Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 23, 2016

NYT Again Misreports On Iran - Claims Conflict With Russia Without Any Source

This NYT piece on Russia and Iran lacks any source for the main claim made in its headline and repeated in its first paragraph:

Iran Revokes Russia’s Use of Air Base, Saying Moscow ‘Betrayed Trust’

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Iran on Monday annulled permission for Russian planes to fly bombing runs into Syria from an Iranian base, only a week after having granted such extraordinary access, saying that the Kremlin had been unacceptably public and arrogant about the privilege.
Iran’s minister of defense, Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehghan, accused Russia of having publicized the deal excessively, calling the Kremlin’s behavior a “betrayal of trust” and “ungentlemanly.” Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Bahram Ghasemi, told reporters in Tehran that the permission had been temporary and “it is finished, for now.”

There is no source quoted in the piece that claims Iran "revoked" or "annulled permission". That is not too astonishing as no such claims were ever made in Iran. But how can the NYT claim that?

What really happened:

Russia has been using the Iranian Hamedan airbase on-and-off since at least last November. It is a way station and refueling point on flights from Russia to Syria and it was used to repair Russian airplanes that had this or that troubles:

A Russian Su-34 bomber landed at Hamadan Air Base on November 23rd, 2015. Most likely the Su-34 plane was en route to Syria and had a technical issue, preferring to land safely at Hamadan. There it was met by a technical team which arrived on November 24th, 2015, aboard an IL-76 cargo plane, and made repairs. Both planes left the Hamadan airbase.

Earlier this month Russia sent heavy long range bomber to Hamedan. There they refueled and were armed with large bomb loads. They flew the short trip to Syria to destroyed al-Qaeda positions in Idlib province. Russia, as well as Iran, knew that "western" governments would notice the stationing of the bombers. The planes are big and easily visible on satellite pictures. To preempt western propaganda over the issue they publicly announced the arrival.

Iran is traditionally very opposed to any foreign troops on its ground. Some 20 conservative opposition politicians in the Iranian parliament used the announcement to question the "moderate" Rohani government. Yesterday the Iranian defense minister lamented that the Russian announcement of the airbase use, made with Iranian knowledge, was too loud and too public. He now had to answer questions from parliament and no minister anywhere likes to do that. At no point did he claim that anything was "revoked". Meanwhile, and unrelated to the issue, the Russian's bombers were on their way home from their first round of sorties flown out of Hamedan.

This was a purely internal Iranian tussle and the Rouhani government only wanted to quiet the opposition on the issue. The remark by the defense minister was about style, not substance. How the NYT got from there to reporting that Iran "revoked" something is inexplicable.

Russian jets and bombers will soon be back in Hamedan, though now probably without big press announcements. Here is the confirmation from one of the highest ranking politicians in Iran:

Speaker of the Iranian Parliament has emphasized that flights of Russian fighter aircraft are still being performed from Nojeh airbase in Hamedan.

Ali Larijani made the remarks during the Parliament open session on Tuesday morning, when answering the comments of MP Mahmoud Sadeghi.
In response to the MP’s comments, Ali Larijani underlined that Russian jets are still carrying out military missions from the Iranian airbase; “Iran holds cooperation with Russia in the fight against terrorism and the alliance between the two countries would benefit Muslims in the region.”

Like with many of its other reports on Syria and Iran this NYT piece was again nearer to fiction than fact.

For the reality of the ongoing war, on the ground reported pieces based on local and historic knowledge are much more valuable than anything "western" mainstream media provide. To really understand the ongoing conflicts and alliances, non-mainstream pieces like this one - Washington’s Sunni Myth and the Middle East Undone - are invaluable and highly recommended. misreports

Posted by b on August 23, 2016 at 18:49 UTC | Permalink


Maybe the article was written by Russian hackers?

Posted by: Perimeter | Aug 23 2016 18:58 utc | 1

Not only that, this is the new russia-bashing for this week: Russia hack western media, jesus fcking christ!

Western media, politics is such absurdities with their propaganda.

Posted by: Repbel | Aug 23 2016 19:19 utc | 3

Perimeter @1

No, that would be the imbedded ISIS cell within the NY Times.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 23 2016 19:29 utc | 4

thanks b, in particular for your last link...

the con game from the western msm - nyt in particular - continues unabated...what else is new? i guess one could read the wapo, or wsj if they wanted an alternative distraction from reality.. it must be only wonks and fools that read these outlets..

the problem with the usa's uni-polar exceptionalist reality at present is that if you try to play everyone for a fool, or treat them as a bully would when things don't go the way you want them to go - folks collectively turn on you! how are those new subscriptions to the nyt doing anyway? lol..

Posted by: james | Aug 23 2016 19:40 utc | 5

Russian Giant Aircraft Carrier Deployed to Syria's Waters

Russians are tightening the noose - Turkey, Iran, Yemen, Egypt, soon Iraq?

I think they are sending the Kuznetzov to assist in the final push in the battle of Aleppo and prevent any last ditch efforts of NATO/GCC/Israel, especially any rescue and extraction missions for the large number of the imperial military advisers in the besieged Aleppo district.

This time a huge embarrassment for the West is being prepared by the allies.

Posted by: ProPeace | Aug 23 2016 19:59 utc | 6

I expect a colossal military move by the Russians b4 the Sep elections.

Posted by: ProPeace | Aug 23 2016 20:00 utc | 7

Maybe there is some truth to this...

Posted by: KilgoreTrout | Aug 23 2016 20:07 utc | 8

Anti Russia Hawks and the few doves agree on one thing -- US could easily defeat Rhssia in a conventional war. Accordingly, they feel Russia will be the first to blink in any confrontation.

This could be a colossal error. Russian bloggers the Saker and Dimitri Orlov argue that Russia would likely be the winner of any confrontation near its borders.

Posted by: Andoheb | Aug 23 2016 20:16 utc | 9

The Iranians seem to have had some internal disagreements with the use of this facility. It will not be good if things are not resolved quickly, and that the Russian planes are back in Iran soon. It does not look good, and can only be exploited by the usual suspects. Describing the entire experience, Dehqan said “naturally, the Russians want to demonstrate that they are a superpower and an influential country.”
This sudden pause and somewhat public rebuke of what until recently appeared to be rapidly warming ties between Tehran and Moscow is surprising.

Posted by: harrylaw | Aug 23 2016 20:16 utc | 10

Russia used Iranian airfield for Syrian operation at Tehran’s invitation – official

Posted by: Repbel | Aug 23 2016 20:34 utc | 11

This is all MSM spin for what is looking more and more like a gigantic land-theft operation. The PYD is the Kurdish version of the Likud Party.

A little-reported fact from the 'liberation' of Manbij was that the PYD (via the U.S.-backed SDF) attempted to burn down the Syrian Land Registry Office in Manbij as soon as they took over the city. This was an attempt to destroy records of Arab (or any other non-Kurd) land ownership in the Manbij region of Aleppo Province. Burn the Syrian records, and now the PYD owns everything for their own sale or use. The PYD denied this and initially attempted to blame it on ISIS, but that was proven to be a pathetic PYD lie. Much to the PYD's dismay, the Syrian government workers moved the records to a safe location when ISIS showed up, so the records were not even IN the land registry office.

Now we have Hasakah where the Syrian government was able to hold on to a few buildings in the center of the city. One of those buildings is the Syrian Land Registry Office for the Hasakah region, no doubt the potential target of a PYD/SDF 'mystery' arson. An arson which would be followed by the PYD (via their self-declared nation) claiming most of the land for itself. Once again, to be bargained away or sold, or perhaps used for ethnic/political cleansing of any opponents to the PYD government.

Qimishli? I'll bet there's a Syrian Land Records office that the SDF figures needs burning down somewhere in that city, too. This is common thievery and will forever taint the Kurdish cause in the eyes of the world.

Are U.S. SF forces being used to encourage the SDF to destroy Syrian property records to facilitate theft of this land from the Syrian people? Are they advising the PYD to destroy Syrian property records? The SF's reputation suffered greatly during Viet Nam when they were widely used as a thug army and assassins for the CIA. If 'U.S. troops in Syria' really means U.S. SF advisers acting once again as a CIA thug army to facilitate land theft for the PYD, then it is a sad day indeed.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Aug 23 2016 21:20 utc | 12

b There was an extensive commentary in the last post on this topic. It was pretty clear that there was no "revokes" or "annuls". That was clear from the NYT article if you ignore the headline and first sentence of the article. One has to learn how to read those NYT articles -- they still have some good reporters even if they do not control the headlines or "minor" editing trying to spin the information.

