Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 11, 2017

Is There A New U.S. Syria Policy? Is There One At All?

What does the U.S. administration want with regards to Syria?

The elements were clear just a few days ago. The U.S. would split off the east and set up a Kurdish enclave which it would then occupy with the help of proxy forces. It would use the leverage to push for political regime change in western Syria. Israel would occupy another piece of the Golan.

While that looked somewhat favorable for the U.S. in the short term it was bad long term strategy. U.S. forces in the east would be surrounded by hostiles, cut off from the sea and under permanent guerilla attack from various opposing forces. But it looked at least like a viable short term way forward.

The new strategy, which may not be one at all, and the new U.S. commitment is all over the place:

As various officials have described it, the United States will intervene only when chemical weapons are used — or any time innocents are killed. It will push for the ouster of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria — or pursue that only after defeating the Islamic State. America’s national interest in Syria is to fight terrorism. Or to ease the humanitarian crisis there. Or to restore stability.

I don't get it. The cacophony of the last days does not make any sense. There is no viable endgame I see here that would be advantageous for Trump or general U.S. borg policy - neither internationally nor domestically - neither short term nor long term. Trump is now losing the "America First" followers he will need to win another election.

Due to the anti-Russian panic Trump surrendered to the neocons. Suddenly the borg is lauding him for a senseless escalation. The neocons want chaos but chaos is not a plan. There seems to be no plan that will help any cause.

There is no chance that the U.S. can split Syria from its allies, Hizbullah, Iran and Russia. While Russia is under pressure in Kaliningrad, Crimea and Syria it has lived through way worse situation and these have always increased its determination. I don't see how or why it would fold now.

Trump had an intelligent strategy when he won against Clinton. He deftly use his advantages. There are few advantages that he has and can play with regards to Middle East policy. Use pure military force? That's not a strategy, just tactical game play. Though the generals who run his cabinet may not be capable to see that. If he destroys Syrian then Lebanon and Jordan will also fall to radicals. Other countries will follow. Iraq would again throw out all U.S. troops. Would the U.S., or Israel, want that? Why?

Whatever one might say about Trump, he is not stupid. He must have some kind of plan.

Help me out. What are his thoughts behind this. Or are there really none at all.

Posted by b on April 11, 2017 at 10:54 UTC | Permalink

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Former prez of msf ( doctors without borders) stated that use of chlorine in bombing is not forbidden... and that even if the bombed chemicals belonged to the rebels it is a warcrime to bomb that knowingly!

Posted by: Mina | Apr 11 2017 18:48 utc | 101

he might not be stupid but i don't think he's particularly intelligent either. a few things that lined up:

- professional dumb hick nikki haley (who, by the way, is actually indian and from a sikh family so who knows if ingrained islamophobia is part of her "deal") and dick cheney's idiot brother tillerson started off the confusion. maybe hanging out with the saudis and israelis at UN HQ made her want to sit at the cool kids' table. tillerson is just an oil tard...but maybe he has other agendas. just doesn't seem that sharp to me.

- chief of meritocracy jared kushner took some time off from being the jewish patrick bateman to run around the globe with the same kind of psycho generals that are currently badgering his dad-in-law into stupid decisions. they went to iraq and israel and all the fun places that make you wish the US would just collapse already.

that and his public feud with bannon line up nicely and it seems obvious the globalists further infected his tiny little yuppie mind with nonsense and shiny weapons and tales of anecdotal tragedies that could have been averted if only the people had been bombed by us instead of shot by syrians. trump for some reason thinks this kid has a mind of his own ("well, he did score my hot daughter...noice!") and will definitely choose him over bannon cementing not only his closet globalism but his increasing tendency to crap on anyone who got him elected, even the mercers with their piles of cash and love of bannon's politics.

- the neocons/israel-firsters have lost patience now that the russians and syrians and their allies have started to reach a plainly visible victory. not only did they stage (probably with help from turkey) a blatantly fake attack and then had their media lackeys turn the Screech Factor to 11, but they've seen how easy it was and simply cannot help themselves. i guess they haven't gotten it out of their system with a full scale slaughter of gazans lately so they need to let off steam by grabbing golan and any other territory they can grasp in their slimy claws (and people thought west bank settlements were cheeky).

- "veterans today" is a bit of an odd site but they claim to have actually gone to the area and confirmed the (possibly chlorine but definitely not sarin) attack was a turkey/al nusra joint. they also claim that another is being filmed and planned with the white helmets and even a few guys from reuters nearby. if they're not full of it (the article had no pictures or video and was a bit rushed looking) then the next one will be the true "never again" moment that leads to boots on the ground.

- speaking of which, sure it's a TOTAL coincidence that flynn was sacked for his pro-diplomacy outlook vis a vis russia only to be replaced by an obvious lunatic like mcmaster. word on the street is he's blatantly cooking intelligence before showing it to trump and wants 150k troops on the ground by june for a full scale invasion. he's a real "jack d. ripper" type and looks like he loves the taste of netanyahu's bum. watch out for this psycho.

so tl;dr = lots of moving parts and it would resemble keystone cops if it wasn't so terrifying.

Posted by: the pair | Apr 11 2017 18:56 utc | 102

95 plus Trump's team is completely incompetent - they can't even get their Assad = Hitler stuff right.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 11 2017 18:57 utc | 103

Trump was grab by is pussy by the deep state, now we are in a deep shit :)

Posted by: Ops1 | Apr 11 2017 19:00 utc | 104

thanks b.. good question and many interesting responses to your question.

i think the empire is coming apart personally.. trump will be the fall guy, but it will probably hang in their for longer then his term, if he makes his term. the usa approach at this point seems very chaotic at best.. unfortunately all hell could break lose at any moment, thanks the war party that continues to guide the world into a ditch..

i don't believe trump and putin have got together to hatch a brilliant plan...that just doesn't ring true to me. i do believe we continue to be in trouble on the planet and this is just the latest installment we have to work thru. so much can go wrong, but one thing for sure - many folks are going to wake up fast, if at all..

Posted by: james | Apr 11 2017 19:00 utc | 105

As long as b ignores central role of Israel in the Syrian War, he will continue to be lost in seemingly chaotic developments, which to his defense is a bread and butter of MENA politics of global proxies.

What if chaos was the real goal of this war?

Already Israel is safe from Syria and Egypt and even of war ends will be safe for decades. If this war last another decade Iran will be exhausted, substantially weakened.

Of course this assumes US imperial dominance to continue while this is the biggest risk in the entire mess, what makes Bibi a drunken gambler with the fate of Israeli nation which may not even see celebration of 70.

Posted by: Kalen | Apr 11 2017 19:04 utc | 106

Trump has entered political survival mode. From here on I'd expect an erdogan style play all sides strategy. That means some concessions will be made to neocons.

Posted by: Alaric | Apr 11 2017 19:05 utc | 107

ToivoS@81 - "Oil and gas are not the drivers of US policy in the ME. Maybe it was in the 1950s but it is not today. A much simpler explanation is the infiltration of the neocons (i.e. Zionist) into US foreign policy circles."

Your second sentence contradicts your first one if I'm reading that right. I agree, there is little direct benefit to the US regarding access to oil and gas. But I would disagree the direct interests of the US in the Middle East have any bearing here. Everything happening in the Middle East (at least the view from under my tin-foil visor) seems to benefit Israel and Saudi Arabia (and Gulf cronies). Even the laughable claims of trying to "fight Islamic extremism" are not a rational goal when Islamic extremists are being funded IN ORDER TO keep the US there. Israeli and Saudi interests have an inordinate amount of influence on my government's foreign policy. I like to throw around the word 'treason' but that's just useless. When the US population is brainwashed into thinking Israeli and Saudi/GCC interests ARE US interests, then it seems like we (the US) are somehow vaguely serving our own interests there when in reality we have - or should have - none.

When some power-drunk delusional bastards think they're the world's cop, then you can manipulate them with little effort by providing a suitable evil criminal gang that must be eliminated. You know what suckers Americans are for demonization - it's almost cartoonish in it's effect.

Peter AU@76 - "Why not up through US controlled Iraq and into Turkey?"

I think that was the plan at one time, but the Saudis/Qataris are pretty much hated by Iraq today - something about funding head-choppers. I think they would have a much better luck running it up through Syrian head-chopperistan and whatever Rojava is called today. That's why I keep harping about the entire purpose of any 'government' in partitioned east Syria must have the authority to sign oil and pipeline contracts that supersedes the authority of the Syrian government. If that is not explicitly obtained, then the US. will simply assume it's there (like in Barzanistan) and have their fake partition governments sign anyway. And since the Saudis already have a gas pipeline and compressor stations nearly all the way to Jordan, it will be cheapier/easier to run it up through Syria. That also benefits Israel - they do not want to pay for an underwater Leviathan pipeline and want Leviathan gas intermingled with Qatari gas as far back in the pipeline as possible (BDS and all). Jordan will support both - it will enjoy cheap, plentiful gas either way. Jordan needs it for power generation.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Apr 11 2017 19:23 utc | 108


If previously posted please excuse

Posted by: ALberto | Apr 11 2017 19:36 utc | 109

Outlaw US Empire Imperial Policy hasn't changed; the clue is to look at the rest of the world situation, and there it's easy to see that Full Spectrum Dominance is still the #1 policy goal. By very openly declaring the Idlib incident to be a false flag with more expected, Putin torpedoed anything Tillerson might have said of substance, while Iran and Russia escalate their military efforts.

The US "strategy" reminds me of the fire bases they set up deep in VC territory and serviced via UH-1s & CH-47s that proved to be a total failure. The Empire lacks the required number of boots to properly occupy/pacify Syraq and eventually will be forced to completely withdraw; as with Vietnam, it's just a matter of time. But will US military openly stand and fight with Daesh and al-Ciada, or will such a choice provoke mutiny?

sTrumpet reminds me of W, but lacking the boots needed to fulfill the same policy goal mapped out decades ago--Yinon. IMO, at the moment, the real, dangerous, conflict point is Korea. And the wild card still remains China.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 11 2017 19:42 utc | 110

Suspect US warmongering may tone down quite a bit if military starts to take significant casualties. neocons seem to implicitly assume that US losses will always be trivial.

