Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 07, 2016

Syria - Is The U.S. Preparing A "False Flag" Bombing?

There is a curious coincidence of a remark Secretary of State Kerry made to Syrian opposition activists and a new paint scheme applied to some U.S. military jets.

October 1 2016: Kerry in leaked audio: 'I lost the argument' for use of force in Syria

Washington (CNN) Secretary of State John Kerry's frustration with the failure of American diplomacy was on display as he defended US efforts to help end the five-year civil war in Syria during a meeting last week with a group of Syrian civilians, according to an audio recording obtained by CNN.
Kerry's comments came at a meeting that took place at the Dutch Mission to the United Nations on the sidelines the UN General Assembly, where Kerry was going from session to session in a frenzied effort to resuscitate a ceasefire that seemed poised to collapse.

A complete audio recording of the meeting between Kerry, some of his staff, and some Syrians is available on youtube.

Of interest is a short segment about alleged Russian bombing beginning at 11:18. The female Arab-English interpreter translates remarks by a Syrian, believed to be the Syrian front-man of the White Helmets scam Raed Saleh, about the difficulties of supervising ceasefires.

Interpreter (translating from a male Arabic speaker): We don't believe that Russia can be the guarantor of the actions of the regime. We see Russia is a partner of the regime in bombing Syrians, Syrian civilians, market places, even our own team, the Syrian Civil Defense team. We documented since the start of the Russian intervention in Syria from day one until February of this year more than 17 of our Syrian Civil Defense personal have been killed by Russian airstrikes.

Kerry: Do you have any videos of the airplanes of these strikes?

(crosstalk interpreter and male Arab voice)

Kerry: Can we get that (unintelligible) videos the agents have been asking for?

(crosstalk interpreter and male Arab voice)

Kerry staff member: So can I just say - we get a lot of videos of the victims of these attacks, they are terrible, but they don't help us. We need videos of the actual aircrafts and ammunition. And there is a lot of them on the internet but we don't know whether they are real or not. Verified videos of the actual aircraft is the most useful thing. ...

These men can be helped, though someone in the U.S. military - or not.

A Canadian journalist based in Eastern/Central Europe, Christian Borys tweeted yesterday:

Christian Borys @ItsBorys

The U.S is painting their F/A-18's to match the paint schemes of Russian jets in #Syria. Standard training, but interesting nonetheless.

1:45 PM - 6 Oct 2016

This is the attached pic:


The first three pics are of an U.S. F/A-18 fighter and attack aircraft in Russian coloring. (The wingtips are raised for storage as this is a carrier enabled plane. The windows of the raised cockpit hood are covered with white sun protection sheets.) On the bottom right is a picture of a Russia SU-34 in the usual Russian color scheme as it is also used by the Russian contingent in Syria.

It would be extremely difficult to distinguish these like-colored planes from each other in a shaky fly-by and "bombing" video.

The U.S. regularly uses planes in "enemy" color schemes as "aggressor force" during training and maneuvers. It helps U.S. pilots to get used to "enemy" targets during air-to-air combat training. So this can all be, like Christian Borys assumes, "standard training".

But there is also Kerry's talk with the Syrian opposition and his explicit request for videos of "Russian" jets bombing in Syria.

This may be an innocent coincidence: Secretary Kerry is asking the scam artists of the White Helmets for video of Russian jets "bombing civilians" in Syria and, just by chance, the U.S. military is painting one of its jets to look like a "Russian" Su-34 strike fighter like those deployed in Syria.

But many incidents in Syria, the Ghouta gas attack, the recent aid convoy attack, get attributed to Russia or the Syrian government without any proof (or even despite contrary evidence). The media always eat these falsehoods up based simply on some official's say-so, some unverified pictures or video and without asking any further questions. A "Russian attack" on some large civilian target like a refugee camp, documented on video!, would be a very easy sell. The propagandized "uproar" over such an attack could be easily used to launch a wider war. The attack on the Gleiwitz Radio tower, the Gulf of Tonkin incident and "Saddam's WMDs" come to mind. Kerry is not shy of such lying. Today he invented a new hospital attack, said it was a war crime and that Russia and Syria should be investigated. No such attack happened.

The Russian parliament ratified an agreement with Syria about the indefinite stationing of Russian forces in Syria. Yesterday the Russian Ministry of Defense warned that Russian soldiers are embedded with Syrian units on the ground and that they would be defended against any attempt of air attacks by the Russian air-defense in Syria. U.S. media called such matter of course statement bellicose talk.

There is plenty of lose talk in U.S. media about attacking Syrian and Russian forces in Syria. The U.S. recently bombed a Syrian unit in a well known position it had held for many month. 82 Syrian soldier died and many more were wounded. The strike furthered the advance of ISIS on the besieged Deir Ezzor. That was no 'mistake' as the U.S. claimed.

Russia will defend its forces in Syria and it will defend Syria's sovereignty. It is not alone. A Chinese navy frigate just arrived in the Syrian port Tartus. Should that trip-wire get touched 1.3 billion Chinese would join the Russians, Iranians and Syrians in waging war against the U.S. "regime change" attempt in Syria. Washington is warned. No cheap paint scheme trickery will be accepted as reason to hold back. Russia WILL hit back should the need arise.

Any attack on Russian or Syrian forces would be illegal. Kerry himself, in the above linked talk, says that the U.S. has absolutely no legal grounds for any such attack. It would be illegitimate and a crime. But the U.S. is not known for staying strictly within the framework of international law. Russia is well advised to warn of the eventual consequences of any breach. There is nothing "bellicose" about that.

Posted by b on October 7, 2016 at 16:36 UTC | Permalink

next page »

"But the U.S. is known for not staying within the framework of international law."

There - fixed it for you

Posted by: mh505 | Oct 7 2016 16:46 utc | 1

Is The U.S. Preparing A "False Flag" Bombing?


This may be an innocent coincidence: Secretary Kerry is asking the scam artists of the White Helmets for video of Russian jets "bombing civilians" in Syria and, just by chance, the U.S. military is painting one of its jets to look like a "Russian" Su-34 strike fighter like those deployed in Syria.

Whole Kerry's leaked "secret" audio is a sham aka operation of influence--good for journos and other media types, not for GRU (or FSB), they saw things much better made before. This was a deliberate crude BS for Russia's policy makers consumption.

Posted by: SmoothieX12 | Oct 7 2016 17:00 utc | 2

Sheikh Obama working with AQ and ISIS before leaving will yield him a good job in Raqqa, Mosul or Tora bora. If they need a spokesman, we will have Kerry to spit out the crap as needed. We are now AQ Airforce and will stoop down to become them as long as "Assad must go" continues. Let us see- Cameron gone, Merkel will be going soon, Saudi ship sinking, Shiekh Obama in few months, Harper gone, Hollande soon leaving but Assad will remain. Comrade Putin and Lavrov will be there, Nugent and her cronies will also leave.

Posted by: ChamCham | Oct 7 2016 17:13 utc | 3

Chinese navy frigate just arrived in the Syrian port Tartus. Should that trip-wire get touched 1.3 billion Chinese would join the Russians, Iranians and Syrians in waging war against the U.S. "regime change" attempt in Syria.


The ultimate geopolitical change of the last decades is the association of Russia and China.
Thanks USA!

China will be sick of the the american hate speak and war talk.

This year:
G7, UCS:

And then a couple of days ago:

Every one of these new weapons and upgrades is geared to fighting a war with China, premised on the Pentagon’s AirSea Battle strategy—a massive missile and air assault on the Chinese mainland supplemented by a crippling naval blockade.

Posted by: From The Hague | Oct 7 2016 17:17 utc | 4

The USA's dilemma
Who Will Take al-Bab?

By Fabrice Balanche

Posted by: virgile | Oct 7 2016 17:19 utc | 5

Does anybody know what the stated mission of the Chinese vessel is?

Posted by: dan | Oct 7 2016 17:20 utc | 6

Why don't Russians set up no fly zone over Aleppo or whole Syria after official Syrian government legal request, distributed in UN and western media.
That would help fighting ANF/ISIL and prevent a false flag bombing by Americans.

Will they finally do what they should have done a year ago?

And why they allowed Turks to bomb Syria at all is a mystery to me unless they still believe lying sultan of Ankara after being f..cked in Jarablus.

Posted by: Kalen | Oct 7 2016 17:22 utc | 7

Pretty sure if the US was serious about getting dirty, the only target that would galvanize (or come close to galvanizing) the American or European public would be the YPG.

