Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 06, 2019

The Moon of Alabama Week In Review - Open Thread 2019-01

Last week's posts on Moon of Alabama:

The war on Yemen continues despite the ceasefire agreement in Sweden:

    Ceasefire in Al Hudaydah with the Taste of Saudi Bombs!
Since the World Food Program issued its threat, Saudi propaganda claims that the Houthi steal more WFP goods. These claims are false.

Al Arabiya English: Houthi attacks target warehouses storing Yemen food aid

Campbell MacDiarmid @CampbellMacD - 9:06 utc - 6 Jan 2019
A spokesperson for @WFP_MENA told me that the warehouse hasn't been under their contract for three months, they have no access to the area it is in, and it didn't contain any WFP foodstocks

Arab News: Houthis seize dozens of relief trucks: Yemen minister

Campbell MacDiarmid @CampbellMacD - 9:07 utc - 6 Jan 2019
A @WFP_MENA spokeswoman told me that the trucks haven't been seized, they have been delayed for inspection for one day longer than usual.

Forgot to link this: The Briefing note on the Integrity Initiative by Paul McKeigue, David Miller, Jake Mason and Piers Robinson is the most complete analysis of the Integrity Initiative papers.

The British Private Eye finds a relation between the Integrity Initiative and the Rendon Group which drove the propaganda for the Iraq invasion.

I'll have to say more on the issue. For some fun, check the attachment to this tweet. (Klarenberg writes for Sputnik.)

Kit Klarenberg @KitKlarenberg - 19:51 utc - 5 Jan 2019
Head of @InitIntegrity's German cluster says he's going to bring criminal charges against me for accessing II internal files. In the process helpfully confirming many of the people I contacted in the cluster for comment ARE collaborating with the organization!! Cheers pal!

Bolton is coming up with new pie-in-the-sky conditions for the U.S. retreat from Syria:

President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, said Sunday that the U.S. military withdrawal from northeastern Syria is conditioned on defeating the remnants of the Islamic State group, and on Turkey assuring the safety of Kurdish fighters allied with the United States.

Bolton, who traveled to Israel to reassure the U.S. ally of the Trump-ordered withdrawal, said there is no timetable for the pullout of American forces in northeastern Syria, but insisted it’s not an unlimited commitment.
Bolton said U.S. troops would remain at the critical area of al-Tanf, in southern Syria, to counter growing Iranian activity in the region. He defended the legal basis for the deployment, saying it’s justified by the president’s Constitutional authority, adding “I’m a strong believer in Article II.”

Sure, Turkey will guarantee not to attack the U.S. armed YPG/PKK that is daily fighting its troops within Turkey. Not!

See also this thread by Aaron Stein:

Aaron Stein @aaronstein1 - 20:17 utc - 5 Jan 2019

On Tanf, think Bolton is - once again - over his ski tips and not speaking for POTUS. This is how we got into this mess in the 1st place. It is very disconcerting

In Idleb governorate Hayat Tahrir al-Sham has taken the town of Al Atareb without resistance. Atareb was the last somewhat neutral ground in Idleb with a local administration. A video shows a Zenki convoy of some 25 cars and two tanks that got stuck while fleeing al-Nusra. The Zenki fighters fled on foot towards Afrin and left the convoy and its load for Nusra to take.

Last night Turkey moved "moderate rebel" fighters it earlier sent to the Euphrates to fight the Kurds back to Afrin. It seems to prepare for a campaign to regain the ground Nusra took over last week from Turkish proxy rebels in Idelb. I'll prepare a large bowl of popcorn for watching that fight.

Other issues:

The New York Times once had the famous slogan "All the news that's fit to print." Nearer to reality is the slogan "All the news that fits our agenda." For a prime example see this: The Sounds That Haunted U.S. Diplomats in Cuba? Lovelorn Crickets, Scientists Say:

Diplomatic officials may have been targeted with an unknown weapon in Havana. But a recording of one “sonic attack” actually is the singing of a very loud cricket, a new analysis concludes.

Unmentioned in the NYT piece on 'new' U.S. research on the noise is the fact that in October 2017 Cuban scientist had already come to the same conclusion. Back then Moon of Alabama mocked the U.S. over the issue: Cuba - U.S. Diplomats Retreat In Horror ... Because ... 'Crickets'


John Pilger Special-A Look Back at 2018, Look Forward to 2019 - Video

Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on January 6, 2019 at 10:06 AM | Permalink

« previous page | next page »

john @99: Caitlin's words, piggybacking on someone who, unlike you, is clearly not intrigued with assigning motive ...

I'm not "piggybacking", I'm adding my own commentary. And I've been commenting on these things for years.

Caitlin is focused on the media. I'm focused on the asshats that are running things.

My "psyop" lablel is about the will to control. Caitlin's "narrative manipulation" is an aspect of the psyop. Thus, for example, the influence of money on US politics and the Deep State's ability to get a President that is amenable to their goals is much more interesting to me, than to Caitlin. (Please don't misread that to imply that I think that Caitlin would have NO interest!)

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 7, 2019 3:40:02 PM | 101


Potaytoes, potahtoes. She admits Trump is either complicit or impotent. Impotent he ain't unless it's meant in the other sense.

And she's not the freaking Oracle of all wisdom either! Does it matter that Trump conned his way to the Presidency and is still doing it? HELL YEAH! It matters. And it matters that he had the power structure/ruling class behind him financing the entire con! So don't give me that half-witted truth to keep whitewashing this sleazebag!.

Posted by: Circe | Jan 7, 2019 3:46:14 PM | 102

Circe, I am beginning to believe you are a kind of Judas goat on this thread, to the extent that when folk agree with you, they lose credit in my eyes. You cannot believe it would be helpful to the US situation with respect to whatever standing there is left in the world for its citizens (I mean the ones which are sympathetic to the Palestinian cause) by having it get in another embroilment of political one-upmanship that will deflect congresspersons from legitimate internal issues this State really must confront.

I will agree that it is doing a fine job of deflecting itself, and Trump may or may not be involved in that, but so far as the Palestinian issue is concerned I can't see that it makes a bit of difference whether he or Pence is in charge, and in fact I rather think Pence is worse.

AS far as I can see your arguments fall in line with the Russiagate scenario which has been dragging on for far too long. And in fact, I do agree with those who say such embarrassing behavior has made many of us, who did not vote for Trump and decry much of his outbursts, reluctantly become his advocates. Which we would be even more strongly were what you propose to come to pass. I wanted Bush impeached; and even though I voted for him the first time, I wouldn't have been sad to see that happen to Obama. The hue and cry against Trump, mostly for the wrong reasons, does make me sick at heart.

Posted by: juliania | Jan 7, 2019 3:46:39 PM | 103

uh, a starving family anywhere would be grateful for a source of power. i don't see what your point is.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jan 7, 2019 3:55:33 PM | 104

@noirette--a fossil fuel shill would claim that renewable energy is a myth that cannot supply sufficient power, and would ignore the science that says we can't depend on fossil fuels anymore because the emissions are changing the climate in very harmful ways. what do you say?

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jan 7, 2019 4:00:54 PM | 105


Excuse me? Dearie, you don't need any help at all believing what you do. You're not punch drunk on the kool-aid, you actually market and distribute it. Judas goat? 😂🤣😂🤣😂 Don't pull that one on me because I'm striking your last nerve! Instead of trying to discredit me that way, make a cogent argument, which you didn't. Pence blah-blah. Pence might have only one mandate in all this: to grant Trump a pardon. Even if Pence got in, which is a snowball's chance in hell, he'd be a lame duck on the tail end of a failed Republican Presidency. Now go back and recalibrate and get back to me. Oh and don't throw the Palestinians in the mix to make it look genuine, cause I'm wearing my b.s. antenna, got it? Scram and do a better job next time.

Posted by: Circe | Jan 7, 2019 4:15:00 PM | 106


legitimate internal issues
I don't think it's possible to separate the internal and external issues any longer. Increasing militarism, propaganda, oligarchy, use of Israeli policing methods, the economy, etc. are all very much related to imperatives of the Empire.

Pence is worse
Yes. The problem is really the corrupt, undemocratic SYSTEM that put Trump-Pence into place.

The media focus on Party and Personality is meant to distract us from thinking about a deeply flawed SYSTEM.

[Circe's] arguments fall in line with the Russiagate scenario
I agree that Circe needs to better explain how his views differ from the Russiagate witchhunt. I feel confident that she can do that.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 7, 2019 4:15:25 PM | 107

@65 Zanon "Words dont matter (I dont trust Trump's words for example, do you?),"

Such ignorance. Words do matter, Zanon, because they have consequences and those consequences are playing out right this very moment.

A simple example: Trump said the US troops are leaving, and as a consequence of that the Kurds are now in the process of reconciling with the Assad govt, which will inevitably mean that the Syrians will regain authority over everything east of the Euphrates without firing a shot.

Jeffries now asks the Kurds not to negotiate with Assad because Bolton is in talks with Ankara, and he may as well save his breath because the Kurds can no longer trust the USA and will act accordingly.

Bolton says that US troops will stay in al-Tanf indefinitely? Mere bravado now, because the Jordanians can no longer believe anything that slips past the Moustached One's Lips.

