Syria Matters

First, and fascinatingly, is Eva Bartlett’s ‘Organ theft, staged attacks: UN panel details White Helmets’ criminal activities, media yawns’, RT Dec. 25, 2018

Some highlights:

Utter silence. That is the sound of Western corporate media days after a more than one-hour-long panel on the White Helmets at the United Nations on December 20.

Journalists were present, so the silence isn’t due to lack of access. And in any case it was live streamed on the UNTV channel, and remains available on Youtube for keen observers to watch.

More likely, the silence is due to the irrefutable documentation presented on the faux-rescue group’s involvement in criminal activities, which include organ theft, working with terrorists — including as snipers — staging fake rescues, thieving from civilians, and other non-rescuer behaviour.

On the panel was one of corporate media’s favourite targets to smear, British journalist Vanessa Beeley, who gave a fact-based lecture on her years of research into the founding, funding and nefarious activities of the White Helmets, research which includes numerous visits to White Helmets centers, countless testimonies from Syrian civilians, and even an interview with a White Helmets leader in Dara’a al-Balad, Syria.

Maxim Grigoriev, the director of the Foundation for the Study of Democracy (a member of the UN’s Global Counter-Terrorism Research Network) spoke at length, detailing some of the over 100 eyewitnesses his foundation has conducted interviews with.

These include over 40 White Helmets members, 15 former terrorists, 50 people from areas where terrorists and WH operated, with another over 500 interviewed by survey in Aleppo and Daraa.” [long snip regarding organ theft, fake chemical attacks, (bellingcat and WaPo naming exposing the WH: russian disinformation.]

“Canadian journalist Cory Morningstar in September 2014 exposed the role of the New York based PR firm, Purpose Inc, in marketing campaigns for the White Helmets.

And as I wrote, “In April 2015, American independent journalist revealed that the White Helmets had been founded by Western powers and managed by a British ex-soldier, and noted the “rescuers” role in calling for Western intervention—a No Fly Zone on Syria.”

The April 2015 link above goes to Rick Sterling, including this outtake:

“White Helmets is the newly minted name for “Syrian Civil Defence”. Despite the name, Syria Civil Defence was not created by Syrians nor does it serve Syria.  Rather it was created by the UK and USA in 2013. Civilians from rebel controlled territory were paid to go to Turkey to receive some training in rescue operations. The program was managed by James Le Mesurier, a former British soldier and private contractor whose company is based in Dubai.

The White Helmets work primarily with the rebel group Jabat al Nusra (Al Queda in Syria). Video of the recent alleged chlorine gas attacks starts with the White Helmet logo and continues with the logo of Nusra. In reality, White Helmets is a small rescue team for Nusra/Al Queda.”

“These, and the subsequent numerous investigations by Vanessa Beeley, including on the ground in Syria, taking countless testimonies of Syrian civilians on the matter of the White Helmets, far precede any Russian media reporting on the group.

That Russian media and bodies have since done their own investigations does not equate to a “disinformation campaign”, but rather doing the job corporate media are clearly incapable of, and unwilling to do.”

Zo.  Boss Tweet claims he’ll bring the troops home from Syria because ‘we’ve beaten ISIS’.  But of course that was never the reason Amerika was IN Syria: it was to putsch Diktator Assad, as well as a proxy war against Russia an Iran, as well Syria  being ground zero for the Ultimate Pipelinestan War. (Pepe Escobar).

But western ‘leftist’ columnists were full of outrage akin to Patrick Cockburn’s ‘Trump’s Abrupt Withdrawal From Syria Might Provide Exactly the Anarchic Conditions in Which ISIS has Always Flourished’, December 21, 2018, CP.

Herr Trump’s later Tweet saying he’d bring a few thousand troops home from Afghanistan apparently pissed off Mad Dog (the only adult left in the administration) Mattis to resign.  That resignation caused the chattering classes to explode, most notably the Cruise Missile Left.

In Joseph Kishore’s Dec. 24, 2018 column at wsws.org, ‘Trump administration in question as political warfare in Washington intensifies’, he writes:

“The year 2018 is coming to a close amidst a historic political crisis in the United States. In the past week, Washington has been convulsed by conflicts over Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw US troops from Syria and reduce troop levels in Afghanistan, and the ensuing resignation of Defense Secretary James Mattis. This has coincided with a sharp drop on the stock market and a partial government shutdown that could extend well into next year.

It is not Trump’s fascistic attack on immigrants, his war on the working class or his belligerence toward China that has triggered paroxysms of rage within the state and from the Democratic Party. It is, rather, his seeming intention to wind down the wars in Syria and Afghanistan, both of which are undeclared and illegal.”

He offers that the future of the administration is being called into question, and offers examples I’ll shorthand.

Chuck Todd, the host of NBC’s “Meet the Press” program, said on Sunday that the resignation of Mattis in protest over the troop withdrawals could be the “beginning of the functional end of this presidency.”

Democratic Senator Chris Coons declared on CBS’s “Face the Nation” Sunday that “President Trump is handing a great big Christmas gift to Vladimir Putin in Russia and to the Ayatollah Khamenei of Iran.”

