Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 12, 2017

U.S. Surrenders On Syria - Resistance Turns Eyes On Israel

This New Yorker piece is notable for its arrogant headline, and several false assertions. Those may be necessary to divert from its real message - the U.S. surrender to the realities of Syria: Trump to Let Assad Stay Until 2021, as Putin Declares Victory in Syria

[T]he Trump Administration is now prepared to accept President Bashar al-Assad’s continued rule until Syria’s next scheduled Presidential election, in 2021, according to U.S. and European officials. The decision reverses repeated U.S. statements that Assad must step down as part of a peace process.
The Trump Administration says it still wants a political process that holds the prospect of Assad’s departure. But it has concluded that it may take until 2021, when the next election is scheduled, to pull it off.
U.S. officials worry that Assad could win the 2021 Syrian election, one way or the other, and remain in power for years to come.

The U.S. "lets Assad stay" because there is simply nothing else it can do without waging a large scale war. It has tried everything else - and lost. In 2012 it attempted to assassinate Assad, but he wasn't at the security meeting that the CIA blew up. It send 100,000 Takfiri fighters from all over the world to Syria and shipped in ten-thousands of tons of weapons and ammunition. The global anti-Syrian propaganda campaign in favor of the Takfiris was unprecedented. It tried to build a political opposition and sponsored it with hundreds of millions. It lastly invaded the country and tried to split it by force. It failed on all fronts.

The U.S. decision reflects the Administration’s limited options, the military reality on the ground, and the success of Syria’s Russian, Iranian, and Hezbollah allies in propping up the beleaguered Assad regime.
The Syrian opposition groups backed by the United States have been ineffectual. They have squabbled among themselves and split into factions.
Diplomatically, Washington has been marginalized by the powerful troika of Russia, Iran, and Turkey, which now dominates the peace process.

In 2013 the author of the piece, Robin Wright, presented the Israeli dream of a split up Middle East.


It was a remake of the "Blood Borders" map peddled in 2006 by the neoconservatives Col. Ralph Peters. That gain was an updated version of a map of a "New Middle East" by Bernhard Lewis published in Foreign Affairs. Those maps went into the trash-bin when the U.S. had to leave Iraq. Wrigth's cartographic expression of imperial arrogance will end there too.

Wright is heavily wired in Washington. She is part of the *borg* and held/holds positions at the U.S. Institute of Peace (which plans wars), the Wilson Center, Brookings and Carnegie Endowment. That she has now given up on her ludicrous map likely reflects the leading opinions within those institutions.

One wonders if the military junta in the White House is on board with this. It continues to dream of keeping Syria and Iraq under its thumb:

Col. John Thomas, spokesman for the US Central Command (CENTCOM), said that the international coalition forces would remain in Syria to support the operations of the Arab-Kurdish “Syrian Democratic Forces” until the conclusion of negotiations on a political solution in Geneva.

He added that the US forces would continue to fight terrorist organizations close to “al-Qaeda” in Syria, including al-Nusra Front, “regardless of ISIS presence.”

Dream on.

Yesterday Putin visited Syria. He declared victory and announced that part of the Russian troops in Syria would return home. He made sure that everyone, the U.S., the Turks, the Saudis and the Israelis, understood that the troops would be back in no-time if they try to reignite the war:

"If terrorists again raise head, we will deliver such strikes on them that they haven’t seen so far," Putin told the Russian military.

Another member of the Syrian alliance, the Lebanese party Hizbullah, is now refocusing on Israel. Trump's hail-Mary pass of illegally recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital came just in time to give new impetus to the resistance:

Mr Nasrallah called on the “resistance axis” — a reference to Hizbollah and its Syrian and Iranian allies and patrons — to “devote all its power and time to the Palestinians. I call on all the resistance factions in the region to unite and put one common strategy and practical plan to face this threat,” he said.

It was Israel that was behind (pdf) the campaign to dismantle Syria and Iraq. It utterly failed and the revenge will be harsh. Hizbullah is better armed and trained than ever. Battle experienced Iraqi and Iranian groups stand ready. The Syrian army is much better trained and equipped than before the war. The Iraqi resistance leader Qais Al Khazali recently visited south-Lebanon and took a look over the border into Israel. He was surveying the new battlefield.

Israel's great new alliance with Saudi Arabia has not helped its position. The Salman tyrant and his son are in an insecure position and their great relations with Trump have tanked, allegedly over the issue of Jerusalem.

The Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahoo is under pressure at home. The corruption accusation accumulate and his time in office is now limited.

Who will replace him? What is the new plan the Zionists will come up with to react to the changed situation?

Posted by b on December 12, 2017 at 18:48 UTC | Permalink

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It would be nice to think something positive will happen but then again the Amerikan neo-conns never give or lose power. Sad.

The Amerikan military said they're staying in Syria. We'll see what happens when Syrian army turn their sights on them.

Thanks b

Posted by: jo6pac | Dec 12 2017 19:07 utc | 1

I'd be glad to see Netanyahoo out of power, however it's done. Unfortunately, I think the right wing Zionists maintain enough sway on the population, with the help of the Orthodox community, that almost any replacement for Netanyahoo will be just as bad vis-a-vis the Palestinians.

Posted by: John Zelnicker | Dec 12 2017 19:08 utc | 2

Does Netanyahu need a fierce war to have his "country" close ranks around him?

Posted by: librul | Dec 12 2017 19:35 utc | 3

6th April 2017 Russian foriegn ministry put out this statement...
"We reaffirm our commitment to the UN-approved principles for a Palestinian-Israeli settlement, which include the status of East Jerusalem as the capital of the future Palestinian state. At the same time, we must state that in this context we view West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel."

25th May, the resolution reaffirming the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 (Public Law 104–45) is submitted to the US senate and agreed to June 5th 2017.

December Trump announces Jerusalem as Israel's capital and US embassy will relocate to Jerusalem.
Shortly after, Putin visits Syria and area...

The Russian foreign ministry statement of 6th April just a little bait to catch a big fish?

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Dec 12 2017 19:46 utc | 4

Some Jews understand that there is no future for them in the ME. Apparently a British billionaire, Lewis, owner of the Spurs a.o. is buying up large territories in Patagonia. The IDF is already there. See Voltaire Network for details.

Posted by: Willem Friso | Dec 12 2017 19:49 utc | 5

thanks b.. i see erdogan has come out criticizing other weak kneed arab / muslin nations on the topic of trumps ideas on jerusalem.. good.. he has gone as far as to say he will cut off ties with israel over it.. meanwhile as @2 john z points out - even if netanyahoo is out of power, it looks as though he will be replaced by someone equally bad.. all roads appear to lead down for israel, in spite of the work they have gone to realize this 100 year dream of chaim weizmann, lord balfour, other zionists and a whack of british empire stooges who refused to acknowledge what a mess they would be creating for the world here.. and so here we are 2017 about 98 years after the success of 27th february 1919 in paris..

meanwhile the usa is floundering... another great empire that not only has lost it's moral compass, but is incapable of going into the sunset gracefully.. i pray for the world at this juncture..

Posted by: james | Dec 12 2017 19:51 utc | 6

do christians have a homeland, or do they have to live it thru the rapturists, born again fundamentalists that helped bring us this?? i wish there was a separate planet for religionists...

Posted by: james | Dec 12 2017 19:54 utc | 7

well is is 100 years from the balfour declaration...

Posted by: james | Dec 12 2017 19:58 utc | 8

In my post @4, I should have added that the senate passed the resolution only days after Trump had signed a waver on the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995.

1st June

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Dec 12 2017 20:06 utc | 9

I'd be very happy to see "Saudi" Arabia go the way of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia.

Posted by: Fidelios Automata | Dec 12 2017 20:08 utc | 10

I think it is beyond argument that Jerusalem is the only conceivable capital of Palestine. And by Palestine I am referring to all the land between the river and the sea, south of Lebanon and north of Egypt.
A two-state solution is no solution at all. A lasting solution would be one state with one person, one vote, and the right of return granted to all who have been on the receiving end of Zionist ethnic cleansing.

Posted by: Hal Duell | Dec 12 2017 20:10 utc | 11

Fidelios Automata 10

Anyone cheering at the destruction of the Soviets and Yugoslavia hasn't been paying attention for a hundred years.

Posted by: ashley albanese | Dec 12 2017 20:20 utc | 12

@ james | Dec 12, 2017 2:54:11 PM | 7
People have a home where it is not important whether you are Christian, Sunni- or Shia muslim or whatelse. Rapture is a kind of „trans-religious“ phenomen and fundamentalism as well. There is something called the alt right, in Germany we have people fighting against „Umvolkung“, in Russia one has this clowneque Dudin and followers...

Posted by: Hausmeister | Dec 12 2017 20:34 utc | 13

@5 William Feso

Interesting story at Voltaire Net. This would make a lot of sense, since many of the elite are planning for re-location in case of a possible climate disaster. Lest you think this is far fetched, it should be pointed out that a hidden fact buried in the Paris Climate Accords is that projections of maintaining a 2 degree or even 4 degree Celsius global temperature increase is predicated on the assumption that CO2 can be removed from the atmosphere on an industrial scale, which is not currently technologically feasible. See below.

With the Arctic in melt down this may come about much faster than most anticipate, and would render the Middle East a wasteland.

Posted by: Michael | Dec 12 2017 20:40 utc | 14

alas the perverts the scribes at chatham house hq never give up they just change plans oded yinon plan is still a go go no surrender.
these thinks thrive on torture and the ritualistic spill of blood.
10s of thousands of takfiri have been relocated russian kills like any airforce numbers exagerated plenty of beards left.
simply revert back to the classic sas david sterling hit and run and the frank kitson gang counter gang pseudogang strategy low intensity war.
what is important is the weakening the hollowing out of the competition surrender,winning or losing failure is baked into the cake.
these are not wars for win but atomize year zero the children of syria are dead scattered to the winds.
the ones still home have all been vaccinated with anglo zioamerican vitamin cancer agents.
as bill gates once said if we do a good job with vaccines
well brookings chatham house think tanks have done a great job on projects culling of the syrian peoples.
kissinger will be happy with the body count so far
russia is doing a runner allowing the sas and not seal team 6 regroup in jordan.
nuttyahoo crazy and his new plots new pearl harbour with his dancing mossad truck roof arts project teams.
yes sir this is just the end of the menechem begin

Posted by: murray head | Dec 12 2017 20:41 utc | 15

Fascinating. Thanks again.

