Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 07, 2015

Are Manned U.S. Helicopters Flying In Syria?

A NYT piece on the failure if the  "Division 30" Pentagon mercenaries in Syria and their coming Version 2 includes some interesting bits (in bold). The general line of the piece is that the failure of the first group sent in does not lead to significant changes but to attempts to create more of the same. That is not really new but the usual Pentagon mindset. Interesting though are some details:

The proposed changes come after a Syrian affiliate of Al Qaeda attacked, in late July, many of the first 54 Syrian graduates of the military’s training program and the rebel unit they came from.
The rebels were ill-prepared for an enemy attack and were sent back into Syria in too small numbers. They had no local support from the population and had poor intelligence about their foes.
Predator drones quickly rushed to help the Division 30 fighters once they came under attack from the Nusra Front, Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, killing dozens of the attackers, American officials said.
While most of the fighters were Sunni Arabs, Nadim Hassan, an ethnic Turkmen whom few people had heard of before, was named as its leader, a decision many rebels felt had been imposed by the Turkish government.
The trainees were to get good weapons and monthly salaries ranging from $225 for soldiers to $350 for officers, Mr. Freiji said.
on July 30, Mr. Hassan, the group’s leader, and another commander, Farhan Jassem, entered Syria to meet with Nusra Front leaders and assure them that the American-trained force intended to fight only the Islamic State,
Soon after entering Syria, the two men and six others were promptly captured by the Nusra Front. They are still being held.

The next day, the Nusra Front attacked Division 30’s base in the village of Mariameen in northwestern Syria
A black-and-white video on his phone, apparently shot by an American drone, showed dozens of fighters he said were from the Nusra Front approaching the base before a large blast hit them, followed by automatic fire from the sky.

The U.S. paid mercenaries have no local backing. Their commander is under Turkish control and was friendly with al-Qaeda leaders but is now their hostage. Still later the Division 30 people called al-Qaeda their "brothers". Somehow all of that does not fit to the "idealistic moderate Syrian rebels" propaganda language U.S. officials use to describe them.

But the most curious issue in the piece is the description of the "drone" attack that helped to fend off attacking Nusra fighters. No drone I am aware of and certainly not the "Predator" are equipped with automatic weapons like machine guns. The Drones carry fire-and-forget missiles or bombs but no drone has the necessarily heavy rotating tower and swiveling weapon holder that would allow the use of automatic weapons. "Automatic fire from the sky" as the reporter describes from the video he has seen can only have come from manned helicopters. Or is there some other explanation that I miss?

If there were helicopters who's birds were these? U.S. or Turkish? Are there more of these flying over Syria and to what purpose? And what would be the Search & Rescue assets that could be used should such a bird come down involuntarily?

Something we are not told about is happening at the Turkish-Syrian border. Is that the reason why the Russians, despite U.S. efforts to hinder them, prepare air fields for the delivery of new air assets to the Syrian army?

Posted by b on September 7, 2015 at 12:05 UTC | Permalink


"Automatic fire from the sky" as the reporter describes from the video he has seen can only have come from manned helicopters. Or is there some other explanation that I miss?

A10 WartHog?

Posted by: A10 | Sep 7 2015 12:47 utc | 1

Someone estimated that Obama is the most intelligent President so far, and even if not, it really seems that no stone was left unturned in assuring that "anti-Assad anti-ISIS force" that was trained will fail. Perhaps they actually got plenty volunteers when they were giving 300 bucks/month to grunts and 400 to officers so they had to reduce it. I have no doubt that even with best planning there would be some mishaps.

However, there is an article in Daily Zaman that on the ground, MIT and CIA hate and sabotage each other, so there can be additional factors at play.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 7 2015 12:52 utc | 2

Good piece b. If TPB wonder what's the problem with their hired "Hessians", they need look no further than this quote..."The U.S. paid mercenaries have no local backing."

Posted by: ben | Sep 7 2015 14:53 utc | 3

Piotr Berman @2: No one actually 'estimated' that Obama was one of the smartest Presidents ever. It was just conjecture by an ass-kissing Presidential historian.

Obama's definitely well-educated and smart, but there are other factors at work as far as his decision-making is concerned. Add to intelligence at least intellectual curiosity and diverse real-world experience. My sense is that Obama's basically focused on his image and otherwise is not especially interested in his job, i.e., intellectual curiosity seems pretty low. And his life experience, with the exception of a year and a half as a housing 'activist' on the south side of Chicago, is pretty much white bread elite circles.

Almost all the Presidents have been smart, with the pretty obvious recent exceptions of Bush Jr., Reagan, and Harding. For the smartest Presidents ever I think you start with Jefferson, both the Adams, Madison, Lincoln, and Wilson. That didn't make them wise decision-makers, though.

Posted by: fairleft | Sep 7 2015 15:11 utc | 4

@A10 - I had considered that but the A-10 is too distinctive and the U.S. is the only country flying it. We would have seen reports from Turkey if A-10 would be deployed. Also the sound and sight of the A-10 revolver cannon firing is unmistakable. Hard to believe that someone would describe that as just "automatic fire". See for examples

A helo makes the most sense in the tactical environment that exited there.

Posted by: b | Sep 7 2015 15:17 utc | 5

Lord Carey: Britain has a duty to rescue Syria’s Christians

Posted by: meofios | Sep 7 2015 15:18 utc | 6


I was buzzed by an A10 once and you don't confuse the Warthog with any other craft. If there was a chopper involved it must have had a Romulan cloaking device or everyone on the battlefield would have seen and heard it.