Of the Butcher of Fallujah, Democratic Senator Chris Coons declared on CBS’s “Face the Nation” Sunday that “President Trump is handing a great big Christmas gift to Vladimir Putin in Russia and to the Ayatollah Khamenei of Iran.”

“Amidst the raging political warfare in Washington, there are certain voices notable by their silence. Socialist Worker, the publication of the International Socialist Organization, has said nothing. Jacobin magazine, aligned with the Democratic Socialists of America, has said nothing. Socialist Alternative has said nothing. Nor have the Democratic Party politicians they have promoted—Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, incoming New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, etc.

They are silent because they support the line of the Democratic Party. They support war and they support American imperialism.

Their real political line is articulated by the Nation’s Joan Walsh, frequently cited by Socialist Worker and other pseudo-left publications. In “As Trump Rages, God Bless Us Every One,” Walsh bemoans Trump’s decision to neglect the counsel of “a lifelong military leader and public servant like Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.”

Bibi has announced that Israel plans to fill the void in Syria, Danny Zaken at al monitor posts why that is: Iran, of course.  And there’s this enigmatic ad  in recoil Magazinr, Tweeted by defense news on Twitter:

‘We are coming’: Chilling Blackwater ad triggers fears of Trump seeking to privatize Mideast wars’, 26 Dec. 2018, RT

I dunno that it’s chilling, I’d long suspected that Trump had actually taken Erik’s offer to privatize the war in Afghanistan (Acadamei: ‘Managed support services’),  so I reckon time will tell how his (ahem) ‘former company’ Blackwater fits into the mix.

The Institute for the Study of War’s tab on Syria, including the most recent: ‘The Looming Vacuum in Syria’ By the ISW Research Team, Dec. 21

Key Takeaway: Russia and Iran are poised to exploit the U.S. withdrawal from Syria announced by U.S. President Donald Trump on December 19. They and their proxies hold positions along the Syrian-Iraqi Border surrounding areas that the U.S. Anti-ISIS Coalition and allied Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) currently hold. Russia and Iran will undoubtedly attempt to fill the security vacuum left behind by the U.S. in Eastern Syria. The Russo-Iranian Coalition is nonetheless stretched thin and likely cannot secure this new terrain without opening exploitable vulnerabilities for ISIS and Al-Qaeda in Syria and Iraq. Turkey and other regional actors will also likely attempt to exploit this opening to compete for terrain and influence in Syria.”

You’ll also remember the agitprop from ‘the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights:

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights – Official Site

The Wiki:  One Sunni Syrian in the UK, but hilarious counter-narratives as well as accolades; In 2013 the New York Times reported that that Rami Abdulrahman had received small subsidies from the European Union and one European country. Medialens said that journalist Ian Sinclair confirmed “in communication with the Foreign Office” that “the UK funded a project worth £194,769.60 to provide the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights with communications equipment and cameras.

Online crowd-sourced #FakeNews bellingcat has a crowded tab on Syria, of course, but they sure loves ‘em some White Helmets!

Adding to the avalanche of disinformation on Syria is (tada!) The Integrity Initiative: Defending Against Disinformation.  Well, okay, a search for Syria on their site kicks up Russia as well, and includes one mentioning ‘talking to Eliot Higgins.’  They’re not in chronological order, so I won’t choose one to feature.  Ain’t you glad o' that?

(cross-posted from Café Babylon)

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wendy davis's picture

g' night.

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wendy davis's picture

as i'd seen a few crumbs along the way. but i just found ‘Obama, ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood’, F. Wm. Engdahl, Dec. 25, 2018, journal-neo.org

“In 2010 the US Administration under President Barack Obama developed a top secret blueprint for the most ambitious and far-ranging series of US-backed regime change across the Islamic Middle East since World War I and the Anglo-French Sykes-Picot agreement. It was to set off a wave of wars and chaos, of failed states and floods of war refugees unimaginable to the most cynical veteran diplomat, and beyond the belief of most lay persons in the world.

In August, 2010, six months before Tunisia’s Jasmine Revolution was launched by the Washington NGOs including the NED, the Soros Foundations, Freedom House and others, President Obama signed Presidential Study Directive-11 (PDS-11), ordering Washington government agencies to prepare for “change.” The change was to be a radical policy calling for Washington’s backing for the secret fundamentalist Islamic Muslim Brotherhood sect across the Middle East Muslim world, and with it, the unleashing of a reign of terror that would change the entire world.

According to US Congressional testimony of Peter Hoekstra, former Chairman of the US House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the Obama Administration PSD-11 directive–as of March 2017 still classified Top Secret–“ordered a government-wide reassessment of prospects for political reform in the Middle East and of the Muslim Brotherhood’s role in the process. “

A Grandiose Task Force
To draft the contents of PSD-11, a top secret task force was established within the Obama National Security Council (NSC), headed by Dennis Ross, Samantha Power, Gayle Smith, Ben Rhodes and Michael McFaul.

