December 29, 2016
U.S. Embassy Turkey Openly Lies About U.S. YPG Support
U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Turkey - December 28 2016
The truth regarding misinformation in Turkish media concerning United States and Coalition operations against ISIL in Syria:
There is considerable misinformation circulating in Turkish media concerning U.S. and Coalition operations against ISIL in Syria. For those interested in the truths, here are the truths:
The United States government has not provided weapons or explosives to the YPG or the PKK – period.
Washington Post - December 28 2016
On the road to Raqqa:
At the heart of the issue is the U.S. military’s policy of sending arms to the area controlled by the main Syrian Kurdish militia, the People’s Protection Units, widely known as the YPG.
The decision has paid off so far. The YPG — which constitutes the Kurdish component of the SDF — has proved to be the United States’ most effective military ally in Syria, and it has retaken vast swaths of territory.
The embassy statement denying weapon and ammunition support for the YPG is obviously a lie. That the U.S. provides and provided weapons and ammunition to the YPG since 2014 is definitely true.
The same U.S. Embassy statement also denied that the U.S. supports or supported ISIS aka DAESH:
The United States government is not supporting DAESH. The USG did not create or support DAESH in the past. Assertions the United States government is supporting DAESH are not true.
There are many indications and that the U.S. actively supported ISIS aka DAESH in at least in its early years.
In 2013 the Georgian Special Forces officer of Chechen heritage Abu Omar al-Shishani, who had had extensive U.S. military training, was the ISIS commander that led ISIS and the U.S. supported Free Syrian Army under U.S. paid FSA Colonel Abdul Jabbar al-Okaidi in the capture of the Syrian Air Force base Menagh.
Who supplied and paid ISIS for that service?
Recent ISIS videos taken near al-Bab show ISIS attacks on Turkish Leopard 2A4 tanks with U.S. manufactured TOW anti-tank missiles. Those fell from the sky?
The statement by the U.S. Embassy in Turkey is easily proven to be an outright lie. Why the State Department believes it is smart to officially put out such blatant untruth is inconceivable. It surely does not add to the credibility of any of its other statements.
Screenshot of the embassy statement:
Posted by b on December 29, 2016 at 12:11 AM | Permalink
The U.S. has supported ISIS to the tune of millions a week indirectly by orchestrating the takeover of Syria's oil and gas infrastructure along with sanctions on Syria. It's indirect because the money actually comes from the Syrian government. Between sanctions and ISIS stealing it's gas and oil, Syria has no choice but to negotiate with them to buy some of it back. The U.S. knows that - they planned it that way. Nothing like the U.S. getting the Syrian people to fund the head-choppers the U.S. created to destroy them.
Syria-ISIS “Pragmatic Cooperation”
Cash and oil are far more effective WMDs than nukes. Not only that, but economic destruction means the U.S. can (or could have) moved in afterwards to steal the oil and gas for themselves. Then there's always that Qatari pipeline thing...
Posted by: PavewayIV | Dec 29, 2016 12:35:03 AM | 1
And I have to say, b - that embassy statement is just damn embarrassing. We didn't supply weapons or explosives to the YPG? Well, that's kind of true. The agreement was only to supply a few thousand pounds of ammunition to them.
We DID supply weapons, ammunition and explosives(?) or at least stuff that explodes to the SDF. Planeloads of it. In fact. We even had to build airstrips to fly all of it in. But it was to the SDF, not to the YPG. So - like a grade-school brat - the U.S. Embassy weasel-words their way out of offending mighty Turkey. That's just sad.
Posted by: PavewayIV | Dec 29, 2016 12:53:42 AM | 2
@PavewayIV | Dec 29, 2016 12:53:42 AM | 2
Read somewhere, confused and intentional?
"We DID supply weapons, ammunition and explosives(?) or at least stuff that explodes to the SDF. Planeloads of it. In fact. We even had to build airstrips to fly all of it in. But it was to the SDF, not to the YPG. So..."
Posted by: Jack Smith | Dec 29, 2016 1:01:01 AM | 3
b: I'm surprised that you didn't add more info about support for Dash/ISIS such as:
>> Doctoring of intelligence to provide political cover for not acting against Dash/ISIS (Obama dismissed them as AQ's "JV team") -
AFAIK, Obama has done nothing to discipline those responsible;
>> The dismally weak bombing campaign - which became clear when Russia bombed ISIS oil trucks in October/November 2015;
>> Arming and training "moderate rebels" that work with ISIS, defect to ISIS, and/or pass on arms to ISIS - this was no doubt clear to US and other governments WELL BEFORE the inability to separate the groups caused a breakdown in negotiations;
>> Selling arms to countries known to have ties to Dash/ISIS; Even when we are aware that these countries want to create a "salafist principality" in Iraq/Syria - EVEN AS ISIS CONDUCTS ATTACKS ON THE WEST;
>> The US-Saudi-Israeli strategic alliance as reported by Sy Hersh in "The Redirection" - which well describes what was to come: the attempt to overthrow Assad with extremists as part of an anti-Iranian strategy.
Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 29, 2016 1:26:53 AM | 4
Not sure what you're asking, Jack. The U.S. is supplying the SDF forces through the old 'Syrian Train and Equip' program. This is public knowledge. Plenty of press about it - here's the first thing that pops up from the end of September:
US sending arms to Kurdish-led SDF in Syria, Turkey’s Erdogan outraged
The Fy2017 budget for this program describes the quantity thusly: "...The request is based on historical transportation rates and estimates of 17 to 20 C-17 sorties at $500K per lift from CONUS into theater..." C-17s carry a lot of stuff. Mind you the T&E program is for any moderate head-choppers, but I think we mostly ran out of them.
In any case, the U.S. has build improved airstrips in northern Syria capable of C-17 landing and load-outs, so I have to assume some is going straight to the SDF. But not to the Kurds [wink! wink!]
Posted by: PavewayIV | Dec 29, 2016 1:31:21 AM | 5
STEF Update: Looks like the cheap bastards in the U.S. Senate will only give $230 million for the STEF program instead of the $250 million requested. How can we possibly defeat ISIS on a damn budget? This Inside Defense article makes it sound like pretty much all of it is going to the SDF (sorry, moderate head-choppers):
Lawmakers approve shifting $230 million for Syrian rebel funding
So it look like they'll only need 16 - 19 C-17 sorties to haul all this crap to Rojava. Erdogan must be livid!
Posted by: PavewayIV | Dec 29, 2016 2:03:14 AM | 7
I understand what you're saying, knew about arms delivery to SDF, building airstrips from various website. This the first time b said arms delivery to SDF and NOT YPG or the PKK.
Now focusing my attention Obomo’s final week before he relinquished his war power to Trump. Trump inherited the messy Syrian war while opening a new front with China, coalitions of the willing India/Singapore/Vietnam/Japan/Korea and possible Australia. Everyone should watch... Obomo pardon Hillary and saber ratting Trump/Taiwan/PRC
Trump as a businessman has no interests in the Middle east but keeps Putin busy in Syria and grabs Russia's vast oils-fields ExxonMobil sanctioned by Obomo. I sense Putin essentially abandoning Dr. Assad and create safe havens to satisfy Erdogan.
Posted by: Jack Smith | Dec 29, 2016 2:53:40 AM | 8
Jack Smith@8 "...This the first time b said arms delivery to SDF and NOT YPG or the PKK...
(?) I'm not seeing that anywhere in b's article. He's quoting the U.S. embassy article which said "The United States government has not provided weapons or explosives to the YPG or the PKK – period." That's the U.S. Turkish Embassy's words in that indented block, not b's. b then points out that it's a lie because the U.S. has been supplying arms and ammo to the YPG, specifically during the liberation of Kobane operation.
The U.S. Turkish Embassy is obviously aware of Turkish anger at the thought of any arms and ammo going the YPG. They're not trying to fool Erdogan with this denial - he's not that stupid. The embassy is just using some old-fashined grey PSYOPS techniques to make a guillible western public believe they did no such thing.
For instance, they might argue they didn't technically 'supply' arms and ammo at Kobane because it was actually 'coalition partners' (Germany for one) that actually provided the weapons, ammo and grenades. The embassy will probably insist that the U.S. did not directly supply the YPG - they just airdropped stuff from coalition partners, and the U.S. part of that airdrop was just non-lethal aid.
I don't know if that's the precise argument they would use, but their denials are usually based on some weak weasel-word logic like that. Likewise, the embassy will deny sending the YPG anything for Raqqa because it was all destined specifically for the SDF. We know the SDF is mostly the Kurdish YPG, but again - the embassy is weasel-wording to deny the obvious.
They can't seriously believe Erdogan would buy their nonsense, but that's not who they're directing the message at. They want the MSM to pick it up and repeat it to confuse the issue for a gullible public. Most people will only remember the part about the U.S. denials. They have already been conditioned by the demonization of the Turks, so - in their small minds - they will simply believe the U.S. never supplied the YPG.