Trump's w.o.r.d.s. matter because they had an effect on the a.c.t.i.o.n.s. of those who had previously relied on US steadfastness. That change in the a.c.t.i.o.n.s. of others was inevitable, and it is irreversible.

You really don't get it, do you?
Bolton and Pompeo believe that the USA is the only game in town, and everyone else will mindlessly follow whatever tortured path they waddle down. You obviously believe so too: whatever the USA does it does, and everyone else will just fall into line behind them.

But other actors in this drama are not mindless, and their actions also matter.

They can see that the USA now has no idea what it is doing from day to day, and they are acting on that understanding.

Bolton can huff and puff as much as he likes.
Pompeo can be as pompous as he wants from here on.
Jeffries can squeak his orders till the cows come home.

It doesn't matter now, because from here on the USA has nowhere to go except... home.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jan 7, 2019 4:16:18 PM | 108

Is it any wonder Trump flip-flops on decisions like a suffocating fish? He assumed the role of POTUS with zero experience. How long does it take rise to the task, a year, two, four? He relies on advisors to advise on which advisors should advise. Trump wasn't planning on winning. His run was a marketing gimmick for the TRUMP brand. Yet he won despite ALL ODDS. Melania wasn't expecting to be First Lady. She is self-conscious about her accent. She had not planned to take her autistic son out of school mid year which is why she refused to move to the White House until summer vacation. On election night, the Trump Team looked dazed and confused. Throughout Trump's campaign, the MSM predicted Hillary would win by a landslide. Trump did not pick a cabinet because his chances were practically zero. This is why Trump calls mainstream media "Fake News"?

Posted by: willow | Jan 7, 2019 4:31:22 PM | 109

Yeah Right,

You should read the link Jackrabbit and I posted earlier,

"It really doesn’t matter what noises Trump makes with his mouth if no moves to scale down interventionism actually occur"

You really believe Caitlin is wrong?

Aslong as the troops are not withdrawn, the words dont matter and it is a easy way to check this argument truthness: Have there been a withdrawal? No. So aslong as there havent been any it is ignorant to say atleast and dont give this debate any rationale.

Besides your second argument about kurds is also false:
Bolton says no withdrawal from Syria until ISIS contained, Kurds' safety guaranteed

And as I stated earlier, even if they left they would still give all types of support from abroad. So no, they will not leave.

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 7, 2019 4:32:41 PM | 110

@110 "You really believe Caitlin is wrong?"

She is as wrong as you are. Trumps words have set in motion actions by others that will make the presence of US troops pointless. They will go home.

"Bolton says no withdrawal from Syria until ISIS contained, Kurds' safety guaranteed"
OK, I'm going to say it again: Bolton can say what he likes to the Israelis and the Turks regarding the Kurds and it will make not the slightest difference.

And the reason why is obvious: while he is bloviating with Other People regarding what he does or does not want to happen to the Kurds the KURDS THEMSELVES are not sitting on their hands awaiting further instructions from the Moustached One.

They are talking to Assad, precisely because that is the only sensible option left open to them.

Bolton is going to be woken up on his flight back to Washington to be told that all the very cunning plans he cooked up in Tel Aviv and Ankara are now in tatters: the Kurds have swapped their uniforms and are now in the Syrian Arab Army, and the Syrian flag is now flying everywhere east of the Euphrates.

Bet on it.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jan 7, 2019 4:52:32 PM | 111

Yeah Right

"will make the presence of US troops pointless"

Again even if that would come true, that doesnt mean US will leave its financing, support, arming groups in Syria. That wont stop bombings of Syria, and also, as long as that is fact, Syria wont be able to win.

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 7, 2019 5:09:32 PM | 112

The Myth of the Russian Crime Boss, Semion Mogilevich, He's Israeli by Larry Johnson

Pat Lang starts to see the light:

A possible implication of LJ's piece is that while Trump's "collusion" with the Russian government is as yet unproven, the possibility exists that he is compromised by past dealings with criminals connected to Israel.
YES and NO, pat.

What about the possibility that Trump is not compromised at all but simply a member of team Deep State? After all, the US establishment is pro-Zionist.

Then the phony 'influence' from fake 'Russians' is really just a Deep State stratagem for creating suspicion and hate toward Russia (as I've been arguing for months).

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 7, 2019 5:25:12 PM | 113

Yeah, Right @111--

Precisely, the Kurds are already exercising their independence from Outlaw US Empire diktat. The recent advances by HTS in Idlib makes it easier for it to be targeted and destroyed. The Turks await SAA's Idlib Dawn to begin. Plenty of troops are massed and ready; Orthodox Christmas is today; so all that remains to cooperate is the weather. The squabbling hens make lots of noise, but the Outlaw US Empire stormtroopers within Syria are utterly useless from a strategic or tactical POV. The same applies to Iraq.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 7, 2019 5:25:54 PM | 114

@111 Yep. That is all,
@112 Syria has already won, whether you can come to grips with the fact or not.
@114 RuAF is already hitting HTS, preparing the mop up. HTS cant stand a chance against SAA with air cover..

Posted by: Lozion | Jan 7, 2019 5:40:29 PM | 115


I already wrote that I don't buy Russian meddling, but that Israel meddled via cyber machinations funded by the 1% who happen to have dual citizenship that grants them automatic immunity to secure the Zionist motive.

Now to your conclusion:

The faux populist model of leadership is inherently a psyop.

Nail, meet hammer! This should be a headliner on this board.

Now, if people were smart they'd start researching and analyzing how this was accomplished and is still happening. One clue is hiding in plain sight, Trump and his specialty. That's too easy though. There's more out there. I'll add another clue. Someone with unlimited resources who parades around as a Libertarian yet gives double-digit funding to the Republican establishment can't be a real Libertarian, especially if he has no problem with his choice for leader who just added 2 Trillion to the debt, is still in Afghanistan and Syria, supports Saudi proxy war in Yemen and on and on. Another clue: in the beginning of his Presidency, Trump met with someone who is considered by the political elite to be a genius on gauging the pulse of masses and how to exploit their vulnerability. This guy passes himself off as a Democrat, but strangely he always appears on Fox and I believe he's an operative of the ruling class. So imagine Trump who himself is a world class manipulator of the truth working with a guy like that, and what do you get with the meeting of those two minds? --A faux populist psyop strategy transferred from campaign mode to the Presidency.

The question is: how can you succeed to pass as faux populist with the heart of the conservative movement i.e. libertarians? Now, that is where the truth lies. The truth represents a massive betrayal -- all on behalf of ISRAEL and of course the ruling class.

The jig is up however. The truth is that faux populism psyops from the Presidency is going to fail. I really hope it's not wishful thinking on my part.

Posted by: Circe | Jan 7, 2019 5:40:33 PM | 116

@112 z

As per YR's post @111, what's it gonna take to convince you the US is done in Syria, and quite possibly the ME?

For whatever reason Trump has soiled the A-Z Empire bed... and no amount of cleaning will remove the stain & everyone can see that. No matter what Bolton & Co promise, the Titanic is still going down. At first little by little, then all at once.

Here's an example that:

"the arrival of the American patrol at a point of the 1st Armored Division yesterday on the outskirts of Manbij, where it was said that the American patrol had requested that the Syrian flag be removed, which was rejected."

The day a lone SAA soldier stood up against the Empire! And so it begins...

Posted by: xLemming | Jan 7, 2019 5:43:52 PM | 117

Correction: double-digit million dollar funding

Yeah, Right: Trump can count on the likes of you to project your thoughts into his words!

Posted by: Circe | Jan 7, 2019 5:47:03 PM | 118


As per YR's post @111, what's it gonna take to convince you the US is done in Syria, and quite possibly the ME?

Simply because that hasnt happend, I believe in facts and since there is no such yet, I cannot "believe" this claim.
Also the idea that US "empire" is dying is also false. Trump will simply focus on new areas - China is one - but that doesnt mean US will "leave" middle east.

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 7, 2019 5:57:51 PM | 119

Yeah, Right @111

Where your analysis breaks down is the Israeli Christmas attack.

If SAA had downed a commercial airliner, Trump would have had reason (and public approval) to re-commit to USA occupation with an even larger US military contingent.

And if such a ff was attempted and failed, then we can expect that another attempt will be made.

<> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>

The Israeli Christmas attack had similarities with how they tricked SAA into shooting down a Russian military plane.

Why would replicate the same sort of trickery with commercial airliners knowing what the result had been with the Russian military plane only weeks before?

This was a diabolical and disgusting attempt that should not be ignored. And Trump's announcement of a troop "pull out" from Syria only days before, set up the "con" to have maximum effect: a peaceful President reluctantly drawn back into Syria.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 7, 2019 5:58:51 PM | 120

@116 "If people were smart"? Not only are you polluting every thread with your pet theory but moreover you are condescending towards other bar patrons if they dont adhere to your views? Wow. Well, Personally I dont give a shit if Trump is a faux populist or a Maverick alone against the "Deep State". What matters is what we observe in the field and that is easy to see: The US Empire is waning and the emerging Eurasian centric multipolar world is in the making. Wasting time debating the minutiae of your arguments is imo not for smart people..

