Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 15, 2021

U.S. Announces Retreat From Iraq (And Syria)?

I did not expect this. Great - if true:

Nafiseh Kohnavard @nafisehkBBC - 13:57 UTC · Jul 15, 2021 Breaking

White house coordinator for MidEast, Brett McGurk has informed Iraqi officials that US troops will withdraw from Iraq.

“step by step”, sources tell me. “First combat troops will leave and then others” he has told his Iraqi hosts
...
“Withdrawal from Iraq will not be like what happened in Afghanistan and it will be step by step. The schedule for this will be agreed during Iraqi PM’s trip to Washington” official sources told me
...
And here is the statement from PM office that “mechanism for combat troops withdrawal” has been briefly mentioned in

link

The link is to a tweet of the Iraqi Prime Minister account which says (in Arabic) of the McGurk - al-Kadhimi meeting:

During the meeting, they discussed coordination and joint cooperation in various fields, and preparations for holding the next round of strategic dialogue between Iraq and the United States of America, as well as the mechanisms for the withdrawal of combat forces from Iraq and the transition to a new phase of strategic cooperation.

My first thoughts on this:

  • The pressure the resistance has put onto the occupation force has achieved the desired result.
  • No time frame is given but I expect weeks rather than months for the retreat to take place as the pressure will otherwise increase.
  • Leaving Iraq likely also means leaving Syria as supplies and support to the U.S. occupied Syrian north-east and to the al-Tanf base at the border triangle of Syria, Iraq and Jordan runs through Iraq.
  • The Kurds in north-east Syria must immediately start talks with Russia and the Syrian government. They will have to give up their autonomy or they will be eaten alive by Turkey. Expect them to (again) make the wrong decision. That means that the Syrian government, with Russian support, will have to use force against them. So be it.
  • The U.S. occupation has denied the Syrian government access to two of its greatest resources, oil and grain. Syria will be much better off after regaining these.
  • Expect a huge attempt by the usual hawks and the media to change the decision.
  • The U.S. has dragged its feet over the renewal of the nuclear deal with Iran. Removing the troops from Iraq and Syria moves them out of the target area in the case of an eventual war on Iran.

While there are now first denials from some anonymous 'officials' I do believe that the decision has been made.

It is only rational. A further occupation of Iraq and Syria makes absolutely no sense.

Posted by b on July 15, 2021 at 15:54 UTC | Permalink

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I believe they're simply redeploying in preparation for war on Iran and Yemen.

The Houthi have been making especially significant gains recently ...

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Jul 15 2021 15:59 utc | 1

thanks b... i certainly hope you are right especially on point 4 and 5 of your thoughts on the matter... i have my doubts here..

@ 1 arch bungle... i sure hope you are wrong on that, but it is a valid concern and question to ask what is the rest of the agenda here...

Posted by: james | Jul 15 2021 16:03 utc | 2

this has a "moving deck chairs around on the titanic" feel to it but my main thought was: they're going to switch "strategies" to "all drones all the time". also, no troops means no targets for retaliation after said drone strikes.

Posted by: the pair | Jul 15 2021 16:08 utc | 3

I think they’re switching gears to China. That’s all part of the neocons plans laid out by the Project for a new American century.

Posted by: Max | Jul 15 2021 16:11 utc | 4

"It is only rational."
Can anyone say such a thing about united states of america?

Posted by: Otter | Jul 15 2021 16:12 utc | 5

@ the pair:

Exactly. It would also free up troops for Latin American escapades.

Posted by: corvo | Jul 15 2021 16:12 utc | 6

I believe they're simply redeploying in preparation for war on Iran and Yemen.

The Houthi have been making especially significant gains recently ...

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Jul 15 2021 15:59 utc | 1

The Houthis for sure, Yemen is much too important to just give up on. Most of those troops are just there for show anyway, or to annoy someone, or because the Generals like having their own private fiefdoms overseas. So much fun.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jul 15 2021 16:13 utc | 7

Posted by: james | Jul 15 2021 16:03 utc | 2


@ 1 arch bungle... i sure hope you are wrong on that, but it is a valid concern and question to ask what is the rest of the agenda here...

So do I, james, so do I ...

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Jul 15 2021 16:17 utc | 8

The psyops in Myanmar with its Israeli " spokesman " is due for ripening into a benign NATO rescue operation and US troops and Turkish Daesh will use Kabul as a base. Taliban will turn a blind eye to the new rescue jihadist bloodbath. No statement ever made by political Islam or Brett McGurk is ever more than a fig leaf for US mineral greed.

Posted by: giyane | Jul 15 2021 16:21 utc | 9

Two days ago on his YouTube channel, Alexander Mercouris of The Duran surmised that last Friday's call between Biden and Putin was not mostly about cybersecurity (as the media reported) but was about setting out the conditions for the US withdrawal from Iraq & Syria.

See it here:
US, Russia Discuss Syria, as Putin's Envoy Says US Likely To Pull Out From Syria & Iraq

Posted by: Cochore | Jul 15 2021 16:23 utc | 10

It may be true, but my instinct tells me that Western policies include "if failed, leave a scortched land". So I would expect significant destruction before any departure.

Leaving a continuum of land from China to Syria ready to build or enhance the BRI would be a major setback for the US. They will make sure that the winners pay a price, at least to delay the unavoidable end of the USD reign.

Posted by: Andres | Jul 15 2021 16:24 utc | 11

@ Max (#4), is not the same Max that has been commenting here. “Max” (#4), please use a different alias. Thanks

The Financial Empire is moving to plan B. Where will these troops be redeployed? Has the military budget decreased?

What is Financial Empire’s plan B?

Posted by: Max | Jul 15 2021 16:53 utc | 12

Fascinating, as just last week an announcement described National Guard combat units being sent to Iraq. Are the forever wars being wound up in prep for the big ones vs China (and/or Russia)? Wasn't that Trump's policy?

Posted by: jayc | Jul 15 2021 16:55 utc | 13

So whither American troops?

1. Not Iran. American sheeple have been inculcated with hatred against Iran for decades, and war against Iran would be overwhelmingly popular in the USA -- as long as the sheeple think their side is winning. And our Israeli "friends" continue to exert lots of pressure along the lines of "let's you and him fight." But I don't think that anyone, not even the Exxon Board, welcomes the thought of oil at $1000 a barrel, and not even our most coldblooded generals think that war against Iran would be anything like war against Iraq. Perhaps the deciding factor here is whether the Beltway folks are deluded enough to think that a bombing campaign against Iran would inspire a color revolution as opposed to its exact opposite.

2. Yemen? I can see throwing several hundred "advisers" and black ops into that mess -- sort of along the lines of what we've been doing to Sudan. But selling anything more overt to Congress, let alone the sheeple, wouldn't be easy.

3. Latin America? That's where we need to have several thousand troops at the ready to "restore order" in countries in which we've inspired color revolutions, or "preserve order" in endangered satrapies. Such operations are pretty easy to pass off as exercises in Freedumb.

4. It's all a bluff, and we're not leaving Afghanistan/Iraq/Syria? I'm still not convinced our "departure" isn't just an exercise in fooling the gullible / provoking a response that will "justify" a counterattack or (yet another!) "surge" . . . but I hope I'm wrong. Leaving behind all that materiel at Bagram was an encouraging sign. Maybe the basic future contours will be: drones in MENA, troops in LatAm?

Posted by: corvo | Jul 15 2021 16:59 utc | 14

Could the recent announcement on increasing troop levels in Jordan have any bearing on this decision? Will some of American troops and equipment be moved from Syria and Iraq to Jordan?

Posted by: Rusty Pipes | Jul 15 2021 17:05 utc | 15

I am very cynical regarding all US politicians. The more powerful they are, the more psychopathic they become.

I wasn't sure why Joe Biden actually pulled the plug on Afghanistan, but I think it might be starting to make sense.

Joe Biden is angry. He lost his son to the US war machine.

From Wikipedia-
Joseph Robinette "Beau" Biden III (February 3, 1969 – May 30, 2015). Biden's unit was activated to deploy to Iraq on October 3, 2008, and sent to Fort Bliss, Texas, for pre-deployment training, the day after his father participated in the 2008 presidential campaign's only vice presidential debate. His father was on the record as saying, "I don't want him going. But I tell you what, I don't want my grandson or my granddaughters going back in 15 years, and so how we leave makes a big difference."

For the final few years of his life, Biden suffered from a brain tumor. It eventually killed him.

Former Vice President Joe Biden said he thinks toxins found in smoke from burning waste at U.S. military installations in Iraq and at other facilities abroad could “play a significant role” in causing veterans’ cancer.
https://www.pbs.org/newshour/health/biden-addresses-possible-link-between-sons-fatal-brain-cancer-and-toxic-military-burn-pits

Joe Biden might actually mean it when he tells Americans you doesn't want to see any more young Americans die for no reason. He has felt that pain personally.

Posted by: Mar man | Jul 15 2021 17:10 utc | 16

"Expect a huge attempt by the usual hawks and the media to change the decision."

Maybe "publicly" in the A Narrative, but You forget the Biden admins are exact those people how try the whole time to skew the Obama/kerry Attempts and plain disregard the Orders from Trump.
This time it would be for Real. Not only because the President said so, but because it came from the Shadows behind the President like McGurk. They finally realised that they have lost and try something else.

They already in negotiation with some of the "stans" to get some Bases up there, but if Russia would be smart, it would hellbent to not let this happens.

