Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 11, 2016

Open Thread 2016-41

News & views ...

Posted by b on December 11, 2016 at 15:23 UTC | Permalink

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@all -
- will have something about the large scale ISIS attack on Palmyra by tomorrow
- situation there seems still unclear
- also unclear how this happened
- who instigated/supplied/paid for this attack?
- also such attack is not to come unnoticed when the guard is up
- evidently - some in Syrian and Russian mil were sleeping and screwed up (again)

Posted by: b | Dec 11 2016 15:36 utc | 1

Could someone direct me to an official version of the original "Project for a New American Century". I have been only able to find comments and excerpts and not the original document. The need for a "New Pearl Harbor Type Attack" seems to only be hearsay and not documented fact. Any help in original sourcing would be greatly appreciated.

Posted by: juannie | Dec 11 2016 15:46 utc | 2

@3 juannie

REBUILDING AMERICA’S DEFENSES


Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor.
-- p. 63

Lo and behold, came 9/11, a catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor.

Posted by: jfl | Dec 11 2016 16:09 utc | 3

@1 b

Breaking: ISIS militants capture most of Palmyra city


The so-called "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) have captured the ancient city of Palmyra (Tadmor) in the eastern part of Homs province after main contingent of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) withdrew from the city. The aforementioned terror group claimed this through its media affiliate, 'Amaq agency'. A bit late, military sources speaking to Al-Masdar News confirmed this information.

The militants consequently captured Al-Amariyah district and a hilltop of the same name, Officers Housing complex, and the Citadel of Palmyra, which made any further attempts to hold positions inside the city completely senseless.

According to several reports, some SAA units still remain in the city providing cover to their comrades that retreat westwards. After retreat is complete these units will withdraw as well.

More details to come..........

Posted by: jfl | Dec 11 2016 16:14 utc | 4

juannie at 3, jfl was on top of it, plus here is a copy that will presumbaly last without download/print, what i found:

https://cryptome.org/rad.htm (scroll down a little)

The original has been scrubbed off the top of Goog etc. (404 and the like.) Yeah.

Posted by: Noirette | Dec 11 2016 16:21 utc | 5

Raqqa, Palmyra, Deir Ezzor...the three projected points of the theoretical sunnistan.

Posted by: Wwinsti | Dec 11 2016 16:21 utc | 6

@3 juannie

A Report of
The Project for the New American Century
September 2000

DONALD KAGAN
GARY SCHMITT
Project Co-Chairmen

THOMAS DONNELLY
Principal Author

Donald Kagan's son Robert is Victoria Newlands's husband. The family that keeps on killing.

Posted by: jfl | Dec 11 2016 16:26 utc | 7

Many thanks jfl & Noirette, The “Lo and behold, came 9/11, a catastrophic and catalyzing event” is a hard nut for the America-the-Greatest-Freest-Democracy etc. friends and acquaintances to swallow without documentation. That any thinking American alive is not aware of the completely incriminating official policy leading to the events of imperial instigated wars since 9/11 has to be a credit to the efficacy of modern scientific propaganda. I'll get this info on hard copy so not to loose it again.
Thanks again,
J

Posted by: juannie | Dec 11 2016 16:37 utc | 8

The SAA is currently fighting back in Palmyra, but sounds like "orderly retreat and regroup" is in effect right now: sputniknews.com/middleeast/201612111048431162-daesh-palmyra-syrian-army/

Clever idea by Daesh to hide among the priceless antiquities to try to avoid bombardment. They need a propaganda win right now, and they're getting one with all the coverage in the US media. As per usual, the losing US side tries to fight back with propaganda victories, even if they don't have much substance.

Posted by: WorldBLee | Dec 11 2016 16:48 utc | 9


These Twitter accounts have updated information on the military situation inside Syria. An ISIS attack at Palmyra was beaten back yesterday (Saturday), but they have attacked again today.

Al-Masdar News

Leith Abou Fadel (CEO of Al-Masdar News)

Within Syria

maytham

Secular Syria

syria 24 english

At this point it looks like SAA forces have withdrawn from Palmyra, hopefully in preparation for a counterattack by the Syrian and Russian Air Forces.


Posted by: Robin | Dec 11 2016 16:49 utc | 10

It seems Palmyra was a joint ISIS and US operation (last FU from Obama?). US has advanced weather forecast prediction, which ISIS obviously dont possess. Then US made Iraq to stop attacks on Mosul to give IS a break, and then by exploiting a heavy mist in desert and Palmyra, moved around 4000 (estimation from different sources are 3800-5000 terrorists) fighters from Mosul, Deir Ezzor and Raqqa to attack Palmyra.

SAA in Palmyra probably had just a skeleton crew, army focusing on Alepo, Damascus neighbourhoods, etc. Airforce by itself cant stop many waves of attacks, especially in mist, some were repelled and we got news from Russia's MOD that attack on Palmyra is repelled (300 terrorists dead, 11 tanks and 31 vehicles (66 by the last count by Ziad from SyrPer) destroyed. However more waves followed (including many, many suicide bombers, over 20) and they broke through the defences while SAA withdraw instead of sacrificing defenders.

Elite Tiger forces havent moved to Palmyra as multiple sources claimed, likely due to lower priority than finishing off Alepo.

Posted by: Harry | Dec 11 2016 17:02 utc | 12

@11 robin.. thanks. informative.

@13 harry... where are all the isis yahoo's coming from? sounds like you're suggesting an out from iraq thanks the usa, under the cover of weather..

Posted by: james | Dec 11 2016 17:27 utc | 14

Joaquin Flores at Fort Russ has a good recap on Palmyra:
BREAKING: Syrian Army repels ISIS attack on Palmyra - Ready the Horses!

Copying myself from last thread:
"We see armies advance and withdraw, advance and withdraw. What matters is how many civilians die or can be protected and how many soldiers are left, and to which side, which then rules the ground. Russian and Syrian gunships are inflicting massive damage on these terrorists. Civilians are being evacuated from the battle zones. At this moment SAA either controls the city or will control the city. But SAA controls the battle."

Any despair or hasty conclusion about SAA's prowess or a feared loss of Palmyra is wasted and inaccurate. The war is being won, the battles are being won. SAA itself says that it operates to save maximum lives, civilian and its own soldiers, while winning. Patience.

Posted by: Grieved | Dec 11 2016 17:38 utc | 15

From Al-masdar:

"However, after arrival of reinforcements, the government forces regrouped and launched a counterattack. Having cleared Al-Amiriyah and eastern Palmyra districts of ISIS terrorists, the SAA, with active air support from Russian and Syrian Air Forces, stormed ISIS positions at Jabal Tar mountain northwest of the city and Palmyra Grain Silos area located to the east. Some preliminary reports suggest that both sites were recaptured by the government forces, but no official confirmation had been provided yet."

Posted by: Lochearn | Dec 11 2016 17:42 utc | 16

Ah, here it is: the Big Picture. The reason an establishment psyop leaked Pizzagate.

--No, not just for a pretext for censorship. They are also striving for at least the appearance of serious civil disturbance (which may or may not be at least partially a hoax when it occurs).
First they polarize Americans, topping it off with the Pizzagate emails, then:

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-12-10/cia-moves-invalidate-us-presidential-elections-blaming-russian-hacking

If they can whip up the crisis of serious civil disturbance or its appearance, that's a crisis they're not going to waste.

Posted by: Penelope | Dec 11 2016 17:51 utc | 17

Another TAK bombing in Istanbul. At least 38 dead, some of them police.

I've been wondering for a while...who's really behind this group? They are labelled as an 'offshoot of the PKK', but this obviously can't be true. Their actions severely hurt the Kurdish cause, and apparently aim to create a rift between the Turkish and Kurdish parts of the population.

The TAK looks *very much* like an intel false flag front to me. But I have no idea which secret service would be backing them. Anybody has an idea?

