Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 27, 2019

The MoA Week In Review - Open Thread 2019-62

Last week's posts at Moon of Alabama:

Final report on the Lion Air flight JT610 (pdf) - KNKT
Boeing Shaped a Law to Its Liking. Weeks Later, a 737 Max Crashed. - NY Times

The PKK Kurds have finally agreed to adhere to the Russian/Turkish agreement.
The U.S. says it killed Kenny - again. Kenny was hiding or traveling in Idleb near the Turkish border. Iraq, the PKK Kurds and Turkey all claim to have been involved. Some say the helicopters came from Erbil, Iraq, but SOHR says they came from Turkey which is way more likely. Trump thanks Russia, Syria, Iraq, Turkey and the Syrian Kurds for their cooperation. As Kenny al-Baghdadi is now dead is there still a need to 'protect the Syrian oil-fields from ISIS'?

The Russian Defense Ministry says it knows nothing of a strike, doubts that it happened.

EHSANI2 @EHSANI22 - 5:33 UTC · Oct 27, 2019
That #Baghdadi was killed in #Idlib will come as no surprise to Damascus who were long aware of much more extensive relations between #AlQaeda #Nusra and #ISIS. The reconciliation between the two groups started after ISIS suffered significant losses in Mosul.
Thread —>

Larry Johnson says that James Clapper and John Brennan set up a CIA task force to prevent Trump from winning the 2016 election. That is quite possible or even likely. There will be bureaucratic traces of it and some people will sing. Barr and Durham will find them. Where will it end? Well ...

Matt Taibbi @mtaibbi - 23:26 UTC · Oct 25, 2019
LOL. Barack Obama is going to love this interview his former DIA James Clapper just gave to CNN about the Durham probe: “It’s frankly disconcerting to be investigated for having done... what we were told to do by the president of the United States.”
Clapper: Trump administration is sending us this message

Other issues:

Entertaining writings:
Hillary Clinton Spoils the Party - Jacob Bacharach, Truthdig
$500,000 of Russian Cheese, Wasted? - Matt Bivens
Little Russia-gate: The Tragic Comedy Of Journalism Has a Ukrainian Encore - Matt Bivens

Fake gas attacks:
Expert Panel Finds Gaping Plot Holes In OPCW Report On Alleged Syrian Chemical Attack - Caity Johnstone
Panel Criticizes ‘Unacceptable Practices’ in the OPCW’s investigation of the Alleged Chemical Attack in Douma, Syria on April 7th 2018 - Courage Found
OPCW Whistleblower Panel on the Douma attack of April 2018 - Wikileaks:

One of the Panel members was Dr José Bustani, the first Director-General of the OPCW, who concluded that: “The convincing evidence of irregular behaviour in the OPCW investigation of the alleged Douma chemical attack confirms doubts and suspicions I already had. I could make no sense of what I was reading in the international press. Even official reports of investigations seemed incoherent at best. The picture is certainly clearer now, although very disturbing”

Saving Lebanon:
US sanctions squeezing Iran-backed Hezbollah in Lebanon AP - Oct 4
Syria is lost. Let’s save Lebanon. Ignatius, Washington Post - Oct 16
The Lebanese Fall – Hezbollah’s Latest Challenge - Ghassan Kadi, Saker blog - Oct 22
Lebanon’s shuttered banks bracing for dollar run - Asia Times - Oct 25

The Price of Power - Kissinger, Nixon, and Chile - Seymour M. Hersh, Atlantic - Dec 1982

Assange in Court - Craig Murray
“I Was Fired for Helping Julian Assange, and I Have No Regrets” - Jacobin Mag
Snowden reconsidered - Gilbert Doctorow

Funny end:
New Robot Makes Soldiers Obsolete (vid) - Bosstown Dynamics

Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on October 27, 2019 at 14:16 UTC | Permalink

next page »

It appears there was a regular traffic jam around the Baghdadi killing, many people wanting to be part of it. All patting each other on the back now. Great teamwork all around. I expect a movie within a year.

Posted by: Bemildred | Oct 27 2019 14:30 utc | 1

This is next-level propaganda:

The ‘Deep State’ Exists to Battle People Like Trump: A merit-based system for hiring federal employees was created in reaction to the rampant corruption of the Gilded Age.

The USA is a federal republic with three powers (the Montesquieu system). When one power needs a check, it's the role of the other two to do it. The laws of this kind of State already have a device to legally check, balance and punish democratically elected officials -- including the highest one of the Executive power, the POTUS. It's not up to non-elected bureaucrats working within the State machine to decide if the people chose the right candidate or not, but of the Legislative power. Those federal employees' job is just to execute orders, not to think critically, let alone ideologically.

There's no concept of court in a republic. If you don't have transparency on every decision, it simply won't work.


An introduction to Chinese democratic system:

Key Party meeting to focus on socialist system

From this article, one can clearly see it is essentially the Soviet system. During the Cold War, the propaganda that was spread in the West was that its system was "totalitarian", i.e. a monolithic, antidemocratic system without elections or with fake elections. This was false in the case of the USSR and is false in the case of China.

Posted by: vk | Oct 27 2019 14:31 utc | 2

Looks like the US military is getting it on, in Syria.
Daily Beast:
U.S. Forces Try to Stop Syrian Regime Forces From Helping Kurds Fight Turkey

GAZIANTEP, Turkey—U.S. forces battled to contain the deployment of Syrian regime troops on Monday, as President Bashar al-Assad ordered his forces into several sensitive areas.
Although still seemingly prepared to withdraw from Syria—according to statements from Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and other administration officials—sources on the ground told The Daily Beast that American forces continued to try to prevent or at least rein in the full scope of the Assad regime’s deployment throughout the region.
Late Sunday night, local news sources such as Raqqa Is Being Silently Slaughtered, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, and other outlets reported that U.S. aircraft launched airstrikes against pro-Assad positions near Tabqa, Mansour, and in Khasham, killing and injuring an unspecified number of fighters. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 27 2019 14:33 utc | 3

On Baghdadi's Osama like death - I was wondering if Thierry Mayssan's takr that bin Laden died on Dec 15 2001 from kidney failure is at all truthful?

Posted by: Ilya G Poimandres | Oct 27 2019 14:34 utc | 4

No reason to believe the alleged IS-leader ever existed (just another product of Hollywood/DoD), but just like with his predecessor; no body or photo-evidence, otherwise it didn't happen

Posted by: never mind | Oct 27 2019 14:35 utc | 5

From over at Canthama's Twitter-site, a US air-strike took out ISIS leader al Baghdadi. This is the third of fourth time that he has supposedly been killed, so, we'll see.

From what I am picking up, the Russian and Syrian air forces have been blasting Idlib for the past few weeks. Idlib is, of course the place where all the Orcs who were green-bussed out of other parts of Syria ended up. Therefore, Idlib is a concentrated zone of likely 25,000-50,000 of the most fanatical, die-hard Orcs that cannot be re-integrated into society. Thus, these will have to die on the battlefield.

And maybe this is part of what the Turkish invasion is about. Erdogan, like the others who instigated and financed the attempted regime-change war on Syria have come to realize that the project has failed and Assad has won the war, even if they won't publically admit this. Turkey has been supporting its own species of Muslim Brotherhood Orcs. If Turkey has thrown in the towel in the anti-Assad campaign, what to do with the 15,000 or so Orcs he controls. They are no longer of any use to Erdogan geopolitically. They are far too dangerous to just let in to live in Turkey.

It's here that I notice that in this Turkish invasion, there seem to be relatively few regular Turkish Army soldiers involved in the actual fighting. The front lines are composed almost entirely of these Orcs under the domain of Turkey. Their final use to Erdogan was to attack "Rojava" and force the Kurdish militias to deal with Assad and withdraw from the border.

