Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 18, 2019

Syria Sitrep - French Officer Criticizes U.S. Way Of War - Assad Offers Kurds Some Autonomy

A large double-tap car bombing (vid) hit Idleb city in northwest Syria today. Some 20 to 30 people were killed and more wounded. Idleb governorate is controlled by the al-Qaeda aligned Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) but many other terrorist groups continue to exist within the area. All fight each other over the available resources.

In September the Astana agreement between Turkey, Russia and Iran was the basis of a ceasefire in Idleb governorate. Turkey was supposed to cleanse the area of HTS and other terrorist groups. It deployed soldiers to fortified observation posts around the region but did little else to fulfill the agreement.

Turkey is not only dragging its feet on Idleb but allows new foreign fighters to go there:

According to local sources in the province cited by Sputnik, around 1500 terrorists crossed the Turkish border into Idleb under the cover of the Turkish authorities supported by Turkish agents and directly supervised by the Turkish Gendarmerie (Jandarma) that is affiliated to the Turkish army.
...
The sources mentioned that the terrorists are of Western nationalities, in addition to others who hold nationalities of East Asian and Arab countries, who were transported towards Jisr al-Shughour area that is under the control of terrorists from China and Turkistan, while the other foreign terrorists were transported to camps of Jabhat al-Nusra and Hurras Eddin in the southern and southeastern countryside of Idleb.

It is likely that many of these new arrivals are ISIS terrorist who fled from east Syria to Turkey and were then routed towards Idleb. The terrorist in Idleb governorate continue to attack Syrian troops around them. They use up quite a lot of ammunition and must have supply lines from Turkey to sustain the fighting.

Another recent meeting in the Astana format with Russia, Iran and Turkey confirmed the basic agreement but did not achieve a common position on how to proceed.

The Turkish newspaper Hurriyet just published an interview with Putin’s spokesperson Dmitry Peskov. On Idelb he said:

Q: Should we expect an operation into Idlib in the short term?

A: We should leave that to our military experts. We do need an operation, but we have to decide on whether it will be Turkey’s operation or some other countries’. We should not hope to make a deal with the children of Ahrar al-Sham. That is a false hope, they are terrorists, they are al-Nusra, they are the children of al-Qaeda.

At the recent security conference in Munich Russia's Foreign Minister Sergej Lavrov also mentioned (vid @~15:00min) the situation in Idleb. He said that there would be common Russian and Turkish patrols in some areas of Idleb governorate but provided no details.

For now everyone waits for the U.S. to retreat from northeast Syria as Trump has ordered. Idleb will only be attacked when that proceeded.

The Islamic State as a territory holding entity is finished. It will continue to exist for some time as an underground terrorist movement in Syria and Iraq and as a brand that local groups elsewhere will use for their misdeeds.

Since the end of last week the last holdout of ISIS is down to a few thousand square meters. The U.S. is now again negotiating with the terrorists instead of finishing them off:

More than 300 Islamic State militants surrounded in a tiny area in eastern Syria are refusing to surrender to U.S.-backed Syrian forces and are trying to negotiate an exit, Syrian activists and a person close to the negotiations said Monday.
...
The DeirEzzor 24, an activist collective in eastern Syria, said several trucks loaded with food stuff entered IS-held areas in Baghouz in Deir el-Zour on Monday morning. The group also reported that ISIS released 10 SDF fighters Sunday without saying whether the supplies of the food stuff were in return for the release.

DeirEzzor 24 said that the truce reached between ISIS and the SDF last week has been extended for five more days as of Sunday.

A French colonel who led an artillery group in the fight against ISIS criticized the U.S. way of fighting that war:

Colonel Francois-Regis Legrier, who has been in charge of directing French artillery supporting Kurdish-led groups in Syria since October, said the coalition's focus had been on limiting its own risks and this had greatly increased the death toll among civilians and the levels of destruction.

"Yes, the Battle of Hajin was won, at least on the ground but by refusing ground engagement, we unnecessarily prolonged the conflict and thus contributed to increasing the number of casualties in the population," Mr Legrier wrote in an article in the National Defence Review.

"We have massively destroyed the infrastructure and given the population a disgusting image of what may be a Western-style liberation leaving behind the seeds of an imminent resurgence of a new adversary," he said, in rare public criticism by a serving officer.

French artillery in northeast Syria (source)

Note the mix of LU107 high explosive and LU214 white phosphorus grenades (Nexter catalog)
which together can be used to "shake 'n bake" the enemy forces. The tactic is highly controversial.
bigger

Several times during the last months bad weather prevented the use of aerial bombing and artillery fire against ISIS. The terrorists always used these pauses to counterattack. The poorly armed and led Kurdish/Arab SDF suffered a lot of casualties because of these. The colonel opines that a well armed professional ground force would have shortened the conflict with less casualties and much less damage.

The original essay by the soon to be former colonel was taken down from the web. It is available in French on page 65 of this pdf.

It is still not clear if or when the U.S. forces will leave northeast Syria. President Trump had asked Turkey to take over the area but Syria, Russia, Iran and the Kurdish forces the U.S. used as proxies against ISIS are against this. A U.S. attempt to recruit British, German or French forces to occupy the area failed.

The Syrian ground must obviously be turned back to the Syrian government. The Kurdish forces, controlled by the anarcho-marxist PKK/YPG which Turkey and others designate as terrorists, use their current position to demand political autonomy in the area they now control. The Syrian government is strongly against this. Any federalization of Syria would be the beginning of its end.

Yesterday the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad offered a compromise to the Kurds. In a speech in front of the heads of local councils he announced local council elections and the decentralization of some political decisions. The required law 107 is already in place but its implementation was held up by the war:

[Assad] said that the essence of the local administration law is achieving balance in development across all areas by giving local administrative units the authority to develop their areas in terms of economy, urban development, culture, and services, thereby improving citizens’ living conditions by launching projects, providing job opportunities, and providing services locally, particularly in remote areas.

President al-Assad said it is no longer practical to manage the affairs of the society and state and achieved balanced development in the same centralized way that had been used for decades, noting that the population of Syria in 1971 when the previous law was issued was around 7 million, while the population in 2011 when law 107 was issued had reached around 22 million.

That the implementation of elected local administrations is offered now is a clear sign to the Kurds that they can get some autonomy but not the wide ranging one that they ask for. While they can have local elections, councils and administrations as all other areas will have, there will be no separate armed force, police of judicative in Kurdish majority areas.

Several times over the war the Kurds overreached, made too large demands and lost because of it. Turkey took the Afrin area and the Kurdish population had to flee because the Kurdish leadership did not want the Syrian army to take over control. In a later part of the speech Assad again addressed the Kurds without specifically naming them. He warned:

“The Americans will not protect you… you will be a bargaining chip in their pocket along with the dollars they have, and they have already started bargaining. If you don’t prepare yourselves to defend your country, you will be mere slaves for the Ottomans. Only your state will protect you and only the Syrian Arab Army will defend you when you join it and fight under its banner.

