be in a series of big news names beset by some deranged 'serial suicider', & method used; certainly this kind of maniacs a better record than any serial killer when it comes to 'celebrities'.
any story involving the Clingon Federation, Anthony the blogging weiner, & all the meltdown stories we're seeing from the Clingon camp, which is anyone in media, Hollowwood, or Hillarity's inner circle.
Posted by: schlub | Nov 11, 2016 5:53:57 PM | 72
The White House reversed years of Syrian policy 180 degrees, one day, after Donald Trump became President Elect. This is proof that the Clinton Foundation faction within Washington DC lost power and was neutralized. Future political wars will be between the looting financiers and the Deplorables. The Elite will not give up their education, healthcare, private-public partnerships and housing gravy trains easily. But, urban dwellers had better think twice about how dependent they are on water, food and electricity from rural America before starting color revolutions. We all will be in a better place if Washington DC concentrates on Jacksonian Rednecks dancing in the White House and ignores the collapse of the New World Order and accepts a multi-polar world.
Posted by: VietnamVet | Nov 11, 2016 5:57:53 PM | 73
Obviously Obomba fears Trump telling America post 0s departure that he was an ALciaDA supporter and shipped weapons to them,which of course is all true,but of course,not known to the majority of retards emoting on the streets right now,such is the power of the zionist media to destroy feeble minds.
Rufie is a misogynist,how about that?I think you are gonna love Trump,really.:)
And Trump is no goddamn ideologue,thank God.
Posted by: dahoit | Nov 11, 2016 6:03:18 PM | 75
Mina @ 73
No, he or she can't understand. Could be the times, but I've noticed, and other people have also mentioned it, that humor is no longer much understood. Not in the U.S. anyway. Maybe loss of humor goes along with dumbing down?
Posted by: Ken Nari | Nov 11, 2016 6:11:32 PM | 76
Ruben Chandler @ 76 "...do the american people owe nixon an apology now that more documents have surfaces"
Fair enough. Didn't know about the David Frost apology.
Wow, have we seen ruthless, and today Nixon's level of ruthlessness wouldn't be enough to win him a seat on a suburban school board.
Posted by: Ken Nari | Nov 11, 2016 6:48:33 PM | 77
I wouldn't trust anything that the US does, including under Trump. Obama is probably just looking for an opportunity to engage in "friendly fire" on Syrian troops occupying a strategic location. Obama/Kerry lied about everything.
Posted by: Alaric | Nov 11, 2016 7:10:34 PM | 78
Yonatan @ 50 said: "Trump is simply an Obama for a different demographic."
Nicely put, we'll all see. Stay tuned, the first indicators are coming.
Posted by: ben | Nov 11, 2016 7:16:58 PM | 79
Ken Nari @79 Lmao at the " Nixon's level of ruthlessness wouldn't be enough to win him a seat on a suburban school board." Only, too true
Posted by: Ruben Chandler | Nov 11, 2016 7:25:42 PM | 80
The whole world is waiting for Rodham to ride up the Shining Hill on her White Unicorn, farting Rainbows.
And it can't come soon enough! The Old Hag is getting on in years, and can't take the desert heat of Qatar.
Posted by: chipnik | Nov 11, 2016 8:09:52 PM | 82
Relentless Little Red Book talk about 'Collapsing New World Order' is standing on the deck of the Titanic:
'Well, we gave that berg a good thrashing, wot?'
'Ho, ho, old boy, I should say we most certainly did!'
'Let's go below and crack a bevvy to celebrate, shall we?'
'Absolutely spiffing idea, old chap, after you!'
Posted by: chipnik | Nov 11, 2016 8:20:12 PM | 83
Whatever happened to that guy from Screen Actors Guild central casting? Kerry. John Kerry?
Oh wait. He has been assigned a new role.
"John Kerry escaped to Antarctica on Friday for a two-day trip, becoming the highest ranking US official to visit the melting continent.
