Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 18, 2018

Weekly Review And Open Thread 2018-11

The last week at Moon of Alabama was heavy on 'Novichok'. But that story it is only one act in a much larger play.

Mar 11 - Syria - The Fall Of Two Cities

This morning Afrin fell to the Turkish supported Takfiris. Over the last days civilians and YPG fighters fled the area. The Kurdish YPG made no serious attempt to defend the city. They left large stacks of ammunition behind. The Turkish government will now 'settle' its own people in Afrin and, in two to five years, will let them vote to be annexed by Turkey. This chanin of events was easy to see but the political stupidity of the Kurdish leadership is immeasurable.

The Syrian army continues to split Takfiri held areas of east-Ghouta into tiny pieces. Ten thousands of civilians have fled from the Takfiri to the government's side. Negotiations over the evacuation of the 'rebel' fanatics are ongoing. In a week or two the whole area will be liberated and under government control. A 'chemical factory', likely used to prepare chemical weapons, was found in the already librated area.

The Russian Defense Ministry loudly warns that U.S. paid provocateurs plan a "chemical incident" to then accuse the Syrian government. The U.S. has sortied ships, say the Russians, to 'respond' to such an incident with a swarm of cruise missiles on Syrian government targets. If that happens, Russia said, it will attack any detected missile launching platform.

Mar 12 - Theresa May's "45 Minutes" Moment

The British government again lies about chemical weapons.

Mar 13 - Trump Orders Rexit - Torture Woman To Head CIA - (Updated)

Who is the next to be fired by Trump? Mattis or McMaster?

Mar 14 - Are 'Novichok' Poisons Real? - May's Claims Fall Apart

The 'Novichok' story, as told by the British government, can not be true.

Mar 16 - The British Government's 'Novichok' Drama Was Written By Whom?

The piece was updated quite often with additional facts and supporting links. Early readers may want to reread it.

A big thank you to all commentators for the extensive and very disciplined discussion of our 'Novichok' posts. These could not be published without your support.

Mar 17 - Guardian Rips-Off Goebbels - Fascist Propaganda For Better Anti-Russian Smears

The post was somewhat updated with this comment.

Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on March 18, 2018 at 10:44 AM | Permalink

Comments
next page »

just listen to BBC4 radio's news programme: The World This Week starting from 17:00, it says UK has 20 countries' support in 6 continents, which means UK has not even got the support of total 28 EU member countries. The Austrian MP, head of council of Europe, rebuts Johnson's accusation of Putin behind the poision drama, says he doesn't want to return to Cold War in Vienna and calls for follow the international laws. Just listen how pathetic the BBC anchorman sounds.

Posted by: mali | Mar 18, 2018 11:37:48 AM | 1

craig murray has yet another article out today on the topic of skripal and novichok..

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/

Posted by: james | Mar 18, 2018 12:12:08 PM | 2

An addition to the cartoon story from March 17th. I love russian humor - especially the second one: It is election day in Russia :-)

Posted by: Fran | Mar 18, 2018 12:13:35 PM | 3

also, in case anyone missed them - john helmer has written a number of articles on the topic of skripal/novichok and britian including one today... http://johnhelmer.net/

Posted by: james | Mar 18, 2018 12:29:38 PM | 4

Michael Shrimpton has a good article too, on the russia spy story: It Wasn’t Russia!

Posted by: Fran | Mar 18, 2018 12:32:41 PM | 5

I am starting to think The UK spy poisoning was part of a last desperate attempt by US, UK, and possibly french deep-states to destroy Syria. Votel has recently told congress that Syrian government with Russia and Iran backing has the winning hand.
The meme of the current propaganda, by both US and UK is that both Syria and Russia have secret chemical weapons in contravention to their OPCW obligations.
An attack on Syria as the main goal of the propaganda, and further 'isolating' Russia as a secondary goal.

An article in Australian government owned ABC on what retaliation measures UK can take against Russia ended with this..

Washington: The known unknown
Ultimately, the key to all this will be what the United States does.

In a phone call with Ms May earlier today, Donald Trump agreed that the Russian Government has questions it must answer.

Even so, the US President has declined to publicly attribute responsibility for the attack to Russia so far.

"As soon as we get the facts straight, if we agree with them, we will condemn Russia or whoever it may be," he told reporters outside the White House.

It was far from the categorical assertion by his outgoing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who had been telling reporters the attack "clearly came from Russia," just hours before he was fired via Twitter.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-14/uk-russia-standoff-spy-poisoning-what-happens

At Trump's twitter account, other than announcing the appointment of new secretary of state at the critical moment, from which time Tillerson has disappeared from the scene, Trump seems to be showing no interest in the current propaganda meme.

I think the new secretary of state starts around 31st March giving a two week window when the acting SoS will say and do very little.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 18, 2018 1:33:27 PM | 6

Re Syria. Remember afrin? Apparently the turks have Kurdish militants boxed in.

So the big question becomes will Assad and erdogan come to some agreement.

Posted by: Dh | Mar 18, 2018 1:45:17 PM | 7

Some more from Craig Murray on the Novichok and government changing its story-

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2018/03/boris-johnson-issues-completely-new-story-on-russian-novichoks/

And here he is on Radio 5 before the latest changes talking about the situation-

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2018/03/craig-murray-radio-5-interview-on-skripal-attack/

Posted by: TJ | Mar 18, 2018 2:18:58 PM | 8

@7 Turkey now controls the border from Jarabulus to Jisr Al Shugour in Idlib. Manbij may be next. That is an enormous and too juicy morsel to give back to Damascus without something in return but Turks are not known to be « fair » players and I dont see Russia being able to apply enough pressure for them to relent.
I fear a new front will open in North West Syria..

Posted by: Lozion | Mar 18, 2018 3:02:46 PM | 9

My hunch is that on his recent to the UK the Saudi clown Prince told the Brits that, no you wont get the Aramco IPO, we are giving it to a Sino-SovietRussian coalition. And these guys were really counting on it after the brexit fiasco. So being the old bhenchod opium traders of the east India company, this is the only way the British elite knows how to act.

Posted by: meme | Mar 18, 2018 3:08:21 PM | 10

I’ll confine my comments here to a recent development Craig Murray brings to light–that Iran’s successful efforts to synthesize a novichok have been authoritatively documented under the supervision of the OPCW. Given that this may be the only credibly documented variant, might this set the stage for its “detection” in the imminent false-flag chemical attack in Syria–as the casus belli for an attack on Syrian and Russian government forces in Syria that the Russian Defence Ministry has been warning against in recent days, or the deployment in New York City that Nikki Haley has been telegraphing?

Thereby smearing Russia and Iran in a single broad brushstroke.

Assuming that such a fingerprint can’t be faked or reproduced, this might require the co-optation or humiliation of another U.N. agency–the OPCW, this time, rather than the WMD inspection program. But recent OPCW findings in jihadist-controlled Syria, without having actually sent an inspection team in, suggest that co-optation is not beyond the realm of plausibility...

Posted by: Paul | Mar 18, 2018 3:13:21 PM | 11

Lozion 9

In Syria, the Turks may be a little like chemotherapy. Hard on the patient, but there to counter the US cancer.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 18, 2018 3:18:18 PM | 12

@mali
I'm German. Merkel hasn't said anything about the issue publicly. It appeared at British media that she was supporting May and her spokesman cowardly confirmed it without any explication. Merkel is a very complicated alliance with the Social Democrats and also she cannot alienate the German big business with Russia. She would not say anything about it if they had not put it in her mouth. Mostly like the German elites will leave the Austrians doing the hard job like they did during the refugee crisis in 2015..

Posted by: Nick | Mar 18, 2018 3:57:35 PM | 13

Composition of Novichok

Russia (sits on the RIMLAND)
Signs contract with Egypt
Wants to use Lebanon ports
Russian chit chat with S. Cyprus over energy fields
Rus-China cooperation
Rus-Iran Eurasia talks
Russia Med access via SR
Russia-Saudi talks

That's British Turf

Hence, Novichok!

Posted by: ConfusedPundit | Mar 18, 2018 4:43:18 PM | 14

Craig Murray has published very intriguing information:

"... the vital information that in late 2016, Iranian scientists set out to study whether novichoks really could be produced from commercially available ingredients. Iran succeeded in synthesising a number of novichoks. Iran did this in full cooperation with the OPCW and immediately reported the results to the OPCW so they could be added to the chemical weapons database."

May's bullshit has now completely unraveled. I suggest reading all of Murray's blog entries on this topic as he's outscooped every so-called journalist and upended the multi-billion dollar propaganda industry.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 18, 2018 5:12:20 PM | 15

From the RT article
“The most likely source of origin of the toxin are the countries which have been carrying out intense research on the substances from the ‘Novichok’ program, approximately since the end of the 1990s until the present time, and this project is not the creation of Russia or the Soviet Union,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Saturday. She listed the UK, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Sweden among the countries involved.