“When we stand in one position and in the same trench, face a single enemy, and aim in the same direction instead of aiming at each other, there will be no worry of any threat no matter how big, His Excellency said.

President al-Assad said the time has come for those groups to decide how history will judge them, and that they have a choice: to be masters in their own land, or slaves and pawns in the hand of occupiers.

The offer is quite clear and the consequences of not accepting it would be harsh. The Kurds and the area they hold must come back under Syrian government control or Turkey will grab it and will put the Kurds under its boots. The pigheadedness of their leadership could easily lead to that. In his speech Assad already predicts that they will reject his offer before - maybe - accepting it.

“As you noticed, I will not name these groups, but as usual, for a few hours or maybe for a few days, they will issue statements attacking this speech, then you will know who I’m talking about,” he added.

A few hours after Assad's speech the Kurdish commander of the SDF was again begging the U.S. to keep 1,500 of its troops there.

Mazloum Kobani, commander-in-chief of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), called on international coalition allies to keep 1,000-1,500 troops in Syria.
...
“We would like to have air cover, air support and a force on the ground to coordinate with us,” Kobani told reporters at an undisclosed airbase in northeast Syria, Reuters reports.

It is very unlikely that Trump will change his position. The U.S. troops will leave. Only the Syrian government can give the Kurds the protection they need.

How many more Kurds will have to die until their leadership finally accepts that?

Posted by b on February 18, 2019 at 02:15 PM | Permalink

Comments

Russia's Lavrov snubs US journalist: "Whatever I answer, you'll write what you want”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltEgMF9S0QI

Posted by: Stringer | Feb 18, 2019 2:29:34 PM | 1

To the French Colonel:
Wake up dummy as ISIS is C$IA, Mo$$$ad, Deep State.

Go back to France and join the yellow vests. Arrest the Roth$child family, Soros and the other dual citizen banksters who have bled France dry and turned France into Africa. The enemy is in Paris there Colonel and at the bIS in Switzerland, NATO and also in Tel$$ Aviv$.

Syria, Assad and the Russians are not the enemy.

Posted by: Jerry | Feb 18, 2019 2:34:45 PM | 2

thanks b...

erdogan is not going to change... putin has to address this, however he addresses it..

usa-west is not going to change either.. the withdrawal sounds good on paper, but they will find a way to throw a spoke in everything.

kurds have an outside chance of changing..

so, it is a frozen type dynamic at present, waiting on turkey or russia to make the next move... kurds don't seem capable of making the right move here... they find whatever the usa dangles in front of them, enough to continue to fantasize about their future independence.

erdogan never saw a renamed terrorist he didn't like, so long as it wasn't a kurd... until this changes, we are still on track for ww3.. we just had a slight pause in the same direction..

Posted by: james | Feb 18, 2019 3:08:44 PM | 3

Thanks for the ongoing Syria reporting b

The Kurds I suspect are getting mixed messages from other members of NATO and some of those message promise them a better position then where they are headed if the US completes its pull out and doesn't backfill with mercenaries as the only choice now.

I don't see the US EVER leaving the ME unless the private finance issue is resolved or the US goes bankrupt and can't project war anymore. I think the later is most likely and fast approaching but will the cancer of private finance empire find another host to control by then is the question

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 18, 2019 3:12:05 PM | 4

"How many more Kurds will have to die until their leadership finally accepts that?"

Syrian Kurds were second class inhabitants of Syria before the US invasion and there is nothing to suggest that they will not be second class inhabitants after the 'peace'. Perhaps they would prefer to die fighting, rather than live in chains; the true meaning of the real 'peshmerga' - their souls go on before.

Posted by: Mikalina | Feb 18, 2019 3:22:33 PM | 5

reply to: Stringer | Feb 18, 2019 2:29:34 PM | 1

Thanks for that Lavrov interview. I do believe that when historians cover the first two decades of the 21st century Lavrov will stand out as the best foreign minister. He will, of course, be compared the Hillary, John Kerry and Pompeo. What a series of clowns! This will be part of the story for how the US empire collapsed.

Posted by: ToivoS | Feb 18, 2019 3:22:52 PM | 6

Syria Chemical Weapons Used... But Used by Whom?

Given the gravity of this claim and its consequences, as well as a recent history of unevidenced assertions based on inaccurate intelligence being used to justify involvement in foreign wars, how does the evidence in the latest assertion stack up?

https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/charles-shoebridge/syria-chemical-weapons-us_b_3443185.html

Posted by: Charles Shoebridge | Feb 18, 2019 3:34:25 PM | 7

Fully agree with the Sturgess family: “What are they hiding?”

https://twitter.com/RussianEmbassy/status/1096828044491280384

Posted by: Russian Embassy, UK | Feb 18, 2019 3:38:51 PM | 8

Forward, Comrades (Russian: Вперед, товарищи; Chinese: 前进,达瓦里希; pinyin: Qiánjìn, dáwǎlǐxī; literally: "Advance, tovarish") is a 2013 Chinese animated short film by Wang Liyin of the Beijing Film Academy. The film focuses on the fall of the Soviet Union as its main theme, told from the perspective of a young girl. As an original net animation with a strong political backdrop, the film has triggered strong reactions from various audiences.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forward,_Comrades

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkHM4ajLfD0

Posted by: wikipedia | Feb 18, 2019 3:56:45 PM | 9

Idlib is going to be cleared militarily at some point. Turkey has been given its chance to try its way and failed. It may be hoping to claim parts of Syria as a buffer. However, the Turkish military has proven to be of limited effectiveness against the Kurds. So it will present no problem for the battle-hardened SAA. Turkey's sole potential advantage over Syria is in air power, and Syria has proven its defenses are effective against NATO weaponry. Erdogan will have to decided which is preferable - an orderly withdrawal with an intact military or a forceful withdrawal with a damaged military.

As for Turkey feeding in more extremists - the more the merrier. It is better for them to be eliminated in Idlib than remain free to serve as proxies elsewhere.

Posted by: Yonatan | Feb 18, 2019 3:59:55 PM | 10

I think that the Kurds are gegetting too much of everything, including attention. I know I will read racist, but there is a very good reason why the Kurds never achieved autonomy let alone a nation state throughout centuries. They are congenitally stupid and always pick the worst option possible because on the surface it looks most attractive. In 2012, when US (that is Israel) started mulling using YPG as the third tier anti-Syrian force, after ISIS and Al Qaida, I wrote that Kurds are going to get shafted again in such an un-natural alliance. It is an endless cycle in which the Israelis keep using the Kurds to destabilise their Arab neighbors and let them down, rinse and repeat.