Posted by: Vollin | Apr 11 2017 19:43 utc | 111

Yet again the United States will be playing catch-up with the Russians and Syrians yet again. The Syrians are removing the last block to an offensive against Idlib - the populations of Al-Fou’aa and Kafraya are being exchanged for the populations of Madaya and Al-Zabadani, and rebel prisoners currently in SAG prisons. Once the exchange is complete, there'll be no reason for the SAA not to attack the rebels in Idlib.

From AMN:

The first batch of buses sent by the Syrian Government have arrived in besieged Madaya and Al-Zabadani, Damascus Now reported this afternoon.

The buses are prepared to transport more than 2,500 residents and militants from the besieged towns in rural Damascus to the Idlib Governorate, as part of the deal set forth by the Qatari and Iranian governments.

In exchange for the 2,500 residents of Madaya and Al-Zabadani, more than 1,500 civilians from besieged Al-Fou’aa and Kafraya will be transported from their villages to Damascus.

Once this exchange is made, the second phase of the agreement will reportedly begin with the release of rebels from the Syrian government’s prisons and the transportation of another 1,500 residents of Al-Fou’aa and Kafraya from jihadist-held territory.

The first phase of this agreement is expected to commence in the coming hours, a government source told Al-Masdar

Maybe Trump's policy for Syria just became irrelevant.

Posted by: Ghostship | Apr 11 2017 19:57 utc | 112

End quote

Posted by: Ghostship | Apr 11 2017 19:58 utc | 113

"Whatever one might say about Trump, he is not stupid."
Uhmm... I wouldn't bet on that.

Posted by: Steve | Apr 11 2017 20:00 utc | 114

this is my $.02

Trump is used to having brainstorming sessions to run his business and he welcomes many different opinions. However, he allows these people to speak to the press and they give a wildly varying position for the Administration.

He has allowed himself to be persuaded to have a strike on Syria but now it remains to be seen how he will deal with other gas attacks because you know there will be many. He has painted himself into a corner.

Posted by: mischi | Apr 11 2017 20:08 utc | 115

Posted by: ALberto | Apr 11, 2017 3:36:29 PM | 108

The correct date of that is 2012 according to Wikileaks.


Russia's intervention was not part of the calculus.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 11 2017 20:12 utc | 116

for the time being, I'm sticking to the theory that trump,
putin and xi are working together to discredit the neocons

what would force trump, putin and xi to cooperate?

...the realization that the neocons are the worst thing to come
down the pike since the Nazis?

that theory is intolerable --and very scary-- to our resident
kommissars... but in terms of human survival, it makes sense,
and that scares our kommissars even more


what can our kommissars do to eliminate the possibility that
trump, putin and xi are cooperating?

...keeping in mind that it ought to be something that is televised
live, like the second impact at the twin towers


Posted by: \flickervertigo | Apr 11 2017 20:22 utc | 117

"for the time being, I'm sticking to the theory that trump,
putin and xi are working together to discredit the neocons"

I don't see how that is even possible.

Where and how would this coordination have taken place? Every single bit of communication by Trump has been monitored by the US intellegence agencies. If there was anything remotely close to some sort of behind the scenes coordination with China and/or Russia Trump would be sititng in jail with wackjob Hillary in the Oval Office.

The much simpler explanation is:

1. Trump, like anyone who knows nothing about Syria, sees reports of the US funding and aiding jihadist terror groups. He makes completely reasonable comments about stopping those types of activities with his administration

2. Trump being a political outsider lacks the army of political lackeys presidential cannidates have when they take office

3. This lack of support has left Trump completley vunerable to the long time Washington players.

4. The neocons have relentless taken out Trumps political amateurs one by one to the point we are now where he is almost entirely surrounded by them

5. The neocons are now feeding him a continuous stream of fake intel about Syria and other hotspots around the world

I don't think it is because Trump is dumb. He simply is completely out of his leage in his ability to take on the long time Washington powers. Previous administrations have come in with an army of lackeys to defend the president and enforce the president's will upon the so called deep state.

Posted by: Kmart | Apr 11 2017 20:56 utc | 118

Kmart has never heard of showbiz

Posted by: flickervertigo | Apr 11 2017 21:00 utc | 119

Another 'Dossier' out
"The Syrian regime and its primary backer, Russia, have sought to confuse the world community about who is responsible for using chemical weapons against the Syrian people in this and earlier attacks," the dossier says. Another passage says Moscow's response to the April 4 incident "follows a familiar pattern of Russia's response to egregious actions; it spins out multiple, conflicting accounts in order to create confusion and sow doubt within the international community." The dossier also derided a "drumbeat of nonsensical claims" from Syria and its allies, a clear reference to Russia....

Posted by: Peter AU | Apr 11 2017 21:00 utc | 120

google: fake chemical attack Syria

About 7,070,000 results


the propaganda campaign isn't working so pretty good


Posted by: flickervertigo | Apr 11 2017 21:06 utc | 121

Since everyone is throwing their hat into the ring, here is my take:

US military has a thing about initiating conflict when world leaders are in close proximity. If you recall, at the start of the Georgia-Russia conflict, world leaders (including Bush and Putin) were gathered in China for the summer Olympics. Putin immediately left and returned to Moscow to administer to the engagement while Bush stayed behind to get in close with the women's beach volleyball team.

The decision to initiate combat was not made by Saakashvili alone. He was operating under the umbrella of the world's only super power, i.e., with US blessing. Putin knew that Bush knew, but put an overwhelming stop to all that. Never the less, combat was commenced at the time when world leaders were gathered together in China.

Now we have a situation in which the Chinese leader is visiting with Trump (all off the record) with the hope of coming to some kind of understanding perhaps, and US military initiates attack against Syria. There is a message US is sending here with regard to US intensions. The timing is not coincidental but intentional. I haven't put my finger on it.

And I don't believe Trump (at this time) is thinking about re-election. He's too busy hoping to make it through this first year.

Syria claims they were monitoring a warehouse thought to belong to ISIS. It observed increase in amount of traffic coming and going, into and out of said facility. It decides to attack and explodes CW being stored there.

But there was some thing else going on there important enough that the US thought it had to retaliate. I don't believe it was CW alone nor do I believe it was pics of innocent children.

It's not the act but the message it sends that one must discern with care. From what I've read, US intelligence is lacking in the ME in that much of what gets reported as classified is not much more that paper clippings. Little in the way of person-to-person contacts.

I don't know where I'm going with all of this but it appears that increased chaos is indeed the end game.

The people crying out for more strikes are delusional.

Posted by: thecelticwithinme | Apr 11 2017 21:10 utc | 122

Syria will be partitioned, it's simply not a viable country anymore, given Arabs' clannishness, susceptibility to foreign intrigue and the existing animosity between the various groups. Now is the time for the West to insert 50k soldiers into the ISIS country (the mooted 150 000 US soldiers is a pie in the sky - America doesn't have those) and start bleeding - and negotiating the contours of the partition. Russians already got what they came for, and now they wait the rest of the gang to stake their claims. People in the West should listen to what the King of Jordan - a very good personal friend of Putin - had said recently, namely that in Moscow's mind the issue of Syria is inextricably linked to the issue of Crimea and the Ukraine. He knows how it works. And Trump did 180 on Syria during his visit. The West will resist Syria-Ukraine linkage, but it can't do it forever. Russia simply won't agree to anything until that's achieved. What's good for the goose (Syria) must be good for the gander (Ukraine). The issues are similar, whatever others may say.
As for Trump, he wants to put his soldiers into the Syrian desert (Latakia, Tartus and Damascus are in the Russian domain), but can't because US public opinion is hostile to the idea. The latter can be gradually molded by the mounting hysteria, which is exactly what's happening.

Posted by: telescope | Apr 11 2017 21:13 utc | 123

I think the plan is to up the ante on what was proposed in backchannels during the transition/flynn debacle - supposedly they were trying to make a deal of good relations with Russia and sanctions removal in exchange for russia abandoning support for Syria and Iran. Of course, that failed.
So now I think the chem weapons pretense is like some face-saving 'opportunity', or politial excuse for putin to back out from supporting assad, and at the same time a thinly veiled threat, that more sanctions could come "if" its determined Russia facilitated or had some foreknowledge since they were "responsible" for ensuring that Assad's stockpiles were destroyed. They've been careful not to vindicate or blame Russia, to keep the door open, they are waiting for their next move.

Thats entirely ludicrous of course, but from the mirrored exceptionalist bubble that the US establishment operates out of, I'm sure its 'the dealmaker's most brilliant idea ever.

It seems they have more false flag attacks like this scheduled to occur as Putin stated, and as one could almost read from Mathis' nervous lips during his press conference today.

Posted by: motive464 | Apr 11 2017 21:20 utc | 124

"Help me out. What are his thoughts behind this. Or are there really none at all."

The common theme with Trump, Tillerson, Haley is that the US is prepared to act bilaterally. Self appointed sheriff. Above the UN.

President Trump‏Verified account @POTUS 7h7 hours ago
North Korea is looking for trouble. If China decides to help, that would be great. If not, we will solve the problem without them! U.S.A.

Tillerson.. "Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Monday that the U.S. will stand up to anyone who commits crimes against innocent people"

Haley .. “When the U.N. consistently fails in its duty to act collectively, there are times in the life of states that we are compelled to take our own action,”

Posted by: Peter AU | Apr 11 2017 21:24 utc | 125

...US is prepared to act unilateraly..

Forgot to check the spell checker.. maybe 'unilateraly' is not even a word?

Posted by: Peter AU | Apr 11 2017 21:28 utc | 126

As james said good question.

I think Trump works on hunches. I think he goes to bed with a question and wakes up with an answer. Israel Shamir wrote about the hunch aspect of Trump. Nothing is thought out logically. It is the opposite of the academic approach and appears to have yielded much success for him in his business and TV life. But international politics and economics is vast and requires years of study. There is no easy way. The people who really control things have covered up their moves and each one has to be uncovered through much research. Trump relies on people rather than books. He relied on Bannon for election strategy and was smack on. But now he is up against masters like Putin, Netanyahu and Xi Jinping and he is lost. So he goes back to ratings; what gets good ratings as a sort of feel-good factor like a drinker with his bottle, like a baby with its milk.