Posted by: ToivoS | Aug 23 2016 21:44 utc | 13

James @ 5: James, I'm 76 years old and have been reading newspapers since I was six. Nothing's changed. The lies are the lies and the chumps keep believing them. "The New York Times wouldn't lie, would it?" It is our own personal mythology that newspapers have changed: they haven't. All that's changed is our perceptions of reality. We used to believe the papers because they conformed to our own prejudices. Now they conform to someone else's.

Newspapers didn't start out as Cicero's Oration against Cataline but rather as political screeds telling lies (and sometimes truths) against political enemies. "Freedom" of the press enshrined in the US Constitution is the freedom to lie, slander and calumnate within certain proscribed environments.

Truth is not to be found in glib scribbling dashed off to meet a deadline. Rather, it is more to be found in the exhausting, sustained efforts of Edmund Burke against Warren Hastings or of George Galloway against Tony Blair. (I wish I could have thought of an American analog to Burke and Galloway, but none come to mind.)

Posted by: Macon Richardson | Aug 23 2016 21:52 utc | 14

China Increases Its Involvement in the Syrian War (video)

An interesting fact is that some Chinese state-linked media and experts, which closely follow the Russian operations in Syria, describe Moscow’s strategy towards the Syrian conflict as too moderate. According to them, the partial withdrawn of the air grouping, various humanitarian ceasefire agreements across the country and attempts to solve the conflict through a political dialogue before the full military defeat of the militant factions that operate in the country were premature. In this case, Beijing may contribute to strengthening of further military efforts aimed to solve the terrorism problem in Syria.

Easy for China to say. See what they do ... wonder what might have moved them to actually involve themselves in Syria? ...

Russia & China to Hold Drills in South China Sea in September

Russia and China have agreed to hold joint drills in the South China on September 12-19, TASS reported on August 22, citing Vladimir Matveyev, a spokesman for the Russian Pacific Fleet.

According to Matveyev, organized efforts to protect merchant ships in the reion will be the main focus of the exercises. The sides will also practice in landing on islands.

Some Chinese state-linked analysts and media outlets depict the Russian involvement in the exercises as an endorsement of Chinese territorial claims in the South China Sea. However, according to Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun, the drills are “not directed against third countries.”

Meanwhile, in Yemen ...

Saudi Army in serious trouble after Houthi forces advance to Najran Dam

With the Houthi forces on the brink of seizing the Najran Dam, the Saudi Army finds itself in serious trouble inside their own country, as the anti-government units continue the onslaught that allowed them to seize much of the Saudi-Yemeni border.

Yemen’s ex-president Saleh offers ‘all Yemen’s facilities’ to Russia

In a TV interview today, Yemen’s ex-president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, appeared to invite Russian military intervention in the country’s conflict. He talked of reactivating old Yemeni agreements with the Soviet Union and offfered “all the facilities” of Yemen’s bases, ports and airports to Russia.

Saleh seemed to be advocating something similar to what happened in Syria, where Russia joined the conflict on the Syrian government side to fight terrorism.

Wonder if the Russians will use their new-old airbase in Yemen in support of Yemen's efforts in Saudi Arabia?

I guess that might have been a consideration during the talks between the Russian FM and the Saudis enfant terrible ... if the Russians can help the Saudis realize that it is not in Saudi interests to continue to pursue death, devastation, destruction, and deceit in Syria and Yemen ... well then, those armchair warriors in China will have learned something from the Russians, too, won't they?

Posted by: jfl | Aug 23 2016 22:01 utc | 15

Washington’s Sunni Myth and the Middle East Undone. An excellent article.

One of the conclusion of the article is that the Sunnis have been humiliated by the organized and steady growth of the Shia power in the region while they have only ISIS, Saudi Arabia and the USA to turn to for leadership and protection.
What the author ignores is that the USA has been intentionaly setting several traps to weaken Saudi Arabia, hoping for its collapse. Yemen and Syria's quagmire have been successful in eroding Saudi Arabia's image in the region.
Sunnis are now erring desperately looking for a leadership in the region that would restore their dignity and take revenge on the Shias.
They may have to wait very very long...

Posted by: virgile | Aug 23 2016 22:25 utc | 16

Macon Richardson | Aug 23, 2016 5:52:25 PM | 14

Good points. The NYT have been doing this for the last 70 years. A few stories come to mind.

In late 1944 Wilfred Burchette wrote a story that was one of the biggest single reporter scoops of the century. He was in Hiroshima after the US released the first atomic bomb. He accurately reported on radiation sickness and symptoms and deaths of many of the initial survivors that occurred. This story was reported in a number of newspapers outside of the US. The NYT, citing US military sources, said that Burchette's story was false and that furthermore he was a communist propagandist. Even though at that time US scientists working for the military were fully aware that high level gamma radiation did in fact cause those symptoms (that was then classified information in the US).

Then a few years later they published an obituary of Albert Einstein praising him as an ardent Zionist while completely ignoring his very public opposition to the expulsion of the Palestinian people and militarization of the Israeli state.

Then more recently they attacked Gary Webb for his stories in San Jose Mercury News that documented how the CIA helped the Nicarauguan Contras smuggle cocaine into the US. Webb lost his job and committed suicide. (though today it is generally accepted that the contras were in fact engaged in cocaine smuggling and supported by the CIA).

The NYT have long been publishing all the "news fit to print" as long as it supports higher power centers.

Posted by: ToivoS | Aug 23 2016 22:29 utc | 17

Commited 'suicide'

Posted by: paul | Aug 23 2016 22:37 utc | 18

All this started out as a pipe line war,Qatar shares with Iran the South Pars/North Dome gas field the worlds richest natural gas repository. Qatar wanted to build the Qatar pipe line [10 billion dollars] through Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and Turkey. Assad said no. Whereas the Islamic pipe line from the Iranian part of the field was to be routed through Iraq,and Syria to the Mediterranean.What would be the point of partitioning Syria with a defacto Kurdish entity when the proposed Qatar pipe line route going through the Kurdish enclave would fall far short of the sea by many miles. The Kurd's will need to think long and hard on this association with the US. They are being used.

Posted by: harrylaw | Aug 23 2016 22:42 utc | 19

Iran is militantly Islamic, and Russia must be an infidel country for them. Almost any publicity is too much for the Iranians.

Also, according to Bhadrakumar, Moscow keeps talking to the Saudis. That's not too helpful, either, as far as Tehran is concerned.

Posted by: telescope | Aug 23 2016 22:43 utc | 20

Andoheb @ 9
Most of Russia's borders are with non-NATO. In the north Finland is still neutral and likely to remain so, and the border with Norway is so remote as to be meaningless and with only a single road for access on the Norwegian side, easily defended. In eastern Europe, except for Kaliningrad, Russia's only NATO borders are with Latvia and Estonia and they probably know that the first cities to be incinerated will be Riga and Tallinn, so I doubt they're that keen on war with Russia. The rest of the border is taken up with Belarus and Ukraine, and NATO entering either country in force would not go unpunished. For the rest of Russia's borders, they might nt be keen on Russia but they know enough not to poke the bear. As for American dreams of force projection with their carrier battle groups against Russia, there is one question. Where?

Posted by: blowback | Aug 23 2016 22:53 utc | 21

blowback@21 "As for American dreams of force projection with their carrier battle groups against Russia, there is one question. Where"? I have another question how? The War Nerd answers this rather well here..

Posted by: harrylaw | Aug 23 2016 23:03 utc | 22

@14 macon... thanks. that's true enough.. nothing much has changed in any of it.

@ paveway... thanks.. that's further proof of what is taking place, not that we will be reading about it in the nyt anytime soon, or ever...

@9 anodoheb.. i remember your posts when the ukee nazis were burning folks alive in the building in odessa.. at least you are consistent! how is it going with your home country nightmare thanks the same western powers you had so much faith in previously?