A massive strike would not only give the US an excuse to escalate, it would give it an excuse to do so openly and with large commitment - more strikes on Syrian anybody aren't going to fire up the American or European public.

True, it makes no sense for the Russians to do this, but how many Americans know this? Many were told that not only Saddam, but also the Iranians were in cahoots with AlQaeda and believed it without a second thought.

Posted by: Miller | Oct 7 2016 17:30 utc | 8

Secretary of State John Kerry called Friday for Russia and Syria to face a war crimes investigation for their attacks on Syrian civilians, further illustrating the downward spiral in relations between Washington and Moscow.

Kerry said Syrian forces hit a hospital overnight, killing 20 people and wounding 100, describing what would be the latest strike by Moscow or its ally in Damascus on a civilian target.

Posted by: Richo | Oct 7 2016 17:36 utc | 9

Sen. Mike Lee: U.S. Can't Bomb Syrian Forces Without Congressional Approval -

Pat Lang also has a short post up titled 'The U.S. Chain of Command' where he spells out the differences between the power 'to make war' as opposed to the power 'to declare war' -

Posted by: h | Oct 7 2016 17:56 utc | 10

Russian General: Russia in Syria because of Gazprom

Russian General Leonid Ivashov announced during the broadcast on TV Rossiya 1, the Kremlin decided to engage in war in Syria because of the desire to safeguard the interests of Gazprom. The case reported portal “This war is being waged by pipelines.” Source:


Neither the Qatari nor the Iranian pipelines are in Russia's interest.

Posted by: ThatDamnGood | Oct 7 2016 18:00 utc | 11

US & Europe Preparing Sanctions Against Russia for Fighting Terrorism in Syria
Read more:

Posted by: Repz | Oct 7 2016 18:00 utc | 12

Chinese frigate still unconfirmed as of now. But if its there, that would be floating S-300.

Posted by: ThatDamnGood | Oct 7 2016 18:03 utc | 13

Depending on the vintage.

Posted by: ThatDamnGood | Oct 7 2016 18:04 utc | 14


Thank you especially F/A-18's paint job!
How on earth you found these pics?

Posted by: Jack Smith | Oct 7 2016 18:05 utc | 15

Oops, destroyer would be fielding a S-300, not a frigate.

Posted by: ThatDamnGood | Oct 7 2016 18:10 utc | 16

Using violence to oppose a government is not allowed in the US. How can we support it in other countries? Should some one be allowed to enter the US and protect people from the police. With all the documentation it is clear that is actually happening. Is there a law that allows our civil servants to lie to and deceive us? To hire folks to invent a false reality. I would like a website showing the location of all Hospitals and occasional spy photos showing their status. The offer to let the bad guys leave with weapons does not sound like the actions of those intent on genocide!

Posted by: frankly | Oct 7 2016 18:17 utc | 17

"Why don't Russians set up no fly zone over Aleppo or whole Syria after official Syrian government legal request, distributed in UN and western media.
That would help fighting ANF/ISIL and prevent a false flag bombing by Americans."

Putin is playing a weird PR game but I agree with a no fly towards US planes.. The US has no right to be there.

Posted by: Alaric | Oct 7 2016 18:19 utc | 18

AMN reports that al-Nursa terrorists have refused the opportunity to evacuate their besieged pocket with weapons: "Meanwhile, the leadership of Jabhat Fateh Al-Sham (formerly known as Jabhat Al-Nusra) said they would not evacuate the jihadist group's fighters from Aleppo despite a desperate plea from the UN's Staffan de Mistura to rid the city's rebel-held districts of Al-Qaeda militants through diplomatic means." The linked article includes updated situational maps. Perhaps the terrorists hope some sort of false-flag can be worked out that will enable Obama to reverse his decision not to attack SAA and their embedded Russian troops, as reported here,

SyrPers has long reported that at least a dozen and perhaps more USSF troops are caught within the besieged area, which is why the continuing effort to attain a ceasefire, while the ability to withdraw with weapons would have allowed them to escape capture or death. The refusal by their terrorist partners would seem to seal their fate. Of course, since it's been demonstrated Obama isn't in total control of the Outlaw US Empire's military resources, some sort of false flag may still be arranged.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 7 2016 18:29 utc | 19 Lavelle and Co take down the White Helmets.

Posted by: ruralito | Oct 7 2016 18:36 utc | 20

Imagine there is a False Flag and nobody buys it.

Posted by: Stillnottheonly1 | Oct 7 2016 18:47 utc | 21

"Thank you especially F/A-18's paint job!
How on earth you found these pics?

Posted by: Jack Smith | Oct 7, 2016 2:05:15 PM "
Look's like these fotos have been @ LIVELEAK for over 21 hours now.
Regardless, the mf's have been revealed!
;) X-

Posted by: XuscitizenSweden | Oct 7 2016 18:56 utc | 22

Putin Has Given the United States an Ultimatum

Now Putin demands not just apologies and the release of a couple of prisoners, but a change of America’s entire policy, besides compensation. This is an impractical and insulting demand for unconditional surrender, in a hybrid war which Washington does not consider irreparably lost.

Only Great Britain claimed something similar from the US, before the end of the American Revolution, when it was still a rebellious subject. During the last hundred years, no one could imagine talking to Washington like that. Putin clearly and intentionally humiliated the US, showing that it could be talked to the way it speaks to the rest of the world - only more so.

I think the only way for the US to save face is to get Trump elected. The empire can then give up on Obama's jihad on Syria and say it wasn't defeated – Trump just has other priorities.

Posted by: Demian | Oct 7 2016 18:57 utc | 23

ChamCham | Oct 7, 2016 1:13:15 PM | 3

They may have reached the bottom of the barrell and are thinking of re-cycling " Tony Blair considering future role in British politics"

Posted by: Terry | Oct 7 2016 19:01 utc | 24

Three MoAs commented on Chinese's frigate in Syria. I dunno the reasons. However, Chinese navies are part of the multinational anti piracy forces off the coast of Somalia or the horn of Africa with a military base in Djibouti.

China will not participate in Syria for now except, humanitarian and/or training. She will have to support Russia if and when warmongers’ USA and coalition of the willing boots on the ground.

China and Russia each going their own way. However, as India moves closer to Amerikka, China will moves even closer to The Kremlin.

Katehon extensive analysis multipolar: Russia, India, Afghanistan, China and Pakistan.

Posted by: Jack Smith | Oct 7 2016 19:08 utc | 25

If China finally gets militarily seriously involved in Syria then it's all over, except for WW3, if the US forces it.
Once again, just imagine how many lives would've been saved if Putin and Russian misleadership idiocy did this resistance from day one. But those lives are not seeminly worth it according to the fake worldview as priority as already amply demonstrated.

And, that won't stop the Russia hate propaganda campaign because there is still demonisation to be created by the evil western elite to separate as much of Europe as possible from Russia and china.

Posted by: tom | Oct 7 2016 19:14 utc | 26

b, the US of A knows that its propaganda is not selling. I don't know the percentage of Westerners who still believe what the corporate media or their politicians say, but I suspect the percentage is not high. There is a kind of stubbornness that is driving Western elites' thinking these days, which I find perplexing. Somehow it seems like they are being pushed willy-nilly to perdition. And somehow the civil society has been largely passive like in a state of shock. Russia seems to have had enough. And with China also showing signs of having had enough, I don't know what the civil society in the Western countries think would be the outcome of the sheer madness of their ruling elite. A mad person is about to be elected the President of the US come November. And that lunatic will have the nuclear weapon button at her or his finger tip. It is a terrifying prospect, but it looks unstoppable.

Posted by: Steve | Oct 7 2016 19:16 utc | 27

@XuscitizenSweden | Oct 7, 2016 2:56:55 PM | 22


If the originally pics came from Liveleaks, Too much fake in Liveleaks. Learned about fakes in 2014 Ukraine's Odessa massacred. Even more of Kiev's fake's phone calls between the Separatists during Malaysia's MH17. Can anyone proof authenticity or fake?

Posted by: Jack Smith | Oct 7 2016 19:28 utc | 28

China will not get involve unless provoke repeatedly. The People Republic of China and Russia Federation are comrades in arm. Period!

Posted by: Jack Smith | Oct 7 2016 19:39 utc | 29

These are opfor photos. Such planes are not in theatre in ME.

Posted by: Elwood | Oct 7 2016 19:39 utc | 30

The power elite who run the US imagine themselves to be a lot braver than they really are.