One thing that stuck in my mind about FDR was a long period of illness in the 1920s and how he devoured books, the better to prepare him for the massive changes he was about to bring in.

Posted by: Lochearn | Apr 11 2017 21:49 utc | 127

Here's my take ...

Trump allows the neocons to advise hime to strike and to celebrate the strike.
Slowly, the world comes to realise the Syrians did not have the chemicals and did not use them against their own people.
As this slowly is being realised, various others who are against Trump on the inside are exposed.
Then Trump can get up and say he was misinformed and the various traitors and mis-informers will have to go.
This would include a massive re-alignment of intelligence agencies (abolish the CIA).
It would also expose the media who have been complicit in their support of the strife for many decades.
All pre-organised with Russian help to identify a airbase that had no significant assets ...

Take all the piss-clowns down in one stroke.

Posted by: swmcl | Apr 11 2017 22:38 utc | 128

Interested reding for all!

Posted by: Ops1 | Apr 11 2017 22:43 utc | 129

"Kmart has never heard of showbiz"

Yeah, keep telling yourself that.

The reality is that God Emporer master 5d chess player is nothing more than an experienced businessman who is completely out of his element in Washington politics and is in the process of being eaten alive by the neocon establisment.

Trump's failure and capture by the Washington establishment is a perfect example of the folly of populists screaming for term limits. You get politcal amateurs who get chewed up and spit out by the unelected state actors who have had decades of experience.

Posted by: Kmart | Apr 11 2017 22:51 utc | 130

the Chinese and Russian are not concerned about the neocons' published ambition to establish "benevolent
global hegemony"...

and they aren't alarmed that the neocons apparently
intend to achieve their hegemony by killing anyone
who resists their benevolence


world leaders, according to Kmart's theory, are too stupid
to recognize mental illness when they see it and are threatened by it


Posted by: flickervertigo | Apr 11 2017 22:59 utc | 131

Trump seems to be keen on taking Intelligence away from civilians like Susan Rice, and letting those who know what a battlefield looks like advise him. He is essentially depriving foreign banks and multinational corporations to use the US for their Nation Building, i.e. to have us pay for it with our taxes, and use our soldiers as cannon fodder.

So he made a bold stroke. Some chats with the presidents of Russia, China, Syria, and the King of Jordan, for instance, but not our so-called allies in NATO. It also allows him to smoke out the snakes here and elsewhere. Of course for the trick to work, various leaders had to talk tough and condemn Trump’s action.

Websites which address some of these issues:

Posted by: Ann | Apr 11 2017 23:00 utc | 132

@89 or

thanks for the bullet list from the g7

@95 sb, 'Trump means the end of US influence if he combines an aggressive foreign policy with a trade war. Countries just have no reason left to ally with the US.'

we've all said that for some time now ... but if the g7 meeting means that the countries ... other than the poodles in the uk, of course ... are seeing themselves as the accomplices of the usofa in the crytal ball, and not liking it at all, then maybe 'Countries [have really, finally come to understand that they] just have no reason left to ally with the US'.

Posted by: jfl | Apr 11 2017 23:02 utc | 133

Posted by: Ops1 | Apr 11, 2017 6:43:27 PM | 128

Yep, it is a good read. It is like with old people where the brain has not adapted to what the body can no longer do.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 11 2017 23:05 utc | 134

can you establish benevolent global hegemony by killing anyone who resists?

so far, the neocon project has wrecked country after country, caused hundreds of thousands of needless deaths, and millions of refugees

where's the benevolence in that?


and don't people like Russians and Chinese have a right to
be alarmed? ...especially in light of the US's nuclear primacy policy, which is based on nuke first strikes so
overwhelming that Russia and china are unable to retaliate

it's no wonder, considering the neocpns' ambitions, performance and policies, that world leaders would cooperate to rid the world of neocons, is it?


Posted by: flickervertigo | Apr 11 2017 23:07 utc | 135

here's the consolation prize...

if humanity is stupid and crazy enough to exterminate itself in a fit on mental illness, then they are a failed species

that's kinda cold consolation, isn't it?


Posted by: flickervertigo | Apr 11 2017 23:12 utc | 136

I don't think Trump has a plan or a clue. Can't wait for the Armada to arrive at North Korea.

BARTIROMO: You redirected navy ships to go toward the Korean Peninsula. What we are doing right now in terms of North Korea?

TRUMP: You never know, do you? You never know.


TRUMP: You know I don't think about the military.


TRUMP: I'm not like Obama, where they talk about in four months we're waiting -- we're going to hit Mosul.


TRUMP: And in the meantime, they get ready and like you've never seen -- look, they're still fighting. Mosul was supposed to last for a week and now they've been fighting it for many months and so many more people died. I don't want to talk about it. We are sending an armada, very powerful. We have submarines, very powerful, far more powerful than the aircraft carrier, that I can tell you. And we have the best military people on Earth. And I will say this. He is doing the wrong thing. He is doing the wrong thing.

BARTIROMO: Do you...

TRUMP: He's making a big mistake.

BARTIROMO: -- do you think he's mentally fit?

TRUMP: I don't know. I don't know. I don't know him. But he's doing the wrong thing.

I think the shit is going to hit the fan. Maybe we will find out if the North Korean satellites that orbit over the US every day are actually EMP weapons?

But why not just attack Damascus while were at it? The neocons seem quite sure that "Russia will back down".

Posted by: Perimetr | Apr 11 2017 23:15 utc | 137

Why is escalation in Syria happening now?

Ie, why was the go-ahead given on the CW False Flag in terms of it's timing.

It could be as simple as trying to swing the French Election.

Pro NATO (Macron & Fillon) against Anti-NATO (Le Pen & Melenchon).

If either of the Anti-NATO candidates were to become President there's absolutely no doubt they would split NATO at the first sign of conflict with Russia - which could be imminent.

What better way to tie their hands than attack Syria until there is a forceful Russian military response, Article 5 is invoked, and Hollande goes along with it full boar as one of his last acts.

The hands of the next French President are essentially tied at that point - even better (from that point of view) if some French soldiers are inserted into the conflict and perhaps killed).

How could a new President possibly climb down from that policy position? How could Le Pen or Melenchon argue that France should not go along with the invoking of Article 5?

Would this really play well with the French voting public to be seen as "abandoning" long-held NATO allies in their time of need?

Surely it would torpedo their candidatures - unless of course they are the two in the run-off - which is possible.

Speaking to young French voters recently (in their early 20s) - they do not like Macron - they see him as a fake, a phony, a creep. They won't be voting for him - and they're from Paris.

Posted by: Julian | Apr 11 2017 23:18 utc | 138

@122 telescope.. some of what you say i agree with and some not!

@ 124 peter au.. i think what you point out is all a given.. the exceptional warmongering nation will not be deterred regardless just how effective the propaganda machine is... this is why i believe we are in a more dangerous place now then ever before. even when the propaganda is breaking apart, all parties opposed to the war party will have to remain fully prepared for more war..lousy actors playing a bad hand with the 'exceptional warmongering' status on shaky ground..

@132 jfl... those poodles are looking into something more like a crystal meth ball, then an actual crystal ball.. if they weren't so hooked on the crack, they would have been calling it quits on their bad habit of aligning with the exceptional warmongering nation, but alas - they are too addicted to the crack..

Posted by: james | Apr 11 2017 23:19 utc | 139

@106 alaric, 'From here on I'd expect an erdogan style play all sides strategy.'

i think viewing tee-rump as an american erdogan is quite apt. except that he's not as smart as erodogan, certainly not as observant or well-studied.

@127 swmel

that's quite an agile acrobatic performance. i think you're right as far as tee-rump's letting his 'apprentices' try 'their' plans and then blaming and firing those whose efforts don't work out. but trump works on the 31st floor. and he very well knows there are people at work on the floors above him - the bankers, in his business career - whom he must please in order to be allowed to continue. and his plan is to continue. business career, political career ... same thing.

Posted by: jfl | Apr 11 2017 23:40 utc | 140

The mainstream media more or less gave us an explanation of what the US cruise missile attack on Syria was all about - to be regarded as a 'player' in the Syrian theatre. That may seem trivial & petty on the surface, but think again, things are often not what they appear. The attack was a demonstration effect, which many US bombing attack often are, they are sending a message that the US deployment with the Kurds (YPG/SDF) in the North is the beginning of Syria's partition. This will be backed up by more heavy US military engagement, hence the cruise missile attack. That's why Russia responded so vociferously, they know this was not for show as Thierry Meyssan & others have suggested, it was just made to look that way because for starters the US has chosen not to escalate, but to warn. That is why they have followed up with threats of further attacks, because the first was just a taste, but the next will be more strategic & will target the SAA &/or vital state infrastructure. Partition of Syria is key, because at the heart of all of this is the dissolution of all Middle Eastern states so as to facilitate Israeli expansion.

Posted by: Vor | Apr 11 2017 23:43 utc | 141

Trump has told Fox that he's not going into Syria in an interview that airs in the morning. I hope that Tillerson got the memo before he talks to Lavrov.

Putin has publicly made the case for a false flag. The G7 boys have denied Tillerson the kind of wholehearted support he was hoping for by wanting an investigation before any punitive actions are taken against Syria or Russia. It's been put out there while the world is totally focused on events so there's no chance the MSM can ignore it. There will be no UN sanctioned attack on Syria or Assad without doing the dance. Unless Trump goes rogue.

The response to the Tomahawks was mostly positive in the West. Trump finally got some positive press and Russiagate was like it never happened. I think even Putin was perfectly happy to let him have one kick at the cat so he didn't look like a pussy. But the followup babel of tweets and sound bytes about everything from Russian involvement to the necessity of removing Assad was sure to up the ante. I think the Tillerson-Lavrov meeting is critical. I hope that Putin finds time to meet with Tillerson.

