Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 09, 2015

Syria: Obama Officially Throws The Towel, Unofficially Though ...

The last MoA dispatch on Syria concluded:

The U.S. lost the game. It should take up the Russian offer or leave the table.

Despite the bickering from the usual neocon suspects the Obama administration is taking that advice and officially throws the towel:

Mr. Obama’s advisers say there is little they can do to change the situation in the near term. Proposals are being drafted for meetings in coming days, but Mr. Obama has made clear he is not willing to confront the Russians and risk an escalation, nor does he have a broad new strategy to resolve the conflict or defeat the Islamic State.

“There isn’t a solution at this point that they’re going to get done on their watch,” said Michael McFaul, a former White House adviser to Mr. Obama who later served as ambassador to Russia before returning to Stanford University. “They’re just going to contain it.”

The Obama administration is, for now, giving up on official "regime change" training ops in Syria and is unlikely to go for more intense fighting against the Islamic State. But that is only the official position. Unofficially, we can safely assume, the CIA and various shady Pentagon entities will continue their mischief in Syria and in Iraq.

But thanks to the Russians, it is now for all to see that the U.S. was never serious about fighting the Islamic State or about reigning in al-Qaeda and other Jihadis in Syria. While the U.S. has flown a total of 137 serious air attacks in Syria in some thirteen month the Russians delivered 148 airstrikes within just one week.

The public, as reflected in the comments on U.S. media pages, has finally recognized that the U.S. is not serious in fighting against or has even willingly furthered the growth of the Jihadi phenomenon. Indeed Obama recently admitted as much. He was asked why the U.S. did not counter the Islamic State when it was still small:

The reason, the president added, “that we did not just start taking a bunch of airstrikes all across Iraq as soon as ISIL came in was because that would have taken the pressure off of [Prime Minister Nuri Kamal] al-Maliki.

Obama wanted "regime change" in Iraq and got it (despite Maliki winning a record number of votes) by letting the Islamic State grow enough to seriously threaten the Iraqi state. Only then did the U.S. intervene and only enough to lecture the Islamic State on how far it is "allowed" to grow.

But such "doing nothing" is not the only way the Obama administration has helped the growth of ISIS. The Treasury Department is asking from where the Islamic State received all the Toyota Hilux cruisers it uses as weapon platforms. The Treasury will not have to look very far. The answer can be found via a simple web-search or nearby in the State Department:

Recently, when the US State Department resumed sending non-lethal aid to Syrian rebels, the delivery list included 43 Toyota trucks.

Hiluxes were on the Free Syrian Army's wish list. Oubai Shahbander, a Washington-based advisor to the Syrian National Coalition, is a fan of the truck.

"Specific equipment like the Toyota Hiluxes are what we refer to as force enablers for the moderate opposition forces on the ground," he adds. Shahbander says the US-supplied pickups will be delivering troops and supplies into battle. Some of the fleet will even become battlefield weapons.

The British government delivered similar equipment as did the Turks and the U.S. Gulf allies. Guess where all those cars ended up. It now seems the so called Free Syrian Army was and is nothing but a weapon transfer shop to deliver weapons and equipment to the Islamic State and al-Qaeda.

The official delivery of "non-lethal aid" which then becomes "battlefield weapons" may now end but the "unofficial" CIA program and its 10,000 mercenaries will very likely continue their war on Syria. If only because the CIA like the Pentagon is seriously pissed about the way the Russians moved into the game:

Overheard at the Pentagon: "Right now, we are Putin's prison bitch."

If the Obama administration would really "let the Russians do their thing" why is there a need for Obama's Defense Secretary Carter to threaten Russia with terrorism:

“This will have consequences for Russia itself, which is rightly fearful of attacks. In coming days, the Russians will begin to suffer from casualties.”

Like usual the CIA will hide its nefarious deeds behind some "allies" who will arrange for the terrorism in Russia and will increase the delivery of weapons to their "moderate" Jihadi mercenaries in Syria:

[The well-placed official] said those groups being supplied did not include either Islamic State (IS) or al-Nusra Front, both of which are proscribed terrorist organisations. Instead, he said the weapons would go to three rebel alliances - Jaysh al-Fatah (Army of Conquest), the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and the Southern Front.

That "well-placed official" made a funny joke but the BBC reporter probably did not (want to) catch it. How can you NOT supply to al-Nusra but only to Jaysh al-Fatah when al-Nusra is THE main component of the Jaysh al-Fatah alliance?

Even Syria experts now admit that the major weapon flow was and is always in the direction of the worst Jihadis:

Probably 70% of US arms sent into Syria have ended up in Nusra hands. Idriss, Hazm, & Company 30 all had arms taken.

And that percentage only holds for the weapons delivered over the table in official programs. It is unlikely to hold for the additional 120mm mortars the Pentagon still plans to move in. Of the weapons delivered under the table some 100% likely was sold off to or taken by the Jihadis. The 500 TOWs the Saudis claim to send now will surely do some significant damage to the Syrian army. But they will end up with al-Qaeda and will help it and the Islamic State to gain more ground from what is left of the "moderate" mercenaries.

An increased weapon flow is not the only way the CIA and its "allies" will continue to stir the pod:

Some sources inside the #FSA claim the US is communicating with them, informing them of upcoming Russian airstrikes (unconfirmed)

If true, and I tend to believe it is, the Pentagon and/or CIA continues to give tactical advice about the Russian and Syrian Army's moves and positions.

While the Saudis said, via the BBC above, that they will increase the delivery of anti-tank weapons to Syria we can also expect that Qatar will throw in additional anti-air manpads, as it did in 2013, to have some Russian helicopters shot down. But unlike the Syrian army which lost helicopters to the then unexpected Qatari manpads the Russian army is prepared for this (overrated) threat. Video shows the armored Russian Mi-24P combat helicopters flying low and fast over Syria and using a copious amount of decoy flares while eliminating panicking terrorists (vid).

The 4+1 coalition operations rooms in Baghdad, Damascus and Lebanon, led by a Russian Lieutenant General, will not only collect and assess intelligence but will also make operational plans for the wider fight against the Islamic State and other terrorists. One task the command has is surely to stop the weapon flow to the terrorists.

So far the weapons flowed freely through Turkey and Jordan and nothing has been done to interrupt the flow within those countries. That was, in my view, always a major mistake. The "western" spies, the weapon merchants and the various Jihadi militia bosses live safely in their hotels in Gaziantep or Amman. That will have to end and the weapon convoys will have to be destroyed or sabotaged before they reach Syria or Iraq. Every bullet that passes the borders may well kill another Iraq, Syrian or Russian soldier, another Iranian general or innocent civilians. Stop the bullets delivery and the killing will, over time, stop too.

If Jordan and Turkey are not willing to cease and desist delivering arms and ammunition to the Jihadis they should at least feel some of the pains these goods cause. Theirs, and the Saudis, resources and political will are not endless.

Posted by b on October 9, 2015 at 12:21 UTC | Permalink

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I did a little research on "light trucks". Perfect little platforms for machine guns on tripods. Also great for general hauling of refrigerators, appliances, tolls, etc.

A good list:

Smallest light duty trucks. The Class 1 truck gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) ranges from 0–6000 lb (0–2722 kg). Examples of trucks in this class include the Toyota Tacoma Second generation (2005–2015) (Tacoma - "handling, comfort, and safety"), Dodge Dakota, Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon, and Nissan Frontier.

The 2nd gen. Toyota Tacoma is preferred by spooks (easy to get parts).

I want whichever one lets me sit up high so I can see everything.

Posted by: blues | Oct 9 2015 12:45 utc | 1

It's like I said. The Game is not about winning or losing — it's about playing The Game in perpetuity. That which cannot be accomplished by direct means is accomplished by indirect means despite official rhetoric. The accomplishment is to keep the dice rolling. The Casino never closes and the High Rollers never cash out. Resolution is not part of the lexicon, and in fact is anathema.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Oct 9 2015 12:59 utc | 2

If SAUDIS are stupid enough to sponsor terror attacks within the Russian Federation, Putin's response might be much stronger than they expect.