I've read many of the documents that anticipate a broader war against Russia and China and it makes for some pretty scary reading, but the bottom line is this: "Do you really think the US has the fortitude to go toe to toe with Russia?

Personally, I don't think they do. The US likes slapping around the little guys like Iraq or Nicaragua, but they don't want to tangle with someone that can defend themselves

Yesterday's announcement by the Russian Ministry of Defense has really rattled a lot of cages in Washington and, probably brought some common sense back into the discussion. Russia is not a country you want to mess with. They have all the toys they need to turn the lower 48 into a 3,000 mile-long stretch of glowing cinderblock.

I doubt that Obama and co think Aleppo is worth the risk.

Posted by: plantman | Oct 7 2016 19:44 utc | 31

Russia put s300 in syria after info that u.s. planned strikes against air bases!

Posted by: levo | Oct 7 2016 19:47 utc | 32

Following yesterday’s Russian warning that Russia stood ready to shoot down US aircraft or missiles attacking Syria, the US has confirmed all plans for military action against Syria have been dropped.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest confirmed this speaking to reporters on Thursday 6th October 2016.

“The president has discussed in some details why military action against the Assad regime to try to address the situation in Aleppo is unlikely to accomplish the goals that many envisioned now in terms of reducing the violence there. It is much more likely to lead to a bunch of unintended consequences that are clearly not in our national interest.”
They have suddenly realized that Russia is a little stronger than Grenada.

Posted by: harrylaw | Oct 7 2016 19:50 utc | 33

@plantman | Oct 7, 2016 3:44:35 PM | 32

I doubt that Obama and co think Aleppo is worth the risk.

Nope, Obomo got no balls it's not about risk or innocents civilian' lives but Russia is bound to retaliates.

Citizens with pitchforks will march to Washington and bring the lawmakers down.

Posted by: Jack Smith | Oct 7 2016 20:03 utc | 34

A computer/photoshop literate 12 year old could color those aircraft photos and achieve the same results. Logically Russia knows which inflight aircraft are theirs and which are not. The person who photoshopped those pictures is most probably Russian. Russians do have a sense of humor.

The Chinese ship of the line visiting Tartus is most likely a message event. The message being if you War on Russia you War on China. The old two front War. Remember Hitler?

Just me opinion.

Posted by: ALberto | Oct 7 2016 20:09 utc | 35

But wait, that's a conspiracy theory, Daddy!

Posted by: paul | Oct 7 2016 20:14 utc | 36

Here is an excellent Air Power Australia technical article on the S-300 family:

NIEMI/Antey S-300V 9K81/9K81-1/9K81M/MK
Self Propelled Air Defence System / SA-12/SA-23 Giant/Gladiator

"The highly mobile Antey S-300V and S-300VM remain one of the most lethal area defence SAM systems ever developed, firing hypersonic missiles designed to engage aircraft, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles.

Designed from the outset for high mobility and effectiveness against targets at all altitudes, the S-300V would have been a key player in any late Cold War conflict. This weapon was developed to provide not only long range area defence, but also to engage and destroy ISR assets like the E-3 AWACS, E-8 JSTARS and U-2, and tactical jammers like the EF-111A Raven and EA-6B Prowler.

There have been repeated reports since the beginning of the decade in the Indian media that a buy of this system was imminent, but to date none has materialised. Numerous reports have also surfaced that the PLA is operating either an S-300V or S-300VM variant under the designation of HQ-18, although no hard evidence to support this claim has emerged as yet.

From an Australian perspective the possible deployment of S-300V family of missiles in Asia is of major concern. Rapidly deployable, high survivable, and highly lethal, these weapons are especially difficult to counter and require significant capabilities to robustly defeat. The US Air Force currently envisages the F-22A Raptor as the primary weapon used to defeat these capable systems.

It is important to note that no F/A-18 variant, nor the Joint Strike Fighter, were designed to penetrate the coverage of the S-300V/VM systems. The survivability of these aircraft will not be significantly better than that of legacy combat aircraft...

...The engagement envelope of the baseline Gladiator is between 80 ft AGL to 80 kft, and ranges of 3.2 to 40 nautical miles, the Giant between 3,200 ft AGL to 100 kft, and ranges of 7 to 54 nautical miles. The system can launch the missiles at 1.5 second intervals, and a battalion with four batteries can engage 24 targets concurrently, with 2 missiles per target, and has a complement of between 96 and 192 missiles available for launch on TELAR/TELs. A TELAR can arm a missile for launch in 15 seconds, with a 40 second time to prepare a TELAR for an engagement, and 5 minute deploy and stow times - a genuine “hide, shoot and scoot” capability.

The cited single shot kill probabilities for the Gladiator are 50% to 65% against TBMs and 70% to 90% against aircraft, for the Giant 40% to 60% against IRBMs and 50% to 70% against the AGM-69 SRAM - ballistic missiles with re-entry velocities of up to 3 km/s can be engaged. Russian sources credit the missiles with endgame capability against 7-8G manoeuvring targets. The later 9M82M and 9M83M are credited with a 30G endgame capability.
The Soviets were terrified of the EF-111A fleet operated by Tactical Air Command and equipped the S-300V system with a facility for passive targeting of support jammers. The 9S15, 9S19 and 9S32 have receiver channels for sidelobe jamming cancellation and these are used to produce very accurate bearings to the airborne jammer, this bearing information is then used to develop angular tracks. The angular tracks are then processed by the 9S457 command post to estimate range, and the 9S32 then develops an estimated track for the target jammer. A Giant missile is then launched and steered by command link until it acquires the target."

Posted by: Dean | Oct 7 2016 20:18 utc | 37

Dont you love the cocky EU-states just marching behind Obama's warmongering, they will be the first to join US war. Disgusting!

Posted by: Repz | Oct 7 2016 20:19 utc | 38

Just reported RT live. UN envoy Staffan de Mistura willing to escort and guarantee Headchoppers out of Aleppo together with weapons.

FM Sergey Lavrov agrees to get consent from Syria. It will not work, Headchoppers will hide explosive vest or kill Staffan de Mistura in Aleppo and again blames it on SAA and Russia.

Posted by: Jack Smith | Oct 7 2016 20:21 utc | 39

The Russian MOD says:

"Major General Igor Konashenkov, the Chief of the Directorate of Media service and Information of the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, openly mentioned one such option. Here is what he said:

“As for Kirby’s threats about possible Russian aircraft losses and the sending of Russian servicemen back to Russia in body bags, I would say that we know exactly where and how many “unofficial specialists” operate in Syria and in the Aleppo province and we know that they are involved in the operational planning and that they supervise the operations of the militants. Of course, one can continue to insist that they are unsuccessfully involved in trying to separate the al-Nusra terrorists from the “opposition” forces. But if somebody tries to implement these threats, it is by no means certain that these militants will have to time to get the hell out of there.”

Posted by: Dean | Oct 7 2016 20:27 utc | 40

that's right b, we're all just a waitin' for the shoe to drop...

...they're burning the midnight oil in Langley...

treacherous cretins

Posted by: john | Oct 7 2016 20:29 utc | 41

Friday October 7, 2016 - YOU CANNOT MAKE THIS STUFF UP -

The forces directly responsible for the deaths of 1 million, 2 million, 3 million innocent civilian in the ME say

"US secretary of state John Kerry has called for Russia and Syria to face war crimes investigations for their bombing of civilian targets.

Kerry was speaking before a meeting with the French foreign minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, to discuss a new Franco-Spanish resolution presented to the security council on Friday, calling for a restoration of a ceasefire in Aleppo, the resumption of humanitarian deliveries and an end to aerial bombing.
Eastern Aleppo could be destroyed by Christmas, warns UN Syria envoy
Read more

Ayrault said the resolution was not aimed at a confrontation with Russia but was an appeal for a truce to save Aleppo. He repeated a warning from the UN special envoy, Staffan de Mistura that the rebel-held eastern Aleppo – home to 275,000 people – could be completely destroyed by December at the current intensity of Russian and Syrian bombing.

Kerry denounced what he called “this siege in the 21st century ... of innocent people”."

Posted by: ALberto | Oct 7 2016 20:29 utc | 42

@harrylaw #34

Following yesterday’s Russian warning that Russia stood ready to shoot down US aircraft or missiles attacking Syria, the US has confirmed all plans for military action against Syria have been dropped.

Maybe Russia will play a role in the US election after all, just not in the way that Hillary said. Losing a war does not help win elections.