Posted by: james | Aug 23 2016 23:10 utc | 23

I take from B's post that the conservative mullahs in the Iranian parliament had their noses put out of joint some time ago over other internal Iranian issues and just wanted to put President Rouhani in his place.

The real issue is why The New York Times picked up this dispute between Rouhani's government and his political opposition, when it had its choice of other disputes within Iranian politics, or Syrian politics over Russian co-operation for that matter, and turned this particular molehill into a fantasy mountain range. Obviously the NYT is trying to portray Russia and its allies as less united and focused than they are but for what purpose and for which audiences?

Posted by: Jen | Aug 23 2016 23:10 utc | 24

jfl @ 15
Almasdar News is occasionally prone to hyperbole. The Najran Dam is all of 700 metres from the Yemen border, it rarely holds any water and is apparently a popular picnic site for Najranians who drive out to the dam to take in the views of exotic Yemen.

Posted by: blowback | Aug 23 2016 23:10 utc | 25

b: "This was a purely internal Iranian tussle and the Rouhani government only wanted to quiet the opposition on the issue."

Yeah, I don't think it was as "internal" as it appears.

A week before Ru packed up an fluffed off, the US State Dept implicitly threatened IRI when Mark Toner told a news conference that the Ru use of the IRI airbase is a possible violation of JCPOA -- namely, UNSC resolution 2231 prohibits "supply, sale and transfer of combat aircraft" to IRI. He was probably referring to Annex B, para 5.

The Iranians probably sheet their britches at the thought of US/UN re-imposing sanctions and told Putin to get his aircraft out of IRI.

Posted by: Denis | Aug 23 2016 23:48 utc | 26

harrylaw@19 - "...What would be the point of partitioning Syria with a defacto Kurdish entity when the proposed Qatar pipe line route going through the Kurdish enclave would fall far short of the sea by many miles..."

A Qatari gas pipeline does not need to reach the sea. It needs a south-to-north transit across Syria to Turkey. From Turkey, the gas pipeline would go to Europe. This is not simply a Qatari interest. NATO will support any project that hurts Russia economically. If Qatari gas reduces Russia's European market, then NATO is all for it. A Qatari-financed pipeline through Syria means Iraq can be cut out of any connecting pipeline. NATO will also support any project that hurts Iran economically, so the Qatari pipeline 'solves' many of NATO's problems at once.

Oil pipelines need to go north-to-south from Kurdish Iraq (roughly, Mosul) to Jordan and then to Israel. Israel always had plans of reopening the Kirkuk-to-Haifa pipeline, but it would never stay open running across the Sunni areas in western Iraq.

The current scheme seems to be to send the Iraqi Kurdish oil through pipelines from Mosul across the border into Kurdish Syria, and then down a slice of eastern Syria claimed by some revived version of the FSA. That slice extends all the way down the Syrain-Iraqi border through Al Qaim/Al Bukaman to al Tanf. At al Tanf, it can cross into Jordan without touching Iraqi territory. The rest of the route to Haifa follows the old Kirkuk-to-Haifa route through Jordan.

Israel has ensured friendly relations with Iraqi Kurds and will have a reliable supply of oil from them. Arab countries are less than reliable because they tend to not want to sell Israel anything after Israel 'defensively' burns Palestinian kids to death.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Aug 23 2016 23:51 utc | 27

@27 I'm not sure Jordanian compliance in a pipeline from Kirkuk is guaranteed. For the Qataris it would make more sense to repair the TAP (Trans Arabian Pipeline). It was originally designed to terminate at Haifa.

Posted by: dh | Aug 24 2016 0:06 utc | 28

harrylaw @ 22: Thanks for the "nerd" link, good read, and true. The operative sentence....
" They could give a damn what happens to the rest of us."

Posted by: ben | Aug 24 2016 0:37 utc | 29

P.S.---Naval battle groups are great for intimidating peons that can't fight back. Something the U$A excells at.

Posted by: ben | Aug 24 2016 0:40 utc | 30

@ dh | Aug 23, 2016 8:06:21 PM | 28 & PavewayIV | Aug 23, 2016 7:51:42 PM | 27

Haifa? Really? The Yisraelis have been the biggest problem with many of these Arabian pipelines, and now with their own NG production I doubt if they’d be very cooperative in transmitting the competition’s product.

Back in 1987 there was the Becthel Aqba pipeline project, which was supposed to carry oil east from S. Iraq through Jordan to the Aqaba Gulf at the head of the Red Sea, thereby by-passing any Iranian-imposed bottle-necks in the Arabian Gulf. Reagan sent Rumsfeld to kiss up to Saddam, and they supplied him with CWs to beat up on the Kurds with.

But late in the game Saddam backed out of the project, killing it. His problem was that the pipeline ran right up against the Yisraeli border and was too vulnerable to Yisraeli sabotage. Killing that Becthel project was the beginning of the end of Saddam. I mean, that was the precise point that his downfall – and the downfall of his country -- began.

Funny how history tries to repeat itself.

Posted by: Denis | Aug 24 2016 0:47 utc | 31

The pipeline is why the US wanted to replace Mubarak and Assad with the Muslim Brotherhood.

Posted by: Les | Aug 24 2016 1:07 utc | 32

Maybe nothing concerning the war of the US against Russia is off-topic, and Dmitri Orlov has written one of his best pieces ever, in which he actually contemplates the ways in which Russia would fight the US, if that push came to that shove, finally.

He says that Russia, since its cataclysmic civilian losses in the Great Patriotic War, will not fight another war on its own land. The fight will occur on the enemy's territory. This means Russia responding to an intolerable escalation of violence against itself by the US with a direct attack on the United States.

How would this be done? Orlov counts the ways, and they constitute a formidable analysis of how easily you could bring down the US homeland with almost no loss of US life - but with enormous and attention-getting discomfort to the population. He speaks of pinpoint infrastructure destruction, while remaining invulnerable to US attack. He includes tactics such as informing the US population of the truth of matters, and supporting and arming domestic insurrections - of which many could easily be brought to the boil, I would think. And then waiting for what was left of the deep state to come crawling to sue for peace.

The old scenario of global devastation might never occur. In fact, Orlov isn't particularly discussing nuclear weapons. Many ways to skin the US cat, it turns out. The US is incredibly vulnerable to attack, and Orlov makes a lot of sense regarding the ease of destruction. It's one of the most radical and thought-provoking essays I've encountered in some time. Worth a read:
A Thousand Balls of Flame

Posted by: Grieved | Aug 24 2016 1:20 utc | 33

@31 Good point. Israel probably doesn't need the pipeline anymore. Apparently they have massive offshore gas deposits....even some in the Golan.

But there was a time when Haifa was seen as a major oil port. The Kirkuk/Haifa pipeline actually exists albeit in bad condition.

Posted by: dh | Aug 24 2016 2:14 utc | 34

I was surprised by a comment above that describes the Saker as Russian, which is NOT true. He never was a Russian citizen, and he came to USA from Switzerland in 2002. Read his blog for yourself, he says:

I was born in Zurich, Switzerland, from a Dutch father and Russian mother. My father left us when I was 5, so my mother and my Russian family raised me and this is why I took my mother’s last name. I lived most of my life in Geneva, Switzerland. In 1984 I did my military service in electronic warfare and I was later transferred to the military intelligence service (UNA) as a language specialist where did some work with the Swiss Air Force. I then traveled to the USA where I got a BA in International Relations from the School of International Service (SIS) at the American University and a MA in Strategic Studies from the Paul H. Nitze School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at the Johns Hopkins University. Upon my return to Switzerland, I worked as a civilian consultant for the Swiss Strategic Intelligence Service (SND) writing strategic analyses, primarily about the Soviet/Russian military. In the military, I was given the Major-equivalent rank of “Technical Officer”, which is a fancy way of saying that I was an analyst. I also worked as an “enemy operations” (“Red Team” in US parlance) specialist for the operational-level training of the General Staff of Swiss armed forces. I then accepted a position for the UN Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) where I specialized in peacekeeping tactics and operations. This gave me the opportunity to co-author a book on Russian peacekeeping operations with the Major-General I. N. Vorob’ev, of the Russian General Staff Academy. My last work at UNIDIR was about psychological operations and intelligence in peacekeeping which can be downloaded here. At the same time, I also wrote an evaluation of the performance of the Russian military during the first Chechen war for the Journal of Slavic Military Studies which somebody has since uploaded here. The wars in Bosnia and Chechnia really opened my eyes to the real nature of the Empire. Since I thought that I was living in a democracy, I did voice my opinion on these topics and I soon ended up being viewed with suspicion by my former bosses. I quit the UN and took up a position at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) which was probably the worst mistake of my life and which I shall never discuss publicly. By the time I got out of that job, I was basically blacklisted as a “dangerous element” (meaning “disloyal”) by my former bosses (my regular contacts with Russian diplomats and my efforts at providing aid to the Bosnian Serbs probably did not help). In total disgust, I abandoned my career as a military specialist and re-trained as a software engineer. When 9/11 crashed the IT sector I was unemployed again and I left Switzerland for the USA where I homeschooled our 3 children while doing odd jobs, mostly as a translator (I am fluent in Russian, French, English, Spanish and German) while my wife worked as a veterinarian (now, that our kids have grown up, my wife and I work together). In 2007 I decided to start an anonymous blog, mainly as a psychotherapy for myself, and I called it “Vineyard Saker” – a simple machine-generated anagram of my full name :-)

