Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 03, 2018

Syria Sitrep - Afrin, Idlib and East-Ghouta

After a slow start the Turkish and Jihadi attack on the Afrin canton in north-west Syria is making some progress. Despite intimate knowledge of the terrain and years of preparation the local Kurdish forces of the YPK have little chance to withstand.


Map by syriancivilwarmap.com - bigger

Turkish air and artillery support for the attacking force opponents is overwhelming the Kurds. The ground troops Turkey is using are mostly Islamist Free Syrian Army fighters directed by Turkish officers. A few Turkish special forces are acting as forward observers to call in artillery and airstrikes. Only yesterday the Turkish air force flew more than 30 bombing missions on a rather small front. Today some 36 fighters were killed by Turkish air strikes.

Last week the local Kurdish forces were reinforced by other Kurdish forces and Syrian government paramilitaries. Some of the Kurdish groups had split off from the U.S. supported SDF in east Syria, crossed through Syrian government held land and reached Afrin. Kurdish groups in Aleppo city gave control of two of the three districts they held to the Syrian government to join their brethren in Afrin. A contingent of 500 Syrian paramilitary fighters from two Shiite towns near Afrin also joined the fight. The Turkish army tried to interdict the convoys reinforcing Afrin but most of the fighters reached the front lines. The Syrian Red Cross sent a convoy with humanitarian goods for the about one million inhabitants of the canton.

The Kurdish YPG forces in control of Afrin have a choice. The Russian and the Syrian government have offered their full support if the Kurds submit to Syrian government control just like any citizen of Syria is supposed to do. If they agree, the Turkish planes will immediately vanish from the skies over Afrin. But the Kurds insist on keeping their own military and police forces as well as their unelected local administration. If they keep doing so the Turkish forces will role them up and all will be lost. It is a simple and obvious choice to make.

---

Idleb governorate and Idleb city are held by various groups aligned with Turkey. The biggest of these groups are al-Qaeda (aka Nusra Front aka HTS), Ahrar al Sham and Zinki. All of these are Islamist extremists but only al-Qaeda/Nusra is designated as an international terrorist group. A Russian-Turkish agreement marks Idleb as a deescalation zone which will no longer be attacked by the Syrian government forces if Turkey can get the groups there under control and if it eliminates the al-Qaeda/HTS terrorists. Regular Turkish troops set up a few observer posts in the area.

But Turkey had supported al-Qaeda/HTS all along and the group, if attacked by regular Turkish forces, is likely to hit back within Turkey itself. After much prodding by Russia Turkey finally pressed the other groups it controls to evict al-Qaeda/HTS from the various towns it held.

The operation started a week ago. Ahrar al Sham and Zinki united with some smaller groups under the common label JTS. They attacked HTS positions and were able to immediately capture a number of them. HTS simply retreated. For three days it looked as if the Turkish ordered operation would be successful. Some 30 towns and villages fell to JTS. Then came the counterattack. Ahrar al-Sham's main weapon depot, with several tanks and artillery guns, fell to HTS. JTS was attacked from the rear and town after town fell back to HTS. Just a week after the  whole operation against HTS started it is in better position than ever before.


Map by Tomasz Rolbiecki - bigger

HTS has kept control of the city of Idleb. It is now in complete control of the border with Turkey. All Turkish observer posts in Idleb governorate are now surrounded by HTS forces. The Turkish soldiers have become hostages. Will Erdogan have to call on the Syrian government to bail them out?

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The large Syrian government operation against the east-Ghouta enclave east of the capital Damascus is progressing well. The area is held by various Salafist and Wahabbi groups including an al-Qaeda contingent of several hundred fighters. The defense line of Jaish al-Islam on the eastern border of the 10 square kilometer area have been breached. Wide ditches dug to prevent any Syrian army attack were crossed with the help of military bridges. The area is rural and flat and can be easily captured by a mechanized force. One third of east-Ghouta is already back in government hands. The western side of the enclave is upbuild city terrain and will be much more difficult to take.


Map by Peto Lucem - bigger

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In east-Syria north of the Euphrates and along the Syrian-Iraqi border there is still a significant ISIS enclave with several thousand ISIS fighters which the U.S. supported SDF seems uninterested in. The Syrian and Russian governments believe that the U.S. is protecting these terrorists and will eventually use them against the Syrian government. The Russian defense ministry claims that the U.S. has build some 20 garrisons in north-east Syria for several thousands of its troops. Another U.S. contingent holds the Syrian-Iraqi border station al-Tanf in south-east Syria. It has recently been reinforced with additional U.S. soldiers. Nearby is a large refugee camp controlled by ISIS aligned fighters. This again seems to be an area where the U.S. is coddling ISIS to later reuse it as a "rebel" force against the Syrian government.

 

Posted by b on March 3, 2018 at 01:46 PM | Permalink

Comments

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/regime-forces-advance-syrias-battered-ghouta-164950532.html


More fake news from AFP via Yahoo again? It look like AFP's Hasan Mohammed doing an excellent job as mouthpiece for the regime changer. In Feb 28 he prases the "White Halmets" in Ghouta and now...


Regime forces advance in Syria's battered Ghouta
AFP News Hasan Mohammed AFP NewsMarch 4, 2018


Government forces intensified fighting Saturday inside Syria's Eastern Ghouta, as tens of thousands of civilians in the besieged rebel enclave east of Damascus awaited urgently needed aid.

On another front in Syria's seven-year civil war, Turkish air strikes killed 36 pro-regime fighters in a Kurdish enclave near the Turkish border.....

"The Observatory says more than 140 civilians have been killed in Turkish bombardment since the start of the assault, but Turkey denies the claim and says it takes the "utmost care" to avoid civilian casualties....."

Posted by: OJS | Mar 3, 2018 2:23:27 PM | 1

Nobody wins a ground war but the profiteers. The issues that are proxied on the battlefield will be decided by people in other places.

Give the issues at stake, it represents a sick form of genocide, IMO, that shows the ways in which we have not evolved through the Enlightenment period of hundreds of years ago.

It is not just a multi-polar world that is being contested but patriarchy and might makes right memes as well.....Weinsteins lawyers are arguing that sex to boost career is not rape......

Thanks for the excellent journalism b

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 3, 2018 2:45:39 PM | 2

Insane that the people of America continue to accept this murderous behavior on the part of their government, our government, creating and prolonging proxy wars that are monstrous beyond words - Syria, Congo, Ukraine, Yemen - US involvement in proxy wars are EVEN MORE BRUTAL than their direct involvement with wars, because the US public seems to agree to pay no attention. Some few wail "who will stop this madness!" - as if the gasoline poured itself out and lit itself.

