Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 11, 2015

UK Accuses U.S. Of Supporting Terrorists But Sells Out To Saudi Arabia

On October 30 an international conference on Syria  agreed on a framework for ending the conflict in Syria. The communiqué states:

While substantial differences remain among the participants, they reached a mutual understanding on the following:

1) Syria’s unity, independence, territorial integrity, and secular character are fundamental.
6) Da'esh, and other terrorist groups, as designated by the U.N. Security Council, and further, as agreed by the participants, must be defeated.
Ministers will reconvene within two weeks to continue these discussions.”

Secretary of State Kerry had already accepted the "secular" point in earlier talks with his Russian colleague. The next meeting this Friday will mainly be about the question of who is a terrorist and must thereby be defeated. Propagandist for the Jihadis call this a "Russian trap".

So far the U.S. and its allies have supported various fundamentalist groups who's deeds and proclaimed philosophies surely put them into the same category as the Islamic State and al-Qaeda.

The British Foreign Minister accuses the U.S. of supporting such terrorist groups and said that this needs to change:

The world powers trying to end the civil war in Syria are drawing up a list of "terrorist" groups, Britain said Tuesday, warning that some countries may have to drop support for allies on the ground.

"It will require deep breaths on several sides, including the US side," British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond warned, speaking to reporters in Washington.

Some of the groups that qualify as terrorists, so Hammond, do get support from the U.S. and it will take a "deep breaths" by the U.S. to refrain from further supporting them.

As part of this, Hammond said, the countries backing various factions within the country would have to decide which are moderate enough to be included in the political process and which would be excluded.

"I'm not so sure I would write off the possibility of agreeing on who is a terrorist," he said, in remarks at the British embassy the morning after talks with US Secretary of State John Kerry.

But he warned that there would be horse trading ahead.

Can one "horse trade" who is a terrorist? Is it "moderate enough" to only cut off the heads of prisoners of war instead of burning them alive? How much would that "trade" cost?

Hammond seems to believe that a money-for-values deal is possible and needed. Here is his horse trade: On one side the Saudis want the Jihadists they support to be recognized as non-terrorists:

"The Saudis are never going to sign up to Ansar al-Sham being categorized as terrorists," he said, citing the example of one Sunni armed group reported to receive outside Arab backing.

"So we have to see whether we can reach a pragmatic solution on these areas," Hammond added.

On the other side Hammond wants to sell more weapons to Saudi Arabia despite its abysmal human rights record:

In an interview with Newsnight, Mr Hammond was asked if he would like to see the current £5.4billion of weapons trade with Saudi Arabia increase.

He replied: “We’d always like to do more business, more British exports, more British jobs and in this case very high end engineering jobs protected and created by our diplomacy abroad.”

So there is the Hammonds "pragmatic solution" - the UK will support the Saudi position on the terrorist groups Ahrar al Shams, which is related to and closely cooperating with al-Qaeda, and the Saudis will buy more British weapons.

There is only a slight problem. The framework submitted by the October 30 conference, excerpted above, agreed of the fundamental "secular character" for the Syrian state. But even a now revisionist Ahrar al-Shams insists that Islamic law must the constitutional base of Syria. A state build on Islamic law is certainly not "secular". Unless of course one redefines what secular means. And that is exactly what Hammond, hearing the cash register ringing, now proposes:

While Mr. Hammond declined to offer any details on which groups could eventually take part in political negotiations, his comments suggested that the West might be prepared to back Sunni Islamist groups with close ties to allies, including Saudi Arabia. “What we mean by a secular constitution, and what people in the Muslim world will understand by secular will be two different things,” Mr. Hammond said.

British orientalism at its finest: The Salafi jihadists of Ahrar al-Shams are not "terrorists" because the Saudis will buy more British weapons. A Syria based on Islamic law will be "secular" because those [censored] Arabs don't even know what that means.

Maybe the U.S. should also offer to buy more British weapons? Foreign Minister Hammond would than surely recognize that the terrorists the U.S. supports in Syria are "moderate enough" hardline Islamists to fit his deranged definition of "secular".


Posted by b on November 11, 2015 at 11:12 UTC | Permalink

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Excellent appraisal of the bind which US-UK have blundered into by believing so much of their own bullshit, b. The October 30 meeting resembled Dilbert's "preliminary pre-meeting meeting" (a meeting with a pre-determined, but impossible-to-achieve outcome). USUK's biggest problems now are that their Incredible Shrinking (Fake) International Community has become TOTALLY IRRELEVANT. The only people who care what US & UK pretend to think are the MSM stenographers.
No-one else cares because USUK's fools, crooks and liars have been totally and comprehensively outclassed by Russia. Thus USUK's opinion doesn't matter any more - to anyone except mendacious US & UK politicians /carpetbaggers /traitors.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 11 2015 12:20 utc | 1

Re: Dilbert's pre-meeting meeting...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 11 2015 12:26 utc | 2

On the topic of funding terrorists. I have to give my props to Egypt. They agreed to release the Qatar(ISIS)-Al-Jazeera journalists a few months back to ensure there would be no Qatar(ISIS) actions against Egypt.

Well played Egypt. Well played. Just why on Earth would Egypt give up potential Qatar-ISIS agents so willingly - in return for what exactly? Allowing ISIS to destroy the Egyptian tourist industry.

Can someone explain the Egyptian thought process - it literally makes no sense to me to hand over your bargaining chips so cheaply - of course then leaving yourself open to be smashed in the Nads in return.

Surely the Egyptians aren't that stupid. Can someone explain to me why they did it?

Posted by: Julian | Nov 11 2015 13:53 utc | 3

Amazing that they don't even bother to hide the " business as usual" meme much anymore. And even more amazing that the establishment doesn't voice much concern. More high end "diplomacy" created jobs at the expense of thousands of faraway lives.

Posted by: Dan | Nov 11 2015 14:04 utc | 4

Hammond threatens Saudi arms embargo over Yemen

“The Saudis deny that there have been any breaches of international humanitarian law,” he said.

Obviously that denial alone is not enough. We need to see proper investigations. We need to work with the Saudis to establish that international humanitarian law has been complied with. We have an export licensing system that responds if we find that it is not. We will then find that we cannot license additional shipments of weapons,” he said.

Working with the Saudis would only ensure that any incriminating evidence would be swept under the rug.

But you can't keep the suffering of an entire people out of the limelight forever. Sooner or later, if Hammond's words ring true, the UK will be forced to abandon their Saudi ATM.

Posted by: never mind | Nov 11 2015 14:23 utc | 5

Until the empire agrees to confront the love affair between the Saudis and their penchant for Wahhabism, not much can really change. Exporting Wahhabism, is a growth industry in SA, and they're sooo useful as the empire's cannon fodder for regime change.

Confronting SA, and Israel, over their treatment of the Palestinians, would go a long way in bringing peace to the Mideast. But, hey, we all know peace is NOT what the empire, and their minions want.

Posted by: ben | Nov 11 2015 14:40 utc | 6

Britain said Tuesday, warning that some countries may have to drop support for allies on the ground.

"It will require deep breaths on several sides, including the US side," British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond warned, speaking to reporters in Washington.
Never thought I would hear him say that, although it was a statement of the bleeding obvious.
Still a good start, just goes to show how Russia holds all the cards. It is not possible to accommodate Saudi Arabia, they must be thrown under the bus, that would be a good start also.

Posted by: harry law | Nov 11 2015 14:44 utc | 7

Julian @3: so totally wrong that it is hard to start pointing why. Al-Jazeera journalists were not "ISIS agents", and radicals did not stop actions against Egyptian military. Egypt is raising kleptocracy to the level of state religion, at occasion the government hates correct people but with no visible consequences, ultimately it depends on Gulf money and political support, however tepid, from Salafi parties that apparently are obedient to Gulf sponsorts.

Diplomacy is about producing such amounts of empty verbiage that sifting intentions and future actions out of it is not simple. Right now, Gulf is still committed to keep buying weapons for Islamist rebels, the West is committed to sell them, Turkey and Jordan to let them through. Russia sent some signals that it can retaliate via a humanitarian intervention in Yemen, with cruise missiles available if their ships get attacked, but Putin's style is to play such threat slowly. Thus I predict no MANPADs for the rebels. You will not find threats that Russia could issue anywhere in the media, but I would theorize that Russians were explicit behind the close doors, and Chinese were ambigous.