So here we are again, the Kurds were given control over Syrian oil by US and hopes of statehood with even riches on top, to then be let down by the same “allies” for the one thousandth time. Now they will drag on negotiations with the real owner of oil, trying to get their state (with oil) within a state, and let two mutual enemies, Syria and Turkey, gang up on them to solve the Kurdish problem that both states have (Iraq as well). Do not accuse only the Kurdish leadership just to make it read non-racist, this is one whole “nation” that I really do not fell sorry for. You need more proof how stupid they really are? They are asking US to stay, still not having a faintest clue that the Israeli war on Syria has been lost and what their own role in it has always been?

Posted by: Kiza | Feb 18, 2019 4:17:53 PM | 11

Highlights of President Assad speech (17 February 2019)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_XjcwxVIjA

Posted by: Syriana Analysis | Feb 18, 2019 4:19:17 PM | 12

Assad To U.S. Proxies: Nobody Will Protect You

Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad warned on February 17 that the U.S. would not protect those depending on it, in a clear hint to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) which control northeastern Syria.

“We say to those groups who are betting on the Americans, the Americans will not protect you … The Americans will put you in their pockets so you can be tools in the barter, and they have started with (it),” the Syrian President said while he was welcoming the heads of local councils, according to Reuters.

Assad called on these US proxies to hand over their weapons to the army and join the reconciliation process while stressing that this is the only way to “retreat from mischief.”

“Nobody will protect you except your state … If you do not prepare yourselves to defend your country, you will be nothing but slaves to (Turkey),” he added.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw all U.S. troops from Syria revived Turkey’s plans to invade the northeastern part of the country. This forced the SDF to resume its talks with Damascus. However, the Kurdish-dominated group made very high demands, such as maintaining its independent military force.

Assad’s warning may indicate that a deal between his government and the SDF has been still not reached. Despite this, he appears to be confident that the U.S. will eventually carry on with the withdrawal decision.

Posted by: SouthFront | Feb 18, 2019 4:52:18 PM | 13

SDF Official: We Are Ready To Consider Deployment Of Egyptian Troops East Of Euphrates

The Syrian Democratic Council (SDC) is ready to consider the deployment of Egyptian troops in its areas east of the Euphrates River in order to prevent any attack by Turkey, Riad Darar, a co-chairman of the Kurdish-dominated council told the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) on February 17.

“We can coordinate with the Egyptian side to allow a deployment in eastern Euphrates, they can have a presence there in many ways, we can agree on this,” Darar said.

The SDC governs northeastern Syria with direct support from the US-led coalition. Turkey began preparations to invade the entire region following President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw all US troops from Syria.

Darar said that he understands that Turkey will not welcome any communication between them and Egypt. However, he stressed that it is within their rights to communicate with any side that could “protect their future,” especially Egypt, who has historical ties with Syria.

“We always wanted to open an office [in Egypt] to maintain relations with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Egypt … We are ready to visit Egypt in anytime that would be suitable for our Egyptian brothers,” the Kurdish official added.

Egypt and several other Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia and the UAE, have been working to counter Turkey’s growing influence in Syria. However, it remains unclear if Cairo is willing to deploy troops in the northeastern part of the country.

Posted by: SouthFront | Feb 18, 2019 4:57:43 PM | 14

Compromise With Terrorists In Idlib Is Impossible, They Must Be Eliminated: Russian Deputy Foreign Minister

Russia’s principled stance is that a compromise with terrorists in Syria’s Idlib is impossible and that they must be eliminated, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin said on February 17.

“Idlib is a serious problem, this is probably a major concentration of terrorists in the region and maybe beyond its borders,” he said on the sidelines of the discussion on the Syrian settlement at the Munich Security Conference, according to TASS. “Our principled stance is no to any compromise with terrorists, they must be eliminated.”

Vershinin recalled that 90% of Idlib’s territory is controlled by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra) terrorist group, which is excluded from the de-escalation agreement.

“It’s impossible to say that we can make peace with Jabhat al-Nusra terrorists and similar organizations,” he said adding that Ankara, Teheran and Moscow will think about the ways in order not to harm or put in danger the civilians.

Regarding the situation in northeastern Syria, the diplomat said that the dialogue between the Kurds and the Damascus government will be the best solution.

“Various options were named of what can be done after or in case the US leaves Syria or if there are no foreign forces in northeast Syria, which were also mentioned here. We believe that probably the best option here would be solving these problems through dialogue between the Kurds and Damascus,” he said. “Certainly, we know about those problems which exist in relations between Damascus and the Kurds. We would support this dialogue, this is the path that should be chosen.”

Posted by: SouthFront | Feb 18, 2019 5:02:33 PM | 15

US in the Middle East.....

https://twitter.com/GissiSim/status/1097529601541181440

Posted by: Sasha | Feb 18, 2019 5:09:39 PM | 16

U.S. cannot back Syrian forces who align with Assad - U.S. commander

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The United States will have to sever its military assistance to the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) battling Islamic State if the fighters partner with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad or Russia, a senior U.S. general said on Sunday.

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-mideast-crisis-syria-usa-idUKKCN1Q60OG

Posted by: Reuters | Feb 18, 2019 5:12:35 PM | 17

@14, Southfront

Egypt will never insert its troops in Syria against Syria's interests. Look at the history of the two nations. Look at the refusal of Egypt to assist SA in Yemen. and look at the task in the Sinai and inside Egypt against MV, AQ and ISIS, as well as the border of Libya where chaos still rains across that God-forsaken nation.

Egypt is not going to be doing any bidding by others or fight in other lands for some time to come.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Feb 18, 2019 5:30:37 PM | 18

Kiza @ 11: The main reason the Kurds have never achieved unity despite one of their number having been the famous Salahuddin (Saladin) a thousand years ago is that they were never really one ethnic group in the first place but rather several groups speaking related Northwestern Iranian languages and dialects. The close linguistic relationship is the basis for the various communities being lumped together as "Kurds".

Apart from their languages and dialects, there is not much else that really unites them. Living in a similar environment and having a similar lifestyle and even culture because they are neighbours doesn't count if all they've done in the past is fight each other.

I understand the Kurds have traditionally been Sunnis, Shi'a Muslims, Zoroastrians and even Alevi Sufi believers and members of various esoteric faiths like Yazidism so they don't even have a common set of religious beliefs.

Posted by: Jen | Feb 18, 2019 5:54:04 PM | 19

b

Your "soon to be former colonel" might be better designated "future former colonel." This is also useful in contemplation of successful divorce proceedings. (:>)

Posted by: pogohere | Feb 18, 2019 6:20:08 PM | 20

"How many more Kurds will have to die until their leadership finally accepts that?"
The problem is they only accept facts. If they see u.s. troops leaving, then and only then will they change their attitude.

