Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 10, 2018

Open Thread 2018-16

After last nights maintenance there still appear to be some small problems with the back-end of the blog infrastructure. I currently can not upload pictures and have difficulties editing longer text. The provider is working on these issues.

Use as open thread ..

Posted by b on April 10, 2018 at 17:23 UTC | Permalink

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Ideal timing

Posted by: pepe | Apr 10 2018 17:32 utc | 1

The will shortly be a UNSC meeting on the suffocation case in Douma.

The U.S. will table this draft resolution

Note operational paragraph 19:

19. Underlines that the Security Council will thoroughly assess how to take action following the UNIMI’s conclusions, and reaffirms in this regard its decision in response to violations of resolution 2118 to impose measures under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter;

China and Russia will veto anything Chapter VII mentioning as I could probably be used to interpret it into something allowing for use-of-force - i.e. war.

Reuters reported: U.S. wants U.N. vote on Tuesday on Syria gas attack inquiry

The United States plans to call for a U.N. Security Council vote on Tuesday on a proposal for a new inquiry into responsibility for use of chemical weapons in Syria after reports of a poison gas attack on a rebel-held town, diplomats said.
“This is basically a diplomatic set-up,” said Richard Gowan, the U.N. expert at the European Council on Foreign Relations.

“Russia will inevitably veto the U.S. resolution criticizing Assad, and Washington will use this to justify military strikes,” he said. “A breakdown at the U.N. will also make it easier for France to justify strikes.”

Russia will table this draft resolution.

The usual suspects hype the issue and push for a large war. I doubt that any significant strike will happen. The UK seems not be willing for now. The OPCW will deploy to Douma tomorrow and will likely find nothing of relevance.

Any attack will be completely without evidence that anything happened and Russia has threatened to strike back.

Hizbullah should let Israel know that it will be the main target of a response to a 'western' attack on Syria. We would then have the fun to see Netanyahoo lobbying Washington against war.

Posted by: b | Apr 10 2018 17:46 utc | 2

What happened at the last meeting of the UNGSC ?

looks like the US resolution was censured and a full investigation on the site decided, can anyone confirm.

Complementary to my last post number 176 ?
I repeat the source:

also on RT news et sur Interfax.

and Yes, Russia is not there to protect Bachar but to forbid the implementation of the takfirist terrorist state.
But if any stupidity inclined party attacks Russians in Syria retribution will follow.

Posted by: Charles Michael | Apr 10 2018 17:55 utc | 3


If the strike does happen where do you think they will aim?

And will it have much impact on the state of play in the war?

Are the strikes part of a widening of the war with NATO?

Posted by: James | Apr 10 2018 17:55 utc | 4

Trump hates criticism. So his response is going to have to be bigger than last year's Tomahawk display, which was widely dismissed as impotent. The problem here of course is that it cannot be so much bigger as to demand a Russian response. I wouldn't be surprised if there were back channel negotiations going on with Russia over an amenable list of Syrian targets.

On the other hand, this could be the grand barbecue. Western governing elites might be convinced that Russia and Iran can be cowed by "shock and awe." In that case, we're at the beginning of the end.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Apr 10 2018 18:15 utc | 5

Looks like North Korea 2.0 in the making, aka NK2.0 Trumpem style

Posted by: meme | Apr 10 2018 18:21 utc | 6

I followed one of your links on Operation Hades the plutonium smuggling setup by the German intelligence agency. Unlike your completely negative portrayal of the BND's operation I have to hand it to them for thinking far ahead. By offering some random Colombian helicopter salesman living in Russia a few million bucks, they were able to get a lot of smuggled plutonium delivered to Munich. How is that not an extremely dangerous vulnerability that was thankfully exposed before someone with the intent to use it actually managed to smuggle a lot of plutonium from Russia?

If the BND had only started looking into preventing plutonium theft after something very bad happened you would figure out a way to blame them for idleness. Sometimes being instinctively contrarian makes you dim.

Posted by: quote | Apr 10 2018 18:25 utc | 7

Trump sinking so low he called his colleague Assad an animal. Accusing Russia and Iran of also carrying blame for "the chemical attack". Then with the same posture saying a response to "the chemical attack" will come within 48. And all this while right from the beginning he could have decided to not side with USA nurtured wahabbi terrorists in Syria and calling for an investigation first.

I really wonder if he and his war craving handlers will settle for a none-war-response. I think there will be some military attack. Maybe USA missiles launched from another nearby (NATO) country or from a (French/Israeli/...) war ship so the Russian response can be more easily framed by war inciting presstitutes as an attack on another "innocent" country.

OPCW heading to damascus would have been a good sign were it not for that other time when during their landing in Damascas another chemical attack was purpetrated by the USA nurtured wahabbi terrorists and blamed on Assad. Not that this would happen again now but I'm not putting my hopes on it.

Posted by: xor | Apr 10 2018 18:39 utc | 8

Charles Michael #4

What do you know about that website? EuroasiaFuture

Seems pretty slick and they say nothing about who they are.

Not questioning this report in particular but I find something odd about it.

Posted by: Babyl-on | Apr 10 2018 18:47 utc | 9

james #5

surely you don't believe the confusing, contradictory announcements released by
the respective defense ministries? For all anybody knows the Pentagon told
Russia that it's ships were enroute to their Syrian coast.

Yulia is out of hospital and in hiding and suddenly her father is gaining strength.
their stories could range from implying that "Putin did it" to MI6 got it totally
wrong. Same with the Goutha gas attack, The UN might find there wasn't one and that
the militants perpetrated a fraud on the West.

