Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 28, 2015

Open Thread 2015-40

(While I am busy ...)

Edward Dark from Aleppo:
The flawed prescription for peace in Syria: More war

Not too bad Frontline video (59 min):
Inside Assad's Syria

On Ukraine - the Nazis and oligarchs win:
Why A Star Wars Emperor Won Office In Ukraine

And other news & views ...

Posted by b on October 28, 2015 at 18:57 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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thanks b.. the article on ukraine elections is particularly sobering..

"Ukraine's chaotic democracy prevents the country from turning into a Russian-style congealed, oppressive authoritarian state. Yet corruption remains the glue holding together the politically, economically and culturally divided country. Western observers said Monday that the elections "generally showed respect for the democratic process." Nonetheless, they pointed out "the dominance of powerful economic groups over the electoral process" and "the fact that virtually all campaign coverage in the media was paid for."

reminds me of where i live..

Posted by: james | Oct 28 2015 19:34 utc | 1

These are provocative links, if you think about what you have read. So often it is predetermined perspective and rhetoric that clashes on sites like this.

Personally, I think the Bloomberg post, though generally reprehensible, provides some very thoughtful lines. If one considers the issues underlying the comments in the article, it can lead to some interesting (thought) conclusions. Alas, if read through the usual lenses expressed by users on this blog, the thinking will be based on predetermined assumptions ...

Posted by: Rg an LG | Oct 28 2015 19:38 utc | 2

The US has no legal basis for their air intervention in Syria, let alone for combat troops ground operations. Under pressure from the effective AND legal Russian bombing of IS, the US is now pretending an increase in their military operations in Iraq and Syria. The real reason for their increased presence is not to fight IS, but to complicate issues for the Russians, and to remain an occupying force both in Iraq and Syria.

Iraq already told them We Didn't Ask for U.S. Ground Operations, and the Russians let the US know, via the Chairman of the Russian Upper House committee for foreign affairs, Konstantin Kosachev, that sending US ground troops to Syria would be a "big mistake."

The bombastically called ground "combat" operations, will not be such, since the US will never have the quantity of soldiers needed for large battleground offensives; they will be more similar to the raid launched last week that saw a US serviceman killed, ie hostage rescue, extrication and the like, special forces kind of operations.

This new ruse by the War Party will have to be approved by Obama, and if he gives the green light, he expects to be nominated for a second Nobel Peace Prize. Not a joke.

PS: BTW, Zero Hedge (second link above) makes mincemeat of the mess the intended US ground troops in Syraq will create among "friends" and "allies." Have a laugh.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Oct 28 2015 19:39 utc | 3

The apparent bipolarity between the Pentagon and the White House about deploying boots on the ground can be explained if there are already Special Forces in action in the theater. Z. Brejzinski, McCain and Ashton Carter have stridently insisted that these assets in Syria, of unknown nationalities, need to be protected. It is quite possible that there are already small search and rescue teams of Americans, British, Saudis and Gulf Emirates forces extracting the high ranking advisors out of harms way. Yemeni sources report a new air bridge of Saudi flights loaded with takfiris spirited out from Syrian border countries. So, the boots on the ground rumour might be the way to prepare the public for when the Syrians or Russian present the faces of Western assets caught in Syria.

Posted by: Sun Tzu | Oct 28 2015 19:43 utc | 4

Last years Ukraine Presidential Election involved a Right Sector unit going to a town, barricading the voting station, then shooting a voter.

The commander of the unit, Andreiy Denisenko is now an MP.

Noone with clout in the West mentioned it. In fact they claimed that Russian terrorists were preventing people from voting.

Of course the wests 'independent observers' saw none of this. Being from McCaims IRI it comes as no surprise.

Full story here

Posted by: Bob | Oct 28 2015 19:46 utc | 5

The coup continues in Portugal

Posted by: nmb | Oct 28 2015 19:56 utc | 6

@Sun Tzu

You read my mind. Boots on the ground, cover for what is already happening, and protecting "assets".

Saudis, Pakistanians, and possibly "others" perpetrated 9/11, so why do we continue to support Saudis and Zionist goals. Seems it's not about human rights. I see women, etc. had much more rights under the countries we have destroyed vs. the Saudi homeland. Is it oil, land, control, Israel or war profiteers?


Posted by: shadyl | Oct 28 2015 20:26 utc | 7

I thought the PBS video was offensive. I managed to get through it to the end. Slanted against Syria nearly all the way. Started off with people suffering bombing in Damascus, although clearly labelled Aleppo in Arabic. A view of a tank on a trailer being brought into action, but it's an M60. The Syrians don't have any American tanks.

The interviews didn't support the journalist's point of view, and in the end he accused the interviewee of conflating the FSA with Da'ish. Perfectly normal, from the fighter's point of view, I would have thought.

I wasn't surprised that Asad refused to give him an interview. It's a novelty for the Syrians to let such people in. Someone, I suppose the Russians, has been tweeking their public relations, which were non-existent before.

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 28 2015 20:43 utc | 8

There are only so many strings the neocon war machine can pull: with israel currently marginalized,
and saudi atrocities ignored by western news, this leaves trotting out the usual cast of yesterday's
mashed potatoes. POW john mccain, the mere mention of z brezienski conjures up cold war 101.
VV Putin and friends are this worlds only news makers.
Then again, there's always the spectacle of watching rats desert the ship.

Posted by: sevenleagueboots | Oct 28 2015 20:50 utc | 9

Apologies for posting this again. It is more of an open thread comment. In the previous thread b concluded with: that is the reason why the U.S. will never agree to a plan which includes free elections in Syria and in which Bashar al Assad, next to whomever, would be on the ballot. They know he would win.

This reminds me of the 1954 Geneva conference that ended the French Vietnam war. Part of the agreement was that there would be elections in 1956 to determine the future government. The US, which was part of those negotiations, refused to sign because they knew Ho Chi Minh would win any national election. What was agreed upon was a "temporary" separation of the country and the creation of a safe zone in the south where the native French collaborators were withdrawn. The US then became more directly involved (before they just backed the French with weapons and logistical support). The first thing we did was recognize the new country of South Vietnam that turned a cease fire line into a national border and then installed the puppet Diem who cancelled the elections. Also CIA propagandists spread fear among the Catholics in the north that the communist forces would suppress their religion. This resulted in the exodus of a few 100 thousand refugees to the south. Thus began the American Vietnam War.

Two elements of similarity to Syria today. Creation of a "safe" zone in NW Syria and along the Turkish border. And the Russian supported elections. I am sure that Russia is certainly aware of the danger here. If there is a settlement that preserves the national integrity of Syria that safe zone idea must be resisted and Russia must insist that the US agrees to elections.

It is perhaps premature to try to imagine the outlines of a peace agreement in Syria today. In the meantime it is necessary for the Syrians, with Russia and Iranian support, to destroy the al Nusra military formations before such peace talks are possible -- much like the Viet Minh had to destroy the French Army at Dien Bien Phu before the Geneva peaces talks could proceed.

Posted by: ToivoS | Oct 28 2015 20:52 utc | 10

@8 laguerre.. thanks.. i never watch video.. something about the medium i distrust.. the link b offers from mideasteye is probably slightly more balanced, but still suffers from something similar.

@10toivos.. thanks for providing that wider perspective..

Posted by: james | Oct 28 2015 20:57 utc | 11

@Lone Wolf #3

The proposal to embed US troops among "moderates" in Syria looks like a human shield strategy against Russian air power. It looks like it could backfire badly.

Posted by: Thirdeye | Oct 28 2015 21:02 utc | 12

Edward Dark from Aleppo: The flawed prescription for peace in Syria: More war
The argument from Patrick Bahzad at Patrick Lang's Sic Semper Tyrannis is that we are now in the "grinding" phase of the offensive, where the enemy forces are retained in place, but reduced into powder by the air attacks.

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 28 2015 21:06 utc | 13

Brilliant, Sun Tzu, just brilliant.
I think you've nailed it.

One thing I've noticed that increases the probability that US Special Forces are already on the ground is the fact that the recent counteroffensive by ISIS (cutting off supplylines on the main highway to Aleppo) requires some formal background in military strategy.
You might expect that kind of training at West Point or Langley, but certainly not in some Chechen backwater or Saudi Arabia.

Another thing about recent ISIS and al Nusra attacks is the fact that they must have been coordinated on behalf of allies in Aleppo which means these guys must have a fairy sophisticated communications system.

I wonder where they got that from??

Posted by: plantman | Oct 28 2015 21:10 utc | 14

@13 laguerre.. as i mentioned in the comments section - the article is wrongly titled.. needs to be : The flawed prescription for regime change in Syria : More war... the article needs to put the onus on those responsible for this international approach to regime change, as opposed to putting it on russia which is trying to prevent a similar mess from happening that has already happened in iraq and libya. well, there is more to it then that, and the article suffers from more then just the title.

Posted by: james | Oct 28 2015 21:10 utc | 15

@#8 -- agreed. It is an essay on US media bias and arrogance. Let's start off with some USA news about the "Obama regime of Banksters" and their 90million in poverty, prisons full to the brim, school shooting deaths, police violence, public obesity epidemics, ponzi scheme frauds, ... and we get the picture. Like it or not, it is the Syrian government which has been elected.

Posted by: doveman | Oct 28 2015 21:17 utc | 16

@Sun Tzu@4

So, the boots on the ground rumour might be the way to prepare the public for when the Syrians or Russian present the faces of Western assets caught in Syria.

As b recently said, we will never see the faces of the many "advisers" captured in Iraq or Syria, whether Israelis, Iranians, or any other nationality. I agree with that assessment.

On the speculation of special forces on the ground in Syria/Iraq already, yes, there is that possibility, however, what's important about the new development is that it is framed within the intense debate of potential reactions to Russia's presence in Syria, even though it is being thinly disguised as "support" in response to a call from "friends," the Kurds.

That's a potential license for a "surge" of some sort, either in Iraq or Syria Kurdish regions. What's clear from their announced intentions is they won't give up so easily on their nefarious schemes.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Oct 28 2015 21:27 utc | 17


Thank you Mr b for Inside Assad's Syria. First and foremost I despise the word "Regime" continuously being used in this video.

