Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 23, 2015

Russia To Buy *Used* Mistral Helicopter Carriers From Egypt

New cars are often offered at high fixed list prices set by the manufacturer. A trick car dealers use to circumvent such fixed list prices and to sell more cars is to "sell" the new car for a day or two to some strawmen. These cars are marketed as "demonstrator" or per-registrated cars. The "used car" is handed back to the dealer who sells it to the originally intended buyer for a price lower than the manufacturer's list price.

A somewhat similar trick, though not involving pricing, seems to be in the making for a set of interesting war ships:

France has agreed to sell two Mistral helicopter carriers to Egypt, which were originally ordered by Russia.
The Mistrals contract, worth €1.2 billion ($1.3 billion), was signed by France’s DCNS/STX and Russia’s Rosoboronexport in 2011. The contract specified that two French helicopter carriers would be delivered to Russia, the first in 2014 and the second in 2015. Russia was to partly manufacture the vessel hulls and provide its own military electronic equipment for the warships.

However, the French government decided not to hand the vessels over to Moscow after it came under intense political pressure from the US and its European allies following Crimea’s reunification with Russia and the outbreak of armed conflict in eastern Ukraine.

Egypt has little use for these quite expensive and difficult to operate helicopter carriers. I am not aware of any sensible scenario in which Egypt could put them to good use. The likely story behind this deal is thus different.

Egypt will buy these two ships probably using a credit line forwarded by Russia. Russian specialists will out fit them with Russian weapon systems. Then, in a year or two, Egypt will offer the "used helicopter carriers" to Russia. The inevitable bribes and other incentives of this transaction will be used as a well deserved bonus for the Egyptian leadership.

I have no doubt that the French, who never wanted to cancel the original Russian deal, has been in on this scheme from the very beginning.

The only question now is: What is Washington gonna do about it?

Posted by b on September 23, 2015 at 12:30 UTC | Permalink


What is Washington gonna do about it?

1. Malign French President/other leaders in the press. Say the're keeping all the good French Ticklers for themselves.

2. Go back to calling French Fries "Freedom Fries".

Posted by: fast freddy | Sep 23 2015 14:25 utc | 1

ff @ 1: LMAO, I'd add a third.

3. Demonize Russia and Putin for their "underhanded" business deals.

Posted by: ben | Sep 23 2015 14:55 utc | 2

Cannot agree that the Russians will buy them from Egypt, this would make both France and Egypt worse than second hand car dealers [which they may be] and too obvious by a mile.
Could also breach end user and other Resolutions and agreements.For instance, European Union Councils position:- "Existence of a risk that the military technology or equipment will be diverted within the buyer country or re-exported under undesirable conditions;" I could be wrong but such a transaction would be too cynical and draw far more criticism from the US than the original deal,far better for France to have sold them to Russia as per contract ignoring the US.

Posted by: harry law | Sep 23 2015 15:10 utc | 3

Oh, the plot sickens ...

The scenario sounds about right ... but the consequences of such a series of transactions could be quite entertaining?

I suspect that there may be other actors at work than the obvious. France needs to dump the boats, Russia would like to have them ... but there are plenty of actors involved to make second guessing just that. If there is money to be made, there is some one with capital involved ... just who and why? When there is money to be made, ALL bets are off.

Posted by: Rg an LG | Sep 23 2015 15:45 utc | 4

I think b is right. I was also wondering why Egypt military would need such expeditionary ships, and not just one but two, and it made no sense. There is no scenario in which Egypt would require two large helicopter carriers to 'project power'. Egypt interests are mainly Libya, Sudan, Israel, Jordan and the Arabian peninsula. Neither requires these two ships. Only medium to large nations with maritime interest would need one of them. Two would be excessive even for most large European nations.

So this speculation is quite credible. Another reason is that Egypt doesn't have the money. Other alternatives would be the Saud but I don't see them requiring expeditionary ships either and relations between Egypt government and the Saud monarchy doesn't to be in a high point either.

Posted by: ThePaper | Sep 23 2015 16:07 utc | 5


The likely story behind this deal is thus different.

b might have its own info sources about the Mistrals going from France to Egypt, to be sold to Russia later, as there is nothing in the link provided to substantiate the probability of such transaction.

According to the Defense Industry Daily , Russia intended to dismantle sensitive equipment from the Mistrals, if they were sold to countries other than India or Egypt.

September 15/15: With Egypt appearing to lead the pack of prospective buyers for the two French state-owned Mistral LHDs, the Russian government has reportedly indicated that if the North African state were to acquire the two ships then the sensitive Russian equipment installed on them could remain in place, after stating earlier this month that this equipment would be removed. The same reportedly goes for India, with both countries established markets for Russian military hardware...