Beyond this remains only to get rid of them. Hence, send them into the Idlib meat-grinder to be killed off, where the Syrian and Russian air forces have been pounding them without mercy.

Antoinetta III

Posted by: Antoinetta III | Oct 27 2019 14:51 utc | 6

The most astonishing statement by Trump on the "Al-Baghdadi OP" is that they got the DNA test in 15 minutes...

I fear this is a bluff...some forensic here?

Posted by: Sasha | Oct 27 2019 14:55 utc | 7

Last week, Thierry Meyssan posted an excellent paper (, in which he states that the recent events in Syria, in which ‘a quarter of the country was freed in a week’ is not only a victory for Assad, but the defeat of the ‘military strategy to establish the supremacy of financial capitalism’. These events mark the overturning of the world order that has been in place since the end of WWII.

What I find remarkable is how quickly the old order has been overturned. The old order was initially a bi-polar world, which evolved, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, into a Uni-Polar World Order under the control of 'financial capitalism' (i.e. the ‘Globalists’, also referred to as ‘international financial elites’, ‘Anglo-Zionists’, the ‘Davos Crowd’, etc.). Arguably the Uni-Pole's power peaked in the early 2000s after the creation of the EU and the eastern expansion of NATO. The first cracks in the Uni-Pole's hegemonic power appeared in 2003 with the fiasco in Iraq, and in 2008 with the Global Financial Crisis. But even as late as 2015, when Obama dismissed Russia’s entry into Syria as nothing but Russia stepping into a quagmire, the 'Globalists' could foresee no opposing force that would prevent them from consolidating their Uni-Polar World Order into an enduring world-wide system of ‘Global Governance’ through a ‘Rules-based International Order’ under the 'Globalists' control and enforced by the U.S. and NATO. But now, as Meyssan suggests, only four years later, the Uni-Polar World Order has been toppled.

In its place a ‘Multi-Polar World’ order is emerging. I would like to suggest that the outlines of this emerging order are as follows:
1. The dominant pole of this Multi-polar World is that led by the alliance of Russia and China. Spanning Eurasia from the Pacific to the Mediterranean, this pole includes the countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and the Eurasian Economic Union, and includes Iran, Iraq, Syria, and possibly, in the future, Turkey.

2. The second pole will be the remnants of the 'Globalist' empire, stripped, however, of Europe (ex. U.K.) and any Asian representation, i.e. the U.S., U.K., Israel and likely Canada.

3. A third group consists of countries that are currently either occupied militarily by the U.S. or are part of NATO, but are either economically dependent on China or are in economic competition with the U.S. This includes most of Europe, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and the GCC countries (KSA, UAE, etc.). These countries cannot be considered as poles by themselves, for while some of them may have the economic weight to be considered a pole, such as Germany and Japan, they lack the geo-political weight. These countries are likely to try to escape from their status as American ('Globalist') vassals and become independent nations dealing equitably with all the poles of the new Multi-Polar World. In my view, it is unlikely that the EU will survive the birth of this new-world order in its current form. At best it is likely to revert back to a European free trade area, in which each country will recapture its sovereignty and its own currency.

4. A fourth group consists of countries that, while not being a part of the Russia/China pole will be under its wing, with Russia providing military, political and geo-political support, and China providing economic support. This group includes countries which are currently either under threat from the 'Globalists' (ie. Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia, etc.), are in turmoil due to exploitation by the 'Globalists' (ie. Chile, Argentina, Brazil, etc.) or are outright failed states (most of Africa). Under the protection of Russia and China, they will once again have a chance to overcome the anarchy of the past 20 or so years and to return to peaceful development.

5. A fifth group consists of what will likely end up as secondary poles of the Multi-Polar World. These are countries that today are both independent and have the geo-political and economic weight to continue to function independently. This group includes the likes of India and the ASEAN countries.

Uncertain is the time that it will take for this emerging order to stabilize. In my view, this depends to a great extent on whether Trump survives impeachment and wins in 2020. If he does then the emergence of the Multi-Polar World Order could be quite quick and painless, as it is aligned with the policies that Trump has been espousing from the beginning of his presidential campaign in 2015. To 'Make America Great Again' requires that the U.S. recover its sovereignty and redevelop its industrial power. After all, a countries wealth, and thus its power, is what it produces, and a country that doesn't produce as much as it consumes will, in the end, consume itself. To redevelop its industrial power the U.S. needs to isolate itself, as Trump is attempting to do behind a wall of tariff barriers and a devalued currency. The Multi-Polar World Order will allow the U.S. the opportunity it needs isolate, and then rebuild, itself. One must remember that it was the isolation of the U.S. in the 19th and early 20th centuries that enabled the U.S. to become so powerful in the first place.

If, on the other hand, Trump is either overthrown by the 'Globalists' or defeated in 2020 then the emergence of the Multi-Polar World Order will be fraught with conflict. The 'Globalists' will fight it every step of the way, using all tools at their disposal, and particularly the military muscle of the U.S. and NATO. For the 'Globalists' the Multi-Polar World Order means the dispossession of their power and wealth. However, I believe that will simply be a case of the losers continuing to fight long after the war has been lost. It is only a question of how much time that it will take, and death and destruction that will occur, before the U.S. and NATO are exhausted.

The emergence of the Multi-Polar World Order, once it stabilizes, is likely to usher in a new era of peace and human development, similar to that which the world experienced in the decades following WWII.

Posted by: dh-mtl | Oct 27 2019 15:04 utc | 8

re: Baghdadi
The US regularly rotates general officers in and out of war-zones annually, but when a foreign leader is occasionally (and supposedly) lost it's a big publicity deal. Do they think we're stupid?

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 27 2019 15:07 utc | 9

Oh boy, Bernard.

I knew you were cool, but didn't realise you were a South Park fan!!

Long live Kenny Mccormick, aka Mysterion. (not the phony, copy cat one in the Middle East)

Posted by: El Sid | Oct 27 2019 15:08 utc | 10

TASS: Russian defense ministry says has no proof of Islamic State leader’s extermination

MOSCOW, October 27. /TASS/. Russia’s defense ministry has no reliable proof that Islamic State (a terrorist organization outlawed in Russia) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been killed in a US raid and doubts that such a raid has ever taken place, the ministry’s spokesman, Igor Konashenkov, said on Sunday.

Posted by: b | Oct 27 2019 15:10 utc | 11

As Kenny al-Baghdadi is now dead is there still a need to 'protect the Syrian oil-fields from ISIS'?

By the way, your boy Trump said the team's technicians did an on-site DNA test.

Oh yeah, Trump still wants to protect the oil and much more! Guess you didn't watch Trump's presser on al-Baghdadi operation where Trump specifically stated that the U.S. is ready to FIGHT anyone who wants the oil. I guess that means that anyone can now go into a sovereign nation and take their resources. He also said he'll be consulting Exxon on exploiting that oil.

Okay, your boy Trump is an insane lunatic. Can we agree on that, finally?

On saving Lebannon. I recently posted here that Trump's plan in this order is to starve and deprive Syria, have Turkey flood the North with Assad-hating refugees, occupy Eastern Syria stealing Syria's oil, all to pressure the demise of the Assad Government and abort the Syria-Iraq-Iran commercial corridor. Meanwhile, Trump will use all means to take down Hezbollah, and Trump even mentiond in the presser he's going after other terrorist organizations.
I specifically got the feeling he means Hezbollah and its spiritual leader. I'd take my intuition to the bank on this one! I have a good track record so far. All this together with the extreme sanctions on Iran to completely diffuse Shia strength and influence in the region, collapse Iran's economy and then move towards regime change there too. Trump is on schedule furthering the Ziocon agenda.

