Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 28, 2018

Elijah Magnier - How Syria Challenges The Unipolar Order

Today Elijah Magnier published a three part piece on the war on Syria and its role in the much the global political confrontation.

Will America accept its defeat or will it challenge the Russian Bear and the Chinese Dragon? - Part 1, 2, 3


The first part describes the current situation at the various fronts in Syria and the most likely next operations. The Syrian government is winning the conflict. U.S. CentCom General Votel admitted that the U.S. strategy in Syria has failed. Magnier concludes:

The US has lost the « extremist battle »- they were incapable of achieving the “regime change” objective in Syria. That was the awakening of the Russian bear from its long hibernation who realised how the US was trying to corner it. Moscow also relied on the Chinese dragon, which shares Russia’s goals to eliminate all extremists and jihadist terrorists in Syria.

Both Russia and China are now working closely to put an end to the uni-polar superpower and thus end US world dominance.

The second part looks at the development of U.S.-Russian relations over the last decade and the role U.S. 'regime change' policies in the eastern Europe and Middle East played in it. The U.S. attack on Syria was part of the wider challenging of Russia. It brought up a new coalition which is now countering U.S. moves:

Obama saw the “Islamic State” growing in Iraq, moving to Syria, watched it occupying Iraq, allowed Jihadists to travel to the Middle East, opened all Saudi jails on condition jihadist extremists imprisoned are shipped to Syria. For one entire year, with “70 countries in a coalition fighting against ISIS” in Syria, the group was in fact expanding and increasing its wealth by selling increasing quantities of oil. All that to stop Iran and Russia, and create failed states (as in Libya) and fight Muslims with Muslims.

But Moscow, Beijing and Tehran knew that Jihadists must be stopped in the Levant before they had the chance to move to their own countries.
Syria is not going to be another Libya and Russia and China agreed, along with Iran, to stop once and for all the US unilateral dominance at the gates of the Levant.

Part 3 takes an even wider view and describes how China, and the Russian-Chinese cooperation, succeeds in challenging U.S. unilateral domination of the globe:

While the United States is selling for $110 billions weapons to Saudi Arabia to kill more Yemenis and threaten its neighbours (Qatar, Syria and Iran), Russia has signed 10 year contracts with China worth 600 billion dollars, and with Iran worth 400 billion dollars. Also, China has signed contracts with Iran worth 400 billion dollars. These contracts are aimed at economic cooperation, energy exchange; they promise an advanced economic future for these countries away from US dominance.

The US believes it can corner Russia, China and Iran: Russia has a 7,000 kilometre border with China, Iran is not Iraq and Syria is not Afghanistan. In Syria, the destiny of that a world be ruled by unilateralism is over. The world is heading toward pluralism.

The question remains: Is Washington prepared to accept its defeat and acknowledge that it has lost control of the world and pull out of Syria?

With the recent visit of the North Korean leader Kim Yong-un in Beijing, China has challenged the dominating U.S. role in the discussions over North Korea. There will be no uni-polar U.S. solution in the conflict - neither by talks nor by war. A conflict over Korea could soon supersede the conflict in Syria in size and potential consequences. In the global context the war on Syria is just a starting point. It will likely be in Korea, and maybe in Taiwan, where the real battle between unilateral and multilateral order will be fought.

Posted by b on March 28, 2018 at 18:35 UTC | Permalink


b - thanks.. typo in the first sentence "in the much the global political confrontation." in the much greater?

Posted by: james | Mar 28 2018 19:04 utc | 1

OT: Are they going to let the Skripals die or purely speculation? Judge may have to decide whether to turn off Sergei Skripal's life support amid fears his death could ratchet up diplomatic clash with Putin - as friends say spy and his daughter 'should be allowed to die'

A friend (Ross Cassidy) of the poisoned spy says he believes the critically ill pair are supported by machines in a Salisbury hospital and his niece has claimed they only have a one per cent chance of survival.

Their deaths would have global repercussions, further ratcheting up the tensions between Russia and the West over who was responsible for a nerve agent attack.

Is it beacuase

"Russia stepped up pressure on the UK over the investigation today, with a bullish statement from the country's Foreign Ministry.

The statement said: 'On March 16, 2018, Russia's Investigative Committee initiated criminal proceedings regarding the attempted murder of Russian citizen Yulia Skripal and submitted a relevant request to the British side.

'We expect London to cooperate with us within the framework of the investigation that has been launched by the Russian legal authorities'


Posted by: mali | Mar 28 2018 19:14 utc | 2

The question remains: Is Washington prepared to accept its defeat and acknowledge that it has lost control of the world and pull out of Syria?

US political "top" certainly is not ready since they don't have competent enough people to recognize a disaster before it buries them. US military people certainly know the score but, as history teaches, in the times when US military has bad news--it is next to impossible to communicate it to the political top. In general, American "elites" do not have a grasp of the nature of the military power nor of its application. That is why they are dangerous, not to mention that many of them have a proud history of draft dodging and egos larger than cathedral. This all, against the background of a dramatic, precipitous really, decline of the always not very "intellectual" level of American power elites in the last 20 or so years. But then again, unprecedented anti-Russian hysteria in the West is a good indication that they are cornered.

Posted by: SmoothieX12 | Mar 28 2018 19:19 utc | 3

The skripals will be allowed to die just before people have to go to Russia for pre match training.

Posted by: Kaiama | Mar 28 2018 19:23 utc | 4

I'm a military nincompoop so no judge of these matters, but isn't the US about to become insolvent if as noted in b's previous post the weapons it sells don't do what they are supposed to do? Who buys them then?

Posted by: juliania | Mar 28 2018 19:28 utc | 5

I think we will know that we have arrived at a multi polar world when there is another big meeting like Bretton Woods to talk about how finance will work going forward.

That said, it sure seems like we are on a path in that direction and this posting supports that we are in a watershed moment of history.