These simultaneous allegations against Russia may be nothing more than ministers and
secretaries repeating untrue stories, which were told to them intentionally on purpose.

I know it sounds crazy and conspiratorial, but, hey, that's what life has become in the
last 2 or 3 years.

Posted by: FSFF | Apr 10 2018 18:47 utc | 10

Trump sinking so low he called his colleague Assad an animal.

Assad means lion, so maybe it was a compliment.

Posted by: hopehely | Apr 10 2018 18:49 utc | 11

Is Mr Trump made into believing these PR Stunts of the White Helmets or do you think he's playing the deep states game? If it's the first, there is at least the chance of him somewhere along the way learning about what's really going on in syria, if it's not too late by then.

Posted by: momo | Apr 10 2018 18:51 utc | 12

Yulia is out of hospital and in hiding

That is what they say. I will believe when I see a video footage with her in it. Even then I will not believe 100%. We should never forget that we deal with evil pathological liars, crooks and swindlers.

Posted by: hopehely | Apr 10 2018 18:57 utc | 13

This part of the statement of Dr. Blanshard, medical director of Salisbury hospital, is remarkable:

"While I won’t go into great detail about the treatment we’ve been providing, I will say that nerve agents work by attaching themselves to a particular enzyme in the body which then stops the nerves from working properly. This results in symptoms such as sickness, hallucinations and confusion. Our job in treating the patients has been to stabilise them– ensuring that the patients could breathe and that blood could continue to circulate. We then needed to use a variety of different drugs to support the patients until they could create more enzymes to replace those affected by the poisoning. We also used specialised decontamination techniques to remove any residual toxins."

There was no need for her to go in detail about Julia's recovery, but she did, and what she says fits much more a food poisoning from fish or shellfish than a military nerve agent. The bombshell is at the end. "Toxin" is a poison generated by a plant or animal, i.e. a biological poison. Novichok is no toxin. Doctors are used to formulate careful and precise.

In my eyes this statement is a slap in the face of the British government and its Novichok story and a sign that it's going to collapse soon.

Posted by: mk | Apr 10 2018 19:05 utc | 14

@3 b.. thanks for the updates here..

Posted by: james | Apr 10 2018 19:07 utc | 15

How to stage a false chemical attack? See the Flag on the on the wall and how a pseudo-doctor leave a young patient to care for his buddy :(

Posted by: Yul | Apr 10 2018 19:10 utc | 16

@14 mk... thanks for that..

@16 yul..that same video was posted here on moa the past few years. it's from a few years ago, but needs to continue to be circulated..

Posted by: james | Apr 10 2018 19:15 utc | 17

I suspect that it is currently SecDef General Mattis who is putting the damper on a "kinetic" response to the fake gas attack in Syria, even given that hawk McMaster has been replaced by super-hawk Bolton as National Security chief.
Reminds one somewhat of Chairman General Dempsey's actions almost five years ago, on Syria. Dempsey at that time took a position against bombing Syria because any Assad replacement would be worse.

So currently we have the rather odd situation in the US where the generals can be less belligerent than the civilian hawks who alway promote more war.

Regarding generals, I don't have any proof but I know that even opposing generals sometimes consider themselves brothers-in-arms, with more in common with each other than with those ignorant civilans. I believe currently the Russians and US generals are using "backchannel" mesages to stay in sync. Hey, maybe they are even exchanging target lists, and asking for advice, in a sort of macabre humor? Who knows.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 10 2018 19:34 utc | 18

Hallucinations is it?
“Nerve agents work by attaching themselves to the particular enzymes in the body, which then stop the nerves from functioning. This results in symptoms such as sickness and hallucinations. Our job in treating the patients is to stabilise them, ensuring that they can breathe and blood can continue to circulate."

Posted by: Bakerpete | Apr 10 2018 19:34 utc | 19

mk | 14

Yes, absolutely.

I was very skeptical at first, but I've come to regard something food-related as most likely, like people here at the MoA have proposed. 'b' plus I think 'Jen', is that her name?

It struck me as conspicuous that Blanshard wouldn't just state what substance exactly they were dealing with, if said substance was indeed some manufactured military nerve agent. But since the British government have flung their reputation and credibility down Big Ben by coming up with this Novichok nonsense, Blanshard can't say anything other than what she did say.

Also there's no mention of 'poisoning', 'attack' or some such term, which would indicate a perpetrator actively and intentionally bringing the Skripals into contact with the substance. It's just 'incident'. Adding to that, the phrase "have been exposed to" suggests 'environmental' to me, and that's what food-borne is.

Posted by: Scotch Bingeington | Apr 10 2018 19:38 utc | 20

@ 8 xor | Apr 10, 2018 2:39:34 PM

Something for consideration. Have you ever noted President Trump's body language when he is 'asserting'? like in his pronouncement of 'fury and fire' or lately issuing threats to Syria? He has this strange way of wrapping his arms tightly about his midsection where normally when he speaks he uses a small repertoire of simple hand gestures in underlining word phrases. This self-hugging is not normally seen in healthy pathologies and definitely not in those qualifying as alpha-male that I have ever seen but rather a sign of significant insecurity in most H. sapiens and related actually sentient species. Great suspicion that Donald's decision making capacity is under dire stress because of his inherent insecurity. Not a comfortable thought that Trump may not have the best judgment to have a finger on the country's nuclear (belly) button

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Apr 10 2018 19:41 utc | 21

Both Trump and Mattis have cancelled travel plans. The Brits French US all want war in Syria. Russia needs to provide good protection to the OPCW team.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Apr 10 2018 19:44 utc | 22

What the heck?