Posted by: smuks | Dec 11 2016 18:22 utc | 18

It's looking like Saudi Arabia, better yet, the Zio-nazi quartet (U.S, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Turkey) intend to make Syria the graveyard for the Russian-led coalition using the head-choppers as bait. Hey, I could be mistaken; but I'm thinking back to the arming of the mujahideen Saudi mercenaries led by Osama in Afghanistan and this is really looking like history repeating itself. And what happened after that...huh? Collapse of the Soviet Union.

Putin better get one thing straight; no matter what platitudes of friendship Netanyahu the war criminal pretends to shower him with (beware of sweetheart deals with Israel), and no matter the Trump overtures that are really a front for the wider divide Russia and China Neocon plot to conquer; the Anglo/Zionist empire will never allow Russian influence to interfere with its imperial expansion as defined by PNAC. Take that to the bank!

China better shelve its hands off foreign policy and get ahead of the game soon; because if Russia falls, it's over for Iran, and China can kiss OBOR goodbye and expect containment of China and even Cold War.

If Russia falls; I can picture Anglo/Zionist oligarchs descending like vultures to pick up the pieces.

And I'm not buying that Trump isn't an agent of the empire when he brags that Bolton was his top advisor and is seriously considering him for State (even if with the Exxon oligarch), and he has Cheney henchmen Steve Yates and Woolsey on his advisory team as well! Lots of snakes and crocs in his swamp.

I have to post this link again because the delusion I'm witnessing is 2002-03 (Iraq) redux times 10.

http://journal-neo.org/2016/11/25/the-dangerous-deception-called-the-trump-presidency/

If China doesn't act in some way; the empire has already won.

Posted by: Circe | Dec 11 2016 18:26 utc | 19

@19

The TAK looks *very much* like an intel false flag front to me. But I have no idea which secret service would be backing them. Anybody has an idea?

Ask yourself this: who benefits most?

Posted by: Circe | Dec 11 2016 18:34 utc | 20

It is my belief that President Trump will use the military to attack and partially destroy elements of the CIA.

"Nixon’s presence in Dallas on November 22, 1963, along with LBJ’s—
and Poppy Bush’s quieter presence on the periphery—created a rather remarkable
situation. Three future presidents of the United States were all present in a
single American city on the day when their predecessor was assassinated
there. Within days, a fourth—Gerald Ford—would be asked by LBJ to join
the Warren Commission investigating the event."

this article I quoted is a very informative read ...

http://whowhatwhy.org/2012/05/08/watergate-revelations-the-coup-against-nixon-part-2-of-3/


President Nixon was obviously railroaded out of office by elements of the CIA. They are attempting to do the same with Trump.

Article III, Section 3 of the Constitution states: 'Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.

Posted by: ALberto | Dec 11 2016 18:52 utc | 21

@13 harry, 'It seems Palmyra was a joint ISIS and US operation (last FU from Obama?).'

obama is a much more depraved sob, even than more so than bush/cheney. he murders with a smile. you're right, harry ... a big f*ck you to the useful idiots who elected him, made him a nobel peace prize laureate. death, devastation, destruction and deceit ... your name is barack obama. most monstrous war criminal of the 21st century ... so far.

washington ac/dc ... an inhuman habitation. war criminals all. the lot of them.

Posted by: jfl | Dec 11 2016 18:56 utc | 22

Interesting read

CIA briefers told senators in a closed-door briefing it was now “quite clear” that electing Trump was Russia’s goal, according to officials. (Victoria Walker/The Washington Post)

In a secure meeting room under the Capitol last week, lawmakers each had a copy of a secret assessment by the CIA of Russia’s alleged role in hacking the 2016 elections. The strange dilemma they were faced with is the assessment by the CIA and the FBI were in conflict. Yes, the CIA REPORT was positively saying the Russians hacked the election to help Donald Trump win. In conflict was the FBI REPORT saying they could not be sure that this occurred.

FBI and CIA give differing accounts to lawmakers on Russia’s motives in 2016 hacks

CIA briefers told senators in a closed-door briefing it was now “quite clear” that electing Trump was Russia’s goal, according to officials. (Victoria Walker/The Washington Post)

http://investmentwatchblog.com/fbi-and-cia-give-differing-accounts-to-lawmakers-on-russias-motives-in-2016-hacks-really/


Posted by: ALberto | Dec 11 2016 19:03 utc | 23

Seems to be the US proxies' MO - a first attack, repelled, followed by a much stronger attack, which succeeds.

Posted by: paul | Dec 11 2016 19:07 utc | 24

President Obama draws a line in the sand with CIA guiding his hand

The clamor from Democrats and some Republicans for a more fulsome accounting prompted the White House on Friday to announce that President Obama had ordered a full review of Russian cyber actions during the 2016 campaign. The president wants the report to be completed before he leaves office next month. Officials said Obama intends to declassify as much of the report as possible. Lawmakers, in turn, want the review to be accompanied by a joint congressional investigation.

Posted by: ALberto | Dec 11 2016 19:13 utc | 25

Craig Murray on this:

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2016/12/cias-absence-conviction/

Am kind of surprised by his claim of being close to Wikileaks. Was not aware.

Posted by: Oddlots | Dec 11 2016 19:34 utc | 26

I recommend archiving anything you find interesting like I did below:

https://web.archive.org/web/20161211192119/http://jfmxl.sdf.org/USA/RebuildingAmericasDefenses.pdf">http://jfmxl.sdf.org/USA/RebuildingAmericasDefenses.pdf">https://web.archive.org/web/20161211192119/http://jfmxl.sdf.org/USA/RebuildingAmericasDefenses.pdf

Expect purging the Internet soon, following the blatant censorship push by FB, Google,...

Do you know anything similar to archive.org that cannot be compromised?

Also to note, very sinister harbinger from PNAC (now FDD) RAS.

https://web.archive.org/web/20160317094256/http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article3249.htm">http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article3249.htm">https://web.archive.org/web/20160317094256/http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article3249.htm


"...And advanced forms of biological warfare that can target specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool..."

BTW only a very simple person, or a paid troll, would call RAS "only a hearsay" [?!] when it's been cited and analyzed, and referred to, by a number of well established, respectful sources.

Posted by: ProPeace | Dec 11 2016 19:37 utc | 27

Cancel my remarks about simple person and troll above. Sorry about that.

Provocateurs frequent this site way too often...

Posted by: ProPeace | Dec 11 2016 19:43 utc | 28

I would believe that any retaliation from Syrian/Russian Airforces will be met with cries of agony at the wanton destruction of a World Heritage Site.

Posted by: Ryan | Dec 11 2016 19:53 utc | 29

I have only questions:

Why Syria, Iran and Russia intelligent agencies did not know Palmyra in advance?
How many freed terrorists are frm Aleppo in Palmyra?
40,000 terrorists attacking Palmyra, is not a small force, hard to believe lighting strikes from all sides?
Did Amerika, coalition of the regime and UN (Staffan de Mistura ) involved in the cease-fire talk and talk
part of the wider planned attack in Palmyra?
Palmyra was liberated earlier. While liberating Aleppo, now back to Palmyra, will the tug-of-war continues forever?
Is Amerika repeating bankrupt Russia Federation like they did to the collapsed of the Soviet Union?
Will Putin learn never to trust Amerika's Obomo, Trump or any "democratically" elected regime?

Posted by: Jack Smith | Dec 11 2016 19:55 utc | 30

Just a week ago, the whole 'coalition' was in Abu Dhabi making big plans about how to protect, and why not 'seize-to-protect' archaeological artefacts during conflits. Maybe it gave some ideas?
The problem with Palmyra is that it is scattered on a very wide territory and right in the middle of the desert, i.e. many entries.
But I heard just a couple of days ago by one of the archaeologists reporting about this conference that 'the Russian army's base was sitting on the ruins in Palmyra' (something he disapproved of). So it was an attack on the Russians, basically.

