Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 03, 2015

BREAKING NEWS: Russia's Position On Assad Unchanged Since 2011 - Reuters, BBC

A typical part of propaganda campaigns is to claim that the "villain" has very recently changed his political positions. Then follows "analysis" which interprets the "change" as a sure sign that the villain is under pressure and on the verge of loosing the fight. Often such claims are completely unfounded as the villain only repeated a long standing position. They are only made to repeat, repeat, repeat ... that the villain is or was up to something bad.

When Iran, for example, states again that it does not want nuclear weapons it is repeating a decades old political position. But "BREAKING NEWS" headlines will claim that the position is new "Ayatollah: Iran to refrain from nuclear weapons". This lets people assume that Iran was planing to make nuclear weapons and that it just now changed that position.

Here is a live example of this propaganda technique.

Reuters


bigger

BBC


bigger

How do we we know that this "BREAKING NEWS" is pure propaganda? Because Russia said over and over again that it is not supporting the person of Bashar Assad but the Syrian state and its people. A few examples:

June 5 2012: Russia says Assad could go in Syria settlement

Russia said Tuesday it was prepared to see Syrian President Bashar al-Assad leave power in a negotiated solution to 15 months of bloodshed that has claimed more than 13,000 lives.
...
"We have never said or insisted that Assad necessarily had to remain in power at the end of the political process," Gatilov told the ITAR-TASS news agency in Switzerland.

"This issue has to be settled by the Syrians themselves."

September 15 2012: Russia says not 'clinging' to Syria's Assad

"We are not clinging to any political figures," Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said in brief comments reaffirming the country's official position.

"And anyone who claims otherwise is distorting the picture," Gatilov told the Interfax news agency.
...
"It is only through the political process -- and not through any decision of the UN Security Council -- that the Syrians should determine the future of their state and its make-up," he added.

December 20 2012: Putin Says Russia Not Wedded to Assad, Wants End to Strife

Russia isn’t wedded to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and its main goal is to end the civil war in the country, President Vladimir Putin said.
...
“We aren’t concerned about Assad’s fate, we understand that the same family has been in power for 40 years and changes are obviously needed,” Putin said.

This point was made over the years again and again. It has been Russia's position from the beginning of the Syria conflict and had never changed.

September 15 2015: Russia's Vladimir Putin Says Only Syrian People Can Decide The Future Of President Assad

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that only Syrian people are entitled to decide who should govern their country and how. He was reacting to the reference of the U.S. coalition partners who want to see Syrian President Bashar Assad leave his office.

Most recently the ever unchanged position was stated on October 30 by Russia's Foreign minister Lavrov in a press conference with U.S. Secretary of State:

Lavrov: As John has said, we have no agreement on the destiny of Assad. Russia believes that it is up to Syrian people to decide within the framework of the political process. It is said in the joint statement that the political process should be done by the Syrian people and belong to the Syrian people, and the Syrian people should decide the future of their country.
...
"Journalist": [...] Russia has said, as you said just a few moments ago, that you do not necessarily believe that Mr. Assad needs to go?
...
Lavrov: I did not say that Assad has to go or that Assad has to stay. I said that Assad’s destiny should be decided by the Syrian people, as well as all other aspects of further development of the Syrian state.

So there. Nothing changed in Russia's position from 2011 through 2012, 2013, 2014 up to 2015.

Any journalist who follows the news on Syria knows this:

@DavidKenner Retweeted Reuters World

This is something Russia has said again and again, but will now be touted as some sort of breakthrough.

How then, if not for nefarious reasons, can a restatement of the unchanged Russian position be "BREAKING NEWS" for Reuters and the BBC?

It is not Russia but the U.S. which has been totally inflexible in its position regarding Assad. It arrogantly demands, without having any authority over the issue, that Assad must leave. Since 2012 at least it delivers weapons to jihadists who kill the Syrian people. It is thereby the U.S. which is blocking any solution and prolonging the war on Syria.