Their acquisition by Egypt means the sensitive equipment (ship-borne combat information and control systems, systems controlling missile fire, artillery complexes and the helicopter landing control module) can stay in exchange, and I speculate here, for an in-depth study by the Russians of the Mistrals design and construction.

Not surprisingly, the Saudis seem to be the mastermind behind the whole deal, using al-Sisi as a front puppet,

"Egypt and Saudi Arabia are desperate to buy two Mistrals," an unnamed official French source told France’s leading daily, Le Monde. “King Salman of Saudi Arabia wants to build a fleet in Egypt which could project regional power in the Red Sea and Mediterranean," said the source. "Some countries in the region have displayed a marked interest in the Mistrals with the aim of establishing a [regional] maritime force.”

The report of Egyptian and Saudi interest in acquiring the two French-made warships came a day after French President François Hollande attended a ceremony marking the inauguration of a major Suez Canal extension in the Egyptian port city of Ismailia Thursday.

Speaking to reporters in Ismailia, Hollande said France would have “no difficulty” finding buyers for the Mistrals originally bound for Russia.

out of an ambition to project "a joint Arab force" in the region. The financing for Egypt's purchase, according to the Defense Industry Daily quoting French 24, might have come from the Saudis, not the Russians.

...With reports indicating that Saudi Arabia may finance the acquisition of the vessels for Egypt, in order to leverage the country’s navy as a regional proxy, the Egyptians have recently purchased a number of French naval vessels, including a FREMM frigate and Gowind corvettes.

If all this info is reliable, and the purpose of the purchase is intended as a projection of Saudi-Egypt force in the region, Egypt will have no intentions to "sell" the Mistrals to Russia any time soon. After all, the Saudis call the shots in Egypt, not the Russians.

On the other hand, there is a point of pride for the Russians (and a powerful mil industry), who by now have already advanced designs on bigger and better LHDs

As for what Washington is going to do about it, they will be very happy their minions got the Mistrals, and not the Russians.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Sep 23 2015 16:53 utc | 6

Egypt and KSA were candidates for buying these carriers quite a while ago. See, dated 1.04.2015,

France to sell the two Mistral Ships to Egypt

“The series of good news for Egypt seems to continue. An announcement made today by Hervé Guillou, CEO of the French DCNS group to a German magazine stated that Egypt is now negotiating with the approval of Russia, for the transfer of the contract of the two Mistral class landing ships, The Vladivostok and Sebastopol, to the Egyptian navy. The solution negotiated by General Sedki Sobhi, will allow Egypt, according to Hervé Guillou, to move forward on the Mistral dossier, that poisons the French-Russian relationships. We ignore the content of the financial agreement between Cairo and Moscow but experts are talking about of a combined military aid with an increased trade between the two capitals.” (scroll down just a little)

Posted by: Noirette | Sep 23 2015 16:58 utc | 7

What is DC going to do about it? What it's been doing. Flood Europe with Islamist refugees. Charlie Hebdo was just a warm-up act. France's underhanded dealings will result in bonus refugees.

Posted by: ? | Sep 23 2015 17:20 utc | 8

Perhaps the Egyptians could lease them to the Russians and/or the Syrians. Would they be helpful in fighting ISIS, or patrolling the seas over the new oil and gas finds, or deterring Turkish and Israeli attacks by sea?

Posted by: Odin's Raven | Sep 23 2015 18:15 utc | 9

The PTB have demonstrated that they can make jet airliners disappear; playing shell games with aircraft carriers is not out of the question.

Posted by: fast freddy | Sep 23 2015 19:00 utc | 10

Rebels who have inflicted big losses on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad say Russia's intervention in support of its ally will only lead to an escalation of the war and may encourage the rebels' Gulf Arab backers to pour in more military aid.

Russia's deployment is prompting a reassessment of the conflict among insurgents whose advances in western Syria in recent months may have been the catalyst for Russia's decision. U.S. officials say Russian forces are already arriving.

Rebels interviewed by Reuters say they have already encountered stronger government resistance in those areas - notably the coastal heartland of Assad's Alawite sect - and now predict an even tougher war with Russian involvement.

Some see an opportunity in the Russian deployment, predicting more military aid from states such as Saudi Arabia. That signals one of the risks of Russian involvement: a spiral of deepening foreign interference in a conflict already complicated by a regional struggle between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Posted by: okie farmer | Sep 23 2015 19:40 utc | 11

Fcuking American imbeciles.

Posted by: Adam | Sep 23 2015 19:52 utc | 12

As in Syria, now in Ukraine:
Russia plans second big military base near Ukrainian border

Russia is planning a second major military base near the border with Ukraine, where NATO accuses Russian troops of helping pro-Moscow separatists fight Kiev's forces.