Finally, and just for the record, a few points: I never did any intelligence gathering for anybody, though I was approached by the Americans, the Russians and the Swiss do to exactly that, but I turned them all down (just not my cup of tea at all). While my maternal family are all from the Russian nobility, my Dutch DNA is 100% proletarian, and I am quite happy with that mix. To my great regret, I get no help from Russia at all – not money, not information (I would *love* to be a paid “Putin agent” but VVP has not made any offers yet). All my info is 100% “open source”. My past experience with classified data tells me that it is either highly technical or time-critical but not otherwise better than open source information: 80% of all the good info is out there, in the open, it is just a matter of putting it together correctly. I get a regular trickle of donations from the blog, but nothing major, and only 2 private donors (thanks guys!!) provide most of it anyway. If making money was my big goal, then I assure you that I had plenty of much better opportunities. My main objective in the immediate future is to (finally) write my thesis for the graduate degree in patristic theology I am working on now, and to set some money aside to visit Russia again (which I have not done since 1996!). Oh, and if you still wonder, no, I am not a Muslim nor am I on any Muslim (or other) payroll.

Posted by: mauisurfer | Aug 24 2016 2:14 utc | 35

@33 g

I haven't go too far yet, but this is priceless

And so, most of the recent American warmongering toward Russia can be explained by the desire to find anyone but oneself to blame for one’s unfolding demise. This is a well-understood psychological move—projecting the shadow—where one takes everything one hates but can’t admit to about oneself and projects it onto another.

On a subconscious level (and, in the case of some very stupid people, even a conscious one) the Americans would like to nuke Russia until it glows, but can’t do so because Russia would nuke them right back.

But the Americans can project that same desire onto Russia, and since they have to believe that they are good while Russia is evil, this makes the Armageddon scenario appear much more likely.

Posted by: jfl | Aug 24 2016 2:31 utc | 36

@33 grieved.. it's a very good article and overview. thanks..

Posted by: james | Aug 24 2016 2:36 utc | 37

Egad folks. Please do not consider Orlov any kind of credible source. As far as I can tell he is a total nut.

Posted by: ToivoS | Aug 24 2016 3:50 utc | 38

@33 g

The good news ...

Russia will not resort to military measures against the US unless sorely provoked.

Time and patience are on Russia’s side. With each passing year, the US grows weaker and loses friends and allies, while Russia grows stronger and gains friends and allies. The US, with its political dysfunction, runaway debt, decaying infrastructure and spreading civil unrest, is a dead nation walking.

It will take time for each of the United States to neatly demolish themselves into their own footprints, like those three New York skyscrapers did on 9/11 (WTC #1, #2 and #7) but Russia is very patient.

Russia is ready to respond to any provocation, but the last thing the Russians want is another war. And that, if you like good news, is the best news you are going to hear.

... if all of us around the world just last through this American degeneration into death, devastation, destruction, and deceit ... it will finally take its toll on us Americans ourselves. And when we collapse into our own footprints, the rest of the world's inhabitants can cautiously crawl out from their hiding places, and life can begin anew.

And out of the devastation of the USA we'll have THE world class negative example - our most recent incarnation - burned into our collective unconscious to guide us, we'll know exactly what to avoid during our own reconstruction.

@38 TS

Well, there's truth and then there's truth. Upholders at each end regard those at the other as nuts. And that's just dichotomous truth.

Posted by: jfl | Aug 24 2016 4:05 utc | 39

#38 I guess I am not sure sure what end I occupy but Orlov certainly comes up with some strange shit.

Posted by: ToivoS | Aug 24 2016 4:09 utc | 40

What is happening in Merkelstan (Germany)? Food rationing?

Posted by: Nick | Aug 24 2016 4:59 utc | 41

#9 I believe most military US analysts know that any attack on Russia's borders would result in defeat. There is not simply enough troops to do so. Also if the US navy tried to attack Russia either from the Black Sea or the Baltic Sea they would be quickly sunk. I hope the US Navy and Army agrees with that assessment otherwise there could be some serious losses. Those serious losses could result in a hysterical response inside the US demanding escalation. Now that would be really serious.

Posted by: ToivoS | Aug 24 2016 5:00 utc | 42

NYT editors draw their inspiration from Edgar Rice Burroughs. American leadership is Tarzan of the apes,cannon fodder are apes and those who support them are the Waziri tribe. The rest are all villians. Aren't NYT/WaPo and Goldkey comics very similar since they disinform ?

Posted by: Shivkumar | Aug 24 2016 5:06 utc | 43

Link: Turkish military launches operation to Jarablus

The Turkish military and the U.S.-led coalition forces launched an operation in the Jarablus region of Syria to clear its borders from the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group early on Wednesday.

Posted by: Spudskie | Aug 24 2016 5:53 utc | 44

"Russia is ready to respond to any provocation, but the last thing the Russians want is another war."

What a naivist. Russia has no control over this. Do you remember Saddam Hussein's "weapons of mass destruction"? It is obvious that war never breaks out accidentally. It is always planned and always the attacker is stronger. A false pretext for war can be easily created. These are illusions that Russia has any control over this...

Posted by: naivist44 | Aug 24 2016 6:04 utc | 45

Denis@31 - "...Haifa? Really? The Yisraelis have been the biggest problem with many of these Arabian pipelines, and now with their own NG production I doubt if they’d be very cooperative in transmitting the competition’s product...

Denis - This is the second time you've restated quite the opposite of what I wrote. I'm not an educated person nor am I a professional writer or analyst, so you get another courtesy pass. The third time, I will have to believe it is intentional. That's not suppose to be some kind of veiled threat, but I will no waste all the other MoA reader's time restating what I had (at least attempted) to state rather emphatically in my original post. If you have some critique of my writing style (something that seems to confuse you and nobody else) then let me know. I'm perfectly willing to change for the purpose of clarity, even if it's just for you.

Back to the matter at hand, there are two distinct pipelines under discussion: 1) an oil pipeline from Mosul to Haifa, and 2) a gas pipeline from Qatari's Super Giant North Field to Europe. This is the same Super Giant field that Iran will produce from that will equal Qatari production by next year. Israel's Leviathan Field is a Super Giant that has yet to reach production in volume, but is ramping up now.

Israel will have plenty of natural gas from Leviathan regardless of what pipeline deals they can arrange with anybody. If nothing else, the Leviathan natural gas will replace their very expensive oil-fired power plants. That still will not free up any light crude supply for domestic diesel/petrol refinement - they're using heavy, sour crude now. Israel has no reliable source of light crude suitable for refinement into diesel/petrol/jet fuel. The Mosul-Haifa pipeline is not to supply natural gas, but to supply a reliable source of light crude suitable for refining into diesel/petrol/jet fuel.

No part of the Qatari pipeline has any relation to Israel. They don't need any Qatari natural gas. Jordan needs some, but they're a minor customer and will use Israeli Leviathan gas when that's available. Qatar (and Iran, for that matter) are looking for a gold mine in supplying Europe. Even with the billions of costs of the pipeline, Qatar can sell gas cheaper to Europe over time (far cheaper, like 4x - 5x) than liquefying it and shipping by LNG tankers. The Qatari pipeline runs north through Syria into the Turkish lines and then over the Bosporus (ultimately) to Europe.

