Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 11, 2018

Trump Asks Russia To Roll Over - It Won't

Donald Trump may perceive these bad cop/good cop tweets as a serious way to negotiate with Russia. They ain't.

Donald J. Trump - @realDonaldTrump - 10:57 AM UTC - 11 Apr 2018
Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and “smart!” You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!
Donald J. Trump - @realDonaldTrump - 11:37 AM UTC - 11 Apr 2018
Our relationship with Russia is worse now than it has ever been, and that includes the Cold War. There is no reason for this. Russia needs us to help with their economy, something that would be very easy to do, and we need all nations to work together. Stop the arms race?

Russia said it would destroy the platforms that launch the missiles, not only the missiles themselves. Did nobody explain the difference to Trump?

There is reason that U.S. relations with Russia are now worse than they have been for some time and Russia is not responsible for these. The GW Bush administration killed the Anti-Ballistic-Missile treaty which guaranteed Mutually Assured Destruction and thus strategic stability. The Obama administration launched a trillion dollar program to ramp up U.S. nuclear capabilities and ballistic missile defense with the aim of achieving superiority in a nuclear conflict.

It is cynical to say that "Russia needs us to help with their economy". The U.S. under Trump is waging economic war on Russia by implementing more and more economic sanctions. The last round on Friday targeted Russian industrialists, many of whom are not even aligned with Putin. Aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska, disliked in the Kremlin, lost 15% of his fortune. The Rubel plummeted against the dollar for two days in a row. U.S. Treasury stooges are now traveling in Europe to press European banks to shut down all services for Russian companies.


bigger

(Ironically both economic attack vectors will help Putin's program. Since 2014 Russia has been pressing its oligarchs to repatriate the billions the stashed in 'western' offshore banks. They will now do so out of fear of confiscations. The lower Rubel will increase local production and allow for cheaper exports.)

The U.S. incited Georgia to attack Russia. It 'regime changed' the Ukraine. It attacks Syria, an old Russian ally. Then there are the hoaxes that get attributed to Russia without any evidence. Russia did not influence the U.S. election. It did not poison the Skripals. There was no 'chemical attack' in Douma.

Russia has all kinds of reasons to be hostile to the U.S. but always stays calm and well mannered. It is stupid to mistake that for fear or inferiority. Taunting Russia like Trump now does will only increase its resistance to U.S. moves.

Is Trump trying to make an offer to really help Russia's economy and to stop the arms race?

If Russia would roll over and give up on Syria would Trump really lift the sanctions? Would he really stop the U.S. race for nuclear supremacy? Could he even promise to do such? And why would anyone believe Trump anyway?

Unlike western European countries, Russia is no led by yapping poodles. The Russian government and its people will not roll over. They have historically never done so. President Putin will start his period of governance on May 7 with a war cabinet structured and manned for conflict. He expects a long fight.

Russia will have to respond to any U.S. strike on Syria. It needs to do so to keep face and the faith of its allies. But it also needs to so in a way that avoids further escalation. Something that is very strong, in a different theater and not attributable? Or something that is openly targeting U.S. interests, but not U.S. soldiers, in the Middle East?

It is Israel which is behind the war on Syria and which is pressing for further conflict. There are one million Russians in Israel, many of whom are not even Jewish. Could Russia ask them for help to change the strategic picture? Or should it increase support for those who directly fight the Zionist state?

Posted by b on April 11, 2018 at 13:23 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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Peter AU 1 @ 187, 188: Yes, thanks for the link to the post on the Chinese-built port in Vanuatu. I saw the Sydney Morning Herald article on the subject. Pretty much a puff piece under an alarmist headline. Why wouldn't China build a port that can accommodate military vessels as well as commercial and other vessels (in particular oil tankers and ships carrying LNG)? Are warships all that different from other ships? Makes economic sense as well to build a port that serves several purposes.

Australia could have built this port (and upgrade it later) or the British and the French could have built it when Vanuatu was still a joint colony of theirs.

We're just happy being deputy sheriff bully for the US in our little southwest Pacific boonie backwater.

Posted by: Jen | Apr 12 2018 0:22 utc | 201

Echoing paul @ 196:

This thread, from someone who claims to have some access to the Russian side of negotiations with the U.S., indeed suggests some target in Syria will be allowed to be struck, with Russia being forewarned to prevent their own casualties.

https://twitter.com/MSuchkov_ALM/status/984214710265532417

Posted by: Emily Dickinson | Apr 12 2018 0:34 utc | 202

paul specializes in bemoaning everything russia does, or doesn't do... now whether he is trying for a gig at cia hq or whatever, i have no idea... as for maxim a. suchkov... the verdict is still out on him... agent, double agent - i haven't figured out his game yet..

Posted by: james | Apr 12 2018 0:50 utc | 203

ED@201 We will see what tomorrow brings, and hopefully the day after. Interesting note in that twitter feed about General Haftar (Libya) having a stroke and in critical condition. I believe Russia had been working with him, and if he is down and out there will be a new power vacuum in the east of the country.

Posted by: the pessimist | Apr 12 2018 0:50 utc | 204

One reason Russia won't roll over -- Russian S-400 missile system - in Syria
It's capable of taking out aircraft, drones, cruise missiles, and ballistic missiles in the terminal phase.
The S-400's radar can detect targets up to about 373 miles away.
S-400s are currently deployed in Kaliningrad, Syria, and Crimea.
The video below shows the S-400 in action:
1,684,011 views here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 12 2018 1:00 utc | 205

lot of good points here, good thinking @ #42

two questions:
1. does anyone know or have links to recent info about the status/nature of Russian ships and assets in the immediate area. I seem to recall at one point they had an aircraft carrier and some destroyers, etc not a large but large enough # of ships in the eastern Med

2. anyone have any ideas/info/links what the role of Turkey will be in all this? which side will it take, or just sit it out. will it take advantage and invade/attack Manbij? would Russia encourage that too, as part of the asymmetrical response....

thanks.

Posted by: michaelj72 | Apr 12 2018 1:01 utc | 206

From The Guardian , facts in dispute:

"His Libyan National Army, largely based in the east of Libya, has been making steady military progress, but has been criticised for using brutal methods in a country overcome by civil war almost ever since the toppling of Colonel Gaddafi in 2011. He has been the leading opponent of the UN-backed Libyan government based in Tripoli, led by Fayez al-Sarraj.

