Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 27, 2018

The MoA Week In Review - ISIS and U.S./Saudi Weapons - Open Thread 2018-26

Last week's posts on Moon of Alabama:

U.S. Secretary of State Pomous Maximus laid out 12 demands towards Iran. Ayatollah Khamenei responded with 6 demands to the Europeans.

How the UAE, Saudi Arabia and the Zionists bought the White House.

Since the Central Bank intervention on Wednesday the Lira stopped its scary drop. I expect it to resume soon.

With their flurry of action the Korean President Moon and Chairman Kim are running circles around the Trump team. This is not the "maximum pressure" on North Korea U.S. president Trump envisioned.


Please drop us a dime or two or more.

Here are two more items for you to read:

Hersh describes for Harpers how his classic shoe leather reporting dug up the evidence. A quite amusing read.

CAR with detail data on who supplied ISIS with weapons and ammunition. Unsurprising for those who read here it finds:

Unauthorised retransfer—the violation of agreements by which a supplier government prohibits the re-export of materiel by a recipient government without its prior consent—is a significant source of IS weapons and ammunition. The United States and Saudi Arabia supplied most of this materiel without authorisation, apparently to Syrian opposition forces. This diverted materiel, recovered from IS forces, comprises exclusively Warsaw Pact calibre weapons and ammunition, purchased by the United States and Saudi Arabia from European Union (EU) Member States in Eastern Europe.
Supplies of materiel into the Syrian conflict from foreign parties—notably the United States and Saudi Arabiahave indirectly allowed IS to obtain substantial quantities of anti-armour ammunition. These weapons include ATGWs and several varieties of rocket with tandem warheads, which are designed to defeat modern reactive armour. These systems continue to pose a significant threat to the coalition of troops arrayed against IS forces.
The report concludes that international weapon supplies to factions in the Syrian conflict have significantly augmented the quantity and quality of weapons available to IS forces—in numbers far beyond those that would have been available to the group through battlefield capture alone.

Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on May 27, 2018 at 15:54 UTC | Permalink


Israel To Redraw ‘Red Lines’, To Expand Operations In Syria: Media

Israel has notified Russia of its decision to redraw its Iran “red lines” and to expand its operations across Syria, the Saudi newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat reported on May 26.

According to the report, Israel is going to expand its operations to the entirety of its northern neighbor’s territory rather than just the southern portion of Syria. The report comes just a few days after another round of Israeli strikes on Syria in which 9 Iranians were killed, according to Sky News, as well as US air strikes against the syrian army.

Comments from South Front

"Sure.. ISRAEL again.
Turkey buys SU-57 and S-400, Saudi-Arabia buys S-400.. and ASSAD doesn't get even the obsolete S-300, has to shoot on Israelis with the old Soviet-SAMs or the some "newer" S-200.
Say what you want here, by this RUSSIAN internet-site, but PUTIN slides more and more in the twilight-zone ..
And I ask myself WHAT EXPECTS IRAN . I guess only THE CHINESE and the Pakistanis are reliable allies for the IRAN. BOTH because of THE OIL of course, but at least they do THEIR PART of the agreements.
IRAN shall buy quick some CHINESE systems and try to "flash" the SAM-2 /long range soil-air missile systems with the NEWER SOFTWARE and combine the newer RADAR with the old missiles.
The old SAM-2 can hit as well IF THE GUIDANCE is NEWER, reliable.
If you don't have what you need, you have to improvise.
TIME runs out for IRAN..
And SYRIA? I guess Putin gets a good price for ASSAD, a trade BROKERED by BIBI ( call it on its name: Bibi Netanyahu's MEDDLING) with the USraeli big and idY0t blond "Longhorn" in the WH."

"The big question is: what will Putin do to stop this vandalism on the part of his "partners" the Israelis?"

"I think that Putin can propose S-400 to Israel and Saudi Arabia. XD."

"No need big question. simple question ... nothing . He will keep quiet as he can do nothing .

Russian forces are ONLY to fight terrorists without air defence nothing more. Israel can just tell Putin what to do ..

The rest up to Syrian old AA systems and luck ...."

Posted by: T | May 27 2018 16:14 utc | 1

thanks b... great week for learning and staying abreast.. thanks for your posts!

i notice a greater number of new posters as a consequence.. many of them keen to bash putin too... that part gets tiring..

Posted by: james | May 27 2018 16:37 utc | 2

Col. Lang is incredulous: "Is this for real? Are Pompeo Maximus and Mattis, the Marine Monk, really going to commit US forces to battle against a sovereign state that is attempting to regain control of its own land? Really? (...) but perhaps it is true and the decision to fight Syrian forces has already been made."

Posted by: Maracatu | May 27 2018 18:33 utc | 3

#3 maracatu... some of those long term ''patriots'' over at langs limited hang out got their wake up call way too late... suckered into thinking being patriotic is worth it, while the political class is fully devoted to israel... a late wake up call, is better then no wake up call.. i am surprised how long it has taken some..

Posted by: james | May 27 2018 18:42 utc | 4

Regarding events around the downing of MH17:

I hadn't followed the Donbass uprising/civil war much at all, back then. So I took the opportunity of the Dutch JIT heaping a fresh bucket of blame on Russia to study the timeline of 2014. Came across this very interesting news item, dating July 7, 2014, just a few days before MH17 came down:

Ukraine govt forces control border with Russia all long its perimeter - Kyiv

"KYIV. July 7 (Interfax) - The Russian-Ukrainian border all along its perimeter, including the earlier problematical stretch in the Luhansk region, is under the tight control of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and State Border Service, said Mykhailo Koval, deputy secretary of the National Security and Defense Council." (my emphasis)


Posted by: Scotch Bingeington | May 27 2018 19:31 utc | 5

I remember reading here once that anti-missile missiles don't really work that well, I believe the expression used by b was "shooting a bullet with a bullet". Any country selling these systems is bound to exaggerate the efficiency of these weapons, as is any punter who has to justify the costs of buying them. Now, I am getting extremely different and opposing information on this subject, due to the obvious national interests at stake. Israel claims to shoot down everything that comes anywhere near its airspace, using what is according to most people an antiquated Patriot based system, its nearest analogue being the S200 system that Syria claims faired the worse (with a hit-rate of 0) of all the 4 types of missile used to shoot down the recent barrage of Tomahawks sent by Trump and co. The US said every one of its missiles hit home, the Syrians and later the Russians claimed to have shot down almost three quarters of them; the incredible inconsistency in the story tells us that somebody is telling porkies, but who? Are there any examples of this scenario happening before in history?
If anybody has a strong grasp of what is really going on with missile defense tech please share. Im also interest in how the Saudis claim such high success rates for knocking down Houthi missiles, is it all just bullshit?

Posted by: dan | May 27 2018 19:36 utc | 6

@5 nhs

People accustomed to your pattern ignore your links. It's clickbait and all you do is litter each thread to no purpose, jumping in as soon as possible with your tracking and your carefully evocative title with zero commentary.

If you want to promote your website and your own analysis why not offer a transparent link and give us a brief summary of what the article is about?

If your analysis was worth reading, wouldn't it be worth being proud of? And wouldn't you want to offer real comments here?

Posted by: Grieved | May 27 2018 19:47 utc | 7

Scotch Bingeington 6

There was also an article by AP from july 4 with picture of Ukraine forces moving BUK launchers on the frontline.

Picture with caption and full article were easy to find in the weeks after the downing of MH17 as many news sites had posted the same article. Getting harder to find now as it seems to be disappearing from news archives. Have not been able to find the full AP article for a few years now.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | May 27 2018 20:00 utc | 8

Breaking MSM-Censored News:

Dangerous Outbreak of Representative Democracy in U.S. House of Representatives; Anti-Semitic Congressmen to be Novichocked by FBI!

OK, I made up the last part... or did I?

The quite remarkable event that I haven't seen hint of in the US MSM is real:

U.S. House Makes Clear That There is No Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iran

May 24, 2018
Press Release

A bipartisan amendment introduced by Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) and cosponsored by Reps. Barbara Lee (D-CA), Ro Khanna (D-CA), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Jim McGovern (D-MA) and Walter Jones (R-NC) passed the U.S. House as part of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2019

“The unanimous passage of this bipartisan amendment is a strong and timely counter to the Trump administration’s withdrawal from the Iran deal and its increasingly hostile rhetoric,” Rep. Ellison said. “This amendment sends a powerful message that the American people and Members of Congress do not want a war with Iran. Today, Congress acted to reclaim its authority over the use of military force...”

