Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 03, 2017

U.S./UK Paid "White Helmets" Help Blocking Water To 5 Million Thirsty Syrians

The blockade of water from Wadi Barada to 5 million people in Damascus is taking an interesting turn. The U.S. and UK financed White Helmet organization seems to be directly involved in it. This increases the suspicion that the illegal blockade of water to civilians in Damascus is part of a organized campaign under U.S. command. The campaign is designed to block utilities to government held areas as revenge for the liberation of east Aleppo.

As we described it yesterday:

After the eastern part of the city of Aleppo was liberated by Syrian government forces, the local rebels and inhabitants in the Barada river valley were willing to reconcile with the Syrian government. But the al-Qaeda Takfiris disagreed and took over. The area is since under full al-Qaeda control and thereby outside of the recent ceasefire agreement.

On December 22 the water supply to Damascus was suddenly contaminated with diesel fuel and no longer consumable. A day later Syrian government forces started an operation to regain the area and to reconstitute the water supplies.

Photos and a video on social media (since inaccessible but I saw them when they appeared) showed the water treatment facility rigged with explosives. On Dec 27th the facility was blown up and partly destroyed.

The Syrian government is ready to send repair teams to rehabilitate the water flow to the millions of civilians in Damascus. But access to the site is denied and the Syrian army is now trying to push al-Qaeda and its allies away from it.

Curiously some "civil" groups today offered access under several (not agreeable) conditions:

Hassan Ridha @sayed_ridha - 2:10 AM - 3 Jan 2017

Wadi Barada statement: we will let teams to fix water spring if SAA-Hezb stop attack, siege lift & monitor ceasefire by intl observers
[attachment]

EHSANI2 @EHSANI22 - 6:43 AM - 3 Jan 2017

Offer by opposition to trade access to water source for #Damascus with halting of military operations by army
[attachment]

Here is the attachment to both tweets. Note who signed it:


bigger

Check the logos of the undersigning organizations You will probably recognize the middle one in the second row. Here it is magnified.

And here is the original of that logo taken directly from the website of the Syrian Civil Defense organization aka The White Helmets:

The organizations who make an offer to lift the water blockade of Damascus obviously think they have the power to do so. They then must also be held responsible for keeping the blockade up. They must also have intimate relations with the al-Qaeda fighters who currently occupy the damaged water facilities.

The U.S. and UK government created and paid White Helmets are "impartially", "neutrally" and "for all Syrians" blocking the water supply to 5 million Syrians in Damascus. U.S. military and CIA officers run the "operations rooms" in Jordan and Turkey that direct the insurgency.

This increases suspicion that the blockade is part of an organized response by the enemies of Syria to the recent liberation of east-Aleppo. As noted yesterday:

This shut down is part of a wider, seemingly coordinated strategy to deprive all government held areas of utility supplies. Two days ago the Islamic State shut down a major water intake for Aleppo from the Euphrates. High voltage electricity masts of lines feeding Damascus have been destroyed and repair teams, unlike before, denied access. Gas supplies to parts of Damascus are also cut.

Even after 14 days of water crisis in Damascus the "western" media are not reporting about the al-Qaeda blockade of water for 5 million Syrians. We can be sure that not a word will be written by them about this illegal hostages taking of millions of civilians in Damascus by their favorite propaganda organization White Helmets.

Posted by b on January 3, 2017 at 01:23 PM | Permalink

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17 days.

Posted by: Secret Agent | Jan 3, 2017 1:37:33 PM | 1

The Washington Post does have an article but it's reporting the terrorists' claims as fact.

Damascus goes thirsty as government attacks rebel-held river

The Barada River and its source, the Ain al-Fijeh spring, supply 70 percent of the water for Damascus and its environs. An activist-run media collective in the Barada Valley said government and Russian aircraft had bombed the Ain el-Fijeh water processing facility, puncturing its fuel depots and contaminating the water stream. The collective said the plant’s electrical control systems had been destroyed as well. Images showed the roof of the facility collapsed into its main water basin. An activist with the group, Abu Mohammed al-Bardawi, said it would take at least two months to get the facilities working again.
Damascus officials said they shut off the water after opposition forces poured gasoline into the river. The government denied attacking the water processing facility, saying it would not set out to harm its own population. Still, it would not be the first time it strikes its own facilities: government strikes hit pumping stations in the northern city of Aleppo in April, September, and November.

Posted by: Ghostship | Jan 3, 2017 1:37:51 PM | 2

The link for the above.

Posted by: Ghostship | Jan 3, 2017 1:39:15 PM | 3

thanks for the (excellent) wrap up b.

Posted by: annie | Jan 3, 2017 1:41:59 PM | 4

"The rebels have allowed the government's water authority engineers to maintain and operate the station and supply the capital since they took control of the area in 2012. "

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-valley-water-idUSKBN14G02O

Posted by: Louis Proyect | Jan 3, 2017 1:56:24 PM | 5

Your point being, Louis Proyect? Do the years of co-operation excuse their current behaviour? What do you suggest the Syrian forces do about this critical emergency affecting over 5 million people, which Reuters accuse them of escalating? White Helmet cheer leaders will never admit to being wrong because it's been so blatantly obvious that they are closely affiliated to the terrorists all along, confirmed yet again with their involvement in this latest abomination.

Posted by: Andy | Jan 3, 2017 2:21:18 PM | 6

lol, proyect isn't even trying!

Posted by: ruralito | Jan 3, 2017 2:31:22 PM | 7

Wow, I thought even an organisation like the White Helmets would be versed well enough in the laws of public perception not to align themselves openly with something so plainly reprehensible. Especially when they've got the weight of most NATO countries behind them (funding, PR cover, etc). As it's so easy to argue the existence of complicity in atrocities by these nations, you'd think they'd hold off on giving the ol rubber stamp of approval on such a vulgar document. Doesn't look good for them - but I suppose that doesn't matter much nowadays.

Attacking utilities and infrastructure seems to reek of desperation though. Persumably its not something one would do when possessing initiative and strategic power in a warzone. Maybe the White Helmets recognise that as well to some extent. Perhaps they've also realized that commiting war crimes such as this doesn't even get mentioned in the West so what's to worry about.

Excellent post though b! Stuff like this is what I crave to see when I come here. Something I can't find coverage and analysis of anywhere else.

ALSO - I don't read Arabic, but can someone tell me if its just the logo of the organisation on the document in question? Or is the name 'the White Helmets' actually written out in text?

Posted by: FecklessLeft | Jan 3, 2017 2:42:36 PM | 9

@Louis Proyect @5 - your point?

As I described in yesterday's post on the issue: The locals were ready to reconcile.
Then AQ took over and cut the water.

Posted by: b | Jan 3, 2017 2:49:11 PM | 10

Disgusting - but not relevant for exemple for the german Tagesschau, which didn't even mention this crime against humanity. Today they wrote three articles about an ethic commission row in the u.s. instead.

Posted by: Pnyx | Jan 3, 2017 2:57:29 PM | 11

@FecklessLeft #9:

Wow, I thought even an organisation like the White Helmets would be versed well enough in the laws of public perception not to align themselves openly with something so plainly reprehensible.

They are barbarians, who believe in an anti-human, totalitarian ideology which claims to be a religion.

But I agree with b that this is getting to look like something directed by the US. And the possibility of the CIA/jihadis using cutting Syrian civilians off from water for blackmail to get the SAA to make concesions hadn't occurred to me.

“As Syrians, we stand with Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard to end the war in Syria.”https://t.co/R1Ht4jrufB

— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) January 3, 2017

Posted by: Adalbrand | Jan 3, 2017 3:00:00 PM | 12

Last night I read the bbc news (front page, first article) that the Syrian government was violating the latest truce. I appears that the SAA was attacking forces in Wadi Barada so the Western press is citing this as evidence of bad faith on the part of the Syrians. Boy oh boy, I can see how difficult it will be for the Syrians and Russians to carry out this latest ceasefire agreement with the Turks. Western propaganda will be coming down on them like a ton of bricks. I guess we should brace ourselves for another onslaught of stories similar to those we witnessed last month over the Aleppo "genocide".

Posted by: ToivoS | Jan 3, 2017 3:04:57 PM | 13

@ToivoS #13:

Last night I read the bbc news (front page, first article) that the Syrian government was violating the latest truce.

Yeah, Alexander Mercouris has written about that, apparently citing the same report you mention.

Aiming to disrupt ceasefire Al-Qaeda cuts water supply to Damascus

He also mentions MoA, but does not link to it, even though he links to the BBC. wtf?

Posted by: Adalbrand | Jan 3, 2017 3:14:19 PM | 14

@ ToivoS | Jan 3, 2017 3:04:57 PM | 13

That was when I abandoned The Guardian when they out BBCed the BBC. Way too much to stomach. Haven't bothered reading much since. The Guardian has descended enormously from the old Manchester Guardian as to not be of the same species of news purveyors. Shameful !

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Jan 3, 2017 3:16:59 PM | 15

Talking about water, the gov media had a journalist say he is embedded with the "democratic Syrian forces" + Kurds who victoriously took Kobane last year, and that they are advancing to the Tabqa dam, held by IS and supposedly the biggest after Aswan in the whole Middle East. He added that after that they would pursue to Raqqa.