Nevertheless, he has been received in both Paris and Rome as an important interlocutor for the west as it tries to bring the civil war to an end and to control the flow of migrants from the Libyan coast into Italy.

Haftar’s spokesman said the reports were being generated by those fearful that the Libyan National Army was making military progress, including its capture of the town of Derna."

Posted by: the pessimist | Apr 12 2018 1:05 utc | 207

@ 205
Russia has a couple of Kilo-class submarines in the area, and surface ships. But the principle Russia asset, which it has demonstrated, is cruise missiles. Russia has launched rocket strikes on Islamic State group targets in Syria from warships in the Caspian Sea, for example. The new form of warfare doesn't depend upon platforms, but is dominated by missiles launched from any convenient platform at any distance.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 12 2018 1:07 utc | 208

Twitter link at 212 looks like good information. check it and see what you think.

Posted by: fast freddy | Apr 12 2018 1:10 utc | 209

@ED 201
Sounds logical to me. Give Trump some abandoned airfields to shoot his missiles at, with some getting through. That will give him the political show he craves and we can then get on with life. I think Mattis can engineer that with his Russian back-channels.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 12 2018 1:10 utc | 210

Putin has his own deep state to deal with and some of them interlock with US and Israel deep state interests. The oligarchs still have power and with many having significant interests in the US and Israel interest in a real war would be low as their assets could be seized. Russia has always supported its Arab allies to the point that they will notbe overrrun, but not enough to actually allow them to defeat Israel or drive the US out entirely

With people proving they will accept any lie without evidence beyond films made in a studio, any conflict is likely to be simulated rather than real. As long as people believe, and the MSM feeds their perceptions, a real war is not needed. A fake war gives the MIC an unlimited budget and allows the Deep State the power remove whatever freedoms remain

This may sound far fetched, and may not be entirely true, but why should I not have the same right to manufacture my own reality?

That said, worst case is an all out War between Russia and the West with China joining the fray. That would not end well and I cant fathom this being allowed to happen

Posted by: Pft | Apr 12 2018 1:19 utc | 211

Khalifa Haftar, US agent, now in a coma
A former ally of Muammar Gaddafi, Haftar, 75, returned to Libya seven years ago from the United States, to join the Nato-backed revolution that ended four decades of one-man rule.

Nothing works any more!

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 12 2018 1:21 utc | 212

A short video here in English by the editor of the Global Times.
This strike, no matter if the US only hits a few Syrian targets, will I think, be the end of the US.
https://twitter.com/globaltimesnews/status/984042892627820544

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Apr 12 2018 1:26 utc | 213

@212
The end of the US? Baloney. No more US, no more Starbucks coffee and McDonald's hamburgers. Sydney wouldn't be the same..

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 12 2018 1:29 utc | 214

news report
Around 2,000 people, including rebels and their relatives, left the Eastern Ghouta town of Douma on Tuesday as part of a Russian-mediated evacuation agreement, Reuters reported.

This is actually a revolution in warfare which Russia should get full credit for. The US would conduct aerial bombing of a rebel stronghold, "going Remington" is the expression, dropping a whole plane-load of bombs. One can see the result: google image of Kobane or Mosul. Complete destruction, and total death for many people including mostly women and children -- the male fighters having gone.

Russia, inventively, has done it differently. Saving lives. Credit to Russia.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 12 2018 1:40 utc | 215

michaelj72

From RT on April 11: Turkey’s FM Cavusoglu says Assad, who ‘killed nearly 1mn people,’ must go immediately

It is not the first time the Assad regime used chemical weapons.

Did you expect anything else?

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 12 2018 1:47 utc | 216

Re: Russian patience.

In Reggae there is a saying: don’t mistake my kindness for weakness.

Posted by: Anunnaki | Apr 12 2018 1:48 utc | 217

Kaiama @181

"Never believe anything until it has been officially denied."
~ Claud Cockburn

So does this mean US and Israeli Special Operators were captured, too?

Posted by: Daniel | Apr 12 2018 1:52 utc | 218

@Pft | Apr 11, 2018 9:19:03 PM | 210

...That said, worst case is an all out War between Russia and the West with China joining the fray. That would not end well and I cant fathom this being allowed to happen.

You rather have endless wars and regime changes? NOT ME!

Posted by: OJS | Apr 12 2018 1:53 utc | 219

Putin and Russia understand this is not just about Syria, it is part of an ongoing war against Russia by the US and globalists.

Does Russia want to fight that war on its own border or blunt the attack in Syria?

It would be salutary for the US, UK and France were they to lose some planes or even ships in this unlawful and immoral attack on Syria. That might open a few eyes at home where the respective public and probably most of their governments imagine they have the capability to harm others without any harm to themselves.

Perhaps Putin will down a few French jets and sink the sub May claims to be mobilizing but avoid sinking any US ships so all of the bullies get the message without making it impossible for the US to pull back.

Posted by: Bazza McKenzie | Apr 12 2018 1:59 utc | 220

Pft: . . . I cant fathom this being allowed to happen.

ED & Don Bacon: negotiated bombing to satisfy Trump’s ego

Neither of these sentiments make sense to me. They suppose that the elaborate, desperate hoaxes, and even the entire war was done without any real purpose. I disagree. There are people that want win the war at all costs.

And Trump is NOT in the driver’s seat. He was either a stooge from the beginning (probable, in my view) or he is cornered and Neocons, Zionists, and Wahabbis are in the drivers seat.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 12 2018 2:04 utc | 221

If Putin continue to speak like sheman to his lovely West partners, with his top generals always making empty obscured warnings without living to it, be ready for all out bombings & humiliation soon. Russia has bring humiliation & disaster to itself by not responding to embolden US for last ten years.

Then crawl back to your Siberia hole to lick wounds and live forever like a cuckoo with endless US Nato aggression & humiliation up to border & beyond. Don't cry babe, you ask for it.

To die humiliated or fight like a true Russian warrior with glory might, its Russian generals choice. Launch a series of missiles to destroy Israel airbases to demonstrate what it means by retaliation.