Israel still wants/needs a reliable supply of light crude for its own domestic consumption and for resale of refined products, thus the Haifa connection. Haifa could export crude, but will not that's not why Israel wants it. The light crude will be refined in Haifa or Ashdod and either used domestically or sold abroad.

-Qatari gas needs to go northwest to Europe.

-Iraqi Kurd oil goes through Turkey but the plan is to pipe it over to Syria and down to Israel. Israel needs light crude and would like to be supplied by the Iraqi Kurds through a Mosel-Haifa pipeline.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Aug 24 2016 6:08 utc | 46

Turkey begins offensive to free Syria’s Jarabulus from IS

I don't get it. Did Turkey just discover its border with Syria at Jarabulus has been used for the last three years or so to resupply ISIS? And guess where the head-choppers are going to go now. Remember, there were a few hundred that just fled Manbij for Jarabulus. Now they're going to go right back into Kurdish Syria to kill more Kurds. Mission accomplished? WTF?

Everyone's dance card is filled at the Head-chopper's ball. Let the music begin!

Posted by: PavewayIV | Aug 24 2016 6:44 utc | 47

@Nick #41

There is an update on a government recommendation to store food/water and other necessary materials for at least 10 days.
Nothing new, but they worked on the update (because requirements have changed ???)since 2012 and now released the update, which is a really big story not only in the news, but also talk of the people on the streets. Don´t overestimate it. Germans only get upset, when there is a official message from government although situation remains the same as before. More worrying is the general direction Germany is heading.
Possibly reintroduction of compulsory military service is a growing issue here. Furthermore government just reopended military trainigsground "Jaegerbrueck" for adaption to "new tasks and skills".
I think Germany is pushed (by our big brother) into a big mess no regular person on the street agrees to. Upgrade of German Bundeswehr ("wehr" means "defend", they should have change that into "attack" since Yugoslavia) is the real big issue here.
I´m really worried about the divergency of political direction and man on the street... let`s hope for the best!

Posted by: Silent | Aug 24 2016 6:47 utc | 48

Paveway1V@27 "A Qatari gas pipeline does not need to reach the sea. It needs a south-to-north transit across Syria to Turkey". That is exactly my point, it needs to cross Syria. Assad has said no. It could cross some "entity" in Syria created by the US, like an independent Kurdish state, even if that was the case how could that Kurdish entity/State arrange for the further transit of that gas through Turkey, which would then be a mortal enemy of any such state/entity.

Posted by: harrylaw | Aug 24 2016 8:08 utc | 49

since the kurdo-US strategy is always to make deals after IS is let to flee, it looks that this time Turkey is not ready to have to let them back in and get all the MSM blame afterwards: so they inverted the role, Turkey pushes them in and Syria finishes the job

Posted by: Mina | Aug 24 2016 9:07 utc | 50
Heavy shelling of so-called Islamic State positions has marked the start of a Turkish offensive to drive the militants away from the Syrian border.

Military sources told Turkish media 70 targets in the Jarablus area had been destroyed by artillery and rocket strikes, and 12 by air strikes.

Tanks could also be seen moving up to the border and opening fire.

Turkish special forces are already inside Syria as part of the operation to clear IS out of Jarablus.

If Jarablus falls, the jihadists will be pushed back from the Turkish border.

Turkey has also hit Syrian Kurdish forces in the region, determined not to let them fill the vacuum if IS leaves, the BBC's Mark Lowen reports from Gaziantep, near the Syrian border.

The concern in Ankara is that the Kurds could create an autonomous area close to the border which might foster Kurdish separatism within Turkey itself, our correspondent says.

In another development, counter-terror police in Turkey's main city, Istanbul, launched dawn raids targeting IS suspects across the city, Turley's Dogan news agency reports.

Posted by: okie farmer | Aug 24 2016 9:24 utc | 51

Posted by: harrylaw | Aug 24, 2016 4:08:35 AM | 49

Not necessarily - see Barzani.

I think the US count on getting a US friendly Turkish-Arab-Kurdish-Armenian-Assyrian coalition so that this entity would not necessarily be Kurdish but supported by Kurds.

YPG is probably not up to the task. And US/Saudi/Gulf probably not prepared to invest the money it would take. And Turkish nationalists not able to reconcile with PKK.

So it looks great from a green table same way Iraq did but has a problem in real life. The only way this could be achieved is to smash Syria to pieces with all the consequence this has for Europe and the region. This was tried but did not work thanks to Russia.

It is over anyway as the Gulf does not care if they deliver oil to the East or to the West as long as they can be sure to be paid. The Gulf probably also prefers countries with a non intervention doctrine as long as they can get protection. China is investing big in Saudi and India has no interest to let the oil go the other way. The US is no longer dependent on Middle East oil. It would have been Europe's part to go to war for that pipeline and their public cannot be sold on real war.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 24 2016 9:43 utc | 52

somebody@52 "I think the US count on getting a US friendly Turkish-Arab-Kurdish-Armenian-Assyrian coalition so that this entity would not necessarily be Kurdish but supported by Kurds". I think it would be very difficult to cobble together any such coalition. Even if they did it could not be an "independent State". It would also fly in the face of US and Russian promises that Syria will remain a united and sovereign state. The most that could be offered would be some kind of federalization which would still mean the central Syrian state would ultimately decide such an important geopolitical move [as a pipe line].

Posted by: harrylaw | Aug 24 2016 10:18 utc | 53

Posted by: harrylaw | Aug 24, 2016 6:18:46 AM | 53

Sure, but nobody cares about reality at a green table. All they care about is a plan that sounds good and earns them money.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 24 2016 10:29 utc | 54

ben @29 Glad you enjoyed the link Gary Brecher is so funny. Here are a few paragraphs from that article.
The lesson here is the same one all of you suckers should have learned from watching the financial news this year: the people at the top are just as dumb as you are, just meaner and greedier. And that goes for the ones running the US surface fleet as much as it does for the GM or Chrysler honchos. Hell, they even look the same. Take that Wagoner ass who just got the boot from GM and put him in a tailored uniform and he could walk on as an admiral in any officer’s club from Guam to Diego Garcia. You have to stop thinking somebody up there is looking out for you.
“The purpose of the Navy,” Vice Admiral John Bird, commander of the Seventh Fleet, tells me, “is not to fight.” The mere presence of the Navy should suffice, he argues, to dissuade any attack or attempt to destabilize the region. That’s the kind of story people are still writing. It’s so stupid, that first line, I won’t even bother with it:
: “The purpose of the Navy is not to fight.” No kidding. The Seventh Fleet covers the area included in that 2000 km range for the new Chinese anti-ship weapons, so I guess it’s a good thing they’re not there to fight.
Stories like this were all over the place in the last days of the British Empire. For some dumbass reason, these reporters love the Navy. They were waving flags and feeling good about things when the Repulse and the Prince of Wales steamed out with no air cover to oppose Japanese landings. Afterward, when both ships were lying on the sea floor, nobody wanted to talk about it much. What I mean to say here is, don’t be fooled by the happy talk. That’s the lesson from GM, Chrysler and the Navy: these people don’t know shit. And they don’t fucking care either. They’re going to ride the system and hope it lasts long enough to see them retire to a house by a golf course, get their daughters married and buy a nice plot in an upscale cemetery. They could give a damn what happens to the rest of us.

Posted by: harrylaw | Aug 24 2016 10:39 utc | 55

Posted by: harrylaw | Aug 24, 2016 6:39:50 AM | 55

That was also true for the army of the Austrian Hungarian empire ....

Posted by: somebody | Aug 24 2016 11:07 utc | 56

Large number of mercenaries leaving Aleppo fronts and heading to join fight at Jarabulus due to 'high wages'

Posted by: NoName | Aug 24 2016 11:20 utc | 57

Well is that Putin-Erdogan peace agreement dividend? or just more unpredictable mess.


supported all those years. Or to in truth to stop YPG from taking over? While Russians are refusing to cut short Turkish aggression, a clear violation of international law. Why? may be because as Lavrov said Russian is not an ally if Syrian government, just fighting terrorism.

