Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 21, 2017

Russia In Syria - Military 'Failure' Sets Off Intense Diplomacy

Western media predicted that the Russian military campaign in Syria would end in `failure`. That - presumably - has been achieved (not). Now follows a push of diplomatic efforts to settle the war.

In September 2015 the "west" prepared for an open military aggression on Syria. The purported aim was to fight ISIS and to stop the migrant flow into Europe. The real aim was "regime change". Russia stepped in by sending its cavalry to Syria:

The U.S., Britain, France and others announced to enter Syrian skies to "fight the terror" of the Islamic State. Russia will use the same claim to justify its presence and its air operations flying from Latakia. Simply by being there it will make sure that others will not be able to use their capabilities for more nefarious means. Additional intelligence from Russian air assets will also be helpful for Syrian ground operations.

The Obama administration was surprised by the Russian (and Iranian) intervention. It had no sensible means to counter it. The administration and the U.S. commentariat tried to hide this impotence by predicting that the Russian campaign would fail.

Obama himself led the pack:

“An attempt by Russia and Iran to prop up Assad and try to pacify the population is just going to get them stuck in a quagmire and it won’t work,” Mr. Obama said during a news conference at the White House on Friday ...

As reminder, and for your amusement, an incomplete list of the then published "Russia fails" nonsense:  

In October 2015, in the mid of the above propaganda onslaught, the presidents of Russia and Syria met in Moscow. It was a warm meeting despite the NY Times groundless efforts to portrait it as "chilly". The plans were laid for the military efforts to regain the country. They were successfully implemented. Russia's "quagmire" in Syria turned out to be a Well Designed Campaign.

The U.S. tried its best to hinder Syrian and Russian progress in the war. But despite Obama's unrelenting efforts, the Syrian alliance managed to regain control over Aleppo, Palmyra, Deir Ezzor and most of the south-east. The borders to Lebanon and Iraq are open and secured. Russian pressure turned Turkey around. Local ceasefires were arranged in over 2,500 towns and hamlets. The Islamic State is defeated. The Syrian army is again fully equipped and a fearsome force.

Yesterday the Syrian President Bashar al Assad again met President Putin. Assad remarked:

I am very glad to have this opportunity to meet with you two years and several weeks after Russia launched a very successful operation.

Over this period, we have achieved major success both on the battlefield and on the political track. Many regions in Syria have been liberated from the terrorists, and the Syrians who had to flee from these regions can now return there.

After several hours of talk Putin introduced Assad to Russia's military leaders. He noted:

As you know, we will hold a trilateral meeting here in Sochi. However, I would like to say that conditions for a political process could not have been created without the armed forces, without your efforts and the efforts and heroism of your subordinates. This goal has been achieved thanks to the Russian Armed Forces and our Syrian friends on the battlefield. Thank you for this.

Since 1945 the U.S. military has, arguable, won no war. (No, Grenada does not count.) Russia demonstrated in Syria how it is done. This must be food for thought to "western" staffs.

Yesterday's meeting was the launch event for the main diplomatic campaign to end the war. Today Putin held phone conservation with U.S. President Trump, the Saudi King, the Emir of Qatar, the President of Egypt and the Prime Minister of Israel. Tomorrow he will meet President Rouhani of Iran and President Erdogan of Turkey. In parallel a meeting of high military officials of the Syrian-Russian alliance takes place. Saudi Arabia is cleansing the "High Negotiations Committee (HNC)" opposition group it supports. The uncompromising head of the HNC, Riyad Hijab, was fired. The groups meets in Riyadh on November 22. On November 28 another round of talks under UN supervision will be held in Geneva. Russia is planning to host a gathering of about 1,300 Syrians representing the revamped opposition on December 2.

Syria's will to fight, the reliability of its allies and Russian military competence have turned the war around. The Putin-Assad meeting in Sochi sets the foundations for a lasting peace.

There are remaining challenges: Al-Qaeda still controls Idleb governate, Israel protects Jihadi groups along the Golan heights, 1,700 U.S. soldiers and their Kurdish proxy forces try to establish themselves in north-east Syria. The Zionist lobby is pressing in Washington to prolong the war. It will take another year or two, and require more fighting, to overcome these issues. But the conditions to solve the remaining problems are now clearly in place. The diplomatic push by Russia and Syria will find solutions for many if not most of the unsettled problems.

The U.S. commentariat was wrong in predicting a failure of the Russian military campaign. It will continue to sow doubt over Russia's diplomatic efforts. It will try to hinder and denigrate Syria's progress in regaining full sovereignty over its land and people. 

No longer should anyone fall for such bullshitting.

Posted by b on November 21, 2017 at 17:52 UTC | Permalink


Supposedly by now, Syria must have a newer and more up to date Air Force.
New planes, better trained pilots, better rotary wing, better projectiles, more

But of course, even if Russia is no longer officially or round the clock on
the battlefield, it will be there no doubt if requested upon to render assistance
if need be.

Some help, intelligence, AA batteries and so forth will be turned over to Syrian
forces so that Assad can keep the predators at bay.

This is what I surmise will happen.

Posted by: CarlD | Nov 21 2017 18:45 utc | 1

I think the bullshitters increasingly find themselves beshat.

Posted by: Grieved | Nov 21 2017 18:46 utc | 2

And it looks like the well known defector, Riyad Hijab, will not be attending the meeting of Syrian opposition groups in Riyadh tomorrow.

Posted by: dh | Nov 21 2017 19:04 utc | 3

NYT says Syria's capitol is deserted.bullshit.zionist prop.

Posted by: dahoit | Nov 21 2017 19:07 utc | 4

thanks b.. it has been a long journey to this point.. the intentions of numerous players is on display for all to see, however, they are going to have to look elsewhere then the western msm to stay abreast.. i think many people view the western msm with much greater suspicion.. i hope so anyway.. perhaps the refugee issue was an important part of europe waking up to what these wars in the middle east foster.. either way, i wish syria well and anyone who seeks peace and a better world without resort to war..

Posted by: james | Nov 21 2017 19:11 utc | 5

I have to painfully disagree and maybe you can prove me wrong. However the USA staged an intervention in 1965 during the Dominican Republic's civil war and successfully defeated the liberals and helped the proxy conservatives who were losing.

Then the USA fought and won in Panama.

The invasion of Iraq by Bush 2 was successful but Saddam's defanged Republican Guard and army were a shadow of it's former power.

So we can't really say the USA has always lost ever since WW2, jess sayin

Posted by: Fernando Arauxo | Nov 21 2017 19:34 utc | 6

I do wish to add that seeing the heroism of the Russians, Iranians, Syrians and Lebanese is very inspiring.

Posted by: Fernando Arauxo | Nov 21 2017 19:37 utc | 7

Re-reading B's prior post that is up above about the Russian cavalry coming in, it shows that the Russians were still smarting over the Libyan affair where they nearly helpless to help old man Gaddafi from being made mince meat by the treacherous air forces and proxies of Obummer, Sarko and Camoron. This is just revenge and a mini reckoning for that all that. Assad and Putin deserve all the accolades from this stunning and breathtaking of snatching victory from the jaws of Uncle Sam. I think the Israelis are now somewhat afraid at the outcome. Hezbollah, SAA, IRGC and PMU's from Iraq all intergrated and working in tandem a few miles off their border. Assad was fearful before of using his army and losing men. Now campaigns and undertaken and won with no fear of death or defeat.
Way to go Dr. Al Assad, your father would be proud of your Michael Corleone rise and triumph.