Automatic gunfire coming from the Division 30 fighters is the rational explanation for this misstated report.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Sep 7 2015 15:39 utc | 7

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Sep 7, 2015 11:39:27 AM | 9

I suspect you're conveniently forgetting Bradley Manning/ WikiLeak's infamous "Collateral Murder" video showing the view from the gun sight camera of a Yankee helicopter hovering in "Silent mode" (whatever that means) in Iraq and slaughtering civilians en mass from 2 to 3 Km away - with deadly accuracy.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 7 2015 16:20 utc | 8

would be happy if this and wasn't there

Posted by: saucy | Sep 7 2015 16:46 utc | 9

There's also the AC 130 that fires from the air: "The Lockheed AC-130 gunship is a heavily armed ground-attack aircraft variant of the C-130 Hercules transport plane."

The latest developments in the area explain why Russia increased material support

would be happy if this and wasn't there

Posted by: saucy | Sep 7 2015 16:47 utc | 10

Qatar just got in
May they all burn in hell

Posted by: Mina | Sep 7 2015 17:20 utc | 11

It seems regime change in Syria is never off the agenda of the US, Turkey and the Gulfies. Unfortunately for them, Iran, Russia and China have different plans. They have to support Assad, in the case of Iran they have a military alliance. In the Russian case, they know that they would be next. Mad, head chopping Islamists in the Caucasus, and Crimea encouraged by the West. Iran and Russia know this struggle in Syria is existential, not only for Syria, but themselves as well. That is why regime change in Syria will not happen.

Posted by: harry law | Sep 7 2015 17:56 utc | 12

My hunch is that with the UNGA this month, Russia will repeat its calls for an international anti-IS coalition and, looking to build on the working relationship fostered over the nuclear deal, propose to the US a UNSC resolution that would authorise intervention in Syria. But in the meantime, Russia is drawing a line in the sand around Damascus and up along the spine of Syria to the mountains of Latakia to ensure that any formal coalition doesn't descend into an Anti-Assad no-fly zone orgy.

Posted by: Pat Bateman | Sep 7 2015 18:01 utc | 13


I know the Queen doesn't let you Aussies get too close to dangerous weapons but the M134 Minigun on Blackhawks has a range of 1000 meters and there is no such thing as 'silent mode', choppers are noisy and visible, even the stealth models are visible except to radar.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Sep 7 2015 18:17 utc | 14

@12/19 i can't imagine anything being quiet that the americans are responsible for..

Posted by: james | Sep 7 2015 19:13 utc | 15

other then illegal secret renditions, cia actions and stuff like that of course..

Posted by: james | Sep 7 2015 19:14 utc | 16

smoke on the in the sky

division 30 this and that....

you got to be naive

maybe even american idiots to believe bluff and puff

from kobani to berlin ...brown lives matter

Posted by: mcohen | Sep 7 2015 21:09 utc | 17

Could have been turkish T129s? If a Turkman was the leader, and Turkey got carte blanche to slaughter the pkk, maybe there was a deal for some air support for the US mercenaries?

Posted by: Crest | Sep 7 2015 23:24 utc | 18

"A black-and-white video on his phone, apparently shot by an American drone"

I'm equally curious as to how this gentleman gets US drone footage on his phone. Though this is all pretty thin info to come to any conclusions.

That the US can find anyone now, for a paltry $250 a month, to go into combat under these conditions seems unlikely. They might as likely find candidates willing to jump into waiting wood-chippers.

The whole effort seemed designed to fail. And it wouldn't be the first time we've seen that design from the US, who seems more and more to run policy based on under handed machinations and dishonest sleight-of-hand than by simply doing what they say they mean to do. But what choice do you have when your are fighting a war you claim not to be fighting, having your sworn enemies as your only allies...

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 7 2015 23:31 utc | 19

I have a feeling WayOutWest knows as much about weapons as he knows about... well, anything... meaning, somewhere between "very little" and "nothing at all".

A simple Google search shows there are all manner of super quiet helicopters, including those used by US special forces...

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 7 2015 23:35 utc | 20

@25 Best variation on 'you're' I've seen yet.....I know, I know....grammar nazi.

Posted by: dh | Sep 7 2015 23:37 utc | 21

Posted by: dhl | Sep 7, 2015 6:05:08 PM | 23

Thank You

Thanks b

Posted by: jo6pac | Sep 8 2015 0:27 utc | 22

Syria has an agreement on defense with Russia.
Any coalition foot on the ground or any faux-pas from the turkish or the coalition warplanes that would touch the Syrian army or a government controlled areas would trigger an immediate Russian intervention.
While the USA that has a tight control on the so-called coalition (who are anyway doing nothing) won't be foolish to bomb the Syrian army, it is not impossible that Turkey would. Turkey has also threatened to send troops in Syria.
The Russian military preparation in Syria is a clear warning to Turkey and to whoever has the intention of enter or to do acts that threaten the Syrian army or the government.
I think Turkey got the message and the USA too. Erdogan has a good pretext now to do nothing in Syria: he is busy fighting the home made terrorists, the PKK and trying to keep his job.

Posted by: Virgile | Sep 8 2015 0:51 utc | 23

dhl@ 23: Good link, thanks.

Lends more credibility to the quote: " It's just business, get over it", eh?

Posted by: ben | Sep 8 2015 2:23 utc | 24

OT, but, not really, since the American Empire is the driver for most of the issues we post on daily.

Worth a listen, especially our resident trolls.

Posted by: ben | Sep 8 2015 3:43 utc | 25

Great link dhl, including the comments.

ben, yeah, it's good to see Abby Martin back in action.

