Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 12, 2017

The White House "Intelligence Assessment" Is No-Such-Thing - It Shows Support for Al-Qaeda

UPDATED at the end of the post

The Trump White House published three and a half pages of accusations against the governments of Syria and Russia. These are simple white pages with no header or footer, no date, no classification or declassification marks, no issuing agency and no signatures. It is indiscernible who has written them.

U.S. media call this a Declassified U.S. Report on Chemical Weapons Attack. It is no such thing.

It starts with "The United States is confident that the Syrian government conducted a chemical weapon attack, ..."

The U.S. (who exactly is that?) "is confident", it does not "know", it does not have "proof" - it is just "confident".

The whole paper contains only seven paragraphs that are allegedly a "Summary of the U.S. intelligence community assessment" on the issue. The seven paragraphs are followed by eight(!) paragraphs that try to refute the Russian and Syrian statements on the issue. Some political fluff makes up the sorry rest.

That "intelligence community assessment" chapter title is likely already a false claim. Even a fast tracked, preliminary National Intelligence Assessment, for which all seventeen U.S. intelligence agencies must be heard, takes at least two to three weeks to create. A "long track" full assessment takes two month or more. These are official documents issued by the Director of National Intelligence. The summary assessment the White House releases has no such heritage. It is likely a well massaged fast write up of some flunky in the National Security Council. The release was backgrounded by dubious statements of an anonymous "Senior Administration Officials" (not by "Intelligence Officials" as has been the case on other such issues.)

The claimed assessment starts with definitely wrong or at least very misleading point: "We assess that Damascus launched this chemical attack in response to an opposition offensive in Hama province that threatened key infrastructure."

The Hama offensive had failed two weeks ago. Since then the Syrian army has regained all areas the al-Qaeda "opposition" had captured during the first few days. (Al-Qaeda in Syria renamed itself several times and now calls itself "Jabhat Fateh Al-Sham".) Key infrastructure had never been seriously threatened by it. Over 2,000 al-Qaeda fighters were killed in the endeavor.

Peto Lucem, a well known and reliable media source for accurate maps of the war on Syria, posted on March 31, four days before the chemical incident:

Peto Lucem @PetoLucem

NEW MAP: "Rebel" frontline in #Hama is collapsing, #SAA reverses most #AlQaeda gains made in first days of their failed offensive. #Syria


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The attack in Hama had already failed days before the chemical incident in Khan Shaykhun happened. Khan Shaykhun is not on the front line. The incident and the failed al-Qaeda attack in Hama can not possibly be related. It makes no sense at all to launch a militarily useless incident in a place far away "in response" to a defeat of the enemy elsewhere - this in a moment where the global political and military situation had turned in favor of the Syrian government. (The Defense Intelligence Agency surely never signed off on such an illogical claim.)

The following paragraphs of the released paper reveal that the assessment is largely based on a "significant body" of "open source reporting" which "indicates" this or that. This means that the White House relied on pictures and videos posted by people who are allowed to operate freely in the al-Qaeda ruled Khan Shaykhun. (Khan Shaikhun had been in the hands of an Islamic State associated group Liwa Al-Aqsa until mid February. The group moved out after fighting al-Qaeda and after slaughtering some 150 of its fighters. Al-Qaeda since moved in and now rules the town and surrounding areas.)

Several of the released video were introduced and commented by Dr. Shajul Islam who has been removed from the British medical registry and had been indicted in the UK for his role in kidnapping "western" journalists in Syria. He fled back to Syria. One of the journalists kidnapped with the help of Dr. Shajul Islam, James Foley, was later murdered on camera by the Islamic State.  The videos the "doctor" distributed of "rescue" of casualties of the chemical incidents were not of real emergencies but staged. Under who's conditions and directions where the many other pictures and videos taken and published? Why are no female children or young women among the emergency patients and casualties? Why is there no picture or video of where the people were hit by gas and were found? All videos are from "aid stations", none from "the wild".

Other videos and photos are by the White Helmets "rescuers", a U.S./UK financed propaganda prop, which is so "neutral" that it works with ISIS (vid) and al-Qaeda but not in government held areas where the actual Syrian population lives.

The Hama offensive by "the opposition" was personally planned and directed by the founder and head of al-Qaeda in Syria al-Joliani. Photos of the planing sessions were published by "opposition" agencies and widely distributed.


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The White House paper only talks of "the opposition". How can there be an "intelligence assessment" (and reporting about it) that does not note that the incident in question took place in an area where AL-QAEDA rules and that the allegedly related (but defeated) offensive was launched by AL-QAEDA. Is AL-QAEDA now officially the "Syrian opposition" the U.S. supports? The neoconned former General Petraeus lobbied for an open U.S. alliance with al-Qaeda since 2015. The new National Security Advisor to Trump, General McMaster, is a Petraeus protege. He, together with Petraeus, screwed up Iraq. Is the Petraeus alliance now in place?

The next step then will be for the U.S. to informally ally with the Islamic State. The New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman is already arguing for that:

We could simply back off fighting territorial ISIS in Syria and make it entirely a problem for Iran, Russia, Hezbollah and Assad. After all, they’re the ones overextended in Syria, not us. Make them fight a two-front war — the moderate rebels on one side and ISIS on the other. If we defeat territorial ISIS in Syria now, we will only reduce the pressure on Assad, Iran, Russia and Hezbollah and enable them to devote all their resources to crushing the last moderate rebels in Idlib, not sharing power with them.

The U.S., Friedman says, should let ISIS run free so it can help al-Qaeda which is ruling in Idleb governate. Friedman talks of "moderate rebels in Idleb" but these are unicorns. They do not exist. There is al-Qaeda and there is the smaller Ahrar al Sham which compares itself with the Taliban. All other opposition fighters in Idleb have joined these two or are now dead.

But why not use these gangs of sectarian mass murderers against the Syrian government and others? Hey, Israel wants us to do just that. And why don't we hand out anti-air missiles to them, Friedman asks, and lend them air-support. This at the same time. Surely the combination will do well.

In Syria, Trump should let ISIS be Assad’s, Iran’s, Hezbollah’s and Russia’s headache — the same way we encouraged the mujahedeen fighters to bleed Russia in Afghanistan.

Well, you know, that mujahedeen thing worked out so well that nearly forty years later the U.S. is mulling again to send additional troops to Afghanistan to defeat them. Do we really want a repeat of that at the borders of Europe?

Lunacy has truly taken over the White House but even more so the U.S. media. How can sanity be brought back to town?

UPDATE:

Professor emeritus at MIT Theodor Postol, a former science adviser to U.S. Navy command and missile expert, has analyzed the "evidence" the White House presented. The short, preliminary report is available here. (I have verified that this is the original one.)

Postol finds nothing in the White House assessment that lets him believe the incident was from an air attack. He finds signs that the incident that was launched on the ground by intentional exploding some container of 122mm ammunition with some other explosives.

He calls the White House assessment amateurish and not properly vetted by competent intelligence analysts who, Postol says, would not have signed off on it in is current form (just as I said above.)

Postol presumes that the incident was with Sarin. He makes no analysis of that White House claim (it is not his field). I don't agree with the Sarin claim. Many other organophosphate substances (pesticides) would  be "consistent with" the symptoms displayed or played in the videos and pictures. Some symptoms expected with Sarin, for example heavy convulsions, spontaneous defecation, are no visible in any of the videos or pictures.

I do not concur with Postol on the picture of the alleged impact crater of the "attack". I have seen several "versions" of the impact crater on social nets with different metal parts, or none, placed in it. Postol seems to have only seen one version. His conclusions from that version seem right. But the crater "evidence" is tainted and to make overall conclusions from it is not easy. I concur though that the crater is not from an air impact but from a ground event. I am not sure though that it is related to the incident at all.

Posted by b on April 12, 2017 at 10:06 AM | Permalink

Comments
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"How can sanity be brought back to town?"

Sadly, only a very strong punch in the face can stop a bully. It's a very hard and dangerous thing to do but one is amazed how quickly it works.

Posted by: Lysander | Apr 12, 2017 10:16:29 AM | 1

Sanity has nothing to do with this. Remember what countries General Wesley Clark was told at the Pentagon after 9/11 were going to be destroyed. The plan will not stop, no matter what. Alexander Solzhenitsyn wrote the most banned book in the world, " 200 Years Together ".

Posted by: Ray Fox | Apr 12, 2017 10:16:34 AM | 2

Elvis has (almost) left the building...

quote
----
Goodwin says he asked Trump if he still has confidence in Bannon, who is reportedly feuding with Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner. And Trump didn't exactly disabuse Goodwin of the idea that Bannon is embattled. In fact, he did quite the opposite.

