Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 13, 2016

Syria: Obama's Delusion Over Russian Retreat Continues

Some U.S. media say that Iran is "aggressive" when it detains U.S. ships and sailors ... who invade Iranian waters.

It is such delusional worldview that has people all over the world shake their heads over U.S. media and politics.

But this messy thinking starts at the top. The Obama administration is filled with delusional thinkers. Consider this nonsense, relayed by the unofficial spokesperson David Ignatius, over Putin's position towards the Syrian President Assad:

Putin this week seemed to take a public step toward the U.S. position that Assad must go eventually. In an interview with the German newspaper Bild released Tuesday, Putin hinted that he might grant Assad asylum.
Putin’s reference to asylum was taken “very seriously” by the White House, a second administration official noted Tuesday. “I think he was sending a signal about where he stands” that was consistent with what Russian officials have been telling the United States in private, the official said.

The transcript of the interview is available in English and Russian for all to see.

Putin was in no way "sending a signal". He was deflecting a direct question that the reporters asked. He took a firm stance that Assad must stay and be allowed to take part in new elections:

Question: If, contrary to expectations, al-Assad loses the elections, will you grant him the possibility of asylum in your country?

Vladimir Putin: I think it is quite premature to discuss this. We granted asylum to Mr Snowden, which was far more difficult than to do the same for Mr al-Assad.

First, the Syrian people should be given the opportunity to have their say. I assure you, if this process is conducted democratically, then al-Assad will probably not need to leave the country at all. And it is not important whether he remains President or not.

How is that "sending a signal"? The only signal I perceive therein is that - as far as Russia is concerned - Assad will stay where he is right now. I have no doubt that the private statements of Putin and the Russian government in this case are exactly the same than the official ones.

In October Obama demanded that Russia let go of Assad or end in a quagmire. Since then the position of the Syrian government has solidified and the Russian support has turned out to be very effective and not a burden. The position of the U.S. administration and its jihadist proxy forces in Syria has deteriorated. With each Islamic State attack the pressure to end the U.S. war on Syria is increasing.

How then can the "administration official" come up with this nonsense?

Is there still this neocon superiority illusion that lets U.S. news media and politicians believe they are the only ones who matter? That the U.S. is the only country which has a say in global issues?

One would have thought that the lost war in Iraq and the U.S. quagmire in Afghanistan would have cured such delusions. But stupid thinking seems hard to heal.

Posted by b on January 13, 2016 at 15:52 UTC | Permalink

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@97 They want to have it both ways most likely. Keep selling weapons to the Saudis whilst building Walmarts in Iran.
Posted by: dh | Jan 14, 2016 10:04:00 PM | 100

Not to mention US instead of Russian Nuclear power plants.
And relentless Chinese competition for gigantic civil infrastructure projects financed with Chinese money instead of US$.
China is beefing up its ability to handle foreign 'disputes' on short notice and seems to have decided that Libya was the last place China was ever going to be chased out of by NATO proxies. I've got my popcorn.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 15 2016 5:50 utc | 101

On Syria, bear in mind that I read this in the printed edition of The Times this afternoon. A national paper. So people read it.

"In the middle of an oil-rich province in eastern Syria, some 183,000 people are entering their eleventh month without any electricity.

The city of Deir Ezzor was once the prosperous and cosmopolitan centre of Syria’s petrochemicals industry. Now it is a place where people queue for bread and cigarettes and die of curable illnesses for lack of medicines.

They are the unlucky inhabitants of the last four neighbourhoods still held by President Assad’s forces. The rest of the city, and the swathes of desert that stretches out in all directions around it, is controlled by Islamic State.

It is the largest besieged area in a country where, according to some estimates, 1.1 million people are living in areas that aid organisations cannot reach. The only way the siege in Deir Ezzor will be broken is if ISIS break through regime lines."

So Assad's forces are besieging the neighbourhoods they hold, whilst simultaneously being besieged by ISIS themselves? Fucking idiot.