This will never make it through to the point of being US law - even though it already is as detailed in the US Constitution. While I applaud this brief, comical 'teaser' that the people's will still matters here in the U.S., it simply doesn't. I would have been a bit more impressed if the good congress people would have mentioned the planned U.S./Israeli attack on Syria. Some undeclared wars are more illegal than others, I guess.

In any case, the FBI/Mossad's first target is surely going to be this lady:

“This amendment’s historic passage affirms the fact that the American people do not want to go to war with Iran. Following the President’s misguided withdrawal from the JCPOA, the House of Representatives sent a clear message by passing this amendment unanimously: unauthorized war with Iran is not an option. The President must listen to the American people and return to diplomacy as the primary solution to Iran’s nuclear ambitions,” said Rep. Schakowsky.

How DARE she restrict U.S. 'options'!

Rep. Jan Schakowsky is described as a 'Jewish Congresswomen' in her bio. How can she not be a rabid supporter of the Destruction of Iran for Israel's Protection® scheme? She will need one of those JINSA trips to Israel for re-education if she survives the Novichok.

No tweets from Trump about this outrage yet - the wording is still being reviewed by Tel Aviv.

[WARNING: Reading this post or considering its content may subject residents of South Carolina to fines and imprisonment.]

Posted by: PavewayIV | May 27 2018 20:25 utc | 9

@ Peter AU 1 | 9

Thanks for the info and link! Probably one of the many many many BUK pictures that Bellingcat has checked against... ;-)

Posted by: Scotch Bingeington | May 27 2018 20:35 utc | 10

@10 Here's another newsflash that you won't see...

Trump secretly thanks Reps. Ellison, Lee, Schakowsky et al for getting him off the hook.

Posted by: dh | May 27 2018 21:11 utc | 11

The current US-North Korea impasse is I think going to continue due these irreconcilables: 1) US as fronted by Bolton-Pompeo neocon arrogance will never accept any step backwards militarily, as with withdrawal of forces in South Korea; 2) Trump's hunger-anguish "to do something" (ego-enhancement foremost) as with a genuine reconciliation with Kim Jong Un will continue to be overcome and undone. As Mercouris points out today the Koreas could go ahead by themselves, and should. The mood of the Korean people certainly supports it. Does Moon have the balls for this? I doubt it.

A good piece here by Mercouris, if somewhat naïve in suggesting Trump might prevail "with his better self."

Posted by: Sid2 | May 27 2018 22:05 utc | 12

Helmer: Yulia Skripal's Postscript...

"What did she write, and what didn't she say, the London garden event, plus the neurology evidence."

Posted by: John Gilberts | May 28 2018 1:04 utc | 13

I just don't get the types who imagine that Russia's (sorry for the anthropomorphists who wish to reduce the entire political class of a nation of more than 140 million humans down to just one individual, Vladimir Putin) motives must always be measured against some standard of altruism, a standard which no political leader, much yes an entire machine has ever adhered to.
It doesn't happen and it won't, largely because any political operator who stuck to blindly selfless motives would never get anywhere near a position of power. Not only would he/she be incapable of the duplicity that attaining power requires, no halfway sane individual within a nation's political structure would allow such an individual close to a decision-making position because the corrupt, greedy types would see their scams are going to become nigh impossible and those operators who have convinced themselves their endeavors are 'for the good of the motherland' would be continually concerned about this 'leader' committing some sort of national self sabotage out of a sense of misplaced idealism.

Russia is in Syria because being there is advantageous to Russia and the same thing goes for Russia's relations with demon israel.

Sensible decision-makers deal with the world as it is, not how they would wish it to be. demon israel exists and Russia is only too cognisant of the amount of trouble russian zionists caused for the USSR when it sided with the once anti-zionist states against demon israel - that too was motivated by a belief that opposing demon israel would suit the USSR, but insufficient attention had been paid to the corrupt megalomania of many arab states' political machinery, consequently the USSR got badly burned.

There is likely to be a time in the future when the mathematics of this equation will change, and then but only then Russian accomodation of demon israel will end..

The winds of change are already whipping up a few eddys as amerika struggles to pay off the greedies of the ME. At the moment amerika has confined itself to turning down the payoff faucet for the crooks in Saudi and wealthier gulf states, that will work for a time but in synchronicity with mbs's impending likelihood of 'falling' under a bus, amerika's ability to make the nut on these huge committments is gonna be severely reduced.
Two reasons for that 1) as other forms of monetary exchange eat into the primacy of the petro dollar amerika will be forced to ensure stability of its reserve currency. In the past when some cog in in the amerikan empire's ME apparatus stuck and lubrication required an extra trillion or two, it was simple for amerika to effect a midnight run creating the trillions - plus of course, a bit extra 'for the boyz'.
The dollar was measured against itself and the odds were high that the 'cogs' were going to put most of the dough back into treasuries anyhow. Once there is a competitor any sudden creation of extra dosh will negatively effect the value of the $ and the 'cogs' are going to start laying off some of their ill-gotten gains in the $'s competitors 'just in case'. The era of free money for amerika is coming to an end.

The second reason is that amerika is screwed as far as being a society where things get better for everyone. Things are getting immeasureably worse for everyone who isn't a 'player' and it won't be long before some smartie desperate to grab then hold onto the brass ring does cease lubricating egypt, israel et al and diverts the funds into domestic edumacation or burgeoning health care costs.

In short the empire's ME model is becoming unsustainable and when that occurs Russia may rethink its current strategy of sleazing about town with arch villain, the demon israel.

Many Russians still haven't got over having lived in a quasi-socialist state or a post socialist state, that causes them to expect their leadership to spout stuff about the ethical impulses underpinning their leaders' actions. It is going to take at least one more generation for that desire to move through the intestine of Russia's body politic meaning that the Russian administration cannot be blatantly self-serving with no moral justification and still enjoy popular support for at least another 20 years.

The amerikan empire's apparatus is unlikely to last that long.

Posted by: Debsisdead | May 28 2018 1:29 utc | 14

Novichok: The Wonder New Drug.

Transforms your appearance in just a few weeks.

Here's Yulia Skripal here before Novichok - overweight pasty-faced, spectacled.
And now after treatment, hair shining, slim, attractive.

Novichock. Drop in and get the Skripal treatment from your local MI5 agent.

Posted by: Lochearn | May 28 2018 1:47 utc | 15

@16 debs.. good post.. thanks..

@17 lochearn.. - lol... maybe phizer can start marketing it and get theresa may and boris johnson to promote it..

Posted by: james | May 28 2018 2:44 utc | 16

Lochearn @ 17:

How will people know what to ask for if you don't provide a visual representation of this new wonder drug?

Works best if rubbed on door handles and then inhaled.

Posted by: Jen | May 28 2018 2:48 utc | 17

@10 Paveway

Chief still has his 60 days of war under war powers resolution, or longer than this like in Syria et al.

Posted by: Don Karlos | May 28 2018 2:56 utc | 18

I do not trust much as I would like to trust Putin as he seems to be our only chance to avoid WW 3 I am not convinced :( . It seems realignment is in place (and will last some time ) and we do not know who will be "in bed" with whom in the end. Remember WW2...

Posted by: vbo | May 28 2018 3:06 utc | 19

"How a group of economists undermined public institutions, paving the way to neoliberalism"

Full article:

Posted by: ben | May 28 2018 4:53 utc | 20

Posted by: fast freddy | May 27, 2018 11:19:06 PM | 22

Yep their legerdemain is vast but the conjuring trick will end if an alternative, energy underwritten currency is successfully launched. As I said in #16 I do not see the $USD staying stable at whatever the fed decides it should once a viable competitor is available.
Sure Moody plus Standard & Poor will keep spouting tosh for as long as they can but if analysts don't realistically price the $ based upon market fundamentals, someone else will. That means when the inevitable bust next occurs anyone who stuck with amerikan fantasy pricing is going to get hit by the locomotive whilst those who had used a realistic pricing model to offset downturns will come out largely unscathed. By bye S&P, cya Mr Moody.

Posted by: Debsisdead | May 28 2018 4:54 utc | 21


BIS leads the worlds central banks and they worknin concert to keep rates of favored currencies in controlled ranges. The BIS is controlled by the Fed, BOE, ECB, BOJ and allows them to maintain low interest rates without penalty

Russias Central Bank is also a BIS member. The RCB is independent of government control via constitutional edict (Putins mentor helped draft the constitution) . It does not create and loan money to Russia to finance deficits but insists the government loan from the private sector and the RCB keeps rates extraordinarily high relative to the West. Since looting Russias gold in 1991 and stashing it in Jersey and Switzerland one can say the RCB is under the wests neoliberal control. An attack on the Ruble is far more likely than an attack on the USD which is why they continue to buy US Treasuries (in addition to Gold).

