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March 30, 2017

Open Thread 2017-13

News & views ...

Posted by b on March 30, 2017 at 02:13 PM | Permalink

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In the Senate Intelligence committee hearing on Russia today, the experts were:

1) An expat RUSSIAN who worked for Clinton and Obama, RAND, and Carnegie, who seems to be overly focused on Ukrainian nationalism in his bio and writings. (Eugene Rumer)

2) An ex-FBI "anti-terror" agent from George Wash Uni and various thinktanks who's ONLY job is demonizing Russia (he even claimed the Russians tried to hack him, personally) (Clinton Watts - look up this guy, he's a real piece of work)

3)Another goon, president of the NSIC, an actual cold-war thinktank that's been recently resurrected and pretty much writes our Russia policy - a real rogues gallery as well. (Roy Godson)

I feel the US is a total loss, this is miles beyond kabuki. Tom Cotton spent his minutes talking about US nuke capability. They want nuclear war..

Posted by: sejomoje | Mar 30, 2017 2:42:49 PM | 1

All I know is Russia did it no matter what is and V. Putin is a genius by stopping the Amerikan govt. in it's tracks to hold hearing about nothing. The dumbest lawmakers in the world are in Amerikas beltway.

I wish I could move.

Posted by: jo6pac | Mar 30, 2017 2:47:53 PM | 2

For those who haven't yet clicked the links to the recent must read lecture at Russia's Military Academy for the General Staff then interview by the National Interest Magazine with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on the 23rd and 29th, respectively, of March, here they are:
http://www.mid.ru/en/press_service/video/-/asset_publisher/i6t41cq3VWP6/content/id/2702537
http://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/2710445

As a further treat for those not getting enough info from the MSM, in Arkhangelsk the 4th international forum on The Arctic: Territory of Dialogue with the theme: People and the Arctic whose lead participants were Vladimir Putin, President of Finland Sauli Niinisto, and President of Iceland Gudni Johannesson. Here is the link to the video and yet to be completed transcript (Q&A missing) of the three president's remarks, http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/54149

And we now have Putin on video recorded and aired by CNBC and reported on by Zerohedge and others saying: "Read my lips: NO!" to the question of Russian interference in the recent US election. The linked article has further links to several videos and articles--Enjoy! http://theduran.com/vladimir-putin-answers-the-big-question-on-influencing-the-us-election/

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 30, 2017 3:01:06 PM | 4

On the afternoon panel:

1) Thomas Rid - Swiss cyberwar expert from RAND, also teaches in the Department of War Studies at King's College.

2) General Keith Alexander - Bush holdover who became Obama's man on Russia and "cyberwar" etc. NSA guy.

3) "Cybersecurity forensics" entrepeneur Kevin Mandia, ex-Pentagon security employee. He appears to have switched(or been re-recruited) from an anti-China focus to an anti-Russia focus. His company was behind the Chinese gov hacking reports from 2013. Obviously a .gov contract seeker. The company, Mandiant, appears to be functioning in the narrative as the new Crowdstrike(now that everyone is familiar with the partisan-funded sham that is Crowdstrike)

(Completely fucking disgusting, pardon my Swiss)

Posted by: sejomoje | Mar 30, 2017 3:01:08 PM | 5

@sejomoje, thanks for the updates on the hearings. It's very telling (and completely predictable) that there are no actual Russian experts testifying. They wouldn't let Stephen Cohen come within 100 miles of a camera or microphone for fear a rational estimate of Russian intentions should be voiced.

Posted by: WorldBLee | Mar 30, 2017 3:04:05 PM | 6

Meant to add, if it wasn't obvious from the info above, that every single person on this panel has worked for the past administration(s); Bush, Obama, Clinton as SoS, Clinton campaign. Even Thomas Rid, check out this loathsome hail-mary writeup from him in Oct 2016 Esquire. Obviously chosen mouthpiece is obvious.

Posted by: sejomoje | Mar 30, 2017 3:10:02 PM | 7

Despite those who will call me naive, it's time to hit the streets with whatever one can muster...Talking to U.S. citizens here. Make it known that the government is completely, did you hear me, COMPLETELY, off the rails, and has been for quite some time. The amount of human suffering that is the pure result of the actions of the U.S. can not be unspeakable! Let's get to it, wherever we can.

Posted by: kgw | Mar 30, 2017 3:12:47 PM | 8

@jo6pac 2
Putin some 30 months ago, then at the chessboard with Ukraine, stated that two and a half years were needed to prepare
Russian defense and strategic forces. In that same translation, he forebode: WW3 will not be waged on our the homeland.
And, will have a duration of minutes. Got your passport?

Posted by: Frosty | Mar 30, 2017 3:17:51 PM | 9

Thomas Rid also spent 2009-10 in Israel at Shalem Center, which seems to have nothing to do with his field, and everything to do with Zionism's PR problem and "history". He talked his book on Counterinsurgency during this visiting time in Israel. WTF.

Just the bios of these people make one's skin crawl.

Posted by: sejomoje | Mar 30, 2017 3:20:00 PM | 10

Israel is the country interfering with our politics, knocking down our buildings, and sending our troops off to fight her wars...not Russia.

Posted by: Bruno Marz | Mar 30, 2017 3:28:25 PM | 11

Sorry, not done with Rid. After his time in Israel, he wrote an article; "Deterrence Beyond the State: The Israeli Experience” (Contemporary Security Policy 2012), which

“opens a fresh conceptual angle on the deterrence debate by exploring Israel’s experience with non-state militants.

Behind a paywall. But looks to be a strong endorsement of The Stick. And of course the Israelis are pioneers, and as usual, authorities on the topic of military deterrence and pre-emptive punishment.

Posted by: sejomoje | Mar 30, 2017 3:30:14 PM | 12

Looks like the new admin had a change of heart regarding President Assad:

Tillerson quote from AFP: "I think the … longer term status of President Assad will be decided by the Syrian people."

Haley quote from Reuters: "Our priority is no longer to sit there and focus on getting Assad out."

Posted by: Lozion | Mar 30, 2017 3:32:39 PM | 13

@ Lozion | 13

Actions sounds louder than words, and so far I'm yet to see any positive change. If anything, under Trump US is pushing Kurdistan and Sunnistan projects harder than anytime before. So even if US would finally give up on ousting Assad (big if), its very much possible they want to leave him a rump of Syria, while cutting off path to Iraq.

Posted by: Harry | Mar 30, 2017 3:44:54 PM | 14

Thomas Rid just now without a hint of sarcasm;

"If it's in the New York Times or the Washington Post, it's not fake news. I mean we have to believe in the center... if we can't trust the mainstream media, then we've lost".

OMG yeah... we've "lost" alright.

Posted by: sejomoje | Mar 30, 2017 3:44:56 PM | 15

Glenn Greenwald has kicked Fake News Media in the teeth again using the Snowden story as his steel toed boot:

"Even the best and most careful journalists get things wrong sometimes. But the minimal requirement for journalistic credibility and integrity is acknowledging and fixing mistakes. When the debate over Fake News first emerged, advocates of the term insisted that it was this attribute – a willingness to admit and correct errors – that distinguishes credible news outlets that sometimes err from fakes and frauds....

"That stands in stark contrast to all the U.S. outlets that published this falsehood and yet, 10 days later, have said literally nothing, continuing to allow what they now know is a factually false story to remain online uncorrected. [Emphasis in original] They have simply refused even to address or acknowledge this new evidence. That includes the newspaper that first printed this falsehood and then re-published it most frequently – the Wall Street Journal – but also outlets such as Business Insider, Yahoo News and Slate, as well as Hayden, Reid, and most amazingly, Edward Jay Epstein, whose book aggressively features this fraud....

"What could possibly excuse this behavior? It’s bad enough that they all printed significant claims that – as Savage documented – never had any journalistic basis in the first place. That’s journalistic recklessness. But now they know their stories are false, and have left them standing without comment. [Emphasis in original] That’s deliberate deceit, journalistic fraud....