“I like Steve, but you have to remember he was not involved in my campaign until very late,” Trump said. “I had already beaten all the senators and all the governors, and I didn't know Steve. I’m my own strategist, and it wasn't like I was going to change strategies because I was facing crooked Hillary.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/04/11/trump-just-made-some-very-strange-comments-about-stephen-k-bannon

Posted by: x | Apr 12, 2017 10:28:48 AM | 3

Monsters who are responsible for the death of millions in Iraq are trying to teach others about human rights? Syria was peaceful country before US started flooding the country with arms and money to their proxy armies. Assad's Syria is a shelter to near two million Palestinians that fled from Israeli "democracy". Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan... You know, seems that people from the US lost touch with reality. You are the real monsters, not Assad.

Posted by: quantums | Apr 12, 2017 10:31:31 AM | 4

b - I posted this yesterday which mirrors many of the details in your post. There is one factoid missing, that is Mattis stated at his press conference yesterday (link below) the bombing at Shayrat air base was a 'supposed' one time military campaign and not a part of the U.S. overall strategy regarding the ISIS campaign. He also stated way more loss at Shayrat than Syria/Russia has offered.

WH Lays Out Evidence that Syria was behind deadly attack...

"A senior administration official laid out evidence that the Syrian regime was behind the chemical attack in the country that killed at least 80 people last week."

"The official said intelligence gathered from social media accounts, open source videos, reporting, imagery, and geospatial intelligence showed that the chemical attack was a regime attack."

“I don’t think there’s evidence to the contrary at all,” an official who briefed reporters on background Tuesday said."

FUNNY THAT...

Intelligence and Military Sources Who Warned About Weapons Lies Before Iraq War Now Say that Assad Did NOT Launch Chemical Weapon Attack

"A critical piece of information that has largely escaped the reporting in the mainstream media is that Khan Sheikhoun is ground zero for the Islamic jihadists who have been at the center of the anti-Assad movement in Syria since 2011. Up until February 2017, Khan Sheikhoun was occupied by a pro-ISIS group known as Liwa al-Aqsa that was engaged in an oftentimes-violent struggle with its competitor organization, Al Nusra Front (which later morphed into Tahrir al-Sham, but under any name functioning as Al Qaeda’s arm in Syria) for resources and political influence among the local population."

FUNNIER THAT, NOT AS IN A HAHA, BUT RATHER IRONY -

UK-trained doctor hailed a hero for treating gas attack victims in Syria stood trial on terror offences ‘and belonged to the group that kidnapped British reporter John Cantlie’

"Dr Shajul Islam, from East London, published a video of the patients on his Twitter account after the attack. He said his hospital took care of three victims all with narrow, pinpoint pupils that did not respond to light."

"The University of London graduate was arrested and charged with kidnapping two journalists - Mr Cantlie and Dutch reporter Jeroen Oerlemans - in 2012 but was released after the trial collapsed when neither of the prosecution's witnesses were able to give evidence."

THIS WOULDN'T BE COMPLETE WITHOUT MAD DOG'S LOUSY TWO CENTS -

"The goal right now in Syria and the military campaign is focused on accomplishing that is breaking ISIS, destroying ISIS in Syria. This was a separate issue that arose in the midst of that campaign. The use by the Assad regime of chemical weapons and we addressed that militarily but the rest of the campaign stays on track"...

To sum this bunch of crap up - in less than 48 hours we are to believe the DOD's use of friggin social GD media proved beyond reasonable doubt that Assad chemed his own people in a town that is known worldwide as 'ground zero' for jihadi's, filmed by a doc who was brought to trial on terror charges (lest we forget about the UK/US financed White Helmets at $100M playing pretend propaganda chit) with the bad ass retired general now in charge of all of the militaries toys and humans stating as fact, FACT, this violation of U.S. law and international law was a one time deal b/c Assad is bad, bad, bad - I looked at the evidence and was convinced beyond doubt blah, blah blah F'ing bullshit!

Sick of it. Just sick and tired of all of it! I loathe being lied to and that SOB lied today. LIED LIED LIED.

My rant is done.

Links:

1. http://dailycaller.com/2017/04/11/white-house-lays-out-evidence-that-syria-was-behind-deadly-chemical-attack/

2. http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2017/04/intelligence-military-sources-warned-iraq-war-say-assad-not-launch-chemical-weapon-attack.html

3. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4388780/Doctor-Syria-stood-trial-terror-offences.html

4. Mattis presser https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgvnvvIoyEE

Posted by: h | Apr 12, 2017 10:35:58 AM | 5

"How can sanity be brought back to town?"

With the arrival of a Topol-M.

Posted by: Perimetr | Apr 12, 2017 10:51:03 AM | 6

Thanks b,
Lunacy has truly taken over the White House but even more so the U.S. media. How can sanity be brought back to town?

Oldtimers from the 1980 remember reading China, Russia and Iran were the great enemies of USA and to keep boss Israel safe her neighbors had to be splintered into mini statelets.


Warring is a racket and lunacy obfuscates the racket; makes for good profits. So “sanity” will not be restored.

I am reading the release of an ex see-i-aye officer that McCain, McMaster, Brennan are in a huddle and Bannon is out.
Somewhat confirming
Where is Trump’s loyalty? I was winning before he rescued me:In an interview with Michael Goodwin of NYPOST

Trump won’t definitively say he still backs Bannon

“I like Steve, but you have to remember he was not involved in my campaign until very late,” Trump said. “I had already beaten all the senators and all the governors, and I didn’t know Steve. I’m my own strategist and it wasn’t like I was going to change strategies because I was facing crooked Hillary.”
He ended by saying, “Steve is a good guy, but I told them to straighten it out or I will.”

~ ~ ~ ~
My take is Trump has given too much of his presidential responsibility to Jared. Israel and Family are always First.


Posted by: likklemore | Apr 12, 2017 10:56:15 AM | 7

It's staggering that western MSM is trying to play everyone again with a WMD false flag and an agenda that hasn't wavered since 2011. They want to partition these areas of northern Syria and create 'safe zones'. We all rebuked Hillary Clinton's call for 'no-fly-zones' and Americans voted Trump with a hope that things would be different. Fat Chance! The drip dripping US troops into Syria and the taking of airfields shows that they have no intention of leaving anytime soon. They want that conduit up the Euphrates. Trump, Clinton same difference.

The big question is when the inevitable happens and it will, probably before summer, what will Russia do? Go along with the break up of the country or maintain the entirety of the country under rule from Damascus?

Posted by: Gravatomic | Apr 12, 2017 10:58:22 AM | 8

You may want to look at T. Meyssan's assessment of the operation for an entirely different perspective:

http://www.voltairenet.org/article195904.html

Posted by: JC | Apr 12, 2017 10:59:12 AM | 9

b, '"How can sanity be brought back to town?"'

catastrophic failure of the maniacs' 'plans'. they've been at it for 15+ years and are just a mad as ever. they won't stop until they're forced to stop.

if russia can bring syria's air defenses up to par, if, for instance, tee-rump lets the cruise missiles fly at north korea and china sinks his fleet ... then sanity may return. nothing short of a catastrophic us defeat will do it, in my estimation. my fellow americans will remain catatonic, on their couches, until something happens that they didn't expect. endless us wars - and endless us 'victories' - are their expectation. and their paychecks depend on it. when did it finally occur to the germans that it wasn't exactly the way der führer said it was.

Posted by: jfl | Apr 12, 2017 11:02:34 AM | 10

Jebus wept.

It's just worthless verbage, unclassified, unattributed, unaddressed, unstructured, unprofessional, unreferenced, unformatted (re standards), etc, etc, nebulous raw text. So now some staffer in the WH does their childish version of the puerile #Fake 'Dossier', the 'Intelligence Report' on Trump, that never was ? Fucking surreal. Amateur hour at the WH, the, 'Executive' arm of government. This insanity is apparently only going to get worse. Might have to strap in for this ride and consider taking up alcohol again. FFS! :(

Posted by: Outraged | Apr 12, 2017 11:03:02 AM | 11

"How can sanity be brought back to town?"

You go full Robespierre on them and "purge" the lot of them.
Or if you really want to be sure, you go full Stalin.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Apr 12, 2017 11:07:13 AM | 12

To quote b, "Well, maybe because, you know, that mujahedeen thing worked out so well that nearly forty years later the U.S. is mulling again to send additional troops to Afghanistan to defeat them."

It worked just great. More military expenditure, without even talking about the poppy fields guarded by US and NATO troops in Afghanistan.
The USA wouldn't want to lose such a golden business, would it? Not right when they have an amazing, fantastic heroin epidemic that lines so many pockets back at home...
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/heroin-use-in-u-s-reaches-alarming-20-year-high/

Posted by: Lea | Apr 12, 2017 11:12:04 AM | 13

@JC

The whole things reeks doesn't it? So amateurish. And those BGMs had to have gone somewhere, this is a terrible failure rate or the number launched was a lie.

Either way it doesn't bode well that the 'stand off' weapons are less than 50% effective.

Also, We never found out how many failed in the Gulf War because the media was locked in. This and the failure of the Trident.

