Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 12, 2018

Syria - Threat Of Large War Recedes But May Come Back

The expected U.S. attack on Syria last night did not happen.

Today U.S President Trump seemed to pull back from his earlier attempt to pressure Russia over a faked chemical incident in Ghouta, Syria:

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump - 10:15 AM UTC - 12 Apr 2018
Never said when an attack on Syria would take place. Could be very soon or not so soon at all! In any event, the United States, under my Administration, has done a great job of ridding the region of ISIS. Where is our “Thank you America?”

Over night high level military and political negotiations between Russia and the U.S. continued with at least some success:

Elijah J. Magnier @ejmalrai - 12:49 PM UTC - 12 Apr 2018
#BreakingNews
#Russian sources told me: possibility of war on #Syria has gone down from 9 to 5/10. Diplomatic contacts with #USA never stopped. It was acknowledged that the possible war on #Syria serves no purposes but to create a war situation where worse case scenario can happen

A war on Syria has been ongoing for over seven years. It will continue for another two or three years. But Trump's recent threat of a large U.S. air or missile campaign against the country has probably been defused.

Trump is certainly under pressure to attack Syria. U.S. media, the neoconservatives and Zionists are pushing for it. The CBS News graphic department revealed their real aim:


bigger

What made Trump blink? Was it the lack of evidence his Secretary of Defense Mattis acknowledged? Or was it the earlier reluctance of Britain to become a partner in crime? Was it the threat of Russian retribution?

Just now Britain seems to reengage. Prime Minister May called a cabinet meeting to discuss a possible strike on Syria. Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn demands a parliament vote on the issue. The British public opposes any missile or airstrikes.

The French poodle Macron claims that he has proof that the Syrian government attacked Douma with chemical weapons. He did not provide any.

Britain, the U.S. and France have recently been visited by the Saudi clown prince Mohammad bin Salman. He offered billions of dollars in form of new contracts. Where promises to attack Syria part of those deals?

The only 'proof' for a 'chemical attack' in Douma are dubious videos of stacked bodies, staged pictures with babies added for extra effect. Claims from the White Helmets, a mainly British financed propaganda organization, and by SAMS, the Syrian American Medical Society which is a Muslim Brotherhood outlet financed by the CIA offshoot USAID.

UN personal in Damascus, the Syrian Red Cross, journalists on the ground and Russian military police have checked the place where the incident allegedly happened as well as local hospitals. They found neither casualties nor witnesses confirming such an attack.

The often quoted Syrian Observatory For Human Rights in Britain did not report any casualties of a chemical attack. Its report of the day in question notes of Douma:

21 civilians including 9 children and 3 women were killed as a result of suffocation caused by the shelling which destroyed basements of houses as a result of the violence bombardment

It is possible that the terrorist propaganda made videos of the casualties of this incident to make its 'chemical attack' claims.

The terrorist group Jaish al-Islam (Army of Islam), which held Douma when the incident happened, received Saudi and British money and in 2016 used chemical weapons and commit war crimes against a Kurdish suburb of Aleppo. Of the 3,000 men, women and children it abducted from Adra in 2013 only 200 survived. It is not beyond them to kill dozens for propaganda purposes.

Why would anyone believe such sources like the terrorists supporting SAMS and White Helmets? Why should the Syrian government uses an illegal weapon in the very moment it is winning the battle and shortly after Trump said that he wants to retreat from Syria? It makes no sense at all. Despite that two U.S. professors, Joshua Landis and J.R. Cole, swallow the propaganda nonsense hook, line and sinker. They sold out. Their job and reputation requires that they stick to the official narrative. Keep that in mind the next time they lecture and lament about the 'corrupt' Middle East.

The Syrian army and Russian forces in Syria had prepared for U.S. missile attacks. Essential equipment was secured and soldiers had left their barracks. They will stay dispersed until the imminent danger is over.

Today the last Jaish al-Islam takfiris left Douma and were transported to the terrorist haven of Idleb governorate. All other 'rebel' groups now sheltered in Idleb hate Jaish and will try to eliminate it. Russian military police deployed in Douma. The Syrian government flag was raised above the suburb. The last important opposition holdout near to Damascus has been eliminated. (While the Islamic State still holds an enclave in the southern Yarmouk quarter of Damascus it is, unlike Jaish, only a small threat and not under foreign control.)

With the end of the resistance in Douma the U.S. and Saudi Arabia lost their capability to directly attack the capitol Damascus with (proxy) boots on the ground. All the 'rebel' terrorists are now in Idleb and fight each other. Neither the U.S. nor Saudi Arabia has enough (proxy) forces left on the ground to defeat the Syrian government. The hullabaloo of the 'chemical attack' expresses their anger about this defeat.

Trump is under pressure to do 'something'. He has only himself to blame. A year ago he said that he wants the U.S. to leave Syria. Soon thereafter a fake chemical incident happened and he was pulled back in. The same thing happened this time after he declared that he wants the U.S. troops to leave. Why wasn't he prepare for the follow up?

Now his earlier blustering and tweets brought him into this unpleasant position. He will have to find an 'action' or deal that is big enough to claim that he did 'something', but small enough to not incite a deadly Russian or Syrian response. He will also have to act within the next 48 hours.

Posted by b on April 12, 2018 at 11:41 AM | Permalink

Comments
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Wow. I am breathlessly awaiting the firing of the shrieking harpy Haley, now that we know she went in front of the UNSC and spouted wild claims with no backing evidence.

I suspect I will run out of breath first.

Posted by: Chris | Apr 12, 2018 11:51:55 AM | 1

Of corse no one say the obvious, an attack would be illegal under all circumstances.

Posted by: test | Apr 12, 2018 11:59:55 AM | 2

I think you missed the point. I don't think Trump blinked. Trump said he wanted troops out in six months. The deep state and Israel went wild. Then comes the fake chem attack and they are all howling at the moon to attack Asaad. Trump wants out not in deeper so he raises the ante. If we are going to attack, we are going to go BIG. He knows Russia will have to respond. The deep state hacks don't mind killing other people, but they don't want to die, so the chickenhawks chicken out. Trump ran on ending the wars. He said a couple of weeks ago he wanted out of Syria in six months. The person with the widest range of behavioral strategies is typically going to prevail in any encounter. That is basic NLP. Trump has no problem making an ass of himself in public in negotiation. That is why the politicians can't stand him. I think he won this round. They will have to impeach or kill him to win.

Posted by: Mike | Apr 12, 2018 12:10:17 PM | 3

... and when does the UNSC discuss the 2800 elderly, women and children who perished under Jaish al-Islam which are referenced in this article? What retaliation against these groups is POTUS willing to undertake, particularly since this is only a small percentage of civilian deaths under this and other Saudi supported groups? When can we expect the redoubtable ambassador from the US to give voice to the outrage of all these civilian deaths? If she can say that Assad's hands are covered in blood, these groups and their nation state supporters are literally drowning in the blood of innocents.

Posted by: abierno | Apr 12, 2018 12:11:26 PM | 4

IMO, a big fissure within NATO was created by Trump's threat as neither Germany or Turkey would go along, nor Italy, Hungary and Greece, and likely including Spain and Portugal too. Clearly, the risks outweighed any potential gain.

Another page is turned, and now on to the next act in the drama.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 12, 2018 12:13:25 PM | 5

b, you state "The CBS graphic department revealed their real aim." However, you did not explicitly point out that the map shown is a map of Iran, not Syria. I was floored when I saw that on the news last night. I appreciate your subtlety.

Posted by: Browning | Apr 12, 2018 12:14:11 PM | 6

The dotard has only himself to blame with his completely idiotic "animal Assad" tweets.

His complete loss of face is all of his making. He needs to seek professional help for his bipolar disorder. Something is seriously wrong inside that toupee'd dome of his.

Posted by: Cycloben | Apr 12, 2018 12:16:28 PM | 7

I disagree. The phrase "Never said when an attack on Syria would take place." is not a sign that the threat of large war did recede. It means 'Military told me, we need to wait some days till everything is in place' namely the aircraft carrier. Magnier may have a vast web of information but is looking to the situation one sided. You shouldn't give too much attention. And you shouldn't fall for your own belief of a mainly non militaristic Tronald. His delusions of grandeur and his nihilism will prevail. Look at the MSM instead. They're intensifying their Manichean narrative, this is typical for times you want to go to war. And they will.

