Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 15, 2017

Third Time's The Charm - These Neocons Want Another Sunni Insurgency (Updated)

UPDATED below:

When the U.S. was confronted with an insurgency in Iraq it did not find fault with own behavior but identified Syria and Iran as the culprits. It decided to attack them too. As Seymour Hersh reported in 2007:

To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has cooperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.

Four years later the U.S. used the Sunni militants it created to first attack Libya and then Syria. With U.S. support the militants destroyed the independent Libyan state under Ghaddafi. The country is now in total chaos. In Syria the militants, with clandestine support from the U.S. and its allies, waged a six year long war to overthrow the government. Many of them joined the Islamic State and al-Qaeda, the Takfiri offsprings of the U.S. program and Saudi money that went (somewhat) rogue. These groups did not limit, as the U.S. wished, their attacks to U.S. enemies but committed several larger scale attacks against U.S. allied countries. Now the groups themselves are enemies.

The project of creating a controllable "Sunni Arab force" to destroy Syria had failed. The Pentagon made another attempts, spending tens of millions of dollars, to train a new Sunni Arab force in Syria to attack the Syrian government as well as the Takfiris. As soon as these new groups entered into Syria they joined the Takfiris and handed over the weapons the U.S. army had given them.

The U.S. is now engaging with Russia and local Kurdish forces in Syria to destroy the Takfiri groups on the ground. The Kurds are of various religions and denominations with a mostly secular outlook. That plan made some progress though an actual attack on Raqqa, the current center of the Islamic State, is still weeks off. The Syrian government is winning its part of the fight in the west of the country.

But that is not enough for the U.S. neoconservatives. Their task is to further Zionist plans by creating more chaos in the Middle East. Their partner and money source is the Sunni-Wahhabi Saudi Arabia. Having successfully arranged the destruction of Iraq, various failed "surges" as well as the attack on Syria, they cannot condone that the Syrian government survives the war.

Thus they set out to create a new (the third now) Sunni-Arab force to continue what their original war plan prescribed.

Frederick and Kimberly Kagan, luminaries of the neoconservative family, initiate their new campaign on the neoconned opinion pages of the Wall Street Journal: A New Strategy Against ISIS and al Qaeda - The U.S. has been relying too heavily on Shiites and Kurds. It needs to cultivate Sunni Arab partners.

The Kagan family - other well known members are Robert Kagan and Victoria Nuland - were also main instigators of the war on Iraq. Here they are in 2008 strolling (heavily guarded) through the occupied Basra, Iraq amusing themselves off the destruction they created.


The op-ed is a shorter version of a "study" written by the "think tank" the Kagan family runs to collect money.

It says in short: The U.S. shall shun the Kurds and not cooperate with Russian, Syrian or Iranian forces. It shall create another Sunni Arab proxy insurgency in Syria to fight ISIS and al-Qaeda and also the Syrian government. The first steps towards that are already premised on fiction:

The US and acceptable partners seize and secure a base in southeastern Syria, such as Abu Kamal, and create a de facto safe zone. They then recruit, train, equip, and partner with local Sunni Arab anti-ISIS forces to conduct an offensive against ISIS. This independent Sunni Arab force forms the basis of a movement to destroy ISIS and al Qaeda in Iraq and Syria over many years. Building a Sunni Arab anti-ISIS partner must be the rate-determining step in the advance along the Euphrates River Valley (ERV). American forces must fight alongside their partners to reduce the trust deficit between the US and potential Sunni allies. Potential partners must not support Salafi-jihadists, Iranian proxies, or Kurdish separatism.

The U.S. has already tried this since 2006 by clandestine means. Those forces morphed into al-Qaeda/ISIS. The Pentagon then tried the same concept by military means. That proxy force ran over to the enemy as soon as it could. Now a third try shall be made?

The fictitious plot continues:

Next Phases
  • The US launches clearing operations along the Euphrates River Valley toward Raqqa, using US forces and the new Sunni Arab partner at Abu Kamal, and in Iraq’s Anbar Province.
  • The US brokers a peace deal between Turkey and the Syrian-Kurdish “People’s Defense Forces” (YPG), focused on the contact line in Aleppo Province.
  • The US implements a no-fly zone in Dera’a Province, demonstrating US commitment to addressing the grievances of populations under jihadist control and facilitating a local cessation of hostilities with Russia and between pro-Assad and US-backed anti-Assad forces. The US must also help partner forces in Dera’a destroy ISIS and al Qaeda, which would help facilitate a negotiated settlement of the Syrian war. The US should execute this step after the first phase and coincident with clearing operations in southeastern Syria.
  • The US should try to stitch together the new force with existing US-backed fighters to create a single partner that can secure terrain from jihadists, defend against pro-Assad attacks, and uphold a settlement against the Assad regime.

These follow-on operations set conditions that favor broader US interests in Syria, but they do not achieve those interests. Subsequent phases will be necessary and will require a significant counter-Iranian component in Iraq and Syria.

I cannot imagine how much Kool-aid one must drink to come up with so much nonsense.

Let us start with those imaginary tribes in south-east Syria. The south-eastern desert of Syria is empty with little resources (besides some oil) and few people. These are rather small groups where the tribal leaders no longer have much say. The tribal members mostly live in the cities. They are members of the Syrian army or of its enemies. Some of the tribal members had joined ISIS, others fought it and were badly hurt with hundreds of casualties on their side. Most of these tribes lived quite well with the Syrian government and would be happy if it would return and control their area. Most of them have no sectarian grievances with Damascus. They have no inventive or wish to fight the Syrian state.

The Turkish president Erdogan is currently trying to hire the very same tribes to fight the Syrian Kurds. He will fail with that too.

The Kagans want their new grand force to also fight al-Qaeda. But al-Qaeda is in north-west Syria (and still supported by Turkey). The Kagans emphasize the use of local forces. How are south-eastern desert tribes "local" to the people in Idleb?

The real aim of the Kagans is of course in the last parts of their plan which I highlighted. They want to use these "Sunni Arab tribes" to make another attempt of destroying the Syrian state to then attack the Iranian "bridge" to Hizbullah in Lebanon.

Fortunately the Kagans are at least six month behind the realities on the ground in Syria. The Pentagon will laugh at any "Sunni Arab tribes" ideas. The U.S. military will try to take Raqqa from ISIS with the help of the Kurds and in coordination with Syrian government forces. The Syrian government forces will also destroy al-Qaeda in Idleb.

The chance that Trump will pick up on these neocon plans is practically zero. But who knows? The people who pay the Kagans also spend lots of money to "lobby" (i.e. bribe) the Washington establishment. They certainly hope that there is still a chance to get their ideas wormed into the minds of the White House.


Sam Heller has some critical comments on the Kagan nonsense. I collected his tweets on the issue here: "Bad Idea" - Sam Heller (@AbuJamajem) On The Kagan's Syria Paper.


Posted by b on March 15, 2017 at 19:43 UTC | Permalink

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Our little group of NeoBolshevik's are a predictable lot. The lynchpin to there goals aside from destruction of the Syrian State is to clear a route for their Qatari pipeline which means Deir Ezzor is the prize and the SAA knows it. Irrespective of what happens in Raqqa, the embattled garrison in Deir Ezzor is the more difficult hurdle for them to overcome. Accidental bombings won't work this go around. The SAA knows it's importance, hence the energies used to keep it supplied. The SAA punches thru the Palmayra block, they will link up with the garrison there. Tenuous supply line, to be sure. From the Kagen's point of view, no Deir Ezzor, no pipeline.

Posted by: str8arrow62 | Mar 15 2017 20:08 utc | 1

Very well put, b
Indeed the silence of some french media on Astana can be explained by such plans and the now announced big meeting next week in the US of the 68 members of the coalition + rebels

Micronesia and Malta will surely be there

Posted by: Mina | Mar 15 2017 20:11 utc | 2

Reading carl raswan u get to understand that the oil rich eastern syria had to be flattened from these half civilized beduins...

Same in Libya

Posted by: Mina | Mar 15 2017 20:14 utc | 3

I ca not imagine how much Kool-aid one must drink to come up with so much nonsense.

I don't know, for some reason observing US "operations" of the last 15 years or so requires no imagination, everything is in a front of one who observes.