The business on the Korean Peninsula is the more worrisome of the two crises. Now there's two unpredictable leaders fixin' to kick ass and take names. There can't be any winners over there. It blows my mind that these vaunted generals have allowed Trump and the US to find themselves at loggerheads with so many enemies at once. I thought these fucking clowns went to West Point. It's been a hell of a ride from non-intervention to taking on half the world. And we only just got started.

There used to be a pool of seasoned diplomats to try to see if there were ways to avoid sabre-rattling and confrontation. But they're all gone. All that's left is generals and CEOs. And the generals seem to be in the catbird seat.

There's some that are still carrying water for Trump. They say the deep state has him snookered. Well, Trump is the deep state or trying very hard to be part of it. He owns this debacle. Lets hope he's not the fucking antichrist, I'm not up for getting raptured.

Posted by: peter | Apr 11 2017 23:49 utc | 142

I'll help you out. Syria doesn't matter. Whatever happened with the gas and its aftermath doesn't matter. Forget Syria.

Instead think about Iran. Trump is going to destroy Iran and in so doing will put an end to China's New Silk Road and will also take out a large marginal supplier of oil to the world market and so oil prices will recover. Now if Trump is thinking in such strategic terms I have no clue. It matters not.

Posted by: Rapier | Apr 11 2017 23:58 utc | 143

@136 perimetr

the talk of 'submarines, very powerful, far more powerful than the aircraft carrier' on their way towards north korea is interesting. the Syrian Tomahawk Strike review had an interesting line ...

This should also tell us how useful (or useless, as the case may be) our Virginia class submarines that carry only 12 Tomahawks will be – not very. It would have required five subs to carry out this attack and this was only a partial attack against a small airfield. Those who believe that our subs will constitute a significant land strike capability are mistaken. The subs are more likely to be used as snipers, taking out smaller, undefended targets. The retirement without replacement of our four SSGNs which each carried 154 Tomahawks may come to be viewed as a mistake.

... i wonder if those 'four SSGNs' (Ohio, Michigan, Florida, and Georgia?) is a done deal, or whether one or more might be sailing beneath waves toward north korea?

fresh from his 'triumph' and accompanying great reviews from his syrian cruise missle performance, is he about the try an encore, on a much larger scale, in north korea?

silly to point out that it's irrational. the play's the thing! think of the curtain calls for this one!

Posted by: jfl | Apr 12 2017 0:02 utc | 144

WH Lays Out Evidence that Syria was behind deadly attack...

"A senior administration official laid out evidence that the Syrian regime was behind the chemical attack in the country that killed at least 80 people last week."

"The official said intelligence gathered from social media accounts, open source videos, reporting, imagery, and geospatial intelligence showed that the chemical attack was a regime attack."

“I don’t think there’s evidence to the contrary at all,” an official who briefed reporters on background Tuesday said."


Intelligence and Military Sources Who Warned About Weapons Lies Before Iraq War Now Say that Assad Did NOT Launch Chemical Weapon Attack

"A critical piece of information that has largely escaped the reporting in the mainstream media is that Khan Sheikhoun is ground zero for the Islamic jihadists who have been at the center of the anti-Assad movement in Syria since 2011. Up until February 2017, Khan Sheikhoun was occupied by a pro-ISIS group known as Liwa al-Aqsa that was engaged in an oftentimes-violent struggle with its competitor organization, Al Nusra Front (which later morphed into Tahrir al-Sham, but under any name functioning as Al Qaeda’s arm in Syria) for resources and political influence among the local population."


UK-trained doctor hailed a hero for treating gas attack victims in Syria stood trial on terror offences ‘and belonged to the group that kidnapped British reporter John Cantlie’

"Dr Shajul Islam, from East London, published a video of the patients on his Twitter account after the attack. He said his hospital took care of three victims all with narrow, pinpoint pupils that did not respond to light."

"The University of London graduate was arrested and charged with kidnapping two journalists - Mr Cantlie and Dutch reporter Jeroen Oerlemans - in 2012 but was released after the trial collapsed when neither of the prosecution's witnesses were able to give evidence."


"The goal right now in Syria and the military campaign is focused on accomplishing that is breaking ISIS, destroying ISIS in Syria. This was a separate issue that arose in the midst of that campaign. The use by the Assad regime of chemical weapons and we addressed that militarily but the rest of the campaign stays on track"...

To sum this bunch of crap up - in less than 48 hours we are to believe the DOD's use of friggin social GD media proved beyond reasonable doubt that Assad chemed his own people in a town that is known worldwide as 'ground zero' for jihadi's, filmed by a doc who was brought to trial on terror charges (lest we forget about the UK/US financed White Helmets at $100M playing pretend propaganda chit) with the bad ass retired general now in charge of all of the militaries toys and humans stating as fact, FACT, this violation of U.S. law and international law was a one time deal b/c Assad is bad, bad, bad - I looked at the evidence and was convinced beyond doubt blah, blah blah F'ing bullshit!

Sick of it. Just sick and tired of all of it! I loathe being lied to and that SOB lied today. LIED LIED LIED.

My rant is done.






Posted by: h | Apr 12 2017 0:03 utc | 145

@143, i wonder if the retirement of those 'four SSGNs' (Ohio, Michigan, Florida, and Georgia?) is a done deal?

Posted by: jfl | Apr 12 2017 0:06 utc | 146

@141 "I hope that Putin finds time to meet with Tillerson."

Putin will certainly be able to find the time. It depends what message Tillerson has come to deliver. Putin will need to know that before he agrees to any meeting. Tillerson must first have a friendly chat with Lavrov. Putin will probably be listening in.

Posted by: dh | Apr 12 2017 0:06 utc | 147

No, there isn’t a new policy in place. The target has been the Iranian hegemonic ambition, not Assad. It’s the same policy as before. The plan is the same: break up Syria (and Iraq). The break-up takes places in stages and all the players attempt to force each other’s hand, hence the ever-expanding chaos. The north of Syria is going to be a part of the future Kurdistan, the east is going to be part of an independent Sunni state. Finally, the west was destined to shape the new Syria, which would include most of the country’s territory, but this plan was botched after the rise of Daesh and the Russian intervention in Assad’s favor. What I describe is a slight amendment on the borders proposed here; the blue-colored "Sunni Iraq" state between Baghdad and the (still current) Syrian border and the Kurds will have more Syrian territory than the map depicts. As you will notice, the map is American-made. That’s the plan, broadly speaking and Trump’s bombing of Assad’s airfield is another move in the framework defined by this plan.

Trump has chosen to use the opportunity offered by the sad event of last week, the actual origin of which is hotly debated, to unleash a warning strike to Iran. Israel is the only US ally which is not openly opposed to the plan I describe above, because it will guarantee to a large extent its security. In fact Israel wants an independent Kurdistan; such a country will provide strategic depth to Israel. The Turks don’t like it for obvious reasons, as well as the Saudis. The Iranians will be affected too by an independent Kurdistan, but they have not shied from the opportunity to extend their sphere of influence to Iraq and to cement and broaden their pre-existent influence in the Mediterranean.

A relevant digression: The reason the Saudis invaded Yemen is that they want to foil the Iranian attempt to establish strategic maritime connection between Iran and its Mediterranean proxies by controlling the entrance to the Red Sea. Remember that the plan is to have a Sunni state and Kurdistan between Shiite-controlled Iraq and Assad’s territories and Lebanon, so land is a no-go for the Iranians at this point.

The Israelis do not want Iran to have so much influence that the obstacles placed deliberately in its path will not foil its hegemonic tendencies. Of course, the Israelis need any Sunni hegemonic tendencies to be in check, too. Remember, the map provides for territorial interruption to the perpendicular Sunni axis starting from Turkey and ending at the Gulf of Aden (which is Kurdistan), as well as for an interruption of the horizontal Shia axis of the region (the Sunni state and Kurdistan). Apparently the Persians have been doing rather well for themselves in Syria and Trump was in all probability advised to grasp the opportunity to remind them that the reality that is taking shape in that part of the world will have to follow the provisions of the mentioned map. This account also explains why the Israelis were fast to declare that it was Assad’s Syrian Arab Republic which was behind the attacks with chemical weapons: the Israelis want to see the American plan implemented, not foiled. It also explains Russia’s gift to Israel: it was a message of the type “we respect your concerns, but keep out of this”. You see, if Israel accepted the Russian gift, it would de facto enter the current Syrian fray (as a beneficiary); this is not what Israel should want and this is also not what the US have planned for Israel (in order to keep it safe). For the US Israel and Palestine are a different matter. This is depicted in the map of the new Middle East as no radical border changes; by accepting Russia’s gift the Israelis would show themselves to be rather short-sighted, something which would cause the US to discipline it.

So there is no new policy, just a different way of moving the pieces on the chessboard - Obama's way was far subtler.

Posted by: Ron | Apr 12 2017 0:06 utc | 148

jfl 139

Trump is pleasing the bankers right now

At 1.40 in this video of his speech he actually says the bankers will be very happy.

Posted by: Peter AU | Apr 12 2017 0:21 utc | 149

There is no fundamental change in Syria or the Middle East. The basic plan is to break everyone up into small competing pieces. Divide and Rule. The essense of the Odin Plan and the long proven tactic of British Colonialism.

Trumps a puppet. Compromised and controlled asset of the neocon faction of the Deep State. He may have been forced to run or face losing all to the Rico Act due to his many mob connections. Surveillance in the 21st century means pretty much anyone is vulnerable, but Trump especially. Russians call it Kompromat,

In any case, we cant say his turn around is real or not. Perhaps just scripted. Said what he needed to say to get elected with help from Comey. Needed a valid reason to explain the turnaround other than gross deception which was anticipated , so we had this Putin connection which was manufactured and engineered by the Deep State , and Trump willingly went along calling for Putin to help get the emails and appointing some pro-russian cabinet members who would be sacrificed. All a sham. He does have Russian connections but its the Russian Mafia and not Putin. Some of these guys deal with Putin out of self preservation but all want him gone. Many are Isreali as well or have ties to Israel.

