Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 21, 2017

U.S.: 'No doubt' That Villain-Of-The-Day Has Banned Weapons

Mattis: 'No doubt' Syrian regime has chemical weapons, April 21, 2017

"There can be no doubt in the international community's mind that Syria has retained chemical weapons in violation of its agreement and its statement that it had removed them all. There is no longer any doubt," Mattis told reporters.

Full text of Dick Cheney's speech, August 27, 2002

Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us. And there is no doubt that his aggressive regional ambitions will lead him into future confrontations with his neighbors ...

“Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it.”

― Edmund Burke

Posted by b on April 21, 2017 at 17:04 UTC | Permalink


And there's absolutely No Doubt that the Outlaw US Empire's mouthpieces are lying yet again. Makes me even more curious as to what Putin said to Tillerson, as both Putin's and Lavrov's remarks about the global situation are blunter and more accusatory than ever before. Given the info provided by Lavrov at the press conference following the meeting of their Foreign Ministers Astana, I must assume the SCO nations are on the same page regarding the entire International Situation. In June in Astana, the SCO Summit will admit India and Pakistan as full members and begin the process to enroll Iran. Here, again, is the link to that press release,

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 21 2017 17:46 utc | 1

Perhaps the more disturbing alternative is Mattis is fully aware of everything surrounding the run up to the 2003 Iraq war and is thinking to himself:

"Declaring there is no doubt worked last time..."

Posted by: WG | Apr 21 2017 17:47 utc | 2

The particular genius of our oppressors has been to erode the public's collective memory. With a dumbed-down educational system, a 24-hour propaganda, and an utterly vacuous popular culture, we are deprived of precisely that faculty on which following Burke's admonition depends. With our "post-literate" reliance on the Internet, it's a wonder any of us can remember what happened last week.

Posted by: Harry | Apr 21 2017 17:56 utc | 3

If the Syrians used them, then clearly they have them.

Did the Syrians use them? The US does not recognize that as a valid question. That is where Mattis goes astray. It is a valid question.

We were fooled by false flag use before. There are signs it may have happened again. It is not clear enough to be sure, but it is not clear enough to be sure the other way either.

Therefore, Mattis is wrong to conclude anything either way. However, given the official position of the US, he can hardly say anything different in public.

We ought to be looking at this very closely, but we vetoed such a close look by the international body that would do it. That would put into question the missile strikes we launched based on assumptions.

Posted by: Mark Thomason | Apr 21 2017 17:58 utc | 4

Pepe Escobar evokes T.S. Eliot's Hollow Men in his latest enumeration of Russia & China's strategic relationship. Oh, and I forgot to mention in #1 that BRICS also stands with Russia regarding all events Syria and Ukraine; and despite many efforts to destabilize it, BRICS still stands in solidarity and continues its work to economically counter the Outlaw US Empire, which Pepe also reminds us about,

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 21 2017 18:09 utc | 5

@2, WG

Perhaps the more disturbing alternative is Mattis is fully aware of everything surrounding the run up to the 2003 Iraq war and is thinking to himself:

"Declaring there is no doubt worked last time..."

Mattis' motivation is completely different.

Posted by: SmoothieX12 | Apr 21 2017 18:10 utc | 6
De Mistura admits that someone lured the children with some sweets,-including-Qatari-royals.aspx
Does he admit it may have something to do with Qataris in iraq?

Posted by: Mina | Apr 21 2017 18:11 utc | 7

Why would insignificant village be intentionally "gassed by Assad" while he has an absolute upper hand on the field? - is the question nobody in the Western media asks, nor has an answer to it.

Bio-chem weapons would be last resort to use on the battlefield in a desperate situation - was an original thought of making and having them.

Me and probably all of us here have no doubt that it is just a false flag perpetrated, oversaturated and pathetically served to us to validate continuation to oust Assad for Saudi's concessions, oil and money. Pure con and a rather amateurish one.
As expected, no doubt. :)

Posted by: laserlurk | Apr 21 2017 18:16 utc | 8

Which state is Iran's greatest enemy? - Israel .. Where was the statement made? .. Who are the greatest financial political contributors in America? Res Ipsa Loquitur.

Posted by: chet380 | Apr 21 2017 18:20 utc | 9

Their lies are pitched to induce psychosis.

Posted by: ruralito | Apr 21 2017 18:21 utc | 10

The importance of Mattis's pronouncement, as well as some "tilling of the soil" in the prestige press, is that another false flag attack is coming. The Hillary-McCain directive to take out Syrian airfields is going to be implemented.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Apr 21 2017 18:21 utc | 11

@1 karlof1
Talking Lavrov, talking history... The comprehensive history lesson Lavrov delivers to Tillerson is worth watching a number of times. It is an absolute shut down, in Tillersons face...rolling straight off the tongue.
Tillerson: 'trust us, we are sure, beyond doubt, Assad has chemical weapons'
Lavrov: 'here have this 5 minute history lesson you cabbage.'