Anyone with a shred of critical thinking skills or access to the internet can see they're lying, but it's like arguing with John Kirby. The U.S. Turkish Embassy will just keep hammering on the narrative that they did not supply the YPG with arms and they will never change their story. They don't care if b points out their deception in his blog because it will work perfectly well for 99% of the MSM's usual audience.
Posted by: PavewayIV | Dec 29, 2016 4:15:27 AM | 10
PavewayIV | 10
"They want the MSM to pick it up..."
There are very base and manipulative media campaigns circulating in Turkey and this is 'response in kind', in my opinion.
(Do not forget the dire extent to which 'narratives' are controlled and managed in Turkey --- both professional media organisations and social media are under constant scrutiny and throroughly manipulated.)
Posted by: AtaBrIt | Dec 29, 2016 4:50:30 AM | 11
Notice that Turkey mentions nothing of Iran and Russia funding / supplying Kurdish groups.
Posted by: AtaBrIt | Dec 29, 2016 4:56:45 AM | 12
It's looking to me that the Russian deal with Turkey involves Turkey basically gaining total control of the North-Western pocket of Syria. That area of Aleppo province West of the Euphrates and North of Aleppo City and across to the Turkish border.
Crucially that includes Manbij and the entire Afrin pocket. That will be the trade-off Russia enforces on Syria and the penalty for the Kurds for attacking the SAA at Hasakah (sp?).
The Kurds will get a sort of autonomy for the remainder of their border area. The question becomes then, what becomes of Idlib and the ISIS held area from Raqqa to Iraq - the Eastern Syrian desert? I'd suggest that part is up to the allied forces of Syria-Iran-Russia-Hezbollah etc. to win back on the battlefield.
The question then becomes, will the US accept this eventually under a President Trump? My feeling is yes, they have other fish to fry, and turning US support for Syrian rebels off (al-Qaeda, ISIS & friends) will obviously be a great help to the Allies of Syria-Iran-Russia-Hezbollah etc. - but if Turkey manages to win reasonably quick victories in al-Bab, Manbij & Afrin, what will happen then? The Turkish Government has on several occasions mentioned that they will march to and liberate Raqqa. I really doubt that is acceptable to any of Russia, Iran & especially Syria.
It must even be a bitter pill to swallow for Syria that it looks like the North Aleppo countryside looks like becoming a permanent Turkish protectorate. I doubt either Iran or Russia will ever see a benefit in fighting a military battle against Turkey over North-Western Syria - that strip of land is basically irrelevant for Iran's priorities of maintaining the Shia crescent (which by the way Turkey might also see benefit in maintaining as a check on regional rival Israel), while that strip of land is also irrelevant to Russia as it is of no help for the Qatari gas pipeline.
It could be that if this is the deal, the eventual winners of the Syrian War will be in order - Turkey (gained land), Syrian Kurdistan (gained a degree of autonomy like Iraqi Kurdistan), Israel (weakened a significant neighbouring country greatly), Iran (maintained the Shia crescent), Russia (maintained the status quo in their terms which prevents Qatari gas pipelines to Europe)
While the losers are Syria (dismembered and significantly weakened - but we've known for five years that Syria is the biggest loser out of this whole mess), Qatar (no gas pipeline for you), Saudi Arabia (significantly weakened vis-a-vis their regional rival Iran), a whole bunch of spineless European leaders - but have their countries actually lost much? If the end result is these countries end up exiting the European Union as a knock on effect from the refugee crisis (which will be renewed in 2017 just you watch as Erdogan pushes them all into Europe in 6 months to destroy once and for all Merkel), one could even say they will in the end actually benefit from the whole Syrian debacle.
As for the US - I think it's a draw if that's how it ends up. If Trump manoeuvres the US closer to Putin & Russia over the next 4 years and uses that leverage against China - as seems most likely to be his intent, has the US really lost much in Syria? I'd say no - it is actually peanuts like Obama, Clinton & Kerry who will be seen as the big losers in the US for their insane and stupid feckless policies - not really the US itself.
Posted by: Julian | Dec 29, 2016 5:33:47 AM | 13
Obama is a Moslem. He thinks he is the prophesied al-buraq sent to earth to bring about the requisite conditions for the return of the 12th Madhi. Even his relaxed attitude to al-kidir (the green one) speaks of his close adherence to his al-buraq psychosis. He could still kill us all. He still has the keys to the US nuke pantry. Does anyone consider him sane.?
Posted by: pubumwei | Dec 29, 2016 6:18:43 AM | 14
During one of the briefings of the Ministry of Defence, the map showed that the plane disappeared from radar screens immediately after making a turn of 180 degrees. However, flightradar24 real time tracker did not reflect such a manoeuvre. Was the transponder turned off?
Noteworthy, disabled transponders and communication systems can be explained as follows. French reconnaissance ship Dupuy de Lome had entered the Black Sea on the eve of the tragedy. The ship can send a strong impulse to deactivate all electronic equipment on board the aircraft. Israel resorts to this practice against Russian airplanes in Syria. It was reported that the bodies of the victims of the Tu-154 crash were wearing life jackets. Therefore, the crew had time to warn the passengers, but not the flight control officers. In this is the case, then this is a war against NATO, rather than an act of terrorism.
Posted by: Greg Bacon | Dec 29, 2016 7:06:15 AM | 15
Greg Bacon @15
The reports of passengers wearing lifejackets was false. There has been no evidence for this in the bodies recovered so far. Data from the flight recorder shows the incident happened whilst the aircraft was at 250 m altitude (seems low at 6 km from takeoff - failure to gain lift after takeoff?) travelling at an airspeed of around 150 mph and lasted about 10 seconds from start to impact.
Go to https://z5h64q92x9.net/proxy_u/ru-en.en/tvzvezda.ru/news for the full minute-by-minute updates, videos of divers in action, images of recovered debris, etc, etc.
Posted by: Yonatan | Dec 29, 2016 8:37:38 AM | 16
Are you serious? Israel's been in the news for the past week. It's a huge story. Annie, as Pro-Palestinian and Anti-Zionist as one can be, once upon a time was a prolific poster to this blog and you have the temerity to not weigh-in on the issue, especially when you consider your man Trump is such a "friend" of Israel now? Own it, goddammit!!
Be a man and own up to your contradictions. Even Russia voted for the resolution and yet the "conservatives" pretending to be "leftists" who post comments to your blog, who are big fans of Russia and Putin, are completely ignoring that most interesting fact.
No wonder the average Palestinian is in such horrible shape. With "leadership" like Hamas and friends like you so-called "leftists" abandoning them for Russia's & Putin's interests, they have never stood a chance. Because of "friends" like you and Annie and all the rest, the Palestinians will now be genocided as you sit idly by and observe the atrocity in real time.
Posted by: Bibi | Dec 29, 2016 8:37:45 AM | 17
The US Govt would much rather see the MSM start a (virtual) debate about ter'rist drivel than have anyone, anywhere, talk about Russia blowing Uncle Sam's utterly undeserved Superpower Myth clean out of the water, in Syria.
Syria is AmeriKKKa's Waterloo and the Yankees are in "bad publicity is better than no publicity at all" mode.
Or, as Xymphora has characterised AmeriKKKan Exceptionalism...
"Let's do SOMETHING - even if it's stupid."
Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 29, 2016 10:38:15 AM | 18
Bush the Lesser closed down US airspace for 3 days to all Americans, while jumbo jets full of Saudis (and Israelis) left the country. That was a long 3 days for me, trapped overseas without hotel reservations, sleeping on the sand, and a bitter pill to find 4 buildings destroyed by 2 airplanes full of Saudis, while Israelis danced on rooftops.
Bush the Lesser attacked Afghanistan, instead, (as had been in DoD military planning since August,) and a short time later Iraq, neither of whom had anything whatsoever to do with boxcutters, student pilots, remote-controlled airplanes, wargame-simulations in Canada or those dancing Isralis, and managed to murder 1,000s of Americans, 1,000,000s of innocents, spike oil to $148 a barrel, make the Saudis trillionaires and destroy every Americans' home equity, all in the name of Oillah...Bush even kissed the Saudi King, for Ieosus' sake!
Why are Americans such cattle!?
Then this Manchurian Candidate of uncertain lineage and provenance, from the Chicago School of Credit-debt Economics, a self-acknowledged Moslem, he gets elected!, makes the Yinon Plan realtime with multiple MENA wars, grifts Khazars into trillionaires with QEn, and every American a perpetual credit-debt slave to Yahweh (and Riyadh)... but you're worried he's the megalomaniac Chosen One? Hasn't this last 'election' charade taught you anything? We are springbok being ripped apart by hyenas, not quaking vassals to some GOT Imperiator.
At least not for another 22 days anyway, lol.
It's 'a comin'! The Great Bleed-out, not by Caliphists, but by the Khazar Rabbinicals, and their Jesuit Golden Boy on the throne!
It's 'a comin'! Can't you feel it in your bones? Sheeps look up!
Posted by: chipnik | Dec 29, 2016 11:04:33 AM | 19
Notice that Turkey mentions nothing of Iran and Russia funding / supplying Kurdish groups.
