Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 01, 2018

The MoA Week In Review And Open Thread 2018-14

An idea for your next Easter brunch, or for a caption contest:

via English Russia - bigger

Last weeks posts:

Two short items on Syria:

  • The last part of terrorist bastions in east-Ghouta will shortly be handed over to the government:
Elijah J. Magnier @ejmalrai - 2:08 PM - 1 Apr 2018
#Duma deal:
Falyaq al-Rahman to #Idlib
Jaish al-Islam to Jarablus/#Turkey controlled area
All heavy weapons delivered to the Syrian Army
A local council with a city, unarmed, to run local needs with #Damascus approval.
End of #easternGhouta and safety to #Damascus #Syria.
  • Trump's proclamation that the U.S. military will leave Syria 'very soon' is likely not serious. It is a bargaining strategy to get the Saudis to pay for the occupation they want. The Zionists, Saudis and the dimwits at the Washington Post editorial board argue that the U.S. must stay in Syria to prevent an Iranian role in that country. But the only reason why Iran is playing a security role in Syria at all is the attack on and occupation of that country by foreign forces. When the attacks stop and the occupiers leave Iran will no longer have such a role. The real intent of those who argue otherwise is 'regime change' in Syria and in Iran.

Use the comments as open thread ...

Posted by b on April 1, 2018 at 15:09 UTC | Permalink

next page »


What do you think of this, from Zerohedge: "over 1,500 Central Americans are on a crusade across Mexico in the hopes of being granted asylum at the U.S. border".

This is organized by 'Pueblo Sin Fronteras', which has links to

Looks like a Soros operation to me.

Posted by: dh-mtl | Apr 1 2018 16:15 utc | 1

Some of it could be true, though.

They may leave some areas where they are surrounded and it is becoming harder to stay, such as Al Tanf. And leave Manbij to the french.

Posted by: Observer | Apr 1 2018 16:21 utc | 2

nice picture! and an easter theme... happy easter everyone!!

Posted by: james | Apr 1 2018 16:31 utc | 3

News is Propaganda
Except for here, of course.

Posted by: Perimetr | Apr 1 2018 16:38 utc | 4

How many bases has the US built? Is it more than 20 now? The US owns Syria now. Leave? Well the Donald does like to keep everybody guessing, and it seems the Russian leadership will snap up any bone he throws them.

Posted by: paul | Apr 1 2018 16:39 utc | 5

Here's an excellent primer for the upcoming Kim/Trump Summit.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 1 2018 17:07 utc | 6

I was thinking that the US-French switch-up is actually a means of betraying the Kurds. During the time that France is “in charge” (LMFAO) Turkey will take Manjib.

When the French have successfully “failed”, the USA will return to quell the Kurdish uproar.

Just my totally random, uninformed speculation like I give a shit musings to no one in particular because cynical distrust is my default outlook due to the overwhelming deception and bullshit.

Happy Easter.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 1 2018 17:14 utc | 7

i can't get it out of my mind the coincidence of toxic dagger and the skripal as excuse to ostracize russia further..

i am sorry.. the timing just seems too coincidental... i guess i will be labeled a conspiracy theorists, as opposed to a coincidental theorist..

Posted by: james | Apr 1 2018 17:48 utc | 8


Putin's recent warning that a nuclear attack of any size on Russia's allies, the Global Times recent editorial on forming alliances have, I think, been game changers.
Trump has stated a trade war, but China and NK hold the worlds known reserves of rare earths. The amounts needed for current day high tech gizmo manufacturing that Trump wants returned to the US require Chinese or North Korean rare earth minerals. Trump seems genuine about meeting KJU, so it will be interesting to see what comes of the meeting.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Apr 1 2018 17:50 utc | 9

b may well have some deleting to do already on this thread.

"I indeed do that. "Simeon" had earlier posted under various other names: nuttyahoobotcom, paul, golda, charles, oliver tobias, david cheese etc. None of his comments was of value.

Sockpuppetry is a no-no here."

Posted by: spudski | Apr 1 2018 17:52 utc | 10

Peter AU 1

China does not have the only deposits of rare earths. But extraction of rare earths is very expensive so China has been the one to exploit rare earths due to a cost advantage.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 1 2018 18:31 utc | 11

Russia has now put ten questions to OPCW.
Has not yet appeared on the English version at the Russian foreign ministry website.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Apr 1 2018 18:38 utc | 12

Trump would also have an eye on the upcoming midterm elections. Such rhetoric always helps… delivering on campaign promises, I am. And such BS. There can even be a partial pullout from Manbij to pacify the Turks, and also to put pressure on MbS to cough up some dough fast.

Posted by: meme | Apr 1 2018 18:43 utc | 13

@6 karlof1: thanks for this link--irony here:

For this reason, Trump has ingeniouslydecided to bring in two warmongers like Pompeo and Bolton, intending to scare Kim into a negotiating position more favorable to Washington, a strategy he intends to also pursue in relation to Iran.

Trump appears to think mainly along economic/deal considerations (possibly his most serious objection to the Iran nuclear weapons deal) with the simplistic corollary: apply force and bully. So yes the US side appears to be entering a trap, with failure coming right up, in terms of South Korean pressure to get rid of the Americans. From my experience in Korea I believe this is what most Koreans want, to finally get rid of the Americans. (I have watched them at election time in railroad stations with TV and typical Korean intensity from ordinary people.) Trump could be about to be more severely embarrassed than ever with the upcoming summit very nasty.

Yesterday The Guardian had a long (too long) piece on this topic insinuating the North Koreans were never serious about denuclearizing clear back to Clinton's time, and this is surely the mindset going in for Pompeo-Bolton. I find it hard to believe Trump knows what he's doing with these two as "negotiators."

