Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 05, 2016

Why Do U.S. Experts Suddenly Find Syrian Rebel Sectarianism "Extraordinary"?

Anti-Assad luminaries in the United States suddenly play surprised that their beloved "moderate" insurgents are a bunch of racist and sectarian head choppers. But this was obvious as even the very first demonstration against the Syrian government in March/April 2011 were driven by sectarianism. Countless members of minorities in Syria have since been murdered by "western" and Gulf supported "moderate rebels".

Why do these anti-Syrian "experts", who supported the genocidal insurgents, suddenly find that abhorrent?

The "moderate rebels" and al-Qaeda in Syria currently attack the government held parts of the city of Aleppo. Part of their attack plan is the storming of the Artillery Academy in Ramouseh district. The academy was the scene of mass murder in the 1979-1982 Muslim Brotherhood uprising against the government. The name they chose for the battle make their intentions clear.

3:07pm · 4 Aug 2016 - Hassan Ridha @sayed_ridha

Battle is named after "Ibrahim Yusuf", an Ikhwani who murdered ~80 Alawite cadets in Ramouseh Artillery Base in 1979

London Times reporter Hala Jabar explains:

2:00am · 5 Aug 2016 - Hala Jaber @HalaJaber

Recap: Former #AQ#Nusra now moderate #Jabhat_Fath_alSham, name 3rd phase of liberating Aleppo after Ibrahim_al_Yussuf, who they deem a hero.

.2/ They deem #Ibrahim_al_Yussuf, a hero, for separating Sunnis 4rm #Alawites & apostates & executing 80 Alawites of them, in 1979.

.3/ That incident took place in Aleppo's artillery school then. Now JFS/JAS is promising 2 "conquer" same artillery school & kill Alawites.

.4/ So now they-- his "grandsons" -- pledge to do same "blessed" thing. Kill all #Alawites & desecrate their bodies.

.5/ This all in the name of phase three of the "blessed battle"to conquer" #Aleppo.

The bloody sectarian name for the battle is promoted not only by al-Qaeda under its sham new name but by all U.S. supported "moderates" who take part in it. The political leader of the U.S. supported Zinki group, members of which recently beheaded a sick child, is a near relative of Ibrahim al Yussuf.

The Muslim Brotherhood insurgency in Syria between 1979 and 1982, of which al Yussuf was part, was a series of bloody guerilla attacks and mass murder incidents against the state and minorities. It finally ended when the government trapped the leadership and many militants in the city of Hama and fought them down in a bloody urban battle. Many members of the militant cadre of the movement fled to foreign countries. Some came back to reignite their killing spree when the protests in Syria started in 2011.

For those who have been watching the developments in Syria the sectarian motive of the insurgents is certainly no surprise at all. But here are two U.S. "experts" who suddenly find them "extraordinary".

Robert Ford was U.S. ambassador to Syria from 2011 to 2014 and one of instigators of the protests against the Syrian government. He has since feverishly argued for more weapons for the insurgents and for U.S. bombing to destroy the Syrian government and the country.

1:27 PM - 4 Aug 2016 - Robert Ford @fordrs58

If oppo fighters' goal n #Syria now 2 separate Alawi citizens &kill them, then the fighters don't merit outside help. Up to them 2 clarify.

Joshua Landis is professor for Middle East studies. In his blogposts and public comments he has been mealy-mouthed about condemning the insurgents whatever they did, but was always negative about the government. He thinks that a new President Clinton:

has to re-escalate but w/o major costs. Trick will be to bomb w/o making many commitments or getting sucked in

Tricky indeed, but she "has to" do it. Right?

About the Aleppo battle announcement:

7:50pm · 4 Aug 2016 - Joshua Landis @joshua_landis

Extraordinary statement by Jabhat Fatah al-Sham declaring intent to separate Sunnis fr Nusairis (Alawis) & kill them

"Extraordinary" in this is only that these "experts" suddenly find something surprising that has been central to the insurgency from its very beginning.


Analysis of Syrian Protest Movement - Mazda Majidi, April 2011
[The opposition movement] undoubtedly includes many thousands who simply a desire a society free of poverty and state repression. But it has also included sectarian religious forces who want to overthrow the country’s secular orientation, and have chanted “Alawis to the coffins, Christians to Beirut.”

Syria's Minorities & Split Loyalties: Through the Sectarian Lens Albawaba - Feb 1 2012
Chants heard at revolution rallies have been to the tune of: "Alawis to the coffins and Christians to Beirut."

The World’s Next Genocide - NYT Nov 2012
[I]nside Syria those chanting “Christians to Beirut, Alawites to their graves!” have become more than a fringe element. Human Rights Watch and other groups have documented cases of rebels executing Syrian soldiers and Alawites regarded as government collaborators.

Here is video from the early March 2011 protests in Syria. They were clearly sectarian with the protesters loudly threatening to kill minorities.

What was so difficult to understand with "Alawis to the coffins" and other genocidal "revolutionary" slogans and deeds that Ford and Landis did not comprehend them throughout the last years?

What has changed that Landis and Ford now act surprised about the "extraordinary" sectarianism of the insurgencies they supported and still support?