Posted by: Mina | Jan 3, 2017 3:23:16 PM | 16

b:

... the blockade is part of an organized response by the enemies of Syria to the recent liberation of east-Aleppo ...
Is it really just spite?

It seems part of the overall effort to build a case against Assad, Putin, and Trump.

To what end? I dunno, but might McCain's friend, VP Pence, invoke the 25th Amendment? After a "peaceful transition of power", it will be weeks before Trump's cabinet nominees take office.

Pence is for TPP and 'no fly' zones in Syria.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 3, 2017 3:24:10 PM | 17

Wadi Barada seems a likely location for many WH videos

Posted by: Mina | Jan 3, 2017 3:26:37 PM | 18

@Formerly T-Bear #15:

The Guardian has descended enormously from the old Manchester Guardian

About OffGuardian:

OffGuardian is the creation of people from different parts of the world committed to the original vision which drew us together on The Guardian‘s CiF pages. We followed with dismay and disappointment the increasingly distorted and tendentious news reporting on Libya, the proxy-war in Syria, and the Ukraine Crisis. Tired of being censored by our beloved, once-upon-a-time left-of-centre newspaper, in February 2015 we decided to create our own platform for airing our unacceptable opinions.

Posted by: Adalbrand | Jan 3, 2017 3:26:59 PM | 19

McCain has called Russian meddling in US elections an act of war and he will start hearings about it later this week.

McCain and Pence have a long history.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 3, 2017 3:36:13 PM | 20

thanks b, for articulating so clearly once again how money from the usa/uk gov't go directly into trying to create a humanitarian disaster for the syrian people.. it would be nice if these 2 fucking asshole empires recognized and were held accountable to this kind of shite, but the game would have to be changed.. chipping away at this white helmet bullshit is a good starting point..

Posted by: james | Jan 3, 2017 3:36:33 PM | 21

Jackrabbit@19 Would not put anything past those pair of freaks McCain and Graham, Putin was right about McCain..when he said "anyone who spent time in a pit in Vietnam was sure to go nuts". https://www.reddit.com/r/conspiracy/comments/3rrmyj/putin_on_john_mccain_he_spent_years_in_a_pit_in/?st=ixhzq0q5&sh=2362676e

As for the US [according to Russia 'Our partners']anyone who regards the deaths of 500,000 children in Iraq as being 'worth it' [M Albright] would not blink at the deaths of 5 million in Damascus.

Posted by: harrylaw | Jan 3, 2017 3:54:24 PM | 23

Trump wins again.
House Republicans back off gutting ethics watchdog after backlash from Trump
.

Posted by: lysias | Jan 3, 2017 4:06:26 PM | 24

@Jackrabbit #19:

McCain has called Russian meddling in US elections an act of war and he will start hearings about it later this week.

The funny thing is that Democrats believe that Russia meddled in the elections, but Republicans don't. So any such hearings won't get much traction with McCain's own base, as opposed to his fellow travelers inside the Beltway. Also, maybe McCain really believes that the Russians did something so there must be some evidence, but we know that they didn't so there isn't.

The Democrats have become a cult of political correctness now, and one reason they hate Russians and Russia is that Russians are not politically correct. From my Twitter feed, I am getting the feeling that many Republicans are starting to get the impression that they have more in common with Russians than they do with Democrats. Russians and Americans share a common Western culture, whereas liberals and Democrats have rejected that culture, with a level of hatred I have not seen since the 1960s.

Many Republicans got very alienated from Obama's constant talk of "that is not who we are", as if believing that America has a specific culture and traditions makes you a racist and a fascist.

Here's a relevant post btw, from the same blog I mentioned above:

The dark spectre of political correctness

Posted by: Adalbrand | Jan 3, 2017 4:53:20 PM | 25

What is the purpose? What is the logic?

Spite? It seems to me that too many already understand what is happening. The bad actors only tarnish themselves further when they poison people. With every transgression, they risk more exposure.

Disrupt the ceasefire? But Trump is going to make nice with Russia so the Syrian conflict is over, isn't it?

Can we surmise that the neocons refuse to accept defeat? That they are pulling along the "go along to get along" establishment? That they are doing all of this with some plan that foresees prevailing over R+6?

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 3, 2017 5:01:05 PM | 26

Adalbrand @24:

The funny thing is that Democrats believe that Russia meddled in the elections, but Republicans don't. So any such hearings won't get much traction...
What's more relevant, I think, is that many establishment Republicans don't like Trump.

Would Trump's many conflicts - from far-flung business ties to his admiration for Putin - be sufficient to declare him unable/unfit to execute the office of President?

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 3, 2017 5:14:37 PM | 27

Wasn't able to access the site for most of the day today (US)

Posted by: sejomoje | Jan 3, 2017 6:48:35 PM | 28

Esteemed Lords and Ladies
Perhaps some what related to both the Smoke Screen of the Russians are coming shout fest and the appalling attempts by the "whitehats" to murder more Syrians and try to break the truce is the story posted today by Dimitris Konstantkopoulos at Defenddemocracy.press. He describes an apparently nearly complete soft coup against Cyprus brought to you by none other than V."Fuck the EU" Nuland. I am remembering the Turkey to Cyprus route taken by oil stolen from Syria subsequently sold to Israhell. The travel agent, as I recall, was kin to the ever changing many faced Ergodan. If memory serves, it also occurs that there may be a large offshore gas field off the coast of Cyrus.

I bow, of course, to the superior wisdom of you all, especially Mr. B, but there are some who doubt coincidences.... Alas, my other name is Cyber Thumbs, so I cannot provide a link, but perhaps someone will think it worth the search. It's also up on global research.

Posted by: norma lacy | Jan 3, 2017 6:59:46 PM | 29

Jackrabbit,

Spite is reason enough for imperialists. It inflicts costs on the victor.

Warmongers hate prevailing. The point is to waste production so that it doesn't help the rabble.

Posted by: Jonathan | Jan 3, 2017 7:08:11 PM | 30

Jackrabbit@19; harrylaw@22 - McCain went full-psycho on Russia sometime after his failed presidential campaign (but unrelated to it). One of the more credible rumors is that Russia got pissed at him for something and threatened to release information showing the U.S. Congress had definitive evidence and knowledge of the 1,200 POWs it abaondon in Vietnam. McCain and 500+ were released, but Vietnam kept the other 1,200 until the U.S. would agreed to the few billion in war reparations the U.S. rightfully owed to them.

Congress would have none of it and chose - very intentionally - to refuse war reparations and cover up the existence of those remaining 1,200 POWs. The ones released were golden boys, like son-of-an-admiral McCain, or average pilots and officers. The ones left behind? Little-people soldiers and marines that apparently were not worth anything to the U.S. They have all since died or been executed as Vietnam didn't know what to do with them and couldn't believe the U.S. would screw them like that.

McCain, like the spineless traitor he is, denied any POWs remained and spent damn near his congressional career covering up the affair. McCain has always been the front man for running interference against any subsequent U.S. effort to investigate the existence of the post-war hostage POWs. McCain was never a big fan of Russia, but absolutely went unhinged around 2009 at the thought of Russia releasing evidence that the U.S. Congress abandoned those POWs. He has a similar visceral reaction in general to whistleblowers and leakers in the U.S. and seems enthusiastic about shutting down 'fake' news sites (that may expose him).

He's a dangerous psychopath lunatic that prays for an opportunity to nuke Russia to shut them up permanently. Whatever imaginary threat the Russians posed to Hillary's campaign set that psycho f'ker off like a Roman candle. Putin may have had the 'cage' thing wrong, but he seems to posses an accurate understanding of McCain's mental state.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Jan 3, 2017 7:17:19 PM | 31

@5 louis proycet, Unrepentant Marxist back to run interference for alqaeda, now in Wadibarada

Posted by: brian | Jan 3, 2017 7:18:13 PM | 32

@Jackrabbit #225:

Can we surmise that the neocons refuse to accept defeat? That they are pulling along the "go along to get along" establishment?

I think that one way of characterizing what happened what happened since 9/11/2001, or maybe even 1989/1991, is that a Uniparty got entrenched, and they thought they were going to stay in power forever. It's not just neocons: it's also politically correct liberals. These people are seeing their world collapse in front of their eyes, they can't accept that they have been defeated and their time is up, so they keep on fighting, even when that doesn't make sense to an objective observer.

I'm not saying that what the USG/al Quaeda are doing in Syria by cutting off the water supply is not rational in neocon geostrategic terms. But some things the US establishment is doing are not rational, and these hearings of McCain's are not won of them. I guess you could say that Obama kicking out Russian diplomats was rational. Obama is just too stupid to ever learn that Putin will always outplay him. You can be stupid and still have a (primitive) kind of rationality.

@PavewayIV #30:

Interesting and very sad.

Posted by: Adalbrand | Jan 3, 2017 7:35:08 PM | 33

For whoever asked whether the WH's name was spelled out on the doc-- yes, what's written in Arabic above it is "The Civil Defense in the Barada Valley". "Civil Defense" is what the WH call themselves. The name of their signer is Muhammad Diab.

