Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 16, 2018

Syria - Pentagon Plants High ISIS Numbers To Justify Occupation

The U.S. aim in Syria is still 'regime change'. The Pentagon has made it clear that it wants to stay in the country even after the Islamic State vanished. A little propaganda trick is now used to create a justification for its continuing occupation.


The report by the UN Security Council's Sanctions Monitoring Team on ISIS, in parts discussed here, includes a number that smells of bullshit and manipulation:

3. Some Member States estimate the total current ISIL membership in Iraq and the Syrian Arab Republic to be between 20,000 and 30,000 individuals, roughly equally distributed between the two countries. Among these is still a significant component of the many thousands of active foreign terrorist fighters.2

Footnote 2 gives as source:

2 Member State information.

The high number given by a "Member State" exceed all prior assessments. The original strength of ISIS was estimated as a few thousand  and it swelled as it took more land and incorporated local auxiliary forces and newly arriving foreign fighters. In September 2014, when ISIS was near its peak, the CIA estimated a total of 31,000 ISIS fighters in Syria and Iraq. The number shrank as ISIS was kicked out of more places it earlier occupied while it lost ten thousands of its fighters to Russian, Syrian, Iraqi and U.S. bombs, artillery and other military means. In July 2017 the commanding general of U.S. Special Forces said that 60 to 70,000 ISIS fighters had been killed.

The numbers in the UN Sanctions Monitor report simply make no logical sense. It is also contradicted by earlier estimates that put the number of current ISIS fighters in the low thousands. In December 2017 President Trump claimed that only "1,000 or so" fighters remained in Iraq and Syria. In a June 5 Pentagon press conference the spokesman was asked about the number of ISIS fighters left in Syria. He responded:

As far as the numbers, there's -- there's been some numbers thrown out there over the past few months. You've heard the previous spokesmen range from 1,000 to 3,000. You've seen a lot of subject matter experts say something like that. I have nothing to add to that. What I will say is one ISIS fighter is one too many, and that's what we're pursuing. We're pursuing their defeat.

But there must of course be a reason why "some Member States" would give the UN Monitor team such an absurdly high number.

The U.S. is justifying its occupation of north-east Syria by claiming to fight ISIS under the legal cover of two UN Security Council resolutions. Now, as ISIS in Syria has shrunk to a few dozens of fighters, that justification is wearing thin. It is immensely important for the Pentagon to present a high number, as ISIS is its only legal justification to stay in Syria. It is doubtful that Congress would agree to a prolonged occupation if ISIS vanished.

To publicize a high number the Pentagon used an old propaganda trick, fake "multi-sourcing".

This trick was extensively used in the run up to the war on Iraq. Scooter Libby, the chief of staff of Vice President Dick Cheney, would call up pliant journalists, Judith Miller of the New York Times comes to mind, and tell them about a "top secret" assessment that Iraq bought aluminum tubes to build centrifuges for Uranium enrichment. (Experts knew that Iraq bought these tubes to make military mortars.) But the New York Times printed the 'nuclear' nonsense on page one of its Sunday edition. A few hours later Dick Cheney and other Bush administration members appeared on the Sunday morning talk shows and confirmed the story they had planted.

The tale of the 'nuclear' aluminum tubes was then perceived to have come from two independent entities and sources, the New York Times, and Vice President Cheney and other members of the Bush administration. It was thus widely believed.

We now see a similar scheme. A dubious fact, coming from a single source, is depicted as being multi-sourced. Another pliant journalist, this time Liz Sly of the Washington Post, is used to spread the fake news:

The Islamic State may still have in excess of 30,000 fighters in Syria and Iraq and appears to have rebounded from some of its worst setbacks, according to two new reports that call into question whether the militants are as close to defeat as the U.S. military has suggested.
...
The U.S. government report attributed its numbers to the Defense Department but acknowledged that such estimates “have varied sharply among sources and over time.” The report was delivered to Congress by the Lead Inspector General, an office created in 2013 to oversee the U.S. military’s operations overseas against the Islamic State. Quoting Defense Department officials, the report put the number of fighters in Iraq at between 15,500 and 17,100 and in Syria at 14,000.

The second report was written by the U.N. Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team, which monitors the impact of U.N. sanctions, and offered a similar figure. Quoting unnamed member states, it said there are believed to be between 20,000 and 30,000 Islamic State fighters across Iraq and Syria, divided roughly equally between the two countries.

The Lead Inspector General report (pdf) says:

The DoD estimated that 15,500 to 17,100 ISIS fighters remained in Iraq, although estimates of the numbers of ISIS fighters have varied sharply among sources and over time. ... 5
...
[B]y the end of the [2nd] quarter, ISIS was estimated to still control about 5 percent of Syria and to have roughly 14,000 fighters in the country, although estimates of ISIS force strength vary greatly depending on the source. 38

The footnote gives as sources:

5 DoD response to DoD OIG request for information, 7/11/2018.
...
38 DoD, response to DoD OIG request for information, 7/5/2018

The Inspector General is just repeating numbers the Department of Defense claims. A writeup on the IG report by AL-Monitor says that these numbers come from the Defense Intelligence Agency. It does not give any source for that claim.

The numbers in the UN Sanction Monitor team report are sourced to a "Member State" which is most likely the United States. It is the only one that operates against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. The numbers in its report are astonishing similar to the numbers the Department of Defense gave to the Lead Inspector General. Both reports were published in the same week.

It is extremely likely that these numbers comes from the very same source, the Defense Intelligence Agency or someone else in the Pentagon who pulled it from Secretary Mattis' ass. It is well known that Mattis wants the U.S. to stay in Syria as long as possible to eventually achieve regime change by 'diplomatic' pressure means:

In Syria, "We do not want to simply pull out before the diplomats have won the peace," Mattis said. "You win the fight, and then you win the peace.”

The Washington Post now sells these numbers, which contradict all numbers the Pentagon has previously given, as coming from "two new reports", when it is pretty obvious that they come from a single source.

Some Post readers will see it as 'confirmed' information even though it is likely a wild ass guestimate which is based more on Mattis' wishes and intent than on logical thought or analytical rigor.

The U.S. is expanding its military infrastructure and personal in Syria despite the ever shrinking ground ISIS holds:

[T]he last hours witnessed the entry of more than 250 trucks carrying weapons, equipment, armored vehicles and machinery to areas controlled by the Syria Democratic Forces, where these shipments came from the Syrian-Iraqi border and headed to the military bases of the United States and the western forces in several areas east of Euphrates River, and the entry of more arms shipments comes after entering large quantities of similar shipments to the same areas during the past days and weeks, in addition to expanding the Coalition’s military bases in the area.

It will only take days until the freshly planted, confirmed but fake ISIS number will be cited as justification for these moves.

Posted by b on August 16, 2018 at 01:21 PM | Permalink

Comments

Tiny neocon minds in the grip of a single idea...regime change in Syria. More target practice for the Syrian Air Force and mystery planes/drones.

Posted by: CD Waller | Aug 16, 2018 2:05:48 PM | 1

Neo-colonial US thinks it can stay and keep causing mischief but Turkey is making a cooperative turn to Russia and Iran, the Syrian Army is about to sterilize Idlib of jihadi vermin, the Kurds are turning to discussions with Assad (nervous about the US), and Iraq is trending to kick the US out.

The US that nearly everyone hates will be a sitting duck in eastern Syria.

Posted by: AriusArmenian | Aug 16, 2018 2:26:25 PM | 2

It seems what the US may be doing is using a rough total of ALL the various groups of Orcs and claiming them as ISIL.

Over at Syria Perspective, I have seen estimates of around 40,000 Orcs holed up in Idlib. Few, if any of these are ISIL; they are Al-Qaeda, HTF, Al-Zinki and other groups.

