Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 01, 2017

Is The "Moderate Al-Qaeda" Set To Target Hizbullah?

Since 2011 two propaganda campaigns have attempted to sell al-Qaeda in Syria as "moderate". The purpose was to justify the arming and cooperation with al-Qaeda to eliminate the secular Syrian state.  Recently a third "moderate al-Qaeda" wave has been launched. A possible purpose is to use al-Qaeda in a new war on Hizbullah in Lebanon.

The first wave occurred in October 2013. We wrote about it in Your Moderate Cuddly Homegrown Al-Qaeda. The New York Times, the Washington Post and various other outlets depicted al-Qaeda in Syria, which was operating together with U.S. supported "moderate rebels", as tempered and less harmful than the Islamic State organization ISIS. Meanwhile the "moderate rebels" allied with al-Qaeda were engaged in sectarian massacres against any Syrian non-Muslim. (The media has always whitewashed that part of the rebels' record.)

Two years later a second pro al-Qaeda campaign was launched. Qatari and Israeli lobbyists tried to sell al-Qaeda as a force that could be used to fight ISIS and the Syrian government. The neoconservative General Petraeus promoted an U.S. alliance with it.

Both campaigns muddied the waters but were not completely successful. Al-Qaeda in Syria, under its various names and alliances, continued to be officially recognized as terrorist group. But hidden from mainstream reporting the CIA armed it by providing freely to the Free Syrian Army rebels who were allied with it.

In May 2016 the Wahhabi paid anti-Syrian propagandist Charles Lister still had to ask the "moderate rebels" to better hide their allegiance with al-Qaeda. The same Charles Lister is now engaged in the third attempt to whitewash al-Qaeda into some moderate entity. Lister is claiming that the latest renaming of al-Qaeda/Jabhat al Nusra/Jabhat Fateh al-Sham into Hayet Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) was a serious step away from al-Qaeda's global leadership and ideology towards a local moderate position:

While still a jihadist group seeking the creation of local Islamic Emirates as future components of a global caliphate, HTS bore virtually no loyalty or allegiance to al-Qaeda or Nusra.
A groundless and frequently conspiratorial debate isolated to the distant Washington, D.C., beltway claimed the evolution of Nusra-to-JFS-to-HTS was merely a ploy to fool the West.

Unfortunate for Lister the fake "moderate" HTS does not agree with his claims:

HTS leaders themselves say the initial AQ break was a ruse. ... Nusrah’s leadership sold the al-Qaeda split internally on the grounds that it was basically false.

The Lister piece seems coordinated with a pamphlet from the Pentagon think-tank RAND (also published in Foreign Affairs) which again sells al-Qaeda as "a moderate alternative":

It remains unthinkable to most that the term “moderate” could ever be applied to an affiliate of the group responsible for the attacks of September 11, 2001. But al Qaeda's Syrian franchise has quietly emerged as the less extreme alternative to ISIS within the jihadist universe. And that could spell a situation, at least in the long term, in which al Qaeda begins to resemble the Lebanese group Hezbollah.

The comparison with Hizbullah is laughable. Hizbullah is a local Lebanese group founded to fight against the Israeli occupation of its country. It is currently engaged in Syria to protect Lebanon from attacks of al-Qaeda and the like. Hizbullah never seriously engaged outside of that role. It refrains from sectarian strife and unlike al-Qaeda does not have an expansive ideology. Al-Qaeda and its "rebel" affiliates continue to strive for a global emirate and brutally oppose any person and entity that does not follow their Salafi/Wahhabi rules. To depict these groups as similar is not sound analysis but sets the stage for a "fair" confrontation between them.

Turkey has recently negotiated and allied with al-Qaeda to position its army against the Kurdish enclave Efrin in north-west Syria. The Turkish troops were escorted by al-Qaeda/HTS towards their positions. Officially Turkey continues to oppose al-Qaeda in any form. Its active co-operation with al-Qaeda received no negative coverage or condemnation from "western" media. It is expected that Turkey will later use al-Qaeda in Syria to justify an continued occupation of the country:

Ankara’s troops entered the northern Syrian city of Idlib – following an understanding with al-Qaeda – without any clash. This indicates that Turkey has not ended its role within Syria or the role of al-Qaeda: Ankara is expecting to play the al-Qaeda card when its forces will be asked to withdraw from Syria.