Posted by: Lozion | Jan 7, 2019 5:59:20 PM | 121


Omg! Because a Syrian soldier refused to take his flag down, which is his sovereign right, you read into this a whole Trump 4-D strategy to take down the Empire?

Lordie! Here I thought hasbara were the worst. Welcome to Trumpbot la-la land!

Of course, Trump has given the Israeli hasbara army plenty of reasons to defend him in cyberspace for making Israel great again. Explain that!! Explain why Trump has done more for Israel than any other President starting with violating the Logan Act trying to squash a Resolution bad for Israel the UNSC when he was still not sworn in as Prez.

So hard to tell who's hasbara and who's bot. Best thing: Don't trust anyone except your instinct and eyes that are not lying like they would have you believe!

Posted by: Circe | Jan 7, 2019 6:02:48 PM | 122


And none of that is thanks to Trump but the efforts of those opposed to the Empire! Trump is an Empire TYRANT. Polluting my ass! I too can use that thread policing strategy to shut down opposing opinion. Facismo muzzling much? Don't like? SCROLL.

Posted by: Circe | Jan 7, 2019 6:11:25 PM | 123


I hear only crickets as an explanation to Trump's success with making Israel great and giving more to Israel than any other Prez. Thank-you. You proved my point. There is only one explanation. He's the Chosen of the ruling class. So quit projecting what's not there and having us believe he's something He's not!

Posted by: Circe | Jan 7, 2019 6:27:30 PM | 124

Continuing where I left off.

This brings us to Transhumanism, which is one of the main motivation of the technocrats and their call for a green economy.

Transhumanism is a belief in human perfectibility derived by Social Darwinism and eugenics

Despite the appearance of scientific rationalism that transhumanism attempt to portray, it is an occult philosophy
that holds a reversed interpretation fo the Bible, where God the creator was evil, and the other God (aka Lucifer) , who led man to the Tree of Knowledge, was good. Otherwise known as Gnosticism.

The Transhumanists seek to repair man after his Fall and restore the light which will transcend man to become one like God when fully illuminated

Alexander Solzhenitsyn described them as 'Masters of the Universe.' They believe they possess the gnosis and power to 'scientifically' engineer a New Man using evil that is justified as a mystical force to do good.

Social Darwinism and the principles of Eugenics and Malthus, along with various technologies such as genetic engineering, gene editing , nano-technology and DNA data collection have allowed the Transhumanist Technocrats to attempt to control the evolutionary process, and will direct the creation of Humanity 2.0, the New or Transcended Man. What happens to those who are left behind as Human 1.0 ? Stay tuned.

On 10/01/10, a conference titled Transhumanism and Spirituality was hosted by the University of Utah in Salt Lake City where Transhuman movement leaders from around the world convened to discuss the “evolutionary transition to divinity through technology…”, that is, man becoming God. Attendees represented a mix of religions including Mormonism, Buddhism, Atheism , Judaism , Islam and Christianity. Sounds like a plan to give the people a Green Religion using the foundations of existing older religions to unite them in the NWO
(FWIW the Vatican was invited to attend the 66th Bilderberger Conference for the first time ever as their Pope is on the AGW bandwagon).

The synthesis of the false dichotomy between the incompatibility of Science and Religion is a Technocracy based on Religion where the elites transcend to become Gods who rule over a human herd (Human 1.0) that they consider a parasite, kept only in numbers and under minimal living conditions of the Green Economy sufficient to allow them to service their Human Gods (Humans 2.0), and enforced by the High Priests (scientists) of the Green Religion

Robotics and AI will minimize the number of lesser Humans needed to a number that Bill Gates refers to as the Golden Billion. Do the math.

If you dont like it consider this. Dr. Richard Seed, a leading Transhuman, cloning researcher and nuclear physicist, was interviewed for a documentary on Transhumanism and rather angrily stated, “We are going to become Gods. Period. If you don’t like it, get off. You don’t have to contribute, you don’t have to participate. But if you’re going to interfere with ME (us) becoming God, then we’ll have big trouble; we’ll have warfare. The only way to prevent me (us) is to kill me (us) And you kill me (us) I’ll (we will) kill you”

These are Religious Fundamentalists hiding behind Science.

More to come on our future.

Posted by: Pft | Jan 7, 2019 6:28:17 PM | 125


Did I miss something? When did MoA turn into Fight Club?

Posted by: xLemming | Jan 7, 2019 6:41:11 PM | 126

@121 L


A bully by any other name would still be as vitriolic

Posted by: xLemming | Jan 7, 2019 7:01:31 PM | 127


In other words you can't explain why Trump has done so much for Israel. Again, my views are vindicated.

Posted by: Circe | Jan 7, 2019 7:02:52 PM | 128

you missed a lot pft, with your constant bullshit about science. now some conference in salt lake city proves it's all a conspiracy! if you know better than every major science organization then why don't you offer your services to the oil and coal companies?

Posted by: pretzelattack | Jan 7, 2019 7:03:48 PM | 129

@128 circe... talking you yourself again? 124 post is from circe as well!!!

lol, you really are thick refusing to name in your post the person you are addressing..

Posted by: james | Jan 7, 2019 7:43:05 PM | 130

Those commenters here who note that they hear only crickets in response to their comments might do well to consider the possible reasons for this.

I suspect that many readers here keep an ever-evolving list of people who have proven themselves not worth reading, and absolutely not worth responding to.

Posted by: Grieved | Jan 7, 2019 8:19:53 PM | 131

Kudos to JR @120 for reprising the Christmas Attack with the condign disgust and outrage that it deserves.

Such perfidy is consistent with a rogue state whose actions is dictated by an expansionist ideology and ruthless exercise of power and subterfuge, and exploitation of sectarian divisions (as in the Lebanese Civil War 1975-1990 and the current War on Syria) as a means to weaken any challenge to its hegemonic agenda. Zionists and Israel-first fanatics may even indulge themselves in a bit of schadenfreude over the fallout had Syrian gunners taken the bait and downed a civilian airliner. Unbridled arrogance dared them to replicate the same gambit (as with the IL20 )using civilians as pawns because they knew that any suspicion of Israeli intentions that might surface would be doctored by corporate media and that a willing and toady congress would react with predictable Pavlovian response.

Being detached from ethical constraints and driven by Zionist exceptionalism, Israel has a proven a record of inclination toward last resort means at the risk of bringing the world to the brink of Armageddon if it believed it might suffer a crippling military defeat. This was the case during the October War of 1973 when Egyptian and Syrian forces launched a surprise attack aimed at liberating the territories Israel seized in the 1967 War. It was reported at the time that Moshe Dayan suffered a near breakdown as Egyptian forces breached Israeli defenses on the Bar-Lev Line in Sinai and Syrian forces overran Israeli positions nearly reaching the shores of Galilee. Though soft-peddled, even NYT recognized this fact, albeit 30 years later. (forgive me if I failed to use the correct link format)

1973 had been the first time in which Israel actually suffered significant loss of military hardware and had been pushed back until Anwar Sadat's duplicity and betrayal of Syrian President Hafez Assad where the former cut bait on the Syro-Egyptian joint military offensive by placing complete trust in war criminal ('my friend Henry' ) Kissinger which quickly led to the Egyptian Third Army being surrounded and isolated soon after Kissinger used the ruse of a ceasefire deal to provide the needed cover for the IDF to consolidate its positions in Sinai with satellite intelligence via CIA and trap Egyptian troops as Syrian forces were left to engage a resupplied Israeli war machine in the third week of fighting. That betrayal led in reversing the Syrian military gains made in the first phase of the October War. Egypt's unexpected exit had sealed the fate Syria's effort to recapture the Golan.

The 1973 War is covered in more granular detail in two recommended books; 'Asad-The Struggle for the Middle East' by Patrick Seale and 'The Road to Ramadan by Mohamed Hassanein Heikal'

Posted by: metni | Jan 7, 2019 8:26:12 PM | 132

I was addressing xL. Thick? What's it with all the ad homs? Sometimes I'm thinking and forget to type the name.

Posted by: Circe | Jan 7, 2019 8:27:33 PM | 133

John @99

Yes, I had the same view about Trump, but I now think it does matter because the issue isn't really Trump but his base, the so-called "deplorables".

Assuming, Jackrabbit is right then Trump is setting up the "deplorables" to carry the can while at the same time keeping them believing that someone is at least trying to do something.

I, personally, don't think that the "deplorables" really exist as either the group indicated by Clinton's insult or as an organised force capable of formulating demands and taking action (like, for instance, the gilets jaunes).

So, I am left with an uncomfortable feeling that a very big manipulation of the American populace is taking place and that Trump is likely a willing part of this.

If Jackrabbit was describing something that the US had done to an external country, then, very few here would have difficulty with accepting the theory, but because it is Trump and being done to the US itself, then most won't countenance it as a possibility.

Anyway, I am not saying just accept Jackrabbit theory, but perhaps it would be something to consider as events unfold.

Posted by: ADKC | Jan 7, 2019 8:40:25 PM | 134


Really? That's a great excuse for not admitting the truth about Trump. I think I'll use that strategy. On second thought, I don't need to. I only deal in truth and reality not spin and delusion.