Posted by: paul | Mar 3, 2018 3:32:37 PM | 3

#3 @paul - In my experience, most Americans have zero awareness/interest for what is going on in Syria. If there is any awareness, it is the professional fake-left type that gets spoon fed stories on how the brutal Asad regime drops barrel bombs on helpless civilians, uses sarin gas, etc. They call for the Syrian government to stop fighting terrorists, fueled by ignorance or a willful disbelief that just because a government is decried by the US it may actually be trying to help its citizens.

Posted by: WorldBLee | Mar 3, 2018 3:47:01 PM | 4

We don't accept this in USA. Well actually there are morons who actually do believe we are still out their doing this for demuhcrazy. Yet this is still an essentially illegal armed conflict and we cannot win this. We can drag it out for a time but if 20 or 30 american boys or girls die and depending on how they are killed then the protests will wind up and the SAA will be victorious.

Posted by: Fernando Arauxo | Mar 3, 2018 3:53:58 PM | 5

Just when we thought the White Helmets were over and done, they keep coming back via our media. The same is true with the repeats of chem weapons attack stories in the MSM. Shameless.

Posted by: Curtis | Mar 3, 2018 4:02:25 PM | 6

The last pitched battle of the WW1 was in Afrin. Mustafa Kemal's, the founder of modern TR, HQ was situated in Raju town which was captured today by TAF+FSA forces. 1908-2018. The Turks have returned to the area exactly 100 years later and raised their flag (meaning they will not leave the territory gained in a battle for at least 30 years and that's if they ever will).

Op Olive Branch has so far been a very lucrative incursion for Turks.

1) Raju is the first major urban area which was taken by the TAF+FSA forces and it remains almost intact as opposed to the towns which had to be totally destroyed by the Russian, Syrian and US forces in Ghouta, Allepo, Raqqa, Ayn Al Arab and so on. The Turks had to struggle against the PKK/YPG/SDF's (and mainly their backers) international propaganda which falsely claimed chemical attacks, civilian death tolls and urban destruction caused by the Turkish Army and therefore the TAF showed utmost care not to fall into this trap. Some thought the OpOlive was a fiasco since it was going slow but actually the weather conditions, massive defense networks, a difficult terrain and a huge international propaganda against the Turkish incursion as well as the risk of casualties were the main reasons why TAF had chosen to take their time in enacting their plans.

2) Massive build-up comprising concrete bunkers, kms of concrete tunnels, defense towers, kms of 3-5m trenches against tanks and apcs were discovered in Afrin. a) some defense systems are copies of those made by the ISIS b) The French cement giant Lafarge which has a factory in N. Syria helped PKK build all concrete structures. Mil class engineering was applied in the construction which indicates the PKK/YPG/SDF got help from countries with sophisticated military planning and capabilities.

3) I say PKK/YPG/SDF for a reason. Virtually every village road and building is adorned with the PKK's founder Abdullah Ocalan's portrait. So YPG=PKK? Also the SDF command made a public announcement that many of their soldiers had been killed in Afrin. The US officials quickly denied it. So PKK=YPG=SDF. Vast amount of documents have been recovered in Afrin with details about future political structures, plans, names of people etc. and their links to the other PKK/YPG held areas in Syria.

4) Afrin's concrete defense networks are interesting in that they can only serve 1 purpose, a geopolitical and geostrategic over the top purpose and that is preventing Turkey's access to the ME. Interesting indeed. Some people had that idea in mind even before the Afrin's invasion by the Kurds in 2012.

5) There remains the question of Idleb, south of Afrin. What's going to happen to the Nusra guys? Israel will probably relocate them to Daraa. They need an excuse, a PRS, for their 40km security zone within Syria's territory they have been eyeing up for a long time. Israel's terrorist groups in E. Ghouta kept Assad busy but the determination Assad, Iran, Russia demonstrated caused a major problem (and hence the UN's ceasefire gave the game setters a breathing space). Analysts have been wondering as to why Israel supported 2 sunni groups instead of 1 and now we can see the reason. The US bombed the Russians in DeirEzZor to show their determination about their red lines. The Turks already captured half of Afrin, the next battle will be further south, around Golan Heights and to set up a deconflict zone 40km into the Syrian territory.

6) Putin knows what's going on. He shows off his new toy, Sarmat, and today the US calls Putin's shot with a new supersonic firecracker of their own. The US seems to be very determined to remain in Syria as an invader.

Posted by: ConfusedPundit | Mar 3, 2018 4:06:16 PM | 7

At the moment, there is not much of a buffer zone between the jihadist front lines and the rail line running to Aleppo. If Turkey can take control of the jihadists in Idlib, it seems likely the war on that front will wind down to a frozen conflict, same as the Jarabulus enclave. Syria controlling the rail line to Aleppo and Turkey controlling the jihadists in remaining Idlib most likely decided on at Astana?

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 3, 2018 4:47:29 PM | 9

If those ISIS pockets north of the Euphrates river are well-known in terms of location, why doesn't Russia use cruise missiles or long range bombers to "bomb them into the stone age?" Seems that there wouldn't be much the US could do about that.

Unless they're well dispersed over a much larger area, and hidden among SDF or US forces, which I suspect is the case.

Posted by: Chris | Mar 3, 2018 5:04:29 PM | 10

So Kurds have to just roll over and die in their homes in Afrin because the supposed Christian (Greek Orthodox) superpower (former Communist USSR) leader dear, Vladimir Vladimirovitch Putin now favors the Ottoman autocratic Turkish Islamic leader R.D.Erdogan, thus kurds which are not overly Islamic should just bow down to the will of the Sultan.
We in Greece are getting fed the "(Greek Orthodox) Christian Superpower which is Russia under the leadership of V.V.Putin as an supposed Christian orthodox leader B.S. propganda for too long.

So what happens in Afrin is just a test scenario for when Turkey will invade Greece killing scores of Christians as they promised us, ISNT'T IT?

Posted by: Greece | Mar 3, 2018 5:33:56 PM | 11

Mars, the God and month of War.
The pieces are set.
The powder keg in place.
The match is lit.
Will the Old Writings come to pass?


Posted by: Lozion | Mar 3, 2018 5:42:25 PM | 12


Why would Putin choose this moment to outline Russian nuclear response capabilities? While one part of me could not but smile as I saw my prediction from 2014 realized, another part of me was left deeply uneasy about the possible reasons for such public posturing. Very un-like Putin. Was it just to clarify their response to the latest version of the US Defence Policy that advocates the use of nuclear weapons not just in a pre-emptive first strike capability, but also as a preventative measure or perhaps even retaliatory measure (against cyber-attack)? Is it a message concerning N.Korea or Ukraine and the use of recently deployed 'suitcase' or tactical nukes?