Posted by: AtaBrIt | Dec 29, 2016 4:56:45 AM | 12
Where does it say this?
Posted by: ruralito | Dec 29, 2016 11:21:48 AM | 20
That's just stupid Maoist Little Red Book drivel.
The US lost nothing, in fact, they recemented the Cold War II on top of Pivot to Asia. Rome will be destroyed, like the Soviet Union, by the all-devouring Khazars, but the Generals will still have their double-dipping wars and their double-crossing pensions, even as the Proletariat's SS and MC is stripped away.
Russia lost huge, and barely hung on to what they had! They lost Iceland money-laundering, and are deeply, deeply impoverished by sanctions, something you never hear reported here. What about the Russian people? Life is now very, very hard. The Ukrainians? Life is a gulag on either side of the line. The Khazars and their war crime sanctions and their war crime flower revolutions and their war crime credit-debt self-aggrandizement are the winners, not Putin, not Russia! Fuck the team-spirit memes!
No, it's the Khazars and their Jesuit Golden Boy on the USAryan throne, and their Khazar-Jesuit stacked Supreme Court. The stars are aligning for 4 years of Hell against all the peoples of the world, todos, and this frivolous talk of Red vs Blue 'parties' or USArya vs Russia 'victories' is just dissembling, conflating, an obscuration of the Khazar-Jesuit Great Bleedout, from Wall Street to Muckva to Mumbai, a Global Credit-Debt Black Death.
It's 'a comin'! Can't you see it?! Öffnen Sie Ihre verdammten Augen!! 22 days to go!
Posted by: chipnik | Dec 29, 2016 11:29:48 AM | 21
@17 Hasbara101: Israel cares!
Posted by: ruralito | Dec 29, 2016 11:30:18 AM | 22
@chipnik wonders "Why are Americans such cattle!?"
Did you catch RT pushing the "fake news" agenda by being first with the utterly ludicrous story of DM of Pakistan reading something on the web and then taking to Twitter to threaten the entity with nuclear weapons? A day later their colleagues in "MSM" pushed the same story. As we can see "fake news" is dangerous, even Russians agree. All those years that I innocently passed those stacks of National Inquirer on my way to checkout from the supermarket, entirely oblivious to the fatal danger of "fake news".
The question is which nation can stand forward and say we ain't cattle to our local fake governments?
International finance rules globally. These criminals are jockeying for position in the permanent establishment of the future. They just can't say this openly to their respective countrymen on whom they rely for manning their armies, intelligence services, academia, ..., etc. It is just an elaborate head game. Russia for example was politely raped after USSR bootdown and the Putin maniken is there to assuage residual tender Russian patriotic feelings.
The only open question is if China's establishment is independent of the ruling global crime families. Possible given Mao's break with Khrushchev.
Posted by: nobody | Dec 29, 2016 12:09:18 PM | 23
That's just stupid Maoist Little Red Book drivel.
Posted by: chipnik | Dec 29, 2016 11:29:48 AM | 21
Maybe. But I was recalling the AmeriKKKa Karl Rove was imagining when he told a journalist...
"We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. ... We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."
My #18 was a gentle reminder that, in Syria, Russia is the doing the acting and the remnant of limp, Rovian AmeriKKKa, is doing the watching, and being very careful not to get in the way...
Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 29, 2016 12:14:51 PM | 24
@Paveway & others, see this from Gareth Porter a few days ago, detailing the Obama administration's role in Syria in alliance with other states from 2011 onwards:
"The Obama administration even agreed to the Sunni states’ provision of anti-tank weapons to an armed opposition now openly dominated by al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front."
The rationale behind this, according to Porter's sources:
The administration was unwilling to be at cross-purposes with its Sunni allies, the former official recalled, because of the direct U.S. military interests at stake in its alliances with those three states: the Saudis effectively controlled U.S. access to the naval base in Bahrain, Turkey controlled the airbase at Incirlik, and Qatar controlled land and air bases that had become central to U.S. military operations in the region.
There's also this 3-minute BBC report from Mosul in which they track ISIS weapons (Conflict Armament Research is the group they cover). They document bags of industrial explosives chemicals purchased in Turkey, and, more telling, "crates of ammunition and rockets manufactured in eastern Europe. These were bought by the governments of the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. They were supposed to be shipped through Turkey to rebel groups the U.S. and Saudi Arabia support in Syria, but instead, sometimes as little as two months from manufacture, these fell into the hands of IS, and are now being used to kill U.S.-backed Iraqi forces."
And on the YPG issue:
"On January 9, 2016, Isis lost its first oil field since it seized much of Eastern Syria in 2014. The YPG, a Syrian Kurdish militia, captured the al-Jabsah oil field under the cover of US-led coalition air strikes. The field was producing about 3,000 barrels per day."
Notice here that the Exxon and Chevron oil deals in Kurdistan (signed c. 2012 despite protests by Washington and Baghdad) were threatened by ISIS and that's when the U.S. military support for Kurds really took off.
Also, Israel comes in third in importance in this picture, behind the Sunni states and the oil corporations, when it comes to U.S. policy in the region; Israel wants to oppose Iran and Syria on general principles, related to Hezbollah, see Porter again:
In fact, however, Iran regarded Syria as crucial to its ability to resupply Hezbollah, whose large arsenal of missiles was in turn a necessary element in Iran’s deterrent to an Israeli attack.
So if the State Department was honest, they'd admit to directly and indirectly arming anyone at all in Syria who seemed likely to help overthrow Assad, from "moderate rebels" to Al Qaeda and ISIS, but that, alarmed at the global rise of ISIS and their threat to Kurdish oil extraction, they also started supporting Kurdish forces like YPG, and now its another giant "shitstorm" , like Libya, that they have little control over. They'd admit to supporting a shortsighted ridiculous policy that blew up in their face, flooded Europe with refugees, spread ISIS terrorism around the world, and that they were completely blindsided by Russia's intervention in 2015. But, they'd never publicly admit to being responsible for such a massive debacle; now it's cover-our-butts time.
Posted by: nonsense factory | Dec 29, 2016 12:25:03 PM | 25
"The force at the core leading our cause forward is the Chinese Communist Party."
First "drivel" of the notorious Little Red Book. As rollicking a line of prose as you are likely to ever read.
Posted by: ruralito | Dec 29, 2016 12:26:31 PM | 26
I saw reported at rt.com that the last recorded words of the pilot were "***damn flaps!" which would corroborate your suspicion. (Sorry to be OT, b.)
The only reason I can think for these falsehoods being continually spouted would be that now the powers that be are realizing that they could well be prosecuted some time down the line; the only defense they would have is to hold the line on what they have done and continue to do it, while eventually making the claim that "we had no idea..."
Perhaps if enough truth tellers come to the fore and make 'in your face' statements to the contrary this defense will become as outrageously unthinkable as we here sitting on our barstools believe it to be. That requires not only the indefatigable b to reveal the false statements but each of us in our own limited circles to emulate his example.
I notice that nakedcapitalism.com has begun to link to these important posts. I hope many more sites will follow their lead.
Posted by: juliania | Dec 29, 2016 2:19:06 PM | 27
thanks for highlighting all this b..
@ paveway and others here.. thanks for your posts..
@13 julian... i wouldn't draw the same conclusions on what turkey is getting here.. i think it is way too soon to say, but it is fair to speculate as you are doing! i think turkey will continue to be on the losing end of any measuring stick to do with syria.. they have been and they continue to be.. as i see it, they are between a rock and a hard place - (russia and syria geographically and metaphysically speaking!). i don't know that israel has really gained much of anything here, but then i think israel for all it's shit disturbing, isn't going to benefit from any of this in the long run.. i agree saudi arabia and the gcc's will be marginalized further, while iran at this moment, is holding it's own and possibility gravitating more towards china/russia, to the detriment of the west.. i got a kick out of trumps comment quoted in rt today - "us needs to get on with our lives' in regard to the financial sanction foreign policy approach to russia/iran .. lol - like wall st is going to let that happen!
@17 bibi = circe? hasbara troll that resembles circe a wee bit.. ditto @22 ruralito's observation here.
Posted by: james | Dec 29, 2016 2:26:08 PM | 28
The US doesn't have to directly provide weapons to IS or YPG. TOW? An article a year ago had the Saudis sending 500 TOW missiles to FSA in Syria - and we know where those wound up. And as someone once pointed out if the US directly supplies missiles to a country there are requirements about how that country uses/sells them. So State has some plausible deniability going - SSDD for US govt.
Posted by: Curtis | Dec 29, 2016 2:34:30 PM | 29
Paveway IV @ 1:
Not sure that I can trust an article about the supposed cooperation between Assad's government and ISIS reposted by a thinktank (American Center for Democracy) that includes Richard Perle on its Board of Directors from an Israeli agency interested in talking up terrorism wherever it looks to ensure its own survival. The same could be said for ACD.