Posted by: fairleft | Sep 8 2015 5:33 utc | 26

They are going to take Syria down; it's already started. That report from Brookings in June about how they were going to do it? Well it's started. Better read this Tony Cartalucci article: Here's a tiny quote

"Not only does Brookings lay out an open conspiracy to invade and occupy Syria, it does so with the open admission that the goal is not to degrade the fighting capacity of the so-called “Islamic State” (ISIS or ISIL), but rather to undermine and eventually overthrow the Syrian government. In fact, Brookings makes a point of stating that the goal would be to seize and hold Syrian territory to further advance American ambitions toward regime change, and would move quickly to degrade the Syrian government’s ability to resist ISIS if any attempts were made by Damascus to stop the US invasion.

News reports have trickled out regarding US and British “fighters” operating in Syria. Their backgrounds, affiliations, logistical support, and transportation to the battlefield have been intentionally left ambiguous by the Western media. Occasionally, open admissions are made that US and British special forces are operating in Syria, with one recent report indicating British Special Air Service (SAS) operators were in Syria “dressed as ISIS fighters.”
First appeared:

It's so unjust. What are the Russians & Iranians going to do now?

Posted by: Penelope | Sep 8 2015 5:46 utc | 27

They are going to take Syria down; it's already started.

there is a definite resolve by the Axis of Resistance to stop it happening, NATO is not willing for an all out war, they need to be seen doing something in preparation of the UNGA meeting that is coming up soon. Obama needs to have some sound bites to fool the masses of the world, but it will not happen.

Posted by: papa | Sep 8 2015 6:19 utc | 28

NATO 7.62 ammo can be used at over 2km range in interdiction mode using an M60. It helps to have a tripod and mortar sight but it's quite doable. At that range the fire is significantly plunging and may well look like it's from an aircraft (though any tracer will probably have burned out by then). The Russian equivalent 7.62 machine gun would be similar.

Cannon fire also plunges heavily at range. I remember General E Higgins Esq,VC,DFC,San Serafino Order of Purity and Truth, 4th class, claiming an SAA attack in Lattakia was a cluster bomb attack because the rounds were falling so steeply. It was in fact rounds from a 23mm cannon near the camera.

Posted by: Charles Wood | Sep 8 2015 6:51 utc | 29


In order to confront the cold, hard reality of Syria and Ukraine, of Libya and Gaza, of Afghanistan and Iraq, a feel with a true shudder the icey blade of duplicity behind the 911 Commission coverup of a Fascist US Coup of 2001, you really owe it to yourself to take one evening out of your life, and watch this documentary on the Warren Report:

"We won, you lost. It's just business, get over it. Now hurry up and die."

Great Shaytan's Fourth Reich of 1000 Years lives. The HabMores versus the HabNothings.

They are about to pass a food labeling act in the US that will scrub ingredients and origins, and let even totally synthetic food substances be called natural and organic, so that the whole foods can be reserved for The Chosen, so public schools, veterans and nursing homes can be fed with hydrolyzed soylent offal and brown fizzy soda substance.

We are all trapped in their brutal global prison camp, built on mountains of skulls.

Posted by: NoReply | Sep 8 2015 9:36 utc | 30

Abby Martin? at first I thought Ashley Madison, but no. Abby Martin is the one who "closed her show on [RT on] March 3, 2014 with a minute-long statement condemning the Russian military intervention in Ukraine." Doesn't list any condemnation of American/NATO DD&D/resurrection of the NAZIs in Ukraine.

And wikipedia actually has a page on 2014–15 Russian military intervention in Ukraine. Links from Abby Martin.

Yeah, glad she's back. She's one of the 'goog ones', I guess. American 'journalism'. Amazing.

Posted by: jfl | Sep 8 2015 11:39 utc | 31

Virgile, 29: Erdogan has a good pretext now to do nothing in Syria: he is busy fighting the home made terrorists, the PKK and trying to keep his job.

PKK shows that they did not forget how to fight, so-called peace process lasted but two years after all. Government reported hundreds of killed PKK fighters, but with no details that I could see, while the number of killed police and soldiers is mounting. A big question is if the Kurdish party will be outlawed, at the moment it is attacked by mobs, and some preparations could be discerned even before escalation of violence, but EU powers, and perhaps USA as well, is discouraging this direction. The job of Erdogan is far from secure, because the way he and his party explains the violence is not particularly convincing to those who did not vote for them.

As far as Turkey helping to fight ISIS or not, a billion dollar question is if USA wants to do it. We got the "necessary base" (Cyprus is not that far away, so it is not totally clear if it was a game changer), and the results are hard to see -- by design?

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 8 2015 12:10 utc | 32

OT, but related, two battalions of Turkish Special Forces have invaded Northern Iraq in hot pursuit of PKK terrorists who killed 16 Turk troops with an IED.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Sep 8 2015 13:02 utc | 33

Russia to bypass Greek airspace for aid flights to Syria: Report

An unnamed official in the Greek government said on Tuesday that Russia will use an air route east of Greece for transportation of humanitarian aid to Syria, meaning it no longer needs the Greek airspace for such flights, Reuters reported.

The development came two days after the United States embassy in Athens demanded that the Greek government deny its airspace to the Russian aircraft. Greek officials have yet to accept the request.

The US has actively sought the ouster of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad though support for the militants operating the country. Nearly 240,000 Syrians have been killed in the four-year violence.

A report on the Bulgarian newspaper Kathimerini said Russia has decided to deliver its aid to Syria via Iran. Russia or Iran have yet to comment on the issue.

The USA - ruler of the world, apparently - has ordered the Greeks to deny Russian humanitarian aid shipments to the Syrians.

Turkey ground forces enter Iraq in 'hot pursuit' of PKK

Turkey’s Dogan news agency quoted unnamed military sources as saying that two battalions from Turkey's special forces crossed the border.

Erdogan's troops - NOT bringing humanitarian aid - are welcome, of course.

The USA wants to continue its campaign of DD&D until refugees stop running from its takfiris, until peace is achieved via bombing, until not one stone stans upon another in Syria.