Posted by: Fernando Arauxo | Nov 21 2017 19:45 utc | 8

Still a they are parroting mindlessly : ASSAD MUST GO!

You cannot explain mental patient that he/she is actually sick, so you cannot explain America nothing, reason is against their religion of American exceptionalism.

Posted by: Kalen | Nov 21 2017 19:55 utc | 9

Great list of MSM shame. Love it. Thank you. Will try not to forget a Christmas gift.

Posted by: aniteleya | Nov 21 2017 20:04 utc | 10

"No longer should anyone fall for such bullshitting."

Just come to Canada, where 95% still believe it.

Posted by: Jean | Nov 21 2017 20:22 utc | 11


In 1965 in the Dominican Republic, the US was fighting half the Dominican forces
as they were allied to the other half. In those days, the Dom. Rep was only 5 million strong
with mostly WW2 surplus equipment. The air force and the Navy were in the hands of the
US allied faction which made things a lot easier for the 42,450 disembarking Marines and
other US troops. Yet there were plenty body bags because the Dominicans fought
gallantly and valiantly.

So Yeah, big deal. A 20 years old fighting a toddler. quite an even fight...

Then Panama was another repeat of the same. The US used weapons that "melted" people.
They indiscriminately carpet bombed the populous quarters of Panama City. More than
5000 dead on the Panama side. some say 10,000. M1Abrams against tin shacks. Quite a fight!

So yeah, big deal. a 20 years old fighting a toddler. Quite an even fight...

And there was Grenada! Another glorious page Smedley Butler would be proud of!

I flew over the Fleet that was about to attack Grenada. The sea was frothing as long mustaches
along myriads of mean destroyers, carriers, corvettes, landing crafts, supply vessels and assorted
paraphernalia. Collectively they had probably more area than the tiny spec they were converging on.
But his was a decisive and neat and unquestionnable victory!

So yeah, can't say the US had no victories after WWII.

But yeah: "A vaincre sans peril, on triomphe sans gloire"
(Victory without risk brings no glory)

Posted by: CarlD | Nov 21 2017 20:39 utc | 12

The U.S. commentariat was wrong in predicting a failure of the Russian military campaign.

As stated not for once (by me)--US Russia's "scholarship" is pathetic across the whole spectrum of Russian activities--from diplomacy, to economy to military (especially military). In other words, US expertdom is simply not good, period. This claim today is supported by overwhelming empirical evidence.

Posted by: SmoothieX12 | Nov 21 2017 20:49 utc | 13

Jean @11 "No longer should anyone fall for such bullshitting."

Just come to Canada, where 95% still believe it.

Bulls eye, Jean, even among so-called progressives. Thank God for people like Eva Karene Bartlett even though most up here have never heard of her - and the CBC and TVO never seem to ask for her input.

Posted by: spudski | Nov 21 2017 20:52 utc | 14

Thank you B. I recently lost many cherished bookmarks (stupid gmail drafts issue), I now have many moments of enjoyment reviewing failed Neocon predictions, BU-WAH-HAH-HAH-HAH-HAH-HAH-HAH!

I even recall a few articles on ' /' chortling over the impending operational problems Russia was going to have in Syria ...
1. their ships were no good,
2. they couldn't maintain their aircraft,
3. they didn't know how to operate outside their country.
4. they were an army of conscripts on the verge of desertion, (this would be the end of Putin).

I am so glad I live in NJ because I am able to buy every drop of gasoline that I need from Lukoil which I do every chance I get. I will not buy gas anywhere else.

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Nov 21 2017 21:11 utc | 15

Much as I agree with the analysis of the Russian intervention, this victory is not a Syrian and Russian one only. Iran and Hezbollah have played a major role on the ground. That is not to take away from the Syrian and Russian roles, but the Shia allies's role is remarkable too.

Posted by: fx | Nov 21 2017 21:33 utc | 16

My air force father who had "served" in Nam once took umbrage at me saying the US had lost the war. "Okay, dad, what do you call second place in a f**king war?" served to shut him up. He was spec ops, Spooky, and never talked about what he had done. In fact, he didn't really talk anymore after he came back. I felt like I had lost him in the war even though he lived another forty years.

Posted by: Ruben Chandler | Nov 21 2017 21:38 utc | 17


I wonder why Putin did not mention the contribution of others
which was quite significant. Or whether it was just not reported?

Posted by: CarlD | Nov 21 2017 21:40 utc | 18

That's a hilarious collection of articles, which really shows the extent to which western corporate media parrots official government propaganda lines.

As far as why Russia was so successful in their effort, a lot of it comes down to their willingness to act as equal partners with Syria and Iran, rather than the American exceptionalist approach. This also meant Russia demanded that Syrian armed forces work just as hard as Russian air forces to accomplish goals (unlike the U.S. in Afghanistan, holding the hand of the Afghan army all the time). There was no Russia effort to meddle in Syrian internal politics or replace Assad with the most Russia-friendly tool in sight, as America would have done. Another extremely telling point is the brief disagreement with Iran over the use of Iranian air bases by Russian planes:

"Iran on Monday annulled permission for Russian planes to fly bombing runs into Syria from an Iranian base, only a week after having granted such extraordinary access, saying that the Kremlin had been unacceptably public and arrogant about the privilege." - Aug 22 2016, NYT

Russia didn't throw a tantrum (as the US would have done if, say, Bahrain closed off US access to their naval bases) and Russian-Iranian relations continued as before, and the Syria campaign was unaffected. What this really says is that Russia isn't bent on establishing some kind of Middle East empire along the U.S. lines (in which countries like Bahrain, UAE, Saudi Arabia only retain their monarchial dictatorships thanks to US military and economic support), but is actually willing to live in a multipolar world where they don't call all the shots all the time.

It's a real diplomatic win for Russia; rather than insisting on master-servant relationships, they've demonstrated they can work together with other countries as equal partners - something the U.S. should clearly learn from (not that its likely Washington will do so).

Posted by: nonsense factory | Nov 21 2017 21:51 utc | 19

How could I forget?
#5. 'Russia doesn't have any money'
#6. 'Putin is a tactician not a strategist'

Now if only Putin would send some more cargo planes with food and fuel into Yemen's main airport with fighter escort if necessary, and dare the Saudis to fire on them, I'd go back to my Russian Orthodox roots and light candles over an icon of St. Vladimir.

'U.S. ignores Al Qaeda yet again'
I find it notable that the U.S. Administration, military, and lapdog MSM, are all saying, 'ISIS has been defeated in Syria / Iraq but still exists as an online presence'. Give our obedient, lapdog MSM a dog biscuit for repeating what they are told.

Al Qaeda has officially disappeared from Syria even though this is the reason we are still slogging it out in Afghanistan. Will the news blackout continue or will Al Qaeda be re-discovered at a later date and our MSM will cover them again without even noting the collective, long term amnesia?

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Nov 21 2017 21:58 utc | 20


The political goal of the Outlaw US Empire versus Vietnam was to prevent the threat of a good example, and that goal was achieved; thus, the Outlaw Empire won as it fulfilled its aim depite having to withdraw from the nation.

18--Putin did thank both Iran and Hezbollah when he addressed those military men attending his reception with Assad.

Lots of telephone lines being warmed up as Putin goes on the diplomatic offensive; note the list here,

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 21 2017 22:10 utc | 21

@ fx | 16

Much as I agree with the analysis of the Russian intervention, this victory is not a Syrian and Russian one only. Iran and Hezbollah have played a major role on the ground. That is not to take away from the Syrian and Russian roles, but the Shia allies's role is remarkable too.