The PSD-11 Task Force members were remarkable in many regards. Samantha Power, who would go on to become Obama’s UN Ambassador and lead the demonizing of Russia after the CIA’s Ukraine Color Revolution coup in 2014, was to play an instrumental role in convincing President Obama that Libya’s Mohammar Qaddafi must be militarily removed for what she called “humanitarian reasons.” Dennis Ross, accused by Palestinian opponents of being “more pro-Israeli than the Israelis,” co-founded the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)-sponsored Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP). He was Special Assistant to President Obama and Senior Director at the NSC for the Middle East, the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, Pakistan and South Asia when he was part of the PSD-11 task force.

Gayle Smith would later go on in 2015 to head the USAID, the CIA-linked State Department agency that funneled US taxpayer millions to finance the NGOs of the Arab Spring and other Color Revolution regime changes. Michael McFaul, who once described himself as a “specialist on democracy, anti-dictator movements, revolutions,” was later named Obama’s Ambassador to Moscow where he coordinated opposition protests against Putin.

The Top Secret PSD-11 report that the Task Force drew up was partially revealed in a series of legal Freedom of Information Act requests to the State Department. Released official documents revealed that the NSC Task Force had concluded that the Muslim Brotherhood was a “viable movement” for the US Government to support throughout North Africa and the Middle East. A resulting Presidential directive ordered American diplomats to make contacts with top Muslim Brotherhood leaders and gave active support to the organization’s drive for power in key nations like Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and Syria, at the 2011 outset of the “Arab Spring.” The PDS-11 secret paper came to the bizarre conclusion that the Muslim Brotherhood’s brand of political Islam, combined with its fervent nationalism, could lead to “reform and stability.” It was a lie, a lie well known to the Obama PSD-11 Task Force members.”

“The members of the Obama Administration National Security Council PSD-11 Task Force that recommended a US Government embrace of the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood in Islamic countries of the Arab Middle East, knew very well who they were dealing with. Since the 1950’s the CIA had worked with the Ikhwan around the world. Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, Al Qaeda in Iraq and in Syria, al Nusra Front in Syria, as well as the so-called Islamic State or ISIS all were created out of Muslim Brotherhood networks, changing names as a chameleon lizard changes color to suit its surroundings.

The origins of Al Qaeda in Iraq and Syria and later of ISIS , the murderous wars and chaos sweeping across the Arab Middle East and into Western Europe since 2010, could all be directly traced back to those Washington Obama policies, their so-called Arab Spring, coming from that August 2010 PSD-11 Presidential Task Force directive. This is what threatens to come out with declassification of US Justice Department files in the coming months. Some in Washington speak of treason, a strong word."

there's more of course.

'DECISION BRIEF: President Trump Must Declassify Obama’s Secret PSD-11 Strategy to Support the Muslim Brotherhood' November 26, 2018, Center for Security Policy

the 'what we know' bullet points came from hoekstra, but well said. their conclusion? i dunno...

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@wendy davis

It bloomed in her State Department in the first eight months she was there. I hear she was never even given her own State Department email address. To my way of thinking, Benghazi blew the wheels off of everything. Nothing worked right after that, not that it ever worked well. Across time, everything the US has touched in the Middle East has turned to shit and has directly harmed the American People and further corrupted the Federal government. Every moment the US is engaged in the Middle East, the economic harm to the American People deepens. The current state of the union makes perfect sense.

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wendy davis's picture

@Pluto's Republic

especially as the other 'two harpies' were involved. oddly enough (or is it?) his link to the task force (before 'headed by, yada, yada) won't load.

but the pdf hotlink in the word 'process' just above 'A Grandiose Task Force' (as it turns out) from hoekstra notes:

In August 2010 Obama signed Presidential Study Directive-11 (PSD-11), which reportedly ordered a government-wide reassessment of prospects for political reform in the Middle East and of the Muslim Brotherhood’s role in the process.

Under PSD-11 – which the administration needs to declassify – Obama and Clinton pivoted from the historical U.S. strategy of maintaining order and stability in the Middle East. It instead turned to a strategy that emphasized support for regime change, as well as political and democratic reforms, regardless of the impact on regional stability. PSD-11 directly led to U.S. engagement with the Muslim Brotherhood.
U.S. officials did not concern themselves with questions over whether the new power structures would become allies or foes, or with intelligence agency warnings about the jihadist chaos such regime change might unleash.

the International Implications section i can't embed, oddly, but some of i don't agree with (the gadaffi section, esp.), myownself.

having seen your comment, and wonder about Her Nibs and the committee, i'd found 'Directive 11: Obama's Secret Islamist Plan; Behind the rise of ISIS and the Middle East’s civil wars is Directive 11', June 7, 2015 Daniel Greenfield

and dagnabya, pluto, i read nine feet of text at the New Yawker to find hillary's part. (not what greendfield had seemed to promise, though). whew. hope i got all these durned links fit together.

i blew the hyperlinks; i'm trying to fix them. later, i'll answer some of the rest of your comment.