Posted by: Pnyx | Apr 12, 2018 12:18:33 PM | 8

He doesn't want a further escalation. Everyone is egging him on. But I'm glad he has somewhat pulled back a bit. We'll see in the coming few weeks.

Posted by: Jose Garcia | Apr 12, 2018 12:19:53 PM | 9

What annoys my is J Cole [Informed comment] and Joshua Landis do not mention International Law and the UN Charter or the OPCW. Both take it as established fact that Chemical Weapons have been used by the"regime" without any investigation as to whether a chemical attack has taken place at all or who was responsible for it [the Russians are sure a chemical attack did not take place] These two Professors care not for any kind of due process nor are they willing to follow the rules of International Law.

Posted by: harrylaw | Apr 12, 2018 12:20:30 PM | 10

The few remaining adults in the US/UK/French gov'ts (being the loudest noisemakers in this latest rush to escalate towards war) may be realizing how they were played by Mossad/Nuttyyahoo and MbS on the Skripal con, latest false chemical attack report in Syria and the like.

The Rothschids see their multi-generational project (ed-from memory-"I care not who sits on the Throne of England, he who controls the money supply controls the Empire... and I control the money supply." Baron Rothschild, in the late 1700's) to create Greater Israel and use it to leverage their total control of the world going down the toilet. Controlling the MSM is not enough these days and the revelations of FakeBook/Google as the social engineering fronts of the Rothschild Deep State have derailed their Bernays-inspired war-mongering lie-info systems.

The more times in social media and non-MSM news/comments that the Rothschilds and their sub-sycophants like Soros are connected to the central-banksters/war-is-a-racket 0.001% behind the Deep State, the sooner this all stops.


Bullies and Rothschilds can only operate unseen, time to shed light on their multi-generational crimes against humanity. Lord Balfour basically signed the Declaration THAT Baron Rothschild wrote for him...


The list of non-Rothschild-controlled central banks is very short, until recently featuring Saddam's Iraq, Gadaffi's Libya and Yemen. Iran, Syria and Venezuela are under constant attack, with only Russia and China as major powers standing against the Rothschilds.

There can't be more than a few dozen Rothschild banksters and hard-core sycophants, and if WW3 (even a major conventional war) breaks out, we may see the extinction of their genetic line. If I were Putin and Xi, I would make it my business to know exactly where every Rothschild/Soros/et. al. lives and works, and have assassination agents in place to ensure the 200+ reign of bankster terror ends.


"If my sons did not want war, there would be none." The wife of the Baron Rothschild that controlled the British Empire money supply in the 1700s.

Posted by: A P | Apr 12, 2018 12:23:14 PM | 11

There was a rumour that the Chinese intervened by saying that they will fight along side the Russians if it comes to a shooting war. If that's true, I think it was one of the reason why the US blinked. It's also make sense. Because the Chinese cannot escape the war between Russia and US, so it's in their interest to stop this madness before missile start flying.

Posted by: Tuan | Apr 12, 2018 12:23:39 PM | 12

It's important now not to accuse Donald of 'backing down'. Real men don't do that and he is sure to hear enough of it from the media. Let's just call it a pause to rethink without too many stupid tweets.

Posted by: dh | Apr 12, 2018 12:25:17 PM | 13

"France has evidence Assad regime used chemical weapons in Syria, says Macron – live" Breathless minute by minute coverage at the Guardian

Simultaneously

"Pentagon Does Not Have Evidence of Chlorine, Sarin Use in Syria’s Douma - Mattis"
Sputnik - using direct quotes reports.

What a glorious world!

Posted by: Babyl-on | Apr 12, 2018 12:38:52 PM | 15

And right on cue, the harpy speaks:

"Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, on Thursday said the U.S. has enough proof to act in response to an alleged chemical attack in Syria, and President Donald Trump is looking at all his options."

I guess zero = enough.

With the OPCW inspectors set to arrive tomorrow and begin work on Sat, my best guess is the war has been delayed. Not enough time to destroy the evidence.

Posted by: Chris | Apr 12, 2018 12:47:11 PM | 16

Babyl-on

" using direct quotes reports."

Uh no he didnt say that, this is what Mattis said according to Sputnik.

""There have been a number of these attacks. In many cases, you know we don't have troops, we're not engaged on the ground there, so I cannot tell you that we had evidence, even though we had a lot of media and social media indicators that either chlorine or sarin were used," Mattis said, speaking to members of the House Armed Services Committee on Thursday."

Posted by: test | Apr 12, 2018 12:47:26 PM | 17

Someone posted this important message here last week and it needs to be repeated NOW:

"Folks, the reason for all this anti-Putin nonsense is the one fact that the Syrian government now holds over 11 BRITISH OFFICERS who were liaised with the terrorists in the Ghouta. They were captured 2 weeks ago by Syrian Army commandos and are being held in separate jails around the Damascus area inside heavily guarded military bases. The Brits want them badly before they are used to implicate England in the mess it helped to create in Syria. Damascus won’t budge on this issue and, evidently, the English are assuming Moscow is not putting pressure on Dr. Assad to release them to Old Blighty. Too bad. And they were caught out of uniform, such that they could be executed as spies under international law.

Source: https://www.syrianperspective.com/2018/04/alloosh-orders-execution-of-officers-5-hostages-freed-saudi-arabia-trying-to-hold-on-to-ghou

see also this:
https://www.globalresearch.ca/syrian-army-captures-british-military-men-in-eastern-ghouta-failed-us-israeli-plot-to-launch-ground-assault-on-damascus/5635823
(Source: FARS news)
and this: http://www.voltairenet.org/article200232.html (Thierry Meyssan was right)

The malicious, disgustic "strategic information" campaign against Syria has now reached a fever pitch. One of the worst (press) instruments of this black propaganda is the Guardian.

PHONY „Syrians“ (who "hate" Assad of course) "tell" Guardian reporter, the US should attack presidential palace and destroy the Syrian Air Defense:

"Syrian" #1:

I hope the US attacks would target all the Syrian air bases to paralyse Syrian airforce and halt the shelling against Syrian cities. One of the target should be the presidential palace in Damascus, as well as sites of senior officials work with the regime.
I believe that the Syrian cause now is not in the hand of the Syrian regime but in Russian leadership and Iranian regime. The Russians themselves are negotiating with the rebels to leave their positions, not the Syrian regime.
The Syrian crisis now is bigger than the Syrians themselves, we are like chess pawns moved by the Russians and Iranians. If the international community can force these two states out of Syria, toppling the regime would be much easier, otherwise, it is an international war between US and its supporters and Russia, Iran and China.

"Syrian"#2:

We want a painful and fatal attack against the Syrian regime that can bring a fundamental change and put an end of the Syrian tragedy. Whatever Trump is doing or stating, he must do better than Obama who did not lift a finger to help the Syrian people.Whatever Trump is doing or stating, he must do better than Obama who did not lift a finger to help the Syrian people.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2018/apr/12/uk-russia-tensions-rise-over-syria-attack-and-salisbury-poisoning-live-updates

The motive for this perfidious "management of outrage" could not be any clearer: Assad is winning, so manipulate Trump into bombing Damascus and let Russia and Iran pay "a price" for disobeying the evil empire...

BTW, the OPCW-summary is a complete joke (inadmissible in a decent court) and contains a BIG LIE: there was no chain of custody and the British "security" services had plenty of time to "seed" the doorknob or any other alleged places where "traces" of a still UNNAMED substance appeared. ("Novichok" is a fantasy-name invented by Mirzayanov for fun)

The NAME and STRUCTURE of the "identified" substance ARE CLASSIFIED (only available to state parties)

https://www.opcw.org/fileadmin/OPCW/S_series/2018/en/s-1612-2018_e_.pdf

How journalists ought to behave in this dangerous situation can be seen here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M28aYkLRlm0


Posted by: Cassandra | Apr 12, 2018 12:49:54 PM | 18

Tuan@11 Is there any source or link?

Posted by: Kd | Apr 12, 2018 12:50:42 PM | 19

harrylaw @ 9

Same as Greenwald and Tucker Carlson: They both condemn US intervention inSyria yet never once mention US is breaking international laws by illegaly inserting itself inside and occupy Syria.

In the video that went viral, Carlson interviewed a lawyer but he never once directly asked or even alluded to the legality of US's presence in and possible attack on Syria. It seems to me that it never came across his mind about the fact the US should also abide by international law and rules.

