Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 15, 2018

The MoA Week In Review And Open Thread 2018-17

Last week was dominated by the run-up to the U.S. attack on Syria:

There is a very large discrepancy between the Russian Ministry of Defense report of strike and the description in the Pentagon briefing on the strike. According to the Pentagon only three places related to non-existing Syrian chemical weapons were targeted:

This combined military strike was directed against three distinct Syrian chemical weapons program targets.
In summary, in a powerful show of allied unity, we deployed 105 weapons against three targets.

It does not make any sense to send 35 cruise missiles against each of those not hardened, not defended targets like the now destroyed Barzeh research center which was a small two story building complex (pic of destruction) and had been declared free of chemical weapons and weapon research by the OPCW. Why would the U.S. military use such a high number of precision weapons against only three targets? This is extremely unusual and does not make sense at all.

The Russians, as well as other sources on the ground, report in detail of many more targets:

Four missiles targeted the Damascus International Airport; 12 missiles – the Al-Dumayr airdrome, all the missiles have been shot down.

18 missiles targeted the Blai airdrome, all the missiles shot down.

12 missiles targeted the Shayrat air base, all the missiles shot down. Air bases were not affected by the strike.

Five out of nine missiles were shot down targeting the unoccupied Mazzeh airdrome.

Thirteen out of sixteen missiles were shot down targeting the Homs airdrome. There are no heavy destructions.

In total 30 missiles targeted facilities near Barzah and Jaramana. Seven of them have been shot down.

At least six airports were targeted according to the Russian report. The Pentagon reports no strike on Syrian airports but claims to have launched a way too high number of cruise missiles for each of the claimed three target. The Syrian opposition outlet SOHR reports of eight targets and says that at least 65 of the cruise missiles were downed by the Syrian air defenses. The Russians say 71 were shot down while the Pentagon says none of its cruise missiles were hit.

At least three other sources confirm the Russian version of events. The Pentagon is lying. The attack was a U.S. attempt to disable the Syrian air force by destroying its airports. It failed and the Pentagon is hiding that failure. Will the U.S. media report this discrepancy?

Not unrelated to the strike on Syria is the Skripal case where the mysteries continue to pile up.

Use the comments as open thread ...

Posted by b on April 15, 2018 at 14:42 UTC | Permalink

next page »

I saw a couple of parts of missiles and maybe Russian MOD needs to display the pieces they have collected. Most amerikans believe their invincibility. In fact they want a second round and Russia does seem to agree there will be another attack before May 12th now that idlib part deux has started.. ghouta was only to stop the US from taking the city while the army was busy in idlib.

Posted by: igybundy | Apr 15 2018 14:58 utc | 1

The legality of the US strike has (rightfully) been questioned.

UN Charter, Article 2:
-All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered.
-All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.

Article 51 of the Charter covers self-defense.
Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self-defence shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security.

Obviously the US has not been attacked by Syria so SecDef Mattis has reworded the self defence law. "But as far as the legal authority under the Article II of the Constitution, we believe the president has ever reason to defend vital American interests, and that is what he did here tonight under that authority." here

What "vital American interests" in Syria are being defended? Of course no reporter asked that vital question. Mattis has said that if Syria employs its chemical weapons against its citizens then it might do the same against US troops so it must be stopped. Of course the US troops are in Syria illegally, claiming to be anti-ISIS but actually trying to overthrow the Syria government.

So the US creates a vital American interest by illegally occupying a country with military forces and then has to defend that interest against that country. That's how to Make America Great Again?. . .No.

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

Were dummy missiles launched to deceive the Syrian defenses?

Posted by: Burt | Apr 15 2018 15:10 utc | 3

105 missiles at 3 targets ? How stupid do they think we are ? No I think b might be on to something, a failed attempt to hit the Syrian airforce, it could be credible....

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Apr 15 2018 15:10 utc | 4

Are Guardian columnists ignorant or what? The latest ignoramus/useless idiot is Andrew Rawnsley:

Syria has paid a terrible price for the west’s disastrous policy of doing nothing

Has he really missed all the shit the United States, United Kingdom, France, etc. have been doing in Syria or has he just received a large well-padded brown envelope from MbS? If the US and others such as the democratically-elected governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia had stayed out of Syria, the whole shitpile would have been over in weeks if not days. It's Obama, Clinton, Sakozy, Cameron and all the other useless idiots who are responsible for the mess in Syria.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Apr 15 2018 15:17 utc | 5

"What "vital American interests" in Syria are being defended? It is Zionist/Israeli/Rothschild interests being advanced, see the Oded Yinon Plan. The groundwork for this plan began before the Balfour Declaration, and was simply transferred to the US via the privately-owned banking cartel, Rothschild-controlled Federal Reserve (created in 1913) when the British Empire sank into irrelevance for the Zionists post WW1. Don't forget the Barn Rothschild in the 1700's saying "I care not who sits on the British throne, he who controls the money supply controls the Empire... and I control the money supply." So the US Empire is controlled by those who control the US-peto-dollar money supply... the US Federal Reserve.

This is why so much of US "foreign policy" makes no logical sense. But include the Rothschilds/AIPAC/etc., plus the Saudi wahabbists and US "policy" makes completely logical sense.

Posted by: A P | Apr 15 2018 15:19 utc | 6

I hope the US is telling the truth actually. The number of US ships heading that way suggests they want to have so many missles to launch they will just overwhelm the air defenses. This is scary shit.

Posted by: goldhoarder | Apr 15 2018 15:26 utc | 7

Regarding the legal basis for the attacks, Jon Schwarz has an article up: Donald Trump Ordered Syria Strike Based on a Secret Legal Justification Even Congress Can’t See . . .How can this be constitutional, given the fact that Article I, Section 8 of America’s founding document declares that “The Congress shall have Power … To declare War”?

The problems with that line of thinking, it seems to me, are two:
1. Saying that the Congress has the power to do something doesn't mean that the president can't do the same thing.
2. A brief attack upon another country doesn't rise to the level of a war, and obviously Trump did not declare war on Syria.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 15 2018 15:26 utc | 8

The most important event following the strike was the vote in the Security Council on the Russian resolution condemning the strike. It lost the vote, but voting with Russia were Bolivia, thank you to the truly democratic President of Bolivia, Evo Morales, and China. China. Let that sink in for a moment. China. Four nations abstained, so there was a very easy way for China to say, "I don't have a dog in this fight," and abstain. Or, China, could have voted against the resolution, joining its trading partners the U.S., Britain, France, Sweden, Poland, etc. But China voted in favor.

This clearly means that when the U.S. starts bombing Russian installations anywhere, they will have to deal with the Chinese as well as the Russians. This will not happen.

Posted by: Burt | Apr 15 2018 15:33 utc | 9

The Pentagon and their friends in the lame stream corp. would never lie to the Amerikan Sheeple would they;-)

Posted by: jo6pac | Apr 15 2018 15:34 utc | 10

@Burt | Apr 15, 2018 11:10:28 AM | 3

A dummy cruise missile makes no sense. In order to have similar range/flight characteristics with the real one, you will need more of less the same engine/fuel/navigation/guidance system. And gain what? The cost of the terminal guidance sensor and the explosives?