Posted by: Helena | Jan 3, 2017 7:37:48 PM | 34

I wonder...could Trump order his Attorney General to investigate US support for Al Qaeda in Syria and Iraq? And prosecute those who ordered and/or condoned such support?

I wonder....

Posted by: jawbone | Jan 3, 2017 7:41:45 PM | 35

sejomoje@27 "...Wasn't able to access the site for most of the day today (US)..." Same here, but only for a couple of hours in the late afternoon. I believe it was a TypePad-wide problem (the blog's host) for many blogs and not specific to MoA. But you know those western MSM bastards do want to shut b up - he's just ruining all their hard propaganda work. The Tel Aviv headquarters of Reuters was working so hard to steer the narrative on Wadi Barada, and now b has gone and ruined it for them. They were just about to release the story about the last children's hospital in Wadi Barada being barrel-bombed and the heart-touching story about the Wadi Barada kitten rescue orphanage. I can't go on... my eyes are tearing up... must be the allergies.. [sniff!].

Posted by: PavewayIV | Jan 3, 2017 7:59:15 PM | 36

Adalbrand #24:

The funny thing is that Democrats believe that Russia meddled in the elections, but Republicans don't. So any such hearings won't get much traction with McCain's own base, as opposed to his fellow travelers inside the Beltway.

The Last Refuge: RE: The “Vast Russian Conspiracy” – McConnell Tells McCain and Graham ‘Knock it Off’…

Today a Politico article reveals the John McCain/Lindsey Graham push to create an international crisis with Russia has found push-back from an unlikely source, Senate Leader Mitch McConnell.

@jawbone #34:

could Trump order his Attorney General to investigate US support for Al Qaeda in Syria and Iraq?

Anything's possible. It depends on how successful Trump is in draining the swamp, I guess. But I'm not holding my breath. It's very hard to imagine an empire engaging in that amount of soul searching.

Posted by: Adalbrand | Jan 3, 2017 8:03:03 PM | 37

b 10
Good review of a basic of this war. Most of the Syrian population do not subscribe to this violence and never have. (exc Muslim Brotherhood)

Also thnx for pointing out the hypocrisy of the White Helmets motto.

Posted by: Curtis | Jan 3, 2017 8:03:52 PM | 38

@ PavewayIV | Jan 3, 2017 7:17:19 PM | 30

Indeed.

Jimmy Carter Hands John McCain (warmonger) His Ass
(Youtube) 5Min47Sec

Wonder what values/character his father, the Admiral McCain, taught him ... the admiral who re-called carrier aircraft dispatched to defend the USS Liberty crew who were being slaughtered by the IDF under sustained attack.

John McCain's Dirty Little Secret - InfoWars presentation. Detailed, context, succinct.(Youtube) 08Min04Sec

Posted by: Outraged | Jan 3, 2017 8:14:29 PM | 39

And in case anyone had missed the news the last few months, there is such thing as a REAL Syria Civil Defense completely unrelated to the White Helmets. The real Syrian Civil Defense answers the call when you dial 113 (EMEMERGENCY) in Syria, as explained by b on MoA many times and by other real journalists like Vanessa Beeley inEXCLUSIVE: The REAL Syria Civil Defence Exposes Fake ‘White Helmets’ as Terrorist-Linked Imposters.

The White Helmets stole the 'Syrian Civil Defense' name for propaganda purposes, but use a different logo as shown above. The REAL Syrian Civil Defense patch is shown here in Off Guardian.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Jan 3, 2017 8:28:15 PM | 40

@9 fl, 'Perhaps they've also realized that committing war crimes such as this doesn't even get mentioned in the West so what's to worry about.'

i think that's the answer. i hope that more and more people 'back home' are discovering non-mainstream sources of news, but it's only a hope. i have no real reason to think that they are doing so.

@30 pw

i'd come to the conclusion that the whole vietnam pow deal was just a long, drawn-out excuse for not paying vietnam the reparations tricky dick had pledged to pay. that there were no pows, that that's why they could never be found.

i do believe john s. mccain iii, and jr., and his daddy, are the poster-children for depraved privilege among the hereditary us military caste.

what about the 'rumors' that j. mcc iii was responsible for the fire on uss forestall that killed 134 sailors and injured 161? the story i heard was that he pulled some bonehead schoolboy stunt in 'his' jet, sending a fireball shooting out the back end that began the fire, that his old man had to send a helicopter to airlift him off the ship to prevent the sailors from killing him, and subsequently covered it all up, just like he covered up the deaths of 34 crewmen and 174 wounded on the uss liberty by the israelis, which we can read about, one of ProPornOT's 'Set of Sites That Reliably Echo Russian Propaganda' ... any truth to any of that?

god what a cesspool the tnc media have become ... always were, undercover.

this story in syria is a portrait of us war crimes in action, playing out in slow motion for any and everyone to see. thank you b, for shining the light onto what's on central stage, and not letting the tnc msm try to pretend that it's intermission, during the horror show's climax.

Posted by: jfl | Jan 3, 2017 8:29:46 PM | 41

@38 outraged

thanks for the links. didn't watch them all the way through ... wasn't jc the guy who gave the indonesian general suharto the high-sign on the genocide in east timor? By the time Carter left office, about 200,000 people had been slaughtered. i guess it's true that jimmy carter never fired a rocket or a bullet at the timorese ... but he sent a lot of them to suharto, who did.

i think the guy in the first clip was right initially ... there are no american presidents post-ww ii with clean hands. the geopolitical 'experts' and their cia, at least, saw to that.

Posted by: jfl | Jan 3, 2017 8:53:49 PM | 42

Couldn't access MOA today either. Hmmmm. Here's another question. The expelling of Russian diplomats and shutting down their properties sure seemed like someone was trying to shake-out something. By the way. Where is Eric Braverman? Sure hope he's somewhere safe.

Posted by: Take Me | Jan 3, 2017 8:55:55 PM | 43

@Take Me #42:

The expelling of Russian diplomats and shutting down their properties sure seemed like someone was trying to shake-out something.

Wasn't going to post this, but now that you've brought this up, here's a piece on Obama's spitefulness and rage.

Understanding Obama's derangement "With Trump’s triumph and RF-Syrian military success in Aleppo, his string broke." https://t.co/m1WdL0qR8K

— Adalbrand (@Adalbrand) January 4, 2017

The take of many observers as to why the Russian diplomats got expelled was that that was a provocation to get a counter-response from Russia to poison relations between the US and Russia, to create complications for Trump. Of course, as usual, Putin didn't fall into the trap. And Trump said as much in a tweet.

Posted by: Adalbrand | Jan 3, 2017 9:42:26 PM | 44

Sorry b, you've apparently got it all completely ass-about, ProPornOT will be so disappointed ... here is the #RealNews from the AP, including fake footage and snappy propaganda captions ;)

Syrian attack on rebels leaves Damascus residents scrambling for water

Philip Issa, Associated Press

BEIRUT (AP) — Residents of Damascus are scrambling for clean water after the government attacked rebels holding the city's main source in a nearby valley, producing an outage that has stretched on for nearly two weeks.

...

The government, in particular, has advertised its efforts to keep electricity and water flowing to areas under its control, while it blocks the U.N. and other relief agencies from supplying opposition zones.

...

The government and the opposition had previously had an understanding to keep water services running. But that modus vivendi ended when forces of President Bashar Assad and his allies, the Lebanon Hezbollah guerrilla force, attacked the valley ...

...

Damascus officials said they shut off the water after opposition forces poured gasoline into the river. The government denied attacking the water processing facility, saying it would not set out to harm its own population. Still, it would not be the first time it strikes its own facilities: government strikes hit pumping stations in the northern city of Aleppo in April, September, and November.

...

Opposition forces have retaliated by choking a natural gas pipeline to Damascus to pressure the government to stop its offensive, compounding the woes of the resource starved capital. A group of rebels calling themselves the Coalition for the Joint Defense of Syria filmed themselves cutting the gas to the capital at an isolated station outside the capital Thursday.

Some serious orwellian prose from Philip Issa, Associated Press, BEIRUT. With this new context, these falsey described events will now be used to further support the R2P agenda, delegitamize Assad and SAA/government, and provide false cover for the head-choppers to undermine the fragile Russia-turkey negotiated truce, as posted in the previous thread.

Posted by: Outraged | Jan 3, 2017 9:55:35 PM | 45

@ jfl | Jan 3, 2017 8:53:49 PM | 41

Alas, you'll never get perfect factual coverage in a visual media story (its primarily entertainment) ... Carter, created/funded/trained the seeds of Al-Qaeda with Brzezinski, months BEFORE the USSR invasion of Afghanistan, to lure the Soviets into their 'Vietnam'. Suharto and the Indonesian slaughter (at least 500,000) was overseen by Negroponte (& Death squads), at carters direction. National Archives - US propped up Suharto despite Human Rights

So, yes, he's merely the least worst of a bad run of POTUS since the big WWII. Actually no, they've been pretty bloody awful well before WWII, too.

