Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 07, 2016

As Regime Change By Takifiris Fails - GCC Lobbyists Call For U.S. Occupation of Upper Mesopotamia

The Aleppo battle is ending. Syria will win the war against foreign supported Takfiris as will Iraq. That requires new plans to implement the original aims of the war's instigators and sponsors.

This is a map of the east-Aleppo cauldron 2 days ago.

Map by @NatDefFor - bigger

This is the map as of this morning.

Map by @NatDefFor - bigger

Since this morning another part of the "rebel" held area in the south east of the cauldron, the Sheik Sa'ed quarters, has been liberated by Syrian government forces.

It is expected that the whole al-Qaeda "rebel" held area will be liberated and cleared of Takfiris as early as this weekend. Militants still there are offered to leave or to be - inevitably - killed.

You can compare those maps to the map (big) we posted in our last Aleppo piece. In total some 90% of the area held by the "rebels" just two weeks ago is now back in government hands. All "rebel" held areas north and north-east of the Citadel of Aleppo that yesterday were still held by al-Qaeda aligned Takfiris  are now in Syrian government hands. The last progress was possible when a group of local "rebels" gave up the fight and surrendered to Syrian government forces. For the first time in 5 years the Citadel's main entrance can now be reached from the government held west-Aleppo.

In total 28,700 civilians were found in and have left those formerly "rebel" held areas. That is a bit higher than our old estimate of some 25,000 max in total in east Aleppo but way lower than the 250,000, 300,000, 500,000 or 1,000,000 civilians that the UN and opposition media claimed.

After winning the Aleppo battle the Syrian government will have some 35,000 aligned troops freely available to liberate those other areas of Syria which are currently still held by foreign paid Takfiris, This is a quite huge, experienced force and one can expect that most of the work still needed to be done to liberate all of Syria will be finished within a few months.

In Iraq the government forces are fighting the last Islamic State remnants which hold the city of Mosul in a slightly similar siege situation as it was in Aleppo. But the fight in Mosul is more difficult because up to one million civilians are still in the city and the ISIS fighter there are fanatics who do not shy away from sending hundreds of schoolkids as suicide bombers against the approaching Iraqi forces. Should such resistance continue it might take months to retake the whole city.

Luckily for Syria the city of Mosul is now completely enclosed. The original U.S. plan was to let the western area of Mosul open so that ISIS fighters could escape to Syria. The Iraqi prime minister Abadi stopped those plans by sending Popular Mobilization Forces to close the wide western gap.

The U.S. had already prepared the field for retreating ISIS troops to eventually take the city of Deir Ezzor in east-Syria which is held by ISIS encircled Syrian government troops. It would have thereby created the "Salafist principality" that it envisioned since at least 2012. The Iraqi move to close off Mosul, supported by Iran and Russia, has finally sabotaged this plan.

As that plan for handing the eastern Syrian and western Iraqi areas to some "moderate ISIS" has now failed, the usual "expert" suspects, starting with Michael Weiss and Hassan Hassan, now argue for the U.S. to occupy the whole area and to set up permanent military U.S. bases to control the oil-rich Syrian east and western Iraq. The U.S. special forces working with Kurdish YPG units in the north-eastern area of Syria have already set up several small air-fields.

Write those permanent war lobbyists:

Developing these sites as solid anchors in the region will give the U.S. a badly needed intelligence-gathering capability in the Jazira, or Upper Mesopotamia, encompassing the arid plain that stretches across northwestern Iraq, northeastern Syria and southeastern Turkey.
Keeping contingents of U.S. forces in the region, meanwhile, will provide a credible deterrent helping to defend trusted and capable anti-ISIS fighters and deterring the Assad regime from any effort at reconquest.

Upper Mesopotamia, al Jazera ca. 80 BC - Map via Wikimedia

Such a U.S. occupation entity in Jazera would:

  • Block any traffic between Shia Iran and Iraq with the Syrian and Lebanese areas towards the Mediterranean coast. The so called Shia crescent would be interrupted by a U.S. controlled entity of mostly Sunni tribal inhabitants.
  • Create space for an envisioned Qatar-Turkey-Europe natural gas pipeline while blocking a potential Iran-Mediterranean-Europe natural gas pipeline through the same area.
  • Fulfill another step of the Yinon plan which calls for the disassembly of all Arab states into smaller entities to secure Israel's realm.

Expect more well bribed think tank "experts" to soon argue for such a lunatic new "mission" for U.S. forces.

President elect Donald Trump repeated yesterday that he will have none of such adventures:

[Trump] promised to make the military stronger than it has ever been, but said that under his leadership, the country would “stop racing to topple foreign regimes that we know nothing about.”

“This destructive cycle of intervention and chaos must finally come to an end,” he said.

We can hope that Trump will stick to this reasonable position and stays away from any further interference with the local affairs of the people of the Middle East and elsewhere.

Posted by b on December 7, 2016 at 19:11 UTC | Permalink

next page »

Thanks and I'm sure those think tankers working on what helpless country Amerika can attack next. I can hardly wait to hear the spin on how Amerika won in Syria.

Posted by: jo6pac | Dec 7 2016 19:19 utc | 1

Question to those who understand the US political system:
Just suppose Trump is as good as his word and tries to disengage from the Middle East and warmongering. Will the US system (Congress / Senate) let him?

Posted by: Eric Bloodaxe | Dec 7 2016 19:28 utc | 2

Arrgh! Yet another general on Trump's cabinet.

MIC Incorporated.

Posted by: Circe | Dec 7 2016 19:30 utc | 3

And then we read stupidities like this Press Release this morning:

A humanitarian disaster is taking place before our very eyes. Some 200,000 civilians, including many children, in eastern Aleppo are cut off from food and medicine supplies. Aleppo is being subjected to daily bombings and artillery attacks by the Syrian regime, supported by Russia and Iran. Hospitals and schools have not been spared. Rather, they appear to be the targets of attack in an attempt to wear people down. The images of dying children are heart breaking. We condemn the actions of the Syrian regime and its foreign backers, especially Russia, for their obstruction of humanitarian aid, and strongly condemn the Syrian regime’s attacks that have devastated civilians and medical facilities and use of barrel bombs and chemical weapons.

Lies and more lies whilst Teresa May is making empty promises to the GCC about Iran and the EU (more catholic than the Pope) is bashing Iran for 1988 war at the Paris Conference- yep they are on the take from MEK.

Posted by: Yul | Dec 7 2016 19:37 utc | 4

How come it did not make the front page in Europe?,-European-Islamist-militants-return-from-M.aspx

Posted by: Mina | Dec 7 2016 19:42 utc | 5

Trump is starting to make interesting noises like 4 billion dollar Air Force One is almost a scandal, he will cancell it, he knows what airplane costs and see this as a theft. Also he says US military is weak but doesn't suggest that they need more money but that the money is wasted or stolen, compares to analog/similar capabilities Russian and Chinese weapons cost five to ten times cheaper.

Also he naturally is against SV tech companies pushing AI military crap, sees it as a hype for extorting taxpayer money, especially since they viciously undermined his candidacy by manipulating press and social media for Hillary.

Will he be able to have his way? Unknown but in foreign relations and military he has strong presidential prerogatives to rely on, thanks also to Obama.

Posted by: Kalen | Dec 7 2016 19:51 utc | 6

thanks b.. their is some room for optimism here, although i wouldn't trust the jackels - saudi arabia, qatar, uk, usa and israel - past the fence post.. they are likely to continue on with the 'think tank shills' and 'expert military' people (on full pay via the mil of course) and a whole host of other miscreants that plug the msm - including the one's who stole your article that you spoke of yesterday..

shutting all these fuckers down ain't gonna be easy, but things do temporarily look promising. trump is either going to get shot, or tow the line is mostly how i see it here.. and, it remains to be seen given his limited choices..

it is fascinating to watch the political class in the west go berserk over how things are unfolding here..