Posted by: jfl | Sep 8 2015 13:19 utc | 34

Half of the Planet's Animals Have Disappeared in the Last 40 Years

The number of wild animals on Earth has halved in the past 40 years according to a new report from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Zoological Society of London (ZSL).

Gee, the human population has just about doubled over that same period. Could the numbers be related?

The 'official' story is that the 'problem' is the 'developing' countries ... but the problem is that they are NOT 'developing' countries, but exploited countries. In countries like Germany and Japan - where the people feel they have something to lose through over population - the numbers are steady, but in the exploited countries, where people feel they have little left to lose the population is still growing.

It's a biologic 'law' ... in times of stress, reproduce. Think there's a high level of stress in Palestine, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Ukraine ... India, Brazil?

And the stress is applied - along every dimension - by the human population in the 'developed' countries.

Don't worry. It's the endtimes. IBGYBG. Get ready for the rapture. Don't get left behind.

Literally unbelievable. The stories we'll tell ourselves to avoid confronting reality.

Half of the planet's animals have disappeared in the Last 40 years.
The human population has just about doubled in the Last 40 years.
There's a certain very sick symmetry there.

Posted by: jfl | Sep 8 2015 13:44 utc | 35

Puppet Bulgaria has also blocked airspace to Russia.

Posted by: fast freddy | Sep 8 2015 13:47 utc | 36


Obama is one of the most evil man to ever walk the earth. He has plunged half a dozen nations into civil war, and created numerous terrorist organizations that will plague the world for decades to come. He's embarrassed the US with limitless spying and torture, and has pushed the world back into a cold war, seemingly to the brink of an all-out nuclear war. He's done it all against the interests of the American people, acting purely for his corporate sponsors. And he has insulted the Nobel Peace Prize by having one.

Posted by: Cynthia | Sep 8 2015 14:14 utc | 37

Today's theory about Putin's motives are ... that Assad's regime is failing at an alarming rate and -- rather than fighting ISIS (yesterday's theory .. to win approval of USA ), Russia is intervening to prop up Assad to avoid having the post-Assad (or whatever) future settlement dictated by "The West" ...
The apparently heeded calls to USAian friends to deny Russia access to airspace may be a western feint to bolster "gotta stop Putin" or a genuine "stop Putin" -- however to the degree that Putin/Russia are actually willing to engage ISIS... once again the USA has to be seen as impeding "doing something about ISIS/Syria/Syrian refugees) ...
Hopefully Stephen Cohen will be on John Batchelor later today with some information about what prompted Putin "to act" if that's what's actually happening

Note this is Ian Bremmer, not Wrong-way-Paul-Bremmer
Business Insider: BREMMER: Putin is serious about entering Syria — and not to go after ISIS

Business Insider: Syrian military official: There’s been a ‘big shift’ in Russian military support for Assad

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Sep 8 2015 14:55 utc | 38

Business Insider is a neocon mouthpiece.
I'd be very skeptical of anything I read there.

Posted by: plantman | Sep 8 2015 15:27 utc | 39

@35 Charles Wood
Attention on deck!
Good afternoon Grand Admiral Higgins, sir!

Posted by: Crest | Sep 8 2015 19:50 utc | 40

America has created two, three many Vietnams around the world. Will Russia fall into a new Vietnam in the middle east? They've already been involved in a Vietnam on their border, and America already has multiple around the world. Perhaps the Uighurs can start acting up so China can get in on the action. Perpetual warfare around the world to distract people from our collapsing climate.

Posted by: Almand | Sep 8 2015 20:14 utc | 41

I posted (the BI links) them because they absolutely contradicted yesterday's explanation -- because they illustrate how "grasping at straws" versus "how fluid" the situation is/was ... today's pentagon announcement is even more pathetic ... we're Revamping Our Support to the Syrian Rebels ... but no details (not a one) are given and basically "if at first you don't succeed try, try again" ... in Afghanistan, in Iraq, now in Syria, see also Libya.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Sep 8 2015 20:19 utc | 42

You got me... humanity over-exploiting the earth is a hoax of the Jews.

Posted by: Almand | Sep 8 2015 20:29 utc | 43

Check out this absurd justification for Australian government invasion of Syria, as bootlicking puppet of the US empire, which is left unchallenged by the war whore - Lenore Taylor at the Aussie online news version of the Guardian.

"The Abbott government is set to confirm Australia will extend airstrikes into Syria and announce a response to the region’s refugee crisis – an issue that has divided the Coalition as it faces rapidly shifting public opinion.

The national security committee of cabinet met on Tuesday night to sign off on the plan to give Australian fighter-bombers permission to undertake limited strikes against Islamic State targets in Syria that are used to launch attacks into Iraq.

The defence minister, Kevin Andrews, has already said he backs the long-mooted shift and the attorney general, George Brandis, said strikes would be legal because “Isil conducts aggressive attacks on Iraq from bases within Syria ... and we are at war with Isil on behalf of the people and constitutional government of Iraq”.

So the absurdity of Aussie government actually claiming to attack ISIL in Syria because they might end up in Iraq, is left unchallenged by Le-whore. Which is simply war propaganda.
Is it Syrian refugees or Iraqi Refugees scrambling through Europe, Le-war-whore ?
In extension, that means that ISIL is fine to operate in Syria, because only ISIL members who want to cross into Iraq will be targeted ? Ridiculous.

The rest of the article is then spent talking about how bad the Right-wing Aussie Liberal government looks bad on its Refugees commitment, but since war was the cause of those refugees, that is never connected. Deliberately.

Oh and that shit-house "liberal" reporting, gets a pass here in most of fake Left Australia.