JFK, the wunderkind, darling (Triumph Forsaken - Vietnam War, Moyar, 2006):

Kennedy sent cables to Lodge and Harkins on the evening of August27 asking for their opinions on the coup’s prospects. Above all else, the President wanted to make sure that if a coup were attempted it would succeed, for a failed coup could poison relations with Diem irrevocably and give Kennedy an embarrassment on the order of the Bay of Pigs. Lodge reported back that the coup committee’s generals “are the best group that could be assembled in terms of ability and orientation. Certain of them (Big Minh, Khanh, and Kim) are considered to have personal force of character.” The plotters, Lodge asserted, controlled more forces than the loyalist commanders, though it was uncertain whether they could attain victory quickly in Saigon.

...

“I have grave reservations about proceeding against Diem,” Nolting told the group. “Only Diem can hold this fragmented country together.” Nolting also said, “I think President Diem could be persuaded to remove Madame Nhu from the scene and at least to make brother Nhu less conspicuous.” Hilsman countered, “The generals could put the Vice President of Vietnam in power and govern the country the way the generals have in Korea.” He admitted, however, that “we have little information on how the generals plan torunthe country if they are successful.”
Harriman, who continued to maintain that the generals had not been a party to the pagoda raids, contended, “We had been winning the war with Diem because the generals were with him. The generals are defecting now because of the recent actions which Diem has taken against the Buddhists.”
Ball said, “We can’t win the war against the Communists with Diem in control. The U.S. position in the eyes of the world is being badly damaged.” It was too late, Ball maintained, to renege on support for the conspirators. “We are already beyond the point of no return,” he avowed.
“I do not believe we should take the position that we have to go ahead because we have gone so far already,” Kennedy responded. “If a coup is not in the cards, we could unload.” Kennedy was particularly troubled by the generals’ lack of enthusiasm and by a report that pro-Diem forces within the Saigon area outnumbered anti-Diem forces by a two-to-one margin. “At present, it does not look as if the coup forces could defeat Diem.” The White House transmitted the President’s reservations to Lodge and asked him for more information.

Or,

Theodore Roosevelt wrote to a friend in the year 1897:

"In strict confidence ... I should welcome almost any war, for I think this country needs one."
- A people's history of the United States - Howard Zinn

Such as it ever was ...

Posted by: Outraged | Jan 3, 2017 9:56:21 PM | 46

@44 outraged.. i got a kick out of paveways description on the last thread which can apply to your quotes as well..

"Regarding Reuters wire service coverage of Wadi Barada and the Damascus water crisis, you'll note the two lead Reuters 'correspondents' are not even in Syra: "Reporting by Lisa Barrington in Beirut and Suleiman al-Khalidi in Amman" It's a new kind of long-distance fake journalism for Syria: you just have SOHR on speed-dial."

Posted by: james | Jan 3, 2017 10:01:25 PM | 47

Yet another clue?

>> Trump's outspoken pro-Israel policy orientation. <<

I've long suspected that the much ballyhooed dislike between Obama and Netanyahu was a sham. Relations between US and Israel have actually been quite good on Obama's watch and his deceitfulness in other areas makes it logical to suspect more of the same.

The fact is, USA's close relations to each of our middle east "allies" is an inconvenient truth. No US President and no ME "ally" want to be seen as close to each other.

Trump promises to be BOTH very pro-Israel *AND* anti-muslim. Not very good at all for any of our ME "allies" as this stance exacerbates anti-Zionist/anti-jewish sentiment in the US _and_ angers muslims around the world at the same time.

So the UN vote was mighty suspicious. So much so that it seemed like theater. Why would Israel turn to Trump in such a public way? Why would Obozo, the dutiful servant to power, cross Israeli 'red lines'? (And just before he is to start receiving his big pay-day!)

Aside: At the 2012 Democratic Convention Michele Obama famously excused Obama's lack of "Change", saying "Change takes time". With that kind of dissembling BS, the Deceiver-in-Chief has no need to help the Palestinians.

Could the answer lie with the need for Congress to approve of a Vice President's (and majority cabinet) determination that a President is unable to fulfill the duties of the office? Wouldn't AIPAC strongarming resources help to ensure that this goes smoothly?

Now, if Pence were to dump Trump, the Israel public champion will have fallen and US pro-Israeli policies can proceed quietly and covertly, unimpeded by adverse public opinion (as always). At the same time, Gulf State Arabs can rest easy that the Presidency is not held by someone that is anti-Muslim (or sides more with Jewish interest than Sunni interests).

Along those lines, it is perhaps notable that Kissinger met with Trump soon before the UN theater. Kissinger had also met with Trump in May and soon after the November elections. Taking Trump's measure? In this interview (with Jeffery Goldberg of The Atlantic), you can get a sense of Kissinger's concerns about Trump. Here is the part that struck me:

[If] some of his [Trump's] policies are not identical to our previous policies but share their basic objectives, then continuity is possible.
And if continuity is NOT possible? Then do you do whatever you can to dump Trump?

Furthermore, IMO HR5181, “Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation", seems like overkill - unless one is planning for an unusual event.

Lastly, the sense I get is that the establishment wants TPP and not to lose in Syria. Those are not negotiable. Either Trump conforms, or he gets dumped. The alternative theory is that he was just acting all along. Voters never really had a choice. It was always going to be Hillary or Pence - each of whom would provide the continuity that Kissinger holds in such high regard.

<> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>

Disclaimer: To some this will sound too much like unfounded conspiracy theory. Yet, while speculative, it has a rational basis that connects several 'dots'. I offer it only as a basis for discussion. Happy to hear someone say that some or all is implausible (and why!) as to hear that it is all-too-plausible.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 3, 2017 10:07:30 PM | 48

Ron Unz did a good piece on McCain's history last year:

"John McCain: When "Tokyo Rose" Ran for President"

http://www.unz.com/runz/american-pravda-when-tokyo-rose-ran-for-president/

Posted by: mad1 | Jan 3, 2017 10:10:56 PM | 49

@ james | Jan 3, 2017 10:01:25 PM | 46

You're being a little too generous, perhaps, there is no journalism or reportage involved, it's patently steno-graphed propaganda to structured theme. Another from the same piece:

The Barada Valley is surrounded by all sides by the Syrian army and Hezbollah forces (Oooh!, scary), according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the conflict. (By one chap, with a phone, from a bedsit above a shop, in suburban surrey(?), in England ?!)

Posted by: Outraged | Jan 3, 2017 10:14:34 PM | 50

Outraged @ 45: Thanks for the small dose of reality.

"Such as it ever was ..." Indeed!

Posted by: ben | Jan 3, 2017 10:47:13 PM | 51

Aleppo - now that the jihadists are gone, you would have thought that western media would want to talk to the residents of East Aleppo who stayed to live under the "barbaric" Assad regime to find out why they decided to stay when it's obvious that they're about to be exterminated by the Assad regime.

Posted by: Ghostship | Jan 3, 2017 11:11:25 PM | 52

Washington - there is much talk of how Trump as president will be a traitor to America because he appears not to be hostile to Russia. I thought that the president was responsible for foreign policy so it's up to him to decide what relations with Russia are like. If he decides to talk to Putin rather than nuke him then expect an outburst of apoplexy unlike anything you've seen so far.

Posted by: Ghostship | Jan 3, 2017 11:15:48 PM | 53

Here's a solution ... and something the 'White Helmets' could do ... since the guys wearing white head covers are always the 'good guys.'

http://cluborlov.blogspot.com/2017/01/how-to-make-america-great-again-with.html#more

Posted by: rg the lg | Jan 3, 2017 11:54:36 PM | 54

@@Jackrabbit #47:

And if continuity is NOT possible? Then do you do whatever you can to dump Trump?

Furthermore, IMO HR5181, “Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation", seems like overkill - unless one is planning for an unusual event.

I think Trump knows the Establishment well enough to avoid a coup that would keep him out of power, and also to keep him from getting too boxed in.

There is little doubt in my mind that he will normalize relations with Russia, and that means letting Russia, Syria, and Iran end the war in Syria.

I don't have strong expectations that he will do anything else that is greatly positive, aside from decreasing the Orwellian nature of political discourse in the US.

I doubt that he wants to make much trouble for Iran, but that's just a hunch on my part, based on my assumption that Trump is an international relations realist. I do not expect him to help the Palestinians in any way, if for no other reason that that is of no strategic concern to the US.

It's too early to say how beneficial his domestic US policy will be, but I have little hope that he will go after Wall Street in a significant way.

But I resist conspiracy theories about how Trump will be kept out of power or prevented from making serious changes because I do have the impression that after Obama and the Hillary Clinton campaign, the US deep state decided that some changes are gravely needed.

Posted by: Adalbrand | Jan 4, 2017 12:03:48 AM | 55

@ rg the lg | Jan 3, 2017 11:54:36 PM | 52

Excellent piece, though much looting for Empire such as the Philippines and Hawaii were overlooked, ah well, he didn't have time nor space to cover it all, covered the key points .... great writing:

Saudi Arabia’s days are numbered. For now, it is still rich in money, oil, sand and imbeciles, but it is burning through the first two faster and faster. Just wait a decade or so, and the sand and the imbeciles will be all that’s left.
Truly, the House of Al-Saud has existed and continues to exist, entirely at the Empires pleasure ...