Posted by: james | Dec 7 2016 20:01 utc | 7

forgot to include turkey in that list as well..

Posted by: james | Dec 7 2016 20:03 utc | 8

The Trumpster *thinks* he can resist the war party, but he cannot. He has nothing but warmonger all around him because that is the only thing that will pass Zionist controlled congressional muster. Wait for the false flag and the "Angel is next" moment for the fool to come around. Nuff Sed.

Posted by: Nuff Sed | Dec 7 2016 20:04 utc | 9

The lowest type of human beings nowadays, next to mercenaries and politicians, are definitely journalists. Can you believe it is possible in the UK to publish an article on war victims in Yemen without a single mention of KSA?

Posted by: Mina | Dec 7 2016 20:07 utc | 10

similar claptrap from Kenneth Roth of HRW in the most recent NYRB, drooling on about the uniquely barbaric effects of barrel bombs and such. (how about your breathless sarin analysis you douche bag, Kenneth?) there is a special place in hell for these 21st century human rights phonies. unalloyed evil.

Posted by: marc b. | Dec 7 2016 20:08 utc | 11

The linked Weiss/Hassan piece from Daily Beast is a sort of master-class in weasely propaganda; rife in contradiction, sparse in material analysis, and careful in prescription. But by the end of the piece what they are actually calling for is clear: direct warfare against the Syrian government and allies, possibly also against the Iraq government, in the name of carving out a new (oil-rich) state which will be run by "trusted" local players who have already been on the payroll for years, and featuring permanent NATO garrisons. Hello "rules based international order."

Posted by: jayc | Dec 7 2016 20:10 utc | 12

from the article linked from #5 above:

Belgium expressed concern last month that Islamist militants were increasingly returning to Europe as US-backed coalition forces drive the Islamic State (IS) militant group from territory in Syria and Iraq.

Boy, the barn-sweepings are coming thick and fast, now that it appears inevitable that Alleppo will be liberated soon, and eventually all of Syria will be swept clean of foreign terrorists as well, and not by "US-backed coalition forces."

There's sure enough a whole lot of panic in the air.

Posted by: AntiSpin | Dec 7 2016 20:30 utc | 13

title typo, should be Takfiris not Takfirs (just saying, for indexation sake)

Posted by: Mina | Dec 7 2016 20:33 utc | 14

Deir Ezzor contains a memorial to the million+ Armenian victims of the Turk genocide of our people in 1915. Western backed jihadis overran it and severely damaged it. The Turks marched about a million of us to Deir Ezzor that they murdered. It is the graveyard of Western Armenia. My father just barely survived it.

I am proud that Armenians and other Orthodox Christians are in the Syrian Army along with Sunni and Shia Muslims together fighting the vermin supported by the US and its Anglosphere and EU vassals and their proxies in the MENA.

If the Americans try to take Deir Ezzor then we will fight them as well. The US will eventually be driven out of the region. The people of Syria and Iraq hate the US. Even the Kurds know the US will stab them in the back and know that they must come to an accommodation with Assad that is backed by Russia and Iran. They know that the US is in Turkeys pocket.

Posted by: AriusArmenian | Dec 7 2016 20:40 utc | 15

@2: The President is the Commander-in-Chief. Foreign policy, including decisions of whether to go to war, are his.

The power to actually declare war is Congress's, but note that the US has not issued a declaration of war since WW2.

The short of it is that warhawks may try to pressure Trump, but the decision is his. Barring a false flag that puts Trump in a corner, I'm fairly optimistic that he will keep to his word.

Posted by: woogs | Dec 7 2016 20:43 utc | 16

According to Wikimapia and other sources, Sheik Saeed district is still in the rebel hands, but Salheen district and three small districts next to the Citadel were liberated since morning.

If the pace of advance will be maintained, the siege of the enclave will be over this week.

By the way, a comment on Iraq. After the liberation of Tikrit, Obama spent a huge effort to sideline the "Popular Mobilization Units" that are armed and advised by Iran. Some of those units are in Aleppo now. But the combination of Army and Peshmerga did not work too well, so at long last American could not maintain their opposition to the presence of PMU to the north of Saladin province. It seems that Peshmerga and the Army are following American suggestions, up to a point, but PMU are under independent political control. Of course, ISIS units who would flee Mosul to Syria would be fighting with PMU units there, and the whole concept of PMU is regional (mostly Shia) solidarity. Pretty stupid for Obama not to figure it earlier, if he went with the flow he could score the victory for the Administration before the elections.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 7 2016 20:49 utc | 17

It wouldn't surprise me if the wankers at HRW did some maths and came up with a claim that the Russian and Syrian regimes had massacred 246,300 people in East Aleppo because they (HRW) know there were 275,000 people there to start with and only 28,700 left

Posted by: Ghostship | Dec 7 2016 20:54 utc | 18

Ghostship @ 19

Was just reading Elijah Magnier twitter a/c :

According to the UN , well spinmaster for the P3, it is 1 million :(
Go figure

Posted by: Yul | Dec 7 2016 21:05 utc | 19

About Yemen: BBC is of course the servant of the government. They do not decide who is a "rebel" and who are "local authorities". Of course, the West is not "ignoring the problem" but creating it, by helping GCC maintain the maritime blockade (and blathering about "freedom of navigation"), and BBC workers reliably work for the democratically elected government, so it is OK. Of course, it cannot be called "starvation weapon" (because the government decided that way).

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 7 2016 21:06 utc | 20

When it comes to the Western estimates of 200-300K civilians in East Aleppo, it could likely be a most useful lie to perpetuate. Shades of the mass graves in Serbia in the 90's, the inexplicable 'disappearance' of most of those +200K Eastern Aleppo civilians can be spun into allegations of a huge massacre by the SAA coalition and other 'atrocities' by Russia and that madman Hassad.

Posted by: Enrico Malatesta | Dec 7 2016 21:13 utc | 21

Puzzling situation for the Western journalists now in Aleppo
lots of pics will come out they don't want to show

Posted by: Mina | Dec 7 2016 21:14 utc | 22

I'm thinking they'll need another 9/11 for this to happen, as Trump seems convincingly keen on scaling down US intervention in the middle east. That attitude might change if ISIS supposedly blows up yankee stadium.

Posted by: never mind | Dec 7 2016 21:19 utc | 23

does the consistent heavy over representation of Jews amongst the neocon 'hawks' merit some discussion?

FFS - we need to be more concerned with saving human life than being called names by dissembling warmongers.

Posted by: Mike K. | Dec 7 2016 21:31 utc | 24

@Mina #10

"Some have been bombed by the Saudi-led coalition,"

"You see farmers who were on their way to market, shredded by the high explosives and shrapnel of a Saudi air strike;"

Posted by: From The Hague | Dec 7 2016 21:39 utc | 25

Houps! my mistake! and i had read it twice (but too fast)

Posted by: Mina | Dec 7 2016 21:56 utc | 26

"We can hope that Trump will stick to this reasonable position and stays away from any further interference with the local affairs of the people of the Middle East and elsewhere."
Yea, let's hope all together very, very firmly. It may help... especially concerning the 'elsewhere', like China and so on.

Posted by: Pnyx | Dec 7 2016 22:08 utc | 27

Is this clown on Captagon?