Posted by: tom | Sep 8 2015 21:07 utc | 44

dhl, Thanks for making it very clear to ignore everything you post on this site.

PS. The first beaches have already disappeared several times over--Outer Banks, Cape Hatteras; South Beach, Miami; Waikiki, Honolulu--and many other beaches whose lives were temporarily saved by trucking in millions of tons of sand to replenish them.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 8 2015 21:46 utc | 45


Without you identifying this mythical isle it's hard to verify your claims although sea level rise is not uniform just as temperature rise is not uniform, weather and current patterns may affect local conditions also. The billions of tons of water from melting ice is going somewhere and I'm sure denial is a widespread phenomenon.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Sep 8 2015 22:17 utc | 46

Is it just me, or has dhl/almand stamped his right foot on the ground so hard that it's sunk up to his waist, then grasped his left foot, pulled, and torn himself in two?

Posted by: jfl | Sep 8 2015 22:54 utc | 47

Re: Murdoch....

Remember when old Maggie Thatcher carked it & SO many people celebrated her death in the streets?!
"Poor taste" !! ....cried the relentless hypocrites of the Right.

Well just wait till that Faux "Australian" - who renounced his citizenship & became an American - RUPERT MURDOCH - finally succumbs to the grim reaper......The celebrations around the world will be deafening.

What a war-mongering piece of SH*T he is.

In his medias' relentless cheer-leading for the Iraq war back in 2003 - Rupert actually claimed (& his minions all rabbitted his views - as they always do!) that the war will be good if it brings about a $20 barrel of oil.
Last week Senile Rupert was back on twitter lamenting the low commodity prices....go figure !?

Posted by: Cracklier | Sep 8 2015 23:56 utc | 48

Sea level is affected by things like isotonic rebound, which occurs in areas recently glaciated. Slowing down of the gulf stream seems to be piling a bit of water off the eastern USA coast. The significant part of Syria is the littoral, the desert wastes can be left to the intellectual heirs of Crassus. Syria getting an anti-aircraft system, ya think?
To defend Damascus?

Posted by: Jay M | Sep 9 2015 0:38 utc | 49


The threat to Assad isn't from the air but from the ground and even if they got a new A-A system it could easily be destroyed with Cruse Missiles if the Hegemon so desires.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Sep 9 2015 1:03 utc | 50

dhl, an informed source, certainly

Posted by: Jay M | Sep 9 2015 2:21 utc | 51

Jay 71

You mean clittoral.....littoral is the noun litterati hence the saying....patience was a virgin,and that was her virtue.

15 the September who will remember

Posted by: mcohen | Sep 9 2015 2:43 utc | 52

Cynthia @48: He's let that happen, but he personally doesn't really care. 'Not interested in politics,' and it's not fashionable to care or be interested in politics in elite social circles. So, he's just regular, nice guy on the golf course. Very similar to his hero, Ronald Reagan, he's kind of letting the main power factions in the U.S. -- the finance, military-industrial, and Israel monsters -- do what they do. The main thing for both of them was/is maintaining an image of 'cool guy' or 'great guy' or whatever.

The relevance to Syria and foreign policy in general is, don't look for a diabolical 'plan', as you might with more interested or at least engaged Presidents, like Bush Sr., LBJ, Nixon or FDR. Or Cheney. Whenever we have a President who JUST DOESN'T CARE, there's definitely some contradiction and incoherence. Another good thing is there's a tendency to talk aggressive but avoid US military deaths, because bloody American corpses aren't good PR.

Posted by: fairleft | Sep 9 2015 2:55 utc | 53


The threat to Damascus is from frequent rockets from insurgent-aligned suburbs. like East Ghouta, along with occasional strikes from Al Nusra's Air Force (also known as the IDF).

Posted by: Rusty Pipes | Sep 9 2015 2:56 utc | 54

Lord, watching WayOutWest try and "know things" is soooo tedious.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 9 2015 3:07 utc | 55


Rockets are an irritant and do some damage but I was referring to an existential threat to the Assad regime.

When was there any report of the IDF even occasionally attacking Damascus?

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Sep 9 2015 3:19 utc | 56

jfl @41: OOps that slipped my mind. She was wrong on Crimea, but she kept working for RT for a year after that incident ...

Posted by: fairleft | Sep 9 2015 4:12 utc | 57

@81 fairleft

Actually, I had her actions and those of Liz Wahl confabulated. A link from

  Shadow Nine | Sep 9, 2015 1:04:05 AM | 63

put me straight on the two.

They, along with almost all journalist 'personalities', are definitely an epiphenomenon as far as I am concerned, as are the 'personalities' behind Syriza, for instance, who, although they appear to have much more to do with how things turn out, are all deformed by the forces they mingle amongst. As are we all. It is very rare that any one of us escapes the walls closing in around us completely.

  What force on earth is weaker than the feeble strength of one,
  But in union we are strong.

Posted by: jfl | Sep 9 2015 7:36 utc | 58

@77 fairleft

Sorry to be back again but I had to go and look @48 to see who you were talking about, 'not interested in politcs'. Wow. It was the NPPL himself.

I think that he may be trying to project a Reaganesque image - who can blame him, any image is better than the nihilist vacuum that he actually is himself - but is really a very astute political mechanic.

I'd put him with the 2 Bushes on your list, certainly a good bit higher on the totem than XLIII, and both head and shoulders above XLI as well.

I had thought you were talking about presidential candidates ... probably a Republicrat I was unaware of by your description. I don't think there are any Reaganesque polls on the horizon in either fork of the Big Party.

Among the Presidential candidates the one most like the NPPL, though, is perhaps Ted Cruz. Much different image projection ... but he's a Republicrat from TX, so he's what's required in that neck of the woods. But he is every inch the nihilist that Obama is, and is running to the real constituency - the oligarchs - on exactly the same program : you want it, you got it.