Posted by: Andoheb | Oct 9 2015 13:45 utc | 3

@ 2


Posted by: BOG | Oct 9 2015 13:52 utc | 4

The game will change to bleeding Russia and keeping them entangled while pushing the Islamic nutjobs into blowing up everything around them in the name of virgins or glory or freedom. This will include the Uyghur contingent on their home turf soon, I imagine. Keep Turkey frying Kurds and so much else. The Shia are surrounded on every side by Sunni's, and the jihad thing has been broadcast.

All it takes are mercs and money - unless Russia pulls back at some point or they widen it out to include the neighbors, who are sipping coffee, making arms and transport deals and watching the show.

I gotta buy more popcorn...

Posted by: BOG | Oct 9 2015 14:00 utc | 5

Kremlin extends it's defensive depth a very a very good read

the crown prince will visit Sochi this Sunday for the inaugural of the F1 grand prix, at least this is the excuse used. Let's see what happens.

Posted by: papa | Oct 9 2015 14:10 utc | 6

And you wouldn't want this to be an issue that comes up in an Election would you?

Posted by: heath | Oct 9 2015 14:37 utc | 7

If the Saudis continue to threaten Russia and the 'Arc of resistance' they should be taught a lesson. The main oil terminal at Ras Tanura handles most Saudi oil. Surely the 'Arc' could arrange an unattributed accident to happen at that site.'You have a valuable oil terminal there wouldn't like anything to happen to it, know what I mean guvnor' Time these Saudi perverts realize, they can't buy everyone.

Posted by: harry law | Oct 9 2015 14:41 utc | 8

I suspect the Russians wouldn't have moved into Syria as forcefully as they did if they weren't certain that they already have enough Sig-int and Rad-int and Sat-Int to kill off the weapons (and head-chopper) trails. Their sorties/day, so far, seems quite minimalist compared to b's earlier assessment of their potential maximum sorties/day. This leads me to believe that Russia gave Obama a chance to find an excuse to back off AND cooperate with Russia. I'm very confident that Russia's Plan A didn't rely on Obama's help and will proceed at full throttle.
Big mistake, Obama. HUGE.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 9 2015 14:43 utc | 9

One minor error in this post, the US led coalition has flown 7323 strikes over Iraq and Syria so far with 2622 flown over Syria not the nonsensical 137 number mentioned above.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Oct 9 2015 14:54 utc | 10

Everyone seems to agree that they need to get rid of their djihadists. The means differ, that's it.

Posted by: Mina | Oct 9 2015 14:57 utc | 11

I wonder if Iran will allow the Russians to overfly their territory after seeing the high dud rate and danger from their cruise missiles?

There are other possibilities, such as this was an intentional strike on Iranian Kurds or even a strike on hidden nuke sites.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Oct 9 2015 15:12 utc | 12

@ Mina | 11

Everyone seems to agree that they need to get rid of their djihadists. The means differ, that's it.

In reality the West have no intentions of getting rid of them, they simply use them to destroy country after country. All the talks how West is trying to kill off jihadis is simply a lip service, a PR twist. What US and alies are doing is managing the direction jihadis are going. If they go the right way - they get arms, funding, intelligence, etc., if they go the wrong way - they get bombed. Thats it.

Posted by: Harry | Oct 9 2015 15:17 utc | 13

What this reminds me of is how after wars, the products being used in wars are recycled into the general population - I worked in growing plants, saw there that all the leftovers from Vietnam incursion that were chemically based (and before that the other big confrontations going back to the world wars) came into commerce repackaged as fertilizers or pesticides - and I am sure they entered the mainstream disguised as other products for us to buy as well. Now that cycle is being constantly challenged (though Monsanto is doing its best to keep the ball rolling) so its just weapons we make and sell and the by- products of conflict can go mainstream by direct routes to other conflicts.

The world is reaching weapons glut, right down to the local crazies who are stockpiling like mini-Waco's across this nominally peaceful land.

In the movie "The Bridge Over The River Kwai" at least Alec Guinness had the excuse of having been locked in a little tin shed and driven mad by the heat of the sun. What's the excuse for all of this?

"Do you realize what you have done?"

Posted by: juliania | Oct 9 2015 15:19 utc | 14

Putin will have to deliver a warning to the Saudis about sending more weapons or supplies, but what will he say?

He probably won't threaten to hit Saudi Arabia but he'll have to get his message across that the rules have changed now that Russia is involved.

As for Erdogan, I think he's smart enough to back off and realize he's lost.

Posted by: plantman | Oct 9 2015 15:24 utc | 15

To buttress my point at 14 (and I'll apologize for my "its" error again too) this article - love what it has to say about artemisia:

Posted by: juliania | Oct 9 2015 15:32 utc | 16

@WayOutWest - the numbers you are giving are totals which include tankers, drones and all the other stuff. The real numbers of strike sorties was quite low. John McCain said some 20% or even lower. Some of those were just strafing etc. You may want to discuss the exact number with the source I linked that data to.

I wonder if Iran will allow the Russians to overfly their territory after seeing the high dud rate and danger from their cruise missiles?

Out of 309 U.S. cruise missiles fired in Desert Storm 247 hit their target. The rest landed somewhere or exploded in air. The Russians said all their CM hit their target. Iran denied that any CM had fallen on its land. The Def Department had "no information". You are simply repeating stupid CNN propaganda.

@Horsewhisperer Their sorties/day, so far, seems quite minimalist compared to b's earlier assessment
Russian air forces carried out 67 sorties, striking 60 separate targets in northern Syria in the past 24 hours, the Defense Ministry has reported.

Ramping up nicely. I said 100-150/day as a target, more with night-flights and when more pilots are available. This has ramped up quite well over only very few days now. As more routine develops and the inevitable logistic snags get corrected the numbers increase.

The whole flight-operation will split now into combat air support for the front troops in their attacks and the bombing campaign against rear echelons, headquarters and fixed objects. For the second part the generation of the necessary intelligence will likely be the bottleneck.

Posted by: b | Oct 9 2015 15:40 utc | 17

Many thanks for your enlightening and insightful commentaries

Posted by: Eddie | Oct 9 2015 15:40 utc | 18

b says:

Unofficially, we can safely assume, the CIA and various shady Pentagon entities will continue their mischief in Syria and in Iraq

Like usual the CIA will hide its nefarious deeds behind some "allies" who will arrange for the terrorism in Russia and will increase the delivery of weapons to their "moderate" Jihadi mercenaries in Syria

If true, and I tend to believe it is, the Pentagon and/or CIA continues to give tactical advice about the Russians and Syrian Army's moves and positions

and i concur

so i was wondering why, on September 29th, you said:

The White House has halted the Pentagon training of the unicorn riding "moderate rebels". That program is toast but the real question is if the "secret" CIA run program, which is vastly more extensive, is also suspended. My hunch is that it is

some things never change

Posted by: john | Oct 9 2015 15:46 utc | 19

Take a look at the comments section on Condolezza batshitcrazy Rice piece

Posted by: m | Oct 9 2015 16:11 utc | 20

Could someone help me decipher this disinformation from 2012: The "Obama administration" is worried that weapons shipped from Qatar end up with the wrong terrorist in Syria and Libya. What exactly is this "Obama administration"? Now we hear that President Obama or "the White House" has been in conflict with the State Department on a number of issues (Ukraine, Syria). Is it correct to assume that the "Obama administration" excludes, not only the CIA but also the Clinton State Department?

U.S.-Approved Arms for Libya Rebels Fell Into Jihadis’ Hands - New York Times, December 5, 2012

The Obama administration secretly gave its blessing to arms shipments to Libyan rebels from Qatar last year, but American officials later grew alarmed as evidence grew that Qatar was turning some of the weapons over to Islamic militants, according to United States officials and foreign diplomats.

No evidence has emerged linking the weapons provided by the Qataris during the uprising against Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi to the attack that killed four Americans at the United States diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, in September.

But in the months before, the Obama administration clearly was worried about the consequences of its hidden hand in helping arm Libyan militants, concerns that have not previously been reported. The weapons and money from Qatar strengthened militant groups in Libya, allowing them to become a destabilizing force since the fall of the Qaddafi government.

The experience in Libya has taken on new urgency as the administration considers whether to play a direct role in arming rebels in Syria, where weapons are flowing in from Qatar and other countries.

The Obama administration did not initially raise objections when Qatar began shipping arms to opposition groups in Syria, even if it did not offer encouragement, according to current and former administration officials. But they said the United States has growing concerns that, just as in Libya, the Qataris are equipping some of the wrong militants.