The Mattis/Cheney comparison reminds me of the statements of the Canadian & Australian Prime Ministers prior to the Iraq 2003.

Posted by: MadMax2 | Apr 21 2017 18:27 utc | 12

And then when Mattis is dumped, he'll do the same as Colin Powell did. Welcome to the show. Bring your own popcorn.

Posted by: Eugene | Apr 21 2017 18:30 utc | 13


"Their lies are pitched to induce psychosis."

Speaking for myself , I think it's working.

Posted by: Marko | Apr 21 2017 18:36 utc | 14

SmoothieX12 Difference this time is Syria has Russian backing and the BRICS [almost half the population of the World].Russia knows Syria is the key to the Middle East, if Syria fell, Hezbollah could not resist the head choppers from the North and East and attacks from the aparthied state from the South. Iran would then be exposed and attacked financially and militarily. Of course its a huge gamble, will those nutcases in Washington take it? These are existential stakes for many states in the region.

Posted by: harrylaw | Apr 21 2017 18:38 utc | 15
Israeli aviation launched a missile attack on Syrian army's positions in the province of Quneitra bordering Israeli-controlled Golan Heights, a Syrian military source told Sputnik.

Posted by: Perimetr | Apr 21 2017 18:46 utc | 16

@harrylaw #15

Assad's recent announcement about wanting to buy more Russian air defense systems comes close to addmiting that the Russians will not be defending Syrian airspace.

To paraphrase tRump:

...the submarines, even more powerful than the carriers...

So, all the assets are in place. We're starting to see the accusation swarm against Assad occur at a rate that's too fast to refute individual charges against the Syrian president.

Don't be surprised if the decapitation strikes against Syria and N.Korea happen simultaneously.

Posted by: wwinsti | Apr 21 2017 19:05 utc | 17

Macron gave a martial speech explaining that he would defend France from more terror and that would imply out of the borders...

Posted by: Mina | Apr 21 2017 19:30 utc | 18

@18 This probably won't appear in the MSM so I'll post it here...

"Emmanuel Macron fears this as well. The 39-year-old presidential candidate – an unknown quantity here just two years ago– is campaigning for the Jewish vote, keenly aware of the threat. But when France goes to the polls on Sunday, its Jews will face a unique choice: To vote in the spirit of Jewish Americans, prioritizing principles of welfare and liberal democratic values, or in the Israeli posture, with security first in mind.

Macron is betting on the former, appealing to Jewish community values shared with the French Republic of liberty, equality and fraternity.

“He knows there is a real danger from a double extremism – from the far-Right with Marine Le Pen, and from the far-Left,” said Gilles Taieb, a prominent member of the French Jewish community who joined Macron’s En Marche! campaign in August. “He understands the specific needs of the Jewish community.”"

Posted by: dh | Apr 21 2017 20:05 utc | 19

@ dh #19

He does not have to worry - he used to work for the Edmond de Rothschild Bank (Jewish family -closed ties to Israel)

Posted by: Yul | Apr 21 2017 20:11 utc | 20


Assad's recent announcement about wanting to buy more Russian air defense systems comes close to addmiting that the Russians will not be defending Syrian airspace.

This is rather a confusing (in BBC's or NYT vein) statement, since Russia, through a number of her high ranking representatives openly stated that she will upgrade Syria's AD. Syria IS NOT going to buy them, since has very little precious money, but what Syria is doing already is letting a truck load of Russia's extracting and construction companies on her market. Google Translate will do the job (link is in Russian)

Posted by: SmoothieX12 | Apr 21 2017 20:15 utc | 21

@15, Harrylaw

Iran would then be exposed and attacked financially and militarily.

I have a different opinion about this dynamics and I will not be surprised if Iran "suddenly" will become a full member of ODKB. At least for a little while.

Posted by: SmoothieX12 | Apr 21 2017 20:22 utc | 22


Fog of war warning and all, but Assad definitely mentioned price as a factor in getting New AD systems in a sputniknews interview.

Posted by: wwinsti | Apr 21 2017 20:28 utc | 23


Fog of war warning and all, but Assad definitely mentioned price as a factor in getting New AD systems in a sputniknews interview.

Of course, mechanism of what in Russian is called vzaimoraschety (mutual "payments" or "coverage") is always established. The price of military technology may be compensated through other means, such as contractual preferences or any other privileges. I think Russia's oil companies will be quite happy and so will be weapons' manufacturers. Come to think about it--they already are.

