Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 18, 2018

Syria - Tillerson Announces Occupation Goals - Erdogan Makes Empty Threats

For a few days now Turkey has threatened to invade Afrin (Efrin), a Kurdish held canton in the north-west of Syria.


Afrin (topographic) bigger
yellow - Kurdish control, grey - Turks, red - Syrian government, green - al-Qaeda

The threat is not serious:

  • Afrin is mostly mountainous.
  • Pictures from Turkey showed (scroll down) the unloading of some tanks near to Afrin but within Turkey. These were old M-60 tanks. They have been slightly upgraded by Israel but can be knocked out by modern Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPG) and certainly by Anti Tank Guided Missiles. (ATMG). These tanks would get slaughtered should they enter the tricky Afrin terrain.
  • There are several tens of thousands of Kurdish fighters in Afrin. They are well armed.
  • Afrin is under formal protection of Russian and Syrian forces.
  • The real danger to Turkey is not Afrin but the much larger Kurdish protectorate the U.S. publicly announced in north-east Syria.

The Turkish threats and its artillery noise have led to counter noise from Syria and more silent advice from Russia.  The Syrian government wants to show that it is the protector of all Syrian citizens be they ethnic Arabs or Kurds. Russia is proud of its role as the grown up who is calming down all sides.

The two real issues the wannabe-Sultan Erdogan has are:

  • the upcoming meeting of Syrian opposition and government parties in Sochi and
  • the U.S. backing of the PKK/YPG terrorists in north-east Syria.

Russia wanted to invite several Kurdish parties, including the YPG, to the big meeting in Sochi. Turkey rejects any official inclusions of Kurds as a distinct constituency. Russia will fudge the issue by inviting certain personalities of Kurdish ethnic who will take part in their 'private capacities'.

The second issue only came up again because of military bombast at CentCom and some uncoordinated and unsound U.S.  policy:

On Sunday, the U.S.-led military coalition battling Islamic State issued a statement trumpeting the creation of the 30,000-strong “Border Security Force.” But the announcement, which triggered Turkish denunciations, caught officials in Washington off guard. On Wednesday, U.S. officials said the coalition’s declaration was misguided—and the Pentagon issued a statement trying to calm Turkish fears.

“This is not a new ‘army’ or conventional ‘border guard’ force,” the Pentagon statement said.

This was not the first time the Central Command in the Middle East acted in a overtly hawkish and bombastic way without considering the wider strategic impact. Turkey is a  NATO member and to announce the installation of a terrorist force to guard a NATO border from the outside is just nuts. For years now the Pentagon has given way too much leash to CentCom and needs to tighten control over it.

The "border guard" force has now been renamed an internal security force which will also make sure that none of the ISIS fighters in the area, which Washington diligently keeps alive in the Syrian east, will escape across the border to  evade their next assignments.

Yesterday Secretary of State Tillerson announced the official "new" U.S. position on Syria. It is essentially a recap of the position the Obama administration had long held and does not make any more sense:

Speaking in a major Syria-policy address hosted at Stanford University by the Hoover Institution, Tillerson listed vanquishing al-Qaeda, ousting Iran and securing a peace settlement that excludes President Bashar al-Assad as among the goals of a continued presence in Syria of about 2,000 American troops currently deployed in a Kurdish-controlled corner of northeastern Syria.

(The real number of U.S. troops in Syria is around 5,000 soldiers plus an equal number of 'contractors'.)

Other listeners detected even wider ambitions :

The United States has five key goals in Syria, Mr. Tillerson said. They are: ensuring that the Islamic State and Al Qaeda never re-emerge; supporting the United Nations-led political process; diminishing Iran’s influence; making sure the country is free of weapons of mass destruction; and helping refugees to return after years of civil war.

These goals are mutually exclusive. Nothing will happen in the UN process in Geneva as long as anyone insists in removing the Syrian President Assad. Al Qaeda and ISIS in Syria are a consequence of U.S. action and (covered) presence in the country. Iran currently has little presence and limited influence in Syria. It would only increase again  should the U.S. try to militarily attack the Syrian government. Refugees will not return as long as the U.S. threatens to again widen the war.

I have yet to read one analyst who believes that the U.S. administration can achieve any of the wishes it announced. It is a hapless policy of "doing something" which will fail when resistance on the ground will ramp up and the political costs of the occupation will become apparent. The YPG Kurds in the north-east, who agreed to their occupation, will be the ones who will have to to bear the wrath. All other parties involved in Syria will hold them responsible.

For now the new announcement and its botched presentation only helped Erdogan to again play to his crowd. None of this will be of much consequence.

Posted by b on January 18, 2018 at 10:19 AM | Permalink

Comments
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What a difference a few days makes!. . . Goodbye BSF.

Jan 13, 2018 -- “The Coalition is working jointly with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to establish and train the new Syrian Border Security Force (BSF). Currently, there are approximately 230 individuals training in the BSF’s inaugural class, with the goal of a final force size of approximately 30,000,” CJTF-OIR Public Affairs Officer Colonel Thomas F. Veale said. “The base of the new force is essentially a realignment of approximately 15,000 members of the Syrian Democratic Forces to a new mission in the Border Security Force as their actions against ISIS draw to a close.”. . .here

Jan 17, 2018 -- U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson denied that the United States had any intention of building a Syria-Turkey border force and said the issue had been "misportrayed, misdescribed". "Some people misspoke. We are not creating a border security force at all," Tillerson told reporters on board an aircraft taking him back to Washington from Vancouver, where he had attended a meeting on North Korea. . . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 18, 2018 10:36:40 AM | 1

"The United States has five key goals in Syria, Mr. Tillerson said. They are: ensuring that the Islamic State and Al Qaeda never re-emerge; supporting the United Nations-led political process; diminishing Iran’s influence; making sure the country is free of weapons of mass destruction; and helping refugees to return after years of civil war."

The United States does not have 5 key goals in Syria

Islamic State and Al Qaeda did not just "emerge" and therefore cannot re-emerge

The United Nations is not leading the Syrian political process

The US cannot determine the extent of Iran's "influence" in Syria, however one define's the nebulous bs word 'influence'.

The United States, leading producer and user of weapons of mass destruction, the world renowned expert in the field, is the obvious arbitrer of such matters for other countries.

There is and was no "civil war". There was and is a war of aggression on Syria, in which the US played a critical active and enabling part.

Helping those who fled Syria, due to US led and instigated war on Syria, return to Syria? A noble humanitarian piece of bs.

Posted by: Robert Snefjella | Jan 18, 2018 10:56:48 AM | 2

Some “folks misspoke” said Tillerson. Yeah, right. His lips were moving.

Erdogan reminds:

Turkey said it was unimpressed by US attempts to downplay a planned 30,000-strong, predominantly Kurdish border force in northern Syria. The Turkish foreign minister said the US had lied about supporting the Kurds in the past.

Washington must take concrete steps to address Ankara’s concerns about Kurdish militias in Syria, Mevlut Cavusoglu told CNN Turk on Thursday, after top US officials tried to repair damage done by the training plan. He reiterated that Ankara could attack Kurdish militias in Syria, and said it would coordinate a possible operation with Russia and Iran to make sure their observers in the area are not harmed.

Earlier, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said it was up to Washington to alter its Syrian policy and re-engage with Turkey. “The practices of our NATO ally [the] US in Syria are unfortunately wrong and against the spirit of alliance. The US should end confusion over the region's future, and change its attitude towards peace and restoring relations with Turkey," he said, as cited by Anadolu news agency.

Washington’s announcement last week that it would help its ally, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), to set up a force of some 30,000 fighters along the border with Turkey angered Ankara. The SDF primarily consists of the Kurdish militia YPG, which is considered by the Turkish government to be an extension of the militant movement Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has been fighting a guerrilla war for decades. Following outcry from Turkey, the US is apparently rowing back on the plan.

Rex disappoints. Was it Condi or Nikki who wrote his Stanford speech?
Can’t see him staying beyond the deadline date that allows him to take his tax benefits on Exxon stock


Posted by: likklemore | Jan 18, 2018 11:05:07 AM | 3

making sure the country is free of weapons of mass destruction;
ROFLOL - you would have thought that if the United States were concerned about weapons of mass destruction (forget about biological, chemical and nuclear weapons, the only real WMDs are thermonuclear weapons), they would have inspected the site of the alleged Syrian reactor in Deir Ez-zor Governorate to see what intelligence they could gather given that the site has been under the control of the SDF for more than a year.. That there are no reports of any such investigation suggests that the United States lied (typical MO) when it corroborated the Israeli claims.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Jan 18, 2018 11:15:55 AM | 4

@ likklemore #3

You have your answer here:
http://abc7news.com/politics/sec-of-state-rex-tillerson-condoleezza-rice-speak-at-stanford/2958659/

Another war hawk who turned Iraq into a s*thole in the name of "regime'Change, DEmocracy and Human Rights.