The United States, which had only small numbers of C.I.A. officers in Libya during the tumult of the rebellion, provided little oversight of the arms shipments. Within weeks of endorsing Qatar’s plan to send weapons there in spring 2011, the White House began receiving reports that they were going to Islamic militant groups. They were “more antidemocratic, more hard-line, closer to an extreme version of Islam” than the main rebel alliance in Libya, said a former Defense Department official.

In other news: A Reuters article reveals a critical piece of information that has escaped even the most critical observers of the US-led war of destabilization against the Muslim world.

We knew before that rebel groups in Syria were created and armed by the CIA and trained at bases in Jordan and Turkey. The CIA also operated the commanded and control centers is these two counties.

We also knew that Saudi Arabia and Qatar were instrumental in destroying Libya. Terror armies led and fed by Qatar and Saudi Arabia ravaged the country, often ending up up fighting each other. Later these same Qatar and Saudi led operations moved to Syria.

It has so far been assumed that Qatar and Saudi Arabia acted out of their own national interests; that these two countries and their demented leaders were behind the wave of terror. The central claim was that these two operations were somehow separate from the CIA-run operations. It now seems that what was seen as Saudi or Qatari aggression may in fact have been a CIA operation.

Russian warplanes in Syria destroy U.S.-trained rebels' weapons depots: commander - Reuters, October 7, 2015

The Liwa Suqour al-Jabal, whose fighters have attended military training organized by the Central Intelligence Agency in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, was also hit last week by Russian raids as Moscow began its air campaign in support of Damascus.

New strikes targeted the group's main weapons depots in western Aleppo province and completely destroyed them late on Tuesday, its commander Hassan Haj Ali told Reuters on Wednesday via an Internet messaging service.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Oct 9 2015 16:13 utc | 21

@15. Erdogan is threatening to stop buying Russian gas, so he is far from conceding anything yet.

Posted by: yellowsnapdragon | Oct 9 2015 16:17 utc | 22

excellent overview b.. thanks..

i can't believe that quote from obama..."we did not just start taking a bunch of airstrikes all across Iraq as soon as ISIL came in was because that would have taken the pressure off of [Prime Minister Nuri Kamal] al-Maliki."

talk about an open admission of using isis for regime change.. same deal in syria.. they never fooled everyone, in spite of the constant bullshit lies coming from the msm..

your comment "It now seems the so called Free Syrian Army was and is nothing but a weapon transfer shop to deliver weapons and equipment to the Islamic State and al-Qaeda." exactly. and it has been that way all along and these fuckers hope to continue the same process.. now the whack doodle whole crew of them and NATO have russia, syria and iran in their radar scope in the same geographical location.. does anyone think that these fuckers aren't focused and intent on taking advantage of this? surely the west was never interested in getting rid of ISIS, but instead having a mercenary group that could pave way for the next regime change..

Posted by: james | Oct 9 2015 16:40 utc | 23

If Turkey threatened not to buy Russian gas, who could they buy it off? Iran, which supplies huge amounts of gas to Turkey will not fill the shortfall and could be inclined to stop deliveries themselves unless Turkey stops its proxy war against Iran's partner Syria.

Posted by: harry law | Oct 9 2015 16:48 utc | 24

This is mega-late, but re the Toyotas, check out the War Nerd's Christmas Special last year with Mark Ames,

Gary: Absolutely, and that's happened today. As of today, the Peshmerga, who have now gotten lots of guns. Not directly from the US, for some reason. The US is still wary of doing that, because it's still trying to please all the politicians in Iraq.But through Germany and through other suppliers, they've gotten the weapons, or at least some of the weapons they need, and they just entered the town of Sinjar today and they are now fighting at the airport.

Islamic State peaked, I would say, a couple of months ago. They've been deprived of their one great asset, which is mobility. The great weapon of early 21st century warfare is the Toyota Hilux pickup. Every male over 16 in this part of the world who has the money has a Toyota Hilux pickup. They can roll across...

Mark: There's something grimly, comically War Nerdy about that. Because everyone wants to think about "Star Wars" or some laser weapon, like that new Navy laser gun is what every war nerd wants. But actually, no, in that part of the world where they still do fight, everyone wants a Toyota Highland pickup for mobility.

Gary: A Toyota Hilux pickup.

Mark: Very "Mad Mex."

Gary: Yeah. An AK, and an RPG or two, and you're set. What else do you need? That was Islamic State's big asset. This is very flat land. You'll notice that once the land stops being flat, they don't do so well.But you can cross the so-called Iraqi-Syria border anywhere. It is just all sediment from the rivers, the two great rivers. That meant they could attack any town. They could concentrate, and the defenders who were demoralized anyway couldn't concentrate.

They took all those towns, but now they have to face the United States Air Force. The United States military has a lot of limitations, but once you're...

Mark: I'm sorry. I'm sorry to cut you off. I just got a note from our producer that we should get Toyota to sponsor the War Nerd in future.[laughter]

Gary: That would be beautiful.

Mark: OK, carry on.

Gary: They could have me in a Toyota Hilux saying, "Hi, I'm here and I, oh, I see a vulnerable little town up there and I do believe it's a Yazidi town. Whoo-ie!"

Mark: When I want to cleanse the Yazidi, I use Toyota Hilux. Geez, Hilux, yeah.

Gary: It speaks for itself, but the first [inaudible 24:08] you capture it. We'll have to cut that bit.[laughter]

Audio's really worth listening to (they edited a few small things in transcript that make it even funnier).

PS. If anyone here liked the above, further iterations of same are currently being funded via, . If anyone'd like to join our exclusive club of (as of today) 300+ largely-broke supporters, it's yours for the price of one "coffee drink" per week.

Posted by: Claud | Oct 9 2015 16:50 utc | 25

US support for Syria Jihadists not surprising since this is the same strategy they used in 1980s Afghanistan. The nitty gritty is this: US has no problem with terrorism as long as the "right" people are terrorized.

Posted by: Vollin | Oct 9 2015 16:50 utc | 26

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Oct 9, 2015 11:24:09 AM | 16

The italicized post above was not made by me. It's a cowardly thing to do — to usurp someone's identity — the tactics of a psychopath. In the interest of being fair & balanced, b, I would ask that you check the IP associated with my posts and then check the IP associated with the cowardly jackass who posted the italicized comment above and ban the bastard. Principles matter — or they should. The irony is, someone who would do such a thing is the one in need of serious medication and a mental institution.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Oct 9 2015 17:10 utc | 27

@27, that's exactly right, but there's more. Who and what gets labeled a terrorist depends precisely on what you just said. If they're America's terrorists ( a designation which can and does change at a moment's notice), they're not considered and labeled terrorists but instead, they are euphemistically referred to as Freedom Fighters or The Resistance or The Opposition or Rebels or Insurgents. This is all Orwell's fault. He taught them everything they know. Sometimes, maybe all the time, intelligent people such as Orwell should just keep their thoughts to themselves to keep the poison from spreading so far and wide even if the motivation is to educate in order to guard against it. So much for guarding against it. Instead, his magnanimous work has been used as a guidebook for Totalitarianism and as a result it flourishes and is better than ever versus being extinguished forever.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Oct 9 2015 17:19 utc | 28

Excellent six-min video on the Syrian developments, including an FSA commander talking ab cooperation with al Nusra. And it raises an interesting point - providing material help to terrorists is a serious offence under the US law. Knowing how much 'help' certain US agencies provided to the various groups in Syria - what does this make those agencies?

Posted by: GoraDiva | Oct 9 2015 17:22 utc | 29

Andoheb @ 3,
"If SAUDIS are stupid enough to sponsor terror attacks within the Russian Federation, Putin's response might be much stronger than they expect."

But, Andoheb, it won't be the Saudis striking Russia; it'll be those sore-losing unipolarist neocon CIA types. Obama's faction has enabled and is now implementing the tripolar world-- which is just a different sharing out of the globalist oligarchy. So far I see no group evidencing any desire for national sovereignty-- far less w internal decentralization of power for that little thing called democracy.

The IMF/WTO and soon-to-be TPP et al are still the giant leash controlling all & the tripolar players are only scrambling over who gets how many hands on it.