The campaign to whitewash al Qaeda was also joined by the Syrian "rebel journalist" Moussa al-Omar who reports from northern Syria that he fails to find any al-Qaeda at all. The current propaganda wave trivializes al-Qaeda in Syria and prepares for further cooperation with it. But the CIA is no longer arming the "rebels" and has no further immediate purpose for al-Qaeda.

What then is the operational aim behind this?

A hint may be in a recent announcement by the Saudi minister Thamer al-Sabhan who is well known for his extreme sectarian positions. The U.S. envoy McGurk recently introduced Thamer to the eastern Syrian tribes who were allied with ISIS until they were bought off to act as U.S. auxiliaries. Shortly thereafter Thamer visited Lebanon:

Firebrand Saudi State Minister for Gulf Affairs Thamer al-Sabhan on Monday called for “toppling Hizbullah” and promised “astonishing” developments in “the coming days.”
Referring to his Sunday tweet about the Lebanese government, the minister said: “I addressed my tweet to the government because the Party of Satan (Hizbullah) is represented in it and it is a terrorist party. The issue is not about toppling the government but rather that Hizbullah should be toppled.”

“The coming developments will definitely be astonishing,” al-Sabhan added.

Nicholas Noe reliably reports from Lebanon. He warns of an upcoming campaign:

Nicholas Noe‏ @NoeNicholas Oct 30

Strong pessimism over this next stage here in Lebanon 4 Syria+Leb. Little hope of draw down/stabilization. New+deeper conflicts on the way
It looks very likely that the major conflict some of us have warned of for a while, w/ Hezbollah as primary target but huge effect, is near.

Hizbullah can only be fought by a force with a strong ideology that nonetheless is acceptable to the outside world. Fighting Hizbullah is a long pursued aim of the Saudis. Earlier Saudi proxy forces in Lebanon failed because they lacked the right mindset and support. A "moderated" al-Qaeda, transferred through Turkey via sea to Lebanon, would be the adequate tool for a renewed anti-Hizbullah campaign.

Posted by b on November 1, 2017 at 17:45 UTC | Permalink


All of which would be great news for Israel, who as we all remember tried to take on Hezbollah and LOST... rather embarrassingly.
Strange, then, that there is no mention of their hand in this plan?

Posted by: what? | Nov 1 2017 18:01 utc | 1

Putin is in Teheran. I imagine a counter-strategy is being worked out.
Soon, we shall hear from Secretary-General Nasrallah and General Soleimani about these Saudi (Israeli) (US-Trump) plans against Hezbollah.

Turkey will be spanked hard. Russia has Kurd leverage against Turkey.

Opening a front in Lebanon merely opens a new base for Russia to oversee.
Russia will own the skies over Lebanon. And no force can win on the ground against Hezbollah.

Notice the heavy air power recently against al Nusra (I refuse to use new names and initials).
Russia's intention is to kill them all.

If Turkey wants room inside Syria for its Turkmen, it can't play this game with Saudi-Israel.

Though Russia has signaled of late that it might pare down its forces in Syria, this merely means that they will adjust them for this front if the anti-Iran, anti-Assad coalition turns against Hezbollah.

It also relieves Syria of the burden to get back the Golan. The Hezbollah War will do it for them.

Unintended consequences.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Nov 1 2017 18:23 utc | 2

I believe that's why Hezbollah has been cleaning up its border with Syria. The usual suspects are going to try and use their mercenaries in Lebanon as a foothold into the country. That would explain why the US set up a base in Israel. Get to believe that Putin, Iran, China, Syria etc. knows this. This whole Turkey (and Saudi Arabia and Qatar) working with Russia is just is just a smokescreen to buy all the actors some time to get in place for the big finish.

