Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 25, 2014

A Too Complicated Game: Obama's Deals With The Saudis And Al-Nusra

According to the Wall Street Journal Obama made a deal with the Saudis. They will lend legitimacy for his attacks against the Islamic State and AlQaeda in Syria (aka Jabhat al-Nusra) and he will later overthrow the Syrian government under president Assad. Like the Saudi prince Bandar, who nutured the Jihadists, was ousted over it, but is now back in the deal, the neocon editors of The Economist are doing victory jumps. They managed to get the U.S. back into their war. Hurray!

But as I understand it Obama's part of the deal is supposed come only later. It will take a year to train the "moderate, vetted" insurgents in Saudi Arabia and only when those are ready, and Obama a lame duck, may such action start (or not). U.S. voters know very well that Obama always keeps his promises (not). A year can be a quite a long time and who knows what will happen in between.

The urgency of the deal with the Saudis may have come because some folks felt a time-critical need to attack the al-Qaeda (Jabhat al-Nusra) leadership in Syria. It may also have come from the low polls of Obama's leadership and his need to keep the Senate in the hands of Democrats after Novembers election. The second reason seems more likely.

To justify the hit on the leadership group it had to be differentiated from the ""the moderate Jihadis" al-Nusra organization with which there is cooperation on other issues. The "Khorasan" group was invented and a FUD campaign launched to justify the attack. The U.S. media predictably ate it all up and propagandized every fearmongering bit of what "officials said" about Khorasan. Only after the attack has taken place are doubts allowed to be aired:

Several of Mr. Obama’s aides said Tuesday that the airstrikes against the Khorasan operatives were launched to thwart an “imminent” terrorist attack, possibly using concealed explosives to blow up airplanes. But other American officials said that the plot was far from mature, and that there was no indication that Khorasan had settled on a time or location for the attack — or even on the exact method of carrying out the plot.

Some speculation: Jabhat al-Nusra is a nominal part of the al-Qaeda organization. It was led by al-Qaeda veterans who had been fighting in AfPak but came to Syria when the insurgency started. The U.S. relabeled these veterans the "Khorasan" group to have some reason to separately eliminate them. Their replacement may well turn out to be local men currently leading the groups in southern Syria and willing to further cooperate with USrael. A new version of the moderate cuddly homegrown al-Qaeda ploy.

The whole game played within the various proxy wars within the current Syriraq war is becoming increasingly complicate. I would not be astonished to see Obama throw the towel on this whole affair. After the November election he may well say "enough" and just leave the chaos behind him.

Posted by b on September 25, 2014 at 12:45 PM | Permalink

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Everything about this situation has a ramshackle tentativeness about it, as though the people who are executing the agenda of whoever sets that agenda are flying by the seats of their pants. The US objective remains fixed on the removal of the Baathist regime in Damascus, so as to exploit the opportunity to stick it to the Russians over gas sales to Europe. How they're going about it, however, smacks of clumsy desperation, particularly when one observes the absolute inanity of Cameron trying to bring the Brits onboard for the bombing portion of our program... On the other hand, it could be that IS is being cultivated for other more nefarious purposes on the homefront -- where they have no presence or operational capability, but are nevertheless being built up as some menacing and imminent threat. Some operators behind the scenes may find it expedient to make good on the threats, in order not to devalue the product (terrorism) as a popular brand. As events lurch from one catastrophe to the next, the question is, what's the eventual destination?

Posted by: Hugo First | Sep 25, 2014 1:04:31 PM | 1

I imagine that if ISIS is defanged in Iraq, the US will find a way to create a new "color revolution" in order to put Sunnis back in control, maybe get a nice, somewhat maleable strong man in control. Just like the old days, before Saddam got all uppity and all.

I see ISIS as being used against the Shiite government (and voters) of Iraq and to also destroy a stable Syria and then take out Assad.

The US does not seem to cotton much to those Shiites....especially if Iran stays strong. Maybe they would be more acceptable if the Kurds take the north of Iraq and its oil and if Syria becomes a Sunni controlled society and government. Get the Syrian Kurds into a "Kurdistan"? Find a way to break up Syria, and thus allowing Israel to make even more illegal land (and water) grabs. Anyway, Shiite governments must be weak and easily controlled, plus surrounded by Sunni states who show some respect for the hegemon. Then they can be permitted to "govern."

The US is not just the hegemon, the meanest dog in the junkyard, but Numero Uno rogue nation. What a mess my government is making. Land grabs for Israel; energy grabs and rights to pipelines for the Powers That Be. Money, money, money; it's a rich man's game.

Posted by: jawbone | Sep 25, 2014 1:32:56 PM | 2

Hugo @1 I partly agree with you, but in my opinion the removal of Assad would not be to spite Russia, rather to put pressure on Syria's allies the so called "arc of extremism" Hez,Iraq and Iran, with Hez having enemies all round it, Nasrallah was right to say an Islamist win in Syria was an existential threat to Hezbollah. By the way I enjoyed your book 'The Haunted House'

Posted by: harry law | Sep 25, 2014 1:41:02 PM | 3

@ b

Anyone remembers this:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics-live/liveblog/the-houses-syria-hearing-live-updates/?id=e68f139f-e012-476c-876e-2467ba30e5e3

We are back to 1991 when the s of Papa Bush went to collect $66 B from the Saudi King.

Posted by: Yul | Sep 25, 2014 1:55:41 PM | 4

America’s “Game” of Wars and Interventions

http://journal-neo.org/2014/09/25/america-s-game-of-wars-and-interventions/

Posted by: ALAN | Sep 25, 2014 1:55:46 PM | 5

Thus these comments from General Dempsey make sense after all:

http://www.stripes.com/news/us/dempsey-order-to-attack-militants-in-syria-came-soon-after-coalition-formed-1.304699
Dempsey said that the first Arab government told U.S. officials that they would participate in attacks on Syria “within the last 72 hours” and that once that occurred, the other four soon promised to participate. He would not identify which country was the first to back the U.S. airstrikes.

“Once we had one of them on board the others followed quickly thereafter,” he said

Posted by: Yul | Sep 25, 2014 2:00:13 PM | 6

I think the dynamite is that they have been mostly keeping silent on the hostage taking since 2012. I think there has been a blackout by Western governments and media - because "their" rebels took hostages.

The list of hostages also contains Western aid workers, but most nongovernmental organizations refuse to discuss how many they have working in the region and who might be missing. ACTED, the French charity for which David Haines worked, would not comment on whether any other hostages had been taken alongside him.

This here is a German hostage no one talked about before Foley. Just a naive guy trying to help.

Foreign offices must be sitting on a lot of cases of people still in Syria. I would not be surprised if - despite bombing - a lot of people are desperately negotiating with the Islamic State.

In the case of aid and UN organisations you wonder about the responsibility for people being sent to Syria.

This here from 2013

One particular factor about the hostages in Syria is that the abductors tend not to seek any particular political or financial demands for their return. Every once in a while, and it takes a long while, they will announce that a certain hostage is in good health. Otherwise, it seems as though the governments, the media and the families of the hostages foremost, prefer silence.

There is a general impression that the jihadist organizations are in contact with officials but are not willing to negotiate for the hostages’ releases. One Syrian journalist said the approach is as if the jihadist organizations are “stockpiling” hostages because they will be useful for them someday. Reports claim that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant is collecting hostages by taking them from other groups of abductors.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 25, 2014 2:09:02 PM | 7

from a Spencer Ackemnan tweet-Seems significant that US is willing to attack Syrian oil refineries in ISIS control but not (yet?) Iraqi oil infrastructure in ISIS control

Posted by: Dan | Sep 25, 2014 2:10:11 PM | 8

See also Chinahand's (Peter Lee) speculation on the issue.