Posted by: Circe | Jan 7, 2019 8:42:12 PM | 135

Circe @75

I have only be reading MoA for a few years but I am stunned by the lack of concern here about the Palestinian issue. Many commentators seem to quite happy with strong-arming of the Palestinian political leadership to agree to a fixed process even though this will not be supported by the Palestinian people and is just a continuation of slow genocide.

The Palestinian are vulnerable but they will fight, and they will need to because it looks like the "west" are pre

Posted by: ADKC | Jan 7, 2019 8:55:37 PM | 136

@112 Zanon "Again even if that would come true, that doesnt mean US will leave its financing, support, arming groups in Syria. That wont stop bombings of Syria, and also, as long as that is fact, Syria wont be able to win."

One more time: the US soldiers are stationed east of the Euphrates because they are embedded with and act alongside the Kurdish forces that are located there. That is undeniable.

Once the Idlib pocket is reduced then there won't *be* any financed/supported/armed groups in Syria except the Kurds and the Syrian Arab Army.
That's it. They will be the last two "groups" left standing.

Now, the moment that Trump made his statement regarding the removal of US troops is the *exact* moment that the Kurdish leadership considered these two options:
Option (1) Stick their head in the sand and murmur "Not gonna happen! Never, ever! Bolton will make sure of it!"
Option (2) Holy Crap! The Turks are certain to come down on us like Afrin On Steroids unless we find another ally!

Now, so sorry, but only an idiot would take up Option (1). It would be irresponsible in the extreme to bet the house on that outcome.

Anyone with a ounce of commonsense would run to negotiate with Assad to get Syrian troops over the Euphrates as soon as possible, as that would be the most likely outcome to deter the Turks from any malarkey at the Kurd's expense.

So that is what is happening right now, and those negotiations will be concluded way, way quicker than you think and regardless of what "secret plans" Bolton, or Pompeo, or Trump may be muttering to the Israelis or the Turks.

And when it does happen then what becomes of those US soldiers that *you* insist will remain in place until The End Of Time?

Why, it's obvious, isn't it?

They'll be "embedded" with the Syrian Arab Army.
They'll be "on patrol" alongside soldiers in SAA uniforms.

Or.... they can pack up and leave, precisely because those optics are just so appallingly awful.

They'll leave. They'll leave as soon as it is obvious that Assad's boys are moving in.

Which (did I mention this before? I think I did) will be A Lot Sooner Than You Or Bonkers Bolton or Pompous Pompeo think.

Honestly, all it takes is a moment spend in the shoes of the Kurds to realise that this is all inevitable: the Kurds will switch allegiance to Assad, the American special forces will end up alongside Syrian Army troops, and that will be the time their will say "sh*t, man, I'm outta here".

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jan 7, 2019 8:58:20 PM | 137

Circe @75 cont.

....preparing to wash their hands.

It may not be an important issue for many commentators but it needs to be.

Posted by: ADKC | Jan 7, 2019 8:59:08 PM | 138

Grieved @131

Well, give us your list then? Or are you a coward?

Posted by: ADKC | Jan 7, 2019 9:00:59 PM | 139

@120 Jackrabbit "Where your analysis breaks down is the Israeli Christmas attack."

I don't give a rat's arse what the Israelis are doing to try and keep Trump committed to the overthrow of the Assad govt.
Their efforts are akin to the gambler who keeps doubling down on his bets even if it means scraping the bottom of the barrel.

But their efforts reek of desperation, not inspiration, and the Syrians and the Russians know it even if you don't.

"If SAA had downed a commercial airliner, Trump would have had reason (and public approval) to re-commit to USA occupation with an even larger US military contingent."

Would he now?
Why, exactly?

Or would he just denounce it as a despicable act, fire off a few Tomahawks to make himself feel better, and then sanction a few more people?
You know, the usual....

"And if such a ff was attempted and failed, then we can expect that another attempt will be made."

I do not doubt that the Israelis will keep attempting to double-down on their bets, and each one more desperate than the last.
But none of that means that Trump is complicit in those acts of desperation.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jan 7, 2019 9:13:08 PM | 140

james @130

That put down is really lame-o, you need much better material.

Posted by: ADKC | Jan 7, 2019 9:18:00 PM | 141

@118 Circe "Yeah, Right: Trump can count on the likes of you to project your thoughts into his words!"


Just sit down and actually THINK for a moment and mull over the implications of Trump's statement on US troop withdrawal w.r.t. the actions of other actors in this conflict.

Because this is utterly undeniable: the Kurds have been acting uppity because they think that no matter how uppity they become Uncle Sam will be standing alongside them, rifle at the ready, to beat the snot out of anyone who wants a piece of the Kurds.

Only now they can't make that assumption.

That's now true regardless of how much Jeffries pleads with them to wait while Bolton has a chat with Erdogan.
That's now true regardless of how often the Turks promise to hit ISIS - hard! - but not touch a hair on a Kurd's head.

The KURDS can't rely on any of that, precisely because any such promises can't survive a single tweet from the Orange One, nor will such promises last any longer than Erdogan's Next Dummy Spit.

The KURDS now have only one place to turn for help: Damascus.

The KURDS are the key to the final outcome of all this pantomime. Not the Turks and not the Izzies and not the Yanks.
The KURDS have to decide which way to jump, and they will jump into bed with Assad.

They'll do that because the mixed-messages from Trump, Bolton and Pompeo hasn't really left them any other choice.

All the pleading from Jeffries, all the shuttle diplomacy from Bolton, all the will-he-won't-he background briefings from "officials" all have that one singular purpose: to dissuade the Kurds from reconciling with Damascus with promises that You Don't Need To Do That, You Can Stand On Your Own Two Feet!

Pig's Arse they can. They know they can't, and they know that if they don't get the Syrian Arab Army over the Euphrates in the next few weeks then the Turkish Army will do them over like they did to Afrin.

It's all over bar the shouting. The SAA is going to take over all that territory without firing a shot, and they will thank Trump for their good fortune.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jan 7, 2019 9:36:26 PM | 142

@133 circe... another example... you could be talking to the moon for all anyone knows!

@136 akdc... a newbie commenting on commenters at moa... fascinating.. you observation @136 scores a big fat zilch, lol...

Posted by: james | Jan 7, 2019 9:45:56 PM | 143

james @143

I knew that my pro-Palestinian views would "scorce(s) a big fat zero". That was the point. And your response just reinforces that point!

Posted by: ADKC | Jan 7, 2019 9:58:15 PM | 144

no use responding to an idiot...

Posted by: james | Jan 7, 2019 10:22:49 PM | 145


The plight of Palestinians *IS* important, as is those in Yemen, Libya, Iraq, Ukraine... anywhere the A-Z Empire is raping & pillaging.

I'm pretty sure most here would agree

Posted by: xLemming | Jan 7, 2019 10:37:09 PM | 146


Crying Pepe!

Posted by: slit | Jan 7, 2019 10:48:03 PM | 147

Yeah, Right @142

Everyone assumes that the US is "abandoning" the Kurds but the US would have a utilitarian view towards the Kurds and I wonder whether the Kurds failed to provide what the US wanted. This sounds like the same thing but it isn't.

One would be Trump thoughtlessly pulling out of Syria and "abandoning" the Kurds (the "narrative") and withdrawing in a way that looks like defeat (why do that?). The other would be a recognition that the Kurds aren't "up to it" and there is a need to "shake things up". So the whole thing about Syria could be "this isn't working out, let's try something else", which would imply the US aren't really leaving, or some other strategy is in play.

I'd rather things were as you state in your post but I just can't buy into Trump anymore.

Posted by: ADKC | Jan 7, 2019 10:48:26 PM | 148

James @145

Weren't you the one who called Circe "thick" because she responded to a commentator without naming them, and here, on the same thread, you do the same thing? Even worse, missing out the post number!

Btw: you replied!

Posted by: ADKC | Jan 7, 2019 10:56:50 PM | 149

> The US Congress has been totally bought off by Israel and so any president, including Trump, has no choice on the issue. The last representative that bucked the Israel line was Cynthia McKinney, and the Lobby got her, as they will do with this new rebel.

> The US has decided to stick with the existing national boundaries in the Middle East, as it should, and so the Kurds have to be dropped. In a nutshell, Turkey is more important than the Kurds.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 7, 2019 10:58:07 PM | 150

@110 Zanon "You really believe Caitlin is wrong?"

I can point out the exact paragraph where Caitlin goes right off the rails.

Here: "Bolton said the Kurdish factions are being advised by the US to “stand fast now” and refrain from brokering an agreement with the Syrian government or Russia to protect them from Turkey,"

Caitlin (and Bolton, and you) simply assume that the Kurds will do as they are told, which is akin to assuming that the Kurds will agree to act as Czechoslovakia in a modern-day retelling of the 1938 Munich Agreement.

And we all know how well that worked to the Czech's advantage, don't we?

There is zero change - none whatsoever - that the Kurds will agree to sit on their hands merely because a ideologically-blinkered zealot like Bolton says "trust me" while he negotiates their fate with an insane megalomaniac who detests them with every once of hatred that he can conjure.

Caitlin herself sees dimly through her own flawed analysis when she writes "Such an agreement would help unify a fragmented Syria, would deter an attack from Turkey, and would remove any need for the US to protect its YPG “allies” (read: assets),"

Wow! Ya' think, Caitlin?!?!?!?