Posted by: Sid2 | Apr 1 2018 18:56 utc | 14

I realize there are very minor or low grade deposits elsewhere some of which were worked previously. Possibly enough to supply US military needs at high extraction cost but not sufficient quantities for the civilian gadgets like computers, smartphones ect. I believe one or more of the minerals required for new Tesla engines or batteries comes from the rare earths and they need it in large quantities.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Apr 1 2018 19:06 utc | 15

I’m withholding any comments about Jerusalem with its many yarmulke wearing rabbis running around blowing the ram’s horn and its many havana-guila singing snipers prone on rooftops shooting Palestinian children in the head.

I’ll comment about the Pope instead.

The Pope, (who has 40 million Twitter followers!,) says there is no such thing as hell. Sinners just cease to exist, — Pffft!, while the righteous contemplate god.

(Sinners go —Pffft!, and so they can’t contemplate god, which is their existential loss, for all of eternity!)

I’m not making this up.

Accordingly, Hitler, a legendary Auntie-Semantic, just went —Pffft!

Do you see what the Pope has done here?

Posted by: DineroDProfit | Apr 1 2018 19:21 utc | 16

Two interconnected thoughts on US propaganda and the US Military Industrial Complex :

1) The American people are the most propagandized people in the history of history. This is done not simply through the more predictable outright lies of the mass media but also in innumerable ways including the false history of the education system, the pictures presented in commercial ads that normalize definitions of "Americanism", lies of omission throughout the press (the liberal press is particularly bad here), the film industry, manipulation of language throughout institutions and so forth.

One of the central themes of this propaganda apparatus is to make US citizens think of things exclusively in terms of "us", and not of "them." US citizens may put yellow ribbons on their SUV's to commemorate losses of US lives- (2 thousand KIA; 20K WIA), but there is little acknowledgement of The Other lives destroyed by US imperialism- (2 million dead, mostly civilians).

Americans may speak about what the war does to the IT'S countries national finances (e.g. taxes), but rarely about the destroyed infrastructures and collapsed economies of the Iraqi, Libyan, Yemeni people etc.

One of the many tragedies of modern Amerika is the complete lack of empathy with the plight or suffering of anyone who isn't Us- a by-product of being socially isolated from others.This is not by accident. Of course the M$M isn't going to disturb US with the truth about Amerikan capitalism or US imperialism- it's bad, not only for business, but for 'politics' as well.

The vast propaganda apparatus (including virtually all educational institutions) of the US ruling class and its media accomplices is a major factor in the difficulties Americans have in identifying the reasons behind and the devastating impacts of the non-stop US imperialist wars. A significant part of this brainwashing is in how the idea is beaten into the heads of the US populace that their interests are (and should be) aligned with the interests of the US economic elites and the political class that rubber stamps these imperial slaughters for the profits of those elites.

This false identification of the American working class with the American capitalist state rather than with the global working class plays a huge role in duping ordinary citizens as to the actual and malevolent intent of those who formulate US foreign policy.

This problem appears clearly in the language that the media (including most of the lib/prog media) use in the U.S. This repeatedly seen in such language as, "Have we learned anything from My Lai?", "We should not have invaded Iraq", "Why are we in Afghanistan?" and so forth.

Of course '"we", the American working class, did not invade Iraq e.g., that was done by the U.S. capitalist state. This is not just a matter of language. It reveals a serious obstacle, national identifications, and is utilized to whip up patriotic fervor as well as to disguise the reality that those same elites are oppressing the working class citizens here at home in a thousand different ways.

Once it is understood how the domestic repression and economic collapse in this country is directly connected to the slaughter abroad that support for these imperial crimes evaporates overnight.


2) An important aspect to the US Military/Industrial/Financial/Media complex is how it operates within the political/economic system as a guarantor of large profits for the investor class due to the massive and guaranteed subsidy it receives from the US taxpayer.

There is a consistent fallacy throughout the liberal intelligentsia that has variations such as "it's a pointless war" or "a failed strategy" or "there is no end game" and on and on, which stems from the misunderstanding of the primary functions of these imperial assaults.

Beyond the obvious reasons of plunder the US capitalists have been able to secure the US Military apparatus as a large-scale business scheme which has a large and guaranteed return on investment.

In short the investor class is investing someone's else's money (the US taxpayer) for their "enterprise" (Read: wholesale slaughter and theft of other people's lands and resources) so even when there are losses those are foisted on to the public's account. And whatever "gains" there are, they flow in the direction of the business class while the costs are extracted from the working class.Of course the political sector (your "elected official") validates all of this through the legislative processes and it becomes what is known as "policy."

This is not exclusive to the more "adventurous" US Military/Industrial actions such as imperial wars but also entails an entire web of activities both foreign and domestic that create "investment opportunities" for Wall St. Any and everything from massive boondoggles like the F-35 to more "modest" programs like radio systems, high frequency antennas, BMS software, data terminals, touch tablets, field service representatives, and of course all of the training for installation, operation and maintenance.

So you see all of this is done quite legally (with legality being defined within and by a corrupt system) and all of this is maintained through a massive propaganda system that hides the mechanics and realities of the how's and why's of what a Trillion Dollars a Year War Department really entails.

Posted by: Allen | Apr 1 2018 19:35 utc | 17

Another option for breakfast or brunch in Easter can be Spanish Easter dessert Torrijas, you can make them with bread from the day before.
Nutritious and delicious...

This is more my mom´s style...You can omit the part of the brandy in the video above, only with a bit of sugar sprinkled over them torrijas are delicious enough, like in this video....Oil must be very hot when you are to introduce them in the frying pan....

Enjoy! Bon apetit!

Happy Easter!

Posted by: Fatima Manoubia | Apr 1 2018 19:43 utc | 18

Let me be the first to propose a caption for the picture B posted!

I suggest this is the UN Security Council membership after the US, the UK and France have been ejected permanently by majority vote of all UN members for their roles in destabilising a fellow UN member state (Syria).

Remaining UN Security Council members contemplate the mess those three ex-members leave behind.