The Western loves to preach to us that law and order as well as rule-based international order yet US/UK/France & Co have always acted above the international laws and rules, which were actually set up by the Western themselves to frame/tame other countries.

Posted by: mali | Apr 12, 2018 12:54:06 PM | 20

b,

In an early morning tweet Trump claimed credits:

"[.]. The U.S., under my Administration, has done a great job of ridding the region of ISIS. Where is our Thank You, America?"

Donald J. Trump @realdonaldrump 06:15 12 April 2018

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Twitter-in-Chief, what a twat.


We will see if this war planning is diffused or is it just a delay until May Day. Perhaps he will now fire Rosenstein, create a furious distraction. The guy does not recognize how deep are his troubles.

Posted by: Likklemore | Apr 12, 2018 12:55:32 PM | 21

I believe there is a lot of wishful thinking in the interpretation of Trump's tweet

this tweet is in response to criticism

1. that he is giving the Russians notice of the attack (and that means he has colluded w/ the Russians)
2. he is basically stating that he isn't..
3. Top on his mind is the Russia probe - he even interrupted a meeting w/ Generals yesterday to go into a diatribe about it

Never said when an attack on Syria would take place. Could be very soon or not so soon at all!

Posted by: a bee | Apr 12, 2018 12:59:05 PM | 22

Kd@18: No, Rumour on https://www.facebook.com/Syrianewsdaily/.
I'm not sure if it's true, but if it comes to nuclear war, all the nuclear powers are doomed, on board or not. China will not be allowed to sit and watch the firework, so it's certainly their interest to ensure that there is no nuclear war. In this case, the only option is to call the US bluff and force it to back down before their insanity subsume them entirely.

Posted by: Tuan | Apr 12, 2018 1:01:39 PM | 23

British who are against the possible illegal attacks on Syria can write to their MP to ask for a parliment vote on this issue:

If you are also concerned you can write to the PM here https://email.number10.gov.uk/and your MP here

Posted by: mali | Apr 12, 2018 1:01:47 PM | 24

A good article with useful links.
https://russia-insider.com/en/trump-blinking-syria-russian-ability-hit-back-too-risky-him/ri23099

Posted by: Bakerpete | Apr 12, 2018 1:02:04 PM | 25

The Rothschilds are losing patience, they don't want to wait another 200 years for their Zionist Greater Israel plan to be fulfilled.

Britain could only take the plan so far, so in the early 1900's the Rothschilds jumped on the US/Federal Reserve bandwagon.

Posted by: A P | Apr 12, 2018 1:08:46 PM | 26

While Trump tweeted, Assad had this to say:

"Whenever the Syrian army achieves victory in the field, some western countries rise their voices and intensify their movements in an attempt to change the track of events."

His conference with Iranian Supreme Leader’s Top Adviser for International Affairs Ali Akbar Velayati exuded a confidence that was likely received as reassuring by Syria's public. Assad's comment reflects the reality of the Terrorist Coalition's behavior since Russia's entry turned the tide.

The Turks apparently were instrumental in getting the Outlaw US Empire to deescalate.

While CBS was airing its propaganda, Hannity on Fox (beginning about 2:30 in video, although watch entirely for overall context) really stirred the pot beginning with the "Clinton Crime Family," then "Meuller Crime Family," "Comey Crime Family," "Deep State Crime Family," and ending with Trump's tweet about the underlying reason for the intense anti-Russia hysteria. Now I seldom agree with Hannity, but this broadcast hits on all the big injustice related issues being covered up by Russiagate. Hannity will need to eat the words he spoke at end regarding Putin/Russia, but his partisan attack on the several Crime Families is spot on and actually serves the interest of all Americans.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 12, 2018 1:35:40 PM | 27

Just one more thing that really pisses me off about the media right now:

(besides the fact that they just regurgitate the constant stream of lies being fed to them and print headlines like "France has proof Assad regime used CW" just because Macron SAID so. There is no further reference to it in the article, so repetition of empty claims are all we need to be "convinced")

They have all -even RT - accepted the (insane) premise that the US has a right (or even a "moral obligation" to bomb Syria ("inflict enough pain on Assad's regime") and they talk about "military options" as if it was just a normal thing to do.

Organized violence against a sovereign state (military, economic, covert or other) is not an "option". It is a CRIME. It is the SUPREME CRIME.

What the US, UK, France and their deranged ME-allies have done to Syria is beyond evil. Hundreds of thousands are dead or wounded, millions have become refugees or displaced persons, children are traumatized, the country lies in ruins and the US now illegally occupies the part of Syria where the oilfields are.

President Assad and the brave men of the SAA have fought for seven yrs against the foreign-backed, SF-led "moderate" head-choppers, defending their country and - even more so- their people but they are portrayed in the media as if they were the evil aggressors. (Imagine, you lived in Syria and it happend to you..)

And the worst of it is, that the very people who organized all these crimes against humanity still get away with the unbearable charade of posing as moral authorities (!) and urging "retaliation" in Syria for the suffering of those poor kids ("poisoned" by the "animal" Assad).

Can anyone pls point out to the Donald, that these videos are just "the incubator babies" PR-scam on steroids?

Of all the disgusting things that are part of this kind of propaganda, the weaponisation of empathy is the worst ...what makes us human is being turned into an instrument for the destruction of whole societies ..

I hate (a word I rarely use) the "churnalists" who enable this demoniziation of Russia, Iran and Syria and pave the way for WW III. These spineless journos should be indicted and punished for aiding and abetting USrael/UK and French imperial aggression.

(Sorry for the rant ... )

Posted by: Cassandra | Apr 12, 2018 1:38:54 PM | 28

It's interesting that the former Russian Spy, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter, Yulia, had a seafood lunch several hours before developing symptoms of poisoning.

The timing of the onset of symptoms is consistent not with nerve agent poisoning but with seafood poisoning.

Seafood poisoing is generally due to the presence of botulinum toxin, which inhibits release of acetylcholine at the neuromuscular junction, thereby causing paralysis and, in severe cases, death by asphyxiation.

To counter the toxin, it would be normal to treat patients with an acetylcholine esterase inhibitor, aka a nerve agent, to maximize the effect of whatever small quantity of acetylcholine is still being produced.

If the Salisbury Trust Hospital where the Skripals were taken for treatment consulted with the people at Britain's nearby Porton Down chemical and biological weapons research lab, they may very well have been supplied by Porton Down with a small dose of British-made Novichok for use as a botulinum toxin antidote: the perfect set-up for the British Government incitement to Russophobia.

Posted by: CanSpeccy | Apr 12, 2018 1:48:05 PM | 29

" Was it the threat of Russian retribution?"

Yes, it was because of that and not any other reason. A completely incredible false flag was never an impediment before, but the prospect of an uncontrolable escelatory spiral that ends in your country's nuclear aniahlation concentrates the mind like nothing else. The US being abandoned by Britain and France was also a function of the above. If those ex-empires dreaming of long gone imperial glories could have joined in the slaughter of a helpless country, they would have done so without a second though and bragged about it. But if it meant facing the business end of a Kaliber then the thrill wears off pretty fast.

I love the idea I have in my head of behind the scenes negotiations between the US and Russia about maybe a allowing a "small" strike on a Syrian target with the Russians responding, No problem! Then we can sink a small British or French vessel and we can call it even. Perhaps sending they are they sacrificial lamb, May and Macaroni thought better of the whole affair. And the idea that Germany(?!?!) was ever even considering an attack on Russia simply boggles the mind. I'm sure Merkel nixt that idea without a second's thought.

Posted by: lysander | Apr 12, 2018 1:54:54 PM | 30

Sensing not *sending. And the spell check turned Macron into Macaroni, but perhaps that's appropriate.

Posted by: lysander | Apr 12, 2018 1:57:01 PM | 31

The attack is coming, Trump is decieving make people believe "oh he stepped back, no war this time good.." only to see Trump bomb the next day when no one is prepared.

Posted by: test | Apr 12, 2018 2:06:01 PM | 32

Mattis: No evidence on Syria chemical attack, but I believe there was one… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ based on social media posts-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWlXTBaN1Sc

Posted by: TJ | Apr 12, 2018 2:09:07 PM | 33

Juan Cole knows a lot about Iran and mideast, and especially about religion (he is a Bahai). I have learned a lot by reading his blog for years. When he was appointed to a professorship at Yale, I was enthused. When this appointment was vetoed by zionists on the Yale Board, I expressed my regret.
But he lost his perspective when he joined the Hillary team. Clearly he was expecting an appointment as Assistant Sec/State for Near Eastern Affairs. His devoted support for Hilary destroyed his ability to appreciate/respect the truth. He became a partisan cheerleader, and this only increased after Trump won the election.
I used to comment on his blog, but when he began supporting Hillary, he censored my comments. He never once refuted them, just censored them because they brought up facts that he did not want known/discussed.
So I have lost all respect for Juan Cole.

