Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 19, 2019

Syria - Army Cuts Off Khan Shaykhun - Russia Bombs Turkish Reinforcement

This is an update to last weeks post Syria - Frontline Breach Opens Door To A Deep Battle For Idlib.

Today the Syrian army gained fire control over the M5 highway north of Khan Shaykhun.

Map by Peto Lucem - bigger

The jihadists in the soon closed cauldron south of that point are now cut off from road bound resupplies.

For the last few nights reinforcements from north Idleb tried to reach Khan Shaykhun. The Syrian and Russian airforce prevented them (vid) from getting there.

This map shows the situation five days ago with the position of the Turkish observation point within the area.

via ISWnews - bigger

This morning Turkey sent (vid) a 29 truck convoy with five tanks, two infantry fighting vehicles, ammunition and additional personnel toward the observation post in Morek, south of Khan Shaykhun.

Before the convoy passed through Maarat al-Numan, 20 kilometers north of Khan Shaykhun, the Russian airforce bombed its path (vid). The leader of Faylq al-Sham, a 'Syrian rebel' group controlled by the Turkish intelligence service, was escorting the Turkish army convoy in a technical. He was killed. No Turkish soldiers were harmed. The convoy stopped and will have to return to Turkey. The tanks and the ammunition will not reach the jihadis in Khan Shaykhun.

The Turkish defense ministry falsely claimed that three civilians were killed in the bombing. The Syrian government condemned the Turkish invasion.

This now is the right time for the Syrian army to bring in reserves and to open the deep battle for Idleb by quickly moving northwards along the M5 highway.

Posted by b on August 19, 2019 at 18:24 UTC | Permalink

« previous page

Posted by: jared | Aug 20 2019 14:55 utc | 87

>You cite without irony that U.S. is enhancing it's position by hobbling it's erstwhile trading partners.
Not sure that's a formula for success.

Yes, point is to make others lose more that what you would lose. Thus you keep your relative power vis a vis others even if everybody is poorer.

As of now, it did have effect - it slowed down the US relative decline in economic terms, as the US share of the global economy was declining faster in 2010 or 2015 than today.

>Also not sure why this leads you to believe that this has the affect of slowing transition from dollar.

Transition away from the dollar would have happened faster if the US just sat on its hands and did nothing, as current slowing growth rates in the developing world economy suggest. Plus not controlling the EU and Saudi Arabia means game over.

Posted by: anti_republocrat | Aug 20 2019 15:14 utc | 88

>Yes, US elites are successfully causing a slow-down, perhaps even a crash, in the world economy. What their hubris does not allow them to see is that they're causing the unification of much of the world against them.

See above

>and also that their weaponry and military might is of poor quality and obsolete. It can often be defeated by low-tech counter-measures like the unguided drones the Houthis used to attack Saudi oil infrastructure.

Yes, this is what happens under conditions of globalisation. A partial solution is to try to stop globalisation, but still this proccess can not be fully stopped.

Posted by: Arioch | Aug 20 2019 14:53 utc | 86

>But as of today (and as it was 10 years ago, and perhaps ever since USSR collapse) "globalisation" and "USA Hegemony" is the same! Now, of course in theory there can be Russian hegemony or Chinese hegemony or Islamic hegemony... Maybe there would. But in the world we live in today, USA Hegemony = globalisation. That is what we inherited form 1990-s.

It is not the same. Globalisation for example means outsourcing, which weakens the US. Then it means China working in Africa, or the BRI. Many benefit from globalisation, and i think that China can carry out globalisation on its own even if the US refuses to play. It also means things such as economic convergence, and knowledge and technology difussion around the world. Currently, it leads to the rise of the developing world, and the weakening of relative US power, which means that it is no longer in the US interest. See the current US attacks against the WTO, etc. It was definitely US led in 1990s, but it is no longer US driven now.

>Teamp Trump wants to "create a world of the jungle" ? But WHAT is jungle if not multipolarity? Tiger is challenging wolves, bulls are trumping the tiger, monkeys are throwing nuts at everyone while cobra and python are eating them monkeys, right?

You can have various types of multipolarity, for example cooperative multipolarity, or fragmented, walled, conflict ridden multipolarity.

The US would lose most in the first case (think about the rise of the developing world), and will preserve the most of its power in the second case.

Posted by: Passer by | Aug 20 2019 17:34 utc | 101

"Slow down its decline as much as possible," yes, but to what end? The only point in slowing down the US decline, rather than transitioning away from Empire, would be if the US buys enough time to beggar other economies sufficiently through covert operations(kill the BRI, kill NS2 and TurkStream, ad nauseum) while keeping its own economy at slightly above beggaring.