Bust are engineered by the Central Banks. The Big Boys like Goldman Sachs know its coming and short various assets. Its a huge buying opportunity for those with cash, and the big boys get bigger swallowing up the losers. Thats the purpose of the boom-bust cycles both of which are engineered

Posted by: Pft | May 28 2018 5:57 utc | 22

So an American publisher is willing to carry Seymour Hersh today, at least for a story that is 50 years old. No one in the US would publish his rat line story linking the weapons flow from Libya to Syria. Interesting fact in that Harper's story -- Hersh points out that a My Lai story could not be published in 1965 but he had little difficulty in 1968 (though the NY Times didn't write about My Lai for the first month of the scoop). I guess the western press has reverted to that 1965 mind set.

Posted by: ToivoS | May 28 2018 6:05 utc | 23

@17 Lochearn

Are you saying it's not Yulia Skripal? Perhaps a likeness + Deepfake + WaveNet?

Posted by: TJ | May 28 2018 6:24 utc | 24

Pft | May 28, 2018 1:57:40 AM | 25 can say the RCB is under the wests neoliberal control.

No, one cannot say that. Because it is not true.
I think Elvira Nabiullina would take great exception to that.

Posted by: V | May 28 2018 7:31 utc | 25

Posted by: Pft | May 28, 2018 1:57:40 AM | 25
Firstly there is no reason to believe any alternative currency, particularly the first one in competition with $usd will originate out of Russia. A reserve currency that claims no sovereign state boundaries but which is underwritten by Iranian hydro carbons and facilitated through the Peorle's Republic of China IMO, is the most likely viable alternative. The combination of security and tradeability would make such a currency populat among non-Western nations which are growing much faster in real terms than the established western economies.

Just because amerikan reserve currency uses usury at its primary distribution method e.g, loans via IMF etc, does not mean the replacement currency would do the same. This is particularly true of any reserve currency which Iran chose to be involved with.

The mechanisms will be different as will the players and as I alluded to above, a reserve such as the one I described is far more likely to retain it's value and the value of investments made using it than the $US which must be part of a boom bust cycle to survive.
That of course means that such a currency won't suit speculators but is that a bad thing? Money is primarily a tool used to facilitate trading between entities, the $US role in the so called financial industry has made a lot of billionaires but ruined their tool's use for it's primary function. For nations such as China and Iran whose economic aims are mercantile rather than magical, the $US has priced itself outta the market thanks to requiring users to take up all sorts of dodgy derivative side bets just to ensure their deals stay stable.

Posted by: Debsisdead | May 28 2018 8:01 utc | 26

Is MBS dead or alive?:

‏ @CivMilAir

Saudi Medevac - Climbing out from Luton

🇸🇦 Saudi Armed Forces Medical Services



6 hours on...

🇸🇦 Saudi Medevac descending for King Salman AB, Riyadh

Posted by: arbetet | May 28 2018 8:30 utc | 27

Consequences of the dollar losing reserve currency status will be as catastrophic as the collapse of the Roman Empire. You absolutely would not enjoy to live in a world run from China and Iran. There is presently no viable and attractive alternative.

Posted by: Don Karlos | May 28 2018 8:31 utc | 28

Don Karlos | May 28, 2018 4:31:56 AM | 31
There is presently no viable and attractive alternative.
I beg to differ; a basket of currencies, all backed by gold.
The SCO is offering such an option as I type this.

Posted by: V | May 28 2018 8:52 utc | 29

I'm no amerikan, but I do remember that when NZ hit the economic doldrums in the late 1970's and Iran was cut outta the, at that time opec dominated oil market just cos they wanted to pick their own leaders rather than the puppets amerika foisted upon them, both nations saw an opportunity. NZ was in the doldrums because it had been dependent on primary produce almost exclusively sheep meat (yuk) which it had exported to england. That arrangement ended with england's jump into the EU, and Iran had a lot of people and a lot of oil but insufficient meat so a barter system was set up whereby Iran sent Aotearoa tankers full of petroleum products and Aotearoa sent Iran a shiploads of live sheep (initially anyway, before sufficient halal slaughtermen were recruited and trained), both nations benefited greatly from this arrangement.

Initially all sorts of derps claimed "you cannot trust those 'wogs' (sic) in the ME" but the arrangement worked very well for quite some time. Nobody did the dirty on anyone else because it was mutually beneficial. Neither party had a hidden agenda unlike trying to cut a deal with england or amerika. Kiwis learned that Iranians were honorable people to do business with and Iranians also discovered that not all anglo speakers were unconscionable greed heads.

Aotearoa was the first country to establish a free trade agreement with China. That treaty has been in effect for more than 15 years and being a tiny country kiwis were initially concerned about being overwhelmed by a much larger economy. Of course there have been ructions as there always are in trade deals but the level of interference has in general been much less than the regular nonsense both amerika and england try on with NZ.

One of the main reasons kiwis tossed out the conservative government last year and replaced it with unfortunately insincere neolib ersatz lefties was that the tories had recruited a 'new Kiwi' into a safe tory parliamentary seat. The 'migrant' had been working as an educator at the PRC spy school until he upped sticks and suddenly migrated here.

No one wanted a spy from anywhere in the parliament but at least China was open about it, whereas amerika, england and more recently israel have meddled in Aotearoan domestic politics since the year dot.
They frequently get caught but never own their shit which doesn't play well with the citizens.

I notice in today's Guardian there is an article about some CIA analyst criticising Aotearoa's alignment with the People's Republic of China and trying to get NZ thrown outaa five eyes.
These amerikans stayed schtum when the zionist banker that was the last PM recruited the spy into his party and only kicked up when a less capitalist aligned mob took office. Makes you wonder about Matthis' agenda eh. Especially since the Green/Labour/NZ First coalition government have kept all foreign lobbyists including amerika as well as china, as far away from them as possible.

Leaving five eyes would make a great many kiwis happy but it is unlikely yo occur. Firstly because Five Eyes was set up as a co-op - one nation cannot just demand the ouster of another, but more importantly amerika gets more outta Aotearoa's involvement with five eyes than Aotearoa gets outta being a member. eg a few years back five eyezs insisted the previous NZ government not install a submarine cable between NZ and China even though there is currently only one cable from NZ to amerika currently. Anything happens to it NZ is in trouble, but a cable out of NZ utilising Huawei hardware would have left amerikan intelligence screwed.

I dunno what amerika gets up to down in Antartica as it is all amerikan military secrets what I do know is that every summer the amerikan operation gets innundated with the usual prezes, ex=prezes, defense comitte bosses. John McCain was an annual visitor until he got sick. This has been going on for a long time. prez Kennedy's national security chief was in Antarctica when his boss got offed in Dallas.

The amerika base is located on NZ territory which has been leased to amerika as a five eyes partber.

That goes to show that the capricious arseholes who run amerika are venal deceitful and bullying in a way than neither Iran nor China have been.

The casual abuse of relationships initially established on the basis of trust makes many nations very wary of amerika and it makes the claim that a relationship China or Iran maybe 'dangerous' laughable.

There is only one selfish nutter with a chip on their shoulder in the game right now and that is amerika.

Posted by: Debs is dead | May 28 2018 10:00 utc | 30

Debs is dead | May 28, 2018 6:00:46 AM | 34
It would be hard to argue your point; so I wont...right on...

Posted by: V | May 28 2018 12:22 utc | 31

Reports are coming out that the I-sraelis swapped messages with the I-ranians though a hole in a sheet... well two separate hotel rooms in Jordan via an intermediary. The crux seems to be that I-ran will leave SW Syria alone and I-srael will allow the Syrian Army to take on the rebels.

Even Lavrov has apparently said that only Syrian forces should be allowed:

I-srael apparently now says it will no longer 'limit itself' to the SW corner, but considers the whole of Syria its playground. Now is my logic faulty when I ask 'why would I-ran & I-srael agree on the border only for I-srael to claim the right to attack (I-ran, it figures) anywhere in Syria?' Face saving bs? Can we look forward to Russian troops securing the Golan Heights after IS/ISIS/ISIL/DEASH/Whatever have been scrubbed?

Posted by: et Al | May 28 2018 13:02 utc | 32

About MH17 (see above no. 6) The guy who brought it down committed suicide a few months ago.

fort russ

background: is the vid described (no eng s-t.) less than 2 mins, informative.

This was all gone into on this board some time after. There was a powerful rumor going about that the intended target was Putin’s plane. I looked into that, and indeed Putin’s plane was close by. The rumor was quickly quashed.