Of course I was ridiculed by the usual Trump tools and minions here. So let me make this statement too.

Trump won't be satisfied merely with all that. He's dreaming of all that luscious oil and gas in Iran that they can't market. He just can't get over the fact that Bush didn't take Iraq's oil.

Your boy Trump is a NEO AND A CON in other words he's putting the CON in Neocon and you're worried about whatever Brennan and Clapper may have done to sabotage his campaign?

The only thing they can't stand is Trump's love affair with Putin, but Trump is delivering big time for Zionism and so far the Ziocons have his back (Mueller killed the investigation) and have William Barr at the top of Justice to ensure that he's protected from the Democrats.

But then who cares about the fall of Iran -- one less competitor for ZUSA and Russia, riiiight???

Don't worry your Putin-loving Neo Con boy is secure.

Posted by: Circe | Oct 27 2019 15:12 utc | 12

This Baghdadi killing is the fifth reported killing since 2014. Baghdadi's glamour shot from Rita Katz's SITE Modelling Agency is all over the internet tubes. They laugh and laugh at the gullible public.

Posted by: Kristan hinton | Oct 27 2019 15:25 utc | 13

I agree with dh-mtl that we are entering a multi-polar world but that is happening because of the deep corruption and divisions within the Washington Deep State. Still, the imperial forces are formidable and should any faction get full control of them an expansion of current wars is very possible. Trump is trying to fashion and has been trying to fashion a coalition but he's failed and is failing. Media narratives, in the USA, always represent the interests of the factions in power and they are all against Trump. This election is critical to world history. Will we get a restoration with Biden (or Buttigieg) or Pence or will we start moving in a new direction with Warren or Sanders? If the latter then the Deep State may move in a new direction and begin to negotiated with Russia/China. If Trump then more chaos.

Posted by: Chris Cosmos | Oct 27 2019 15:32 utc | 14

@Posted by: b | Oct 27 2019 15:10 utc | 11

The Sputnik Spanish version of this news, traslates Maj.Gen.Konashenkov as highlighting the "again" factor of this "Al-Baghdadi Killing OP":

El Ministerio de Defensa de Rusia declaró que no tiene datos sobre la operación de EEUU para aniquilar al líder del grupo terrorista ISIS (autodenominado Estado Islámico, proscrito en Rusia), Abu Bakr Bagdadi, en Siria.

Horas antes el presidente de EEUU, Donald Trump, declaró que Al Bagdadi había sido eliminado en una operación especial de las fuerzas estadounidenses en la provincia siria de Idlib.

"El Ministerio de Defensa de Rusia no dispone de información veraz sobre la operación de militares estadounidenses en la zona de distensión Idlib, controlada por Turquía, con el objetivo de 'eliminar' otra vez al ex líder de ISIS, Abu Bakr Bagdadi", informó en un comunicado el portavoz del ente castrense, Ígor Konashénkov.

Según el militar, "el creciente número de participantes directos y países que presuntamente participaron en esta 'operación' plantea preguntas y dudas sobre su veracidad y éxito".

With which we can conclude that the efforts by some in demostrating any Russian coordination with alleged US withdrawal from Syria gets debunked.
Also the allusion to consultations with Exxon Mobile on the exploitation of Syrian oil fields, stated in the press conference, add to my theory on this being an intend on whitewashung Russian release on Syrian oil smuggling by the US, as well as electoral move.

Posted by: Sasha | Oct 27 2019 15:35 utc | 15

@Posted by: Sasha | Oct 27 2019 15:42 utc | 15

First version of this comment was wiped out...then this went without preview..sorry, but I am typing in a not comfortable way...getting tired..

Posted by: Sasha | Oct 27 2019 15:44 utc | 17

So Trump has been railing against the 24/7 impeachment all this time and peddling the beautiful, perfect innocent phone conversation with Zelensky and now he blew impeachment off the airwaves with the opportune, timely killing of the ISIS mastermind?

Is Trump the greatest genius ever or should I remind you again who's protecting, TRUMP? Let's see: (Gina Haspel CIA, JUSTICE DEPARTMENT, Wray FBI, MIC (big benefactor of almost one trillion), Lindsey Graham & friends, ZOA, AIPAC (extremely big benefactors), and every billionaire on Wall Street! IDEM)

Oh how cute! Russia and ZUSA arguing over who got Baghdadi first? Did Trump dare to steal his precious Putie's thunder? Oh my, he better quit that or the P-P tape might end up on CNN's newsdesk! 😉

Posted by: Circe | Oct 27 2019 15:48 utc | 18

Indeed, now that Baghdadi is dead, and the Big Bad Wolf is gone, what need is there to "protect" Syrian oilfields?
Part of me wonders if Trump doesn't actually want a total disengagement from the country and might use that angle to push his warhawks to concede a complete withdrawal. At least, we'll see soon enough what Trump actually wants with regard to the oil and to Syrian involvement - if he goes on with the insane "let's send 500 dudes to secure the wells" plan, then he's definitely not that into a complete withdrawal and an end to the Middle-Eastern wars.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Oct 27 2019 15:51 utc | 19

dh-mtl quotes Thierry Meyssan:

The emergence of the Multi-Polar World Order, once it stabilizes, is likely to usher in a new era of peace and human development, similar to that which the world experienced in the decades following WWII

as i recall, the decades following WWII spawned the cia, and their true to this day progams of destabilization, assassination, and general mischief the world over.

i guess Thierry is confusing the golden age of capitalism with a time of peace

Posted by: john | Oct 27 2019 15:53 utc | 20

RT Spanish adding more data on the alleged US sounds all the way as fake news...Trump lies...

The Russian Ministry of Defense "has no reliable information" on the elimination of the leader of the Islamic State Abu Bakr al Baghdadi by the US, the spokesman for the agency, Igor Konassenkov, said on Sunday.

The spokesperson said that the increase in the number of countries "allegedly involved" in the US operation, each of which mentions contradictory details, "raises legitimate questions and doubts about their reality and, especially, about their success".

"He died like a dog": Trump announces that Al Baghdadi was immolated in a tunnel cornered by US military

From the ministry they have also declared that neither the day of the alleged elimination of Abu Bakr al Baghdadi - on October 26 - nor in the last days has any US air attack been recorded. in the zone.

"We do not know of any alleged assistance to US aviation flights in the airspace of the Idlib de-escalation zone during this operation," he said.

Posted by: Sasha | Oct 27 2019 15:57 utc | 21

Sawn at RT Spanish...

Cables in the "Operations Room" of the WH as a metaphor for Trump's presidency...a mess with too many loose ends...

The face of Milley, probably at his first time participating in a hoax, a poem...

Posted by: Sasha | Oct 27 2019 16:07 utc | 22

john | Oct 27 2019 15:53 utc | 19

Sorry John, the quote that you posted was not taken from Thierry Meyssan, but is my original work. I only quoted from Meyssan in the first paragraph.

The decades after WW2 may have spawned the CIA and their dirty tricks, but in spite of this, the stand off between the U.S. and Russia, the bi-polar world, ensured a level of peace and stability that lasted until the fall of the Soviet Union. These decades were undoubtedly on of the greatest eras of human development that mankind has experienced.

Posted by: dh-mtl | Oct 27 2019 16:09 utc | 23

thanks for the week of news b! i got a kick out of that little russia gate link you shared!

americans love re-runs... that's why they have to keep up doing the re-run on kenny dying... it's another re-run!

Posted by: james | Oct 27 2019 16:17 utc | 24

Brexit. .......... Corbyn is against:

A general election — A no-deal Brexit — May’s WA Brexit — Johnson’s WAB Brexit — Making Labour a Remain party — Joining Remainers (1) — Revoking article 50 (“will of the ppl”) and no doubt … rats chewing cables in Westminster.