Posted by: mauisurfer | Apr 12, 2018 2:12:53 PM | 34

Macron was feeling the heat of french demonstrations.

Posted by: dahoit | Apr 12, 2018 2:13:46 PM | 35

I agree with Lysander @31. Russia's very clear statement that there would be a military response to a U.S. attack must have caused the reevaluation.

With U.S. aircraft downed, there would have to be a new AUMF, a new congressional vote. Same thing with France and Britain. But a new AUMF would be difficult if not impossible to clear congress/parliament. That's what short-circuited Obama's plan to bomb Damascus in 2013. The Brits voted no. Obama decided he had to go to Congress for approval. The public was overwhelming opposed. So the vote was pulled and Obama accepted Russia's offer for Syria to destroy its CW stocks.

Unless it's another one-off strike on a military airfield, Trump will need a new AUMF. And he won't be able to get one.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Apr 12, 2018 2:16:43 PM | 36

Russia is being tested because its eagerness to organize flawless World Cup is being exploited as a perceived vulnerability. Once that event has passed three months from now, Moscow is bound to become more assertive. The whole western campaign of pressure can only last one more year even in the best case. It's based on fear and weakness, not on strength and confidence. And there will be more and more weakness with each passing day. Once the latest Keynesian stimulus wears off in October 2019, the US will be set on relentless "japanization" (nearly permanent recession, mounting debt, rapidly aging population), but from the far more inferior starting point than that of Japan. Given America's low savings rate, massive trade deficits, racial tensions, and skills-deficient population, the decline will be significantly more unpleasant, very likely violent.
Russia will absolutely win the Cold War 2.0, because all it has to do to achieve it is wait it over. All of the hard work at destroying the West is actually done in the western capitals, by the western governments themselves.

Posted by: telescope | Apr 12, 2018 2:19:03 PM | 37

@Cassandra your words are appreciated and pretty much in line with my own feelings.

I notice that you have to look hard to even find mention of Mattis' latest testimony before the House Armed Services committee. This confirms to me that the media machine is colluding to bury any story line that doesn't fit the "Assad done it" narrative.

What we have now is analogous to the "Yellow Journalism" era in the late 1800's/early 1900s. No pretense to objectivity. Simply outrageous and scary. Thank goodness for this blog, sputnik news, zerohedge and a few other alternative media sources.

@29 - please don't judge everyone in US based on our horrible government and media. There are lots of us who cannot stand what has happened and have voted for guys like Ron Paul who would have made a real difference. There is no longer any way to vote your way out of this and probably hasn't been for at least 20 years.

Posted by: Chris | Apr 12, 2018 2:33:29 PM | 38

It seems that the US is working with the Russians to identify a few "token" targets to appease the ziocon war hawks.

In any case the fact that the US, UK & France are willing to militarily strike a sovereign nation based on fake charges with no due process or verification of evidence shows how far down the rabbit hole the west has sunk.

The UK is a good example. They made dubious claims of a Russian nerve gas attack and then proceeded to act out by expelling Russian diplomats. Now despite 80% of the British people polled opposed to strikes on Syria the May government has authorized these attacks.

Another is France. Macron claims he has evidence that the Syrian government used chemical weapons while providing no proof. And he is going to participate in these attacks.

When will the toothless court in the Hague charge these people for war crimes? They reek of hypocrisy with all their righteousness as they haul hapless African dictators to lecture them on morality.

Posted by: ab initio | Apr 12, 2018 2:34:35 PM | 39

Pompeo just replied to Cory Booker that Trump has the authority to strike Syria right now without consulting Congress, without a resolution or act of Congress. The President has NO authority to strike unless there is an imminent threat!

I fear that all this walk back might be a ruse to fool Syria and Russia into a false sense of complacency. Again, think Operation Fortitude and replace location of attack with date of attack. Deception is a military strategy.

Posted by: Circe | Apr 12, 2018 2:38:03 PM | 40

The dubious Juan Cole was an enthusiastic supporter of the Iraq War till it went south.

Posted by: Kami | Apr 12, 2018 2:38:40 PM | 41

thanks b! good overview...

"Joshua Landis and J.R. Cole, swallow the propaganda nonsense hook, line and sinker. They sold out. Their job and reputation requires that they stick to the prevalent narrative." ain't that the truth...

Posted by: james | Apr 12, 2018 2:39:13 PM | 42

He is not bombing today because quite a few Israelis including govt are travelling to Poland for the Shoah anniversary. Once everyone is back home, then the US and the allies will go for it. They may even spare Douma with the excuse that they don't want to interfere with the OPCW team and teh so-called site of CW attack.

However there are other specific sites that they want to bomb.

Posted by: Yul | Apr 12, 2018 2:44:38 PM | 43

More mobilization for war

US Spy Planes Reportedly Land in Crete Amid Tensions in Syria
https://sputniknews.com/military/201804121063486976-us-aircraft-mediterranean-deployment/

Posted by: test | Apr 12, 2018 2:54:07 PM | 44

@ Mike Maloney 39,

That is a very astute comment. Any escalation with consequences requiring the congressional reauthorization of force will be avoided, because despite all the propaganda the "leaders" recognize that the people will come out en masse against yet another war. Perhaps Russia has calculated as much, and has ensured the US that any strike will result in just enough American casualties to force the issue back home.

Posted by: WJ | Apr 12, 2018 3:01:50 PM | 45

RUSSIA defeated ISIS .... NOT America ..... WWII replay.
The chaos in Syria was winding down. The TRAITORS in the Pentagon had spent 24 months at $10MILLION a DAY bombing sand. ISIS continued to hold miles long parades of OUR equipment complete with flags on clear, dry, sunny days, and the TRAITORS in the Pentagon "could not seem to bomb them". ..
https://forzanuova-us.org/2........
http://original.antiwar.com...
Then the Russians came in and blew the ISIS asses off. Have you noticed the parades ENDED.
ISIS has ZERO antiaircraft abilities. the TRAITORS in the Pentagon could have dropped bombs from HOT AIR BALLOONS ....... We KNOW who the Pentagon is working for and it is NOT America.
That would be a "tragedy" for Turkey and Israel who are BOTH genocidally flooding White, CHRISTIAN Europe with muslum invaders ............. that war had to get going again .....
Deliberately creating refugees to genocidally flood Europe ............ Israel and Turkey dream of splitting Syria between them ....



ISIS is completely surrounded by supposed enemies.
http://govtslaves.info/2017/12/us-war-on-isis-is-the-biggest-lie-since-the-2003-iraq-invasion-heres-the-proof/
Everyone of the countries surrounding ISIS is SUPPOSEDLY an ally of the USA.
http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/02/27/553786/syria-Israel-Daesh
Time for the USA to take a good hard look at it's "allies".
Our "intelligence" agencies should have identified and destroyed those who are supplying ISIS but have not ...... WHY?!
"our" Generals have not destroyed those who are supplying ISIS ............ WHY?!
http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960411000599 US transfering ISIS leaders?! SDF IS ISIS by another name.
http://theantimedia.org/war-on-isis-biggest-lie-since-2003/
You know DAMN WELL WHO supplies their weapons, that kill American Troops.
http://www.veteranstoday.com/2017/07/16/what-role-has-israel-played-in-the-refugee-crisis/
http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/how-america-armed-terrorists-in-syria/
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-06-19/i...syrian-rebels-years
http://21stcenturywire.com/2017/04/27/bulgarian-weapons-sent-to-terrorists-in-syria-through-saudi-arabia/
http://21stcenturywire.com/2013/03/10/an-international-war-crime-us-and-british-backed-weapons-airlift-from-croatia-to-syria/
The FIRST thing a general that WANTS TO WIN a war does ..... is cut off enemy supplies. Time to clean out the Traitors.

Posted by: Angustry | Apr 12, 2018 3:02:32 PM | 46

Watching this latest episode of the war in Syria play out, I am reminded of the eye-patched Israeli general, Moshe Dayan, of Seven Day War fame. He extolled the benefits of appearing to be willing to lash out like a mad dog as a means of keeping one's foes at bay.
Are we consistently underestimating Donald Trump? He did create a billion dollar global enterprise and then get himself elected POTUS. He may play the goat (or mad dog), but I suggest he is no fool.