When Assad was thanking other countries a year or so ago, he primarily thanked Iran, and its contribution is much higher than we will ever know, they just prefer to fly under the radar and let others take the credit. For example, if 30-50 Iranian generals died in frontlines (Russians lost one?), then who knows how many thousands of lower ranked IRGC, Al Quds or volunteers lost their lives. Iran also supplied weapons, oil, and n billions to keep Syria afloat.

Also if not Iran's influence, its unclear if Hezbollah would have been involved as much as they did, and even Russia had to be convinced by Iran to move in full force.

@ nonsense factory | 19

Iran on Monday annulled permission for Russian planes to fly bombing runs into Syria from an Iranian base, only a week after having granted such extraordinary access.

As I remember, its against Iranian law to allow foreign military to operate from Iran's bases. Iran asked to keep it down-low and discreet, Russians got carried away with bragging and lost that privilege. In most cases Iran is happy when Russia is loud-mouthing or takes the credit, it allows Iranians to fly under the radar and avoid the heat (which is concentrated on Russia). In some cases discretion is highly valued by Iranians.

Posted by: Harry | Nov 21 2017 22:43 utc | 22

I only really know what I experience myself. Every thing else - something I read, something somebody said. (I do occasionally receive messages from the spirit world but rarely are they clear - and sometimes they are wrong or I interpreted them wrong.) Before the internet - I would read the WP or the NYT and books - even though I knew they occasionally lied. (I had realized the government and the major media lied when following the Vietnam War - the Tet offensive was not so much a military victory for N. Vietnam as a complete refutation of what the MSM had been telling America.) Now I don't bother. (I still read books) But still, up until 2006 I would have believed what most Americans believed about Putin. What settled my mind was when Putin came up with Syria destroying their chemical weapons and bailing out Obama on his imaginary red line crossing. It was like real statesmanship on Putin's part.
This associate history professor I know actually said to me - Putin is a billionaire many times over vis a vis the Panama papers. I said you had better go back and actually read the sources that led you to believe that.
Yes, Russia's effective intervention in the Syrian War turned it around - yes Hezbollah and Iran did their important part but they would not have been able to stop the Americans and their NATO proxies from becoming the jihadist's air force. Qaddafi was holding his own until NATO....

Posted by: gepay | Nov 21 2017 22:47 utc | 23

'...According to Hamad Bin Jassim, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri played a major role in fomenting the Syrian conflict with an extensive support of a number of pro-Saudi Lebanese officials...'

This and even bigger bombshell revelations from Mr. Bin Jassim...the former prime minister and foreign minister of Qatar...who recently decided to air the laundry...

So the Hariri escapade now begins to come into sharp relief...

Having been a Saudi pawn in instigating the Syrian 'uprising'...which has now completely failed...the churlish M. has to make his monkey pay...

What a joke...

Thanks b...for all those quotes from the useless presstitutes...

What a joke...

Before: HA HA HA HA

After: XA XA XA XA...

[X being Russian for H...]

Posted by: flankerbandit | Nov 21 2017 22:47 utc | 24

@ 8...regarding Libya...

Putin was disgusted at the time [and publicly] by then president Medvedev's decision to abstain from the UNSC vote on the Libya no-fly-zone...

Of course the no fly zone quickly turned into an all out war of regime change...with the great Moamar Kadafi being sodomized to death with a Bayonet...

This followed by the cackling monstrosity h. clinton setting the all-time low for human depravity...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Nov 21 2017 22:54 utc | 25

@11 Jean

Ha...yes Canadians are a naive and easily hoodwinked bunch when it comes to politics, doubly so when it is foreign affairs.

Posted by: Temporarily Sane | Nov 21 2017 22:58 utc | 26

Did the Russians ever switch their S-400 radars on, or was their mere presence enough to frighten off any aircraft missions?

Posted by: Palloy | Nov 21 2017 23:18 utc | 27

Putin, Lavrov and other Russian officials frequently mention international law.
US and lackys now only use the terms rules based order and international norms.

This is the interesting part of the UNSC resolution on al Qaeda.. "States are required to take the measures above with respect to ISIL (Da'esh), Al-Qaida and other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with them, as designated on the ISIL (Da'esh) and Al-Qaida Sanctions List (hereafter “ISIL (Da’esh) & Al-Qaida Sanctions List”)."
Virtualy every so called rebel group in Syria has fought alongside AQ or ISIS against the Syrian government.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Nov 21 2017 23:38 utc | 28

as a canuck myself, i can confirm canucks for the most part are much like americans.. they remain mostly ignorant of what is going on internationally.. maybe slightly less then americans, but not by much..

Posted by: james | Nov 22 2017 0:02 utc | 29

Harry @22--

For sometime apparently, Turkey's allowed Russian military airplanes to traverse its territory in total violation of NATO edict. They're flying with transponders on so visible on civilian air tracking websites. Got info from

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 22 2017 0:14 utc | 30

The Khazarians will not stop they don’t choose just one option. They try every possible way to attain the goal, which is absolute power. In the case of Arabs, they simultaneously do the following:
1. Divide et Impera (Divide and Rule): So they sow division and conflict by creating sects within the already established religions (if the sect succeeds, they call it: schism, or “national church” or true religion or whatever suits best). So for Islam, they support their own version of the Sunni faction of Islam (“Wahabism”), of course more extremist and tyrannical than the original Sunni proposals could ever implement. Modern Shia Islam is much more tolerant, while Sunni Islam has been very suitable to extremist proposals because the way that Sunni Islam got propagated is terrorist by itself: Convert to Sunni Islam or be annihilated! And the Sharia law (instead of self-governance based on natural law) is a fertile ground for tyrannical rulers. So all the Khazarians have to do is infiltrate their crypto-pseudojews within the ranks of the Sunni and also Shia clergymen (Same kind of infiltration within Christianity, e.g.: Jesuits).
2. Wahabism only works for their made-up country of “Saudi Arabia” (ruled by cryptos), so the Khazarians need a way to subvert the elites in the Arab societies. That’s where the Freemasonry kicks in. So the zioMI6 concocted their own version of Islamic Freemasonry, and called it: “Muslim Brotherhood”. All Freemasonic sects are in reality, political mafias, infiltrated by the Satanism of Khazarians, and supported with the wealth of their past and present loots.
3. Promotion of their own cryptos to the control of economic and political systems of a nation. This list is huge, but you can easily compile a list revealing that almost all presidents and most of the political and economical cadres are Freemasons or Cryptos, or both (And many of them are also transexuals or Satanists or pedophiles).

Posted by: Latinoamericano | Nov 22 2017 0:15 utc | 31

Yes indeed Peter, U.S. view of the world ...

1. Submit or die.
2. Might makes right.
3. Badges, we don't need no stinkin' U.N. badges.
4. Countries are either allies of the U.S. or Rogue states.

"Putin, Lavrov and other Russian officials frequently mention international law.
US and lackys now only use the terms rules based order and international norms."

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Nov 22 2017 0:18 utc | 32
This is the analysis of the former CIA intelligence officer/Chief of the Bin Laden Issue Station, I am not sure the future is as bright as some people thought.

Posted by: Terry | Nov 22 2017 0:51 utc | 33

flankerbandit @24:
"The former Qatari official would announce that the ex-Prime Minister of Syria Riyad Farid Hijab was persuaded...For this betrayal, Riyadh would pay him a handsome sum of 50 million dollars."
Hijab better be looking for a deep fox hole to hide in. Rest assured that someone will be looking for him.