Posted by: Erlindur | Apr 15 2018 15:35 utc | 11

A very important essay that I completely agree with.

Posted by: Bakerpete | Apr 15 2018 15:36 utc | 12

The Pentagon claims that 76 missiles hit Barzeh. Ludicrous.

Posted by: shargash | Apr 15 2018 15:37 utc | 13

I think I was a little late to the discussion on another thread, so if you don't mind I think I'll re-post here:

b (and several commenters) are correct that this Syrian attack was a win for Russia. Russian S-400 and other defensive countermeasures were 100% effective--not a single iFUKUS aircraft penetrated Syrian airspace and US naval vessels were prevented from striking Syria. As for the swarm of gnats, the Syrians were allowed to test their own metal and in spite of creative attack vectors also received an exemplary grade (unlike the US, Russia and its allies seem very good at "teaching a man to fish"), even against Trump's new, improved missiles. Sure, iFUKUS is able to save a little face by announcing a perfect win, just like they announced the virtually perfect strike last year (even though Syrian aircraft were taking of from there within a few hours). And I also fear the naval buildup is a signal that this is not the last chapter in this book, but as for this particular chapter there is a reason the Syrians are celebrating.

I haven't heard any more about the Russian report that the French didn't actually do anything--they probably kicked the Russian shin under the table and hissed "Shut up! We already cashed the Saudi check!" The MbS visits to the three protagonists removes any doubt about the real reason for this attack, but the French definitely seem to be losing enthusiasm for a swim after dipping their toes in the water and finding it way too hot. [Actually, AP noted that the French might have been tasked with a second wave attack, but when at some point during the first wave Russia scrambled its aircraft (photos were posted on SyPers, I think, showing Russian aircraft buzzing around a couple days earlier prominently displaying anti-ship missiles), the second wave was nixed. This actually sounds quite plausible.]

I think the consequences Russia promised will be mostly in the refusal to let the whole chemical false flag industry story drop. There was an announcement that Russia knew for a fact that Britain had ordered the E Gouta false flag, which seems like a pretty strong statement and would indicate not only might the good guys have captured iFUKUS terrorist trainers fessing up to some of their involvement, along with reportedly captured British CW munitions, but I recall from a year or so ago an Iranian general chuckling and remarking that they had penetrated all of the iFUKUS command centers and knew everything that was going on. Russia might be privy to intercepted communications as well, although they no doubt don't want to burn their assets.

Likewise they were tipped by someone at the Swiss lab about the Skripal affair. There was a reason it was Russia who was clamoring to get the OPCW involved (as the proper authority for this type alleged incident), and it looks like it's paying off. In spite of the Brits' attempt to carefully limit the scope of that involvement--like a TV lawyer, "Just answer the misleading question! Yes or No? Did the Porton Down lab find evidence of a toxin that is something like an organophosphate?" Yes, BUT... was obviously the answer the Brits did not want to get out. So the Skripals were hit with BZ to make a scene and get them into isolation, where the frame-up of Russia could begin by carefully seeding A-234 about to make the case; but they got nervous when the OPCW inspectors finally arrived that the "evidence" might be too degraded, since that's what this type of non-persistent agent does, so they re-applied fresh, new samples straight from the lab. Unfortunately this was duly noted by some brave scientist, that the "evidence" was simply too perfect, and Russia was tipped off. But now that this evidence is in the hands not just of Russia but of third parties, May and BJ are going to look very bad indeed.

Posted by: J Swift | Apr 15 2018 15:41 utc | 14

I think I will walk over to my neighbour and de declare his house and car and wife a "vital national interest" and see what happens.....

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Apr 15 2018 15:47 utc | 15

Putin: Further Western Strikes in Syria Contrary to Int'l Law Will Lead to Chaos

Haley responds:

US to Impose Sanctions on Russia Over Support of Assad - Envoy to UN

Best wore if Haley catch a brain stroke, that would save peace.

Posted by: Anon | Apr 15 2018 15:48 utc | 16

Let anyone think that anyone in NATO actually cares about the use of chemical weapons, I will point out that the single biggest chemical attack in the last decade--if not well beyond that--was when the vetted, moderate rebels poisoned the water supply to Damascus early last year. The water was unusable for weeks and killed a lot more than 40 people.

Posted by: Timothy Hagios | Apr 15 2018 16:03 utc | 17

Looking at Trump's string of tweets for the morning of April 11, it looks very likely he had to act on Syria or be impeached. Any time both side of congress and senate are in unison, Trump faces impeachment. This is also the reason Mattis and the pentagon under him are lying about the Ghouta CW and the effectiveness of the US strike. I doubt there will ever be any major attacks on Syria or the Russian forces there under Trump, though there may be more symbolic moves if Trump is facing impeachment. Even symbolic moves have to be sold to the swamp as highly detrimental to Syria and Russia.
Russia will not act when Trump makes these moves.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Apr 15 2018 16:05 utc | 18

At the beginning of the missile attack, twitter had numerous claims of hits on areas where none ever occurred. Here's one This corresponds to a target where Russia claims numerous missiles were interdicted. Perhaps these twitter accounts had expected a different outcome?

Posted by: Jesrad | Apr 15 2018 16:07 utc | 19

Just to say...
What a community!
And what a host!!
B should be super-proud.
Probably the sole bar in the world where you walk in and find people discussing and arguing basing themselves on the UNSC live or on official documents and reports released by governements and organisations.
I doubt you'll find a university where the elite applies the rules followed here.

Posted by: Mina | Apr 15 2018 16:19 utc | 20

#1 May 12th, coz the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem is supposed to happen a couple of days later. Is that what all the build up of an 'invicible armada' is about?

Posted by: Mina | Apr 15 2018 16:27 utc | 21

There is an interesting analysis by A Russian Admiral as to why the attack had such limited success:
It makes sense, they had no time to coordinate and probably thought they had a soft target in Syria if they avoided all the Russian sites. Wrong and it is interesting that the full weapon complement was 300 missiles, perhaps to defend if Russia did attack?

Posted by: frances | Apr 15 2018 16:30 utc | 22

Regarding the 'successful strikes'; my thoughts precisely B. It is telling that nobody in the MSM world was commenting the striking discrepancy not in terms of missile hits but in terms of targets. Obviously FUKus tried to weaken the Syrian airport infrastructure and failed badly.
There are rumors the intention was to add more attack rounds but that this intention was thwarted by the start of the Russian combat aircraft.

Posted by: Pnyx | Apr 15 2018 16:34 utc | 23

Posted by: Jesrad | Apr 15, 2018 12:07:24 PM | 19

Yes, this map is really interesting, the text from 2 days ago goes into detail on strikes that never happened. And if you refresh the site, all the 2 day ago "strikes" on the map disappear. Nice catch!!

