Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 13, 2015

Obama and Putin Agreed To Screw Erdogan?

It's official! The New York Times finally admits that the "CIA rebels" in Syria who received tons of TOW anti-tank missiles are working under the field command of al-Qaeda/Jabhat al Nusra:

Rebel commanders scoffed when asked about reports of the delivery of 500 TOWs from Saudi Arabia, saying it was an insignificant number compared with what is available. Saudi Arabia in 2013 ordered more than 13,000 of them. Given that American weapons contracts require disclosure of the “end user,” insurgents said they were being delivered with Washington’s approval.

But, be assured, because these "CIA rebels" feel bad about it, they are still "moderate" or somewhat "relative moderate".

Advancing alongside the Islamist groups, and sometimes aiding them, have been several of the relatively secular groups, like the Free Syrian Army, which have gained new prominence and status because of their access to the TOWs.
It is a tactical alliance that Free Syrian Army commanders describe as an uncomfortable marriage of necessity, because they cannot operate without the consent of the larger and stronger Nusra Front. But Mr. Assad and his allies cite the arrangement as proof that there is little difference between insurgent groups, calling them all terrorists that are legitimate targets.

That these "relative secular" al-Qaeda auxiliaries are threatening suicide attacks against Russians only confirms their secularism. Judging from the reader comments to that NYT piece the U.S. people are pretty aghast about this now openly admitted cooperation. They, and a realist op-ed in the NYT, call for cooperation with Russia and the Syrian government.

There may already be more cooperation between Russia and the U.S. than we can see. At least that is what the Turkish President Erdogan perceives.

Yesterday the U.S. dropped 50 tons of small weapons and munition to Kurdish fighters in north east Syria. According the U.S. justification for this those Kurds along with some Arab Syrian tribals are supposed to attack the Islamic State in Raqqa. (Those Arab tribals are by the way just a bunch of worthless thieves. This according to the Voice of America(!).) But the Kurds do not seem to know about those Raqqa plans anyway. They have different aims:

U.S. officials hope the YPG will now turn its attention to Raqqa, the Syrian city that is the defacto capital of the Islamic State, which lies just 60 miles south of Tal Abyad, a border town the YPG seized from the Islamic State in June, with U.S. help.
But PYD spokesman Can said the Kurdish group’s first priority is to link the Kurdish enclave of Afrin, northwest of the Syrian city of Aleppo, with Kobani, the Kurdish enclave northeast of Aleppo. That would mean clearing the Islamic State from villages along 60 miles of the Turkey-Syria border, in particular the border town of Jarablus.

“Our prime and most important goal is to liberate Jarablus and to connect Kobani with Afrin,” Can told McClatchy. Capturing Raqqa, a mostly Arab city, is “not really” a PYD objective, he said. “Not for now,” he said.

That is just as I suspected the Kurds to react. But why did the U.S. officials claim that these Kurds and the collection of thieves would attack Raqqa? Did they not coordinate with them or was that Raqqa story a ruse?

The Turks seem to assume such and they accuse the U.S. as well as Russia of coordinating with the Kurds to seal the border with Turkey: Turkey warns U.S., Russia against backing Kurdish militia in Syria

Turkey has warned the United States and Russia it will not tolerate Kurdish territorial gains by Kurdish militia close to its frontiers in north-western Syria, two senior officials said.

"This is clear cut for us and there is no joking about it," one official said of the possibility of Syrian Kurdish militia crossing the Euphrates to extend control along Turkish borders from Iraq's Kurdistan region towards the Mediterranean coast.
"The PYD has been getting closer with both the United States and Russia of late. We view the PYD as a terrorist group and we want all countries to consider the consequences of their cooperation," one of the Turkish officials said.

Turkey suspects Russia, which launched air strikes in Syria two weeks ago, has also been lending support to the YPG and PYD.

"With support from Russia, the PYD is trying to capture land between Jarablus and Azaz, going west of the Euphrates. We will never accept this," the official said.

Is there now really coordination between Russia and the U.S. to seal the Syrian-Turkish border witch would cut off the Islamic State but also the al-Qaeda "CIA rebels" from their supplies? This would destroy all Turkish plans for Syria: a "safe zone" in Syria under Turkman control, a Sunni ruled pipeline corridor from Qatar to Europe, the Turkish-Ottoman annexation of Aleppo. Turkey would be pushed back into a secondary role.

Do Russia and the U.S. now really make common cause and decided to screw Erdogan? This would make sense if the destruction of the Islamic State and all other terrorists in Syria is the common aim. That would be a change in the Obama administration's policy. Up to now it only helped the "salafist principality" to grow and never seriously attacked it.

And if there is such cooperation why does the U.S still deliver thousands of TOWs to al-Qaeda which only kill more Syrians and prolong the fighting?

Posted by b on October 13, 2015 at 14:00 UTC | Permalink

next page »

But if there is such cooperation why does the U.S still deliver thousands of TOWs to al-Qaeda which only kill more Syrians and prolongs the fighting?

Because chaos requires resources and since the Russians have taken up the cause it will be their resources that will be expended. The goal of a marginalized Syria will still be met and eventually IS will be gone, but at great cost.

Posted by: anon48 | Oct 13 2015 14:10 utc | 1

There is no "common cause" between Russia and USA, but a natural confluence of tactics at times. The most convincing summary of American goals is a blank sheet, let the things stay as they are. If the government wins, is bound to (a) be unfriendly (b) precious allies will kwetch -- some are precious because they share our values, like police brutality, some our best customer of military industrial complex. But if the rebel win, they have somewhat medieval aspect, which may look bad, but most importantly, they are loose canons who could actually attack Israel, say, by lobbing missiles. This requires to support rebels in a regulated manner, more if they loose, less when they are winning.

YPG is a great ally because they did show some action, and beyond the desired scope of their cantons they have no further ambitions. They seem to have tight discipline and astute leadership which can cut deals. No loose canons there. The talk of moving onto Raqqa is quite hollow. Actually, there were two smaller offensives to the south, but YPG got not true interest there, so why they should get more of their people killed than necessary? Still, they need more weapons just to maintain status quo. If they can control more Arab areas, fine, and would ISIS collapse for some reason, it would look better if the north-east coalition would take some of the territory.

Russia and Turkey want the war to end, with "their side" being the victor. In the process, Turkey imported the civil war, Russia did not because they had so called "blowback", Emirate of Caucasus etc. before the Syrian war started. Erdogan is a wanna-be Putin, but manifestly, some ingredient of Putin recipe are missing (is it brains? Erdogan cultivated friendly business tycoons, pestered unfriendly ones, now goes after unfriendly TV channels and so on, invokes religion and history, but the final product is wanting).

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Oct 13 2015 14:54 utc | 3

From an article (Oct. 11) in the National Interest by Andrey Sushentsov, title: Making sense of Russia’s Syria Strategy. 

…. Lastly, Syrian operation is an exhibition of Russian armament, satellite communication and geolocation system GLONASS – its deadly effectiveness, high-preciousness and reliability. This show is staged primarily for the customers of the biggest and growing weapon market in the world – Middle Eastern countries. However, it also certifies that Russia maintains full sovereignty in matters of the 21-st century war.

Business Insider article (Aug. 13) title: US/Russia arms sale race.

Offers numbers: which countries import from the two and how much.

Of course these nos. are both dodgy and quite meaningless (re. as to any use on the ground, etc.) The EU arms exporters (Germany, GB..) are not considered. France cosying up to KSA, Qatar, etc. is certainly in a large part for the purpose of arms sales. But I digress.

To bring this slightly OT post back to Turkey, it is the no. 1 on the list of ‘imports from the USA.’

According to this article, Russia ‘beats’ the US in arms exports — dollar value, 30 billion vs. USA 27 billion.

To make the tangential point, the arms merchants will kill us all - for good and sound, tried and true, business purposes.

Posted by: Noirette | Oct 13 2015 15:03 utc | 4

America's current foreign policy stance for Syria:


Posted by: thepanzer | Oct 13 2015 15:06 utc | 5

b - Quite the puzzler. Rationally, it should happen. But as I have said before, we in the U.S. don't do rational, we do empire and make our own (false) reality.

I see from my local paper that our governor, Chris "Krispy Kreme" Christie, wants to create a no-fly zone in Syria, deploy US troops there, and shoot down Russian jets. When pressed, he's not worried about setting off WWIII. "I'm not prepared to allow Russia to bring communist domination back to the world." My emphasis, of course.

Talk about false consciousness and bad faith, does it get any crazier? Here's the scary part -- A presidential candidate, he's considered one of the "rational," "mainstream" GOPer's.

Obama is not a fully reliable neo-con tool, but he clearly has to account for their views. Since he only seems to screw up his courage when it's time to screw his Democratic base, I expect him to try sit between the stools and effectively side with the neo-cons.