Posted by: NewYorker | Nov 1 2017 18:28 utc | 3

thanks b... i don't know how the wider public gets the message that the usa and israel are supporting wahabbi nut jobs in any form.. so we have an unspoken of alliance involving usa-israel-ksa-turkey and who knows who else, lining up to support any group that will execute their dual strategies - furthering wahabbi death cult, or getting rid of any opposition to this death cult, whether it be assad, hezbollah, iran and russia...

so, i am especially curious of the ongoing relationships between russia and turkey, and in particular turkey's role.. turkey seems to be playing a demanding game here and would be a useful tool for either usa or russia.. however erdogan continues to play a complicated game in all this.. i suspect they are the tie breaker in all this.. do they really want to be in bed with these wahabbi nutjobss?? it appears so for the time being..

Posted by: james | Nov 1 2017 18:39 utc | 4

I agree with Red Ryder, I believe Al Sabhan may refer to more covert action (see recent tunnel attack) against Hezb leadership but not much more as the geopol alignments are against KSA/IS/US right now in the Levant..

Posted by: Lozion | Nov 1 2017 18:41 utc | 5

@ 2 Red Ryder

Soleimani must be in mourning. His father passed away and was buried today.

Posted by: Yul | Nov 1 2017 19:10 utc | 6

What does "allegiance with al-Qaeda" or "allegiance with ISIS" actually mean in practice. I think that it means nothing and is merely a local group with some kind of agenda looking for recognition that will get public attention and help recruiting.

Regarding Hezbollah, it relates to Iran, the major US enemy in the Middle East, regularly referred to as the world's largest state sponsor of terrorism. Now one looks in vain at terrorism lists published by the State Dept, Counter-terrorism office, FBI etc for any Iranians. There aren't any notable Iranian terrorists. What the US means by "world's largest . . ." is Iran's support of Hezbollah. Hey, Hezbollah doesn't fit anyone's description of terrorist, but that term is also widely used for enemies of US foreign policy. It's like definition #2 of terrorist.

So Hez is the target because of Iran, and the importance of both has increased as a result of yet another US loss in the Middle East, first Iraq and now Syria, and it's mostly the fault of Iran/Hezbollah, the sponsor and the terrorists.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 1 2017 19:16 utc | 7

So to recap... 16 years ago Al-Qaeda was the biggest enemy of the West, and Afghanistan was invaded because the Taliban was the 2nd biggest enemy of the West for harbouring members of Al-Qaeda. But now Al-Qaeda are Western allies because Shia, yet the West is still at war with the Taliban, its longest ever war, merely for harbouring members of the organisation that is now a Western ally. Somebody pass the opium pipe, I'm getting too confused.

Posted by: 0use4msm | Nov 1 2017 19:18 utc | 8

Don Bacon | Nov 1, 2017 3:16:17 PM | 7

I beleive Hezbolla is designated a terrorist organization by Israel and US, no other countries have, and not by UN.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Nov 1 2017 19:31 utc | 9

Al Qaeda, near the Golan heights, have been lavishly supplied by Israel, and their wounded taken to Israeli hospitals. The Israeli airforce has been acting as the air arm of Al Qaeda (or Al Nusra) against the Syrian regular army. I only mention this again to set the stage for the question that I have been thinking about recently.

At what date did The "old" Al Qaeda, start to get support from Israel? After 9/11 or BEFORE? (ie. is it the same, old and new?)

Posted by: stonebird | Nov 1 2017 19:37 utc | 10

Thanks b, for the heads-up on the latest incarnation of the religious freaks the empire acquires to do it's bidding. The ruse is never ending..

Posted by: ben | Nov 1 2017 19:39 utc | 11

@ b

This thread is interesting also ;

CIA Pompeo The Iran Hawk and trying to tie AQ to Iran (excuse to go to war)

Posted by: Yul | Nov 1 2017 20:07 utc | 12

I assume Qatar has removed itself from the Outlaw US Empire's Zionist Expansion Project given its rapprochement with Iran and that Turkey's done the same despite the recent affiliation b noted. As I wrote at SyrPers, we must remain patient as Iraq and Syria will become whole again in a manner nobody envisioned 11 months ago. The evil web woven by those running the Outlaw US Empire is being slowly unraveled from both outside and within as Korybko notes in this fine essay,

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 1 2017 20:25 utc | 13

Posted by: NewYorker | Nov 1, 2017 2:28:43 PM | 3
"That would explain why the US set up a base in Israel."

Are you referring to the US 'base within a base' that was recently announced? That is located within the very small Isreali air defense school that sits a few kliks from the Negev nuclear research facility (i.e., Israel's nuclear warhead-making facility).

