Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 19, 2015

China Warns U.S. Not To Interfere With Its Spying

Syria yesterday zapped a U.S. spy drone over Latakia in north-west Syria. Latakia is a well protected pro-government area and fully in government hands. There are no Islamic State' nor any other anti-government fighters in the area.

"Did the drone come into Syrian territory just to have a picnic?" asked the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

"As soon as it entered Syrian air space, we considered it to be gathering security and military information on Syria's territory," he told AFP.

The source said the aircraft was not immediately identified as being American, but was "dealt with as a hostile target".

Syrian air defences shot down the aircraft over the coastal province of Latakia, a stronghold of President Bashar al-Assad, state media said Tuesday.

There is a silent agreement between the Syrian government and the U.S. that U.S. strikes on Islamic State targets in areas held by forces hostile to the Syrian government will not be interfered with.

But that certainly does not extend to areas where the Syrian military is the only force worth to spy on. It is obvious that the drone, unidentified when it was shot down, was an imminent danger to Syrian interests. It had no legitimate business in the area and was correctly identified as hostile.

But U.S. hubris has no bounds so the spokesperson of the State Department, Jen Psaki, asked about the incident threatened Syria:

[W]e, of course, reiterate our warning to the Assad regime not to interfere with U.S. aerial assets over Syria.

In other news the Chinese government reiterated its warning to the Obama regime not to interfere with Chinese cyber assets on U.S. computer systems.

How will Psaki respond to that?

Posted by b on March 19, 2015 at 14:49 UTC | Permalink


Is this what is termed as being "caught with your shorts down"? And what of the Chinese? Nothing like being hit where the sun don't shine.

Posted by: Norman | Mar 19 2015 15:13 utc | 1

On unrelated issue, the Administration is deeply concerned about the decline of democracy in Venezuela, and in the same time

"Administration officials said that Mr. Kerry favors continuing the military aid and is awaiting a final decision from the White House. If the aid is extended, the United States would be abetting Egypt’s ruthless business as usual."

We are talking about the most clearly fascistic regime in the world at this moment, with cult of personality, thoroughly controlled media, incarcerating and killing political opponents by thousands. It is OK to view doing of such a government as a domestic matter, but why should such a government be aided?

In Latakia, there was an attack leading to occupation of a Armenian town by taqfiris from Turkish territory. We are talking about NATO aggression leading to the destruction of minority communities and slaughter. As far as bounds of Administration hubris in drone matters, they ask Iran to return a downed drone, also, robot rights were violating by placing the downed machine on humiliating display.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 19 2015 15:31 utc | 2

When Eisenhower was caught lying about the U2 shot down over the USSR, nobody claimed that the overflights were not a violation of international law.

Posted by: lysias | Mar 19 2015 16:56 utc | 3

Anyone got any pirated selfies of Psaki?

Posted by: Some Guy | Mar 19 2015 19:10 utc | 4

Who would be interested is selfies of Psaki? She is as average looking as possible. Not a collector item IMHO.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 19 2015 19:37 utc | 5

De gustibus non est desputandum.


Posted by: Vintage Red | Mar 19 2015 20:04 utc | 6

Piotr @5

It's not a matter of collection. The point would be to make her unemployable and debase her status in public society by reducing her to her naked, presumably unremarkable body and her indiscretion. Bourgeois society will eat their own to defend their institution, nothing more than a too-precious collection of neuroses, delusions, and dramas -- getting that class "small enough to drown in a bathtub" (figuratively, of course) is a worthy goal, and degrading them in the eyes of their own is one way to split off the weakest tools.

Posted by: Jonathan | Mar 19 2015 20:08 utc | 7

' In other news the Chinese government reiterated its warning to the Obama regime not to interfere with Chinese cyber assets on U.S. computer systems. '

That's a joke ... right? The other way 'round ... I can believe.

The Syrians' problem is that they only shoot down some US planes violating their airspace and not others. And the others don't take pictures, they kill Syrians,

Posted by: jfl | Mar 19 2015 20:40 utc | 8

does anyone else find it annoying some bozo wants to derail b's post with an inquest for pictures of another bozo?

what grounds does the usa has to make these kind of statements? what international laws are they relying on or is it just more 'exceptional-ism? if syria did the same over usa air space, how would the usa respond?

making more and more outrageous statements from the us gov't seems to be the name of the game here. lies and avoidance of facts are not enough.. make it outrageous as well..