Posted by: Ian | Nov 22 2017 1:07 utc | 34

Al Jazeera has published an article sourced from the opposition that there are about a million orphans as a result of the Syria war, so I'm waiting for Nikki Haley to pick up on this and demand action by the UNSC. The only problem is that the opposition source has failed to do his maths and hasn't realised that evidence from the SOHR suggests that the claim is ridiculous. SOHR currently reckons that about 10,000 women have died so far in the Syrian war, so for there to be 1,000,000 orphans (children without either parent) each woman would have to have given birth to about 100 children.

Posted by: Ghostship | Nov 22 2017 1:33 utc | 35

People in most professions would be out on the street for getting it so fucking wrong. But commercial punditry of this type is different. Today's presstitutes are paid to make something appear, that isn't at all. I wouldn't be surprised if pay rises were in order.

In fact, if I'm not mistaken, the writer of the Vox article b lists actually moved to the New York Times shortly a promotion of sorts...that is, a promotion in the world of make believe. In reality, you couldn't find a greater hallmark of a champion slut.

Putin beats the western establishment to every punch because the hollywood playbook is paper thin. There's nothing to it. The US is now on the edge of eroding the first amendment in order quash dissent.

Russia's entry into the Syrian theatre was the good fight. When was the last time the US was involved in the good fight (also discounting WW2, where the US propaganda largely steals the thunder of a brutal Eastern front)...? No wonder they lose out every fucking time. Their fights are solely about the cash, the resource. Short sighted, bordering on the retarded... really.

The irony is that in winning the good fight, you're guaranteed to get a welcome local handshake followed by a cash dividend anyways . Congrats to Russia. A master class all round.

Posted by: MadMax2 | Nov 22 2017 1:34 utc | 36

I can also confirm that Canadians can become highly incensed when confronted with evidence that as a nation they no longer act as "peace keepers" nor fight "terrorism", but instead use their American-made weapons of mass destruction to obliterate civilian infrastructure and kill non-combatants. Just like every other western country. The evidence is easily available but the cognitive dissonance is too much for most canucks. I'm getting less and less patient with the worn out cliches about how nice Canadian believe they are while their military bombs civilians and destroys their homes.

Posted by: Sad Canuck | Nov 22 2017 2:04 utc | 37

As you know the story of Assad isn't the usual for a man in his position but he's his father's son. I explained the reasons the war wouldn't be over by Xmas to a well known supposed expert M.E.writer and got ignored. I kept bring it up.
I'm no fan of Assad but you got to give credit where it's due. It was looking bad for him but he hung tough. Like Churchill and Stalin rolled into one. That was an historic save.
Then Putin got involved and I knew it was over. All you had to know was a bit about Putin. The map, the other players all counted but when Putin was down that was a game changer.
All of the BSers were wrong then and they're wrong now. They were touting Kurdistan like it was another crap Hollywood movie. Five minutes at the map would tell you Syria, Turkey, Iran and Iraq would oppose it. That doesn't even touch the many other obstacles.
Now KSA, the US and Israel think they're going to Tehran. Tell me another one.
It should be over for the US in the ME but you never know how far corruption and incompetence will go. I would say the bluff has been called.

Posted by: Rabbit Marshall | Nov 22 2017 2:05 utc | 38

@31 Except that « Satan » or « The Adversary » does not exist as a Deity in the traditionnal sense. If you refer to Kabbalah as the source of Freemason and Khazarian mysticism then it would be more accurate to name the opposite to the « Most High » or « Kether » as « Thamiel » or more commonly « Moloch »..

Posted by: Lozion | Nov 22 2017 2:17 utc | 39

..and in Hermetic, Neoplatonic and Gnostic beliefs, the name is « Yaldabaoth, the Lion-Faced »..

Posted by: Lozion | Nov 22 2017 2:26 utc | 40

Russia has to build the peace and prepare Syria for the insurgency war that is being organized by Israel, SA and US.

Putin is trying to shape the near-future. He wants to symbolically "leave" Syria with the bulk of his military.

But like last time, when he cut back on the size of the Aerospace Forces,(March 2016), he still must maintain a strategically significant force structure to leverage against Israel and the US.

We will see the action next year morph into typical terrorist actions, small unit battles, sabotage of reconstruction, and sniper assassinations, IEDs, and mortar attacks.

That will mean a war waged best by elite units.

Cleansing Syria will take every day and night of 2018.

I don't think Russia can "leave". Their reduction will be to give Trump a sop, so he can say Russia is not a major factor. But Russian military should find every possible way to remain as long as Syria is still facing military adversaries on its territory. Low profile, but capable of domination.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Nov 22 2017 3:22 utc | 41

@21 karlof1 - incredible link, thank you.

I didn't know about this source @Brasco_Aad. You only have to scroll through the last 24 hours to gather an entire story from the Middle East.

Here we are in our western mindset worrying that Assad has praised Russia at the cost of neglecting Iran and Hezbollah, and the true story is that all these forces are celebrating right now. They are all linked in common recognition of the fight they have fought together and won together. They are brethren in arms.

Middle East commentators say that never has an Arab leader received the welcome that Assad received in Russia - being ushered into the presence of the very generals who fought on his side and to be given the opportunity to thank them and praise them in person. This is a magnificent and solemn moment, that all parties share in together, whether participants or onlookers back in the Middle East.

The sense of brotherhood is palpable across the world of these forces. Khamenei declares victory over ISIS. Soleimani praises Khamenei. Nasrallah praises Soleimani, who was present on every battle field including the last one. Nasrallah mocks the Arab League and the Saudis who try to claim a share in this victory against ISIS and laughingly goads them to produce a general or soldier or prince who fought this fight.

Moon of Alabama rejoices in a retrospective of the doom-saying of the propaganda sheets of the Zionists, now all so much flimsiness, and this too is retweeted in the Arab world, as part of the celebration.

It's a celebration. Even as the crime of Yemen is on everyone's mind - so we are not happy. But we are strengthened. We are resolved.

Posted by: Grieved | Nov 22 2017 3:22 utc | 42

Ian @34

Yep...I'm sure he and the rest of his treacherous ilk will get theirs sooner or later...

glad to see you appreciated the article...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Nov 22 2017 3:31 utc | 43

Nicely said Grieved...@42

Posted by: flankerbandit | Nov 22 2017 3:33 utc | 44

If I had the funds I'd give them to you brother b. No commie shit implied.

If i had a computer I'd do a Sputnik/Run DMC Fake News bit. Just as an interstitial for you.

Posted by: Forest | Nov 22 2017 3:54 utc | 45

meant that for the fund raising thread :P

Posted by: Forest | Nov 22 2017 3:56 utc | 46

karlof1 | Nov 21, 2017 7:14:23 PM | 30
Had read that Russia was now over flying Turkey on some military flights. Strategic bombers, I think still fly around. Did not know it was a NATO diktat.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Nov 22 2017 5:05 utc | 47

james | Nov 21, 2017 7:02:48 PM | 29

My impression is that it is somewhat similar in Australia.
A couple of years back, most seemed to think that the US was the main threat to world peace, but as everything they read or see tells them how bad the other threats are, many are worried about China, Russia, NK ect.
Like US is least bad option type of thing.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Nov 22 2017 5:11 utc | 48

@48 peter au... it seems it is this way in the western world.. we are out of touch with reality basically.. one has to work hard to stay informed... speaking of which -

@24 flankerbandit.. great link with those revelations from hamad bin jassim - qatar guy... fascinating.. i guess we won't be hearing about that anywhere else...

and from the usa daily press briefing today on yemen... the catch phrase is this one - "The Government of Saudi Arabia has assured us that all the ports under control of the Government of Yemen have been opened to humanitarian aid and access." and who would be the gov't of yemen - hadi held captive in riyadh? i am sure any port in close proximity to sanaa continues to be closed, and of course this is where the saudis are making war thru starvation.. ugly fuckers those saudis..

