Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 21, 2015

"Western" Media Silent As Iraq And 4+1 Inflict Huge Islamic State Defeat

Update Oct 22:

An detailed Iraqi account of the Baiji operation: Baiji District Recaptured by Iraq’s Forces in Rapid Offensive

The US-led international coalition played a minimal role at best during this weeklong offensive. From Oct. 13th-20th, the coalition conducted a grand total of just 10 strikes on Da’ish positions ‘near Baiji’. On Friday, as fighting in the district was winding down and militants were fleeing north towards Mosul or northeast towards Hawijah, the coalition dropped one bomb on one artillery piece. That’s it. While abysmal, it’s hardly surprising due to the heavy presence of the Hashd Al-Sha’abi, which the coalition actively tries to avoid aiding.

End Update - original piece follows

Yesterday saw a huge defeat of the Islamic State but "western" media hardly noted it.

Iraqi Hashd militia and the Iraqi army defeated the Islamic State fighters in Baiji refinery and Baiji city. This was a big success:

Footage aired by the state-run TV showed Iraqi troops waving flags from rooftops in Baiji as thick black smoke billowed into the air.
Baiji is the second most significant area recaptured in Salahuddin over the past months as pro-government forces retook the provincial capital of Tikrit in late March after weeks of clashes with the militants. The liberation of Baiji could be a prelude to Iraq’s highly-anticipated offensive into Mosul, which has served as the de-facto capital of Daesh in Iraq.

The road from Baghdad to Mosul runs south to north through Balad, Samara, Tikrit and Baiji. Tikrit was liberated in March and the fight about the Baiji refinery and Baiji city had waged since. The victory now opens the road towards Mosul, Iraq's second biggest city and in the hand of the Islamic State.

The success can be attributed mostly to Iraqi militia supported by Iran. The 4+1 intelligence and operations room in Baghdad, where Iraq, Iran, Russia, Syria and Hizbullah as well as the Hashd coordinate their efforts, advised throughout the operation. The U.S. was not involved as it does not want to work with the Hashd militia and Iran.

When looking through the daily strike reports of the U.S. lead operation Inherent Resolve one finds hardly any air strikes against IS forces around Baiji. The few that took place hit some IS "machine gun position" or "tactical fighting position". Hardly the effort that was needed to free the city. Indeed it took the Iraqi air force to do the real work:

Zaid Benjamin @zaidbenjamin
Inherent Resolve Spx Steve Warren: Dealing with small pockets in #Beiji refinery. Iraqi air-force mounted 40 airstrikes & the coalition 4.

Iraqi militia did the groundwork and the Iraqi air force covered the attack. The operation proceed under advice from Russia and Iran. The U.S. was not involved. It is no wonder then that "western" media are mostly silent about it.

There is nothing about the Iraqi victory in the Washington Post and the New York Times gives it just one sentence in a piece about the Joint Chiefs chairman. This after wall-to-wall coverage when the Islamic State first captured the refinery.  Even the small mention in the NYT manages to deceive its readers about the leading party of the operation:

The American-led coalition is putting pressure on the militants on several fronts. Backed by American air power, Iraqi forces are on the outskirts of Ramadi, which was taken by the militants in May. Iraqi forces and Shiite militias captured the Baiji oil refinery, north of Baghdad, on Friday and are trying to expand the territory under their control there. On Tuesday, the Iraqi military said it had secured the nearby town of Baiji after days of fighting.

The casual reader of that paragraph will assume that the "American-led coalition" and "American air power" was responsible for the liberation of Baiji. But besides four minor airstrike in as many days that "American-led coalition" was not involved at all. The Iraqi militia supported by Russia and Iran are clearly steeling the Pentagon's show.

The U.S. fears the replacement of its sham campaign against the Islamic State by a real one run by Russia and Iran. The Joint Chiefs chairman Dunford even threatened the Iraqi premier with love deprivation:

If Russia did begin flying missions over Iraq, it would preclude the United States from flying, Dunford told the Iraqi leaders. They understood the situation, he said, and Abadi told him that Iraq has not asked the Russians to fly missions over Iraq and Russia has not offered to launch strikes inside Iraq.

Officially Abadi has not asked. But Iraqi requests were made to Moscow and answered positively. Iraq will wait a few month and then compare the Russian success in Syria with the U.S. success in Iraq. Should the campaign in Syria be more successful than the U.S. led one in Iraq it surely would consider switching its partners.

In Syria meanwhile the "moderate rebels" open more joined operations rooms with Ahrar al-Shams and Jabhat al Nusra. There is new talk about a unification of the "moderate rebels" of Ahrar al-Shams and the "moderate rebels" of Al Qaeda:

Zaid Benjamin ‏@zaidbenjamin
Ahrar ash-Sham forge alliance with Jabhat al-Nusra one day after a CNN interview with #Qatar's FM saying that Ahrar has no links to al-Qaeda

Russian intelligence picked up talks between the the Islamic State and Nusra/al-Qaeda commanders about a united effort against the Syrian government.

The reality that all these groups submit to the same ideology and aims will soon become even more evident. That will make it more difficult for the U.S. and Turkey to continue with their sham campaign against the Islamic State while supporting the "moderates" that are joined with that professed enemy.

Meanwhile Russia continues its political efforts to end the fighting in Syria. The Syrian president Bashar Assad visited Moscow for talks with the Russian president Putin. He also had an intimate dinner with the highest figures of the Russian government - Putin, Medvedev, Lavrov and Shoygu attended. After the visit the Russian president had phonecalls with the Turkish president Erdogan and the Saudi King Salman today. The foreign ministers of Russia, the U.S., Saudi Arabia and Turkey will meet Friday in Vienna. There is either a deal in the making ... or the war on Syria will escalate further.

Posted by b on October 21, 2015 at 17:26 UTC | Permalink

next page »

Before getting TOO excited, please read the rant by the Saker:

He brings up some very good points. Worse, Mike Whitney at Counterpuch makes it clear that the Empire is still very much alive!

Posted by: Rg an LG | Oct 21 2015 17:40 utc | 1

Saker's expertise is Russia Europe. Also good on other places but for ME and MENA I look to M of B.
The issues addressed here, I don't think were factored into sakers rant.

Posted by: Peter | Oct 21 2015 18:00 utc | 2

General Soleimani(sp?) said that the road to Mosul starts in Aleppo.. might it be the other way around?

Posted by: bbbbb | Oct 21 2015 18:06 utc | 3

"Silent" is how I like western MSM.

Posted by: MMARR | Oct 21 2015 18:16 utc | 4

Iraq's parliament has formally notified the PM it wants to formally invite Russia to replace the "shy" US-led coalition, which is no without Canadian support,

It was a mistake for Iraq to ask the Outlaw Empire to re-enter the country; now they'll need to go about the process of expelling it again. It's very welcoming to read of the progress Iraq's making. Rebuilding the region will be a boon for SCO construction companies.

Saker's been wrong about a number of events in Syria, particularly about the supposed lack of air defense systems and the de facto no-fly zone the Russian navy established with its vessels. I think the combat in the region moves too fast for him to stay abreast of the current situation.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 21 2015 18:22 utc | 5

Is the US/Saudi Arabia trying to limit the damage suffered ?

Posted by: Willy2 | Oct 21 2015 18:51 utc | 6


Aaand before you all start to parrot the Saker as usual remember that he is extremely pessimistic by nature and has been proven wrong before, especially in Syria were Russia has been pulling out one surprise after another.

Posted by: Emile | Oct 21 2015 19:01 utc | 7

In Syria they are in the grinding phase. This is always hard to report on because it just seems like endless battles and nothing seems to happen.

In the end it depends on the moral, manpower and resources of each side. If the Syrian Army (etc) can keep up the pressure and has sufficient reserves of troops and supplies plus the moral to continue it will win.
But it will take time for AN(etc) to run out of men and ammo(etc). At this stage, being the attackers, the SA will suffer larger losses and use up ammo faster.

This where air support, properly done, can make a huge difference with CAS and interdiction. AN(etc) may have large ammo dumps hidden away but if it cannot get to them or ship stuff from them to the front they are effectively useless.

Careful coordination of the attacks, where, when, what with are key elements. Finding the weak spots, stretching the enemy and so on are also critical. Managing logistics and reserves are also critical for the Syrian side, pointless having superior forces (etc) if you cannot get them to the right places on time.

These sorts of things tend to go on until either the defenders totally crack or the attackers give up.

On the strategic, tactical levels and the men and material side the SA has the advantages, but what about the moral side? Equally what about the moral side of the defenders who haven't, to date, been through this sort of coordinated meat grinder thing? Both those are unknowns.

The defenders have the disadvantage of being a 'hard crust', wth little (as far as I can see) defence in depth. Therefore if they crack, it will happen very quickly at some point, switching from a grinding to a chase. But this grinding could continue for weeks.

For examples of this sort of thing the Al Alamein and Normandy battles (not the US accounts of Normandy by the way they are all piffe) are useful guides.

A lot of, particularly western, people struggle to understand this sort of war. After years and years of COIN type stuff with lots of small, sharp, short engagements, this 'real war' stuff is not in their mindset.

Posted by: Lisa | Oct 21 2015 19:01 utc | 8

Saker's been wrong about a number of events in Syria,

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 21, 2015 2:22:39 PM | 5

and yet curiously he's still not nearly as wrong on Syria b who has been predicting the imminent demise of the "Anti-Assad" Opposition for over 3 years now. . . as have the majority of comments here. In terms of ability to accurately predict events, Saker is waaaaaaay ahead of anyone here, especially b.

particularly about the supposed lack of air defense systems and the de facto no-fly zone the Russian navy established with its vessels.

No he is not wrong about that - you are

Posted by: Cubitus Maximus | Oct 21 2015 19:03 utc | 9

Given that the refinery was wrecked back in May and will probably never be operational again, posession of it isn't much but you are quite right about the 4+1 victory in quite short an orderand the western silence. But even if that force recaptures Mosul eventually, what kind of political solution are they (Russians, Iran) going to come Up with for Sunnistan and avaiod the quagmire the Empire wants for it?

Posted by: heath | Oct 21 2015 19:14 utc | 10

@9 Cubitus

Saker could be right that Russians don't have sufficient forces to "liberate" the whole of Syria and chase every last jihadi in the Syrian desert.

But what if that's not what they are after?

If, as I believe, Russians have a rather limited objectives (namely, securing Tartus and Latakia for Alawites, and creating facts on the ground for a future partition of Syria), then they have an adequate presence.

Posted by: MMARR | Oct 21 2015 19:19 utc | 11

@9 Cubitus

Saker could be right that Russians don't have sufficient forces to "liberate" the whole of Syria and chase every last jihadi in the Syrian desert.

Saker is definitely correct about that.