Antoinetta III

Posted by: Antoinetta III | Aug 16, 2018 2:33:59 PM | 3

US creates Iran Action Group to ‘change regime’s behavior’ (WATCH LIVE)
https://www.rt.com/usa/436153-pompeo-iran-action-group/

Posted by: Zanon | Aug 16, 2018 2:46:42 PM | 4

i think all of this is, what you mentioned, useless. the only possibly reason for them to be in Syria is to provide security for its 'overseas territory' that is to say controlling
the Iranian troops. but still all this is nonsense.

everything point that SAA is going to attack Idlib (Russian sends the Kalibre armed ships to Syria), for a second time the Kurdish delegation is in Damascus. in addition the rebel are surrendering in large numbers to the Gov. forces.

all in all there is nothing in game to Amerikkans. There are lone there, without any leverage in war or peace process. Total fiasco for the US.

Posted by: partizan | Aug 16, 2018 3:59:58 PM | 5

South east Syria is the northern end of the Persian Gulf oil fields. Oil - energy dominance - and Israel.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Aug 16, 2018 4:26:34 PM | 6

"Liz Sly of the Washington Post"

Life precludes satire; Charles Dickens couldn't have crafted a better name for this sorry hack infogandist.

Posted by: Ort | Aug 16, 2018 4:26:41 PM | 7

I disagree with b. that the US aim in Syria is still regime change. I think the US has given up on Assad removal. What they want is to establish a secure base in a strategically excellent place – their jets merely have to hug the frontiers of Turkey for a couple of hundred kms or so and they are in Iran, and Iran is the big piece on the board. Iraq and Syria have been decimated by war and Hezbollah, as they may see it, will wither on the vine without Iran. If they really need Turkey’s green light then they will move heaven and earth to sweeten up old Erdo. Turkey has just had the stick so the carrot could be forthcoming in the not so distant future.

Posted by: Lochearn | Aug 16, 2018 4:38:45 PM | 8

@ Lochearn | 8

I disagree with b. that the US aim in Syria is still regime change. I think the US has given up on Assad removal.

What you probably meant is that US may not militarily try to overthrow Assad (the day is still young, we might still see fake "chemical attacks" in Idlib as a pretext), but they will NEVER give up on ousting him one way or another. Hell, they still want to overthrow Iranian and Russia governments, which are in 1000x better position that Syrian.

IMHO a lot of neocons in US want to partition Syria, and there is an inner-fight about how to continue. Trump wants out and likely reached the deal with Putin hence the Kurds got a greenlight to negotiate with Assad, BUT at the same time Trump wants concessions as a "great deal-maker", and for that he is fine giving longer leash to neocons for now - otherwise how he will get leverage to get anything for withdrawal?

Therefore current US schizophrenic course will continue, until they get something to exit while saving the face a la "we defeated ISIS and limited Iranian presence." Otherwise neocons and zionists (incl. Trump) will try to prolong their stay indefinitely and inflict as much harm on Syria as possible. IMHO Syria and Iran will agree to lower "Iranian presence" just like they did in the South campaign, even if its a pretense, just to give Trump and zionists a "win" so they could leave.

Posted by: Harry | Aug 16, 2018 6:52:39 PM | 9

@ 9 Harry

The US achieved part of its aims which was to destroy Syria. They have done that.

The empire always uses subterfuge to conceal its real aims. Our task is to spot the sneaky stuff and expose it. To do that req

Posted by: Lochearn | Aug 16, 2018 7:16:20 PM | 10

Ort @ 7:

Unfortunately Liz Sly is a British citizen. She graduated from Cambridge University.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liz_Sly

I suppose Charles Dickens would be hanging his head in shame.

Posted by: Jen | Aug 16, 2018 7:16:31 PM | 11

The partitioning of Yugoslavia was much easier. The USSR had its own partitioning struggles at the time. And if true, the USSR had mixed feelings about its relationship with Yugoslavia, Serbian leadership and its non-alignment. So there was insufficient assistance (zero, maybe) from Russia.

Germany too, was instrumental in busting up Yugoslavia.

Don't know that Germany or anyone other than USUKIS is terribly invested in busting up Syria.

Posted by: fast freddy | Aug 16, 2018 7:32:37 PM | 12

Apologies. I was going to say that to analyse how the West is going to react requires many long hours studying the past. It's all there in the fantastic (for now) internet. Every book, every article published in the last hundred years is there. We have no idea how to evaluate the feast we have been presented with. It is daunting and a sort of revolution in itself. While the masses supposedly gorge on fifty years of porn yielded up by the net, we intellectuals have everything we ever dreamed of.

Posted by: Lochearn | Aug 16, 2018 7:32:55 PM | 13

The historical examples of the evil USUKIS breaking up sovereign governments in the most brutal, and destructive manner imaginable should give pause - opportunity for introspection for all the countries of the world. Because any one of them could be next.

Posted by: fast freddy | Aug 16, 2018 7:39:34 PM | 14

Harry@9
"Therefore current US schizophrenic course will continue, until they get something to exit while saving the face a la "we defeated ISIS and limited Iranian presence." Otherwise neocons and zionists (incl. Trump) will try to prolong their stay indefinitely and inflict as much harm on Syria as possible. IMHO Syria and Iran will agree to lower "Iranian presence" just like they did in the South campaign, even if its a pretense, just to give Trump and zionists a "win" so they could leave."

I dont believe the US has any intention of exiting Syria anymore than they plan on exiting Iraq or Afghanistan. Unlike the Vietnam War where the opposition to the draft and having a currency tied to gold for most of it there are no real obstacles to staying. The zombie citizens dont care, just have to print what they need to fund it, and the military and contractors are well paid so no shortage of bodies to volunteer so long as casualty rates are kept to acceptable levels

Assad may stay. This is a long game and he wont live forever. Lebanon , Iran and Turkey are reasons to stay. Not to mention China and Russia

Posted by: Pft | Aug 16, 2018 7:59:23 PM | 15

And the force behind all of this, is the same as it's always been. Mega-business, and the oligarchs that own them, insatiable lust for more and more profits. Avarice is a mental illness that can never be cured. Government that's "of, by, and for the people", is the only cure. Too bad it's nonexistent here in the U$A...

Posted by: ben | Aug 16, 2018 8:03:33 PM | 16

@ 15

This is a high level blog. Please keep low level shite, such as you have submitted to yourself.

Posted by: Lochearn | Aug 16, 2018 8:08:39 PM | 17

fastfreddy@14

"Because any one of them could be next"

Thats why they go along, so they wont be next. Opposition is not without consquences. 120 years and counting, and many more hundreds when counting the UK's record. China might be the only country that can stand up , but China has never really had a history of looking much beyond its own backyard. Their energy needs require a larger perspective but they will avoid confrontation when possible if given a seat at the table..

Posted by: Pft | Aug 16, 2018 8:09:12 PM | 18

Fast Freddy @ 12:

Count France among the nations that have an interest in dividing and ruling Syria. France is the former colonial power that got Syria and Lebanon in the division of the post-Ottoman spoils in the Levant after World War I as per the 1916 Sykes-Picot agreement.

How France, Israel, the US and the UK would actually divide Syria and Iraq to keep the peoples weak and fighting among themselves, and at the same time grab the oil and gas resources, would be interesting (if not at all pretty) to see. This Gang of Four would fall out among themselves faster than we can say "fall out".

Posted by: Jen | Aug 16, 2018 8:13:14 PM | 19

I see,from time to time, some people intimate that " Government is the problem, not the solution"

If it's bought and paid for by the oligarchs, that's probably true. Otherwise Govt. can solve big problems if it's a true Democracy.