Posted by: SmoothieX12 | Mar 15 2017 20:21 utc | 4

Hey, if you want your sectarian violence, you can keep your sectarian violence. But seriously is there any doubt that these massive Damascus suicide bombings are linked to US boots on the ground...remember the Golden Mosque in Samarra, the beginning of big-budget sectarianism in Iraq? Has the same feel. Full spectrum dominance as has always been the goal.

Posted by: sejomoje | Mar 15 2017 20:38 utc | 5

The empire has no imagination. It can not imagine the world in any terms other than its own. However, the fact is that the rest of the world can imagine a world without an empire, especially the self-acclaimed exceptional empire. Thus, there is a conflict.

Trump is imperial: "America" he says "can win again." The problem with that is it is what the neocons et al say in slightly different terms. THE question is: what does the so-called 'typical' Amerikkkan think? (Aside from the fact that I don't believe that the typical Amerikkkan is capable of any thing resembling thought ... ) Probably something on the order of: "We're #1" and so the neo-cons and Trump will spend whatever it takes to 'win again.' So long as it is done with surrogates and drones, no one will put up a fuss.

If anyone does, there is always the CIA/FBI et al (and their local lackey police departments) to make sure there is no resistance. I used to hope for revolution - but now I hope for collapse. Either way, it has got to end.

I'm in my 70's ... will I live long enough to see it? One side of me hopes for ... the other (the one where I care about the future my grandkids will face) is ... fearful?

No, just sad.

Posted by: rg the lg | Mar 15 2017 20:41 utc | 6

1916: Wilson wins swearing he will keep the US out of the european wars.
1940: Roosevelt wins swearing he will keep the US out of the european wars.
1968: Nixon wins swearing he will end the Vietnam war
1992: Clinton wins swearing a new era of peace and prosperity, swords to plowshares. He delivers Yugolslavia, Somalia, and aggressive Nato expansion.
2000: Bush wins swearing compassionate conservatism, humility in foreign policy and America first.
2008: Obama wins, is awarded the nobel peace prize, promises to close guantanamo and bring back the boys from afghansitan and iraq.
2016: Trump wins, promises dialog with Putin, reduced Nato spending, America first

The biggest idiots in history have to be US slaves who think they are

Posted by: Heros | Mar 15 2017 20:57 utc | 8


Posted by: Heros | Mar 15 2017 20:58 utc | 9

Russia, Iran, Hezzbollah and China are not going to allow the Assad government to be toppled or forced to step down. Russia has spent money increasing its bases int he country. Iran is now building one and China is looking to cash in on the rebuilding effort. all three are well aware that Assad falling means that the proxy jihadists spread to Lebanon and then to Iran. Syria was the line in the sand. The Syrians are not going to sit by while the US builds safe zones to train terrorists to overthrow Assad. I dont know why these think tanks fail to take into account that people eventually fight back. Libya and Saddam didnt have powerful friends. Assad does. It is not worth WW3 just to advance the Israeli/Saudi Arabia plan of regional domination

Posted by: Danny801 | Mar 15 2017 21:02 utc | 10

Simply put, Deir Ez Zor will not fall. If an ISIS attack covered by A10-Warthogs cant do it, nothing will. The SyAF & RuAF will see to that.. Danny801 said it, Syria is the line in the sand.

Posted by: Lozion | Mar 15 2017 21:13 utc | 11

The Kagans would have more fun if they just fought amongst themselves and left the world alone. They are akin to plague infested rats and must be treated as such. I wonder how long they'd last in Idlib once they began touting their exceptional leadership skills. Hell, I doubt if a one of them knows Arabic.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 15 2017 21:19 utc | 12


Like some sort of AI/Bot, they can competently string grammatically correct sentences together, yet, akin to an AI/Bot, lack actual insight & are profoundly ignorant & deluded. The other perceived language subtext is that, mere human beings, people, are expendable pawns, other than regards geopolitical 'objectives' ... banally evil & obscene.

@ Posted by: Danny801 | Mar 15, 2017 5:02:53 PM | 11
@ Posted by: Lozion | Mar 15, 2017 5:13:38 PM | 12
@ Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 15, 2017 5:19:55 PM | 13


Posted by: Outraged | Mar 15 2017 22:01 utc | 13

Outraged @14--

The Kagans would be the first to break and run confronted with actual combat. They are typical talk big cowards we're so familiar with and could well do without.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 15 2017 22:49 utc | 14

Not to worry. Trump has a grand strategy, remember? He would never sign off on something like the Kagan plan, would he?

Because the Donald has the final say and then he owns it. No blaming the dems, neocons, neoliberals, the generals, CIA, MSM or the fucking deep state for the result.

Trump's headed for Nashville this evening to get his fix of adulation from the crowd while he tries to explain how fucking them out of their healthcare and medicaid is making America great again. I doubt if Syria or Russia will come up. But I'm sure their welfare is never far from his mind.

Posted by: peter | Mar 15 2017 22:59 utc | 15

@ Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 15, 2017 6:49:16 PM | 15

Stunned when I read b's link, 'the neoconservative family' from 2003 ... 14 years to discover how few in number, reach & how truly incestuous they are ...

Yes, agree, have little doubt the likes of these would be able to hold it together at all and 'face the Elephant'. Little doubt at all. Happy to cavalierly toy with 'others' lives though. Pfft!

Posted by: Outraged | Mar 15 2017 23:18 utc | 16

Neocons are ideologues. They will never give up.

Neocons are Machiavellian. The end justifies the means.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 15 2017 23:36 utc | 17

Let’s add to this Investigation the Kagans

6 Senators ask Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to probe US 'fomenting unrest' in other countries

Six Republican senators are demanding a State Department review of US taxpayer money being spent on meddling in foreign countries’ politics via NGOs run by billionaire George Soros, citing Macedonia and Albania as the most recent examples.

In a letter sent to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Tuesday, the lawmakers express concern over reports that US foreign aid has been channeled to support “left-leaning parties” and the “progressive agenda” in places like Albania and Macedonia. The two Balkans countries are just “timely examples,” with reports of similar US meddling coming from Africa and Latin America as well, the senators wrote.

The letter was signed by Senators Mike Lee (R-Utah), James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), Thom Tillis (R-North Carolina), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), David Perdue (R-Georgia) and Bill Cassidy (R-Louisiana).

"This includes reports of diplomats playing political favorites, USAID funds supporting extreme and sometimes violent political activists, and the US government working to marginalize the moderates and conservatives in leadership roles,”said Lee, adding that “this behavior is unacceptable and must be halted immediately. [.]

As examples of US interference, the senators cite the situation in Macedonia, a landlocked Balkans country once a part of Yugoslavia and currently in the throes of a political crisis featuring a restless ethnic Albanian minority.
“We have received credible reports that, over the past few years, the US Mission there has actively intervened in the party politics of Macedonia, as well as in the shaping of its media environment and civil society, often favoring left-leaning political groups over others,” the letter says. “We find these reports discouraging and, if true, highly problematic.”

Link to Senator Lee's letter via RT

~ ~ ~ ~

And at least 60 other countries including Ukraine. Senators in your midst, please give a shout out to John McCain

Posted by: likklemore | Mar 15 2017 23:39 utc | 18

b: U.S. used the Sunni militants it created ...

Weren't the Sunni militants created by KSA? In "The Redirection" Sy Hersh wrote that the Saudis said that they would keep control of the extremists.

It's bad enough that USA blessed this arrangement. Lets be as truthful as possible in how it works. KSA, Israel, USA, Turkey, Qatar, European governments, etc. all play a different role and expect different 'payoffs' in this de-humanizing game.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 15 2017 23:45 utc | 19


The real aim of the Kagans is ... to use these "Sunni Arab tribes" to make another attempt of destroying the Syrian state to then attack the Iranian "bridge" to Hizbullah in Lebanon.
I disagree.

The Kagen's propose a 'fourth-stage' not a 'third try' of the same approach:

>> The first stage ended when protestors and police were shot at in 2011. 'Political unrest' set the stage for the insurgency/civil war (which was really a cover for foreign intervention).

>> The second-stage ended in 2013 when the US backed down from planned bombing after the Ghouta gas attack. The Russians put the Kibosh on US/Obama's plans and offered to rid Syria of chemical weapons as face-saving gesture.