"As these sorts of incidents demonstrate, they clearly bear a significant share of the blame. Why should any institutions as insular and unaccountable as these have any valid claim to credibility?

"If you publish serious claims without any basis that mislead readers, and then refuse to acknowledge new evidence that disproves your original claims – all because you dislike the people you originally smeared with falsehoods too much to correct your error or because you hope the embarrassment will disappear faster if just you ignore it – why should anyone view you as being different than Macedonian teenagers or “alt-right” conspiracy sites?"
https://theintercept.com/2017/03/30/why-has-trust-in-media-collapsed-look-at-actions-of-wsj-yahoo-business-insider-and-slate/


Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 30, 2017 3:49:00 PM | 16

NY Times Outs White House Sources Who Provided Intel Reports To Nunes.

His sources are Ezra Cohen-Watnick, the senior director for intelligence at the National Security Council, and Michael Ellis, a lawyer who works on national security issues at the White House Counsel’s Office and formerly worked on the staff of the House Intelligence Committee.

Get this: NY Times's sources, also apparently on the NSC, insisted on being kept anonymous "to avoid angering Mr. Cohen-Watnick and Mr. Ellis."

Posted by: lysias | Mar 30, 2017 3:54:27 PM | 17

sejomoje - I wasn't able to tune into the first act of today's play, but I did tune in for a few minutes during the second act.

Sen. Mark Warner asked a very interesting question of the cyber folks, that went something like this - "is it possible to drill down into voting precincts targeting voters influencing/persuading aka micro targeting individual voters. If so, would data say in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin show such targeting." Something close to that.

Every living creature on planet earth knows Hillary lost and lost, as some say, Bigly. And we know of no autopsy, at least public, that has been done to identify all of the factors that went wrong and why. Well, Warner's question of the cyber guys I think gets to the heart of the Dem's blame game on Russian hacking and their alleged interference in the 2016 election.

Back on 12/20 Forbes did a sit down with Jared Kushner. It's a long read but gives some decent insight into Kushner, his background, resume, education etc. The article also discusses, at length, Kushner's role on the campaign. In it he talks about micro targeting the voter in Michigan and Pennsylvania (I'm sure said micro targeting was done in all swing states including Wisconsin).

"By June the GOP nomination secured, Kushner took over all data-driven efforts. Within three weeks, in a nondescript building outside San Antonio, he had built what would become a 100-person data hub designed to unify fundraising, messaging and targeting."

[...]

"Soon the data operation dictated every campaign decision: travel, fundraising, advertising, rally locations--even the topics of the speeches. "He put all the different pieces together," Parscale says. "And what's funny is the outside world was so obsessed about this little piece or that, they didn't pick up that it was all being orchestrated so well."

[...]

"Kushner's system, with its high margins and up-to-the-minute voter data, provided both ample cash and the insight on where to spend it. When the campaign registered the fact that momentum in Michigan and Pennsylvania was turning Trump's way, Kushner unleashed tailored TV ads, last-minute rallies and thousands of volunteers to knock on doors and make phone calls."

I'm beginning to think it is Kushner's system the D's & Rino's want to know more about. He's certainly not going to tell them, freely. So, what better way to learn more about his micro- targeting-winning system than to hold hearings using the Russian election interference as the excuse, when the real purpose is to quiz Kushner? He's the one that micro targeted. It certainly wasn't the Russians and I think it's this detail, at least in the Senate, these politicos are after. Which means, someone is doing an autopsy and they've figured out the Clinton team was absolutely outsmarted by a Manhattan Real Estate guy...a really, really smart real estate guy, like wicked smart - https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevenbertoni/2016/11/22/exclusive-interview-how-jared-kushner-won-trump-the-white-house/#266096e83af6

Posted by: h | Mar 30, 2017 3:58:40 PM | 18

Ezra Cohen-Watnick was apparently brought onto the NSC staff by Flynn. After Flynn was fired, his successor McMaster tried to fire Cohen-Watnick, who is Jewish, but he kept his job by appealing to Stephen Bannon and Jared Kushner, and Trump sided with them.

Posted by: lysias | Mar 30, 2017 4:03:31 PM | 19

Hi everyone,
Great blog - thanks to b and all contributors btl.

Just wanted to briefly mention a couple of topics re. Turkey.
1) almost comically - "Euphrates Shield has achieved its goals successfully and is now over". What a farce!
2) As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, in my opinion, Turkey is changing focus from Syria to Iraq and here we have more agitation - the article below barely mentions Turkey, but there is no doubt that the raising of the Kurdistan flag in Kirkuk and the subsequent rallies by the local Turkmen were both devised by Turkey (Remember the incident at Ataturk airport?). While Binali and Erdogan may publicly state that they want to ensure the terrotorial integrity of Iraq, the truth is nowhere near as simple, and it might well be that Turkey is hoping to combine Sunni Turkmen and Barzani Kurdish forces to spread its influence across oil rich Northern Iraq. Or it may be little more than provocation to remind the US and Russia that Turkey is still a force to contend with ... Whatever the aim, Turkey is playing a duplicitous game, yet again.
Most of the coverage of the Turkmen rallies is in Turkish. So haven't linked to any, but one headline this morning was 'Kirkuk is Turkic/Turkish' (- In everday Turkish the word for Turkish and Turkic is the same - hence the nuanced, or not so nuanced meaning of the headline.)
Anyone have any other info?
Anyway, here's an English article in Rudaw:

http://www.rudaw.net/mobile/english/kurdistan/300320171

Posted by: AtaBrit | Mar 30, 2017 4:04:19 PM | 20

@14 Harry. Agreed though the Kurdistan/Sunnistan wont fly with Turkey/Iran/Iraq and of course Syria/Russia so how will the US/KSA/GCC enforce it politically if not militarily with such resistance? I still believe Syria's territorial integrity is a red line in Moscow..

Posted by: Lozion | Mar 30, 2017 4:12:41 PM | 21

Ole Dammegard deconstructs the London "Terror" attack. JAFF (Just Another False Flag).

There was a drill 3 days earlier training for a terror attack on the Thames. The only thing that is missing is that the "terrorist" dropped a wallet or passport at the scene of the act.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Ae72iRP7mA

Posted by: Heros | Mar 30, 2017 4:26:20 PM | 22

Meanwhile, in Turkey:
http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/tillerson-says-us-seeks-autonomy-raqqa/ri19376
Tillerson Says US Seeks 'Local' Autonomy For Raqqa

"Secretary Tillerson in Turkish capital Ankara says we want Raqqa to be governed by local forces after the operation".

Posted by: Perimetr | Mar 30, 2017 4:27:06 PM | 23

@21 Lozion

They will keep flooding the fields with jihadists, with preferably the Tier 1 jihadists manning the VBIEDs. The ATGM-supplied jihadists are wreaking havoc where they can and I am always disheartened to see them seemingly swollen with numbers all over RU videos channel on youtube. It ain't gonna be over for a long time, I gather. They are pushing the allies to capitulate and allow some concessions. Of course, the families of SAA members and importrd Tier 1 jihadists are the REAL losers. There are a lot of prepubescent Takfiris just begging to detonate themselves in a very comfortable Kia Sportage, moderately-equipped of course (they don't want to spoil the kids with western luxuries).

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Mar 30, 2017 4:31:42 PM | 24

More to my hunch...

Political campaigns take a ton of cash to run and win, which is one of the reasons politicians are dialing for dollars 24/7/365. They have to so as to build their campaign coffers for the next run. If they don't have a challenger they typically donate some of their raised dollars to preferred candidates for a variety of reasons, chief among them is to build a relationship.

The model used by most campaigns includes hiring tons of consultants at obscene rates. These consultants typically spend a lot of their resource currying favor with the state parties and national. They know that when campaign season starts they want to have their firms name on the party's approved vendor list. If you're not on it you don't make money the obscene money.