Posted by: Outraged | Jan 4, 2017 12:07:09 AM | 56

Outraged:

The Hawaiian and Filipino examples are clear, but my question is: Where do we stop? There are examples upon examples, large and small.

The fact of the matter is (and I was once naively part of it) that the settler state has always been a genocidal, rapacious, war-mongering gang. Americans, almost universally, cower behind selective 'humanitarianism' and 'R2P' ... when the reality is that we don't even give a shit about each other, much less the rest of the world. Yes, there are other evil societies, but none nearly as rapacious as US.

Posted by: rg the lg | Jan 4, 2017 12:23:45 AM | 57

@Outraged #54:

Truly, the House of Al-Saud has existed and continues to exist, entirely at the Empires pleasure ...

Well sure, that was created and installed by the Brits and is now maintained by the Americans. If I were an Arab (and believe it or not, I can kind of imagine what it's like to be an Arab, although I cannot imagine what it's like to be a Sunni Muslim who takes his religion seriously – Shiites are a different matter), I would see the existence of Saudi Arabia as an outrage.

If it were up to me, I would merge Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Beirut, Israel, and Saudi Arabia into one country, with the capital being Damascus. It would an Arab Union (AU, like an Arab EU).

Posted by: Adalbrand | Jan 4, 2017 12:33:02 AM | 58

operation skipping stone is heading for the coast

Posted by: butthurt | Jan 4, 2017 1:18:50 AM | 59

Re: Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 3, 2017 10:07:30 PM | 47

Regarding Trump. He will either get with the programme or he will be either impeached quickly or assassinated.

Look at the protocols for impeachment. Not that hard if that is the bipartisan consensus.

Republicans would prefer Pence because he's more traditionally religious and predictable.

Democrats would prefer Pence because they know how to beat that type of Republican and would be heavy favorites in 2020 with Pence at the helm.

As for resetting relations with Russia, the easiest way to do that is to release US intelligence information relating to MH17 which will clear Putin & Russia and implicate Ukraine.

Simple.

Do this before the Dutch Election in March and he will also destroy a globalist in Rutte and elect an ally in Geert Wilders who will destroy the EU.

What's not to like about all that??

Posted by: Julian | Jan 4, 2017 1:20:43 AM | 60

@ rg the lg | Jan 4, 2017 12:23:45 AM | 55

Truly.

Look at the Washington Post, what a steadfastly consistent journalistic dishrag/fish-wrap ... none, none of this is NEW ... lets go back, a mere 118 years ... here's a WP editorial on the eve of the Spanish-American War, 1898:

A new consciousness seems to have come upon us - the consciousness of strength - and with it a new appetite, the yearning to show our strength. ... Ambition, interest, land hunger, pride, the mere joy of fighting, whatever it may be, we are animated by a new sensation. We are face to face with a strange destiny. The taste of Empire is in the mouth of the people even as the taste of blood is in the jungle ...

Was that taste in the mouth of the people through some instinctive lust for aggression or some urgent self-interest? Or was it a taste (if indeed it existed) created, encouraged, advertised, and exaggerated by the millionaire press, the military, the government, the eager-to-please scholars of the time? Political scientist John Burgess of Columbia University, at the time, said the Teutonic and Anglo-Saxon races were "particularly endowed with the capacity for establishing national states . .. they are entrusted ... with the mission of conducting the political civilization of the modern world."

Senator Henry Cabot Lodge (Grandfather of Ambassador Cabot Lodge of Vietnam fame) of Massachusetts, wrote in a magazine article:

In the interests of our commerce ... we should build the Nicaragua canal, and for the protection of that canal and for the sake of our commercial supremacy in the Pacific we should control the Hawaiian islands and maintain our influence in Samoa. ... and when the Nicaraguan canal is built, the island of Cuba ... will become a necessity... . The great nations are rapidly absorbing for their future expansion and their present defense all the waste places of the earth. It is a movement which makes for civilization and the advancement of the race.


- A people's history of the United States - Howard Zinn

Our champions, no doubt respectfully, refer to the 'generally brown', 'Others' of the Middle East, as 'rag-heads' & 'sand-niggers', just as we called the Fillipinos of 1898, 'Slant-eyed kakiack ladrones' ...

The first half and prime of my life was in wilful, blinkered service, first the Military then Intelligence. My viewpoint now is totally 180 degrees to those days ... partly why this grumpy ol' bastard in poor health gets too passionate and loses it sometimes ...

The ClubOrlov piece seems quite on point to me, the Roman Empire ultimately collapsed upon itself due to Debt, massive human/social/financial inequality & internal contradictions/structural fratricide, etc, as did others ... our useful poodle, perfidious Albion, may soon be an irrelevancy without a viable economy, little at-the-table influence, nor any 'special relationship' myths either ... as pointed out, Good ol' US of A is utterly bankrupt and cannot percievably service nor overcome the cumulative debt burden by economic means, and it's agencies, bureaucrats and factions 'appear' to be unable to work to a common goal ... for Rome, for a long time, the temporary solution was stealing other nations loot ... the solution for the Third Reich was similar, Total War ... for Imperial Japan preceding WWII all was risked on a throw of the dice, success or destruction, with War ... this chatter of somehow befriending Russia whilst attacking/undermining China is deluded, laughable ... China & Russia are geographical neighbors and increasingly economically linked & interdependent ... cannot foresee a 'split' to Trumps/US advantage. So, maybe, the US will survive in the meantime by cannibalizing/looting 3rd tier nations to get by, however, only if it can extract loot that exceeds the cost ... yes, Saudi Arabia is looking tempting ... there are strategic War Plans in existence for virtually every nation state contingency ... would have to look it up, tho recall a declassified War Plan for the seizure of the Saudi oilfields and plant to ensure US economic and energy security (Eisenhower ?) ... the Iranians would be heartily amused if we did a Mosaddegh '53 coup rerun, this time on the House of Al-Saud and setup a new SAVAK to go after all the recalcitrant Wahhabi's ... if the rewards for doing so exceeded the current bribes/tribute ?

A much more multi-polar world seems fast approaching, before our very eyes. In many countries, a similarity to the events preceding the French revolution of 1848 ? May be mis-remembering my Socrates, tho recall him seeking to discover what made a leader 'great' or 'wise' ? Ultimately, grievously disappointed to realize 'twas the open humility to acknowledge Not-knowing-everything/nor-all-the answers, IIRC.

@ Ghostship 51 & Julian 58

IF Trump is legitimate, yes, he will be at War with the Deep State ... IF he follows thru ... IF that were to be the case, he and is administration either dismantles or suborns it (a herculean feat, in defiance of the entirety of US history), or they kill him/remove him, and Pence is POTUS ... or is it all just Kabuki theater for our consumption & entertainment ... as post-election factions re-align and co-coalesce ?

However, perhaps it's all just crystal ball gazing in a dark room filled with fog, with Trump, how can we possibly know ? Attempting to read tea-leaves ? That is until at least 100 days after he's inaugurated ... surely, Deeds(actions), Not mere words! (Facta, non verba!), is all that will count.

Hm, apologies b, seriously ranting & contributing to going way, way, OT. Perhaps a new Open Thread is due ?

Posted by: Outraged | Jan 4, 2017 2:06:52 AM | 61

@rg the lg | Jan 4, 2017 12:23:45 AM | 55

"...but none nearly as rapacious as US..."

As usual we are in the same mindset, Obomo king all rapaciousness. god blesses Obomo. We dun need pitchforks and loading my cellar lots of cans and dry foods plus filtered water to last over 2-months. I’m serious!

Posted by: The Original Jack Smith | Jan 4, 2017 2:11:42 AM | 62

It's interesting that they literally poisoned the well. It's a tacit admission that their war is over and all that's left is inflicting misery on the population. Since the white helmets signed off, it's not hard to assume western security services were the impetus behind this act.

Leave us out of the negotiations??? We'll poison your water

It's a great strategy if you want to further alienate the so called "revolution" from the average citizen of Syria who simply wants to live their life. Vindictive and pointless could describe almost all Syrian policy, I suppose.

Our intel agencies seem to have swallowed their own propaganda, that The Evil Regime is propped up due to Iran/Russia and SECTARIANISM. But it's not hard to have discussions with both alawi and sunni Syrians in Syria who want the terrorists/rebels/whatever defeated, want peace, want their country back, and yet are aware of the corruption within the government. But western analysts want to deny all these bad guy "regime allies" agency, they cant think for themselves, they're assad drones, just poison them, gas them, whatever. I think, with a little luck, Syria could come out of the war as a much stronger democracy than whatever puppet fake democracy the US and Saudi would have installed.