Posted by: SmoothieX12 | Apr 21 2017 20:49 utc | 24

The question of Russian air defence missiles to Syria should not even be asked, Israel has nuclear weapons, the US don't care, the US supplies Israel with the latest OFFENSIVE weaponry and aircraft [f35, f16 ect]plus Iron Dome. It would be the height of folly for Russia not to give Syria the means to defend themselves.

Posted by: harrylaw | Apr 21 2017 21:17 utc | 25

I forgot nuclear capable submarines from Germany [with a discount thrown in].

Posted by: harrylaw | Apr 21 2017 21:31 utc | 26

The Russians and Iranians need to end this already. The US clearly wants to try regime change again.

Posted by: Alaric | Apr 21 2017 21:37 utc | 27

Just as an FYI, I'm unable to access this site when I use a VPN server based in Canada, however VPN servers located elsewhere connect without issue. Anyone else experience this?

Posted by: Information_Agent | Apr 21 2017 21:38 utc | 28

what's the sound of one mad dog jarhead barking? if it sounds off in the media echo-chamber, does it make a noise? it only echoes in the tnc msm. every american knows he's howling at the moon. it may well be that there's plenty of energy among those clipping coupons on american war bonds for more war, and no energy among those who fruitlessly opposed empire in the face of those same coupon-clippers.

its all-war, all-the-time with tee-rump just as it was with obama, bush, and clinton before him. people who are surprised at this are no more acute than those who might salute the flag the mad dogs have again run up the flag pole.

speaking of russia 'extracting' and 'constructing' in syria, the us of a is doing same in iraq : US approves nearly $300 million weapons deal to Kurdish Peshmerga. hi ho, you owe.

it would be exceptionally keen if all those cruise missiles unleashed on syria and/or north korea not only turned around, but struck their origin. wouldn't that be the end?

Posted by: jfl | Apr 21 2017 21:55 utc | 29

The American public has to be the most ignorant and gullible group of ass-hats on the planet, if they fall for this BS being shoveled at them again. God-almighty this crap gets old!!!

All for the sake of global hegemony, and more wealth for the Trumps of the world.

Posted by: ben | Apr 21 2017 21:56 utc | 30

@12 madmax

First of all, I don't know how you can tell those speeches are the same though I heard them both mention WMDs. But here's the kicker, that's not the Canadian PM, not on that date, he was the Leader of the Opposition at that time. Harper became PM later.

Jean Chretien was the PM and he kept Canada out of Iraq. End of story.

Posted by: peter | Apr 21 2017 22:16 utc | 31

b cites Edmund Burke “Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it.”

There is also this little ditty:

“If at first you don’t succeed try and try and try again. Never stop trying."

It works very well for TPTB who hold the sheeples are too dumbed down and will never recall moving lips.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

@ Perimetr 16

Israel needs to take the other side of the Golan - that's where the oil bubbles bigly. Ask Genie HQ NJ and while at it check out their Board of Directors, Strategic Advisory Board.
Hint, it’s the gang and No One dares to spank
[Alert: page may load slowly but a worthy wait].

So forget about it. The op word is Strategic

Israel can strike Syria with 10 MOABs per second 24hr/7 and lips will be festiviously sealed…tighter than a crabs rear-end.

A long essay by Robert Kennedy Jr Feb 2016:

“[W]e may want to look beyond the convenient explanations of religion and ideology and focus on the more complex rationales of history and oil, which mostly point the finger of blame for terrorism back at the champions of militarism, imperialism and petroleum here on our own shores,” Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., intoned in an April editorial for Ecowatch

Posted by: likklemore | Apr 21 2017 22:19 utc | 32

US Embassey Syria twitter acount is worth a read through. Reality has ceased to exist for the US admin.

Posted by: Peter AU | Apr 21 2017 22:26 utc | 33

Also from Edmund Burke:

When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.

Not from Edmund Burke, but a favorite if mine:

The mightiest oak is just a little nut that wouldn't give up.

Posted by: woogs | Apr 21 2017 23:24 utc | 34

thanks b... waiting for the exceptional empire to collapse.. not holding my breathe here.. the same game is being played and the same folks are hoping for the same results.. they are already getting them when it comes to money thrown into war and prep for war.. they are winning regardless if they can convince everyone to go deeper..

@17 wwinsti.. could be a head fake... no one knows for sure other then assad and russia.. welcome to the world of endless speculation..

@28 ia... this canuck is not having any issues accessing moa.. who nose.. maybe trudeau and freeland have set up a firewall to protect us from a different perspective then the 'rah, rah, rah - war 24/7 we support twitter mans agenda'..

@34 woogs.. good quote on the bottom. thanks.

Posted by: james | Apr 21 2017 23:37 utc | 35

@31 peter
Indeed you're correct re: Chretien - and fair play to him. Though, the transcripts are fairly damning, as is the resignation of the plagiarist:

Posted by: MadMax2 | Apr 22 2017 0:06 utc | 36

When WWIII commences I wonder which side Switzerland will throw their lot in with?