"QUESTION: Yes. Moving over to Yemen, David Beasley of the World Food Program says the Saudi-led coalition is using food as a weapon of war. What is the State Department’s stance on that? Is there any consideration of pressuring the Saudis to open up, with the threat of famine that’s very real?

MS NAUERT: Right. A horrific situation that is going on in Yemen. It is something that our team has watched very closely. The ambassador to Yemen and I were exchanging emails just yesterday about the situation on the ground there. He is not in Yemen right now because we don’t have that operation there, but he recently visited to take a look himself.

I can tell you we’re working very closely with the Government of Saudi Arabia – as you well know, we have a good relationship with the Government of Saudi Arabia – to try to encourage better humanitarian assistance.

We recognize the food and the aid and the supplies that are needed in Yemen. The Government of Saudi Arabia has assured us that all the ports under control of the Government of Yemen have been opened to humanitarian aid and access. We have concerns, certainly, that that’s not moving quickly enough. I mean, you saw the pictures on 60 Minutes – many of us did – about the dire situation, especially for young, young children, and how terrible that is.

So we’ll continue to have conversations, and those conversations, I can assure you, are happening between our government and the Government of Saudi Arabia to try to facilitate better and faster humanitarian assistance."

Posted by: james | Nov 22 2017 6:21 utc | 49

@ james 49

Thoughts and prayers all round then? Thoughts and prayers.

Posted by: catchphrase | Nov 22 2017 7:10 utc | 50

Hariri arrived beyrouth yesterday evening. Went on his father's grave, watching now national day celebrations in quality of pm, going to another ceremony afterwards still in quality of pm.
What next...?

Posted by: Mina | Nov 22 2017 7:10 utc | 51

re 6

The invasion of Iraq by Bush 2 was successful but Saddam's defanged Republican Guard and army were a shadow of it's former power.
I didn't think there was still anybody left who claimed that the US won in Iraq. That is, apart from patriotic NRA members in middle America who have never possessed a passport. It was of course a clear loss. Maliki forced the US to withdraw, with no aims gained. It just took three years from 2008's agreement to withdraw under Bush, to the final withdrawal under Obama in 2011. The fact that the US has been able to move back since, owing to Maliki's folly, is neither here nor there. I doubt it will last too long (the renewed occupation), as US policy in Iraq has taken a real battering over the Kurdish loss of Kirkuk, a deal done behind the US' back.

Posted by: Laguerre | Nov 22 2017 9:04 utc | 52

@41 Red Ryder

Russia has decades-long leases on a sea base and an airbase in Syria. It is in Syria legally, pursuant to a treaty between the two nations and an invitation of the Syrian government.

Posted by: fx | Nov 22 2017 9:30 utc | 53

@52 @6
I think that one could make an argument that the USA is paradoxically 'undefeated in battle and unvictorious in war' since the Korean war.
The US won a resounding victory in the initial battle to invade Iraq in 2003 and then proceeded to spend 10+ years being unvictorious in the war.
The Vietnamese never managed to successfully drive the Americans from a battlefield and yet from at least 1968(tet) it was obvious to everyone in the world that the Americans would inevitably lose the war. And really it was obvious even long before that to the inner circles of power in Washington.

Posted by: Køn | Nov 22 2017 11:23 utc | 54

At the request of Aoun, Hariri agrees to suspend his resignation.

Anyway, with Mugabe all over the news, the PR effect was spoiled.

Posted by: Mina | Nov 22 2017 11:29 utc | 55

re 54. No, they lost in the end in Iraq. It's a loss if you're forced to leave. They just aren't going to admit it.

Posted by: Laguerre | Nov 22 2017 11:40 utc | 56

Russia has turned the tide of Western covert invasions using their proxy salaficst terrorists.

We are now proud to present the following video which is a wrestling re-enactment of the last 2 years of Syria dressed in white trunks and coached by Russia fighting against the American coached ISIS in the black trunks.


Posted by: Madmen | Nov 22 2017 11:52 utc | 57

Posted by: Madmen | Nov 22 2017 11:52 utc | 58

Saad Hariri, upon his departure from Riyadh, and before his return to Beirut, visited in turn France, Egypt, and Cyprus, meeting with the heads of government of these countries. Obviously meetings for an exchange of information with the EU and regional governments. Clearly other regional powers such as Israel and Jordan would be kept abreast of developments by the Saudis themselves. Probably his visit to Egypt was an attempt to persuade a reluctant Sisi to come on board whatever scheme is being hatched. Any ideas?

Posted by: SPYRIDON POLITIS | Nov 22 2017 11:53 utc | 59

Un-victorious is roughly the same as 'lost'... but there is a nuanced difference... if the US had truly 'lost' then Iraq would be able to force the US to a peace conference where the US would sign a peace treaty agreeing to pay reparations for all the destruction and millions of Iraqi dead.

And again the US did 'win' all the battles but still were un-victorious in the war. Therein lies the paradox.

Posted by: Køn | Nov 22 2017 12:10 utc | 60

This looks ominous -- justification for Israeli/KSA attacks of Hezbollah resistance to political demands? This could get very complex and ugly.

Looks like best option for Lebanon would be for no right to retract resignation and begone with the KSA's man. Otherwise the usual suspects will have a field day justifying their next moves.

"Lebanon's "Odysseus" Hariri Returns To Beirut, Puts Resignation On Hold: What Comes Next? . . . The return of Hariri is obviously linked to a Saudi agenda where he will ask Hezbollah to pull out of Syria, Yemen and Iraq and put down its weapons." (ZH)


Posted by: x | Nov 22 2017 12:45 utc | 61

"Since 1945 the U.S. military has, arguable, won no war. (No, Grenada does not count.) Russia demonstrated in Syria how it is done. This must be food for thought to "western" staffs."

I consider both the Gulf War and the Iraq Invasion of 2003 victories for the U.S. military -- even if extraofficially -- because the real objectives of both wars was to ensure American control over the oil reserves of Iraq. This objective was achieved: today, the main Iraqi oil wells are under control of at least one American company and Royal Dutch Shell.

Posted by: VK | Nov 22 2017 13:07 utc | 62

Kon @60

It was never likely that Iraq could force the United States to sign a peace treaty or pay reparations for the damage but that Iraq was able to refuse to sign a SOFA with the United States tells you who really won.

This goes back to Clausewitz's famous dictum that correctly translated read as "war is the mere continuation of politics with other means". So, whoever achieves their political goals is the winner and that is certainly something that the United States didn't doe in Iraq (or Korea and Vietnam for that matter). And that is why Israel lost in 2006 because Israel's political objective was to destroy Hezbollah while Hezbollah's was just to survive.

The translation that most Americans know is ""war is the continuation of politics by other means", a quite different meaning I think you will agree.

