Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 04, 2017

Various Issues

1. The anti-Russian mania and the Putin derangement syndrome in the U.S. and other "western" countries has left the realm of reasonability. It is of no use to argue over it. What is the endgame of the people who plant and propagate this nonsense?

2. Al-Qaeda in Syria and its subordinate "moderate rebels" are being defeated in their last big attack on Hama governate. The Russian defense ministry said that more than 2,000 Jihadis had been killed during the failed attack. Another attack on Latakia was stopped cold by massive Russian air strikes on the staging areas. Al-Qaeda's back yard in Idleb is under constant air interdiction.

The usual response when under such pressure are incidents of "chemical attacks" "on civilians". Such is claimed today in Khan Sheikhoun. The video footage, taken (when?) in a White Helmets base, shows "rescuers" spraying water on people who are claimed to have been effected by Sarin. If this were a real chemical incident involving Sarin or similar stuff these unprotected, unprofessional "rescuers" would be heavily effected if not dead.

Conveniently this incident also happens just two days before another international conference on Syria. The heavy media attention is likely the starting shot of a new campaign of CIA support for al-Qaeda in Idleb and a second leg of Turkey's invasion of Syria.

3. Trump had promised to change or eliminate "Obamacare". He let the Republican party under Ryan come up with a plan. That plan was crazy, disliked by the people and Trump rejected to take responsibility for it. Ryan was left hanging when the plan died in Congress.

Trump also promised to eliminate ISIS. He let the U.S. military come up with a plan. That plan is to bomb Mosul and Raqqa to smithereens and to kill everyone ISIS. The Pentagon has no viable plan for the time thereafter. Who will rule (and pay for) the destroyed Raqqa when the campaign is over? Who will have responsibility for the larger consequences? If the Kurds get it, the Arabs will rebel. If the Turks get it, the Kurds will fight them. If some (former ISIS) Arabs get it, Syria, Russia, Iran and Iraq and the Kurds will fight them and the U.S. military will have to protect them. The Pentagon has no answer to that problem. Trump will let the generals hang just as he let Ryan hang. They will have to take the responsibility. Don't they smell the trap?

Posted by b on April 4, 2017 at 07:33 AM | Permalink

Comments
next page »

Don't they smell the trap?

That's not the trap, but the opportunity to shine!
Hic Rhodus, hic salta!

Posted by: hopehely | Apr 4, 2017 8:55:37 AM | 1

1) The 'Putin derangement phenomenon' has been co-incident with continued widespread global admiration for Putin for both his accomplishments and his style, growing endorsement of his 'political philosophy' of patriotism and multi-polarity over transnational totalitarianism and uni-polarity, and growing disgust at the political, mass media and 'intelligence' agency-generated culture of deception, which as you write has reached the deranged phase.
2) But the intention of sullying and destroying Syria is still dear to the cold hearts of the PTB. On CBC radio today, it was once again the “Syrian regime” that is more or less accused of using chemical weapons by that exemplar of objectivity (sarcasm) the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. We await the 'Trudeau regime's' theatrical condemnation.
3) Trump could look to Canada and peer over the wall to Mexico for advice on a much cheaper and better outcome medical system.
4) Trump has repeatedly said that 'we've made a mess' of the Middle East. So far the plan seems to be to continue mass murder and maiming and destruction, directly and by proxy.

Posted by: canuck | Apr 4, 2017 9:02:49 AM | 2

Re the "chemical weapons" attack - been there before with Robert Stewart's excellent debunking of "Saving Syria's Children." Also the UN chem weapons inspectors were adamant they had removed anything remotely relating to chem weapons and production - and were given unrestricted access to where ever they wished, it seems. As ever, the UK, NATO etc backed White Helmets were on hand at the latest alleged "attack" tending to those "stricken" with "deadly chemicals" - not even wearing protective gloves. Their handy camera man was also at hand to photograph the small victims, as ever, one child nearly entirely naked. No professional rescuers would ever allow pictures of people at their most vulnerable, especially children and naked at that. Unthinkable. As you have said, the all stinks. Thank you as ever for peerless work.

Posted by: Felicity | Apr 4, 2017 9:31:49 AM | 3

b forgot to add the media scandal in his review.

NYT and Bloomberg reporters sat on the story of Rice unmasking Trump associates. Will they be fired for doing so? Unlikely.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 4, 2017 9:33:22 AM | 4

so it looks like the anti-Russian campaign in the US was set up to defend the actions of Susan Rice in spying on Trump and his campaign staff and associates. Also, not one word about the Rice scandal on the front page of the NY Times or Washington Post. They are trying to ignore it out of existence.

Posted by: mischi | Apr 4, 2017 10:13:00 AM | 5

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 4, 2017 9:33:22 AM | 4

Will they be fired for doing so? Unlikely.

More likely IT guys will be fired.

Posted by: hopehely | Apr 4, 2017 10:25:45 AM | 6

Reuters: The United States does not believe that the Syrian people want President Bashar al-Assad as their leader any longer, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said on Monday.

Haley was asked about U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's remarks in the Turkish capital Ankara on Thursday, in which he said that Assad's status would be decided by the Syrian people.

She said it does not mean the United States will accept Assad participating in future elections.

======

It raises the question where and when "wants" of the people matter. E.g. the referendum in Crimea does not matter because USA does not recognize it. Oh, additionally it did not follow Ukrainian law. By analogy, Syrian law should regulate who can run in Syrian elections. It boils down to the fact that "as the only remaining superpower" USA can afford to be whimsical. And Trump can make USA more whimsical than ever before, so he is the best choice to lead the country. Rational policies are for weaklings.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 4, 2017 10:33:54 AM | 7

We are investigating the Khan Sheikhoun massacre here and here.

This looks like a replay of the Ghouta CW attack of August 2013. It is now almost universally accepted, that no chemical weapons attack happened. Instead hostages were executed in some cellar gas chambers.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Apr 4, 2017 10:48:34 AM | 8

curious about this Daily Caller story

http://dailycaller.com/2017/04/03/russian-special-forces-vets-are-turning-against-moscow-in-syria/

particularly as US sf is allegedly in that area, and Trump sends more every day.

Posted by: Florin N. | Apr 4, 2017 10:50:57 AM | 9

>>> Petri Krohn | Apr 4, 2017 10:48:34 AM | 7
I was reading the report on this over at the Guardian and noticed that a couple of the images attached suggest the presence of a limestone quarry with no soil above it in Khan Sheikhun. This is a problem because as far as I can make out Khan Sheikhun is on an alluvial plain with no quarried limestone outcrops anywhere near by. There is a Tal in the centre of Khan Sheikhun but that doesn't appear to have been quarried.
Report
Image
I've asked the Guardian's reader's editor to check the location of the quarry but I'd be surprised if he bothers to reply.

Posted by: Ghostship | Apr 4, 2017 10:57:07 AM | 10

Has Trump or his associates said anything about the election in Ecuador? Not that I have seen although please let me know if any of you have. Seems that Trump might be cutting back on regime change.
If Hillary had won Samantha Powers would now be lambasting the new president of Ecuador in the UNSC and the NED/IRI/NDI/George Soros would be pushing for a colour revolution.