Saudi Arabia Switches to Plan B for IS and Syria

If, as I’ve previously speculated, Saudi Arabia formed a protective alliance with Israel to shield KSA from America’s righteous post-9/11 wrath (and keep the notorious 28 pages bottled up), letting Israel take the more conspicuous role in the anti-Assad tag team would be expected.

At the same time, it’s not an Arab Spring, but there might a Theocratic Autumn and a change in Saudi-Iranian relations, supporting the idea that the Kingdom has decided to put its Wahabbi-Troskyite permanent global revolution against the Shi’a on hold in order to pursue some regional power horse-trading with Iran--especially since the US attempt at rapprochement with Iran seems to be gaining some momentum, in part thanks to the accurate perception that Iran is serious about doing something about IS, while Saudi Arabia is not.
...

Posted by: b | Sep 25, 2014 2:13:07 PM | 9

"moderate, vetted"..... this is the 'tired' sales spin the usa wants to give it's hired mercenary force, there is nothing "moderate,or vetted" about regime change and bombing syria without consent from the UN.. i don't expect obama to be honest at the UN, but the huge distance between his words and the reality of usa actions are on display for anyone capable of paying attention...

saudi arabia, qatar and israel - usa's friends in the neighboorhood.. that speaks of a complete lack of integrity right there doesn't it? but, must get the gas line running from qatar out to the sea and syria/assad is in the way.. just look to usa leadership on the topic of iraq for guidance on what is unfolding here.. it is like a re-occurring nightmare thanks that exceptional nation that make a regular habit of lying publicly..

Posted by: james | Sep 25, 2014 2:16:28 PM | 10

OT, nevertheless:
EU plans for Iran gas imports if sanctions go
By Jonathan Saul and Henning Gloystein

LONDON Wed Sep 24, 2014 2:03pm BST


(Reuters) - The European Union is quietly increasing the urgency of a plan to import natural gas from Iran, as relations with Tehran thaw while those with top gas supplier Russia grow chillier.

Two "ifs" - the removal of sanctions on Iran and the addition of some pipeline infrastructure - are not preventing EU planners preparing, a European Commission source involved in developing EU energy strategy told Reuters.

"Iran is far towards the top of our priorities for mid-term measures that will help reduce our reliance on Russian gas supplies," the source said. "Iran's gas could come to Europe quite easily and politically there is a clear rapprochement between Tehran and the West."

Russia is currently Europe's biggest supplier of natural gas, meeting a third of its demand worth $80 billion (£48.7 billion) a year. The EU has imposed sanctions on Moscow over the conflict in Ukraine, increasing the need for gas from elsewhere.

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/09/24/uk-eu-iran-gas-idUKKCN0HJ17820140924

Posted by: okie farmer | Sep 25, 2014 2:16:39 PM | 11

Complicated means no real change to the status quo.

Little by little the US has taught saner players the strategy of divide and conquer. They've learned, and now we have Military vs. CIA vs. State Dept. in the Middle East.

Add weak leadership in the White House to the mix and nut boys among our allies and you get perfect conditions for another complicated long war that accomplishes exactly nothing.

Posted by: SingingSam | Sep 25, 2014 2:19:40 PM | 12

"The United States believes it has identified the masked Islamic State militant who murdered two kidnapped American journalists in separate videotaped beheadings, FBI chief James Comey said Thursday."

Why would it make this announcement???

Posted by: georgeg | Sep 25, 2014 2:25:52 PM | 13

AngryArab posted this today:

Suddenly, this week, the New York Times dutifully carried an article based on administration claims about this horrific terrorist organization called Khorasan. This article in As-Safir exposes the lies of the US administration: that there is no such thing as Khorasan: and those who are referred to as leaders of Khorasan are in fact none other than leaders of Nusrah Front. Khorasan merely refers to Al-Qa`idah operatives and cadres dispatched by Ayman Dhadawhiri to join Nusrah Front. The reason why the US suddenly declared the existence of this organization is to create a fake distinction between it and between Nurrah Front which is a close allies of its "moderate Syrian rebels" and to members of the American coalition of loyal Arab states.

PS Nusrah Front a few hours ago confirmed that no such organization exists.

Posted by: ToivoS | Sep 25, 2014 2:27:26 PM | 14


http://english.almanar.com.lb/adetails.php?eid=172896&frid=23&seccatid=14&cid=23&fromval=1
Iranian strategic expert Dr. Mohammad Sadeq al-Husseini warned against the anti-ISIL US-led coalition, stressing that such move is a “plan B” by the United States to return to the region “from another gate”.

During a visit to al-Manar Website on Wednesday, the Iranian analyst and writer said that Washington has been suffering several setbacks in the region.

He noted that the US has been mulling alternative plans in order to hide its loss and the latest maneuver in this context is the international coalition against ISIL.

Posted by: okie farmer | Sep 25, 2014 2:32:13 PM | 15

I would not be astonished to see Obama throw the towel on this whole affair.

is that german humor?

Posted by: john | Sep 25, 2014 2:37:29 PM | 16

I would not be astonished to see Obama throw the towel on this whole affair. After the November election he may well say "enough" and just leave the chaos behind him.

And if that happens, the Saudis and the neocons will just wait--and pray--for a Hillary victory in 2016. Then they'll be back in business.

Posted by: Seamus Padraig | Sep 25, 2014 2:39:17 PM | 17

Posted by: georgeg | Sep 25, 2014 2:25:52 PM | 13

Because that video/those images really made it to people's gut. It is election time and the Democrats are about to loose the Senate. The US now is doing something they tried to avoid last year - getting sucked into the fight - and this year effectively in support of Assad.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 25, 2014 2:40:32 PM | 18

Does anyone believe that Putin will look the other way and twiddle his thumbs if the US and/or it's allies get serious about taking out Assad?

While Putin may not intervene directly, it's safe to assume that he is covertly providing aid to Syria and will continue to do so. The claim is that Syria's air defenses are weak but Putin could change that very quickly if the need arose.

I'm not seeing anything good coming out of this, unless you are a Zionist, in which case the longer the Syrian conflict drags on and the more Arabs get killed, the better.

Posted by: Dan Lynch | Sep 25, 2014 3:14:51 PM | 19

Good points from The War Nerd about the 'Dog That Hasn't Barked'...why Israel loves IS and is helping it:

http://pando.com/2014/09/24/the-war-nerd-bombs-away-in-the-middle-east-but-why-is-israel-so-quiet/

"Nobody ever seems to mention it, but the supposedly fearsome IS now owns the ground right under Israel’s Golan Heights fortifications, after moving in in June 2014 when the weary SAA, tired of being shelled by the IDF, moved out.

So IS has been in place right there on Israel’s border for months now—and there’s been no attack from Israel. Yes, folks, you might actually get the impression that the Israelis—who know a thing or two about threat assessment—just don’t take IS very seriously."

"The Israeli view seems to be that only the Shia forces—the SAA, Hezbollah, and above all their patron Iran—are serious threats. Meanwhile, they’ve been treating Sunni jihadi militias like IS like de facto allies, never once attacking Sunni militias dug in just below the Golan Heights."

Posted by: OldSkeptic | Sep 25, 2014 3:23:05 PM | 20

I agree that Obama is most likely strutting around, talking tough because of the upcoming election. But what a way to motivate the base, which is tired of war! If Obama thinks that this will bring out Democrats, he has really lost touch with reality.

Rather than throw in the towel, I would bet that Obama doubles down on doing "stupid stuff" while he's a lame duck. The delusional leader probably thinks that this will be the only way to establish a legacy, which is currently non-existent, except as the "first black President and the man who was present during two terms."

The man is such an empty suit that he'll do anything that the "experts," defense contractors, and lobbyists tell him to do in the hope of having something to show for his lost decade.