(Can that really be the CENTCOM spokesman’s name?

Posted by: Cortes | Dec 12 2017 20:45 utc | 16

Monday 11 December 2017

No, Mr Trump. You “assume the same failed assumptions and repeat the same past failed strategies.” In contrast to the advice of his veteran foreign minister, General George Marshall, he recognized Israel as a state, thereby examining the historical injustice that allowed that state to persecute the Palestinian people and illegally occupy their lands and other Arab lands. The bloodshed and unrest followed Truman’s opportunistic decision to win an electoral victory. The bloodshed and unrest will follow your opportunistic decision to gain an electoral gain.

No, Mr Trump. Your job is not in the interest of the United States. Your job has made you give up your promise to the Islamic nation at the Riyadh summit when “the partnership based on interests and values ​​was offered to a better future for all of us.” Where is the partnership that you promised in your unilateral and wrong decision?No, Mr Trump. Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel. Your country was one of the architects of Resolution 242 of the UN Security Council, which clearly states “the illegality of the acquisition of territory by war”, which is one of the most important principles of international law, in support of subsequent Security Council resolutions. East Jerusalem is a land captured by Israel by war. Ignoring this truth is a deliberate attempt to deceive and impose “misleading news” on the truth that the whole world knows and accepts only you and the right-wing extremists in Israel, the United States and other countries.

No, Mr Trump. Israel is not the democracy that applauds it. You only have to ask Muslims and Christians who live there and suffer persecution and rob them of their rights. You can also ask Muslims and Christians who live under the brutal occupation imposed by Israel and allow its citizens to steal their land, assassinate their children and imprison their children, women and captives.

No, Mr Trump. Your work contradicts your saying that “you do not give up on the strength of the forces to achieve a permanent peace agreement.” How did you arrive at this conclusion in logical logical sequence? How can you achieve a “lasting peace” as you adopt the illegal claim to the occupied territories of one of the parties? How do you claim that “you have not taken any decision on the final status issues of the negotiations, including the limits of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem or on the disputed border” and you agree with Israel’s illegal claims otherwise? No, Mr Trump. On the contrary, your decision encouraged the most extreme forces in Israeli society to justify their arrogant claims to all of Palestine because they take your decision to expel all Palestinians from their land and impose a state of bondage on them. And your decision has encouraged Iran and its terrorist followers to claim that they are defending Palestinian rights in the face of the imperialist goals of America and Israel: Where is the future of peace and security for the region? And the forces of terror now wasted find a dose of revival of you are active polarization of volunteers and the expansion of its criminal actions against innocent people in all the world. Where “the future of peace and security is.”

No, Mr Trump. How to call for “calm, moderation, and the voices of tolerance to prevail over the promoters of the ball” and your decision is the balm that refreshes them. Your decision is what feeds them. It is the oxygen that revives them.

No, Mr Trump. Do not send your deputies to us. We will not welcome him. If you want to correct your fallen and arrogant mistakes, you can declare your recognition of the state of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital. Otherwise, Vance words flattery that addresses us. We have learned from the people of what has come to be called America that “the white man speaks with two tongues.” We have known that phrase since 1917.

Our King, Crown Prince, our government and our people condemn your work, and our King advises you to return. For world peace and security, I hope you will listen to his advice.

– By Turki Al-Faisal Ibn Abdulaziz Al-Saud
Although most foreign policy in Saudi Arabia is now overseen by Crown Prince Mohammed, a source at the King Faisal Centre for Research and Islamic Studies which Prince Turki chairs said he still meets King Salman every week.

Posted by: Partisan | Dec 12 2017 20:52 utc | 17

Robin Wright seems very superficial. One rather glaring mistake is that she stated that during Russian direct involvement the government of Syria got the control of the majority of "useful Syria" ( = the territory that is not a desert), but actually it always controlled a connected territory that hold most of "useful Syria", but that was under threat when RF send her airforce. Because this slip exaggerates the Russian success, I would call it sloppy.

However, as Robin Wrights avoids all inconvenient details, she has very little to write about. Syrian opposition never united for two reasons: it consisted of pieces that had profound differences of interest and vision, and the foreign support was similarly split between actors more interested in their "shares" than in cooperation. As the financial support was coming from the absolute monarchs of the Gulf, anyone with democracy in mind would be removed from the picture. Original Islamists opposition was non-Salafi Muslim Brotherhood, hated by most of Gulfies -- but not by all of them, Qatar exception. Thus putative "democratic opposition" degenerated into a myriad of very loosely cooperating local gangs of thugs, and their possible leaders from middle and upper class had no interest in actual fighting (they were no idiots, you know), and even if they would, they had no coherent foreign supports.

Mostly Salafi zealots had leadership and foreign support, but in the same time, they terrified possible Western backers and I thing that this is the reason why Obama, after much though, rejected direct intervention after Ghuta gas incident. From that point, the only Western options were how energetically they should extend the agony of Syria, and how sincerely they should hope for a miracle. Trump can disown this mess, and it seems that he is not sufficiently stupid to avoid that chance. Unlike "The Institute of War and Peace" where Robin Wright is working.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 12 2017 21:00 utc | 18

The major part of the Russian effort in Syria has been breaking up the coalition of countries attacking Syria through proxies and UN designated terrorist organizations. Many Russian diplomats KIA during the last year of the Obama admin. Israel is the last obstacle to be overcome.
With the Trump decision on Jerusalem, the part of the US empire that has a grouping of Arab countries aligned with Israel will now be broken up.
TTG at SST believed Russia used reflexive control to influence the US election, which I think is bullshit, but watching the way Russia has broken up the coalition of countries attacking Syria, this is where the reflexive control action is taking place.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Dec 12 2017 21:20 utc | 19

Willem Friso @4
Even Bush (junior) has a "ranch" there. Patagonia has the largest fresh water reserves (underground), in the world. Water drilling rights?

.... Methinks Israel will try diversionary tactics. ie a "war" on those least able to defend themselves - Gaza- In the "hope" that this will provoke Herzbollah into a rash action. Then the Nut-and-yahoos will ask for US "protection". As usual. They would like to attack Lebenon (every five years?), but this time a direct attack would involve too many other countries.

Posted by: stonebird | Dec 12 2017 22:01 utc | 20

For those who haven't seen it:


On the Anti-Semitism of the Present Government

A Dissenting Note on the Balfour Declaration of November 2, 1917


I have chosen the above title for this memorandum, not in any hostile sense, not by any means as quarrelling with an anti-Semitic view which may be held by my colleagues, not with a desire to deny that anti-Semitism can be held by rational men, not even with a view to suggesting that the Government is deliberately anti-Semitic; but I wish to place on record my view that the policy of His Majesty's Government is anti-Semitic in result will prove a rallying ground for Anti-Semites in every country in the world.

This view is prompted by the receipt yesterday of a correspondence between Lord Rothschild and Mr. Balfour.

Lord Rothschild's letter is dated the 18th July and Mr. Balfour's answer is to be dated August 1917. I fear that my protest comes too late, and it may well be that the Government were practically committed when Lord Rothschild wrote and before I became a member of the Government, for there has obviously been some correspondence or conversation before this letter. But I do feel that as the one Jewish Minister in the Government I may be allowed by my colleagues an opportunity of expressing views which may be peculiar to myself, but which I hold very strongly and which I must ask permission to express when opportunity affords.

I believe most firmly that this war has been a death-blow to Internationalism, and that it has proved an opportunity for a renewal of the slackening sense of Nationality, for it is has not only been tacitly agreed by most statesmen in most countries that the redistribution of territory resulting from the war should be more or less on national grounds, but we have learned to realise that our country stands for principles, for aims, for civilisation which no other country stands for in the same degree, and that in the future, whatever may have been the case in the past, we must live and fight in peace and in war for those aims and aspirations, and so equip and regulate our lives and industries as to be ready whenever and if ever we are challenged. To take one instance, the science of Political Economy, which in its purity knows no Nationalism, will hereafter be tempered and viewed in the light of this national need of defence and security.The war has indeed justified patriotism as the prime motive of political thought.

It is in this atmosphere that the Government proposes to endorse the formation of a new nation with a new home in Palestine. This nation will presumably be formed of Jewish Russians, Jewish Englishmen, Jewish Roumanians, Jewish Bulgarians, and Jewish citizens of all nations - survivors or relations of those who have fought or laid down their lives for the different countries which I have mentioned, at a time when the three years that they have lived through have united their outlook and thought more closely than ever with the countries of which they are citizens.

Zionism has always seemed to me to be a mischievous political creed, untenable by any patriotic citizen of the United Kingdom. If a Jewish Englishman sets his eyes on the Mount of Olives and longs for the day when he will shake British soil from his shoes and go back to agricultural pursuits in Palestine, he has always seemed to me to have acknowledged aims inconsistent with British citizenship and to have admitted that he is unfit for a share in public life in Great Britain, or to be treated as an Englishman. I have always understood that those who indulged in this creed were largely animated by the restrictions upon and refusal of liberty to Jews in Russia. But at the very time when these Jews have been acknowledged as Jewish Russians and given all liberties, it seems to be inconceivable that Zionism should be officially recognised by the British Government, and that Mr. Balfour should be authorized to say that Palestine was to be reconstituted as the "national home of the Jewish people". I do not know what this involves, but I assume that it means that Mahommedans and Christians are to make way for the Jews and that the Jews should be put in all positions of preference and should be peculiarly associated with Palestine in the same way that England is with the English or France with the French, that Turks and other Mahommedans in Palestine will be regarded as foreigners, just in the same way as Jews will hereafter be treated as foreigners in every country but Palestine. Perhaps also citizenship must be granted only as a result of a religious test.

I lay down with emphasis four principles:

1. I assert that there is not a Jewish nation. The members of my
family, for instance, who have been in this country for
generations, have no sort or kind of community of view or of
desire with any Jewish family in any other country beyond the fact
that they profess to a greater or less degree the same religion.
It is no more true to say that a Jewish Englishman and a Jewish
Moor are of the same nation than it is to say that a Christian
Englishman and a Christian Frenchman are of the same nation: of
the same race, perhaps, traced back through the centuries -
through centuries of the history of a peculiarly adaptable race.
The Prime Minister and M. Briand are, I suppose, related through
the ages, one as a Welshman and the other as a Breton, but they
certainly do not belong to the same nation.

