Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 14, 2016

Islamic State Attacks, Occupies Erdogan's "Safe Zone"

The Turkish President Erdogan offered the U.S. "Turkmen" troops to take the Syrian-Turkish border region currently held by the Islamic State. In return he demanded that the U.S. stop its support for the Syrian-Kurdish YPG group that also fights the Islamic State. Erdogan's new demand comes on top of the long standing plan to create a "safe zone" in north Syria in which refugees and "rebels" would be kept safe under a Turkish artillery and U.S. air umbrella.

Over the last two weeks "Turkmen" (Turkish special forces, Turkish volunteers and some Uighur fighters) together with al-Qaeda and some Syrian "rebels" proceeded from the Azaz area towards east along the Turkish-Syrian border. With Turkish cross-border artillery support and U.S. A-10 ground attack air support they managed to take a dozen Syrian villages from the Islamic State. They also captured the important Al-Rai border station.

But the Islamic State counterattacked, reoccupied Al-Rai and today cut off some of the attacking "rebel" forces from their support area around Azaz (black arrow).

Here is a map of the current situation in north Syria.


In yellow shade the YPG held enclave around Efrin. In red the Syrian government held area around Aleppo city. In green the al-Qaeda and "rebel" held areas. The northern part around Azaz next to the Turkish border is the current point of action. The dark blackish areas are held by the Islamic State.

One can see the corridor next to the Turkish border which the Islamic Sate managed to cut today. It took several villages and a refugee camp that was established on the Syrian side. The refugee camp was then shelled by Turkish artillery to again drive out the Islamic State.

This attack demonstrates that the idea of "safe zones" in norther Syria is nonsense. Such "safe zones" would be major battle ground and would be attacked, as today, from two sides. They are indefensible. On top of that Erdogan's "Turkmen" have proven to be less capable than the YPG Kurds who have withstood similar attacks by the Islamic State.

Further south the Syrian army is near closing the corridor into eastern Aleppo city which is held by al-Qaeda (Jabhat al-Nusra) fighters. This "squeezing" and several other operations, marked with red arrows on the map, are in preparation for a large Syrian army attack along several axis in Aleppo governate and in Aleppo city.

Meanwhile hawks in the CIA and Pentagon want to turn the fighting in Syria into a campaign against the Russians. They want to provide serious anti-air capabilities to al-Qaeda and its "rebel" allies should the current cessation of hostilities not hold:

Officials said the CIA has made clear to its allies that the new systems, once agreed upon, would be given to the rebels only if the truce and the concurrent political track toward a lasting peace—Plan A—fall apart and full-scale fighting resumes.

I consider that to be a CIA offer to the "rebels": Break the ceasefire and you will be rewarded with better quality weapons.

One can only hope that the Obama White House, which earlier had rejected a proxy war with Russia, will therefore also reject this lunatic scheme.

Posted by b on April 14, 2016 at 14:36 UTC | Permalink


I bet $1.00 that the war wins out over what obomber wants or says that what he wants.

Posted by: jo6pac | Apr 14 2016 14:42 utc | 1

I thought it was Obama who was supposed to make the policy and the CIA who followed orders. Kind of scary the CIA does whatever and Obama has to rein them in. No wonder we've gone from hope and change to a world of shit. I wonder what other nastiness they have been getting up to. Probably all of it.

Posted by: Secret Agent | Apr 14 2016 15:08 utc | 2

In an earlier post I wrote something which is still true regarding the US. While it not directly germane to the above brought to us by b ... is certainly is a clear response to the above comments:

--- early post ----------------------
Obomba is a symptom, not a cause. The military / security, industrial, congressional complex is a symptom, not a cause.

There was no 'free land' when the first colonists arrived ... is was lived on. But the desire for what has been called 'freedom' from a post-feudal rentier society caused people to flee Europe and greedily vanquish the natives living on this so-called 'free' land. It was made free by destroying the peoples and their cultures who lived on that land.

Consequently it is simple greed that has caused the American Empire, sanctioned by the alleged 'Founding Fathers,' that has lead inexorably to the empire. Read carefully between the lines and what you see / hear from the current herd of idiots clamoring to be president (emperor for a time) is that America needs to return to its dominant place in the world: i.e., to overturning governments and supporting business so that the oligarchs can 'share' what they have stolen from others.

The reality, even on this blog / site, is a clarion call to be a ruthless empire led by our elites / oligarchs who in turn share their wealth with the white folks so they can claim they enjoy the American Dream.

Yes, we have a problem. But it isn't to recreate the sickness of the past ... it is to realize that a simpler, sustainable existence may be the solution.

Have a good day.

Posted by: rg the lg | Apr 14 2016 15:43 utc | 3

Secret Agent: "I thought it was Obama who was supposed to make the policy and the CIA who followed orders."