The new base will house 5,000 soldiers and heavy weaponry, according to public documents and people working at the site.

It is further east than one under construction in Belgorod region reported by Reuters earlier this month but still close to the border with separatist-held parts of Ukraine's eastern Luhansk region, where there has been heavy fighting.

The bases are part of a Russian military buildup along a new line of confrontation with the West, running from the Black Sea in the south to the Baltic in the north, which carries echoes of the Cold War-era "Iron Curtain".

Posted by: okie farmer | Sep 23 2015 19:54 utc | 13

The Russians are and have always acted within International Law in the Syrian conflict, it is the US coalition which wants the legitimate Syrian government replaced. Moscow Wednesday... "The United States should withdraw its signature to the Geneva communiqué if Washington does not agree that the Syrian people themselves should decide their future, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday." and "If they have not recalled their signature and state their commitment to the document, then there can be no modeling of scenarios for the development of the situation and its practical implementation. Otherwise, the US is deceiving everybody," Zakharova added.
The Geneva Communiqué says that political future of Syria must be determined by the Syrian people themselves.

Posted by: harry law | Sep 23 2015 20:01 utc | 14

Posted by: okie farmer | Sep 23, 2015 3:40:35 PM | 11

It is possible that Russia has offered Saudi Arabia protection from blackmail.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 23 2015 20:04 utc | 15

somebody, I couldn't get your link to open.
But I don't have an answer to whether Russia has offered Saudi Arabia protection from blackmail.

Posted by: okie farmer | Sep 23 2015 20:19 utc | 18

somebody, it finally opened. There's one comment:

bakir says:

September 22, 2015 at 10:46 am

if you read arabic you will know this is not a saudi post the video says safawey\which means it is either a shia militia or shia iraqi army, for your integrity dont name what you dont know, also it is not the border it is simply a post in the arab penniusla i would put this near rutba if my guess is correct.

Posted by: okie farmer | Sep 23 2015 20:32 utc | 19

Then again may be Egypt has a use for them.

Posted by: jo6pac | Sep 23 2015 21:00 utc | 20

I thought the mistrals were a Medvedev/neolib deindustrialization deal that the Russian military never wanted to begin with? Probably got that from Saker. So I like the Saudis as the secret sharer. Just the thing for terrorizing the Yemenis. The US and their UN will like that too. The UN can point out that the Saudis are now the UN's official Human Rights gurus, so whoever the Saudis destroy with these new armaments are no counts and deserve it. So shut up about the USA/KSA aggression! Plus the deal gets the French back on the US side with enthusiasm ... for sure the Saudis are paying top dollar for the ships. The US MIC doesn't build ships for export ... if you have ask what they cost you can't afford them. And they can nose about in the Russian electronics once the Egyptians/Saudis have them ... although I imagine they've had free run of the ships in France? The Russians have been talking to the Egyptians and the Saudis lately, are going to sell the 'Egyptians` the heliocopters that will actually deliver the DD&D, so its a good deal done by all. The Russians got their money back plus from the French, didn't they? And now the French and US have got the Saudis to pick up the tab.

The only people who suffer are those who don't count: the Yemenis and the other poverty-stricken people the USA/KSA/French/Russians loose these engines of war on. DD&D Inc.

Ain't war just grand!

Posted by: jfl | Sep 23 2015 22:46 utc | 21

I did read somewhere or other that Russia really isn't much interested in owning these new French ships. What Russia was really after was new technology underlying their systems. It was said that this new technology was described in the vessels' plans and diagrams. And these plans and diagrams have already been provided to the Russians.

So, maybe they already have what they were really after, for free.

Posted by: blues | Sep 23 2015 23:29 utc | 22

Maybe Bibi could pull a "Liberty" on them.....

Posted by: Peter VE | Sep 24 2015 0:19 utc | 23

1. I think that re-sales of major military equipment are restricted by the purchase agreement, so the French would have to specifically agree.

2. One bonus on selling major military equipment is the necessity of training officers how to use them, which is (allegedly) a standard way of recruiting intelligence assets. So when the ship was sold to Egypt, Russia got some cash and some strategic gain.

3. Egypt may contemplate counterinsurgency along the coast and interventions in Libya and/or Red Sea region (helping Saudis?) A floating helicopter base can be handy.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 24 2015 0:33 utc | 24

I don't see what purpose these floating coffins serve. They will be fun lucrative targets in any war and are too vulnerable to deploy against any serious opponent. They are already obsolete.
They would however be useful to Eygpt if they want to attack a country like Yemen or Somalia.