2. When the Jews are told that Palestine is their national home,
every country will immediately desire to get rid of its Jewish
citizens, and you will find a population in Palestine driving out
its present inhabitants, taking all the best in the country, drawn
from all quarters of the globe, speaking every language on the
face of the earth, and incapable of communicating with one another
except by means of an interpreter. I have always understood that
this was the consequence of the building of the Tower of Babel, if
ever it was built, and I certainly do not dissent from the view,
commonly held, as I have always understood, by the Jews before
Zionism was invented, that to bring the Jews back to form a nation
in the country from which they were dispersed would require Divine
leadership. I have never heard it suggested, even by their most
fervent admirers, that either Mr. Balfour or Lord Rothschild would
prove to be the Messiah.

I claim that the lives that British Jews have led, that the aims
that they have had before them, that the part that they have
played in our public life and our public institutions, have
entitled them to be regarded, not as British Jews, but as Jewish
Britons. I would willingly disfranchise every Zionist. I would be
almost tempted to proscribe the Zionist organisation as illegal
and against the national interest. But I would ask of a British
Government sufficient tolerance to refuse a conclusion which makes
aliens and foreigners by implication, if not at once by law, of
all their Jewish fellow-citizens.

3. I deny that Palestine is to-day associated with the Jews or
properly to be regarded as a fit place for them to live in. The
Ten Commandments were delivered to the Jews on Sinai. It is quite
true that Palestine plays a large part in Jewish history, but so
it does in modern Mahommendan history, and, after the time of the
Jews, surely it plays a larger part than any other country in
Christian history. The Temple may have been in Palestine, but so
was the Sermon on the Mount and the Crucifixion. I would not deny
to Jews in Palestine equal rights to colonisation with those who
profess other religions, but a religious test of citizenship seems
to me to be the only admitted by those who take a bigoted and
narrow view of one particular epoch of the history of Palestine,
and claim for the Jews a position to which they are not entitled.

If my memory serves me right, there are three times as many Jews
in the world as could possible get into Palestine if you drove out
all the population that remains there now. So that only one-third
will get back at the most, and what will happen to the remainder?

4. I can easily understand the editors of the Morning Post and of the
New Witness being Zionists, and I am not in the least surprised
that the non-Jews of England may welcome this policy. I have
always recognised the unpopularity, much greater than some people
think, of my community. We have obtained a far greater share of
this country's goods and opportunities than we are numerically
entitled to. We reach on the whole maturity earlier, and therefore
with people of our own age we compete unfairly. Many of us have
been exclusive in our friendships and intolerant in our attitude,
and I can easily understand that many a non-Jew in England wants
to get rid of us. But just as there is no community of thought and
mode of life among Christian Englishmen, so there is not among
Jewish Englishmen. More and more we are educated in public schools
and at the Universities, and take our part in the politics, in the
Army, in the Civil Service, of our country. And I am glad to think
that the prejudices against inter-marriage are breaking down. But
when the Jew has a national home, surely it follows that the
impetus to deprive us of the rights of British citizenship must be
enormously increased. Palestine will become the world's Ghetto.
Why should the Russian give the Jew equal rights? His national
home is Palestine. Why does Lord Rothschild attach so much
importance to the difference between British and foreign Jews? All
Jews will be foreign Jews, inhabitants of the great country of

I do not know how the fortunate third will be chosen, but the Jew
will have the choice, whatever country he belongs to, whatever
country he loves, whatever country he regards himself as an
integral part of, between going to live with people who are
foreigners to him, but to whom his Christian fellow-countrymen
have told him he shall belong, and of remaining as an unwelcome
guest in the country that he thought he belonged to.

I am not surprised that the Government should take this step after the formation of a Jewish Regiment, and I am waiting to learn that my brother, who has been wounded in the Naval Division, or my nephew, who is in the Grenadier Guards, will be forced by public opinion or by Army regulations to become an officer in a regiment which will mainly be composed of people who will not understand the only language which he speaks - English. I can well understand that when it was decided, and quite rightly, to force foreign Jews in this country to serve in the Army, it was difficult to put them in British regiments because of the language difficulty, but that was because they were foreigners, and not because they were Jews, and a Foreign Legion would seem to me to have been the right thing to establish. A Jewish Legion makes the position of Jews in other regiments more difficult and forces a nationality upon people who have nothing in common.

I feel that the Government are asked to be the instrument for carrying out the wishes of a Zionist organisation largely run, as my information goes, at any rate in the past, by men of enemy descent or birth, and by this means have dealt a severe blow to the liberties, position and opportunities of service of their Jewish fellow-countrymen.

I would say to Lord Rothschild that the Government will be prepared to do everything in their power to obtain for Jews in Palestine complete liberty of settlement and life on an equality with the inhabitants of that country who profess other religious beliefs. I would ask that the Government should go no further.



Posted by: kgw | Dec 12 2017 22:16 utc | 21

"b" You write - "It send 100,000 Takfiri fighters from all over the world to Syria and shipped in ten-thousands of tons of weapons and ammunition."

Might I ask -

1. Is it now possible to put a more precise number to these figures?. I've seen a number or 120,000 Jihadis mentioned by an American source and some suggestions of more than that.

2. The UK assisted in this work. From time to time one sees other countries mentioned. Are there any authoritative accounts of who did what where?

Posted by: English Outsider | Dec 12 2017 22:20 utc | 22

Our allowing Assad to stay reminds me of the rooster who brags about making the sun rise in the morning.

Posted by: Bart Hansen | Dec 12 2017 22:26 utc | 23

@13 Hausmeister.. my thoughts exactly... why does a religion need a specific location? these holy sites are so unholy given the bloodshed and suffering they have caused, i fail to see anything religious in any of them... it is historical, but the history has passed by and been replaced by something much more ugly and un whole...

@19 peter au.. good post.. i largely agree..

Posted by: james | Dec 12 2017 22:34 utc | 24

never a sane reason to be in syria to start with. assad was not on board with the saudi/clinton/obama pipeline so there had to be war.

get the F out and stay the F out

Posted by: Deserttrek | Dec 12 2017 22:54 utc | 25

james @24--

In the Hebrew's case, it's all about the alleged covenant between them and Yawweh regarding their being rewarded with their homeland after their expulsion from it as explained in Torah. Essentially, they must be well behaved, which they haven't, and only Yawweh can reward them with their homeland for their claim to be legitimate. This is the primary reason for the huge gulf between those known as Orthodox Jews and Zionists.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 12 2017 23:17 utc | 26

@26 They would say that Yahweh kept working on Donald....probably through his twitter account....until he eventually weakened and said OK take the place.

Posted by: dh | Dec 12 2017 23:46 utc | 27

@21 kgw, thanks for that. Here's something else many might not have seen. It's valuable in that it dispels the Zionist mythology about Jews always being the enemies of Muslims in the Middle East; prior to the Zionist invasion Jews, Muslims and Christians got along fine in the Levant (& Maghreb) region.


We the undersigned members of the General Syrian Congress, meeting in Damascus on Wednesday, July 2, 1919, made up of representatives from the three Zones, viz., the Southern, Eastern, and Western, provided with credentials and authorizations by the inhabitants of our various districts, Moslems, Christians, and Jews, have agreed upon the following statement of the desires of the people of the country who have elected us to present them to the American Section of the International Commission; the fifth article was passed by a very large majority; all the other articles were accepted unanimously.

1. We ask absolutely complete political independence for Syria within these boundaries. The Taurus System on the North; Rafeh and a line running from Al-Juf to the south of the Syrian and the Hejazian line to Akaba on the south; the Euphrates and Khabur Rivers and a line extending east of Abu Kamal to the east of Al-Juf on the east; and the Mediterranean on the west.

2. We ask that the Government of this Syrian country should be a democratic civil constitutional Monarchy on broad decentralization principles, safeguarding the rights of minorities, and that the King be the Emir Feisal who carried on a glorious struggle in the cause of our liberation and merited our full confidence and entire reliance.

3. Considering the fact that the Arabs inhabiting the Syrian area are not naturally less gifted than other more advanced races and that they are by no means less developed than the Bulgarians, Serbians, Greeks, and Roumanians at the beginning of their independence, we protest against Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations, placing us among the nations in their middle stage of development which stand in need of a mandatory power.

4. In the event of the rejection by the Peace Conference of this just protest for certain considerations that we may not understand, we, relying on the declarations of President Wilson that his object in waging war was to put an end to the ambition of conquest and colonization, can only regard the mandate mentioned in the Covenant of the League of Nations as equivalent to the rendering of economical and technical assistance that does not prejudice our complete independence. And desiring that our country should not fall a prey to colonization and believing that the American Nation is farthest from any thought of colonization and has no political ambition in our country, we will seek the technical and economic assistance from the United States of America, provided that such assistance does not exceed twenty years.

5. In the event of America not finding herself in a position to accept our desire for assistance, we will seek this assistance from Great Britain, also provided that such assistance does not infringe the complete independence and unity of our country and that the duration of such assistance does not exceed that mentioned in the previous article.

6. We do not acknowledge any right claimed by the French Government in any part whatever of our Syrian country and refuse that she should assist us or have a hand in our country under any circumstances and in any place.

7. We oppose the pretentions of the Zionists to create a Jewish commonwealth in the southern part of Syria, known as Palestine, and oppose Zionist migration to any part of our country; for we do not acknowledge their title, but consider them a grave peril to our people from the national, economical, and political points of view. Our Jewish compatriots shall enjoy our common rights and assume the common responsibilities.

8. We ask that there should be no separation of the southern part of Syria, known as Palestine, nor of the littoral western zone which includes Lebanon, from the Syrian country. We desire that the unity of the country should be guaranteed against partition under whatever circumstances.

9. We ask complete independence for emancipated Mesopotamia and that there should be no economical barriers between the two countries.

10. The fundamental principles laid down by President Wilson in condemnation of secret treaties impel us to protest most emphatically against any treaty that stipulates the partition of our Syrian country and against any private engagement aiming at the establishment of Zionism in the southern part of Syria; therefore we ask the complete annulment of these conventions and agreements.