Also all of those evacuations htat happens back in Dei al Zor. Those people need new missions. The Shitshow goes more inland and left IL alone, because IL is very confident now a days.

Wonder what will happens to Turkey afterwards, guess the Syrian war is finally coming to an end. Two Years maybe?

Posted by: Kerwas | Jul 15 2021 17:14 utc | 17

Posted by: Rusty Pipes | Jul 15 2021 17:05 utc | 15

The general impression I have at the moment is an "aliance" of Israel, Jordan, and the Sauds to "confront" the Axis of Resistance to the North, which is a done deal, for the moment anyway. And Turkey, of course, which is always up for more as long as it can play both sides.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jul 15 2021 17:15 utc | 18

Maybe a Kissinger move. 'Do not alienate Russia and China at the same time'... and if already the case try to conveniently correct the situation.

Posted by: pnyx | Jul 15 2021 17:25 utc | 19

Very big developments going on it seems!

As for Syria, TASS reported already on July 9 that the 'US troops may leave Syria at any time.'

Bhadrakumar also reported the other day on what looks like 'warming' Russia-US ties.

It seems a somewhat 'miraculous' UNSC consensus was reached on Syria cross-border aid, a subject that deeply divided the two superpowers until now.

Could it be that the Geneva summit was more than the nothingburger that many figured? It seems that there is much more diplomacy going on behind the scenes.

Where will it all lead? A US withdrawal from Syria and Iraq, on the heels of the Afghanistan withdrawal is a lot of very big changes on the global chessboard in a very compressed timeframe!

Is the US finally climbing off its disneyland fantasy ride and starting to come to grips with the post-unipolar global reality?

Posted by: Gordog | Jul 15 2021 17:28 utc | 20

Arch Bungle:

I believe they're simply redeploying in preparation for war on Iran and Yemen.

The Houthi have been making especially significant gains recently ...

Naa i didn't think that they would dare. Even if Al Sauds beg them on their knees.

And Especially not against Iran. The Street of Homs would be a battlefield wich no one can pass. This alone would be the absolute Deathblow to any World economy Regrow, something that the World elite not let happen.

Also the "diversity" Training the navy has undergone recently has left them unprepared for a Naval War against a Enemy that is Hellbent to defend their Country.

and on Top of that, Iran will remember that Russia has offered help in Case of a War.

No, this is the final Sign of a declining Empire. The United States unravel their Troops and go on their long and long descend to be a "normal" Country.

Posted by: Kerwas | Jul 15 2021 17:28 utc | 21

why does this feel like a contraction of the ocean before a tidal wave?

Posted by: ld | Jul 15 2021 17:30 utc | 22

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2021/07/us-announces-retreat-from-iraq-and-syria.html?cid=6a00d8341c640e53ef0282e110acad200b#comment-6a00d8341c640e53ef0282e110acad200b

Because it is maybe a Preparation for an All Out War against China?

Posted by: Kerwas | Jul 15 2021 17:33 utc | 23

Cochore @ 10

Thank you - I missed that one. In an interview he published on his subscribestar account Dimitri Orlov had a similar take on the Biden-Putin meeting in Geneva. He considered it to be Biden negotiating the terms of surrender. Seems unlikely for the empire but the timing sure is interesting.

After the first bout, a larger fight between Israel and Palestine with Hezbollah feels overdue too. Perhaps there is something larger afoot? One would hope the adults among those running the world would be negotiating a soft landing for the US rather than a planet-wide crash.

Posted by: Citizen621 | Jul 15 2021 17:41 utc | 24

A cynical person might say that:
since Trump as a Republican called for withdrawals;
Biden as a Democrat - with both parts of Congress Democrat - can't excuse not withdrawing any more.
And this is the cheapest price to be paid for keeping the Dem-progs in line since the troops can always go back.
Given the Afghanistan withdrawal - why is Iraq different?

Posted by: c1ue | Jul 15 2021 17:45 utc | 25

@23

Exactly right. War with China and Iran are increasingly likely, the US cannot entertain so many distractions when its position is so precarious at the top.

Posted by: MapleLeaf | Jul 15 2021 17:49 utc | 26

"It is only rational. A further occupation of Iraq and Syria makes absolutely no sense."

This is precisely the reason that they will not withdraw. All American policy decisions have to pass three criteria.

1) it's stupid.
2) it's evil
3) it's insane.

Posted by: Michael Doliner | Jul 15 2021 17:54 utc | 27

Will believe it when I see it.

Posted by: Abe | Jul 15 2021 18:01 utc | 28

The US is stretched. It may have "a thousand bases and more of anything military than anyone else", but does it?

They were using coast guard vessels in The Black Sea, near China, near Venezuela, and the "photo ops" of naval might, usually include a bevy of second tier "foreign" vessels to make up the contingents.

They may have more Tanks (outclassed Abrahams) and a bewildering variety of vehicles - which they then give to the Taliban. Soldiers get all the best mobile Macdonalds and sexy wear for the desert troops.

They have massively expensive airfleets, projects, and pipedreams.

Can they get enough personnel? Namely educated personnel to run modern war material (including cyber, propaganda and asymetrical warfare). BLM and Antifa do NOT constitute good military manpower. Looting may come in handy as experience as part of the "plan" for a military occupation, but is not much use for anything else.

OK, It spends the most, which bloats the arms industry, who in turn promote their wares, for more "investing".

On it's own the Pentagon, costs more, pollutes more than any other entity in the US.

****

The Iraq, Syria situation is following a scripted change. Troops leave Iraq. Agreement has been made to move some to Jordan. The King, was recently threatened by a "regime change" from a minor relative (and backed by Israel?). It is NOT sure that the US will leave the E. Syrian territory or Al-Tanf, unless some other agreement has been reached with them OR Russia.

It is that latter point that I think is being played out. Part of the US wish to separate Russsia and China is to make R feel less of a threat to itself from US actions. Promise the earth (or at least something a bit more "terre a terre").

NATO and Ukraine have been told to quieten things down before the sh*t hits a real muck spreader.

The convenient setup where Merkel ran the EU is coming to a close.

We have learnt from Gordag and others that there is a large amount of industrial knowledge which will have to be reconstructed for the US to regain real competivity. (Rocket engines, chips) It needs useable infrastructure, not the collapsable versions it has today.

*****

Someone behind Biden is or has realised all that. Something must be done now. That is, also before the previous US election results are really questioned legally (Georgia). Trump is probably not the person to reorganise a country to the depth that is necessary.


Posted by: Stonebird | Jul 15 2021 18:23 utc | 29

They're just privatising the wars.

'contractors' on the ground supported by drones jets and missiles, and 'moderate' head chopping Sunnis supplied with Bulgarian sourced weapons for plausible deniability.

It's all really good for the portfolio you know.

Either that or they are gonna go full retard on China.

Posted by: Frozen | Jul 15 2021 18:25 utc | 30

Posted by: Abe | Jul 15 2021 18:01 utc | 28

I'll second that

Posted by: jo6pac | Jul 15 2021 18:30 utc | 31

FWIW, my feeling is that news of a general pullout from Iraq and Syria, if true, more probably indicates the next steps in the reconfiguration of imperial objectives: most likely as against China but possibly as against Iran or Russia.

Another possibility, however, is that planners may be finding themselves, at last, as having to address the festering issue of being financially strapped; they may be concluding that the Empire is just too expensive to maintain in its present form.

There’s plenty of evidence to support this notion. It’s simply not debatable that the national debt is greater than what can be expected to be paid. Iraq added $1.92 trillion and Afghanistan added $2.26 trillion to the debt, which now stands at around $27 trillion – for an economy with a GDP of $20 trillion annually.

So, given the turmoil that financial markets have been showing since 2008, remediation may be in order.

Thus to begin to address the issue planners may have embarked upon a program of addressing the debt by devaluing the dollar via inflation (thereby paying the debt with less expensive money) while reducing such discretionary spending as non-essential military adventures.

We could be witnessing a situation reminiscent of the British Empire in the run-up to the Suez Crisis: huge debts, no meaningful way to pay them, and so the Empire collapsed.

Whether addressing the present debt situation will meet with success is anyone’s guess, but failing to address it could have the same result that the Suez Crisis had for the Brits.

Posted by: elephant | Jul 15 2021 18:30 utc | 32

it is long time focus, don't expect it will be soon.
This already was announced by https://www.voltairenet.org/ hat the meeting Briden-Putin had a character of Jalta II with these essentials: (1) USA leave near east within next years. (2) USA accept that Syria is Russian responsibility (3) Ukraine is US but no atomar weapons

Posted by: wp007 | Jul 15 2021 18:45 utc | 33

What is OT these days? As the undercurrents seem to be interconnected.

After Iraq and Syria. - Lebanon is heading for a civil war. Army in streets after Hariri decided being PM wouldn't pay enough. (The US "Embassy is about 32 acres in size, possibly not fully operational yet)
Never mind, send in the "marines" no longer wanted in Syria and Iraq.

******
BRI progress

"The first train of the "New Silk Road" through Russia arrived in Germany

In JadeWeserPort (JadeWeserPort) - a container port, terminal and shipping route in Wilhelmshaven (Lower Saxony), 80 km from Bremen in Germany, the first direct freight train from China"

*****
Oh, and Israel has asked for more cash "to attack Iran". Which is why they need the presence of US troops in nearby Jordan?