Posted by: Mina | Dec 7 2016 22:20 utc | 28

>>>> Yul | Dec 7, 2016 4:05:30 PM | 20
The idiot at Fascist Overground - has mixed things up. The UN claims that there are a million people under siege in Syria that includes the Four Towns (Madaya, Zabadani, Foua, and Kafraya), Deir Ez-zor, East Aleppo and all the isolated terrorist enclaves around Damascus (what's left of them).
The Syrian government has now reduced that to 725,000. How long will it take the UN to report the new figure?

Posted by: Ghostship | Dec 7 2016 22:26 utc | 29

Why don't they call it the "British-founded White helmets" then?

They really do love numbers. They claim to have helped save "an estimate of 75,000" lives!

Posted by: Mina | Dec 7 2016 22:30 utc | 30

Funny to imagine the EUrocrats who actually believed that there were some tens of thousands fighters in Aleppo. They now realize that a bunch of 1500 idiots with guns and captagon can keep a huge population hostage with just a few snipers here and there and a good mortar factory.

Posted by: Mina | Dec 7 2016 22:38 utc | 31

b, thanks for the excellent piece. Can't believe and wondering beside the massive destructions, can Syrians forgive the regime changer?

I can't can you?

Posted by: Jack Smith | Dec 7 2016 22:49 utc | 32

Lieven @13.

An artist placed a golden statue of King Nuttyahu in a public square in Tel Aviv. The worship of golden idols is a little too close to the bone - it didn't last long.

Posted by: Yonatan | Dec 7 2016 23:02 utc | 33

Reuters publishing fake news today:

"But eastern Aleppo is widely seen by analysts of the Syria conflict as a bastion of the moderate opposition to Assad, which has maintained that jihadists have little presence in the city."

Posted by: jayc | Dec 7 2016 23:11 utc | 34

Mina @31

Where have all the White Helmets in east Aleppo gone?

Disappeared with the takfiris, everyone?

Posted by: Yonatan | Dec 7 2016 23:16 utc | 35

Weiss and Hassan Hassan want the US to balkanise Syria, without asking the Syrians whether they want to be balkanised or not of course, typical Yankee arrogance. Also the sovereign Syrian state is to be deprived of its oil, not only in the Golan, but in its East also, what nonsense. They also said "It was this infamous gateway, from Hasakah to Ninewah and Raqqa/Deir Ezzor to Anbar, that let ISIS storm into Iraq in the summer of 2014, occupying roughly a third of a country". It was the US which facilitated this migration, remember those thousands of white trucks crossing hundreds of miles of desert throwing up tons of dust, are they saying the US with satellites that can read a number plate from space did not see them. They must think Assad and Putin are as stupid as they are.

Posted by: harrylaw | Dec 7 2016 23:22 utc | 36


President elect Donald Trump repeated yesterday that he will have none of such adventures ... We can hope that Trump will stick to this reasonable position ...
Well, Obama is still President. Pushing for U.S. occupation could be an attempt to pressure Obama into 'correcting' what some see as a grievous error in when he failed to enforce his 2013 'red line':

Former US defense secretary: Obama hurt US credibility when he backed down from his red line on Syria

KERRY: Not enforcing Obama's red line in Syria 'cost' the US considerably in the Middle East

If Obama acts, it would create a fait accompli (aka "facts on the ground") that is difficult for Trump to extract from.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 7 2016 23:26 utc | 37

As some may recall, many of us at MoA were concerned that an occupation of ISIS-held territory was in the cards after UNSC 2249.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 7 2016 23:35 utc | 38

Jackrabbit@38 Don't know what Kerry is talking about, he is the one who suggested in a remark made in London..."Mr Kerry suggested the Syrian tyrant could prevent international military action against his country by giving up his chemical weapons arsenal".[Putin and Assad gladly complied].
"He caused further confusion in Washington by promising any missile strikes that may take place would be unbelievably small"[Daily Mail]

Posted by: harrylaw | Dec 7 2016 23:41 utc | 39

The most important question is - will the NATO/GCC/Israel mercenaries/advisors trapped now in the Aleppo cauldron be finally exposed to the world? Hence the whole western lame-scream media drama and commotion.

Johansson is Jewish.

US corrupt judges allow Cliton/Stein saboteurs to have their facetious claims taken seriously by courts effectively causing the Dec 13 deadline for certain electors certification to be missed. Apparently Supreme Court will be forced to decide. Good that the military seems to be on Trump's side.

Posted by: ProPeace | Dec 7 2016 23:51 utc | 40

Yonatan @36

I was wondering about the White Helmets also. I wonder if the media will have to admit that their famed humanitarians were just propaganda? I see that the White Helmets are still tweeting: @SyriaCivilDef. It will be interesting to see if they keep tweeting after all of Aleppo is secured. Maybe they'll magically pop up somewhere else. They've now saved "70,280+" lives in an area with a population of maybe 40,000.

Posted by: Robin | Dec 8 2016 0:33 utc | 41

More good news, The World SITREP December 7th, 2015 by Baaz, The Middle East:

The Yemeni army and popular forces continued their advances in Southern Saudi Arabia, inflicting losses on the military hardware of the kingdom’s government troops.

“On Monday, the Yemeni army and popular forces took control of a military base in Najran province.

“The Yemeni forces captured a military base with all its military equipment near the city of Najran,” Senior Ansarullah Commander Ali al-Hamzani told FNA.

He said that the Yemeni army and popular forces have intensified their military operations deep inside Saudi Arabia as they are sustaining further losses and casualties.”

“Senior Yemeni commander Ali al-Houthi told FNA on Saturday that there have been “heavy clashes between the Yemeni forces and the Saudi mercenaries in the Eastern parts of Ma’rib”, adding that the Saudi-backed mercenaries sustained heavy death toll during the battle.

“Tens of the Saudi-backed forces have been killed and wounded in Ta’iz and Ma’rib provinces,” he said, and continued, “Also, over 100 Saudi coalition-backed mercenaries have fled their bases after their wages were delayed and cut.”

Also late last month, another Yemeni commander also disclosed that a large number of pro-Saudi mercenaries have fled the battlefield as the Saudi government has ceased its support for them.

“After the Saudi government stopped its financial support for the terrorists and militias loyal to the Saudi regime, a growing wave of the terrorists are leaving the Saudi-led Arab coalition military bases,” Senior Ansarullah Commander Hossein Al-Houthi said.”

On Dec 6, 2016 People in Yemen have staged a mass rally to voice their support for the newly formed national salvation government.

The demonstrators also slammed Saudi Arabia’s air raids on Yemen. They shouted slogans against the al-Saud regime as well as Israel. The salvation government is led by former governor of Aden, Abdul Aziz Bin Habtoor. It is tasked with running Yemen’s internal affairs and dealing with Saudi Arabia’s aggression against the impoverished nation. Over eleven-thousand 4-hundred Yemenis have been killed since the Saudi war began in March 2015.

Where are these 250k people in east Aleppo? We are liberating empty neighborhoods, asks Leith Abou Fadel, a CEO of Al-Masdar News.

Where the f*** are these 250k people in east Aleppo? We are liberating empty neighborhoods.

— Leith Abou Fadel (@leithfadel) December 7, 2016

Military police from Chechnya to be deployed to Syria to hunt those pesky 800 US and Israeli SOF operatives, needed for the international war tribunal

BREAKING: Greek court rules to extradite 3 Turkish coup soldiers, by Paul Antonopoulos

Also, the Reuters and German DW reported that some Turkish military officers at NATO are seeking political asylum in Germany and Belgium, after Turkish authorities had dismissed hundreds of senior military staff serving with NATO in Europe and the United States after the failed coup past summer. More than 400 military staff and diplomats have been summoned back to Ankara, according to documents seen by Reuters, but some are choosing not to return.

Speaking about a personality cult…

In Tel Aviv someone erected a gilded statue to Netanyahu

According to the local reports, Israeli doctors caused death of more than 3000 patients in 2016.