Posted by: Yul | Jan 18, 2018 11:16:54 AM | 5

Causes one to posit that sarcasm was invented for a reason. To wit: does "vanquishing al queda" mean that they would no longer be a US sponsored terror group?

Yeah, his lips were definitely moving...

Posted by: Moa_Reader | Jan 18, 2018 11:29:18 AM | 6

The Pentagon mission goes beyond defeating ISIS, to "follow-on operations to increase regional stability." (actually it's the opposite of course)

mission
In conjunction with partner forces Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR) defeats ISIS in designated areas of Iraq and Syria and sets conditions for follow-on operations to increase regional stability. . .here

Stabilising (British spelling)(not nation-building!) has its own twitter.
https://twitter.com/hashtag/stabilising?src=hash

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 18, 2018 11:33:08 AM | 7

Cna you repost link for making donations to your great site Thx

Posted by: MikeD | Jan 18, 2018 11:45:27 AM | 8

@ 8

It’s All here from recent campaign: Please support this site: -
http://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/11/last-call-please-support-this-unique-endeavor.html

@ 5, 6

Thank you. My question was - is Condi or Nikki Tillerson’s speech writer because on performance I’ve been debating the confusion; whether Nikki is the real SoS who instructs Tillerson on foreign policy issues. Seeing Condi and Kissinger around leaves me confused on any good day.

Cue the Petro-Yuan iceberg ahead for USS FRNUST

Posted by: likklemore | Jan 18, 2018 12:08:55 PM | 9

thanks b.. good overview on the usa switch up... perfect timing for erdogan getting another 3 months of emergency rule..

@2 robert snefjella... that's basically how i see it too.. thanks for articulating all that..

Posted by: james | Jan 18, 2018 12:51:03 PM | 10

The US secretary of State is like his boss a "Fucking Moron" he said it is the US intention to stay in Syria until Assad is removed and that economic sanctions will be used to realize that endeavour. Condoleeza Rice said when she was Sec of State that the war on Lebanon was the "birth pangs" of a new Middle East" Professor N Finkelstein commented that to compare the birth of a child to the Lebanese war were the words of a freak.
Was there not a force to be deployed along the Euphrates also, and would that force try to stop the Syrian army or a militia from entering East Syria, effectively making a third of Syria a no go zone for the Syrian Government?

Posted by: harrylaw | Jan 18, 2018 1:01:51 PM | 11

@ 9

I doubt Nikki can write nor has any FP savoir faire.
She depends A LOT on the Heritage Foundation employees who followed her to NYC.

Posted by: Yul | Jan 18, 2018 1:12:25 PM | 12

Erdoğan and the US both want Assad to go. Erdoğan also wants some territory from Syria. The US would not mind splitting Syria. The US has been trying to get Turkey to invade Syria for awhile. Erdoğan, for his has been trying to get the US and NATO to provide boots on the ground in Syria.

It seems though that the US has found the achillies heel of the Turks here, and is using the Kurds as bait to force Erdoğan to invade Syria. I am not sure that Erdoğan won't take the bait. He may just huff and puff. But he can't do this indefinitely without beginning to look weak to his own constituency.

If Erdoğan wanted a little revenge on the US, he could just ban them from using Incirlik. It would be more effective for a while than bombing mostly Strian Arabs in Afrin

Posted by: Blue | Jan 18, 2018 2:01:13 PM | 13

b writes...

I have yet to read one analyst who believes that the U.S. administration can achieve any of the wishes it announced.

That's the bottom line right there...

Here is something I picked up a long time ago about US pronouncements on any issue they are involved in...

It is pure disneyland fantasy...

Ie wishful thinking writ very very large...

I have seen this countless times since the days of Bosnia...

If you go back and look at these pronouncements...especially the supposed 'news analyses' in the fakestream media which purport to give you the inside track on what is about to happen...

...You will find a record of exactly the opposite happening every single time...

This kind of yapping is nothing more than the annoying and mentally imbalanced dog next door that barks for no reason all night...

It is to be ignored...nothing more...

Of course the comical value is something else altogether...this is quite real...

[praise be Allah...since laughter is the best kind of medicine...]

Posted by: FB | Jan 18, 2018 2:01:50 PM | 14

The Turkish heads of army and intelligence were in Moscow today, meeting with Shoigu and Gerasimov. Colonel Cassad has pictures showing the Russians highly amused and the Turks ... not so much.

With the Yankistanis backpedaling on the BSF (I called it by pointing out the silence of the Kurds) - did we witness a failed attempt to troll Erdogan into invading?

Posted by: CE | Jan 18, 2018 2:20:59 PM | 15

@19 fb

Pure Disneyland. Apt description. They used to be an empire that could create their own reality. Many, including me, still wince at their pronouncements, because we know their history. But I guess history has a sense of humor, because it is happening to them, right now.

Putin has the good sense to diffuse and lacks a personality for gloating, so I guess that leaves the rest of us to enjoy the sight of a stumbling mass desperately trying to reverse the inverted parabola of its flailing-in-a-glass-case-of-emotion empire.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Jan 18, 2018 2:38:36 PM | 16

@FB 23. Trollish as B removed it from the open thread only. Not convinced it's anti semitic what ever that means now days.

@24 Nemesisis Calling, "trying to reverse the inverted parabola of its flailing-in-a-glass-case-of-emotion empire."
That was AWSOME, mind if I use it?

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Jan 18, 2018 3:00:40 PM | 17

>>>>> CE | Jan 18, 2018 2:20:59 PM | 21

the Turks ... not so much.

If you worked for a nincompoop like Erdogan would you ever smile ever?

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Jan 18, 2018 3:29:17 PM | 18

Posted by: CE | Jan 18, 2018 2:20:59 PM | 21
My question is, why would the Russians be amused? Because Turkey got played by the US/Kurds, that two NATO countries were facing off? I would be more concerned (if I were Russia) that Turkey was about to, or saying it was about to, invade the area Russia monitors rather than the area the US monitors...

Posted by: frances | Jan 18, 2018 3:54:42 PM | 19

15 A P

Concur a 100% with your post.

Now, Yahoo comes up with an article from Newsweek whose title is:
"U.S. backpedals on new Kurdish force as Turkey prepares for war."
https://www.yahoo.com/news/m/2c641b4f-74f1-37df-8e04-4125bd9caf9f/ss_u.s.-backpedals-on-new.html

So it is a little early to say that Erdogan's warnings didn't have any effect.
As a member of NATO -and a powerful one at that- with the keys to the Bosphorus,
he has to be taken into account.

As "b" fears, Turkish tanks would be sitting ducks in the mountainous area
in the Afrin countryside but this has to be taken with a caveat considering that Turkey
is well equipped with a sizable airforce and rotary wing crafts plus observation drones.

Erdogan may want to give an "encouragement" to the Afrin Kurds that it is in their interest
to compose with Assad. But the U.S. is apparently taking him seriously.

Then there is a new possibility in the course of Modern Warfare. The Duma has recently
enacted a law that will give birth to private armies which will give Eric Prince food for thought.

Which means that Western contractors might have to battle their Russian counterparts.

Proxies against proxies, since up to now the puppeteers have not been taken to court over
their minion's crimes.

The precedents have been set and others learn fast.

Posted by: CarlD | Jan 18, 2018 4:31:47 PM | 20

Hey, this thread is about Turks and Syria. If you want to discuss anti-semitism or anything else, please use the "open" thread yesterday. This stays useable for those who want to continue an argument...
.........

I get the impression that the US has "one" policy", worked out in a Bunker in the US a few years ago, and then blindly followed whatever happens.
this would explain Tillersons spouting out the same "policy rubbish" - a repeat of the "old" policy. It also explains why the "containment" of Eurasia is also being implemented. (I remember this was stated as a political aim about ten years or more ago).

So the E.Syria enclave (14 bases plus Tanf), are staging and training areas for new throat cutters and cannibals, this time armed with ATM's. The "Iran" excuse is just that - as the US is unlikely to be able to change religious affiliations (Shia-Sunni) by force of arms.