The US should also “be put under question,” Zakharova said in an interview with the state broadcaster VGTRK.
......

Zakharova does not mention Iran in this list. I take it that is because Iran was working openly and with OPCW.

US has a habit of projecting onto its enemies what it is doing itself. Now we have UK saying Russia has stockpiled novichok.
I would guess Russia has good information that that the named countries have been researching the novichok group without informing the OPCW. As for the Brits accusing Russia of stockpiling the stuff, I would guess that it is the UK and US that has a stockpile for weapons purposes

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 18, 2018 5:41:23 PM | 16

No wonder UK is getting cranky, given its political problems (Brexit), a falling-out with the US, and also a recent audit that concludes that the UK defence budget is headed for the dustbin.
news report:

UK defense equipment plan at 'risk of becoming unaffordable'
A significant fall in the value of the pound against the dollar, ongoing uncertainties surrounding the cost of new projects and continued cost control problems on some long-standing programs all contributed to the committee's concerns over future equipment funding.
“Unless the Department takes urgent action to close the gap in affordability, it will find that spending on equipment can only be made affordable by reducing the scope of projects, delaying them, or cancelling them altogether. Such an approach risks destabilising the plan, compromising value for money, and undermining operational capability,” the NAO said. To an extent, that’s already happening. Britain’s defense industry is already reporting program cuts and delays. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 18, 2018 6:07:20 PM | 17

Brennan is starting to remind me of Allen Dulles. A tweet from Samantha Power.

""@SamanthaJPower

Not a good idea to piss off John Brennan.""

Posted by: financial matters | Mar 18, 2018 6:23:00 PM | 18

@17. Perhaps some of Boris' oligarch pals will chip in.

Posted by: Dh | Mar 18, 2018 6:47:59 PM | 19

james 2: Thanks for the link, IMO, and telling, is this excerpt:

"The Soviet Chemical Weapons programme was based in Nukus in Uzbekistan. It was the Americans who dismantled and studied it and destroyed and removed the equipment. I visited it as Ambassador to Uzbekistan shortly after they had finished – I recall it as desolate, tiled and very cold, nothing to look at really. The above paragraph seeks to hold the Russians responsible for anything that came out of Nukus, when it was the Americans who actually took it."

Case closed..

Posted by: ben | Mar 18, 2018 7:32:45 PM | 20

Andy (Avraham) Blumenthal, Deputy Chief Operating Officer for the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, US Dept. of Health and Human Services, "Assad's time is up", March 17: With a boatload of lies-for-Israel, the aforementioned war-bigot-who-should-be-begging-on-a-street-corner-and-not-anywhere-near-power, gives a strong impression that a decision has been made to assassinate Assad (and, one also gathers, Nasrallah) by cruise missile and push back to square one all Russian, Iranian and Hezbollah gains in the region https://www.andyblumenthal.com/2018/03/assads-time-is-up.html :

The Assad regime, Russia, axis of evil Iran, and Hezbollah terrorists all need to get the message from us loud and clear that red lines will not be crossed without paying a very serious price--and that all their efforts at expanding their malevolent reach across that region have been for naught.

Assad is the ultimate April Fool if he thinks that a cruise missile isn't going to land on his head this time around and it will be very well-deserved indeed.

An opinion article in the Jerusalem Post on March 14 concludes with this:
"An urgent intervention now to stop Iran strengthening its bases and Russian hegemony in Syria has turned out to be a must for Israeli security and American interests." http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/The-fall-of-Ghouta-threatens-Israel-US-interests-and-the-West-545043

Joint US-Israel exercise, the largest ever, simulate a three front war, March 12: https://www.mintpressnews.com/israel-us-operation-juniper-cobra-a-harbinger-of-war-on-syria-hezbollah/238768/

The stomach churns.

Posted by: Norumbega | Mar 18, 2018 7:33:44 PM | 21

P.S. In many Americans minds, the fact that Russia is, as b said, "as capitalist as it gets", doesn't resonate, and the "Russia did it" meme gains some traction.
Capitalist Russia is a competitor on the economic world stage, so, must be condemned and demeaned by any means..

Posted by: ben | Mar 18, 2018 7:41:16 PM | 22

Corbyn Allies in Labour Attacked For Supporting Palestinian Struggle

God forbid anyone taking the Palestinian position on the ongoing Genocide committed daily by the Israelis..
From TRNN:

http://therealnews.com/t2/story:21381:Corbyn-Allies-in-Labour-Attacked-For-Supporting-Palestinian-Struggle

Posted by: ben | Mar 18, 2018 7:49:47 PM | 23

Early account (1992) of “Novichok”:

http://articles.baltimoresun.com/1992-10-18/news/1992292006_1_chemical-weapons-research-nerve-gases

Reuters article with interview with Mirzayanov:
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-russia-scientist/only-russia-could-be-behind-u-k-poison-attack-toxins-co-developer-idUSKCN1GP2ZK

The following claims are made: “a deadly and advanced toxin”; “10 times as powerful as the more commonly known VX”; “the agent is too complicated for a non-state actor to have weaponized”; “program eventually produced tons of the agent…only in Russia”; “(1000 persons) worked on Novichok specifically”; “attacks the nervous system, making it impossible for victims to breathe and causing unimaginable pain”; “absolutely incurable”.

John Helmer found a recent Canadian statement to OPCW Executive Council:
https://www.opcw.org/fileadmin/OPCW/EC/87/en/Canada_Supplementary_Statement_EC-87.pdf

which claims the “provisions of Article iX” - which requires information and analytical sharing between parties of a dispute and allows time for a response - is merely subject to the “prerogative of each State Party to determine whether to employ” and that “Russia’s insistence on employing Article iX procedures is an attempt to deflect and delay - so that it need not provide a credible response to uncomfortable questions.” Closing this statement, Canada accuses Russia of a state-sponsored “Novichok program” amounting to “an undeclared chemical weapons enterprise.”

Posted by: jayc | Mar 18, 2018 7:57:10 PM | 24

@21
Something for Andy (Avraham) Blumenthal, Deputy Chief Operating Officer for the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, US Dept. of Health and Human Services, "Assad's time is up" --
Video: President Assad visits East Ghouta civilians here

. . .and memories of: Dec 14, 2011 - The State Department official, Frederic Hof, told Congress on Wednesday that Assad's repression may allow him to hang on to power but only for a short time.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 18, 2018 8:02:24 PM | 25

meme | Mar 18, 2018 3:08:21 PM | 10

IF that was the case, expect the UK to have MbS removed.

Posted by: Ian | Mar 18, 2018 8:11:12 PM | 26

@25 Only this time it doesn't look like a prognostication so much as a decision by the Zionist occupation forces: https://twitter.com/snarwani/status/975516076787331074

But just as 2003, the idea that the AngloZi empire's crime of aggression will be welcomed by the Syrian people will prove to be military-grade ignorance.

Posted by: Norumbega | Mar 18, 2018 8:13:45 PM | 27

I think Russia reactions and actions are the only sound and sensible attitude and behaviour in the face of the foolish, and frankly frightening barrage of lies and aggressions and provocations coming from the empire, daily almost by now.

Russia position has not changed one inch; and good luck to the empire and all its serfs if they hope to provoke some hurried, exaggerated, precipitous reaction from Russia.

To try to keep open all channels for peace, and to be very careful not to give any excuse to the fascist criminal empire is the only way; if the empire so desperately as it seems needs a war with Russia, it will be forced to attack, and even if it will try to put the blame on Russia, fact remain the empire will start it; for to me is very clear all the aggression is aimed at this, so to pretend to have the high moral ground, same as with all the wars, all of them, that the USA in particular, and the UK, have initiated, save maybe for the 2 world war, but even there they worked hard to unleash Hitler…
speaking of, we are past the level of lies used by the Nazis to start ww2 already...

Besides, Russia attitude has been hardening of late, and I see she has all the intelligence very active, and also very effective, in such a situation, because she understands very well what kind of dirty treacherous gamble is being tried on her.