Posted by: frances | Apr 15 2018 16:39 utc | 24

Re missiles used in the recent strike on Syria.
Both Tomahawk and air to surface missiles were used. I had read one report of missile coming in over Idlib province. These where most likely lauched by the Brits whos planes took off from Cyprus. They may have launched them off the coast of Turkey, flying over Hatay province Turkey, and Idlib.
US launched air to surface missiles from Jordan. One or more US ships in the Red Sea launched Tomahawks.
There have been a number of comments that thius or that cannot be right because Tomahawks do not do this or that, but what air to surface missiles were used and what are their flight characteristics?
The brits launched 8? (I forget their name at the moment) according to Russia MoD. The US tried a few of its new 'smart' missiles (6?), but what other types did US launch from the air?
Amongst this mix, I think there would be quite a variation in flight characteristics.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Apr 15 2018 16:40 utc | 25

@ Peter AU! 25

Brimstone ? The Brits use Brimstone.

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Apr 15 2018 16:57 utc | 26

Trump has just given jihadis a thousand reasons to stage fake flag operations after this attack

Posted by: Anon | Apr 15 2018 16:59 utc | 27

In follow-on to my earlier post at 22
Jim Stone has some info on why the attack stopped (recall that they had 300 missiles available for this):
"I am going to stick with my assessment that something big was going to happen that caused the U.S. to stop the attack. All the cruise missiles could report their status to the launch site, and the U.S. was sitting there watching them vanish before they reached their targets. "reporting back" was early 90's tech, that the cruise missiles had even then. So it would have been ominous to watch them vanish, And then suddenly, Russian planes were in the air, preparing to attack. That did happen, regardless of whatever any claims are. And within 20 minutes (before they reached their targets) it was suddenly announced that the attack which was supposed to last for days was suddenly over, after only about an hour. Something big happened, and no one is saying what. My guess is that Russia made the right threat."

Posted by: frances | Apr 15 2018 17:01 utc | 28

Don Bacon @2,

Laws and rules are designed and laid out for the yellow/brown/black people and the powerless small potatoes to obey and follow through.

The psychopath and sociopath UK/US/France & Co would always trample any rules or laws that they set up to pursue their intestests, be it $$$, be it resources, be it military and/or ideological dominance.

Remember how the Westerners came to "discover" America and then claimed it theirs without ever asking permission from the indigenous American who had been living there long before they came. Till now they've been whitewashing their illegal squatterings and killings as "given" to them because they're "exceptional people" blessed by God.

Remember how the British demanded China to legalise the drug trade when it ran into 20 million tael silver trade deficit. When China refused, they used guns and boats to force China to take their opium for exchange of China's fine silk, tea and porcelain.

Remeber how the stolen diamonds and rubies from Inida are still sitting on the British crowns, which are worn by HM Queen.

Stealing, lawlessness and bullying are all impregnated in UK/US/Fr's DNA.

Posted by: mali | Apr 15 2018 17:04 utc | 29

After my post @18 I read a recent piece at SST by J. J notes the posture of Trump recently.
Arms folded, a look of dejection or defeat. He has only had this look since being pushed into the Syria strike. The lunatics that are called elected representatives in the US may soon vote Trump out of office. They want Syria destroyed and Russia crushed under their heel. That is when we will see war.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Apr 15 2018 17:07 utc | 30

shargash @ 13

War is about propagnda as much as about bombing itself, if not more important.

US Army is lying and is confident its helper the MSM will get its message through American people's brains.

Posted by: mali | Apr 15 2018 17:08 utc | 31

More escalation tommorow by US:

More sanctions against Russia to be announced on Monday - Haley

Posted by: Anon | Apr 15 2018 17:16 utc | 32

Anon @16

Just shows how schizophrenic US has become.

iFUKUS will not back awy from further attacks, I'am sure. Hope Russia is now decided to supply Syria with S-300 or even S-400.

Posted by: mali | Apr 15 2018 17:17 utc | 33

mali 31

It is not so much the people the US army is trying to deceive but congress. If they cannot pull it off, they will have to go to war with Russia.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Apr 15 2018 17:18 utc | 34

Since this is an open thread...

Does anybody know of a good news aggregator that does not censor/weed out publications that do not conform to "preferred narratives"? Google News seems to have gotten worse (almost no western indy media at all) as of late and it's become practically useless. NewsNow is a little better but seems to include a limited number of sources. RT, PressTV, Global Times and other government-affiliated sources are generally more objective than western mainstream media, but I worry that they may omit certain info that is uncomfortable to them.


Posted by: farm ecologist | Apr 15 2018 17:20 utc | 35

I think I will walk over to my neighbour and de declare his house and car and wife a "vital national interest" and see what happens.....

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Apr 15, 2018 11:47:26 AM | 15

Posted by: mali | Apr 15 2018 17:27 utc | 36

Peter AU 1 @ 34

You mean the US army is trying to deceive the congress?

Posted by: mali | Apr 15 2018 17:29 utc | 37

farm ecologist 35

I don't think there are any. Information Clearing House aggregates opinion pieces but not news as such.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Apr 15 2018 17:30 utc | 38

The Pentagon claims that 76 missiles hit Barzeh. Ludicrous.
Posted by: shargash | Apr 15, 2018 11:37:42 AM | 13

Barzeh is also in a densely built-up residential area, according to Sputnik. 76 missiles to hit a few small buildings and only 4 / 8 / 12 for whole aerodromes? That's because Barzeh is a residential area and the missiles are "for the protection of civilians" after all ...

Note that the US Navy ships were in the Red Sea not the Mediterranean - that is to keep them further away from Russia's Kinzhal missiles based in Southern Russia. Immediately after the strike Russia sealed an agreement for the use of a base in Iran - ships in the Red Sea no longer safe!

Posted by: BM | Apr 15 2018 17:38 utc | 39

There is nothing new about this. The Empire never accepts its mistakes and failures until its too late. Lets just hope they never kick this habit until its too late.

Posted by: meme | Apr 15 2018 17:39 utc | 40

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Apr 15, 2018 1:07:21 PM | 30
I agree, he looks flummoxed but he is a tough guy and he may be able to fight though, although the Bolton hire is scary.
The plus side is the US strike was not a success, no matter how the msm tries to spin it. This may explain why the US is going to issue all new, shiny Russian sanctions tomorrow.
The new sanctions and this strike will also serve the deep state's objective of blocking any meeting between Putin and Trump, or maybe not, Putin his a shrewd apple and may see through all of this.

Posted by: frances | Apr 15 2018 17:41 utc | 41 is good news aggregator. There is also

Posted by: Phodges | Apr 15 2018 17:45 utc | 42

Given relative high success rate of Russian air defence systems, the US just helped prove and advertise the effectiveness of Russian military equipment. I would be interested to know if Russian military equipment sales go up in the weeks to follow.

Posted by: Ninel | Apr 15 2018 17:49 utc | 43

Peter AU 1 @38
Phodges @42

Was not familiar with any of these - thanks a bunch!