One premise of CIA is that "as citizens of a free democratic state" we want to have "all means at our disposal to defend ourself". Conventional means are the military, "unconventional", i.e. criminal, are CIA. How to control a criminal organization, so it breaks the law only as far as the law allows is tricky, and it can never be perfect.

However, Obama was never particularly forceful in trying to reign over the military and CIA, so it is hard to tell what his true thinking is. ISIS is the enemy, but so are the Russians, and the firm strategy is not to allow Russians and allies to win. Now that ISIS lost this and that, it was declared as a solved problem and the support of rebels increases. A slight problem is that Russians got some tools to cope with older types of TOW missiles and manpads. They just recalled older fix wing planes from Syria and replaced them with helicopters equipped with modern countermeasures against missiles. Presumably, they jam/confuse the guidance systems and that would fail against the newest missiles. But giving them to the rebels who freely trade in weapons (or just manage to "loose" their arsenals to more radical jihadists" is perilous.

Additionally, someone forgot to tell ISIS that they are a "solved problem".

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 14 2016 15:52 utc | 4

thanks for the update and overview b..

i agree with piotr @4 in his comment that for the usa - both russia and isis are their enemy.. a useful idiot in power who ignores or oversees the cia's action in support of isis/al nusra while claiming overwise - is always helpful if you want to start ww3.. many people are not fooled by the usa/west/cia's actions however...

meanwhile erdo the madman continues on - who can blame him when the usa is continuing on as well, not to mention the gcc's with their religious cleansing program that extends to anywhere the wahabbi cult hasn't replaced alternative forms of belief? as putin mentioned in the q & a - there is a civil war in southern turkey going on with heavy weapons being used as well.. erdo the madman is hoping isis can do to the kurds what his own military is unwilling to do. sick world..

Posted by: james | Apr 14 2016 16:02 utc | 5

I imagine that elements in the Criminally Insane Agency figure that they must attempt to prop up Our Qaeda until the end. If however, the better manpads find their way to Europe or the US and take down some commercial airliners, then the real goal, Our Funding, continues. The war of terror is forever.

Posted by: Stephen | Apr 14 2016 16:25 utc | 7

@6/7.. indeed that is the reality at the moment..

Posted by: james | Apr 14 2016 16:30 utc | 8

Posted by: ALberto | Apr 14 2016 17:13 utc | 9

@7 well I'm sure they want to keep the TOURERISTS from going back home in Europe

Posted by: aaaa | Apr 14 2016 18:58 utc | 10

No hope in Obama. Obama still has a serious proxy war going on against Russia with the Ukrainian oligarchic/ Nazi state, so why not an ongoing proxy war in Syria.
Obama is sending troops in Eastern Europe against the Russians as a provocation, so why not, and same again in Syria.

Posted by: tom | Apr 14 2016 19:10 utc | 11

I'm a deist but I respect all religion and I know many who post/read MoA are religiious so this piece should really turn everyone's stomach.

Turkey's attempt to add religious tint ...

A senior Armenian politician has spoken out to decry the attempts by Turkey to add a religious aspect to the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh.

"A quick history lesson: There has been an Armenian state since at least the 6th century BC. Armenia is an Orthodox Christian country, not only that but it is the birthplace of the Orthodox form of Christianity; Armenia was the first nation to adopt Christianity as a state religion, an event traditionally dated to AD 301.

The roots of the Armenian Church go back to the 1st century. According to tradition, the Armenian Church was founded by two of Jesus’ twelve apostles – Thaddaeus and Bartholomew – who preached Christianity in Armenia between AD 40–60. Because of these two founding apostles, the official name of the Armenian Church is Armenian Apostolic Church."

Posted by: ALberto | Apr 14 2016 19:34 utc | 12

Dabiq is smack in the middle of this campaign. May there not be the clash of nations foretold..

Posted by: Lozion | Apr 14 2016 20:39 utc | 13

Re: ALberto #12

When Georgia (more precisely, Saakashvili, then President of Georgia, recently governor of Odessa) decided to attack Russian peacekeeper and local South Ossetians, Russia retaliated with a temporary occupation of a part of territory of Georgia (about two weeks) and demolished a bunch of military installation (not much was left of Georgian sea fleet), and our good Senator McCain was imploring jaded con-patriots that "we have to help Georgia, because it is the second oldest Christian nation".