Anti-Government propaganda in its most naked and moronic form. Published.

Posted by: Pat Bateman | Jan 15 2016 15:58 utc | 102

@103 Extorting people is a grammatical impossibility. You can extort from them and exploit them. The Times has really gone downhill.

Posted by: dh | Jan 15 2016 16:24 utc | 103

@103 pat... thanks for sharing that.. it is pretty despicable how distorted and lying a journalist can be, not to mention the paper which is happy to shred any integrity it might have had.. if they do this here, i suppose they will do it on pretty well any story or theme... who could trust a paper or any journalist like that?

Posted by: james | Jan 15 2016 17:37 utc | 104

Posted by: Pat Bateman | Jan 15, 2016 10:58:11 AM | 103

I didn't read your "Times" link but I moused it and the sub-text says it's The Australian - a Zio-rag published by ex-Ozzie Billionaire Right-wing Thatcherite Crank and good friend of "Israel" Rupert Murdoch.
So of course it's moronic, mendacious propaganda.
That's Rupert's vocational "core competency".

10+ years ago, Thatcher colluded with Rupert in a union-busting exercise. She OK'd his scheme to (secretly) build a new UK newspaper production facility and when it was complete he wandered into the old one and sacked every Union member.
So you sorta know that any concerns Rupert has about Syria have less to do with the well-being of (ordinary) Syrians and more to do with the $well-being$ of Rupert's Friends in High Places.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 15 2016 18:57 utc | 105

Russia, US officials hold talks on Ukraine crisis: Source

Kiev, Washington and their Western allies accuse Russia of having a hand in the Ukrainian conflict, an allegation strongly rejected by the Kremlin.

The United Nations says more than 9,000 people have been killed and more than 20,000 injured in the conflict in Ukraine since April 2014.

More messy thinking, and more notches in the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate's gun belt .. it's now coming all undone, will soon be bunched around his shoes, on the floor.

Posted by: jfl | Jan 15 2016 22:56 utc | 106

At the risk of bruising some feelings here, I get the impression that the Saudi's have fallen into the age old trap laid out by one of its own allies, or partners. Perhaps, because of the depth of involvement, silence seems to be the rule. After all, these royals don't want it to be known that their collaboration with a former enemy is behind this latest effort to commit what looks to be a suicidal act. Blaming "O" for just about every thing under the sun, well, there are those who are followers who would rather repeat instead of investigate. I don't mean to imply I'm defending "O", for I'm not, nor do I consider him to be someone to look up to. But like it or not, he is the P.O.T.U.S. and we still have the right to vent our opinions.

Posted by: originalone | Jan 16 2016 3:13 utc | 107


So you think it's Israel that's pulling the Saudi's strings? And don't blame the USA, who've sold the Saudis their weapons and are holding Saudi hands all during their devastation and destruction of Yemen? Or blame the USA but don't blame 'O' ... Obama? Or do blame him because he's the president of the USA? Hope you're not as confused as your post seems to be.

Israel might determine this day rather than that day, or in the afternoon rather than in the morning, but there are many Israeli-Americans/neocons-of-all-denominations in the State Department who are determining US policy. Israel is along for the ride. When the people running the USG decide Israel's goals are no longer congruent with their own, Israel will be dropped, too, just as Saudi Arabia is being dropped now. So it seems to me at any rate.

Meanwhile Obama is the POTUS, and could stop all the death, devastation and destruction this afternoon. In Syria, Ukraine, Libya ... if he wanted to. He doesn't want to. The buck stops with Obama. He took the job. He knew who he'd be up against/who he'd be working with ... and he's been 'working with' since day one.

Posted by: jfl | Jan 16 2016 5:34 utc | 108

There is a mass psychosis in the USA like Germany in the 30's up to about 43. Maybe 1 in 40 or so are not affected

Posted by: Jak Jones | Feb 7 2016 4:38 utc | 109

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