US is strongly allied with British and Israeli interests in the region. This alliance is so strong one may consider the trio as one entity. Its been that way since 1917 when we went to War for the British and the future Israel.

Now how does the script read for Syria in coming years?. Perhaps only Hollywood knows. In the long term Syria, Lebanon, Iran will be carved up with regime changes in Egypt and Turkey. Outside the region conflict with China over North Korea and Russia over Ukraine/Crimea is possible but I doubt anyone is foolish enough to allow escalation to WWIII

And obviously there are many more false flags to come since people refuse to believe in them unless MSM spells it out for them, and they won't.

Posted by: Pft | Apr 12 2017 0:27 utc | 150

@148, never stopped pleasing the banksters. been working for them his whole life long.

Posted by: jfl | Apr 12 2017 0:28 utc | 151

Theory 1: Obama deftly played the CIA/State and DoD against each other, limiting their lust for bloodshed and chaos in Syria by putting their proxies at odds with each other. Trump, in his clumsiness thought giving the DoD a free hand would speed up the Defeat of ISIS and make him look good.

But the CIA and Neocons kept pushing the Russia angle, and he's too petty a person to sweat out the false accusations, so he "does something."

Theory 2: The US has gone full North Korea, "rabid dog" mode where they just lash out violently at random to make it appear as if they have more power and control of a situation, when in truth they are at the mercy of many layers of facts and realities.

Posted by: Pespi | Apr 12 2017 0:33 utc | 152

We know little about the relationship between actors moving in the shadows and anything revealed is increasingly cartoonish and staged for public consumption. That Assad would use WMD at this point is as ridiculous as the damage caused by the supposed launch of 59 tomahawks. In that sense it looks like this is a wag the dog moment to distract from domestic issues. But there are also likely connections with recent events in Syria. IDF jets have been bombing Syria more lately for some reason and one or more jets may have been downed a few weeks ago. The progress against ISIS in eastern Allepo seems to have unnerved Assad's opponents who have been doing everything possible to draw key resources like Tiger Forces away from this front and down to Hama. Russian Kalibr cruise missiles were launched with little fanfare and no announced targets a couple of weeks ago (I think I have my timing right). The Russians never scream about their targets or successes with these cruise missile attacks, but it seems they reserve these for serious targets. If this weeks events were not a wag the dog distraction then something valuable certainly seems to have been lost or about to be lost to set off this reaction. Connecting sparse dots is difficult but the dots are there to be connected.

Posted by: Sad Canuck | Apr 12 2017 0:35 utc | 153

The Russians said in effect that the Tomahawk attack was not spur of the moment. Pre-planned. Also, the CIA and MOSSADS fake news empire chimed in right away with in unison coordinated planet-earth-enveloping uncritical chemical warfare porn. And already by April 7 the widespread obligatory kneejerk 'western' political demonization script/template chorus of "Assad bears responsibility".

This continues with legendary fake news battler D.J. Trump, and sidekick 'mad dog' Mattis and co telling very fake news lurid lies about the obviously orchestrated death by chemical event, performing fake news with the best of them.

Trump move is exactly opposite to his 45 tweets warning against war on Syria, and simultaneously he sours and jettisons a chunk of what was left of his original fanclub and tentative 'he's gotta be better than Killery' allies, making new friends among the swamp dwellers and war mongers.

A thread of hope to hang by is that Trump has been majorly manipulated and lied to and will realize it, resurrect some semblance of sanity, clean house, and get much better advice. On the other hand, he may be a manipulated manipulating certifiable monster from the swamp....

Posted by: canuck | Apr 12 2017 1:14 utc | 154

#152 Canuck

I would definitely agree that the Jihadist offensives in Southern Idlib/Northern Hama (including the associate False Flag) and Dara'a too are attempts to divert SAA's attention from Eastern Syria. The US buildup near Tanf as well as the one near Rakka is further supporting this theory. The Islamic State is crumbling and now has a fixed expiry date, and the US is readying to replace their puppet that occupied most of Eastern Syria with verious proxies like SDF and NSA as well as American troops themselves. SAA and allies hopping in and liberating this area would mess up their occupation and negotiated partition plans big league, so that false flag was no doubt a rush job.

I don't think that the Tomacrap attack on the SAAF airbase that launched the missiles that down one or more Israeli Planes a couple of weeks earlier was a locational coincidence either.

Posted by: Quadriad | Apr 12 2017 1:19 utc | 155

Cernovich, the guy who broke the Susan Rice unmasking story has written article. Don't know about the veracity of 150,000 troops but the personnel in charge of foreign policy is pretty disturbing. You might say we're back to the future.

Posted by: Musburger | Apr 12 2017 1:33 utc | 156

What if Putin is playing with trump and the neocons?

The greatest benefactor of trump's idiotic strike was trump followed closely or even lead by Russia.
Trump just spent 59 tomahawks and $100 million to allow Russia to test its EW tech. Testing that tech is critical to Russia and how else would you test it.

It's just a thought because nothing is making complete sense to me. I mean if he went neocon, why hit a mostly abandoned air base after warning Russia? That won't fool them and they'll want more.

Posted by: Alaric | Apr 12 2017 1:35 utc | 157

@151, other than talk, North Korea hasn't "lashed out at" anyone.

Posted by: ruralito | Apr 12 2017 2:13 utc | 158

@156 ruralito
Well they rhetorically threaten SK with their missiles, and both sides trade commando raids, but people dont like to talk about that. What I mean is that Trump is displaying his lack of power, his lack of agency, in making aggressive gestures that are ultimately meaningless

Posted by: Pespi | Apr 12 2017 2:36 utc | 159

@ Pespi "What I mean is that Trump is displaying his lack of power, his lack of agency, in making aggressive gestures that are ultimately meaningless"

Why do you say this?

Posted by: Peter AU | Apr 12 2017 2:41 utc | 160

@73... very well laid out and persuasive. key Ruussian comentators noted that Trump READ his announcement.. in other words, he is following instructions. In the campaign when he did that he started losing support. Ditto today.

@91... I saw the same post... when a guy like that comes unhinged, you have to KNOW the back room boys are brewing up a really stupid move.

So what is 'Trump' doing? in his mind he is following through on the idea he flouted about while it was stupid to go into Iraq, once in they should have stayed to get the oil... all the oil. Getting that oil out of Iraq-Syria is going to mean a very long term presence & a pipeline. Turkey being what it is, The US wants an alternative without fighting Iran in Hormuz. A pipeline through Syria that TERMINATES ON THE SYRIAN COAST solves several problems at once.

This is the play I think the Big Boys are going for.

Posted by: les7 | Apr 12 2017 2:47 utc | 161

stupid is as stupid does

Posted by: DM | Apr 12 2017 2:52 utc | 162

"Israel’s Defense Minister has claimed, adding he would “not be surprised” if “somebody” eventually assassinates one of the fundamentalist organization’s most ardent supporters – the president of Iran."

When hints like this are being dropped... you gotta know the black on black boys are being openly green-lighted to re-arrange the global power structure. This is the way that the US hopes to break the Russia-China-Iran linkage? Is it a hint that others in the chain might face similar actions if they prove to be less than compliant??

Posted by: les7 | Apr 12 2017 2:58 utc | 163

If Trump thought the POTUS actually ran the country...then he is/was stoopid.
The "plan" is the same it has been for a long long time . "Full Spectrum Dominance" The only reason they do not start wars is because for whatever reason .. it does not suit them. Logistics ...Population Control ..whatever. They do not even need to manufacture consent nowadays as the general population are deaf dumb and blind. Remember that Institution called The United Nations. Remember they had all these rules about War and Sovereignty... Too bad the US issues their pay checks.... Forget Russia and China. They are just players in the same game. Seriously... with all the shit the US and its bitch allies carry on with... they could have just come out and said "Our alliance... Russia China Iran Syrian (Nth Korea)... are telling you to get the fuck out of Syria.." but noooo they are bitch'd out like the rest of us.I said last year " War in Syria" OK I was 12 months out... US Middle East War Tour Commencing this year in Syria. Book Now at Ticketek.

Posted by: Mithera | Apr 12 2017 3:04 utc | 164

@161 les7.. typical mafia talk with the zionist regime.. does anyone other then me wonder why iran is constantly singled out with sanctions, threats and etc etc, in spite of the fact they are much more civilized then that barbaric whabbi fiefdom saudi arabia? none of it makes sense, unless it has something to do with power and money and keeping people down..

@162 mithera.. would be nice if the war happened on us soil.. anything to wake warmonger central up..

some of the us state daily press briefing from">">from today..

alice in wonderland stuff.. just say it is so, and it is so!

"QUESTION: Hi Mark. Thanks. I hope you’re feeling better. Doesn’t sound like you are 100 percent yet, but get well soon. Come back.

My question – I have two. They’re very disparate questions, though. The first is on Syria and the Secretary’s comment at the press avail this morning, when he said, “I think it is clear to us all that the reign of the Assad family is coming to an end.” When I read that, I was reminded of the previous administration saying that President Assad’s days are numbered back in August of 2011 and continuing to say that his days are numbered for the next 1,983 days, if my math is correct. And I’m wondering if, when the Secretary says that now, does he – is he saying – he’s clearly referring to some kind of new strategy, or it appears to me that he should be referring to a new kind of strategy that the U.S. is going to use in terms of Assad. And I’m wondering is that simply the airstrikes that were conducted that the previous administration opted against doing, or is there something else, and what is it? What would that something else be?

And then my second one has to do with Hungary. And I’m just wondering if you can add anything to what Deputy Assistant Yee – Secretary Yee said in Hungary today about the signing of the bill on the Central European University.

MR TONER: Sure. Thanks, Matt. And thanks for the best wishes of my health.

First of all, with reference to Secretary Tillerson’s remarks earlier today, look, we obviously have no interest in seeing Assad remain in Syria over the long run. I think the world is with us on that. And last week’s barbaric chemical weapons attack in Idlib province only underscored the fact that in the eyes of, frankly, most people around the world, this is a leader who has lost legitimacy and has killed and continues to kill hundreds of thousands of his own people.