Nikki Haley:
- "The U.S. has put forward a draft resolution… we’ve held open & transparent negotiations [on the text] for weeks… we made special efforts with one Council member (#Russia), adding paragraph upon paragraph…”

For weeks?

The CW attack happened only last WE - didn't Trump bomb Syria for Sahaairat last year.
What are FrUKUS planning - or the darlings of Israel doing?

Posted by: Yul | Apr 10 2018 19:47 utc | 23

One more @RussiaUN veto on #Syria on @USUN draft resolution setting up an independent & impartial investigation mechanism on chemical weapons use.
@Chinamission2un abstains. 12 other members voted YES.

Posted by: Yul | Apr 10 2018 19:49 utc | 24

John Helmer's Dances With Bears website now under attack.

Posted by: spudski | Apr 10 2018 20:04 utc | 25

Warning from the European Aviation Safety Agency regarding possible #Syria airstrikes

Posted by: Yul | Apr 10 2018 20:11 utc | 26

US Deploys Truman Carrier Strike Group And 7 Warships With Cruise Missiles To Mediterranean

(The Sachssen-class German frigate FGS Hessen (F 221) will also operate as part of the strike group during the first half of the deployment. )

.....It is worth noting that it will take approximately 6-7 days for the group to cross the Atlantic at 30 knots, plus another 3-4 three days once it arrives in the Mediterranean, to reach Syria, suggesting a full-blown on attack may not take place until after April 22 or so.

Posted by: OJS | Apr 10 2018 20:17 utc | 27

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Apr 10 2018 20:21 utc | 28

Grave Consequences in play?

Sputniknews-(EASA) " European Aviation Safety Agency has issued rapid alert notification for Eastern Mediterranean due to possible air strikes on Syria in next 72 hours."

Posted by: Likklemore | Apr 10 2018 20:27 utc | 29

And the UN has failed; China regrets.

Nikki Haley will now deliver on recent promise " to act with or without the UN."

There is no need to determine facts. U.S.A does not do diplomacy, only mayhem and blood-letting.

Posted by: Likklemore | Apr 10 2018 20:42 utc | 30

At the Security Council, Nikki Haley vetoed a resolution to investigate the 'clashes' in Gaza. Despite countless video clips of IDF snipers executing Palestinians, psychotic Haley sees nothing wrong. Compare this to Douma, inside an area where the very worst of the extremists are and although the footage cannot be independently verified, Haley threatens the Syrian government. Jaysh al-Islam are despised so much that they can't go to Idlib but the 'coalition' believes them. This is all beyond bizarre, I'm starting to think there could well be US/UK assets hiding in the many tunnels of Douma.

Posted by: duplicitousdemocracy | Apr 10 2018 20:50 utc | 31

Foreign policy, McCain and the Kurds have decided that to save Bibi, Macron has to attack Syria. He has millions of people in strikes (trains, planes, hospitals, universities...) but apparently they trust MbS secret charm to operate on those too. Who said delusional? .

Posted by: Mina | Apr 10 2018 20:53 utc | 32

Not much time, not much time to look back on your now gone comment on Pat's blog either. Both of our comments may have gone by now. If I recall correctly which of your comments I responded to.

But can a word/words not used so far seriously stand as evidence determining an authors style? I am 68 by now and I couldn't guarantee I would not use a word tomorrow I never used before. Why? Maybe it simply struck me the day before? Seems there is an update were you can check the lady's style theory:

Posted by: LeaNder | Apr 10 2018 20:59 utc | 34

"Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has told US Senators his company is in a constant battle with Russian operators seeking to exploit the social network." (BBC)
Please, in case somebody reading this blog is still a Facebook member: QUIT! Boycott this slimiest of all Billionaires.

Posted by: Pnyx | Apr 10 2018 21:02 utc | 35

"A time will come where silence is betrayal."

These words will forever ring in my ears.

Not that this time hasn't been around since at least 18 years, but with the increasing possibility of an escalation leading towards a full blown nuclear war, it is more true than ever before.

We need to talk about this nuclear war. We need to ask each other about what a nuclear war actually means. The masses have been bred gullible and in order to penetrate the MSM shield, people need to bring up the prospect of nuclear war in every conversation.

Only when the collective consciousness starts to realize that nuclear war knows no winners and that it is imminent - with all known consequences - might we stand a chance to avoid it.

Observing the busy bees in Germany with their Porsches, BMWs, Mercedes, Audis and such, their fancy clothes and shiny houses, the assumption arises that these people don't know what will happen to their beloved cars, dresses and villas when a 25 megaton warhead will home in.

The question must be:

What are you willing to do to avert a full scale nuclear war? Nothing? I might take a camera and go about interviewing the folks on the street about that question. Because one thing should be a no-brainer. There won't be any business as usual left. The busy bees will run in circles and fade away in agony.


I am glad that Your site is back operational and even if it is with some glitches still. The world needs Your perspective more than ever before. One mind at a time.

Posted by: notheonly1 | Apr 10 2018 21:04 utc | 36

The war we are potentially approaching is not about Syria but about Israel

It is also about who controls the tools of finance going forward but that is not discussed in public.