Posted by: rr | Mar 18, 2018 8:37:34 PM | 28

@rr 28
Yes, Russia has a lot of advantages as you cite -- plus in the military area. Putin just explained about the Russian nuclear missile advantage, and that also extends to cruise missiles and other military aspects where Russia has surpassed the US. . . .Mar 26, 2017 - US Army Deputy Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Mike Murray has told a Senate Armed Services subcommittee that the US faces falling behind other countries in the area of tank technology, saying that other nations, including Israel, the UK and particularly Russia are close to catching up. . . .forget "close". . . the Russia T-14 Armata is fitted with a number of very advanced features that have never been implemented in an operational tank anywhere else in the world.
In Syria, Russia out-guns the US with stand-off weapons, that is initiated far from Syria. Russia has engaged with the US Pentagon, with mil-to-mil strictures which make it clear that any US assault on Syria would be countered by Russian weapons. That's one message that the generals understand -- they all speak the same language in that regard.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 18, 2018 9:08:06 PM | 29

Southfront is reporting substantial US buildups ongoing east of euphrates and at al Tanf...

Hope these fools are not going to try an escalation...

regards

OY

Posted by: oldenyoung | Mar 18, 2018 9:22:48 PM | 30

@30
Any US buildups east of the Euphrates and at the Syria/Iraq/Jordan border intersection (both in the desert) are irrelevant to Syria national security and can be dealt with later. Meanwhile if I were an American parent with a son or daughter serving in one of those areas I would be concerned. What does this have to do with US national security? . . .Thank you for your service. /s

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 18, 2018 9:35:20 PM | 31

I beg to differ...The SAA is moving troops into these areas as they expect a major attack...it has everything to do with Syrian security...

Posted by: oldenyoung | Mar 18, 2018 10:04:30 PM | 32

Stierlitz and Putin

Funny montage of episode of the soviet serial "17 moments of spring". Stierlitz meets Putin in Switzerland.
Cast: V.Tikhonov, V.Putin, Y.Timoshenko, N.Savchenko, H.Clinton

Ha!

Posted by: integer | Mar 18, 2018 10:12:16 PM | 33

@32
they expect a major attack..
link?

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 18, 2018 10:53:41 PM | 34

@7 Dh, 9 Lozion, 12 Peter AU 1

I find Adam Garrie's take on the Afrin situation yesterday pretty good: Turkey Assumes Full Control Over Afrin as YPG Flees – US Faces Humiliation

All of this is happening in the context of Astana, where, as Garrie points out, Turkey continues to declare adherence to the notion of total Syrian sovereignty:

Syria continues to worry that in Afrin, a YPG occupier has been substituted for a Turkish one. Ultimately, these fears should be assuaged by the fact that as part of the Astana Group, Turkey along with Russia and Iran, are helping to devise and oversee a political process to end the conflict in Syria. As part of this process, Turkish troops will almost certainly eventually withdraw from the Syrian Arab Republic as part of the Astana commitment which was reiterated just this week, stating that Russia, Iran and Turkey will all respect the territorial unity of the Syrian Arab Republic.

Personally, I suspect that Assad is not that worried. The net gain has been quite substantial. Garrie again, pointing out that Turkey has done a nice piece of the heavy lifting for Syria:

In the longer term, Turkey has done Syria’s dirty work in facing down US proxies and exposing the weakness of both their military prowess and of their political ambitions.

That's a key point. Perhaps only Turkey, of all the players, could have so faced up to the US - without the US quite knowing what to do, given the tangle of relationships between it and Turkey, that it stood back and let Afrin happen, to its own ultimate humiliation. I don't know if any other player could have finessed that situation with so few repercussions.

Of course Syria must continue to protest Turkey's presence, but I think Russia and Iran are more than adequate guarantors that Turkey will leave when the time is right. Turkey is still very useful as the seemingly untouchable foil against the US, destroying the Kurd usefulness for the US, and generally just being a huge wrench in the Zionist plans for the north.

Remember, too, last time I checked Turkey also has a joint agreement with Iraq to attack the Kurds east of the Euphrates. Maybe Turkey and the Iraqi PMU's are the two forces that can hit the US without consequences, give Assad his oil fields back, and drive the Yankees to go home.

Posted by: Grieved | Mar 18, 2018 11:58:32 PM | 35

Don Bacon@34

Here is the link:
https://southfront.org/us-led-coalition-its-proxies-to-launch-attack-against-syrian-army-in-eastern-syria-reports/

Paveway4 mentioned a few months ago that the T4 pumping station and the border region to the East is the real prize in order to transport Syrian oil under US control to Israel. Looks like Paveway4 was correct in his analysis.

Posted by: Krollchem | Mar 19, 2018 12:08:22 AM | 36

Zakharova - "Which samples have they compared with to draw such a conclusion?” she went on. “Questions arise: then, they should have samples, which they conceal, or it is a lie from start to finish.”"
https://www.rt.com/news/421591-uk-produce-novichok-agent/


Lavrov has said something along the same lines. Generally the Russians are very well informed on subjects like this.

But then there is the Iranian research which apparently has added data from five of the Novichok agents to the OPCW OCAD database. With this, from what I understand is that the data in OCAD is all that is required to positively identify one of these five compounds or structures

This has had me stumped since reading the RT article and why I spent a lot of hours looking for more confirmation of the spectroscopy article.
Article linked by b and Craig Murray here

Thoughts anyone.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 19, 2018 12:11:43 AM | 37

Grieved 35, what you have covered there is my thoughts

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 19, 2018 12:19:19 AM | 38

Rostislav Ishchenko has an interesting article about Gazprom bonds and how eagerly they are bought in Europe. Investors bid them down to very low interest rates, even below the offering rate, and even when the capital is to be used for conceivably risky projects such as Nord Stream 2. Rostislav Ishchenko: How Gazprom "Conquered" Europe

In a topical twist, the latest placement of binds was on March 14, exactly when the political layer of Europe was screaming most fiercely about Russian poison. The investor layer, however, snapped up the Gazprom bonds, as if it considered that nothing of substance was happening.

The caravan just moved on.

Posted by: Grieved | Mar 19, 2018 12:43:24 AM | 39

@ Grieved with the excellent synopsis of the efforts to extricate the US from the ME....thanks and to Peter AU with added info

An then in the next comment Krollchem chimes in with the Don Bacon info about US military build up in the region...wheeeee!

Don't anyone blink and miss whatever spark it is that sets this myth based tinder alight......sigh

I just added a comment/link to the British Gov link that is "news"

Russian Double Agent Reportedly Poisoned Through BMW Air Vents As 38 Others Sickened

There is so much fetid meat in the posting I will leave it readers to sus out their favorite snark or lie

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 19, 2018 12:45:22 AM | 40

Psychohistorian @ 39: I'm sure if the objective was to kill or at least injure Skripal, the would-be villain/s would try for something quicker and easier if less Agatha-Christie-like, such as tampering with the brakes.

The story becomes ever more contrived and fantastic. Next the press will be saying that the Russian assassins arrived, pumped the toxin into the car's air vents and then left before they arrived courtesy of Doctor Who's TARDIS which they hijacked from the time traveller.

Posted by: Jen | Mar 19, 2018 1:25:22 AM | 41

psychohistorian 39

Your link leads to zerohedge and original article is US ABC.
Reading it at the ABC site, there is this sentence - "They believe the nerve agent was used in a dust-like powdered form and that it circulated through the vents of Skripal's BMW."
Believe is the key word.
"Believe" vs "have found evidence" or "traces of dust have been found and on being analyzed found to be...".
Simply more bullshit propaganda.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 19, 2018 1:29:36 AM | 42

@ Peter AU with the follow up to my comment

The ZH post went beyond the ABC propaganda and ended with this
"
Perhaps a formal investigation would reveal how the would-be assassins gained access to Skripal's air vents - and how that then led to 38 others being poisoned.
"

What we are seeing here is ongoing attempts to throw shit at the public wall and see what sticks . Perhaps the brilliant commenters at MoA can find the source of the "throw shit and the wall and see what sticks" meme....just did a search and it only turns up a reddit comment about some TV series.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 19, 2018 2:14:52 AM | 43

@35 & 38 Interesting perspective though a tad too optimistic for my taste but that may be due to the barrage of reports/rumors of an imminent match to be lit, the latest being somewhere in Quneitra. Damn March Madness..

Posted by: Lozion | Mar 19, 2018 2:15:59 AM | 44

rr 28
The English and French were working hard to destroy Hitler not ' unleash him ' but their imperative was to bloc the spread of Communism above other considerations .