Posted by: Gravatomic | Apr 12, 2017 11:14:42 AM | 14

The west is already allied-using alqaeda isis so any acknowledgement would just be an official declaration, most likely with another name change for their proxy forces. This has been a active tactic since the west began using Islamic fundamentalists in the aftermath of WW II and to effect in defeating the Soviets in Afghanistan, destroying the progressive government then there because is was not in the orbit or under the control of the western fascists. The west thought they had it all in the bag with the collapse of the Soviet Union until an old cold war warrior saved the Russian culture and people from complete devastation at the hands of the western globalists....and here we are today.

Posted by: BRF | Apr 12, 2017 11:16:16 AM | 15

wow... devastating...

thanks b!!

Posted by: Dario | Apr 12, 2017 11:18:16 AM | 16

thanks b. good break down and analysis..

friedman and the nyt - suggesting they align with isis to take down assad was essentially what obama openly stated previously.. someone had this script written down some time ago.. nyt is just the servant to all the propaganda that is fit to print. isis is a creation of the war party, as is the divide and conquer strategy of creating a sunni/shite conflict and all the rest of the madness that continues to unfold from all of the madness...

russia can't back down, even though it is facing a rabid mad dog here.. i am sure they know this. it's embarrassing the amount of propaganda being paid for on all this with my dupe prime minister trudeau falling in line with it all.. sad times..

Posted by: james | Apr 12, 2017 11:19:10 AM | 17

@ Clueless Joe

You said it. Tumbrels & an introduction to Madame Guillotine, or industrial level, with 7.62mm/9mm pills to the back o' the head.

The 'Executive', the CIC and the rest of 'em, are now bypassing the ODNI and agencies, etc, and just conveniently making shit up on a whim, as if it was a daily vacuous press release ?!

Posted by: Outraged | Apr 12, 2017 11:20:10 AM | 18

AFP says Putin is meeting with Tillerson

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Apr 12, 2017 11:27:31 AM | 19

Only one thing will stop this. The dollar losing its status as world reserve currency.

Posted by: WG | Apr 12, 2017 11:33:04 AM | 20

@ WG who I want to thank for writing: "Only one thing will stop this. The dollar losing its status as world reserve currency."

Only one thing will stop this. The dollar losing its status as world reserve currency.

Only one thing will stop this. The dollar losing its status as world reserve currency.

Only one thing will stop this. The dollar losing its status as world reserve currency.

Only one thing will stop this. The dollar losing its status as world reserve currency.

This is all about the power and control that owning private finance brings. Eliminate private finance and you kill the God of Mammon and the evil social incentives that are attendant to it.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 12, 2017 11:58:41 AM | 21

"How can sanity be brought back to town?"

The coming humiliating defeathe may ring a few bells. And as stated above, the failure of the dollar. The empire is based more on the dollar as global reserve than on military might.

Posted by: Phodges | Apr 12, 2017 12:00:59 PM | 22

Thanks for coming back to your senses, b, I would've missed your precious reports!

Regarding your last Q, there are 2 solutions to the issue - either the US electorate grows a pair and throws the crooks out of public office or we all get to kill each other a-la Hobbes until blood fatigue sets in and we call a time-out for the next 60-80 years (2 generations is all the time needed for a society to forget the horrors of war and destruction)

Posted by: LXV | Apr 12, 2017 12:01:59 PM | 23

The hegemon won't recognise a multipolar world until the multipolar world talks to it in the only language it has grown to understand: Violence

Posted by: MadMax2 | Apr 12, 2017 12:06:21 PM | 24

"How can sanity be brought back to town?"

Is That Armageddon Over The Horizon?
http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2017/04/12/is-that-armageddon-over-the-horizon/

Posted by: Perimetr | Apr 12, 2017 12:09:29 PM | 25

Vis Trump and Bannon in terms of Bannon apparently being tossed out:

Jane Meyer wrote in the New Yorker recently about the wealthy hedge funder, Robert Mercer, and his daughter Rebekah, who are big sponsors of Breitbart. They backed Cruz in the Primary, but once he lost to Trump, they began to back Trump with lots of money. For their "donations," they more or less demanded that Trump take on Bannon as an advisor. Meyer posits that it's largely due to the Mercers and Bannon that Trump won. They started working with Trump in August when Trump was seriously lagging in the poles. Although many criticized and/or jeered Trump's hiring of Bannon, the rest, as they say, is history. It is believed that Bannon and the Mercer's are largely behind and responsible for his success.

I have read somewhere that Bannon always said he'd be out within a year. I don't believe that Trump had much loyalty to Bannon beyond whatever "good" Bannon did for him on any given day. So it's not all that surprising that Bannon is out, as are most of Trump's other initial picks as his "inside" advisors.

With Bannon and Kushner not getting along, well, it's a slam dunk that Bannon's out.

"How can sanity be brought to town?"

Clearly and quite simply, it can't unless something majorly serious happens. We all had some slim hope that Trump could be the disrupter who made at least some levels of serious change. Clearly, that ain't gonna happen.

Syria's just some sort of side show distraction. US citizens - at least a certain siginificant percentage of them - can be relied on to rally 'round the Flag, boys, just one more time if the tomahawks are flying at brown people "over there."

Frankly ALL of the media here, as everyone knows, is insanely corrupt and complete and ridiculous propaganda 24/7/365. Otherwise reasonably "sane" friends of mine knee-jerked into saluting the flag and frothing at the mouth about the horrors of Assad - about whom they know bupkiss - because they listened to propaganda about it. It's pretty frightening - really - at how George Orwell it all is. I definitely keep FAR AWAY from any tvs and radios when this crap is happening. I listened to about 3 sentences that some propagandist on NPR was spewing out. It was so over the top evident that they were propagandizing the listeners that I had to turn it off immediately. It's pretty appalling.

How will this end? No doubt, not well, especially if you're brown skinned in the ME. The dog help us all.

Posted by: RUKidding | Apr 12, 2017 12:20:29 PM | 26

A diplomat recently was saying on a radio programme that there is no one to talk to at the State Department, because the Trump team is not even complete, with hundreds of jobs not filled!

Posted by: Mina | Apr 12, 2017 12:25:22 PM | 27

Today in Le Monde, Hollande gave a big interview about Syria.
He has a general strike going on in French Guyana (no internet! only at Kourou spatial base) and a movement in the 200% overpopulated prisons (1 guard for 100 prisonners in Fleury-Merogis) but it's easier to bomb Syria.

Posted by: Mina | Apr 12, 2017 12:41:54 PM | 28

"How can sanity be brought back to town?"

Firing squads

Posted by: Former 11B | Apr 12, 2017 12:46:03 PM | 29

I agree with Former 11B, firing squads might do the trick.

The discussion of how to reform Washington kind of reminds me of Chapter 5 in Huckleberry Finn, when Huck's father was taken in by the new judge in town, in an attempt to reform him:

"When he got out the new judge said he was agoing to make a man of him. So he took him to his own house, and dressed him up clean and nice, and had him to breakfast and dinner and supper with the family, and was just old pie to him, so to speak. And after supper he talked to him about temperance and such things till the old man cried, and said he'd been a fool, and fooled away his life; but now he was agoing to turn over a new leaf and be a man nobody wouldn't be ashamed of, and he hoped the judge would help him and not look down on him. The judge said he could hug him for them words; so he cried, and his wife she cried again; pap said he'd been a man that had always been misunderstood before, and the judge said he believed it. The old man said that what a man wanted that was down, was sympathy; and the judge said it was so; so they cried again. And when it was bedtime, the old man rose up and held out his hand, and says:

"Look at it, gentlemen and ladies all; take ahold of it; shake it. There's a hand that was the hand of a hog; but it ain't so no more; it's the hand of a man that's started in on a new life, and 'll die before he'll go back. You mark them words- don't forget I said them. It's a clean hand now; shake it- don't be afeard."

So they shook it, one after the other, all around, and cried. The judge's wife she kissed it. Then the old man he signed a pledge- made his mark. The judge said it was the holiest time on record, or something like that. Then they tucked the old man into a beautiful room, which was the spare room, and in the night sometime he got powerful thirsty and clumb out onto the porch-roof and slid down a stanchion and traded his new coat for a jug of forty-rod, and clumb back again and had a good old time; and towards daylight he crawled out again, drunk as a fiddler, and rolled off the porch and broke his left arm in two places and was most froze to death when somebody found him after sun-up. And when they come to look at that spare room, they had to take soundings before they could navigate it.

The judge he felt kind of sore. He said he reckoned a body could reform the ole man with a shot-gun, maybe, but he didn't know no other way."

Posted by: Perimetr | Apr 12, 2017 12:55:09 PM | 30

It sounds like some, if not many, in the intelligence community won't stand behind it. It either came out of the White House or the Pentagon. Given the publicly available news reporting entirely sourced from the government-funded pro-opposition media entities, anyone with a search engine and a heavily slanted viewpoint could've produced the essay.