Posted by: Hal Duell | Apr 12, 2018 3:03:40 PM | 47

Trump looks like a pubescent boy --- "I HAD MY FINGERS CROSSED"

Posted by: Angustry | Apr 12, 2018 3:04:07 PM | 48

Posted by: Mike | Apr 12, 2018 12:10:17 PM | 3

I think you missed the point. I don't think Trump blinked. Trump said he wanted troops out in six months. The deep state and Israel went wild. Then comes the fake chem attack and they are all howling at the moon to attack Asaad. Trump wants out not in deeper so he raises the ante. If we are going to attack, we are going to go BIG. He knows Russia will have to respond. The deep state hacks don't mind killing other people, but they don't want to die, so the chickenhawks chicken out. Trump ran on ending the wars. He said a couple of weeks ago he wanted out of Syria in six months. The person with the widest range of behavioral strategies is typically going to prevail in any encounter. That is basic NLP. Trump has no problem making an ass of himself in public in negotiation. That is why the politicians can't stand him. I think he won this round. They will have to impeach or kill him to win.

I agree 100% with you Mike, that is exactly how I read it also, but you put it more succinctly than I could. Trump is mad, unpredictable and dangerous - but not dangerous in the way that Bolton is*. Despite apparently having some very stupid qualities, he certainly also has great intelligence abilities (nobody is either "always intelligent" or "always stupid", rather everybody has a complex mixture of qualities).

If we take the premise that he thought the East Gouta chemical weapons attack allegations were stupid and totally implausible, what would he have to do, given the political situation he has with Russiagate and the illogical attacks on him there? If he ridicules the ridiculous allegations he will be attacked in the same way that he is attacked for ridiculing the ridiculous Russiagate allegations. He will be accused again of being a "Putin-stooge". Therefore it would be fitting to his character to instead APPEAR to be enthusiastic about the attack, while subtly blocking it. If there was no attack, then the OPCW team when they arrive are not going to find signs of it. Mike's idea of upping the ante here comes in very handy, because it means the attack has to wait for more forces to arrive, especially the carrier group that will take over a week.

By reacting hard and fast in favour of bombing Syria before there is any evidence he is satisfying the warmongers and preventing the warmongers from attacking him - but by demanding a huge attack he guarantees that it has to wait until after OPCW arrives and finds nothing. Once OPCW go in and find nothing, anybody who criticises Trump for not bombing Syria will find themselves in difficulties! He can safely call it off.

If instead he rejected military action from the outset, he would be attacked very hard by his opponents. Likewise if he said "wait for the investigation first" he would be attacked especially by the media for "believing Putin". After the OPCW go in and prove there was no CW attack anyway, Trump's opponents would (a) blame Trump for not wanting to bomb Syria, and (b) blame Trump for "sabotaging" the OPCW investigation, implying that there was really a CW attack.

NOTE: I am not defending Trump's behaviour, it is stupid, immensely dangerous, and catastrophic for international relations - and illegal. I am just describing what I think is probably his point of view to justify the assertion that maybe Trump has no intention of starting this war. It is bluff.

* Why would Trump appoint Bolton? Maybe because of similarities in their personalities (that would be very bad news if that was the reason). But there is another possibility - maybe Trump thinks Bolton is such a useless and incompetent madman and such an idiot that Trump can use Bolton to deflect the cravings of the warmongers and transform - through Bolton - their policies into something so patently absurd that they self-destruct. (Bolton will not see through the above, for example, he is probably foaming at the mouth in his battle lust right now). When those policies self-destruct who does Trump blame? Of course Bolton and the other the warmongers. Again this is a dangerously reckless and destructive way of running government, but appears to fit in with Trump's personality.

Trump, of course, is a purely domestic president. He has no idea about international relations, and probably does not even care about international relations.

Posted by: BM | Apr 12, 2018 3:12:11 PM | 49

Posted by: dahoit | Apr 12, 2018 2:13:46 PM | 36

Macron was feeling the heat of french demonstrations.
Not the demonstrations. In France, unlike Britain, you can't get the nation behind the government by going to war. People will just say f*ck off. More this is old French policy, going back to the Mandate. Macron is not very experienced in foreign policy, and he's just going along with established rules. A mistake, I think, as he hasn't thought out what might happen if the situation escalates.

If I understand correctly, as I didn't watch it, these remarks were made in the course of a major interview which was highly signaled in advance, but addressed to the present strikes in France. Syria was a little by-issue.

Posted by: Laguerre | Apr 12, 2018 3:16:42 PM | 50

Are you writing on behalf of the British government b? Since when do Saudis become responsible for Britsh ops just because they happened to be required to fund them, as in, pay us or we'll kill you.

This entire episode has been one big joke on the Rothschild UK. The holders of the Trump's twitter account needed to cover for a US withdrawal. The UK based Deep State have lost their bid to keep the US officially involved. Untill Trump is removed prolonging this war is now entirely up to the Brits.

Next stop: Trump abandons NATO!

Posted by: C I eh? | Apr 12, 2018 3:16:44 PM | 51

Fellow posters, please help me!

I am trying to recall a lie perpetrated by the then minister of defense in Israel
that said publicly that Israel was not prepared or readyto go to war ,not at least
for a full six months.

The very next day at sunrise, they struck the Egyptian Air force on the ground
and made mincemeat of it.

Was it 1967?

Thanks

Posted by: CarlD | Apr 12, 2018 3:17:25 PM | 52

@8

Agreed. A sloppy tweet that tries to disguise already giving the game away. Nothing else.

Posted by: Pat Bateman | Apr 12, 2018 3:23:11 PM | 53

Posted by: BM | Apr 12, 2018 3:12:11 PM | 53

Just to add to the above: maybe Trump called up Teresa May and said "Well you know Teresa, just between you and me, the CW attack if it ever occurred at all was probably a false flag because why on earth would Assad do such a CW attack when he is having so much success; but as you know it is US policy to eliminate Assad so I think if we go in at all we should really go in BIG." May then has doubts!

Posted by: BM | Apr 12, 2018 3:27:05 PM | 54


robert fisk remembers what usa and uk pretend to forget
>
> But it’s a different war that I’m remembering today. It’s the Iran-Iraq war between 1980 and 1988, when Saddam Hussein invaded Iran. When the Iranians re-crossed their own border and stormed into Iraq years later, Saddam used gas on thousands of Iranian soldiers – and civilians, for there were nurses and doctors at the war front.
>
> Funny how we forget this now. We don’t talk about it. We have forgotten all about it. Talk about the “normalisation” of chemical warfare – this was it!
>
> But in our desire to concentrate minds on Syria, we’re not mentioning the Iran gassings – Iran being another one of our present-day enemies, of course – and this may be because of our lack of official memory.
>
> More likely it’s because of what happened: the institutionalisation of chemical warfare, the use of chemicals by Saddam who was then an ally of the West and of all the Gulf Sunni states, our frontline Sunni hero. The thousands of Iranian soldiers who were to die were referred to on Iraqi radio after they crossed the frontier. The “Persian insects” had crossed the border, it announced. And that’s how they were treated.
>
> For the precursors for the Iraqi gas came largely from the United States – one from New Jersey – and US military personnel later visited the battlefront without making any comments about the chemicals which were sold to the Iraqi regime, of course, for “agricultural” purposes. That’s how to deal with insects, is it not?
>
> Yet not a soul today is mentioning this terrible war, which was fought with our total acquiescence. It’s almost an “exclusive” to mention the conflict at all, so religiously have we forgotten it. That was the real “normalisation”, and we allowed it to happen. Religious indeed, for it was the first great battle of the Sunni-Shia war of our time. But it was real.
>
> Of the thousands of Iranians who were asphyxiated, a few survivors were even sent to British hospitals for treatment. I travelled with others on a military train through the desert to Tehran, the railway compartments packed with unsmiling young men who coughed mucus and blood into white bandages as they read miniature Korans.
>
> They had blisters on their skin and, horrifically, more blisters on top of the first blisters. I wrote a series of articles about this obscenity for The Times, which I then worked for. The Foreign Office later told my editors that my articles were “not helpful”.
>
> No such discretion today. No fear of being out to get Saddam then – because in those days, of course, the good guys were using the chemicals. Don’t we remember the Kurds of Halabja who were gassed by Saddam, with gas which the CIA told its officers to claim was used by the Iranians?