Somebody is too bias here, blind to the fact that Russians came to Syria not to bring peace but to secure their particular interests, no matter pain and suffering of Syrian people who are tired and want peace.

There is no question whpo is the big evil here, namely US but Russians seems to add little of their own evil to the Syrian hell.

Much more balanced coverage can be found here:

Posted by: Kalen | Aug 24 2016 11:38 utc | 58

Posted by: NoName | Aug 24, 2016 7:20:14 AM | 57

Fighting in Jarablus would cut their supply line, no?

Posted by: somebody | Aug 24 2016 11:47 utc | 59

Responding to #13 and #14

ToivoS, that are two of the many things in play. Today headlines aren't done anymore by the author, I stumbled across a curious little item in my father's local paper recently in this context. And then there is the pyramid system used in news, which can be exploited since a large percentage of readers doesn't get further, then the supposedly most important matters of top. In the twitter age it's become even more - all you need to know. Besides, wasn't it one of Phil's most cherished argument? ;)

Admittedly, I didn't even read the NYT article, but it is pretty obvious both Iran and Putin have to cater to their own interest groups. And then there are the hawks in the US, that just as their counterparts in Iran love to spin matters out of proportion. ...

Macon Richardson, I fully agree, although I am not quite your age, the more you know about something the more you see the multitude of mistakes and spins out there. And no, that basically did not change, it feels to me too. We are humans after all. What changed dramatically is the present Zeitgeist. Beyond: Consider ownership versus a journalist's rights, I wonder if one or the other of the "dependents" has started to write between the lines occasionally again. But that's me.

(I wish I could have thought of an American analog to Burke and Galloway, but none come to mind.) Burke no doubt was a highly interesting author, I respect him a lot too. Not sure what he would do today, though.

Galloway no doubt is a fighter. Maybe nowadays people reflect too much on what can harm them? Not the best of all times for journalists. See above, it can then be easily spun. Circle movement? Besides: More dangerous to stick out your head then to float with whatever is considered the current. Enters Trump, who can be blamed for much, but surely not for reflecting too much. ...

Posted by: Xenotude | Aug 24 2016 12:00 utc | 60

Sounds like US support Turkey's entry into Syria now fighting against their trained Kurdish forces plus IS.
Syrian government protests illegal incursion. Moscow does not seem to say anything.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 24 2016 12:03 utc | 61

PavewayIV says:

The SF's reputation suffered greatly during Viet Nam when they were widely used as a thug army and assassins for the CIA

well, i suppose their reputation before that was largely incommunicado.

i've read that it's been estimated that in war only about 5% of soldiers do most all of the killing, which would suggest to me that the percentage of 'natural born killers'(psychopaths) found among SF's must be much higher.

in any case, many decades have passed since the US military was involved in any kind of legal bloodshed. as such, i find any concern for the reputation of SF's decidedly moot.

to put it mildly.

Posted by: john | Aug 24 2016 12:34 utc | 62

Turkish special forces, tanks and jets backed by planes from the U.S.-led coalition launched their first co-ordinated offensive into Syria on Wednesday to try to drive Islamic State from the border and prevent further gains by Kurdish militia fighters.

A Reuters reporter at the border counted six Turkish tanks inside Syria and witnessed intense bombardments.

Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan said the operation was targeting Islamic State and the Kurdish PYD party, whose gains in northern Syria have alarmed Turkey. Ankara views the PYD as an extension of Kurdish militants fighting an insurgency on its own soil, putting it at odds with Washington, which sees the group as an ally in the fight against Islamic State.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Turkey hours after operations began on a pre-planned trip, the most senior U.S. official to visit since a failed July 15 coup shook confidence in Turkey's ability to step up the fight against Islamic State.

So far, there is no protest from Syria or Russia. This looks like it was agreed upon by all sides.

Posted by: Les | Aug 24 2016 12:37 utc | 63

How can the US, who in fifteen years still can't beat irregular armies who cross mountains on foot, now think it can beat regular large professional armies equipped with high-end weapons? There is no logic in the assumption. Anywhere.

Posted by: Mick McNulty | Aug 24 2016 12:40 utc | 65

only about 5% of soldiers do most all of the killing, which would suggest to me that the percentage of 'natural born killers'(psychopaths) found among SF's must be much higher.

Posted by: john | Aug 24, 2016 8:34:24 AM | 62

explain, and strictly I love numbers too, why this is a logical equation? OK you are writing: "suggests" after all. But what exactly suggests it to you beyond numbers and statistics?

Posted by: Xenotude | Aug 24 2016 12:47 utc | 66

On the 2 or 3 occasions military operations looked like they might turn hot, Russian Foreign minister Lovrov has given the same veiled answer:

To paraphrase:

"Our response will be asymmetrical."

Posted by: wwinsti | Aug 24 2016 12:49 utc | 67

From July

Syria’s Kurds to open first European office in Moscow

PYD’s decision to search for international support in Moscow, rather than other capitals in Western Europe, came as no surprise, according to Russian political analyst Stanslav Inanov, who has followed the Kurdish case for years.

“This means that Russia believes the crises in both Syria and Iraq will not lead to a solution without Kurdish participation,” Stanslav told Rudaw.

Moscow has tried to gain the Kurdish trust in Syria by providing areal support in clash zones where Kurdish forces battle ISIS militants for territory, particularly in the bordering regions of Azez.

Earlier this year, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said talks on reconciliation would fail to produce a sustainable agreement if the Kurds were left out of discussions.

The PYD was not invited to the intra-Syrian reconciliation talks in Geneva last week despite Russia’s support, mainly due to Turkey’s opposition to the Kurdish group.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 24 2016 13:10 utc | 68

harrylaw@49 - " could that Kurdish entity/State arrange for the further transit of that gas through Turkey, which would then be a mortal enemy of any such state/entity...

You're putting too much in to the 'hopes and dreams' part of the Kurdish narrative, Harry. The Kurds have little say in what their U.S. puppet state will look like. For whatever kind of independence the Kurds wish for, the U.S. will only facilitate the creation of some entity which can be used as part of the pipeline scheme. If that means a 'federated' but non-contiguous area in northern Syria, then that's fine with the U.S..

A piecemeal Rojava is not a threat to Turkey - they have said so many times. "But the Kurds want..." is sadly quite irrelevant here. It's a carrot to dangle in front of them for now, but one they're never going to get if it interferes with the Turkish transit. The U.S. neocon mafia has to keep them motivated enough to die fighting ISIS/Assad for a united Rojava for the time being, but never has to deliver on it.

Qatari gas to Europe will hurt Russia economically. That is the only calculus to the larger sado-neocon strategy. The Kurds are a speed-bump to the neocons, not an obstacle.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Aug 24 2016 13:34 utc | 69

14;Ah,but since 1948,the lies have been for Israeli interests,not the USAs,so there is big difference.
Has there ever been a national media that isn't nationalist for its host,but nationalist for a foreign nation before in world history?And it is a Western phenomenon,not just ours.

Posted by: dahoit | Aug 24 2016 13:46 utc | 70

Guardian UK newspaper deletes comments on its Omran Daqneesh story. Guess which comments were deleted?

Posted by: Les | Aug 24 2016 14:16 utc | 71


if it's true that 5% of soldiers do most of the killing(and i'm inclined to believe it), that means that the other 95% tend to shoot over their enemies heads. SF's, by the nature of their missions, cannot entertain this dilemma.

But what exactly suggests it to you beyond numbers and statistics

well, as PavewayIV said himself(and for sure he knows a lot more about it than i do):

The SF's reputation suffered greatly during Viet Nam when they were widely used as a thug army and assassins for the CIA

and the record would suggest that it's been more of the same ever since. from the Tiger Force to the Kill Team to the SF's illegally in Syria.

these are not isolated incidents.

Posted by: john | Aug 24 2016 14:24 utc | 72

Today's news from the Jews(which one?does it matter?Lying times I believe,they all run together)says Finland seeking closer ties with US.Oy.
And Biden says the "sacred honor of the US" will protect the Baltics!I burst out laughing at that one.
Another shameless corrupt pos in American govt.As some one noted,he's seeking a job for his daughter in law to go along with the Ukrainian job for his son.
And yes,Turkey launched tanks at IsUS? or is it the Syrian Army?
A world of shite brought to us by zion.