Talk about coordination with the Russians will remain, IMHO, just that. Like the Sochi "rapproachment," it is a sop to popular and elite opinion worried about the potentially horrendous complications in Syria. I can't see us chucking Erdogan, especially if he wins the 1 Nov. balloting.

We'll go through the motions, but then accuse the Russian (wrongly) of being uncooperative. We'll wring our hands over ISIS, but continue to let our allies fund and direct it.

Posted by: rufus magister | Oct 13 2015 15:13 utc | 6

wow - this place is full of loony tunes

Posted by: bbbbb | Oct 13 2015 15:30 utc | 7

Funny rhat the very same day amnesty via bbc accuses the same kurds of war crimes. This precise area

Posted by: Mina | Oct 13 2015 15:32 utc | 8

I am confused by this analysis.

I read the NYT article and I don't know how you come to the conclusion that Turkey is targeted by Russia and the U.S.
The U.S. dropped 50 tons of weapons to anyone who can reach them yesterday - they are creating a quagmire for Russia.
Read the comments in the Times the readers are horrified by what the US is doing as they see another Afghanistan, a new Osama bin laden, 9/11 scenario playing out .

Posted by: James lake | Oct 13 2015 16:01 utc | 9

As said a few threads ago in "Obama launches...":

"Erdogan played both east and west and betrayed both. He has no future, this way or the other. The current chaos there could come from both sides just as well.

Posted by: zedz | Oct 10, 2015 4:06:51 PM"

Posted by: zedz | Oct 13 2015 16:07 utc | 10


With statements like that is it a wonder to you that antisemitism is rising globally?

Posted by: anon48 | Oct 13 2015 16:10 utc | 11

further to my 7 --

Paul Craig Roberts believes that Obama has had enough and will now do something about it. Referring to his recent interview with Krofft, he writes:

The interview shows me Obama’s strength in recognizing and stating the failure of the neocon program to which his administration was hitched by policymakers in the government. There is hope in this demonstration of strength that in his final year as President he will pull back from the crazed, insane neoconservative agenda of US world hegemony.

I don't agree, but note it for the record.

Posted by: rufus magister | Oct 13 2015 16:17 utc | 12

@12, I'd say Russia has been well-inoculated against quagmires as Georgia, Chechnya and Novorussia can attest.

Posted by: ruralito | Oct 13 2015 16:42 utc | 13

I don't know all that much about Syria and Turkey, but I have some impressions. It looks like the Russian air intervention is only the tip of an iceberg. And this iceberg will get in the way of further destabilization of Syria and Turkey.

This would be a good thing, since Libya-style destabilization in places so close to Russia would lead to a bloody and completely unpredictable mess. Russia is not Egypt.

Posted by: blues | Oct 13 2015 16:43 utc | 14

ever known a hard core drug addict first hand? they say they are going to quit, but they never do.. hoping that it will be different this time is wishful thinking.. i would like to quote noirette @ 5.. the analogy with drug addicts is obvious.

"the arms merchants will kill us all - for good and sound, tried and true, business purposes." thank you capitalism circa 2015..

Posted by: james | Oct 13 2015 16:46 utc | 15

Erdogan's disillusionment must be complete. He fancied himself as a powerful player because he was jockeying with dwarfs, but once the real powerbroker entered the room, he turned out to be just another midget himself. Painful!
Ankara's position is becoming untenable. By helping to destroy Syria Erdogan facilitated the rise of the Turkish bete noir - the Kurds. Turkey's relations with all of her neighbors are worse than ever. Ironically, only a Russian vector is still relatively undamaged, but Erdogan's emotionality and inability to see 5 minutes ahead has now put that at risk as well.
Turkish finances are a basket case, sustained only by capital flows from the Gulf Arabs, hence Erdogan cannot pivot away from Saudis and Qataris easily. He has to maneuver in an extremely confined space, trying to reconcile the interests of Russia (the only neighbor he has decent relations with) with those of Gulf Terror Axis (his sugar daddy).
If dissolution of Syria results in the emergence of a Kurdish state, it'll be a fiasco of the first order for Turkey. Erdogan will be missing Assad for the rest of his life.

Posted by: MMARR | Oct 13 2015 17:01 utc | 16

Ruralito -- And if they won't join, well, I'm sure you'll come up with a final solution to the problem, no?

I think it would be better for the anti-semites to disappear. Have a nice trip to the ash-heap of history, won't you.

Citizen Drake -- I'm where I've always been, over here on the far left, fighting you fascists and haters. So I am definitely not your "bro."

Posted by: rufus magister | Oct 13 2015 17:02 utc | 17

Hmmm... Kurd strategy sounds like its coordinated with Russia and Syria since the Turk/Syria border must be sealed.

As for the seemingly uncoordinated Outlaw Empire policy, it reminds me of similar happenings back in the days of the Fillibusters--terrorists backed by various factions to overthrow Latin American nations from Mexico southward--particularly in Honduras and Nicaragua.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 13 2015 17:15 utc | 18

@23 USA, France and UK's imperialist 'project' of the region has continued this sectarian disaster for 100+ years.

The region has poor quality and ruthless leadership, and the citizens of these regions have 1001 historical grievances to draw upon in order to hate the other side. It makes it very easy for the western imperialists to exploit. Also it turns out that 'westernized' muslims make for great jihad factories to export back to their homeland.

Russia's not enforcing any sort of cooperation, but it is offering a sell to the people of the region. Support secularism, end sectarianism, and become trading partners

Posted by: bbbbb | Oct 13 2015 17:23 utc | 19

Putin is a pragmatist. He would never have chosen to intervene unless he knew it would be successful. He isn't interested in some grotty proxy war in Syria against the Saudis, Turks and Americans, and would rather cooperation and understanding with all of these countries as part of a multipolar world.

There was good reason Putin waited until speaking to Obama at the UNGA before launching strikes, just as he met with Benji and Erdogan beforehand - understanding that success on the battlefield would mean reaching a political agreement first to shut off support for the opposition.

I'm not naïve, but rather than relying on twitter rumours about Saudi intentions to ratchet up support for the rebels, let's wait and see what actually materialises on the ground. Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.

Posted by: Pat Bateman | Oct 13 2015 17:27 utc | 20

@29 I still think the kurds are abused wives - no matter what the amount of backstabbing they've recieved, they'll continue to serve the role as a primary instigator for Washington

Posted by: bbbbb | Oct 13 2015 17:27 utc | 21

@RM Not join; resign.

Posted by: ruralito | Oct 13 2015 17:53 utc | 22

RM, how big a leftie are you anyway. Lenin was opposed to Jewish Nationlism AKA Zionism, and he was pretty gosh-darn Left.

He thought that Jews should assimilate, a perfectly sensible solution to the problem of anti-Semitism. Pretending to be a unique species ie Homo iudens ain't gonna cut it.

Posted by: ruralito | Oct 13 2015 18:01 utc | 23

Erdo you don't play with the big boys, you PLAY the big boys. Erdo stopped taking his smart pills and now look where he ended up. Hahaha!!!

Posted by: Fernando | Oct 13 2015 18:16 utc | 24

Amnesty/BBC joint attack on the YPG
Syria Kurds 'razing villages seized from IS' - Amnesty

Posted by: Mina | Oct 13 2015 18:37 utc | 25

My personal opinion:
- Obama didn't want to help the "moderate" rebels. But he faced too much pressure from the neocons and decided to drop 50 tonnes of ammo.
- Erdogan did too much rile up the puppet master called NATO. He wanted to buy arms from Russia & China. But Turkey is "financial basket case". So, NATO & the West have to move cautiously but I am NOT sure they will be able to engineer a "soft landing".

Posted by: Willy2 | Oct 13 2015 18:42 utc | 26

first of all:
THIS is my first visit here ever.
The PYD has been getting closer with both the United States and Russia of late. We view the PYD as a terrorist group and we want all countries to consider the consequences of their cooperation," one of the Turkish officials said.

And I wonder, what is PYD ?
(Google did not answer satisfactorily) Sorry my bad english; I´m éin Alte Swede [Stockholm]

Posted by: Ejnar Ekstroem | Oct 13 2015 18:49 utc | 27


Posted by: Willy2 | Oct 13 2015 18:53 utc | 28

obviously a few folks are having there names hijacked by zionist jackasses.. until b introduces a different system of signing in and posting, i think this is going to continue.. wow and rufus have had their names used.. charles drake dwells on israel on every fucking thread it seems.. the whack job from yesterday always yammers on about the yinon plan..

b - your comment section is regularly being hijacked by hasbara trolls who pose under countless names.. it gets tiring weeding thru the bullshit..