The Russian Genreal Staff has not committed sufficient forces necessary for them to do so. Therefore it is trivial to conclude that to "liberate" the whole of Syria and chase every last jihadi in the Syrian desert" is not actually their aim.

"But what if that's not what they are after?"

see above.

Posted by: Cubitus Maximus | Oct 21 2015 19:28 utc | 12

"liberate" the whole of Syria and chase every last jihadi in the Syrian desert"

the job of the Ground Forces

Not the job of the Russian Forces.

Russians mainly committed Air and Naval assets not ground forces

So clearly they don't think that's their job either

Posted by: Cubitus Maximus | Oct 21 2015 19:31 utc | 13

Well, finally some good news from the Iraqi front. I look forward to the takfiri rats getting kicked out of Mosul, which like Aleppo, became PR statements to their expanding power and "endurance," of course, without a serious opposition, 'til the Russians came in.

On another note, news over a "Memorandum of Understanding" between the US and Russia on safe flights over Syria has been recently published, and today Pentagon's spokesman Peter Cook scanty statements about it were quoted in an article translated and published by Fort Russ.

Cook confirmed that with the signing of the MoU, it has entered into force; pilots "should not get too close" following protocols; pilots should behave professionally at all times; pilots should use specific frequencies to communicate; lines of communication will be established on the ground; and the formation of a US/Russia working group to discuss questions and implementation in the future.

Cook added that the MoU does not include any areas of cooperation, intel sharing or info sharing about their respective objectives in Syria, and finished with his usual rant about "Russian strategy in Syria is counterproductive" and "support of the Assad regime will only worsen the Syrian civil war," blah, blah, blah...

What's interesting is Cook's statement about the publication of the MoU, which will not be distributed "at the request of the Russian side," further stating that "such a request was made, I don't know what the reasons are." First, I wonder if truly there was a request from the Russian side re: no publication of the MoU, which goes contrary to Russia stated openness and transparency,

[...]On October 6, the official representative of Russian foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova said that the us military can contact Russian colleagues at any time, the Russian defense Ministry is unprecedentedly open in the operation in Syria.

On October 5, the Minister of foreign Affairs of Russia Sergey Lavrov said that all the actions of the Russian aviation in Syria are made public[...]

US & Russia Agree on 'safe distance' of planes in Syria

Second, if there was any request from the Russian side, I wonder why. If b or anyone else can shed some light into this matter, thanks in advance.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Oct 21 2015 19:38 utc | 14

Weeks ago I mentioned that for myself, The Saker has rendered himself completely irrelevant when it comes to Russian military involvement in Syria and Iraq.

Quote from saker from mere weeks before Russia entered Syria:
"Can Daesh be defeated? Absolutely. But only if the AngloZionist would stop their anti-Shia crusade and let Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Iraq crush these Takfiri lunatics. But since that is absolutely unacceptable to the AngloZionsts, the war will go on. And it is in this context that some would have Russia enter the conflict?! That is insane! "
He called supporters of Russian intervention " insane ". And then very shortly after, Russia intervened in Syria.

Then this:
Saker: Contrary to what some commentators have written, sending 6 MiG-31s could make a difference: six MiG-31s would mean 2 on combat air patrol, 2 ready to take-off and 2 in routine maintenance. Also, 2 MiG-31s in the air would be enough to monitor the Syrian airspace and defend it from any intruder (you can think of the MiG-31 as a ‘mini AWACS’ since it has an advanced passive electronically scanned array radar and weapons capable of tracking 10 targets while simultaneous engaging four of them at a very long range (as far as 200km). The problem with that is that all this fancy hardware serves no purpose against Daesh which has no air force.

Some have suggested that the MiG-31s could be used to protect Syria from a US cruise missile attack. While it is true that the MiG-31 is capable of engaging low-flying cruise missiles, the problem here is that each MiG-31 can only carry 4-6 air-to-air missiles. Thus a 2 MiG-31s patrol could only engage 12 cruise missiles at most, unless they begin chasing down each one and use their 23mm canon. Since any US attack on Syria would involve many more cruise missiles, there is really very little the MiG-31s could do. A much more effective defense would be provided by the S-300 and this is why the US and Israel were so opposed to any S-300 deliveries to Syria.

Others have suggested that Russia could send MiG-29s. Bad choice. The MiG-29 is a formidable close-in combat fighter, but a poor close air support aircraft. If the mission is the support of Syrian combat operations, then SU-24 and, especially, SU-25 would be much better suited. As far as I know, not a single report mentioned these."
So, the idiocy of sending six mig-31s is a good idea to cover all of Syria, but he didn't propose ground support aircraft for the Syrian Army, because 'no report mentioned these' ? Of course a report didn't mention it, because you don't need a report to predict aircraft ground support is essential. OMG x 1000.

The Sakers predictions and views, has obviously ridiculous bias, and he can't be relied on, whatsoever.

Full piece here:
Read that piece from mere weeks before Russia intervened in Syria and compare it to how it played out.

To myself the Saker is irrelevant.

Posted by: tom | Oct 21 2015 19:40 utc | 15

Military Times: US Deploys A-10s to Turkey to Strike ISIS Targets in Syria:

The U.S. has deployed at least six A-10 Thunderbolt ground attack aircraft to Incirlik airbase in Turkey to hit ISIS targets in Syria, the Pentagon said Tuesday.

The deployment of the aircraft popularly known as the Warthog, which the Air Force has been seeking to retire, was first reported by Turkish news outlets and later confirmed by Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook.

"There are A-10s arriving in Incirlik and I don't have the exact number," Cook said. "This was part of a regular rotation that was planned," he said at a Pentagon news conference. Other news outlets reported that as many as 12 A-10s were going to Incirlik.

Posted by: lysias | Oct 21 2015 20:06 utc | 16

Greek website ProNews (formerly DefenceNet, in Greek) maintains that Putin/Assad in Moscow have signed a fifteen year military cooperation agreement which includes the introduction of 5000 Russian “advisers”, the transfer of T-90s to Syria, and a five year training period for the Syrian army, 2015 - 2020.

They provide no source for this. They’re generally reliable, if a bit enthusiastic at times. So, for what it’s worth.

Posted by: Thrasyboulos | Oct 21 2015 20:07 utc | 17

Nah, it's not silent. I first heard of the progress on the Institute for the Study of War site.

Posted by: E. Harding | Oct 21 2015 20:12 utc | 18

Posted by: tom | Oct 21, 2015 3:40:49 PM | 15

To myself the Saker is irrelevant.

Not irrelevant if you factor in Saker's bias. And he's a good source of background info like history, mindset, etc.

I find b's analysis to be more closely reasoned and thus less tarnished by bias. Also, IMO b writes from a standpoint of moral outrage not inherent bias for either side.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 21 2015 20:25 utc | 19

b says:

There is either a deal in the making ... or the war on Syria will escalate further

or both. the black budget is inexhaustible (the heroin pipeline is secure for the foreseeable future btw). these motherfuckers have already invested the leveraged wealth of a wealthy nation promulgating the idea of multigenerational warfare and believe you me no 'deal' is gonna deny their furtherance. it's a madness, wiping clean the archival evidence, slaughtering a crooked path through the cradle of civilization.

Posted by: john | Oct 21 2015 20:49 utc | 20

thanks b.. very interesting to see what comes out of the meetings articulated in your last paragraph...

Cubitus Maximus=html... the ongoing armchair troll-fest continues..

Posted by: james | Oct 21 2015 20:51 utc | 21

The report of the A-10 deployment coinciding with the report of the T-90's may be a coincidence but the A-10 is a tank hunter.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Oct 21 2015 20:54 utc | 22

Today's Zaman: Assad visits Moscow, Turkey accepts transition period with him in Syria:

As Syrian President Bashar al-Assad visited Moscow on Wednesday to thank Russian President Vladimir Putin for Russia's military support, Ankara says it's ready to accept a political transition in which Assad remains in symbolic power for six months before leaving office.

Today's Zaman: CHP deputies: Gov’t rejects probe into Turkey’s role in Syrian chemical attack:

Two deputies from the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) have claimed that the government is against investigating Turkey's role in sending toxic sarin gas which was used in an attack on civilians in Syria in 2013 and in which over 1,300 Syrians were killed.

Posted by: lysias | Oct 21 2015 21:16 utc | 23

@16 Read the comments on the link, and my history here and you will see a lot of predictions.
Oh, and that declared 4 month war campaign by the Russians in Syria, that so many here were trumpeting, all ready called it, Weeks ago, if you cared to read the bac- log (although the set up here makes that time consuming and not really feasible). Doesn't mean that it won't happen at all, just means that its highly unlikely and to declare it as so, is just silly.

And I'm Irrelevant to him ? Of course. So are you. And we are both " Irrelevant" to 7 billion other humans - whats your stupid point ?
That is a Saker sized ego that you share.

And the fact that the Saker go so much wrong without a hint of sincere reflection of error in later posts, just shows how biased and unreliable he is with the geopolitics/military aspects of the Syria hegemonic plan and counter-plan. Just because some might like his thoughts, that Isn't an immunity condition that bots will try to protect him with.

To repeat the Saker, "Also, 2 MiG-31s in the air would be enough to monitor the Syrian airspace and defend it from any intruder", "with 2 ready to take off", which is the stupidest thing I've ever read as an analysis. What, 2-4 active Russian planes surveilling and defending the vast majority of Syria in Air defence ? ABSURD. The evil US empire and it's terrorist puppet states were setting up to Air attack and missile attack Syria, and the Saker came up with that as a defence plan. Amazing. Yeah the S-300 would be a better defence that he mentioned. But what about a troop support by AIR that necessary for Syrian troop defence, thats I all ready criticised.

The saker set up for criticism by saying that " others" and "some" for bringing up military recommendations, and only weeks later, was himself OH SO WRONG, on most of it.

Did you want to criticism that, or is html going to defend it. And please go through the piece I linked to and tell me all the things you agree with the Saker and compare it to how it played out in the most predicable of ways.

Posted by: tom | Oct 21 2015 21:36 utc | 24

"…the A-10 is a tank hunter."

I read an article recently arguing that the A-10 was the preferred close ground support aircraft for soldiers, by soldiers on the ground, it can see better (fly closer) and be there when needed but the morons at the top want the F-35 and other aircraft that, by time they get there are too late and can't see what needs to be seen anyway.

The military brass want to retire the A-10 platform. Figures.

I know very little about this stuff so maybe someone else here has read the same info and can confirm or dispute.

Posted by: paulmeli | Oct 21 2015 21:48 utc | 25

The reason the A-10 can spot ground targets so well is that it flies low and slow. But that would make it highly vulnerable to antiaircraft weapons like MANPADs if it attacked Russian tanks.