The Negev site is where Israel has a US-built, US-operated AN/TPY-2 X-band missile defense radar, with a bunch of Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) interceptors clustered around it. (FYI, those interceptors are mostly US-built, such as the Patriot missile system; or, they are built with invaluable US assistance, such as the Arrow missile system. The Israelis can't wipe their own noses without US support.)

These ABM weapons, and the X-band radar, are there to protect this cluster of key targets, i.e., the Dimona reactor, plus the warhead assembly plants, plus nearby ICBM silos, plus the AD school.

The Negev site is remote, secure, and militarily important to defend (i.e., a great place for the radar and missiles) ...but the Israelis don't want the US personnel that support and maintain the radar actually on-site 24/7, alongside the radar - because then, they Americans would be able to take a closer look at what the Israelis are up to in this top-secret facility. (And gentile slave soldiers aren't supposed to do that kind of thing.)

The Israelis want the radar, but they don't want the Americans to be *near* the radar unless it needs maintenance and repairs.

So, the Americans have to spend most of their time at the nearby AD school. The Negev desert itself doesn't have much in it, apart from sand and IDF warmongers. The AD school was simply the nearest secure militry site of any meaningful size that could house the US personnel *and* was close to the nuke facility.

BTW, look at it on Wikimapia, and you can actually see the X-band radar and missiles.

FYI, almost all of Israel's military tech is stolen/strongarmed from the USA, and that includes the radars and missiles for their ABM and other AD programs. Even the Iron Dome is mostly designed and built by Raytheon in the USA. Not that that's stopped the Israeli military-industrial complex from trying to sell the Americans *own* tech back to them. The term 'parasite' is truly accurate, in this case.

Posted by: 777 | Nov 1 2017 20:38 utc | 14

Well that was f--king quick. I've never had a comment removed within five seconds of posting it on any website, at any point, before now. That's some paranoid-level censorship you've got going on.

Posted by: 777 | Nov 1 2017 20:43 utc | 15


Posted by: 777 | Nov 1 2017 20:44 utc | 16

@12 yul... the neo cons will try to tie iran to hitler and any other 'evil' looking identity too if they can... it gets tiring this 'neo con mentality' still having a wide audience thanks usa/israel/ksa ongoing shenanigans...

Posted by: james | Nov 1 2017 21:00 utc | 17

karlofi 13
The real point of Korybko's article is that - although he does not broach it - the US 'model' of democracy always and does depend on an expanding frontier of RESOURCES to sustain it . Now the easy domination of the worlds physical resources is no longer available to US interests she flails around like 'Samson at the mill of slaves '

Posted by: ashley albanese | Nov 1 2017 21:06 utc | 18

Fighting Hizbullah is a long pursued aim of the Saudis.
baba oreilly

what of the yahoos
not a lickle mention of the idf who want the goyim to rid them of this troublesome group.
who destroyed the reputation of the merkavavavava voom boom tanks
the house of saud are donmeh jewisher low on iq and ideas just retarded money bagmen for the mi6,cia and mossad.
why not talk of chatham house in london who come up with future strategum for the greater israhell projects.

saudis indeed
salman soloman
cohens khans
all kosher

Posted by: norman wisdom gbh | Nov 1 2017 21:32 utc | 19

All this maneuvering to get the US to lick Iran means that Israel is scared
of the Iran /Hezbollah tandem as it spells bad news for the IDF and their
purported invincibility.

Just learned through that the Syrians shot a surface to air missile
at an Israeli jet that bombed a copper factory - albeit after the fact-.

No mention of the fate of the jet or whether there was retaliation from the

The fact is, Israel is powerless to attack Iran as it knows there will be a heavy
cost to pay for a not really successful intrusion.

Iran is right about not needing any additional range for its missiles as it has enough
cannon fodder within the range of its missiles.

Does anybody has more info on the IAF attack on that copper factory?

Posted by: CarlD | Nov 1 2017 22:09 utc | 20

@ norman wisdom gbh who gives meaning to my life

I do sometimes think I exist to point out that the goal of the oppressed is to eliminate the tools of the oppressor. Any who want to rid themselves of our current enslavement need to focus on making global finance a public utility and not on the who of the current lever pullers of those private tools.