And simulate assault of USN, UK & Fr vessels with hypersonic cruise missiles, even sink a UK vessel, what can US Nato do? No soldiers going to die defending moderate terrorists or Israel hellhole. USN should/would quit en mass.

Its absurd UNSC has to respond to every moderate terrorists & UK funded white helmet lies. The west bullies only know one word, brute force.

Mao know it too well, calling out US Nato Paper Tiger, they learn in painful Korea war & never dare to cross any China drawn red lines for last 50yrs. Russia should see the same way with its stronger military position than China who has no nuclear during Korea war.

Posted by: anonymous | Apr 12 2018 2:07 utc | 222

The US consent manufactories are chugging ahead on all cylinders to promote essentially the same Big Lie, mutatis mutandis, used to rationalize the war of aggression against Iraq.

Here's a headline and blurb, not worth linking, to a new video at the aptly-named Yahoo website; there was an accompanying image of a bomblike object in a demolished structure:

Chemical weapons found in Syria identical to others dropped by Assad

New unverified video shows a canister of the chemical weapon that killed dozens of civilians in the rubble of a home bombed by Syrian aircraft.

Posted by: Ort | Apr 12 2018 2:09 utc | 223

Latest Trump tweet re Russia pins the domestic blame where it belongs.

"Much of the bad blood with Russia is caused by the Fake & Corrupt Russia Investigation, headed up by the all Democrat loyalists, or people that worked for Obama. Mueller is most conflicted of all (except Rosenstein who signed FISA & Comey letter). No Collusion, so they go crazy!"

Perhaps Mattis has made him aware that if Russia does respond in Syria that the US will lose military assets and people. That would not be good for Trump's domestic support, starting a war and immediately and publicly getting a bloody nose for the US.

It may stir him to a full blown attack on the deep state which has been attacking him. Far better for him, the US and the world.

Posted by: Bazza McKenzie | Apr 12 2018 2:14 utc | 224

@ BK 223
Yes -- I agree with the Mattis part. Will Trump respond responsibly? Return to his platform? We'll see.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 12 2018 2:21 utc | 225

@216 ..or else you wont like my flex when i go vex.. ;)

Posted by: Lozion | Apr 12 2018 2:23 utc | 226


@Bazza McKenzie | Apr 11, 2018 9:59:12 PM | 219

"....Perhaps Putin will down a few French jets and sink the sub May claims to be mobilizing but avoid sinking any US ships so all of the bullies get the message without making it impossible for the US to pull back."...

How about this, Putin allows US shoots a few smart missiles in the desert. In return Putin sinks Teresa May's submarine, one German vessel and few French jets. The German, French and UK must taught a lesson. They cannot continue tagging along bloodily Amerika or NATO killing innocents’ Syrians, Palestinians, Iraqis, Lebanese ... ARABS!

Posted by: OJS | Apr 12 2018 2:26 utc | 227

@JR 220
There is no attempt to "win the war." Those days passed long ago, nobody claims otherwise.
The orchestrated missile attacks, if they were to occur, would not be to satisfy Trump's ego. Come on. They would satisfy his political needs, where any president who sends cruise missiles sees his popularity numbers increase as he gains the approbrations of those "experts" who value those presidents who send cruise missiles.
Some scribes claimed that Trump really became president when he released his first salvo. It's just the way things are.
Is Trump "in the driver's seat?" Personally, I think Mattis is. (But it's heavy traffic ahead.)

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 12 2018 2:31 utc | 228

It seems the German frigate "Hessen" is now headed toward the Mediterranean. (source on FB)

Clearly this a NATO build up in progress (France, UK, Italian refueling aircraft, etc) off Syria which is interesting given Turkey's split position between old NATO and new Russian interests/projects. Funded no doubt by the MbS 'new jew' in Arabia as part of his world tour.

Perhaps the latest "Assad Must Go (and Die)!" is a ruse to cover either:

(a) mass duplicitous deception by Erdogan who all along intended to keep the northern part of Syria after its decommissioning and has just been stringing the Russians along; or

(b) the last death rattle of an over-fed and under-used highly expensive NATO alliance of which the Turk trends towards Russia are the leading indicator?

I hope for (b) but fear (a) is just as likely in these very interesting and dangerous times.

Posted by: imo | Apr 12 2018 2:34 utc | 229

whilst we contemplate the upcoming ww3, what's happened to last week's news? You know the OPCW report on the Skripal 'nerve agent' due to be released early this week. It's now Thursday???

Posted by: m | Apr 12 2018 2:35 utc | 230

Maybe Russia should withdraw and leave all its air defense weapons & war planes to Syria SAA, Iran & Hezbollah who have bigger balls to take US Nato Israel by themselves, without Russia obstruction.

Syria SAA under tremendous aggression & deprived of every weapons & resources by Russia refused to honor paid contract, never back down but fight heroically. They rather die in honor then be slaved & humiliated by US Nato Israel head choppers.

Iran alone has balls to threaten it will eliminate all US assets in ME, with Israel turning to hell with its missiles if attacked. And it will live to it, unlike Putin & his generals, inheriting Nato infamous motto - No Action Talk Only.

And Hezbollah is courageous enough to take on Israel alone. Does Hezbollah has any GDP to sustain? No, just pride & justice.

Sure China Prez Xi will repeat its bold challenge to force USN back down as he did successfully in South China Seas (sending out nuclear sub in high profile to US Guam & Indian Oceans bases, with entire Navy fleets confronting USN strike groups). China will never allow US to seize control of ME oil entirely.

When China warned USM & India not to military intervene Mauritius with a fleet of 12 vessels despatched to Indian Ocean, USM & India never even dare to speak once again in msm. What does it reveal? They wet pants on hearing China warning, knowing Chinese always mean what they say, unlike Russian.

Paper Tiger with its poodles only bite those who can't retaliate, akar a Russia Polar Bear foot rug. So Russia should go back not standing on the path obstructing these warrior races to stand against Western bullies. Let SAA, Iran, Hezbollah with China help do the job, but don't cry over losing all its global & ME influence to China who pay blood price to defend ally.