Posted by: james | Mar 19 2015 20:46 utc | 9

I've always wondered what happens when a drone piloted from Nevada is shot down in Syria. Is he psychologically affected by the sudden disappearance?

There's news of large numbers of drone pilots who resign. Is it that they don't like what the're doing?

Posted by: Laguerre | Mar 19 2015 21:13 utc | 10

#9 does anyone else find it annoying some bozo wants to derail b's post with an inquest for pictures of another bozo?

Yeah james I agree and I do (find it annoying), but it did elicit this gem:

#7 The point would be to make her unemployable and debase her status in public society by reducing her to her naked, presumably unremarkable body and her indiscretion. Bourgeois society will eat their own to defend their institution, nothing more than a too-precious collection of neuroses, delusions, and dramas -- getting that class "small enough to drown in a bathtub" (figuratively, of course) is a worthy goal, and degrading them in the eyes of their own is one way to split off the weakest tools.
(My Bold)

I shudder about how they will respond when the time comes to get the rest of humanity

"small enough to drown in a bathtub"

Posted by: juannie | Mar 19 2015 21:15 utc | 11

Good on the part of Syria to defend its airspace when required.
I am saying this because the joker above the 49th parallel ,Stevie Harper, may be thinking to get involved in Syria just to get rid of a friend of Iran.

Posted by: Yul | Mar 19 2015 21:29 utc | 12

@10 I think the hours and expectations are bad on top of the moral dimension. Army recruiters have always had problems, and they have terrible hours, asshole bosses, and little room for promotion. On top of it, they know they to kids. It eats away. The stories about drone pilots sound similar to the recruiter stories.

Posted by: NotTimothyGeithner | Mar 19 2015 22:45 utc | 13

juannie @12

Politics ain't beanbag, you precious snot.

Posted by: Jonathan | Mar 20 2015 0:53 utc | 14

That's a joke ... right? The other way 'round ... I (could) believe.
Posted by: jfl | Mar 19, 2015 4:40:52 PM | 8

Yes. It's a joke and what makes it hilarious is
1. Bluster is a Yankee dis-ease.
2. Neither China nor Russia has a homespun Superpower Myth to prop up/ bore everyone to death with.
3. Neither China nor Russia believe enough of their own bullshit to waste money paying people to talk when there's got nothing to say.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 20 2015 1:51 utc | 15


Your comment about Harper wanting to get more involved in Syria and the fact that the drone was from the European Command may shed some new light on the mystery of why a US drone was sightseeing over restricted Syrian airspace.

This incursion may not have been a mistake at all but an intentional provocation to cause the Syrians to light up their air defenses and they fell for the provocation. All of these defenses are now marked and targeted and their reaction times are recorded for future use.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Mar 20 2015 2:55 utc | 16

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Mar 19, 2015 10:55:47 PM | 16

You wish...

The most they'd have hoped for, and/or got, would be confirmation that Syria talks to Russian advisors aboard the offshore Flotilla before doing anything Russia might regard as 'unhelpful'.
10 seconds after Syria-Russia decide that Syrian airspace will become a no-fly zone for US-NATO airborne assets, it will become an insurmountable reality.
Whether declared or not.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 20 2015 3:23 utc | 17

@11 juannie.. maybe it's one of the downsides of the internet.. people think they can be uncivilized on the net, but maybe not in person.. maybe they act that way in person too.. either way, i don't want to know them here or there.

Posted by: james | Mar 20 2015 3:34 utc | 18


You do recall that Russia was very helpful in stopping the last planned US attack on Syria which required that Syria give up their chemical weapons and program which was Syria's only real deterrent to Israel's Nukes.

I could be wrong but I doubt Russia would risk war with the US over Syria so long as their Naval Base is not attacked.