Pressured by various factions, Corbyn has stated, hard to parse and summarise with many contradictory reports, as of now, 26 Oct.:

—> Labour will seek a better deal - that deal (and poss. other alternatives) will be put up to a new referendum. (If Lab. is elected in an election Corbyn is against?)

Sadly, no new ‘deal’ will be considered by the EU, for many reasons. The EU realises, imho, that the UK Parliament will not ‘pass’ any ‘deal’ at all, a dead end. (2) The end game looms, uncertainty has to end.

Hope of 2nd. Ref. supporters is that the 2016 one, 52% for Leave, would be overturned, a new ‘ppl’s vote’, such as 52% for Remain, would have to be respected (after plebs understood, all the issues, heh..) — hmm after the previous one was not?

Terrible failure of the ‘Left’…

Predictions as previous: Ireland will ‘re-unite’ rapidly, N. Ir. becomes an EU / Repub. Ir. protectorate, part of EU. Scotland, other - geography bats last, this is up in the air. Imho in the end Scotland will not split. England + Wales become a US outpost.

1. Ex. joining with the LibDems (impossible ..) in an election to present only ‘remain’ or ‘very soft brexit’ candidates, attempting to wipe out the Tories.

2. All and any ‘deals’ will contain provisions (a neutral term) that cannot be accepted by a majority.

Posted by: Noirette | Oct 27 2019 16:20 utc | 25

@Posted by: Sasha | Oct 27 2019 16:07 utc | 21

BTW....Why Scavino illustrates his Twitter account with an image a hugely damaged aircraft who wears in the fuselage the name "United States of America"?

A message for initiated?

From whom to whom?

Posted by: Sasha | Oct 27 2019 16:30 utc | 26

A secret CIA task force to ensure Clinton won? It would have started by telling the world that Clinton was the patriot who stood up and repeated what she was told to say by the CIA. It could have continued by presenting a report that Clinton Ca$h was dingbat. And that the CIA found no evidence of email server practices being used by foreign agencies. And under the table it could have pressured Comey to keep his useless mouth shut and actually be competent enough to control his underlings' mouths too. If they had any real competence, they could have either planted stories (true!) in the foreign media about Trump's business career or exposed the ongoing Cambridge Analytica sleaze. If they had any real competence, they knew the biggest asset Trump had was billions of dollars of free publicity that wasn't ever going to go to Bernie Sanders. It's not clear why they'd think a CIA task force would help that. Rich people not buying advertising from Trump megaphones was the solution there. But of course the rich people are the #1 Trumpists, because Wall Street, the real swamp, is Trump's native habitat. Lastly of course it is not at all clear why they think impeaching Trump is going to give them what they want, any more than it's clear how Trump isn't giving them enough of what they want. It's not like he actually draining the "Swamp," even in the half-wits' definition of the "Swamp" as elected politicians who follow the law or the unnamed and unnameable conspirators of the Deep State.

Look, the dirt the Clinton campaign had was the Access Hollywood tape, and they used it. (Not officially of course.) And, supposing, for a deranged moment, that Seth Rich leaked the DNC emails to Julian Assange, why does Trump want to kill Jullian Assange?

The call for Bill Barr to rig up to rig up a fake conspiracy charge is contemptible. It shows you how people could have sincerely believed Moscow show trials.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Oct 27 2019 16:37 utc | 27

@25 sasha.. with the pics.. the plane doesn't looked damaged to me.. i don't trust guys who shave, especially when they are all sitting about at a table with badges on there clothes... reminds me of what a kid would do for fun, except they don't look like they are having fun - exactly the opposite actually...

@ 26 steven... are you quoting someone, or is that all your verbiage? clinton and trump were friends... the usa has a plutocracy going... these types are happy to step over each other if given half a chance...clinton had a lot of baggage that the public was very aware of... they were much less aware of all the baggage trump had.. the choice was obvious, especially for women who grew tired of the ''stand by yer man'' mouthpiece..

so, it is okay for mueller to rig up a fake investigation, but it is not okay for barr to rig up a fake conspiracy charge? got it..

Posted by: james | Oct 27 2019 16:49 utc | 28

Noirette @24


I've been predicting pretty much the same result (REMAIN) since BoJo became PM.

The fix is in. Scare tactics (USA takeover of healthcare!) are used because they work.

Jackrabbit !!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 27 2019 16:52 utc | 29

dh-mtl says:

These decades were undoubtedly on of the greatest eras of human development that mankind has experienced

probably not if you figure in the unaccounted for consequences,...or think that indoor plumbing has advanced civilization more than iphones.

Posted by: john | Oct 27 2019 16:53 utc | 30

e j magnier has an article up from yesterday on lebannon... i read it last night..

Lebanon: this Week won’t be the same as last week for Protestors

Posted by: james | Oct 27 2019 16:53 utc | 31

Al-Baghdadi Hoax, once debunked, reconverted into a tool to demonize the Kurds...It seems that alleged collaborators in the US Special OP start throwing to each other´s now it all holds one wonders...

In a newly released statement, the SDF accuses Turkey of causing the mission against Al Baghdadi "to be delayed more than a month due to the Turkish aggression against the region".

This is going to be like one of those Turkish culebrones broadcasted in TV which mum remain hang on...

Posted by: Sasha | Oct 27 2019 16:53 utc | 32

S T J @ 26 --
I think of myself as generally having a pretty good irony-meter, but I must confess that I couldn't tell where you intended to be in earnest, where there was involuntary self-parody, or deliberate parody of others' positions.

In any event, I'm sympathetic if my difficulties are any indication of your own. There is so much churn, disinformation and incoherence out there, it is hard to follow a through line, particularly one involving irony.

I do think your reliance on references to CIA competence as an indicator were going to be problematic from the get go.

Kind regards,

Posted by: Paul Damascene | Oct 27 2019 16:56 utc | 33

james @27:

so, it is okay for mueller to rig up a fake investigation, but it is not okay for barr to rig up a fake conspiracy charge? got it..

Well, it is very much "OK" to be partisan. The political food fight has become the new spectator sport.

But try to look beyond the partisan kayfabe and your a son of a b*tch.

Welcome to the rabbit hole.

Jackrabbit !!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 27 2019 16:57 utc | 34

@ 33 jr.. that is the one thing i will never get about americans.. they are so busy getting sucked into picking a side - dem or repub, they can't see straight.. for all intensive purposes - they are 2 sides of the same friggin coin!

Posted by: james | Oct 27 2019 17:01 utc | 35

@25 sasha.. with the pics.. the plane doesn't looked damaged to me

@Posted by: james | Oct 27 2019 16:49 utc | 27

Really?...then, what about those big holes and battered fuselage...

One of two, or you, or me, badly need a visit to the oculist...

Posted by: Sasha | Oct 27 2019 17:03 utc | 36

Below is a link to an article reporting the the US and India are having a falling out, that good old war criminal Henry Kissinger was in India just before the falling out and that a trade war is going to grow out of this.

Any time I read of Henry K being involved my curiosity is piqued.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Oct 27 2019 17:07 utc | 37

Coming soon to a theater near you "Zero Dark for the 30th Time"...

Posted by: Joe | Oct 27 2019 17:26 utc | 38

Read the transcript of Trump's announcement this morning. He explicitly says he is keeping the oil, and might invite in Exxon to use it. Logistics are sketchy, because who will buy it? The pipelines will go through Syrian controlled territory. But he also says that a deal might be possible. It's ridiculous.

Posted by: Horace | Oct 27 2019 17:37 utc | 39

Thanks to B and others who have pointed to the Russian MoD statement about the purported helo raid in Idlib...