So, sorry Armenia, you are by your own admission not the second oldest Christian nation! As such, you must count your blessings, namely (a) good relationship with Russia, so even Turkey would be insane to attack directly, (b) good relationship with Iran, I recall that Iranian president, certain Ahmedinejad, visited Armenian capital and made a nice speech about Iran recognizing the enormity of Armenian tragedy/genocide -- while USA still cannot figure out if Armenians were genocide victims or were not (Iran is also not so sure about some genocides), this is VERY important because Russia has no border with Armenia (c) passably good relationship with Georgia, here it is a bit twisted, but after all said and done, those are two very ancient Christian nations with deep historical links* that predate Christianity quite a bit, this is important because in normal circumstances this is the more important trade route (d) pro-Armenian sentiments in USA and NATO, so Azeris get rather few Western weapons, mostly from Israel.

Armenia is a remote country without precious resources so outside immediate neighborhood sentimental considerations are decisive, and they align with religion. MIS of USA and allies could get few billions of revenue by selling arms to Azerbaijan but putting fellow Christians in peril as a result is a bit to much. In the case of Israel, it is opposite -- rather than "fellow Christians" Armenians are hated by the more religious Israelis as "Amelek", and quite numerous Armenians of Lebanon and Syria support causes that Israel opposes.

* historical links of Georgia and Armenia: aristocratic and royal houses in Georgia treasured the tradition of Armenian origin, and occasionally, descent from monarchs of Persia, so there were Russian counts descending from Gergian dukes who claim descent from Armenian royalty who claim descent from a Persian prince who was a son of Artaxerxes III nicknamed "Long hand". This is the history of Russian last name "Dolgorukiy". Not too mention that you need to be very knowledgeable to tell the difference between Georgian and Armenian cousine, folk dress, etc. Against that you have tendency of Russia of succoring separatists, and Armenian separatists separated from Azerbaijan, so that cements the link of Armenia to Russia, and Georgian separatists separated from Georgia, so that aligns Georgia in opposite direction.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 14 2016 22:39 utc | 14

Alberto @ 9:

I would add that originally the Greeks established an independent republic with a former Greek ambassador to the Russian empire (this was Count Ioannis Kapodistrias) as the first President.

His attempts to modernise and reform the new country met with resistance from established elites (sound familiar?) and eventually the country fell into chaos. Kapodistrias was assassinated in 1831 and not long after the British and Germans intervened and established a monarchy with a German prince as king. So manipulation of Greece by foreign powers (Britain and Germany especially, though Germany was not yet in existence as a single political entity in the 1830s) has been part and parcel of modern Greek history since 1829.

Posted by: Jen | Apr 14 2016 23:00 utc | 15

The link to VT I provided @12 has an interesting comment attached to it. With Erdogan recently visiting Brookings it would appear that big moves are about to be made.

comment -

"Peter Johnson April 14, 2016 at 10:30 am

A couple of points could be added to your very excellent explanation of the situation in Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan and Armenia separate Iran and Russia and a conflict there keeps these two natural allies from getting too close and developibg the North South Corridor between Russia and the Gulf and the World Ocean.

Further This area is usable as an alternatuve invasion route from Georgia’s Black Sea port into Iran, which would provide a useful additional front to divide up Iran’s forces. Azerbaijan is also a potential airbase for any such nefarious project.

Also, Azerbaijan and Iran and Armenia share a huge history — The oldest operating church on the planet is an Armenian church in Iran — the Kara Keleesa or St Thadeus church in Iranian Azerbaijan where Azeri is spoken. Azerbaijan is the seat of Zoroastrianism — the oriyinal pre-Islamic religion of Iran. Iran used to extend as far North as Dagestan. Russia used to extend as far South as Astara and the map has gone back and forth in every direction over thousands of years.

The Zionists would like to light yet another bonfire around Russia. This one has the added attraction of involving Iran in a proxy war.

It’s all very unfortunate."

Posted by: ALberto | Apr 14 2016 23:09 utc | 16

For the Syrian army the taking over of the border villages previously held by 'moderates' rebels affiliated to Turkey may be a good news.
Now the Syrian and Russian air force can bomb the Turkish border villages without been accused of killing moderates or civilians: they are either dead or in Turkey now.
The Turks are facing another humiliating political and military defeat as their proxies that they wanted to replace the YPD against ISIS are now running for their lives. It is clear now that the only fighters who can defeat ISIS are the Syrian army under the commandment of Bashar al Assad and its allies.
The 'moderates' have lost almost all their cards in the negotiation.

Posted by: virgile | Apr 15 2016 1:03 utc | 17

b, 'Further south the Syrian army is near closing the corridor into eastern Aleppo city'

Yes. I guess since it is al-CIAduh fighting al-CIAduh-in-drag up by the border, the Syrians can concentrate on Aleppo.

Wonder why Daesh is fighting their brothers by the border? I realize that there's been tension between al-CIAduh proper and Daesh since the spread of Daesh into Syria from Iraq, but now that the pressure is on I'd think that Daesh would be concentrating on defending its more easterly establishments. Can Dabriq have 'serious' meaning to them, as Lozion points our @13?