It will be interesting but quite sad to see the two conflated together.....its a set up by the experts.....sigh

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 10 2018 21:05 utc | 37

Here's the About Us link for Eurasia Future:

Posted by: jawbone | Apr 10 2018 21:06 utc | 38

and Yes, Russia is not there to protect Bachar but to forbid the implementation of the takfirist terrorist state.
But if any stupidity inclined party attacks Russians in Syria retribution will follow.
Posted by: Charles Michael | Apr 10, 2018 1:55:22 PM | 4

Strictly speaking, and with due respect, that's probably wrong.
Russia is in Syria at the request of the Syrian Govt. Bashar is the Head of that Govt i.e. Russia's client. If Russia allows unauthorised foreign military activity inside Syria which put the Govt at risk of extermination, then the Christian Colonials could (and would) argue that Russia's presence in Syria is illegitimate.
Russia IS there to protect the Govt which issued the invitation.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 10 2018 21:08 utc | 39

"I was very skeptical at first, but I've come to regard something food-related as most likely, like people here at the MoA have proposed. 'b' plus I think 'Jen', is that her name?"

Yes, that is her name. Jen (Jennifer Hor) was one of the first (on this blog and other blogs) that came up with the idea that it could be food-poisoning..

Posted by: Trond | Apr 10 2018 21:09 utc | 40

This is a good time to take a spin around the internet to see what's being said on Breitbart and Infowars since both sites were so skeptical about Obama's entanglement in Syria. Not a peep on either homepage on Trump's impending attack. It's all about Zuckerberg's appearance before Congress.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Apr 10 2018 21:13 utc | 41

UK. Reuters reports:
Russia says any secret resettlement of Skripals is abduction.

On Twitter:

NuttyYahoo is crowing U.S.A likely to strike Syria. We now know Trump has been ordered.

Elijah Magnier has some interesting notes in his Twitter posting that Mad dog Mattis and boss Trump should read.

Posted by: Likklemore | Apr 10 2018 21:28 utc | 42

@31 dd..nothing duplicitous about haley... she is working for israel in both examples... she may as well be the ambassador for israel!

@37 psychohistorian.. i generally agree with you on all that..

Posted by: james | Apr 10 2018 21:32 utc | 43

For two days in a row the Dutch donkey to the UN has been ruminating Al Qaeda propaganda for the world to see.

The Al Qaeda linked Stichting Mayday Rescue Foundation continues to operate unimpeded from the Netherlands, providing financial support to terrorist operating in Syria. Tens of millions of euros of taxpayers money has been provided to "moderate" headchoppers and amateur actors staging "chemical attacks".

Meanwhile the Netherlands prides itself on the presence of institutions like the International Criminal Court in The Hague.


Posted by: Siemen Danziger | Apr 10 2018 22:11 utc | 44

@ hopehely | Apr 10, 2018 2:57:40 PM | 13

We should never forget that we deal with evil pathological liars, crooks and swindlers.

Amen! As I commented here the other day, as far as I can tell all of the primary/direct information about the Skripals and the alleged crime comes from dubious and/or manifestly untrustworthy sources-- which is to say, "official" sources.

In a bygone past, a vigorously skeptical mass-media might have appropriately challenged official narratives, and ferreted out inconvenient facts that would expose these narratives as mendacious cover stories for some heinous government skulduggery.

But nowadays, the "watchdog" tradition in journalism has been vitiated; the "watchdogs" are either complicit government consent-manufacturers, or neutered, pampered show dogs and lap dogs.

So, as I've already asked rhetorically, why should we believe any official statement or disclosure, including the fragmentary and contradictory "forensic" details-- the sinister doorknob, the "traces" of... chemicals, the sketchy clinical progress reports, etc.?

At the moment, the most egregious open question is why the recovered and discharged Julia Skripal is still being kept under wraps. I wouldn't trust Christine Blanshard, Medical Director at Salisbury District Hospital, as far as I could throw her, as the saying goes.

Every time Blanshard piously said "Julia asks...", it made me shudder. It's obvious enough that this is exactly the kind of vague reassurances and platitudes a kidnapper would make on behalf of a still-missing victim. Yet, I didn't notice anyone boldly pressing Blanshard, or anyone else in authority, about why Julia herself wasn't able or willing to make even a minimal public statement in an open setting to clarify her circumstances to either her own government or a concerned public.

Personally, I assume all of the official statements are more or less disinformation.

Posted by: Ort | Apr 10 2018 22:14 utc | 45

Posted by: mk | Apr 10, 2018 3:05:47 PM | 14
When the body rids itself of poisonous substances via the lungs, kidneys and liver those metabolites are generally referred to as toxins, aren't they?

Posted by: OJS | Apr 10, 2018 4:17:54 PM | 27
"US Deploys Truman Carrier Strike Group And 7 Warships With Cruise Missiles To Mediterranean" - hope this news isn't a "Hey, look over there, a squirrel". With the French and British, not to mention Israel, doesn't Centcom have enough 'assets' locally for a pretty destructive strike?

Posted by: Carrie | Apr 10 2018 22:16 utc | 46

It seems Gilbert Doctorow has become much less optimistic about the chances to avoid a US-Russian nuclear war. He says that We Are in the Last Days Before All Hell Breaks Loose.

Posted by: Perimetr | Apr 10 2018 22:19 utc | 47

Apparent confusion in London

Reports that May has asked for evidence before agreeing to take part in strikes...

Posted by: Bill | Apr 10 2018 22:32 utc | 48

Tomorrow's Times reporting that Mrs May has told Mr Trump that Britain will need more evidence that Assad was behind the chemical attacks before joining in any retaliation.
Meant to include this in previous post, sorry.