ISIS mysteriously arose and joined the battle.

>> The third-stage essentially ended with the 2015 intervention of Russia and Iran. ISIS had been so successful that Assad/Syria came within weeks of losing the war.

For a second time, the 'Assad must go!' Coalition was denied victory. Neocons are still in denial.

>> IMO the proposed fourth-stage means direct intervention with Sunni tribes as cover (they can't possibly win on their own). This secures ISIS held territory and supply lines (easing logistics) and frees ISIS fighters to fight against enemies of the 'Assad must go!' Coalition (while pretending to fight USA).

I imagine that those drumming up support will push HARD with in-your-face questions like: Why WON'T you support Israel and US Sunni allies? Do YOU want Russia and Iran to win in the ME?

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 16 2017 0:35 utc | 20

In support of B:

Posted by: c de toro | Mar 16 2017 0:41 utc | 21

- I thought Raqqa was already about to fall and ISIS being rooted out. And then the Kagans are very late to the party.

Posted by: Willy2 | Mar 16 2017 1:02 utc | 22

The only way these neocon scumbags can win is if Putin once again backs down and starts babbling about 'out American partners' once again and lets the US continue to flood troops into eastern Syria.

The SAA and Hezbollah are the two most effective fighting forces in the entire Middle East by a huge margin in 2017. The only way the US regime could possibly defeat the SAA and Hezbollah is through a MASSIVE and sustained air campaign or possibly huge amounts of armor being deplayed into Syria somehow.

The neocon propaganda has failed miserably with Syria even with the sickening Al-Qaeda/White Helmets Oscar farce. It is hard to imagine any future efforts will be successful in manufacturing support for a US regime bombing campaign.

The neocons only hope will be getting some US regime troops killed in some way and blame the Syrian government for it. That could let the neocons quickly get support for such a campaign.

Russia would almost certainly back down and let the US regime 'take responsibility' for the east half of Syria to protect the invading US regime forces.

Posted by: PaiZuri | Mar 16 2017 1:10 utc | 23

b, 'The Pentagon will laugh at any "Sunni Arab tribes" ideas'

let's hope so. the pentagon is certainly 'well-represented' in the 'trump' administration.

The chance that Trump will pick up on these neocon plans is practically zero. But who knows?

yes ... who knows. i think that tee-rump does what his jewish/zionist 'brain trust' - more nearly a 'real', financial trust that runs the 'tee-rump' 'financial empire' - tells him to do.

the saudis are comin' to town ... or have they come and gone already? 'money talks' is definitely the capsule description of 'tee-rump'.

Posted by: jfl | Mar 16 2017 3:24 utc | 24

thanks b... obviously some country and people are paying these assholes, the kagans - big time.. selling war is big money.. that a few cockroaches want in on the action is no surprise.. that they are regularly given a place, or position in the us political scene is what is so disturbing.. shows you just how low the political system can go. same deal mccain and graham... the reason these people are given a place, has to do with the financial and military industries.. obviously they work for israel and saudi arabia, but they are working for goldman sacks and lockheed martin too... so sad to see, and but there is always a knight in shining armour to save america and make it great again, lol.. sure.. why not just try to sell me another bridge over to brooklyn?

Posted by: james | Mar 16 2017 3:36 utc | 25

For those who haven't heard yet, Sputniknews claims B52s are being stationed in the ME to 'help' finish off ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

Posted by: Wwinsti | Mar 16 2017 4:56 utc | 26

Looks like the Trump is sending yet another contingent of 1000 troops to Syria. Lemme see that makes....

About 500 U.S. Special Operations forces are already in Syria operating alongside the SDF, in addition to about 250 Rangers and 200 Marines. The new U.S. troops, if approved, would probably come from parts of both the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit — a flotilla of ships loaded with 2,200 Marines that is now steaming toward the region — and the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, from which 2,500 troops are headed to Kuwait. These conventional troops would supplement the Special Operations forces already on the ground and operate much like their counterparts fighting in the Iraqi city of Mosul.

1000 plus 500 plus 250 plus 200 plus 2,200 plus 2,500 equals 6,600.

Hmmm...that's a whole lot of advisors, and I haven't included the airborne.

With more and more troops arriving every day, looks to me like other plans are being set in motion that haven't yet been revealed to the media.

We still don't know what was discussed in the meeting with the Saudi defense minister, Saudi foreign minister and the foreign minister from the UAE because this White House is turning out to be as opaque as I predicted and Trump blacked out this meeting with the Saudis from the media.

Partners including Saudi Arabia have said for years that they are willing to send troops to Syria, as long as the United States showed it was willing to put comparable skin in the game. The extent to which the Saudis have been included in U.S. planning remains unclear. On Tuesday, Trump met at the White House with Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi deputy crown prince and defense minister. The Saudi foreign minister and his counterpart from the United Arab Emirates are also in Washington this week and met Monday with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.


Trump is up to no good as usual.

Posted by: Circe | Mar 16 2017 5:18 utc | 27

What the Kagan's are proposing is a new Vietnam.

Neocon chicken hawks see the Whabbi-Zionist defeat in Syria as unacceptable just as much as the French defeat in Vietnam was unacceptable to the Cold Warriors.

Supporting 'local partners' with ever increasing advisors/troops is the same strategy. Except that it is even more transparent here because the Sunni tribes are not a credible force and we have the Vietnam experience as example.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 16 2017 5:31 utc | 28

Kagan's have proxies

Kurds urge Trump to establish ‘safe zones’ in northern Syria

Posted by: Peter AU | Mar 16 2017 7:15 utc | 29

It looks to me like an effort to salvage what they can from ISIS/AQ forces. Fighters disappear from ISIS ranks for example and reemerge as recruits of the new force. They go into a couple of weeks of training and then stage fights with their former buddies (mostly allowing them to join as well). In the end you simply change the old brand name with something new and under new management. The same can be done in Idleb.

Posted by: anonymus | Mar 16 2017 8:42 utc | 30

All this ME madness is NOT about some Qatar NG pipeline, it's about spending American blood and treasure supporting that Apartheid nightmare that thinks it is above the law.

From an April 2003 Haaretz article:

The war in Iraq was conceived by 25 neoconservative intellectuals, most of them Jewish, who are pushing President Bush to change the course of history. Two of them, journalists William Kristol and Charles Krauthammer, say it's possible.

This is a war of an elite. [Tom] Friedman laughs: I could give you the names of 25 people (all of whom are at this moment within a five-block radius of this office) who, if you had exiled them to a desert island a year and a half ago, the Iraq war would not have happened.

Posted by: Greg Bacon | Mar 16 2017 10:06 utc | 31

What does Freidman think now?

"We have never taken seriously from the very beginning Russia hacked our election," the New York Times scribe said on Morning Joe Tuesday. "That was a 9/11 scale event. They attacked the core of our democracy. That was a Pearl Harbor scale event."

Maybe Tommie should be given an assault rifle and gear, and parachute into Syria,Iraq, Libya or Moscow so the locals can see how tough he is!

Posted by: Greg Bacon | Mar 16 2017 10:14 utc | 32

Posted by: Greg Bacon | Mar 16, 2017 6:14:52 AM | 32

I would think it safe to assume that these intellectuals were/are used to cover up any war that is deemed profitable in the mind of the people who pay them.

German Social Democrats agreed to send their constituency to war against Russia arguing that it was a fight against reactionary tsarist suppression.

In many ways this war did not end the way German Social Democrats had thought it would end, though it did replace tsarist repression with something else.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 16 2017 14:51 utc | 33

If the Kagans including Vicky "Fuck The EU" Nuland Nudelman are in the employ (loosely speaking) of Trump (as advisors) then we can surmise that Trump is indeed a fraud. He is a fraud as Obama was a fraud as were all the others before them.

Posted by: fastfreddy | Mar 16 2017 15:05 utc | 34

Where did my comment go?

Posted by: MRW | Mar 16 2017 15:54 utc | 35

I wrote that the Kagans want Syria for Israel. This was planned back in 1991, according to General Clark in 2007. Vicky's husband was part of the crew that wrote up the PNAC plan in the late 90s. Robert Parry wrote about this recently.