Posted by: Stonebird | Jul 15 2021 19:14 utc | 34

Chalmers Johnson wrote long ago that if America did not close at least half of their 800+ oversea bases that it would bankrupt them, and it has, so there is no surprise here except it's very good news,

Posted by: bluedogg | Jul 15 2021 19:25 utc | 35

In my comment 20 above I mentioned that Iraq and Syria withdrawal looks like a very big turn in US policy, if not strategy---and that there could in fact be much more to the Geneva summit, and subsequent quiet diplomacy, than has been made public.

Another commenter mentioned Thierry Meyssan's analysis on this very subject, and which he delivered more than a month ago in two articles, which he called Yalta II.

In the first installment, published on June 15, he leads with this somewhat prescient statement, in light of these latest developments:

The United States is not the hyper-power it dreamed of being. It has endured a terrible military defeat in Syria with a hundred allied states.

Even if they continue to delude themselves, the time of reckoning has come.

Why a Yalta II ?

On the whole, I find Meyssan's analysis to be quite insightful, which I must add, is not always the case with his writings, lol!

In this introductory segment he argues that the US, at this point in history, has no choice but to face reality [as I speculated in my above comment].

It's noteworthy that he defines the current geopolitical era as spanning the last 30 years. Call it the unipolar moment, if you will.

After the confusion of 1991-2021, from "Desert Storm" to the "reshaping of the broader Middle East," the United States’ ambition broke down in Syria.

It took several years for it to admit defeat. The Russian armies now have much more advanced weapons and the Chinese army has much more qualified personnel.

Washington urgently needs to take note of reality and accept an agreement otherwise it will lose everything.

It is no longer a matter of calculating what is best for it, but of undertaking everything to survive.

He further breaks down the apparent change of direction in terms of its most fundamental aspect: STABILITY.

It is important to understand that the main obstacle for the US is mental.

Since 2001, Washington has been convinced that instability plays in its favour.

This is why it is unabashedly instrumentalizing jihadists around the world, thus implementing the Rumsfeld/Cebrowski strategy.

However, the concept of a Yalta-type agreement is, on the contrary, a bet on stability, which is what Moscow has been preaching for two decades.

I will leave it here for now. The second installment is here:

Biden-Putin, a Yalta II rather than a new Berlin

My observation: as with any political analysis, there will be gaps and perhaps outright errors---and these can be very subjective, according to each reader. But on the whole, again, this take from Meyssan seems very lucid to me.

Posted by: Gordog | Jul 15 2021 20:16 utc | 36

@Posted by: elephant | Jul 15 2021 18:30 utc | 32

"FWIW, my feeling is that news of a general pullout from Iraq and Syria, if true, more probably indicates the next steps in the reconfiguration of imperial objectives: most likely as against China but possibly as against Iran or Russia. Another possibility, however, is that planners may be finding themselves, at last, as having to address the festering issue of being financially strapped; they may be concluding that the Empire is just too expensive to maintain in its present form ... Whether addressing the present debt situation will meet with success is anyone’s guess, but failing to address it could have the same result that the Suez Crisis had for the Brits."

I think that you hit the nails on the head! There is only so far the US can push their reserve currency prerogative, and there are a few more US$trillion in "infrastructure" spending to come, on top of rebuilding some basic industrial capabilities and keeping the lid on the domestic power keg. A strategic withdrawal from the financial quagmires, along with a stabilization of the Russian theatre provides some space for the US to get its act together against China, make South America safe and reliable for the Land of the Free (Venezuela invasion, preventative anti-Lula coup, covert stuff in Argentina and Peru, help the comprador amigos in Colombia?), and keep all of Europe within the Western tent. The possibility of Putin falling for any "divide and conquer" nonsense does seem remote though given his history with the US. With fracking, the US also doesn't need that Middle Eastern oil and Europe is making rapid progress with the move to EV's, so why waste dollars protecting the oil for the Chinese?

The US has shown its bark (e.g. the Alaska meeting debacle) to be much less than its bite, and the Blinken mad dog act has been shelved. China will continue to play its long game, slowly and peaceably taking over Eurasia with the help of Russia, deepening its peaceful ties with ASEAN and warily making sure that the US doesn't do anything really stupid. Russia gets a new breath of life with those increasing oil revenues, and the ability to cut the Ukraine off at the financial knees with a removal of the gas transit fees.

Posted by: Roger | Jul 15 2021 20:27 utc | 37

I find myself quite doubtful. Or, as someone mentioned; "They're privatizing everything"

Posted by: vetinLA | Jul 15 2021 20:46 utc | 38

@ Gordog (#36),

What are the differences between TRUTH and fiction? Fiction has to make sense.

What evidence will contradict Thierry Meyssan's analysis? Let me share one of them, Vladimir Putin in his Q&A describes U$A’s reconnaissance aircraft was operating in concert with a British destroyer on June 23 when the ship sailed through the Black Sea. Why this provocation? What other evidence will INVALIDATE Meyssan's mistaken analysis?

Until the Empire starts, dismantling bigger military bases and shows nonbelligerent behavior, it is pursuing a global empire dream. Remember, Vladimir Putin was asked to show (NATO not moving eastward) commitments in writing. So, most talk is useless, show the agreement. When will all sanctions be lifted? No new sanctions? What other signals? What will be the SURPRISE? One can’t fool all the people all the time.

Posted by: Max | Jul 15 2021 20:56 utc | 39

Max, it would be more helpful if you would actually argue against Meyssan's SPECIFIC points, rather than raise what looks like a cloud of ordinary dust!

Here is a question: Was the Black Sea provocation, in which the US was certainly involved, anything more than a PR stunt for domestic consumption---you know, to show that Big Bad Biden is 'tough' on Russia? [As the screaming, neocon-dominated media DEMAND 24/7]?

A followup question: How exactly is the Black Sea provocation linked to the QUITE OBVIOUS uptick in US-Russia diplomacy? I had already linked above to Bhadrakumar's piece: US-Russia ties warming up. Is it for real?

Bottom line is that your 'analysis' is mostly strawman rhetoric.

That seeks to invalidate Meyssan's solidly-framed arguments, by means of DIVERSION...to possibly unrelated, and certainly not mutually-exclusive events.

Ie: the Black Sea provocation does NOT NECESSARILY disprove the thesis of quite possibly very major diplomacy!

What WOULD disprove it would require a lot more FACTUAL analysis from any critic, especially you.

Posted by: Gordog | Jul 15 2021 21:16 utc | 40

I get the feeling that the U.S. is going home, and by home I mean the Americas, all of them from bottom to top.
The rest of the world will have to figure out a way to deal with the lingering chaos of Beltway inspired instability. South Africa is there today. Woke Europe will be next.

Posted by: Hal Duell | Jul 15 2021 21:41 utc | 41

@ 36 / 40 gordog... welp, i certainly appreciate your links and insights! thank you for all that... bhadrakumars article is fairly clear and meyssans first article is much the same as i see it... i liked the last line in meyssans first article - "Four years have been wasted for nothing." not really... the dems were fighting with those big bad repubs who were only put into power because of trump, lololol! now the dems can do the right thing... they couldn't before! it is all star wrestling in usa politics - all the time - 24/7... and if it isn't, they need to get an '''important'' prosecutor like mueller - LOL - to work things out ''fairly''.....

regarding meyssans 2nd article - he is dreaming if he thinks the losers are going to pay for repairing syria.... israel pay? lolol! nope.. they will make sure the usa-uk-euro puppies continue to do the right thing according to israel.. it is an overly optimistic article - article 2 from meyssan... if the financial sanctions get dropped, i will start to believe it.. if not, then i basically doubt the veracity of his 2nd article in some of these regards... but regardless of my minor quibbles - i certainly appreciate your sharing the articles and drawing my attention to it all.. thanks gordog... don't get pulled down in vexatious type questions from our resident vexatious questioner-executioner!!

Posted by: james | Jul 15 2021 21:47 utc | 42

James, agree with you fully! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Meyssan!

Yes, he does seem to overdo it a little at times [to put it charitably]. Doesn't mean he sometimes doesn't get important things very right!

About those four 'wasted' years. Yeah, that's kind of a head-scratcher. It seems 'they' did everything possible to stop Orange Man from doing what Biden is doing now!

Kayfabe? You betcha, lol! 😁

Posted by: Gordog | Jul 15 2021 21:57 utc | 43

@ Gordog (# 40),

Remember, it is Meyssan's analysis. What evidence will validate or INVALIDATE Meyssan's analysis? It is not my analysis. Even Bhadrakumar asks the question, “is it for real?” It is too early to draw any big conclusions as it has only been a month. Reality is in details and deeds over time.

The Black Sea provocation was just one data points. Vladimir Putin has published letters (recently) in which he openly talks about “anti-Russia” forces. If there was a thaw in the relationship then he wouldn’t have exposed them or shared in a positive way, however, he shared them as an EXISTENTIAL THREAT to Russia. This is bigger than just being competitors.

Before the June 16 meeting, Russia had shared that they would reduce their dollar investments to zero. There were two possibilities, the meeting goes well then they won’t, as they were miniscule. However, Russia did follow through on their goal and has DE-DOLLARIZED investments.

Also, there were more SANCTIONS on Russian companies recently. The excuse of “PR stunt for domestic consumption,” is just a RUSE. Time willl tell...

Thierry represents a CLAN faction in France (& in the Syndicate) and has written to hide their activities. Which clan? Which articles expose his reality?