Posted by: ALberto | Apr 22 2017 0:19 utc | 37

The verdict on the chemical attack was swift and certain. When it comes to the recent bus bombing, somehow it is so different:
We are investigating, but I don't have any specific ... But we think it's exaggerated.
Inqury on Syria. Security Council Stakeout, 21 April, 2017

Those people have no shame. They are not going to investigate the Khan Sheikhoun chemical attack. All the want is the flight plans from the Syrian government to finish their "work".

Posted by: iegee | Apr 22 2017 1:23 utc | 38

"No doubt" is not a statement about an objective reality out there (in country x); it is a statement about the subjective reality in the mind of the speaker (observer). A cunning ploy to speak a non-falsehood (about the mental conditioning of speaker and audience) that is merely opinion implying it is fact about a situation lacking empirical evidence.

Posted by: x | Apr 22 2017 2:10 utc | 39

This hype is getting so tedious.
The WMD crap from The International (Christian Colonial) Community isn't about 'manufacturing consent'. It's about manufacturing CONSENSUS within the Christian Colonial Community itself. The Jew-controlled MSM takes care of the brainwashing. We already know that bribed politicians are paid to disregard the Will Of The People.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 22 2017 2:42 utc | 40

@40, HW, the power of their glory...

Posted by: stumpy | Apr 22 2017 3:24 utc | 41


"Those people have no shame. They are not going to investigate the Khan Sheikhoun chemical attack."

They're just plugging stuff into the dossier so that historians will be able to look back and see how reasonable and restrained the U.S. was before deciding to bomb the crap out of Assad and his country.

Here's how they can do that : They say " Look , we admit that proving guilt absolutely is next to impossible in these events , and that we may have been a bit hasty in bombing Syria's airfield before the investigation was done. We'll even concede the odds in Assad's favor , say 3:1 , or only a 25% chance he was guilty for any given sarin attack , even though we're pretty sure he's been the culprit. Just know this , when we're sure - let's set a higher standard here and say 90% certainty - when we're sure about his culpability for just one use of sarin , big or small , that's our red line, after that he gets the full Gaddafi , no questions asked. OK ? Understand ? "

Everyone nods , probably including some here. When there's any uncertainty , which there always is , he gives Assad the benefit of the doubt , and then requires a higher threshold to hold him accountable. You can't get more reasonable than that.

Well , maybe somewhat predictably , false-flag activity picks up - two sarin attacks per month over the following two months , always with the typical doubts about who dunnit. The U.S. keeps their word , with no significant escalation. With the next event , as soon as sarin is confirmed but well before we think we know who was guilty , the U.S. announces breach of the red line and launches a full-scale attack on Assad and his partners , demanding that he step down immediately or watch as his country is turned to rubble. Why ?

Counting the three sarin attacks to date , and the five more that follow , the probability that the rebels committed all eight attacks is .75^8 , or 10%. That means there's a 90% chance that Assad was responsible for at least one attack - i.e. , he crossed the red line.

That's why the false-flags will continue , and why a regime-change war with Syria is inevitable , and why the buy-in by the public when it happens will be nearly unanimous.

Posted by: Marko | Apr 22 2017 4:14 utc | 42

@ 17, wwinsti,

That could just as easily be interpreted as Russia planning to intervene while claiming that "Syrian" air defenses have shot down US aircraft/tomohawaks. I certainly don't know for sure that Russia has actually decided to take it to that level. Perhaps the Russians will never do that, or perhaps they themselves have not yet decided but want to keep that option open to them if later they do. At any rate, there is no advantage at all to reassuring the Americans that they will NOT intervene. It is best to keep Mattis and McMaster guessing just like we are.

I do not know to what degree US planners are confident of easily overcoming serious air defenses. They probably feel that if they defeat the S400s then US military dominance will remain unchallenged for a very long time. I'm not sure if they've gamed the opposite outcome. If "Syria" shoots down a few F22s or 35s the US is in deep trouble and any victory (to the extent bringing jihadists to power can be called a victory) would be a Pyrhic one.

Posted by: lysander | Apr 22 2017 4:49 utc | 43

Well, fuck! Here we go again; U.S. is blitzing the international airways with propaganda and lies.
Zieg heil, zeig heil, herr Trump...
You bloody, rotten, bastard!

Posted by: V. Arnold | Apr 22 2017 5:30 utc | 44

Karlof1 and Harrylaw: talking about BRICS'support to Russia, never trust Brazil. After Lula and Rousseff,the right-wing president Michel Temer has transformed the country in just another latin american lackey of Trump...