Posted by: Les | Apr 12, 2017 12:57:46 PM | 31

"How can sanity be brought to town?"

How can there be sanity without justice, also known as unfairness?

Unfairness leads to chaos. Chaos disrupts any workable system/ordering of life.

Sanity depends on a workable system/ordering that is known and has predictable results.

Posted by: chu teh | Apr 12, 2017 12:59:22 PM | 32

Here's what I think; my honest opinion so don't jump all over me as I've been calling it like I see it from day one.

Trump is a fraud and an opportunist. Trump will always do what benefits him and the family dynastic ambitions first and foremost. Look at the pattern; you canot ignore or dismiss a pattern of behavior. Example, Trump will throw anyone under the bus who he imagines has become or will become a liability for his interests.

Here's the pattern on this: After Carter Page was dismissed from the campaign; to paraphrase: I hardly knew Carter Page, Carter Page was never part of the campaign; after Manafort was dismissed; Manafort was with the campaign for a very short time; after Flynn was dismissed; Flynn made false statements to Pence and couldn't remember what he spoke about with the Russian Ambassador, just the fact that he couldn't remember is not good for someone in his position; now today we got the excuse for Bannon; I like Steve, BUT you have to remember he was not involved in my campaign until very late. I had already beaten all the senators and all the governors, and I didn’t know Steve. I’m my own strategist.

And of course, there was Christie and Lewandowski - all thrown under the bus.

After the comment he just made regarding Bannon, which borders on an indignity considering the level of Bannon's support; I'd say Bannon's days are numbered.

Let's face it, Jared Kushner has been the real Campaign Manager, the real Vice-President and even acting President here, wearing several hats. Jared Kushner, a Zionist, is running the Trump show and Bannon is the next head to roll and stay tuned, there will be more.

Jared Kushner is being groomed to be the first Zionist President, no doubt about it, and he's probably influencing policy. This is a very ambitious agenda. Trump was merely the stepping stone in all this and he's a willing participant.

Policy is morphing as was planned all along. Trump fleeced the dumb sheeple; that's all that mattered.

Because there is yet no transparency regarding the Syria file; after the strike, some people around here were STILL apologizing for Trump endlessly on yesterdays thread when the writing on the wall couldn't be clearer at this stage.

Endless bullshit has been coming out of this White House, and this intelligence assessment is par for the course.

It's just a continuation of the previous administration, and in some cases, word for word.

Look there is only one way; either the only honest politicians left in Washington that aren't Zionist bribed and co-opted start a serious third party option OR the people must storm the Washington palace and drag the traitors on both sides out of there.

I hope Putin is reading Tillerson the riot act. There is no doubt, there is conclusive evidence, there is a criminal pattern that proves that the Empire has committed war crimes in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and assisted in their commission in Lebannon, Palestine and Yemen.

Syria, as Tulsi Gabbard had the guts to state forthrightly, was a proxy war started by operatives from the U.S., Israel, and mercenaries supported by the latter and the KSA and Turkey. These countries are solely responsible for the massive humanitarian tragedy that has unfolded from their murderous complicity on Syria and failed attempt at regime change. The U.S. under Zionist foreign policy direction has committed a multitude of WAR CRIMES all over the Middle East and should be condemned for these crimes by people everywhere in all parts of the globe. Period. There is no more to see here. Every tragedy suffered by the people of Syria can be laid at the feet of the Zio-Anglo Empire!

It's time for the U.N. to condemn the fabrications that brought about this monumental crime against humanity in the Middle East and haul all criminals responsible for Yinon=Clean Break=PNAC before a Nuremburg-calibre court. It's time for the Empire to pay for all its crimes!

Posted by: Circe | Apr 12, 2017 1:03:01 PM | 33

21

Dollar role as key reserve currenvy depends heavily on perceptions of US military strength. If a US carrier was sunk or severely damaged while attacking someone, dollar and stock market would CRASH.

Posted by: andoheb | Apr 12, 2017 1:03:59 PM | 34

For a better understanding of the narrative being sold by the Iraqi OG (2011) rebels, the second half of new Intercepted podcast, Murtaza Hussain lays it out more clearly than I have heard/read elsewhere. Claiming, among other things that ISIS's role/threat has been exaggerated (but not discussing the Salafi jihadists who violently wrenched control from the nationalist rebels back in ~2012-13). He suggests -- which I doubt -- that Syria might have used chemical weapons to drive a wedge between impending American/Russian coordination.

I'm going to have to re-listen, take notes and do homework because I think the cohesion of and future political strength the non-jihadi rebels is being overstated and, as a refutation of some derided "enemy of my enemy" assumed support for Assad (because he is the USA's crosshairs), I understand some folks "buying" into this narrative (particular if, as has become common, expressing support for an Assad mediated "peace" is labeled condoning and abetting war crimes and war criminals). There's a bit of "everything you know is wrong" to the second half that's annoying.

Dennis Kuchinch is in the first half, ably explaining his "support" for allowing an Assad mediated peace.

No one talks -- as usual -- about the Rebels refusing to be seated at the negotiating table "as long as Assad is in power" ... which has been an "evergreen" demand even as the Rebels have lost territory and momentum.

I have no insight into what "the Syrian people" want and with more than half the population either internally displaced or out-of-country in refugee camps, I'm doubtful "polls" can be meaningfully conducted until a meaningful ceasefire has been in place ... good luck with that.

I'm not endorsing the contents, but I understand better how and why these people keep being given airtime/page-space that to me has seemed to be disproportionate and an effort to justify "a seat" at some future negotiating table. (i.e. "we're still players in this conflict")

podcast page at the Intercept.

Sorry so long. Eager for others' impressions.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Apr 12, 2017 1:04:01 PM | 35

I wonder when b finally has his mental breakdown trying to use reason to explain behavior of murderous mental patients, delusional psychopaths in the US government lusting for money and fame.

The true power of Deep State finally completely detached itself from politics, politicians and all the facade of any governance, democratic or not, concocted for show and to herding the American sheeple to their appropriate real and political slaughterhouses in calm and order of condemned convicts.

Before, the so-called facade of governmentality (WH, Congress, SCOTUS, MEDIA) and its puppets were at least told what to do and somewhat consulted about how to lie to the sheeple about it so riots would not immediately ensue. Now it is no longer done which is turning all of this political spectacle from a simple lowbrow farce to an Ionesco Theater of Absurd.

In fact the US so-called government is not told what actually is going on but scrambles to explaining something they are totally ignorant about, knowing no more than oblivious media and fake terrorist reality show on YT let them “know” leaving them in a role of clueless apologists for whatever Deep State is doing or they suspect or guess is doing or trying to do.

WH, Congress, SCOTUS, MEDIA by loosing a lot of its manipulative influence on the American sheeple, now struggling for their own relevance in eyes of Deep State, showing their utter stupidity and abhorrent opportunism and political hubris thinking that their privileges were safe even if they lost the ability to effectively lie and induce people attitudes and acts.

What we are observing are chaotic desperate rants of screaming maggots from Media to WH and Congress pleading for mercy before being fed to the birds of pray of Depp State that no longer needs them.

Posted by: Kalen | Apr 12, 2017 1:10:47 PM | 36

Gravatomic @ 8

>> It's staggering that western MSM
>> is trying to play everyone again
>> with a WMD false flag and an agenda
>> that hasn't wavered since 2011.

Yes.. Oh, whoa. Since "2011"? The Wolfowitz Doctrine was in the early 90's. All of Oceania's aggression in the ME should at least be seen with the early 90's as the "latest possible choice of 'starting point'", because the idea of "colonize all of it" was articulated by then.

I'd entertain much earlier starting points, going back to before the nation's "founding".

Posted by: dumbass | Apr 12, 2017 1:19:38 PM | 37

"How can sanity be brought back to town?"

As "Formerly T-Bear" said in the prior thread: "There is absolutely no evidence of the assumed hegemon self correcting - ever."

Posted by: dumbass | Apr 12, 2017 1:22:52 PM | 38

I just want to add to my 32: The War Crimes of the Empire have been committed with total impunity not with any benevolent motive/end justifying the cruel, destructive and murderous means, but to spread a culture enslaved by the almighty U.S. Dollar and to expand control over the region benefitting Zionism/Zionists exclusively, because all this was done with the pretense of benefitting the American people when nothing could be further from the truth.

Posted by: Circe | Apr 12, 2017 1:23:43 PM | 39

@34

"...impending American/Russian coordination."