Posted by: Jen | Apr 1 2018 20:33 utc | 19

If there was an orange wig in the centre of that picture instead of cheese you could label it "Trump's advisors"

Posted by: les7 | Apr 1 2018 21:01 utc | 20

Allen @17--

Quite nice, your review; but, the cultivation of the egoism you describe's been ongoing since the English and French invasion of North America--it's not just a phenomenon that arose at the beginning of the 20th century.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 1 2018 21:02 utc | 21

If it was a pile of tweets you could call it "the MSM"

Posted by: les7 | Apr 1 2018 21:03 utc | 22

Jen @19:

I was thinking of, "nom nom nom" for the caption.   You can thank my niece for that.   LOL

Happy Easter everyone!

Posted by: Ian | Apr 1 2018 21:14 utc | 23

TASS has provided us with a few of the 13 questions asked of the OPCW.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 1 2018 21:18 utc | 24

A party for the friends of Syria just before the bear scattered the mice. Syria being the cheese.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Apr 1 2018 21:34 utc | 25


I guess the Pope didn't get the memo: hell is on this planet. Maybe he should visit with people in places like Yemen, Gaza etc. and consult with millions of others who suffer at the hands of the powerful, the self-righteous entitled and ignorant, depraved trash that could care less. These three rule this cyclical hell.


But the only reason why Iran is playing a security role in Syria at all is the attack on and occupation of that country by foreign forces. When the attacks stop and the occupiers leave Iran will no longer have such a role. The real intent of those who argue otherwise is 'regime change' in Syria and in Iran.

Yeah, that's why trumpster switched CIA Pompeo to State CIA and hired goggles with mustache on manbomb to run National Security. Real intent: forward-looking Magashit.

Posted by: Circe | Apr 1 2018 21:41 utc | 26

I see that james has been banned from SST (Sic Semper Tyrannis)! I thought james was very plucky to get out there into Colonel Lang’s choppy waters knowing full well he wasn’t wanted there and continually hit the colonel with a bit of the james jazz. It was only a matter of time. He has now banned everyone except b., who he sort of hates but respects - of course - and his usual cohorts.

I ventured in myself a handful of times, but quickly withdrew. Once, when he was discussing the deep state I wrote that I had always thought he was the deep state. This fed into his ego and he chuckled at my supposed naivety.

Lang comes from a section of the US military that might seem totally at odds with the neocons, but is it really? It is rebelling against a Zionist controlled Middle East policy, rather than an American interest Middle East policy and that is as far as it gets. Lang keeps challenging b. about why he hates America so much, as if almost fascinated about how or why someone as intelligent as b. could possibly “hate America” (his words).

Posted by: Lochearn | Apr 1 2018 21:44 utc | 27

It turns out that Yulia Skripal logged into her social media account while in a coma.

Posted by: Mischi | Apr 1 2018 22:11 utc | 28

And nobody else is capable of logging into that account? Most of the photos of her plus three photos of them dining out together on three separate occasions, I think would have come from that account.
An entity called east2west news have been providing the photos, so I would guess that is who accessed the account on the seventh. It was also March 7 when news headlines first stated the Skripal's had been poisoned by Russia.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Apr 1 2018 22:29 utc | 29


Pat Lang scoffed at my suggestion that the Trump insurgence represent merely a different form of Empire. As a pro-Trump patriot he is unable to see the forest for the MAGA trees.

When I complained of Trump’s politicizing the death of a serviceman in his first State of the Union speech, my comment was deleted. Later, others also criticized Trump for doing this, and over time Lang seemed to be less protective of Trump. But that didn’t last for long.

Obama’s deceitfulness harmed US reputation and tied US hands. MAGA is a logical answer to that state of affairs. So logical that one can be forgiven for thinking Trump’s faux populist Presidency was planned and the 2016 election was rigged to make it happen.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 1 2018 23:03 utc | 30

Report about a new resistance group specifically formed to attack Imperial forces within Syria. The game is changing. This group will certainly give a push to Trump's wish to withdraw Imperial forces. Will its existence be reported by the west's Propaganda System?

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 2 2018 0:08 utc | 31

Quick Syrian update:

-Douma being liberated.
-A US and a UK serviceman killed in Manbij while in company of two female Kurdish fighters. See@jenanmoussa onTwitter.
-Reports of a US base being under attack by a pro-Gov militia near Raqqa as we speak.
-Next SAA operation to be the Eastern Qalamoon pocket.

Thats about it..

Posted by: Lozion | Apr 2 2018 0:12 utc | 32

More on the rise of resistance groups from Canthama:

"As mentioned many times in the past 2 years on Raqqa and Hasaka Province, as soon as the locals feel the Syrian Government would gain the upper hand on the war of aggression against the Syrians, they would start to revolt, slowly at the beginning against the occupiers and against any form of Government not aligned to the central Syrian Government. The past few days we have seen events happening in eastern Deir ez Zour and Raqqa that may indicate an organized movement is in progress, the US and British soldiers killed near Manbij, the shelling of Brigade 93 in Raqqa, occupied by the US regime, the check points captured south of Raqqa city from SDF etc…many activities that leads us toward the conclusion that a organized popular movement is in progress. We will hear much more of this in the up coming weeks and months, locals not aligned to the US/SDF project, and they include Syrian Arab, Kurds and Assyrians will be slowly taking action to their hands."

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 2 2018 0:29 utc | 33

to Lozion, no. 31 What do you think of the veracity of the following comment recently posted on Zero Hedge? Sorry, I have no links - just the comment:

'The UK's persecution of Russia arises from two unreported incidents in Syria during operations in Eastern Ghouta. In late February, the SAA's special force unit trapped a group of UK Special Forces in a siege, near Kafr Batna settlement. That incident occurred a few days after another unit of UK Special Forces was captured near Nashabiyah!

London didn’t want to deal with Assad and sought to negotiate their release with Russia, with Oman as a mediator. Moscow replied that it was the jurisdiction of Syrian military authorities. Mattis’s visit to Oman on March 11 was to attempt to secure the release of a US officer and two Israelis also captured in the same operation in Eastern Ghouta.

