Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 29, 2018

The MoA Week In Review - Open Thread 2018-37

Last week's posts on Moon of Alabama:

Bloomberg fell for Netanyahoo's trick:

To limit Iran’s role, Russia had proposed a 100-km (60-mile) buffer zone on the Syrian side of the border that would be off limits to Iranian forces and their allies. But Israel is demanding further protections, including the removal of long-range Iranian missiles from Syria and limits on weapons supplies, according to media reports in Israel and Russia.

The MoA piece provides that it was Israel that claimed Russia had set the 100 km range, something it had not done, and it is Israel that demands even more.

This was, for several reasons, an unproductive week for your host. Next week the blog will, hopefully, be back to (nearly) daily posts.

Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on July 29, 2018 at 17:41 UTC | Permalink

Comments
« previous page

@77 "Is Presstv good enough? "

Fer' Cryin' Out Loud!!!!

No, it isn't good enough. No News Service Is because they all have an agenda.

I'll repeat it again because you appear to be slow: when an official is quoted in a newspaper article you should go to the website of the organization/group/whatever that he is the spokesman **for** and read the entire transcript of his statement.

Do that and you will know what he is talking about.

Don't do that and you are simply reading what Someone Else wants you to think about what that spokesman just said. And by selectively quoting someone they can convince you that Up is Down, Left is Right, the Sea is Green and the Grass is Blue.

Is that really such a difficult concept for you to grasp?

Zanon, via someone else's brain: "Iranian officials have repeatedly rejected such demands, with Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qasemi saying that “no one can force Iran to do anything.”"

He is responding to ISRAEL's demand that Iranian forces be expelled from Syria. He is not responding to anything the RUSSIANS have said, precisely because the Russians haven't said that Iran must be expelled from Syria.

Honestly, your arguments are laughable.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jul 30 2018 21:47 utc | 101

re. calls for theocracy (OMnG!)

I often hear theists asking things like, “If there’s no god(ess)(s), then what’s to keep people from murdering each other?” I’ve been personally asked why I don’t rape women since I don’t believe in Heaven or Hell.

Of course the answer is I find it morally reprehensible, but these sorts cannot believe non-theists can have sound morals that guide us through life.

So, to those who make such claims, I have taken to beseech them…. if all that keeps you from murdering, raping or plundering is belief in a god of retribution and eternal punishments or rewards…. then please, keep believing!

But please try to contain the condescension towards we who reject doing bad things and try to do good things for reasons y’all seem incapable of even recognizing, let alone understanding.

“With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.”
~ Steven Weinberg, quoted in The New York Times, April 20, 1999

Posted by: Daniel | Jul 30 2018 22:16 utc | 102

Zanon @ 84:

You are a liar as well as a troll. The source you link to (TheTower.org) is a pro-Israeli website quoting the Times of Israel quoting Tasnim News Agency quoting Qasemi.

You only put up Tasnim News Agency's Wikipedia link after you got called out by Yeah Right.

If you were genuine, you would have gone straight to the source (an Iranian government source linked to Qasemi or Tasnim News Agency) and not cherry-pick those Israeli and pro-Israeli sources that suggest that Syria's allies are in disagreement and are back-stabbing one another. The original source most likely would say what Yeah Right quotes Vladimir Putin saying @ 67, that all foreign armed forces including Russia would eventually withdraw from Syria if the war continues to wind down with further Syrian victories and diplomacy takes over.

You flatter yourself that you can get attention and agreement on this comments forum (and others perhaps) by flooding it with boring repetition after boring repetition of your bias. All you achieve is scorn and contempt from others.

Posted by: Jen | Jul 30 2018 22:48 utc | 103

Daniel @ 102:

I would say that most of the good things associated with religion are done by good people from the goodness of their own hearts, because they have internalised goodness, and the religion claims their good works for its own.

Posted by: Jen | Jul 30 2018 22:55 utc | 104

James @81. Thanks. I'm afraid my traveling days are behind me.

Someone up there suggested that this "modern" world appears to be the most deadly in all of humans' time on earth, but I neglected to note who wrote that. I'm really sorry because I wanted to give a giant shout out!

There is a powerful, well-funded movement within academia, reaching out to "science popularizers" like Steven Pinker that claims that "primitive man" was far more violent than today's "civilized" societies. This is malarky, or at the very least, unsubstantiated.

Of course, violence has been a part of the human condition for as long as there have been humans. But there is little to no evidence that prehistoric societies were more violent than the Western societies of today. If anything, there is more evidence for the opposite.

I won't go into all the details, but in general, these claims arise from two data sets.

First, is anthropological studies of current hunter/gatherer societies, most especially the "work" of Napoleon Chagnon. Chagnon had an ideological view which he set out to "prove." He did this by fomenting conflicts between individuals in his field studies, and even then, falsifying some of his data. He wasn't alone in this, but he was the most influential, leading to the most thorough reexamination of his "work," which found multiple frauds and deceptions.

But even if any given modern H/G society is violent, is that really analogous to the ancestors of Western Civilization? Well, there are a number of important differences. Here's a top three:

1. Most of today's H/G societies live in marginal ecosystems. The most verdant, productive regions were transformed into farmland, evolving into cities.
2. Most of today's H/G societies are under constant outside pressure from encroaching "civilization," forcing them into closer contact with neighboring H/G groups, leading to conflicts.
3. All of today's H/G societies are influenced by "civilization" which didn't exist tens of thousands of years ago. Even the so-called "uncontacted" groups found now and again have known about "us" all their lives, and often have manufactured items they got in trade with other people who are in direct contact with "us."

Secondly, these "researchers" claim to have evidence of heinous violence in the archaeological record. Again, yes there's been violence all along, but I'm not aware of any real archaeological study that shows this pattern of greater per capita violence in ancient times, and the pacification of "naturally" violent humans as we become "civilized."

The archaeological record is not total by definition, nor is it universal in that there is evidence of greater or lesser violence throughout time and space. But in terms of this alleged evolution from greater human-to-human violence to greater peacefulness, if anything, the record shows the opposite.

I'd earlier mentioned an Indian village we excavated. It had been occupied for about two thousand years. We excavated more than 400 human burials, and precisely one of them showed signs of human-caused violence. (there were many burials that were so deeply touching that they literally brought me to tears, as with presumed mothers with their infants, and couples wrapped eternally in one another's arms - eternal until we archaeologists came and defiled them at any rate). But only one that had clearly deliberate violence.

What broad, sweeping generalization can be drawn from that fact?

None!

Maybe that site was unique (it wasn't). Maybe the Indians didn't generally bring victims of deadly violence back to the village for proper burial. Maybe this site just happened to have been occupied during some sort of "pax Ohlonia," and before that, there were horrible wars.

But what we can say is that all around the world, we find sure evidence of human-to-human violence on only a small percentage of individuals. So, these over-arching claims of ancient humans "red of tooth and claw" are ideological statements meant to rationalize current events, and not careful analyses of all the data.

Posted by: Daniel | Jul 30 2018 23:01 utc | 105

Thanks, dh for pointing folks to that article on the Syrian Democratic Council (SDC) . Earlier, we read that dozens of tribal groups signed some sort of letter to the Syrian government, pledging their loyalties. I’ve also seen several cases of people in the north/east of Syria protesting against the Kurdish rule imposed on them.

All of these are good signs for the Syrian Arab Republic - though this SDC is calling for a “compromise” whereby they retain more or less autonomy from the Republic. But Kurds, who made up just 6% of the population before this war are not going to be accepted as rulers over 1/3 of Syria’s territory.

I also see that the recent evacuations of the towns of of Foua and Kefraya in Idlib Province were not one-offs. The “rebels” are allowing other Syrians to evacuate terrorist-held territory in Idlib. RT reported that 29,000 civilians have already been evacuated.

I am greatly relieved to read that, since it’s been apparent for some time that Idlib is destined to be a major military operation, and I’ve feared for all the civilians trapped there.

Lastly, today the BBC finally noted that ISIS kidnapped more than 30 women and children in their major offensive against Suweida province last week.

BBC still published absolute lies, but now that ISIS is releasing hostage videos wherein these poor females are relating the ISIS demands that, if unmet, will lead to the murder of these hostages. So I guess they had to say something.

And of course, this ISIS offensive seems to have originated from the US occupied al Tanf area, and the US prevented Syrian forces from chasing down the terrorists as they returned.

Much is happening in Syria, at least some of which looks promising for the good people of that beautiful, amazing and ancient land.

Posted by: Daniel | Jul 30 2018 23:38 utc | 106

Time for some really hard hard talking in the glare of the world public ! Making a prosicution case re US crimes (a long list). They won't like the negative publicity ! Example the funding , weaponising and protection of Isis by US !!! Posted by: Mark2 | Jul 30, 2018 1:45:56 PM | 86

I could try being cute and write that I do not know what you mean, given that USA is known neither for quality prosciutto nor decent prosecutions war crimes. One can quibble about prosecution of war crime: "prosecute" may mean "continue with (a course of action) with a view to its completion", and criminal activities we discuss were "a course of action". Editorial advise: people can be armed, and some stuff can be weaponized to be used, to much surprise, as weapons, e.g. candies used as bullets (from a novel with tags "school life" and "comedy").

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jul 30 2018 23:44 utc | 107

@106 I'm fascinated by all these constantly evolving Kurdish political sub-groups. The MSM insists on seeing the Kurds as a homogenous unit but they clearly aren't.

When the trouble started in Syria some militant Kurds saw an opportunity and they grabbed it. SAA successes have changed all that and they are going to have to shelve their Rojava dreams. The little piece of land around Al Hasaka is hardly a viable autonomous state.

Posted by: dh | Jul 31 2018 0:00 utc | 108

Daniel@102

I am not a theist . My suggestion was to provide a means in which to restrain the secular pathocratic elite that control government and make the laws that legalize or at least decriminalize evil

In the middle ages in the West and Russia religion played a positive role working with the state as opposed to a complete separation of church and state or complete church control

Religion has always been a creation and tool of the elite in the civilized world. It was a great way to keep the people in line at a time when rulers did not have the tools of technology to keep their subjects in line. People would follow the moral laws of the religion out of fear of religious leaders or the wrath of gods in the present and hereafter.

The small sticking point was the ruling elite was at times constrained by the same rules as their subjects when religious leaders got too powerful.

So religion that became too effective was attacked by the elite by creating divisions, such as the Pharisees vs Sadducees, , Christianity to weaken the Jews, reformation to weaken Catholic Church, Islam to counter Christianity/Judaism, Shia vs Sunni, etc

So what I am proposing is turning the table on the ruling elite and using religion to control them.

Easier said than done since many religions have been corrupted, and those that are not can be corrupted by the usual tricks of the elites.

Anyways, just throwing it out there. After posting that I ran across an article of a movement in Russia that had some support to make the Orthodox Church part of government. It failed. . Dont have the link handy. People forget Moscow was once considered the third Rome. Perhaps that is another reason its under attack. It is anti-reformation and passed some laws a decade or so ago limiting Protestant missionaries and churches

Posted by: Pft | Jul 31 2018 0:34 utc | 109

PFT "Religion has always been a creation and tool of the elite in the civilized world"

Religion - superstitious beliefs and belief systems - were around long before civilization.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 31 2018 0:40 utc | 110

@100 jr... thanks for the clarification! the craig murray article is good too..