The noble principles enunciated by President Wilson strengthen our confidence that our desires emanating from the depths of our hearts, shall be the decisive factor in determining our future; and that President Wilson and the free American people will be our supporters for the realization of our hopes, thereby proving their sincerity and noble sympathy with the aspiration of the weaker nations in general and our Arab people in particular.

We also have the fullest confidence that the Peace Conference will realize that we would not have risen against the Turks, with whom we had participated in all civil, political, and representative privileges, but for their violation of our national rights, and so will grant us our desires in full in order that our political rights may not be less after the war than they were before, since we have shed so much blood in the cause of our liberty and independence.

We request to be allowed to send a delegation to represent us at the Peace Conference to defend our rights and secure the realization of our aspirations.

-1919 Petition of the General Syrian Congress to the League of Nations

Posted by: nonsense factory | Dec 13 2017 0:09 utc | 28

"I call on all the resistance factions in the region to unite and put one common strategy and practical plan to face this threat,” he said." (Nasrallah)

Indeed, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts -- in living systems probably more like the product of the contributing elements. Syria must be made 'whole' and gain sovereignty for the next transformational stage to emerge in the ME. Let's hope they start in the Golan Heights and work south to at least the 1967 UN agreed borders.

With Putin sewing up the patches on the Persian-Egyptian-Turk blanket the criminal elites sucking the life blood out of Palestine and Arabia will be overloading on 'existential anxiety'. If Erdogan stands up and takes the initiative to reclaim Jerusalem and free the Palestinians from their parasitic Zionist overlords he may just go down in history like Putin (the great) as a 21st century Saladin.

The likes of Twain have noted history sometimes rhymes ... and so while little king Richard (of London) terrorized the ME in former times as a crusader, today we have the cartoon version with big king Dickhead Trump (of Mar-a-Lago) -- the hotelier.

Assad must go on... and Trump (and Nut-job-Yahoo) will be long gone before Assad hands over to his elected replacement.

Posted by: x | Dec 13 2017 0:12 utc | 29

Iran General Soleimani: “My message to the US military command: when the battle against ISIS will end, no American soldier will be tolerated in Syria. I advise you to leave by your own will or you will be forced to it."

Syria’s army declared victory over Islamic State on 9 November, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi of Iraq declared victory over the Islamic State on 9 December, President Putin declared victory over Islamic State on 11 December.

The US CENTCOM spokesman Colonel Thomas has said that US forces would stay in Syria until the conclusion of negotiations on a political solution in Geneva, which looks like the twelfth of never.
This should be interesting.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 13 2017 0:45 utc | 30

Hurriyet, Dec 12
Organization of the Islamic Conference gathers in Istanbul for Jerusalem

High-level representatives, including some heads of states from the 57-member Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), will come together on Dec. 13 in Istanbul at a summit to consider a joint stance against United States’ recent recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Turkey, as the term president of the OIC, will host leaders from Muslim-majority countries on Dec. 13, with a joint position of Muslim countries to be announced under the title of the Istanbul Declaration. . .
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told private broadcaster NTV on Nov. 12 that some Arab countries have failed to sufficiently repudiate Washington’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s undivided capital because U.S. President Donald Trump “scares them.”
“It seems that some Arab countries refrain from challenging Trump,” Çavuşoğlu said.
However, he promised that a “strong statement” on Jerusalem would emerge from the OIC extraordinary summit in Istanbul on Dec. 13. . .here (click on options)

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 13 2017 0:59 utc | 31

Nonsense Factory @ 28: Significantly the Jewish, Muslim and Christian communities in the Levant and the Maghreb co-existed more or less peacefully (under their own law courts) while under the rulership of the Ottoman Turkish sultans, most of whom (after 1566 with the death of Suleyman the Magnificent) were a very mediocre lot.

The Ottoman authorities generally did not interfere with non-Muslim communities in their administration of their laws apart from the one time (in the 17th century) they forced a self-styled Jewish messiah to convert to Islam after he developed megalomaniac tendencies.

Posted by: Jen | Dec 13 2017 1:21 utc | 32

Total of ISIS fighters is 100,000 - 150,000

Rus MOD claimed 34,000 killed by them.

There are at least 6-8000 in Idlib, maybe many more.
We had numbers of Uyghurs among them totaling 3000-4000.
ISIS are beating the hell out of al Nusra who had at least 4000-6000, maybe double that in Idlib. For ISIS to beat al Nusra, it seems they must have a substantial advantage in numbers.

The Syrians had to have killed 60,000.
The Kurds had to have killed 5,000.
The IRGC and Hezbollah had to have killed 10,000-20,000.

The US may have killed 2500-5000.

The casualty numbers tend to add up and then subtract from the totals.

What is uncertain is how many came into Syria when Mosul was attacked for a year. And how many drifted away through Turkey?

We know they are showing up, a few thousands in Libya and in Afghanistan. So, that may total 5000-6000.

How many are laying low in the DEZs?
How many are nestled among the 1.5 million refugees in Jordan?

Whatever those totals are, it looks like 100,000 ISIS have been killed over the years 2013-2017.
Certainly, wounded could number a few thousand. It is unlikely many are laying in Israeli hospitals or in Turkey's or Saudis. Maybe some leadership figures have that privilege.

What matters is the final conclusion to ISIS as an identity is awaiting justice in Idlib.
Probably, the Russians will need to pulverize the last enclaves with bunker busters and other special munitions, like we have seen in Deir ez Zor.

Certainly, the war in Syria is ending as it was, but is ripe for the Hegemon's next iteration, a long guerrilla war against any new government, no matter what Assad cedes in compromises.

About the East and oil, it is clear that Syria cannot lose its wealth.
Russia must negotiate the Kurds out of the oil fields and away from the Hegemon.

Lots of unfinished business for Russian military, Russian reconciliators, Russian diplomats. Lots. And there is no way to hand any of this off to any other nation, military or the UN.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Dec 13 2017 1:38 utc | 33

And just like America is the name associated with the current empire

And just like all Jews are associated with this country/nation called Israel

And just like ME religions have for centuries represented the proxy wars between cultures

When are the adults of our world going to talk about the reality humanity is living instead of the "isms" that hide the real structure/rules of our purported civilization?

Can society rip the curtain off the current Soap Opera, recognize the structural problem of private finance/inheritance/private property, adjust the growing pain and move on without failing by focusing on the who instead of the what that needs to be done?

The solution is not to rid ourselves of the current or past industrial/political puppets, or the current family of Rothschild. The solution is to make the economic bloodflow of our purported civilization a public utility and drag societal goal and direction setting out into the more Fukushima's

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 13 2017 1:45 utc | 34

The Palestinian resistance seems pathetic and in truth what chance do they have to defend themselves in Palestine? Their fellow Sunnis give them no support and are often part of their oppression. The only ones who help them are the Shiites. One thing the Israelis worry about is the Shiite Crescent, which their actions have only strengthen. So here is a crazy idea. What if the Palestinians begin to convert in large numbers to the Shiite form of their faith? And urged other Sunnis to show their support by doing the same thing. I suspect that would send some powerful shockwaves through the entire region - all to the benefit of the Palestinians.

Posted by: David Park | Dec 13 2017 1:47 utc | 35

Red Ryder | Dec 12, 2017 8:38:25 PM | 33

As you say, lots of unfinished business still in Syria, but the backs of the terrorist proxies have been broken, the war is now winding down rather than being won outright. Similar to Ukraine and also the other frozen conflicts of Eastern Europe. The war will now move to a different battle, though I suspect, still in the middle east.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Dec 13 2017 1:58 utc | 36

Reading the Reuters piece linked to below the words petulant loser came to mind instead of the surrender characterization that b uses

U.S. wary of Putin's declaration of military victory in Syria

The quotes
A senior Trump administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that the United States believed Assad would fail if he attempts to impose “victor’s peace.”
The odds of Syria breaking into a civil war again would be high without meaningful political reconciliation, the official said.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Tuesday stressed the importance of a roadmap for peace, including elections that would allow voting by Syrians overseas who fled to the conflict.

“And it is our belief that through that process, the Assad regime will no longer be part of that leadership,” Tillerson said.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 13 2017 2:18 utc | 37

Shiitestan at first glance looks like Shitstain.

Posted by: fast freddy | Dec 13 2017 2:24 utc | 38

It's busy, lots of events to follow while living life, so things get missed all the time, some might be deemed important. Such is this Tyler Durden item related to Trump's retweeting anti-Muslim videos where someone, maybe Tyler, caught this hellishly ironic fact:

"That particular video shared by the president is from 2013 and shows a Free Syrian Army (FSA) commander named Omar Gharba destroying a Virgin Mary statue as the group invaded a Syrian Christian town. In a geopolitical and deeply ironic twist demonstrating the absurdity and contradictions of US foreign policy, the radical Islamist commander was actually supported by the United States at the time as part of the FSA, which the media and US government deemed 'moderate'.

"So a sitting US president shared a video which reveals a Syrian 'rebel' fighter committing war crimes who was part of one of the very groups backed by the CIA as official US policy under the Obama administration. Of course it is likely that Trump himself is not fully aware of this, yet the astounding geopolitical irony in this should not be missed, even as public outrage is reduced to merely discussing 'anti-Muslim bigotry' and whether or not Trump is being 'presidential'. [Emphasis in original]

Seems to me this bit of news, despite its age, ought to be shared as part of the Season.

Another interesting item is this reportage:

"A bounty of three million Turkish lira, or nearly $800,000, was placed on the heads of former Pentagon official Michael Rubin and former top CIA official Graham Fuller for what Erdogan's allies claim is their role in a 2016 failed coup that nearly toppled Erdogan's ruling government."

It didn't specify dead or alive, just "heads."

Nasrallah's gaining heavy praise for his outspoken leadership. Are the Zionists really insane enough to nuke themselves so the Palestinians can't reclaim their lands and homes?

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 13 2017 2:53 utc | 39

Have just been re-reading Sun Tzu's 'Art of War'. In the US I believe, Sun Tzu is part of US military education, but looking at what is occurring, the US have in general learned nothing from this, whereas Putin may well have written "Art of War" if Sun Tzu had not.

From part III...
6. Therefore the skillful leader subdues the enemy’s troops without any fighting; he captures their cities without laying siege to them; he overthrows their kingdom without lengthy operations in the
7. With his forces intact he will dispute the mastery of the Empire, and thus, without losing a man, his triumph will be complete. This is the method of attacking by stratagem.