Posted by b on November 3, 2015 at 15:43 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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From The Hague @ 99 says:

You're an idiot

i'll second that.

Posted by: john | Nov 4 2015 21:07 utc | 101

I think "we" are still threatening a tantrum -- god only knows what we're threatening under the table ... we can probably credibly threaten to have Erdogan to open the flood-gates on command ... but it looks like the sheep are slowly straying from the yard ... It's almost exactly a year until Election Day and Obama's "legacy" is being shredded ... not being blamed for costing Hillary the election may be or become job #1 .. but I don't know what that means in practical terms. I get the sense that most Americans do not want to know ... particularly as the holidays approach (not that they'd want to know in the dead of winter, the freshness of spring, the heat of summer or the fall season either).

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Nov 4 2015 21:19 utc | 102

I'm not sure what's up with John Batchelor's podcast page ... but I found Stephen Cohen's podcast at The Nation -- which annoyingly will only play on my desktop but it will play after a delay -- Cohen's just back from Moscow ...

sound cloud link on page.

Apparently there's a long interview segment also on Russia Today, I think this is it:
RT: Stallin' history? Ft. Stephen Cohen, Professor of Russian Studies, New York University.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Nov 4 2015 21:51 utc | 103

"American intelligence officials suspect ISIS bomb on Russian plane."

Read: "American intelligence officials claim responsibility for downing Russian plane."

Posted by: Anonymous | Nov 4 2015 22:39 utc | 104

@73 ' utterly extreme mercenary groups funded by the US to justify their occupation '

Yeah. That's ISIS/Da'esh/al CIAda. The US is using it's Saudi bank account and its Turkish transit network to 'hide' its involvement.

Posted by: jfl | Nov 4 2015 23:15 utc | 105

I wonder how much of those billions given to Turkey for the refugees, Erdogan will be pocketing???

Posted by: shadyl | Nov 4 2015 23:18 utc | 106

anyone know when and why the American obsession with the Kurds? I think John McCain is a patron saint, but he's not alone ... I read in an obit that Chalabi was also a champion (years ago) of the Kurds. Their human rights "plight" is real enough as a people without a state or full citizenship/rights ... but they're not alone in that.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Nov 4 2015 23:41 utc | 107

Sorry, I want to beat this poor, passed away horse a little more:

"a large Museum of the History of the Gulag and the building of a monument, in central Moscow, of a memorial to Stalin’s millions of victims"

Or not. https://www.rt.com/politics/317172-putin-orders-to-erect-monument/

ffs. "Stalin-Hitler like leader". Does anyone really think you can find accommodation and peace with a people whom you constantly make the most vicious lies about their history - especially when they are trying to come to terms with that history?

Posted by: guest77 | Nov 5 2015 0:09 utc | 108

Sorry, that's from the link at 103.

Posted by: guest77 | Nov 5 2015 0:11 utc | 109

I don't think the Russian government are doing such a great job with their messaging over Syria. I get much from Western sources as anyone here though I read Russian English sources heavily - the focus on claiming to fight the Islamic State instead of breaking down the full, complicated picture and announcing they aim to take on JAN, ISIS, and any of the other radical Islamists (using the NYTimes recent admissions that even the so-called "moderates" fight alongside the radicals) and just making that plain.

I think Lavrov's "a terrorist is a terrorist is a terrorist" line was not very well thought out and was a little flippant. And during the initial days of bombing, RT just kept using the term "ISIS" and "Islamic State" wasn't wise either.

They should start making the complexities clear - and stop letting the US get away with making the terrorist/rebel dividing line fall at ISIS, when the truth is it lies to much to the left of groups like JAN and other al Qaeda linked groups.

Start naming the terrorist groups and list their atrocities and give the reasons for bombing them. Start putting out some new maps which don't give the USA that big lump of "rebel" territory between Idlib and Aleppo. Show that it fact that area (which most of the Russian bombing seems to be in) is mostly controlled by al Qaeda.