Turkeys place in the vast scheme of things is confused as b says. It also has a large Muslim population, and Erdogan is possibly "playing to the gallery", in posturing for a war. It also helps him to get out of the rather awkward position of being at the same time (Turkey not Erdogan), the main supply route for militants in the Idlib areas. (Al-Q, Al Nusra and ISIS) and therefore "anti-Syrian Government", and also being part of the Pro-Syrian - anti-PKK front.

So, we can't trust the US, and would be unwise to Trust Turkey.

.......
This is an excellent informative article from Eilijah Magnier on ISIS. Worth reading.
https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-01-18/how-media-made-isis-something-bigger-what-it-was

Posted by: stonebird | Jan 18, 2018 4:45:14 PM | 21

This is a seemingly quiet but quietly explosive corner of the internet, in the spirit of its creator. It scrupulously avoids getting into terrain where insults are hurled. You could say it takes a deeper look at things.

I am not interested in FB versus whoever else vis-a-vis the Russia Insider site. I have never liked, nor trusted the site. I am interested in the intricacies of the war in Syria and on how that will play out for the Syrian people and the effect of this on the geostrategic power struggle that will determine all our fates.

It seems Erdogan barks a lot but does not bite…

Posted by: Lochearn | Jan 18, 2018 4:45:33 PM | 22

b: Refugees will not return as long as the U.S. threatens to again widen the war.

I disagree with this part. The Assad must go! Coalition has enough resources that they could attract some refugees to return. It would be big propaganda victory. And a source of future fighters/defenders.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 18, 2018 4:57:06 PM | 23

@39, atonebird

"So, we can't trust the US, and would be unwise to Trust Turkey."

Agree completely.

Posted by: spudski | Jan 18, 2018 5:04:38 PM | 24

The Amazon version and on-line pdf of Two Hundred Years Together are not authorized by family or Agent of the author. How do you know what is in these "versions" is A.S.'s writings?

It's more disinformation and obfuscation.

We need authorized translation and publication, like the Russian and other language versions were in his lifetime.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Jan 18, 2018 5:21:01 PM | 25

Note that the entire "Idlib" area is coming under pressure which will increase fighting in the near future.

ie. Heavy fighting for the Abu Duhur airbase (Militant held), with a retaliatory ISIS attack in the south to cut off advanced SAA forces. Herzbollah and reserves moving in from the North (about 4-7km) to cut off another large pocket in the "Idlib" zone. (And gain a shorter route to supply Aleppo)

SAA and other Syrian Gov. forces building up near Hader, while opposition forces are forming around Al Eis (just opposite). This was also part of the fighting to free Aleppo earlier. (Years).

Turkey is on the Afrin border and fighting HAS been reported there.

The South-south-west of the Idlib area is probably also going to see some action as this was the area which fired the Drones at the Russians.
....
About the only map which gives an overall view.
http://iswnews.com/media/2018/01/NW-Syria-13jan18-23dey96.jpg

But; the Hass plateau (area isolated north-east of abu duhur on the map) is now SAA. The ISIS area (dark) is attacking westwards and is trying to cut the SAA advance in two.
Hader/El Eis is between Aleppo and Abu Duhur.

Posted by: stonebird | Jan 18, 2018 5:23:29 PM | 26

The move by the US looks like they are baiting Turkey to invade, to split off Turkey from the DEZ agreements with Russia and Iran, and to foment a war Assad will have to fight (with good intentions to protect his citizens from foreign invaders). The US wants more War in Syria.

It's fairly simple. They ain't leaving until they get Giaped (blown away like the Vietnamese General Giap did to them).

Body bags is the language they understand. Flag-draped coffins, Dover AFB in the news, Trump having writer's cramps from sending letters to parents of dead US servicemen and contractors.

14 bases to target. Swarm drone them, missile them, rocket them.

It's War. They came to kill and maim and break things. They are like Takfiris. You kill them.

They aren't on a holy mission, a sacred crusade. They are marauders from CentCom.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Jan 18, 2018 5:29:06 PM | 27

Further to my comment @45:

America Quietly Starts Nation-Building in Parts of Syria

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 18, 2018 5:43:15 PM | 28

@ b - "None of this will be of much consequence."

What's astonishing to me is the disconnect between the US military and .. the US military.

As Don Bacon illustrated in the excellent first comment, in 4 days the threat appeared and disappeared. And like the Cheshire Cat's smile, the only thing one can believe in is the non-appearance of the US military.

This script could only be approved as a fairy tale. No way it would fit as a realistic thriller.

Does any of this ephemeral theater matter? Yes indeed, it has real effects. The meta-messages of these disconnects are tearing apart the former menacing quality of the US, forcing everyone to disregard the words and look only to the material power. And what do we find? In another theater across the world, North Korea has demonstrated the solid nature of the enemy's non-appearance, and shown every general in the world that underneath the bluster, all you have to do is threaten these US generals with real action on the ground and they shy away.

What extraordinary calculation from the US military, to understand they can't win. And what astonishing braggadocio from the US military, to fail to understand that words promote consequences. The US is deep in an internal learning cycle. Kim was smart enough to detect it, and call it out. Did Erdogan see it too?

There will be more, from others.

Posted by: Grieved | Jan 18, 2018 6:06:45 PM | 29

@51

I like your fightin' spirit RR...but who's going to do it...?

Russia is not going to start WW3 in Syria or anywhere else...

The SAA even with help from Hezbollah and Iran has a lot on its plate as it is...

I think the US presence in Syria is a dead man walking...

No hope...no chance...

Just wait them out...work the slow game...

I am coming around to seeing that Turkey is becoming a bigger immediate problem...

The more time passes the more clear it becomes that Turkey is digging in its heels and not going to let the Syrian govt take over Idlib...

But Idlib needs to be taken back and the whole bearded fanatic safe haven needs to return to normal life...under the Syrian govt...

Once that is done...the US presence is toast anyway...

Posted by: FB | Jan 18, 2018 6:15:20 PM | 30

@33 Please do not feed the trolls.
b is obviously afk, or it would have been handled. You're making more work for him cuz now he has to delete your replies too.

@35 Different countries have different laws about what is allowable and not. I think b is in Germany and different rules apply.

@30 I think Erdogan is being used as a club by Russia to help assure a successful meet in Sochi. U.S. was quick to throw the Afrin Kurds under the bus. It will have been noticed. They are all supposed to meet in Sochi in another 10 days. I think Putin is going to pull another rabbit out of a hat.

b4real

Posted by: b4real | Jan 18, 2018 7:07:18 PM | 31

Grieved @53--

You echo my "Big Picture" comment from a few days ago in a more broken-down manner. This entire reality reminds me of Dune. The current generation holding the reigns of power are so corrupt, the only way they can increase their corruption is through the downfall of their edifice to fight amongst themselves for whatever crumbs they can grasp. It's amazing, scary, exciting and hopeful simultaneously since the fate of humanity essentially rests in the balance. Interesting Times indeed!

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 18, 2018 7:30:19 PM | 32

@56

Really, DU munitions are already banned, but who cares about niceties like international law and common decency? These were originally deemed 'last resort' weapons, but they were too tempting; kill and destroy so well; thus hrough the alchemy of depraved agendas pursued relentlessly were 'normalized'.

From Geneva convention on subject "the prohibition on the use of weapons that are indiscriminate and (2) the prohibition on the use of weapons of a nature to cause unnecessary suffering or superfluous injury."

Their illegal status is derived from their indiscriminate harm, and their long term harm. Their actual toxicity, their mutagen potential , and threat to reproductive health, etc are shrouded in official dishonesty, but there are many horror stories. For example, do a search on DU exposure and birth defects.

There is a long standing problem of corrupt science and censorship re many manner of things radioactive, especially as related to military application - from the Manhattan Project until today. The WHO for example made a secret agreement in the late 1950s to let the nuclear 'powers that be' determine what the public was told re radioactivity and health.

Note the near media silence regarding the thousands of tonnes of du weapons – transformed into very fine perverse dust - that have been bequeathed to the biosphere by primarily the Americans.

Posted by: Robert Snefjella | Jan 18, 2018 7:39:59 PM | 33

@FV 55 " Just wait them out...work the slow game..."

I think of the Afghans doing this. 17 years later. . .

I think of the Iraqis doing this. 15 years later . . .

I look at Libya doing this. 7 sevens later . . .

It simply plays into the Hegemon planting inside another sovereign nation.

Who should launch a swarm of armed drones on a base dug into Syrian soil?