That said, the candidate spends the bulk of their time dialing for dollars to raise the needed funds to finance fundraising staff, field, leadership team, social media and more. It's like starting a business every 2 or 4 years.

Now, if Kushner figured out a way to bypass the traditional behemoth campaign model, well everyone in DC who has to run a campaign for a living will want to know how he did it. His model appears to have achieved an incredible fete - raised millions, micro targeted their voting base, handily won the electoral college and did it all on the cheap.

I've managed campaigns and have a healthy understanding of what kind of resource goes into them - win or lose - and this new campaign model would change the dynamics of campaign structures substantially.

Posted by: h | Mar 30, 2017 4:35:08 PM | 25

@23 love that last line - "Let's be honest, though: You should trust the U.S. about as far as you can throw it — which is not very far, because Americans are extremely obese." Now, that's funny...

Posted by: h | Mar 30, 2017 4:52:42 PM | 26

Perimetr 23
Local force means here Qatar and the Syrians on its payroll.
I can't find it via google but check every declaration of qatar fm about Syria, he plainly says we refuse any ceasefire and we ll continue to arm the opposition.

Posted by: Mina | Mar 30, 2017 4:53:44 PM | 27

@21 I have to assume the US expects the SDF to run Sunnistan. With US air support and maybe some reformed takfiris. If they start to develope Takba airbase will be the giveaway.

Posted by: dh | Mar 30, 2017 4:54:53 PM | 28

The rich are stealing everyone's money.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-30/trickle-down-has-failed-wealth-and-income-have-trickled-top-5

Russia, Iran, Syria, China etc aren't playing the game.
Hence wars go on.

Posted by: Anoncommentator | Mar 30, 2017 4:55:24 PM | 29

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-03-21/why-the-comey-hearing-was-frightening-to-a-russian
Why the Comey Hearing Was Frightening to a Russian

Monday's hearing on Russia's alleged interference in the U.S. presidential election and the alleged contacts between Donald Trump's campaign and the Kremlin yielded inspiring news for Trump opponents: The Federal Bureau of Investigation is officially looking into the matter. I wasn't inspired, though; I was a little scared.

What frightened me was this exchange:

Rep. Jackie Speier (D., Ca): Do you know anything about Gazprom, Director?

FBI Director James Comey: I don't.

Speier: Well, it's a -- it's an oil company.

Posted by: Perimetr | Mar 30, 2017 4:57:00 PM | 30

@28 dh yes and then what?The SAA will have to confront the SDF at that point whose PYD faction (its credibility on Arab lands wont stand) may switch sides leaving a weak patchwork of Arab militias propped up by the US.
So escalation or stalemate a la Euphrates Shield?

Posted by: Lozion | Mar 30, 2017 5:41:47 PM | 31

@13 lozion... i completely agree with @14 harry. actions speak.. words are mostly used to fool people.. watch what the usa does, not what it says... when i heard that quote from tillerson, i thought bullshit immediately.. just reading your @21 now.. thanks.. how about all that cheap talk on yemen from the pontification nation? what bullshite are they saying about that, if any? i guess they don't have to when they call most all the shots with the msm...

Posted by: james | Mar 30, 2017 5:42:29 PM | 32

@31 It's been a long slow process sucking the US in this far. Some people will be disappointed if they don't get escalation. Re the SAA - probably more accidental bombings are in the plan.

Posted by: dh | Mar 30, 2017 5:54:13 PM | 33

Karlof1 @ 4: Thanks for the links. The seminar and Q@A session that Sergei Lavrov gave on 23 March 2017 are also available at The Saker's blog for those who are interested in reading them and commenting on as well.

Posted by: Jen | Mar 30, 2017 6:59:23 PM | 34

@4 karlof1

Thanks for pushing those links to the Lavrov materials. I was struck, with the Military Academy speech, by the sheer intelligence of the analysis presented by Lavrov and also of the questions raised in the Q&A.

But your 2nd link, to the interview with the terrible National Interest magazine, is what I'd like to riff on a little.

Lavrov and other ministers of Russia are increasingly communicating in plain terms. Lavrov actually referred to the US consumers of mainstream media as "brainwashed".

I've already written a comment on this at the Saker and I can't better it, so please allow me to quote myself:

Lavrov actually calls out the western media consumers as “brainwashed”. We keep seeing this gradual increase in plain speaking from the Russian side. It may not fall on the ears of the brainwashed, but I’m certain that it shapes the consensus of the multi-polar world.

It forced the interviewer to use these actual words (my emphasis):
“…coming back…to the U.S. election, and setting aside the question of evidence, because your government has its perspective, the U.S. intelligence community has its perspective—I don’t think those differences are likely to be reconciled.”

Even as it may look like losing the “information war”, changing the paradigm is winning in a big way. Russia has been changing the paradigms for some time now, and here the west is essentially being forced to separate out the concept of “fact” from the concept of its “narrative”.

Paradigm shift by paradigm shift, and one day the war is won.

We've seen a lot of agony among Russia's supporters for its perceived trailing position in the "information war" but I've long thought that Russia is fighting this war at the paradigm level rather than in the words of the opponent. For example, Russia's demonstration to the world of its rigorous adherence to international law has an effect, I suspect, on many nations of the world, prompting them to renew their own subscription to the concept.

So, in this interview, the fool of an interviewer actually had to separate the matter of fact from the matter of attitude, in order to maintain the attitude. The bias of the interviewer was appalling, and proves to me yet again that belief in propaganda serves to diminish one's functional intelligence. The principle behind this would be something like: functional intelligence relies as much on the perception of natural facts ("the truth") as it does on any reasoning.

As a result, the deluded will act incorrectly, and eventually to their own disadvantage, sometimes even their own suicide. It seems logical to propose that the truth is actually a survival requirement. And one could return to the Lavrov speech at the Military Academy with that thought in mind, and perceive a nation determined to survive, and bringing to the task all its native powers of reason, strategically combined with clear-seeing and straight talking.

Apologies if my comment has turned out a little abstract. The Lavrov interview link for convenience is: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview with the National Interest Magazine, published on March 29, 2017.

The Military Academy lecture again is here: Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks and answers to questions during a lecture for senior officers of the Military Academy of the General Staff, Moscow, March 23, 2017

Posted by: Grieved | Mar 30, 2017 7:12:00 PM | 35

the master blaster of election meddling: USA is anguished ITS elections may have been meddled with

READ MY LIPS, says leader of the free world
http://theduran.com/vladimir-putin-answers-the-big-question-on-influencing-the-us-election/

Posted by: brian | Mar 30, 2017 8:22:37 PM | 36

@13 lozion

Tillerson quote from AFP: "I think the … longer term status of President Assad will be decided by the Syrian people."

Haley quote from Reuters: "Our priority is no longer to sit there and focus on getting Assad out."

@14 harry, 'under Trump US is pushing Kurdistan and Sunnistan projects harder than anytime before. ... its very much possible they want to leave him a rump of Syria, while cutting off path to Iraq.'

@20 atabrit, 'there is no doubt that the raising of the Kurdistan flag in Kirkuk and the subsequent rallies by the local Turkmen were both devised by Turkey'

@21 lozion, 'Kurdistan/Sunnistan wont fly with Turkey/Iran/Iraq ...'

@23 perimeter, '"Secretary Tillerson in Turkish capital Ankara says we want Raqqa to be governed by local forces after the operation"'

@28 dh, 'I have to assume the US expects the SDF to run Sunnistan.'

@31 lozion, 'The SAA will have to confront the SDF at that point whose PYD faction (its credibility on Arab lands wont stand) may switch sides ...'

i think the syrian kurds are key to the separation of eastern syria from what the us seems willing to leave to the syrians - and hts. it's my hope that the syrian kurds will 'do the math' (and read the history of betrayal by their nbf's the americans) and conclude that their best bet is to stick with syria. that is, 'switch sides'.