Posted by: guest77 | Nov 5 2015 0:22 utc | 110

@110 guest77. you mean like this or even better this? you have a point guest77, but i don't know how much one gov't can do when competing with so many others -most of europe, usa in particular, and others who continue to juice the system with propaganda, as opposed to hard facts that show the duplicity of the wests actions that show they are using ISIS for there own ends, as opposed to getting rid of them.. how many times does that have to be broadcast?

Posted by: james | Nov 5 2015 0:47 utc | 111

@guest77 #110:

I don't think the Russian government are doing such a great job with their messaging over Syria. … Lavrov's "a terrorist is a terrorist is a terrorist" line was not very well thought out and was a little flippant. … Start naming the terrorist groups and list their atrocities and give the reasons for bombing them.

What I didn't like about the Russian presentation (although I have gotten used to it) is that they call all the insurgents "terrorists". "Insurgent" is basically the correct term for the people who are fighting against the Syrian army and trying to topple Assad; that most of them are foreigners (i.e., not Syrian) and/or mercenaries is a secondary matter. Calling them all "terrorists" is to descend to the Ukrainians' level: that's what the Ukrainians call their insurgents.

The Russian government should have called the insurgents something else – maybe, "anti-government forces". After the examples of Iraq and Syria, everyone should be able to agree that preserving the government of a multi-religious Middle Eastern country with a leader that not everyone likes is better than having that state collapse. The Russians have said this repeatedly, but maybe they should have made that their main message, instead of saying that they're just killing terrorists, which the US used to say is a good thing.

In other words, I think the mistake the Russians made was in not raising the level of discourse above that which the Americans operate at.

Posted by: Demian | Nov 5 2015 1:03 utc | 112

It definitely appears to be becoming likely that the “ISIL” division of the (Saudi and Qatari created) Islamic fundamentalist army planted a bomb on the Russian A321 jet that crashed over Egypt’s Sinai on Saturday, killing All 224 passengers and crew on board (probably all Russians).

If I was Putin? I would probably go after Saudi Arabia and Qatar. I would plant an airbase near Sanaa, Yemen to support the Yemeni Houthis by wiping out the Saudi Arabia and Qatar air force.

Maybe I would even start smashing Saudi Arabia and Qatar oil field rigs.

This would improve the global price of oil to boot.

Posted by: blues | Nov 5 2015 1:06 utc | 113

You won't believe it. Erdogan is another dumb nut who thinks he's going to conquer the world on behalf of the superior Aryan race! Except in his case it's the Turkanid peoples aka Turanian race. Get this: The empire of these superior peoples includes the Finns, the Japanese, the Mongols, the Uyghurs of China, the Baltic peoples, the Chechnyan & other vast swaths of the Euroasian continent. He has been in agreement with Washington's Arab Spring & was employed by US to help this along because it replaces secular regimes w MB and other Islamists.
He's opposed to Assad & supportive of ISIS, etc ON PRINCIPLE.

This nut doesn't want a puny little Ottoman Empire-- his plans are far more grandiose! No wonder he built that stupid palace. You've got to read this.

http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2015/11/02/welcome-erdoganstan-bosna-hersek-mongolistan.html Wayne Madsen

Posted by: Penelope | Nov 5 2015 3:33 utc | 114

@107 "anyone know when and why the American obsession with the Kurds?"

Well, I imagine it started at about the time that the USA realized that the Kurdish YPG was the only effective secular (though thoroughly sectarian) fighting force that doesn't work for Bashir Assad.

So in terms of poster-boys for the "anti-ISIS/anti-Assad but not-jihadist" meme it's pretty much down to the YPG or.... the Unicorns who otherwise goes by the name of the Free Syrian Army (which doesn't actually exist outside of Pentagon PowerPoint Presentations(tm)).

So it's not so much an "obsession". It's just that Washington has nothing else to work with.