Posted by b on August 5, 2016 at 9:52 UTC | Permalink


It seems to me that the US "experts" have done nothing but destabilize and destroy civilization in the middle east since the US Empire first got involved around 1917 in WW1. Why do they hate us? Because the US has been killing them for over a century. That would do it for most people.

In this century, the Empire has worked doubly hard to encourage various extremist groups to arise. It seems the Empire loves creating enemies for itself. And we have destroyed all the secular regimes that were keeping a lid on religious violence which has also aided in the rise of ISIS and other such groups.

The whole drama is a US produced production.

Posted by: Mark Stoval | Aug 5 2016 10:38 utc | 1

Because they feel a change could come, so they try To reposition in a neutral position. It could come, may be.

Posted by: Mry | Aug 5 2016 11:18 utc | 2

Leaving aside the fact that Landis and Ford are both wastes of space, with Ford being the more egregious, my guess is that pro Fake War on Terror Govts throughout Christendom are being asked (by non-moron citizens) embarrassing questions about the way the FWoT is being so incompetently bungled by the "experts" and "specialists" - both at Home and in the ME.

The increasingly regular and spontaneous attacks on civilians in Eurotrash cities are knee-jerkily assessed first for their Islamic Terror component before 'other' motivations are explored. The recent Suicide Truck attack which killed 80 revellers was notable for the "relaxed" level of security in the precinct at which it occurred. This and similar aberrations invites a revival of the 9/11 MIHOP/ LIHOP conjecture (Made It Happen On Purpose/ Let It Happen On Purpose) and people who can successfully add 2 + 2 are probably beginning to smell a nasty little FWoT rat.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 5 2016 11:27 utc | 3

America used to be the arsenal of democracy. Now it's just the arse.

Posted by: Mick McNulty | Aug 5 2016 12:01 utc | 4

What has changed since then? Maybe the regime change fanatics are losing their most reliable state ally: Turkey. Checkmate, game over. Maybe. The tweet by Joshua Landis is disgraceful, weasely mouthed, disgusting: 'President Hillary Clinton, please give us another Iraq, Libya, etc.' 'Mr Landis, I would love to.'

Posted by: Quentin | Aug 5 2016 12:27 utc | 5

According to "Der Spiegel" two of German assassins (in Würzburg and Ansbach) were directed via chat from Saudi Arabia.

People might begin to ask questions. Better to distance in time.

Other possibility - news might come out of Aleppo despite media silence.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 5 2016 12:33 utc | 6

Even a baby cat knows how to find its mother's teat, and even a baby house intellectual knows who butters its bread. Obviosly the cognitive dissonance has gotten too great for the public and they have been instructed to show a modicum of humanity.

The fallback plan all along has been to declare both sides are "monsters" and to install a puppet technocrat government like in Ukraine.

Posted by: City Councilman | Aug 5 2016 12:42 utc | 7

There's the "clean men", probably foreign intelligence agents who work with IS.

Posted by: Les | Aug 5 2016 13:01 utc | 8

I'll take a stab;Its posturing to help the Hell Bitch,and Obomba,look good running up to the election.
Despite serial liar claims,Trump has tapped into a well of antiwar and anti Israeli support,and they are nervous that it will propel him into the WH.
This whole shebang is as clear as day,to make the ME amenable to the ziomonsters.All the refugees leaving the region give Israel less opponents in the future,and they,and their puppet,the USA are working overtime to keep these facts from the public.
I was just at the Graun,and they had a story on Obomba and IsUS,and it was gratifying to see many get the truth,and one guys take that they never attack Israel,(AlCIAda,AlnUSrA and IsUS)reveals all.
Of course many there are Obomba supporters,as no one(MSM) has ever pointed out any of his complete and utter failure,as terror suppressor,and economic guru.

Posted by: dahoit | Aug 5 2016 13:39 utc | 9

All this sectarianism was planned by the George W Bush administration as outlined in the 'Redirection' by Seymour M Hersh.
"To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has coöperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda".
"The policy shift has brought Saudi Arabia and Israel into a new strategic embrace, largely because both countries see Iran as an existential threat".

Posted by: harrylaw | Aug 5 2016 13:46 utc | 10

Posted by: Les | Aug 5, 2016 9:01:13 AM | 8

Confused youth? Advised via chat from Saudi Arabia?

NYT has an indepth article on this with a lot of assumptions sourced to an imprisoned recruit and anonymous US officials.

With European officials stretched by a string of assaults by seemingly unconnected attackers who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, Mr. Sarfo suggested that there may be more of a link than the authorities yet know. He said he was told that undercover operatives in Europe used new converts as go-betweens, or “clean men,” who help link up people interested in carrying out attacks with operatives who can pass on instructions on everything from how to make a suicide vest to how to credit their violence to the Islamic State.

The group has sent “hundreds of operatives” back to the European Union, with “hundreds more in Turkey alone,” according to a senior United States intelligence official and a senior American defense official, both of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence.