Posted by: JohnH | Sep 25, 2014 3:46:29 PM | 21

re 20. It's not IS on the Golan but Jabhat al-Nusra, but the rest of the War Nerd's remarks you cite are correct.

I was going to bring up the Jabha and its relationship with Israel because there's a central issue here that nobody has brought up. I've had a lot to do recently, so I haven't had time to talk about it. That is Yarmouk camp in Damascus. It is Jabhat al-Nusra which is sitting in it holding off the Syrian govt forces, while being partly starved. Given that the Palestinians don't like the al-Nusra fighters and would like to be rid of them, and go back to being more or less pals with Asad, you really have to ask what are the Nusra fighters doing there, imprisoning the remaining Palestinians and starving them?

There's really only one answer, and that is that Israel has put Jabhat al-Nusra up to it. Yarmouk is a successful secret creation of another Gaza, where Palestinians are being slowly exterminated, without anybody seeing what is happening. Netanyahu is obsessed with disposing of Palestinians in any way possible; they are not to be left alive.

It's the only logic, and the contextual circumstantial evidence is now becoming plenty that there is a relationship between JN and Israel. There's no cleverer trick than to get the locals to do your genociding for you - Sabra and Shatila are the witness.

Posted by: Alexno | Sep 25, 2014 4:00:29 PM | 22

The cosmetic IS bombings in Syria are a face saver for the US in exchange for de-escalation with Russia.
Cunning Lavrov has disciplined the spoiled brats for the second time in just a year.

De-escalation signs:
EU contemplates removal of sanctions.
Qatar says their gas is no competition for Russia's.
Porky expects lasting peace.

Case closed.

(until the next brilliant neocon plan).


Posted by: Heinz | Sep 25, 2014 4:20:08 PM | 23

Great post, b!
The Leveretts have been harping about the repulsively malodorous recklessness of US Foreign Policy for months. Considering America's demonstrated visceral hatred of 99% of Humanity, it'll probably become fashionable to refer to US foreign policy as simply 'Alien Policy' - the 'US' tag having been rendered superfluous.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 25, 2014 4:42:42 PM | 24

@ Heinz

fascists only relinquish power when it is pried from their cold, dead hands.

Posted by: john | Sep 25, 2014 4:46:47 PM | 25

A falling stockmarket might get their attention. All this war talk makes investors nervous. Presumably the editors at the Economist have gone short.

Posted by: dh | Sep 25, 2014 4:54:55 PM | 26

b: "Obama throw in the towel"
Hehe... I think many would simply say that he'll do as he's told.

b @ #9: KSA-Iran rapproachment
I don't see this happening because too much has been invested in what looks increasingly like a covert proxy war (NATO/Sunni vs. SCO/Shia). Of course we are all supposed too afraid to reach such a conclusion. Seems like we are swamped with disinformation:

- Empire of chaos (as though there is no point)

- 'Obama is weak' (forcing him to act strong)

- West is befuddled (plays into the fear aspect)

- etc.

Welcome any comments.

And, along these lines, why do so many believe that Obama is bucking the neocons to make peace with Iran? The 'peace initiative' time-out has benefits for both sides - which don't require that either side is going to give on major, fundamental issues. And Obama has been very friendly to the neocons otherwise. We are supposed to be believe that on THIS issue he opposes them? C'mon.

=

JohnH (#22) the 'base' may be tired of war but an attack means the Republicans can't say that Democrats are weak.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 25, 2014 5:04:29 PM | 27

Enter the war profiteers:

"A massive, $7.2 billion Army intelligence contract signed just 10 days ago underscores the central role to be played by the National Security Agency and its army of private contractors in the unfolding air war being carried out by the United States and its Gulf States allies against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria."

http://www.salon.com/2014/09/24/heres_who_profits_from_our_new_war_inside_nsa_and_an_army_of_private_contractors_plans/

Posted by: Headache | Sep 25, 2014 5:13:56 PM | 28

Some articles from "The Long War" (http://www.longwarjournal.org/)

- Al Nusrah posted photos supposedly showing the damage done by the US airstrikes.
http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2014/09/al_nusrah_front_post.php

- "ISIS overran a military basis near Fallujah"
http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2014/09/islamic_state_overru_3.php

- The Houthi (a shiite sect in Yemen) sweep Yemen. One less sock puppet less, now in Yemen ?
http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2014/09/houthi_rebels_sweep.php

Posted by: Willy2 | Sep 25, 2014 5:22:31 PM | 29

chaos is all USrael wants.
Just like Libya, destroy all success stories leaving israel the sole power and intact 'state in the region. America the Good meets islam the religion of peace. What a pairing.

Posted by: brian | Sep 25, 2014 6:12:50 PM | 30

Posted by: john | Sep 25, 2014 4:46:47 PM | 25

technically thats only one line!

Posted by: brian | Sep 25, 2014 6:13:23 PM | 31

Posted by: Dan Lynch | Sep 25, 2014 3:14:51 PM | 19


unlikely
Because Russia knows any attempt to enter the fray will be taken up by every jackass journalist from Aarchen to Ypsilanti as an eg of Russian belligerence, while Sweet Obama is promoted as the bringer of peace and democracy to the benighted arabs.

and the mass of media consumers will believe it.

Posted by: brian | Sep 25, 2014 6:17:31 PM | 32

Posted by: john | Sep 25, 2014 2:37:29 PM | 16


no thats a one liner
one liners are verboten

Posted by: brian | Sep 25, 2014 6:19:13 PM | 33

'its Wahabbi-Troskyite permanent global revolution '


what is a 'Wahabbi-Troskyite permanent global revolution'? are the wahabis seeking a global revolution? (doubt it) or is that more theatre like the alleged and public killings of americans?

Posted by: brian | Sep 25, 2014 6:22:32 PM | 34

'E | Resistance ‏@ResistanceER ·58s
BREAKING NEWS
#Hezbollah conduct large ambush in AlSarkht #Qalamoun Rural #Damascus resulting in a large number of dead militants #Syria

it seems the war on syria has once again drawn in hezbollah, noe active in rural Damascus. Pity we dont learn where all these militants are coming from or why they are there. But they keep coming: an endless stream of killers.

Posted by: brian | Sep 25, 2014 6:25:45 PM | 35

USA always makes a bad situation worse:

Dylan ‏@ProSyriana ·Sep 24
Hi #USA, here r your moderate rebels shouting "We're all AlNusra Front" in support with Jihadists against you. #Syria pic.twitter.com/cm6HumbZe8

it turns out 'were all alnusra now'! As the muslims street uses the US 'intervention' to ratchet up moer support for the war on secular syria.

Posted by: brian | Sep 25, 2014 6:29:21 PM | 36

brian, #31 & #33

Are you purposely trying to egg on b to ban you? If so why? Please desist. I for one don’t want to see you get banned but if I were b, you would be by now. A witness to b’s generosity. Ego’s sometimes get bruised. Take it in stride and remain here and continue to contribute. Thank you.

Posted by: juannie | Sep 25, 2014 6:35:11 PM | 37

who make up the islamic emirate...according to Thierry Meyssan..surprisingly a lot of non-arabs, indicating IS is a run up for a jihad against russia and china:

'While Western public opinion is fed information about the constitution of a purported international coalition to fight against the "Islamic Emirate", the latter changes shape discreetly. Its principal officers are no longer Arab, but Georgian and Chinese. For Thierry Meyssan, this mutation shows that NATO ultimately intends to use the "Islamic Emirate" in Russia and in China. Therefore, both countries must act now against the jihadists before they return to sow chaos in their countries of origin.''
http://www.voltairenet.org/article185364.html

Posted by: brian | Sep 25, 2014 6:47:39 PM | 38

Posted by: juannie | Sep 25, 2014 6:35:11 PM | 37

sure thing Juannie...i just object to people threatening me.
and to make this 2 lines, it doesnt do Bs reputation any good to be making theats

Posted by: brian | Sep 25, 2014 6:49:35 PM | 39

No one yet comes close to providing a coherent reason for what's transpiring. In fact, you're all over the map and just making shit up as you go along. Maybe that's also the reason for what's transpiring.