Posted by: farm ecologist | Apr 15 2018 17:54 utc | 44

Bakerpete @12

Thank you for the excellent article. Very powerful and insightful introspection! Hope more people will be able to read it.

Posted by: mali | Apr 15 2018 18:07 utc | 45

@Peter Au,

In response to your #24 on earlier thread, I concur. I suggest that to understand the U.K./US Salisbury--Ghouta plot, all readers should read

1. Magnier's latest here:

2. Sputnik or Global research write up of Fars news agency account here:

3. Thierry Meyssan's March 20 piece at Voltaire here:

The pieces fit together nicely.

Posted by: WJ | Apr 15 2018 18:07 utc | 46

This is what some anonymous entity posted at Breaking Defense:(excerpt follows)

The missiles struck at the heart of the Syrian chemical weapons enterprise, taking out three sites, one in Damascus, and two further north near the city of Homs, that produce and story[sic] chlorine and sarin precursor materials.

The strike was remarkable for the number of widely dispersed assets used to hit the three targets:

> From the Mediterranean, the U.S. Virginia-class submarine USS John Warner fired six Tomahawk missiles, and the French frigate Languedoc launched 3 SCALP missiles.
> In the Red Sea, the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Monterrey fired 30 Tomahawk cruise missiles, while the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Laboon launched another seven Tomahawks.
> In the Arabian Gulf, another Burke, the USS Higgins, shot an additional 23 Tomahawks.
> Additionally, U.S. Air Force B-1 bombers launched nineteen 2,000-lb. Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles (JASSM). The extended range variant, which was used in this strike, has a range of about 1,000 km.
> British Typhoon and Tornado aircraft also launched 8 2,900-lb. Storm Shadow cruise missiles with a range of over 500 km.
> French aircraft shot a further nine SCALPs.

It’s not yet clear which bases the allied aircraft launched from, although the B-1s probably came from al-Udeid in Qatar and Anglo-French aircraft from Europe.

NOTE: "Arabian Gulf" suggests someone in the Pentagon, especially Navy. That's what they do.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 15 2018 18:11 utc | 47

b - "The attack was a U.S. attempt to disable the Syrian air force by destroying its airports."

Do you mean the runways, specifically? The tactic of grounding aircraft by damaging runways is used, but it is understood as a temporary (hours, maybe a day or two) at best no matter how big the crater. Several smaller craters or a deeper crater require more effort to repair, but do not substantially increase the time the runway is unuseable (hours, days). Typical western scenarios have cruise missiles or stand-off weapons taking out the air defenses first, followed by aircraft using precision munitions to destroy all the aircraft and infrastructure.

FWIW, the attack pattern yesterday is pretty much what one would expect from a wide-area, short-range air defense probe, not a strike mission. The US and Israel already have the general geographical positions of longer- and mid-range air defense radars and communications networks mapped out for the time being. Taking those out will necessarily mean killing Russian soldiers. They'll only do that when they go all out.

They need a better picture of the quantity/type of short-range systems defending the longer-range systems, or short-range systems deeper inside Syria that may not have been noticed or ever turned on. Any intel is intel - positions will change, but you'll know to focus on an area tomorrow to pinpoint targets if you know they are there today.

On an attack like the one yesterday, you attempt to get a few cruise missiles inside or beyond the longer-range defenses. You want to appear to attack deeper, high-value targets (actual or suspected) that may defended with short-range SAM systems. Those systems (Pantsirs in the case of Syria) don't fire up their radars revealing their presence until a missile gets close enough. So you have to make that happens. You want to make sure they are nervous about a significant attack and watching for one. I think that part went swimmingly.

The cruise missiles don't even have to strike anything. Probe one site, then maneuver to the next one and probe it. Or probe a site approaching from one direction/altitude, then divert and approach from a different one. You don't even have to have a specific target - just buzz an area to see if its defended at all and by what equipment. Everything, including the cruise missile itself, is gathering data and sending it off to someone. At the end of the mission, run the missile into a plausible target or destroy it. See? It wasn't a probe, it was a failed strike mission. There were xx number of apparent attacks, so there must have been xx number of cruise missiles fired. Hah - your expensive cruise missiles are worthless!

It failed and the Pentagon is hiding that failure.

Or it was a successful SIGINT/mapping mission, not a strike mission, and neither the Pentagon nor Tel Aviv care to advertise that fact. Russian command staff plays the 'old, dumb Soviet generals' throwback act and brags about their supposed air defense success. In the meantime, they know exactly what happened and why FUKUS did it, and don't care to advertise that fact. Everything is intel to them.

Soviet leadership were psychopaths and didn't quite understand the US. The Russians, today, know what psychopathy looks like from up close. The current crop running Israel and the US are just not that clever. Russia can see right through them and realize how dangerous they are. They know exactly where this is going and what's at stake.

Israel and the US are still obsessed with the success of the 1967 Six Day War. Land-grabs, resource-stealing and Arab-killing require total air dominance first. That is being arranged. Exhausted opponent forces like the Egyptian troops Israel was facing in 1967? Check - that is the job of the Saudi and US Special Forces al Qaeda and ISIS contingents - Syrian troops are determined but exhausted today, and have lost most of their military equipment. [By the way, the Egyptian troops sent to the Sinai in '67 were exhausted because they had been fighting the flip-flop army of northern Yemeni tribes. Nobody defeats the flip-flop army!]

I'm not an army guy so can't speak to whatever the ground invasion of Syria will look like. The writing is on the wall for me about the Syrian air defenses, though. Russia interrupted the 'destroy all air defenses' phase for a few years, but the Israeli-firster US deep state demands we finish the job. For Christ's sake, they exhumed Bolton's corpse and a week later Tomahawks are flying. The US Administration and Pentagon have been well-sheckel'd and properly trained to kiss the ring of MbS for easy cash. Time to earn that pay... er, make the little people earn that pay. The way to Iran is through Syria and the Israelis and Saudis are getting impatient.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Apr 15 2018 18:11 utc | 48

I wonder how likely it is that the missiles flying towards Barzeh were seen at the time as missiles that overshot any strategic targets and considered as a lower priority by the air defense forces. Because the three targets the Pentagon got to parade around feel like a waste of missiles intended to make intercepts look less efficient than they were.

Posted by: Galvanize | Apr 15 2018 18:11 utc | 49

Another hypothesis about the scrambling of Russia jets well after the show started is perhaps to be found in reference to B1 bombers. Although strike points of US cruise / crude missiles can perhaps be extrapolated from flight paths, the BI (stealth) bombers could fly in relatively close and launch at targets at the last minute.

The fighters may have scrambled to head that off.

Posted by: Paul | Apr 15 2018 18:13 utc | 50

Coming up for Trump (in addition to his increased domestic problems) is North Korea. Probably President Kim will now be even more disinclined to disarm than he previously was. The US: "Trust us, if you disarm we won't take advantage of your weakness.". . .uh-huh.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 15 2018 18:19 utc | 51

Paveway, Makes sense. However, we now are informed that Russia is delivering more and more sophisticated anti-aircraft weapons systems to Syria in response to this attack.

