Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 30, 2018

The MoA Week In Review - OT 2018-50

Last week's posts on Moon of Alabama:

The new electronic warfare equipment arrived and the first S-300 launchers were unloaded. A Russian ship is underway to provide additional air defense materials and supplies.

The not-so-moderate 'rebels' found out that the new Turkish-Russian agreement of demilitarized zone in Idleb is to their disadvantage and reject it. It will be impossible to solve the 'anarchy and terror in Idelb without force. Either Erdogan applies it (not likely), or Syria and its allies will.

Trump wants to get through economic sanctions what the U.S. could not get by force:

The United States will pursue “a strategy of isolation,” including sanctions, with its allies if President Bashar al-Assad holds up a political process aimed at ending Syria’s seven-year war, a top U.S. diplomat for Syria told Reuters on Friday.

Jim Jeffrey, the U.S. special representative for Syria, said Washington would work with countries in Europe, Asia and the Middle East to impose tough international sanctions if Assad’s government failed to cooperate on rewriting the Syrian constitution as a prelude to elections.
He added: “Even if the U.N. Security Council won’t pass them we will just do it through the European Union, we will do it through our Asian allies, and then we will make it our business to make life as miserable as possible for that flopping cadaver of a regime and let the Russians and Iranians, who made this mess, get out of it.”

Syria, Russia and Iran are already under U.S. sanctions. They won't care about such nonsense.

Trump will meet Rosenstein in two weeks or so. The issue has been moved out of the way because the push for another lying aristocrat to the Supreme Court is the more important issue. One thing is sure, that angry dude likes his beer (vid) way too much.

The comment thread provides that the propaganda power of the immensely rich fossil fuel industry is still quite strong.

Other items:

Adel Abdel Mahdi will become the new Prime Minister of Iraq. A good choice for Iran and its allies. The U.S. is already in retreat as it evacuates its consulate in Basra.

Trump about (vid) his relation with Kim Jong Un: "We went back and forth, then we fell in love. He wrote me beautiful letters. And they are great letters. We fell in love." How is Melania feeling about this?

Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on September 30, 2018 at 15:00 UTC | Permalink

next page »

I would like to know where the US finds these clowns....
The Interior Secretary proposed a naval blockade of Russia as a way to push Moscow out of energy market.
Speaking Friday at an industry event in Pittsburgh hosted by the Consumer Energy Alliance, US Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said the US Navy can blockade Russia if needed in order to keep it from controlling energy supplies in the Middle East as it does in Europe.
"The United States has that ability, with our Navy, to make sure the sea lanes are open, and, if necessary, to blockade… to make sure that their energy does not go to market," Zinke said.
He is saying the US could possibly go to war with Russia, ensuring US hegemony over energy supplies, and to ensure overpriced and uneconomic US gas supplies are forced on European markets? Good luck with that.

Posted by: Harry Law | Sep 30 2018 15:21 utc | 2

Following Europe's victory over the United States in golf's Ryder Cup, Trump has told the EU that the United States will invade Europe unless the result is reversed immediately. The reporter was then hit on the head by a baby's rattle.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Sep 30 2018 15:28 utc | 3

This was the last week of summer in the End of Days for the flopping corpse of the Trump regime.

In 15 days, the flopping corpse of US Retail will cough up their -$1,000B 3Q tithe-tax to Trump and Congress. It won't make a dent in the skyrocketing, +10% YOY, $10sTs Debt + Deficit + Interest-Only Debt Service + Mil.Gov Burn Rate.

In 30 days, the flopping corpse of the Pentagon war machine will be on 24-your call up before Trump's oil war on Iran begins, and crude spikes over $100 a bbl.
Days later, the flopping corpse of the disenfranchised US electorate will herd to the polls to vote for Red Bankruptcy and Perpetual Domestic and Foreign War or Blue Bankruptcy and Perpetual Domestic and Foreign War.

In 75 days, as Trump and Congress' illegal 25% Fed VAT trade tax slush fund will have disrupted the Chinese supply pipeline for industrial and retail components, and the flopping corpse of US Christmas shopping season will be buried in a shallow grave.

Bush Doctrine ~ Brezhnev Doctrine
Obama Hope and Change ~ Gorbechev Peristroika and Glasnost
Dancing Bear Trump ~ Dancing Bear Yeltsin

Here lies the USA
1776 to 2019


Posted by: Anton Worter | Sep 30 2018 15:36 utc | 4

Seems like the Brits caught the Russians red handed?

Posted by: Ninel | Sep 30 2018 15:36 utc | 5

>>>> Harry Law | Sep 30, 2018 11:21:26 AM | 2

Zinke is even more stupid than you suggest. Russia has land access to pretty well every country it wants to trade with. How the fuck is the USN going to blockade Russia. Are the Americans going to dig a 12,577 mile long canal along Russia's borders. Zinke is even more stupid than MbS who only wants to dig a canal along Saudi Arabia's 41 mile border with Qatar

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Sep 30 2018 15:39 utc | 6

@#2....The stupidity of our rulers, especially this generation of rulers, leaves me breathless. They never experience the whole theatre of combat. The gore, the nightmare of watching people blown to bits. They sit quietly in their plush offices, enjoy the highest quality of entertainment at conferences and speeches. And run home after a days work to their families. The soldiers never experience that. They either return home broken mentally or in a body bag, and treated so unfairly by the same government that sent them there in the first place.

Posted by: Jose Garcia | Sep 30 2018 15:47 utc | 7

@5 Ninel

Notice in that BBC article that 'identifies' is in quotes and that they say the woman asked to remain anonymous just like all those anonymous sources about Iraqs WMD before the invasion. It would be nice if someone could go to that Russian village and ask if the BBC had really been there.

Posted by: TJ | Sep 30 2018 15:50 utc | 8

Ghost Ship.@6 Zinke is even more stupid than MbS who only wants to dig a canal along Saudi Arabia's 41 mile border with Qatar. Not so fast, MbS wants to fill that canal with nuclear waste, not a bad tourist attraction, they can get a tan 24 hours a day.

Posted by: Harry Law | Sep 30 2018 15:57 utc | 9

Jack Rabbit @ 44 of the "Note to Iran" thread

(That's why the trolls are here - to muck up the education of others.)

This exceptionalist neoliberal jackass is not one of the more annoying ones, but he is a troll because he's here to promote an anti-nationalist, anti-Russia agenda

I'm here commenting just like many others whom you consider to be trolls simply because their ideas don't always conform to your thinking or what you believe is the official thinking of the blog regulars. Not sure I ever read an official explanation that the purpose of the threads is to educate others, apparently in pro-Nationalism and pro-Russian Nationalism Studies.

IMHO, "nationalism" is a sucker game promoted by capitalist oligarchs (yes, including both Trump and Putin among others) to play the emotions of those who feel "lost" by the failure of the global system for the very purpose of maintaining capitalist, oligarchic (or corporatist) control over the populace.

Yes, most definitely I believe the Russian and Chinese governments are just as complicit in this game as the US or the EU ruling classes. is this a conspiracy, yes but only in the sense that global capitalism itself is a class based conspiracy made easy by the advent of the internet.

If you were to say you agree in part but believe it in the best interest of the "loser" class to back Russia/China in order to bring down the "Empire" (Bevin's argument) I can respect that viewpoint. However, I believe it to be faulty for the reason that the global system will remain firmly in place whoever ascends to the "top" in terms of wealth (and China is already moving to the top but in concert with the US/EU who aren't going anywhere as long as the system remains). Regardless, nationalism clearly (to me, anyway) no longer matters to the .005% rulers of the world except as subterfuge. They are already looking forward to space travel and planning to extricate themselves from the rest of us when the civilisation collapses.

This isn't trolling my friend. And argument to the contrary is always welcome by me or you can troll me or ignore me either one. However, my point here and there is you are in fact trolling me, "the exceptionalist neoliberal jackass". Lol. Good one.

So DKOS, so 2005, and so be it. Whatever, it is the price of admission to a generally stimulating and thought provoking website that I enjoy reading and interacting within.

I don't care how you want to use your limited time on earth but would suggest you might consider following your own "best" suggestion in the other thread....

