Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 16, 2015

Some Syria News Items

Some links/notes on Syria:

President Assad gave an interview to a group of Russian media: The video (in English) interview and the official English transcript:

"Who are ISIS? And who are these groups? They are simply extremist products of the West."

McClatchy reports that the Islamic State military commander is a former Georgian special force soldier of Chechen ethnics. He was - tata - trained by the U.S. military. Most of the other people in the Islamic State leadership have at some point been in U.S. internment in Iraq.

A U.S. General told Congress that only 4 or 5 of the Pentagon trained Syrians are fighting ISIS. He did not say that the 10,000+ CIA trained Syrians are fighting with ISIS. He was not asked about them.

Yesterday 38 Syrian people in Aleppo, including 14 children, were killed by rockets launched by the U.S. supported insurgents.

The UK polling company ORB International did a (maybe) representative poll (data) in Syria, including in the insurgents/Islamic State occupied regions.

82% think that the Islamic State has been created by the United States.

The positive/negative influence on Syria of persons and entities were polled as:

Assad 47/50
Iran 43/55
GCC 37/55
AQ 35/63
FSA 35/63
Opposition Coalition 26/72
IS 21/76.

Watching this video of young and able men, so called "refugees", fighting against police at an inner-European border leads me back to the question of who sent them.

The new State Department spokesperson Kerby is another hapless windup doll just like his predecessors. BTW - who picked that Rear Admiral as State spox?

The U.S. admits that is has "boots on the ground" in the Kurdish regions in Syria helping targeting the Islamic Sate. Emptywheel asks if those boots on the ground are also helping the Kurds against Erdogan.

Former Indian diplomat MK Bhadrakumar on the Russian deployment in Syria (recommended):

The only option open to the US will be to dump the IS altogether and bury the project to manipulate militant Islamist groups as an instrument of its regional policies and to further its containment strategy against Russia. But then, it is not so easy to kill one’s own progenies.

I am not so sure that dumping IS is the only alternative. Though most experts say that the U.S. should cooperate with Russia against IS I rather expect the White House to escalate the conflict.

Posted by b on September 16, 2015 at 01:31 PM | Permalink

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President Putin said at the Dushanbe conference recently “Simple common sense, responsibility for global and regional safety require uniting efforts of the international community [to fight] such a threat. It is necessary to set aside geopolitical ambitions, drop so-called double standards, the policy of direct or indirect use of separate terrorist groups for achieving own goals, including removing the governments and regimes.” Unfortunately the US is too arrogant to admit its regime change polices have failed, it looks like Putin having been invited by Assad to contribute in the fight against terrorism, will do what the US has signally failed to do in Syria and Iraq i.e, smash Islamic state.

Posted by: harry law | Sep 16, 2015 2:29:08 PM | 1

So, in other words, Assad's approval rating is about the same as President Obama's. Since roughly half of Americans disapprove of Obama, about the same as Assad, should I expect the US to fund terrorists to overthrow the US regime? Obviously not, because some people (in this case the about one quarter of Syrians, mostly Sunni, who want to overthrow Assad) matter more than others (the majority of Syrians who realize the existing government is the most credible agent for stability).

Posted by: WorldBLee | Sep 16, 2015 2:37:24 PM | 2

The U.S. seems to, for now, retreat on the Russia in Syria issue:

Kerry: US looks at Russian offer of military talks on Syria

Secretary of State John Kerry says the Obama administration is weighing an offer from Russia to have military-to-military talks and meetings on the situation in Syria.

Kerry said Wednesday that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (SEHR'-gay LAHV'-rahf) had made the proposal in a phone call on Tuesday and that the White House, Pentagon and State Department were all now considering it. Kerry suggested that he favored such an idea, noting that the United States wants a clear picture of what Russia's intentions are in Syria following a recent military buildup there.

Kerry said Lavrov had told him that Russia was only interested in fighting the Islamic State group in Syria. But Kerry stressed it remained unclear if that position would change.

Posted by: b | Sep 16, 2015 2:46:19 PM | 3

Russia has backed Assad for years and they will continue to support him, at least they know Assad. The US is so determine to get rid of Assad that they are willing to give weapons to groups that they know nothing about. Russia is doing the right thing sticking with Assad. It is sad that our country didn't learn from their mistake. We armed Bin Laden in the 1980's when he was fighting the former Soviet Union. Look what he did to our country years later. I hope Russia does help Assad, because I would rather have Assad in power than the rebels, at least he isn't a threat to our country.

Posted by: Cynthia | Sep 16, 2015 3:00:23 PM | 4

Patrick Cockburn:
- ISIS is only some 20 miles away from the important highway/road that connects Damascus (in the south) with cities like Hama, Homs & Aleppo. Seems ISIS threathens that road south of Homs.
- Assad has lost the last syrian oilfield.

Source:
http://scotthorton.org/interviews/2015/09/11/91115-patrick-cockburn/

Posted by: Willy2 | Sep 16, 2015 3:02:50 PM | 5

thanks b..

the article bym k bhadrakumar is very good..

i noticed a link to the poll data via angry arab as presented via WAPO.. funny how they present it..

ultimately europe has to make an ongoing decision to support the usa's foreign interventionist policy and suffer the consequences or not.. looks like they have less stomach for it now then only a few short years ago.. wish our own cluster fucked gov't of canada would pull it's head out of the usa's ass, but don't expect that to happen any time soon..

Posted by: james | Sep 16, 2015 3:42:18 PM | 6

And if the US can't escalate it, they'll prolong it:
-more expense for Russia, who's hurting economically
-more destabilization for Syria (maybe w time to kill Assad)
-more destabilization for EU so more support for boots in Syria,
plus weakening EU resistance to TTIP.

The tipping event to judge everyone's true intentions: Whether they close the Turkish border to ISIS military supplyline, personnel & stolen oil.

Posted by: Penelope | Sep 16, 2015 3:46:35 PM | 7

I doubt the polling results. 80% of voters turned out for Syrian election & voted overwhelmingly for Assad. There's no obvious event which wd cause them to turn against the govt upon which their survival depends. Even overseas war cause approval rating to rise. We're asked to believe that in spite of a war at home that it fell? I don't think so.

Who is this polling organization? Sounds like propaganda to me.

Posted by: Penelope | Sep 16, 2015 3:58:00 PM | 8

Though most experts say that the U.S. should cooperate with Russia against IS I rather expect the White House to escalate the conflict.
I'm sure that's right. Why should the US change policy? They are not affected.

In Europe I see a few signs, not dominating. It takes a while to realise that walls don't work. Neither Hadrian's wall, nor the Rheinische-Danubische limes (I forget what it's called in Latin), nor the Great Wall of China, had much effect in keeping out the barbarian hordes.

The *only* solution is to settle Syria. Nothing new here. Support Asad, tell the rebels to stop fighting, and everyone turn on ISIS. Then everyone can go home.

But no, that doesn't suit the US. Netanyahu wants to continue the confusion in Syria, and Saudi wants to continue the jihad against the unbelievers.

So catastrophe for Europe, in order to please two nutter countries, Israel and Saudi. Not that the US should care, it has succeeded in doing down the EU.

Posted by: Laguerre | Sep 16, 2015 4:00:51 PM | 9

- I would expect that when one or more large syrian cities fall the amount of refugees that flee to Turkey or Jordan will increase dramatically/explode.
- I am starting to think that Russia increases its military aid to Syria with a VERY cynical logic. Increase aid to Syria to increase "unrest" and drive more syrians refugees into Jordan & Turkey. It would help to undermine Turkey & Jordan financially even more. Some kind of retaliation for creating/fomenting "unrest" in the Ukraine.
And when those refugees (are helped to) flee to Europe then it will create more unrest in Europe and help to destabilize Europe as well. What is "Mission accomplished" in russian ? Or is the US "hell bent" on teaching Europe a lesson ?

I agree with "B", there're a bunch of people who have an agenda, who have "a plan" but I am still not sure what the ultimate goal is. Perhaps the next few days will provide better information.

I also assume that Erdogan wants to offload those refugees in an attempt to win the upcoming elections, which he's -IMO- bound to lose. There's even talk about a coup in Turkey and more unrest in Turkey is an excellent excuse for the turkish military to "restore order" (with the blessing of NATO). But I remain convinced that Erdogan's days as prime minister are numbered.

Posted by: Willy2 | Sep 16, 2015 4:01:44 PM | 10

Unrest in Jordan will force Israel's hand to make a move as well. But I think Israel will try to avoid that as long as possible.

Posted by: Willy2 | Sep 16, 2015 4:04:03 PM | 11

@9 laguerre.. i have to agree with you..

penelope - polls are generally just a tool to massage folks brains..they have always been primarily a propaganda tool..

Posted by: james | Sep 16, 2015 4:12:04 PM | 12

The US and Iraq reported three times that they killed Abu Omar (The Chechen) military leader of the Islamic State but he apparently hasn't cooperated with his masters. It's true that he was a Georgian soldier who received US weapons and tactical training, as many US friendly military's soldiers do.

It's also true that many of Assad's military soldiers have received Russian weapons and tactical training and some of them defected to the rebels and some lead the FSA so using the logic offered here the FSA and some of the other rebels are actually working for the Russians.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Sep 16, 2015 4:16:03 PM | 13

...most experts say that the U.S. should cooperate with Russia...

yeah, i mean...