Posted by: jfl | Mar 30, 2017 8:27:21 PM | 37

money for war none for infrastructure
https://www.rt.com/usa/382892-atlanta-fire-highway/

Posted by: brian | Mar 30, 2017 8:29:23 PM | 38

Re jfl 37 and others

The Trump policy in the area seems to be solidifying around Iran as the target of choice, whereas in Obama's last term at least, it was focussed in destroying Syria for a variety of reasons.
What the US does or does not do in Syria will most likely be the result of his focus on Iran as the primary target.

Posted by: Peter AU | Mar 30, 2017 8:45:35 PM | 39

I meant to post these comments here.

BREAKING NEWS!!!

Flynn offers to testify in exchange for...wait for it...IMMUNITY!

Who would have thunk the birdie would be Flynn...HA-HA-HA!

https://www.wsj.com/articles/mike-flynn-offers-to-testify-in-exchange-for-immunity-1490912959

Posted by: Circe | Mar 30, 2017 8:07:42 PM | 87


Hello! The shoe is about to drop.

MONTHS ago I predicted there was something off with Flynn in a p.s. to a comment on another site you're all very familiar with that is unmentionable here. In January I stated that Flynn looked like a problem way BEFORE it was discovered he lied about discussing sanctions with the Russian Ambassador and BEFORE he resigned. I predicted he would be the fall guy...and he resigned. I knew there was something there that would threaten Trump's Presidency.

Everything is happening as I predicted. My instincts are on the mark. I have a radar for deception. I will be vindicated.

Posted by: Circe | Mar 30, 2017 8:23:38 PM | 88

Someone in the White House is crapping his pants.

Posted by: Circe | Mar 30, 2017 8:46:52 PM | 40

@37 I guess the priority at the moment is fighting ISIS. Hard to get a fix on SDF makeup but it would seem to be roughly 50/50 Kurd/Arab.

The US wants us to believe they have no long term designs on the region and they are even making nice noises about Assad.

So perhaps it really is up to the locals to decide what they want (with ISIS gone). I think they'll choose Syria but there may well be some squabbling amongst themselves before they get there and Qatar wants to be involved too.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syrian_Democratic_Forces

Posted by: dh | Mar 30, 2017 8:59:58 PM | 41

@35 grieved

i agree with what you're saying. the western tnc msm has the volume, but their narrative is finally being seen as unrelated to what's really going on in the world. it's seen as a cover, a distraction, an alibi. everyone knows the usofa is whistling past the graveyard at this point. the disintegration of a centrally directed government is obvious. people are actually beginning to consider what the world will look like post-us. the clock is ticking on the reign of 'shock and awe'. there will be no tears shed at the passing of the hegemon.

Posted by: jfl | Mar 30, 2017 9:17:20 PM | 42

I STILL believe all this "Russia did it" crap will come to naught. Some people are above the law...

Posted by: ben | Mar 30, 2017 9:34:53 PM | 43

Lavrov (amazing) Interview

Lavrov Interview

Posted by: virgile | Mar 30, 2017 9:36:17 PM | 44

I was very pissed when Susan Collins R-Maine had the gall to try to raise suspicion and smear at the Senate Intelligence hearing with a question to an expert testifying as to whether Occupy Wall Street was a movement that was somehow inspired and fueled by Russian influence. I'm glad the expert that was testifying admitted that OWS was an authentic movement on the Left, but added in other words that it would be the type of movement that Russia would try to target.

Collins:

“Russia Today, which most people view as an organ of the Russian government, was instrumental in trying to advance the protests of Occupy Wall Street,” she says.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4MhqHMND5Y

The expert replied: Occupy Wall Street was a genuine movement on the left...

This was a clear attempt by Collins to smear and discredit Occupy Wall Street on behalf of her Wall Street Masters.

Honestly, I don't know why Mainers don't kick her ass out of the Senate, already!

Posted by: Circe | Mar 30, 2017 9:48:37 PM | 45

Posted by: Heros | Mar 30, 2017 4:26:20 PM | 22:

Ole Dammegard deconstructs the London "Terror" attack. JAFF (Just Another False Flag).

Dammegard believes that the London attack is entirely fake. Apparently he believes that many other previous attacks were also fake. These fake attacks, he thinks, are done to make the population accept control.

The problem with such fakery is that dozens, if not hundreds of people associated with each event would have to be trusted to remain silent.

Some connections that he makes are interesting. But those connections don't require that the events themselves are fake - only that a few people KNOW about them in advance.

I've wrote about my misgivings about the London attack, and other high-profile attacks.What seems apparent to me, is that in each case, it is logical that an ORDER was given to sleeper agent(s). If so, these attacks are not (as we are told) random attacks of crazed people who were "radicalized over the internet".

Each attack seems to have a logical purpose that can be ascertained by a close observer of international affairs - like MoA readers (see link for my explanation). Every "terror attack" also naturally promotes authoritarianism.

PS The "hero" MP was said to be trying to stem the flow of blood, not pumping the heart as Dammegard alleges. (Why he didn't leave that to the emergency services is strange, though. Maybe just trying to burnish his image?)

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 30, 2017 9:51:10 PM | 46

certainly wasn't the Russians and I think it's this detail, at least in the Senate, these politicos are after. Which means, someone is doing an autopsy and they've figured out the Clinton team was absolutely outsmarted by a Manhattan Real Estate guy...a really, really smart real estate guy, like wicked smart -

Oh pah-lees! He was stupid enough to meet with the head of a sanctioned Russian bank.

Posted by: Circe | Mar 30, 2017 9:59:13 PM | 47

Erdogan is starting to realize the Trump administration is even less 'friendly' than the Obama's.
Erdogan got ZERO from Tillerson.
- The YPG will be used to free Al Raqqa and will be rewarded. the Turkish army and its FSA militias have no role.
- Gulen will not be extradited.
Erdogan is paying by installments his crime of having allowed ISIS fighters and other Islamist terrorists to cross freely into Syria. He has his hands full of the blood of the Syrians. Another installment would be the humiliation of loosing the referendum and the final one if he is eliminated from power.

Posted by: virgile | Mar 30, 2017 10:01:43 PM | 48

Canadian woman arrested in Turkey for ‘insulting’ president: lawyer

Posted by: virgile | Mar 30, 2017 10:02:40 PM | 49

Kushner's a ZIONIST! Nuf' said. Ugh! I seen it all when people around here start tooting a Zionist's horn.

Posted by: Circe | Mar 30, 2017 10:08:27 PM | 50

For anyone who hasn't looked at the Pizzagate evidence, or still doubts there is something very real and unsavoury going on with this DC pizza place and elite pedophilia rings, have a look at the 10 pages of infographic compiled evidence (and click to the next 35 pages) - 99% of which has been deliberately avoided by the mainstream media in its debunking exercises.

See Pizzagate damning truckloads of evidence

Posted by: anonymous | Mar 30, 2017 10:19:30 PM | 51

@37-@41 Indeed, that is my hope, that the Syrian Kurds (those that have been on Syrian soil for a long time) will see through the US schemes and veer towards working out an arrangement with Damascus, NOT based on the Barzanistan model..

Posted by: Lozion | Mar 30, 2017 10:21:37 PM | 52

Seems that Circe's gleeful eruption was premature

ZH: Update: there appears to be a discrepancy between the WSJ story, and the letter submitted by Mike Flynn's lawyer, Robert Kelner, according to which the former National Security Advisor spoke only to the House and Senate Intel Committees, not the FBI and furthermore, nowhere in the letter does it explicitly state that Flynn requested immunity form prosecution.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 30, 2017 11:02:12 PM | 53

Flynn's Lawyer, Rober Kelner

General Flynn certainly has a story to tell, and he very much wants to tell it, should the circumstances permit.