The West has few means to have a cake, lucrative weapon contracts, and to eat it, select properly moderate rebels (secular homicidal maniacs? the idea is great on paper, but there are too few of those).

Strange things are happening in Turkey: 18 persons were arrested as al-Nusra supporters. Does it mean that Erdogan wants to back-pedal a bit with weapon supplies and "jihadi highway"? For all his bluster, he may be amenable to heed some threats, and Russia has a nice number of options.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Nov 11 2015 14:52 utc | 8

hey b, is this the parable of the prodigal arms merchant?

i hear the bazaar is thriving.

Posted by: john | Nov 11 2015 15:11 utc | 9

Typical British approach. Posing on moral high ground - which is a disguised pile of skeletons.

Posted by: Kassandra | Nov 11 2015 15:47 utc | 10

These latest Western attempts to divide and conquer and impose a failed secular model on the ME is becoming, or always has been, a theatre of the absurd.

Russia who is terrorizing the Syrian countryside executing their Holy War is to decide who is a terrorist?

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Nov 11 2015 16:00 utc | 11

Ha ha ha, Hoarse at 1 you beat me to it I was going to compare it to haggling between factions in a corporation - Dillbert, that it *way* better.

A sort of branding exercise: product is low-fat, in the SLIM brand, this one belongs to the NUTRA range, etc. The problem is that while one can measure fat content one can’t measure the mythical characteristic terrorism at all.

Moreover the entities being labelled are not delienated, they can’t be, because they are fluid and unfixed, and some barely have an existence besides a ‘name.’ Fighters move from one banner (brand) to another, the forces meld and collaborate, new flags are invented all the time, statements of intent mean nothing, etc.

So, this diplo exercise is posturing, detached from reality, and ignoring the situation on the ground. (Russia ..) It is, imho, a power struggle between some of the outside actors, aka funders, to determine influence for ‘afterwards’, a sort of show at not being loosers, being in control.

Posted by: Noirette | Nov 11 2015 16:11 utc | 12

As usual, Wayoutwest plays the part of the proverbial turd in the punchbowl with is asinine analysis of the situation. The "West" is trying its best to undermine an existing secular government in Syria and replacing it with a sectarian government run by Islamic radicals. It's a tried and true strategy we've seen employed in Iraq and Libya so it's not like anyone is surprised, but the fact that you continue to come here and spew misinformation so gleefully is pathetic.

And in reference to the previous thread in which you thanked Penelope for validating your misinformation, I wouldn't exactly call an unsubstantiated article from the JPost of all places "verification".

Hasbara trolling is so obvious these days; maybe you guys should hire competent agents for a change.

Posted by: Bruno Marz | Nov 11 2015 16:37 utc | 13

I would think the Syrian government gets the last word on what is and isn't a terrorist. That would seem to be the motivation for some opposition groups to provide intel for critical Russian air strikes.

Hmm.... I'd define any group as terrorist that took weapons and/or money from terrorist supporters US, UK, Turkey, Qatar/GCC, Saudi, Israel, France and any NATO/5 Eyes connected country. I think that's in line with Lavrov, Putin, and Assad's thinking.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 11 2015 17:25 utc | 14

Mind you, Hammond is one of the worst. His only interest is the arms contracts, and he makes it quite clear that it is the only factor. Hundreds of thousands dying is of no matter. He will also be a member of Conservative Friends of Israel. All the government are. Another Tory politico, Boris Johnson, potential future PM, got himself disinvited by several Palestinian organisations today, because of his outspoken criticism of BDS in Israel. Didn't look particularly good for him.

Posted by: Laguerre | Nov 11 2015 17:26 utc | 15


Rotating ID's and pathological lying are sure signs of trollish behavior. Your ignorance is evident on Syria when you identify the Assad regime as secular but not sectarian, Assad's Alawite Shia sect is the ruling elite excluding most of the majority Sunni population.

My report of the Israeli attack on Hezbollah in Syria didn't come from Israel and I imagine P is regretting her comment and link but the facts remain the attack happened and Putin has not even mentioned it because Russia and Israel are close military, cultural and economic allies.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Nov 11 2015 17:38 utc | 16

thanks b...

talk is cheap.. with politicians it's usually in excess too where you can see the double speak over the course of a few days...

remembrance day today here in canada.. some acknowledge this day as an opportunity to support the troops, and others like myself see it as an opportunity to acknowledge the futility of war and mans inhumanity to their fellow human beings.. no where is this more apparent then in places like syria and yemen that are suffering thru it at present. our country is apparently pulling out of the bombing campaign against isis.. i hope that is true.. thank you russia for trying to stop the fucking madness that saudi arabia, the gccs and others in this area with active support from the west, have allowed to happen.

Posted by: james | Nov 11 2015 18:21 utc | 17

The Syrian General Mohammad Issa, one of the top commanders of the Syrian army has threatened to target France‘s aircraft carrier directly if he dares to approach the Syrian coast.

Interviewed by the Russian agency Sputnik, Syrian General Mohammad Issa said:

“The announcement made by France to involve the nuclear aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, in military operations in Syria will force the country’s army to directly target the aircraft carriers”.
Focusing on French air strikes in Syria, Issa said:

“These strikes target Syrian oil wells and all this is done without the approval of Damascus government, which for us means the violation of our sovereignty”.

Posted by: harry law | Nov 11 2015 18:37 utc | 18

As unusual the sticking point for US is the meaning of the verb "is". The so-called agreement says "terrorists" are only those whom all parties call terrorists. So what? If we refer to the "good" terrorists as "rebels" instead, does that make them immune to attack by the Syrian state if they have attacked it first?

In about a week or so get ready for US to claim that the Russians, having agreed not to attack the "good" terrorists - they did no such thing - has now broken its agreement and significantly escalated the war. I believe that in psychology this kind of thing is called "projection" - attributing all your own worst characteristics to those whom you hate.

It's all so predictable.

Posted by: Wotan | Nov 11 2015 18:42 utc | 19

All this "securlaist" talk at conferences and whether it's believable, is useless. it's so interchangeable and so meaningless in its changing propaganda use, that the only useful aspect is to expose the frauds of the Empire and it's minions.

Since the US Empire prefers military dictatorship's - à la Egypt, Saddam Hussein etc - for its mideast puppets, then that is what the US means by "secularist". A military dictatorship or even a Baathist controlled state is the preferred method method of US control.

Posted by: tom | Nov 11 2015 19:08 utc | 20

@17 James...
Do not for one second think that Russia are doing this for their love of humanaty. And never trust any politician, including Lavrov and Putin. Anybody with enough cold blood to climb the echelons of that political ladder has to be suspect until the end game becomes clear. It not like Putin is Ghandi or Mandela or the Dalai Lamma. Not yet anyway. As much as I love the testicular veracity they project, I am wary of all politicians. Period. Russia might be on the right side of history for now, but bombs kill people, and there will always be collateral damage. That means families and basically anybody else who doesn't give a shit who writes the rules that they break....

Posted by: Dan | Nov 11 2015 19:14 utc | 21

The cry out from Nut & yahoo to O'bwana "to think" in a different way about his squatting in the Golan Heights plus the desperate call from the al S-aud-odomite kingdom to do something URGENT less Putin will impose an unconditional cease fire in Syria, stems of desperation and lunacy. Nut & yahoo knows it, al S-aud-odomite knows it and O'bwana knows that Putins knows it. The only ones not knowing it are: McC-ins-ane, NooLand, Ashclown Carter, Hitlary Killary Clingon, and some more of the usual suspects.

Posted by: Sun Tzu | Nov 11 2015 19:14 utc | 22

Missile Defense Shield is the 21st Century Maginot line. It is stupid and it won't work! Ok it works for the MIC's payroll but it doesn't work in the real world.

Posted by: Sun Tzu | Nov 11 2015 19:40 utc | 23

@21 Be sure to let us all know when your Utopia begins k?

Posted by: bbbbb | Nov 11 2015 19:56 utc | 24

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Posted by: Wotan | Nov 11 2015 20:02 utc | 25

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Posted by: Wotan Screaming | Nov 11 2015 20:08 utc | 26

@21 bbbbb. K. Let us know where your sycophantism ends. There are no good guys here. Its a dirty game brother. Only idiots take sides. Jus saying....