Posted by: james | Oct 13 2015 18:55 utc | 29

This quote from the fox news story, "This time, the official said Syrian Kurds were not recipients of the U.S. airdrop — only Syrian Arabs fighting ISIS." That could be BS cover so to not piss off the Turkish terrorist leadership too much. Or, it could be a zone where these weapons are less likely be attacked by Russian aircraft, so it can be then delivered and more safely distributed to US proxy jihadis.

Hasakah is said to be Kurdish dominated but not exclusively so. Makes it a safer area for weapon distribution.
And Lavrov said he is sure that these weapons will make their way to terrorists.

Another possibility, is that if the US is still hellbent on a no-fly zone which will bring it into closer conflict with Russia in Syria, establishing and no-zone with no ISIL in the area is essential, and weapon drops will help with that.
But not knowing where the weapons will end up has. It really mattered before before because there was so much success with the Assad losing most of the country.

It could also just be fuel on the fire. Increase in chaos theory.
Again, I'm not sure how planned these US tactics are because the strategy after Russian intervention in Syria is still not that clear in the minds of the US Empire.

Posted by: tom | Oct 13 2015 19:09 utc | 30

Please don't get "Disqus". I don't use Disqus, Facebook, blogger, etc. It's the Walmart of blogs.

It seems 99% of blogs are based on that crazy PhP language. Which, they say, is very hacker-friendly.

Posted by: blues | Oct 13 2015 19:10 utc | 31

Ruralito --

An early essay by Marx was on "the Jewish Question," promoting assimilation. I don't think either he or Lenin foresaw "i) exterminate the Jews" as an option. You aver that it's not your preferred solution, as "too messy," but I note that you list it first. So it would seem you are considering it.

I noted much earlier on this website my disagreement with Lenin on nationalism.

And tell me, isn't Islam far more exclusive? Does not the Koran mandate permanent second class status for non-believers? Maybe they should give that up, no? No Sky People to placate, no problems.

Posted by: rufus magister | Oct 13 2015 19:27 utc | 32

Thanks b for the continuous updates and valuable analysis over this critical period. After a breath-taking and dare I say it exhilarating few days it seems that we have entered a different phase. What strikes me about the first phase is the minimalist nature of the Russian intervention – a couple of dozen planes that seem to see more service than low-budget commercial aircraft, a few ships with all the necessary gear….

What appears to be making the difference is not just the hardware but the skills of the planners, the ground crews, the pilots and everybody else. This is not “shock and awe” but a sort of “lean and mean” operation that corporate strategists could only envisage in their wildest dreams.

This minimalism has defanged and enraged the neocons in equal measure. The brilliance of it is that it forces the Wall Street/Military Industrials (and indeed the whole world) to think: “If they can do that with so little, what would the full force look like?”

Thanks james for your good manners, your input and for caring about this site. Maybe a password system could be introduced. After all, even old Cold got hacked and we can’t have that, can we?

Posted by: Lochearn | Oct 13 2015 20:05 utc | 33

Two more Iranian IRGC commanders were killed in Syria on Monday, that makes three Iranian commanders killed in @ a week...Mmmmmmh, it is beginning to look like the murderous campaign against Iran's nuclear scientists, and we know who was behind those killings.

The comments on the article linked below are pointing in the direction of targeted killings and infiltration within Syria's top military circles.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Oct 13 2015 20:14 utc | 34

If you joined up the Kurdish enclaves all the way to hatay, could you run a pipeline through it? Only hatay between them and the med.

Posted by: bridger | Oct 13 2015 20:23 utc | 35

Thanks for the posting b.

I don't have much to add that isn't being said but do want to say that your existing web site and the care you take managing it works fine for me. If I have to work a bit to wade through the trolls and such, it is a cheap price for the valued postings and follow up commentary that is mostly additive.

You are doing society a service and are to be commended for it, thank you again.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Oct 13 2015 20:39 utc | 36

b. no they are not working together against Erdogan. YPG might cooperate with Assad and Russia and the US does not want that to happen.

The view from Kurdistan

Even though a link-up of Kobani and Afrin would be an effective way to rout out the Islamist's from those areas the U.S. is assuring Turkey that it does not want that to happen. But it does want the YPG to advance south and force ISIS out of its Raqqa stronghold. If Turkey had to choose between the YPG along its southern frontier or having them advance south against ISIS it would likely, perhaps begrudgingly, consent to the latter. And that seems to be what the U.S.
is offering.

Syria's Kurds have expressed interest in coordinating with the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad and his Russian backers if it will enable them to link-up those aforementioned Kurdish areas. But at the same time working closely with Assad and the Russians and advancing south from Kobani towards Afrin, rather than south towards Raqqa, could alienate the Americans whose close air support has given them a decisive edge over their Islamist opponents to date.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan essentially said the other day that his country can count on its friendship and alliance with the Americans and Ankara is so deeply annoyed with Moscow’s intervention in Syria that Erdogan has threatened to stop purchasing Russian gas of which his country is a major consumer. He knows that Turkey is of strategic importance to the U.S. and would obviously rather they have some sway and influence over the Syrian Kurds rather than see to those Kurds pivot toward Moscow and use the cover of that power to join-up with those aforementioned territories.

Posted by: Mina | Oct 13, 2015 2:37:01 PM | 39

Yes, that is probably the US signalling that they would not let the Kurds get away with "linking Kurdish reagons" ie ethnic cleansing.

Posted by: somebody | Oct 13 2015 20:49 utc | 37

@45 blues.. that is probably true and probably the situation here..

@49 charles drake.. i don't have a problem with poetry, but when it is always tied into the perpetual focus on israel/zionism it is disconnected to the topic of the thread.. your posts are more of the same garbage and no amount of poetry hides any of it..

@51 Lochearn.. thanks.. a password system or something to stop this madness is definitely needed.. thanks for your comments to which i agree with.. what i don't get is this quote from a line above :" "With support from Russia, the PYD is trying to capture land between Jarablus and Azaz, going west of the Euphrates. We will never accept this," the official said." if the land is inside syria, how is turkey going to have a say, or are they hoping to take land that belongs to syria in all this, like they have done previously in 39 or whenever?

@56 john.. yes - cat in this place to keep up all the mouse turds and more would be good..

Posted by: james | Oct 13 2015 21:10 utc | 38


Recall how self-proclaimed Zionist Joe Biden likes the idea of cutting up Iraq into three autonomous regions (balkanization of Arab States per Yinon Plan and PNAC). One of these, of course would be a Kurdish State.

As for these (continued) Weapons Drops Free-For-Alls, fomenting chaos with which Syria and Russia must contend, will yield two things: Chaos for Chaos sake (balkanization) and opportunities to create traps for Russia to hit the "wrong targets". Such "missteps" will be breathlessly reported by AP & Network News in order to malign Russia (Putin, I can see him rearing his massive head!) and Bashar "Barrel Bomb" al Assad who gassed his own people.

Posted by: fast freddy | Oct 13 2015 21:27 utc | 39

re 58. The view from Kurdistan

The Kurds of KRG are currently in economic collapse. As predicted, they are unable to pay their public servants. Teachers are in revolt, for not being paid for three months.

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 13 2015 21:40 utc | 40

Hello b,

psychohistorian's above post reminded me that it has been a long time since I said thanks to you. I stop in most every day but say little as I learn so much more by listening (reading) than I do yancking (posting). A most valuable site to say the least. You are to be congratulated for keeping this blog going so long.

Let's see, I think you started in 93 so you've been at it for over 22 years. You must be aging. I wonder if the group that visited you in Germany would still recognize you.

I have to agree with psychohistorian that it's sometimes a chore and irksome wading through the trolls tripe but a small price to pay for such a valuable site. Probably much better than pop up advertisements. At least the trolls go away when you axe them.

Many thanks again.


Posted by: juannie | Oct 13 2015 22:00 utc | 41

Well, well. Russia is finally a partner in Empire. And it is a good Empire, now. You're weird, b. I like reading your disparate analyses, but in the long-arc of MoA positions staked out against "Empire," you're a fireworks display inside a wind tunnel, or maybe you haven't finished the book of revelations.

Posted by: slothrop | Oct 13 2015 22:02 utc | 42

There are two ways to interpret that difference of opinion between the US Official and the Kurdish spokesman:
a) The Kurds have taken a leaf out of Israel's book, and has stopped listening to Washington even while they continue to accept the weapons
b) The USA is playing dumb regarding Raqqa because they don't want Turkey to know they are being shafted.

Pick one.

As for that reporting, this is an extraordinary statement:
"U.S. officials hope the YPG will now turn its attention to Raqqa"

Hope? What sort of chicken-shit language is that?

You give a group of militants deadly weapons in the **HOPE** that they will then do the right thing by you?