That is a very detailed and unambiguous statement by the Russians...and btw...they are right there, spitting distance from that DMZ where this raid purportedly took place...

Very say that they have no information about this flight is just incredible...that entire airspace is blanketed by Russian radar and surveillance...a mosquito would have a hard time flying there without the Russians knowing about it...

I also note here that the raid story broke with information and 'video' from opposition 'activists'...

Southfront has been running updates from the alleged scene...but all of this is coming from 'oppostion' sources in the terrorist stronghold of Idlib...

So what OTHER evidence do we have...except the good word of the USA...?

Can't wait to see further developments in this story...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Oct 27 2019 17:52 utc | 40

Posted by: Noirette | Oct 27 2019 16:20 utc | 24

The Brits have given up predicting what's going to happen with Brexit. Nobody really knows. And I mean even specialist politics correspondents.

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 27 2019 17:57 utc | 41

Oh wait, this is the destructors of Syria trying to get credit of the defeating of ISIS again, when they have nurtured these terrorists and their propaganda outlets like the WH and SOHR since the beggining of the war...

Now Johnson claiming credit as well..

I fear we will need antihemetic soon..

Posted by: Sasha | Oct 27 2019 18:10 utc | 42

@ karlof1

Copied from the previous thread:

>> As I tirelessly point out, the federal government has routinely
>> violated its own fundamental law daily since October 1945

Despite always — or so I thought — reading your comments, I don’t recall what you refer to here. Could you kindly describe again what happened in Oct 45? Thanks.

Posted by: oglalla | Oct 27 2019 18:11 utc | 43

As the US leaves Iraq, its assets are being eliminated. If Russians got Baghdadi, they would expose the complicity of CIA and Mossad. Dead men tell no tales.

Posted by: El Cid | Oct 27 2019 18:11 utc | 44

Where does your information come from? It reads as if you are channeling The Guardian. So far as I know Corbyn's "better deal" refers to a Brexit deal better than No Deal or the current Johnson version thereof. This position of course is being vigorously denied by the Remainers but it is not the same.
Corbyn's political position is almost impossible. He may be another variant of Engels' dictum to the effect that no greater tragedy can befall a working class leader than to come to power prematurely. Although voted into position by massive majorities the Party remains dominated by Parliamentarians, bureaucrats and regional and local constituency officers suffering from Blairism, the disease which killed PASOK, the French Socialist Party, the Italian 'Democrats' and the SPD, to name but a few.

Posted by: bevin | Oct 27 2019 18:16 utc | 45

Revenue from Syria's oilfields is about a $million/day. That is a small fraction of what it costs to maintain even one little US military base in Syria.

Try to hold tight to a sense of perspective, folks. Trump is a businessman. Not a very good one, perhaps, but certainly not so stupid that he cannot see that as an incredibly bad deal. This "keeping the oil" nonsense is empty posturing intended to appeal to shallow thinkers who don't know the difference between Syria and Venezuela and who don't really care what American foreign policy is so long as it is done with an arrogant swagger. Now that may be the majority of the US population, but these kinds are not even going to remember the tweet this time next week, much less even care.

"Keeping the oil" is not only tactically, strategically, and logistically untenable, it is such a baldfaced violation of so many US and international laws, treaties, and agreements that even America's fig leaf of last resort, Canada, would have to condemn it. This is just childish posturing to throw the appearance of bravado on America's exit from the theatre. People functioning at the level of many posters here need to stop taking it so seriously.

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 27 2019 18:18 utc | 46

It's getting hard to see where all the mirrors are these days due to the smoke making my eyes water.

Posted by: the pessimist | Oct 27 2019 18:19 utc | 47

The only proof offered so far on the aleged US operation is a video which goes in black during most of the footage, including only visible for a few secondsa far located explosion and voice from the people taking the video saying, Allahu Akbar!

By Amichai Stein

Due the crediility of these Allahu Akbar! exclaming guys as video operators in the past, are we due to swallow this obivious hoax so badly prepared as every other in the past?

Posted by: Sasha | Oct 27 2019 18:20 utc | 48

Don't expect AG Barr to come up with a real investigation of any CIA op against Trump. Barr worked for the CIA in the 70s while he was going to law school in Washington, DC. As Attorney General his first time around he protected the first Bush regime from the Iran-contra fallout. It was Robert Swan Mueller III, the very special prosecutor of Manuel Noriega, who managed to not notice the cocaine and weapons moved through Panama for Ollie North and friends. Or, for that matter, all the money-laundering the CIA was doing through Panamanian banks.

Posted by: Bob In Portland | Oct 27 2019 18:22 utc | 49

oglalla @42

October 24, 1945 is when the US-ratified Charter of the United Nations became law of the land. The US has been in violation of it pretty much every day since.

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 27 2019 18:24 utc | 50

@ 35 sasha.. it just looks like reflection of the clouds in the sky, with maybe a helicopter coming in to land and stuff like that..

Posted by: james | Oct 27 2019 18:25 utc | 51

@45 And MOABs cost a mere $170,000 each. Dropping a couple on the main oilfields could be a final gesture.
Not saying it will come to that but they'll be in a nasty mood when they finally leave.

Posted by: dh | Oct 27 2019 18:29 utc | 52

Now this report.
"The Syrian Kurdish YPG militia said on Sunday that Islamic State spokesman Abu al-Hassan al-Muhajir was killed in a joint raid between Kurdish-led and U.S. forces in northern Syria.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which the YPG leads, said he was targeted near Syria’s border town of Jarablus through efforts between SDF intelligence and the U.S. military.

SDF General Commander Mazloum Abdi said it was “a continuation of the previous operation” in which Islamic State’s leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed and described the jihadist spokesman as Baghdadi’s right-hand man."

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 27 2019 18:32 utc | 53

Revenue from Syria's oilfields is about a $million/day. That is a small fraction of what it costs to maintain even one little US military base in Syria.
Try to hold tight to a sense of perspective, folks.

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 27 2019 18:18 utc | 45

The point of "keeping the oil" is not to profit from it, but to deny it to the Syrians. That's what Bibi wants.

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 27 2019 18:37 utc | 54

@Posted by: james | Oct 27 2019 18:25 utc | 50

Or any other explosion at whatever location at whatever point in time on Earth´s history...Helicopter into land belongs to your imagination as it belongs this Baghdadi story...but if you want to see an helicopter there..well, at your own...

Are you kidding me from the Open Thread all the way to here?

The most visible is that there is nothing visible and this is the only evidence the US can offer, while folks at SST keep claiming that "details must be kept secret" as to cover the WH, DOS script...which they are doing in troop, there, btw...posting one after another to reinforce the unreinforceable...

This is why I do not swallow these guys are any kind of resistance to the "Borg", "Swamp", "Deep State" and all those invented ghosts to sacre little kids...

Posted by: Sasha | Oct 27 2019 18:38 utc | 55

Were you wondering for what was this Operation Al Baghdadi needed for?

No worries, signals keep coming in...It seems that this could be a justification for new terrorist attacks in Europe...

Hence it was used agsin this Al Baghdadi guy with morel ives than a cat...

Why the revenge would take place in France, when who has allegedly killed Al Baghdadi has been the US?

Easy, it occurs to me that to justify another state of emergency which could take the Yellow Vests from the strets once for all...

There seems to be several actors here trying to kill some birds with one shot...

Posted by: Sasha | Oct 27 2019 18:45 utc | 56

Oh, I forgot to mention a real stunner that Trump uttered during his Baghdadi presser spiel in the context of fighting, if necessary, to keep Syrian oil. His exact words: I'll tell you who loves us being there (Eastern Syria/oil fields)... RUSSIA AND CHINA! Find his presser and check it out for yourselves. It's at the point he refers to fighting for the oil.