Ignoring them is best, of course....

Posted by: donkeytale | Sep 30 2018 16:10 utc | 10

James too on the "Rosenstein" thread. Thanks for your response and pointing out I was "OT".

Posted by: donkeytale | Sep 30 2018 16:20 utc | 11

@10 "....nationalism clearly (to me, anyway) no longer matters to the .005% rulers of the world except as subterfuge. They are already looking forward to space travel and planning to extricate themselves from the rest of us when the civilisation collapses."

So no more garden parties in the Hamptons. No more Davos. No more retreats on Lake Como.

It will be nice air-conditioned domes on Jupiter. Whoopee!

Posted by: dh | Sep 30 2018 16:23 utc | 12

Maybe there is a chance for us, they will still need someone to mix the cocktails and change the soiled bedsheets.....oh wait, C3PO can handle all the chores....

Posted by: donkeytale | Sep 30 2018 16:30 utc | 13

donkey insists he's just doing what is natural for him: regurgitating the Kool-Aid he loves so much.

Why does he do that? He can't understand why anyone would do a public service for free. So why is he here?

His defense of the Empire via his lame-ass equivalency bullshit is transparent to MoA readers.

This donkey kicks his own ass. Now insists on his right to do so. LOL.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 30 2018 16:32 utc | 14

US could use Navy for ‘blockade’ to hamper Russian energy exports – Interior Secretary

Posted by: vk | Sep 30 2018 16:46 utc | 15

The lame ass equivalency bullshit

Elite earners in US, Russia, and France all claimed roughly the same share of income in the early 1900s. But their fortunes diverged dramatically over the next century. That makes it particularly striking that, in terms of income inequality, Russia and the US have wound up in about the same place.

Despite the global prominence of Russian oligarchs, you don’t often see Russia on the top of the income inequality charts. That’s probably because the government’s official data clearly understate the situation. These new data come from pioneering work by the French economist Thomas Piketty documenting more than a century of Russian wealth—trends that he details in a blog post and a fascinating new working paper.

The income grab by Russia’s elite as the country morphed from a Soviet republic to an (increasingly autocratic) kleptocracy was much sharper, and quicker, than that accompanying the US’s neoliberalist embrace.

But perhaps the circumstances and timing of the US shift should make Americans even more uneasy. Russia’s inequality is an unfortunate but unsurprising byproduct of the Soviet Union’s collapse; the epic upheaval that followed gave oligarchs an easy opportunity to seize control of the institutions that distribute wealth. The US shift toward inequality, by comparison, occurred during a period of near-idyllic stability. Unlike Russia, the re-jiggerings of US political and economic institutions to favor the wealthy weren’t by accident. They were deliberate, voter-approved choices.

Posted by: donkeytale | Sep 30 2018 16:51 utc | 16

russia's inequality was a very predictable byproduct of the neoliberals coming in and setting up a system where the oligarch's could prosper. the disastrous economic failures of the neoliberal policies made some people a lot of money, and led to putin's rise.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Sep 30 2018 16:55 utc | 17

17 Which would be half bad if they spent it in their country instead of places like Spain.

There is complete Russian silence on the Spanish investigation. Caused I suppose by Putin enjoying courts making the West unsafe for Russian capital.

The Spanish investigation is amazing in its scope - and highly politicised.

panish prosecutors have also ascertained the existence of apparent connections between Reznik and Herman Gref, the current CEO and chairman of Russia’s Sberbank. The list of figures named in the Spanish authorities’ indictment also includes such well-known persons as Ilya Taber (a member of the Vyborg OPG), Anatoly Serdyukov (the former minister of defense of Russia), Viktor Zubkov (former Russian prime minister), Boris Gryzlov (former speaker of the Russian parliament) and Leonid Reiman (former minister of communications and information technologies of Russia and a financial tycoon) (, February 19, 2018).

According to Spanish officials, Petrov was closely related to Reznik, whose main responsibilities boiled down to the “corruption of high officials [and] obtaining of classified information in the highest Russian governmental bodies and agencies.” Case materials additionally mention 78 telephone conversations between Petrov and Nikolay Akulov, the former deputy chief of the Federal Drug Control Service of the Russian Federation, who is also wanted by Spanish prosecutors (, March 31, 2016). On top of that, case materials detail the rapid career growth of Alexander Bastrykin (the head of the Investigative Committee of Russia), allegedly thanks to Petrov’s “advocacy” on his behalf (, December 2, 2015). Petrov, in turn, was acting through the former top-ranking official from the Investigative Committee of Russia, Igor Sobolevsky (, November 30, 2015).

Skripal was in Spain when all this investment was taking place. However,"Spanish and British officials are adamant that Skripal was not providing information in any specific investigation to Madrid."

Posted by: somebody | Sep 30 2018 17:11 utc | 18

donkey's tale stinks

Quartz values:

Quartz was created for a “post-national” readership: people who are curious about the world far beyond themselves, reject nationalist ideology, and believe that all cultures play a vital role in the global economy.

donkey thinks we are stoopid.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 30 2018 17:22 utc | 19

thanks b for the many engaging posts this week..

what's the head space of not just this jackass ryan zinke, that @2 harry points out, but also jim jeffery usa special rep to syria? to quote him : "we will make it our business to make life as miserable as possible..." jesus... what is with the usa and it's sick culture??

@11 donkeytale.. thanks.. regarding your @16 - ditto @17 pretzelattack comment to you.. read up on the transition team - harvard university and etc, who wanted to re-create the same bullshit they had going in the usa, which led to this same oligarch crap that the west jokingly uses to try to clobber russia over the head with.. the west were responsible for helping put it in place in the first place..

Posted by: james | Sep 30 2018 17:26 utc | 20

@4 Anton

Love me some Chipnik posts! If only for the whimsy and obscure references.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Sep 30 2018 17:30 utc | 21

James, I totally get it but the point is they are all operating within the same global system for the same purpose with the same result....and forgive me for saying I notice Putin kind've right in the middle of it all....standing on the neoliberal sideline with his pockets overflowing also. Piketty:

Where has the money gone? According to our estimates, the offshore assets alone held by wealthy Russians exceed one year of GDP, or the equivalent of the entirety of the official financial assets held by Russian households. In other words, the natural wealth of the country, (which, let it be said in passing, would have done better to remain in the ground to limit global warming) has been massively exported abroad to sustain opaque structures enabling a minority to hold huge Russian and international financial assets. These rich Russians live between London, Monaco and Moscow: some have never left Russia and control their country via offshore entities. Numerous intermediaries and Western firms have also recouped large crumbs on the way and continue to do so today in sport and the media (sometimes this is referred to as philanthropy). The extent of the misappropriation of funds has no equal in history

Posted by: donkeytale | Sep 30 2018 17:38 utc | 22

yeah james i know, it was just another variant on the neoliberals wrecking chile. that wasn't an accident, either.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Sep 30 2018 17:44 utc | 23

@22 dt.. maybe you'd like to adopt the same position as psychohistorian on finances then? i agree with psychohistorian and his many comments on finance, regardless if it be in the west or russia.. i will say though that the west under the usa leadership continues to use financial sanctions and the leverage the usa has thanks the international systems put in place after ww2... that is something to ponder.. why are these financial sanctions happening and why is their is inequality on an international level? the war we are headed towards is about changing that.. at this point might makes right, and some continue to want to support this unequal system..

Posted by: james | Sep 30 2018 17:46 utc | 24

The success of any economic attack (sanctions) is dependent obviously on group participation. There are indications of a lack of enthusiasm for this go round. Concurrent with this ennui, market makers China and Russia strengthen trade relationships with everyone except the USA. There is BRICS; there are new bridges, pipelines and rail systems.

Sanctions: When "The West" breaks a nation state, the MIC and the Multinationals corps get to plunder it for fun and profit. (Also makes for inexpensive, young prostitutes and cocaine. They love their hookers and blow.)

Israel pursues the Yinon Plan for Greater Israel.

Posted by: fast freddy | Sep 30 2018 18:16 utc | 25

donkey thinks we're stoopid.