Earlier on I had read that the Turkmen victories were followed by their withdrawal back into Turkey, and that Daesh had then re-occupied the territory they'd vacated. I guess that's not the case?

In my view Obama is not now nor has he ever been in charge of the CIA, it's been the other way 'round since Indonesia. The CIA starts fires outside the USA (mostly) and damn the consequences. They always have and they always will. Until we've driven the stake through the heart of the agency. Or until they actually do start WWIII.

Posted by: jfl | Apr 15 2016 1:18 utc | 18

Let us recall that the so-called "Arab Spring" started with oil workers' strikes in Oman and demos in the Sunnistan of Iraq.

Posted by: Mina | Apr 15 2016 1:55 utc | 19

It's been for a long time thanks to Thierry Meyssan and Veterans Today that Obama has been sabotaged by a war supporters in the CIA, Pentagon, his own party and administrations (also full of irremovable Bush/City of London plants like Hitlary Clinton, Icky Nudelman, gen. Allen, and others).

Colonel James Hanke talks about "bifurcation" in the chain of command and absolutely NOBODY on this site is in position to question his assessment.

So stop being useful idiots and playing fools (I am talking to the hasbara/MI6/... trolls) blaming everything on Obama, who has been so far instrumental in taking down the global evil cabal.

This has been the biggest geopolitical task of this century, and as with any real life projects, it's very much delayed and oftentimes derailed.

Instead stupidly calling me again names better compile a list of all Obama's initiatives that have been blocked by the global criminal war trust and attacks on him and his people.

I'm not saying his a person, who claimed to be in 2008, but obviously he's is not that evil emperor some mind controlling propaganda brigades want us to believe.

Posted by: ProPeace | Apr 15 2016 1:58 utc | 20


"...but obviously he's is not that evil emperor..."

And you have some evidence in favor of your belief?

Posted by: Cent huit, Tour Nord | Apr 15 2016 3:45 utc | 21

@ 20: Just a loyal servant of Empire, nothing more, nothing less. Obama has a lot of company in that regard. IMO, he was vetted and hired for that purpose.

Posted by: ben | Apr 15 2016 4:36 utc | 22

@ 20

"So stop being useful idiots and playing fools (I am talking to the hasbara/MI6/... trolls) blaming everything on Obama, who has been so far instrumental in taking down the global evil cabal."

By all measure, you be that one of whom you speak.
If indeed, Obama is as powerless as you suggest; then at best, he is a gutless wonder with much innocent blood in his name.

Posted by: V. Arnold | Apr 15 2016 4:46 utc | 23

I don't understand b why you continue to miss that the goals of the US are to sell military shit at inflated prices and foster instability in any part of the world that wants other than private finance.

The passions of the ME religions are fed killing tools for profit by the MIC who laugh at the twofer they get out of the deal. They make lots of money until all or dead or the nations' money/resources are depleted and there will never be a US of the Arab world to challenge existing private finance plutocrats.

Obama is one of a litany now of war criminal puppets of the US and one wonders how and when this travesty will end.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 15 2016 5:56 utc | 24

'in north Syria in which refugees'

'refugees'?? now who would these be that take refuge with Turkey and not with syria?

Posted by: brian | Apr 15 2016 7:29 utc | 25

The bully pulpit is a podium on tv - all the tv stations - which a President can use to make his case to the citizens.

JFK used the bully pulpit and he was killed for it. One must have big balls (not Correspondence Dinners).

All Candidates for president are "vetted" now so as to be compliant and subservient to the Deep State and its CIA arm.

And they are forbidden from using the bully pulpit.

They can and do however use the bullshit pulpit.