Dudes, this is pretty simple: Clinch. The. Deal. Before. You. Deliver. The. Merchandise.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Oct 13 2015 22:49 utc | 43

trollage is certainly on the uptick here. not running me off, though it does get tiring having to begin reading, then do a mental "well crap, another troll", then scroll on. The hijacking is a pain - your site must be terribly inconvenient for some group or two, b...

veritas tua semper

Posted by: BOG | Oct 13 2015 22:51 utc | 44

Posted by: bbbbb | Oct 13 2015 22:54 utc | 45

The US and Russia want to eliminate all forms of political Sunni Islamism in the region.
The experience of Egypt and Tunisia have made them realize that any form of Islamist governance in the Sunni countries where there are other religious minorities is a source on infinite conflicts. Kerry and Putin spelled it clearly: "Syria must remain secular".'
Therefore Obama and Putin have agreed to screw Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar, supporters of the Moslem Brotherhood, the Salafists and Al Qaeda.
We can see this strategy unraveling:
Saudi Arabia is in a mess now with the indefinite hysterical Yemen war that the USA has 'supported'. Turkey is a mess with Erdogan's hysterical war against the Kurds. ISIS, a purely Sunni creation is been hammered by just everybody.
Sunni Islamists are now labelled 'terrorists' in Egypt, Lebanon and now in Syria, whether they are Moslem Brotherhood, Salafist or other.
If Russia and the USA are successful,the region may become an Islamist-free region.
The issue of Bashar al Assad fate has become insignificant. The goal is now 'secularism' in Syria at any cost.
Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia have lost their infantile religious wars. It seems that Sunni political Islam won't have any place in the Arab world. Is the 'Renaissance' may finally coming to the Arab world?

Posted by: virgile | Oct 13 2015 23:21 utc | 46

I was wondering when 'they' would drop this:

Dutch safety board says Russian missile took down airliner

Time (for 'them') to change the subject, I guess. "Look, over there! It's a wookalar!"

Posted by: Dr. Wellington Yueh | Oct 13 2015 23:23 utc | 47

This is a great admission by the New York Times. The United States is now allied with al Qaeda in the Global War on Terror.

Just as the Second World War seamlessly morphed into the Cold War with the US allied to its former Nazi frenemies, so has the Global War on Terror seamlessly morphed into a war on Russia, China, and Arab Nationalists with the US allied to its former al Qaeda frenemies.

They say history doesn't repeat, it rhymes. The clearest thing between the Second World War and the GWOT is that we're dealing with the same author.

Posted by: guest77 | Oct 13 2015 23:25 utc | 48

@71 I forgot to throw Iran in there.

Posted by: guest77 | Oct 13 2015 23:28 utc | 49

I think the USA will help the Kurds just to annoy Erdogan. Russia and the USA want Erdogan out and they'll do all necessary steps to have him out in 2016. He has alienated the whole region with his Islamism and his megalomania.
It is high time he leaves office and it seems that if he does not get the majority back, he may be obliged to resign.

Posted by: virgile | Oct 13 2015 23:29 utc | 50

@71 guest

You forgot the link to Carl Oglesby, The Secret Treaty of Fort Hunt. Yes, it's dejavu all over again. With Russia on the receiving end both times.

Posted by: jfl | Oct 13 2015 23:42 utc | 51


The US and Russia want to eliminate all forms of political Sunni Islamism in the region.
The experience of Egypt and Tunisia have made them realize that any form of Islamist governance in the Sunni countries where there are other religious minorities is a source on infinite conflicts. Kerry and Putin spelled it clearly: "Syria must remain secular".'

Syria is the LAST secular state in the ME. If Assad goes, he will be replaced with a religious zealot like the others. The USA has allied with Sunni's. What facts do you posit to support your thesis?

Posted by: fast freddy | Oct 14 2015 0:01 utc | 52

Moving onto Hezbollah: since they are sending ground troops in support of Russias campaign to protect Assad, I'm sure that it's possible that the Russians could give them some more advanced battlefield weapons in their fight against ISIL/ other terrorist groups. And later, those weapons could be used to defend themselves from Israeli state terrorism.

Since committing ground troops is far more riskier component in terms of losing lives then the Russian commitment to air support, is there an understanding that since Hezbollah is risking more in solders lives as part of a coalition with Russia, that they should receive more Russian hardware benefits, not only in Syria, but later for their protection against Israeli terrorism ?

Posted by: tom | Oct 14 2015 0:08 utc | 53

@73 Virgile

Erdogan may have gone so far as to put Turkey on the same track Syria has crashed on. Russian pressure is going to send ever more Al CIAda/Da'esh terrorists 'back home' to Turkey and struggles between them and the Turkish armed forces there may well turn out as have the struggles between Al CIAda and the Syrian Armed Forces in Syria, given that Obama is still arming them.

Obama, the man behind all this DD&D, is still committed to regime change in Syria, although as sorceror's apprentice he has lost control of the brooms now sweeping the entire area 'clean'. If the Syrians and the Kurds, with Russia's help and coordination, can break Obama's spells along with Obama's brooms, then the burgeoning influx of refugees from Turkey to Europe - now with Al CIAda/Da'esh added - ought to make a negotiated settlement, in Switzeraland or wherever, mighty appealing. The US need not even show up.

Posted by: jfl | Oct 14 2015 0:12 utc | 54

@jfl - thanks for linking that. It's a great article.

Posted by: guest77 | Oct 14 2015 0:15 utc | 55

And if there is such cooperation why does the U.S still deliver thousands of TOWs to al-Qaeda which only kill more Syrians and prolong the fighting?

al-Qaeda is CIA-supported, no?

At the Oct 1 NSC meeting, Obama approved the resupply of Syrian Kurds and the "Arab-Syrian" opposition as part of a strategy to put pressure on ISIS from the north and strengthen the border, according to two senior administration officials.

CIA is in the neocon faction. Obama's in the Rockefeller-anglophile faction.

What I don't understand-- I thought the Russians had a no-fly over Syria???

Posted by: Penelope | Oct 14 2015 0:18 utc | 56


Dudes, this is pretty simple: Clinch. The. Deal. Before. You. Deliver. The. Merchandise.

That's the problem with deals like this. One side gives something with the expectation that something tangible will happen. There is no such thing as clinching a promise to do something. If it doesn't happen the only thing the injured party can do is impose penalties. But it seems that cow has been milked before. When will they learn?

Posted by: anon48 | Oct 14 2015 0:23 utc | 57

US airdrops arms in Syria as Russia escalates bombing campaign

13 October 2015
Just days after terminating its disastrously failed program to arm and train US-backed “rebels” in Syria, the Pentagon announced Monday that US Air Force C-17 cargo planes escorted by fighter jets airdropped some 50 tons of arms, ammunition and grenades to anti-government forces.

“This successful airdrop provided ammunition to Syrian Arab groups whose leaders were appropriately vetted by the United States,” Pentagon spokesman Colonel Patrick Ryder said in a statement.

The Pentagon failed to disclose the names of the the groups led by these “vetted” leaders or the location where the arms were dropped. Media accounts have referred to the Syrian Arab Coalition, a name invented by the Pentagon itself, to describe various militias that it has decided to aid militarily.

Iraqi Forces Seize US-Supplied Anti-Armor Missiles from ISIL in Fallujah

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Iraqi army and volunteer forces discovered US-made military hardware and ammunition, including anti-armor missiles, in terrorists' positions and trenches captured during the operations in the Fallujah region in Al-Anbar province.
The Iraqi forces found a huge volume of advanced TOW-II missiles from the Takfiri terrorists in al-Karama city of Fallujah.

The missiles were brand new and the ISIL had transferred them to Fallujah to use them against the Iraqi army's armored units.

Posted by: guest77 | Oct 14 2015 0:43 utc | 58

Willy2 @ 40 "My personal opinion:
- Obama didn't want to help the "moderate" rebels. But he faced too much pressure from the neocons and decided to drop 50 tonnes of ammo."

Willy, Obama approved the drop to the Kurds and the Syrian-Arab tribes in that area, at the NSC meeting on Oct 1. The al-Qaeda drop must have been CIA,

10/1 Obama authorized at NSC mtg the resupply of Syrian Kurds and the "Arab-Syrian" opposition as part of a strategy to put pressure on ISIS from the north and strengthen the border, according to two senior administration officials.

10/2 [talking about Syria no-fly] Usu lying bla-blah, then: "And when I hear people offering up half-baked ideas as if they are solutions, or trying to downplay the challenges involved in this situation -- what I’d like to see people ask is, specifically, precisely, what exactly would you do, and how would you fund it, and how would you sustain it? And typically, what you get is a bunch of mumbo jumbo"

-- Kerry, Obama's own Sec'y State, is urging that a no-fly zone shd be considered.

-- Chairman of the House Armed Services, Mac Thornberry, slammed the Obama administration's policy on Syria, saying that he could not recall anytime during his 20 years in Congress where Russia or any other country told the U.S. when and where American forces could fly in another country.