Thanks for the posting b and I hope nations stop buying US Treasuries and buy alternative SDR "paper" to stop continued warfare backed by empire.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 1 2017 22:14 utc | 21

I can't imagine a Saudi war on Hizbullah using al-Qaeda meat wouldn't be conducted in strong cooperation with Israel. Since there is no reference made in the article, b maybe assumes an Israeli role would be limited.

There is currently animosity between Turkey+Qatar against Saudi Arabia so I would be surprised if al-Qaeda would be supplied from Turkey. That Saudi vermin Sabhan also gave a guest appearance in Raqqa supporting SDF so I can't imagine he made Turkey happy, even when Erdogan is a certified unreliable opportunist. I would think the al-Qaeda meat would be supplied through occupied golan + south-west Syria (thus in reality Saudi military support passing through Jordan) where Israel has been doing some selective killings recently to grow terrorists with the desired kind of mindset.

Posted by: xor | Nov 1 2017 22:21 utc | 22

Russia has setup a deal to supply Saudi Arabia with the S-400 export system. The price Saudi will have paid is to forgo further support for Wahabbist terrorism (an existential national security concern for Russia). The S-400 system for Saudi will allow it to break free from the golden handcuffs of the Petrodollar in exchange for for US 'protection' scam. That does not mean the likes of Saudi's equivalernt of McCain wont try to stir things up. Turkey's sole interest in Syria is stopping the creation of a Kurdish state along the Turkish/Syrian border (its existential national security concern).

I am not convinced that Saudi has any real interest either way regarding Hezbollah. The Israelis are the only ones with anything to fear from it as it stands in the way of their further looting and destruction of Lebanon. If al Qaeda/whatever is directed against Hezbollah, it will be at Israel's hands. Israel already supports, arms and protects al Qaeda/whatever units on the border next to the occupied Golan.

Posted by: Anonymous | Nov 1 2017 22:25 utc | 23

@19 carl d... article from the here... funny how they describe groups dedicated to israel's annihilation... ongoing theme - if it ain't hitler, it is someone else... persecution complex much??

the full article for anyone who wants to skip opening the link...

"Syrian government forces reportedly fired a surface-to-air missile at IAF fighter pilots Wednesday from the 72nd brigade army base in response to an alleged Israeli air strike aimed at destroying a weapons factory near the Syrian city of Homs.

Arab media reported, however, the Syrian missile missed the mark.

Syrian weapons are shared with the Iranian-backed Hezbollah guerrilla group that is dedicated to Israel’s annihilation.

According to Lebanon’s ‘Elnashra‘ news site, Israel Air Force aircraft were seen flying above the Lebanese Mountain range close to the Syrian-Lebanese border just before a massive explosion was heard in the area of the border.

Lebanon’s Hezbollah-linked Al Mayadeen news network reported “unconfirmed reports” the IAF struck a facility in an industrial area in the Homs suburb, and that “Syrian anti-aircraft systems responded” to the attack.

Al Mayadeen claimed the attack was aimed at a “factory of copper vessels,” but the Arabic-language Sky News site reported the IAF struck a weapons factory four times, according to Ynet, which quoted the site.

The attack came shortly after Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu boarded a plane with his wife for a trip to London to attend ceremonies to mark the centennary of the Balfour Declaration."

Posted by: james | Nov 1 2017 22:26 utc | 24

PH @20--

Here's the latest recap regarding de-dollarization progress in case you missed it, Lots of commerce being conducted without using dollars!

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 1 2017 22:38 utc | 25

@ karlof1 with the link about de-dollarization

Thanks! Unfortunately, the beast of private finance seems far from dead yet and they are itching to get into a war to obfuscate global tensions even more.