We all know what happened in Ukraine and don't trust PBS especially their masterpiece Frontline videos May 27, 2014 Battle for Ukraine.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/battle-for-ukraine/

Posted by: Jack Smith | Oct 28 2015 21:38 utc | 18

...seems eons since the Ukrainian government was capsized. since the nuland ilk migrated from hell to pillage with verve and impunity and sicced their fascist pyromaniac proxies on the drowsy status in quo, the Hooligan Kingdom, savage headshots and solvent spraying TOMAs, pentium acid operation gas, as the plundering clans waited in the wings. the fracking clan, the terminator roundup clan, the nuclear detritus clan, et al. well, that's how you run a fake country into the ground...as uncle sam absconded with the gold even vice prez joe showed his mug and cut a deal for his son (yeah, gotta think of the children, right?) with the pipeline clan. a fucking free-for-all, afterall. well, not for all, actually, but, you know, for all those duly anointed barbarian motherfuckers.

Posted by: john | Oct 28 2015 21:42 utc | 19

@14

"recent counteroffensive by ISIS (cutting off supplylines on the main highway to Aleppo) requires some formal background in military strategy"

Like, say, being a former Iraqi Baa'athist with military experience stretching back to the Iran-Iraq war?

Posted by: Plenue | Oct 28 2015 21:44 utc | 20

Iran helping build “New Syrian Army;” ISIL fighters Fleeing to Iraq from Russian Airstrikes

http://www.juancole.com/2015/10/fighters-fleeing-airstrikes.html

good map at link demonstrates active frontlines + major IDP flight routes in Aleppo, Idleb, Hama

Posted by: juan uribe | Oct 28 2015 21:50 utc | 21


http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/battle-for-ukraine/

Further PBS are bias to the core promoting Right Sectors and no mentioned of Victoria Nuland and the taped conversations and Nuland confession $5B regime change in Ukraine.

PBS Ukraine will refresh your memory, hopefully you will be more caution trusting PBS Frontline Thank you.

Posted by: Jack Smith | Oct 28 2015 21:51 utc | 22

If the "boots on the ground" means US special forces in Syria, then they're going to have problems. The first rule will be: don't tread on Saudi toes. The second rule will be: make a noise, but don't create difficultés for the Saudis.

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 28 2015 21:51 utc | 23

Is PBS planning a "Inside Erdogan's Turkey? or "Inside King Salman's Saudi Arabia?"

I doubt they will get the permission of these regimes.

Posted by: Virgile | Oct 28 2015 21:52 utc | 24


@nmb #6

Thank you here are more.... Catarina Príncipe is beautiful and intelligent. The Real News Network recorded recently and past interviews...

In a two-part interview, Catarina Príncipe of the left-bloc in Portugal, says the left needs to unify on an economic and anti-austerity platform to avoid an interim caretaker government of the president's party......

http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2360&showid=80

July 24, 2015: On Reality Asserts Itself, Ms. Principe talks about growing up in Portugal expecting the promise of the social state to be fulfilled, and becoming an activist in the fight against forces dismantling the achievements of the Portuguese revolution

Posted by: Jack Smith | Oct 28 2015 22:21 utc | 25

Gentlemen, Russia is deliberately targetting the Western assets in Syria and there is not much the West can do about it. This is payback for nixing South Stream and Bluestream and for unleashing the Ukrainian mess on Russia's border. Russia is nixing the Qatari pipeline. By cutting off the takfiris supply lines from Turkey, Iraq and Israel they are draining the pond and trying to kill all the Chechen, Pakistani, Saudi, Qatari, Yemeni, Lybians, SAS, Delta, CIA, Mossad, French Foreign Legion and sundry mercs. This is a decapitating blow of gargantuan proportions as these people can't be replaced overnight. No wonder Lindsey Graham is screeching to Ashton Carter https://youtu.be/ZHXIUppbOQE

Posted by: Sun Tzu | Oct 28 2015 22:23 utc | 26


Ooops forgot 2nd link....

July 24, 2015: On Reality Asserts Itself, Ms. Principe talks about growing up in Portugal expecting the promise of the social state to be fulfilled, and becoming an activist in the fight against forces dismantling the achievements of the Portuguese revolution

http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=832&Itemid=74&jumival=1407

Posted by: Jack Smith | Oct 28 2015 22:24 utc | 27

Not too bad Frontline video about Syria? PBS Frontline is funded by private US foundations whose founders were essentially politically conservative (John D Macarthur Foundation and Park Foundation). It collaborates with Tehran Bureau which itself is partly funded by the Flora Family Foundation (linked to Hewlett Packard). Surely MoA doesn't expect that a report PBS Frontline does on Syria will have an objective opinion about the Assad government?

Posted by: Jen | Oct 28 2015 22:36 utc | 28

M.K. Bhadrakumar on Iran joining the Syria talks.

What it means to invite Iran to key Syria talks

[...] In the regional context, Iran’s inclusion in the Syrian peace process becomes yet another political and diplomatic setback for Israel (on top of its dismal failure to kill the Iran nuclear deal). Israel is now the only major country in the Middle East that stands outside the tent looking in – although it has big stakes in the Syrian settlement. The time has come for Israel to seriously introspect how it is missing the plot all over again.

Indeed, it comes as a double blow for Israel that earlier today Russia also conducted is first air attacks on targets in southern Syria near the Golan Heights. Notably, this is an unambiguous signal to Israel to stay off the Syrian skies. Israel has been insinuating so far – without Moscow contesting – that it has an understanding with Russia in regard of its operations in Syria’s southern skies. That apparently is not the case, as today’s Russian air attacks near Golan Heights signal.

Russia now effectively operates a ‘no-fly zone’ over Syria, which strips Israel of access points to not only targets in Syria but also in Lebanon. Meanwhile, according to reports, Russia is dispatching to the Eastern Mediterranean a massive guided missile carrier, Moskva, equipped with an estimated sixty-four S-300 missile defence systems.

All in all, the alignments in the regional politics have dramatically changed with the latest reversal in the US position signifying its willingness to sit with Iran to discuss Syria.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Oct 28 2015 22:39 utc | 29

But I thought the Izzies control the US. Perhaps Bhadrakumar is really a Mossad double agent spreading lies of Yinon master planners weakness. Perhaps foff in one of his many incarnations, or Chip Nikh/loose shanks, or dahoit could clear this up for us.

Posted by: Most Curious | Oct 28 2015 23:00 utc | 30

Where is foff when his subtle understanding of complex matters is most needed?

Posted by: Most Curious | Oct 28 2015 23:02 utc | 31

Most Curious = foff.. probably..

Posted by: james | Oct 28 2015 23:40 utc | 32

Syria's Assad accuses West of supporting terrorism


"Many regional and Western countries, including France, are still supporting terrorism and provide political cover for the terrorist organizations in Syria and the region," al-Assad said during his meeting with a visiting delegation of French lawmakers.

Supporting terrorism in the region ...

US forces kill Iraqis fighting Da'esh/ISIS/ISIL ...


Iraq security sources state the US led coalition airstrikes killed 22 army and volunteer militia servicemen on Tuesday. The coalition warplanes targeted the Iraqi forces positions after they advanced on al-jalma (sp?) and al-dabian (sp?) bridges near the city of Ramadi.

This, and dropping arms to Da'esh/ISIS/ISIL, is what the US led coalition forces have been doing for the last 18 months ...

Iraq: We Didn't Ask for U.S. Ground Operations


"This is an Iraqi affair and the government did not ask the U.S. Department of Defense to be involved in direct operations," spokesman Sa'ad al-Hadithi told NBC News. "We have enough soldiers on the ground."

Apparently the Iraqis think its their country ... 2003-2015 Bush XLIII/Obama Occupation, before that the no-fly zones and Albright's sanctions that killed 500,000 children, before that Bush XLI's war, before that the US ginned up Iraq/Iran War ...

Don't all the people of this region now hate the USA ... more even than Israel ... and just want see the USA out of the Middle East?

Can it really surprise anyone that they now see the Russians as their last, best hope to be rid of American death, devastation, and destruction over, at least, the past 3 or 4 decades?

Posted by: jfl | Oct 28 2015 23:46 utc | 33

@Jen #28:

Surely MoA doesn't expect that a report PBS Frontline does on Syria will have an objective opinion about the Assad government?

I don't think anyone expects that (setting aside the question of what "objectivity" in such cases could even mean). But Western propaganda on issues related to Russia can have varying levels of crudeness. And occasiaonally reporting that does resemble responsible journalism does slip through. Maybe this is one of those occasions.

Posted by: Demian | Oct 28 2015 23:48 utc | 34

@25 Jack, thanks. Plenty to find in the independent web. Almost zero info about this matter in the mainstream media.

Posted by: nmb | Oct 28 2015 23:49 utc | 35

"Ukraine's chaotic democracy prevents the country from turning into a Russian-style congealed, oppressive authoritarian state."

The author should ask the people in Odessa about Ukraine - its more of a death-squad-ocracy than anything. If any other country declared 1/10th of their citizens to be "terrorists" and launched an all-out military campaign against them, Samantha Power would be sqwaking wildly. But in her devotion to US hypocrisy, we hear nothing.

The company the United States is keeping gets worse by the day.

Posted by: guest77 | Oct 28 2015 23:52 utc | 36

Most telling part for me, of the Frontline program was that Syrians that were interviewed {that supported their government}, were NOT SURE who the rebels were. Usual suspects: Israelis, Saudis, Turks and us.

Also, some rebels were fighting close to Golden Heights. Odd, that the rebels did not fight to get back the GH, but were in a frenzy over Assad. Israel Secret Intelligence Service? Hmm.

Posted by: shadyl | Oct 28 2015 23:59 utc | 37

OUR BUDS:

Defense Department Briefing

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon held a joint press conference at the Pentagon. Topics include the Iran nuclear deal and Russian military intervention in Syria.

http://www.c-span.org/video/?329014-2/defense-secretary-ashton-carter-israeli-defense-minister-moshe-yaalon-news-conference

Any background on Ashton Carter?

Posted by: shadyl | Oct 29 2015 0:24 utc | 38

Hi, guest77, at Russia Insider they have a kind of debate about the Katyn massacre of Polish officers during WWII. A piece by Nicolai Starikov, which sounded reasonable to me, got posted there. He is in effect being accused of "revisionism" about "the Katyn massacre of Polish officers during WWII".