Posted by: Circe | Mar 30, 2017 11:37:14 PM | 54

The new item from zerohedge mentioned by Jackrabbit appears to expose the Wall street journal story as false, since, without the immunity issue, the whole thing is reduced to Flynn demanding to tell his side of the story to congressional committees. The story Flynn wants to tell definitely will not be the one the mainstream democrats and their acolytes are so eager for. The Russia influence story's fraudulent nature continues to be more apparent. Those still propagating it are, as Paul Craig Roberts has indicated, traitors to humanity,since nuclear war and an updated fascism would be the logical final outcome of this whole complex of issues

Posted by: exiled off mainstreet | Mar 30, 2017 11:51:47 PM | 55

Perimetr | Mar 30, 2017 4:57:00 PM | 30

What was very telling about Comey admitting he did not know what gazprom was is that he honestly said what he didn't know. Most of us who post here would know the answer. But we are political junkies. Comey does not have the time to know everything. He knows what is going on in the FBI and their investigations. What his answer tells me is that there has been no FBI investigations that involve gazprom or that any such investigations have not reached Comey's desk. Therefore, I think we can conclude that these investigations of Trump aides/Russia-did-it have not mentioned gazprom. Which would indicate that much of the wild speculation going on in the press about the FBI investigations into Trump are utterly bogus.

Also, Congresswoman Speirer must have been absolutely shocked by his answer. She is one of the more toxic Trump haters amongst the Dems. I bet she regretted asking that question. What is that old advice to trial lawyers: Never ask a question of a witness that you do not know in advance what the answer will be.

Posted by: ToivoS | Mar 31, 2017 1:20:28 AM | 56

ToivoS 56

Gazprom is a Russian government owned company as they hold majority shares and always has been.
That someone in Comey's position knows nothing about Gazprom, as being not able to even say they are a gas company is astounding. That has has no interest personally in a rough understanding of Russia, but also professionally as FBI would be involved in investigating so called Russian meddling in the US circus and whatever else. As I understand, FBI is the agency that investigates this sort of thing within USA.

Posted by: Peter AU | Mar 31, 2017 1:34:42 AM | 57

Posted by: ToivoS | Mar 31, 2017 1:20:28 AM | 56

Most of us who post here would know the answer. But we are political junkies.

Or maybe many of us are continental Europeans. Gazprom is yuge thing in Europe.

Posted by: hopehely | Mar 31, 2017 1:47:18 AM | 58

I would bet if Comey had been asked if he ever heard of Rosneft he'd have said yes.

That's a name we will be hearing more of as the senate investigation progresses, especially when they download Carter Page.

Posted by: peter | Mar 31, 2017 1:58:28 AM | 59

Kushner's a ZIONIST! Nuf' said. Ugh! I seen it all when people around here start tooting a Zionist's horn.
Posted by: Circe | Mar 30, 2017 10:08:27 PM | 50

Don't forget that Trump is all about "smartness".
Smart people can recognise each other. As with ordinary people, there's probably a similar pecking order among "smart" folks. Considering all the damage which Zionists have induced/tricked AmeriKKKa into inflicting on Zion's enemies, Trump could be forgiven for suspecting that the Smartest Person in The World could well be The Head Jew - and take appropriate steps to minimise the risk and maximise his own potential advantage.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 31, 2017 2:03:23 AM | 60

peter 59

You and Circe seem to set great store by what is disseminated in MSM.

Not sure why you and C comment on fake news/Russian propaganda site like M of A

Posted by: Peter AU | Mar 31, 2017 2:14:41 AM | 61


perhaps trying to keep syria divided into many smaller and hence less powerful min-states/territories. would also perhaps try to or end up keeping Damascus cut off from over-land routes to Iraq

http://news.antiwar.com/2017/03/30/syrian-rebels-capture-large-amounts-of-southern-desert/

US-backed rebels operating out of Jordan have invaded and captured large chunks of southern desert land inside Syria, territory that was nominally under the control of ISIS, although it had little to no ISIS presence, and it does not appear the fighting over it was significant.


The factions, which include a Free Syrian Army (FSA) presence, have long fought over control of the border area around the Jordan-Syria border. They’ve had limited success when they fight with any significant factions, which has kept them mostly confined to the border.

The move into the desert appears likely to have been launched at the behest of Western nations, which have said they believe ISIS intended to use the deserts as an area to flee to if they ended up losing their substantial territory further to the north.

To the extent ISIS had a presence in the area at all, it appears to have centered on important parts of the roads, and a few former Syrian military bases. ISIS is estimated to have withdrawn “hundreds” of fighters into Deir Ezzor Province as a result.

Posted by: michaelj72 | Mar 31, 2017 2:16:52 AM | 62

@60 No doubt Trump exploits whatever Zionists specialize in.

@59

Funny, I was just thinking the same thing. But here's another name that's going to haunt the investigation: Oleg Erovinkin. If anyone knew how the 19% sale of Rosneft went down, it would be him. Too bad he's been silenced for good. What was he doing in the back of his car when he was found dead? Did he have a designated driver?

Maybe he'll speak from the grave.

Posted by: Circe | Mar 31, 2017 2:25:16 AM | 63

Command and Control Official Trailer
https://youtu.be/ZCPlm-mQ9Kk?list=PLsldk2pORQlOvN6kBeAF6LC2NKeaDZWkl

Posted by: okie farmer | Mar 31, 2017 3:13:58 AM | 64

@63

The Rosneft "sale" was a scam to print money from the central bank. Ironically it's a good stick to beat Russia with (corruption, failing economy etc) but they avoid it as it doesn't fit the narrative

Posted by: Bob | Mar 31, 2017 3:22:56 AM | 65

Nafeez Ahmed

The Trump lobby that wants to break up Iraq


Posted by: somebody | Mar 31, 2017 3:22:58 AM | 66

@46 Jackrabbit

Ole has done numerous great deconstructions, and not everything he says actually happened the way he says. But he doesn't have the access or budget to cover these things the way the CIA puppet media could if they were not so busy covering them up. Instead we are left with disproving their lies and connecting dots.

Of course the real litmus test of narrative gullibility is 911. Even after the long delayed and heavily politicized release of the still redacted 911 commission report proving Saudi involvement, the majority of sheeple around the world still accept the constantly regurgitated "terrorism" narrative. What I find even more disgusting than the media constantly constructing and then repeating these lies is that so many people just accept them with out ever even thinking about the contradictions and improbabilities that are as blatant as a steaming turd lying on the sidewalk that they have just stepped in.

Posted by: Heros | Mar 31, 2017 4:35:35 AM | 67

@2

"All I know is Russia did it no matter what is and V. Putin is a genius by stopping the Amerikan govt. in it's tracks to hold hearing about nothing. The dumbest lawmakers in the world are in Amerikas beltway."

And that is their major motive: a hapless, distracted, dysfunctinal America is not going to interfere with their plans anywhere in the world.

Posted by: ralphieboy | Mar 31, 2017 5:28:28 AM | 68

@36

"the master blaster of election meddling: USA is anguished ITS elections may have been meddled with"

You are missing the major point here: meddling with other nations is standard operating policy for most any nation The question here is how much did American citizens collude and co-conspire with a foreign government to tamper with an election?

Posted by: ralphieboy | Mar 31, 2017 5:34:38 AM | 69

@69 ralphieboy,

As if American citizens caught tampering with their own elections shouldn't be shot on sight, but that might be your own employer we're talking about here! The real question here is which foreign governments and which persons. The obvious answer is KSA and Israel, and pretty much everyone in Washington, but especially the Clintons. Everyone involved with the dirty primary needs to be put to the wall.