In early 2015, Syrian businessman George Haswani threatened to sue the EU for accusing him of buying oil from ISIS. According to a Reuters article, he said that his company was building an installation in an area in central Syria that happened to be under ISIS influence and that this was the basis for the rumours that informed the EU's decision to sanction. Haswani told Reuters that the EU should be targeting intermediaries smuggling oil to Turkey (presumably for export to the EU) on behalf of ISIS.
The Reuters article is dated 8 March 2015, at least a full 6 months before Russia intervened in the war in Syria on Syria's behalf and that ally's aerial bombing revealed that Haswani was right about the smuggling.
Posted by: Jen | Dec 29, 2016 2:55:05 PM | 32
I should have added this profile of Rachel Ehrenfeld, founder and director of American Center for Democracy, to my comment at 33.
Curious indeed that while Ehrenfeld goes after Saudi Arabia and various other governments, who happen to be potential rivals to the US and Israel, and their links to terrorism and the global trade in illicit drugs but does not pursue the US and Israeli links to the same.
Posted by: Jen | Dec 29, 2016 3:04:29 PM | 33
"They can't seriously believe Erdogan would buy their nonsense,"
One could try to build the case that it is an unusual situation when Erdogan is plied with nonsense rather than being a source. But supplying weapons to "non-state actors" has a certain etiquette rules.
a) deny that you do it
b) be most indignant when a currently unfriendly country does it
c) take credit for doing it (preferably, in a different sentence than a), but doing it in the same speech is OK).
It is not like Erdogan never offered false denials of supplying weapons to rebels, his specialty is putting journalists that report it to prison, AND confiscating the newspaper AND taking hold of all other properties of the owner as he is at it. And it is not like he learned last week that someone supplied YPD for the last X years. And it is not like he should be surprised that after claiming to kill few hundred of YPD fighters by Turkey, the latter could pass some TOWs to ISIS (although some organization in "moderate opposition" got some TOWs too, while being openly sympathetic to ISIS, geography and most recent Turkish-SDA carnage suggest SDF to be the source).
Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 29, 2016 3:19:50 PM | 34
Posted by: chipnik | Dec 29, 2016 3:34:57 PM | 35
@ruralito | 20
"Where does it say this?"
Not sure reallly what you are asking, but if you are questioning the validity of my comment, then Russian involvement in arming and funding Kurdish separatists goes back at least two hundred years. In this last century you might want to look to Abdurezzakh Bedirhan, or maybe even Yeni Safak in May of this year for Erdogan's recent thoughts. Of course the political landscape has chamged since the YS article and Erdogan's tirades, selective as ever, now point to US! ... hence my comment!
Interesting to juxtapose them, nonetheless.
Posted by: AtaBrit | Dec 29, 2016 3:37:42 PM | 36
There is a relationship between hubris and Nemesis; or as we say in Texas, "if you want a little more of this, just keep doing a little more of that". Cause and effect. Frederick Douglass said "Find out what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them".
If people believe that the world will end with a whimper of submission; then it is not out of the question that it could end that way. But it's not the way to bet, because in the long run, there comes a point when what people are asked to put up with is finally rejected.
The corrupt history of false official narratives, coup d'etat, and false flag operations has pretty much brought a country like mine to a turning point. Hubris causes Nemesis to show her face, and restore balance. Some of us will slink off into exile, some will keep on working and hope that repression will not be as hideous as it could be, some will protest, some will really resist, and others will seek refuge wherever they might hope to find it.
What is to come will be, to varying degrees, unpleasant. As Chris Hedges has recently said, "all we will have is each other."
"Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe."
Posted by: Copeland | Dec 29, 2016 4:01:00 PM | 37
Ok obama is a bigger psychopath than i thought.
He and cia obviously try to sabotage trump/putin relations. Again no evidence is produced by this crazy warmonger.
This is absolutely crazy, is this sabotaging going to work?
Will russia respond similarly, or will yhey refuse this dangerous provocation by obama?
Posted by: Lionshare | Dec 29, 2016 4:08:20 PM | 38
PavewayIV Pushing the fiction of Al Assad "buying back" crude from ISIS ??? Please !! Try something else, people here are not that stupid !! And you cite a source that pushes the idea of Snowden being "an operation" ?? Where the heck would the Syrians refine the crude that they "buy back" from ISIS ??? Go to troll on RT that is easier to find anencephalics there !!
Posted by: opereta | Dec 29, 2016 4:12:15 PM | 39
@33 jen.. i doubt that paveway does either.. in fact, as i read his post, he is highlighting the usa's cooperation in trying to build a bridge between isis and syria gov't so that the syrian gov't can then be sanctioned as a terrorist supporting country.. it is the same shit that always seems to happen.. if the usa really wanted to go after terrorists, they would start going after their own political class for supporting so much of the terrorism they claim to be going after.. this story is so old, my saying it is redundant..
@39 opereta.. see my comment to jen.. actually your comments are quite pathetic.. paveway is one of the best commentators on this board without a doubt.. go crap somewhere else..
Posted by: james | Dec 29, 2016 4:16:58 PM | 40
Jen@33 - I didn't post the article to be taken at face value. The entire thing is thinly-veiled propaganda that - at the time - was meant to propagate the MSM narrative that 'Assad supports ISIS'. The secondary effect was to smear Haswani, but he was merely the smoking gun (for the neocons) to implicate Assad. The whole 'Assad supports ISIS' campaign was just more U.S. weasel-wording to demonize him.
I absolutely think the basis of the article is true: the Syrian government did have to make several shady deals with ISIS and continues doing that today. To say that Assad 'supported' ISIS is preposterous, though. That's like saying parents who pay a ransom 'support' the kidnappers that demand money. The motivation for the parents isn't to 'support' kidnappers - it's to save their child. Of course weasel-wording that to 'kidnapper supporters' depends on a rather dim audience to buy it, but I give you 325,000,000 U.S. citizens and the MSM - draw your own conclusions about the success of that narrative.
Syria's uncomfortable deals with ISIS were seen by the Syrian government as necessary to prevent the whole country from going Mad Max. Assad simply paid ISIS the ransom/extortion cash they demanded in order for the population centers in the west continued to have water, electricity and gas. That was the U.S.'s intent by (IMHO) orchestrating the ISIS takeover of Syria's utility infrastructure to begin with. They wanted ISIS to turn everything off, but ISIS probably said, "Screw you" to their CIA handlers and jumped at the money-making opportunity. Head-choppers need to eat, too. Sure it sucks for Syria, but what was the alternative? Let Damascus, Homs and Aleppo go dark, lose heat and lose drinking water supplies? Governments fall when that happens <-- compare that with the U.S. neocon's psychopathic dreams. See any similarities?
The parent-child ransom analogy is a bit dramatic, but if I were Assad, that's the way I would have thought about it. To stubbornly insist you'll never give a dime to the head-choppers to restore utilities at the same time your country is under punishing sanctions from the West would have been suicide. I would have begrudgingly did exactly what he did: negotiate some kind of deal with the terrorists so I could keep the country intact and continue to fight them. Even if he was reluctant, I'm sure Putin would have encouraged him to do the same thing. Putin doesn't give a damn about PR - he was there to keep Syria alive for Russia's interests - that's kind of his job. (And I must say he's a bit more of a seasoned, shrewd negotiator than Obama's neocon hack.)
I had to link to something smelly like ACD because the neocons were the ones that jumped all over the 'Assad is supporting ISIS' story. There isn't (that I know) a 'neutral' story with as much detail. I'm sure there are other similar ISIS extortion deals that the Syrian government or other local groups had to engage in to survive. Of course, nobody is going to publish something like I described above (extortion does not really equal 'support') without being crucified by both the neocons and Assad/Russian supporters.
It requires enough critical thinking to understand the difference between superficial appearances (ISIS supporter!) and long-term survival (avoiding five million Damascus residents rioting in anger because there are no utilities). Case in point: opereta@39. Sometimes reality is a little more complicated than comic books.
ISIS had to be delighted with the ability to extort electricity, gas and cash from Assad. They have to survive, too. They would get around to taking out Assad, but that wasn't their primary goal. They couldn't possibly hope to build their caliphate if they turned off all the utilities in the west and the whole place went up in flames. ISIS was content (at the time) to sit on all the oil, gas and water resources and build up a war chest of extortion money. They were probably already getting money from the GCC, but running the caliphate probably eats that up pretty quickly.
james@40 - most of this was written before I saw your post - I explain my intent above regarding posting an ACD article.
Posted by: PavewayIV | Dec 29, 2016 4:39:35 PM | 41
opereta@39 - My apologies - that was a rather cheap shot. You don't have to agree with what I've said above, but my blatherings here are sincere effort to understand what is really going on in Syria. Everyone is lying or hiding something about it - I'm never attempting to pick the 'most accurate' source for anything because I don't know myself.
Throw it all on the wall of reason and see what sticks. If I limited the opinions considered to ones I already agree with, then that's not critical thinking - it's confirmation bias. Might just as well sit in an echo chamber an argue with myself. That makes it impossible to discern when I am horribly wrong, and I have a low, droning kind of voice - I would put myself to sleep.