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wendy davis's picture

@Pluto's Republic

"To my way of thinking, Benghazi blew the wheels off of everything. Nothing worked right after that, not that it ever worked well."

now i'm not sure if you're pinging her state dept. approving sales of weapons to jihadists in libya (wikileaks), as being the progenitor of islamists spreading to syria, back to iraq, anywhere the cia believes they're useful to be (say, africom destabilizations ready to rescue/plunder for resources) or what.

but what i do remeember is that the clintons and gadaffi'd been bff's early on, but when he'd decided to trade libya's oil in gold dinars...he had to go. there was that other exposé taibbi'd done somehow related to goldman sachs and some screw job, but that's rather immaterial. just bingled, hit this from washington's blog, but we knew that long before the emails. but...there it is. dunno about the sunni/shia divide, but to the Imperium: shia bad, sunni good.

it's long bothered me that the first (second) thing hillary did when she arrived in libya was to set up a central bank. where is all of gadaffi's gold? in that central bank? yeah, my cynicism runs deep...

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@wendy davis

Most of the serious investigators mucked around in there for quite awhile, like Sy Hersh, who can no longer publish in the US and lives in exhile. It seems to me that this was the point where gov-media fused for good. Most journalists became faithful believers in invisible evidence. Some retired. The rest were marginalized. The concept of "Fake News" was invented and the news was sorted via government doctrine.

It was probably the last time we had real-time reportage from the Middle East. NBC was in Benghazi the nest day, with cameras. ABC, too. I saw and read things I shouldn't have. And then the reports were gone. That was the first time I witnessed the Internet being sanitized. Scared me but good. At the time, US media had been in the ME following the Last Great News Fiasco before the White Helmets fiasco, many years later. It was the case of the made in America film, "The Innocence of Muslims."

To make a long story short, the CIA deliberately conflated the movie protests with the Attack on Benghazi. It was an open secret that the abandoned consulate in Benghazi was a key meet-up for the gun-running operation where CIA-supplied arms used to topple Libya were being transported to Syria (through Turkey) to arm al qaeda there to take down the Syrian government. Chris Stephens had flown into Benghanzi and met with his Turkish counterpart the day of the attack. All three State Department harpies, Rice, Powers, and Nuland were involved, under Hillary. They were all very exposed. Then Snowden came along. Since that time, everything in US news finds its roots in cover-ups and little else.

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wendy davis's picture

@Pluto's Republic

amplification, amigo, and it's a lot of food for thought. i'm trying to remember where i'd read what at the time, but not watching teevee news hampers my memory re: abc, nbc news.

i'm glad you've added 'hollywood' into the media mix, and i'm pinging netflix video of the white helmets, waiting for superman (charter schools), a host of others i've read about and not seen (wakanda), django unchained, syriania, and teevee programs approved by the cia, homeland security that sell: sometimes torture is required'.

but it's all key to why i try to take on media-brand busting (even when it's the sainted intercept and its heroes of the 'leftist' realm), compromised NGOs and fauxlanthropic foundations, plus all the new-fangled ones claiming to bust: disinformation. see this diary's contents, for instance.

but it's another reason that many hollywood stars, beatty, cheadle, clooney, et.al. have lifetime sinecures on the council of foreign relations, isn't it? but i just dig up one piece of sy's:

'Seymour Hersh: Benghazi Attack A Consequence Of Weapons “Rat-Line” To Syria
; A veteran journalist presents a damning timeline of the lead up to the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi and alarming details of how the U.S. was feeding weapons to Syria', by Frederick Reese, mintpressnews.

and yes, yo know and remember a hella lot about benghazi, and good on ya.

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snoopydawg's picture

@wendy davis

that Wilson was insane and how most presidents since him have probably also been insane. Insane, sociopathic, psychopathic, and other ics. How else can you explain them ordering the invasions of countries that they knowingly know will cause misery and death to the people who live there? Obama definitely fits the diagnosis in my opinion. And here I thought that no one could ever be worse than Bush. Ugh!

Here's one on how charitable organizations can use their foundations to encourage war. Just think of the tax breaks that they get. Hillary also told us that Gaddafi had ordered his troops to rape women and that he had provided them with viagra. Guess what? This didn't happen. Nope! But people are still saying that it did.

Just read on ToP how people are free to discuss Obama's foreign policies compared to Trump's. Funny how no one did. I thought about posting this article there, but I'm tired of being called a Russian bot or Putin's puppet. Still seeing "Obama ended two wars and he didn't start any new ones." How people can be so damned stupid ignorant is beyond my comprehension.

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Disclaimer: No Russian, living or dead, had anything to do with the posting of this proudly home-grown comment

wendy davis's picture

@snoopydawg

at strategic culture, but hadn't stopped to read it; i will soon. awesome photo, too. ; ) oddly, i'd read a few tweets lately about freud having been homophobic, which affected his diagnoses...i can't remember whose was/were featured, though. maybe a cigar sometimes...ain't just a cigar. ; )

yes, that link was in eva bartlett's piece in the OP concerning the UN panel on the white helmets. that it happened was eye-popping for me. a lot of my series about corrupt NGOs came from cory morningstar, wrong kind of green, etc. their pieces are often far too long and unwieldy for linking, but i did make a stab at it. non-profit industrial complex was one of their terms. (foundations that pretend to be philanthropic.)

as far as sociopathic, psychotic...and bombing mutilating starving war by other means (sanctions) torturing R2P-ing drone assassinating...i guess i can't think of a prez since wwI that hadn't committed war crimes. i guess it just becomes part of the FP Imperial bubble they live in, although to me, as the old aw goes...anyone's desire to be president of should immediately disqualify them.

but yeah, i'd been thinking about pluto's comment about clinton, benghazi being when the wheels came off. so thanks for that reminder of the woman who'd dashed into the press pool and told that 'story' about gadaffi making his troops carry condoms so they could rape women at will....then disappeared into the fog forever. jayzus, what rubbish. wot? the condoms were clean, the pockets were filthy?

so add in as well: compromised human rights organizations, arrrggh.