Guess the ministry of fear just woke up.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 5 2016 13:52 utc | 11

I find it very curious.
Are they worried that the truth about the "moderate" rebels is coming out in mainstream media now and they will be pegged as terrorist supporters so they have to pretend they didn't know their nature before or didn't know their rebel buddies were teaming up with Al Qaeda?

A more optimistic guess is that they are helping the Obama admin signal a shift in policy -- abandoning support for the rebels. I saw something on Twitter about rebels who said US would no longer support them and was working with Russia to defeat them but even if rebels really are saying this it doesn't confirm that it's true.

Posted by: Joanne Leon | Aug 5 2016 14:09 utc | 12

Posted by: Joanne Leon | Aug 5, 2016 10:09:40 AM | 12

Pretend not to be responsible for this last Aleppo push that seems to have gone wrong/stalemated?

German media interviewed a spokesman for Leipzig based a few days ago who celebrated the "Aleppo rebel success" - they are part of the "interventionist left".

The curious thing is not that "Adopt a Revolution" exists, the curious part is that they got quoted in main stream media.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 5 2016 14:27 utc | 13


"Trump has tapped into a well of anti war and anti Israeli support" ROFLMAO
I happen to know a passel of sub-billionaire sycophants to Trump, spam queens all,
NEVER have their urgent missives talked about Trump as 'anti-war' or 'anti-Zionism'.

I am the Law and Order Candidate! (and he will be totally controlled by Deep State)
I am a Great Friend of Israel! (he sold his kid into the Tribe and financed by them)

Instead, they want Trump elected because he will *cut taxes* to DEFICIT AND SPEND the
Nation to 135% of GDP in his first four years, 135% being the fiduciary number after
which no nation in history has ever been restored to an independent free republic.

Either you missed the memo, or you're just another I Got Mine and Go Fob Off Wanker.

Posted by: Alison DeBeers | Aug 5 2016 14:33 utc | 14

US attacking ISIS, but seems allied with Al Queda in Syria. These are the folks responsible for 9/11.

Posted by: zucco | Aug 5 2016 14:37 utc | 15

Turkey’s secret pact with Islamic State exposed by operative behind wave of ISIS attacks
The elephant in NATO’s room: state-sponsorship of Daesh

by Nafeez Ahmed

Posted by: Les | Aug 5 2016 14:45 utc | 16

zucco@15. Shush!

Posted by: harrylaw | Aug 5 2016 14:52 utc | 17

a little bit off topic, but not a lot. A American NGO is sending letters to French companies to reconsider their attempts of getting Iranian contracts. It was the headline in Le Parisien yesterday. Ex-CIA director Woolseley is a member of the NGO.

Posted by: mischi | Aug 5 2016 15:09 utc | 18

MSM and its mouthpieces as a source of information are becoming more irrelevant as each moment passes. The only strength the MSM held was it's lack of an adversary or alternatives.

We shouldn't be too surprised by such flip-flopping as money is pulled from paid-for 'news' and is finally sponsored by reality.

Posted by: MadMax2 | Aug 5 2016 15:26 utc | 19

@12 Joanne Leon

I agree. When the foreign policy establishment starts talking observable reality rather than pure fantasy, it's usually a sign of policy change.

If they keep mentioning their surprise at the genocidal intent of their friendly moderates, they have a little barrier against the zionist hawks who'll claim anything short of arming nusra with tactical nuclear weapons is a betrayal and will cause the second holocaust.

Posted by: Cresty | Aug 5 2016 15:30 utc | 20

"Why do these anti-Syrian "experts", who supported the genocidal insurgents, suddenly find that abhorrent?"

I'd guess it is because they're finding it more and more difficult to cover up the fact they've been supporting terrorists from the very beginning.

Posted by: JethroZeppelin | Aug 5 2016 15:52 utc | 21

I stole another masterpiece for Global Research, with so very many thanks. You are a living encyclopaedia of knowledge and layeral political duplicities. Warmest, f.

Posted by: Felicity | Aug 5 2016 16:29 utc | 22

Re: Les @ 15 link to Nafeez Admed.

A little over a year ago, he wrote this article which includes his documentary about global interconnections of economics, rampant capitalism, etc., all leading toward a dire ending.

He references Margaret Atwood's piece on the choices facing mankind.

When will we ever learn? In Collapse, Jared Diamond's conclusion is that when leaders will not recognize looming problems and work to correct them, their society is doomed. And now, our leaders are nearing complete globalization and are working on dooming out planet.

Posted by: jawbone | Aug 5 2016 16:32 utc | 23

The MSM in the West, especially U.S MSM are all very well organized and follow the same script. Pretty much one and the same. Its all about perception management. These latest tweets are nothing more than 'good cop' in the 'good cop, bad cop' narrative.

btw, Trump getting support from the anti-Israel crowd? Check out his speech to AIPAC. In America today(and has been), to go up against Israel or the Jewish lobby is akin to career suicide. Why is that? But than again, any discourse on the subject and one might be ostracized(anti-Semite) God forbid. But it's ok to talk about banning Muslims from the U.S and closing down mosques and monitoring and tracking Muslims, surveillance etc. And it will only get worse for Muslims knowing how the collective tribe works.

I guess ignorance is bliss.