Posted by: Cresty | Jan 4, 2017 4:22:35 AM | 63

Paveway IV @30

McCain and graham spent the New year on the front line with Poroshanko's Neo-Nazis (and other troops broght in as stage props) near Shirokino. They appear to have handed over some shiny new weapons.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzsMd1bJAfI

http://ic.pics.livejournal.com/andreistp/13279564/405107/405107_800.jpg

Posted by: Yonatan | Jan 4, 2017 6:54:58 AM | 67

James Le Mesurier founded the White Helmets. He is also the Boss of Mayday Rescue, which has a similar logo to SCD (Circle with triangle inside), the triangle is superimposed on a map of world. (SCD has Syria in the middle.) (Footnote in next post.) Mayday’s listed donors: Gvmts. of UK, Japan, Denmark, Netherlands, Germany. It’s only appeal is to donate to the White Helmets.

http://www.maydayrescue.org

MaydayR is (imho) the parent company - a Foundation registered in NL. (2013.) The courses it offers are funded in part by ARK (Analysis, Research, Knowledge), where JLM used to work before his present capers.

“ARK is a research, conflict transformation and stabilisation consultancy that supports local communities in conflict and fragile areas.”

http://arkgroupdmcc.com

ARK engages in similar activities… (Employs 100 ppl > site.) Under “Publications” all the articles are about Syria. ARK is lodged in the United Arab Emirates as a Canadian record of contributions tells us. For over 2 million dollars…

http://w05.international.gc.ca/dg-do/index.aspx?dept=1&lang=eng&p=4&r=36&c=6995

ARK on its site lists as ‘clients’ aka ‘donors’ the EU, Canada (I should hope so, such generosity), Denmark, Italy, Japan, UK and the US.

We seem to have a path from ARK > Mayday Rescue > White Helmets who then at some point (illegally? ..in 2014) adopted the moniker “Syrian Civil Defense.” (Footnote.) All due to James. A Brit ex-military officer, Sandhurst graduate.

Wikispooks tells us James has “an impressive track record in some of the most dubious NATO intervention theatres including Bosnia and Kosovo, as well as Iraq, Lebanon, and Palestine. Le Mesurier has also been placed in a series of high-profile posts at the United Nations, European Union, and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.”

https://wikispooks.com/wiki/James_Le_Mesurier

James’ twitter is much concerned with Syrian Barrel bombs, babies and little children.

https://twitter.com/usarinwar?lang=en

Posted by: Noirette | Jan 4, 2017 7:16:31 AM | 68

Footnote. Confusion between the ‘real’ Syrian Civil Defense and SCD.

Logo SCD ‘syrian civil defense’

https://dnek19wwsc4ir.cloudfront.net/assets/img/meta/civil-defense-logo-h1ey.png

their site, Top right a kinda ‘logo’ which is a white helmet:

https://www.whitehelmets.org/en

- But logo is not on top of site or near name etc. On photos, for ex. the back of jacket of man in the third photo is SCD logo.

This site, of SCD

http://syriacivildefense.org

shows SCD logo.

The “true” Syrian Civil Defense (members of the ICDO, Intl. Civil Defense Org, a UN offshoot) badge or insigna:

http://21stcenturywire.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/IMG_0059-1024x683.jpg

here another version

https://offgraun.files.wordpress.com/2016/10/syriacivildefense.jpg

These guys wear red helmets - or none. They don’t sport a ‘modern corporate logo’ that is displayed all over the place.

It seems that the White Helmets have appropriated the name “Syrian Civil Defense” illegally.

Posted by: Noirette | Jan 4, 2017 7:19:53 AM | 69

@ Yonatan | Jan 4, 2017 6:54:58 AM | 65

U.S. Sen. John McCain’s remarks to Ukrainian troops in Mariupol on Dec. 31.

TRANSCRIPT:

Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you dear Ukrainian friends, especially those are serving in uniform away from their homes and their families, serving this nation. And to the wounded and to those families of those who have already sacrificed — our thanks, our gratitude, our prayers. We will never ever forget you.

What I have seen is cooperation between our two countries so that Ukraine can have a safe and secure border, which is the right of every nation. Our message tonight is that in 2017, we will defeat the invaders and send them back where they came from. And to Vladimir Putin, you will never defeat the Ukrainian people and deprive them of their independence and freedom. I thank all of you for your service. I send the message from the American people: We are with you, your fight is our fight, and we will win together.”

Apparently he's now setting policy for the president-elect, or thinks he is ...

Posted by: Outraged | Jan 4, 2017 7:20:41 AM | 70

@ Noirette | Jan 4, 2017 7:16:31 AM | 66 & 67

Bravo! Excellent set of links/posts.

Posted by: Outraged | Jan 4, 2017 7:26:14 AM | 71

Outraged,

Just a quick entry to say thanks for all your grumpy and passionate ranting. As our backgrounds, age and about face seem similar, your contributions help me from too seriously doubting my take on ”reality”. If it weren’t for this blog, I’d have few if any places to turn to try to understand the truth. Obviously, my thanks also extends to many others here who are too numerous to list and above all our host b. Maybe and hopefully all this "ranting" and sharing and evaluation will help make this a better world for all our grandchildren.
May this be the year when our fucked up culture succeeds in effecting an about face.

Posted by: juannie | Jan 4, 2017 8:21:58 AM | 72

@ juannie | Jan 4, 2017 8:21:58 AM | 70

Regretfully, have lost much care for civility these last few years ... a newborn character flaw, along with diminished self-control/discipline ... just really don't give a damn, tho I know should, thence comes regret for what cannot be taken back/undone ... :(

Yes, indeed. MOA is an oasis in a sea of unreality. A very special place indeed. For anyone who is 'aware', it allows an escape from the oppressive unreality of the 'Matrix' around us in society, truly. Am very conscious of the fact if I was to openly state any of what is posted here, in particualt to some family or former colleagues, I'd be likely accosted and passed on to Health professionals as a crazy or national security risk.

Many of us live in so called liberal societies now where the 'aware', and especially informed, rational, critical/free thinkers are demonized as insane. What knowledge/experiences/insight we have, is to be 'forgotten', along with inconvenient history/events ... just turn the page! move on & forget, forget, forget. Incredibly perverse inversion :(

Always a special joy to see old Moonbats posts. Our stoic, ever gracious & generous host, Bernhard, throughout all these many years, is priceless. As I've posted before, IMHO, b would have made an outstanding professional intelligence analyst.

Re this year, alas, likely to take very many more years, yet ...

Back OT:

'If you don't read the newspaper, you're uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you're mis-informed.' - Mark Twain

Truer now than when he said it over a 100 years ago ;)

On a lighter, brighter, more positive basis, sincerely, Peace/Salaam/Shalom juannie & to all old time Moonbats.

Posted by: Outraged | Jan 4, 2017 9:10:07 AM | 73

Thanks you again for you ever peerless work. "Stolen" again for Global Research with huge gratitude. You ever reach those places where so may do not. All you wish for yourself and those you love for 2017 - and please, PEACE, finally?

http://www.globalresearch.ca/u-s-uk-paid-white-helmets-help-al-qaeda-blocking-water-to-5-million-thirsty-syrians/5566309

Posted by: Felicity | Jan 4, 2017 9:35:06 AM | 74

@outraged 71

Thank you for articulating my own gratitude for the inestimable work that b performs and for the commenters as well. (Except, maybe, "chipnik" whose deflationary yen gets the better of that near-despairing observer.)

Posted by: Glorious Bach | Jan 4, 2017 9:48:15 AM | 75

>>>> Julian | Jan 4, 2017 1:20:43 AM | 58

Do this before the Dutch Election in March and he will also destroy a globalist in Rutte and elect an ally in Geert Wilders who will destroy the EU.

What's not to like about all that??

An awful lot. Imagine resetting to the start of the twentieth century in Europe. There are problems with the EU and more particularly NATO that can easily be solved but destroying rather than reforming it is really fucking stupid.

Reforms are:
1. European establishment remove their noses from Washington's arse and do what is best for their people rather than a small number of morons in Washington.
2. Quit NATO and form ETO with mutual defence for Europe - would re-balance Europe and stop European governments from doing stupid shit.
3. Dump the failed neo-liberal shit and go back to being social democracies - the European market is big enough.
That Europe is in such deep shit is for one reason only - the United States.

Posted by: Ghostship | Jan 4, 2017 9:59:18 AM | 76

@ Feckless Left
Someone called Muhammad Diyab signs on behalf of the "White Helmets". Each signatory's organisation's logo accompanies each signature, in each case just to the right.

Posted by: No | Jan 4, 2017 10:30:31 AM | 77

*The blockade of water from Wadi Barada to 5 million people in Damascus is taking an interesting turn. The U.S. and UK financed White Helmet organization seems to be directly involved in it. This increases the suspicion that the illegal blockade of water to civilians in Damascus is part of a organized campaign under U.S. command.*

Right on.
This has the Pentagoon's finger print all over it !