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snoopydawg's picture

@wendy davis

They were sitting on tanks and other stuff which were drenched, but the boxes were bone dry. The photos had been staged to prove what Herheinous said was true.

This article goes into a bit more detail about the WHs. Just one more example of how the PTB can look away from heinous events as long as their agendas are met.

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wendy davis's picture

@snoopydawg

not condoms, how goofy of me. thanks for the extra link. vanessa beeley (on the white helmets tab) had made a 'best of' tweet not long ago, demonstrating that if you watched those video and were STILL convinced that they're good guy heroes, it's down to willful ignorance. i'd sent it to an old blogging companion who still writes and comments at a librul-clinton-obomba-loving site to use...they all scoffed and called it: agitprop.

also, above re: war criminal sociopaths, psychopaths as presidents (and how about sec defs?), the shorthand i was trying to come up with would have been to ask: is it innate, or is it acquired? given that all wars are 1% elite wars, and the chattering class supports them, it was (iirc) when the Great Orange One dropped the MOAB on afghanistan that fareed zakaria had pronounced so veddy weightily: 'today trump became the President'.

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wendy davis's picture

operation timber sycamore on wikipedia

at mintpressnews, martin berger, dec. 1, 2016

“To start this conflict and then keep its fires burning the US and its Satellites have spent billions of dollars. It’s curious that the New York Times has recently uncovered the criminal role that the CIA played in the Syrian war, reporting that members of the Obama administration have told them that Saudi Arabia is sponsoring the absolute majority of overseas unannounced overseas wars, to keep the role played in them by Washington a secret. At times the US and Saudi Arabia would share their intelligence, while in some cases Riyadh just hand out large sums of money to CIA operatives, without asking any questions.

Back in 2013 the CIA and Riyadh have agreed on launching an operation under the code name the Timber Sycamore that is aimed at toppling Syria’s elected officials through the continuous training and supported provided to all sorts of radical militants. Under the deal the Saudis contribute both weapons and large sums of money, and the CIA takes the lead in training the rebels on AK-47 assault rifles and tank-destroying missile. Moreover, Turkey, Jordan and Qatar have all been involved in this criminal design, even though exact amounts of money that the above mentioned states handed over to the CIA will always remain a secret. Still, the New York Times states that Saudi Arabia has been the major sponsor throughout all this time, allocating billions of dollars in a bid to bring down the government of Bashar al-Assad.", etc.

“Columbia University professor Jeffrey D. Sachs, a writer of foreign policy textbooks and special adviser to the United Nations, issued a special plea to President Trump to stop the war in Syria now by ending the CIA's covert arming and funding of rebel forces.

"And so what I would plead to President Trump is: Get out, like your instinct told you... Get out. We've done enough damage in seven years," Sachs said to the president about the Syrian War on Friday's 'Morning Joe.', (with video) realclearpolitics.com

(Former NATO supreme commander Admiral James Stavridis debates Sachs, warning America not to allow "Middle East fatigue" to convince us to abandon the U.S. role in the Syrian civil war.)

but of course..it's not a civil war; it may have begun as one, but the 'war' was astroturfed globally.

lol; sorry to be hogging the comment section. ; )

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edg's picture

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wendy davis's picture

@edg

even though it's pretty much copy/paste. there will be a pop quiz on it at midnight; sharpen your No. 2 pencils, please. ; )

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wendy davis's picture

when i woke up this morning this is the song that was playing in my mind. what i imagine may have provoked it was the knowledge that a) amerika/nato (which is essentially amerika) is the largest purveyor of military violence on the planet, and b) also has the largest carbon footprint; and c) many other global military carbon footprints are down to protecting their allies from amerika's foregin incursions and occupations, and c) that the military's endless wars are key ingredients to the planet's burning.

God send a fire, not a flood next time.

God said fire comin' judgement day,
He said all mankind gonna pass away.
Brothers and sisters don't you know?
You're gonna reap just what you sow.

World's not waitin' for the Lord's command,
Buildin' a fire that'll sweep the land.
Thunder out of heaven, comin' Gabriel's call;
And the sea's gonna boil and the sky's gonna fall.

good night, all. oh, and i've canceled the pop quiz. ; )

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SnappleBC's picture

If I were to tell any of my family that Al Queada and ISIS were both Obama creations they would call me a conspiracy theorist... even though the information comes from congressional testimony. If I were to tell them that both were our allies... same thing... no matter what hard evidence I offered up.