Now this is pretty big news flying under the radar. Chew on that! I'd sure like to read your spin on that.

Posted by: Circe | Oct 27 2019 18:47 utc | 57

on Baghdadi:
The US regularly rotates general officers in and out of war-zones annually, but when a foreign leader is occasionally (and supposedly) lost it's a big publicity deal. Do they think we're stupid?
So I can't help but conclude that making such a big publicity deal of this is only intended to motivate the enemy to fight harder, which it does, and so prolong the almost never-ending war against ISIS, to which ground troops are rarely employed, if ever.
Plus having citizens focus on foreign enemies to gain domestic advantage is an old strategy dating back to Randolph Bourne's "The State" here (1918) .

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 27 2019 18:48 utc | 58

dh @51

Oh, absolutely!

Though I suspect they would more likely just hoist a MOAB up to the top of some rusty old derrick out in the desert, surround it with some old vehicles and tents from the base, and position about two or three dozen video cameras around to catch the excitement from all different angles. It would be something like a small scale reenactment of the Trinity atom bomb test. The clicks those videos would get on YouTube would be off the charts.

After all, it is the optics that matter most to the Americans back home. If they make it look like a hundred MOABs were lit off and destroyed all the oilfields by editing the video from all the different cameras (and drones! cannot forget them) capturing the one blast, then as far as the American TV audience is concerned that is exactly what really happened.

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 27 2019 18:49 utc | 59

@ 53
"Keeping the oil" is also meant to send a political message that you-know-who is still in charge here, a Carter Doctrine policy that has been in tatters recently.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 27 2019 18:51 utc | 60

The Russian MoD statements linked by b require a careful reading.

"Russia’s defense ministry has no reliable information about an operation by US forces.."
"...make one doubt..."
"We know nothing about any assistance to the flight of US aircraft..."
".. yet another ‘death’ of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi will have no impact.."
"No airstrikes by the US air force or by the US-led coalition have been reported..."

According to TGG at Pat Langs blog, the raid took place at or near Barisha.
Looks to be hill country not far from Turkish border.
Low flying helicopters may not have been detected by Russian ground based radar though the Russian MoD statement does not mention radar.
Whatever occurred there, it looks to be part of the northeast Syria deal between Erdo and Trump, or perhaps including Russia.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 27 2019 18:57 utc | 61

Laguerre @53 pointed out: "The point of "keeping the oil" is not to profit from it, but to deny it to the Syrians."

No doubt, and Americans can be stupid and childish enough to feel that way about it, at least during the heat of the moment. Once their bloodlust cools a bit and they have a moment to reflect, though, they will see how painfully petty that makes them look. Americans like to view themselves as big, not weak, childish, and petty (even when that is what they really are).

Even in this regard holding onto the oil is not tenable.

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 27 2019 18:58 utc | 62

dh-mtl@8 (and Circe)

I think those 5 categories are pretty much spot on. They also appear to be in sync with Russia's envisioned relation with the main elements of those categories, as they develop in practice. China's positioning looks more obscure though, but that must be due to lack of information on my part more than anything else. What Russia initiates, China consolidates in its broad strokes, but i am missing how coherent the details where the space of action actually overlaps between the two.

The switch between the first and second category members from the previous status quo appears to be settled along with tolerable levels of conflict. Circe won't like to hear it, but in my opinion, we have Trump to thank for that, not because he intended for the switch, but because he stresses on the US economical system the main effective capitalist contradiction: productive vs financial capital. The tumultuous social and psychological state of the US, attest to that contradiction despite emerging as very heated but apparently distant themes (immigration, gender issues, the personality and conduct of the president, etc..), Circe would have us believe it is all kabuki. I believe it is real, commonly misanalysed but very very real.

What I have yet to see though is the multi-polar trend to take root. Obvious signs would be Germany and Europe in general of course, but at best as a block of sovereigns, and for that, Frankfurt will have to surrender before the remaining capitals. That may actually come about as production takes the main stage, and this could be very sudden.

This is obvious positive thinking. An anecdote:
Once I super glued the tip of my finger. I had a box cutter nearby and I just thought - I simply must use it as a razor blade to scrap the glue out, movements perpendicular to the blade, and I'll be fine - whatever I do just don't move along the .... zaaaat - here's the scar. The point being: as soon as the wrong thought crossed my mind, my hand simply ignored the "don't do" part of the thinking and obeyed the rest.

Keep thinking positive!

Posted by: Vasco da Gama | Oct 27 2019 19:01 utc | 63

Erdogan's Turkey has always been on good terms with ISIS so Baghdadi being near the Turkish border perhaps under Turk protection is possible or even likely.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 27 2019 19:03 utc | 64

Don Bacon :

making such a big publicity deal of this is only intended to motivate the enemy to fight harder, which it does, and so prolong the almost never-ending war against ISIS

I tweeted much the same though about 3 hours ago:

Jackrabbit Blog @jackrabbitblog · 3h

Trump is goading ISIS because USA needs an "ISIS resurgence" to justify holding the oil fields.

USA has claimed to have killed al Baghdadi at least 4 times in the past.

Jackrabbit !!

#trumppresser #alBaghdadi #FakeNews

ChristineIAm @ChristineIAm · 5h

Who the fuck wrote this embarrassing “speech”?

Running, and crying?
Like watching a movie?

#trumppresser #alBaghdadi

Jackrabbit !!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 27 2019 19:15 utc | 65

james@28 is the one with the double standard, that it's ok for Barr to fake an investigation but it's not ok for Mueller. Neither was ok by my standards. And I regard the obstruction of justice by Trump of Mueller as similar to Bill Clinton's perjury in a civil suit that should have been heard after he left office. Political prosecutions intended to embarrass the target from the start, fishing expeditions combined with gotcha techinicalities, designed to push the targets into politically costly indiscretions and errors...all are political shenanigans that explain why most sensible countries have limited liability to prosecution for office holders, not just cops.

Paul Damascene@33 inadvertently concedes the entire "Swamp"/Deep State theory to be nonsense. A CIA swamp of incompetents, a deep state of feckless bureaucrats doesn't run things. The ritual invocation of incompetence whenever anything incompatible with the Satanically gifted powers of subversion somehow fail as a way of dismissing evidence is foolishness. But the idea that the CIA couldn't think of planting stories about Trump's shady business career is special BS on its own. What's next, telling me the CIA doesn't do propaganda? Bah, humbug.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Oct 27 2019 19:16 utc | 66

On the Syrian oil, US apparently was raking in 30 million a month in an operation that was small enough to be kept from the public. If they take over the oilfields publicly and boost oil infrastructure, the monthly take will rise considerably.

The oil fields on the east bank of the Euphrates produced the bulk of Syrian oil. If production there was only 50% of Syrian production, the figures in dollar terms would still be high.
200,0000 BPD would be just over half Syria pre war oil production, so 200,000 X say $40 per barrel brings the take up to $8 million per day. Not bad when its money for nothing.
"before the Syrian Civil War, oil sales for 2010 were projected to generate $3.2 billion for the Syrian government"
" In 2010, Syria produced around 385,000 barrels (61,200 m3) per day of crude oil"

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 27 2019 19:19 utc | 67

I have little doubt Baghdadi lives, but this incarnation is finished. He might be recycled after plastic surgery and sho up in a place like southern Yemen or Kazakhstan...

Takeouts of guys like him and Osama are news icons saying the big boys are finishing up their public games/involvement in an area.

The good news is that this signals the end of US and EU overt support for the Syrian jihadists. The bad news - and perhaps more dangerous- is that Western influence goes back to being covert

Several years ago Syrper had a detailed article on Baghdadi- a lot of it quoting info from Syrian intelligence ( who are good at their job). IIRC it detailed a stint in an Israeli treatment center, American handlers, the works. With all that Baghdadi has since done for them, he is simply too useful to be disposed of.