Haha....Not a chance in Hell

Posted by: kgw | Apr 12, 2017 1:28:37 PM | 40

Moderate Treason aka Sedition Lite

Robert Steele - Inside Source Says Brennan, McCain & McMaster Responsible for Syrian False Flag

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8n6VCL5D7A

Posted by: ALberto | Apr 12, 2017 1:32:18 PM | 41

Posted by: kgw | Apr 12, 2017 1:28:37 PM | 40

I agree ... this is one of those post-events rationales where Putin failing to disown Assad is shown as some vast expression of support ... and the objective "all along"

While I completely understand the remnants of the original pre-Jihadi rebels (y'know the ones likely "encouraged" into some sort of Arab Spring/Color Revolution by the CIA, etc) wanting a place at the table ... "who wouldn't?" ... their inability -- for example -- to force "rebels" to share the food in besieged "rebel held territory" while apparently being the "voices from the crisis" on BBC speaks of a certain self-serving theatricality, particularly in the absence (AFAICT) of the sort of ex-pat Syrian centers, a potential locus of some new COHERENT post-Assad political power (like what the Iraqis and others achieved, even if that turned our really badly) -- but have no fear, I suspect we will see "just that" aided and funded by the usual forces ... will they be in Paris and London, per usual?

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Apr 12, 2017 1:40:59 PM | 42

1) Thanks for the precious insights & analysis, especially regarding the real "who is who"

2) It doesn't make a difference, but even so: I don't think Khan Shaykhun is actually far from the front-line. It's roughly 15 kms inland from government territory. Still, there couldn't have been any benefit for the SAA from using chemical weapons there (or anywhere else in their own country, for that matter). Maybe the guys in Khan Shaykhun were just mistaken, anticipating their losing the town to government forces any time soon, and decided to make use of the chemicals facility there (whatever shape or purpose it had) in a deranged way before having to abandon it eventually.

3) Unfortunately I don't see the SAA making any headway on the ground, despite the fact that Russian and Syrian air forces are attacking anything that’s potentially a target. Nowhere on the map, not near the border crossing to Jordan, not outside of Damascus, not around Homs and certainly not north of Hama, which is where Khan Shaykhun is situated. The only exception seems to be their fight against ISIS in the Palmyra pocket. Sure, they do have the initiative, but are they really gaining anything for the future instead of just managing to keep FSA forces down? I believe the legitimate Syrian government re-establishing control over as much of Syrian territory as possible is really the only way to bring this gang-rape victim of a country back to peace and normalcy. But they seem to lack manpower very, very much.

Posted by: Scotch Bingeington | Apr 12, 2017 1:43:38 PM | 43

@41

Interest statement attached to video link I post @41

Published on Apr 10, 2017

"From Robert Steele - We do now know (I did not know this at the time the below video was recorded and I have no link for this, it comes to me from an inside source) that former CIA Director John Brennan plotted this false flag attack, which may have involved some real sarin allegedly destroyed during the Obama Administration, with Senator John McCain and National Security Advisor Herbert McMaster. Brennan got the Saudis to pay half and McCain got Israel to pay half. They blind-sided – this is clearly treason – not only the Director of the CIA, but the President, the Secretary of State, and the Secretary of Defense. In my personal view, both John McCain and Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should be impeached by their respective legislative bodies. Whether true or not I cannot certify – it is consistent with my evaluation of each of these people, and a good starting point for an international investigation. I have long felt that John Brennan should be standing before the International Court of Justice as a war criminal, not least because of the CIA’s drone assassination program that I recently denounced in a book review article for Intelligence and National Security."

Posted by: ALberto | Apr 12, 2017 1:47:49 PM | 44

Niece piece b. I wasn't even aware that MSM presstitutes are so open in calling for cooperation with terrorists who they used to justify the military presensence in all these countries and take away all our liberties, all in the name of fighting terrorism. With the Al Qaeda rescue workers White Helmets they at least pretend but here not even that.

Posted by: xor | Apr 12, 2017 2:11:23 PM | 45

"if russia can bring syria's air defenses up to par, if, for instance, tee-rump lets the cruise missiles fly at north korea and china sinks his fleet ... then sanity may return. nothing short of a catastrophic us defeat will do it, in my estimation."
It's definitely attractive, obvious problem with this line of thought is limits of escalation can be too high. nuclear strikes back and forth kind of thing. Let it burn instad this bullshit can be attractive but egoistically because everything what is going on is not realy nessesary.

Posted by: zzz | Apr 12, 2017 2:15:10 PM | 46

@dumbass

The agenda that is a part of was of course is there, Wolfowitz doctrine >> contain Russia and Iran, do not allow Russia to rise to status again. We can see that with Nato encircling Russia. I was pointing out that since the 'uprising' in 2011 in Damascus the US policy hasn't changed, they've just worded if differently and given the actors new names. They want a puppet in there answerable to Washington. I know the agenda is nothing new and goes back decades.

Posted by: Gravatomic | Apr 12, 2017 2:22:22 PM | 47

Live Zio Jazeera broadcast of press conference after Tillerson/Lavrov talks....
US/Russia couldn't be further apart. Tillerson is lying his ass off about Assad. Lavrov says Assad is irrelevant and Syrians will choose their own president. Lavrov listed Christian Colonial (NATO) crimes against numerous countries commencing with Yugoslavia and pointing out that in every case these R2P interventions produced the opposite result from the pre-intervention promises.

I think Russia's patience with US-NATO is on the threshold of expiry.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 12, 2017 2:35:15 PM | 48

From Robert Parry's assessment of the four-page NSC white paper, Trump Withholds Syria-Sarin Evidence:

In the case of the April 4 chemical-weapons incident in the town of Khan Sheikhoun, which reportedly killed scores of people including young children, I was told that initially the U.S. analysts couldn’t see any warplanes over the area in Idlib province at the suspected time of the poison gas attack but later they detected a drone that they thought might have delivered the bomb.

According to a source, the analysts struggled to identify whose drone it was and where it originated. Despite some technical difficulties in tracing its flight path, analysts eventually came to believe that the flight was launched in Jordan from a Saudi-Israeli special operations base for supporting Syrian rebels, the source said, adding that the suspected reason for the poison gas was to create an incident that would reverse the Trump administration’s announcement in late March that it was no longer seeking the removal of President Bashar al-Assad.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Apr 12, 2017 2:41:54 PM | 49

Sanity? Not going to happen except from within from a critical mass of Americans woken up and mad about the agenda. And that's not going to happen either.
"We assess." CIA said that about Russian hacking. And yet they did not talk to the guy who hosted the server. "Open source?" What open source? Or are we talking about White Helmets? It sounds like the CIA is backing the White House in a lying/propaganda campaign just like Tenet did with Cheney/Bush.
"We are certain that the opposition could not have fabricated all of the videos and other reporting of chemical attacks. Doing so would have required a highly organized campaign to deceive multiple media outlets and human rights organizations while evading detection."
Really? But you're depending on them and have been for a while. And did Doctors Without Borders and Amnesty International do a full analysis of the bombs, where they struck, etc or just check out the patients.

Posted by: Curtis | Apr 12, 2017 2:42:04 PM | 50

@20 wg quote "Only one thing will stop this. The dollar losing its status as world reserve currency."

yeah, but that will be the end result and it is going to take a while to get their, unless as someone else pointed out some major event happens to shift perception of the military supremacy of the usa.. even then, it won't happen quickly.. in the meantime it will be business as usual... all the poodles and lapdogs for the continuation of this system, will continue to be poodles and lapdogs for the continuation of what we have.. wish it could happen sooner and we didn't have to go thru hell to get their, but the planet will go thru hell on the way..

Posted by: james | Apr 12, 2017 2:42:31 PM | 51

MIT Professor Postol’s review:

White House claims on Syria chemical attack ‘obviously false’ 12 Apr, 2017

[.]

“I believe it can be shown, without doubt, that the document does not provide any evidence whatsoever that the US government has concrete knowledge that the government of Syria was the source of the chemical attack in Khan Shaykhun,” wrote Postol.
A chemical attack with a nerve agent did occur, he said, but the available evidence does not support the US government’s conclusions.

[/]
“Any competent analyst would have had questions about whether the debris in the crater was staged or real,” he wrote. “No competent analyst would miss the fact that the alleged sarin canister was forcefully crushed from above, rather than exploded by a munition within it.”
Instead, “the most plausible conclusion is that the sarin was dispensed by an improvised dispersal device made from a 122mm section of rocket tube filled with sarin and capped on both sides.”

We again have a situation where the White House has issued an obviously false, misleading and amateurish intelligence report,” he concluded, recalling the 2013 situation when the Obama administration claimed Assad had used chemical weapons against the rebels in Ghouta, near Damascus.
“What the country is now being told by the White House cannot be true,” Postol wrote, “and the fact that this information has been provided in this format raises the most serious questions about the handling of our national security.”

RT Link


Curious bubbling: why US would reject the OPCW investigating the alleged attack.

FF, yesterday listened to an interview with a clip of Gen. Mattis confirming his intelligence on the event was supported by what he read on social media.

Honestly, searching for the clip…did not dream this.
Social media!! where is Lucy and Charlie Brown?

There is not enough outrage

Posted by: likklemore | Apr 12, 2017 2:44:31 PM | 52

"Russia's allegations fit with a pattern of deflecting blame from the regime and attempting to undermine the credibility of its opponents."
That sounds very familiar.

