Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 17, 2018

Open Thread 2018-18

The post I worked on did not pan out. You are on your own.

News & views ...

Posted by b on April 17, 2018 at 17:43 UTC | Permalink

next page »

Thank you anyway, b.

Posted by: Steve | Apr 17 2018 17:47 utc | 1

Can't you just mail in something about Michael Cohen or Stormy Daniels like the rest of the media? ;>)

Posted by: Rob | Apr 17 2018 17:55 utc | 2

I know b is not fond of us posting content from other blogs but the Saker has just put up a must-read interview with a personal favorite author of mine, F. William Engdhal, entitled "The rape of Russia". Very informative, it documents the strategies put in place during the Yeltsin years to plunder the assets of the new CIS. Enjoy!

Posted by: Lozion | Apr 17 2018 17:56 utc | 3

President Macron recently stated that he has „proof“ that CW were used in Douma and that is was the Syrian Army. Now the French govt has released the „evaluation nationale“ but it seems no-one is paying attention to it.

After reading the document carefully one can only reach one conclusion:

There is NO PROOF whatsover in this evaulation and it is obviously addressed to an audience considered to be incapable of critical thought. The format of the document is rather revealing because it contains no offical ID from a French „service“ or ministry (just „Republique Francaise“) and the authors are unknown (so no official takes personal responsibility for its content, like the phony „assessment“ on CW released by the WH in 2017)

In order to find out who committed a crime, forensic evidence is extremely important, as we all know from detective thrillers and court-room dramas. But in this case, there is NO FORENSIC EVIDENCE (no criminal investigation by a CSI-unit). There are only unverified pics and videos posted on YouTube by the White Helmets (WH).

It is impossible to verify WHERE these pics/vids were taken and also WHEN because the metadata have been tempered with. The WH of course have NO CREDIBILITY whatsoever, being a cover for the massive „strategic information“ (incessantly demonizing Assad) created by MI6, who also ran the massive PR for the artificial „rebels“ in Syria. (See for more on this).

And yet this is the basis for the „assessment“ of the French govt. They write that
„French experts have analyzed the symptoms (visible in the pics and vids) … which can be described as follows (respiratory distress, asphyxiation, cyanosis, skin-burns, excessive salivation, etc.) Taken together, these symptoms are characteristic für a CW-attack, especially for suffocating-agents. The use of asthma-sprays supports the thesis that such agents were used.“

So instead of a forensic examination and autopsy, all we get is an interpretation of symptoms to fit the frame of the Assad-gasses-his-own-people horror-narrative. To this, they add statements from anonymous people working (in Douma) for medical NGOs like UOSSM (created in France in 2011, PR-front group) and SAMS (US directed front group) who claim that about a hundred people „stormed“ their health facilities in Douma and at least 40 died as a result of the CW-attack.

They use medical staff of course as „CREDIBILITY-ENHANCERS“ because in general people tend to trust doctors, nurses and paramedics, hence the „White Helmets“ (and the faux „nurse“ telling the heat-wrenchning, invented tale of the incubator-babies in Iraq)
I asked a friend who works for one of the biggest chemical companies in Germany (BASF) about the symptoms and he said they are consistent with a chlorine-exposure but that does NOT mean that it could ONLY have been chlorine. Very similar symptoms occur when people have been exposed to SMOKE-INHALATION (German: Rauchgasvergiftung)

And now it gets really interesting because a video has been released by Russian and Syrian TV stations in which two medical students who work for the emergency department of the Douma hospital, say that the people shown in the WH-video had indeed been exposed to SMOKE-INHALATION. (see links below)

A house in Douma had been hit by an airstrike which caused a fire in the lower floors and the partial collapse of the upper floors. So these people had breathing difficulties and were taken to the emergency dept of the hospital where they were given first aid. Suddenly some men appeared and shouted „this was a gas-attack!“. They then began to douse the patients with cold water (from a hose), which caused panic (children screamed of course). These „dramatic“ scenes were filmed then the strangers disappeared as quickly as they had arrived.

I cannot verify if these medical students told the truth, but given the political context, I have much more reason to believe them than the White Helmets or the French DGSE.

Just one more thing, the brochure from BASF about the dangers of chlorine contains one sentence that caught my eye:

„Wasser verstärkt die oxidative und ätzende Wirkung von Chlor“
(Water exacerbates the corrosive effect of chlorine (because hydrochlorid acid is formed through the moisture

So why would medical experts then hose down these alleged „chlorine“ victims? Of course they would not. So this too, seems to show that the whole scene was staged.

Posted by: Cassandra | Apr 17 2018 18:02 utc | 4

As a lurker for the past couple of years I will attempt to post....
I am wondering what the impact of USA naval assets (carrier group) enter the Med will be.
That and the intended purpose....
Also; what sort of PLN ships are present?
The restraint on part of the RF is astounding, despite claims by some that it indicates a lack of
resolve. Based on the info regarding targets and success rates of various missiles I cannot help
but to think that some "red phone" conversations happened prior to the strike.
In addition: there was a hypothesis put forth that the SAA et. al. made a move from Idlib area
to Ghouta to thwart an imminent attempt to overrun Damascus. Based on movements of USA
air assets from Turkey to Jordan as well as armour units deployed in the latter this seems
plausible. Any thoughts?

Posted by: Chevrus | Apr 17 2018 18:02 utc | 5

Alleged Israeli attack on southern Syrian airstrip last night, still tentatively reported on SouthFront but now "officially" denied by SANA and not remarked at all by Russia. Lots of twitter activity from various accounts in Lebanon, Syria, and Israel reporting jet activity, successful interception, and even a big explosion around Golan Heights...

What is going on here?

Posted by: WJ | Apr 17 2018 18:07 utc | 6


The French govt also argues that the use of CW in East-Ghouta was both in a tactical and strategical sense a military stroke of genius but I’ll spare you the BS except for one argument:

The „strategic“ aspect was that Assad wanted to punish the civilians in „rebel-held“ areas and by creating „terreur et panic“ they achieved their aim of surrender.

„Because the war is not over for Assad, he wants to demonstrate thru these ruthless attacks, that resistance is futile …“

This is baloney of course because the Russians and the SAA are winning and have painstakingly negotiated with the „rebels“ and arranged for them to be evacuated in buses to Idlib. (Can anyone imagine the US-military doing such a thing after 7yrs of war?)

AND President Assad knows very well that the civilians in rebel-held areas were captives, treated like slaves, starved for food (sold by the rebels at exorbitant prices) and brutally executed if they refused to live under Sharia-law. So there was absolutely no need to „punish“ them for anything.

(„Good heavens!“) fmr. British military brass (even SF) now disagree with the French „evaluation“ and their own government:

but the French stick to their surreal script ….

„Given the operational situation in Eastern-Ghouta on April 7, we estimate with high-confidence that the responsibility (for the non-existent CW-attack) can be attributed to the Syrian Regime“.
(Sound familiar?)

And finally they put in this „disclaimer“ when they say

„Les services francaises … are not in the possession of any information which would support the thesis, that these armed groups in East-Ghouta have endeavored to acquire CW for themselves or that they were already available to them.“/BLOCKQUOTE>

(Now that is a BIG Lie …even the MSM knows that the "rebels" have used CW ( Aleppo see Scott Ritter on this, Carla del Ponte, Seymour Hersh, Vanessa Beeley, etc.)