Posted by: ashley albanese | Mar 19, 2018 2:56:32 AM | 45

Lozion 43

I guess my optimism comes from this view.
In the months after MH17 I spent hundred of hours researching Putin and the current Russia.
In my view, since the US pulled out of the ABM treaty, Putin has been working toward the defeat/downfall of the US. The US dollar and the US military is the empire/hegemon enforcer. Israel, KSA, the money men, whoever, are nothing without the US military and the US dollar. At anytime in these years, if the US changed course, the work towards the defeat of the US could be halted.
There are a number of unresolved or frozen conflicts in the ex soviet states. None of these can be resolved until US loses its power.
Turkey, without a US to turn to, are just another piss-ant nation like KSA and Israel.
This may well be Putin's last term as president, and I tend to think that the US empire will collapse under the pressure before Putin's term is ended.
Syria will fully reclaim its borders when the US goes down. If the US defeats Russia.. wel that won't happen.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 19, 2018 3:37:11 AM | 46

psychohistorian 42

Finding the source of the meme ? maybe, but they (names) tend to be back in the shadows, hidden amongst smoke and mirrors.
Five-eyes, anglosphere, anglo/zionists will be the source I think.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 19, 2018 3:49:23 AM | 47

I see in the MSM the term for the poisoning meme is moving to "Soviet", or "cold war era", rather than "Russian developed".
Be interesting to see how the Brits handle this. No US department of state to back them up until March 31st.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 19, 2018 3:57:26 AM | 48

CBS - Pornography

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/saudi-crown-prince-talks-to-60-minutes/

watch Norah O'Donnell suckoff Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

Posted by: pB | Mar 19, 2018 4:05:00 AM | 49

@35 I hope you are right about erdogan. The Turkish 'victory' in afrin has surprised a few people I think. Seems to me all the talk recently has been about a Turkish quagmire.

And what will the so-called FSA be wanting out of all this?

Posted by: Dh | Mar 19, 2018 5:18:19 AM | 50

A few here have touched on this already, but the British Novichok drama - which now sees the OPCW on the streets of Britain and the British FM accusing Russia of stockpiling chemical weapons (similarities with Syria and Assad, anyone?) - looks increasingly like an attempt to manipulate and curry favour with the British public and a wider audience ahead of an attack on Syria.

So when another imminent large scale 'chemical weapons' incident is blamed on the Syrian Government, it sticks to both the Syrians AND the Russians, and it resonates much more deeply with a British public who have been weary of chemical weapons accusations ever since Iraq.

Reports of a US axis build up and Russian statements on 'provocative, staged chemical attacks' in the making, points to a bad ending.

Posted by: Pat Bateman | Mar 19, 2018 5:58:55 AM | 51

@ 47 Peter AU 1 | Mar 19, 2018 3:57:26 AM

Suppose the MSM is not much more than the secure cage to keep politicians in line. None can violate the MSM meme without causing great distress, to themselves and their position. It is why politicians are found in lockstep with their opponents, no light between left and right. What politician is truly secure enough to challenge the MEME? What constituent is bright enough to understand their condition? How many can find the cracks in their cosmos? Those who do are a rare breed, not much daylight there to isolate crazy and conspiracy though.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Mar 19, 2018 7:35:10 AM | 52

The amerikan arm twisters will lean on Erdy as hard as they can to 'encourage' him to hang around Afrin, cos apart from wanting to keep Syria as fragmented as possible. Turkey tearing a piece off the sovereign state dilutes the pressure on amerika vis a vis the amerikan occupation of the North Eastern 'pocket' and apartheid israel's occupation of Golan.
Oil & water just 'happen' to be the star attractions in the zionist & amerikan thefts, but Afrin only has humans and everyone has too many of them anyhow, so while I can see erdy arsehole wanting to cut a deal with the Syrian government over the North West border areas once the kurds have been cleansed out, probably some pact using Russia as the arbiter to keep the numbers of kurds on the border minimal, amerika will make a hard to refuse' counter offer.
Erdy being the type of chap who could stroll under a snake's belly while wearing a top hat will go for the amerikan deal if it includes some sweetener - something to do with a share or 'handling fee' for disposing of the oil that amerika steals outta its occupation.
That would suit the amerikans who want the money, want to deny Syria access to the oil returns, but also want to keep all details 'off the books'.
We only have to cast our minds back to a little over a year or two ago when amerika, erdy (via his son) and ISIS nearly came undone through a top little arrangement over purloining Iraq's oil.
Did amerika and ISIS truly fall out or are we just not seeing or understanding awakening V 3.0? Although the headchopping made ISIS persona non grata about this old rock, surely I'm not the only fool who can see all that decapitating had a massive upside for the coalition of cuntery esp regarding scaring the living shit outta the 'normals' and persuading them that allowing some pimply faced nerd to monitor their every communication surely beat gettin' shot, blown up or headchopped.

If something along those lines did happen, the amerikans will have taken a major lesson outta erdy's Afrin adventure, that is, you cannot let the cannon-fodder stand around emulating a spare prick at a wedding too long, cos if you do some other sociopath will snaffle 'em up and send em off for their gain and amerikorp's loss.

IOW expect a sudden flare-up in some heretofore quiet zone. Not Bahrain cos that could go badly wrong as could taking advantage of lil' rexie's ouster and stirring up the shit in Qatar.

How about Jordan tho? The Trump Jerusalem move has left the low-life Hashemite (Formerly of Iraq and Syria) monarchy with no place to go; the royal family's every instinct would have yearned to be on the same side as old agent orange cos they know kissing whitey arse is what got 'em where they are today, and yesterday - when they pwned the ME.

Unfortunately those totally tiresome subjects who have always been a bit antsy about being split from Palestine then having a 3rd rate royal family from outside foisted on em, do expect al HusseinCorp to back Palestinians on the Jerusalem issue.
Jordan has been a tinderbox for years, but the fact it is loaded to the gunnels with Palestinians from all over the Jordan Valley has paradoxically kept it pretty quiet. But both amerika & israel would jump at an opening which allowed them to 'fix' Jordan for good.
Palestinians are tired and Jordan was the safest place for women & families that was still close to home so mostly everyone in Jordan has behaved.
Sounds like a good spot for an AEI organised, soros funded 'color revolution' eh?
It wouldn't take much in the current climate of over-arching despair to really crank young Jordanians, and a bunch of headchoppers making martyrs right, left and center could get them going and would have the zionists in there 'saving the day' real fast.
Benjie Creep would love the distraction away from his dodgy dealings.

Let's hope not. Palestinian people deserve at least one spot on the planet that amerika & israel cannot turn to shit.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Mar 19, 2018 7:43:36 AM | 53

Too many people have been assuming that because the OPCW concluded in 2013 that there was no evidence for novichoks and because the head of Porton Down supported that conclusion of OPCW, therefore Proton Down in 2013 did not believe novichoks really existed. Any such conclusion is completely false.

That Porton Down had been unable to reproduce any novichok suitable as a chemical weapon would be one possible interpretation, but not the only one. An alternative interpretation would be that Porton Down had indeed found viable chemical weapon possibilities from novichok and sought to hide that capability to avoid declaring them to OPCW. That possibility could also involve collaboration between NATO allies.

As soon as novichoks are declared to OPCW and fully analysed by OPCW their strategic covert value is thereby considerably reduced - there are substantial strategic advantages to would-be covert users if the substance is not classified by OPCW, and even more so if OPCW casts doubt on the reality of novichoks. This is all the more so because the precursors of novichoks are allegedly chemicals with fully legitimate peaceful applications - therefore they could be stockpiled as allegedly peaceful materials by dual-purpose multinationals and only diverted to military hands at the last moment before use.

So why did Iran produce micro-quantities of novichoks IN COLLABORATION with OPCW in 2016? This strongly implies that Iran intelligence may have had specific indications of a threat to use novichoks against Iran - Iran then moved to protect itself against that threat by forcing official recognition of novichoks by OPCW and registration of specific chemicals in the novichok group (not necessarily the same novichoks that Porton Down and their allies had produced, but at least examples of comparable technology). In doing so Iran reduced that covert strategic value of such weapons and somewhat increased the risk of their use by increasing the risk that they could be identified and traced, and perhaps also increasing the risks of handling the precursors.

In producing micro-quantities of novichoks in collaboration with OPCW, far from making themselves a potential suspect, they are showing themselves to be in in conformance with the chemical weapons treaty. The Iranians know well what it is to be a victim of chemical weapons, having themselves suffered under US-UK-German supported Iraqi chemical weapons. Their preemptive measures to force registration of novichoks might imply that the Israelis have already weaponised and stockpiled novichoks, possibly as proxies for the US/UK.

Posted by: BM | Mar 19, 2018 7:43:47 AM | 54

Here is another theory (my own, actually) about "Novichok":

IT WAS NOT RUSSIAN ASSASSINS. IT WAS JUST SOME KIDS. And there was no fancy "binary" "Novichok" either. Everybody says that the "Novichok" is just a "binary" (it's just a typical organophosphate insecticide that is only activated when two substances are combined).

"Many "organophosphates" are potent nerve agents, functioning by inhibiting the action of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) in nerve cells." -- Wikipedia.