@105 daniel.. that is quite interesting.. a quote from you - "But in terms of this alleged evolution from greater human-to-human violence to greater peacefulness, if anything, the record shows the opposite." that would be my intuitive guess, which doesn't jive with some of the science popularizers - to use your term...

Posted by: james | Jul 31 2018 0:43 utc | 111

Pft @109:

So what I am proposing is turning the table on the ruling elite and using religion to control them.
I've thought along similar lines but I'm not sure how viable it is.

The US constitution separates church and state. As you point out, although this separation is generally believed to be a good thing, this legal separation could be interpreted as absolving ruling elites from any moral standard.

But couldn't a case be made that if the ruling elites do not provide a full and true accounting then they are interfering with religious practice? Since people of different faiths generally believe that the world evolves according to "god's will" lying or 'spinning' events could be interpreted as government interference in religious practice.

This argues for reinstatement of the no propaganda law. Which was repealed in 2013.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 31 2018 0:58 utc | 112

I have a question for ll you game theory pundits out there. Why doesnt Iran do a North Korea, i.e. test a nuclear bomb and be done with it. Seems the only way to avoid a war. Thoughts?

Posted by: Daniel Bruno | Jul 31 2018 1:09 utc | 113

@113 Daniel Bruno

I can't back this with collateral at the moment but I have read more than once that Iran has turned away from nuclear weapons because the moral leadership of the nation - the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei - has ruled that this is a morally wrong path to take, and so Iran will not take it.

Imagine, a nation held to a moral course by its designated moral leader.

Yes, there are nations that pursue courses driven by more than Kissinger could ever understand. A different kind of realpolitik.

Posted by: Grieved | Jul 31 2018 1:22 utc | 114

Great thanks to bevin way back in the thread for the Crooke link. From that same Strategic Culture site, a "Related Article" caught my attention, and it was Gilbert Doctorow's very persuasive examination of Kissinger published early in 2017. It's very "related" and very much worth a read.

Crooke is a wonderful writer, always, but Doctorow's piece on Kissinger is vastly more useful, I suggest:
Trump and Revenge of the ‘Realists’

This piece points out the flaws in Kissinger's mindset when it comes to Russia, and these flaws I think are crucial to understand as we try to defuse the ticking bomb that Kissinger himself has played such a large part in constructing, and winding its spring.

Posted by: Grieved | Jul 31 2018 1:30 utc | 115

This notion of religion as a bad thing.

I'm glad that my thinking takes place in the light of the Buddhist teachings, so that I don't have to choose between a universe with a god and a universe without one. It's a miserable choice.

Most social structures have a top and a bottom, and so we can say that "religions" are run from the top down, for various purposes that all come close to enslavement.

But down at the bottom, where most people live, religions are embraced by ordinary people because they love the sacred and feel that the sacred was somehow "here first", before their individual consciousness arose - somehow, and in a way and from a cause that they cannot claim as their own doing.

People wish to show great love for this sacredness, and they willingly demonstrate that this primordial sacredness is larger than themselves. For the record, Buddhist thought has nothing but agreement with this view. And this impulse is clearly spontaneous and naturally human. People write liturgies and devise rituals, but the impulse to pay homage to the sacred arises from the human directly.

Buddhism doesn't have a god. I don't care to define "religion" but I think you'd be hard-pressed to define one without a god. Buddhism concerns itself with the present moment, and the mind. By "mind", it refers to both thoughts and emotions, and so includes the "heart" within the overarching concept of mind.

But Buddhism does have something to say about god. It calls this thinking, "eternalism", the belief in something that endures in a fixed condition outside of the forces that govern our own lives. And it sees that through all of time, those who quite sensibly reject eternalism even so fall into the same trap by embracing "nihilism".

How sad that in rejecting the absurd notion of god one should embrace the absurd notion of nothing whatsoever sacred. And all because one never encountered the words and concepts to allow for this sacredness.

~~

People pushing religion can be found on the street as plentiful as those selling used cars, but those who say there is no god but there is something even better are few and far between.

And so it is that we find that those who have rejected god are largely bereft of conceptual and linguistic tools to embrace the universe. It's obvious that the relative cannot encompass the absolute, and so how are the nihilists to come to meet with the sacredness of life?

Buddhism is very comfortable with the two concepts of relative truth and absolute truth, in fact the practice path eventually comes to deal with both of them in a relationship that actually works.

And so for all my colleagues and friends in this forum, I hope that if you have rejected the absurd notion of god you have found a way to embrace the sacred. I love god so much I'll tell it to anyone in a bar, and have done for decades. But it was never religion. We are allowed, by this universe, to use the words and songs of praise developed by all those who love the sacred, even if we think the target of this praise is not the target we ourselves aim it at.

And who are we to know? Or to judge?

Posted by: Grieved | Jul 31 2018 2:06 utc | 116

@ Grieved

You may not have read Armstrong's piece "YES, PUTIN ONCE DREAMED THE AMERICAN DREAM"
Well worth a read alongside Doctrow's piece on Kissinger.
https://patrickarmstrong.ca/2018/06/20/yes-putin-once-dreamed-the-american-dream/
I see part of Doctrow's piece is based on a book written by Kissinger in 2001, long before anyone could see where Putin was taking Russia.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 31 2018 2:06 utc | 117

@117 Peter AU 1

Thank you. I can't shake the feeling of having read this before, further back in the past, but it's hard to say. I greatly value Armstrong, he's like Orlov in many ways, just a right-on explainer of Russia. I knew that Putin dreamed that dream. We all did once. I've long accepted as true what Putin himself has said (I think in the interviews with Vladimir Soloviev), that his own thinking about the west evolved over time.

I remember an article back just after the Maidan by a Russian writer who said, essentially: "America, we would have given you even our nuclear weapons, if you had simply waited another 20 years. But you were impatient, and showed us who you really were."

And so it has been for all of us. There's a tendency to think in fixed human positions, and even more so in fixed national positions, but it just ain't so. Things evolve, and other things that had no intention of evolving end up having to evolve also, just because.

And this evolution of thought based on mutual interaction - I think - is one of the most disregarded and important forces at play in our world.

Posted by: Grieved | Jul 31 2018 2:23 utc | 118

Jen @104. That’s exactly how I see it.

dh @108. Yes, there are many different peoples lumped together as “the Kurds.” Some even speak dialects that are mostly incomprehensible to others. You’ve got some Marxists in Turkey/Syria and then neoliberal if not straight up capitalist libertarians in Iraq.

But they’ve been used and abused as wedges to splinter or at least weaken others for a long, long time.

Pft @109, First, you’re not the only barfly who recently brought up expanding theocracy. Grieved recently called for a united Palestine/Israel to become an Islamic State! (Though I do wonder if he was just trolling me since we’ve discoursed on the Islamic part of the Republic of Iran).

You seem to understand the main role of organized religions in complex societies: control. I’ll add that I strongly suspect that most leaders of religious organizations and nearly all leaders of nation-states don’t believe that stuff either.

That is, look at all the religious leaders who get caught committing some of the most vile sins of their churches. Either these guys (almost always males) are Believers, and have decided to trade a few years of shits and giggles for an eternity in hellfire, or they’re atheists.

Or at least, any belief in a supernatural they do have is not what they’re teaching to their “flocks.”

So, I don’t see how giving religions even greater influence on governments could improve the behaviors of those who rise to great power in either institution.

But you are correct that fear is a powerful motivator. If we actually prosecuted big-time criminals, I think that sort of fear might improve their behavior. And no, I don’t mean the sort of punishments proscribed in “The Good Book” or its offspring. I mean stripping them of their ill-gotten material wealth and giving them a “time out” that actually aims to rehabilitate them.

Daniel Bruno @113. There is no evidence that Iran has had a nuclear weapons program since at least 2005. Both US and Israeli Intelligence reported that during negotiations for the JPCOA. Even what work they were doing previously was almost entirely for the peaceful purposes they claim, with marginal research into weaponization. At least, that's what the spooks tell us.

Posted by: Daniel | Jul 31 2018 2:42 utc | 119

Grieved, the American dream has perhaps been always that, a dream - a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, but Putin, Russia - I think Putin is taking Russia as close as anyone can get to what was once the American dream.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 31 2018 2:47 utc | 120

@117 Peter AU 1

Having said all that, now I've started watching the video, and so I guess I'm gone for now. But I had never seen this before. It's fascinating. And it means more than it says, I think, or at least more than I've watched so far.

Heberle ends, in the transcript, by saying that maybe it will be Russia that teaches us how to do democracy. I will add that it may easily be China as well. And Iran. And Cuba. And all the other places trying to make a socialist, better society for themselves.

We have been fixed in the fixed for so long, that we are fixated. It's time to realize that others are still evolving. People are actively, every day in this world, trying to make a different society. And the Russians, bless 'em, are nothing if not a people trying to find the truth of the best way to do things.

So it's not the end of history. It's a continuing exploration. It's a continuing conversation.

Thank you again. Much appreciated.

Posted by: Grieved | Jul 31 2018 2:53 utc | 121

@116 grieved.. i like your post.. thanks for saying all that..

Posted by: james | Jul 31 2018 3:04 utc | 122

Peter AU@110

Thats true but I was speaking of civilization. Pre-civilization was also essentially pre-elite.

Grieved@116. I always believed most people embraced religion out of fear or denial of death. There is also a social component that was essential pre-social media. One can say politics has become the modern day secular religion where the present is emphasized over the after life.

Judaism may be an exception since it does not seem to emphasize an afterlife. Rewards and punishment based on your actions in this life. Calvinism believed in predestination and one can not be rewarded in an afterlife by doing good, since you are chosen or not chosen. Buddhism may be godless but the reward for being good is in the next lives after being reborn

At one time I flirted with atheism before realizing this was also an act of faith. The concept of science and age of reason was attractive until I realized science was as corruptible as much as any profession, especially since government and corporations control science

I cant rule out a higher power but see no reason to believe in an afterlife or a God that cares much what happens to me or this planet. Its as likely we are a product of some alien scientist or perhaps a producer of a galactic miniseries. Its beyond me.

That said, religion as a tool to control the elites seems something worth contemplating. Implementation is probably fantasy


Posted by: Pft | Jul 31 2018 3:53 utc | 123

@ Grieved

I had not watched the video but went back to it fora look. It added a lot to the article.
He mentioned the cultural hatred of Russia that has developed through the influx of east Europeans and I would guess dissident Russians over the years. I have noticed this and mentioned it here at MOA at times.
Kissinger seems generally accurate with his take on Russia and that take has evolved as Russia has evolved.
I have watched videos of Zbig giving lectures to US political science classes. He is Polish born and teaches a blind hatred of Russia, to what I guess would be up and coming US politicians and policy makers.
Kissinger on the other hand is a German born Jew and has a similar blind spot for want of better term when it comes to Israel. Very much on the hate Iran Trump team.

But so long as we make it through the next few years the US should collapse into its own misconceptions, hubris and hatreds, and hopefully Russia and China will lead the way to a somewhat better world than we have at present.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 31 2018 4:23 utc | 124

In Alastair Crooke’s article, Kissinger says, regarding himself and Ziggy Brzizenski. “But for both of us, we were above all, concerned to raise diplomacy to that level of influence.”