It's important to get all the names and places right though, because you want to make it appear like you really know what's going on. In that respect, maybe someone can inform Obama that it's IS or ISIS (for now) and no longer ISIL because he appears silly and out of touch referring to it by its old acronym. Same thing for George Bush Sr. and his pronunciation of Saddam.

Also, it's going to be great fun watching everyone try to spell Khorasan correctly let alone pronounce it properly. It reminds me of the days when the late infamous leader of Libya made global headlines in the 70's and no one knew how to pronounce or spell his name and they still don't even though he's no longer with us — or against us.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Sep 25, 2014 6:51:08 PM | 40

@40 thank you Coleen for trying to inject some sanity back into the comments. As Guidjieff said: For there is no friend like a sister in calm or stormy weather; To cheer one on the tedious way, to fetch one if one goes astray, to lift one if one totters down, ...

Posted by: Nana2007 | Sep 25, 2014 7:29:43 PM | 41

brian,

Not to belabor but;

request, not threat?

b’s reputation goes back to approx. 1993. I don’t think his eventual and inevitable lack of forbearance will deflate that at this point.

I'm rooting for you, really.

Posted by: juannie | Sep 25, 2014 7:49:40 PM | 42

I think NPR had an interview today that sheds some light on the importance of the term "Khorasan". It seems that this term refers to foreign cadre that have joined Nusra as pointed out by the Angry Arab as noted at #14 above. I heard on NPR radio today an interview with a FSA spokesman (or maybe one of their apologist in some Washington "think" tank). Anyway he made a big point distinguishing ISIS from Nusra. The difference being that ISIS is made up of foreign fighters while Nusra consists of native Syrians. "Khorasan" is a convenient redefinition for those Nusra forces who came from abroad. Hence the NPR apologist could say with a straight face that Nusra consists of Syrians, having just defined all of its foreign cadre as "Khorasan" even though they all work together in a single organization.

Posted by: ToivoS | Sep 25, 2014 8:18:11 PM | 43

@TovioS "a FSA spokesman"

When I hear the term FSA, I reach for this link...

The Free Syrian Army Doesn’t Exist
http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/the-free-syrian-army-doesnt-exist/

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 25, 2014 8:47:46 PM | 44

@SingingSam: perfect conditions for another complicated long war that accomplishes exactly nothing.

Well put. It bears repeating again and again, with the only minor quibble being that our "nothing" means their "everything", doesn't it...

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 25, 2014 8:55:14 PM | 45

@JackRabbit

I do feel a distinct tension on this subject - the US seems to be dangling an awful lot of carrots in from of Iran these days including the mentioned gas for Europe. Of course we've also seen the Foreign Minister of Iran make a US speaking tour. And there have been many overtures over Iraq, it seems.

There is a tension between those Israel firsters who seek to destroy Iran at all costs, and those ZBig-ites (if it sounds like a nasty dose of something potentially fatal, that's because it is) who want to go after Russia. Iran is the lynchpin to the whole SCO too - the basic concept anyway. Without Iran, China and Russia are greatly diminished strategically.

Anyway, I'm not saying you're wrong, I'm just saying- keep an eye on this one. The Iranians would have to be utter fools to go for it.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 25, 2014 9:00:30 PM | 46

@45. It accomplishes a lot- refurbishing the death machine.

Posted by: Nana2007 | Sep 25, 2014 9:03:19 PM | 47

Posted by: ToivoS | Sep 25, 2014 8:18:11 PM | 43

Oh, the "Khorasan group" is such a transparent attempt to move the conversation back to Iran. That "fighting terrorism" is so ambiguous, Cameron made that clear in his UN speech by accusing Iran as sponsor of terrorism.
It is just a very small step back to the axis of evil.
It is pot calling kettle black.
They have already begun connecting Iran with Al Queida forgetting that it was the US who used to "know all these guys".

Posted by: somebody | Sep 25, 2014 9:38:11 PM | 48

plus 48 - this makes me guess that the talks with Iran are not going well.

Obama is in a corner as he cannot announce the failure of the talks without consequences.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 25, 2014 9:48:09 PM | 49

#44 The Free Syrian Army Doesn’t Exist True enough but the FSA is in the process of being resurrected by some spokes people in the US. This is going to be part of the propaganda campaign coming out of the neocon circles. They are also loudly complaining right now that Obama also bombed some Nusra targets in Syria.

I think this Khorasan invention allows the US to bomb Nusra positions without being blamed for attacking Nusra positions. It is a way to attack Al qaida in Syria and avoid neocon attacks that Obama is hitting moderate Syrian rebel positions. I think Obama and especially the US military is fed up with this war in Syria and are looking for a way out. If US coordinated these attacks in Syria via Russia's mediation then it could be that some bigger deal is in the works that includes Ukraine. That assertion is very speculative but it would explain a few seemingly contradictory developments.

Posted by: ToivoS | Sep 25, 2014 10:14:47 PM | 50

American have always shown their inability to deal with 'complicated' political issues. For them it is simple: there are two groups, the "good" one and the "bad" one.
The Syrian government has been the "bad" one and the Syrian rebels have been the "good" one for over three years even though they were already in bed with Al Qaeda. Now it seems that most of the ex-rebels have gone overboard and call themselves ISIS. They have become the "bad" ones. The question for the USA is who are the "good" one in Syria. It can't be the 'cruel' Syrian government, so the USA has come up with a brilliant idea: The creation of a group of 5000 Sunnis Syrian rebels who have not been lured (yet) by Al Qaeda. The USA would weakened ISIS slowly enough to allow these "good" warriors to be fully trained and equipped to face what the Syrian army now again the "bad "one".

This infantile approach will be as successful as it has been in Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen etc...

Posted by: Virgile | Sep 25, 2014 10:23:36 PM | 51

So many moving parts, so little time. It's seemingly just a few more airstrikes in the Middle East....

I would tend to agree w/Jack Rabbit @ 27 and guest77 @ 46-- there's a certain detente btw. Wash, Iran, maybe the Saudis (don't know well enough to say, Wahabism not a progressive force). But still some hardball on nukes. Cooperate where critical, oppose them where it keeps base and/or other elites happy. Reminiscent of Wash. & Moscow back in the later Cold War yrs. Israel I think welcomes the distraction from Gaza & W. Bank. What's Turkey up to, will the Kurds finally get a state as a counterweight?

to brian @ 36

We keep trying to do to secular Syria what we did with secular Afghanistan (back in the 70's) Iraq & Libya.

FWIW, please co-operate w/ "b," I think you do some good work.

Virgile @ 51

Sadly, once again shallow America is deep waters, with storms of our own making.

Did I hear a noise @ 40? Sounded like... someone with no solutions complaining about others solutions, I think. Quiet, maybe we'll hear it again....

Posted by: rufus magister | Sep 25, 2014 11:12:01 PM | 52

Off topic, but so good to see some semi-mainstream satire against the joke of an imperial media we have these days: "The information war for Ukraine" - Satirical German program "Die Anstalt" (Eng Subs). No real comedian would miss the nakedly threadbare Western imperial narrative and the therefore massive opportunities to be really and painfully funny. But nearly all visible 'comedians' in the West aren't actually comics but just more scared middle-class careerist bores who 'must' conform or they might lose their boring middle-class 'comedian' job.