But it works the same way, "binary" or not. So this was just some liquid organophosphate insecticide, like maybe parathion, that some kids picked up at the hardware store. And they simply poured it down the air intake vents. Easy-peasy!

"As a pesticide, parathion is generally applied by spraying. It is often applied to cotton, rice and fruit trees. The usual concentrations of ready-to-use solutions are 0.05 to 0.1%. The chemical is banned for use on many food crops." -- Wikipedia

Anybody can do it. That's probably part of what they are hiding.

Posted by: blues | Mar 19, 2018 8:32:20 AM | 55

https://youtu.be/MxxxlutsKuI

you would think it is different today!?

Posted by: partisan | Mar 19, 2018 9:09:51 AM | 56

KURDISH LAND BRIDGE TO ISRAEL?

Russia, Turkey and the United States have come to a tacit agreement that the final settlement of the Syrian civil war will include population transfers where isolated problem populations are "ethnically cleansed" and moved to larger, economically and logistically more viable larger units. The relationship of these "cantons" to each other and to the Syrian state will be a matter for the political process.

The United States did not protest the ethnical cleansing of Afrin of its almost exclusively Kurdish population. These Kurds are needed to strengthen the U.S. occupation zone east of the Euphrates. America nor Israel has any use for Afrin, especially since dreams of a Kurdish or ISIS corridor to the Mediterranean have permanently been curtailed. On the other hand, the U.S. has shown its willingness to massacre hundreds of Syrians and Russians to demonstrate its ownership of some key points of Syrian geography. The locations of these points of contention might reveal a grand geopolitical scheme of the U.S. and its allies. The points:

  • Everything east of the Euphrates, including the eastern bank of Deir ez-Zor.
  • The oilfields east of Deir ez-Zor.
  • Al Tanf border crossing and surrounding area on the main road from Damascus to Baghdad.
  • The Daraa border crossing, just south of Daraa.

Several key places are held by ISIS, possibly with the tacit support of USA.

It is claimed that the reason the U.S. need to occupy the Al Tanf border crossing is to block the land corridor between Iran and Lebanon and thus prevent Iran from supplying Hezbollah. The real reason may be different. If pro-U.S. and pro Israel forces managed to take control of the Syrian side of the Jordan–Syria and the Iraq–Syria borders then it would enable Israel to supply a a Kurdish protectorate in eastern Syria. The area from the rebel enclave around Daraa to Amu Kemal on the Euphrates is mainly desert. If pipelines could be build on this strip of land then Israel could steal oil from "Kurdish" oilfields and even water from the Euphrates.

The United States may be about to start a land invasion of Syria. The offensive would start from the U.S. base at the Al Tanf border crossing and extend through Abu Kemal to the American and Kurdish-held areas on the eastern bank of the Euphrates. The troops would be supplied through Jordan. It is possible that Britain would also take part in this operation.

The 2,400 man strong U.S. 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit arrived in Haifa in Israel on March 14, 2018 aboard the three US Navy ships of the Iwo Jima amphibious ready group. The Marines may be on their way to the Al Tanf base through Jordan. Another 200 U.S. troops are said to have arrived in Al Tanf the previous week. Unconfirmed rumors claim that an additional 2,300 British troops also arrived at the base along with Challenger tanks and Cobra and Black Hawk helicopters.

The attack would start with with a massive cruise missile launch on Damascus from NATO war ship. The ships are said to be assembling in the eastern Mediterranean, the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea. Russia has promised to retaliate against any ships launching missiles at Syria. This warning was first stated by the Russian General Staff on March 13 and again on March 17. The missile attack would however be only the first part of a NATO attack. It would be quickly followed by a land invasion from Al Tanf.

Attacks by the the U.S. and U.S. proxies have the tendency to coincide with ISIS attacks in the same area. ISIS has recently launched massive attacks along the Euphrates river and more may be planned.

Any Western aggression on Syria would have to be preceded by a false-flag provocation by Syrian opposition forces. Britain pays lip service to international law and it could not launch a war of aggression without an effective propaganda campaign. Russia claims to have information that a staged chemical weapons attack is being prepared. The March 17th warning specifically says that the preparations are happening in southern Syria near the Jordanian border under U.S. supervision.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Mar 19, 2018 10:28:09 AM | 57

@55 Thanks for putting all this together, maddening as it is.

The French foreign ministry has told all reporters to leave Syria: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-france/frances-foreign-ministry-tells-reporters-to-stop-all-travel-to-syria-idUSKCN1GS1DN

Others here may refer again to links in my post @21.

I would suggest rereading Martyanov again regarding the Kinzhal air-launched hypersonic cruise missile (the new laser weapon announced by Putin may also be relevant, though we really know little about it; the other systems, not). What is the Tomahawk range, and how far away from Syria can launching ships be and still reach Damascus? Are advance, Russian operated air defense systems around Damascus, as they are around Kheimim? The Saker's recent article on Escalation Scenarios suggests that overall, such systems are an area of vulnerability which it is still possible for the Empire to exploit. How do Israel's air-launched cruise missile capabilities fit into the equation?

Does Kinzhal range (assuming the Mig-31's do not venture very far from the southern border of Russia really cover the more southern launching points for Tomahawks? i.e. Red Sea/Persian Gulf?

Posted by: Norumbega | Mar 19, 2018 11:07:32 AM | 58

My speculation about the Kurds is:

1) Kurds have captured and cleared about as much ground as they can...

2) they have become an expendable asset to the US, and need to be removed...

3) let the Turks and their moderate headchoppers clear out entire region...

4) US tells turks to go away...and the US takes over entire region...

Just one speculation among many...

regards

OY

Posted by: oldenyoung | Mar 19, 2018 11:16:26 AM | 59

@ PK 55
The area from the rebel enclave around Daraa to Amu Kemal on the Euphrates is mainly desert. If pipelines could be build on this strip of land then Israel could steal oil from "Kurdish" oilfields and even water from the Euphrates.

>The trend is the opposite. The US has recently vacated the Zakaf outpost, 45 miles east of al Tanf shown here.
> The Syrian Arab Army has surrounded US-occupied al Tanf. According to a military source in Damascus, the Syrian Army will continue to push towards the Tanf Crossing and will not accept any deal that would allow the U.S. to control this portion of southern Syria. here
>There are cleared highway connections from Baghdad to Damascus via al Qaim and Abu Kamal shown here
>The Marines arrived in Israel to participate in Exercise Juniper Cobra 2018, a well-covered training exercise here. "More than 2,100 of the U.S. troops were deployed to various locations across Israel for this iteration. Most will depart after Juniper Cobra ends [ended Mar 15], but some U.S. personnel will remain in Israel for additional training opportunities." . .here

The attack would start with with a massive cruise missile launch on Damascus from NATO war ship
Russia has warned the US that any missile attack on Syria would result in the destruction of the source, and US missiles haven't fared well in the past.

Some bloggers continue to under-estimate Russia, Syria and Iran, and over-estimate the US. Obama was one of the first, warning that Russia would fail and Russians would be arriving home in body-bags.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 19, 2018 11:31:18 AM | 60

PK @ 55: Nice synopsis, hope you're wrong. If not, all this anti-Russian BS flying around idiot America, could be a pre-coursor to the new U$ war.

Posted by: ben | Mar 19, 2018 11:44:15 AM | 61

Don't mean to be a party pooper, but .... look at that mess.
The Erlenmayers, glove and brown-redish remnants on the cupboard suggest there was some serious handling, pretty careless at that, of nitric-/perchloric acid going on, with more than the occasional acid spill involved. The air plant may had been used as part of a vertical drying plant ....
Judging by the video itself, I strongly doubt that this alleged CW facility was ever used to create any sort of chemical weapons fill.

Somewhere in that video it is stated the text on the billboard is dealing with perchlorate (ammoniumperchlorate, I assume), aluminum, petroleum jelly and cellulose nitrate. These ingredients mixed together in a proper ratio constitute a rather potent explosive composition, with petroleum jelly functioning as a stabilizer for the organic nitrate, additional fuel for the oxidizer and density enhancer to increase charge density.
On detonation these types of explosives indeed do release a large amount of hydrochloric acid, some chlorine and other chlorinated compounds but do not meet chemical weapons criteria.
Reshuffle the compound ratio a bit, add a catalyst and some polymer resin and what you get is a solid rocket propellant quite similar to those still in use in commercial and military rocket boosters.

So, my guess is this facility was used as a production plant for explosives (maybe propellants too).

Posted by: Hmpf | Mar 19, 2018 11:56:18 AM | 62

My analysis above at @55 is based on material I collected here yesterday. The situation looks far more alarming today. Syrian and Russian sources are predicting and even larger NATO invasion.