The giveaway was the relocation of the ISIS leaders harem to Iraq two weeks ago at the start of the US withdrawal. ISIS called for their secure relocation and US forces jumped to it(and moved them to Iraq) They did not relocate SDF families to safety...

Posted by: les7 | Oct 27 2019 19:20 utc | 68

William Gruff @50--

Thanks! I finally wrote a long reply to oglalla and others on the previous thread.

Don't know if this item's been posted, but Russia's MoD says it has no evidence of any Outlaw US Empire air strikes and denies providing any sort of assistance Trump described. Perhaps more pictures of dead ducks supplied to Trump by CIA.

Sanders use of social media to get message out went off in a new direction.

On the previous thread, the danger of civil society's demise became a brief topic. Sanders attempted to link the injustice system to the crisis within civil society, and IMO, he was 100% correct in trying to do so. Believe me, you don't want to get caught up in its web. But if you do, you'll soon learn just how despicable the system is and see how it links to the epidemic of political corruption. The domestic social malaise within the Outlaw US Empire is holistic in its nature, but Sanders is the only politico that's bringing that fact out into the light-of-day.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 27 2019 19:22 utc | 69

"$8 million per day. Not bad when its money for nothing." --Peter AU 1@67 re: America's take with regards to Syria's oil.

Except that it is not money for nothing. That still will not even cover the cost of one US military base. It costs well over half a $million/day just for electricity for a small American base. US military personnel salaries are low, but the contractors who restock the soda machines make six figures.

These little camping trips in the desert are expensive. That's one of the reasons Trump wants to end them.

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 27 2019 19:35 utc | 70

@3 Don Bacon

Thanks for that news quote ... it explains why the SAAwas slow to deploy in the rest of the SDF zone.

Posted by: les7 | Oct 27 2019 19:41 utc | 71

@Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 27 2019 18:57 utc | 61

Those statements by the Russians were made for the media..thus no need to read nothing between the lines...they are denying the whole possibility of the operation taking place...

Can you explain why the Russians would lie on this issue now, when they have proven the most reliable actor in the ME, and elsewhere, so far?

To date, their data proved always to be true.

No SST minion will convince anybody on the contrary...I wonder why you try to reinforce the SST point on Russian collaboration, as you have kept doing all the time in the Open tHREAD...

Posted by: Sasha | Oct 27 2019 19:42 utc | 72

Laguerre | Oct 27 2019 17:57 utc | 40

Dead right. It's like watching a roulette wheel.

Keep an eye on Northern Ireland. The fragile balance between the Catholics and the Protestants has been permanently altered. An uneasy mixture of triumphalism and resentment around. People already getting hurt.

That also is like watching a roulette wheel but with lives at stake. The crime committed by all sides in Brexit - astonishingly by HMG as well - was using NI as a counter in the negotiations. All sides should have put peacekeeping first. None did.

The Security forces should be able to keep the paramilitaries under control but rioting or spontaneous outbreaks of violence - that's not as controllable. Politically NI's going to be messy either way Brexit goes. With any luck it'll just stay political.

I can't remember whether you were pro or anti Brexit. Anti, I think. Doesn't make a lot of odds. The EU's due for break-up Brexit or no. Just wish this episode in that process could have happened without further destabilisation of an already unstable part of the UK.

Berlin, Brussels, Dublin, Westminster, doesn't matter where - what the bubble dwellers take little account of is that there are real people out there and sometimes they bleed.

Posted by: English Outsider | Oct 27 2019 19:43 utc | 73

William Gruff
Trump has made no effort or even noises to pull out of Tanf. I think he wants to continue holding the Syrian border where he can. Denying the oil to Syria is a plus for him and that also has the bonus of partly paying the cost of stationing the US along that border.
Zionism, oil, getting returns on military expenditure seems to be Trump's foreign policy or as foreign policy is termed in the US 'War Policy"

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 27 2019 19:47 utc | 74

Steven @ 66 --
Kudos on the parsimony of paragraph 2. That's a whole bushel of straw man arguments in just a few sentences. Not sure this merits more discussion. I still can't decipher a cogent take in what you're saying. Forgive me if the intent seems to be to just sow incoherence. I don't understand your take well enough to affirm anything about it at all.

Calling out incompetence when the CIA authors it is not necessarily ritualistic--any more than your counterargument ritualistically asserts CIA infallibility.

Incompetence is not ipso facto proof that those in charge are not running things. The idiom "running things into the ground" exists because it has referents. The state of the world might be taken as evidence that a) no one is running things or b) that those running things are not up to the job or c) that different actors are "running" different things that, competence aside, may be irreconcilable.

Nowhere did I intend to assert that the CIA is identical with the Deep State. In fact I don't recall asserting anything about the Deep State at all, and only referenced competence as a marker of CIA action (e.g., exploding Cuban cigars) because you seemed to.

But let's move on. With luck, one of us will have something coherent to say on some other point.

Posted by: Paul Damascene | Oct 27 2019 19:49 utc | 75

@ Posted by: b | Oct 27 2019 15:10 utc | 11

Of course they don't have any evidence: this Baghdadi probably doesn't exist. He must be a random actor in a basement somewhere in the USA.

Unless Trump is insinuating he got rid of the actor.

Posted by: vk | Oct 27 2019 19:50 utc | 76

An article worth sharing far and wide:

Posted by: PJB | Oct 27 2019 20:04 utc | 77

"Keeping the oil" is also meant to send a political message that you-know-who is still in charge here, a Carter Doctrine policy that has been in tatters recently.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 27 2019 18:51 utc | 60

Sure, that's also true. The NeoCon warmongers only got convincing very late in the game, when US Special Forces were already withdrawing from most of Rojava, and could not be stopped, except for this massively mounted late defence of the oil-fields. As the NeoCons were resisting from the beginning, what was it that changed Trump's mind? Bibi sounds like the answer, but I'm open to others.

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 27 2019 20:06 utc | 78

PJB @77

Putin weaponized truth years ago, so obviously anyone employing the truth now must be a Putin-bot. The logic in this is so simple that I am surprised that you don't know it already... unless you are a Putin-bot too!

Thanks for the link.

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 27 2019 20:10 utc | 79

@74 Peter

When the SAA took Deir Ezzour, many of the commentators here insisted that Tanf was done and the US would withdraw.

At that time I wrote that the Tanf base was essential to the US, but even more for the Israelis, as an EW base to cover potential operations in Iraq and Iran.

Since then, it has functioned in just that way, enabling government acknowledged Israeli attacks into Iraq, and many other ops they chose to not specify

Tanf will remain under US control for a long time. One reason to hold the oilfields is distraction. While analysts argue over 1-8 million a day, Tanf and its' strategic impact is ignored.