This is how the MSM and their payers win. They push the same scenario for years but the opposition has no structure, thus no repository, no evidence, no conclusions, no agreement, no staying power, etc. The PTB know that, and count on it. Finally, even in these days of the intertubes, even ppl who might be wary or suspicious accept the lies - and ppl like me just give up. Btw the Ukr. Min. of Transport knew nothing about it. (No doubt, to illustrate my point, someone will say, prove it!…argh…)

youtube actually has some good links on this matter but post is too link heavy already.

Posted by: Noirette | May 28 2018 13:51 utc | 33

@36 et Al

This corner of Syria is going to be one of those Middle East situations where no single announcement will show the whole picture; instead, one will need to knit half a dozen stories together to get the view. Also, one will need to make the correct interpretation of the meaning of actions and announcements.

Fortunately, there is b, who is a master at this kind of thing. So we shall soon understand it all ;)


[hold nose] That Daily Mail story comes from a Saudi Arabia source. Hmm. The Jerusalem Post also reports that Syria has forbidden Iran to store ammunition in its military bases, as a precursor to asking Iran to leave Syria completely, which it says is a measure of Syria's "panic" following recent Israeli attacks - all this coming from a Syrian "opposition" source. Hmm. [/hold nose]

Meanwhile, back in daylight, Ziad Fatel at Syrian Perspective reports in his latest story that Iran has delivered some of its own manufactured air defense equipment to Syria. Apparently it's pretty good stuff. I get the impression that Syria is being upgraded as the threats from Israel increase, at a commensurate pace and scale, and only at need. In other words, upgrading is not a black and white, one-decision thing.

In a further twist, the director of Russia's state-run Russian company for the development of new technologies, Sergey Chimezov, at the St. Petersburg forum answering questions said that discussions with Syria over the S-300 are still ongoing, and have never stalled. They were never halted, not even by Netanyahu's visits, and all conclusions that they had were wrong, he said. Again, equipment upgrading - between countries, as opposed to Russia moving its own kit in fast for its own purposes, for example - seems to be more of a gradual process than an instant gratification thing.

Lastly, Elijah J. Magnier tweeted about 6 hours ago that people should read again his article from the previous week, because "it's going to happen soon": Israel will hit the Levant again: and Nasrallah, the “axis of resistance” spokesperson in Syria, will respond…again. I gave it another reading, and the impression is one of a general probing by fire, action and reaction, response and countermove - all of which has forced and does force its opponents to strengthen themselves - as Israel tries to fight its way out of the bag it has caught itself in. Try this for an evocative summary of the situation:

In a very few words, Israel has lost the initiative in Syria. All its attempts to support al-Qaeda and ISIS (the Khaled bin al-Waleed army), the depletion of Iran in Syria and the strike against the Syrian army have caused the expansion of the influence of its worst enemy and the axis he is leading now on the occupied Golan Heights: Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah.

Posted by: Grieved | May 28 2018 14:31 utc | 34

@ Grieved with the timely summary of Syria

Nicely done and thank you. I really do appreciate MoA and it community of commenters. The breadth and depth of our world shared here is admirable and a statement of our collective humanity. We stand on the shoulders of those who have come before us and shown us the way......happy memorial day for whatever it means to you.

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 28 2018 14:41 utc | 35

That Putin thing !
I like the man! I'm a good judge of character, he's no saint, he'll put his interest and his country's first. That's only right. I read a recent link from Moa on his personal view of present world politics.I Liked what he said.
We have to have a healthy mistrust of everything these days. Regarding Syria he may be light at the end of the tunnel or maybe a train heading our way !!!
So point is- don't let's be lazy minded. And ask someone else to sort the shit we'v created !
Lastly. What exactly are the rules of this game if trump & co pay people to destabilise Syria can mr Putin pay rebels to destabilise USA, UK ?

Posted by: Mark2 | May 28 2018 16:07 utc | 36

17/28 - If you all are referring to the photo of the Skripals in a cafe toasting the camera, this was discussed here back in March or April. People from the UK pointed out that the Zizzi restaurant where they dined does not look like the photo and also was probably taken during a previous visit by Yulia.

Posted by: Bart Hansen | May 28 2018 17:04 utc | 37

I wandered into a good rant today by Jim Kunstler that is worth sharing

Memorialize That

The beginning lines...
War for the USA these days is a weird, inconclusive enterprise. Our objectives are poorly discerned, hardly even articulated anymore, just a pattern of going through the motions as destructively as possible with no end in sight.

The ending lines...
It’s hard to be empire, for sure, but it’s even harder, apparently, to be a truly virtuous society. First, I suppose, you have to be not insane. It’s hard to think of one facet of American life that’s not insane now. Our politics are insane. Our ideologies are insane. The universities are insane. Medicine is insane. Show biz is insane. Sexual relations are insane. The arts are insane. The news media is utterly insane. And what passes for business enterprise in the USA these days is something beyond insane, like unto the swarms of serpents and bats issuing from some mouth of hell in the medieval triptychs. How do you memorialize all that?

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 28 2018 17:10 utc | 38

@Lochearn | 18

Novichok: The Wonder New Drug.

Transforms your appearance in just a few weeks.

Here's Yulia Skripal here before Novichok - overweight pasty-faced, spectacled.
And now after treatment, hair shining, slim, attractive.

Novichock. Drop in and get the Skripal treatment from your local MI5 agent.

I laughed, a brilliant take on the issue :D

@ et Al | 36

I agree with Grieved | 38, but its more than that, Iran will never stop helping Syria (one way or another), nor Israel will ever stop meddling in Syria (one way.. or another). Therefore the Resistance will simply up the stakes and change the equation of Israel's perceived impunity. Exactly why Israel isnt occupying Lebanon's south and have to contain themselves - got their butts royally kicked. The Resistance have to do it wisely, still a lot to do in Syria, and US is also itching to jump in "to protect poor innocent Israel and those cuddly peacenik jihadists."

Plus all the talk Assad asked Iranians (his best supporters!) to leave over EMPTY Israelis promises? That would be a genuine stupidity, as Nutjobyahoo promise is even more empty than US ones, and the latter have never kept their word in their history, ever.

Russia also has to play a delicate dance, as its a friend of both Israel and Syria, therefore while Russia is very important to the Resistance, at the same time they know they cant 100% rely on it either. Or rather, they can rely that Russia will do whats beneficial for it, not anyone else.

Posted by: Harry | May 28 2018 17:21 utc | 39

What is tiring is that people continue to defend Putin as his back stabbing becomes more and more open. Now we have Israel demanding that all Iranians leave Syria and more! Not only does Russia not object, but it invites Israeli military leadership to Russia to help plan the broadened war against Iran! Of course we will hear that Russia is just trying to mollify Israel, trying to minimize its rage. That argument was NEVER persuasive. It's completely absurd at this point. Nor was the claim that Russia owes nothing whatsoever to its allies and friends and those FIGHTING AT ITS SIDE on a literal battlefield ever remotely persuasive.

Yeltsin chose well. Putin did some good things for Russia - raised standard of living testifies to that - but for the world he has been a thoroughly bogus leader, which of course ultimately impacts Russia. He has turned out to be the ultimate quisling, more shameless than one could have imagined based on the stirring words he once spoke.

Posted by: paul | May 28 2018 17:24 utc | 40

Italy's debt burden is just behind Greece in the EU and their politics is in turmoil as this ZH article shows

Italian Banks, Bonds Crash As Di Maio Calls For Protests Against "The Arrogance Of Institutions"

The situation in Italy is not alone. There is Turkey that is in NATO but not in the EU and is being whipsawed geo-politically as another ZH article shows

Turkish Lira Soars After Central Bank Changes Monetary Policy, But Reserves Emerge As Biggest Concern

As other commenters have noted, the global private finance tools of the West as in the BIS, SWIFT, IMF, World Bank, etc. are also tools of war and are being used to wage such

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 28 2018 17:24 utc | 41

Psychohistorian @ 42
All of that you say may be true....but I forgive you all ! You gave us Elvis ! I like Elvis.
@paul .Trump and previous pres's USA have they been good for the world ?
This is a gen question? You have me interested!

Posted by: Mark2 | May 28 2018 17:48 utc | 42

Chipnik @47
All of that is of your own greedy making, your like a pig with its hoofs in the trough you personally that is rot in hell you psyopath! And stop blaming ya victims your not fit to kiss there feet.what goes around comes around I wanna see you in ya goddam vid link shit film next.

Posted by: Mark2 | May 28 2018 18:46 utc | 43

"..What exactly are the rules of this game if trump & co pay people to destabilise Syria can mr Putin pay rebels to destabilise USA, UK ?"

The real question is how Syria, for example, responds to aggression from the Gulf states and Jordan.