Posted by: MRW | Mar 16 2017 15:56 utc | 36

@ 34

Vicky is not in the employ of Trump nor the state dept. She was forced to resign on January 20th (she was hoping to make it BIG had Hilary won - she was already promoted to the level of Career Ambassador last Fall just before the election- even though she screwed up ). Now she may be working for the Zionists/AIPAC and Jared Kushner on the side since Trump believes that his SIL will bring peace in the ME (how, when) - I guess when pigs can fly>

After all, the path to Jerusalem either goes through Damascus or Tehran now that Saddam is dead.

Posted by: Yul | Mar 16 2017 16:31 utc | 37

As most know, there's more to the ongoing war than just Syria. Here we have Andrew Korybko's recap of recent events in Libya as they relate to Egypt, which are certainly meant to further derail neocon plans. link

It appears that Nikki Haley is no different from Samantha Powers in her hatred of Russia: "Take it seriously. We cannot trust Russia. We should never trust Russia," link History proves beyond doubt that it's those representing the Outlaw US Empire that are most unworthy of trust.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 16 2017 16:38 utc | 38

@MRW 36

The Kagans are doing IsraHell's bidding. Their 1991 "plan" was a further elaboration (for internal political/MIC consumption) of the 10 year older brother - Oded Yinon's >"Greater IsraHell Project".

You now know why it was necessary to (s)elect a POTUS-puppet who is a bigger zio-zealot then Theodore Herzl himself.

Posted by: LXV | Mar 16 2017 16:38 utc | 39

The Higher Council of Syrian Tribes are meeting in the Turkish city of Urfa to plan the liberation the provinces of Raqqa , Hasaka, Deir Ezzor and Menbij by fighters belong only to the area (presumably with Saudi financial support).
They are trying to create an “Army of Syrian clans” to liberate the region of Jazeera and Euphrates from the Islamic State and also from the Syrian Democratic Forces (PYD Kurds) and the Syrian regime. This cleansing operation will be called Euphrates Anger and sounds a lot like Trump’s safe zone proposal.

It is unlikely that this “Army of Syrian clans” will be successful West of the Euphrates as Nawaf al-Bashir, the leader of 1.2 million tribesmen and women in his Der Ezzor region, has repented and now supports the Syrian government. This will aid government efforts to eliminate ISIS and other Western backed terrorist groups:
"Sheikh Nawaf al-Bashir, the highest figure in the western fabricated opposition in Syria, the chief of Baggara Tribe in northeast Syria, returned to Damascus and declared his loyalty to the Syrian people, the Syrian leadership and praised the Syrian Arab Army and put himself under the command of the Syrian president Dr. Bashar Al-Assad."

However, the situation is complicated around Deir el Zor, given all the militias (war bands) fighting there:

Russia appears to be aware of this Sunnistan plan and appears to be planning to stop infiltration of Sunni rebel forces in southern Syria by dispatching troops to Southern Syria:

Posted by: Krollchem | Mar 16 2017 16:43 utc | 40
The Rand partition map in the PDF shows Syria Keeping Deir Ezzor, ...Euphrates and Syria
East fall under International Administration zone.
In a recent PBS program on US forces in Syria...A US representative stated that after Raqqa,
Deir Ezzor was the concern ISIS would collect at.
He also stated that post administration of Raqqa would not be left to the Kurds,
Hence...US/UN occupation of Syria begins.

If Russia,Iran and Syria can block US/Kurd March south down the Euphrates,
Syria East could be rescued.
Clock is ticking....

Posted by: Brad | Mar 16 2017 17:02 utc | 41

@41 I didn't download the PDF. Does it say anything about being welcomed with flowers?

Posted by: dh | Mar 16 2017 17:13 utc | 42

There have been several competing partition proposals by Thinktanks.
Rand being Uber Pentagon suggested they may be the play.
The International Administration zone would be something the Zionist would
Use as cover while stealing and occupying.

If US does grab the Euphrates, ...on each side is still Sunni kookistan
Where US can Kabuki Theatre fight ISIS ...thus validate their illegal presence
In Syria with UN cheer section.
The above interrupts Shia Crescent.....Israhell might even want US
To put missile defence in Kurd Syria North vs Iran.
US via Kurd and Free Syrian Whatever. ...can seek to undermine Syria

Posted by: Brad | Mar 16 2017 17:28 utc | 43

Correction for my 27: Actually, the figure for troops sent to Syria including the 1000
about to be sent totals 6,650 and this does include airborne. However, I agree with
Ron Paul when he stated in his Liberty Report that Trump is colluding with the Saudis and I watched
Trump dismiss the media from the Oval Office and black out the content of the meeting and all questions.
This does not look like he intends to go after ISIS only and he's hiding the Syria/Yemen agenda.

Posted by: Circe | Mar 16 2017 18:17 utc | 44


If Russia allows for Syria East and Euphrates to fall into the hands of the Zionist/U.S. Empire, then
Russia and its coalition spent treasure and effort for nothing because this means that the PNAC agenda will
still have been achieved Hillary or no Hillary. I stated from day one here that this plan
would not be interrupted under Trump and I'm going to be vindicated in my conviction that Trump
is more of the same and worse.

Posted by: Circe | Mar 16 2017 18:30 utc | 45

So Hayder' post @18 on the last Syria thread stating a new Army of Syria is in the making in Jordan is making sense except that instead of being in Deraa they would cross at Abukamal and work their way up the Euphrates. This sectarianism is simply crazy, 60% of the SAA are Sunni. Kurds are mainly Sunni as well with some seculars. Damascus should unite with the Kurds blocking this insane project in the North while the SAA reaches Deir Ez Zor, covering the Jordan border..

Posted by: Lozion | Mar 16 2017 19:01 utc | 46


When Palmyra fell again late last year...was WTF Russia moment for me.
I was not Ra RA for the carrier battlegroup, my thinking,Syria needed
More Attack Helicopters, airmobile lift,....needed to get Deir Ezzor secured
And the Iraq,Jordan block any pipeline route gambit, several
Pipelines routes are tabled. going up to Turk safe zone.
If Kurds are begging Trump for Safe Zones, ...that could become no fly zones.
Syria would lose everything in Kurd North.
Maybe Putin and Assad have conceeded to Kurd/US future.
After Raqqa...the US monster goes where?
At this point....Russia/Syria must act to keep the Euphrates from US/UN grab.
Rand map gives Deir Ezzor to Syria. if Russia/Syria secure Deir Ezzor
From ISUS,....Syria East may already have been conceeded.

Russia possibly dealing S 400 to Turkey is giving me pause about Russia's true reasons
For being in Syria.

Posted by: Brad | Mar 16 2017 19:07 utc | 47

I think the proof that Putin is not the evil murdering thug the neocons claim, is that McCain, Graham, Nuland, and Kagan are still breathing.

Posted by: Old Microbiologist | Mar 16 2017 19:24 utc | 48


Putin needs to remind himself of the Libya no-fly Resolution that gave way to a Nato invasion
and not be blind sighted again.

Posted by: Circe | Mar 16 2017 19:41 utc | 49

You have to be delusional to think the American regime is going to be able to carve out part of Syria.

* There will be no UN resolutions authorizing the US regime to attack Syria - ever.

* The well funded PR campaigns that have been desperately trying to manufacture public support for the foreign terrorists and mercenaries attacking Syria has been a failure.

* An American regime bombing campaign against the Syrian army who have Russian forces embedded with them? Not going to happen.

* Iraq is wrapping up Mosul and the Iraq/Syrian border is close to being closed. Once IS is wiped out in the north, Iraq will start conducting ground operations into Syria with cooperation of the government in addition to the air strikes they are already performing now. Do you actually think Iraq is going to sit idly by and let the American regime carve out of Syria some sort of forward operating base for Israel to further threaten the region?

It is embarassing to see how weak Putin is in letting the American regime thumb their noses at him and deploy ground forces in their main Middle East ally. But beyond the humiliation for Putin, there is no viable path to capturing any Syrian territory by American regime forces.