Posted by: Jonathan | Mar 31, 2017 6:42:27 AM | 70

WikiLeaks: 'A mysterious "Trump incest" botnet has been pushing incest & anti-Trump stories since early January. See examples'

https://www.reddit.com/r/WikiLeaks/comments/62frfk/wikileaks_a_mysterious_trump_incest_botnet_has/


Latest WikiLeaks release shows how the CIA uses computer code to hide the origins of its hacking attacks and 'disguise them as Russian or Chinese activity'

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4367746/WikiLeaks-says-CIA-disguised-hacking-Russian-activity.html#ixzz4cu0qgVCH

Posted by: test | Mar 31, 2017 7:34:47 AM | 71

@ Posted by: somebody | Mar 31, 2017 3:22:58 AM | 66

What are your thoughts re the link you posted ?

Who is this Nafeez Ahmed fella anyway ?

Posted by: Outraged | Mar 31, 2017 9:11:34 AM | 72

@35 grieved, @42

your point well illustrated ...

European Parliament visits Syria, "shocked" by Russia's humanitarian aid

"Western and Arab States Responsible for the Rise of Terrorism in Syria" -Czech Politician

US Calls Itself ‘World’s Moral Conscience’ ... people are beginning to talk about the paunchy, naked emperor/empress striding about bloviating as though anyone were still listening

Saudi general makes obscene gesture to Yemen war protester ... and then they pelted him with eggs.

... everyone knows empire and emperor/empress're headed for a fall. no one will be unhappy when it/he/she hits the skids.

tee-rump was typecast for the part ... as were netanyahoo and the entire saudi royal family and their family retainers.

we're all just waiting for empire's collapse ...

To follow its casket
  In the pale afternoon

And we'll watch while it's lowered
  Down to its deathbed

And we'll stand over its grave
  'Til we're sure that it's dead.

Posted by: jfl | Mar 31, 2017 9:53:01 AM | 73

@61PeterAu

I don't put great store in what anybody says. Everybody has an axe to grind. But I think there's some some shit going on here with this Russia business. We are being asked by the Trump apologists to discount too many coincidences. Even Trump has stopped using the term "fake news". For him and his believers it's simply come to mean news they don't like.

I think that Trump has lived up to the worst expectations anyone had about him. From the people he has surrounded himself with to the steps he has taken to dismantle any roadblocks that might interfere with the rapine of the American economy. The gutting of the environmental regs, the banking regs, the hard run they took at the ACA and Medicaid and now they're getting ready to sell browsing histories. There's no integrity there, just simple unadulterated greed. It doesn't seem too much of a stretch, to me at least, that this behavior could extend to making deals with foreign entities that may be more about personal enrichment than any benefit for the country they're supposed to be looking out for.

Maybe I'm here because I'm old and cranky and just like to throw a wrench into the mutual masturbation that seems to be everybody's best idea of fun. You know, the belief system that says that Putin deserves to be on his pedestal or that Trump is going to drain the swamp that he's an integral part of. That any inquiries into alleged improprieties are all bullshit and that only alt-news sites know the truth. Methinks it's more about what they want to be true than any semblance of reality.

Posted by: peter | Mar 31, 2017 9:59:16 AM | 74

sejomoje and karlof1
Looking at what our pundits and politicians say versus the Russians is mind-blowing. I caught a few videos last night of Putin tearing down some like Fareed Zakaria and he does it with common sense. When our pundits and politicians speak, it's mostly agenda driven drivel. I weep for my country and wonder why the youth do not rise up in protest.

Posted by: Curtis | Mar 31, 2017 10:29:05 AM | 75

Peter AU 69
Sometimes you have to take ammunition where you can find it. Occasionally the truth gets out in the MSM or the MSM reveals itself to be the total misinformation stooge that it is. Sometimes it's easy like shooting fish in a barrel. But it can be interesting to run into the misinformed and provide proof for them to have doubt like the rest of us.

Posted by: Curtis | Mar 31, 2017 10:34:48 AM | 76

peter @74:

Methinks it's more about what they want to be true than any semblance of reality.
This is a very warped point of view, peter. Haven't you taken note of the 'fake news' propaganda emminating from MSM?

You are essentially suggesting an extended 'peter principle' where sinking to the level of general complacency is valued (in society) as much as rising to the level of one's incompetence (in business).

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 31, 2017 10:37:15 AM | 77

A yellow warning sign appeared in a London Tube station that said this:

! WARNING !

Over 3/4 of the UK press is owned by billionaires. This includes the Metro and the Evening Standard.

They're propaganda, NOT news.

Please read with caution and inform yourself independently.

Thanks to the Duran for a photograph of this sign, which you can see here.

One day if the dust will settle a little more, and the mainstream media will disgrace itself even more notoriously, I hope to be able to make the point to my many "progressive" friends that they wouldn't dream of eating corporate food or using corporate pharmaceuticals, and why do they think it's safe to consume corporate news?

It could be as simple as this little yellow sign. The day will come.

Posted by: Grieved | Mar 31, 2017 10:39:04 AM | 78

The First Horseman of the Privacy Apocalypse Has Already Arrived: Verizon Announces Plans to Install Spyware on All Its Android Phones


Within days of Congress repealing online privacy protections, Verizon has announced new plans to install software on customers’ devices to track what apps customers have downloaded. With this spyware, Verizon will be able to sell ads to you across the Internet based on things like which bank you use and whether you’ve downloaded a fertility app.

Verizon’s use of “AppFlash”—an app launcher and web search utility that Verizon will be rolling out to their subscribers’ Android devices “in the coming weeks”—is just the latest display of wireless carriers’ stunning willingness to compromise the security and privacy of their customers by installing spyware on end devices.


i find the fact that people actually pay for and use these devices utterly amazing. sheeple does seem to be the correct term for us ... fully-monitized androids and fully-monitored spiPhone users.

What are the ramifications? For one thing, this is yet another entity that will be collecting sensitive information about your mobile activity on your Android phone. It’s bad enough that Google collects much of this information already and blocks privacy-enhancing tools from being distributed through the Play Store. Adding another company that automatically tracks its customers doesn’t help matters any.

... the country is still packed with fanboys and girls ... amazing. which is the bigger spy? the nsa? the cia? or google?

in terms of actual access to the greatest number and intimate knowledge of all our secrets ... it's gotta be google.

and they are fully in league with the nsa/cia as well.

Posted by: jfl | Mar 31, 2017 10:39:23 AM | 79


"Tillerson quote from AFP: "I think the … longer term status of President Assad will be decided by the Syrian people."

Haley quote from Reuters: "Our priority is no longer to sit there and focus on getting Assad out."

Posted by: Lozion | Mar 30, 2017 3:32:39 PM | 13"

So the US SoS and the US UN ambassador, both have de facto stated that the US has been attempting to violently overthrow the democratically elected head of state of a UN recognized sovereign country. At the same time there is the Congressional circus of another country possibly interfering in the US election of it's head of state. The lunatics now truly are running the asylum.

Posted by: Dean | Mar 31, 2017 10:55:11 AM | 80

Posted by: Outraged | Mar 31, 2017 9:11:34 AM | 72

It is likely. And it has been going on since Bush.

Trump's strategy of "defeating ISIS" in competition with Russia is a sales point. Formerly "weapons of mass destruction".

Access of foreign oil companies to Iraq by individual contract

The new contracts lack the security a new legal structure would grant, and Iraqi lawmakers have argued that they run contrary to existing law, which requires government control, operation and ownership of Iraq's oil sector.

Exxon and Kurdistan versus the Baghdad government


List of international oil companies with licences from the Baghdad government.

As a result of the company’s contracts with the KRG, the Iraqi Ministry of Oil excluded ExxonMobil from its fourth licensing round, held in May 2012.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 31, 2017 11:13:44 AM | 81

@74 peter
We are being asked by the Trump apologists to discount too many coincidences.

Not hard to build a series of coincidences when the superconcentration of media power lay within the hands of just 6 entities. The 'where there's smoke there's fire' adage might have been applicable in...say...1987..when there may have still been balance in the media. Please see b's recent 'Agent' post to see this singular narrative phenomena.

But, it's really much better than that peter. It's not just media collusion.

