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

« previous page | next page »

If the Yanks are saying that there was a US raid in Syria which killed al-Baghdadi and the Russian MOD says there "probably wasn't" then it's not true. The story is a dog's breakfast of internal contradictions not least of which is the initial claim that "we've killed him" which was then awkwardly massaged into "he blew himself up (along with 2 or 3 kids)".

If the US carried out any raid on October 27 it was on the Obedient Domesticated Media in the 'Christian' West, not in Syria.

I hit the sack early last night so I could get up at 5am to watch all of the International Fake News on The normal CGTN News from Bejing had been replaced by CGTN News from London. At the end of the 15 min broadcast the BBC-ish anchor said "For more on these stories go to our website" London" I don't believe that CGTN would pass off that much of their credibility to their London branch office.
Anyway, the SBS 6-30 am time slot had until recently been reserved for an hour of News from AlJazeera in Doha. Now the slot is routinely occupied by news from the sleazy BBC. This morning it was occupied by the sleazy ABC America.

PM Scum Mo, aka Mr Glib, leader of Oz's fascist neo-Liberal govt is a Christian Zionist, and is waging open warfare on press freedom and media truthiness in Oz. His 'Liberal' Party has been squeezing funding for public broadcasters ABC & SBS for more than a decade.

He appears to have finally starved them into submission. The mechanism for this govt control APPEARS to work like this:
1. Scum Mo's govt plants News Stooges in ABC & SBS to 'advise' the News Director on who/what is kosher and who/what is not.
2a. Scum Mo's Ministry Of Truth keeps a ledger to record breaches of his Stooge's advice.
2b. ABC & SBS, knowing what a liar Scum Mo is, keep ledgers of their own to record the number of instances of acquiescence vs compliance as ammunition for next year's budget cut negotiations.

His 'Liberals' resisted calls for a Royal Commission into Oz's criminally corrupt and fraudulent financial sector (banking, insurance & superannuation) for more than 2 years. When the Royal Commission was finally convened it revealed that the theft and fraud was far worse than anyone suspected. Some institutions will suffer penalties and compensation orders totaling Billions of Dollars, Some crooks will go to jail for wrist-slap periods.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 27 2019 21:32 utc | 101

@99 not so Gruff

Thanks, and very well said.

Posted by: les7 | Oct 27 2019 21:35 utc | 102

Mina @ 83 --
Thanks for the link. A second OPCW whisteblower, and a whistleblower panel headed up by former OPCW director. It will be interesting to see if heat on the OPCW breaks loose any further news of OPCW enabled mischief in the Skripal provocation.

A change in the UK government might trigger further disclosures. If their Deep State wants to signal that they find Corbyn a national security threat, he might in turn shed light on the dangerous forms of extra-judicial and extra-governmental misconduct that secrecy abets.

Posted by: Paul Damascene | Oct 27 2019 21:49 utc | 103


In the satellite veiw at google maps there dois look to be some folds and valleys on the Syrian side of the border.,36.622617,5000a,35y,38.41t/data=!3m1!1e3

No terrain cover on Turk side.
Pics of the flattened building seem to originate from AFP 'correspondant' in idlib.
SOHR which b links to say something took place.
Helicopters fired off a lot of 30mm rounds apparently but something bigger to flatten the building.
Tomahawks coming in low perhaps... or something air launched from the Turk side of the border...
Russian statement was ambiguous in that it did not categorically deny that a raid took place.
I take it that something occured.. some sort of US raid but nothing really clear.

Back in September, US hit a jihadi base in Syria. Seemed as though there should have been some sort of military to military communication for that strike but publicly Russia was indignant about it. Perhaps US did risk flying in there without informing the Russians, but I continue to wonder about some of these things.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 27 2019 21:50 utc | 104

More news from northern Syria...

Large Russian convoy heads to the town of Tell Tamr in northern Hasaka

And report here...

We note that the US base in Tell Baydar, where that US convoy that was supposedly heading to the oilfields ended up, is a stone's throw down the M4 highway from Tell Tamr...

I will note that I didn't see any EMPTY flatbed trailers in the Russian convoy [as with that US 'convoy' the other day]...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Oct 27 2019 21:53 utc | 105


I don't want to come off as saying that everything the Russian govt says is true...every govt lies...just some much more than others...

There is an information war going seems the Russians are trying to tear down some of the bullshit coming from the doing that, they sometimes overcompensate...

Which might explain some of these things...I have it on pretty good authority that there is decent cooperation at the military staff level...

But let's not forget that Konashenkov is a 'spokesman'...his game is PR not actual on the ground stuff...most of which remains hidden well from view btw...

Remember last year when that Ilyushin spy plane went down off the was supposedly friendly fire from a Syrian S200...

That was bullshit...I know for a fact just how close you need to get to another aircraft in order to hide even from ATC at say 30's VERY VERY VERY close if you want the two ATC returns to merge into one...

And that's low-res, long wavelength ATC radar...the SAM radars are an order of magnitude more resolution...the whole narrative was bunk, the aircraft was taken down by a deliberate shot...and not by the Syrians...

I will leave it at that...I debunked it thoroughly at the time and may post that to my blog...

But this latest story about Baghdadi sounds very fishy on many levels...I will leave it as 'questionable' until more is known, if ever...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Oct 27 2019 22:08 utc | 106

flankerbandit @105

That video of the US "advance" though... Trucks carrying other trucks? Tractors without trailers? I wonder how many people that really fooled.

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 27 2019 22:12 utc | 107

BTW that Bosstown Dynamics video was hilarious, it reminded me of Neil Blompkamp's film "Chappie". The comments below the Youtube video were priceless as well!

Thanks B for the laughs.

Posted by: Jen | Oct 27 2019 22:20 utc | 108


Posted by: flankerbandit | Oct 27 2019 22:33 utc | 109

William Gruff
That small convoy is most likely moving gear out of Tell Beydar. Spare truck ether to pick up a trailer from the base or as a spare incase of breakdown. The military truck on the trailer.. may as well throw it on the back for the trip in rather than running it empty for no reason. That sort of thing is done all the time specially on long trips.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 27 2019 22:40 utc | 110

one of the shitfaces is lying, which one?

"There’s no credible data to prove a successful American raid took place against Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Russia’s Defense Ministry said. The US coalition didn’t even carry out any airstrikes in Idlib recently.

Moscow pointed out that it recorded no US coalition airstrikes in the Idlib area in northwest Syria on Saturday when the raid was held.

It also rejected Trump’s claims that Russian forces opened up the airspace under its control in Syria to American planes to facilitate the operation against the IS leader.

The ministry questioned the very possibility of al-Baghdadi’s presence in Idlib as the area is held by Al-Qaeda offshoot, Jabhat al-Nusra, who have always been mortal enemies of Islamic State."

Posted by: Sabine | Oct 27 2019 23:11 utc | 111

The US has given up the pretense of fighting ISIS, which it has never done, it's been on the side of terrorists (and against Syria) from the beginning. The US has now got to stay in Syria. . . "to keep track of individuals."

Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, called the raid a “big deal” on CNN’s “State of the Union” and said Trump “deserves a lot of credit for authorizing the raid.”
However, he added that it "does not mean ISIS is defeated any more than getting [Osama] bin Laden meant that al Qaeda was defeated."
“We’ve taken something valuable away, but you still have these networks. You still have people who will take the place of anybody we remove, and they continue to work to attack America,” he added.
Thornberry told CNN’s Jake Tapper that al-Baghdadi’s death indicated the need for a continued presence in northern Syria.
“Having some presence there gives us a greater ability through intelligence gathering to keep track of these individuals,” he said. . .here

Here's what Senator Rand Paul said about ISIS five years ago, and it's still true:
We have been fighting alongside al Qaeda, fighting alongside ISIS," he said. "ISIS is now emboldened and in two countries. But here's the anomaly. We're with ISIS in Syria. We're on the same side of the war." . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 27 2019 23:35 utc | 112

Trump said he's gonna get Exxon Mobil to exploit the oilfields. He akso stated: I'll tell you who loves us being there... RUSSIA AND CHINA!

Is he kidding? China was very involved in Syria's oil industry, and Russia called U.S. takeover of the oilfields banditry.

So why did Trump state so emphatically that Russia and China love U.S. presence there???

Also, Russia had to have known U.S. helicopters were heading towards Idlib. Come onnn now!

Posted by: Circe | Oct 27 2019 23:37 utc | 113

Another missing body, bin Laden was the last one.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 27 2019 23:37 utc | 114

This "steal the oil" schtick is going to do wonders for Guaido's Presidential aspirations, but that ship probably sailed after the failed coup, if it hadn't already sailed before that. Or maybe there never was a ship in the first place.

Posted by: Schmoe | Oct 28 2019 0:16 utc | 115

Don Bacon @116:

Epstein was the last one.

AFAIK, there was no match to DNA despite the fact that Epstein was a registered sex offender. Epstein's brother, Mark, identified the body despite the fact that he's likely to get benefit from Epstein's death (could inherent a lot of money), and there's still an active investigation (AFAIK) into Epstein matters that could implicate him (as they did some business together, AFAIK).

Skripals before that.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 28 2019 0:28 utc | 116

This report came in the night before the purported commando raid:
MYSTERIOUS HELICOPTERS ATTACK TERRORISTS’ POSITIONS ALONG TURKISH-SYRIAN BORDER (VIDEOS) The video indicates helicopters firing but does not appear to indicate anyone firing from the ground toward the helicopters.
Photos indicate grenade sized shells designed for helicopter guns had been fired at the compound. Nothing in Trump's statement or the "time line" in Reuters indicates aerial bombardment. Nothing commandos fired from ground positions would reduce a compound to rubble. If any of this is real, they reduced the compound to rubble before landing. The Russians have contradicted Trump's statements, and they have evidenced considerable skepticism of this report.
The area in which this allegedly happened is dense with Al Quaeda / Al Nusra militants and controlled by them. It is unlikely the ISIS leader would reside there.
Bagdhadi is said to have run down a tunnel with three sons, pursued by dogs, and blown himself up with a suicide belt. The explosion allegedly caused the tunnel to collapse.
Somehow the suicide belt which killed four failed to inflict any damage upon the commandos. Yet it was sufficiently powerful to collapse the tunnel. Presumably that is why the video of the area after the fact does not suggest a tunnel. The collapse of this tunnel did not entrap any of the commandos. And they were subsequently able to retrieve Bagdhadi's body from the collapsed tunnel, within one hour and forty five minutes, allowing fifteen minutes to confirm his DNA. And round up a bunch of children and a bunch of militants, without incurring a single casualty. As well as retrieve considerable highly sensitive intelligence materials.
If you've read this far, I thank you for assisting me with my therapy in writing this up - in hopes of recovering from the violent assault this story made upon my intelligence.

Posted by: Bruce | Oct 28 2019 0:41 utc | 117

"So why did Trump state so emphatically that Russia and China love U.S. presence there???"

Reverse psychology. If Trump can get that narrative to fly then the mindless Russophobic and Sinophobic brainwash victims in the US will start screaming for the US to get out. After all, jello-brained Americans believe they must do the opposite of whatever China and Russia think is good. The USA certainly cannot do anything that China or Russia might approve of, right? So if they want us to stay then we have to leave.

Let's see if it works.

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 28 2019 0:46 utc | 118

Good comment Bruce...

Also about the would seem quite handy that the US has a sample of Baghdadi's DNA on hand, considering that even the town of his birth is not known for sure...

Maybe Baghdadi went for the '23 and me' mail order kit...?

Posted by: flankerbandit | Oct 28 2019 0:55 utc | 119

Bruce @ 119:

Sounds suspiciously like the script of "Zero Dark Thirty". Maybe Kathryn Bigelow was directing the terrorists through Skype and a translator. In such scenarios, the good guys always survive and the bad guys always die no matter how these outcomes defy the laws of probability and chance.

Posted by: Jen | Oct 28 2019 1:01 utc | 120

WaPo blasted with #WaPoDeathNotices memes for dubbing ISIS leader ‘austere religious scholar’ in head-scratching headline

WaPo was already preparing the field for Baghdadi's ressurection as an American ally.


Move Over Boeing: China’s Regional Jetliner Makes Inaugural International Flight


Leaked Doc Reveals EU to Grant UK Three-Month Brexit Extension - Report

Boris Johnson called the bluff in an act of desperation and it worked out: the EU blinked and now it is clear they don't want the UK to exit and is as responsible for this foot dragging as the Remainers.

The EU economy is in an awful state with no end in sight. Germany, its powerhouse, is essentially in recession. But the British economy has also been deteriorating since 2008, so it's not like it is in any position to achieve a new deal under its own terms.

Posted by: vk | Oct 28 2019 1:27 utc | 121

Below is a ZH link that support the theory that Trump is pushing more ME BS not based on fact

Posted by: psychohistorian | Oct 28 2019 1:36 utc | 122

Bruce @119

You forgot to mention that Trump watched the assault "like a movie" but only a small snippet of video has been released.

No explanation of where they got the DNA. In a TV news interview I saw earlier today, the Administration/Military spokesperson wouldn't even say where the body is now.

And lastly, ISIS is defeated and Baghdadi is dead . . . but USA must still hold the oil fields? Was Trump's language designed to incite ISIS because USA needs an "ISIS resurgence" to justify holding the oil fields?

Jackrabbit !!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 28 2019 1:53 utc | 123

@120 William Gruff

Not buying that reverse psychology one bit. Trump is adamant on fighting if necessary to keep the oil. There is a much wider strategy here that involves taking down the Assad government and containing Iran's ambitions in Syria by occupying that region of Syria. The oil is a prrtext for a wider agenda, although Trump intends to exploit the oil as an added bonus.

I think Trump stated that Russia and China love having U.S. there because he wants to get under the skin of Xi and Putin, by putting words in their mouth when really he knows they don't like being outfoxed this way.

China was very involved in Syria's oil business and has over 25% ownership in Syria's oil therefore should have helped Assad secure the oil fields.

Putin and Xi were stupid. Now Trump can gloat and brag and pretend everyone approves of what he's doing because they did nothing to secure a resource vital to Syria's economy therefore tacitly helping Trump get away with this. It's like they're his sock puppets and he's voicing approval for them, and their stupidity empowered him to do so.

Posted by: Circe | Oct 28 2019 2:00 utc | 124

Let's see...they obtained a sample of tissue, lysed the cells and extracted DNA. They amplified the sample through pcr and cut it with restriction enzymes. Then they ran a gel electrophoresis to separate the segments, stained it and compared it to a known DNA 15 pull the other one.