@Steve #27:

the US of A knows that its propaganda is not selling. I don't know the percentage of Westerners who still believe what the corporate media or their politicians say, but I suspect the percentage is not high.

I started reading Breitbart regularly when the Obama administration tried to pretend that the Orlando shootings were not jihad. Practically all the commentators there on the Syria stories understand that the US is supporting jihad in Syria. And I think some of those commentators must be ordinary Republicans; they can't all be Alt Right types.

Supporting Sunni jihadis in Syria was begun by the Bush administration, as Seymour Hersh reported in 2007. But Bush could do that without it making much of an impression on most Americans. It was another thing for Obama to go on supporting jihad however, given that the closet Muslim meme was out there.

Posted by: Demian | Oct 7 2016 20:36 utc | 43

the worst part of a possible hillary victory: kerry and carter might stick around. also the ginger lunatic samantha power and her cheap, tiresome theatrics. not that trump would give them all the boot immediately but at least there would be the democrat/republican schism speeding the process along.

on the planes: reminds me of all the screeching ukraine MH17 propaganda (recently rehashed with a "report" based on assumptions and anonymous sources) with a little northwoods mixed in.

i kinda doubt the fresh paint will fool the russian air defense systems. they might also notice "their" plane coming from the turkish border. and if it gets shot down then they can just say "oops! friendly fire! cuz it was totally one of ours, RIGHT?"

on the hospital bombing: from the little i've seem so far it was in khan al-shih outside of damascus and contains at least one palestinian refugee camp. there were reports from 6 days ago that the SAA was trying to retake the area and a random condemnation by a hamas spokesman of deaths in the palestinian areas. we all know how deeply concerned the neocons are about those casualties. in any case, it falls under "wouldn't have happened in the first place if the west hadn't started this mess up".

Posted by: the pair | Oct 7 2016 20:40 utc | 44

Steve 27

Apart from arm twisting threats and blackmail, the elites of the US "world" are looking at their world crashing down if the US crashes. A total overturning of the post WWII system. They are looking at the end of an era and are frightened.

Posted by: Peter AU | Oct 7 2016 20:43 utc | 45

Man, did this post ever bring out the propagandist trolls. b, it looks like you may have hit a nerve...or covert plan that would go 'unacknowledged'.

Posted by: h | Oct 7 2016 20:46 utc | 46

adjective: empirical

based on, concerned with, or verifiable by observation or experience rather than theory or pure logic.

Unfortunately our side, the U.S., is operating in a 1950s ideological sphere that is completely and totally divorced from reality. I do not believe that Vietnam II will fly with the U.S. public in the year 2016.

Just my opinion

Posted by: ALberto | Oct 7 2016 20:50 utc | 48

@32, Plantman

The power elite who run the US imagine themselves to be a lot braver than they really are.

US power "elite" in general has no clue about war. They simply have no point of reference, since US as a nation is not conditioned by continental warfare. Continental warfare means very many "lovely" things such as utter destruction, rape, pillage, massive deaths and other things which follow when other culture invades. US didn't experience any invasion since 1812. I already had a very unpleasant exchange with one otherwise decent American that the difference between battalion level engagements with muskets and the advance of Wehrmacht Army Group Center in 1941 or of the 1st Belorussian Front in 1944 is about the same as the difference between Volkswagen Beetle and fully loaded freight train. The problem with US power "elites" is that they bought their own narrative, including many in military establishment. US "elites" had been stared down and they simply do not know how to deal with it. As per European "elites"--it is a collection of degenerates who already sold everything, including Europe's future, to Islam, USA, terrorists, what have you. The word incompetent is the most polite term applicable to them.

Posted by: SmoothieX12 | Oct 7 2016 20:58 utc | 49

b: “Russia will defend its forces in Syria and it will defend Syria's sovereignty.”

And what evidence can you point to to support this assertion?

Here’s what I’ve noticed about Putin’s resolve in this matter since wading in all full of bluster and blow late last year:

RuF plane shot out of the air, pilot killed. Response: RuAF tucks tail back to Moscow.

At least 2 Syrian planes downed: Response: none.

Turkey invades Syria and it’s forces are still there. Response: Ru/Syria pitch one tiny bitch at the UN.

82 SAA fighters killed by US-led/directed attacks. Response: Putin agrees to loser cease-fire in Aleppo so salafists can re-arm.

IAF flies bombing runs on Syria whenever they damn well want, including very close to downtown Damascus. IAF drones are in the sky over Syria constantly. Response: Putin has sit-down chat with Bibi, attacks & drones continue.

The history I see here suggests Putin has been probed numerous times, and each probe indicates he’s a blowhard eunuch. His pilots don’t even defend themselves in the air.

So what evidence do we have that Ru will defend Syria? Would love to see it. Have been waiting for it since late last year when I mistakenly believed Putin was going to end this cluster-fuck.

Posted by: Denis | Oct 7 2016 21:24 utc | 50

Theatre of the absurd. How can the cradle of democracy nurture such a caustic cuckoo as a nihilist sectarian fascist abomination? What event lobotomised it? Was there a direct cause or was this how it was all along: we were just swaddled in the comfort blanket of the imperium? Taking the red pill is such a bitch - but its better than the alternative.

Posted by: bridger | Oct 7 2016 21:27 utc | 51

Paint, if the transponder is off shoot the plane down.

Posted by: jo6pac | Oct 7 2016 21:50 utc | 52

This painting of an F/A 18 in Ru colors is meaningless to me. The Red Hat squadron has been doing this for quite sometime. Not to mention they had (likely still do) their own MiGs to fly. Not that hard to acquire on through black market channels/neutral countries that the Russians sell to.

Posted by: yah hi | Oct 7 2016 22:14 utc | 53

Sorry to post back to back but a short bit of research shows the US bought 21 MiG 29s from Moldova in 1997. So yeah, a Ruski paint scheme on an FA 18 is Not convincing of anything really.

Posted by: yah hi | Oct 7 2016 22:21 utc | 54


Just great, simply perfect!!

"oops! friendly fire! cuz it was totally one of ours, RIGHT?"

Posted by: Mad Marx | Oct 7 2016 22:37 utc | 55

Denis 50

You may have watched too much WWF wrestling. This is the real world where Russia is quietly taking down the US and and all the while looking innocent. All the time Russia has given the US the opportunity to back down and save face. Russia is operating from a position of strength not weakness. They have no need of blowhard theatrics.

Posted by: Peter AU | Oct 7 2016 23:06 utc | 56

False flag against what exactly?

A strike on Syrian civilians will do nothing. The US is already screaming bloody murder about Russian airstrikes on civilians to little effect. Plus, you'd have to be pretty damn sure you could either beat the air defence networks of Russians, Turks, and Israelis, or have them go along with the plan.

A strike at a neighbouring country? See above plus that would probably require that country to be complicit in the strike.

A strike on US forces? Find me a pilot and support crew who would do it and keep their mouths shut.

The most likely scenario is that it's exactly what it looks like, an aggressor squadron training exercise.

Posted by: Grimgrin | Oct 7 2016 23:08 utc | 57

While trying to figure out if there's any military action you can take, why not accuse Russia of something else?

US government: Russia behind hacking campaign to disrupt US elections

Judging by the comments at ArsTechnica, opinion as to whether these claims should be taken seriously are polarized according to whether you are Trump or a Hillary supporter. It's like the inverse of what happened under the Bush 2 administration. Democrats truly have become the war party. (Of course, McCain is pushing for war too, but he's a fossil.)

Posted by: Demian | Oct 7 2016 23:24 utc | 58

Advice to the Russians - "bomb" Aleppo with 1 million loaded pistols
(with due credit given to Star Trek)
Note: the following is only plausible if the Alleppo civilian population is largely hostile to the rebels. I frankly don't know if this is the case, or not.

According to Staffan de Mistura, ( there are about 900 Fateh al-Sham fighters (which "is the strongest force in the ground repelling the government [advance]") and about 8,000 rebel fighters, over all.

The same article gives a figure of 275,000 civilians.

So, in Aleppo, civilians outnumber rebels 34:1. They outnumber Fateh al-Sham 83:1.

If all those civilians had pistols, they could arrest, shoot or confine the terrorists to hideaway locations. They could then "open the city gates", so to speak, to Syria and allied forces, to mop up the hiders.

If the Fateh al-Sham dudes are extremely hard core, and if the rest of the rebels are not, a more plausible scenario is probably this: The civilians could kill/capture/corner enough of the total rebel population, the non-hard core rebel majority could be convinced to leave the city, fighting it out with Fateh al-Sham hard liners, if necessary.