Posted by: Max | Jul 15 2021 22:06 utc | 44

Gordog wrote:

About those four 'wasted' years. Yeah, that's kind of a head-scratcher. It seems 'they' did everything possible to stop Orange Man from doing what Biden is doing now!
_______________________________________________
There is not much to scratch your head about there. If the four preceding years had not happened it would be very difficult for Biden to pull out of the Mideast endless wars. The Republicans and the right arm of the corporate news media and its tens of millions of followers would be screaming that Biden was soft on defense had there not been those preceding 4 years.

This is not fake wrestling it is scripted wrestling and the script is all about manipulating the audiences (there are 2 audiences - one for each side). You have to sort of admire how well they do succeed in manipulating the audiences.

Posted by: jinn | Jul 15 2021 22:14 utc | 45

Max, I already regret getting pulled into a 'debate' with you.

But I have to briefly bring things back to reality, since the dust you are kicking up is obscuring important points!

Your number 44 seems to conflate the idea of US and Russia embracing one another heartily and swearing eternal love for each other, with the realpolitik notion of finding a POLITICAL ACCOMMODATION!

There is a big difference. Nobody on earth, much less Meyssan, or myself, or anyone else, is claiming the former. While the latter, as appears to be happening would in fact be a very big change indeed!

Here is Meyssan again from his first segment:

Throughout the Cold War, each side publicly insulted the other, but they always got along under the table.

Historical research has shown that, although at any moment the agreement could have turned into a confrontation, the invective was rather intended to weld each side together than to hurt the opponent/partner.

Meyssan talks explicitly about RULES, written or unwritten governing a relationship, especially one as important as that between the two military superpowers.

Meyssan continues:

This system was never contested. It lasted until the disappearance of the USSR in 1991. Since then, the United States has claimed to be the only hyper-power capable of organizing the world. They have not succeeded.

Now, finally, after more than a generation of delusions, perhaps the US is finally ready to FACE REALITY. That would be very big news indeed.

And from Bhadrakumar:

The US Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield told reporters, “It shows what we can do with the Russians if we work with them diplomatically on common goals.

I look forward to looking for other opportunities to work with the Russians on issues of common interest.

And this, about Syria, which is the topic of this article:

The Russian Special Presidential Envoy for Syria Alexander Lavrentyev who participated in the Astana trio’s talks later told TASS that Moscow and Washington are engaged in talks regarding a US troop withdrawal from Syria and the withdrawal “may take place at any time.”

Now please understand what I have been saying here, because it is clear that you haven't been paying attention at all---and you continue to twist things into a MAJOR PRETZEL!

We do have MAJOR signs of a change of direction of the US---pulling out of Syria and Iraq certainly qualifies for that descriptor.

So does the shift in tone, and the literal flurry of US-Russian diplomacy lately.

Please be realistic and actually read and understand what people are saying, both here and in those links. Your objections are sounding more childish by the moment!

Posted by: Gordog | Jul 15 2021 22:54 utc | 46

The psyops in Myanmar with its Israeli " spokesman " is due for ripening into a benign NATO rescue operation and US troops and Turkish Daesh will use Kabul as a base. Taliban will turn a blind eye to the new rescue jihadist bloodbath. No statement ever made by political Islam or Brett McGurk is ever more than a fig leaf for US mineral greed.

Please read the latest from Pepe.... after fighting for 40 years for sovereignty, there is no way the Taliban
will cooperate with the US/NATO in any way...

China is just across the next mountain range... Pakistan ditto... Talib leaders travel... they have seen what cooperation with China brings... They know what NATO brings.... They want a better life for themselves...
Only signing onto BRI/CPEC brings that to them...

This is why they publicly declared Afghanistan off limits to Daesh/ISIS or any other extremist group, and they promised to live in peace with their neighbors, and to eliminate opiate production and trafficking in Afghanistan.

They may require their women wear Burkas... but they will cooperate with the SCO to bring a better life to their people... to the expense of NATO..

INDY

Posted by: George W Oprisko | Jul 15 2021 23:08 utc | 47

No chance the US will really retreat militarily. US foreign policy is controlled entirely by bribes for election funds, from three sources (1) the MIC, for wars anywhere, (2) the zionists, for wars in the ME, and (3) the rich for wars against socialism and China. So we shall have wars in LatAm for the rich, and wars in the ME for the zionists, until democracy is restored in the US, which is impossible because the tools are controlled by the rich.

The US may be setting up Turkey to dominate the stans against Russia and BRI (for bribes from UK, the rich, and the zionists) and recruiting Jordan to stay in E Syria and threaten Iran (for bribes from the zionists).

Posted by: Sam F | Jul 15 2021 23:11 utc | 48

Listen folks. It is so simple!
Us is going bring the soldiers home to fight the more important battle of climate change. The soldiers will grow organic food and plant trees to deal with this bigger problem, recognizing finally that warfare causes more heat around the earth than any other single thing.

Posted by: HelenB | Jul 15 2021 23:32 utc | 49

Biden may feel he has to act fast before they find out that he has become a sheep in a wolf`s clothing. (Sorry, just another theory!).

But think of what he has had to endure as VP, 8 years close-up to an immature and ignorant/inexperienced POTUS, easily manipulated by the intelligence reps, generals etc. Also madame Biden too often may have asked difficult questions over the dinner table: What on earth are we doing over there? Half a million dead because of our (Obama`s) eagerness to get rid of Assad!?

Posted by: Cunctator | Jul 15 2021 23:33 utc | 50

Roger at 37. Your comment was very kind. Thank you.

Posted by: Elephant | Jul 15 2021 23:35 utc | 51

HelenB:

Nice thought, but please forgive me for regarding it as comic relief.

Posted by: corvo | Jul 15 2021 23:38 utc | 52

@ Gordog (# 46), please focus the discussion on the subject, “Thierry Meyssan's analysis” with regards to the article that you shared. No need to pursue the personal angle and accusations. Also, many of we know Thierry Meyssan over long time and his ruses.

Russia, China, Iran, Cuba, ... are all open to “political accommodation”, nothing new here. The key question is about HOSTILITIES, sanctions and deceptions. When did the U$A last attack Syria? Are you saying no more U$A, Israel, and Turkey attacks in Syria? Similarly, no more attacks in Iran and no more U$A spend on terrorism?

“Now, finally, after more than a generation of delusions, perhaps the US is finally ready to FACE REALITY.” REALLY? Not hearing to that effect in my network or channels. However, there is too much propaganda to confuse the opponents, so they can be fooled. What happened to the Minsk and Astana agreements? Which agreement has Lavrov ever delivered?

Based on what you stated, if the following happens then “Thierry Meyssan's analysis” was right:
– There is SUSTAINED shift in tone of the literal flurry of US-Russian diplomacy.
–.The U$A and Turkey forces withdraw from Syria, and it becomes territorially SOVEREIGN.
– No more SANCTIONS on Russia and China, and their allies.
– No more conflicts in Ukraine. The MINSK agreement implemented.
– No Red lines crossed.

The actions in these arenas will show how realistic Thierry Meyssan was in his analysis. If not, it would be another RUSE from him to serve his masters. one can’t fool all the people all the time.

Posted by: Max | Jul 15 2021 23:41 utc | 53

Well, I wasn't going to respond to Max any further, but his latest howler---well, I just can't help myself!

Not hearing to that effect in my network or channels.

I see! Why does everything seem crystal clear all of a sudden, lol? 😵

Posted by: Gordog | Jul 16 2021 0:01 utc | 54

@Cunctator #50
"Biden may feel he has to act fast before they find out that he has become a sheep in a wolf`s clothing. (Sorry, just another theory!)."

Yes, that follows from my hypothesis Joe Biden may have a deep seated personal vendetta against the MIC over the slow, drawn out death of his son.

If so, and he really is "betraying" them, he only has a certain amount of time before he is "JFKed".

It is just a hypothesis I have little evidence for, except the otherwise inexplicable efforts to end wars. How many US presidents have actually ever done that?

Posted by: Mar man | Jul 16 2021 0:05 utc | 55

*Nafiseh Kohnavard ironically translates to "precious mountain climber" is not a credible reporter, As matter of fact non of Iranian reporters analysts working for western MSM/ western Think Thanks are credible or independent and not worth reading or fallowing. nevertheless I hope what she twitted which have not yet been confirmed or wildly reported on Iranian sites or media is correct.

Posted by: Kooshy Afshar | Jul 16 2021 0:15 utc | 56

As many here have already stated; I'll believe it when I see it. IF we're dealing with a full withdrawal from the ME then the cause is likely for financial reasons. We all know the US is bankrupt and the FED can only run the "printers" for so long before it seizes up. A significant number of those 800+ foreign bases will eventually shut down. I'm also expecting the US to withdraw from South Korea; not sure about Japan.


In any case, there will be NO hot war against China. The US can't even handle Afghanistan or Iraq so they definitely won't be able to handle China. If the US is shuffling troops against China then I expect them to place more troops in Australia, Guam and Japan. I really can't see them doing anything more than that. At best, the US can only hire the usual useful idiots to wage proxy wars. Naturally time will tell.

Posted by: Ian2 | Jul 16 2021 0:16 utc | 57

@Gordog

Be hesitant and prudent about trusting Meyssan's writings. He has been noticably erratic in recent times.