Posted by: Penelope | Oct 9 2015 17:23 utc | 30

...and the link:

Posted by: GoraDiva | Oct 9 2015 17:23 utc | 31

BOG @ 5,
I think you're overstating the degree to which the Sunni/Shiia schism was successfully engineered. 70% of Assad's army is Sunni. In Iraq ISIS first attacks were against the Sunni.

Posted by: Penelope | Oct 9 2015 17:32 utc | 32

Harry Law @ 8,
Re: something happening to Turkey's oil workings.

I have a friend who tells me that when he was in high school there were competing gangs, but they had always taken care to leave each others bikes-- and later cars-- out of it, cuz everybody was vulnerable there.

Of course there have been a few occasions, like when US specl ops left all of Saddams wells burning.

Posted by: Penelope | Oct 9 2015 17:39 utc | 33

The Iranians have been lending a hand for a while - and this is just public info.

Posted by: BOG | Oct 9 2015 17:41 utc | 34

Good point @35. The Iraq debacle, all that needless suffering and carnage, was at least in part enabled by the ever-meddlesome Iran. But Cheney knew that was inevitable and went ahead and approved the invasion and occupation anyway when ten years earlier he adroitly laid out why it would be unwise to go all the way to Baghdad.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Oct 9 2015 17:54 utc | 35

I've not heard "Qatar" and "Syria" spoken in the same sentence since the little oink had its pants pulled down on the international stage over the FIFA corruption scandal. I suspect they'll continue to keep their heads down and mouths shut, rather than shipping anti-aircraft missiles to Al-Qaeda.

Separately, if you have time, there was a good article in the Huffington Post last week about the mystery of the "moderate" opposition, which has suddenly reappeared everywhere and anywhere Russia strikes. Personally, I can't say that I recall any reference to the FSA for about the last 18 months, until Russia intervened. Surprise, surprise..

I'm not a military tactician but is there any value in the Russian ministry releasing videos depicting strikes missing their targets? Unless the intention is to get close enough for the militants to shit themselves to death? Is that a thing?

But either way, Putin is all in. The airstrikes will increase. He won't allow himself to be humiliated or bogged down as the media hopes.
So the opposition should take note when Lavrov extends an olive branch for their negotiated surrender, rather than trying to embarrass the Russian efforts by posting videos of themselves taking out tank after tank during the Syrian army's latest offensive. Russia has the capacity to flatten entire villages. It just doesn't feel like doing that yet.

Posted by: Pat Bateman | Oct 9 2015 18:06 utc | 36

Russia adopts American tactics in Afghanistan:

Posted by: Louis Proyect | Oct 9 2015 18:29 utc | 37

@37 seeing how in each news update opposition seem to be losing each battle by tens to hundreds of fighters now, I don't think those videos are of much consequence.
Al CIAda and ISIL got 1000s of TOW missiles, so it's a very dangerous fight

Posted by: bbbbb | Oct 9 2015 18:32 utc | 38

@ 33

It isn't about Sunni/Shia - it's about mercs. I have friends whose kids have come home wanting to be a merc, just for the money. Egypt, Pakistan - lots of places where money and honest opportunity is in very short supply. Very few fighting in this thing are unpaid, and many are very well paid. The going rate is between $1000/1500 per day, depending on experience. I just had a neighbor come back from 9 months in a 'classified' location.

Posted by: BOG | Oct 9 2015 18:35 utc | 39

@40 - hopefully they'll all be dead soon - scumbags

Posted by: bbbbb | Oct 9 2015 18:36 utc | 40

Back in 2012 several top Syrian officials were killed by a bomb planted by someone who obviously knew where and when they would be vulnerable. Almost certInly Israeli or western intelligence cooperating with Jihadists. So this cooperation is nothing new.

Posted by: Andoheb | Oct 9 2015 18:44 utc | 41

I agree about the al Maliki quote - stunning admission that battling ISIS comes second to political considerations in the region. Statemenfs like that plus all of this info bleeding out now about the fact that the moderate rebels were mostly just hauling weapons in for ISIS makes the US case even weaker.

This nonsense about being Putin's bitch just shows at what a shallow stupid and emotional level our "leaders" are working at. All this is just sour grapes at being showed up for the hypocrites they are. Being beaten at ones own game is never a fun feeling. Especially when you have been telling yourself how "exceptional" and indispensable you are.

WayOutWest is just rattling off his list of talking points. Nothing new there.

Posted by: Guest77 | Oct 9 2015 18:52 utc | 42

# 3 Change in KSA monarchy is perhaps on the way- suddenly king is in hospital and is not for coughing.... ha ha

Posted by: sejmon | Oct 9 2015 19:20 utc | 43

I have noticed that all of the mainstream media maps of the situation in Syria, since Russia began its intervention, show the area around Idlib as "rebel" areas. This even though the area is heavily occupied by al Qaeda forces. The ploy is obvious but i wonder if anyone is falling for it? I hope people are aware of the rhetorical games being played.

Everytime I hear "non-ISIS" I know that it is weasel wording which implies US support for al Qaeda.

Posted by: Guest77 | Oct 9 2015 19:24 utc | 44


Just as usage of the term "rebel" is a euphemism for terrorist. I find the Southfront maps to be excellent.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 9 2015 19:28 utc | 45

The US Empire strategy for Syria, was to attack Syrian government itself but leave some jihadis US proxy boots on the ground - which seemed to be Al-Nusra and probably a few other groups. ( including I'm sure, leaving a lot of jihadis alive to go on its next mission to attack Hezbollah, if they were successful in Syria. )

But since Russia intervened in Syria, that left the empires regime change strategy in tatters and now they are scrambling for a new strategy.
A lot of these these claims and reactions by US leaders to the Russian intervention in Syria is just nebulous; bullshit, frustration and trial balloons. Their unabated evil has been thwarted by the Russians in Syria, and they are just so pissed.
I wouldn't read too much into it since it's so short term and haphazard nonsense.

If the US Empire is not willing to take on the Russian military in Syria, then it has to think up of a new strategy for it's ongoing goal of evil widespread domination.
- If that means more weapons and sophisticated weapons to the jihadis, then they will do that.
- they could also double down on recruitment of jihadis pouring into Syria.
- Or it might mean retaliating more intensely somewhere else, like Ukraine - then they might do that.

- All this propaganda onslaught against Russia could be used to increase sanctions against it, as well as trying to further isolating Russia's economy more so from the US puppet states in Europe.
And that could be the set up for - if there's a long war in Syria, that expensive long war campaign for Russia, could be coupled with attacking its economy. Another strategy for the evil empire. (Oh, and this four-month Syria campaign claimed buy the Russians, I just don't believe. Not unless there is a serious training of Syrian troops with Russian sophisticated vehicles, aircraft and weaponry in a ridiculously short time frame. Every single war leader, EVER, has always told a lie that it'll be a short war. )
- and there is no doubt that the anti-Russian US puppets out there will be even more paranoid and more willing to be the ass-wipe sock puppets that they already are in light of Russia supporting Syria.

And I'm sure there's much more that they can do.

But the point is all these public claims of US officials in reaction to Russian intervention shouldn't be taken as too believable.
These killer clowns are still working their shit out.

Good stuff by b, and James @ 24

Posted by: tom | Oct 9 2015 19:32 utc | 46

Guest77 @ 45.

That's right about the weasel words covering for Al-Qaeda terrorists in Syria. At the least.

Or put another way, material support (PR lies of omission ) for terrorism that David Cameron, and the boot-licking whores of the evil empire here in Australia by the media and our politicians.

Posted by: tom | Oct 9 2015 19:42 utc | 47

So the FSA is the "agency" that passes weapons that they received from their allies to IS.
Then if 90% of the Russian attacks are to bomb these "dealers" to extinction, then Russia is to be applauded. By cutting off the arms suppliers, it will be easier to cut off ISIS.
Russia has a strategy and an intelligent one while the Americans have shown how hypocritical and dumb they can be.

Posted by: Virgile | Oct 9 2015 20:04 utc | 48

The recent reemergence of Petraeus' name and events in Afghanistan somehow reminded me of the "ugly truth" exposed by the fall of McChrystal -- the general lack of respect by the military for Obama as POTUS ... which made the lack of to-be-expected belligerence wrt Putin's acts and some at least pro forma military demand for retaliation for Russia's challenge America's Right to Decide a bit of a dog that didn't bark ... armchair warriors aside.