So much in Tzu's Art of War that matches exactly to current Russian strategy. US by contrast look like drunk barbarians.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Dec 13 2017 2:55 utc | 40

HD @ 11 said;

"I think it is beyond argument that Jerusalem is the only conceivable capital of Palestine. And by Palestine I am referring to all the land between the river and the sea, south of Lebanon and north of Egypt.
A two-state solution is no solution at all. A lasting solution would be one state with one person, one vote, and the right of return granted to all who have been on the receiving end of Zionist ethnic cleansing."

Posted by: Hal Duell | Dec 12, 2017 3:10:22 PM | 11

Thank you Hal, short and well said, worth a re-post.

If there really was a just and beneficent God, this would happen....

Posted by: ben | Dec 13 2017 3:07 utc | 41

karlof1 @39:

Nuke themselves? No. Nuking the US? Plausible.

Posted by: Ian | Dec 13 2017 3:25 utc | 42

Ian 42

Nuking themselves in diplomacy and strategy, rather than literally all standing around the bomb and hitting the button.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Dec 13 2017 3:32 utc | 43

David Hearst, who used to be The Guardian's ME correspondent, has an interesting column at Middle Eastern Eye. ICH has links to it.

Posted by: bevin | Dec 13 2017 3:39 utc | 44

Ian @42--

Why, to prevent Palestinians reclaiming their lands and homes?

Peter AU 1 @43--

Isn't the latter what's known as the Samson Option? If the Zionists can't have Palestine, then nobody can.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 13 2017 3:49 utc | 45

@21 kgw and @28 nonsense factory... as i've mentioned here at moa previously - the book 'paris 1919' by margaret macmillian covers all of this very thoroughly... highly recommended reading for anyone interested in the history and how none of it was a slam dunk, in and out of all the communities involved..

@26 karlof1 and @27 dh... all of those ''''interpretations'''' requires a level of literalism that has nothing to do with the holy books they cite...

@44 bevin.. is this the article you refer to??

russia has left russian yemen embassy in sanaa.. i wonder what that means? saudi arabia continues with the starvation blockade..

Posted by: james | Dec 13 2017 4:20 utc | 46

"So much in Tzu's Art of War that matches exactly current Russian strategy."

@Peter AU 1 | Dec 12, 2017 9:55

Yes, I've pointed that out a few times before...

Posted by: PeacefulProsperity | Dec 13 2017 4:37 utc | 47

more at the link - badmouthing russia from the usa state dept..

" MS NAUERT: Okay. Okay, let’s go to Syria.

QUESTION: According to Robin Wright in The New Yorker, you’ve reconciled yourself to Bashar al-Assad’s remaining in office until the next Syrian elections in 2021 because there aren’t many other options now. And in fairness to you, this was really set by the previous administration and it’s evidenced by Matt Lee’s repeated interrogations of John Kirby. So, I mean, is what she wrote basically correct? Can you confirm it?

MS NAUERT: I would say her reporting’s off the mark.

QUESTION: Off the mark.

MS NAUERT: Off the mark. We remain committed to the Geneva process. We believe that the future of Syria will not include Bashar al-Assad, but that is ultimately up to the Syrian people and the Syrian voters to decide. It could take a period of time before the Syrian people are able to get to the process by which they can actually turn out to vote. We’ve talked about this a little bit before, trying to include the diaspora in that voting. We remain committed to the Geneva process. Russia has said that it would help bring the regime to the Geneva process. They did part of that for a time. They chose to leave while the opposition stayed. We were – we noticed that and thought that was a very good thing that the opposition stayed during some of the Geneva talks that just took place over the past few days. We expect that Russia will continue to try to bring the regime to the table. But the Geneva process is something we stand firmly behind.

QUESTION: Do you have a timeframe in mind for this?

MS NAUERT: Look, I think we are still at the place where U.S.-backed organizations and coalition-backed organizations are removing the rubble. We’re still involved in the demining process. So I’m afraid we’re just not there to the electoral process just yet, but we’re having a lot of conversations with the UN and other like-minded countries about the importance of the Geneva process.

QUESTION: So what was off the mark in the story?

QUESTION: Can you comment on the withdrawal of Russian forces?

MS NAUERT: In her story, she said that the U.S. had accepted that Assad will be in power until 2021. We’ve not accepted anything of the sort. It could take some time, but we’ve not just accepted that. And by the way, it’s not up for the United States to ultimately decide, that is up to the Syrian people.

QUESTION: I wanted to ask if you have any --

QUESTION: So there’s no 2021 goal or idea?

QUESTION: Heather?

MS NAUERT: Not that I have seen. In talking with all of our experts on ISIS and in Near Eastern Affairs, no one here has seen that number in paper or spoken about.


QUESTION: Heather? Heather?

QUESTION: On the withdrawal of the Russian forces from Syria yesterday, as was announced by President Putin. First, do you have a comment? And second, is this in any way – did you know in advance that the Russians were moving their troops out of Syria?

MS NAUERT: No, I can’t --

QUESTION: Or a number of their troops.

MS NAUERT: Yeah. I can’t speak to any alleged Russian troop movements. So I’d have to refer you back to the Government of Russia on that one. But it’s interesting, Russia may consider its job in Syria to be done. Our job in Syria is not done. And when I say “our,” I don’t just mean the United States, I mean the entire coalition. There are still pockets of ISIS. The country still needs to be stabilized. We were just talking about rubble removal and we were talking about demining. If Russia chooses to pull out, certainly, that is its choice to do so, but we continue to work through all our partners to try to stabilize the country.

QUESTION: So if the job is not done as you – you don’t consider it done. The --

MS NAUERT: The job is not – the job is not done.

QUESTION: Not done. I understand.

MS NAUERT: It’s not – done in Iraq, even though Iraq has declared victory over ISIS. It’s not – it’s still not done there because there are still individuals there who belong to ISIS, who will take part, undoubtedly, in terrorist activities. Syria, the job is far from done there, unfortunately.

Posted by: james | Dec 13 2017 4:47 utc | 48

Willem Friso, re Jewish billionaire buying up Patagonia at Tierra del Fuego --
Meysann concludes:

"It is impossible for the moment to determine if Israël is engaged in a programme for the exploitation of Antarctica, or if it is building a rear base in case of defeat in Palestine."

Could be amusing times ahead: The Third Reich intensely explored Antarctica in 1938 - 39, even planted hundreds of swastika flags to mark German claims.
Pop fiction writer Steve Berry wrote an exceptionally poorly crafted novel, The Charlemagne Pursuit, that focused on the German expedition and the discovery by a top secret US submarine of an underground site linked to ancient German mythology.

Posted by: Croesus | Dec 13 2017 4:57 utc | 49

@46 Thanks for the tip, james, that looks like a informative read.

@ 40 Peter AU, that's a good reading of Sun Tzu, Russian strategy has been just right in Syria. Disrupt ISIS oil convoys and arms/cash flows, support Syrian Army ground forces, withdraw as soon as the job is done. The US in contrast has been pushing towards disaster for decades now. There's a commentary on the Art of War by one Liu Ji, it spells out the problem with the USA's militaristic foreign policy:

Weapons are instruments of ill omen, war is immoral. Really they are only to be resorted to when there is no other choice. It is not right to pursue aggressive warfare because one's country is large and prosperous, for this ultimately ends in defeat and destruction. Then it is too late to have regrets. Military action is like a fire - if not stopped it will burn itself out. Military expansion and adventurism soon lead to disaster.
The rule is, "Even if a country is large, if it is militaristic it will eventually perish."

Mastering the Art of War, Zhuge Liang's and Liu Ji's commentaries on the classic by Sun Tzu

Posted by: nonsense factory | Dec 13 2017 5:10 utc | 50


Posted by: james | Dec 13 2017 5:28 utc | 51

karlof1 45

Not sure about the Zionists of Israel, but the US heirs to the empire builders that are now running the empire, I would think are more like cornered rats rather than Samson

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Dec 13 2017 5:54 utc | 52

To add to 51:

I believe this is the video version of the book, Paris 1919.

Posted by: Ian | Dec 13 2017 7:16 utc | 53

Lots good here on the curious assumptions of Zionism, which combines a very poor reading of actual Jewish history (even as it is portrayed by the Hebrew Scriptures) with an oscillating and obscurantist commitment to what is either an ethnically or religiously defined modern democratic state. Which of course leads to all kinds of contradictions in theory, and to functional apartheid in practice. Are African converts to the "religion" of Judaism *really* Jewish or not, and if not, why not? Are we so certain that, notwithstanding certain isolated and genetically identified exceptions (Ashkenazi, etc.) there exists anything like a single or unified "Jewish" ethnicity at all? One that is clearly distinct from the other "nations"--or the other "ethnoi" as the Septuagint puts it? When did this unified "Jewish" ethnicity first arise? Already centuries before the time of Christ, the people who had once lived in the Kingdom of Israel had, like other ancient peoples, suffered exile, deportation, slavery, and had intermingled with, married, and taken on the customs and practices of other ethnoi--the Babylonians, Persians, Assyrians, Greeks, and Egyptians to name but a few. Were the Samaritans "Jewish" or not? The answer to this question, then and now, depends on who you happened to ask.

If we abandon the myth of there being anything like a historically continuous and identifiable Jewish ethnicity through history, the project of the modern nation state of "Israel" looks a bit chimerical. But if we then throw our hands up at the vexed issue of "ethnicity," leaving aside the equally vexed notion of an ethnically defined democratic state, we can fall back on religion. To be "Jewish" in the proper sense is then to convert to the "religion" of Judaism. But not only does this just lead us back to the problem of the pesky Africans, who are not the kind of converts the nation of Israel seems particularly to want, we also have to define what "religion" is (something not even Max Weber could figure out) and what the limits of "Judaism" understood as a religion are. These are big problems.

It's just not that feasible, even rhetorically, to ground a modern state project--especially one that aspires to the trappings of democracy--in either a single ethnicity or "religion." Jewish or otherwise. I mean, there is just no way that project can succeed even on its own terms.

Posted by: WJ | Dec 13 2017 7:48 utc | 54

Thanks for some of the very interesting posts re. Israel.