Posted by: nemo | Oct 28 2019 2:03 utc | 125

They may have got Baghdadi's DNA when he was in the Abu Ghraib and Camp Bucca detention centers for ten months, in 2004. Then six years later he headed ISIS to participate in US Middle East strategy. But that's important only if one believes the 'whimpering, crying and screaming' fairy tale.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 28 2019 2:07 utc | 126

Man oh man...the 'story' keeps getting richer and richer...

Now we have this...from a New York Times 'journalist'...

Back in the summer, two people were arrested that led the CIA to flesh out the terror chieftain’s location: His courier & one of his wives. They provided details that combined with other intel allowed the CIA to hone in on a compound in Idlib...

The CIA sleuths...the Courier...the Compound...

Haven't we seen this movie already...LOLOLOL

Posted by: flankerbandit | Oct 28 2019 2:13 utc | 127's possible they took a DNA sample...but at the time they thought he was harmless and released him...not sure why they would have bothered with a DNA sample then...and this was back in 2004 when DNA was more complicated and pricey...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Oct 28 2019 2:17 utc | 128

speaking of energy--
from Tass:
Turk Stream to be commissioned as scheduled - Novak

YUZHNO-SAKHALINSK, October 27. /TASS/. The Turk Stream gas pipeline will be built in due time as scheduled, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Sunday.
"Construction works are continued. The contractor organization guarantees that they would be over as scheduled," Novak said in an interview with the Moscow. Kremlin. Putin program on the Rossiya-1 television channel.
The Turk Stream project envisages the construction of a gas pipeline across the Black Sea to Turkey’s European part and further on to the border with Greece. The seabed section is to be 910 kilometers long and the land section will run 180 kilometers into Turkey.
The first thread is meant for gas supplies to the Turkish market. The second one will be used to supply gas to Southern and Southeastern Europe. Each thread will have a capacity of 15.75 billion cubic meters of gas a year. It is planned to begin gas supplies via this pipeline in late 2019. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 28 2019 2:20 utc | 129

@ fb 130
. . .they thought he was harmless
But I'm in the "he was groomed by the US to be harmFUL" school.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 28 2019 2:23 utc | 130

Russia loves the US stealing Syria's oil. Listen, Russia delivered a beat down to murican regime change policy the likes of which the world has never seen before. It is epic humiliation beyond all endurance! The Syrian state is saved and the prospects of a Libya just a few hours from Russia's border are now gone! The US is scared shittless to attack Iran head on, so the status quo is returning to this region faster than murica's tiny brain can process. So what to do? Grab the oil! Be a thug and criminal! No more pretense, just sin proudly like the evil turd you are! Lol! And Russia can point at that turd and condemn it on the world stage for the whole world to see. No sympathy. Of course that bravado wont last long. When push comes to shove, murica will fold like the dodgy piece of toilet paper it is and go home. Be patient and enjoy the Evil Empire's death agony a while longer...make popcorn...

Posted by: nemo | Oct 28 2019 2:27 utc | 131

I don't unnerstand all the fuss. Al-Baghdadi has been a amerikan puppet since at least '05. Cast yer minds back to the AQ in Iraq days when his mob would do something over the top to excuse/instigate some evil imperial atrocity. His job has always been to give amerika an excuse to stay. Which was isis/daesh raison d'etre The colour revolution is being touted as the best way to go so the imperialists are tidying up loose ends.
Trump stated emphatically that all Iraqi oil must go to amerikan corporations the day he announced they were gonna steal Syria's oil. Then Iran's.

They musta decided Al-Baghdadi was a liability, one that couldn't be trusted so they killed him where-ever he was being kept 'n that's where the DNA is from. Expect to see parts of the vid as soon as it gets back from post processing & editing.
The dems will stay schtum cos acknowledging that level of deceit has no upside, they are already sailing close to the wind with the Biden stuff, where their excuse is Trump broke the secret of imperial corruption first by going straight to Uke prez instead of a quiet character assassination which woulda left the chumps in the dark.

Posted by: A User | Oct 28 2019 2:41 utc | 132

Here's some historical documents

The Redirection, Mar 5, 2007
Is the Administration’s new policy benefitting our enemies in the war on terrorism?
By Seymour M. Hersh
To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has cooperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda. . .here

InsurgeIntel, May 22, 2015
Pentagon report predicted West’s support for Islamist rebels would create ISIS
Anti-ISIS coalition knowingly sponsored violent extremists to ‘isolate’ Assad, rollback ‘Shia expansion’
by Nafeez Ahmed
The newly declassified DIA [Defense Intelligence Agency -- headed by General Flynn!] document from 2012 confirms that the main component of the anti-Assad rebel forces by this time comprised Islamist insurgents affiliated to groups that would lead to the emergence of ISIS. Despite this, these groups were to continue receiving support from Western militaries and their regional allies. . .here

The DIA doc is here

A good overview is here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 28 2019 2:54 utc | 133

Some more history on how Russia's changed the US attitude toward Syria oil shipments to foreign customers. Specifically, whereas until 2015 US air force pilots were not given permission to fire on ISIS oil shipments, that policy changed when Russia entered the war.

In September 2015, the Federation Council, Russia's upper house of parliament authorised the Russian president to use armed forces in Syria.[9][10] Russia acknowledged that Russian air and missile strikes targeted not only ISIL, but also rebel groups in the Army of Conquest coalition like al-Nusra Front, al-Qaeda's Syrian branch, and even FSA.
On 30 September 2015, Russia launched its first airstrikes against targets in Rastan, Talbiseh, and Zafaraniya in Homs province of Syria. Moscow gave the United States a one-hour advance notice of its operations. The Homs area is crucial to President Bashar al-Assad's control of western Syria. -- wiki here

CBSNEWS, Nov 23, 2015
U.S. airstrikes against ISIS target oil tanker trucks
Two airstrikes, the most recent over the weekend, have destroyed almost 500 tanker trucks ISIS uses to smuggle oil and sell it on the black market.
By one estimate, these attacks have destroyed roughly half the trucks ISIS uses to bring in $1 million a day in revenues.
Until now, the U.S. has not gone after the tankers for fear of killing the civilian drivers. . .here

That's the first time (and probably the last time) ever that the US military had any consideration for civilian casualties. But they were ISIS employees so. . .cut 'em some slack. Still, only half the trucks were destroyed at that time (more were destroyed much later).

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 28 2019 3:29 utc | 134

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

Instead of the Rovian study of who killed Kenny, it would be nice if there was a poll.

My vote goes to "never existed in the first place" Just as you have been told (we create our own reality).

Posted by: DM | Oct 28 2019 3:29 utc | 135

Thank you b for a phenomenal week of insight and thank you all the commenters that amused, offended or inspired me.

Trumps full wanker speech here for those that care to consider the deep self congratulatory detail. Beware: it is repetitive like the dog barking at the cornered whimpering departeee.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Oct 28 2019 3:32 utc | 136

@ Don Bacon 137

You are correct, insofar as you go. It was actually worse than that, and I'm skeptical that the US ever conducted significant strikes against the ISIS convoys. The US was caught more than once claiming to have conducted successful strikes with what turned out later to be Russian strike footage. In fact, it got so bad, and the Russians got so frustrated at the lack of any action whatsoever on the part of the Yanks, that the Russian MOD finally held a fairly elaborate presser where they laid out with some detail exactly how the convoys were operating, where they were going, that Erdogan's family was directly profiting from the smuggling, and let's never forget that the nation eagerly supporting ISIS by buying their blood oil was none other than Israel, who apparently was happy to bolster its economy with all that below market value oil.