Posted by: fairleft | Sep 25, 2014 11:19:45 PM | 53

Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah Speech
September 23rd 2014
https://t.co/ETdrigDmzR

CLICK CC BUTTON TO ACTIVATE ENGLISH SUBTITLES

Posted by: Abuu Alii | Sep 26, 2014 2:36:48 AM | 54

Fairleft #53
Thanks!! Excellent!

Posted by: Mina | Sep 26, 2014 3:16:10 AM | 55

Excellent article by Paul Craig Roberts: Will Russia and China Hold Their Fire Until War Is the Only Alternative?

Sorry, the link is not coming. Here it is separately:
http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2014/09/25/will-russia-china-hold-fire-war-alternative-paul-craig-roberts/

Posted by: sarz | Sep 26, 2014 3:18:55 AM | 56

@ToivoS.. do you remember the sequence of events leading up to where things are now with regard to libya? i certainly don't. i think it's the same slow process at work here in syria where what looks disconnected is primarily a distraction for those who like looking for rational answers.. the usa's goal is assad's removal.. if they have to think a few moves ahead to get to this place, so be it... breaking up countries and turning them into hell-holes doesn't require a lot of clear intent or rationale.. instead it will appear chaotic and nonsensical.. getting rid of assad remains the focal point of their game here, even if the 'name that terror organization' is the excuse they provide...

@51 Virgile.. it may or may not be a shock to you, but i think some in the us admin think those countries in your list were/are a success.. they are sitting comfortably far removed from the pain and suffering and worse they've caused the people of these same countries.. or even worse - they think they've liberated the people of these countries..

Posted by: james | Sep 26, 2014 3:21:53 AM | 57

Interesting interview by Yvonne Ridley with a leader of Ahrar Al-Sham before his death - minus the speculation, it is clear he does not know who is friend or foe.

This here is the BBC report on the killing of the Islamic Front leadership which shows complete disenchantment with any of them.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 26, 2014 3:24:25 AM | 58

You bet it's not time to summon Egypt or look at what is going on for gays in KSA
http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContentP/1/111702/Egypt/Egypt-sentences-six-men-convicted-of-homosexuality.aspx

Posted by: Mina | Sep 26, 2014 3:27:09 AM | 59

Until the pistachio lobby - i.e. Herzliya <- American Jewish Committee/Jewish Federations <- the Resnicks -> Roll Global -> Paramount Farming - gets pushed back officially, I don't see the official US anti-Iran line changing.

Equally, I wonder if Iran is really so stupid as to trust American promises of allowing Iranian natural gas to Europe - when Qatar seeks to take that carrot, and when Iran already had a signed deal which permits Iranian energy (oil today, NG tomorrow?) to transit into the Russian distribution system, not to mention American companies long-shotting significant LNG sales to Europe.

This all looks like a reprise of the Promise to Russia made in the 90s: do what we say and we'll help you - but in reality, all lies.

Posted by: c1ue | Sep 26, 2014 3:35:56 AM | 60

McClatchy from the rebel side of things

The commanders bitterly criticized the Military Operations Center, saying it plays no part in coordinating rebel forces but instead operates as a service bureau for commanders who arrive with plans in hand. Even after the Islamic State captured Mosul in early June and swept through northern Iraq and then Syria, the MOC did not attempt to organize a joint offensive against the extremists, using the thousands of rebel troops benefiting from the aid it distributes in Syria, commanders said. ... The MOC did not even ask the advice of commanders, said Capt. Ma’amun al Swed, the commander of the Haq Front. Those running the operation “asked us about the existence of Daash and its spread, but didn’t say we were going to work against it,” he said, using the pejorative Arabic nickname for the Islamic State. ... Commanders said it was clear to them that the MOC wasn’t designed to conduct military operations. It’s staffed by representatives of the CIA and of the major countries backing the rebels, but it has never held a joint meeting of rebel groups.

“The persons we deal with are employees,” Radoon said. “They are responsible for reporting our opinions and our ideas, but they are not the ones who will make the decisions. The decisions are in the hands of the White House.”

Posted by: somebody | Sep 26, 2014 3:48:56 AM | 61

#57 James I most certainly remember the events in Libya over the last few years. It was obvious from the first week of mass demonstrations in Benghazi that the events there were being directed by militarily trained Islamists. However, the administration saw it as a mass rebellion by the "people" and part of the "spontaneous" Arab spring. Clinton, Power and Rice eagerly saw this as an opportunity for a humanitarian war and convinced Obama to jump in. It has turned out to be a disaster that I am sure Obama regrets. The same cast of characters convinced Obama to oust Assad when another "spontaneous peoples" uprising broke out in Syria. That is another disaster Obama probably regrets. I am sure there were many people inside the gov that knew what was happening and how it might turn out but they just sat back and let the fools entertain their fantasies. The Israel firsters and likely people in the CIA that approved.

Now I think he has finally been educated and sees this ISIS thing as a possible way to walk back his Syria policy and not look the fool that he is. His bombing Nusra forces in Syria is highly significant. This is a sign that he has turned against the rebels for the simple reason if one subtracts ISIS and Nusra forces in Syria there are no armed and willing to fight rebels left there. It looks like this bombing in Syria was done with the knowledge and acquiescence of Iran and Russia. So far US bombing have not hit any Syrian army positions. As Kerry said, we are in a deconflict mode with them.

The fact that Israel is actively supporting Nusra forces in the Golan region is very interesting. Also Netanyahu is urging Obama to not attack ISIS forces in Iraq and Syria. I think we are witnessing a significant deviation between US and Israeli interests in this development and we are seeing that manifest itself in conflicting actions over the past few weeks. I think Assad is going to come out of this as the winner at this time.

Posted by: ToivoS | Sep 26, 2014 4:07:43 AM | 62

Posted by: ToivoS | Sep 26, 2014 4:07:43 AM | 62

Unlikely. It is worth to follow what Brzezinski is saying. He was asking for weapons to Kyiv and for peace with Iran - basically warning Israel off. Human Rights Watch calls Israel's Gaza attacks war crimes - that is the treatment usually reserved for the enemies of the US.

For the US, Iran is the prize not the target. Russian, Chinese interests are targets. So they are removing Iran's enemy ISIS in favor of Iran, but they will try to insist on the removal of Russia's ally Assad.

Israel is out of the loop. They have very personal relations with Ukraine and Russia, and Iran is their enemy.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 26, 2014 4:29:35 AM | 63

@62 You note that the US has so far not hit any Syrian army positions. But what do you make of the bombing of Syrian refineries. Admittedly they are under ISIS control. Is there any proof of destruction of any ISIS tanks or artillery? Only empty buildings? I think you do not have very good grounds yet for thinking that Obama has worked free of neocon control. If he has, that would not be in favour of common humanity, but in pursuit of Brzezinski's sort of goal of destabilising Russia and China with the help of ISIS. As Thierry Meyssan has observed, the leadership of ISIS seems to have recently been made over. "Its principal officers are no longer Arab, but Georgian and Chinese. . . . this mutation shows that NATO ultimately intends to use the "Islamic Emirate" in Russia and in China."

Posted by: sarz | Sep 26, 2014 4:30:44 AM | 64

@somebody #63:

Nice analysis. Although if USG thinks it can get Iran as a "prize", I think it is deluded. Like the Russians and Chinese (but unlike the Germans, due to the latter's continued occupation by the Americans), the Iranians have a strong culture. This means that it is unlikely that the Iranians will be willing to submit to the Empire, especially given that the ideology of the Empire is now, aside from neoliberalism, postmodernism (with postmodernism just being a refinement of Orwell's concept of doublethink).

@sarz #64:

Thierry Meyssan is one of the best observers of ISIS, IMO. We were told that this is going to be a long war. So one should not draw conclusions from Syrian positions not being bombed in the war's very early days.

Posted by: Demian | Sep 26, 2014 4:54:35 AM | 65

Toivos

What proof you got that Israel support al nusra, not saying you are wrong.

Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 26, 2014 6:14:44 AM | 66

I think this Khorasan invention allows the US to bomb Nusra positions without being blamed for attacking Nusra positions.

Perhaps you can elaborate on the "allow" and "blame" part of this statement. Who's doing the allowing and blaming? I always gathered that a hegemon has no compulsion to defend itself against unpopular opinion precisely because there would be no unpopular opinion unless it was granted and authorized by the hegemon.

A True Hegemon does at it pleases simply because it can — meaning there is no legitimate, organic, independent resistance. If such a resistance sprouted within a hegemony, it would quickly be usurped and redirected to the hegemon's ends.

And what are those ends? Perhaps to play the game better than any of the other participants, but not so well as to win and Game Over. Because The Game is the point. The Game is everything. It's not Long Live The Queen, but rather Long Live The Game.

It explains why Russia's nuclear capability wasn't neutralized after the alleged collapse of the Soviet Union. The Game is long. To neutralize Russia's nukes would potentially threaten the perpetuity of The Game. The Game requires many worthwhile players, otherwise where's the challenge? And here we are.

The Game in all its glory and a commentariat that hasn't a clue.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Sep 26, 2014 6:50:05 AM | 67

Excellent article by Paul Craig Roberts: Will Russia and China Hold Their Fire Until War Is the Only Alternative?

PCR is obviously a huge Gold Bug. Anyone who incessantly harps on about the "petrodollar" is.

It's ridiculously transparent.

And what's with the cats? I don't trust a man who likes cats. He's most likely afflicted with toxoplasmosis.

Also, is PCR a Freemason? Notice him with the portrait of Jefferson in the background — the portrait of Jefferson is rendered with the classical Freemason pose (hand slipped under vestment).

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Sep 26, 2014 7:18:15 AM | 68

Oh dont you just want to throw up

obama bash Russia
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLjNMrr1toQ

Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 26, 2014 8:01:37 AM | 69

There's an important opinion piece at RT by Sharmine Narwani entitled "Coalition of the Clueless." In regard to the Syrians, Iranians,and Russians, she writes:

While they can see clear gains from the current level of US intervention – as distasteful as they find it - they are watching carefully as events unfold.

If there is the slightest deviation from the ‘guarantees’ provided by the US, this trio has plenty of room to maneuver.

All understand that Washington has just assumed a risky public posture and that many, many things can go wrong. The Sunni Arab fig leaf can disappear in a nano-second if domestic pressures mount or revenge attacks take place internally. Information could leak about continued assistance to terrorist militias...


http://rt.com/op-edge/190684-syria-coalition-airstrikes-isis/

Posted by: madisolation | Sep 26, 2014 9:23:38 AM | 70

68;Picking on cats now huh?Cats are remarkable creatures who recognize scumbags and don't cater to them like dogs,are independent and resourceful,just like the older American generation who can tie their shoelaces,and know that screwing with other nations brings trouble,unlike our yuppie scum POS leaders today.And my two cats totally agree,unlike stupid dogs who will jump off a cliff for an evil master.
Obomba is a miseducated empty suit who actually believes the total BS foisted on him by the Ziomonsters,Expect nothing from nothing.His UN speech was pitiful,full of lies,and exposing again his total lack of vision.
The coalition of the thugs(SA,Qatar,UAE,Dubai) will bring about their own houses collapsing from Islamic rebels,count on it.My crystal ball has a 96% approval rate.

Posted by: dahoit | Sep 26, 2014 9:44:31 AM | 71

Sunni state plan B

A Sunni religious group has hired a Washington consulting firm to make the case for creating a new semi-independent region in Iraq. Ali Hatem al-Suleiman, the leader of the largest Sunni tribe in the country, hired Calex Partners to set up meetings with organizations, corporations and congressional offices “in furtherance of the goal of forming a semi-autonomous region for the Sunni tribes in Iraq,” according to forms filed with the Justice Department.

Now what is it a tribe or a "Sunni religious group". Ali Hatem al-Suleiman is the leader of the Dulaimi tribe - but psst - the Dulaimi tribe has Shiite members, quite a few Baathists and stretches over all of Iraq to Syria, Jordan and Kuwait.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 26, 2014 10:10:44 AM | 72

Posted by: somebody | Sep 26, 2014 10:10:44 AM | 72

A Google search shows nothing for this Calex Partners, as though it doesn't exist, or if it does, it cares not to publicize itself.

Also, why is this fine fella petitioning America? Why not Russia and China? If I'm feeling the sentimental vibe at this space correctly, and I think I am, Russia and China are the two new rising powers in the world that will replace America on the throne. Perhaps Suleiman (A dubious name considering the tortuous butcher in Egypt who is thankfully no longer with us) is misdirected. He needs a new consulting firm — one that will direct him to Moscow or Beijing to have his aspirations fulfilled.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Sep 26, 2014 10:36:26 AM | 73

Cold winter in Ukraine
http://rt.com/business/190840-hungary-stops-gas-ukraine-gazprom/

Posted by: Mina | Sep 26, 2014 10:48:08 AM | 74

73) They all use lobbyists, just google "Iraq lobbyist Washington".

For example this Iraq "Sunni" problem from January

WASHINGTON — A top Sunni Iraqi politician has enlisted an American lobbyist as he campaigns to convince the United States not to sell attack helicopters to Iraq’s Shiite-led government three months before Iraq’s next parliamentary elections...

Posted by: somebody | Sep 26, 2014 11:09:26 AM | 75

Posted by: somebody | Sep 26, 2014 11:09:26 AM | 75

I know they all use lobbyists. Sibel Edmunds does an excellent job of revealing just how influential Turkey is in lobbying the American government.

My point was that Calex Partners didn't come up in a Google search, meaning if the organization exists, it prefers to keep a low profile and not publicize its existence to those "who don't matter."

Once again though, why not lobby Russia or China? Why automatically go straight to Washington for all your needs? Doesn't such needy behavior perpetuate what many here, even though they fail to understand, loathe?

Perhaps those who lobby Washington realize lobbying Russia and China would be fruitless — a complete waste of time. When you want something, Big Daddy (Washington) is the one you need to see. Russia is no Big Daddy — more like Skinny Momma and China, well, China's like the slow child you lock in the closet when company visits in order to avoid embarrassment.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Sep 26, 2014 11:54:34 AM | 76

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Sep 26, 2014 11:54:34 AM | 76

They do lobby Russia and China. Just google the arms sales.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 26, 2014 12:27:24 PM | 77

@ somebody #72
A Sunni religious group has hired a Washington consulting firm to make the case for creating a new semi-independent region in Iraq.

news report:
Mark Alsalih began representing the Common Council of Iraqi and Arabic Tribes, which is run by Suleiman, over the summer. Alsalih told Al-Monitor last month that he had been trying to draw interest from officials in Obama administration about collaborating more closely with Iraqi and Syrian tribes.

This has actually been going on for some time. Let's hit some high points. First, I wrote an article about "The Caliphate" seen here. That includes Joe Biden's May 2006 call for an Iraq divided into three parts, which followed the US instigation of intersect conflict in Feb 2006.

Next,
Jul 19, 2006, wikileaks
2. (C) Summary: Mark Alsalih, an Iraqi American from the Washington lobbying firm MITA, requested Embassy's assistance on July 17 to make an introduction to Director of the Saudi General Intelligence Presidency Prince Muqrin. MITA represents Tawafuq, and is seeking $3-4 million to fund Tawafuq's lobbying activities in Washington. . .Alsalih requested the Embassy's assistance for an introduction to Director of the General Intelligence Presidency Prince Muqrin. Alsalih stated that one item MITA and Tawafuq wanted to discuss with Prince Muqrin was development of the Iraq Stability Program (ISP), a MITA-designed program with the stated goal of providing Iraqi Sunni groups a greater voice in the new Iraqi government and with policymakers.