Hilary's election was the final ceremony of decades old courtship between corporation and state... The Fascist Left... Hillarys' election was the completion of what was set in motion in legislative term by the Telecommunications Act of 1996, and the repeal of Glass Steagal in 1999 - presided over by...that's right...Slick Willy.

MIC, Security State, Propaganda Wing, Wall Street... All in the pocket. No wonder the neolibs have been going apeshit. It actually doesn't have all that much to do with Trump, the same script was written for a Hillary win... so just relax mate, grab the popcorn, and enjoy the disruption.

Posted by: MadMax2 | Mar 31, 2017 11:34:44 AM | 82

Sorry if I missed it but was that discussed here? Is the arrest of this Turkish banker http://blogs.rediff.com/mkbhadrakumar/2017/03/30/us-turkish-ties-nosedive-trumps-war-on-isis-in-jeopardy/
related to Flynn's own problems?
http://galacteros.over-blog.com/2017/03/manbij-raqqa-le-golan-nouveaux-hotspots-d-une-convergence-tactique-russo-americaine-en-syrie.html

Posted by: Mina | Mar 31, 2017 11:36:55 AM | 83

Outraged 72
Nafeez Ahmad is a good critic of GWOT. I've got his book Behind the War on Terror and US Middle East policies.


After seeing Cernovich turn the tables on Pelley/60 Minutes, I caught Pelley last night pushing a story about the "Russian plot" to interfere in elections. It wasn't allegations; it was official. I was searching for a video/transcript and found this:
U.S. suspected of inadvertently killing Iraqi civilians
2 min)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZAXRlMmGkZw
If THEY do it, it's targeting civilians; but if our forces or allied forces to it, it's "inadvertent." These people are shameless.

Posted by: Curtis | Mar 31, 2017 12:25:07 PM | 84

virgile@49. From your link.."Those found guilty of insulting the president face up to three years in prison" How come our Foreign Secretary was not imprisoned when he recently visited Turkey, after he wrote this poem about Erdogan for the Spectator.

There was a young fellow from Ankara

Who was a terrific wankerer

Till he sowed his wild oats

With the help of a goat

But he didn’t even stop to thankera.

The author of this winning entry is former Mayor of London and chief Brexiteer, Boris Johnson MP.https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2016/05/boris-johnson-wins-the-spectators-president-erdogan-offensive-poetry-competition/

Posted by: harrylaw | Mar 31, 2017 12:38:21 PM | 85

With the growing rebuffs and potential humiliation that the "Reis" is getting from his western 'allies' no wonder Erdogan health will deteriorate and it is only the beginning...
He does look increasingly ill on the recent photos, especially the ones with Tillerson.
"Erdoğan cancels two rallies due to throat problem"

Simple sore throat or something more serious?

Posted by: virgile | Mar 31, 2017 12:43:03 PM | 86

It took 6 years, billions of dollars spent on weapons and foreign fighters salaries, destruction in the billions of dollars, hundred of thousands dead, millions of refugees and displaced, chaos in the region for the USA to just say in 2017 what Bashar al Assad has been saying since 2011:
"It is up to the Syrians and no one else to decide if they want me to stay or not"

We will see the same declaration coming out from the UK and France who will have to show the door to the "Opposition Syrian ambassadors' they have been so stupid to nominate.
Mc Cain, the Israelis, Turkish, Saudi and Qatari friends are furious at Trump. Too bad!

Posted by: virgile | Mar 31, 2017 12:55:16 PM | 87

Ukraine … has lost the case against Russia re. its 3 billion debt to Russia (link 1 > .. will go to appeal >.. Ukr. will lose), the IMF is holding up its next loan tranche (discussion is being put off to May) and the World Bank has also stalled some ‘aid’ thingie, 150 m. dollaris, kinda peanuts, symbolic in this situation. Ukr. is sinking into chaos and break-up, imho.

Wrote long ago that if Kiev could not bomb the Donbass to smithereens, do a smart-targeted stealth genocide or massive deport Kiev would prefer to cut it off entirely. .. Unfolding now.

Blame is dished on the neo-nazis; a common view is that Poro is caught in a trap, he cannot disavow or antagonise or target them, as they might then turn against him and topple the Gvtmt. Maybe, heh… but if the case it shows that Poro is not in charge, and the instrumentalisation of neo-Nazis is destroying Ukr.

Anti-‘Donbass’ + anti-Russkie stance meld together, are manipulated from outside, as spears of anti-Russia moves. Yanukovich offered up a last effort as a compromise, after the failed Orange Revolution (2004, Yushenko poisoned with Dioxin, link 2), all is well known. Ukranians, with their ‘hope’ of being a ‘proper country’, were taken for a ride, under oligarchs, foreign powers, etc. and it is now, or since 10 y., emptying out, pop. to Poland, Russia, and splintering fast.

DPR + LPR will move to some shaky ‘independent’ status very soon. Not exactly a ‘Russian protectorate’ but close.

http://uawire.org/news/ukraine-loses-the-yanukovych-debt-case-at-the-london-court-kyiv-plans-to-appeal

https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn17570-skin-growths-saved-poisoned-ukrainian-president/

Posted by: Noirette | Mar 31, 2017 1:12:59 PM | 88

@Mina | 83

The arrest Mehmet Hakan Atilla, deputy ceo of Halk Bank is very interesting indeed. Halk Bank was at the heart of the AKP ccorruptiom charges that led to the rift between Gulen and Erdogan back in 2013, I think.
The question is do Zaraab or Atilla have information compromising AKP senior ministers? If so, can it be used. Lets not forget that while immunity from prosecution was lifted for hundreds of ministers in Turkey, the key Senior ministers were excluded from this lifting and therefore remain immune from prosecution in Turkey, at least.

Also of interest is the rumour that Gulen is going to move to Canada. If this is true, it removes very simply one of the main obetacles in US Turkey relations, while leavimg Gulen available, no doubt, to continue working with US authorities on the above corruption case!

Could be very interesting developments indeed.

Posted by: AtaBrit | Mar 31, 2017 1:25:39 PM | 89

What I don't understand is why the corporate media and their paymasters don't realize that propaganda, in order to be effective, needs to be subtle and cannot be too blatant.

Are the media organs deliberately subverting the orders they get from on high?

Posted by: lysias | Mar 31, 2017 2:25:46 PM | 90

If Gulen moves to Canada, won't the Turkish authorities realize that he can only do so because the U.S. government permits it?

Posted by: lysias | Mar 31, 2017 2:27:06 PM | 91


From 2015: How The CIA Infiltrated The National Students Association

https://popularresistance.org/how-the-cia-infiltrated-the-national-students-association/

Posted by: test | Mar 31, 2017 3:21:38 PM | 92

@ lysias | 91
Probably.
But what case does the US government have to prevent it?
Of course the Turks will understand the sleight of hand, whether on Gulens part or the US governments, but the Turks are hardly in a position to do anything.
Anyway it might just be rumour; It might have no consequence, but its an interesting development nonetheless given the timing.

Posted by: AtaBrit | Mar 31, 2017 4:02:55 PM | 93

Outraged @ 72:

Dr Nafeez Ahmed is a British freelance journalist and writer who has his own crowdfunded blog Insurge Intelligence.
https://medium.com/insurge-intelligence

He used to write an environmental blog for The Guardian until the newspaper tore up his contract because he'd written an article linking Israel's genocidal attacks on Gaza in 2014 with Israel's intent to seize Gaza's offshore energy resources.
http://www.jonathan-cook.net/blog/2014-12-04/why-the-guardian-axed-nafeez-ahmeds-blog/

Posted by: Jen | Mar 31, 2017 4:51:00 PM | 94

It's official. Canada special forces painting targets for US coalition bombing warcrimes in Mosul:

Canadian Troops Assisting in Mosul
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/canadian-troops-assisting-in-mosul-fighting-as-mission-extended-to-june/article34520459/

"Canadian special forces have taken a more active role in the battle for Mosul...through the identification of targets and other tactical support."