The UK and US governments (deep state?) see risks rising in Syria and since Russia refuses to back down, pressure on other fronts had to be increased to raise the stakes for Moscow.

The Skripal attack was clearly a total cock-up but that didn’t matter. All the UK/US wanted was an/any excuse to vilify Russia – no evidence required, it is all Kabuki. That is why the 5-eyes (excluding NZ) and Nato (excluding Turkey) fell in line with the recent expulsions – no evidence required. The whole point was to show Putin that ‘the West’ doesn’t need evidence – the more ridiculous the better! Everyone knows that Russia didn’t do it... but will kick Russia anyway, if it continues on its current path.

Speculation: was the Skripal plan put together by the CIA (deep state) and MI6 (with UK government support) behind Trump’s back, which pretty much forced him to go along with the expulsions etc., is that one of the reasons why he has now announced US troops will be leaving Syria altogether?'

Posted by: miss lacy | Apr 2 2018 0:37 utc | 34

Allen @ 17: Nice take, I agree, thanks..

b said:"But the only reason why Iran is playing a security role in Syria at all is the attack on and occupation of that country by foreign forces. When the attacks stop and the occupiers leave Iran will no longer have such a role. The real intent of those who argue otherwise is 'regime change' in Syria and in Iran."

Right on target b..

Mid-term elections coming, and the empire's latest puppet WILL initiate a new war to bolster his appearance as a "war time" leader ala Thatcher, Clinton, Reagan and both Bushes. And, the dumb asses in the U$A will fall for it...

Posted by: ben | Apr 2 2018 1:25 utc | 35

@33 miss lacy. Well, yes there have been reports of captured UK and other SF in East Ghouta along with denials so its confusing. There most probably were a few caught but this is such a delicate political matter that their release is I think negociated in secret by the parties involved. A grey area seems to exist around SF since no one wants to have theirs paraded as war trophies, a tacit agreement of "dont ask, dont tell" is likely enforced.

As for the Skripal "script" and its timing, my speculation is that its purpose was to set the stage for a false flag chemical attack to be blamed on Russia supported Damascus to sell an offensive from the southern flank by US forces in Jordan while missile strikes rained from the Eastern Med but this was scraped in the nick of time due to the SAA's faster advance then expected and capture of militants chemical labs, leaving the UK to deal with the mess created by the failed op. My opinion is that we went through a real CLOSE CALL around mid-March but thanks to Gerasimov, Shoigu and Rudskoy multiple warnings and rapid pace of the EG operation, we are still here to discuss it..

Posted by: Lozion | Apr 2 2018 1:26 utc | 36

news headline:
Graham: US leaving Syria would be 'single worst decision' Trump could make -- Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Sunday cautioned President Trump against pulling American troops out of Syria, saying that doing so would be “a disaster in the making.”

Which means it's probably a good idea. The claim in Washington is that Obama made a mistake in pulling troops out of Iraq. In fact, he had no choice because Bush-II had signed a treaty (w/o Senate advice & consent) to pull out in December 2010. So it was done. Obama had no choice.

Syria isn't the same, but it's similar. Again the US has supported anti-government forces and invaded a foreign country, destroyed part of it while killing, injuring and displacing millions of people. The locals want the US out. Wouldn't we?

I'm reminded of what Mike Hastie said. "One day while I was in a bunker in Vietnam, a sniper round went over my head. The person who fired that weapon was not a terrorist, a rebel, an extremist, or a so-called insurgent. The Vietnamese individual who tried to kill me was a citizen of Vietnam, who did not want me in his country. This truth escapes millions." --Mike Hastie, U.S. Army Medic, Vietnam 1970-71

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 2 2018 1:52 utc | 37

NYT has a bombshell scoop! A material so poisonous that the Skripals have not died, and was spread by allegedly "[going] up to the front door" and smearing it on their outside door handle. This kind of stealth could only come from Russia and Putin... Bonus points attempted by doing a Nexis word search on what the CIA liars said regarding DNC emails..

"LONDON — British officials investigating the poisoning of Sergei V. Skripal, a former Russian double agent, believe it is likely that an assassin smeared a nerve agent on the door handle at his home. This operation is seen as so risky and sensitive that it is unlikely to have been undertaken without approval from the Kremlin, according to officials who have been briefed on the early findings of the inquiry.

Because the nerve agent is so potent, the officials said, the task could have been carried out only by trained professionals familiar with chemical weapons. British and American officials are skeptical that independent actors could have carried out such a risky operation or obtained the agent without approval at the highest levels of the Russian government — almost exactly the same phrase that American intelligence agencies used in October 2016, when they first attributed the hacking of emails from the Democratic National Committee to a team of Russian hackers.

Posted by: daffyDuct | Apr 2 2018 2:20 utc | 38

Rob Slane has 20 more questions on Skripal:
Here's #4:
In her statement to the House of Commons on 12th March 2018, the British Prime Minister, Theresa May stated the following:

"It is now clear that Mr Skripal and his daughter were poisoned with a military-grade nerve agent of a type developed by Russia. This is part of a group of nerve agents known as 'Novichok'. Based on the positive identification of this chemical agent by world-leading experts at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at Porton Down" [my emphasis added].

In the judgement at the High Court on 22nd March on whether to allow blood samples to be taken from Sergei and Yulia Skripal for examination by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), evidence submitted by Porton Down to the court (Section 17 i) stated the following:
"Blood samples from Sergei Skripal and Yulia Skripal were analysed and the findings indicated exposure to a nerve agent or related compound. The samples tested positive for the presence of a Novichok class nerve agent or closely related agent" [my emphasis added].