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/theresa-may-syria-war-uk-chemical-weapons-attack-iran-iraq-thatcher-russia-a8300881.html

Posted by: mauisurfer | Apr 12, 2018 3:29:50 PM | 55

Evidently nothing has happened yet because the assets are not yet in place, as indicated by Paveway and Don. Mattis seems to be restraining. Trump himself won't be keen on a long war. So a Big Bang to satisfy the US. Putin will go along with that.

Posted by: Laguerre | Apr 12, 2018 3:43:36 PM | 56

UK Cabinet 'Agreed on Need To Take Action' in Syria

https://sputniknews.com/news/201804121063497538-uk-cabinet-action-syria-agree/

Posted by: test | Apr 12, 2018 3:48:15 PM | 57

re test 57

But they took two hours to agree it, instead of the single hour expected. There was opposition.

Posted by: Laguerre | Apr 12, 2018 3:56:58 PM | 58

@56,

"Mattis seems to be restraining." Agreed. "Seems" being the word under pressure here.

From what I have read today on Southfront and Sputnik, Mattis is now essentially claiming, somewhat unbelievably, that no decision has yet been made by the President on whether there will be a strike at all. This statement--if indeed it is that--would appear to run directly counter to what every major US, UK, and French official--including Trump!--has been claiming for around two days now.

The most optimistic reading of this is that Mattis remains in direct contact with Russian generals and has determined on the basis of some kind of miraculous professionalism (I know....) that there is no way a U.S. led strike of the sort initially proposed could avoid escalating beyond containment.

So what will happen now--again, optimistically--is either a negotiated smaller symbolic strike that will prove amenable to both US and Russian political needs, or a deus ex machina that somehow allows the US and NATO to walk back the strike they had already basically guaranteed. I don't see this latter option as a real option, frankly.

But the way that Mattis has set things up hinges on the *convincing* production of evidence of chemical weapon use by Assad in East Ghouta. How will the US pull this off, exactly, given that Russia controls the "crime scene"?

Posted by: WJ | Apr 12, 2018 4:02:55 PM | 59

France declares chemical weapons use a "red line", Saudi Arabia crosses it with false flag.

The Oompa Loompa is clueless.

Posted by: Kami | Apr 12, 2018 4:06:14 PM | 60

@test | Apr 12, 2018 3:48:15 PM | 57

I'm not a warmonger, but love to see Putin sink one of the submarine.

"According to the UK's Daily Telegraph newspaper, British submarines have been ordered to move within missile range of Syria, as strikes against the Assad regime are expected as early as Thursday night."

Posted by: OJS | Apr 12, 2018 4:07:30 PM | 61

@56 again,

Well shit. That was quick: http://www.msnbc.com/craig-melvin/watch/u-s-officials-syria-samples-test-positive-for-chlorine-gas-1209354819536

Posted by: WJ | Apr 12, 2018 4:08:34 PM | 62

It was always British intention to cause chaos in Syria, looks like they are going to have another go st killing more people. Quite illegal of course but it’s what Israel and paymaster Rothschild want.

Posted by: Bill | Apr 12, 2018 4:13:13 PM | 63

Les dés sont jetés.

Le vin est tiré, il fut le boire...

So much for the optimists.

Posted by: CarlD | Apr 12, 2018 4:18:14 PM | 64

@29 B and others here have covered the seafood poisoning angle previously. But you cannot get botulism from fish unless it is improperly preserved (so some sort of brine or oil preservation). The Clostridium bacteria responsible for producing botulin toxin are anaerobic, and thus not found in fresh seafood. Additionally, the Skirpals did not demonstrate the classic symptoms of botulism.

Posted by: Mataman | Apr 12, 2018 4:18:50 PM | 65

Even long time Trump supporter Nigel Faragd strongly opposed to strike on Syria.

Posted by: Ace Hanlon | Apr 12, 2018 4:20:28 PM | 66

Posted by: WJ | Apr 12, 2018 4:08:34 PM | 62

So tele declarations are supposed to be proof? I'd prefer actual evidence.

Posted by: Laguerre | Apr 12, 2018 4:21:33 PM | 67

Laguerre

Why do you prefer that?, Any attack will be illegal.

Posted by: test | Apr 12, 2018 4:24:27 PM | 68

@ 67 laguerre... why can't you just let the white helmets convince you of the merits of this with tele or video presentation? you have to give the royal press - heather nauert, nyt, wapo and wsj a few days to put it in print!!

Posted by: james | Apr 12, 2018 4:30:47 PM | 69

US has used cluster bombs, napalm, white phosphorous, and depleted uranium munitions. Does not the purported horror at the alleged use of poison gas look a trite hypocriitical?


Posted by: Ace Hanlon | Apr 12, 2018 4:32:48 PM | 70

Laguerre, 67

Suivant que vous serez puissants ou miserable, les jugements de cour
vous rendrons blanc ou noir.

The powers that want war do not care for proof. They want to convince
the hapless public that they are doing the right thing.

Since they are certain to win the war, they know they will not be Nuremberged.

Posted by: CarlD | Apr 12, 2018 4:33:22 PM | 71

The OPCW inspectors have to be stopped from visiting Douma, hence the urgency as they are expected to arrive on scene at the weekend.. Cynical.

Posted by: Bill | Apr 12, 2018 4:33:40 PM | 72

@70 ace... the exceptional nation is also the hypocritical nation... go figure...

Posted by: james | Apr 12, 2018 4:36:06 PM | 73

Add Stephen Zunes (Univ. San Francisco) to the "hook, line, and sinker" list. I wish someone would/could shed light on "why" these seemingly discerning (in other areas; eg. Palestine) don't seem to even as basic common sense questions when "analyzing" Syria. It's bizarre, but common (so maybe not bizarre, just irrational).

Posted by: ritzl | Apr 12, 2018 4:49:13 PM | 74

Tass reports that Russia has convoked a UNSC meeting with the Secretary-General to attend in an attempt to:


[.] "preventing the war in Syria against the background of Washington's threats, adding that a direct military standoff between Russia an United States cannot be ruled out in current circumstances.

The immediate priority is to avert war.

Russia's U.N. Envoy Nebenzya, when asked whether he meant war between Russia and the United States, the Russian diplomat replied, "We cannot exclude any possibility, unfortunately because we saw messages that are coming from Washington, they were very bellicose. They know we are there"[.]

Meeting is expected to be held on Friday.

Posted by: Likklemore | Apr 12, 2018 4:52:32 PM | 75

Assuming the USA/IS/UK/FR... war project for destruction in the middle east will enter a new phase soon whereby Russia will be directly attacked or have no other way than to respond, I wonder how events will unfold. Like the diplomacy and Shayrat Airbase, Russia on many cases gave the USA and its vassals so desperately craving for war the benefit of the doubt but that time is now long over and it responds in kind. You expel our diplomats? We expel your diplomats. Quid pro quo, an eye for eye, a tooth for a tooth. The Russian military presense in Syria is not so close to home which makes it difficult to defend so they would easily be wiped out I think albeit not without a heavy fight. But there is not a chance Russia would cave in and submit because the whole Russian Federation would be next. Assuming the war escalation remains conventional then Russia might strike at places that are closer to home and that are easier to defend and supplied. The USA, so far from home, has built a giant meat buffer in Europe where they planted many bases on the Russian border so they would probably bear the brunt. If then by some NATO pretext, Russia would be attacked on it's own soil I doubt it will remain limited to conventional warfare but maybe the USA would have already pressed some red button earlier, Bolton clearly is a fan. Let's hope this is just a far off horror scenario which will never unfold.

Posted by: xor | Apr 12, 2018 4:59:28 PM | 76

Apr 7, 2018 Ziad Fadel at SyrianPerspective.com reported the capture of 11 British officers in Eastern Ghouta. See also Farsnews "http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=l3970122001526" for more information on the plot to attack Damascus from Eastern Ghouta that was foiled by the Syrian-Russian operations.

Apr 12, 2018 Ziad reports capture of American, Israeli and Saudi forces in Eastern Ghouta (source Truthmonger)
here

Apr 12 2018 - See also this vimeo of Russian radio program here provided by another commenter Robert Sneffjella on The Vineyared of the Saker blog. Apparently, Chinese analysts believe many Americans (~200?) were killed in Eastern Ghouta.