A Russian imposed no-fly zone over Syria is almost ludicrous to imagine and it couldn't stop a mass Cruise Missile attack anyway.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Mar 20 2015 4:09 utc | 19

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Mar 20, 2015 12:09:24 AM | 20

Yes, I do recall the Chem Weapons meme. I also recall reports that Russia shot down some cruise missiles headed for Syria - and Vlad making an oblique reference to that event in an address recorded on the Kremlin website, under Presidential Speeches.

Is an 'almost ludicrous' no-fly zone the same as a 'not quite ludicrous' no-fly zone, or is it a (Pythonesque) "Something completely different?"

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 20 2015 4:49 utc | 20

#20 wayout. I agree with you that the defenses Russia has provided Syria could not stop a mass cruise missile attack from the US. Russian forces there are quite vulnerable to such an attack. There is no way that Russia could engage the US navy and airforce in the Eastern Mediterranean. However, such an attack would mean that Russia would likely respond against US Naval forces in the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea. That would mean the sinking of any US warship that was in those waters as a result of Russian ramjet antiship cruise missiles. This is a reality that the US Navy has realized at least since 2007 and is one reason the US Navy opposed any US attack against Iran. Iran purchased those missiles from Russia and have since built their own based on the same design.

Posted by: ToivoS | Mar 20 2015 4:53 utc | 21


The US Navy has good reasons not to support an attack on Iran that have nothing to do with Russia. The Iranian Fast Attack Craft armada could completely overwhelm US naval defenses with swarm attacks and do extensive damage to the US Persian Fleet. Check out Iran's version of the Bladerunner FAS that purrs along at near 100kn and carries cruise missiles. Iran would not be a pushover like Syria they have extensive defensive capabilities, homegrown and imported.

As I wrote earlier I don't think the US would target any Russian forces in Syria, that would be counterproductive and plainly stupid. The targets would be Syrian defenses and C&C.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Mar 20 2015 5:10 utc | 22

#23 wayout Again I do not disagree with your comment but those antiship cruise missiles that Iran now have are based on designs developed by the Soviet Union, improved by Russia and provided to Iran about 10-15 years ago. I will not deny the improvements they have made on launching platforms but
Russia most certainly provided them with missile engine and warhead technology that have created much of the deterrent Iran posses today.

Posted by: ToivoS | Mar 20 2015 5:56 utc | 23

I'm sure you are correct, TS and Iran seems to be much like Japan in their ability to take existing designs and improve on them or just reproduce them. This is a huge money and research saving method to end up with effective locally produced defenses.

Much of this is the result of sanctions which forced Iran to become independent of outside suppliers.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Mar 20 2015 6:12 utc | 24

"The targets would be Syrian defenses and C&C."

I don't see Iran, Russia, or China sitting idly by. Iran would certainly view such an attack as an existential threat. USNATO shock and awe just doesn't work. It invariably makes things much worse.

Posted by: chuckvw | Mar 20 2015 6:41 utc | 25

The destruction of the US drone is a clear message to the USA:

Don't ever think that you and your future 'TVMR' ( Trained vetted moderate rebels) have any chance to touch or gain access to this part of Syria, from air or from Turkey. The message was already given to Turkey when one of its reconnaissance plane was shot down without warning. Since then Turkey has stopped trying to intimidate Syria with its air force.

Reply to Psaki: Any "aerial or ground assets" threatening this part of Syria will be destroyed immediately.

Posted by: Virgile | Mar 20 2015 9:08 utc | 26

@27, Soros (re Russia having shot down US missiles headed for Syria): "Absolute nonsense . . . Didn't happen"

Truth of US-Russia Confrontation

Posted by: sarz | Mar 20 2015 11:44 utc | 27

The driving force behind the attempts to collapse the peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians and the drive for war with Russia over first Syria and then Ukraine, or any other excuse that can be cooked up, is the collapse of the Trans-Atlantic financial system under control of Wall Street and the City of London financial interests. Their puppets like Obama, Netanyahu, and others are just their tools. With the EU about to shake apart because of Greece, and to stop the new financial system for global economic development from being consolidated under the BRICS agreement, they either quicken the pace to war or succumb to their own weakness.

Posted by: Cynthia | Mar 20 2015 12:58 utc | 29

More proof that the US wants "Regime Change" in Syria. But the drones are operated by the CIA. And the CIA is Always spying on anyone. Friend or foe.