Oh good heavens! Kissinger and Brzezenksi the paragons of diplomacy? Vietnam? And lest we forget, In the Price of Power (1983), Seymour Hersh revealed Henry Kissinger—then Johnson’s adviser on Vietnam peace talks—secretly alerted Nixon’s staff that a truce was imminent.
So it was Henry who started the treasonous undermining of the Peace Treaty, leading to fully 40% of US casualties in that war and millions of dead Southeast Asians.

Laos? Cambodia for Cris-akes! Indonesia. Chile. Afghanistan. Nicaragua. Hell, all of Central America and most of South America... and these two criminals against humanity were instrumental in the plans now underway in Central Asia and MENA.

That this author could let such a bold mischaracterization stand does not speak well for his credibility, but should stress the gentle readers’ credulity.

These guys were/are upper-level managers of Empire. Diplomacy to these monsters is war by other means when the target is powerful enough to cause more than a bloody nose.

Posted by: Daniel | Jul 31 2018 4:34 utc | 125

In Gilbert Doctorow’s article, the author is at least a bit more reflective, but he still promotes Kissinger as the thoughtful intellectual and not the psychopathic mass murdering war criminal he is.

I didn’t read Kissinger’s “Diplomacy,” but I do believe I included his 2001 “Does America Need a Foreign Policy?” in my suggested reading list for people who want to better understand the goals and workings of the Empire.

“Kissinger brings an aura of intellectual rigor to the Trump camp as America’s best-known thinker and practitioner of the Realist School of international affairs, meaning a foreign policy based on national interest. That is a more accurate and less aggressive packaging than the “America First” slogan, which Donald Trump used during his electoral campaign, though the intent of both terms is identical.”

Kissinger is not a “nationalist.” He has used the US to serve the interests of those supra-national interests, regardless of what nation-state their home office is located. And while I may agree that the goals of Henry and The Donald are “identical,” they have nothing to do with “Making America Great Again.”

“the updated Kissinger line was that universal moral principles serve as the ultimate objective of foreign policy”

Kissinger’s “moral principles?” Really? Do I have to deconstruct that little easter egg?

“But it is curious that in his 2001 book Kissinger was unable to offer any serious incentives for Russia to behave nobly”

Nor did Ziggy at that time. Both believed that Russia had been conquered, and all that was left was the completion of the plundering. Now, both in Ziggy’s last article and in Henry’s “reinvention” they realize that they let Russia slip through their fingers. Even more frustrating, Henry may realize that their policies actually brought China and Russia closer together than they’d ever been.

Of course, all of the above is based on the view that Russia and China really are presenting a “multi-polar” competition to the Empire. If the supra-national financial powers that are in fact, deeply invested in BRICS, the BRI, SCO, etc. are pulling strings in all 3 spheres, then this whole thing is just political porn for mental masturbation.

Posted by: Daniel | Jul 31 2018 4:40 utc | 126

To NemesisCalling | Jul 30, 2018 3:37:43 PM | 97

Well, I'm not a leftist so I'll leave it to them to decide what climate position they want. Indeed one of the main reasons I gave up on the left is precisely that they offer no real alternative to the ecocidal and genocidal productionist nightmare. Although your beef, carbon taxes and such, seems to be mostly with liberals rather than leftists.

And I'm not interested in arguing with "debunkers". Did that for years, they and all their lies are just boring. Anyone interested in such "debates" can get their fill at places like DeSmogBlog. Meanwhile every aspect of climate chaos is accelerating far beyond the watered-down projections of the IPCC, from Arctic and Antarctic melt to the slowing of the Atlantic conveyor belt to the ultimate evil from the north, the methane feedback loop.

I didn't know I was defending extreme emmission systems

You're saying they have no effect, and therefore the people should go back to sleep and do what their betters say. Just like with globalization, imperialism, the MIC, all of which are inextricably bound up with ecological and therefore human catastrophe. Why anyone who allegedly opposes globalization and imperialism would concede the most critical and important battleground of all is beyond me. And for what? Because they too are addicted to the worthless junk of the economic society, and enjoy having to slave for it?

(I know I'm going against the MoA grain with this. In the same way communism allegedly was going to provide a more human-friendly productionist system than capitalism, so for many here a "Russia-China" axis is supposedly going to embody a kinder, gentler Mammon than the US-driven system. But it's the economic society as such which is totally destructive toward humanity and the Earth.)

Posted by: Russ | Jul 31 2018 5:17 utc | 127

Posted by: Daniel | Jul 30, 2018 6:16:42 PM | 102

“With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.”
~ Steven Weinberg, quoted in The New York Times, April 20, 1999

Such as Weinberg's own religion of scientism/technocracy.

No conceivable theocracy could be as totalitarian as the modern Mammon theocracy. I literally can't imagine a more noxious fundamentalist church full of holy rollers I (I'm an atheist toward "money", "property", the economic society itself) could be forced to spend my life amid.

(That Weinberg quote sets off a pet peeve I have about similar quotes regarding so-called "good people". Quotes like that are pure gibberish. By definition good people don't do evil things. It's a conceptual impossibility. Weinberg's typical in spewing empty words with zero thought or care for what words even mean. That's typical of religious fundamentalists like him.)

Posted by: Russ | Jul 31 2018 5:18 utc | 128

Daniel 105

Agree completely about what can and can't be known about true H/G societies, as opposed to the near infinite violence of modern societies against humans and Earth alike. Especially how the few H/G peoples who are still hanging on can't be taken as typical of H/G as such since (1) they've been influenced by modern civilization, almost certainly for the worse, (2) we mostly hear about them as depicted through the ideological lense, and often flat out manipulation and lies, of the likes of Chagnon.

It's like how, out of ignorance or tendentiousness, people run with Hobbes' literary flourish about an alleged "state of nature". But anyone who's read Leviathan knows it's not about natural people at all, but on the contrary about what happens when civilized, domesticated man has the reins fall off. The civilized man gone feral is the monster Hobbes wrote about.

Posted by: Russ | Jul 31 2018 5:19 utc | 129

@ Daniel

A big difference between Kissinger and the Likes of Hilary Clinton. Clinton and her type seemed to be the type that enjoyed killing for the feeling of power - her joy at the killing of Gaddafi ect.
Kissinger is more the ruthless strategist. The hubris filled pidgins of the last two decades running the US can be viewed with contempt, but Kissinger is a far more dangerous creature.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 31 2018 5:23 utc | 130

@ Daniel who wrote:
"
If the supra-national financial powers that are in fact, deeply invested in BRICS, the BRI, SCO, etc. are pulling strings in all 3 spheres, then this whole thing is just political porn for mental masturbation.
"
And what we write here at MoA may be textual white noise but defeat isn't bitter if you don't swallow it.....


@ Peter AU1 who wrote:
"
The hubris filled pidgins of the last two decades running the US can be viewed with contempt, but Kissinger is a far more dangerous creature.
"
Agreed. The fact that Kissinger is running amok again speaks to a very serious game being afoot. I am not rooting for whatever factions Kissinger is representing being successful.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 31 2018 6:25 utc | 131

psychohistorian 131 "I am not rooting for whatever factions Kissinger is representing being successful."

Kissinger is back in the game with a very poor hand and too old to oversee day to day moves to see the strategy through. What will defeat Kissinger's strategy is US institutionalized hatred of Russia. The Trump admin needs Russia on side to be able to carry out the strategy of global energy dominance. Without Russia onside they will fail.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 31 2018 6:50 utc | 132

A good documentary video here on Putin's time from being appointed prime minister and then acting president.
The so called west likes to separate the Dagestan war and Chechen war so they can say Putin FSB was behind the Moscow bombings, when in fact both wars were one and the same that began with the wahhabi jihadists under Basayev and Khattab pushed from Chechnya into Dagestan with the intent to create an islamic state run by Saudi Al Qeada style sharia law. The Dagestan Chechen war began shortly before Putin was even appointed PM.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJrPlS2VHeY

Basayev and Kattab were later driven out of Grozny and their jihadi forces largely destroyed at Argun Gorge in February 2000
Saker seems to have the best account of the 90 parratoops that held height 776 who held up the jihadists for 3 or 4 days. There was a video with English subtitles and interviews with several survivors but I can no longer find it.
https://thesaker.is/ulus-kert-an-airborne-companys-last-stand/

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 31 2018 8:54 utc | 133

Daniel: #46
I saw this very year in Myanmar a lot of roadworks - literally dozens of cases -, roads being rebuilt and enlarged because the country's getting slightly richer and people are getting cars. Didn't see much in the 2 big cities of Yangon and Mandalay, but apart from that, the bulk of roadworks was done by hand, with no machine at all. So of course they work on 100m piece a time, but they're grinding stones, spreading them on thinner layers, mixing tar and pouring it all over, all by hand, and for every work, you have a dozen or more locals working on it, including all-female teams sometimes. The only place where I saw machines being used was for the major trade road going to China, with a sizable truck traffic, and I suspect China might already have poured some of its own money to improve the thing - a 1st step before going full BRI in future decades.
So, this was very like what you saw in Mexico. My take on it, in both cases, is that with a hint of demographic growth and of standardization of agriculture, and them not being the full factory of the world but having mostly industries and factories for their national needs (and obviously not being having a big service-industry that cater to Western needs), they have a vast amount (or surplus) of workers that can be used to do any kind of work; just like Rome had plenty of slaves and little incentives to mechanize, such countries have enough people to have large teams of workers do manual labour and can put them to work wherever they need in vast numbers. This changes in the long run - it obviously has already changed in Mexico - when the economy morphs into something else.
This is also a way for these countries to limit unemployment, because it's the less worst way they have. I don't think people should forever be stuck in that kind of job - pouring burning tar when it's already 35°C outside, with no protection at all against burns and fumes isn't a healthy way of living -, but for a transition phase, it's probably better than the alternative. In the long run though, it'll be mostly a matter of redistributing resources and wealth; of course, if we're stuck in a capitalist crappy system, better ensuring most people work and therefore have wages and money to survive, by such a kind of hard work, but ideally we can afford a degree of mechanization, as long as we get rid of our economic system for a better fairer one - improving our living and working conditions has been quite constant throughout the ages, otherwise we'd still be living in the agricultural-heavy Bronze Age.
That said, the irony is that, despite its pretenses to being advanced, the US also relies on cheap labour in vast numbers. Anyone who's been to both US and European restaurants and stores has seen that the former are manned by at least twice the crew that their EU counterparts usually man. Or, to be blunt, the only reason why the US hasn't a far higher unemployment rate is because businesses aren't as ruthless as you'd expect in cutting down their number of workers - mostly, I suppose, because they're underpaid at slave-wages.