Posted by: Pnyx | Feb 18, 2019 7:02:58 PM | 21

Here we are at the Truth Bowl.. what a football game, folks?
Someone took down the goal post at each end,
so the only way to score is touchdown..
The referees cannot seem to get the blood off their shirts and
trousers, the whistle has been lost in the mud, and
several teams are fighting it out on the sidelines hoping to
get to play in the game..
The rules have been changed, Syria Assad will take on the world,
the opponents to the Assad team will be permitted to move the
goals and stretch or shrink the yard markers as suits them.
Its still several hours till the stadium lights light up the field?
UN sharp shooters and white helmet gasers have faced off..
50 yard line, row 50 tickets are still available at big, giant discounts..
hurry, hurry, hurry... the oil is ozZZZzing. the pan to catch the oil
has a big hole in it, Oh oh,
Someone jumped the gun, and gassed the stadium
the Pop corn, hot dog, peanut vendors are offering discounts
but there is nowhere a place to park,
so spectators should walk, and bring their wallets.

Posted by: snake | Feb 18, 2019 7:18:57 PM | 22

@2 Colonel Legrier has been discharged of command and is awaiting sanctions for what he dared to write in the french defense review. No yellow jacket then. Anyway, most generals in the french army are masons, in line with Macron regime.

Posted by: ababush | Feb 18, 2019 8:00:45 PM | 23

@ Posted by: Reuters | Feb 18, 2019 5:12:35 PM | 17

That we know. What we want is the US to admit defeat and get out - unwillingly.

It is past time for the rest of the world to start to bend the USA.

Posted by: vk | Feb 18, 2019 8:30:29 PM | 24

Syrians going home. Clearly they are not too worried about being gassed by the brutal Assad regime.

https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-47260450/the-syrians-returning-home-after-years-of-fleeing-war

Posted by: dh | Feb 18, 2019 8:52:01 PM | 25

If grand troops are the way to go why isn't the colonel offering French soldiers as ground troops?

Posted by: QuietRebel | Feb 18, 2019 10:10:17 PM | 26

Empire Files: Trump is Expanding the US Empire

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAmpD5MvDw8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQ3aatCJK0w

Posted by: Abby Martin | Feb 18, 2019 10:25:15 PM | 27

US-led Coalition Evacuated ISIS Gold From Euphrates Valley – Report

https://southfront.org/us-led-coalition-evacuated-isis-gold-from-euphrates-valley-report/

Posted by: SouthFront | Feb 18, 2019 10:31:38 PM | 28

The British Museum is launching an initiative intended to counter the perception that its collections derive only from looted treasures.

https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2018/oct/12/collected-histories-not-everything-was-looted-british-museum-defends-collections

Posted by: Guardian | Feb 18, 2019 10:56:55 PM | 29

The Middle East Doesn’t Admire America Anymore

What a late-night meal in Italy taught me about U.S. power in the Arab world.

https://www.cfr.org/article/middle-east-doesnt-admire-america-anymore

Posted by: Steven A. Cook | Feb 18, 2019 11:08:15 PM | 30

Salacious new book says homosexuality is rampant at the Vatican

Early in his salacious new book about homosexuality in the Vatican, the French journalist Frederic Martel asks a source to estimate the number of Vatican clergy who are "part of this community, all tendencies included."

"I think the percentage is very high," says the source, identified as an Italian journalist who left the Vatican and the priesthood after he was discovered viewing gay sex websites on his Vatican computer. "I'd put it around 80%."

That estimate from Martel's book, which is scheduled to be published on February 21 in eight languages and 20 countries, has already made international headlines.

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/02/14/europe/vatican-book-analysis/index.html

Posted by: Daniel Burke | Feb 18, 2019 11:27:39 PM | 31

@ Guardian #29

I found a story preceeding your link, and another published this year.

"The British Museum never gives anything back."

British Museum chief: taking the Parthenon marbles was 'creative' 1/28/2019

The Brits may be getting even more "sticky fingered". As is fairly well known, they're refusing to return Venezuela's gold. And here is a current headline about yet another country:

What Happened To Australia’s Gold?
February 19, 2019

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Feb 18, 2019 11:40:54 PM | 32

@ Daniel Burke #31

Back when the current pope took office I had a theory about what he was expected to do - and this was to "Clean House".

I'm no longer as sure about that as I once was, but if this was/is his mission, he's got the problem of the Retired Pope to consider. IMO Francis has to wait until that man is no longer around to have scandal heaped on him - for it's my guess a blackmail situation is what forced his retirement.

I'm not a Catholic, but until the Vatican gains the same powers in the US as AIPAC I can say I believe their policy of not allowing priests to marry is flat-out-nuts. And I don't much care for their treatment of women as second class citizens, either.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Feb 18, 2019 11:51:04 PM | 33

The original essay by the soon to be former colonel was taken down from the web.

What I know about the French Army you could write on one side of a 4x6 index card -and in block letters. But I'd wager "former" is spot-on, and in the very best case the guy will never hold another important command or get another promotion.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Feb 18, 2019 11:56:41 PM | 34

Zachary Smith 32 "What Happened To Australia’s Gold?"

Well, the old girl over there is our head of state, to whom our PM must swear allegiance to to take office ..

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Feb 19, 2019 1:53:41 AM | 35

What is going on in this thread? A lot of off-topic, one-liner, MSM & hasbara mouthpieces evacurate their vesical bland something. Time for a cleanup.

Posted by: vato | Feb 19, 2019 4:39:31 AM | 36

In der Neuen Zürcher Zeitung erschien dieser Artikel:

https://www.nzz.ch/international/ein-krieg-gegen-das-eigene-volk-ld.1460707

Er bezog sich auf einen Report des Global Public Policy Institute, eines angeblich unabhängigen Think Tanks in Berlin, der aber nach eigenen Angaben überwiegend von Regierungen, Stiftungen, multilateralen Organisationen und er EU-Kommission finanziert wird. Gemäss diesem Report sind 98% der 336 Chemiewaffen-Angriffe in Syrien von der Assad-Regierung durchgeführt worden. Es werden Luftangriffe auf die Helikopterflotte der syrischen Streitkräfte gefordert.

Im Report danken die Autoren der GPPI den Weiss Helmen und anderen Organisationen, die anti-Assad und pro Al Qaeda sind. Zitat:

"Finally, we are indebted to our friends and partners at Syrian Archive, the Syrian American Medical Society, Mayday Rescue and the White Helmets, the Syrian Network for Human Rights, the Violations Documentation Center, Human Rights Watch, Hala Systems, and many others for their support of this study and any forthcoming efforts." (Seite 2)

Quelle: chrome-extension://oemmndcbldboiebfnladdacbdfmadadm/https://www.gppi.net/media/GPPi_Schneider_Luetkefend_2019_Nowhere_to_Hide_Web.pdf

Im NZZ-Artikel wurde aber nichts von der Unterstützung von diesen alles andere als neutralen Organisationen erwähnt. Typisch, nicht?