Posted by: Dan | Nov 11 2015 20:08 utc | 27

@17 "and others like myself see it as an opportunity to acknowledge the futility of war and mans inhumanity to their fellow human beings.."

or to call for the next war on behalf of the 1%.

Posted by: ruralito | Nov 11 2015 20:10 utc | 28

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Posted by: Wotan Screaming | Nov 11 2015 20:12 utc | 29

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Posted by: Wotan Screaming | Nov 11 2015 20:17 utc | 30

US Apache Helicopter providing close air support to ISIS convoy

Posted by: elrius | Nov 11 2015 20:40 utc | 31

War is, for the most part, the subject of this conversation. Taking any side is ridiculous. Assad is no angel, although probably better than most alternatives. Same for Putin. Cameron, Obama, and that duo of idiotic cock smokers from Oz and Canada are another story... Erdogan!!?? Well, he just won a landslide election. Dunno about you, but I got absolutely nobody on that list of delinquency that I would vote for... As for KSA... Yemen, Lybia, Iraq, both Sudan's, Somalia, Nigeria... Hang on, wait a minute. Is there one single politician in this world worth voting for? Sorry, I remember the huge fuss when Obama got elected. One Nobel prize later and we're on the brink of WW111.
Voting or participating in this system is futile.

Posted by: Dan | Nov 11 2015 20:42 utc | 32

@18: Great info. I'm glad Syria is starting to show some backbone, no doubt due to Russia's involvement. US and British planes should also be taken out, since they are genereally only up to mischief in Syria.

Posted by: tolo | Nov 11 2015 21:06 utc | 33

The Foreign Secretary's comments on the crash of the Russian airliner in Egypt came close to welcoming the pressure that it had put on the Russian government:

“We’ll see whether the Russians now double down or whether they decide that they never wanted to be too deeply engaged anyway in Syria and that this is a warning shot to them and we’ll sense a greater willingness to engage in the talks in Vienna this coming Saturday,” he said.

Posted by: pmr9 | Nov 11 2015 21:22 utc | 34

John Kerry has managed to bungle every foreign relations assignment given to him. Nobody outside the US news media pays any attention to what he says or does. The Russians and Iranians will decide Assads fate

Posted by: Katusov | Nov 11 2015 21:33 utc | 35

Wayoutwest @ 16 says:

Assad's Alawite Shia sect is the ruling elite excluding most of the majority Sunni population

but that same majority Sunni population (yes, Wayoutwest, women too) voted yes in the Syrian constitutional referendum, 2012.

-it abolished the old article 8 which entrenched the power of the Ba'ath party. The new article 8 reads: The political system is based on the principle of political pluralism, and rule is only obtained and exercised democratically through voting

-in a new article 88, it introduced presidential elections and limited the term of office for the president to seven years with a maximum of one re-election.

...but, yes, that was after hordes of NATO/Saudi armed misogynistic halfwits (and US special ops) had already inundated the country.

Posted by: john | Nov 11 2015 21:35 utc | 36

Perfidious Albion at its vacillating, obfuscating best, so much so that it manages to flummox even itself.

Well done, Phillip Hammond.

Posted by: Jen | Nov 11 2015 21:47 utc | 37

Piotr Berman @ 8,

"Strange things are happening in Turkey: 18 persons were arrested as al-Nusra supporters."

Erdogan always gives "acceptable" reasons for his arrests. Hence, journalists are arrested for "plotting a coup". In other words, those arrested as al-Nusra weren't.

Posted by: Penelope | Nov 11 2015 22:05 utc | 38

The excellent communique of October 30 was signed onto by all 19 countries which participated & by the UN. Obviously some were insincere in their agreement and will use the communique only as a PR screen behind which they attempt other outcomes. Nevertheless, like Minsk 2 it provides the text against which the legitimacy of future actions will be measured-- notwithstanding weaslewording by UK or attempted facts (partitions) on the ground.

Posted by: Penelope | Nov 11 2015 22:06 utc | 39

If you are interested in the politics inside of Syria, this is an excellent report by Boris Dolgov.
It's from 2012, but is not the sort of thing that's likely to have changed much. "What Is Really Going On In Syria: Insider Update"

Posted by: Penelope | Nov 11 2015 22:07 utc | 40

@27 "only idiots take sides" - ok you're downright ridiculous

Posted by: bbbbb | Nov 11 2015 22:26 utc | 41

Posted by: harry law | Nov 11, 2015 9:44:16 AM | 7

Throwing Saudia Arabia under the bus would certainly help that low oil price problem now wouldn't it. The more they step outside the bounds of decency the more they make themselves a target for Regime Change. If they're successful in Syria for instance, who do they think the Israeli-Neo Con wannabees will go for next?

Suddenly Iranian projection towards Israel is cut off, so that cuts them down a peg - but Saudi Arabia still funds jihadis all over the place...

Posted by: Julian | Nov 11 2015 22:32 utc | 42

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Nov 11, 2015 9:52:38 AM | 8

No, the al-Jazeera journalists are not themselves ISIS agents, but they are certainly "idiotic dupes" for Qatari Foreign Policy and that makes them part of the nexus of Qatar-Saudi Arabia-Al-Jazeera-Al-Nusra-Al-Qaeda-ISIS superstructure - they are all connected.

Does Al-Jazeera properly call out ISIS & Al-Nusra/ Al-Qaeda? Do they do the investigative reporting to work out where the funds for Al-Nusra/Al-Qaeda/ISIS are coming from, do they dig into the affairs of the monied elite in Qatar & Saudi Arabia to expose the corruption that drives the jihadis in Syria?

No, instead they go to Egypt to report on the "Crimes of al-Sisi" - why? Obviously because that is in line with Qatari foreign policy - which also supports Al-Nusra/Al-Qaeda/ISIS et al. It's all connected, it's all part of the superstructure.

I know you know this.

Sure, those journalists are not ISIS agents, but they are certainly useful idiots. I found the outcry over their imprisonment ridiculous but unsurprising. Given they are employees of the Qatari State, shouldn't anyone with sense be asking what are the policies of the State of Qatar in the region in assessing why they were locked up? Seems obvious to me, but seemed to escape most "analysts" and "experts" who blithely mouth the platitudes about "freedom of speech". Great.

I bring it up, because if they hadn't given into pressure and released these guys, after the bombing of the Russian plane - which has obviously been blamed on ISIS - Egypt could have connected those dots for the world to see.

Journalists from Al-Jazeera, funded by Qatar, who also funds Syrian rebels, including ISIS, and who are now blowing up the Egyptian tourist industry. They could have connected the dots to justify why they had to hold the Al-Jazeera journalists in captivity as at the very least Qatari agents. The same guys inter-connected with ISIS.

Obviously they threw that possibility away for no real reason I could see. If I can see the stupidity of throwing in your chips so easily from the other side of the world, why couldn't they?

Posted by: Julian | Nov 11 2015 22:41 utc | 43

Posted by: Noirette | Nov 11, 2015 11:11:40 AM | 12

I must ask, are you a native English speaker? Because if you aren't, I can forgive this.

But, *losers. Not. Loosers. I see this far too often. It's dispiriting.

Posted by: Julian | Nov 11 2015 22:44 utc | 44

harry law @ 18,
"The Syrian General Mohammad Issa, one of the top commanders of the Syrian army has threatened to target France‘s aircraft carrier directly if he dares to approach the Syrian coast."

Thanks for posting this harry & good for the general. France should have to PAY for what they break, and Turkey should have to pay for all those factories they shipped back to Turkey. In a perfect world. . . .

Posted by: Penelope | Nov 11 2015 22:46 utc | 45


The US Constitution is viewed by our power elite as just 'a piece of paper' interpreted to mean money=free speech and corporations have the rights of people yet you seem to believe Assad's piece of paper is some magical document that will control him or his minions.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Nov 11 2015 23:04 utc | 46

@21 Dan...

I too am an admirer of the "testicular veracity" projected by Putin and Lavrov.
I'd also like to put in a word for the ovarian veracity of Russian Federation Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova

Posted by: Captain Cook | Nov 11 2015 23:17 utc | 47

Posted by: pmr9 | Nov 11, 2015 4:22:42 PM | 34

“We’ll see whether the Russians now double down or whether they decide that they never wanted to be too deeply engaged anyway in Syria and that this is a warning shot to them and we’ll sense a greater willingness to engage in the talks in Vienna this coming Saturday,” he said.