Who sent sappers under the fences at Tan Son Nhut air base over and over? The Vietnamese fought for their country. They blew up US planes and helos.

Sooner of later there will be a false flag engineered by Israel to force the US to attack Damascus and try to kill Assad.

If this policy of 14 bases and 30,000 Kurds in a new army, along with the leftovers of ISIS and AQ and al Nusra formed into other new armies with new names to be sold as moderate and democractic, does not work, what do you think the US and Israel will do? You think they'll pack up and leave?

I don't think we have seen that ever. They stayed in Kosovo. They own every inch of Germany. They control all of Japan. They use South Koreans like condoms.

The only place they left was Vietnam. They got blown out of their jocks and ran.

The US can't move fast enough to wage a full war against Syria if they take a large loss. The outrage at home will force Trump to force the military to end it. So, they'll move across the borders to Iraq and Jordan and wage insurgencies at Syria. But they will be out.

Once of the reasons the US doesn't want to leave is reparations. They are there destroying a country and are totally illegal invaders. They owe tens of billions of dollars in reparations to Syria and Syrians.

I know its easy and callous to armchair wage the war for others to fight.
I am just using history to point out the present state of things.
Syrians are going to die. It's best to expend those lives doing the Vietnamese thing.

General Soleimani stated he would do this very thing. He understands he will probably die doing it.
The price on his head is probably $50 million. But he understands:

Well informed sources have said the commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corp Brigadier General Haj Qassem Soleimani sent a verbal letter, via Russia, to the head of the US forces commander in Syria, advising him to pull out all US forces to the last soldier “or the doors of hell will open up”.

"My message to the US military command: when the battle against ISIS (the Islamic State group) will end, no American soldier will be tolerated in Syria. I advise you to leave by your own will or you will be forced to it”, said Soleimani.

https://southfront.org/qassem-soleimanis-letter-us-leave-syria-else-al-hasaka-2018-become-beirut-1983/

Posted by: Red Ryder | Jan 18, 2018 7:48:38 PM | 34

President Assad has said he will shoot down Turkish planes and attack Turkish ground troops if they target Syrian Kurds. Since these Syrian Kurds have been aligned with the US from very early, this looks like a smart move to begin winning them back into the Syrian fold. We also read that the Kurds are quite upset that their CIA funding and arming have been curtailed, so they may well be seeing that they were being played (once again) by the AZ Empire, and so will welcome the protection of the legitimate government of Syria.

Posted by: Daniel | Jan 18, 2018 8:20:42 PM | 35

"Then there is a new possibility in the course of Modern Warfare. The Duma has recently
enacted a law that will give birth to private armies which will give Eric Prince food for thought."
Posted by: CarlD | Jan 18, 2018 4:31:47 PM | 38

I wondered when I read that if this was Russia's solution allowing militia to support the breakaway regions in Ukraine, spring is coming after all.

Posted by: frances | Jan 18, 2018 8:59:27 PM | 36

Interesting that Tillerson would be so honest about the true aims in Syria, i.e. disruption of the growing economic partnership stretching from Lebanon through Syria to Iran (and possibly on to Central Asia & China via the Shanghai Cooperation Organization).

It really doesn’t have much to do with Israel, except in terms of the US-Israel-Saudi-UAE axis, which probably is the last group of “US Allies” left anywhere on the planet (I suppose we should thank Trump for this new isolationism, although it was probably unintentional - but with the rest of the world horrified at Trump, any new neocon/neolib regime change games are unlikely to get international backing; Clinton would have been worse from this perspective).

The whole concern was spelled out in some Cablegate releases on Wikileaks, detailing the kind of economic integration Syria and Iran were pursuing in 2010:

“First, the Syrians and Iranians agreed Iran should export oil to Syria through the Iraqi pipeline network from Basra and Kirkuk to the Syrian port of Banias. Next, the Syrians announced they had increased the pace of construction on a gas pipeline from Aleppo towards the Turkish border in anticipation of receiving Iranian natural gas through Turkey (see paras 3-4 above). Further, both sides expressed a desire to link their electrical grids via the Deir Ezzor power station in eastern Syria and the Al Qaim station in western Iraq. Finally, the two delegations agreed they should facilitate bilateral trade by connecting their railroad network, with the Iranians noting their existing track is only 10km from the Iraqi port of Um Qasr.”

Attempts to make this all about Israel are just a distraction from the real story, which is that Trump & Tillerson is apparently trying to pick up where Obama & Clinton left off. Of course neither Israel or Saudi Arabia likes the idea of an economic powerhouse right to their north, but it seems pretty inevitable; they should just learn to live with it and stop being so paranoid.

Posted by: nonsense factory | Jan 18, 2018 9:53:51 PM | 37

Paddy Cockburn's take on current mess. I particularly like his concluding para:

"Some observers say reassuringly that Mr Trump’s aggressive rhetoric is frequently accompanied by prudent action and often by no action at all. But in the Middle East threats are taken seriously and, even when empty, may provoke a brutal counter-reaction. This is what happened in 2003 when US Neo-Conservatives spoke of following up the capture of Baghdad with regime change in Tehran and Damascus. The Iranians and Syrians became determined that the US and Britain would never stabilise their occupation of Iraq. If Mr Trump does succeed in capsizing the Iran nuclear deal, the US may soon regret reigniting a series of conflicts likely to end badly for them."

Posted by: Debsisdead | Jan 18, 2018 11:37:47 PM | 38

Campaign in full swing, russian style. Putin celebrates orthodox baptism day plunging into a frozen lake, Kremlin’s spokesman declared that this year’s weather is not normal, unusually warm, air temperature was only -7ºC. No hamburgers or diet cola here.
https://ria.ru/society/20180119/1512899163.html

Posted by: Paco | Jan 19, 2018 1:10:37 AM | 39

@all - I again had to use the big brush to clean out the haters and trolls from this and other threads. I block those accounts whenever I can but they usually try again after changing their IP addresses. It only will get them blocked again.

@all - do not respond to those comments that are obviously trollish and only made to incite strife. Your response will likely also be deleted and you risk to get banned yourself.

@FB and @Elsi - I do want discussions on this blog but
*not just between two people,
*not with hundreds of lines of excerpts copied from papers that are a click away and
*not about issues that are miles away from the general content of this blog.
If you want to continue those conservations and style go elsewhere.

Posted by: b | Jan 19, 2018 2:29:05 AM | 40

@b

Fair enough.

Posted by: integer | Jan 19, 2018 2:41:18 AM | 41

Red Ryder @34. In order for a resistance movement to be successful , the enemy has to be identified. The identity of the internal enemy can be known after the Sochi meetings in a few weeks time. Which Kurdish factions will sign up to a US partition plan? Will those fractious Arab tribes in the East [where the oilfields are] agree to Autonomy under Kurdish rule? Will those Tribes along with many Kurds agree to a deal with Assad or will a majority of East Syrians be persuaded by US promises and try to hold out in a landlocked enclave surrounded by enemies? I agree with the general thrust of your argument.

Posted by: harrylaw | Jan 19, 2018 5:51:49 AM | 42

This might be "miles away from general content" but looking into context of the Turkish-US relation this is a big deal. And this certainly aggravate relation of the nominal allies further. This might be (additional) reason for the Turks to fight US ally.

https://ahvalnews.com/us-turkey/tens-billions-dollars-likely-us-gambit-talks-over-halkbank

A demand for as much as $37.5 billion could be the opening move for U.S. authorities seeking to punish Turkey’s state-run Halkbank for breaking sanctions on Iran.

Posted by: Partisan | Jan 19, 2018 6:34:20 AM | 43

Partisan @43
The US has a habit of adding "punitive" fines - so the final total could be even higher.
It does go part way to explain Erdogans willingness to threaten US-Kurdish interests. And - it would be interesting to see b's take on sanctions in general. (New Russian ones, new Chinese ones, etc) Is there any one country that does NOT suffer from US sanctions (even the EU does).

Note that the Turks are now saying the "Russians troops are leaving Afrin" (I didn't realise they had any there anyway.) Either there is an aggreement to actually kickback against US presence in E.Syria via a diversionary route (Afrin, Jarabolus, Tabbaqa etc.) Or Erdogan has decided to "go it alone". Neither would surprise me.

Posted by: stonebird | Jan 19, 2018 7:56:58 AM | 44

The US went into Iraq and Syria for the wrong reasons and they are finally getting pushed out. Both countries were punished for having socialistic type regimes and for not wanting to be part of the US financial hegemony.