Posted by: jfl | Sep 9 2015 7:50 utc | 59

jfl @83: IMHO ... I look at who Obama surrounds himself with in the White House. It seems he's most comfortable working closely with youngish, inexperienced PR guys and speechwriters; in fact those types seem to be his main foreign (and domestic) 'policy advisors', if you can call them that. The youngish, inexperienced aspect to his White House advisors tells me that Obama lacks intellectual self-confidence and is not a 'great mind'. Not that he's not smart ... just not into it. Knowing that, he has sense enough to know that when you're not interested in the hard work and detail of foreign or domestic policy, you leave it to the (conventional-thinking) experts. The actual work and decision-making is done by the heads of the CIA, State, and Defense departments.

Obama _does_ very likely consider himself an expert on the 'Kennedyish black leader' persona he and his Chicago advisers created, and that's likely his day-to-day focus. It's also his moneymaker going forward, after the Presidency. What Obama and his helpers work on is putting him constantly in the mainstream media with high-sounding but meaningless proclamations, nice photo ops, and identity politics distractions, far from the warmonger, homelessness, inequality wreck that is the US domestically and overseas.

Posted by: fairleft | Sep 9 2015 8:39 utc | 60

Washington threatens confrontation with Russia over Syria

By Bill Van Auken
9 September 2015

The Obama administration has ratcheted up tensions with Moscow over unsubstantiated claims of a Russian military buildup in support of the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad.

Any expanded Russian presence on Syrian soil could lead to a “confrontation” with Washington’s “coalition,” which has been bombing Syria, supposedly with the aim of countering the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), US Secretary of State John Kerry threatened in a phone call to his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov over the weekend.

Kerry’s extraordinary threat of an armed confrontation between the world’s two largest nuclear powers was reiterated Tuesday by White House spokesman Josh Earnest, who voiced the US administration’s “concern” over the reports that “Russia may have deployed additional military personnel and aircraft to Syria.”

Posted by: okie farmer | Sep 9 2015 9:09 utc | 61

Wayoutwest @ 80 says:

When was there any report of the IDF even occasionally attacking Damascus

well, there was this

and this

Posted by: john | Sep 9 2015 9:45 utc | 62

Salutations to MOA. Just checking in on yall.

Posted by: Really | Sep 9 2015 9:57 utc | 63

The HBO Series, "The Brink" offers interesting parallels with current events and our cast of characters. And of course, Dr. Strangelove (Or How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love The Bmob) is an accurate depiction of "The Nuclear Age" and especially "Military Thinkers" - very true to life.

Posted by: fast freddy | Sep 9 2015 10:53 utc | 64

@84 fairleft

' [H]e has sense enough to ... leave it to the (conventional-thinking) experts. The actual work and decision-making is done by the heads of the CIA, State, and Defense departments. [And the corporate heads and plutocrats and Israeli mafia they report to directly.] '

That was the deal from day one. He's the front man, as far as his bosses are concerned he's : you want it, you got it.

He helps them out stroking the electorate, and of course keeping as much of the shit off his shoes as he can. But he's been doing as he's been told, doing his time, crossing off each day on his 8 year calendar before he lays him down to sleep. Just 500 more days 'til he cashes in his chits. And then it will all have been worthwhile. From his nihilist point of view.

Posted by: jfl | Sep 9 2015 11:24 utc | 65

jfl @91: First Black President! Then First Woman President! Then First Hispanic President! Then First Gay President! Each one a spokesmodel for bloody empire and pauperization of the working people of the world.

Posted by: fairleft | Sep 9 2015 12:47 utc | 66


Two attacks on Iranian rockets held or meant for Hezbollah 'near', on the outskirts, or at the airport outside of, Damascus are not attacks on Damascus but thanks for your fact checking.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Sep 9 2015 14:10 utc | 67

Deleted all comments by John Forgarty aka DHL/dhl aka DIY

for sockpuppetry and general bad behaviour

Posted by: b | Sep 9 2015 16:30 utc | 68

jfl 65

That is an excellent, concise and well-written description of President Oilbomber. It is sad, heinous and grotesque (how deftly!) the MSM has applied a Marxist/socialist label to him. The MSM wields a tremendous amount of control over the thoughts, attitudes, and perspective of the populous.

Fairleft - your comment dovetails perfectly.

In the legend of Smedley Butler, it is told that the capitalists thought him perfectly malleable and well suited to stage a coup against the FDR admin, yet he turned on them - spoiling their plans.

From that, it is possible, but not very likely, that Trump embodies a similar persona.

Of course, Trump is blaming immigrants (a cheap trick - red meat for idiots) and he seems to be on board with Greater Israel; and everything else that is horrible. Currently, the attractions Trump offers are his feints regarding Import Tariffs - And that he is hated by the RNC JEB! Machine.

Posted by: fast freddy | Sep 9 2015 19:05 utc | 69

obama cannot because he is ex chicago law firm devil,s advocate as in the movie.
putin cannot because he is ex kgb operator as in bond movie
the only person who can is on a sabbatical from his job as gatekeeper.
that means they are allowing any riff raff to rule
what a pity
lets form a commitee
think about this
reflect on what has happened since obama was elected
he went to egypt and made a speech
the russians and iranians to "resolve" syria...this after the jisr al shughour hospital turkey shoot
a few chemical plant fires later and now damascus
anyway the gatekeeper is on his way back......i must admit....i await with drooling,horrifically fascinated , anticipated,morbid interest
who they will elect next
thats the problem

Posted by: mcohen | Sep 9 2015 21:37 utc | 70

Thanks for that b. Well deserved.

Next....Aussie sock puppet government, comfirmes that they will militarily involved in Syria and Iraq for years.