Does Obama even -- in reality -- control the military at this point and/or has the use of contract players and special ops and other bodies/entities been a way of evading the "ugly truth" that things are still beyond Obama's reach/power (as would be expected of the "commander of chief") -- We saw Congress simply refuse to budge over Obama's idiotic "red line" threat ... If Obama commanded, would today's military jump? They certainly appeared very close to mutiny wrt Petraeus' counterinsurgency program ... and they were indulged and the program canceled ...

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Oct 9 2015 20:30 utc | 49

@38 Louis Proyect... physicians for human rights 256 W 38th Street, 9th Floor, New York, NY 1001... SAMS FOUNDATION.. Our vision is to be a leading humanitarian organization, harnessing the talents of Syrian-American healthcare professionals, and channeling them toward medical relief for the people of Syria and the United States. SAMS Foundation 3660 Stutz Dr. Suite 100 Canfield, OH 44406

reliable sources, i must say! keep up with the propaganda and don't check your amerikkkan sources!!

Posted by: james | Oct 9 2015 20:35 utc | 50

I don't think the "Louis Proyect" here is any relation to the "unrepentant Marxist" published elsewhere, and is an op looking to assassinate a leftist's character. You know, the usu.

Posted by: Jonathan | Oct 9 2015 21:00 utc | 51

"The game will change to bleeding Russia and keeping them entangled while pushing the Islamic nutjobs into blowing up everything around them in the name of virgins or glory or freedom. This will include the Uyghur contingent on their home turf soon, I imagine. Keep Turkey frying Kurds and so much else. The Shia are surrounded on every side by Sunni's, and the jihad thing has been broadcast."

This is quite inaccurate. To my knowledge, most Sunnis do not care about Sunni/Shia divide, they say "Muslim". In Egypt, more obstreperous clerics do care, and Muslim Brotherhood was opposing Assad, so it became a marker of the "new enlightened government" versus Islamic opposition. Moreover, Salafi leaders, probably on KSA payroll, side with the government, which verbally supports Assad while sending, RELUCTANTLY, 800 troops to fights Huthis (no word on their valiant exploits or losses). In Turkey it is interesting, but about 20% of population are basically Shia, probably very close to Syrian Alawites (they are called Alevis), and they have distinct political alignment, CHP (seems 80% of the voters of CHP, but it may change if CHP gains popularity). Most Kurds care more about being Kurds than Sunni, while two parties, including AKP are emphatically Sunni Turkish. Right now, AKP government basically imported Syrian conflict home, and many Sunni Turks do not approve, in few weeks we will see the results. In Afghanistan and Pakistan there are quite large Shia minorities, like in Turkey, and bashing (and murdering) Shias is a marker of extremism, opposed by the majority of the Sunnis. To the west of Egypt and to the east of Pakistan there are no signs of paying attention to Sunni-Shia issue.

Besides reading and web surfing, I also have anecdotal evidence. An acquaintance from Pakistan, an educated Sunni who takes Islam quite seriously, replied very briefly when I asked about Yemen conflict, at that time KSA was requesting Pakistani help. "It is wrong to attack Yemen, Muslim should not attack Muslim."

According to statistics used to allocate Hajj visas the number of Muslim is very close to 2 billion. The Sunni/Shia issue is of importance in Iran, Turkey and Asian Arab countries, perhaps 10% of the Muslim, and in that region the split is about 50/50, and the militant Sunni position is about as obnoxious as in Af-Pak, but supported by Gulf countries. Mind you, Oman is an Arabian Sea country, totally opposed to engaging in Sunni-Shia conflict. It is not even clear to what extend internal conflict in Yemen is Sunni-Shia: local Shia are an ancient sect of Zaydites (in place longer than Shia domination in Iran), but not all of them are Huthis, while the "Huthi coalition" is much wider than Zaydites. Basically there are AQAP supporters (not that many but deadly), southern separatists (Sunni, but they want to restore good old days of Aden/South Yemen Republic which was Marxist), tribes successfully bribed by the Saudis, and the anti-Hadi coalition which consists of messianic Huthis and quite secular Sunnis who view the recent revolution as a mistake. From the point of view of paranoid Gulf monarch Yemen is about Iranian influence etc., but in Yemen it does not seem that way at all.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Oct 9 2015 21:32 utc | 52


The DOD lists those numbers as strikes and since when is John McCain a reliable source? I recall some MOA sleuths tracing down the source of Almasdarnews as a covert Iranian propaganda organ, is that a credible news source? Even if McCain is correct that would still mean over 400 successful strikes. The Russians will face the same limitations once the SAA troops are engaged in actual battle with the rebels.

I don't watch CNN or any other talking heads but I did read today that the DOD confirmed the Russian duds and there were reports from Iran about the crash and explosions of the duds. I don't expect the Russian CM's to be better than the US's but to attack Libya no other countries needed to be overflown.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Oct 9 2015 21:40 utc | 53

@50 Does Obama even -- in reality -- control the military at this point and/or has the use of contract players and special ops and other bodies/entities been a way of evading the "ugly truth" that things are still beyond Obama's reach/power...

I think Obama is "out of the loop". They couldn't dump smarmy Eric Prince/Blackwater/Xe. Kept him on the gravy train. Still on it as far as I know.

Posted by: fast freddy | Oct 9 2015 21:57 utc | 54

@ 1 blues
"I want whichever one lets me sit up high so I can see everything."

In marketing automobiles they call that high seat "the command position." I find that amusing.

Posted by: Benu | Oct 9 2015 22:00 utc | 55

@ 53 -

Wow - so all these different brands of Islam just "get along" then?? You outlined several other groups, detailing how they are NOT getting along, and ways that Muslim governments are not getting along with their own fellow muslims. I didn't even get into tribes - So yes, I guess I am "quite inaccurate".

My point wasn't Sunni/Shia - it was an example. Tribal or religious dogma - any way that money can leverage a result is what is important to those seeking chaos. Money is what greases the wheels, what turns hearts from light to dark, what makes brother turn on brother.

My point earlier about mercs is more the issue. As long as the money is there and no other options look viable, playing mercenary may be risky but you do get to eat. Western mercs get paid well, and have ZERO ROE - if it moves in their assigned area, it is put down if they feel so inclined. Or it is raped if they feel so inclined, then put down.

There is NOTHING pretty about war, whether mercs are fighting it for a proxy power or one faction fighting another. But having no ROE and no reason except money, western mercs can be and usually are all about killing anything that looks like it might pose a threat. Their main objective is self preservation, little else.

Posted by: BOG | Oct 9 2015 22:02 utc | 56

yellowsnapdragon @ 23,

Usually the guy (Erdogan) who's yelling and sweating doesn't have a more effective move.

Did you know that that peninsula that comes down the Mediterranian coast just above Syria's coastline is not really Turkey's? Yep, belongs to Syria. I think that France ceded it to Turkey while she occupied Syria from 1920-46. Part of the reason that France is so bitter about how this turned out is she was hoping to have some sort of overseer status over Syria again. Life is just full of small disappointments.

Posted by: Penelope | Oct 9 2015 22:25 utc | 57

This is from the Washington Post:

Islamic State militants swept into villages in northwestern Syria as part of a surprise offensive against rival insurgents on Friday, activists said. The militants threatened the country’s largest city, Aleppo, and dealt a blow to more moderate rebels under fire from Russian warplanes.

The Islamic State advance comes as Russia has backed a Syrian government offensive against rebel fighters elsewhere in the north and west in recent days. Russia says its military intervention in Syria is aimed at defeating the Islamic State. But most of Russia’s airstrikes have targeted Western-backed rebels instead of Islamic State infrastructure, U.S. officials say.

"Surprise offensive"????
Who tipped these guys off?
Why did they suddenly decide to shift to Aleppo?
Does Isis have surveillance drones I haven't heard of yet?
Someone is tipping these guys off about Russia-Syria troop movements

Posted by: plantman | Oct 9 2015 22:27 utc | 58


Of course they're being informed by the Outlaw Empire because Daesh's its invasion army.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 9 2015 22:35 utc | 59

Louis Proyect is no "leftist". LMFAO.