Posted by: PavewayIV | Dec 29, 2016 4:58:54 PM | 42
re Paveway. Of course Syria has been buying Syrian oil from Da'ish. How else do you suppose the Syrian army continues to roll, or indeed any of the militias? It started a long time ago, before Da'ish controlled the oil-fields, when it was the FSA, or someone like that in control. This has been going on forever. I'm surprised people didn't know. The fact that the US now wants to make hay from their knowledge is neither here nor there. It's just distortion of a real fact for propaganda purposes, illustrating once again the complete ignorance of the situation by the US authorities (which won't surprise you).
Posted by: Laguerre | Dec 29, 2016 4:59:35 PM | 43
I think you hugely underestimate the kudos all loyal Assadist Syrians will feel as they emerge victorious in this war. Impoverished and hungry from sanctions maybe, but deeply proud of the fact that they have stood up to years of violence and horrors from head-chopping terrorists. Buildings can be rebuilt quite quickly. There will be a surge of nationalism and reverence for the SAA which is now one of the most experienced and battle-hardened armies in the world. I always thought the line that the SAA were under-manned and weary etc. was an unreliable rumour. Syria stands tall with integrity and values count for a lot. She will gain friends who will help her find prosperity again. Civilisation is not made simply with cash.
Posted by: aniteleya | Dec 29, 2016 5:17:11 PM | 44
Laguerre@43 - What seems clear enough to you is a forbidden topic on pro-Syrian forums. Moon of Alabama certainly has a more open-minded crowd, but it still riles everyone up and - if I'm anywhere in the vicinity - results in the screen-punishing TL:DR PavewayIV posts.
I was looking at the background of the Wadi Barada / Damascus water story. There's a history there that would serve as a perfect study why all rebels are not head-choppers and why a normal, patriotic Syrian may have damn good reason to join the opposition in 2011-12 (and why they might stil be part of it today). That doesn't justify the poisoning, but it does show how broken the Syrian government was and the moral dilemma a lot of Syrians face on top of all the other tragedy they've had to endure. Simply bringing up the topic where one appears to understand the tortured decisions and hopelessness of the people in Wadi Barada would bring howls of protest. Head-chopper sympathizer! You can't 'just' be on the 'little people's' side - everyone wants you to be red team or blue team.
Aside from b, you have been the most instructive to me here regarding that with respect to the choices the Kurdish have: things are not as comic-book simple as I would like to force them to be. There is no blue or read team - there are just a bunch of little people trying to get by, and a then few big players selling team jerseys. The U.S. will never understand the Middle East - we should be banned from the region forever.
Posted by: PavewayIV | Dec 29, 2016 5:30:12 PM | 45
The embassy web site says: "The United States government" didn't do it which is probably correct if you confine it to let's say the people in the US state department. What the embassy web site writes on its page contains as much truth as someone stating that Hitler, Churchil or Hillary didn't murder anyone which is correct because they didn't dirty their hands themselves but they ordered others to do it for them.
Posted by: ere | Dec 29, 2016 5:40:16 PM | 46
Since IS has dozens if not hundreds of Gulf djihadists among its top operatives, one would think the Gulfies would be doing everything to bomb the hell out of them rather than see them reproduce their experience in the peninsula. Rather, we see today (daeshdaily) that daesh in Yemen has been bombing mortars at the Houthis
Posted by: Mina | Dec 29, 2016 6:15:39 PM | 47
My question is who is more sociopathic? Paid disinformation 'journos' at WAPO or paid counter disinfo disinformation trolls of the very loyal zionist opposition? I think most normal people stop coming after awhile, unwilling to be guided by the Pavestones and Canthamas of this invented unreality.
Can you see the shit show Bibi and Jackass Cohen are putting on for your benefit? They have been telegraphing these new MK parameters for years. Things will look different but nothing will change. Zionists take all, again, but for my money the truly evil ones are the good germans who sustain it all.
Happy New Year to those few empaths who have overcome their post election ptsd and now return, for god knows what reason, for more of these soap operatas.
Posted by: C I eh? | Dec 29, 2016 6:54:40 PM | 48
If America can't do anymore what it always excelled at - lying in a coordinated manner - then what can it do? Laughingstock of a country...This is painful to watch.
Posted by: telescope | Dec 29, 2016 7:22:08 PM | 49
This is almost comical.
Good news is, it doesn't really matter any more what some US official says about Syria, Washington is pretty much out of the game. Bad news is, there's folks (like Bolton?) who are crazy enough to try and get back in again.
About Assad buying ISIS oil: This is also what Syrian refugees told me. Propaganda or not, it makes a lot of sense - thanks Paveway for pointing it out.
Reminds me that ISIS also controls/-ed quite a few water reservoirs.
Posted by: smuks | Dec 29, 2016 8:50:05 PM | 50
Ronald Reagan - "It's Morning Again in America" Yeah, morning of the Iran-Contra Black Ops and Pentagonal Church of Great Satan.
George the Elder - "Kinder, Gentler Nation" Yeah, kinder unless you lived in the Oil 'Stans. "I will never apologize for the United States of America. Ever. I don't care what the facts are." Nice.
William Clinton - "Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow" Yeah, and now you wish that you had sold all those Dot.Con stocks and bought Swiss Francs.
George the Lesser - "Compassionate Conservatism" Well, you can drop some white phosphorus on that! Mission Accomplished! Millions slaughtered and global economy shattered!
Barak Obama - "Change We Can Believe In" Yupp, Hope and Chains, baby!! A global contagion of irredeemable, unpayable interest-only-forever credit-debt (sic).
Donald Trump - "Make America Great Again!" That was also Hitler's slogan, so there you go.
These slogans, party politics, flags, nations, religions are a charade, a ruse, a delusional madness. There is only the One Party of Mil.Gov.Biz and the One Bank to bind them: Fed.IMF.WB.
Will you still laugh when you're homeless and having canteen dinners at Salvation Army, while the Rentiers own all of USArya?
Posted by: chipnik | Dec 29, 2016 9:08:21 PM | 51
Paveway - there is very little understanding of other cultures in the US "west".
Russian leadership I think does have good understanding or respect for other cultures that are not their own. I believe this is why Russia has been so successful to date in separating the local militias from the die hard jihadists. Very similar to how Putin handled the second Chechen war.
Keep up the good work.
Posted by: Peter AU | Dec 29, 2016 9:12:14 PM | 52
Syrian ceasefire a sign of Russian might(Influence ?) and waning US influence
Won't link to the article, as the contents are only notable for: disinformation, misinformation and omission.
The headline though, says ... it ... all ;)
At a holistic level, anyone else contemplating that the over the top actions (expelling diplomats, etc), since the election result, of the current lame duck administration in its last flailing days, are akin to a spoilt brat throwing tantrums because the toybox has been locked ?
Bye the bye, consider Trump little more than a lifelong confidence-man, charlatan, grifter and arch opportunist ... tho will, wait and see ... 'Deeds, not mere words !'
Posted by: Outraged | Dec 29, 2016 9:48:51 PM | 53
Paveway IV @ 41, James @ 40:
Thanks very much for clarifying the reason behind the first comment linking to the American Center for Democracy source. I'm not surprised that Syria has been forced to buy back some of its oil (and probably its gas as well) but the ACD and the Meir Amit intelligence unit sources looked like absolute toilets, the stench coming off them was so powerful.
Posted by: Jen | Dec 29, 2016 10:31:44 PM | 54
To follow on a bit from Paveway's post @1, Syrian government also had to do a deal with ISIS when ISIS controlled the power station delivering power to government controlled Aleppo. How does that sit with the US "west" black and white crowd?
Headchopping. A bit of a national/cultural passtime in that part of the world. The Desert Hawks often had a lineup of hairy head pics on social media after a successful hunting trip. Other units similar. Suck that up US "west".
Posted by: Peter AU | Dec 29, 2016 10:33:29 PM | 55
@ Bibi | Dec 29, 2016 8:37:45 AM | 17
Are you serious? Israel's been in the news for the past week. It's a huge story. Annie, as Pro-Palestinian and Anti-Zionist as one can be, once upon a time was a prolific poster to this blog and you have the temerity to not weigh-in on the issue, especially when you consider your man Trump is such a "friend" of Israel now? Own it, goddammit!!
Somehow overlooked this shit.
Now we have trolls moving on from Posting ID theft to blithely misrepresenting, mis-attributing, and slandering previous posters, ie Annie.
Dearest Bibi, you're 'position', conduct and attempt to sow discord, is utterly transparent & apparent to MOA regulars. Fuck-Off.
Posted by: Outraged | Dec 30, 2016 12:24:03 AM | 57
Posted by: chipnik | Dec 29, 2016 3:34:57 PM | 36
The Sore Losers at Sour Grapes R Us try to pretend that nothing went wrong in Syria but opt for some petty, girl-ish, revenge instead of sucking it up.