All these states are governed by rulers hated by their millions of subjects. In Bahrain and Saudi Arabia there are substantial shia populations subjected to every manner of civil and economic indignity- there is no evidence that they receive any support from overseas.
Then there are the millions of semi slave workers from the sub-continent and East Africa, on whose backs the vast wealth of places like the UAE rests. Not to mention the tens of thousands of women employed as domestic servants; when western feminists have stopped fixating on Harvey Weinstein's minor predations they might want to look into the lot of these women, one or more of whom are beaten to death every week according to the stories which media in Lebanon do not suppress.

And then there is the Mamluk riddle: how long before these hollowed out kleptocracies, in which not only all the work but much of the policing and internal security is carried out by Pakistanis and Indians, get taken over by the mercenaries?

In the old days, the 1920s, the Communist Parties played a very constructive role supporting civil rights struggles in the land where Jim Crow ruled, organising migrant labour and sharecropper/debt peons, from Alabama to Arkansas. Most of those involved were motivated by decency and solidarity but among those signing the cheques there were some who realised that they were not just assisting the victimised but weakening an evil empire.

The United States and the UK don't need any assistance they are already collapsing socially, thanks to the experts in creating societal chaos who have been running their governments for at least half a century but the matter of doing to Riyadh what Riyadh did to Damascus and Baghdad has to be on the agendas of those in power in those places.

Posted by: bevin | May 28 2018 19:48 utc | 44

'We are with people, not bankers’: Italian Euroskeptic coalition lashes out at pro-EU interim PM

Posted by: Anonymous | May 28 2018 20:01 utc | 45

Bevin @ 49
I thank you for your sane comments above!
I do agree with most of what you say.
Regarding Saudia Arabia ect I can't see how you can say they have no outside interference! We supply them with on a massive scale with them assist in there bombing of Yemen.and I suspect they are with the west on a massive carve up of the Middle East. I know little about Bahrain,so shall say little,but those revolutions we witness despite almost certenaly being justified,surly they were encouraged by USA purely for usa interest with the present results
The wrong people doing the right thing for the wrong reason! Thanks beven

Posted by: Mark2 | May 28 2018 20:42 utc | 46

psycho @ 42: Thanks for the Kunstler article. An apt description of the symptoms afflicting modern day U$A, a thoroughly diseased and corrupted society, due to unbridled greed and the lust for global hegemony.

Posted by: ben | May 28 2018 22:15 utc | 47

Posted by: psychohistorian @45

"The situation in Italy is not alone.... the global private finance tools of the West as in the BIS, SWIFT, IMF, World Bank, etc. are also tools of war and are being used to wage such."

And, as I'm sure you now know, Italy's President just scuttled the planned coalition government for naming a "euro-skeptic" finance minister. And appointed "former International Monetary Fund official Carlo Cottarelli as interim prime minister...."

And again, all those financial weapons of war are deeply embedded in Russia and China, and are invested in both BRIC and the Belt/Road Initiative.

I hope you and all will take the time to watch the video I'll try to link separately.

Posted by: Daniel | May 28 2018 22:38 utc | 48

I must object to Don Karlos's assertion that we wouldn't want the center of international gravity to shift to such old and wise civilizations as Iran and China--Thousands of years older and wiser than anything European or its offshoot the Outlaw US Empire. I offer this outstanding postcard from Iran, one of many penned by Pepe Escobar over the years. As for China's accomplishments since 1949, they are absolutely unmatched by any polity ever to exist on this planet. Humanity ether embraces Win-Win or dies buried under Zero-sum--it's really just that simple.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 28 2018 22:44 utc | 49

Banking, Russia, Israel, the USA, and the fate of not just MENA, but all of us.

Every time I (or anyone) posts something to do with Brendon O’Connell, Unit 8200 or Operation Talpiot we are attacked as Auntie Seemites. So, let me first quote Brendon:

“Israel is an arm of the City of London East India Trading Company empire operating under the Uniform Commercial Code legal structure.”

The supra-national banking cabal is the center of power. And as psychohistorian noted @45, it is a multi-tentacled octopus with financial war-making abilities. It can also call in the terrifying military power of the US/NATO when needed (or simply to make a buck).

It can also use the awesome powers of high-technology created by the above named units. It has its tentacles directing the “intertubes” and all telecommunications. It can operate or shut down any internet-connected infrastructure projects or simply take you for a ride in your own automobile (Michael Hastings died for our sins).

And yes, this banking cabal is largely owned and controlled by Talmudic psychopaths. Their MSM mouthpieces aren’t even denying this anymore; they’re even bragging about it, as anyone who watched my earlier post about “in their own words” knows.

So please, take a bit more than 1/2 hour to watch Brendon’s summation of the situation. First, he explains how he became “radicalized.” Then he explains who and what is really in control of high-tech that watches over and quite literally controls much of our lives. All of that is simply factual, and he will provide the links to verify every bit. In the last 10 minutes, he gives his opinion.

For those who were turned off by an earlier Brendon video in which he attempted to use satire and hysteria, please check this out. This is Brendon the investigator, not the showman.

Posted by: Daniel | May 28 2018 23:09 utc | 50

karlof1 @54 responding to Don Karlo.

The AZW Empire (some have been adding Wahhabi to Anglo-Zionist) is a horrible thing. As I've posted numerous times, I hope China and/or Russia are sincerely attempting to create structures to compete with and prevent total global domination by the Empire.

But let's not get too fuzzy about the "soft" tyrannies of China and Iran. For some decades now, China has been largely doing well by their people. But at the price of great limitations in liberty. We are (rightly) up in arms (or should be) about the corporate/government "throttling" and "deranging" and "shadow banning" of our internet. But China's? You know.

Iran.... well, let me introduce you to a very dear friend who is Iranian. She was arrested at age 16 and imprisoned for 3 years by SAVAK during the Shah's rule. Her crime was being a lefty. She suffered tortures.

Then, she was released and was very involved in the Iranian Revolution of 1978-79. She was my primary source for knowledge that the revolution was secular and socialist, but was hijacked by Islamic Extremists (all of which has since been verified by FOIA document releases).

So, the Islamic Republic of Iran also arrested and imprisoned her. This time for 6 or 7 years. Her crime, was once again, being a lefty. The torture was even worse. At one point, they dragged her to another location so they could show her her husband hanging by his wrists, which were tied behind his back (a CIA technique that dislocates the shoulders). She believes he was still alive, though barely. That was the last time she saw the love of her life. The Islamic Republic never even acknowledged his death, let alone returned his corpse for burial.

She and I still had/have hope that the good people of Iran would use the Constitutional powers they possess to remove the theocratic "supreme leaders" and reestablish the genuine republic she and the other revolutionaries were creating until the US colluded with Ayatollah Khomeini to hijack their revolution.

I have great respect for the Iranian people, and even under theocratic oversight, if not rule, Iran has managed to progress. I sure don't want to see her family slaughtered in another "regime change" war.

But I leave my rose-colored glasses in the drawer. ;-)

Posted by: Daniel | May 28 2018 23:38 utc | 51

@karlof1 | May 28, 2018 6:44:04 PM | 54

Thanks always enjoy reading Pepe pieces and your comment. However, China survival as a nation without breaking up into the next century depends on Xi Jinping - guidance across the minefields and she may not make it... China must never trust the USA and to a certain extend include Russia Federation base on recent events.

Posted by: OJS | May 29 2018 0:23 utc | 52

karlof 1 @ 54: Thanks for the "postcard" link. Interesting and enlightening article..

Posted by: ben | May 29 2018 1:38 utc | 53

@60 OJS

That's the propaganda line that you're citing. See more of the same in my comment @38 (between the warnings to hold your nose while you read it).

But also at that comment is more realistic news suggesting that Israel is the one in a panic - and not its opponents - because it has lost everything it thought it held, such as influence and military advantage.

Iran is supplying Syria with air defense upgrades, Nasrallah has demonstrated how the Rules of Engagement have changed to Israel's disadvantage, and Magnier shows how Israel, in its state of denial and anger before it accepts this fact, will test Syria in yet more ways.

Also b, of course, continues to make masterly assessments of the situation - and they are very encouraging.

Syria is winning. This is not yet the endgame of Israel - it's far too soon for such a thing - but Israel is the only one going down in this theater. There is no endgame, except for Israel's interference in Syria. This will come to an end, but not yet. The lies about Iran are the wishful thinking of the plotters who are now losing. They betray their immature emotions very accurately by drawing pictures of their fears using mirror-images that pretend to be successful. Psychologically, this is very juvenile. But strategically, for us, it's very informative.

You cannot trust any stories coming from Israel or Saudi Arabia regarding Syria's relationship with Iran. But there are many Levantine observers whom you can trust, and everyone can trust Nasrallah.