Do you have any thoughts about that? It sounds like the kind of thing that right-wing Poles would make up, to make them appear to be victims of both the Nazis and the Soviets.

Posted by: Demian | Oct 29 2015 0:25 utc | 39

so much bad news around the world.

first, Sakshavilli and McCain trying for a false flag in Syria

http://fortruss.blogspot.ca/2015/10/ukrainian-wikileaks-mccain-and.html

Then, European Parliament stops nations opting out of GMOs.

And the list goes on and on.

When will Merkel leave so at least I can sing "Ding Dong, the witch is gone"?

Posted by: Mischi | Oct 29 2015 1:01 utc | 40

Universities Face Another Push to Criminalize Speech Criticizing Israel

Students say they should be allowed to engage in human rights advocacy in defense of Palestinians

Another report released by Jewish Voice for Peace last month found that Israel advocates are conflating anti-Semitism with criticism of Israel, and equating all Jews with the Israeli state, in an effort to shut down debate on universities and campuses across the United States. This often takes the form of bullying within Jewish communities, the report states, as well as claims that the emotional discomfort of Israel supporters amounts to targeted harassment.

But the new push for strict "anti-Semitism" standards has powerful supporters. One of the regents strongly advocating for the "speech code" is Richard Blum, a wealthy defense contractor and husband of Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.). Last month, Blum threatened that his wife will unleash political consequences if the UC system fails to adopt the strict standards. UC President Janet Napolitano advocated in May for the adoption of the State Department definition.

http://www.commondreams.org/news/2015/10/27/universities-face-another-push-criminalize-speech-criticizing-israel

Posted by: shadyl | Oct 29 2015 1:14 utc | 41


In Latest Escalation, Australia May Join US, Send Warships To China Islands

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-10-28/latest-escalation-australia-may-join-us-send-warships-china-islands

Earlier this week, the USS Lassen managed to sail by China’s man-made islands in the Spratlys without getting shot at or surrounded.

The fact that China did not move to challenge the US-flagged guided-missile destroyer was a relief for those who aren’t keen on living through World War III and as hyperbolic as that might sound, it was just this month that Beijing threatened to “stand up and use force” in the event Washington went through with the “freedom of navigation” exercise.

Of course as we outlined previously, the PLA will get plenty of other opportunities, as most security “experts” believe that in order to be “effective” (whatever that means in this context), the US will need to keep up the patrols suggesting the world could be in for a prolonged period of heightened tensions that threaten to spiral out of control on any given “pass-by.” .......

Posted by: Jack Smith | Oct 29 2015 1:22 utc | 42

b, you really need to read the following. You done goofed, and consequences will never be the same.

For one thing, I'm shocked that you're linking to a screed from the virulently racist hack Leonid Bershidsky. And on a Bloomberg website, to boot? Have you started working for the Israeli Foreign Ministry, but forgot to tell us? And that's not even the worst part.

Linking to "Middle East Eye" was even more shocking, offering slick lies dressed-up in empty-sounding moralising. Here's a hint, b: a website called "Middle East Eye" run by one man out of a private home in the UK is probably as much bull droppings as the so-called Syrian Observatory For Human Rights, also run by one man out of a private home in the UK.

Can I give you some basic investigative journalism pointers, b? You need them.
- Bull droppings sign #1: The website says it is independently funded, but doesn't say by whom.
- Bull droppings sign #2: The website doesn't say who founded it, edits it, or otherwise runs it.
- Bull droppings sign #3: The website boasts on its footer "Registered in England & Wales, [Company] Number: 08803692" and "Only England and Wales jurisdiction apply in all legal matters."

Numerous British registers of companies and directors all say that company number Number: 08803692 is run by a Mr. Jamal Awn Jamal Bessasso (a Dutch national, who confusingly gives his occupation as both a 'Media Consultant' and a 'HR Consultant') and is headquartered at "2 OAKWOOD CRESCENT, GREENFORD, UB6 0RQ". Google Maps shows that this is a suburban home. The company has no other directors or employees according to records.

b, did you seriously not find flaws in the "Edward Dark" bull-droppings? Seriously?

The childishly named "Edward Dark" character stated absolutely nothing about Syria that he couldn't have heard on the TV news. He offered no actual facts or insight at all.

He repeatedly, pointedly made the brilliantly profound (ahem!) statement that that fighting Islamic insurgents causes "suffering". (Really? Gasp! Well, it must be wrong to fight them, then! Hey Syrians, stop fighting the insurgents, so friendly ISIS can remove all suffering from Syria!)

"Aleppo based columnist" Edward Dark" (real location probably Vauxhall Bridge, or Tel Aviv as an outside bet, if he's emailing in his "reports" to the UK-based Middle East Eye) then made a feeble straw man argument that the ongoing war in Syria is about "the fate of one man", Assad. (Why doesn't the bounder Assad step down!? Boo to Assad! Boo, I say! Stop the suffering, you democratically elected prick!)

Our heroic Syrian reported "Edward Dark" (real name probably something like Mort Finklestein or Oliver Jones) then immediately did by a 180˚ and completely contradicted himself by stating that the protracted conflict was the child of many outside powers. ("Edward", it has been said that the sign of an intelligent man is his ability to hold two mutually contradictory opinions at once. The difference between such men, and you, is that they notice the contradiction.)

b: if you don't have time to check the "news media" sources to which you link, it is better NOT to post anything at all. Don't feel compelled to post any old junk, just to make your website look busy. Junk isn't useful to anyone.

Posted by: Buster Gonad | Oct 29 2015 1:25 utc | 43

A military bit I thought you might find interesting:

In 95% of cases, it engages stationary targets. Shooting at stationary objects, it can achieve very high precision targeting. What is the reason for that? First, the main type of munitions used is free-falling bombs. This is known. Under usual circumstances, free-falling bombs are scattered widely: 200-300 meters. Engaging small targets would leads to a lot of collateral damage among residents, while the probability of hitting the target remains low. Russia created unique equipment installed on practically all Russian military aircraft in Syria. It uses GLONASS and leads the aircraft to the point of dropping bombs with precision of a few meters. Based on aircraft trajectory, the dynamics of its change, air temperature, it ensures automatic release of the bomb at exactly the right spot.

the pilot does not need to think about keeping the course, he does not need to think about refraining from evasive anti-rocket or anti-PRO maneuvers – he flies any way he needs to. Automatic system will drop the bomb in the right place at the right time. Thus, dropping 2-3 bombs, the pilot is essentially guaranteed to hit the target. However, let me draw your attention that the plain should get to the right spot according to the coordinates of the target, which are entered into the system beforehand, according to GLONASS data. Thus, these weapons cannot be used against mobile targets.

http://thesaker.is/konstantin-sivkov-interviewed-about-the-russian-operation-in-syria/

Also, he said the Russians are just about out of the shipboard missiles they used & would have to manufacture more. The article was informative, gives an account of the Aleppo offensive.

Posted by: Penelope | Oct 29 2015 1:30 utc | 44

In my opinion the Chinese military will have to provide assets in support of Russia and Iranian forces if NATO invades the country. The SAA needs more fighting men to cast a wider net against US/ISIS Inc. and China has the necessary manpower to blunt any advances by the western coalition.

The Spratly Islands in the SCS (South China Sea) brouhaha was an embarrassment to the Chinese PLA since the U.S. Department of War called their bluff. They will want some sort of "satisfaction" that extends well beyond diplomacy and a presence in Syria would fulfill that objective.

Russia is not going to go it alone in the region, I am confident of this as fact.

Posted by: PokeTheTruth | Oct 29 2015 1:32 utc | 45

It is concerning that Ashton Carter has announced intention to use at least sp ops in Iraq & Syria. 10/27 WaPo: "The changes would represent a significant escalation of the American role in Iraq and Syria. They still require formal approval from Obama, who could make a decision as soon as this week and could decide not to alter the current course,"

Most concerning of all, this language in the WaPo story:

" The newly proposed Special Operations forces would work with moderate Syrian Arab rebels and possibly some Kurdish groups, such as the People’s Protection Units, or YPG, that have scored some recent victories against the Islamic State."

I do not believe that Obama has approved this in Syria.

Apparently Iraq has already objected to US ground forces, or at least to not being consulted. http://news.antiwar.com/2015/10/28/iraq-we-never-requested-us-ground-operations/

Posted by: Penelope | Oct 29 2015 1:45 utc | 46

@42

China is due to be recommended for inclusion into the IMF basket of currencies in November. Given recent developments I would say that this effort will be stillborn and give China the freedom to continue to replace all the global financial "backroom" technologies with alternative ones.

I don't see Australia biting the hand that feeds it by aligning with the US and providing support against China. That said, is there a scorecard online that shows the sides that are forming? I will say again that the bottom line to this "war" is private finance or sovereign finance.

We live in very interesting times.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Oct 29 2015 1:52 utc | 47

@39 Hey Demian. It certainly does and the right-wing Poles, like the Ukrainians, stop at no historical fibbery to legitimize their pro-NATO, corporatist rule (as well as cover up their own past crimes). And though all I know is what I read, there are scholars who make a good case that what happened in Katyn wasn't what Cold War history has drummed into us. True, the Russian government has gone along with some of this as well - but wether that is based more on geopolitics than an interest in historical fact is likely. After all, the neo-liberal Russian elite had their own reasons for making monsters out of the USSR. It gave them the excuse to commit croms considerably worse....

If you can get past the hideous looking website, there is lots of info here from a Montclair University professor named Grover Furr which is worth looking at: https://msuweb.montclair.edu/~furrg/

The author also wrote a book which balances out Timothy Snyder's "Bloodlands" which is a classic "Stalin = HItler" nonsense (though even Snyder is honest enough to not quite go that far). There's a YouTube video where he speaks on 1930s history of the USSR. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AT9SrM59m_I

Note that I'm not saying this guy is 100% right or anything like that - likely the truth is somewhere between his "all the crimes we've heard of Stalin's are fabrications" and those drooling neo-nazis who say Stalin killed half the of the population of the Soviet Union. And by "between" I mean, way, way, way closer to Professor Furr's version of things. But Stalin clearly oversaw major repression and the GULAG system. But those who try and lay every death that occurred on Soviet soil during his time (including the German soldier's who died invading the USSR, laughably) as "Stalin's victims" are pushing a far darker agenda that has nothing to do with "concern for human rights and freedom". I can certainly tell you that.