Posted by: Bill | Apr 10 2018 22:34 utc | 49


Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Apr 10 2018 22:41 utc | 50

Disappointed and puzzled with China's abstention at the UNSC. It contradicts what both FM Wang Yi and DM Wei Fenghe stated during their recent visit to Russia.

Posted by: Ian | Apr 10 2018 22:44 utc | 51

NBC News
Russia has figured out how to jam U.S. drones in Syria, officials say

Four U.S. officials said Russia's signal scrambling has seriously affected military operations.
WASHINGTON — The Russian military has been jamming some U.S. military drones operating in the skies over Syria, seriously affecting American military operations, according to four U.S. officials. The Russians began jamming some smaller U.S. drones several weeks ago, the officials said.

Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., reacted to the news of Russian scrambling Tuesday by saying "Russia wants to undermine our interests at every turn. It is insane to think that Russia is anything but an adversary," said Sasse.

Duh. This cornhusker struggles to understand the situation. Apparently he's missed the colorful Haley news lately, with the Russians' hands covered with blood, and also all the sanctions put on Russia for nothing, etc.. . Insane.. . . That's what passes for a senator these days.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 10 2018 23:16 utc | 52

@49 I'm guessing Donald will be very pleased to hear that. I expect she owes him a favour for expelling the Russian diplomats.

Posted by: dh | Apr 10 2018 23:16 utc | 53

Talk about a frightening bed-time story. Read this and couldn't disagree
with his takes. Cross your fingers and pray for the best.

Posted by: Musburger | Apr 10 2018 23:23 utc | 54

@44 siemen.. al qaeda propaganda.. yeah.. that is really sad what the netherlands has turned into... i guess they didn't want to be left behind by the uk / usa.. they figured they could help out too... i hadn't heard of them before, but i see they are just another branch of the white helmets...

Posted by: james | Apr 10 2018 23:36 utc | 55

@50 peter... thanks..

Posted by: james | Apr 10 2018 23:46 utc | 56

@46 carrie

If the carrier group rotating to the Med arrives 6-11 days from now, OPCW will have eliminated the chemical justification by them. And if the US expects the Donald Cook still to be floating by then, it must mean they're not planning to launch anything soon.

I can feel the buzz wearing off. Give it a couple days more and everyone will be immensely bored and sneering at the western alliance and their parade of ships.


@49 Bill

May wants more evidence of the chemical attack before joining the coalition? Is the woman simply not aware of irony? What's BoJo's position on this?

Let the absurdities begin.

Posted by: Grieved | Apr 11 2018 0:05 utc | 57

@56 "May wants more evidence of the chemical attack before joining the coalition? Is the woman simply not aware of irony? What's BoJo's position on this?"

Sssh....we don't talk about Salisbury anymore. That was last week. The Skripals are doing fine. Boris is back in his box.

We are concentrating on averting WW3 now which involves getting Donald off the hook.

Posted by: dh | Apr 11 2018 0:11 utc | 58

Sorry for the long post

Syria crisis: Live updates as 'coalition warplanes spotted flying over Iraqi border' ahead of possible airstrikes

Coalition warplanes are reportedly heading towards Syria as Britain appears ready to join the US and France in airstrikes.

Civilian airlines have been asked to clear airspace over Syria for the next 48 hours, according to reports.

And Theresa May has indicated Britain will stand with the US in bringing justice to dictator Bashar al-Assad over the barbaric chemical attack in Douma last weekend that left around 70 dead.

But UK and US forces were said to be gathering to launch a wave of Tomahawk cruise missiles at Assad's defences.
Eurocontrol said the warning applies for the next 72 hours.

Announcement on US action in Syria 'imminent'
The US is due to make an announcement on action in Syria shortly, according to reports.

Fox News, President Trump’s favoured network, is reporting live that an update is “imminent”.

RAF crews could be diverted from attacking Islamic State positions in Iraq and Syria to smash Assad’s remaining chemical weapons silos.

Teams flying Tornado bombers will hit large buildings and bunkers with deadly Storm Shadow missiles, capable of smashing into complexes before obliterating them.

They will be accompanied by Typhoon crews capable of providing air-to-air fighter protection against Russian air-crews but also able to launch air-to-ground missiles.

British RAF drones and spy planes will hoover up radio and phone chatter to conduct “battle damage assessment” missions to examine the targets after they are hit.

US Ambassador to Nato Kay Hutchison said she hoped allies like Britain would join with Washington in a “concerted and joint effort” against President Bashar al-Assad.

And a squadron of British special forces - both SAS and SBS - are supporting elite American Delta force soldiers on the ground."

Posted by: daffyDuct | Apr 11 2018 0:25 utc | 59

@56 Grieved. Or alternatively, the Cook sends a volley and is struck in response by RuAF as a sacrificial lamb to manufacture casus belli and more strikes by said carrier group with the corollary of short-circuiting the OPWC facts finding mission?

Posted by: Lozion | Apr 11 2018 0:35 utc | 60

daily press propaganda briefing from today....


"MS NAUERT: Yes. So this is obviously an interagency process. The United States, through the White House, through the State Department, and others of well – as well, have been having conversations with our allies and partners overseas. Deputy Secretary – pardon me. Acting Secretary John Sullivan spoke on two occasions with Foreign Minister[1] Boris Johnson of the UK yesterday. I believe a readout was provided of that call.