Posted by: john | Sep 16, 2015 4:17:05 PM | 14

Those positive poll numbers for IS and AQ are shocking on first Reading, but when Assad has also been a war criminal by willing to bomb large sections of cities and towns so not to lose his soldiers with fighting on the ground, in one area it makes a bit more sence. Interesting to see those numbers poll with the same people at sometime in the future to see if there's any change -That's if they haven't been shot, burned, hanged alive by jihadis, or, bombed by the West.

In terms of the use by date of the Wests terrorist proxies in Syria and Iraq, is the plan for Libya style murderous chaos until the US can organise its dictators at some distant point in the future and then push its proxies against Hezbollah, or is it kill them all for immediate control of Syria ?

Posted by: tom | Sep 16, 2015 4:17:20 PM | 15

Watching this video of young and able men, so called "refugees", fighting against police at an inner-European border leads me back to the question of who sent them.
I'm sure many of them could best be described as 'draft-dodgers' in American parlance. I too was offended to discover that one of my Syrian colleagues had come to France, leaving his wife and children at home.

However, let us not forget that it is the practice in Islam for guys to marry very young. Many of those young men could be already married. And secondly that it is traditional for the guy to go ahead and establish a home, which he will bring the wife and children to later.

Like I say, the only real solution is to settle Syria. I suspect even Obama is beginning to think that.

Posted by: Laguerre | Sep 16, 2015 4:25:06 PM | 16

Penelope@8 I agree those numbers don't seem right. Assad has substantial support from the Syrian electorate over 70% are Sunni Muslims. As are over 70% of the armed forces, without that support he could never survive. The Doha debates, a Qatari foundation [No friend of Assad] published an opinion poll a couple of years ago of which 55% wanted Assad to stay in power http://www.shiachat.com/forum/topic/234997250-doha-poll-55-of-syrians-want-assad-to-stay/ The election in 2014 won by Assad with 77% of the vote admittedly under difficult conditions was considered free, fair and transparent by 30 observer countries https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syrian_presidential_election,_2014

Posted by: harry law | Sep 16, 2015 4:49:40 PM | 17

made a little scan of most recent commentaries. From the North:

ANALYSIS
Russia's backing of Assad stokes fears of worsening conditions in Syria
http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/russia-s-backing-of-assad-stokes-fears-of-worsening-conditions-in-syria-1.3228878

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation commentary is "more American than NYT", but the comment section showed that Gov. Walker was not totally delusional when we told that a wall on Canadian border is something that "should be considered". Leftist radicals to the man. Some bemoan the decline of CBC under Harper's government. On the other side of the pond, Tory influence on BBC, if any, is not that much in evidence -- I think that Tories themselves have profound doubts about "winning over ISIS by removing Assad" and all that.

Syria conflict: No sign of Assad regime crumbling
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-34241256

At home, the news about the project "winning over ISIS by removing Assad and supporting well trained and democratically indoctrinate moderate rebels" are morose:

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/military/small-number-u-s-trained-syrian-rebels-still-fighting-n428381

"A top U.S. military commander for operations in the Middle East acknowledged on Wednesday that there are only four or five fighters left from the first group of 54 Syrian fighters that had been trained by the U.S. as part of a $500 million program.

What's more, there are only 100-120 fighters in three more classes currently being trained, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Christine Wormuth told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Wednesday."

It remind me a Polish poem: "There was such a history exam when all students flunked and now they lie on a ceremonial cemetery, it's not certain that they flunked, it's not certain it was an exam, but certainly, all of them are in that cemetery."

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 16, 2015 4:50:53 PM | 18

"Delenda est Carthago!" That means in the current context: "Pax in Syria sit!" If I haven't made a mistake in my Latin, I think I'm going to repeat it. Peace is absolutely in Syria, and it's worth repeating.

Posted by: Laguerre | Sep 16, 2015 5:12:57 PM | 19

That Latin looks good to this Ph.D. in Classics.

Posted by: lysias | Sep 16, 2015 5:18:30 PM | 20

LaGuerre wrote @9:

"Neither Hadrian's wall, nor the Rheinische-Danubische limes (I forget what it's called in Latin), nor the Great Wall of China, had much effect in keeping out the barbarian hordes."

It was called the Agri Decumates.

Any Maginot Line that can be outflanked is just a waste, and even those that are better conceived are only as good as their gatekeepers, and will eventually become obsolete anyway--usually at the worst time for those who put their faith in wall-building. As Marx and Engels put it in the Communist Manifesto:

"The bourgeoisie, by the rapid improvement of all instruments of production, by the immensely facilitated means of communication, draws all, even the most barbarian, nations into civilisation. The cheap prices of commodities are the heavy artillery with which it batters down all Chinese walls, with which it forces the barbarians’ intensely obstinate hatred of foreigners to capitulate. It compels all nations, on pain of extinction, to adopt the bourgeois mode of production; it compels them to introduce what it calls civilisation into their midst, i.e., to become bourgeois themselves. In one word, it creates a world after its own image."

This was back when the capitalists had a shred of a revolutionary-progressive role to play in building up the means of production. Now, that role long, long gone, its contradictions manifest as obscene reversals: destruction of “dual use” means of production; turning the means of communication to surveillance and information warfare; drawing civilized nations into “barbarism” (apologies to indigenous peoples everywhere). The cheaply-priced commodities are not now manufactured goods flowing from Europe to newly-conquered colonies, but cheap labor itself flowing from now decimated breakaway colonies back to the imperial metropoles.

But instead of compelling nations on pain of extinction to become recolonized zones in a globalized “civilization,” the Empire is simply looking for excuses to inflict the pain of extinction pure and simple. Resistance? Absolutely, grounds for sanctions, drones and regime change until a failed state or worse. But, coming around to guest77’s conclusion perhaps by a different route, beyond disintegrating any resistance to the Empire I believe it simply needs death and destruction as a desperate attempt to pull itself out of its crisis of overproduction. This, I believe, is as much an existential threat to the Empire as any resistance front if not more so, for crisis breeds resistance. It took WW2-level destruction of many millions of lives and almost two continents’ economies and infrastructure to put an end to the Great Depression; I believe we are now seeing the modern reincarnation of this very gambit.

A spectre is still haunting Europe. Indeed, it is haunting the entire Earth.


Posted by: Vintage Red | Sep 16, 2015 6:05:34 PM | 21

@1 Harry Law
Unfortunately the US is too arrogant to admit its regime change polices have failed

@3 b
Kerry stressed it remained unclear if that position would change.

@4 Cynthia
The US is so determine[d] to get rid of Assad that they are willing to give weapons to groups that they know nothing about.

@9 Laguerre
The *only* solution is to settle Syria. Nothing new here. Support Asad, tell the rebels to stop fighting, and everyone turn on ISIS. Then everyone can go home.

So catastrophe for Europe, in order to please two nutter countries, Israel and Saudi. Not that the US should care, it has succeeded in doing down the EU.

@16 Laguerre
Like I say, the only real solution is to settle Syria. I suspect even Obama is beginning to think that.

I think that, as guest77 pointed out on another thread, getting rid of Assad is the US excuse for destroying Syria rather than the other way round, so that in fact its policy is successful.

So it won't change. The second level benefit the US derives from its destruction in MENA is the consequences for its potential rivals in Europe, and it's winning there as well.

With such 'success', I don't think that the people in Obama's earphones are going to have him change policy. The US is nutter country No. 1.

I do hope the Russians will gain the support they need to defeat the US' Chechens/Georgians, in Syria and in Ukraine.

Posted by: jfl | Sep 16, 2015 6:23:16 PM | 22

re 21

Thanks

Any Maginot Line that can be outflanked is just a waste, and even those that are better conceived
You haven't understood. The Maginot line meme was foolish from the beginning, even before the Germans turned it. Hadrians wall only worked as long as the Romans dominated the tribes of southern Scotland. They might as well have not built the wall. The archaeologists today say, well, it served as a customs point. That was not the point, it was intended to keep the Picts out, but didn't in any way succeed.

The great wall of China only worked as long as the Chinese dominated the Mongols, but then we find the Mongols in Peking.

Posted by: Laguerre | Sep 16, 2015 6:38:22 PM | 23

re 22

I think that, as guest77 pointed out on another thread, getting rid of Assad is the US excuse for destroying Syria rather than the other way round, so that in fact its policy is successful.
You haven't bothered to understand what I was saying. Yes of course American policy is to destroy Asad, but it's a failing policy, because it's headed to put ISIS in power in Damascus. haven't you understood this?

Posted by: Laguerre | Sep 16, 2015 6:50:31 PM | 24

McClatchy reports that the Islamic State military commander is a former Georgian special force soldier of Chechen ethnics. He was - tata - trained by the U.S. military. Most of the other people in the Islamic State leadership have at some point been in U.S. internment in Iraq.

A U.S. General told Congress that only 4 or 5 of the Pentagon trained Syrians are fighting ISIS. He did not say that the 10,000+ CIA trained Syrians are fighting with ISIS. He was not asked about them.