Russia is proving to be the honest broker in the region. For the Kurdish people, I would think they realize they have a friend in Russia, a not to be trusted opportunistic partner in the US and major problems with the Turks.

The US financial threats/sanctions are also failing and speeding up new financial initiatives involving Turkey, Iran, Russia and China.

The US needs to wise up and become more socialistic itself such as with single payer healthcare, education that doesn’t indenture our young, job guarantees with living wages and better pensions that are guaranteed rather than hoping they will be provided by a corrupt capitalistic system.

Posted by: financial matters | Jan 19, 2018 8:28:11 AM | 45

@45

To have pensions, health care, or fee education for that matter, doesn't make one county "socialistic". Just ask Norwegians, the Dutch, Danes, etc. It is a silly notion that somehow being normalized thanks to the Anglo-Saxons media and ruling elites.

And not only that, the folk who earned their pensions (in US) their money is stolen by "Investment Funds" and various investment schemes. But the US political system in based on cheating and stealing internally and externally by using police and military as a primary tool.

Posted by: Partisan | Jan 19, 2018 9:00:17 AM | 46

financial matters says:

The US went into Iraq and Syria for the wrong reasons...

we read this assertion regularly, and while it is indeed accurate, it also implies that the right reasons existed, but were not chosen. a seemingly innocuous statement that we run into constantly that just helps to cultivate the psychological bent of american exceptionalism.

or am i being semantically fussy?

Posted by: john | Jan 19, 2018 9:14:01 AM | 47

@ Partisan 46

I just think the term socialism gets a bad rep. Often when these things come up in the US they are branded as socialistic as if that's going to destroy all American values.

@ john 47

Good point. I think though that one could say Russia went into Syria for the right reasons.

Posted by: financial matters | Jan 19, 2018 9:23:22 AM | 48

financial matters says:

I think though that one could say Russia went into Syria for the right reasons

yeah, i agree, but this was, anyway, after the fact that they were invited.

Posted by: john | Jan 19, 2018 9:31:10 AM | 49

@ Partisan | Jan 19, 2018 9:00:17 AM | 46

But, not to have pensions, health care ... provides a lot of slaves for Amazonism :

Jessica Bruder, Author of “Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century,” discusses America’s footloose senior workforce...

https://www.rt.com/shows/on-contact/415855-jessica-bruder-nomadland-book/

Posted by: ex-SA | Jan 19, 2018 10:01:19 AM | 50

just popped up in my newsapp:

Turkey attacks Kurdish militia in northern Syria
[19.01.18] 13:43:00
The Turkish military conducted a series of at least 10 artillery fire attacks targeting Kurdish militia in the Afrin district in northern Syria, Haberturk TV reported on Friday.
The report noted that Kurdish forces responded to the gunfire attacks, which came from the Turkish side of the border with Syria, by firing shells towards Turkish territory.
Earlier, Turkey's Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli announced the country will begin a military operation in Afrin in "self-defense" against the People's Protection Units (YPG), a Kurdish militia group it considers a terrorist organization and a Syrian branch of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Posted by: youss | Jan 19, 2018 10:30:55 AM | 51

poor b
cleaning cleaning clean away the truth on zion matters
white washer in chief with his little helper james

b weak german
with the help of such moral weakness israel gets 5 or 6 dolphin nuke submarine
free gift for the hollow hoax guilt
and compensations from the german state in the billions yearly until 2070 and beyond
what a moral situation free german nukes subs so israel can threaten samson option on the world
what a team

Posted by: tobias smollet | Jan 19, 2018 10:43:23 AM | 52

Threats or nothreats they are attacking now, medium shelling occurring this moment.
BBC as source.

Posted by: Den Lllie Abe | Jan 19, 2018 10:45:09 AM | 53

30
Kurd's were always a land-less people, who wandered middle east regions with their herds. Kurds were always "passing" through. The countries in this region could go back to this status quo ante, rather than creating a new Kurdistan where one never existed before.

Zion wants a Kurdistan, so that is enough reason to oppose it. It's simple, Zion is anti-logos, everything they touch turns to shit, and they should be opposed at every level.

The Jew as foot soliders for Zion, is an extinction level threat. This below link explains threat in modern terms:

http://www.thetruthseeker.co.uk/?p=164486

Organized Jewry clearly has a pernicious political agenda. To stigmatize resistance as "bigotry" is a ruse that will no longer work. While Gentile Freemasonry is an active accomplice, Charles Bausman,editor of Russia Insider says, "Jewish influence is nothing short of an extinction-level threat to the entire planet."

I wish the Kurd's well, but they do not get to have a false "homeland" as I prefer not to be extinguished.

Go Turkey

Also, if you are an anti-semite, you are paying attention and have a moral compass. Jews do operate as an in-group, and hence there are not enough dissenters within Jewish community. The silence from rank and file Jews is deafening.

I'm an open anti-semite. This stuff needs to be talked about in the open. You have the right of free speech. Don't take shit lying down, your survival depends on it.

Posted by: simon | Jan 19, 2018 11:02:35 AM | 54

@ simon | Jan 19, 2018 11:02:35 AM | 54

„Kurd's were always a land-less people, who wandered middle east regions with their herds.“
Simply not true, get to be informed. - BTW, reading your link I am remembered that sometimes taboos are healthy and meaningful for those who did not yet loose their compass. Same stuff I heard 40 years ago from Islamists in the Near East. Opposite to red wine it did not improve by storage.

Posted by: Hausmeister | Jan 19, 2018 11:22:04 AM | 55

I am afraid, if one is to believe Mathis words, that the Syrian, Ukrainian and
Korean potential confrontations will lead to exchanges that will force us into
wars on several theaters in the very near future.

As of today, Gen. Mathis exposing the sew Us Defense Strategy warned that:
The US will counter any “threat to America’s democracy experiment” in the world,
if necessary with military force, the Pentagon chief threatened.

He singled out Russia and China as "adversaries", a far cry form the "partners"
designation used by Russia in designing the USA. He vowed: the US will
respond with lethal force.

So the stage is set for escalation of escalation in several theaters.

How long will the bear be poked and the dragon provoked before retaliation
ensues?

I am afraid that war looks more and more certain in 2018.

Posted by: CarlD | Jan 19, 2018 11:38:25 AM | 56

addwnsum to 56

https://www.rt.com/news/416305-ukraine-donbass-law-war-moscow/

Ukraine President given power to wage war in the separatist republics and
Crimea.

Posted by: CarlD | Jan 19, 2018 11:49:05 AM | 57

55
same stuff I heard 40 years ago from Islamists in the Near East.

would these be the muslim brotherhood,the house of saud islamists which islamists tavistock,city of london,mossad cia islamist funded creatures.
for problem reaction solution.
you know the drill old bean it is funny how the yahoo never get deleted only the perceived antisemite.
and as a non sermite ashkanazi why are you offended by talk of zionist conspiracy.
who are you defending oded yinon or the kurd?

Posted by: charles | Jan 19, 2018 12:04:55 PM | 58

B-

I would have put this in the open thread but, that last one went a bit sideways so hopefully I'm at the bottom of this one and hopefully you see it.

Last few months I've been active on steemit I've noticed that trolls get down voted to oblivion and then their comments disappear. Its incredible really. And since the free account creation takes about a week, fake accounts don't really work. It might be really good for you.

The platform really needs quality content. You'd be really good for them and I'm sure they'd love you.

I'm going to keep reading your work regardless, I want to thank you for doing what you do, and finally, If not steemit then I hope you'll open a crypto wallet somehow because I'd love to send you coins of your choice (except bitcoin because fees. Maybe EOS or raiblocks?)

Thanks for the education; I'd love to return the favour (without using fiat.)

/OT

Posted by: TSP | Jan 19, 2018 12:24:14 PM | 59

@ charles | Jan 19, 2018 12:04:55 PM | 58

„who are you defending oded yinon or the kurd?“

No, I am defending my brain content. Therefore I am kind of allergic against such bullsh...
Get adult as long as you can.

Posted by: Hausmeister | Jan 19, 2018 12:27:19 PM | 60

Debisdead,

Double bonus: nice article which also gave me the opportunity to read another one more interesting, below for the link.

This second article shows in clear and unambiguous term why a general, tactician by temperament and training, cannot and will not be able to devise a strategic plan, political in nature. This, along with hubris, might also explain why overseas military operation are being such a disaster.