Ran Balicer, the Director of the Health Policy Planning & Director of Clalit Research Institute at Clalit Health Services, said in his interview that Israeli health Service lacks everything.

Israeli IDF annoyed that Obama promised him an invasion of Syria and didn’t deliver.

Israeli IDF annoyed that Obama promised him an invasion of Syria and didn't deliver.

— Partisangirl (@Partisangirl) December 4, 2016

Israel, however, will be just fine with the “allies” like the “moderate opposition.”

Message from Syrian opposition ” Moderate ” Fahd Al-Massri ” to the people of Israel asking them to came back to Syria

UN passes resolution calling on Israel to withdraw from Syria’s Golan Heights

The United Nations General Assembly has once again passed a resolution calling on Israel to withdraw from Syria’s Golan Heights, territory that the Tel Aviv regime has occupied since 1967.

In response, on Dec 7, 2016 the Israeli military has razed more Palestinian structures in the Jordan Valley, north of the city of Jericho. Israeli bulldozers, backed by troops, demolished two healthcare facilities in the area. Palestinian sources said Israeli forces also destroyed several steel structures there. It followed similar demolitions in East Jerusalem al-Quds on Tuesday. Tel Aviv has intensified its demolition of Palestinian property since January. The United Nations say the demolition of Palestinian homes has displaced over 1,500people in 2016. That’s almost double the figure for the previous year.

In addition on Dec 7, 2016 Syrian military sources say Israel has launched rocket attacks, targeting a military airport near the Syrian capital Damascus. The ground-to-ground missiles were reportedly launched from inside the occupied territories and hit Mezzeh Airport west of Damascus. The rockets triggered a fire, but no causalities have been reported so far. The Israeli military has not commented on the report. It was the second such attack by Israel over the past week. On November 30, Israeli jets fired two missiles from Lebanese airspace toward the outskirts of Damascus.

Iran accuses Israel in invasion of South Syria to help Daesh

What’s Israel’s end game?

Two keep region in chaos, to get Iranian Influence out and expand its artificial(based on genocide) existence, in my humble opinion.....

Posted by: ProPeace | Dec 8 2016 0:55 utc | 42

The map in b's post is almost identical to that one from 2013, nsnbc international:

The volatility of Gas, Geo-Politics and the Greater Middle East. An Interview with Major Agha H. Amin

Posted by: ProPeace | Dec 8 2016 1:00 utc | 43

I hope there are some decent people in Berlin to take care of this scum:

SHOCK VIDEO: Migrant Kicks German Woman Down Subway Stairs

Posted by: ProPeace | Dec 8 2016 1:21 utc | 44

Lieven @13

Scarlett Johansson as in Sodastream Ambassador for Israeli occupiers of the West Bank? Surprised she did not entertain the Al Nusra fighters near Israel's Golan Heights. ;-)

Posted by: Oui | Dec 8 2016 1:42 utc | 45

>>>> Mina | Dec 7, 2016 5:20:02 PM | 29

Is this clown on Captagon?

Nah, nothing so dramatic, he just a crap actor.
Did you hear a muezzin in the background? Can't be very dangerous if the local mosque is calling the faithful to prayer. As for the "explosions", they might have been more convincing if someone had thrown some dust at him.

Posted by: Ghostship | Dec 8 2016 1:48 utc | 46

Syrian rebel leader thanks Israel for its attack on Damascus

Israeli media service i24 News, based in Tel Aviv and Jaffa Port, has reported that a Syrian rebel commander has thanked Israel for its attack on Mezzeh airbase in southwest Damascus.

Khaled Khalaf, a lawyer and a high-ranking member of the Syrian Revolutionary Command Council, told i24news' Arabic channel that "If Israel repeats what it did this morning [referring to the alleged strikes], in the coming days we will achieve victories."

"We thank the Tel Aviv for bombing those missiles bases at Mezze Airport, these were equipped to kill the children of Aleppo in Syria."

Khalaf however seemed in denial about the severity of the situation in Aleppo against the jihadist forces.

"Our men on the ground do not flee. It is very easy to fabricate films that emphasize these words, but it's untrue. The Syrian resistance, fighters of the revolution welcome martyrdom," he said.

He further added "there is always advancing and retreating in war," all the more so "when facing many thousands of bandits and mercenaries, Iranians, Russians, and Chinese, who are fighting alongside the regime, the Russian fighter jets are also bombing day and night. It is normal to re-arrange our affairs."

He overlooked that many of the militant fighters are international jihadists and that there is no Chinese military presence in Syria.

Posted by: ProPeace | Dec 8 2016 1:53 utc | 47


Posted by: johnt | Dec 8 2016 2:08 utc | 48

it is very telling this constant mantra from the usa state dept. folks "there can be no military resolution to the conflict in Syria." one can read today's transcript here to find the relevant commentary.. here is more from mark toner. "So we believe it – we believe that it’s only going to exacerbate the ongoing conflict, that the opposition is not going to lay down their arms but is going to continue fighting, and in fact, it can only – as we fear and have expressed our concerns about, that it could, as I said, only increase or escalate the conflict, not necessarily in Aleppo but elsewhere in the country."

essentially the way i read it, the usa wants a '''political''' solution, not a military one! and of course they want to have the ''moderate'' opposition represented in some sort of 50/50 shared basis with ''that evil dictator' assad - using their words/terminology of course!

and toner again "..if our ultimate goal here is just to get back to a political track here, we don’t believe that the current trajectory is conducive to that."

but supplying the moderates militarily is right? f-off toner and everything you stand for..

Posted by: james | Dec 8 2016 3:22 utc | 49


I find it extremely hard to believe that Putin was not aware Israel would be bombing the Mezze airport.

Netanyahu made some kind of deal with Putin on Israel's parameters of involvement in Syria. This is an article from their last meeting in Moscow that made me want to throw up in my mouth. What really bothered me about it the most is that Putin STILL believes a two-state solution is possible. What does he want Palestinians to live on SWISS CHEESE Bantustans and call it a state??? Anyway, I'm extremely puzzled by these strange bedfellows and Iran should be on alert as well. Why on earth would Putin spend close to a billion in Syria so far to shakes hands with that treacherous Zionist rat clown?

Link to Putin-to-Netanyahu-Were-unconditional-allies

From b's text:

Expect more well bribed think tank "experts" to soon argue for such a lunatic new "mission" for U.S. forces.

Last night the Heritage Foundation that always pushes interventionist military policy hosted Mike Pence at a dinner held at the Trump International Hotel.

Link to pence-reassures-rich-patrons

The Heritage Foundation has been advising Trump on cabinet picks and policy:

Link to heritage-foundation-wields-clout-in-budding-trump-admin

On another note; more of the same: U.S. ships to Black Sea.

Posted by: Circe | Dec 8 2016 3:44 utc | 50

What is truly remarkable about Russia's (invited) presence in Syria is the speed with which the resultant Liberation of territory is being achieved - and all without any reported US/Russia military "clashes." And let's not forget that the US and its Christian Colonial Friends are still rusted onto their puerile "Assad Must Go" meme.

If anyone was looking for evidence that gutless US-NATO is nothing more than a bunch of cowardly, clueless, chickenshit loudmouths, then Aleppo is QED. It's no coincidence that Obama's Red Line has morphed into pretty pink mist and blown away. The World's 2nd ex-SuperPower has got a lot of re-thinking to do about Proxy Wars, and I'm dying to hear them reconcile their Tough Talk with Acting like a gaggle of Timid Little Sissies when the going gets tough.