Posted by: Ghostship | Apr 4, 2017 11:03:39 AM | 11

Ghostship @9:

I've asked the Guardian's reader's editor to check the location of the quarry but I'd be surprised if he bothers to reply.
Guardian flagrantly lying about Western policy in ME, trashing its own comments to silence dissent

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 4, 2017 11:05:18 AM | 12

>>>> Florin N. | Apr 4, 2017 10:50:57 AM | 8
The Russians report that there are about 2,000 Russians mainly from the Caucasus fighting in Syria on the jihadist side - that half a dozen of them might be ex-paratroopers is possible but not really that important.

Posted by: Ghostship | Apr 4, 2017 11:08:29 AM | 13

@ Ghostship #10

Had Hilary won, Samantha Powers wouldn't have remained in her post as USUN Amb.? Hilary hates her, ditto wrt Susan Rice. Sure Hilary would have been against the new Ecuadorian President but her bidding would have been done by another pro-Israel, pro-GCC Ambassador imposed on her by Podesta and AIPAC-yes woman Neera Tanden.

Posted by: Yul | Apr 4, 2017 11:12:32 AM | 14

>>>> canuck | Apr 4, 2017 9:02:49 AM | 2

...that exemplar of objectivity (sarcasm) the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Others are beginning to question its credibility.
German FM doubts SOHR credibility after report on deadly coalition airstrike in Syria
The German Foreign Ministry has raised doubts over the credibility of the Syrian Observatory for Human rights ( SOHR), after the organization reported on civilian deaths in Syria which allegedly resulted from the US-led coalition bombing based on intelligence data provided by Germany.
"The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights is not [acting] on the ground but is situated in London. Even though it indeed has a good network [of informants] on the ground, not everything that it reports about eventually reflects the truth,” foreign ministry spokesman Sebastian Fischer said Friday at a daily press briefing.
According to Fischer, it is also crucial to “take into account that those, who give specific information over to them [the SOHR], have their own interests consisting of this information being presented to the public in a particular way.”

The report did appear in RT so make of it what you will.

Posted by: Ghostship | Apr 4, 2017 11:22:10 AM | 15

Hey Ghostship @14 do you have a link for the German FM quote?

Posted by: h | Apr 4, 2017 11:28:59 AM | 16

I'm so tired of that white helmet - al quaida front (psy) op - propaganda. the german public (state) tv shows all their videos and stunts. they also paid al nusra stringers for their "news" instead of sending journalists to the ground in syria. then, two articles below on their webpage, they report about fake news and it's influence on people .. haha that's irony which cannot be met by fiction.

Posted by: floki | Apr 4, 2017 11:53:40 AM | 17

The BBC already knows it was Sarin... Another disgusting and desperate try to produce a pretext for massive intervention. Some ARD-'expert' is already making the case. Now we know what for the comments, Assad isn't the priority target anymore. He immediately felt secure and showed his real face, they will say.
The west will not stop to use the islamofacist even if they bomb western capitals. Machiavelli (or what they think he was) rejoice.

Posted by: Pnyx | Apr 4, 2017 11:53:50 AM | 18

>>>> h | Apr 4, 2017 11:28:59 AM | 15
It's in my comment.

Posted by: Ghostship | Apr 4, 2017 12:00:23 PM | 19

It still looks to me as though Ghostship (in Trump's Obama Policy thread, here @ MoA) was the first person to directly connect the "Putin Did It" dots to Hillary/The Dems chagrin over the results of her pathetically incompetent campaign. Parry's article carries the same date as Ghostship's comment and Taibbi is late to the party. But Taibbi's leisurely stroll through the insanity and derangement, really tickles my fancy, especially this bit...

...
"If the party's leaders really believe that Russian intervention is anywhere in the top 100 list of reasons why some 155 million eligible voters (out of 231 million) chose not to pull a lever for Hillary Clinton last year, they're farther along down the Purity of Essence nut-hole than Mark Warner.

Moreover, even those who detest Trump with every fiber of their being must see the dangerous endgame implicit in this entire line of thinking. If the Democrats succeed in spreading the idea that straying from the DNC-approved candidate – in either the past or the future – is/was an act of "unwitting" cooperation with the evil Putin regime, then the entire idea of legitimate dissent is going to be in trouble."
...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 4, 2017 12:06:08 PM | 20

OT but important "CNN GOES ON RAMPAGE AGAINST SUSAN RICE BOMBSHELL, INSTRUCTS VIEWERS TO IGNORE STORY" https://news.grabien.com/story-cnn-goes-rampage-against-susan-rice-bombshell-instructs-view

Posted by: terry | Apr 4, 2017 12:08:08 PM | 21

Pnyx | Apr 4, 2017 11:53:50 AM | 17

He immediately felt secure and showed his real face, they will say.

The Daily Beast has already been there and done that.
Assad 'Gasses' Civilians Days After Tillerson Hints He Can Stay in Power

Evidence of a sophisticated chemical weapons attack by the Assad regime suggests the dictator in Damascus thinks he's now got Trump’s carte blanche to kill as he likes.

BTW, the doctor (Shajul Islam) isn't a doctor anymore as he's been struck off and was prosecuted for kidnapping journalists

Posted by: Ghostship | Apr 4, 2017 12:19:53 PM | 22

14/15

I guess this was the press conference when they were asked about the US attack in Raqqa that killed "more than 30" to "200+" civilians in Raqqa. Germany is supposed to have taken part in war crime by spying planes.

You get a German transcript here.

RT has taken it out of context making the valid point that if Germany finds news from Syria untrustworthy when civilians get killed by the US why do they find it trustworthy when the Syrian army is supposed to be the culprit.

Germany's foreign minister Gabriel has just (EU conference) come up with the usual stand of "humanitarian help" "stability" (no more refugees) but Assad should be punished.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 4, 2017 12:20:58 PM | 23

"Trump will let the generals hang just as he let Ryan hang. They will have to take the responsibility. Don't they smell the trap?" How otherwise to drain the swamp when the players are swamp rats?

Posted by: Ian | Apr 4, 2017 12:21:32 PM | 24

>>>> floki | Apr 4, 2017 11:53:40 AM | 16

they also paid al nusra stringers for their "news" instead of sending journalists to the ground in syria.

That's the way all western media works because Al Nusrah have kidnapped and/or killed almost all western journalists that have entered the territory Al Nusrah control.

Posted by: Ghostship | Apr 4, 2017 12:23:08 PM | 25

>>>> Yul | Apr 4, 2017 11:12:32 AM | 13

Had Hilary won, Samantha Powers wouldn't have remained in her post as USUN Amb.?

I'd forgotten about the "monster" claims back in 2008, so you're right of course but I love giving a good "kicking" to someone like Samantha Powers when they're down.

Posted by: Ghostship | Apr 4, 2017 12:40:17 PM | 26

>>>> somebody | Apr 4, 2017 12:20:58 PM | 22
My feeling with the SOHR is that its casualty figures are fairly accurate in terms of scale but that its attribution to military or civilian is off, particularly for the jihadists where many military casualties are recorded as civilians although as I've said elsewhere under the Geneva Convention, irregular forces should be treated as civilians except when they're bearing arms and when you're dead can you "bear arms"? As for other claims from SOHR such as the current one about Khan Sheikhun, SOHR is only as good as its sources who are mostly "local activists" who have their own agenda as Fischer points out and Al Nusrah have eradicated most independent "local activists" so SOHR's sources are most likely closely linked to Al Nusrah.