Posted by: dahoit | Aug 24 2016 14:24 utc | 73

AJ is showing Biden & Turkish PM Binali Yıldırım have been holding a joint press conference in Ankara, a not very subtle nudge at amerika that if they are only gonna send a monkey (biden) then Turkey's organ grinder ain't gonna be there either.
Nevertheless Binali Yıldırım put the old blow torch on dumb Joe, telling him that due process shmocess, Gulen better be in Turkey soon. They've got a point apparently under some joint anti-terror agreement that the US got everyone to sign up to in the post 911 lunacy, if one state tells another that someone who planned an assassination is in their country the 'host' country is obliged to arrest the alleged perp and hold him/her for a minimum of 90 days while the complainant gathers evidence for extradition. No one in amerika has even looked like talking firmly to Gulen,much less throwing him in the slammer.
Yıldırım also told straight to Biden's face that a Kurdish presence in Syria on Turkey's border would not be tolerated and Turkey is gonna take whatever steps it believes necessary to prevent that.

It seems as though Turkey is playing that old cold war ploy much beloved by Nasser and Sukarno of playing Russia and the US off against each other. Erdogan needs to be careful though as both Egypt and Indonesia did really well out of it for a while but in the end the CIA knocked em both off in true democratic style.

The Russians are unlikely to go along with Erdogan's crass attempts to arm twist either. It has been plain from day 1 that they are more interested in securing russian assets in Turkey while making sure amerika doesn't gazump their energy business than anything else.
My guess is that both russia and amerika will play along for a while then when they get the shits with erdogan's hubris, run a squeeze play on turkey that will cost turks dearly.

It's back to the same old same old by not being a willing puppet of either, erdogan cannot be trusted by either so he's not just expendable, he is regarded as a potential liability.
Deep down russia and amerika both believe two rambunctious regional powers (saudi & Iran) is two too many so they're not gonna let a third get a real roll on.

Nasser & Sukarno had huge intellects and neither suffered from a pride so uncontrolled it led them into stupid decisions. Erdogan is not that smart and he's all about his pride. Erdogan regards all & any opposition as inherently disrespectful which is part of the reason his reaction to the crappy coup has been so over the top. It doesn't matter whether amerika was involved if erdogan believes they were, and Russia will be playing on that like a maestro on his fiddle, while amerika goes the standard US strong arm route.

Pass the popcorn as long as ordinary people don't get hurt it is gonna be entertaining to watch this game.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Aug 24 2016 14:47 utc | 74

Turkey bussed al Nusra and al Zenki child head-choppers all the way from Kilis to Jarabulus to fight Turkish-supplied ISIS head-choppers and the non-head-chopping U.S.-backed SDF? Sure... why not. Backed by coalition aircraft - Yay! Let me guess here: the SF guys embedded with the SDF for the Manbij operation are nowhere near the SDF cannon-fodder getting smoked around Jarabulus, so it's OK for Turkey to bomb them. Almost like the U.S. SF guys knew Turkey was going to attack the SDF they coordinate and helped train. Backstabbing SF freaks.

Change in narrative watch (kind of like the deja vu cat in the Matrix): Western MSM has a whole host of interchangeable labels for the good guys/bad guys depending on their spin any particular day. I've been bashing the PYD pretty regularly here to distinguish the political forces controlling things in northern Syria vs. the cannon-fodder YPG/YPJ 'little people'. Turkey is shelling and killing YPG/YPJ/SDF Kurdish soldiers around Jarabulus, but the MSM is calling them the PYD today, as in Turkey is 'shelling the PYD'. Funny change of labels. I don't recall any of the overfed, cigar-chomping CIA mafia PYD clowns flying from London to the outskirts of Jarabulus to dodge barrages of Turkish artillery. Maybe I'm mistaken.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Aug 24 2016 14:50 utc | 75

Joe Biden, "I am a Zionist".

Posted by: fastfreddy | Aug 24 2016 14:56 utc | 76

b. Thnx for the War on the Rocks link. That one along with the Global Research link in another discussion,
give a lot of the details necessary for informed minds to see what has been wrought by the US and Gulf states in Syria and Iraq.

repbel3. When revealed that OPM was hacked and detailed records of people like myself hacked, I asked my Senators why such important systems are connected to the internet when they know they cannot protect them. I received form letter responses telling me that cybersecurity was very important to them and it was believed that Chinese groups had done this. blah, blah, blah.

No responsibility, no justice. Just massive amounts of evil acts that hurt/kill many throughout the world.

Posted by: Curtis | Aug 24 2016 15:00 utc | 77

A NATO country has just rolled tanks into Syria and sent in head-chopper ground forces - the same ones Syria, Russia and Iran have been trying to kill for months on end in Aleppo and Idlib. ISIS isn't putting up much resistance in Jarabulus because they're too busy trading their ISIS ID cards/flags for al Nusra or al Zenki ID cards/flags. Head-choppers need paychecks to feed their families, too:

Headchopper #1: "Snackbar - somebody is shooting at us! What flag are we suppose to be flying today, brother?"

Headchopper #2: "Look on your paycheck, brother..."

Headchopper #1: "No good, brother - it's from ISIS. That was last week!"

Headchopper #2: "I'll get on the radio - our leaders should know, God willing..."

(a few minutes later...)

Headchopper #2: "Nobody knows for sure, but put on this white helmet for now, brother. Soros' checks are clearing."

Headchopper #1: "Does that mean I have to shave? Snackbar... can't we just be al Nusra this week?"

Headchopper #2: "No flags yet.. But you have to shave anyway, brother. The CIA won't pay you for FSA Nusra if you look to Wahhabi head-chopperish. Have a Captagon and calm down. Our Turkish brothers will be here soon."

Posted by: PavewayIV | Aug 24 2016 15:41 utc | 78

Posted by: PavewayIV | Aug 24, 2016 2:08:02 AM | 12 ff
Can you explain how your above presented and pursued topic is related to b's article/concern or link content above? I may have missed it.

Posted by: Xenotude | Aug 24 2016 15:47 utc | 79

@78- thanks paveway, that sums the situation nicely.

Posted by: hejiminy cricket | Aug 24 2016 15:58 utc | 80

I think many of us are hoping for something from b on this. It's actually more important than the current topic and bodes not well for region/world.

Posted by: chuckvw | Aug 24 2016 16:05 utc | 81

On Orlov’s piece. (see some posters above.)

Orlov is an amiable sincere person and his blog is a pleasure to read for the likes of me (e.g. was happy to see he honored Hintikka, not relevant topic..)

Imho, he is off the beam here. A previous post on the *Russian Nyet* was very naive - just say No (slogan by Nancy Reagan), the power of NO, type of attitude is something that must be very carefully calculated and implemented, with ramifications diplomatic, economic, military, strategic, etc. all of which then have to be planned for. Not that he denies that at all…but still he made a big deal of Russkie Nyet. Russian red lines would require maybe 5 dense pages by a top analyst? Plus would leave many questions open.

As for ‘bringing down the US’ the strategy Orlov describes is armchair and ‘rational from one perspective’ - anyone on this board can imagine such a scenario, it wouldn’t actually be difficult to implement. Yet this kind of X-gen war-move - which resembles internal opposition, from nutters/the left..right/any insurgent group - has at it’s aim to bring down the Gvmt. and pass over to some new arrangement.

Absolutely no reason at all to contemplate, or come to believe, that the US, after the targetted *sabotage* would comply and sit down at the negotiating table. Zero. Nor should one assume that the USA-PTB cares about citizens in the Impoverished-lands, deprived of the internet, air conditioning, and food deliveries to Wall-Mart.

What Orlov describes will never happen. Not to bash some blogger whom I like, opponents to US hegemony of whatever stripe need to ‘get real’, what that implies is another chapter.