Posted by: Bender | Mar 16 2017 20:04 utc | 50

brad - thanks for your posts.. i mostly see it the same way as you.. however, i also have to agree with benders sentiment @50 as well, excluding the last line.. to me, the usa will never be interested in coordinating with russia fully, to remove isis/al qaeda - you name it.. too many cross currents in the usa agenda and it seems like a divided house at this point.. getting an agreement from them is extremely tenuous and very temporary at best...

thanks everyone for the comments.. dh - sending some flowers your way, lol...

Posted by: james | Mar 16 2017 20:33 utc | 51


Putin needs to remind himself of the Libya no-fly Resolution that gave way to a Nato invasion
and not be blind sighted again.

I don't know how's my guarantee is for you, but what the hell--I can give you a 100% guarantee that Putin doesn't need reminders about Libya (after all, he was a prime-minister then anyway, Medvedev was president), he remembers all that just fine. But what is most important, people whom Putin represents (a Russian version of a really "deep state") unofficially have an extraordinarily good memory.

Posted by: SmoothieX12 | Mar 16 2017 21:00 utc | 52


James...the above article reminds that Russia vs US has been long drawn out series.
Russia getting Egypt to break with Miserable House of Saud is great, ...if they can keep that.
US has not developed the nation's it has occupied...there can never be flowers and ribbon cutting
At bridges when USA stays around.
Russia and China have contributed to economic recovery. ..part of the reason US pushes
Warlords in Africa. to block China .
US public are weary of the past wars,...yet dumbed down. recent Hysterical reach that Putin
Hacked Democracy proves. ...

Alex Jones Infowars,...once an outlet of criticism of Bush/Obama wars, cheers Trump
And who cares all the broken promises.
America is addicted to trash talk and let's fight.
The CIA/Deep State getting outted recently reminds that this machina got its wars.
It looks like Trump got... the horses head in bed visit... and now sends the boots on their way.
Putin maybe was caught off guard by Trump's reversals,...yet I'm thinking no,...The Bear
Knows the character of the Swamp Beast.

Posted by: Brad | Mar 16 2017 21:28 utc | 53

"Banally evil and obscene"
Kagans, Kardashians, what's the difference? One family screws up in the media, relatively harmless. One family screws up with our politicians, people die and or hurt and money wasted. I say swap them around or have a cage match.

Posted by: Curtis | Mar 16 2017 21:44 utc | 54

It sounds like the Kagans are on the same page with the rest including the DIA report from 2012. I wonder what the Saudis/Qataris are saying behing closed doors about supporting a Sunni state in Syria/Iraq. They don't say so publicly.

Posted by: Curtis | Mar 16 2017 21:46 utc | 55


Remember Iraq when that old man downed an Apache with an old rifle ? : )
The US has amazing weapons. ..and sells them to mental midgets.
If the Houti had greater numeric with ATGMs,MANPADS, ...mobility. ...even money
They would be overrunning the Pedophile Headchoppers with US forces rushing in to save them.

Possibly Putin/Russia recognize US/Israel over reach and come tumbling back downhill.
Letting both go deeper into the quagmire.

Posted by: Brad | Mar 16 2017 21:47 utc | 56

@56, Brad.

Possibly Putin/Russia recognize US/Israel over reach

At this stage it is recognized by anyone with more than one brain-cell. Russia's serious observers predicted that long ago and I mean long, namely around Spring of 1999. But it is sometimes really difficult to convey to people who do have, often justified, desire to "settle the scores" with US (and Israel) that Russia does NOT want a turbulence in US which is already getting too uncomfortable. No one, yours truly included, wants to face what may come out of American dysfunctionalities, both internal and external, once overreach snaps and it is close to it. Israel may go to hell, at least for now, the USA is a completely different league and weight and it can not be allowed to destabilize. I can assure you that this possibility is a huge factor in Putin's considerations when dealing with the US. "Soft landing" is highly desirable, I have a first hand experience of surviving a "hard landing"--that was tough, to put it mildly. Russia will try to work with US on Syria and it is a logical step, for number of major geopolitical reasons.

Posted by: SmoothieX12 | Mar 16 2017 22:10 utc | 57

a picture of the results of obama's/the neocon's/now tee-rump's results in syria, thusfar. in echo, I cannot help asking those who have caused the situation - do you realize, now, what you have done?

it seems obvious that whether they do realize it or not, they simply do not care.

Posted by: jfl | Mar 16 2017 23:29 utc | 58

SmoothieX12 @57--

""Soft landing" is highly desirable,..."

The problem with that from Putin's POV is that all US politicos still imagine the Outlaw US Empire continuing on its Magic Carpet Ride, so there's no one to negotiate a soft landing with. Just look at the recent proposed budget and the massive cuts proposed to what stands for the US citizenry's social safety net in comparison to Trump's oratory pre and post election. The "deplorables" that elected him are being thrown under the bus. Nor is there any visible shift away from the primary foreign policy goal of the Outlaw US Empire--Full Spectrum Dominance. For the most part, those with any political clout within the USA are living a life of illusion on money borrowed from the bank and will be extremely shocked when their loan's called.

Yes, implosion of the North American economy would likely cause a global recession, but not necessarily a depression depending on how disconnected Eurasia becomes from it and EU. The semi-autarky imposed on Russia by sanctions actually helped it become more resilient than the USA. For the common wo/man, Russia is a better place to live and has a brighter future than USA, IMO.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 16 2017 23:31 utc | 59

The neo-cons and democrats are out of power. The Kagan Clan keeps throwing their delusions and nothing is sticking. Trumpeters are in control; Donald and his Goldman Sachs retainers and the retired Generals. Right now, there are up to 10,000 contractors and NATO military in Iraq and Syria. Fifty times less than General Shinseki’s 2003 minimum number to occupy Iraq.

The USA has been at war with Sunnis in the Levant for a quarter century at the bequest of Israel and the Gulf Monarchies. Since the neoliberal coup at the turn of the century, Washington DC has been schizophrenic. Bought politicians cannot admit that the Islamists are needed to destabilize and loot Russia and to keep the Shiite Crescent cut. But the Islamic State, at the same time, is America’s avowed enemy that justifies the $54 billion increase in the defense budget. But, NATO doesn’t have to troops, money or the will to seize Raqqa and successfully occupy eastern Syria for the next thousand years. As long as the Empire’s wars are fought with proxy forces anything can happen and none of it good.

Posted by: VietnamVet | Mar 16 2017 23:45 utc | 60

on the 'soft-landing' ... as far as the coming financial collapse goes, Prof. Richard Werner - Banking Industry Exposed & Solutions Presented, Dublin April 2016 (about 59 minutes in) - compares and contrasts the japanese 'bangking crises' of 1945 and 1990. yes, it can mean long, drawn out stagnation (1990), but it can last just a couple of years (1945). it depends upon whether your concern is for society (1945) or the banksters (1990).

Posted by: jfl | Mar 17 2017 0:23 utc | 61

@61 vv

excellent recap of the situation. i would only add 'As long as the Empire’s wars are fought with proxy forces anything can happen and none of it good, as there is no sign of any real change in the Empire's ac/dc capital, other than random sound bytes and tweets.'

actually haven't heard of any tweets lately ... or are they just no longer reported? not a twit myself, don't twitter.

Posted by: jfl | Mar 17 2017 0:35 utc | 62

Recalling Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein's remark that Goldman Sachs was doing "God's Work".

At the time, I thought that this was simply a haughty remark from a self-aggrandized dickhead.

Contemplating it recently, I considered a deeper meaning.

Goldman - the master manipulator of "the markets" is truly godlike.

It holds up the house of cards - the entire fraudulent financial system that generates 10 percent annual interest for the wealthy - without which - their entire world would crumble.

Posted by: fast freddy | Mar 17 2017 0:41 utc | 63

there's a good assessment at southfront of the Geopolitical Standoff In Post-ISIS Middle East in two pieces. i put them together for viewing / reading ease.

and there's news of the usaf's total war opening up in syria, +100 casualties as US airstrikes obliterates mosque in northwestern Syria.

Posted by: jfl | Mar 17 2017 3:45 utc | 64

Okay, I have to write this: Trump is keeping the billions in aid to Israel; but he's cutting
humanitarian aid when there are grave threats of famine in several countries including Yemen and
he's cutting funding for Meals on Wheels to the elderly and people in need to pay for the Wall.