They must have known they were utterly f*cked in Syria when they found themselves trying to equate 'losing' Aleppo with 'winning' a bunch of Roman Ruins in Palmyra.
Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 30, 2016 12:32:06 AM | 58
48 "I think most normal people stop coming after awhile, unwilling to be guided by the Pavestones and Canthamas of this invented unreality."
CI eh? What is your normal? Anarchy? Bondage? What is a normal person to you? A US western mindset? You sound like an angry blowfly.
Posted by: Peter AU | Dec 30, 2016 12:40:21 AM | 59
"'Deeds, not mere words !"
That is what we have to wait for outraged.
I doubt Trump is the Messiah, but he seems to have pissed off the (US) establishment/msm so is worth cheering on for awhile.
Posted by: Peter AU | Dec 30, 2016 1:37:43 AM | 60
I looked into the fatalities in the first fatal violence in protests in Syria some months ago. took some finding due to search engines, but an Israeli news site had the numbers.
First fatalities were four police/security, three peaceful protestors.
I have also read Ambassador Ford's exploits in Syria at the US Department of State website and old US domestic news sites.
Very similar to Ukraine. People with greivences (no different to any other nation) protesting then insert snipers ect to shoot whoever.
Posted by: Peter AU | Dec 30, 2016 2:08:35 AM | 61
The title to this link underwrites most of the information the public receives:
GWU Eliminates U.S. History As A Requirement For History Majors
"According to a lot of professors, the founding fathers are a bunch of old rich white guys who owned slaves. As a result, they're no longer relevant."
Sounds a lot like what chipwhatever and rg the Ig regurgitate.
@ PavewayIV at various places -
Your narrative rings true. From appearances at various unrelated sources President Assad evidences such motivation, the preservation of the Syrian state above all else, an inheritor of Hafaz al Assad's estate, notable for imposing political stability in turbulent Syrian power struggles through a Shia/Alawite led Ba'athist coalition (having remarkable stability). Sifting the information of 2011-12 it seemed another part of Assad's coalition responsible for security may have over reacted to a genuine civil protest but that incident was abducted by other interests using civil protest as cover for a faux civil war. Bashar al Assad has always appeared to have Syrian state interests as foundation for his position in his public pronouncements; his actions granting amnesty toward neutralising surrendering opposition do seem to underline the weight of his words. Thanks for bringing all the information and considered opinion fit to print.
Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Dec 30, 2016 6:48:46 AM | 65
Posted by: mauisurfer | Dec 29, 2016 11:33:43 PM | 56
From your New York Times link
What is clear is that the Netanyahu government will never willingly endorse a peaceful and fair resolution of this conflict. If the Trump administration chooses to join Mr. Netanyahu on such a course, that makes the need for pressure in forums such as the United Nations, as well as through boycotts, divestment and sanctions, all the more necessary. European countries, Russia, China, India, and civil society in the United States and elsewhere must act decisively to underscore the global isolation of the proponents of unending occupation and colonization in Palestine. As too little and too late as Resolution 2334 and the Kerry speech were, they do offer an opening for an overdue global response to the arrogance of the Israeli and American enablers of the denial of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.
The Israeli/Palestinian "conflict" used to be fuelled by the Cold War and the "Strategy of Tension".
It will be interesting to see what Trump "fighting Islamic terrorism" and Democrats "fighting Trump" will do to it.
Posted by: somebody | Dec 30, 2016 7:51:44 AM | 66
And then there is this:
Posted by: guidoamm | Dec 30, 2016 8:32:56 AM | 67
@45 paveway, 'I was looking at the background of the Wadi Barada / Damascus water story. There's a history there that would serve as a perfect study why all rebels are not head-choppers and why a normal, patriotic Syrian may have damn good reason to join the opposition in 2011-12 (and why they might stil be part of it today).'
i went looking for that background ... didn't find much ... got any links? thanks for sharing all the stuff you do find out in your virtual flying machines/magic carpets.
Posted by: jfl | Dec 30, 2016 9:11:40 AM | 68
Apologies for that. Let me try this thing again:
Link to Janes article
Posted by: guidoamm | Dec 30, 2016 10:58:32 AM | 69
@45 PaveWay IV
"The U.S. will never understand the Middle East - we should be banned from the region forever"
Am a huge fan of your contributions - actually followed you here from ZH
Appreciate the detailed perspective you bring to the discussions, which are/were already really good, even before you add your 2 rubles worth...
Having said that, I do have to tweak your statement above a little:
The U.S. understands the Middle East pretty well, in their own twisted, diabolical way - not in the way you or I would think, i.e. for the betterment of the region and the peoples who reside there - no, their understanding of the area extends only as far as they can bring about the goals of ZATO
When folks look at Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Vietnam, Ukraine, et al, and almost Syria - they see chaos & ruins - "ha! look, the U.S. never wins a war!" I firmly believe that winning those wars is/was never their primary intent. There is a much grander scheme unfolding in front of us...
In 2017, may God grant us the wisdom to see it, and the grace & strength to do our utmost for our families & communities, and wherever else our sphere of influence lies
Posted by: xLemming | Dec 30, 2016 11:41:29 AM | 70
Obama has finally done what he wanted to do and taken on Benjamin Netanyahu and exposed his extremism. Why did he wait so long? The answer is simple: the Israel lobby was against any real action. Jewish Americans of my generation and older opposed any pressure on Israel. So there was no pressure (till now, and Trump).
> Here is a fact that proves my point: John Kerry’s closing act as secretary of state is a 72-minute speech devoted to a problem that was removed from the Democratic Party platform just five months before. Remember– Clintonites insisted that the words settlements and occupation appear nowhere in the party platform.
> Clinton was so dependent on the Jewish establishment and large Jewish donors, that she could not “undermine [the] party’s fundraising capabilities” (as the National Journal says) by saying a word against Israel.
> the achievement of Donald Trump: he finally gave the left-liberals political capital, by smashing the Clinton elites and dividing the Israel lobby with his extremism.
Posted by: mauisurfer | Dec 30, 2016 12:12:59 PM | 71
chipnik, you clearly are very angry...I think all of your troubles originate from overestimating your own intelligence.
Posted by: telescope | Dec 30, 2016 12:29:06 PM | 72
@69 jfl.. it has been reported in al masdar news here today but was also mentioned the past few days too where they poisoned some of the water..
Posted by: james | Dec 30, 2016 12:38:57 PM | 73
Shady @ 63:
In addition to that story of where ISIS' Toyota trucks were coming from, there has been news here in Sydney about Toyota Hiluxes being the most stolen brand of cars in the Sydney region, with a high percentage of such stolen cars never being recovered by police authorities. There have been reports that the cars were stolen by gangs who sent them off to the Middle East, using shipping containers that would have been used for other purposes (but as you might be aware, global trade is not what it used to be so there are plenty of spare containers about) to transport and hide the cars.
Posted by: Jen | Dec 30, 2016 4:07:25 PM | 75
yeah, thanks. i was referring to paveway's intimation that he had discovered justification for the rebellion of the 'moderates' of the Wadi Barada, though. any links thereto?
Posted by: jfl | Dec 30, 2016 4:28:35 PM | 76
@77 jfl.. i had read that was there 'moderate' pay back for being pushed out of ghouta, and damascus area..
there are articles where one can read about wadi barada, but i can't vouch for their authenticity..
http://www.digplanet.com/wiki/Wadi_Barada_offensive and etc. thru google search...
Posted by: james | Dec 30, 2016 7:19:01 PM | 77
jfl et. al. re: Wadi Barada - You'll have more success searching for old articles on political issues with Ein Al Fijah village or the three main springs themselves. The issues effect all Wadi Barada villages and farms, but some more than others.
This article is a few pages long, but touches on most of the main issues. No idea about MERIP, but the article provides good perspective:
Waterless Wadi Barada
Manufacturing Scarcity in a Syrian River Valley
by Francesca de Châtel, Mohammad Raba'a
published in MER271
Lots of the other material I was looking for was geological - I was interested in where all that water came from. The geologists were beating up on the Syrian government for mismanaging the springs and water resources so horribly, sacrificing quick and easy for responsible and sustainable (with a little bit of corrupt tyranny and nepotism thrown in for good measure).
Posted by: PavewayIV | Dec 30, 2016 8:10:08 PM | 78
merip about page.. teh deck is stacked pretty heavily with usa academics.. they seem (relatively?) neutral, which is saying a lot for me!
Posted by: james | Dec 30, 2016 9:32:16 PM | 79
OK, since I gave up a link on Wadi Barada, I'll ask MoAers for some help for us tin-foil hat types. There were allegations last year (dismissed as conspiracy/fake news) that the White Helmets were actually al Nusra's organ-trafficking front.