Posted by: lysias | Oct 21 2015 21:56 utc | 26

The Turkish Daily Zaman reported that:

“….the US and several European and Gulf states…have agreed to a plan under which Syria’s embattled President Bashar al-Assad will remain in power for the next six months during a transition period….Turkey has abandoned its determination [to get rid of Assad] and has agreed on an interim period with Assad in place,” former Foreign Minister Yaşar Yakış told Today’s Zaman on Tuesday….If the Syrian people decide to continue with Assad, then there is not much Turkey can object to.” (Report: Turkey agrees to Syria political transition involving Assad, Today’s Zaman)

This story has not yet appeared in any western media. Obama’s Syrian policy has completely collapsed.

Posted by: harry law | Oct 21 2015 22:10 utc | 27

I recall that Saker's been wrong on Novorossian actions in the Donbass region and on Russian motives for staying out of that area in the past. I would not be surprised then if Saker is misjudging Russian motives and actions in Syria.

The Russians have only been asked by Syria to carry out airstrikes and provide cover for its ground forces. Perhaps the Russians are also covering for Hezbollah troops and troops from Syrian allies. After all the US provides aerial cover for ISIS so Russia is merely restoring the balance.

There may be good reason for the Syrian army to make tactical retreats from certain areas. Syrian troops must not spread themselves too thinly or they will make the same mistakes the Ukrainian army did in Donbass last year where its soldiers ended up being encircled by Novorossian forces.

I'm actually surprised that, given Saker's background, he was wrong on Donbass and could be wrong on the level of Russia's participation in Syria and Russian motives involved. It's not enough for him to rely just on K Sivkov's knowledge of the situation, he needs the opinions of at least another couple of experienced and knowledgeable people close to what is happening in Syria and to compare and contrast them with Sivkov's opinion. But the situation may be changing so rapidly that it's hard to keep up.

Posted by: Jen | Oct 21 2015 22:24 utc | 28

According to the Kremlin, Putin also talked to al-Sisi and the King of Jordan after the Assad meeting.

Posted by: CE | Oct 21 2015 22:48 utc | 29


The Syrians that matter, who have any power, the rebels who Hajji Putin is bombing have in a rare united statement rejected again any transition with Assad involved. Whatever arrangement Obama or Erdogan or anyone else may agree with, to console Putin in his Syrian failure, will not change that fact and the conflict will continue.

Even if they stopped arms supplies, which is unlikely, I doubt the rebels could be coerced into accepting this bitter pill.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Oct 21 2015 22:58 utc | 30

My comment on the Saker/b posts: One thing b is absolutely unmatched in is the incredibly high signal-to-noise ratio. You can't anywhere get more densely packed connect-the-dots information in a short write-up than here. While the Saker tends to be quite verbose.

This written using the opportunity for a compliment to b, and adding that we as independent thinkers should always remember that even well-informed bloggers shouldn't be held as gurus (the tendency for that being much higher over at the Saker, IMHO). ;o)

Posted by: CE | Oct 21 2015 23:01 utc | 31


I don’t remember Saker being wrong on the Donbass. He had his moment of weakness (as I think many of us did) when he thought Russia should intervene to stop the terrible bloodshed. But as I recall within 24 hours he had changed his mind and gone back to his original position. I will always be grateful to him for the wealth of day-by-day information he provided about events in East Ukraine during 2014.

Saker was also one of the first to warn that Tsipras/Syriza would betray the Greek people. I think we have to grant him (and others) the right to have opinions about Russia in Syria that are much, much more cautious than those of many of us who visit this site, myself included. It is, after all, a very dangerous and totally fluid situation.

Posted by: Lochearn | Oct 21 2015 23:16 utc | 32

Is it really that wise for Russia to make the push to end the war diplomatically while so many terrorist are still armed and in dug in all over Syria ? It doesn't seem safe

Posted by: psakiwacky | Oct 21 2015 23:16 utc | 33

@Jen @ 29

The Saker's "AngloZionist" "theory" is one the silliest ideas I've ever seen anyone take seriously..some of the people who have taken it seriously are reasonably intelligent people.

Posted by: psakiwacky | Oct 21 2015 23:23 utc | 34


Turkey bombing "Their own people"?

"Their own people"? Something very strange is going on with these Kurds. Everybody bombs them. They seem to want to carve out a "Kurdistan" from Iraq, Turkey, and Iran. Perhaps they should not be faulted for this (The British jerks are the primary culprits here, as usual.) But then these nations have a desire to hold their territory.

As far as Turkey and Erdogan are concerned, they are a riddle wrapped in a mystery. I believe NOTHING I read about them. There is a vast amount of disinformation about them, and I believe NOTHING!!!

Posted by: blues | Oct 21 2015 23:38 utc | 35

@1 Saker comes up with some points that are, frankly, ludicrous.

Saker: "The airbase at Latakia is maxed out or will very soon be"

Ahem. The pace of Russian airstrikes have been increasing. They certainly aren't levelling out.

And, of course, the Russians actually have TWO airbases at their disposal:
Hemeimeem airport in Latakia province
Hamadiyeh airport in Tartus province

And, not only that, but it had been reported back in September (i.e. before the Russians began flying missions) that the Russians were expanding both airports:

So that argument is quite bogus.

Saker: "The Russian flotilla in the Caspian has used up almost all its cruise missiles"

Such an odd claim considering that until that flotilla fired nobody - but nobody - even knew that Russia had cruise missiles with that capability. Now we know that they only have 26 of them?


Much of the rest is also extremely suspect:
"The Russians are not providing close air support, but only strikes on operational-level fixed targets"

Maybe that's because the **real** offensive hasn't started yet.

"The USA are supplying Daesh with ammunition to compensate for the ammo dumps destroyed by Russian airstrikes"

How, exactly? And how are they "dumping" that ammo without the Russians then bombing those all-new ammo dumps?

Or is Saker suggesting that the Americans have set up a direct Ankara-to-frontline supply line by adopting commercial just-in-time supply-chain practice?

Much of the rest is the same i.e. it is predicated upon the notion that what we are seeing now is *the* big push by the Syrian Army.

It isn't. The Syrian Army is still in the probing phase. It is still switching focus from one place to the other to stretch the rebels and force them to (a) use up what ammo they have and (b) expose any lack of co-ordination between various rebel groups.

The real offensive hasn't started yet.

After all, the operations so far have been almost entirely Syrian Army.
The Hezbollah and the Iranian ground forces haven't been committed yet.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Oct 21 2015 23:45 utc | 36


a bit comment on 'saker' here , a long time follower of his site .. i think this new saker is somehow different than the old vineyard saker .. i cant put my finger on it but some of the article posted in this new saker website feels like tainted with mainstream media narrative.. in my personal opinion , saker's new website already been slowly 'hijacked' , as with the 'ZeroHedge' site, now totally support the mainstream media narrative..

either saker changed now , or this is the real saker with masks off..

i now avoid saker's new site like plaque.. it is like a disinfo site in my opinion..

Tom is right , and his example of 'saker' insulting commenters who predicted russian involvement in syria , only to be proven totally wrong when the russian planes landed i syria the day after saker ridicule the possibility of russian involvement..

which side is saker on really ? he resides in florida , how hard it is to 'pretend' to be a russian and after you got a following you slip in your 'narrative' ?

Posted by: milomilo | Oct 22 2015 0:17 utc | 37

ot - saker... thanks yeah, right @37 and milomilo @38.. as some of us were saying in the previous thread - that is how some of us are seeing sakers commentary.. maybe soros bought him out! anything is possible.. the guy lives in florida somewhere, if i am not mistaken...

Posted by: james | Oct 22 2015 0:24 utc | 38

I wouldn't be surprised to start seeing uprisings or at least sabotage in places like Mosul. Despite Vice Magazine's report about ISIS bringing the inhabitant's of Mosul "calmer lives" (remember that horseshit?) most of the things I have read indicate that the great majority of people living under ISIS rule hate it immensely. Though I'm sure they've learned pacification and death squad tactics from the most notorious practitioners around, something tells me that as soon as the winds of change start to blow through big population centers like Mosul, we're likely to see some internal rebellion.

Posted by: guest77 | Oct 22 2015 0:33 utc | 39

@Lisa #8:

In Syria they are in the grinding phase. This is always hard to report on because it just seems like endless battles and nothing seems to happen.…

A lot of, particularly western, people struggle to understand this sort of war. After years and years of COIN type stuff with lots of small, sharp, short engagements, this 'real war' stuff is not in their mindset.

@Yeah, Right #37:

The Syrian Army is still in the probing phase. It is still switching focus from one place to the other to stretch the rebels and force them to (a) use up what ammo they have and (b) expose any lack of co-ordination between various rebel groups.

All of that sounds right to me. I'm sitting back and watching how the pros do it, without getting too worried, and also trying not to get too excited about what they will do next – and when.

Posted by: Demian | Oct 22 2015 0:35 utc | 40

"If Russia did begin flying missions over Iraq, it would preclude the United States from flying, "

How petty. It hasn't stopped the US from flying missions in Syria, so why should it stop them in Iraq?

More evidence that what everyone believes is true - the US "effort" against ISIS is a complete sham.

Posted by: guest77 | Oct 22 2015 0:37 utc | 41

"Drinking upstream from the herd", is never easy, so read around.

Thanks, as always b, for the updates on Syria. I find the " dueling egos" sometimes make reading comments here, a bit too long. Still, a great site.

Posted by: ben | Oct 22 2015 0:46 utc | 42

[...] The casual reader of that paragraph will assume that the "American-led coalition" and "American air power" was responsible for the liberation of Baiji [...]

It looks like the MSM is on a roll to manipulate the recent success of the Iraqi army as US "inspired," as b pointed out; however, some news outlets are going beyond that. Take a look at the USA Today rag,

U.S. military chief: Iraq doesn't want Russian help

[...] Dunford has said he is looking at options that could bolster the assistance the United States is providing to Iraq’s military, citing some recent successes the country’s armed forces have had against the Islamic State.

The United States has about 3,400 troops in Iraq to train and support Iraq's military. Much of the country’s armed forces had to be rebuilt after a crushing defeat at the hands of the Islamic State, which is also called ISIS or ISIL, last year.

“We’re going to look at a wide range of things that we could do to help the Iraqis generate momentum and reinforce the successes that they’re starting to have,” he said.

Iraq’s military, led by its elite counterterrorism forces, retook control of an oil refinery — the nation's largest — near the town of Beiji in recent days, said Maj. Michael Filanowski, a coalition operations officer. The refinery had been fought over for more than a year.

Several Iraqi divisions are also closing in on Ramadi after a months long offensive to push the militants out of the strategic Sunni city in western Iraq.

The city center remains in the hands of militants, who have established a sophisticated ring of defenses around the city, but Iraqi forces are continuing to take ground around it as they draw closer to its center.