Posted by: anonymous | Apr 12 2018 2:43 utc | 231

Here's the latest view of the house that forms the US "fortress" near Manbij in eastern Syria, confronting Turkish forces behind their Hesco barriers (bastions). A proper symbol of tenuous US authority in a country where the US is not welcome.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 12 2018 2:43 utc | 232

An explanation for the current situation Well worth viewing the whole thing.

Posted by: the pessimist | Apr 12 2018 3:00 utc | 233

#143 If what you wish for comes to fruition, all I ask is for Tel Aviv to be nuked first. They are the source of this clusterf#uk. at least then I could die with a smile on my face. I am away from home at the moment trying to get home asap. I feel that I'm on the road from Kuwait to Iraq looking up into the blue hoping against hope that some warthogs will suddenly appear overhead.

Posted by: Tom | Apr 12 2018 3:01 utc | 234

Don Bacon

We see things differently then.

I see a strategic retreat (not defeat) and determination to occupy 1/3 of Syrian territory by a number of Assad must go! countries.

I see a continued determination to topple Assad (which is likely to bring chaos that can be exploited).

I see the hopes of manipulating future Syrian elections as fading after SAA captured Ghouta. Only a forceful military attack can now change the outcome. Not surprisingly, many anti-Assad pundits and politicians are now wailing that there is no political solution in Syria.

I see 2 false flags and the possibility of a third (Cook) which Assad must go! countries are all accepting as casus belli despite a clear lack of evidence.

I see a President that is pressed by a bogus investigation that is either COVER for betraying his base or cause for removing him if he doesn’t do as he’s told (massive bombing).

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 12 2018 3:08 utc | 235

@230
Russians are there whereas chickenshits like yourself sit safe at home and winge.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Apr 12 2018 3:12 utc | 236

Regarding the link posted above @232 I cannot vouch for its veracity but if true it would explain quite a few things and put some perspective on the current negotiations. It would suggest that the Russians hold some important cards and that they have no intention of 'surrendering' are quite capable of defending themselves (and fully aware of the potential costs of doing so), have well defined objectives which they are committed to (and as we know are opposed by a committee of interests without clear, unified objectives), and have Chinese support. It is also quite humorous, and so worthwhile on that count alone.

Posted by: the pessimist | Apr 12 2018 3:12 utc | 237

Russia need only sink American aircraft carriers to win.

If the U.S. attacks Syria, the correct response for Russia is to sink American aircraft carriers, all four. How many are being positioned? Four?

Russia's advantage is that for the U.S. to inflict serious damage, it must directly attack Russia, provoking a world ending nuclear response that will totally destroy America and Planet Earth.

America's weakness is the large targets Russia can target and sink.

The U.S. can drive Russia out of Syria and destroy Russian bases. And Russia can sink very expensive U.S. air craft carrier at great world embarrassment the the U.S. throughout the world at little cost.

That is a very serious threat to America, and Russia can and should to it if the U.S. attacks.

So Russia does have options. If the U.S. is dumb enough to attack Syria, it will win the battle and Russia will expose American vulnerability and inflict a bleeding would that could lead the death of the U.S. empire.

Posted by: timbers | Apr 12 2018 3:16 utc | 238

@Posted by: anonymous | Apr 11, 2018 10:43:39 PM | 230

Fully concur. Watch YouTube and recent South China Morning Post an article on China.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=boPkMCJSYSs

http://www.scmp.com/week-asia/geopolitics/article/2139073/whats-behind-beijings-south-china-sea-moves-and-why-us-patrols

Posted by: OJS | Apr 12 2018 3:20 utc | 239

@pessimist 232
This is as I said in 214

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 12 2018 3:31 utc | 240

All these hysteria reaction from US Nato Israel Gulf & that forever back stabbing Turkey (FM is calling Assad must go again), are a repeat stunt of Allepo case.

These terrorism advisors who advise moderate terrorists how to kill & gas are still hiding in the East Ghouta basement. They feared to be caught and parade infront the world, exposing their utter ugliness, degenerate of moral & terror beyond savage.

Russia is been forced to let them leave in luxury black tinted windows coaches as in Aleppo if it didn't want to risk escalation. Then Russia can whine again in UN SC with a long list of terrorists advisors (more than a dozen caught hiding in Aleppo basement after liberated by SAA) as previous, but no one care.

Turkey is the worst double head snake. So will Russia negotiate a best deal for itself to partition up Syria with US & Turkey by throwing its allies SAA, Iran, Hezbollah under bus. ME people see how these white wolves are playing treachery game over their people bodies & blood without feel, its only a quarrelsome business deal to split the Syria bounty.

Posted by: anonymous | Apr 12 2018 3:33 utc | 241

Jackrabbit @220
Thank You!!! It never ceases to amaze me how many people, even here on MoA still buy into the concept that our Reality TV Show Presidency is a real thing.

People who logically and rationally understand and explain the intricacies of geopolitics/"deep state" and supra-national power still believe that the #RealDonaldTrump is "the Decider."

Posted by: Daniel | Apr 12 2018 3:33 utc | 242

@timbers 237
Here we go with aircraft carriers again. Four??
There are NO US aircraft carriers, allegorical or otherwise, anywhere near Syria, and there won't be any time soon.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 12 2018 3:34 utc | 243

Gerasimov March 13 saying a CW attack in Ghouta was planned and to be used as a pretext for a US missile and air attack on Syria. https://youtu.be/zPVd_CnRBhI?t=185

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Apr 12 2018 3:38 utc | 244

@Daniel 241
Jackrabbit will be proven wrong. Russia will win this. In fact it already has.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 12 2018 3:39 utc | 245

Bookmakers at betting shops must be very busy these days.
But big insurance companies must quite nervous. Not sure they have good actuarial models for these kinds of situations.