Posted by: J Swift | Oct 28 2019 3:54 utc | 137

flankerbandit @106

Have you seen, and if so, what do you think of the following linked analysis by J. Flores re the IL-20 shootdown?


Published on: Sep 19, 2018 @ 01:06 –

Russia appears to be involved in an appropriate and strategically prudent disinformation campaign to avoid any further irreparable damage in Franco-Russian relations. FRN will analyze why it is most probable that France took down the Russian Il-20 military aircraft, and not the SAA air defense systems as first Israeli, and then Russian media have today begun to officially report.

Posted by: pogohere | Oct 28 2019 4:14 utc | 138

you know if they did one of those stupid polls that the msm does here at moa, i think a majority would call bullshit on most of what the usa says...

did they kill baghdadi?- bullshit - seems to be the consensus here, lol.. this is one of the many reasons i like moa.. it's a contrarian group of folks here for the most part..

Posted by: james | Oct 28 2019 4:53 utc | 139

In case you missed it, "truth" has been redefined.

Since many years ago, U S law includes Parallel Construction narratives as part of fact-finding to protect the innocent and for any National Security finding or whatever reason and whatchgonnadoboudit.

It's only reasonable that law be used to corrupt the law.

Posted by: chu teh | Oct 28 2019 5:12 utc | 140

Baghdadi was a bit ofa hasbeen and well past his use by date. Still a big thing for MSM followers though. If US wanted to fake something, much easier to do it in east Syria perhaps in the oilfields so Trump can say the US has to stay to defeat ISIS.
Why go to the trouble of Staging it on the Turk border of Idlib when both the Russians and Turks could deny that any raid took place. Russia does not directly say nothing took place and Erdo is staying Quiet. Turks would have been well aware of anything going on only five k in from the border, not to mention they are on good terms with the idlib jihadis and would have best intel of the area.
Turk border of Idlib was probably the safest spot for Baghdadi to camp for a bit as Erdo is on good terms with most jihadis. That is, until he became the horse in a horse trade.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 28 2019 5:37 utc | 141

On Russian Syrian intel. Perhaps a year or more back Russia thought they got him in an airstrike in Deir Ezzor. Intel had come in that they got him so they were saying he was dead. A month or so down the Track they said they hadn't got him. Russian Syrian intel is quite good but not 100% whereas Erdo being mates with the jihadis of Idlib would have much better intel, though it was quite likely Turkey was providing protection for him.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 28 2019 5:42 utc | 142

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

I agree with your general point, but I am afraid that Canada, as long as Chrystia Freeland remains lurking in the portfolio of Minister of Foreign Affairs, is no longer the angel on the shoulder of Western Conscience.

Posted by: Activist Potato | Oct 28 2019 5:49 utc | 143

The place where the raid was supposed to have occurred is already on wikimapia.

google maps satellite view of the same position,36.6274893,104m/data=!3m1!1e3

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 28 2019 6:05 utc | 144

Further to the Salisbury/Skripal operation, which the PTB would rather were, if not forgotten, then remembered only vaguely, as something sneaky and terrible done by the Russians: it seems that the inquest into the death of Dawn Sturgess has been adjourned now for the fourth time; Rob Slane, whose Blogmire site has the best on-the-ground analysis of all the claims and counterclaims and plain untruths that have been published in this matter, says:
" guess is that what is happening is that the public Inquest into Dawn Sturgess’s death is being quietly shelved, and will in due course be replaced by an Inquiry [as was done re: the death of David Kelly?] which will include “Public Interest Immunity”, meaning that the evidence presented will remain secret, on the grounds that releasing it would jeopardise national security."

Posted by: Hope | Oct 28 2019 6:19 utc | 145

The 2019 google maps shows rubble at the site so the pics put up by AFP of a demolished building are old if those pics are of this site.

Looks like Turkey is in on whatever is going on.
"Video shot by Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency, Sunday, October 27"
Video has a cose up of a bit of smoking rubble, cuts, then pans around. Rubble has been cleared and earthmover tyre marks are visible on the ground. I take it the views around the site are from the destroyed building showing on google maps, but the clearing operation is recent judging by the tracks. The recent clearing operation makes the piles of rubble look fresh.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 28 2019 6:24 utc | 146

Most likely no building demolished so if there were a raid, the 'airstrike' would most likely consist of 30mm cannon hitting everything that looked like a target in the vicinity of wherever the raid took place.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 28 2019 6:46 utc | 147

the beeb did broadcast it here is the correct link ref opcw

Posted by: Mina | Oct 28 2019 7:34 utc | 148

With reluctance I listened to Trumpy speak and spin tale of al bagi, which substance seemed like a fairytale. Minded me of Skirpal et fil, Epstein et slut (where is the good lady G anyway? (cops find people through their friends and family - you wanna see Jeff, find the Lady), and Bin Ladder too... Occasionally the fairytales might brush close to an actually true thing, but that's what fairytales do, eh?

But we were shocked by Trumpy's speech pattern and timbre - wife remarked he sounded drugged. Seems he was receiving words via earpiece, I thought.

Withal, the clown-guy's changed a little...something's wrong (yes, an understatement)

We think that the fairytales about al bagi are far less important that the evident change in the Clown act. Trumpy does not seem to be himself.

Posted by: Walter | Oct 28 2019 8:11 utc | 149

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 28 2019 6:24 utc | 149

The image of the site on Google Maps, showing an already demolished building, is dated 29/1/2018, as you can see on Google Earth, the source of the imagery.

It can't be the right site, can it?

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 28 2019 8:44 utc | 150

Hillary Clinton spoils the party.

Let people spoil hers.

Tulsi Gabbard has made a bold move and rebuffed the ignorant ravings of this dangerous woman Hillary Clinton. Tulsi Gabbard has been standing strong with USA veterans and serving soldiers now for some time and has bravely gone where few would go in her advocacy against needless war and the abuse of soldiers sworn to duty.

I am in no position to stand with her in the USA but I would think that she deserves a tangible vote of confidence and support from soldiers and veterans and people who support them who could attend any of her crappy book speeches or meetings and silently stand with their backs to her. Videos would go viral and would build on the tactic.

If Hillary wont face that sort of quiet rebuttal and goes away, then the same tactic can be applied to all those warmongering candidates that refuse to demand to bring all the troops home from everywhere and restore the USA civil society and its crumbling infrastructure.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Oct 28 2019 9:11 utc | 151

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 28 2019 8:44 utc | 153

Got it slightly wrong, because I failed to look at Google Earth's "Wayback Machine". The Google Maps/Wikimapia image is not current. The latest image is 26/9/2018, and shows a new house on the site, which was built between April and September last year. Poor house didn't last long, did it?

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 28 2019 9:19 utc | 152

I have 2019 at the bottom of the screen and when I zoom in on desert areas I can see 2019 printed on the sat image.

The site is claimed by the jihadis and it seems Turkey as the site of the strike. A couple of recent grass fires (scorch marks) either side of the entrance gate. Some of the vids and pics show a bit of smoke near the ruble but when checked closely, it is where somebody has just burnt a box of rubbish.

An airstrike that demolished the building was part of the reason some decided the strike or raid had not occurred.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 28 2019 9:25 utc | 153

Laguerre I dont have google earth.