Posted by: Ghostship | Apr 4, 2017 12:56:53 PM | 27

NPR's All Things Considered this morning stated that the Republicans, lead by Pence, are working on a new ACA replacement bill. The ultra conservative Freedom Caucus R's are included in this planning -- which appears to be done
with some secrecy.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/with-help-from-pence-house-republicans-suddenly-rekindle-health-care-talks/2017/04/04/91cf1c74-192f-11e7-855e-4824bbb5d748_story.html?utm_term=.1b2ff6669803

Republicans are working behind the scenes to try to revive their stalled effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, even as GOP leaders sought Tuesday to temper expectations publicly.

....

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) said Tuesday that Republicans are in a preliminary phase of trying to rework the bill he pulled last month after concluding that it lacked enough Republican support to pass. He did not commit to a time

....

Pence, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and budget director Mick Mulvaney went to Capitol Hill late Monday to attend a meeting of the hard-right House Freedom Caucus, where they offered a “solid idea” that could form the basis of an intraparty compromise, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), the chairman of the Freedom Caucus, told reporters Monday night.

....

Pence, Priebus and Mulvaney received a warm if cautious reception to their proposal Monday when they hosted members of the Tuesday Group, a caucus of about 50 moderate House Republicans, at the White House for a health-care-focused discussion.

Posted by: jawbone | Apr 4, 2017 1:04:10 PM | 28

Today's Huffington Post: http://highline.huffingtonpost.com/articles/en/trump-russia-putin-military-crisis/

A post on Caucus99 a few days ago: http://highline.huffingtonpost.com/articles/en/trump-russia-putin-military-crisis/

Just saying.

Posted by: Bob In Portland | Apr 4, 2017 1:06:37 PM | 29

We have no idea where and when the alleged gas victims in Khan Sheikhun were killed. All we see is photos and video of dead and dying. The footage could have been prepared weeks ago, with a coordinated release and media campaign today.

Posted by: Ghostship | Apr 4, 2017 10:57:07 AM | 9

Yes, I noted the a limestone quarry, as seen here and here I think this is the rebel bunker just south of Al-Lataminah. It was bombed by Russia on the first day of their campaign.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Apr 4, 2017 1:07:51 PM | 30

>>>> Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 4, 2017 12:06:08 PM | 19
Have you got a link for the post I commented on in such a perceptive manner - I need a job so perhaps I can pimp my perceptive skills to some Washington think tank.

Posted by: Ghostship | Apr 4, 2017 1:21:03 PM | 31

>>>> Jackrabbit | Apr 4, 2017 11:05:18 AM | 11
I did get a reply from The Guardian's reader editor but it's along the lines of fuck off:

The picture was taken by a Reuters photographer – and presumably he knew where he was when he took the photograph.

I'm off to question Reuters now.

Posted by: Ghostship | Apr 4, 2017 1:26:51 PM | 32

Military satire

Because the contingency response group was deployed in Syria for fewer than 120 days, the group was not included in the mandated 503-troop limit for U.S. forces in Syria.

There are about 1,500 airmen in the 621st Contingency Response Group, but only a fraction of them will deploy to set up an airfield. The Air Force did not specify how many airmen deployed to Syria.

The Pentagon is assessing whether the troop limit in Syria should remain, since there are numerous categories of deployments that are not included in it, such as some special forces. If the limit is lifted, the Pentagon could provide a more accurate account of how many U.S. forces are in the country.

Who is planning this stuff?

Posted by: somebody | Apr 4, 2017 1:29:34 PM | 33

1. About anti-russian psyops in the western MSM:

Its racism, its red-scare. Where it will lead? War of course, western countries and their populations need war after all these hatred against Russians. The western msm and its politicians are not sane to say atleast, this russian hatred will not just somehow dissapear next week.
Be prepared for war.

Posted by: Anon1 | Apr 4, 2017 1:46:59 PM | 34

Bob In Portland

About the link, does Huffpost get funds from Nato putting that warmongering nonsense in print? As I said, western MSM want war, these people are dangerous for world peace.

Posted by: Anon1 | Apr 4, 2017 1:53:22 PM | 35

The MCM (Mainstream Corporate Media) has never, recently, as far as I've seen or heard, mentioned that the gas used in the famous Obama not crossing the "line in the sand" episode was found to have a chem signature which the Syrian government never used. In other words, a false flag attack -- by ISIS or Al Q alone or with input from any or all of their backers.

Which is how the MCM behaved when pushing the Weapons of Mass Destruction falsehoods to get the US into hot war in Iraq.

Do all our recent presidents get "the talk" from the dark side of the intel community, telling them that they will cooperate or they will be "Kennedy-ed"?

Posted by: jawbone | Apr 4, 2017 2:01:13 PM | 36

@ Ghostship #31

Check those tweets:
https://twitter.com/Souria4Syrians/status/849317541990289409
https://twitter.com/WithinSyriaBlog/status/849240804556242944

Yes, I too liked to give a good "kick" to Samantha Powers and now I am on Nikki's case - the one who thought that , after 6 yrs we don't know how the Syrian Civil war started but tried to pour the Heritage Foundation talking points down Martha Raddatz of ABC News last Sunday.

Posted by: Yul | Apr 4, 2017 2:03:05 PM | 37

ref 1
what is the end game:
make voters in France (and elsewhere) scared and rather not vote than vote for a pro Putin candidate (Fillon, blasted, Le Pen, Melenchon, Hamon does not join forces with Melenchon because of the red line)
Journalists are very conscious of the 'red line' here

Posted by: Mina | Apr 4, 2017 2:16:46 PM | 38

I see it all as a major screw-up in that general disastrous direction that b. wants us to comment about.

Nor Trump knows what is he doing, while Pentagon even less, with no real plan at all and no idea what, when and how.
EU is rather impotent right now, thinking that evil Putin and red Russia will attack at any time some Baltic state or even Poland and UK is Brextout and lost far beyond Gibraltar's 6 km² tax haven strategic self importance and its useless scare-security data while heeling to the Saudis.

Demonizing Putin and Assad goes hand in hand. We already know that and have been witnessing last "poison gas attacks" happen just out of the blue. "Now we are winning the war, let us do some chemical attack to gather the sympathy." is the question nobody asks "Why would they do it?"

The White House is certain that it is Assad behind it, who else? I am surprised they didn't point a finger to the Russian Air forces. Maybe it is just too early for that, but might happen.

It all makes you rather sad when so much different and unfair policies collide irreversibly at the same time.

Posted by: laserlurk | Apr 4, 2017 2:27:52 PM | 39

Trump should kick Haley out,

US envoy to UN not representing Trump’s foreign policy: Journalist
http://presstv.ir/Detail/2017/04/04/516760/US-Syria-Assad-Nikki-Haley-Wayne-Madsen

Posted by: Anon1 | Apr 4, 2017 2:54:30 PM | 40

>>>> Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 4, 2017 12:06:08 PM | 19
Have you got a link for the post I commented on in such a perceptive manner - I need a job so perhaps I can pimp my perceptive skills to some Washington think tank.
Posted by: Ghostship | Apr 4, 2017 1:21:03 PM | 30

Gladly.
It's in the Trump is a ... Agent thread, Comment #106.
Near the end of the main par you drew attention to the Dems dilemna. Until you pointed out the (not quite) obvious, people were talking about the whys, hows and ifs of, but not the motivations behind, the Putin Did It meme. But you nailed it onto Hillary, and explained why the Dems are rusted onto it. It's an extremely seductive truism, and a ridiculously childish situation for a Wannabe President to put Itself in.

