Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 11, 2015

Sistani Orders Turkey Out Of Iraq - Syria Oppo-Conference Fails

After the U.S. invasion of Iraq the U.S vice consul Paul Bremer tried to install a handpicked Iraqi government.  The top Shia religious authority in Iraq, Grand Ajatollah Sistani, demanded a democratic vote. The issue was thereby decided. There was no way the U.S could have circumvented Sisitani's edict without a massive revolt by the 65% of Iraqis who are Shia and mostly follow his advice. Bremer had to fold.

Now Ajatollah Sistani takes position against the Turkish invasion of Iraq:

Iraq's top Shi'ite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, called on the government on Friday to show "no tolerance" of any infringement of the country's sovereignty, after Turkey deployed heavily armed troops to northern Iraq.

Sistani's spokesman, Sheikh Abdul Mehdi Karbala'i, did not explicitly name Turkey, but a row over the deployment has badly soured relations between Ankara and Baghdad, which denies having agreed to it.
"The Iraqi government is responsible for protecting Iraq's sovereignty and must not tolerate and side that infringes upon on it, whatever the justifications and necessities," Karbalai'i said in a weekly sermon.

The issue is thereby decided. Turkish troops will have to leave or will have to decisively defeat all Shia of Iraq (and Iran). If Erdogan were smart he would now order the Turkish troops stationed near Mosul to leave Iraq.

The Russian President Putin also increased pressure on Turkey:

President Vladimir Putin on Friday ordered Russia's armed forces to act in an "extremely tough way" in Syria to protect Russian forces striking Islamic State targets there.

"Any targets threatening our (military) group or land infrastructure must be immediately destroyed," Putin said, speaking at a Defence Ministry event.

Note to Erdogan: Beware of funny ideas...


There was some Syrian opposition conference yesterday in Saudi Arabia were the Saudis tried to bribe everyone to agree on a common position. But the conference failed. Some 116 delegates took part under "international guidance" of their various sponsors. A spokesperson for the al-Qaeda aligned Ahrar al Sham, which closely cooperates with the al-Qaeda entity Jabhat al Nusra in Syria, also took part. No women were present.

The conference resulted in the decision to hold another conference. The 116 delegates at the conference decided to select 33 delegates for a conference which would decide on 15 delegates to confer and maybe take part in some negotiations with the Syrian government side. The NYT's Ben Hubbard, who was there, tweeted:

Ben Hubbard @NYTBen
...The meeting created yet another new opposition body, a high commission, meant to oversee negotiations.

There was debate about how large it should be and what proportion should represent armed groups. Final was 32, changed after meetings to 33.

Those 33 now tasked with choosing a 15 person negotiating team. So, yeah, umbrella groups making a new umbrella.

The political demands the conference agreed upon include non-starters for negotiations like the demand that the Syrian President Assad would leave within 6 weeks of the negotiations start. There was also this illuminating word game:

Islamist delegates objected to using the word “democracy” in the final statement, so the term “democratic mechanism” was used instead, according to a member of one such group who attended the meeting.

The Ahrar al-Sham delegate at the meeting signed the deal while the Ahrar al Sham bigwigs, who took not part, damned the deal and announced they were completely against it. They demand an Islamic State in Syria that would follow their militant Salafi line of believe. Hubbard again:

Ben Hubbard ‏@NYTBen
Re: @Ahrar_Alsham2. It's main delegate did not walk out. Before meeting ended, members not present released statement announcing withdrawal.

The session's moderator said Ahrar delegate was not aware of statement by his group until later, but did sign the final communiqué.

Then Ahrar members like @aleesa71 and @a_azraeel complained on Twitter, suggesting a split between military and political leaders.

The Saudi and Qatari Wahhabi rulers want Ahrar al Sham to be part of any future solution in Syria. They hired "western" think tanks like Brookings Doha to propagandize that Ahrar is "moderate". But Ahrar can not be "moderate" when it is fighting together with al-Qaeda and kills civilians because they are "unbelievers". It is now in an uncomfortable position. If it takes part in a peace conference with the Syrian government its Jabhat al-Nusra ally will roast it, if it doesn't take part its Saudi and Qartari financiers will fry it.

Since the start of the war on Syria no unity has been achieved in the opposition of the Syrian government. The U.S., in form of the CIA head John Brennan, teamed up (again) with al-Qaeda while the State Department tried to sponsor more "moderates". The ensuing chaos continues today.

To prevent further blowback from this nonsense strategy will obviously require a change towards a position that supports the Syrian government. It is doubtful that the U.S. is capable of such foresight and flexibility.

Posted by b on December 11, 2015 at 13:18 UTC | Permalink

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@66/68 bruno marz.. thanks. we see it much the same way.

@69 bob.. double yes to that too..

@72 sun tzu.. triple yes to your post as well.

@80 virgile.. i tend to see it the same as @81 jackrabbit. ps thanks for your many posts virgile. i appreciate what you have to say..

@83 victori-ana.. i think that is part of it.

@96 lisa.. thanks. that makes sense to me too.

yesterdays john helmer article.">">article. RUSSIA FIRES MOON SHOT OVER THE BOSPHORUS – TURKS THREATEN WAR

from conflicts forum.. 'cornering russia, risking ww3'

article on turkish journalists behind bars... it is an increasing trend.. would be nice if the pretty rt lady challenged kirby on this topic..

Posted by: james | Dec 12 2015 3:53 utc | 101

the john helmer article didn't link properly.. above link will take you to it.

Posted by: james | Dec 12 2015 3:54 utc | 102

@96 "War with the West was inevitable"?

Lisa, War with the west never stopped. Of course, we need to keep in mind exactly what early 21 century war really is. it's not "WW2" or "WW3", any more than it is Napoleonic War. Ever since the Russians got their first nuclear weapon, the US has been trying to find new ways to wage war within the confines imposed by the fact that they don't have a nuclear monopoly. And their ongoing effort to find ways to subvert and undermine opposing states without triggering a nuclear apocalypse have had some significant tactical successes, most notably including the fall of the Soviet Union, undermining the growth of the Japanese economy in the 1985-1990 period, which put Japan in the deflationary trap it has yet to fully escape from, and preventing the European Union from centralizing enough to become an independent power in the world. The US has also had two major tactical failures: First, they failed to completely destroy Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union, despite some significant successes in the Yeltsin years, and Second, the US's plans to deal with China were badly thrown off track by the neocon's diversion of American resources to the middle east after 9/11.
The George W. Bush administration originally planned to make China it's big enemy, and tensions began to rise as an American spyplane collided with a Chinese jet. And then 9/11 changed everything, by giving the Zionist neocons, who were more focused on strengthening Israel than with breaking the growth of the Chinese economy, an excuse to pour vast American resources into the Middle East. Of course they thought taking over Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, etc, would give the Americans such complete control of world oil economy that it would making dealing with China later easy. But that didn't work at all.
So now we've got Obama in the White House. He seems more concerned with just getting through the next year without offending any part of the American oligarchy, so he can enjoy all the millions he expects to get after he leaves office. He was too weak to say no to either the faction who wanted to attack Russia first and China second, or to the faction that wanted to attack China first and Russia second, so he managed to attack them both at the same time. Big mistake, because it pushed Russia and China a long ways towards a real alliance that could in time end American hegemony.
Still, over the next 20-30 years, the US still has some nasty cards to play. Because of the failure to move away from a carbon economy, global climate change is a reality that is going to become a threat to many nations in the future. The American military knows this, but seems to see it as a problem that will hurt their enemies (especially China) more than it will hurt them. The US may hope Climate change will have the sorts of effect that the first and second world wars had on their global rivals.

Posted by: Glenn Brown | Dec 12 2015 4:09 utc | 103

@Glenn Brown #103

Still, over the next 20-30 years?

You're too optimistic at the rate we're going 2 -3 years are more than I'll give you. Hey, me starting hoarding popcorn now in my 60s fallout shelter.

Posted by: Jack Smith | Dec 12 2015 4:29 utc | 104

US's plans to deal with China
Zionist neocons, who were more focused on strengthening Israel
He was too weak to say no to either the faction who wanted to attack Russia first and China second, or to the faction that wanted to attack China first and Russia second, so he managed to attack them both at the same time. Big mistake, because it pushed Russia and China a long ways towards a real alliance that could in time end American hegemony.
Bingo, again!

Posted by: okie farmer | Dec 12 2015 4:33 utc | 105


My take on Putin's strategy was that he realised (by about 2002-2004, 2008 at the very latest) that war with the west was inevitable. Since then the Russian stategy has been to:
(a) Buy as much time as possible.
(b) Build alliances, especially with the also threatened China.
(c) Rebuild their military, especially their nuclear forces.
(d) Try to split Europe from the US.
(e) Try to build suppprt in the western countries populations.

Very good summary, Lisa. I will only add this to your list.

(a) Buy as much time as possible...and as much gold as possible.
(b) Build alliances, especially with the also threatened China...and create multiple international economic, political and military organizations (BRICS, SCO, EEU, etc).
(c) Rebuild their military, especially their nuclear forces...and develop/expand strategic defense and control over the Arctic.
(d) Try to split Europe from the US...showing NATO is not an alliance, is a dependency.
(e) Try to build suppprt in the western countries populations...Putin's popularity is so high, he could run against the current governments in various countries and defeat them.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Dec 12 2015 4:35 utc | 106


Thanks, you were right, I couldn't find it, but I found the official statement issued on Wednesday by the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying, both in Zero Hedge and Sputnik News

"The Chinese side believes that we should deal with state-to-state relationship in accordance with purposes and principles of the UN Charter as well as other widely-recognized basic norms governing international relations, and that Iraq's sovereignty and territorial integrity shall be respected."