Posted by: fast freddy | Apr 15 2018 18:20 utc | 52

Notice the absence of the destroyer Donald Cook.
On that we have this article from Stars & Stripes: (excerpt)

As images of sick or dying children flooded global media all week, the U.S. guided-missile destroyer USS Winston Churchill was en route to the Mediterranean to join a flotilla of allied warships, including another U.S. destroyer, the USS Donald Cook.

It was a ruse.

While both vessels carry as many as 90 Tomahawk missiles – the main weapon used in the Friday evening strike on Syria – neither ship in the end fired a shot. Instead, according to a person familiar with White House war planning, they were part of a plan to distract Russia and its Syrian ally from an assault Assad's government could do little to defend itself against.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 15 2018 18:27 utc | 53

Without having read all the posted comments, but while in the process of putting together an opinion piece analysis for a French-langauge newspaper in Switzerland, I can say that the French were involved. The number of weapons used can be explained by a simple fact: everybody was testing weapons. After such tests, on the manufaturers' websites, one usually finds the desigation "battle tested" for those thus tested. This increases their salability.

More later perhaps, as time and analysis allow.

Posted by: Robet James Parsons | Apr 15 2018 18:40 utc | 54

One thing should be perfectly clear by now. The corporate empire's goals will never change. Regime change, and a failed state in Syria, are a must to further the global hegemony desired..

And, all for the sake of profits..

Hopefully, the alliances strong enough to blunt this monstrous goal, are not involved in the "war show" going on...

Posted by: ben | Apr 15 2018 18:43 utc | 55

thanks b! this is informative..

@46 wj - thanks for those links..

@48 paveway... thanks.. ditto @52 ff's comment to you..

Posted by: james | Apr 15 2018 18:55 utc | 56

mali 37
Yes. Congress, senate... they seem to have the belief that if the US launches a devastating strike on Syria without caring if Russians are killed, that the Russians will back off and run home. Pentagon knows that if they do this, Russia will strike back and with the lunatics in congress and senate trying to run the asylum, this will quickly lead to MAD.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Apr 15 2018 18:59 utc | 57

@ 46 link to magneir is worth reading.. i am quoting the last part which is especially interesting..

"Turkish President Erdogan expressed his support and later satisfaction with the US strikes on Syria. Russia answered by asking him to deliver the city of Afrin to the Syrian government. Iran’s special envoy for Syrian affairs Ali Akbar Velayati overtly stated that the next objective is Idlib. Therefore, it is now feasible for Turkey to pull out of its dozen observation bases around Idlib, even as Russia pulled out of Afrin prior to the Turkish attack. And Russia expects Erdogan to cancel the previously agreed sale of the S-400 missiles any day.

Thus, the compass points to Idlib, Rastan, Jisr al-Shoughour and the Syrian Army forces gathering in rural Lattakia, ready to divide Idlib after liberating the many villages around it.

This will bring the world to the next “chemical attack” appointment in the next operational theatre of the Syrian army and its allies. Would the US stand by al-Qaeda? Why not? It has never really been a question of the use of chemical weapons, since the US holds the largest stockpile of chemical weapons worldwide: the real issue is the defeat of the US faced with the dominance of Russia over the Levant."

also for anyone who missed it.. i was away friday, but the daily usa press briefing propaganda sheet from friday rarely disappoints!'

Posted by: james | Apr 15 2018 19:06 utc | 58

craig murrays latest from today The British Government’s Legal Justification for Bombing is Entirely False and Without Merit

Posted by: james | Apr 15 2018 19:08 utc | 59

@ james | 59

FYI, your link goes to the State Department briefing schedule.

I think you meant to use

Posted by: Ort | Apr 15 2018 19:30 utc | 60

Posted by: PavewayIV | Apr 15, 2018 2:11:41 PM | 48
Really interesting, thank you!
Could it be that this assessment worked both ways; Russia now knows what the US knows and will make its info moot? As fastfreddie noted, Russia is going to bring Syria new equip.
I am inclined to think, even in the face of your excellent comment, that this was intended to be a serious hit.
I believe our latest Axis of Evil had every intention of destroying all of Damascus, the Syrian infrastructure, airports, planes, all except for the Russian sites.
They were surprised by Syrian capabilities and cut the mission short.
When the State Dept did their show and tell on the mission, they did not look like people who had won, they looked like people who had just had an unsettling experience.
The sudden announcement that the US is putting new sanctions on Russia on Monday may be their way of saving face as these are new, new sanctions from what I have read so far.

Posted by: frances | Apr 15 2018 19:38 utc | 61

The proportion of missile failure was even greater than for the 59 Tomahawk attack a year ago on the Sha'ayrat airbase. In a year they haven't been able to find a solution. This is quite grave for the US military.

Posted by: Laguerre | Apr 15 2018 19:46 utc | 62

I know Russia has staked out a willingness to continue to exercise diplomacy, but might they at least float some demurs about hosting Macron in Russia in May?

Posted by: Paul | Apr 15 2018 19:46 utc | 63

I think whatever your opinion of the strikes on Friday evening (stateside), there are only two worldviews for which you would frame and fit the events to line up with that worldview.

I was trying to explain why this is happening to my wife on Friday and why America feels the need to get its rocks off by launching tomahawks. She had catholic parents who believe in certain issues of eschatology, namely nuclear war, and have drilled the idea into her since what I am hoping was a safe age to do so. Nonetheless, the intricacies of the Syrian conflict is only understood by years of following the events. And so it is difficult to unpack these intricacies on her, (would she even care to understand these) just like how it is difficult to respond to a friend at work when they comment on Assad gassing his own people.

I discovered the Saker's blog during the flareup in Donbass and watched as the airport there changed hands to the east in a ridiculous display of wanton destruction. From there, the Syrian war became important to me. Almost four years later and we sit watching the final moments, hoping for peace, but knowing the diabolical forces inhabit our western governments which will not relinquish their Wolfowitz Doctrine. This we know.

Which leads me to my thought about the two worldviews and which Trump no doubt plays a large part:

To my mind, one can either FEEL that this is indeed a desperate moment of the west OR you feel that the elites in the west are resigning themselves to the fate of jumping ship, arranging their finances for the move, and are getting ready to leave western nations (particularly the US) with the check. In other words, these assholes just order the fanciest lobster in the tank, ordered more than one drink, and are getting ready to sneak out the bathroom window because they can't pay.

So does Donald Trump really LOVE America? Is he a true-believer in the west and is dissed so hard by Sparta that he feels compelled to go all-in? In my mind, it would be better if he weren't and so would let America fall into the hundred-year darkness which we are about to descend. And not from nuclear winter will we be shrouded in the cloth of the untouchables, but from weening ourselves from centralized gov't teets. The only question is, will Putin and co. and Europe's vassal-states allow these orchesTRAITORS to slip themselves into their realm, cryogenically-frozen to be awoken centuries from now at the right moment when centralization and globalization again stretches its gnarled-limbs out upon the unsuspecting world.