Two pics side by side. One of the destroyed compound that is being handed out by media and the one beside it is a satellite image of the building
Is that sat image the same as the rebuilt building.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 28 2019 9:35 utc | 154

@ Jackrabbit

In the comments about the article on Joe Biden and the Ukraine, you responded to a post I'd made in which I expressed doubt about your idea that Trump had gotten elected President because he had the backing of the deep state.

You wrote in part, "Yes, I do think they are smart enough and agreed to act in their collective best interest. Kissinger first wrote of MAGA in a WSJ Op-Ed in August 2014. Trump entered the race in June 2015, IIRC."

I've now read an article published by Kissinger on August 29, 2014 in the WSJ entitled "Henry Kissinger on the Assembly of a New World Order" and I'd like to know if that was the article you were talking about. Because I don't think there is anything in that article that would make anyone say, Let's elect Donald Trump, or Let's follow the foreign policies that Trump has since advocated and tried to promote.

Posted by: Glenn Brown | Oct 28 2019 9:36 utc | 155

Is that sat image the same as the rebuilt building.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 28 2019 9:35 utc | 156

Yep, that's it. Only I'm not sure there ever was an earlier house, now I've been over all the imagery back to 2004.

They had the guy who lives in the tent at the bottom of the picture on the radio this morning. "No, I didn't know nothing. They came and told me to leave. Never knew the people in the house. They lived on their land and I lived on mine."

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 28 2019 10:00 utc | 156


About the Russian spy plane downing last year...that same outfit you linked to published a series of anonymous posts I made on another discussion forum at the time...

My analysis was a lot more technical of course, since technical details about radar, aircraft, missiles etc...are required to build up a factual picture...

I don't have a link now, and they kind of butchered my original posts, but my conclusion is that the Israeli F16s could not have possibly duped the S200 radar at that distance...not least because they would have had to have known precisely where the radar was [which of course they had no way of knowing]...and then get so close to that airplane [a few feet], plus keeping in an exact straight line from the radar which location they could not have known, that the Ilyushin crew would have radioed this fact to ground control immediately...

Also the fact that if you know the details of that S200 missile, it has its own radar in its nose cone and uses what is called semi-active radar homing, where the missile onboard radar picks up the returns bounced off the target by the big radar on the ground...very very I noted earlier, no chance for any kind of radar 'shadowing'...that's just complete nonsense for anyone who has actual knowledge of how these work in real life...

The official story, as is always the case in technical matters, was relying on the ignorance of the general populace on such technical matters...

The French ship in the area was probably NOT the source of the missile that brought the plane down, since the SAMs it carries do not have quite enough range [although the French do possess a variant of the same missile that would have enough range, but that model was not on this ship]...

There were also a couple of RAF Tornadoes in the air at the time, flying out of RAF Akrotiri base in Cyprus...

Within 48 hours of the downing, the Russians commenced a massive live fire naval exercise with a bunch of warships ringing Cyprus...the Cyprus ATC [part of Eurocontrol] issued a NOTAM [notice to airmen] with a map showing the closed airspace all around Cyprus, up to a ceiling of I think 18,000 ft...

So that was certainly a big clue...the Russian narrative was convenient because they could put the goat horns on Israel [which was doing a no-no anyway] and have an excuse to move in those Russian-spec S300s into Syria...a very significant move that the US and friends vehemently opposed for a long time...

Also the Russians would have looked weak if they pointed the finger at the Brits and then failed to reduce Akrotiri to rubble as a justified response, which the Russian people would no doubt demand very loudly...which could have kicked off WW3...

It was a case of a bullshit narrative, but serving a necessary objective...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Oct 28 2019 10:16 utc | 157

The destroyed building on google maps is the site the pics and video are coming from.
In the pics, the patterns of low stone walls in the trees match those in google maps.

There is a couple of fresh burnt patches either side of the entry gate. Looking up the driveway, there are a few cars parked off the road, but one car is parked across the main road to block traffic from going further.
There are two other houses on the road in close vicinity. Part of one can be seen and the other is out to the left of the pic perhaps 100m. If the person living in that tent or hut was the neighbour as in the narrative, then it is likely one of the other buildings fronting onto the road was the target.

Re the sat pics and dates. I ran onto sme claiming that pic was an old image other claiming it as image of a new building to replace the one destroyed. I tend to think it is an old building as that site has been destroyed for some time.
At least one selfy type video where a jihadist type is walking around the site and reporting.
I dont speak Arabic or Turk, but I take it he was describing it as the site of the raid.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 28 2019 10:34 utc | 158

In my recent meanders and research into the global war against humanity I have discovered this informative researcher and when you have a spare 50 minutes you might appreciate Saskia Sassen on the motivation behind migrant flows.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Oct 28 2019 10:34 utc | 159

@ Glenn Brown...

The 'deep state' is not a monolith...there are certainly factions within the establishment that support a course of moving away from ruinous foreign adventures that are bankrupting the US...

It's silly to speak of a 'deep establishment' that is of one mind...there is in fact a Trump faction in this plutocracy and power brokers that remain hidden behind the curtains...they seem to e on the ascent...

Wm Barr is the son of Donald original OSS guy [which became the CIA] and interestingly the mentor [handler] of Epstein from his youth...

Now this 'deep state' guy is in a position to create a lot of problems for the opposing faction, as represented by Brennan, Clapper, Hillary, DNC et al...

Mueller is a notorious deep state criminal who protected the mobster Whitey Bulger during Mueller's reign as State Attorney for Boston...a couple of FBI guys are still doing life in prison for their role in that...

And let's not even mention Mueller's role in 911 and Anthrax etc...

The landscape changes, and things are not as simple as all that...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Oct 28 2019 10:35 utc | 160

Posted by: flankerbandit | Oct 28 2019 2:13 utc | 129

Actually there's more of interest in Callimachi's obituary of Baghdadi tweet thread from yesterday that you link to than just the "compound" cliché. Whether accurate or not. He does seem to have been an obnoxious religious bigot from his youth. He never had any serious claim to the caliphate from his ancestry (you are supposed to be descended from the Prophet, but false claims were frequent).

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 28 2019 10:59 utc | 161

@ 162 Flankerbandit

I agree with your post. The US oligarchy seems to me to be deeply divided and has no good ideas on how to reverse the ongoing decline in US power. That's why I disagree with Jackrabbit, who seems to me to believe the US ruling class is part of a global ruling class that's very united and in control of most everything. I think Trump is a disaster for the US, and that his election is a sign of how the US's rulers are losing control. But Jackrabbit thinks Trump's election is all part of a cunning plan, in which Clinton conspired to lose the 2016 election.

Posted by: Glenn Brown | Oct 28 2019 11:04 utc | 162

The destroyed building on google maps is the site the pics and video are coming from.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 28 2019 10:34 utc | 160

The image on google maps is from before the house was built, not of a destroyed building.

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 28 2019 11:04 utc | 163


I think you are right. The sat image I put up side by side with photo show the temporary building outside the compound wall.
On the current google maps sat veiw, the outline of the compound walls can be seen and looks to be old rubble at the site. Looks like another building was there at some stage

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 28 2019 11:36 utc | 164

Looks like another building was there at some stage

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 28 2019 11:36 utc | 166

Rubble from excavating the hole in the image. Hole = basement, or tunnel he was trapped in.