Yes no doubt a warning shot. Clearly a warning shot from the likes of US/UK/France/Israel/Turkey/Saudi Arabia/Qatar as well.

Posted by: Julian | Nov 11 2015 23:28 utc | 48

@21 dan.. i appreciate your cynicism towards my looking for something to admire in a world full of corruption.. no doubt russia has an agenda too, but for the most part they seem to be addressing ISIS and the potential for another failed state - syria - much better then all the bs permeating from the west which seems more intent on creating more of the same while using ISIS for a batting ram to break apart another country.. say what you want about assad.. i would prefer him to ISIS, or some frigging stooge for the empire of chaos. in an atmosphere with grim choices, putin, larvov and russia represent the best of the bunch.. some folks will have to suck that up, even if it conflicts with the official stories coming out of brainwashington that are being regurgitated to the west 24/7..

Posted by: james | Nov 11 2015 23:33 utc | 49

@21 dan @49 james,

Whatever ulterior objectives there almost certainly are, Russian actions are fully explained by Russian overt objectives and basic principles of warfighting. That difference, alone, counts for a lot among honest thinking people.

Posted by: Jonathan | Nov 12 2015 0:13 utc | 50

@49 James. Absolutely. Its just such a narrow choice. I feel ripped off.

Posted by: Dan | Nov 12 2015 0:27 utc | 51

@41 bbbbb Thanks. Always good to get feedback from idiots with nothing but one line moronic verbatim to give. I see you've picked a side, so go getem... I'll sit here and watch while two major superpowers nuke each other. And I'll survive, hopefully. Keep typing away, you really are making a difference. Just stay away from real guns please...

Posted by: Dan | Nov 12 2015 0:53 utc | 52


Assad's Syria or what is left of it is already a failed state and now one of his sectarian generals is threatening to draw Putin into a conflict with France. Russia playing Sugar Bear for Assad and his cronies may produce more deadly unintended consequences.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Nov 12 2015 0:59 utc | 53

“We’d always like to do more business, more British exports, more British jobs and in this case very high end engineering jobs protected and created by our diplomacy abroad.”

Interesting. An admission that UK diplomacy creates the conditions for instability and arms spending. Knife-edge military tension in our times...

The Saudis ought to look at that and wonder if they're being played for suckers.

How can anyone who hears that statement not see how ridiculous and wasteful, ultimately, that sort of economic production is. Its capitalism at its most pointless and inane incarnation.


Glad to see the WoW screed against secularism. Though its always painfully obvious that he's nothing more than a booster for Jihadist murder, it's always fun to witness the moments he just drops all pretense as to having any interest in peace or human rights. I haven't seen any statement so revealing since you proudly flattered the head choppers about their "brilliance".

Posted by: guest77 | Nov 12 2015 1:12 utc | 54

People should go to the previous thread to read comments that investigate WoW "Israeli attack on Hezbollah". Of course the claim would appear to be as empty as one would suspect of a story which is obviously little more than Israeli chest beating.

Posted by: guest77 | Nov 12 2015 1:18 utc | 55

Rostislav Ischenko has written a piece about the factions that I am always ON about:

"Up until 2015, America’s elite (or at least the ones who determine US policy) had been assured that they possessed sufficient financial, economic, military, and political strength to cripple the rest of the world, while still preserving Washington’s hegemony by depriving everyone, including (at the final stage) even the American people of any real political sovereignty or economic rights. European bureaucrats were important allies for that elite – i.e., the cosmopolitan, comprador-bourgeoisie sector of the EU elite, whose welfare hinged on the further integration of transatlantic (i.e., under US control) EU entities (in which the premise of Atlantic solidarity has become geopolitical dogma) and NATO, although this is in conflict with the interests of the EU member states."

"The latest statements by Kerry [4] and Obama [5] which seesaw from a willingness to consider a mutually acceptable compromise on all contentious issues (even Kiev was given instructions “to implement Minsk “) to a determination to continue the policy of confrontation – are evidence of the escalating battle being fought within the Washington establishment.

"It is impossible to predict the outcome of this struggle — too many high-status politicians and influential families have tied their futures to an agenda that preserves imperial domination for that to be renounced painlessly. In reality, multibillion-dollar positions and entire political dynasties are at stake."

I hope that a few of you will read the article as I wd very much like to discuss a couple of his assumptions. Also, it is unprecedented to hear of anyone's thinking that the faction which wd now push multipolarism is actually looking for a modus vivendi rather than just a switch of tactics on the way to the global dictatorship.

Posted by: Penelope | Nov 12 2015 1:44 utc | 56

But, *losers. Not. Loosers. I see this far too often. It's dispiriting.
Posted by: Julian | Nov 11, 2015 5:44:48 PM | 44

Cheer up and never forget that the www is for anyone & everyone who can think and type - regardless of Race, Creed, Colour or Language Skills.
That's how it began and that's what everyone who uses it must defend at ANY cost.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 12 2015 2:19 utc | 57

I do believe that the two points that changed the war were the interception of the two US sent ballistic missiles by Russia and the entry of Russia in the war against the terrorists(jihadists). of Syria. After each of these events the US backed down and changed its narrative. If the Syrian people remains united and fighting and the Russian logistic and military industry can keep up long enough to destroy the terrorists. There's no way in the current circumstances The United State and its allies could win in Syria.Assad will stay and Syria won't fall.The problem is that the west and its minions and particularly the united state didn't totally accept it yet .They Got their first major strategic loss in decades and they don't know how to react to it.They will eventually come around to it.The Matter, however, is that they won't do anything to help Russia clean their mess.They might even wish that Russia fail and do everything for that to happen.This is ,in my opinion,what can really delay any upcoming settling arrangement on the Syrian crisis.
Great post b

Posted by: lebretteurfredonnant | Nov 12 2015 3:13 utc | 58


I do believe he is right to some extend. Exxon mobile who is the property of the Rockefeller was supporting a pipeline going from Qatar to Syria in order to supply Europe with gaz and undermine the influence of Russia on it.The refusal of Bashar Al Assad to accept this pipeline supported by Qatar, Exxon ,the united state and their western allies is the main reason of the war. This pipeline would have give to the us an enormous leverage on a more dependant Europe and a huge strategic advantage on Russia and other power in the current world order. So yes there is a lot at stake.

Posted by: lebretteurfredonnant | Nov 12 2015 3:32 utc | 59

Julian @ 3 & 43,

You sound frustrated over Egypt's appeasement of Qatar. You see, Egypt is in ghastly economic shape & borrows continuously from Qatar, Saudis & AEU. I don't know why they're in such terrible shape, unless it's because of all the political turmoil before, during & after Morsi. And of course they're suffering from an upstream dam on the Nile which reduces their ag, I think.

Posted by: Penelope | Nov 12 2015 4:04 utc | 60

@16: "My report of the Israeli attack on Hezbollah in Syria didn't come from Israel and I imagine P is regretting her comment and link but the facts remain the attack happened and Putin has not even mentioned it because Russia and Israel are close military, cultural and economic allies."

That's a pretty funny statement, because if you *do* go to the Israeli press for "news" of those airstrikes you come up with links like these:

Notice that when you do you'll see that the headline reads this:
"SYRIA says Israeli airstrikes hit near Damascus airport"
but when you read the very first line of text it reads this:
"According to unconfirmed reports by OPPOSITION GROUPS, target was a weapons shipment intended for Hezbollah"

So according to the Israeli press "Syria" = "the Jihadis", not "the Syrian govt"
and also that "unconfirmed" = "it happened", not "we don't know if it happened".

Note also that this unconfirmed report is sourced not to "opposition groups" but to a tweet from someone called "Amichai Stein", which try as I might I can't make myself believe that's a Syrian name.

But good for Mr Stein, because at least he willing to put his name to his tweet.

Unlike the "reporters" for the Times of Israel, who "reports" this article as "By Times of Israel staff"

Here's a tip for everyone: newspaper reporters just looooooooove to see their name in print, so if the byline reads "by our staff" then it almost certainly means that this was not written by anyone on the staff of that newspaper.

Nope. You can bet good money that this is a story that has been foisted on the newspaper by some apparatchik working in The Ministry of Propaganda.

Heck, WayOutWest, you might even know him.....