That kind of process, given the fact that much of the world is now lining up in coalitions against the US, takes time. I have to agree with Orlov here, that it's taken 30 years for the Empire to drive itself right to the very edge of the cliff, where the least puff of wind can push it over.

Posted by: casey | Aug 20 2019 17:41 utc | 102

The internets told me the Syria/Russia attack killed 800+ civilians and 370,000 people have been killed since Assad's brutal crackdown on opposition. The interests described people being pulled from rubble after Russia bombed stuff, and Russia and Syria were supposed to honor the agreement to protect civilians but the aren't anymore and that's why people are dying.

Posted by: timbers | Aug 20 2019 18:10 utc | 103

timbers | Aug 20 2019 18:10 | 104

You must be referring to what the US and the "Coalition" did to thousands of innocent Syrians in Raqqa not too long ago...

Posted by: xLemming | Aug 20 2019 18:20 utc | 104

"For the US its better to wreck Venezuela's economy than to allow it to flourish and expand its influence.."
Not necessarily. The US is gambling that it will beat Venezuela. But if it doesn't, if Venezuela simply outlasts the imperialist sanctions, it will emerge much stronger.
In recent years there has been a drift towards compromise with the US in Venezuela. Chavez was always very generous towards his opponents and this has continued. As a result the old Creole ruling class has been relatively undisturbed. It has retained its power over the media, for example and left in a position to sabotage the economy through its control of supermarkets, banks and commerce. It has retained its landholdings and maintained its agribusiness.
And now, in cahoots with the imperialists, it has come out against the government and chavismo. Its racist, neo fascist propensities and its contempt for its own countrymen and women- the poor and the working class- have been revealed. While the people are fighting to defend themselves against imperialism, Guido and the Venezuelan right, the capitalist class have made their positions very obvious. Given any sort of opportunity they will smash the social security and food security networks that keep the poor from starvation. They will privatise- Honduras style- and death squads will roam the working class districts torturing and killing.
In short the people of Venezuela have been shown exactly what to expect if the US wins. And the allies of the US have been revealed to be the country's worst enemies: traitors and Quislings.
In the end, if the US does not replace the Maduro government, it will find itself much worse off. All its Fifth Columnist friends will be in exile or hiding. All their wealth will have been distributed to the poor or nationalised.
And the US will have one more sworn and permanent enemy, the people of Venezuela.

Posted by: bevin | Aug 20 2019 18:26 utc | 105

Those inside the Matrix, must be fed by the internets. Those of us outside the Matrix, do our best to know what is really going on...

Posted by: timbers | Aug 20 2019 19:33 utc | 106

timbers | Aug 20 2019 18:10 utc
many of us started out where you are now. if you found this site it probably means you are curious. our host has a rather clear view of how things work and it is almost certainly different from what you were told my Western media.

sip it like a peaty scotch. it might repulse you at first but with patience you can truly savor the aroma of mostly bullshit free discussions. there are those here however who try to derail these discussions. they will become obvious in a short while

a long time reader, from the heady days of Billmon and the Whiskey Bar, I post little and read a lot. welcome

Posted by: dan of steele | Aug 20 2019 19:34 utc | 107

can anyone confirm this

Posted by: snake | Aug 20 2019 21:36 utc | 108

snake @110--

From the article: "The number of Palestinian martyrs, who died in Israeli jails due to medical negligence, has reached 64 prisoners since 1967." I can't confirm that, but I'm not surprised at the number. A higher number have likely died for similar causes within the Outlaw US Empire's jails and prisons over the same timespan. But the greater crime are those who die from lack of basic medical care in both places, and they aren't incarcerated, although Palestinians are certainly restricted and reports of them dying waiting to get through checkpoints happen regularly.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 20 2019 21:58 utc | 109

This has relevance to most every topic b writes. Caitlin Johnstone schools a somewhat typical ignorant American in what's one of those funny/sad exposes.

Too many Americans have been too ignorant for too long.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 20 2019 22:46 utc | 110

@ mrs Lovett style :-D Posted by: Arioch | Aug 20 2019 8:30 utc | 57

I did not know the reference, Friend, very apt.

The reality may be, for the "American spaces, ketosis... a tasty feed indeed.

And it minds me of a dope story...seems the mob wanted to "coordinate" with the Hawaiian mob, and sent a pair of diplomats to the islands. The Hawaiians sent their ears back in salt with a note. "Huummmm good! Send more!". I have no idea if the story is true...