What do Stalin's crimes all amount to and how does it compare to the US history of Jim Crow, imperialism, things Japanese Internment (which is far worse than people understand), McCarthyism, COINTELPRO repression, mass incarceration, and foreign brutality during the Cold War? I don't know but considering we can say for sure that the US killed 10 million since 1945, we can probably, sadly, assume that Stalin's crimes look considerably milder than those...

The fact is, most everything we've heard about the history of the USSR in the 1930s are Nazi lies passed down from Goebbel's to Reinhard Gehlen to the CIA to right-wing press to the American People. The other side of this is the fact that the US had close relations with the USSR before the Cold War, and large numbers of people of all political stripes gave the USSR anywhere from tremendous respect to grudging admiration. This all was all changed by Red Scares and McCarthyism (two examples of political and thought repression worthy of anything the Soviets did) and since the end of the Cold War, the simplistic "Communism Bad" mantra in the USA has only become more accepted without applying even a modicum of thinking.

Though he has his own blinder like anyone, I do believe Professor Furr is an honest scholar. But wether he is 100% right on every detail is, to me, far less important than the fact that he exists as a counter-balance to far more egregious and dangerously politically motivated lies coming from far more powerful sources which really are dishonest and really do seek to destroy our understanding of history.

Posted by: guest77 | Oct 29 2015 1:54 utc | 48

@43 bg.. you broke that down a lot better then me.. thanks for that.. maybe b will buy you a coffee for your efforts.. extra double latte or something special if he is feeling nice..

Posted by: james | Oct 29 2015 1:55 utc | 49

Sorry Demian, here is specifically his work on Katyn: https://msuweb.montclair.edu/~furrg/research/furr_katyn_2013.pdf

The “Official” Version of the Katyn Massacre Disproven? Discoveries at a German Mass Murder Site in Ukraine byGrover Furr

Author’s Note: The officially accepted version of the Katyn Massacre can be read on its Wikipedia page - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katyn_massacre This page is relentlessly anticommunist and anti-Stalinist. It makes no attempt to be objective or neutral, in that it has no serious discussion of the scholarly controversy about this question. It is useful only as a short and accurate summary of the “official” version. I would like to acknowledge that I was guided to the new sources by an excellent article by Sergei Strygin on the Russian “Pravda o Katyni” (Truth About Katyn) Internet page.1 I strongly
recommend it to all those who read Russian.

In 2011 and 2012 a joint Polish-Ukrainian archeological team partially excavated a mass execution site at the town of VolodymyrVolyns’kiy, Ukraine. Shell cases found in the burial pit prove that the executions there took place no earlier than 1941. In the burial pit were found the badges of two Polish policemen previously thought to have been murdered hundreds of miles away by the Soviets in April–May 1940. These discoveries cast serious doubt on the canonical, or “official,

Posted by: guest77 | Oct 29 2015 2:00 utc | 50


You've got to admit, they've got chutzpah ..

US Presidential candidates asked to audition for their APAIC paymasters ?

Huffington Post article -

First-Ever U.S. Presidential Candidates' Forum Held Abroad in Jerusalem, Israel, November 2-4, 2015

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/natasha-srdoc/firstever-us-presidential_b_8367160.html

Posted by: therealskinny | Oct 29 2015 2:03 utc | 51

Btw, this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYVes44hcJg is to me the most important American response to the lies made about Communism in the US. Ironically made just following its dismantling.

Also, I completely got the video link wrong on @48 - that's not about Stalin at all. He does have other videos on YouTube though which can be easily found.

Posted by: guest77 | Oct 29 2015 2:08 utc | 52

@guest77 #50:

Thanks very much. That's exactly the kind of thing I was looking for, something shows that there is indeed legitimate scientific controversy about this. There was an attack piece on Nicolai Starikov at the Irrussianality blog that got reposted at Russia Insider which claimed that everyone agrees about this, and that Starikov was making historical claims solely on "consequentialist" considerations. I just wanted to confirm my suspicion that that was an unfounded smear on Starikov.

My experience editing Wikipedia articles on post-Maidan Ukraine tells me all I need to know on where the truth about Katyn likely lies. Why the whole thing sounds fishy to me is that the Soviets had no reason to massacre any Polish officers, since Polish officers were no more competent than the officers in the present Kiev regime. All either country can do militarily is beg for help from the West.

A very interesting point that Starikov makes is that in the West, you incessantly hear about Stalin, but never about Lenin. Starikov says that that's because Stalin was responsible for all the accomplishments that were made by the Soviet Union: industrialization and defeating the Nazis, foremost among them. And Lenin was responsible for the initial arrests and killing of intelligentsia, engineers, etc.; Stalin wasn't in power yet when that happened. Bertrand Russell wrote about his visit to the USSR that Lenin came across as a sadistic killer, which suggests that he was as at least as "bad" as Stalin. So yes, everything Starikov said in that piece that was attacked sounded reasonable to me.

@#52:

Thanks for the link to that video. I will definitely watch it at some point. (As opposed to watching Putin's recent Valdai appearance. I'll agree with everything he says but I don't think there will be much I haven't heard, so what's the point?)

Posted by: Demian | Oct 29 2015 3:00 utc | 53

@48 guest77

I want to add to your comment with my pet peeve of the Big Lies of the Cold War era.

The original motto of the US was E Pluribus Unum or Out of Many, One.

But in the early 1950's the same Big Lie technique that Hitler used was directed at the American public about Russia and those "godless communists". The same media that exposed how Hitler brainwashed the German people into supporting him turned around and did the same to vilify Russia over their non private finance stance. The global plutocrats of the day co-opted the original motto by replacing it with "In God We Trust''. I can only conjecture, never having heard a Xtianity group disparage private finance, that Xtians support global private finance and its accompanying inheritance component.

To me, humanity is still stuck in the Enlightenment (or not so much) period. At the beginning of that period, about 500 years ago, science was showing clearly the chinks in the theology of Christianity. The American dream and E Pluribus Unum were an attempt to move beyond the Enlightenment mentality. It seems clear to me that attempts to advance our species beyond private finance supported by believers in mythological faiths has not succeeded for the past 500 years. That said, we may be on the cusp of change to that humanly stultifying social organizational structure.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Oct 29 2015 3:19 utc | 54

Having Spec Ops Mission on the ground as well as the ability to deliver airdrops in Iraq and Syria, has shown that there is wriggle room to push the US empires troops into these nations even after Russia has asserted its Activity there.
It's why the neocons; Hillary, Carter, McCain and the rest, can see a chance to get their troops into Syria and Iraq to counter Russia. It's why theres recent talk about sending troops in and that they will be in danger.
That is a plan to Establishment US Empire zones in these countries and hoping to protect those zones helping their ISIL and/or Al Qaeda proxies.

As soon as a US soldier is killed or a US plane shot down, there will be a hell storm. That's a real possibility.

Russia, if it's confident or confrontational enough, should shut that shit down ASAP.

I think Sun Tzu in the comments underestimated. it's not about getting some out, it's about getting more in. There has been six weeks of getting Spec Ops and US agents out, so it's not really about that I think.

Posted by: tom | Oct 29 2015 4:27 utc | 55

Don't forget the Empire is desperate to come up with a plan to counter Russias new influence in some Middle East countries. Extraction is not the real concern, insertion is.

Posted by: tom | Oct 29 2015 4:31 utc | 56

Demian: " articles on post-Maidan Ukraine tells me all I need to know on where the truth about Katyn likely lies. Why the whole thing sounds fishy to me is that the Soviets had no reason to massacre any Polish officers... "

The argument that Stalin needed some reason for killing that could be rationally explained is dubious. For example, members of my family were Polish communists. In 1937 Stalin decided that all leaders of this party should be liquidated. The top leader, Warszawski (known as Warski) was in exile in Paris at the time, and he believed that he can properly explain that in actuality, he i not a traitor to the Communist cause, so as ordered, he went to Moscow and was executed. The only top members who survived were in Polish prisons -- the party was not legal there. And when Soviet Union got hold of them two years later, he got some of them because they were in "Soviet part", and some through a deal with Hitler, but at this time the purge of 1937 was over and he had other preoccupations. Like planning to reconstitute the party that he liquidated himself.

Communists and fascists were not evil in their intentions in the sense that they did not start each that with "what is a new evil thing that we can do today", and many of their ideas were copied, some with good reason, like Interstate Highway System. I guess American politicians were impressed with the enthusiasm of Soviet youth, young Pioniers reciting in schools, so they decided to copy some of that, of course in "Godly manner", like Pledge of Allegiance" with words "under God" added by the decision of Congress. I would venture a guess that "In God we Trust" was put on the currency in preparations for dropping the gold standard.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Oct 29 2015 5:03 utc | 57

I'm sure you remember who Seymour Hersh is. He wrote the article "The Redirection" which was the first indicator that the US was going to use jihadis as proxies.

Well, I don't have a Twitter account, but he has posted something there. Could you let us know what the message says. It's linked to this:

Uh Oh!!! Obama Losing Control of the Military
www.godlikeproductions.com/…rum1/message1060193/pg1
In Geneva, Sy Hersh said it appears Obama is slowly losing control of the military [e.g Special Forces]. We agree. [link to twitter.com]

Uh Oh!!! Obama Losing Control of the Military
www.godlikeproductions.com/…rum1/message1060193/pg1
In Geneva, Sy Hersh said it appears Obama is slowly losing control of the military [e.g Special Forces]. We agree. [link to twitter.com]

http://www.godlikeproductions.com/forum1/message1060193/pg1

Thanks

Posted by: Penelope | Oct 29 2015 5:32 utc | 58

@Piotr Berman #57:

I must admit that I have studiously avoided reading about Stalin because I found the subject to abhorrent. Now I would like to read something, but I have very little idea of what writers can be trusted. (Obviously, I would be able to dismiss some sources that have an anti-Soviet rather than a scholarly tone.)