We are looking for a coordinated response, whatever that response might be, to the situation in Syria."

kinda like the coordinated response over the skripal affair? very good... bozos unite...

ms nauert... "So the United States is convinced and knows that some sort of a chemical weapon was used."

matt lee question - "QUESTION: The President, though, was pretty clear that there was going to be a price to pay. I mean, he literally said that. Why – since April 6th of last year, when he – when they ordered the missile strikes in Syria, and now – or until this last incident – there have been numerous uses of chemical weapons that have been alleged in Syria. What makes this one hit that threshold that a price has to be paid?

MS NAUERT: I think, Matt, to answer that question, we have to look at the number of attacks that have taken place, the pace, how quickly these attacks are now taking place. This will be the ninth attack using some sort of chemical substance this year alone. It used to be that when attacks would take place the world would stand up and take attention and it has become, in the view of the U.S. Government and many others as well, far too common. So I think it’s taken the world to stand up and say this is unacceptable; this is horrific, and we can’t stand for this anymore."

on the israel missiles.. it is all about iran, lol. apparently israel is allowed to bomb other countries.. no questions asked..

"QUESTION: Okay. This has to do with Iran. And Israel struck Iranian targets at Syria’s T-4 Airbase on Sunday, which is the second time in as many months. Do you share Israel’s concern about Iran’s presence in Syria?

MS NAUERT: We have talked about this a lot, that Iran supports Hizballah. Iran has sent not only fighters but also equipment into Syria. Iran has been a bad actor in Syria and other parts around the world. They have further destabilized the country of Syria. They have also bolstered the regime of Bashar al-Assad, enabling the regime to be able to commit attacks against innocent civilians, not just in Eastern Ghouta and elsewhere, but around the country as well. Of course we’re absolutely concerned about Iran’s presence or meddling, whether it be through proxies, in the country of Syria."

Posted by: james | Apr 11 2018 0:37 utc | 61

In case you missed it....on "perception management". . .
Norman Solomon wrote about the media, and how "journalists" must toe the line or become ex-journalists. His book is "War Made Easy, How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death"

War Made Easy cuts through the dense web of spin to probe and scrutinize the key "perception management" techniques that have played huge roles in the promotion of American wars in recent decades. This guide to disinformation analyzes American military adventures past and present to reveal striking similarities in the efforts of various administrations to justify, and retain, public support for war. War Made Easy is essential reading. It documents a long series of deliberate misdeeds at the highest levels of power and lays out important guidelines to help readers distinguish a propaganda campaign from actual news reporting. With War Made Easy, every reader can become a savvy media critic and, perhaps, help the nation avoid costly and unnecessary wars.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 11 2018 0:39 utc | 62

@ 60
Matt Lee (AP) is good, but even he won't ever charge the State Dept with being behind the staging of these fake attacks, obviously fake to anyone with an ounce (milligram?) of sense. If he did, he would no longer be enabled by State to ask the first question and enjoy other perks in these State Dept follies. So it's a waltz around minor issues, never getting to the basic truth of what's going on.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 11 2018 0:50 utc | 63

This is a very good interview with Ambassador Ford ( not the S*t disturber Robert Ford circa 2011)

Posted by: Yul | Apr 11 2018 0:55 utc | 64

from The Duffel Blog...
Trump orders cruise missile strike against one of 3,297 factions fighting in Syria

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump ordered a Tomahawk cruise military strike against one of the 3,297 factions currently fighting in the Syrian civil war, sources confirmed today.
Just days after the Syrian government, one of the thousands of rebel groups, or al Qaeda terrorists allegedly bombed civilians with chemical weapons, Trump and his military planners launched missiles after mulling options that could potentially punish the perpetrators of such a war crime.
“Everything is on the table,” Trump told reporters onboard Air Force One on Wednesday. “We’re pretty sure it’s Assad who carried out this egregious attack. That’s what my so-called intelligence agencies are telling me. But they told me stuff about Russia, and that was fake news, fake, fake news, so I’m not sure. I don’t know what we’re going to do, but we’re going to do something. Something.”
“I’m not going to tell you what I’m going to do, because we want ISIS to be surprised by a sneak attack,” he added. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 11 2018 1:03 utc | 65

@ 62
Amb. Ford make a big issue of the sources of this "attack" information, which many fail to do.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 11 2018 1:10 utc | 66

@58 A few words stand out from that otherwise superb piece from the much respected Daily Mirror. 'reportedly', 'said to be', 'according to reports'.

Probably just me....I'm a terrible nitpicker.

Posted by: dh | Apr 11 2018 1:11 utc | 67

@ 61 don... i fully concur... it would be like you or i asking questions.. we would be out on our ass before the 2nd day!

Posted by: james | Apr 11 2018 1:18 utc | 68

james @ 60

unbelievable...justunbelievable...the monstrous arrogance...

Posted by: oldenyoung | Apr 11 2018 1:22 utc | 69

This shait makes my stomach hurt...

Posted by: oldenyoung | Apr 11 2018 1:24 utc | 70

@62 yul... good interview..

Posted by: james | Apr 11 2018 1:27 utc | 71

@oy - you don't want to read those dispatches too often!

Posted by: james | Apr 11 2018 1:27 utc | 72

Nauert, 60
Iran has "further destabilized the country of Syria. They have also bolstered the regime of Bashar al-Assad. . ."
Um, destabilizing AND bolstering? How does THAT work? And bolstering regimes is in accord with the UN Charter,* isn't it? Like selling arms to Saudi Arabia, for example?