Posted by: Ananymus | Oct 9 2015 22:39 utc | 60

Susan Sunflower @ 50 asks, "Does Obama even control the military anymore?" I thought you'd never ask.

The secret deal struck at the Iranian nuke negotiations between Russia & Obama's faction, which will at least temporarily share some power w Russia, was a necessity: Obama needed Russia to clean up Syria because he could not compel obedience from the US military. Obama & company had been convinced at least since 2012 that it was time to bring an end to the Straussian chaos-- to preserve Assad & Syria while wiping out all the terrorists.

They were faced w a powerful faction external to & within the military which was determined to push ahead w at least the partition of Syria, leaving the desert gas & oil of Syria & Iraq in the hands of the jihadis ( the US)-- or preferably a full-chaos Calliphate. This faction: unipolarists even if we all die for it. Obama faction: share power w China, maybe Russia.

-Obama put an end to the no-fly by having the Patriots disarmed. Gen'l Allen colluded w Erdogan to reinstate the no-fly & announced the policy change on nat'l TV.
-Obama organized a coalition to actually bomb ISIS. Participants complained that they knew where ISIS was but were prohibited from striking.
-Allen falsified intell reports to the President, indicating the campaign was a success!
Obama had the Pentagon investigate & finally forced Allen out.

Apparently Obama couldn't say "no" to the Pentagon's sending in "moderate" fighters., so he undermined the program to a ludicrous extent:

--Don't work w remnants of Syrian opposition rebels. Start over w your own group w/o getting intel fr those already there. [Aren't those already there CIA-inspired as earliest regime change forces? ]
--Syrian opposition leaders complain that Free Syrian Army brigades fighting ISIS now are offering help in making the strikes against ISIS effective but are getting no response from the administration.
--Appears FSA is abandoned by administration when it takes heavy losses from ISIS & Nusra. The few left join Nusra.
--Many military officials, including at CENTCOM’s headquarters in Tampa and its air base in Qatar, from which the ISIS air campaign is run, are barred even from communicating with Syrian opposition representatives unless those rebels are on a White House/State Department approved list.
--When Hagel submits a memo asking for more defined plan for handling Assad, noting strikes on ISIS in Iraq strengthen Assad, he's fired.
--Program's goals are only 5000 "moderates", who are to be "defensive" only. No offense even against ISIS! [can't find the source for this; sorry, I lost my marbles when I read it]
--Obama: We want to push Assad to negotiations. Kerry: We're reaching out to Russia & Iran.
Source for Obama undermining program:

To bring European masses from "The Russians Are Coming" to "Thank God The Russians Are Here" the phoney "immigration crisis" wholly engineered by US & the EU govts: A beautifully executed psy-op.

Posted by: Penelope | Oct 9 2015 22:48 utc | 61

Benghazi: why do I still think MS Clinton has her hands all over the weapon transfers from Libya to Syria? And maybe Obama was possibly in the dark? But, maybe not.

Posted by: shadylady | Oct 9 2015 23:00 utc | 62

Penelope -- thanks ... I'm not sure it's a particularly "brilliantly executed psy-op" as seriously passive aggressive toward "friend" and "foe" alike ... I think the migrant crisis is going to blow up badly. They're working hard to harden borders and developed bigger and better camps and processing facilities ... Obama's "good friends in NATO" are about to get screwed domestically.

I keep going back to Stephen Cohen's story of how Obama assured Putin there would be no putsch in the Ukraine the night before it happened ... I cannot even imagine the contempt in which he holds Obama -- not that the handling of McCrystal and/or Petraeus (neither of which was a genuine life-or-death crisis) had not provided clues. That Petraeus' name is again in circulation is truly Palin-esque ... no, not more bites at the apple for David P.

There is much Obama cannot do without the military and there's much the military cannot do without Obama ... there's a terrible perversion of the process, the Ham-Stringing of a President ... it may be better than Obama saving face and making good on his red lines -- oh, and "the road to hell is still paved with good intentions" applies, although I'm not confident his are, in fact, good intentions ... Rice and Power are still at the table. Can't wait for Clinton to weigh in.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Oct 9 2015 23:13 utc | 63

A united front between the Kremlin and the Caliphate.

Posted by: Louis Proyect | Oct 9 2015 23:19 utc | 64

@ shadylady 63:

What happened to Gadaffi's gold bars? Did they make it into the Central Bank that Hillary set up?

Highly unlikely, imo. How far did Goldman Sachs' debts to Gadaffi figure in? Wish I had the old, old, Taibbi link that explained it.

Posted by: wendy davis | Oct 9 2015 23:48 utc | 65

@ Wendy, I have always found interesting, the connecting dots of the central banks, Lincoln/Kennedy included.

Interesting reading (spells it out so clearly), I am glad someone here posted link to his blog:

The Financial-Industrial Revolution's Origin and Destiny

And where are the missing billions from the Pentagon coffers?

Tonight I finally listened to Ben Carson's oil and foreign affairs polices. I now know why he is being pushed to the front of the line. Sell our oil to europe and keep nation building in ME. Has he kissed the Wall, yet? I must have missed it.

Posted by: shadylady | Oct 10 2015 0:02 utc | 66

Benghazi -- I'm not sure whether direct transfer to weapons to the Syria rebels would have been damn-near illegal, like Iran Contra, but without the congressional prohibition, or not... Because we were so publicly calling on other to NOT arm the rebels for us to have been involved in-any-way would have been scandalous, however, I think that because John McCain was so fervent that we provide arms, there may have been the illusion of "cover" of the "but they'd have to prove it" variety, and I'm guessing proving it would have been made damn-near impossible.
As far as I've heard, only ManPads have been named as transported weapons (and they're small and light and could be transported in toyota pickup trucks) so WHAT was being transported (in 'theory') from Libya to Turkey to end up where (including Syria) remains a mystery ... not to mention whose "stuff" was being "secured" by the CIA station in Benghazi (were we seizing and/all heavy weapons regardless of who the serial numbers traced back to ... were records kept? -- obviously we have sold the Saudis and gulf state countries and everyone else heavy weapons ... but once we sold them, they were not "our" property. Some Libyan weapons may have been U.S. provided, paid for by taxpayers and property of the USA unless we "deeded" them over to someone else.
I've wondered if we were transporting/supplying ammunition for ManPads and rifles ... which would have been a scandal ... and/or providing transportation of arms belonging, say, to KSA... again scandalous ... Transporting personnel ... don't want to think about it. It's been years now and I've heard almost nothing and seen little interest or curiosity -- even as it has become "taken as fact" that some sort of movement of arms was occurring.

IMHO, the big scandal in Benghazi was the attempt by the Obama administration to conceal the fact that Libya was rapidly falling into utter anarchy -- just before the election and just before they (USA) wanted to use Libya as a perfect little R2P to be replicated (and soon) in Syria ... they tried to blame it on "crazy Muslims upset about a stupid movie" ... they lied bald-faced to protect their Libyan 'SUCCESS STORY' ... think Jessica Lynch ... and poor martyred Chris Stevens.... "no one could have predicted such an attack" ... duh.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Oct 10 2015 0:02 utc | 67

@ Susan, couple days ago I hear McGrumpy demanding we provide anti-aircraft missiles to the rebels. MSM won't even name these rebels by their birth names. Do the leaders changed weekly? Dare we not name them. And has McGrumpy forgotten his POW days? UGH.

It just seems neither party cares about exposing the real Benghazi story, rethugs just want to dig enough to dirty Ms HC, but not enough to expose the Clean Break Plan (destablize non-central-bank proxy countries by propagandizing democracies).

Posted by: shadylady | Oct 10 2015 0:21 utc | 68

sl @ 69 said.. "It just seems neither party cares about exposing the real Benghazi story, rethugs just want to dig enough to dirty Ms HC".

Don't know about the balance of your statement, but, I believe the above to be absolutely true.

Benghazi, IMO, is all about selling arms to terrorists, so, it HAS to be hidden. Funny that, because the truth of the situation is leaking out piecemeal anyway.

Anyone that believes Obama is anything more than a figurehead sock puppet for the moneyed elites, is a bit naive. HRC would be the same.

Posted by: ben | Oct 10 2015 0:46 utc | 69

Cannonfire's latest:

Posted by: ben | Oct 10 2015 0:52 utc | 70

Penny's latest:

Thanks b, you da' best!