Posted by: hopehely | Apr 12 2018 3:46 utc | 246

I really don't know much, but I have a couple thoughts. US Carriers are spread out with 3? closing in on South China Sea and only one in Syria..? China is making a lot of noise about Taiwan and is quietly making noises of support for Syria and Russian involvement - maybe even has advisors in the country? Ok - so it seems the most certain targets for cruise missiles are fixed and can be struck at any time (like the middle of the night). Ships can be moving and are tougher to target without some sort of surveillance like satellites or AWACS..Russian ships are now moving. Russian and Syrian troops and planes are being moved. The US is apparently moving some assets out of Turkey. I wonder what I might direct a missile to if I was on either side? The Houthis in Yemen are taking some shots at Saudi Arabia. It seems a Carrier would be a huge target, but it's going to take a while to get there. What's the US going to do? Complete the job of turning Syria into rubble? They really can't accomplish much else..?

Posted by: JB | Apr 12 2018 3:53 utc | 247

@232 pessimist... thanks for the link.. here is the wordpress home page for that which includes a free english translation of his book - Aleppo. War and diplomacy...

Posted by: james | Apr 12 2018 3:55 utc | 248

It took one hell of a big distraction to bury the barbarism that took place in gaza last week. Nothing signficant is going to happen as mission is accomplished.

Posted by: Sad Canuck | Apr 12 2018 4:00 utc | 249

Another factor in the push for war. US is now self sufficient in oil, last I read pumping as much as it uses. If oil price goes up, US output will go up. China still relies on middle east oil for around 50%? of its supplies. Trump wants to take China down and Iran.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Apr 12 2018 4:00 utc | 250

thanks for responses to my 2 questions at #205

Elijah Magnier just a few hours ago put up some info about the coming war; here are just a few of the 10 points https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/984140788719325184.html

1+/ The US/EU war on Syria is expected in the next 10 hours according to sources in #Syria close to decision makers.
2+/ #USA and #EU may target - as expected - the Syrian Air Force (many dislocated and other spread but not flying), the central for command and control, all radars and known anti-air missiles, Ministry of Defence, Presidential Palace and other sensitive Syrian bases.

6+/ #Iran informed #Russia that any #israeli intervention means an #Iranian direct involvement in this war under the agreement of defence w/ #Syria. #Putin informed Netanyahu of the Iranian intension.
9+/ If this forthcoming battle on #Syria lasts only one night/day with hundreds of missiles, then it is ok.
But if it lasts more than 2 days, then the situation may go towards a wider unexpected confrontation.

Posted by: michaelj72 | Apr 12 2018 4:02 utc | 251

Jackrabbit @234.

Yes. I still see the Oded Yinon Plan being played out. Turkey gets a taste. The Kurds get a chunk (with most of the oil, connected to the piece of Iraq they recently lost), the Wahhabis get a piece and Greater Israel gets everything from the Euphrates River to the current "border" of the Zionist Entity. Lebanon, Jordan and the Sinai are being kept warm.

I mean, various maps for this have been in the public domain since the last time the AAZ Empire riled up the Muslim Brotherhood in the 1980s. These psychopaths don't just change their minds without serious resistance.

My question remains, does Putin/Russia and/or perhaps Xi/China really stand in the way of "completing 1948" and stealing the oil and rapaciously plundering one of the few remaining countries with zero foreign debt and no "private" Central Bank?

Which, if they do could mean WW IV.

Or do their connections to the IMF/World Bank and World Trade Organization mean this is all forgone, and just spilling more blood is awaiting?

Posted by: Daniel | Apr 12 2018 4:02 utc | 252

About 10am in Moscow and Damascus, and still pretty quiet. From Tartus we have Within Syria ending a short thread:

"3- however this time, its 180 degree different, SAA took drastic measures on all levels, on the other side I never seen such activity from the Russia air force since 2015, while in 2017 I remember Russians were quitter than any other day.

"4-The idea in the end is that a full scale war is highly likely this time, and casualties will not likely be limited to Syrians this time, I don't think it is about Syria anymore even, we are seconds away from midnight and may god be with us all."

Key observation: "I don't think it is about Syria anymore..."

It's not and never really was.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 12 2018 4:04 utc | 253

#192. Jihadists could have launched an attack on East Ghouta from Al Tanf. To late now.

#228. The previous iteration of the German capital ship named Hessen was ceded to the Soviet Navy and renamed Tsel in 1945. The current Hessen might not be so lucky.

Are US subs safe from Russian retaliation if they are used to launch an attack on Syria? Can the Russian subs track them without the US knowing? What about the Chinese subs. Didn't one pop up in the middle of a US aircraft task force unannounced? If so, then they are as vulnerable as surface ships. If a US sub is sunk in the eastern Mediterranean and no one announces it, does it make a sound?

Wonder if PRNK are in the eastern Mediterranean? May as well, just everyone else is there as well.

Posted by: Tom | Apr 12 2018 4:08 utc | 254

Don @224. I am agreeing with Jackrabbit's, "Trump is NOT in the driver’s seat."

This is not to say that real geopolitical/war issues are not happening, let alone that the AAZ Empire would win or lose a real military conflict with Russia/China/Syria/Iran/Lebanon (and maybe some Latin American countries would seek to use that as cover to gain true independence as was done during WW I).

That, as I wrote @251, I honestly don't know. But if Russia/US really went to conventional, regional war, I'd probably put money on Russia.

Posted by: Daniel | Apr 12 2018 4:15 utc | 255

Sad Canuck. Yep, most everything in the "news" seems to be a distraction from the endless parade of horrible things going on.

The Palestinians' "March of Return" protests are scheduled to last until April 14, though. So if murdering children for war in Syria and maybe with Russia was just to cover that up, the show must go on.

Posted by: Daniel | Apr 12 2018 4:24 utc | 256

Still, if y'all think it could have any impact, this is the site to leave comments for the President:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/

Posted by: Daniel | Apr 12 2018 4:27 utc | 257

michaelj72@205 - Emily Dickinson@201 posted a link to Maxim Suchkov's (Al-Monitor) Twitter posts. From this tweet in the thread,

5.@kommersant also reports #Russia navy in Mediterranean is now at 15 Black Sea Fleet combat ships & supply modules.Besides,antisub patrol aircrafts Il-38H been recently deployed; S400, Pantsir-S1(NATO name SA-22 Greyhound) put on station to defend Hmeymim & Tartus.