@22: they are all operating within the same global system
Really? Then why did Russia have to construct its own SWIFT system? Why has Russia been sanctioned for bogus reasons time and time again? Why do we have a trade war with China?

Quotes Pikkerty: the natural wealth of [Russia],... has been massively exported abroad
The wealth was plundered. That is well known.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 30 2018 18:27 utc | 26

@27 jackrabbit.. alternatively donkeytale is stupid, lol..

Posted by: james | Sep 30 2018 18:33 utc | 27

On another news, it seems the new Pakistani PM capitulated to the West:

Pakistan Raises Interest Rate to Highest in Three Years Amid IMF Talks

Posted by: vk | Sep 30 2018 18:41 utc | 28

james @ 24

Yes, I agree with you economic sanctions are totally irresponsible and a sign of the decaying US having no clue how to sort out the world geopolitically except a hamfisted as possibe. Economic sanctions have political cosnequences but also cause economic hardship which creates tension and hatred. The US has a constantly changing roster of politically appointed diplomats none of whom can hold a candle to the seasoned professionals with lifetime appointments based on talent such as Lavrov and of course Putin, both of whom are impressively skilled.

I don't agree we are heading towards a war because of sanctions or anything else. I'm more optimistic on this point. War in the current geopolitical environment doesn't make any sense. I don't see a trigger.

One byproduct of globalism is there is less reason for any major economy to seek war because the risk of catastrophic system collapse in our fragile postmodern world far outweighs the profiteering opportunities available to the elites.

Posted by: donkeytale | Sep 30 2018 18:46 utc | 29


Use of wahhabi jihadists began in the late seventies in Afghanistan. From there they were shipped to the Russian Caucasus in the mid nineties to assist with the breakup of the Russian federation.
The petro dollar hegemony began with the discovery of oil at Prudhoe bay in the late sixties.
False flags are a proud American tradition virtually since its inception.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 30 2018 18:55 utc | 30

"Why do we have a trade war with China?" I had read somewhere, that tariffs were a way to replace money lost due too 'tax breaks'? For the record I understand the point you were making to donkey.
Could the 'trade war' be like bailing the banks(paying off the mortgages) out and allowing banks to still collect on the mortgages? Like Michael Hudson suggests, also just because Russia has a work around to SWIFT does not mean it isn't in league with western oligarchs. A replacement to SWIFT would be needed once America becomes broken in the same way USSR was in the 80's no?

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Sep 30 2018 19:10 utc | 31

Looked through the past several days worth of comments and found none about Lavrov's UNGA speech and afterwards presser. Unfortunately, Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has yet to provide a complete transcript, although this one's likely 80% complete. The video provided is complete; Lavrov says quite a lot in his 15 minutes! I think Lavorv's opening recap of the global situation is what I'll provide as an excerpt:

"Today, we are witnesses to a collision of two opposing trends. On the one hand, the polycentric principles of the world order are growing stronger and new economic growth centers are taking shape. We can see nations striving to preserve their sovereignty and to choose the development models that are consistent with their ethnic, cultural and religious identity. On the other hand, we see the desire of a number of Western states to retain their self-proclaimed status as “world leaders” and to slow down the irreversible move toward multipolarity that is objectively taking place. To this end, anything goes, up to and including political blackmail, economic pressure and brute force.

"Such illegal actions devalue international law, which lies at the foundation of the postwar world order. We hear loud statements not only calling into question the legal force of international treaties, but asserting the priority of self-serving unilateral approaches over resolutions adopted by the UN.

"We are witnessing the rise of militant revisionism with regard to the modern international legal system. The basic principles of the Middle East settlement process, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on the Iranian nuclear programme, commitments under the World Trade Organisation, the multilateral climate agreement, and much more are under attack.

"Our Western colleagues seek to replace the rule of law in international affairs with some “rules-based order.” These rules, which are made up as political expediency dictates, are a clear case of double standards. Unjustified accusations of interference in the domestic affairs of particular countries are made while simultaneously engaging in an open campaign to undermine and topple democratically elected governments. They seek to draw certain countries into military alliances built to suit their own needs, against the will of the people of those countries, while threatening other states with punishment for exercising freedom of choice in their partners and allies." [My emphasis]

It's unfortunate Lavrov's closing remarks failed to be included in the linked transcript, but can be read/listened to in video, as he invokes Truman in his dig at the Outlaw US Empire, which is responsible for causing the transgressions I bolded above.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 30 2018 19:14 utc | 32

Russia has not come on board Trump's global energy dominance plan so the days of Trump wanting better relations with Russia may be nearly over.
The Russian layered air defense for Syria should be up and running within a week or two.
Deadline to separate the UN designated terrorist groups in Idlib, two weeks. Lavrov says they must be eliminated or stand trial. No green buses.
Trump's deadline for the Iran sanctions, five weeks. I think it will be around this time or shortly after that Trump will publicly turn on Russia. Either for or against.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 30 2018 19:17 utc | 33


Charmless, graceless and crude.
Ignorant, obnoxious and rude.
Bombastic, boorish and crass,
A bumptious stupid ass.

Does the above sound like you?
If so, there's a job you could do.
Go to US dot gov and then
Apply for a post at the UN.

Posted by: Willie Wobblestick | Sep 30 2018 19:30 utc | 34

@Tannenhouser: Do you mean to say that Micael Hudson suggested that Russia is in league with western oligarchs? Is that what Michael Hudson said?

Posted by: Truth Finder | Sep 30 2018 19:33 utc | 35

It is interesting also that The US (and other Western Powers) allied with and used Muslims in Yugoslavia. These were posited as the good guy victims in need of Humanitarian Intervention by carpet bombing the Orthodox Christian Serbs. Of course the Muslims were financed and equipped as freedom fighters. TV, Radio stations and hospitals with workers in them, were destroyed in this humanitarian intervention.

Now it is a mishmash of small broken states with US Military bases located in them. One of the largest bases is Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo. Named for Vietnam War Medal of Honor recipient United States Army Staff Sergeant James L. Bondsteel, the name reminds one of a character from Dr. Strangelove (Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love The Bob).

The once successful socialist nation was broken and partitioned and looted by Multinational Corps and Western Banks.

The destruction of that country took years in the making. Reagan admin instituted the first round of sanctions. It became ripe for the taking after Tito died and the USSR was in chaos.

While each successive admin piled on, Bill Clinton got to be the point man for the prolonged attacks. Interestingly, Hillary takes credit for urging Bill to bomb civilian population centers.

A precurser to "We Came, We saw, He died...HAHAHAHHAHA).

Posted by: fast freddy | Sep 30 2018 19:38 utc | 36

The leadership of Iraq is very good news. God bless them all in the future!

Posted by: juliania | Sep 30 2018 21:14 utc | 37

Gorbachev is back.

Gorbachev also pointed out that he had "advocated Russia’s unconditional right to an independent and active foreign policy, and defended the country from unfounded criticism and allegations about imperial ambitions and aggressive plans." He also regrets the West’s persistent habit "of blaming everything on Russia instead of impartially assessing emerging issues."

"Some in the Western media are obsessed with anti-Russian stereotypes. Criticism of our real issues is becoming indiscriminate," Gorbachev said, adding that he would "use every opportunity to counter this trend."

Posted by: somebody | Sep 30 2018 21:16 utc | 38

Ryan Zinke: Naval blockade is an option for dealing with Russia

"The United States has that ability, with our Navy, to make sure the sea lanes are open, and, if necessary, to blockade ... to make sure that their energy does not go to market."

The insanity never stops.   So, if you can't beat your competitors, then resort to violence?   SMH.

Posted by: Ian | Sep 30 2018 21:34 utc | 39

Ninel @ 5:

Let's get this straight: out of all the people in Beryozovka the BBC interviewed, they could only find one woman (who, conveniently, asks to remain anonymous) who tells them what they want to hear. They ignore everyone else who do not recognise the fellow in the photograph.

This is a standard of "research" that should be tossed into the household rubbish.

We would expect this garbage of Eliot Higgins / Bellingcat but the BBC should know better.