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 28 2019 11:45 utc | 165

Found a small aerial pic of the area. Shows all three compounds.
This pic shows what look like small buildings where the two patches of burnt ground are in current pics.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 28 2019 11:54 utc | 166

Scrolling through twitter using Barisha as a search term brought up a few more videos.
Early ones just on daylight show ruble as it has fallen. vidoe and pics later in the day show a lot of the rubble has been pushed back with a wheel loader. The old sat image marked as 2019 and the pics of partially cleared site led me astray.

One video of a jet powered missile coming in, supposedly to the compound on the night of the raid, showed up.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 28 2019 12:28 utc | 167

@ b who noted and questioned the ambiguous "criminal investigation" matter.

A new usage of ambiguity in the legalist charades and deceptions is made... witness this fragment>

” The Attorney General further described the coming initiative, slated to be implemented early next year, as “an efficient, effective and programmatic strategy to disrupt individuals who are mobilizing towards violence, by all lawful means.”

The meaning may be that the "crime" is doing things that are legal if the cops imagine that they don't like you...

It may also mean the cops must obey the law while they go after somebody who has committed no crime.

There may be other ambiguities of which I have not realized.

The Unz Review "With Little Fanfare..."

Posted by: Walter | Oct 28 2019 12:50 utc | 168

This business about testing the (putative) DNA of Al-Baghdadi is bunkum. Yes, a test could be (though not as rapidly as the Strumpet imagines) but all that could be deduced from it is that the dead person was male, human, prone to this or that disease and of a possible (but not certain) ethnic background. It certainly *couldn't* ascertain demonstratively that this was indeed Al-Baghdadi - WITHOUT definitive DNA evidence of descent from his parents (and then the test would only reveal that, yes, this dead body was a son of these parents, not that it was this particular offspring).

Simply testing someone - dead or alive - without *any* parental DNA for comparison has no probative value for declaring that so and so is so and so. Nor would, say, using the DNA collected from saliva on a drinking vessel used by the dead person, demonstrate conclusively that such and such a dead body (remnant) belonged to this or that specific once living man or woman. All it would do is show that the saliva trace and the dead body had the same DNA and therefore the former was the product of the latter.

Nor would testing the DNA of any dead children who were found near the body of focus do anything more than demonstrate their relationship or not to the dead male. Certainly wouldn't prove anything about the identity of the dead male.

More propaganda....

Posted by: AnneR | Oct 28 2019 12:55 utc | 169


"If indeed this information about the elimination of al-Baghdadi is confirmed, then we can talk about a serious contribution by the President of the United States in the fight against international terrorism", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated.

He also stressed that Russian forces had spotted American planes and drones operating in the area. There have been multiple reports of al-Baghdadi's demise, but no confirmation was issued before."

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Oct 28 2019 12:59 utc | 170

@162 and 164
You are both right, imho.
As to JR he is either a troll or a demented self publicising narcissist. Or both.

Posted by: bevin | Oct 28 2019 13:12 utc | 171

A new bridge was opened across the Euphrates at Al-Maraya in Deir-ez-zor province.

There should be several bridges already built. If they are protected by air defence, and they should be, they are out of touch to anybody and a bridgehead for retaking the East (and the oil belonging to Syria) when the time comes.


Posted by: Bg | Oct 28 2019 13:13 utc | 172

@#175 Ah yes...the oilfields. Nearly forgot them in all the excitement about Bagdadi. Pumping and selling Syrian oil could present a few legal problems. Trump might find it a hard sell with Exxon and other great American companies...

"I doubt there will be a rush by oil companies to work in a region that is a hotspot for military action and civil unrest," said Michael Webber, an energy scholar with the University of Texas at Austin.

Posted by: dh | Oct 28 2019 13:34 utc | 173

The overhype regarding the oilfields issue amuses me. In reality, it doesn't matter if they will be taken back in one month, one or five years. The Abu Kamal crossing when the Badiya is fully secured can bring all needed imports from Iraq. So, in a strategic sense holding them has no value.

But the bridges across the Euphrates will be very useful when the opportunity arises. The chess pieces have to be moved in advance. And no more ambiguous and fantastic events like the "rush to Conoco", whatever the truth might be for it.

When secured by air defence (and this moment will come), covering the whole of East Syria, they
will decide the favorable outcome without firing a shot. But conditions must be right and the Russian have excelled in strategic patience precisely.


Posted by: Bg | Oct 28 2019 14:05 utc | 174

The bell to end the oil dollar hegemony is ringing

China, the world's biggest oil importer, should follow the lead of Russia and switch to the euro from the US dollar for its oil and natural gas contracts.

Rosneft, Russia's top crude oil producer, has reportedly set the euro as the default currency for its oil product sales. Rosneft's move can be seen as a strong signal that the US dollar is losing its dominant role.

About 90 percent of global oil-product trade reportedly involves the US dollar, but the situation is gradually changing, partly due to US economic policies. According to the Russia Today news channel, the US has not ruled out imposing sanctions on Rosneft because of its trade with Venezuela. The switch from the dollar to the euro is a cost the US must pay as Rosneft shields its transactions from potential fresh US sanctions.

Posted by: vk | Oct 28 2019 14:19 utc | 175

@177 Agree patience is the key. Assad and the Russians have a lot of it. As regards Syria's oil supplies I think they probably get some from Iraq and some by sea from Russia. They can manage without the oilfields for a while longer.

Meanwhile we await the arrival of US tanks in the desert. No sign of them yet.

Posted by: dh | Oct 28 2019 14:29 utc | 176

Hong Kong plunges into recession as months of violent protests take toll on economy

HK still makes up for some 2.7% of the entire Chinese economy, so its recession may be the main reason for China's abnormal growth slowdown in Q32019.


About the "patience is key", here's the Chinese extraofficial opinion on Russia in the ME:

Russia plays long game in the Middle East

First, the Syrian civil war has provided Russia a foothold to return to the Middle East. During the Cold War, the US and the Soviet Union divided the Middle East, and the latter's regional influence was superior.

Second, the contraction of US forces in the Middle East has granted Russia the opportunity and space to reclaim the influence.

Third, Russia's strategy is in accordance with the Middle East situation. Russian forces have established cooperative relations with the countries in the region and do not take sides on most issues.

Posted by: vk | Oct 28 2019 14:37 utc | 177

From Michael Roberts' facebook:

Mainstream economists, while condemning the horrors of the Pinochet regime, like to argue that at least the 'free market' economics' adopted in Chile from that period enabled it to leap ahead compared to other countries in Latin America.

But this is a myth.There was no “Chilean Miracle”.

There was no "Chilean Miracle"

This author condemns the economic record of Allende blaming his 'socialisation of the economy'. But he/she also shows that the Pinochet regime and its free market advisers like Milton Friedman did no better.

"Almost all of the economic growth in the Pinochet years was simply recovery from recession, i.e., closing the output gaps that he himself created. There was no change in trend output growth, which is sort of what we expect from ‘miracles’ in economic development."

"Chile is no closer to convergence with the rich countries than it was in 1930. The best you can say for Chile is it has reversed its relative decline a little more than Argentina and Uruguay." Imperialism rules.

Chileans work longer hours than Argentines. Argentina has also higher productivity levels than Chile. Uruguay, despite having a lower GDP per capita, has a higher mean income than Chile at every quintile of the income distribution, except the top.

And thus the myth of neoliberalism begun.

Posted by: vk | Oct 28 2019 14:43 utc | 178

A few weeks ago: "the NBA shouldn't trade money for morality, it must boycott China!"