Well, except for those 50 guys who were trained at such great expense, though once they were inserted into Syria they quickly shrunk down to Five Dudes Running Around For Dear Life.

But that's a pretty hard sell even with a compliance MSM. Better to talk up the YPG instead....

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Nov 5 2015 4:16 utc | 115

re: Penelope | Nov 4, 2015 10:33:09 PM | 114

The Mongolians dearly miss Genghis Khan. This was about water depletion (global drying). Draining aquifers, thus raising the sea level. The lush Mongolian farms dried up. So then the Mongolians had to become plains-people (not unlike the Lakotas). Tough meat hunters. When the meat-animals ran out, they had to go conquer the farmers. On horses. All over the earth.

It will be the same for Californians when their water runs out.

Go East, young man, and conquer!

Posted by: blues | Nov 5 2015 4:16 utc | 116

Here is Patrick Cockburn on the Kurds ...
Independent: Syria civil war: Kurdish leader says collapse of Assad regime 'would be a disaster' despite its treatment of his people
Saleh Muslim tells Patrick Cockburn he is no supporter of President Bashar al-Assad, but is fearful of the dangers Islamist groups close to Damascus pose

Mr Muslim said he was fully in favour of Mr Assad and his government being replaced by a more acceptable alternative. But he is concerned that Isis and other extreme Islamist groups are now close to Damascus on several sides, saying that “this is dangerous”. snip In the course of the interview, Mr Muslim would periodically say that the situation was confusing, but he is adept at seeking to conciliate rival powers. He had just returned from a meeting with President Masoud Barzani, who heads the Kurdistan Regional Government in northern Iraq and is himself wary of the sudden appearance of a rival Kurdish quasi-state in northern Syria. The KRG has been enforcing an intermittent embargo against Rojava, with some trucks waiting a couple of months on the frontier. Mr Muslim said the border was opening and closing “according to the mood” of KRG authorities.

I get the feeling American press is suggesting the Kurds are more anti-Assad than they are and more pro-American stance than they are. They may want Assad "gone" but not at the price of chaos or the loss of government support in the fight against ISIS .... Apparently we haven't been providing them assistance ... even as we have been supplying Al-Nusra etc.

The appearance of this "rival Kurdish quasi-state" that is Rojava is curious as is this embargo by the KRG ... I'm going to have do more reading ... anyone know Russia's stance on the Kurds? This alphabet soup of factions is confusing me.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Nov 5 2015 4:32 utc | 117

Looks like a lot of progress has been made in the last 24 hours, if you believe Leith Fadel of Almasdar News (he's a good follow on Twitter, by the way):

Syrian Army and Hezbollah Liberate the Strategic Highway to Aleppo

Syrian Army Advances North Towards the Idlib Border After Successful Operations in Northeast Latakia

This war will be won on the ground, not in PR spin factories.

Posted by: fairleft | Nov 5 2015 5:26 utc | 118

@117: "... anyone know Russia's stance on the Kurds? "

Russia is keeping very, very quiet regarding the Kurds, which is itself very, very significant.

After all, Washington is urging the Kurdish YPG to strike south towards Raqqa, which would certainly help the American-backed Unicorn Army.... ahem, sorry, I'll say that again.... the American-backed "moderate rebels".

But the Kurds are aghast at the thought, precisely because they are being urged to shed blood for the singular benefit of a group that exists only on paper.

They want to strike west to link up with the Kurdish enclave at Afrin, which would certainly help them. But note that it is also a move that would immeasurably help the Russians because it will cut off all the rebels - jihadist, "moderate", or Unicorn - from any hope of resupply from Turkey.

You'd therefore think that the Russians would be double-dog-daring the Kurds to Do It! Do It! Go On, Go Ahead And Doooooooo It!!!!!!

But, nope, not a peep out of the Russians.

If I was a betting man I'd lay money that this means that the Russians are indulging in some very quiet backchannel negotiations with the Kurds to entice them to dump an unreliable and perfidious USA and jump into the Russian camp.