On Putin's withdrawal
1) Now that Putin has declared that the "war" is finished, is the UN "Peace process" obsolete? Do the Astana talks signal that the UN/US influence has been totally blindsided, and with the end of ISIS any "conciliations" should be by the people "on the ground". Ie Assad, and the opposition must come to arrangements outside the Geneva based talks? (The Geneva based talks oblige Assad to leave before any agreement or even before the start of the talks themselves)

2) Is Putin's withdrawal only tactical? During the fighting for Aleppo, there were several instances where the Russians did not "go in for the kill", in spite of them being in a position to do so. An small pause was created at a critical junction in the fighting. Is the present manoeuver just to give the US/ISIS opposition participants an "empty space"? Those that really want peace will use the opportunity to make overtures and generally withdraw from the immediate fronts. Those that do NOT want peace will try to move into the "empty" space created by the withdrawal of some Russians. At which moment they have to move out of pre-organised "defensive" positions and become sitting targets. Easier to hit and less costly in the end for the Russians.

Posted by: stonebird | Dec 13 2017 8:44 utc | 55

Answer to librul....yes Netanyahu does need war and perceived threats to stay in power. He's built his career on kicking hornets nests.
The way I understand Zionists exert power in Israel is not by being a majority. but because political parties are pretty much evenly split and whomever the minority Zionists throw in with, wins....which they do for a price.

Posted by: Carol Davidek-Waller | Dec 13 2017 9:30 utc | 56

I find it odd that a peace talk can set a condition of the talks to proceed, that a legitimate head of state resign... The unconditional surrender of Germany in WWII could set conditions, as victors can and often will do. Syria is not a conquered conutry, it is a full member of the UN, that has been ravaged by internal war.
That the UN has determined to be judge character of on the governments of its members, leaves me ROFlMAO. If sp the UN would maybe consist of only the Scandinavian countries and New Zealand. The rest are more or less questionable at THIS BAR HEIGHT.
So take a hike UN, you are not credible any more. If ever.
What Russia has done is of course in self interest, but it is in the interest of Syria. by coercing/flattering/pressurizing all involved (Except the Evil Empire) to peace talks, the slowly abating sounds of gunfire, Russia has succeeded, where others have failed. Maybe because Russia never had a hidden agenda, secret to the involved parties.
In that sense it is a trustworthy and credible partner.
Russia has handled Turkey in the same way. Russian - Turkish relations go a long, long way back and their interactions are marred/coloured by this bumpy relationship. What is different is that Turkey increasingly sees Russia as a partner, something they never enjoyed in the Turkish-US relationship, where they were completely subservient. And in a relationship that the EU could not full fill (because of the US).
The paradox is that this position of Turkey might be a boon to the EU, as it makes the Silk Road initiative highly likely to succeed.
The big loosers here are Israel and the US, one universially loathed and the other exposed for its duplicity and hypocrisy.

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Dec 13 2017 9:35 utc | 57

I think it's just wonderful Trump is "allowing" Assad to remain the democratically elected leader of his country until 2021; how generous and benevolent of Der Fuhrer Trump.
The hubris of the U.S. has surpassed itself, in the sheer height's of its arrogance.
But, there is an upside; the world cannot help but see the true colors flown by the hegemon; gone is the illusion of fairness, benevolence, and goodwill toward's all...
Raw, murderous deeds, done in full view; violating every law known unto human's on the whole planet; even unto their own homeland; what's done abroad always comes home in kind...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Dec 13 2017 10:05 utc | 58


I think Israel, Hamas and Hezbollah have achieved mutual deterrence.

As I understand, Iran has also invested in Gaza Strip's Islamic Jihad, recently. So there are rockets which Hamas can only stop for the price of political problems in Gaza. And which are politically difficult for Israel to ignore though they haven't caused much damage, yet.

I don't think Hezbollah will change their planned timeline much because of Trump's stupid announcement. Now the election in Alabama is lost, the US might retract anyway. I hear Tillerson is prepared to talk to North Korea.

Posted by: somebody | Dec 13 2017 11:50 utc | 59

I can't help but notice that Robin Wright's 2013 map "presenting the Israeli dream of a split up Middle East" leaves blank the area which today contains Lebanon and Jordan. That might mean that they were were expected to remain unchanged, or perhaps for some reason they were peremptorily excluded from the exercise (despite Lebanon appearing to be such a "natural" for it).

Since there have been times in the past when some Zionists claimed they were entitled to include the lands of Jordan and southern Lebanon (below the Litani River) as part of greater Israel, one has to wonder whether Jordan and Lebanon were left out of the exercise because there was an expectation that Israel might eventually make a claim on some of their land when the opportunity presents itself (ideally after a Nabka-like mass exodus of the inhabitants).

Israel can always say it needs the additional land to defend against an inevitable attack on Israel by the bloodthirsty Iranians, and then look the other way while the 'hilltop youth' create their irreversible "facts on the ground". In such a case, Israel might not want to reveal its intentions ahead of time (especially not in the explicit form of a map) and forfeit the element of surprise. Might this explain why Lebanon and Jordan were excluded from Robin Wright's 2013 map presenting "the Israeli dream of a split up Middle East", or am I being an overly suspicious conspiracy theorist applying a dastardly double standard to Israel's MO?

Have I got my snark on or what?!?!

Posted by: JLewisDickerson | Dec 13 2017 12:12 utc | 60

@48 The US, MS Nauert anyway, is still clinging to the idea of a credible opposition to the 'regime'. Hard to see any opposition emerging after what the last bunch did to the country. They certainly won't last long in Damascus.

Posted by: dh | Dec 13 2017 13:53 utc | 61


Indeed. Given the current state of the US corporate media, I half suspect that there is at least a plurality of higher ups in the DOD and CIA who are more or less explicitly advocating for an engineered attack of some sort on the sitting-duck US troops who will be forced to remain in Syria for the sake of "the Geneva process" (which has a nice, cultivated ring to it.) Given how easy it was to manufacture consensus on Assad's all-but-wholly-disproved "sarin attack," it will be a piece of cake to sell the American public on an uninstigated attack by either the Syria regime or Iranian proxies on "the troops." With any luck, the aftermath of the attack can be filmed, and hopefully the public will be shown gruesome and bloody images of dying or dead US troops--the more the better--after which certain unnamed sources will confidently identify the perpetrators via the WA Post and CNN. After which of course we will have no alternative but defend our honor, and will then be able to carry out a full US military campaign against Assad--not only for our troops' sake, of course, but for the Syrian children as well.

Am I crazy in thinking that this scenario, however sociopathic and sadistic it sounds, is the overall most compelling explanation for what seems like an otherwise crazy decision to leave a small, isolated, and friendless cadre of US troops in Syria? What other reason could there be for the fatuous plan?

Posted by: WJ | Dec 13 2017 15:59 utc | 62

Sorry, above comment directed to @61.

Posted by: WJ | Dec 13 2017 16:01 utc | 63

V Arnold @58--

"what's done abroad always comes home in kind..."

In the Outlaw US Empire's case, what was done at home preceded what was done abroad, same with the UK.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 13 2017 16:18 utc | 64


Not to pass off the yellow cake.

Posted by: Forest | Dec 13 2017 16:20 utc | 65

@54 wg... good post.. thanks.. i agree.

@61 dh.. these folks are in deep denial.. actually @ 58 v. arnold stated it better then i could.. usa hubris anyone's wildest imagination here..

@62 wg.. that is a valid scenario that others have expressed.. i sure hope it isn't the game plan here, but one can't discount anything with the exceptional warmongering nation at present..

Posted by: james | Dec 13 2017 16:28 utc | 66

@ WJ #62
Yes, good analysis. Using troops as sacrificial lambs is an important part of maintaining the empire. It worked for the Aztecs, is part of Christian liturgy (the sacred blood of the lamb)and it's useful to current-day politicians who are then able to visit bedsides and sanctify their wars, while maintaining the wars' duration because of the previous investment in blood and treasure. And in this case, it could be the reason for a renewed war against Syria.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 13 2017 16:28 utc | 67

Big result coming from the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation's confab in Turkey just now, but article doesn't tell us how many--did the Saudis attend?--of the 57 national members are present and signed the rather long and forceful statement. Here's Wikipedia's OIC page for those unfamiliar with this global organization.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 13 2017 16:38 utc | 68

@37 the Reuters report

This language here seems not only steeped in hypocrisy but to suggest alliance with the self-righteous impression ISIS is the US's supposed enemy:

Syrian government forces, U.S. officials said, are too few, too poor and too weak to secure the country. Islamic State, and other militants in Syria, have ample opportunity to regroup, especially if the political grievances that drove the conflict remain unresolved, the officials said.

The statement oversimplifies the state of the Assad-allied forces, including Putin's indication Russia would be back in a heartbeat as necessary (let alone a slow drawdown of current forces) and suggesting ISIS has legitimacy by referring to "political grievances."

It also ignores US assistance in ISIS "regrouping" using the bogus and self-righteous covering of US remaining (why remaining) as "protection of the Syrian people" (who elected Assad with a large majority). IMO all this is implied and disclosed, unintentionally, within the language used here.

Posted by: Sid2 | Dec 13 2017 17:28 utc | 69

sorry: this is the statement from Reuters ending properly:

Syrian government forces, U.S. officials said, are too few, too poor and too weak to secure the country. Islamic State, and other militants in Syria, have ample opportunity to regroup, especially if the political grievances that drove the conflict remain unresolved, the officials said.

Posted by: Sid2 | Dec 13 2017 17:32 utc | 70

@69 Well at least they used the word government. That's a start.

Posted by: dh | Dec 13 2017 17:55 utc | 71

I would guess that Russians are more familiar with Clausewitz than Sun-Chu, plus they have some experience of their own.

One difference between USA and RF is that Russia cannot afford fights that cannot be won, and Putin would not remain where he is by loosing. And the budget for winnable fights is limited too. But USA can afford it, so the leadership can indulge in ideological motivations that reflect internal squabbles of the elite*, and not some particular "logic" or "interest". OTOH, it seems that there are limits to hopeless engagements that Pentagon may tolerate, and a war with Iran is a prime example.