I am ready for structural change so that we have better incentives to live our lives than profit and competition.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 28 2018 19:53 utc | 6

THR trigger for enlarged conflict may be Taiwan .
There is a worrying parallel . In 1914 the English were willing to yield much to the youthful, dynamic German Empire .
On a German boat on the Thames in the last hours before world war - negotiations for a peaceful settlement were almost complete but the Germans insisted that they would hold the Channel ports for some decades and then relinquish them . It was not acceptable to the English to have a knife held at their jugular ie. the ocean lane to their Empire . The Germans would not compromise on this key issue . There are obvious analogies to be drawn here in the present world geo-strategic situation between the US /Anglo powers , Japan and China over the off shore Island of Taiwan.

Posted by: ashley albanese | Mar 28 2018 20:06 utc | 7

@5 juliania

Who buys them then?

ME satrapies and NATO, granted some arm twisting is required. NATO in general is major marked for US weapons. You may try this:

Posted by: SmoothieX12 | Mar 28 2018 20:08 utc | 8

At the very macroest of levels, the equation looks like this:

The bulk of global population is centred around south Asia

The bulk of global industrial capacity is located in the same area

On the other hand, in the West we have:

Declining demographics

Acute fiscal impasse

Hollowed industry and high barriers to entry for new businesses

So, how do you right this ship?

What the West can do and does with gay abandon, is to operate at the monetary level

The monetary system is necessarily a blunt instrument. Effective but exceptionally blunt. Thus it creates considerable collateral damage.

Collateral damage manifests in the breakdown of all those equilibria that had been achieved via monetary profligacy.

Going forward therefore, all the equilibria that had been achieved temporarily over the past 40 years will degrade and, eventually, breakdown. Political, ethnic, territorial, religious and ideological equilibria will gradually come under stress and breakdown from the Levant to Japan.

More destabilisation, destruction, war and devastation is guaranteed.

It is fiscally guaranteed.

In a centralised monetary system imposed by law, the stewards of the system have no arithmetical incentive to resolve crisis. Quite the contrary actually.

Posted by: guidoamm | Mar 28 2018 20:21 utc | 9

Off topic, but I think this is important. With false flags there always seems to be a drill going on at the same time, a drill that weirdly, and coincidentally of course, mimics the reality that follows (the list is long and easy to Google). So we have the poison incident in Salisbury that stinks to high heaven, but no mention of a drill. Then I came across a statement by the Royal Navy that a drill had taken place on Salisbury plain at the same time as the poison incident:

Posted by: Lochearn | Mar 28 2018 20:33 utc | 10

Your country is key, b. If Germany would have defended its Ostpolitik and not accepted the coup in Kiev February 2014, the unipolar world would have ended right there. Merkel could have proven herself a super-historic leader like Frederick the Great.

Now the only question is how long is it going to take for Germany to cut the puppet strings. Can Germany exist without its ties to the U.S. national security state? If not, then the German state is going to have to get rid of its voters.

I remember how hopeful we all were during the last World Cup when the Obama administration was caught eavesdropping on Merkel's cell phone. We thought Germany, on its way to wining the tournament, would find the political courage to issue the U.S. a red card. Sadly it never happened.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Mar 28 2018 20:37 utc | 11

What purpose does the training exercise or "drill" in a false flag perform? From my research I can say, first, it is to protect a participant who is arrested by police showing up: "Hey, I'm on a drill, here's my badge." Secondly it allows control, key people in place, over the whole scenario: "Move on, nothing to see here." Maybe there are other reasons.

Posted by: Lochearn | Mar 28 2018 20:49 utc | 12

@ 11, Thanks Lochearn, that's very useful to know.

As to the topic at hand, The Bolton appointment seems to be a Trump negotiating tactic intended as a pressure point to frighten the NoKo leadership into thinking a military option really does exist. Kim's meeting with Xi is the answer that, no. No it doesn't.

Posted by: lysander | Mar 28 2018 20:50 utc | 13

Magnier ends with this - "The question remains: Is Washington prepared to accept its defeat and acknowledge that it has lost control of the world and pull out of Syria?"

Although the US may at some point get kicked out of Syria, I cannot see the US accepting defeat overall.
What I am seeing as the two options for the future is either war, or a clearly divided world. The US West vs the multi polar world.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 28 2018 21:06 utc | 14

Excellent article by Garrie regarding the Kim/Xi summit, complete with links to the full English language press releases by China, giving strong grounds for optimism.

Yes, Taiwan is the big pain, but it will always be Chinese and eventually return to its former status prior to 1949.

The Outlaw US Empire is unable to overcome the Eurasian Alliance currently being formed in virtually every possible sector--vision, resource base, financial, cultural, diplomatic, and military; especially their philosophy for providing for their citizenry and treatment of other nations. As one born within the Outlaw US Empire, far more opportunity and the promise of enhanced wellbeing exits in Eurasian Alliance nations than the declining Empire and most of its vassals. There is an alternative, so we refuse to assimilate into Borg.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 28 2018 21:11 utc | 15

@ lysander with the insight about meeting between Xi and Kim

Thanks! That sure makes sense from a certain perspective.

The Bolton scare probably is directed at Iran and Venezuela as well.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 28 2018 21:11 utc | 16

The question remains: Is Washington prepared to accept its defeat and acknowledge that it has lost control of the world and pull out of Syria?

The UK, refusing to accept the loss of its imperial status, caused two World Wars, in vain: Germany still rose as the European superpower (only with 150 years delay) and the USA occupied the vacuum and became the sole capitalist superpower (later, the absolute superpower).

I hope, for the sake of humankind, that USA be more gratious.

Posted by: VK | Mar 28 2018 21:16 utc | 17

I don't understand why Putin doesn't come back fighting. Whilst the West sinks to gutter levels throwing every insult imaginable, blatantly lying and demonising Russia and especially Putin, somehow Russia remains dignified and tries to resolve things through the proper channels. Isn't it time they realised there is no reasoning with the West, they have to play dirty and beat them at their own game, They must have all kinds of dirt on the West . When will the gloves come off?

Posted by: Kitty | Mar 28 2018 21:19 utc | 18

@ 12

"If Germany would have defended its Ostpolitik and not accepted the coup in Kiev February 2014, the unipolar world would have ended right there."

Sorry Mike, you cannot have two would haves in a sentence. Correct is if Germany had... then the would have.