So why would the Kurds turn their back on such an agreement, when it is on offer from Assad and is being guaranteed by Putin?

Well, she has an answer for that: "so naturally the servants of endless war are working against it."

Yeaaaaah, I can see that's a good reason why Bolton is against it.
But I don't see it as a good reason for the Kurds to reject it.

As in: the Kurds are going to tell Bolton to go f**k himself, and tell Erdogan to go shove his protestations of peaceful coexistence where the sun don't shine. They have no choice, because they can't trust either of them.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jan 7, 2019 11:05:46 PM | 151

XLemming @146

That's good to hear.

My comments comes about from discussions on another thread about the Palestinians having the Trump deal thrust on them, and compelled to accept, as if this would settle the issue (magic Trump dust [$99.99 at all good retailers] being all that is required). At the time no-one but me was objecting.

Circe is one of the few who actually speak up for the Palestinian's and I strongly support her in that.

Posted by: ADKC | Jan 7, 2019 11:08:04 PM | 152

@136 and 146

I believe the Palestinian Crisis to be the main event. The displacement of Palestinians and outright theft of their land through the creation of the State of Israel is the epicenter of the ongoing turmoil in the Middle East.The Palestinian Diaspora and Israel's appetite for land seizure has been an ongoing source of regional instability while Palestinian resistance to the occupation has been met with brutal suppression buttressed by unwavering blind western support for the apartheid state.

Posted by: metni | Jan 7, 2019 11:11:47 PM | 153

Syrian Kurds for the last few years have operated under the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria, called Rojava, a de facto (not de jure) autonomous region in northeastern Syria. They will seek to legalize this arrangement, and it's up to Syria to decide the issue.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 7, 2019 11:22:09 PM | 154

@Circe @ADKC
Hey, I appreciate your passion. But not everyone is troll or adverse to your point of view (until you start attacking them).

juliania is a long time patron of the bar. She doesn't deserve that kind of response.

Even I don't agree 100% with your perspective. You forget that US Deep State and MIC are also to blame. So when you label those that disagree with you as Zionist/hasbara trolls, I cringe.

james is not an enemy of the Palestinians and Circe has definitely brought more heat than light to this thread. As someone said above, this is not fight club.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 7, 2019 11:26:56 PM | 155

Well we can howl and wail about the Palestine issue as has been done for years but it doesn't change the fact that Israel has bought and paid for its primacy in Palestine, and there's no hope that will change any time soon. Also it forms a valuable component of the divide-and-conquer strategy that the US employs everywhere that it can.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 7, 2019 11:27:16 PM | 156

Yeah, Right

1) Many of us see the Kurds are pawns.

2) You assume that an Israeli ff would be done to influence Trump.

The "pull out" dance that we have just witnessed suggests coordination, not manipulation. That is the only logical explanation for Trump's rushed announcement and the indefinite delay that followed.

BOTH USA -and- Israel (and probably KSA as well) want US to double-down in Middle East. That's why we're likely to see another ff. And they will get what they want. I have no illusions that the insights/protestations of a few bloggers at MoA will deter them. But hopefully, it will open a few eyes afterward.

So I'm happy to wait and see what develops. No use arguing about it really.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 7, 2019 11:35:47 PM | 157

b and the commentariat have not ignored the Palestinian issue.

It is discussed several times a year, at least.

Just as Yemen also gets coverage here that you don't see in MSM.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 7, 2019 11:43:32 PM | 158

'Israel has bought and paid for its primacy in Palestine...' makes it sound as though its spoils have been acquired through legitimate transaction. When you believe support of Palestinian rights is about 'howling and wailing' but but are at the same time deaf to the daily cries of agony and debasement of a people living under a brutal occupation, you create for yourself an impression of the cynical observer who perceives might as right.

Posted by: metni | Jan 7, 2019 11:57:27 PM | 159


Well said.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 8, 2019 12:01:39 AM | 160

Jackrabbit @155

Their appears to be a stunning amount of readiness on this site to foist the Trump deal on the Palestinians. I don't at all agree that Circe has brought more "heat than light". Circe probably suspects that the Palestinians are being sold out, not just by Trump, but by all his supporters, and, perhaps, by a great many on the left, (and that is the way it seems to me, as well), and Circe has decided not to make easy for people to forget.

I didn't start attacking anyone. Circe's made a statement about Rashi Tlaibe got negative responses but I decided not to reply to those but instead responded directly to Circe with a supportive post. I thought that was the least I could do. Then I saw a churlish post from James insulting Circe and couldn't let it go. I didn't call James a troll but didn't see his message as being particularly supportive of the Palestinians, and, instead, considered it a personal attack on someone who had recently expressed support for the Palestinians.

Posted by: ADKC | Jan 8, 2019 12:21:53 AM | 161


The Palestinians have definitely been sold out. Putting Jared in charge is a sure sign of that. No doubt that karma will come back on the guilty parties as there are too many pissed off by what has occurred for it to be let go.

When I say "more heat than light", I'm not referring to the Palestinian issue but Circe's predilection for accusing people of being Zionist stooges or ridiculing them for not seeing what he does.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 8, 2019 12:29:45 AM | 162

Is nuclear war now inevitable?

The new cold war + hypersonic missile systems means a hair trigger for global destruction.

Russia developed hypersonic missiles to counter US anti-ballistic missiles.

I'm not convinced that nuclear launch safeguards are sufficient to prevent an accidental catastrophe when TWO OR MORE nuclear powers have deployed hypersonic missiles.

What can be done?

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 8, 2019 12:36:50 AM | 163

that AfD dude just got smoked. If I was German, I'd have a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach.

Posted by: warner | Jan 8, 2019 12:42:22 AM | 164

@157 Jackrabbit "1) Many of us see the Kurds are pawns."

No doubt you do.

As does Bolton. As does Pompeo. As does Caitlin Johnstone.

It is the typical myopia of American Exceptionalism not to give a second's thought to what others might do except bask in your Indispensable Afterglow.

Because, you know, the Kurds are as incapable of independent thought as everyone else who isn't an American.

But here's a stunning thought: maybe the Kurds see themselves as.... Kurds.

I have no problem with the idea that back in the good old days of 2018 the Kurds calculated that doing the USA's bidding was the smart move, precisely because they thought that the USA could be relied upon to repay a favour.

And maybe, just maybe, they are equally capable of deciding that, no, continuing to stick with Uncle Sam *now* is a sure path to getting your head crushed in by Erdogan's troops in some ghastly Mega-Afrin.

A crazy idea, no?

Look, the Kurds aren't stupid. They know what's coming next i.e. Bolton will extract a "promise" from Erdogan not to go all monkey-shit on the Kurds when he invades the norther parts of Syria, and then when the Turkish army does invade all those promises will immediately go out the window as his troops go out of their way to crush the Kurds.

After all, would *you* trust anything that Erdogan tells Bolton? Or anything that Bolton tells *you*?

I certainly wouldn't. And nor should the Kurds.

They'll end up jumping over to Assad, because from here on out that's the smart play.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jan 8, 2019 12:42:25 AM | 165

I was addressing xL. Thick? What's it with all the ad homs? Sometimes I'm thinking and forget to type the name.
Posted by: Circe | Jan 7, 2019 8:27:33 PM | 133

Reminding yourself how clever you, are and forgetting everything else, doesn't really qualify as thinking.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 8, 2019 12:43:28 AM | 166

@157 "The "pull out" dance that we have just witnessed suggests coordination, not manipulation. That is the only logical explanation for Trump's rushed announcement and the indefinite delay that followed."

That makes absolutely no sense, because a "coordinated dance" would have been for Trump not to have made that announcement in the first place.

No initial statement = no need to walk that statement back.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jan 8, 2019 12:47:32 AM | 167

Yeah, Right

I have no problem with the ideal outcome you just outlined even though you know as much as I do what the Kurds will decide and who they'll trust and what the Israelis have up their sleeve to spoil it all. Until now the Kurds been fighting with and are supplied by the Empire. So will they remain loyal to the Empire or take what they can get from Assad? The problem I have with your theory is that you pretend or mistakenly believe that Trump is a genius who orchestrated an outcome that favors the Syrian government which means that he out-maneuvered, as in, out-played his own hand-picked NSA and SOS. This defies all credulity. You just don't get that Trump is playing a game and he hired Bolton and Pompeo as the bad cops to make his lip service look good while the job gets done by them, with his blessing. Just today, he explained his pull-out as having been misinterpreted. This is what he does to keep the Libertarians and disenfranchised on a string! He gives the exit lip service, then turns around, goes to Iraq, makes other plans with the military leaders there, then walks back his pull-out somewhat, then sends Bolton to reassure his benefactors in Israel, and then walks back his pull-out the rest of the way. By this time, he knows that your type and all the other hangers on will blame Bolton and Pompeo and neocon pressure and be left trying to get into his brain, defend him and project their hopeful thoughts on poor ol' victim Trump who is being pulled into something he doesn't want to do while everything still comes up roses for Neocons that Trump won't be blamed for, and the fix is in, and the likes of you will cling to your hope that he's still fighting the swamp and in time he'll succeed. Meanwhile, he's doing nothing new and growing the swamp and stringing everyone along. It's mind control he's playing. It's like JR put it earlier, it's a psyop type of leadership, and he was hand-picked because it's his specialty. The art of the con is his speciality. Look what he did for that bastard MbS. Look what he's done for Israel. That's where his true colors come through. In their case, he can't disguise what he's about! He's a con, a sleaze and a LIAR and nothing has changed for the better, and the Empire is doing just fine. What you wrote @167 proves to me you don't want the truth, because yeah, it is a coordinated dance as I described here above; you just don't want to see it.