Posted by: Secret Agent | Sep 24 2015 1:35 utc | 25

So if the Saudi's are involved in the deal does that mean the Bush family has its hand in it as well?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 24 2015 2:06 utc | 26

Very obvious explanation for that unjustified purchase for the Egyptian army.
Who is paying for it? Saudi Arabia. Well, King Salman is rendering a hell of a service to embattled Hollande.
In exchange Hollande has just changed his tune back to the old one: "Bashar al Assad must go".

Posted by: Virgile | Sep 24 2015 2:43 utc | 27

the russians would be bat shit crazy to trust

sarkozy and hollands infected boats.
owned by the empire of the city of london and tel aviv.
super portable magna bsp mitre corp mini nukes hidden deep within.
dimona computer hacked ship systems.
general sisi is jewish working for the donmeh satanic jewish house of saud
holland as well.

putin would be mad to invest in defective kosher fingered floating coffins.

the french should keep these sin bulls for for fermenting storing and transporting cheese

Posted by: charles drake | Sep 24 2015 3:52 utc | 28

Russians already dismantled their systems from these ships. US would be pretty pissed off at France for doing a deal if they knew the ships would end up in Russia's hands anyway.

Seems more like US gave Egypt the money to buy these ships to bail out France and to continue the humiliation of Russia. But with all the deals going on right now, who the hell knows. Stephen Cohen said on radio show last night that Putin's hardliners are angry with him, thinking he has made a deal with Obama on Syria that will sell out the Donbass.

Posted by: gemini33 | Sep 24 2015 5:17 utc | 29

Related? France Will Begin Reconnaissance Flights Over Syria

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 24 2015 5:20 utc | 30

Correction: I thought I remembered reading that the Russians had already dismantled equipment from the Mistrals but article linked above shows they planned to begin that soon but have not done it. Thanks Lone Wolf @6 for the link

Posted by: gemini33 | Sep 24 2015 5:22 utc | 31

All Washington can do right now is to find another way to stick a spoke in France's wheels at some point in the future.

Posted by: ralphieboy | Sep 24 2015 7:30 utc | 32

pretty interesting interview of a Kurdish guy who has been living in France
(in several parts, not all published yet)

Posted by: Mina | Sep 24 2015 7:49 utc | 33

I have to agree with the above (esp #24 and 27). Those ships would be totally useless in any battle with either the US or Israel. They would be sunk within hours in any war. They might prove useful against Yemen or Somalia however or maybe a US sanctioned attack against say Libya, Tunisia or Algeria.

I am sure that Russia has no need for those ships -- perhaps against Georgia but that country should be now be totally neutralized.

Posted by: ToivoS | Sep 24 2015 8:18 utc | 34

re 32. That's just a partisan piece, Mina, to vaunt the victimhood of Kurds. You can tell from the first sentence:

C’est peu dire que ces quatre-vingt-dix dernières années, les Kurdes n’ont pas eu beaucoup d’amis.
So people are poor victims, are they, when they have the US and Israel fighting on their side? France funds the Kurds, indeed a nicely organised institute with scholarships for Kurdish students, that I know well. French foreign policy is very pro-Kurd (the Arabs of Iraq don't get a look in).

I won't go into the details, but it's exaggeration all the way.

Posted by: Laguerre | Sep 24 2015 8:39 utc | 35

[email protected] Gary Brecher 'The War Nerd' agrees with you about the aircraft carrier here is a sample..Every single change in technology in the past half a century has had “Stop building carriers!” written all over it. And nobody in the navy brass paid any attention.
The lesson here is the same one all of you suckers should have learned from watching the financial news this year: the people at the top are just as dumb as you are, just meaner and greedier. And that goes for the ones running the US surface fleet as much as it does for the GM or Chrysler honchos. Hell, they even look the same. Take that Wagoner ass who just got the boot from GM and put him in a tailored uniform and he could walk on as an admiral in any officer’s club from Guam to Diego Garcia. You have to stop thinking somebody up there is looking out for you.
Remember that one sentence, get it branded onto your arm: “Ships currently have no defense against a ballistic missile attack.” What does that tell you about the distinguished gentlemen with all the ribbons on their chest who’ve been standing up on carrier bridges looking like they know what they’re doing for the past 50 years? They’re either stupid or so sleazy they’re willing to make a career commanding ships they know, goddamn well know, are floating coffins for thousands of ranks and dozens of the most expensive goldplated airplanes in the history of the world. You call that patriotic? I’d hang them all.
That’s why it’s so sickening to read shit like the following:
“The purpose of the Navy,” Vice Admiral John Bird, commander of the Seventh Fleet, tells me, “is not to fight.” The mere presence of the Navy should suffice, he argues, to dissuade any attack or attempt to destabilize the region. From Yokosuka, Guam, and Honolulu, the Navy is sending its ships on missions to locales as far away as Madagascar. On board the Blue Ridge, the vice admiral’s command ship anchored at Yokosuka, huge display screens allow officers to track the movements of any country’s military vessels cruising from the international date line in the east to the African coast in the west—the range of the Seventh Fleet’s zone of influence.
That’s the kind of story people are still writing. It’s so stupid, that first line, I won’t even bother with it: “The purpose of the Navy is not to fight.” No kidding. The Seventh Fleet covers the area included in that 2000 km range for the new Chinese anti-ship weapons, so I guess it’s a good thing they’re not there to fight.