US Planning to Launch Attack Against Syrian Army 'Very Soon' - Source - Sputnik, 17:28 March 19, 2018

"The US is planning a large attack against the Syrian Army very soon to capture Syria's border with Iraq, especially near al-Tanf and perhaps even parts further inland," the analyst told Sputnik, citing informed military sources stationed near the al-Tanf US military base.

The forces used in the invasion would be from US\UK\France and Jordan. The poisoning of Sergei Skripal‎ has been a distraction and prevented the antiwar community from paying proper attention to the developments. It now seems evident that to real reason for the poisoning was to drum up British support for a war against Syria and Russia.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Mar 19, 2018 12:00:36 PM | 63

@ Petri Krohn with the dark news

Thanks for the effort and sharing as we watch our future unfold.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 19, 2018 12:05:56 PM | 64

Psychohistorian @ 39: I'm sure if the objective was to kill or at least injure Skripal, the would-be villain/s would try for something quicker and easier if less Agatha-Christie-like, such as tampering with the brakes.

The story becomes ever more contrived and fantastic. Next the press will be saying that the Russian assassins arrived, pumped the toxin into the car's air vents and then left before they arrived courtesy of Doctor Who's TARDIS which they hijacked from the time traveller.

Posted by: Jen | Mar 19, 2018 1:25:22 AM | 40

Yes, one can also loosen the screws that fasten the wheels, but this works in fast traffic. There is a number of frequently used designs of car bombs that could be used instead.

However, if Russia would have some super-enmity to Mr. Skripal, she would not include him in a spy exchange, the explanations why Russians did it use arguments "their typical brutality" etc. As with Putin had similar thoughts like Senator Schumer (find Schumer quote about Snowden and a knife in the American back that is twisted every day Snowden is free).

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 19, 2018 12:21:23 PM | 65

I wanted to write "as if Putin", not "as with Putin". I humble beg your forgiveness.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 19, 2018 12:22:34 PM | 66

you know the UN is useless and it is led by a stooge when they say this : "The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, demanded this past weekend that Hezbollah completely withdraw from Syria, adding that they should stop meddling in foreign affairs. " they would never have the balls to say that about the usa's presence in syria... what about the idea that the country and it's political leadership have the controlling say? what a retard and bootlicker antonio guterres is!

Posted by: james | Mar 19, 2018 12:24:47 PM | 67

@ james with the observation about the UN

I continue to assert the the UN is and always has been the court of empire to underpin the myth of benevolence.

I think that the UN will disintegrate or morph to another country if the unraveling we are seeing continues apace.

Phil Ochs song "Outside of a small circle of friends" keeps play in the background of my mind......

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 19, 2018 12:47:06 PM | 68

@55 & @61 I say watch for it to happen this Thursday: 322
I hope I am full of it..

Posted by: Lozion | Mar 19, 2018 12:47:08 PM | 69

psycho @ 66 said:"I continue to assert the the UN is and always has been the court of empire to underpin the myth of benevolence."

Ya' nailed that one...

Posted by: ben | Mar 19, 2018 1:19:46 PM | 70

Petri Krohn says:

The poisoning of Sergei Skripal‎ has been a distraction and prevented the antiwar community from paying proper attention to the developments

antiwar community?

why am i reminded of Bush jr. looking for WMDs' under his desk?

Posted by: john | Mar 19, 2018 2:01:26 PM | 71

Nobody will set the doomsday clock?

Posted by: Permafrost | Mar 19, 2018 2:09:32 PM | 72

You may remember that I pointed out recently that most of what we are exposed to is distraction. Even wars fought in distant lands are distraction for the depopulation efforts in high gear.

Sure, after the scare ICBM missile alert in Hawai'i the prospects of a nuclear war were drastically increased. What people need to fear much more than a nuclear war though is fracking. Fracking is the war fought against the populations in numerous countries.

Fracking England

This is what the British Fascists want to distract the population from waking up to. As there is no longer anything resembling a democracy in the UK, but feudalism orchestrated by corporate money in politics.

The images from the US fracking capitals are vomit inducing. The population must be distracted from this by any means necessary - even the Russo-phobia, the pointing with a stinking finger at the Russian Federation calling for war, is nothing but the Fascists behind fracking creating this distraction.

Posted by: notheonly1 | Mar 19, 2018 2:13:22 PM | 73

Just come across the last interview of Gaddafi before he died, worthy of your time to watch. He was right on Bin Laden as terrorist, yet he had such high hope for Barack Obama because of him being "black Aftican"and coming from non-Yankee culture. How ironic and sad Gaddafi was killed by his assumed kinsman Obama. Muammar Gaddafi Interviewed Just Before Libyan Revolution


Seven years ago today US,UK and FRance started to bomb Libya because its leader did not want to succumb the interests of its nation and Africa (oil, gold-based pan African currency) to Western vultures.Libya: Before and After Gaddafi


China's try with petro-yuan would just bring the same vicious/deadly attacks from the same Western Cabal. Trump just signed the bill of The Taiwan Travel Act (HR 535) presented by US lawmakers on March 17, which aims to increase visits "at all levels," including state officials both on the American and the Taiwanese side. This is totally against One China Policy that was established in the US-PRC joint communique of 1982. US is out for provokation and abetting potential war between mainland China and Taiwan.Trump signs Taiwan Travel Act in new provocation against China


Such brazen behaviour reminds me of what Saker wrote a few days ago: "an Empire built (and maintained) on lies, accepted on the basis ignorance, justified by hypocrisy and energized by hysterics. This is what the 'Western world' stands for nowadays. "


Posted by: mali | Mar 19, 2018 2:15:33 PM | 74

It now seems evident that to real reason for the poisoning of Sergei Skripal‎ was to drum up British support for a war against Syria and Russia. One must must thus ask who would most gains from such a war. If my analysis above at @55 is correct, then the answer would be Israel. Several things make Israel a likely suspect for the poisoning:

  1. Israel has a long history of assassinations abroad.
  2. Mossad can preform hostile actions in Britain and still be counted as friendlies. If they got caught in the act, they would simply be deported in secrecy.
  3. There are similarities the Skripal poisoning and the 1997 poisoning of Khaled Mashal in Jordan. The poison used may be the same fentanyl based mixture.
  4. Netanyahu is the current prime minister of Israel. He also ordered the 1997 assassination attempt on Mashal.

The thing that really made me suspect Israel was the claim by Boris Johnson that Russia has a secret program that develops novichok type chemical weapons for assassinations. It is most likely true that Russian laboratories have been working in novichoks, like all major weapons laboratories in the West. The part about assassinations is disinformation.

I do not think the British found out about the alleged Russian program by themselves. They received the information, along with the disinformation from a foreign intelligence service. Most likely this was Israeli Mossad. Why would Mossad feed the British lies about a Russian assassination program, unless they wanted to pin their own assassinations on Russia.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Mar 19, 2018 2:22:18 PM | 75

Syria condemns Turkey’s occupying of Afrin

No doubt that the Turkish paid trolls, contrarian pundits and useful idiots here will claim that there was a "secret agreement" between Russia, Turkey and Syria for Turkey to blatantly occupy and destroy Afrin, in an attempt to transform Syria into a weakened, rump client state of Turkey/US/NATO.

Turkey's occupation of Afrin is in line with the Brooking Institute's "Memo #21: Assessing Syria & Options for Regime Change". You won't hear whitewashers talk about that

FSA/Turkey to the west of Euphrates, SDF/US to the east -- 2 cantons for a "federalized" joint NATO occupation. Remember that Turkey is an American client state and will jump as high as the Americans tell Erdogan to.

"Then why does Russia want to sell S-400s to Turkey?" the disinfo pundits screech. The answer is that the Russian state, ruled by capitalists, has no true anti-imperialist policy, and seeks profit where it can.

"Eurasian integration! NATO-Gulen coup!" <---Merely theater on Turkey's part, the illusory backdrop to fool gullible Western left commentators to Turkey's actions in Syria.

Posted by: David | Mar 19, 2018 2:29:31 PM | 76

Well, the spy and his daughter supposedly "poisoned" just disappeared. No one has heard from them and no one knows their real state of health.
Were they EVEN poisoned? Indeed?
Or just attacked with soporific, put to sleep and kidnapped for later use?
In any case, they are living deads in the service of something greater: an attack on Syria could happen immediately after being declared their "deaths".
The world would be taken to the height of outrage with the help of MSM and things would happen as they always did
Curtain.