From b's McClatchy link


Abu Omar al Shishani, as he’s now known, had been born Tarkhan Batirashvili 27 years earlier in Georgia’s Pankisi Gorge, a tiny enclave of ethnic Chechens, known locally as Kists, whose roughly 10,000 residents represent virtually all of the Muslims in predominantly Orthodox Christian Georgia.

“We trained him well, and we had lots of help from America,” said a former Georgian defense official who asked to not be identified because of the sensitivity of Batirashvili’s role in the Islamic State. “In fact, the only reason he didn’t go to Iraq to fight alongside America was that we needed his skills here in Georgia.”

and ...

US after managing Daesh, not eliminating it: Iran cmdr.


Commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Qassem Soleimani said Wednesday that the policy of the US with regards to Daesh and other Takfiri groups operating in the region is to only have them under control and not eliminate them.

Almost ... but the US knows the fire it's started is raging out of control. It's the CIA's specialty : starting fires far away from home in someone else's backyard. They've done what they think of as a cost/benefit analysis. The people they train only occasionally strike back at home, as the Tsarnaevs did. And even when things do literally blow-up, as they did at the Boston Marathon, they turn lemons to lemonade - with their totalitarian lock-down training drill in Boston, for instance. Remember all the ecstatic flag wavers in Charlestown when they were finally let out of their houses?

I agree with Vintage Red on the US' 'plan' ... they have no plan. They're capitalists and reacting ... that's why they call them reactionaries. Just doing what comes 'naturally' to the 1% who (think they) 'own' and control the world, and plan to continue.

Posted by: jfl | Sep 16, 2015 6:54:51 PM | 25

@24

You haven't bothered to understand what I was saying ... the US plan is to destroy Syria and its present tactic is the put ISIS in power in Damascus to effect that plan. Assad is the cover-story. He's a 'bad man' and the US is saving he Syrians from him.

Posted by: jfl | Sep 16, 2015 6:58:16 PM | 26

I never cease to be amazed, after all these years, how many US participants on these threads continue to believe that the US is omnipotent, even if it's evil.

US policy is largely incompetent, and very frequently fails. We see that in the ME today.

Posted by: Laguerre | Sep 16, 2015 6:58:50 PM | 27

I don't think the US is omnipotent. I think we're going down. When I say the US is meeting with 'success' I am recounting its failure. Its 'plan' was desparate, monstrous and crazy from the beginning and it remains so. They are flying our collective plane into the ground.

Posted by: jfl | Sep 16, 2015 7:03:22 PM | 28

Indulge your projections elsewhere.

Posted by: jfl | Sep 16, 2015 7:05:28 PM | 29

The Yinon Plan fro Greater Israel requires the destruction (balkanization, shattering, destabilization) of neighboring states. Syria is one such neighbor in a succession after Iraq, Afghanistan, and etc. Israel is a US/UK Rothschild construct - overlay on Palestine.

Posted by: fast freddy | Sep 16, 2015 7:13:49 PM | 30

WASHINGTON (AP) — No more than five U.S.-trained Syrian rebels are fighting the Islamic State, astoundingly short of the envisioned 5,000, the top U.S. commander in the Middle East told angry lawmakers on Wednesday. They branded the training program "a total failure."
http://news.yahoo.com/us-general-only-handful-syrian-fighters-remain-battle-150848123.html
Those five have to defeat Islamic State then the Syrian army and then form a moderate government. With five ministers

Posted by: harry law | Sep 16, 2015 7:34:40 PM | 31

The goal of predatory capitalism is chaos. This is how the oligarchs make their money. They are war profiteers and debt mongers. The combat zone of proxy ethnic forces fighting from Libya through Syria to Ukraine and Afghanistan is a natural outcome. Austerity forced onto Greece and the refugee deluge are the results of conscious decisions made by current rulers in the West. Any realistic analysis will say that the Syrian Civil War is the cause of the current Muslim Diaspora. Even Barrack Obama said so. But the retired rear admiral spokesman for the State Department is the symbol of anyone close to power who profits off of war. They are insane. They can’t admit that they are children killers. Even worse, it is all for nothing. The oligarchs are betting that these wars and the economic sanctions will destabilize Russia and they will get to plunder its resources. Instead, the economic sanctions will deepen Europe’s depression and more than likely the proxy wars with Russia will escalate into WW III unless there is a stand down.

Posted by: VietnamVet | Sep 16, 2015 7:43:14 PM | 32

Yeah, of course, the destabilisation of Syria was about the greatest fuck-up the US has ever done, leading to hordes of refugees in Europe. If it were not for the fact that the US wants to do down the EU, to prevent it becoming a real economic competitor.

They're sick, in the US. They haven't learnt how to live with people.

Posted by: Laguerre | Sep 16, 2015 7:43:26 PM | 33

@33 laguerre.. what about the thought expressed randomly over this thread and many others that it is not about the usa, so much as it is corporations running the usa and much of the western world at present? in this context those wanting to exploit others knows no geographical location and is willing to go into any country and remove the concept of sovereignty of what a country might have meant at some distant point in the past? that is how i see it which is why i relate to what vintage red @21 is saying, as well as vietnam vet @32 who has articulated it in a slightly different way..

maybe i am wrong, but i don't believe all western people are fucked.. maybe some countries can be accused of being more propagandized or ignorant of history or what lies outside their own borders, but generally i think the larger war going on at present is one of oligarchs and corporations dictating the terms of what is happening on the planet.. it used to be that gov't's had some sort of say but the political class appear to have been completely bought out to the point where their is no regulation, or respect for other countries sovereignty, or only in so far as they align with a particular ideology that could best be described as 'neoliberalism' run rampant..

Posted by: james | Sep 16, 2015 7:59:20 PM | 34

History is replete with examples of conqueror vs. the conquered. The USA was founded on the principle. Israel also. The Savages and their little snakelike children are on top of Rothschild's oil.

Posted by: fast freddy | Sep 16, 2015 8:11:42 PM | 35

re 34

but generally i think the larger war going on at present is one of oligarchs and corporations dictating the terms of what is happening on the planet.
In this context, there is a big battle taking place at the moment in Britain, which corresponds entirely to your worries. A nice political guy, Corbyn, is being slaughtered by the media, for having been elected as leader of the Labour Party. One after another, the media, left or right, launch their attacks. But I don't think they'll succeed, because they guy is too simple and honest.

Posted by: Laguerre | Sep 16, 2015 8:24:22 PM | 36

@Laguerre, 23:

I believe I was exactly trying to reinforce your point on walls:

I wrote that the Maginot Line was “just a waste”; you wrote it “was foolish from the beginning”.

The Picts likewise outflanked Hadrian’s Wall by sea—no different.

The Great Wall of China was perhaps “better conceived” but was still only as good as its gatekeepers. In the case of the Mongol conquest of China, several Han generals and many troops defected to the Golden Horde. My own linked example was of a later general who let the Manchus in, thinking to ally with them against a rebel faction, only to be conquered by the Manchus for his trouble. Either way, a gatekeeper problem.

Now walls and barriers—literal and figurative—are being discussed with regard to keeping economic and political refugees out of the US and EU. All are intended to keep “barbarians” and other foreigners out, and as you said don’t succeed, one way or another, sooner or later.

You don't have to tell me how sick things are here--I've felt it from my earliest memories, which is why I say I couldn't help but become a communist here in the capital of capitalism. We certainly have our work cut out for us reaching people through the suffocating neofascist corporate propaganda, sociopathic socialization, racist arrogance, political amnesia and weapons-grade ignorance--an old comrade described it as "breathing enemy air"--but we don't give up.

I'm trying to agree with you, in principle if not in every nitpicky detail; are you trying to find ways to disallow that? I remember well the photo of the last Marine being lifted off the embassy in Saigon, the retreat of the Marines from Beirut, Black Hawk Down. All “omnipotent” powers portray themselves as such, until reality shows them otherwise—and like walls, they will eventually fall. Rome the Eternal, O Britannia, Israel, the US… If I thought the US was omnipotent I wouldn’t be here at MoA. I hope to live to see *this* Empire fall; whether I do or not I'll chip away at its sick, self-contradictory, poverty-amid-plenty foundations as best I can, regardless of what anyone thinks, here or elsewhere...

Posted by: Vintage Red | Sep 16, 2015 8:43:36 PM | 37

@Laguerre, 23:

I believe I was exactly trying to reinforce your point on walls:

I wrote that the Maginot Line was “just a waste”; you wrote it “was foolish from the beginning”.

The Picts likewise outflanked Hadrian’s Wall by sea—no different.

The Great Wall of China was perhaps “better conceived” but was still only as good as its gatekeepers. In the case of the Mongol conquest of China, several Han generals and many troops defected to the Golden Horde. My own linked example was of a later general who let the Manchus in, thinking to ally with them against a rebel faction, only to be conquered by the Manchus for his trouble. Either way, a gatekeeper problem.

Now walls and barriers—literal and figurative—are being discussed with regard to keeping economic and political refugees out of the US and EU. All are intended to keep “barbarians” and other foreigners out, and as you said don’t succeed, one way or another, sooner or later.

You don't have to tell me how sick things are here--I've felt it from my earliest memories, which is why I say I couldn't help but become a communist here in the capital of capitalism. We certainly have our work cut out for us reaching people through the suffocating neofascist corporate propaganda, sociopathic socialization, racist arrogance, political amnesia and weapons-grade ignorance--an old comrade described it as "breathing enemy air"--but we don't give up.