Folks who believe the old Reagan line above, probably also believe you can solve traffic problems by removing all stop signs, and traffic signals.

Posted by: ben | Aug 16, 2018 8:17:50 PM | 20

You may recall exactly the same numbers being pitched for the Taliban. That was the made-up CIA estimate used to get OEF-A's declaration from Congress, to where JSOC has just squandered over $1T 'fighting' 20,000 to 30,000 bearded Afghan hillbillies with AKs.

Had the occasion in KDR to attend a private fete for some Karzai brothers who were in town that day. They made this snark observation: "If the Crusaders had spent $1T on the Taliban, they could've put every one through Harvard business school, then built a US-educated Afghan empire of 1,000 years, one that would have outshone the (British) Raj."

Well OK, that was the Anglicized gyst of their jokes about JSOC and all those missing pallets of shrink-wrapped $100s. Real class act, Amurika. Cheney was just too greedy or ignorant to build a Raj. Or should I say, 'contingency action', that was the Cheney smurf to allow unlimited IDIQNB 'contracting' grift with his cronies, without declaring a war.

Now they're using '20,000 to 30,000' like they used to use 'Timmy's fallen in the well!'

"That's right, Timmy, we got you 13 toy battleships...even a Space Command!!"

"Zowie Paw, you're the bessus'! Right, Lassie?!"

"Rowwwff!! Rowwwff-Rowwwff!!"

https://i.pinimg.com/236x/28/96/d7/2896d729e2dc17e42b5421d16bf8b0e8--serie-tv-tv-series.jpg

Posted by: Chipnik | Aug 16, 2018 8:25:42 PM | 21

4

Anyone hope-and-chains'ing that somehow writing about this is going to change anything, or even be recorded as a history?

"Even the Nazis did not stoop to selling photo souvenirs of death camps, but in the US, Deep South lynching scenes became a burgeoning profit for the postcard industry. The trade had grown so large, and sending postcards featuring the victims of lynchings had become so common, that the U.S. Postmaster General banned the cards from the US mail delivery by 1908."

They're still playing Cowboys-and-Rabbinicals over in MENA. But the good news is, it's thinning out fast at the 800 US overseas bases. Something is afoot since Trump's No Taxes for the Rich created an -$800B deficit, on top of his $21,500B Debt. So he's going to sign another $1,500B Omnibus Debt Bill Two next month, but it's not enough. There are RIFs of all kinds being reported from my OCONUS buddies. Not just RIF's but reduction in pay and benefits. They're offshoring huge chunks of operations to Pinoy service centers. The center cannot hold. The loosening gyre. This schtuff's gonna blow!

Posted by: Chipnik | Aug 16, 2018 8:52:14 PM | 22

It's interesting that ISIS and its relatives and off-shoots seem more obsessed with oil than with Law & Order. Ironically, or not, this is exactly the same pattern of behaviour displayed by the US in Iraq in 2003. I recall groaning with exasperation when 'News' reports around the time of Mission Accomplished informed us that the Iraqi Oil Ministry building was standing Proud and Pristine in a devastated city.

Oil Ministry = Nationalised Oil, a Mortal Sin in the Privatisation-obsessed Christian Colonial West.

If Oil were to be nationalised globally, ALL of this horseshit would grind to a screeching halt. It would probably be necessary to kill a lot of senior oil executives to get there. But The Price Would Be Worth It to the rest of Humanity which has already paid far too high a price for the $ucce$$ of privately owned oil companies.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 17, 2018 12:04:19 AM | 23

Jen@19

"This Gang of Four would fall out among themselves faster than we can say "fall out"."

Not necessarily. They have been working well together for over 90 years since the Achnacarry Agreement. The remnants of the seven sisters are interlocked with each other and the international banksters backing the Petro Dollar. They are basically the cartel that created and controls OPEC and competition is minimized (which is the purpose of a cartel).

Not to say there is not a bit of infighting now and then.

Posted by: Pft | Aug 17, 2018 12:56:12 AM | 24

Looks, to me, that the US suffers from, from what I call, the Hitler Syndrome. It see evil dictators at every corner, and acts like a knight in shining armor, to prevail over the evil menace. It sees itself as guardian of humankind, ready to fight for all that is good. It considers itself as the policeman of the world. But it is more like the corrupt police chief from the first Godfather film.

Posted by: Jose Garcia | Aug 17, 2018 1:48:08 AM | 25

You say:
" (Experts knew that Iraq bought these tubes to make military mortars.)"
This statement is not correct.
" After the invasion, the Iraq Survey Group determined that the best explanation for the tubes' use was to produce conventional 81-mm rockets; no evidence was found of a program to design or develop an 81-mm aluminum rotor uranium centrifuge.[1]"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraqi_aluminum_tubes
quoting:
. "Comprehensive Revised Report with Addendums on Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction (Duelfer Report), Volume 2, Nuclear section"
The Department of Energy advised Bush/Cheney that the tubes were better suited to small rocket bodies than for centrifuges because they were so small in diameter.

Posted by: mauisurfer | Aug 17, 2018 2:10:08 AM | 26

@Hoarsewhisperer

I think it goes a little higher than the oil exec's. The great game Grand chessboard type thing. Kissinger's strategy for the new era is energy dominance.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Aug 17, 2018 3:46:55 AM | 27

More evidence of what I have been telling here for months,

Putin, Trump Agreed in Helsinki Iran Should Exit Syria - Reports
https://sputniknews.com/us/201808171067256639-usa-russia-iran-exit-syria-putin-trump/

I guess we will see
renewed actions by US/Russia and Israel coming months against Iran.

Posted by: Zanon | Aug 17, 2018 4:13:33 AM | 28

"The U.S. aim in Syria is still 'regime change'." That is from 1948 onward.

While it is strategic aim and everything is centered around it is, for now, unreachable. But imperialists are counting on "rebuilding of the nation" effort. Pretty much all avenues to major financial institution are controlled/closed by the Western powers. That's what are good at, conquering nations without bullet fired. Here the Iranians are their best friend, the Russian tend to follow "brothers by skin", sometime.

the western liberal/interventionists sees here the chance of, if not regime change, than to get some concession in (re)shaping the future constitutional order and political life in Syria. The Syrian Gov. and its allies are unable to raise the money in the scale it needs.

Curiously, EU and Germany (soft power) spearheaded effort in such activities, i.e. blackmailing the Syrian Gov. with conditions for aid. Probably with the US "lead behind". Similar thing had happened in former Yugoslavia. That's the only matter that I see as the reason the US in Syria - pretending fighting own creation ISIS, and pretending protecting "territorial integrity" of Syria.

Posted by: partizan | Aug 17, 2018 4:24:14 AM | 29

@ Zanon | Aug 17, 2018 4:13:33 AM | 28

I have always suspected the meeting is about "security" of American Overseas Territory. They were scared that battle hardened Syrian army in its tenacity to liberate the land might attack (as they should) the Zionist's occupied Golan.

Posted by: partizan | Aug 17, 2018 4:46:33 AM | 30

This sudden "increase" in ISIS members in Syria is similar to the sudden 120'000+ unknown "displaced persons" who appeared and moved to the Quneitra area. Which could have been used in anti-Syrian Propaganda at that time. (as b reported). They "disappeared" when the Syrian army advanced a lot faster than expected by the West, and took the area.

The other piece of news is that the Saudis are going to give $100 million to the "north" of Syria - "where the ISIS used to be". ???

This is a long way from giving territory back to the Syrians.

Posted by: stonebird | Aug 17, 2018 4:55:25 AM | 31

Once again, this is what's come with Amerikkans.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2018/world/syria/raqqa-residents-abandoned-and-forgotten/?noredirect=on

We suffered under [the Islamic State], but we’re suffering more from this American liberation.”