There is no other explanation, because if that wasn't the case then they'd be p.u.b.l.i.c.a.l.l.y. urging the YPG to strike to the West just as loudly as the USA is p.u.b.l.i.c.a.l.l.y. urging the YPG to strike to the South.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Nov 5 2015 6:54 utc | 120

UK punishing Egypt for supporting Russia on Syria?
https://www.rt.com/news/320762-uk-explosive-device-sinai/
Not to say that there was no bomb, but the measures are harsh compared to the treatment given to other countries

Posted by: Mina | Nov 5 2015 7:47 utc | 121

Susan Sunflower@77

Thank you for the article. By far the most insightful look into ISIS that I have come across so far. I am actually gobsmacked at the horrors that adherents feel that if they dont perform, they would be apostates, and therefore become subject to those very acts of barbarity.

"... In reviewing Mein Kampf in March 1940, George Orwell confessed that he had “never been able to dislike Hitler”; something about the man projected an underdog quality, even when his goals were cowardly or loathsome. “If he were killing a mouse he would know how to make it seem like a dragon.” The Islamic State’s partisans have much the same allure. They believe that they are personally involved in struggles beyond their own lives, and that merely to be swept up in the drama, on the side of righteousness, is a privilege and a pleasure—especially when it is also a burden.

Fascism, Orwell continued, is

psychologically far sounder than any hedonistic conception of life … Whereas Socialism, and even capitalism in a more grudging way, have said to people “I offer you a good time,” Hitler has said to them, “I offer you struggle, danger, and death,” and as a result a whole nation flings itself at his feet … We ought not to underrate its emotional appeal.

Nor, in the case of the Islamic State, its religious or intellectual appeal. That the Islamic State holds the imminent fulfillment of prophecy as a matter of dogma at least tells us the mettle of our opponent. It is ready to cheer its own near-obliteration, and to remain confident, even when surrounded, that it will receive divine succor if it stays true to the Prophetic model. Ideological tools may convince some potential converts that the group’s message is false, and military tools can limit its horrors. But for an organization as impervious to persuasion as the Islamic State, few measures short of these will matter, and the war may be a long one, even if it doesn’t last until the end of time."

Posted by: Dan | Nov 5 2015 8:25 utc | 122

11/4/15 http://www.4thmedia.org/2015/11/us-sponsored-smuggling-of-weapons-iraq-seizes-two-planes-of-the-us-led-coalition/

The Iraqi government has seized two planes of the US-led anti-ISIL coalition member states that were carrying weapons to the Kurdistan Region without prior coordination or information of Baghdad, Head of the Iraqi Parliament’s Security and Defense Commission Hakem al-Zameli disclosed on Monday.
“The inspection committee in Baghdad International Airport has found a huge number of rifles equipped with silencers, as well as light and mid-sized weapons,” Zameli said.
He noted that a Swedish and a Canadian airplanes were going to fly to Iraq’s Kurdistan region, but they were seized after arms cargoes were discovered.


Also in February, a senior lawmaker disclosed that Iraq’s army has shot down two British planes as they were carrying weapons for the ISIL terrorists in Al-Anbar province.

Posted by: Penelope | Nov 5 2015 8:27 utc | 123

'Significant possibility' that Isis downed Russian plane, UK says – live updates
http://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2015/nov/05/egypt-bomb-fears-leave-thousands-stranded-in-sharm-el-sheikh-live-updates

Posted by: okie farmer | Nov 5 2015 9:59 utc | 124

Albion never seems to beware of God's wrath!!
http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/3/12/162735/Business/Economy/UK-shares-fall-as-Egypt-worries-hit-Thomas-Cook-an.aspx

Posted by: Mina | Nov 5 2015 10:34 utc | 125

The latest 'analysis' from The Guardian is hilarious.