I'm trying to agree with you, in principle if not in every nitpicky detail; are you trying to find ways to disallow that? I remember well the photo of the last Marine being lifted off the embassy in Saigon, the retreat of the Marines from Beirut, Black Hawk Down. All “omnipotent” powers portray themselves as such, until reality shows them otherwise—and like walls, they will eventually fall. Rome the Eternal, O Britannia, Israel, the US… If I thought the US was omnipotent I wouldn’t be here at MoA. I hope to live to see *this* Empire fall; whether I do or not I'll chip away at its sick, self-contradictory, poverty-amid-plenty foundations as best I can, regardless of what anyone thinks, here or elsewhere...

Posted by: Vintage Red | Sep 16, 2015 8:43:36 PM | 38

@Laguerre, 23:

I believe I was exactly trying to reinforce your point on walls:

I wrote that the Maginot Line was “just a waste”; you wrote it “was foolish from the beginning”.

The Picts likewise outflanked Hadrian’s Wall by sea—no different.

The Great Wall of China was perhaps “better conceived” but was still only as good as its gatekeepers. In the case of the Mongol conquest of China, several Han generals and many troops defected to the Golden Horde. My own linked example was of a later general who let the Manchus in, thinking to ally with them against a rebel faction, only to be conquered by the Manchus for his trouble. Either way, a gatekeeper problem.

Now walls and barriers—literal and figurative—are being discussed with regard to keeping economic and political refugees out of the US and EU. All are intended to keep “barbarians” and other foreigners out, and as you said don’t succeed, one way or another, sooner or later.

You don't have to tell me how sick things are here--I've felt it from my earliest memories, which is why I say I couldn't help but become a communist here in the capital of capitalism. We certainly have our work cut out for us reaching people through the suffocating neofascist corporate propaganda, sociopathic socialization, racist arrogance, political amnesia and weapons-grade ignorance--an old comrade described it as "breathing enemy air"--but we don't give up.

I'm trying to agree with you, in principle if not in every nitpicky detail; are you trying to find ways to disallow that? I remember well the photo of the last Marine being lifted off the embassy in Saigon, the retreat of the Marines from Beirut, Black Hawk Down. All “omnipotent” powers portray themselves as such, until reality shows them otherwise—and like walls, they will eventually fall. Rome the Eternal, O Britannia, Israel, the US… If I thought the US was omnipotent I wouldn’t be here at MoA. I hope to live to see *this* Empire fall; whether I do or not I'll chip away at its sick, self-contradictory, poverty-amid-plenty foundations as best I can, regardless of what anyone thinks, here or elsewhere...

Posted by: Vintage Red | Sep 16, 2015 8:43:36 PM | 39

c'mon folks, if y'all read The Nation you would know that Obama is a foreign policy grandmaster

Posted by: lizard | Sep 16, 2015 9:32:32 PM | 40

I love the thing about "four or five" guys still fighting. Its the funniest possible lie. "Four" or "five"? With four or five you know their names ffs, and you do not, in fact, wonder wether it is "four" or wether it is "five" - you know how many because you need only one hand to count them on...

And in what capacity exactly, does their "fight" entail, I'd really love to know? Are they hiding in some foxhole somewhere, huddled together like four (or five) Japanese holdouts in 1972? Do they know the rest of their unit doesn't exist? Do they radio in sometimes and at least let us know they're okay? Do we cut them four (or five) checks and send then four (or five) sets of supplies?

What a crock. Brilliant.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 16, 2015 9:42:54 PM | 41

@40 if it wasn't coming from Alfred McCoy, I'd dismiss it out of hand.

No doubt Obama has been one of the most aggressive US Presidents. He's outdone Cold Warriors and I'd even say GWB, though with more finesse and more secrecy. So, aside from the value judgement of calling him a "grand master" especially when he seems more like "ruthless, bloodstained executive", if he has, as McCoy says, extended the life span of the US Empire, McCoy doesn't note the costs or note who is going to benefit from such an extension. It certainly isn't "the American People".

TTIP and the TPP are going to be utter disasters for the American people, though will be bonanzas for the Corporations who are writing it.

Obama's overtures to Cuba and Iran - I don't think there is any hope that this is going to work out for the US as many are expecting. The deal signing and embassy openings are merely first steps - there's no evidence that either country is going to jump into the loving bosom of the oligarchy of the United States of America. These countries will both remain closer to China and Russia than either are with the United States for exactly so long as the US Empire does exist! In fact, I suspect the US will be a net loser on both deals. It's too little, too late on both counts.

Obama has been a disaster for civil liberties. Obama still hasn't closed Guantanamo, the battle with the CIA over the truth about torture still rages. He presided over the institutionalization of mass surveillance. He's at war with whistleblowers.

his efforts in the Arab World have been about as successful as Bush's adventure in Iraq (though far more wide ranging and thus more dangerous). The US still remains wedded to the two most criminal regimes on the planet: KSA and Israel.

The US empire may have extended itself some decades, but only in the sense that the French extended their rule in Algeria a few years by digging in their heels for as long as they could. In any case, for anyone other than the very, very rich, such efforts will be disastrous as they are dangerous.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 16, 2015 10:04:43 PM | 42

About the interviews, does Assad speak Russian? I couldn't find anything online.

Though I did read the laughable Wikipropaganda that exists for him.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 16, 2015 10:21:21 PM | 43

@ 43 guest77.. in english here...

Posted by: james | Sep 16, 2015 10:45:26 PM | 44

@42

what I think McCoy's assertion exposes is how deeply many Americans, even those on the alleged "left", are invested in a unipolar world where America leads the rest of you lowly global citizens. it's a kind of lesser-evilism projected on the global landscape.

where these American exceptionalists see deft diplomacy with Cuba and Iran, I see hegemonic desperation. McCoy makes some useful observations, like contrasting the bloody Bush years with China's quiet investment in Africa, but his tone seems supportive of the ruthless geopolitical acumen Obama is supposedly displaying.

Posted by: lizard | Sep 16, 2015 11:09:08 PM | 45

Haven't We in the West been brainwashed into accepting that bald-faced lies (from Politicians Owned by the 1%) are an essential part of State-craft?
It's patently ridiculous and Cretinous.
Politicians in the West should be put on notice that lying to the people who trusted them, voted for them, and pay their salaries & perks will, henceforth, become a Serious, Life-Shortening, Health Hazard.

That would solve so many problems so quickly that the 1%'s heads would be spinning.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 16, 2015 11:22:08 PM | 46

@40 lizard, @432 guest

Barack Obama Is a Foreign Policy Grandmaster


Obama has moved step by step to repair the damage caused by a plethora of Washington foreign policy debacles, old and new, and then maneuvered deftly to rebuild America’s fading global influence. ... he has slowly shifted from the coercion of war, occupation, torture, and other forms of unilateral military action toward the more cooperative realm of trade, diplomacy, and mutual security.

What is this? A joke? A very unfunny joke.

Obama has repaired nothing, he is the champion of death, devastation, and destruction (DD&D). He has not shifted from the coercion of war ... he has hired mercenaries, brutal uncontollable mercenaries ... to take the place of Americans in the realms of murder, torture, and devastation. He has pushed forward robotic warfare and now kills with impunity. No American bodybags, no American opposition. That makes it easier to operate at home, but the DD&D is abroad ... where the empire is ... and the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate has created more people worldwide that would like to dance on his grave than anyone else's. Because he has funded more terrorists than anyone, killed more whole countries than anyone, and made more fools of his gullible supporters than anyone.

I read McCoy's paper Imperial Hubris, from altviewstv-fanclub, and was astounded to find him forecasting at the end ...


[A]fter a century of development through two technological regimes, manual and automated, Washington might be creating a uniquely agile information infrastructure for effective force projection over vast territories. Within the long arc of technical progress, future military defeats might prove, as in Vietnam, momentary set backs, with each passing crisis masking a self-correction that moves this expanding information architecture ever closer to perfection. Through military force directed with economy and precision via an agile, almost infallible information infrastructure, the United States may escape the classic imperial dyad to achieve dominion in excess of economic influence. If this latter inteipretation is correct, then continuing technological progress could exempt Washington from past patterns of imperial decline, creating something akin to an endless American empire.

Maybe this is the guy Laguerre is thinking of when he says

I never cease to be amazed, after all these years, how many US participants ... continue to believe that the US is omnipotent, even if it's evil.

All American 'social scientists' are on the government payroll, in one form or another. Maybe this is McCoy's way of saying thank you to the CIA for a lifetime's employment?

Posted by: jfl | Sep 16, 2015 11:39:08 PM | 47

@my 37, 38, 39:

Apologies for the unintended triplication. b, if there is a way to delete two of those, I'd be appreciative...

Posted by: Vintage Red | Sep 17, 2015 12:33:56 AM | 48

@48 vintage red

Can't speak for b but the triple posting is the mark of a wo/man who won't take no for an answer from typepad, and I'm glad that man is Vintage Red ... rather than one of those who need not be named.