Posted by: guy | Apr 22 2017 5:54 utc | 45

@42 hey marko.. your writing style reminds me of paveways..

Posted by: james | Apr 22 2017 7:12 utc | 46

@ lydander #42:

Of course, there's no way to predict the outcomes of certain actions or read minds of any of the various actors involved with this sarin drama, but the events in Syria since Sept. 2015 or even Sept. 2001 do allow us to lean our interpretations a certain way, don't you think?

At the end of the day, an increasingly desperate USA has available 4 Ohio class submarines that carry just short of 200 cruise missiles each. They are, with some quibbling, decapitation weapon systems designed to overwhelm nearly any defense. I can't see the US not making use of such a capacity if they are as hell bent on regime change as they claim.

Posted by: wwinsti | Apr 22 2017 7:24 utc | 47

I meant lysander@ 43. Apologies.

Posted by: wwinsti | Apr 22 2017 7:27 utc | 48


"your writing style reminds me of paveways"


My writing style reminds you of a laser-guided bomb ? Really ? Cool.

I've always thought of it more like a barrel bomb full of cluster munitions , with a dash of incendiary and a few cow pies.

Posted by: Marko | Apr 22 2017 7:37 utc | 49

"no doubt" and "no longer any doubt" always means to me that there's plenty of good reasons to doubt everything they say.

in fact, I consider it to be an indicator that they are lying about whatever they are saying. and they "no doubt" know it....

Posted by: michaelj72 | Apr 22 2017 7:39 utc | 50

Because the strike on Syrian territory was against International law Putin has to make up his mind, if the US strike Syria again or repeatedly without harming Russial personnel or assets and without a military response, Russia should sue for peace and get the hell out of Syria, thereby acknowledging that the US are the only Nation that can decide the fate of Nations with regard to International affairs. In other words the unanimous agreement of the 5 veto wielding members of the UNSC will no longer be applicable and article 2 of the UN Charter is null and void.

Article 2. [3] UN Charter All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered.

[4] All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.

Posted by: harrylaw | Apr 22 2017 8:07 utc | 51

51 "Russia should sue for peace and get the hell out of Syria"

Posted by: Peter AU | Apr 22 2017 8:25 utc | 52

number 4

Are you the NEW York Times commentator. I really enjoy your comments their. I hardly drop by NYT however this week you were the only sane poster on North Korea. Your a jem keep it up. In fact I think cut and pasted you comment onto a Australian paper. Bravo.

Posted by: col from oz | Apr 22 2017 8:56 utc | 53

@ 47 wwinsti,

Yes, the US has an enormous amount of cruise missiles. But judging by the damage done by the last 60 tomohawaks, it does not have enough to destroy Syrian air power with tomohawaks alone. In past invasions, they were used to destroy radars so that the subsequent air campaign can be conducted without contending with air defenses. They are not an end in and of themselves. In this case, that isn't possible unless the US plans on attacking Russian forces on both land and sea directly. The US is so far extremely reluctant to kill any Russian personnel and that is not likely to change. And this reluctance is not because of good sportsmanship.

Add to that, the Russians have shut down the deconfliction line. It means the US can't warn the Russians to get out of the way during the next attack. In other words, the Russians are prepared to be human shields to protect Syria. That does not scream "we are backing down" to me. There are also indications that US and allied sortie rates over Syria have dropped in number quite substantially since communication has been shut down.

While I agree the US is absolutely determined to destroy Syria, it is not at all clear that Russia plans to step aside while the US does it.

Posted by: lysander | Apr 22 2017 9:19 utc | 54

OT but LA, SF, NYC all experience power outages at the same and only RT makes the connection while MSM oblivious. Meanwhile exercises for an EMZ attack over a major US city ongoing. Strange

Posted by: Pft | Apr 22 2017 10:20 utc | 55

Peter AU @52. Sorry Peter I was being a little sarcastic. I think it has already been established that any US attack on Syria must be countered in the first instance by Syrian forces, since Russia was invited into Syria to help put down terrorism, it might not be in Russia's interest or anybody's [unless their forces are hit] to start WW3. Hence my point about arming Syria up the same way the US does with Israel and Saudi Arabia.All 5 veto wielding powers are of course above International law for all time, so that if the other members of the Security Council propose a Resolution condemning US aggression, the US simply uses its veto and that Resolution goes down the memory hole. Here is an excellent article on the veto..

Posted by: harrylaw | Apr 22 2017 10:34 utc | 56

As you, remembering the last lies. Thank you for your peerless, ever spot on, shining pieces.

Posted by: Felicity | Apr 22 2017 10:36 utc | 57

Lysander 54
The U S should keep in mind that the Russians did burn Moscow in 1812 .