Posted by: Curtis | Apr 12, 2017 2:45:30 PM | 53

Is Trump pushing back on neocons or joining them?

Cold War Messaging Yields Insight into US-Russian Conflict

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 12, 2017 2:46:24 PM | 54

Gravatomic @ 47

Sorry for nitpicking your statement and effectively misinterpreting it.

Posted by: dumbass | Apr 12, 2017 2:51:34 PM | 55

State Department Employee Arrested and Charged With Concealing Extensive Contacts With Foreign Agents

A federal complaint was unsealed today charging Candace Marie Claiborne, 60, of Washington, D.C., and an employee of the U.S. Department of State, with obstructing an official proceeding and making false statements to the FBI, both felony offenses, for allegedly concealing numerous contacts that she had over a period of years with foreign intelligence agents.

The charges were announced by Acting Assistant Attorney General Mary B. McCord for National Security, U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips of the District of Columbia and Assistant Director in Charge Andrew W. Vale of the FBI’s Washington Field Office.

source - https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/state-department-employee-arrested-and-charged-concealing-extensive-contacts-foreign-agents

Posted by: ALberto | Apr 12, 2017 2:56:05 PM | 56

Nato chief visiting Trump today
Ksa blackmail certainly has to do with oil prices and threats to rise them, no?

Posted by: Mina | Apr 12, 2017 3:00:08 PM | 57

The reliance on "open-source" pictures and video and circumstantial presumption - i.e. regime planes were in the area so they must be responsible - is very similar to MH-17. I don't know that many persons outside of those whose job depends on believing these reports, actually believes these reports.

One claim made during the "unnamed senior official" backgrounder yesterday was that the "rebels" do not have access to sarin (which was later qualified as "rebels in that area" do not have access). That does not seem factual. Has there not been connections established between rebels and sarin, and beyond what was reported by Hersch?

Posted by: jayc | Apr 12, 2017 3:11:28 PM | 58

"open source"

I know of at least a dozen such that provide evidence-backed analysis proving the Outlaw US Empire's assertions to be 100% false, and one of the more important sites owners/contributors have been issued death threats, https://sputniknews.com/europe/201704121052568643-white-helmets-video-fabricated-noli-swedhr/ And that source--The Indicter--used the same open sources to arrive at its verdict because it actually watched with critical eyes.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 12, 2017 3:24:08 PM | 59

Maybe the people in Washington act insane because -- like HAL 9000 -- they can't mentally personally reconcile conflicting overall goals, marching orders, propaganda, and whatever morsel of morality they might still possess.

If Washington's choices are shaped at least in part on behalf of planners in Jerusalem, then perhaps Putin primarily should negotiate (with carrot and stick) directly with Bibi and skip the confused middlemen.

It's worth trying. Indeed, well prior to Israel seemingly acquiring a "controlling stake" in American influence, America was quite genocidal and untrustworthy (like all other empires, I imagine). Negotiating more with Israel has a better chance of peaceful outcome as any. Try that and hope Israel really does -- as some Israelis have noted -- control American policy.

Just brainstorming some ideas for a peace plan:

- Give Israel the Golan Heights. (We know they're not going to give it up anyway.)

- Combined US/Russian/Chinese troop presence in the region, for stability. (We know those powers or outsiders won't stop meddling until they dot the region with bases anyway. Any semblance of "independent" Syria or Kurdistan or Jordan is pure pretense.)

- Cut the MIC in order for the US to make multi-trillion war reparation payouts -- not "loans" or earmarks for NATZO contractors -- to Syria and to any Palestinians willing to resettle out of apartheid Israel (helps Israel remain a reservation / homeland for a frequently persecuted group and also help them return to being an actual democracy) into neighboring Syria.

- US pays war reparations to Libya, too.

- KSA should pay huge war reparations, too, and be forced to hold elections. "Royal" family wealth should be repatriated to the new democratic state.

If you offer Israel the Golan and to remove Palestinians by enticing the victims to resettle with huge financial incentives (instead of "persuading" them with bullets and starvation), could we finally see peace in the region?

Alternatively, if America isn't and can't be controlled, then really there's no hope but war or surrender for Assad and, eventually, everyone.

What would a peace plan look like, to you?

Posted by: dumbass | Apr 12, 2017 3:27:40 PM | 60

I believe recent events indicate the initial stages of a US invasion of eastern Syria. The US is moving troops into eastern Syria from Iraq and Jordan and increasing troop numbers in Afghanistan. Another telltale is Erdogan flipping again back to the US camp.

Other reports may be related. Allegedly, significant amounts of military equipment were offloaded in Lebanon. Also, Israel appears to be in final stages of preparation for an incursion into Lebanon. Likely, Israel hopes to capture at least the Litani River region in Lebanon, openly claimed by Israel as Israeli water since before the Iraq invasion of 2003.

I believe McCain and Graham control US foreign policy and probably have done so since the Trump inauguration. In this respect, the Trump presidency was dead on arrival. The current plan for Syria is the original neocon plan, the McCain and Graham plan. Israel heartily approves.

Most likely, the contrived chemical weapon "event" in Khan Sheikhoun was ordered by McCain and Graham in order to send a message via a missile strike on Shu’ayraat Airbase.

The message is this: the US is serious about taking control of eastern Syria, and will not be deterred by Russia or China.

The strike was intentionally weak and avoided killing Russians in order to allow Russia an opportunity to "get on board." I no longer believe there was any other deal. If correct, Tillerson probably delivered another message today to Lavrov that effectively states: we will not stop; you can work with us, you get out of the way, or you can get run over. Most likely, Trump delivered the same message to Xi while in Florida. The timing was not coincidental.

Reports of Chinese troops operating in the border region of Afghanistan as of several weeks ago have been posted. The additional US troops requested now for Afghanistan may be intended to discourage any further Chinese advance.

All of this is quintessential McCain and Graham. Essentially, McCain and Graham are betting the farm that Russia (and China) will accede to US demands for Syria. As of March 28, 2017, political analyst A. Korybko seems to concur:

"It’s very rare for any war nowadays (key word) to be concluded without some degree of compromises, concessions, and trade-offs taking place between all sides, and in a very complicated and quagmire-prone situation where Russia has wisely opted to seek a political – and not military – solution to the conflict (just as all sides have officially done, at least), it’s clear that Moscow lacks the will to commit itself to advancing Damascus’ preferred outcome of retaining the country’s unity."

(http://21stcenturywire.com/2017/03/28/syria-approaching-the-finishing-line-geopolitical-jockeying-for-position-intensifies/)

The US has no intention of reversing course. Therefore, Russia's reply to Tillerson will determine whether the strike on Shu’ayraat marks the beginning of WWIII or the dismemberment of Syria.

Posted by: mrr52 | Apr 12, 2017 3:33:48 PM | 61

More evidence what a neocon lover Trump is:

Trump Meets NATO Head, Confirm Commitment to Alliance
read more: http://www.haaretz.com/us-news/1.783133

Posted by: Anon1 | Apr 12, 2017 3:39:01 PM | 62

Results of the Tillerson-Lavrov-Putin talkfest are emerging, https://sputniknews.com/europe/201704121052568643-white-helmets-video-fabricated-noli-swedhr/

Tillerson says: "We both believe in a stable and unified Syria," which presumably means no partitioning. But as jas commented, Tillerson's just repeating talking points while Lavrov is trying to deal with real issues. I didn't read much that would persuade me to be reassured, particularly sine the Assad must go cannard is still point #1: "We [US and Vassals]think its important that Assad's departure is done in an orderly way ... the final outcome in our view does not provide a role for Assad or the Assad family. We will not accept that, we don't believe the world will accept that," except that the world already does accept Assad as Syria's legitimate leader.

Here's the link to TASS's recap. Both sites provide video, http://tass.com/world/941043

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 12, 2017 3:56:56 PM | 63

@61, page not found.

Posted by: ruralito | Apr 12, 2017 3:58:13 PM | 64

Russia just vetoed a resolution that called for military action if Syria didnt follow the resolution. Backed by the US and its pathetic lackeys.

Posted by: Anon1 | Apr 12, 2017 3:59:18 PM | 65

@64 Did you try without the brackets?

Posted by: dh | Apr 12, 2017 4:03:00 PM | 66

@65

...and China abstained. WTF??? China should have voted a firm NO. China wants Iran's oil and gas and in return gutless support.

Posted by: Circe | Apr 12, 2017 4:11:10 PM | 67

@mrr52

I believe McCain and Graham control US foreign policy and probably have done so since the Trump inauguration. In this respect, the Trump presidency was dead on arrival. The current plan for Syria is the original neocon plan, the McCain and Graham plan. Israel heartily approves.

I agree that it at least seems like McCain & Graham control US foreign policy and possibly have done so since Trump was inaugurated. They certainly had a hand in US foreign policy during ObamaCo - at least they really tried hard to have power, sway & influence and probably did.