But feel free to be excessively modest...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 4, 2017 3:15:39 PM | 41

Bob in Portland @ #28 -- You have the same URL for both HuffPo and Caucus99.

I looked for the article you mentioned on the Caucus99 site, but didn't find anything similar in last few days. Also, the site seems to load very, very slowly.

Do you have the Caucus URL?

Posted by: jawbone | Apr 4, 2017 3:34:04 PM | 42

That doctor the media is quoting as witness now is quite famous. Actually he is British.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 4, 2017 3:53:25 PM | 43

Sorry. Read it and weep:

https://caucus99percent.com/content/okeydoke-americans-were-supposed-get

Posted by: Bob In Portland | Apr 4, 2017 4:02:11 PM | 44

Amazing, EU blame attack on Syria, without ANY PROOF, this is pure fake news by EU and the coming days we will hear the same lies by western MSM and call to war. These people are insane.
http://21stcenturywire.com/2017/04/04/syria-another-chemical-weapon-false-flag-on-the-eve-of-peace-talks-in-brussels/

Posted by: Anon1 | Apr 4, 2017 4:05:20 PM | 45

Jumping to conclusions; something is not adding up in Idlib chemical weapons attack

https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/jumping-conclusions-something-not-adding-idlib-chemical-weapons-attack/

Trump's son-in-law is over in Iraq, doing what, God only knows, let's hope he doesn't get an 'al CIA Duh' special.

Posted by: Greg Bacon | Apr 4, 2017 4:21:26 PM | 46

>>>> Petri Krohn | Apr 4, 2017 1:07:51 PM | 29

Yes, I noted the a limestone quarry, as seen here and here I think this is the rebel bunker just south of Al-Lataminah. It was bombed by Russia on the first day of their campaign.
The two images you link to were both taken in the same quarry - you can see the platform the three men/boys are lying on just above the motorcycle to the left of the ear of the White Helmet with the camera strap. You can see the same doorway in the Smart TV video at 0:28 in. The image with the White Helmet with the camera strap was definitely taken by Ammar Abdullah according to Reuters. Ammar Abdullah provided Reuters with pictures of the Urum al-Kubra aid convoy attack.

This attack was claimed to have taken place in Khan Sheikhoun so why all the filming in a quarry? Reuters implies that the attack took place in an urban setting and not a quarry.

BTW, after looking at it carefully I don't think it's the Al-Lataminah cave complex which seems to consist of a road cut into a bluff where caves were dug into the hillside rather than a quarry with a number of structures in it. Also, it's about 4km from the frontline according to Wikimapia.

Posted by: Ghostship | Apr 4, 2017 4:27:39 PM | 47

This is a good Twitter summary:
https://twitter.com/NatDefFor/status/849313331420835841

Posted by: Yul | Apr 4, 2017 4:34:18 PM | 48

@mina 37
The insults are really quite overt. Saw that the Eiffel Tower and Brandenburg Gate did not pay the same mark of respect to St Petersburg as they did to Brussels, Orlando, London, Istanbul...yeah, tough break St.Petersburg. (I see Paris is dimming the lights tonight though, after some criticism) #jesuistapetersburg anyone??

Has to play in to Le Pen's hands right?? At this stage you'd nearly have to possess a disqualifying amount of retardation not to realise Europe needs to work with Russia a hell of a lot more... on security alone!! Could well have a massive red-pilling effect by now.

Posted by: MadMax2 | Apr 4, 2017 4:42:36 PM | 49

T-Rex is blaming Iran :(

Posted by: Yul | Apr 4, 2017 4:47:13 PM | 50

"The anti-Russian mania..." is all about the much larger battle of narratives, which tells us a lot about what is to come.

What we are witnessing is the collapse of the narrative that has under-pinned American empire. When a narrative weakens and cannot be substantiated with any appeal to reality, the best/only way to support it is with emotionally heavy strident accusation. The goal is not to convert, but reinforce the base/believers. The Narrative of exceptional-ism/divine right/imperial power to police, empire and otherwise rule the world has stood relatively unchallenged - even by the cultural revolution of the late 60's and 70's in the US. This narrative has moralized and rationalized American brutality around the world for over a hundred years. Hidden in it was the flaw that undid it.

With the collapse of the USSR and the US becoming a "superpower"... that narrative started to crumble. It crumbled not just because of the sheer brutality of US actions overseas, not just because of the lawless and rampantly chaotic results of their interventions and not because the empire's hidden agenda to make America's elite/corporations rich was exposed. The narrative did not even collapse because of the trauma of military defeat. The narrative has collapsed because it required individual Americans to believe they were under threat by something from outside their country, something outside their culture. Their experience has rudely awakened them to the reality that their lost jobs, lost education, lost health, lost environment, lost children, and lost faith, are not the result of communism, socialism, islam, or terrorism... but the result of the actions of their own leadership.

Trump mobilized that force in his election... which shows it's strength and the extent to which the 'traditional narrative' has crumbled. Without that narrative, the elite cannot effectively (without being held accountable) wield power.

The anti-russian rants are an attempt to re-invoke the old narrative, a re-set if you will - to the cold-war ideal. In the cold-war, it was a matter of individual American faith equal or greater to that in God, that for the good of all humanity such an incarnate evil must be fought. But the cat is out of the bag. The elites got the cat in the first time with ease. But the second time around the cat is definitely not buying it.

To restore the old narrative, the rants must run for a period of a couple months, and then emotionally laden 'events' will be arranged/start to happen. We have seen them already... gas in Syria... the russians getting payback for their actions in the middle east. But the small events no longer swing the narrative like it did in the past. A re-run of Gladio has been tried in Europe over the last 2-3 years without much success. To restore the narrative the small events will necessarily lead to several big events. Each one will be tied to the 'target' of the new cold-war like narrative. These 'events' are arranged/coming and they are not far away. But they are delayed because Trump will not chime in... For the narrative to be restored, all the significant leaders must line up and sing the same song. Trump has not done this. Very soon he will face a choice... just like Obama, who within 3 months of election had dropped the hope and change for 2nd tenor.

This is why the big events are delayed, why the rhetoric rises in emotional tone. failure to re-set the narrative will mark the end of empire and the shift to a new paradigm. Right now the only competition out there is Putin's multi-polar world. If somehow the old narrative is restored, then there will be the inevitable clash.

may you and your family be kept safe.


Posted by: les7 | Apr 4, 2017 4:50:08 PM | 51

1. does the anti-russian mania extend beyond the fake news sphere of the tnc msm? i don't think so. i think the hosts are having the party alone, no guests have shown up.

2. same with the latest 'chemical attack' ... the others were frauds, so's this one.

3. letting others experiment - with human lives, now that he's taken over as assassin in chief - is tee-rump's trademark isn't? then he fires those whose experiments didn't work out ... and replaces them. which is eventually going to be all of 'his' appointees. tee-rump will then pose as the hero for having gotten rid of the 'apprentices' he hired. that's his plan an he's stickin' to it. his feet never touch the ground, it's all performance.

Posted by: jfl | Apr 4, 2017 5:00:06 PM | 52

"Ammar Abdullah" is obviously ISIS/Whitehelmets' media man. His entire Reuters portfolio is nothing but jihadis(99% labelled "rebels"), "evacuations"(of fighters), White Helmets, Al-Nusra.