It was a strong statement of support for Iraq, but no more. Sometimes I understand jfl frustration with China's fence straddling policies.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Dec 12 2015 5:22 utc | 107

cannonfire has a pretty good article up today.. Iraq says: "Let's go with Russia"

Posted by: james | Dec 12 2015 5:34 utc | 108

UNSC 2249

Was it smart to invite Western countries to help in the fight against ISIS? Yes. But that had already been done before the resolution.

Also, critics are not saying that a resolution should not have been passed but that the resolution that WAS passed is flawed. The scope is too broad and sovereign States are an afterthought. And IMO there is yet another problem (which I had pointed out the day before passage): the resolution names the ISSG (the group of nations that are talking in Vienna) as the lead on the matter. But 15 of the 20 members of ISSG are anti-Assad countries. And AFAIK Russia and China do not have a veto in ISSG like they do in the UNSC.

I think the Russians accepted the French draft of the UNSC resolution because they believed (or were led to believe) that after the Paris attacks the French had a changed perspective. One that was more in-line with Russia's view that ISIS as the bigger threat and Assad's continued rule was necessary to defeat them.

So France was woo-ed - but to no avail. France is STILL in the Assad must go! camp.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 12 2015 5:40 utc | 109

Meanwhile, in Paris, unelected supra-national elites finalize the looting of $3T from Western taxpayers, creating a gynormous hegemaniacal baaksheesh bubble that will roll around the world for an eon, while creating the largest CBOT carbon cap-and-trade ponzi casino in the history of the soon de-industrialized Western world, where, having nothing left to make a living by, those citizens neither Chosen, nor Mil.Gov, will be kicked to the curb by the Scientocracy Unicornist elites.

"PARIS—Setting the rules for how developed nations will pay some $3T looted from their citizens last life savings, for the 'poorer' ones to respond to 'climate change' without destroying the global economy, was the key obstacle to a deal late Friday, as negotiators haggled past the scheduled deadline of international talks here.

Beyond that dispute, a group of climate scientists said on Friday the latest draft showed serious inconsistencies and would require much deeper cap-and-trade cuts to emissions than currently foreseen, in order to provide full funding for climate scientists to hold tenured academic positions within the New Carbon Caliphate in Belgium."

Oh, look, a Latakian Squirrel!!

Posted by: Chipnik | Dec 12 2015 6:07 utc | 110


That conflictsforum article is really good. My comments:

President Obama is no neocon...

But he repeats the neocon creed, saying that he: "believes in American exceptionalism with every fiber of my being".

And even if he hasn't done everything that the neocons wanted, there is no question that he has supported an aggressive foreign policy. Much of that has been via special ops and/or outsourced to other countries (e.g. support for extremists).

Today there is absolutely no organized anti-Cold War or Pro-Detente political force or movement...
Yup. There is virtually no concern about WWIII or a nuclear exchange. The old Cold War is a distant memory. And the neo-liberal mindset of our unprincipled elites means that they can not imagine why anyone wouldn't just go along to get along.
It is a meme of perpetual national insecurity...
Gee, what other country always seems to feel more insecure as they it makes gains diplomatically and militarily? Isn't this just another example of how much the neocons have subverted US foreign policy?

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 12 2015 6:07 utc | 111

From Ukraine to Qatar to Syraq: 2000 Russian-made high-explosive fragmentation bombs.
Posted by: From The Hague | Dec 11, 2015 2:14:31 PM | 50

Apparently, Qatar tries to buy bombs, which spawns a theory that it prepares "false flags". I doubt it. The most probable use is dropping them in Yemen, where Qatar participates in a (not-so) glorious war ordered by KSA, Since this war is a waste of money, buying cheap (and powerful) bombs can help. If the bombs would go to Syria, over there fertilizer based vehicle-born bombs are frequently used, and a military bomb is much more powerful than a ton of fertilizer, and it can be delivered by a nimble pickup truck.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 12 2015 6:18 utc | 112

@94 -- see William Engdahl

What we have, then, is not an isolated Russian war against ISIS in Syria. What lies behind ISIS is not just Erdoğan’s criminal regime, but far more significant, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and her Wahhabite allies Kuwait, UAE, Qatar.

In the true sense, ISIS is simply a “Saudi army in disguise.”

If we strip away the phony religious cover, what emerges is a Saudi move to grab some of the world’s largest oil reserves, those of the Sunni parts of Iraq, and of Syria, using the criminal Turkish regime in the role of thug to do the rough work, like a bouncer in a brothel. If Moscow is not conscious of this larger dimension, she runs the risk of getting caught in a deadly “bear trap” which will more and more remind them of Afghanistan in the 1980’s.

What stinks in Saudi Arabia ain’t the camel dung. It’s the monarchy of King Salman and his hot-headed son, Prince Salman. For decades they have financed terrorism under a fake religious disguise, to advance their private plutocratic agenda. It has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with money and oil. A look at the ISIS map from Iraq to Syria shows that they precisely targeted the oil riches of those two sovereign states. Saudi control of that oil wealth via their ISIS agents, along with her clear plan to take out the US shale oil competition, or so Riyadh reckons, would make the Saudi monarchy a vastly richer state, one, perhaps because of that money, finally respected by white western rich men and their society. That is clearly bovine thinking.

Posted by: doveman | Dec 12 2015 6:40 utc | 113

GOP presidential candidates are a fountain of original strategic thought, unjustly deprecated by the mainstream press. This time, shameless stenography was deployed against junior senator from the great state of Texas, Ted Cruz, who proposed that “We will carpet-bomb them into oblivion.” Honestly, I would not support that, but the argument deployed by NYT were even stranger. They interviewed guys from our military and learned that …

The only thing close to “carpet-bombing” was Operation Arc Light in 1965, in which two or three B-52 Stratofortresses bombed sections of Vietnam to support tactical operations on the ground, not to flatten the place. “America has never carpet-bombed anyone at any time because that’s not our doctrine,” said General Scales.

NEVER? Perhaps "hardly ever"? Why this term exists, because Fiji bombed Vanuatu with carpets? Or because US Air Force obliterated huge swaths of Tokyo, incinerating 100-200 thousand folks on a single night, creating a fire storm? And in Vietnam, USAF did not try to create fire storms, but the term "carpet bombing" still fits. From BBC:

On the evening of 18 December, 129 B-52s roared over Hanoi - huge bombers each capable of carrying many tonnes of explosives.
They flew in formation, in successive waves made up of smaller cells, containing three planes.[…] In just one night, more than 2,000 homes were destroyed around Kham Thien, a busy shopping street in Hanoi. About 280 people were killed and at least as many again injured. [1000 people died in Hanoi that night, and the bombing was repeated for many days]

I guess Ted Cruz should show all those pictures of little Vietnamese girls that were obliterated to refute NYT stenography. And if you are not ready to blow little Syrian girls for the cause of freedom, you do not care about freedom.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 12 2015 6:40 utc | 114

I forgot: this extensive bombing I pasted from a BBC page was Christmas bombing of 1972. Actually, there was a break on the Christmas day itself.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 12 2015 6:44 utc | 115

In the true sense, ISIS is simply a “Saudi army in disguise.” Posted by: doveman | Dec 12, 2015 1:40:16 AM | 113

Except that KSA army cannot fight, and ISIS can. Yesterday KSA lost three villages to Yemen. Before yesterday, a ship. With American "targeting aid" they can demolish a wedding (smart bombs required).

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 12 2015 6:50 utc | 116


Rafael al-Alberta Cruz is a Manchurian Candidate funded by the KSAIL. His 1st act would be to build the Alberta-Texas private Koch pipeline, then expand that bleed-out into a truck-train-pipeline super-corridor from Saskatchewan's grain belt clear to the Gulf, before the Last Great MidWest Real Estate Stampede, as America collapses under sudden oil and grain and meat scarcities, those now brokered off to MENA, or CHINDIA. The already technically bankrupt uber-junk bond fracking franchises in the Heartland will become extensive brownfield liabilities for all the tax-revenue strapped state government, as Mom-and-Pop 401ks and pension funds who were sold that wildcatpiss take massive losses, and the local road and utilities munis go unsubscribed. Pump on, al-Canuck, pump off.

Posted by: Chipnik | Dec 12 2015 7:21 utc | 117

OT i noticed 1-2 days ago somehow stole my name to post
would be nice if posts by names when not attached to the common email would be retained before publication
i heard a Russian official yesterday explaining Syrian army and FSA have been coordinating under Russian umbrellas and air cover in the recent days

Posted by: Mina | Dec 12 2015 8:01 utc | 118

@118 mina

I saw it. Knew it wasn't yourself.

I looked for my latest plea for Russia and or China to 'do what it takes' to make the US economy incapable of supporting more wars ... I just found a report of the US' own efforts to keep the national pulse beating finally starting to accomplish the desired goal ... I couldn't find the exchange with 'c' - so I'll post it here ...