I think in terms of the strategy question, Secretary Tillerson was also clear – and others have been clear – that we’ve got a dual focus: One, without doubt, is focused on destroying ISIS. That was made crystal clear in the D-ISIS ministerial that took place a few weeks ago, and that remains this administration’s priority. But I do think you’ve seen or are seeing a recognition that we need to focus on moving forward with the political process in Geneva and also trying to strengthen, or de-escalate I guess, the violence in Syria. I don’t have anything to offer in terms of new strategies yet. I think those are still being discussed and new methods to approach that. I would just say that we’re committed to the Geneva process, to a political process that leads to a political solution to Syria. That has not changed. One of the things --

QUESTION: But why does – why does --

MR TONER: Go ahead. Go ahead. I’m sorry. Go ahead.

QUESTION: Why does he say it’s clear to all of us that the reign of the Assad family is coming to an end? Why is it clear?

MR TONER: Well, again, I think that he’s simply stating the fact that Assad is a leader in his own mind but not for the Syrian people and that his most recent actions only solidify the fact that he needs to leave and cannot govern Syria. But ultimately, Matt, that has not changed our belief that this is a process that needs to be run and decided on by the Syrian people.

Now what was clear – and you know this from last week – is we have redlines. And one of those redlines is the use of chemical weapons. And this administration carried out a very measured strike on the facility and the aircraft that carried out that strike on Idlib last week. And that sends a clear message that we do have redlines and will enact those redlines."

Posted by: james | Apr 12 2017 3:11 utc | 165

proper link.. messed up the one above

Posted by: james | Apr 12 2017 3:12 utc | 166

Just watched the Alan Jones - Pieczenik video. @91 posted the link but worth posting it again. A must watch.

All the signs are that the US is going to war, even before seeing that video.

Yesterday I read something about NK ships loaded with coal being turned away from Chinese ports, some partly unloaded, some still fully loaded. Lately China has increased its coking coal imports from the US from virtually zero to around 400,000 tons. Off memory I think per month. NK was one of China's main sources of coking coal - anthracite.
If the report is right on the loaded NK ships being turned away, directly after Xi's meeting with Trump, then China is trying to appease the US in the hope that they will not attack NK.

It looks very much like the US has already made the decision to attack Syria, Russia or no Russia.
If that is the case, the best thing that can happen now is that the US also attacks NK and draws China in.
If the US attacks only Syria, then China might try and ride it out for awhile hoping for the best.

But then maybe this is all just a massive psyops operation with everyone playing their part to perfection. Including the very direct talk that is coming from the Kremlin and Russian Mod in the last 24 hours and the doubled cargo flights by Russia and Iran into Syria that doubled directly after the US attack.

Posted by: Peter AU | Apr 12 2017 3:28 utc | 167

@ James

This setting Obama's red lines again. Again chemical attacks is the redline.

Putin has stated - Russian intelligence knows that chemicals have been moved into Syria and and that there will be more false flag chemical attacks soon.

Most likely very soon I would think, while the current whitehouse/MSM narrative is still running/fresh.

Posted by: Peter AU | Apr 12 2017 3:46 utc | 168

pair @ 101 says
nikki haley (who, by the way, is actually indian and from a sikh family so who knows if ingrained islamophobia is part of her "deal")

This is a gratuitous insult to all Sikhs, and it clearly demonstrates your ignorance and your intellectual laziness
Sikhs have had a serious political problem with Hindu government, even including the assassination PM by her Sikh bodyguard, and subsequent violence. There was conflict between Muslims and Sikhs in the Punjab in 1947, but that was a problem caused by the partition, and it is a distant memory today.
Perhaps you could provide evidence for your insult, if not then an apology is in order.
And by the way, there are at least ten times as many Sikhs in USA as there are in Pakistan. Likewise in Canada.
And ignorant USA citizens have murdered Sikhs mistaking them for Muslim. So let's face the reality of Islamophobia, it is the USA that is violently prejudiced, not Sikhs.

Posted by: mauisurfer | Apr 12 2017 3:54 utc | 169

@166 peter au.. one thing is certain.. the people speaking for the usa and the msm are both concluding without proof assad is gassing his own people...i suppose the idea is if you repeat a lie often enough, it will stick..

we've seen what a lying propaganda outlet like the white helmets can do with the millions they get from us/uk... i'm sure repeating ad nausea what your red line is, makes you look like a screaming lunatic to any objective observer, but these exceptional folks seem to know no bounds.. i guess it is part of the qualification for the job..

yeah, i did read all that about putin mentioning probably another one would get pulled.. if the us is going to paint red lines, i guess they will provide the fodder to get their war party working too.. we'll see how it goes.. i like to believe enough people woke up with the lies that led to the war in iraq, but maybe i underestimate the ignorance of the common person in the western world and how they can be duped regularly without fear..

Posted by: james | Apr 12 2017 4:15 utc | 170
"These heinous actions by the Bashar al Assad regime are a consequence of the past administration's weakness and irresolution," Trump said. "President Obama said in 2012 that he would establish a 'red line,' against the use of chemical weapons and then did nothing."

Trump regime has now set red lines.

Posted by: Peter AU | Apr 12 2017 4:37 utc | 171

@122 Actually Syria is still a very functional country - IF those outside players would stop paying for invasion and destruction. The Kurds are able to work out some kind of limited autonomy - They say so repeatedly and demonstrated the same for all the years of this war. Likewise the Druze. The Sunni have voted repeatedly for Bashar, and 1450 towns & cities have a reconciliation settlement with the Government.

Syria, as far as Syrians are concerned, is still a viable state.

Does it have hope? That is a different question altogether... one I have trouble envisioning in the near term.

I believe that the Western goal is a pipeline through Iraq and Syria to bring oil to Europe. Why they want the pipeline is explained below. To that end both Iraq and Syria are being - defacto- partitioned, with the Kurds as the ones the West will back to control both the oil and the land it traverses to the Syrian coast. The pipeline was to go through Turkey, but no more. Likewise US long-term trust in the Sunni bloc - led by the Saudi's is temporary. With Assad gone, the Kurd-Alawite bloc will be compliant and dependent - perfect for control of the pipeline.

So why the pipeline? A War game in 2007 dramatically demonstrated that The West/ US in 2007 could not confront or control Iran without loosing control over Hormuz. Iran had the upper hand. At the time the US produced 7 million of the 16 (mbpd)million barrels of oil it needed daily. Canada added another 2 mbpd. The oil pipeline was the way around that bottleneck both for Europe and the US. At the time Obama started the US still needed gulf oil. One pipeline would not have been enough to meet all Western needs - so therefore Obama went for the pipeline (regime change in Syria) and did a deal with Iran Now the shale revolution has changed the equation. The US gets between 9-10mbpd (could go to 11) of it's own oil and Canada supplies another 3 (4 once the pipelines Trump signed for are finished) towards a total of 15 needed daily (consumption fell during the not-yet ended recession). So the US is gulf oil free - but not yet free to let Europe suffer the closure of Hormuz.

The pipeline will free Europe of it's dependency on gulf oil and/or Russian oil. It will keep Europe firmly under US control, dependent on US dollars, and military control.

It also frees the US to confront Iran. The Big Boys + Neo-cons are not so happy. They want to break the Russia-China-Iran linkage that Obama's neo-con's triggered with the coup in Ukraine. The pipeline enables a the confrontation with Iran because with a pipeline, Europe still gets it's oil. Closing Hormuz will only hurt - wait for it - China (and India somewhat although they just started cutting Iranian oil imports).

This is why the US has put the entire 82nd airborne on the ground in Syria, is building long-term bases (outside of Turkish control), and will move (once Assad is gone) to co-opt the Alawites to join with the Kurds in setting up their own functionally autonomous regions.

They will say they want Syria to be undivided, but until Israel and Turkey and Iran and Russia agree to leave, the US won't leave. Defacto partitioning.

If Putin and Iran cave on this then it is all only a matter of time.

Posted by: les7 | Apr 12 2017 4:41 utc | 172

Trump going on the offensive everywhere at the same time, reminds me of:
- "Those who dare, win."
- “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

The MIC has learned not to wait for potential public opposition to their fraudulent causus belli:
- Iraq WMD ... multi-year "investigation" (really "setup"), multi-million person global protests
- Syria WMD 2013 ... multi-month discussion, ultimately debunked
- Downed airliners ... multi-month investigations, widely doubted
- Syria WMD 2017 ... 1 day turnaround to strike

Posted by: dumbass | Apr 12 2017 4:45 utc | 173

Dumbass @ 50

For the sake of brevity, I did skip a number of concepts along the way.

I should have qualified that politics has no bearing on the quality of life of the population in Western industrialised countries. This is because the political process is hemmed in by a monetary system that supersedes it and trumps it.

Obviously this is not an event. It is a process. And a long one it is too. It spans generations.

Effectively, the whole constructs hinges on 3 pillars. The first pillar is to impose one unit of account. The second pillar it to bestow ownership of the unit of account to a 3rd party. The third pillar is to run fiscal deficits.

Taken together, these 3 laws will, in time, divest the individual of all wealth. Ergo, we have compromised the right of individuals to private property.

As Western governments routinely run deficits, the owner of the unit of account supplies the sums required to make up the difference. The presumed independence of the central bank should mean that it should rein in or at least moderate the government's appetite for perpetually increasing debt. But they don't. Quite the contrary, the central bank gladly disburses ever greater sums in order to make up the difference and more. This dynamic is amplified by the creation of entities that have presumably honourable and humanitarian roles like the IMF or the UN for example. People forget but the UN in particular, are a parallel unelected government. That is because not only are the UN financed by sovereign taxation but they are also trying to arrogate to themselves the ability to impose laws and legislation upon the masses globally. The IPCC is a good case in point for example.

In our monetary system therefore, the diminishing marginal utility of debt means that fiscal pressure MUST gradually increase. Fiscal pressure increases via the generation of legislation. As fiscal and legislative pressure increase, you monopolise the economy by raising barriers to entry. As you do that, you abdicated political power to interest groups AND you drive off-shoring.