Posted by: bored muslim | Aug 5 2016 16:44 utc | 24

"What has changed that Landis and Ford now act surprised about the "extraordinary" sectarianism of the insurgencies they supported and still support?"

The narrative has changed, mainly because of Trump.

Posted by: Swampy | Aug 5 2016 16:45 utc | 25

@23 Western leaders are in a mad dash to defend our way of life. We either take our medicine and accept decline as reality, or we create demand destruction in other countries that will rival our own demand for resources.

Coalition in the west isn't even that strong - USA totally screwed Europeans with the refugee 'bomb', and also with the the targeting of sovereign banking via CDS crises in Greece and Eastern Europe.

Posted by: bbbb | Aug 5 2016 16:52 utc | 26

Landis and Ford lived with the illusion that there was a real secular opposition to Bashar al Assad. They always found an excuse to their excesses. The leader of the FSA welcomed the Islamists fighters with the naive reasoning that "they are here just to help and will leave once Bashar al Assad will be toppled"

Landis and Ford ( "the experts") appear to have been totally ignorant of the dynamics of the country and the Sunni Islamist exacerbation. They were blinded by the naive western mantra of 'democracy' Western style and the absurd "arab spring" media fever. In other words they look damn stupid now, like all the 'experts' and diplomats who thought that Syria would be like Egypt, Tunisia, Libya or Iraq. What they missed and learned now is that, contrary to the other Arab countries, Syrians are resilient people and their leaders exceptionally smart.
So now that the fortune is changing, they try to change their tune. It's too late, they have zero credibility now.
The "sopranos" are out of the scene: Sarkozy is gone, Cameron is gone, Holland about to leave and grey-haired Obama too.
Bashar al Assad is still defiantly here.

Posted by: virgile | Aug 5 2016 17:30 utc | 27

Reading the tea leaves ...

Russia ends up with Incirlik aerodrome and a controlling interest in the Turkish economy. Plus Top Dog in Syria. Plus Lebanon is a death trap for Israel. Look at the map.

Our defeat, U$A, will be humiliating and total. Plus Georgia and Ukraine are useless black holes into which billions of dollars are disappeared, or is it misappeared, in which Russia has little or no interest. Russia laughs in our collective faces and the PTB are afraid to pull the trigger.

Just me opinion.

Posted by: ALberto | Aug 5 2016 17:49 utc | 28

Commentors seem to be in agreement that everything improper in the recent history of the Middle East is U.S. caused when, in truth, the U.S. is a Johnny Come Lately in this quagmire which was actually the doings of the British for over a century. Even before their Balfour Declaration, which had nothing whatever to do with the U.S.
Moreover, Brit or U.S. or any other nation, the orchestrator behind the acts is ALWAYS the City of London Rothschild cabal. ALWAYS!
Attack the CAUSE, not the SYMPTOMS, if you expect to have a proper, decent, outcome.

Posted by: Tony B. | Aug 5 2016 18:39 utc | 29

You know who won't "flip-flop" with regard to the "rebels" in Syria? Hillary. Since she's incapable of learning from any mistake, she is sticking to her "Assad must go while I also attack Daesh" strategy of cognitive dissonance.

She didn't learn from Iraq (still supports the war). Didn't learn from Libya (still supports destroying the Gaddafi government and throwing the country into chaos). Didn't learn from Syria (still wants to destroy Assad, no matter how many Syrians she has to kill to do it).

And the media constantly pain Trump as the most dangerous candidate. Go figure.

Posted by: WorldBLee | Aug 5 2016 18:45 utc | 30

Tony B. @ 28

"orchestrator behind the acts is ALWAYS the City of London ..."

Excellent point!

Posted by: ex-sarajlija | Aug 5 2016 19:02 utc | 31

I really really want to believe that this is in preparation for some pre-election Obama preemption of Clinton's anticipated escalation or maybe Kerry's lost-his-bridle and "gone rogue." There has been a half-dozen "what a sad mess Egypt has become under Sisi" articles, some of which seem to even doubt Sisi's superiority over Morsi, few address the obvious failure Sisi represents as "re-establishment of the status quo" and victory for the monied classes. There seems to be a lot of reappraisal in the works -- the failure of a deploying a third competiing government in Libya (apparently there are as a result now two competing Libyan airforces) ... several articles (Guardian/NYT) about Hamid Karzai's "role" in Afghanistan (they hate him and accuse him of destabilizing our new puppet, apparently simply by breathing and continuing to be available to all who would consult with him as ex-president) ...
Merkel's popularity is down in the 30's (it was in the 70's pre-migrant crisis) and the EU-Turkey accord is (again) about-to-fail with Erdogan blaming EU intransigence on no-visa travel and $$$$ being withheld because human-rights violations, while Greece is understandable anxious about being innundated by renew boatloads, as Italy receives hundreds floating in unchecked from Libya ...
Too much boy who cried wolf .. no one seems to really care about "another hospital" (that's really a clinic) or (some) folks maybe about to starve to death in Aleppo ...
In Iraq, Iraqi's fleeing the upcoming siege of Mosul have been captured by ISIS because Iraq's inadequate&insufficient (even in conception) displaced-persons-camps are unfinished ...
Apparently, no one is learning anything even from what happened yesterday or last month.
My most hopeful guess is that the Obama Administration forsees an inevitable Assad/Russian victory (eventually) and are positioning themselves to NOT intervene to rescue 'our moderate rebels' ... face-saving ass-covering, nothing more. "They are not worthy of one American life"