„Furthermore we regard a manipulation of the released pictures as implausible, because the groups present in Ghouta had no access to the means necessary to exercise a communication-manouver of this magnitude“

this absurd claim does not even deserve a comment…)

The biggest lie comes at the end when they claim that

Assad has not declared all his CW to the OPCW,
has kept a clandestine CW-programm all the time (since 2013
has intensified the use of CW continually and that the Russians are in on this.

And then follow the (by now familiar) highly-manipulative phrases which are supposed to be imprinted on our brains now:

Undoubtedly a chemical attack was launched against civilians on April 7 in Douma
There is no other plausible scenario then the action of the SAA as part of a major offensive to retake East-Ghouta
Russia has undeniably actively supported these operations and the clandestine policy of the SARG for the use of CW

Sources: (German) (Scott Ritter)

Posted by: Cassandra | Apr 17 2018 18:08 utc | 7

I can hardly believe that I actually read an article like this.

First they delay the OPCW then they claim that Russia and Syria cleaned up the site - several acres where gas was spread all over but those Russians caN clean it all in 24 hours, every trace. They can also hide all the bodies.

Now we here that the medical staff are intimidated and can't say who was treated for what?

But...but...where are the 500 victims???

This is shear desperation and totally P-A-T-H-E-T-I-C

Posted by: Babyl-on | Apr 17 2018 18:14 utc | 8

@5 Chevrus,

The attempt to coordinate a ground assault of Damascus with a US-Nato aerial bombardment leading to the decapitation of the regime was a key part of the original March plan as reported by Theyssan, Magnier, and in a recent Sputnik article detailing the capture of embedded U.K. operatives in Ghouta. There were reports on the night of the strike of coordinated al-Islam and Daesh ground attacks in the country, but I do not know the details. In general, I think the US-UK played through the original March script with modifications occasioned by necessity, and are now thinking through a plan to repeat that script somehow. Others disagree. We are probably all wrong.

Posted by: WJ | Apr 17 2018 18:14 utc | 9

maybe you need this

Posted by: Helen Stillburn | Apr 17 2018 18:14 utc | 10

"There is no other plausible scenario" means "I cannot think of any other explanation". Put that way, it is obviously a confession of inadequacy rather than an objective statement.

Posted by: Tom Welsh | Apr 17 2018 18:15 utc | 11


The public will totally buy it. We have been conditioned to fear the Russians for a reason after all. Anybody in their vicinity would tell them what they want to hear--otherwise they could get Skripaled.

Posted by: WJ | Apr 17 2018 18:18 utc | 12


Also, the source for the Guardian piece turns out to be a kind of international White Helmets parent group--the UOSSM. They played a role in the 2017 chemical attack investigation and later had to withdraw their testimony as unqualified:

Posted by: WJ | Apr 17 2018 18:26 utc | 13

Wall Street Journal is reporting that Erik Prince (founder of notorious mercenary army, Blackwater, and brother of current Secretary of Education, Betsy De Vos) is negotiating with Trump Administration to build mercenary army to replace US soldiers in Syria. They are looking for Saudi Arabia to partially fund it.

This privatization of war could be what Trump meant when he said US troops would be leaving Syria, and "other people" will take over.

Posted by: Daniel | Apr 17 2018 18:39 utc | 14

Re: but the French stick to their surreal script ….

„Given the operational situation in Eastern-Ghouta on April 7, we estimate with high-confidence that the responsibility (for the non-existent CW-attack) can be attributed to the Syrian Regime“.

I guess this is a matter of national pride and tradition. They invented surrealism after all. Although "we estimate with high-confidence that" could be also impressionistic: impressions are the higher truth.

Re: otherwise they could get Skripaled. ??? Does it mean "Do what we say if you do not want to share the fate of your pets", slow, painful death?

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 17 2018 18:42 utc | 15

The Barzeh Institute in Damascus was part of a larger complex, Damascus no. 1 Tech institute, HIAST. (higher inst. of app. sci. and tech.)

It is well respected in some European countries (exchange of students, graduates, qualifications, etc. .. see the relations with France for ex.) I couldn’t turn up a map of the district with clear labels / the damage… this article gives it a try (don’t agree with all it says, see maps):

Sott news

It was (imho) just an ordinary lab facility, probably over-used, for multiple purposes, incl. training students. The very idea that chem weapons were developed / produced there is grotesque. Note that in the pix of the rubble (google it) one can intuit that it was at least partially emptied out before the attack. The usual stuff which spills about, like furniture, computers, file cabinets, curtains, piles of paper, sci. equipment like huge fridges, lab benches, blackboards, endless chairs, lights, etc. is missing.

Posted by: Noirette | Apr 17 2018 18:44 utc | 16

I think there was an attack last night which involved Russians and this is why it has been hushed up. Russians claim that they will defend Syria only if they themselves are attacked - but that's not craven enough, so when Russians are actually attacked, they hush it up.

Posted by: paul | Apr 17 2018 18:44 utc | 17

Can't remember where I read it, but the Barzah research center is where the OPCW hangs its hat when it’s conducting investigations in Syria. On March 13 of this year, it was certified by the OPCW as free of chemical weapons and technology.

It's work included the "chemical and bacteriological pollution of rivers, sewage treatment and the construction of waste water treatment facilities, plastics, [and] high performance lubricants." (.) So it would have had chemical analytical technology. And almost beyond doubt, it is where Russia and Syrian officials would have stored samples from Douma along with chain of custody proof in anticipation of OPCW investigators' arrival on site.

This suggests that the timing of the missile attack might have been aimed at destroying any such samples and chain of custody evidence before the OPCW began work, originally scheduled for the next day. The destruction of the center might also explain why there was a one-day delay in OPCW investigators beginning their work.

Posted by: Paul E. Merrell, J.D. | Apr 17 2018 18:46 utc | 18

Can British Navy defend itself against Russian bombshells?

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 17 2018 18:47 utc | 19

Of interest, since I haven't seen any links to the information before:

Mohsen Shebli⁦
‏ @_mohsenshebli

Social Media reports : 2 Saudi officers and 1 British officer fighting alongside terrorist groups were captured by the #SAA in the #EasternGhouta #Syria

6:55 AM - 7 Mar 2018 (with photo).

See also;

Shaamtimes says in March 2018 a group of British intelligence officers was taken captive by the Syrian troops in Kafr Batna.[1] Another three soldiers were captured during a battle in Eastern Ghouta, among them an American and two Israelis.

The Sultanate of Oman was the one to negotiate a release of the captives on behalf of the USA and Great Britain.

There may surely be a connection between the release of the officers possessing some classified materials and a visit of U.S. Defense Secretary to Oman on March 11, 2018.

Both the successful clearance operation in Eastern Ghouta by the Syrian Army and the capture of the intelligence officers could shock the Western countries deeply. It also may serve to explain the early U.S. threats to strike Damascus.

A Jaunger, International Coalition Soldiers Captured by Syrian Army, Inside Syria Media Center (2 April 2018),

[1] Kafr Batna is in Eastern Ghouta. SOHR reported that the Syrian Army took control of that town on 17 March 2018. Anon., Fears for the Lives of Civilians after the Regime Forces Advanced in the Southwestern Pocket of the Eastern Ghouta under Heavy Fire Cover, SOHR (17 March 2018),

Posted by: Paul E. Merrell, J.D. | Apr 17 2018 18:50 utc | 20


Yes. We are all just Guinea Pigs to Putin!
UOSSM looks to be a prime front for French military intelligence.
Perhaps their recent "testimony" is not unrelated to the problems Macron
is having spelling out what, exactly, the French intelligence confirming the attack
amounts to.