ADKC thanks for your comments.

Posted by: Circe | Jan 8, 2019 1:10:56 AM | 168

Yeah, Right: As does Bolton. As does Pompeo. As does Caitlin Johnstone.

As does b.

Kurds got punkt. They may get a chance to rectify that, or the Empire may convince them to stay on side via threats of Turk intervention and occupation (plus killings and payoffs as necessary).

Trump has now shown us that his self-proclaimed frustration with "the generals" was bullshit. Trump will keep troops in Syria as long as "allies" object to their withdrawal. (Trump also cites ISIS a reason to stay but we know that Russia+Syria could take care of remnants of ISIS very quickly.) And those allies are: Israel, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia - not the Kurds.

So (once again) why the song and dance from Trump over the "pull out"? He looks like a fool, or a Deep State stooge for reversing himself. IMO it is because USA and Israel were hoping for a ff during the Israeli Christmas attack. This was the subject of the second part of my comment @157 - which you choose not to address?!?!?

<> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>

Only time will tell which of us is right about Trump's "pull out" but given the nature of Trump, Israel, and the Deep State, I strongly believe I'm right.

PS Kudos for correcting Zanon's "Putin is a Zionist" BS over the last several months.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 8, 2019 1:23:13 AM | 169

grieved @47

Following up on the Escobar article and the developing situation at a Tibetan plateau level:

The Twilight (written in 2014) scenario:

A chilling high-concept geo-political thriller where a declining United States and a resurgent China come to the brink of all out nuclear war. The year is 2025. Oil is the black gold that controls the fortunes of all nations and the once-mighty United States is down to the dregs. A giant oil field is discovered off the Tanzanian coast and the newly elected US President finds his solution to America’s ailing economy. While the US blindly plots and plans regime change in this hitherto insignificant African nation, Tanzania’s allies – the Chinese – start their own secret machinations. The explosion that follows shatters a decades-old balance of global power and triggers a crisis on American soil that the United States may not survive. Political conspiracies, military manouvers, and covert activities are woven together in this fast-paced, gripping novel that paints a stark warning of an uncomfortably likely future.

Get Ready: China Could Pull a 'Crimea' in Asia

Could China emulate Russia's moves in Ukraine?

Exposed: China's Super Strategy to Crush America in a War

Think missiles. Lots and lots of missiles. Welcome to Shock and Awe, Chinese-style.

Posted by: pogohere | Jan 8, 2019 1:30:51 AM | 170

Yeah, Right @167:

That makes absolutely no sense, because a "coordinated dance" would have been for Trump not to have made that announcement in the first place.

No initial statement = no need to walk that statement back.

YES!! That's correct!

Only coordination with Israel and knowledge of Israel's Christmas attack whose goal was for SAA to shoot down a civilian airline would account for Trump's making the "pull out" announcement in such haste.

Maybe you're starting to understand now?!? This is what could have happened:

1) Trump announces pull-back.

2) Mattis resigns and Trump grandstands, saying that he is standing by his "America First", "isolationist" campaign promises (what a guy!).

3) Syria downs a civilian airliner (MSM will focus on THAT, not on Israel's role)

4) Trump makes an address to the nation and indignantly stating that Assad is a monster that must be stopped. Iran and Russia are aiding and abetting this monster! Trump says: I will do everything in my power to protect US and US interests. Blah, blah, blah.

5) Trump orders 10,000 additional troops to Syria, 10,000 additional troops to Iraq, and 10,000 additional troops to Afghanistan.
and events then take their course...

Do you think Saudi Arabia is just buying US arms? They are buying US BLOOD!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 8, 2019 1:38:38 AM | 171

@168 Circe
"Until now the Kurds been fighting with and are supplied by the Empire."


"So will they remain loyal to the Empire or take what they can get from Assad?"

Those are the two options, yes.

If they take the former then Erdogan's forces will attack them and crush them, regardless of what he promises Bolton.
If they take the latter then Erdogan won't move against the Kurds, precisely because he won't need to.

The only practical choice is therefore Option (b).

"The problem I have with your theory is that you pretend or mistakenly believe that Trump is a genius who orchestrated an outcome that favors the Syrian government which means that he out-maneuvered, as in, out-played his own hand-picked NSA and SOS."

No, not in the slightest.

Trump wants to withdraw the US special forces from Syria because he doesn't see any point in them being in Syria.

There really isn't any need to attribute any other motive to his announcement.

"This defies all credulity."

Indeed it does. But I'm pointing out again that this was your straw man argument, not mine.

"You just don't get that Trump is playing a game and he hired Bolton and Pompeo as the bad cops to make his lip service look good while the job gets done by them, with his blessing."

There is absolutely no need for him to play that game at all. If he wants those US forces to remain in Syria then he could have simply kept his mouth shut, precisely because those forces are already there.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jan 8, 2019 2:01:34 AM | 172

By 2025 each of Russia and USA will have significant numbers of hyper-sonic missiles.

In the first Cold War, there was a human-tractable 'window' of 20-45 minutes to decide whether to launch a full-scale counter-strike. Enough time to make a phone call to the other side.

With hyper-sonic missiles, that window will shrink to about 2 minutes.

That is too little time for determining if a potential attack is real or hackers or sunspots, etc. What if there is a power outage? Do you launch if your back up power doesn't come on in within 2 minutes? Do you launch if your early-warning radar goes off-line for more than 2 minutes?

Assuming that these new sophisticated missiles will have some kind of self-destruct is not enough. Once launched, self-destruct or call-back puts your nation at risk. While your fleet is being repaired or refueled, the other side has an opportunity.

Every human on the planet should be able to easily grasp that this is an unacceptable risk for themselves and for humanity. It's time to end the insanity.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 8, 2019 2:09:10 AM | 173

@171 Jackrabbit "Only coordination with Israel and knowledge of Israel's Christmas attack whose goal was for SAA to shoot down a civilian airline would account for Trump's making the "pull out" announcement in such haste."

No, there is a much simpler explanation: Trump made an impulsive announcement because he has always wanted to pull those troops out of Syria, and his phone conversation with Erdogan gave him the opportunity to act on his impulse. So he seized it without fully understanding its implications.

"Maybe you're starting to understand now?!?"

Oh, don't worry, I'm pretty sure I've always had a much firmer understanding of this than you do.

"This is what could have happened:"

No, because your (1) and (2) are completely unnecessary.

Trump would be perfectly capable of going the full-court-press on Damascus if the Israelis managed to pull off Step (3), there would be absolutely no need for any preliminary Kabuki Dancing.

After all, if the Israelis did manage to trick the Syrians into downing an airliner then who, exactly, would even remember that Trump had previously announced a troop withdrawal or that Mattis had resigned in protest?

The answer: nobody

Your argument still doesn't make any sense whatsoever because it requires the intended audience to have an extended attention-span.
The US voting public doesn't, certainly not enough to follow the five (count 'em, five!) unnecessarily-convoluted steps of Your Very Cunning Plan.

"Do you think Saudi Arabia is just buying US arms? They are buying US BLOOD!"

*sigh* Such ignorance.

The Saudis are buying US arms because it is the easiest (and most corrupting) way for them to recycle Petrodollars back into the US economy.

If they didn't do that then the balance-of-payments between SA and the USA would become obscene, to the point of being a guarantee of some CIA-backed regime-change to steal back the accumulated wealth sitting around all those Saudi palaces.

I mean, get real: how else do you expect the Saudis to pay their protection-money to Uncle Sam? By buying Soya Beans, perhaps?

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jan 8, 2019 2:23:11 AM | 174


Not sure if you're aware, but in early November an Israeli cabinet Minister predicted that the Syrians might end up shooting down a commercial plane.

Elkin cautioned that “considering the mess” that the Syrian army was in, the Syrians cannot be trusted to operate the equipment correctly and may end up shooting down an “Israeli military or commercial plane over Israeli territory.”

Israel on Syrian missile defense

So, I wonder if his comment set in motion the plan to trap/bait the Syrians?

Maybe, what started with brainstorming on a false flag excuse to destroy Syria's S-300s ended up as a plan to destroy and occupy Syria. Then you wonder why I'm often white heat indignant over Zionist machinations and the evil Zionism generates.

Posted by: Circe | Jan 8, 2019 2:29:02 AM | 175

@154 Don "Syrian Kurds for the last few years have operated under the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria, called Rojava, a de facto (not de jure) autonomous region in northeastern Syria."

Exactly so. They could do that because:
a) the Syrian govt had its hands full elsewhere, and
b) the presence of embedded US Special Forces protected Rojava from Erdogan's wrath.

"They will seek to legalize this arrangement,"

To the extent that they can, yes, they will. But if they try to go it alone then Rojava will meet the same fate as Afrin, and they know it.