One day he meets with the FSA, the next day Al-Nusra, the next day, another jihadi group. Shows Grad rockets launching, and then the next day, next town over surveys the horror as "Assad's airstrikes". White Helmets always on the scene no matter what. He must travel hip to hip with them like the cameramen who film "Cops". UNREAL. I'd call it a traveling theatre group livestream, but of course it's more deathsquad-y than that.

He literally did a photoshoot with "training" jihadis dressed like ninjas and jumping though flaming hoops in Idlib last October.

"He knew where he was". Yes but has he told us?

Posted by: sejomoje | Apr 4, 2017 5:19:49 PM | 53

ISIS' Reuters photographer was also there when Al-Nusra downed that Russian helicopter last August. He does a whole series of published pics. The wreckage is still ablaze, white-hot.

Anyway his first Reuters pic is from April of 2013. When rebels were really moving. He has tons of stuff from August of that year too, another rebel high point, and also when Hezbollah started to really step in and help the Syrian government. And it just escalates from there. I noticed that there was a gap in October, a few weeks where he took no pics immediately after hangin' with Al-Nusra. Probably unpublishable.

Posted by: sejomoje | Apr 4, 2017 5:31:34 PM | 54

Oops make that mid-November 2013. A few weeks just hangin' with Al-Nusra that were NSFW.

Posted by: sejomoje | Apr 4, 2017 5:34:52 PM | 55

@48 mm, 'At this stage you'd nearly have to possess a disqualifying amount of retardation not to realise Europe needs to work with Russia a hell of a lot more... on security alone!! Could well have a massive red-pilling effect by now.'

someone posted a link to Zeit Fragen EN, Current Concerns, from zurich, and i read some of the stories there ...

Movement in German-Russian relations?

... is a report on same. csu premier of bavaria Horst Seehofer and former Bavarian Prime Minister Edmund Stoiber in agreement with Fritz Pleitgen, the former editor-in-chief of the WDR ...

apparently that's the 'hard' left and the 'hard' right both trying publicly to hedge bets with russia.


Matthias Platzeck also mentions the strategic consideration, which Willy Wimmer mentioned already, and which Edmund Stoiber also supports: “There is also the geopolitical challenge that Europe must be very careful not to stand alone one day. There are isolationist tendencies in the US and the power house in Far East with China. And suddenly there we are. It should be our great interest to bring Russia closer to us. Not that we then lose Russia to China in 10, 20 years.”

... i don't know the personalities, but germany has always been 'interested' in russia and lebensraum.

@50 les7 'To restore the old narrative, the rants must run for a period of a couple months, and then emotionally laden 'events' will be arranged/start to happen. ...'

i was with you till then ... great summary of the action so far. but just as the betrayal of the american middle class has shattered our belief in the narrative you outline above, so too has it shattered our belief in 'emotionally laden events' ... like 9/11 ... and shattered belief releases a cascade. once its gone 'history' is recast, and such events now only confirm the correctness of the 'awakening'. offer re-enforcement.

someone commented on ron paul's off-hand reference to the fraud of 9/11 in a remark about something else the other day. it's happening. no one believes a word these bastards say any longer.

not quite yet to do anything about it yet. maybe the 'emotionally laden events' will trigger reaction.

Posted by: jfl | Apr 4, 2017 5:53:39 PM | 56

Seymour Hersh Says Hillary Approved Sending Libya’s Sarin to Syrian Rebels

Hersh pointed to a report from British intelligence saying that the sarin that was used didn’t come from Assad’s stockpiles . . . . Hersh has implicated Hillary Clinton directly in this «rat line». In an interview with Alternet.org, Hersh was asked about the then-US-Secretary-of-State’s role in the Benghazi Libya US consulate’s operation to collect weapons from Libyan stockpiles and send them through Turkey into Syria for a set-up sarin-gas attack, to be blamed on Assad in order to ‘justify’ the US invading Syria, as the US had invaded Libya to eliminate Gaddafi. Hersh said: «That ambassador who was killed, he was known as a guy, from what I understand, as somebody, who would not get in the way of the CIA. As I wrote, on the day of the mission he was meeting with the CIA base chief and the shipping company. He was certainly involved, aware and witting of everything that was going on. And there’s no way somebody in that sensitive of a position is not talking to the boss, by some channel».

Posted by: Ahem | Apr 4, 2017 6:04:35 PM | 57

@Les7 50

One other important stunning recent addition to the undermining of the hitherto 'spellbinding narrative' is the rapid great increase in public awareness of substantial elite power structure complicity in direct grotesque predation on children, or covering up or ignoring the same. The tip of the sick iceberg has been sporadically reported on in the past, but previously the power of mass media and power to censor and hide the real extent of the insanity/perversion/criminality was sufficient, and most people whose default position is more or less normal could hardly look in that direction.

Now that seems to be changing.

Posted by: canuck | Apr 4, 2017 6:04:37 PM | 58

Piotr Berman 6
The "infighting" or conflicitng statements are interesting. It's like none of the staff are on the same page. But if they were like a Team Clinton would have been, that would have been worse.
The hypocrisy is always there especially since there have been elections and Assad has allowed some plurality which is not what Yemen's 2012 elections reflected with (US-Saudi supported) Hadi as the ONLY candidate. And when do the Saudis get to vote for their leader (and against the monarchs)?

Posted by: Curtis | Apr 4, 2017 6:13:36 PM | 59

Christ, b; you become a grotesque shill for Russian propaganda. Or you're getting a monthly paycheck from a fairly hostile foreign power, even by German standards. I hope it's a big check! You deserve it for the peddling of nonsense – you're like the twaddle-king of propaganda republication. All of this would be funny were it not made in the service of a George Bush size war criminal. Bravo.

Posted by: slothrop | Apr 4, 2017 6:24:28 PM | 60

@55 jfl "so too has it shattered our belief in 'emotionally laden events' ... like 9/11 ... and shattered belief releases a cascade. once its gone 'history' is recast, and such events now only confirm the correctness of the 'awakening'."

Absolutely true for those who have moved to an alternative narrative... HOWEVER, most people cannot stand the identity-emotional insecurity of leaving the old narrative no matter how much evidence they see. What happens is that as the old narrative (for them) collapses they get cynical, jaded, and take a collective 'f***you' stance. Most do not buy into a new narrative, they sit uneasily in no man's land. Should a big enough 'event' come along - they don't buy back in but they do GO ALONG WITH THE SYSTEM all the while protesting and giving a loud 'f-u' to anyone who cares to listen. It is this passive-aggressive following that the elites will be playing for, because in the face of it no other narrative can take over or win loyalty.

Posted by: les7 | Apr 4, 2017 6:33:05 PM | 61

Posted by: Florin N. | Apr 4, 2017 10:50:57 AM | 8
likely true as sunnis from russia are in syria,some would have ben in russia army. This is international sunnis islam war machine on the rampage and why you have an islamophobia at all.

Posted by: brian | Apr 4, 2017 7:11:48 PM | 62

Posted by: sejomoje | Apr 4, 2017 5:31:34 PM | 53

He won the Andrei Stenin photo contest by a Russian foundation. Obviously he is embedded with "the rebels".
I don't think you can stay in Syria and remain "neutral" in the conflict.
AFP has an extremely good local photographer, too. Local images seem to be much easier accepted than local reporting.
One of his photos created a controversity in Germany as it was used for a monument in Dresden - so there is a German interview with him.
Whatever he photographed he would have seen the aftermath but not what started it. "Regime media" are speculating that a bomb hit a weapons depot that contained chemicals.
But the whole thing was perfectly timed to prevent anybody actually talking to Assad after the US had accepted him as fact.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 4, 2017 7:20:32 PM | 63

Posted by: jfl | Apr 4, 2017 5:53:39 PM | 55

Germany is definitely not interested in Lebensraum the countryside here is pretty empty.
Germany will be in dire need of an export market if Trump is serious about restricting imports.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 4, 2017 7:22:28 PM | 64

As always great read: The White House converts to Democracy, by Thierry Meyssan


Slowly, the Trump administration is organising its new Middle East policy.