Why Plan B in Syria will Fail


Posted by: ATH | Jan 19, 2018 12:34:23 PM | 61

@40 b... thanks for that... the place was getting out of hand.. you are becoming too popular..

@56 carl... it is an outrageous statement from mattis, any way you read it!

"The US will counter any threat to America’s democracy experiment in the world..."

usa as country that gets to dictate its agenda anywhere in the world.. it would explain why they want to circumvent any international body that they don't already control too, like the un.. america's democracy experiment is imposing the us$ as world currency under the threat of their military.. it is already starting to fall apart on all accounts which explains mattis's anxiousness in representing these same undemocratic structures and institutions he refers to as 'america's ''democracy'' experiment'... he needs to get a gig in hollywood at comedy central.. he never found his true calling..

Posted by: james | Jan 19, 2018 12:49:13 PM | 62

"We will modernize key capabilities," Mattis said. "Investments in space and cyberspace, nuclear deterrent forces, missile defense, advanced autonomous systems and resilient and agile logistics will provide our high-quality troops what they need to win." [Sputnik News]
Just two quotes from 'Mad dog' Mattis which prove he needs to be put in an asylum.
"I come in peace. I didn’t bring artillery. But I’m pleading with you, with tears in my eyes: If you fuck with me, I’ll kill you all".
"Find the enemy that wants to end this experiment (in American democracy) and kill every one of them until they’re so sick of the killing that they leave us and our freedoms intact."

Posted by: harrylaw | Jan 19, 2018 1:16:21 PM | 63

@56 CarlD

He singled out Russia and China as "adversaries", a far cry form the "partners"
designation used by Russia in designing the USA. He vowed: the US will
respond with lethal force.

Actions speak louder than words. The US is scared of two things: 1) a military conflict where its troops get slaughtered wholesale, and 2) going up against any army or regular military force it can't destroy from the air. Whatever happens in the near future we can rest assured Uncle Scam won't be engaging in direct hostilities with China or Russia.

Posted by: Temporarily Sane | Jan 19, 2018 1:52:11 PM | 64

64

I wish I were that optimistic.

Posted by: CarlD | Jan 19, 2018 1:56:54 PM | 65

@63 "Investments in space and cyberspace, nuclear deterrent forces, missile defense, advanced autonomous systems and resilient and agile logistics will provide our high-quality troops what they need to win."

Nice for the high-quality troops. Sounds like they should be totally risk-free. But I don't share Mad Dog's faith in technology. Looks like an accident waiting to happen.

Posted by: dh | Jan 19, 2018 2:03:17 PM | 66

Partisan;The Anglosaxon media?Hohohohoho.......

Posted by: dahoit | Jan 19, 2018 2:06:08 PM | 67

60
your allergic reaction is a sympton that can be traced back to your mohel many years ago papers have been written in this area.
the mohel taught the cia much about trauma shock and mind control.

the kurd is classic counter gang in this zionist balkanisation exercise my boy.

Posted by: charles | Jan 19, 2018 2:19:15 PM | 68

@60 Hausmeister.. remember what b said about feeding trolls?

Posted by: james | Jan 19, 2018 2:25:56 PM | 69

@ james | Jan 19, 2018 2:25:56 PM | 69

Sorry, unfortunately I lack training in recognizing them.

Posted by: Hausmeister | Jan 19, 2018 2:43:41 PM | 70

@ harrylaw | Jan 19, 2018 1:16:21 PM | 63

"We will modernize key capabilities," Mattis said.

Key capabilities - those sad, old sclerotic brains of the likes of Mattis maybe?

---

Things seem to be heating up in Afrin... Has it begun?

Posted by: Scotch Bingeington | Jan 19, 2018 3:14:59 PM | 71

Mattis opens his mouth and reveals his level of ignorance when it comes to understanding the Outlaw US Empire's history--it's certainly not a "democracy experiment," nor has it ever tried to install a democracy anywhere on the planet. I'd bet he's just as ignorant when it comes to military history, too. He reminds me of the ignorant brute Sgt. Snorkel from the Beatle Bailey comic strip. The so-called "new" "defense posture" is no more than a tidied-up version of the two that preceded it: What we say goes; either you're with us or against us.

By way of rebuttal, I highly recommend reading this interview of Hassan Nasrallah from 3 Jan 2018, particularly his remarks about differences in the quality of soldiers from The Resistance versus those of the enemy--IDF, NATO, USA, Daesh--and why they exist.

Contrary to all the hype about the Empire being a new energy exporting colossus, it needed to import LNG to keep its East Coast dwellings warm, but the cargo seems to have found a better price elsewhere. Just how will it displace Russian gas from the market when it can't provide enough domestic supply?

Meanwhile, Tillerson pulls an Albright: "Signs of starvation and death in North Korea indicate that US diplomatic strategy works fine, says the secretary of state." Is he being two-faced? You bet! From last year: "We're not your enemy, we're not your threat..."

Ignorant, lying, immoral are just a few of the important behavioral traits of those leading faces of the Outlaw US Empire. And my historical investigations prove such traits have been in the forefront since its inception. Guess we can thank its tutor, the British Empire.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 19, 2018 3:37:08 PM | 72

@"b", 40,( although I have not commented at all at this thread, since I have nothing to say so far, I answer you here since it is here where you called me the attention ):

I do want discussions on this blog but *not just between two people,

Ok, if you refer to the old thread about Snowden, you are right, precisely I was wondering i for how long we would be allowed to talk there, although finally, since we are talking there already for weeks, I thought you did not mind, since a totally harmless activity after all, and besides, being this a bar.... At bars people happen to meet and sometimes even like each other and...well....who knows...?

For the rest, I rarely engage in discussions, if not because of lack of time, since during the week I have not time to post at all, and it is only at weekends when I am able to dedicate time for this task. If I engaged with FB for about three or four comments, it was for to debunk his claim about the drone-attack on Russian bases being susceptible of being made up by illiterate jihadists. There were some others who engaged with him for "thousands of lines" about issues "miles far away of the general content of this blog", not related to any of the topic on fire here this week, like that discussion, as long as Matusalen´s life, over thermophysics and climate, where some other commenters engaged with FB, but then you are not naming any of them.....

*not with hundreds of lines of excerpts copied from papers that are a click away

Related to this, if it is me, and you refer to my post including excerpts of two articles by Thierry Meyssan about the drone attacks, it has been the first time I have made it ( "Matas un perro un día y te llaman Mataperros".... ) for the simple reason of trying to prove my point about the drones. The negative reaction of preciselly FB to this author, confirmed me, that it was needed so that the main points of the article ( almost all of it, since there is no usually any waste on Meyssan´s articles ) get to be considered, otherwise, some people with the same prejudices than FB would have lost Meyssan´s points.

For the rest, when I include more or less long excerpts ( never "thousands of lines", in the best case a dozen or so ), it is from articles written in Spanish, which, you most probably do not read and which, for the usual laziness in the net world, I venture almost nobody is going to take the trouble to translate with a translator, and so, I take that trouble for you, so that you get better informed. You´re welcome.

about issues that are miles away from the general content of this blog.

Again, it is not me who generally makes comments off topic, but yes I like sometimes introducing some hint of humour or cultural interest, or proved some interesring films or photos of places I have visited, besides of my impressions on that places/peoples and so on, if not for to relax a bit from the general and tense mood of war here. I thought this could be welcomed in a "bar", but this seems an "strange bar" indeed.... where everybody is always, 24/7, "to the issue".... and there is no place for relaxing a bit or intimating a bit with some parishioner that fall ourselves a little better than others.....

So, what to say, if you would have named some others here who engaged ( these yes, for "thousands of lines" and comments ) here during all the weekend, and continued during the week ( when I was absent, except for one or two comments I felt in the obligation to make, in the "Solzhenytizer´s trolling", although never engaging any of the trolls whom I know very well from other "alt-media" ), I would be considering your calling of attention fair, but you are singling only me and FB out from a "troupe" here whose commentaries towards others, including me, are usually cinically provoking, they usually start the fire, but they rarelly are called the attention, and then you have that they are not preciselly great contributors with to this blog..... except for the "yes bwana, you are the best" kind of "cult of personality" other supposed "alt-media" suffer of as well. About this issue, I read the other day one commenter calling "james" a "bar patron", and I was wondering what the meaning of this could be...although I had not meuther the time nor the mood to ask at that time...Anyway, I was already aware of "james" having a especial status here for the few new information he adds....Thus, I am getting scammed....Then it´s "Toivos", a clear provokator who only appears as kida "attack-dog".....