Posted by: fast freddy | Apr 15 2016 11:09 utc | 26

These 100k people had formed the "wave" of refugees after the offensive of SAA against Aleppo last year. They were said to be expelled rebel fighters with their families. Soon they were forced to concentrate in the Azaz/Marea pocket (resulting from YPDs/SDAs push from Afrin against Tal Rifat etc). Turkey at that time shut the border south of Kilis, hereby provoking renewed Western demands of no fly zones and pretense for creating safe zones within Syria for to shelter the internal displaced people. Turkey kept to refuse to let these refugees in, instead built tent settlements and provided humanitarian aid - by doing that, they already had started to occupy the "Azaz pocket", to the effect that they prevented YPD/SDA from taking the pocket (by massive shelling 30km deep into Syrian territory, building walls alongside the border etc, transferring their proxies from Latakia and Idleb to the pocket etc). - Another news:
This taken together with the fact, that the "Turkmen" fighters against IS intentionally withdrew over the Turkish border without having been forced to, might suggest that this advance of IS is a provoked action (again using refugees as a pretext) for the Turkish army to enter Syria and start the invasion that has been planned since so long, but now with the "legitimate" task to roll back IS and end "all that terrible fighting to and fro" that would threaten the refugees. Considering the fact, that IS partly has become a Turkish asset, this might even be a coordinated action of moving the border between IS and Turkey tens of km southwards and thus preventing the SDA/YPD as well as the SAA to cut off the IS supply line to Turkey. Even if this remains an option and is not realized (it actually has that smell of pretext because the Turks wold have to advance and occupy the entire IS area east of the Azaz pocket, which cannot be justified any longer by saving the refugees), it might be just another Turkish "proposal" of possible action seeking consent of the US and NATO allies - it being justified by "cleansing" that area from all fighting militias in order to finally establish that safe zone which would allow Turkey (and the EU) to bring back millions of refugees - be they Syrian or others ("PKK" Kurds from east Turkey?), and force them to settle there - with multiple options to use that huge "refugee crisis" for further incursions and political dodges - maybe in order to create a small Kurdish entity that would help to cut and "balkanize" Syria into weak pseudo-ethnic areas as has been the plan of the Western alliance since 2011.

Posted by: franziska | Apr 15 2016 11:44 utc | 27

@27 franziska

Both of those posts make sense. Turkmen al-CIAduh and Daesh can 'fight' each other back and forth within that borderzone, all the while fleshing out the pretense that Turkey needd to involve itself and the USA - the 'reluctant' NPPL - in the area 'on behalf of the refugees'. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that those 'refugees' are Uighars and Chechens.

Posted by: jfl | Apr 15 2016 12:49 utc | 28

First Turkey-backed operation against IS becomes a fiasco

Having failed to convince the USA for a no-fly zone and in view of the weakness of its proxy, the 'rebels', Turkey has three choices on who be on their borders: ISIS, the YPG or the SAA.
Until now they have favored ISIS but how long would they stand attacks on Turkish villages?
It is clear that the Syrian intelligence are throwing oil on the fire on these borders village by inciting the ISIS that they have infiltrated to increase attacks on Turkish territory.
Growing insecurity on the borders is playing against Erdogan's claims.
Erdogan still does not realize whom he is dealing with. The Syrians and the Russians have outsmarted him in all his attempts to change the situation.
While the Europeans and the USA are forced to play his game, they will take a revenge on him once the war in Syria ends. No wonder threatened Erdogan is rushing for an alliance with Israel and Saudi Arabia, the two USA proteges in the region.

Posted by: virgile | Apr 15 2016 13:21 utc | 29


Worthwhile it is now to read anything that Bill Black or Michael Hudson is saying about the unholy wedlock being propped up by whatever administration we are allowed to put into power - something that has been developing a long time and is connected with offshore tax havens and similar shady dealings that facilitate money laundering. The rot is deep, and I can't say I understand all of it but I get the point that military nastiness has as its raison d'etre not world conquest as one might suppose but it is all done in order to prop up the dollar.

We need to be very clear about this, and clear what the consequences must be if we oppose this obese concentration on military might. All sorts of matters become of primary importance as we say, as we in good conscience must, Not in Our Name!

Posted by: juliania | Apr 15 2016 16:04 utc | 30

Well, whaddyaknow! On 2014, Israel and Saudi Arabia signed a secret memorandum of understanding over military cooperation.

Posted by: Yonatan | Apr 15 2016 16:33 utc | 31

@31 yonatan... 2 religious zealots got together and made a secret pack... who whudda thunk it?

Posted by: james | Apr 15 2016 17:09 utc | 32

If Russia and or Iran let it be known that they will supply Yemen Houthis with effective AA weapons if Saudis continue to give such weapons to Syrian terrorists, the corrupt and cowardly Saudis could well back down.

Posted by: zucco | Apr 15 2016 18:09 utc | 33

@ juliania 30

Private finance does not care so much about the dollar now that the US empire is at the end of its run and has served its needs. Private finance will precipitate the demise of the US dollar when they are ready and have THEIR assets safely invested in property, raw materials, businesses and other currencies to minimize their loss.

Private finance abetted by unfettered inheritance is the power/control foundation of the global plutocratic families that run our world.

Bill Black, Michael Hudson and Yves Smith of Naked Capitalism value their lives too much to call out private finance for the tool that it is too clearly. I am an old man with a TBI that can be made to look "crazy" if I am taken too seriously.....or maybe they will end my life of pain.....grin! Either way its a win for me and I like calling out the core tenets of our sick form of social organization.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 15 2016 20:54 utc | 34

David Cameron, Angela Merkel and Barrack Obama can be best described as fish flopping about in the bottom of the boat. Yet, Vladimir Putin called Barrack Obama a “decent,” “very responsible” man. The only rational explanation is that the military contractors, financiers and oligarchs have usurped the power of the state. The peoples’ representatives no longer serve the public. Rather, mixed with fear and greed, politicians try to satisfy the contrary wishes of the global overlords. As a result, Middle America is burdened with increasing debt and dying younger. The Syrian civil war threatens to escalate even though American and Russian governments have apparently reached an agreement with each other.