Posted by: partizan | Aug 17, 2018 4:58:01 AM | 32

partizan

Indeed, thats a good description or, "Israeli overseas territory".

Posted by: Zanon | Aug 17, 2018 4:59:19 AM | 33

"Some Member States estimate the total current ISIL membership in Iraq and the Syrian Arab Republic to be between 20,000 and 30,000 individuals,"

Such an.... odd.... turn of phrase.

If "some" states give that estimate then that must mean that "other" states did not concur.

How many is "some"? How many "others" gave a different "estimate"?

We don't know, because the report doesn't say.

But without that knowledge then this "estimate" (which, let me note, the committee reported but didn't actually endorse) is meaningless.

For all we know everyone bar one or two recalcitrant states agree that those numbers are about right, give or take.

But, equally, for all we know the "sum" of that "some" amounted to just the USA and a few Usual Suspects like Israel and Saudi Arabia.

b: "Footnote 2 gives as source:"

Well, to be fair, the stated source ("Member State information") is the same for almost every single footnote in that report, which tells us that the committee has no independent fact-finding capabilities of its own, and is therefore reduced to parroting what it has been told.

At least the committee doesn't pretend otherwise, which I suppose ain't nothin'.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Aug 17, 2018 6:36:41 AM | 34

@28 "More evidence of what I have been telling here for months, "

No, actually, what you have been insisting "for months" is that Russia has been colluding with ISRAEL to force Iran to leave Syria.

Now you are pointing to an article that claims that "Putin, Trump Agreed in Helsinki Iran Should Exit Syria - Reports"

So which is it? Is Russia colluding with Israel, or is Russia colluding with the USA?

And why, exactly, should we place any credence in an article that itself admits is simply regurgitating another wirefeed "report" without offering any direct evidence to support that claim?

"According to a US administration official cited by Reuters,"... oh, please....
"According to the senior US official,"... oh, please....
"The US official also told Reuters"... oh, please....

You do understand, don't you, that Reuters is simply being used as a stenographer by one of Bomber Bolton's minions?

And that the easiest way to know if he is lying is to look at his lips: if they are moving then he is lying, and if they are shut then he isn't.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Aug 17, 2018 6:49:14 AM | 35

Yeah Right,

Russia have had separate talks with both Israel and US to accomplish this. You believe there is a difference which Russia talks to? Like, do you support US/Russian talks on Iran vs Russian/Israeli talks on Iran? I condemn and call out both. Are you? Or do you think this is something to support?

Posted by: Zanon | Aug 17, 2018 7:05:39 AM | 36

No idea about who colluding with who here.. but it does seems Russia is not aligned with Iran like before.

Posted by: AG17 | Aug 17, 2018 7:50:26 AM | 37

Off topic, but came across this bizarre article: http://www.arabnews.com/node/1357721/saudi-arabia
In what alternate universe is this happening?

Posted by: AG17 | Aug 17, 2018 8:04:52 AM | 38

Every time the 4+1 clear a large area of jihadists, the disinformation cabal go into high gear.

This stuff is for the express purpose of diminishing the liberation of Daraa, East Ghouta, Yarmouk, West Ghouta, and the others
recently.

There is no other reason.

Idlib will be liberated, period.

Then the 4+1 will turn their attention to the NE or to Al-tanf.

What will NATO do if 80,000 SAA armed with AAMs long range artillery, and armour, show up and demand they leave or else?

Particularly should Iran choose to test some missiles over the heads of US bases in KSA and Qatar?

They will fold........

INDY

Posted by: Dr. George W. Oprisko | Aug 17, 2018 9:27:10 AM | 39

36 et alia

Russia and anyone can agree that Iran should leave Syria, because
in the long run it will have to happen once peace is restored.

Since we have not heard of a space frame for such withdrawal it is
a moot agreement that has no consequences. No need to make a
racket out of it.

Besides, Sputnik albeit being Russian doesn't seem to be always in
lockstep with the Kremlin.

Posted by: CarlD | Aug 17, 2018 9:57:39 AM | 40

@35 "Russia have had separate talks with both Israel and US to accomplish this."

Sure, sure, because it is RUSSIA that is driving this, hey, Zanon?

Because the way you paint it this is, apparently, all RUSSIA's idea, and they are shopping it around to the USA and to Israel as something that they never considered until Uncle Vlad came knocking on the door.

And in other news, pigs sprout wings and take to the skies, "reports" Reuters.

How's this for an alternative: both the Americans and the Israelis are obsessed about this notion and so they keep harping on about it to the Russians, who politely listen while making absolutely no commitment whatsoever. And the Americans (and the Israelis) find politeness to be such a foreign concept that they mistake it for acquiescence.

@36: "No idea about who colluding with who here.. but it does seems Russia is not aligned with Iran like before."

Yeah, it does SEEM that way, doesn't it?

Maybe because that is what misinformation is all about i.e. making something that isn't true SEEM to be true.

Both the Americans and the Israelis are suffering from wish-fulfillment, and so does Zanon.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Aug 17, 2018 9:58:09 AM | 41

Yeah Right,

I wouldnt say Russia is driving this. Israel is and Russia works both with Israel and US to accomplish this. Overall its a israeli call.
As I said this approach by Russia needs to be condemned, dont you agree with me?

Posted by: Zanon | Aug 17, 2018 10:26:09 AM | 42

AG17

+1, Russia is moving further away from the good relationship they had some years earlier with Iran.


Cooperation with Israel threatens Russia’s Iran alliance
http://www.arabnews.com/node/1354211

Posted by: Zanon | Aug 17, 2018 10:28:49 AM | 43

Out of subject

If Russia wants to hurt the US owners of McDonald and such franchises,

Must buy ingredients and all supplies in Russia.

Only dollars allowed are for paying dividends annually.

Posted by: CarlD | Aug 17, 2018 10:30:10 AM | 44

The number is probably correct--after all, US should know how many terrorists they have deployed in the country

Posted by: carroll | Aug 17, 2018 11:34:57 AM | 45

Context is important.

US will resist any perceived advance or gain by Russia and/or China - just like in the last Cold War.

This became policy when the NDAA named Russia and China as "recidivist" nations that seek to overturn the established world order.

And there's little doubt that other Assad must go! Coalition countries have not given up on their Syrian goals also.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 17, 2018 12:00:23 PM | 46

Some of the "insurgents" placed in the ME are from Kosovo. When a country like Yugoslavia is "partitioned", its economy is wrecked. And men are desperate for employment. They will work as mercs to "put food on their families".

Posted by: fastfreddy | Aug 17, 2018 1:12:13 PM | 47

AG17 @38

This happens when the guy making the statement is named "Ali Reza Qureshi". I won't even bother looking from which Gulf country the guy comes, but he's obviously Sunni.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Aug 17, 2018 1:22:07 PM | 48

@42 "As I said this approach by Russia needs to be condemned, dont you agree with me?"

As I said: your central premise is wrong because it is based upon western and Israeli misinformation and falsehoods, and therefore your "condemnation" is an exercise in pointlessness.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Aug 17, 2018 9:12:06 PM | 49

@42 "I wouldnt say Russia is driving this. Israel is and Russia works both with Israel and US to accomplish this"

Why, exactly, would Russia think that it is A Good Idea to "accomplish this"?

That's one of the problems I have with your comments: you have not come up with a cogent explanation why it is in Russia's interests to agree with this Israeli demand that Iran be ejected from Syria.

Russia has built its quite remarkable resurgence in Middle East affairs by demonstrating a steadfast and consistently-articulated commitment to stand by its allies.

By being, in effect, the very opposite if a latter-day Perfidious Albion.