* The campaign is designed to block utilities to government held areas as revenge for the liberation of east Aleppo.*

More than that,
This is standard Pentagoon tactics.
Punishing the people , hoping that this would drive them to rise up and topple the target 'regime'.

in ex Yugo....
US Air Force Lt. General Michael Short told The Washington Post in the spring of 1999 that the strategy behind NATO's 78-day air war against Yugoslavia was to make the civilian population so miserable it would oust Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. Short said,

"If you wake up in the morning and you have no power to your house and no gas to your stove and the bridge you take to work is down and will be lying in the Danube for the next 20 years, I think you begin to ask, 'Hey, Slobo, what's this all about? How much more of this do we have to withstand?'"

In Iraq...

And during the Gulf War, Washington targeted Iraqi civilian infrastructure, knowing that the destruction of water sanitation and purification systems would cause untold suffering, and therefore would pressure Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. Thomas Nagy, a business professor at George Washington University, says that washington knowingly violated Article 54 of the Geneva Convention, which prohibits any country from undermining "objects indispensable to the
survival of (another country's) civilian population," including drinking water installations and supplies. Writing in the September 2001 issue of The Progressive, Nagy cites recently declassified documents that show the United States was aware of the civilian health consequences of destroying Iraq's drinking water and sanitation systems in the Gulf War, and knew that sanctions would prevent the Iraqi government from repairing the degraded facilities. Coalition forces bombed Iraq's eight multi-purpose dams, destroying flood control systems, irrigation, municipal and industrial water storage, and hydroelectric power. Major
pumping stations were targeted, and municipal water and sewage facilities were destroyed.


In Afghanistan,

In a sign that US forces many be following the same tactic in Afghanistan, The Times of India reported on November 1 that US warplanes had bombed Afghanistan's biggest dam and power station, cutting off electricity to Kandahar and Lashkarga.


http://www.swans.com/library/art7/gowans11.html


Even these are just the tip of an iceberg !

Posted by: denk | Jan 4, 2017 11:13:59 AM | 78

On the one hand, you have a stupidity in the nature of "the rulling class," desperately throughout the ages striving to pound the world into an image of what it can never and would never be.

On the other hand, you have attempts to reach a rational comprehension of events that follow both a logical progression, for example, both in terms of what the end results of keeping an historical population dumbed down, under-informed and obfuscated, and the wildly unpredictable, that hurls the stupidity of the "rulling class" ever further into their partially doomed effort to control reality. Some good and beneficial, but all of which creates perpetual downword spiral driven by passions. Death throws are so painful to endure and observe.

Posted by: Geoff | Jan 4, 2017 11:23:26 AM | 79

Intelligent ruling classes realize that they have to allow sufficient change so that they are not overthrown. What's the line from The Leopard? Something like, "For things to remain the same, everything must change."

Posted by: lysias | Jan 4, 2017 11:41:10 AM | 80

@denk #76:

This has the Pentagoon's finger print all over it !

This is standard Pentagoon tactics.
Punishing the people , hoping that this would drive them to rise up and topple the target 'regime'.

Hm, destruction of infrastructure in a country that the US is waging war on. Where have I seen that before?

Thanks for your examples. I brought up the geographical region currently referred to as the Ukraine as another. And then there was Vietnam and Agent Orange. You can write a book on this, and I wonder if somebody has. If there is a course on this at West Point, is it required or an elective? How to destroy the enemy by destroying his infrastructure

I never tried to acquire an intellectual grasp of war, but I do think that I have an intuitive understanding of it, because my parents lived through the Second World War, becoming refugees. And I think it's pretty obvious that Americans and Russians have different styles of fighting wars. Russians try to eliminate enemy forces and capture territory. Americans destroy infrastructure and try to control territory, after having tried to get someone else to capture the territory for them. If they can't get a proxy to do it (the French were miserable failures), they will do it themselves, most famously with D-Day.

This topic has come up before at MoA. Someone explained to me at MoA that the Americans acquired this way of war during the Civil War, in which the North used it against the South.

Posted by: Adalbrand | Jan 4, 2017 12:36:04 PM | 82

79
You seem to be another Bellingcrap/SOHR. Auditioning for a position with MI6 or CIA?

Posted by: Peter AU | Jan 4, 2017 1:16:59 PM | 83

Thanks Noirette
The best thing Asad could do is to opt for full laicity in Syria and declare a "Meiji era" step, moving forward to modernity. It would be so fun to watch the "free world" goes berzerk against anything laic.
Syria is famous for its high number of atheists (already in the 11th c. with this guy here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Ma%CA%BFarri), and it was in the whole Arab world the sole country where a woman could leave alone without being harrassed or more.

Posted by: Mina | Jan 4, 2017 1:19:45 PM | 84

Many NGOs and humanit. orgs have for long seemed extremely dodgy, or to be charitable (sic), subject to heavy ‘influence’ which ‘mandate’ their ‘remit’ and lead to the creation of their ‘facts’ and ‘conclusions’ (Amnesty International is a good ex.) because, ‘dependent on funding.’

The White Helmets are several giant steps beyond.

Funded through opaque structures that proclaim a ‘humanit aim’, the donors are Gvmts, and the money is actually shunted around between three orgs. or more. In my previous post, one can see (in part) which countries contribute where, and how their donations are, or could be, ‘justified.’

I have tried to find out what % of ‘charity’ funds are actually distributed to other ‘charities.’ Public outcry is limited to: “Oh they take the money to glad-hand about, pay themselves huge salaries, and hardly finance any ‘real’ good works. > The Clinton Foundation.

A good study (not publically available) in my country shows it to be 33%. Another vague one (no link) re France estimates 40 or perhaps 50%. Picked these examples because I know the ground, the laws, etc. There is deep and complex web of connections between the various orgs., and it is world wide, WH are a good example. (Charles Ortell has some serious investig. of the Clinton F, google.) None of this is flash news but it deserves exposing relentlessly.

With the WH we see direct action on the ground supporting one side in an international conflict, through the blatant usurpation of that countries own internal ‘forces’ - their Civil Defense. What all the WH are actually doing on the ground (see b’s post…) is possibly far more nefarious and alarming.

WH is thus a ‘huge winner’ in the competition between these orgs.

Posted by: Noirette | Jan 4, 2017 1:30:59 PM | 85

denk@76 - Nice collection of detail there, denk. I would call that a pattern of inhumanity and war crimes.

It also made me think about the Defense Intelligence Agency's 1991 "Iraq Water Treatment Vulnerabilities" (IWTV) document. The following is part of an abstract of an analysis available here (bolding is mine) where Prof. Thomas Nagy makes a case for the U.S.'s intentional destruction of the Iraqi water supplies constituting genocide:

"...First we analyze a Defense Intelligence Agency document (or more precisely the declassified portion of that document). At one extreme this document, "Iraq Water Treatment Vulnerabilities" (hereafter IWTV) is nothing more than an innocent military intelligence work product, simply asserting that conditions A, B, and C will produce results X, Y, and Z. At the other extreme, IWTV is an early blueprint for genocide against the people of Iraq-- a genocide that has selectively targeted for extermination by contaminated water the very young, the very old and the very ill.

Second we will assess the evidence that IWTV, or its successor refinements, have been and continue to be at least partially implemented by the United States in the commission of genocide. While there is a substantial case for believing that the sanctions policy satisfies even the restrictive definition of genocide in U.S. Federal Statutes, surely the sanctions policy, as implemented, satisfies the less restrictive definitions of genocide of leading members of the Association of Genocide Scholars..."

Not satisfied with the half-million deaths after Gulf War I, the U.S. doubled-down after Gulf War II and decided that chlorine was a dangerous chemical weapon and banned it in Iraq. It's actually quite useless as a chemical weapon, but the MSM went overboard to convince everyone otherwise (sound familiar?). How coincidental that the one of the first things al Nusra grabbed in 2012 was Syria's sole chlorine production plant. It's all imported now.

Psychopaths always stick with plans that have worked in the past and rarely try anything new.

Ten years from now, someone will look at some obscure finally-declassified military document detailing vulnerabilities in the Syrian Water Treatment system and write a similar paper considering if the U.S. has committed genocide (via rebel proxies) in Syria. And nobody will pay that paper much attention either, because the U.S. would never do such a thing.

The following Ken McCarthy quote from Murder at Wholesale Prices is used in Nagy's IWTV analysis:

"...When the world was a smaller place, I guess it was easy to ride into town and just kill everyone in sight Mongol-style. Larger populations take more effort, especially if you're trying to keep your handiwork secret from the world. The Nazis rounded up Jews and other minorities and sent them via boxcar to barb-wired concentration camps. The US and its allies have developed a more economical solution: Turn the entire target country into an open-air extermination camp. It saves on the barbed wire, guard towers and incinerators..."

Reuters continually makes the fake point about Wadi Barada having value as a Hezbollah supply route from Damascus to Beruit, and that's why the head-choppers cling to it so fiercely. While that might have been true in 1910, it's hardly the case today. The only conceivable strategic value of Wadi Barada is to use Damascus's water supply as a weapon of war, and that is exactly why the U.S. steered the head-choppers to that spot in 2013. They have used it for that exact purpose ever since.

In retrospect, I would have to think the U.S. always had every intention of turning Syria into an open-air extermination camp. All they're doing now is speeding up the schedule.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Jan 4, 2017 1:49:35 PM | 86

Michael Krieger: Senate Minority Leader threatens Trump with CIA

Here is what Chuck Schumer said in his interview with Rachel Maddow today:

"Let me tell you: You take on the intelligence community — they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you. …"

Maddow: "What do you think the intelligence community would do if they were [inaudible] to?"