So the Prime Minister said that Porton Down had positively identified the substance as a Novichok nerve agent. The statement from Porton Down says that their tests indicated that it was a Novichok agent or closely related agent. Are these two statements saying exactly the same thing? . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 2 2018 2:22 utc | 39

@37 door handle, grabbed by both father and daughter exiting the apartment

Novichok nerve agents . . .Within the environment, these agents react with water to degrade, including moisture in the air, and so in the UK they would have a very limited lifetime.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 2 2018 2:27 utc | 40

@27 lochearn... thanks! lol too! pat is so attached to america is great, he is kind of fumbling at this point given the circumstances he knows full well the usa is responsible for, especially with regard to syria.. and he knows israel is an influence that the usa can't seem to get out from under... on some basic level he seems very unhappy to have spent his years supporting the very same structure he realizes is rotten to the core... i suppose i would be too if i was him, but i have lived a life very different from his.. i respect his knowledge on military matters, but in terms of understanding a complex issue like life - he is out of his depth - like most people, myself included.. the major difference though is he unwillingness to acknowledge this, or be humble with regard to what he thinks he knows... people who think they know a lot have to be very careful as it is most often a trap they can't escape...

Posted by: james | Apr 2 2018 3:47 utc | 41

Peter AU 1 @ 15

Pretty sure you're referring to lithium. FWIW in 2007 the US discovered a large deposit of it in Afghanistan.

$1 Trillion Motherlode of Lithium and Gold Discovered in Afghanistan

Posted by: integer | Apr 2 2018 4:03 utc | 42

For the Tesla batteries, that is.

Posted by: integer | Apr 2 2018 4:09 utc | 43

The entire door handle thing doesn't withstand the flimsiest of scrutinies, if you picture in your mind what happens when you go out with the family. Even considering one particular gender's innate predisposition for fart arsing around before exit, what generally happens is that other gender sick of pacing up and down waiting "just one more sec" goes out of the home to get vehicle from garage leaving the door open, predisposed to paint face gender then exits and closes door. Other times when departure is more synchronised, one person opens door, family exits and then door is closed and locked once. The odds of the entire group each touching the handle upon departure (that is even if they use the handle since in a lot of homes secured by a yale or deadbolt, the key functions as the door handle, or as at our place, the last one out generally grabs the door by its edge and pulls it behind them as they leave, then endures grim stare and harsh words from family curmudgeon who believes [with justification] that act will result in shattered windows, split door, and/or screwed up door lock).
That doesn't even include the obvious flaw, that if the door handle got them as they were leaving, the gunk must have been painted on while the Skirpals were inside the house. That doesn't seem 'professional' to me. It would be smarter to wait until due went out, then paint the doorhandle as not only would there be less likelihood of being caught in flagrante inficio the Skirpals would have karked it in the privacy of their home and not have been subjected to the ministrations of wandering medicos.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Apr 2 2018 4:18 utc | 44

integer 42
Nope. Tesla's electric motor shift to spur demand for rare earth neodymium
Had to look it up again.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Apr 2 2018 4:19 utc | 45

@39 DB
Not necessarily, depends on the compound's/agent's specific properties.
See - Norwegian Defense Research Est. - 2013.
Have a brief glance at P. 9, Table 2.1 and p. 51 paragraph 2 and Figure 4.2 - there's some basic data regarding degradation rates of organo-phosphates - Sarin, Soman, Tabun, VX. Persistency of VX is shockingly high (to me), even in an relatively hydroxyl-rich environment such as concrete. As we, the public are not familiar with the exact properties of any of these compounds jumping to that conclusion of yours would be a bit premature.

Posted by: Hmpf | Apr 2 2018 4:20 utc | 46

@43 debs.. i agree.. any police report is immediately suspect... i would just completely skip with this bullshit, but it makes for good conversation apparently... as jen here at moa has been prone to say - much more likely food poisoning or something dropped into their food and made into a story to frame russia.. the coincidence of this happening within the uk toxic dagger chemical">">chemical warfare exercise as i mentioned @8 and as i have mentioned in the past few weeks, is just too too coincidental to not look like a complete frame up on russia on 100 porton down coordinate type bullshit...

Posted by: james | Apr 2 2018 4:49 utc | 47

messed the link.. here it is straight.. sorry

Posted by: james | Apr 2 2018 4:50 utc | 48

from my link @44

This shows the price rise when China banned rare earth export.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Apr 2 2018 4:59 utc | 49

Hmpf 45

From what I have read, A-234 is volatile? VX is more of an oily substance. Amongst the nerve agents VX is considered an area denial weapon due to its low volatility.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Apr 2 2018 5:05 utc | 50

Peter AU 1 @ 44

Fair enough. Your reference to batteries was what led me to make the assumption that you were probably referring to lithium, which is another material for which shortages have been forecast.

Posted by: integer | Apr 2 2018 5:17 utc | 51

@49 PeterAU

I don't know as I didn't try to look into these compounds more in depth, because it doesn't fit my field of expertise and to my understanding we, the public do not even know for certain what kind of agent has been applied - if any at all.
I just read these are liquids with high vapor pressure, gaseous or even solid. Anyway, volatility of a compound is by itself not a measure for chemical stability/instability but, yes, it helps a compound's degradation if conditions are right.
To my understanding there is CW agents out there that are a mix of CW compound, organic polymer and, I'm guessing, a compatible hydroxyl catcher to increase persistence of the active compound.

Posted by: Hmpf | Apr 2 2018 5:35 utc | 52

@DDProfit 16

God told the Pope to tell the Catholics that He just did away with Hell.

You want to kill the messenger?

Posted by: FSFF | Apr 2 2018 6:32 utc | 53

Yulia Skripal Is Not Allowed To Telephone Her Grandmother

Posted by: John Gilberts | Apr 2 2018 7:51 utc | 54

oh god hes pathetic, this is what he have to say when israel is murdering kids:

Bernie Sanders on Gaza Violence: ‘Israel Overreacted’

Posted by: Anonymous | Apr 2 2018 8:07 utc | 55

Here it is... the new French narrative. Turkey=Russia...
By the same guys who have been writing the script about angel (non-cannibalistic) 'rebels'

Posted by: Mina | Apr 2 2018 9:33 utc | 56

Allen @17:

"... the idea is beaten into the heads of the US populace that their interests are (and should be) aligned with the interests of the US economic elites ..."