Vielen Dank für die exzellente Arbeit! Ich bin ein regemässiger Leser des MoA-Blogs, einer der besten im Internet!

Posted by: Philipp | Feb 19, 2019 4:54:09 AM | 37

Zachary Smith @ 32, Peter AU 1 @ 35:

I remember reading somewhere recently (might have been Independent Australia) that Australia owns a total of 80 tonnes of gold. Most of these are held at the Bank of England. A full audit has apparently not been done since the gold was shipped out of the country in 1997 when Peter Costello was Treasurer.

By way of comparison, the US has over 8,100 tonnes of gold. So we don't even possess 1% of what the US holds.

Posted by: Jen | Feb 19, 2019 5:47:19 AM | 38

Guardian | Feb 18, 2019 10:56:55 PM | 29

Re the loot of Empire: Many years ago when a student at art school in London in the 1960s, each week I went to the British Museum as part of my drawing course and I got friendly with one of the museum's guards who took me on a tour of the museum's basement storage. I was astounded! Miles of looted African art, none of it ever shown to the public. Beautiful carvings, bronze lost wax castings, done years before the Brits even knew how to do it! And all described as 'primitive' art, and not worth displaying to the public, yet kept by the state just the same.

BTW, the same guard, an Irish fellow, told me of a shebeen in Dublin where if I cared to smuggle condoms into Ireland (they were then illegal), I could make a lot of money. He showed me his shoe which had a hollow heel in which to hide the aforementioned rubbers.

Posted by: William Bowles | Feb 19, 2019 6:06:37 AM | 39

It is clear that the US will continue to send arms to the Kurds Why? Simple, - 50% of US arms in 2018 were sold to the ME. So continual conflict zones are "good" for business. Kurds. Qatar, saudi's etc, are all willing "consumers"

The Russians (Lavrov) have accused the US of trying to set up a "mini-sate" in Syria east of the Euphrates, with EU troops and others "supporting" their aim.

So - I no longer believe that there will be a pull-out from E. Syria- just a "war under new management" sign.

====
incidentally it seems that the ISIS groups are "appearing" in Idlib. (ie. They are saved (or buy their exit with Syrian Gold) and sent towards Turkey and then Turkey sends them to Idlib.

Posted by: stonebird | Feb 19, 2019 6:21:25 AM | 40

Assad knows they will reject because they have no impetus to accept the offer. Assad speaks quite harshly about the Kurdish usurpers- His language makes his stance very clear.

“From the beginning, you offered yourselves and the homeland (notice he does not say your homeland?)for sale. I wouldn’t say you offered your principles, because you had none to begin with. You offered yourselves and the homeland for sale, and there was demand for this kind of goods at the time, and you were paid handsomely and bought, but after the new owners tried you out, and despite all the plastic surgery and improvements and upgrading and modifications, you failed to achieve the required tasks, so they decided to sell you at a discount after demand for you decreased in the international slave market, but at a low price, and they won’t find a buyer and they’ll probably give you away for free, and no-one will take you.

Assad is being brutally honest with the SDF aka PKK rebrand- Which is the reference to plastic surgery and upgrades- He's clear that the land is not their homeland- It is the homeland.
"And no one will take you" This is a reference,to the fact that now the Kurds have made themselves lepers in Iran & Turkey as well as in Syria (Peace talks between AKP and PKK failed in 2013- the Syrian situation was undoubtedly a factor With the PKK thinking they'd have leverage should they be able to annex Syrian territory all the way to the Med)


“But you were sold without the homeland , because the homeland has actual owners, not thieves. The homeland has a people who view their homeland as their soul whose death would mean their death, while brokers consider the homeland a commodity that they can replace if it’s gone after they pay the price. The homeland is like a soul; these are phrases you don’t understand… the homeland is sacred; these are words whose meaning you don’t know, because you are cheap brokers who understand nothing but humiliation and disgrace and who deserve only contempt and disdain.”

Assad continues... The soil is not yours. You are not of the soil. The land or soil has real owners who identify with this (true citizens of the land) A reference to the idea of birthright and citizenship.
A solid old world view- when the world had some sense

"The homeland is like a soul" Beautiful.

"Cheap brokers who understand nothing but humiliation and disgrace and who deserve only contempt and disdain.” Accurate


Posted by: Penny | Feb 19, 2019 7:44:16 AM | 41

William Bowles @32

Time to give the Elgin Marbles back. Should have been done years ago. I don't think having indisputable title is relevant in such cases.

Sooner or later the Syrians are going to start asking what happened to the ancient artifacts looted from them. Not even a shadow of title there. And that gold stated by South Front to have been given up by ISIS recently. If it's not just rumour that's worth over a billion dollars. Shouldn't that be returned?

All a squalid footnote to the squalid mess that was Western intervention in Syria.

Posted by: English Outsider | Feb 19, 2019 7:50:07 AM | 42

Asad's offer of autonomy to the Kurds wasn't particularly generous to the Kurds. About the same level as the autonomy of the Sunnis in Iraq, not as much as the autonomy of the KRG. I wonder why that is. Perhaps he doesn't think the Kurds have that much choice. More likely Asad is very keen on the unity of Syria, and is disinclined to offer too much. It would be useful to compare with the autonomy of the Druze in the south. Two very similar situations.

Posted by: Laguerre | Feb 19, 2019 9:20:39 AM | 43

The United States is asking Britain, France, Germany and other European allies to take back over 800 ISIS fighters that we captured in Syria and put them on trial. The Caliphate is ready to fall. The alternative is not a good one in that we will be forced to release them……..

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 17, 2019
"But They Are Dangerous!" European Leaders Shocked At Trump’s ISIS Ultimatum

President of the United States of America who promissed to leave Syria (which he won't, not NE and not Al Tanf) informed his European "allies" that the Daesh/IS scum rotting away in SDF jails will soon be set free so they can return to Europe or Europe can voluntarely take them back. So after years of indoctrination committing the most heinous crimes to further Zionist, US and Saudi interests these battle hardened terrorists are forced onto Europe by president US Trump.

Why not make room in that stolen land Guantanamo Bay? Why not move them to their Saudi ideological friends? Or have them set on trial in Syria or Iraq? Even if they're incarcerated in Europe, it's not that they will keep their extreme crazy ideologies to themselves. Daesh itself was nurtured in Iraqi jail cell's.

US president Donald Trump knows perfectly well his insideous plan not only sows division but knows these religious fanatics will launch a new avalanche of terrorist attacks throughout Europe. Trump is not only at war with China and Russia but also with Europe.