Dunford said he doesn’t consider the ground war in Iraq a stalemate.

“How could it be a stalemate,” Dunford said. “ISIS has lost ground.”

Dunford's statements are purposely interspersed within the article to make it appear as if...US military aid is not only responsible for the training and support of the Iraqi army, but also rebuilt it from scratch after it was routed by IS last year. Furthermore, it is also behind the latest victories over IS, and his comment denying a stalemate closing the article would seal the perception on the uninformed reader. At the same time, at the center of the article we find negative comments about Russia's intervention in Syria, the same old "counterproductive" BS, blah, blah, blah.

So, what brainwashing do we have?

First, the Iraqis don't want Russian help; second, the reason might be the "counterproductive" intervention in Syria; and third, the Iraqis are winning because of our aid, and they have sided with us, not the Russians. No mention of Iran's help to Iraq for a decade now, or the C&C center created by the 4+1, or the Iranian-trained Iraqi militias, at the forefront of the battle against IS.

OTOH, al-Abadi is sitting-on-the-fence, playing with fire, trying to steal as much as possible while it lasts. Ultimately, Iran will decide if the Russians enter the fray in Iraq. All they need to do is send a message to al-Sistani who will issue a fatwa, a parliamentary decision will follow, and that's it, al-Abadi is meat.

But the common Americans are also meat, the MSM brainwashing is overwhelming. No reason anyone betting on the stupidity of the American people has never lost any money so far.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Oct 22 2015 0:48 utc | 43

Great discussion about Russia, Syria, and US Foreign Policy inc a segment dissecting how the "deep state" operates, with a quick rundown of various neocons and their history and connections. w/ Eric Draitser & Mark Sleboda on CPR public radio, hosted by Don DeBar. About an hour

Posted by: Colinjames | Oct 22 2015 0:56 utc | 44

This is very OT, but I found another interesting country that fits as evidence that the 1989 events in the socialist bloc weren't 'revolutions' (in most cases, though there were some) and were instead honest democratic reforms, which were followed over the next decades with anti-democratic revolutions (the infamous Color Revolutions) pushed through by the United States and it's allies.

Russia in 1993 and Georgia in 2003 are both perfect examples of anti-democratic actions urged on by the United States, and here is another:

This example is Mongolia - especially interesting because it is sandwiched between the two largest former Communist states, China and the USSR. They had, in 1989, a so-called "democratic revolution" which in reality was an abdication of one-party rule and a commitment to electoral politics by the pro-Soviet revolutionary party there. Elections continued as normal between 1989 and 2008 with the western inspired parties winning the elections, but as soon as the people chose, for the first time since 1989, the reformed Revolutionary Party as the largest to be in parliament, there were the classic unfounded claims of "election fraud", riots in the capital and the "Democratic Party" declared it would boycott the parliament.

Another classic example of Color Revolution.

Posted by: guest77 | Oct 22 2015 0:56 utc | 45

@guest77 #46:

You kind of leave us hanging with that post. So was the Revolutionary Party prevented from gaining power? How? They were forced to enter into a coalition which tied their hands, under threat of endless riots? Link?

Anyway, I found the military blog Sic Semper Tyrannis to be good on Ukraine. Always nice to see what honest American military types have to say about America's current wars.

SITREP: Summary of Recent Developments in Syria

While short term developments (T + 7 days) are difficult to assess, it is already apparent that the Syrian regime and its allies are intend not just on some minor border corrections but on achieving a large scale military victory in NW Syria.

Posted by: Demian | Oct 22 2015 1:10 utc | 46

Demian: Thanks, that's a great link with great comments. Here's another:

The Saker seems impatient. Sure there's a little give and take on the battlefield, but the SAA ends up with the final take. They are moving with deliberation, thus avoiding the increased casualties of a headlong assault against prepared positions. That fighting style has allowed the SAA to remain a cohesive force for three plus years. The progress has been sufficient enough to allow Assad to travel to Moscow this week. As Colonel Lang pointed out, this grinding could take a while.

I read the Latakia civil airport will be turned over for military operations soon. That will allow more aircraft to operate in theater. I also suggest there is more going on in the border regions that we can see, like strenuous raid/ambush activity by Spetznaz and/or IRGC. As Patrick B pointed out, there is a several thousand strong Iranian force that we have lost sight of that may be in Latakia preparing for some kind of offensive action. Patience,my son, patience.

Posted by: fairleft | Oct 22 2015 3:16 utc | 47

Posted by: milomilo | Oct 21, 2015 8:17:21 PM | 38

which side is Saker on really ...

Well, to expand upon what I suggested @20:
Saker would talk about the weakness of the Donbas forces to counter Western attacks on Russian 'intervention'. I think it was pretty by then that Russia had made the decision to support the Donbas. Then he spoke of how the Donbas forces had been weakened just before the push to close the cauldron (after it was closed, Saker was practically giddy).

Now, with Syria, he moots Russia's military involvement before Russia surprises the world by sending forces to Syria. And now he talks about how limited Russian air support is, and how weaken Syrian ground forces are (and the stiff resistance that they face) just before (what we all expect will be) a major ground offensive.

IMO Saker's twists and turns, which some see as 'mistakes' (or worse), are just reflective of his bias.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 22 2015 3:39 utc | 48


To be more explicit: IMO Saker's bias leads him to 'help' Russia with disinfo at crucial times.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 22 2015 3:44 utc | 49

@jackrabbit , post#49

i agree with your comment on saker's bias, but i think there's more than just that.. the vineyard saker has changed , and the guest posts now infected with people who cleverly weaved mainstream media narrative in their post.. Dont get me wrong, but reading saker's and his guest's post now is like eating a cake with bad tasting raisins inside it , you get the cake but you also notice the bad tasting raising in it , not too much but noticable..

it just feels different , saker's post , his guest's post, the vibe of his new websites , totally different than the old vineyard saker blog..

he is pushing something , while pretending to be someone else.. that's my view on him..

Posted by: milomilo | Oct 22 2015 3:56 utc | 50

@milomilo #51:

the vibe of his new websites , totally different than the old vineyard saker blog

FWIW, I barely follow his blog anymore. I didn't really follow Russian news at all until the Ukraine blew up in February 2104, and I learned about Saker's at that time soon after this one, IIRC. Then Saker was my main source for developments in the former Ukraine, at least until I learned about Colonel Cassad. (I read Russian.)

Now Russia has been at the center of the news for so long that I've paid a lot of attention to it, so I don't need the Saker anymore to serve as a mediator. Also, his being a second-generation emigré makes me suspicious of him. (As I mentioned on the Open Thread, I am suspicious of Russians outside of Russia in general when it comes to matters Russian. So I prefer to get my sense of things from Russians inside Russia.)

In any case, there are so many English language Web sites now giving the Russian perspective that you can get by fine without reading Russian. I actually think Fort Russ is the best. Russia Insider is also good, but its "voice" is too Western for my taste. Then there are New Eastern Outlook, Oriental Review, and Strategic Culture. Finally there are Washington's Blog, offguardian, and New Cold War.

Finally, I read just amount everything, including those, from RSS feeds inside of Thunderbird. MoA is the only blog/news site that I read in a Web browser, so I can read the comments. :-) Since I read the Saker only as a RSS feed, it is easy for me to ignore the comments.

Posted by: Demian | Oct 22 2015 4:37 utc | 51

The Saker was and still is a great blog. It is different now because it is so much bigger with a much much larger readership and of course a lot of people writing for it, volunteer moderators and lots of people in the comments. A few years ago it was a tiny blog. Saker's analyses were great (and still are) and he had time to engage the few commenters and answer questions.

I do miss that but I'm very glad that the anti-imperial point of view is getting out to much more people.

Posted by: Lysander | Oct 22 2015 4:38 utc | 52

Good piece by Mike W at CP
The Russian-led military coalition is badly beating Washington’s proxies in Syria which is why John Kerry is calling for a “Time Out”.

On Monday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called for an emergency summit later in the week so that leaders from Russia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Jordan could discuss ways to avoid the “total destruction” of Syria. According to Kerry, “Everybody, including the Russians and the Iranians, have said there is no military solution, so we need to make an effort to find a political solution. This is a human catastrophe that now threatens the integrity of a whole group of countries around the region,” Kerry added.

Of course, it was never a “catastrophe” when the terrorists were destroying cities and villages across the country, uprooting half the population and transforming the once-unified and secure nation into an anarchic failed state. It only became a catastrophe when Vladimir Putin synchronized the Russian bombing campaign with allied forces on the ground who started wiping out hundreds of US-backed militants and recapturing critical cities across Western corridor. Now that the Russian airforce is pounding the living daylights out of jihadi ammo dumps, weapons depots and rebel strongholds, and the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) is tightening their grip on Aleppo, and Hezbollah is inflicting heavy casualties on Jabhat al Nusra militants and other Al Qaida-linked vermin; Kerry’s decided it’s a catastrophe. Now that the momentum of the war has shifted in favor of Syrian president Bashar al Assad, Kerry wants a “Time out”.

Posted by: okie farmer | Oct 22 2015 4:45 utc | 53

@35 This.

Also, tom, I find myself agreeing with you entirely. I'm worried that this may be one of the signs of the apocalypse. I'd ask you to hold me, but I sweat when I'm nervous† ;-)

Some of topics on which 'Saker' makes forceful pronouncements fall under my own particular areas of expertise (for example, modern Russian and German military and political history). When 'Saker' talks about such topics - topics he uses as a foundation for his forcefully-proclaimed beliefs - I know with certainty that he is often spectacularly wrong, as if he learned his facts from supermarket tabloids or 'Before Its News'. (Did you know that Stalin was a "great" and "wise" leader, and the "savior" of Europe? Did you know that the Moletov-Ribbontrop Pact didn't exist? It's all true, in 'Saker' Land.)