Posted by: Lochearn | Mar 28 2018 21:40 utc | 19
At least MbS seems professionnal at something: threats

Posted by: Mina | Mar 28 2018 21:42 utc | 20

Juliania @ 5: Most countries are locked into long-term contracts to buy US military technology (hardware and software) so even if the weapons don't perform to the standard they are claimed to do, changing to other suppliers (private and/or government) is difficult at best. That would mean a complete overhaul of existing technologies and databases costing billions. When most Western nations are already spending billions on defence alone, while reducing expenditure on health, education and social services, changing arms suppliers is out of the question.

BTW Saudi Arabia wants to buy the S-400 missile defence system from Russia and the US is not happy about that idea.

Posted by: Jen | Mar 28 2018 21:43 utc | 21

Regarding German policy in eastern Europe, it may be developing a degree of independence. It seems Klitchko will run for president of Ukraine next year. He is Germany's man in Kiev and can be viewed as a challenge to the US backed Porshenko government. How this will go down remains to be seen, but it seems that Germany is slowly trying to slip the leash around its neck. To what degree Russia should interfere I can't really say. Probably let the US and Germany figure it out for themselves and then pick up the pieces later.

Posted by: lysander | Mar 28 2018 21:48 utc | 22

Kitty @ 20: The West expects and wants Russia to react the way you suggest so the path to war can escalate to the point where the West calls all the shots and Russia can only react. The best thing for the Russians to do is to delay and buy time to prepare for war when it breaks out. This way the Russians keep something up their sleeve and can at least maintain some if not most control of the situation.

Plus the Russians also set an example to nations outside the infantile First World by behaving like the sole adult.

Posted by: Jen | Mar 28 2018 21:54 utc | 23

Thank you Lochearn @ 21 for the tip. I've always had difficulty with the subjunctive mood.

The story that Germany, France and the UK are trying to get the rest of the EU nations to go along with sanctions on Iran's ballistic missile program as a way to placate Trump is not a good sign.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Mar 28 2018 21:58 utc | 24

MbS in an interview with WaPost flips blame onto Outlaw US Empire for exporting Wahhabbiya and its terrorism! Garrie provides an excellent analysis as to what motivated MbS to act.

Kitty @20--

You can bet Putin's forming his response as I type. As I posted yesterday, a video b found and posted to MoA's Twitter shows a man setting an incendiary bomb at the Kemerovo mall, proving it an act of terror, which adds to the incident in Chechnya and another reported today, but I cannot find the article link. I'm surprised at the silence over what the video portrays. Looks CIA to me.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 28 2018 22:00 utc | 25

@11 lochearn.. it doesn't hurt to post that again.. it has been posted in the comments section the past week..

Posted by: james | Mar 28 2018 22:06 utc | 26

I think MbS is improvising as he goes along. In the CBS interview he blamed the Muslim Brotherhood for the export "extremist Islam," a ripe turd that the interviewer Norah O'Donnell politely ignored.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Mar 28 2018 22:12 utc | 27

Kitty 20:

Check the first 2/3 of Putin's March 1st speech where he lays out an extraordinarily ambitious six year plan to improve the Federation. Much may not be possible within six years, but compare it with the wrongheaded mismanagement we can look forward to in the next four years. He will be a busy man at home.

Also, as indicated in the Magnier piece, he is turning eastward and may not wish to deal with the madness here.

Posted by: Bart Hansen | Mar 28 2018 22:16 utc | 28

this is an interesting graph on US troop losses in Iraq 03-017. 8 soldiers lost last year.

I would only question Elijah Magnier's view that the US is ready and willing to sustain significant troop losses. With decline in the Kurdish state cause and jihadis fighting each other, the US won't admit defeat of its global dominance scheme but may be getting a little nervous that it's turning out to be a paper tiger.

Posted by: Sid2 | Mar 28 2018 22:20 utc | 29

@23 Poland just signed a deal for $4.75 billion worth of Patriot missiles They got the price down from $11 billion somehow. Must have been a fire sale at Raytheon.

This means they will be "joining an elite group of states which have an efficient weapon that guarantees security"

Posted by: dh | Mar 28 2018 22:33 utc | 30

To me, it's the same fairytale nonsense repackaged. The US can say what it wants but the Hegemon got exactly what it wanted out of this war - Syria is like a mouse with its tail under the cat's paw and it thinks it's alllllmoooost free. Russia is hoping the US will throw it a bone after devouring Syria, which it is in no hurry to do. The Hegemon is perfectly happy to keep building bases amongst oil fields while Syria crumbles. Poor Assad. He rules a rump nation, whose huge population is devastated, whose structure and infrastructure is devastated, which is seeded and surrounded with enemies and whose resources have been stolen, whose borders are controlled by others, or deliberately not controlled as the case may be. Assad's Syria may end up looking like a huge Gaza. The US has proven again and again that over time, as the victim state crumbles, it is easier and easier to blame the ruler and the government. Assad's situation is horrific and he can thank Putin for that. Putin delayed entering the war, even though the example of Libya showed clearly what was coming, and when he did enter, he kept declaring peace prematurely, which inevitably allowed the US and its various puppets to reinforce, weapon up, consolidate territory and make new plans. Mysteriously the enemies of Syria became stronger and stronger as they seemed to be defeated. This was in part because the proxy war slowly morphed into an open war. The US and Turkey are entrenched now. The US clearly has no intention of ever leaving. In fact, the Cat can take the rest of Syria any time it wants. The bear will do nothing. To the bear a mouse is just a mouse after all.

Posted by: paul | Mar 28 2018 22:42 utc | 31

Germany - if I remember correctly - was instrumental on behalf of her client state Croatia in persuading the U S to acquise in the destruction of Yugoslavia.
Many could see at the time that this would unravel all the balances put into place after the travail of World War 2 . So it is proving to be . The German peoples' for whatever reasons have a history of 'overeach'. On one hand the Germans are now - after millennium - within settled borders but the political and economic wisdom and patience still seems lacking .

Posted by: ashley albanese | Mar 28 2018 22:47 utc | 32

The world is heading toward pluralism. . . .The question remains: Is Washington prepared to accept its defeat and acknowledge that it has lost control of the world and pull out of Syria?