Four years later, 2010:
Feb 23, 2010, wikileaks
1. (C) In a surprising move, King Abdullah welcomed former Iraqi PM and current Iraqiyya coalition leader Dr. Iyyad Allawi to his desert encampment near Riyadh on February 20. . . In a meeting with Polcouns February 22, Mark Al-Salih, an American businessman purporting to represent Iraqi VP Hashimi, said he had spoken with Prince Muqrin following the Allawi meeting and that Muqrin had assured him the Saudis would begin to signal their support for the Iraqiyya coalition. A directive had already been passed to the Saudi-controlled Al-Arabiyya to begin providing positive media coverage of Iraqiyya, he continued, and an invite would be extended to VP Hashimi to visit in the near future. Asked what sparked this apparent turn-around, Salih gave some credit to the USG. The Saudis watched VP Hashimi's visit to the U.S. very carefully, he posited, and were pleased to see how warmly he was received. In particular, the fact that he met with both President Obama and VP Biden made an impression.

Apr 8, 2010
Iraqiyya's Path to Power
Iraq's post-election wrangling has made it unlikely that former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi can reap the benefits of his election day victory. But if he plays his cards right, he just may have a shot. . .Iraqiyya's strength, and its weakness, lies in its composition: Many of Iraq's highest individual vote-getters are within the alliance. Running in Baghdad, Allawi received 407,537 votes, and Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi received 200,963 votes. In Ninewah province, Osama al-Nujaifi, leader of the local Hadbaa list, a predominantly Iraqi Sunni party that has a volatile relationship with Iraqi Kurds, won 274,741 votes.

Nov 11, 2010
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, one of America’s closest allies in the country, has rebuffed the personal request of President Obama and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. to relinquish his post as Iraqis form a new government in Baghdad. . .Last Saturday, Mr. Obama phoned Mr. Talabani and asked him to give up the seat he has held since 2005 so that Mr. Allawi could be Iraq’s president, according to U.S. and Iraqi officials familiar with the diplomacy.

Jan 1, 2012, NYTimes OpEd - title: How Iraq Can Define Its Destiny, By ALI A. ALLAWI

Iyad "the Executioner" Allawi -- Allawi served as the Iraqi face of the occupation during the reign of Paul Bremer, first as puppet "defense minister" and then Prime Minister. Allawi was a principal figure, second only to Chalabi, in the network of Iraqi exiles who did so much to lie us into war.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 26, 2014 12:41:20 PM | 78

They do lobby Russia and China. Just google the arms sales.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 26, 2014 12:27:24 PM | 77

I'm not talking about arms sales. I'm talking about setting up a Caliphate per Suleiman's wishes. Show me proof where Suleiman is "lobbying" Russia and China to make this happen.

Arms sales is one thing, but setting up your own country, or Caliphate if you will, is another thing entirely. Arms are like candy — you can get them at any dime store country down the block. You don't need a lobbyist for that — they'll advertise to you. They want the business. It's all about volume, so new customers are welcome and encouraged.

Your own Caliphate? Well, that's when you have to see the Chief.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Sep 26, 2014 12:43:35 PM | 79

@62 ToivoS.. i agree with @64 sarz... bombing syrian oil locations taken over by ISIS, instead of the war machinery used to gain their control is indication of the usa's priorities.. this is very early in the bombing campaign..

Posted by: james | Sep 26, 2014 12:49:44 PM | 80

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Sep 26, 2014 12:43:35 PM | 79

If the Kurds get it the Sunni triangle will get it, too. All they need to do is agree to fight IS in Iraq and Syria. Presumably that is why the Iraqi army melted away - the split is agreed.
There is the problem of Kirkuk.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 26, 2014 12:58:17 PM | 81

@78 don bacon.. thanks for outlining Ayad Allawi's path to power.. wikipedia gives more info on him, including him being a relative of chalabi's..

Posted by: james | Sep 26, 2014 1:09:40 PM | 82

Obama will betray them all, especially the peshmerga and the PKK, they are only interested in themselves and oil and selling arms, the repetetive lesson the middle east refuses to learn.

Posted by: jan | Sep 26, 2014 2:46:16 PM | 83

sometimes you need to read the right wing loons to see the game plan laid bare..

Posted by: james | Sep 26, 2014 3:11:57 PM | 84

Oil prices have been slumping. Gotta get 'em back up, so bomb refineries.

(Reuters) - A 13 percent slide in crude oil prices since June has eroded some of the allure of drilling U.S. shale resources and raised investor concerns, but companies are pushing ahead as prices are still above the breakeven levels that might prompt a slowdown.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 26, 2014 3:15:22 PM | 85

also today in 'regime change news' the US-led campaign....is still in its infancy titled "Pentagon ready to train up to 15,000 Syrian rebels"

Posted by: james | Sep 26, 2014 3:21:24 PM | 86

Even Aljazeera admits that the FSA exists only in name and that the only relevant anti-IS rebel forces are themselves Al Qaeda or Salafi jihadists:
http://live.aljazeera.com/Event/Syria_Live_Blog/128130819

" The US is holding this meeting meeting trying to put a face to the Syrian opposition, to show the world that the US does in fact have partners on the ground. But the rebel commanders attending that meeting are linked to the Free Syrian Army and the Free Syrian Army really exists in name only. They don't have strong fighting forces on the ground. They will not be able to take on on ISIL - they've tried that in the past, declaring war on ISIL last January. The most powerful groups on the ground that could face ISIL are the Nusra Front, the Syrian al-Qaeda branch, and Ahrar al-Sham, a conservative group that has kind of remained quiet about the air strikes. "

Good source:
http://radioyaran.com/category/syria/

Posted by: KerKaraje | Sep 26, 2014 3:26:09 PM | 87

The resident troll says they all use lobbyists.

However, as a famous fictional animal character once observed, some animals are more equal than others.

Fail.

Posted by: c1ue | Sep 26, 2014 4:15:17 PM | 88

Brzezinski is one of the (or the) top US foreign policy gurus and he has long posited that Russia and China are the chief US enemies, going back to B's 1998 book: The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy And Its Geostrategic Imperatives, and much earlier when Zbig was recruiting Islamic fundamentalists in Pakistan to fight in Afghanistan..

There are Muslims in both areas, in Chechnya and Xinjiang. Regarding the latter, the US has long supported the Uyghurs. --from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) files:
NED grant support in 2009 for Uyghur human rights and prodemocracy organizations
World Uyghur Congress - $186,000
Uyghur American Association (UAA) - $249,000
International Uyghur Human Rights and Democracy Foundation - $226,804
International Uyghur PEN Club - $69,502

2011 NED Annual Report
China (Xinjiang/East Turkistan)
$240,000 + $73,399 + $280,000 + $195,000 = $788,399

Thierry Meyssan, Sep 22:
Since June, the United States and Turkey have transported hundreds of Chinese fighters and their families to northeastern Syria. Some of them immediately became officers. They are mostly Uighurs, Chinese from the Peoples Republic, but Sunni Muslims and speakers of Turk. Therefore, it is clear that, ultimately, the "Islamic Emirate" will expand its operations to Russia and to China, both countries are its ultimate targets.

China news, Sep 22:
Xinjiang's Uighur Muslims Receiving 'Terrorist Training' From Isis Fighters for Attacks in China
Chinese militants from the restive region of Xinjiang are leaving the country to receive "terrorist training" from Isis (now known as the Islamic State) in order to conduct attacks in China, state media have reported.