Which world leader is going to get shot at in the coming weeks to precipitate the worlds next major war? I can't help but think that all this build up of "tension" has a purpose in some elite plan. I keep wondering how the elite throw Americans under the bus while still maintaining global existence and control of the tools of finance.....sorry for OT ramblings

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 1 2017 23:24 utc | 26

ashley Albanese @17--

Soon after WW2's close, planning documents originating in the State Department, likely authored by Kennan, openly acknowledged the fact that the globe's developing nations would no longer abide the situation whereby the USA hoarded 60-70% of available natural resources, and that some sort of policy diversion needed to be devised to keep that state-of-affairs ongoing for as long as possible. (Sorry for not providing the exact quotation and citation as I can't find them at the moment, but it's publicly available in the Foreign Relations of the United States reference series available online and at most major university libraries, year 1947 or '48, ). Making the newly independent nations into client states offered the easiest way to continue that imbalance. Escalating the Cold War was seen as the best diversion to keep the status quo ante.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 1 2017 23:38 utc | 27

ot - psychohistorian, did you check out any of charles eisensteins work on the topic of finances? his work is available for free on his website.. it is all free to read, including all his books.. check out the essay section as a good starting point if interested..

Posted by: james | Nov 1 2017 23:45 utc | 28

The Saudis, Turks, Israelis etc will not stop this behavior until their opponents, in this case Iran, Hezbollah, Syria and Russia, force them to pay for their deeds in terms that are sufficiently painful. The Saudis and Israelis in particular have committed war crime, dirty wars and atrocity after atrocity because they can do so with impunity. Much of this is aimed at Russia and Iran yet neither really replies in kind

Posted by: Alaric | Nov 1 2017 23:56 utc | 29

@8 0use4msm

Let me help....

In the 70's Carter allowed the CIA to create Al Qaeda in order to frustrate Soviet aggression in Afghanistan. I thought Carter was a decent person, but truth leads me to call him out as the father of AQ, wittingly or not. Reagan came behind him in the 80's and this policy continued with a former head of the CIA as VP. H.W. Bush former head of CIA follows Reagan, no change in policy and it is on his watch the Berlin wall comes down and the Soviet Union dissolves. Clinton is up next and although they are now aware of the threat AQ poses, (think it was 93 the World Trade Center parking garage was attacked) it is not a high priority. He is busy....busting up Yugoslavia and getting head..Bush 2 comes in, AQ strikes "the homeland" and U.S. is at war with the army his dad created. (H.W's resume is kind of blank between 77 when he left as Director of CIA and 81 when he became Reagan's VP; or I didn't want to lookk any further.) Afghanistan did not have enough targets and a bigger war was needed and Saddam 'did' threaten to kill baby bush's poppa, so Bush 2 started an ill advised war on Iraq. Shock and awe was the word of the day and CNN peeing their pants in a baghdad hotel room was the teaser. I think we won that war in Iraq 3 or 4 times to hear them tell it, before we left/got kicked.

Global War On Terror begins.

Obama, the great white nope follows and although he lays down a law, "don't do stupid shit", he allows one of the most progressive countries in Africa to be decimated (Libya), an American funded and sponsored coup in Ukraine, and then proceeds to try and overthrow the Syrian government. He did a lot of other stupid shit too, but we're sticking to war mongering.

Now, Al Qaeda (the group the government insists is responsible for the attack(s) in New York and three thousand some American deaths (in one shot) is no longer an enemy. We are and have been supplying them in Syria after watching them grow in Iraq. Now that they have changed their name and we are fighting a "common enemy" it is perfectly acceptable to finance and support Al Qaeda aka Jabhat Al Nusra aka Jabhat Fateh al-Sham aka Hayet Tahrir al-Sham. It's Trumps' time now and Americans are fed up with empty promises. Let the games begin.

I don't know how helpful this has been, but I don't think they will have any problem at all selling this to the American public.

Please feel free and welcome to correct any errors or omissions.

The United States is not going to war with anyone who can and will launch on Israel. Not going to happen. The fun is going to revolve around Turkey.


Posted by: b4real | Nov 2 2017 0:43 utc | 30

Glad to hear that Israel isn't involved in any of this.

Posted by: Anon | Nov 2 2017 0:52 utc | 31

b4real said
Let me help....
you did not help.

on the other hand the bolyn strikes at the heart of the matter

Christopher Bollyn on nuttyahoo terror terror terror

Globalists Created Wahhabi Terrorism
to Destroy Islam and Justify a Global State

Posted by: charles de drake | Nov 2 2017 1:33 utc | 33

b4real @29:

Please feel free and welcome to correct any errors or omissions.
Saddam also threatened Bush's daughters.