Posted by: ashley albanese | Apr 22 2017 11:15 utc | 58

"Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it” does not appear in the complete 12-volume set of Works of Edmund Burke, and Bartlett's books of quotations have never included it, but the allegation nowadays is common that Burke said this, because many writers say things that are false. Anyone who trusts a mere allegation, like gossip, is not reliable and cannot be trusted in what that person alleges, because falsehoods mix in with truths for any such person. The person isn't necessarily fabricating, not necessarily intentionally falsifying; the person just doesn't care whether what he or she alleges to be true IS true. Any such person is untrustworthy to cite on anything.

Furthermore, that alleged Burke-quotation doesn't even sound like Burke's writing-style, which was a very distinctive style. So, anyone who has actually read Burke would suspect that this apocryphal statement from him was probably never said by him. Only pretentious people would allege that Burke said it -- people who pretend to have read Burke.

Posted by: Eric Zuesse | Apr 22 2017 11:15 utc | 59

@54 lysander, 'In other words, the Russians are prepared to be human shields to protect Syria.'

i don't think that's the message sent or that it's indicative of the action to be taken in the event of another us attack on syria. as it stood pre-tee-rump-attack the us could call the russians and 'warn' them that the cruise missiles were theirs ... now they can no longer do that, and the russians have made a point of stating that an attacking aircraft/missile - and the originating vessel/station - are going to be shot down/taken down ... that the russians will not waste time in trying to figure out just whose attacking missiles/aircraft they are destroying.

i think it will be a cold day in hell before the russians 'sacrifice' themselves to make a point.

Posted by: jfl | Apr 22 2017 11:29 utc | 60

Eric Zuesse | Apr 22, 2017 7:15:46 AM | 59
"Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it”

This from, of all places, Yahoo answers (blech); however it is referenced;
CITES: George Santayana, The Life of Reason or The Phases of Human Progress: Reason in Common Sense 284 (2nd ed., Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, New York 1924 (originally published 1905 Charles Scribner's Sons)(appears in chapter XII, "Flux and Constancy in Human Nature")). George Santayana, The Life of Reason or The Phases of Human Progress 82 (one-volume edition, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, New York 1954)(appears in Book I, Reason in Common Sense, chapter 10, "Flux and Constancy in Human Nature").

This information was found at:
``Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it,'' said Penton, echoing philosopher George Santayana's famous admonition.

In any event, I agree with your admonition...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Apr 22 2017 11:38 utc | 61

Addendum; cannot access references, so maybe more garbage.

Posted by: V. Arnold | Apr 22 2017 11:41 utc | 62

All this lies, fake news, psyop by US, NATO and MSM is possibly just because they rule the world. They refuse any other views, parties, nations questioning their wars and propaganda. Its quite scary when you think about it.
Like, is there ANYONE condemning this in the MSM nowadays? No one.
Every journalist (MSM) from Germany, to US, to Spain, to Portugal, to Columbia, to Sweden, to South Korea etc, all western MSM peddle this same propaganda for the american empire and their endless wars.


Posted by: Anon1 | Apr 22 2017 11:42 utc | 63

@ 60, I don't think sacrifice is the word I would use. The US understands that killing openly Russian soldiers soldiers (vs indirectly by arming terrorist proxies) would mean Russian retaliation. And therefore will not do it.

Posted by: lysander | Apr 22 2017 11:46 utc | 64

...and then there is this;
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." (George Santayana)

I've got news for Mr. Santayana: we're doomed to repeat the past no matter what. That's what it is to be alive.”
― Kurt Vonnegut

Posted by: V. Arnold | Apr 22 2017 11:48 utc | 65

Eric Zuesse

well, we're real impressed that you've memorized all 12 volumes of Edmund Burke, but for those of us who haven't, Google does credit him with this remark. a simple oversight, perhaps? so thanks for the lesson(even if you haven't cleared anything up), and the mini diatribe, teach, even though your scholarly footnotes have fuck all to do with b's intent.

Posted by: john | Apr 22 2017 11:50 utc | 66

"no doubt"
Did they get this from Bush's speech to congress in March, 2003?
"Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised."
Real intelligence left all kinds of doubt especially from the family members of Iraqi scientists who went into Iraq to ask. They risked their lives for this and were ignored.

"we assess" - recent prepeated mantra from USG declarations. I'm waiting for The Donald or his CIA minion to declare Syrian WMDs to be a "slam dunk." I think Cheney used to say "we have it on good authority." The rule for most politicians and media is if their lips move they're lying.

Posted by: Curtis | Apr 22 2017 11:56 utc | 67

Perhaps after another coalition of the willing has destroyed Syria will the US president joke about searching for WMDs like Bush did. An insult to us all.