"While it quickly became apparent that western-backed Syrian rebels were being hit in the Russian sorties, Putin’s planes also bombed Isis bases and weapons dumps in northern and eastern Syria"

"But by making an enemy of Isis, Putin has put Russia directly in the firing line. "

"For a man who is notoriously touchy about Russia’s reputation and standing, the fact that the Obama administration and British ministers publicly predicted that Putin’s intervention would make Russia a terrorist target is galling."

"But the strengthening evidence of an Isis link to the crash will highlight Sisi’s lead role in repressing, jailing and executing thousands of Egyptian Islamists since 2013, which his critics argue has left them no alternative but to resort to violence. Human Rights Watch says the human rights crisis in Egypt is the “worst in memory”."

Yeah they werent bombing IS, but then they were as soon as it fit into your narrative. And of course making Sisi look like he was 'right' had nothing to do with it, especially when he was visiting the UK. Utterly laughable.

Posted by: Bill | Nov 5 2015 10:44 utc | 126

@115 It may go back to the fall of the Ottoman empire after WW1 when Britain took over Iraq. There was a lot of talk about Kurdish independence. Kurds got a lot of sympathy in Britain. They were seen as having no rights. It didn't work out because they were fighting amongst themselves. Much like today in fact.

Posted by: dh | Nov 5 2015 12:42 utc | 127

SusanFlower @117

The Kurds on the brink

The KRG is going through a deep political crisis and if Barzani does not accept that now that his term is over he has to leave, the region may get into political instability.. The KRG is very divided.
So Barzani is not confortable to see a strong Kurdish entity been built up in Northern Syria. The YPG hates Turkey and does not support Barzani, therefore it is potentially dangerous competitor.

http://carnegie-mec.org/2015/10/28/kurdistan-s-democracy-on-brink/iklv

Posted by: virgile | Nov 5 2015 12:47 utc | 128

the fact that the Obama administration and British ministers publicly predicted that Putin’s intervention would make Russia a terrorist target is galling.

Your country better watch it.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 5 2015 12:55 utc | 129

@Yeah, Right 120, makes our policies for the ME look like a bull in a china shop and Putin's like a laser beam.

Posted by: shadyl | Nov 5 2015 13:07 utc | 130

Brennan: clearly, the US National Security State wants us to think it's a bomb. If that's the case, this may be a clarification of a message that may have gotten lost otherwise.

Well if IS put a bomb on that Russian plane that went down in the Sinai then the USA-al CIA is admitting its own culpability? ;)

This is partly imho a rush to judgment from the Anglos. (US and UK seem to be on the frontline), coupled with the knee-jerk ‘terrorism’, ‘human agency’, view-point. Always pointed to blame, to escalation, to danger, etc. I recall an ancient study on attribution of meaning, psychology, that asked ppl world wide, of different ages, to interpret an ambiguous picture. In today’s terms, a blueish pic with strange lines,

for a Chinese 20s: my gran’s favorite color. Maybe a sign? looks like /character/. Swedish 15: Hmmm..it must be the sky, those lines.. mmm…it’s an abstract painting, I don’t know too much about that. This part looks like cloud. Spanish 6: That is heaven where my Papi is. Icelander, 30: this picture has been photoshopped, one cannot determine the original content or representational intent.

US 20: Chemtrails! Terrorist attack! Bombers for sure! Or bio-warfare! ;)

Here one article along the ‘accident’ direction :

http://tinyurl.com/od5tvb8

We will have to wait and see.


Posted by: Noirette | Nov 5 2015 13:52 utc | 131

@ #120 & #130.
Yep, and around the time of Assad's Kremlin visit Vlad said he expected The Kurds to come on board (with Russia) "soon." Plus Russia and China are already making Yankee-style gun-barrel diplomacy obsolete. China, for example, seems to be trying to make friends with every country on the planet - before Xmas.
If Obama starts to look a bit unsteady on his feet it's because the sand underneath them is shifting faster with every week that passes...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 5 2015 13:55 utc | 132

We now know a bomb was planted in baggage. The announcement from the Russians comports with the photos of the tail of the plane. Had to be planted at Sharm el Sheikh airport. Sharm is favorite playground of wealthy Saudis. Motive, opportunity and ability.