The thing is, France, if you want to play with the big boys here,
you first need to do a much better job of impoverishing your citizens,
lowering the level of their education, worsening their health care,
and removing all domestic safety nets to the extent that you can.
Your citizens are uppity and skeptical because they have the relative
leisure to think. Remove from them this leisure, and then they too will believe.
You moron.

Posted by: WJ | Apr 17 2018 18:53 utc | 21


Why stop a war when you could privatize it! Brilliant!
That's the kind of American genius that truly makes the
world a better place.

Posted by: WJ | Apr 17 2018 18:57 utc | 22

Paul 17

What is the meaning of "craven"? my Mac's dictionary fails to post
a meaning for it other than a proper name.

Posted by: CarlD | Apr 17 2018 19:03 utc | 23

"There is no other plausible scenario" means "I cannot think of any other explanation". Put that way, it is obviously a confession of inadequacy rather than an objective statement.

Posted by: Tom Welsh | Apr 17, 2018 2:15:02 PM | 11

Actually, this is not a confession but a symptom. In the area of expert systems there is a notion of "closed world assumption", running inference engine on the set of collected facts with the assumption that only those thing may happen that are reflected in those facts. An example is that (those of us who drive) we believe that turning key in the ignition will start the engine, pressing the brake pedal will slow down the car etc., and that allows us to operate efficiently EVEN THOUGH we may recall that when the battery was down turning the key in ignition was futile, and after postponing break repair for too long, break pedal was also sadly non-operational.

There are two points here. One point is that very little can be said with certainty using "pure logic", so we need some shortcuts. So far, so good. But who controls the content of that "closed world" that contains "everything that is plausible"? One can argue that a British Prime Minister and other members of the Privy Council would tell a total, raw, unfermented, pungent cow manure at most once per decade, so the chance that this is such a rare occasion is minuscule. But that of course never happens.

In practice either we keep such events in "our closed world" and thus another case is "plausible", or we do not, and in that case we cannot make any reference to it, however hypothetical or dismissive. I could restate the symptomatic sentence with an impossible addition in square brackets:

"There is no other possible scenario [on the admittedly short list that I am allowed/able to consider]".

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 17 2018 19:14 utc | 24

Thank you, Lozion @ 3 for placing the link to the Engdahl interview. I read it before coming here and while much of the information won't be new here, the overall thrust and tying together of resources is enormously helpful in understanding where we are today. The saying, 'Follow the money' might better be 'Follow the gold'.

Posted by: juliania | Apr 17 2018 19:21 utc | 25

@3 lozion... thanks for the link... an interesting note to it.. jeffery sachs is mentioned quite a bit due his role in the shock therapy approach to russia in the 90's... he was recently interviewed on morning joe.. what he has to say is well worth the watch.. 5 minute video..

Posted by: james | Apr 17 2018 19:23 utc | 26

With Russia talking about selling S-300 systems to Syria and Trump talking about having the Saudi's move in and US move out, the future looks a little brighter (if Trump is genuine about pulling US out).
With a few S-300 systems parked at Deir Ezzor, Syria would soon get its oilfields back plus a lot of territory east of the Euphrates.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Apr 17 2018 19:23 utc | 27

Trump's Trade War vs China will end in defeat as the time's long past for China to be hurt by the various tariffs and sanctions being applied. This backgrounder concludes thusly:

"A concerted Washington attack on Chinese trade policies may be all but inevitable. Complex global supply chains will suffer, while prices inflate. Naturally, Beijing will move key pieces in its global asset chessboard, which could affect US bonds and equities.

"No one will profit from a trade war between two huge, interconnected economies accounting for nearly 25% of global trade, 20% of global services, and more than a third of global output.

"Yet even if that was to happen, it would not be enough to halt the long profitable march of digital China."

This report's more up-to-date and contains a link to a PDF doc entitled Made in China: 2025 laying out Xi's game plan. Then there's this recently published Global Times editorial dealing with China's first round of counter-sanctions on the Outlaw US Empire. Pepe concludes thusly:

"US industrialists are in a very delicate position – as they have massively invested in China; transferred technology to China; and even use Chinese technology themselves – as supply lines are global. If a tech wall would ever be erected between American and Chinese companies, Europeans would gladly replace the Americans."

Then of course, Trump lies about China and Russia being currency manipulators as explained here.

It appears that Trump's Trade War is already a complete failure just as with the many sanctions levied against Russia for much the same reason--both Russia and China can exist and grow their economies without needing the Exceptional Nation whatsoever as the ball and chain is actually attached to Uncle Scam's leg.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 17 2018 19:23 utc | 28

G7 Leaders Statement on Syria

"We the G7 Leaders...fully support all efforts made by the US, the UK and France to degrade the Assad regime's ability to use chemical weapons and to deter any future use, demonstrated by their actions taken on April 13. This response was limited, proportionate and necessary..."

Welcome to the 'rules based international order'...

Posted by: John Gilberts | Apr 17 2018 19:25 utc | 29

contemptibly lacking in courage; cowardly.

Mcraven, MacRaven -- a chap or a lass of Scottish descent

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 17 2018 19:25 utc | 30

"paul" is a troll who likes to stop by and drop a turd in the punchbowl around here from time to time. Without fail, his posts always denigrate Russia, Russians, Putin, etc. In a perfect world he'd choke on a pretzel, but only the good die young.

Posted by: SlapHappy | Apr 17 2018 19:26 utc | 31

Yes, craven's a very apt adjective describing those in Western/G-7 leadership positions since 1980.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 17 2018 19:31 utc | 32

@29 LoL

Posted by: Lozion | Apr 17 2018 19:35 utc | 33

S300s to Syria is a threat, not a promise. Israel would likely attack the system if installed. There would probably need to be an agreement between Russia and Israel for this to happen without increasing the risk of a larger conflict. Seems to me a negotiating position not likely to be followed through unless diplomacy is abandoned.

Posted by: the pessimist | Apr 17 2018 19:37 utc | 34


Israel no longer enter Syrian airspace since losing a couple of aircraft to the S-200's. They will not attack S-300 systems.
There was an editorial in the Global Times not long back about China and I think Russia giving smaller countries the means to defend themselves. I think China and Russia will be acting on this since the Skripal narrative and the US,UK,France strike on Syria.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Apr 17 2018 19:44 utc | 35

Cassandra @4: The sentence in the BASF manual is not "Wasser verstärkt die oxidative und ätzende Wirkung von Chlor" but "Wasser verstärkt die oxidative und ätzende Wirkung“ and refers to hypochlorous acid.

Otherwise, thanks.

Posted by: Cherrycoke | Apr 17 2018 19:49 utc | 36

Geroman documents on his Twitter via retweets Swedish and Dutch news stations falsifying translations of Syrians being interviewed. One example:

"#Swedish @TV4 totally lying when they interview this woman totally wrong translation. Woman says USA, @TV4 translates " Russia, Iran & regime must leave our lands"."

It's gone well beyond craven. As Murray wrote, it's now Goebbels Land.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 17 2018 19:55 utc | 37

Erik Prince is an extremely well-connected, jet-set private MIC contractor. This hired gun became known after 911 as the boss of Blackwater. Need Dirty Deeds done extra-expensive? Who you gonna call? Not Ghostbusters.