Related to this, I insist in the astonishing lack of humor on this pretended "bar". I am starting feeling that this blog does not differ so much from others, in the sense that you , eventhough not deleting all, get, clearly, very, say "dissapointed", with dissent, there is a "troupe" of people policing the comments section so that nobody ( except "the protegees" ) deviates from the line you mark, and certain people is singled out and attacked so that getting them discouraged from continuing posting..... Strange bar indeed.....You seem more like if you were at work, men, here.....Bars are for relaxing a bit.... after work.....at least in Spain, for not to mention the Basque Country, where we have the higuest number of bars for square meter in the world...I would venture.....

Thus, I am quite lost by what you mean with that of "my style", since, as you will have probably tested already, it is very varied, and change, depending of the day, what I have read over there and even with my mood, since I am an average citizen with a lot of factors afecting me, like every other average peer. It´s only professionals of broadcasting who mantain always the same mood, and never deviates from the line/goal, and so on.....

Anyway, have you considered publishing a list of basic norms of use of this "bar", including the topics you hate seeing commented here or are banned from discussion, the preferred formats for comments ( if it is the usual one line format with no more than praising you, I fear I am almost getting the way to the door ...), and so on, so that some of us, more or less newies here, or without "membership card", get out something clear about this site and what is allowed and what is not?

Btw, I was invited/advised to come here by a commenter at Fort Russ, where I was usually posting before, called "neutrinox", alleging less censure and wider range of oppinions, including that from the left, which, I must say, I found quite deceptive, since lefties here or are not really lefties, or do not dare to participate, or are really working people like me who have not so much spare time to do it....

Thanks for your attention...Have a good day at work....and, in case yo udecide to ban me after this.....Try to smile more....man...

Some Basque folklore for you all, included "the clique", since here we are celebrating "San Sebastian ( Donsotia ) city´s day:

IZADA DE LA BANDERA TAMBORRADA 2017 DONOSTIA - SAN SEBASTIÁN

Posted by: elsi | Jan 19, 2018 4:03:24 PM | 73

@ elsi

Cool down, please! And let me know, for curiosity: how do you sense „...or are not really lefties,..“ the real lefties?

Posted by: Hausmeister | Jan 19, 2018 4:12:23 PM | 74

@ Hausmeister | Jan 19, 2018 4:12:23 PM | 74

And, you are, who? The "hausmeister" of this bar, or what?
For always being questioning commenters here?
FYI, I have no intention of engaging with you on that question or any other, since I very doubt you are interested at all in what I have to say on any issue, and this of yours is one of the intends of provoking the derailing of the topic you and some more usually do, so that the questioned commenters are then blamed for the derailing in case you achieve them answering.
I am already aware of this situation here, it´s not at all different from the "method" I have witnessed at other sites, so, you better go finding a chair to sit down waiting for me responding.....

Posted by: elsi | Jan 19, 2018 4:52:06 PM | 75

@ elsi | Jan 19, 2018 4:52:06 PM | 75
Haha! I am no hausmeister of this bar. I am, believe it or not, just curious. And I dislike strongly these Jewish-hook-comments and express that. Quite some things are hard to believe. In case something derails from it I am sorry. In one case you profited from it. I sit on a chair anyway, how do you think I am typing?

Posted by: Hausmeister | Jan 19, 2018 5:01:56 PM | 76

@70 Hausmeister... it takes a while - true! some of them keep changing their names too..

Posted by: james | Jan 19, 2018 5:02:52 PM | 77

It astounds me that I have to repeat the basic point that the Syrian Kurds are not anti-Asad, and Asad is not anti-Kurd. The US is living in la-la land in thinking they can make the Kurds enemies of Asad.

Asad agrees to defend the Kurds against Turkish attacks. It's what I'd expect.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 19, 2018 5:10:06 PM | 78

January 19, 2018 at 10:10 pm GMT • 100 Words

The US administration either is very smart in bluffing to temporarily reassure its panicking regional allies, Israel and Saudi Arabia or it is living in the la-la land of an incompetence close to stupidity.

Do they really believe that the Russians will allow the USA to rob their victory in Syria over ISIS? Or that the Turks will stay idle while the USA is building a Kurdish military entity on their border? Or that Iran and Syria will allow the partitioning of Syria and the US illegal long term presence in the region?
The USA administration is posed for dramatic blowbacks and reshuffling of alliances in the region.Maybe that is why it is running like a headless hen!

Posted by: virgile | Jan 19, 2018 5:14:33 PM | 79

virgile @ 79--

Finnian Cunningham finds their Orwellianism is to blame for their behavior. But who indoctrinated them? Are they merely raving mad Puritans, or is their Orwellianism being used to cover a mindset even more insidious?

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 19, 2018 5:47:19 PM | 80

@ elsi...ir a la fuerza, bonita...

You have nailed exactly this so-called 'bar'...

Notice too that Hausmaus chimes in with 'cool down...'

Elsi please feel free to contact me at FB35atprotonmaildotcom


@ all...

I noticed when Elsi first came on here she made some very good points about other blogs and hangouts where she was treated with a 'cleaning broom...'

I remember her being skeptical that this hangout was any different...and I remember thinking 'no don't worry...this place is different...'

How wrong I was...

@ b...

I noticed on this thread you have swept off several of my comments regarding the discussion of solar panel impact on climate...

Yet you let stand the two comments of a technical nature to which I specifically responded...

I am disappointed to see that my friend...your broom appears rather selective...

Also the fact that those comments, to which I responded, and which are scientific garbage...are left to stand...

So your broom decides to remove my rebuttal...but let's the faulty challenge stand...?

No problem...it is your 'bar' after all...

But you are doing a disservice to the subject under discussion...even though it was off topic...[but we now know that veering off is not allowed in this very disciplined 'bar'...

But you will note that a number of 'bar' patrons here decided to challenge me on science matters...

The fact that you have now circumsized that debate shows not only a disinterest in getting to the facts of scientific matters of great importance...

...but also a clear bias with respect to the participants...

My reaction is simply disappointment...

Posted by: FB | Jan 19, 2018 6:04:27 PM | 81

Nice expression by Adam Taylor in the otherwise less-than-worthless WaPo: "America’s forever war is expanding. Again."

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2018/01/19/americas-forever-war-is-expanding-again/?utm_term=.777b83beb6c0

Posted by: fx | Jan 19, 2018 6:09:02 PM | 82

@70 Hausmeister

I can't tell who are trolls either, but I don't look for them. I use a different measuring stick. I know there are people I've seen around various places who absolutely must be real and sincere people but they still have the effect of disrupting a discussion, because they insist on demeaning other commenters, or challenging them as people, rather than the ideas they presented.

Whenever I see ad hominem I just tune that person out, and it takes a long time before I might start reading their comments again. This is no more than a standard rule of debate. I find this works well for me, and I offer it for your consideration. The concepts themselves are difficult enough to evaluate, attacking other people personally is just a total derailment of the discussion's momentum.

Comments that focus on the ideas, arguments, facts and proposals presented by other commenters make a valuable thread, a network that gains exponentially with each input. Sometimes we find we've worked our way to a stunning consensus on certain things, and certain threads are a wonder to read.

And frankly, without being a sycophant, I suggest that b's valuable commentaries are worth using the ordinary courtesies of human interaction established over time by all cultures, in order to reflect upon.

Posted by: Grieved | Jan 19, 2018 6:09:57 PM | 83

Get off your high horse Grieved...

I have been called an a**hole here several times by high-ranking members of this clique...and even worse by other similar high priests...

Posted by: FB | Jan 19, 2018 6:23:36 PM | 84

OT yet related to the nature of empire. Pepe Escobar provides an excellent Old Fashioned for the soul in his "Rome: A Eulogy," which allows us to appraise our situation in a different light.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 19, 2018 6:29:46 PM | 85

Regarding a good giapping (per Red Ryder)... It is abundantly clear that all that happens each time there's a near giap, the US simply feels goaded to new levels (new strategy or methodology or slogan or enemy). We may prolong out denial a llittle longer, but we all know that hitting the bully where it hurts is ultimately the only thing that will help. Cauterise the excrescence. Sad for the good uns there (few? many? difficult to tell) but in the end it must be done the sake of billions of innocents around the rest of the world.