In the recently published National Defense Strategy there is no hint that the United States will accept decline or even a multipolar world. “The Department of Defense will…remain the preeminent military power in the world, ensure the balance of power remains in our favor, and advance an international order that is most conducive to our security and prosperity.”
That especially applies to the Middle East. “We will foster a stable and secure Middle East that denies safe havens for terrorists, is not dominated by any power hostile to the United States, and that contributes to stable global energy markets and secure trade routes,” the National Defense Strategy states.
So the US strategy continues to be oriented toward world domination, and in fact has little to do with national defense/security.
Specifically it involves a larger Navy and Army. The most recent budget provides some of the additional funds required for that, in preparation for a naval war against China and a ground war against Russia, perhaps simultaneously.
[The Pentagon hasn't won a war in generations, even against rag-tag civilian left-behinds, but they can dream.]
The top Pentagon general Dunford gave an indication of the future when he was asked about reserve forces, which are necessary because of battlefield "attrition," during a senate hearing in September.
Q: Do you believe we must also have a sufficient strategic and operational reserve, national mobilization capability, and robust defense industrial base to provide a second echelon of follow-on forces if a contingency arises in a particular region, especially against a near peer, great power state?
A: Yes. Any conflict with a near -peer competitor will require follow -on forces. In a major contingency, our formations will almost certainly face battlefield attrition. To sustain a fight and see it through to conclusion on favorable terms, we will have to have additional forces available to maintain the initiative. This will assuredly draw on our strategic and operational reserves, test our national mobilization capability, and place demands on our defense industrial base as spare parts, end items, and critical munitions are consumed or destroyed.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 28 2018 22:54 utc | 33

OT;Assange's internet cut off!
And Skripals were poisoned from the front door.ha ha.

Posted by: dahoit | Mar 28 2018 22:58 utc | 34

In the global context the war on Syria is just a starting point. It will likely be in Korea, and maybe in Taiwan, where the real battle between unilateral and multilateral order will be fought.

IMHO, both Korea and Taiwan are distractions.   Trump lost East Asia.   Moon skillfully played the Winter Olympics against him.   Nobody there wants a war, and with falling support for Abe, Trump is isolated.   Iran is still the target.   People like Adelson will never allow the US to waste it's last breath on anything that doesn't support Israel's agenda.   And there's Saudi Arabia to consider, the Aramco IPO has been shelved IIRC.   MbS isn't happy with the current situation and Washington needs his support to maintain it's foothold in the region.   Of the reports that I've read, troop buildup is still in the ME (latest in Jordan) and not in East Asia.   Keep your eyes and ears open on May 12, a deadline Trump has set to walk away from the Iranian Nuclear Deal.

Posted by: Ian | Mar 28 2018 23:41 utc | 35

DB @34--

Dunford then admits that any such war lost already given reality of those things being relied upon. Meanwhile, the primary foes are allied and growing stronger daily.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 29 2018 0:30 utc | 36

Just seven years past and despite unquestioned positive role that Russian played in Syria mostly to reduce pain and suffering of Syrian people what I read here is unnecessary whitewashing of Russian initial stand that did nothing but encouraged US and NATO gangsters to reek chaos that caused tens of thousands dead and injured

Just to remind people's that in 2011 it was Medvedev representative of Russian western oligarchic lobby (friendly with Obama and neocons) in Kremlin who was in charge during Arab Spring.

It is well documented fact that Assad pleaded with Medvedev in March 2011 for Moscow to deliver already ordered and paid for in 2008 dozens of new combat helicopters as well as massive amount of parts to refurbish and upgrade Russian made warplanes that were also withheld not to upset Israel and US at that time.

Assad was not invited to Moscow at that time while he repeatedly declared that his military will be able to defeat terrorist insurgence financed by the CIA in a matter of weeks if Syrian Army is resupplied and paid for already contracts executed.

None of that happened at that time, while at the same time Quadaffi was thrown under the bus by Russians and Chinese UN non veto of the planned NATO agression on Libya, appeasement or coincidence?

Russian got their pay off for playing western game in MENA when in 2012 Putin was barely elected in a quite rediculous political charade facing CIA/Soros funded failed Moscow Spring which actually started slippery slope of open western anti-Russian hysterical embellishments.

What was even more puzzling for those not so sophisticated political analysts was Putin inconsistent actions and declarations especially in regard to Syria between 2012 and 2014 when he joined US phony peace talks and calling on Assad removal from his post in a some sort of democratic process only to find out that US do not want peace in Syria but some Saudi run fiefdom friendly to Israel.

The same appeasement to the west was in Putin attitude to Ukraine until 2014 and its 23 millions of ethnic Russians tolerating rapidly growing western financed Nazism as well his tolerance of Russia connected Ukrainian oligarchic theft that plunged the country into economic depression enabling political instability.

At that time Russian minorities in Baltic States were also viciously attacked by security forces as well by discriminating Nuremberg- like laws making them, most born there, second class citizen restricted in ownership and civil rights to organize and to maintain their culture and language.

All those Putin foreign policies of weakness and submission to the west and that included reluctance in approach to alliances with China were in sharp contrast to his extreme push to revamp entire military of Russian with enormous like for Russia military imvestments and extremely rationalizing it giving them 5 year term to accomplish massive changes while dropping hype about future fancy technologies for simple solutions that effectively will defend the country from western aggression.

Putin knew what was coming so why Kremlin policies of appeasement and hence encouragement of bullying and aggression. Who was really in charge?

In fact Putin reacted only when Russian vital national security was directly threatened in 2014 in Crimea where navy bases are located and in 2015 when he realized that western trained and funded terrorist army commanded by Chechnya Russian speaking terrorists is being prepared to invade Chechnya after Assad was deposed and the only maditeranian navy base was threatened.

As always in history policy of appeasement of a bully leads to the same thing ultimate confrontation, more delayed more costly it is.

So is Putin as Xi for that matter is about to submit their nations to the western oligarchy even more for their personal advancement at the global oligarchic table or they split which means war.

I do not think war is coming they have too good thing going and their power is not threatened by the enslaved people.