Posted by: Curtis | Apr 22 2017 11:59 utc | 68

@ 59 and ff commentary

The Oxford Concise Dictionary of Quotations has the quote "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it" made by George Santayana (1863 - 1952) in The Life of Reason (1905) vol. 1, ch. 12

Oxford is fairly reliable sourcing for such questions, FWIW. As far as the western world and history another quote comes to mind from Dante Alighiere (1265-1321) that translates: Abandon all hope, you who enter! [with regard to history].

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Apr 22 2017 12:41 utc | 69

We need a Jon Stewart style montage of all these people saying "no doubt" followed by the group No Doubt saying it. (like he did with the GOP/FNC meme of "It's A Trap")

Posted by: Curtis | Apr 22 2017 14:34 utc | 70

"The mightiest oak is just a little nut that wouldn't give up."
woogs 34

I am Groot.

Posted by: Curtis | Apr 22 2017 14:36 utc | 71

@49 marko.. - good stuff either way, lol..

Posted by: james | Apr 22 2017 16:22 utc | 72

"Counting the three sarin attacks to date , and the five more that follow , the probability that the rebels committed all eight attacks is .75^8 , or 10%. That means there's a 90% chance that Assad was responsible for at least one attack - i.e. , he crossed the red line."

I understand that this was presented as an incorrect reasoning, but perhaps not all readers here see the mistakes. First, probability is used to describe random events and not historical events. The post that you see here could be written by Piotr Berman, an identifiable individual, or by an impostor. In itself the claim that it was written by Piotr Berman is true or false, it does not have probability. However, from the point of view of a reader, it is but one of a large number of comments posted on internet so one can apply some guessed estimates, like "10% of comments signed with uniquely identifiable names are written by impostors". This of course begs the question how we arrive at such estimates etc. In short, the probability assigned to a single sarin attack is an exhalation from someones terminal end of the digestive system and quite hazardous if used.

However, even if we form an abstract model in which a chemical attack is randomly perpetrated by X with probability p and not by X with probability 1-p, and we have 8 attacks, the probability that X perpetrated at least one attack is anywhere between 0 and 1. The formula (1-p)^8 applies only if the events are independent. For example, if X possesses the means to perpetrate an attack with probability q, then the probability that it perpetrated any of many attacks is never larger than q.

That said, probabilities have their place in war strategy. If a false flag attack has a random effect on a key decision maker, that repeating it many times may increase the probability that a desired decision will be made. And Trump's and Obama's behavior has (and had) a degree of randomness.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 22 2017 16:22 utc | 73

@73 piotr.. that logic is insane of course..

Posted by: james | Apr 22 2017 16:33 utc | 74



You're correct about the technical probability considerations , of course , but I think the real-life effect of each new false-flag may fall closer to the line drawn by the bad model than by the good. I think all parties involved know that each new false-flag has an incremental impact driving us closer to war ,in addition to the random one you mention , at least as long as there remains considerable doubt about the true culprit with each new event.

From Khan al-Assal to Ghouta to Khan Sheikhoun we've moved closer and closer to the real "red line". For the anti-Assad camp , the false-flag strategy is still working and they'll keep it up , though I'm sure they're getting impatient. For the Assad side , gaining territory has the opposite effect , moving us away from the red line. Had Assad and Putin doubled-down on battlefield intensity after Aleppo and made further gains , rather than pausing as they did , I think they'd be in much better shape today.

Posted by: Marko | Apr 22 2017 17:54 utc | 75

How close is the USA and Israel? Look at Mattis's lapel pin during his presser.

Isn't that normally the country he represents?

IMO this shows that Israel foreign policy = USA foreign policy.

Posted by: Dean | Apr 22 2017 18:10 utc | 76

I I follow the link to the U.S. embassy Twitter page @33, unbelievable!. The Trump administration partying like it is 1984.

Posted by: MusicofE | Apr 22 2017 21:30 utc | 77

The usage of "there can be no doubt" is a bit different from what we could learn in English classes. First, "doubt" is a kind of thought-weed that is at times harmless, and at times seriously detrimental and thus subjected to eradication efforts. "There is no doubt" declares the success of the eradication campaign while "There can be no doubt" is more like "There should not be any doubt", i.e. an exhortation to continue and expand eradication campaign. Usually the large fields of major agribusiness companies are well tended with copious amounts of herbicides, while on the edges, meadows, smaller organically tended fields etc. the weeds can survive and in isolated places they can even thrive.

From that point of view excessive consumption of, say, NYT or TV news can make people positive for "symptoms of sarin or sarin-like chemicals" like Roundup when we take swabs from their mucosal surfaces and analyze with sensitive instruments. Smaller but proudly "mainstream" publications like New Yorker have no doubt either (in this case it is easy, because New Yorker is very compartmentalized, few individuals are allowed to write on the topic, this way they can keep doubt from showing without mass use of chemicals). The Nation has some articles written by doubt-free persons (like Katha Pollit) but doubt levels are significant -- kept down mostly by small number of articles on Syria. And Counterpunch is a weed in itself.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 22 2017 23:37 utc | 78

@ Dean | Apr 22, 2017 2:10:38 PM | 76

No kidding!? How old are you?