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Aug 5 2016 19:09 utc | 32

A bit more publicity of the US's proxies genocidal intentions, give these war criminal propagandists a chance to hedge themselves against criticism. The fact these Western war criminal propagandists keep going back and forth between support and occasional criticism of crimes against humanity means their complicity is certain. After this fake shock by genocidal statements made, it will inevitably be followed by more PR support for same terrorists, just like it has previously.

If it was up to me in power, jail cells across the West would be full of "journalists", as well as judges, who endlessly propagandise, and rule in favour of endless war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Oh, In and easily imaginable short-term future, when right wing militias, and other racist extremists terrorists are wrecking havoc in the West attacking leftists, coloured people and other groups, guess who will be also propagandising in favour of that terror just like they did in Syria.

Posted by: tom | Aug 5 2016 19:55 utc | 33

And since b does a good job of widespread reading and some research, he should immediately follow this piece ASAP with the very next supportive PR criminal propaganda support from the same culprits, straight after these 'I'm shocked ' claims.

Posted by: tom | Aug 5 2016 20:00 utc | 34

@31 Wishful thinking. Hillary has been unabashed about the mentality that her presidency will have. Obama is all but finished at this point, so I'm expecting a 'don't do stupid stuff' attitude from here on out.
I'm concerned about nuclear brinkmanship with Hillary. I think she and her crew are willing to go to WW3 as an alternative to America losing its global position and potentially collapsing. WW3 would/will be the end of all of us, and some in Washington DC might just want it to happen for any number of insane reasons.

Of course, I could be wrong and there's the possibility that she might change her tune. Humanity faces crises today, however, that are largely beyond our collective ability to solve them, given the existing economic and political orders. In view of that, all you need to do is look at history to see what the likely outcome of deciders will be

Posted by: bbbb | Aug 5 2016 20:18 utc | 35

It is becoming more apparent by the day that BP and Royal Dutch Shell will not get their wet dream Haifa pipe dream pipeline.

Just me opinion

Posted by: ALberto | Aug 5 2016 20:33 utc | 36

@31 Susan Sunflower
Yeah, that's pretty comprehensive...and bleak. Most Europeans really are 2nd class US citizens to be fair. Waiting to hear from b (or Galustein) on the Libyan front, maybe some hope there with Saif, son of Gaddafi, long being held captive by the Zintan and now released - must to the displeasure of those who had sentenced him to be executed.

As bbbb alludes to at 34, the human race may have advanced itself in so many ways, though maybe not evolved enough to collectively hit the reset button without massive destruction. Selfish, divided.

A shame really.. as much of western social order runs on a debt-based financial system which is not at all in harmony with nature. A western world that is, as Susan has catalogued above, waging war on the Islamic realm that doesn't attempt to enslave it's societies via usury.

Posted by: MadMax2 | Aug 5 2016 22:29 utc | 37

The Roman Republic had cives Romani and cives Latini.

Posted by: lysias | Aug 5 2016 22:40 utc | 38

Yes, the narrative's changing thanks to Trump. At his Daytona Beach rally, he called out HRC as the "founder of ISIS" while also highlighting other woeful actions by her and Obama, A video of the entire rally's imbedded within the linked article. Furthermore, the links between the Outlaw US Empire and its support for global terrorism is becoming ever more overt as more and more emails, cables and such get leaked to the public. I think Ford and ilk are trying to save their heads--quite literally.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 5 2016 22:56 utc | 39

BBC Newsnight 5 Aug ran a Syria special, online for a month though don't bother if you haven't a strong stomach. It does at least hint of the problem, eg with footage of the crazies but it didn't even attempt to present a different perspective. Not one single interview of anyone in a government area, let alone a Syrian or Russian functionary. As a result the narrative was the usual one of suffering civilians, noble freedom fighters, wicked enemy dictatorships and a pusillanimous Obama.
There was a time when the Beeb prided itself on its balance but this is a complete travesty.

Posted by: Mr Toad | Aug 5 2016 23:28 utc | 40

One of the main sponsors of the jihadis is Turkey. Erdogan is enraged his US "allies" didn't tip him off, didn't shriek to the heavens for his salvation. He's making feints about breaking with the US. The US feinting at the jihadis is feinting against Turkey.

Posted by: s | Aug 6 2016 0:48 utc | 41

the armed war against Syria is by definition NOT moderate, and the US had to supply foreigners to invade because for whatever reason, the Syrian people's demands hadn't gone that far.
US foreign policy is NOT run by moderates.

the only MODERATES in Syria are the ones drowning in the Mediterranean and being refused shelter by the EXTREMIST white people who scratch their uncivilized greasy heads and ask "where are the moderates?"