I wouldn't say that Bush the younger was "ill advised" because I don't he was running the show despite his claim to be "the decider". And the war itself wasn't "ill advised", it was simply illegal.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 2 2017 2:13 utc | 34

Just today israeli jets attacked a hezbollah warehouse in hama province

Posted by: Hermius | Nov 2 2017 2:19 utc | 35

LNG, Opium and land stealing provide the reason.
Eliminating competitors to the global Opium and LNG markets, and developing the profitable wild west in Golan.. lust business as usual.

In Africa Niger, Nigeria, and points south, the oil, gas, and lng competitors are exchanging their blood for oil and gas rights, opium farmers are being paid less but producing more because modern science has replaced the whip with the drone, and the land business in Golan has never been better... nothing will do but the competition should be eliminated. the people who will pay to eliminate the competition and to help those poor starving multi-trillion mega monopoly corporations make a buck will remain the video entranced American barnyard stock.

Posted by: fudmier | Nov 2 2017 2:27 utc | 36

Erdogan? What will he do if Russia drops him? He will never settle for being a puppet leader in a puppet state under the hegemon. Unless he has all natoists and Gulenists securely under lock and key, CIA would eat him for breakfast. He has no choice nut to work with Russia as being an independant leader of an independant country in a multi-polar world is a far better option. Russia has him by the short and curlies. He is alowed to run around and bark at the Efrin Kurds, and as was seen earlier, he can have a bite where they move out of their traditional area. There has been an ongoing assasination program of jihadist leadership in Idlib, mostly HTS. Soon the rank and file will come under Turkish state control. From there they can be negotisated with. If SAA were to conquer all of Idlib, they would be seen as an ocupying force rather than liberators. By taking them under state control, the fighting can be wopund down and then reconciliation can occur over a period of time. Perhaps Erdogan has other plans for when he takes control of Idlib, but Russia will twist his short and curlies if he gets off track. Erdo likes to bark at the Kurds, but at the moment, it is mostly theater for the rank and file jihadists while their leaders are being topped.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Nov 2 2017 5:04 utc | 37

I think Red Ryder @2 nailed the essence of things extremely well. I long to hear from Nasrallah the truth of the battlefield.

Meanwhile Sharmine Narwani and Pepe Escobar are both in Iraq right now, separately and by coincidence I think, but Escobar reposted Narwani's Facebook account of her meeting on Monday with "Hashd al-Shabi's legendary deputy leader Abu Mehdi Mohandes, mastermind of Iraq's ground battles against ISIS." -

Iraq has been transformed, she says, and has a "backbone" now that won't diminish. Glorious news from someone I trust.

I have trouble with Magnier's assessment of the situation in b's link. I don't see Turkey's position as sinister in any way. I wonder what b sees here. Magnier says the same thing, that Turkey is in collusion with Nusra in Idlib.

But you could as easily say that Soleimani was in collusion with the Kurds when he negotiated the bloodless return of Kirkuk. If we see more peaceful days and less violent ones, isn't it good that discussions take place between soldiers under a temporary white flag rather than the black one?

I don't see any provisioning for violence happening by Turkey's hand. Erdogan is who he is but he is now in the company of wonderfully upright warriors, and I don't think any amount of cynicism can wash this away. He's turning, and we've been watching it for months. He might succumb to the occasional taunt here and there but he's no longer playing sides. He's gone over - come over, one should say - to the good side where there's a future. Just look how he spits on NATO and the US.

Turkey is not in Syria to slice away its sovereignty but to deny the Kurds theirs. Erdogan will take the best way this works, and his allies must surely have shown him what they think is best for this.

As to Soleimani, bless his grief and his father's journey into the afterlife.

Posted by: Grieved | Nov 2 2017 5:36 utc | 38

"A "moderated" al-Qaeda, transferred through Turkey via sea to Lebanon, would be the adequate tool for a renewed anti-Hizbullah campaign." This all just played out in Syria and al-Qaeda lost. It isn't going to happen. Hezbollah has been a step ahead of these idiots since 1982.