6:37 PM - 11 Apr 2018

Russia's Mediterranean Task Force (part of Russia's Black Sea Fleet) stationed at Tartus has been about 15 ships or so for the last year. They regularly rotate other Black Sea ships in and out of the MTF. The other half of the Black Sea Fleet stationed *in* the Black Sea has supposedly been put on some kind of heightened combat alert, but I don't think they have any plans to sail to the Mediterranean.


Unrelated note: did I miss this a couple of months ago about UK NHS ambulances being supplied to the head-choppers? The one pictured is the Dusty Boy model.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Apr 12 2018 4:30 utc | 258

This is not a war.

It's an adolescent flexing of muscles, to detract from their parents catching them on the chemical weapons, and them trying to pretend it was someone else.

Probably have to let them off again for peace.

And they know this, that's why they're so reckless.

It's like why China doesn't want to crash the West and Russia doesn't want to crash the West.

We all need eachother.

The West is playing chicken with this.

It's like Lawrence Summers said about "financial terrorism". China was in a bind.

There won't be a war until someone finally decides to break that bind.

Posted by: Jeff | Apr 12 2018 4:37 utc | 259

PavewayIV 256

I used to watch the UK Foreign Office twitter account. hey had a big thing about fire departments and other government departments donating excess stuff to be sent to AQ in Idlib. Even had a graphic of containers being loaded on a ship in UK and unloaded at a port in Idlib. Yes a port on the coast of Idlib. Firemen giving telling how they were donating all this stuff to the good people of idlib - the works. The ambulances would be the ones that were being turned over and instead of being auctioned or however the UK government dispose of them, they were donated to 'Idlib'.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Apr 12 2018 4:45 utc | 260

Thanks karlof1 @252. The English language Syrians and their supporters I follow have been strangely silent about the current threat of imminent attack.

BTW: NEO is back up, but 21stcenturywire is still down.

Posted by: Daniel | Apr 12 2018 4:48 utc | 261

PavewayIV @256. Yes, you must have missed it. Just two or maybe three days ago, I saw photos of an enormous caravan of equipment allegedly right then being driven from Turkey into Syria. It included more ambulances, a number of Toyota truck/SUVs and a bunch of those concrete highway dividers.

Posted by: Daniel | Apr 12 2018 4:53 utc | 262

And there was this in the Independent:


Alan Henning 'beheaded': British aid volunteer gave up Christmas with family to deliver life-saving supplies in Syria

The former taxi driver was kidnapped on Boxing Day 2013 "

Posted by: Daniel | Apr 12 2018 4:58 utc | 263

Investigators Focus on Another Trump Ally: The National Enquirer
By JIM RUTENBERG, EMILY STEEL and MIKE McINTIREAPRIL 11, 2018 (NYT)

Shocking details of ties between Trump and Ruskies that could actually influence elections in 2016. The publisher of The National Enquirer is allegedly close to Trump and the rag was very, very biased toward Trump, in its characteristic low-brow lurid fashion. Available in supermarket checkout lines across the nation, with an impact 100-1000 larger than the diminitive "troll farm" (13 trolls??) in Sankt Petersburg. While the number of copies sold is mere 250-300 thousands per week (it is a weekly), the headlines and photos on the front page are probably seen by millions.

There is a juicy and perhaps illegal aspect already known: a former Playboy model was paid 150k for the story about her romance with D.T. with the purpose of not having the story published anywhere, which can be interpreted as an illegal campaign contribution. Campaign contributions in USA are unlimited, but some paperwork is required.

The most puzzling part of these revelations is that it is hard to see any Russian surnames among people like Pecker, Cooperman, Howard, Cohen etc. ("Khazar" version of Cohen is Kagan, Kagans are quite numerous in neo-con circles, so Cohen does not count as a name from Russia, unlike, say, Berman which is a "Khazar" version of something more German, Bärmann, Beermann, Biermann, perhaps Bergmann).

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 12 2018 5:12 utc | 264

Daniel@254 - Just to clarify - the Palestinian Great March of Return is scheduled to end May 15, 70th anniversary of the Nakba

Posted by: Mother of God! | Apr 12 2018 5:13 utc | 265

Thanks Mother. I haven't gotten to say that in a while! So thanks for that, too ;-)

Posted by: Daniel | Apr 12 2018 5:39 utc | 266

@229 Why do you think this is happening now? The Skripal script was botched so its time for a distraction..

@258 A port on the coast of Idlib? That would mean the former Sanjak of Alexandretta..

Posted by: Lozion | Apr 12 2018 5:41 utc | 267

Daniel @ 264: Madre de Dios!

Posted by: Jen | Apr 12 2018 5:50 utc | 268

Piotr Berman@262 - The potential of Cohen's payoff be an illegal campaign contribution is interesting in its own right. But the real bombshell in this affair is the raid on Cohen's residences and office. It's just unbelievable to me.

Now I understand the justification used for Trump/Cohen, but how many law offices or lawyers homes could be raided today based on a federal judge likewise determining that there was "...probable cause to believe the search would produce evidence of a particular crime?" Think this would ever happen to, say, Clinton's lawyers? How about lawyers representing slimy US Congress types? Adelson's lawyers? Zuckerberg's lawyers? MbS lawyers? AIPAC lawyers?

Some privileged folks are more equal than others in the eyes of the law, I guess. President Pence's Armageddon will not be delayed another minute. The temple has to be rebuilt or some such nonsense in order to protect my freedoms. God said so... or so I'm told.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Apr 12 2018 5:52 utc | 269

@ test #81

"Syria is NOT such a big interest for Russia
and thefore wont make a sacrifice for it."

I don't know what you mean. Russia has two
warm water ports in the West outside of the
Black Sea and they're both in Syria.

Were you being sarcastic?