After having reformed the National Security Council, after having exchanged intelligence with the Russian army, after having forbidden his men to continue to support the jihadists wherever they may be, and after having launched genuine attacks on them in Yemen, Iraq, Libya and Somalia, the new President of the United States has announced that he is putting an end to his country’s interference in Syrian politics.

The US ambassador to the Security Council, Nikki Haley, did not stop at announcing that overthrowing President el-Assad was no longer Washington’s « priority » - she clearly declared that only the Syrian people had the right to chose its own President. Her declaration was immediately confirmed by the Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson.

In order to understand the progress this indicates, let’s remember that since 2012, the Feltman plan has been working for the abrogation of the sovereignty of the Syrian People.

Let it be known – with Donald Trump, the White House has finally converted to democracy, in other words - « Government of the People by the People, for the People », according to the famous phrase of Abraham Lincoln. The United States are in the process of becoming a normal power. They are abandoning their imperialist ambition. They have renounced the Wolfowitz doctrine of global domination. They once again recognise that all Humans are born equal, whether they are Westerners or not.

The astonishment of the member states of NATO was as great as the measure of the event – and because since 9/11 they have been using the concept of democracy completely back to front, they said nothing.

Finally, the French Minister for Foreign Affairs, Jean-Marc Ayrault, spoke up. « The question is not to enquire whether or not we must throw Assad out », he declared. « The question is to know whether the imternational community will respect its own engagements ». Translation - « The question is not to enquire what the Syrians want, but whether or not the United States and its allies (the « Friends of Syria ») will respect the promise of the Obama administration to re-establish a French mandate for Syria. »

For François Hollande’s team, and since bad news never arrives alone, Ankara was the first to drop Paris. After a visit with Rex Tillerson, Erdogan announced that he was giving up the idea of creating a « safe zone » in Manbij and Rakka - an elegant way of admitting that he was unable to extend to Syria the illegal occupation that Turkey has maintained in Cyprus since 1974. So that’s the end of the Franco-Turkish alliance.

In any case, the return of NATO to international law has begun. It joins the position of Syria, which has defended it with its own blood, and that of Russia and China, which protected them by seven successive vetos at the Security Council.

The next step is the one already taken by Syria in July 2012 – that is, to convince the whole of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation to stop manipulating international terrorism. That is to admit that the current version of the Muslim Brotherhood is not an Arab brotherhood at all, but a branch of the British Secret Services – and to recognise the fact that they are not Muslims, but hide behind the Qr’an in order to push forward the cause of Anglo-Israëli imperialism.


Posted by: ProPeace | Apr 4, 2017 7:24:45 PM | 65

Les7 @ 50, 60: I agree with your comments regarding the anti-Russia mania and I would add that the elites who propagate this mania are in a panic because when the narrative is applied the second time (and the third time, and the fourth ...), people do start to see the repetition and the patterns behind it, and question the "coincidences". But The Powers That Be have not the imagination, ability or skill to devise alternative narratives that would replace the current one so they're doomed to repeating it even if and when they realise it's no longer useful.

Posted by: Jen | Apr 4, 2017 7:45:19 PM | 66

Les, Jen, note the difference between the 50's McCarthyism and the current Russovitis -- Hollywood.

Where Hollywood was the hunting ground of the HUAC, now they are built in with the elites. Look at the fundraising by Geroge Clooney, or the Hamilton cast addressing Pence, or Meryl Streep at the Golden Globes?

My point being made much more eloquently by Alex Christoforou at The Duran,

http://theduran.com/jodie-foster-leads-anti-trump-protest-ahead-of-oscars-foster-houses-how-many-refugees-in-her-11-7m-mansion/

In the minds of people who voted against the status quo, there is little traction for the bullshit spewed by media outlets, as they are the starving peasants under the rolling pile of shit. At the top, however, the construction of the public narrative, half-assed as it may be, is enough. It's not that the point is to convince the public, but rather indicate to the public that the elite consider the rattling of the jewelery to be enough, so "go eat your effing cake and shut up."

People die. No one goes to jail. The Russians did it.

Posted by: stumpy | Apr 4, 2017 9:27:01 PM | 67

Another angle:

Syria Strikes Warehouse Storing Chemical Weapons Being Delivered to Iraq

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/M/ML_SYRIA_THE_LATEST?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2017-04-04-21-05-44


THE LATEST: RUSSIAN SAYS REBEL-HELD TOWN IN SYRIA EXPOSED

http://tass.com/world/939417

https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201704051052301312-syria-strikes-chemical-weapons-warehouse/

Posted by: daffyDuct | Apr 4, 2017 10:18:43 PM | 68

So depressing to read the comments section of the NYTimes.

The readers have been told that this is sarin, and they can SEE with their own eyes that the rescuers are hosing sarin onto themselves while wearing no protection whatsoever.

And nobody - but nobody - asks why those rescuers aren't dropping dead on the spot.

W.T.F!!!!! Either the dead are covered in sarin or they are not. But if they are then by their own actions so are their rescuers, so why aren't they also showing the effects of sarin exposure?

I mean, it doesn't take much to realise that the videos Do Not Make Any Sense. To much for the readers of the NYTimes, apparently.

Posted by: Yeah,Right | Apr 4, 2017 11:38:01 PM | 69

daffyDuct 67
I was looking for something about that to appear here. Maybe b will hit it next post. The MSM was shameless but I understood the second I saw White Helmets™ and heard the announcer say some reports came from "activists." They reported the Syrian govt denial but then heaped on the Obama red line declaration and statements from team Trump about Obama's weakness on this. I'm surprised the Russian side of the story even made it to AP.

Posted by: Curtis | Apr 4, 2017 11:44:12 PM | 70

@64 from the same source, the targeting swings inside the borders at Trump, but perhaps there is a chance that a coalition of "unnapproved" leaders will withstand and overcome the assault. The election in Ecuador, for instance, of Lenin Moreno, surprisingly not derailed by a CIA-authored coup, assuring the Assange followers of safe haven for now in London. But I don't expect anything but redoubled efforts from the Friends of Syria. It will take a concerted purge of operatives within and without the US borders to mount an effective defense. Turning the main guns towards the bridge from the stern to counter the guns from the bow, well, pretty much a circular firing squad.

Destroying the image – and thus the authority – of the President of the United States, before he has had the time to do anything at all, can have serious consequences. By eliminating Saddam Hussein and Mouamar Kadhafi, the CIA plunged their two countries into a long period of chaos, and the «land of Liberty» itself may suffer severe damage from such an operation. This type of mass manipulation technique has never before been levelled[sic] at a head of state in the Western world.
http://www.voltairenet.org/article195455.html

Posted by: stumpy | Apr 5, 2017 12:18:20 AM | 71

"a second leg of Turkey's invasion of Syria."

Erdogan and Binali have spoken about 'further operations'. However, the assumption that these operation will be in Syria is only an assumption.