Never forget when McCain ran for POTUS in 2008 he sang about "Bomb bomb bombing Iran." A word to the wise... no doubt that old demented fool has that back on his radar. McCain's never forgiven or forgotten that he lost to "that one," the darkie, and has had revenge fantasies ever since.

Posted by: RUKidding | Apr 12, 2017 4:13:19 PM | 68

b, I just want to note again that the video you link supposedly showing White Helmets wandering freely in ISIS controlled territory was taken in East Aleppo. ISIS never had much presence there. It seems more likely that it's just further evidence of them working with/being Al-Qaeda, and the person who runs that YouTube channel doesn't understand, or can't be bothered with, the difference between AQ and ISIS.

Posted by: Merasmus | Apr 12, 2017 4:13:55 PM | 69

Even Bolivia had the guts to vote AGAINST. Hey XI grow a fucking spine!!!

Posted by: Circe | Apr 12, 2017 4:15:11 PM | 70

dumbass @60--

"What would a peace plan look like, to you?"

A proper peace plan would provide justice for regional events since 1945, which would entail the defanging of the Zionist Entity and establishemnt of a single state: Palestine. Something would need to be done about Saudi/GCC/Turkish terrorist sponsoring as well as Outlaw US Empire/NATO for same. Personally, I'd prefer the establishment of a multiethnic state comprising the territories of Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, and Kurdish zones, with Turkey ceding most of its Kurdish lands as punishment for its support of terrorism. Essentially, taking Yinon and turning it inside-out.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 12, 2017 4:15:48 PM | 71

When it comes to recognize their mistakes that cost human lives, the American presidents are deaf and dumb.
There is no other reply to persistent bullying than violence. When it reaches the USA, no one should be surprised.

Posted by: virgile | Apr 12, 2017 4:20:33 PM | 72

Posted by: Circe | Apr 12, 2017 4:15:11 PM | 70

Hey XI grow a fucking spine!!!

That chocolate cake was really yummy I guess.

Posted by: hopehely | Apr 12, 2017 4:20:47 PM | 73

Russia vetos UN resolution clearly designed to use force.

"”The result of the vote is as follows: ten votes in favor, two votes against, three abstentions. The draft resolution has not been adopted owing to the negative vote of a permanent member of Council," US Ambassador and current Security Council President Nikki Haley stated."

https://www.rt.com/news/384534-un-resulution-syria-chemical/

Posted by: dh | Apr 12, 2017 4:22:28 PM | 74

Is Trump Enlisting in the War Party?
Pat Buchanan

Are we certain Assad personally ordered a gas attack on civilians?

For it makes no sense. Why would Assad, who is winning the war and had been told America was no longer demanding his removal, order a nerve gas attack on children, certain to ignite America’s rage, for no military gain?

Like the gas attack in 2013, this has the marks of a false flag operation to stampede America into Syria’s civil war.

Posted by: virgile | Apr 12, 2017 4:24:54 PM | 75

Circe

Re: China abstained.

Indeed, thats what I have been saying too here past week, China is naive, they will sell out North Korea too, I didnt expect this but it seems China got great trade deals by Trump and now becoming a puppet to the neocon agenda on Syria, North Korea and sooner or later China itself.

Posted by: Anon1 | Apr 12, 2017 4:28:13 PM | 76

My goodness, the gesturing style of Stoltenberg makes him look very skeezy

Posted by: aaaa | Apr 12, 2017 4:31:36 PM | 77

the attack on Syria was to warn Assad not to reach Idlib. Because in Idlib there are many westerners, western paid proffesional killers.

so trump wants to give time to the western paid killers to escape from Syria and not to change sides, because this will be a desaster for the picture the USa has painted untill now.

Posted by: aaaa | Apr 12, 2017 5:09:38 PM | 78

Russia was correct to use its veto at the UNSC. The purpose of the Resolution was to use chapter 7 in the event of the Resolution not being implemented the way the US wanted. Remember the way Resolution 1441 was used against Iraq, which only said Iraq would face 'consequences' if it did not disarm, similarly a Resolution not vetoed by Russia and China for a limited no fly zone over Libya was used for regime change by the West, to the fury of Russia and China [they were conned].The West are not going to give up its regime change machinations, anyone including Lavrov who think they can do a deal with the US are delusional. Russia, Iran and Hezbollah need to prosecute the war to its conclusion on their own, and expect the US to interfere at every turn. An earlier poster said the army did not have the manpower, if that's the case Iran has a huge army and reserves, surely they could make up any shortfall, even if only taking up defensive duties, thereby relieving the Syrian army to concentrate on more offensive duties elswhere.

Posted by: harrylaw | Apr 12, 2017 5:24:20 PM | 79

likklemore@52. Thanks for that RT link,there is no greater authority on this subject than Professor Theodore Postol at MIT. I was willing to give Trump a chance, not now he has chosen to turn 180 degrees on the basis of a nothingburger. Never trust the US, never.

Posted by: harrylaw | Apr 12, 2017 5:33:02 PM | 80

The UNSC item was a draft, not a formal document and needed to have full consensus to move to the latter status, meaning that no veto was reequired. Given the nature of the vote, China's abstention wasn't unusual.

Further analysis of the Lavrov/Tillerson PC is available here, wherein an announcement of a trilateral meeting of Russian, Iranian and Syrian Foreign Ministers will occur within 48 hours was reported, http://theduran.com/5-ways-russia-outwitted-the-us-in-one-day/

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 12, 2017 5:35:19 PM | 81

don't worry.. warmonger nation will go around the un.. un don't mean shit to the exceptional nation..

Posted by: james | Apr 12, 2017 5:36:01 PM | 82

@79

I suspect the purpose of the draft resolution was for Russia to veto it. Now they have done so they can be accused of a cover up.

They had no option but to veto it though for the reasons you state.

Posted by: Bob | Apr 12, 2017 5:36:50 PM | 83

@33 Circe

Yesterday I was pondering whether or not Trump was the antichrist. Now, after reading your post, I've decided it's that fucking Jared. He's got a lot of torque for a young guy. He even looks like he comes out of central casting. Steve Bannon is on the ropes, so are Spicer and Conway. Nobody ever hears of that Miller guy anymore. But Jared just keeps getting more important.

They'll be writing a lot of books about this bunch. That's if they don't get us all killed. I'm old enough to remember Watergate. I wasn't following it too closely because I was 25 and didn't give a shit. But I remember the intrigue and the drip drip of revelations about what a scuzzy bunch was running things. This Russiagate business has the same potential to blow this administration to hell.

I don't know anymore than anybody else who leaked the emails and who hacked what. But I'd bet my last dollar that between Manafort, Page, Kushner, Flynn and whoever else met with Russian heavies there was a whole lot of scheming going on about the kind of pelf could be generated with a modicum of cooperation. It's like the Russian Mafia hooks up with Tony Soprano. Look at the amount of cash that could be laundered through Trump's holdings. It boggles the mind.

I want to see somebody like Al Franken question these guys in an open Senate Inquiry. There would be multi-levels of deniability for both Trump and Putin to be sure. But anyone with half a fucking brain cell will be able to connect the dots.

Now Trump's found his mojo. He's a war president and fancies himself a damn good one. It's too bad about financial opportunities that may be lost but a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do. He's got Mad dog and McMaster to guide him and they're safe in their jobs till the first carrier gets sunk. But I'm sure after he says his prayers and gets into bed he spends a minute or two thinking about the FBI.


Posted by: peter | Apr 12, 2017 5:43:31 PM | 84

'It is indiscernible who has written them'

Trump scribblings?

Posted by: brian | Apr 12, 2017 6:33:13 PM | 85

Playing China off Russia seems part of the game too. Breaking that alliance weakens any potential challenge to our hegemony. Trading America First and a good trade deal for China in return for cooperation on NK and Syria probably wont play with a faction of Trumps supporters , but he is not interested in a second term anyways.

Putin is not as secure as people think he is. Lot of the oligarchs would like him gone. The media has all kinds of western influence and coverage is not as one sided as in the US, even state owned RT has been infiltrated. Plus he has an enemy oligarch in Khodorkovsky exiled in London stirring the pot with Open Russia.

"Khodorkovsky has described Open Russia as a “horizontal alliance,” explaining: “What is needed now for effective resistance is not a party with yet another ‘vertical’ structure, eager to fight for power, but a ‘horizontal’ alliance of the vast number of ‘small civic groups’ that form the underlying fabric of civil society and that solve their own concrete problems locally.”

Open Russia seeks to build a solid, sustainable foundation for democratic governance when change eventually, and inevitably, comes to Russia. Khodorkovsky explains: “I’m working to ensure that, when everything collapses, Russia has political forces created with society’s understanding and recognition that will keep the country from making the same mistakes all over again. The goal is to show people both in and outside of Russia that there is another model of existence in our country, open to the world, not isolationist. And we need political forces that will act with a clear plan, putting the country on a healthy, democratic track of development, guided by the rule of law, the separation of powers, and fair elections.”