Posted by: Willy2 | Mar 20 2015 13:18 utc | 30

Guess who is being the $--t disturber in the Iran & P5+1 nuclear negotiations: France

I guess Fabius thinks that it is revenge for not bombing Iran's ally in summer 2013 : Syria and he wants France to be the alpha-dog in the region ( France is becoming like the US: needs the Jewish money and support to held on to their seats at the National Assembly and the Elysée)

Yet , France want sto have her cake and eats it too: No sanctions on Iran because we want to sell them cars, arms and planes ( and why not may be some cheap oil and gas- Total would love to be jockeying the oil trade )

Posted by: Yul | Mar 20 2015 13:38 utc | 31

@35,36,37 by Soros
The incident was extensively discussed from various angles in the Western media at the time, and there were some notable flags of inconsistency that have been pointed out in the al Manar article I cited.

I happen to have written to some friends on Oct 7, 2013 the following:

. . . here is some further confirmation of the report, generally ignored by the world media, that the United States on September 3rd fired two missiles at Syria that were knocked down by Russian anti-missile forces. It is a report US was so sure it was striking Syria it made 'warning calls' to Israel's leaders in the Israel Times of October 5 that:

The Obama administration was so certain that its forces were about to attack Syria in the chemical weapons crisis at the end of August, that US officials telephoned Israel’s prime minister and defense minister to give them “advance warning” the attack was about to take place.
The phone calls, Israel’s Channel 2 news revealed Friday, were made shortly after Secretary of State John Kerry on August 31 had accused Bashar Assad’s regime of an August 21 chemical weapons attack that killed 1,429 Syrians. Israel’s leaders were told explicitly that the US would be taking punitive military action against the Assad regime within 24-48 hours.
The calls were made in accordance with the US promise to give Israel a warning ahead of such an attack, so that it could take steps to defend itself against any potential Syrian retaliation that might target the Jewish state.

There is now overwhelming evidence that the said chemical attack was a false-flag by US-supported 'rebels', and it has been widely reported that the anti-Syrian forces had been assured weeks in advance of it that the US would soon be launching a major attack on Syria, changing the military balance in their favour.

The leak to the Israel Times seems typical Israeli spite, taunting the United States for getting cold feet. World Jewry is still pushing America into a nuclear war with Russia, now over Ukraine.

Posted by: sarz | Mar 20 2015 16:28 utc | 32

Soros said in 17: you moron.
Soros in 27: Absolute nonsense - Didn't happen.
Soros in 28: Just lol.
Listen there، Stop chatter.
The eastern Mediterranean region is a vital area of the Russian Federation forever, and if you or someone else tried to play thimble there, you will simply be sent to the Mars!
Russia today capable to transform your smart world into a radioactive ash.

Posted by: ALAN | Mar 20 2015 18:10 utc | 33

Here's the link to the Kremlin article containing 'Vlad's oblique reference' alluded to in my #21 above.

His reference is in the second paragraph from the top, commencing "We are moving forward...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 20 2015 18:11 utc | 34

Posted by: ALAN | Mar 20, 2015 2:10:44 PM | 40

Apparently, when Kruschev was told by a dumbass Yankee President...
"We can destroy your country many times over!"
Kruschev replied...
"We can only destroy yours once."

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 20 2015 18:19 utc | 35

I am sure others here would like to join me in petitioning our Judaic brethren to assign us a better quality troll -- for old times' sake. Oh, you know why.

Posted by: sarz | Mar 20 2015 18:37 utc | 36!_lets_stop_the_convention_of_fascists_in_holiday_inn_%28st._petersburg%29.html

Money stinks! Let's stop the convention of fascists in Holiday Inn (St. Petersburg)

On the 22 of March in St. Petersburg the convention of European Neo-Nazi parties, is going to pass. The fact that such action takes place in the city, which lost 1,5 millions people during the years of blockade, moreover on the eve of the 70th anniversary of Victory, does cause indignation.

Undoubtedly, the Kremlin, actively flirting with European far-right politicians in its confrontation with the West because of Ukraine, and the governor Georgy Poltavchenko are primarily responsible for the desecration of the memory of the victims of Nazism.