#105
At the very least, one could assume that the people in these settlements had limited intra-group violence. Which makes a lot of sense, small tribes and clans of H/G can't afford internal violence, it would endanger the whole group's survival. This is in line with pretty much everything we know about them, both ancient ones (through archaeology) and more recent ones (field studies and recent testimonies). For most of such groups, a lot of their social construct was meant to minimize violence and settle conflicts without getting out of hand into eternal cycle of revenge.
Thing is, we have no way of knowing about inter-groups violence. Odds are that they discarded the bodies of the slain enemies, and surely they wouldn't bury them with their own dead. The real question being how often beaten tribes would get back their dead and bury them.
I think Jared Diamond has a point when he assumes many of the recent H/G tribes had a high degree of external violence, being able to gather testimonies of people who had close memories of pre-contact Papua for instance. Still, he also thinks that it's not that such peoples were constantly killing each other or even that conflicts were very bloody; it's just that if for all your life, you risk being killed by some outer tribe, odds are far higher that you might die this way than if you live all your life in 2000s Manhattan - but external conflicts for H/G is limited with very few victims, most of the time, it would probably just be one guy meeting another group and being killed on the spot.
Of course, I also had the same reservations that you have: the best areas with plentiful of easy food have been plundered and transformed millennia ago, so we don't know how good they had it then. And we mostly have recent observations about overcrowded or poor places, and tribes who had some degree of modern influence. Funnily too, Jared Diamond might be of the opinion that violence did exist and might have been common - under very different circumstances - in the past, and even if some of his Papuan acquaintances admit to prefer the modern life, because it's less hazardous - antibiotics and less risk of being killed in a chance encounter -, but he's also on the record pondering if the invention of agriculture wasn't the worst thing that ever happened to mankind.
My own suspicion is that, as long as H/G tribes had plenty of space and resources and were close to the edge of truly uninhabited areas, friction and conflicts were very low if not absent, because there was place enough beyond that hill or valley to settle a new group. Once a group was surrounded on all sides by many other H/G groups, and when overall density grew, on the other hand, either it would migrate over a very long distance until it found some empty land, or there would be increasing - until the point of being the norm - conflicts with some neighbouring groups. "Some", because they weren't stupid either and there was always some understanding, friendship or alliance possible between groups - just not with all of them at the same time, since we're talking about humans after all.

Of course, I fully agree with you about Pinker. The guy's either a fraud that knows he talks bullshit or he's massively delusional and will have to be put under suicide watch when the shit will hit the fan in a few decades (or less). Sure, there might be less internal violence nowadays, compared to *some* agricultural and industrial societies, but it's still definitely higher than for pretty much all H/G societies, without any doubt - at least H/G societies that survived for more than a couple of decades. External violence might be better most of the time; but it's "most of the time" that matters. I didn't have to read Nassim Taleb's criticism of Pinker to know he was out of his mind, because as long as we can all die in a nuclear war, all talk that we should be happy and quiet because violence is decreasing is stupid; we're one button click away of Pinker being definitively proven wrong.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Jul 31 2018 9:07 utc | 134

Yeah Right

Of course every media has an agenda, the issue were if the quotations were correct or not, surely you do not believe that Presstv spreading anti iranian quotes?
Its like every time I prove you wrong you return to call people "zionists" "troll".

jen

Tasnim news is a well known pro iranian news page, just as RT are pro russian. Its not my fault that you do not have this basic knowledge and that I have to link to Wikipedia to prove this.

The issue at large was of course, was the quotation correct? Yes it was. Deal with that, now do you agree with Iran that they shouldnt listen to any power, Israel, US or Russia to move out from Syria?

You are obsessed with "zionists" while you defend Russia. Its makes no sense since Putin is a zionist himself and want very much protect Israel.

"Putin Says He Agreed With Trump to Secure Syria Border With Israel"
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-07-16/putin-says-agreed-with-trump-to-secure-syria-border-with-israel

Posted by: Zanon | Jul 31 2018 9:48 utc | 135

Daniel @126: Kissinger is not a nationalist.

He's not a "realist" either. He got that moniker long ago as Sec. of State.

Doctorow continues to call him a "realist" even as he describes how he is not.

I call him an establishment ideologue.

=

Doctorow cites Kissinger in November 2014 but chooses to ignore Kissinger's August 2014 WSJ Op-Ed which was written after Ukraine was defeated by Donbas rebel forces. Although cryptic, Kissinger was defiant. He advocated a militant defense of the USA hegemonic World Order that was chilling. My reaction at the time:

... the Ukraine gambit has failed miserably – as many independent oberservers [sic] predicted– and a deeper conflict with Russia (possibly extending to others) is now in the cards. Like the true neocon that he is, Kissinger has doubled down on Nuland’s obnoxious and misguided “f*ck the EU” with an exceptional! “f*ck the World”.

God help us.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 31 2018 10:44 utc | 136

Jen

If you were genuine, you would have gone straight to the source (an Iranian government source linked to Qasemi or Tasnim News Agency) and not cherry-pick those Israeli and pro-Israeli sources that suggest that Syria's allies are in disagreement and are back-stabbing one another. The original source most likely would say what Yeah Right quotes Vladimir Putin saying @ 67, that all foreign armed forces including Russia would eventually withdraw from Syria if the war continues to wind down with further Syrian victories and diplomacy takes over.

False again, not only are the quote correct, and this is what you miss:
Tasnimnews: Iran to Continue Advisory Presence in Syria as Long as Damascus Wants It: Spokesman
https://www.tasnimnews.com/en/news/2018/05/21/1731463/iran-to-continue-advisory-presence-in-syria-as-long-as-damascus-wants-it-spokesman

Now since we can agree that the quote is geunine, do you or do you not agree with Iran that they wont be forced to leave by either Russia, US, Israel?

Contrary to your belief. Iran wont be in Syria aslong as the "war" is ongoing, no Iran will be there aslong as Syria needs them and that is most likely permantely against Israel.

Posted by: Zanon | Jul 31 2018 10:51 utc | 137

@135 "the issue were if the quotations were correct or not, surely you do not believe that Presstv spreading anti iranian quotes"

Laughable. The issue isn't whether the quote is "correct or not", but of the context in which the quote was made.

Because, obviously, if you take a quote OUT OF CONTEXT then it is easy to claim that the quote is evidence that the Iranians are pushing back against a Russian demand that they leave Syria.

Easy, but false.

Because if you read the entire PressTV article then it is obvious that the demand is actually being made by ***Netanyahu***, and it is that which Qasemi was rejecting.

Honestly, did you even read the article?

PressTV: "Netanyahu reiterated his call for an end to Iran’s anti-terrorism advisory mission in Syria"....

PressTV: "An Israeli official"...."cited Netanyahu as saying that the Tel Aviv regime"...."wants Moscow to work to remove “Iranian forces” from southern Syria near the Israeli-occupied territories"

PressTV: "Iran has no troops on the ground in Syria."

(Pardon me? Remind me again why Netanyahu is having apoplexy?)

PressTV: "There have been no reports of Putin’s reaction to Netanyahu’s demand,"...

(Oh dear, isn't that a blow against your thesis? I believe it is.)

PressTV: ..."but Russia has repeatedly underlined the need for the involvement of influential external players, including Iran, in efforts to resolve the deadly conflict gripping Syria."

(Oh dear, it seems to be getting worse and worse for you)

PressTV: "Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu was quoted by the Italian newspaper Il Giornale as saying that Iran has a key role in Syria’s stability."

(And worse and worse for you......)

PressTV: "Iranian officials have repeatedly rejected such demands, with Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qasemi saying that “no one can force Iran to do anything.” "

(If Zanon is correct then Qasemi has just angrily pushed back against Russian suggestions that Iran must play a big role in Syrian affairs. Which is, obviously, A. Manifestly. Absurd. Proposition.)

PressTV: " “As long as terrorism exists and the Syrian government wants, Iran will have a presence [in Syria]. Those who have entered Syria without the consent of the Syrian government should leave,” he said in May."

(Yup. Wot' I said. Qasemi is pushing back against the demand by Israel and its bootlickers that Iran should leave and other foreign forces should stay, he is not pushing back against Russian suggestions that Iran has a big role to play in resolving the Syrian conflict).

Qasemi finds Netanyahu's demands to be insulting, as indeed they are.

But he isn't pushing back against the Russians, who aren't saying or doing anything to suggest that they agree with that Israeli boorishness.

Zanon: "Its like every time I prove you wrong you return to call people "zionists" "troll". "

Oh, boo-hoo, my heart goes out to you.

Here is a promise: if you actually manage to say something that's true then I'll say something nice about you.

But since you haven't so far..... well, I don't see much need for pleasantries.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jul 31 2018 10:56 utc | 138

Yeah Right

You ask for sources and I give you quotes from iranians themselves, their media, you still refuse to acknowledge fact.
The discussion with you is now over for my part.

Posted by: Zanon | Jul 31 2018 11:20 utc | 139

Zanon @ 137: Not only are you a liar but you are intentionally deceitful as well in your attempts to sympathise with the Iranian side while continuing to try to drive a wedge between Syria and Iran on the one hand and Russia on the other on the MoA blog forums.

You deliberately quoted pro-Israeli sources that deliberately insinuated a potential brewing conflict between Iran and Russia, and then when Yeah Right and I called you out, you did not acknowledge the bias involved on your part.

You offend people as well by claiming they know nothing or that I, some other MoA commenter or the Russian President is obsessed with Zionism or some other ideology when you yourself know absolutely nothing about the people you are debating with or about. As Yeah Right has observed, you don't even read the articles you link to that you claim support your arguments.

You really have no shame.

Posted by: Jen | Jul 31 2018 11:45 utc | 140

@127 Russ

Thank you for the comment. I can't say that at this current juncture I agree with you on climate change, or what we should do about human toiling on the earth. Human beings are naturally violent toilers. We crack open the earth and this is what we do.

I have followed ice melt and temperatures in recent years and have understood that they are both trending normal (US temps are on a downhill trajectory) and have for a very long time.

I really mean it that when the msm posts a story and picture of an emaciated polar bear, it is ABSOLUTELY akin to them publishing the picture of Omran, the bloodied Syrian boy thrown into the White Helmet ambulance, bloodied and with nobody there to comfort him. Take a moment to think about that parallel and ask yourself why is climatism being pushed by the MSM and what is really true of it.

That being said, I agree with you that Russia and China are not saintly actors in the coming geopolitical reallignment. I have seen "Koyanisqatsi" and know about the Pacific Trash Gyre. Humanity is up against the wall, no doubt, but for many other more important reasons than AGW.

And I don't see why your view would ruffle MOA's feathers. As long as we comport ourselves in a fair manner without trollishness, who could complain?

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Jul 31 2018 12:17 utc | 141

I want to point out some imho very informative interviews regarding two of the tools TPTSB is using right now in the Western hemisphere. First gets into the Uk view of the Transgender Agenda which is rolled out everywhere from kindergardens to Media to confuse the future generation and disable society.
The second one is covering the divide and conquer strategy via social media and co by indept dissecting some of the players behind the scheme.

I refer to the last richieallen podcast from 30 July you can listen or download here.

Some of the older podcasts too have some interesting topics/guest interviews and imho give informative insights how the UK is actually played. Living in the most socialy engineered country (germany) and seeing the here over decades already perfected tools now everywhere in action is more than just disturbing or interesting....


Posted by: youss | Jul 31 2018 13:41 utc | 142

Jen

As I thought, first you attack me for so called pro israel sources, when i tell you that the real source is Tasnim, you attack me further, when I tell you that the quote is real, you attack me. When I point out that were wrong on why Iran is in Syria, you attack me.
You are in denial so I wont bother my time with you anymore.