Perhaps the most troubling 'development' recently is the beefing up of US presence in AlTanf. Many commentators here happily predicted a US withdrawal from this site months ago as the harbinger of eventual US 'defeat' in Syria. I doubted the withdrawal then and I continue to doubt the mantra of 'defeat' today.

What could be the reason for strengthening such a solitary outpost? This is a bit speculative but it seems that together with outposts in the Golan, Al Tanf can provide the kind of electronic fog that would allow Israeli jets to fly across S. Syria and remain undetected by both Iranian and Russian radar elements (this gives an interesting read on the effectiveness of the Russian equipment). While the Saudi's would quickly facilitate the Israeli overflight, Jordan would not want to be complicit in a tactical nuclear strike on Iran (It will not even allow direct attacks into Syria across its' border). Flying across Syria has become rather risky as the recently downed Israeli jet demonstrated. Al Tanf is needed to provide an electronic screen for an Israeli attack on Iran. Politically Netanyahu desperately needs a distraction - and just in time the MSM has raised a united hue and cry vilifying both Iran and Russia.

Which brings us back to Putin and the almost overlooked comment that any attack on Russia "or its' allies" would be met with an immediate nuclear response. Does Iran qualify as an ally? Does China? The ambiguity of those relationships is exactly what Putin seeks to use deter both Israel(against Iran) and the US (against Iran, china, N.Korea, etc).

Perhaps the Russian introduction of the SU 57s into Syria for several days was to test their top-line avionics and EW suite against that electronic fog that Israel and the US had set up in S. Syria. There is no other substantive reason that I am aware of to risk such valuable assets in such a hotly contested air space.

Finally - again just speculation - Putin also revealed that 'the dagger' is currently deployed in the SOUTHERN military district. Not in position to primarily face Europe and the Black Sea, but rather in position to face down threats in the Gulf region.


Posted by: les7 | Mar 3, 2018 7:53:20 PM | 13

No S*T , now Brig Gen Hassan of the Tiger Forces is a warlord according to this magazine The Atlantic ( all those neocons and Israeli firsters .

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2018/03/who-is-russias-favorite-syrian-warlord/554774/?utm_source=twb

Posted by: Yul | Mar 3, 2018 8:36:44 PM | 14

@b - many thanks.

The Kurds. Surely one day a Kurdish author must arise and publish the definitive story of why and how the Kurdish forces failed so badly to understand the reality they were in. The waves of history kept coming at them saying, "come surf me" and they stood, steadfast on the dry sand, and said, "no, we think we have a future here." I have so much sympathy for their aspirations, but you cannot have statehood, so long as you fail to show statecraft.

--

Idleb and Turkey. I was just reading a piece by Ghassan Kadi over at the Saker, which detailed how the US acts as the bully precisely in equal measure to how it's losing its competitive ability.

By contrast, here in northern Syria is Turkey, with no such luxury of denial. It must find the ways to deal with its many bargains made with devils, in order to embrace its future. I'm rooting for Turkey to cleanse itself of its devils and move forward. Not predicting. Simply rooting.

--

East Ghouta. Those "wide ditches". I think it was Fort Russ that said that with several years to prepare, all the terrorists could come up with were moats, that the SAA easily bridged. Yes, it was.

Is it funny or is it sad, the banality of evil? Or is it on the other hand awe-inspiring, to watch the SAA and see the strength of righteous purpose, that carries all before it?

--

And then there's the area across the Euphrates, where the US neocons build their castles in the sand. Don't they see how perfectly exposed they are for all the world to watch, with no civilians to hide behind, no city to posture over, and nothing but their naked pipeline-envy on display?

When the time comes - and perhaps this will even be after Golan, I don't know - when the time comes, the US will slink out of Syria with all the madness of the rout from the roof of the Saigon embassy. And that photograph will be shown on sites across the world too, as it happens. How it happens, and when, I leave to the fates to unfold.

~~

Sorry. Just musing.

Posted by: Grieved | Mar 3, 2018 9:16:33 PM | 15

paul @ 3 said:"Insane that the people of America continue to accept this murderous behavior on the part of their government."

If the 4th estate was really informing the general public, they might not except it. But, as things are now, I doubt most of the masses of the general public neither hear the truth, nor really care to hear it.

If the necessary information isn't scrolled on their latest toys, most never hear anything but the incessant propaganda and disinformation, and advertisements...

Posted by: ben | Mar 3, 2018 9:38:35 PM | 16

"The Russian and the Syrian government have offered their full support if the Kurds submit to Syrian government control just like any citizen of Syria is supposed to do. If they agree, the Turkish planes will immediately vanish from the skies over Afrin"

This is in fact //Erdogan's// demand, relayed by Putin as part of the Putin-Erdogan partition deal - continuing the Euphrates Shield deal which was pendant the resolution of Aleppo.

Damascus never consented to it, and what we know of the discussions at Hmeimim Jan 20 show that it is taken by both Damascus and PYD as a fait accompli reached by superior powers. The Hmeimim discussions were Russian-supervised; later under the table discussions without Russia led to the entry of some pro-Assad militias. Assad set up PYD in Afrin and has never had any difficulty with them. Russia, however, is playing a much larger, anti-NATO game (not unreasonably) that involves partition of Syria.

Posted by: Michael S | Mar 3, 2018 9:50:27 PM | 17

It takes really only a moment's reflection and common sense to see that Damascus could never have agreed to Turkish annexation of Afrin - no matter how irritating the natives. It adjoins Alexandretta / Hatay! Yet you propound an analysis that commits you to just this view.

Posted by: Michael S | Mar 3, 2018 9:54:18 PM | 18

@ Grieved with the well written musing.

I like the "... nothing but their naked pipeline-envy on display.." That international crime is repeated all over the globe as resource envy with complete disregard for indigenous peoples/cultures. Of course it violates the coveting your neighbors stuff commandment but is excuses because all but the elite are heathens now.

@ paul/ben with the issue of who is responsible.

Yes, the 99% of the world should stand up and take their species back from those that control the lifeblood of our economic interactions. It is not just American that are responsible for where we are nor can Americans alone overthrow the global financial elite.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 3, 2018 10:07:33 PM | 19

@2 psycho

"me too" movement. Trying not to respond...you're making me bite...it hurts so bad to not give my opinion...too...off-topic...must respond...no, I won't.

Love you psycho!