Posted by: BuzzL | Feb 19, 2019 11:01:22 AM | 44

I suspect, Laguerre @44, that the Syrian government's reading of the situation
is that any federalising of the government will simply open up cracks
of which the imperialists, of all sorts, would take advantage. It would be asking
for trouble, for example, to offer the current, self elected, Kurdish leadership
state support on the minimal condition that it continues to fight the Turks. That,
putting the fate of the country in the hands of one, notoriously foreign influenced,
faction would be a recipe for disaster.
As to previous experiments in local autonomy, it is likely that the government in time
of crisis would not be inclined to change anything that might provoke another regional
uprising. I don't need to remind you that whereas the Kurds are a group defined ethnically
of various religious beliefs (and otherwise) the Druze are a religious minority.

Posted by: bevin | Feb 19, 2019 11:28:40 AM | 45

The peculiar thing about the article at russian insider, recommended @43 for its
wisdom, is that it takes a rather childish view of international politics.
Surely it must be clear to everyone that Putin et al are acting exactly as
suggested- combating the hostility of the imperialists and building up the
resources and strength of the anti-imperialist bloc.
What frustrates people like Lowdown and the author of the RI piece is that
they aren't jumping up and down and hurling abuse at "the west" as they calmly
react to provocations and encirclement.
There is nothing we can do about that except sympathise with those who evidently
require sensational spectacles in the world even at risk of their leading to planetary
quietus.
In reality the more fuss the US makes, the weaker it becomes. The more brutal
its language to others is, the quicker its ability to transform threats into
actions declines.
The spectacle of Pompeo, Bolton and Pence hectoring and bullying the rest of the
world is a measure of their impotence, not their strength. The days when Teddy
Roosevelt's advice to talk quietly and carry a big stick are long gone-in their
place we have a batch of clowns making a lot of noise and waving tiny, limp noodles
around.

Posted by: bevin | Feb 19, 2019 11:43:53 AM | 46

bevin | Feb 19, 2019 11:28:40 AM | 49

Balkanisation. Yugoslavia is a perfect example and going back a few years, Biafra in Nigeria. Mini-states have no power, above all, no armies! It was the plan for Iraq and the former USSR.

Posted by: William Bowles | Feb 19, 2019 11:45:14 AM | 47

Erdogan is dragging his feet about the terrorists in Edlib for many reasons.
- First his army is not strong enough to finish them off and he worries about turkish soldiers casualties before local elections.
- The second reason is that the terrorists in Edlib are intimately mixed with the Syrian opposition FSA. The eradiction of HTS will expose the FSA to total destruction and Erdogan will have to make a u turn on his 7 years support of the Syrian opposition
- The third reason is that these terrorists have ideological support of some extremely religious turkish population
- The fourth reason is that the Edlib terrorists are heavily supported by Saudi Arabia who wants to inflict pain to Erdogan

Erdogan is therefore very hesitant in what to decide. If he dumps the opposition and turn back to Bashar al Assad , all will be easier but he will have to face the criticism and revenge from the Syrian opposition and the moslem brotherhood allies. It will an admission of his defeat in his meddling with Syria. He is facing a dilemma.

Posted by: Virgile | Feb 19, 2019 12:16:40 PM | 48

Speaking of returning the Elgin Marbles - Perhaps Spain, Portugal and other owners of the great churches in Europe could send back the tons of gold stolen from South America.

This morning on RT TV they were raving about FB censoring their news stream, but I saw nothing about it on the web site. Sad, and to evoke a common phrase these days, chilling.

Posted by: Bart Hansen | Feb 19, 2019 12:36:51 PM | 49

@49/ 50 bevin... good posts.. i tend to agree with you..

@52 virgile...good post.. i agree with you - he is facing a dilemma.. he has procrastinated for as long as possible.. he is going to procrastinate until someone forces him to respond, at which point he will have to make a choice.. so far his choice has been political survival.. he will not want to clean up the mess he's responsible for, as it would be more obvious to those in turkey who still haven't figured it out yet...saudi arabia are not helping him any either..

the thread is messed up... someone wants to call themselves by the name of the data source they provide.. that ain't cool. different type of troll as i see it..

Posted by: james | Feb 19, 2019 12:40:56 PM | 50

As I am vastly ignorant of the terrain in Northern Syria, versus the terrain in Chechnya, I hesitantly ask, can the Syrians propose a solution similar to the one employed successfully by Putin? Or are the two areas so vastly dissimilar that such tactics won't work here?

I am remembering that Putin issued a draconian ultimatum: that each village be given the opportunity to come over to Russian rule and escape drastic retribution, or have that village come under seige. I think there was enough of a time period allowed for the decision to be made within each conclave that an internal peaceful initiative was able to be for the most part a success.

The one drawback to this would be in the case of Idleb, which appears to have been artificially garrisoned from the north by all the extremists who fled into Turkey. All I can hope there is that the citizens of that place be able to flee the confrontation to come.

And Kurds, do look to Chechnya for your own solution if possible. The Chechnians are a proud people who have survived. There is value in that.

Posted by: juliania | Feb 19, 2019 12:41:39 PM | 51

Sorry, I didn't realize the thread had been compromized. Repeating
my above post in more readable format (the above can be cancelled):

As I am vastly ignorant of the terrain in Northern Syria, versus the
terrain in Chechnya, I hesitantly ask, can the Syrians propose a
solution similar to the one employed successfully by Putin? Or are
the two areas so vastly dissimilar that such tactics won't work here?

I am remembering that Putin issued a draconian ultimatum: that each
village be given the opportunity to come over to Russian rule and
escape drastic retribution, or have that village come under seige.
I think there was enough of a time period allowed for the decision
to be made within each conclave that an internal peaceful
initiative was able to be for the most part a success.

The one drawback to this would be in the case of Idleb, which
appears to have been artificially garrisoned from the north
by all the extremists who fled into Turkey. All I can hope
there is that the citizens of that place be able to flee
the confrontation to come.

And Kurds, do look to Chechnya for your own solution if possible.
The Chechnians are a proud people who have survived.

There is value in that.

Posted by: juliania | Feb 19, 2019 12:46:22 PM | 52

On Turkey's role, as characterized by some comments above,
the interview with Putin's spokesperson Peskov linked to
early in b's piece, is key. One segment that underlines
the Russian points on conflicts orchestrated by the US at
large is the following:


Q: President Erdoğan said Ankara was in contact with the
Syrian regime at the intelligence level. What do you think
about this?

A: [Bashar al-] Assad is the legitimate president of Syria;
he is the leader of that country. You may or may not like
him. He is a state leader, he has a people, armed forces
and intelligence. If you want to be among countries that
want to save the destiny of Syria, you should deal with Assad.
There is no other way. Western countries are making mistakes
all the time, but we should make the same mistakes. There was
[former Libyan dictator Muammar] Gaddafi… He was said to be a
bad guy, he was killed later. The country was also killed along
with him.

Q: Do you think the same way about Saddam [Hussein] as well?

A: Yes. Now they are saying Maduro is a bad guy and that we
should change him. What if tomorrow they say they don’t want
Erdoğan or [Russian leader Vladimir] Putin? What happens then?
Who has the right to decide on this? We should not make a mistake.