In addition to the captured forces, the US sudden rush to hysteria and May's abrupt u-turn regarding the unproven Douma chemical weapon attack may be explained in part by possible war crime evidence abandoned in Douma by the militants, evidence that may point directly at the US, UK, Israel, and Saudi Arabia. A large scale attack on Syria may have as its primary purpose the destruction of this evidence. To defuse tension, perhaps Syria and Russia should negotiate release of the remaining US and UK personnel and find a mutually beneficial agreement with the US regarding the evidence.

Posted by: mrr52 | Apr 12, 2018 5:04:14 PM | 77

Dr Bashar Al-Jaafari at the #UN speech on the arrival of the #OPCW in #Syria

The first OPCW inspection group consisiting of 4 persons has arrived in Beruit on Thursday. The second group is supposed to arrive on Friday but Dr Bashar Al-Jaafari said OPCW didn't say how many persons would be in the second group when Syrian Embassy in Brussel asked for their passports to issue them visa. OPCW did nt provide passports for the second team, so Syria decided to issue them visa at the border between Lebanon-Syria.

It seems a bit strange that OPCW wouldn't either state numbers of people coming nor provide passports ahead so that Syrian government at least who are coming. Guess US/UK/France & Co would want to insert some of their preferred "experts" in the second team.

Russians and Syrians on the E. Ghouta ground should be alert.

Posted by: mali | Apr 12, 2018 5:04:55 PM | 78

Were going to see another attack on an empty airbase. Russia will be notified in advance. Ive read that Syria already moved most of their more modern aircraft to the Russian air bases. Some of the more brain dead Trump supporters will be thrilled that he did something. It obviously wont be anything big. Theyre not going to risk war with Russia and I don't think the Russians are bluffing, they've invested too much to simply watch the Syrian government be destroyed now.

Although it wont be, it should be a wake up call that he needs to be more careful before he jumps on Twitter. Like you said, hes forced now to do something even if some of us are wise enough to see this response will be all for show.

Posted by: Danny C | Apr 12, 2018 5:05:23 PM | 79

Juat take a look at how rude Nikki Haley and US delegats are when Syria’s permanent representative to the UN, Dr. Bashar Jaafari is making speech at a UNSC meeting on Monday.

She and her US team simply refused to listen to what the Syrian would say! That's why they live in a parellel world.

Posted by: mali | Apr 12, 2018 5:10:46 PM | 80

Thank you for the rant cassandra @28, my feelings too. I have been ranting a lot too as I believe we are owed a forensic report on the Skripals plus a read of their statements to any and all authorities that interviewed plus a detailed statement of the hospital diagnosis and response.

This no ordinary circumstance. The world has been driven to the brink of war, millions of people are threatened by the consequences. This is not a time 'to respect the privacy' of two people when the ultimate life of so many is threatened.

The grim reaper, Tony Blair, came out salivating for blood just to remind us of the consequences of lies and deceit as the drivers of war.

We are owed a full and frank exposure of the facts, preferably in an international court, but certainly in an independent report. Failing that, speak up Yulia, we need to hear the story.

Posted by: flamingo | Apr 12, 2018 5:11:31 PM | 81

@62 - re MSNBC claims:

That was nothing but a bunch of empty verbiage -- totally meaningless. They could not say where or whom the "samples" came from, could not say who gathered the samples, could not say who transported the samples, could not say who delivered the samples, could not say what US entities received the samples, could not say what US entities tested the samples.

No source, no chain of custody.

But we're just supposed to believe all those altogether unsupported assertions.

Posted by: AntiSpin | Apr 12, 2018 5:16:49 PM | 82

@80 mali.. they walked out before they could hear it! i liked what the syrian ambassador said too.. maybe she has a weak stomach for the truth?

Posted by: james | Apr 12, 2018 5:19:18 PM | 83

The first four OPCW inspectors have arrived at Douma. They are free to go anywhere. Russian military protection.
The rest due tomorrow. By Saturday they will have all the facts in their notebooks.

Not a scrap of evidence. No residue, no corpses, no doctors reporting any victims, no hospital visits by victims.

A total False Flag. Russian experts were there the next day. Not a trace of any substance.

Dead were from suffocation (dust, plaster, cement).

The facts exist and its impossible to twist. The terrorists gave up too swiftly. The Russians went right to the site and videotapped everything within 24 hours.

This isn't Salisbury. It's Douma. And the Americans know they can't sell the False Flag.

The Russian Generals talking to the Chief of Staff Dunsford and others have made it clear. You can bomb the desert like you did for four years. But that's it.

US does not want a piece of Russian payback.

Just mark a few buildings with Iranian and Hezbollah flags and slogans out in the middle of nowhere and the US will blow them up for Bibi. Call it a success. Trump remains #1 in the mirror, USA is great again. Blah, blah, blah.

You can sell American Exceptionalism to all the dopes of Main Street. They actually believe this shit.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Apr 12, 2018 5:22:59 PM | 84

The notion that Trump is secretly anti-war is absurd, no matter how many times people assume it. Trump campaigned on a platform of winning. There's no reason to credit his inaction to anything but his repeated discovery that loser generals won't guarantee an easy win. That's why so many professionals are being ditched in my opinion.

Trump is emboldened by Xi's opportunism and cowardice. Xi's recent rebuff of North Korea, coupled with his surrender on trade, suggest that Trump et al. think they can take out Kim Jong Un personally, then simply pick up the pieces. Very likely Xi thinks the same. Both have a surprise coming.

The war in Syria will continue indefinitely, based in Idleb, with Turkish clandestine support from Afrin, with Israel in the Golan Heights and the Kurds in the east. Russia's massive investment in a victory has failed because Putin never had an endgame. Russia will bleed money for a naval base of dubious value (save in Putin's addled brain,) even as the fascist menace in Ukraine builds and builds.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Apr 12, 2018 5:24:33 PM | 85

@82,

I agree. With the possible qualification that ultimately they don't so much care what we believe as they want (perhaps) to break Mattis' hold on Trump by piling on the narrative of inevitability. That they still need to do this suggests, to me at least, that Mattis is at least holding out. Perhaps I am wrong.

Posted by: WJ | Apr 12, 2018 5:27:38 PM | 86

@85 steve...'putin never had an end game'... oh really? lol... you ought to be able to get a gig with the us armed forces with that attitude!

Posted by: james | Apr 12, 2018 5:29:17 PM | 87

Syria - Threat Of Large War Recedes But May Come Back

It has come back with war criminal Theresa May and her decision tonight.
Opinion polls show most Brits DO NOT SUPPORT THE BOMBING.
And it is totally unacceptable that she is seemingly refusing a parliamentary vote to give her authority.
Britain is shamed.

Posted by: Emily | Apr 12, 2018 5:35:56 PM | 88

@ Chris | 1

"...the shrieking harpy Haley..."

Tom Luongo called her "US Embarassment to the UN" -
https://russia-insider.com/en/neocons-wont-get-away-it-time-too-many-people-have-woken/ri23068

I liked that a lot, made me chuckle.

Posted by: Scotch Bingeington | Apr 12, 2018 5:44:35 PM | 89

"The notion that Trump is secretly anti-war is absurd, no matter how many times people assume it. " - steven t johnson @85

Steven, don't you get it, Trump is playing 4 dimensional Chess, no wait, make that 10 dimensional Chess :-)

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Apr 12, 2018 5:46:43 PM | 90

Oh, and sadly, Greenwald is in this group of "Assad is evil", evidence-free weirdness.

https://twitter.com/EvaKBartlett/status/983506825344700416

He compared Eva Bartlett to some flaming nutter because she challenged him on his, again, evidence-free contention that Assad uses CW as a habit. It was a truly strange and disheartening exchange.

GG does important and courageous work. I hope someone, in the post-mortem of this anti-Syria/Kill!! frenzy (hopefully resolved in favor of letting Syrians determine the future of their own country) probe why these seeming do-gooders went the counter-factual route on Syria, separate from all their other seeming inclinations. And by probe I mean harsh and relentless, answer-seeking, but not defamatory, questioning.