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Mar 3, 2018 10:51:13 PM | 20

Re: Posted by: Lozion | Mar 3, 2018 5:42:25 PM | 12

Mars, the God and month of War. The pieces are set. The powder keg in place. The match is lit. Will the Old Writings come to pass?

Not this March, come back next year, or the year after.

Russian Presidential Elections
China Oil Yuan Contract
Russian FIFA World Cup (June/July)
Turkstream (2019)
NordStream 2 (2020?)
Power of Siberia Pipeline (Russia-China) (2020)

Russia will start supplying natural gas to China through a new pipeline by the end of 2019 as part of the two countries' $400 billion energy pact, state gas giant Gazprom said on July 4.

Gazprom Chief Executive Aleksei Miller told journalists in Moscow that delivery of gas would start on the so-called Power Of Siberia pipeline on December 20, 2019, and that Beijing and Moscow are now negotiating over a second Far Eastern gas pipeline.

https://www.rferl.org/a/russia-gazprom-start-supplying-gas-china-power-siberia-pipeline-december-2019/28596838.html


Russia needs its ducks in a row before it would ever consider responding to a provocation.

Interestingly, 2020 is a US Presidential Election Year so you can imagine a huge ramp up of Trump-Russia hysteria. Huge ramp-up.

Posted by: Julian | Mar 3, 2018 10:52:00 PM | 21

Curtis 6

If U are an australian, comments by Dr Marcus Papadopoulos on East Ghouta might interest you.....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHfUiw1d1tg

MUST WATCH: Dr Marcus Papadopoulos on East Ghouta - Sky News Australia Vanessa Beeley. Published on Feb 27, 2018

Posted by: OJS | Mar 3, 2018 11:00:36 PM | 22

thanks b.. your post is edifying.. so many loose strands, left untied...

i think the article @8 Gesine Hammerling is more of a continuation of same.. the usa is not interested in leaving.. i guess israel told them they can't, lol... between the usa/uk/israel/ksa and the various western poodles, the war in syria will go on indefinitely..well, as i see it we are on a pathway to ww3... i wish i could see it differently, but i think syria is ground zero...

read @7 cp's post for the fanatical ideology emanating from turkey/erdogan at present... thanks cp.. it is also clarifying, reading the historical context and how some in turkey would view this... those friendly HTS, Ahrar al Sham and Zinki headchoppers are useful tools.. why the usa and the west refuse to acknowledge the last 2 as terrorist groups, so turkey must be thankful to the usa for that, if nothing else!

@13 les... the timing is due the fact the war is heating up, not going cold... putin decided it would be wise to lay a few cards on the table to show some of his hand... not to worry... nothing will stop the neo con madmen in the west frothing at the mouth to continue on regardless...altanf - just another spot for the usa to have an extended foothold.. jordan prince is bought and paid for.. he will do what he is told..

yes - why doesn't russia just bomb the usa's pocket of isis they are hanging onto east of the euphrates? it's another way to ramp up the war.. maybe they are holding off for the time being, as they aren't quite ready to pull the plug yet? who knows..

@15 grieved.. as we walk towards ww3, it is a nice thought to hold up the idea of the forces of good overcoming the forces of evil... i wish i had the same faith in this as you seem to... i would never underestimate just how powerful the unwanted and uninvited forces that continue to meddle in syria are... in fact, take a look at how long this has gone on and how, in spite of russia-iran-syrias ability, the war shows no sign of letting up.. in fact, it appears to be ramping up as i see it.. it is easy to imagine 1 wrong move setting off a chain of events that are hard to get back..

and yet, i do believe russia-iran and syria are playing their cards the best way they can.. and i do believe that russia in particular is still holding back showing all it's hand and what it is capable of doing.. it continues to try for diplomacy and sanity.. but then asking for that in a room full of jackals is asking a lot and that is how i see it...

@lozion - yeah - mars god of war and march... he meets saturn on easter sunday, as the moon moves into tropical scorpio... the aries ingress charts look unhappy given this duo in close conjunction squaring onto the sun.. and yet, i continue to believe 2020 is the watershed year...that is the year when the bigger cycles come due.. and yet, the ww2 had the ominous square of mars to sun in the uk chart as we have for this 2018 aries ingress... it wasn't present in the 1914 chart.. i think 2020 is the critical year still..

Posted by: james | Mar 3, 2018 11:02:52 PM | 23

@23 James

and yet, i do believe russia-iran and syria are playing their cards the best way they can.. and i do believe that russia in particular is still holding back showing all it's hand and what it is capable of doing.. it continues to try for diplomacy and sanity.. but then asking for that in a room full of jackals is asking a lot and that is how i see it...

I look at Putin and I see a man who was thrown into that position and who is surviving brilliantly through pure merit and self-discipline. I can not think of another world leader, besides the Russian President, in recent history, that embodies the stuff that is needed to bring down Rome. That could bring down Rome. It is obvious to me that the martial arts he has studied, Judo, has been an integral part of his calm-under-pressure. Lavrov is an amazing right-hand, as well, but without Vladamir...well; he even embraces the physical-man image in his public life with aplomb, and I am assuming that this is the other reason why the Russians love him so.

On the other side of the world, you have the wildcard Trump, who could stop the MIC if he would just step into the light a bit so we could really see the man. But he continues as a self-serving, shape-shifter survivalist.

According to Kierkegaard, the ethical man sacrifices himself to move past the aesthetic stage of the pursuit of pure, sensory enjoyment. He does this out of duty towards his fellows and because that is what is needed for family and raising children. Beyond this is the religious sphere which is of the utmost subjectivity.

Clowns like Pat Robertson and the other protestant neocons who whisper into Trump's ear use the type of religiousness that is anathema to true Christianity; and the eschatology that they adhere to is so confused that they probably understand themselves as having already moved into the "religious" sphere. But first you have to understand the peace of the ethical. The peace of love, of marriage, of children. It is so wonderful to move beyond the selfish and self-serving. If they could only understand!

But they are hellbent on destroying the natural order that our creator has so lovingly bestowed on us. For them, life is too complicated when individuals have to make personal choices of heroism that pass unseen in the eyes of the public but are lovingly acknowledged in quiet moments of self-reflection. No, for them it is easier to band together in marauding groups of insatiable humanoids and shun personal responsibility.

(forgive the lackluster proselytism; all I meant to say was that Putin is aces)

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Mar 3, 2018 11:49:48 PM | 24

Great summary and analysis b.

The laments in the first few comments are a bit overly pessimistic about the 'clueless Americans' who buy the media lies about the many US imperial cold and hot war actions. The numbers who are infected by official propaganda are I think rapidly dwindling.