Young buck, Erik came of age during the Dick Cheney Cost++++ Admin (8yrs), he stuck around (with name change - Xe) with fake liberal, fake populist, grinning O-bomber (8yrs) - continued to milk the public teat for multi-millions and he's still doing it with Trump (2yrs+). Like Henry Kissinger, there's no indication that he will ever go away. Even got his sister hired on to destroy public education.

Does this guy know where the bodies are buried, or what?

Posted by: fastfreddy | Apr 17 2018 19:56 utc | 38


If there is a buildup in the gulf, which appears to be the case, there is concern that a barrage of missiles will rain down on Syria. US Gas prices are increasing. Also a bad omen.

Posted by: fastfreddy | Apr 17 2018 20:07 utc | 39

Correction: I suppose the build up will be in the Mediterranean Sea and not "the gulf".

Posted by: fastfreddy | Apr 17 2018 20:12 utc | 40


Prince is in big trouble with the Special Prosecutor. He met in the Seychelles with a man who may have been trying to set up a back channel for Trump to Putin.

Prince would be nailed for the process crime of lying to Federal investigators/House Committee.

George Nader is the guy who the Feds are using.

Prince's sister is Secretary of Education, Betsy de Vost, Billionaire who the Liberal Cult hates with a passion. It makes her brother a target.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Apr 17 2018 20:46 utc | 41

The UN Charter established six main organs of the United Nations, including the Security Council and the General Assembly. It gives primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security to the Security Council, which may meet whenever peace is threatened. The five permanent members of the Security Council are: China, France, Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Recently three permanent Security Council members who share primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security , US UK & France, attacked Syria, a violation of the UN Charter and a perversion of their exalted positions.

The General Assembly occupies a central position as the chief deliberative, policymaking and representative organ of the United Nations. The Assembly may take action in cases of a threat to the peace, breach of peace or act of aggression, when the Security Council has failed to act owing to the negative vote of a permanent member. There has been no negative vote in this Syria matter but there has been a gross violation of the UN Charter by the actions of the three UNSC permanent members.

Accordingly, a special session of the General Assembly should be called by a majority of the Members of the United Nations and the three countries should be censured for their illegal attack on Syria.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 17 2018 21:05 utc | 42

My first post here so greetings all.

Thinking about the potential delivery of S-300 SAMs to Syria, one wonders if Syrian troops have been undergoing training on the deployment and use of these SAMs for some time? As far as I am aware these technologies are hardly 'plug in and play' and I don't imagine that Damasacus would gain much from a premature deployment of this hardware. This is after all an extremely tough neighbourhood; think of the roles that air power and air defence have played in the conflicts with Israel in particular since 1967.

Expanding on this and with a nod to the strategic and tactical relationship between Syria and Iran and the presence of Iranian milita and military assets in Syria, perhaps the Iranians could be providing assistance either in situ or even via training facilities in Iran itself? I am aware that Iran finally took delivery of upgraded versions of the S-300 in recent years. Just a thought in any case.

Posted by: Glossopteris | Apr 17 2018 21:06 utc | 43

@9 WJ: Thanks for the clarification. Kinda makes one wonder what a retooled attempts might
look like. At some point there has to be a "South Ossetia Tipping Point" of sorts.

Posted by: Chevrus | Apr 17 2018 21:06 utc | 44

DB @40--

That's my assessment also--the General Assembly must act, but censure's not nearly the punishment for this and the many previous crimes those 3 have committed.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 17 2018 21:18 utc | 45

I've been puzzling over the frequent claims that Western Special Forces were "embedded" with the Jihadists.

This is an article by Seymour Hersh, via a comment on SST by "ISL", about the Khan Shaykhun alleged poison gas attack -

- and this is the passage that caught my attention:-

"One reason for the Russian message to Washington about the intended target was to ensure that any CIA asset or informant who had managed to work his way into the jihadist leadership was forewarned not to attend the meeting. I was told that the Russians passed the warning directly to the CIA. “They were playing the game right,” the senior adviser said."

We know that Syrian Intelligence had penetrated many Jihadist groups. It is therefore likely that Western Intelligence agents had done the same.

Could the existence of such "assets" or "informants" account for the frequent reports that there are Western Special Forces embedded with the Jihadis?

Could that also account for the fact that if those Western "assets" are in place then neither the Syrians nor the Russians would wish to expose them when they are found amongst groups of defeated or surrendered Jihadists? That would account for the frequent complaints on the more partisan pro-Syrian websites that the Russians keep passing up the chance of a propaganda victory by putting such "assets" on public display when found.

The whole question of Western support for the Jihadists in Syria is a vexed one. For my part I believe that we went further than merely hoping they'd unseat Assad. We were instrumental in supplying arms, training, and indeed foreign Juhadists. We did this on the transparent pretext that we were helping "moderate" rebels. We ourselves were therefore largely responsible for the death and destruction visited on the Syrian people.

But, for all the claims made, I've seen no proof put forward that we went further than that and were directing or assisting the Jihadist onslaught. Nor that we were doing this indirectly through mercenaries and the like. This is in contrast to our activities in the Ukraine, where it was clear that Western forces of one sort or another were directing or assisting the Ukrainian forces.

Perhaps there's been no proof put forward because it simply didn't happen in Syria. Those claimed "embedded" Western Forces were merely intelligence "assets" of the type Sy Hersh refers to. Is this a reasonable conclusion to come to on the basis of what is known of our involvement in the Syrian conflict?

Posted by: English Outsider | Apr 17 2018 21:19 utc | 46

I noticed the same misleading translations of Syr refugeed on French radios and tvs for years

Posted by: Mina | Apr 17 2018 21:20 utc | 47

English Outsider 44

"I believe that we went further than merely hoping they'd unseat Assad."

There was a credible interview of an ISIS commander sometime last year, he stated that they had direct guidance and on-the ground advisors from many countries, implied US, UK, and Israel at least were supplying things like maps, satellite data and other information about their opponents. He spoke of a fully equipped, modern command center.

In addition there is US news about training, arming and paying these attackers. The US has supplied false end user certificates for literally tons of armaments and munitions bought from eastern European countries that have ramped up factories to produce AK-47s, ammunition and more. The EUCs state that the destination for the weapons is US however they are passed on to rebel forces.

I believe "we" went further than merely hoping too.

Posted by: jonku | Apr 17 2018 21:42 utc | 48

Oh there is proof all right. Guys like this African American "muslim", a "former comedian" who was on some sort of embedded mission in Aleppo. His cover was of a religious "journalist". Take away the beard and the "bio" and he's clearly a spec ops guy. During Aleppo's "fall"(liberation) he was filming himself in the location where days later, piles of massacred locals were found after the jihadis were bussed away. Sorry no link maybe someone can help me out.

Posted by: sejomoje | Apr 17 2018 21:51 utc | 49

@ 14 Dave, let them privatize their Syrian war effort. It will be a clusterfuck and continuous looting of public funds like everything else they privatize.

Posted by: Augustin L | Apr 17 2018 21:56 utc | 50

jonku @ 46

Also "we" are further involved than merely hoping in Yemen, and were in Libya, and were in Iraq, boots on the ground or barefoot.

Posted by: juliania | Apr 17 2018 21:59 utc | 51

Adding that this Bilal Abdul Kareem or whatever he'd renamed himself studied Arabic in the middle east for years in order to "be able to read the Koran". Who.Does.This. Not even Louis Farrakhan. Certainly not your run-of-the-mill African American convert to Islam, which he portrays himself as. So to me it sounds like a CIA or similar education, with a very flimsy cover.