Posted by: Zanon | Jul 31 2018 14:41 utc | 143

135;Putin is a nationalist who defends Russia.

Posted by: dahoit | Jul 31 2018 16:28 utc | 144

Jen @140--

"[Zanon] really have no shame."

That's the #1 trait of all Zionist Trolls, for they must defend the grossest assaults on humanity devised since the Nazis.

Example: Recently an IDF monster involved in illegally evicting a Palestinian family from the home they've occupied for over 5 generations provided the partially blind matriarch too inform to be moved from her home with a drink of water before he shot he in the head at point-blank range executing her. That's just one out of many thousands of similar "incidents"--gross crimes against humanity--trolls like Zanon must defend by pointing elsewhere to distract as that's all they can really do to deter those demanding Palestinian Justice.

Craig Murray's latest provides insight into how people get involved in such vile undertakings.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 31 2018 19:01 utc | 145

dahoit

He sure is, but that is not something that keep him or anyone else from being a zionist.

Posted by: Zanon | Jul 31 2018 19:07 utc | 146

karlof1

Actually Russia have a strong relationship with Israel, not to mention with IDF.

Russia and Israel sign military agreement
https://www.rt.com/news/israel-barak-military-serdyukov/

Posted by: Zanon | Jul 31 2018 19:22 utc | 147

Elijah J. Magnier
https://russia-insider.com/en/assad-israel-has-exhausted-our-patience-and-iran-will-stay-has-putin-cured-netanyahu-his-unsuitable

These two quotes from Russia Insider yesterday cannot be twisted into Putin has back-stabbed Syria nor Iran. The entire article is worth reading; twice.

Assad says Iran will stay as long as the Golan is occupied, as Putin has reportedly told Netanyahu that if he crossed the 1974 armistice line Russia would move out of the way and let Iranians have a free hand against him


President Putin – said the source – responded that “Russia can guarantee that Iran and its allies will not fire one single shot beyond the 1974 disengagement line during the liberation of southern Syria. This line is approved by the UN, therefore will be respected. However, if Israel decides to push its army beyond this line, it would be the biggest gift you are offering to Iran and its allies and a valid reason to attack you. I’ll pull my forces out of the south and leave you with your unsuitable ideas”.

Posted by: mrd | Jul 31 2018 21:53 utc | 148

A survivor of the 1967 Israeli attack on the USS Liberty, joined the 2018 Gaza Freedom Flotilla as the delegate from the United States. Israel violently boarded his boat reportedly in international waters and he is now in an Israeli prison with the rest. Dont see anything at CNN.

https://consortiumnews.com/2018/07/30/gaza-flotilla-ship-al-awda-violently-seized-by-israelis-uss-liberty-survivor-amongst-those-captured/

Posted by: Pft | Jul 31 2018 23:17 utc | 149

AFP have article an expansion of the US Qatar base, agreed on 24th July. Trump neatly separated Qatar from KSA some time ago and Qatar is now on reasonable terms with Iran.
It seems as though the plan is for KSA to get into a war with Iran with US staying out of it for a bit. Although its at Times of Israel, it is an AFP article.
https://www.timesofisrael.com/qatar-us-launch-plan-for-expansion-of-al-udeid-airbase/

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 31 2018 23:25 utc | 150

You are obsessed with "zionists" while you defend Russia. Its makes no sense since Putin is a zionist himself and want very much protect Israel.

"Putin Says He Agreed With Trump to Secure Syria Border With Israel"
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-07-16/putin-says-agreed-with-trump-to-secure-syria-border-with-israel

Posted by: Zanon | Jul 31, 2018 5:48:04 AM | 135

It is like reading comments about a chess game by someone he barely knows the rules and has no ideas about basic strategies. How did Russia "secure borders with Israel"? Israel has enough weapons and trained manpower to manage without any Russian help. Why did Israel need any supportive action by Russia? AFAIK, either Israel is not aware of her superior military position, or, more probably, the elite is obliged to humor and mesmerize the Zionist population by "existential dangers" and their indefatigable efforts to avert it. What Putin "achieved" was that during the liberation of southern Syria, neither Hezbollah, nor Shia militias -- some organized by Iraqis, some by Iran herself, nor Revolutionary Guards were in the vicinity. Begs a question if they wanted to be there, but it was a concession. Did Putin get anything in exchange? As we observed, with ample assistance of Russia, SAA quickly reached Jordanian border, encircled the "moderates" by moving quickly along the border, then demoralized "moderate jihadists" started to surrender and SAA reached the line of armistice with Israel.

Then Israel did "nothing" to oppose them, one aircraft was shot down, one battery was shot at without loss of troops, and SAA proceed along the armistice line to encircle ISIS pocket. Again, that tactic totally demoralized jihadists with ISIS allegiance so they agreed to be carted into the depths of Syrian deserts.

There one should expect a major manhunt, as there is no further need for the desert pocket, and in the absence of population, they can be bombed without restriction. They are masters of hiding and bloody lightning attacks so I have two guesses: (a) it will take a while, at least a month (b) "pro-Iranian forces" will take part.

At the end of the day, Russian strategy relies more on cooperation with Iran than with Syria, because to distant games can be worth loosing influence in Central Asia. "Pushing Iran out of Syria" makes no sense for Russia, but ambiguity is valuable, as we can see from the little game that made Israelis and Jordanians cooperative/non-obstructive in the latest campaign. Did Syria loose ANYTHING because of that?

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Aug 1 2018 0:55 utc | 151

mrd @148:

President Putin is insisting on maintaining the 1974 Armistice Line. That means, Israel continues to illegally occupy Syria's Golan. He's said this quite specifically at least twice that I've seen.

Assad continues to say that since this war was brought down on Syria, it will not end until Syria has regained every inch of its territory.

At least Putin's saying he opposes Israel continuing to conquer its "Eretz Israel" to the Euphrates River. And remember, every inch of Syria on the "non-eretz Israel" side of the Euphrates is under US/NATO/AZ Empire military occupation.

Posted by: Daniel | Aug 1 2018 0:57 utc | 152

I notice that in Trump’s press conference with the Italian PM that he said he expected Italy's help in weaning Europe from Russia's gas by building a pipeline to compete with NordStream.

That can only mean the Genie Energy pipeline from the Golan Heights and offshore fields in the short term. And possibly that long-planned pipeline from the world’s largest natural gas resources under the Persian Gulf. KSA is hoping. Israel wins either way. Oh, speaking of which, I see a new pipeline is under construction from Iraq to Israel.

Posted by: Daniel | Aug 1 2018 1:01 utc | 153

"to distant games" -> I meant "no distant games". Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, this region is vital to the security of Russia and China, e.g. given American mania to develop anti-missiles and ever more accurate nukes, it is imperative to have as many thousands of miles between American posts and retaliatory land-based nukes as possible, Central Asia makes a huge difference. Plus oil, uranium, rare earths and manpower (important for Russia). Afghanistan is impassable for the time being, so Central Asia is surrounded by Russia, China AND Iran, while local leaders may be mercurial, bribable, vulnerable to color revolutions etc. While the surrounding powers have some divergence of interests, there is a big added value in amicable cooperation.

From that point of view, engagement in Syria is valuable for Russia because it improves the cooperation with Iran. Basically, we are talking about "defensive perimeter". The potential of flipping Turkey and Iraq from "American" to "neutral" is an extra bonus, few years ago it looked far-fetched. Not anymore.

So where Israel fits in the Eurasian game? Sometimes it fits as a useful idiot who provides a lever on Washington.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Aug 1 2018 1:15 utc | 154

looking up the subject of pipeline to Israel, I ran onto this 2003 article.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2003/apr/20/israelandthepalestinians.oil
"James Akins, a former US ambassador to the region and one of America's leading Arabists, said: 'There would be a fee for transit rights through Jordan, just as there would be fees for Israel from those using what would be the Haifa terminal.

'After all, this is a new world order now. This is what things look like particularly if we wipe out Syria. It just goes to show that it is all about oil, for the United States and its ally.'

Akins was ambassador to Saudi Arabia before he was fired after a series of conflicts with then Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, father of the vision to pipe oil west from Iraq. In 1975, Kissinger signed what forms the basis for the Haifa project: a Memorandum of Understanding whereby the US would guarantee Israel's oil reserves and energy supply in times of crisis."

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Aug 1 2018 1:15 utc | 155

Daniel@153

From Euronews

"An 870-km (540-mile) pipeline will link Azerbaijan Shah Deniz II field with Italy, crossing through Georgia, Turkey, Greece, Albania and the Adriatic Sea.

By the end of 2020, it will transport around 10 billion cubic meters per year.

It aims to reduce Europe's dependence on Russia for gas.

But final stages of construction are under review as Italy’s new environment minister calls the project "pointless", as he says there's a lack of demand."

Posted by: Pft | Aug 1 2018 1:25 utc | 156

So many pipelines, Pft.

Earlier this month [Dec. 2017], Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz and the energy ministers of Cyprus, Greece and Italy signed a memorandum of understanding toward the construction of an underwater pipeline that would bring Israeli natural gas from the Leviathan gas field to Europe , together with natural gas being exploited off the coast of neighboring Cyprus.”

"David Wurmser — who also consulted on Israel’s gas fields for Noble Energy, and is a former intelligence officer in the US Navy Reserves as well as a former Mideast adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney — said that a “gas pipeline to Europe, about which many exploration and development companies remain skeptical, will probably raise a little interest if actually built.”

"Wurmser suggested that “the real demand, however, which is largely untapped, is in Asia.”

“The entry of the Indian oil and gas companies into Israel’s gas fields raises the question of whether it might not be more in Israel’s interest — and for that matter in the interest of the United States — to have the gas go east to Asia,” Wurmser told JNS.

Peter AU, that last part fits into your (and someone else I forget whom) theory about the Persian Gulf natural gas going to Asia, not Europe.


"In 2009 the government of Qatar, today home to the Muslim Brotherhood and a major funder of ISIS in Syria and Iraq, met with Bashar al-Assad in Damascus.

"Qatar">https://journal-neo.org/2015/10/26/genies-and-genocide-syria-israel-russia-and-much-oil-2/">Qatar proposed to Bashar that Syria join in an agreement to allow a transit gas pipeline from Qatar’s huge North Field in the Persian Gulf adjacent to Iran’s huge South Pars gas field. The Qatari pipeline would have gone through Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and on to Turkey to supply European markets.

"In 2010 Assad instead joined talks with Iran and Iraq for an alternative $10 billion pipeline plan that would also potentially allow Iran to supply gas to Europe from its South Pars field in the Iranian waters of the Persian Gulf. The three countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding in July 2012

"The US coup in Ukraine in 2014, and its financing and training of ISIS and other “moderate” terrorist gangs in Syria all have one prime target–Russia and her network of allies, a network, ironically, which Washington and Israeli policies are expanding almost by the hour."

Posted by: Daniel | Aug 1 2018 4:24 utc | 157

So many pipelines, Pft.

Earlier this month [Dec. 2017], Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz and the energy ministers of Cyprus, Greece and Italy signed a memorandum of understanding toward the construction of an underwater pipeline that would bring Israeli natural gas from the Leviathan gas field to Europe , together with natural gas being exploited off the coast of neighboring Cyprus.”