By self-deception shalt thou do war?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 8 2016 4:01 utc | 51

@ Yonatan 36
@ Robin 42
Keep an eye on the White Hell Mutts twitter handle as they are likely to continue their commitment to the b-grade fantasy short film industry inside their Doha, Riyadh and London studios.

Posted by: MadMax2 | Dec 8 2016 4:18 utc | 52

Posted by: Circe | Dec 7, 2016 10:44:35 PM | 51

I suspect that you've overlooked several important and relevant factors.

1. Putin would be well aware of the Yinon Plan.
2. Bibi's 'close relationship with Russia' meme is a Bibi creation and Putin's responses to date have been mere platitudes.
3. "Israelis" have always believed too much of their own bs and it has always backfired in very costly and unpleasant ways. And they've never, ever seen it coming.

Gilad Atzmon has written a book about it. It's called The Wandering Who?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 8 2016 4:36 utc | 53

Wasn't there an assessment in these pages around January or so that there were about 40,000 civilians still in east Aleppo? Could be damn close!

Posted by: Thirdeye | Dec 8 2016 5:28 utc | 54

james@50 "... f-off toner and everything you stand for.."


Heh heh...

Posted by: PavewayIV | Dec 8 2016 6:19 utc | 55

@3 "Arrgh! Yet another general on Trump's cabinet."

Sure, hard not to notice a pattern emerging.

But maybe there is method to Trump's madness.

He's probably well aware that he can't just promote his own subordinates (they may know how to run Trump-the-business-empire, they know nothing about how to run a Trump-the-government). But he may also have no interest in promoting from the political class who know too much about the gravy-train to ever want it to stop.

What to do?
What to do?

Well, another alternative is to pluck people from the military class.

Those dudes know how a government works (or doesn't work, or whatever), but they are also trained to do what they are told.

Trump might just think that's the ticket: put Generals and Majors in charge of the swamp, and then order them to drain it.

Maybe they will, maybe they won't. I don't know, and Trump probably doesn't know either.

But he can be damn sure that his own guys aren't up to the task, and he must know that the crooked politicians and their hangers-on will never pursue that with anything like the necessary gusto.

So, honestly, what else is left but the military? Point 'em at the cesspool, and tell 'em that Guts'n'Glory demands that they clean it up.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Dec 8 2016 7:12 utc | 56


Great post.

Posted by: MRW | Dec 8 2016 7:21 utc | 57

re 45

"I hope there are some decent people in Berlin to take care of this scum:"

If I were you, I'd wait until there was some evidence before spouting off anti-immigrant propaganda from AfD. 'Migrant' and 'German woman' don't look obvious to me. Why not the other way round (German and migrant woman)? But then I'm not going to chase up this affair in the German media.

Posted by: Laguerre | Dec 8 2016 7:51 utc | 58

re 47

"Did you hear a muezzin in the background? Can't be very dangerous if the local mosque is calling the faithful to prayer."

You obviously don't know how the call to prayer is done today. It's usually a recording played through loudspeakers. At best, it's the muezzin doing it live at the mike in his room inside the mosque. There's no muezzin reciting from the top of the minaret, as in the old days.

Posted by: Laguerre | Dec 8 2016 7:58 utc | 59

This is not about Assad, Syria or Iraq. This is about Kurdistan. The main task for the US Army now is to protect Kurds in Iraq and Syria and then to create a Kurdish state. It's obvious. Kurdistan will be a clent-state for Israrl. After Iraq and Syria, Turkey must be destabilized. Probably Iran too, but Turkey is a priority now.

Posted by: masterpalan | Dec 8 2016 7:59 utc | 60

Indeed, they want to maintain that 'wedge' there to keep the pipeline route and block others. If Iran can maintain a contiguous line across then Europe is set for Iranian natural gas for the next century. This is what those in Washington and Brussels are keen to avoid. An 11.2 billion petrochemical deal in Basra last year with Shell should tell you all you need to know.

Also interesting that a UK, France think tank came up with the plan to use jPADS to loft 'aid' supplies into E. Aleppo. The pushback from the US military was telling. They said firstly no aircraft can enter that area as it's completely covered by Syrian and Russia air defences,and if we were to loft them it would be from within 22km of the Turkish border so the margin of error increases exponentially.

It is very evident these people in Brussels and Washington think tanks have no military experience, clearly dreamers, and are pissing in the wind.

Posted by: Gravatomic | Dec 8 2016 8:12 utc | 61

Isis storm into Iraq?! They know very well that ISIS was made-in-Iraq (cf Spiegel article on the documents found at some head of the movement)
What happenened in Deir el Zor is that initially the local beduin populations + probably some connected young guys who wanted to have their 5 minutes of fame went to support the revo and expelled the police and army. For a while, ca 1 year, they managed to administer themselves (which is already the normal status in tribal areas but not in the city). This is this lack of power that let IS storm in with an eye on the field, once they were powerful enough in Iraq, and while the PR against the Syrian gov was full blast. A guy from Deir el Zor who was working at a grocery where I used to go was suddenly very doubtful on the outcome, when that happened (he had been overly enthusiastic with the self-administration, as if these kinds of dreams could last).

Posted by: Mina | Dec 8 2016 9:21 utc | 62

The reports on the liberation of Syrte from IS in French media are interesting: 500 air bombings by the US, etc but free at last no problem; while about Syria we hear of "the regime and its foreign ally militias"... why not call it 'international coalition' like in Yemen?

Posted by: Mina | Dec 8 2016 9:30 utc | 63

So let it be clear, 'it is a tragedy' but not for the defense industry

Posted by: Mina | Dec 8 2016 10:27 utc | 64

Turkey bombing US allies with phosphor bombs?
The Manbij Military Council says Turkish artillery continued its shelling on Manbij-area villages for the 15th day. It says today the artillery shelled 3 villages south of Manbij using phosphorus bombs. [Hawar]

Photos of the bombs. [Hawar] (from

Posted by: Mina | Dec 8 2016 10:51 utc | 65

@ Paoul | 66

Considering its Nobel War Forum (arms dealer Alfred Nobel probably was drunk when he called it Nobel "Peace" prize :), its natural war criminal Kissinger got it (and now speaking on its Forum), same as Obama, or EU, etc. Even Al Qaeda's mouthpiece White helmets almost got it.

Posted by: Harry | Dec 8 2016 10:52 utc | 66

Re: Posted by: ProPeace | Dec 7, 2016 7:55:48 PM | 43

It's great to see the Yemeni troops advance into Saudi Arabia. What they need to do is call for ordinary Saudis, and that includes private level grunts in the Saudi military to join the revolution and join the march to Riyadh to overthrow the corrupt Saudi monarchy and claim their country back from the inbred kleptocrats.

The fall of Riyadh and the House of Saud would be the ultimate blowback for these dumb cretins.

Posted by: Julian | Dec 8 2016 11:04 utc | 67

Interesting historical parallel:

The war-resistant JFK and the war-resistant Trump.

The war machine will do anything to ensure endless war. Vote recount, whatever it takes.

Posted by: fast freddy | Dec 8 2016 11:58 utc | 68

re 61

This is about Kurdistan. The main task for the US Army now is to protect Kurds in Iraq and Syria and then to create a Kurdish state.
Dreams. If you look at the Daily Beast article, the plan is not at all favourable to the Rojavan Kurds. They'd be occupied by the Yanks for ever. They would probably refuse, rather than go along with the plan. There are already tensions between the US troops and the Rojavans - see Paveway's contributions.

Posted by: Laguerre | Dec 8 2016 12:06 utc | 69

For some reason Israeli Defense Minister now feels it is he right time to clearly spell out Israli Policy and explain what Syria and Iraq was about.

Why? Desperation? Trumpism?