Posted by: ben | Oct 10 2015 0:56 utc | 71

The GOP and McCain have had it so very very sweet for the last 8 years ... they can demand all sorts of things knowing there's not a chance in hell of getting their wish or dealing with the consequences of their pipe dreams -- they can bang the war drums and impune the "manhood" of all who disagree ... apparently his most formidable Tea party challenger dropped out (I'm not sure what became of the much mentioned female challenger, but he's apparently free to indulge in war mongering) -- god, the NYT is has really entered into (we care about) "every sparrow" mode wrt Syria ....

Arizonal Central.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Oct 10 2015 1:04 utc | 72

@71 @72 Thanks for the links, ben. I'm always looking for some credible, sane voices on the net as things get crazier and crazier everywhere else. I'm really astounded by the ramp up of the propaganda organ in the US both in regular news outlets and in social media.

Posted by: gemini33 | Oct 10 2015 1:21 utc | 73

You know, I'm not generally a worry wart kind of person, but I'm really worried lately. Beside myself.

What happens when the Russian coalition starts intercepting, sabotaging or blowing up the shipments of "even more weapons" to the jihadists from the US, Gulf States and whomever else? Does the proxy war just keep playing itself out or does it break out into a real war?

Posted by: gemini33 | Oct 10 2015 1:24 utc | 74

Seems everyone knows what is really going on, yet our politician continue their lies, amazing.

The War On Islamic State: A New Cold War Fiction:

Since Russia’s intervention, the press has been particularly coy about the fact that Washington’s “moderate” rebels include the likes of al-Nusra, Ahrar al-Sham and the Islamic Front.

But who are these moderate rebels, really?
Moderate al-Qaeda


Posted by: shadylady | Oct 10 2015 1:36 utc | 75

@ shady lady 67

Well, yes. Dunno if that were dmitri himself, but I'll read more closely later; thank you.

and Yellowsnapdragon, if you come back, do stop by Café sometime. wd. anyone else as well, but it's a wee site. ;-)

Posted by: wendy davis | Oct 10 2015 1:41 utc | 76

Humans have always lived in hierarchies.

Today in the West it is: Oligarchs, government, religion, tribes and families. Government, religion and tribes are mixed together depending on the culture.

In Syria the Islamic State is trying to make a hybrid of religion and government. It is one religion and one tribe – Sunni Arab Islam. The Kurds, Alawites, Christians and Shiites are on the outside getting their heads chopped off. The USA can try to court the Sunni Arab tribes in Syria with money but in the end they will always default to their religion and tribe. It is their identity. Their pathway to the afterlife. If the governments around the Islamic State come to their senses and recognized that oligarchs above them and the Sunni fanatics below them are intent on flushing them off the earth; perhaps they will join together and quarantine the Islamic State. After several generation the fanatics will pass on and their offspring will want to travel and trade and take the Hajj to Mecca.

Posted by: VietnamVet | Oct 10 2015 2:03 utc | 77

Susan Sunflower @ 64,

I'm not familiar w that Cohen story about Obama assuring Putin the night before that there wd be no putsch. I'll look it up, thanks.
You're surprised Petraeus gets more bites at the apple, huh? He & Allen were sort of point men for the unipolar-even-if-it-costs-WWIII hawks. I mean Petraeus, like Bush Sr, had been CIA director. WaPo says "he works w private equity firm KKR and has even been known to advise the White House."
Gen Allen, Obama had blocked from becoming head of NATO, so Allen wrote an "I hate ISIS" article and was given the anti-ISIS czar position, where he proceeded to help it & undermine Assad insofar as it was in his power. When we get closer to the last round of Syria negotiations I'll do a comment on how the neocons prevented the Obama faction and Russia from resolving the Syria crisis at Geneva I in 2012.

I suppose a good portion of the Pentagon must be seriously neocon. In case you want to watch out for serious neocon types: PNAC has become Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI). The Dems near equivalent is CNAS Century for a New American Security. There're lots of them in the administration. I still haven't figured out how Obama held the military in check while the Russians moved into Syria, since it started so small & cd've been blocked. You know at one time they were actually teaching at Westpoint one of the maps that shows the mideast balkanized; Erdogan complained about it since Turkey was broken up, too-- so silly, as if that'd do any good.

About Obama's redline & prospective bombing of Syria-- it was before my interest in factions, but I felt at the time that he didn't intend to & was looking for a way out. When it was engineered that UK parliament voted against joining in, I was positive that UK/US had decided not to.

The episode of the 2 missiles that were fired at Syria anyway seems to indicate that somebody in the US military disagreed.

No, I agree Obama's intentions aren't good, either, but whoever he's running point for seems willing to share some power in their NWO w China & Russia-- at least for now.
Yes, Hillary is such a cartoon. She's come out against TPP; must have run a focus group.

Posted by: Penelope | Oct 10 2015 2:24 utc | 78

Wendy Davis at 66, " How far did Goldman Sachs' debts to Gadaffi figure in? "

You know, Gaddafi had invested huge sums from the oil income. He was starting a development bank for Africa. Was it Goldman Sachs who "somehow" lost all the money once? So Gaddafi's investment committee just started all over again saving for the same purpose-- that & I think he was going to start a gold based currency.

I remember I figured out arithmetically that the amount he was going to use as the development bank's capitalization was equal to $26,000 for each man, woman & child in Libya.

He was a great man who greatly advanced his country. He'd offered to step down if they wdn't bomb his country, but that was suppressed-- such villainy

But to answer your question: The US said the money for the development bank was personal graft of Gaddafi's. I suppose they just kept it.

Posted by: Penelope | Oct 10 2015 2:39 utc | 79


The list of US vetted rebel groups in Syria is quite long but none of the three groups you list are included in that number. Al-Nusra is a US designated terrorist group so that would have to be reversed before any aid could be supplied to them.

The fact that US vetted groups are allying with such groups as you list just shows how little control the US has over the groups it supports, they follow their own goals and agendas and fight for their families and friends not the US.

The Zerohedge article is a confused rant with little real information or analysis.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Oct 10 2015 2:44 utc | 80

@Wayoutwest #81

Don't mind if I make a Teeny Weeny correction?

The list of US vetted rebel groups in Syria is quite long but none of the three groups you list are included in that number. Al-Nusra is a US designated terrorist group so that would have to be reversed before any aid could be supplied to them.

The fact that US vetted groups are allying with such groups as you list just shows how clueless the US has over the groups it supports, they follow their own goals and agendas and fight for their families and friends not the US.

The Zerohedge article is a confused rant with little real information or analysis.

Posted by: Jack Smith | Oct 10 2015 3:02 utc | 81

"Treasury Department is asking from where the Islamic State received all the Toyota Hilux cruisers it uses as weapon platforms."

What? Treasury didn't get the memo?

Treasury will stop "asking" as soon as someone at State or the Pentagon takes those officials to one side and whispers "Trust me, you don't want to go there, dudes".

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Oct 10 2015 4:08 utc | 82

@81/82 wow and jack.. as b said "It now seems the so called Free Syrian Army was and is nothing but a weapon transfer shop to deliver weapons and equipment to the Islamic State and al-Qaeda." same deal moderate anything.. just a nother fucking smokescreen bullshite enterprise from propaganda, er washington central..

Posted by: james | Oct 10 2015 4:25 utc | 83

Oh dear, oh dear, I think I've come upon something. Always I have wondered when "the men of action" within our own military might feel impelled to act against the forces of evil. I apparently have come upon a report of such, although it is now several years old.

It is a Thierry Meyssan article occurring on a different site than his usual Voltairenet. I t eals w the death of the US ambassader at Benghazi, which is what I was researching just a little because someone in the comments was asking about it.

Anyway, look
"This time, the manipulation of the Benghazi crowd by Israeli agents had as its goal the assassination of the U.S. Ambassador, an act of war not seen since the Israeli bombardment of the USS Liberty by the Israeli Air Force and Navy in 1967. This constitutes the first assassination of an ambassador in the line of duty since 1979. The act is all the more grevious considering that in a country where the current central government is a purely legal fiction, the U.S. Ambassador was not merely a diplomat but was functioning as Governor, as the de facto head of state.