If the guns stand down, that may be the only thing we can hope for. Certainly never expect the fine-feathered elite to be brought before the court of public opinion. But then again...Putin is a wily fox.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Apr 15 2018 19:47 utc | 64

@ PavewayIV

I love the thinking and analysis

I saw this as combining two major purposes
1) political - to give Trump his diversion, and marshal wavering supporters to show he is a man of action. By attacking the sites the OPCW had certified were chemical sites (even though empty and de-activated for years) he can claim to have acted decisively without laying the ground for longer-term US involvement.
2) Militarily - the strike was to identify and weaken the SAS Air Defence system. Targeting airports is futile. Targeting the Air defence network (radars, mobile missile launchers) is critical. All the airports targeted were key air defence nodes controlled by the SAA (my guess is others in the north near Aleppo are controlled by Russian elements). Israel claimed it had destroyed most of the Syrian air defence network in Southern Syria recently. While factually untrue, it does indicate the direction of their concern(and US concern).

On this level, the 100 missile strike was a test and probably gave the US their much needed info on the electronics of a larger operation. Once the carrier strike group arrives, with a first wave capability that numbers over 1000 missiles, we will see the real results of this confrontation.

If this confrontation was won by the Russians, the CSG will threaten, make a show of force, claim success and back off. It dare not risk a 71 % failure for a 1000 missile attack. If the US feels it has the electronic warfare info it needs to overwhelm the Syrian systems, IMO it will go for another attack lasting days as the US (pentagon and political types) have been humiliated by Putin for too long to let it slide. They will still avoid the Russians but they will not leave a bridge, electrical plant, water plant or other piece of infrastructure undamaged.

Posted by: les7 | Apr 15 2018 19:51 utc | 65


Or perhaps what you say is true of the preplanned air attack that was originally to follow the ground invasion of Damascus by citizen militias (al-Islam led by embedded U.K., US, and Jordanian operatives) in response to a false flag chemical attack in Ghouta. The rhetorical script was for the most part followed even as the purpose and force of the attack had changed: the purpose was now to distract from the impending revelations of the U.K. /US Salisbury-Ghouta conspiracy; the force had to account for the presence of Russian troops across the whole of Syria, as opposed to isolated in one quadrant of the country, as had been the plan when the original conspiracy was hatched. The Russian discovery of this plot--in early to mid February--undermined the UK US major operation that was to take down Damascus, leading to a partitioned Syria the major hub or which would be controlled by US and Israel. No wonder why everybody hates the Russians.

Posted by: WJ | Apr 15 2018 19:52 utc | 66

this link from march 16th needs much wider exposure..
Terrorist capabilities laid bare in an Eastern Ghouta chemical lab

i had seen it when it came out and various posts related to it, but in light of what has happened the past month, it really needs continued and greater exposure for many more people to see...

Posted by: james | Apr 15 2018 19:53 utc | 67

Posted on Labour List.

Just 22 per cent of the public would support a cruise missile attacks against Syrian military targets, a new poll shows.

43 per cent of the British public oppose missile strikes on Syria, according to the latest YouGov research commissioned by the Times. A significant 34 per cent of respondents said ‘don’t know’.

Voters from all main parties were overall against launching cruise missile attacks, but the majority (51 per cent) of 2017 Labour voters oppose the move while the Tories are almost evenly split (33 per cent support strikes, 34 per cent oppose).

However, at 61 per cent, a majority do believe the Syrian government or their allies were “probably” responsible for the chemical attack in Douma. Only 10 per cent said they thought “the claims are fabrications” or “something else happened”.

Over the weekend it was reported by Syrian opposition activists and medics on the ground that over 40 people were killed in a suspected chemical attack on a rebel-held town near the capital.

The Syrian government and Russia deny both the involvement of Assad, president of Syria, and that chemical weapons were used.

The new YouGov results seem to suggest the British public opposes intervention. But asked whether they would support the enforcement of a ‘no-fly zone’ over Syria, an overwhelming 60 per cent said they would back the move.

Deputy political editor Steve Hawkes tweeted: “YouGov polls says 22% back airstrikes – 60% a no fly zone. Presumably they have no idea what a no fly zone would trigger”.


As we can see, the public is thoroughly miseducated by the media but suspicious. The good news is that Corbyn will not suffer for his very cautious anti-intervention position, but the imperialists do not suffer particularly either. It is interesting why there is such a gap between agreeing that "Syrian government is guilty" and supporting the airstrikes.

I can see three reasons for half of the public being in the 61% that believe that "Syrian government probably did something nasty" and 78% "bombing is Syria is ill-advised". One is the conviction that UK (and the other Western countries) support atrocities perpetrated by KSA etc., so there is no need to follow from "atrocities" to "stop selling arms", and even less with "intervention".

The second reason is that a large part of the public does not care about human rights in the Middle East but worries that "Islamist" and/or chaos can be a disastrous replacement of the current government. Even if they believe that it is tyrannical and "guilty".

Third, the wisdom of bombing "just a bit, not to change situation too much" is hard to absorb -- not impossible, but at par with assorted total BS, like improving your luck by purchasing a crystal (apologies to crystal owners here, perhaps I should change the example).

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 15 2018 19:54 utc | 68



It's how I found Moon and Sic Semper

Posted by: WJ | Apr 15 2018 19:55 utc | 69

>BLOCKQUOTE>It does not make any sense to send 35 cruise missiles against each of those not hardened, not defended targets

Well, not including the costs for the launches, these missiles go for about $ 1.4 million a piece. Times 100, makes for a quick $ 140 million bucks.

The high failure rate of these 'Made in USA' missiles will be used to sell the missile stock update in addition to the allocated $10.8 billion for modernization and additional nuclear warhead capabilities.

Smedley Butler could have never imagined just how much of a racket war (especially the one of terror) would turn out to be.

As long as the US and its vassals make a living off of killing innocent people somewhere else, there will be no end to 'missile strikes', or worse. Since an all out nuclear conflict would also ruin the profit model of the armament industry, it will be as unlikely to happen as peace.

Mankind needs a lot more evolving in order to survive the psychopathy of its warmongers, war profiteers, poliwhores and presstitutes.

Is there anybody that believes weapons could ever be outlawed on planet earth? The probability of that happening is equal to the probability for lasting peace.

Posted by: notheonly1 | Apr 15 2018 19:57 utc | 70

BM @39

Not only did Russia seal a deal to use 2 Iranian military airfield, part of the deal was to locate S300 and Pansir systems. And thats only the bits publically admitted.

So thats the Arabian gulf tied up, and forget about attacking Iran.

A lot of the confusion re success rates and targets is, IMHO, down to the Russian electronic warfare systems, which seem formidable.