Posted by: VietnamVet | Apr 15 2016 21:04 utc | 35

ot since this now looks like an ot thread...

@34 psychohistorian.. you probably missed it......... but i had you and a few others in mind when i shared it on the previous ot thread.. i thought it was right up your alley! - Panama Papers: Soros against the Rothschilds?

Posted by: james | Apr 15 2016 21:13 utc | 36

@james 36

Thanks for the link that confirms my ruminations. Others here should read it as well.

I hope the global plutocrats are wrong about the transition to a multi-polar world being in name only. China is the only country that could change banking to become a public utility but it may be another 10 years before that is on our event horizon, unfortunately.

In the interim, the rich are funding Erdogan's fantasies, more are dying and few are calling for the structural change we need.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 15 2016 21:34 utc | 37

James @ 31

Murderous, racist, theocracies - they make ideal cell mates.

I wonder how far back the collaboration goes? Maybe it puts 9-11 under a new light?

Posted by: Yonatan | Apr 15 2016 22:37 utc | 38

James @36.

So the official story is that Soros made ihis money all on his own? Yeah, right. I had him down as a front for Big Money. Also if he was a real threat to the Rothchilds, I don't think tribal exemptions would protect him. Look at Madoff - thrown under a bus for a much smaller scam involving Jewish victims.

Posted by: Yonatan | Apr 15 2016 22:40 utc | 39

@39 But George may have some dirt on the Rothchilds. That would definitely be popcorn time.

Posted by: dh | Apr 15 2016 23:33 utc | 40

@29 virgile

Here's the link to your article, First Turkey-backed operation against IS becomes a fiasco. I think that Erdogan is so useful to the CIA that he won't be thrown over any time soon ...

International Military Review & Analysis – Studying escalation in Nagorno-Karabakh video
International Military Review & Analysis – Studying escalation in Nagorno-Karabakh

Azeri media are justifying the solution of the conflict by force, almost openly. Such glorification of the escalation points at its initiator.

Kazakhstan’s President, Nursultan Nazarbayev, supported Azerbaijan’s actions strengthening rumors about the personal animosity between him and Serzh Sargsyan. Separately, Kazakhstan vetoed the idea to hold the meeting of the premiers of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) in Yerevan. Turkey’s President also supported the Azeri actions and held a series of meeting with his Azeri and Kazakh counterparts demonstrating the solidarity.

In turn, the US supported Armenia in the recent escalation in order to force a wedge between Armenia and Russia which should be careful to avoid the regional conflict and save the influence in South Caucasus. US-sponsored Armenian media have been fueling anti-Russian speculations.

The recent developments showcase a new attempt to increase the conflict to a regional level by the US which is interested to purge a strategic Russian military base from Armenia. On one hand, the US thrusted Aliyev forward to the conflict through Turkey. On the other hand, US diplomats condemned the escalation and supported the Armenian media campaign. In this situation, Russia is the main player which is interested and makes steps to keep the peace in South Caucasus.

The CIA is trying to split Central Asia and the Caucasus. Their new 'best enemy/friend' in Turkey seems to have inserted himself into the middle of this. No matter what he does in the Levant, if he's 'helping' in Central Asia and the Causasus he'll remain the US'/CIA's best friend. And in fact, just as the US/CIA are two-faced on Armenia/Nagoorno-Karabakh, so too are they two-faced on Turkey's incursions into Syria and his war on the Kurds.

Posted by: jfl | Apr 15 2016 23:35 utc | 41

@31 Yonatan

From your link, Saudi Arabia, Israel Signed MoU on Military Cooperation: Report

Based on the secret documents, the memo concluded to Saudi Arabia and Israeli regime management on Bab el-Mandeb Strait, the Gulf of Aden and the Suez Canal and the Red Sea littoral countries as well, the veteranstoday website reported.

According to revelation, Israeli regime accepted to train Saudi officers at Polonium naval base in northern Israeli port city of Haifa in 2015.

Tel Aviv and Ankara aim to improve regional security and stability and combating terrorist groups in the Red Sea, the website cited Israeli whistleblower as saying.

The Israeli military source also revealed that the formation of a joint operation staff by Israel and Saudi Arabia in Tiran Island was among the secret MoU's provisions.