Now: "oh, well, the Saudis are simply too rich to be boycotted, there's nothing to be done"

Too rich to be shunned, Saudi hosts global elite

Posted by: vk | Oct 28 2019 14:50 utc | 179

In reality, it doesn't matter if they will be taken back in one month, one or five years.

Posted by: Bg | Oct 28 2019 14:05 utc | 177

No it doesn't make any difference to you, but it does to poor Syrian families who have shortages of gas to cook with. Just so the US can fulfil its promises to Bibi to deprive Asad of anything it can.

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 28 2019 14:58 utc | 180

@183 How bad are the fuel shortages in Syria Laguerre? You seem well informed about things there. I imagine the military is a priority regarding fuel. But what is it like for poor Syrian families? Do they blame Assad or the US for the shortages?

Posted by: dh | Oct 28 2019 15:09 utc | 181

Posted by: dh | Oct 28 2019 15:09 utc | 184

To be honest, I don't know currently. They were bad. All fuel has to be imported since the US closed down the sale of the oil-fields product to Damascus. That was why the Iranian oil-tanker arrested at Gibraltar. I suppose Russia has things better organised now.

Posted by: Laguerre | Oct 28 2019 15:25 utc | 182

Posted by: flankerbandit | Oct 27 2019 22:08 utc | 106
Posted by: pogohere | Oct 28 2019 4:14 utc | 140
Posted by: flankerbandit | Oct 28 2019 10:16 utc | 159

I do hope you will post your detailed analysis of the IL-20 incident on your blog, it would be most interesting!! And of course you WILL give us a heads-up here on MoA!? I much appreciated your technical analysis of the Houthi missile capabilities.

I vaguely recall reading some articles several weeks after the incident with significantly more substantive detail than the next-day one pogohere linked, but no technical analysis and there were numerous issues seriously fluffed over - issues concerning aircraft FF identification for example, and the measures Russia allegedly took in response (the pseudo-technical explanations didn't hold much water). I recall something highly suspicious about the Tournados, but don't recall to what extent a finger was pointed at them. I do recall suggestions that the French frigate was a victim of the conspiracy, manipulated by NATO to be the patsy, and that the missiles she fired were "designed" to wrongly appear to be incriminating. Hardly believable that the frigate crew would knowingly have positioned themselves to be the planned target for the anticipated Russian missile response.

No question both the US and the Israelis were guilty as hell in the conspiracy.

Posted by: BM | Oct 28 2019 15:25 utc | 183

Laguerre, I said the oilfields hold no strategic value for deciding the outcome of the war. I am sure the Syrian families are suffering greatly, but they should be even more aware of the circumstances and situation. As far as I know nobody is starving to death and security has returned to many places, which is vital.

Russia is making first steps at using Crimea, which is sanctioned anyway, to start full-blown trade with Syria, including oil products and foofstuffs. Syria could become a hub for Russian grain feeding the Levant.

So, the future may only look brigher for here on, despite the minor setbacks. Or necessary steps, more appropriately said.


Posted by: Bg | Oct 28 2019 15:28 utc | 184

@185 Thanks. It's hard to know exactly how things are for ordinary people in Syria.

I'd be very surprised if Russian oil tankers going to Syria get the Gibraltar treatment.

Posted by: dh | Oct 28 2019 15:30 utc | 185

Incidentally I had some trouble with the Fort-Russ link pogohere gave above, it caused firefox to crash. But a safe image of the page can be found here:

Posted by: BM | Oct 28 2019 15:34 utc | 186

bevin @ 45. Where does your info come from?

MSM, bloggers, R. North, I. Dunt, C. Grey. Naked Capitalism Brexit threads. Personal contacts. I am anti-EU and hoped the UK would leave in an orderly fashion.

Corbyn's political position is almost impossible.

Agree, horrible. Third wayers, Blairism - the scourge of the Earth imho.

Letting one's adversaries / enemies, hated *others*, get themselves into a dire position (either on purpose or ..) and then stepping back to let them be hoist on their own petard, can be a winning strategy. (Get rid of horrible neighbours for ex.)

In politics (Tories => opponents) - not to be advised.. absence from the scene will be paid for eventually. Corbyn became Labour Leader via a strong ‘left’ surge (young ppl, etc..) and appears to have now squandered it. The nefarious shocks due to a split pol opinion country, the economic damage, result of no-brexit yet, no-deal brexit looming, ‘bad’ brexit, etc., overall uncertainty, are compounding. If Corbyn ‘had a plan for a good deal’ (abysmal vocab), via other writ. (not bevin’s), why didn’t Corbyn lay it out 3 years ago?

Laguerre at 41. The Brits have given up predicting what's going to happen with Brexit. Nobody really knows. And I mean even specialist politics correspondents.

So, the Brits are not masters of their own destiny, it is all a wild crap-shoot, a Reality Show to boost ratings, the winner is ….clap-clap? Then what? Bring the Gvmt down? No .. ?

Specialist politics correspondents are lackeys for the PTB, stooges who put forward trivial, irrelevant, or outdated, pro- and contra crap in a narrow field of allowed analysis -- don’t deserve much attention. :)

Posted by: Noirette | Oct 28 2019 15:58 utc | 187

Glenn Brown @157:

I don't think there is anything in that article that would make anyone say, Let's elect Donald Trump, or Let's follow the foreign policies that Trump has since advocated

It would be nice if Kissinger was crystal clear and consequently provided us with a smoking gun. It would be foolish to think he would do so.

People who are familiar with Kissinger's way of speaking and his strong connections to the Deep State can see the connection between what he says and MAGA Trump.

Here's the full quote (emphasis is mine):

A world order of states affirming individual dignity and participatory governance, and cooperating internationally in accordance with agreed-upon-rules, can be our hope and should be our inspiration. But progress toward it will need to be sustained through a series of intermediary stages.

To play a responsible role in the evolution of a 21st-century world order, the U.S. must be prepared to answer a number of questions for itself: What do we seek to prevent ... What do we seek to achieve ... What should we not engage in ... What is the nature of the values that we seek to advance? And how much does the application of these values depend on circumstance?

For the U.S., this will require thinking on two seemingly contradictory levels. The celebration of universal principles needs to be paired with recognition of the reality of other regions' histories, cultures and views of their security. Even as the lessons of challenging decades are examined, the affirmation of America's exceptional nature must be sustained. History offers no respite to countries that set aside their sense of identity in favor of a seemingly less arduous course. But nor does it assure success for the most elevated convictions in the absence of a comprehensive geopolitical strategy.

Kissinger writes this AFTER he describes the challenge to the World Order. A World Order that has been up-ended due to Russia's new willingness to defy US wishes as they protect their interests in Syria and Ukraine. Those actions made it clear that Russia's Alliance with China had teeth.

Lets breakdown the highlighted parts:

This is reference to the "rules based order" that negate UN principles. We've talked a lot about this at moa.

intermediary stages ...[and] ... circumstance
The strategy is flexible: Trump has actually made remarks to this effect. USA has become more opaque about its goals and "America First" puts self-interest over universal principles. (Examples: relations with Saudi Arabia continued after the Khashoggi killing; Trump's defying UN resolutions to Israel's advantage; national security takes priority over free trade.)

America's exceptional nature ... [and] ... sense of identity
Kissinger calls for reinforcing American exceptionalism [hegemonic power] and restoring America's "sense of identity". That is at the heart of MAGA.