Posted by: cdvision | Apr 15 2018 20:00 utc | 71

From what I can make of Trump, he wants to return the US to its general prosperity that it has enjoyed in the past, a country with world leading infrastructure, were average workers are better of than workers of other countries. He is not interested in wars that are detrimental or costly to the US. If a war is profitable for the US, he may be interested.
Like Erdogan in Turkey, Trump is heading for the multi-polar world. Personally I don't like the US culture of full blown capitalism and privatization that is US culture and gave rise to the neo-cons, but that is not the point. Trump wants the capitalism of the likes of Henry Ford whose innovation? of production line produced good quality cheap products but paid workers two to three times the going rate.

The neo-cons, with their never ending wars for total dominance are destroying the world and the US. It is starting to look like they will also destroy Trump.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Apr 15 2018 20:09 utc | 72

re Don 48

FWIW, the attack pattern yesterday is pretty much what one would expect from a wide-area, short-range air defense probe, not a strike mission.
I'm not sure I agree with that. 100 missiles from US, UK and France is a political commitment, not just a military test. At any rate, the military failure is also a political failure. A year's effort since the 59 Tomahawk attack hasn't improved the success rate. Must be very worrying for the US military.

Posted by: Laguerre | Apr 15 2018 20:12 utc | 73

Peter AU1

Considering Trump kick out Tillerson and so forth and added many neocons one cant deny to see the reality of what is going on. Trump knows perfectly well what he is doing and did in Syria. He isnt pushed by anyone.

Posted by: Anon | Apr 15 2018 20:12 utc | 74

nc @ 64: Nice post.. I get your frustration trying to explain the Syrian situation to those who haven't been following it from the beginning.( kudos to b, and MoA) You're fortunate if you can even find someone who even cares. Here in the U$A, the vast majority could give a rat's ass about anything going on in the rest of the world, and are too busy sucking up the MSM version of the "greatest country on earth" BS.

Guess the old saying "You get the kind of Gov. you deserve" is too true.

Posted by: ben | Apr 15 2018 20:14 utc | 75

Thanks, WJ. Quite an interesting mix!

Posted by: farm ecologist | Apr 15 2018 20:17 utc | 76

@ 47 don Bacon

Thanks for that list. It is very informative. As an aside it seems as though they took a page from Russia's book (shooting Kalibr missiles from the Caspian) and were trying to earn some cred for their flagging tomahawk sales.

I think the real message, a bit subtle but definitely not lost on the Russians, is that any action in the Syrian theater will immediately bring into play forces from a very wide area.

The US is sending a message about their logistical reserves and their willingness to use it.

This can only be bad news for those hoping for a limited engagement. IF the US is willing to immediately broaden the scope of the confrontation, then escalation will jump up the steps 2 and 3 at a time.

Posted by: les7 | Apr 15 2018 20:19 utc | 77

@64 NemesisCalling.. ditto bens comment to you.. nice post! sums up much of my own view too..

@72 peter.. read @64 post.. it is much along the line of yours!

Posted by: james | Apr 15 2018 20:22 utc | 78

A further thought to my post @72
The photographs of Trump with his arms folded and the general look. Defensive or beaten type look.
In Trump's book, Art of the Deal, what he respects most is people that deliver what they promise. He uses hyperbole to sell a product, but above all he must deliver what the people want.
He campaigned on pulling US out of foreign entanglements and useless expensive wars.
The choreographed attack on Shayrat airbase preempted the neocons and took the wind out of their sails. This latest strike, rather than being pre-emptive, was forced on him. He has not been able to deliver the product he promised and what people bought when they elected him.
The reaction of the likes of Alan Jones and other Trump supporters on Twitter and elsewhere is evidence of that failure.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Apr 15 2018 20:28 utc | 79

Anon 74

The neo-con world butters Tillerson's bread. I suspect he was a snake in the grass like Obama.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Apr 15 2018 20:31 utc | 80

Thank you b for this treasure of analysis and commmenters. The intellectual effort of all are reassuring.

and thank you Swift @14. That is an interesting surmise and the truth, if it ever emerges will be fascinating. I suspect Theresa May and her manbag Boris are soon for the knackery but whether it comes as a party spill or a no confidence vote will be worth watching. Trump cannot be at all comfortable with the realisation that the top government funtionaries of PM, MI6 plus'retired' spies like Christopher Steele were putting the dirt dossier together that was intended to get Hillary Clinton elected and now cripples his presidency.

I did notice reports that Sergei Skripal was working on a project with Steele's company and SCL/Cambridge Analytica on a Petersburg activity. Not seen anything further but perhaps there will be diamonds in the dust there too. SCL, being led by the tightest UK Tory and deep state gang, is bound to be unravelled by good journalim and loony british hubris in the near future.

Posted by: flamingo | Apr 15 2018 20:56 utc | 81

Peter AU1 @ 79 said:"In Trump's book, Art of the Deal, what he respects most is people that deliver what they promise."

Trump must not respect himself much, because according to people who have followed his entire career say he never delivers things promised..

Posted by: ben | Apr 15 2018 20:59 utc | 82

This was the last US missile attack on Syria. These things simply don't offer any payoff anymore. They already pretty much destroyed whatever small chances Trump ever had at being re-elected, highlight growing military impotence of the West, enhance international standing of Russia and Iran, and lead to increased refugee inflows into Europe. It's all loss and no benefit for the western powers at this point. Russians get to test and hone their newest weaponry at small cost, while America is being reduced to permanent damage control and lying to cover up previously lies. US reputation is already in tatters.
In the longer term all of the factors that doom the West - demography, racial tensions, fiscal unraveling, economic atrophy - will only worsen.
Russians will have to apply extraordinary efforts in order to lose Cold War 2.0. Gorbachev would be able to do it. But not Putin, the best geopolitical poker player in the world, as David Stockman puts it.

Posted by: telescope | Apr 15 2018 21:00 utc | 83

One case in point @ 82:

Posted by: ben | Apr 15 2018 21:01 utc | 84

Posted by: Bakerpete | Apr 15 2018 21:03 utc | 85

@telescope 83
Regarding Gorbachev, I've long had the feeling that he deliberately collapsed the Soviet Union. You have to consider the times and the obvious trajectory of the Soviet Union's economy and the pressure put on them by the US. I think Gorbachev saw this and said "okay, you want to be king of the world here ya go". However there was a much longer game involved and Gorbachev, and anyone else paying attention, could see the trajectory the US was on as well. I believe the long game of collapse and rebuild was planned for and that Putin was carefully groomed for his role. It's working.

Posted by: Bakerpete | Apr 15 2018 21:09 utc | 86

With all that's going on, why Russia doesn't announce it will no longer be giving US astronauts rides to the space station, effective immediately, is beyond me.

Posted by: Woogs | Apr 15 2018 21:16 utc | 87

USSR was destroyed by SDI cartoons (those were inexplicably played on Soviet TV 24/7), Russian's desire to freely travel abroad, and Soviet Union's overall senility and loss of ideological underpinnings. Gorbachev was simply a final result of the deep rot, just like Trump is in the USA today.