What Yahoo News failed to report is that in a recent TRT interview Erdogan made very clear that "There is an Iraqi dimension to this roadmap, not just a Syrian one" followed shortly by the erroneous claim that "Kirkuk is a Turkmen city".

Further operations in Syria may well be on the cards, but we should not ignore the obvious media build up, and increased AKP rhetoric around Iraq. Both Turkey and Saudi Arabia, albeit in different ways, are trying to increase Sunni influence in readiness for post-Daesh Iraq. At the same time, Erdogan wants to be sure that if Kurdish influence is too increase, it should be the 'right kind' of Kurd - meaning the compliant Barzani kind, hence Barzani now attempting to lay claim to Kirkuk!

Posted by: AtaBrit | Apr 5, 2017 1:39:22 AM | 72

Reuters is running the chemical attack video non-stop on the edge of every article you choose to read.

It sure would be nice if their were a true patriot like Snowden on the inside of the organization that is coordinating the selling of the chemical attack lies who would provide the smoking guns behind the propaganda and brainwashing campaigns.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 5, 2017 2:18:20 AM | 73

Mymymy, the western Oligarchs and their associated Mouthpieces really want war badly. And on top of that most people on this planet don´t care, not for one second. Maybe someone skilled should make a comic strip, to make it easier for them to grasp what is happening. Western, Israelis and Sunni oligarchs and their pack of payed liars, bankers and war factories want to destroy Iraq and Syria to establish their pipeline to export gas to the dumb European people. The want war in Africa to further exploit the continent and make profit. The are at war with Eastern oligarchs with their assorted associates and we, the people, are their human capital to use in whatever way they like.

Posted by: K | Apr 5, 2017 2:40:51 AM | 74

Madmax, Le Pen can rely on her usual crowd of fans (usually 3rd reich nostalgics) + her new fans factory workers and a silent/invisible lot of 1st or 2nd generation French with diverse origins who fall for her economic promesses. But her programme says one thing and its contrary, she is deep into wealth scandals, and she was the 1st to be accused of Russian collusion. Yesterday was the main pre election debate, you bet it, the chemical attack question was raised by journalists against the candidates who refuse to condemn russia s international actions.

Posted by: Mina | Apr 5, 2017 4:10:27 AM | 75

Compare:

Within hours of the St Petersburg metro train terrorist bombing mainstream Western media talk of a false flag attack by Putin.

Within years millions of people wake up to the evidence that reveals 9/11 was a false flag, and the mainstream Western media rejects such an idea or ignores it.

Compare:

In pulverised powder concrete and rivers of molten steel and barely any office and no plane objects or parts surviving intact - a pristine alleged hijacker passport is found on the same day of 9/11. Though many of the alleged hijackers turn up alive and well in Middle East countries over ensuing months and years.

In the St Petersburg metro train cc tv footage of the 22 yr old suicide bomber is clearly seen and his severed blown off head is photographed in the rubble on the train.

Posted by: anonymous | Apr 5, 2017 4:40:02 AM | 76

@74 mina

noirette called trump's election months in advance. she's dismissed le pen's chances months in advance.

what do you think?

Posted by: jfl | Apr 5, 2017 4:53:21 AM | 77

@63 sb

you're right, of course. germany is in need of markets, not land. but owning the land and resources ... insofar as possible ... is no doubt attractive. lend the russians money ... and then foreclose ... a la greece? they wish. but i don't think the russians will go for it. unless putin and like-minded people are deposed and the medvedev/atlanticist group gets in. they'd sell their mothers ... certainly their motherland ... for a euro/a pund/a buck. putin looks strong from here ... but one never knows, do one?

Posted by: jfl | Apr 5, 2017 5:23:04 AM | 78

i think noirette is "he"
it is unsure about le pen because MANY people have decided simply not to vote, while her people are well organized. Fillon can rely on a huge base of elderlies plus catholic traditionalists but that 's not enough
the results will be tight and unpredictable
most msm already claim that Macron (the banks' and EU lobby candidate, favored by the MSM) has won, because they believe in the fear caused by a Le Pen win (she has 100% chance to be one of the two finalists, we have 2 tours)

Posted by: Mina | Apr 5, 2017 5:23:58 AM | 79

@71 attabrit 'Further operations in Syria may well be on the cards ...'

yeah they are. is erdogan playing the us/israel and russia off against each other, or is it the other way 'round? i guess it depends on which side you ask. the answer will be 'yes' in either case, won't it?

Posted by: jfl | Apr 5, 2017 5:27:12 AM | 80

So many commentators here bemoaning the biased state of 'The Guardian' regarding the middle east. I remember sitting in western New South Wales in 2000 when Guardian writers and bloggers clearly signaled the U S was gearing for a new assault on Iraq . They were out by about 18 months . At the time I thought the C I A will not allow that to happen again and one could see in the following years that 'the left ' was pruned away from the 'Guardian'

Posted by: ashley albanese | Apr 5, 2017 7:29:10 AM | 81

my bad (late night). It was in b's main post. But knowing the White Helmets, it still looks staged.

Posted by: Curtis | Apr 5, 2017 8:24:57 AM | 82

Okay, back on track.
As expected US media contests Russian explanation. Hassan Haj Ali. Who is this guy? A rebel leader. Which rebels?
According to this playlist, they're the Mountain Hawks Brigade.
http://axisoflogic.com/artman/publish/Article_75778.shtml
they're supported by the CIA, fighters trained by Saudis/Qatar, fought with al Nusra and al Sham. And from the recent news, they work with White Helmets.
It's interesting that the Kurds would fight them. Do the Kurds know something us misinformed Americans don't.
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/united-states-backed-rebel-groups-in-syria-now-fighting-each-other/

Posted by: Curtis | Apr 5, 2017 8:39:24 AM | 83

@78 mina

your rundown gibes with noirette's, i believe. her claim is that in the runoff everyone in france will vote against le pin ... out of 'morality', or just rigidity, or for some arcane 'french' reason.

interested to see what happens.

Posted by: jfl | Apr 5, 2017 8:58:38 AM | 84

@jfl | 79
I was actually trying to highlight Turkey's current focus on Iraq. But in some ways they are not different.
Militarily I'm not sure there is anything offensive he can do in Northern Syria without the go ahead from RF or US.
But, he is going to consolidate his 'land grab' with reconstruction, repopulation and probably a referendum! :-)

Posted by: AtaBrit | Apr 5, 2017 9:10:05 AM | 85

@jfl 77
That's no a realistic option by any means, and I don't think anyone in Germany would pursue it.
Russia has currency reserves, a swap deal with China and a trade surplus - not a chance to make it dependent on foreign loans. The only problem is that trade dependency is one-sided: Germany/ the EU badly need Russian energy imports, whereas Russia can diversify the sources of its imports.

Actually it's another good example of what I wrote about 'complementary resources': (Russia and the EU) OR (Russia and China) complement each other economically. To the chagrin of the US/UK.

Posted by: smuks | Apr 5, 2017 9:14:02 AM | 86

les7 @ 50 says:

The narrative has collapsed because it required individual Americans to believe they were under threat by something from outside their country, something outside their culture

first of all, the narrative hasn't exactly collapsed, but it's collapsing because the decline in purchasing power has reached such a degree with a large enough swathe of the population that the disgruntledness can now be felt all the way around the block. it's this chronic economic slump which has given people the time to think out loud. after all, our robust capitalist economy was always contingent on the masses keeping their dark feelings to themselves.

you'll notice that the narrative emanating from the 20% or so for whom the system is still more or less working(this 20% being generally college educated, lol) still pretty much sanctions all of the crimes and perfidies of our overlords.