Posted by: Mina | Dec 11 2016 20:01 utc | 31

Naturally, the Putin apologists are already in full roar. But here again we have a situation where the flow of Hegemonic proxies from Mosul to Syria was the worst kept secret in the world. Only Putin did not know of it I guess.

Somehow Putin and his great military leaders did not forsee that Palmyra might be assaulted by these fighters. Now the key victory of the war for Putin has been rolled back. But yes I know I'm a troll or a provocateur if I criticize anyone over this or - shudders - dare to suggest that maybe Putin's intentions are a little less straightforward than many claim.

Here again the Hegemon's battle plan was admirable. A diplomatic and media assault led Putin to slow down the campaign in Aleppo, once again snatching slogdown from the jaws of liberation. The Aleppo campaign stretched on and on and on. The Hegemon, as usual, used the slowdown to weapon up elsewhere, send in reinforcements and prepare a counter assault elsewhere. Suicide bombers worked well in Aleppo when the containment was breached so this tactic was used again, only much much more. Once again, the proxies managed to assemble a huge battle force without Russia noticing. Once again a weaker first assault, repelled, was followed by a much more powerful second assault, completely successful. Once again hard won advances were rolled back overnight.

It's a little bit weird. Somehow Obama has managed to make his words come true, his declaration that Putin would bog down in Syria. Is it possible that Putin is in on the game? I guess we'll see.

Turkey's role in this game is interesting too. Supposedly they are on Russia's side now, but their recent aggressions which Russia responded to harshly seem interestingly timed now, yet another distraction to take Russia's and Syria's mind off Palmyra?

Posted by: paul | Dec 11 2016 20:07 utc | 32

according to RT Palmyra was liberated 9-mths ago
I read somewhere 40,000 terrorists in Palmyra, may I'm wrong?

Posted by: Jack Smith | Dec 11 2016 20:13 utc | 33

The Following a Specific Story: The Tale of the Painted Jets portion of the ProPornOTeam's project specifically mentions b's posted question ... Syria - Is The U.S. Preparing A "False Flag" Bombing? of 7 October 2016. They pretend that post is all about 'the painted jets'.

1. But b is sceptical of 'the painted jets' use in a false flag attack ...


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.
...
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.
...
No cheap paint scheme trickery will be accepted as reason to hold back. Russia WILL hit back should the need arise.

2. Kerry had just explicitly asked the White Helmets for pictures of Russian air attacks on civilians, as b noted ...


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?

3. b runs down previous US false flag operations 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 [all 'the hallmarks of good actual journalism',as ProPornOT might say]. A "Russian attack" on some large civilian target like a refugee camp, documented on video!, would be a very easy sell.

4. This post comes three weeks after the USAF's stint as the ISAF ...


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.

... more skull duggery was (always is) to be expected from the US. Since that attack ... during a ceasefire just negotiated by Kerry and the Syrian/Russian side ... there was/is a real question of who is in what degree of control of the US armed forces, at least in Syria.

So the point of b's post was not the likelihood of a US attack by 'the painted jets' in Syria, but of the wild and wide-open 'play' of the US armed forces in Syria, at whomever's command in Washington DC. 'The painted jets', however improbable, just provided dramatic focus.

Clearly the ProPornOTeam didn't even read b's post beyond the headline ... or did read it and hope that their readers wouldn't. They're too busy making ego network charts, 'automating' the 'proof' of their 'non-partisan' points about 'Russian propaganda' to spare time to actually read the stuff they're criticizing.

The ProPornOTeam is just the mirror image of what they're projecting onto the Russians. If they actually do eat their own dogfood.

Note how nicely their 'work' segued into 'the Russians elected Trump'.

Washington really does seem to be up for grabs, with the CIA doing the grabbing at this point during the interregnum. Will tee-rump become tee-rex in the brawl for power? Someone will. It seems to be an authoritarian future for ac/dc, the USA, and the world at large, at least in the immediate future.

Posted by: jfl | Dec 11 2016 20:15 utc | 34

@28 pp,

don't forget to keep a copy yourself ... archive.org is just another puffy cloud in the event of the purge you foresee. 'storing' things under others' centralized control plays on whose faith to whose advantage? if they don't own the storage outright already - as does google, as does facebook, as does bezos/amazon - they only have one place to nuke/impound - as in archive.org.

Posted by: jfl | Dec 11 2016 20:23 utc | 35

@13 Harry, @23 jfl

From the Within Syria Blog on Dec 10 this tweet:

"My source it TA AB
many USAF UAVs are over the battlefield
in #Palmyra just watching!"

If true, it makes one wonder about the plan "B", and why after 5 years, the sudden opening the weapons floodgates to the "moderates". Is BO going to make Russia and Syria bleed because he lost?

Also, this SouthFront article has a good analysis of the lapses of SAA and Russia on the ISIS / Palmyra attacks.

https://southfront.org/breaking-critical-moment-near-palmyra-events-analysis/

Posted by: Dean | Dec 11 2016 20:31 utc | 36

jack and paul.. nice tag team, lol..

Posted by: james | Dec 11 2016 20:35 utc | 37

Sorry a correction @37:

TA = T4 (airbase)

Posted by: Dean | Dec 11 2016 20:54 utc | 38

GW Bush on Trial? Saleh v. Bush in California Court on Charges of “Crimes of Aggression” Against Iraq

----

@jfl | Dec 11, 2016 3:23:51 Thanks, I do. I recommend ScrapBookX and FormControl on Firefox.

Posted by: ProPeace | Dec 11 2016 21:03 utc | 39

There is considerable detail on ISIS taking Palmyra at the Colonel Cassad website - colonelcassad.livejournal.com

Posted by: Joe100 | Dec 11 2016 21:16 utc | 40

The CIA pulling out the stops to sink Trump? Unimaginable!
Oh wait, coups and regime change - that is the CIA's single most fundamental purpose since at least the Dulles boys.
Why would this be any different, changing a president is very much in their portfolio.
Fake news? Unimaginable!
Oh wait...I think we see a pattern and the usual suspect(s).
For y'all information - this shit is never going to stop, period. As long as there are bottomless budgets, systemic un-accountability and black projects the CIA will continue to do as it has.

Posted by: spinworthy | Dec 11 2016 21:19 utc | 41

jfl says:

This post comes three weeks after the USAF's stint as the ISAF...

stint?

Posted by: john | Dec 11 2016 21:24 utc | 42

The PNAC neocon plan is completely dead. With Obama, you had a return to neoliberal policies for the Middle East.

Just to recap PNAC: The agenda for the Middle East was to invade Iraq, which would become "America's oil tanker/aircraft carrier." From there, military invasions of Iran and Syria would be launched, resulting in the overthrow of those regimes and the installation of U.S.-friendly puppet governments. This project had utterly failed by 2006. The other main aim of the PNAC game plan was to install puppet regimes in all the ex-Soviet Union satellite states, from eastern Europe to Central Asia, with the goal being control of oilfields and pipeline routes to Europe and India. That was what Condi Rice tried to organize in Georgia in 2008 (failed) as well as the long term plan for the TAPI (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India) pipeline (also failed). Obama did pick up this foreign policy agenda to some extent, but instead of the PNAC military invasion model, Obama & Clinton settled on the covert regime change model, with Libya as attempt #1 (failed, it was more like Iraq 2.0). Then they moved onto Syria, which has been an even bigger debacle. Perhaps the biggest unintended consequence was the flood of refugees into Europe through Libya and Syria, resulting in Brexit and a huge loss of confidence in NATO. Anyone still promoting the PNAC agenda is completely out of touch with reality - like Hitler drawing up plans for his Thousand-Year Reich in his Berlin bunker.