Stocks plunge amid fears of global slump and credit meltdown

Global stock markets plunged Friday as oil prices hit new lows, threatening to crash the junk bond market and trigger a new financial meltdown. Investor nervousness was heightened by the prospect of the US Federal Reserve Board raising interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade when it meets next week.

Fed officials have repeatedly signaled to the financial markets that any increase will be small and interest rates will remain well below normal levels for an indefinite period. However, any increase from the current near-zero level will likely intensify a selloff of junk bonds, a large percentage of which are energy-related, threatening to destabilize the entire credit system.

Energy and other commodity-producing companies are finding it increasingly difficult to finance debt loads that grew rapidly when oil was selling for $100 a barrel and central banks were flooding the financial markets with virtually free credit.

Crude oil prices fell to their lowest levels in seven years on Friday. Brent crude, the international benchmark, fell to $37.36 a barrel and West Texas Intermediate, the US oil benchmark, slid to $35.67 a barrel. These benchmarks declined 13 percent and 11 percent respectively just in the past week.

The new declines were largely triggered by two developments. Last week, the OPEC oil cartel removed formal limits on production, and on Friday, the International Energy Agency said Iran’s return to world markets next year, when sanctions are removed, would increase the glut in supply.

The free-fall in commodity prices is a sharp expression of the global economic slowdown that was long underway even as stock and bond prices continued to soar, fueled by cheap credit and an ever more ruthless assault on the living standards of the working class. The slowdown in China as well as the so-called emerging market economies has sapped demand for goods.

This could be just the tip of the iceberg. Standard & Poor’s Rating Service warned recently that 50 percent of energy junk bonds are “distressed,” meaning at risk of default. The situation is, if anything, worse for bonds in the metals, mining and steel industries, of which, according to S&P, 72 percent are distressed.

In all, more than $1 trillion in US corporate debt has been downgraded this year. Moody’s Investors Service predicts that corporate defaults will increase to 3.8 percent next year from 2.8 percent this year, under conditions where corporate debt is at is highest levels since the 2008 crash.

... I know it's seemed to be the day of reckoning before, but this time I think the KSA and its cheap oil may have actually done the trick. Rolling defaults ought to do it. The new 'cure' for defaults is seizing the assets/deposits of creditors to prop up the defaulting institutions. The dollar's been strong ... if the Fed ever finds itself having to raise interest rates to try to keep it from crashing in the face of asset seizures of dollar-denominated assets ... it won't just be wars that the US will be incapable of funding.

Posted by: jfl | Dec 12 2015 8:45 utc | 119

Sistani and the Iraqis may not be the only ones who've had enough of Tayyeep Bin Ardogan ... Oil Tests May Prove One Test Too Many for Erdogan

Few would shed tears if the Erdogan family were brought down by oil testing as the case study shows in Georgia. Turkey would likewise present itself as cleansed of its rotten apples, with the same vigour the US displays when distancing itself from Richard Nixon, whose many crimes were not only known about but encouraged by many of those who vilify him today. Then it would continue as an ally on new terms, and we would be told that its ISIS-funding past had been forgotten.

... I have no idea if the US' has been pushing Erdogan to do what he's been doing, in order to see what happens - while able to walk away from Tayyeep if it all goes south, as it seems to have, or if Erdogan's doings have been strictly on his own ... but either way it does look like he's now expendable, if the US wants to preserve Turkey intact.

Posted by: jfl | Dec 12 2015 9:23 utc | 120

Saudis hold rally to demand release of political prisoners

Looks like others are finally beginning to interest themselves in KSA's 'human rights' infractions. You know you're in bad odor with the empire when AI and/or HRW notices you.

Iraq takes all necessary measures to protect its sovereignty against Turkey: Abadi

Iraqi protesters rally against Turkish troop deployment

And the Turks do seem to be being set up for the fall as well. See if the Banshee wails in either | both cases. I don't imagine either AI or Abadi would go to the UNSC without knowing its ruling in advance.

Posted by: jfl | Dec 12 2015 9:35 utc | 121

The question Russia must be asking itself is how do they increase the costs to Turkey for its messing about in Syria & Iraq and push them out short of ostracising themselves from the International community.

As part of that strategy, Russia Matt seek to isolate the Erdogans from the rest of Turkish society and in particular the army.

Does anyone here really think the Turkish army would be willing to go to war against Russia and risk the complete destruction of Turkey to defend the business interests of the Erdogans?

Personally, I doubt it.

So, how does Russia personalise this battle to make it appear as Russia v The Erdogans & ISIS?

Pretty simple really. The next time Turkey provokes Russia to a level Russia deems requires a firm response, Russia must be sure to personally target the business interests of the Erdogans.

Where to start? Well there are some very obvious targets.

Bilal Erdogan & Mustafa Erdogan's BMZ Group and their ships transporting ISIS oil. BMZ Group has 5 ships including the Armada Fair & Turkter 82.

Burak Erdogan's MB Shipping has 6 ships no doubt engaged in illegal activities running ISIS contraband including the largest, the 91,000 ton Pretty and other ships including the Safran 1, Sakarya, G Inebolu, Cihan & Bosna.

Does anyone really think insurance companies will be keen to pay out for these ships given their connections to international terrorism and ISIS?

Somehow I doubt it.

Then there is the Turkish conglomerate Calik Holdings that is closely connected with theErdogans including via the son-in-law and the new Turkish Energy Minister Berat Albayrak.

Calik holdings happens to run 6 power stations in Turkey that are sitting ducks.

The strategy Russia needs to take to sideline Turkey is fairly clear when you give ita moments thought.

Posted by: Julian | Dec 12 2015 9:46 utc | 122

@111 Jackrabbit

People are concerned, but they do quite a good job of discrediting anyone who forms a serious threat. They never stopped attacking the anti war movements.

In the UK the Stop the War movement is painted as some kind of communist hippy free for all that hate Britain and want to see it destroyed by muslims. The Prime Minister openly calls the leader of the opposition a 'terrorist sympathiser'. The opposition are probably controlled anyway, their arguments are pretty shit, but they are still the only opposition the masses see, and they get derided across the media.

They've now put out advice to youth workers that says anyone that believes in conspiracy theories or gets aggressive about UK foreign policy is a likely extremist. The Prime Minister said that anyone who is against British institutions is a probably an extremist too.

There was a story in the media recently about the books they found in Osama Bin Laden's compound. Apparently he reads Chomsky and 9/11 conspiracy theories. Seriously? Why would the man who planned the attacks need to read some false idea? Clearly a planted story to discredit people like Chomsky and anyone who questions things like 9/11.

The problem now is that while people have vastly more access to information than in the 60s, the governments also have vastly more ways to get their propaganda out. This GCHQ operation involves interconnected fake online personas, fake news sites, fake books, and much more.

Posted by: Bill | Dec 12 2015 9:48 utc | 123

@96 Lisa

After helping the US in Afghanistan with logistics and intelligence the Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov had this to say

We wanted an antiterrorist international coalition like the anti-Nazi coalition. This would be the basis for a new world order.

They thought the West were serious, but clearly they weren't. Maybe they thought they would give Obama a chance but he turned out to be just as bad.

Posted by: Bill | Dec 12 2015 10:10 utc | 124

Lone Wolf #106
Overall I agree. Whether or not it is enough to deter the west from war is the question.

Posted by: Lisa | Dec 12 2015 11:00 utc | 125

@125 lisa

When your bad bets are crashing all about you a war is all that can save you. The financial and munitions get you out of the hole you've dug for yourselves. And - after all - it's just a part of the 'natural' business cycle. Boom, bust, boom, bust, boom, bust ... bust ... bust ... WAR! ... boom, boom boom!

Posted by: jfl | Dec 12 2015 11:47 utc | 126

Posted by: Bill | Dec 12, 2015 4:48:16 AM | 123

Thx for link, I added some bits of info about JTRIG ...

Cold War Raging Implementing Intelligence, PsyOps, Internet Troops

Posted by: Oui | Dec 12 2015 12:01 utc | 127

100 years ago .... "These [unregulated exceptionalist] men of affairs wage commercial wars."

“A prophecy fulfilled : the present war predicted in 1911″
by Delaisi, Francis, Published 1916.

The names of players have changed but the dynamics are the same — history rhymes. Then it was the British Empire vs the emerging Germany and railways. Now it is the US Empire vs re-emerging Russia (& China) and gas pipelines.

====== a short section quoted ====

The Real Danger

But now this is not a hypothetical danger. At this very moment Delcasse’s intrigue recommences. He is ready to repeat the coup of 1905.

A terrible war between England and Germany is preparing. In all parts of the globe the two adversaries are measuring and threatening each other. The affair of the Bagdad Railway and the question of the fortifications of Flushing show to what degree the crisis has become acute.

But for fighting the two powers need the assistance of France. (pp. 6-7)
. . . .

In a few weeks perhaps our financiers will have sold the skins of a hundred thousand Frenchmen to their colleagues in London in exchange for a few Turkish or Ethiopian railways.

It is time for those who do not want to see themselves treated as dumb brutes to open their eyes, to consider calmly the European situation, and to see the dangerous intrigue in which our financial oligarchy is about to engage.