Posted by: Walter | Aug 20 2019 23:29 utc | 111

Below is a posting from Xinhuanet about Syria focused on the Turkey/Russia tension over Idlib and the "safe" zone pushed by US/Turkey but not including Russia/Syria...very interesting read

Moscow exerts pressure on Ankara over Turkey-U.S. safe zone deal

I couldn't pick any one thing to quote here so just go read the whole thing

Posted by: psychohistorian | Aug 21 2019 2:05 utc | 112

Posted by: psychohistorian | Aug 21 2019 2:05 utc | 114
(Xinhua Idlib article)

That's just letting the HK provocateurs know that it's got its finger on the pulse of, and a microscope focused on, events in Syria - in a deliciously unbiased tone.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 21 2019 3:21 utc | 113

James @ 99. Thanks for letting us know who you are, now I know who to instantly skip. Welcome Pablo!

Posted by: Peter Fenton | Aug 21 2019 4:08 utc | 114

Re #114 and 116, I would have thought a safe zone east of the Euphrates would be a good move for Russia and Assad and Nerdy could be dragged along too. Then all the slaughterers in Idlib could move once again to that zone and enjoy the company of the Kurds.

Meanwhile Syria can secure its western and northern border with the malign regime in Nerdyland. The security of this 'new' eastern Euphrates zone could be maintained by Iraq further to the east, Syria to the West and South while Turkey can do what Turkey does best to the north.

Erdoghan and his lunatic party have led Turkey and its slaughterer mates into the devils gorge. The yankees, of course, may not see this as a worthy outcome just now.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Aug 21 2019 4:15 utc | 115

Thank you and welcome pablo novi #89 and 92. Well said.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Aug 21 2019 4:33 utc | 116

@117 peter.. pile of shite @92 from pablo as i see it and ot too.. eat it up to your hearts content..

Posted by: james | Aug 21 2019 4:56 utc | 117

Thanks to those hasbaras and trolls who exposed themselves by attacking regular people here whose history of posting vouched for them. Anyone who attack James , Passerby , Karlof is an obvious troll , some of them pretty new here and yet they laughingly tried to smear regulars.

there's regular here who are subject to my suspicion , people like jackrabbit who tried hard to spin the narrativec that erdogan coup is false flag , and he post this nonsense repeatedly as if he is under order (ala Anchorman/woman in MSM). PeterAU is a suspect since the PeterAU in UNZ is a blatantly obvious troll who acted civilized here..

here in MoA i always read the poster name's first before reading the comment ,it saved time

Posted by: milomilo | Aug 21 2019 5:26 utc | 118

Al Qaeda’s Air Force coming to rescue:

Posted by: Amir | Aug 21 2019 9:38 utc | 119

Grieved @52 pondered: "...who could have thought a non-state actor such as the CIA could afford such an army?"

Do not underestimate the CIA's financial resources. They don't just use scandal videos from Epstein Island (and dozens of similar operations worldwide) to force loyalty with blackmail, but they also straight out buy people (who are susceptible to it) with suitcases full of cash that they likely haven't even bothered counting.

The CIA's income can be divided roughly into two primary streams. Budgeted income is allocated by the US Congress, and while mostly secret, it is still subject to being audited and so must be used for "legitimate" purposes. This is supposedly only about $15 billion.

The CIA's second income stream is "off-budget", though, and this is what covers their real operating expenses. This second income stream can be further divided into income from drug trafficking, weapons trafficking, and sex slave/live organ donor trafficking. Of these income sources the drug trafficking is the largest by far.

The international illegal drug trade is worth over a $trillion. All of the big cartels have been destroyed, leaving only small local operations, yet the international drug trade continues every bit as big as it ever was. Who is now sitting on top of that $trillion?

Perhaps a hint will help: Who can get whole cargo containers through customs anywhere in the world by simply slapping a "diplomatic pouch" seal on the doors? Indeed, who is audacious enough to even try smuggling drugs that way? Who gets free use of the freight facilities at any of America's hundreds of military bases worldwide?

Hopefully you can see that even with the costs of running their trafficking businesses the CIA ends up with hundreds of $billions per year to play with. Even as extravagantly wasteful as the CIA is, they can still afford quite the death squad army with all of that cash.

Posted by: William Gruff | Aug 21 2019 11:21 utc | 120

And now Cavusoglu,being the accomplished diplomat that he is, has stated that he is ready to talk Russian FM about the attack ...I'll bet he bloody well is, the fraud!

And while it states clearly that the Syrian "regime" attacked on the M5, the official Turkish MoD statement gives no clarifcation as to who carried out the attack from the air. Why? Don't they know?)))

At the same time a statement given by Lavrov only mentions the Syrian Army attack not the air attack! But he does go someway to justify it by reminding Turkey of the ceasefire agreemenr - "jihadists will be crushed!"

Why the vagueness?