Posted by: Plod | Jan 19, 2018 6:36:37 PM | 86

This will damage Trump with his base. Reducing the involvement of the United States military abroad was one of the more important commitments he made to his base and now he has broken that commitment and quite a few of his base are disappointed. Even if it's just a couple of hundred thousand of them, there goes the next presidential election for Trump and the Republicans. By forgetting about Russia-gate, focusing on his foreign military involvements, and provided the Democratic candidate is not a Clinton, the presidency is for there for taking by the Democrats. Having Tulsi Gabbard on the ticket would help.
The only reservation I have is if Trump is stiffing the generals in the White House and sometime in the future pulls the plug on all those interventions then he'll remain in the White House for another four years.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Jan 19, 2018 6:52:28 PM | 87

>>>> Posted by: Pft | Jan 19, 2018 6:33:21 PM | 86

One has to understand blog owners are held accountable for the comments they allow.

FWIW, I believe under English law if a blog owner moderates comments then he's liable for all the comments, however if he allows a complete free-for-all and moderates nothing then he is not liable for anything. Although I would suggest that anybody interested consults an English libel lawyer first.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Jan 19, 2018 6:59:43 PM | 88

Tillerson could have been speaking for Trump, or Obama, or Bush - under whose regime the Likudnik/neocons/Zionists were able to foment a policy coup while using the OSP to concoct lies for Israel’s long-desired war.

https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/trump-isnt-another-hitler-he-s-another-obama-51ea7db498b4

https://www.activistpost.com/2018/01/new-trump-admin-policy-on-syria-is-the-same-as-obamas-and-hillary-clintons.html


While there are generally multiple motives for entry into wars, only one is whitewashed. As Phil Giraldi put it:

““Why doesn’t anyone ever speak honestly about the six-hundred-pound gorilla in the room? Nobody has mentioned Israel in this conference and we all know it’s American Jews with all their money and power who are supporting every war in the Middle East for Netanyahu? Shouldn’t we start calling them out and not letting them get away with it?”

https://www.veteransnewsnow.com/2017/09/21/1015592-americas-jews-are-driving-americas-wars/

They have also very heavily figured, neocon and neoliberal Jews both, in promoting the #Russiahoax in media and on the hill.

http://russia-insider.com/en/its-time-drop-jew-taboo/ri22186


Here’s where we are, as the same cabal cheerlead for war on Iran (Lebanon must be first) a you are either committed to stopping the drive to war by all cognizable social and pitical forces, or you are not.

The time for letting cries of ‘anti-Semite’ preclude FAIR dis ussuon of the role of Jews and the Israel Lobby is over.

Those who censor this necessary component of analysis should be deemed confederates of the bankers, MIC, transnationals, and Zionist Jews who have been driving wars for decades.

With millions dead, playtime is over. Those censoring the truth side with the warmongers.

Posted by: Mike K. | Jan 19, 2018 7:08:43 PM | 89

There are certain truths that must not be allowed.

For example?

The truth about that the Turks are not only not "making empty threats" but attacking the US´s kurds forces right now?

Or, the truth about the "blue on blue" attack by IS against the US´s kurds in Deir Ezzor, in an impossible play where the same actors play every of the characters of the film ( i.e. "operation" ) so called "The revenge of the virtuous woman"?

Or the truth about that what the US intends with all this is provoking the war The Donald so much need so that spoiling/avoiding the imminent launching of the petro-yuan ( just happened today ), which, even Germany has incorporated to its foreign exchange reserve basket, in a kind of Hail Mary intend to avoid the inevitable?

Posted by: elsi | Jan 19, 2018 7:13:35 PM | 90

I am feeling that the "cleaning" at this bar has not been whole...This is the kind of cleaning you need....I fear....Notice that there is a "preacher" included, since a "figure" ubiquitous at every blog of the so called "alt-media":


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDEmqJhlD2A

Posted by: elsi | Jan 19, 2018 7:31:47 PM | 91

Robert Snefjella -- Absolutely right and well put, except for one thing. The US made those people refugees by its war into Syria, so of course crocodile tears for destroying their lives is nonsense. The US has now lost that war, and is turning its back on the damage it did, as with Libya. But the refugees are now a problem, because the US wants them to go away. They are inconvenient to other US interests such as in Europe. So dump them all back into a ruined Syria, and flush, that's the plan.

Posted by: Mark Thomason | Jan 19, 2018 7:37:06 PM | 92

elsi @91--

The disallowed Truths are those that unmask the Big Lies, for it is through the implementation of the Big Lies that control is maintained. Why else do you suppose the CIA--and other such entities--went for media control first.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 19, 2018 7:48:12 PM | 93

And on cue, Expert Commentary on my comment @95.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 19, 2018 7:52:11 PM | 94

The Syrians ( and the Russians) are delighted to watch three of the opponents killing each other: The US supported SDF, the Turkish supported FSA and the Turkish army.
The FSA fighters may get a serious blow as they are the only ground force, the weakened SDF will turn to Russia for intervention and the Turks may find that an reconciliation with Bashar Al Assad presents many advantages in curbing the Kurds and getting the USA out of the region.
To Russia's satisfaction the FSA will be eliminated from the equation and will not be a showstopper anymore in Sochi and Geneva. Turkey seems to have decided to sacrifice them especially after their leaders went 2 days ago to the USA to call for support and offer allegance to the USA... an act of treason toward Turkey

Syrian opposition leaders, in Washington for talks, deliver message to Trump administration, Congress

Posted by: virgile | Jan 19, 2018 8:09:53 PM | 95

97
Erdogen's problem is his voter base. Erdo may see the best way to go, but his voter/support base backs the jihadists in Syria, not to mention Erdo's own religious leanings and dreams of rebuilt Ottoman empire.
The so called FSA cosying up to Washington may change that a bit.

What is the FSA these days? Another white helmet type media operation by AQ/US?

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jan 19, 2018 8:22:41 PM | 96

Another thought after posting 98
Erdo's support base and Erdo, back AQ in Syria, Erdo's voter base hates or dis-likes US, supports AQ, US and its west also supports AQ in Syria. Seems like a tangled web.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jan 19, 2018 8:26:17 PM | 97

@ i see someone is now using the same name as me... oh well...

Posted by: james | Jan 19, 2018 8:26:25 PM | 98

me me me me me me and so on. It is somewhat surprising to see those whose self identify as being 'of the left' play the me card and yet that has always been the case here at MoA for some of us.
I really wish I hadn't got so pissed at a troll on the open thread I foolishly attempted to engage the person, only excuse being I have fought the curse of racism using words logic and occasionally even violence around this rock, for just about all my life and I really hoped that battle against racists, those facile puppets of the greedy would be over by now but it isn't, and seems it never will be.

I have no excuse just a reason that I blew up at the fuckwittery and I apologise to b for having done so because when I put my oar in it gave oxygen to a cluster of derps and helped fuck up that particular thread.
We come in here and the derps are still being derpy, b cleans them out and then has to put up with the alleged lefties whining about being personally hard done by - tough.
How about considering b's position and the fact that there is nothing he like less than having to delete any posts and as far as I can remember over the years it has only occurred a few times when so many people have shit on the rug (as giap used to say) his hard work keeping this joint going has become in danger of being wrecked by their moronic repetitious and 100% unsourced bulldust.

AFAIK b is never happy to have to be a kindergarten teacher to those that should have some form of maturity and that compounded with having to censor he probably doesn't feel like tolerating pleas of special needs from those who wont to 'bend' things enough to post off topic - just for them y'know because apparently they are 'special'.

Suck it up and move on, a community facility like MoA shouldn't need to be policed but unfortunately just as some people never return books they 'like' to the public library and have to be chased up and fined, sometimes MoA requires a tidy.
Quit whining, and use this joint as it should be would be my counsel - oh and cut b some slack for occasionally behaving as a normal human being instead of expecting him to behave as god or king having to listen to whiny petitions of sheer self interest.
Anyway that is all I wanted to say apart from stay strong Syria.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Jan 19, 2018 8:39:34 PM | 99

@86 pfft

Indeed. I have made the mistake of chasing topics down holes and posting irrelevant material. I have also posted what I believe to be pertinent material, but b had deemed otherwise. In the mean time, I am trying to remember that:

1) it is b's blog
2) the rights to b's site could be compromised for material posted and judged to be hate speech by censorship laws in Germany and the coming effect of the ruling against net neutrality here in the states
3) if you are inspired to post about what is pressing to you, but are rejected in your delivery, here, pursue the creation of your own typepad blog. The work of b here has inspired me to consider doing just that, regardless of the fact that I am a crap writer.


Posted by: NemesisCalling | Jan 19, 2018 8:47:18 PM | 100

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