The belief in official media is nearly dead, especially for most folks under 50. The freedom to view and read more authentically objective sites like WSWS or Moonofalabama on an essentially equal convenience level as govt propaganda sites like ABC or BBC, and the ability to compare and contrast 'opposing' govt propaganda sites, has had an effect. Among those who still care, it produces Bernie Sanders, Jeremy Corbyn, and Brexit. And Trump, unfortunately. All of these 'unfathomable to the neoliberal establishment' political events happened 1 or 2 years ago.

Something new and very good is happening. It may be misdirected, perhaps into racialized or identity politics, but then again it may not be. Activism not wailing pessimism is the best response over the next few critical years.

Posted by: fairleft | Mar 4, 2018 3:06:51 AM | 25

Thanks b. One can only speculate on the reason YPG is digging heels.
First, for as long as USA remains parked accross Eulhrates, they are hoping to get their
autonomy / independence st the final negotiarion table. Thus — they have refused
the terms of reincorporating back into Syria. Damascus is in a precarious position ,
as it cannot condone Turkish offensive, hence sending some voluntary units
and humanitarian help. But until Kurds insist on secession, Syria will allow Turkey
to squeeze YPG. Kurds that are part of SDF are abandoning many of their posts -
/ especially from Deir Azzor. This has spooked US forces, getting reinforcements.
Kurds are leaving Daqqa, Euphrates valley —- getting back to Hassakah and
Kobane region, as well as going to Afrin. In a new twist in Hassakah region US
facilitated putting together a 3,000 force of Arabs and others to ptovide the defence
AND according to US will provide security freeing Kurds for dealing with ISIS. In fact, it
is a compensation, an assurance for Kurds that they can return to their posts and not
worry that Turks will attack YPG in Hassakah/Kobane. But this is a sleight of hand.
US knows that Kurds are stretched thin — and now that they have to worry about
protecting their own regions — are focusing on their defence. In the end — US
willl continue to ask for more troups, Nobody is really protecting the area, and in Raqqa
Groups are forming to resist Kurd/US occupation.

from the fact that large areas are now without even symbolic presence, and HS failed to

Posted by: Bianca | Mar 4, 2018 3:30:22 AM | 26

@24

Very well stated and perhaps the most precise and poignant critique of the empire.

Posted by: les7 | Mar 4, 2018 4:10:16 AM | 27

Check out the latest posts at SyrianPerspective.com
The Douma pocket has collapsed, as much as 75% of it, mostly rural, has been liberated, and there are some reports that the Tigers have entered Douma itself from the east. Nuff Sed.

Posted by: Nuff Sed | Mar 4, 2018 4:43:58 AM | 28

Fairleft 25
Don't place World Socialist Web next to Moon of Alabama for quality insight . Two weeks back they were telling us that MAO' perverted Marxism and that the Chinese revolution was a 'nationalist perversion' .

No - C I A money and Trotskyist polemics sloshing around there methinks !

Posted by: ashley albanese | Mar 4, 2018 5:21:51 AM | 29

Peter Hitchen of the normally right-wing Sunday Mail had this to say of BBC coverage:

"I asked the BBC how they could justify using propaganda footage, allegedly from the Syrian town of Ghouta, on a major news bulletin without any indication that it came from a partial source. They admitted they had done this. They admitted that it was against their rules. But I did not get the impression they were all that bothered, and I would not be surprised to see such stuff again. The BBC ‘reports’ an awful lot of things from Syria which it has no way of checking, from supposed gas attacks by the Assad state to death tolls and films (generally of wounded children being rushed about the place by unarmed young men). It has completely abandoned any semblance of independence or impartiality. How then can it justify its licence fee, collected on these conditions?"

Posted by: Shakesvshav | Mar 4, 2018 5:47:52 AM | 30

"If they keep doing so the Turkish forces will role [sic] them up and all will be lost. It is a simple and obvious choice to make."

The Kurds are irredeemably stupid. They always fall for the sympathetic whispers from the AngloZionists, not realizing they are just pawns.

Posted by: Anonymous | Mar 4, 2018 5:51:32 AM | 31

This is a must read on MSNBC's coverage of Yemen and Russia gate, and tells everyone all they need to know about propaganda in the US.
“An analysis by FAIR has found that the leading liberal cable network did not run a single segment devoted specifically to Yemen in the second half of 2017. And in these latter roughly six months of the year, MSNBC ran nearly 5,000 percent more segments that mentioned Russia than segments that mentioned Yemen.”
● “Moreover, in all of 2017, MSNBC only aired one broadcast on the U.S.-backed Saudi airstrikes that have killed thousands of Yemeni civilians. And it never mentioned the impoverished nation’s colossal cholera epidemic, which infected more than 1 million Yemenis in the largest outbreak in recorded history.” https://www.truthdig.com/articles/msnbc-now-dangerous-warmonger-network/

Posted by: harrylaw | Mar 4, 2018 6:48:38 AM | 32

Exposing the fakery job of "saving child" by White Helmet in E. Ghouta: Another faked baby-saving by White Helmet .

Watch the video on the same thread posted by Radom Soul, who noticed the fakery, I think ther might be an another possible fakery:

Between '12-'13, you'd see a WH man pick up a baby from the rubble hole. As baby is pulled out of the hole to be given to someone stanging above, it seems the baby with light blue top and white bottom/diaper has no legs & no blood whatsoever under his/her white bottom/diaper. Can some eagle-eyed readers here check it?

Posted by: mali | Mar 4, 2018 7:05:37 AM | 33

ashley albanese | Mar 4, 2018 5:21:51 AM | 29

No, WSWS wasn't doing that, but I won't further feed you.

My point which you've decided to answer with a b.s. diversion is that WSWS is a more objective NEWS source than mainstream propaganda sites like ABC, BBC and so on. Its underlying bias in favor of Trotskyism seems not to bias its reporting, except at times when it reports with premature and sometimes unwarranted cynicism on seemingly authentic left movements and figures like Corbyn ... (But more often than not such cynicism is warranted; perhaps not in the case of Corbyn, but probably so in the case of Bernie Sanders). Other than that fairly straightforward, easy-to-spot-and-account-for bias, I think their NEWS reporting is impressively objective.

Posted by: fairleft | Mar 4, 2018 7:35:20 AM | 34

@PH3. I like the opening sentence about the profit prophets.

Much more than multi polar and patriarchy are at stake when consensual sex between adults (for any reason)is considered rape.