Yet you want everyone here to believe that Israel whispers in the Kremlin's ears "Psssst, howsabout you stab the Ayatollah's in the back? It'll be every so much fun and you'll be helping me out heaps" and Putin just mulls it over and says "What the hell, yeah, I'll do it!"

Why, exactly, is that a smart play for Russians?

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Aug 17, 2018 9:20:11 PM | 50

"Liz Sly of the Washington Post"

Life precludes satire; Charles Dickens couldn't have crafted a better name for this sorry hack infogandist.

Posted by: Ort | Aug 16, 2018 4:26:41 PM | 7

Anne-Marie Slaughter is a charming liberal political scientist and think tanker, and (un)surprisingly, rather bloodthirsty -- Right to Protect and all that. But even as the stupidest jokes come to life, I think that life does not PRECLUDE satire, at its best, satire if prophetic.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Aug 18, 2018 12:09:16 AM | 51

Yeah Right,

I think you have to look at the appeasement Russia approach Israel with. You do understand that Russia wouldnt bother with iranians in Syria if it wasnt for Israel?
At the same time, it goes beyond this issue in Syria. It was the same with S300 that Russia canceled because Israel told Russia not to proceed on that deal.

Russia, after Netanyahu visit, backs off Syria S-300 missile supplies
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-russia/russia-after-netanyahu-visit-backs-off-syria-s-300-missile-supplies-idUSKBN1IC0SW

I dont know if you remember, but the same thing when Russia and Iran try to make the same deal some years ago.

Posted by: Zanon | Aug 18, 2018 4:03:02 AM | 52

@52 "I think you have to look at the appeasement Russia approach Israel with."

That isn't a explanation, Zanon, that is merely your claim to an observation.

@52 "You do understand that Russia wouldnt bother with iranians in Syria if it wasnt for Israel?"

That is a tautological argument. You started with a claim of the existence of Russian collusion with Israel and now you point to that claim as "evidence" for the existence of that collusion.

You really can't see how circular that is, can you?

@52 "At the same time, it goes beyond this issue in Syria. It was the same with S300 that Russia canceled because Israel told Russia not to proceed on that deal."

Hahahahahah.

The Russians never had any intention of selling the S-300 to Syria.

Read the article: "Russia last month hinted it would supply the weapons to President Bashar al-Assad, over Israeli objections, after Western military strikes on Syria."

That "hint" was an ambit claim. A way of displaying Russia displeasure at Trump's missile strikes into Syria. Nothing more.

They. Were. Never. Going. To. Sell. Those. Weapons. To. Assad.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Aug 18, 2018 4:41:18 AM | 53

Yeah Right,

You do not believe that it is Israel that is behind the deal to get Iran out?

Actually Russia had a deal with Syria long time ago to give them (Syria) the S300 and has nothing to do with Trump as you seems to believe, take this, 5 years ago:

Russian arms 'to deter foreign intervention in Syria' - BBC News
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-22688894
Same story for Iran even many years before that in turn. But what happend? Appeasement to Israel by Russia unfortunately.

Posted by: Zanon | Aug 18, 2018 5:20:32 AM | 54

Zanon #54

When you have to cite the BBC (british bullshitting company) or dare I utter the word "guardian", I and many others know your effort is futile, without merit, perhaps puerile propaganda?

Your badgering the point and Yeah, Right has got the logi at every post. You can stop twisting the logic and go play with the cat now.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Aug 18, 2018 6:20:25 AM | 55

uncle tungsten

If you actually clicked and read the BBC link there is quotation by russians themselves.

Here is a RT source:

Russia slams end of EU arms embargo, calls S-300s ‘stabilizing factor’ in Syria
https://www.rt.com/news/eu-arms-syria-embargo-russia-870/

Perhaps RT is spreading anti-russian propaganda according to yourself?


Posted by: Zanon | Aug 18, 2018 6:30:31 AM | 56

@55 "You do not believe that it is Israel that is behind the deal to get Iran out?"

Oh, fer' f**k's sake... I don't believe I have to point this out again.

One more time, yet again: There. Is. No. Deal.

You keep assuming that there is, and you then proceed from there.

The central problem you have is therefore this: if your initial premise (there is a deal to get Iran out) is wrong then all the minutiae that you derive from it (Is Israel behind that deal? Or is Russia? Or is it the USA?) is also going to be wrong, not to say bone-headed.

You need to prove that your initial premise (there is a deal to get Iran out) is correct, and this you have conspicuously failed to do.

All you have done is regurgitate - time after tedious time - the propaganda that is being spread by the USA or by Israel that such a deal has been done.

But as Mandy Rice-Davies so memorably said: well, he would say that, wouldn't he.

The Russians DO NOT SAY that there is such a deal.
The Russians DO NOT ACT as if there is such a deal.
The Russians HAVE NO REASON to agree to such a deal.
The Russians HAVE NOT AGREED to such a deal.

That the Americans want to claim otherwise is, frankly, to be expected.
That the Israelis want to claim otherwise is, honestly, typical of them.

But that's the thing, dude: by definition an "agreement" involves two parties, and it simply isn't enough for you to point to what ONE of the parties keeps claiming was agreed to. Not when the other party doesn't say the same thing.

That's not an "agreement", Zanon, that's merely "big-noting".


Posted by: Yeah, Right | Aug 18, 2018 9:45:06 AM | 57

Yeah Right,

The deal is not only real it was successful for Israel and Russia since they managed wo weaken Iran:

"Of course, we take into account the interests of neighboring states, interests of Israel, our president spoke about that. As we took into account the Israeli concerns, we managed to attain the pullout of Iranian units 85 kilometers [some 53 miles] from the Israeli [-Syrian] border," the presidential envoy added.
https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201808011066840176-russia-iran-syria-israel-envoy/

Also on the S300 debate:

Russia, after Netanyahu visit, backs off Syria S-300 missile supplies
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-russia/russia-after-netanyahu-visit-backs-off-syria-s-300-missile-supplies-idUSKBN1IC0SW

Thats appeasing by Russia.

Please dont reply anymore to my comments here on MoA, I wont engage with you with that attitude.

Posted by: Zanon | Aug 18, 2018 10:43:09 AM | 58

The SAA liberated southern Syria with little to no interference from the Anglo-Zionists. How do you think that happened? What do you think was bargained in return for this lack of support? Curious minds should ponder these questions before shouting about Russian selling out Syria or any of its allies.

Posted by: Sad Canuck | Aug 18, 2018 3:48:29 PM | 59

In December 2017 President Trump claimed that only "1,000 or so" fighters remained in Iraq and Syria.

As far as the numbers, there's -- there's been some numbers thrown out there over the past few months. You've heard the previous spokesmen range from 1,000 to 3,000.

In May 2018, Evgeniy Satanovskiy, Russian leading expert on Middle East, reported that - according to some estimates - from 5 to 7 thousand ISIS militants (the very one "defeated" by the US-led coalition) are in Syria beyond the Euphrates. They were alive, they were allright. And these 5-7 thousand is only a "backbone", a main force. The one should take into account many 'ISIS-sympathizers' who have not yet taken an active part...


The U.S. is justifying its occupation of north-east Syria by claiming to fight ISIS under the legal cover of two UN Security Council resolutions.

Hmm, as far as i know there's not a single legal reason for the US to be in Syria. Their presence - from the very beginning and until now - is illegal, i.e. criminal. Attempts to pretend there's some "UN resolutions" allowing the US-led coalition to be in Syria is nice and funny, but it has nothing to do with reality.

There's only 2 (not 10, not 5 or 7, not even 3) legal reasons for the country to carry out some activity on the territory of the other sovereign country - if the government of this country itself is asking to carry out this activiry (military help, for example - like Syria asked Russia to help), or if there's a UNSC resolution allowing to carry out this kind of activity. The US has neither one nor the other.