Posted by: goldhoarder | Nov 2 2017 6:47 utc | 39

Sick and tired of all that hypocrisy. Let's play the ultimate moderate game then. Wanna play dirty? Ok. What about Hezbollah showering Israhell with missiles while Iran is doing the same with Saudi Barbaria?

Posted by: Jean | Nov 2 2017 12:02 utc | 40

@25 thanks for the link

""These developments also call into question, the long term feasibility of the Yuan being effectively pegged to the Dollar. The moment that China feels that floating the Yuan will incur greater aggregate advantages vis-a-vis the pegged Yuan, China will float its currency.

While it used to be received wisdom that it was the Dollar which gave the Yuan its value, the new dynamics in international trading markets and the sheer size and diversity of the Chinese economy, are changing this reality and changing it rapidly. If the Yuan is allowed to float on currency markets, the US Dollar is the currency that has the most to lose from such an event and it is now an event whose proximity in time is becoming ever closer""

I was intrigued when Randy Wray wrote about this several years earlier..



February 24, 2014
By L. Randall Wray

“I have no doubt that China would eventually be in a position where floating (her currency) would not only be desired, but it would be necessary.China will probably float long before it reaches such a position. China will become too wealthy, too developed, to avoid floating. She will stop net accumulating foreign currency reserves, and will probably begin to run current account deficits. She will gradually relax capital controls. She might never go full-bore Western-style “free market” but she will find it to her advantage to float in order to preserve domestic policy space.

If she did not, she could look forward to a quasi-colonial status, subordinate to the reserve currency issuer. China will not do that.”

This is from a comment on currencies by economist Eric Tymigone


“Emergence of money was not based on market exchange but wergeld and then state. The story of money starts with the imposition of a unit of account and some financial instruments. This financial instruments were first uncollateralized unconvertible financial instruments (in Egypts and Mesopotamia via shubati), went to collateralized financial instruments (gold coins), then convertible financial instruments (convertible paper money) and then back to unconvertible financial instruments. Both states and private sector have issued monetary instruments.”

I think this is what China is trying to do with its yuan/gold experiment. It is trying to enter the international market at the ‘convertible paper money’ stage.

I think the main problem with a gold based system is that there is not enough gold to cover all the transactions. But once the yuan becomes more accepted they could move to the ‘unconvertible financial instrument’ stage. Similar to the trip the USD took.

Posted by: financial matters | Nov 2 2017 12:46 utc | 41

Recently a third "moderate al-Qaeda" wave has been launched. A possible purpose is to use al-Qaeda in a new war on Hizbullah in Lebanon.

Well, that's not going to happen.
Al-CIA-duh, the Jews and the Saudi Barbarians are pretty stupid but they're not THAT stupid. Hezbollah are savvy enough to deduce that only "Israel" or Friends of "Israel" want Lebanon attacked. So no matter who attacks Lebanon, the Jewish State will get the blame and the blowback.
I'll bet Nasrallah isn't losing any sleep over the prospect of being forced to kill hundreds of "Israelis" every day. Hezbollah knows how to play the hostage game too.

This is the best idea Bibi has had since 2006.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 2 2017 13:45 utc | 42

@37 Peter AU 1

I believe you have stated Erdogans' position accurately.

The other side of the coin is that I would not expect the U.S. to sit idly by while Turkeys' political position shifts. There are a lot of Kurds in Turkey, and history has shown that they are willing to be used. U.S. has not extradited Gulen as Turkey requested and I don't think U.S. meddling in Turkey is a farfetched conclusion.


Posted by: b4real | Nov 2 2017 14:51 utc | 43


Add to that that Erdogan is in a state of panic about the 2019 elections. He is now preparing to cozy back with the Kurds to get their votes now that his ally, the MHP (Anti kurd)is loosing ground. He fired all the mayors of the large cities that voted against him. He is very very anxious after the succession of disaster in his foreign policy and the instability inside the country that is seriously affecting the economy. He now counts only on Russia for his future.
Therefore I expect a U-turn with the Kurds in Turkey over 2018. He badly needs the Kurds voice to ensure his shaking presidency.
I doubt that he will succeed and he will not enjoy the 'presidency' that he has built for himself. His time seems over. In 2019 Bye bye Erdogan!

Posted by: virgile | Nov 2 2017 17:12 utc | 44

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