-- Condoleesa Rice & Robt Gates in a WaPo editorial still insisting on no-fly:
"So what can we do?
"First, we must reject the argument that Putin is simply reacting to world disorder. Putin, this argument would suggest, is just trying to hold together the Middle East state system in response to the chaos engendered by U.S. overreach in Iraq, Libya and beyond.
"Putin is indeed reacting to circumstances in the Middle East. He sees a vacuum created by our hesitancy to fully engage in places such as Libya and to stay the course in Iraq. But Putin as the defender of international stability? Don’t go there.
"Second, we have to create our own facts on the ground. No-fly zones and safe harbors for populations are not “half-baked” ideas." . . . .Moreover, providing robust support for Kurdish forces, Sunni tribes and what’s left of the Iraqi special forces is not “mumbo-jumbo.” It might just salvage our current, failing strategy. A serious commitment to these steps would also solidify our relationship with Turkey, which is reeling from the implications of Moscow’s intervention. In short, we must create a better military balance of power on the ground if we are to seek a political solution acceptable to us and to our allies."

-- A security failure allows a drone to land in back of the White House. Webster Tarpley says that previous security failures have occurred when the power structure is unhappy w Obama positions.

-- Rockefeller anglophile faction to Obama's rescue w NYT editorial admitting "moderate" rebels are al qaeda.

--Kurds respond to weapons drop w plans to occupy border-- readily predictable from their prior moves, undercutting real purpose of no-fly.

Posted by: Penelope | Oct 14 2015 0:43 utc | 59

@79 "What I don't understand-- I thought the Russians had a no-fly over Syria???"

No, you are incorrect.

The Russians have not announced a "no-fly over Syria".

The Russians have said - repeatedly, and to everyone - that they want those other cowboys to agree to co-ordinate their flights with Russia's aerial campaign, because if everyone is on the same page then the defeat of ISIS is all the more certain.

And if those other cowboys did indeed agreed to that proposition then Putin would tell Assad to give his official blessings, at which point everyone's air campaign becomes legal under international law.

Russia will keep putting forward that appeal to reason for as long as it professes a belief that those other cowboys are reasonable people.

They aren't. They are as unreasonable as they are intransigent, and Putin understands that perfectly well.

But he has to give them that chance, and while he is dangling that offer in front of them he can't *also* be demanding that Syrian airspace is a "no-fly zone".

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Oct 14 2015 0:44 utc | 60

@76 I would think it reasonable to assume that Putin has given assurances that Israel will be warned not to make any attempt to capitalize on Hezbollah's attention being directed elsewhere.

So no IDF king-hit on a distracted Hezbollah.

And, yes, I think it is also reasonable to assume that Putin will
(a) give hi-tech whizz-bangs to Hezbollah troops inside Syria, and
(b) he'll let those soldiers keep those new toys when they go home.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Oct 14 2015 0:51 utc | 61

@79 penelope

Obama is a creature of the CIA. He has surrounded hinself with neocons. He has never been his own man and is not now. They are - hence he is - still committed to regime change ... in Syria, at the very least. I'm afraid this imaginary 'Rockefeller-anglophile faction' is all in your head.

Russia is not going to shoot down US/Turkish planes in Iraq or in Eastern Syria or anywhere, unless attacked. I think they feel that sealing the Turkish-Syria border will be sufficient to their purpose. It's up to the Iraqis to throw the Americans out. I think the Kurds - in Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria - are the key to uniting the antiterror-coalition and defeating Al CIAda.

Posted by: jfl | Oct 14 2015 0:55 utc | 62

@25 Fast Freddy

The USA is turning its back on the Sunnis that is has supported for decades after they realized that the Sunnis are stagnant, divided, extremists and auto-destructive: 9/11, Morsi, Libya, Afghanistan, Al Qaeda, Al Nusra etc...
There was a time the USA was made to think that 'moderate' Islam represented by Erdogan and the Moslem brotherhood was the panacea in the region to replace "dictators". It all turned out wrong.
Now for the West, Shiism, a progressive and tolerant form of Islam is prefered for the region, economically, politically and culturally. I mean Iran, Iraq and its satellites, Syria and Lebanon.
Everything that the USA is doing points in that direction, despite some small gestures so as not to alienate the buyers of its expensive weapons.
Russia and the USA have met on that exact same objective: the neutralization of the Sunni political Islam in all its forms. The obvious targets are Turkey and Saudi Arabia, two bastions of Sunni Islam in the region. Coincidence? These two countries are now facing difficulties whose magnitude they never had and are becoming weaker.

I think the West got fed up with Sunni Islam and its excesses. Now that Iran seemed tamed by the nuclear deal, the West is moving away from their traditional Sunni allies that have become too heavy to bear.

Posted by: virgile | Oct 14 2015 1:08 utc | 63

CarlD / 47 You ask how all those different institutions line up to make policy.
My view, which no one seems to agree with, is that two different strategies for arriving at the same global oligarchy are fighting it out.

The Neocon faction wants to continue their philosophy of Straussian chaos. They include Brookings, CIA, Bush group including Skull & Bones Kerry, Cheney, Hillary, Petraeus, General Allen, a portion of the top level of the military esp of the Navy, the military industrial complex, Vanguard Corp, Soros, Gates, neocons, Congressional figures who have to do with defense, Israel and many more. This is the dominant faction.

Obama and the Rockefeller group, CFR, Chatham House, Trilateral Commission, the UK, part of the military, at least part of the NSC favor a more prudent course, sharing some power, at least temporarily w China and Russia. At the top level it is anglophile & still wants the global oligarchy-- neoliberal economics, usurping national sovereignty thru mega trade deals, the IMF/Fed system. Controlling nations thru monetary policy, economics & trade is their thing. Britain has practiced neocolonialism and free trade imperialism forever & has been a good teacher of its ally, the US. Rothschild's may be tied into the anglophile group; I don't know. The top of the heap is the BIS.

Obama avoids conflict w the neocon faction by agreeing w their philosophy, mouthing every script they give him, but where possible he undermines them. He could not sufficiently control his own military to do what's necessary in Syria, so-- IMO-- it was agreed that Russia and Iran wd do it.

Posted by: Penelope | Oct 14 2015 1:11 utc | 64

Very incidentally, a story showed up on my "feed" today with a title so eyebrow-breakingly ridiculous ("Syrian Rebels With American Missiles Have ISIS Running Scared") that I had to look up the source.

I very quickly remembered that Gary "The War Nerd" Brecher had flagged this "" place as a fairly slimy disseminator of info ops garbage linked to Israeli intelligence.

Posted by: Claud | Oct 14 2015 1:18 utc | 65

@86 I seriously doubt that. The Shi'a contingent are not going to ally with USA, and they are the biggest benefactors of this crisis.
KSA might be at risk of falling, but I would expect that USA would defend the royals with military if things escalate to that point.

ISIL, AQ are pawns that the USA's using in an attempt to overthrow Syria/harm russia. Washington natsec wonks both reject and need them for their goals

Posted by: bbbbb | Oct 14 2015 1:56 utc | 66

@87 Penelope,

It appears that you have done your homework to define the factions as clearly as you have. And yet you agree that both want to continue the financial empire controlled by the global plutocrats.....maybe you need to go up a level....

I laughed at your BIS at the top of the heap comment. Who owns the BIS? Wikipedia will tell you that it originally had private investors but that now it is entirely owned by "Central Banks". What they don't say there is that many Central Banks are privately owned.

Society will not evolve w/o ridding ourselves of private finance. The myth that control by the global plutocrats is good for us and TINA has a long history. I would argue that we are not led by the best and the brightest but by the most greedy and sociopathic. I would further posit that the actions of those in control of our species look like extinction is a real possibility and potentially very soon. I may not have made any children along the way to have to explain this to but still pine for a better representation of our species.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Oct 14 2015 1:58 utc | 67

@87 penelope

I think what you have labeled the neocon faction and the rockefeller-anglophile faction are what I would call - after Paul Craig Roberts - the military-industrial-congressional complex and the wall street financiers, respectively. PCR noted that - the greed of both by nature unbounded - the more each one steal the less there is to go around, and that the conflict is ultimately between them over the bones. And has been for quite some time now.

Couched in those terms I can agree with the overall analysis, although I cannot agree that Obama is anything other than an order taker, who takes his orders from both his bosses. His job is somehow to coordinate the non-policy result as 'his', and to sell 'it'/take the lumps when 'it' fails ... and to carry on until payday : 21 January 2017. After that it's IBGYBG, I'll be gone you'll be gone. Presumably with a stash of loot that makes them all 'independently' wealthy ... as though anyone could be independent of the mess they've made, of the death, devastation, and destruction they've sown worldwide.