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Nov 12 2015 4:09 utc | 61

lebretteurfredonnant @ 59,

Thanks for responding. The issue treated in the article is much broader than the pipeline & leverage over EU, sales losses for Russia. At issue, according to the author, is US acceptance of a multipolar world by one faction-- while the other continues to believe that it can vanquish the entire world.

I have argued, in company w a few journalists, that there was a side deal to the US-Iranian nuke deal wherein US & Rus agreed that Rus & Iran would clean out the Syrian terrorists. Obama is frontman for a group of US policy-makers who are trying to step back from the ruinous policies of the neocons. I personally believe that even this faction intends to continue w the plan for the neoliberal global order. However they are content to do it by growing the supranational institutions like IMF, TTIP, etc that bleed nations of their monetary, economic & trade powers. But the author of the article seems to believe that the less reckless faction is actually trying to abandon the whole project of unipolarity.

Posted by: Penelope | Nov 12 2015 4:23 utc | 62

But, *losers. Not. Loosers. I see this far too often. It's dispiriting.
Posted by: Julian | Nov 11, 2015 5:44:48 PM | 44 Lament of a grammar Nazi.
Aaaa look at all those lesser people,
Aaaa look at all those lesser people
All the lesser people, where do they all come from?
All the lesser people, where do they all belong?

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Nov 12 2015 4:32 utc | 63

@56 penelope.. thanks for the article. i enjoyed it.. i agree with him in it is crunch time.. he is speaking from a russian geopolitical point of view, but i think it is fairly accurate... the us$ supremacy and the world financial system is not going away immediately though.. the bric countries still have a good ways to go in getting an alternative system up and running.. we are living in a multi-polar world where one group using the us$ have the upper hand still.. they are behaving as though it is a uni-polar world and they will continue to do so as long as they can, but it is becoming harder for them to maintain this semi-illusion.

as @ 59 lebretteurfredonnant points out - the plan to provide some of the energy needs of europe via qatar thru syria was a part of the plan, now shelved indefinitely.. bringing iran on stream to provide something similar is a different angle, but same game - trying to isolate russia.. these dynamics explain in large part why we see russia in syria at present..

i agree with Rostislav Ischenko's viewpoint that 2016 is going to be a turning point.. the possibility of a major war with a lot of struggling going on is very real.. russia appears to have an upper hand militarily from what i can tell, but i think the west is going to try to counter russia and it is not going to be nice for the planet as a consequence. depressing thoughts for armistice day nov 11 - 2015.. i wish i could see it differently.

Posted by: james | Nov 12 2015 4:35 utc | 64

WoW @ 46

The US Constitution is viewed by our power elite as just 'a piece of paper' interpreted to mean money=free speech and corporations have the rights of people yet you seem to believe Assad's piece of paper is some magical document that will control him or his minions.

2 things:

1) you acknowledge our (US) decimation/lack or respect & adherence to our constitution. (And, you're right). So, this means no others respect theirs? As American, why aren't you shouting of US leaders to mend their ways?
2) As far as Assad's constitutional change: that *was* honored, and Assad one +/- 55%. Christ, JFK was Catholic and considered almost a miracle here when he was elected. Not much difference here then, or with Evangelical intolerance now here (they hate other Christians).

Seems to me Assad's Syria more democratic then USA for a while has been for a good while now.

Posted by: jdmckay | Nov 12 2015 4:40 utc | 65

But the author of the article seems to believe that the less reckless faction is actually trying to abandon the whole project of unipolarity.

The author takes a naive position in light of 200 years of history. Of course, staking out that position could be a ruse.

“The nation state as a fundamental unit of man’s organized life has ceased to be the principal creative force: International banks and multinational corporations are acting and planning in terms that are far in advance of the political concepts of the nation-state.” — Zbigniew Brzezinski, 1969.

The Supranationals don't care where they set up shop. They do care that they can coerce governments to push policies like TPP in order to crush competition while concurrently squeezing the blood from the working class peasants.

Posted by: fast freddy | Nov 12 2015 4:42 utc | 66

James @ 64,

Thanks for the response to the article. Iran has said it plans to do LNG to the Asian countries instead of the EU market. Earlier they had planned to supply Pakistan; don't know if that's still in the works.

Regarding the BRICS institutions it appears we've been told what isn't so. See the next post below.

There is some fairly substantial info that the more pragmatic faction actually tried to give up the dollar as reserve currency a few years ago. I'm going to post that next open thread.

Posted by: Penelope | Nov 12 2015 5:23 utc | 67

James, Doesn't this fly in the face of most of what we've been told?

BRICS FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS. The extent of the misreporting and cheerleading on the topic seems like disinfo. It's as if a few reporters mis-characterized these institutions and all the others just copied them without actually looking at the data.

--Currency swaps between BRICS to minimize use of the dollar. This is real for China & Russia. The others have hardly any trade between them so there've been no swaps. These three highly indebted countries are in the straightjacket of IMF-World Bank conditionalities. They do not decide on fundamental issues of monetary policy and macro-economic reform without the green light from the Washington based international financial institutions.

March 2013 Putin : "BRICS members advocate the creation of a more balanced and just system of global economic relations. The emerging markets are interested in long-term sustainable economic growth worldwide and reforms of the financial and economic architecture to make it more efficient. This is reflected in last year's joint decision to contribute $75 billion to the IMF lending program, thus increasing the participation of the fastest growing economies in the Fund's authorized capital."
[You want to make the existing system more EFFICIENT? BRICS gave it $75 B?]

--BRICS New Development Bank: Its credits are denominated in dollars

--BRICS Contingent Reserve Arrangement. The liquidity it provides is in dollars. Furthermore, the endorsement of the IMF will be necessary to act as a stabiliser for the BRICS’ balances of payment.

--China's AIIB. "China only stimulates the use of the yuan by means of bilateral agreements and by that wastes the extraordinary potential of its institutions for the financing of infrastructure, which are mostly supported by emerging economies. The operations of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the Silk Road Fund, and the BRICS’ New Development Bank all take place in US dollars." Chossudovsky Ariel Noyola Rodriguez

"Are the BRICS effective serving as sub-imperialists by better integrating the regions into global neoliberal capitalism? Or are they empowering emerging economies by offering a wider range of economic choice?"
"Given the elite bias of most policies, this politics does not necessarily lead to democratic political outcomes such as greater democracy at home. It is better understood in terms of greater pluralism in elite forums of international politics and economics." Laurence Piper

The BRICS institutions share personnel with the IMF & World Bank.

Of course the overall problem is that the borrower ought to be empowered to print his OWN currency, rather than borrow a different currency at interest. Ceasing this looting would require dissolution of the IMF/FED system which robs all but a few countries of the ability to issue their own currency, except in an amount equal to the value of their export income.
This is the reason behind Russia's slow growth. Yet she has joined this banking system rather than emancipating her own central bank and her own currency by nationalizing them.

Posted by: Penelope | Nov 12 2015 5:27 utc | 68

@WoW #53

The Ba'athist movement is secular. Assad is an Alawite Ba'athist head of state. Saddam Hussein was a Sunni Ba'athist head of state. The modernistic and pluralistic aspects of the Ba'athist movement, such as certain freedoms for women, bring it into conflict with sectarian movements. The Ba'athist governments were first installed after coups d'etat against sectarian monarchies. The sectarian monarchies in the gulf region see the survival of Ba'athism as an existential threat.

Posted by: Thirdeye | Nov 12 2015 5:32 utc | 69

Fast Freddy @ 66, Clearly Zbigy & the others want to make the nation-state irrelevant. But we have no chance of ever regaining any citizen power w/o it. Thanks for the quote.

Somewhere there's a good quote of D Rockefeller bragging about his program of doing away w the the nation-state.

Posted by: Penelope | Nov 12 2015 5:35 utc | 70

Third Eye @ 69,

Syria is multi-party, not just Baath party.

Posted by: Penelope | Nov 12 2015 5:47 utc | 71

While I dislike Egyptian government that ably massacres protesters but is less able in fighting terrorists, with tricks like meting hundreds of death sentences in absentia being clearly unhelpful, sometimes the give a blow for a good cause like secular government.

The idea of a secular government is highly contentious. In Europe, that basically means France. England has its established church, so does Scotland (typically, it is a different church) and all other monarchies (in Scandinavia, Lutheran). In Ireland and Poland, Roman Catholic Church has a very special position, and so on. In USA, some are proud of "separation of Church and State" and some think that this is a nefarious plot. Take Ben Carson, currently number two (or one?) contender for GOP mantle as the Presidential candidate. "The retired neurosurgeon, speaking before the religious university's weekly convocation in Lynchburg, Virginia, again talked about the threat of people "who are trying to push God out of our lives," or otherwise negate or belittle those who believe in God as "some kind of idiot."