Posted by: Jen | Sep 30 2018 21:35 utc | 40

Harry Law @ 2:

If US Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke ever decides to throw away his day job, I suggest he consider stand-up comedy as a second career.

To keep the sea lanes open, the US has to ... blockade them?

Posted by: Jen | Sep 30 2018 21:39 utc | 41

3 years ago today the Russian Federation started its intervention in Syria. Here, Olie Richardson tells us about his views on the IL-20 downing affair and how its repercussions contribute to an emerging Multi Polar World,
"a transition away from “buying" the ability to wage war and prop up one’s economy, to cooperation and the mutual investment in economies, based on a joint vision of the future." A threadreader link well worth perusing:

Posted by: Lozion | Sep 30 2018 22:04 utc | 42

@Posted by: Lozion | Sep 30, 2018 6:04:41 PM | 47

Yes, but, along with all those well intentioned wishes with which it dresses itself,my problem with that article by Ollie Richardson is that it expands in a tendence what we observed after the downing of the IL-20 at The Saker ( and main patrons/owners commenting in the comments section ) where the article has been also published, say, the intent of exculpating Israel, and not only, but also includes another intent on blaming "Girkin"/Strelkov for the war in Donbass....trying to whitwash the very ATO itself....

Enough for me to suspect that this guy, Richardson, could weel be another US spook...since he pretends to be such well informed reseacher..

Posted by: Sasha | Sep 30 2018 22:17 utc | 43

"How is Melania feeling about this?"

I fear that Melania´s feelings, or for that matter those of any other woman, list very low in Trump´s list of priorities, as the Kavanaugh case has proven. The same could be said for all those old intelligence officials of such highest IQ out there talking about this issue for weeks already and their believed general tendence of women to lie...with all what is happening in the world.... in Syria, and even at the UNGA, they continue to talk exclusively about this, and other irrelevant local issues....
One would say that they try hard to spread a veil over reality....precisely when it seems that war is really coming....

Posted by: Sasha | Sep 30 2018 22:25 utc | 44

Tannenhouser @31:

"Why do we have a trade war with China?
Well, my friend, it's very simple. The US became aware that China wanted to contest for world leadership. About the same time, Russia was denying the Empire's regime change operations in Ukraine and Syria.

So USA issued a proclamation (of sorts) called the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which said that Russia and China are "recidivist nations". "Recidivist", derived from the word "recede", essentially means "moving backward". In USA view, these countries want to go back (in time) to world where the USA-led Empire wasn't so powerful that it could be considered 'hegemonic': so strong that no one dare challenge it.

Labeling Russia and China 'recividist' was code for "enemy". USA and her fascist, zionist, wahabbi allies don't want a shared, 'multi-polar' world, they want full control to exploit people and natural resources.

That's why we have a trade war. Because China and her allies are contending for global power and USA is trying to bring the dragon to heel. This has nothing to do with bailing out banks.

A replacement to SWIFT would be needed once America becomes broken in the same way USSR was in the 80's no?
No. Russia felt the need to create their own SWIFT when USA threatened to terminate Russia's access to SWIFT. SWIFT, or a SWIFT-like system is vital for international trade and investment. Cutting off Russia access could have crippled the Russian economy. Russia was forced to create an alternative because they faced an unacceptable risk.

Some people in Europe are now talking about creating a European SWIFT for much the same reason.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 30 2018 22:25 utc | 45

Sasha @52

Do you think the leadership of the Democrat Party care any more for women than Trump?

The flimsy, salacious allegations that they have put forward masks real issues surrounding the Kavanaugh nomination such as his support for the imperial presidency and his involvement in the Bush Administration's rendition and torture program. Most of his Bush-era records have been sealed. Why?

Democrats are complicit. And undermining MeToo is a bonus for them.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 30 2018 22:34 utc | 46

@50 Sasha

Ollie Richardson is a hard-working translator, and sometimes offers his analysis, which is usually pretty good, although I didn't agree with his latest that you refer to. Of all the people who pretend to be things - and we seem to be in an environment filled with them - I don't include him in that group.

Posted by: Grieved | Sep 30 2018 22:38 utc | 47

@50, I didnt know the article had been posted to the Saker. I rarely spend time there. My focus being on Syria, I will let others infirm/confirm Stelkov's role in the Donbas War. As for Israel, Ollie maintains -and he is right- that its constant striking of Syria, though illegal and full of hubris, is meaningless on a geostrategic level where the end game is Syria's survival. A survival now re-inforced with a serious deterrent, the S-300 complexes..

Posted by: Lozion | Sep 30 2018 22:38 utc | 48

Truthfinder at34. Whoa whoa whoa. No not at all. I was surmising it was maybe a 'double dip' like Hudson suggests the bailout was. Tax cuts take money away and Tariffs replace it, and it goes to the same spot essentially anyways.... the wealthy. Hope that clears up my thought...

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Sep 30 2018 23:04 utc | 49

JR@35. I think you have missed what my suggestion was. I hadn't heard of a 'european SWIFT' so thanks. Also I am aware of the official/perceived reason for Russian SWIFT. I will try again....

When the US dollar no longer holds the monopoly on trade transactions the US will then break up on the rocks so to speak as it sinks, (like the USSR) at this time mericanSWIFT will become moot, hence russianSWIFT/euSWIFT will matter more. It's a little like the chicken or the egg ? My suggestion is that it's not impossible that the same oligarchs that benefited when the USSR collapsed are now in a position to benefit when the USA does.....I realize that the dominant thought here is that russia stands with its allies against the failing hegemonic power of America, I don't strongly disagree... yet. Money talks and BS walks right? It's not like we don't have historical precedent that capitol plays both sides in conflict.
The people that swim in pools of gold coins are just as invested in russia as they are in the states IMO. I'm aware that this may not be probable.... at the same time it isn't impossible. Make sense?

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Sep 30 2018 23:36 utc | 50

@58...that is big....hopefully just like the JCPOA not being useless in spite of one bad faith signature...... the same for the UN, merica cannot decide unilaterally that international law doesn't matter to ALL countries just because it no longer does to them... it's long past time to relocate the worlds embassy anyways. Then again maybe this is a tipping point and we are now in our Jericho moment. Either way, don't leave.

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Sep 30 2018 23:56 utc | 51

@53/54 jackrabbit.. thank you for articulating all that...

@karlof1.. i really don't think b has anything out for you or your desire to post links.. and yes, i am generally interested in what you have to say or post, including what you mention @58..

this link has the larvov unga speech and a partial transcript.. see if it posts..

Posted by: james | Oct 1 2018 0:18 utc | 52

I have an idea. What if RT interview the "Salisbury tourist" Ruslan Boshirov and Colonel Anatoliy Chepiga - at the same time. Then we can make the determination on who is telling the truth. Not that it matters. We already know that the vindictive Putin clearly attempted to kill the traitor, Skripal.

Posted by: craigsummers | Oct 1 2018 0:55 utc | 53

"..."nationalism" is a sucker game promoted by capitalist oligarchs (yes, including both Trump and Putin among others) to play the emotions of those who feel "lost" by the failure of the global system for the very purpose of maintaining capitalist, oligarchic (or corporatist) control over the populace."
That is a very simplistic view, donkeytale, which is often attributed to Marx. In fact it was not his view.
Nationalism, in its proper sense, involves the idea that every nation, defined politically, is a community in which the first duty of government is to protect all its members from famine, disease, want of shelter and other prejudicial circumstances. It is not waving a flag at a football game but making sure that there are none homeless, hungry, unable to obtain needed assistance; none forgotten by the imagined community of the nation.

"If you were to say you agree in part but believe it in the best interest of the "loser" class to back Russia/China in order to bring down the "Empire" (Bevin's argument) I can respect that viewpoint. However, I believe it to be faulty for the reason that the global system will remain firmly in place whoever ascends to the "top" in terms of wealth (and China is already moving to the top but in concert with the US/EU who aren't going anywhere as long as the system remains). "

You clearly know little about the global system. The Empire has retained its basic shape for centuries. One of its characteristics is that it is maritime, its rulers project their power by controlling the sea lanes and dominating international trade and finance. The powers rivaling this Empire are primarily its victims, the losers in the international system. Their interest is to put an end to the system, which they could not replace if they tried. The means they are compelled to employ involve enrolling the great majority of the world's population to pursue their interests by asserting their sovereignties. The alternative to globalism, which is imperialism, is internationalism, the basis of which is a free association of nations.