Regime change, here we come.

Posted by: tom | Sep 10 2015 2:37 utc | 71

Posted by: tom | Sep 9, 2015 10:37:49 PM | 71

Unsurprisingly, Tony Abbott (Mr Shirtfront Putin) and his fellow Liberal cretins are the only people on Planet Earth who think this Syria idea isn't completely insane.
And indefensibly illegal.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 10 2015 4:50 utc | 72

@72 horsewhisperer.

Tony Abbott's bloodlust is so evident, that I think (?) he is one of the first in the world to declare this a long term bombing campaign in Syria.

And the story a month or so ago, that Abbott was pushing the genocidal war criminal Obama into bombing Syria sooner than later, ( how bad does that make Abbott look ) if not believable before, is definitely believable now.

Posted by: tom | Sep 10 2015 9:30 utc | 73

What real effect does Australia's participation have?
They are supposedly in Iraq which has had no effect.
Isis is being encouraged in Syria by the U.S. and its allies in the area that is what the focus needs to be on.
As the air strikes are all pretence

Posted by: James lake | Sep 10 2015 12:23 utc | 74

Russia to prevent Libya scenario in Syria: Lavrov

“We helped and we continue to help the Syrian government equip the Syrian army with everything it needs to prevent [a repetition of] the Libyan scenario and other regretful events that happened in that region because some of our Western partners were possessed with the idea of removing undesirable regimes,” Lavrov said.

That sounds right. Remind the world of the results of Obama and droogies last great r2p adventure. And then assert that Russia is prepared fo guard against a repat of the NATO invasion/assassination routine, which has had and continues to have such disastrous consequnces for all the humans involved.

There is at least one educable, adult nation in Europe/on earth.

Posted by: jfl | Sep 10 2015 13:41 utc | 75


Good research and analysis, bhl this story has been hyped for a reason to promote an agenda.

What is just as disturbing is that so many commenters and Assad supporters seem ecstatic that this intervention might happen where Putin will finally show the West his power and resolve to affect events in the ME.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Sep 10 2015 14:49 utc | 76


I thought you were a thinker not a reactionary liar, my mistake, I won't complement your comments again.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Sep 10 2015 15:52 utc | 77

Posted by: bhl | Sep 10, 2015 11:36:30 AM | 79 says

"openly Zio-racist provably dishonest fake-left fake-Anti-Imperialists"

hey pretty prolly

so what does that make you...a left imperialist anti racist prolly

dhl as bhl as jfl as fl

Posted by: mcohen | Sep 10 2015 22:51 utc | 78

Security Council approves investigative panel for Syria chemical attacks

On Thursday, the 15-member council endorsed a letter to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in support of a joint investigative mechanism proposed by the UN and the global chemical weapons watchdog, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

The letter, which was signed by Russia's ambassador to the UN and the Security Council’s current president, Vitaly Churkin, authorizes Ban's recommendations for the establishment of a three-member independent panel with the freedom of movement to go anywhere in Syria to identify the perpetrators of chemical attacks in the Arab country.

Do the Russians have the inside track on this business? Is one of the 3 a Russian? How else can they avoid a set-up investigation a la The Netherlands' on the Boeing shot down over Ukraine? It seems to be getting down to the short strokes in Syria. No time to make mistakes.

Posted by: jfl | Sep 11 2015 0:56 utc | 79

Russia is aiding an ally with a legitimately elected government fallen on hard times. Nothing wrong with that.

Posted by: ruralito | Sep 11 2015 1:16 utc | 80

bhl/dhl @ 77 wants to discredit the jewel b gave us on September 05, 2015.

Trolls aside, Guns and Butter had an interesting interview/podcast I thought I'd toasttoast as a night cap. Cheers!

Posted by: Shadow Nine | Sep 11 2015 1:24 utc | 81


I had to laugh at 'legitimately elected government', that's a hoot. Assad may lead the recognized govt in Syria but please don't try to whitewash a family regime.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Sep 11 2015 1:26 utc | 82


Something also noteworthy is how Assad and Putin have strong public support in the polls, while Obama's continues to drop. Yet ironically, his disastrous foreign policies receive wide right-wing, silent or sometimes ignorantly-vociferous, support. I thought these assholes hate Obama and everything their deluded-minds thinks he represents? Where does their confused right-wing racist nationalism end and their embrace of fascist internationalism begin with the black man?


oh yeah, like America doesn't have arrogant ruling class family regimes for the unwashed masses, we have a perfect democracy, culture, and way of life to impose for export with unchangeable exceptionalism. TINA, that's the bitch's acronym.

Posted by: Shadow Nine | Sep 11 2015 2:15 utc | 83


I have nothing good to say about our Oligarchy or how we select our leaders but to place the tag of 'legitimacy' on that selection shouldn't the masses vote before the leader is elevated to power not after the fact.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Sep 11 2015 2:37 utc | 84

@86, look it up.

Posted by: ruralito | Sep 11 2015 2:43 utc | 85


I meant to say "incontestable exceptionalism". Sorry about that.

I've watched a couple of interviews with Assad addressing material realities in his country, haven't you?

Like he said, he has popular support and that's why he remains in power, yet he gets dehumanized and demonized into programmed borg minds by US Dungeons & Dragons™ .

The Syrians ain't interested in Al-qaeda or it's affiliates℠ ruling over them.

Other countries, including the US CIA spending $1 bn taxpayer money per year operating a destabilization campaign is not only wasteful, it's in violation of international law and something I find unacceptable.

I mean seriously the American law and order crowd make me wanna vomit. Them whiny, good-for-nothing hypocrites. Remember that DIA FOIA request came from judicial watch, a conservative website, whom hosted the proverbial smoking gun and has anything been done with it other than a full-steam ahead war plan and playing Jedi mind tricks on an American public distracted with fantasy football or deflate-gate.