The Commercial Wars

Formerly the nations were peoples of peasants, and naturally their leaders pursued an agricultural policy; their dream was to expand their territory and to annex their neighbors’ fields. That is why their conflicts were frontier conflicts and their wars for annexation and conquest. Victorious Napoleon took possession of Belgium; the conquerer Bismarck annexed Alsace-Lorraine, etc.

But today all this is changed. The great European nations are governed by men of affairs—bankers, manufacturers, export merchants. The aim of these men is to seek everywhere markets for their rails, their cotton goods, their capital. Throughout the whole world they struggle for the control of the railways, loans, and mining concessions, etc. And if, perchance, two rival groups cannot agree on the exploitation of new countries, they appeal to arms.

Thus we saw the Japanese fight with the Chinese in 1895 for the exploitation of Korea; in 1898 the Americans battled with the Spaniards for the exploitation of Cuba. In 1899 England fought with the Boers for the possession of the Transvaal mines; in 1900 all impose their railways upon the Chinese; finally, in 1904, the Japanese and Russians slaughtered each other for eighteen months to find out who should have the right to exploit Manchuria.

Five wars in ten years! The triumph of Pacifism! None of these wars resulted in conquest—Manchuria will always be a part of the Celestial Empire; China has kept its Emperor; South Africa is an autonomous political unity, and Cuba is an independent republic. But their railroads, their loans, their import duties are all the booty of the victors.

Our great modern financial oligarchies are not looking for subjects, but customers; they do not engage in “patriotic” wars after the old fashion. These men of affairs wage commercial wars. (pp. 9-10)
. . . .

A consul in Syria wrote to his government: “Formerly all the European products used here were purchased in England. Today I am writing to you on a table manufactured in Germany, with a German pen on German paper. Soon there will be nothing English left but myself.”

On all sides the progress of British commerce was declining; while that of German commerce was increasing with disquieting rapidity.

The Bagdad Railway

Naturally the Kaiser supported the efforts of his merchants and bankers with all the forces at the disposal of his diplomacy. Everywhere his ambassadors endeavored to obtain concessions and orders for his countrymen. Colonies were founded in Africa; they built railways across China; the mines of Chile were exploited, etc.

But it was especially upon Turkey that the people of Berlin cast their eyes. In 1903, William II obtained from the Sultan Abdul-Hamid the concession of the Bagdad Railway, about which so much fuss is made at present by our great newspapers.

It runs for a stretch of 2800 kilometres (about 1700 miles), from Constantinople to the head of the Persian Gulf. It is a matter of nearly two hundred million dollars. One may easily imagine the great returns such an enterprise will yield to the bankers, iron works and promoters on the other side of the Rhine.

But it was found that this German railroad terminated in Mesopotamia in a region which the English always considered as a reservation for their own commerce. And, besides, this railway can, in a few days, transport Turkish troops into the neighborhood of Bombay and threaten the British domination of India.

The Appeal to Arms

At this the English capitalists took fright. Their first surprise was changed to uneasiness and later into fury.

Today in all parts of the globe, in the Balkan Peninsula, in Turkey, from Persia to China, in Central America, in Brazil, in the Argentine Republic and to Chile, the bankers of Berlin and London, the ship-owners of Liverpool and Hamburg, the industrial magnates of Glasgow and Essen, are involved in a struggle. (pp. 11-12)

Posted by: doveman | Dec 12 2015 12:20 utc | 128

Islamist delegates objected to using the word “democracy” in the final statement, so the term “democratic mechanism” was used instead, according to a member of one such group who attended the meeting.

A democratic mechanism like we have in the US would be great. Perhaps democratic flavor would also be apt.

Democracies do offer enhanced interrogation, public executions and extraordinary rendition; and more importantly - the ability of the citizenry to help select a member of one of two parties which support these fine democratic principles.

Posted by: fast freddy | Dec 12 2015 12:43 utc | 129

Just re-reading A Short History Of The War On Syria - 2006-2014. Most of us have read it, I imagine, still, I can highly recommend it.


If you're looking for a project one day (as though you have time on your hands) bringing your Short History up to the present would be great. I've reposted it myself. No value added, I just like black type on a white background.

Posted by: jfl | Dec 12 2015 12:52 utc | 130

Well Putin chose the battle field. NATO had hoped it would be in Ukrane where they would be strong. He chose the ME where everyone hates NATO so at least he has some allies there but it's far from the Russian home base so he can't really project any significant power. For the 4+1 it's about creating an arc of stability and pushing the chaos south into the gulf. For nato and the gulf it's about pushing the chaos into Central Asia. The winner will control the oil and the pipelines.

Posted by: Secret Agent | Dec 12 2015 13:03 utc | 131


... I have no idea if the US' has been pushing Erdogan to do what he's been doing, in order to see what happens - while able to walk away from Tayyeep if it all goes south, as it seems to have, or if Erdogan's doings have been strictly on his own ... but either way it does look like he's now expendable, if the US wants to preserve Turkey intact.

Russian Retaliation Will Be Defeating NATO in Syria

[...] Turkey Plays Role as NATO’s “Wild Card”

Turkey and Israel both have been playing the role of “wild cards” NATO and the US in particular have attempted to feign an inability to control. This allows the US to carry out acts of aggression by proxy through the use of conventional military forces it itself could never justify carrying out.

Turkey and Israel’s use by the US in this manner was revealed as early as 2012 in the Brookings Institution’s “Middle East Memo #21,” “Assessing Options for Regime Change,” which stated (emphasis added):

In addition, Israel’s intelligence services have a strong knowledge of Syria, as well as assets within the Syrian regime that could be used to subvert the regime’s power base and press for Asad’s removal. Israel could posture forces on or near the Golan Heights and, in so doing, might divert regime forces from suppressing the opposition. This posture may conjure fears in the Asad regime of a multi-front war, particularly if Turkey is willing to do the same on its border and if the Syrian opposition is being fed a steady diet of arms and training. Such a mobilization could perhaps persuade Syria’s military leadership to oust Asad in order to preserve itself. Advocates argue this additional pressure could tip the balance against Asad inside Syria, if other forces were aligned properly.

It appears an uninspired rewriting of this plan is being put into effect now, despite the presence of Russian forces in the region. Perhaps the US believes Russia too would seek to avoid a two-front war with Turkey and Israel as the primary combatants with the US itself playing a muted role for the sake of plausible deniability. Even if war was not the intended final outcome, perhaps the US believes this extra pressure could afford them much needed leverage in a conflict already clearly escaping out of their control [...]

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Dec 12 2015 14:04 utc | 132

China is a cool operator that speaks softly but carries a big stick. Communication is all about the body language or reading the tea leaves if you will. They are masters for understatements. Yet, China is not happy with Erdogan stirring trouble with Uyghurs. China is not happy either with the lack of respect shown by Erdogan's for international borders. China and Iraq are pretty good business partners since before and after the US Invasion of Iraq. With Iran, China, Russia and Iraq lining up against him, Erdogan seems to be quickly approaching the limits of his shelf life. Greeks, Cypriots, Armenians and the Kurds have some old scores to settle with him also.

Posted by: Sun Tzu | Dec 12 2015 14:13 utc | 133

It was a strong statement of support for Iraq, but no more. Sometimes I understand jfl frustration with China's fence straddling policies.
Posted by: Lone Wolf | Dec 12, 2015 12:22:03 AM | 107

It was a whole lot more, when one includes the statement I quoted from CCTV.
It was unambiguous condemnation of Turkey's strong-arm tactics in Iraq (and by insinuation, Syria also).
It was a statement of China's opinion of the way such disputes should be settled.
It came from the the PRC, Russia's ally and equally formidable military power.

'Fence straddling' China could have said nothing but on the same day Turkey got too big for its boots China weighed in. IF Iraq asks Russia to step into the breach, and Russia takes up the offer, the whole world knows that it will be doing so with China's approval and support.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 12 2015 14:16 utc | 134

It was a strong statement of support for Iraq, but no more. Sometimes I understand jfl frustration with China's fence straddling policies.
Posted by: Lone Wolf | Dec 12, 2015 12:22:03 AM | 107

It was a whole lot more, when one includes the statement I quoted from CCTV.
It was unambiguous condemnation of Turkey's strong-arm tactics in Iraq (and by insinuation, Syria also).
It was a statement of China's opinion of the way such disputes should be settled.
It came from the the PRC, Russia's ally and equally formidable military power.

'Fence straddling' China could have said nothing but on the same day Turkey got too big for its boots China weighed in. IF Iraq asks Russia to step into the breach, and Russia takes up the offer, the whole world knows that it will be doing so with China's approval and support.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 12 2015 14:16 utc | 135

Did RUssia lie about Erdogan ISIS claims, weeks after, we have seen no proof.

Posted by: Seder | Dec 12 2015 14:18 utc | 136

Apologies for the double posting. I accidentally double-clicked.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 12 2015 14:25 utc | 137


So, how does Russia personalise this battle to make it appear as Russia v The Erdogans & ISIS?

Pretty simple really. The next time Turkey provokes Russia to a level Russia deems requires a firm response, Russia must be sure to personally target the business interests of the Erdogans.

Where to start? [...]

Test the oil

or, if the SHTF,

Well there are some very obvious targets [...]

bomb Batumi

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Dec 12 2015 15:00 utc | 138


So, how does Russia personalise this battle to make it appear as Russia v The Erdogans & ISIS?