Posted by: bevin | Oct 1 2018 1:08 utc | 54

Tannenhouser @59:

The people that swim in pools of gold coins are just as invested in russia ...
Who would that be? What is your evidence of these people? What are they invested in?

A few oligarchs got rich by looting Russian resources after the end of the Cold War. Many of them moved much their ill-gotten gains to London or other places. AFAICT this is a small community of ex-pats and their compatriots.

AFAICT, very very little of 'off-shore' wealth of the wealthiest people, which now stands at well over $50 trillion dollars (yes, trillion) is invested in Russia - and almost all of it would be from that small community (the few that know Russia and still have contacts there).

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 1 2018 1:11 utc | 55

donkeytale @ 10 said in part:"Yes, most definitely I believe the Russian and Chinese governments are just as complicit in this game as the US or the EU ruling classes. is this a conspiracy, yes but only in the sense that global capitalism itself is a class based conspiracy made easy by the advent of the internet."

Don't know why anyone would consider that "trolling". That's a definite possibility and probably as close to the truth as many things posted here.

Please, enough " food fights".

@ karlof1 I've tried many times to post Saker site info, and never been successful. Why? I have no clue, so I just move on.

@ jackrabbit: It's not the "democrat" party, it's the "democratic" party. You give your right leaning self away by using that rhetoric.

Posted by: ben | Oct 1 2018 1:19 utc | 56

P.S. Any poster here could be a troll. BFD, get over it, have your say, and move on.

Posted by: ben | Oct 1 2018 1:28 utc | 57

My impression is that the platform here is TypePad. I don't know what sets the moderation parameters, but I do know from what b tells us that moderation is a job of work for him - there actually are very bad comments that we never have to see, because they get held, and b deletes them.

I don't think any of us would knowingly put any extra work on b's shoulders, and I'm sure that the last thing he would want to do is send comments from valued regulars such as karlof1 to the moderation pile, making more work for himself and frustrating the discourse.

In recent months we've been able to post Saker links. Now that seems to have gone away again. Good to know. Last time I tried, we couldn't post unz without getting held. I'm not sure that there's any sinister intent behind any of this, but I simply don't know.

Maybe we should share our trigger domains from time to time, so no one loses their comment.

We've all lost comments here, I would guess. It's worth it. Well worth it.

Posted by: Grieved | Oct 1 2018 1:47 utc | 58

"As the Trump administration and its Israeli government ally continue their destabilization campaign against Iran, the EU, Russia, and China have reached a deal with Tehran that would shield financial transactions from newly reimposed U.S. sanctions. The U.S. has warned of “terrible consequences” for those defying its sanctions. Can Iran and the remaining nuclear deal…"

From TRNN;

Posted by: ben | Oct 1 2018 1:56 utc | 59

I havent read through all the comments and I will when time permits. I put myself on the spot here so am at fault or responsible shall we say for shortcomings in attempting to communicate complex ideas to which I most often fall short and cannot do justice. I did read Bevin who I admire and respect. In fact I respect most all the commenters at MoA very much even JR. Lol.

Bevin. My point about the way nationalism is ginned up by the elites to take advantage of us and manipulate our emotions on a visceral base level is akin to the old saw "socialism is for the rich, capitalism is for the rest of us."

Global wealth and its owners recognize a separate level of social and economic relations which transcend borders. The rest of us get to pledge allegiance to the flag.

Im not knocking nationalism per se, I'm resentful of the success of the rich in manipulating the non-rich through nationalist tropes, especially distressing to me is the ongoing and escalating abuse of so-called illegal immigrants who are dispossessed and desperately poor people like many of our own ancestors. Nationalism is the rationale. I know this is not new in American history which makes it more depressing but xenophobia causes this inhumane treatment and it is justified by a perverted sense of nationalism.

Posted by: donkeytale | Oct 1 2018 2:44 utc | 60

BBC again pushes the Zika party line.

Posted by: Johan Meyer | Oct 1 2018 2:47 utc | 61


The equivalency that donkeytale proposes is an attempt to muddy the waters. donkey draws you in based on a truism: ruling classes have ruled countries for centuries - and still do, even in Russia and China.

So should we have no preference for who prevails in the struggle for world governance? donkey hopes you will abandon any resistance to the Empire's hegemony. Your enslavement is guaranteed either way!

But the truism is misleading. The equivalency is deceptive. It's the USA-led Empire that is on top and seeks to remain there permanently - that supremacy is non-negotiable. Until Russia and China submit, there will be conflict of one kind or another.

And it's the USA and Western allies that make common cause with Fascists, Zionists, and Wahhabi to ensure victory at all costs. Is that who we want ruling over us?

It seems rather clear that without an external enemy, the ruling classes of ANY country or group of countries have no need for a middle class or anything like democracy. As soon total global control is achieved, there would be no restraint on the powerful and their cronies. We are on the cusp of dystopia either way, but there seems more hope in a multi-polar world.

It's donkey's neo-liberal views, exceptionalist outlook, and slyly pro-Empire comments that I object to. I call this "drinking the Kool-Aid" because it matches the views of most well-off Americans (and Europeans?). But it's this donkey that has come here to wag his stinky 'tale'.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 1 2018 2:47 utc | 62



On some issues I might lean more right, on others more left. I think establishment Democrats and Republicans form a duopoly that makes democracy a sham. For that reason, using "Democrat" is appealing. But I think you're right that I should avoid that term so as not to be mistaken as being something I'm not.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 1 2018 2:57 utc | 63

jackrabbit: I, like you, have many opinions, some go "left" some go "right". But, I surely don't fear any opinions, or subjects, broached here at MoA. None of us really know who the "trolls" are, so, for me, its enough to know they exist, and either ignore them, or post some relevant source, with a message I agree with, that may resonate with someone. " food fights" detract from the conversation, and for posters who are more articulate than most of us, I consider it beneath them.

The battle against this "evil empire" is much too important, for any poster here to change my personal convictions, but never the less should be considered.

Thanks for your thoughtful replies:)

Posted by: ben | Oct 1 2018 3:26 utc | 64

In The Republic Plato came with the idea that here are the *tyrants*,
and there are the *oligarchs*. These forces are continually fighting each other.

And there are the plebes who are recruited to one or the other's cause. I think that
at-most the plebes eke out a win one-time-in-twenty; if I had to guess, the new government
installed, over all the Centuries until now, lasted on the average as little as twenty-one days.
Otherwise, the gargantuan struggle of evil-against-evil continues and so humanity advances.

Posted by: Guerrero | Oct 1 2018 3:47 utc | 65

G @76 said:"In The Republic Plato came with the idea that here are the *tyrants*,
and there are the *oligarchs*. These forces are continually fighting each other."

I totally disagree with Plato, on the contrary, I believe they're continually supporting one another.

Good old Adolph had the support of most of the wealthiest corporatists in Germany, who enabled him at every turn.

Posted by: ben | Oct 1 2018 4:23 utc | 66


I have posted many times similar sentiments , that in fact its the global elites who are the driving force for many of these global conflicts , and neoliberal policies at home which transfer wealth from the lower classes to the elites.

Income inequality is as high in Russia and China as the US and UK/EU. China has more billionaires than the US and most are in the ruling CCP (congress has 0 billionaires, although Trump is one thanks to FSU/Russian oligarchs who bought his property)

The power structure is definitely global. This is not to say elites dont need to protect their home turf no matter how global they may be, and no doubt their are factions of the elites who favor Russia and China over US and elsewhere and vice versa.

However, they have a common ideology and work under the same global system. What may be happening now is the elites are using Trump to discredit a US centric system and make it more regional. Zbig Brzezinski said the Planned global government would be a republic of 10 or so regions (not his exact words)

I Watched 1984 recently for the first time (of course I had read the book several times) . Goldstein said, "we are not at war with Eurasia (russia) or Eastasia (china) they just want you to believe so in order to channel your aggressions elsewhere
Your enemy is the party (elite). “

“The war (fake) is not meant to be won, its meant to be continuous.”