Posted by: jfl | Sep 17, 2015 12:40:42 AM | 49

I'm less cynical than b about the origin of the Syrian refugees, especially since the overwhelming message I'm hearing from them is that they want the violence driven by the non-government militias to stop, that they have been saying fukUS need to stop arming the terrorists.

Yes they are fit young men in the main which is why they want to get out. Their families have sent them out of Syria to establish a position for others to join them in.
Most seem to be educated middle class Syrians and syria isn't the only society where the bourgoisie put covering their asses ahead of patriotism, fighting for your beliefs etc.

That said - what we saw in Hungary over the last fortnight and last night in particular was anti-semitism in the true sense of the word. Not the judeophobia that zionists like to term anti-semitism, but the genuine article hatred and fear of semites.

I just had a row with and aquaintance whose family were originally Hungarian Jews a couple generations back. This dickhead was prattling on about how the Hungarians and Austrians had the right idea, that keeping 'the Arabs' 'those people' out was a smart move. The discussion got outta hand when I pointed out that the vast bulk of his family who disappeared into the camps in the 1940's would vehemently disagree, that the attitude even educated Hungarians have towards Syrians and Roma (ever heard a Hungarian talk about 'the gypsies'? Talk about evil incarnate that's ignorant magyars on Roma) is exactly the same as the attitude that drove pogroms and had so many Hungarians keen on Naziism.

There are many good reasons why former warsaw pact countries shouldn't have been admitted to the EU much less nato and most of them have been ignored by the western european nations, to their cost.

The way that Hungary has gassed and batoned refugees fleeing a war zone, has woken up many in western europe to a simple reality, that is the western european EU members had 50 years of shared culture and values by the time they finally got really close - mostly thanks to TV and other popular culture trash, but that's another issue.

The eastern and central european nations are quite limited in the cultural norms they share with the older EU members. A process of detachment for decades until cultural balance is found, would prevent many of the negative aspects of the EU which are currently tearing it apart, from worsening.

If we cast our minds back to the late 80's early 90's before the neolib takeover, the EU was something alright in many ways. Of course the threat it posed to the amerikan empire was obvious and most europeans just couldn't conceive that threat would be their undoing. The clock cannot be turned back, but rather than give in to the prejudices exploited by racist pols advocating destruction of the EU, a viable middle ground which devolved some control to communities and reduced the one size fits all rules that the neoliberals have used to advance corporatism could strengthen a smaller alliance of european nations.

As for sledging refugees who have suffered more than most humans have to deal with & supporting the oppression of any humans for the crime of being diferent, the dreaded 'other', I'm sorry b but I cannot agree that is a good thing.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Sep 17, 2015 1:17:42 AM | 50

@ Debs is dead:

B is cynical because the Syrian refugees who have been released have been held in refugee camps in Turkey for several years. That is enough time for the camps to have been infiltrated by ISIS operatives and trainers to radicalise many of these people. The fact that the majority of the refugees appear to be men in their 20s and 30s might strongly suggest that there are ISIS sleeper cells among them who can be counted on to instigate false flag attacks in their host countries to terrify the public and stampede people into supporting a US-led invasion of Syria which has been the plan all along.

There is also reason for cynicism because Germany faces demographic collapse in decades to come. There are not enough workers to constitute the tax base to support the country's social welfare system. The same can be said for Hungary which is dealing with the problem in its own way: by building a wall designed to stop its own people from fleeing economic austerity policies.

Also if only educated middle class people are leaving Syria, this is a considerable brain drain that benefits the West. Syria took the trouble to educate these people, why should the West reap the benefits of their education and qualifications?

Posted by: Jen | Sep 17, 2015 1:51:48 AM | 51

@51 jen - i think many folks are aware of the views you articulate, but it doesn't get discussed.. thanks for articulating some of my own thoughts on this..

Posted by: james | Sep 17, 2015 2:26:45 AM | 52

jen@51 - There's reports that many of these thugs in the refugees are not Syrian at all, but secondary refugees from Afghanistan and Pakistan or direct economic emigrants from Macedonia and Kosovo. The surge was partially from previously undocumented refugees/emigrants that were able to buy one of the many blank Syrian passports being sold by the Kosovo mafia.

If you were to go out on a limb, it's easy to imagine the U.S. causing the stampede by providing - directly or indirectly - the blank passports if they had acquired any to begin with. Turkey also has plenty of reasons to get rid of it's undocumented refugees (who couldn't get a UNHCR card for whatever reason) by making the passports available through some scheme.

Doesn't it strike you as kind of odd that nobody is reporting on the numbers or sources of the current wave of refugees? Not one single reporter on earth seems to be capable of anything besides 'looking' for the Syrian refugees (out of hundreds or thousands) to interview. Syrian refugees themselves are making claims that the violent young men in the camps are neither refugees nor Syrian.

Doesn't it sound more like an effort to demonize SYRIAN refugees by associating them with these ungrateful, violent young men? Would you act like that if you were a refugee? it doesn't make any sense. Or I should say it makes a lot more sense that this 'sudden' news on the flood of these angry terrorist-like refugees seems engineered to give that impression. They do not look or act like middle-class married Syrian men with families.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Sep 17, 2015 3:31:58 AM | 53

@jfl, 49:

Thank you--in that case I'll just say, "Third time's the charm!" :-)

Posted by: Vintage Red | Sep 17, 2015 3:46:26 AM | 54

Here in Israel
Posted by: guest77 | Sep 17, 2015 3:50:59 AM | 55

roflmao

yeah, figures

Posted by: LyinFerZion | Sep 17, 2015 4:02:22 AM | 55

@ 51 Jen
I don't deny any of what you wrote Jen, but just as I cannot support the blanket harassment of followers of Islam just because some may be fundies, the notion of going after refugees just because a small percentage may be infiltrators is also immoral and unjust.
I posted when this all began that Merkel was abusing the situation to undermine the wage fixing system in Germany and that isn't the fault of the refugees either.
If I was a young bloke living in Syria I would be sorely tempted to jump ship because no one on any side is waiting for volunteers - and those families living in towns which have been over run by isis or the al Qaeda asshole have had enforced enlistment by the government for some men from each family, followed by abduction enlistment by the terrorists for the rest.

The ME has been suffering from hideous conflict for a long time, Syrians knew what would happen to their sons because they had seen what happened to Lebanese youths back when fuckwitted Reagan cranked up that conflict at Israel's behest, consequently at the first sign of disaster many families sent young men off to scout a place for the clan - not to create an aq cell - just to establish a home.
I dunno about you but I'm not gonna say getting the fuck outta Dodge when the odds are high that one slimy politician or another is gonna send you off to to kill or be killed if you stick around, is a bad thing.
our family sheltered 'shirkers' (young men who refused to fight in WW1 there may have been some Axis sympathisers among em but that is irrelevant) and I reckon denying sociopaths the means to have their way is a good thing.

I want Assad to stay because that is the best chance for Syria, but I'm not so naïve that I think any ruling clique who hold control for decades are whiter than white - reducing these situations to good Vs bad is always wrong no matter who is selected for which role because reducing nuanced situations to that simplistic shit is how assholes crank these things up.
The Hungarian government doesn't harass these refugees because of concerns about infiltration, it harasses them because it is a right wing populist mob of assholes who are beating up on refugees because it strikes a chord in the minds of Hungarian racists.
The batoning and gassing last night was appalling - we all know the best fix for Syria would be to starve the terrorists of funds but that just isn't gonna happen unless people demand it, beating up on reffos merely indulges sick prejudices as does offering support to this type of racism.

As I have also posted even sociopathic amerika takes in more than 1 million illegal migrants a year, that amerikan population is considerably smaller than the population of EU nations combined, the media of Europe are beating up a crisis over less than 300,000 refugees in toto.
It's bullshit and any pol who tries to use the misery of Syria for selfish political ends as Orban has is a lowlife scumbag.

If people want to be pissed about Europe receiving what it has dealt to the rest of the world for more than 200 years, focus on Goldman Sachs chief and UN migration boss Peter Sutherland who says:
The EU should "do its best to undermine" the "homogeneity" of its member states, and he also told the House of Lords committee migration was a "crucial dynamic for economic growth" in some EU nations "however difficult it may be to explain this to the citizens of those states".

In other words the practise of destroying a single common culture so as to allow the population to become divided to best be played off and prevented from achieving the unity necessary to resist corporate capitalism isn't some secret conspiracy, these fuckers boast about what they have done.

Syrian migrants are just people trying to find a safe and secure spot in a world that has been carefully crafted to fuck Syrians over.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Sep 17, 2015 4:03:25 AM | 56

http://orientalreview.org/2015/09/16/us-seek-to-control-the-eu-elites-via-refugee-crisis/
ORIENTAL REVIEW publishes exclusive English translation of the interview given by Andrew Korybko to the Iranian FARS News agency on the origins of Syrian war, refugee crisis in the EU and the US interest in making radicals infiltrate Europe.

Posted by: okie farmer | Sep 17, 2015 4:34:27 AM | 57

When asked what the White House would think about Russian airstrikes against Islamic State in Syria, press secretary Josh Earnest said that “any efforts by Russia that are geared towards doubling down on their support for the Assad regime would be counter-productive and destabilizing,with the potential to drive some Syrian citizens into the arms of the Islamic State or other extremist groups". The French and Australians say they are going to bomb Islamic State.
Is this not going to support Assad? Is US bombing of Islamic State not going to support Assad? Of course it is possible that those NATO members will not be bombing Islamic State at all, but simple pinpricks [failure by the US to bomb known Islamic State training camps has been well documented] to prolong the war and hope Assad is ground down and eventually forced to capitulate. The Russian entry into the equation wrecks those schemes.