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A lot of wanderers in the U.S. political desert recognize that all the duopoly has to offer is a choice of mirages. Come, let us trudge towards empty expanse of sand #1, littered with the bleached bones of Deaniacs and Hope and Changers.
-- lotlizard

snoopydawg's picture

@SnappleBC

I posted a link or two in the EBs about how Obama and our Saudi allies created them and sat back and watched their carnage. Israel let the White Helmets into its country after they were kicked out of Syria and has been giving them medical treatments. The one I posted here is a great read too.

So send them to your family anyway and if they can't accept the truth then that's on them. People who stay blind to what any leader does are just willfully stupid. Or ignorant if stupid is too harsh.

.

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wendy davis's picture

@SnappleBC

nuanced than that, as france, the uae, and qatar provided the weapons approved by the Obomba administration. i dug up this piece by john glaser at antiwar.com; he narrates it pretty darned well, and includes who's arming the anti-assadists in syria. what do they call themselves?

but it's another quasi-litmus test for the putative left: counterpunch fails the test repeatedly, imo. like this one i just found trying to recall what the anti-assadist forces named themselves.

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SnappleBC's picture

@wendy davis

Yeah, I "failed the test" all right. I failed the test of being naive enough to absorb all that twaddle uncritically. I failed to understand why Assad is so awful when he's killed WAY, WAY fewer people than either Obama or Trump. I fail to understand the distinction between "brutal dictator" and "democratically elected president".

Counterpunch was right. I failed their test. Just as they have failed mine.

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A lot of wanderers in the U.S. political desert recognize that all the duopoly has to offer is a choice of mirages. Come, let us trudge towards empty expanse of sand #1, littered with the bleached bones of Deaniacs and Hope and Changers.
-- lotlizard

wendy davis's picture

@SnappleBC

couldn'tta said it better myself. ; ) can't remember which issues i'd been vexxed about, but i wrote up a thing 'counterpunch is pulling their punches'. remember the old acronym PEP? progressive except palestine? now it's assad, putin, russia, gawd knows what all.

glad ya failed the test, amigo. #MeeeeToo.

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@SnappleBC

...would you still bother to press upon them indigestible information that causes them severe discomfort and reactions?

Awareness of our dismal fate at the end of this forced march — when there exists no political mechanism for change — is a rather haunting gift, when their own beliefs give them comfort.

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SnappleBC's picture

@Pluto's Republic

In my experience, you cannot just tell someone any of this. It's like learning what the matrix is. You have to go part of the way by yourself or you'll never accept the incredible reality being portrayed for you. You have to have already understood that there's some sizable cracks in the establishment's narrative and you have to at least partly made the determination to find what's in those cracks.

I think I could talk to a matrix person till I was blue in the face. I could show them any documentation. I could show them any live witnesses or filmed activity. Literally, if I showed them a video of Hillary gunning down a black kid in a street, they'd tell me it was faked.

They deny reality with the same sort of fervor climate denialists do.

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A lot of wanderers in the U.S. political desert recognize that all the duopoly has to offer is a choice of mirages. Come, let us trudge towards empty expanse of sand #1, littered with the bleached bones of Deaniacs and Hope and Changers.
-- lotlizard

wendy davis's picture

my ken, as i'd grown rather hopeless about ever having an actual opinion on the YPG given the many claims and counter-narratives. to say the truth, 'us and israeli funded' were a cautionary tale, as were those glurging over 'those sexy anarchist women with weapons leading their miltary', or close to that. but i read this from elijah mangier this morning just after i'd seen the next news at rt this morning. i'll only excerpt a few key bits (she sayed hopefully) so you can decide whether to read the rest.

Kurds Negotiating With Syria To Avoid War With Turkey’, Ejmagnier.com, December 27, 2018

"Following President Trump’s decision to withdraw US forces from occupied northeast Syria, the Kurds of al-Hasaka have for the last two days been negotiating with the government of Damascus on how to spare the province from a possible Turkish invasion. Syrian General Ali Mamlouk, the Syrian president’s special security advisor, says that “he is talking with the Kurdish delegation to find a way for the Syrian army to deploy its forces along the borders with Turkey and, in consequence, stop a possible Turkish invasion of Northeast Syria”, confirmed a decision-maker source in the Syrian capital, Damascus.

According to the Source, at the start of the negotiation the Kurdish delegation repeated their familiar mantra—asking for the Syrian Arab Army to protect Syrian borders from the Turks, while allowing the Kurdish YPG to maintain their separate military organization inside the province of al-Hasaka. Damascus rejected this proposal and instead proposed a special status for the Kurdish administration within Syria, opening the road for members of the YPG to join the Syrian Army in a special Kurdish and Arab contingent.

“There will be no other army on the Syrian territory but the national Syrian Arab Army”, were the instructions of President Bashar al-Assad to the Syrian delegation engaged in dialogue with the Kurds, according to this source.

On the possibility of Turkish forces advancing into Manbij and their massive deployment on the bordering province, the source confirmed that “Russia informed President Erdogan that it will not accept any crossing into the province, and that it will be up to the Syrian army to move in if the US withdraws its troops from the occupied area”.