His 'Anglo-Zionist Empire' theory is pretentious claptrap:
• Look at the Forbes Rich List: 50% of America's top billionaires are Jewish, and most of these are zionist. Less than 15% of the Rich List are 'Anglo'.
• As I mentioned in a previous post, the Israeli press points out that America's top political donors and lobbyists are Jewish and Zionist - not 'Anglo' Anything.
• 'Anglo' people don't run Hollywood, Jewish people do (as both Joel Stein and the Israeli press have pointed out).
• Jewish people - not 'Anglo' people - own 80%+ of the American news media, whether measured by market share or by turnover.
• The United States has given at least $2 trillion to Israel since 1948, while forcing the 'Anglo' UK to repay its WW2 debt to America in its entirety (a debt so large, it was only paid off at the start of the 21st century).
• There are no 'Anglo' British passport holders running American cities, or American 'Anglo' Christians running Israeli cities - but Chicago has the Jewish Israeli citizen Rahm Emmanuel as its mayor (not to mention Bloomberg's and Filner's recent tenures in New York and San Diego).
• Every American president since Woodrow Wilson has numerous Jewish (often Israeli) senior advisors or strategists (in more recent decades, people like Henry Kissinger, Rahm Emmanuel, David Axelrod, Saul Alinsky, Valerie Jarrett, etc.) - but no British people.
• The Federal Reserve has had 5 Jewish heads in a row, broken by the tenure of 'Anglo' William Miller for a mere 18 months. The Fed's Deputy Chair is Israeli citizen Stanley Fisher (a devoted zionist who campaigned for financial sanctions against Iran). The Fed has never had a British citizen in a senior post.
• The Iraq War plans were written by Jewish PNAC members (often Israeli citizens) like Kagan and Chertoff, not by 'Anglo' or 'British' people.

I could go on, but you get the picture. You can throw dozens of similarly emphatic facts at 'Saker' to disprove his anglo-zionist fantasy - but as I learned from failed attempts, facts bounce off his head like bullets bounce off Superman.

Bottom line: I think the Saker is either really flawed, or he's on someone's pay roll.

† And I've just eaten onions.

Posted by: BiffaBacon | Oct 22 2015 4:46 utc | 54

@42 guest

Is this what you're referring to ...

U.S. to Iraq: If Russia helps you fight ISIS, we can't

The U.S. has told Iraq's leaders they must choose between ongoing American support in the battle against militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and asking the Russians to intervene instead.

... I agree it's hard to imagine the US leaving the poor Iraqis alone ... but if I were an Iraqi I'd make the switch in one Baghdad minute ... it might actually get the US off my back.

Posted by: jfl | Oct 22 2015 5:27 utc | 55

@51 You perfectly captured how I feel reading the Saker blog - only you've said it all *a lot* more succintly than I could have ;-)

@52 I dunno... I find all of those websites will happily publish anything that contains the words 'America', 'Empire' and 'Yah-Booooh!' in the same sentence. It's like an echo chamber for college activists, where the same inexperienced writers sound off on different topics, many of which they know nothing about, giving more opinion than fact. You have left-wing activists like Pepe Escobar trying to look expert on the conflicts in Syria or Iraq, and he'll completely get wrong the names of basic military terms, mis-identify equipment, and generally show he doesn't know anything about warfare. Or you see Alexander Mercouris trying to talk about finance and economics, when his forté is the law. It's all sound and fury, signifying nothing.

I've read at least one known Mossad employee (Eric Zuesse) in Strategic Culture and Washington's Blog, and Washington's Blog has frequently been duped into running other 'stories' placed by Mossad and the CIA. The people who run alt media websites rarely have the expertise to know when someone like Zuesse is lying through his teeth, the editors just seem to take it all at face value. The alt media rarely background-checks contributors for credentials/sanity/expertise/honesty. (I mean, Russia Today used to use Alex Jones as a go-to contributor until only a few years ago, and Jones is one of the biggest shills in the business.)

Then there's the censorship ad bias. Russia Insider heavily censors, and punishes readers' criticism of, Israeli politics and zionism. Criticise Israel's government too many times, or mention uncomfortable truths like Israel arming ISIS, and very soon RI informs you that you're using 'naughty words' and you can no longer post. (Well, there's a 50% chance your post will appear two days later, long after anyone will read it. There's a 50% chance they won't publish it at all.)

Many 'intelligence agencies' spend a small fortune on cointel. People have an unrealistic idea that 'spy' agencies are all James Bond stuff, but that's fantasy. At intelligence agencies, assassins and master spies are rarer than unicorn doots. Most of their employees are dull people working in quiet offices, producing assessments, writing reports, creating fake news stories for wire services, running 'alt media' blogs, etc. For example, 'Sorcha Faal' at 'What Really Happened' is a chubby, bearded, middle aged CIA employee called David Booth. 'Before Its News' is CIA (for the love of heaven, don't rely on their 'private' email service, it's a trap).

Posted by: BiffaBacon | Oct 22 2015 5:32 utc | 56


Anybody remember that BLOCKQUOTE clown who insulted everybody that expressed the possibility of Russia entering Syria?

Posted by: bbbbb | Oct 22 2015 5:38 utc | 57

About Saker, lets not forget ME is not his main focus. In this regard he is much like Col. Cassad, both have great insights about Novorossia, but quite mediocre about ME.

For example, Cassad just few months ago was saying how Turkey and US are seriously fighting IS. I found it amusing :)

Posted by: Harry | Oct 22 2015 5:40 utc | 58

@Jackrabbit@20, 49, 50

Your comments on the suspect at hand have been the most insightful on the subject. Counterpointing his bias against b's moral outrage was superb, and defining bias as his main burden, tilting toward disinfo when "helpful," right on target.

I had no idea I was going to stir up a hornet's nest, when I posted my very personal opinion about the guy in the former thread, and some comments about what I thought a very stupid statement, the Russian Navy at the Caspian Sea running out of missiles (more helpful disinfo?). I made an exception (I don't read his stuff) and read his "Let's stop the stupid flag waving" rant, and from the title down it struck me as insultingly patronizing/condescending, can't understand how people, allegedly intelligent, can perceive that from his rants.

I used to visit his site when the Donbass crisis started, but soon after I realized he was creating a cult, not blogging. Now there is a true personality cult around him, with a throng of sycophants that jump on his defense (see former MoA thread on La Clinton), ready to pounce on anyone who questions the General Secretary, more a general than a secretary. I never felt tempted to post at all there, and got disgusted and completely turned off after I witnessed posters being insulted by him in public, just for dissenting with thundering Jupiter, with all his sycophants cheering at the humiliation. I never went back, and never again touched anything related to the guy.

Now his followers carry his links everywhere, and like comment No. 1 on this thread, use his positions to question anyone and anything under heaven that doesn't match the party line.


By the time I stopped visiting his site, I had perceived something different. Like you said, difficult to put your finger on, but the feeling was he was pushing a particular agenda for who knows who.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Oct 22 2015 5:40 utc | 59

PS. I like MoA because a) b doesn't pretend to know everything, and b) we get considered, intelligent posts instead of a 24/7 flood of 'column filler'.

Posted by: BiffaBacon | Oct 22 2015 5:43 utc | 60

@BiffaBacon #55:

I have argued against the idea of an "Anglo-Zionist empire" here before, if on different grounds. So I am not a fan of it. But I want to point out here that I think you misunderstand the concept.

(1) "Anglo" does not mean English people in the US pulling the strings, in the same way that "Zionist" means (Jewish) Zionist people in the US pulling strings and owning things, (according to your understanding of the Saker's concept, anyway). "Anglo" here stands for the continuity of the US empire with the British empire. And this continuity is perfectly real: the US empire just took over from the British empire, and both are empires of an anglo people. (Besides both being anglo, the other very important thing they have in common is that they both were/are sea powers: thus the shared hatred of Russia by their elites.)

(2) Zionist here does not just mean (ethnically) Jewish. It also means Zionist in the strictly ideological sense. Quite a few of the early leading Zionists were not Jews, but Christians, and specifically English evangelicals. Also, remember that the British Empire antedates Zionism. Britain created Israel, and my impression is that the US was initially not very enthusiastic about it.

I'm not saying that with these corrections, "Anglo-Zionist Empire" becomes a good analytical category; only that at least it is not as primitive as you make it out to be.

To me, FWIW, what makes the "Zionist" in Anglo-Zionist empire something not to be dismissed offhand is (1) England created Israel with the Balfour Declaration, and evangelicals played a big role in that; (2) the Israel lobby makes the US act against its own interests when it comes to Middle East policy. That Jews own a lot of stuff in the US is not a good reason to speak of an Anglo-Zionist empire, in my view.

Posted by: Demian | Oct 22 2015 5:48 utc | 61

I think 'Saker' does good analysis. I think the infantry battle of the SAA, NDF and rebels+ISIL is hard to gauge at this point.

One must remember that the SAA have not been a successful fighting force up to now, and they are fighting die-hards that will fight tot he death and have TOWs, IEDs and hit&run tactics. It's pure hell for both sides to fight this out I'm sure. Being analytically cautious in anticipation of confirmed results seems alright..

I don't always like 'Saker's' condescending attitude over comments in his main blog posts- it just seems petty to call out commenters as trolls, stupids, ignorant etc because they have differing opinion in the main pieces. Best to address it in a professional manner.

So I met a Yemeni guy today that seems to be Sunni.. He was actually a really nice guy, which makes me reassess a lot about Yemen.. He had as much trouble as I did figuring out why the war in Yemen was even taking place - a gigantic absurdity... It made me think about what his identity in this country is, and think further as to whether he has/had an 'identity' in his home country, whose history and social order has been largely pulvarized and erased..

To see such wholesale death among ancient and interesting cultures, and so many labor-capable men across the region is extremely tragic and sad to think about. I can only point the blame at my government, who cynically demolitioned these countries and keeps pouring gasoline and lit matches on the blasted remains. Of course, our government activities merely reflect the mainstream (and soulless) cynicism of western against these people.

Posted by: bbbbb | Oct 22 2015 6:19 utc | 62

Although I haven't commented here before today, I have been reading M of B for about the same time as Saker's blog. Different field of expertise, I would guess different backgrounds, both worth reading, but nothing is gospel.
Both pissed off with the current "empire" for want of a better word, on moral grounds.
The comment section here seems to have fallen off a cliff today.