History is rewritten and truth is sent down the memory hole.Your TV can spy on you.In 1984 words mean the opposite (double think like “War on Terror” means creating Terrorism).

Sound familiar?

Interesting how fictions (or frauds ) like 1984 (and the Protocols ) become so prophetic. Perhaps because they are plans of the elite made public which are becoming reality.

In any event, I cant help but see these conflicts between Russia, China and US/UK/lsrael/EU fake conflicts. The oligarchs in each country that control government have too much at stake and in common to risk a real war. Yet the fake conflicts help keep them in power at home (eg Russian plane being shot down after unfavorable election results and declining popularity of Putin due to pension reforms).

What a coincidence that the Soviet Union and Chinese elites gave up their austerity (socialism) and adopted capitalism (albeit with Chinese characteristics in Chinas case)at the same time was a coincidence? Or that the Maastricht Treaty was signed at the time commiting the EU down a neoliberal and fascist path. In all 3 regions we have seen increasing income/wealth inequality to match the US

It seems to me that the finishing touches were put on the NWO in the early 1990's and the only war being fought is between the somewhat united global elites and the rest of us, not to mention the war (Crusades) against the Muslim World . That war also began in the early 90's with the invasion of Iraq and sustained bombing and sanctions for the next decade before the fake GWOT expanded the war this century

Of course, none of us know anything for sure, just trying to make sense of it all at the risk ad hominem attacks.

Posted by: Pft | Oct 1 2018 4:26 utc | 67

I totally disagree with Plato

Plato did not express this concept as if were the *truth*.
For one, it was a character in the dialog who made the comment,
Please don't give old Plato grief! Typical of the socratic-dialog
approach to understanding (understanding by discovery), an idea
is assayed more as if it were a fleet verb, than as a stodgy noun.

Posted by: Guerrero | Oct 1 2018 5:00 utc | 68

Pft @ 78: Damn good synopsis... Not holding my breath while the common folk unite, because we're sure as hell not going to "elect" anyone who'll change this system. I would like to live long enough to see the pendulum swing back towards a real democracy, if in fact, we've ever had one.

Posted by: ben | Oct 1 2018 5:01 utc | 69

Ptf @78

In some ways, I'd actually prefer it if your theory that the world's oligarch's are working closely together was real. At least it would mean that there was no real possibility that Humanity would commit species suicide because one of those oligarch controlled nations started World War 3 by attacking another oligarch controlled nation. Sensible, rational oligarchs would work together for their mutual profit, right? If the problem of Global climate change is real, then these logical oligarchs would be working together to make sure it didn't destroy the global civilization they mutually controlled, right? If they are capable of deceiving 99% of the world's population for decades, they'd be capable of making other long term plans as well, right? So surely they wouldn't allow the destruction of thousands of other species, because they would know that would be incredibly short-sighted, and would prevent them from profiting from all those species, right?
But unfortunately, I don't find your theory that all the world's elites are capable and willing to work together very plausible. Greedy megalomaniacs in a desperate struggle for power don't really seem likely to be able to put their individual ambitions on hold long enough to work together. And I don't even buy your theory that oligarchs control all nations equally. I suspect that, for instance, the existence of the Chinese Communist party means the Chinese government has far more power over wealthy Chinese than the US government has over US oligarchs.

Posted by: Glenn Brown | Oct 1 2018 5:07 utc | 70

Fucking anarchists. Wealth across the board has risen in both China and Russia.
The biggest problem any sovereign nation today faces is the cost of defense.
All anarchists should be shipped off to Libya.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 1 2018 5:13 utc | 71

What was the wage inequality in Russia in the nineties.. prior to Putin coming to power.
Around six or so oligarchs owned most of Russia's wealth.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 1 2018 5:20 utc | 72

When it came to defense, ideological communism did not work. Soviet Union collapsed and China evolved. Russia since 2000 and China from earlier have evolved to be better able to defend themselves against the five-eyes empire.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 1 2018 5:25 utc | 73

@ Glenn Brown who wrote:"I suspect that, for instance, the existence of the Chinese Communist party means the Chinese government has far more power over wealthy Chinese than the US government has over US oligarchs."

I agree and thanks for that confirmation.

On the issue of the S300 system being rolled out in Syria, I am linking to this ZH posting with the below ending quote
With the introduction of the the S-500 pending, one can imagine the sleepless nights being spent by those in the Pentagon and Lockheed Martin’s headquarters worrying about the possibility of an F-35 being taken down by an S-300 system manufactured in 1969.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Oct 1 2018 5:28 utc | 74

Then there is this ZH posting that scares the shit out of me.

Erik Prince is proposing privatizing the war in Afghanistan.

Think about that on a number of levels.

1. The US public being on the hook for paying for whatever this would cost...before the lawsuits.

2. The US military having to backstop private military stupidity or similar direction from ??? doing God's work I am sure.

3. At what point does the US public pay for these private forces to be used on themselves?

4. At what point does this private military outgrow the nation's militaries and the New World Order is complete?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Oct 1 2018 5:44 utc | 75

@81 glenn brown.. thanks for your comment.. i see it more like you articulate.. thanks..

Posted by: james | Oct 1 2018 5:46 utc | 76

psychohistorian 88

Prince has been advocating that for some time. Do these private militaries have the tech of Russia China..
Sit back and enjoy the fall of the empire. (not that I sit back)

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 1 2018 5:51 utc | 77

kudos to the austrians for stating what they do here - almasdarnews... compare that to the line from the usa jackass jim jeffrey "we will make it our business to make life as miserable as possible...." fill in the blanks with any country that doesn't bow down in servitude to the exceptional whackjob nation..

Posted by: james | Oct 1 2018 6:00 utc | 78

Let me add a happy 69th anniversary to China as it celebrates on October 1 the founding of the Peoples Republic of China.

You can read more about it at this link

The take away quote:
Premier Li Keqiang addressed the reception while Vice Premier Han Zheng presided over the reception.

Li said that China will firmly uphold rule-based multilateralism and promote opening-up on a higher level.

While safeguarding its own development interest, China will open wider to share development opportunities and progresses with other countries, Li said.

Noting that this year marks the 40th anniversary of China's reform and opening-up, Li said nothing would undermine the country's resolve to push forward reform and opening-up.

He said China will continue to comprehensively deepen reform and unleash and develop productive forces under the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Oct 1 2018 6:31 utc | 79

@ psychohistorian 92

Spread your wings a little and add private monopoly to private finance.
Like your post @92

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 1 2018 6:49 utc | 80

psychohistorian 92

You really must be jocking . China has become the ultimate technocratic Imperialist tyranny . The great - countervalence - is that she is the biggest horse in the race for resources and markets struggling with greedycompetitors .
Any intelligent student of Lenin's ' Imperialism as the Highest Stage of Capitalism ' cannot look upon China without seeing another revolutionary integuement fast approaching !

Posted by: ashley albanese | Oct 1 2018 7:39 utc | 81

Dear b, I have been waiting for an open thread to post a question about the recent Turkish-Russian Idlib agreement and its consequences for Syria.

I am a left-wing anti-imperialist. The imperialist Neocon agenda has recently destroyed Iraq and Lybia like so many countries in the past. For this reason I am sympathetic to the Syrian-Russian-Iranian alliance, since, regrettably, military force seems to be the only way to roll back the imperialists and head-chopping Islamists. I am also appalled by the way the mainstream Western media have unconditionally supported the bloodthirsty Western warmongering narrative. That's why the work of commentators like you is so valuable.

I haven't seen many analyses of the recent Idlib agreement. Personally I was dismayed when I read about it. I would like to know what other people think.

How is the agreement not effectively turning over a chunk of Syrian territory to Turkish control for the foreseeable future?? The Turkish military seem to have every intention of holding on to the territory they occupy in Northern Syria. Recent reports (eg in SouthFront) suggest they are trying to mold the Islamic militias there into a unified force under Turkish control. It is obvious they will reward cooperating militias with weapons, ammunition, funding, medical attention and power. The longer the Turkish army stays in Idlib, the tighter their grip will become.