"For some time now, the Kurds in al-Hasaka have been protecting the US forces- no more than 4000/5000 men in a region of some 5000 square km- from attacks by ISIS, Arab tribes, and allies of the Syrian state. The same Kurds now seem willing to allow the local Syrian army contingent to take over al-Hasaka and for their militants to become Damascus’s “loyal subjects”. They may have finally learned the lesson, that the US establishment is neither a reliable nor trustworthy strategic partner. Up to now the Kurds had been prepared to rely on any foreign country, including Israel, to provide them with independence, rather than remaining loyal to Syria, the country that has hosted them for decades. The Kurds have no friends but the mountains- and no loyalty to Syria."

the rest is here.

From RT this morning, dec. 28: 'Moscow welcomes Syrian Army entry to Manbij, will ‘synchronize expectations’ with Ankara’

also this morning at RT: Syrian Army ‘raises flag’ in country’s Kurdish province for 1st time since start of civil war'

"Damascus says it has deployed troops to the city of Manbij, the focal point of a tense standoff between Kurds and Turkey, as the government continues attempts to reassert control over the strategic border area in Syria’s north.

The Kurdish YPG militia on Friday called on Damascus to secure Manbij, located close to the border with Turkey. Ankara earlier said it plans to conduct an “anti-terrorist operation” around the city, with the YPG being the target.

In response, Damascus said its troops were already in the north and raised the flag in the “area of Manbij.” In a statement from the general staff broadcast by the Syrian media, the top brass said their army was determined to “crush terrorism and defeat all invaders and occupiers” as well as to provide security for all Syrian citizens.

Just how far-reaching the Syrian deployment is and if it’s taking place at all is yet to be confirmed by other sources, as is the Syrian Army troops’ arrival in the city proper.

Skeptical over the statement from Damascus, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called the “flag-raising” a “psychological action.” He, however, acknowledged that there would be no need for the Turkish Army op in Manbij if the Kurds pull out of the city.

Meanwhile, Turkey-backed militants opposed to both the government and the Kurds said they were moving fighters towards Manbij and were prepared to start an operation there, if necessary."

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@wendy davis

Did he just rescue the Kurds? Or did I read this wrong?

It is so hard to pretend that all these years of proxy bullshit is not entirely about which of two proposed pipelines gets to cross Syria while blocking the other. Everything else is a distraction for idiots and the ignorant to discuss.

I fear my understanding has become too deep in some areas for Netizen small talk.

[edit=typo]

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wendy davis's picture

@Pluto's Republic

posit the right Qs. as to an answer, note the caveats above. headlines at the asia times says that the US says: 'oh, no they did-dunt enter manjib!'.

but RT has it that the uae and (ptui) bahrain re-opened their embassies after some coon's age. the report says that given bahrain's close ties to riyadh, it signals that syria has won the war. (?) i can't even quite make out what berhard at MoA is saying, but something about restarting projects they'd invested in in syria.

yeah, the iran-iraq-syria pipeline: geopolitics. wonder if the construction has started? but break the ties with those three and...russia.

is it impolite to ask your take on the YPG?

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wendy davis's picture

so many opinions. here’s Dmitry Minin at strategic culture today, so many moves/counter-moves on the chessboard:

"What awaits Rojava? The only thing that can save it would be the recognition of the sovereignty of Damascus within its borders. If Syrian government troops enter Rojava, the Turks will not risk seriously damaging their relationship with Russia in order to launch an offensive. Nor do they even need northeastern Syria, as they only need assurances that there will be no further moves to create a Kurdish quasi-state and thus no threats to Turkey’s stability. Damascus and Moscow are ready to provide this. Russian representatives have always expressed their readiness to work with Damascus in order to safeguard the national rights of the Syrian Kurds in a mutually acceptable way. If the Kurds had been willing to move in this direction earlier, their negotiations with the Syrian government could have been conducted in a more favorable atmosphere. But better late than never. If the leaders in Rojava don't find a way to reach a compromise with Damascus, the Syrian Kurds could be looking at a real calamity.”

small wonder, but i swear i’d never even heard of this fellah before:

"Brett McGurk, the chief advisor and special presidential envoy in Syria — a man whom the Kurds practically viewed as the architect of their statehood — is openly irate. McGurk, who saw himself as a new version of Lawrence of Arabia, accused the White House of “abandoning the US allies in the region.”

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Big Al's picture

@wendy davis http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/search/label/Syria

https://gowans.wordpress.com/

A few others I've collected also, was thinking about an essay on this issue but don't want to spend much time. People like the headlines, not the details.

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Big Al's picture

@Big Al and some here were proclaiming that "Trump was pulling out of Syria and Afghanistan"!

"Unless we are to believe the US has abandoned its wider hegemonic ambitions - and there is no evidence to suggest that it has - it is irrational and ill-advised to believe the US is truly walking away from Syria without plans to dangerously escalate the conflict while minimizing its own culpability." (Land Destroyer Report)

I'd add the Zionist quest for Greater Israel in there too.

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@Big Al

Twisted premise stacked upon twisted premise, unable to factor in changing realities and alliances already on the ground. I don't recall it being so fuzzy-headed in the past.