Posted by: anon | Aug 6 2016 1:20 utc | 42

@34 b4, 'I'm concerned about nuclear brinkmanship with Hillary.'

RAND Corporation lays out scenarios for US war with China

“As its military advantage declines, the United States will be less confident that a war with China will conform to its plans. China’s improved military capabilities, particularly for anti-access and area denial (A2AD), mean that the United States cannot count on gaining operational control, destroying China’s defences, and achieving decisive victory if a war occurred.”

“Once war is assumed to be unavoidable, the calculations of leaders and militaries change. The question is no longer whether there will or should be a war, but when the war can be fought most advantageously.” [1]

[1] The Next Great War: The Roots of World War I and the Risk of U.S.-China Conflict, edited by Richard N. Rosencrance and Steven E. Miller (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2015), p. xi.

It seems clear to me that the drumbeat for war is rolling. Hillary and her harridans have 'womaned up' for it. Are they unstoppable? The media are trying to make it seem that way ... once war is assumed to be unavoidable ...

Posted by: jfl | Aug 6 2016 1:34 utc | 43

@31 suzy, 'My most hopeful guess is that the Obama Administration forsees an inevitable Assad/Russian victory (eventually) and are positioning themselves to NOT intervene to rescue 'our moderate rebels' ...'

I thing the US has given up on west syria and is concentrating on northeastern Syria and northwesternIraq.

Pentagon Offers ‘New Tactical Scheme’ for US-led Coalition Operations in Syria and Iraq

In late July, Defense Secretary Ash Carter hosted the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL Meeting at Andrews Air Force Base in Washington.

Ramadi and Fallujah have been liberated as result of agreements with the local Suni clans that had decided to make a deal with Baghdad instead of become involved into bloody clashes with the Iraqi Shia militias. In this case, a major part of ISIS units freely withdrew from these cities and deployed in the nearby areas. If this is a new US anti-ISIS strategy, it’s easy to expect the liberation of Mosul via the same way. However, these PR victories have nothing related to the destruction of the Islamic State as the organized terror group. ... the so-called “new tactical scheme” offered by Carter allows ISIS to maintain its military and terror capabilities for further operations. The recent ISIS terror attack in Baghdad that killed 300 people showed this, clearly.

The expected operation to liberate Mosul was also discussed during the meeting. According to US officials, more than two billion dollars are needed to do this. This amount includes such thing as “support for the displaced, and what it requires of preparations to relieve their suffering and help them to return to their areas of residence.” In other words, this is contribution to the local Sunni forces under the possible agreement over Mosul. The United States expects is going to raise this amount from the coalition members.

I wonder if the IS hasn't been leaking out of Manbij in just the same way? I wonder if there won't soon be a de facto tripartite division of both Syria and Iraq into Kurd, Sunni, and Shiia/Alawite controlled statelets? Certainly that seems to me to be the US/NATO/KSA/GCC plan. And the Syrians and Russians seem to have left eastern Syria to the US/NATO. They cannot fight their war on two fronts in any case.

Posted by: jfl | Aug 6 2016 1:37 utc | 44

If oppo fighters' goal n #Syria now 2 separate Alawi citizens &kill them.... Up to them 2 clarify.
In answer to b's question,
What has changed that Landis and Ford now act surprised
Answer is nothing. The Ford tweet drips with denial.

Posted by: William Rood | Aug 6 2016 3:15 utc | 45

@26 Oh, please. They were under no illusions, as the article itself point out regarding the "Christians to Beirut, Alawites to the grave" chants.
@21 Yes, they are "Shocked, shocked," that sectarianism and genocide are threatened in this establishment.

Posted by: William Rood | Aug 6 2016 3:31 utc | 46

Well, I'm still hoping that the "bomb" is the shock and awe that Team Obama demurs (again) because there is nothing worth risking American lives and resources to save ... and there are other "local actors" to carry the burden.

I don't know how willing "nato" or some configuration of members are at this point to further kick the hornet's nest, for all Hollande's posturing wrt Syria and Libya -- or how supportive the French might be to Holande's world stage aspirations** (since it's not really likely -- if at all -- to reduce their risk of terrorist attack). The "chickens coming home to roost" aspect for the French "should" be enormous since -- reportedly -- I have read recently that the French, in the early days of the "rebellion", were quite happy for Muslim youth to go to Syria to oust Assad... laws of unintended consequences, sort of bad plan I'd expect from the Saudis. What could go wrong?
Impressive also since the jihadi army that had migrated to Libya to fight Gadhafi, then migrated to Syria once Nato had tipped the balance.

** there were French soldiers recently wounded in Libya -- revealing there are French boot on the ground there as well as Syria.

Has anyone found analysis of the the Cables WikiLeaks claims "proves" Clinton's involvement of providing arms to the Syrian "rebels" via, was it, Dubai? All I'm finding are Breitbart and Hannity type websites which give really zero information. (have these 'damning' e-mails even been published yet?