And certainly there are others like him w better cover and less facetime exposure.

Posted by: sejomoje | Apr 17 2018 21:59 utc | 52

Some, like me, prefer to read transcripts than watch interview videos. Here's the BBC/Lavrov HardTalk interview transcript. One is clearly all about objectivity while the other promotes fantasies. It's entirely possible to remain calm when the facts are on your side, which tells you why the BBC reporter's agitated.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 17 2018 22:03 utc | 53


It's a good question.

My response: where's the distinction between "arming and training" and "directing and assisting"?

Then, if you do find a distinction there: where's the distinction between "arming and training in the field" and "directing and assisting"?

Posted by: Castellio | Apr 17 2018 22:03 utc | 54

English Outsider @ 44:

The Syrian Arab Army apparently found a makeshift chemistry lab in East Ghouta in mid-March this year after the area was liberated from the jihadis. Sharmine Narwani was one of the first journalists if not the first or only reporter to visit the site. You can see some of the photos taken of the site and the equipment (some of it with American brand names) within at this link:

The Bulgarian journalist Dilyana Gaytandzhieva has been investigating a massive covert weapons shipment network linking eastern Europe and the Caucasus region (Azerbaijan in particular) to Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, apparently supervised by the CIA and other Western intel agencies. Weapons and equipment from eastern European countries were being flown under diplomatic cover by the state Azerbaijani airline company Silk Way Airlines to the Middle East and then forwarded on to jihadi groups in Syria and Iraq. has been running a series of reports on a small US firm Purple Shovel which has been running weaponry from eastern Europe including Belarus to Syrian jihadi groups:

Posted by: Jen | Apr 17 2018 22:09 utc | 55

Seems jaw-dropping Russia denied Syria's request for S300 given Israel is now making almost daily bombing os Syria. What was Putin thinking?

A bit depressing. The only thing that might be saving Russia is the bloated defense weapons of the U.S. geared too much for profit.

Posted by: timbers | Apr 17 2018 22:16 utc | 56

English Outsider @ 44:

More information from Bulgarian newspaper Trud (Gaytandzhieva's employer before she was fired) including copies of documents about the Silk Way Airlines "diplomatic" flights between Europe and the Middle East in which weaponry - some of it heavy weaponry - was flown to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf oil sheikhdom sponsors of the jihadis in Syria. These documents implicate not only the US but also several EU countries including Bulgaria, Denmark, Germany and Sweden.

If Gaytanzhieva sounds familiar to some MoA barflies, that's because she's the one who tweeted about Vil Mirzayanov's million-dollar home in Colorado in a recent MoA post on the Skripal poisoning incident.

Posted by: Jen | Apr 17 2018 22:18 utc | 57

Jonku @ 46,

Thanks. The information in your penultimate paragraph is near as dammit certain. Also Israeli assistance, though the report from a UN observer was of an observation made at a distance. Also there's a lot of murky stuff about MI6 or their pals doing propaganda work though I doubt we'll ever get to the bottom of that. If it wasn't Obama romancing, then his admission that they "didn't throw a bunch of airstrikes" at ISIS when they were going into Iraq, and that that was to put pressure on the then Iraqi government, is further proof that we weren't interested in saving the local populations from atrocities but were using ISIS for our own purposes. I suppose my intense disillusionment with Obama stems from the realisation then that he'd swallowed the Brzezinski nonsense and had bought into the Grand Chessboard; and tough luck on the pawns. That was when for me he ceased to be the mouthy, ineffectual but well intentioned loser and became the standard model Drone King. Welcome to the world of the neocon psychos, Mr President.

So there's all that. As you say, we did go further than "merely hoping".

But where's the proof for the pre-penultimate paragraph? Are the Syrians now showing journalists round the remnants of the command centre? Are the more credible pro-Syrian journalists giving us chapter and verse? Do we not undercut our true statement that we've visited mayhem on the Syrians by advancing that further unproved statement that our forces fought with the Jihadis?

Maybe it'll come out later, but nothing solid's come out yet and there's been time for it. That's why I put in my query. Maybe we should put up or shut up on that one.

By the way, "we" means just that. We voted the bastards in, after all.

Posted by: English Outsider | Apr 17 2018 22:26 utc | 58

English Outsider @ 44:

Should add also that I've seen articles and comments on alt news websites and blogs suggesting that US air force planes were providing air cover for ISIS fighters on the ground while fighting SAA troops.

Posted by: Jen | Apr 17 2018 22:36 utc | 59

Douma Chemical Attack False Flag Operation Exposed

" I think there was a pre-planned coordination to stage this chemical attack."

Posted by: John Gilberts | Apr 17 2018 22:43 utc | 60

So while Syria burns and turns into a quagmire in which France seems to be jumping deeper, over in Africa, specifically Mali, AQ is turning up the heat.

So the French propagandamedia blame this on the UN, yep:

With one Burkinabe peacekeeper killed and another dozen injured, including 7 French, this was close.

I wonder how long the French can keep this up before a major strike (lol, speaking of the French) hits.

Posted by: fx | Apr 17 2018 22:49 utc | 61

@51 Thanks for the transcript. Stephen Saker is being intentionally provocative and impolite. His audience expects it. It's really just entertainment.

Lavrov knows the game and he handled it in a mature, sensible way.

Posted by: dh | Apr 17 2018 22:56 utc | 62

Lozion @ 3: Thanks for the link....

Posted by: ben | Apr 17 2018 23:18 utc | 63

Finally some traction...Rand Paul throws Wolf Blitzer a big curve ball on CNN, says he is suspecting this is another false flag...



Posted by: oldenyoung | Apr 17 2018 23:18 utc | 64

from the Independent
The search for truth in the rubble of Douma – and one doctor’s doubts over the chemical attack
Exclusive: Robert Fisk visits the Syria clinic at the centre of a global crisis

This is the story of a town called Douma, a ravaged, stinking place of smashed apartment blocks – and of an underground clinic whose images of suffering allowed three of the Western world’s most powerful nations to bomb Syria last week. There’s even a friendly doctor in a green coat who, when I track him down in the very same clinic, cheerfully tells me that the “gas” videotape which horrified the world – despite all the doubters – is perfectly genuine.
War stories, however, have a habit of growing darker. For the same 58-year old senior Syrian doctor then adds something profoundly uncomfortable: the patients, he says, were overcome not by gas but by oxygen starvation in the rubbish-filled tunnels and basements in which they lived, on a night of wind and heavy shelling that stirred up a dust storm. . . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 17 2018 23:41 utc | 65

Peace is breaking out in Korea -- bad for US chair-warriors.
Korea Times--

Seoul is seeking to broadcast the upcoming inter-Korean summit as well as a joint press conference between President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un live, a top presidential aide said Tuesday.

A hotline between the two leaders is likely to be set up around Friday, and they may be able to have their first phone call early next week, he said.

Presidential chief of staff Im Jong-seok, who is leading the government’s inter-Korean summit preparation committee, said officials from the North and the South would discuss the broadcasting issue at a working-level meeting on protocol, security and media coverage, today.

“We want to broadcast the historic moment live,” Im said in a media briefing 10 days before the summit scheduled for April 27. . . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 18 2018 0:21 utc | 66

Confused!!! How dare Larry Kudlow suggest Nikki got confused!!!

>White House press secretary Sarah Sanders insisted more sanctions were merely under consideration. On Tuesday, top White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Haley "got ahead of the curve."