*UN Charter: The Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 11 2018 1:41 utc | 73

Within weeks, through social media, crowds well into the thousands all over the country
can be mobilized to put on pink hats, make signs and bannners, and gather to protest the
right to not wear a bra or something of equivalent significance. But now, we have bloggers
such as MOA, TheSaker, and literally dozens of other people trying to get the word out, armed
with facts and logic that we are on the brink of Armageddon, and nobody gives a damn. You
couldn't get 50 people to march on Washington and demand an end to this nonsense.

Posted by: Musburger | Apr 11 2018 1:46 utc | 74

Interesting twittter feed on military aspects. . .Russia, Iran etc. here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 11 2018 1:59 utc | 75

For two days in a row the Dutch donkey to the UN has been ruminating Al Qaeda propaganda for the world to see. Siemen Danziger | Apr 10, 2018 6:11:15 PM | 44

Zoologically, equines do not ruminate, so a more proper insult would be "goat", "sheep", "wether". Linguistically, an almost synonymous word "regurgitating" would fit better than "ruminating", the former is used for slowly thinking about all aspects of a subject and is rather positive, the latter is used for mindless repetition.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 11 2018 2:05 utc | 76

Act 1- Novichok to associate Russia and CW. Act 2- Ghouta somewhat delayed as the actors and equipment were unfortunately eliminated, but a cheap substitute filled in for them (better late than never). Act 3- the main event, now underway.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Apr 11 2018 2:13 utc | 77

from angry arab
"Within 24 hours, the Israeli occupation enemy managed to bomb Gaza and Syria, and its planes violated Lebanese air space. You won't find one word of condemnation from the GCC-AIPAC- sponsored DC pundits, Western correspondents and those academics who fake sympathy for Syrians." kinda fits with heather nauerts comments @60...

Posted by: james | Apr 11 2018 2:14 utc | 78

@ 74 peter.. i think you were right about connecting those dots, even though russia seems to have acted quite fast here..

Posted by: james | Apr 11 2018 2:15 utc | 79

the ruminating Netherlands position on Salisbury (excerpt)...

. .The Netherlands agrees with the UK governments’ assessment that it is highly likely that the Russian Federation is responsible and that there is no plausible alternative explanation. We stand in unqualified solidarity with the UK and fully support the UK authorities in their investigations. We expect that the Russian Federation provides full disclosure of the Novichok Programme to the OPCW. Though currently not a member of the Executive Council my delegation could not agree with the draft decision that was tabled by the Russian Federation. . . .here

I bet that Indonesia (for example) had a more sensible position. But then, they wouldn't be kissing up to the "United Kingdom."

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 11 2018 2:20 utc | 80

Could the USS Donald be the next USS Maine and USS Magellan? That would give them the excuse they need and get the support needed for a War.

Posted by: Pft | Apr 11 2018 2:22 utc | 81

Posted by: daffyDuct | Apr 10, 2018 8:25:51 PM | 58

ROFLMAO thanks a lot!
I hope the over-detailed UK War Porn drivel is Official.
They seem to have persuaded themselves/each other that Syria will be a Libya Cakewalk redux. 'NATO' (Al Qaeda's Airforce) conducted 21,000 sorties during the destruction and looting of Libya without sustaining any losses from Libyan defenses.
Everyone seems to have forgotten that Russia can conduct missile strikes, on Christian Colonial targets in Syria, from Russia. And once the shooting starts everything CC in Syria becomes a legitimate target.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 11 2018 2:28 utc | 82

Peter AU 1 74

but a cheap substitute filled in for them

Maybe cheap, but still they had quite serious comm gear with them because the only way they could upload that video footage to the internet is via satellite link. No way they could use an ISP in Damascus for that.
Assuming of course that the footage is indeed from Douma/Ghouta and not from some snuff studio in Amman or Salisbury.

Posted by: hopehely | Apr 11 2018 2:35 utc | 83

All MSM is now carrying the news of possible airstrikes on Syria. syria/9640132
Europe air traffic control agency warns airlines about possible air strikes into Syria

Then its straight back to Zuckerburg/facebook and whatever else is gossip that passes in MSM for world news. Starting a war with Russia is just boring everyday stuff I guess.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Apr 11 2018 2:38 utc | 84

hopehely 80
Doubt it was uploaded from Douma. Most likely filmed and uploaded in Idlib or near the Israeli or Jordan border.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Apr 11 2018 2:41 utc | 85

Peter AU 1 82
Douma was completely surrounded by Syrian forces. How did they manage to take the footage out from encircled Douma to Idlib, Jordan or Israel that quick? Using pigeons?
IIRC the footage hit the internet within few hours from the 'incident'.
And btw, it is kind of funny that we have a footage of victims from a chem attack in encircled battle zone in Syria, but not a single picture of the chem victims in England, where cameras are everywhere, everybody has a smart phone and every place and joint has a WiFi hot spot.

Posted by: hopehely | Apr 11 2018 2:55 utc | 86

@ 83
I'm a tech dinosaur, but can't images be transmitted by more modern means than pigeons, like with radio waves or those satellite-linked thingies?

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 11 2018 3:00 utc | 87

hopehely, as I said - most likely filmed and uploaded elsewhere. I believe the original version was for a massive CW event in Douma itself (1000 plus fatalities) similar to the 2013 Ghouta event. Though there seems to have been a lot of smuggling tunnels in and out of east Ghouta before the recent Syrian offencive.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Apr 11 2018 3:07 utc | 88

Don Bacon 84

can't images be transmitted by more modern means than pigeons, like with radio waves or those satellite-linked thingies?