For example, within Democratic Party, Liberal Hegemony motivation is a marker (shiboleth) of "insider, core liberals" like HRC as opposed to "outsiders, not really liberals" like Bernie Sanders. The vigilance against Russia is part of a larger LH packet.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 13 2017 18:23 utc | 72

@55 stonebird

1. Geneva is long a stalled process. Like the empire, it lingers until one day someone turns the lights off. Astana has claimed the decision making, and is not obligated in any way to Geneva, nor does it wait for anything but its own decisions. Iraq has asked to be involved in the Astana proceedings moving forward, and I found it compelling to reflect how Astana gives Iraq an additional mark of sovereignty in a way that Geneva never could.

2. Is the Russian withdrawal tactical? I'd simply call it real, and principally for the purpose to bring soldiers home in time for the holidays, because the situation in Syria is well within the capacity of the local forces now. Putin said they can be back in action in a heartbeat. But the way it was presented is deeply strategic, sending a clear message to the Russian people that Russia's limited engagement has remained true to mission (no quagmire), and a strong message to the US that it's time for foreign soldiers to leave.

And if the US soldiers linger and get killed - and I believe they absolutely will get killed, no one will hesitate - well, it won't be the Russians who did it. Russia has essentially left the US to the tender mercies of Iran, and removed its own restraining hand. Even dumb generals ought to understand that one.

So the bluster will continue as the retreat continues. All communications coming out of the US are for the domestic narrative only, with a side dish of making generals feel better about their own manhood each day. That's all.

Posted by: Grieved | Dec 13 2017 18:42 utc | 73

Perhaps the United States is already trying to prove its point about the Syrian army being weak.

ISIS attempts to reestablish dominance in rural Deir Ezzor
The so-called Islamic State (ISIS) launched a massive counter-offensive in the Deir Ezzor countryside this week, targeting the towns they recently lost along the western bank of the Euphrates River.

In a matter of 24 hours, the Islamic State had not only captured several towns in southwest Deir Ezzor, but also, reestablished a presence along the western bank of the Euphrates after expelling the Syrian Army from the town of Al-Salihiyah.

Have to wonder if some of those tribes bought off by Americans were ordered to change back into their ISIS uniforms for this or if this is were the 4,000 ISIS allowed to leave Raqqa have ended up. Smells like a "Washington" play.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Dec 13 2017 19:22 utc | 74

It is highly likely that Mr. Kalibr will be returning to Syria shortly, as the US pushes its leftover proxies to attack Syrian Army and civilian bastions.

Uncle TU-23 will be back, also.

It isn't much effort to blow away the larger groupings that ISIS always uses for its offensive moves.

The Syrians simply do not have the air power to control the movements of ISIS-US forces.
Courage and bravery are not enough to cleanse the land of Syria of the proxies of the Hegemon.
Russian firepower from its Aerospace Forces is still requisite.
And will be for many months more.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Dec 13 2017 20:01 utc | 75

@nonsense factory | Dec 13, 2017 12:10:19 AM | 50

Your fragment on this reading commenting Sun Tzu, reminds me of the congitive-conductual technics used to disengage people from adictions.

It is said that when you rationalize your irrational doings and try to find a reason on why you do such things, you will get soon to the conclusion of their irrationality and the great prejudice derived for yourself, as well as the mecanization implied in the repetition of those acts you are hunged in. What could not be ellaborated from those not only totally irrational but besides inhuman as could be the act of war....
The thing is that repetition of acts, irrespective of being irrational, leads to create neuronal connections which makes for you easy to repeat them authomatically in the future with increasing lesser effort/motive, but besides, lesser opportunity to change, unless you propose it yourself with a good gathering of will....

Since war gets people very close to savagery and deshumanization, once one immersed in this kind of behavior 24/7 for decades, it is probable that you could find it difficult to avoid continue behaving so, not only with those who you deem as opponents, but also even with those in your side....This is why I see that this continuous attitude will lead not only Israel but also the US to self-destruction if the path is not changed.

Since a wannabe "nation" from its very inception involved in war for profit, be it to loot lands, homes, and cause prejudice to others, I wonder if, at this time, Israel could be able to do something different to what has became a full time dedication....Watching the attitude of its young serviceman from the IDF which flood the net, all real footage, seems that a complete generation, or two, are lost for to achieve peace by cronical inability leading to impossibility.....Obvioulsy, and precisely because this attitude is what please those in power, and so is promoted, we have little or no news of other young people who could constitute any hope...We have already the savage declarations of young members of the Knesset about the Palestinians...But, what is the pulse in the streets...I am not able for the moment to travel there, but it would be quite interesting to take the pulse on what the common people really thinks....
To this you have to add the hatred and resentment you continually instill inside your opponents´ minds and souls...,especially when they suffer your continuous opression, something you also sow and will remain there for generations....

So, for at least one or two generations to come, I do not see any hope coming from Israel in the path towards peace unless a great catastrophe happens that massively convolute the Israeli society and makes them reflecting a bit...On the other hand, I wonder if the Israeli intelligentsia is wholly invanded by this cancerous disease or there is any sector of it who is thinking in the necessary change of paradigm as the only hope for salvation....Of course, the first step is taking the far-right out of power...After having witnessed its real nature, widespread corruption and hunger for ethernal war, would be able Israeli society to make a move for sanity, if not for themselves to prevail?

Heartbreaking crying of a Palestinian child when his father is arrested by Zionist occupation forces.
The routine in #Palestina.

Fawzi Mohammad Al Juniedi, 16, has become the icon of Palestinian youth resistance.

Here you have another future Palestinian hero ✌️✌️🇵🇸🇵🇸

Crime and Zionist impunity: observe the deliberate abuse of a Palestinian young and the beating by the occupation forces. Subsequently, they attack health personnel and journalists. #FreePalestine

Posted by: elsi | Dec 13 2017 20:28 utc | 76

Grieved @73--

FWIW, I understood Putin's order to withdraw directed at ground forces since he just asked for and Duma passed legislation allowing for the expansion of Tartous into a deep water facility. The aerospace forces have always been active on a rotational basis thus allowing the greatest number of personnel to experience actual combat conditions. Although the large armored formations no longer sweep across the desert sands, there's still lots of combat happening daily, with high levels of close air support.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 13 2017 20:38 utc | 77

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Dec 13, 2017 2:22:09 PM | 74

Or "the regime" justifying why it is still fighting people though ISIS is dead. Might be the point of the Russian withdrawal - they don't want to get into this.

Posted by: somebody | Dec 13 2017 21:13 utc | 78


Saudi Arabia being represented by the minister of OIC affairs.

Posted by: somebody | Dec 13 2017 21:18 utc | 79

Lots of actions resulting from the OIC confab. The Zionists have announced they want their newly pliable ally MbS to act as mediator, although I very much doubt the Saudis still live up to the Zionist's plaudit of being "the leader of the Arab world."

Korybko sees the OIC Declaration as enabling "Russia to lead the two-state solution:"

"The OIC Summit in Istanbul saw its members agree to recognize East Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Palestine, implying that West Jerusalem exists and could potentially be the capital of Israel following its formal recognition, which is in essence exactly what Moscow proposed in April of this year and thus enables Russia to take the lead in seeking a two-state solution to the long-standing conflict."

But do Abbas, the Palestinians and the remainder of the Ummah still see the Two-State model as a solution as I know many don't. The words uttered by Katz at the first link will not be welcomed by the Ummah and display the degree of belligerency residing within the Zionist Abomination--The die-hard Zionists want it all, whichb is why I asked if they'll nuke themselves when they discover they can't have Palestine all to themselves. And I'm sure there're many other writers putting their own oar into the river. However, given the recent antics and clearly7 longstanding covert alliance between the Saudis and Zionists, I very much doubt Abbas will agree to MbS as mediator, as he's no more an "honest broker" than the Outlaw US Empire previously, which by the way has been totally rejected as having any role to play.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 13 2017 21:18 utc | 80

>>>> karlof1 | Dec 13, 2017 3:38:12 PM | 77

Although the large armored formations no longer sweep across the desert sands

Are you a deep-cover troll, CIA perception management person or something? What large "armored formations" have the Russians ever committed to Syria? Second Guards Tank Army? 4th Guards Tank Brigade? 6th Tank Brigade? I believe the answer is none whatsoever as they prefer to have the Syrians being capable of and doing most of the fighting which is important in ensuring that the idiots in Washington, Riyadh, etc. understand that unlike the current regime in Afghanistan, the government in Syria is capable of sustaining itself when attacked by proxies of the aforementioned idiots.

As for what is now happening on the west bank of the Euphrates in Deir Ez-zor Governorate, it looks like it may have been a trap designed to draw the ISIS rats out of the shitholes they've been hiding in either in eastern Deir Ez-zor among the mercenary tribes who were recently bought off by the Americans or possibly the desert west of the Euphrates, because the SAA and Hezbollah have turned up to kill them now that they're holding ground in Deir Ez-zor. ISIS have this overwhelming urge to create miracles to improve their chances of recruiting idiots who believe the theology, so you can always rely on them attacking the SAA, holding any ground captured to try to create a miracle and then they die.

BTW, if this is another CENTCOMM plan to stick it to the SAA, then they are even more moronic that I previously thought (CENTCOMM command's collective IQ was, I thought about 55), so now I class them as imbeciles (IQ - 26 to 50).

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Dec 13 2017 21:37 utc | 81

Ghost Ship

Obviously, the only large armored formations present within Syria belong to the SAA. Sorry my prose was so general.

As far as I know, I'm the only person to consistently use the phrase "Outlaw US Empire" over the past decade. Please copy/paste into Google's search box and peruse some of the 479 results, or use Yandex and look at its 3,000 results, the first of which preserved my EnemyofWar moniker when I was allowed to comment at My "job" presently is to provide primary care for my 86 year-old Alzheimer's afflicted mother, which is an essentially unpaid labor of love. Doubt that, come over to Yachats, Oregon and I'll show you! Or perhaps a surrogate will suffice as several barflies live in Portland, Psychohistorian being one.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 13 2017 21:54 utc | 82

Great article b.

In the words of General Wesley Clark we heard the neo-con Zionists' plan for the 7 countries in 5 years--didn't go quite as planned, to say the least, and thankfully. In retrospect, it seems Putin did the world a big favor in his involvement in the Syrian conflict.

But as b referenced in this article (i.e. the PDF) we can glimpse the collective mind of a plan for the Eretz Yisrael and see the machinations of deviant, yet quite the virtuoso. Let's examine them based on their own words (again reference the PDF that b posted in this article:

"Every kind of inter-Arab confrontation will assist us in the short run and will shorten the way to the more important aim of breaking up Iraq into denominations as in Syria and in Lebanon."