Posted by: somebody | Dec 8 2016 12:40 utc | 70

Plus: He does realize he will have to talk to Russia about it?

Posted by: somebody | Dec 8 2016 12:47 utc | 71

heheheh Has anyone else read about this?
Push for east Aleppo aid drops using GPS-guided parachutes
Apparently 'concerned' members of the western whitefellas club have been agitating for some weeks to get the US military to relieve the Aleppo siege using amerikan J-Pad technology which allows controllable GPS guided parachute drops.

The military plus the usual crew of slimy neolib western pols are not interested, at one point even denying such technology exists, despite it has been in use since 2001 & the manufacturer boasts about it on his website.

I dunno if the humanitarians are naive or if it is a deliberate wind up.

No one among the western/UN (esp Mistura of the ridiculous pince nez) actually wants to run food and medicines to the immoderate terrorists they are only interested in munitions resupply & getting the whitefella clubs' special forces people out before Assad's crew captures them and tells the world.

I'm sure that J-Pad is reasonably accurate, but they are asking for 20 drops.
With 20 J-Pad drops there is inevitable to be a stuff up - eg the wind changes direction meaning quite a few will end up in the hands of the Syrian army and if that happens the munitions etc will feature heavily in RT news broadcasts demonstrating to the world exactly how desperate the low life's agenda actually is.

Sure they could only put food and medicines in but what use is that? A waste of time to a bumbling neolib scumbag only interested in defeating Prez Assad.
These guys couldn'y give a flying fuck about civilians and at the moment it appears that stance is about pretense - any reality must remain hidden where it belongs.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Dec 8 2016 13:01 utc | 72

Thanks, b.
Great article.
Keep up the good work.

Posted by: AtaBrit | Dec 8 2016 13:25 utc | 73

Posted by: Debsisdead | Dec 8, 2016 8:01:03 AM | 74

Humanitarian aid (and journalism) has been misused by all parties. It is part of the "small" guerilla war strategy.

I have great respect for everybody who despite all this attempts to provide help for civilians who get caught up in this.

But of course humanitarian aid is the band aid that enables this strategy. Because otherwise normal people would get too disgusted to fund their governments to do this.

Posted by: somebody | Dec 8 2016 14:01 utc | 74

Why not let the Israeli Secret Intelligence Services--ISIS--'escape' to Israel? I'm sure Nutty would welcome the same thugs they've been treating in Golan Heights IDF field hospitals with warmth!

Posted by: Greg Bacon | Dec 8 2016 14:05 utc | 75

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is all over the place on the Middle East. Last year before becoming FS he said this on 7th December 2015.."I am backing the Assad regime, and the Russians, in their joint enterprise to recapture that amazing site?[Palmyra]You bet I am". Then commenting on Saudi Arabia blurts out the truth that they,[the Saudis] abuse Islam and is puppeteer in proxy wars, and is immediately slapped down by the Prime Minister [T May]. When will he realize that being Foreign Secretary and telling the truth are incompatible.

Posted by: harrylaw | Dec 8 2016 14:43 utc | 76

WARNING: Way off target ... but spot on article by Ted Rall:

I love the last few paragraphs. Time to end the hypocrisy: Be honest, we need a revolution in the US.

Posted by: rg the lg | Dec 8 2016 15:44 utc | 77

another gem from Robert Fisk

> So back once more to Aleppo. No-one doubts that foreigners are fighting alongside Jabhat al-Nusra/Al-Qaida and the Salafist Ahrar al-Sham and other groups around the city. But, oddly, that’s not what we call them. We refer to them as ‘rebels’ – as if they were the Maquis fighting in the French resistance or Partisans freeing Yugoslavia from the Nazis or, indeed, the insurgents of Warsaw struggling for freedom from the German SS. Which they clearly are not. And while we know that the ‘rebels’ of eastern Aleppo have died fighting bravely, we also know that they have executed their internal enemies, slit the throats of their prisoners and that – well, since Jabhat al-Nusra is al-Qaida (and has since changed its name yet again) – they have flown passenger aircraft into very tall buildings in New York.
> My colleague Patrick Cockburn has expressed his own deep unease at the coverage of the Aleppo siege. For months, Western reporters have failed to state the obvious: that they cannot send their dispatches from ‘rebel’ areas because the ‘rebels’ would slit their throats open – or hand them over to other ‘rebels’ who would. And thus the ‘rebels’ have been tuned out of the story except for that one amorphous description.

Posted by: mauisurfer | Dec 8 2016 15:47 utc | 78

> So, the Saudis found it easier to “rent” the Israel Lobby by developing covert ties with Israel and quietly paying Israel billions of dollars. The Saudi dollars, in effect, replaced the money that Israel had been getting from Iran during the 1980s when Israel brokered Iran’s arms sales. As part of the Israeli-Saudi under-the-table alliance, the two countries agreed that Iran and the so-called “Shiite crescent” – stretching from Tehran through Damascus to Hezbollah neighborhoods of Beirut – were their joint strategic enemies.
> Behind the combined clout of politically influential Israel and financially powerful Saudi Arabia, the script was written for U.S. politicians, pundits and officials to recite: “Iran is the chief sponsor of terrorism.”
> This dogma is repeated again and again, including by retired Generals James Mattis and Michael Flynn, President-elect Donald Trump’s choices for Defense Secretary and National Security Advisor, respectively. But the terror groups that Americans fear most, such as Al Qaeda and Islamic State, are supported by Saudi Arabia and other Gulf States, not by Iran.
> Israel would even prefer a victory by Islamic State, which was massacring captured Iraqi soldiers and beheading Westerners, than the continuation of the Iranian-backed Assad in Syria.
> Which gets us to the problem of President-elect Trump naming retired Generals Mattis and Flynn to top national security posts. Was their Iran-bashing heartfelt, i.e., do they really believe this propaganda is true, or were they simply protecting their Official Washington “credibility” by saying something they knew to be false but also knew was a required password to enter the domain of the political elite?

Posted by: mauisurfer | Dec 8 2016 16:18 utc | 79

rg the lg@ 79 Ted Rall explains that "Our infrastructure is outdated and poorly maintained. It would take an additional $3.6 trillion to bring our existing highways, bridges, dams, sewers, water pipes, rail and so on up to code — yet spending on repairs is at a 30-year low. That doesn’t count the $500 billion or more it would cost to build a high-speed rail system like they have in Europe and Japan — you know, modern countries"
Linda Bilmes at the Kennedy Law School Harvard University calculated the long term and combined costs of the Afghan and Iraq wars would amount to 6 Trillion dollars 6,0000,0000,0000,0000 almost enough to build the USA's crumbling infrastructure twice over.Here is what just $1 Trillion looks like

Posted by: harrylaw | Dec 8 2016 17:03 utc | 80

I have thought from the beginning that Trump would give the US military the green light to seize East Syria.
What Trump opposes is "stupid wars" that involve US-trained jihadists that eventually fail to achieve their objectives.
He is not opposed to war, and those that think he is, are in for a big surprise.

His team is loaded with generals as I anticipated.
Because if you are going to remove the neocons, you need powerful allies in the military.
Besides snuggling up to the military moves him closer to his goal of "one man rule".

Posted by: plantman | Dec 8 2016 17:33 utc | 81

sputnik says Syrian army stops Aleppo offensive?

Posted by: mischimischi | Dec 8 2016 17:58 utc | 82

The white helmets make a plea, "we have good reason to fear for our lives" warning that they face torture and execution in the regime’s terror cells.
Have they not heard even the head choppers have safe passage out and can keep small arms. These MSM lies are pathetic.