While Kerry did not comment on the new president-elect of the United States or on Trump’s belief that China created global warming, the Secretary of State warned that if you care about cutting down on emissions and saving out planet, you might have to march in the streets for your cause. Kerry emphasized the possibility that Antartica’s ice melting could eventually raise sea levels globally."
The words 'jag' and 'off' immediately come to mind.
Posted by: ALberto | Nov 11, 2016 8:20:42 PM | 84
Reminds me a little bit of the Ethiopia/Somalia where where Ethioipa became USSR client after a coup, halfway through, so the US started supporting Somalia. It's a good day for the people of Syria and a bad day for jihadi thugs.
Posted by: Cresty | Nov 11, 2016 8:37:13 PM | 85
Vital Information from our misleaders:
The Electoral College does not vote until December 19 [the 1st Monday after the 2nd Wednesday in December after the Presidential election], when each state's Electoral College meets in that state.
After the Electoral College of each state meets and votes, , it sends a record of its vote to Congress and the Federal Archives.
The Electoral College votes are counted when Congress meets on January 16.
See that link for how each [private] political party, in each state, selects its own slate of Electors. Each state is assigned the number of Electors that is equal to the number of its Congressional Representatives plus Senators.
An Elector may vote for anyone, but is subject to some penalty, such as a maximum fine of $1,000 or , in a few states, replacement by a new Elector who will vote as per that state's rules.
Depending on the rules of each state, the Electors of the winning political party are selected to meet and vote. [In some states, that total number is apportioned per the popular vote ratio.]
This madness is only an apparency. It really does make perfect sense to the twisted VeryBestPeople.
Posted by: chu teh | Nov 11, 2016 9:23:31 PM | 86
reminds one of Crassus drying out at Carrhae
more tangible remains with TOW and anti aircraft and Hiluxe
Posted by: Jay M | Nov 11, 2016 9:26:31 PM | 87
@11 hoarse, 'they'll be restricting the scope of their attacks on 'Terrorist Leaders' in Syria to drone surveillance and strikes'
I agree with your take here completely. Your sentence above, coupled with Obama's transparent play for his 'legacy', makes me think the time might be ripe for the Russians and Chinese to convene the UNSC and make drone overflights of another's territory without prior invitation an unequivocal act of war. Surveillance, hell-fire, no difference in quality of offense, 'just' in quantity. In fact the US has in effect 'restricted' the scope of their day-to-day aggression to drone surveillance and strikes on the entire world. At the least the UNSC should force the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and the criminal US to admit it.
Posted by: jfl | Nov 11, 2016 9:33:01 PM | 88
Meet Trump's Cabinet-in-waiting
"Trump is also eyeing former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton as Secretary of state"
I hope it is a joke!
Posted by: virgile | Nov 11, 2016 9:48:05 PM | 89
@23 hoarse, 'keeping in mind that this slice of Hopie Changie-ness has nothing whatsoever to do with President-elect Trump.'
I agree again, hoarse. I guess b just needed a hook in order to segue back to normal - Syria - from the American politics orgy and the vomitorium.
Posted by: jfl | Nov 11, 2016 9:50:34 PM | 90
@Jack Smith 66
Trump may shore up his bargaining position with China by meeting with Abe first. Don't think for a second that Xi didn't see this coming and will have several win/win proposals for Trump.
The truth is that China has taken advantage of the latitude given it since its accession into the WTO. It has to have fully expected a more level playing field for some time, but Obama was never going to push the issue.
With Trump taking a more hardline position regarding trade, China will likely be philosophical about it and be content the gravy train lasted as long as it did.
Posted by: woogs | Nov 11, 2016 9:53:02 PM | 91
@26 x, 'now following the new non-Clintonian orders of the future administration in all its three offices of government majority'
Obama is following the new boss which is the same as the old boss, who are trying to rub some of Obama's good cooties off on their new man, after their fall from their Clinton horse on the way to Damascus and their remount upon Trump's ... much of that corporate wealth that owns America turned, finally, on Clinton, and Obama is a property of the corporate wealth that owns America.