Back in the real world millions of Syrians suffer and die but you're saying Assad's perceived leadership qualification is more important to garner people's attention? You mention US oligarchy, so I'm giving you a benefit of the doubt it's not to legitimize said class aggression on Assad or his people, it's simply an ideological argument (communist o̶r̶ ̶a̶n̶a̶r̶c̶h̶i̶s̶t̶) on social organization beyond neo-reactionaries dark enlightenment?

Posted by: Shadow Nine | Sep 11 2015 4:23 utc | 86

read the first 15 posts....

Posted by: mcohen | Sep 11 2015 8:06 utc | 87

@ 92

What was I thinking bhl, the amber room must be in your caboose. That locomotive you put on display in the wrong thread, missing that links analysis/conclusion of over-hyped Russian involvement in Syria, is a derailed gem. ;)

Posted by: Shadow Nine | Sep 11 2015 11:05 utc | 88

hit going to shit the fan

Posted by: mcohen | Sep 11 2015 11:29 utc | 89

bhl #94

you are trying to hard,squeezing the lemon is going to cause rupture.......the russians have been in syria at least 50 years,nothing new.......michael weiss is phil weiss,s cousin from the site mondoweiss..........both genuine leftie good guys fighting the good need to read between the legs

for whom do these balls chime.they chime for chaim my boy....for le chaim

Posted by: mcohen | Sep 11 2015 11:40 utc | 90

bhl/dhl @ 77 wants to discredit the jewel b gave us on September 05, 2015.

Posted by: Shadow Nine | Sep 10, 2015 9:24:34 PM | 85

OMG- that wasn't a nugget! That was non credible spin from an activist who is out to prove Russian troops are in Ukraine as well as in Syria
Didn't anyone here actually look who it was b quoted? I suppose not, as usual. It was Ruslan Leviev!

The man quoted by Weiss- regurgitated by Elliot Abrahams and all of it published by Ynet- to use Leviev as a source, a credible source is akin to nonsense!

In plain talk b is promoting propaganda and passing it off as credible- on par with Michael Weiss and Elliot Abrahams and Ynet!

bhl@94 that's a comment from me blog and though I did not include MOA in that comment- The sentiment you expressed is applicable, but, still I don't like be quoted out of context

I will, of course put a copy of this comment at my blog, because I expect, as usual this will be held for days- if published at all

Posted by: Penny | Sep 11 2015 11:52 utc | 91

@Penny @91

Will you ever learn to distinguish between source and content a source provides?

The source may be bad, a neocon nut or whatever, but the content or information it provides may still be correct. Blaming the information for the source is silly.

Posted by: b | Sep 11 2015 14:40 utc | 92

b: I've long learned to distinguish between source and content, but, in the case of Ruslan and Michael Weiss- both the source and content is questionable.

The problem is,the one you have ignored,is there is only one source and no verification from any other sources
No one but Ruslan has been able to substantiate a massive Russian build up- No one. You don't find that odd in the slightest?

I've looked high and low for any one else to verify and no one else is!Everyone is repeating Ruslan's information. That's not credible
It's gossip. It hearsay.

Posted by: Penny | Sep 11 2015 16:53 utc | 93

@Penny - Ruslan and Michael Weiss- both the source and content is questionable.

Wrong. Both were sources. The content was an analysis of various pictures and movements. That analysis was mostly correct.

The problem is,the one you have ignored,is there is only one source and no verification from any other sources
No one but Ruslan has been able to substantiate a massive Russian build up- No one. You don't find that odd in the slightest?

Only because YOU don't know other sources or can't find them does not mean that there are no other sources. I am quite confident that my information, which fits the information those neocons presented, is correct.

Posted by: b | Sep 11 2015 19:13 utc | 94

B here is another source for you:
Making the exact same point I'm making and the very point you are ignoring- Perhaps Patrick Cockburn is more palatable to you?

The Russians are Coming. Or are they?

"These are exciting stories bringing back memories of the Cold War, but as yet there is a shortage of proven facts to sustain allegations of a big new Russian military build-up in Syria. This is according to a report by Ruslan Leviev and a team of Russian journalists published on the website Bellingcat that has previously investigated Russian military involvement in Ukraine"

My point exactly b, there is a shortage of proven facts to sustain these allegations

Posted by: Penny | Sep 11 2015 20:22 utc | 95

"Only because YOU don't know other sources or can't find them does not mean that there are no other sources"

I guess Patrick Cockburn has no other sources either, right b?

Posted by: Penny | Sep 11 2015 20:27 utc | 96


b well said .....sources are sauces as they say on 4chan

russia is simply creating a buffer zone along the m5 highway in syria running north south.the dividing line between desert and mountain range.the seperation or partition will make it easier to enforce peace....Turkey is the main problem.the control of the 2 rivers has to be fairly negioated otherwise it will give arab nationalists a legit cause to rally around.evacuating thise living in the area to europe might solve the problem

could all this be the begining of the global warming emergency response


Posted by: mcohen | Sep 11 2015 21:55 utc | 97

re 95

russia is simply creating a buffer zone along the m5 highway in syria running north south.
Really? the Syrians won't like that.

the control of the 2 rivers has to be fairly negioated
Fat chance of that happening.

Posted by: Laguerre | Sep 11 2015 22:54 utc | 98

#96 laguerre

You a betting man

Want to put some money on it

The mountains overlooking the m5.thats where it will end.the desrt plains Sunni.turkey is Sunni the Kurds are moving

Kobane to berlin....brown lives matter

2:1 odds

Posted by: mcohen | Sep 12 2015 1:37 utc | 99

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