Posted by: harrylaw | Dec 8 2016 18:17 utc | 83

White Helmets in east Aleppo plead for help after regime advances

Posted by: virgile | Dec 8 2016 18:49 utc | 84

How come it did not make the front page in Europe?,-European-Islamist-militants-return-from-M.aspx

-- Mina at 5.

As about foreign fighters Syria - OT, but not unrelated.

The whole story of these ‘fighters’ is obscured and totally transformed by the MSM.

France for ex. appears to do absolutely nothing to stop ‘fighters’ leaving F for Syria, maybe even encouraging them to push off and get killed, or fight the good fight, while supposedly tracking ‘jihadists’ and so on at home.

Recently some young man in F got a 6 months prison sentence - for visiting jihadi websites, i.e. for his reading habits.

Le Paririsen 17. 11. 16 (F)

sidebar: During the wars in Yugoslavia in CH we made a huge effort to stop minors leaving. It was tough but some success was had. Long story. The most amazing thing was that they hired buses, cheap and easy to do, and travelled together, amicably, to then go and fight on opposite sides. Many died and / or never returned, lodged as ‘missing.’


—> the fact that many, typically girls, but not only, go not to fight but find ‘an ideal’ or ‘better’ society’ is kept quiet, except for a few very slim scattered reports about X - Y individual who make their story public.

—> no MSM reports of ppl going off to fight with the Syrian Army. From the few reports in CH press (which used to be the ‘freest’ in Europe till about 4 months ago), from here it appears to be about 60 (djihadi) / 40 (pro-Assad) proportion, the latter are never mentioned in the Int’l MSM. Reportedly, as an ex., many Spaniards joined the Syrian army, as well as the ‘resistance’ in Donesk and Lugansk. Nonews blanket silence.

The last case in CH re. a pro-Assad fighter was a committed “Christian”, Catholic, and a Major or Captain in the army, his case is pending on appeal. He faces some stiff penalties as he was Army, and went to fight with a foreign Army. The last ‘dopey’ djihadi, very young, in the MSM, got x hours of community service, mandatory meets with therapists, and the obligation to make an exhibit titled ‘signs of Peace’ - he was, and is, an amateur photographer.

Boring details? Of no account? Sure, the MSM reigns supreme.

Posted by: Noirette | Dec 8 2016 19:21 utc | 85

> Avoiding war, as Reagan and Gorbachev resolved, is an existential common interest. If Trump is determined, he will have the power to end the buildup and even undo it, though the new eastern-most members of NATO will loudly protest. On the other hand, despite claims to the contrary, Putin’s Russia represents no threat whatsoever to these countries, as wise Trump advisers will assure him. Agreement on Syria should be the easiest. Both Trump and Putin have insisted that the real threat there is not Syrian President Assad but the Islamic State and other terrorists. The first major step of a new détente may well be the US-Russian military alliance against terrorist forces in Syria that even President Obama once proposed and abandoned.
Patrick Armstrong

What can we do in forums like this one? Keep talking about reality I suppose: the reality that the neocon domination of Washington has failed in every way possible; the reality that Washington's endless wars have been failures; the reality that every failed war has planted the seeds of the next; the reality that a extraordinary opportunity was squandered in the 1990s; the reality that making Russia into an enemy is stupid, unnecessary and extremely dangerous; the reality that "exceptionalism" is exceptionally dangerous, destructive and stupid; the reality that the MSM is lying about Syria, about Russia, about Ukraine and about almost everything else; the reality that Putin is not a "thug" determined to re-create the USSR; the reality that Russia is not "isolated", in "economic freefall" or on the edge of "regime change"; the reality that "The West" has been on the wrong course for two decades. The reality that the neocon/liberal interventionist route leads to destruction.
In short, a new foreign policy for the USA will have to advance, to paraphrase Planck again, "one political funeral at a time".

Vladimir Golstein

The current policy of insisting that the two largest countries in the world (one in terms of size, another in terms of population) dance to the American tune, which in fact, is performed glaringly out of tune by the ideologues from White House, Pentagon, and State Department, is borderline insane.

Jim Jatras

The policies of the past three administrations – which Hillary Clinton would have continued and even intensified – could only have led to catastrophe.
The first agenda item with Moscow should be a joint effort to end the war in Syria. No regime change – Assad stays. No more support for radical Islamic terrorists (including a forceful "come to Jesus talk” with Riyadh and Doha to tell them they must cut off aid to any forces in Syria). Cooperate with Damascus and Baghdad (and implicitly, Tehran) to destroy Daesh, Nusra, al-Zenki, Ahrar al-Sham and the rest of that lot.

Martin Sieff

Romney had the entire Bill Kristol-Charles Krauthammer- Podhoretz and Kagan clans of neocon intriguers all lined up quietly and confidently behind him, ready to sweep in and take over the organs of power had he won in 2012.

Had Romney won in 2012, or John McCain in 2008, the entire Northern Hemisphere of the Earth might be nothing more than radioactive dust today.

Posted by: mauisurfer | Dec 8 2016 20:42 utc | 86

They point to west Aleppo as if nothing has happened there and conveniently leave out the fact that the "opposition" has attacked outside this zone. It's part of the media portrayal of these people as harmless innocents being attacked by Syrian/Russian forces.

Amid the BS, some truth gets out though:
“With the presence of militants, it is impossible not to wear a head scarf in the eastern part,” local historian Souheil Lawand said of Islamic State fighters who are among the anti-government groups entrenched there. “It is normal not to wear one in the western part.”
IS? In East Aleppo? Not according to our own media.
And bombardment from east to west? Our media calls it "spillover."
And the article cannot be complete without a report from the White Helmets.

Posted by: Curtis | Dec 8 2016 20:51 utc | 87

This afternoon, the White Helmets were asking for a negociated exit. And ...abracadabra.. a sudden attack of IS in the vicinity of Palmyra and here we go, Nusra and its friends will be allowed to leave Aleppo.

Posted by: Mina | Dec 8 2016 21:08 utc | 88

Thanks for these interesting anecdotes Noirette. But what happened 4 months ago?
You may want to check the David Thomson book "Que faire de ces revenants" for more crazy stories (he published one before back in 2012 but these were French/North African djihadists going rather to Afghanistan/Iraq)
Indeed the community works+therapy+art seems to be the good way out. In France it is just the usual chaos (group them or not, change the ppl working on it, usually in the shape of volunteers with no experience, working for peanuts in some "associations".

Posted by: Mina | Dec 8 2016 21:15 utc | 89

Reported in a turkish news

The vanishing civilians of Aleppo

Here’s a radical thought: Have most of those quarter-million people suddenly become invisible because they were never really there in the first place?

Posted by: virgile | Dec 8 2016 21:20 utc | 90


The dream could have lasted when you have Salafi/Wahhabi mercenaries being unleashed on Syria by Saudi Arabia and then an unlimited number of weapons smuggled in from different parts in the area and from the U.S. Thankfully, Russia stepped in. Yes, the incitement seed was cultivated in Iraq, to challenge the Iran-friendly government, but this conflict was all manufactured to the present by the U.S./Israel/Saudi Arabia and Turkey quartet assisting with intelligence, training, treating wounded terrorists and helping ISIS with oil distribution. So, if not for Russia; anything was possible.

Posted by: Circe | Dec 8 2016 21:31 utc | 91


Who can blame them? When one looks at the trail of bloodshed and destruction the Anglo/Zio empire is leaving in every country it pretends to liberate then they should be very wary of promises made.