Pretty simple really. The next time Turkey provokes Russia to a level Russia deems requires a firm response, Russia must be sure to personally target the business interests of the Erdogans.

Where to start? [...]

Test the oil

or, if the SHTF,

Well there are some very obvious targets [...]

bomb Batumi

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Dec 12 2015 15:00 utc | 139

#14 Peotr Berman

New York Times sides with Trump in "closing up" the internet

I see very little from the major papers contesting the Trumpster on this subject.

Posted by: Les | Dec 12 2015 15:28 utc | 140

@ 131 Secret Agent

He chose the ME where everyone hates NATO

Didn't those ISIS-fighters -trained by US and financed by KSA- came from Jordan and Turkey?
At least Jordan and KSA are ME.

Posted by: From The Hague | Dec 12 2015 15:32 utc | 141


Apologies for the double posting. I accidentally double-clicked.

I did not double-click, and got the same results. Me thinks it has to do with b's enhanced security, which may have been upgraded lately, given the number of captchas I have to go through every time I refresh or post.


It was a whole lot more, when one includes the statement I quoted from CCTV.
It was unambiguous condemnation of Turkey's strong-arm tactics in Iraq (and by insinuation, Syria also)[...]

Sorry I missed it, thanks for the report. CCTV does not have the best search engine, and if you heard it, not read it, even more difficult to find. Glad to hear it was a strong statement, not the usual diplomatese, in which the Chinese are masters, as Sun Tzu@133 interjected. I think we are all waiting to see China take a more active role in the ME beyond statements but differently from other posters, I don't despair. The Chinese are masters of time and timing, and in these matters, timing is of the essence.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Dec 12 2015 16:06 utc | 142

' As France, the UK and now Germany obediently line up for war with Russia, feel free to send these to anyone who asks you “but do you think we should just let ISIS keep beheading people?” '

Posted by: From The Hague | Dec 12 2015 16:29 utc | 143


Lone Wolf #106
Overall I agree. Whether or not it is enough to deter the west from war is the question.

Deterrence is the key word, it was deterrence and M.A.D. that saved us during the Cold War 1.0, hopefully it will save us in the new version. Your well thought-out list of Russia's strategic measures are both to confront the danger of a nuclear war and a conventional one. Checking out NATO's expansion is foremost in Russia's strategic goals, as it is the destruction of the takfiris in Syria/Iraq/Afghanistan, anywhere they rear their ugly Hydra heads. For now, Russia's policy of containment is working, Ukronazis are relatively kept at bay, the takfiri offensive has been rolled-back in Syria, Iraq is waiting in the wings, HA checked them in Lebanon, the situation at the end of 2015 is promising for the 4+1. However, the empire always has wild cards (Turkey, Israel) that can be unleashed when least expected. Let's hope for the best, prepare for the worse.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Dec 12 2015 16:37 utc | 144

Direct link for Cannonfire article from James @ 108 --

Posted by: jawbone | Dec 12 2015 16:52 utc | 145

@ 109 Jackrabbit

Thank you for these important details.

It's now nearly unbelievable how naive and trustful Lavrov was.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says the recent deadly assaults in the French capital Paris have resulted in a change in the Western countries’ stance on the political fate of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Posted by: From The Hague | Dec 12 2015 16:57 utc | 146

Putin has announced that he has found the rare Syrian Unicorn, AKA the FSA, and is supporting them with arms and bombs and that the multitude of groups that met in the KSA don't represent the Syrian rebels/Unicorns. Lavrov tried, unsuccessfully, to clarify this strange rhetoric and the Unicorns are scratching their horn wondering what this Crazy Russian is babbling on about.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Dec 12 2015 17:28 utc | 147

81;Yeah,Erdogan is still getting the kid glove treatment from MSM,only a little tiny bit of the Gollum comparison made it in the news.

Posted by: dahoit | Dec 12 2015 17:30 utc | 148

Charles Lister of Brookings (generously funded by Qatar) has found 70,000 unicorns.

Posted by: dh | Dec 12 2015 17:34 utc | 149

140;Yes,the MSM hates the competition which exposes their lies.Trump had better be careful,and not bite the hand that feeds him,the web,for the Ziomonsters.

Posted by: dahoit | Dec 12 2015 17:46 utc | 150

Over at the Graun the crud Freedlands opinion response;Some idiot kept listing Muslim attacks on the West,wo even mentioning the almost 70 year war against the region by US,Israel and others.And he got a lot of likes.Boy,that place is going to the dogs of war.
And they are still after Corbyn,the Wests last true human statesman.
The peoples vote means nothing to the masters of disaster.

Posted by: dahoit | Dec 12 2015 17:51 utc | 151

PS;If they shut down the internet,will we finally hit the streets,where it truly matters?Electronic protest isn't up to snuff.Cathartic maybe.

Posted by: dahoit | Dec 12 2015 17:54 utc | 152

@11 jackrabbit.. thanks. i thought so too and as @123 bill picks up - the set up is very different now.

@145 jawbone.. thanks.. not sure why my link didn't go thru.. joseph wrote a good overview their..

@133 sun tzu. thanks for sharing your perspective on china here.

everyone seems to be rightly focused on erdogan... i see the offices of one of turkeys newspapers had a drive by shooting today.. the newspaper journalists are under attack from erdogan and also under attack from more crazies in cars driving by.. reading the turkish gov'ts propaganda channel - the sabah - is instructive.. here is today's editorial appropriately titled "‘What does not kill us only makes us stronger'"

Posted by: james | Dec 12 2015 17:54 utc | 153

@147 wow.. that's like many at moa who always wonder what you are babbling on about..

Posted by: james | Dec 12 2015 17:56 utc | 154


I see you have fallen for the SST pathetic attempt to diminish the actual numbers of nationalist/secular fighters, confusingly called Moderates, by conflating them with the rare or nonexistent Unicorn, fighters who will cease fighting the Syrian Axis Forces and concentrate their actions against the Islamic State.

The US tried and failed to develop this force and now Putin seems to be seeing visions of these Sparkle Ponies joining him and the Axis Forces to do what the US couldn't.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Dec 12 2015 18:36 utc | 155

@155 I don't doubt there are some genuinely well intentioned nationalist/secular fighters who hate Assad for one reason or another. But 70,000? Comprised of 100 separate factions who change their names from one day to the next? Get real.

Posted by: dh | Dec 12 2015 18:46 utc | 156

Jackrabbit @ 109,

In Paris, "terrorism" took place at 4 locations, each one of which was debunked using video evidence. Hence Paris was not a victim the result of which was a hardened attitude towards ISIS. Paris merely created (unconvincing) ISIS attacks to propagandize its citizens. And to lend further legitimacy to its ME aggression as "self-defense".

Just as you say @ 111, US (and Paris) pretend to insecurity for political purposes at home & abroad.

Posted by: Penelope | Dec 12 2015 18:47 utc | 157


The USA plays a double game. They don' want to antagonize their 'allies' overtly. No criticism toward any actions from Saudi Arabia, Qatar or Turkey. All the critics go to Russia. The USA is using Russia to pressurize these countries, while giving the impression it is pressurizing Russia. This seems to work very well as the allies to Turkey are been crushed in North Syria in total silence from the USA and the EU. Soon Aleppo will be liberated and the Turks totally excluded from Syria.That is why as Pepe Escobar reports it, the Turks are turning to Iraq to create divisions they think they can benefit of. A silly and desperate move that neither Iraq nor Iran will accept. Russia is squeezing Turkey to the bones under the condoning eyes of the USA and the EU that wants its revenge on the Turkey's initiated refugees
crisis. Turkey may have to pay for the 3 billions they extracted from the EU. The USA secretly applauses.

Posted by: Virgule | Dec 12 2015 18:48 utc | 158

@113 "Saudi control of that oil wealth via their ISIS agents, along with her clear plan to take out the US shale oil competition, or so Riyadh reckons, would make the Saudi monarchy a vastly richer state"

Looks more like the US plan to contain Saudi power by strangling the flow of income into the Kingdom and bogging KSA's military down in Yemen while making King Salman feel like he's directing policy.

Posted by: yellowsnapdragon | Dec 12 2015 18:50 utc | 159

Chipnik @ 110,
Yes, as usual, we have allowed ourselves to be distracted by threatened aggression-- distracted from the more important global warming conference. Its outcome will probably kill more people in the long run than the Syriaq wars.

I suppose it is lack of knowledge about climate history which allows so many good people to be taken in. Does anybody any longer remember that the earth has been warmer than at present for the past 10,000 years-- excepting only a cooling period of 8200 years ago and the Little Ice Age of 1250-1850? For 2 1/2 centuries we've known about the 2nd, and about the Medieval Warming period. The Greenland ice-core studies and other studies have confirmed this climate history.

Then enter the IPCC which political group has succeeded in masking itself as scientific-- with the help of Goldman-Sachs money. Cap n Trade is estimated to be worth 1 $ Trillion annually to its perpetrators. Al Gore won't make nearly as much w his anti-carbon company but it's already made a couple hundred million.

Never mind that 2 weeks before Al Gore's Nobel Peace Prize a London court case found his video to contain 5 significant errors-- it'll never be carried by MSM.

Never mind that the "97% of scientists agree on global warming" was the simplest of lies which a mere 5 minutes of research exposes. "97% of scientists hoax" as a search term. "Ocean acidification hoax" is another.