Posted by: Lurk | Jul 16 2021 0:20 utc | 58

After occupying Iraq since 2003, USA was able to install their own people inside the top (and important) Iraq political positions, therefore USA will be able to control Iraq afar, the same way it does with Germany, Japan and any other country you can use as an example. Iraq is in ruins and will not recover for decades, USA will see to that. Plus, USA will give its lackey Turkey the mantle to continue create chaos there. DO not expect much to change, same as Afghanistan.
Second, USA has a MUCH BIGGER fishes to fry: CHina and Russia. USA pretty much did accomplish about 80% of what it wanted in the Middle East anyway. The Arabs are now Israel's pals and that's huge. It's high time to concentrate on the biggest problems: CHina and Russia.

Simpel stuff, really.

Posted by: Hoyeru | Jul 16 2021 0:46 utc | 59

The US will leave Syria and Iraq , they are occupying countries illegally at huge cost to the US taxpayers .
They are thieves stealing the Syrian resources and has blood on their hands , blood of the Syrian children and elderly .
These people are not Christian and do not believe in God or his message , they are war criminals and the Syrian peoples never forget what the USA , Britain , France and others did to them.
The tru Arabs will not forget and never forgive .
The American administration fooling themselves if they think are doing these kind of work to benefit the people , they are stupid and stooges of the Zionist movement..
Good riddance to the USA .

Posted by: Bobby | Jul 16 2021 0:51 utc | 60

If - if - it is true, all it means is that the Bidet regime needs to conserve resources and score propaganda points for its confrontation with Russia and China. After all, it's not easy to pose as a "liberator" when you're in imperialist occupation of 2 1/3 countries on the opposite side of the planet.

As for any negative publicity from the withdrawals, assuming that they ever happen? Ten minutes after Amerikastan leaves, Bidet's brain dead voters will have forgotten that Iraq, Syria, or Afghanistan exist or ever existed.

And as for Bidet's "opponents", they'll soon be informed that Amerikastan won all the wars. Hollywood will make sure of that.

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Jul 16 2021 1:13 utc | 61

Posted by: elephant @ 32 <= domestic inflation is a private corporate plan, designed to rob the USA governed Americans blind.. public handouts to the governed are everywhere... child care today, bridges and roads
tomorrow, and after that its whomever has a wheelbarrow to carry the
stuff home. it just does not matter whatever can be done to flood
the market with useless script.. is being done.
Even wall mart will no longer take hard cash at most checkout lanes.

Elephant @ 32 says We could be witnessing a situation reminiscent of the British Empire in the run-up to the Suez Crisis: huge debts, no meaningful way to pay them, and so the Empire collapsed. <= I think the Suez outcome is being studied.

Posted by: Gordog @ 36 the Biden-Putin, a Yalta II rather than a new Berlin.
<=seems very lucid to me. also. thanks for that eye opening link..

I think Roger @ 37 wishful Historic memory d/n account for just
how far things have come..

No one wants to work.. A new distribution warehouse in Georgia,
crippled by lack of workers, @ $27.50 / hr it cannot attracl z
applicants for jobs to load and unload trucks I am told.

everywhere people are saying a college education is a waste of good money,
Bidden is paying women for their children with negative taxes (child
credits) There are no jobs that can complete with government handouts,
the government keeps them coming, trying to cover Wall Streets bets by
inducing domestic inflation. the grocers are reducing the container size
and increasing the price of the smaller container.

I agree with VetinLA @ 38 everything is being Privatized. I believe
The largest theft in the world is about to happen in downtown America.

by: Max @ 39 What will be the Surprise? <= When the leader looks back, and finds no one following his charge? maybe Gordog @ 46 is right?

by jinn @ 45 the script is all about manipulating the audiences (there are 2 audiences - one for each side). You have to sort of admire how well they do succeed in manipulating the audiences. <= the USA governed America is fast approaching the situation in which MSM scripts no longer work.

Sam F. @ 48.. says
The US may be setting up Turkey to dominate.<= I agree. Erdogan wants the United States of Ottoman.. and he will do whatever it takes to create it..

by: Hoyeru @ 59 <= this I gotta see!

Posted by: snake | Jul 16 2021 1:28 utc | 62

@ Gordog (#54), a propagandist & deceiver won’t commit to any signals that will expose his reality and debunk his nonsense. You find a cop out. However, you and your supporters are on the record. Let’s TEST your credibility. Time will reveal reality...

Posted by: Max | Jul 16 2021 1:30 utc | 63

Four years of ridiculous fake gas attacks and over the top Mockingbird mass media histrionics to kneecap Trump's efforts to get out of Syria and suddenly the Deep State is going to quietly let Biden largely abandon the Middle East? I don't buy that for a second.

If the withdrawal is real, then this is what we are witnessing:

ld @22: "why does this feel like a contraction of the ocean before a tidal wave?"

The US is preparing to try to do something big. Those plans will doubtless fail (far out delusion does not make a good springboard for success), but it will make the effort nonetheless.

Furthermore, the MMT cash-splash is working its way from the mega-rich down into the real economy where it will start doing real damage. Serious inflation like America hasn't seen in almost half a century, and probably worse. It's do-or-die time for the empire. Use it or lose it.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jul 16 2021 1:43 utc | 64

To @Posted by: snake | Jul 16 2021 1:28 utc | 62, that was one hell of a commenting drive by!

The UK was utterly bankrupt after the two world wars (Corelli Barnett did a great coverage of this in "The Audit of War: The Illusion and Reality of Britain as a Great Nation") and completely dependent on the favours of a US that already had the reserve currency. UK rationing didn't end until 1954, only two years before Suez. Not quite the same situation with US and China/Russia yet, but the US is pushing its luck on overusing the benefits of a reserve currency.

Your comment to me: "wishful Historic memory d/n account for just how far things have come.." Could you elucidate, do you mean that it is past the point where the US can retrench in "its" hemisphere?

More than agree that the Blackstone Group etc. are committing daylight theft across the US with fresh digital Henrys care of the Fed. It also looks a bit like "Back to the 1970s" on the inflation front.

Posted by: Roger | Jul 16 2021 1:56 utc | 65

OPCW should now stand for "Our People Creating War-pretexts"

Posted by: Roger | Jul 16 2021 2:04 utc | 66

I really don’t understand this. If this is true, there will be a crescent from Iran through to Syria.

It will enable the connection of the belt road all the way to the Mediterranean.

I am not saying this is bad. Of course these countries should decide their own fate.

But American policy has been to interfere in the internal affairs of these countries. I have a hard time believing that they’re not going to continue with that policy.

Posted by: Mike from Jersey | Jul 16 2021 2:51 utc | 67

@54 Gordog

Please, please do not engage with Max when he asks his rhetorical questions as if he deserves an answer. I've tried to advise him not to do this but he seems incapable of breaking the habit.

No one here has any right to ask for an answer from any other here, except in the most polite terms - because asking anyone for anything is asking that person to put forth effort on one's own behalf. It's very selfish and unfair.

Please don't waste any further energy on questioners who waste your time. You will be noted for your probity more by ignoring him than by engaging with him.

And I have things I want to discuss with you, as do we all ;) We don't need you distracted by the immature.

Posted by: Grieved | Jul 16 2021 5:04 utc | 68

Don't get your hopes up.

The only military withdrawals America makes are:

1). Humiliating defeats where America is forcibly compelled to retreat from a nation after massive resistance--but only after bombing that nation back into the Stone Age. See the Vietnam War.

2). Tactical "retreats" where America redeploys its troops to a neighboring colony/nation or relies more on special forces, spooks, NATO crime partners, Blackwater-style mercenaries, or Pro-Democracy Jihadi Head-Choppers to do its dirty work. See the current redeployment/withdrawal from Afghanistan that many fools were celebrating.

3). Redeployment of US stormtroopers to prepare for war in other theaters. See America's New Cold War on China or Russia today.

Put it this way, America still has its imperial stormtroopers occupying Germany and Japan, over 70 years after the end of World War 2, and its troops occupying South Korea, over 60 years after the Korean War.

Yet, the USA is sincerely withdrawing all its military forces (both official, non-official, or proxy forces) from Iraq and Syria?

If you believe this, I have a $2000 pandemic check that Joe Biden personally promised, which I would like to give you ... in exchange for all your personal banking information.

Posted by: ak74 | Jul 16 2021 5:40 utc | 69

Great information flooding into this thread - forgive me for not citing the individual comments. There seem many loose threads in the world that could be pulled together right now. I love the comment that wonders if anything is OT right now, with so much going on, apparently unconnected, but perhaps connected beneath the surface.

About the Summit: lots of indication that it was a very substantial meeting.

Speculation: why at the Summit was Gerasimov not matched by a general of equal standing from the US side, when all other officials - and there were a host of them - were equally matched? This was unprecedented. Could it possibly be that a Pentagon surrender of at least some formerly held position was happening - the "terms of surrender" mentioned in comments up-thread? If so, did the Pentagon refuse to come or was it not allowed to come?

Is it possible that the now formally recognized failure of the F35 has consequences that we are unaware of? We all wrote it off years ago, but one wonders how the mind of Washington comes to grips with that catastrophic failure, a setback of one or two decades in the race.

~~

Personally I liked Meyssan's analysis. I've only read Part II but it strikes a certain chord:
Biden-Putin, a Yalta II rather than a new Berlin

Yes, we all know Meyssan is a wild card. He makes terrifying leaps in his assertions, but I have read many of his articles that leapt safely all the way to the other side of the chasm without falling in, and it is at least possible that the distance he leaps in this flight has more connection with reality than we can easily see. He writes dramatically of what could actually be a drama, the enactment of a war policy that has been defeated, and the terms for withdrawal, the suing for peace.