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

flankerbandit @162: the 'deep state' is not a monolith.

Yes, there are factions, but you pretend that those factions have equal power and that they all operate on a level playing field. They don't.

It is foolish to think that 'Deep State' would not recognize or react to the Russia-China challenge. The standard response among pundits at moa is that they are too stupid and "divided" to mount an effective response. I've proposed that the response is MAGA Trump.

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

Glenn Brown @164:

Jackrabbit, who seems to me to believe [that] US ruling class is part of a global ruling class that's very united and in control of most everything ...

I never said this. This is a strawman.

You are also conflating "ruling class" with "Deep State". It's an important difference. The notion of "ruling class" control carries the false notion that "control" necessarily requires the knowledge and consent of thousands.

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

bevin @174:

As to JR he is either a troll or a demented self publicising narcissist. Or both.

Still butt-hurt about being challenged on your pedo defense? (@68):
bevin, who has previously been warned about his twisted views about child sex (as Jen appropriately points out), can't resist regaling us once again(!) with the same crap.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 28 2019 16:01 utc | 188

See what I mean? Empty hand waving. "If you knew Kissinger like I know Kissinger..." followed by some generic nonsense that applies to practically all major candidates and politicians in the US with the possible exception of Gabbard. Which candidate in 2016 would the Kissinger screed not have applied to?

And thus the "dot" that you are supposed to connect remains invisible.

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 28 2019 16:26 utc | 189

Glenn Brown, flankerbandit

But it's not just Trump's election. Deep State fingerprints are also all over the actions that initiated a new McCarthyism:

>> The Steele dossier
which requires no explanation

>> Trump's weird hiring of Manafort
who had been warned that his work for pro-Russian parties in the Ukraine was not appreciated

>> Trump's calling for Russia to "release the emails"
LOL. Such spectacle.

>> the DNC "hack" (which was actually a leak)
IMO Seth Rich and his family's actions after his "death" are suspicious.

I have made the case that Trump was much better positioned to be maligned as "Putin's puppet" than was Hillary, and much more willing to be in that position - especially given his reality show credentials (which included WWE 'kayfabe').

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 28 2019 16:39 utc | 190

vk @181

"Neoliberalism was born in Chile and will die in Chile”

Posted by: arby | Oct 28 2019 17:42 utc | 191

Lefty Fernandez elected in Argentina
and here he is making the Free Lula sign--

And Bogota just elected a lefty gay woman as mayor.

Posted by: arby | Oct 28 2019 18:40 utc | 192

flankerbandit @159


Posted by: pogohere | Oct 28 2019 18:57 utc | 193

@ BM re the downed Il20 last year...

Thanks for your interest...I will pull together the material which I had already posted on another discussion forum...

it's a bit technical, but I try to make these things understandable to a general audience...

Thanks for your kind words about my work on the Houthi cruise missile...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Oct 28 2019 19:11 utc | 194

bevin @173--

I made that conclusion quite awhile ago. I treat its verbiage as scroll-by road kill.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 28 2019 19:20 utc | 195

In extraordinary presser today, 24 hours after "Operation Al-Baghdadi" ( which came 24 hours after the Russians released their data on illegal smuggling of Syrian oil by USAF...), Mark Esper has declared that troops in Deir Ezzor oil fields zone are being reinforced to assure that the oil does not fall in the hands of ISIS, and moreover in the hand of anybody else....
Asked whether they will fight even the Russians and Syrians, he answered that "yes"...with "overwhelming force"...

Well, I told you so.

Thus, we must conclude that they definitely do not withdraw, but reinforce ( Mark Milley was also there to corroborate...), that empty trailers coming into Deir Ezzor are not any sign of US withdrawal, but most probably are being sent so there to continues smuggling the Syrian oil and will come back full of this viscos liquid, and, finally, International Law is a thing that the US passes every minute by that part, since, if they would respect in any way any international law, they would not be in Syria, in the first place, nor have they seized and ransacked diplomatic propietry, nor have assaulted foreign embassies and keep their employess hostage, nor have they appointed a president "encargado" de Venezuela, nor have they submitted half the world ( and menace the remaining half..) to illegal and genocidal sanctions.

I am aware you are in election campaign guys, but, please, show a bit of respect for the readership, and, above all, do not underestimate us...

Posted by: Sasha | Oct 28 2019 19:44 utc | 196

While corrupt Piñera tries to wash the horrible face of his corrupt executive by naming new ministers, arbitrary arrest and detentions continue...With a UN team of observers in the way...there is no time to loose...

We are looking, Piñera, you will not go scot-free like Pinichet in the internet era...

Posted by: Sasha | Oct 28 2019 20:13 utc | 197

Echoes of Maidan in Valparaíso?...

They report the presence of soldiers stationed on the roofs of several buildings where the Valparaíso demonstration takes place.

Posted by: Sasha | Oct 28 2019 20:16 utc | 198

I am taking the liberty of repeating a comment I made elsewhere.

The Russians are making no bones about declaring the whole thing was fake. Trump is in a hard spot with impeachment. And that's why he copied Obama's Osama caper. But since he's waffling on getting out and stealing oil, the Russians want to let him know they have a few trump cards of their own. They've already published photos of American past and present oil stealing. Trump wants to be morally challenged on the oil stealing—as Ron Paul has done. He wants to be forced out by moral pressure, so he's acting like he's an even bigger crook than he is. He reminds us he's a consistent shit cause he talked long ago of stealing oil as long as you've invaded anyway. Trump wants to get out for electoral reasons, having done his damndest for Israel against Iran short of using his "usable" nukes that Russia is blocking. He is now facing off against his own primary Zionist crowd as well as the banksters. He ran as an 'unauthorized' candidate, a 'national Zionist', taking on the banksters for Israel's sake against the nuke treaty Obama had put through for the banksters. Trump persisted with his warmongering against Iran despite the risk a high oil price would pose to the dangerously leveraged bankster debt and derivatives, the main source of Jewish power. Despite many warnings given via the Economist Trump thought he could swing it with all his bankster sops (such as Rothschild relative Mnuchin at treasury). Now it's all coming undone. They are all out for him. Zionists. Banksters. Russians. Where is the poor asshole to turn except for doing in whimpering coward Baghdadi?—who, the Jerusalem Post two years ago reported, died of his wounds in an Israeli hospital.

If there is an antiwar movement left, give Trump the moral opposition he wants. Get together with Ron Paul and have a giant rally against stealing Syrian oil. Hello. Anyone there?

This would give Trump the pressure he needs to get out, despite the enormous power of Zionists and banksters now arrayed against him. I know it would mean four more years of Trump, but...

Posted by: sarz | Oct 28 2019 20:18 utc | 199

Sasha - 197
Yeah, just saw that. Either Esper is nuts and talks out of the Deep State's ass, and Trump will have to overrule him, or that's also Trump's point of view. If it is actually Trump's will and the US is foolish enough to try this, I hope the worst for every US military force deployed abroad, and I fucking hope Drumpf is reelected and the Dems keep majority in at least one house, so that the insane clown show of impeachment can go on - up to succes, ideally, so that the whole fucking country will erupt in civil war and will spare the rest of the world of any future interference - actually, it would be nice if the US goes down hard enough that eventually every single bloody country in the world can interfere way more than Russia is fakedly supposed to have done.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Oct 28 2019 20:33 utc | 200

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