However, the most astonishing is that exactly the hotel Holiday inn, belonging to the Britain corporation InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), considered to be the world's largest hotel chains, provides the platform for the Neo-Nazi forum. Someone may object that the hotel management shouldn't be interested in moral and political side of actions, held at its territory. After all, Holiday inn is a commercial organization, doing “just business”... But not exactly this way did European and American corporations and banks justify the cooperation with Nazi regime - including Ford, Coca cola, Siemens, General Electric, Nestle? Business, surely, is responsible for the consequences of their deals, which are not always politically and morally neutral.

In case of fashionable hotel Holiday inn, hospitably opening its doors to racists, antisemits, right-wing terrorists accomplices from the Greek “Golden Dawn”, the National Democratic Party of Germany, the British National Party and similar organizations, we have classic example of social irresponsibility and capitalistic cynicism.

Such openly militaristic concourse, whose only purpose is to provide the semblance of European public opinion support to Putin, to put it mildly, shows IHG in an unfavorable light. We wonder if the general director of InterContinental Hotels Group Richard Solomons knows about it?

We need your help! We are going to refer the petition with the requirements to the hotel management. What can you do? Right now send a letter with the expression of your protest to the IHG and the hotel Holiday inn in St. Petersburg management: Genush L.U.; Zoë Bird, global corporate communications manager of the InterContinental Hotels Group, Denham, UK

Letter text:

I … am indignant at the Holiday Inn in St. Petersburg management decision to provide a platform to so-called “International Russian conservative forum” (March 22th, 2015), which is in fact the convention of European Neo-Nazi parties. Participation of such odious organizations like the “Golden Dawn” (Greece), the National Democratic Party of Germany, the Freedom Party (Austria), the British National Party does offend the feelings of St. Petersburg residents on the eve of the 70th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patronic War.

I demand to immediate canceling the lease contract with the organizers of the forum!


18 марта 2015 — РСД
ihg, holiday inn, международный русский консервативный форум, антифашизм, левые, РСД, неонацизм

Posted by: nemzow | Mar 20 2015 19:09 utc | 37

Posted by: sarz | Mar 20, 2015 2:37:39 PM | 43

It rarely bothers me.
Just remind yourself not to take trolls as seriously as they take themselves.
This old (Ann) Coulter quote helps...

"I love to engage in repartee with people who are stupider than I am," Coulter told the crowd of 2,600 Wednesday. (As reported on CNN)

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 20 2015 19:22 utc | 38

Another onslaught of Ukrainian authorities on dissent

On March 19, 2015 the decision of the Pechersk district court of Kyiv took into custody and held in jail Alexander Bondarchuk - People's Deputy of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, chief editor of "working class", the head of the Workers' Party of Ukraine (Marxist-Leninist). Criminal case under Art. 110 to claim 1. was opened, conducted and submitted to the court by the Kiev branch of the Ukrainian Security Service (Art. 110 of the MCC to claim 1: "Deliberate acts, committed in order to change the borders of the state of Ukraine or the violation of the order established by the Constitution of Ukraine, as well as public incitement or distribution materials calling for such actions ").

SBU saw in one of the publications of the newspaper "working class" anti-state and separatist activities and today its editor faces a sentence of 3 to 5 years in prison.
These actions are another proof of infringement of freedom of expression and suppression of dissent in Ukraine. Please give publicity to this information.

Posted by: nemzow | Mar 20 2015 19:26 utc | 39

Trolls, my ass. juannie, james, are you fighting a class war, or not, and if so, which classes are you fighting for? Since some infants are paid very well not to observe the difference between killing a culture and killing a people, and that's basically the line you guys came in here with, can you tell me why I should NOW accept the whingeing of Social Justice in favor of the aristocracy whose social function is injustice?

Posted by: Jonathan | Mar 20 2015 22:37 utc | 40

@40 jonathan.. can we agree to disagree without making it personal? i found your comments @7 loaded with hostility and extreme. maybe you think that's the quickest way to win some converts to the changes you'd like to see, but for me it dismisses anything you have to offer..

Posted by: james | Mar 24 2015 19:39 utc | 41

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