Posted by: juliania | Feb 19, 2019 1:12:48 PM | 53

Penny@41

I could not find a transcript of Assad's speech, but I do
think your interpretation is wrong. I went to the Syrian
site b linked to, and there are quotations there that do
not sound like a slur on the Syrian Kurds as a community
but rather on those who oppose the government:

"...President al-Assad said that today, terrorism is suffering
defeats in one area after the other, and security is being
restored to millions of Syrians in liberated areas, adding
“with every inch that is liberated, there is an enemy that
is thwarted, and with every inch that is cleansed there is
an agent and a traitor and a mercenary who complains. Why
do they complain? According to their statements, they
complain because their sponsors failed them...today and in
the future, we must realize the fact that the war was between
us Syrians [including Kurds] and terrorists exclusively. We
triumph together, not against each other."

He further states, without naming any group directly, that
"...they have a choice: to be masters in their own land, or
slaves and pawns in the hand of occupiers."

To me that latter statement is that the Syrian Kurds (as
do Chechnyans in Russia) have the choice to be masters
in their own land, which does not sound a bad choice to me.


Posted by: juliania | Feb 19, 2019 1:49:29 PM | 54

bevin | Feb 19, 2019 11:43:53 AM | 50

The days when Teddy Roosevelt's advice to talk quietly and carry a big stick are long gone-in their place we have a batch of clowns making a lot of noise and waving tiny, limp noodles around.

bevin: The slaughter of millions isn't being done with limp noodles! Yes, there is desperation in their actions, fury even but they are still the pre-eminent military power on the planet. Cornered animals armed with nuclear weapons frightens the living daylights out of me. Plus with global heating on a roll, and US capitalism's raping what's left of pristine environments and rolling back regulation wholesale, it just doesn't give a flying fuck about our future and that it isn't being done with limp noodles either. Capitalism relies on creating a psychopathic condition driven by a collective addiction to things and tomorrow just doesn't exist for the capitalist class. If it did, they wouldn't bent on committing collective suicide.

If we want to stand even a small chance of surviving the next 50, crucial years, we had better shit or get off the pot, because the pot ain't going to be there much longer! And we have now all the Western 'democracies' creating the conditions for fascism of a new kind, borne of total surveillance and total control of our thinking. No need for jackboots.

I can understand Lowdown's anger, even sympathise, but it's a pity he has to slag us all off as Zionists, unless of course, he's just pulling our collective dongle, it which case, FUCK YOU Lowdown!

Posted by: barovsky | Feb 19, 2019 3:20:12 PM | 55

juliania 51

The first Chechen war was simply between the Chechens and Russia on the breakdown of the Soviet Union. After that war, Al Qaeda fighters from Afghanistan were moved to Chechnya and wahhabi clerics also moved in. Many converted to wahhabism from traditional Chechen islam. At the beginning of the second Chechen war, there was a division between traditional Chechen muslims and the wahhabis.
I believe the deal between Kadyrov senior and Putin was that if traditional Chechens joined the Russian Federation, their culture and version of Islam would come under the protection of Russia. At that time the traditional Chechens were up against CIA US backed wahhabism. Chechnya received a great deal of autonomy to follow their religion and have a leadership according to custom. Kadyrov junior is only answerable to Putin.
The choice for Chechens in the second war was traditional Chechen protected by the Russian federation or CIA backed wahhabism. Those that chose the CIA and wahhabism were eradicated.

The Russian reconciliation program in Syria is very similar but designed according to the circumstances there.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Feb 19, 2019 3:52:23 PM | 56

Lavrov, Munich SC Q&A In response to (assumed) Washington Post reporter, Lavrov provides the following comparison in policy:

"Addressing a news conference in Sochi President Putin said clearly that we could not put up with “this hotbed of terrorism” forever. How to solve this problem is a question we should put to the military. I am confident that they will do it differently from how the terrorists were being destroyed in Raqqa, where bodies of peaceful civilians and mines are still lying in the open, with no one to attend to them. But it is the military that should draw up a plan in keeping with international humanitarian law requirements.

"Of course, everyone can interpret international humanitarian law in his own way. As Belgrade was being bombed, the targets were a train moving on a bridge, or a television centre, and this was also regarded as normal. But we don’t intend to follow these sorts of international humanitarian law interpretations."

Ouch! Perhaps the WaPost scribe felt a pang in his conscious. The next exchange clearly shows Lavrov's feelings after years of total bullshit:

"Question: Elaborating on what The Washington Post correspondent has said, I would like to ask the following. Since Russia is a guarantor of security in Syria, can you guarantee that the Assad regime will stop threatening the region and will end its atrocities against its own people?

"Sergey Lavrov: No matter what I say in reply, you will write what you want. So, go on, write what you want."

It continues, and Lavrov decides to parry then provide a fatal thrust:

"Question: The Russian government attempted to interfere in the affairs of Greece and North Macedonia, pandering to the nationalist forces in these countries. How does this relate to your statements on supporting the European Union?

"Sergey Lavrov: I will take up this question, although I could answer it in the same way as I did with the previous question.

"Russia has been accused of interfering in the matter of changing Macedonia’s name, but these accusations have not been supported with any clear or reliable facts. Yesterday, I talked with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and several other colleagues. Mr Stoltenberg, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and some of the American colleagues, I believe it was the US Defence Secretary – in all, five or six of the leading Western politicians – visited Skopje and publicly urged the people to vote for changing the republic’s name in the referendum. They did this publicly and openly. Had we done one hundredth of what they did, new sanctions would have been imposed on Russia. But these “first class passengers” get away with anything.

"When Kosovo seceded [from Serbia] and unilaterally declared independence, which the majority of Western countries recognised, we warned them about the possible consequences of this. Now Pristina does what it wants....

"By the way, yesterday Prime Minister of Albania Edi Rama said openly in an interview with a Greek newspaper that Kosovo is part of Albania. Well, you wanted it, you got it."

The text omitted via ellipsis is also rather important to read, some of which I included while discussing this topic on the Open Thread. IMO, the ability of BigLie Media to have an impact has dwindled to the point of being nil. But as Lavrov observes, EU leadership is incapable of summoning the courage to demand a divorce and thus maintains a Clintonian Public and Private Face that only serves to confirm the nth degree of hypocrisy being employed. On Syria, the best possible things EU nations can do is end ALL their illegal sanctions, withdrawal their military assets, and support the repatriation and reconstruction projects.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 19, 2019 4:08:14 PM | 57

Well, my comment here evaporated into the ether of the cloud. Perhaps it will return for people's edification.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 19, 2019 4:09:50 PM | 58

English Outsider | Feb 19, 2019 7:50:07 AM | 42

Re the looting: The Syrian govt is already asking! Stuff taken from Palmyra and other ancient sites has been popping up in museums and collections all over the place. Up to our old tricks.