Posted by: ritzl | Apr 12, 2018 5:47:59 PM | 91

Interesting take by the young Putin.....
In recent documentaries, Putin has shared candid memories of his youth in a working-class neighborhood of St. Petersburg — then known as Leningrad. He said he learned lessons there that have lasted a lifetime.
"The streets of Leningrad taught me 50 years ago that when a fight is inevitable, you must strike first," was one of the recollections.
Another telling episode was an encounter with a rat in a seedy entrance of his crumbling apartment building. After he cornered the rodent, it turned back on him and attacked.
"She ran forward and chased me, jumping from one flight of stairs to another and even tried to leap on my head," he recalled in an interview for a recent documentary. "You shouldn't try to corner anyone."
Interestingly enough George Galloway was asked on his talk show tonight, If you were Putin what would you do if the US,UK and France attacked Syria? He said I would come out with all guns blazing. I agree with that, the West will never stop trying to destroy Syria, the 'West' needs to be given a bloody nose.


Posted by: harrylaw | Apr 12, 2018 5:54:10 PM | 92


Anyone have confirmation of this? Serbian account claiming

"Today in a TV show on RTS1, military analyst Mr Lazanski said that the likelihood that the US will give up its attack on Syria is less than 1%, since 2 Arab countries, very close US allies, already paid for attacking Syria. The money is already handed over, and that's it, he said."

https://mobile.twitter.com/wesna_josic/status/984523972787232770

Saudi Arabia and Jordan?

Posted by: WJ | Apr 12, 2018 6:01:20 PM | 93

This idea has undoubtably been covered before, but I wanted to post anyway.

Perhaps what is developing in Syria has much to do with weapons sales.

Maybe what the West is trying to set up is a "limited" battlefield test of Russian deterrence systems versus NATO systems.

Can Russian systems can be overwhelmed, or will they hold?

This is an opportunity - war is good business.

Posted by: daffyDuct | Apr 12, 2018 6:01:28 PM | 94

Leak of targets US might bomb
https://sputniknews.com/us/201804121063498907-syria-eight-possible-target-report/

Posted by: eric k | Apr 12, 2018 6:07:07 PM | 95

CanSpeccy @ 29: Mataman @ 65 is right, B has already covered the possibility of seafood poisoning in a previous post. Just go back to the Main page and skip back a few posts.

It's known that the Skripals ate seafood risotto at the Zizzi's Restaurant outlet in Salisbury just before their collapse on the bench in The Maltings shopping mall. I checked the menu online and found the risotto contains mussels. Mussels are notorious as a source of shellfish poisoning.

Fact sheet on seafood poisoning - notice that some of the symptoms of particular forms of shellfish poisoning mimic symptoms of nerve gas poisoning:
http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/factsheets/Pages/seafood_poisoning.aspx

It's quite possible also that some of the garnishings in the risotto may have come from improperly canned food (the main source of botulin poisoning) so you may still be right.

There has been news that the Zizzi's Restaurant Salisbury outlet is to be destroyed along with the Skripal house. One can understand why the Skripal house might have to be destroyed (a cheap form of decontamination) but why the restaurant should be destroyed if it has not been tested for the presence of "nerve gas agent" is another issue altogether. The alacrity with which the British government and police authorities are destroying valuable evidence (including the bodies of the Skripals' pet guinea pigs and cat - the guinea pigs having died of thirst and the cat put down after being found in a state of starvation) is suspicious in itself and might suggest the actions of a criminal covering his/her tracks.

Posted by: Jen | Apr 12, 2018 6:15:12 PM | 96

@96

From Sputnik link: targets include "two Syrian airfields, a research center and a chemical weapons facility."

Lol. Let's hope so.

Posted by: WJ | Apr 12, 2018 6:20:35 PM | 97


christian pastor chuck baldwin writes

> "What is it going to take for Christians and conservatives to snap out of this war fever? What is it going to take for them to give up this ignoble infatuation with Zionist Israel?"

> When Israel attacks Syria and/or Lebanon, as it clearly intends to do, Hezbollah will retaliate with its missiles, some of which will surely be directed towards the Mashabim Air Base, which will be targeted to inhibit the base’s ability to bomb Lebanon. And once Washington is well and truly engaged in what is referred to as “force protection,” Israel will undoubtedly widen the conflict by drawing Iran in through attacks on that country’s identified bases in Syria that are supporting the al-Assad government. The bigger war will suddenly become America’s responsibility after Israel inevitably proves itself incapable of handling the escalation.
>
> During the recent bilateral military exercises, Air Force Lieutenant General Richard Clark enthused that American soldiers are “prepared to die for the Jewish state” and also added that they would “probably” be under the command of Israeli Air Force General Zvika Haimovitch, who would decide on the involvement of U.S. personnel. Haimovitch commented “I am sure…we will find US troops on the ground…to defend the state of Israel.”
>
> Does anyone really believe that Syria was behind the latest gas attack in that country? Does anyone seriously believe that Syria was behind the previous gas attack in that country a year ago? For that matter, does anyone truly believe that Syria was behind the gas attack of its own people back in 2013?
>
> Think about it: The U.S. military has been actively engaged in a surreptitious effort to overthrow the Syrian government for years. The U.S. government—along with Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Great Britain—created, supported, and funded ISIS with the intention of overthrowing President Assad. After the last gas attack, President Trump bombed Syria in “retaliation.” The U.S. government is looking for any excuse to destroy the Syrian government (and Iran’s). And just as Trump is talking about removing troops from Syria, Assad decides to launch another gas attack against his own people? You must be kidding! Only the most naïve people on the planet would believe such a cock and bull story.
>
> Everyone knows that it was Israel that launched those illegal airstrikes against Syria this week in what can only be regarded as the first wave of Israeli/U.S. airstrikes against Syria. The Israeli government has not even tried to deny it. And this comes on the heels of IDF soldiers murdering 20 unarmed (unless you count teenagers who throw stones and rocks at combat soldiers who are wearing body armor and carrying machine guns as being “armed”) Palestinian protesters (many of them shot in the back by Israeli snipers) a few days ago.
>
> The only reason the United States (and Israel) can get by with these unconstitutional and unconscionable acts of aggression in the Middle East is because the vast majority of evangelical Christians who put the warmongering politicians in office have been propagandized to believe that these wars for Israel are “holy” wars. They believe that the Rothschild Zionist State of Israel is a reincarnated Biblical Israel. They further believe that this reincarnated Israel is divinely appointed to have all of the land that God gave to Old Testament Israel under the Abrahamic Covenant. But as theologian Adam Clarke (1760 - 1832) wrote in his commentary on the Abrahamic Covenant in Genesis 15:18, “This promise was fully accomplished in the days of David and Solomon.” And so it was. But because Christians have been brainwashed by Scofieldism, they believe that wars fought against any Arab country—no matter how unconstitutional, no matter how illegal, no matter how murderous, no matter how aggressive, no matter how horrific—are in accordance with “God’s plan for Israel” and, therefore, divinely justified.
>
> It is of no concern to these misguided Christians how many of their own Christian brothers and sisters are being slaughtered by the U.S. and Israeli militaries in these wars. It is of no concern to them how many innocent men, women, and children of all faiths are being killed in these wars. It is of no concern to them that global nuclear war could break out at any time as a result of these wars. They think these are “holy” wars. They also believe that before American cities melt in a nuclear Armageddon they are going to be “raptured” to heaven and escape all of the consequences of their misinterpreted Biblical prophecies and mindless political perversions.
>
> If America’s Christians were not so blinded by faux-Israel and false theology about Israel, they would be able to see the world (especially the Middle Eastern world) in a MUCH different light.
> But here we are: on the precipice of World War III. And for what? To remove a democratically elected leader in a nation that has attacked NO ONE and that poses absolutely NO threat to the United States—or Israel, for that matter—and against whom there is NO evidence that he launched a gas attack against his own people.
> What is it going to take for Christians and conservatives to snap out of this war fever? What is it going to take for them to give up this ignoble infatuation with Zionist Israel? What is it going to take for them to start being Americans again and stop cheering for these warmongering politicians who believe the United States is some sort of glorified global cop?


https://chuckbaldwinlive.com/Articles/tabid/109/ID/3728/Is-Trump-Ready-To-Join-Israel-In-Launching-War-Against-Iran-And-Syria.aspx

Posted by: mauisurfer | Apr 12, 2018 6:21:40 PM | 98

WJ @ 94: Methinks Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Posted by: Jen | Apr 12, 2018 6:23:38 PM | 99

Harry 93.
Another story about the youthful Putin - you may not have seen.
Seems he is as brave as a lion.....
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=24&v=SHMZO2lyLQk
This is certainly impressive.

Posted by: Emily | Apr 12, 2018 6:26:52 PM | 100

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