Posted by: harry law | Sep 17, 2015 5:08:57 AM | 58

U.S. Naval War College Graduation Address by Rear Admiral John F. Kirby, U.S. Navy Chief of Information

[In 2013] serving as the U.S. Navy’s chief of information, Kirby is the principal spokesman for the Department of the Navy and provides strategic communication counsel to the secretary of the Navy and the chief of naval operations. He leads the Navy’s public affairs community consisting of more than 2,700 active and reserve officer, enlisted and civilian communication professionals.

Kirby qualified as a surface warfare officer aboard the guided-missile frigate USS Aubrey Fitch (FFG 34). As a public affairs officer, Kirby served at sea aboard the aircraft carrier USS Forrestal (CV 59) and on the staff of the Commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet, embarked aboard the command and control ship USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20).

While ashore, Kirby completed tours as an instructor at the U.S. Naval Academy; public affairs officer with the Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron (Blue Angels); editor-in-chief of the Navy’s flagship monthly magazine, All Hands; the staffs of the chief of naval personnel, U.S. Naval Forces Europe, chief of naval operations, and the special assistant for public affairs to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. His most recent assignment was serving as the deputy assistant Secretary of Defense for Media Operations.

Veterans must learn to connect with American civilians | WaPo | by Rear Adm. John F. Kirby

Unbelievable level of stupity by "Our Men and Women" serving in the U.S. Armed Services ...
Leverage Points For the War on Terror - The Iraq Experience and Domino Theory Revisited [p. 56] [pdf]

Posted by: Oui | Sep 17, 2015 5:34:44 AM | 59

One less-explored aspect of this artificial crisis to consider is the stage the TTIP-CETA bargaining is reaching - as well as citizen opposition to it. With not only huge opposition, but also strong Europe-wide campaigning and solidarity over TTIP, I can't help wondering whether one of the intended effects is to drive in wegdes at mental borders and hope to weaken such solidarity.

Posted by: Petra | Sep 17, 2015 7:23:32 AM | 60

@ Debs is Dead:

I agree that Syrian refugees are being set up as a tool to whip the general public in Europe into supporting a NATO invasion of Syria. Not only might there be ISIS operatives among them but there are economic migrants from other countries among them as well. It is these people who are reportedly behaving violently towards police in their host countries and giving genuine refugees a black name.

Plus if there's an opportunity to kill several birds with the one stone, the US and NATO would not hesitate to use it. We might ask why the thousands of Syrian refugees leaving Turkey have to travel by sea in rubber dinghies to Greece and then take land routes through Hungary. Turkey could have piled all these people into passenger planes and arranged with the EU to fly the refugees to various European capitals. Why concentrate the refugees' routes through Hungary? (Of course Turkey could have settled these refugees itself but we'll leave that aside.) Might that arrangement have been done specifically to embarrass and humiliate the Orban government, and make its actions the laughing-stock of the world? It's not as if Hungary only started now to build its barriers and turn itself into a ghetto.

Posted by: Jen | Sep 17, 2015 8:09:28 AM | 61

from the link at 58:
Andrew Korybko: As for why the millions of others have left, it’s hard to generalize, but part of the reason is the material attractiveness abroad (such as the dream of earning Euros), which in some way, is being used to lure Syrians out of their state in order to demographically weaken it. The advance construction of refugee facilities in Turkey prior to the War on Syria is a case in point, and according to Ghassan and Intibah Kadi writing for The Saker, Ankara has finally decided to allow the refugees to leave the encampments that they were forcibly detained in, thus manufacturing the latest migrant wave for reasons that have yet to be fully explained. Perhaps, as they suggest, it’s to increase Turkey’s leverage vis-à-vis the EU when it comes to ascension talks, but whatever it is, it’s clear that the refugees are being politicized, and in some cases, weaponized. Let’s also not forget that these individuals have to pay tremendous amounts of money to human smugglers in order to sail to Greece, so the assumption that they’re the most desperate of the desperate simply isn’t true for the most part. And, considering that they were stuck in Turkey’s ‘refugee camps’ for the past couple of years, it’s questionable how they received the money, or, one is tempted to think, could they have brought so much money with them four and a half years ago that they still had some left for when the time to leave finally arrived?

It’s also curious that many of these individuals are of moderately young age and are well-fit, meaning that, as the Kadis also wrote, they could be defending their homeland had they not fled. Many of those that left were anti-government individuals in the first place, so that may have played a role in why they made their decision to go abroad, perhaps right before the Syrian Arab Army regained control of their neighborhood out of fear that they could get in trouble for their terrorist sympathies.

Posted by: okie farmer | Sep 17, 2015 8:34:23 AM | 62

Ramzy Baroud points out - How Yarmouk Came About: Israel’s Unabashed Role in the Syrian Refugee Crisis - that among the refugees who would like nothing more than to return home are those from Qaytiyya, al-Ja’ouneh and Khisas, Palestine - presently labled as Israel on maps from the Googleplex.


In fact while countries like Lebanon had accepted 1.72 million refugees (one in every five people in Lebanon is a Syrian refugee), Turkey 1.93 million, Jordan 629,000, Iraq 249,000, and Egypt 132,000, Israel made no offer to accept a single refugee.

The Palestinians are again caught in the midst of the imperial/colonial wars of the US/IL. No one is more deserving of justice than the Palestinians. Caught in the middle of these wars as they are Israel must finally implement the right of return and allow the Palestinians to return to their homeland in Palestine.

Posted by: jfl | Sep 17, 2015 9:02:03 AM | 63

Massive amounts of conjecture in this article. Russia isn't there to fight Isis. Just because someone got CIA training doesn't mean they work for the CIA or american govt. The united States will continue to support the Kurds and if they use that knowledge to fight Turkey then good on them. The people who are flooding Europe are doing so because they are educated and somewhat modern people. They don't want to live in camps in Lebanon. Christ, there's a lot of bullshit here. You don't understand nuance.

Posted by: Jason | Sep 17, 2015 9:24:24 AM | 64

A short helpful summary of The Dirty Politics Behind the Syrian Conflict


According to Hersh’s exposé, in 2012 the US intelligence services believed that the rebels would lose the war. This prompted the Turkish national intelligence agency and Gendarmerie, the nation’s paramilitary law enforcement arm, to work with al-Nusra Front in Syria in order to help them built their chemical development. Erdogan allegedly hoped that the use of chemical weapons on Syrian civilians would led to a military response from the United States against Asad.

Didn't the Russians just sign on to a UNSC investigation of the Sarin at Ghouta? They'd do that if they had something to add to Hersh's information, wouldn't they?

Posted by: jfl | Sep 17, 2015 9:44:34 AM | 65

Why would Doha based Al Jazeera publish this article by a British expert? He now "works for a NGO in Syria!"

Ghouta chemical attack: Two years onward

Hamish de Bretton-Gordon is a former soldier. He was commanding officer of the UK Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Regiment and Nato's Rapid Reaction CBRN Battalion.

New Strategic Partnership Announced as Expert Hamish de Bretton-Gordon OBE joins Avon Protection. The partnership will see Hamish de Bretton Gordon, formerly COO of SecureBio, which he founded 3 years ago, move to Avon Rubber p.l.c. as Managing Director CBRN.

Follow me:
Syria Relief UK based charity – Syria Relief Ajmal Ramzan, Managing Director – Rulers of Qatar – House of Thani – SATUC: founder Sheikha Al-Thani

Sheikh Eid Bin Mohammed Al Thani Charity sends relief for Syrians

Posted by: Oui | Sep 17, 2015 10:22:29 AM | 66

DiD@57 said: "In other words the practise of destroying a single common culture so as to allow the population to become divided to best be played off and prevented from achieving the unity necessary to resist corporate capitalism isn't some secret conspiracy, these fuckers boast about what they have done."

This rendered statement is bottom line, and oh so true. Until the world comes to the realization that, business should serve humanity for social improvement, and not just the enrichment of the predatory few, nothing will change.

Until then, as Chipnik says always, " It's just business, get over it."

Posted by: ben | Sep 17, 2015 11:07:44 AM | 67

ok this migrant-muslim invasion has me wondering if this all a giant scheme to drive wealthy europeans out of europe into USA, while Europe descends into a giant kosovo?

Posted by: aaaaa | Sep 17, 2015 11:08:01 AM | 68

@ Guest77 #41,

One of the funniest posts I've read in a long time :-) Thanks for that.

Posted by: Lysander | Sep 17, 2015 11:15:21 AM | 69

Cynthia 4:The serial liars say OBL did the dirty deed,in the first hours before there was any proof.Why believe them?The FBI had absolutely no solid evidence to tie him to 9-11.I carried in my wallet for years a story from the NYTs saying Israel used a first cousin of one of the alleged hijackers as an informant for years.Ding-ding-ding-ding....
Orban recently?said something taboo about Israel I believe.So Hungary will bear the brunt of Ziosh*t.Why should Hungary,the land of the Magyars,for centuries,pay the price for Zionist destabilization?Yinon indeed.