"She's done a great job," Kudlow said of Haley. "She's a very effective ambassador. There might have been some momentary confusion about that. But if you talk to Steve Mnuchin at Treasury and so forth, he will tell you the same thing. They're in charge of this. We have had sanctions. Additional sanctions are under consideration but not implemented, and that's all."

Haley, speaking for the first time since the White House dialed back her claims, rejected the idea that she was confused.

"With all due respect, I don't get confused," Haley said in a statement read by Fox News' Dana Perino and confirmed by CBS News Tuesday. <

Posted by: dh | Apr 18 2018 0:47 utc | 67


Stormy Daniels’ Sketch Sure Looks Like Her Husband

Hmm... sketchy. Wonder how long until this is buried. Regardless, Daniels is busted.

Posted by: Anna | Apr 18 2018 0:48 utc | 68

They call DPRK's Kim crazy-- yeah, crazy like a fox. Kim's "denuclearization" includes putting a damper on the DPRK nuke program, and also the removal of US troops from the peninsula.
SecState presumer Pompeo recently (he may not be approved) showed he doesn't get it. "DPRK must stop its nuclear program and only then will the US provide economic aid."
So when the DPRK plan sinks in to Washington, it will be: Okay, you can curb your nuke program, but we can't possibly remove US troops, they are needed to defend ROK. That's not on the table.
That's where Kim's strategy kicks in -- US, you don't need to defend anything. We have peace! So don't let the door hit ya. Bye-bye.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 18 2018 0:55 utc | 69

Engdhal's lecture @ 3, is a must listen, if understanding the "Russia did it" meme puzzles anyone.

Posted by: ben | Apr 18 2018 0:59 utc | 70

@ 51 karlof1... thanks for the transcript with lavrov... wow.. the answers to bbc questions were all bang on! the interviewer came across like a jackass...

@ 68 ben... i agree... that is also a link worth reviewing..

Posted by: james | Apr 18 2018 1:06 utc | 71

The excellent power of peer review:

Agreed on the Engdahl transcript/interview @3 - don't miss it.

And, okay...on my way to read the Lavrov interview @51

Posted by: Grieved | Apr 18 2018 1:15 utc | 72

@51 karlof1

Thanks for the Lavrov interview transcript - I never could have watched it. Lavrov is 100% real, and the other guy is just an English punk, of the false-tough-rude kind that they have specialized in producing for, all of my life certainly, and perhaps for much longer before then.

But more than that, thanks for this: "entirely possible to remain calm when the facts are on your side"

Wonderful observation. Something I had never quite seen.

Posted by: Grieved | Apr 18 2018 1:34 utc | 73

English Outsider @ 44: This is where it all began, and still continues.

Hiring Jihadists to destabilize other governments is no secret..

Posted by: ben | Apr 18 2018 1:40 utc | 74

Thanks! And for an encore, Korean events are rapidly evolving.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 18 2018 1:44 utc | 75

usa daily propaganda press briefing from today..

"Part of the concern, Matt, is the longer that it takes to get OPCW inspectors in to take a look at soil samples and other information that they can get on the ground, that delay further degrades any evidence that’s on the ground. So that is our chief concern. We want them to be able to get in as quickly as possible, as safely as possible, but we also want that evidence to be as pure as possible for their investigation."

you mean like how the UK gave that same opportunity to russia when it first blamed russia for the skripal event? righto..

matt lee last response "QUESTION: Okay. But – so – but you’re just saying then – because the bottom line here is you’re saying, “Just trust us.”

"QUESTION: But you’ve not mentioned sarin. You’ve – or has that actually been --

MS NAUERT: In that background briefing, that was mentioned. We have information that leads us to believe that both chlorine and sarin were used in the attack.
QUESTION: Hi. Thanks. You still stand by the proof that you say the U.S. has on this, right? You --

MS NAUERT: I certainly do, yes. "

" QUESTION: Could I ask – hi. Could I ask you to square to – square for us your desire to have the inspectors go in and establish the veracity of evidence on the one hand, but on the other hand your rush to attack and strike Syria? Could you square that for us?"

MS NAUERT: The United States has excellent intelligence gathering. Other countries do as well. We do not take these decisions, we do not make these decisions, lightly. As we saw what happened with information that led us to believe that sarin and chlorine gas were used in this most recent attack, the United States, the UK, and France got together, had conversations about telling Bashar al-Assad that this has to stop. And we believe in the efforts that took place on Friday night that we showed them that we are very serious about this, and that the world will stand up, the world will act together, and we will not tolerate the use of these illegal chemical weapons to kill innocent men, women, and children.

QUESTION: Right. I am trying to understand that the inspectors, the OPCW inspectors, were supposed to go in on Saturday, and the strike happened Saturday morning. I mean, they could’ve waited, like 20 hours, 24 hours, to ensure that the whole world can see that evidence.

MS NAUERT: Okay, Said, once again, we have our own intelligence. We have our own intelligence. The OPCW is something that we back strongly, but it can also take quite a bit of time for the OPCW to gather its information and compile a report. If we look back to last year – and I can have my colleagues double check this right now – I think it took quite a few months, at least several months, before the OPCW was able to come out with its official report about what substance was used on the ground in Khan Shaykhun.

So I would ask you: Should the United States and her allies wait around for Bashar al-Assad to use more chemical substances on his people? Should we wait around for that formal investigation that could take months and months when we have seen nine chemical attacks take place this year alone? I think the United States was right in its decision, backed by our allies, to take action and show Bashar al-Assad that he will be held to account."

see the link for more stupidity..

Posted by: james | Apr 18 2018 1:56 utc | 76


If we were talking about different tribes of marmots, watching the kestrel hawk tribes herd them and slaughter them at will, (as Afghanistan was debauched into an empty resource space for the taking), then we'd have more time to notice their range is shrinking, the wild grasses are gone to dust, and after America's flash-in-the-pan fracking wildcatter finance-bleed fizzles in Year 3 to 5, a thirsty USA, EU, INDIA and CHINA will inevitably turn Peak Oil into the Sixth Extinction Event, while the marmots and kestrel play out their dance of eons, too many prey, too many predators, too many prey ad infinitum, until the sun goes Red Giant over NYC, or we're left schlepping back and forth to our Work or Starve gulags, while the Kestrels drive slowly past in their gas hogs, laughing and pointing. But, it passes the time to chatter about the marmots, waiting for the grocery shelves to empty.

Happy trails!

Posted by: Chipnik | Apr 18 2018 2:09 utc | 77

I am reposting a few quotes collected by "Tony" at craigmurrays's blog because I found them quite moving and thought those here would as well.

Hans Borgelt, journalist in Nazi Germany:

“We felt…I felt relatively free. I always thought I could write what I wanted. But years later, when I read the articles I’d written then, I was surprised by the inhibited style in which they were written. As if my brain were standing to attention awaiting orders.”


“With the benefit of hindsight, however, we disciplined journalists so that, at critical times, we did not even need to give orders. A mere sign made clear to the press that there would be no discussion.”


“As a result, these journalists became servile heralds of the dictatorship. Dutifully, they anticipated the party line.”

(Hitler’s Henchmen “Quest” 30 November 2011).

Posted by: WJ | Apr 18 2018 2:52 utc | 78

From declassified French intelligence dossier on 4/7/18 Douma:

- The French services do not have any information to support the thesis that armed groups in Ghouta have sought to obtain or have had chemical weapons. In addition, they believe that a manipulation of massively disseminated images from Saturday, April 7 is not credible, especially since the groups present in the Ghouta do not have the means to carry out a communication maneuver of such magnitude.