OK, so how does Russia distribute 1,000,000 loaded pistols to the residents of Aleppo?

Inspiration can be had (perhaps ironically) from the American space program. In particular, the dropping of the Martian Rover probes, surrounded by inflated balls.

Inflatable balls are less than $1 (an assortment of 12 is $4.98, on Amazon).

The Amazon inflatable assortment has both round balls, as well as (American, oblong) footballs.

So, with duct tape, you tape a pistol onto the football. You then tape 3 or 4 other balls (say the round ones) to the football/pistol combo, and probably at least one adjacent ball.

You then take a million of these puppies, load them into Russian bombers, and bomb away! They won't damage building (not compared to real bombs, anyway), and the terrorists would be vastly outnumbered by folks who don't appreciate being held as hostages.

OK, one last point. I should credit Star Trek for part of this inspiration. In particular, the episode "The trouble with Tribbles". See for a visual! :-)

Posted by: metamars | Oct 7 2016 23:48 utc | 59

SmoothieX12 | Oct 7, 2016 4:58:04 PM | 49

The problem with US power "elites" is that they bought their own narrative, including many in military establishment.

Those who do not study history, and all that. I would think that there are a few West Point officers who know their stuff. But corollary to your point, looking at the Syria methodology, it's right out of Viet Nam play-book -- SF force multiplication, aerial bombardment, weak propaganda, faulty ideology, etc. So the haunting of Viet Nam ghosts that supposedly was exorcised by the Desert Storm is back upon us. Bush the 1st had it right: Declare victory, have a parade, get the hell out before you're stuck.

Posted by: stumpy | Oct 8 2016 0:16 utc | 60

Is the US planning a false flag attack in Syria? I don't know but it would not surprise me. They seem hellbent on making sure Syria is destroyed and/or Balkanized and right now the momentum is with the SAA and their allies and the MIC is desperately flailing...

In the "it was only a matter of time" and "you can't make this shit up" department the French UN delegation Tweeted a picture of a bombed hospital in Aleppo...except it wasn't in Aleppo, it was a bombed building in Gaza. The tweet was subsequently deleted.

Posted by: Temporarily Sane | Oct 8 2016 0:27 utc | 61

I've finally learned why the Syrian government calls the people it is trying to defeat "terrorists", and not jihadis, for example:

SOTT FOCUS: A new kind of war: Russian journalist and war expert on what they learned in Syria

Terror warfare pits large numbers of lone-wolf attackers and relatively small groups of terrorists against all of the conventional and guerrilla targets, but the terrorists only fight the army when they need to - the main target is the civilian population.

The main goal is not to take territory, but to create chaos and completely destroy the country, including its government, institutions, and economy.

Terrorists' mobility and camouflage is much higher than guerrillas, as they can fully mingle with civilian populations.

Unlike guerrillas, they do not need the support of the local population. Local civilians are either killed, enslaved, or subjugated.

They have no classic command and control centers - those are mostly abroad and not essential. Terrorist groups and individuals can and do operate without a strict military hierarchy. (But offensives like the recent on on western Aleppo do require some coordination.)

Their number of potential targets in the country is equal to the number of its civilians, not to mention any physical structure. Thus, because it is impossible to defend everything, attacks are nearly impossible to prevent.

There's an hour long lecture about this by two Russians, with simultaneous voice-over translation.

Posted by: Demian | Oct 8 2016 0:37 utc | 62

Turkish forces not part of coalition against ISIS in Iraq: US

"The Turkish Army on Iraqi soil is illegal and has not entered the country with the official permission of the Iraqi government. Several countries that are part of the International Coalition Forces are in Iraq due to the permission of the Iraqi Government. These countries support the Iraqi Army in the fight against ISIS," Lt. Colonel Dorrian added.

This is a couple of days old, but I haven't seen it posted here. Pretty amazing if its true. Turkey cannot be pleased. What are the consequences for Syria? If the Turkish Army on Iraqi soil has not entered the country with the official permission of the Iraqi government, and the Turkish Army on Syrian soil has not entered the country with the official permission of the Syrian government ... what can be the difference between the two? They're both illegal, even in the US blindered eyes.

A straight attribution ought to be easily verified/denied. This is the only notice I've seen ...

On the false flag bombing ... they don't need to paint the planes, all they need to do is say it was Syrian/Russian and the TNC media will put it on the front page. I think that that line to the White Helmet on the sidelines was of the throw the dog a bone variety ... and that's the way the White Helmet took it.

Posted by: jfl | Oct 8 2016 0:45 utc | 63

@ Demian #62

they do not need the support of the local population. Local civilians are either killed, enslaved, or subjugated.

Metamars #59 gives the solution:

Local civilians with guns will not be killed, enslaved or subjugated.

Posted by: From The Hague | Oct 8 2016 0:50 utc | 64

False Flag?


Well, just because the US usually does initiate a FALSE FLAG in order to justify war (especially wars of aggrandizement [Indian Wars; Mexican American War; Spanish American War; WWI; WWII; Korea; Vietnam; Grenada; Iraq; Afghanistan; Libya, et al]), you can't seriously think we'd do something so reprehensible and underhanded?

Seriously though, I wonder who will provide the PROXY pilots? Is the typical USAF pilot as venal and corrupt as the politicians who command them? --- sadly, probably. I'd love to see a US repainted plane shot down --- I wonder how we'd get out of that?

Oh yeah ... lie. The great American pastime!

Posted by: rg the lg | Oct 8 2016 0:51 utc | 65

JFL 63

Upset with Turkey, Iraq seeks UN Security Council session
BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq has requested an emergency U.N. Security Council session over the presence of Turkish troops in northern Iraq, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said Thursday, a development that highlights increasing tension between the two neighbors.

Posted by: Peter AU | Oct 8 2016 1:03 utc | 66

Media terror spin could be misdirect as ISIS tumbles out of Mosul
To NE Syria?...Sneak out thru Turkey?

US going to fly and run cover for them,
The crimes continue. ..

Posted by: Brad | Oct 8 2016 1:11 utc | 67

Peter AU | Oct 7, 2016 7:06:47 PM | 56
“This is the real world where Russia is quietly taking down the US and and [sic] all the while looking innocent.”

Who is talkin’ “real world”, Pete? You’re talkin’ opinion and speculation and I’m the one talkin’ what is actually happening – see my list above. My question was: What evidence do we actually have that Putin will defend Syria? E-v-i-d-e-n-c-e, as in proof.

If you want opinion and speculation, here’s mine based not on what I’d like to see but what we’ve all seen so far:

Putin will try to keep looking like a baddass and will keep flashing Ru tech, but his time is running out on that gambit. He may have until early next year. But he will not fight WWIII over Syria. He won’t engage with Yisraeli aircraft, US aircraft, or Turkish aircraft and he won’t blow them out of the sky with his precious S-300's, which the US could take out in the blink of an eye. And he will certainly not spill gallons of Russian blood on Syrian sand.

The bottom line is that Putin is not stupid. But more to the point, he’s not a Shia and he’s got no skin in this game, just prospects for future gas/oil profits. But he’s not going to entangle his country in the latest chapter of the stupid Shia/Sunni cluster-fuck that has been going on since the prophet-dude took his last breath 1400 yrs ago. IOW he will be run out of the area when Hilton declares a NFZ sometime next year. Assad will end up like Gadaffi and Sadam.

Most of us here don’t want that outcome out of a sense of which side is on the right side of history, but if the past is prelude, that’s what’s most likely to happen. IMO.

Posted by: Denis | Oct 8 2016 1:16 utc | 68

Bashar al-Assad, one of the finest men alive, keeps his cool while being badgered by a concern troll from the Danish press

Posted by: ruralito | Oct 8 2016 1:35 utc | 69

#57 That's a reasonable assessment. When looking at unfolding world events I try to stick with what I know and keep my crystal ball gazing to a minimum. If the US stages a false flag attack it will not look like a false flag attack (unless they mess it up or somebody squeals) and all we will have to work with is speculation and the products of feverish imaginations. Not very helpful. The average western news consumer hears "false flag" and immediately thinks "conspiracy theorist nutjobs" then promptly tunes out. The reaction Max Blumenthal's recent piece on AlterNet exposing the White Helmets used only verifiable facts and was mild in tone....and the reaction to it was akin to a hysterical mob deep in denial. Supposedly aware and knowledgeable "progressives" filled the comment section with stock insults (Assad apologist! Russian stooge! Liar! etc.) and, of course, "what about the chidren!?" These folks have been deeply propagandized and indoctrinated and the propagandists play their emotions like a fiddle. Logic and reason goes out the window and emotions take over turning them into a baying mob. In reaction to an article that presented verifiable facts.