Bah, it is discouraging, isn't it Chipnik, how Goldman Sachs money produces such omnipresent propaganda to support the global warming hoax?

Never mind that even NOOA has been forced to admit that the Pacific has entered its 35-year cooling phase. Or how the upper atmosphere, instead of sequestering heat, is actually cooling.

Posted by: Penelope | Dec 12 2015 18:51 utc | 160

@122 It is very doubtful that Russia would ever violate the sovereignty of Turkey to attack a target like those you mentioned. Aside from Putin's reverence for international norms and laws, Russia *needs* naval access out of the Black Sea which would be revoked immediately if Putin took out a Erdogan family asset, even in intl waters. Maybe in an all-out war, but not before.

Posted by: yellowsnapdragon | Dec 12 2015 19:07 utc | 161

By the way, I'm still waiting for Russia's evidence that Erdogan & family are running the ISIS oil business that Putin was going to release last week. Let's see the goods.

Posted by: yellowsnapdragon | Dec 12 2015 19:11 utc | 162

@@ doveman | Dec 12, 2015 7:20:23 AM | 128

What a total load of rubbish and twaddle you've dumped here in that huge pile of shite. What are you about? Some tryout test for writing history for Hollywood?

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Dec 12 2015 19:14 utc | 163


I also wait for Russia to show this evidence, the longer time, the more BS its likely is, in the end Russia just stands to lose by these, likely hoax claims they have made.

Posted by: Seder | Dec 12 2015 19:33 utc | 164

seder = yellowsnapdragon? didn't see that.. @136 to 162 in 2 seconds, rof!

Posted by: james | Dec 12 2015 19:35 utc | 165

"…it won't just be wars that the US will be incapable of funding…"

The US will ALWAYS be able to fund itself, since there is no functional constraint on money creation (spending) other than how much is for sale in the currency. Neither the Fed, Treasury or Mr. Market has anything to say about it other than "yes sir".

Money is an unlimited resource, we can only run out of things to buy.

Posted by: paulmeli | Dec 12 2015 19:50 utc | 166

Delay does not mean the evidence is bogus. More likely it means that Putin is weighing options on how to proceed after the info is released or whether the reaction to releasing the info will be detrimental to Russia. Whatever. I just want to see the evidence.

Posted by: yellowsnapdragon | Dec 12 2015 19:54 utc | 167

Victori-ana @ 83,

I, too, wonder about the resolution of the East-West dialectic. My doubts may go deeper than yours.

Putin says, "We propose the creation of a harmonious economic community stretching from Lisbon to Vladivostok," Putin writes. "In the future, we could even consider a free trade zone or even more advanced forms of economic integration. The result would be a unified continental market with a capacity worth trillions of euros."

"Economic integration." Like EU, right? But all our experience shows that "free trade" causes de-industrialization and even loss of less mechanized agriculture to the less developed countries. All of Southern Europe experienced this under EU.

I'm not sure that what Russian elites want is any different than what ours want. For example, take Putin's position on global warming. He knows it's a hoax and that the carbon-tax will result in further financialization of the economy, opening yet another path to looting. And that it will serve as an enormous brake on economic development. Yet after fighting it initially, he's joined in.
Putin was always opposed to Kyoto and the so-called science behind it. He sent his economic advisor Andrey Illarionov on a world tour explaining what was wrong with the science. A copy of his Washington 2004 PowerPoint presentation has been removed from the web, unfortunately. After the tour Putin’s political situation changed.

The Kyoto Protocol needed ratification by enough countries that produced 55% of the CO2. When the US refused to participate, Russia was the only country left at the time producing enough CO2 to keep Kyoto going. Illarionov finished his world tour returned to Russia and a month later Putin announced he was going to ratify Kyoto. Illarionov resigned. Some argued that Putin gained more by selling emission credits. Putin explained the realities of his action. His goal was to double Russia’s gross domestic product, and he believed this was more achievable through membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO).

10/29/15 Putin believes “there is no global warming, that this is a fraud to restrain the industrial development of several countries, including Russia,” Stanislav Belkovsky, a political analyst and Putin critic, told The New York Times.

I understand that countries must look out for their own interests & so perhaps it was ok that he originally supported global warming knowing it's a hoax. But he is doing so again now, and the results will be catastrophic: Carbon-trading will further financialize the economy, providing yet another path to looting oligarchs. It will make impossible vigorous growth of developing economies and it will weaken developed ones.

The "solution" to the non-problem of global warming has now been privatized and so will now be adopted. It is an unbelievably powerful lever of control and suppression. The Russians understand this-- altho perhaps not that it is to be applied against the developed nations, too. Yet Putin is supporting it. And so I have to question whether the world that the Russian elites want is any different than the one the West wants.

Are we even looking at an East-West dialectic, or just a distraction while the real action takes place off-camera?

Posted by: Penelope | Dec 12 2015 20:17 utc | 168

Greetings MOA - I believe the current Russian position to be dominant - their forces are bent on punishing the slime that has been introduced via the UKISNATO mafia, and have the moral high ground with the US in denial(watching its paid-for mercenaries go up in smoke!). Russia knows it is being baited but calls their bluff by asking for 'partners' in the assault of the 'head choppers', thus inviting NATO in to condemn itself for aiding the aforesaid!(There will be video of this - no doubt!). Whilst they can be baited by NATO. they will not give in, because they know that a mistake will be made, it is almost inevitable, NATO will provide...let us hope it is not nuclear!!!

Posted by: fredjc | Dec 12 2015 20:26 utc | 169

162 & 164, I would've thought that it's obvious that Turkkey's stealing the oil. Haven't you seen the photos of the "moving pipeline" consisting of tanker trucks? And now they've taken over precisely the location that allows them control of the Mosul to Haifa pipeline.

Posted by: Penelope | Dec 12 2015 20:32 utc | 170

James & Jawbone, Thanks for the Cannonfire link. I share your hope that the Iraqi parliament will cancel Iraq's request that the US "help" them against ISIS, made formally on 6/18/14.

However, they've also requested "help" from the UK 9/25/14 In a related story, Prime Minister David Cameron said late Wednesday that he wanted the British Parliament to approve joining international airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq after Baghdad requested London’s help.

and also from Germany 12/7/15 In a meeting with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Baghdad on Monday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi requested that Germany play a more active role in the fight against the so-called "Islamic State" (IS). The dpa news agency reported that the Iraqi premier had in particular asked the German government to provide help with troop training. German forces in Iraq are currently training Kurdish soldiers in the country's autonomous north. "The threat of terrorism is not only a threat to Iraq, but also to Europe," said al-Abadi, speaking with dpa.

Also from France, tho I don't have a link.

I still think that the logical course of action from all these "friends" is to cut a deal w ISIS, givng them settlement rights in the proposed Sunnistan in return for joining the bad guys fighting coalition. What am I saying?! They're already in their coalition.

Posted by: Penelope | Dec 12 2015 20:54 utc | 171

@170 It's the direct Erdogan family connection that interests me. Like anything else, seeing real, documented evidence of corruption and hypocrisy matters. And, I want to see NATO forced to respond to the fact that Erdogan = ISIS.

Posted by: yellowsnapdragon | Dec 12 2015 21:05 utc | 172

Lone Wolf @ 142,

We don't need the Chinese in Syria anymore. 'Pears the Iranians have come in, in force just about the time of the 12/5 announcement: “Russians seek coordination with Iran in measures against terrorist groups. The Russians at times had had a different standpoint but they reached a common stance with Iran after consultation” with the Islamic Republic, Velayati said in a live televised interview on Saturday.

Putin's consultation was an 11/23 3-hour meeting with Khanenei.

There's been a real pickup in territory taken back, since 12/5.

Posted by: Penelope | Dec 12 2015 21:11 utc | 173

War is a Racket

In short: the ruling elite wants this war. Our pretend governments voted it through on the nod. And we the people will have to deal with the fallout and put up with random terrorist acts if we wake up and speak out about how this charade is rigged.

At the same time, the people of Syria are subject to bombing raids by the US, France and the UK – none of which have any invitation from the legitimate government of that country – actions which, properly speaking, are acts of war against the country the perpetrators claim to want to help.

My prediction: the clean-up operation Russia initiated and Assad approves of will be made to fail; terrorism will increase and spread into Europe; and mass immigration from Syria and that area to Europe will continue; and acts of terrorism on European soil will magically justify endless war, internal lock-down, wholesale surveillance, detention without trial, and troops on the street.

And this – in the absence of hard evidence based in action to the contrary – I can only see as the actual plan.

Do you remember voting for that?

Posted by: From The Hague | Dec 12 2015 21:38 utc | 174


Neo Math:

(US+IL+KSA) × $ -> AN + TIC
AN + TIC -> RoT + $
.: RoT = I$I$


So US+IL+KSA are just 'Doing G-d's Work', right?
And Putin is ArchAngel Gabriel on a White Unicorn, right?
Then let all the poor sheeple from Kurdistan move to EU, right?