Posted by: Permafrost | Mar 19, 2018 2:46:19 PM | 77

Petri Krohn 73
'Israel is the one country among the current war mongers that is not signed up to OPCE and its facilities are not subject to OPCW inspections. The ideal place to develop and store chemical weapons designed for assassinations, no matter who amongst the cabal wishes to use them.
I suspect part of the massive marketing campaign to sell "Russia uses Novichok CW's" is that it is to be used in what appears to be an upcoming CW attack in Syria. Very easy to do. Dose up a few victims with the stuff and present their bodies to OPCW and novichok type nerve agent will be found in biopsies.
This seems to be what happened in Idlib earlier. OPCW where presented with victims that had been "taken to Turkey" and although they had no way of knowing where the bodies actually came from or where they had died, they did indeed find sarin in the biopsies.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 19, 2018 2:47:40 PM | 78

Please, also take a look at this documentary, that is from 2012 and it must be clear how much worse the situation has become by now.

Fracking: Shattered Ground

Does it not make sense that those who do not care about the well being of the population and environment will not hesitate to start a nuclear war?

Posted by: notheonly1 | Mar 19, 2018 2:48:49 PM | 79

Although I'm not particularly up to date, and I suppose I could be wrong, I'd be surprised if the present situation presages a massive US attack on Syria, which would provoke a Russian response, as some above have suggested. It doesn't look like a successful move, which would achieve what Israel and the US want.

The British demonisation of Putin is about their internal politics, covering up for their defeat over Brexit, at any rate being forced to concede, as has come out with the draft text of the treaty, published today.

Certainly some kind of "surge" is to be expected. The US position in Syria is in decline, made a lot worse by the failure of the US to help the Kurds out over Afrin. I wouldn't have expected war against Turkey, but, you know, there is such a thing as diplomacy. As a result the Rojavans have had a major setback, which puts them in the same weak position as the Kurds of Erbil. The US has lost the plot here. Their plan for breaking up Syria is failing.

But making war on Asad and Russia is only quagmire stuff, or nuclear winter prospects. I don't believe it.

Posted by: Laguerre | Mar 19, 2018 3:25:56 PM | 80

"..Why does Russia want to sell S-400s to Turkey?" the disinfo pundits screech. The answer is that the Russian state, ruled by capitalists, has no true anti-imperialist policy, and seeks profit where it can."

Telling that you get in first with the charge of others being "disinfo pundits" because yours is a classic of disinformation. The sale of S-400s has been, from the first, conducted as a matter of state policy- which is also why the US opposes it, not to protect its own arms manufacturers but because it realises the profound consequences of, something that it has dreaded since 1919, an alignment between Turkey and Russia.
Russia's anti-imperialist policy stems from the view, which I share, that there is only one Empire, that of the US and that, in order to establish its independence any government has to resist that Empire.
Those who claim that Russia and China are competing imperial systems or members of a competing system are doing the Empire's work for it: that is the view that Washington wants to promote. Those who believe it, inevitably end up giving support to imperialist aggression.
In a minor way we see the same 'line' being promoted by those who approach the Yemen war by arguing that Iran and Saudi Arabia are equally culpable and equally unworthy of support. In practical terms this pretended neutrality adds up to unconditional support for US imperialism. In the same way as those in the west who call for the defeat of Assad are actually allies of the wahhabis, NATO and the Empire.

Posted by: bevin | Mar 19, 2018 3:27:25 PM | 81

A significant letter from a consultant at Salisbury NHS hospital - this blows the whole thing wide apart.

"A very interesting letter was published in the Times on the 16th March, from Dr Stephen Davies (Consultant in Emergency Medicine, Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust):

"Sir, further to your report (Poison Exposure Leaves Nearly 40 needing Treatment), may I clarify that no patients have experienced symptoms of nerve agent poisoning in Salisbury and there have only ever been three patients with significant poisoning. Several people have attended the emergency department concerned that they may have been exposed. None has had symptoms of poisoning and none has needed treatment. Any blood tests performed have shown no abnormality. No member of the public has been contaminated by the agent involved."

Posted by: Anonymous | Mar 19, 2018 3:46:41 PM | 82

Yeah, that letter has been much discussed in UK. I was surprised that Murdoch, proprietor of The Times, where it was published, allowed its publication. Must have have been an error which slipped through. There is a distinction in the letter, between poisoning by nerve agent, of which he found no trace, and poisoning in general, of which he knew three cases. What they were poisoned by is not said.

Posted by: Laguerre | Mar 19, 2018 4:22:35 PM | 83

It is quite remarkable that we haven't had any news of the health of the poisoned people. A complete white-out, even the cop who is supposed to have recovered, and to be in communication.

Posted by: Laguerre | Mar 19, 2018 4:31:37 PM | 84

Within this essay about the "Skripal Hoax" is an interesting review of the use of CW by UK on Russia beginning with Crimean War then during UK intervention in Russia's Civil War. This historical usage provides excellent context for the current hoax--and it most assuredly is a hoax.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 19, 2018 4:33:46 PM | 85

Monmouth University within the Outlaw US Empire has published polling data about the public's thoughts regarding the existence of a Deep State and other items:

"Few Americans (13%) are very familiar with the term “Deep State;” another 24% are somewhat familiar, while 63% say they are not familiar with this term. However, when the term is described as a group of unelected government and military officials who secretly manipulate or direct national policy, nearly 3-in-4 (74%) say they believe this type of apparatus exists in Washington. This includes 27% who say it definitely exists and 47% who say it probably exists. Only 1-in-5 say it does not exist (16% probably not and 5% definitely not). Belief in the probable existence of a Deep State comes from more than 7-in-10 Americans in each partisan group, although Republicans (31%) and independents (33%) are somewhat more likely than Democrats (19%) to say that the Deep State definitely exists." [Emphasis mine]

The last italicized phrase explains quite a lot, IMO, when it's recalled that more Ds than Rs and Is say media is credible/believable.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 19, 2018 6:01:41 PM | 86

David, I've questioned the claims of the "attempted Turkish coup" and alleged US disapproval of Turkey's invasion of Syria from the start. Erdogan certainly profited mightily from that "attempted coup," clamping down on dissent, arresting or firing 10s of 1,000s of Turks and increasing the powers of the Presidency.

The US has been warning their proxies not to cross the Euphrates for years now. Clearly, the Biblically-Promised border is important to the AAZ Empire. So, having Turkey clear out "US-aligned" proxies on the "wrong" side of that river is consistent.

A US offensive moving up from the Jordanian and Iraqi borders would also fit this long-suggested Balkanization plan. MSM "news" sources have been publishing various alternative "new maps" of Syria and the region for a decade or longer.

Two bits of news that do not necessarily fit is the apparent move of the NATO base from Turkey to Jordan and the sale of S-400s to Turkey.

Posted by: Daniel | Mar 19, 2018 6:19:29 PM | 87

MoA-ites correctly distrust every word emanating from the mealy mouthed Guardian because it has been used in a vicious campaign to advance the interests of zionists to the point where the wellbeing of guardian readers has been relegated below the interests of apartheid israel. Nevertheless having a bit of a shufti at the loudly trumeted face book cambridge analytica expose is an essential act for anyone who wants to try to get a grip on how populations are being deliberately manipulated.
There is a relatively easy to digest vid here where Christopher Wyllie, a computer scientist, outlines the birth of Cambridge Analytica, Alexander Nyx, the ceo and the method used to sell the development of the corporation to Steve Bannon, CA's first customer and Robert Mercer, the wall street financier who underwrote the cost of setting up the corporation.
I reccomend spending the 8 minutes required to watch the video because Wyllie's summation of what they did and why is horrifying. Lines such as "If you want to change the way a person votes you have to change the culture the person lives within." and "to change a culture, first you have to smash the existing one then grab the pieces and mold it into the shape you want the culture to be".
A computer scientist at Cambridge University, Aleksandr Kogan had been given privileged access by facebook to conduct 'academic research' he had access to the entire range of any facebook user's account and that of all their facebook friends.
amerika was targeted first as that was what both Bannon and Mercer wanted - all set for the '16 beauty contest aka 'the prez election'. Over a period of three months back in 2014 CA conned around 200,000 facebook users into installing their app, 200,00 provided enough connection through facebook friends to gather the profiles including private messages, of more than 50 million amerikan facebook users.
Nix went into englander parliament and told the puppets that CA have no Facebook data, this is the angle of attack the silly graun is using and one which they will come unstuck on because CA have moved far beyond that initial scrape in 2014 where they gathered everything about every facebook user - that was the 'foundation' and it has been built upon by nudging users down hand crafted rabbit holes for the last 4 years. The data has been recategorised and reshaped, so that finding any traces of facebook in it will probably be impossible.