Read more:

And why would anyone regard highly accomplished neurosurgeon as "some kind of idiot"? Some think that it was wacko to denounce an idea of a Muslim president "unless he renounces Sharia". Carson prefers to make (or ignore) laws on the basis of Christian Bible, as interpreted by Seventh Day Adventists. Being neither Muslim nor Seventh Day Adventist, I do not see much of a difference. But where is Egypt here? Hear, hear: "[Carson' also has been defending himself against his theory that the Great Pyramids of Giza were constructed by the biblical figure Joseph to store grain, saying "secular progressives" are trying to ridicule him for this belief." And the top Egyptian authority on antiquities (including the pyramids) joined the chorus of the detractors.
Read more:

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Nov 12 2015 6:02 utc | 72

@Bruno Marz@13

Hasbara trolling is so obvious these days; maybe you guys should hire competent agents for a change.

Our in-house troll has a cartoonish, wing nut, shortsighted worldview, reason he parrots non-sense without any depth of meaning. Describing Syria as "sectarian," based on the predominance of Alawites in positions of power only shows his tendency to smear and distort, and his utmost ignorance about Syria's sociopolitical make-up.

During the French colonial period, Alawites, an underclass group in Syria, joined in high numbers what was to become the Syrian army in the post-colonial period, which placed them in a privileged position within the state. Hafez Assad used the Alawites to build a loyal ruling elite around himself, secular and socialist, during the Baathist period. At the same time, he established relations with powerful Sunnis in the main Syrian cities, attracting them to the circles of power with marriages across religious sects, creating a ruling based on class and privilege, not on sectarian predominance.

His son inherited a complex society not free from contradictions, however, Sunnis/Shia/Christians (sundry denominations), have coexisted in Syria for centuries without sectarian conflicts, until the empire exploited internal/external weaknesses, as they did in Iraq, for their own nefarious purposes. True, Alawite Syrians own a disproportionate piece of the Syrian pie vis-a-vis their representation as a percentage of the Syrian population; however, Sunnis are the backbone of the SAA, and they are at the forefront of the struggle against the takfiris.

The widespread lies about Syria promoted by the empire and its MSM stenographers (thanks, Hoarsewhisperer@1), do not hold at all when confronted with the onslaught Syria has suffered, and there it is, still standing and marching forward, Assad a symbol of resistance to the empire and its minions. That would have been impossible without a sense of fatherland, of nationhood, felt beyond sectarian divisions. The sad story behind the confrontation with the takfiris, Sunni in their majority, is that the ones on the other side shooting at them are also Sunnis.

No country would have been able to survive four years of an aggression of the magnitude Syria has withstood, without a deeper sense of meaning to their struggle. No army can be made to fight this long for money, looting or perks of any kind. The @ thousand soldiers that held to the Kweires airbase for 2 1/2 years, knew their destiny was to be beheaded, but fear is a limited motivation for any soldier to struggle and to hold on for that long. When there are no ideals to motivate a soldier, fear easily gives way to exhaustion, the first step before defeatism creeps in closing all options, and surrender follows.

How many of those soldiers at the airbase, alive and dead, are/were Sunnis? We can't tell for sure, but I can say with utmost certainty a large percentage of them are/were. The battle for the Kweires airbase will enter military history as an epic and glorious deed, not different from the 300 Spartans at Thermopylae. No sectarian army can pull a heroic fight against all odds, and come out victorious.

Going back to the hasbara trolls, they have been fed an insultingly Manichean worldview where Assad is evil incarnate and the takfiris are Syria's saviors, and that's where WoW comes from, a pathetically nauseating industry of slander and lies.

Syria: Why is Assad still in power?

[...] The Sunni split

The truth, however, is far more nuanced, though there is definitely a sectarian dimension to the Syrian conflict and significant internal polarisation along those lines. The Syrian army is largely made up of Sunni conscripts, while many willing Sunni volunteers in the paramilitary groups that support regular government forces fight alongside foreign Shia militias, like Hezbollah, against a plethora of rebel groups that are all exclusively Sunni Muslim of varying extremes - both local and foreign. It is this Sunni split in Syria that is perhaps the most significant but overlooked factor in shaping the conflict.

In Assad's Syria, death notices litter the walls - and life goes on

[...} Sunnis are the backbone of the Syrian army – as they are of their enemies – but the Alawites, a minority of course, have paid a bloody cost for their own allegiance [...]

In Defence of the Syrian Arab Army

[...] The Syrian state, whatever its other flaws, has certainly represented a strong secular tradition. There are many signs of this. President Bashar al Assad himself is married to a Sunni woman. The Grand Mufti of Syria, Sheikh Ahmad Hassoun, is a strong Sunni supporter of the secular state. Sheikh Mohamad Al Bouti, murdered along with 42 others by an FSA suicide bomber in March 2013, was a senior Sunni Koranic scholar who backed the secular state. The western media tag on these men as being 'pro-Assad' rather misses the point.

Syria's secular tradition is nowhere stronger than in the Syrian Arab Army. Making up about 80% of Syria's armed forces and with half a million members, half regulars and half conscripts, the army is drawn from all the country's communities (Sunni, Alawi, Shiia, Christian, Druze, Kurd, Armenian, etc). However they identify as 'Syrian' and 'Arab' and confront a sectarian enemy which brands itself 'real Sunnis' [...]

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Nov 12 2015 6:12 utc | 73

@67/68 penelope.. thanks for the links and ongoing questions on the topic of world finance. i'm just a student of finance with a small grasp of how it all works.. my simple view is the imf/world bank favour the us$ continuation and have managed to figure out a way of having all these so called central banks held accountable to the imf body. this includes russia central bank.. what is seems to mean is that it is very difficult to set up an alternative system with all the necessary components to make it run.. the bis - bank of international settlements - is a key ingredient in this.. i don't see why an exchange within a bric system couldn't work outside the us$ world currency regime, but i think there is a transition that has to take place from what most everyone is working within at present, including the bric countries.. that is about as much as i know and it includes speculation on my part.

looking at the imf members quota and voting rights list, i note canada has more voting rights then fact canada has more voting rights then russia too! this only makes sense from some angle that doesn't make sense to me.. or, the angle is how to maintain power and control by a select group of countries over other potential rivals..

i think brics is trying to set up an alternative system, but it is not happening yet and may take longer then not given how we are moving towards a warfare answer to this financial structure.. i don't have anything other then speculation to add to any of this.. sorry!

Posted by: james | Nov 12 2015 6:54 utc | 74

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Nov 11, 2015 7:59:20 PM | 53

It's actually France drawing themselves into a conflict in Syria. You have it arse about sir. But you know that don't you?

Posted by: Julian | Nov 12 2015 6:56 utc | 75

Posted by: Penelope | Nov 11, 2015 8:44:42 PM | 56

Also, it is unprecedented to hear of anyone's thinking that the faction which wd now push multipolarism is actually looking for a modus vivendi rather than just a switch of tactics on the way to the global dictatorship.

I think that probably counts as wishful thinking on his part.

Posted by: Julian | Nov 12 2015 7:00 utc | 76

Posted by: Penelope | Nov 11, 2015 11:04:19 PM | 60

No doubt that is part of it, but I hold to the line that they should have held out longer. I'm not exactly sure what they got from releasing the Al-Jazeera folk.

A ruined tourist industry seems to be the answer.

Posted by: Julian | Nov 12 2015 7:02 utc | 77

Posted by: lebretteurfredonnant | Nov 11, 2015 10:13:06 PM | 58

I think the resolution of the Syria conflict has been punted well into 2017 - shaping up to be a pivotal year.

It will depend on the new US President - and the people s/he surrounds her/himself with. I think all signs points to a crazier President than Obama.

From what I can tell, it seems to me Mr. Obama wants to see February 2017 without anything major going pop between now and then - so he's doing the minimum until then.

We'll see how it goes for him.

Also in 2017.