What we're seeing on Turkish news is Cavusoglu's false bravado "we will do everything necesaary to protect our soldiers", "we shall not move our observation posts" etc trying desperately to be on the front foot, and vague interpretations of events from everyone else. But nothing like the hysteria, repeated footage and condemnation etc. that would normally accompany such an event.

From a Turkish perspective even the acknowledgment that Russia may have threatened a Turkish convoy could hit the economy and government badly because it would immediately recall events of 2015/ 2016. So, sensitivity is maybe understandable.

So, whether this is a ruse or Russia reminding Turkey of a) its obligatiins and b) who Turkey's Syria boss really is remains unclear.

But Turkey has a rough ride ahead. That's for sure. Remember Assad's warnings to Erdogan at the beginnijg of the conflict?

Posted by: AtaBrit | Aug 21 2019 13:47 utc | 121

@ William Gruff | Aug 21 2019 11:21 utc

When empire runs out of money Opium wars come to mind, somewhat modernised!

Posted by: ex-SA | Aug 21 2019 13:50 utc | 122

William Gruff says:

Hopefully you can see that even with the costs of running their trafficking businesses the CIA ends up with hundreds of $billions per year to play with

yeah, and aside from their black budget, the 21 trillion in unaccounted for Federal money down at DOD suggests that they have other channels as well.

Posted by: john | Aug 21 2019 14:45 utc | 123

>>>>>: plantman | Aug 19 2019 21:17 utc | 22

Putin is warning Erdogan not to enter the battlezone, but Putin will certainly allow Erdogan to maintain a presence north of the DMZ. Assad will never reclaim all syrian territory but Syria will remain a sovereign state.

Disagree with you on this. Putin has said he intends to maintain Syria's sovereignty including restoring all "lost" territory which he will do, but he will do it in a economical/efficient/effective manner which will take time but it will happen before he retires.

As for Erdogan's problems, Putin is now getting revenge for the Turkish Air Force shooting down that Russian Su-24 in 2015. Never think that the Russians won't take revenge, they just about always will at the time and place of their choosing.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Aug 21 2019 14:49 utc | 124

@psychohistorian | 114
Interesting article but would say that it is clearly written from a Turkish Government perspective.
That it doesn't even mention the agreement re. ceasefire, the 'embryonic' stage of the safe zone and the question as to whose safe zone it actually is/ is going to be (NATO's, US's Turkey's) are significant ommissions to my mind.

Posted by: AtaBrit | Aug 21 2019 15:14 utc | 125

The overnight assault has narrowed the gap between pincers to 2km with the remainder being closed today. The very well fortified Tamanah with its network of caves and tunnels is now yielding, while Khan Shaykhun is slowly, carefully cleared of the many traps and snipers left behind. As we've seen, the next push can be expected to occur during the night as SAA's advantage in thermal sighting gives it a huge advantage and keeps its casualties down. Forces are now clearing the cauldron with reports saying Morek's been reached, which is where the Turk OP is located. An Arabic Twitter source has just posted a map showing the cauldron completely closed and reduced to a pocket, as has another.

Lots of effort being spent on Kabani in the far North of Latakia since it's high ground overlooking the al-Ghab plains.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 21 2019 15:33 utc | 126

Well, the SAA took the large hill on the right side of the right jaw of the cauldron, so basically it is closed. SAA clearing the area around Morek, but the Turks are still refusing to leave their observation post. The rumor is that maybe some hundred greens are there. Pretty funny if the Turks remain inside SAA territort at the mercy of the Syrians for resupply.

And in other interesting news, the Houthis shot down an MQ9 Reaper over Yemen...


Posted by: Bg | Aug 21 2019 15:50 utc | 127

@ AtaBrit # 128 in response to my link to Xinhuanet

I posted an earlier article from Xinhuanet that is on the previous Syria thread about the safe zone and the US Commander Twitty in charge as the link below shows

Xinhuanet is an interesting source because, as others have noted, the perspective of the articles seem to not be "consistent"......showing the same POV

Posted by: psychohistorian | Aug 21 2019 15:50 utc | 128

Ghost Ship @127--

Agree 100%! Putin and Assad are of one mind when it comes to Syria reclaiming "every inch" of its territory. I think it important to read Putin's remarks to the mostly French press prior to his conference with Macron, particularly the question about Eurasia posed after the one focusing on the G-7. As usual, attempts to smear Putin/Russia are turned on their head very skillfully as with the final question posed.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 21 2019 15:50 utc | 129

Rats! I hit post instead of edit, but the kink still works!