Tiran and Sanafir Islands

Demonstrators in Egypt denounce transfer of Red Sea islands

Another demonstration of nearly 2,000 protesters gathered outside the Press Syndicate downtown, a few yards from a collection of armored vehicles and hundreds of police in riot gear who sealed off the surrounding streets. The protesters there chanted, “They sold our lands to the Saudis.”

“If we give up the lands now, there will be more future concessions for him to stay in power,” said Alaa Morsi, one of the protesters, echoing a widely held notion that el-Sissi essentially sold Egyptian territory in exchange for much-needed Saudi financial support, to shore up his rule.

What infuriated many protesters was the secretive nature of the deal and particularly its timing. It was announced at the same time the Saudis were pledging billions of dollars of loans and investment, leading some to accuse the president of a desperate and humiliating territorial sell-off.

El-Sissi has defended his decision on the islands and tried to defuse the controversy. “We did not surrender our rights, but we restored the rights of others,” el-Sissi said in a speech on Wednesday.

The government maintains that the islands of Tiran and Sanafir at the mouth of the Gulf of Aqaba belong to Saudi Arabia, which asked Egypt in 1950 to protect them from Israel. Israel captured the islands in the 1967 Middle East war, but handed them back to Egypt under their 1979 peace treaty.

Sisi gave Tiran back to Israel, apparently ... 'restored the rights of others'.

I hope all this fuels the peoples' discontent with both the Sisi and the Saudi regimes. Peoples' uprisings starting in those two traitorus Arab states could spread to the other GCCs and turn the US/EU/NATO bid to 'offhandedly' stir up the Middle East into a real Arab spring.

Posted by: jfl | Apr 15 2016 23:39 utc | 42

Young Iraqis Overwhelmingly Consider U.S. Their Enemy – Poll

“For years, many have argued that Muslims and Arabs, like other humans, don’t appreciate being bombed or occupied,” says Haroon Moghul, a fellow at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding. “Finally, we have a study to confirm this suspicion.”

Haroon Moghul has tongue-in-cheek, but it is the young people all over the world who are finally going to bring about change in the way things are. Even in the US itself the support for Bernie shows it as well. However misguided, in my opinion, it is emblematic of the disgust that young people have for the status quo. The numbers on their rejection of the status quo aren't yet quite 93%, but they're in the 80s.

I wonder what a similar poll would have said about support for Russia? Think it may have increased since last September?

Posted by: jfl | Apr 16 2016 0:00 utc | 43

Erdogan is busy mucking things up in the west as well the east ...

The US Wants To Turn Skopje Into The Balkan Kiev

Joaquin Flores talks to RT International on protests in Macedonia

... clever, isn't he? Always sure to pursue those of his own 'interests' coincident with the US neo-cons'.

Posted by: jfl | Apr 16 2016 6:16 utc | 44

VietNam Vet @ 35, Yes, I agree that the US administration and Russia reached an agreement regarding Syria.
In fact, I thought it was reached during the interminable Iran Nuke negotiations. Obama first removed the
command & control ship for the Patriots, then announced their removal, then 2 other NATO govts announced
the removal of their Patriots, too. These, stationed in Turkey, had made the Syrian North into a no-fly for
the Syrian govt. The Naval News publication announced the absence of a flat-top from the Persian Gulf area
well in advance. Lavrov made fairly clear statements about a Russian-Iranian intention to fight terrorism
in the region. The US pretended not to notice while the Russians moved into Syria, and made not the slightest
attempt to stop them-- except a rhetorical smokescreen. A US General more or less bragged about the Russians
having this secret electronic weapon-- which I thought an unusually forthcoming attitude.

Obama was then steadfast at refusing a no-fly. When Gen. Allen "misunderstood" and began to create one w Erdogan
he was at last canned. Ash Carter as Secy Defense Huffed & puffed, was outspoken before Congress in his desire
to escalate, then walked away satisfied with permission to put 50 "advisors" into Syria-- and apparently delayed
even in doing that. Were it not for the horrid rhetoric from the administration the agreement would've been obvious.

However the situation may well have changed since. It's plain that there are at least two factions and that they are
fighting it out on other issues as well.

" the military contractors, financiers and oligarchs have usurped the power of the state." Yes, VietNam Vet, you're
right about that too. Unfortunately educated people who should know better continue to be neutralized by
the propaganda machine thru the corporate media and other avenues. It's been my experience for years that
"blue collar" has a better understanding of his true position, while "smarter" people -- thru their reading
I guess, are deeply compromised by the propaganda and the fear of being called a conspiracy theorist.

I don't know where we go from here. Any ideas?

Posted by: Penelope | Apr 16 2016 6:36 utc | 45

Well, last I heard, insane empires degenerate into nasty little kingdoms.