"David Wurmser — who also consulted on Israel’s gas fields for Noble Energy, and is a former intelligence officer in the US Navy Reserves as well as a former Mideast adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney — said that a “gas pipeline to Europe, about which many exploration and development companies remain skeptical, will probably raise a little interest if actually built.”

"Wurmser suggested that “the real demand, however, which is largely untapped, is in Asia.”

“The entry of the Indian oil and gas companies into Israel’s gas fields raises the question of whether it might not be more in Israel’s interest — and for that matter in the interest of the United States — to have the gas go east to Asia,” Wurmser told JNS.

Peter AU, that last part fits into your (and someone else I forget whom) theory about the Persian Gulf natural gas going to Asia, not Europe.

Posted by: Daniel | Aug 1 2018 4:25 utc | 158

"In 2009 the government of Qatar, today home to the Muslim Brotherhood and a major funder of ISIS in Syria and Iraq, met with Bashar al-Assad in Damascus.

"Qatar proposed to Bashar that Syria join in an agreement to allow a transit gas pipeline from Qatar’s huge North Field in the Persian Gulf adjacent to Iran’s huge South Pars gas field. The Qatari pipeline would have gone through Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and on to Turkey to supply European markets.

"In 2010 Assad instead joined talks with Iran and Iraq for an alternative $10 billion pipeline plan that would also potentially allow Iran to supply gas to Europe from its South Pars field in the Iranian waters of the Persian Gulf. The three countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding in July 2012

"The US coup in Ukraine in 2014, and its financing and training of ISIS and other “moderate” terrorist gangs in Syria all have one prime target–Russia and her network of allies, a network, ironically, which Washington and Israeli policies are expanding almost by the hour."

Posted by: Daniel | Aug 1 2018 4:25 utc | 159

Piotr Bergman

Israel needs Russia's help on Iran, Hezbollah and also Syria, this is basic knowledge.
For starters concering southern Syria:

Russian supply of S-300 systems to Syria major threat to IAF
https://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Russian-supply-of-S-300-systems-to-Syria-major-threat-to-IAF-549837

Go figure why Israel have pressured Russia with success not to give S300 to Syria.

Besides Putin was for example one for few leaders that supported Israel's latest war on Gaza of 2014 so the issue is not solely related to the syrian conflict but Putin is a supporter of Israel in general terms.

Posted by: Zanon | Aug 1 2018 8:06 utc | 160

Well well well, look at this, :)

Russia: Iran will be off 85km israeli border

"Of course, we take into account the interests of neighboring states, interests of Israel, our president spoke about that. As we took into account the Israeli concerns, we managed to attain the pullout of Iranian units 85 kilometers [some 53 miles] from the Israeli [-Syrian] border," the presidential envoy added.
https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201808011066840176-russia-iran-syria-israel-envoy/

I wont rub it in for some people here that that were wrong about it. But it might be a reminder not to attack the messenger next time.

Posted by: Zanon | Aug 1 2018 8:39 utc | 161

@161 Oh, fer' crying out loud!

Zanon quotes: "Of course, we take into account the interests of neighboring states, interests of Israel, our president spoke about that. As we took into account the Israeli concerns, we managed to attain the pullout of Iranian units 85 kilometers [some 53 miles] from the Israeli [-Syrian] border," the presidential envoy added."

Zanon then gloats: "I wont rub it in for some people here that that were wrong about it."

But what Zanon doesn't do is quote the line **before** that one.

You know, the line that reads "Lavrentyev pointed out that Russia was not trying to reach any secret "package deals" in Syria with other countries."

No wonder he failed to quote that line, since Zanon's thesis has always been that Russia has colluded with Israel to reach just such a "secret package deal" to send Iranian forces packing.

Zanaon, I can only point out what I have been pointing out from the very beginning: Russia did indeed broker a deal that ensures that only SAA forces operate near the Golan Heights.

They did so in July 2017. It wasn't a secret, and it wasn't a deal with Israel.

It was a deal struck with the USA and Jordan, and Russia made sure that Israel was, indeed, kept in the loop. And Russia has, indeed, stuck to that deal ever since.

Lavrentyev is not revealing anything new. He is not unveiling anything that I haven't been pointing out to you since Day One of this lamentable exchange.

Do you really want me to requote Lavrov's two press conferences where he says exactly what Lavrentyev just said? You know, that Russia brokered an open and freely available deal in July 2017 and all parties to that deal ensured that Israel was kept informed of the details?

Do you really think that quote is your "gotcha!" moment, even though the line immediately before it blows your argument clear out of the water?

Really?


Posted by: Yeah, Right | Aug 1 2018 12:11 utc | 162

Yeah Right - i think it would be prudent for you to apologize, you were on the wrong side, just accept and move on

Pft - also eu nations do not say a word about israel's assault and this is the 6th year they attack these boats!

Posted by: Rob | Aug 1 2018 12:27 utc | 163

pat lang has a good post up on trump on the topic of israel - that i agree with pat on..link is here..

on an ot note - i am not going to be around for awhile~! have too much going on and too little time to do it!

yeah right - keep on keeping on... i would never have spent the time on zanon you have..

Posted by: james | Aug 1 2018 18:47 utc | 164

on a related note i see the usa under trump is now imposing sanctions on turkey... add turkey to the list, lol... this is getting interesting! wonder what happens when everyone skips over the usa$ and etc. etc., not to mention skipping over going along with there bullshite? we seem to be approaching an inflection point..

Posted by: james | Aug 1 2018 18:49 utc | 165

james

Many people here refused to accept that reality that when I have argued for this the past months, but now these people dont doubt anymore.

Instead of working with Syria, Iran and HEzbollah against the threat Israel pose to Syria, Russia makes an angreement to weaken Iran.
Its a betrayal by Russia since it goes against the wishes of Syria and its allies so it shows that Russia cant be trusted.
This you can not be supportive of right or are you supportive of Russia's deal with Israel?

People who welcome this is of neocons and people in Israel. Its also signal to Iran by Russia that their friendship is not worth much compared to Israel.
This will result in more attacks on Syria, more occupation by Israel.

Today Israel threatened Iran,
Netanyahu Warns Iran Against Blocking Bab el-Mandeb Strait
https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201808011066868548-netanyahu-iran-warning/

This is what happens when you make concessions with Israel like Russia did now.

Not to forget, considering the military relationship that Russia have with Israel, Hezbollah, Syria and Iran should keep their military communcations as local as possible to avoid
possible eavesdropping by Russia that they will carry on to Israel to make use when they bomb missiles and other sites inside Syria, as you probably know attacks on Hezbollah and Syrian missiles have soared by Israel past months.

This quote is also quite telling dont you think?

"The agreement is still in effect. Iranian forces have actually been withdrawn from [the southern de-escalation zone in Syria] in order not to irritate the Israeli administration, which has increased the number of attacks on Iranian sites in this territory," Lavrentyev said.
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2018/08/russia-iran-backed-forces-withdraw-golan-frontier-180801140643907.html

According to Russia its Iran's fault that Israel is "irriated" and have attacked Syria according to Russia, do you agree with such statements?
Many people here have refused to admit exactly that - that iranians operate in Syria. Russia here admit that there was "iranian sites". Do you now agree that Iran in fact have a presence inside Syria?

Posted by: Zanon | Aug 1 2018 19:20 utc | 166

Illegal Israel Intel. Service (MoSSad) Operations in Greece SitRep:

Current estimation of 15 individual ops running simultaneously.
3 identified:

1# "Animal Shelter NGOs" sighted at Athens, Attica.
2# "Refugee Relief NGOs", 1 main NGO "IsraAid" with 3 subteams of coordinated ops. Sighted at Lemnos, Chios and one more island. Subteams located at Patra, Piraeus, Thessaloniki.
3# "Groups of individuals - Soccer fans" identifying themselves as Turkish and Greek footbal teams fans, travelling around, between Athens and Istanbul.

More suspected ops with arsonists on sites in Athens 2 weeks ago.
Iran's "Israel Stealing clouds" news timeline coinsided with possible pre-arson ops at general area of southern Attica.
It was recently rumored that israel specialists at ionospheric control technology had set their sights at East Attica shorelines, where 3 old and "abandoned" US Nato bases were located 1 at valey of Marathon and 2 at Penteli mountain.

Posted by: Greece | Aug 1 2018 19:23 utc | 167

@Zanon @166

Iranian units were withdrawn from southwest Syria about two month ago. There were only some local Hizbullah units and advisors within Syrian army units. That was it.

Netanyahoo is a maniac child that makes all kinds of demands and nonsense announcements. The grown up Russians comfort it while shaking there head. They made zero concessions to Israel.

Posted by: b | Aug 1 2018 19:29 utc | 168

At more than 6000mts height, of course...

Posted by: Sasha | Aug 1 2018 19:42 utc | 170

b

That is unrelated to the deal Russia struck specifically with Israel,

"Russia Reveals Its Deal to Keep Iran and Israel From Going to War in Syria" (newsweek)

Russia has revealed it reached a widely speculated agreement designed to prevent archfoes Israel and Iran from going to war in Syria.

Alexander Lavrentyev, Russia’s presidential envoy to Syria, for the first time officially acknowledged Wednesday a deal to prevent further escalations following two days of negotiations with Iran and Turkey in the Russian city of Sochi.

Posted by: Zanon | Aug 1 2018 20:53 utc | 171

@166 zanon.. i am sorry, but you are like a broken record on this topic.. it might be best to find another audience more receptive to it..

@169 sasha... that is one hell of a story! it might also benefit russian / pakistan relations too.. thanks for sharing that.. fascinating..

Posted by: james | Aug 1 2018 21:11 utc | 172

james

The Astana deal do not call for Iran or Hezbollah to leave those zones. Nor did the ceasfire deal US/Russia struck a bit after.

I am interested to hear your take on why such a deal now should be supported (unless you agree with my assessment that that deal is bad)?

Posted by: Zanon | Aug 1 2018 21:32 utc | 173

zanon

personally, i am much more interested in big picture stuff and gradual changes that are taking place, as opposed to fine details.. as i see it, syria, russia and iran have solidified there position, while the attacking countries - usa/uk/ksa/israel and etc - are on the backfoot... unless something changes - that is the big picture that i am seeing at present with regard to syria... and more recently the southwest syria zone has been taken back, going up onto the golan heights where israel was looking after all their moderate headchoppers... it just isn't spinning the way that some would like, but alas - that is how i see it at present..

with regard to deals - a lot of it is in the fine print and the agreements may or may not be broken or modified as time unfolds... i give them less attention then the facts on the ground..

Posted by: james | Aug 1 2018 21:42 utc | 174

there is an interesting development that i am not sure what to make of - happening in the alt media today...

first - ttgs post at sst - Another theory bites the dust - TTG ... it quotes a computer weekly article - here which is also discussed at emptywheels site yesterday in this article Without Integrity: The Debunking of the Metadata Debunkers..

part of what i find interesting is how the website disobedient media is referred to as the us disinformation team...

it seems to me that once you go down a rabbit hole, looking for something - all sorts of information can become available... instead of selecting the info you want to believe, it would be far better to find some way of verifying the info!!! it seems this approach is rarely taken in a number of areas and possibly also including the cia, fbi and etc. etc. - who are supposed to be good at doing this sort of thing...

so, does some interested party frame another party with something solid to back it up? or - do they offer tangential info and proof which remains suspect? that is what it looks like to me at this point - still..