Regaining its territorial integrity is an essential goal for the Syrian government. The Idlib agreement signals that, given enough external pressure (in this case, the threat of massive intervention after a staged 'chemical attack'), the Syrian government and its allies are ready to cave in and accept a partition of the country. How does this not massively weaken the position of the Syrian-Russian-Iranian alliance for the future?? Now the Americans will have reason to believe they can hold on to Eastern Syria (and to any more Syrian territory they may capture in the future).

How is this not a total betrayal of the Syrian population who live in those areas, and who will now have to either leave as refugees or live under control of the militias and/or the Turkish occupation forces, who care nothing about them and have zero interest in investing into restoring basic public services, healthcare, a functioning administration etc?? (and this for the foreseeable future, with no mechanism in sight that I know of to restore the unity of the country?)

How is this not totally wasting the momentum the SAA had developed on the ground?? The Islamists were on the run. They had surrendered most or all of SW Syria without a fight because they knew they'd be defeated if they resisted. Their morale seems to have been at an all-time low. Now they will regain their confidence, thinking that the SAA and its allies won't attack them in their base in Idlib because if they do there will be another 'chemical attack' and the Western allies will intervene. Now the Islamists know the Syrian-Russian alliance doesn't have the stomach for that scenario.

Even worse, are the Islamists going to stay still? I don't think so. They are likely to reinfiltrate the rest of the country from their secure bases. They may not try to physically regain territory (because that would break the letter of the agreement and give the SAA an excuse to counterattack), but now they feel protected by the Turks and the Americans they are free to send commandos to carry out guerrilla warfare, sabotage, assassinations etc throughout Syria. No Syrian citizen will feel safe while the Islamists have a secure base in the country.

And does anyone believe the Turkish government has any intention of stopping the militias from carrying out violent actions within Syria??

How is this not going to massively demoralise the SAA and the Syrian people?? All observers agreed that the country would be free of Islamists in a few months. On the contrary, the Syrian government has now accepted the permanent presence of an Islamist enclave in Syria, complete with a formal agreement and a deescalation zone which means that if the SAA and its allies resume the offensive into Idlib in the future they'll be breaking the agreement they've committed to themselves. This would be a massive hit to their credibility. Like the Ukrainians in the Donbass, the Islamists are now free to cause havoc throughout Syria in any way they can short of openly crossing the deescalation zone.

If, as suggested, Russian soldiers patrol the highways inside Idlib, they might as well have targets tattooed on their foreheads. I really, really wouldn't like to be them or their relatives.

What appears to have happened is that the Syrian-Russian-Iranian alliance believed the Western threat to launch a massive intervention in Syria, under cover of a 'chemical attack', if the SAA carried out the expected offensive in Idlib. So, to rob the Americans of an excuse, they sold off Idlib to the Turks. Whilst I can understand the Russian concern that if the Western allies did attack the consequences could be disastrous (including World War III), how is this not a massive betrayal of the people of Syria??

Furthermore, how does this not massively embolden the enemies of Syria to step up the diplomatic and military aggression?? They know now that the Syrian-Russian-Iranian alliance will blink first. How does this not spell the end of any attempts to restore the unity of Syria under a legitimate government and an effective administration??

How does this not condemn a part of the Syrian people to live in warlord-ruled fiefdoms for the foreseeable future??

Sorry for the long and bleak post, but I feel these questions have to be asked.


Posted by: Conselldetretze71 | Oct 1 2018 7:58 utc | 82

Re: Posted by: Conselldetretze71 | Oct 1, 2018 3:58:53 AM | 95

I'm afraid you are sadly deluded sir!!

The Turks have no hope of holding onto Idlib. The Turks will soon be forced out of their unsustainable occupation of Idlib, just a they will soon be forced out of their illegal occupation of Cyprus, just like the Israelis will soon be forced out of their occupation of the Golan Heights and West Bank, and the Americans will soon be forced out of European straps such as Germany & Italy, and Asian dependencies such as Korea & Japan.

These sort of occupations are unsustainable and will soon end.

Posted by: Julian | Oct 1 2018 9:11 utc | 83

NBC Cuts Off Kanye West's Speech Accusing MSM of Bullying Over Trump Support

Posted by: Zanon | Oct 1 2018 11:03 utc | 84

JR. If you think it was russians only that benefited..... fine I won't argue. I do disagree however.
Browder comes to mind. AFAIK the small group that left became at odds with putin when he suggested they kept the money mostly at home, the other oligarchs are still there and they profited and are profiting immensely. When the US crashes on the rocks they and their global profit prophet partners will again be swimming in gold:) what are they invested in you ask....... well JR they are invested in increasing the depth of their swimming pools imo

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Oct 1 2018 11:14 utc | 85


1. Deleted several comments by "Greece" and some other newcomers for proffering outright stupid theories. I prefer this blog to stay serious.

2. Deleted several one-liners by "Peter AU 1". Peter, posting five or more one liners in a row (some of them irrelevant rants) clutters up the comments.

3. Deleted several comments related to "block sites".

4. The spam protection software use by the blog provider catches some 50 or so MoA comments per day. These comments land in a queue which I clean up manually at least once per day.

Most of the caught comments ARE spam (or by commentators I blocked for obvious racism or other sensible reasons.) There are also a few words I have explicitly blocked. Links to other sites are NOT blocked.

Some comments by regular posters may get caught in the queue. I have no influence over that but I will release those comments when I review the queue.


Reposting the same comment over and over because it did
not show up immediately will only increase the mess in the spam queue. It increases my workload as it will take longer to clean it up. This has nothing to do with "blocked sites".

Posted by: b | Oct 1 2018 12:21 utc | 86

Your boy Trump again shows his true Neocon colors selecting and pushing Brett Kavanaugh for the SC.

Bush Rove Kavanaugh

On another note, Trump's infatuation with Kim and his crazy statement that they fell in love is a product of his obsession with Obama's Nobel prize. Not to be upstaged by his arch-nemesis Trump will humiliate himself to get Kim to start giving up his nukes so he can get the Nobel prize too. All the while, he's hypocritically trying to incite hostility with Iran. It's all about his gigantic ego and Kim is probably laughing that Trump would stupidly believe that playing to Kim's ego is going to make him give up the security he has and Iran doesn't. Trump insults everyone's intelligence thinking any serious leader will fall for his bullshit words.

Posted by: Circe | Oct 1 2018 12:32 utc | 87

OK, after reading through the comments I will revise my implied equivalency of the major powers and exempt China....their system is different than the US, EU and Russia, however they do profiteth mightily from the global capitalist framework....and do not seem to be playing the "nationalism" card to the same extent as especially Russia, the Trumpist US or Great Brexit.

Peter AU 1 - I can only infer from your comment against the "anarchists" that you are a globalist then, since the rising living standards in China and Russia are inextricbly linked to their participation in the global markets.

Yes, JR and James, US economic sanctions are unwise, hamfisted and seriously overdone, revealing a lack of diplomatic ideas/agility (nothing new in the US where diplomats are selected purely for partisan domestic political reasons rather than skill) and an inability to transcend this lack of skills and longterm vision (Hillary? Kerry? Pompeo? Bolton? Haley?) to come up with anything other than wielding an economic truncheon on those countries and their suffering plebes when the US establishment disfavors their leaders for whatever reason.

Tariffs are not popular in the US except among Trump and some of is his base (mainly the ones who don't understand or care about the pitfalls of sanctions, including the Donald himself)...and should be viewed as a one-off, not as the strategic will of the US political establishment. Tariff-making (or threatening as it were) will be *poof!* gone as soon as voters figure out a way to minimize, if not eliminate, the power of Trumpism.

Posted by: donkeytale | Oct 1 2018 12:34 utc | 88

"pitfalls of tariffs" not "sanctions."