All that the PNAC program accomplished is the creation of a massive $6 trillion debt; this has had huge repercussions on the American domestic economy, as imperial overreach always does, with a lower standard of living for most Americans. The result? Donald Trump, a complete political outsider, beats Hillary Clinton, who had the support of the national security establishment, the corporate media and Wall Street. Sure, she was a terrible candidate, but that kind of loss can't be shrugged off. Now, if Trump wants to succeed, he's going to have to restructure the American economy in major ways, i.e. the opposite of what Boris Yeltsin (a good analogy for Hillary Clinton) did in post-Soviet Russia. It's questionable as to whether he will succeed or not; his energy policies are a big question mark, being backwards-looking rather than forwards-looking, and the American plutocratic class will certainly try to replace him with one of their loyal puppets in 2020. . . One of the big things to watch is whether or not he comes up with a domestic infrastructure plan, and the other is going to be cooperation with Russia on defeating ISIS in the Middle East. But at least there's a chance for positive change; at least it isn't Hillary Clinton status quo idiocy.

Posted by: nonsensefactory | Dec 11 2016 21:27 utc | 43

@Circe 21

Depends on what Erdogan's real game is. Eurasian or not?

China's got quite a few 'trumps' up its sleeve to make the US comply. No worries there.

Posted by: smuks | Dec 11 2016 21:44 utc | 44

Former British Ambassador and who was the DNC leaker...

http://theduran.com/russia-not-behind-clinton-leaks-conclusive-evidence-emerges-work-washington-insider/

Posted by: pubumwei | Dec 11 2016 21:58 utc | 45

Turkish "Eurasian pivot" is obviously part of the false coup psy-op to fool Russia and China into lowering their guard. The intention of the false Turkish coup was to expand Erdogan's powers and lower Russia's guard.

Observe: Erdogan's ruling AK Party submits bill to expand powers of presidency and abolish prime ministry in Turkey

Where has Turkey shown a pivot? It keeps violating Russian red-lines in Syria and clearly has its own plans. You people keep thinking in binary terms of pro-West/anti-West, pro-Eurasian/anti-Eurasian. Erdogan is neither pro-West nor pro-Eurasian. He is pro-Erdogan, and he will do anything to expand its power. But NATO will use Turkey to the extent that Turkish plans for Syria and NATO plans converge. Turkish/U.S. co-operationin Syria has been strong: Western media articles reccomend that Turkey occupy al-Bab and Mosul, U.S. was never kicked out of Incirlik, and further we remember in August the joint invasion of Syria by Turkey/U.S. in order to save the terror proxies.

The latest Turkish moves in Syria seem perfectly timed to take Russian attention off Aleppo. No doubt that Turkish intelligence was heavily involved in the ISIS takeover of Palmyra (as it was responsible for the 2013 Ghouta chemical weapons attack).

The AKP bill proves BTW that the July Turkish "coup" was staged, contrary to the incessant screeching of the shameless Erdogan apologists on this site.

Posted by: David | Dec 11 2016 22:02 utc | 46

I also love the consistent amnesia and bemused puzzlement around Turkey's actions on this site, as if Erdogan was doing in Syria, Iraq and Turkey wasn't already clear. It's not something you should approve of, if you're minimally sane or intelligent.

Posted by: David | Dec 11 2016 22:09 utc | 47

It seems to me that ISIS were directed by their foreign handlers to move to Palmyra mainly for the strategic propaganda value. Some nine months ago when Palmyra was recaptured by the SAA, the Russians held a concert in the ancient amphitheatre. So ISIS' "retaking" of Palmyra is to be seen as a slap in the face to the Russians.

One can hardly expect the SAA with its limited manpower and resources to keep troops stationed at Palmyra to defend it when Aleppo's need was much greater. What value does Palmyra really have for ISIS anyway? It is an ancient ruined city in the middle of a desert. The only real value it has is for the US wanting to "Libyanise" Syria into a western non-Sunni half and an eastern Wahhabi-Sunni half that can be at each other's throats.

Indeed this action (ISIS storming Palmyra) shows more clearly that ISIS are receiving orders from outside the region. This suggests that whoever is pulling ISIS' strings is acting in desperation without a clear long-term military strategy.

Posted by: Jen | Dec 11 2016 22:17 utc | 48

Re: Posted by: Circe | Dec 11, 2016 1:26:01 PM | 20

Laughable comment about Russia & China etc.

You seem to keep forgetting - Russia & China play chess whereas the US blunders around playing checkers! Ie, a bunch of fools against grand chessmasters.

I'm surprised you keep forgetting this.

Posted by: Julian | Dec 11 2016 23:19 utc | 49

They probably want ISIS to destroy some historical site so the USA can justify sending more illegal occupying troops to Syria

Posted by: Ike | Dec 11 2016 23:44 utc | 50

@27 Oddlots Craig is one of Julian's closest collaborators for many years. Surprised you didn't know. https://youtu.be/dlt_IiQvjNo

Posted by: James Docherty | Dec 11 2016 23:50 utc | 51

December 11, 2016 YOU CANNOT MAKE THIS STUFF UP

Reuters article. Apparently the militants attacking and holding Palmyra, Syria posses two white pickup trucks with mounted machine guns, four fighters on foot and a tent ans sleeping bags.


http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-palmyra-idUSKBN13Z073

Posted by: ALberto | Dec 11 2016 23:51 utc | 52

It may be a trap. Russia is obviously driving the strategy there. Does anyone think they failed to notice anything suspicious when 4000 ISIS troops moved? The Syrian defense team in place was a skeleton crew. The largest advantage SAA/Russia has is air control. It is important for efficient air support that the enemy be concentrated. ISIS is working very hard to concentrate itself into Palmyra right now. Patience and time, Tolstoi's 2 greatest warriors. See if the term "cauldron" is applied next week.

Posted by: Bruce Ballai | Dec 12 2016 0:20 utc | 53

Interesting theory from a Russian journalist near Palmyra that what happened there was a pre-arranged agreement, exchanging Palmyra for Aleppo (thousands of former rebels in Aleppo agreed to lay down their arms recently):
https://twitter.com/IvanSidorenko1/status/808088639607607296

He mentions that there were a lot of Russian forces in Palmyra, but no video or photos of them in the recent battles. Various sources say that the Russians left early and that ISIS entered from where the Russian checkpoints used to be:
https://twitter.com/IvanSidorenko1/status/808017009992724480
https://twitter.com/IvanSidorenko1/status/808015103052443648
https://twitter.com/IvanSidorenko1/status/808013229855215616

The Syrian leadership was giving commands to withdraw (by itself, this is nothing unusual):
https://twitter.com/IvanSidorenko1/status/808013646727102465

And Russian aviation was absent in the final hours: https://twitter.com/IvanSidorenko1/status/808018211107196929
https://twitter.com/IvanSidorenko1/status/808017783233581057

At first glance, this seems implausible - after all, there is no ISIS in rebel-held Aleppo on any of the maps. If you watch many of the recent ANNA-News reports from Aleppo, though, it seems to be not uncommon to see ISIS logos painted on walls next to various Al-Nusra and FSA logos, in buildings liberated by the Syrian army. They used to be allies and their ideology is the same; they only differ on who should lead the Islamic State.

Moreover, recent Wikileaks documents show Erdogan's son-in-law involved in the ISIS oil trade, while NATO planes helped ISIS near Deir Ezzor this summer (scuppering the Syrian ceasefire). Perhaps this was the deal reached with Erdogan or Kerry in recent days - Assad gets to keep Aleppo and the coast, unmolested, and in return for that, NATO and its allies get the "Salafist principality" between Syria and Iraq that they've wanted for years to block Iran from Hezbollah, and to allow them to build a pipeline from the Gulf States to Europe.

If that's so, then the next place to fall to ISIS would be Deir Ezzor. Shortly after that, the borders will stabilize, the new "Salafist principality" will have some sort of "anti-ISIS revolution" or "change of heart among the leadership" (the ISIS ideology no longer being needed as a motivator), and will promptly ally itself with Turkey, the Gulf States and the West. The US will announce victory and leave, as will Russia (except for keeping a contingent in any air or naval bases).

Posted by: E | Dec 12 2016 1:21 utc | 54

MH17 MH17 MH17 - if Trump is serious about a reset with Russia he can start by unveiling the unvarnished truth about MH17.