Do not despair, the situation is volatile in its appearances and even in the daily ups and downs of actions, but it is very stable resting on strong fundamentals.

Posted by: Grieved | May 29 2018 3:47 utc | 54

Another brick in the wall of evidence on the lies of MSM regarding events in Syria.

Good interview..

Posted by: ben | May 29 2018 3:56 utc | 55

The news out of Italy over the last two days has the potential to completely change the game as it could end in the destruction of the EU.

The original Euro Community was an admirable ideal as it emphasised the rights of all citizens of member states, guaranteeing them a range of protections from unjust and stupid demagogues. Unfortunately the neolib corporatist globalists took over the machinery and turned it over to a gang of cold-hearted technocrats who used the once estimable governance structure to enforce a draconian monetarist policy. - see Greece.

Now Italy has finally jacked up and the EU, mimicking amerikan methods that have wreaked so much havoc upon the world (see the 1975 dismissal of the elected Australian Labour Government by the englander queen), the EU has bribed, blackmailed or extorted the Italian president Mattarella, into destroying Italy's newly elected government just because he suspects this government sees Italy's future outside the Franco-German dominated Eurozone (Germany bludgeons with money, France has the military power). Italy's prez just like Australia's Governor-General is alleged by the PTB to be apolitical then when the ordure hits the ventilator citizens discover that the loudmouths weren't nutter conspiracy theorists, they had been speaking the truth.
The new government is a strange marriage of left and right which perplexes neolibs but makes sense to voters who aren't over the moon about the innate racism of the rightists or the old school leftists regard for centralisation, but who consider that the extreme tendencies will be cancelled out with the new government unifying around their shared belief in the primacy of the Italian people.

Mattarella has completely ignored the election result and is trying to install an IMF technocrat as the leader of an unelected government.
Even that worthless neolib whore england's grauniad sees Matarella's move as problematic.:

Privately, some analysts who were supportive of Mattarella said it was far from clear whether he had made the right moves and whether his actions would inflame populist sentiment at a fragile moment in Italian history.

It pays to remember that unlike Greece who had suffered the effect of being oppressed and robbed by the amerikan installed fascist military junta for 40 years, a junta which simply took control of the pre-1945 German Nazi machinery, Italy has been somewhat luckier.
Altho amerika used the likes of heroin pushers/pimps Meyer Lansky & Charlie 'Lucky' Luciano to install a mafia government, Italians successfully used their system, which was freer than Greece's to push back The Italian economy is number 3 after Germany & France in the EU. The EU needs Italy.

Remember when the same stunt was attempted in Greece, the people chucked out the cold hearted arsehole at first opportunity (even though they reckoned without the spineless puppet Tsirpras - of course the Italians have checked out their nominees thoroughly to ensure there should be no repetition), but the Italian constitution which Matarella has so shamelessly used and perverted to pull his stroke, will bring his strategy undone.

That same constitution gives parliament the power to veto the President's pick, which it almost certainly will do, meaning there will be an immediate new election, one where a majority of Italians apalled by their Presidents tyranny will swing behind M5S and the Northern League with a vengeance and the odds of Italy staying in an unreformed EU must be considered to be extremely slim.

The real question is will Merkel and Macron have the good sense, will and political control to recognise that the jig is up and it is long past time to make the remote Brussels EU mechanism far more responsive to the wants and needs of its members' citizens?

Such a move would almost certainly take the momentum out of the little englander's Brexit as while it wouldn't do a thing for that dying out breed of "Let's put the 'Great' back into Great Britain" mob, it would slice off the somewhat conflicted humanist base who are torn between a desire to be a part of Europe and the need to GTFO of such a crudely undemocratic mess that is the EU in 2018.

I reckon that altho Merkel has the balls to force a change she now lacks the political power and though Macron may be able to convince his neolib cronies, every one of whom owes his/her gig to Macron's corrupt deceit skills, Macron lacks the strength of purpose to make changes & save the EU.

Unfortunately that means that Europe is likely to fall into the millennia old warring factions that finally kippered it from 1914 onwards. amerika will be happy in the short term, but without a unified europe to back it up, the amerikan empire will be buggered pretty quick.

Posted by: Debsisdead | May 29 2018 4:12 utc | 56

@63 A good comment from one of Guardian articles regarding Italy. It is worth the read:

"Italy’s written Constitution (1947) bans referenda on any international treaty, so no Italian voter has ever been directly consulted on any of the treaties of the EU since it started in Rome in 1957, not even the Euro. Italy’s Constitution also creates a bicameral structure of equal powers between the Senate and Chamber of Deputies, which has frequently stalemated the Italian Parliament. They also have some ‘Peers’ in Italy, whereby the President can appoint ‘Senators for Life’.
Following a decade of economic stagnation after joining the Euro at the Millennium, Berlusconi threatened to take Italy out of the Single Currency at an EU Conference in 2011 when Merkel and Sarkozy ganged up on him over the Fiscal Compact and publicly mocked him. Within days of his threat, telephone intercepts were released to the media in which Berlusconi had privately described Angela Merkel as ‘an unfuckable lard-arse’, and he was quickly deposed from power and pursued for corruption to prevent him standing for re-election. (By apparent coincidence, the Head of the IMF, Dominic Strauss-Khan, was also removed at this time when his mobile phone was compromised, and he was pursued for sexual assault allegations, preventing him from standing as the anti-Euro Socialist candidate in the upcoming 2012 French Elections). The Italian President then appointed the former Italian PM and EU Commissioner for Financial Services (ex Goldman Sachs) Mario Monti as a technocratic PM, the very same Mario Monti in Brussels today proposing a raft of taxes for the next EU Budget to help bail out the Euro.
When Elections in Italy were allowed in 2013, the result was a hung Parliament under Prime Minister Letta, who was soon replaced by the Italian President in favour of Matteo Renzi, nicknamed ‘Merkenzi’, because of his closeness to Angela Merkel. He in turn proposed a new successor for President, Sergio Mattarella, an ally of former Italian Prime Minister and EU President, Romano Prodi, (ex-Goldman Sachs), responsible for introducing the Euro, despite members like Italy and Greece not meeting the convergence criteria (except by creative accounting and a river of Goldman Sachs credit default swaps).
Matteo Renzi sought constitutional reforms to speed up austerity measures and to abolish Italy’s CNEL (National Council for Economics and Labour) which was opposed to the kind of labour reforms that Hollande and Macron were undertaking in France using presidential decrees to bypass the French Parliament. The Italian Parliament was unable to muster enough votes to pass these reforms, so Renzi put them to a Constitutional Referendum in December 2016, and Italian voters rejected them on a 60/40 vote.
In new Elections in March this year, voters abandoned the Party of Matteo Renzi, breaking unevenly to Five Star and Lega, which both reject Euro austerity, but from different right and left perspectives. Their subsequent attempt to form a coalition led President Mattarella to nominate a mutually-agreeable candidate, Giuseppe Conte, last week. Article 92 of the Italian Constitution sets out his power:
“The President of the Republic nominates the Prime Minister and, on his proposal, the Ministers.”

But having nominated Giuseppe Conte as PM, he did not reciprocate in Mr Conte’s discretion to propose Paolo Savona as Minister of Finance, because Savona had described the Euro as ‘an historic mistake’. Mr Conte has understandably declined to become PM, and the President has turned to Carlo Cottarelli, a former Executive Director of the IMF (previously appointed by Matteo Renzi), and known as ‘Mr Scissors’ for cutting public spending. Mr Cottarelli said ten days ago there was ‘no possibility’ he would become PM.
The Italian President evidently doesn’t want another Election before 2019, to avoid clashing with the end of Brexit negotiations, supposed to be finished by October, and the last thing Brussels wants is a controversial Election in Italy on the Euro, which could seriously compromise their negotiating position on Brexit."

Posted by: Peter Schmidt | May 29 2018 5:31 utc | 57

At this point, had the 5S and Lega any political and historical senses, they would plan to send tens of thousands of their militants and voters to march on Rome and get forcefully rid of the current political system and Constitution, to start anew. Playing by the rules won't work, since they've been set up by the house, and the only rule is that the house always wins. The only winning move is not to play that game and just discard the board entirely.
Of course, such considerations don't apply to Italy only; they're just as valid for every single other Western face democracy.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | May 29 2018 8:28 utc | 58

Posted by: Peter Schmidt | May 29, 2018 1:31:04 AM | 64

I've had a bit of a hunt but have been unable to find that graun article you quote from which is hardly surprising given the uselessness of the paper's search function, but I would be interested to see the article and find out who wrote it, given the piece I linked to states that the lower house of the legislature has the power to veto any president's government.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | May 29, 2018 4:28:26 AM | 65

Of course but few Italians are starving yet, so the chances of rousing Italians sufficiently to confront the well armed & trained forces that the ptb can call upon are currently just about non-existent, even if the M5S leaders really wanted to do that.