Posted by: Ghostship | Nov 22 2017 13:21 utc | 63

Posted by: x | Nov 22, 2017 7:45:43 AM | 61

Looks like best option for Lebanon would be for no right to retract resignation and begone with the KSA's man.

I think you're wrong there, the whole plan was based on replacing Saad Hariri, who'd come to an understanding with Hezbollah that another war would be disasterous for Lebanon , with Bahaa Hariri who hadn't, which would mean that when Saudi Arabia attacked Lebanon any outside intervention from the likes of Russia or Iran could be avoided. At the moment, Aoun can continue to refuse Saad Hariri's resignation because it can still be argued that with some of his children held hostage in Saudi Arabia, the resignation is made under duress, and Saudi Arabia can't allow them to rejoin their parents in Lebanon because then they have no hold over Saad Hariri and he could withdraw his resignation. The longer this bit of political theatre drags on the less likely that an attack by Saudi Arabia will occur thus thwarting the Israeli plan.

Posted by: Ghostship | Nov 22 2017 13:33 utc | 64

@64 -- interesting point. You're likely 2-3 dimensions of 'chess game' ahead of me here. I hope you are correct. Thnx.

Posted by: x | Nov 22 2017 14:06 utc | 65

Jean @11

From another Canadian: Yup, I've heard them (in coffee shops) saying, "Where there's smoke, there's fire" after watching the mind-numbing stupidity of MSM. For that great majority of dupes who only read headlines and news tickers, Twitter is enough and instant judgments can be so satisfying. And don't get me started on our foreign minister - ack!

Posted by: mikeatlarge | Nov 22 2017 14:42 utc | 66

So, can we retire the word "quagmire" now?

Posted by: Martin Finnucane | Nov 22 2017 15:18 utc | 67

Hariri back in "power". Power in Lebanon is a strange thing, a bit like in Northern Ireland, the government requires consensus of parties that hate each other, but unlike in NI, the parties know that consequences of stalemate may range from very bad (e.g. mountains of stinking trash clogging the cities) to total disaster, serious mayhem. Hezbollah seems to avoid overplaying its hand, but it is zealous to maintain what is necessary for its position.

In theory, Hariri should have power of patronage due to KSA backing, but for some number of years KSA refuses to give him money. EVERYONE assumed that he is KSA puppet, what changed is that the stringed that pull him are more tangled than before. There is just not a scintilla of sense in the resignation/non-resignation mini-saga, the fears about the mental state of MbS reach wider and wider. Israel as a "friend and ally" looks silly too.

Iran and Russia look much better than before not because of some angelic features, but by making SOME sense on consistent basis. Which cannot be said about Western principals, and even less about their "regional allies".

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Nov 22 2017 15:25 utc | 68

This latest failure to win yet another cowardly unprovoked War (in the name of Freedom & Demockracy) reminded me of an old song which fits the United States of Amnesia's Syria Fake War like a glove...

Who's sorry now?
Who's sorry now?
Who's heart is aching for breaking each vow?
Who's sad and blue?
Who's crying too?
Just like I cried over you?

Right to the end,
Just like a friend,
I tried to warn you somehow.
You had your way.
Now you must pay.
I hope that you're sorry now.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 22 2017 15:37 utc | 69

A historical comment about autocrats reforming their states. That happened many times over the recorded history, and one can see two patterns:

1. Enlightened absolutism. Before the term was coined, Peter the Great modernized the military, conquered a strategic stretch of Baltic shore to enable foreign trade, etc. The stature and power of his country was raised. He also resorted to repressions in the style of Ivan the Terrible. Later German princesses ruled Russia as enlightened despots. For better or worse, "things can be done" in that way, if only for 2-3 generations.

2. "Last emperor" syndrome. Chinese Confucian historians have the concept that personal virtues of the Emperor (and deference to Confucian officials) maintain the dynastic Mandate of Heaven which is terminated by the last ruler of the dynasty. That person has many talents and even more grandiose plans, starts an excessive number of projects and also wars conducted in a pigheaded way. Competent officials and generals are executed, barbarians decimate armies, overtaxed peasants rebel ...

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Nov 22 2017 15:38 utc | 70

So, can we retire the word "quagmire" now?

Posted by: Martin Finnucane | Nov 22, 2017 10:18:01 AM | 67

Perhaps. In my theory, quags, mires, bogs and swamps are all wetlands, and we have learned to appreciate their ecological necessity. Rather than eliminating them, wise planners preserve their positive features and handle the troublesome ones. One political context is "the swamp", should one drain it or not?

The situation in Syria remains a mess, and when the "quagmire" articles were written, it really looked that Russia merely propped a stalemate. But in a step-by-step fashion, just enough high quality military units to enable increasingly bold offensive actions. Similarly, what looked like feeble diplomacy, over time changed the international situation from awful to tolerable.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Nov 22 2017 15:56 utc | 71

Ominous sign even if off subject:

Russian President Vladimir Putin says that all major Russian companies,
both state-owned and private, must be ready for a rapid transition
to war-time operations, adding that the capability is crucial to national security.

From RT this minute.

Putin must know something we don't.

Posted by: CarlD | Nov 22 2017 16:04 utc | 72

Amazing conference with Rohani, Erdogan and Putin. To be balanced, RT opened the floor next to an Israeli analyst.

Posted by: Mina | Nov 22 2017 16:18 utc | 73

@71 Piotr

Chinese philosophy has so much to offer. Taoism can echo the words of Confucianists even more succinctly:

"When the Way governs the world, the proud stallions drag dung carriages. When the Way is lost to the world, war horses are bred outside the city."

Not my favorite translation of this passage but even hauling shit has more honor than Teddy Roosevelt adventurism.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Nov 22 2017 17:06 utc | 75

@50 catchphrase... i suppose... it is easier to say then practice..

Posted by: james | Nov 22 2017 17:58 utc | 76

Did a quick scan of B's links
1. It was painful hearing the oft repeated lie that Russia only bombed non-ISIS fighters, breaking their ISIS only pledge. Any journalist who repeats this lie should lose their job because Putin stated his intention on 9/28/15 on '60 Minutes' ( click on = sign to see transcript, read time markers 10:42 - 15:20 )

It's not like they had to be fluent in Russian, just watch primetime network TV. Putin, 'To support the existing govt, help them fight ALL terrorists including Al Nusra and ISIS, and to encourage political reform with the healthy parts of the opposition'.

I died, I'm in hell and part of my eternal punishment, is to keep hearing this same lie over and over again, right? Come on, one of you can tell me.

2. The most absurd article goes to the Russian experts at Newsweek.
Why do they still have their jobs?

"According to Bloomberg's Ilya Arkhipov and Henry Meyer, Russia's president was expecting a short, swift campaign in Syria to bolster his ally, President Bashar Assad, and defeat the Islamic State group. Instead, he's facing a stalemate, spending vastly more money than anticipated, and his advisers are planning for a much longer stay than originally planned, increasing their estimates of Russia's commitment to at least a year from an original three months.

Putin's also now supporting the Free Syrian Army, which is fighting against Assad, meaning Russia is quite literally on both sides of the war"

Are these people on mushrooms?

When did Russia announce a 3 mo campaign, they don't think like the U.S, the cost was very economical, and reaching out to the FSA was part of their reconciliation campaign consistent with Putin's interview, to separate moderates from radicals for a political solution. Oh, and these are their Russian experts, wish I could land a job like that.