China spends the whole year as part of the IMF currency basket (following inclusion in October 2016)
UK EU Exit - Brexit - Referendum. Could be very interesting
French Presidential Election (Byebye Hollande, hello Sarko again? Not much better, but he now seems keen to buddy up to Putin. Or perhaps Le Pen - even better).
German Elections - Byebye Merkel.

So all in all, 2017 will see the end of Obama, should see the end of Merkel & Hollande, and could even see the end of Camoron if the Referendum goes against his wishes.

New(ish) actors on the stage take your part.

But Putin will still be there of course (unless assasinated perhaps at the G20 next week), until 2024 I understand.

Posted by: Julian | Nov 12 2015 7:08 utc | 78

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Nov 11, 2015 11:32:07 PM | 63

What on Earth are you on about?

Posted by: Julian | Nov 12 2015 7:09 utc | 79

Lone Wolf @73:

Beautifully put. I remember reading years ago that the US intended to foment and use various nationalisms (as in "captive nations") to defeat and dismember the USSR, Yugoslavia, and other defiant nation-states. But where the nation-state is itself founded upon a nationalism that is anti-imperialist, I've noticed that the US's next go-to divisiveness is usually religious sectarianism (such as we've seen with Al-Qaida and Daesh) and/or outright mercenary invasion.

A couple of months ago I read over at Fort Russ Why Syria is Russia's Stalingrad; it seemed to me as I learned of the fierce SAA resistance at Kweires airbase that it was in essence a small-scale siege of Leningrad within the greater battle. An heroic victory for national anti-imperialist solidarity over sectarian terror.

Posted by: Vintage Red | Nov 12 2015 7:22 utc | 80

Lone Wolf @ 73,

Thanks for your inspiring comments. I would like to know more about the soldiers at the airbase. The victors who relieved them dedicated their victory to Bashar al-Assad, and promised to fight on until all of Syria was freed.

Posted by: Penelope | Nov 12 2015 7:42 utc | 81

James @ 74,

The 6 or 7 countries that US planned to take down in 5 years did not belong to the IMF or WTO. This was a part of the motivation to take them down. According to Starikov's free online book, countries labelled developing, unlike US, EU & UK, may not issue their own currency. Only their central banks can do that, and their central banks are "independent"-- meaning independent of their govts. There is a body of law flowing from membership in the IMF. There is also the threat of sanctions.

I have several times shown the links by Glazyev & by Starikov which confirm that countries in this category can issue their own currency or credits only in the amount of the value of their exports.

This forces them to borrow from "the West" for operating capital and investment capital. I'm sure you can see how very greatly this limits their growth.

It also condemns them to compete for the export market. A disproportionate amount of production must go into producing for export. Most countries used to be food self-sufficient, but many have now distorted their agriculture to produce for export.

Ellen Brown says that some of the Asian countries & China in particular, altho IMF members, have continued to print their own currency as needed. I know that is a major factor in China's success, but I don't understand why this behavior is tolerated by the IMF/Fed system while Russia and all of South America are victimized. All Russian economists say that the currency and the central bank must be nationalized. Starikov on a video says it wouldn't be tolerated by the West, sanctions, etc.

China has recently started borrowing from the West instead of always issuing her own currency. I assume that's got to do w her obsession to qualify as a currency within the sdr basket of currencies.

To top it all off, I see no indication at all that China or Russia wish to dismantle the IMF/Fed system-- far less the WTO system. They seem to want to add their hands to the steering mechanism is all. But there is much that I'm studying & I hope that I shall find out otherwise.

Posted by: Penelope | Nov 12 2015 8:15 utc | 82

Lone Wolf@73 Of course Syria has a Free education and Health care system for everyone regardless of Religion or sect. The US would say, that smacks of socialism, it has to go.

Posted by: harry law | Nov 12 2015 9:15 utc | 83

@82 Penelope 'To top it all off, I see no indication at all that China or Russia wish to dismantle the IMF/Fed system-- far less the WTO system. They seem to want to add their hands to the steering mechanism is all. '

I think you're right there. China seemed to be making headway cut lately seems tro have backed off, cf. Xi's recent 'win-win' tour. Please let us all know post-haste if the hopium produces any real altermative insight.

I hit the hopium hookah heavily myself ... but I see no hint that any of these huge government bureaucracies are gearing up for a revolution of any sort. In Russia, at least, it has been proposed.

We're all just going to have to do it ourselves.

Posted by: jfl | Nov 12 2015 10:10 utc | 84

Apologies if this is a double post

Awesome insights

Posted by: Dan | Nov 12 2015 10:25 utc | 85

All your freedoms are belong to IMF. Meanwhile, back at Vodka Moon, the padded chairs are filled with snuff-huffing prognisticators on the latest battle rags. 'I say, good show old boy, let's give Assad the heave ho, what?'

Posted by: Chipnik | Nov 12 2015 10:26 utc | 86

Very disappointing - all that about the BRIC's. It's got absolutely no teeth if it is denominated in dollars and interconnected with the IMF World Bank monsters. Brics contributing $75 billion to the murderous IMF makes no sense whatsoever. Somebody (Wolfowitz?) took a big shit in the punch bowl. So much for BRICs.

Posted by: fast freddy | Nov 12 2015 11:34 utc | 87

It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.

Henry Ford

The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national auto-determination practiced in past centuries.”
― David Rockefeller, Memoirs

Posted by: fast freddy | Nov 12 2015 12:10 utc | 88

Lone Wolf@73 Of course Syria has a Free education and Health care system for everyone regardless of Religion or sect. The US would say, that smacks of socialism, it has to go.
Posted by: harry law | Nov 12, 2015 4:15:00 AM | 83

Mild correction/ clarification required to that statement...

Of course Syria has a Free education and Health care system for everyone regardless of Religion or sect. The US would say, Syria is run by Stinkin' Commie Bastards, and that Regime has to go.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 12 2015 12:46 utc | 89

Focusing on French air strikes in Syria, Issa said:
“These strikes target Syrian oil wells and all this is done without the approval of Damascus government, which for us means the violation of our sovereignty”.
Posted by: harry law | Nov 11, 2015 1:37:21 PM | 18

Pure speculation on my part, but is it possible that France is sneaking out of the US-NATO orbit and helping Russia in Syria?
1. Sanctions on Russia, Iran etc have cost French economy tens of Billions of Euros. And the Yankees exempt themselves when buying Russian assistance for NASA's space programs.
2. Canada's new PM told US to shove their Syria SNAFU where the Sun doesn't shine.
3. France & Russia have, in the past, enjoyed close and mutually beneficial relations.
4. With a "friend" like AmeriKKKa, France doesn't need enemies.
5. France has harboured delusions of grandeur for centuries and in a US-biased uni-polar world, France's most optimistic future status would be that of Vassal.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 12 2015 13:50 utc | 90

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Nov 12, 2015 1:12:31 AM | 73

Lone Wolf, thanks for that excellent explanation of the secular versus sectarian nature of Syrian society. I've known for some time that Assad wasn't leading a religiously oriented government, but I'll readily admit my understanding was more inch-deep-mile-wide prior to your post.

Most sites I visit have some version of Wayoutwest so it's easy to recognize his particular brand of bullshit. Glad to know others here identify him as the obvious troll he is.

Posted by: Bruno Marz | Nov 12 2015 14:43 utc | 91

Pentagon wages lonely war against Russia & China

Posted by: Eddie Holman | Nov 12 2015 15:02 utc | 92

@Vintage Red #80:

where the nation-state is itself founded upon a nationalism that is anti-imperialist

That can't be exactly right. Compare Ukraine and Syria. Syria is able to resist the Empire, but Ukraine succumbed without a whimper. Yet a regime can't be more nationalistic and anti-imperialist than the Ukraine Maidan regime, which is fanatically opposed to (Russian) 'imperialism'. What I have noticed about the main resistors of the Empire today is that they are not merely nationalistic, but also have strong cultures. Thus, I would venture that Syrians are fighting not only for a nationalism, but also for the continuity of Arab civilization, which Syria represents. All of the centers of resistance to the Empire – Russia, China, Iran, Syria – have distinct, unique, strong cultures that it is difficult for anglophgone postmodernism to assimilate.