Posted by: dahoit | Sep 17, 2015 11:20:40 AM | 70

@Lysander:

Thanks, it wasn´t meant to be funny. We do feel that way.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 17, 2015 11:28:45 AM | 71

what % are male? What % are syrian? I've come to the conclusion that I can't think of this 'migrant crisis' being anything short of an invasion.

Sooner or later there will be kosovo 2.0 in some region of EUrope because of this.. In the meantime crime will increase substantially and more of Europe will resemble any number of bad areas- heavier police state, heavier political correctness policing, more organized crime, more unsafe areas, etc

Posted by: aaaaa | Sep 17, 2015 11:32:16 AM | 72

@Lysande.

Thanks but it wasn´t meant to be funny, we do feel that way...

Posted by: Guest77 | Sep 17, 2015 11:34:28 AM | 73

Though most experts say that the U.S. should cooperate with Russia against IS I rather expect the White House to escalate the conflict.

Not so sure. One difficuly is judging the rift between Obama-Kerry, lets call them the ‘realists,’ along with the retired ‘experts’ like Kissinger (murderous *xxxx* so if he is tempered heh…), vs. neo-cons plus other hawks. US foreign policy (horrific as it may be, another topic) is not being managed by a steady hand with a plan and is clearly rudderless, with factions in the in-group fighting / compromising / ignoring each other / trying to make clumsy deals with each other (money, status), etc.

Obi-Kerr have won / will win on Iran, which many did not expect. AIPAC has been weakened, sentiment against Israel is rising, Palestine has joined the ICC (something Isr. and the US did everything to prevent.) Iran was brought in from the Cold, that was a US initiative. Iran did not request this ‘deal’ (which can be seen as quite unfavorable for it), it was a US proposal / initiative, how could it be otherwise?

The US cannot manage all its ‘enemies’ (ROW - 1) and the ME mess looks marginally better with Iran at least open to US influence or kept muted, quiet. Khamenei has been making fiery anti-Isr speeches, in code (besides for his public) what this means is that even if the US brought thru the ‘Iran’ deal Iran will not budge on that issue and that US influence on Iran will remain marginal - he states (hopes.) Anyway this changes the whole ME picture.

As for Syria, the EU is getting cold feet, and the power-sharing proposals in Syria (not new, Assad has always said, vote, etc.) are gathering steam. One major stumbling block - not only the reactions of the incredulous public - but for pols is that after 15 years (…just the recent past) of bashing all things, all things and more things, Muslim (religion, the ppl so primitive dontcha know, women oppressed slaves, bad ugly dress, no liberty, oppressive dictators, islamist terrorists, djihadists bone-chillin’ gutting violence, muslim countries, etc. etc. -> not KSA oops, etc.) it now broadly revealed that the US supports (-ed) such forces (an enemy of my enemy is my friend.) Now it has gotten itself into a major quandary…

It is slowly becoming noticeable, bruited about, that Islamist terrorists, the ‘Taliban’ (Pashtun peasants..), neo-Nazis, neo-fascists, terrorists, etc. are funded by the US, contrary to its Beacon on the Hill shrill-n-tinny toot-toot proclaimed ideals. This loss of image is well nigh impossible to couteract, ask any B* movie star, shyster lawyer, or Capo Mafia type -> except by fighting ISIS. (Which I don’t expect will happen any time soon..but moving towards…)

1. ROW = The Rest Of the World. China, Russia, etc.

Posted by: Noirette | Sep 17, 2015 1:12:00 PM | 74

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/09/17/us-mideast-crisis-syria-russia-exclusive-idUSKCN0RH15S20150917

The Syrian military has recently started using new types of air and ground weapons supplied by Russia, a Syrian military source told Reuters on Thursday, underlining growing Russian support to Damascus that is alarming the United States.

"The weapons are highly effective and very accurate, and hit targets precisely," the source said in response to a question about Russian support. "We can say they are all types of weapons - be it air or ground."

The source said the army had been trained in the use of the weapons in recent months and was now deploying them, declining to give further details other than saying they were "new types".

The Russian government said on Thursday its military support for Damascus was aimed at fighting terrorism, safeguarding Syria's statehood and preventing a "total catastrophe" in the region.

It includes a larger Russian military presence on the ground in Syria, where President Bashar al-Assad has faced increased pressure this year from rebels fighting to topple him, but its full scope and intentions remain unclear.

Washington, which wants Assad gone from power, has said it believes Russia is undertaking a significant military buildup which could exacerbate the war.

The United States, along with Saudi Arabia and Turkey, have supported insurgents battling to unseat Assad, whose foreign military backing has so far come mostly from Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah.

Posted by: okie farmer | Sep 17, 2015 2:03:38 PM | 75

Adam Osmayev is another well-connected Chechen terrorist(?), based in the UK. He went to UK public school, was flush with cash, particiapted in the Debaltsevo encirclement on the side of Ukraine. UK public schools have strong military connected, incorporating some form of military training into the curriculum. Some schools have their own arsenal of rifles etc. He had associations with the Nemtsov false-flag murder and there is a suggestion of involvement in a plot to kill Putin in 2013.

http://thetruthspeaker.co/2015/02/08/adam-osmayev-british-raised-but-not-british-terrorist/

http://fortruss.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/nemtsovs-killer-was-hired-by-commander.html

Posted by: Yonatan | Sep 17, 2015 2:16:29 PM | 76

It is difficult to view the Great Wall of China as a failure. It protected China's northern border for over a thousand years. During that period Han culture developed and strengthened under the Han, Tang and Sung dynasties. The resulting Confusion scholar official system was strong enough to survive the Mongol invasion and absorbed the Manchus into Han culture during the next 900 years.

Posted by: ToivoS | Sep 17, 2015 2:47:11 PM | 77

Peter Lee in Counterpunch has a good summary of the Syrian saga. There is little there that most of us are not familiar with. It occurred to me that reading it, though, that the US must be fully aware that its policy if a total failure. I suspect that the only reason we continue to pursue this failed policy is to try to drag Russia further into that quagmire. Just like with Ukraine where we tried to provoke Russia into invading Ukraine so we could have a major propaganda victory that would drive an irreparable wedge between Russia and Europe. Lavrov and Putin have played Ukraine correctly so far and I suspect they will not fall into any traps in Syria either.

Posted by: ToivoS | Sep 17, 2015 3:03:59 PM | 78

Lavrov and Putin have played Ukraine correctly so far and I suspect they will not fall into any traps in Syria either.

Agree, ToivoS, with one caveat, Russia knew that if they "invaded" Ukraine they would face NATO forces, not so in Syria, which I think gives them a little more room to maneuver. Listening the BBC World Service this morning more or less confirms that Reuters story I posted - In Spades.

Posted by: okie farmer | Sep 17, 2015 4:47:02 PM | 79

Let me remind you again about the big picture, I've saying this for years already.

This is a world war concerning transition from the world dominated by the AngloZioAmerica Thalassocracy into a new order, where the power is shared with the Eurasian block.

Obama's team, including "deep state" structures behind him, realizes that this is inevitable and have been trying to guarantee a "soft landing", a "graceful fall" out of the US from the current British-centered "empire". That's because people from his camp are neither not as much implicated thecrimes of the global cabal (e.g. 9/11) nor as insanely desperate to march onf towards the full spectrum dominance.

Forces of the "empire" have so much blood, tears, human suffering on their hands, and so no future for themselves in the coming new order that they have and will do everything they can to undermine its coming. They a have been sabotaging, undermining and discrediting Obama in any possible way in his efforts to reach an amicable agreement with the Eurasian powers (EU-Russia-China).

Syria, Iran, Ukraine, Venezuela, Malaysia are just different fronts in this war and the pressure by the Thalassocracy on Obama has been enormous since his betrayed them o November 6 2012. This includes many staged "false flag" operations like Sandy "Hoax", Aurora, recent one in Virginia aimed at disarming Usaians, like it was done in other colonies of The Crown Corporation, e.g. Australia or England.

Who ever blames Obama for the whole evil of the "empire", has no clue how many gambits this game to avoid world nuclear confrontation requires, and becomes a tool of the global evil AngloZioAmerican cabal, either a "useful idiot", or paid provocatour.

Obama is not a world savior, think more like a front man for a "von Stauffenberg group".

Posted by: ProsperousPeace | Sep 17, 2015 4:48:15 PM | 80

One more thing:
The greatest obstacle in the "graceful transition" above are ... the regular people. Supposedly many of them "good", "decent", "hard working", but ultimately it's the enormous stupidity, egoism and cynicism of the masses that prevent that positive, so much needed, change from occurring.

The global evil elite is maybe 1% of the world population, yet 99% allows them to rule as those demons please, because simply the regular people do not care about their fellow humans, never have.

Posted by: ProsperousPeace | Sep 17, 2015 4:56:38 PM | 81

re: 79 & 80, If Obama is as well-meaning a fellow as you infer, how do you reconcile (for example) his efforts to push the TPP and its related elements; his great zeal for bank bailouts in spite of 95 percent public opposition; his refusal to use "the bully pulpit" to do anything to counter GOP opposition to do anything that might benefit the public (especially when he had majorities in both houses of Congress).