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Aug 6 2016 4:38 utc | 47

Mr Toad@39. I had the misfortune to watch that piece of propaganda [Newsnight 5-08-16] as you say there was no balance, apart from the Russian General [1 minute] all contributions were from apologists or representatives of the head choppers.Absolutely disgusting. Meanwhile the US coalition scorched earth attacks go [for the most part]unreported... The bombardment of Manbij has destroyed its infrastructure, with electricity and water cut off and families forced to bury their loved ones in their gardens because local cemeteries are inaccessible.
Isis is preventing civilians from leaving the city as the humanitarian situation worsens and the group’s ranks are forced into an ever-shrinking residential target zone being pounded by air strikes and shelling.
Susan Sunflower@47. I have no doubt Clinton will say those weapons were sent to "Moderate" Head choppers, along with the thousands of tons of military equipment sent by the US paid for by Saudi Arabia and delivered through Turkey. This was always the reason the US wanted there to be distinction between "moderate" and radical head choppers. Lavrov did see this early on, but seems [regrettably]to have gone along with it for some time.

Posted by: harrylaw | Aug 6 2016 7:17 utc | 48

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Aug 6, 2016 12:38:54 AM | 47

You have to look through Wikileaks Clinton database

My guess is no, there is no smoking gun, as this was surely done via and by the CIA and Clinton had no role in this but must have had knowledge.

She denied that knowledge in the Benghazi commission. So if there is an email proving knowledge she might have a problem - or might not, as the PTB seem to agree that she must become president.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 6 2016 9:00 utc | 49

I cannot fathom why are you still watching live the lame-scream media anti-human propaganda outlets like Brutish Blasphemous Crap, CIA News Network, Faux News?

It's poison.

Much better (if you want to track trends) to read it, or play it on the Internet, when you can stop ingesting that disinfo vomit at any time, possibly save some excerpts for evidence of their crimes.

And also why people are still supporting the tools of the evil empire like Fecesbook (Mossad's project "Ksharim"), Twitter, Youtube, PayPal, Visa, Mastercard, Amazon, Uber, Apple instead of creating and using viable alternatives?

This is insane.

These agencies of the empire are put up there to control your lives with recent dramatic increase in total surveillance (total information awareness) used to build your exhaustive profiles to target and neutralize you when necessary.

Amazon Echo is the ultimate spy device that records everything you say 

Posted by: ProPeace | Aug 6 2016 9:51 utc | 50

HRC,the demoncrat candidate for POTUS is behind all the headchoppers,this just a way to take heat off Trumps coming attacks on her terrible legacy as SS.
I saw at the Indep. that she praised the MSM.Wow.Really now,her personal propaganda service.Wow again.

Posted by: dahoit | Aug 6 2016 12:50 utc | 51

14;Have no clue as to your choice of POTUS,but as an American,the only choice for me is Trump.
Who are you gonna call,Jill Stein?
Is Trump the perfect candidate?No,but he's a hell of as lot better than the Hell Bitch,the most unqualified pos in American history,who has the total zionist msm backing her to the hilt,in lie after lie after disinfo,in somehyting out of Pravda or Isvestia,the old commie rags.
And there is a long way to November,so don't count on MSM scum BS as truth.

Posted by: dahoit | Aug 6 2016 13:01 utc | 52

One thing I do not understand - why didn't Russia, China, Iran, Syria called for a UN Security Council meeting each time NATO, Israel, GCC and their terrorists committed crimes against Syrian, Iraqi populations - shelling civilians, conducting massacres, gas poisoning, bombing civilians?

Why haven't they played that card almost at all, whereas the invaders were screeching loudly at "emergency meetings" of the UNSC almost every month?

Posted by: ProPeace | Aug 6 2016 14:38 utc | 54
The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) says that Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), mainly a Kurdish group, are in control of most of the town of Manbij as fighting in northern neighbourhoods and the town’s centre continues.

Posted by: okie farmer | Aug 6 2016 14:46 utc | 55

Syria Regime Drafts Prisoners, Teachers to Bolster Depleted Army

I guess that they are running out of Afghan Shiites desperate for money.

Posted by: Louis Proyect | Aug 6 2016 15:17 utc | 56

ProPeace@54. I can understand your frustration, unfortunately because all permanent members of the UNSC have the veto, [and their friends]. The US,UK and France can each individualy veto any resolution and make it disappear down the memory hole. Dr David Morrison explains how this system works in his excellent article on why the UNSC could not stop the Iraq war.
"Academic lawyers in their thousands may protest that taking military action against Iraq was illegal because it lacked proper authorisation by the Security Council, but it is of no consequence in the real world when there is no possibility of the UK, or its political leadership, being convicted for taking such action. It is meaningless to describe an action as illegal if there is no expectation that the perpetrator of the action will be convicted by a competent judicial body. In the real world, an action is legal unless a competent judicial body rules that it is illegal".

Posted by: harrylaw | Aug 6 2016 15:26 utc | 57

August 6, 2016 - You cannot make this stuff up ...

In the year 1980 U$A boycotted the Olympic Games hosted by Russia. Reason being Russia had invaded Afghanistan.

U$A has been resident in Afghanistan for 13 years protecting the International Opium Consortium's interests.

Why is irony always so ironic?