Posted by: FSFF | Apr 12 2018 6:00 utc | 270

US,UK,FRANCE Strikes against Syria could begin as early as Thursday night: Report
http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/04/11/558209/AntiSyria-strikes-could-begin-as-early-as-Thursday

Posted by: Eric K | Apr 12 2018 6:04 utc | 271

I'm not certain an attack will happen either, but the propaganda machine is taking no chances, the front page at the Graun website leads with the following stories. Needless to say there isn't a single checkable actual fact in any of the yarns the graun spins:

Syria attack: nerve agent experts race to smuggle bodies out of Douma The fact free lie goes into huge detail about how porous the Syrian borders are which might suggest how stuff can be got outta Syria, but it neglects to mention how the headchoppers got the info outta Douma, an area sewed up tighter than a schnapper's arsehole. If there were any gaps, the spies and headchoppers would have used em to get themselves out weeks ago.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/apr/11/i-dont-need-any-help-from-the-russian-embassy-yulia-skripal>I don't need any help from the Russian embassy – Yulia Skripal we don't actually know what Yulia believes or wants since the entire release is englander police spin

The interesting aspect next, the warmongers give China a light slap presumably as a warning of what could come, that they could be next if they don't behave with:

'My hair turned white': report lifts lid on China's forced confessions

and

China named 'world’s top executioner' as global rate falls

The crazy thing about these mass murder enablers in the media, they acknowledge this is a new paradigm by beating up utterly false stories that rely on 'anonymous sources' & un-named alleged experts, but in many cases the journos themselves desperate to make a name for themselves and become a celebrity media figure, still put their names as a byline on their prevarications.

If this damned stupidity does lead to into war, it behoves those of us still extant who want to rejig and repair post disaster, to put the lying scumbags down like the worthless parasites they are.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Apr 12 2018 6:28 utc | 272

@james # 83

One could argue that Obama planed two regime changes:
the first in Syria in 2011 and the second in Ukraine
in 2014, to blockade Russia's southern fleet inside the
Black Sea, and require it to steam through the Bosphorus
and the Dardanelles, and between Turkey's (NATO) two
shores.

But the CIA taped Erdogan in 2013 and broadcast it to
Turkey just before their parliamentary elections in
2014 and lost both Turkey and Erdogan to the RF.

After Russia took Crimea in 2014,and assured control of
its naval bases there, it moved on to prevent the US
from removing Assad from leading Syria in 2015.

Very few give Putin enough credit for keeping his fleet
from being bottled up by Obama in the Black Sea.

Posted by: FSFF | Apr 12 2018 6:30 utc | 273

The Israelis are pushing this. The Russian retaliation needs only to convince Israelis (and their fifth column in DC) that this policy is a bad idea. Hence, if I were Putin, I would retaliate by launching a large conventional missile attack on the Israelis. I would target their major military airfields, the naval base at Haifa, and "turn the lights out" across the country by taking out key nodes in the electrical grid. I would loudly announce that any further attacks on Syria or Russian forces would result in a massive retaliation that would take Israel back to the stone age.

This level of attack would shock the Israelis and while the US military could be ordered to retaliate, how could they? Wipe out Tartus or Latakia? This only begs further Russian strikes on the Israelis. Any strike against Russia herself risks a nuclear retaliation. This would effectively win the "escalation battle" for Putin. It would also make Putin the hero of the entire Muslim world...

Posted by: Bob | Apr 12 2018 6:42 utc | 274

FSFF

You dont simply know what a interest is then, I cant put in in any other way
just because someone has a base doesnt mean they will open up for a potential world war that would harm russian soil.

No offense but you are as clueless as many other here, just take post 272 above me, believing somehow Russia would bomb...Israel.
MoA deserve far better quality than this nonsense.

Posted by: test | Apr 12 2018 6:50 utc | 275

@ Bob with the scenario of Putin attacking Israel and becoming the hero of the entire Muslim world.....

You seemed to have not considered that Israel has nukes and just might retaliate with them if attacked....

Back to the drawing board.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 12 2018 6:51 utc | 276

Don Bacon

False.
Actually USS Harry S. Truman is heading toward Syria now.
You dont move a carrier just like that from US to Syria for nothing.

Posted by: test | Apr 12 2018 6:57 utc | 277

Russia eyeing retaliatory ban on “all US goods”
http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/04/11/558194/Russia-eyeing-retaliatory-ban-on-all-US-goods--

Posted by: test | Apr 12 2018 7:06 utc | 278

test 273
Just one question. What has your country done (whatever country you come from) to stand against the US empire?

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Apr 12 2018 7:08 utc | 279

196 Paul, where would we be without your Putin's sold out Syria again. You know in fact I like that which you say is going on, re talking about a so called 'fake strike' and maybe sad that 100's might die BUT BETTER THAN ALL LIFE ON EARTH, good day to you!

Posted by: col from oz | Apr 12 2018 7:08 utc | 280

@269 Well, yeah, if Trump is going to attack then he has to do it before the OPCW team is inside Syria taking soil samples and talking to eyewitnesses.

So he's got until Saturday, I believe, after that his window of opportunity closes on him.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Apr 12 2018 7:11 utc | 281

Yeah, Right 279

OPCW's report on the Skripal poisoning has been sent to the UK and is being sent to other OPCW members. Depending on what is in that report, the attack may have to be pulled off before the reports contents make the news.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Apr 12 2018 7:20 utc | 282

Am enjoying the critical and thoughtful comments by the MoA regulars and a few others.

The only think I can think to ad vis Paveway IV's comments is that aren't there 4 converted Ohio class SSGNs sporting 154 tomahawks each? That's a lot of missiles, assuming that all would be used, even before other sources are considered.

I say settle it all with mud wrestling. That way nobody's children will be sent to die on behalf of old farts (metaphorically speaking) like me!

Posted by: et Al | Apr 12 2018 7:40 utc | 283

Don Bacon @244

I didn’t say which side would win, I just said I didn’t believe a rosy scenario of a negotiated strike on meaningless targets was realistic given what has happened the last weeks and in the last years.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 12 2018 8:02 utc | 284

@279
If the OPCW doesn't get there till Saturday, there will need to be another provocation within the next 24 hrs to allow the obliteration of the site where the alleged chemical crime took place. This should be a limited strike, so that things don't get out of hand before the Coalition of the Willing has a chance to get into position for the main event.

Posted by: trepidacious | Apr 12 2018 8:06 utc | 285

Peter AU 1

I come from a eu-country that pretty much do whatever US tells them to. So they arent doing anything to stop this, in fact the media cheer it along with the politicians.

Posted by: test | Apr 12 2018 8:12 utc | 286

After China's Foreign and Defence minister stating their close relationship with Russia, will they send ships to the Med to aid the Russians?   If no, what's the point of making those remarks?   I know a few here are betting a nothing-burger, but I'm leaning towards an actual strike this time.   When it happens, Trump would have lost 2020.   Midterms will be interesting to see.