CA has teams of psychologists, web site builders and videographers tasked with creating content which the users whose profiles have been mined will find 'interesting'. Websites youtube vids and blogs were built to cater to each particular category of human the psychologists had identified.
Facebook doesn't even really matter any more as the 'clay' has been shifted into their own special grouping and CA propagandists are whispering in each mug's ear telling him/her exactly what will cause them to slightly alter their point of view about a product service, tv show or politician. Gently edging people onto a conveyor belt of predetermined values, encouring them to only interact with other humans who share that outlook, the aim is to split social cohesion leaving the mug's reliant on their category's self reinforcing groupthink as the absolute truth. Iphone 57 users will only hang with people who agree Iphone 57 is the best.
Thomas Cook travel agency customers will plan their holidays with other Thomas Cook customers and supporters of the dem or rethug branch of the amerikan empire party will no longer be discomfited by hearing alternative points of view.

That happened to 50 million amerikan voters in 2016 and everyone is worrying about a couple of hundred grand spent long before the primaries on a handful of badly worded urges to buy some now defunct product which was responded to by only a handful of amerikans?

Posted by: Debsisdead | Mar 19, 2018 8:05:43 PM | 88

oh shit my post will be full of typos I just began subbing when the phone rang and I tried to continue whilst mollifying relative - result hit 'post' instead of 'edit' Oh well maybe some of you will make sense of it.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Mar 19, 2018 8:10:33 PM | 89

Adam Garrie writes about the Kurdish PKK terrorist attacks on ethnic Turks residing within Germany that Merkel's government's doing nothing about--attaks that threaten all Germans, not just the 3 million strong Turkish ex-pat community: "Radical Kurdish social media mouthpieces that vocally support the PKK have called to reduce Europe into 'rubble and ash'. Thus, while Turks and Muslims are the first and most apparent targets of PKK terrorism, all Europeans are explicitly threatened by recent statements from pro-terrorist social media."

What do you know of this issue, b?

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 19, 2018 8:15:25 PM | 90

Petri Krohn@ 57

Capture of South East Syria and the T4 pumping station would allow the West/Israel to restart a oil pipeline to Israel from the US controlled Syrian oil fields as mentioned by Paveway4. As an added advantage the plan would cutoff the transportation corridor between Iran and Syria/Lebanon.

There is a huge discussion at Unz Review on why the West could but will not launch an air attack on Russian and Syrian forces in Syria. A simple ground attack would not be out of the question and I doubt that the Syrian Army could stop such a limited ground war attack. Furthermore, the Russian forces would not be able to stop it, especially if US forces were involved.

Sure hope this doesn't happen, but this mention gives the SAA and Russia fair warning to be prepared.

Posted by: Krollchem | Mar 19, 2018 8:25:54 PM | 91

@91 Hi Krollchem, do you have a link to that convo? Txs.

Posted by: Lozion | Mar 19, 2018 8:40:44 PM | 92

Was this Deep Stater’s threats of an imminent US invasion/“decapitation” of Syria already posted/discussed here?

MARCH 17, 2018

Assad's Time Is Up

By Andy (Avraham) Blumenthal

Blumenthal is Deputy Chief Operating Officer at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. Previously, served progressively as Chief Information Officer, U.S. Department of State, Global Information Services; Chief Technology Officer, U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives; and Chief Enterprise Architect, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Coast Guard and Secret Service.

Blumenthal has been honored with the Department of State's Meritorious Award, Department of Homeland Security's Excellence Award


Blumenthal holds an MBA in Organizational Behavior from Pace University

Posted by: Daniel | Mar 19, 2018 9:57:00 PM | 93

Lozion@ 92

This is a very deep discussion with one commentator being abusive while being backed into a corner.
http://www.unz.com/article/russia-the-800-pound-gorilla/#comment-2252054

Posted by: Krollchem | Mar 19, 2018 10:19:57 PM | 94

@ Debsisdead with detail about Cambridge Analytica

It is my belief that Cambridge Analytica is just doing a subset of what the NSA and all them folks can and are already doing.....quite effectively unfortunately......normalizing violence, hate crimes, etc.

The Total Information Awareness program was suspended soon after it was developed but even the NYT reported in 2012 that the program was quietly thriving within the NSA. Link to that the myriad of programs promoting the American way and you have social control on a grand scale....sigh

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 19, 2018 10:28:15 PM | 95

Assad cruises in to E. Ghouta, no doubt joint Syrian Russian air defenses on maximum alert.

https://youtu.be/_YNXmwITEb4

Posted by: Gravatomic | Mar 19, 2018 10:29:59 PM | 96

Petri Krohn@ 57

Something is up. Here are a couple of comments by Pave Way IV at Southfront

"I'm pretty sure this is just CENTCOM's afternoon 'ISIS commander' shuttle service to and from Deir EzZor. The morning shuttle is usually just one Blackhawk. Head-choppers like to sleep in when they're not killing or looting. The afternoon shuttle sometimes has a carton of American smokes on board - very popular with jihadis that having the jones for an ultra-prohibited cancer stick. Snackbar! It's all the door gunner can do to keep the line orderly after the bum-rush to the chopper as soon as it hits the dirt."
https://southfront.org/us-establishing-military-facility-in-oil-rich-area-in-deir-ezzor-province-reports/

and

Pave Way IV • 8 hours ago
"Here's the real update: CENTCOM / CIA have successfully resupplied tFSA head-choppers from the massive leave-behind arsenals - the latest being in Afrin. In the months leading up to this charade, the US was sending a convoy of semi-trailers almost every day full of weapons across the Iraqi-Syrian border. They sure as hell went somewhere. Whatever isn't going to the tFSA is going to Idlib head-choppers. "Line up here for your MANPADS, head-choppers - and no pushing!" Sneaky US psychopaths...
This ruse provides plenty of deniability in case anyone points out how Trump had previously ordered an end to US supplying al Qaeda with arms. Now the tFSA (really just the al Qaeda old-timers) have plenty of modern weaponry and ammo to kill more Syrian, Russian and Iranian soldiers. Turkey is fine with the scheme because the YPG isn't allowed to take any of the stuff (otherwise, they would have put up a hell of a fight to keep it for themselves). The YPG still gets all the weapons and ammo it wants from the overflowing US arms/ammunition depots in northeast Syria, but only for US-approved land/oil theft.
Bonus: as the Deir EzZor Military Council/ISIS 'volunteers' in Afrin leave, they will also be loaded up with semi-trucks of new U.S.-supplied weapons and ammo, especially the coveted ATGMs. That will come in handy for the coming ISIS (or whomever) offensives against the SAA and allies back down in Deir EzZor and al Bukamal. The fake-ISIS SDF takes over a few cities or oilfields, then changes uniforms in order to 'liberate' them. At that point, ISIS-turned-SDF are instantly protected by the USAF and coalition aircraft. Sorry Russian mercs, the US will kill you if you get anywhere even close to their war booty."
https://southfront.org/map-update-military-situation-in-afrin-area-following-fall-of-afrin-to-turks/

Posted by: Krollchem | Mar 19, 2018 10:30:15 PM | 97

All this pro-US anti-Russia propaganda printed in full, is full of baloney. Russia has for some time conducted a bombing campaign in Syria against anti-Syria forces and resources (ammo dumps) which they certainly know about.
So there is no substance to Krohn and Krollchen comments with their doom-and-gloom about Syria's chances for survival. Disregard it, is my advice.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 20, 2018 12:25:07 AM | 98

Don Bacon@98

My posting history at MoA is very clear for those who have been around for the last year.
How do you figure that I support the dismemberment of Syria any more than I supported the US coup in Ukraine or the long war against Yugoslavia and later the FRY.

My concern is that the NATO plus Israeli/Saudi/UAE blocks will continue to dismember Syria. Once a portion of Syria is illegally occupied Syria will never get it back, for example:
Israel in the Golan Heights
Turkey in Northern Syria and especially Afrin (recall that Turkey still has Northern Cyprus)
NATO in Eastern Syria (minus the Syria Air base)
Israel and NATO "buffer zones" in Southern Syria

My concern is that there will be a ground attack in Southern Syria to cut off the transportation corridor between Iran and Lebanon/Syria while creating a route for the transport of Syrian oil to Israel via the T4 pumping station.

If I am wrong please provide links supporting why the occupiers have given up on Syria and are ready to leave.

Posted by: Krollchem | Mar 20, 2018 1:02:57 AM | 99

@98 f @99 « Disregard it, it is my advice »
No, there is substantial data posted in those links and by others to be on the contrary concerned by a potential intervention.
As to the outcome of said intervention, so one can say for sure. What is sure though, is that MoAites profess to discuss and analyse all angles of the multitude of subject broached by our guest b. None should be disregarded..

Posted by: Lozion | Mar 20, 2018 1:34:08 AM | 100

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