Khatyn still sounds like it doesn't fit into the Soviet M.O. to me. Khatyn was basically a massacre as far as I understand, and my impression is that was not how the Soviets did things. It was more executions, like in the case of your relatives, or throwing people into labor camps, never to come out. And my background is White Russian: my family hated the Communists. Any members of my family who fought in the war faught on the side of the Germans, because they hated the Soviets.

I wish I knew how to find trustworthy online Russian language sources on Stalinism. Russian Wikipedia is as bad as English Wikipedia on such matters. I suppose if I really wanted to make an effort, I could look for actual books. Lots of those on the Net. Also, I stopped exploring the Russian Web after the Ukrainian war died down. I guess I should start again.

I didn't know that the Americans got the idea for the Pledge of Allegiance from the Soviets. I find it plausible that the Nazis got some of their hatred of Bolshevism from White Russian emigrés.

Posted by: Demian | Oct 29 2015 5:53 utc | 59

So here is a link to stir up the climate change believers/deniers

http://www.gizmag.com/nasa-timed-satellite-carbon-dioxide-trends/40111/

To me this link says how little we know about anything. Maybe if we stopped believing in God's of our own liking we would stop acting like we think we are Gods' ourselves.

Less hubris, more awe!

Posted by: psychohistorian | Oct 29 2015 5:58 utc | 60

@Penelope #58:

Hersh is not on Twitter.

You can be if you want to. It's not like Facebook, where you're supposed to use your real name.

Posted by: Demian | Oct 29 2015 6:01 utc | 61

Please, I am not a computer person. Could somebody please just click on this

http://www.godlikeproductions.com/forum1/message1060193/pg1

It gives you a link to a Twitter message by Seymour Hersh. I am not able to access it cuz I screwed up in trying to join & I can't figure out how to fix it.

Apparently Hersh is saying something about Obama slowly losing control of the military.

Posted by: Penelope | Oct 29 2015 7:05 utc | 62

@Demian #59

In spite of all of Furr's rah-rah over Stalin, his article on the Katyn massacre is an excellent one. The work by the Polish archaeological team is also available online somewhere - in Polish. That's a much less controvertible source than Furr because it isn't associated with his baggage and it is from the same nation that had the anti-Soviet grievance over Katyn.

As explained by Furr, there were executions of Polish officers in 1939 or 1940 who were accused of war crimes in the Polish-Soviet war of 1919-1921. Evidence of those executions was used by the Nazis to hang all execution or massacre sites in Polish territory that had been occupied by the Soviets on the Soviets.

Furr also makes a strong case that the "Beria letter" ordering the so-called Katyn Massacre, the supposed smoking gun from the Soviet archives released in 1992, has not been adequately authenticated. Typewriter forensics call it into question. Document falsification was normal practice among Soviet bureaucrats as far back as the Stalin era and they had everything they needed - authentic stationery, stamps, bureaucratic knowledge and so forth - to produce very good fakes. With the chaos in the Soviet state in the early 1990s it was possible for freelancers with their own agendas to do falsifications, which were previously done only with top-level authorization. Another possibility is that the "Beria letter" was produced under Kruschev, but that would beg the question of why the false document was produced and left in the archives rather than used publicly in the de-Stalinization campaign.

Posted by: Thirdeye | Oct 29 2015 7:42 utc | 63

Turkish police storm opposition media in run-up to Sunday’s election


In a blatant attempt to silence opposition media in the run-up to Sunday’s general election, Turkish police stormed the headquarters of the Koza-Ipek corporation and took its broadcasts off the air, allowing them to resume only after the media company was under government control.

Early yesterday morning, police fired water cannon and tear gas at employees and supporters of the media firm and smashed their way into the building, interrupting the broadcasts of Kanaltürk TV, Bugün TV, and other Koza-Ipek outlets. Employees barricaded themselves inside the building and continued broadcasting for some 10 hours as police tried to shut them down.

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, which is fighting for its survival in Sunday’s elections, made no secret that it was seeking to intimidate and silence opposition media. ...

Speaking to the pro-government A Haber channel, AKP legislator Aydin Ünal declared: “After November 1, we will hold them accountable. The Sözcü newspaper insults us every day. There is a lot of pressure on Turkey. If we say something, the world accuses us of interfering with the press, so we’re not in a comfortable position now, but after November 1, we will settle up with all of them.”

The police storming of Koza-Ipek comes as the Turkish elections descend into violence. ...

A June 5 bombing hit an HDP rally in Diyarbakır, killing four; a mob attack in September destroyed the HDP headquarters in Ankara as police stood by; and a bomb attack hit an HDP-led rally in Ankara on October 9, claiming 128 lives.

While Turkish officials have blamed the attacks on Islamic State (IS) terrorists fighting Kurdish militias across the border in Syria, growing numbers of Turks accuse the AKP of working in league with IS to crush the HDP so as to hold onto power.

Koza-Ipek became a key AKP target after emerging as the main outlet in the election campaign for opposition parties such as the HDP, the Kemalist Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). Turkish police raided it in September after the Bugün newspaper ran a front-page story on AKP assistance to Islamic State (IS) militias in Syria.

With the AKP’s chances of obtaining a parliamentary majority on Sunday appearing ever slimmer, the government moved to shut down Koza-Ipek outright. ...

With Syria engulfed in civil war and millions of refugees fleeing to Turkey and Europe, Turkey itself is descending into civil war. There is growing concern in the European bourgeoisie that such a conflict could spread uncontrollably, including into Europe, and force even larger numbers of refugees to flee the Middle East.

“Pushing Turkey towards a Turk-Kurdish civil war, as [Erdogan] is doing, means pushing the country towards catastrophe,” political scientist Michel Naufal told L’Orient Le Jour, adding: “If he resumes the process of peace and reconciliation with Kurdish society, the internal situation can, probably, be stabilized.”

Bay-Ram Balchi of France’s International Research Center told RTL television, “I do not want to start crisis-mongering, but it would really be better for us if Turkey did not transform into a second Syria. Then we in Europe would have both Syrian and Turkish migrants.”

Posted by: jfl | Oct 29 2015 8:53 utc | 64

Dangerous developments in Germany


Political developments in Germany are moving in an increasingly dangerous direction. Despite widespread popular sympathy for the plight of refugees fleeing for their lives from war-torn countries, a sinister campaign is underway, led by a cabal of military-intelligence agencies, right-wing forces in the media, and chauvinist and neo-fascist political organizations, to whip up a racially-charged atmosphere of political panic in which authoritarian rule is justified as both necessary and legitimate.

... Hardly a day goes by without the media inviting representatives of extreme right-wing parties such as the Alternative for Germany (AfD) and the viciously anti-immigrant Pegida movement to spout their fascistic demagogy before national audiences.

Last week, AfD leader Björn Höcke appeared on television with a German flag to revive national-chauvinist myths of a one thousand year-old Germany. The sub-text of his ranting — that Germany must preserve its racial purity against foreign influences —was impossible to miss.

The media also chose to give wide coverage to a rally staged by Höcke in the mid-sized city of Erfurt, in which the would-be führer declared: “Erfurt is a beautiful German city, and it must remain German.” ...

In Germany, the origins and significance of such statements are well understood. A recent article in Stern magazine accused the AfD of “lapsing into Nazi jargon” and reviving the “racist theories” of the Nazis.

Only yesterday, Christian Social Union (CSU) Chairman Horst Seehofer threatened extralegal “emergency measures” if Merkel did not adopt more extreme anti-refugee policies.

Seehofer is demanding the introduction of extremely strict border controls, the construction of border walls, and large deployments of police and military forces to keep refugees out.

Spiegel magazine called Seehofer’s language “Nazi-like” and accused him of “promoting totalitarian thought.” ...

Sections of the security apparatus are pushing in this direction. The Welt am Sonntag has reported that state security forces are waiting impatiently for Merkel to either take action against the refugees or resign from office. ...


The disintigration of Turkey and the possibly large increase in refugees to Europe ... coupled with the far-right's play on refugees in Germany bodes ill for all of us.

Posted by: jfl | Oct 29 2015 8:56 utc | 65

Oh please do not cite Grover Furr as a reliable authority on anything. Grover Furr is an unrepentant Stalinist. He believes that one third of the Soviet red army senior staff in 1935 were actively working for Germany and Japan. He believes that Zinoviev, Kamenev and Bukharin were agents for the Nazis. Therefore Furr thinks Stalin was correct to execute one third of the Red army officers and all of those Old Bolshesiks that were killed in the great purges in 1936 and 37. Furr believes that this incredible purge of Red Army officers made the Soviet Union much stronger in the face of the German invasion in 1941.

In fact, in the first few months of the Nazi 1941 invasion the Red Army lost 3 million soldiers. The reason for this incredible loss was simple -- those lost armies no longer had an effective officer corp. Those that survived the terrible purges of 1937 lived in terror of displeasing Stalin, not in fear of the real enemy which was Nazi Germany. They were stripped of logical concepts like retreating to more defensible positions when their front line positions were over run because that incredible fool Stalin had instilled in them the not one foot back theory of warfare. The surviving officers did not institute defense in depth ideas so they massed their troops right on the front lines. Once the Germans were knocking on the door of Moscow Stalin finally relented and allowed some of the surviving officers to design defense. Stalin's most brilliant move as leader was to allow Zhukov and Vasilevsky to lead the defense of Russia.

One of the most incredible signs of the strength of the Russian people during WWII war is that they were able to overcome the unbelievable stupidity of its supreme leader.

Posted by: ToivoS | Oct 29 2015 9:17 utc | 66

Sun Tzu@26 Thanks for the Graham link. Graham to Ashton Carter and General Dunford.."What you have done gentlemen along with President Obama is you have turned Syria over to Russia and Iran" You have to feel sorry for those two dumb appointees Carter and Dunford, because US strategy is 'half-assed. Seems the only way it can be reversed is to do as Graham wants, back up with military force the US terrorists. Only problem with that is, it is contrary to the UN charter and International law generally, oh, and it could start world war 3.

Posted by: harry law | Oct 29 2015 10:19 utc | 67

@ToivoS

That's all true enough that Stalin was viciously repressive and paranoid with disastrous consequences for the Soviet Union and the left in general. It's also true that Furr is an apologist for the worst aspects of Stalin. But on the Katyn issue he is backed by evidence provided by some (Poles) who have absolutely no interest in pumping up Stalin. Each argument needs to be considered on its own merits, not ad hominem.