Given that 'humanitarian corridors' of civilian escape have been officially refused and Mosul citizens are being told to stay in their homes, this deeply implicates Canada.

Posted by: John Gilberts | Mar 31, 2017 5:39:30 PM | 95

OBAMA OFFICIALS WERE NUNES' SECRET SOURCE!

Devin Nunes, Chair of the House Intelligence Committee met with Ezra Cohen-Watnick and Michael Ellis at a White House office building, but they were not his source nor did they know what Nunes was looking for. They only provided access to a secure reading room where Nunes could see the incriminating documents.

Intel Official Behind "Unmasking" Of Trump Associates Is "Very Senior, Very Well Known"

The two people who helped Nunes "navigate" to the information were not his sources. In fact, Nunes had been aware of the information since January but had been unable to view the documents themselves because of "stonewalling" by the agencies in question.

The "source" is actually a list of document code numbers prepared by Obama officials in January and distributed to Democrat members of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Obama Officials Made List of Russia Probe Documents to Keep Them Safe

Obama administration officials were so concerned about what would happen to key classified documents related to the Russia probe once President Trump took office that they created a list of document serial numbers to give to senior members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, a former Obama official told NBC News.

The official said that after the list of documents related to the probe into Russian interference in the U.S. election was created in early January, he hand-carried it to the committee members.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Mar 31, 2017 7:08:42 PM | 96

Before Her Assassination, Berta Cáceres Singled Out Hillary Clinton for Backing Honduran Coup


BERTA CÁCERES: [translated] We’re coming out of a coup that we can’t put behind us. We can’t reverse it. It just kept going. And after, there was the issue of the elections. The same Hillary Clinton, in her book, Hard Choices, practically said what was going to happen in Honduras. This demonstrates the meddling of North Americans in our country. The return of the president, Mel Zelaya, became a secondary issue. There were going to be elections in Honduras. And here, she, Clinton, recognized that they didn’t permit Mel Zelaya’s return to the presidency. There were going to be elections. And the international community—officials, the government, the grand majority—accepted this, even though we warned this was going to be very dangerous and that it would permit a barbarity, not only in Honduras but in the rest of the continent. And we’ve been witnesses to this.

Hard choices: Hillary Clinton admits role in Honduran coup aftermath


Clinton admits that she used the power of her office to make sure that Zelaya would not return to office. “In the subsequent days [after the coup] I spoke with my counterparts around the hemisphere, including Secretary [Patricia] Espinosa in Mexico,” Clinton writes. “We strategized on a plan to restore order in Honduras and ensure that free and fair elections could be held quickly and legitimately, which would render the question of Zelaya moot.”

New York Drug Case Opens Window on Dark Period for Honduras


Fabio Porfirio Lobo, the son of the Honduran president in 2010-2013, is preparing to go before a federal judge for sentencing after pleading guilty to his role in a drug-trafficking ring involving members of Honduras’ national police. But it is the details of the conspiracy that emerged in testimony and newly released court documents which have captivated people back home by tying his father and a brother of the current president directly to traffickers.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence met with Honduras’ president on March 23 and praised the country’s progress fighting drugs and corruption.


what goes around comes around. different faces, different names, different 'parties', same old imperial corruption.

Posted by: jfl | Mar 31, 2017 7:15:39 PM | 97

@ Posted by: Curtis | Mar 31, 2017 12:25:07 PM | 84
@ Posted by: Jen | Mar 31, 2017 4:51:00 PM | 94

Thank you.

He is a voice from the genuine left, and one too independent to control ?

Nafeez Ahmed ... an open deliberative professional Investigative Journalist in the mold of Glenn Greenwald or Robert Parry, perhaps ?

He has an 'interesting', even fascinating, self profile ... for most ordinary human beings, a single paragraph, maybe two, will do ... not so for Nafeez. Possibly overcooked, with some key, omissions ...

The sources & and/or links he uses, or fails to provide, re accuracy & reliability are interesting, too ...

Posted by: Outraged | Mar 31, 2017 7:18:58 PM | 98

Germany urges EU to file WTO complaint against US


On Thursday, the US Department of Commerce issued a final finding that European and Asian producers dumped certain carbon and alloy steel cut-to-length plate in the US market, allowing it to impose duties ranging from 3.62 percent to 148 percent.

Among the affected companies are firms in Germany, Austria, Belgium, France and Italy.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said the US government seemed prepared to give US firms an "unfair competitive advantage" over European producers even though this violated international trade law.

"We Europeans cannot accept this. The EU must now examine whether it also files a complaint at the WTO. I strongly support this," Gabriel said. The European Commission, the EU's executive arm, is in charge of trade matters in the 28-member bloc.

"The WTO rules are the backbone of the international trade order. To deliberately violate them is a dangerous step," he said. "It is the first time that the US in such a case resorts to distorting practices that do not comply with the WTO rules."

"If the US got through with unfair competition, other industries would also be subject to the same threat," Gabriel warned.

The chief executive of Italian steel firm Marcegaglia said the US risked setting off a trade war if it implemented its plans for a border tax, an issue that should be taken to the WTO.

"And when you start a war you don't know where you will end up," Emma Marcegaglia told reporters in Rome.

"Any trade clash between the United States and Europe would be dangerous not only for our economies, but also for the rules that govern globalization," [Italy's industry minister] Carlo Calenda told reporters.


trade war? or the 'art of the deal'? tee-rump needs some bones to throw his 'job-oriented' supporters.

Posted by: jfl | Mar 31, 2017 7:19:51 PM | 99

Pentagon exercises free rein in global military escalation


Two months into the administration of Donald Trump, the US military is involved in a relentless military escalation from the Baltic Sea in Eastern Europe to Central Asia, the Middle East and the Horn of Africa. The “war on terror” launched by the Bush administration more than fifteen years ago, having already turned much of the region into a slaughterhouse, is taking an even deadlier turn.

In extraordinary testimony to a US Congressional panel, the top military commander of US forces in the Middle East and Central Asia essentially laid out a proposal for the buildup to war against Iran, even as the Pentagon is steadily escalating a murderous bombing campaign that has killed hundreds if not thousands of civilians in Iraq and Syria.

Gen. Joseph Votel, the chief of the US Central Command, told the House Armed Services Committee Wednesday that Iran “poses the greatest long-term threat to security in this part of the world” and demanded that Washington act to “disrupt [Iran] through military means or other means.” He added, “We need to look at opportunities where we can expose and hold them accountable for the things that they are doing,” while calling into question the 2015 nuclear agreement signed by Iran, the US and the other major powers.

Votel went on to present the case for an expanded US military intervention in Yemen, declaring that “there are vital US interests at stake” in this, the most impoverished Arab country, where Saudi Arabia and its allies have waged a near-genocidal war against the population using American weapons along with indispensable US intelligence and logistical support. The remark came as the Pentagon is preparing to back an offensive by the Emirati military aimed at capturing a Red Sea port that constitutes Yemen’s last link between the outside world and its starving population.

Finally, Votel told the US congressman that the Pentagon is preparing to substantially increase the number of US troops in Afghanistan—the US commander there has suggested that as many as 5,000 more soldiers be sent into the more than 15-year-old war.

In the same breath, Votel asserted that it is “fair to assume” that Russia is “providing some sort of support to [the Taliban], in terms of weapons or other things that may be there.” That no one has presented any evidence to validate such an assumption did nothing to mask the significance of the US commander’s remarks. The US intervention in Afghanistan is part of a military strategy aimed at confronting Washington’s key rivals for regional and global hegemony: Russia, China and Iran.


bill van auken has lots more. or is it more 'art of the deal'. it's all 99% talk at this point. will it come to pass?

does look as though the tee-rump is the frontman for the military's 'covert' takeover of the us government.

Posted by: jfl | Mar 31, 2017 7:21:43 PM | 100

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