In other words, French intelligence blows. (I am referring to the discovered caches of chemical weapons and the elaborate tunnel-structures under Douma.)

Posted by: WJ | Apr 18 2018 3:22 utc | 79


You say -

"Then, if you do find a distinction there: where's the distinction between "arming and training in the field" and "directing and assisting"?"

Unless we're logic chopping I have to confess I can find none. I think Putin's noble but as yet ineffectual UN Speech - "Do you even now not realise what you have done?" - will search us home in the coming years, as the facts of what we have done or caused to be done in Syria surface.

Many years ago I read an account by a young woman in Germany of her experiences up to 1945. Melitta Maschman had been a convinced Nazi and proud of the achievements of the Nazi years. That pride shines through her account, even though the account was written long after she had rejected her earlier convictions. Those convictions had been real enough too. From memory - I don't choose to read the book again - she was one of the few who attempted to keep the fight going even after the end of the war.

Melitta Maschman had a journey to make. Slowly, after the war, she had to come to terms with the fact that the time she had been so proud of was a time of horror. That the fighting men whose achievements she had been so proud of were also implicated in - or responsible for, as you imply the distinction is hair-splitting - the atrocities of the Eastern Front.

I think her account might have been genuine, as was her post-war rejection, though of course one can never tell from a book. Genuine or not, on a less dramatic, less monumental scale, that's the journey English and American patriots must slowly prepare for too. You must not be too critical if some of us are still reluctant to make that journey.

Thank you for your reply.

Posted by: English Outsider | Apr 18 2018 3:24 utc | 80

If this has been brought up by others here (have only skimmed today's comments and haven't looked at yesterday's) I apologize. But I'm wondering about the reported mass demonstrations in Raqqa yesterday in support of the Syrian Arab Army and against the American/Kurdish occupation. Ivan Sidorenko on Twitter posted a series of videos yesterday, and al-Masdar had an article about one of them. I'm surprised this has not been picked up on more widely as a significant development, especially two days after the tripartite aggression.

Al Masdar:

Sidorenko, e.g.:

Has anyone noticed if this has been picked up on on any of the Syrian tv news channels or elsewhere? What is this "RNN" source, and is there a website?

Posted by: Norumbega | Apr 18 2018 3:29 utc | 81

Do y’all know who “Site Intelligence” is? That’s the equivilent of SOHR. It was one woman with a computer who miraculously “leaked” all those ISIS videos BEFORE ISIS posted them! She was the source of the journalist beheading videos, etc. She’s an Israeli whose father was executed for spying for Israel.

One should take her posts seriously, because she is clearly connected.

Well, today's she's posting that Jihadists are planing “ISIS-Style” executions in new York and European cities.

Posted by: Daniel | Apr 18 2018 3:36 utc | 82

karlofi. I'd add that the Trump Administration is talking about resurrecting TPP (which was Trade War against China, but with other countries backing).

The excuse being floated is that Japan's Abe is demanding it as concession to our agreeing to talks with DPKR, but we all know Japan does't give the US demands. We put Abe in power in a "soft coup" because the Japanese were fed up with US military there.

Posted by: Daniel | Apr 18 2018 3:49 utc | 83

@78 English Outsider

It's always valuable to take the long view, because actually it's where the proof exists for the real view. Why should we think the scale of our impatience matches the scale of reality in the time over which it manifests?

Take your time. Whatever we think now will only begin to become solidified as history, forty years from now. And two hundred years from now they'll have a better view of these times we are living in.

But when they make the movies of these days, they'll make sure that the actors show how the people of this time didn't judge necessarily by words or concepts or identification with platforms, but by the test of if we feel comfortable in the presence of various individuals, or not.

I don't fully get your point of view yet, but we have the rest of our lives, no rush. I don't think anyone is really judging anyone on where it seems they stand today. We wouldn't be here in this forum if we didn't value discussion. And discussion always implies the potential for change. So let us continue with our discussion.

And walk on into the "future", as we in the present call it.

Posted by: Grieved | Apr 18 2018 4:11 utc | 84

Bizarre tweets by the Israeli News Agency

Israel prepares for attack on #YomHaatzmaut by Iran, #Hezbollah, Hamas. Exact scope, timing of attack is not defined, but #Israel is prepared to send #Iran back to the stone age if civilians are harmed.

#YomHazikaron #IDF #Jihad
@AP @Reuters @AFP @BBCWorld @wolfblitzer @nytimes
4:09 PM - 17 Apr 2018

Yom Hazikaron is Israeli Independence Day, but I thought that was back on Apr. 15th. You have to appreciate the other hashtags and Twitter accounts they added.

Other coincidences (in that tin-foil-hat kind of way):

- Weird claim by Israel for some sympathy because Iranian recon drone downed in February had explosives on board (ALL the larger ones like this have self-destruct charges to prevent capture, including US). The idea was to make Iran's drones more terrifying and an immediate threat than, say, Israel's armed drones it flies over Syria.

- Israel publishes map listing five Syrian airports/air bases that they claim Iran is using to deliver surface-to-surface missiles for the IRCG. Damascus, Aleppo, Deir EzZor, T-4 and one marked south of Damascus, but is actually east of it: Sayqal.

- Coincidentally, Israel presumably attacked the most hardened and probably the most defended air bases in the days after the US strike. Those Israeli targets were Shayrat AB with 40 hardened aircraft shelters, al Sayqal AB with 44, Al Dumayr - 52 and T-4 - 60.

- Israel just canceled participation of it's F-15s in Red Flag 2018 - a big annual US air exercise. It would have been Israel's first year. Israel said they needed the aircraft in Israel because of 'heightened tensions' (I guess from killing IRCG troops at T-4 last week).

- 3600 US troops are right across the Syrian border in Jordan right now taking part in Eager Lion. A joint US-UK-Jordanian exercise. This year's festivities include civilian evacuations and chemical and biological warfare exercises. The training area is near Az-Zarqa, about an hour straight down the Damascus Highway south of Daraa. Who would have thunk?

- I know this flies over most people's heads, but I'm damn sure the goal of the FUKUS strike was cover for further destruction of Syrian air defenses. Not by bombing them, but by microwaving them. The unusual use of a pair of B1-Bs and 19 JASSM-ER cruise missiles, including some of (in my estimation) the new EMP (CHAMP) variants. Those cruise missiles are designed to blast out a megawatt-range focused microwave pulse to destroy electronics. It doesn't jam them - it fries them permanently. Raqqa had vague reports of them being used.

The EMP cruise missiles would affect anything at a SAM site - the radars, missiles, generators, cell phones and radios. The effect area is not large so the missile has to get close - I don't know if that means 20m or 2000m. Boeing claims the microwave has 100 pulse charges, so the missile can loiter around for multiple passes, or just overfly a bunch of different sites targeting each of them. The missile can finally be rammed into something or just ordered to self-destruct at the end of the mission. The single- and double-strand DNA breakage the EMP causes in humans is a secret and/or conspiracy theory. You're not suppose to know about that part.