Brief background: There were deals with 'brokers' (or whatever the hell organ middlemen are called) operating in Turkey to procure Syrian war victims' organs for some kind of organ trafficking mafia operating in Europe (Brussels or Austria?). It was tied in with some shady organizations that Soros funds. I'll spare you the kilometers of tin-foil that tie all these together, but the idea is that there was already a European criminal organization willing to buy whatever anyone could provide. Turkey turned a blind eye to this because some shoestring relative of Erdogan took a skim from the Turkish smuggling part. The organs were not in prime condition by time they reached the auction block, so an elaborate 'harvesting and collection' operation was set up. That's why the White Helmets were set up, provided with ambulances and rescue stuff and plenty of insulated coolers. Too many for a supposed 'rescue' organization.
White Helmets ARE usually al Nusra for some odd reason, not FSA or other 'moderate' rebels. They have often been accused of forcing the established Syrian civil defense guys out of certain territories - also very odd for a so-called humanitarian organization. They also have video of these guys standing by waiting for al Nusra to execute captives, then swoop in to pick up the bodies in something rare in Syria: body bags. Now all this is very circumstantial, but organ trafficking sure would explain a lot of the curious behavior of the White Helmets and their gear. Now I see this coming from Sputnik:
EXCLUSIVE: Horrific Details Emerge of the Aleppo Rebel's Trade in Human Organs
OK, I realize it's Sputnik, so take it for what it's worth. But I'm actually surprised Sputnik didn't mention the White Helmets at all in their piece. Does anyone recall any crazy accounts of White Helmets and organ trafficking ('harvesting', I guess) from the end of last summer? Seems there were discoveries of mutilated bodies with organs missing. I did locate accounts of ISIS doing this, but distinctly recall specific Tweets/links accusing them. All those tweets (or the accounts they came from) are gone now. I wish I would have saved them, but it seemed really far-fetched at the time and appeared to be a ridiculous effort by pro-Assadists to smear the White Helmets. Anyone have any dirt for my Tin Foil Hat mafia?
Posted by: PavewayIV | Dec 30, 2016 10:31:36 PM | 80
@79 paveway.. one of the authors of that article, has another one - 16 page pdf on drought in syria for anyone interested... no mention of turkey damming up the euphrates as having anything to do with any of this.. one wonders if this is intentional on her part?
to quote from wikipedia here "Completion of GAP (Southeastern Anatolia Project (Turkish: Güneydoğu Anadolu Projesi, or GAP) was scheduled for 2010 but has been delayed because the World Bank has withheld funding due to the lack of an official agreement on water sharing between Turkey and the downstream states on the Euphrates and the Tigris." those states being syria and iraq for starters..
Posted by: james | Dec 30, 2016 10:36:54 PM | 81
@81 paveway.. a lot of links come up if you type in 'isis organ harvesting'..
Posted by: james | Dec 30, 2016 10:40:35 PM | 82
james@83 - Yes, the ISIS organ harvesting is pretty well documented. Less so in Syria, but that apparently involves more kidnapping and transport by various jihadi groups or kidnapping from border refugee camps. I was looking for specific references to any relatively credible accusations that the White Helmets, specifically, were involved. Google won't help because negative references to the White Helmets are demoted and eventually removed. I'm sure they would have scrubbed Google right away of any references to White Helmet organ harvesting - the same dark forces seem to have that pretty well managed. There's nothing interesting on the dozen or so alternative search engines I check (except really tin-foil hat stuff, and I already know all of that useless stuff).
Posted by: PavewayIV | Dec 30, 2016 11:48:56 PM | 83
thanks for the link. i found that one but dismissed it because it was merip. i'll go back and actually read it now.
the business about the 'moderate' rebels ... i realize that there were people in syria with plenty to be pissed off about, lots of issues to be addressed. but to me its not completely unlike, say black lives matter. suppose the indians (from india) decided to help organize and send in arms and funds and assassins to 'help' the black lives matter folks overthrow the usg ... the wise guys had that covered with obama, so say they started with trump. a few well-placed snipers during demonstrations, a few bombs in retaliation ... i don't think the analogy is so far-fetched ... except that no one but usraeli neo-cons/the cia could think such a thing was a good idea.
i just don't buy the 'civil war' scenario in syria. discontent, yeah. a yearning for change, yeah. and they seem to have more or less achieved that ... back-handedly ... assad certainly seems a changed man today. he's addressing the real issues in his own country and no longer trying to please the us/eu/nato crowd at all.
the villain in all this is clear to me: our good ole usa. and barack obama. he could have said 'no thanks, i'm not up to it' when they offered him the job, but he didn't, he said ok! and now it's all his ... his 'legacy'. not only in syria, but in libya, ukraine, mena in general ... and of course in the usa, where he has driven the latest and greatest economic bubble of all time, given the prison industrial complex a big boost, and decimated civil rights and personal freedom in general.
Posted by: jfl | Dec 30, 2016 11:57:06 PM | 84
jfl@85 - re Assad: "...he's addressing the real issues in his own country and no longer trying to please the us/eu/nato crowd at all..."
I think I could make a good case for Assad's power being marginal at best in Syria despite the western narrative otherwise. His extended family, their political/military 'friends' and a kind of entrenched Alawite mafia run Syria. It's a monstrous machine that's been in place for decades. Assad doesn't like it, but has no replacement nor a cure for it. He kept chipping away, but the progress was painstakingly slow - far to slow for the totally-screwed little people. I don't know if an armed revolution would have fixed the Syrian government, but that was always a decision for the Syrian people alone.
The U.S. coup set him back at least ten years. Assad is neither the problem, nor the solution. Putin seems to understand that clearly. The U.S.? Not so much. The end to the war will leave Assad a ruined country with few resources and a massive internal security problem. No replacement of his is going to be able to do any better, no matter how motivated they are. Syria will be on life support. It will not recover without a massive amount of foreign aid, and even then the jackals are already lined up to start tearing it to shreds.
Elections will fix nothing in Syria, but might as well have them. Assad will still probably win if he ran, but it doesn't matter for Syria's future. All I know (believe) is that Syrians would have been in far better shape today if the U.S. hadn't shown up to 'help' them, but that's not news to anyone here.
Posted by: PavewayIV | Dec 31, 2016 12:45:37 AM | 85
@PavewayIV | Dec 31, 2016 12:45:37 AM | 86
Excellent analysis as usual, share your views. I'm puzzles before your comment. Feel like Putin throws Dr. Assad under the bus and over the cliff, when Syria objected strongly letting mercenaries walked free in Aleppo, now hinting Russia may reduce their forces after the latest cease-fire.
Hard for Syrian or any nations to recover after the terrible foreign intervention. No amount of foreign aids will help to heal or erase the terrible crimes committed by Obomo and NATO partners.
My heart goes to Dr. Assad and the Syrians people. He tried very hard - slowly but too late!
Posted by: The Original Jack Smith | Dec 31, 2016 2:34:04 AM | 86
The Original Jack Smith@87 - I interpret the events of last few weeks of events a little differently. Rather than 'letting the mercenaries walk free' in Aleppo, I think Putin was trying to herd them into Idlib and end the pain for anyone left in East Aleppo as quickly as possible. In retrospect, I think the herding was always about this (my post on a SouthFront Russian Troop Reduction article. Excuse the salty language - posted verbatum):
In case nobody noticed, I think Putin just made Erdogan to own the f'king mess Turkey helped create in Syria. The unusual lack of details on Turkey's part in the ceasefire are probably a face-saving measure extended by Russia. Putin understands how to let an opponent lose gracefully. Turkey must have really bent over for whatever deal was made. With the U.S. crack-smokers out of the negotiating room, Lavrov finally gave Turkey a good kick in the nuts and brought them to their senses. The truce is a sideshow - what happens now is ALL about what Russia secretly got Turkey to do and nothing else. Russia didn't randomly decide to reduce troop levels. They did it because they're not needed, and this is probably why.
The non-ISIS head-chopper rebels have been herded to Idlib. I would bet dollars to donuts that Putin and Lavrov gave Erdogan an ultimatum: stop supporting the head-choppers for real right now or we will keep herding them north and west until all 40K+ are across the border in Turkey. Then they WILL be your God damn problem, not ours. Erdogan choose (wisely) to avoid the problem.
The only thing Erdogan seems to hate more than Assad is the head-choppers he armed and sent to Syria to kill him. If Putin did really get Erdogan to cave, then the 'rebel' part of the Syrian war is essentially over. Hard-core Idlib head-choppers who won't quit have a month or two of survival at best without Turkish supply lines. They can be liquidated pretty efficiently. The non-headchopper rebels don't want to fight anymore and just want to go home. They're not going to break the truce anyways.
ISIS is still on the to-do list, but Syria can handle them once the rebel war is done and all the SAA/Hezbollah are freed up to steamroller over them.
This is all conjecture on my part, but don't you find it strange that almost no details are given about Turkey's 'contribution' to this tortured deal? After days of discussion, we hear about a simple truce? They could have agreed to the details made public over a light lunch. I can only surmise there was a hell of a lot of other concessions they don't want to announce - Turkey's ending the head-chopper support pipelines. The surprising announcement about reducing troop strength goes right along with this. We'll see if my hunch is right in the next few weeks.
Posted by: PavewayIV | Dec 31, 2016 3:25:51 AM | 87
hope you are right. we will see.