Posted by: harry law | Sep 24 2015 8:47 utc | 36

I am sure that Russia has no need for those ships -- perhaps against Georgia but that country should be now be totally neutralized. 

Posted by: ToivoS | Sep 24, 2015 4:18:02 AM | 33

Nonsense. You're saying that Russia goes around spending a billion on something it has no need or use for? Absolute nonsense.

Russia would love to have those ships operational right now. They'd be perfect for assisting in any Syrian Military adventures they might be contemplating in the near or distant future. Their ability to transport large numbers of helicopters etc would be a major argument in their favour, and I'm sure that TPTB in moscow think those ships would be pretty useful right now and wish they had them stocked up and ready to sail

Posted by: Lipstick | Sep 24 2015 10:09 utc | 37

Nonsense. You're saying that Russia goes around spending a billion on something it has no need or use for? Absolute nonsense.

America does and Russia, like China and India, is just another American wannabe. Change your perspective. It's not wasting money. It's Oligarchs taking care of each other. At the expense of middle class taxpayers.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Sep 24 2015 10:58 utc | 38

Related? France Will Begin Reconnaissance Flights Over Syria

That doesn't bode well for Assad. Remember, it was France who was out front on Libya — with Clinton and BHO, in the shadows, egging it on all the way.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Sep 24 2015 11:02 utc | 39



This wasn't pork-barrel recycling of russian tax receipts back into the pockets of russian business men. Those ships werent going to create hardly any jobs in russia, so comparing them to US porkbarrel mil projects, like the one Zio-Bernie Sanders benefits from, is nonsense.

Right now the Russian Mil would love to at least have the ability to position an off-shore floating platform from which to conduct air operations in syria.

Though it's likely that if someone informed those ignorant Russians that the armchair generals and military prodigies @MOA have decided and declared that Russia dont need no stinkin helicopter platforms in order to project military force from afar, then as sure as night follows day its a cast iron certainty that them ignorant (of-War-Nerd-&-MOA-ThreadRat's pronouncements on the matter) Russian Generals would abandon their Force-Projection-fantasies & foolishness, post-haste

Posted by: Lipstick | Sep 24 2015 11:22 utc | 40

@36 The ships are useful unless and until you want to start a world war by sinking them with your missiles. Which would be a bad idea unless you're confident that you can handle all the missiles headed *your* way from multiple other locations.

So while it's accurate to say that these big ships are sitting ducks, it's also accurate to say that if you decide to hit one of those ducks, you're in big trouble in other ways. So the useless carriers argument is flawed except in big war situation.

Posted by: gemini33 | Sep 24 2015 12:20 utc | 41

@38 France is now calling for peace talks. Merkel is saying that Assad must be included in the peace talks.

Europeans are doing "intense" diplomacy and expressing alarm at the "significant Russian buildup"

US is doing "deconfliction" coordination with the Russians to make sure nobody shoots down anybody by accident. I don't think the French will be taking the lead.

Posted by: gemini33 | Sep 24 2015 12:28 utc | 42

Here's another theory, b -- speculation that Russia won't wait a few years to buy & start using the Mistral carriers but instead will just operate them under an Egyptian flag:

"Further Russian air support is coming via Egypt which purchased the 2 helicopter carriers custom built by the French for the Russians. They will be manned, equipped, maintained and operated by the Russians b/c the Egyptians don't have the skills to man such a vessel or the need for 2 carriers.
Look for Egypt to join peacekeeping forces in Lebanon or some such guise."

I have a feeling that UN week is going to be very significant this year and not just because of the anniversary or the Pope. There's also a big peacekeeping summit being held by Obama. There are Syrian peace talks coming, apparently. There has been a lot of talk about peacekeeping forces in several conflict areas (Syria, Libya, Ukraine, et al). I wonder if there will be some changes in the way peacekeeping operations are run. Personally I've thought for months that some of these things were worked out under the cover of Iran deal which went on and on and on. They claimed it took so much time because they went over every word and punctuation in the deal. I think it went on so long because they were working on the broader region and maybe redrawing some borders.