Getting people to accept that their world view is based on deceptions and distortions is not easy. The public have by and large bought Orwellian terms like "humanitarian intervention" and "just war" and many actually believe NATO and US forces prioritize civilian lives over military victory. Civilian North Americans have no farking idea what war entails and in Europe the survivors of WWII who do know are almost all dead. If Americans, Brits and the French had their nations and their loved ones torn to pieces by "shock and awe" or crazed religionists seeking to impose a puritanical and deeply intolerant faith on them by force of arms they might not be the naive/gullible/criminally stupid war supporters, whether actively or passively, that they are today.

If sanity and reason have any chance (and given human history that's debatable) of prevailing, at least for a while, many more people need to understand how power works and how the power addicted fiends running our governments and big businesses are not nice people and do not have the interests of citizens at heart. This requires those in the know to adjust their persuasion skills accordingly and take into consideration just how deeply the vast majority have been indoctrinated. Even sticking to facts can lead to a hysterical backlash as the AlterNet fiasco shows....simply telling people they are wrong and everything they see and read in the MSM is propaganda will not work. Throw in phrases like "false flag" and "conspiracy" and they stop listening altogether. It's disheartening but telling the truth is not enough. It has to be packaged and delivered in a way that bypasses the indoctrinated public's nefarious gatekeeper who takes "his" cues for what is and is not credible from the mass media and education systems.

Posted by: Temporarily Sane | Oct 8 2016 1:52 utc | 70

I don't remember the name of the strategy but when not in complete control, stir the pot with the levers you have and take advantage of any tragic opportunity. A false flag event may be buried within a bigger wag the dog circus of events.

While Obama may be doing the right thing by backing down, his handlers and the American sheep they have brainwashed won't take well to a black president "losing" the position of military can read that in some of the comments here.

I am glad to see folks recognizing that Syria has become the focus for a major geopolitical tipping point event. China is providing a presence and training to Syrians. If the US executes a false flag of any sort the chances of it being seen as such are much higher. If and when arguments do get to the UNSC, there should be some interesting discussion about who is in change of money and gets to make all the multi-national development decisions.


The false flag bombing is a nuke and then it has been great sharing textual white noise with you.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Oct 8 2016 2:00 utc | 71

Hey golani, take it to reddit, they roll out the red carpet for hasbara. Here, not so much.

Posted by: ruralito | Oct 8 2016 2:00 utc | 72

Fucking Brilliant post, b (excuse my French).

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 8 2016 2:53 utc | 73

re 63 jfl

This is a couple of days old, but I haven't seen it posted here. Pretty amazing if its true.
This is not new, goes back to last year. The Turks installed a base around 30 km north of Mosul on semi-Kurdish land (Barzani). Nobody's reported a departure, so I guess they are still there. The only obvious reason for the base was to provide a support link for ISIS in Mosul, if direct access to Raqqa were cut off.

All that's happening is that things are coming to a head. The US is planning its taking of Mosul, so wants to de-legitimate the Turkish presence. Note that the Yank didn't talk about a new Turkish move or invasion.

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 8 2016 3:00 utc | 74

Here is the propaganda war towards Russia now being taken to the UNSC tomorrow.

This article expects a Russian veto of whatever resolution is developed. Maybe China should veto this one just to underline that global power/control are changing.

How will the UNSC meeting play into the false flag?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Oct 8 2016 4:38 utc | 75

Hope this isn't a double-post; no time to read just now. Crosstalk deals with US/UK deception regarding the White Helmets & "last doctor in Aleppo" type comments. The guests are three actual journalists. And you get to see what the brave & principled Vanessa Beeley, a real war correspondent, looks like.

Posted by: Penelope | Oct 8 2016 5:24 utc | 76

@70 TS 'Even sticking to facts can lead to a hysterical backlash as the AlterNet fiasco shows....simply telling people they are wrong and everything they see and read in the MSM is propaganda will not work. ... It has to be packaged and delivered in a way that bypasses the indoctrinated public's nefarious gatekeeper who takes "his" cues for what is and is not credible from the mass media and education systems.'

It seems to me that no amount of packaging and delivery can succeed in getting across news the audience simply does not want to hear. There's a conspiracy between the story tellers - the TNC msm - and their audience - all or 'us' in the West. 'They' can only tell 'us' lies we've already agreed to hear.

The facts have little to nothing to do with it, until outside, seemingly independent experience teaches 'us' the audience that the 'paradigm' - who has the power - has shifted and that a new story is required to account for the shift. People don't read the 'news' for an actual new narrative, they read the news to have new events fit into the old narrative.

It is only after the cumulative failures of a long series of such 'fits' that people become aware of a sea change is in progress/has occurred and so become open for a new explanation of the lay of the land in relation to the new sea level.

Certainly that series can take a long time to accumulate, but once it has done so the change can happen instantaneously. That's the real message of the emperor's new clothes. By the time the New World Order is apparent to little kids ... its like Joe Kennedy getting into a cab in 1929 and getting 'buy' recommendations from the driver. Old Joe sold everything immediately, and weathered the crash and depression, or so goes the folk tale.

@74 LG 'This is not new, goes back to last year.'

It is not new that the Turks have been in Iraq for more than a year, and its not new the Iraqis have complained of the fact ... what's new is the 'The Spokesperson for the Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve Council, Lt. Colonel John L. Dorrian, stated on Wednesday ...' that the Turkish presence in Iraq is illegal because they are there without invitation from Iraq. If in fact that is the case.

The Iraqis calling for a UNSC meeting on Thursday indicates to me that, although they have unsuccessfully called for such before, the are doing so again now because they think/hope the US will allow the UNSC to sit to hear such a complaint this time ... but it's Saturday, here, and I haven't heard anything ... has anyone else?

The link Turkish forces not part of coalition against ISIS in Iraq: US ends with ...

This statement was released by the official media wing of the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) on Wednesday; its authenticity was denied by the Daily Sabah.

... so I imagine it must have been fake, and that the US quashed this once again at the UNSC? The US has certainly never before acknowledged that the Turkish invasion of Iraq was illegal on the grounds of its not having been on the invitation of the Iraqis. But that is the kind of thing - invading other countries - usually only 'allowed' to the exceptional nation itself.

Perhaps the Iraqis got the idea to give this a try when they read, as we all did, of John Kerry's using the argument of the illegality of the US'/NATO's uninvited presence in Syria as an excuse not to crater Syrian runways when meeting with the White Hats in the Netherlands or Brussels or wherever they met on the sidelines last week.

Posted by: jfl | Oct 8 2016 6:19 utc | 77

@66 peter AU

Your AP story does seem to corroborate the claim of the statement attributed to LT Col John L. Dorrian. But what of the UNSC meeting? Anything on that?

If the US allowed it to go ahead - and instructed its lackeys, UK/FR, to do same - surely there would be a UNSC ruling as to Turkey's illegal presence in Iraq ... and that would imply Turkey's presence in Syria was also illegal ... as would an attack on the SAA by the US/NATO then be as well?

That would be a face-saving way for the US to back out of the corner McCain and Carter have painted them into. And thus a way to wind down the war in Syria.

Posted by: jfl | Oct 8 2016 6:30 utc | 78

@b: This isn't the first false flag story involving attack aircraft we've seen. Ian Greenhalgh over at Veterans Today reported on a dozen stolen mig 21s back in July. There was never any follow up.

Posted by: Wwinsti | Oct 8 2016 7:13 utc | 79

JFL 79

As far as I know, Iraq is currently trying to have it brought up by the security council.
I think it will come up shortly as Russia has the presidency. There may be no resolution passed on it but having it brought up by the security council makes it public for all to see.
US I think is currently dying a death of a thousand small cuts. Numerous things like this being brought to public attention is steadily eroding any illusion of the US being a force for good.
My thought is that once the US has been pushed out of the area, countries like Turkey and Israel will have to toe the line and Syria and Iraq will then be able to reclaim their borders.