I tend to agree with John Michael Greer that the US has never been "defeated" - in that being forced to cease an aggression is not the same as having to sue for terms. But if in fact a shock of sorts has happened in the MIC, maybe there are aftershocks. Something almost looks like a yielding by the US, but we cannot see the forces being applied that could cause this.

~~

I ask myself right now a dozen things. How is it possible that the US is leaving Afghanistan and the Taliban are securing a sovereign nation, bound in tight agreement with an SCO determined to crush terrorism and foreign intervention? I honestly cannot understand the forces that propel this move. No matter what anything thinks, the US is finished there - the Taliban and the SCO will grind out terrorism and drug running from Afghanistan and all its many neighboring countries - see the SCO statement and Escobar's latest piece on that subject, both at the Saker.

This is a huge geopolitical change that history will mark as a watershed. Why did the US simply walk away, what could possibly have caused such a shift? Honestly I do not understand what caused this. Just as I will not understand what may cause the US to leave Iraq, except that Iran has said that it must be, and the red flag still flies, which was always good enough for me - I never expected to see much of the action visible on the surface.

So now, perhaps, comes the retreat from Syria and Iraq. Maybe. Just as Iran has proclaimed must and will happen. Yes, it can be said that the US leaves at Russia's insistence, as the "terms of surrender" - but what can possibly tip that balance over if not the threat of escalation from the resistance axis? I look for the physical forces to shift the momentum and the inertia, and I don't see them. And where does Israel fit into the US plan to leave?

Is it possible that the Pentagon and the MIC are in a moment of disgrace at present, or at least with a diminished influence? Or is it simply, as suggested up-thread, that the Pentagon assesses that it cannot win in this particular theater and should leave with dignity before humiliations mount? And has Iran and the resistance made known to the US and to Russia that those humiliations must soon begin to escalate, no matter how much Russia wants to damp them down?

Many questions - and I'm aware of the irony since I just left a comment disparaging rhetorical questions. But these are just musings and I'll offer what I can if any of it ever makes sense. Right now I don't know any other way to present these puzzles except as the puzzles they seem to be. Too many things are happening that seem not to have a motive force.

Posted by: Grieved | Jul 16 2021 6:02 utc | 70

Is it possible that one reason the US is withdrawing from Iraq and Syria is that there is a crisis of recruitment within the US armed forces and the proxy armies, be they contractors or extremists signed up on social media? Is the US having problems finding enough people willing and able to serve directly or indirectly?

I am curious as to what may happen if the US armed forces were to require mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations and if mass resignations start occurring if vaccinations become compulsory for serving members.

Posted by: Jen | Jul 16 2021 6:33 utc | 71

««eventual war on Iran»»
Makes total sense unless they throw under the buss ME allies including Israel, or maybe Israel convinced them that they have a cure for the missiles aimed at them.

Posted by: svaya | Jul 16 2021 7:10 utc | 72

The news comes from a leak from the Iraqi side. It may be slightly more optimistic than it should be. The Iraqi govt has an electorate to satisfy, who are all demanding the US withdraw. They may put things more positively than they should.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jul 16 2021 8:12 utc | 73

Going against the wave;

Assuming that this is NOT going to have a happy ending. (that a major agression is planned)

1) Group countries which have an active resistance, who would jump at any chance to take more land back and make life miserable for US troops; Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. (response; reduce exposure to attack by moving troops out.). Yemen. (Add 300 troops, why? Could be evacuated to Djibouti if called for).

2) Countries which could be deemed "secured" and pro US; Israel, (Base and agreements) and Jordan (at least two bases, one near Al Tanf/Al Bukamal and one nearer Jordan itself.)
Includes Qatar, UAE and the other Emirates who have US bases and signed "agreeements" with Israel.
Saudi Arabia.

3) Countries that need to be "neutralised" as containing opposing forces. Lebanon. (Riots in process at the moment). Offshoot are the potential refugees heading for Israel. Possible civil war. Herzbollah restricted in alternatives.

There are also riots due to water shortages in Iran, (Zuvie, Khuzestan)

4) For the moment undecided countries who might have "walk-on-parts"; Egypt, Turkey. (Who just shot up a Cypriot Coast Guard vessel, go figure)

****

I had been thinking of finding that my "solution" to the assumption was an attack on Iran.
I am beginning to think that this is simply the middle East section of a general worldwide "Clusterfuck".

Posted by: Stonebird | Jul 16 2021 8:27 utc | 74

Mar man #16

Joe Biden is angry. He lost his son to the US war machine.

From Wikipedia-
Joseph Robinette "Beau" Biden III (February 3, 1969 – May 30, 2015). Biden's unit was activated to deploy to Iraq on October 3, 2008, and sent to Fort Bliss, Texas, for pre-deployment training, the day after his father participated in the 2008 presidential campaign's only vice presidential debate. His father was on the record as saying, "I don't want him going. But I tell you what, I don't want my grandson or my granddaughters going back in 15 years, and so how we leave makes a big difference."


Thank you Mar man for reminding me how utterly depraved and devoid of compassion is this Biden. He also lost his first wife and newborn daughter just as he was sworn in to the Senate.

Not from Wikipedia but from real life and death:

Just ask yourself how many first wives and newborn daughters and military age sons has Biden slaughtered in his time. In South America, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Libya through deliberate acts of warfare and the slaughter that goes with it.

Just ask your self how many first wives and newborns has this total tool of the war machine and the economic machine slaughtered through illegal economic sanctions on countless nations throughout the world. 500,000 children in Iraq alone! How many in Cuba, Chile, Honduras, Venezuela, Palestine?

Just ask yourself how many North Americans in the USA have lost children, had lives shortened, had life's education chance dashed by this Biden who has always backed the banks, the credit card gougers to curse the people with the plague of usury.

This Biden, President of the USA has ZERO compassion. I don't trust his motives one bit.

Just ask yourself if this ghoul of the USAi murder incorporated and its CIA has compassion? It does not.


Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 16 2021 8:34 utc | 75

Let`s hope Iran and the Hesbollah don`t fall for that wishful thinking/drunken by victory - mentality, too.

Posted by: m | Jul 16 2021 8:45 utc | 76

Grieved #70

Or is it simply, as suggested up-thread, that the Pentagon assesses that it cannot win in this particular theater and should leave with dignity before humiliations mount? And has Iran and the resistance made known to the US and to Russia that those humiliations must soon begin to escalate, no matter how much Russia wants to damp them down?

Many questions - and I'm aware of the irony since I just left a comment disparaging rhetorical questions. But these are just musings and I'll offer what I can if any of it ever makes sense. Right now I don't know any other way to present these puzzles except as the puzzles they seem to be.

Thank you Grieved for the invitation for musing just a little. Yes the red flag still flies atop the Jamarkan Mosque and we should not forget that a revered champion of Iraq was murdered by the USA at the same time as a revered champion of Iran was murdered by the USA. It has been reported that they were both on a mission to meet and discuss a major diplomatic peace initiative. Perhaps the USA is now stepping aside as they have been told in no uncertain terms that they are the problem and that they stand in the way of a solution. One never knows in the mystery of international diplomacy what moves behind the curtain. We can but speculate.

Unfortunately the illegal occupier of Palestine is up to its neck in mendacity in the region and perhaps this is an interlude agreed between the zionist and christian crazies whereby the USA steps aside and these murderous dogs of armageddon and war get at it.

I really cannot see any analysis being complete without factoring the loathing racist hatred of the zionist jackals.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 16 2021 9:15 utc | 77

"The Street of Homs would be a battlefield " Posted by: Kerwas | Jul 15 2021 17:28 utc | 21

There is more than one street in Homs, and, lamentably, many were a battlefield.
Détroit d'Ormuz, in Persian, t,ange-ye Hormoz, Strait of Hormuz would not be a battlefield because it is not a field (solid ground). You cannot send Abrams under the impeccable air cover. An attempted battle could resemble Battle of Tsushima (check Wikipedia) that together with other lamentable battles very seriously undermined the imperial government of Russia.

I suspect that Kerwas fell victim of autocorrect. But indeed, if ever there was a time for a short glorious war, it is not now. Economies and government authority is undermined by the pandemic with long awaited glimmers of hope. Whoever will kill that hope, will go to "the bin of history", like the imperial government of Russia.

Yemen, next to the Bab-el-Mandeb (Arabic: باب المندب, lit.'Gate of Tears') is only a tiny bit better as a battlefield. Similarities to Afghanistan are numerous, although Yemenis are not as fractured as Afghans, but both live in mountains, fight well on the difficult home ground, are resistant to "decapitation" etc. I suspect that dress, food etc. have many similarities too...

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jul 16 2021 9:21 utc | 78

Is it possible that one reason the US is withdrawing from Iraq and Syria is that there is a crisis of recruitment within the US armed forces and the proxy armies, be they contractors or extremists signed up on social media? Is the US having problems finding enough people willing and able to serve directly or indirectly?

I am curious as to what may happen if the US armed forces were to require mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations and if mass resignations start occurring if vaccinations become compulsory for serving members.