The preceding is the norm in all capitalist states. And it's also the norm in all aggressive military imperialist states for the working class to identify with that military imperialism when working class jobs and relative prosperity seem boosted by that. Some of the examples are Britain, Japan, Italy, Germany in addition to the US. Your "the US is especially x" argument needs more thought, I think. But I don't wanna discourage you: I think you're onto something ...

Posted by: fairleft | Apr 2 2018 9:42 utc | 57

"Because the nerve agent is so potent, the officials said, the task could have been carried out only by trained professionals familiar with chemical weapons. "

daffyDuct @37
If the nerve agent is so potent per NYT description, how came the Skripals went to the pub and resturant having beers and food with no signs of discomfort after having touched the nerve agent smeared on their house door?

This is nerve agent not timebomb. Just how stupid can NYT let itself be?

Happy Easter everyone!

Posted by: mali | Apr 2 2018 9:58 utc | 58

Anonymous @ 55

Apart from Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn, have we heard from any other US/UK/European politicans and self-claimed humanitarian VIPs, such as G. Clooney and A.Jolie, criticising Isreal's killing of Palestinians?

Only silence.

Posted by: mali | Apr 2 2018 10:10 utc | 59

Perimetr @4
Allen @17

When the MSM is totally controlled by the moneyed-ones , of course you get only what the moneyed capitalists/establishement want/allow you to know, just like state-owned media.

Recommend to take a look at Peter Joseph & Abby Martin on Abolishing Capitalism . Peter Joseph advocates an alternative economic system based on sustainability, cooperation and human need.

Posted by: mali | Apr 2 2018 10:59 utc | 60

News is Propaganda Except for here, of course.

Posted by: Perimetr | Apr 1, 2018 12:38:08 PM | 4

Wicked! Fabulous video!

Posted by: William Bowles | Apr 2 2018 11:13 utc | 61

Trump & Syria.

Trump is offering a deal to Putin.

We will leave Syria to you and you let us take care of Iran.

Clear as day.

Will Putin accept?

What is Putin's vital strategic interest in protecting Iran? Maybe in defense of Iran Putin could lob a few thousand missiles at Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain and their oil and gas infrastructure in their defence of Iran?

Who loses from that? Not Russia.

Posted by: Julian | Apr 2 2018 12:47 utc | 62

@Julian 62
We will leave Syria to you and you let us take care of Iran.
And exactly how would the US "take care" of Iran, in a way that would allow Israel's survival?

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 2 2018 12:52 utc | 63

Yes, it appears that SST is no longer taking open commenting from the common folk. If you would like to comment you email the Colonel with it. Today he posted a comment received as a separate post or follow up post, to his about the VA. The guy was a bigwig of some sort. A regular deplorable like me is no longer allowed to comment at the salon. I eagerly await one of b's comments being published at SST.

Posted by: morongobill | Apr 2 2018 13:18 utc | 64

Who would lose? Europe, who has lots of interests there. The UK is making it sure that Russia has no heart to help the EU.

Posted by: Mina | Apr 2 2018 13:22 utc | 65

i love this photo!

Posted by: annie | Apr 2 2018 13:23 utc | 66

About the photo: rabbits look like pigs to me, I guess because their ears are round. But I must admit they are cute.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 2 2018 13:38 utc | 67

Yeah that's a helluva video @4.

Posted by: fairleft | Apr 2 2018 13:39 utc | 68

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 2, 2018 8:52:02 AM | 63

Trump has just proposed to meet Putin in Washington according to RT.

If Russia does not protect Iran it will be protected by China.

But the US will not attack as long as Iran has plenty of US installations nearby to choose from should they wish to retaliate.

I think the US are out of viable strategies - economically and militarily.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 2 2018 13:40 utc | 69

Sorry, mice staring at cheese. Very cute.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 2 2018 13:40 utc | 70

@64 Let's not judge the colonel too harshly. He raised his right hand etc. Comments from b are not bound by the oath of loyalty.

Posted by: dh | Apr 2 2018 14:16 utc | 71

The US, having failed at winning wars against small defenseless countries, will now concentrate on defeating large capable countries, like Russia and China. No, not on land or sea, silly, in space.

news report
2018 Budget Shows Shift to High-End Threats

Overall, the 2018 budget and new national defense strategy are “high protein, low carbs,” [Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson] said. For example, the new National Defense Strategy “explicitly acknowledges that Russia and China are developing capabilities to disable our satellites,” part of what DOD’s leadership says is the reemergence of great power competition after 25 years during which the US faced primarily low-intensity threats such as terrorism and violent extremism.

The United States “will defend” its space assets in the face of the advancing Russian and Chinese threats, she made clear. “The budget we presented for Fiscal 2019 accelerates defendable space, and [the Air Force is] responding across the board,” Wilson said. “We will deter, defend, and prevail against any adversary who threatens us in space.” . .here

In other news, Russia & China to merge satellite tracking systems into one global navigation giant. Moscow and Beijing will team up to create an integrated navigation system based on Russia’s Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS) and the Chinese BeiDou. The system will cover most of Eurasia.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 2 2018 14:19 utc | 72


:-)) They are trying to rerun the Reagan 'Star Wars' initiative.

Russia cried uncle the end of the first cold war, the US will cry uncle the end of rerun.