Posted by: james | Aug 2 2018 1:06 utc | 175

Gotta larf cos about this time every week I cop a blinding flash of a really good angle on something that would be ideal for Monday's open thread but old age thinking patterns being what they are, while I can remember that I had a good idea most of the time I'm buggered if I can remember what it was. Hmm time for another glass of port.
Anyway I subjected myself to the BBC news channel this am, a dangerous pastime because it is always a vomit-worthy visit, but it does inspire me to get outta bed and get on with the day even if I just want to get away from such slimy propaganda. Yeah I know real men watch fox news to get their blood up but I just cannot seem to rouse myself sufficiently out of ennui to hunt down and install a kodi addon which delivers faux.

Anyway long story slightly shorter, the beeb devoted much time this am to telling the world what a sleazy racist scumbag Jeremy Corbyn is, a bbc habit which leaves me in two minds.
It is great to know Mr Corbyn has stayed sufficiently staunch to still be freaking out the PTB, but it is all a bit of a scratched record really - nothing is ever said that hasn't been heard before. That the "internationally recognised policy on antisemitism" the Labour Party refuses to sign up to is never specified, neither are the three dot points outta 15 or 16 which they refuse to agree to ever specified. And certainly never that the alleged international recognition is basically two nation states who need no introduction here at MoA, amerika and israel.

So after glancing at the front page of the neolib grauniad fishwrap and seeing that editor & zionist, Katherine Viner had dutifully stayed aboard this bandwagon steered by bbc political editor Laura Kuenssberg a fellow travelling zionist who between libelling Mr Corbyn assiduously ignores his policy announcements - presumably because she is too busy whining about being bullied and harassed. Now I would have thought that copping flak was an integral part of political journalism much less that of the person in charge of the beeb's tory rants, but no apparently it isn't. It may have been par for the course when Nick Robinson had the gig before her, but now Kuenssberg has it all criticism is by definition sexist, bullying and racist ( Kuenssberg is a jew as well as a zionist), so I thought maybe it would be instructive to see if other mass media vectors also joined in the daily 5 minute hate sessions on Mr Corbyn .

The independent most certainly has, altho when I looked at it apart from a pair of rabidly zionist jewish englanders, the 150+ plus posts in the thread under the nonsense, were all highly critical of the attack on Mr Corbyn. The hasbara gang may be getting coverage, but they certainly aren't getting penetration, as the PR hacks describe successful bullsh1tting.

IMO Mr Corbyn and Momentum need to bite the bullet and just accept that the tiny % of brit voters who are jews who once voted labour are a lost cause and that there are benefits to zionists not getting out the vote- namely that his cabinet won't have to be fussing over the latest phone call which benny nuttyahoo has made to some half witted zionist MP.
These 'anti-racist' zionists only seem to vote for politicians who are jews. If those jews want to cut off their noses to spite their faces and vote tory, that will greatly reduce the number of israel obsessed labour MPs which must surely be a good thing. After all they are meant to be obsessing over the fate of englanders - aren't they?

Posted by: Debsisdead | Aug 2 2018 4:08 utc | 176

I see the usual suspects found someone to bash in my absence. Zanon if it's any comfort to you; I don't think you're a Zionist, but I do believe there are certain individuals here who project what they really are i.e. Zionist on anyone who doesn't conform to the echoe'd opinion.

My feeling is that the jury is still out on Putin. I have become skeptical of Putin's intentions vis a vis Iran. It's kind of like the relationship between Trump and Cohen. Cohen was naively loyal and did Trump's dirty work, and considered him a father and Trump always treated him like staff, and then left him out of the White House. Then at the first sign of trouble for Cohen; Trump kicked him to the curb. Which is something Trump excels at.

Zionist occupied U.S. is trying to alienate China from cooperation with Russia and Netanyahoo and Trump are working Putin to the same end vis a vis Iran. Is it working? There are indications that Putin doesn't really care about Iran's fate. Why should he? Iran isn't a strategic interest for Russia. Russia had no problem putting the sanction screws on Iran; even when it was subjected to the same kind of tyranny. In Syria, it was merely convenient to have Iranians taking a hit on the battlefield if that spared Russians. In the oil and gas market; Iran is just another competitor and less so if it's being squeezed by the U.S. and Israel.

Putin has to keep his Zionist Russian oligarch friends content, including all those Zionist Russian immigrants in Israel and he has an interest in getting Trump to ease sanctions. Right there you have just some of the incentive Putin has for betrayal.

Let's be honest; you don't have to go to The Zionist Times or Press TV to read the writing on the wall.

Posted by: Circe | Aug 2 2018 5:09 utc | 177

Once again, Circe there you go being all reasonable. Don't you know there are male egos at risk here? And maybe just a dash of group-think now and again.

If Putin really is a patriotic nationalist (and really gets to call the shots), then he's doing what he thinks is best for Russia and Russians. Keeping at least the coast of Syria open is clearly in Russia's interests. Iran looks to be in play with this whole BRI, SCO thing, so that could work in their favor.

But as I've been asking for some time now, what benefit would Russia see in Iran flooding Europe with all that natural gas they're splitting up with Qatar?

Posted by: Daniel | Aug 2 2018 5:57 utc | 178

Circe

That is unfortunately what seems to be going on (projections) and I agree with most of what you say.

Stratfor put up some issues with Russia's actions which I think is on point too:

"Syria: For Israel, an Iranian Withdrawal From the Border Doesn't Go Far Enough"

[Russia] wishes to be seen as credible by both sides, but it is unable to fully deliver to either country's satisfaction.

A series of high-level talks between Israeli and Russian leaders has not led to a resolution, meaning that continued Israeli action is likely.
https://worldview.stratfor.com/article/syria-israel-iran-withdrawal-border-russia

The agreement obviously make Israel more aggressive, now they can attack Syria because they know Hezbollah and iranians wont be able to respond back against their positions in Golan.


Posted by: Zanon | Aug 2 2018 7:40 utc | 179

@173: "The Astana deal do not call for Iran or Hezbollah to leave those zones. Nor did the ceasfire deal US/Russia struck a bit after."

Now, so very sorry, but that statement is a flat-out lie.

http://www.mid.ru/en/press_service/minister_speeches/-/asset_publisher/7OvQR5KJWVmR/content/id/3239504
Lavrov: "Regarding the Israeli-Iranian confrontation in Syria, Russia, the United States and Jordan have reached agreements on the southwestern de-escalation zone. Israel was perfectly aware of these when they were still being negotiated. These agreements imply that this de-escalation zone must consolidate stability, and that all non-Syrian forces be withdrawn from the area. I believe that this must happen as soon as possible. We are currently addressing this issue with our Jordanian and US colleagues."

http://www.mid.ru/en/press_service/minister_speeches/-/asset_publisher/7OvQR5KJWVmR/content/id/3288008
Lavrov: "As for southern Syria, all matters related to Syria are bound to be discussed in Helsinki. The agreement on this area has already been reached and was fixed in the documents and decisions adopted by Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump in Hamburg in July 2017 and in Danang in November 2017. Jordan supported these decisions. These decisions provide for a certain sequence of actions, as a result of which no non-Syrian forces will be left in this region. The Syrian army will control the border with Israel. At the same time, there will be a zero tolerance policy with regard to Jabhat al-Nusra and ISIS units stationed in this area. The part of the agreements that depended on Russia to a certain extent has been largely fulfilled."

So there you have Lavrov stating not once but on two separate occasions that the deal that Russia struck with the USA and Jordon in July and November 2017 involved the removal of all non-Syrian forces from that area. For Zanon to claim that this deal did not require Hezbollah and Iran to leave that area is therefore completely and utterly false.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Aug 2 2018 7:54 utc | 180

@173: "The Astana deal do not call for Iran or Hezbollah to leave those zones. Nor did the ceasfire deal US/Russia struck a bit after."

I'm now going to point people to two official statements that prove that Zanon is telling an untruth.

https://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2017/11/275459.htm
Joint Statement by the President of the United States and the President of the Russian Federation
"The two presidents, today, welcomed the Memorandum of Principles concluded in Amman, Jordan, on November 8, 2017, between the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Russian Federation, and the United States of America. This Memorandum reinforces the success of the ceasefire initiative, to include the reduction, and ultimate elimination, of foreign forces and foreign fighters from the area to ensure a more sustainable peace."

https://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2017/11/275463.htm
Background Briefing on the Joint Statement by the President of the United States And the President of the Russian Federation on Syria
"Third and perhaps most important, the MOP, what we call the MOP, enshrines the commitment of the U.S., Russia, and Jordan to eliminate the presence of non-Syrian foreign forces. That includes Iranian forces and Iranian-backed militias like Lebanese Hizbollah as well as foreign jihadis working with Jabhat al-Nusrah and other extremist groups from the southwest area."

These statements prove that I have been completely correct in pointing to Lavrov's two statements highlighting the agreements reached in Hamburg in July 2017 and in Danang in November 2017 between Russia, the USA and Jordon.

The resulting Memorandum of Principles clearly, openly and unambiguously stated that the only force that would operate in that region is the Syrian Arab Army.

This is not a "new" development"
There has been no secret collusion between Russia and Israel.
Russia is not doing this because Netanyahu threw a hissy-fit.
Israel is not dictating these terms to Russia.

Read those two sites. Read them in full.
If you do then you would understand that this was all settled well over a year ago, and it was settled between Russia, the USA, and Jordon.

Not Israel. Not Netanyahu. Russia, the USA, and Jordon.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Aug 2 2018 8:13 utc | 181


One could add that The Astana Agreement, which could be reached here (https://twitter.com/charles_lister/status/860208101714255877) do not say that iranian/hezbollah have to move out of the southern zone.

Secondly the ceasefire do also not dictate that obviously because the deal was struck between US, Jordan and Russia. Iran was not involved (and rightly protested,

“Iran is seeking Syria’s sovereignty and security so a ceasefire cannot be limited to a certain location...No agreement would be successful without taking the realities on the ground into account,” Qasemi added.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-iran-idUSKBN19V0QU

That deal was also initiated by not only Jordan but by Israel,

The pact is aimed at addressing demands by Israel and Jordan — the latter is a party to the agreement...

https://foreignpolicy.com/2017/07/11/exclusive-trump-putin-ceasefire-agreement-focuses-on-iranian-backed-fighters-middle-east/

And yes, as I have repeatedly argued here, there have been efforts to move Iran out for a long time, but that doesnt mean it has been successful, remember the above meetings played out last year. But it is the past months Israel have attacked Syria and iranian sites and it is past months Russia and Israel talks have intensified and generated the iranian-withdrawal agreement.
The israeli/russian deal is also the first time that has been officially declared - the iranian withdrawal.

Posted by: Zanon | Aug 2 2018 8:34 utc | 182

@182: "One could add that The Astana Agreement,"...

Actually, no, one can't. At no point have I relied upon any of the Astana negotiations to support my argument. Which, one more time, yet again, is that the decision to deploy only SAA forces in SW Syria is not new, was never a secret, and was not the result of collusion between Russia and Israel.