[Adjusts tin-foil hat] Conclusion: Israel will not be false-flagging the Hezbollah for a Lebanese invasion. They seem more interested in an old-fashioned protective pre-emptive strike on Iranian military assets in Syria (accompanied by ground invasion/land-grab). Missiles may be flying around there soon enough. Israeli's US protectors are ready to sacrifice US troops if necessary, but hopefully it will just be an unopposed air bombing campaign. We love those. I suppose Daraa must be scheduled for the next chemical weapon false flag. If the US marines get sent to the Yarmouk Valley to clean out ISIS, they will have a bad time. That's the local ISIS crazies - they're pretty tough, like Pashtun and Houthi.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Apr 18 2018 4:19 utc | 85

WJ. Noam Chomsky did a great job explaining "journalist" mindset to Andrew Marr of BBC years back.

Posted by: Daniel | Apr 18 2018 4:24 utc | 86

@75 Chipnik

Peak Oil - what if it's not?

William Engdahl says that Russian science doesn't work on the biological origin of hydrocarbons, and that the presence of fossils is a by-product, not a proof of cause. And indeed, it's never actually been proved, in all scientific rigor, because in all genuineness no one thought it was necessary - it seemed evident.

Russians find oil where no one in the west dreams of looking, because there are two different models of oil origin, and where the scientific model of the west doesn't indicate oil, the scientific model of Russia may.

Decide for yourself: Confessions of an “ex” Peak Oil Believer


I will add my own personal note that I take immense solace from this thesis. I encourage others to drink from this same well of hope, or disprove it so that we may be in no delusion.

Posted by: Grieved | Apr 18 2018 4:34 utc | 87

#15. The French are masters of mime. I wish they would STFU, or as the UK defence minister Gavin Williamson put it go away and shut up.

"‘I’m the equal of Putin,’ Macron tells journalists over a drink – when one hears such idiocy, one can safely assume they live in some sort of altered universe." Poor boy, he seems a bit confused. Perhaps that's a result of listening to his teacher/lover/wife mother

Napoleon Mark 2.0 is getting ready to march on Moscow. Dispatches from the Asylum sum up the current leadership in France quite well.

Posted by: Tom | Apr 18 2018 4:38 utc | 88

Paveway IV:

"US Commander: ‘US Troops Prepared to Die for Israel’ in War against Syria, Hezbollah"

So, the FUKUS aerial attack of 7 or 8 sites in Syria could have been subterfuge to sniff out where Syria's air defenses are. Your conjecture wouldn't surprise me at all. Israel ran civil defense drills last year. SAA is closing in on Yarmouk (near Israel's "border"). US has built up al Tanf, Jordan and ISIL in the south of Syria.

We may soon find out just where Putin really stands.

Posted by: Daniel | Apr 18 2018 4:43 utc | 89


IDK about Putin, but:
1. Greatest tax cuts for 5hectic since Reagan 1;
2. Greatest Mil.Gov budget increase (15%) in US history;
3. Sharpest spike 8n (onerous, odious, fraudulent) debt in human history;
4. Most brutal ACA blowup and Work or Starve since the Great Depression

Some pretty serious Whiteistan. Peace out:

Posted by: Chipnik | Apr 18 2018 4:52 utc | 90

Taks karlofi. The transcript is better than a video. This sums it up:

Sergey Lavrov: "For a Brit, you have very bad manners."

Posted by: Daniel | Apr 18 2018 5:09 utc | 91

@77 wj... obviously the french are completely ignoring this... or are very bad liars... i choose to think the later...

@79 Norumbega.. i have seen that, but not picked up by the msm.. rt had some coverage on it..

@83 paveway... thanks.. interesting info..

@85 tom.. gasbags dujour is a good title for a run down of macron.. what a friggin' idiot... he makes 'trudeau light' look good and that is hard to do!

Posted by: james | Apr 18 2018 5:22 utc | 92

@ PavewayIV with his upbeat description of the current war plans of iFUKUS

Thanks. If the iFUKUS think they can win a war then that delusion needs to vent until they are spent or brought out of their stupor, as long as they don't use nukes as petty losers.

Thanks to Loizon and karlof1 for the links @ #3 and #51 respectively. I wish I could "hear" some American adults like William Engdahl and Foreign Minister Lavrov but they have all been killed or otherwise neutered.

I keep hoping for an alien "contact/invasion"

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 18 2018 5:26 utc | 93

It appears that little makes sense in this Syrian adventure. Yet , it makes sense to some people like Aren Haich and me. What happened was EXACTLY predicted by comment of Aren in 142,165 of April 11 at 5:23 PM , only a few days ago.
"smart missiles raining on Syria is also a negotiating ploy and to save face.......There will probably be a well restricted cruise missile on some Syrian-Iranian base with Russia prewarned."

There you have it in a nutshell ! I agreed with the commentator except I felt that missile firing may be a bit risky. I was wrong and Aren was right. We had the SHOW. Now : " The long -promised meeting between Trump and Putin will emerge in the news to discuss the future of Syria."

Pres. Trump will pull out of Syria.

Posted by: Friar Ockham | Apr 18 2018 5:32 utc | 94


Stanford researchers succeeded last year or so ago in complete mastery of digital audio and video synthesis allowing almost real time manipulation of what a political figure is saying.

If they would shoot down a commercial airplane, or fly a cruise missile into the Pentagon, they have no problem with using this technology.

Stay lit, you def bitches!

Posted by: Chipnik | Apr 18 2018 5:47 utc | 95

PavewayIV @83

I wrote about the likely Israeli and American war aims in Syria a month ago on The Duran:

US War Plans: Kurdish land bridge to Israel?

The United States may be about to start a land invasion of Syria. The offensive would start from the US 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.

Also see my comment at b's previous post Syria - Pentagon Hides Attack Failure - 70+ Cruise Missiles Shot Down. Russia may be totally mistaken and the Syrian air defenses shot their missiles at "deception targets".


It is possible, that Syrian air defenses wasted 112 missiles firing at imaginary targets created by radar jaming and electronic countermeasures. To argue otherwise we would need to see photos of the downed missiles. So far we have seen nothing but fakes, with the exception of a few missile parts that might have come from a missile that hits its target.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Apr 18 2018 5:58 utc | 96

FO @ 91said:"Pres. Trump will pull out of Syria."

Hope'en you're right, but will his handlers let'em? If you're right, I'll have to re-think his assumed puppet status..

Posted by: ben | Apr 18 2018 6:02 utc | 97

M K Bhadrakumar, in the second half of his new column, relays what many of realistically hoped for from Trump, aside from obvious truth that he would not be an insane warhawk like Hillary: his foreign and military policy is very incoherent and unstable and therefore deeply weakens the U.S. and its representatives, and so makes it easier for countries like India to assert their own interests, and thereby make the post-US-hegemony world come sooner.

Posted by: fairleft | Apr 18 2018 6:35 utc | 98

psychohistorian | Apr 18, 2018 1:26:24 AM | 90

This is a fantastic run down on the history of U.S. relations with Russia; it ain't pretty.

As a country, the U.S. is rotten to its core!

Posted by: V. Arnold | Apr 18 2018 7:23 utc | 99

We have been hearing stories of the financial political corruption increasingly common here in Britain and in high places.
However confirmation now of one of the most sordid stories - buried of course by the British apology for news - our MSM.
Theresa May and her family personally have made possibly millions, by the illegal and unsanctioned attack on Syria the other day.
The British media is silent.
But Russia Today has now exposed what is clearly - I would say in the eyes of most - a resigning matter.
Her family blatantly and it seems secretly making money out of her disgusting warmongering.
Her hands covered in blood from Iraq, Libya, Syria etc etc profiting every time Bae systems are involved.
You couldn't make it up - as they say.

Posted by: Emily | Apr 18 2018 7:42 utc | 100

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