Posted by: Circe | Mar 17 2017 5:16 utc | 65

Sputnik is reporting another Israeli airforce strike in the Jordan Valley, although this time there appears to have been some push back from Syrian air defenses.

Posted by: Wwinsti | Mar 17 2017 5:27 utc | 66

@ Posted by: Curtis | Mar 16, 2017 5:44:29 PM | 54

"The more I learn about people, the more I like my dog" - Mark Twain

@ Posted by: VietnamVet | Mar 16, 2017 7:45:42 PM | 60

Good summation. If one may ... following amendment represents my perception re the sentence concerned:

But the Islamic State, at the same time, is America’s faux avowed enemy of convenience that justifies the $54 billion increase in the defense budget, and the rest of the 100's of $Billions & loss of liberties re the Global War on Terra(GWOT).

Posted by: Outraged | Mar 17 2017 5:54 utc | 67

Some of those B-52 crews sitting in Qatar are pretty sure the precise reason they're sitting there is to eventually bomb Hezbollah in the Golan and Lebanon, not ISIS is Syria. I'm all for crazy rumors from my AF buds, but I was just stunned by this one. Of course nobody has even hinted at anything like that to them, but these guys are not stupid. The token ISIS runs CENTCOM has them do in Syria now are just for show - they all know that much. They have all day to sit around guessing why their B-52's are really there. It's not for Iran - it would take months for the U.S. to suppress their air defenses with any certainty before they could ever use a heavy bomber there.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Mar 17 2017 5:56 utc | 68

Paveway 68

Sounds right going off Trump's anti terrorism coalition that includes the wahabbi's and the same old gang of sponsors of wahabbi offshoots. Add to that some of Nikki Haley's statements makes Hezbolla the most likely target.

Posted by: Peter AU | Mar 17 2017 7:39 utc | 69

Mr. S**t, meet Ms. Fan.

Sputnik now reporting an Israeli jet shot down...

... near Palmyra

Posted by: Wwinsti | Mar 17 2017 9:57 utc | 70

@36 MRW
“I wrote that the Kagans want Syria for Israel”

Who can forget the response of the Kagan family to 911. In yet another example of the mental acuity emanating from the oxymoronic think-tank land, the Kagans, after a deft analysis of the situation, concluded that the logical American response to 911 was to……invade Palestine.

The day after 9/11, Kagan father-son duo said ‘take the war’ to Palestine

Posted by: pantaraxia | Mar 17 2017 10:05 utc | 71

RT reporting that the IDF denies any of its aircraft were hit.

Posted by: Wwinsti | Mar 17 2017 10:15 utc | 72

@Wwinsti "an Israeli jet shot down..." I believe it when I see it...

@LXV Add even older push for "the clash of civilizations" by Huntington et al to those plans:

The Clash of Civilizations That Isn’t, By Robert Wright, The New Yorker

...In 1996, when I reviewed Samuel Huntington’s book “The Clash of Civilizations” for Slate, I fretted that Huntington’s world view could become “a self-fulfilling prophecy.” This was before 9/11, and I wasn’t thinking about Islam in particular. Huntington’s book was about “fault lines” dividing various “civilizations,” and I was just making the general point that if we think of, say, Japanese people as radically different from Americans—as Huntington’s book, I believed, encouraged us to do—we were more likely to treat Japan in ways that deepened any Japanese-Western fault line.

Since 9/11, I’ve realized that, in the case of Islam, the forces that could make the clash of civilizations a self-fulfilling prophecy are particularly powerful. For one thing, in this case, our actual enemies, such as Al Qaeda and ISIS, themselves favor the clash-of-civilizations narrative, and do their best to encourage it. When the Atlantic tells us that ISIS is “very Islamic” and the New York Times runs the headline “Islam and the West at War,” it’s party time in Mosul. Order up another round of decapitations! Get Roger Cohen more freaked out! Maybe he’ll keep broadcasting a key recruiting pitch of both Al Qaeda and ISIS: that the West is at war with Islam!...

Posted by: ProPeace | Mar 17 2017 12:59 utc | 73

Off topic a bit.

Top of the news this morning, including at Zero Hedge (don't have an account there), that GCHQ
is slamming Trump for the accusations that GCHQ worked with Obama to spy on candidate Trump.

It is particularly fitting to remember the whistleblower Katharine Gun.

The memo from Frank Koza, chief of staff at the "regional targets" section of the National Security Agency, GCHQ's sister organisation in the US, remains shocking in its implications for British sovereignty. Koza was in effect issuing a direct order to the employees of a UK security agency to gather "the whole gamut of information that could give US policymakers an edge in obtaining results favourable to US goals or to head off surprises".

The US had asked the UK to help spy on the UN to find out who needed to be leaned on, extorted, in the lead up to the vote at the UN on the second resolution for invading Iraq. (Bush and Blair ultimately pulled the resolution because they had determined(!) the vote would fail and went rogue invader instead).

Posted by: librul | Mar 17 2017 13:12 utc | 74

The comments by Sam Heller fit in with what I have stated RE: "New Army of Syria" as posted in my comments: Moon of Alabama on 10th of March ( comment 18 ) ie the creation of a Sunni army, US supported and equipped, trained in Jordan, that would move North into Syria. Perhaps the initial "public" objective would be to fight ISIS, but then I think the Syrian government would be the real target.

Once again, I reiterate that I think there is an American-lead "Arab Coalition" being built against Iran. The talk is that this may expand to include Israel too, to the point of an alliance being formed between Arab states and Israel. This may seem far-fetched to some, but already, there are secret meetings between high ranking officials behind the scenes, and people in the know are stating that there is a "region-wide mega deal" in the making, whereby a solution the the "palestine problem" (not necessarily a good one) will be signed by these parties, paving the way for full diplomatic normalisation between these Arab states and Israel in order to allow them work together "in the open". The initial plan would be for regime change in Syria, then the target would be Iran and its allied forces in the region. I have also heard talk that following the meeting of the Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and President Trump, there will be a significant escalation in Yemen, and that this may be the launchpad for a greater hostilities in the region as a whole.

What Russia, Iran and other players do is still unclear. There have been mixed messages from Moscow - one the one hand, there was what appeared to me a slow, but gradual move away from the alliance with Iran, to closer ties with Turkey, with a view to forming closer ties and possible even an alliance US backed forces, with the aim of fighting ISIS/ Nusra- the hope was that President Assad distance himself from Iran as a price to being admitted within this alliance- there has been a flurry of visits from high ranking individuals from US backed players to Moscow with a view of persuading moscow to split with Iran. At other times, indications are that Russia will not allow its alliance with Iran to be affected. Turkey is a hard "nut to crack" with Erdogan being typically unpredictable- there have been several major policy flips since Russia entered the picture in 2015.

There was hope that a Trump administration would reduce global tensions, with an emphasis on fighting ISIS. In view of the recent developments in Syria, and the appointees in the new administration, I fear that we are on our way to more conflict and turmoil. starting a conflict is much easier than stopping it, and there is the law of unintended consequences...

Thoughts of an Iraqi abroad...

Posted by: Hayder | Mar 17 2017 13:45 utc | 75

There was hope.. and for 2 weeks the french msm sounded differently.but now they returned to gross propaganda
Part of the plan deals with the relocation of palestinian refugees as was leaked once about some blocked negociations in geneva

Posted by: Mina | Mar 17 2017 14:42 utc | 76

@75 haydar

the russian analysis at south front agrees with your take - paragraph 2 - on ksa qatar and israel ...

Geopolitical Standoff In Post-ISIS Middle East

Both Gulf nations are fomenters of violence against the Assad government, and concerned over growing Iranian influence in the region. Growing Iranian influence often leads to the growth of protest sentiments among the oppressed Shia minorities of both nations. The crisis is further fueled by the failure of the Saudi-led intervention into Yemen where the Saudi coalition cannot deliver a devastating blow to the Houthi-Saleh alliance, which is partly backed by Tehran. This has led to enormous military expenditures and the demoralization of the kingdom’s military forces. The rift among the members of the Saudi-led alliance also plays an important role in the current situation. Thus, on a regional level, Saudi Arabia and Qatar act as de-facto allies of Israel. This reality undermines their fraudulent, yet often asserted role as the true defenders of the Arab population in the region.