Zanon: "Secondly the ceasefire do also not dictate that obviously because the deal was struck between US, Jordan and Russia. Iran was not involved (and rightly protested,"

I'm going to point out right now that Zanon is lying and, furthermore, he knows he is lying.
It is easy to demonstrate that fact, because in his very own post @77 he pointed me to this article to support his argument:
https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2018/07/12/567860/Iran-Russia-Syria-Putin-Israel-Netanyahu

An article that contains this gem:
"Iran has no troops on the ground in Syria."

Hard for them to get upset about an arrangement that does not affect them, is it?

Zanon: "That deal was also initiated by not only Jordan but by Israel, "

Again, my argumentative friend is using weasel-words, and today's weasel-words are "was also initiated". Which is a meaningless concoction.

The foreignpolicy article that he points to claims only that the parties to the agreement were mindful of Israeli and Jordanian concerns. Foreignpolicy does NOT claim anywhere in that article that Israel "co-initiated" this deal alongside Jordan.

Lavrov has already refuted that claim, and I'll repeat his words for Zanon yet again:"Russia, the United States and Jordan have reached agreements on the southwestern de-escalation zone. Israel was perfectly aware of these when they were still being negotiated."

The "co-initiators" of that deal were Russia, the USA, and Jordan. Israel was consulted (as, no doubt, were Syria and Iran). Of course they were, and it would be ludicrous to think otherwise. But that is a long, long way from arguing that Israel "initiated" this deal.

Zanon: "And yes, as I have repeatedly argued here, there have been efforts to move Iran out for a long time, but that doesnt mean it has been successful, remember the above meetings played out last year."

Oh, wow, haven't we just moved the goalposts. I will now invite everyone to read through Zanon's initial posts in this thread and the previous thread, and marvel at how the "long time ago efforts" rated exactly zero attention from him. Indeed, I would wager very good money that he had absolutely no knowledge of the November 2017 Danang deal until I pointed it out to him.

Zanon: "But it is the past months Israel have attacked Syria and iranian sites and it is past months Russia and Israel talks have intensified and generated the iranian-withdrawal agreement."

You. Can. Not. Demonstrate. Any. Such. Agreement. Between. Russia. And Israel.

Zanon: "The israeli/russian deal is also the first time that has been officially declared - the iranian withdrawal."

You. Can. Not. Demonstrate. Any. Such. Deal. Between. Russia. And Israel.

You can't point to any such "deal" because no such deal has been "officially declared".
But I can, it is called the "Memorandum of Principles", and everyone has agreed to it.

The only reason that this has been talked about in the "past months" is exactly the reason that b gives i.e. the Israelis are putting out misinformation in a pitiful attempt to claim credit for something that was agreed to over a year ago by Countries That Are Not Called Israel.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Aug 2 2018 11:01 utc | 183

Circe @ 177: Yeah Right and I have not been "bashing" Zanon for fun. We have been criticising Z's comments for various reasons: among other things, Z has been quoting articles and posting links that support his/her opinion that Russia and Israel are in agreement to oust Iranian forces from southwest Syria.

When YR and I check those references in Z's comments, we find that the sources cited are either pro-Israeli or (in the case of Iranian sources) the references actually refer to something completely different because Z has not included the full reference or has removed the context.

The fact is that Iran does not now have troops in southwest Syria and its participation in that part of the country is now limited to providing military advice. B himself has posted an article on MoA pointing this out not so long ago and he has repeated this fact earlier in this comments forum @ 168.

The Israelis know (or should know) that Iran does not now have a military presence in SW Syria. Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu keeps harping on about something he knows (or should know) no longer exists to the Russians. For their part, the Russians humour the Israelis because they know that the Israelis cannot currently influence the situation in SW Syria without risking their own forces getting hurt.

We should be asking what is the reason for this assumption that the Iranians still have troops in SW Syria and the insinuation that the Russians are colluding with Israel behind the Iranians and the Syrians' backs. The Syrians have now been doing most of the heavy lifting in this and other parts of Syria. What is the reason for repeating such statements and the implications they suggest for Syria and its allies so much and so endlessly that they become a lie?

Posted by: Jen | Aug 2 2018 11:11 utc | 184

@182 May as well refute this while I'm at it....

Zanon quotes from an appallingly ill-informed ForeignPolicy article written by a committee headed by Colum Lynch, who is seldom correct about anything.

The quote he snipped apart so approvingly is, in full, this woefully misleading nonsense:
"The pact is aimed at addressing demands by Israel and Jordan — the latter is a party to the agreement — that Iranian forces and their proxies, including Hezbollah, not be permitted near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, which separates Syria from Israel, or along the Jordanian border."

So the Memorandum is "aimed" only towards Iran and Hezbollah, according to Lynch.

How odd, because the State Department does not agree.

I don't know why I have to do this, since I've already pointed Zanon to the State Department briefing on exactly this matter.
https://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2017/11/275463.htm

In it the State Department briefer says quite unambiguously that the agreement covers **ALL** non-Syrian forces in that area: "That includes Iranian forces and Iranian-backed militias like Lebanese Hizbollah as well as foreign jihadis working with Jabhat al-Nusrah and other extremist groups from the southwest area"

Lynch is attempting to claim that the agreement is targeted squarely at Iran and Hezbollah, and Zanon nods approvingly. Lynch is lying and, by extension, so is Zanon.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Aug 2 2018 11:14 utc | 185

james

Thanks for your reply, in my opinion the issue is not the civil war itself (Syria might be winning that war), but the war Israel wage on Syria is what is really at stake, and for this war Syria need Iran, Hezbollah to help them in responding to Israel.

For example, just one day after the iranian withdrawal Israel is obviously happy,
Israel claims the Syrian civil war is effectively over — and President Assad is back in control
https://www.cnbc.com/2018/08/02/syria-war-israel-claims-syrian-civil-war-is-effectively-over.html

Posted by: Zanon | Aug 2 2018 12:12 utc | 186

Zanon

It wasn't a civil war.

It was a criminal conspiracy to use Jihadis as a proxy army for an illegal war on Syria.

Israel and the other conspirators are far from happy because their side lost.

The leadership of these countries don't want their people to know what they did. Partly because they want another bite at the apple via Iranian regime change.

Thus we are seeing a lot of spin, misdirection, and outright bullshit. The good people of MoA, like Jen and Yeah, Right see through the disinfo better than most. So carry on. You're helping us to educate the world.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 2 2018 13:34 utc | 187

@177 "Zanon if it's any comfort to you; I don't think you're a Zionist,"

Circle, Zanon started out pointing me to this website as proof of his claims:
http://www.thetower.org/6283-iran-rejects-russias-call-to-remove-all-foreign-troops-from-syria/

You might want to follow that link and mull the, ahem, mindset that would regard such a site as an exemplar of reliable, unbiased reporting.

It was only when I pointed out to him that his go-to source is an obvious Israeli hasbarah site that he turned to misrepresenting snippets from presstv and sputnik news.

He is clearly hasbarah troll, and if you don't believe that then consider his moniker: Zanon.

You know, short for Zionist Anonymous.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Aug 2 2018 13:46 utc | 188

Jackrabbit

As my link showed at 186 Israel scored a big win and consider it "over" through their successful lobbying to get iranians out. That will of course in turn accelerate israeli attacks on Syria.

Iran pulls back from Golan in Syria, Israel not satisfied

Iranian forces have withdrawn their heavy weapons in Syria to a distance of 85 kilometers from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, TASS quoted a Russian envoy as saying Wednesday, but Israel deemed the pullback inadequate.

Thats the danger of making concessions to Israel.
http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/World/2018/Aug-02/458804-iran-pulls-back-from-golan-in-syria-israel-not-satisfied.ashx

Posted by: Zanon | Aug 2 2018 14:09 utc | 189

Considering Israeli top officials are on the record stating they would prefer rebels, including islamists, including even jihadis, ruling from Damascus, rather than Assad, it's kind of hard to spin this as a big win for Israel.
Sure, the weakening of Syria and the destruction of big parts of the country is a win, but the "winning" time is over with the end of the civil war.
Right now, the only true "win" they could see is that the return to statu quo ante means that SAA won't come rolling on the Golan to try retake the Western half from IDF. But then, Assad wasn't going to launch an attack before 2011, so I'd say Israel merely achieved a temporary weakening and might have gained some time in the long run, but nothing else has changed - definitely not in Israel's favour at least.

As for Russia's role in the middle of this, it should be quite obvious. Russia wants a stabilized Syria and has no interest of seeing prolonged fighting of any kind. Which means that they don't want to see IDF attacking Syria, or SAA foolishly attacking some IDF position. Russia would basically be ok with the continuation of the 1974-2011 truce and separation line, because it freezes the conflict. If there were Russian efforts, they were basically to find a way to keep Iranian support of SAA and Assad, even with military on the ground in parts of the country, to an extent that would satisfy Iran, but in ways that would also not be seen as a possibly direct threat by Israel - for instance, not stationing IRGC troops next to the Golan. If any alleged agreement on Russian part would weaken Iranian presence too much or would endanger the Syria's future stability, there's no way Iran would play ball like it seems to do.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Aug 2 2018 15:39 utc | 190

@186 zanon.. thanks back at ya..

i notice you are using stratfor @179 as a back up source for some of your position.. as you know - it's an israeli propaganda site.. might be good for something, but not a lot!!

countries form alliances... there is not much one can do about that, other then to acknowledge them.. usa for a number of reasons continues to support israel - in spite of the horrific humanitarian injustice israel expresses 24/7...at some point the usa gov't will have to honour what the people of the usa think about that and change it's relationship with israel... on the other side syria has an alliance with iran, hezbollah and russia... it stands to reason that these alliances will continue and within the jurisdiction of syria - it is up to syria how it wants to entertain them..

personally i wouldn't put too much faith in what keeps crazy people happy.. at this point my unattached view is israel is being run by a bunch of crazy people.. i hope that changes at some point too..

and i see it much the same as @190 clueless joe too fwiw..

Posted by: james | Aug 2 2018 16:43 utc | 191

Thanks to all those making efforts to prove the Zionist troll is indeed that. In my eyes, it has already died. May it now die in the eyes of all remaining barflies.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 2 2018 17:01 utc | 192

james

Unfortunately as I see it as long as the southern part of Syria is not supported with iranian, hezbollah forces Israel could do whatever they want, thats why they are so scared of these forces. They (Iran/Hezbollah) could return but it would come with alot of risks of being targeted before even before arriving at those sites with missiles, military tech, troops.

Posted by: Zanon | Aug 2 2018 17:56 utc | 193

B, or anyone cor that matter, how can the U.S. sanction another country's "sovereign debt"?

Posted by: MistyAnn | Aug 2 2018 18:03 utc | 194

194

How can Trumpistan put tariffs on aluminum so Canadian beer brewers and importers are quickly running out of cans? USA stores will soon only stock Bud Lite, Miller Gold and Coors? Those are Red Bolshevik pisswater blends, owned by the same Soviet Mafiya that trafficks young Ukrainian girls into NYC for Donald Jr to 'adopt'? How can Trump complain about Chinese currency manipulation, when Trump Casinos just paid a big fine for money laundering?

Posted by: Chipnik | Aug 2 2018 18:20 utc | 195

« previous page

The comments to this entry are closed.