Posted by: jfl | Dec 31, 2016 3:48:02 AM | 88
No, don't see the way you envision. Did you watch Dr. Bashar Jaafari vid outside the UN hall? A lost opportunity for Dr. Assad to show the world the bloody barbaric Obomo and NATO!
I agree little or no news ("almost no details") from the cease-fired between Turkey-Iran-Russia, agree "...non-ISIS head-chopper rebels have been herded to Idlib.... to avoid the problem". We continue speculating between the endless cease-fired among the players, the outcome still the same - more Syrians will die and Dr., Assad bear the blame! "That damn barbaric dictator murders his own people.”
Overall, I sense Putin needs EU, China and now Turkey (and Erdogan know it), Russia depends on her vast natural resources (gas, oil reserved) to survive. She still unable to stands alone unlike China way ahead with infrastructures in place at home, now roaming the former colonials powers territorial with her stolen/borrowed/reversed engineering and improves technology to match or closed the gap with Amerika. Look at her recent feats, super computers, three gorge dam, space station, high speed trains, aircraft carriers, Ukraine's AN-225, blah, blah...
Sorrie skips certain comments (Eng) and dug into my long term hope - sincere hope China and Russia remain genuine friends, mutual respect and make this world a livable place again. Peace my friend PEACE and Happy New Year.
Posted by: The Original Jack Smith | Dec 31, 2016 4:56:23 AM | 89
Putin "takes the high road" because he acknowledging that he was wrong. He knows Obama has the goods on him so he decided to "be nice". Why would he stir things up when his well leashed dog is soon to take over?
Posted by: Bardi | Dec 31, 2016 10:45:52 AM | 90
Posted by: Bardi | Dec 31, 2016 10:45:52 AM | 91
Huh? What that mean?
Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 31, 2016 11:11:18 AM | 91
And now we kick off this new year with yet another terrorist attack in an Istanbul night club with 39 dead so far..
Notice how since this summer's attempted coup against Erdogan and Turkey's rapprochement to Russia it has been targeted with these attacks (how many this year?).. Another corollary gift, part of O's "legacy"..
Posted by: Lozion | Jan 1, 2017 3:45:51 AM | 92
@88 paveway.. sounds quite plausible.. thanks for sharing..
Posted by: james | Jan 1, 2017 4:31:16 AM | 93
@90 "Overall, I sense Putin needs EU, China and now Turkey (and Erdogan know it), Russia depends on her vast natural resources (gas, oil reserved) to survive. She still unable to stands alone unlike China ..."
Nope. No state can "stand alone". World economy is too integrated.
Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jan 1, 2017 12:31:54 PM | 94
latest from Mercouris:
Shoigu’s words to Putin also confirm something else which had already become apparent: Lavrov’s negotiations with Kerry following the collapse of the 9th September 2016 Kerry-Lavrov agreement were diplomatic shadow play. Whilst it was these fictional negotiations between Lavrov and Kerry which continued to hold the limelight, the real negotiations were going on behind the scenes between the militaries of Russia and Turkey, without the US being consulted or involved.
Moreover it is now clear from Shoigu’s words that the Turks made a political decision to come to a settlement with the Russians over Syria by October at the latest, so that the discussions which took place during November and December were of an essentially technical nature: determining what territories the groups that would be covered by the ceasefire actually controlled, getting the groups to sign up to the ceasefire plan, and agreeing the technicalities of monitoring the ceasefire and enforcing it. Most of the ceasefire plan, the text of which I have provided above, sets out the monitoring and enforcement procedures, and confirms that Turkey has agreed to guarantee the compliance of the seven groups who have signed up to it.
Turkey’s involvement in the ceasefire plan as its guarantor is the key to its success. As I said in my article of 2nd November 2016, the various Jihadi groups which operate in Syria depend on Turkey for their supplies of men and equipment. That gives Turkey immense potential leverage over them, and means that if Turkey fully commits to enforcing the ceasefire plan then the seven Jihadi groups covered by it have no choice but to comply with it.
Why did the negotiations between Russia and Turkey succeed, where the negotiations between Russia and the US were such a complete failure?
From the Russian point of view, the ceasefire has given them what they want. The overriding problem the Russians face in Syria is the limited size of the Syrian army. Since this means that the Syrian army cannot be strong everywhere – the key fact which enabled ISIS to recapture of Palmyra last month – and since deploying Russian ground troops to Syria has been ruled out, Russian diplomacy since Russia’s intervention in Syria in September 2015 has been aimed at reducing the number of enemies the Syrian army has to fight so that it can concentrate its forces on its two enemies who are the most dangerous: Al-Qaeda and ISIS.
If the Russians really can get seven armed groups amounting to between 50,000 to 60,000 men to stand down, freeing the Syrian army to focus on taking the war to Al-Qaeda and ISIS, then the Syrian army’s limited resources mean it is worth doing even if two of the seven groups are Jihadi groups Russia has previously designated terrorist organisations.
In the meantime, by ensuring that Aleppo – Syria’s biggest city and its main industrial centre – is restored to the full control of the Syrian government, the Russians have not only ensured the Syrian government’s survival, removing the possibility of regime change from the agenda, but have also provided the Syrian army with a secure base in Syria’s populous coastal western regions in which it can rebuild its strength.
As for Turkey, with the prospect of regime change in Syria taken off the agenda following the restoration of the Syrian government’s authority in Aleppo, the Russian offer of a peace conference in Astana to be co-chaired by Turkey provides Turkey with a face-saving – even generous – way out of a commitment to regime change in Syria which has effectively already failed.
The peace conference in Astana is not however just a sop to Turkey. For the Turks a key provision of the ceasefire plan is that any future agreement about the future of Syria to be reached at Astana must be based – in the words of the ceasefire plan – upon “full respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic”. In other words any possibility of an independent Kurdish state being carved out of Syrian territory is ruled out.
Will the plan work?
If Turkey’s commitment to the plan is the condition for its success, it is also its major weakness.
As should by now be obvious to anybody who has followed the Syrian conflict at all closely, not only has Turkish President Erdogan been personally committed up to now to achieving regime change in Syria, but he is not someone who has a habit of following through with commitments with any consistency.
Is he really prepared now to drop his plan for regime change in Syria, and to crack down on the seven Jihadi groups in Syria covered by the ceasefire if or rather when they try to break it?
Is he also prepared to ride out the inevitable violent blowback from the militant Jihadi groups that have now become embedded in Turkish society as a result of his own regime change policy in Syria, of which today’s Istanbul attack is probably merely a foretaste?
Since it is upon Erdogan that the future of this ceasefire agreement ultimately depends, it would be unwise to invest too many hopes in it.
That the Russians are not doing so is shown by the guarded comments of the participants of the Kremlin meeting on 29th December 2016. Putin pointedly referred to the ceasefire agreement as “fragile”, and though the possibility of Russian military withdrawals from Syria was discussed, none were announced.
Posted by: mauisurfer | Jan 1, 2017 3:15:22 PM | 95
@96 mauisurfer.. thanks for the overview.. i agree - erdogan and turkey are the wild cards here.. will erdogan remain in power is one of many questions i have here.. i am not sure that he is in the same place of command he was less then a year ago.. i think his situation as leader of turkey is much more fragile.. he has had to shift his agenda thanks his shortsightedness in not recognizing who he was getting in bed with to follow thru on regime change. and as the article notes, those folks he is supposedly climbing out of bed with, are going to have an axe to grind with him and turkey as we continue to witness with the terrorists activities increasing in turkey with no end in sight.. as i have said here recently - he and turkey are between a rock and a hard place.
it remains to be seen how things move forward here, but one scenario i hold out as a possibility is erdogans removal. this will make turkeys situation more challenging and one wonders whose interest this would serve in the long run?
Posted by: james | Jan 1, 2017 5:31:31 PM | 96
@96 Nouredheen Al Zinki is not in the list.. strange. I suppose and hope they are counted in the Jabhat Fateh Al Sham faction.. May 2017 see Syria prevail and get rid of the Wahabbi scum..
Posted by: Lozion | Jan 1, 2017 5:50:11 PM | 97
interesting speculation from syrian perspective at the bottom of his article..
"It is impossible to believe that this ceasefire will hold for very long. Ahraar Al-Shaam is a part of Nusra/Alqaeda and cannot sit idly by as the SAA turns its mother organization into so much useless compost. We predict that Ahraar Al-Shaam recruits will be encouraged to shift to Nusra and avoid the inevitable surrender to the SAA. But, by the time Donald Trump takes office and schmoozes with Vlad, it will be too late for any rescue. ISIS and Nusra will be annilhilated and Saudi Arabia will have gone financially bust. The ceasefire will be violated and the SAA and its allies will push finally into Al-Raqqa and Idlib to polish off the remaining jihadists. It will be a moment of glory and the grist of epics sung into the next century."
i think turkey remains an uncertain area with anything possible..
Posted by: james | Jan 1, 2017 7:44:14 PM | 98