Start there and the unravelling will go all sorts of places - if he's serious.

I'll give him until the Dutch Elections (March 15, 2017). He can get his mate Wilders elected in the Netherlands with a bit of MH17 TRUTH.

If he doesn't, well, then he's proven as a kept man...

Posted by: Julian | Dec 12 2016 1:51 utc | 55

I still think that a complicated conspiracy is unnecessary to motivate ISIS to attack Aleppo. First, they want to distract Syria from finishing off rebels in Aleppo because they can be next. Second, they need a victory to bolster the morale. Syrians clearly put the priority on completing the job in Aleppo, they payoff there is big: undivided Aleppo will function order of magnitude better, increasing the popularity of the government. Contrary to some fantasies, maintaining order will not be hard for the government, no harder than in the bulk of Aleppo that is under control, and the elite forces will be again available for other fronts. There will be also significant international impact.

Interestingly, ISIS did not attack were it would hurt Syrian government most, on Khanasser highway that forms the life support for Aleppo city and all the forces in and around. That happened few times in the past, and each time the counterattack was quite swift. Basically, substantial force is on standby to defend that highway. (Similarly, no new rebel attack on Aleppo from the west. Again, there is no much of current activity there, but another force must be kept there. The same holds for the northern Hama and Latakia.) This shows that ISIS has no capacity to truly hurt the government.

It remains to be seen if (a) Syria will stage gradual retreat from Palmyra direction that would be bloody for ISIS, or it will send more forces there after all, (b) if the pace of mopping up East Aleppo Pocket will be maintained. After few days of pause, another 10% of the pocket was cleared in 24 hours.

Last word: ProPeace @28. For the love of everything what is pure and good, do not paste long links without enclosing them them like that lovely song. It severely affects ability to read the page in many browsers.

The trick is to remove spaces in the following: < a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51tvZnkn5V8">that lovely song< /a> Thus the link can be a mile long, but we will see only your description, "that lovely song".

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 12 2016 2:17 utc | 56

Think about what is happening to your ability to control your life.....its all about money and those that control it.

This is the ZH link about what the international PRIVATE finance world is doing to countries with Venezuela as the latest.
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-12-11/maduro-stunner-venezuela-eliminates-half-its-paper-money-after-pulling-largest-bill-

This is the last paragraph quote:
"
With Venezuela's move, we can now add the insolvent Latin American country to an increasingly large group of countries including India, Sweden, and Australia,
which in recent months have been on a quiet crusade to eliminate all forms of paper money. Certainly, Venezuela will not be the last as only full control over a
nation's currency will allow governments to enact global negative rates, something which is inevitable once the current "Trumpflation" euphoria finally ends.
"

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 12 2016 2:18 utc | 57

Can someone please explain to me why the page widens horizontally instead of wrapping-around lengthwise that is so much easier to read?

Posted by: Circe | Dec 12 2016 3:16 utc | 58

It's just how it's set up. Wrapping CSS must be disabled or something

Posted by: David | Dec 12 2016 3:20 utc | 59

@ Circe who asked about the Typepad blogging tool controls with commenters text/links

I suspect that b is not a techie like some of his readers and is willing to live with the limitations of the Typepad blogging tool.

I would think that somehow running any comment through a simple Perl script that strips Typepad offensive formatting stuff out would work but I am not a Typepad guru

Others may provide you with a better explanation and have already documented how to do proper links in prior comments.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 12 2016 3:26 utc | 60

Circe @60:

your browser, like mine, adjusts the window length to accommodate the longest "un-rappable" string, and to create such a string, ProPeace pasted SEVERAL url without a space in between. Observe and learn (in comment 28). And in comment 58 I have explained how to avoid and produce visually pleasing references.

For example, even this is pretty bad (yes, thats YOU, psychohistorian @59! bad, bad psychohistorian!)

This is the ZH link about what the international PRIVATE finance world is doing to countries with Venezuela as the latest.
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-12-11/maduro-stunner-venezuela-eliminates-half-its-paper-money-after-pulling-largest-bill-

Instead, we put < a href=" before the link (space after < added to avoid the effect), and ">Zero Hedge< /a> after (again space added after < ) and behold:

Here Zero Hedge explains what the international PRIVATE finance world is doing to countries with Venezuela as the latest.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 12 2016 3:33 utc | 61

@ Piotr Berman who chastised me for my improper link formatting

I am guilty as charged.....have not ramped back up on techie shit yet, sorry....Hmmm.

That said, I took the initiative to send an email to the folks that own Typepad to find and provide a solution.....I want to stay lazy about posting links that break formatting but be notified when it happens so I can choose to exert the effort.

Where is the "app/hotkey" for link check/fix?.......probably not even available with Linux....sigh

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 12 2016 3:56 utc | 62

@64

I find your comments interesting so try this:

In your google or google chrome search engine type: how to do a href in html

At the top of the page you'll see in bold: you simply: and under this 3 steps

Make sure you type the OPENING symbolism which is basically the less than symbolA(space)hrefequalsign and IN BETWEEN THE QUOTATIONS YOU PASTE YOUR LONG LINK AND THEN WITHOUT ANY SPACE FOLLOW WITH GREATER THAN SYMBOL AND WITHOUT SPACING FOLLOW WITH THE SHORT VERSION OF YOUR LINK, WHATEVER NAME YOU WANT TO GIVE IT TO REPLACE LONG LINK AND CLOSE WITH THE SYMBOLS THEY SHOW YOU IN POINT 3 which are basically the lessthansymbolslashAgreaterthansymbol. (no spaces between). The A can be upper or lower case.

Mine is just an explanation for each of the 3 points, but if you find the 3 point google version easier...by all means. If I succeeded so can you. I started using this here a few days ago, mind you, if the link isn't that long; I don't bother.

If you find this hard to read on this wide page; I'll post it at the end of the thread that follows regarding election hacking.

Posted by: Circe | Dec 12 2016 4:32 utc | 63

Sorry, after you type in your browser: how to do a href in html
Hit the return and then you'll see at the top of the page

You simply:

followed by 3 point instructions.

Posted by: Circe | Dec 12 2016 4:36 utc | 64

make way obama the 'wimp',
here comes the 'great white hoax' !
he's gonna show the chicoms they cant 'mess with
the greatest country on earth'


hhhhhhhhh

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-38282825

Posted by: denk | Dec 12 2016 4:46 utc | 65

O/S Winxp Opera V12.18 screen wrap.
O/S Winxp Opera V36 and Yendex off screen.

Posted by: Jack Smith | Dec 12 2016 5:04 utc | 66

@ Circe who is schooling me on XHTML

I use Opera as my web browser but may look for something "better"

If you go to my web site you will see what I built initially using Weebly and then extracted and modified to be resident on my web hosting provider.
I have been a techie since 1969 but got hit in the head 10 years ago and am healing the best I can.

I know how to construct proper web code but have serious problems with the process focus necessary to look at the
links carefully when commenting...but will start to if I can't encourage Typepad to keep me like every other lazy/uneducated user.

And I am getting neurofeedback therapy that may help fix some of my slow down and do it right the first time challenges.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 12 2016 5:19 utc | 67

Latest

"BEIRUT, LEBANON (7:00 P.M.) - The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and their allies are quickly advancing inside the remaining east Aleppo neighborhoods, capturing several sites amid the jihadist collapse around the provincial capital...."

https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/syrian-armys-lightening-advance-continues-east-aleppo-jihadists-struggle-hold-ground/

Posted by: Jack Smith | Dec 12 2016 5:56 utc | 68

Is it 38 or 39 days till the Immaculate Deception?

I keep hearing Ozzie singing 'We're going off the rails on a crazy train' in the background. Is it just me?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMR5zf1J1Hs

Posted by: ALberto | Dec 12 2016 6:24 utc | 69

Israel's Defense Minister Outlines Plan to Divide Syria and Iraq along Sectarian Lines


Liberman goes on to draw three conclusions as the solutions for ending the crisis in the Middle East. The second conclusion is clearly a call to attack the sovereignty of the independent countries. Liberman says,

“many of the countries in the Middle East were established artificially, as a result of the Sykes-Picot Agreement and based on colonial considerations that did not take into account the pattern of inhabitance and the deep sectarian rifts within the respective societies.