... but they have gone out of their way to repudiate the 'split between russia and iran' jive - in your paragraph 3 - being pedaled, purely coincidently i'm sure, by the americans ... or are you living abroad in, say, virginia, by any chance ?

Posted by: jfl | Mar 17 2017 15:10 utc | 77

Off topic, but...

Israel attacked targets near Palmyra last night, claiming to target Hizbullah. Syria reportedly fired anti aircraft missiles in response claiming to have downed a jet fighter but claim is unconfirmed.

Not to be alarmist, or jump on the Putin-the-abandoner bandwagon, but this stinks to high heaven.

That the jets could avoid the Syrian anti-air defenses is not surprising as they only have the S-100 and S-200 systems, which are obsolete compared to Israeli upgrades on their F15s. What bugs me is that this MUST have either been coordinated with the Russians to not have the S-400s shoot them down, or the Russians were too afraid to shoot their systems, our that they did fire and miss, leaving the performance of a much-vaunted system in the trash bin. My bet is a mix of the first and second.

However, this leads to some pertinent questions. Previous Israeli strikes could at least have been argued to be attacking Syrian government supply depots and supply lines to Hizbullah, which Israel has claimed to be the real target. I think this is laughable but at least slightly believable. This strike, again claimed to be targeting Hizbullah, happened on the FRONT LINE in Palmyra, far from any depots or supply lines. So if Russia turned a blind eye, it directly effected the anti-Isis front, far from any, again laughable, but at least semi-cogent worry about Hizbullah supply lines. This unfortunately strikes me as a major escalation by Israel and a deafening non-response from Russia who allows attacks not only on its de facto ally Hizbullah but it's overt fight, with Syria, against Isis.

Posted by: Don Wiscacho | Mar 17 2017 15:17 utc | 78

L.A. Times: Trump budget would make big cuts in the State Department and EPA [but not for aid to Israel]:

Mark Toner, a State Department spokesman, said U.S. aid to Israel, which totaled about $3.1 billion this year, would not be touched under the Trump plan. Israel gets more U.S. aid than any other nation.

Aid to every other country will come under review, he said.

Egypt gets about $1.5 billion and has been one of the largest recipients of U.S. aid in an arrangement that has helped maintain peace between Egypt and Israel since the Carter presidency.

Well, what about that?

Posted by: lysias | Mar 17 2017 15:28 utc | 79

@68 pwiv

last time you brought up the zoomies in qatar, i joked that they'd be bombing damascus sooner than iran ... but it turns out to be hezbollah and the golan. sounds quite possible to me ... would account for the saa's claiming to have shot down an idf jet in the area as well. putting both the israeli and north american zionists on notice that they're gonna shoot back. now if the russians would give them an 'old fashioned' s-300 unit, they could bring down some of each wing of the isaf.

absolutely in the clear ... defending their territory. it will be perversely gratifying to hear the neo-con pigs in the usa claim that the b-52s were bombing syria in 'self-defense'. maybe that one would even wake up rip van winkle in the castskills. certainly would make obvious the usa as number one state-sponsored terrorist on planet earth to everyone outside of the land zion ... in the usa and israel. and identify the new american century with the fourth reich.

here's that picture of the benefits they've delivered to the ungrateful syrians thus far.

Posted by: jfl | Mar 17 2017 15:38 utc | 80

@54 curtis @67 or "The more I learn about people, the more I like my dog" - Mark Twain

don't know which of you dug that out but reading Mark Twain's stuff is like reading Kurt Vonnegut's stuff as his candle flickered before it blew out ...

The greatest victory ever achieved by the soldiers of the united states, part1
The greatest victory ever achieved by the soldiers of the united states, part2

... written just about 111 years ago, and the string of 'greatest victories' hasn't let up since.

i'm feeling the same way myself these days, as well.

Posted by: jfl | Mar 17 2017 15:50 utc | 81

a link at takes you to Harvard U(!) who have published a scholarly treatise on "Fake" News. Moonofalabama made the grade as "Biased", ie, one of three "pages" on a "three page" scale, which I was unable to decipher for want of trying.

Posted by: ruralito | Mar 17 2017 15:53 utc | 82

I wouldn't be surprised to see another US attack on Deir Ezzor soon. This seems to be the only disputed area left in Syria. Deir Ezzor province has the Omar oilfields which seem to be the main oil producing region of Syria. No doubt Trump would like to add those oilfields to the US section of Syria.
ISIS are still making suicidal attacks on Deir Ezzor and Israel just tried attacking Syrian/Hezbolla forces at Palmyra that are about to start pushing towards Deir Ezzor.

Posted by: Peter AU | Mar 17 2017 16:05 utc | 83

@Hayder 75

Thanks for your thoughts. Three points:

a. The alliance between Israel and the Arab states, in particular KSA, de facto exists, if not officially. However, Arab coalitions are notoriously unstable, and their armies tend to quarrel more with each other than with the 'enemy' afaics. Both because of this and the strong international (China, EU, Russia) opposition, I don't see any war against Iran on the horizon.

b. Having several options is always good, but with Erdogan the unpredictable that he is, Moscow would be crazy to seriously distance itself from its sole reliable (or dependent) major ally in the region. They might play the 'equidistance' game, but...

c. Even if Trump himself doesn't(??) want more wars with US involvement, I don't see him as being strong enough to stand up to those who do. The budget plan is a clear statement, and of course both the MIC and the oil industry would be happy to see oil back at 150$.

Posted by: smuks | Mar 17 2017 16:25 utc | 84

@Peter AU 82
Not impossible, but so far it looks like both sides respect the Euphrates demarcation line: The US & SDF were on the verge of crossing the river to take Taqba, but didn't - even though it's a major strategic asset. What ground troops could be used to secure captured regions south of the Euphrates - Sunni militias under the SDF banner? Re-branded ISIS fighters?

Posted by: smuks | Mar 17 2017 16:31 utc | 85


If people wonder why Putin/Russia is soft on Israhell. ..soft on Saudi/2 Chechen- CIA wars....the above link
Suggests it's a Viper pit in Russia of Talmudic Snake Worshippers who are Gangsters.

Russia has business interests in the ME,....Not there to rescue Syria as some had hoped.

The USD system is on its last set of tricks. ...
The Money** in Russia and China are seeing an opportunity to capitalize/consolidate on what falls from Empires grasp.
Empire is bleeding out,....enticing offshore money to park itself in American banks. questions asked.

If it's to good to be true. is!,....Like Cyprus....the foreign money will be trapped and pillaged.

Posted by: Brad | Mar 17 2017 16:35 utc | 86

Question... (@jfl 77, and everyone)

I'm curious about the (afaik increasing) cooperation between Russia and some Gulf states, in particular Qatar and UAE. From what I read, there's been (talk of) some major business deals, and recently UAE was interested in Russian war planes.

What do you make of this? Is it Gulf Arab states 'playing both sides', to be prepared in case the tide seriously turns and Russia/China become the new guarantors of regional security - or are these attempts to 'bribe' Russia away from backing Iran, thereby isolating Tehran?

Posted by: smuks | Mar 17 2017 16:41 utc | 87

This is worth watching (English subs). The US apparently threatened Russia with a media war if they got involved in Syria.

"Forgotten Interview Reveals How Russia Really Views Obama's Legacy"

"An overlooked interview of Maria Zakharova with Russia’s 1 TV Channel, Russia’s Foreign Affairs Spokesperson, on a national Russian TV show has brought insight into the frustration Russia encountered in dealing with the Obama administration over the years. Zakharova suggested President Barack Obama will go down in history as one of America’s evilest presidents."

Posted by: Dean | Mar 17 2017 17:01 utc | 88

smuks 84

In Raqqa province, very little of value on Syrian gov side of Euphrates. US would control the provincial capital and bulk of the population. In Deir Ezzor the provincial capital is on the Western/Syrian gov side of Euphrates. US/Rand seem to be going for provincial capitals, enabling them to control population plus resources of those provinces. Raqqa, Hasaka, Deir Ezzor.