"Not one step back" was not an order from 1941. The actual order was "Not one step back without authorization" and it was given during Germany's advance toward Stalingrad when in fact the Soviets were for the first time mounting something of a fighting retreat. But the conduct of the war in the summer of 1941 was spectacularly incompetent and the responsibility lay with Stalin.

Posted by: Thirdeye | Oct 29 2015 11:22 utc | 68

@ Tom #55 & 56. I don't think so. Although Ashton Carter has been running his mouth his self styled prophecies remain largely unfulfilled. He said for example that Russian planes were soon going to start falling out of the sky in Syria. Yet, the Russian air force is keeping a high tempo of sorties per plane and nothing of that sort is yet happening. In my analysis the pool of mercs and special forces is limited and they do not want to get more killed by bombers, helicopters or flame throwers. This is why Saudi, Turkey, UAE & Qatari flights are shipping their liver eating head chopping brats to Yemen. It is safer there as their is no hostile air force activity. The West is used to fight with the assurance of air superiority and coverage. They do not like to fight within hostile no fly zones. Getting more people in would make Russia's job easier like shooting fish in a barrel. Just yesterday, Russia flew bombing sorties into the Golan knowing that there are more than likely Israeli assets in there. It goes without saying that Russia will continue to bomb away whether there is more insertion of Western assets or not. So I still believe that extraction is the key and not insertion. Russia offered to cooperate with the West if their "moderate" takfiri rebel assets position / location was shared but the West "kindly" declined the offer. Thus, Russia interpreted this snub as saying: "All of them are fair game!" So the West continues with a problem of extracting these people and spiriting them away to safety to fight another day.

@ harry law #67. YW. Graham is trying to sound and look though for the MSM as he is in a presidential nomination bid. He may also be trying to force Obama's hand to do something stupid. But he knows fully well that the options are extremely limited. Russia has a stronger hand of cards and Obama a weaker. The fact that both Jordan and Egypt are coordinating with Russia and that Iraq has stated they have not asked for American ground troops is telling. Likewise, there is no possibility of cooperation with Turkey when the USA and Turkey's objectives vis a vis the Kurds widely diverge.

Posted by: Sun Tzu | Oct 29 2015 11:50 utc | 69

Regarding the islands that China is claiming, and even building, I have a few thoughts (but, alas, not much to back them up). I swore off making predictions, but it seems almost for sure that China will eventually get at least 90% of what it is demanding, simply because it holds so many various cards. Somewhere or other, I read that it is not actually illegal for the U.S. to sail naval vessels within the 12 mile limit so long as no signs of aggression are displayed. So maybe the U.S. is being its usual belligerent self, and favoring Japan. But Japan is hurting on many fronts because their "leaders" are insane (I feel sorry for the Japanese).

So China will rattle its sabers a loudly as possible. And the U.S. will look somewhat stupider. Presumably the neocon globalist mafia cabal is just too mentally deranged to care (I call it opulopathy). It's pathetic and scary. We used to think that democracy was something that could not (or at least should not) be bought. But now it has been captured by a super-rich, security shyster mafia cabal.

Posted by: blues | Oct 29 2015 12:22 utc | 70

@Thirdeye, ToivoS:

Thank you for your very helpful comments. I will read the Furr piece.

A guiding principle of mine when looking at these things is something Starikov said a while back: hatred of the Soviet Union is Russophobia.

@jfl #65:

Calling organizations like Pegida "neo-fascist political organizations" is a, dare I say it, Stalinist smear. The psychological makeup of people who write for wsws sounds very like that of the neocons. And I'd be very surprised if wsws doesn't get some of its funding from the CIA. Anything to keep leftist thought from pointing in a productive and socially beneficial direction.

Posted by: Demian | Oct 29 2015 12:24 utc | 71

Re: Syria

Any Brits here?

Hypothetically: It's World War II, nazis are bombing the shit out of your island, plan to launch a land invasion as well. Then Stalin calls and says "hey, guys, we don't like how you govern yourself, so get rid of the queen and change the prime minister, maybe". What would your answer be? My guess it that it would be something like "Are you fucking insane? We have a bloody war on our hands! Even if we wanted to do what you ask, now's clearly not the time."

Now, a civil war in Syria might have led to a regime change. A hostile country/organization (ISIS) gobbling up your own land means only war and nothing else until the threat is neutralized (preferably - eliminated completely). I would not expect Assad to go anywhere, not now.

For bonus points: what if US helps you out in World War II and then asks for some political change to happen in your country? Would you consider it, after the war is ended?

Posted by: Stephano Spielbergo | Oct 29 2015 12:45 utc | 72

Two From Xymphora - http://xymphora.blogspot.in/2015/10/cat-hoarder.html

(1) "Some more talks about talks on Syria" by M.K. Bhadrakumar.  So the deal is for the West to extract the Saudis from their quagmire in Yemen in return for the princes pretending to temporarily give up their dream of building a Wahhabist terror state on Syria and Iraq.  Yemen is becoming critical as the Saudi princes have run out of sufficient cash to bribe their subjects from killing them (note here the lie that the Saudis still control oil prices - you'd think even 'journalists' would be too embarrassed at this point to keep telling that one!).  The start of the Saudi royal debate is between how much they love Wahhabism versus how much they love not seeing their heads on the end of pikes.

(2) "We are making ourselves look silly in Syria and Iraq."  The Jewish billionaires continue to pull Barry's strings in an embarrassing way.

Posted by: Ben Gurion | Oct 29 2015 13:52 utc | 73

@guest77, Thirdeye:

I read the first few pages of Furr's article, until he started getting into details. Obvious hoax is obvious. Two tip-offs:

  1. In April 1943 Nazi German authorities claimed that they had discovered thousands of bodies of Polish officers shot by Soviet officials in 1940. …
    The Nazi propaganda machine, headed by Josef Goebbels, orga-
    nized a huge campaign around this alleged discovery. After the
    Soviet victory at Stalingrad in February 1943 it was obvious to every-one that, unless something happened to split the Allies, Germany would inevitably lose the war.
  2. The book Katyn: A Crime Without Punishment by Anna M. Cienciala, Natalia S. Lebedeva, and Wojciech Materski (Yale University Press 2007) is the definitive academic account in the English language of the “official” version.
When a scholarly press uses a non-scholarly term like "crime" in a book title about a politically significant subject, you know there's a smear campaign going on. As for the claim about the "massacre" (which wasn't even a massacre, if it was people executed individually) originating from Nazis in the middle of a war that they had just realized they were going to lose: the only explanation for such a claim being taken seriously by anyone outside of Nazi circles is the Russophobia prevalent among Western elites, including Anglophone academe.

It's a bit of a relief to know that I will not have to look into this unpleasant matter any further.

Posted by: Demian | Oct 29 2015 14:03 utc | 74

@66 "Those that survived the terrible purges of 1937 lived in terror of displeasing Stalin, not in fear of the real enemy which was Nazi Germany."

This doesn't make sense. If they "lived in terror of displeasing Stalin" then the real enemy was Stalin.

Stalin purged the officers, but won the war. How? Did new officers float down from the sky? Oh, right, the Russian people just went ahead and ignored Stalin's orders. Got it.

Posted by: ruralito | Oct 29 2015 14:15 utc | 75

No one has time for this, but here it is:

October 27, 2015
U.S. Strategy in the Middle East

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair General Joseph Dunford testified at a Senate Armed Services Committee… read more
http://www.c-span.org/video/?328955-1/secretary-carter-general-dunford-testimony-middle-east-strategy

Posted by: shadyl | Oct 29 2015 14:19 utc | 76

"b, you really need to read the following. You done goofed, and consequences will never be the same.
...
b: if you don't have time to check the "news media" sources to which you link, it is better NOT to post anything at all. Don't feel compelled to post any old junk, just to make your website look busy. Junk isn't useful to anyone."
Posted by: Buster Gonad | Oct 28, 2015 9:25:34 PM | 43

The most positive thing b said in the intro was "Not too bad Frontline video (59 min):" That's hardly a ringing endorsement.

I'm yet to hear anyone talk at all, let alone coherently, about what Russia's long term plan might be. But I'm quite convinced that the long term plan (in concert with China) is to keep applying pressure to the World's Second ex-Superpower until it becomes obvious to everyone that AmeriKKKa is an ex-superpower. Russia seems to have a military advantage over AmeriKKKa and it's ex-colonial friends so it won't be long until the Axis of Evil has to decide between Yankee Go Home & Oblivion. It's too good an opportunity to miss and Russia-China won't miss it. Syria is just a practice run / fact-finding mission.
But it's just the beginning of the end - of Yankee fake war-mongering.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 29 2015 14:33 utc | 77

B'nai Brith to nominate Canada's PM Harper for Nobel Peace Prize

Canada's recently replaced and largely unlamented former PM Stephen Harper, who never saw a neocon inspired war he didn't want Canada to get in on, is to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by B'nai Brith.

"Dimant continued, “In accordance with the rules of the Nobel Foundation it gives me great pleasure to nominate in my capacity as Professor of Modern Israel Studies at Canada Christian College, Prime Minister Stephen Harper for the Nobel Peace Prize in honor of the outstanding moral leadership he has demonstrated.”

Harper has been a staunch supporter of Israel and continued to stand up for the Jewish state during the last conflict in Gaza. "

Posted by: Ben Gurion | Oct 29 2015 14:37 utc | 78


US combats ISIS by attacking Iraqi troops - kills 22

US “Protects” ISIS Terrorists in Ramadi.

"The US-led anti-ISIL coalition targeted the Iraqi forces’ positions instead of ISIL terrorists in the Western parts of Iraq. . . . . The coalition warplanes pounded the Iraqi forces after they advanced near the city of Ramadi after al-Jama bridge and al-Davajen bridge,” a security source said. He noted that at least 22 Iraqi forces, including volunteer forces, known as Al-Hashad Al-Shabi, were killed in the US-led airstrikes in Ramadi.

In June, fighter jets of the US-led coalition struck the Iraqi forces’ positions in Anbar province, Western Iraq.

Between the Air Drops of weapons for IS, and the Air attacks against Iraqi Army, the USAF should change it's name to ISAF.