Thus, to genuinely solve the region’s problems, borders will have to be altered, specifically in countries like Syria and Iraq. Boundaries need to be redrawn between Sunnis, Shia and other communities to diminish sectarian strife and to enable the emergence of states that will enjoy internal legitimacy. It is a mistake to think that these states can survive in their current borders.

A similar conclusion holds true for the Israeli-Palestinian arena and for the borders that will ultimately need to be drawn for the achievement of a stable two-state outcome. We need ‘out of the box’ analysis to avoid being misled by habitual ways of thinking.”


How about ...

“Israel, the Apartheid state at the heart of the hatred and bloodshed in the Middle East was established artificially, as a result of the Balfour Amendment based on colonial considerations that did not take into account the pattern of inhabitance and the deep sectarian rifts within the respective societies.

Thus, to genuinely solve the region’s problems, borders will have to be altered, specifically between the countries of Israel and Palestine. Boundaries need to be redrawn between Zionist settlements in Israel and the Palestinian communities of the West Bank and Gaza - along the 1967 borders, as a start, with a subaerial or subterranean thoroughfare connecting the two - and the Zionist 'settlers' removed from Palestine in order to diminish sectarian strife and to enable the emergence of the two states that will enjoy internal legitimacy. It is a mistake to think that these states can survive in their current borders.

We need ‘out of the box’ analysis to avoid being misled by habitual ways of thinking.”

Posted by: jfl | Dec 12 2016 7:04 utc | 70

I imagine some other lackey states complicit...the usual suspects...

EXCLUSIVE: FOI documents expose Australia's unlawful invasion of Syria
"Make no mistake, we unlawfully invaded a sovereign nation."

Posted by: MadMax2 | Dec 12 2016 7:18 utc | 71

Greenwald documents the fake news produced and disseminated by 'actual, real journalists' at MSNBC, the Atlantic, and Newsweek ...

A Clinton Fan Manufactured Fake News That MSNBC Personalities Spread to Discredit WikiLeaks Docs

... to counteract 'Russian propaganda', no doubt. bs.

William Binney says US Insiders – Not Russia – Leaked Clinton Emails, and Craig Murray says he knows who leaked them ...

We're in the midst of an attempted coup by the neo-cons and the cia. On or about 21 January we'll see what happens.

Posted by: jfl | Dec 12 2016 7:22 utc | 72

@77 jfl
Greenwald does a great job in that piece.
Now that the establishment has doubled down on the 'fake news' narrative,
it opens up a giant shooting gallery of work ready to be torn apart by any true journalist.
It's pretty silly really, accusing others of fakery when you've traded on fakery everyday of the week for decades.

Posted by: MadMax2 | Dec 12 2016 8:00 utc | 73

@MadMax2 | Dec 12, 2016 2:18:47 AM | 76

Thank you. YouTube "MUSTWATCH- ABC Australia interview
w/ Bashar al-Jaafari, Syrian Am to UN"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6DSEkehMAI

Posted by: Jack Smith | Dec 12 2016 8:03 utc | 74

HOW KERRY COLLUDED WITH ISIS TO CAPTURE PALMYRA:

It has been clear to all parties for several weeks that the rebels and their terrorist allies in the eastern Aleppo pocket must be evacuated to other terrorist-held areas. Green buses have been on waiting at the exit corridor for weeks. The United Stated has made every effort to prevent a deal from being reached. Kerry has been "backtracking" and "playing diplomatic games". See Alexander Mercouris:
BREAKING: Russia furious, U.S. refuses to withdraw Jihadis from Aleppo http://theduran.com/russia-furious-us-backtracks-proposal-withdraw-jihadis-aleppo/
As Jihadi resistance crumbles in Aleppo, Western powers play diplomatic games - http://theduran.com/jihadi-resistance-crumbles-aleppo-western-powers-play-diplomatic-games/

A deal between the US and Russia was suddenly reached yesterday, only a few hours after ISIS captured Palmyra. The fall of Palmyra is largely the result of the fact that the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) troops defending Palmyra had been transferred to Aleppo to take part in the decisive battles, most notable the Desert Hawks Brigade who were the experts in desert warfare. Palmyra was defended by poorly trained National Defense Force (NDF) troops who were killed by the hundreds in ISIS' initial attacks.

It seems evident that Kerry and the Aleppo rebels had been told by their masters to hold on to Aleppo as long as it took ISIS to conquer Palmyra.

THE EVIDENCE:

1) It has been a long term US plan to establish an "Islamic State" in eastern Syria. This is revealed in the 2012 report by the DIA. See for example:
2012 Defense Intelligence Agency document: West will facilitate rise of Islamic State “in order to isolate the Syrian regime”
https://levantreport.com/2015/05/19/2012-defense-intelligence-agency-document-west-will-facilitate-rise-of-islamic-state-in-order-to-isolate-the-syrian-regime/

2) A US-Saudi plan called for the relocation of the Caliphate (ISIS) and its terrorist forces from Mosul to eastern Syria, specifically to Deir ez-Zor. The plan was first revealed by Russian sources on October 12, 2016 and later confirmed by Reuters on December 7th.

US, Saudis to grant 9,000 ISIS fighters free passage from Iraqi Mosul to Syria – source https://www.rt.com/news/362559-syria-iraq-mosul-isis/

How Iran closed the Mosul 'horseshoe' and changed Iraq war
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-iraq-mosul-idUSKBN13W1H1

3) The US and coalition air forces attacked the Syrian Army in Deir ez-Zor on September 17, 2016. The attack was synchronized with an ISIS ground attack that almost leading to the fall Deir ez-Zor and made it permanently unusable to airplanes.

US airstrike on SAA in Deir ez-Zor
http://acloserlookonsyria.shoutwiki.com/wiki/US_airstrike_on_SAA_in_Deir_ez-Zor

Syria claims that they have recordings of communications between ISIS and US forces during the attack.

4) ISIS is said to have moved 4000 terrorist troops and 200 vehicles to Palmyra, allegedly from Iraq, without the US seeing them or attacking them.

5) The ISIS attack was closely monitored by US drones.
Within Syria ‏@WithinSyriaBlog Dec 10
my source in T4 AB
many USAF UAVs are over the battlefield in #Palmyra just watching!
https://twitter.com/WithinSyriaBlog/status/807670468866179076

6) Syrian sources claim that prior to the ISIS attack the US Air Force had disrupted all SAA radio communications around Palmyra.
https://twitter.com/maytham956/status/808081353908555776

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Dec 12 2016 8:25 utc | 75

are all the sabre rattling designed to extract commercial concessions ?
i guess iran's deal with boeing would keep *mad dog* mattis off their back for now.
hhhhhhhh

Posted by: denk | Dec 12 2016 8:52 utc | 76

When I was a kid, the Catholic Church maintained a list of prohibited books.

Now there is a list of 200 webs with “fake news”. Today’s Jesuits are trying to tell me what I should read and what not.

Posted by: passerby | Dec 12 2016 9:06 utc | 77

More US Troops in Syria Under Risk of Attack from Turkey


The 200 additional U.S. troops heading into Syria will support a drive on the self-proclaimed ISIS capital of Raqqa led by Syrian Kurds who are under risk of attack from NATO-ally Turkey, according to a senior U.S. military official.

"They're the horse we're riding to Raqqa," the senior official said of the Syrian Kurdish fighters known as the YPG, or People's Protection Units.

"Their biggest concern is the Turks behind them" and not the ISIS fighters arrayed against them in Raqqa, the senior official said of the YPG fighters who have been trained and equipped by the U.S. and are widely considered the best rebel fighting force in northeastern Syria.