Posted by: Jen | Jul 16 2021 6:33 utc | 71

Yes, an excellent point, a problem that has been present and getting worse since they decided to turn the schools into a profit center and screw the general public. And they will never tell you that is why, not to the public. The contractors are mostly one trick ponies who are good at fighting, or have special skills and are not realy fit for combat, and getting into a war with China or Russia will not involve a lot of hand-to-hand stuff this time. Need a different type of soldier for modern warfare. US spooks and brass are all into this "warrior" bullshit. They love the jihadis, perfect enemy for them. So sad. The Russians will eat them alive.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jul 16 2021 9:35 utc | 79

Posted by: Jen | Jul 16 2021 6:33 utc | 71

And also, that IS why we had to leave Vietnam, collapse of discipline and morale, loss of command authority, etc. and they won't tell you that either.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jul 16 2021 9:38 utc | 80

so grateful to people here, too many to list but truly impressive the depth of insight and knowledge and eloquence in these speculations: Piotr Berman, Uncle Tungsten, Stonebird, jen,, m and the rest. thank you
tungsten you brought up Israel, others probably also did. I can't see how Israel and the Saudis and UAEs are going to maintain themselves. The hate between countries and tribes is so strong! Turkey, Kurds, Lebanon, I'm guessing every family has a blood vendetta that must be acted upon. Something's going to blow. Anyone have info on Lebanon? Jordan? Egypt?
bottom line, Iran, Russia, Chin will rise and the re-alignments will favor BRI. Biden's brain trust knows something.

Posted by: migueljose | Jul 16 2021 9:45 utc | 81

ak74 @ 69

Humiliating defeats where America is forcibly compelled to retreat from a nation after massive resistance--but only after bombing that nation back into the Stone Age. See the Vietnam War

The idea that the Americans would pull out of the ME for altruistic reasons is pretty funny. Resistance to the war in Vietnam was actually very unpopular with the vast majority of Americans.

Quagmires are immensely profitable until a tipping point is reached, you know, when it dawns on them that the cost of inflicting damage by far exceeds the cost of damage inflicted. I guess this self-defeating psychosis gets too embarrassing when the auditors numbers can't be ignored anymore, but then, there's already something like twenty or thirty trillion bucks unaccounted for in the bowels of the MIC.

Posted by: john | Jul 16 2021 10:21 utc | 82

I think vk is right in this one.

They are focusing all on China, maybe trying to force a move on Taiwan.

Posted by: Smith | Jul 16 2021 10:43 utc | 83

responding to Roger @ 65 who said "wishful Historic memory d/n account for just how far things have come.." Could you elucidate, do you mean that it is past the point where the US can retrench in "its" hemisphere?

Unfixable problems exist! The federal reserve currency has been inflated to hide domestic problems and the same currency is being challenged internationally (the result of sanctions and gate like use of Swift), military and diplomatic commitments are stretched far and wide, making any high technology supported conventional warfare or bully diplomacy challenging at any level financial, social, religious, racial, territorial or economic. last resort nuclear remains.

Support for "show time domestic politics" is splintered into so many meaningless, targeted, outlandish spend and waste money programs, that goal oriented national leadership is out of the question (consider this question: have the privatized corporations threaten the political leadership if it fails to force the deplorable to submit to injections of their legally immunized from liability vaccines? Have the governmental agencies been directed to dispense them? Have the corporate monopoly wielding powers in the world threatened to trash nations that do not comply with corporate demands?) Believe me the privately owned search engine and media private owners have the power to do just that. Consider Cyber terrorism.. The great reset means to me corporations will now rule and nation state political governments will ask how high to jump and the governed will be doing the jumping.

Posted by: snake | Jul 16 2021 11:02 utc | 84

migueljose #81

Thank you. I suspect that Lebanon is the immediate priority. It is slipping quickly out of the grasp of the illegal occupier of Palestine and the manipulative grip of the Saudis. It cannot collapse into the hands of Assad as is Syrian to a fair degree - but cannot return in Israels mind. It may well be that USAi is getting out of the line of fire as its proxy Israel underthe new vicious pm is about to try it on again.

If you thought nuttyahoo was bad, the new boss is a thug in mind and deed.

If the leban goes up in flames, I doubt USA will be landing any forces there as last time they did that the whole building fell on their heads and Reagun had to retreat pronto dragging all those coffins to the shoreline.

However, war and its technology has changed and I would not be betting on any outcome just now. Just the thought that there is a 1% chance for peace is a real flower in the desert right now.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 16 2021 11:57 utc | 85

Anyway, as smart people said before "Every time some 'news' come out, I ask myself question: why does those in power want us to shift our attention to that 'news'?"

Of course, that 'news' is usually bullshit or propaganda.

But the answer is curious in this case. Hey, look, we might retreat from Iraq & Syria (please don't look in direction of Afghanistan).

Who knows. MSM means Manure Shifting Management anyway.

Posted by: Abe | Jul 16 2021 12:19 utc | 86

There's been only one mention in this string of Alexander Mercouris, which I find surprising considering how on point a number of his recent postings on Youtube have been.

At the risk of oversimplifying his thoughts, he believes, as others have said here, that the US is going all out to shift the focus to China, its clear competitor, and it simply can't afford being up to its eyeballs in the Middle East any more. He points out that knowledgeable Russian officials have also stated the US is leaving Syria and Iraq.

I have always found Mercouris to be an extremely well informed and level headed analyst of world politics, not overly given to sweeping conclusions, and cautious in his approach.

What I do wonder about is how the US will manage the Israel lobby on this one, and how its concerns will undoubtedly be addressed. Like to be a fly on that wall...

Posted by: expat | Jul 16 2021 12:22 utc | 88

NATO is replacing USA in Iraq. That's been clear since at least Feb. '21 when NATO substantially increased its presence in Iraq.

This switcheroo* is little more than a public relations move after USA illegally killed Gen. Soleimani and numerous Iraqi troops. The expectation is that no one will notice that NATO is only there because USA wants them there.

* switcheroo: I use the term to mock a seemingly like-for-like change that is actually not as sudden or innocent as it seems. Many dictionaries define 'switcheroo' as just another form of 'switch'.

<> <> <> <> <>

The commentariat has really dropped the ball on this. 68 comments before we get a hint of what is really taking place from ak74 @Jul16 5:40 #69:

2). Tactical "retreats" where America redeploys its troops to a neighboring colony/nation or relies more on special forces, spooks, NATO crime partners, Blackwater-style mercenaries, or Pro-Democracy Jihadi Head-Choppers to do its dirty work.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 16 2021 12:41 utc | 89

@88 -- expat | Jul 16 2021 12:22 utc |

"What I do wonder about is how the US will manage the Israel lobby on this one, ..."

That dog is not barking which suggests something.
A quiet before the storm perhaps?

If Israel and Iran are going to butt heads in the near future then the US won't want their troops stationed as convenient meat in the sandwich hostages and bodybag fodder.

There is very little rational behavior in the US foriegn policy. The only thing which moves that monster is a threat to the fiat reserve currency. However I can't see what specific events will trigger that vector.

The only zone heading towards a European winter will be Russia-German Nordstream II; failing Ukraine; and a continued Russian exit of $USD holdings. China-Taiwan-Myanmar may ignite with Japan as first US proxy on the fringes.

The only other space is USA domestic issues that require retreat -- and the 2022 mid-terms run up will beging within several months -- Trump seems to be already positioning.

Posted by: imo | Jul 16 2021 13:08 utc | 90

Posted by: Kerwas | Jul 15 2021 17:33 utc | 23


Because it is maybe a Preparation for an All Out War against China?

No. I'd bet on it not being China.

China is too big a fish to fight with troops no matter how many the US is able to redeploy it would only be redeploying them to their deaths.

Why would the US willingly give up the middle east to Iran and Hezbollah just to fight a war of mutual destruction with an enemy it can only defeat with advanced weaponry?

There are three possibilities here:

1. The U.S in bankrupt and needs to start "economizing" by troop withdrawals, in which case this is simply a "cost optimization" exercise.

2. The U.S has identified a new 'threat' to it's "interests" which it deems imminent enough yet manageable enough to justify aiming footsoldiers at (Iran, Yemen, Lebanon spring to mind)

3. This is fake news.


"3." is quite plausible but no fun at all.

"1." ascribes to Uncle Sam a level of prudence I have not seen in my lifetime.

"2." makes sense within the context of Iran and the Houthi's rising, the House of Saud's imminent collapse ... and the House of Hariri's imminent collapse in Lebanon.


I'm going with "2.".

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Jul 16 2021 13:09 utc | 91

Personally I find the juxtaposition of recent increases in aggressive language and actions across the board with sudden withdrawal or talk of withdrawal from several countries as highly contra-indicatory to peaceful intent. This also occurs absolutely simultaneously with new apparent regime-change assaults around the world.

If intent is not peaceful then that presumably must mean that the military forces are urgently needed for a major envisioned military action. It is well known that the US military is strapped for manpower due to decreasing recruits, over commitment around the globe, and low morale - not to mention issues of incompetence, drug addiction, corruption, wokeness, etc.

If that is so, the obvious question is who is the intended target? Presumably it would have to be a target which is a major challenge, i.e. Iran, Russia or China; I am not sure any other potential targets would likely qualify for sudden forced withdrawal from several countries. In all three cases, the US is cutting its own throat if it launches such attacks.

One other possibility is that the US envisions itself being drawn unwillingly into a catastrophic situation involving Israel - i.e. that they envision Israel attempting to provoke war with Hezbollah and/or Iran. However, if the US is the "unwilling" participant there might be some difficulty in explaining the recent exponential increase in hostile interventions around the globe.