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 21 2019 15:52 utc | 130

>>>> karlof1 | Aug 21 2019 15:33 utc | 129

The HTS around Morek and their supporters/backers really are idiots. The SAA+ gave them a way to get home and they refused to take the opportunity. The SAA then decided it was going to cutoff the Morek salient and it became the Morek pocket and demonstrated yet again that when the SAA decides to act there is fuck all the jihadists can do. The SAA has at least a couple of world-class divisions. Take away air power and they'd be a hard target for any western army, particularly one just to the south-west.
I suppose the jihadists can decide to filter out under the cover of darkness. LOL! Otherwise, they can stand and fight to the death, their deaths. The jihadists in northern Idlib should pay attention and move on Turkey, their only way out.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Aug 21 2019 16:22 utc | 131

Zarif continues his trek through Scandinavia with a stop in Sweden then Norway. Here's a link to his talk at SIPRI about International Law & Unilateralism which begins with his stressing the great importance of Multilateralism for accomplishing most anything in today's world. He boss Khamenei has broken his silence over Kashmir, with the troubles there and between Pakistan and India being attributed thusly:

"The current situation in #Kashmir &the disputes between India & Pakistan regarding it are a result of the vicious British government’s measures while leaving the Indian subcontinent. The British intentionally left this wound in that region in order to sustain conflicts in Kashmir."

It should be recalled the anniversary of the 1953 coup was yesterday, thus the rhetoric. I expect Iran will do what it can to ease the tensions there.

Putin's in Finland today on the heels of Zarif's visit and will likely try to get further EU support for Russia's Persian Gulf collective security proposal to help make it a reality before a regrettable error is made in that region.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 21 2019 16:34 utc | 132

william gruff on where cia gets it's money - thanks for the overview...

atabrit, bg and some other folks - thanks for the updates and overview...

thanks milomilo...

turkey is just posturing for the local media as i see it..

@133 karlof1... thanks for that link.. putin never ceases to amaze me when i read what he has to say...he was quick to throw the yellow jackets parallel back onto the journalists to make the russian demonstrations seems minor.. macron wants to focus on ukraine, but they don't want to encourage ukraine to honour the minsk 2 agreement... why is that?

Posted by: james | Aug 21 2019 16:37 utc | 133

Here's an interesting angle. There is this fellow named Fethullah Gulen, an ostensible 'scholar', 'author', and 'preacher' (read any good books by him lately?) who is generally believed to be 'waiting in the wings' to become the new ruler of Turkey if 'something happens' to Erdogan. Erdo, of course, demands that he be extradited back to Turkey to be given a traditional 'fair trial'. But no, the US Government insists on 'hosting' him in the States, deep in Pennsylvania's Pocono Mountains, near the border of New Jersey. This seem just a bit odd, as I think about it.

Suppose there was some well-known rival of Ivan Marquez, the president of Colombia, 'waiting in the wings' to replace Marquez. And this rival was being lavishly 'hosted' in some remote village in Russia, or China, just waiting for 'something to happen' to Marquez. Since Russia and China do not engage in the sport of overthrowing foreign governments, that is not going to happen, is it?

Posted by: blues | Aug 21 2019 16:42 utc | 134

@135 karlof1... thanks for those links with updates and etc... much appreciated...

Posted by: james | Aug 21 2019 16:43 utc | 135

the more drones and such that the Houthis can shoot down, the better for Yemen.... and for the world

I wish Bernard would use his considerable research and writing abilities to bring things up to date here at MoA on the social, political and military situations in yemen. thanks.

U.S. military drone shot down over Yemen, officials say
Houthi rebels had earlier told the group's official Al-Masirah T.V. that their air defenses had shot down a U.S. MQ-9 aircraft.

A U.S. military drone was shot down over Yemen on Tuesday, according to two U.S. officials, the second such incident in Yemen in the last three months. Multiple reports state the attack took place late Tuesday......

Posted by: michaelj72 | Aug 21 2019 17:04 utc | 136

Confirmed, pocket is now sealed..

Posted by: Lozion | Aug 21 2019 18:01 utc | 137

William Gruff @123

Great comment. Reminded me of something I read in an interview w/ Seymour Hersh awhile ago.

Seymour Hersh: The CIA Is Filled with Criminals

Elon Green: So a source not being “in” is not necessarily an impediment to good information?

Seymour Hersh: You have to be careful, but you have to deal with guys that are known to be good guys on the inside and trusted. It’s very ideological, but you can get information. There’s [an Agency] guy; I was screaming at him once about fucking up the FBI after 9/11. And he said to me, “Sy, you don’t get it. The FBI catches bank robbers and we rob banks.” I thought to myself, Fuck! That’s just exactly right. They’re criminals, what the CIA does. It’s all criminal activity...

Posted by: Zack | Aug 21 2019 18:15 utc | 138

karlof1 @132: thank you for the link!