The Turks "hate who we're working with," the senior official said. The U.S. has cut off air support for the Turkish forces inside Syria out of concern over their intentions.

In a video briefing from Baghdad to the Pentagon last Friday, Air Force Col. John Dorrian, a spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve, said ...

"These [nearly 300] strikes have destroyed about 90 fortifications and over 50 vehicles, ... The SDF, with its Arab elements, has enabled the establishment of a governance structure representative of the local population ... They've begun providing services to the people of Manbij, including having opened more than 240 schools since its liberation. A similar model with local governance is in the works for Raqqa once it is liberated ... [the US is] facilitating joint discussions with Turkey, the SDF and other coalition partners to promote de-escalation in the area. These meetings are starting points in addressing a challenging situation. ... There have been instances where -- previous instances where -- there has been an exchange of fire between the SDF and the Turks -- the Turkish military. That has already occurred at different times during the campaign. So what we're trying to do is make sure that we keep all these operations de-conflicted."

The Turkish General Staff claimed Saturday that more than 70 PKK (Kurdish Workers Party) and ISIS terrorists had been killed by recent Turkish airstrikes in northern Syria and in Kurdish areas of southeastern Turkey, Turkey's Andalou news agency reported.

The senior U.S. official who spoke on background last week said the U.S. also had concerns about a potential all-out fight he called a "meeting engagement" around al-Bab that would involve the Turks and the Syrian opposition, and the Assad regime forces backed by the Russians moving from the south. "This is a very tenuous situation," the senior official said.

1. Appears they're not anticipating a problem with ISIS fighters ... because they're all in Palmyra?

2. They are anticipating a problem with Turkish fighters ... because they plan on taking over the same are in Syria that the Turks do?

Posted by: jfl | Dec 12 2016 10:08 utc | 78

Palmüra. There were two waves. Palmüra apparently only (or mostly) had militia type defense (in line with the policy of locals defending locations against infiltration). The attack was timed to coincide with a sandstorm to hinder tactical aviation, and very likely was US organized. Neither the SAA nor (more importantly) the Russians detected anything of this major offensive. Nevertheless, and this cannot be overemphasized, the local forces REPELLED the first attack. So it is surely untrue that the defense was second class, and that the SAA performed poorly, etc. etc. This was a serious lapse of attention from the Russians, and their performance was very poor in reconnaissance, and in the further air support. It was also reported that the US disabled the SAA communications in the area.

The second wave must've been so overwhelming (reportedly 4000 a-holes and 100s of vehicles), that the SAA decided to retreat, and this was done in an orderly fashion. Please keep the usual "SAA is sh.t", they repelled a major wave and then performed a good tactical withdrawal. This is was more a Russian failure.

Posted by: nyolci | Dec 12 2016 10:08 utc | 79

Anyone care to speculate on how violent US reaction would be if Putin took Iraq up on its offer of an airbase several months ago? Russia doesn't have the extra planes or resources to spare, I've heard. Still, securing Deir Ez-zor from the east would shore up what appears to be a crumbling front, and seeing as the US is bombing Iraqi soldiers anyway, maybe they would benefit from having a choice from where they get their air coverage. Yeah, I know. I'm still in shock from the fall of Palmyra.

Posted by: Wwinsti | Dec 12 2016 10:26 utc | 80

THE LAST BROADCAST FROM ALEPPO:

Hear the last Emir speak from the last mosque in Aleppo.
https://twitter.com/RevolutionSyria/status/808069804712218624

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Dec 12 2016 10:32 utc | 81

@80, Petri Krohn, very interesting!

@84: Yes, very much a Russian failure. Colonel Cassad has a list of the equipment that was left behind, and many photos. Truly a colossal screw-up:
http://colonelcassad.livejournal.com/3122478.html
The following were left behind in Palmyra for ISIS: 30 tanks, 6 IFVs, 6 122mm artillery, 7 ZU-23 anti-aircraft guns, various cars, anti-tank missiles, small arms, plus a lot of supplies and ammunition that was there for a planned future offensive to Deir Ezzor.

Posted by: E | Dec 12 2016 10:33 utc | 82

Mina

You asked me some days ago (Dec 6th, I think) to comment on a post from Mosuleye, particularly

in addition to ISIL’s invasion of Nainawa has led to direct interaction between the Arab tribes with the Kurds, especially in Sinjar, Rabi’ya, Qayyara and Nainawa Plains, to the point where is has become very difficult to break this interaction, or to gain back the Arab land, because the Kurdish forces, along with the Yazidi forces and People’s Protection Units has committed genocides against the residents of the Arab areas. Therefore, any chance for the Arab tribes to gain their own political independence, they must gain an effective economical and administrative power in their areas to balance it with the Kurdish and Yazidi forces.
I see Mosuleye has since got out of Mosul, according to his posts. I don't doubt he is genuine, the way he talks about the Ninaway tribes (that is province of Ninaway(muhafazat Ninaway)), shows a profound engagement with their interests, and little American overlay (as opposed to Raqqa is being slaughtered silently, for example). On the other hand his hopes are bit pie-in-the-sky. Nobody's going to do much for the Sunni Arabs. Only the Baghdad government could do that. There are some more positive signs than under al-Maliki, like devolution of budgets to the provinces, but I don't know how far Baghdad are really willing to go to reunite the country.

As for the remark about genocide by the Kurds, I think he's talking about what happened at Sinjar in 2014. More correctly called ethnic cleansing. When the Peshmerga fled from Sinjar in 2014, the Kurds threatened that if they retook Sinjar, they would never let their Sunni Arab neighbours come back again (it was reported in the MSM like the Guardian). When Sinjar was retaken in 2015, according to the MSM, the Kurds did actually put this policy into action. Again, it was in the Guardian, but little emphasised. Kurds are said to be "good", so not much is said about their land-grabbing and expansionism. Whether many really got killed, I haven't heard. I think he's exaggerating there. Still, it's a very sensitive issue, evidently, and the Sunni Arabs are genuinely in danger.

Posted by: Laguerre | Dec 12 2016 12:47 utc | 83

A good visual Aleppo update. Rebel losses of the last 24h in blue.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 12 2016 13:41 utc | 84

Aleppo map updates are "fuzzy", because the messages are "fight/advance etc. in district X", but the pocket is vanishing fast any way you interpret them. This week it will end.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 12 2016 13:48 utc | 85

@84 if that was indeed the case, then I wonder if Putin will hold some chestnuts to the fire

Posted by: aaaa | Dec 12 2016 14:14 utc | 86

According to Southfront, Is is continuing to attack west of Palmyra, and will be attacking the T4 airbase soon.


https://southfront.org/isis-seizes-jihar-crossroad-and-of-tyas-mountain-west-of-palmyra/

Posted by: Wwinsti | Dec 12 2016 14:16 utc | 87

jfl@ 35

For more information on the WaPo, CIA, Ukraine neo-nazi's and PropOrNot see:

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/12/09/the-anonymous- blacklist-promoted-by-the-washington-post-has-apparent-ties-to-ukrainian- fascism-and-cia-spying/

Worth noting that Ukrainian associations have been deeply embedded in most large US cities since the early 1950s. Not unlike the AIPAC propaganda wing that pulls the strings in the US government.

Posted by: Krollchem | Dec 12 2016 14:21 utc | 88

@93, @aaaa

Good question but I don't think there'll be roasting. Honestly, this attack got both the Russians and the SAA off guard. My point is not that this is the Russians' fault but that the local forces could withstand at least one major attack and the usual SAA-blaming should be avoided.

Posted by: nyolci | Dec 12 2016 14:26 utc | 89

re 84

Hear the last Emir speak from the last mosque in Aleppo.
Strange that the guy is not even a local, but an African. They seem to have given up on pretending to be locals. By the way, maybe Imam rather than Emir.