Posted by: Kalen | Mar 29 2018 0:32 utc | 37

@Kitty 20
I don't understand why Putin doesn't come back fighting. Whilst the West sinks to gutter levels throwing every insult imaginable, blatantly lying and demonising Russia and especially Putin, somehow Russia remains dignified and tries to resolve things through the proper channels. Isn't it time they realised there is no reasoning with the West, they have to play dirty and beat them at their own game, They must have all kinds of dirt on the West . When will the gloves come off?

Putin plays a much wiser game, and he has been successful at it. He is the consummate non-Trump, playing a winning role against an enemy with ten times the economic size and military budget.

Sun Tzu--

If your enemy is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he is in superior strength, evade him. If your opponent is temperamental, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant. If he is taking his ease, give him no rest. If his forces are united, separate them. If sovereign and subject are in accord, put division between them. Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected.

Putin has prevailed in Syria, picked Turkey out of NATO, persuaded India away from the US, paired up with US enemies Iran and China, perturbed the US to distraction including stupid sanctions and evictions -- what's not to like?

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 29 2018 0:35 utc | 38

Posted by: paul | Mar 28, 2018 6:42:09 PM | 32 "Assad's situation is horrific and he can thank Putin for that. Putin delayed entering the war, even though the example of Libya showed clearly what was coming...."

I think Putin entered the war when Russia was ready - maybe a bit earlier than optimal, thus "declaring peace prematurely" (as you put it) was simply cooling the temperature and buying more time to build capacity behind the scenes. Rope-a-dope. Russia is playing a cool multi-dimensional game and I suspect building credibility among many of its nominal adversaries, currently wretched subjects of [insert your preferred Global Totalitarian Conspiracy here], even if those cannot confess or act on it yet.
The only way the Hegemon can "win" in Syria will be to overturn the chessboard by going all-in militarily (which they most likely will not). But if they do I suspect the Russians have a contingency for that.

Posted by: Activist Potato | Mar 29 2018 1:16 utc | 39

In order to provoke a war over Taiwan, the Taiwanese must agree to participate: yet they will not.

Despite the so-called "polling" that claims to indicate a majority of Taiwanese want "independence," the truth is that the vast majority of Taiwanese want only to maintain their quality of life. Beyond that, they are ambivalent about their relationship with China. Yes, there are widespread worries about the ability to maintain that quality of life under China's current government, but the Taiwanese are happy to just sit back and wait.

Currently, for all intents and purposes Taiwan IS independent. Back in the early 00's (2004? I forget the precise year) the CCP drew a clear, absolutely unambiguous line in the sand for the PLA regarding the decision to initiate war against Taiwan: China will ONLY go to war over Taiwan if it declares independence. Barring that, Taiwan will be left alone.

It is because of Taiwan's dedicated reluctance to involve itself in any conflict with China that the rhetoric over "war with China" has shifted to the South China Sea. Yet even there, the US is finding it very hard to marshal support for any kind of conflict among the nations supposedly involved (Indonesia, Taiwan, Philippines, Vietnam, etc).

So: no war in Taiwan, nor any likely in S. China Sea. That's why the rhetoric has shifted to North Korea; but even there, with Pres. Moon in the South working hard to smooth over relations and prepare for much more substantial peace and reconciliation agreements, the US is finding it quite difficult to provoke anything.

For the moment, war in East Asia is extremely unlikely, and Syria remains the hottest flashpoint. The Korean situation could easily change, though, depending on which party takes the next Pres. elections, there; remember that when Roh was beaten, there was an immediate and hard shift to a far-right wing, overtly hostile posture w/r/t the North, and the region remained a simmering cold war for the entirety of that period. It was only with the impeachment of that rotten bitch Park that S. Korea returned to sanity.

Japan will continue to push hard for a hostile posture towards the North, and the US will follow Japan, regardless of the consequences. So: keep an eye on who's in power in the South to gauge where that conflict will go.

Posted by: Pacifica_Advocate | Mar 29 2018 1:28 utc | 40

Pacifica_Advocate @41--

Agree with most, and would add the accelerating dynamic between China, Russia, and the two Koreas, particularly after Xi/Kim Summit. And sage Japanese are watching the growing economic dynamism and interaction and want a piece of the action.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 29 2018 2:01 utc | 41

@Mike Maloney 12
@Lysander 24

Yes Germany is central to the peace or war toss-up.
Albeit, for once, not as a military agressive power, but as uncontested leader of Continental Europe.
If Merkel may had have some thougths in the Maidan to achieve some Brest-Litvok revival sha has now dropped the whole can of worms on Nato'laps.
She surely doesn't like Putin (and Russia) but will double the North Stream; probably doesn't fancy much China but is united in free trade.

UK is hopeless, but continental Europe is IMHO, and has always been the key to sobering the Hegemon. The fact that Europe has so far been unable to make a stand for sanity prevailing, is largely due to basic, blasé attitude and submission to avoid US wrath.

But who in European NATO's partners would envision going to war against Russia ?
During all the Cold War years I had strong doubts that USA would actually fully protect Europe.
Today it seems with improved tehnologies the target migth be directly USA (Poland migth be a bonus also). In the same vein accordingly, I very much doubt that Europe would rush to help USA.
NATO article 5 or not.
drole de guerre ?

Posted by: Charles Michael | Mar 29 2018 3:13 utc | 42

b, that's a great piece of work by Magnier. And it's a generous and truth-seeking act for you to summarize and present his articles here.

I could quibble over small claims he makes, but in the end he gives us the question: will the US go gracefully or calamitously from the world stage?

And all the world is thinking as strongly as it can, "Go gracefully. Go gracefully."


Every nation is self-centered in its culture, and thinks the world runs through its own cultural concepts, but most nations are constrained by neighbors who force the culture to acknowledge that there are other countries out there, and other peoples, who think their own distinct way.

The US, as we know, is not so constrained. It has a mild fellow-traveler to the north, and the wild "third world" to the south. To the people of the US, that's the world, and nothing else.

But as every aggressive adventure in the larger world is met by the harsh realities of that larger world - and fails - the US must retreat into itself. It's the only place it knows.

And the people will insist on programs that make life inside the US better, because the life outside is culturally unknown.

I don't say any of this is bad, but I do suggest that this is a real dynamic that should be made part of any speculation about the future moves of the US.