Hence, in time, this monetary system guarantees a number of outcomes.

The first outcome is that government must gradually go from initially closing an eye on malfeasance to gradually tolerating it to finally aiding and abetting it and, finally, actually perpetrating it.

The second outcome is that in time, this monetary system guarantees high unemployment and the devastation of the middle and lower classes.

The third outcome is that as fiscal pressure reaches the arithmetical limits of collection, governments must face off against the people.

Finally, as the masses are about to revolt, government has only stark choices left. One choice is to confront the owner of the unit of account. The other choice is to embark on adventurism.

In the Western economic context, individuals may have freedom of movement, freedom of association or the freedom to choose their occupation. But whatever one does, they must do it using the unit of account imposed by the state. For those that believe they can circumvent the state by engaging in barter, yes you can. But only at the margins. If you try to barter anything that has a title deed attached to it, government will demand its pound of flesh.

Once again, not all countries are at the same stage of this dynamic. All countries are on the same trajectory. But some are at the tip of the spear and some are at earlier stages of the process.

Italy and Greece are at the leading edge of this dynamic of course. Fiscal pressure in these countries is such that some people are actually walking away from assets because they cannot hold on to them. Inheritance is a particularly expensive thing to accept or refuse. In either case the costs are exorbitant either through loss or through taxation rendering the asset useless either way.

The USA is bringing up the rear on this dynamic. Canada and Australia are somewhere in between.

Posted by: guidoamm | Apr 12 2017 4:58 utc | 174

Lea @ 75

This is not at all a natural process.

The monetary system is imposed. There was no referenda, nor was there any debates or consultation. Nobody ever came along to inform the populations of the pros and cons of implementing one system over another.

The monetary system was simply imposed.

The process is arithmetical and government, aided and abetted by the central bank (The Fed), manipulates the system thus ensuring the outcome.

See my post 172

Posted by: guidoamm | Apr 12 2017 5:02 utc | 175

I read sometime ago, that since the drop in oil prices, a huge number of Shale wells have been drilled and capped. These can be brought on line very quickly. I believe that due to the low oil prices all oil storage facilities are virtually full (that would need an up to date check). No need to wait for the pipeline from Canada to be completed. The US is strategically self sufficient in oil.

Posted by: Peter AU | Apr 12 2017 5:07 utc | 176

Re les7 post @ 170

China would be hardest hit if gulf oil was shut down.
US strike on NK? Provoke a reaction from China that will give cause to blockade shipping to China?
China backing NK WMD or whatever bullshit can be put out after some reaction from China?

Posted by: Peter AU | Apr 12 2017 5:31 utc | 177

@167 mauisurfer

you're right. there are 'hindus' ... and there are 'sikhs'.

compare tulsi gabbard and nikki haley.

insofar as it is possible to separate their public personae from themselves.

in politicians the two meld so as to become inseparable, anyway.

according to wikipedia tulsi's father is a samoan catholic, and her mother is a hindu of european descent.

according to wikipedia 'Haley was born Nimrata Randhawa in Bamberg, South Carolina, on January 20, 1972, to an Indian American Sikh family. She was "always called Nikki, which means 'little one,' by her family." Her parents, father Ajit Singh Randhawa and mother Raj Kaur Randhawa, are immigrants from Amritsar District, Punjab, India.'

tulsi seems to have seen through the 'fog of war', nikki seems to be huffing and puffing and blowing more up.

i think both of their attitudes have more to do with their respective socio-economic conditions and life experiences than with their 'religious heritages'.

Posted by: jfl | Apr 12 2017 5:55 utc | 178

@175 p au

if things do blow up in nk/china, china will find itself in the same sanctioned, undeclared war that russia finds herself in. there are growing bourgeois populations in both countries who will whine and cry ... but the majority in both understand very well the consequences of capitulation to the usofa.

the bourgeois population of the usofa outnumbers the bourgeois populations of russia and china combined and, unaffected by the sanctions on russia, they will roll over and die without their cheap goods fix from china.

forcing the two nations even closer together would be par for the brain-damaged 'leadership' of the usofa.

how fast can pipelines be built between russia and iran to china? we'll be amazed to find out, if the tee-rump looses the cruise missiles on north korea.

Posted by: jfl | Apr 12 2017 6:05 utc | 179

LOOK AT THE NEW BOSS SAME AS THE OLD BOSS.. Retired General Smedley Butler stopped the coup d'état during the Rossevelt regime in the 30's . No one was jailed or incarcerated for that plan. Further more in his book he simply states all the USarmy has been is hired muscle for their racketeering . Al Capone even called them out . The only difference from me (Capone ) and the others is they use legal ways to racket.
Then their is the famous recent words of RetGEN Wesley Clarke . Seven countries in 5 years. So they did not factor in Putin's NIET and the honourable Syrians people in their fight for their lives.

Posted by: falcemartello | Apr 12 2017 6:06 utc | 180

:Peter AU @158
Why do I say he's trying to appear aggressive but doing nothing of substance? Because he shot 60 cruise missiles at an airbase that was made functional again in less than 24 hours. It was a show, maybe designed to get the neocons off his back, salve for the slavering idiots who want total annhilation for Syria get nice paycheques from Saudi.

This was linked on SST: Obama removed General Mattis from command because he wanted to attack Syria
"mauisurfer said...
the idea of attacking Syrian military infrastructure was not something dreamed up at the last second by the Trump administration. Its author was General James Mattis when he was U.S. Commander in the Middle East in 2013 and was removed for promoting policies that contradicted President Obama’s desire to withdraw from war operations in the region, taking down the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now Mattis is the Secretary of Defense and the cruise missile attack on the Shayrat air force base comes from his playbook.

mauisurfer said...
the idea of attacking Syrian military infrastructure was not something dreamed up at the last second by the Trump administration. Its author was General James Mattis when he was U.S. Commander in the Middle East in 2013 and was removed for promoting policies that contradicted President Obama’s desire to withdraw from war operations in the region, taking down the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now Mattis is the Secretary of Defense and the cruise missile attack on the Shayrat air force base comes from his playbook.
"Igor Morozov, member of the Federation Council Committee on Foreign Affairs, reminded the Solovyov audience that the idea of attacking Syrian military infrastructure was not something dreamed up at the last second by the Trump administration. Its author was General James Mattis when he was U.S. Commander in the Middle East in 2013 and was removed for promoting policies that contradicted President Obama’s desire to withdraw from war operations in the region, taking down the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now Mattis is the Secretary of Defense and the cruise missile attack on the Shayrat air force base comes from his playbook."

Posted by: Cresty | Apr 12 2017 6:19 utc | 181

Well doesnt these escalations and reverse of foreign policy show that Trump is stupid what does? Just let it go this man is a neocon that will not stop his newly started war until thecregime change.

Posted by: neocon butcher | Apr 12 2017 6:37 utc | 182

Be a laugh if it wasn't so serious. Sean Spicer clearly states it is the US goal to destabilize Syria and destabilize the region. Video.

Posted by: Peter AU | Apr 12 2017 7:20 utc | 183

@ b There is a cohesive line on the stream of propaganda headlines coming from the whitehouse. No ambiguity.
President Trump on Tuesday said Russia is backing an "evil person" by supporting Syrian leader Bashar Assad.
"Putin is backing a person that's truly an evil person," Trump said in an interview with Fox Business Network's Maria Bartiromo set to air on Wednesday.
"And I think it's very bad for Russia. I think it's very bad for mankind. It's very bad for this world," he said.
Trump further argued that Assad's use of chemical weapons on civilians makes the Syrian leader "an animal."
"But when you drop gas or bombs or barrel bombs -- they have these massive barrels with dynamite and they drop them right in the middle of a group of people. And in all fairness, you see the same kids -- no arms no legs, no face. This is an animal," Trump said.

Posted by: Peter AU | Apr 12 2017 7:35 utc | 184

Peter AU

Indeed, there is no doubt at all, Trump is an idiot and he is set on war perhaps not only on Syria but also North Korea, and perhaps Iran and in the longer run Russia.

I wonder what made his quick reversal though, anyway, it shows he got nothing but words and is easily moved. 'I hade to bomb because I saw dead syrian children and it broke my heart bla bla' yeah right sigh.

Posted by: Anon1 | Apr 12 2017 7:48 utc | 185

Seems that everything is clear now. No more illusions.
Trump is sold out to Israeli lobby (aka Mossad's agents)

Posted by: inmyopinion | Apr 12 2017 7:51 utc | 186

Listened to german radio on assad=hitler, emphasis on the disgusting idea that jews, homosexuals, political opponents killed bi hitler were not "his own people", i.e. germans
Listened to french gov radio on the same: they skipped the part "killing his own people" of the comment of the us admin and did not mention it at all, and just said he apologized after he made the comparison...

Posted by: Mina | Apr 12 2017 8:01 utc | 187

Julian on French elections
i agree
the canard enchaine two weeks ago had an article about people from both left and right major parties asking the conseil constitutionnel if there was any possibility to postpone the election, such as someone has a burn out etc... it is certainly in Hollande's mind

Posted by: Mina | Apr 12 2017 8:11 utc | 188

The nuclear arms race is over and Russia has won

Posted by: somebody | Apr 12 2017 8:23 utc | 189

@ Posted by: Mina | Apr 12, 2017 4:27:42 AM | 188

Given the statements, expertise and contibutors, worth posting in full, IMHO.

Intelligence and Military Sources Who Warned About Weapons Lies Before Iraq War Now Say that Assad Did NOT Launch Chemical Weapon Attack
Posted on April 11, 2017 by WashingtonsBlog

Former U.N weapons inspector Scott Ritter warned before the start of the Iraq war that claims that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction were false.

Sunday, Ritter wrote that current claims that the leader of Syria launched a chemical weapons attack was false:

Some sort of chemical event took place in Khan Sheikhoun; what is very much in question is who is responsible for the release of the chemicals that caused the deaths of so many civilians.