Pointedly, the Russians publicly called for the US to leave Tanf... not the oilfields

Posted by: les7 | Oct 27 2019 20:11 utc | 80

Sasha "Can you explain why the Russians would lie on this issue now"

I said it needs careful reading. It is a very ambiguous statement by Russian MoD where they never deny that an operation took place. The operation was a raid rather than airstrike, and helicopters flying nap of the earth in those hills would not be picked up by ground based radar.
The site is only five k in from the Turkish border. If there were jet aircraft in the air for cover they may well have stayed back on the Turk border so no reason for MoD to mention them.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 27 2019 20:19 utc | 81

@ Peter AU 1 74
Trump has made no effort or even noises to pull out of Tanf.
He claims that Jordan and Israel asked him to stay in Tanf (so he had no choice). /s

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 27 2019 20:20 utc | 82

If even the BBC reports on that, the French and US really need some big smoke screen to cover their traces

Posted by: Mina | Oct 27 2019 20:21 utc | 83


Tanf looks to be too low to be useful as an EW base. But if that were the case, why not that corner of Jordan. Nope, the base is there for other reasons, mostly to block the border and maintain a jihadi base that continues to operate in the desert regions right up to the Euphrates. A base east of the Euphrates would serve the same purpose - a jihadi base to keep "ISIS' raids going along the border east of Euphrates or perhaps this one will be named 'Kurd' refugee camp but operates the same as Tanf.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 27 2019 20:27 utc | 84

les7 @80

Relax! One step at a time. The US has been in steady retreat from Syria for years now and their proxies have been getting slaughtered faster than the CIA can replace them. Nothing has happened to change this trajectory. On the contrary, the US retreat has only accelerated. As America's footprint in Syria dwindles then those last disappearing little slivers of the countryside that illegal American invaders still occupy will grow in significance for the imperial fanbois who cannot countenance retreat. When it is down to just al Tanf they will be asserting "That's OK! This little parking lot in the desert is all we really wanted anyway!"

How long after that before the response is "Screw you all! We never really wanted to be there anyway!"? Prepare yourself for it because it is coming.

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 27 2019 20:33 utc | 85

Occupying Tanf has nothing to do with the oil-fields, they are far away. The objective is disrupting Syria. Providing a base for the US-supported militias, who didn't succeed when trained outside the country, and are not likely to do better when trained in Tanf. The Tanf lot haven't achieved much, other than defending themselves. At least they're not in Jordan or Iraq, where there might be questions. A base in the middle of the desert works as long as you're willing to pay for it. Probably they even have to have water trucked in from over the border.

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 27 2019 20:44 utc | 86

@84 Peter

EW fog has limited range. Other sites in Iraq complete the coverage.

If you know anything about Jordan there is no way the king could host a site to cover for Israeli attacks on arabs in Syria and Iraq. Iran, maybe.

Yes, I believe it will eventually happen that the US withdraws from Tanf. For the present, real people pay with real suffering for our Western leaders folly. Perhaps it is easy to relax if you have never met or loved them. That is, fortunately not the case for me.

Posted by: les7 | Oct 27 2019 20:52 utc | 87

@ sasha... sometimes i think there is a language barrier in talking with you! either way, you asked for feedback on the picture in the guys twitter feed.. if you don't like what i have to say, at least show some gratitude for me giving you what i thought.. next time now, i won't bother! cheers james

@ 66 steven... thanks for clarifying your position on this - "Neither was ok by my standards." which wasn't apparent in your initial comment.. frankly, i am not into 'as the stomach turns' usa politics.. i don't live in the usa so i am not following this shit closely.. in fact, it is mostly a distraction to keep the masses distracted.. i maintain it is usa foreign policy that needs to change.. all this bullshite over the political circus is not it... it is a complete distraction as i see it.. i wish the americans would figure this out, but alas it seems the majority like this never ending political circus with the changing cast of characters... i want to see this warmongering exceptional nation die, or transform itself into something positive on the world stage.. as it is presently, it is rightly laughed at for it's exceptionally self centered and narcissistic character with the perfect leader for this too, at this point in time..

@ les 7 - peter au... dual purpose is how i see it.. thanks for both your comments..

Posted by: james | Oct 27 2019 20:52 utc | 88

karlof1 @69

With regard to the moral nature of the US criminal justice as I recall this is the unique/differentiating contribution to the Democratic Presidential candidate process that was provided by Marianne Williamson. I'm not disputing that Sanders and others don't have concerns but the 'language' was provided by Williamson - so credit were credit is due otherwise it looks like policy appropriation (something that Sanders has reason to complain about).

Posted by: ADKC | Oct 27 2019 21:00 utc | 89

Maybe we'll actually miss him when he's gone... He's so American, no?

Posted by: Mina | Oct 27 2019 21:00 utc | 90

Timeline on the Baghdadi raid:
"Just like watching a movie", Trump stated. Right. A movie. Pure Hollywood.

Posted by: m | Oct 27 2019 21:03 utc | 91

les7nn "If you know anything about Jordan there is no way the king could host a site to cover for Israeli attacks on arabs in Syria and Iraq. Iran, maybe."

US were running 'rebels' out of Jordan before the base at Tanf.
There was also the buildup in Jordan when Syria Russia was cleaning up the pockets.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 27 2019 21:04 utc | 92

Peter...I don't think the Russian statement was that ambiguous...

Strikes with munitions purportedly preceded the 'no airstrikes' would contradict that...

As for hiding from radar, that's possible but looking at a topo map of the area it seems difficult...

The route in from Turkey to the north and west is mostly flat, although it does start to rise south of Barisha...

Those big Russian SAM radars would be on high ground in the An Nusayrah range that runs along the coast of Latakia...if you wanted to come in nap of the earth, you would need to plan specifically for that...

And then there is sigint plus humint on the ground in Idlib, which the Russians do have...

So it's a he said, she said...

Right now I'm filing this one under 'questionable'...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Oct 27 2019 21:04 utc | 93

After looking at the before and after pictures in the NYTimes of the compound where where Baghdadi was reported to be killed I looked at the Google Earth image as well: (36 09 56.94 N) and (36 37 38.62 E). To my amazement the compound appears to be razed as of 1/28/2018 according to the image date on my version of Google Earth.

Posted by: michael smith | Oct 27 2019 21:07 utc | 94

larry johnson at sst's take...

Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi Does Not Sleep with the Fishes by Larry C Johnson

i could do without his additional ''isn't trump great'' bs..

Posted by: james | Oct 27 2019 21:07 utc | 95

m smith@94 There was a tweet somewhere that said the Russians had bombed this site some time ago and it had been rebuilt since that time.

Posted by: the pessimist | Oct 27 2019 21:18 utc | 96

@92 Peter

I said, " there is no way the king could host a site to cover for Israeli attacks on arabs in Syria and Iraq. Iran, maybe."

Jordan hosted training etc for Arabs to attack Arabs, not Israel to attack Arabs. Given the politics you might see it as the same thing - they, the Arabs on the ground do not.

The early FSA operated accross the Jordanian border. Once ISIS came on the scene, the Jordanian border closed and fighters crossed through the Israeli occupied Golan.

Politically the Jordanian king cannot cover for Israei attacks. The king is Israel's and America's best asset in the region. that is why Tanf is not in Jordan and Israeli Jets avoid flying over Jordan no matter the cost. Its not like Jordan has air defense missiles to stop them

Posted by: les7 | Oct 27 2019 21:21 utc | 97

Kenny finally died because there was no Last Hospital in Aleppo or Douma or any other underground pop-up hospital still in Syria that could resurrect him from the Ninth Level of Hell or wherever he deserves to be. That's if he even ever existed in the first place.

Posted by: Jen | Oct 27 2019 21:23 utc | 98

les7 @87

I actually know what you mean. I've lost loved ones to US death squads in Latin America, so I know that waiting for the American psycho killers to be driven out can be very painful. Still, efforts to speed the process up will only result in America killing more. You have to tread very carefully when trying to send the psycho freaks back home to the US.

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 27 2019 21:25 utc | 99

Posted by: Mina | Oct 27 2019 21:00 utc | 90

So Trump threatens the EU with sending back ISIS fighters. So what? He's been threatening the EU for years. They're one of his enemies.

The question is not in Trump's hands. Erdogan could send a million or two of refugees over the border, not Trump's threat. But they're unlikely to get further than the Bulgarian border. Balkan countries have decided since the crisis of 2015. Right or wrong.

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 27 2019 21:32 utc | 100

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