Posted by: Circe | Dec 8 2016 21:49 utc | 92

The EU is so weak at the moment + elections coming next year in France, Germany and Netherlands (+ Italy any time) that they may actually consider as a Turko-Syro-Russian attack the very prospect of having thousands of their own desperate youth come back home.
Just today, it was decided that after all, any migrant who had first stepped his foot in Greece would be returned to Greece (from Germany, France, anywhere they might have ended up)... because this was the way the migration policy of the EU was designed in Dublin some years ago. No problem with the idea of having a natural EU border made of thousands small rocks and islands over the Eastern Mediterranean sea! And let the Greeks deal with it. After all they have no economy, no jobs, so that mean they must have plenty of free time.
Is it me or it is getting really gloomy in Europe?

Posted by: Mina | Dec 8 2016 21:50 utc | 93

Posted by: mauisurfer | Dec 8, 2016 11:18:16 AM | 81

You forget the very simple explanation that they are against the Iran Deal because it was Obama and the Democrats who did it.

By the way, what's up with this? Afghan Lawmakers to Investigate Growing Ties Between Taliban, Russia and Iran?

Posted by: somebody | Dec 8 2016 21:58 utc | 94

one day before the big NYT article on KSA and Taliban?

Posted by: Mina | Dec 8 2016 22:07 utc | 95

Re: Posted by: mauisurfer | Dec 8, 2016 11:18:16 AM | 81

> Which gets us to the problem of President-elect Trump naming retired Generals Mattis and Flynn to top national security posts. Was their Iran-bashing heartfelt, i.e., do they really believe this propaganda is true, or were they simply protecting their Official Washington “credibility” by saying something they knew to be false but also knew was a required password to enter the domain of the political elite?

Indeed that is the question.

I would make the point once again - exposing the truth about MH17 within weeks of assuming the Presidency will generate a great deal of positive benefits for newly inaugurated President Donald Trump.

It will destroy Porky Poroshenko.

It will strengthen immeasurably ties with Putin (as a gesture of goodwill), and lead to a ratcheting down of the temperature and pulling back of NATO forces as part of the follow through.

It will destroy traitor to the Dutch people Mark Rutte.

It will ensure the election of Friend of America (and enemy of the EU) Geert Wilders in the Netherlands.

It will also have the side benefit of destroying Angela Merkel - perhaps the last significant obstacle to a reformed Europe.

Her complicity in the MH17 cover-up will be revealed.

It will also tar a number of people in the Obama Administration and destroy their reputations to boot.

Trump must do this in February or March 2017 or else for mine it proves he's all talk and no substance.

We the community of truth seekers need to ratchet the pressure on Trump to reveal all the Americans actually know about MH17 in the next few months so he believes he has the wider support to do so.

Who knows how far the MH17 conspiracy actually goes? But it will be revealing. From MH17 we can then move onto other plane-related conspiracies against the global citizens.

Posted by: Julian | Dec 8 2016 23:32 utc | 96

Re: Posted by: Mina | Dec 8, 2016 4:50:31 PM | 95

Indeed - look at the electoral calendar - who are Erdogan's (& Putin's for that matter) two biggest enemies in Europe?

I'd say Francois Hollande & Angela Merkel.

Well, Frank "Dutchy" Hollande is already goneski, so what about Mutti Merks?

Looking at the calendar for 2017 shows Merkel hosting the G20 in July and then onto a German election a few months afterward.

Look forward to Erdogan flipping the switch in May/June to push all the 2-3 million refugees currently in Turkey towards Europe. Do you really think Greece will try and house all these migrants? No way.

Greece will do what it's always done and let them walk through to Macedonia, and then onwards and upwards from there - to Germany obviously - because Merkel asked them to come didn't she.

Merkel is finished - Erdogan will be looking forward to destroying her next year.

It's only a pity in my mind that Erdogan probably won't do this until after the Dutch & French elections because if he did it earlier - say in February/March you would almost certainly see Wilders & Le Pen elected - but I doubt Erdogan is concerned about that as getting rid of Merkel.

Look for chaos 2.0 and a European Migrant Crisis perhaps 2-3 times larger than last year in 2017.

There really will never be a better time for him to flick the switch on this.

He might also tell the Kurds to leave as well! What a mess.

Posted by: Julian | Dec 8 2016 23:47 utc | 97


What can we do in forums like this one? Keep talking about reality I suppose...

I agree with that whole paragraph but you left out something critical: all that said, we have an obligation to the truth in the present; to protect the innocent who can't distinguish it from propaganda and lies; to speak truth to power; no matter who's in power and resist deluding ourselves with wishful thinking and projection looking strictly at the facts, looking beyond words and promises and looking instead at who each new leader chooses to surround himself with, not hesitating to criticize disturbing cabinet picks and his overall judgment in the meantime; what he says and sometimes most importantly what he fails to say. (Example: I remember Obama was President-elect during the Israeli offensive on Gaza (Cast Lead). I remember Obama was asked to comment during a time when the press in Gaza was blocked out of Gaza, when certain press offices were attacked and children were being slaughtered and burned with phosphorous, and dismembered with cluster bombs and his response and especially what he failed to say helped snap me out of any lingering illusion and made me hate him to this day. From that moment on, I was in the minority swimming against a tsunami of delusion. And here I am yet again, forging a path to justice.) Knowing the stakes involved; the millions of innocents still in the empire’s crosshairs; we should resist the temptation to be swept off our feet by the intriguing choice that’s made for us.

If you can't be honest with yourself and actually look this present reality in the eye; if you're so taken with the showmanship that you dare not spoil the euforia; then how can you inspire others to never be fooled again; to confront the system that corrupts almost everything and everyone it touches in Washington; and to stop the vicious cycle of loss in human and economic treasure to war? Don’t wait for all doubt to be removed and it’s too late. Stop history from repeating itself -- pre-emptively.

Posted by: Circe | Dec 8 2016 23:49 utc | 98

Relatively slow day in Aleppo: it seems that SAA got 2/3 of Sheik Sae'ed district, i.e. south-east corner of the pocket, and some minor advances elsewhere, then the news stopped, which means that neither side could brag about subsequent development.

One constraint is logistics of Aleppo. Rebels in the pocket have none, but SAA and the city are supplied through Khanasser highway between rebel "Idlib-stan" and ISIS controlled territory. So intense action has to be followed by a pause for additional supplies. But the second issue is a pincer attack on Palmyra by ISIS, SAA has to send reinforcements there so operations elsewhere are presumably under review: which crack forces can be spared for Palmyra? This is a VERY clever move by ISIS.

Someone asked: why ISIS attacks SAA when they have trouble with advances by YPD/SDP onto Raqqa and YPD/SDP + Turks onto al-Bab? The answer is simple. YPD was never too hot on taking over al-Raqqa, and in al-Bab region the situation seemed to stabilize due to 3-4 way conflict. However, the fall of the pocket can free a huge force engaged there, and SAA already have shown that it can advance quickly through the desert. Attacking Palmyra now can divert part of the force assembled against the Aleppo pocket but not enough to truly threaten ISIS, with remaining force in Aleppo unable to quickly finish what was happening spectacularly for two weeks.

Thus we are back to dilemmas of the war on hundred fronts. Until recently, opposition was very good in maintaining armed pockets of resistance for years, presumably with weapon smuggling, hard to prevent with such long lines to control. But lately SAA got better in controlling the territory and a number of pockets got liberated in Damascus region, while the largest pocket, East Ghouta, is being squeezed, if a bit slowly (two villages liberated in the last week). We can only guess if the hammer falling on ISIS will be delayed by a week or much more.

Of course, it is only my speculation that Syrian government plans to size the territory between its current position and Euphrates and to decisively arrest the growth of the Turkish zone, but now I think that ISIS shares that prediction.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 9 2016 2:38 utc | 99

@100 -- yes, to share information, have it recorded, so that we can go out and see events in context, and act if we have the chance. Nicely put, Circe.

Posted by: stumpy | Dec 9 2016 3:18 utc | 100

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