Posted by: Peter | Oct 22 2015 7:32 utc | 63

Finally! I need not go anywhere else (or at all) to figure out what is happening on the ground in Syria. Many thanks to Phil Butler

Posted by: bjmaclac | Oct 22 2015 8:02 utc | 64

I fully agree. Even if "Anglos" and Zionists are uneasy bedfellows, they have considerably overlapping interests currently, and are thus acting together. That might change, but their intra-historia has strong common roots:
Both have a racist world view. In the Anglo case, it is merged with the prevailing class structure. As England has been ruled for centuries by a class of foreign invaders who gave a shit about the life of the autochthonous people, this habit of governance is deeply rooted in British politics. For Anglos, belonging to a wealthy ruling class is the indicator for beeing agreeable to god, being chosen people. Thus, no problem with the Indian caste system and cooperating with their wealthy elite. First the class, then the race is relevant. Your underlings are cheap meat to be used. Nothing new, read Thomas Morus' Utopia. The US variant is modified by the transition from the roots of racist thinking, the concept of noble families and their god-given right to rule, to a system of certain social mobility allowing for joining the ruling class given sufficient criminal energy and skills are demonstrated. The second difference is the shift from state-sponsored piracy as economic model to genocidals habits which did not end with the extermination of the North American native tribes. And, since we deal with human beings, both have their narratives for feeling good with such practices, and developed skills for selling them to the world.
In the Zionist case, it is the sister of German fascism, both nursed by the Anglo elites. Eichmann worked for Rockefeller in Palestine pushing for Zionist settlements as a bridgehead in the oil region, before he became involved in the Shoa as organizer. Zionists love the holocaust, it is their main justification for making their being the chosen people murderous. Fits well to the Anglo agenda of controlling oil as critical raw meterial for war and business (both merged in the Anglo type of economy), and was for quite some time coopted and supported by the Hitler state as well. Zionism has as much common with the Jewish religion as Wahabit Takfiris have with Islam. They use religion as brand, and for feeling good about their practices. The only contribution of Jewish tradition to the real existing Zionism is the discursive openness of the Jewish religious tradition which morphed into a more creative fascism than the somehow dumb German version, and the idea of genocide supported by God (5. Moses 7, 1-3.5) which morphed into the West Jordan apartheid, Gaza genocidal practice and Dimona.
But the real common ground between the US and Israel is the ursupation of the State by powerful private interests. Transnational companies and banks expanded from being a legal person - thus being a Golem claiming to have human right, but without a body which feels pain, the alternative to the villein - to controlling the res publica by owning a state with its extended rights, in particular the monopoly on violence. Unrestrained and unaccountable use of violence for criminal purposes is the core of both.
And this has very little to do with the US or Israel people. They are both to a large extent only meat to be used, and only some resources have to be spent to keep them in line. As long there is enough leeway, media and political theatre plus bread do the trick. If this does not work, violence will do.
Sounds cynical, but on the other side, such dominant crimes are nothing new either in history, and they never succeeded in finally overcoming the resistance of human beings, their positive creativity and potential for love. As a parasite, this criminal structure depends on its host, and the current excesses are clearly dysfunctional and will not be tolerated in the long run.

Posted by: Kassandra | Oct 22 2015 8:04 utc | 65

The White House has strongly condemned a visit to Moscow by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

A spokesman criticised Russia for putting on a "red carpet welcome".

The Syrian leader's trip on Tuesday came three weeks after Russia began air strikes in Syria against Islamic State militants and other forces.

It was Mr Assad's first overseas trip since civil war broke out in Syria in 2011. The conflict has claimed more than a quarter of a million lives.

On Thursday, a team of Russian MPs is due to meet President Assad and the head of the Syrian parliament in Damascus.

While in Moscow, Mr Assad made a point of expressing his gratitude for Russia's military intervention in the conflict.

He said Russia's involvement had stopped "terrorism" becoming "more widespread and harmful" in Syria.

For his part, Mr Putin said Moscow's hope was that a "long-term resolution can be achieved on the basis of a political process with the participation of all political forces, ethnic and religious groups".

The BBC's Steve Rosenberg in Moscow says that by hosting the Syrian leader, President Putin was sending a clear message to the West - that Moscow is a key player in the Middle East, and that there can be no solution to the Syrian conflict without Russia's involvement.


"We view the red carpet welcome for Assad, who has used chemical weapons against his own people, at odds with the stated goal by the Russians for a political transition in Syria," White House spokesman Eric Schultz told reporters.

A state department official said it was not surprised by the visit, but the main US concern was Russia's continued military support, which he said had emboldened the Assad government - something that would only serve to lengthen the civil war.

Posted by: okie farmer | Oct 22 2015 8:11 utc | 66

Continuing from #49

IMO Saker could be either helping to masque an impending attack or helping the Russians goad the Syrian Govt opposition into an attack of their own. I would bet on the later. The former is too obvious a ploy and the messaging that "we're not ready to attack" includes hints of "OMG we're so vulnerable!". Then there is the poor optics of Russia's participating in a large-scale attack as they talk about a political settlement in Vienna (starting Friday). Plus the distraction/hopefulness of the upcoming talks over a political settlement could well appear like a good opportunity for such a 'surprise' attack (from the perspective of al Nusra/ISIS/FSA/etc who are not involved in the talks).

b says:

There is either a deal in the making ... or the war on Syria will escalate further.

The Russian side may think it is premature for talks (they haven't yet made much headway against the opposition) but they couldn't decline the offer. A 'surprise' attack by the opposition would make it difficult to blame Russia for failed talks (US/Turkey/KSA want a settlement that is unacceptable to Russia/Syria/Iran).

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 22 2015 8:55 utc | 67

Lone Wolf @44 Earlier today, a member of the State of Law Coalition revealed that Iraq's parliament is planning to vote whether or not the country should request the support of the Russian Air Force in fighting the ISIL Takfiri terrorist group by the end of this month.

Iraq's parliament is planning to vote to request support from Russia in fighting the ISIL by the end of the month, a member of the State of Law Coalition told Sputnik on Wednesday.

The State of Law Coalition is Iraq's largest political party, led by former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, and is part of the ruling coalition. The legislator also told Sputnik that the vote is expected to pass with majority support. The US has been increasingly concerned about Russian influence in Iraq, and has sent envoys to the country to dissuade further cooperation.

Legislator Mowaffak Rubaie said the bill will definitely receive a positive vote as the parliament's ruling majority already supports its approval. Fars News.
Didn't Dunford remind the Iraqis that John Wayne won the second World War almost on his own?

Posted by: harry law | Oct 22 2015 9:30 utc | 68

Speaking of SAA advances, they have taken 20+ districts, small towns and villages in the last two weeks, and last night after liberating Sheikh Ahmad, SAA special forces "Cheetah" are only 4 km. from lifting siege of Kuweires Airport.

So yes, while some battles go back and forth in few places (like Salma), but its undeniable legit advances were made. AND its not even the main push, more like reconnaissance battle for now.

Posted by: Harry | Oct 22 2015 11:33 utc | 69

Okie @ 67: White House spokesman condemned the color of the carpet used to welcome President Assad in Moscow. I guess that they would prefer blue to red. In the meantime, NYT is expanding its brand beyond "All the news that fit to print": they discovered that the welcome given to Assad was "chilly":

Bashar al-Assad Finds Chilly Embrace in Moscow Trip
The alliance between Vladimir V. Putin of Russia and Bashar al-Assad of Syria reflects the urgent need to salvage the crumbling government in Syria, but also each man’s eroded international standing.

The best mind put together to invent all possible ways to be snide that can be packed into a title and sub-title. Strangely enough, no red carpet was observed -- NYT is not a mere tool of the White House, oh no no!. Even more difficult is how to explain that I pay to read it (Business Section is actually quite informative, and then there are invaluable gardening tips).

Actually, there were some interesting news concerning welcomes given to leaders on state visits.
Note the carpet on the photo number 5, kind of red, and I guess, ten thousands dollars minimum! Initially, I thought that Erdogan's welcoming chamber is in Empire style, but after comparing, imperial French chairs were rather subdued in comparison. What we need is a photo tour of the harem part of Ak Saray. (There was a well illustrated report with an interview of Madam President, a material for another series of jokes.)

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Oct 22 2015 11:38 utc | 70

Russian President Vladimir Putin's approval rating has hit a record high of almost 90 percent, primarily as a result of his decision to launch air strikes against Islamist militants in Syria, Russia's state pollster said on Thursday.

VTsIOM, the pollster, said Putin's rating had reached 89.9 percent in October, up from a previous high of 89.1 percent in June. In January 2012, it put his rating at 58.8 percent.

"Such a high level of approval for the work of the Russian president is linked, in the first instance, to events in Syria, to Russian air strikes on terrorist positions there," VTsIOM said in a statement.

Russia's air force says it has flown over 700 sorties against more than 690 targets in Syria since Sept. 30, a campaign to which state TV has given blanket coverage.

Before the strikes, polls showed Russians were wary about the risks of Kremlin involvement in the Middle East. But a poll conducted earlier this month showed that 72 percent had a broadly positive opinion of the Russian air campaign.

Posted by: okie farmer | Oct 22 2015 12:20 utc | 71

Kassandra @ # 66 Excellent description of the Elites/0.01%ers/TPTB and their raison d'etre. Hope you have no objection to my pinching it for my "Interesting Sayings" folder.

Posted by: Kiwicris | Oct 22 2015 13:09 utc | 72

EXCLUSIVE: Israeli Colonel Leading ISIL Terrorists Arrested in Iraq

Israel's support for ISIS is well documented, however Israel's active duty colonel leading ISIS group? Is Nutjobyahoo getting desperate?

The Iraqi security forces said the captured colonel has already made shocking confessions.

Political and military experts told FNA that the capture of the Israeli colonel will leave a grave impact on Iraq's war strategy, including partnership with Israeli allies.

Posted by: Harry | Oct 22 2015 13:19 utc | 73

Continuing from #68

If you think a political settlement is achievable, you'd want to talk UP your strength before the talks, not send messages of how weak/unprepared your forces are.

Also: I am not sure how much Russia feels that that the talks constrains them (via 'poor optics'). These 'talks' seem rather preliminary.

The shaved beards indicate that this may turn into a guerrilla war. The message:"hey fellas, look, we're not as strong as you think we are" may be designed to forestall that.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 22 2015 13:35 utc | 74

The U.S. fears the replacement of its sham campaign against the Islamic State by a real one run by Russia and Iran. - b. Yes.

Media contortions on the US side: Putin is deluded … P, from a weak position blah.. P will get bogged down.. P wants to re-create Soviet Russia…is bombing moderates and even is siding with ISIL… P has already failed.. and so on...

The low-level MSM seems to be spinning that Obama is a weakling and Putin is Da Man, i.e. it is all the fault of the wimpy ‘moderate.’ Strong leader needed, that kind of stuff.

New York Post, for ex.

Obama has turned Putin into the worlds most powerful leader

By-passing the issue of US twisted, lying, and incompetent hypocrisy. (Not to mention all else of substance.) Of course, it is the only avenue open! And right in line with personalisation, etc. But is is also a weak and dangerous communication strategy - how come the US has Obama and Russia has Putin? How did that come about?

But the US public isn’t really buying it as far as I can see from a *quick* turn around some MSM sites (?)

Ex. Fox news poll shows 70% judge the US doesn’t have a coherent policy in Syria.


This certainly isn’t just because Obama wears blah designer suits and Putin is pictured bare-chested on a horse or piloting a submarine.

I can’t help turning my mind to the US public though I realise my hopes for any consequent action from that end are vain. Sigh. Maybe the Donald can stir ppl up.

Posted by: Noirette | Oct 22 2015 14:16 utc | 75

There is either a deal in the making ... or the war on Syria will escalate further -b

See Thrasybolous at 18 for ex. Webster Tarpley says the US Gvmt is falling apart. (no link I’m no fan.) More prudently, it does seem that The War Party (neo-cons and liberal interventionists) and the Realists (more pro successful dominance and control vs. unprofitable chaos, for soft power moves which can be violent like Color Revs, for Wall Street / various industries outside arms) are at terminal loggerheads, and so policy flounders and is contradictory, the plot is lost.