Schumer: "I don't know. But from what I am told, they are very upset about how he has treated them and talked about them. …

Let me tell you. Whether you're a super liberal Democrat or a conservative Republican, you should be against dismantling the intelligence community."

There's a ninety second video of the interview at the link. It's pretty chilling. Is one of the ways the intelligence community can get back at you is by having a lone gunman shoot you, who then gets murdered before he can stand trial?

Interesting times indeed.

Posted by: Adalbrand | Jan 4, 2017 3:14:18 PM | 87

Nicole Perlroth is clearly the goto person when you need a hacking piece...

http://www.nytimes.com/by/nicole-perlroth

Posted by: dh | Jan 4, 2017 3:21:56 PM | 88

RT.com reports on the rebel sabotage at Wadi Barada:

https://louisproyect.org/2017/01/04/rt-com-report-on-the-rebel-sabotage-wadi-barada/

Posted by: Louis Proyect | Jan 4, 2017 3:22:15 PM | 89

@Louis Proyect #89:

Do you honestly think anyone here is going to get hooked by your link bait?

Posted by: Adalbrand | Jan 4, 2017 3:39:34 PM | 90

Posted by: Louis Proyect | Jan 4, 2017 3:22:15 PM | 89

unusual for the Unrepentant marxist to link to RT

Posted by: brian | Jan 4, 2017 4:03:41 PM | 91

Posted by: Louis Proyect | Jan 4, 2017 12:32:18 PM | 81

more like it! Louis quotes bellingcat and himself..he had me worried there for a moment!

Posted by: brian | Jan 4, 2017 4:04:41 PM | 92

what would Marx think of having his named bandied in islamist circles?

Posted by: brian | Jan 4, 2017 4:06:15 PM | 93

@78 denk and @86 paveway... it must be hard for folks to be proud of their country/nation when they find out there country condones, or authorizes these types of actions.. one would have thought enough folks had woken up from what had taken place in iraq, but no.. the hostility and violence continues to come out of the usa, with no end in sight, and generally no admission of those in power, let alone accountability on any of it.

ignore proyect, a 2nd rate troll..

Posted by: james | Jan 4, 2017 4:16:25 PM | 94

Hate to cross-post but my comment on Bellingcat is 'awaiting moderation'. They usually let my comments through after a bit, so I have to give them that much. In any case, here's the spew I posted there in response to Wadi Barada – What Happened to Damascus’s Water?

...

1. The people in most of Wadi Barada DO NOT get their water from al Fijah spring and they would not be ‘poisoning their own water’ . They get water piped from filthy wells further upstream and a treatment plant on the mountain. All the al Fijah water is piped to Damascus. None of it goes to the local water supply, and normally it does not overflow into the Barada River – it all goes to Damascus.

2. The accumulator building at al Fijah flows into gravity-fed tunnels and eventually pipes that lead to Damascus. There IS NO generator, pump or pumping station in the building that was bombed and no damn diesel tank or other equipment. The building covers a few smaller springs, which flow into the accumulator pool in the middle of the building. The water flows by gravity from that pool into the Damascus tunnel(s). It’s a natural-flow accumulator and has been one for a century. It would be easy enough to throw a barrel of diesel into the entrance of the Damascus tunnel and ONLY poison the Damascus water. The accumulator water flowing out the overflow is still pure and clean.

3. The head-chopper video was taken *inside* the accumulator’s Damascus tunnel. Notice anything? How about NO WATER. They had already prevented the water from going into the tunnel when that video was made. That’s done one of two ways: taking wooden dam boards out of the overflow gate, or inserting dam boards over the lower portion of the Damascus tunnel. The accumulator pool only has a few inches of water in it, so they are probably just diverting all of it out the overflow into the Barada River. They can still blow the tunnel to complicate repairs later on if they’re going to lose control of the spring, but they don’t have to do that now to deprive Damascus of water – the overflow does that just fine.

4. However the roof came down, it has NO effect on the springs. They are still producing and the water is all going out the overflow. See how clear it is? The roof debris didn’t ‘block the Damascus tunnel’ or the head-chopper video couldn’t have been made. The water is ‘turned off’ to Damascus by opening the overflow gates all the way (pulling all of its flash boards) so the accumulator main pool is too low to flow into the Damascus tunnel.

...

I have no secret, internal knowledge of the Damascus water works or spring-fed accumulators. I have Google for my wild-assed guesses and so does Nick Waters at Bellingcat.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Jan 4, 2017 4:50:32 PM | 95

PavewayIV: Have you got any photos with yellow, blue and green boxes round them, perhaps even a few satellite images too? The clowns at bellingcat are quite amusing and to be fair, they do tend to allow my less than complimentary responses.

Posted by: Andy | Jan 4, 2017 5:22:21 PM | 96

PW @ 95--

The one thing you have that Waters doesn't is a passion for getting the Truth, which ought to be the goal of every citizen within every nation!

james @ 94--

You'd be amazed at the looks on my students faces when they're presented with factual material disproving Big Lies and contrived historical myths. I provided evidence similar to denk's to my students re, Gulf War 1 and Yugoslavia's draw-and-quartering. Unfortunately as I learned, teaching Truth will get you fired.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 4, 2017 5:33:36 PM | 97

Wonders never cease. Sarah Palin Apologizes For "Condemning" Julian Assange,

Posted by: lysias | Jan 4, 2017 5:36:45 PM | 98

The US has long considered water as a weapon of war -

This in 1991
http://www.gulflink.osd.mil/declassdocs/dia/19950901/950901_511rept_91.html

Takeouts:
IRAO DEPENDS ON IMPORTING-SPECIALIZED EQUIPMENT-AND
SOME CHEMICALS TO PURIFY ITS WATER SUPPLY, MOST OF WHICH IS
HEAVILY MINERALIZED AND FREQUENTLY BRACKISH TO SALINE....

FAILING TO SECURE (PURIFICATION) SUPPLIES WILL RESULT IN A SHORTAGE OF
PURE DRINKING WATER FOR MUCH OF THE POPULATION. THIS COULD LEAD
TO INCREASED INCIDENCES, IF NOT EPIDEMICS, OF DISEASE AND TO
CERTAIN PURE-WATER-DEPENDENT INDUSTRIES BECOMING INCAPACITATED,
INCLUDING PETRO CHEMICALS, FERTILIZERS, PETROLEUM REFINING,
ELECTRONICS,PHARMACEUTICALS, FOOD PROCESSING, TEXTILES, CONCRETE...
CONSTRUCTION,AND THERMAL POWERPLANTS.....

Not with a bang (SHOCK AND AWE) but a whimper
(FULL DEGRADATION OF THE WATER TREATMENT SYSTEM
PROBABLY WILL TAKE AT LEAST 6 MONTHS. )

Posted by: DavidKNZ | Jan 4, 2017 6:02:42 PM | 99

So bizarre that all you people keep banging on about the evil head-choppers. Did ever occur to you that nothing you believe makes any sense if you believe that the Baathists are telling the truth that people have voted for them between 100 percent (for Hafez) and as little as 88 percent for his filthy neoliberal son. How does a war continue for 6 years when on average 95 out of 100 people have voted for these bastards in "free" elections? Maybe the answer is that there are no Syrians that have risen up against the family dynasty, only head-choppers from Xinjiang province, Kyrgyzstan and East London. They all poured through the Turkish border to make life hell for ordinary Syrians--right. Any government that gets 95 percent of the vote and a powerful air force that can't defeat militias lacking ground-to-air missiles after six years? And that has to call upon Hizbollah, Iranian revolutionary guards, Iraqi and Afghan Shi'ite mercenaries to impose its will? The answer is that this is a nasty, reactionary mafia state that even Patrick Cockburn had the good sense to describe politically:

Between 1950 and 1975, nationalist leaders came to power in much of the previously colonized world. They promised to achieve national self-determination by creating powerful independent states through the concentration of whatever political, military, and economic resources were at hand. Instead, over the decades, many of these regimes transmuted into police states controlled by small numbers of staggeringly wealthy families and a coterie of businessmen dependent on their connections to such leaders as Hosni Mubarak in Egypt or Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

In recent years, such countries were also opened up to the economic whirlwind of neoliberalism, which destroyed any crude social contract that existed between rulers and ruled. Take Syria. There, rural towns and villages that had once supported the Baathist regime of the al-Assad family because it provided jobs and kept the prices of necessities low were, after 2000, abandoned to market forces skewed in favor of those in power. These places would become the backbone of the post-2011 uprising.

---

What are the people who write here about? Have any of you ever done anything that would get you arrested or tortured? Writing defense of Assad on a daily basis for six years--the dynast who "unleashed an economic whirlwind of neoliberalism". Is that supposed to oppose imperialism or capitalism? What a bunch of self-deluded wankers you are.

Posted by: Louis Proyect | Jan 4, 2017 6:36:17 PM | 100

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