Perhaps only the isolation of the US could have allowed the neocon-ization of its foreign policy, and the neoliberal-ization of its domestic policy. Perhaps. But as times get increasingly hard for the people of the US, I think we may see the self-centeredness that we associate with this nation come to be the saving grace for the world, as the US retreats into itself, caring little for the rest of the world, and works on becoming a viable nation in its own right, again.

And so long as the other nations of the world keep their cool and declare their lines strongly - and ignore the armchair blowhards on all the blogs who want to see ass kicked now - this could happen without major harm to the world.

The net result of all this, I conjecture, is the "graceful" rather than "calamitous" retirement of the US from the world stage. How it happens, how long it takes, what exceptions prove the rule, we'll see.

Posted by: Grieved | Mar 29 2018 4:20 utc | 43

Magnier's arguments are certainly thought provoking. However, his take on China's role in the Syria war is way off. China most certainly does not have a dog in that fight. The outcome of that war does not really interest them. This was dramatically demonstrated when President Xi was having dinner with Trump. Recall that Trump told Xi that the US was in the process attacking that Syrian airbase with those missiles. Xi was obviously taken by surprise. He was silent for about 10 seconds and then responded, in essence, that it was of no concern to China.

Posted by: ToivoS | Mar 29 2018 8:16 utc | 44

@karlof1, #42:

Yeah, it will be interesting to see which direction Japan will take in the post-Abe era. For the last two decades, though, it has been run by far-right reactionary assholes who have been pushing hard to maintain the pressure on DPRK. I'm not sure if that particular Japanese dynamic can be effectively changed, now; but hopefully, I'm wrong.

Posted by: Pacifica_Advocate | Mar 29 2018 8:22 utc | 45

Paul @ 32, Activist Potato @ 40:

Russia only entered the war in Syria when invited to do so by the Assad government when it became obvious that the Syrian Arab Army was up against a huge force of fighters from 40+ (maybe even 70+) different countries, armed with weapons and aided by advisors from the US, the UK, France and other nations claiming to be fighting ISIS. Once the Russians were involved, the tide quickly turned: Turkey was caught aiding ISIS (remember the Turks were buying stolen Syrian and Iraqi oil from ISIS?) and was punished by the Russians through economic sanctions which wrecked its tourism industry after shooting down a couple of Russian fighter jets; and with Russian air cover and help and advice from Hezbollah and Iran, Syria has been able to rout the takfiris. The Assad government has reconstruction plans which include giving preference to Russian and Chinese firms in the rebuilding.

True, Russia is playing cool - at least the Russians aren't acting the way people expect them to, and that is an important strategy in itself.

Posted by: Jen | Mar 29 2018 8:24 utc | 46

Oh dear - excellent intro to 3 serious articles on what is really happening today, last 20 years and next 10. US aggression against Russia and any non-unipolar nation.

Then first posts are about Skripals. Skripals are the distraction - a way of talking about Russian aggression as if there were such a thing. Nobody really is trying to persuade us that Russia killed the Skripals, but they are trying to persuade us Russia is the Aggressor in any conflict.

Posted by: michael d | Mar 29 2018 10:16 utc | 47

There is a lot on humanity's plate as of late.
In a never ending barrage of lies and deceit,
the West leaves no opportunity behind to ensure
what kind of values it is talking about when it
holds up those towards a rump community of Nations
on planet Earth that are not aligned with the
biggest hypocrites on the planet.

As mentioned before, if Nations would be persons
in the fashion of the corporate meschpoke, then
the Western regimes would all be represented by
psychopaths. A circle of like minded criminals,
much more resembling the Mafia, or any other
criminal organization, than the bureaucracies of
democratic governments.

It is also self-evident that the Western regimes
have refined the practice of psychological projection and it can only be seen as an integral part of
psychological warfare. With the least amount of
pondering, one can only arrive at the conclusion,
that, what is referred to as "Regime Change" by
the Western Values Cabal, is indeed the changing of
a Democracy into a regime. Not as many have accepted
as the change from one regime to another - which
would of course be equally despicable, but is a much
more accepted policy for the members of the Western
Values societies.

By now it must be apparent that the present global
status quo is not understood even by those who
proclaim to be 'specialists', or 'professionals' in
the field of making sense of no sense. Saturating
what still goes for 'media' outlets, these obviously
bribed, or black mailed individuals do not hesitate
to spread the most ludicrous lies in regards to the
Western Values regimes' policies. For the masses of
gobblers that voluntarily expose themselves to such
propaganda, critical thinking is not an option.

This is an image of the Duopoly world after the
Skripal False Flag. It is a false flag, because it
takes place outside any form of jurisprudence. No
rule of law shall be in the way of the Western Values
propaganda and war mongering turning into profits.

The world is now divided into "Pretend Democracies"
(aka Regimes) and real Democracies that still employ
the most basic of rules of law:

The Duopoly after the Skripal False Flag

Another commenter above stated also that chem trails
are indicative of the massive spraying of toxic
aerosols into the atmosphere, which is coincidentally
the air people are breathing. Thus it can be surmised
in the best tradition of what goes for a conspiracy
theory, that the toxic heavy metals accumulating in
the human body and especially the brain, react to all
varieties of what goes for cell phone towers, with G5
offering the widest margin of cell manipulation.

No wonder then that those, who are exposed to the
massive spraying display this indifference in regards
to the present status quo on Earth. Just how thorough
the manipulation has progressed reveals this screen
capture. It was pulled from a crime comedy show called
"Hubert und Staller" that is aired by BR ('Bayrischer Rundfunk' Bavarian Broadcasting) and ARD ('Arbeitsgemeinschaft der öffentlich rechtlichen Rundfunkanstalten Deutschlands' - 'Das Erste'). If I
am not mistaken, this goes under the category
'predictive programming'. The population is shown
images in order to de-sensitize it in regards to the
chemtrails. The chemtrails are inserted into TV shows
to instill a sense of normalcy when one is looking at
the sky and observes the same spray patterns.

No wonder the citizens of the European regimes
belonging to the Western Values Cabal are unable to
look through the deceit. Their brains are already

Chemtrails at Hubert und Staller

Posted by: notheonly1 | Mar 29 2018 10:43 utc | 48

@ Posted by: Lester | Mar 29, 2018 6:44:32 AM | 53

Never forget:


So, if all of them are the same what is our option, group suicide?