The Realists would prefer a ‘deal’, which ensures not only a seat at the table, but hopefully (in their eyes) the control of that deal, exploiting (cleverly they think) the remainders of US power (e.g. Syria a transition Govmt. under their auspices) which I am sure they are working towards, vs. those who merely want to bomb Damascus and Moscow, reduce a good part of the world to rubble in a hegemonic killing spree, if I may be hyperbolic. To come back to the US public (see my previous), neither stance is favorable for them.

Posted by: Noirette | Oct 22 2015 14:22 utc | 76

@harry law@69

Didn't Dunford remind the Iraqis that John Wayne won the second World War almost on his own?

And that the US won the VN war, with one hand tied to the back. Good news if in fact the Iraqi parliament will get out of the US alliance. Iraq has enough enemies to have friends like the US coalition.

On another note, same Fars News, Iraq's Kata'ib Hezbollah (Hezbollah Battalions), promised "to win back the city of Ramadi after expelling the American forces from Anbar province."

Spokesman: Iraq's Hezbollah Battalions Planning to Expel US from Anbar Province

"Our forces have two operations underway; first seizing Ramadi from ISIL and second keeping away the American forces from Anbar province," al-Hosseini told FNA on Wednesday.

He underlined that preventing the US forces from getting close to Anbar province will expedite operations for winning back the province, specially after the military operations in Salahuddin province that led to the liberation of the city of Beiji [...]

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Oct 22 2015 14:22 utc | 77

Yes, Kassandra at 66, excellent overview. That said, there might be more truth in simplifying this alienation from (the nice meaning of) nationalism as a product of class psychology/sociology. And that means we need to fear the spread of global elite domination through ever more anti-nationalist elites becoming dominant in their nations and then joining the core countries (US/UK/Israel) in their crusade for a world completely ruled by its economic elites.

This de-nationalized elitism can afflict any economic elite, not just ones with the kind of histories that you described so well. It's part of the nature of being insecurely, undeservedly, excessively wealthy and therefore naturally fearing/hating your country's middle and working classes, and then global elite propaganda working very hard on those fears and hatreds.

Posted by: fairleft | Oct 22 2015 14:34 utc | 78


Also: I am not sure how much Russia feels that that the talks constrains them (via 'poor optics'). These 'talks' seem rather preliminary.

The talks are the ticket to disentangle the whole guacamole once the Russian/Syrian alliance has become the law of the land in Syria. They have strategic more than tactical objectives. The talks serve several purposes, not least opening the door for the US "coalition" to keep a foot in a future political arrangement. Another purpose is to avoid the perpetuation of the conflict by turning it into a guerrilla war, which the US can turn on/off at will. Ensuring the US "coalition" participation in a future political arrangement by means of including US-supported takfiris in the talks, could avoid further bloodshed in the future.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Oct 22 2015 14:41 utc | 79

So. Hillary's Wars.

Watching hearings, so she DID convinced Whitehouse to give military aid to rebels. Hillary has a soft spot for rebels as long as they benefit her handlers. Diplomacy equals war?

Posted by: shadyl | Oct 22 2015 14:55 utc | 80

R&B! Brothers!!

Posted by: Bruce | Oct 22 2015 15:02 utc | 81

Israeli colonel leading ISIL terrorists captured by Iraqi army.

Posted by: curious | Oct 22 2015 15:30 utc | 82

Lone Wolf @80

Mike Whitney (link @54) makes a strong case that these talks are meant to save the hides of the extremists. He says Putin tried diplomacy all summer, but no there was no interest.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 22 2015 15:32 utc | 83

@74 harry.. thanks.. we're not going to read about that in the msm any time soon!

Posted by: james | Oct 22 2015 15:53 utc | 84

Anglo Zionist;The Anglos are definitely in the submissive posture in that relationship,the muscle for Zion.I'm part Anglo myself,it is very embarrassing.(To wacki-no its the Bantus and Pygmies behind it all.)
The Lying times says;Iraq must make the choice,US or them,Russia.Jeez,tough choice.

Posted by: dahoit | Oct 22 2015 16:09 utc | 85

@curious - that "captured Israeli colonel leading ISIL" is like those hundreds of "captured Iranian generals leading the houthis" in Yemen. None was or will ever be seen.

Posted by: b | Oct 22 2015 16:13 utc | 86

how about erdogans latest? Turkish president says Syrian intelligence, Kurdish forces and IS colluded to kill 102 people at peace rally - See more at:

Posted by: james | Oct 22 2015 16:21 utc | 87

@62 Demian, your analysis is very silly, I am afraid. There is no continuity of the British Empire to the US Empire. Such concepts are based on: a) 19th Century (and onwards) yellow press’ tabloid journalism in the USA in which conspiracy theorists posited that ‘England still controls us!’; b) the ‘tweaking the lion’s tail’ strategy popular amongst American politicians appealing to Irish immigrants and Nativists alike.; c) lazy repetition of early Soviet propaganda and later Trotskyite propaganda.

The USA did not take over from the British Empire:
i) The USA has adopted a more indirect approach (economic, ‘lawfare-centric’, ‘regulatory’, using economic hit-men, use of insurgents and terrorism, etc.) as compared to the UK’s more hard-power’ approach of invasion and permanent colonisation by British-born settlers.
ii) The USA has not physically occupied the areas from which the UK recolonised. E.g., Canada, India, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, etc.
iii) The USA’s physical ‘footprint’ abroad consists of myriad military bases spread around the world with no particular overlap with the old British Empire. The British Empire never
iv) The USA’s territorial occupation abroad has no convergence or overlap with the old British Empire. E.g, USA has. Cuba. Philippines.
v) The economic modalities of the british and American ‘power blocks’ are very different. The British Empire sought to direct all of the Empire’s skilled and high-laying industries towards the UK ‘heartland’, so that the Uk remained a high-wage manufacturing power. The USA has exported its best-paying industries abroad, and attempted to impoverish American workers and middle class in an attempt to break their political power (because the USA is run by external colonisers, namely Zionist Jews). If anything, this shows the USA to be the colonised nation, exploited by Zionist jewish billionaires, loyal to Israel. This is the precise reverse of the British Empire situation.
vi) “Hatred of Russia by their elites”: ignorant and purile. Explain to me why Kim Philby and so many other members of the british elite were loyal communists. Explain to me why Woodrow Wilson and Wall Street bankers like Baruch financed the new Bolshevik government in Russia, ensuring it did not collapse. Explain to me the Rockefeller Foudnation’s desire to unify Western and Soviet governmental systems. And of course, although ordinary Republicans or Democrats, Labour Party Members or Conservatives may have disliked Russian Communism, they had no hatred for Russia or the Russian people. You keep trying to sell the idea that the British hated Russia, it sounds racist.
vii) I explained before that your ‘America and Britain hate Russia because sea power’ comment is balderdash. I’m sorry, but it’s trash, a lazy use of a concept without an underlying factual foundation. Britain DID NOT CARE ABOUT RUSSIA BECAUSE THE TWO NATIONS’ INTERESTS AND SPHERES OF INTEREST RARELY CONFLICTED OR OVERLAPPED. The UK’s ‘sea power’ stance in the 18th and 19th Centuries made it LACK significant or prolonged conflict with Russia.
viii) The USA is not an ‘Anglo’ empire. As early as 1900, the overwhelming majority of its citizens were *not* descended from ‘Anglo’ British families. Today, perhaps 15% of Americans’ ‘DNA’ comes from ‘Anglo’ British ancestors. The rest is from Germany, Holland, Scandinavia, France, Russia, Italy, Ukraine, Latin America, Africa, etc.
ix) I am aware that Zionists do not have to be Christian. But tell me: do you find many non-Jewish Zionists in those nations where Jewish Zionists have not found a place at the top table? (Hint: No. You find none.)
x) I have studied the Zionist movement in depth. 95% trace their ancestry back to continental Europe, not the UK.
xi) ‘England’ is not a political or legal entity, and was not at the time. If you can’t even get the country name right, that says a lot for your accuracy. I may make lots to eposbecause I type fast, but you make category mistakes.
xii) England did not create Israel with the Balfour declaration. a) Israel was a multi-generaltional Zionist project, and Zionists created it over a 100-year period up to 1948.
xiii) The Balfour Declaration was wrung out of a reluctant British Government, on paid of having WW1 financial support withdrawn by the German-descended Rothschild banking family.
xiv) Britain fought Israeli terrorists in Palestine - literally, fought an insurgency - to prevent Zionists from taking control. The USA told Britain it would remove all financial support post-WW2 and crash Britain’s economy if Britain continued. Don’t you dare - don’t you DARE - repeat the lie that Britain cerated Israel. My grandfather personally risked his life in the military police to stop Irgun murderers from massacring Palestinian civilians. The Stern Gang tried to murder senior British politicians. If you think ‘Britain’ liked the idea of an Israeli state, you are painfully ignorant of history.

Demian, you really need to read some history books.

Posted by: BiffaBacon | Oct 22 2015 16:36 utc | 88

Saudi Arabia Sent 1,200 Death Row Inmates To Fight In Syria

Posted by: bbbbb | Oct 22 2015 17:41 utc | 89

here in Bulgaria , a reporter commented that before the child found on the beach in Turkey, the bulgarian head prosecutor was making a visit to Erdogan.
The duty of him is to arrest every immigrant and lock him in prison, but he didnt act at all.

the head prosecutor is protected by the ngo america for bulgaria.

instead the prosecutor makes trouble to the ministerpresident of Bulgaria Borisov.

Posted by: xz | Oct 22 2015 17:42 utc | 90

BiffaBacon @88

The Five-eyes countries (US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand) are all former British colonies that speak English. That these countries can work together so well is due in large measure to their shared culture. In that way, Demian is right to point out the continuance of the British Empire.

Zionism is an ideology. 'Anglo' describes the countries and people that comprise the largest and strongest (military, economic) block in the West. Pairing these terms is meant to be descriptive. IMO it is a misreading to think that 'Anglo' (all British/English speaking) people are complicit because the term is paired with 'Zionist' (I sense that you are personally offended to be so associated.)

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 22 2015 18:10 utc | 91

Netanjau says Hitler was not guilty. The german officials say, we are guilty.
Erdogan hates the EU and gives them the migrants and delivers vegetables to Crim. The Sultan has lost his Empire. The arabs united against US-Imperialism and Turkey.
Erdogan fears war with Kurds. Israel fears the revenge of arabs. The Chaos began by the west to the arabs goes back to Europe.