Posted by: Ben Gurion | Oct 29 2015 14:49 utc | 79

30;I guess the Zionists put their money on the wrong horse(America).
Interesting story in the lying Times today about laywers working to permit Obomba to murder OBL.The best reader response was by a lawyer who said it was totally unethical for lawyers to justify crimes beforehand.
A lot of idiots still are inculcated with propaganda,though,with their surety of his guilt.I guess they never heard or read the FBI had no actual tangible evidence to tie him to 9-11.Such is the power of Zion and mis and disinfo.

Posted by: dahoit | Oct 29 2015 15:06 utc | 80

hmmmm.

Deutsche Bank Reports Massive Loss, Will Cut 35,000 Jobs, Exit 10 Countries In Sweeping Overhaul

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-10-29/deutsche-bank-reports-massive-loss-will-cut-35000-jobs-exit-10-countries-sweeping-ov

German and French banks got $36 billion from AIG Bailout

AIG, likely under pressure from the administration, decided to come clean about where most of the bailout money was going. In a press release with several attachments, the struggling insurer detailed which counterparties had gotten about $100 billion of the bailout funds.

snip
I added up the various lists provided by AIG by country (see below), and the results were quite revealing. About $44 billion went to counterparties headquartered in the U.S., such as Goldman Sachs and states such as California and Virginia.

But as I expected, the majority of the funds—$58 billion—went to banks headquartered outside the U.S. The big winners were French and German banks, which pulled in $19 billion and $17 billion respectively.

http://www.businessweek.com/the_thread/economicsunbound/archives/2009/03/german_and_fren.html

BTY, Ashton Cater was a consultant to Goldman Sachs


Carter had been a longtime member of the Defense Science Board and the Defense Policy Board, the principal advisory bodies to the Secretary of Defense. During the Bush administration, he was also a member of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's International Security Advisory Board; co-chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's Policy Advisory Group; a consultant to the Defense Science Board; a member of the National Missile Defense White Team, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on International Security and Arms Control. He has testified frequently before the armed services, foreign relations, and homeland security committees of both houses of Congress.

In addition to his public service, Carter was a Senior Partner at Global Technology Partners, focused on advising investment firms in technology and defense. He has been a consultant to Goldman Sachs and Mitretek Systems on international affairs and technology matters, and speaks frequently to business and policy audiences.

He was also a member of the boards of directors of the MITRE Corporation and Mitretek Systems and the advisory boards of MIT Lincoln Laboratory and Draper Laboratory. Carter was also a member of the Aspen Strategy Group, the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Physical Society, the International Institute for Strategic Studies, and the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations. Carter was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ash_Carter

Posted by: shadyl | Oct 29 2015 15:12 utc | 81

Anyone see the story about Walmart selling Arab or Jew noses for Halloween?Uh,they've stopped selling them,and it wasn't the Arabs whose opinion mattered.
They also(angry arab)were selling IDF costumes.Tell you what,a kid comes to my door with that on,gets squat.

Posted by: dahoit | Oct 29 2015 15:19 utc | 82

@77 hoarsewhisperer

Russia has obvious geographic interests in obliterating radical Islamist due to their own exposed underbelly. I don't think it is a single item compelling them into this adventure, but several things. Putin's rhetoric clearly expresses his frustrations, albeit toned down.

1) NATO expansion, including missile shield baloney
2) CIA/NGO/Mossad revolutions in his own backyard previously
3) Their sole overseas operation (Tartus) under direct threat
4) The oil price collusion between USA/KSA at Russian expense
5) Sanctions
6) Central Banking issues/currency wars

Concurrently, Russia sells arms. Their primary customers are non-aligned or aligned opposite of the empire. They have new weapons tech that they need to move, and the specs of USA equipment and operations manuals have been free to anyone with ME contacts. They are proud of their gear, and tired of being slammed as a minor player on the world stage. Shutting down the empire has already opened the doors to weapons sales discussions.

They have vested interest in maintaining peace in the Stans - rabid Islam is best stomped out, not fondled and teased into further erratic actions. Better stomped in place than in the Stans, where oilfields are easily disrupted (remember Kuwait?).

Oil from Erbil and Syria is being sold to support these rabid Islamists - and assisting the drop in oil prices - Israel being the major buyer.

Qatar wants a gas pipeline through the region, which would hurt Russian sales. Israel and Cheney want to steal the GH oil field from Syria. Israel wants the offshore Levant field. A stable Syrian state is undesirable just looking at the energy issues, whereas stable pro-Russian Syria precludes these things.

Personally, I think the currency war is yet to come, but will really ramp up when the IMF declines admission of the Yuan.

So Russia has already accomplished much for herself just by saying "Nyet" to empiric chaos in Syria. But the only reason to risk it is that there are manifold rewards other than merely ending the chaos in a faraway land.

Posted by: BOG | Oct 29 2015 15:51 utc | 83

Carter worth listening to, at about 30 minutes, McCain arguing with Carter. Carter telling McCain that US trained rebels HAVE NOT BEEN BOMBED BY RUSSIAN FORCES. Then McCain tells Carter to correct the record. Wow. Just who does McCain get his information from? Israel intelligence? CIA? State Dept? Who?

Posted by: shadyl | Oct 29 2015 16:07 utc | 84

Good News For the Climate!!
Greenland is blowing away all records for ice gain this year.

Greenland has gained almost 200 billion tons of snow and ice over the past two months, which is more than 50% above normal. The surface of the ice gained more than 200 billion tons during the previous 12 months. - Greenland Ice Sheet Surface Mass Budget: DMI

Meanwhile, the New York Times is running a huge spread claiming that Greenland is melting down.

Greenland Is Melting Away – The New York Times

Approx Five hundred billion tons of snow falls on Greenland every year. All of that has to return to the sea by either melting or glacier calving, otherwise the ice would be piled up to the top of the atmosphere.

The New York Times take pictures of that essential process, and call it “climate change”

Posted by: Nunavut | Oct 29 2015 16:37 utc | 85

@73 ben gurion.. saudi arabia is going down.. i can't see any other outcome.. "The start of the Saudi royal debate is between how much they love Wahhabism versus how much they love not seeing their heads on the end of pikes." ditto that.. as for them relocating there mercenary gang to yemen..yes to that too.. this whacked out country and their cohorts need to be taken out. if they want to stone everyone back to the dark ages - and they can take all the subservient american politicians with them if they want - they still need to be taken out of world geopolitics some way, sooner then later..

@78 re harper.. that sounds about right.. war is peace and peace is war... and harper is a complete buffoon for any murderous regime whether it be israel, or isis - in spite of anything he said to the contrary..

Posted by: james | Oct 29 2015 16:56 utc | 86

S@93

The only thing actually revealed by this exchange is that Ash Carter was attempting evasive maneuvers while being stalked by Big John. Carter's reference to Title 10 forces was a clear giveaway that the only forces the US military will actively protect, from Russian attack, are US forces.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Oct 29 2015 17:11 utc | 87

if they want to stone everyone back to the dark ages - and they can take all the subservient american politicians with them if they want - they still need to be taken out of world geopolitics some way, sooner then later..

well lets hope they don't decide to round p all those US Politicians during Congress' summer Recess, because most of em usually go to Israel at that time of year, to get their brains washed

Posted by: Nunavut | Oct 29 2015 17:34 utc | 88

WARNING:

Strong graphical content.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fl3mAiHF1vU

I need someone with a strong stomach with arabic language skills to confirm that these are actually dead ISIS/rebels and not unfortunate SAA soldiers. From the demeanor of the people walking around and the constant "Allahu Akhbar" it seems to me that these are dead ISIS/rebels. But one of the dead guys is sporting a black/yellow badge showing Assad.

Posted by: Norwegian Bob | Oct 29 2015 17:36 utc | 89

Interesting articles at Spiegal, architect of bombing shite sites, mostly saudis:

'I'm Not a Butcher': An Interview with Islamic State's Architect of Death

SPIEGEL: How many attacks did you organize in total? And where did you get the explosives for them?

Abu Abdullah: I can't remember all of them, but in the last quarter of a year before my arrest, there were 15. For car bombs, we used C4 plastic explosives and explosives out of artillery shells. But for suicide belts, I mostly drilled open the shells of anti-aircraft guns, the effect of the powder was more intense.

SPIEGEL: How did you select the men who were to blow themselves up?

Abu Abdullah: I didn't select them. That was the duty of the military planners, who were above me in the hierarchy. The men were brought to me, most came from Fallujah.

SPIEGEL: Where did the men come from?

Abu Abdullah: Most of them came from Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Algeria, about one-in-10 was Iraqi. And there were two Westerners, one Australian and a German, Abu al-Qaqa al-Almani.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/a-conversation-with-an-isis-suicide-bomber-logistician-a-1043485.html


MORE:


Samir Abd Muhammad al-Khlifawi

The former colonel in the intelligence service of Saddam Hussein's air defense force had been secretly pulling the strings at IS for years. Former members of the group had repeatedly mentioned him as one of its leading figures. Still, it was never clear what exactly his role was.
snip

But when the architect of the Islamic State died, he left something behind that he had intended to keep strictly confidential: the blueprint for this state. It is a folder full of handwritten organizational charts, lists and schedules, which describe how a country can be gradually subjugated. SPIEGEL has gained exclusive access to the 31 pages, some consisting of several pages pasted together. They reveal a multilayered composition and directives for action, some already tested and others newly devised for the anarchical situation in Syria's rebel-held territories snip

In 2010, Bakr and a small group of former Iraqi intelligence officers made Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the emir and later "caliph," the official leader of the Islamic State. They reasoned that Baghdadi, an educated cleric, would give the group a religious face.

Bakr was "a nationalist, not an Islamist," says Iraqi journalist Hisham al-Hashimi, as he recalls the former career officer, who was stationed with Hashimi's cousin at the Habbaniya Air Base. "Colonel Samir," as Hashimi calls him, "was highly intelligent, firm and an excellent logistician." But when Paul Bremer, then head of the US occupational authority in Baghdad, "dissolved the army by decree in May 2003, he was bitter and unemployed."