It's possible we need a shared experience to get on the same page as suggested here.
https://ownershipeconomy.net/

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Mar 4, 2018 9:07:11 AM | 35

So Kurds have to just roll over and die in their homes in Afrin because the supposed Christian (Greek Orthodox) superpower[...] Putin now favors the Ottoman autocratic Turkish Islamic leader R.D.Erdogan, thus kurds which are not overly Islamic should just bow down to the will of the Sultan.

Posted by: Greece | Mar 3, 2018 5:33:56 PM | 11

Clients can count on the protection of the powers that the pledged to. YPG chose to stay with Americans, to the point of participating in some fashion in the slaughter of some Russians. USA is capable of extending a no-fly zone ca. 200 km to cover Afrin, like it currently covers Manjib. Why Russia should spoil relationship with Turkey on behalf of American clients?

Realistically, YPG should "split" with the western branch reduced to a legal political party with a militia within NDP (?) framework, i.e. obeying SAA commands with possibility of political appeals, like, say, the Druze. I guess that it is pressure from Americans that delays that outcome. And, of course, USA also values Turkey more too.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 4, 2018 10:37:06 AM | 36

News from East Ghouta pocket: one cannot simply add up all SAA advances, because some were reversed, most of the pocket is still in jihadists hand, about 60?

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 4, 2018 10:42:38 AM | 37

@Gesine, 8. Richard Labévière is a well known F-CH author, commentator, etc. He has written more than 10 books (none of which I have read.) He is respected and imho pretty good, not bad anyway, outside the MSM etc. - though he started his career there. We in CH know him quite well.

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Labévière (in F)

https://www.amazon.com/Richard-Labévière/e/B001K784D2 (books on Amazon)

Here on an ‘alt’ TV show, 29 jan. 2018, TV-libertés, you can see him explaining Syria from the Russian pov. In F.

https://www.tvlibertes.com/2018/01/29/21489/richard-labeviere-reconquete-dalep

If he reports on this confidential comm. I see no reason to disbelieve. (He is rather cautious not given to wild speculation, hype.)

Were present: Hugh Cleary - Foreign Office, Jérôme Bonnafont - Quai d’Orsay, David Satterfield, USA, Nawaf Tell, Jordan, and Jamal al-Aqeel, KSA.

What is reported of course is just what one would expect, nothing startling or different. How R L saw / was informed about this ‘cable’ idk.

Posted by: Noirette | Mar 4, 2018 10:55:47 AM | 38

@38
thanks for the valuable background

Posted by: les7 | Mar 4, 2018 11:58:27 AM | 39

The Turks have reservations about the Russians. If the Russians could be a bit sincere, Turkey would announce the end of her contract with the NATO right there and then and for good.

Turks have been attacked by NATO members and they are still under attack.

For Turks PYD/PKK/YPG/YPJ/KCK/HPG/SDF (there are about 35-40 acronyms) = COCA COLA, canned, bottled, pre-mix, zero, light, classic...

And the Gulenists are the PEPSI guys and they are still attacking Turkey daily, hourly, every single second.

PEPSI + Coca Cola are bad for Turks.

Posted by: ConfusedPundit | Mar 4, 2018 12:09:27 PM | 40

@24 NemesisCalling... thanks for your post.. we see this in a similar way!

Posted by: james | Mar 4, 2018 12:57:39 PM | 41

re28

The Douma pocket has collapsed, as much as 75% of it, mostly rural, has been liberated,
Even BBC radio news, not very pro-Asad, is saying that a quarter of the pocket has fallen. It'll only be a few days now, I would guess. Time to organise the busses for transporting the jihadis to Idlib.

Posted by: Laguerre | Mar 4, 2018 1:08:36 PM | 42

Even BBC radio news, not very pro-Asad, is saying that a quarter of the pocket has fallen. It'll only be a few days now, I would guess. Time to organise the busses for transporting the jihadis to Idlib.
Posted by: Laguerre | Mar 4, 2018 1:08:36 PM | 42

I think you are extrapolating from a recently liquidated pocket near Idlib and Aleppo. But the progress depends a lot on the defensive tunnels and trenches, plus the numbers of the defenders. East Ghouta has about 20 times more defenders, and more urban parts are very resistant to the attacks from "old front lines". It is really an open bet how large EG pocket will be a month from now.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 4, 2018 2:43:02 PM | 43

Well the BBC was talking about hundreds of people fleeing - there was more detail later on in the bulletin. Very surprising for the BBC - they've been carrying the line about monstrous Asad bombing for around two weeks now. No, I was not extrapolating from the north. I was telling you about what they were saying. There's no necessary supposition that they're going to fight to the death (negotiations were also mentioned). Asad & Co know how to ease people out. It was all very panicky. No doubt they will calm down later.

Posted by: Laguerre | Mar 4, 2018 3:04:55 PM | 44

On this occasion, I must reluctantly disagree with the normally insightful MoA.

I don't think there is anything that can save the Kurds in Afrin now. The Russian Federation will not directly confront Turkish forces, and Damascus is more interested in saving what they can of 'useful' Syria, given their own limited resources. Afrin, like Hatay province, will become Turkish territory. Idlib may too, at least the northern part, given all the border posts the Turks have set up along the lines of control between the SAA and the Idlib 'rebels'.

Posted by: Ant. | Mar 4, 2018 4:48:41 PM | 45

The surprise coming is that the MOD and Putin have a clear reading on Centcom and Israeli moves.
They will do what Russian military always has done, sucker in the attack and swallow it in a boiler.
That means the air defenses will nullify most of the attack on Syria, at Iranian bases and Syria airstrips.
And the counter move will be the devastation of al Tanf and other bases of consequence by rockets and missiles from Syria and Iran.
Meanwhile, the skies will belong to Russian Aerospace.

If the Russian airbase at Latakia is hit, the Russians will diminish the US bases in Syria.
Thus the need for the nuclear threat from Southern District. They will signal to US (via satellite) they are poised to go.

The US needs a beating to leave. I've said it for many months. Body bags changes everything in an election years.

McMaster and Centcom (encouraged by Maddog Mattis) want this war.
Russia will give them a taste of it.

4600 US troops in sand-bermed bases. Sitting ducks.

Putin was highly affected by the pilot Roman Filipov's sacrifice against the surrounding radicals.
What is the primary word Putin is using to tell Russians about his own personal life?
"I work."

That harkens the other Russian hero, in Dagestan. "Work, brothers." His last words before he was executed.

Putin is fatalistic. He intends to win. He doesn't want war, not even a shooting incident to even a score.
But the US generals and neocons and Russophobes and Khazarians want it.
He intends to give it to them.

I still expect missiles flying into US bases.