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Nov 22 2017 19:04 utc | 77

I have to wonder about Russia saying their military help in Syria is coming to an end. Is it to avoid the confrontation with the US in the portion of Syria held by Kurdish forces in Eastern corner of Syria (with their embedded US special forces) where many oil fields are - the same with the Golan Heights and Israel. Russia has accomplished its goals of keeping Syria from the fate of Libya.

Posted by: gepay | Nov 22 2017 19:07 utc | 78

Did you know the key folks of major US media outlets are all members of the Council on Foreign Relations? Might explain why they are so geared to war..? =>

Posted by: Tom G. | Nov 22 2017 20:49 utc | 79

One can have more merciful view on the poor flacks: war predictions have even worse track record than predicting economic recessions. Just this week I learned a tragic/comic tidbit. Stalin got intelligence about Hitler invasion plan but he dismissed them -- this is what "everybody knows". This week I read about one of his reasons: Soviet intelligence watched German consumer market, and they reasoned that an invasion of Russia would require an upgrade of German winter uniforms, millions of them, resulting in millions of sheep slaughtered for their skins and mutton flooding the market, and that did not happen. The mistake of German high command was just unthinkable to the Russians...

The other piece of info was prompted by a story of American Marines send to a winter military exercise in northern Norway with winter uniforms prepared for Iraq, which "did not perform adequately". Apparently, when temperature drops below a certain level, it does not do any good to simply put on more inadequate clothings -- to be properly dressed for the period when you stand or lie down you must sweat quite a bit when you run, subsequently the sweat freezes and you can barely move. One could think that Germans could learn all necessary details from their Finnish allies, but the root of the mistake was that the plan of German invasion projected a victory well before the start of the winter.

The root of the mistake of those flacks who actually did some thinking is neglecting the fundamental difficulty/possibility: honing the motivated and capable local forces. Americans were mediocre in that respect, especially when they operated in countries that were overly "different" like Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq. My impression is that the quality of pro-Soviet forces in Afghanistan was much higher than the current pro-American forces.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Nov 22 2017 21:11 utc | 80


Posted by: Mina | Nov 22 2017 22:10 utc | 81

All this blabbing from various quarters about whether the US 'won' anything or really starting to get tiresome...

[not to mention totally irrelevant to this discussion of Syria...]

...'The Chinese intervened and drastically changed the character of the war...

Eighth Army was decisively defeated at the Battle of the Chongchon River and forced to retreat all the way back to South Korea...

The defeat of the U.S. Eighth Army resulted in the longest retreat of any American military unit in history...

The Chinese broke through the American defenses despite American air supremacy and the Eighth Army and U.N. forces retreated hastily to avoid encirclement.

The Chinese offensive continued pressing American forces, which lost Seoul, the South Korean capital.

Eighth Army's morale and esprit de corps hit rock bottom, to where it was widely regarded as a broken, defeated rabble...

Everybody knows that a braggart makes a poor fighter...

US can't fight it's way out of a paper bag...has picked on only impoverished countries a fraction its size...

...and goes around pissing on corpses and stepping on civilians' necks when they raid their home at night...

Enough of this crap already...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Nov 22 2017 23:19 utc | 82

Good comment by Ghostship @64...

Just saw a good interview on RT with a Lebanese commentator who said Hariri's possible replacement would be worse...can't recall the name right now, but obviously a more pliable KSA puppet...

He said Hariri had obviously lost credibility with the Lebanese people...but Hezbollah and president Aoun are being very sensible and low-key...calming, not stirring...

Obviously this whole thing is another whacko idea by M. BS...

This guy is walking around with a can of gas and desperately wants to start a fire somewhere...even US is flustered by this moron...seeing as he has purged a lot of longtime US opratives...including the notorious Bandar 'Bush'...

The big undercurrent in all of this is the petrodoallar and China...

'...Saudi Arabia continues to demand insistently only USD currency in exchange for oil from Chinese importers. Beijing is somewhat annoyed with such stubbornness from Riyadh, for the Chinese have a wide range of oil suppliers to choose from.

The Chinese authorities have been trying to bring it home to Riyadh that its dollar fanaticism can cost it quite a lot.

Even US analysts say China will force KSA to accept yuan...

Some even say M. BS is actually working toward this re-orientation...but certainly nothing convincing has been presented so far...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Nov 22 2017 23:58 utc | 83

@73 "The Russian president has unveiled plans for a Syrian peace congress in a bid to end the six-year civil war.
Vladimir Putin made the announcement after talks with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
In a joint statement they urged the Syrian government and opposition to "participate constructively"."

Somebody at the BBC is asleep at the switch. Government? What happened to the 'regime'?

Posted by: dh | Nov 23 2017 2:21 utc | 84

@ CarlD | 72

Putin must know something we don't.

He is just sending a signal to belligerent NATO, but other than that - NOBODY is crazy enough to attack Russia now. If nobody dares to invade Iran or NK, then what to speak off 10x more powerful Russia.

Posted by: Harry | Nov 23 2017 13:49 utc | 85

I guess having all major enterprises prepared for war is a standard Soviet doctrine. During WWII part of the pasta factories were redirected to produce gun powder -- apparently you can use the same machines, just instead of wheat flower ....

OTOH, eventually, RF has to soften European NATO, so the apply various little pressures.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Nov 23 2017 14:32 utc | 86

flankerbandit @83:

China may try to convince the Saudis to dump the dollar, but I have a feeling they'll fail. I don't believe the Chinese leadership truly understand, or perhaps they're in denial of, how determined both MbS and Bibi are, to start a war against Iran. Another obstacle for the Chinese would be their support of Assad via weapons shipments.

Posted by: Ian | Nov 23 2017 14:56 utc | 87

Not to rain on anyone's parade but....

At this stage of the monetary dynamic where credit markets are on life support (following numerous credit expansion attempts with TARP, the various QEs and zero interest rates) the end game is not and cannot be to "win" a war. Any war.

At the very macro level, the West operates through the monetary system. The West offers a centralised monetary system whereby the owner of the unit of exchange has no reciprocal obligations vis-a-vis the rest of society that is obligated by law to make use of said unit of exchange at interest.

All countries that have been pulled in through various stratagems be it by using the US$ as reserve currency, or by joining GATT or the WTO for example, are, to various degrees, arithmetically subject to the Fed's monetary policy.

Due to the diminishing marginal utility of debt, this monetary system is arithmetically limited.

Generally speaking the limit is reached when government outlays can no longer be sustained by the underlying economy. Ergo, when government consumes more resources than the economy can generate.

All members of this monetary system are on the same path. Some entities are ahead (Spain, Greece and Italy) some are bringing up the rear like Germany, Australia and Canada. But all are on exactly the same path.

This impasse cannot be solved; neither can it be solved legally nor, indeed, can it be solved arithmetically.

The only possible way the owner of the unit of exchange can continue to accumulate title to property is by increasing the fiscal burden.

The fiscal burden can only be increased through legislation

Legislation can only be imposed by claiming increasing crisis

Increasing crisis requires that, amongst other things like immigration or failing health care, wars are not "won".


A corollary to the above is that, contrary to all developed countries who are running Debt/GDP ratios of 100% up to 250% in the case of Japan, Russia today is running a Debt to GDP ratio of around 15%

The West would do well to heed the old saying: "A bon entendeur, salut!"

Posted by: guidoamm | Nov 23 2017 15:49 utc | 88

@88 guidoamm... thanks for your post.. so how do you see things unfolding as we go forward here internationally?