-thx to b, the linked article was intersting - and to many other posters…

Posted by: Noirette | Aug 24 2016 17:25 utc | 82

@PavewayIV | Aug 24, 2016 2:08:02 AM | 46
“Denis - This is the second time you've restated quite the opposite of what I wrote. I'm not an educated person nor am I a professional writer or analyst, so you get another courtesy pass. The third time, I will have to believe it is intentional.“

P-way, WTF are you blathering about? Your comment #27 talked about what you think the “current scheme seems to be” – an oil pipeline that ends in Haifa. My response was “Haifa? Really?” If you consider that to be a misstatement of your opinion, then you’ve got a serious IQ deficit. FYI “really?” is a statement of incredulity, which is what I was expressing, and the rest of my comment explained why I was incredulous that Hafia – or Yisrael in general – would be a player. My position has nothing to do with oil v gas, it has to do with Yisrael cooperating with Arabs in pumping energy when Yisrael is now a producer.

You whine about me previously misstating your position but you don’t identify where or when. I have no earthly idea what you are talking about. If I did misstate your position then it was inadvertent; show me what you’re whining about and I’ll apologize if I made an error or misinterpreted what you said. My guess is that you must have had a nightmare about me responding to your comments and it stuck when you woke up.

As for your puerile 3-strikes-and-you’re-out game, I don’t need your freaking “courtesy pass,” man. Count this as the third strike and bugger off. You clearly think your points of view are above question or discussion.

Posted by: Denis | Aug 24 2016 18:35 utc | 83

@78 paveway... bang on. thanks... ignore denis as most others probably do too..

@82 noirette... thanks.. grieved posted it up on the thread earlier @33.. i thought it was a good article myself..

Posted by: james | Aug 24 2016 20:29 utc | 84

Noirette #82

I agree. Orlov does come up with some very interesting commentaries. But then he diverges into pure fantasy land. I believe that his analysis about how a major confrontation between the US and Russia could happen is accurate but his further speculation that political divisions inside the US could result in widespread support for Russia inside the US in the face of war with Russia is absolutely nuts.

For example, if president Hillary imposes a no fly zone over Syria, then shoots down a Russian plane and the Russians respond and sinks an American war ship in the Eastern Mediterranean then the result will be that the entire US public will support all out war against Russia. Pearl Harbor anyone? All of us opposing those insane US policies in Syria will end up in detention camps (that did happen in 1942) and the rest of the US public will be cheering the government on.

Posted by: ToivoS | Aug 24 2016 20:38 utc | 85

Denis@3 - The Leviathan is a gas deposit. Unless Israel converts all of its cars, trucks and aircraft to run on natural gas, they're still going to need to import a lot of oil. Their use tops a quarter million barrels a day and nearly ALL of that comes from Iraqi Kurdistan via pipelines to Ceyhan and then ships to Haifa. What don't you get about that? Most Arab countries refuse to sell Israel oil. Egypt did, but no longer produces enough for themselves.

Israel produces a few thousand barrels a day from it's offshore operations at most. They will double that in the next couple of years, but it still won't put a dent in their usage. Geologists doubt the improbable Golan oil deposit and figure it's just a salt dome that Israel will mine out and get U.S. taxpayers to fill to use as Israeli's strategic reserve. That will take an additional 100,000 barrels of oil a year for five years or so. Cheney has the numbers.

So Mosel-Kirkuk to Haifa. If you have some other mystery quater-million bbl/day supply Israel can tap into, I'm all ears.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Aug 24 2016 21:03 utc | 86

@PavewayIV | Aug 24, 2016 11:41:49 AM | 78 "Have a Captagon and calm down."

That can't be.

Posted by: ProPeace | Aug 24 2016 21:11 utc | 87

@ PavewayIV | Aug 24, 2016 5:03:08 PM | 86

Yisrael still imports energy, yeah that's a good and valid point, but Haifa as an oil import point is not I was talking about upstream. You were speculating that the Arabs' oil pipeline would end at Haifa. I think this is where we are out of sync. To me the reference to Haifa means the deep water port functions and exporting Arab oil. Perhaps you are referring to the Haifa refinery functions, where, according to what you say, is where Yisrael imports and refines Arab oil. You certainly seem to know a lot about economics and flow of Arabian oil.

Posted by: Denis | Aug 24 2016 21:30 utc | 88

@88- thanks for the laugh Denis, your always a riot.

Posted by: hejiminy cricket | Aug 24 2016 21:57 utc | 89

@ hejiminy cricket | Aug 24, 2016 5:57:26 PM | 89
"@88- thanks for the laugh Denis, your [SIC] always a riot."

You're welcome -- please note the proper contraction. In addition to being a riot I graduated from grammar school, which also distinguishes me from you.

Posted by: Denis | Aug 24 2016 23:45 utc | 90

@90- thanks Denis, yeah you're right...ha ha. Do you post elsewhere by chance? I can't get enough of your stuff. I Haven't seen anyone play a pompous bumbling idiot better since Peter Seller's inspector clouseau. Brilliant! Thanks man...

Posted by: hejiminy cricket | Aug 24 2016 23:52 utc | 91

Denis@88 - "...You were speculating that the Arabs' oil pipeline would end at Haifa..." No, I was speculating that the Kurdish - Israeli Mosul-Haifa pipeline will end at Haifa. There is no Arab oil pipeline planned through Syria or to Israel. There will be a pipeline built years from now through a Jordanian-Chinese consortium from Basra, Iraq to Aqaba, Jordan. That was suppose to be part of the blood-for-oil Kirkuk-Haifa pipeline (connecting at the K-3 Haditha junction), but the head-choppers screwed up that plan. The Iraqi Kurds still need to get their oil to Israel, and a eastern Syrian pipeline is preferred method if they can pull it off. The U.S. backs the scheme 100%.

"...To me the reference to Haifa means the deep water port functions and exporting Arab oil..." Arabs will not even sell Israel the oil it needs for its internal consumption. They are darn sure not going to let Israel profit off of exporting their oil. Israel's only major oil terminal on the Mediterranean is at Ashkelon. It's piped from there to refineries in Ashdod and Haifa. If Arabs wanted to let Israel profit off of their oil, they can ship it up the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba and unload it in Eilat. There is an existing pipeline from Eilat to Ashkelon (that Israel stole from Iran) precisely for that purpose. That would allow Israel to pocket some of the Suez Canal fees for itself. But the Arabs hate Israel so that's not going to happen. The oil terminal in Eilat is mostly unused.

"...Perhaps you are referring to the Haifa refinery functions, where, according to what you say, is where Yisrael imports and refines Arab oil.

Israel does not import, nor does it refine any Arab oil to speak of. They primarily buy Kurdish oil for now, and the U.S. taxpayers are forced to give them all the jet fuel they claim their military aircraft need.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Aug 24 2016 23:58 utc | 92

ProPeace@87 - Re: Have a Captagon and calm down - "...That can't be..."

Yes, it's true. Captagon was originally a Pfizer patent for paroxysmal Wahhabism, but Saudi Chemical picked it up and made the first generic. It was used very successfully off-label for treatment-resistant decollation antiproclivity. Jihadis keep them in Pez dispensers. Judging by ones captured off of the head-choppers themselves, the most popular ones seem to be Yoda (my personal favorite) and various My Little Pony ones that appear to have black electrical tape added for a kind of Pez burqa.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Aug 25 2016 2:04 utc | 93

@PavewayIV | Aug 24, 2016 10:04:35 PM | 93

I thought Captagon causes rage, not calm. But you probably know better.

Posted by: ProPeace | Aug 25 2016 13:55 utc | 94

Posted by: chuckvw | Aug 24, 2016 12:05:52 PM | 81

chuckvw hoping he addressed what topic, specifically?

Posted by: Xenotude | Aug 25 2016 15:12 utc | 95

ProPeace@94 - "...I thought Captagon causes rage, not calm..."

Yes, I'm just joking above. It is a milder form of amphetamine. They use to use it in the U.S. in the 60's for things like ADD. It's not made or marketed any more because regular old amphetamine salts, like Adderall, are far superior. Many doubt that whatever the jihadis are taking is actually Captagon at all because manufacturers just don't make much of it anymore. It's old-school. Pharma manufacturers (both legitimate and not-so-legitimate) do make tons of methamphetamine - most 'Captagon' pills floating around head-chopper land are most likely just repackaged meth with a little caffine. So rage, paranoia and general nuttiness (or any of the other well-known effects of meth abuse) are expected.

"...But you probably know better..."

Independent studies I've conducted in my home meth lab have concluded... well, I actually just read it on Google.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Aug 25 2016 15:30 utc | 96

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