The US showed its hand in early February at Deir ez Zor.
Putin is going to cover it and sweep the table.

By the way, Der Spiegel has a story that seems to get at the truth of the losses of Wagner PMC Russians.

https://www.spiegel.de/international/world/american-fury-the-truth-about-the-russian-deaths-in-syria-a-1196074.html

Posted by: Red Ryder | Mar 4, 2018 5:14:44 PM | 46

Some rumors about Mcmaster being replaced soon.. Anyone know the scoop?

Posted by: Lozion | Mar 4, 2018 5:26:22 PM | 47

Red Ryder "The surprise coming is that the MOD and Putin have a clear reading on Centcom and Israeli moves."

I have been thinking on a number of events going back to Crimea rejoining Russia.
Russia appears to have good intelligence on US plans, always having a well thought out blocking move for any move the US may make. The US on the other hand seems constantly surprised by Russian moves - reacting with hasty, poorly thought out moves.
I would guess Russian intelligence has a good view inside the vaunted US intelligence/military/political machine.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 4, 2018 5:51:04 PM | 48

Adding to my post @ 48, I recall an interview of Putin. I think he was asked a question along the lines of who he respects the most. He stated it was the intelligence agents abroad, many of whom had left in soviet times and where still working for Russia. He said these people sacrificed their entire lives in service for their country, living far from and completely isolated from family, friends and country for much of, if not all of their working lives.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 4, 2018 5:59:25 PM | 49

it seems like a game of chess between an offensive player and a defensive one...

Posted by: james | Mar 4, 2018 8:51:43 PM | 50

"Syrians close to cutting Ghouta in half" BBC world service, midday European time. Which is continuing to be very negative about the Ghoutans future.

Posted by: Laguerre | Mar 5, 2018 6:12:48 AM | 51

Jeremy Bowen, BBC 13.00 GMT: The Syrians advancing fast yesterday.

Evidently Masdar doesn't disagree, but I suppose it's not appearing in the US media (I'll leave you lot to tell us. I don't enjoy polluting my mind).

Posted by: Laguerre | Mar 5, 2018 8:26:06 AM | 52

The US needs a beating to leave. Red Ryder 46. Without it - or some very clear show of force with quite some impact - the US just continues along the usual path, though I am sure USA-isr are very humiliated and angry.

Russia appears to have good intelligence on US plans, always having a well thought out blocking move for any move the US may make. The US on the other hand seems constantly surprised by Russian moves - reacting with hasty, poorly thought out moves. Peter, 48.

Yes. Most likely (Peter, 49) some dedicated R foreign agents exist. However, cyber spying is very important. Plus, it is not too difficult even for an outsider -time and dedication needed- to figure out what the US will do / not, from publically available info. 10 ppl ‘with languages’ with 10 aids who collate, archive, and bring on the coffee, etc., which is super cheap, will go a very long way.

As for the NSA / US spies there may even be pertinent info fed into the system (Idk) but with all the fights at the top: CIA - FBI - NSA - HUGE no. of private contractors on the teat, etc. etc., and different pol-corp-camps attempting to dominate one over the other, information becomes a commodity offered as a teaser, or sold to the highest bidder like bath mats.

It aims to be pleasing in color and texture, easy to wash, at a competitive price, and to anticipate *future* trends. The result is that no or almost no outside info. is deemed relevant, accepted, and the info is either junked or used as an arm between interior competitors. So, it isn’t taken into account. (Besides the fact that if one rules the world. lang experts etc. are a silly expenditure - clout wins over all. Or one might mention arrogance and hubris and the blindness induced by group-think-belonging.)

Posted by: Noirette | Mar 5, 2018 10:04:56 AM | 53

Haven't read through all the comments. But I would add that Meyssan (voltaire.net) is reporting that Russian Spetsnaz (sp?) is in Damascus, as part of an arranged plan with the US (I assume this was why the point of the big spy meeting in DC last month) to "push" US forces out of Syria, finally. All agreed upon in advance, and Meyssan was first to report that P had deployed air force to Syria.

Posted by: JC | Mar 5, 2018 11:21:50 AM | 54

re 54

I can't see why Spetsnaz would be necessary, as the Syrians are doing fine on their own, with Russian air support.

It might be a question of preventing a US/Israeli coup which they've heard about. The Brits did that back in the 70s, sending a warship to the Falklands, to avert an Argentinian invasion. That worked, but then Thatcher withdrew the ship, and the Argies invaded shortly afterwards.

Meyssan lives in Damascus, I think.

Posted by: Laguerre | Mar 5, 2018 2:37:24 PM | 55

"Russia appears to have good intelligence on US plans, always having a well thought out blocking move for any move the US may make." Peter AU 1 | Mar 4, 2018 5:51:04 PM | 48

To have "good intelligence on US plans" it suffices to study speeches, position papers of American think tanks etc. Technologies, if any, have long time from conception to fruition so they do not require very special means to detect and adapt.

As far as "blocking moves", Russia could only make few of them, and only American/Western conceit that they should not be able to make any makes the few successes "amazing". Some of those are unsung: how RF managed to brainwash Crimeans to feel happier in RF than in free, Western oriented Ukraine? (The explanation is, of course, that only small percentage of the peninsular population consists of total idiots, but exploring that direction of analysis is just too depressing for a Western expert.)

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 5, 2018 2:43:00 PM | 56

While checking news, I encountered an unknown acronym: ВПК. WTF? My high school Russian taught me nothing like that, and only through the miracle of Google search that accepts almost any alphabet I found that this is good old MIC. So now Russian nationalists are gloating that their ВПK showed it to American MIC. NYT seems to advance gradually beyond the denial phase, and commenters of the last pieces are full of anger directed at Trump.

And while Trump makes a rather poor imitation of an anger, with an orange halo pressed to flatly to his skull, in terms of foreign and military postures he presents rather complete continuity with Obama if you disregard some fleeting initiatives. E.g. Obama championed "settlement freeze" in Israel/Palestine for, like, six months? With zero results. Now we have Trumpian trade war that may take even less time to become another "child that is ugly, hunchbacked and unwanted" so even the parents can't look at it or mention in a conversation.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 5, 2018 3:07:35 PM | 57

Ah! Why there is no option to edit a comment after posting! Trump makes perfect exhibits of angeR, but is imperfect as an angeL. Although he did better in his younger years.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 5, 2018 3:09:37 PM | 58

Peter AU 1 | Mar 4, 2018 5:51:04 PM | 48

"Russia appears to have good intelligence on US plans"

The British always hand out spoilers on US plans. No?