Posted by: gemini33 | Sep 24 2015 12:46 utc | 43

gemini33 @ 40 says:

So the useless carriers argument is flawed except in big war situation

yeah, in fact, of late they've proven to be very useful against countries that have no air force or navy or even very effective missiles. they're also great for staging media events like victory speeches and for filming those exhilarating takeoffs which are brought to you by your local news to remind you once again that you're on the winning side.

Posted by: john | Sep 24 2015 14:11 utc | 44

40 & 43

AND it seems to me that they'd be a lot lot safer for any Russian forces to operate from than, say, Lataika Air base

But if the armchair Generals and military prodigies @MOA say otherwise, who am I, or who are the Russian General Staff for that matter, to argue with them?

Posted by: Lipstick | Sep 24 2015 14:22 utc | 45

CH @ 37: "It's Oligarchs taking care of each other. At the expense of middle class taxpayers."

Could be coldy, could be. Time will tell.

Navies may be useless in an all-out war, but, they sure impress the rubes who get in the way of capturing market share.

Posted by: ben | Sep 24 2015 14:27 utc | 46

Russia’s ‘Rokot’ carrier launches 3 military satellites into orbit

    Three Russian military communication satellites were successfully guided into orbit early Thursday morning, the Russian Defense Ministry has reported. The satellites were launched via a Rokot carrier.

    “Three spacecrafts were launched for the Russian Defense Ministry … [and] were placed into orbit in the estimated time,” a spokesman told RIA Novosti.

    The three satellites are military communication satellites of the Strela-3M/Rodnik type.

    A report by NASA Spaceflight suggested there was also a fourth, undisclosed, craft onboard the launcher.


Navies may be useless in an all-out war

Posted by: ben | Sep 24, 2015 10:27:29 AM | 45

the Russian General Staff really should read MOA comment threads, what with all the military expertise on display here

Posted by: Lipstick | Sep 24 2015 14:45 utc | 47

[email protected]

Thank you for that. ;)

Posted by: juliania | Sep 24 2015 15:21 utc | 48

@43 joh.. that's pretty funny.. thanks for that!

Posted by: james | Sep 24 2015 16:22 utc | 49

@Cole N Holfield

Did you read the article Schlomo?

It says that the French will patrol OVER THE BORDER. I dont think they are ready to find out what happens should they go in and attack SAA. I thought you said you were under medication for your delusions, take your pills and your chicken soup man, it helps.

Posted by: maximillian | Sep 24 2015 17:36 utc | 50

I know nil abt military but wdn't the Mistrals have been useful in setting up the Syrian action? I mean, transporting planes, helicopters & other stuff by air is much more expensive than by sea. Since so many can be transported at the same time it's not even that much slower. As for keeping it offshore in the Mediterranean during the action, I suppose the same prohibition against attacking THE RUSSIANS applies for major powers, no?

Also, is it entirely such a sitting duck, absent major action? I don't know what defenses it has, but I'm sure you do.

Posted by: Penelope | Sep 24 2015 17:55 utc | 51

Gemini 33 @42:

Thierry Meyssan at says there were indeed side deals. I wrote a summary of his diplomatic insider comments, and preceded it with recent occurrences which seem to bear out his predictions:

On Webster Tarpley's radio show on 8/14 Thierry Meyssan announced a sweeping realignment of the Middle East. He followed up on 8/17 with an article. On 8/24 on the Russian-Chinese-Indian Convergence entry here at Saker I posted a summary of the diplomatic information he claimed & I asked for your opinions. Larchmonter445 & Paul responded with interesting analyses.

I'm re-posting the summary here. It is interesting that Thierry was able to state a month in advance that the Russians would give satellite photos to the Syrians and would intervene with troops, send aircraft, etc. It would appear that there was diplomatic cooperation between the parties, rather than the Russian part in this being "an act of defiance". Apparently there is a degree of cooperation, so that things may not be so dangerous as we think.

In Thierry's radio remarks he had expanded on the disappearance of Iranian-US opposition, saying that Iran's capitalist class wishes to align w global capitalist class, renounce resistance to imperialism. Sunni/shia jihadist war will end. Saudi Arabia will no longer be leader of the Sunnis, but of the Arabs. Iran will no longer be leader of the Shias, but of the Persians & will occupy a gendarme role on behalf of the US, like that of the Shah in the past.