UN resolutions on the need to combat terrorism have nothing to do with the right of a country to invade the territory of another state and conduct some military operations there.

The US didn't have UNSC resolution to act in Yugoslavia, they didn't have UNSC resolution to act in Iraq, they didn't have UNSC resolution to act in Syria. That's why all this are a war crimes and direct violation of the international law.

Posted by: alaff | Aug 18, 2018 4:47:29 PM | 60

Sad Canuck

Very easy, Israel want Assad there, that is after all the deal that Russia/Israel struck, and that is a sell out move.
Israel know Assad wont threat them. Thats why Iran (and Hezbollah?) had to move because these units actually attack back when Israel attack Syria.

Posted by: Zanon | Aug 18, 2018 5:04:32 PM | 61

@58 ...", we managed to attain the pullout of Iranian units 85 kilometres"....

Annnnd, back we go again, with Zanon pulling out the same links that prove nothing more than that he knows nothing and learns nothing.

I'm going to make two comments about Zanon's lamentable post, one general and one specific.

1) Zanon began this exchange many weeks ago by maintaining that Russia has colluded with Israel to get Iran out of SYRIA. He is now, apparently, reduced to claiming that SYRIA is exactly 8 kilometres in width. In between his rather, ahem, elastic definition of what he is complaining about (is it "out of Syria"? or is it "out of the Golan"?) he also attempts a very crude sleight-of-hand by discussing Syrian (non)purchases of Russia's S-300, as if that is in some way relevant.

2) I simply can not believe you have dragged that argument back again, when "b" has already responded directly to your nonsense. You know, when he pointed out to you that there WERE NO IRANIAN FORCES in that area i.e. Russia has traded nothing (non-existent Iranian forces) for something (USA/Israel/Jordan dropping their support for the jihadi's in the Golan Heights).

The Russians and the Syrians and the Iranians must have laughed themselves silly at the stupidity of Trump and Netanyahu, and if they ever bothered to read your posts then they would double-up on the mirth.

Here, I'll repeat this again: THERE WERE NO IRANIAN FORCES WITHIN 85 KM OF THAT CEASEFIRE LINE, not because the Russians did a deal with Israel but because THOSE FORCES NEVER EXISTED.

Sheesh. How many times do you need to be told that?

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Aug 18, 2018 8:51:44 PM | 62

Sorry, typo, should read "reduced to claiming that SYRIA is exactly 85 kilometres in width"

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Aug 18, 2018 8:52:49 PM | 63

@ Yeah Right with his latest Zanon refutation summary

But, BUT!!! you hurt its feelings with your "attitude"

Thanks for your ongoing efforts to "service" the troll that b lets visit for our further education by fellow barflies

Posted by: psychohistorian | Aug 18, 2018 9:47:47 PM | 64

psychohistorian

Israel to Russia - Assad's safe from us, but Iran must quit Syria
https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-mideast-crisis-syria-israel/israel-to-russia-assads-safe-from-us-but-iran-must-quit-syria-idUKKBN1K11RD

Do you like Israel and Russia applaude this pullout of iranians?

Posted by: Zanon | Aug 19, 2018 5:54:36 AM | 65

@65 Zanon, nobody disputes that Israel wants Iran out of Syria, nor is anything under any illusion that Netanyahu will resist ear-bashing everyone about how Israel wants-this and how Israel will allow-that.

Netanyahu is, after all, a monumentally bombastic boor.

But the question is this: Did RUSSIA agree to Netanyahu's bombast?

Because I'm telling you right now that your Reuters article doesn't even try to pretend that the Russians did anything other that listen politely to Netanyahu and then pat him on the back as he left the office.

After all, as Lavrov always says: Russians are a polite people.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Aug 19, 2018 7:48:06 AM | 66

@65 Zanon, referencing a reuters article: "Do you like Israel and Russia applaude this pullout of iranians?"

From the reuters article he references: "Russian officials had no immediate comment on the meeting."

Your slip is showing, sunshine.

Apparently in Zanon-world the Russians show their applause by..... silence.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Aug 19, 2018 7:51:59 AM | 67

There will possibly be more appeasement the coming days, when Bolton will go to Israel/Russia to talk Syria/Iran.

That Iran moved 85km from borders is not enough, now the focus is to try to get Iran out of Syria altogether.


A senior White House official told Haaretz over the weekend that Syria was the main issue during the meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin when the two leaders met last month for the summit in Helsinki. The official said three weeks prior to that meeting, when Bolton was in Moscow for preparations,
Putin told him that he doesn't want to see Iranian forces remain in Syria but he's not sure Russia alone can get Iranian forces out of the country.

https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/.premium-bolton-to-talk-syria-with-netanyahu-ahead-of-meeting-in-russia-1.6388720

Hopefully Russia/Israel/US will not succeed.

Posted by: Zanon | Aug 19, 2018 2:15:06 PM | 68

@68 "That Iran moved 85km from borders is not enough, now the focus is to try to get Iran out of Syria altogether."

One more time: Iranian forces weren't "moved 85km from borders" because Iranian forces were never there in the first place.

Zanon quotes: "Putin told him that he doesn't want to see Iranian forces remain in Syria but he's not sure Russia alone can get Iranian forces out of the country. "

And you don't understand that such a sentence means "no" in Russian?

And, of course, you also appear not to understand that Putin isn't being "quoted" in that sentence, he is being "verballed".

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Aug 19, 2018 6:12:26 PM | 69

Also interesting and goes along the line what I have been saying here for months, that Russia do not support Iran's role in Syria.

"Well I think President Putin is very candid in his comments to President Trump, he was to me as well… He said he didn’t – didn’t have the same interest as Iran in Syria. And that he’d like to talk about ways to get out of them," he said.
https://sputniknews.com/world/201808191067319504-bolton-syria-iran-withdrawal/

Posted by: Zanon | Aug 20, 2018 4:27:06 AM | 70

@70 Good grief! Zanon is now touting Bomber Bolton as THE authoritative spokesperson for Vlad Putin!

I'm not sure how to break this too you gently, so I won't bother. I'll give it to you bluntly: Bolton is a lying sack o' neocon chickenshit. Always has been, always will be.

If he tells you something then you can take it to the bank that it is a flat-out lie, and that goes double when he presumes to be a spokesman for someone he doesn't work for.

Honestly, Zanon, you never cease to astound: BOLTON as a perveyor of untarnished truth! Since when, exactly?

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Aug 20, 2018 5:17:37 AM | 71

This is another great piece (from may) for those that want to study the bad relationsship going on Russia/Iran, and in the longer run Syria and want to understand iranian position.
Some stuff have happend since, like the agreement US/Israel/Russia struck on Iran but it gives a great summary nontheless.

"Russia wants Iran out of Syria. Iranians aren't so happy about that"
https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/russia-wants-iran-out-syria-iranians-arent-so-happy-about-1850822925

Posted by: Zanon | Aug 20, 2018 5:40:59 AM | 72

@72 Please, the propaganda is getting ever more blatant.

Note the date on Zanon's link: Tuesday 29 May 2018

Hold that thought as you read on....

...."both Israeli and Russian officials said publicly that only Syrian soldiers should be present as the government seeks to retake the southern province"....

That part is quite correct. Well done.

This was a decision that was made in July 2017 at a tripartite meeting in Hamburg between the USA, Jordan and Russia. It was no secret, both Tillerson and Lavrov made separate announcements following that meeting. Nobody should be the least bit surprised in late May of 2018 that Russia's position is the same position it agreed to in early July of 2017.

Nonetheless...

..."From Tehran, Russia’s about-face has been a surprise,"...