Neo-libs have spent at least 30 years hunting the line beyond which no government can go. They know when to push and when to pull back and thus far their greed hasn't neccessitated getting so close to the line people will rise up.

That will happen some time in the future, because capitalism being what it is, greed will eventually induce a sort of collective amnesia among the elites but IMO we're a generation short of that at present.
From that perspective the league/M5S is doing exactly the right thing. They may be successful yet, but if they aren't, they are creating an historic knothole; the sort of event in Italy's seemingly smooth and just 'democracy' that will linger in peoples' minds for generations, including the minds of those as yet unborn.

These knot holes are vital and not just because they provide insight into the enemies' amoral opportunism. The knot-holes provide sufficient effect to cause citizens to think again and then reject their indoctrination.

Posted by: Debsisdead | May 29 2018 9:20 utc | 59

Cheers Grieved!

I'm very much on the same page as you and Harry.

We can only hope... and wait.

Posted by: et Al | May 29 2018 10:28 utc | 60


I have lifted Debs comment @63 to a thread of its own and transferred the comments 64, 65, 66 to it.

For further Italy-EU discussion please go here.

Posted by: b | May 29 2018 10:49 utc | 61

Does Craig Murray want to create a new "pro White Helmets" group in Myanmar? He is so naive and hypocritical. I noticed his recent promotion of a new film project by his wife, a former belly dancer, about how the Rohingyas in Myanmar are being genocided by the wicked Burmese. The tone of the project is obvious: Rohingyas = defenceless victims, Burmese = wicked perpetrators. Nothing about the hidden hand of the USA, or about the fact that the Rohingyan jihadi terrorists are led by a known Rohingyan jihadi terrorist from a family in Pakistan who was given terrorist training in Saudi Arabia. Nothing about the genocide by the jihadi terrorists of the native Arakanese (the true dominant locals of the territory) or many other non-muslim minority groups. Is this going to be a true investigative journalism project on site in Rakhine State? I don't think so. By all appearances an armchair project in an Edinburgh sitting room, with Craig Marray as the tea maker. Craig Murray criticises MSM journalists reporting on Syria from Beirut, but Edinburgh is a lot further away from the reality.

It appears likely it will be just another pro MSM propaganda stunt supporting US anti-sovereignty projects.

The US are desperate to disrupt China's access to oil without going through routes the US Navy control (i.e. Straits of Malacca). China has a pipeline through Myanmar going to the Indian Ocean, which terminates on the Rakhine State coast. The route is also an important part of the OBOR, with an important Chinese port. The US are using their usual techniques to disrupt it. They plan to forment such "genocide" that a "UN peacekeeping" force will go in, and ideally to hive off Rakhine State (which properly belongs to the Buddhist Arakanese) as an independent sovereign muslim state under US puppetship, a la Kosovo.

It won't happen. The Chinese will certainly block any UN action in Rakhine State. But how many innocent lives will be lost in the process?

William Blum once told me the CIA were busily formenting hatred in Yugoslavia for five years before the war started. Likewise they and the Saudis seem to have been engineering hatred in Rakhine State and neighbouring Bangladesh for years in preparation for their current sovereignty-change project. They are making heavy use of Rohingya families from Pakistan who have longstanding links to al Qaida.

Posted by: BM | May 29 2018 10:52 utc | 62

The US said every one of its missiles hit home, the Syrians and later the Russians claimed to have shot down almost three quarters of them; the incredible inconsistency in the story tells us that somebody is telling porkies, but who? Are there any examples of this scenario happening before in history?
If anybody has a strong grasp of what is really going on with missile defense tech please share. Im also interest in how the Saudis claim such high success rates for knocking down Houthi missiles.
Is it all just bullshit?
Posted by: dan | May 27, 2018 3:36:29 PM | 7

Not according to
A Russian Electronic Warfare Firm is upgrading its capabilities based on info obtained by examining two Tomahawks neutured in Syria and transported to Russia.

Thank Heaven for small mercies (and dumb Christian Colonials who believe ALL of their own bs).

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 29 2018 17:39 utc | 63

George Galloway: "I have finally identified Phillip Cross"

Posted by: MadMax2 | May 30 2018 10:29 utc | 64

UK medics treated Skripals for opioid overdose until Porton Down tests showed nerve agent poisoning

The spinmasters are very shure the public is already so dumped down they will eat every shit they get presented......

Posted by: youss | May 30 2018 12:14 utc | 65

What is going on with the not-assasinated russian journalist?

A fake news taking a new life after being exposed as a lie (he wasnt killed) or an event created by Ukraine to somehow nail Russia?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 30 2018 16:03 utc | 66

Daniel @52--

Yes, I've heard similar tales, but most harrowing were the first hand accounts of the war waged on Iran by the Outlaw US Empire using Iraq as its proxy from Iranian ESL students I aided in college level composition. I encouraged them to be as graphically descriptive as possible to purge their minds of the horrors they'd experienced. Yes, it was very humbling to say the least! Some were asked if they'd share their stories with classmates as they were testimonies to actions perpetrated by the US government. I also met other war-related refugees, mostly from Africa then, who made it to California. It was an education that puts our just completed Memorial Day holiday in a totally different perspective. There's no longer any honor in it whatsoever.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 30 2018 22:17 utc | 67

Yes, karlof1. My dear friend, and other Iranians I've known were also appalled at the AZ Empire's proxy war against Iran using Saddam. She and all I've known supported Iran defending itself. They lost many friends and family.

She and some others were also appalled at the Islamic Republic's use of children to walk across minefields so fighters could follow them. Some Iranians I knew admired the "martyrs" and excused the Republic's use of those children.

Of course, the Carter Administration encouraged Saddam to invade, which the nascent Iranian Republic was quite unprepared to fight. The offer by the US of $$$ and weapons (which became the Iran/Contra crime spree) was a big part of how Ayatollah hijacked the revolution.

And the fact that the US was arming both sides for a decade of carnage gets almost no mention by anyone.

Posted by: Daniel | May 30 2018 23:52 utc | 68

ps, karlof1. We mostly agree. I was just warning not to look too uncritically at China and Iran. Or Russia, for that matter, and the same reasons.

Posted by: Daniel | May 31 2018 0:36 utc | 69

Daniel @70--

Yes, I know of no sinless nation, past or present. Even Eden wasn't a Utopia. I take a peek into the roots of it all at the end of the Italy thread. The problem with humans is we tend to forget we're animals in fact and in nature and that there's nothing civil about civilization. The only real cure I can imagine is a vast natural calamity that erases the vast majority of humanity such that the survivors must become egalitarian in order to survive, while welcoming in other survivors instead of trying to exclude them--the various incarnations of The Walking Dead display this message. (I'd have never watched that program if it wasn't for the wife. It's gross and disgusting often, but then so is human history.) An earlier attempt to get Americans to see the naked truth about themselves and humanity at large was attempted in the first episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation: Encounter at Farpoint where Q and his Continuum puts humanity on trial for its crimes against itself, which I found revolutionary at the time (1987). Too bad Sergio Leone masked his message in the Spaghetti Western genre as all his films have essentially the same message: It's always for A Few Dollars More.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 31 2018 1:06 utc | 70

I enjoyed some of those "post-apocolypse" films, books and shows, too. Then I started to worry TPTSB were "foreshadowing" some planned event, and I can't quite look at them the same anymore.

I don't think it would take a massive "culling" of the human population to get us to act better towards one another. I don't even think being the few to survive such horrendous catastrophes would even encourage that sort of change in human relations. Perhaps quite the opposite.

I've also come to the conclusion that the earth is quite capable of providing a reasonable standard of living for the entire current population. The UN reported that we could feed every hungry person for a lousy $30 billion more per year.

Of course, any finite system has some maximum population of any species that it can bear. I just don't think we're there yet.

The problems are distribution and our use of wasteful methods to produce unsustainable goods. And those would still be problems even if David Rockefeller's and Bill Gates' goals of cutting human population by 80% to 90% was brought down upon us.