Saudis are the most direct funders of ISIS, and they want to send a signal to the Russians re: Syria. It comes right after Russia enters the war and at the time of the conference on Syria.

I see ISIS as the face of the Saudis.

Behind the Saudis are American arms.

The West will blame it on"ISIS," whatever the fuck that is.

Posted by: okie farmer | Nov 5 2015 15:09 utc | 133

@Demian@88

I have a very naive and innocent question for you. Why do I get the impression that the kind of political system that Iran has, with religious clerics having central positions of power, is perfectly fine? Whereas in the case of Sunni-majority countries, only a secular government seems to work (Iraq, Libya, Syria, with only the last left standing)?

I can't help getting the feeling that for one reason or another,
Shiite Islam can find an accommodation with modernity, but Sunni Islam can't. I'm not going to write any more before I make an even bigger fool of myself.

I am drive-by posting while traveling, will elaborate later. Pretty good insight, Demian. IMHO, a crucial difference was made by the colonial period, all those countries you mentioned born out of colonization, aberrations arbitrarily created by Sykes-Picot. Iran in modern times, despite the coup d'etat against Mossadegh in the early 50's, and the installation of Reza Palevih, was never ruled by Western masters and the corruption that follows in their wake.

Other differences have to do with the root of the Great Schism, Karbala, with which, btw, the attack on Syria has some historical similarities. Later.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Nov 5 2015 15:14 utc | 134

OF@133

The Islamic State affiliate in Sinai, there is no ISIS, are Egyptians who have been fighting the dictator al-Sisi who is an ally of and who's government depends on funding from the Saudis. The Egyptians are also part of the Saudi's new Arab Force although they do disagree over Syria.

Putin is playing with fire in Syria and many Sunni Arab forces are looking for ways to insure he gets burned and if this jetliner was bombed have shown him there are costs for his killing Syrians.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Nov 5 2015 16:36 utc | 135

Posted by: virgile | Nov 5, 2015 7:47:48 AM | 128
Posted by: Yeah, Right | Nov 5, 2015 1:54:37 AM | 120

thanks both -- I've got to wonder whose bank accounts have helped propagate this schism ... Is Rojava, Syria's autnomous region, a new-school rival to old-school Iraq dominance and Masoud Barzani? Did someone decide that a little competition might be a good thing, something to grease the wheels, overcome obstinance?

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Nov 5 2015 18:14 utc | 136

Posted by: okie farmer | Nov 5, 2015 10:09:30 AM | 133

Putin said something interesting a few days ago. Words to the effect that he doesn't want ppl speculating on what happened because we want to be certain about what happened so that we'll know exactly what to do about it.
I suspect it won't be pretty...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 5 2015 19:12 utc | 137

@133 OKf 'We now know a bomb was planted in baggage.'

If I were lying in bed listening to drops hitting the roof and water running in the downspouts I'd know it was raining.

If M16 and the NSA then told me it was raining ... I'd rethink my conclusion, go outside and look.

Posted by: jfl | Nov 5 2015 22:21 utc | 138

@Wow - #135

Wrong on all accounts!!!

"The Islamic State affiliate in Sinai, there is no ISIS, are Egyptians who have been fighting the dictator al-Sisi who is an ally of and who's government depends on funding from the Saudis."

The chosen one in Egypt, president Morsi, was a ventriloquist doll of the Muslim Brotherhood terror organisation. Morsi entered the stage through a jailbreak in 2011 organized by the MB with support from Hamas militants. Under Morsi the Al Qaeda affiliates in the Sinai took firm hold and later was transplanted by the Islamic State.

The Muslim Brotherhood triangle of Qatar, Turkey and Egypt under Morsi was defeated by the people of Egypt who once again rose up against the dictates of the MB leadership who weren't part of the democratic election the year before.