Posted by: james | Nov 23 2017 16:05 utc | 89

Saudi Arabia has bought 100's of billions dollars worth of weapons. It has not bought an effective military. In 1979 several hundred militants seized the Grand Mosque in Mecca. The Saudi Army and National Guard needed the help of French and Pakistani commandos to get them out. Now in the next century, they are unable to subdue the Houthis in small relatively sparsely populated Yemen - one of the poorest countries on this earth. They are able to kill a large number of Yemeni children - mostly through starvation and cholera.
Not even with the help of the Israelis could it possibly win a war against Iran. The Israelis were unable to defeat Hezbollah. After their 2nd invasion of Lebanon they were forced to leave. Only with the help of the US and Nato could they be a threat to Iran. Of course, the Saudis could bomb Lebanon without Lebanon doing much about it. Attacking SA would bring in the US. Not much Syria could do to help.
The US troops in Qatar would probably just stay on base if SA invaded. Taking over Qatar has been complicated by Turkey putting troops into Qatar.
The US will never leave Afghanistan until the neocon-Israeli desire for the US to invade Iran has been given up.

Posted by: gepay | Nov 24 2017 4:36 utc | 90

James, in macro general terms, yes, it is possible to plot an outcome in broad terms.

A centralised monetary system is a very blunt tool. Effective, but very blunt. Collateral damage is par for the course and, arithmetically speaking, is manna for the owner of the unit of exchange.

Your data points are the following:

On one hand,

80% of the global population is centred in Asia

The bulk of industrial capacity is, in rough terms, centred in the same geographic area

On the other hand,

Fiscal bankruptcy is the exclusive preserve of the West (including Japan which is a bit of an anomaly in some respects)

Un/under employment of a largely literate population is a Western thing

Skipping a few dots along the way.

If we are to maintain this monetary arrangement, then we have to gradually upset the socio/economic stability of those countries that are located in a band of land that snakes from India to South Korea taking in Japan and Taiwan along the way.

The West operates at the ultimate macro level - the monetary system

Effectively, by artificially pumping the monetary base and credit markets, the owner of the unit of account has at once, albeit gradually:

Induced political profligate spending

Thus has increased the fiscal burden on productive society

Thus made legislation ever more complex and restrictive

Thus raised barriers to entry

Thus monopolising the economy

Thus induced off shoring
Declining Business Dynamism in the USA Brookings

Thus resulting in un/under employment

Thus worsening the fiscal impasse

Thus worsening social/economic alienation

(NB: as outlined previously, all Western countries are exactly on the same path. The only difference is that some countries are much further along in this dynamic (Greece, Spain and Italy) and other countries are bringing up the rear (Germany, Australia and Canada).

During this process, global sovereign countries have "benefitted" from the fiscal profligacy of the Fed. Effectively, sovereigns the world over have issued sovereign debt in US$ taking advantage of an environment of seemingly perpetually declining interest rates.

The key today is the US$

In my estimation the US$ is now on a path of inversion which, if correct, will result in mayhem and revolution far and wide in the lands of all those countries that have made use of US$ debt over the past 10/20/30 years.

At the same time, monetary profligacy in the West overwhelmingly favours those entities that are closest to the power centre thus banks and financial institutions followed closely by favoured corporations including, of course, the MIC

So, in broad terms, the next 5 to 10 years will be characterised by violent social and economic dislocations in Europe, the USA and war and destruction in Asia. Interestingly however, the bulk of the destruction that will be visited upon Asia will occur from within. This will be brought about by a mix of political, ethnic, religious and territorial tensions that, in fiscally strangled economies, will flare up internally and will be inflamed by the occasional intervention of various Western political interests. In this respect I must point out that today we can no longer speak of US foreign policy or UK foreign policy or France foreign policy. The Western political construct today has devolved into a collection of power centres that have been fostered by an aloof and self absorbed civilian administration that has been more concerned with politicking than with state craft.

Rant over

Posted by: guidoamm | Nov 24 2017 6:39 utc | 91

When a country is as poor as Yemen you don't even need to put big means in order to collapse everything. Ppl there never trusted banks (or live simply too far from one) and they only trust solid gold (weddings, tribal conciliation payments etc). With the prices of gold since the 2008 crisis there must have been some money to be made from buying the gold of small ppl.
Next is Western Union. Who owns that and why don't we ever hear of conflicts of interests? It is currently the unique way to send money there, and they take a fee of ca 100 dollars for each 500 dollars you send!

Posted by: Mina | Nov 24 2017 8:11 utc | 92

Good post b, more proof of how the western MSM completely fool and spread disinformation DAILY.
These "journalists" are so full of their own lies and psyop deception they dont know whats going on at all.

Posted by: Anonymous | Nov 24 2017 10:26 utc | 93

"“We learned from Europe that appeasement doesn’t work. We don’t want the new Hitler in Iran to repeat what happened in Europe in the Middle East.”

Read more at:

M. BS mays have tried his father's pills too often. Whatever, give him his pills.

Posted by: Mina | Nov 24 2017 11:56 utc | 94


Liked the rant.

How I see it: They were on a path to a globalized order, with clock ticking: towards a homogenous/unified economic space. It appears then that one faction, Big Oil, decided to take over the house. Private Finance, the older faction, then engineered the disruption of the PaxAmericana, with their (historical) assets and tools. Once US is ejected from ME, Private Finance assets will be in control of the energy resources. Per this view, the entirely self destructive actions of US in 9/11->2016 period were in fact a subversion of the American power from within, and here we are.

Caveat: bottom line is that we simply do not have enough information to truly understand what is going on.

Posted by: bits | Nov 24 2017 15:43 utc | 95

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Nov 22, 2017 4:11:47 PM | 80

Problem is that people end up believing their own propaganda.

Like - Hitler's pact with Stalin made sense - should Germany have intended to win WW2. But Russians were the "Untermenschen" to be colonialised ...

Stalin did not trust the information he got - he was paranoid - in addition the information came from German communists who acted out of solidarity, something that was not part of Stalin's experience - he thought they were double agents.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 24 2017 17:49 utc | 96

Re 31 and the doings of the Khazars.
Considering the newness of Khazars as Jews, (circa1630 AD) I believe that
they would not be the authors of Masons and such.

Inasmuch as Christianism was bestowed to the world by jewish scholars
securing an exclusivity for themselves in acquiring wealth, it is most probable
that the real Jews are the inventors of the Masonic and Rosicrucian orders.
They probably were also the Templars founders.

The Jews have been very artful in their invention of Christianism. First they
induce a dependency on the Bible by relating Jesus to the prophecies of the Bible.

Then, they make it seems as this is really the continuity of God, (Yaweh,) and then
this (renewed) God wants to redeem all nations and give them a place
by his side in his Glory, not like the Yaweh of yore who only wants to save the Jews.

Instead of an eye for an eye, the new religion teaches: offer the other cheek for
a new slap. Suffering is what will earn the Glory of God. It also teaches that
poverty in more agreable to God than riches. It also instructs the faithful to pay
they taxes: to Ceasar what is Ceasar's. Therefore, the serfdom is instituted
as well as the basis for slavery.

Thus, Jews can accumulate the despicable riches that the Christians will disdain
or discard and they can also be the owners of those submissive individuals. It is
astonishing to see the imbecile fervor of the Goys in support of Zionism that sees
in them just expendable cattle.

Jews do not like Islam because these were not created by them even though
there is a certain disdain for interests. These are not meekly inclined individuals
by religion.

Therefore they must sow divisions in between them.

Posted by: CarlD | Nov 27 2017 20:37 utc | 97

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