And now, what do we make of this I wonder:

Former Russian spy critically ill in UK 'after exposure to substance'

Posted by: ConfusedPundit | Mar 5, 2018 3:15:59 PM | 59

"Insane that the people of America continue to accept this murderous behavior on the part of their government,"

That acceptance is a fragment of American cultural norm. The most stark example are conditions in American prisons. Another, political success of police chiefs, sherifs etc. that preside over brutal and lethal departments. Citizenry feels safer if they are defended with more zeal. Waste of money and American lives (of "good Americans") may upset some, but brutality per se? Nay.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 5, 2018 3:22:35 PM | 60

ConfusedPundit
I have read the article. Convicted in Russia some time ago for passing information to Brits or US and apparently now living in UK.
If he has been poisoned, who would have motive to kill him? Russia, because although he has been out of the loop there atr least since his conviction may still pass on state secrets, or the Brits/US because he knows things not to be made public in the west? Also who benefits propaganda wise if he has been poisoned?

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 5, 2018 3:29:30 PM | 61

Piotr Berman 56

Russia had sounded out the Crimeans before the operation. The operation was to ensure the US and others could not prevent or interfere with the referendum and to neutralize the twenty thousand strong Ukraine military contingent present in Crimea.
The Russian documentary "Crimea: The Way Home" covers a lot of it.
Also there was a commenter at the Saker blog living in Crimea that had more on the Russian operation. The operation to allow the referendum to take place was a major military operation that came off perfectly, with I think only one death although the Ukraine military contingent was 20,000 strong.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 5, 2018 3:48:06 PM | 62

Having discovered that it was a political Russian who suffered from an unknown substance in Salisbury, there's not much doubt that it's an assassination. So what? The US assassinates its enemies by drone, Russia by Polonium. Not much difference. Rouse enmity, and you're at risk.

Posted by: Laguerre | Mar 5, 2018 3:57:39 PM | 63

Dear Peter AU 1 | Mar 5, 2018 3:29:30 PM | 61

"Also who benefits propaganda wise if he has been poisoned?"

What would the UK public think about the Russians? Remember the Litvinenko case? It coincided with the Putin vs Russian oligarchs (Khodorkovsky, Berezovsky, Nevzlin) case, Yukoil and the Sakhalin-II expropriation case.

Posted by: ConfusedPundit | Mar 5, 2018 4:13:06 PM | 64

Laguerre says:

I can't see why Spetsnaz would be necessary,...

Meyssan says nothing about Spetsnaz being deployed to Damascus. What he says is...

On the morning of 25 February, the Russian land army moved into East Ghouta alongside the Syrian Arab Army

...and that therefore any attack by the crazy coalition is out of the question.

Here, read it for yourself.

Posted by: john | Mar 5, 2018 4:20:56 PM | 65

Posted by: john | Mar 5, 2018 4:20:56 PM | 65

yes I read Meyssan in the original French. he's not entirely reliable, but lives in Damascus. Russians aren't needed for the reconquest of Ghouta, which progresses well without them. However there is a danger of a US/Israeli coup to decapitate the regime. I should think the Russian troops were put in to avert that.

Posted by: Laguerre | Mar 5, 2018 4:48:56 PM | 66

This from John Helmer's latest, 'When Vladimir Putin Coughs...'
https://johnhelmer.net/

"Still coughing from the effects of the influenza which has infected most of Europe this winter, President Vladimir Putin has declared that for his last term in office, Russia is at war with the United States. In his Federal Assembly speech on March 1, Putin also made sure that for his succession, he intends the Russian military-industrial complex to prevail over the oligarchs on whom Kremlin rule has depended since 1996..."

Let's hope so. Putin also needs to get rid of the media advisors (Peskov?) who weakened and diminished the effect of his right-between-the-eyes, stop-their-water March 1st speech, by sending him into an hour long interrogation with Megyn Kelly on NBC. High time the Kremlin stopped trying too hard to be liked in America. More stick, less carrot works far better.

Posted by: John Gilberts | Mar 5, 2018 6:21:39 PM | 67

Regarding Meyssan, I apply Dewey Larson’s adage: « Complexity is entertaining; simplicity is not »..

Posted by: Lozion | Mar 5, 2018 8:37:26 PM | 68

" The US assassinates its enemies by drone, Russia by Polonium. .."
This is the Guardian/CIA line. To accept it uncritically is worse than an error. Or do you have any evidence that Litvinenko was assassinated by the Russian state? The judicial enquiry was given none. It took the Judge considerable intellectual exercise of the gymnastic variety to suggest that there might be some.
If I may say so, without giving offence, Laguerre this off hand judgement of yours reminds me of your early enthusiasm for Macron in France's presidential election.

Posted by: bevin | Mar 5, 2018 9:22:46 PM | 69

@69 bevin.. i agree... that is generally out of sync with many of laguerres intelligent comments..

Posted by: james | Mar 5, 2018 10:01:19 PM | 70

re 69. You may be right, bevin. I don't much care - my point was that everybody does it. i.e. political assassination is not going to be stopped soon, whatever the evils of it.

On Macron, I would have thought I've been proved right. After initial scepticism, there's quite a lot of enthusiasm in France for Macron now. Both the far right (Le Pen), and the socialist left (Melenchon) have died. What Macron does is far from ideal, but it's better than the alternatives.

Posted by: Laguerre | Mar 6, 2018 5:52:58 AM | 71

Laguerre says:

I should think the Russian troops were put in to avert that

yeah, that's what Meyssan thinks. i just wanted to remind myself, so that when the yanks, or the joos, send in their hellfire missiles, we'll know, once again, that Meyssan's appraisal was naïve.

Posted by: john | Mar 6, 2018 5:59:09 AM | 72

@ laguerre / john.. re russian troops.. i see a plane carrying 39 from russia has crashed in the airport in syria - all dead.. so very sad for those who have lost loved ones..

Posted by: james | Mar 6, 2018 12:47:07 PM | 73

A bomb goes off in Jarablus, 1700 SDF fighters with Centcom apcs and weaponary (to be used in their fight against ISIS) relocate from DeirEzZor to 'Afrin', Russian plane crash, Daniel Coats claims 'chlorine gas' is 'WMD'. I think the Pentagon liars should get on with their job and hit Syria.

Posted by: ConfusedPundit | Mar 6, 2018 2:17:53 PM | 74

james

i saw that. bummer. poor Vlad...so many condolences.

...

Soldati

Si sta come
d'autunno
sugli alberi
le foglie

(Giuseppe Ungaretti)

Soldiers

It's like
autumn
the leaves
on the trees

Posted by: john | Mar 6, 2018 4:19:51 PM | 75

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