Posted by: BM | Jul 16 2021 13:39 utc | 92

Max @ 6

" I think they’re switching gears to China. That’s all part of the neocons plans laid out by the Project for a new American century. "

I believe that this is correct, given that if you look back at everything else you'll find that it in fact DOES map to such documentations.

The US does NOT have the ground game, doesn't have the feet to be in that kind of game anymore: game of occupier. The switch will be to plain disruption tactics(listen to the US political entities advocating bombing Cuba). Drones and such will be the hammer. Someone in the Bush II regime (can't recall his name right now- Wolfowitz?) who said that it didn't matter if the U.S. was successful in installing a new govt in Iraq (I believe that this was the country referenced), that creating disarray would meet the goal (of, basically, breaking things up- divide such that there's no real rule [think the "success" of Libya]). Enough distraction such that folks aren't able to focus on Israel.

The gears against China will be, for starters, will be amping up internal resistance (Uyghurs and Taiwan). Africa will also be a point where there will be increased pressures against China: not many are paying attention to how busy AFRICOM has been in the last several years. Iran will see similar actions (more backing of MEK), but probably only enough to disturb Iran's govt from it's attempt to link up with China's BRI. In common it's an attack on BRI. Follow the money.

Posted by: Seer | Jul 16 2021 13:52 utc | 93

Piotr Berman | Jul 16 2021 9:21 utc | 78

Kerwas most likely meant QOM, the seat of Mullahs and Ayatollahs etc

Posted by: Grishka | Jul 16 2021 14:10 utc | 94

@ uncle tungsten | Jul 16 2021 8:34 utc | 75

Well, there's compassion and there's compassion. Looks like Biden has compassion -- for the product of his loins. This is something I've never understood (for personal reasons I don't have to get into), but it's certainly real enough. It's why so many reasonable -- or not entirely unreasonable -- leaders think that their depraved, dissolute offspring have a right to inherit their leadership. Think George HW Bush, for instance, or a certain recently deceased monarch in SE Asia.

Of course, in Biden's case I imagine there's also a certain degree of identification with one particular son of his.

Posted by: corvo | Jul 16 2021 14:28 utc | 95

Putin and Biden may have made a deal to share the middle east among them. The US leaves Syria and Iraq to Russia to deal with Iran and turkey. Putin commits to protect israel by either negotiating a peace deal with Palestinians or at least discourage attacks. Lebanon will also be part of the deal. Russia Iran will dislodge the usa presence there.
Once Erdoğan is gone, turkey will increase its influence in Lebanon and turkey in a peaceful ways.
The Kurds and the opposition in syria will either be crushed or will rejoin Syria central government under Russia's influence. The usa will keep the uae and Saudi Arabia as well as Yemen

Posted by: Virgile | Jul 16 2021 14:43 utc | 96

"2." makes sense within the context of Iran and the Houthi's rising, the House of Saud's imminent collapse ... and the House of Hariri's imminent collapse in Lebanon.


I'm going with "2.".

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Jul 16 2021 13:09 utc | 91

"US forces occupy southwestern Yemeni airbase after leaving Afghanistan "

" group of the military forces that the US has taken out of Afghanistan have been sent over to Yemen, where they have occupied a strategic southwestern airbase.

Yemen Press Agency carried the report on Tuesday, saying the forces first arrived at the Aden International Airport in the Aden Province, and were then taken northwards to the neighboring province of Lahij.

The troops were stationed in the al-Anad Airbase in Lahij afterward.

The development came after the Pentagon said 95 percent of the process of US forces’ withdrawal from Afghanistan had already been completed."

Posted by: arby | Jul 16 2021 14:49 utc | 97

Posted by: arby | Jul 16 2021 14:49 utc | 97

Damn. I should've formed a betting pool ...

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Jul 16 2021 15:04 utc | 98

So many excellent points being made, and a combination of them may be factors in efforts to dial back (still not convinced there will be a complete withdrawal) the US presence in Afghanistan, Syria, and Iraq. A couple of points I would add to the discussion:

First I think we must always remember some contextual realities which may give some guidelines for our analysis. Mainly, we must never forget that Biden was specifically chosen by the consortium of powers that be to be Trump’s replacement, for whom they pulled out all the stops to ram him through the primaries and then secure his election. Why Biden? Because he was the perfect empty suit; to the extent his mind still works, he has been a firm “war anywhere, anytime” kinda guy for his entire career, but he furthermore has always been a kept man and now in his declining years will be completely malleable and subservient to his masters’ agendas. The powers that be, which are actually a collection of power centers, could agree he was perfect for that, although once elected he has proven SO weak that he has been unable to provide a consistent compass to those same powers, whose interests have now begun to diverge, and the struggles and shifting alliances of those groups help explain some of the perplexing and often conflicting “decisions” of the administration.

So, to the extent there are draw-downs, it is not Biden’s idea, it is the consensus decision of the power centers, and absolutely not some sudden conversion to peacenikdom. With respect to Iraq, if we examine it from each power center’s POV: The CIA/State Dept. loves stirring trouble, but as more and more of the countryside was lost to the natives, Iraq was becoming less of a convenient base for extending their tentacles, and most of the “reconstruction” funds have already been skimmed, and they are eyeing fresh, still juicy targets. The Pentagon political brass will never want to leave anywhere, but again the “action” has already diminished enough that there’s not so much hay to be made in selling weapons systems and cementing one’s post-military career, so its cost/benefit analysis has probably overall shifted to loser; and the active military is out of things to bomb or shoot up, moral and recruitment are taking a big hit, and they can probably just feel the lifeblood draining from their services when being deployed everywhere as glorified police and hit/snatch men—and this is particularly if they are eyeing this as a choice between this winless status quo (name me one scenario in which anything would make things change for the better in any number of years) vs. getting a nice, fresh, popularly supported hot war. The mineral extraction interests are still enjoying their lucrative, unjustly obtained contracts, but they assume as long as Iraq remains a weak state, and especially if they feel they can count on continued bribes/support from the US for “their” candidates, and some mercenary Pinkertons to protect their operations, they don’t have a strong opinion about US troops remaining. The old-style conservative war hawks are not super happy, but a lot of them still apply some cost/benefit analysis, and the US has “achieved” everything it came to do (i.e., destroy what was perceived to be a relatively strong, stable nation which might threaten US or Israeli interests), and no number of years of more of the same will change that. So that really just leaves the Israeli lobby, who absolutely don’t care about costs to the US as long as they can use us to weaken all their neighbors and serve as alternative targets to them. Big Pharma and Big Finance don’t have a dog in the fight (well, so long as IMF loans aren’t really likely to be a big thing), and while the MIC likes to keep any war going, arms sales and expenditures have no doubt been seriously declining in Iraq for years, so as long as they assume tying off this war would give them fresh new opportunities, they’ll support that. I’m sure I’ve missed some, but you get the idea. Oh, and I suppose you could ad the Democrat party, which would probably prefer to have a war of their own (I mean, for this administration).

Seems like the consensus is that we need a new war. And the beauty is, to the extent there is negative feedback for any pullout (surrender), it can be blamed on poor old Joe, who will not likely be allowed to finish his term before being “retired” for cognitive decline. So, where next? There are so many pots being stirred, its hard to choose. I’m worried very much for Lebanon, because I think it’s finally dawned on the Israelis that they must de-fang Hezballah before they take on Iran, and that operation seems well underway. Likewise, the US is signaling that the years of neglecting South and Central America are over, and there seems a renewed push particularly with Cuba—presumably determined to be a softer nut to crack than Venezuela. Myanmar is probably due for some unwanted attention, too. But the obvious biggie is China. I know, it’s easy to say that’s impossible because, well, it’s so stupid, but history dictates that’s not a factor. The groundwork is not only laid but being added to daily. China is militarily strong, but by perverse logic there are those who will argue it must be knocked down before the window closes; that a mistake was made with Russia in waiting until they are too far superior to US/NATO (particularly in their back yard) to do anything other than irritate, so to “learn” from that means to attack China before the window closes and they become too strong. Also, I’d submit they are looked at as perfect for a US style “smash and grab” operation. Their main strength is still manufacturing, which are nice, soft targets for bombing/missile campaigns, and would (so the logic goes) take the wind from China’s sails and knock her back a few decades, giving the US the world lead again. Militarily there would be no plans for boots on the ground on the mainland, but China has her tempting targets such as Taiwan and Hong Kong, where it would be more difficult for China to throw the weight of her manpower. And there is probably a calculation that if enough “allies” can be assembled, such as Japan, Korea, and the Anglosphere, China would be more hesitant in challenging those. Oh, and setting back China serves other purposes, because after all after the US destroys a nation it feels it can leave or draw down and still control the nation which is impoverished and in disarray…but those damn Chinese come offering to help rebuild, and that’s a problem. So, insane as it is, I fear the primary target has shifted to China, and to the extent the US is indeed withdrawing, it may well be in preparation for a hot war with China, and sooner rather than later.

Posted by: J Swift | Jul 16 2021 15:58 utc | 99

Grieved | Jul 16 2021 6:02 utc | 70

Is it possible that the now formally recognized failure of the F35 has consequences that we are unaware of? We all wrote it off years ago, but one wonders how the mind of Washington comes to grips with that catastrophic failure, a setback of one or two decades in the race.

I agree that the F35 seems to have endless problems but "the now formally recognized failure of the F35" is new to me. Who has "formally" recognized this fact? (Assuming that it is a fact>)

Posted by: foolisholdman | Jul 16 2021 16:12 utc | 100

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