Posted by: ex-SA | Mar 29 2018 13:01 utc | 49

What has China done to help defeat Jihadism in Syria

The Chinese play their cards very close to their chest. IMO this is to allow Russia to be the lightning rod for all of the United State's hysterical wrath. They must have studied us long enough to realize that we prefer to have one big villain and are doing everything they can to advance their interests under the RADAR.

But is China actually lifting a finger? I can't tell, even Neocon writers assumed that the $600B contract was China taking advantage of Russia to get cheap oil / gas contracts when Russia was in a bad position. This is one time that I think the Neocons might be right. Have the Chinese done anything else substantive.

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Mar 29 2018 13:02 utc | 50

Grieved | Mar 29, 2018 12:20:30 AM | 44

Thoughtful comments, and you acknowledge they're primarily long-term optimism that the US may turn inward. But short and medium term that is unlikely, because our warmongering is caused by the solidly in place military-industrial complex, Israel Lobby, and US/UK financial borg, and public sentiment is just something to be manipulated or ignored. Soon the powers that be will pull the US into a big one-off attack on Iran, basically because Israel wants it and everyone surrounding Trump is a deranged lunatic.

In the only slightly less short-term, the U.S. continues preparing the public for war on Russia, and because of the overwhelming dollars put into the propaganda most average Americans 'buy' Putin demonization. The masters of our totalitarian/panopticon 'democracy' will keep up with the false flags, accelerating scare rhetoric, and booming military budgets until the war at the end of it feels entirely natural and inevitable. This is maxing out now and in the immediate future, and maybe the only thing slowing the war train is the exceptional unpopularity of Trump, both with the public and the power elites. After Trump, under Pence or a Dem Party warmonger, we'll likely get a war with Russia. To stop this we need some extraordinary changes in the West and especially the US by 2020.

Posted by: fairleft | Mar 29 2018 13:13 utc | 51

Are they 'preparing the public for war' or trying to distract people from the awful reality of the steady decline of living standards into a dystopia of semi- employment, homelessness and privatisation- a world where everything is for sale and most people are broke.
The idea that the public are being prepared for war depends upon the quaint notion that public opinion counts in the calculations of the powerful, except as an indication of where opinion will be led next.
Roivo @48 I think you are wrong. The Chinese most certainly are interested in Syria, the evidence that Xi didn't show any emotion while dining with Trump is just a reminder of what diplomacy used to be before the fascists, like Bolton and the Israelis took over.
Russia and China, and Iran are in this for the long haul- it took the USA years of stupid moves, and clumsy bullying to force them into this alliance but it is done now

Posted by: bevin | Mar 29 2018 14:31 utc | 52

Just target israel for destruction if jews cause war, let them know it, and peace will follow.

Posted by: Pindos | Mar 29 2018 15:27 utc | 53

The only serious challenge to US hegemony is Russia, has always been so. (Setting contemp. China aside for the mo.) Plus, Anglo loathing of Russia is centuries deep, a long story. The USA’s spectre is: should the natural -- cultural, commercial, energy and tech etc. -- alliance between R Federation, its ex-satellites, FSU, and Europe materialise, the USA (even if dominating the continent, Mexico and Canada..) is relegated to the status of a not-too-successful clapped out colony, at its worst. At its best, a 'power’ amongst others. Unbearable, unimaginable, perhaps enough to go down in flames for.., that is the qu.?

Magnier (part 2) points out that the Kerry-Obama effort to ‘bring Iran into the fold’ was to strip it away from Russia: true enough, but the main aim was to allow and encourage trade between Europe and Iran, thus making the Europeans less Russia-keen (energy, banking, trade, geography, etc.) and perhaps compensating for the destruction of Lybia and Syria (upcoming or .. at the time.)

A first step in the pulverize the R-EU relations direction (modern times) was the break-up and destruction of Yugoslavia, as it would have been a marvellous ‘bridge.’

The present administration was elected on another plan, allying with the no. 2 power (which Russia would have embraced), enthusiastically supported by a majority of the populace — it was not to be. Hardliners going for broke have taken over the Trump admin, though I do think many surprises might arise, it is NOT that simple.

Part 3 is about China..another story. Note the China-Russia alliance is one of circumstance, united against others, seemingly solid for now.

These ‘country-based’ descriptions are limited in pertinence. This ain’t WW2 with color pins stuck into maps showing occupied territories, the Corporate Globalist class is at work.

Posted by: Noirette | Mar 29 2018 15:40 utc | 54

Thanks-great post and thread: karlos1 for eurasia future article, Greived for 'go gracefully comment, bevin for populace of US in no mood to be suckered into the war to end all planetary life.

Posted by: juliania | Mar 29 2018 15:51 utc | 55

@44 Grieved:

Posted by: b4real | Mar 29 2018 15:58 utc | 56

"The net result of all this, I conjecture, is the "graceful" rather than "calamitous" retirement of the US from the world stage. How it happens, how long it takes, what exceptions prove the rule, we'll see."


I believe this statement is backwards in its conclusion. Rather the net resulst of a graceful and calamitous retirement of the U.S. has the "possibility of allowing the future you supposed above to exist.

Power gives up nothing without a demand. The change in the mindset of Americans to disavow foreign meddling and concentrating its effort on quality of life in the USA will require a catalyst.


Posted by: b4real | Mar 29 2018 16:03 utc | 57

Yulia Skripal no longer critical, making rapid progress. Many additional questions arise, though those of the MSM will not be too searching. Further measures against Russia still under consideration.

Posted by: Shakesvshav | Mar 29 2018 16:13 utc | 58

Oh yes, and it was recently admitted that MI5 can commit crimes, but exactly what crimes is not vouchsafed to us.

Posted by: Shakesvshav | Mar 29 2018 16:18 utc | 59

sorry, I realized my source for the last post is from the Ukrainian government . . .

Posted by: Perimetr | Mar 29 2018 16:36 utc | 60

I look forward to hearing B's take on the sudden and totally miraculous improvement in the Skripal's condition. Looks like Tide Pods are more dangerous than this alleged Russian nerve agent.