I think that Obama's direct bosses are the CIA and always have been. The CIA is rooted in the wall street financial gang, but acting as their secret army, running their secret wars, and so has close ties to and resembles the mic. Push comes to shove the CIA will go with the money, its own godfathers, which may explain Graham Fuller's new tune.

Washington reluctantly concluded that an ISIS victory in Syria—and its attendant chaos—would be far worse than Asad. Same goes for the al-Nusra Front, a major jihadi force battling Asad; it just happens to be closely affiliated with Al-Qaeda.

The Godfather of Al CIAda denounces Al CIAda. Behind all the talk of airstikes and TOW missles the financial world continues to crumble. Wall street knows that, so the CIA knows that ... in response the mic redoubles it's calls for more war!.

Follow the money? Obama would say - Hell Yeah! - if asked. He won't be. Neither will we.

Posted by: jfl | Oct 14 2015 2:12 utc | 68

russia, next time u.s. resupplys weapons to the assorted rats, bomb the weapons and the rats.

Posted by: bjondo | Oct 14 2015 3:05 utc | 69

blues @23: I agree, Russia doesn't want destabilization, and new mini-nations carved out of established ones is exactly that. Recent US establishment empire talk is, now that it can't dislodge Assad, to carve up Syria into easily manipulated and chaotic micro-states. These arms supplies may be part of that strategy.

So, Russia and Syria _do_ want the Kurds' cooperation against the rebels, but they don't want the Kurds so strong that they can establish an independent mini-nation in Syria's north. Linking the two Kurd enclaves is less desirable than Russia/Syria and their allies taking most of that territory.

Posted by: fairleft | Oct 14 2015 3:12 utc | 70

Read it after I posted, but fast freddy @60 has the same general idea as my IMHO stuff ...

Posted by: fairleft | Oct 14 2015 3:16 utc | 71

in re 63 --

I was unfamiliar with Jabotinsky's work. As this is not the first time it has been cited, I felt the need to comprehend his thought. The opening lines of Jabotinsky's "The Iron Wall" paint an image somewhat at odds with the portrayal above.

The author of these lines is considered to be an enemy of the Arabs, a proponent of their expulsion, etc. This is not true. My emotional relationship to the Arabs is the same as it is to all other peoples – polite indifference. My political relationship is characterized by two principles. First: the expulsion of the Arabs from Palestine is absolutely impossible in any form. There will always be two nations in Palestine – which is good enough for me, provided the Jews become the majority. Second: I am proud to have been a member of that group which formulated the Helsingfors Program. We formulated it, not only for Jews, but for all peoples, and its basis is the equality of all nations. I am prepared to swear, for us and our descendants, that we will never destroy this equality and we will never attempt to expel or oppress the Arabs. Our credo, as the reader can see, is completely peaceful.

As Jabotinsky continues, he is quite open about his colonization project, and quite realistic about resistance to it. The Palestinians will resist, and ergo a protector must guaranty the security of the implant. The Arabs outside of Palestine will not relinquish an area at the center of their desired state, he notes, and the Palestinians themselves will not accede immediately either.

Any native people – its all the same whether they are civilized or savage – views their country as their national home, of which they will always be the complete masters. They will not voluntarily allow, not only a new master, but even a new partner. And so it is for the Arabs.... To think that the Arabs will voluntarily consent to the realization of Zionism in return for the cultural and economic benefits we can bestow on them is infantile. This childish fantasy of our “Arabo-philes” comes from some kind of contempt for the Arab people, of some kind of unfounded view of this race as a rabble ready to be bribed in order to sell out their homeland for a railroad network.

This view is absolutely groundless.... Every indigenous people will resist alien settlers as long as they see any hope of ridding themselves of the danger of foreign settlement.

That is what the Arabs in Palestine are doing, and what they will persist in doing as long as there remains a solitary spark of hope that they will be able to prevent the transformation of “Palestine” into the “Land of Israel”....

As long as there is a spark of hope that they can get rid of us, they will not sell these hopes, not for any kind of sweet words or tasty morsels, because they are not a rabble but a nation, perhaps somewhat tattered, but still living. A living people makes such enormous concessions on such fateful questions only when there is no hope left. Only when not a single breach is visible in the iron wall, only then do extreme groups lose their sway, and influence transfers to moderate groups. Only then would these moderate groups come to us with proposals for mutual concessions. And only then will moderates offer suggestions for compromise on practical questions like a guarantee against expulsion, or equality and national autonomy.

I am optimistic that they will indeed be granted satisfactory assurances and that both peoples, like good neighbors, can then live in peace.

Sounds like the internationally approved two-state solution to me.

The solution of Europe's "Jewish Question" at the expense of the Arabs was a bad idea in 1900, in 1917, and indeed in 1948. But given the reality of the Holocaust, it is hard to see how the demand could have been resisted, and it was given international sanction that it still enjoys. It cannot ethically or peacefully be undone.

Both sides must be brought to acknowledge that their maximum programs are unachievable. The PLO has come to accept this, and Hamas must be brought to do so. This will not occur unless and until the most obdurate party, the Israelis, is brought to heel by its financiers in Washington. All settlements must be removed and control over water supplies returned to the Palestinians, and they should be compensated for the damages done to lives and property by Israel's illegal activities.

Yinon has a plan, but it does not seem based on Jabotinsky. Israel is not the only state with a plan, Teheran has one of its own. Ruralito may or may not be contemplating driving them to the sea, but the mullahs certainly are.

Posted by: rufus magister | Oct 14 2015 4:11 utc | 72

and ps to 97 -- I would note, unlike some later Israeli political figures, Jabotinsky is quite clear -- the Palestinian Arabs are a nation with legitimate aspirations and concerns. Though an opponent, it is not a permanent one.

Posted by: rufus magister | Oct 14 2015 4:16 utc | 73


@89 charles drake.. no charles.. i just want poetry freaks to cut with the constant bullshit about zionism, israel, pinon and etc. etc. and stay on topic - something you're clearly incapable of..

James, sorry to disagree with you on this one, but charles drake stays on topic more than anyone else here. He might not deal with the subject at hand the same way most other posters do, but he stays on topic. After all, who is to blame for all the crimes the US/NATOstan/Saudi monkeys et al are committing in the ME? Israel.

His rants are on target, always pointing out to the ultimate culprit of the carnage we have been witnessing for almost two decades now. You seem a bit flustered by the trolls that have invaded and hijacked nicks, and seem to be projecting your frustration on charles drake, who is as legit a poster as anyone else here.

On this one, I am in agreement with psychohistorian@57 who doesn't mind to "[...]wade through the trolls and such[...]," since dealing with trolls in any forum, is not different from taking a stroll in the park. We have the option of admiring and smelling the flowers, or bicker about the dog shit.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Oct 14 2015 4:22 utc | 74

james at 96 -- The plan, etc., has some relation to the topic, they are in the neighborhood. Wandering off topic is fairly common. At times, interesting, at times, not so much. Off topic is the least of his problems, IMHO.

I do have an objection as to form -- whatever Drake's word salad is, it ain't poetry. I'm strictly Old School on this topic -- poetry has rhyme and rhythm. Without that, you have badly composed and formatted prose. What passes nowadays as poetry is largely pretentious little essays. Folks that a century ago might have written poetry are now writing pop lyrics.

Posted by: rufus magister | Oct 14 2015 4:25 utc | 75

So I can't see Putin screwing Erdogan - he's just not-so-politely telling Erdogan to call off the dogs in Syria - the ultimate result of which remains to be seen.

Same goes for KSA I guess.. it's in a very bad situation right now
I think this is a good write-up about the situation if you haven't read it already

Posted by: bbbbb | Oct 14 2015 4:29 utc | 76

@ lone wolf.. thanks for sharing your viewpoint.. if @3, 8, 17 and 18 are relevant to the topic, i would love to have the kind of imagination that can wrap my head around that! i do agree with your last part though, although from time to time i feel like speaking about this, as was the case here yesterday with the critic and today where i think it's over the top and unusual since coming here...

Posted by: james | Oct 14 2015 4:30 utc | 77

@83, Yeah, Right - I agree with your entire scenario, with one qualification. Russia doesn't act the way it acts because it believes it's dealing with reasonable people. It knows what it's dealing with, it knows that it deals with madness.

As everyone in the madness profession knows, when around the insane one doesn't act as if mad in order to relate, one acts sanely.

Russia is changing entire paradigms of current realpolitik. It repeats and restates reasonableness into the air at every turn, again and again. It is teaching by demonstration, even as it acts with power and force to change the facts on the ground. It acts on the ground as if the whole world were reasonable, and spells out the elements of reasonableness, patiently, persistently and almost never losing its temper.

Along the way, what happens? Many nations, many factions, many players, many forces, all learn in their own way that reasonableness is a language that they can also speak. And if they speak it, and if they align themselves in reasonable positions, they may survive the Russian missiles. All the rest, over time, will die.