The MB is a forbidden organization in the UAE and Saudi Kingdom. In Jordan, the MB is a subversive group watched closely by the government.

Of course, HRC as Secretary of State was the darling of the MB, Erdogan in Turkey and Al Jazeera in Doha, Qatar. HRC made the wrong choice and was defeated by the Saudis and other GCC nations when general Sisi entered the political stage in Egypt.

In Libya it's money from the UAE and Qatar that divides the nation into opposing militant groups in addition to the dozens of tribal leaders. It was Qatar that shipped thousands of tons of ammo and arms from Libya to Syria to help the protests of Homs and Daraa. Wasn't the CIA of Benghazi involved in the logistics of arms transport to Syria with knowledge of U.S. Ambassador Ford in Damascus?

Interesting note to end this post:

UN Libya mediator Bernardino Léon offered £1,000-a-day in U.A.E., no conflict of interest!?

Posted by: Oui | Nov 5 2015 23:46 utc | 139

Russia gives Israel the green light to bomb Hezbollah.

https://now.mmedia.me/lb/en/commentary/566164-how-much-does-russia-care-about-hezbollah

Posted by: Louis Proyect | Nov 6 2015 13:57 utc | 140

@ Louis Proyect - #140

Non-reliable source: DebkaFile and "Last Days Research" – see link and video.

The IDF declined to confirm or deny these reports. Syrian sources described a large number of Israeli airplanes as bombing a Hizballah unit based in the village of El Ain in northern Lebanon and the arms depot of the 155th Brigade of the Syrian army at Al-Katifa to the east.

Posted by: Oui | Nov 6 2015 15:29 utc | 141

@111 & 112

@James, very interesting and good examples, especially the UNESCO one. But that stuff belongs on Sputnik and RT then. The Russians need precisely to open up the definition of what a bad guy is in Syria. Not play into the US version where "bad guy = ISIS" and everyone else is a "rebel". But that's exactly what they did. Instead of saying "we're fighting all the terrorists who include a, b, and c..." but instead they bombed the right people and then called them ISIS. The examples you gave were even better - time to make clear exactly that it is more than ISIS who are responsible for so many atrocities (we all recall the liber eater was an "FSA" man, after all).

@Demian - I don't know. I think the word "terrorist" is fine, especially if the Russian's want to make this point: the US has made a dog's dinner out of the GWOT and that Russia, now, will really go and attempt to destroy international terrorism.

You're point is well taken about the Ukrainians - but that too could be used to the Russian's advantage by saying "we're fighting real terrorists, not killing civillians like Ukrainians are" or something along those lines. But this statement of yours: "In other words, I think the mistake the Russians made was in not raising the level of discourse above that which the Americans operate at." is dead on. The Russians should have more respect for the intelligence and get away from the simplistic explanations. After all, Americans don't trust their media anyways, they'd likely be impressed by some straight talk.

Posted by: guest77 | Nov 7 2015 3:48 utc | 142

@LP - As for the "Russia is going to let Israel bomb Hezbollah" well, I don't think we can take the Israeli's word for that. After all, they're desperate to look as though they still have freedom of action there and will say anything to keep up that impression to their public. But will they do it? We'll, we'd have to see it to believe it.

I imagine that the Russians have told Israel not to dare send planes against Hezbollah or Syria, but I also imagine that, certainly in return for taking that threat seriously, that they've asked Hezbollah to not take any hostile actions without provocation (after all, the immediate aim is now clear - fix Syria). When Syria is saved and the Russians stop their operation, then Hezbollah and Israel may begin their battles again. Though by then, certainly, Hezbollah is going to be much stronger, and their Syrian allies will have a solid, battle-hardened military to field.

In other words, the days of Israel meddling in Lebanon are completely over, in contrast to the dumb red herring you've just presented us with.

Posted by: guest77 | Nov 7 2015 3:58 utc | 143

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