Posted by: telescope | Apr 15 2018 21:21 utc | 88

You desperately underestimate the malign intent of the powers that be. Suppose Ukraine just 'happens' to erupt in full scale war and Russia intervenes to prevent the slaughter of Russian residents? Now put that together with another false flag chemical attack near Idlib or Jisr al Shugur. Do you really think there would not be enough MSM driven outrage to launch another round of attack??? - perhaps in mid to late May??

Why else is the Saudi backed force of JAI (who have boasted about using chemical attacks) be attacking ISIS in the Idlib pocket other than to control the sites that will be used (and to collect bodies for proper preparation)??

I have been predicting a major false flag against Russia (to be played out in Syria and the Ukraine) early in the World cup match process (close to the quarter finals) for months now.

Everything about the present only adds more weight to that analysis. What you see as Trump's impotence and defeat will be portrayed then as patient tolerance that was rewarded with Russian betrayal - all to call for and justify a major confrontation.

Posted by: les7 | Apr 15 2018 21:22 utc | 89

>>>> BM | Apr 15, 2018 1:38:46 PM | 39

Kinzhal missiles based in Southern Russia

The Khinzal is the navalised version of the Tor surface-to-air missile system, not an anti-ship missile. Perhaps you are thinking of Kalibr cruise missile which include an anti-ship version. BTW, RAF Akrotiri on Cyprus is within range of Kalibr cruise missiles launched from the Buyan-M (probably the most potent warship for the price in the world today) of the Caspian Sea Flotilla and neither the Royal Navy nor the US Navy have any capability on the Caspian Sea.

From wikipedia:

an all-weather low to medium altitude, short-range surface-to-air missile system designed for engaging airplanes, helicopters, cruise missiles, precision guided munitions, unmanned aerial vehicles and short-range ballistic threats (Anti-Munitions). Originally developed by the Soviet Union under the GRAU designation 9K330 Tor, the system is commonly known by its NATO reporting name, SA-15 "Gauntlet". A navalized variant was developed under the name 3K95 "Kinzhal", also known as the SA-N-9 "Gauntlet". Tor was also the first air defence system in the world designed from the start to shoot down precision guided weapons like the AGM-86 ALCM day and night, in bad weather and jamming situation. Tor can detect targets while on the move. The vehicle must stop intermittently when firing, although trials are being conducted to eliminate this restriction.

Given that the RuAF seems to have scared off the USAF over Syria, it makes more sense for the Russians to deliver Tor systems rather than S-300/S-400 to deal with the next wave of cruise missiles when it arrives.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Apr 15 2018 21:27 utc | 90

Art of The Deal was obviously ghost written. We can all bear witness to the fact that Twitter Trump is barely capable of writing a complete, coherent, adult-styled sentence.

That said, we cannot know what the idiot's principles may be.

His history demonstrates that he is a grande scale con man - rip-off artist. He has used bankruptcy laws to his benefit to avoid paying his bills. Many have suffered in their "artful dealings" with the disgusting sob.

That said, Hillary and the most of Democrats are on the same page.

Posted by: fast freddy | Apr 15 2018 21:27 utc | 91

re 87 woogs. there's absolutely no need for Russia to do anything. That's Johnson's idea, that the events will lead Russia into retaliation. But quite false, who would they?

Posted by: Laguerre | Apr 15 2018 21:29 utc | 92

b says and asks,
"...The Pentagon is lying. The attack was a U.S. attempt to disable the Syrian air force by destroying its airports. It failed and the Pentagon is hiding that failure. Will the U.S. media report this discrepancy?..."

the Ministry of Truth and Propaganda will not acknowledge or look into this discrepancy, you can be certain. It would create too much cognitive dissonance, the reporter/analyst would be called a putin sympathizer or puppet for questioning too much the Ministry's version of things

Posted by: michaelj72 | Apr 15 2018 21:30 utc | 93

fast freddy

Have you ever seen the very good comedians/satirists interviewed off screen when they are being themselves? Very smart people that pick up on and emphasize character traits. Trump is one of these.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Apr 15 2018 21:32 utc | 94

The treachery of Erdoghan knows no limit. I gather that when an actual invasive move is made (other than the the failed 'uprising' of the last five years) that it will come through Turkey assisted eagerly by the overexcited Erdoghan. I dont believe Russia or anyone can ever control him other than with force.

The Idlib battle to finally clear out the Sunni killers will certainly trigger another fake CW 'attack' as the loss of that many 'freedom fighters' will be intolerable. The current terrorist force in Idlib is elemental to the western/israel/sunni fantasy of conquer Syria then Iran. Leaving the sunni killers bottled up to fester with each other and occasionally promoting factional killing sprees may be a better intermediate strategy for Syria. Time is short though, a major US battle fleet is approaching.

This current world war is slow motion and drawn out but it is a world war and we all must work hard to stop the lunacy.

Posted by: flamingo | Apr 15 2018 21:33 utc | 95

>>>> Paul | Apr 15, 2018 2:13:18 PM | 50

Although strike points of US cruise / crude missiles can perhaps be extrapolated from flight paths, the BI (stealth) bombers could fly in relatively close and launch at targets at the last minute.

You are confusing the B-1, which is not stealthy, with the B-2 which is. Because of the engineering support they need after each mission, the B-2s have to fly from their base in the US although I believe they can also operate out of Guam. As there was no need to enter Syrian airspace to launch missiles, the B-1 was used instead. Also there is the slight problems that might arise for the US MIC if a B-2 was shot down in Syrian airspace.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Apr 15 2018 21:33 utc | 96

It is true that the triangularly shaped B2 Stealth bmobers operate from Guam.

Posted by: fast freddy | Apr 15 2018 21:36 utc | 97

Russia HAS stopped shipments and technical "cooperation" of the RD180 rocket engines the US uses to launch to the space station AND to launch US military/spy satellites. So the US gov't will have to rely on Musk or Branson to get their crap into space? Russia has also ended tech exchanges in the nuclear industry, which means the US won't be able to retrofit Soviet/Russian design nuke power plants ot use US-design fuel bundles. Like they were trying to do in Ukraine.

Posted by: A P | Apr 15 2018 21:38 utc | 98

@83 and 89,

I think that short term 89 is likely right, while long term (10 years or so) 83 is likely also right. But can we make it that far? The US knows only one game, and it can't win that game any longer. But denial is a bitch.

Posted by: WJ | Apr 15 2018 21:39 utc | 99


About three months ago you were convinced that an attack on Lebanon was imminent. Isn’t now the best time for such an attack?

A full-blown war with Syria would activate Hezbollah in Lebanon anyway. So why not attack Lebanon first while everyone is expecting an attack on Syria?

I would not be surprised to see a false flag attributed to Hezbollah just before or just after arrival of US fleet.

After an invasion of Lebanon, Syrian and Iranian governments may declare war. At which point, attacking Syria would be legal.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 15 2018 21:42 utc | 100

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