But what will endure is the reasonableness. This is the only paradigm of survival for the players on this planet. It's a Corleone kind of thing, if we like to think of it this way. It's the only win-win there is. Zero-sum is over. Paradigm change.

Posted by: Grieved | Oct 14 2015 4:41 utc | 78

If Russia or Putin is seriously going to be considered as a honest, reliable, moral political partner/leader, then there is no better time then after the war is finished against ISIL, than to demand a Kurdish state for once and all.

Let's assume Russia defeats the terrorists in Syria in the mid-term future. if Russia does not want to piss off the Turks too much by saying that the Kurds deserve a Kurdish state that's a part of Turkey, then the Russians have an insane amount of leverage by saving the Syrian state from US proxy terrorists, to then pressure Syria to inclued a Kurdish state in a part of Syria, or have serious and real autonomy in parts Syria.
Just because it my not get past at the security council, doesn't mean he shouldn't bring it up as a moral issue.

And since many here think that the war was gonna be over in 4 months, then many here should be demanding this from Putin now. You know, to prepare for deserved Kurdish liberation and self-determination that is soon on the horizon for war that supposedly will be over very soon.

What is the point of increasing your power if your Russia or Putin , if not to also help and benefit the interests of Middle Eastern people that need it the most ?

Of course I don't think Putin will do any such thing because I think he's a hegemonic, oligarch serving, State power building jerk.
I'm also pleased that he seems to be stopping the Empire from spreading, but that doesn't mean he's a good guy.

What's missing from this whole debate is the opportunities that will arise, and in the ethical/ moral judgements we can make on political leaders.
Let's start demanding this of Putin now so we actually see what he stands for. And of course, I expect nothing but evil from the US Empire and all their puppets across the world, including herein Australia where I live.
But if Putin is a "saviour", then let's judge him on more than his ability to wage war against the empire.

The people are the most important; in the past, now and forever

Posted by: tom | Oct 14 2015 5:05 utc | 79

The Iron Wall

Thus we conclude that we cannot promise anything to the Arabs of the Land of Israel or the Arab countries. Their voluntary agreement is out of the question. Hence those who hold that an agreement with the natives is an essential condition for Zionism can now say “no” and depart from Zionism. Zionist colonization, even the most restricted, must either be terminated or carried out in defiance of the will of the native population. This colonization can, therefore, continue and develop only under the protection of a force independent of the local population – an iron wall which the native population cannot break through. This is, in toto, our policy towards the Arabs. To formulate it any other way would only be hypocrisy.

Two brief remarks: In the first place, if anyone objects that this point of view is immoral, I answer: It is not true; either Zionism is moral and just or it is immoral and unjust. But that is a question that we should have settled before we became Zionists. Actually we have settled that question, and in the affirmative.

We hold that Zionism is moral and just. And since it is moral and just, justice must be done, no matter whether Joseph or Simon or Ivan or Achmet agree with it or not.

There is no other morality.

Zionism is immoral and unjust.

Posted by: jfl | Oct 14 2015 5:15 utc | 80

Hi Tom. Syria gave Hezbollah 75 tanks.
jfl / 77. I disagree that Obama wants regime change in Syria. It's perfectly maddening, but you can't judge by what he says since he's wearing neocon speech as cammo. He went thru all the motions to settle the Syrian war in 2012-- but in the end was out-maneuvered by the neocons. He & his backers don't want any more chaos.

Yeah Right / 83. Thanks, I understand better now. I thought we'd gone beyond that in Syria & so couldn't understand how US had made 2 airdrops.

Posted by: Penelope | Oct 14 2015 8:18 utc | 81

psychohistorian @ 91, You're a friend and a scholar. I agree w every word. Those one-time and still nazis at BIS meet once a month. BIS is not subject to the laws of any nation! So far as I can find out, nobody knows WHO meets there every month. Next open link I'll spill the beans about what's being done to Russia. Meanwhile, you may want to take a look at China as revealed here. The banksters have always planned to change horses. It is in no way an accident that the US is being taken down.

Posted by: Penelope | Oct 14 2015 8:24 utc | 82

jfl @ 92, If Obama and CIA are in agreement, how come Obama is resisting the no-fly, even though everybody else is pushing it, including the CIA? You don't have to answer; I'm just asking you to think about it.

Also, during the time when he was undermining the Pentagon's training of "moderates" he specified that they were not to attack Assad's forces. The pattern is that when it's just rhetoric he presents himself as a neocon & surrounds himself w them. But when he has the power to resist their program he does. It surprises me greatly, but there it is.
I STILL can't stand to hear him give a speech.
Fairleft @ 94, Has anybody asked the Kurds if they WANT to be linked? No common language & very different ideas of the state.

Posted by: Penelope | Oct 14 2015 8:25 utc | 83

re 97

Israel is not the only state with a plan, Teheran has one of its own. Ruralito may or may not be contemplating driving them to the sea, but the mullahs certainly are.
What a load of racist garbage. Some mad Israeli imagines genocide of Palestinians and he's excused as a madman (although Netanyahu dreams it every night). Some Iranian does it, and it's state policy. That's racism, taking all Iranians as a monolithic block.

In any case, the video was not about "driving them to the sea". That's the fascist Daily Mail insinuation. I'm surprised you dare cite such a right-wing fascist rag as a source. It was about the liberation of Jerusalem, which is a holy aim for any Muslim.

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 14 2015 8:31 utc | 84

I suspect that Obama's perceived 'ambiguity' toward Turkey could be traced forward from Erdogan's all-but-forgotten "no problems with neighbors" policy which was, imo, a very pro-Turkey (and pro-peace) concept. It's not hard to imagine that the looming prospect of friendlier ties between Turkey and Iran made the Axis of USraeli-NATO 'divide & conquer' Evil's skin crawl and its hair stand on end. Nor is it hard to imagine them decididing to move Hell & Earth to nip the prospect of such an 'alarming' development in the bud.

Corporate AmeriKKKa (which sees itself as a Yankee version of the UK's East India Company), and parasitic "Israel", are firmly committed to a chaotic and ungovernable Muslim World. A firm Iran-Turkey alliance would be a death blow for the Middle East chapter of that scheme. The West still wants to break up and exploit Russia (NATO's sole reason for existing) and Putin knows this, So any hint of co-operation between AmeriKKKa and Russia is cosmetic or an illusion.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 14 2015 8:35 utc | 85

Grieved @ 103,

"But what will endure is the reasonableness. This is the only paradigm of survival for the players on this planet."

And cooperation. The banksters and other oligarchs are in a sense perfectly reasonable. They've selected their goal and they recognize no limits on their behavior in achieving it. They describe themselves as the illumined, since they can be perfectly rational, and they say we cannot.

I have to give their philosophy this much: It is very difficult to get the normative from the purely rational. Does rationality dictate the "oughts" of compassion, cooperation, love or idealism? It's a mystery, that which we are.

The late, great Ayn Rand thought rationality was enough, and altruism an error. But then she was a bit of a nazi. And not a kind person.

Sorry. Rambled a bit. And perhaps reasonableness is broader than exercising rationality.

Posted by: Penelope | Oct 14 2015 8:57 utc | 86

James @ 96, How could anyone disagree that those who control the US are evil? They're responsible for an incredible number of deaths. Yeah, Obama's a liar; I don't think I've ever seen anyone who was a less convincing liar.

Thanks for the link. US/UK, according to Wm Engdahl, really do have a special relationship. UK has long experience of running an Empire, controlling the masses by confusing them as to what their country is really doing abroad. However the UK oligarchs have every intention of being top dog when the dust settles.

Jeremy Corbyn has said he wdn't dream of exiting EU, so I can't imagine UK exiting NATO.

Ah, well, lucky for us we're only armchair strategists.

Posted by: Penelope | Oct 14 2015 9:40 utc | 87

Penelope this is for you.

Posted by: okie farmer | Oct 14 2015 10:09 utc | 88

Fairleft @ 94, Has anybody asked the Kurds if they WANT to be linked? No common language & very different ideas of the state.
Posted by: Penelope | Oct 14, 2015 4:25:51 AM | 108

Has anyone asked the people of Syria whether they want their country to be dismembered into several mini-nations? Allowing minorities to split off from their previous nation state is a recipe for chaos. The concept was strictly taboo in international diplomacy for many decades until the US revived it in order to dismember Yugoslavia.

Posted by: fairleft | Oct 14 2015 10:13 utc | 89

@106: "Yeah Right / 83. Thanks, I understand better now. I thought we'd gone beyond that in Syria & so couldn't understand how US had made 2 airdrops."

No problem. It's easy to get confused on that score because too many people got way too over-excited by Russia's (invited, note) intervention in Syria.

Putin has zero interest in dogfights with USAF F-15s or Turkish F-16s.