Posted by: xz | Oct 22 2015 18:43 utc | 92
Putin’s practice of diplomacy has been exceptional. Diplomacy at its best aims to prevent wars. At second best, it slows down wars and when successful, it could even bring wars to a grinding halt. At its third best, diplomacy takes over to talk the terms of peace when soldiers have run through and would like to retire, and the war has exhausted itself. But to my mind, Putin has pioneered a fourth variant – an innovative form of ‘coercive diplomacy’.

It is not Putin’s first preference, but became a matter of choice forced upon him by compulsions when in the world of today armed conflicts are being deliberately triggered to provide the raison d’etre of external intervention, and they incrementally begin slouching toward full-scale wars, while the protagonists obdurately refuse to pay heed to the voice of reason and sit on the parapet dangling their feet in the air until the low hanging fruit is ready for plucking. In Ukraine, Putin tested this startlingly innovative variant of diplomacy, and it could be already paying off. And in Syria, he is even more audaciously practicing it. (I won’t elaborate further – it’s my ‘talking points’ for Wednesday’s speech.)

My second consideration was that Russia has undergone the whiplash of the new cold war and it is important to get a first hand feel of how it managed to weather — and is, finally, turning the tide — of the US’ containment strategies. Of course, it must have been apparent to the Barack Obama administration all through that the project to ‘isolate’ a great power like Russia was doomed to fail. But then, Obama has been blessed with the gift of the gab and almost made a credulous world believe he was serious about what he was embarking upon. Indeed, in the process, something has changed in the Russian mindset. Iron entered its soul, and that is bound to get reflected in the Russian conduct on the world stage.

Posted by: okie farmer | Oct 22 2015 19:45 utc | 93

@Biffabacon 88
When you deduce from the loss of British lives in connection with the postwar upheavals in Palestine that Britain were opposed to the establishment of Israel in the manner wanted by their hardliners you underestimate the deviousness of Britains real rulers nonelect.
At Gallipoli the British elites sacrificed over 50 thousand allied troops in a war which they deliberately lost in order to fool the Russians so they wouldnt make separate peace with Germany.
Try the archive about Gallipoli at to convince yourself

Of course all the actor countries have their own agenda but if you check out Carroll Quigley's work the ties between Us/Uk is vastly more important than with the immigrants to Us from other countries.

Between 1916 and 1936 there were plans by the Us to defend itself against an attack by the British Commonwealth via Halifax expecting 8million british attackers - the british were discussing to send 6million. This didnt prevent them from cooperating in bringing about both world wars and the Bolshevik revolution. Dont trust anything from Churchill to be sincere. Only the powerless and sidestepped figures would ever be. The truth is multilayered like an onion.
You rightly imply that the Larouchians are exaggerating and they are indeed part of the Us power structures wish to control opposition, both home and abroad. But their intended audience may be more easily attracted by telling truths about Britain. Such as their achievement to force the Us to dismantle part of the navy, where Britain hoped to provoke a long Us-Japanese war as could be seen when Britain tried to manipulate the Us to use a foolish strategy against Japan.
But when people believe this is final it gives both Us and Uk opportunities to dupe other competitors behind the scenes.

The british spies like Philby may be more easily understood as part of a multilayered variant of the british power of balance politics. Socialism was under the control of the establishment. Behind the scenes the Fabian Society knit together all variants. The goal was to prevent China from being capitalist. The american John Dewey and Bertrand Russell had layed the ground for irrational maoism by misrepresenting what constitutes western culture and the later spies helped Mao to prevail by leaking info.
And zionism goes back to at least the time of Cromwell before the jews were allowed to return.

Posted by: Peter Grafström | Oct 22 2015 21:13 utc | 94

Slightly Off Topic Sorry. Peter Grafström @ # 94 Thank you so much for the link to the First World War site . . . . I'll order the book & look forward to perusing the blog. My paternal grandfather lost his right arm during that war & had to learn to do everything with his left, becoming highly proficient. He made a clock with metal propellers for my father who served in the RAF in the Second World War. Of course, as a mid 50's baby, I was a big war fan as a boy, growing up believing all the "rah - rah we're the good guys - we won the war" shit. I know now the real heroes were the ones who saw through the propaganda & became conscientious objectors. There's a really good TVNZ (New Zealand state TV) movie called Field Punishment No. 1 about Archie Baxter & the truly appalling way he & others were treated in order to break them.


Chris in Ch-Ch

Posted by: Kiwicris |

Posted by: Kiwicris | Oct 23 2015 0:46 utc | 95

@BiffaBacon #88

I must disagree about the reality of a continued Anglo empire. The basis and form of the Anglo empire changed between 1914 and 1945, but its key players remained in place. The instrument of world power shifted from British sea power to trans-national financial power centered in New York, with the London financial center assuming a junior role. The change started when Britain became dependent upon American financial and military support to continue its war effort during WWI. The shift of world financial power from London to New York was completed under the Breton Woods agreements. The military end is upheld by NATO and other regional alliances centered on Anglo-American military power. In all of those financial and military agreements, the Anglosphere calls the shots in its own interests. Britain still was able to assert its influence on the postwar system through its insistence on a stance towards eastern Europe that launched the Cold War. Truman was Churchill's patsy at Potsdam.

Britain has seen Russia, as a potential great continental power, as a threat to its dominion since the end of the Napoleonic wars. That's what much of the "Near East question" was about. Who would fill the vacuum of the declining Ottoman Empire, Britain or Russia? That was a big part of what the Crimean War was about, preventing Russia from expanding its influence into the eastern Mediterranean and by extension the Near East. Britain sought to gain influence over Iran and Afghanistan to head off any chance that Russia might gain influence on the Indian Ocean. Britain allied itself with Japan in 1902 to head of Russian influence in the Pacific. Gallipoli was as much about projecting British power to head off potential expansion of Russian power as it was about defeating the Central Powers. Britain's policy during the interwar years, and even during WWII, was about expanding its influence in eastern Europe, again, against Russia. Even in 1944-45, Britain was seeking to overturn the Tehran and Yalta agreements militarily. Operation Market Garden was a gamble that the Wehrmacht was sufficiently weakened to allow a drive across northern Germany to the Oder River (and perhaps beyond), creating facts on the ground that would fly in the face of the Tehran agreement. Did you know that British general staff in the spring of 1945 conducted a study of "Operation Unthinkable," entertaining the possibility of driving the Red Army back to the Soviet Union? It sounds crazy, but somebody at the time thought it was a good idea.

You make points about Zionism that I both agree and disagree with. Zionism was low on the list of concerns of the world's Jews until the Balfour Declaration. British and American Jews were cool towards prosecution of WWI because Germany at the time was the country in Europe where Jews were thriving and Russia was where they were most persecuted. Russian persecution of Jews was within the living memory of influential American Jews. Even as the wheeling and dealing that led up to the Balfour Declaration was taking place, it was hotly debated among London's Jewish community in the letters column of the London Times. So the events leading up to the Balfour Declaration, securing the support of influential American Jews for American entry into WWI, were at least as much centered on the interests of the British Empire as they were on the interests of Jews as they saw them at that time. If you read the account of Robert Malcolm, the chief negotiator of the deals that led up to the Balfour Declaration, the obvious conclusion (that is constantly overlooked) is that Jews were the manipulated, not the manipulators. The term "Anglo-Zionist" is only useful in the sense that it emphasizes the role of Anglo interests in promoting Zionism.

Posted by: Thirdeye | Oct 23 2015 0:58 utc | 96

It is damned silly to claim that the Zionist influence on President Wilson was a factor in inveigling him to commit to the British side. The fact of the matter is that there were sufficient men in the US, with a great deal of affection for the British Empire, seen as the "mother country" even by her detractors, who would have volunteered to fight with the British for free.

From the oral archives of S Chandrasekhar, the famous physicist


He was a professor in Princeton during the time when Woodrow Wilson was the president [of Princeton]. Woodrow Wilson somehow had the feeling that the best intellects were in England, and so he appointed a lot of Englishmen to the staff. Jeans was a professor and so was O.W. Richardson, so was Hugh Taylor...

This affection for the English also be inferred from reading PG Wodehouse, especially his Mulliner series. The men (and boys) of that era wanted to fight, since they thought that it was the right thing to do. Thus even if the majority in the US were indifferent to the fate of England, there were still millions who would have gone on fight for British without any need for propaganda from the Zionists.

Posted by: Ivan | Oct 23 2015 1:28 utc | 97

@Ivan #97

I agree that the influence of Zionists on US policy towards WWI is often exaggerated by people with less than noble motives, but it was not insignificant. Samuel Untermeyer and Louis Brandeis were both declared Zionists and close advisers to Wilson. The Balfour agreement put them in the war camp and gave them leverage with American Jews who were less than enthusiastic about joining a war on the side of the Czar, who was universally loathed among Jews.

Anglosphere chauvinism was certainly a part of what drew the US towards Britain, but relations weren't as cozy as one might think. The two countries had fought the War of 1812 barely a century before and the Monroe Doctrine that was the foundation of American hemispheric policy didn't exactly give the Brits a warm fuzzy feeling. The US and Britain narrowly avoided war in 1848 over the northwestern US boundary. Britain was also drifting towards intervention in the American Civil War because they felt their trade rights were being infringed upon by the blockade of the South. Britain saw the potential for American industrial power driving military power that could surpass their own. The potential for British-American rivalry getting serious was recognized on both sides of the Atlantic.

One thing that tends to get overlooked is the vested interests American financiers had in the British war effort. J. P. Morgan and other non-Jewish financiers financed Britain's war effort to the absolute maximum allowable under legal neutrality and it still wasn't enough. If Britain didn't get any war spoils with which to make good on their war debts it would have wreaked havoc in the American financial system. So Wilson came through for the commitments of the money-grubbing war party by militarily and financially assuring that Britain would prevail and American financiers could profit from Britain's war debts.

Posted by: Thirdeye | Oct 23 2015 2:39 utc | 98


As you say the nuances are important. From my potted reading I have to say that the British Empire more or less freed up the Americans to concentrate on their "manifest destiny" after the war of 1812. The US wasn't as powerful with respect to the British in 1812 as they later became. Lord Castlereigh more or less let it go. It was British technology and finance that provided the foundations for the American prosperity. The Americans rode on British coattails to their greatness, following the British "free-traders" backed by the power of the Royal Navy to Bombay, Calcutta and Canton. This is nothing unusual as the British rode on Dutch coattails, while earlier the Dutch rode on Spanish and Portuguese ones.

Posted by: Ivan | Oct 23 2015 2:53 utc | 99

Correction. The broker of the deal between Lord Balfour and the Zionists was James Malcolm, not Robert Malcolm.

Posted by: Thirdeye | Oct 23 2015 2:59 utc | 100

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