I see there is oil both sides of the Euphrates in Deir Ezzor, though main Omar fields are on the eastern side. US may end up just taking the Omar oilfields, but at the moment, judging by the way ISIS is giving up ground everywhere but continuing to feed fighters into the suicidal attacks on DE, US wants the provincial capital.

Posted by: Peter AU | Mar 17 2017 17:01 utc | 89

@88 Assuming of course that the local population has no objection to being 'controlled' by the US.

Posted by: dh | Mar 17 2017 17:05 utc | 90

Saudi Arabia wages a biologic war on Iraqis

(Geneva, Switzerland) – According to pan-Arab daily al-Sharq al-Awsat, Ms. Fadéla Chaib, World Health Organization’s (WHO) spokeswoman in an interview with United Nations Radio warned of a suspicious Saudi relief cargo sent to Iraq and delivered to Iraqi officials on Thursday morning.

Ms. Chaib pointed to the fact that most of these medications are probably toxic and expired, adding: “the Saudi officials prevented our inspectors stationed at the Riyadh airport to take necessary samples from the consignment and conduct field tests which is obviously mandatory under the international regulations but after long and tenacious discussions with Iraqi officials we could finally conduct laboratory testing. After performing meticulous laboratory tests and quality control we sadly realized that this shipment of Saudi medical donation is replete with either expired or counterfeit drugs.”

We sent a list of Saudi donated medications to our colleagues in U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), added Chaib , and the reply was quite shocking; out of 133 types of Saudi drugs sent to Iraq, 58 of them are considered in experimental stage and unverified pharmaceutically manufactured drugs.

“…the Saudi terrorist regime deems Iraqis as libratory mice. I believe all countries, UN and international bodies must not stand idly by while Poor Iraqis killed silently We cannot witness yet another humanitarian catastrophe,” said WHO’s spokeswoman.

... ok, maybe Ms. Fadéla Chaib is an iraqi ... but she is speaking as (WHO) spokeswoman. the un has managed at least to notice the saudi genocide in yemen, and has now allowed their spokeswoman to tear up the saudis ... can the geopolitical ground be shifting under the saudis' own shifty feet?

Posted by: jfl | Mar 17 2017 17:17 utc | 91

@86 smuks 'are these attempts to 'bribe' Russia away from backing Iran, thereby isolating Tehran?'

have no idea really, but that sounds like a possibility. the poor little rich boys in the gcc have nothing but money in the 'asset' column. well, petrocarbons, too, but they're stick rather than carrot and are worthless, when dealing with russia at any rate.

russia is not an empire. is self-sufficient. they won't get far if that's their game. that which doesn't kill them only makes them stronger ... and they've been getting stronger by leaps and bounds in the face of 'international' sanctions.

Posted by: jfl | Mar 17 2017 17:42 utc | 92

Interesting news about the supposed downing of an Israeli jet. I'll have to dust off one of my old tin-foil hat pipeline conspiracy theories about Israel's designs on Palmyra/Tadmur. They have always been particularly interested in that area because it would be a hub for Iraqi Kurdish oil transiting Syria through either Ar Raqqa or Deir EzZor to Palmyra to the northeast tip of Jordan. It also figures in a potential Leviathan gas pipeline running north, from Jordan through Palmyra to Tabqa/Ar Raqqa and then into Turkey at Kobane. There are already gas compressor stations / oil pumping stations near Palmyra and enough electricity to power them. Both Israel and Qatar need Palmyra and Ar Raqqa to be in 'friendly' hands for their respective pipelines. Deir EzZor is more important for Kurdish oil coming south to Israel, but that would also need a Palmyra pumping station for transit to Jordan.

Funny how these cities managed to be so important to ISIS. And the U.S. has pretty much announced that it is taking Raqqa for itself - through 'Arab Tribe militia' proxies, of course. The U.S. bases in Syrian Kurd territory also seem to be curiously close to where a Sinjar to Ar Raqqa oil pipeline or Ar Raqqa to Kobane gas pipeline would potentially run.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Mar 17 2017 18:13 utc | 93

@75 An "Arab Coalition" without Egypt is just Saudi/GCC masquerading. Sisi has been supportive of a secular Syria hence I doubt it would get involved in anything jeopardising the "Shia Crescent" out of fear of consequences for Sinai and Libyan border. Egypt has also cosied up to Russia for arms deals and share common views on Djihadism.
But truly Syria is becoming quite the powder keg..

Posted by: Lozion | Mar 17 2017 18:48 utc | 94

There was hope that a Trump administration would reduce global tensions, with an emphasis on fighting ISIS. In view of the recent developments in Syria, and the appointees in the new administration, I fear that we are on our way to more conflict and turmoil. starting a conflict is much easier than stopping it, and there is the law of unintended consequences...

Agreed...Trump is firmly on the dark side and more death and destruction are, unfortunately, likely what is in store for SW Asia.

Posted by: Temporarily Sane | Mar 17 2017 19:18 utc | 95

@93 Circe Well said. I too wonder what the hell Putin is up to and why he is silent on the US troop build up.

Posted by: Temporarily Sane | Mar 17 2017 19:21 utc | 96

The US cannot push Russia out of territory occupied by the Syrian government. The US has no leverage to use against Russia and Russia won't back down in the face of threats of military action as happened some months ago.
Same with territory occupied by US proxies. Russia cannot force the US out of these areas and as the US would not risk direct military action against Russian forces, Russia will not risk direct military action against US forces.
As with the Golan Heights, Syria will most likely have to wait until if/when the US empire collapses to regain these areas.

Israel/Syria/Russia. Elijah Magneir seems to have the best take on that. Has a few posts on his twtter account on the downing of the Israeli plane by Syrian air defences.

Posted by: Peter AU | Mar 17 2017 19:42 utc | 97

b is right. There's no more likelihood of the US succeeding in breaking up Syria (as before it Iraq) than the French in 1925, or Bush Iraq, or Biden Syria. The forces the US is planning to rely on are very uncertain as allies. The Syrian Kurds, the Sunni tribes. Their loyalty won't last long, nor the US loyalty to them, and they know it. The US can't last long there, without solid local support. That doesn't exist. Never mind oil pipelines, as Paveway recalls.

It doesn't matter to Israel: their fundamental interest is maintaining mayhem, not taking over territory, which could only lead to catastrophe for them. Their best border is what they have. Anything further forward would expose Israeli troops to defeat.

Posted by: Laguerre | Mar 17 2017 20:03 utc | 98

smuks 85

Two networks that have been maintained in ISIS territory is MI6's SOHR and France @24 network. Not sure if that means much, but both UK and France have maintained a presence in ISIS territory.

Posted by: Peter AU | Mar 17 2017 20:34 utc | 99


In view of the recent developments in Syria, and the appointees in the new administration,
I fear that we are on our way to more conflict and turmoil.

I read this quote you also posted in one of the comments; but not sure which number it was.
Anyway, there is no one to blame here but Trump himself. He is 100% responsible for his
choices including appointees.

Just to elaborate on my allusion to threat of war on China's doorstep. There are now several
reasons why war can ignite in SW Asia. Trump can't just threaten military action against
North Korea and expect China to sit back and allow this. I doubt China wants a war started
over North Korea, but Trump is definitely playing with fire threatening North Korea militarily.

However, that's not all he's done to rattle China's cage: Sending THAAD over to South Korea,
holding large-scale military exercises, the issue of Taiwan, U.S. and Japan's recent provocations
in the South China Seas, threats against China's militarized islands and bluster about defending
Japan while Japan is considering a more aggressive position in the region and behaving provocatively;
all this is stoking conflict with China.

If you put it in the context of escalation in Syria and Yemen; I have to wonder if Trump is trying to
start war on two continents, namely, World War III. Unintended or not, he will be solely responsible for
his words and actions and those of his appointees in the global theater unlike his increasingly reckless
hubris on twitter that has yet to get him into hot water.


Same with territory occupied by US proxies. Russia cannot force the US out of these areas...

Excuse me??? The U.S. or its proxies have no right to occupy any territory in Syria. Only the Syrian
government can determine who occupies what. Russian can't force the US out? The U.S. has no right
to be in Syria PERIOD, it's a violation of international law. Russia and its coalition are in Syria
invited by the Syrian government.

Posted by: Circe | Mar 17 2017 20:40 utc | 100

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