Posted by: Chipnik | Dec 12 2015 21:47 utc | 175

@Bruno Marz@144 (From a past thread)

[...] Along these lines, I highly recommend that everyone should watch Rick and Morty Season 2, episode 6 called "The Ricks Must be Crazy" (name obviously paying homage to the movie The Gods Must Be Crazy. The show is absolutely hilarious and it lays bare the underlying premise of capitalism as nothing more than sneaky slavery. Absolutely brilliant satire for sure. The show can be watched for free on the Internet by going to That's all I'll say about that, but remember: sometimes it's important to laugh, especially when we're standing on the precipice of a potentially big war.

I was going to write you a thank you note back in the same thread I found your post (I was looking for a link someone else posted), but decided you will probably never see it, and no one else would benefit from your suggestion. I decided to bring it here, a bit OT, but laughing is always relevant to our lives, "especially when we're standing on the precipice of a potentially big war."

So I hope other posters take your suggestion and have a laugh while learning about capitalism and its discontents. Thank you very much for bringing this up, and pass the popcorn, please.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Dec 12 2015 21:54 utc | 176


I believe Kyoto will be a non-starter commercially, yet instead will devolve into an entirely corrupt CCnT futures swaps mechanism for the oiligarchs to fund their hegemaniacal ventures through carbon credits.

For example, they will plant GMO soy on their Poroshenko junk-bond- looted-and-consolidated agricultural plantation, and CCnT will pay them carbon credits to underwrite the production, while the sales will pay Poroshenko back his junk bonds interest, so he can pay zIMF the $35B looted from taxpayers, while the proceeds, the interest, the 'bidnez', goes to the ZioBanksters, effectively 'bicycling' your energy taxes into their private bank coffers, rolling up all the small land-holding into oligarchical control 'schemes' and making CCnT an even greater money laundering center than Brussels or Damascus.

This Carbon Caliphate fraud is already playing out in SE Asia and in Central America, tin-pot dictators rounding up and exiling small holder artisanal farmers who have held those lands for ages, now aggregated, illegally logged of their hardwoods like Erdogan illegally strips oil, then those aggregated now nationalized farmlands used to spread the GMO monopolization of agriculture, all paid for by carbon credits forced onto 1W taxpayers and rate-payers at the gas pump and utilities bill.

When they say, 'Oh, it's non-binding!' that is soporific PSYOP, nothing to see here citizens, move along. In reality, Paris just massacred the world with a $3T juggernaut of carbon credit swap baaksheesh rolling around the world, driving off many billions of aboriginals into urban gulags, then aggregating, privatizing and financializing that overthrow through your 'white privileged' much much much higher cost of energy.

All in plain view, and the final insult, Mil.Gov will slap a Fed tax riser on top of the carbon tax, on top of the industry credit swaps, for Mil.Gov to enjoy COLA-adjusted full pensions for life, while the rest of us stand shivering around the burn barrel, drinking homemade dumpster scraps vodka rot gut, hoping for a 4-hour grave digger 'gig'.

Privileged people are so easily gibbed. Oh, look, a Latakian Squirrel!!

Posted by: Chipnik | Dec 12 2015 22:15 utc | 177

Meanwhile, Mad Wolf is laughing and suggesting and eating popcorn.

Posted by: From The Hague | Dec 12 2015 22:33 utc | 178

WOW Saudi prince demands Trump exits on race at the twitter

Posted by: RussianBoy | Dec 12 2015 23:01 utc | 179

Great point from From the Hague, as usual.

Seriously though, that show was hilarious.

Posted by: Information_Agent | Dec 12 2015 23:08 utc | 180

@179 Great move by bin Talal. He must want Trump to win.

Posted by: dh | Dec 12 2015 23:11 utc | 181

Posted by: Glenn Brown | Dec 11, 2015 11:09:05 PM | 103

Nice analysis, thanks.

Posted by: guest77 | Dec 12 2015 23:21 utc | 182

@jfl 120

... I have no idea if the US' has been pushing Erdogan to do what he's been doing, in order to see what happens - while able to walk away from Tayyeep if it all goes south, as it seems to have..
I think the USA has been pushing Saudi Arabia deep into the Yemen quagmire and is doing the same with Erdogan in Syria with several intentions. One of them would be to weaken the Sunnis enough so they accept the USA-Iran's nuclear deal and agree with Iran on their respective zone of influence.
The USA understood that Erdogan is blinded by his megalomania of becoming a sultan and the leader of 'moderate' sunnis in the region. The USA has been setting many traps where he has fallen. The latest one is the 'incursion' in Iraq. Despite Erdogan's crackdown on the military,I suspect that the Turkish army is heavily infiltrated by Gulen supporters as well as CIA, Russian and Iranian agents. I believe they are the ones who have pushed for the Russian plane attack and Iraq's invasion, knowing well that these acts would be detrimental to the AKP government and to Erdogan's reputation. They have succeeded as the world sees now Turkey as a 'rogue' state, a hypocritical sponsor of terrorism hiding behind NATO.
I expect that there will be more traps for Erdogan and ultimately one may be fatal to his political career.
In summary, in my view Russia, Iran and the USA are in agreement that Erdogan as well as the young troublemaker Mohammad Ben Salman must sooner or later go.

Posted by: virgile | Dec 12 2015 23:22 utc | 183

@ virgile @ 183

I wish you were right but I see the USiAn empire throwing anything it can to Russia, China, Iran. You name it the USiAns are throwing anything to see what sticks: 911, Iraq, Georgia, Ukraine, Poland, Baltics, ZATO, ISIS, Lybia, Muslim Brotherhood, Syria, Turkey, Kurdistan, Yemen and IMF loan rules change. The last one tells me that the empire is near collapse and exhausted. Lending laws are there to protect capital and if these rules are bent for political reasons (supporting Kiev against Russia) then the system gives lenders no trust. Expect capital flight from the city of London. The regime doesn't care because it is nearing its collapse, I am afraid. I wish I was wrong in this. We shall see soon enough.

Posted by: Sun Tzu | Dec 13 2015 1:47 utc | 184

@ 128
Yeah, funny how not much has changed 100 years later, or perhaps, doesn't appear to have changed when the oligarchs and the guvna team up to see the military do its dirty commercial groundwork. Though businessmen shafting the lower classes at home and abroad is type of stuff you read in the textbooks.

Just, today global shafting by the ruling elite we can watch in real time.

Yeah, I'll say, that 'print money, start war' formula has been a pretty tough nut to crack while. Oh well, the bigger they are n all.

Posted by: MadMax2 | Dec 13 2015 2:36 utc | 185


I don't remember where I saw that piece of news, but thanks for bringing it up covered by John Helmer, it has more detail and historical background. If the event is true, and the Russians had a sailor with a MANPAD on the deck of the Caesar Kunikov, that was another obvious provocation from the Russians, who are looking to irk the Turks in whatever way possible. When Russia responded to the shooting of the SU-24, the response was so fast and so structured, targeting so many aspects of Turkey's economy, I suspected the Russians had an SOP ready way in advance.

My suspicions were confirmed after a link was posted here, working on the hypothesis Turkey walked into a Russian trap. Russians knew long ago Turkey's Erdogan was behind IS/JaN/et al, and tried to offer Erdogan a way out, the TurkeyStream one of many enticements Turkey didn't reject, but were not enough to change its course. Erdogan's "zero conflicts with our neighbors" was the facade behind which he was hiding his true intentions, even his "conflict" with Israel was orchestrated to win domestic support for his foreign adventures, Erdogan pipe dreams of a Greater Turkey, Ottoman Empire 2.0 in steroids.

The Russians took full advantage of Erdogan's mistake, arming Russia's base in Syria with S-400 batteries, and re-arming the SAA with state of the art Russian weapons, e.g., T-90A tanks, MTs-116M sniper rifles, TOS-1 MLRS, Mi-35M helicopters, the Syrian battlefield a testing ground for Russian weapons, even if Putin was clear about the rationale for Russia's presence in Syria, nothing to do with geopolitics or weapons testing, they are in Syria to defend the Russian Federation.

In response to Turkey's support of terrorists in Syria, Crimea, Chechnya, Ukraine and the Caucasus, the Russians are now arming the Kurds, and positioning armored helicopters in Armenia, encircling Turkey on all sides. Russia's encirclement of the Erdogan mafia goes beyond the military, the campaign to denounce his support for takfiris and his family murky business with terrorists, has inevitably pierced the perception of Erdogan as a "statesman" turning him into a mafia boss.

Erdogan's political capital has been mortgaged, his future is now in the hands of his puppeteers, who can decide how far his usefulness lasts before getting the Turkey military back in power, as they did in Egypt after a short-lived "Arab Spring" experiment.

Ankara falls into Moscow's trap

What should be the key question to ask for an accurate understanding of why Ankara downed a Russian Su-24 warplane in the Turkish-Syrian border region on Nov. 24? If we had tried to formulate the question on the day of the incident, most of us would have probably asked, “What interest does Ankara have in downing a Russian plane?” But now, two weeks after the incident, we have the chance to compare the two countries’ attitudes and actions in the crisis, and then the most accurate and pertinent question emerges: “What interest does Moscow have in making Turkey shoot down a Russian plane?”

Indeed, Turkey downed the plane but Russia was the playmaker in this crisis. The speed and scope of the sanctions Moscow slapped on Turkey immediately after the incident in the realms of tourism, foreign trade, investment and joint projects suggest that the set of moves could have been planned in advance for a potential Syria-related crisis. The deployment of S-400 air defense missiles at the Hmeymim air base in Syria only two days after the incident indicates that the deployment was pre-planned.