Posted by: jfl | Nov 11, 2016 10:04:22 PM | 92
@31 suzy, 'the Clinton wing of the Pentagon and CIA, etc. has been defanged'
I hope that is exactly what has happened, 'the Clinton wing' = the neo-cons. We've been concentrating on the TNC media's collapse in the face of the curtain being drawn back on their operation, but the neo-cons lined up behind/on top of Hillary took a fall too. They'll certainly be scrambling to find new aerie's in the Trump administration, some seem to have already, but their game plan is going to have to absorb some major changes.
Posted by: jfl | Nov 11, 2016 10:15:42 PM | 93
@36 mina, 'the 9/11 enquiry will probably go ahead'
I'd heard that meme ... but discounted it. I was about to write and say so, as though what I think means anything, but on reflection you might be right on the money.
A new 9/11 enquiry that disappears the Israeli involvement and lays it all on the Saudis ... why the next dead, devastated, and destroyed Islamic state might then by Arabia! USrael would have to move in and insure 'stability', but they'd bite the bullet and do it for the good of mankind, and for the renaissance of the fossil-fuel cartel ... now under new ownership ... in the anthropocene.
Posted by: jfl | Nov 11, 2016 10:27:17 PM | 94
@woogs | Nov 11, 2016 9:53:02 PM | 93
My attentions to ASEAN, that's where the next regime change. Consider the speed Shinzo Abe meet Trump next Thursday in NY and "...."Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in Peru on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in November.."
Which cards will Putin play, will Xi resist Trump and Abe alone? China and Japan were (and still is) arch enemies earlier the last century. Also remember the regime change plans were in place with umbrella movement in HK and Obama pivots to Asia...
This is one of the many unintended consequences with Trump Presidency.
Posted by: Jack Smith | Nov 11, 2016 10:42:12 PM | 95
Thanks for that link! I'd never heard of Peter Thiel. He says the right things. He's a vulture capitalist. He's on the executive committee of Trump's Transition team.
Posted by: jfl | Nov 11, 2016 10:56:47 PM | 96
Peter AU@33 - "...I think your worst case senario is now off the table. I believe Turkey has been told to keep its planes out of Syria..." True, but irrelevant if they choose to roll the M-155 Firtinas into Syria to back up their head-choppers. At that point, the Russians would have to decide if they're going to escalate an start taking out Turkish tanks. They may chose not to for reasons explained below. Syrian jets have some marginal non-precision air-ground capability, but would be ineffective against anything but massed armor formations. Turkey wouldn't use those. The SyAAF would mostly be shot out of the sky by Turkish point air defense that would accompany their armor.
"...and the US only conducts missions within reach of the Russian air defences with Russian approval..." As far as I know, nothing has changed - correct me if I am wrong. Coalition aircraft 'coordinate' strikes with the Russians only in the most general sense. I do not believe there is any remote element of seeking permission or approval from the Russians. CENTCOM and CJTF-OIR simply announce planned strikes to the Russians and adjust if there are conflicting operations at the same time/place/routes as the Russians. So far, the U.S. has not attacked Kurds (allies) nor the Pro-Syrian forces. The one exception was the Deir Ez Zor 'accident' and the Russians beat the U.S. over the head with that one for weeks.
Re: The reason Russia might not respond directly to a Turkish invasion. A little-discussed aspect of the conflict is the increasing (and already heavy, by my reckoning) presence of Gulf nations special forces in the SDF. Before you laugh, I assure you that these are pretty top-notch, professional operators on par with (and some say superior in the Middle East theater) to their western counterparts. That's the claim made by many of their western counterparts - not me. When these Saudi/GCC are part of any FSA/Nusra operation against Assad forces, they are very successful. Amongst other successes, they breached the south Aleppo corridor against fierce resistance and substantial Russian air support. This latest attempt at breaching the corridor was such a colossal failure that I have to assume it was FSA/Nusra by themselves. The Saudi/GCC SF people disappeared to somewhere more important.