@Lone Wolf #73:

When there are no ideals to motivate a soldier, fear easily gives way to exhaustion

Why is it that Syrian soldiers appear to be better motivated than Ukrainian soldiers? I would say that it is not enough to have ideals: they must also be valid in some relevant sense. When push comes to shove, people do not do well fighting for a lie. Ukrainian 'ideals' are invalid, since they are based on the myth that there is such a thing as a Ukrainian nation or people; Syrian ideals are certainly valid, since they are based on the idea of Arab civilization, which most certainly exists and is real, and which ideologues of the Empire hate for that simple reason. All alternatives to (anglophone) postmodernism must be obliterated.

Posted by: Demian | Nov 12 2015 15:12 utc | 93

Dan at 32 and previous. Agree in part. Just from *one angle*, there are others:

Russia (Putin, R Gvmt..) holds the position of low man on the pole. The Soviet Union was indeed a powerhouse (territory, economy, control, influence, etc.) which was what made the Cold War, well, cold. After the fall of the Wall, the remainder, today’s Russia, was smashed, even if it was not attacked militarily. It rose up again, very quickly, in less than 10 years (if one examines economic stats and the like), which, I’m sure, according to Western dreams, it was not supposed to do. This was accompanied by Western->EU take over of parts of the ex-USSR territories which were not a success (Yugoslavia, Baltics, for ex.) plain for many to see, Ukraine being the final desperado run and an epic disaster.

Russia was changed for ever, and followed an unusual trajectory. It withstood ‘collapse’ of a kind (> Orlov and consorts), with hyper-liberalism and the institution of an oligarchic-cum-state class, to then join, in its functioning, liberal economics of a more policed kind, making it practically identical to many W countries.

Russia is not as strong a ppl make out. Therefore Putin-Lavrov (as reps) are cautious, and always stress ‘the rule of law’, international agreements, the role of the UN SC, etc., which are moves towards collaboration and so on, see ‘our partners’, etc. That stance is also mandatory because they need alllies, others at risk from the Hegemon (China, Iran ..) and commercial partners (BRICS..) and contracts and your commtiment are absolutely vital. In this way they assume the position of the valiant, law-abiding, underdog, strong in diplomacy. Simultaneously, a show of cunning and smart calculation (e.g. Crimea) and military power (e.g. Syria) is projected, the other face, which is essential, one can’t be effective without the other. Very well thought out, no wonder ppl admire it. I do.

If one accepts that Ukraine (+ other) was based on the USA’s primary aim, i.e. to prevent closer ties between Europe and Russia, which were, had one let events run their course, to become integrated, and presenting a dire threat to the Hegemon, all becomes clearer. The US dominates the world through a double prong: military and financial (linked) and so it’s very nature requires new wars, perpetual war. (Aka bombing places from the air, destroying everything and declaring victory.)

The War on Communism is dead, the War on Drugs as a global ‘excuse’ is no longer pertinent globally while it rages on between different Mafia-type entities, particularly in Afgh. The War on Terrorism is shown up to be a sham, so the New War in a switcheroo, framed in Wilsonian terms, against not an ideology, substances, or shoddy attributions of violent acts to a whole ppl (Afgh, 9/11) but against a country, Russia.

Posted by: Noirette | Nov 12 2015 15:26 utc | 94

@Noirette #92:

Russia is not as strong a ppl make out. Therefore Putin-Lavrov (as reps) are cautious, and always stress ‘the rule of law’, international agreements…

We always hear this false equivalence between the Anglosphere (a.k.a. the Empire) and Russia asserted by "our Western partners". Maybe Putin and Lavrov see the rule of law as a positive and valid value and end in itself?

When Putin and Lavrov talk about international agreements, they are thinking about the Kantian ideal of perpetual peace, and the Hegelian idea of cultural diversity, manifested on the interstate level, not the intrastate level. According to Hegel, human flourishing is only possible within a particular, historically determined culture. This is one reason why he is so hated by ideologues of the Empire, since having one's life made meaningful by a rich, authentic culture provides a bedrock for resistance against the colonization of the life world by corporations and the (corporatist) state.

So effective has the destruction of a meaningful Western culture by Western ideologues with the help of French intellectuals (postmodernism: Derrida, Foucault, …) been, that these ideas have completely disappeared from Western discourse.

Posted by: Demian | Nov 12 2015 15:58 utc | 95

@ 92 Noirette

"After the fall of the Wall, the remainder, today’s Russia, was smashed, even if it was not attacked militarily. It rose up again, very quickly, in less than 10 years (if one examines economic stats and the like), which, I’m sure, according to Western dreams, it was not supposed to do."

When was the USSR told to disarm, and if it was told so, when did it ever disarm? To speak of the USA or West winning the Cold War or to speak of the remainder of USSR being smashed is good propaganda but not historically accurate. To win a war, you must disarm the opponent and dictate terms of capitulation.

The USSR imploded in a controlled demolition due to a myriad of internal contradictions. The fall of the [Berlin] Wall makes for good pictures and Hollywood movies. Yet, Glasnost and Perestroika did more for the USSR collapse than the pictures of the falling Wall. Same idea with the made in Hollywood pictures of the Saddam Hussein statue being brought down. Was that the "Mission Accomplished" victory symbol? Were the Iraqi Armed forces totally disarmed? Or were the Iraq commanders bribed to not fight, melting away to fight another day? How come there is still stubborn Sunni resistance to the status quo masquerading as ISIS, IS, ISIL? If you want to win at waging any war, you need to disarm your opponent and dictate terms of capitulation. Claiming some "smashing" and being surprised by their resurgence 10 years later has nothing to do with winning!

Posted by: Sun Tzu | Nov 12 2015 15:59 utc | 96

A little off topic, I had written yesterday my view that the Global Missile Shield the USA / NATO is deploying to neutralize a second strike capability is good for the MIC payroll and Congress payola but it is a 21st century Maginot line. Now the TV in Russia has "accidentally" leaked a classified blueprint for a nuclear torpedo that has the certainty of hitting coastal areas causing unacceptable harm. Is this going to cause a tsunami to coastal areas? Good luck with that Shield!

Posted by: Sun Tzu | Nov 12 2015 16:07 utc | 97


I appreciate the geopolitical, personal and fear of Islam reasons that drive some people to the ranks of the Cruise Missile Left but trying to put lipstick on a pig such as Assad reeks of the same dishonesty that supporters of Israel and the US use as apologia for their support of despotism.

Using the BS cloak of failed Western democracy on Assad can't hide the ethical and moral compromises necessary to rally to his minority sectarian cause. All I ask is that people be honest about their reasons for their positions and not try to hide behind phony projections of democracy in action.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Nov 12 2015 16:12 utc | 98

Penelope @56,

Rostislav's premise, if I may paraphrase, is that it is all about the US securing resources for it's own survival and prior to that, it was primarily for the "West". I find it hard to buy that argument for several reasons. Take Libya, how does rubblelizing it divert resources to the US? A country that was investing heavily in it's future assisted by Russia and China with 10's of thousands of Chinese and Russians working there on a range of projects. These have now been bombed to the ground, have they been started again? From an economic perspective the "broken windows fallacy" is easily proven, it's a fallacy, and surely US economists understand this. Surely it's better to trade with a vibrant economy than smash it to the ground. What the US is doing is akin to "If I can't have her nobody can" and under these circumstances everyone loses which is what happened in Libya. Given that the US was taken over on 9/11 (well actually before that ..... check out what House did) by the kakistocracy what the US does is not actually in the best interests of the people of the USA, which is why people of the USA need to open up the can of worms.

Posted by: Optimist | Nov 12 2015 16:37 utc | 99

OT @82 penelope.. correct.. regarding the imf - the big distinction is 'developing' verses 'developed'...print your own, verses not. if you fall in the first, you are controlled by the 2nd.. canada - developed.. russia, and china - developing.. this is imf structural design.. it may look innocent, but it is useful for those who are in the developed category. your info- 6 or 7 not being a part of the imf that were the ones that were set for regime change.. iraq? - Joined: December 27, 1945. syria - Joined: April 10, 1947. etc. etc..

@85 fastfreddy. i think brics is trying to figure out how to set up an alternative system with all the components, but recognize they have to work within the one they have for the time being..they all see it for what it is - us$ supremacy - and are intent on changing that, but it is like building a motor with a number of working parts. it doesn't all happen overnight or at once.. i think the idea has been developing and building and i am quite sure the western ''developed'' countries see this and are acting accordingly - financial sanctions being the beginning salvo in a war on these same countries.

@92 noirette.. nice post. thanks.

Posted by: james | Nov 12 2015 16:44 utc | 100

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