Peace and Love. :-)

Posted by: Daniel | May 31 2018 3:37 utc | 71

I was somehow motivated to read the UN Security Council meeting results for today and am going to quote the China representative because folks need to read clearly what China's position is
MA ZHAOXU (China) expressed concern over the escalation, pressing Israel and the Palestinians to work in the same direction, cease military action and take steps to de-escalate the situation. Disputes must be settled by peaceful means, he emphasized, urging the Council to foster peace and create the conditions for stabilizing the situation and resuming dialogue. China’s Special Envoy had recently met with both the Israeli and Palestinian sides, as well as the Special Coordinator, he said, adding that they had exchanged views on the Gaza situation and sent a message on the need for continued progress on the Middle East peace process. Describing the Palestinian question as the underlying obstacle to peace in the Middle East, he called for a relaunch of the peace process and urged the international community to advocate a lasting solution at an early date. It should also uphold the two-State formula and work within the existing international consensus, including the land-for-peace principle and the Arab Peace Initiative. China supported a fully sovereign, independent State of Palestine established within the pre-1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as its capital, he emphasized, and would continue to follow President Xi Jinging’s four-point proposal on resolving the issue.

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 31 2018 6:03 utc | 72

Thanks PH @73. Of course, China's position is anathema for the Zionists who want every millimeter of land for themselves and death to all Palestinians.

Posted by: karlof1 | May 31 2018 15:20 utc | 73

Thanks PH. The Middle East still has lots of hydrocarbons, so resolving the Palestine/Israel situation - while of crucial importance - will not end the "need" for the Global War OF Terror. And China knows that.

But I'm glad to see them reiterating the need for those two groups to reach a peaceful conclusion. China has clearly been pursuing the peace through economic interdependence strategy, which may be the only way.

Hence, BDS by "the international community."

Posted by: Daniel | May 31 2018 23:00 utc | 74

The following cut/paste is the complete short article from RawStory about today's UN Security Council activity:
The United States vetoed on Friday a Kuwait-drafted U.N. Security Council resolution that condemned Israel’s use of force against Palestinian civilians, criticizing it as a “grossly one-sided view” that failed to blame Hamas for the recent violence.

“The terrorist group Hamas bears primary responsibility for the awful living conditions in Gaza,” Nikki Haley, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said ahead of the vote.

She criticized the resolution for not mentioning Hamas once.
“Anyone who cares about the peace process should vote against it,” Haley said.
France, Russia, China, Ivory Coast, Kazakhstan, Bolivia, Peru, Sweden, and Equatorial Guinea joined Kuwait in voting in favor, while only the United States voted against. Britain, the Netherlands, Poland and Ethiopia abstained.

A Security Council resolution needs nine votes in favor and no vetoes by any of the permanent members — the United States, Britain, France, Russia or China to be adopted.

A second draft resolution proposed by the United States blaming Hamas for the violence while mentioning Israel’s right to defend itself, was later voted on.

Only the United States voted in favor of the second draft resolution, while there were three negative votes and 10 abstentions.

Both Hamas, the dominant group in Gaza, and the pro-Iran Islamic Jihad have said their recent actions including shelling of Israeli territory are in response to Israel’s killing of at least 116 Palestinians since March 30 in Gaza border protests.

Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Sandra Maler

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jun 2 2018 6:10 utc | 75

More proof that RUssia works with Israel rather than with the occupied and attacked..

Russian ambassador confirms ‘agreement’ between Russia, Israel on Syria

Russia is beyond stupid on this topic.

Posted by: Zanon | Jun 2 2018 11:50 utc | 76

Saudi king threatens to wage war on Qatar over possible S-400 deal: Report

Well go ahead then you jihadist morons!

Posted by: Zanon | Jun 2 2018 18:30 utc | 77

@77 zanon.. i don't see that the same way as you...

Posted by: james | Jun 2 2018 18:44 utc | 78

Russia seems to have brokered a deal between Syria/Iran and Israel. Only Syrian regular military on the borders, and Israel to stop backing the jihadists and to tell the US to leave Tanf. Trump admin being puppets of Israel, it makes sense to deal with Israel rather than the US. From reports Syria and Iran seem agreeable to the deal so will be interesting to see if Israel kicks US out of Tanf.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jun 2 2018 18:58 utc | 79

Rather, Israel could keep bombing Syria along with the US (as they have just done yesterday) meanwhile Iran/Syria/Hezbollah is once again throwed under the bus by Russia.

Posted by: Zanon | Jun 2 2018 19:37 utc | 80

@80 Don't get too excited. Israel will surely want Iran out of Syria completely. Not sure how they could ever verify that they've gone. Meanwhile the US will stay in Al Tanf.

Posted by: dh | Jun 2 2018 19:46 utc | 81

land grab... we'll see how it unfolds... golan heights - another land grab with un res 497 still not implimented and that is from 1981 as memory serves..

Posted by: james | Jun 2 2018 19:49 utc | 82

since it's an open thread from a week ago.. wonder if a new one gets started up?

he Council On Foreign Relations Says Domestic Propaganda Is Necessary

Posted by: james | Jun 2 2018 19:51 utc | 83

Add to your list Valdai discussion club - the Russian equivalent to Davos -

Nord Stream Catch 22 to Germany

In the second scenario, Germany pushes on with Nord Stream 2 and the US imposes tariffs on European goods. 9% of German exports in 2016 went to the US: the US market does not dominate Germany’s export landscape but a sharp decline in exports to the US would certainly have an adverse impact on Germany’s economy and on that of the EU as a whole.

Germany’s choice, ultimately, will be geopolitical. Trump’s ultimatum is the latest move by his administration to weaken the competitiveness of exports from Germany and the rest of the EU. The US is aiming to kill several birds with one stone. Trump is making efforts to appeal to his base in the US and those that supported his “America First” campaign. One way for him to draw investment and businesses into the US is to destabilise the political and economic environment in other parts of the world.
The end of Nord Stream 2 would thus be a double win for the US. In addition, if the US succeeds in imposing its conditions on Germany at the negotiating table (i.e. if Germany picks the first scenario), Germany’s reliability as a partner for future business will be further compromised, not only when it comes to dealing with Russia, but also with other business and investment partners like China that has lately expanded its economic presence on the continent.

Although Germany is an export-based economy and the US is an important partner, it is the second option that the Germany and the EU will pick. It is one of the rare instances in which European elites will join in a united front, for Europe’s global position is at stake.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 3 2018 10:18 utc | 85

Posted @76

I understand our UN Embarrassor, Nikki Haley actually made history with her Resolution. It's the first time that any UNSC Resolution has ever failed to get a single vote from any other country.


Posted by: Daniel | Jun 3 2018 23:12 utc | 86

Great link, James @84.

So, the Obama Administration makes propagandizing inside the US legal with NDAA 2012. (Just before the sudden rise in mass shooting events and terrorist attacks). Then, the Trump Administration distributes a memo on how to frame propaganda.

I remember that Stuart Jones State Dept. presser. It's good to be able to laugh at the horrors now and again. I didn't know he was an Obama appointee who got a raise from Trump. Drained that swamp, I guess. LOL.

And isn't it reassuring to know that the very same individuals who promote the "need" for the government to propagandize us are also going to be deciding which articles are "fake news?"

Posted by: Daniel | Jun 3 2018 23:31 utc | 87

Bit note on Sy Hersh and Calley piece. It wasnt Hersh that broke the info- it was an unacknowledged US soldier in Vietnam who did the hard investigative work and Hersh stole the credit, $$$ and fame. Like he did w/ his bestseller on Abu Ghraib. Small little NGO called Xtian Peacemakers Team did all the on-the-ground reporting in Iraq for full yr, some of them being abducted and murdered for it in Baghdad. Once the horror pix came out? Hersh jumped in to seize the issue stealing much of their data and work.
Hersh was called out on it publicly- for not crediting them at all- in a public forum in NYC. Afterwards, Hersh did do a profile on one of their core CPT members Cliff Kindi in the NYer. But I dont think he donated a dime from his million $ bestseller to this group that actually pioneered the story and paid for it in blood

Posted by: fava | Jun 5 2018 5:52 utc | 88

fava, Douglas Valentine, in his two excellent books on CIA, suggests that Hersh is a "limited hangout" promoter. He also casts some shade on Chris Hedges, who supported the NATO war against Yugoslavia, and did a article for NY Times in November, 2001:

"A NATION CHALLENGED: THE SCHOOL; Defectors Cite Iraqi Training For Terrorism"

In which he let 2 anti-Assad Iraqis spin the tale that Saddam helped al Qaeda. Chris's source was Ahmed Chalabi! Though he did come out strongly against the invasion later, he helped pave the way less than 2 weeks after 9/11.

Even Daniel Elsberg is worth a critical look. He did work in the "Intelligence Community," and yet even the title of his "leak," The Pentagon Papers, diverts attention away from CIA's pivotal role from 1949 to the end, while blaming Pentagon and politicians.

Posted by: Daniel | Jun 5 2018 18:35 utc | 89

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