What he is interested in doing is putting down some markers, which is why one of the first aircraft he deployed was the Su-35 (which could, indeed, take on both of those American-built fighters)

It's a signal: he could impose a no-fly zone if he chose to do so.

But that's not the same thing as saying that he *has* chosen to impose a no-fly zone.

He most definitely has not.
He most definitely would prefer not to.
But if push came to shove then he could, and he would.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Oct 14 2015 10:31 utc | 90

rufus magister says:

Folks that a century ago might have written poetry are now writing pop lyrics

Pete Brown, the amazing poet from London, brought exquisite poetry to pop music in the 60s...

and this one's still quite appropriate in these days of flailing/fading Empire...

Theme for an Imaginary Western

When the wagons leave the city
for the forest and further on
Painted wagons of the morning
dusty roads where they have gone
Sometimes travelling through the darkness
met the summer coming home
Fallen faces by the wayside
looked as if they might have known

O the sun was in their eyes
and the desert that dries
In the country town
where the laughter sounds

O the dancing and the singing
O the music when they played
O the fires that they started
O the girls with no regret
Sometimes they found it
Sometimes they kept it
Often lost it on the way
Fought each other to possess it
Sometimes died in sight of day

and here in context


i'm all grown up now so trolls don't bother me too much, but asshats like charles drake i find annoying in the extreme.

Posted by: john | Oct 14 2015 10:56 utc | 91

@101 bbb*, @96 james

Thanks for the links Do You Want to See Turkey Falling Apart as Well?, Germany and the U.S. Empire (Pt. 1) respectively. The first requires some research on my part, I don't know much about the players cited or their roles, or whether they are acively protrayed, but it's good to see a defense of Erdogan in the face of his near universal repudiation. The second branches widely from its initial narrow focus on VW's EPA hack, but manages actually to return to software at the end ... I'll be looking for part 2.

@108 penelope

' I disagree that Obama wants regime change in Syria. It's perfectly maddening, but you can't judge by what he says since he's wearing neocon speech as cammo. '

Can't go by what he says, can't go by what he does ... I guess I need to wear the glasses you're wearing and drink what you're drinking to see what you see, p.

Posted by: jfl | Oct 14 2015 10:59 utc | 92

@Penelope 111 -

What was so great about Ayn Rand - a rather nasty (and hypocritical) ideologue who felt that "compassion, cooperation, love or idealism" have no place in this world, and devoted her life to convincing others of this psychopathic belief?

Posted by: Curious | Oct 14 2015 11:05 utc | 93

Laguerre at 109 -- The video was produced by a graphics house associated with the Revolutionary Guards, so it certainly reflects elements within the state. It's not quite as lethal as what Khamenei has proposed. His "practical & logical mechanism" seems neither to me. Good mullah/bad mullah routine?

And perhaps, they're all crazy?

jfl at 105 -- No more immoral or unjust than most nationalisms (the German variant became particularly destructive, and we Americans are becoming quite an exceptional problem). But far less immoral and unjust than two millenia of irrational hatred of "Christ Killers."

Let's all blame the victim, shall we? We Westerners prohibited the Jews from land ownership and forced them into trade and money-lending. After complaining that they're good traders and moneylenders, medieval monarchs routinely confiscated the profits and waged pogroms.

The victim is now the victimizer; such has been their tutelage at the hands of the disciples of "the Prince of Peace."

Posted by: rufus magister | Oct 14 2015 12:08 utc | 94

@ LaGuerre: "It was about the liberation of Jerusalem, which is a holy aim for any Muslim."

Next thing they'll "liberate" Europe, and then USA? LMAO.

But it's certainly a nice spin to sell that mullah-propaganda video. Bring on the genocide, err, "liberation".

Posted by: zedz | Oct 14 2015 13:00 utc | 95

@all - deleted all comments by "Charles Drake", aka "Norman Wisdom" aka "Charles Blocked Drake"

STOP FEEDING THAT TROLL should it reappear.

Posted by: b | Oct 14 2015 13:01 utc | 96

@all - I also deleted some 20 comments that reacted to the troll or were otherwise nonsense.

Cut it out.

And stop feeding trolls!!!

Someone coming up with some zionism claptrap is always a sign of some hasbara troll. Don't react to those. Notice me so I can delete them.

Posted by: b | Oct 14 2015 13:21 utc | 97

@ Rufus

disagree w/your old fashioned concept of what poetry is...imho it does not have to have rhyme or rhythm...


The fog comes

on little cat feet.

It sits looking

over harbor and city

on silent haunches

and then moves on.

Carl Sandburg

another from Joy Davidman, wife of C S Lewis, writing wrt Spanish War -

Snow in Madrid ~ by Joy Davidman (1937)

Softly, so casual,

Lovely, so light, so light,

The cruel sky lets fall

Something one does not fight.

How tenderly to crown

The brutal year

The clouds send something down

That one need not fear.

Men before perishing

See with unwounded eye

For once a gentle thing

Fall from the sky.

Posted by: crone | Oct 14 2015 13:22 utc | 98


begging your pardon, but those poems have not only plenty of rhyme, but mucho rhythm as well.

Posted by: john | Oct 14 2015 13:45 utc | 99

From Asia Times.....

Russian bear roams Arabia’s sands, wets toes in Bosphorus

The Russian diplomacy took two significant steps toward the Middle East during the past couple of days – engaging Saudi Arabia and sounding out Turkey.

But, Turkey first. Indeed, the warm references to Russia-Turkey relations by the Kremlin chief of staff Sergey Ivanov on Monday were far from accidental. For the benefit of the uninitiated, Ivanov speaks only for President Vladimir Putin. What is less known, perhaps, is that Ivanov is also a veteran ‘Orientalist’ who can fathom the subtleties of Turkish President Recep Erdogan’s ‘Look East’ policies and their import for Russian strategies.

Ivanov stated the obvious when he called attention to the good neighborly relations and close ties between Moscow and Ankara. But his real purpose was to underscore,

Sometimes we [Russia and Turkey] have certain contradictions in international relations but we discuss them publicly and privately and publicly with account for mutual interests.

By ‘contradictions’, Ivanov probably took into account the recent diplomatic spat over the incident of a Russian aircraft trespassing into Turkish air space, but by “interests” (with which he rounded off his remark) the powerful Kremlin figure most certainly alluded to the recent horrific terrorist strike by the Islamic State in Ankara, resulting in the death of around 100 people.

Ivanov has spoken at a time when, curiously, the NATO is courting Turkey to exercise its prerogative to seek the alliance’s help to ward off any menace from the prowling Russian bear in the Eastern Mediterranean region (which Erdogan, of course, is loath to do for a variety of reasons), and, secondly, when the range of Russian intentions in launching the military operations in Syria is engaging Ankara.

Moscow knows that no country in the Muslim Middle East (which excludes Israel, of course) is interested in the conflict in Syria morphing into an ‘East-West’ proxy war of the cold war era. There was time when some of them (including Turkey) keenly sought an American intervention, but President Barack Obama would not agree. Obama was savvy enough to sense that the US’ allies had own separate agenda to pursue in Syria.

But a proxy war is something else: in principle, one can be kick started over Syria, but eventually it will entangle the region and at some point the wind of democracy will also blow eastward and the Gulf monarchies may also be gone with the wind.

Erdogan does not need tutoring on what tragedy could befall Turkey if he allowed his country’s territory to be used as the staging ground for waging a proxy war against Russia and Iran in next-door Syria (and Iraq). Turkey is beset internally with so many fault lines – secularist-Islamist, Turkish-Kurdish, Anatolian-Aegean, Sunni-Alawite, and so on.

Having said that, an ‘East-West’ proxy war in Syria will only look like Shakespeare’s play Hamlet without the Prince of Denmark if Turkey is not willing to make the supreme sacrifice of offering itself as the indispensable ‘frontline state’. Ivanov’s remarks suggest that Moscow understands the paradigm perfectly well.

On the other hand, the weekend’s terrorist strike in Ankara only reinforces Moscow’s contention that the fight against the Islamic State [IS] and the extremist groups operating in Syria is the number one priority today. The Russian media reported Monday that the anti-terror police found a trigger mechanism during a raid in Moscow on a hideout of suspected IS activists which is similar to those used in Ankara.

No matter the IS’s calculus in terrorizing Turkey, the terrorist strike has triggered a wave of anger among Turks of all walks of life against the predatory beast which has settled in next door.

So, when Ivanov flagged that the two countries have “common interests”, it is an explicit message from the Kremlin to Ankara – ‘We are not your enemy and our boys next door mean no harm to you’.

It is difficult to assess whether Moscow’s overture to Ankara or its intensifying engagement with Saudi Arabia, becomes more important. The point is, they complement each other and their dynamics could reinforce the thrust of the Russian regional diplomacy[...]

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Oct 14 2015 15:26 utc | 100

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