Thousands of well-trained Sunni officers were robbed of their livelihood with the stroke of a pen. In doing so, America created its most bitter and intelligent enemies.
snip

The expansion of IS began so inconspicuously that, a year later, many Syrians had to think for a moment about when the jihadists had appeared in their midst. The Dawah offices that were opened in many towns in northern Syria in the spring of 2013 were innocent-looking missionary offices, not unlike the ones that Islamic charities have opened worldwide.
snip

n fall 2013, IS books listed 2,650 foreign fighters in the Province of Aleppo alone. Tunisians represented a third of the total, followed by Saudi Arabians, Turks, Egyptians and, in smaller numbers, Chechens, Europeans and Indonesians.

SO MUCH MORE:
http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/islamic-state-files-show-structure-of-islamist-terror-group-a-1029274.html

When will Bush and Co. take credit for ISIS?

Posted by: shadyl | Oct 29 2015 17:54 utc | 90

http://southfront.org/isis-increases-capabilities-in-aleppo-province-reasons-conditions/

ISIS increases capabilities in Aleppo province. Reasons & Conditions.


War-on-ISIS

According to American experts citing certain Syrian humanitarian groups, the Islamic State in recent days has achieved several significant successes in the South Aleppo province and has infiltrated and established control over several districts of the strategically important town of al Safira. As a result of the offensive the ISIS was able to capture about 10 checkpoints on the strategically important highway from Hama via Salmiya, Inshriach and Hanser to Aleppo. This forced government forces to suspend its offensive on other fronts, especially in Aleppo, and to redeploy its forces to unblock the strategic highway to resume the logistical support for the Syrian army. Although ISIS successes are being exaggerated by the so-called “humanitarian analysts”, it is a fact that there is heavy fighting in the South Aleppo province.

In addition, about 1,500 Hezbollah fighters and about 2,000 Iranians from the IRGC are fighting right now near Aleppo. According to the information received, the government forces and the allies had unblocked the highway Hama-Aleppo and recapture al Safira.

However, the question arises as to why and how the Islamic State had got the ability to concentrate sizable fresh and well-armed forces in Aleppo province. The answer can be obtained from a brief analysis of the US actions in Syria and Iraq over the past 10 days.

It is already clear that the US commanders are sabotaging the advance of the Kurds in Raqqa.

The intensity of the pro-US coalition air force combat missions has been reduced substantially (by an order of magnitude).

Until now the U.S. regional command has not deployed its FAC ( forward air controller) teams and commandos into Kurds forward combat forces and with the Iraqi army. The number of the US military advisers is bitterly inadequate and, for all intents and purposes, their mission largely consists of containing Kurdish forces activity and playing political games.

Last week, information appeared about the growing number of cases of US-supplied weapons and ammunition being seized by the ISIS.

These factors combined with the complete lack of the Kurdish and Iraqi forces initiative in Anbar province allows the Islamic State to maneuver freely, transferring reinforcements from Iraq to Syria.

Today, Syria is the main strategically important front. ISIS’ existence directly depends on it. If smuggled oil exports through Syria to Turkey stop, ISIS will lose the foundation of combat potential, in both human and material terms.

According to independent military experts, the current United States course aims at containing Syrian government forces successes at any price. Pentagon believes that the failure of the Syrian army can trigger the transfer to Syria Russian land forces and the beginning of a protracted and costly ground operation.

Posted by: RulaBula | Oct 29 2015 18:07 utc | 91

Elections in Ukraine. (Bloomberg article, poor.) However I do not know for the mo. exactly who won what.

For several reasons, it was expected and predicted that ‘local’ powers would advance and Bloc Poro / other Gvmt. parties would lose considerably. This ain’t rocket science.

In a country in a civil war (at present dampened), with a collapsed economy, high unemployment - emigration, and particularly very rapidly lowered standards of living that are blamed, correctly, at the first level, on the Gvmt. (rising energy prices, inflation, 1 etc.) ppl look close by, turn inward, and band together locally.

Particularly as in a country like Ukr. it is well-nigh impossible (without a lot of cash, 2) to actually start a new political party. In any case the parties (with the exception *perhaps* of the very far right and the now banned Communists, footnote not incl.) are not built on any kind of political or even more broadly societal ideals, wishes, proposals, or what have you, but on allegiance to power figures, deals, corruption, sides in local fights.

Participation was 46% (see Greece..) The elections were not ‘free and fair.’ The Ministry of the Interior *itself* has instigated *450 penal* procedures for fraud, corruption, illegalities, intimidation, vote-buying, falsefying bulletins, and more. 3. One vote-watching org., Opora, has logged 1,052 irregularities. Believable, as it is only double the official effort.

In fact results like these are the first ‘democratic process’ signs of a break-up of Ukraine.

1. Problems in the health system, lack of medications, shortening of school hours, closing of upper edu. institutions, reduction of pensions, unemployment (bis, bis…), displaced persons, missing yound men, and much more. The W press has entirely forgotten the Ukr. ppl, quelle surprise.

2. One needs to prove support in 2/3 of the Oblasts. (Don’t know exactly how but it is a blatant artificial obstacle.) With money, one buys an already ‘accredited’ party - the name, the officially stamped registration, the apparatus - (and there are afaik more than 100), and you are good to go. So pol. parties is a market…I tried to find out the cost, no luck. For a spot on the anti-corruption Bureau, the cost I read (several sources) was between 100K and close on a million US dollars, hearsay natch.

3. It needs to do this as the Western Patrons demand that elections be irreproachable, the ppl manipulated by media turned to sheeples etc.

some of the election facts mentioned, in F

http://www.les-crises.fr/actuukraine-27102015/

Posted by: Noirette | Oct 29 2015 18:17 utc | 92

Demien #71 hatred of the Soviet Union is Russophobia.

I most certainly never hated the Soviet Union and nothing I said above implies that.

Posted by: ToivoS | Oct 29 2015 18:22 utc | 93

@Norwegian Bob

The video was posted in a Ukro channel, I assume, and I purely speculate here, is anti-Russian prop. From the military attire, and the Assad picture, we could assume those dead are not rag-tag takfiris, but Syrian soldiers. The ones yelling "Allahu Akbar" look like takfiris to me. We won't know for sure until s.o. who knows either Arabic or Ukrainian can let us know what they are yelling or read the video caption for us.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Oct 29 2015 18:22 utc | 94

International diplomacy has collapsed

gosh, imagine my surprise

no, the American Imperium will not be graciously exiting stage right. it's gonna be slash and burn to the bitter end.

.....

i wonder if among all this ammo and c-rations and whatnot that's falling from the sky there's also billions in shrink-wrapped ben franklin's? i mean, keeping this army of psychotic nimwits motivated must be incredibly expensive. i imagine embedded bursars with gps coordinates...i keep thinking of Rumsfeld's missing trillions...

Posted by: john | Oct 29 2015 18:29 utc | 95

re 88. Those are dead SAA soldiers, not ISIS.

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 29 2015 18:35 utc | 96

With so much disinformation swirling about, it is hard to find reliable sources. I suppose that is one reason I tend to fall back on great literature written by the novelists and playwrights living in the times they write about. So it is that for Russia's historic confrontation with Napoleon, 'War and Peace' tells me that land and climate plus 'wait and see' tactics won the day, and that I have always thought was the case also in WW2. I remember a PBS program that illustrated what winter was doing to German infantry and tanks. Then also, it was the people, ordinary people, who resisted in the siege of Leningrad, not out of any love for Stalin or Communist ideology, but because it was their city, their land, their lives.

I don't believe Stalin was a benign leader or that people loved him because I read 'The First Circle'; I read 'The Gulag Archipelago' - not that Tsardom was any kinder; it was as brutal in many respects.

No true Christian is thrilled when the state with all its imperfections pretends to be 'under God'. There aren't really any chinks in Christian theology; you either believe it or you do not. Fine, just be a good person. That works.

Posted by: juliania | Oct 29 2015 18:56 utc | 97

Good article: http://www.lrb.co.uk/v37/n21/patrick-cockburn/too-weak-too-strong

Posted by: Lisa | Oct 29 2015 19:07 utc | 98

Demien #71 hatred of the Soviet Union is Russophobia.

It's like when the idiotic Jewish ZioNazis try and dishonestly claim that criticism of Israel is Anti-Semitism

It's dishonest when the Jewish ZioNazis do it, and dishonest when people like the idiot @71 do it.

Posted by: RulaBula | Oct 29 2015 19:10 utc | 99

@guest77@36

The company the United States is keeping gets worse by the day.

Naaah...neo-nazis and takfiris are only the latest in a long list of crooks, assassins, kidnappers, thieves, smugglers, death-squads, hoodlums, gangsters, mobsters, racketeers, outlaws, drug traffickers, criminals of all kinds the US has supported historically, pre and post WWII, if we consider the US participation in that war as exceptionally "benign" given its association with criminal elements. The only difference between now and then is the use of the word "terrorists" which in retrospect can be applied to most of those tin-pot dictators the US has supported for centuries now. The list is long, I'll mention a few: Indonesia's Suharto, Chile's Pinochet, Iran's Sha, Egypt's Sadat/Mubarak, Iraq's Hussein, Argentina's Videla, Uzbekistan's Kamirov "The Boiler," Nicaragua's Somoza, Congo's Sese Seko, Haiti's Duvalier, Vietnam's Diem brothers, etc., etc., etc., ad infinitum, ad nauseam. Most of those mentioned and unmentioned (I don't want to get all of b's bandwith), arrived in power through terror, and stayed in power by using state-terror, killing, kidnapping, dissapearing, torturing (thanks to US training), and murdering hundreds of thousands of their own people, in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Europe after WWII, where the CIA war against resistance fighters, mostly leftists, reached massacre levels in Greece, Italy and other countries.

State-terror has been the tool used by the US to exert maximum pressure on the populations of weaker countries, erasing any opposition to US domination, and paving the way for US corporations exploitation of human and material resources. The modality has not changed, since the Ukrainian neo-nazis and Iraq/Syria takfiris, are purely death-squads, no more, no less, no different from the infamous Brazilian or Argentinian death-squads. They might have a thin veneer of "patriotism" or "nationalism," in the Ukro case, or pretend to be "Muslims," in the case of the takfiris, but all the same, they are just another CIA-created death-squad, bastard children of the nefarious US foreign policy of what is now call "full spectrum dominance," before it was trilateral, or Monroe doctrine, or whatever name would suit US domination purposes.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Oct 29 2015 19:19 utc | 100

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