No one disputes the fact that a Syrian air force SU-22 fighter-bomber conducted a bombing mission against a target in Khan Sheikhoun on the morning of April 4, 2017. The anti-regime activists in Khan Sheikhoun, however, have painted a narrative that has the Syrian air force dropping chemical bombs on a sleeping civilian population.

A critical piece of information that has largely escaped the reporting in the mainstream media is that Khan Sheikhoun is ground zero for the Islamic jihadists who have been at the center of the anti-Assad movement in Syria since 2011. Up until February 2017, Khan Sheikhoun was occupied by a pro-ISIS group known as Liwa al-Aqsa that was engaged in an oftentimes-violent struggle with its competitor organization, Al Nusra Front (which later morphed into Tahrir al-Sham, but under any name functioning as Al Qaeda’s arm in Syria) for resources and political influence among the local population.


Al Nusra has a long history of manufacturing and employing crude chemical weapons; the 2013 chemical attack on Ghouta made use of low-grade Sarin nerve agent locally synthesized, while attacks in and around Aleppo in 2016 made use of a chlorine/white phosphorous blend.


Early on, the anti-Assad opposition media outlets were labeling the Khan Sheikhoun incident as a “Sarin nerve agent” attack; one doctor affiliated with Al Qaeda sent out images and commentary via social media that documented symptoms, such as dilated pupils, that he diagnosed as stemming from exposure to Sarin nerve agent. Sarin, however, is an odorless, colorless material, dispersed as either a liquid or vapor; eyewitnesses speak of a “pungent odor” and “blue-yellow” clouds, more indicative of chlorine gas.


There are no images taken of victims at the scene of the attack.


The lack of viable protective clothing worn by the “White Helmet” personnel while handling victims is another indication that the chemical in question was not military grade Sarin; if it were, the rescuers would themselves have become victims (some accounts speak of just this phenomena, but this occurred at the site of the attack, where the rescuers were overcome by a “pungent smelling” chemical – again, Sarin is odorless.)


The World Health Organization has indicated that the symptoms of the Khan Sheikhoun victims are consistent with both Sarin and Chlorine exposure. American media outlets have latched onto the Turkish and WHO statements as “proof” of Syrian government involvement; however, any exposure to the chlorine/white phosphorous blend associated with Al Nusra chemical weapons would produce similar symptoms.

Similarly, Hans Blix – the former head of the U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission – warned before the Iraq war that the Bush administration was greatly exaggerating the threat from Iraq’s weapons.

Blix says of the chemical incident in Syria:

Merely pictures of victims that were held up, that the whole world can see with horror, such pictures are not necessarily evidence of who did it.

Two dozen senior U.S. intelligence and military officers – who tried to warn George W. Bush before the Iraq war that those pushing war were lying – write:

Our U.S. Army contacts in the area have told us this is not what happened. There was no Syrian “chemical weapons attack.” Instead, a Syrian aircraft bombed an al-Qaeda-in-Syria ammunition depot that turned out to be full of noxious chemicals and a strong wind blew the chemical-laden cloud over a nearby village where many consequently died.

Ex-CIA officer Philip Giraldi insists that the intelligence community and military personnel know that the intel shows that this was not an Assad attack. Specifically, Giraldi says his sources on the ground in Middle East – active duty U.S. military and intelligence stationed in the Middle East, intimately familiar with facts – say that the chemical weapons claim is a sham. Giraldi says that his sources are 100% certain the the Syrian air force hit a warehouse of rebels connected with Al Qaeda which were storing chemicals. He says that people in the American military and intelligence are “freaking out” about this, because Trump has completely misrepresented the facts regarding what happened.

Captain Doug Rokke – former Director of the U.S. Army’s Depleted Uranium Project and an expert on chemical weapons – wrote to Washington’s Blog and others:

This was not a sarin attack at all. Looks like either anhydrous ammonia or chlorine from infrastructure destruction.


Sarin does not work as shown on tv video photos reports. I think … someone blew up anhydrous ammonia plant or supply or chlorine supply.


Just nonsense if anyone knows how sarin works.”

Robert Parry, the investigative reporter who many of the Iran-Contra stories for Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s, notes:

One intelligence source told me that the most likely scenario was a staged event by the rebels intended to force Trump to reverse a policy, announced only days earlier, that the U.S. government would no longer seek “regime change” in Syria and would focus on attacking the common enemy, Islamic terror groups that represent the core of the rebel forces.


Trump went along with the idea of embracing the initial rush to judgment blaming Assad for the Idlib poison-gas event. The source added that Trump saw Thursday night’s missile assault as a way to change the conversation in Washington, where his administration has been under fierce attack from Democrats claiming that his election resulted from a Russian covert operation.

Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson – chief of staff to Colin Powell – says:

Most of my sources are telling me, including members of the team that monitors global chemical weapons, including people in Syria, including people in the U.S. intelligence community, that what most likely happened … that they hit a warehouse that they had intended to hit. And had told both sides, Russia and the United states, that they were going to hit. This is the Syrian air force, of course. And this warehouse was alleged to have ISIS supplies in it, and, indeed, it probably did, and some of those supplies were precursors for chemicals. Or, possibly an alternative, they were phosphates for the cotton growing, fertilizing the cotton-growing region that’s adjacent to this area. And the bombs hit, conventional bombs, hit the warehouse, and because of a very strong wind, and because of the explosive power of the bombs, they dispersed these ingredients and killed some people.

Colonel W. Patrick Lang alleges:

Here is what happened:

1. The Russians briefed the United States on the proposed target. This is a process that started more than two months ago. There is a dedicated phone line that is being used to coordinate and deconflict (i.e., prevent US and Russian air assets from shooting at each other) the upcoming operation.

2. The United States was fully briefed on the fact that there was a target in Idlib that the Russians believes was a weapons/explosives depot for Islamic rebels.

3. The Syrian Air Force hit the target with conventional weapons. All involved expected to see a massive secondary explosion. That did not happen. Instead, smoke, chemical smoke, began billowing from the site. It turns out that the Islamic rebels used that site to store chemicals, not sarin, that were deadly. The chemicals included organic phosphates and chlorine and they followed the wind and killed civilians.

4. There was a strong wind blowing that day and the cloud was driven to a nearby village and caused casualties.

5. We know it was not sarin. How? Very simple. The so-called “first responders” handled the victims without gloves. If this had been sarin they would have died. Sarin on the skin will kill you. How do I know? I went through “Live Agent” training at Fort McClellan in Alabama.

And the former UK Ambassador to Syria told the BBC there was “no proof” of a chemical weapons attack, and that it would make no sense for Assad to have done so.

Postscript: The guy who supplied “evidence” on the supposed gas attack is a “committed jihadist” according to the MI6.

Posted by: Outraged | Apr 12 2017 8:41 utc | 191

@ peter 141 "I hope that Tillerson got the memo before he talks to Lavrov"

I'm hoping that the Russians have some nice pics of actors at Khan Sheikhoun to show Tillerson.

Posted by: k | Apr 12 2017 8:48 utc | 192

Followup to 189

Here are the embedded links (Sources):

Sunday, Ritter wrote

Blix says

Two dozen senior U.S. intelligence and military officers – who tried to warn George W. Bush before the Iraq war that those pushing war were lying – write

Ex-CIA officer Philip Giraldi insists

Robert Parry, the investigative reporter who many of the Iran-Contra stories for Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s, notes

Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson – chief of staff to Colin Powell – says

Colonel W. Patrick Lang alleges

And the former UK Ambassador to Syria told

Postscript: The guy who supplied “evidence” on the supposed gas attack is a “committed jihadist

Posted by: Outraged | Apr 12 2017 9:01 utc | 193

Thanks O,
if the media need to be at play to force Trump, it means some ppl know that the media will answer, i.e. rebels/reuters/uk/french media. The had already turned to hysteria with the statement "Asad can stay", about 24 hours about the chemical psyop
See Theresa May begging for cash in KSA lately. Hollande is a thing of the past so he tries to use his nuisance capacity at full power before he is gone sometime around 8th of May.

Posted by: Mina | Apr 12 2017 9:06 utc | 194

@ Mina

You are most welcome :)

Also posted a followup of all the embedded links/references (sources) re 189, however, it appears to be stuck in the Typepad queue, definitely worth archiving for all the aggregated source references in one article. Likely will appear once b has an opportunity to review the queue.

Well, avoiding a thorough investigation, nor future action without justification, or Congressional/UNSC authorization may now be a little less likely ...

Cheers ;)

Posted by: Outraged | Apr 12 2017 9:18 utc | 195

@ Outraged
I suspect it is only the US people coming out in force, using their second amendment rights, that will stop what was decided on before the AQ snuff video appeared.
Propaganda has cranked up to a deluge over the last 24 hrs, Moscow diplomacy is moving to straight talking.

Posted by: Peter AU | Apr 12 2017 9:23 utc | 196

The nuclear arms race is over and Russia has won
Posted by: somebody | Apr 12, 2017 4:23:43 AM | 187

Yeah. The Yanks have had a terminal case of penis-envy ever since Russia won WWII. It's amusing that they deliberately misunderstood the message behind Khrushchev's "We can only destroy your country once" retort to an outburst of Presidential hubris.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 12 2017 9:26 utc | 197

"Well, avoiding a thorough investigation, nor future action without justification, or Congressional/UNSC authorization may now be a little less likely ..."
the way tonights UN vote on the thorough enquiry is presented on french gov radio is hilarious: "...that the Russians will certainly veto..."

Posted by: Mina | Apr 12 2017 9:33 utc | 198

Something we learn from the Swedish, Dortmund attacks is that djihadists don't read the news. They should be celebrating with their brothers in Idlib but are not. Or is IS doing that against Nusra?

Posted by: Mina | Apr 12 2017 9:35 utc | 199

Trump is not stupid.

Yes, he is.
One can be intelligent and still do stupid things.
Intelligence is worthless if not "applied" to actions; which includes speech.
Applied intelligence must include critical thinking; which must also include a broad knowledge and understanding of that which one is in command of.
Trump lacks all of those very important learned skills, IMO...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Apr 12 2017 9:43 utc | 200

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