"and it's up to Syria to decide the issue."

Not if Erdogan has anything to say about it. He will act as aggressively towards Rojava as he did against Afrin, and the only way that the Kurds can prevent that from happening is to invite the Syrian Arab Army in as part of (1) a negotiated deal with Assad that is (2) guaranteed by Putin.

That is the ONLY option that will prevent the Kurds from being pulverised by the Turkish military, and so that is their best option.

It is the option that they will take, and having Bolton shouting from the sidelines "No! No! Don't! Let me talk to Erdogan first!" isn't going to have the slightest influence on that Kurdish decision-making.

Because - let's be honest here - Bolton is merely a factotum, and Erdogan is a megalomaniac who gets a hardon from killing Kurds.

There is no way that any Kurd would place any trust in any "agreement" decided upon between those two.

They'll turn to Assad instead, and they'll take what they can get from him (which, admittedly, won't be all that much).

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jan 8, 2019 2:42:37 AM | 176

What if you launch 500 hypersonic strategic missiles as a precaution because your systems are malfunctioning. You call the other side: "Hey we launched 500 missiles as precaution, we'll recall them if you haven't launched yours."

How long does the other side wait? In a very short time, THEY have to launch 500 missiles as a precaution also.

Now there are 1,000 "precautionary" missiles in the air.

1) Who recalls their missiles first?

2) What if a few of the missiles malfunction? What if a few proceed to their pre-selected targets?

3) What if there are more than 2 countries with hyper-sonic missiles? Each new country adds to the complexity of decision-making with severe time-constraints.

<> <> <> <> <> <> <>

What if each side keeps missiles in the air (they run on long-lasting nuclear fuel)? Especially during times of tension. Now the time to respond to an attack drops to, say, 30 seconds!!

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Satellite conundrum

Missiles in space could allow one side to 'blind' the other within seconds by destroying their communications satellites.

Is it sunspots or the start of an attack? Oh shit, just launch them all. We'll decide while they're in the air ...

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 8, 2019 2:46:38 AM | 177

Circe @175

Very interesting, thanks.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 8, 2019 2:48:57 AM | 178

What can be done?
Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 8, 2019 12:36:50 AM | 163, etc.

(Hypersonic missiles/ hair-trigger response)

Doing nothing at all would be a good start. Forgetting warmongering and learning to smell the roses would be better. Putin touted Russia's Avangard announcement as "maintaining the balance" (of M.A.D). Patrick Armstrong's RF SITREP for January 3, at SST, enthusiastically endorses Putin's claim, for which he can be forgiven.

Avangard, with a top speed of Mach 27, not only blows AmeriKKKa's daydream of a 'surprise' Nuke attack on Russia clean out of the water, it gives Russia time to verify an incoming threat and respond before the incoming threat reaches its target. AmeriKKKa has ballistic missiles which can exceed Mach 27 but, being rockets, they're limited to a ballistic (predictable) trajectory. Avangard is a scramjet and thus powered and and maneuverable all the way to the target.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jan 8, 2019 3:10:28 AM | 179

Yeah, Right

Methinks you presume too much. I can't wait til history proves you wrong even though I'm against that outcome, but I'm realistic, therefore I sense what's coming doesn't fit your outcome.

In a previous comment you wrote something to the effect that by issuing his pull-out statement Trump foiled a Neocon outcome in Syria, did you not? Therefore you basically wrote he out-maneuvered Bolton and Pompeo. Why the hell did he pick those goons then? Never mind your spin, because he's like them!

He could have kept his mouth shut, but, the truth is that he also issued a statement via his press secretary stating We have started returning United States troops home as we transition to the next phase of this campaign. So this strategy was planned. Did you even bother to question what he intended the next phase to be? Think, Bush's, Mission Accomplished in Iraq and how long the troops stayed after that and are STILL there. This is the Trumpian version of mission accomplished. You just want us to see Trump and this ruse through your rose-colored glasses.

Posted by: Circe | Jan 8, 2019 3:23:07 AM | 180

BM @69

I have no numbers on small scale and am primarily thinking of grid scale as is the university video posted. My assumption is that the scale of hydro for small megawatt systems would be well below the threshold of economic. What the UNSW team have developed is regional or national transfer from fossil to renewable. I will look for some numerical rule of thumb for megawatt scale systems.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jan 8, 2019 4:17:40 AM | 181

Yeah Right

You are giving too much energy on Kurds for some reason. If kurds dont go along with US policies, well then so what? US will move accordingly nontheless for their goals, as some other people already said here, kurds are used as pawns.
The goal US have is ISIS, IRan, Hezbollah. THey could manage that themselves.

Kurdish groups in Syria does neither represent the same views and goals, there are years back, certain kurdish groups already working with Assad. That doesnt mean that all kurds will somehow turn on their goals and be allied with Assad tommorow. More concretely they wont give up land without any acceptance of kurdish power over these areas.

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 8, 2019 4:46:20 AM | 182


I didnt make Putin a zionist. I ask you the same query, when did Russia had a leader giving Israel this much of support? You cannot.

Someone who refuse to sell defensive arms just because Israel says so is clearly a supporter of the same state:

General Leonid Ivashov: "In the Interests of Israel": Why Russia will not sell the S-300 Air Defense System to Iran

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 8, 2019 4:52:07 AM | 183

yeah, Right @ 38: Inclined to agree with you that the cause of the US embassy staff's health problems is electromagnetic and the source of this cause is the systems installed there. The noise and the crickets are just a smokescreen to hide behind. Who'da thought- bugged by their own bugs!

The cricket noise is probably a faulty pumping system the cricket noise is a common complaint when that happens. Human hearing is 1 Hertz to 20,000 Hertz, cricket noise is in that range.

slit @52 found the solar hydro hybrid video
The global transformation from coal and oil and gas to solar and wind power for source of power generation and the transformation from AC to DC for high power transmission for delivery of generated energy, suggest that the world empire which had its organizing history in the first Zionist congress in Basil Switzerland, where the goal was to take the oil and gas from the Arabs(Ottomans) brought about WWI, WWII, the concentration of Banksters and oil men in the middle east and the masking of the military forces assigned to protect the oil bandits (under the guise of the base being a nation state (Israel)) is about to fissile.. As the world turns from fossil fuels (coal oil and gas, to renewable) the entire purpose of the empire ceases to have meaning. Not mentioned in the utube video is a greater more earth shaking renewable energy evolution aiming to generate and store the energy needed at the site of use (your home) ; as that progresses it will eliminate the need for transmission lines and take the politics out of who gets rich off everyone's need for energy. The developments should send the price of goods and services to zero around the world and the nice thing about renewables is copyright patent and other monopolies cannot be used to stop everyone from being able to use the technology.. .

Posted by: snake | Jan 8, 2019 4:57:45 AM | 184

Wth is going on? Turkey and the Kurds are going to take over Northeastern Syria together with Turkey advising the Kurds??? Is this for real? Two Empire proxies are taking a part of a sovereign country, Syria, and Erdo calls this maintaining Syria's intergrity? Bullshet. Something's up and it smells bad. So then the Kurds are no longer negotiating a deal with Assad? Why am I not surprised?!?!

Erdogan opinion piece NYT

Yeah, Right. This one's for you! Looks like you missed the mark.

Posted by: Circe | Jan 8, 2019 5:18:47 AM | 185

"Wth is going on?"

Erdogan is preparing the way for an invasion of northern Syria with an intention of crushing (pardon me, "vetting") the YPG.

"Turkey and the Kurds are going to take over Northeastern Syria together with Turkey advising the Kurds???"

No, read it again. Erdogan is planning to invade Syria with the intention of crushing (sorry, "vetting") the YPG. He has absolutely no intention of "advising" the Kurds.

"Is this for real?"

No, it is not for real. It is propaganda piece intended to prepare the American public for a Turkish military invasion of northern Syria for the singular purpose of destroying (oh, my bad, "vetting") the YPG.

"Yeah, Right. This one's for you! Looks like you missed the mark."

I can't make up this stuff! Circe quotes ERDOGAN as the spokesmodel for the YPG, and insists that *because* Erdogan has said how it will be then (of course! who could doubt it!) the Kurds must be in full agreement with that plan.

Pardon me, Circe, but can you point me to the NYT's op-ed wherein the leadership of the Kurds write that, yep, they agree 100% with their Turkish soul-mate that this is how it is going to go down in northern Syria, and that they welcome - with open arms - the Turkish Army's plan to "intensively vet" the armed forces that make up the YPG.

Circe, please, get out of your bubble for just a second and read that Erdogan propaganda piece through KURDISH eyes.

Because it doesn't take a psychic to realise that the KURDS would read that op-ed with horror, and the only outcome will be a doubling of their efforts to strike a deal with Assad to get the SAA into northern Syria before Erdogan is in a position to make good on his promise to unleash some "intensive vetting" on the YPG forces.

Oh, sorry, you actually believe Erdogan?


You honestly think that his "vetting process" isn't a plan to disarm and imprison any Kurd who he suspects of belonging to the YPG?

Honestly, there's one born every second....

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jan 8, 2019 5:46:49 AM | 186

@183 Zanon quotes General Leonid Ivashov: "In the Interests of Israel": Why Russia will not sell the S-300 Air Defense System to Iran"

My friend Zanon appears not to notice that the article in question is dated 2010, and that Iran has had the S-300 in operational service since 2015.