Posted by: qualtrough | Mar 29 2018 16:41 utc | 61

@64 b4real.. i think you are right.. i wonder what the catalyst is?

the recovery of one of the skripals is very interesting.. i am curious to see how this develops...

Posted by: james | Mar 29 2018 17:21 utc | 62

@ 71 pp... i notice those are all us centric topics... you might be waiting a while for coverage of those topics..

Posted by: james | Mar 29 2018 17:22 utc | 63

OT: The same British newspaper told us yesterday Yulia Skripal got to diea, but today it says T
Russian spy's daughter is now 'improving rapidly' and expected to SURVIVE nerve agent attack

Posted by: mali | Mar 29 2018 17:28 utc | 64

@74 mail: UK newsrags are bad enough for spouting rubbish but no-one, and I mean [i]no-one [/i] believes anything that the Daily Mail prints. It is the most scurrilous, Middle England hate rag!

Posted by: Bevin Kacon | Mar 29 2018 18:33 utc | 65

The United States can never go bankrupt, because it creates its own currency and can at any time generate as much of it as it needs to deal with internal and external circumstances. At the same time, it is not in China’s interest to see the value of the U.S. dollar collapse, given how many dollars the Chinese currently hold. The U.S. economy is still the largest in the world, and even when it falls to the number two position, it will still carry massive weight. Hence, a multipolar world will not be as dire for the U.S. as many handwringers believe. It’s something that I look forward to.

Posted by: Rob | Mar 29 2018 18:38 utc | 66

If one does a google trends search on "Novichok" prior to the attack, one can see Armenia with 100 searches Feb 9th.
Plenty of intrigue there now. Russia is is in a battle with the West for influence, numerous terrorist groups are active....
I could not find any mention in google news there that might trigger public interest over the time period. The searches appear quite specific to that one date so probably not public info which would have been more spread out. Watching that UK drama maybe?

Posted by: Bobzibub | Mar 29 2018 19:50 utc | 67

Spanish analyst "El Lince" briefly on the last geopolitical events...

Spreading wings

China has already struck back the announcement of war by the US by imposing tariffs on Chinese products. Today, as I have been saying, the petroyuan has officially entered into operation. At the time of writing, the Chinese markets were still open, but there are already the first data: more than 23,000 oil transactions contracts have been signed for an amount of 10 billion yuan, which is exactly equivalent to 1,600 million dollars. That means that today there have been 1,600 million dollars less in the world than yesterday. The end of the petrodollar has begun and, with it, the definitive end of the American hegemony.

That is, the resounding success of the Chinese bet and means that there is a significant demand, that many people were waiting for an open door different from the dollar and it has gone through it without blunders.

Along with this, China has made another movement that clearly indicates that it does not get stuck: it is carrying out the largest aerial-naval exercise ever carried out under the suggestive, very Chinese name of "It's spring, let's spread the wings over the ocean". The People's Liberation Army, the official name of the army in China, has clearly stated that the exercises "are tests for future wars and are the most direct preparation for war." Never, until now, China had used a similar language.

Posted by: Fatima Manoubia | Mar 29 2018 22:49 utc | 68

I wonder if the Skripal case is floundering because the attempt to orchestrate a false flag CW attack in East Ghouta was stopped three times after the Russians and Syrians seized large caches of chemicals and several laboratories there. Not necessarily a direct link but an ongoing push to demonise Russia. A quote from Voltairenet's recent article Theresa May's Foreign Policy "and the attempt to exclude Russia from the Security Council and cut the world in two, which implies the on-going manipulation with chemical weapons in Syria, and the Skripal affair." If so get ready for perfidious Albion to commit more false flags before Britannia is crushed under a P 700 Granit. Crusin' for a brusin' as they say.

Posted by: Tom | Mar 29 2018 23:27 utc | 69

I can remember my mother, a war bride saying this quote of Walter Scott a few times "O, what a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive!" This just about covers the whole sordid affiar

Posted by: Tom | Mar 29 2018 23:54 utc | 70

@Rob, #66:

>>>The United States can never go bankrupt, because it creates its own currency and can at any time generate as much of it as it needs to deal with internal and external circumstances. At the same time, it is not in China’s interest to see the value of the U.S. dollar collapse,

I'd laugh at this, but the orthodoxy you represent is just too pathetic for me to bother with indulging the energy.

No. China does not "depend on the dollar." China is *USING* the dollar.

When the time comes for China to dump it, it will. And when it does, the US will collapse.

Posted by: Pacifica_Advocate | Mar 30 2018 8:11 utc | 71

@Pacifica_Advocate (71)

There is nothing particularly orthodox in my viewpoint. It’s pure common sense. China currently hold hundreds of billions of US dollars. These are dollars that will have to be spent eventually. Any intelligent person would rather spend expensive, rather than cheap, dollars, because he would get much more for his money. Do you think that the Chinese are not intelligent? China could decide to spend its dollars buying yuans or euros, but the same dynamics will pertain. Dumping their dollars by the truckload will depress what they get in return.

Study your economics. This has nothing to do with China “depending” on the dollar.

Posted by: Rob | Mar 30 2018 22:37 utc | 72

As a follow up to the above, even if China does, for whatever reason, decide to divest itself of dollars, how would that cause the United States to collapse? The same number of dollars would exist, but they would be in different hands. And if China presents a demand to the US Treasury to redeem all of the US bonds they hold, the treasury could simply fire up the printing presses to produce more (cheap) dollars for the purpose of paying them off. This would likely have an inflationary effect on the US, but it would definitely not be of the catastrophic type, as in Weimar Germany.

Posted by: Rob | Mar 30 2018 22:53 utc | 73

Call it a conciliatory position, MbS now says that Bashar al Asad has to stay, and that the US troops in Syria have to stay too (per Arabic RT quoting the Time interview,

Posted by: Mina | Mar 31 2018 8:22 utc | 74

- I think the US should be grateful that Russia, Iran helped Syria to defeat the extremists. These extremists could also destabilize Turkey. And Turkey "going down the drain" is the worst possible scenario for the US, Europe and Russia.

Posted by: Willy2 | Apr 1 2018 21:45 utc | 75

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