"It should be emphasized that in the past few weeks, the highest-ranking U.S. military officers have entered into open conflict with the Israeli government. They have issued declarations signifying their intention to halt the cycle of wars begun after September 11 (Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria) and which, in light of the informal agreements of 2001, will expand further (Sudan, Somalia and Iran). The first warning shot occurred in Afghanistan, in August 2012, when two missiles were fired at the parked plane of General Martin Dempsey, head of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff. This second warning turned out to be even more brutal."

Posted by: Penelope | Oct 10 2015 4:29 utc | 84


It's quite humorous how the staged parade of Toyotas leaving Mosul after its capture has tweaked the visual hysteria trigger in so many people in the West. Toyota trucks are common transport in the ME and if you have an armed group a down payment isn't even required at the local New and Used Toyota Paradise Dealership. One report claimed some were stolen in Turkey and government instillations around Mosul also had many of these trucks waiting for their new owners to take delivery, some may have even been bought with money.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Oct 10 2015 4:37 utc | 85

Explosions rock Turkey capital, casualties reported

Only up on press tv so far...

Posted by: chuckvw | Oct 10 2015 8:12 utc | 86

Next week MH17 will be tied to Russia, so dont cheer too much guys, propaganda coming alive next week.

Posted by: ZIP | Oct 10 2015 11:06 utc | 87

@88 cvw

Explosions rock Turkey capital, kill 30

The blasts occurred at 10:04 a.m. local time (0704 GMT) on Saturday outside the main train station in Ankara, where a group of demonstrators had gathered for an anti-government peace march, Turkey’s Dogan news agency reported.

The leftist groups in Turkey, including the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), had organized a pro-peace demonstration at the site of the blasts to slam the clashes between Turkish forces and militants of the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) ) in the country’s southeast.

Erdogan's brought Da'esh and his war agaisnt the Kurds home?

Posted by: jfl | Oct 10 2015 11:30 utc | 88


Penelope, your link is broken

Posted by: crone | Oct 10 2015 12:44 utc | 89

@jfl # 90:

Explosions rock Turkey capital, kill 30

There's a very good series at Oriental Review about "the new Middle East" that Russia is creating. Andrew Korybko argues that the Empire has been working on destabilizing Iraq and Syria, but now looks as if the USG allies, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, are going to be the unstable ones. The installment dealing with the latter two:

“The New Middle East”: Russian Style (IIB)

Posted by: Demian | Oct 10 2015 12:52 utc | 90

Posted by: ZIP | Oct 10, 2015 7:06:55 AM | 89

Hope you're right.
Mr Hopey Changey ambushing himself and blaming Russia, 2 weeks in a row?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 10 2015 13:05 utc | 91

Erdogan's brought Da'esh and his war agaisnt the Kurds home?

I'm not really sure how such a thing would help save Erdogan's political future (the opposite could very well be the ripple effect). Naturally Turkey would have to clamp down harder on the very jihadists they have been propping up.

Posted by: never mind | Oct 10 2015 13:14 utc | 92

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Oct 10, 2015 1:32:21 AM | 87

b, you're an asshole for letting this happen. Even I wouldn't stoop this low. With support from someone with your character that allows this, Putin can't help but winning the peace in the Middle East. What are you guys so afraid of that you must resort to usurping someone's identity? Considering your double standard behavior in policing your comment section, you have no more credibility than the Western MSM you decry daily. But I knew that already, so I will stop posting here again since you and your ilk don't know how to fight fair. Pussies.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Oct 10 2015 14:04 utc | 93

That being said — one last comment b, take it or leave it. You do yourself a disservice by allowing comments. The comments to your blog undermine your credibility. It's obvious the comment section has been hijacked by astroturfers who are here to make you look like a crank — a ridiculous buffoon that shouldn't be taken seriously. Disable comments, and maybe, just maybe, you will be taken more seriously as a serious critic of Western Imperialism. Until then, I consider you one of the goons by virtue of your implicit condoning of obvious propaganda in your comment section.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Oct 10 2015 14:09 utc | 94

After reading several articles today....I am so confused. Who is really responsible for the bombings in Turkey?

And more:

Maybe I should just go back to soap operas.

Posted by: shadylady | Oct 10 2015 14:12 utc | 95

Demian @ 92:

Thanks for that link! Often prognostications seem bogged in wishful thinking, but that article has a scenario of consequences that makes sense - ". . . the unintentional fait accompli of flanking Turkey . . ." and then blowback in Saudi Arabia.

Gives the term 'refugee' a whole new meaning (not that we didn't suppose there might be terrorists among the EU migration, but now we should double down on that supposition.)

b had suggested earlier the borders ought to be sealed. Maybe you drain the infection first.

Posted by: juliania | Oct 10 2015 14:13 utc | 96

@94 nevermind

Assigning Erdogan agency was tongue in cheek ... although this latest blowback does seem the indirect result of his recent lunges all over the place

@92 demian

From the last of your four links, that is the one you actually gave, I guess ...

The situation was already precarious even before the COR’s [Russia-Syria-Iraq-Iran's] anti-terrorist crusade, but now Turkey faces the very real prospect of its own Islamist proxies retreating northwards to their nest just as the Saudis’ are doing in the southern direction. ...

The Turkish military is being gorged on the horns of a multisided dilemma.

First off, it’s stuck fighting a bloody civil war in the southeast which was sparked by Erdogan’s failed pre-election ploy.

Secondly, this conflict has already gone international, with limited Turkish ground and air strikes in Iraq, demonstrating the growing operational complexity of this mission.

Thirdly, the Turkish military needs to counter the very real threat that thousands of retreating Syrian-based jihadis will return to their Turkish training base.

On top of that, the political leadership is pressing it to simultaneously remain on standby in the event that an ill-fated decision is made to conventionally intervene in Syria.

The analyst's been drinking far too much coffee, if not living on methadrine, seems to me, but the possibility of Erdogan's stumble-steps leading to a coup certainly sounds real enough. If this keeps up its hard to imagine him lasting through an election in Novemver anyway.

Posted by: jfl | Oct 10 2015 14:43 utc | 97

BOG at 40: The going rate is between $1000/1500 per day, depending on experience. I just had a neighbor come back from 9 months in a 'classified' location.

As I understand it, that is stellar pay (and even then imho quote is much too high) for ppl who are very committed, highly trained and have consequent, successful, experience. (Think ex-Blackwater.) The ‘jobs’ also come with clear tasks, supreme equipment and top-notch insurance for disability/death.

Your regular djihadi who sets out for, let’s call it to be nice adventure AND a living, or a way out of a desperate situation, or some kind of commitment to whatever (not your hot-head who fights for nothing and his food and cigarette money) can at best hope for something equivalent to 200 dollars/euros a week, enough to send some money to wife/kiddies, but not really more. This is just from gossip and so on, what I have heard, who knows. It is interesting though that this topic is never mentioned.

This is a field where divergence in pay is HUGE. It rests on experience (skills, training, etc.) of course, but not only: the side you fight on, your nationality, etc.

For ex. the UN peace-keeping blue helmets (about 120 000 ppl) are in the main Bangladeshi, Pakistani, and Indian. Next Nigeria, Egypt, Ruanda..etc. Because they are cheap, paid a pittance.

One article in F (mainstream site right-wing)

The pay for a mercenary jihadi seems to almost match, converge with, that of the blue helmets from ‘poor’ countries, which is about between 1,000 and 1,400 dollars a month. (Leaving aside the snarl that some of that pay, in some cases, goes to the country-Gvmt and not the person, for the B H.)

This article, in F, gives many of the details of blue helmet pay. Africa news.

Arms is only one part of the story. The ppl doing the fighting are another.

Why they fight, when they choose to do so, why they give up, who they are, where etc.

Posted by: Noirette | Oct 10 2015 14:53 utc | 98

@cold [new|old] hole

'... one last comment b ...'

Don't let the door hit you on the ass on your way out.

Posted by: jfl | Oct 10 2015 14:53 utc | 99

Speaking of refugees, I wonder if this will finally put an end to the west's diddling in the middle east....a mass migration to the north.

No longer will the meme of "We fighting them there so we don't have to fight them at home" work.

How will Europe look after being forced to accept 100,000 plus refugees? 500,000? 1,000,000? Will each country have to surround themselves with a massive wall since they can't even agree on their immigration polices?

Posted by: shadylady | Oct 10 2015 14:54 utc | 100

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