Posted by: john | Apr 5, 2017 9:24:59 AM | 87

@jfl | 79
Forgot to mention that Erdogan has been talking about Manbic again recently, so it may be that he intends to extend his land grab some degree, or it may be to rally nationalist votes in the Turkish referendum.
If it is a genuine intention, however, it begs the questions: when will RF and/or US say 'Enough'?; and how realistic a land-grab can it be long-term? Arab communities will not just give up their lands and villages to inported Turkmen or whomever.

Posted by: AtaBrit | Apr 5, 2017 9:27:33 AM | 88

France, it's a cliché to say that 'everyone' (65-70%) will vote against Le Pen in the second round, but also a truism. And yes, it's a good thing!

I dislike both Fillon and Macron, and neither of them would make a good president, but Le Pen is a real danger not only to France. Her economic promises are as empty as Trump's: No country is an island in a globalized world. Unable to improve people's lives, she'd resort to racism and nationalism to keep her supporters happy, thereby fostering division and fierce conflicts both within France and Europe.

Guess who'd benefit from European infighting: The US, Russia and global financial players.

Posted by: smuks | Apr 5, 2017 9:30:55 AM | 89

Finding it mighty convenient that a chemical weapon attack occurs at a time when the focus on Assad's future had lessened in the political discourse. The Russian claim that the Syrians dropped a bomb on a chemical weapons plant, is simply them adding fake news on top of fake news (the jihadists probably released the chlorine themselves as they had done so before).

At least the Assad must go -slogan is back in the spotlight.

Posted by: never mind | Apr 5, 2017 9:31:56 AM | 90

@les7 50 / john 86

Good points...
The attempts at 're-setting the narrative' have been ongoing for some years now (2007 Putin speech/ 2008 Georgia war?), but without much success. Can't say much about the US, but in Europe anyway.
So yes, 'something big' is very obviously needed - but precisely because it is so obvious, I'm doubtful that it will happen: Would anyone believe in another 9/11, when the Neocons are so obviously desperate for it? When they try to provoke no-matter-who into firing the first shot?
Time isn't on their side, so everyone else just has to stay cool until...

I don't think Trump is any obstacle to this. His statements on foreign policy are as inconsistent and contradictory as everything else he says, so imho he'd gladly go along with anything as long as it gives him an opportunity to appear as a 'great leader'.
Which may be part of the plan: 'You better beware and do as we say, our president is completely unpredictable, and whatever happens will be blamed solely on his uncontrollable temper!'

Seen from across the pond, US politics is becoming more ridiculous and self-destructive by the week.
To summarize in one sentence: When empires decline and fall, infighting invariably escalates.

Posted by: smuks | Apr 5, 2017 9:45:22 AM | 91

Posted by: never mind | Apr 5, 2017 9:31:56 AM | 89

No one doubts that it happened as some of the injured made it to Turkey and are interviewed there.

The interesting point would be who made it to Turkey and why and who is in power in Idlib. Surely, they are Turkey's proxies there?

Erdogan did not say anything on it, or did I miss something?

Posted by: somebody | Apr 5, 2017 9:58:15 AM | 92

Heck she was not outraged when her father's air strikes killed 200+ in West Mosul or the mosque on the border Aleppo-Idlib ( or what the ally KSA is doing in Yemen).
Hypocrite
https://twitter.com/IvankaTrump/status/849581431806459904

Posted by: Yul | Apr 5, 2017 10:52:13 AM | 93

I thought water just helped spread contact with Sarin since it liquified airborne particles.

Posted by: Les | Apr 5, 2017 10:54:51 AM | 94

It is telling that there are always only civilians killed in these attacks. Is there an actual casualty count that includes the number of opposition fighters?

Posted by: Les | Apr 5, 2017 10:57:33 AM | 95

Security Council session ended without a vote on the draft resolution on Khan Shikhun attack


Deputy Syrian delegate: Damascus had provided the Organization for the Prohibition of Weapons reports on the possession of chemicals by terrorist groups

New York: Deputy Syrian delegate: The Syrian government completely rejects the falsification of facts and the fabrication of accusations

REPRESENTATIVE OF RUSSIA Some statements in the Security Council against Russia and China are unacceptable and we will not listen to your statements if repeated in this way

Posted by: UNSC Tweets | Apr 5, 2017 12:16:26 PM | 96

Nikki Haley pulls out her cardinal red lipstick and freshens up O'bama's red line.

To have any definitive evidence as to what actually happened in Khan Sheykhun is imo physically impossible. If R+ air attack took out a legitimate target that unexpectedly contained chemicals, accidents happen. Lest we forget Assad's barrel bombs... Anyone have the source on the RT bit about the chemicals going to Iraq? Have they found matching chemicals in Iraq? ??? ???

Such happy timing as Prince Jared is a floating target over Iraq and PM May Bee is buzzing around with her Saudi clients. St. Petersburg, well, back page for you.

Murdoch's empire doubling down on the air-to-ground chemical munitions narrative with CNN and REUters, as

Bannon is ejected from NSC and Trump resets his Syrian compass to poke at the O'Bamanoids, suggesting that maybe the Trumpino family is the one to finish the job. Just as W's was to finish GHW's job in Iraq.

Good Catholics, all, deny money from UN family planning while trying to roust then up to commit more homicide in the ME with unilateral US coalition invasion of Syria. Probably the pretext we need to invade Iran, come to think of it.

So, seriously, was Susan Rice just bumbling around scraping intel feed to get dirt on Trumpino, or was she on to something?

Posted by: stumpy | Apr 5, 2017 12:37:37 PM | 97

THERE WAS NO GAS ATTACK ON KHAN SHEIKHOUN!

If dead children are paraded in front of cameras, it does not show a chemical weapons attack. It is proof of murder, someone massacred these children and their families.

To claim a gas attack, you have to show photos and videos of the attack site; dead families in or outside their homes. Dead animals. Rescue workers breaking into houses and discovering the bodies.

No one ever asked or answered the essential questions: When and where did the attack happen? How was the chemical delivered? What neighborhoods were affected? Where was the wind blowing from? How were the victims taken to the place where they were first filmed? Who did the rescue work? Where where the White Helmets and their camera crews when this happened?

The White Helmets did not exist in 2013. Today they are an Oscar-winning film crew, with GoPro action cams attached to their signature helmets. They film each and every real and fake rescue operation they take part in. So why no video of the Khan Sheikhoun rescue and recovery work?

This is just another staged hoax, like the Ghouta chemical massacre of August 2013. Hostages were kept in cellars and then gassed with chlorine when the time came to make propaganda videos.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Apr 5, 2017 12:44:30 PM | 98

stumpy

Haley is friggin worse than Samantha Powers, how that is possible I dont know, its scary, the woman is obviously clueless about the world and she lies and threat to start another war, for what?

Posted by: Anon1 | Apr 5, 2017 12:50:30 PM | 99

Also, Steve Bannon leave his post,

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/04/05/steve-bannon-leaves-national-security-council-susan-rice-takedown/

Another win for the CIA, NSA, FBI and other neocon parties.

Posted by: Anon1 | Apr 5, 2017 12:59:01 PM | 100

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