Simply untrue. There was no "about-face", as everyone has known about that decision since July 2017.

"According to reformist daily Etemaad, Russia’s new position is".... not a new position.

It can't be, since that was the position that Russia agreed to in July 2017.

Did I already mention that? I think I did.

"Meanwhile, moderate-conservative Tabnak news site - which belongs to Mohsen Rezai, the former commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guard - tied Putin's position to the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal."

Again, demonstrably untrue, since Putin's position was "tied" in July 2017. I might have made passing reference to this before.

The funny thing is, even a partisan source like middleeasteye.net (which is a Qatari rag with its own agenda) has to allow a kernel of truth: "Whether Russia is serious about Iranian forces leaving Syria or not, decision-makers in Tehran will be watching with guarded concern."

I doubt that very much, since they know that Russia is not at all serious about forcing Iran to leave Syria.

After all, that's Assad's call, not Putin's.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Aug 20, 2018 7:05:25 AM | 73

More of what to come, this is the appeasement I have been talking about,

John Bolton in Israel before his meeting with Putin:

“Certainly the objective of the United States, of Israel, President Putin said it was Russia’s objective is to get Iran — Iranian forces, Iranian militias, Iranian surrogates out of the offensive operations they’re in in both Syria and Iraq and frankly, to end Iran’s support for Hezbollah,” he said.

https://www.timesofisrael.com/top-trump-adviser-us-israel-russia-all-want-iran-out-of-syria/

Liberman to Bolton: Thank you for your contribution to Israel's security
https://www.jpost.com/Breaking-News/Liberman-to-Bolton-Thank-you-for-your-contribution-to-Israels-security-565316

I wonder if Liberman will say the same to Putin the coming days?

Posted by: Zanon | Aug 20, 2018 9:36:51 AM | 74

@74 Oh, fer' f**k's sake, Zanon, just listen to yourself - once again you giver credence to what JOHN BOLTON tells you that Putin is saying, as if he has any authority to speak on Putin's behalf.

Here's a hint: Bolton has no authority whatsoever to put words in Putin's mouth.

Zanon: "I wonder if Liberman will say the same to Putin the coming days?"

I wonder why anyone would think that anything that Liberman says is worth anything.

But what I do know is that whatever Liberman will say AFTER that a meeting will bear absolutely no relation to what was said IN the meeting.

As in: Liberman will insist on pushing his agenda no matter how much that agenda is a odds with what is discussed between Bolton and Putin.

Kinda' like Bolton will do, only Liberman will do it with a Moldovan accent.

The Russians do not claim to be able to speak on behalf of Trump.
So why do you insist on pretending that Bolton or Liberman speak for Putin?

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Aug 20, 2018 10:14:16 AM | 75

Press review: Can US, Israel pull Russia away from Iran and the Taliban is going to Moscow

Given all of this, the US and Israel have actually made a suggestion to Russia ahead of the upcoming meeting between Bolton and Patrushev to stop supporting Tehran, who remains Moscow’s ally of convenience in Syria. However, it is still unclear what Moscow may get in return, apart from resumed contacts between the Russian and US national security councils. More: http://tass.com/pressreview/1017965

Also,
Bolton Expected To Meet With Poroshenko On Friday - Ukraines Ambassador To US
https://www.urdupoint.com/en/world/bolton-expected-to-meet-with-poroshenko-on-fr-415349.html

Posted by: Zanon | Aug 21, 2018 7:00:24 AM | 76

@76 OK, so we are finally getting somewhere. Because with his two links Zanon is ADMITTING that Russia has not colluded with either the USA nor Israel to expel Iran completely from Syria.

Yet Zanon has gone on and on and on and on about how the Russians have ALREADY agreed with either the USA or Israel or both that Russia will stab Iran in the back (Q: Why? A: Zanon alone knows, and he isn't sharing...). It is, as Zanon has said over and over and over again, already a done-deal.

"Given all of this, the US and Israel have actually made a suggestion to Russia ahead of the upcoming meeting between Bolton and Patrushev to stop supporting Tehran, who remains Moscow’s ally of convenience in Syria. However, it is still unclear what Moscow may get in return, apart from resumed contacts between the Russian and US national security councils."

Oh, OK, so it isn't a done deal.
It isn't an already-agreed-upon fate accompli.

Indeed, it appears that Zanon now accepts that this is a leap into the dark by Bolton.
Apparently Zanon accepts that there is no discernible reason why Russia should agree.

Progress of sorts, I suppose..

Look, Zanon, I do not dispute for one second that Bolton and Trump and Netanyahu and Liberman all are obsessed about getting Iran out of Syria, nor am I under any illusion that they will harp on and on and on about it every single time they meet any Russian of any importance.

But that THEY want Russia to agree to shaft the Iranians does not mean that the RUSSIANS have agreed to do that.

They haven't. They have no reason to. Everything that you quote is just wish-fulfilment and self-projection from a western or Israeli perspective. None of it suggests that Russia shares those wishes, nor that the Russians think they could achieve that goal even if they shared it.

Which, btw, they don't.


Posted by: Yeah, Right | Aug 21, 2018 8:07:15 AM | 77

More evidence of the appeasement Russia commit itself to on Israel/US, but what are they getting back? Nothing:

BREAKING: US Blocks Russian Assets Worth of Thousands of Millions of Dollars - Treasury
https://sputniknews.com/us/201808211067363728-us-sanctions-russia/

I wouldnt be surprised if Netanyahu post another video after Putin/Bolton once again trying to save Israel's stance.

Israel: Netanyahu thanks Putin and Trump for their expressions of support in Helsinki
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFgDHAatMEM

Posted by: Zanon | Aug 21, 2018 10:15:47 AM | 78

@78 vs @76 Zanon, I'm getting mighty sick of the flip-flopping from you.

A simple question: Has Vladimir Putin
(a) already clinched to an agreement with USA and/or Israel to eject Iran from Syria?
(b) told his emissary to meet Bolton to discuss a US offer that Russia eject Iran from Syria?

Which one is it, (a) or (b)?

Because, apparently, it is one or the other depending upon your whims, the time of day, and whatever news article you happen to come across in your desperate search for evidence - any evidence whatsoever, however threadbare - from anyone of authority in the Russian government that / they intend to / are in the process of / stabbing the Iranians in the back.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Aug 21, 2018 5:54:54 PM | 79

Hopefully soon Yankee go home! Turkish citizens demand expulsion of US troops from Incirlik Air Base

Posted by: PeacefulProsperity | Aug 21, 2018 10:27:23 PM | 80

Great news, hopefully true but still too early before the Bolton/Putin meeting:

Trump Aide Bolton: Putin Told U.S. He Can't Get Iranian Forces Out of Syria
https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/russia-could-not-bring-about-pull-out-of-iran-from-syria-1.6408383

Posted by: Zanon | Aug 22, 2018 4:12:46 AM | 81

The command of the Islamist coalition "National Liberation Army" ("Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham" / "Jabhat Al-Nusra"), the "National Liberation Front" and the "Syrian Liberation Front" openly announce preparations for offensive actions against government forces and refusal from any dialogue on the political settlement of the conflict. This was reported by the Ministry of Defense of Russia. The plan for the offensive operation of the gangs became known to intelligence - photo (in Russian).

It is planned to attack Aleppo and the region of Abu-Duhur, as well as Hama area.

Source.

Posted by: alaff | Aug 22, 2018 3:00:04 PM | 82

It is getting beyond belief reading Zanon's schizoid posts. He goes from
@76 Bolton Will Make An Offer The Russians Can't Refuse to
@78 Russia Has Already Committed Itself To Do What Bolton Wants to
@81 Let Us Hope The Russia Refuses The Offer That Bolton Will Put To Them.