There are a few indications that this change is occurring in Iran: Iran has applied for WTO. Even before nuke negotiations, Iran's leadership had blocked hardliner Ahmadinejad from running for parliament. IMPORTANT: Since the nuke deal, a step has been taken to limit keeper-of-the-revolution Khamenei's power: Inside dope, rivalry bet Khamenei & Rouhani. In any case Khamenei retains power of foreign policy & nuclear policy. At issue is expansion of social & economic?? liberties. K wants Guardian Council, which he controls, to continue to vet parliamentary candidates. Loss of this power wd b revolutionary I think.

MASSIVE MIDEAST REALIGNMENT. Thierry Meyssan, living in Syria, appears to have the inside track on the diplomatic agreements which change everything.

1. Some of us have argued that Israel does not rule US foreign policy, but is only a faction to whom dirty tricks are delegated. It appears that in the struggle for Congressional votes to ratify the Iran nuke deal that the Israelis and their cohorts are fighting against a larger, secret US-Iranian deal in which opposition between US & Iran will disappear and upper-class Iranians will join the capitalist classes.
Under the agreement Iranians will control Syria, 2/3 of Iraq & half of Lebanon; Iran will no longer be a revolutionary force resisting imperialism. If I remember correctly all 7 of the mideast nations to be taken down by US were not members of IMF, WTO & opposed charging interest. All had state banks that issued their own currency. Iran has already applied for WTO membership.

2. There are signs that the Israeli-neocon faction which resists the secret agreement are being defeated: General Allen, of the faction, arranged with Erdogan to impose a buffer-zone on Syria. It was announced. Then began the backpedalling as his faction, which includes Brookings thinktank, was overcome. Now it is only “planned, mulled, being considered”.
Further, it has been announced that US, NATO & Germany will withdraw their Patriot missiles from Turkey. (Thierry says Spain to announce soon, too). The missiles wd be necessary for the buffer zone, of course.

3. Thierry says it has been agreed that ISIS will be defeated and peace will come to Syria. [UN has already announced formation of a contact group & the steps to be taken.] This wd explain why the US has said nothing about the Iranian troops in Syria. It wd explain why the Patriot missiles are to be withdrawn– so that Syria can interdict the supply line coming out of Turkey. According to Thierry Russia will, for the first time, supply Syria w satellite photos to locate the enemy & his supply line– and US will stop supplying satellite photos to ISIS, altho al qaeda will continue to receive them.

4. Control of ISIS had been taken over by Turkey, and the predicted increase in Turkish power was a factor in Saudis’ acceptance of the new configuration.

5. The 6 Russian Interceptors (fighters, not bombers) exactly balance the US 6 fighters deployed to Turkey’s Incirlit Airfield. The Russians are taking no chances for a double-cross. Russians are considering deploying troops to Syria, if there is a UN mandate. [Russian sources have denied the presence of the Interceptors.]

6. There is to be a Common Arab Defence Force under Israeli command– which is already happening in Yemen. Palestinians are to get an internationally-recognised state, but w/o the right of return to Israeli-occupied lands. Predicted on 6/27!

Sources: World After the Washington/Teheran Agreement 8/17 The Secret Projects of Israel & Saudi Arabia 6/27 at 18:00. 8/14

Posted by: Penelope | Sep 24 2015 18:11 utc | 52

2013 Dec. 25:

    a Rockot booster equipped with a Briz-KM upper stage and carrying several military satellites lifted off on Dec. 25, 2013, at 04:31:54 Moscow Time. . . .

    According to unofficial sources, the mission had a goal of delivering three satellites for the Rodnik constellation. It was the seventh launch with Rodnik satellites since the introduction of the series in 2005 and the second such mission in 2013.

    Following the successful launch on December 25, the commander of the Russian air and space forces, VKO, told the Zvezda TV channel of the Russian Ministry of Defense, that three more communications satellites of the same type had been scheduled for launch in the first quarter of 2014.

    An official note of the Russian government to the United Nations dated May 15, 2014, indicated that four (not three) satellites had been launched on December 25, 2013, into the same orbit. They were designated Kosmos-2488, -2489, -2490 and -2491. Data from a Western radar indicated that mysterious fourth object had made orbital maneuvers!


2014 May 23

    This mission likely carried three satellites for the Rodnik communications network.

    as in the previous such launch on December 25, 2013, the fourth unidentified object was detected orbiting the Earth a few kilometers away from "routine" Rodnik satellites.

    Moreover, an analysis of orbital elements from the US radar showed that the "ghost" spacecraft made a maneuver between May 29 and May 31, 2014, despite being identified as "debris" (or Object E) in the official US catalog at the time.

    Ground observations indicated that the unknown satellite had not exceeded 0.3 meters in size. As with the previous launch, observers were at a complete loss about the possible purpose of the satellite.