Posted by: blues | Apr 16 2016 11:04 utc | 46

usa Backed ISIS Takeover and Destruction of Palmyra

usa weapons with isreali ammunition used by Islamic State group when taking over Palmyra. The extremists also had usa military rations

usa support for groups forming an "Islamic State" was not an afterthought. It was they key idea from the beginning.

In August 2012, before ISIS came across to Syria from Iraq, usa intelligence (DIA) reported that "The Salafist, the Muslim Brotherhood and AQI [al-Qaida in Iraq, later ISI and then ISIS] are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria … there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality (an "Islamic State") in eastern Syria … and this is exactly what the supporting powers (the usa, other western countries, the Gulf monarchies and Turkey) to the (Syrian) opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime."

Whatever else people may or may not understand about the Syrian conflict, they should be clear that the usa "war on terrorism" in Syria and Iraq is a fraud. Directly or indirectly, Washington remains the key supporter of ISIS, Nusra Front and the rest.

Posted by: Tim Anderson | Apr 16 2016 15:18 utc | 47

Psychological Warfare and Self-Parody at the New York Times

Most people interested in getting a true and fair view of foreign affairs realize they stand little chance of finding it in the New York Times

This latest article in the New York Times is another ineffectual hatchet job reflecting the historic fear on the part of US and allied elites of a Central American canal not controlled by the United States.

For anyone aware of the facts, Susan Daley's reporting in the New York Times on Nicaragua's canal is about as convincing as Paul Krugman's recent argument in an article attacking Bernie Sanders in the New York Times saying that US banks were not at the center of the 2008 financial crisis.

No one looking for a true and fair account of international affairs, in Latin America and the Caribbean or anywhere else, will find it in the generally fact free screeds cooked up in the New York Times editorial kitchen.

Increasingly, the same is true of the New York Times' domestic coverage too.

Posted by: Tortilla con Sal | Apr 16 2016 15:51 utc | 48

David Cameron, Angela Merkel and Barrack Obama can be best described as fish flopping about in the bottom of the boat. Yet, Vladimir Putin called Barrack Obama a “decent,” “very responsible” man. The only rational explanation is ...
Posted by: VietnamVet | Apr 15, 2016 5:04:17 PM | 35

There's a much simpler explanation for Putin's apparent weakness/respect.
Its origins are most commonly found in Sales & Marketing and the underlying principle behind acknowledging a competitor as, say, "Good" and "Mainstream" is that EVERYONE and EVERY THING can be better than something which is no good at all, or worse; whereas being better than something which is OK sets a much higher benchmark for one's own offerings (which is never a bad thing).

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 16 2016 17:07 utc | 49

@36 james, #39 yonatan, @40 dh

There are the first couple of a projected series of articles on George Soros' activities by Phil Butler at NEO Soros’ Open Society: New World Lebensraum Idealism Underway, and Soros & the NGOs: Tearing Real Georgian Freedom Asunder.

Don't know that there's anything new there for you all, but I found them interesting. Some incendiary statements unsupported.

There are no non-criminal multi-billionaires, are there?

Posted by: jfl | Apr 17 2016 9:43 utc | 50

@36 james, @39 yonatan, @40 dh

With regard to Latvia, Michael Hudson has quite a stock of articles as well: Stockholm Syndrome in the Baltics.

I suppose Soros might venture to Turkey, but Syria is certainly premature. The CIA probably has a stockade built around Turkey about now.

Posted by: jfl | Apr 17 2016 9:54 utc | 51

@Tim Anderson
Yes,I have the document from The DIA stating your exact words.Everyone knew for a long time about this con game the US is playing in Syria

Your post is spot on.The "blue collars" having the common sense lack the knowledge and skills to fully understand and get out of the situation while the "Smarter people" having the skills to fully understand and grasp out the all situation back off from it for fear of nonconformism.Indeed this fear created on false ground by political correctness is the best tool our tyrannical financial and industrial system came up with, right beside the manipulation of history and mass media,to control "the smart people". We could probably add to that and not only for the smart people but the people at large, the dilemma and distress coming with facing reality and its myths and certainly our busy daily life to make end meet and we will have about everything preventing real changes.

@Secret Agent
Obama is obviously a willing tool of the oligarchy.Nevertheless,there is different factions within the latter which disagree on the strategy to maintain US hegemony.Obama is just part of one of them. Anyway, should Obama decide to stop The CIA he would not succeed only to lose his life,just like Kennedy before him.He is not a fool.He might try to control the CIA but not to dismantle it.The people supporting and using the CIA in the oligarchy are way too powerful for Obama to try doing such a silly thing without serious leverage and back up.Clearly through some hidden influence and revolving door the CIA is part or a direct tool of the us oligarchy.The president has no say on the matter.

Posted by: lebretteurfredonnant | Apr 17 2016 13:24 utc | 52

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