Posted by: ALberto | Aug 6 2016 15:46 utc | 58

Russia need to start carpet bombing the flanks.these terrorists have no fear of precision bombing

Posted by: bbbb | Aug 6 2016 15:49 utc | 59

what happened to the French gov radio? we are told that the rebels have managed to encircle the gov held areas of Aleppo "with the help of djihadists"

Posted by: Mina | Aug 6 2016 15:58 utc | 60

@60 Hassan Ridha ‏@sayed_ridha 5m5 minutes ago

Syrian state tv denies claims that militants took control of Ramouseh roundabout
10 retweets 12 likes
Hassan Ridha ‏@sayed_ridha 8m8 minutes ago

According al-Mayadeen: Clashes end at Ramouseh front after Syrian Army repelled attack
17 retweets 24 likes
Hassan Ridha ‏@sayed_ridha 14m14 minutes ago

Hassan Ridha Retweeted الاعلام الحربي

JF withdraw from points in Armament College in south Ramouseh Artillery Base
الاعلام الحربي @C_Military1
الجيش السوري يستعيد السيطرة على الجزء الذي دخله المسلحون في كلية المدفعية جنوب حلب وسط انسحاب لمجموعات منهم من نقاط في كلية التسليح
22 retweets 26 likes
Hassan Ridha ‏@sayed_ridha 22m22 minutes ago

Reports that SAA have recaptured several points inside Artillery Academy

Posted by: bbbb | Aug 6 2016 16:10 utc | 61

@54 Pro Peace
@57 harrylaw

Did you forget that UNSCR which called all countries to fight ISIS in Iraq and Syrie?
(no veto from Russia...)

Posted by: From The Hague | Aug 6 2016 16:19 utc | 62

From The Hague@62. UNSC resolution 2249 [2015] adopted unanimously as you said, also requires everyone to act within International Law and the parameters of the UN Charter.In my opinion the Russians, by being invited into Syria by its legitimate Government have done that. All other countries are in breach of the charter.Furthermore paragraph 6 of that resolution. "Urges Member States to intensify their efforts to stem the flow of foreign terrorist fighters to Iraq and Syria and to prevent and suppress the financing of terrorism, and urges all Members States to continue to fully implement the above-mentioned resolutions";
In light of the above, how come the US does not tell its fellow NATO partner Turkey to close its border with Syria? And also threaten Saudi Arabia with serious consequences for funding those head choppers?

Posted by: harrylaw | Aug 6 2016 17:22 utc | 63

Posted by: Mina | Aug 6, 2016 11:58:16 AM | 60

German radio the same. They are celebrating the "successes" of the fall of Manbij and the break of the encirclement of Aleppo.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 6 2016 17:24 utc | 64

Landis is a waste of space as Hoarse (@ 3 and virgile further down) said, idk the other guy. Imho it is becoming increasingly evident that in the Syria case (setting others aside for the mo) within the USA-PTB several factions are at loggerheads.

An internal is war being fought, and most likely, this has all jelled now, become polarised, into two camps, let’s call them hawks vs. not exactly doves but a crew that is not averse to collaborating with Russia to eliminate AlQ and leave the question of Assad till later, provided they can be seen as ‘running the show’ etc. and counting on better times.… All the switcheroos, hesitations, contradictions, and weird events - outcomes (think Turkey) can’t really be laid at the door of incompetence or just stringing Russia along or any other interpretation I can think of. Of course, there is much at stake, e.g. relations with KSA and Israel, Europe as well, NATO, MIC revenues, etc.

In this explosive, acrimonious election year, most everything has become crapified or is vacillating on the edge of disaster, and the knives have come out. Metaphorical ones, probably covert threats, because many of the actors can (I suppose) bring each other down (with some self-immolation mea-culpa stuff to be sure, but still.. yet all are bound to a kind of silence..that is the main thing..) so the threats or possible consequences are criss-crossed all over. The result: A hodge-podge of ad-hoc statements, supposed policies which never last, negation of previous statements/ways-forward, a day-by-day or even hourly management, clueless spokespersons looking foolish, etc.

The pundits jump on any bandwagon and ‘suddenly’ discover ‘stuff’…

Posted by: Noirette | Aug 6 2016 17:26 utc | 65

@64 harrylaw
a UNSCR is international law and is by definition within the UN Charter

Posted by: From The Hague | Aug 6 2016 18:15 utc | 66

I suspect the mention of the djihadists does not aim at getting them more support from the listeners in the present context. I might be wrong or overly optimistic.

Posted by: Mina | Aug 6 2016 20:10 utc | 67

Manbij is another question: 'Arabo-Kurd Moderates' defeated IS.
But in the case of Aleppo, they pay lip service, by now they must have learned that each time they get a hill or a building they claim victory.

Posted by: Mina | Aug 6 2016 20:12 utc | 68

@harrylaw I know about the veto power, but that never stopped the imperialists from pushing for R2P bombing campaigns in the ME. Why not use the same tactic against them?

@From The Hague I know about that resolution, but that's not enough. Not using the UN forum to underline the crimes of the empire each time it commits them looks lie surrender to me, or some weird deception...

Posted by: ProPeace | Aug 6 2016 23:07 utc | 69

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