Posted by: Peter AU | Oct 8 2016 7:35 utc | 80

jfl 79

If I recall correctly, Turkey joined the so called anti ISIS coalition when the US did the deal to be able to use the Incirlik airbase for attacks in Syria. As far as I could see as part of the deal the US gave Turkey the go ahead to start bombing Kurds in Syria and Iraq as that is what they did when the US had announced they had joined the coalition.

The Turkish base in Iraq has been there since well before that time. I take it Turkey did a deal with ISIS or the Kurds to move into that part of Iraq.

Posted by: Peter AU | Oct 8 2016 7:49 utc | 81

@68 Denis: "My question was: What evidence do we actually have that Putin will defend Syria? E-v-i-d-e-n-c-e, as in proof."

We can use that same logic to "prove" that there is considerable e-v-i-d-e-n-c-e that Denis is an immortal being destined to walk the earth for all eternity.

This is obvious, since Denis has singularly failed to drop down stone-cold dead, and to this very day that has never changed. Not once. Not ever.

QED: Denis will never die.

We can, of course, ask him to provide any evidence that any Russian spokesman has ever said that if *this* happens or *that* is ever carried out *then* the Russians will shoot that plane out of the sky.

AFAIK that has never happened.

Until yesterday, when the Russian spokesman said that any bombing run on any Syrian Arab Army position will be met by a Russian missile up the blowpipe.

QED: from today onwards the Russians will shoot any such plane out of the sky.

Today is another day, Denis. But new rules have been declared, and so today is not at all the same as yesterday.

After all, Putin isn't Obama - he doesn't make an empty threat.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Oct 8 2016 9:50 utc | 82

Okay, the attack idea is back on again, which pretty much means it was never off.


Washington- The Pentagon is considering carrying out limited attacks in Syria that don’t drag U.S. President Barack Obama to an embarrassing situation, along with several U.S. security bodies holding meetings since weeks to figure out a solution to the rising crisis in Aleppo amid potential U.S. attacks against the Syrian regime.

So the wild-E-coyote-super-genius division at the Pentagon has come up with an attack plan that can save presidents from embarrassment.

Posted by: Wwinsti | Oct 8 2016 10:05 utc | 83

The F-18 doesn't resemble any of Russia's fighter/bombers; most especially the SU-34.
A very distinctive aircraft with side by side seating of pilot and navigator/weapons officer.
But then there is no accounting for fools and idiots, aka, MSM/CCM...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Oct 8 2016 11:16 utc | 84

Although there might still be some resistance remaining at the top levels of the U.S. military against the restoration and heating-up of the formerly Cold War against the USSR (now against only Russia and any head-of-state who isn’t hostile toward it), Obama has probably by now eliminated almost all of those people at the top level; and so virtually the only U.S. military personnel who oppose the increasingly hot U.S. war against Russia could be the troops who would be ordered to do the killing and dying in that war. They would face a choice of either resigning and losing their means-of-livelihood and much else, or of fighting and maybe dying for a cause that they think to be evil (allied with Al Qaeda).

There is no public sign yet of any such mutiny against the U.S. regime, either by its soldiers, or by its subjects.

Two articles may be especially relevant to understanding why this would be the case. One is «Russia Finds - Shaming The U.S. Government Into Action Can Work», from the brilliant blogger who goes by the name «Moon of Alabama». The other is, «How Bamboozled the American Public Are About Syria», from me. Whereas the former article focuses upon the U.S. government’s operation to fool the American people into believing that ‘their’ government cares about fighting Al Qaeda in countries where Al Qaeda is actually instead a crucial ally of the American government against Russia and allies of Russia, the latter article focuses upon the enormous success of that governmental lying-operation.

Posted by: From The Hague | Oct 8 2016 11:24 utc | 85

Turkey says Mobilization Forces role in Iraq’s Mosul battle will ‘increase problems’

(Reuters) Involving the Popular Mobilization Forces in an operation to drive ISIL out of the Iraqi city of Mosul will not bring peace, Turkey’s foreign minister said on Friday, adding that Turkish-trained forces should be involved.

Turkey’s parliament voted last week to extend the deployment of an estimated 2,000 troops across northern Iraq by a year to combat “terrorist organizations” – a wording broad enough to refer to Kurdish militants as well as ISIL.

Turkey pays no attention to Iraqi/US' assertions that is forces are unwanted in Iraq and their occupation of portions of northern Iraq illegal ...

Iraq ready to battle occupying Turkish forces near ISIS-held Mosul

Iraqi security officials have warned the army may attack occupying Turkish forces if they intervene in the coming offensive to liberate ISIS-held Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq, as reported by the Middle East Eye.

Baghdad “seeks to make clear that there is absolutely no role for Turkish forces in the Iraqi sphere,” a senior security source was quoted as saying on Thursday.

“Any movement or intervention by Turkish during the military operations (to retake Mosul), would be faced with a very strong response,” the official warned, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Meanwhile, Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units have said they would target Turkish forces if they “insist on staying in Bashiqa or extend their presence in Mosul.”

“The presence of these troops (on Iraqi territory) is illegal and against the will of the Iraqi government, parliament and people,” Ahmad al-Assadi, the spokesman for the Popular Mobilization Units, told Middle East Eye.

“We consider them an occupation force and we will deal with them on this basis,” he said.” As long as they are seen as occupiers, we have a right to adopt all available means to deal with the occupiers.”

Iraq pounds its chest ... but it is possible the Popular Forces - Shi'ia militias, I believe ... might well attack the Turks on their own ... and the US' troops and planes ...?

BREAKING: ISIS fighters storm Iraqi town of Shirqat

Just days after the Iraqi Army captured Shirqat, ISIS militants are now trying to retake the town which is located at the Tigris River between Mosul and Baghdad.

At daybreak on Saturday, ISIS militants began a major offensive on the outskirts of Shirqat, causing the Iraqi Army and Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) to withdraw from several checkpoints near the town.

It now transpires that ISIS militants are storming Shirqat while fierce clashes are reported inside the town itself.

According to Amaq Agency, Iraqi troops are retreating from the town as we speak although this cannot be independently verified by Al-Masdar News.

Shirqat is viewed as a stepping stone for the Iraqi Army ahead of the highly anticipated Mosul offensive, Iraq's second largest city, which the Iraqi Prime Minister has vowed to liberate before the end of 2016.

An attempt to keep the popular militias and regular Iraqi troops away from Mosul ... coordinated with the Turks?

Posted by: jfl | Oct 8 2016 12:04 utc | 86

Never written a comment before, but here we go. Normally I greatly enjoy reading Bernhard's posts on Syria, but he's embarrassingly wide of the mark today. I read through the comments expecting PavewayIV to appear and set things straight, but he hasn't. Two commenters get it right -- the rest don't. Let me explain.

The F-18s in Bernhard's picture are not hard to identify. They are from the US Navy Reserve's VFC-12 fighter squadron. They are painted to mimic the Russian colour schemes because VFC-12 is an aggressor squadron. Anybody who has ever seen Top Gun should know how this works. Aggressor aircraft are used to play the role of the enemy in air combat training exercises, and they are painted in an "enemy" colour scheme for this reason. Most aggressor squadrons use generic colour schemes, but VFC-12 have been using direct copies of Russian schemes for years now. There's nothing new about it, although I do think it's worryingly provocative to use another air force's colour scheme for a simulated enemy. It has absolutely nothing to do with false flag attacks.

VFC-12 is based at Naval Air Station Oceana, which is in Virginia. They would have a lot of trouble bombing Syria from there. If the US really did want to carry out a false flag attack against Syria, they would use a real MiG, not one of their own aircraft, and you wouldn't know about it in advance.

I hope the people who read this otherwise excellent web site now understand the truth about the context of these photographs. Click on this link to see a whole page of F-18s painted to look like Russian aircraft.

Posted by: Mobius 1 | Oct 8 2016 12:49 utc | 87

Apparently the US has backed off on attacking Syria according to the Duran.Oct 7/16. This is good news for the people of Syria and their friends around the world.

Posted by: BRF | Oct 8 2016 13:21 utc | 88

This story touches upon reality: namely, black flag operations do happen, but only loosely.

Kerry was explaining to "Syrian activists" that USA will not support them directly, and rather ungraciously, he gave them a reason. Not a plausible one, but an interesting.

The attack of a humanitarian convoy was duly documented by While Helmets on video, but there was nothing there disproving that it could be done by some small unit on the ground, because there were no flying objects in the video. For that matter, who cares what is the coloring of planes flying at 10,000 feet? A material evidence could have the form of metal shards from bombs or missiles, I never heard about those, but USA declared rather resolutely that the trucks were destroyed by Russian or Syrian air force. Basically, if it is convenient, USG lies brazenly, and when it is not, it is a bit of a stickler.