Which, of course, dates from the moment that the JCPOA was signed and, with it, the lifting on all UNSC sanctions on arms sales to Iran.

But, hey, never let the facts get in the way of a good rant!

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jan 8, 2019 5:53:28 AM | 187

U.S. officials also said that a base in southeast Syria, Al Tanf, will remain in American hands, and the U.S. will also maintain control of airspace over northern Syria.

So now the plan is a no-fly zone over northern Syria. Mission Accomplished on steroids! This is getting crazier by the minute. Trump crazy.

Shift on Syria

Posted by: Circe | Jan 8, 2019 6:05:29 AM | 188

@182 Zanon "You are giving too much energy on Kurds for some reason."

The reason is obvious: the US troops that are in Syria are special forces (Green Berets and the like) who are there to be "embedded" in with the YPG. If the Kurds change sides then they will also change uniforms.

Which will mean that US troops will be "embedded" in with.... the Syrian Arab Army.

You really think that is a viable option for indefinite deployment of US troops inside Syria?
Because, so sorry, I don't think so.

"If kurds dont go along with US policies, well then so what?"

Truly, ignorance is bliss.

It isn't *just* that the Kurds will turn their back on the US.

If that was all they did then that guarantees - without a doubt - that Erdogan will invade northern Syria with the intention of slaughtering the YPG.

The Kurds can't *just* turn their back on Washington. They *also* have to flop on their back and expose their belly to Damascus, because the only thing that can possibly stand between the YPG and a slaughter at the hands of Erdogan is the soldiers of the Syrian Arab Army.

What we have here is a race between Assad convincing the Kurds to allow his forces into that region and Erdogan geeing up his forces to go in and thump! the Kurds.

Honestly, how can you not see that?

"US will move accordingly nontheless for their goals, as some other people already said here, kurds are used as pawns."

I'm getting mighty tired of pointing this out, but the ONLY way the Kurds can avoid having the YPG wiped out by a Turkish invasion is to get the SAA to come in and stand in Erdogan's way.

There is NOT OTHER way the Kurds can avoid being slaughtered.

So that's what they will do, and part of that deal in inevitably going to involve the YPG soldiers swapping their current fatigues for SAA uniforms.

Now, once more, yet again: the US Special Forces that are in Syria are EMBEDDED WITH THE KURDISH YPG.

I'll repeat that, because you just ain't listening: US Green Beret's are EMBEDDED WITH THE YPG.

If those YPG soldiers take of their camo and slip into SAA uniforms - which they will, it will definitely be part of the deal - then the US Special Forces are going to end up EMBEDDED WITH THE SYRIAN ARAB ARMY.

Q: Is that going to be viable?
A: No.

"The goal US have is ISIS, IRan, Hezbollah. THey could manage that themselves."

You cannot really be that naïve. The goal the US has is to stiffen the Kurds so that the YPG stands there preventing the Syrian government from reuniting the entire country under Assad's rule.

That's it. That's all that the USA deep state is attempting to do.

And they will fail, and they will fail *because* of Trump's recent brain-fart.
That twitter-announcement guarantees that Turkey will attack the Kurds.
That threat of Turkish attack guarantees that the Kurds will reconcile with Damascus.
That reconciliation (if it happens quickly enough, which it will) will prevent a Turkish attack.

That's ALL you need to know to predict what happens from here on, and the important thing about that is that *******none******** of it depends on what Trump or Bolton or Pompeo does from here on in.

It's all up to the Kurds: they either jump into bed with Assad or they get slaughtered by Erdogan.
There is no halfway-house between those two options, there is no third-way.
There is no Bolton Sly Plan that can cut through those two extreme outcomes.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jan 8, 2019 6:14:31 AM | 189

Zanon @ 183:

That article you linked to is dated 28 September 2010 ... at a time when Dmitri Medvedev was Russian President.

Then, Russia suspended supplying S300 missile defence systems to Iran after a UN resolution imposed economic sanctions on Iran. As the S300 missiles in 2010 might have had foreign (especially US) components, supplying them to Iran when that nation was sanctioned would have violated the resolution.

Since then, after Iran signed the nuclear deal that prevents the country from developing nuclear weapons, Russia resumed supplying the S300 missiles. Delivery of the systems to Iran was completed by December 2016.

Posted by: Jen | Jan 8, 2019 6:15:28 AM | 190

Yeah Right

Of course it was dated 2010, it was about then when Russia blocked the sale and still have, because again Putin cares too much about Israel.

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 8, 2019 6:24:46 AM | 191

@188 "So now the plan is a no-fly zone over northern Syria. Mission Accomplished on steroids! This is getting crazier by the minute. Trump crazy."

No, but it is getting Circe-crazy.

Because it takes an impressive act of self-delusion to spend your days here shouting that Nothing Trump Says Can Be Trusted and *then* to quote some words from an unnamed US official as it were gospel.

That quote insists that the USA will maintain one (as in: one) military base in al-Tanf, and from there exert complete and uncontested control over northern Syria.


You honestly believe that is a viable long-term plan for US dominance over half of the territory of the state of Syria?


Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jan 8, 2019 6:25:13 AM | 192

@191 "Of course it was dated 2010,"

Riiiiiight. And you realized that all along?

"it was about then when Russia blocked the sale"

The sales were blocked the moment that the UNSC decided to impose sanctions on arms-sales to Iran.

"and still have,"

The sales resumed the moment the UNSC decided to rescind its sanctions on arms-sales to Iran.

"because again Putin cares too much about Israel."


The sales were blocked the moment the UNSC decided to impose sanctions upon Iran, and were lifted the moment that the UNSC decided to rescind those sanctions.

QED: the sales were blocked because Russia takes seriously its obligation under Article 25 of The Charter of the United Nations.

Look it up, you might finally learn something.

Well, here's hoping anyway.....

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jan 8, 2019 6:33:48 AM | 193


Thank you but I doubt Iran have S300, it would explain this:

From 2018: Iran says develops more precise S-300 missile systems

You dont buy expensive missiles if you embark on creating them yourself that will be even more expensive.
But I can be wrong about it I will admit.

Also it has nothing to do with Medvedev being president though: Here you have Putin in 2010 sucking up to Netanyahu:

Russia suspends Iran arms sale following Israeli PM's visit to Moscow

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 8, 2019 6:47:46 AM | 194

Yeah Right 189

You miss the point. Its not about the kurds but US goals - Iran, ISIS, Hezbollah. Kurds is unrelated to these goals and could do without them if needed. Thus you are paying too much energy on this ethnic group.

Yeah Right 193

Yes. Didnt you realize it was from 2010?
The sanctions on Iran is also interesting - something Israel wanted and persuaded Russia to accept. I think that says alout about Putin's relation with Israel. Dont you think the same?

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 8, 2019 6:53:03 AM | 195

Snake 184

Could be a problem with US electronics, hut then to be a US diplomat now, pumping the official line, would require a certain amount of pre existing brain damage.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jan 8, 2019 7:06:18 AM | 196

Circe 188

Only prove what people like me and you had said all along, US wont move from Syria. They might even dig deeper.

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 8, 2019 7:09:14 AM | 197

@195 Zanon “You miss the point.”

Oh, please, look in the mirror when you say that.

“Its not about the kurds”

One more time for the slow people: US forces inside Syria are embedded with and work alongside... the Kurds.

If the Kurds swap sides then those US special forces are going to wake up one morning and find that the forces that they are EMBEDDED WITH and are WORKING ALONGSIDE have all taken off their YPG uniforms and are now wearing the uniform of the SAA.

Now, I’m going to ask one more time: do you think it the least bit viable for US forces to be EMBEDDED WITH and WORKING ALONGSIDE troops that belong to the armed forces of Bashir Assad?

Really? You really think that is viable?

Because I’m gonna say “No, the USA will pick up their bat and ball and go home before they will allow themselves to be photographed alongside the Syrian Arab Army.”

“but US goals”

US policy inside Syria resembles a zombie - it keeps lurching along without even knowing that it is already dead.

That Bolton can’t see that is understandable, because he is insane. But what’s your excuse?

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jan 8, 2019 7:21:18 AM | 198

Yeah Right

Kurds hasnt to this day swapped side, for one as I tried to tell you earlier, not every kurdish groups have the same goal to begin with. Kurds wont suddenly put on "SAA" uniforms. You are getting ahead of what is really going on. There is no point debating made up scenarios as facts.

All facts we have is that 1. US still there 2. And statements by the US, Turkey have made it clear that the collaboration will go on regardless if someone is embedded or not. Period.

You seems to believe that:
1. US will just move from Syria and
2. Without any agreement with the partners they have.
But that is why Bolton is talks with Turkey on kurds right now.

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 8, 2019 7:36:28 AM | 199

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 8, 2019 7:36:28 AM | 199
"Kurds hasnt to this day swapped side,"

A hasbarist would say that, wouldn't he? Israel wouldn't like to hear that the Kurds have swapped sides, after all the years and money Israel spent cultivating the Kurds (mainly in Erbil), to get them against the Arab states they live in.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 8, 2019 8:37:22 AM | 200

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