Pentagon, Sep 25:
ADMIRAL LOCKLEAR, CINCPAC: Well, on the question of ISIL and foreign fighters from the Asia-Pacific, it certainly is an issue that we're paying very close attention to today. We're working very closely with Central Command to ensure that we can sense and understand from their perspective the flow of foreign fighters or aspiring foreign fighters that may be coming out of the Indo-Asia Pacific region. Our estimations today is there's probably been about 1,000 potential aspiring fighters that have moved from this region, based on kind of our overall assessment.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 26, 2014 4:19:08 PM | 89

The Syrian government has written off Raqqa and Der El Zor. Whatever happened there does not concern it anymore. Its population has embraced ISIS and will remain loyal to their ideology even after the USA bombing will stop.

In the North East, most of the Kurds are closer to the Syrian secular gov than from the Islamist rebels, moderates or extremists. They will refuse to hand over their land to the rebels once ISIS is pushed back.
Freed from having to bomb the North-East or North-West,the Syrian army has enough resources to push back the rebels who are threatening Damascus and the coast and therefore secure that region.

Posted by: Virgile | Sep 26, 2014 4:40:59 PM | 90

From his latest piece, I get the impression that Paul Craig Roberts has jumped the shark. Like another regular Counterpunch contributor, Mike Whitney, Roberts "concern trolls" regarding Russia. This is just crazy:

If Russia and China understood the deadly threat that Washington presents, both governments would operate according to the time honored principle that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Russia and China would arm ISIS with surface to air missiles to bring down the American planes and with military intelligence in order to achieve an American defeat.
Evidently, Roberts is not aware that (1) unlike Washington, Moscow consistently opposes all terrorists; (2) as Thierry Meyssan explains, the ultimate purpose of ISIS is to destabilize Russia and China.

And Roberts comes up with this gem:

As far as I can tell, neither the Russian nor Chinese governments understand the seriousness of the threat that Washington represents. Washington’s claim to world hegemony seems too farfetched to Russia and China to be real. But it is very real.
Evidently, Roberts does not read Sergei Lavrov's speeches. Roberts, despite his iconoclasm, suffers from that basic affliction of American elites of thinking that they understand other nations and their interests better than those nations understand themselves. This habit has been best captured by guest77's joke about Jen Psaki saying at one of her press conferences, "Putin isn't a real Russian."

Posted by: Demian | Sep 26, 2014 5:36:01 PM | 91

better than those nations understand themselves

How, exactly, does a nation understand itself? Who gets to articulate that understanding? It's so-called "leaders?" So Putin's understanding of Russia is Russia's understanding of Russia? How convenient, but I think the likes of Andrey Nekrasov and many more like him would disagree. No one man can speak for Russia, and Russia not being a person can certainly not speak for itself. It's all just a matter of opinion, but Putin happens to be in a position to force his opinion down the throats of Russian citizens, so Russia, for now, will be whatever he and his cronies say it is — at least in Russia.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Sep 26, 2014 6:08:46 PM | 92

@Cold N. Holefield #92:

Why do you make this all about Putin? I brought up Lavrov's speeches, not Putin's The only reason I mentioned Putin is that that was who guest77 used in his joke.

Since Russia has a democratic system of government, the Russian government speaks for the Russian people. I wish the same could be said for the US government and the American people.

Posted by: Demian | Sep 26, 2014 6:23:05 PM | 93

@92- Glazaev seems to understand his nation and their present situation quite well. Would that any western stooge leaders showed the same integrity-

"Russia has as much experience of leadership in world politics as the U.S. It has the necessary moral and cultural authority and sufficient military-technical capabilities. But Russian public opinion needs to overcome its inferiority complex, regain a sense of historical pride for the centuries of efforts to create a civilization that brought together numerous nations and cultures and which many times saved Europe and humanity from self-extermination. It needs to bring back an understanding of the historical role the Russian world played in creating a universal culture from Kievan Rus’, the spiritual heir to the Byzantine Empire, to the Russian Federation, the successor state of the Soviet Union and the Russian Empire. Eurasian integration processes should be presented as a global project to restore and develop the common space of nations from Lisbon to Vladivostok, and from St. Petersburg to Colombo, which for centuries lived and worked together.

Posted by: Nana2007 | Sep 26, 2014 6:34:14 PM | 94

'According to the Wall Street Journal Obama made a deal with the Saudis. They will lend legitimacy for his attacks against the Islamic State and AlQaeda in Syria (aka Jabhat al-Nusra) and he will later overthrow the Syrian government under president Assad'

de ja vu: weve been here before, those those with a short memory may have forgotten

You invade Bahrain. We take out Muammar Gaddafi in Libya. This, in short, is the essence of a deal struck between the Barack Obama administration and the House of Saud. Two diplomatic sources at the United Nations independently confirmed that Washington, via Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, gave the go-ahead for Saudi Arabia to invade Bahrain and crush the pro-democracy movement in their neighbor in exchange for a "yes" vote by the Arab League for a no-fly zone over Libya - the main rationale that led to United Nations Security Council resolution 1973.
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/MD02Ak01.html

US and other clients wll go on making such satanic pacts until the US regime is overthrown and replaced by good govt...or were all destroyed

Posted by: brian | Sep 26, 2014 6:51:53 PM | 95

Posted by: Demian | Sep 26, 2014 6:23:05 PM | 93

well lecherous cold has a thing for Putin, but wa rebuffed,
so ever after hes done all he could to take down Putin.
simple!

Posted by: brian | Sep 26, 2014 6:53:25 PM | 96

Posted by: Virgile | Sep 26, 2014 4:40:59 PM | 90

yes but theres an endless supply of 'rebels', and who are not 'rebels' at all but foreign jihadis whove been seduced by media propaganda to go on jihad and save muslims from the tyrant Assad...im merely quoting.

as long as people treat the jihadi invaders as 'rebels; so more of them will turn up in pursuit of a cause they see as just and good

Posted by: brian | Sep 26, 2014 6:56:53 PM | 97

Posted by: james | Sep 26, 2014 3:21:24 PM | 86

the Obama regime has just given permission for any state to train 15000 american rebels to overthrow Obama.

im sure they will find no end of recruits

Posted by: brian | Sep 26, 2014 6:58:31 PM | 98

leaving aside Colds obsessions with Putin and PCR and his cats


an interesint point:
I think you do not have very good grounds yet for thinking that Obama has worked free of neocon control. If he has, that would not be in favour of common humanity, but in pursuit of Brzezinski's sort of goal of destabilising Russia and China with the help of ISIS. As Thierry Meyssan has observed, the leadership of ISIS seems to have recently been made over. "Its principal officers are no longer Arab, but Georgian and Chinese. . . . this mutation shows that NATO ultimately intends to use the "Islamic Emirate" in Russia and in China."

Posted by: sarz | Sep 26, 2014 4:30:44 AM | 64

that Obama is under neocon control, and this time they have their puppet by the balls..last year he worked free thanks to russia and Putin(sorry Cold)...this year they are trying again...only now the UK regime of the nearly ousted Cameron are saying yes....ISIS has proven the US tool thats been frightened the masses and their leaders enough to weaken resistance to WW3
Only Parry and Meyssan are aware that neocons are still there and in control...everyone else believes the puppet is the master

Posted by: brian | Sep 26, 2014 7:04:57 PM | 99

'Brzezinski is one of the (or the) top US foreign policy gurus and he has long posited that Russia and China are the chief US enemies, going back to B's 1998 book: The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy And Its Geostrategic Imperatives, and much earlier when Zbig was recruiting Islamic fundamentalists in Pakistan to fight in Afghanistan..;

@89
please, lets not parrot Brzezkinski...russia and china are not US enemies....they are US obstacles to US power: Brz uses the'enemy' rhetoric to fool stupid people, still immersed in the anticommie rhetoric...Any wonder the media demonises Putin and the masses parrot back what they read?
4 legs good 2 legs bad!

lets not join them

Posted by: brian | Sep 26, 2014 7:08:34 PM | 100

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