The true deterrence from escalation in the limited war is this combination: as the action so-far were limited, the other side can match the escalation, perhaps far away and in a different way. The second issue is that breaking of certain limits causes a reaction among third parties. For example, the air-defense system installed by Russia in Tartus has somewhat limited number of missiles, so it can be destroyed by sending a similar number of cruise missiles. But such open aggression could trigger a negative reaction in China, Iran and even a number of European countries, including UK. It would be a total mess of huge proportions, and for what? But Kerry will not tell that there is only so much USA can do, so he finds some excuses by playing a stickler for the truth.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Oct 8 2016 13:28 utc | 89

Mobius 1 @89 - thank you for posting and providing some background on VFC-12's. Very helpful.

Wwinsti @81 - How the hell do a dozen MiG 21 aircraft get stolen? Seriously. How? The whole idea of such a claim is absurd. I'm not trying to challenge you to defend, but rather the author who is floating such an impossibility.

Posted by: h | Oct 8 2016 14:42 utc | 90

@61, Stumpy

Those who do not study history, and all that.

Let me give you a concise course of Russian history as taught in US Ivy League degree mills and elsewhere in the West:

1. Solzhenitsyn
3. Vodka and balalaika
4. Fur coats and GULAG
5. Solzhenitsyn and Voinovich
6. US won WWI and, especially, WW II, Solzhenitsyn.

This is a basic course of Russian history as taught in the West. Yes, you are correct--with the exception of people of David Glantz caliber and serious military scholars who wrote theses for Russian Military Studies course in US Army Staff College in Leavenworth, KS, most of history "studies" is reduced to what I posted above. I had an exchange with Princeton Ph.D in Russian-American Relations, no less, who teaches US history in local college--he had his world turned upside down when I told him that by the end of WW II, in 1945, Soviet Air Force was the largest tactical-operational force in the world with combat experience without rivals. He was stunned, he thought that US "superiority" in the air meant that US (and Allied) forces could drive Red Army back to Moscow in 1945. I omit here other details of conversation such as the fact that US didn't "win" WW II.

Posted by: SmoothieX12 | Oct 8 2016 16:39 utc | 91

@ SmoothieX12 #94

Nice they learn about Solzhenitsyn.
That will teach them some good lesson:

In 2006 Solzhenitsyn accused NATO of trying to bring Russia under its control; he claimed this was visual because of its "ideological support for the 'colour revolutions' and the paradoxical forcing of North Atlantic interests on Central Asia".[87] In an 2006 interview with Der Spiegel he stated "This was especially painful in the case of Ukraine, a country whose closeness to Russia is defined by literally millions of family ties among our peoples, relatives living on different sides of the national border. At one fell stroke, these families could be torn apart by a new dividing line, the border of a military bloc."[82]

Posted by: From The Hague | Oct 8 2016 16:50 utc | 92


Nice they learn about Solzhenitsyn.

Well, you see the results. As per:

In 2006 Solzhenitsyn accused NATO of trying to bring Russia under its control

I, thankfully, am not Solzhenitsyn but I, together with very many Russians, who unlike Solzhenitsyn lived in Russia between 1970s and 1990s, accused NATO of that by mid-1990s. You also forgot that Solzhenitsyn supported War in Vietnam. If one studies Russian history from Solzhenitsyn, in the end, one becomes precisely like US "elites". I would stop here since I read all Solzhenitsyn, including his attempts on being a publicist--I seldom read more ridiculous and ignorant things.

Posted by: SmoothieX12 | Oct 8 2016 17:02 utc | 93


As a matter of fact: Solzhenitsyn and Putin had a click

In spite of his abhorrence of Soviet system, Solzhenitsyn also recommended that Russia not follow the Western path: “Should someone ask me whether I would indicate the West such as it is today as a model to my country, frankly I would have to answer negatively…  The next war (which does not have to be an atomic one and I do not believe it will) may well bury Western civilization forever.”
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Posted by: From The Hague | Oct 8 2016 17:21 utc | 94

@94 I would add Pussy Riot to your list. They are seen by Western talk-show hosts as being talented young advocates for free expression fighting a dreary grey supressive bureaucracy.

Posted by: dh | Oct 8 2016 17:34 utc | 95

It's an interesting subject, isn't it?

According to Burns, Solzhenitsyn took a dim view of both Yeltsin and Gorbachev, the Soviet Union's last leader: "Solzhenitsyn positively contrasted the eight-year reign of Putin with those of Gorbachev and Yeltsin, which he said had 'added to the damage done to the Russian state by 70 years of communist rule'. Under Putin, the nation was rediscovering what it was to be Russian, Solzhenitsyn thought."

However, the writer's praise for Putin wasn't unqualified. Solzhenitsyn acknowledged that "many problems remained", including the widening gap between Russia's rich and poor. He also said Putin's decision to scrap Russia's system of elected governors – they are now all appointed – was a mistake.

Not my cup of tea, but religion was a bond between these two man:

from the comments:

thus is amazing. No, not the antisemitic comments on this video. But the fact that President Putin met the late Alexander Solzhenitsyn is an amazing moment. President Putin cares about Russians, and this video is further proof to the mountains of evidence of Putin's love for his people.

Posted by: From The Hague | Oct 8 2016 17:35 utc | 96

We? occupy the moral highground?Holy moly ,only a crazed zionist could utter such drivel.
Painting your jets another nations colors might lead to friendly fire accidents.And that Russian warbird sure was pretty.
And who is attacking the alleged black POTUS over losing our mojo in Syria?Only neocon scum,as we want US to come home,where we belong and defend our borders from Hillary's minions.Open borders and no national boundaries is her dream world.
She is toast.
Trump for POTUS.

Posted by: dahoit | Oct 8 2016 17:48 utc | 97


In spite of his abhorrence of Soviet system, Solzhenitsyn also recommended that Russia not follow the Western path:

And that makes him more original than Dostoevsky or Russian pochvenniks of 19th Century how? Again, if one wants to read his tedious unreadable (in Russian) crap like his Red Wheels, as an example--be my guest. I don't care what click Putin and he had but after reading his 1988 excrement of "How We To Rearrange Russia" it was clear that this man doesn't know his nation and his own culture, which he missed in 1970s--1990s. He is derivative in every aspect of his writings, while he simply stole Varlam Shalamov's stories and used them in his GULAG Archipelago, which in the West went as the documentary writings, long ago debunked since in Russia. GULAG did exist, the same as repressions but the scale of those were on the order of magnitude smaller than this self-proclaimed "Russian people consciousness" tried to sell to the West. Once Zemskov's Commission report was published it was over for him and then came opening of the archives of the Great Patriotic War. Solzhenitsyn was Vlasovets and he died as such, for anyone who saw Immortal Regiment march all over Russia on 9 May 2015 all answers about this grossly overrated "genius" are there. But then again, some think Malevich's Black Square is a great art.

Posted by: SmoothieX12 | Oct 8 2016 17:52 utc | 98

@dh, 98

I would add Pussy Riot to your list. They are seen by Western talk-show hosts as being talented young advocates for free expression fighting a dreary grey supressive bureaucracy.

Combined West for decades ignored the overwhelming majority of Russian people, their thoughts, aspirations and history, the only "source" of information it chose to have was in what can only be described as Russia's cultural and political fringes and this was done purely out of desire to hear and see what West wanted not what it was and is in reality. Today, we all observe the payday for years of arrogance, ignorance and incompetence. As Bernard Pares wrote: "And knowledge alone is not enough without understanding, which is much more hardly won. To no country does this apply more than to Russia....This gap has to be filled, or will it cost us dear."(c) This gap was not filled and because of that we have what we have today. But it couldn't have been filled--throughout its history West dealt only with Russia's bottom feeders. I can not imagine Robert Kagan reading War And Peace--it would be akin to devil drinking holy water. As I already stated many times--field of Russian "studies" in the West is dead.

Posted by: SmoothieX12 | Oct 8 2016 18:01 utc | 99

Posted by: SmoothieX12 | Oct 8, 2016 12:39:50 PM | 94

Princeton is Ivy League? Stephen Cohen taught there, he is an expected expert on the Soviet Union.

Just because US elites think it is wise to dumb down what they are saying does not mean they are dumb - they just insult our intelligence.

Posted by: somebody | Oct 8 2016 18:09 utc | 100

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