Posted by: donkeytale | Oct 1 2018 12:36 utc | 89

Pft @ 67

Thank you. I think the issue is the political structures of countries are out of synch with the economic reality that capital moves freely (and at lightening speed) and the wealthy take advantage of the internet far more than bloggers (Lol) for their own enrichment, not to mention also the heinous tax havens (thanks for that Great Brexit) where inequality incubates, grows and spreads regardless of any nation's attempts to recover the taxes necessary to benefit society at large.

Posted by: donkeytale | Oct 1 2018 12:51 utc | 90


Yes, Erdogan wants Idleb.
No, he will not get it.

The current solution was found to avoid an attack by F-UK-US against the Syrian government. That danger will likely be over after the November elections in the U.S.

Posted by: b | Oct 1 2018 12:53 utc | 91

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 1, 2018 1:13:45 AM | 71

Relax. Anarchy means different things to different people, and can manifest in many positive ways. I live in the 3rd world, where anarchy amongst mostly responsible people prevails, and is what keeps the peace. In fact for the most part I consider your government fascist, as I do China and almost all well-heeled capitalist nations.
Local governance by communities which actually do give a shit about each other and ignore the police and/or government can be heaven to live in.
Give me a choice between an Orwellian future and an anarchistic one, Im going for the latter every time.

Posted by: dan | Oct 1 2018 13:06 utc | 92

Ben @ 56

Appreciate your viewpoint. Unpopular opinions aren't necessarily trolling and frankly my long experience holds nothing organic grows in an echo chamber.

Posted by: donkeytale | Oct 1 2018 13:19 utc | 93

Re. the thread about the Repub. report that acknowleges ‘climate change’, Trump himself, as an individual, believes in climate change.

He requested permission to build a wall to protect one of ‘his’ golf courses from Ocean Rise.

He may have called ‘climate change’ a hoax to please voters, as many of them believe that environmental regulations impede growth therefore jobs. Correct, in a way; manufacturing, the coal industry, others, and the ‘fair jobs’ they provided left - some % - the USA to China first of all, in search of softer or no regs first, cheaper labor second.

When it comes to protecting ‘his’ assets, + family too I am sure, the facts are crystal clear and are acted upon.

In this he is solidly a part of the 10% - no surprise - who are planning rather frantically to deal with GW by mitigation, moving, protection, enslavement of others, plus the x at the bottom of the page…yes, war.

The longer this 10 or so % can convince Joe Six, Carmen Gomez, etc. that the dire alarmism is fake-a-lorum, the better, so that the plebs dope-out and don’t react, object, revolt, etc. While those in the know consolidate their plans for either an escape or more ambitiously a completely changed planet, expected to furnish a new scheme of domination and profits.

For Trump, G W is ‘real for me and my biz and family’ and a hoax for the dopes who are supposed to eat bread, watch circuses, etc.

Posted by: Noirette | Oct 1 2018 13:36 utc | 94

Peter AU 1 says:

Both military tech and economy are needed to take down the US empire

you mean bombs and sanctions? so what are you, some kind of fucking anarchist, as you call them?

your offering is sufficiently ambiguous, but you should be careful how you throw that anarchist tag around. study its definition. a rejection of state authority hardly makes one a molotov cocktail throwing lunatic, and in fact, in my opinion, is pretty much prerequisite for direct democracy.

Posted by: john | Oct 1 2018 14:10 utc | 95

I checked on the dialogue on Austinian Sovereignty referred to by Karlof, the direct link is here (in the comments).

The comment includes the following, quoted from a legal paper by Prof Ali Khan:

One might further argue that a new norm has been established in international jurisprudence. International law is now subject to the authority of the United States President. International law may still be learned and taught, using the metaphor of partnership. It may still contain elements of the law of contracts. But its fundamental nature has changed. The norms of international law are valid only if the President says so. And if the President says a norm of international law is binding on other nations, it is, even if the same norm is not binding on the United States.

It is interesting to consider the implications of the current status of Trump's presidency vis-a-vis putative Austinian Sovereignty, since Trump's powers are so curtailed he does not appear to have sovereignty over the US government. Would that imply that the US sovereignty would be extinguished? (Whilst I don't believe the US/US President is an Austinian Sovereign - rather it is a pretender to the throne - I think the argument still has a ring of truth in it).

Posted by: BM | Oct 1 2018 15:07 utc | 96

O/T: private question to @Piotr Berman

I had a question for you here, did you see it?

Posted by: BM | Oct 1 2018 15:11 utc | 97

In pretending to threaten to blockade Russia, Ryan Zinke's claim that Russia is a "one trick pony" is self-delusional nonesense. It would be more rational to claim that the US is a one trick pony, in reference to use of the illegal use of military force to achieve its objective; although more strictly one might describe it as a two trick pony, the second being illegal sanctions.

If the US were to try to blockade Russia their ships would not last long.

Posted by: BM | Oct 1 2018 15:50 utc | 98

@ Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 1, 2018 1:25:43 AM | 73

The collapse of the USSR is a very complex issue, and we still don't have a consensus (among the people who study this seriously).

I myself think the USSR collapsed because of two main factors that are inteconnected with the world geopolitics of its time:

1) the USSR couldn't make the transition from the second to the third industrial revolution in the 70s (i.e. from fordism to toyotism/ohnism). Albeit it is true the USA never really embraced toyotism (just some pockets in the Silicon Valley and the financial sector), it is a fact the capitalist world, as a whole, did, because it worked out in Japan and South Korea -- many of these techonologies bleeding to the world market.

The USSR, since Stalin, adopted a method of "socialist primitive accumulation", where every techonological revolution depended on a forced (centralized) global collectivization: the old had to be entirely dismantled for the new to be built over the carcass of this old. This was a brutal (albeit quick and effective) method, so it was always risky and left the USSR exposed to the capitalists militarily.

Another problem with the USSR system was that toyotism was based on heavy investment in "human capital", i.e. investment on the workers' education and specialization. Forced collectivizatino, therefore, excluded the possibility of toyotism by design, so it was never truly an option for the post-Stalin Soviet leaders.

In a world only the USSR and the COMECON countries existed, it could've be stationed in the second industrial revoulution forever: the USSR never had a recession (except in 1990 and 1991, when it was already de facto capitalist). It was stagnant, but not collapsing. But it didn't exist alone: on the other side of Berlin, there was the capitalist world, and, in this dual world, not transitioning to toyotism was not an option for the Soviet Union.

2) In a bipolar world, with the toyotism path closed, Soviet bureaucrats developed a class sentiment, which put pressure from the inside on the Soviet inherent egualitarian system. In other words, the USSR was a victim of its own success: the problem was that that success came too early, in a world where capitalism still existed.

In the 1980s, the USSR had already erradicated poverty and the most well-paid worker (a high bureaucrat) received four times the salary of the lowest-paid worker. The basic public services (transport, education and healthcare) already were free at the point of use and universal and of a very good quality.

The problem was that the USSR emphasized too much on the production of infrastructure and too little on consumption goods, which were already of a poor quality when compared to the Western ones. The high Soviet bureaucracy, in constant contact with the capitalist world, was then slowly, but surely, coopted by the delicacies of the West, and thus developed a urge of class distinction.

This "urge" can be illustrated by an anecdote. When Yeltsin was still the President of Soviet Russia, George H. W. Bush invited him to Houston. There, he was marvelled by Jack Daniel's whiskey and asked for some cases for the trip back. Therefore the joke he sold the Soviet Union for two cases of Jack Daniel's.

Posted by: vk | Oct 1 2018 17:34 utc | 99

@88 donkeytale.. the us economic sanctions are much worse then 'unwise'.. they operate in a 'might makes right' mindset, as opposed to one with any respect for the rule of law... i he usa is now and has been for some time a rogue nation, trying to maintain the facade of leader of the world.. it has taken the inheritance it received after ww2 and essentially dishonoured any leadership role it might have had here.. it is much worse then 'unwise'..

@BM.. thanks for your comments and links - some of which karlof1 tried to post unsuccessfully.. i have now read much more, thanks..

@karlof1... perhaps there is something happening with the platform you use to interface with moa whereby the links don't get posted?

Posted by: james | Oct 1 2018 17:44 utc | 100

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