Posted by: Ian | Apr 12 2018 8:13 utc | 287

et AL @281

Those Ohio class SSGN's - I wouldn't want to be on one of those subs.

We haven't really witnessed a high tech war yet.

Posted by: cdvision | Apr 12 2018 8:13 utc | 288

Putin appears to me to follow the philosophy of Shingen in the movie Kagemusha "Swift as the wind, silent as the forest, fierce as the fire, immovable as the mountain."

Israel, and the rest of the West do not understand just how strong the Russian defenses in Syria are. I have previously argued that it is possible for the Western powers and their Israeli and Arab allies to swarm attack the Russian defenses if they use almost all their missile platforms (e.g. 3000+ fighter jets F-16 and F-15) as well as cruise missiles and attack drones. However, the forces being amassed under Trump's banner are simply a turkey shoot for the Russian forces:
http://www.unz.com/article/russia-the-800-pound-gorilla/

Besides the Russian forces have better standoff missiles which can get through the Western defense systems. Furthermore, the capabilities of some of the newer systems are not well known:
http://www.unz.com/article/the-implications-of-russias-new-weapons/

We also do not know whether the Pantsier-s2 and Buk-M3 systems have been upgraded with independent sub-munitions to increase the number of targets hit by four times. The Morfey and S350e systems may add to this integrated defense system.

As for the F-35s and their issues against the S-400 see:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dM_p27iKz2E

Russia will not back off in Syria and the defeated Western forces have either to accept defeat of go full nuclear war. The resulting Nuclear Winter from 5000 MTs of nuclear weapons will basically wipe off over 95% of the world population:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7hOpT0lPGI

The survivors will likely be speaking Russian
https://nypost.com/2017/06/29/russia-has-enormous-underground-bunkers-ready-for-nuclear-war/

Lets hope someone close to Trump understands game theory!

Posted by: Krollchem | Apr 12 2018 8:28 utc | 289

More fake news ,Guardian

Syria attack: nerve agent experts race to smuggle bodies out of Douma
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/12/syria-attack-experts-check-signs-nerve-agent

Does someone realy believe that experts are smugling bodies out of Douma ,lol experts if on the groundare in Douma with Russian and Syrian protective detail , only ones smugling and trading in bodyparts are the Islamists and the White Helmets crew

Second maping a a flight of a helicopter and every other aircraft in Syrian sky is somethign every party has but that doesnt tell even whos hello it is much less what is doing or what kind of ordanance is carrying

3rd resistance already colapsed and deal on evacuation was made when supposed attack took place

Posted by: August | Apr 12 2018 8:32 utc | 290

Yeah, Right

I very much suspect the bombings will start this night (european time) and go on until sunday or something along that.
Besides that OPCW team is in Syria will not stop Trump/west from bombing, regardless, they will of course not bomb the inspectors.

Posted by: test | Apr 12 2018 8:34 utc | 291

As long as the S400 system can identify and ignore a mass of decoys, a tactic the west has used in the past against IADS, not to mention jamming etc. I know Russia is very strong in EW, I just hope that they have plenty of reloads.

Posted by: et Al | Apr 12 2018 8:37 utc | 292

Deir Ezzor is the most vulnerable target. Virtualy out of reach of the S-400/S300 at the Russian bases on the coast though hopefully Russia has a few surprises for coalition of the killing aircraft.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Apr 12 2018 8:46 utc | 293

maybe - I hope - this game of chicken that Trump likes to play is aimed at having the military chicken out, rather than himself

that is, maybe this game is not between Trump and Putin, but between the US military and Russia's

if this is the case, Russia didn't chicken out, Mattis did

in my hypothesis, Trump doesn't care if it's war or not, as long as he is not seen as "weak"; and maybe Trump knows too well that the US army isn't ready to sustain losses against a real adversary

it would be a replay of the Trump tweets against North Korea; a menace to world peace a few months ago, now nobody remembers its existence anymore

just a guess, and a hope

Posted by: claudio | Apr 12 2018 9:11 utc | 294

Russia has nothing to answer for. The real criminals are the USA/UK/France/The EU/NATO and the darlings from Izreel

Posted by: jazza | Apr 12 2018 9:47 utc | 295

Just when tourism was supposed to return to Egypt
http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/297425.aspx
So again, KSA's betrayal is meant to annex EGyptian economy a little more. The Eg gov should call the thousands of Egyptians in the Gulf to return home and save their country if they don't want to end up one day like Yemen or Bahrein.

Posted by: Mina | Apr 12 2018 9:58 utc | 296

I think many people here that believe Russia will respond military, will have a nasty surprise of what is to come,

May ‘orders British submarines into position’ as UK considers strike against Syria

The UK has ordered submarines into striking range, ready to attack Syria’s Bashar al Assad as early as Thursday night, reported the Telegraph. Tensions continue to escalate following the alleged chemical attack in Douma.

https://www.rt.com/uk/423894-submarine-may-syria-war/

I think Assad might be dead by saturday, Syria as we know it today wont be the same when the weekend is over.

Also
CIA Pompeo: No more soft policy on Russia.
https://www.rt.com/usa/423883-pompeo-russia-soft-policy-end/

Posted by: test | Apr 12 2018 10:09 utc | 298

Judging from BBC PR we're soon being offered a re-branded IS, the 'soft' one

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-43738953
no more IS propaganda but lovely American wives telling you about the beauty of millenarist dreams
http://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-middle-east-43735470/is-wife-fears-losing-her-children-if-she-returns-to-the-us

Posted by: Mina | Apr 12 2018 10:26 utc | 299

Last Trumps tweet is really surreal.

“Never said when an attack on Syria would take place, Could be very soon or not so soon at all!”

Or not at all. To me it seems that deescalation is in a full swing. Everyone is aware that further hostile actions would be fatal for all.
If this conflict escalates out of control and caused byfew wrongly issued, unrectactable orders.
So all this war drumming is, I still believe, in vain.

Posted by: laserlurk | Apr 12 2018 10:47 utc | 300

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