From a climate change "skeptic" point of view, Putin must also be participant of the plot to enforce the swindle onto the global population, with Trump and Bolsonaro the last honest ones to see through it /sarcasm

"By the way, I would like to say a few words on a subject Mr President mentioned, namely, joint efforts to fight climate change. This is an important matter. Russia joined the initiatives of the President of France from the very outset and supported the Paris Agreement on climate change. We assumed very serious obligations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 75 percent of the 1990 levels in the next few years and to attain 70 percent levels by 2030. These serious obligations will require a substantial reconstruction of the entire Russian economy. We have adopted state programmes dealing with this matter, and we have set aside colossal resources. We take this matter very seriously."

Posted by: mk | Aug 21 2019 18:48 utc | 139

@Arioch #83
You said: "Problem then is, Russia does not care that much about nominal GDP and even about PPP GDP. It is "average temperature in hospital", where some patients are in 41C fever and others in 4C morgue, but on average they all have that healthy 36,6C."

I can't say I agree with this. Russia cares very much about GDP, at least the PPP type.
However, sanctions which cause Putin to be able to blame an economic slowdown on the West vs. a fall in oil prices - that's nothing to do with GDP and everything to do with politics. Ultimately, GDP still matters - as recent unpopular moves in Russia such as increasing taxes and reducing benefits has hurt Putin's popularity.
But, yet again, the sanctions have also served to boost Russian production. Post-1991, a lot of Russian production capability was shipped out or lost. Import substitution has brought some of that back, although there a lot of "Belarussian French Cheese" substitution as well.

Posted by: c1ue | Aug 21 2019 19:19 utc | 140

@steven t johnson #19
Meh. Greenland's maximum temperature in July, their hottest month, is about 50 degrees F (lows are around 40 degrees F). And that's because the sun is up literally 24 hours a day.
An increase of 4 or even 6 degrees F makes very little difference.
The reality is that there were people growing grain on Greenland in the Medieval era; that they do so again does not constitute "it is different this time" automatically.

Posted by: c1ue | Aug 21 2019 19:23 utc | 141

@ W.Gruff: Very nicely summed up re: the international alphabet syndicate.
I recently read a piece documenting the amount of cargo going through Iraq via US military, and curiously a way station in Finland. It amazes me that USAns for the most part simply cannot fathom such agencies being anything other than the good guys../
And to all the hasbara trolls that stopped by to obfuscate and insult, hats off! Y’all are outclassed by regular MOA contributors but keep up the crappy work.

Posted by: Chevrus | Aug 21 2019 20:44 utc | 142

It amazes me that USAns for the most part simply cannot fathom such agencies being anything other than the good guys../
Posted by: Chevrus | Aug 21 2019 20:44 utc | 145

First, it must be stressed that USA is a large country, and even in smallish countries you may find people who think differently than others. That said, my reconstruction of popular (if not universal) beliefs is that to get done everything necessary for their safety it is necessary to bend the laws, twist it or whatever. Folks that do it are doing it for our good, and in no way they are criminals! Unless some biased leftists judge manages to slap some penalties, and that, you must agree, does not happen often.

For example, there is considerable amount of perjury and falsification in ordinary law enforcement, buy the population, by and large, thinks it is OK because the people on the receiving end are "bad guys anyway". Prison management is another lawless arena. Did you ever wonder how Americans conscripted to service in Iraq (because they joined National Guard) could so readily accept tasks of torturing and grotesquely humiliating prisoners? Well, they were prison guards as civilians. But that's OK, because barring a rare exception, all victims are bad apples.

So CIA is an organization that would be criminal, were our court system unpatriotic enough to go after them. And that's how the average Joe likes it.

That said, I have doubts about putative CIA financial empire used to finance policies of the deep state. A potential for ill gotten gains is there, drug trade, front companies with illegal advantages, perhaps insider trading? But what prevents those gains from being fully privatized? Perhaps some crumbs may go to the likes of Falun Gong, contras, Venezuelan opposition etc., but I suspect, not much.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Aug 21 2019 22:26 utc | 143

NYT officially visited Syria but for some reason resented the 6 month delay and the "minders." That is tough; they know what they did and promoted with their coverage. And throughout the article, they blame Assad/govt for the destruction. Bad conditions and destruction of course but no context as to how it started or the players trying to destroy the country.

What ‘Victory’ Looks Like: A Journey Through Shattered Syria

Posted by: Curtis | Aug 21 2019 22:26 utc | 144

@steven t johnson #19
Meh. Greenland's maximum temperature in July, their hottest month, is about 50 degrees F (lows are around 40 degrees F).
Posted by: c1ue | Aug 21 2019 19:23 utc | 144

Once I wanted to write a joke about an Arctic heat wave, with highs in upper 50-ties, so I got the chart of temperatures in Tiksi, Sakha, Russia. Tiksi has a polar day of about two months and temperatures are moderated by the ocean body -- it is a port city on the Arctic Ocean. 8 months of winter, 2 months of summer with highs ca. 50, lows ca. 30, snow can fall any time. BUT THIS JULY WAS DIFFERENT! Weeks above 70, reaching 90!!! In a place where June is the best time for ice fishing (ocean ice starts to break).