Posted by: Laguerre | Dec 12 2016 14:53 utc | 90

22;We are not at war with Russia,so that article has no bearing on Trump.
The only people at war with them are the ziomonsters and the CIA,and the divide and conquer MSM.
\ Why would the CIA f*ck with an incoming POTUS?
Because they are scared shiteless he will expose their 9-11 treason?
Whom the gods destroy they first make mad.
And I love all the purity of essence here,where knuckleheads can't see that enemy,zion,might have finally met its Waterloo,in DT.
Unless of course they are that enemy.

Posted by: dahoit | Dec 12 2016 15:54 utc | 91

From Yemen
https://twitter.com/BaFana3

(note: Wahhabis consider any special celebration of Muhammad is wrong, i.e. celebrating his birthday, as do the Sufis and many Sunnis, or visiting his house or his grave)

Posted by: Mina | Dec 12 2016 18:09 utc | 92

Exxon, world infamous corporate criminal with a list of crimes too long to list here, incredibly gets the Russia friendship award given by Putin him self. Absolutely grotesque. Now their CEO will be SoS, and PUtin is pleased ?! how fucking disgusting.

Posted by: tom | Dec 12 2016 18:12 utc | 93

ref last emir
he shows up at 1'17, he might be North African rather than Syrian, from his accent
the anchorman is an American


Posted by: Mina | Dec 12 2016 18:15 utc | 94

71

It's 125Days 7Hours 59Minutes 40Seconds until your portion of the
$3,400,000,000,000 annual tithe to One Party of Mil.Gov is overdue.

And here is how it will be spent:

“It is an attack on our very democracy. It’s an attack on who we
are as a people,” Mike Morell told The Cipher Brief. “A foreign
government messing around in our elections is, I think, an
existential threat to our way of life. To me, and this is to me
not an overstatement, this is the political equivalent of 9/11.
It is huge and the fact that it hasn’t gotten more attention from
the Obama Administration, Congress, and the mainstream media,
is just shocking to me.”

Shocking! Simply shocking! CIA didn't protect USArya on 12/11/99
with GLB soft coup, CIA didn't protect USRya on 11/9/01 hard coup,
CIA didn't protect USArya on 18/09/08 when $16T of Public Treasury
was transferred to Ze offshore bank accounts under Operation TARP,
and CIA didn't protect USArya on 7/11/16 when the Russians (sic)
supposedly interferred with the USAryan elevation of HRH Rodham,
and nevermind George Soros, he's on the Ze Team for PNAC 2, you
know, the part where they give up on MENA, and just loot US-UK
down to their socks and garters .

Posted by: chipnik | Dec 12 2016 18:32 utc | 95

94

If you will all gather around me, you will find your answer right ... here ... The Cipher Brief

Please note that bookmarking is disabled and you won't be able to link to it. And Dahoit,
they're not messing with Trump, you are playing checkers, they are setting up Cold War 2,
just like NASA is setting up Mission Mars, just like NOAA is setting up Climate Chains, it's
what the largest Mil.Gov bureaucracies on Earth do to 'defend' (sic) their salaries and their
pensions for life. And here's a cold knife in the heart if you're an USAryan: all this time
Mil.Gov has been underfunding their own pensions and looting the capital budget for higher
salaries and benefits. Everyone in and out of government knows this. But then when Mil.Gov's
pensions reach critical underfunding, THEY'LL ROB SS/MC TO FUND THEIR FULL PENSIONS FOR LIFE.

That's not just a USAryan problem, it's global, why Modi is India is forcing cyber-currency,
why EU will follow, and like USAryans, everyone will remain willfully blind to the fact that
Mil.Gov underfunded their own pensions so they could front-end their salaries and benefits,
because they knew, in the end, they were going to f*ck the taxpayers up the ass on pensions.

Is the CIA protecting USArya against these Mil.Gov thieves? NO, THEY ARE ALL MIL.GOV THIEVES.

Posted by: chipnik | Dec 12 2016 18:58 utc | 96

News from the rest of the world
http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/3/12/251932/Business/Economy/Eni-sells--percent-stake-in-Egypts-Zohr-gas-field-.aspx
(don't tell me? did the amended style function?)
http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/251898/World/Region/Sudans-Bashir-vows-to-crush-opposition-protests.aspx

What about the Russian-Saudi deal about oil prices? Are we finally going to get rid of all these cars?

Posted by: Mina | Dec 12 2016 21:11 utc | 97

E @ 54. Thank you. Extremely interesting.
--
Julian @ 57. MH17 was a hoax you know; quite impossible for heavy objects
falling from the sky to leave no dents & gouges in the earth (impact craters, etc)
Real plane crashes have impact craters like these:
http://killtown.911review.org/flight93/crash-comparisons.html
Heavy parts were all by the road. Guys who collected either long-dead bodies
or dummies were all employees of one Ukrainian oligarch mine owner.

State of the art medical dummies are here http://www.waldomason.com/ .

Anna News, embedded w the Russian/Donbass fighters shows the raw crash site at
"MH17 the Plane that Never Crashed " & you can decide for yourself.
Select English subtitles. Don't look if you're sensitive.

Posted by: Penelope | Dec 13 2016 6:18 utc | 98

@88 krollchem

yeah. i followed a link to the original of that piece, mark ames - The Anonymous Blacklist Promoted by the Washington Post Has Apparent Ties to Ukrainian Fascism and CIA Spying - a few days before counterpunch picked it up. very good stuff on the fascist connections of ProPornOT


One PropOrNot tweet, dated November 17, invokes a 1940s Ukrainian fascist salute “Heroiam Slava!!” to cheer a news item on Ukrainian hackers fighting Russians.
...
Besides PropOrNot, the Washington Post’s Craig Timberg relied on only one other source to demonstrate the influence of Russian propaganda: the Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI), whose “fellow” Clint Watts is cited by name, along with a report he co-authored, “Trolling for Trump: How Russia is Trying to Destroy Our Democracy.”
...
The Foreign Policy Research Institute was founded by Robert Strausz-Hupé and set up on the University of Pennsylvania campus, with backing from the Vick’s chemical company, funder of numerous reactionary rightwing causes since the New Deal began. And, as the New York Times reported, the FPRI also was covertly funded by the CIA, a revelation that would lead to student protests and the FPRI removing itself from Penn’s campus in 1970.

propornot also cited that pieced specifically in the introduction to their report.

i made a little list of names from Russian propaganda effort helped spread ‘fake news’ during election, experts say

Gary S. Franchi Jr., owner of the Next New Network seems of interest there.

i also stumbled upon a piece from pam martens ... Who’s Behind PropOrNot’s Blacklist of News Websites


PropOrNot’s Twitter page provides a “tell” that its report may simply be a hodgepodge compilation of other people’s research that was used to arrive at its dangerous assertion that critical thinkers across America are a clandestine network of Russian propaganda experts. Its Tweet on November 7 indicates that the research of Peter Pomerantsev, a Senior Fellow at the Legatum Institute in London, who has also been cooperating on research with the Information Warfare Project of the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) in Washington, D.C, inspired its efforts.

According to SourceWatch, the Legatum Institute “is a right-wing think tank promoting ‘free markets, free minds, and free peoples.’ ” SourceWatch adds that the Legatum Institute “is a project founded and funded by the Legatum Group, a private investment group based in Dubai.” According to the Internet Archive known as the Wayback Machine, the Center for European Policy Analysis previously indicated it was an affiliate of the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA). We can see why they might want to remove that affiliation now that the Koch brothers have been exposed as funders of a very real network of interrelated websites and nonprofits. According to Desmog, NCPA has received millions of dollars in funding from right wing billionaires like the Koch brothers and their related trusts along with the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, the Sarah Scaife Foundation (heir to the Mellon fortune) along with corporations like ExxonMobil.


... check out the article for the references.

Posted by: jfl | Dec 13 2016 8:03 utc | 99

US Court of Appeals of the Ninth Circuit, Saleh v. Bush. The sides present arguments, starts after 1:47.

Posted by: iegee | Dec 13 2016 8:47 utc | 100

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