Of course they can, but you need two things for that:
1. a transmitter device capable to call a satellite
2. a satellite configured to accept the call and service the comm link.
Those jihadi dudes have cool gadgets I would say ;-)

Posted by: hopehely | Apr 11 2018 3:12 utc | 89

Bbc has zuckerberg explaining he is in "arms race with Russia" so he knows his script well

Posted by: Mina | Apr 11 2018 3:14 utc | 90

The notion that Russia has no responsibility to defend its ally Syria is nonsense on so many levels. Even taken purely on face value it's nonsense, because Russia can't be in Syria to fight takfiris while ignoring the sponsors of the takfiris as they degrade Syria's ability to fight the takfiris. But I reckon we are lucky that Russia is so cynical. Waking up to WW3 would be a bad thing.

Posted by: paul | Apr 11 2018 3:15 utc | 91

Beg pardon, the jihadis had nothing to do with this fake act. They were busy packing up for a bus ride out while the US/UK agents (white helmets) were doing their Cecile B. DeMillle thing, a modern-day epic.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 11 2018 3:20 utc | 92

Peter AU 1 85
So we can safely conclude that BBC, ABC, CBC were intentionally broadcasting bogus footage as genuine information. Evil bastards.

Posted by: hopehely | Apr 11 2018 3:22 utc | 93

Here's a shocker from down under....
Australia will support US air strikes on Syria: Julie Bishop
. . .well maybe not so much.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 11 2018 3:24 utc | 94

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Apr 10, 2018 10:38:47 PM | 81

I saw that. It was eerie observing the eagerness with which Julie Bishop (Lib) AND Tanya Plibersek (Lab) outed themselves as proud whores for Israel/Yinon. One presumes it's still mandatory to fail an IQ test to qualify for entry into the Liberal & Labor parties.
I particularly enjoyed the ex-Mossad chief tip-toeing around the wisdom but insisting that if you're gonna whack Syria it's gotta be really HARD (to scare Iran)!

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 11 2018 3:27 utc | 95

Posted by: the pessimist | Apr 11 2018 3:27 utc | 96

@59 Lozion

Interesting scenario. A few people have commented on the Cook being the sacrifice here, although one commenter made the great remark that it was the perfect symbol for the surrender of the US.

Thoughts of the situation moving beyond one ship sinking, or a few planes getting shot down, presuppose that the US actually WANTS to go to war. Everyone says that's what the powers yearn for, but I don't see the proof of this. Maybe this seems surprising, but I see zero proof that the west, or even the secret forces that rule the west, actually want a real war. And I mean a real war, based on real thinking, where actually Russia could win and you lose your ass.

Russia has been drilling and preparing for serious war of the existential-survival kind for at least two years, now. And Russia has practically its whole population in support of whatever must be done. The people are ready to sink a few ships, although Edouard Popov at Fort Russ today said that most Russian commentators and analysts believe this is a Trump bluff, and it won't come to sinking ships - which is what I believe too.

I don't see any such preparation for real war in the west or the US. Do they think they don't have to train before the championship fight? They have no idea what shock alone will do to them if it comes to a real fight. They're still in their fantasy thinking, they're not at all in real thinking mode yet.

If they push it to the point that their thinking gets shocked into becoming real, then they'll remember MAD, and stop at whatever place of conventional warfare their advance forces have been destroyed.

Then Trump will talk with his generals and ask them, "Well? What do you have to throw at this?" And they have nothing. Not really, not for the kind of war effort necessary for Syria. They have to take the time to stage the materiel into the theater, and if it's real warfare, Russia will destroy those assets before they ever get to the theater, taking the fight further back to source and away from the Russian homeland - following their war doctrine.

First the Mediterranean will boil a little, and then the Atlantic and Pacific, and ultimately, someone in the US will understand that the US itself is a target. Meanwhile, domestically, the hatred of the US population for its "leaders" who have screwed up so badly will come to a head...

This theorizing goes on and on, to little purpose. I have a theory that Russia can sink a US destroyer and not see the situation escalate to nuclear war. Military people would probably scoff at this idea, but again I don't see the proof that escalation is inevitable and unstoppable. No one has shown that proof yet, not to my satisfaction. Any time since my childhood, nuclear war could have erupted out of nowhere, and I was never going to get a ticket out, so it's pointless to worry about it. What matters is balance of forces, and conventional warfare.

That's the key point here, that all the neo-morons and exceptionalists have forgotten. It's all about conventional warfare. Guess who's really good at that? Guess who's really bad at that?

Posted by: Grieved | Apr 11 2018 3:42 utc | 97

The US has not fought in a theater without total air superiority since Vietnam, correct?

Posted by: the pessimist | Apr 11 2018 4:06 utc | 98

A couple of thoughts as we sit here waiting...

With their rhetoric and hubris the americans have painted themselves into a corner with this. Of course they could make a statement and wait for the outcome of OPCW investigation, but that's not very exceptional is it?

Similarly, can the Russians not retaliate at this stage?

Russian retaliation must necessarily be swift and brutal in a target rich environment. ReKalibrating each and every US base in eastern Syria?
Sinking everything in range in the Black sea and Eastern med? UK base on cyprus?

I live in Vietnam. How would The Great Northern War affect things here? Apart from sharply reducing demand for English teachers?

Posted by: adamski | Apr 11 2018 4:08 utc | 99

This whole affair reminds me of the movie 'Straw Dogs.'
The West expects capitulation.
Will Russia capitulate? And if Russia does not, will events escalate? And if so, will they escalate to WMD exchanges?

Posted by: aaaa | Apr 11 2018 4:12 utc | 100

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