Posted by: barovsky | Feb 19, 2019 4:18:20 PM | 59

@41 penny

Thank you. Indeed the language is awesome, the poetry of the motherland.

You inspired me to read the whole article, which is a keeper. If all the words of that speech come from Assad himself, and I guess they do, then he will be a great leader to rebuild the mind of his nation, which as he says is the real task that they must not neglect.

@54 juliania

I also agree with you. I think in his speech he's referring not only to Kurds but to all Syrians who turned against their country for personal gain. But of all these it is principally the Kurds who have to choose now whether to accept the hand of nationality and win, or else lose. Utlimately I think becoming a master in your own land means becoming a person of honor and principle again, and within the identity of the homeland, simply as Syrian.

It's been an extraordinary war in terms of the forgiveness displayed by the nation to its errant children, and how well this has worked out.

Posted by: Grieved | Feb 19, 2019 8:04:29 PM | 60

Syria


Death of the Innocent

The tiniest coffins weigh the earth;
Heavier than the heads
That now bow and search,
And remember, through tears
That blessed morn
When you opened your eyes
To share the dawn.

The tiniest coffins weigh the sky;
More than all the water
That one could cry.
Heavier than the hearts
Now split asunder,
With a sound and fury
Like a night of thunder.

War Dead

Flies feast on the flesh
Of fallen fellows;
Comrades once, maybe brothers?
Their names yet to be chiselled,
Or maybe their numbers?

Their suffering will be forgotten
By the future’s folk
But not their deeds
Nor the lives that they broke.

That fed the flies
On the arms and legs,
Of the officiating Gentlemen
And decapitated dregs.

Believing to a man,
That they’d given their all
But with a last glance they realised;
They finally saw.

That whether for this
Sordid reason or that,
It had all been for nothing
More than the lies they were spat.

Syria

A bloody nightmare;
Soaking sheets.
Broken homes and
Body blocked streets.

Pointless to run and with
Nowhere to hide.
The living are all dead
And God has no side.

The country’s now a carcass;
Perhaps a goat or a sheep,
A nephew or a neighbour
From a body strewn street.

Being sliced and carved;
Choice cuts and tripe.
By the filthiest of souls
From the darkest of nights.

From far off lands
They scheme and scare,
To increase their stock,
To increase their share.

To strip bare, to the bone
With neither feeling nor fuss,
Civilisation. Strewn on
The road to Damascus.


Posted by: Steven Keith | Feb 20, 2019 5:05:26 AM | 61

@SK & LD... interesting exchange...

Thx for the tip re Douglas Christie - anything in particular to look for? PDFs of interest?

In the mean-time I did find this gem:

"It’s a funny thing about free speech: It can’t be just for your political friends. If freedom means anything, it is the one valuable gift you have to give to your worst enemies, in order to keep it for yourself." - D.Christie

Posted by: xLemming | Feb 20, 2019 9:58:20 AM | 62

Posted by: barovsky | Feb 20, 2019 10:02:04 AM | 63

I see someone f'd up the thread with their link
making it impossible for the rest to read or
comment so I'll write this and move on. The U.S. ruled by
Zionist Trump already has what it wants: despite
Russia and Syria calling the shots, not so much,
since the U.S. has chaos it can control indefinitely
several ways and with money. The U.S. tried to pull
the same dirty business in Iraq but it didn't work
out so well. Leaving a country it attacks in a
weakened, chaotic state is a Zionist tactic. Zionists
have been using this strategy against the Palestinians
for decades pitting Hamas against Fatah and vice versa.
The Kurds are blinded by U.S. money and weapons that
leave them in a holding catch-22 pattern. Unless they
take a leap of faith accepting the best possible option
they will never be free of US pawn-limbo.

Why didn't you bring up the fact that Trump bragged he
stopped Russia, Syria and Iran from killing 3 million
people in Idleb therefore deserves the Nobel prize?
Trump's bullshet aptly represents how dirty and scheming
the U.S. behave in battle, every day more and more like
their chickenshit Zionist brethren they love so
much and are morphing into. They leave muck and destruction
wherever they intervene for humanitarian reasons. Trump
didn't save Idleb from anything; it's just a chaos they want to
control, a muck they want Assad and Russia to perpetually
get stuck in. The U.S. claims Iran is a supporter of
terrorism? There are no greater supporters of terrorism
than shithole Israel and the dumb hee-haw donkey it rides,
the U.S. Two thoroughly depraved patrons of terrorism using Kurds
and Syrians with pipe dreams that never materialize cause these
patrons of misfortune only care for AmerikkanZionist domination.
They don't give shet about brown bearded,turbaned tools and their kin.
Reality check! Yes, that's how they really view their loyal pawns!
The prouder they are to fight with the U.S. the easier they are
to use and abuse indefinitely. The only way for these people
to be free is to screw the Zio strategy by smoking the peace
pipe with the real enemy of the U.S., no not the terrorists, but
Russia, Iran and Syria in this case.

If everyone made friends with the enemy of the AZEmpire they
would be free from decades of battle-misery and servitude and be able
to live normal lives. Not perfect lives; as there will always
be squabbles, but normal lives.

Posted by: Circe | Feb 20, 2019 10:27:36 AM | 64

Penny
He never says "your homeland", always "the homeland".
"al Watan". more emphatic

Posted by: Mina | Feb 21, 2019 7:07:38 AM | 65

The French Colonel's essay is available here, translated to English quite well.

http://www.johndayblog.com/2019/02/wars-fail.html

Eleni Tsigante, an Athenian of ancient family, has translated to English, the essay by a French Colonel, commander of artillery of NATO coalition forces in Syria, which was referenced in the Moon of Alabama article.
This essay has ceased to be available online, but I copy what she has sent me, with thanks to her and to Colonel François-Régis Legrier.

Posted by: John Daywww.johndayblog.com | Feb 21, 2019 12:16:39 PM | 66

Trump will keep troops in Syria

B..b..but his campaign promises .. the upcoming election .. his noninterventionist principles .. MAGA!

The cynics were right. Pro-Trump dreamers (including the pro-Russian/anti-US contingent at MoA) were wrong.

Another misleading narrative bites the dust. Another populist outsider is revealed to be a faux populist bullshitter.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 22, 2019 7:43:58 PM | 67

Pat Lang sees the Borg as winning out.

For anyone paying attention, this kind of thinking (that Trump is a hero that is undermined by the Deep State) is not dumb, it is syspect. We saw the same rear-action BS from Obamabots who sought to excuse every betrayal of the faux populist hero.

Faux populists like Trump, Obama, Sanders, Macron, Guaido, etc. are members of the establishment (which the Deep State works for) that pretend to be on the side of ordinary people.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 25, 2019 10:00:23 PM | 68

The comments to this entry are closed.