Or someone help us all.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 2 2018 14:43 utc | 73

You know who all this, all this lying, conniving shit, is hard on? It’s hard on decent, intelligent, rather idealistic people who were brought up right, learning to play fair and tell the truth, to work hard to better themselves and their community, to be kind and share with the less fortunate, to be honorable and ready to fight to protect those weaker than themselves from bullies, to put themselves in other people’s shoes, and always root for the underdog. People who have even volunteered and served and risked it all in their county’s military, hoping to help not only their nation but others in far-off places to have a chance for their children to grow up in just the same nurturing, altruistic, noble environment they wanted for their own children. Only to find as they get older that the rules and ideals held by their family, friends, and community were not, in fact, those of the people and entities wielding the power of one’s nation, and that the greater sacrifices he and his brothers-in-arms before and after gladly made were in fact to protect balance sheets. And that horrible cruelties and injustices have been imposed on regular people, just like themselves, at home and abroad, in the name of the ideals they were willing to die for, but really only for lies and the greed of a few.

Once you see, you cannot unsee. Once trust is lost, it may not ever be fully restored. It is a sickening realization. The feeling, I would imagine, of a caring mother or father who is concerned, and then worried, then suspicious, and then cannot deny their child is a serial killer. Sadness, yes; but also embarrassment and disgust and anger at being fooled and used and now dirtied with the evil of others. Ain’t life somethin’?

Posted by: J Swift | Apr 2 2018 14:54 utc | 74

@J Swift 74
Yes, and my personal belief is that the iniquities of the "entities wielding the power of one’s nation" including the murder of foreigners AND citizens, the lawlessness, and the corruption, has carried over to troubled citizens who then wield THEIR power, which we read about daily in the news.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 2 2018 15:05 utc | 75

@64 Let's not judge the colonel too harshly. He raised his right hand etc. Comments from b are not bound by the oath of loyalty.
Posted by: dh | Apr 2, 2018 10:16:25 AM | 71

Making comments invisible to all but 'registered' visitors will probably reduce visitors/month and overall interest in SST. An accessible comment facility makes a blog more appealing because it INVITES participation by anyone with an opinion. If the invitation AND comments are absent then the blog runs the risk of being regarded as an (Ivory Tower) soap box.
I'd be curious to hear if b has an opinion on what proportion of MoA visitors/month do so without commenting (knowing that they could if they wished to do so).
People are very interested in what other people think. PL doesn't understand that. Yet.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 2 2018 15:31 utc | 76

recent news from Manbij, Syria where US and allies are facing off with Turkey and allies.

Master Sergeant Jonathan Dunbar was one of two service members killed March 29, 2018, in Manbij, Syria, by an improvised explosive device.

from a Jenan Moussa twitter feed (good read on Manbij):
Until now unclear who was behind #Manbij attack. No claim of responsibility. Some suggest ISIS or pro-Turkey group but not backed up with evidence. Also we don't know what coalition was doing in narrow streets of isolated neighborhood at midnight. (curfew starts at 2300 hrs). Also what I learned is that 2 female Kurdish fighters were injured in the attack on coalition forces in #Manbij. They are currently in the hospital.

I know. :-)

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 2 2018 15:33 utc | 77

@76 Right. SST will get very boring. I stopped commenting on there years ago after being accused of being a '14 year old Canadian'. That really hurt. I think half the fun of posting comments there has been irritating the colonel.

Posted by: dh | Apr 2 2018 15:38 utc | 78

on Pat Lang-- 76
I tend to cut Lang some slack. He was a young officer involved in Operation Phoenix, the Vietnam CIA/SF assassination and torture program, which would take its toll, and nevertheless subsequently served honorably in military intelligence, Middle East. It's his blog, he's a smart guy, he'll do it his way. Many blogs have no comments, or paywalls, or "comments moderated." I just quit one of the latter. Nobody moderates my comments (free speech).
You can read of Lang's positions regarding the Iraq War here
Personally, I blogged at SST for a time. I was castigated by Lang for a comment, who then apologized (really), and I never went back. Lang strongly favors agreement with himself.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 2 2018 15:48 utc | 79

Posted by: Perimetr | Apr 1, 2018 12:38:08 PM | 4

This synchronized tirade against "fake and biased news" by news anchors of Sinclair organization (the largest owner of TV stations in USA) got unfavorable attention of NYT. This is propaganda for peasants! (We serve the middle classes and up.) We in serious media use our own (TM) words, and we hire more writers than super-stingy Sinclair.

On the front of generating newsworthy announcements, Her Majesty Government is in the vanguard. The latest I read: covering door handle with poison was so risky that it had to be ordered by Putin himself. The courses I had in logic during my misspent youth don't help me at all in grasping the reasoning here, I have to trust that fine experts of HMG figured that out. I must admit the possibility that HMG carefully explained why it was more risky than other ways of using the poison, and why riskiness rather than a combination of low risk and high effectiveness (lacking in the door handle method) would prove Putin's participation in planning. But it was not included in the news item.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 2 2018 16:01 utc | 80

@74 J Swift: "Once you see, you cannot unsee."
If blogger comments allowed for signatures, this would be mine :)

Posted by: Lozion | Apr 2 2018 16:06 utc | 81

Novichok - info:

wiki talk

chemspider formula of A-234

Tim Hayward - briefings / Novichoks (ok)

Not that I credit a N-chok agent was responsible for Skirpals collapsing -> there simply isn’t enough information to judge.

Posted by: Noirette | Apr 2 2018 16:08 utc | 82

The US, having failed at winning wars against small defenseless countries [....]
Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 2, 2018 10:19:42 AM | 72

This slander is a prime example why social media get reputation for fake news. Off the bat, I can cite three examples of successes against small defenseless countries: Grenada, Panama and Haiti (sending president Aristide into exile). This is one reason why I advocate documenting the vileness of the government of Tuvalu (15 k inhabitants, navy consisting of one speed boat, a handful of policemen making up the ground forces), and engage in regime change there.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 2 2018 16:13 utc | 83

Re SST. The range of guest authors and the comments made it interesting. The Skripal poisoning seems to have changed things. Patrick Armstrong's weak post on the affair telling all not to look into the fine
details of the narrative seemed odd. With any of these narratives, it is good to be able to separate fact from fiction, as with b's posts on the affair.
b's last post on novichok was particularly informative in light of Patrick Armstrong's post. In Armstrong's professional capacity he was most likely aware of whatever games US/UK were playing in keeping novichok off the menu at OPCW.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Apr 2 2018 16:17 utc | 84

a british soldier died today from an engineering regiment
the bbc said he died in the uk an underwater accident they did not say he was on or off duty swimming in a local pond or some such.