The U.S. and Israel have been heavily involved in arming and training these men and women the last couple of years, but they're own arms/training is already more than adequate. Saudi/GCC SF have all the toys and transportation their masters can afford. They can operate independently as rag-tag groups of 'rebels', but are often embedded in SDF forces as part of the various Arab contingents. They are also frequently seen operating inside (not 'along side') of Kurdish units and were part of various FSA/Nusra fronts fighting Assad. Saudi/GCC Special Forces do plenty of training and remain embedded with the FSA/Nusra/Arab militias (and probably ISIS) for the most part. They were part of the Manbij Arab militias and (apparently) will be a significant part of any Ar Raqqa operations.
So what does this have to do with Turkey? Well, the Saudis/GCC doesn't like Turkey nosing around Syria at all, and doesn't like Turkey attacking their sometimes-allies: the Kurds. When Turkey overran Jarabulus (an Arab city), the Saudis/GCC were furious. While the U.S. is hesitant to supply TOW missiles to the Kurds thereby pissing off Turkey, the GCC is happy to send plenty of their SF up there with the latest/greatest non-U.S. ATGMs, drones and intel. The Saudis and GCC pals are furious that Turkey has invaded Syria with Turkmen head-choppers and have vowed to 'make Turkey pay'. If Turkey went the next step and sent actual Turkish troops and armor into Syria, you can bet the Saudi/GCC SF would be all over them - via some incarnation of the SDF, of course. To the world, it would just look like the Kurds/SDF resisting Turkish agression. Russia does not like the anti-Assad Saudi/GCC SF inside Syria one bit, but would tolerate their presence near the Turkish FSA-held portions of Syria if they were killing Turks and burning their Firtinas (or dying attempting to do so). At some point - after a lot of bloodshed - I would think the Russians would step in and tell everyone on both sides to go home.
The Turks wouldn't send their top-of-the-line armor and troops into Syria. Erdogan would send in just enough cannon-fodder Turkish troops to protect their mobile artillery. And that artillery would be tens of kilometers away from the forward line of contact supporting the Turkmen/FSA head-chopper advances. But the would be easy prey for someone like Saudi/GCC SF who are trained to penetrate far beyond the front lines and blow stuff up. They would shred the Turkish forces. Note that I'm not talking about repelling gigantic massed Turkish troop/armor formations rolling across the Syrian plains. Smaller units of Turkish artillery and troops would be static for days at a time providing support from the rear (like for al Bab or Manbij).
The U.S. military would have no intention of stepping into that fight. I would think that Dunford was in Ankara warning his Turkish counterpart that this would happen. So the Turks risk not only poking an already irritated Russain bear, but will also be contending with the covert forces of the Saudis/GCC.
The Turkish situation aside, I think the Saudi/GCC SF and their sponsors have figured that they are really no match for the Russian Air Force in the west. Aleppo is lost and Idlib is next. Maybe the Saudi/GCC intention is to retake Raqqa and Deir Ez Zor from ISIS and use those cities as a base to prolong the fight against Assad/Russia. Oh, and plenty of Syrian oil to steal while they're camped out there. The U.S. isn't driving the bus anymore in Syria, but would obviously be delighted to have Saudi/GCC-backed forces controlling eastern Syria. If the U.S. failed to get the former FSA to overthrow Assad, then the 'new' Saudi/GCC-backed rebels might get the job done for them. That's the only logic I can see in OIR commander Townsend's willingness to throw the 101st Airborne into the Raqqa fight and then just pack up and leave.
Posted by: PavewayIV | Nov 11, 2016 11:31:32 PM | 97
Thanks for the confirmation of Russia's no-fly zone - for Turkey, at least, in Northern Syria.
Posted by: jfl | Nov 11, 2016 11:54:45 PM | 98
That article - from RT - is from 'an adviser' ... it's pure spin, trying to turn a forecast into reality. RT is a part of Russia's lying msm.
Posted by: jfl | Nov 11, 2016 11:57:53 PM | 99
Sounds promising, but I learned a long time ago to not believe what professional politicians say, but to observe what they do.
Besides, with George Soros backing these riots protesting Trump's election, we might have an American color revolution before Trump takes office.
Posted by: Greg Bacon | Nov 12, 2016 2:21:39 AM | 100