How about this: The US is prime Nazi country/regime, and the Zionist state is modeled after the US, or the European racism. The settler states are known for its unprecedented violence. Unfortunately, still the phenomenon of extermination is connected with Germany and not the US.

One of many U.S. state laws that Nazis examined was this from Maryland:

"All marriages between a white person and a Negro, or between a white person and a person of Negro descent, to the third generation, inclusive, or between a white person and a member of the Malay race or between a Negro and a member of the Malay race, or between a person of Negro descent to the third generation, inclusive, and a member of the Malay race . . . [skipping over many variations] . . . are forever prohibited . . . punished by imprisonment in the penitentiary for not less than eighteen months nor more than ten years."

Posted by: AKSA | Apr 22 2017 23:56 utc | 79

@78 bp. 'From that point of view excessive consumption of, say, NYT or TV news can make people positive for "symptoms of sarin or sarin-like chemicals" like Roundup when we take swabs from their mucosal surfaces and analyze with sensitive instruments.'

very nice piotr berman. the metaphor is so well drawn, and in the following cases as well. One has a malady, here, a malady. One feels a malady.

the dysfunctions all swell from a common source, into a slum of bloom. the wigs despoiling the Satan ear.

Posted by: jfl | Apr 23 2017 0:31 utc | 80

guy @45--

Yes, I was apprehensive at first, but the new regime toed BRICS's lines, participated in its functions as usual, and has tried to use it in its national interest. Brazil's internal contradictions don't allow it to abandon its one big success story. And as I stated, BRICS policy declarations are all in line with Russia and China's in every area.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 23 2017 2:24 utc | 81

@ karlof1 who writes about geopolitics

While many of the big brains go to Wall St. to front guess Mr. Market, there are others, "no doubt", that build geopolitical dashboards, models and simulations for the elite to monitor all the countries/governments/militaries/public.

In spite of their visibility of their universe, they are losing control and know it. The absurdity of the ongoing global debt situation is a tell.

All countries have evolving relationships with both the US and China as well as within the various groups of nations. China is talking growth and the US/private finance is talking austerity. It is not if but a matter of when growth wins out and global finance is put under public control.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 23 2017 6:32 utc | 82

That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.

Aldous Huxley

Posted by: Temporarily Sane | Apr 23 2017 12:43 utc | 83

AKSA @79

Regarding "How old are you?" This type of comment isn't necessary. My guess is that I've been around the block a few more times than you have. But in those scores of strolls I have never seen the US Secretary of Defense wear the flag of any other country but the USA, that is the only entity whom he represents. Maybe he just picked up at the airport on the way through and thought it would match his tie or something, but these types of things are rarely done is that manner, they are always done to send a message. This is the first open acknowledgement of the US/Zionist relationship that I have seen. Possibly it is for Iranian consumption, but it was deliberate none the less, and therefore significant.

Posted by: Dean | Apr 23 2017 19:01 utc | 84

Off-topic, kind of, a Reuters report from the site of the MOAB deployment

Reuters: 04/23/2017: Few clues on casualties at site of huge U.S. bomb in Afghanistan.

The remote site in eastern Afghanistan where the U.S. military dropped its largest non-nuclear bomb ever deployed in combat earlier this month bears signs of the weapon's power, but little evidence of how much material and human damage it inflicted.

Reuters photos and video footage - some of the first images from journalists allowed to get close to the site - reveal a scarred mountainside, burned trees and some ruined mud-brick structures.

They did not offer any clues as to the number of casualties or their identities.

Since the GBU-43 Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb was dropped on a fortified tunnel complex used by suspected Islamic State fighters in Nangarhar province, access to the site has been controlled by U.S. forces who are battling the militant group alongside Afghan troops.

The U.S. military has said that ongoing fighting had prevented media or independent investigators from visiting the site, and Afghan soldiers said special forces from both countries were still engaging the enemy in the area.

A Reuters witness viewed the site from several hundred yards (meters) away, because of what troops he was accompanying said were continued threats in the area. (snip)

Within a few hundred feet of the apparent blast site, leaves remained intact on trees, belying initial expectations that the explosion may have sent a destructive blast wave for up to a mile.

Afghan officials have said nearly 100 militants and no civilians were killed, but the remoteness of the area, the presence of Islamic State fighters, and, more recently, American security forces, has left those claims unverified.

Posted by: susan_sunflower | Apr 23 2017 20:10 utc | 85

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