caterpillar state of the art tunneling equipment costing 10s of millions of dollars have been found all over syria
a multi billion dollar swiss engineering company had been contracted to dig for takfiri probably the same freaks that did that weird ritual in the swiss tunnels last year.
home of satanist at cern no wonder syriana has tunnels the way venice has canal.
every day british and american soldiers are having accident at home not in syria i repeat not in syria.
who where these folks digging for
why does putin always let special forces,cia,mossad,and mi6 go home
what a gentleman and a diplomat
does he think he will not be gadaffied knifed given half a chance.
gouta seems to have many secrets
most will be masonicked kept hidden
they call it the rules of the game when gadaffi signed up i am sure he did not sign up for a bayonet up the bum

Posted by: monty bloom | Apr 2 2018 16:18 utc | 85

@85 -are you Simon?

Posted by: Bevin Kacon | Apr 2 2018 16:33 utc | 86

@79, Lang suffers from acute American solipsism. It's hard out there for a Trump enthusiast. The illiterate Orange in chief is now looking to privatize Veterans Affairs to reward New York hedge fund hyenas... Deregulation and American free market recipes are good theories, until it's your turn to be fleeced by wall street vultures. At some point the contradictions must take their toll even on reactionaries. Flyover deplorables are just starting to win. #winning #Maga, making america gilded again.

Posted by: Augustin L | Apr 2 2018 16:33 utc | 88

@83 - Piotr, would you care to tell me what's slanderous about the article you quoted?

Posted by: Bevin Kacon | Apr 2 2018 16:34 utc | 89

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 2, 2018 12:13:14 PM | 83

As everybody seems to be dusting off Reagan's script, I suggest to invade Grenada again.

They've announced a gas and oil find recently and China has been investing there.

Worse than being Marxist.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 2 2018 16:35 utc | 90

@BK 89
I'm as sarcastic as the next person and probably more so, but I tend not to use it in comments because readers come from all over, and have different standards, and may not understand a sarcastic comment, as in this case. Then it becomes a waste of time and blogspace.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 2 2018 16:40 utc | 91

what are you?

are my words true
who built these tunnels who where the engineer
you see chummy the problem is logistics
look at this war this is logitics beyond combined dhl and fedex varities.

this is a level not seen in history a slow country take down
and with turkey friend of bb still in play not over

but ho hum
who sock puppet bevin kosher bacon

Posted by: monty bloom | Apr 2 2018 16:41 utc | 92

@89 Piotr has a rather dry sense of humour probably not appreciated by all readers. Personally I find it amusing but it's the old teacher's dilemma.....should one aim high or go for the middle ground.

Posted by: dh | Apr 2 2018 16:51 utc | 93

The US, having failed at winning wars against small defenseless countries [....]
Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 2, 2018 10:19:42 AM | 72

Seriously, while not slanderous (I was mocking "fake news" panic), this is inaccurate, because US failed against medium-size countries that were manifestly not as defenseless as initially estimated. Additionally, since the examples of failure include internal strife in the aftermath of taking control over Afghanistan and Iraq, these failures are not military but administrative, inability to secure economic welfare for the population, something that USA has trouble with domestically as well.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 2 2018 17:05 utc | 94

@54 john gilberts... thanks for helmers link.. it is an international scandal of large significance..

@64 morongobill... pat lang has lost it... being the gemini he is, he will probably flip flop again, but at this point sst is irrelevant..

@71 dh..not harsh, but seems like he's putting himself out to pasture... i agree with hoarsewhisperer @76, especially his last line.

@78 that last comment istrue for me... it's a bit like teasing an old geezer who has mostly lost the script..

@79 don bacon.. i have cut pat lang a lot of slack.. what you say here is very true "Lang strongly favors agreement with himself." and if one doesn't agree with him, he reminds others it is his blog and he can do what he wants with it... showing his infantile personality is a part of it too!

@84 peter.. yes to all that..

@86 augustin... "acute American solipsism".. i had to look that word up!!! that's an interesting way to contextualize it!

Posted by: james | Apr 2 2018 17:16 utc | 95

74;What about a lesbian?They drive off a cliff???????
The graun had nothing about it,Putin did it,nyt did.

Posted by: dahoit | Apr 2 2018 17:28 utc | 96

@james 95
Lang isn't infantile, he's military, a land of singular thoughts in which Lang has been successful.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 2 2018 17:38 utc | 97

Why would the OPCW just verify that the Skripal's were exposed to Novichok 'related' compounds without comparing it to the registered formulations from the U.K. and other countries? If it was Russian in origin than it should not match any of those samples. To simply say, they were exposed to such an agent does not say much.

Operation Phoenix
Yikes, just read a brief synopsis, even if the allegations of torture and killing of prisoners is not true, an assassination program based solely on local informants is ripe for abuse. It sounds like you could be targeted just for living in a village and shooting off your mouth in a careless manner. 80,000 arrested or killed with about half being killed. I wonder what Nikki Haley would think of such a program.

How is this different from the VC going into a village and killing suspected govt loyalists?

(BTW I'm not commenting on Col Lang's involvement, I do not know anything about that, I was just curious about the program. Looks like what we accuse Assad of doing.)

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Apr 2 2018 18:16 utc | 99

@16: "The Pope, (who has 40 million Twitter followers!,) says there is no such thing as hell. Sinners just cease to exist, — Pffft!, while the righteous contemplate god."

The Pope did not say that. Like with every other topic that is discussed here, always consider the this case a 93 year old journalist who is an atheist and doesn't use a tape recorder.

Posted by: Lavrenty | Apr 2 2018 18:19 utc | 100

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