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Aug 21 2019 22:33 utc | 145

curtis @147

Posted by: Schmoe | Aug 21 2019 22:50 utc | 146

curtis @147

The NYT surprisingly published my comment on the Douma "attack" likely being a false flag.

One other comment said "when will people admit that the 'Syrian civil war' was an international jihadi invasion of a secular dictatorship." That sums it up well, other than the jihadi network being financed by the US, UK, et. al.

Posted by: Schmoe | Aug 21 2019 22:55 utc | 147

That said, I have doubts about putative CIA financial empire used to finance policies of the deep state.

Financing by drugs, human trafficking, blackmail and foundations.

This here is Iran Contra.

(The contras did eventually buy the arms, using money the Reagan administration secretly raised from Saudi Arabia.) According to the notebook, Secord told North that "14 M to finance [the arms in the warehouse] came from drugs.

By printing money.

Beginning in the very earliest days of the war in Iraq, the New York Federal Reserve shipped billions of dollars in physical cash to Baghdad to pay for the reopening of the government and restoration of basic services.

The money was packed onto pallets inside a heavily guarded New York Federal Reserve compound in East Rutherford, New Jersey, trucked to Andrews Air Force Base outside of Washington, and flown by military aircraft to Baghdad International Airport.

By one account, the New York Fed shipped about $40 billion in cash between 2003 and 2008. In just the first two years, the shipments included more than 281 million individual bills weighing a total of 363 tons. But soon after the money arrived in the chaos of war-torn Baghdad, the paper trail documenting who controlled it all began to go cold.

Since then, investigators have spent years trying to trace what happened to the enormous amount of money shipped in the frantic days of the occupation of Iraq. Although there have been hundreds of pages of reports, Congressional hearings, and inquiries from Washington to Baghdad, no one in Congress, a special inspector general’s office, the Department of Defense or the Iraqi government itself can say with certainty what exactly happened to all of that money.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 21 2019 23:07 utc | 148

add to 151

US foreign policy is driven by international finance and lobbying - they pay. The loot is worth it. I am sure you can write a financial crime story with what happened to Libya's wealth funds - before and after the fall of Ghaddafi.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 21 2019 23:10 utc | 149

@Piotr Berman #148
I actually know people who grew up in Siberia.
Weather anomalies irregularly occur where temperatures there can even go into the 100s, Fahrenheit.
This is meaningless, however, in the grand scheme of things.
Again, while the world is definitely warming - the total extent of warming to date - including recovery from the Little Ice Age - is in the 0.12 to 0.18 degrees C per decade. This isn't a lot - even 200 years of this is a fraction of temperature swing in a single day from sunrise to midnight.

Posted by: c1ue | Aug 22 2019 2:43 utc | 150

@psychohistorian | 131

Cheers. Now I get ut.
Will keep reading.

Posted by: AtaBrit | Aug 22 2019 4:26 utc | 151

re #149 printed dollars
This casts a new light on the sudden economic boom in Turkey and Syria back then.

Posted by: Mina | Aug 22 2019 7:37 utc | 152

karlof1 130#

Now Macron,following Trump has suggested that Russia should reintegrate the G7/8.Of cours ther would be conditions.Lavrov has sais Russia would consider this.

In a very bright piece Caroline Galactéros,strategic analyst points out that the big error was to exclude Russi,and that it will take just one voice in the European Council to stopà sanctions,so why don't they?It's in French,but I like to recommend this author,always very precise and to the point.

Posted by: willie | Aug 22 2019 11:23 utc | 153

Posted by: somebody | Aug 21 2019 23:07 utc | 149

By printing money.

Beginning in the very earliest days of the war in Iraq, the New York Federal Reserve shipped billions of dollars in physical cash to Baghdad to pay for the reopening of the government and restoration of basic services.

That is misleadingly inaccurate. It was Iraqi money, frozen in the US under the sanctions, and sent in cash supposedly for reconstruction projects, but nobody was auditing the expenditure, so guess what, the people best able to pocket it were US occupation officials, who certainly departed with the vast majority. This event has been brought up again and again, so should be known by now.

The money wasn't printed, and in the main it didn't go to CIA objectives, but rather to US embezzlement.