Recent protests and terrorist attacks in Russia may well be connected.

Putin will retire in a couple if years and has socked away billions. He is not risking a comfortable retirement over Syria, especially if he has to stand alone w/o China. He will play the game in standing up for Syria but in the end he will stop short of direct confrontation with US forces. Russias military strength is just s shell of what it was compared to the Soviets Superpower days.

All of which means Assad's days are numbered and their best play might be in knocking him off to call off the dogs

Posted by: Pft | Apr 12, 2017 6:45:44 PM | 86

re 84
"But I'd bet my last dollar that between Manafort, Page, Kushner, Flynn and whoever else met with Russian heavies there was a whole lot of scheming going on about the kind of pelf could be generated with a modicum of cooperation. It's like the Russian Mafia hooks up with Tony Soprano. Look at the amount of cash that could be laundered through Trump's holdings. It boggles the mind."
YOU get the brass ring, I than that is exactly what was happening until Putin said no. Now they are left with selling the use of the US war machine to the highest bidders and I suspect successfully; have you seen all the very large loans coming out of the ME for Trump projects? My hat is off to you and I am thoroughly depressed.

Posted by: frances | Apr 12, 2017 6:50:50 PM | 87

Lavrov to Tillerson "We would like to see any evidence, any hard practical evidence," he said. "So far we haven't seen any, and I would like to stress once again: what we are doing in Syria, we are doing based on the request of a legitimate government that is a member of the UN… we are there to fight terrorism. It is in our best interest to stop [Daesh] and Al-Nusra from reigning in Damascus." [Sputnik News] I guess Tillerson replied... "Evidence? We ain't got no evidence. We don't need no evidence. I don't have to show you any stinkin' evidence!"

Posted by: harrylaw | Apr 12, 2017 7:02:18 PM | 88

i say b,
old chap the wogs are getting out of hand,time to whip out the paint stripper and remove with extreme prejudice.not a pretty picture at all.
perhaps a dab of anusol would help. applied to your tender pucker would ease the pain of writing these silly pieces for the empire

Posted by: biggs | Apr 12, 2017 7:02:29 PM | 89

I write little here ...
The last time was to say that Putin would take some of Kadirov to Syria for a decent cleaner.
It seems like it happened ...
In this recent event, there are two, best, three ...
The first, Syria, Putin will not go back, Israelis / Turks and USA are fucked (excuse the word cool).
Ukraine is imploding like a black hole, no comments ...
There remains North Korea, an unknown with a "Variag", an oil tanker and two nuclear submarines (hidden, of course) in South Korea ...
An American fleet at full steam heading for area, 150,000 Chinese soldiers to the north.
All these people to watch April 15 the commemoration of the birth of the first Kim.
It will be a memorable party!
I expect!
Send the popcorn to the radioactive oven!
Hehe.

Posted by: Proftel | Apr 12, 2017 7:53:51 PM | 90

@ Harrylaw, 80

b, in his update above, has found some deficiencies in Postol’s review.

~ ~ ~ ~
This BBC interview with former UK Ambassador to Syria Peter Ford takes the prize:

Former British Ambassador to Syria, refused to go along with the BBC propaganda on Syria live on air yesterday.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KU5taO5vRDo

[.]
“I don’t leave my brains at the door when I examine a situation analytically. I try to be objective,”

“And based on previous experience, including Iraq, we can see that we cannot take at face value what the so-called intelligence experts tell us when they have an agenda.

“Trump has just given the jihadis a thousand reasons to stage fake flag operations, seeing how successful and easy it is, with a gullible media, to provoke and lead the West into intemperate reactions.[.]

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

@ Pft 86
Playing China off Russia seems part of the game too. Breaking that alliance weakens any potential challenge to our hegemony. Trading America First and a good trade deal for China in return for cooperation on NK and Syria probably wont play with a faction of Trumps supporters, but he is not interested in a second term anyways.

Never mind the chocolate cake Trump served up Xi and his recent U-turn that China is not a currency manipulator;
LINK - 5 promises broken in 24 hrs as Trump flip-flops

Playing China off Russia will not be successful. Russia and China knows the USA can not be trusted. See the announcements last week

Moscow And Beijing Join Forces To Bypass US Dollar In Global Markets, Shift To Gold Trade

Posted by: likklemore | Apr 12, 2017 8:08:45 PM | 91

@circe 70, Anon1 76

Nah....it seems hard to understand for westerners, but China simply doesn't want confrontation unless it's really absolutely necessary. Beijing doesn't want to form blocks, ally with group A against group B, in the process alienating the latter and hindering future cooperation.
It doesn't want a share, but the entire pie, so as to leave no opposition to its global dominance.

There's no need to veto stuff that's already being vetoed.

Breaking the Moscow-Beijing alliance? Cute idea; and five years ago, there might even have been a very slight chance. Not after what happened in 2014. Moscow waited almost forever before 'formalising' this alliance, it wasn't even too keen on that imo (it would prefer the EU as a partner), but the west left it with little choice.

The current NK drama looks almost too scripted to be a movie. Everyone's moves are so perfectly coordinated, it seems like they rehearsed it beforehand. The last round had even more fireworks though, with Park's ouster and the THAADs. What'll be the climax this time? What will be flying around - missiles, B-2's, caesium isotopes or just pompous words?

Posted by: smuks | Apr 12, 2017 8:45:15 PM | 92

Russia Is Preparing For Hot War
... as a result of the Empires actions ...

"I think this is the most dangerous moment in American, Russian relations since the Cuban Crisis"
- Stephen Cohen, Professor emeritus of Russian studies at Princeton University and New York University

Video & transcript.

Posted by: Outraged | Apr 12, 2017 8:46:25 PM | 93

@ Posted by: smuks | Apr 12, 2017 8:45:15 PM | 92

Breaking the Moscow-Beijing alliance? Cute idea; and five years ago, there might even have been a very slight chance.

Indeed.

Though actually 16 years, from the inception of SCO in 2001. Wonder what events were relevant re 2001 ? ;)
And incrementally so ever since, especially so within the last 5 years, crucially the last 2-3 years.

Though China will respond, directly or asymmetrically, and has always done so in the modern era, when sufficiently aggrieved or directly provoked.

Not wise to poke a stick at the Bear ? Best not even think of aggravating the woken Dragon.

It's a little difficult to fight and win in 'Total War' terms when the western economies would promptly collapse, and not having any sort of comparative manufacturing base to actually wage non-nuclear sustained conventional war ?

See Axis vs USSR/China and minor minnow allies US/UK/et al for how that turned out in WWII ... the true reality, not the western 'victors' propaganda counter-factual false history narrative, a deeply ingrained nurtured & embedded mythology for generations.

Posted by: Outraged | Apr 12, 2017 9:05:17 PM | 94

@ outraged 93

Dangerous times indeed.
Thanks for sharing the video and transcript - Prof. Stephen Cohen's interview. Sadly, no one in D. C and or FL has any time for experts and critical thinking. Facts and consequences be damned.
In a debt based economy, wars sustain the profits. The MIC is the Feds' enforcing arm to preserve and protect the FRN.

Posted by: likklemore | Apr 12, 2017 9:33:38 PM | 95

To my mind the most important giveaway from that "intelligence analysis" is this snippet: ....",laboratory analysis of physiological samples collected from multiple victims,".....

Sooooooo, still no soil samples, hey?

I will bet very good money that this is a reference to the autopsies performed by the Turkish government who - obviously - have no agenda whatsoever.

The US Intelligence Community doesn't have any samples to test. Nothing. None. Zip. Zero.

We know that for a fact, because if they did have then they'd have soil samples to test which DOES allow you to determine if the sarin is military-grade or "kitchen sarin", versus tissue samples which can't distinguish between the two.

No mention of soil samples = no evidence that sarin was dropped from a Syrian SU-22.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Apr 12, 2017 9:39:06 PM | 96

Sanity doesn't need to be brought to town; it's already there. The problem is that when it rears its head it gets kicked, villified, and spat upon.

Posted by: WorldBLee | Apr 12, 2017 9:42:06 PM | 97

Who's puppet the NK regime really is: NORTH KOREA'S KIM JONG-UN

Posted by: ProPeace | Apr 12, 2017 9:44:51 PM | 99

I assume that the Intelligence Community did not write that assessment, because if they did then they are incompetent beyond belief.

It is a very safe bet that this assessment was written by a Trump flunky, and by writing it he/she has managed to "verbal" the US IC.

Those spooks must now be utterly livid at having words put into their mouths, and I would suggest that it is next-to-inevitable that in the weeks ahead they will be making their extreme displeasure known by leaking damning contradictory evidence regarding who really did carry out this atrocity.

And when that happens it might dawn on Trump that whoever wrote that assessment has scored a massive own-goal.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Apr 12, 2017 10:00:02 PM | 100

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