    Posted by: Lipstick | Sep 24 2015 18:18 utc | 53

Further, it has been announced that US, NATO & Germany will withdraw their Patriot missiles from Turkey. (Thierry says Spain to announce soon, too). The missiles wd be necessary for the buffer zone, of course

this is one of the reasons I think Thierry is full of crap sometimes

All those Patriots were coordinated from a US vessel stationed in the Med.

the US moved that vessel weeks ago - so those Patriot missiles are all now missing their command and coordination centre - so of course they are going to be announcing withdrawal - because the Patriots are pretty useless without it.

but of course Thierry didn't bother to tell you about the US moving the Patriot command and coordination vessel, making all these Patriot removals very predictable, which is why Thierry was able to "predict" it.

tsk tsk Thierry

Posted by: Lipstick | Sep 24 2015 18:28 utc | 54

Russia has no overwhelming interest in who buys them. Any national security concerns are covered by the veto they have over an sale. The stern of the ships were built in Russia and would need end user licensing from them. They would be more than happy to sell the Ka-25 helicopters specifically upgraded for these vessels to a reasonable third party that buys the Mistrals.

Posted by: Yonatan | Sep 24 2015 18:54 utc | 55

@51 Penelope,

Your first point about taking out the sovereign banking nations and only allowing those that joint the WTO, IMF and World Bank private finance mafia is the focus of all these efforts. Everything else is window dressing.

The control of the world by the global plutocratic families that own private finance is underreported. International finance needs to be a public utility and not the iron fist of those at the top of our class system. I am hopeful that the world is moving toward a more equitable form of international financial management but there will need to be a crisis to wrest control from the global plutocrats that own the Western world including finance.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 24 2015 19:45 utc | 56

@51 Penelope, thanks for taking the time to post all of that. Some of those sources are sites I don't read regularly, or I don't read thoroughly through the comments. Much appreciated.

Posted by: gemini33 | Sep 24 2015 21:38 utc | 57

"Russians already dismantled their systems from these ships."

Was this the event that was presented as a break in?

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 24 2015 23:10 utc | 58

@Penelope More importantly "nuclear" deal with the Iranians concerns their scientific breakthroughs in the field of highly advanced energy sources: plasma, fusion, no-waste nuclear, that render hydrocarbon-based economy obsolete in an instant.

But that would cause global collapse of the world AWKI and neither Russia nor China want that, gradual phase out is being planned. And of course the US, i.e. the "deep state" behind Obama that have been opposing Armaggedon neocon/atlantist faction (openly from November 6th 2012), wants a piece of the pie.

Posted by: ProsperousPeace | Sep 25 2015 9:10 utc | 59

psychohistorian @55

"Your first point about taking out the sovereign banking nations and only allowing those that joint the WTO, IMF and World Bank private finance mafia is the focus of all these efforts. Everything else is window dressing."

Thank you so much for saying this, psychohistorian; I have been saying FOREVER that nation's need to take back their sovereign right of currency-creation from the IMF/Fed system. And their power to make decisions about trade. Less-developed nations must protect their food self-sufficiency and some of their infant industries, or they are de-industrialized by joining into these mega "free trade" deals that usurp economic planning on behalf of the "market" (really the banksters). Greece and other southern EU countries have suffered from this.

I believe that all 7 of the nations US decided to take down wer NOT members of these supranational institutions. Their central banks were controlled by their govts, not the IMF, so that they created their own currency at will. Further, most were against the charging of interest.

Posted by: Penelope | Sep 25 2015 21:08 utc | 60

Prosperous Peace @58,

Hard to tell when they're going to let the better technology out of the bag. It appears there are many variants. My own personal favorite is the car that runs on water.

It has crossed my mind that if US does indeed get out of the middle-east that it might be sooner than we think.

Posted by: Penelope | Sep 25 2015 21:12 utc | 61

Prosperous Peace @ 58,

"And of course the US, i.e. the "deep state" behind Obama that have been opposing Armaggedon neocon/atlantist faction (openly from November 6th 2012), wants a piece of the pie."

Please tell me more about the faction opposing neocon/atlantists. Whenever I suggest that there is an opposition, which may only be more prudent, everyone scoffs. Please tell me more about them, as you see it; who else supports the view of an opposition, or a link, etc.

Thanks a lot.

Posted by: Penelope | Sep 25 2015 21:28 utc | 62

43;Yes that thought crossed my mind also,about the Egyptian Navy not being up to snuff,as their last action was probably Actium?.

Posted by: dahoit | Sep 27 2015 15:47 utc | 63

Common Arab Defence Force under Israeli command

why under israeli command? shouldnt the command be to an arab?

Posted by: brian | Oct 2 2015 3:25 utc | 64

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