So, honestly, Zanon, which is it?
(A) Is Russia already committed to ejecting Iran from Syria?
(B) Bolton intends a sexy fan-dance to seduce the Russians away from Iran?

It can't be both.

Your claim that the Russians have/will double-cross Iran can't be simultaneously past-tense and future-tense.

Here's my prediction for this meeting...
Bolton: IRAN'S PRESENCE IN SYRIA IS UNACCEPTABLE! UTTERLY UNACCEPTABLE!
(Russia meets the USA half-way)
Patrushev: Well, we too find the Iranians unpleasant. They are without humour, with a distressing tendency to smash all the Vodka bottles at parties.

Bolton: SO YOU AGREE TO FORCE IRAN OUT OF SYRIA! GOOD! GOOD!
(Russia meets the USA half-way)
Patrushev: Well, no, because it isn't our country. We're happy to convey your wishes to Assad. You never know, he might even agree.

Bolton: SO WE HAVE AN AGREEMENT! GOOD! GOOD!
(Russia meets the USA half-way)
Patrushev: Well, we agree to pass on your list of demands so, yes, an agreement. But I think you will find that Assad says no.

That will be the meeting, in its essence.

Bolton will come out of it claiming that Russia has agreed to eject Iran from Syria.
The Russians will say they did not agree to that, if they say anything at all.
And the Iranians don't go anywhere, much to Netanyahu's continued apoplexy.

You will accept Bolton's false claim at face value and so you will slander the Russians.
I will point out that the Iranians haven't left, so Bolton's claim can't be true.

Rinse. Repeat.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Aug 22, 2018 6:37:20 PM | 83

Bolton: Joint US-Russian effort may be necessary to remove Iran from Syria
https://www.i24news.tv/en/news/international/182371-180822-bolton-joint-us-russian-effort-may-be-necessary-to-remove-iran-from-syria

This is also what we will probably see the coming days.

Also,

Bolton: EU has to choose between Iran and US
http://www.iran-daily.com/News/220211.html

On this issue, for Russia its like "Bolton: Russia has to choose between Iran and US."

Posted by: Zanon | Aug 23, 2018 4:30:55 AM | 84

I'll comment in passing that Zanon's linked article @84 is merely a warmed-over regurgitation of his linked article @81, so the latter adds nothing that Zanon hadn't already attempted to insinuate in the former.

And what, exactly, is Zanon attempting to insinuate?

Hard to tell now, because not only has he become very coy, he has become so inconsistent that he is well-nigh incoherent.

Zanon, dude, here is a simple question: do you finally admit that Russia has not at any stage committed itself to the ejection of Iranians from Syria?

Because I would suggest that the plain English interpretation of Bolton's words make that an inescapable conclusion, since Bolton is openly admitting that the very purpose of his visit to Moscow is to convince the Russians to enter into just such a commitment.

QED: If Bomber Bolton has to convince Russia to commit then, obviously, that must mean that no such commitment has been given, now or in the past.

Zanon: "On this issue, for Russia its like 'Bolton: Russia has to choose between Iran and US.' "

Well, gosh, that's easy: Iran, dude.

Iran is an ally in Syria.
USA is an opponent in Syria.

Iranian soldiers are willing to fight and die alongside Russian soldiers.
US officials keep insisting on slapping more sanctions on Moscow.


Sort of a no-brainer, that one. And especially so when you consider that Putin doesn't rule Syria, Assad does. And Assad rather likes having his Iranian friends around.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Aug 23, 2018 6:07:22 AM | 85

As expected:

Breaking: John Bolton touts ‘considerable progress’ after 5-hour US-Russia security meeting
https://www.rt.com/news/436684-bolton-patrushev-geneva-talks/

Posted by: Zanon | Aug 23, 2018 1:46:11 PM | 86

@86 As Zanon expected: "Breaking: John Bolton touts ‘considerable progress’ after 5-hour US-Russia security meeting"

As the first paragraph actually admitted: "US National Security Advisor John Bolton said talks with Russian counterpart Nikolay Patrushev will help “restore lines of communication” between Moscow and Washington, BUT THE TWO SIDES COULDN'T AGREE ON A JOINT STATEMENT".

Soooo, no agreement, heh?

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Aug 23, 2018 5:58:15 PM | 87

@86 Hey, Zanon, did you actually listen to Bolton's presser?

The bit you need to listen to is at 14:40 - 16:30 minutes.

It blows your argument out of the water, because Bolton admits that the two sides got stuck at this point:
(1)Bolton is demanding all Iranians completely out of Syria
(2)Patrushev is offering some Iranian no-go areas in exchange for the cancellation of oil sanctions on Iran.

Or, what I said: Bolton is demanding that the Russians surrender to US diktats to shaft the Iranians, while Patrushev refuses to do so and instead is acting as an emissary of the Iranians.

Bolton actually admitted that to the assembled press.

Honestly, Zanon, what's the point of posting a video link if you don't actually watch it yourself?

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Aug 23, 2018 6:17:05 PM | 88

Russia bargin with Bolton on Iran:

US President Donald Trump’s national security adviser on Thursday said the White House had rejected a Russian proposal to put off sanctions on Iran’s oil sector in exchange for a rollback of Iranian forces in Syria, despite Israeli calls for an immediate withdrawal.
https://www.timesofisrael.com/bolton-says-us-rejected-halting-iran-sanctions-for-rollback-in-syria/

Posted by: Zanon | Aug 24, 2018 4:29:01 AM | 89

@89 Zanon: "Russia bargin with Bolton on Iran"

Well, you were close.

The better description is that Russia bargains with Bolton ON BEHALF OF Iran.

Bolton himself admits this in his presser, he is quite open in stating that the offer that Russia put to him is essentially the same deal that was offered via European intermediaries.

What? Sorry? You never bothered to actually view the press conference, even though you linked to it in your post @86 ?

Really? So why bother commenting on something that you haven't actually looked at?

Here's a tip: stop letting Times of Israel or Russia Today do your thinking for you, go straight to the twisted words of Bonkers Bolton.

The man is certifiable, but at least you are getting it straight from the horse's mouth.
Or from the horse's arse, but w.r.t. Bolton that is a distinction without a difference.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Aug 24, 2018 7:37:22 AM | 90

Everyone Wants to Get Iran Out of Syria. But No One Knows How to Do It
https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/iran/.premium-everyone-wants-to-get-iran-out-of-syria-but-no-one-knows-how-to-do-it-1.6412030

Posted by: Zanon | Aug 24, 2018 10:55:32 AM | 91

@91 So, you agree that Russia has not committed itself to a conspiracy with Israel to eject Iran from Syria, correct?

So what have you been doing all these weeks?

That “everyone” (except Assad, who is actually the only opinion that matters) might “want” Iran to leave Syria is a big fat nothing.

After all,
Putin wants Trump to stop sanctioning Russia.
Netanyahu wants everyone to recognise Israeli sovereignty over the Golan.
Trump wants Putin to hand Crimea over to the Ukraine.
Xi wants Trump to stop making a fuss over the Spratley Islands.

If wishes were horses we’d all be kings but, so sorry, Putin is not the King of Syria and he knows that even if you pretend otherwise.

You have been wrong all these weeks, and you continue to be wrong, because however Putin might “want” an Iran-free Syria he is never going to agree to lift a finger to force that to happen, nor will he agree to let anyone else to force that outcome.

Putin did not inject Russia back into the Middle East only to ruin all that hard work by mimicking Perfidious Albion.
He wants Russia to be regarded as steadfast, reliable, and consistent. And you don’t achieve that by back-stabbing an ally.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Aug 24, 2018 7:39:37 PM | 92

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