Posted by: fast freddy | Sep 17, 2015 5:25:28 PM | 82

@ lizard # 40--

That link you posted is quite something. The Nation is now scooping the Onion! Who new?

--Gaianne

Posted by: Gaianne | Sep 17, 2015 9:41:46 PM | 83

Russia proposes talks with US military over Isis situation in Syria

John Kerry in reply to Russia's FM Sergei Lavrov:

U.S. Open to 'Tactical, Practical' Talks With Russia On Fighting IS

Posted by: Oui | Sep 17, 2015 9:53:22 PM | 84

Asshole sock puppet isn't enough that he can't use his own name, now he posts under mine.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 17, 2015 10:04:00 PM | 85

@55, 56 Foff, you dumb Svoboda gagger, if you're going to run some kind of sockpuppet "intelligence" (I use the term... advisedly) operation, at least wait for fifteen minutes before fake responding to your fake sockpuppet posts.

You fucking moron.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 17, 2015 10:07:45 PM | 86

"They a have been sabotaging, undermining and discrediting Obama in any possible way in his efforts to reach an amicable agreement with the Eurasian powers (EU-Russia-China)."

This part I can't see at all. Obama has been awful on Russia, from the petty like that whole thing about Putin being "a bored kid in school" right on through to the Ukraine crisis. I assume he's sort of delegated the US relationship with Russia out to that Russophobe Biden.

With China, he's just as bad. Though China plays it far more low key than Russia does, when he's had the opportunity he's been aggressive on the South China Sea and on the ... I forget what it was called, but the military air identification zone in the East China Sea. Not to mention playing up their cyberscares.

Obama has maybe - maybe - tried to smooth things out around the edges, like with Iran and Cuba, but with such obvious bad faith that its almost laughable. Beware of Greeks bearing gifts, and beware of the US wanting to "renew relations". And the countries in the crosshairs certainly know all of this. Iran and Cuba both have been victimized repeatedly by the US during the Cold War and beyond. They know that anything Obama does for them, he'll have to do ten-fold for his whining, irrational allies (the Florida Cubans and the fascists in Latin America in regards to Cuba, and KSA and Israel in regards to Iran) and so the real net change in the relationship is probably, ultimately, negative. Both countries surely know that when it all plays out, the US can never really offer them anything aside from normalized economic relationship, and I doubt either country seeks more than that anyway.

Obama began office as a lame duck. Inexperienced, he had to give up all of his freedom of action to those around him in the know. And we've ended up with a dog's breakfast of foreign and domestic policy. Everyone got the green light for their pet project, but in terms of rational policy, there's nothing, That's how in Ukraine a coup was accomplished without any thought to what would follow, the country going from European prize to total basketcase in an effort that seemed to have more to do with Syria than with Ukraine itself. That's why Libya, Syria, Iraq, and AfPak are utter disasters and getting worse, including an ambassador coming back in a body bag. That's why healthcare reform is an unrecognizable mutant and the rich still have their tax cuts and the deficit is still ballooning - as if none of it happened at all.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 17, 2015 10:55:56 PM | 87

Oh, and with the EU? "F the EU" will be on the gravestone of US-EU relations. And death comes closer and closer the more the US keeps following policies that have bad consequences for the EU (sanctioning Russia, massive refugee flows, etc... etc...). Eventually, the EU will have no policy choices left - except for repression. Becuase there's clearly a war brewing there between the US poodle parties and the democratic outpourings of the people.

@70 Lysander - thanks, glad it made you laugh. The idea of some General deciding that the lie "four or five are still fighting" was preferable to just admitting that "its a total wash" is really... you couldn't make it up. It belongs in Dr. Strangelove.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 17, 2015 11:02:58 PM | 88

@79 The deciders in DC aren't trying to brace for a graceful fall, they're trying to reassert American dominance over the affairs of the world.

Now if USA would act like good stewards it wouldn't matter, as the world would benefit and rivals would be friends.. but since we're completely sold out to 'disaster' capitalist models of economics and governance, we basically justify every evil deed as being just, as we more or less continue the colonial heritage of Western Europe. There's a little good to it, and a lot of bad to it

but remember, this is all transpiring in the presence of looming disasters that threaten the very existence of humanity. Global warming, overpopulation, wide-scale land-poisoning, strip-mining the earth to convert non-renewable resources into future landfill garbage, increasing crime/terrorism..

Basically we're epic-failing

Posted by: aaaaa | Sep 17, 2015 11:04:17 PM | 89

@87 I like your summary

Posted by: aaaaa | Sep 17, 2015 11:59:16 PM | 90

@79, @80

We've heard it all before ... Obama is the lessor of two evils. But there must be a new, centralized and concerted push to sell this now, what with your 'new' line and McCoy's having divined Grandmastership in the CIA's Manchurian Candidate slash doormat.

Obama came on board via, 'You want it, you got it.' And the banksters. the arms merchants, and all the rest of the TNCs got it and then some.

Trying to sell the utter destruction of MENA and Ukraine, the TPP/TTIP, overt fascist police control of the USA, the war on American Blacks and others of color, the vast transfer of wealth from ordinary Americans to the fabled 1% ... all this and more as some sort of masterful chessgame is ridiculous. Give it up.

Posted by: jfl | Sep 18, 2015 12:10:42 AM | 91

To all:

The last time i visited this place was the 16 of September. Everything written in my name up until now is bullshit from people stealing my name, especially Post Nr 86.

But i do feel a hostility towards non-Jews and more so after this.
Now, Shalom, fuck off and invent you own fucking names.

GUEST77

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 18, 2015 2:51:33 AM | 92

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article42883.htm
Putin’s Line in the Sand: No Regime Change in Syria

By Mike Whitney

Posted by: okie farmer | Sep 18, 2015 3:13:15 AM | 93

12,000,000 holocaust in Yemen, where a bottled water factory was bmobed by the US-IL-KSA Axis, and it melted the workers to their machines, and even melted the bottled water, which is, of course, the signature white phosphorous calling card of Tel Aviv, and a sure sign the KSA royals intend ethnic cleansing to grab the huge new oil and gas finds in Yemen, the same way IL zoyals intend ethnic cleansing in Gaza to grab the huge offshore gas fields of the Gazans, and maybe Egypt. It was quite a coincidence that Morsi was sacked in the same week Egypt announce a massive offshore gas find. All the NWO underbelly to neoliberal corporate privatization, the same Marcos/Khashoggi/Bush NWO underbelly that looted Philippine gold, created Glasnost junk bonds, and privatized $250B in oil and gas right out of the Soviet Union, the same Nuland/Biden/Poroshenko NWO underbelly that looted the Ukraine gold, created Kiev junk bonds (underwritten by ZiMF andbackstopped by Kerry-Kohn) for maximum privatization of Ukraine resources, the wasp laying its eggs on the paralyzed populace, trapped in the horrific web of a compliant, even complicit media.

And then more wasps hatch out. http://tinyurl.com/px3rvc7

"We won, you lost. It's just business, get over it."

Posted by: NoReply | Sep 18, 2015 5:28:26 AM | 94

Bibi plays the Herod card, calls for shooting, gassing and detaining indefinitely without charges Palestinian children.
http://mondoweiss.net/2015/09/netanyahu-declares-throwers

"We won, you lost. It's just business, get over it.
L'shanah tovah tikatev v'taihatem!!"

Posted by: Chipnik | Sep 18, 2015 6:13:04 AM | 95

Why wouldn't the mainstream media be complicit? It's the same people who own the media that also own the oil companies and the munitions factories. And they own Disney World to sell the lies to the kids.

Posted by: fast freddy | Sep 18, 2015 7:02:06 AM | 96

Is this the end of ISIS? British special forces colonel claims devastating loss of land and troops thanks to air strikes and battles with Kurdish forces will lead to 'house of cards' falling down.http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3239485/Is-end-Isis-British-special-forces-colonel-claims-devastating-loss-land-troops-thanks-air-strikes-battles-Kurdish-forces-lead-house-cards-falling-down.html.

Posted by: harry law | Sep 18, 2015 8:34:04 AM | 97

I've had this feeling all along that there is some dynamic concerning Syria that makes the country absolutely crucial to Russian security. Not sure exactly what it is, though. Always felt that Russia can not let Assad fall.

Now there's this:

Russia Raises Prospect of Troops Entering Combat in Syria

Posted by: blues | Sep 18, 2015 9:33:28 AM | 98

Putin would need Duma approval before sending combat troops to Syria as ordained by Russia's constitution. Current public opinion in Russia relative to sending troops is under 40%, too low for the Duma to act--nor has Putin asked for it to do so. This item provides the background for the above, http://thesaker.is/on-russian-military-interventions-or-lack-thereof/

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 18, 2015 9:56:50 AM | 99

K@100

You make it appear that the Russian people have some control of Russian FP or that the Duma would dare to refuse Putin's requests.

That said I don't think Putin will make this mistake, he certainly remembers Afghanistan. Aid will flow and more advanced arms and trainers but the escalation threat is a political maneuvering ploy to gain more international support which is working to some degree with Germany and even Kerry talking of working together against the Islamic State.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Sep 18, 2015 11:01:50 AM | 100

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