Another indication of pre-crisis preparation is the swift frontal attack by Russia’s propaganda machine on the issue of the Islamic State’s illicit oil trade with Turkey, directly targeting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his family. The Russian propaganda seems directed at the Western public, to further worsen Erdogan’s already unfavorable image and thus make it harder for NATO allies to back Turkey up. In short, the Russians have been trying to isolate Turkey in the crisis.

A similar review of Ankara’s actions offers no signs of significant pre-planning. In fact, Ankara has taken no steps of this kind. Its attitude since Nov. 24, when the Su-24 was downed, boils down to efforts to calm Russia's pushing a policy of planned escalation, and failing to do that, put on a brave face against the Russian sanctions. On Dec. 5, for instance, Erdogan sought to downplay Russia’s decision to significantly curb imports from Turkey, saying, “So what if you buy or not!” Similarly, he has repeated at every opportunity that Ankara will not apologize to Moscow [...]

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Dec 13 2015 2:41 utc | 186

@175 You'll have to decipher all that math for me, but I guess doing their god's work explains everything the real exist of evil does well enough. As for unicorns, a lolcat with an inflatable horn is about as legit as Putin, sadly. The Kurds ought to stay where they are, but they would be wise to avoid having their statehood supported or threatened by any global power whose interest is resource dominance rather than the human needs of Kurds.

Posted by: yellowsnapdragon | Dec 13 2015 3:12 utc | 187

@160 Penelope

Penelope, I think you are completely wrong about the subject of Global climate change. I very much wish you were right, and this was just a conspiracy organized by Goldman Sachs, but I don't think you really understand the nature of conspiracies. A week or two ago I believe I recall you asked if the opposition between Russia and the US might just be a trick, created by a conspiracy between those two counties' elites. We live in a world with a great many conspiracies, so in a way your profound level of disbelief is understandable, but not everything can be a lie.
Conspiracies happen when a group of individuals or organizations believes they can best achieve a common goal through deception or misdirection. You don't normally resort to conspiracy when you have so much power, compared to whoever opposes you, that you can easily and without difficulty achieve your goals through sheer the exercise of power. Neither do you normally resort to conspiracies if those who oppose the achievement of your goals have so much power, compared to you and your co-conspirators, that your conspiracy is almost certain to fail and be exposed as a lie.
Some people do manage to make money from the problem of global climate change. But that doesn't mean the whole thing is a lie created by those people. Think of who would oppose a global climate change conspiracy. Start with the whole oil, gas, coal industry. Add everyone who wants to be able to burn carbon cheaply for their own benefit, which includes every military, every airline, every car company, most electrical producers, the governments of major exporting countries, etc, etc.

Yes, the parasites in the US financial industry are trying to use their political power to blackmail the rest of the world on this issue. They say that if you want to deal with global climate change, you have to do it in a way that allows us to make money, which is why we are stuck with cap and trade. But they could never have created a conspiracy like this, considering the power of the groups who would oppose them on this. The real main conspiracy involving this issue involves the global carbon industry, which has used the same sort of tactics the tobacco industry used to confuse the issue. So of course you can find sites on the internet who say it's all a fraud. But you've been fooled by a real conspiracy.
The real reason why there is so much opposition to the idea of global climate change is that it implies that humanity cannot have limitless economic growth. This is not an idea that any oligarch likes, (given that they are driven by limitless greed), so oligarchs are unlikely to form a conspiracy to push the idea.
Global climate change is a idea to which humanity as a whole is deeply resistant, and the only reason its gotten the limited amount of attention it has is because the evidence that the world's climate is changing keeps mounting. If the elites could ignore it, they would, because it gets in the way of making money. But unfortunately for everyone, it's something we really have to deal with, or it might end up destroying whole civilizations.

Posted by: Glenn Brown | Dec 13 2015 3:44 utc | 188

Assad wants to negotiate with Syrians, not with foreign mercenaries

Syria will not negotiate with the terrorists to put an end [to] the conflict on their terms, even if the West tries to present the armed groups as political opponents, said the Syrian president to EFE.

It's an obvious point. The world is so upside down now that KSA/Turkey/NATO have already mentally deposed the Syrian government, actually dispossessed the Syrian people, and are now deciding how to repopulate and govern Syria - yet another 'land without a people'. All the result of the ascendancy of the racist, genocidal Anglo-Zionist spawn in Australia, Canada, Israel, New Zealand, the UK, and the US.

Posted by: jfl | Dec 13 2015 4:24 utc | 189

@184 Sun Tzu

I agree with all but the capital flight from City of London. I see the Fed and City of London as the two operating centers of private finance owned by the global plutocrats. Together they stand in opposition to sovereign finance.

When is soon? 3/6/9 months? 3-5 years?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 13 2015 5:12 utc | 190

It does seem that Erdogan was drifting back into the west's sphere of influence after the Turk Stream deal with Russia. Even so, Russia's motivation would have to be more than making Erdogan look bad in the eyes of the western public in order to coordinate an such an escalation.

Posted by: yellowsnapdragon | Dec 13 2015 5:21 utc | 191

Here's the link to the December 10, 2015, CCTV NewsDesk broadcast I referred to @ #98 and #99. The Chinese Foreign Ministry Iraq/Turkey statement begins at 00:05:55 and ends at 00:06:30.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 13 2015 5:57 utc | 192

The Empire is going to pretend that this didn't happen, until it's too late.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 13 2015 6:45 utc | 193

You just has to hope that Russia timed it's entry to the Syrian theatre at a time when anti Isis sentiment was at ots heaviest. Its a Mora war that they could not lose, and each piece of territory 4 + 1 claw back will uncover further dirty deals and western condoners of evil. The informational battle becomes key in being able to make the mud of hypocrisy stick in the western media.

Otherwise its all pretty 1984. 70000 magical mystery moderates at war with Eurasia, corporation sponsored surveillance for the state, and a form of newspeak that can fashion al Qaeda as a sworn enemy one decade, then a useful ally the next...

Posted by: MadMax2 | Dec 13 2015 7:07 utc | 194

@194 MadMax2

That form of newspeak that can fashion al Qaeda as a sworn enemy one decade, then a useful ally the next seems to me like brainwashing. Brainwashing is why Gawd made TV. TV tells folks all they need to think and if they are faith breathers it makes the hypocrisy easier to swallow.

Its seems we are reaching a crescendo in Orwellian projection, but then again, maybe it is a new normal...grin

I just want to know who programmed this sick experiment in human civilization? Are we suppose to fear you God or love you?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 13 2015 7:31 utc | 195

A renewed propaganda attack upon Russia for her 'invasion of Central Europe', and supposed continued incursions into Ukraine, 'let's dispense with the 'pro-Russian fiction', is once again in evidence in the Canadian press. Matt Gurney and the National Post took advantage of Yevehen Marchuk and Wesley Clark's presence in Toronto to pick up their awards from the 'International Council in Support of Ukraine'. It's nasty shit indeed:

Given Justin Trudeau's commitment to Canada's powerful Ukronazi lobby and renewal of vassal-vows of obeisance to the wishes of Washington, not to mention the presence in cabinet of Ukronazi-supporter minister Chrystia Freeland, it looks like it'll be rough weather ahead for Novorossiya and probably even more money from the pockets of Canucklheads flowing from Ottawa to Kiev. Perhaps more weapons and soldiers too. Canada already has 'trainers' there.

It is too bad there is so little interest or awareness by Canadians in any of this and the other political parties are as Russophobic and dominated by Canada's Ukrainian AIPAC the UCC as Justin Trudeau et al. Winter war in Ukraine ahead?

Posted by: John Gilberts | Dec 13 2015 7:40 utc | 196

just a test. I noticed people complaining that their posts were showing up two times. I just posted something that showed up zero times.

Posted by: ToivoS | Dec 13 2015 8:03 utc | 197

@ ToivoS | Dec 13, 2015 3:03:05 AM | 197

Not complaining, just observing that often when posting a comment a sign that a timed out has occurred necessitating a page refresh and re-posting. a @@ signals such an event. Maybe it is a problem for each member of the chorus malfunction?

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Dec 13 2015 8:15 utc | 198

Pointing fingers

Is ISIS Simply A 'Saudi Army in Disguise'?

While its true that KSA has a long history with extremism and helped USA to arm the Mujahideen in the 1980's, Engdahl is wrong to lay the blame for extremism on KSA alone. Even pulling strings to get Turkey's support doesn't fully explain the Syriaqistan fiasco.

If KSA or some combination of Sunni countries had tried to support extremists in the years after 9-11, they would've faced tremendous push-back from USA, Israel, and other Western countries. Instead, KSA+Israel+USA choose to support extremists together for their mutual benefit as described by Hersh in "The Redirection".

Events and information that has subsequently come to light align very much with the plotting that Hersh described in 2007. Its only a matter of time before the Western public comes to understand that ISIS has been a group effort in which their government's have been complicit.

There is plenty of blame to go around. Given what we know, the questions to ask now are:

>> Is the 'blow back' an attempt at cover-up?

>> Will the co-conspirators take us to War to avoid accountability?

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 13 2015 8:25 utc | 199

Don't worry @195. It's all in your head

Posted by: Fransisco | Dec 13 2015 9:06 utc | 200

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