"Lebanon's total dissolution into five provinces serves as a precendent for the entire Arab world including Egypt, Syria, Iraq and the Arabian peninsula and is already following that track. The dissolution of Syria and Iraq later on into ethnically or religiously unqiue areas such as in Lebanon, is Israel's primary target on the Eastern front in the long run, while the dissolution of the military power of those states serves as the primary short term target."

"The entire Arabian peninsula is a natural candidate for dissolution due to internal and external pressures, and the matter is inevitable especially in Saudi Arabia."

"(...)it is not possible to go on living in this country in the present situation without separating the two nations, the Arabs to Jordan and the Jews to the areas west of the river. Genuine coexistence and peace will reign over the land only when the Arabs understand that without Jewish rule between the Jordan and the sea they will have neither existence nor security. A nation of their own and security will be theirs only in Jordan."

"It is no longer possible to live with three fourths of the Jewish population on the dense shoreline which is so dangerous in a nuclear epoch. Dispersal of the population is therefore a domestic strategic aim of the highest order; otherwise, we shall cease to exist within any borders."

"...and if we do not become the majority in the mountain areas, we shall not rule in the country and we shall be like the Crusaders, who lost this country which was not theirs [Freudian slip] anyhow, and in which they were foreigners to begin with. [Freudian slip]"

"Rapid changes in the world will also bring about a change in the condition of world Jewry to which Israel will become not only a last resort but the only existential option. We cannot assume that U.S. Jews, and the communities of Europe and Latin America will continue to exist in the present form in the future."

Now that we have examined these words, is not not safe to assume that there exists a plan of Europe and the US to displace those countries with the "undesirables" and forcing the diaspora to return home? Quite a brilliant plan, if that is the case....

Another good article

Posted by: Tacitus | Dec 13 2017 22:02 utc | 83

Syrian Army enters Idlib for the first time in 3 years. Syria Will expire ✌🏾🇸🇾

Posted by: elsi | Dec 13 2017 22:15 utc | 84

@elsi | Dec 13, 2017 5:15:55 PM | 84

Syria will win, of course.....

Posted by: elsi | Dec 13 2017 22:17 utc | 85

Putin praised yesterday, in his visit to #Siria, General Suheil al Hassan, of #Tiger_Forces, for his bravery and military successes in the fight against international terrorism.

Posted by: elsi | Dec 13 2017 22:20 utc | 86

Today ( for yesterday )four years ago, dozens of Syrian soldiers were executed by terrorists in East Aleppo. The media continue to call them "moderate rebels."

Posted by: elsi | Dec 13 2017 22:23 utc | 87

In these days the media will offer you Christmas images of different cities of the world. Damascus and Aleppo (Syria) will not be among them.

It should be remembered that in Syria primary health care is free and that annual vaccination campaigns have continued in government-controlled areas. Vaccination campaign against poliomyelitis and measles launched in Raqqa and Deir Ezzor

Posted by: elsi | Dec 13 2017 22:28 utc | 88

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 13, 2017 4:18:56 PM | 80

Abbas et al are mainly interested in the maintenance of the Palestinian Authority. So yes, of course they want the two state solution.

Posted by: somebody | Dec 13 2017 22:28 utc | 89


Inserting Climate WhateverWeSayItIsToday into political or economic policy is just carving out a fat slice of cake for the CC noodnik apparatchiks who brought you this mess in the first place. Carbon sources will be long exhausted before CO2 reaches levels that have not been this LOW in millions of years, and burning corpses for energy is carbon-neutral.

Posted by: Chipnik | Dec 13 2017 22:39 utc | 90

OT, although Syria is slated to play a big part in BRI, here's a BRI update:

First, Pepe Escobar supplies us with two articles. Then we're regaled with news that Iran has applied to become a member of the EAEU, which may become finalized as early as Feb 2018. As Garrie notes in the last article, the basket of currencies used within BRICS and EAEU to facilitate trade will further weaken dollar hegemony and enhance the attractiveness of the PetroYuan.

Trump may indeed become the one who drained the swamp, but in a manner totally unanticipated.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 13 2017 23:06 utc | 91

A "hostile regime" is referred to as a "government" when the US has thrown in the towel.

You can't leave a hostile regime to its own devices. This is not palatable. You can set aside your differences with a government (with which you disagree). These terms are interchangeable as required for maximum propaganda effect.

Sidebar: Recall Aesop's fable about the fox and the grapes.

Posted by: fast freddy | Dec 13 2017 23:23 utc | 92

>>>> karlof1 | Dec 13, 2017 4:54:09 PM | 82

I was being ironic. Because of what you've written in the past, I was surprised at that comment.

As for the SAA, I've never once seen them use a large armoured formation at the brigade or divisional level against the terrorists because large armoured formations are only really of use against other large armoured formations and just as ISIS don't have an airforce (I'm not sure about the USAF, IAF, RAF, and other NATO air forces), they don't have any armoured divisions either. It's difficult to make out how large Syrian operational formations are because you never see more than a few hundred men so it appears they're operating at the company or battalion level.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Dec 14 2017 0:19 utc | 93

fast freddy | Dec 13, 2017 6:23:06 PM | 92

So, within the Outlaw US Empire, the 1% see it as the government whereas the 99% sees it as a hostile regime, or ought to. Do I have it correct?

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 14 2017 0:20 utc | 94

Israel's alliance with SA isn't "new". If you believe it to be so, you haven't been critical enough.

Posted by: Kevin | Dec 14 2017 2:45 utc | 95

b, since discovering this site I've been very impressed and learned a lot of Syria and Yemen, the US' new depredations...

But why do you spell "Netanyahu" as "Netanyahoo", all the time? Unless you think that's how his name is commonly spelled, it seems more a juvenile version of someone criticizing Trump or Hillary Clinton only referring to them as "Drumpf" or "Killary". Or to Obama as "Obummer".

The Israeli Prime Minister, and piece of **** imo, is named Benjamin Netanyahu. Not Benjamin Netanyahoo. Not sure what your point is by not using the common spelling....

Posted by: Soft Asylum | Dec 14 2017 6:02 utc | 96

@96 It is a play on words. As in: Bibi is a yahoo.

I assume you are familiar with the works of Jonathan Swift?

His description of "yahoos" is quite applicable to the government that Netanyahu leads, and so in that respect b's lack of respect for Netanyahu is understandable.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Dec 14 2017 6:10 utc | 97

Willem Friso@5; stonebird@20; Croesus@49 Re: Patagonia [Your daily dose of conspiracy theory]

Antarctica and Patagonia are envisioned as the two remaining habitable spots on earth after a catastrophic natural disaster (super volcanoes and similar assorted nonsense) or a nuclear winter. Antarctica was of special interest to the US after WWII based on Germany's original, extensive exploration during the war. Sorry, but no buried UFOs or frozen nephalim. Germany found gigantic geothermally-produced ice caves over soil underneath the glaciers. Huge - like city-sized. They could easily be expanded/connected using steam to burrow new tunnels. The US was interested in a Dr. Strangelove-type preservation of the species abode after a global thermonuclear war with the commies. Or maybe after some kind of nuclear circus in the Middle East. Or maybe just a bug-out spot for the current US government elite when they look out their windows and see their peers swinging from lamp posts to the cheers of little people.

There are scientific studies now in a few of the caverns, but the extent of what has been found or made is a national secret. It is assumed (tin-foil alert) that some of these caves were turned into gigantic fallout shelters of sorts, stocked with tons of everything including its own seed vault. The .gov doomsday types were sure the earth's atmosphere would be poisoned for a year or two from all the atomic bombs. The ice caverns were big and warm enough and had enough light near the glacial surface to grow oxygen-producing plant crops. The caverns provide a mostly-sealed atmosphere, so you could conceivably pump in filtered air from the surface at some point. All this is good in theory of course, but a gigantic ice tomb by my reckoning. I'll stick with gross mutation and a slow death on the surface.

Patagonia's place here is that it would (again, supposedly...) be the first habitable and relatively uncontaminated place on earth after a nuclear winter. That has to do with the isolation provided by the Southern Polar Vortex and the nature of it 'pushing' relatively uncontaminated air from Antarctica towards South America. Patagonia is also a good place to move to for a few years if the atmosphere becomes contaminated by fallout, but not enough to kill everyone. Patagonia's underground water is especially useful in such a scenario - all surface water would be too contaminated to use for food/livestock crops.

The less-than-an-extinction post-nuclear war scenario is assumed to be Israel's interest in the region. Any sizable nuclear war in the Middle East will produce a river of atmospheric radionuclides that will circulate in the trade winds for decades. They will be washed out in the rain, contaminating surface water, soil and crops near the equator. Israel wouldn't survive long if the surface water was too contaminated to drink inside the country, so they would probably be looking for a long-term vacation rental. Just the chosen and the monied oligarchs, of course. Little people not invited. Southern Patagonia can be 'protected' enough to keep out the contaminated hordes (anyone without an Israeli passport), and could probably sustain a population of a few million with efficient farming and water use. That supposedly accounts for all the back-packing ex-IDF types wandering around there, getting the lay of the land.

No idea if Israel is really planning on this kind of scheme, but foreigners were buying up whatever land was available from Argentina. I don't think its allowed any more, and Chile never allowed foreign land ownership there, AFIK.

Unfortunately, the idea of some kind of 'less contaminated' spot on Earth post-nuclear Armageddon is about as goofy as it gets. The back seat of a bus offers little relative protection if the bus is going over the edge of a high, steep cliff. You're simply the last to die by a microsecond or two. Woo-HOO!

Posted by: PavewayIV | Dec 14 2017 6:13 utc | 98

PavewayIV | Dec 14, 2017 1:13:49 AM | 98
Yeah, I'm with you. Not going anywhere in any event.
I'm old, so that's easy for me to say...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Dec 14 2017 6:51 utc | 99

US-led air strikes kill 23 civilians in Syria

“At least 23 civilians, among them eight children and six women, were killed Wednesday before dawn by air strikes carried out by the US-led coalition, targeting a village controlled by IS on the eastern banks of the Euphrates river,” the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Posted by: Stryker | Dec 14 2017 7:02 utc | 100

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