Posted by: Laguerre | Aug 22 2019 17:07 utc | 154

willie @154--

Thanks for your reply! Putin and Peskov at the Kremlin have both stated their preference for the G-20 format as it's a far more representative body than either G-7/8; and while it would be nice to be invited back into the G-8 format, Russia doesn't seek one. That stance makes eminent sense since the G-7 is filled with Russiaphobes who've accepted the grossest of lies about Russia at face value--particularly over the Ukraine coup which is when Russia was ousted. The linked article is quite critical of Macron and France's overall foreign policy, and I find myself mostly agreeing with it, particularly the following section:

"French-American relations seem to be deadlocked, is it out of spite or opportunism that France is turning to the old Russian ally?

"France still does not understand – and seems unable to understand – that there is a structural difference of interests between Washington and the European Union. Our political and strategic allegiance is deep, but it is based on a fantasy convergence of interests. Under Trump, who holds us "short reins" and bluntly proclaims his contempt, we feel orphans of a tutelage who until then took gloves and allowed us to obey... saving face, in military or declaratory rodomontades. But in fact, as early as 2013, with Obama and his famous "red line" in Syria, the mass was called. But then, redoubling servility, we had no upsurge of saving pride. Nothing has really changed in Paris. This is where the drama. Because the rest of the world is moving at high speed. I fear that our president, despite his lyrical flights of Fancy, has no real awareness of our history with Russia through the centuries, nor any structured strategic vision. He did not see France in his flesh or in his heart, and words were not enough to embody a will. He wants to be the self-proclaimed leader of a resurgent Europe, but he does not understand the conditions.

"To get closer to Moscow (as indeed to Teheran), Paris must once again become a credible and reliable power, on the word of which one can count, which is mentally independent, free, sovereign. In short, we simply have to stop paying for our words and leave our status as an American proxy. Again, we are far from that. Since Nicolas Sarkozy with Libya, then François Hollande with Maidan and Les Mistral, France is unfortunately no longer considered autonomous, even less independent strategically. His signature is no longer valid. His vision of the world, that of his place within it, in respect of his own interests and values, is untraceable. In Syria, its astonishing game of destabilization of a sovereign state and support for the worst terrorist group, which nevertheless strikes it on its national territory and undermines its unity, has deeply decriminalized it. Our foreign policy is a-historical, schizophrenic and suicidal."

If Macron really wants to reassert the importance of France, the simplest thing he can do is to force an end to the EU's sanctions on Russia, which as the writer points-out is really the big test. If Macron cannot/will not carry out this simple act, then France will remain in the Outlaw US Empire's lock-box policy-wise to its own detriment.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 22 2019 17:16 utc | 155

Piotr Berman #148
I actually know people who grew up in Siberia.
Weather anomalies irregularly occur where temperatures there can even go into the 100s, Fahrenheit.
[notes from Lobster enjoying veeery gradual warming while bathing in a pot] Posted by: c1ue | Aug 22 2019 2:43 utc

I also know people who grew in Siberia. While it may surprise some people, Siberia is actually large, and has more than one climate zone. Tiksi is on the oceanic shore of Sakha. In the central plains of Sakha, about 1000 km south of Tiksi and about 1000 km north of Mongolia indeed summer hot spells above 70 and reaching 100 Fahrenheit are not unusual. However, on the shore of Arctic Ocean, the season with temperatures predominantly above freezing is not four months long but only two months, which is quite different, and ordinarily melting of the oceanic ice and absorption of the heat by oceans water limit the "summer heat" to 50 F range (10 C). But this year July was 10 C / 20 F above average, not a day, not a week, but most of the month was "hot".

And this is not an isolated phenomenon.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Aug 23 2019 10:11 utc | 156

"The jihadists in the soon closed cauldron south of that point are now cut off from road bound resupplies."

As of today, the only memory of "cauldron" is a forlorn Turkish post with SAA troops around it.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Aug 23 2019 10:19 utc | 157

@blues | 135
Let's not forget that Gulen was for a long period an Erdogan/ AKP ally and that the fundemental issue behind 'terrorist' charges is one of a power struggle.
Not ONE suspected Gulenist has been extradicted back to Turkey on a legal basis because the eviudece provided is circumstantial at best and fabricated at worst.
Furhtermore hundreds of thousands of Turkish citizens have had their lives ruined as a result of the ongoig FETO (Gulentist) witch-hunt and without any due legal process. Those who have not fled the country live under the radar with cash in hand jobs, handouts from family members and no access to any service that may require ID.
Whatever your / my thoughts of such people, until they are proven in a copurt of law to hve committed terrorist crimes they must in any civil society be considered innocent. The Turkish regime is far more authoritarian and dictatorial than any of those the West is so willing to 'teach' democracy to.

Posted by: AtaBrit | Aug 24 2019 11:42 utc | 158

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