Russia is clearing the way for the people of Syria to determine their own destiny. They intend to protect the Kurds rather than see them exterminated. Turkey looks to Russia to contain the peace. Things seem to be returning to exactly what they were before the US attempt to overthrow Syria's democratically elected government. Except for all the rubble and grief and destroyed lives caused by US Neocon/former Nazi ambitions.

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wendy davis's picture

@Big Al @Big Al

this diary, you may have seen, was some rebuttal to the many anti-syrian disinformation sites and themes, and the more due diligence i'd done had yielded many golden nuggets.

so yes, many of us aware of 'pulling out of afghanistan' was a misdirection given: mercenaries, cia/special ops, and actual numbers of US troops 'coming home'. kinda half of obamba's 'dithering surge', wasn't it? but by now, as things are breaking in syria big-time, cartalucci's mile long piece is too much to read, and yes, i'd read the gowan's piece, thank you for both though.

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wendy davis's picture

dinnae see this coming so soon. ‘US helicopters spotted over Manbij as Turkish forces enter Syria (VIDEOS)’, RT, 29 Dec, 2018

"Later in the day, the Turkish military crossed into Syrian territory at the border town of Jarablus in the province of Aleppo."

mr. w looked it up; jarabulus is 20 miles from manjib.

closing time for me; tomorrow's a new day, they say. for no particular reason save it's awesome:

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wendy davis's picture

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wendy davis's picture

'US troops pullout to shed light on coalition's war crimes in Syria’, dec.29

"A military-diplomatic source says the planned withdrawal of US troops from Syria would expose the extent of war crimes committed by the US-led coalition purportedly fighting the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group in the war-ravaged Arab country.

“The upcoming withdrawal of US military personnel from Syria will most likely shed light on numerous war crimes committed by the international coalition during the so-called fight against [the] Daesh terrorist group.

“First of all, this concerns, of course, the much hyped liberation of Raqqah in October 2017, which has transformed into a 'ghost city' as a result of carpet bombings by coalition aircraft,” Russia’s Sputnik news agency quoted the unnamed source as saying.

The source went on to say that Takfiri militants operating in the al-Tanf region were constantly trying to flee from the area and take refuge either in adjacent regions or even in neighboring Jordan in the wake of the announcement of US plans to withdraw troops from Syria.

“After the announcement of the imminent withdrawal of US soldiers, the entire 'hive' of the militants there … was set in motion. Almost every day, the militants attempt to break through from there not only to the territory controlled by Damascus in Syria, but also to Jordan,” the source said.

The source added that the heavy smoke around the Rukban refugee camp in al-Tanf could indicate that the militants were burning the corpses of refugees, who had perished from hunger and diseases due to the shortage of humanitarian aid supplies.

The US-led coalition has been conducting airstrikes against what are said to be Daesh targets inside Syria since September 2014 without any authorization from the Damascus government or a UN mandate."

Sputnik version.

now i'm not anymore comfortable with unnamed sources in russia than i am anywhere else, and the speculation caveat is kinda creepy.

but sputnik is also reporting

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Big Al's picture

@wendy davis It's funny how the world just ignores the big picture. Except Russia and Iran, they've consistently stated the obvious. The entire war has been a war crime. Obama and Trump should both be arrested at this point along with their friends.

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wendy davis's picture

@Big Al

all wrong! the US and Israel were there fight isis!

but yes, seriously, to part of the world The empire and lackey states), their entrance into 'the (not) civil war against the butcher assad' was noble; the rest know that as they were not invited into syria, their being there was yes, a war rime under international law. as are sanctions against VZ, iran, russia, north korea, wherever the fuck they get no argument from the duopoly, the EU (well, some EU nations seem to be skirting them on gas deliveries by pipeline), and so on.

hence, the quotes of the cruise missile left, and featured parallel disinformation by media orgs claiming to 'debunk disinformation'.

but nice catch. interesting news from the summit from elijah magnier though, eh? will it turn out being so? that the turks were so close to manbij made the next move up to...russia. wish we could have heard lavrov, assuming it was his gig.

a bit off-topic, but it was zero here at first light. brrrr-d-brrrrr.

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wendy davis's picture

an interesting piece from gareth porter:

“Mattis and Dunford were consciously exploiting Trump’s defensiveness about a timeline to press ahead with their own strategy unless and until Trump publicly called them on it. That is what finally happened some weeks after Trump’s six month deadline had passed. The claim by Trump advisors that they were taken by surprise was indeed disingenuous. What happened last week was that Trump followed up on the clear policy he had laid down in April.
The Syria withdrawal affair is a dramatic illustration of the fundamental quandary of the Trump presidency in regard to ending the state of permanent war that previous administrations created. Although a solid majority of Americans want to rein in U.S. military deployments in the Middle East and Africa, Trump’s national security team is committed to doing the opposite.

Trump is now well aware that it is virtually impossible to carry out the foreign policy that he wants without advisors who are committed to the same objective. That means that he must find people who have remained outside the system during the permanent war years while being highly critical of its whole ideology and culture. If he can fill key positions with truly dissident figures, the last two years of this term in office could decisively clip the wings of the bureaucrats and generals who have created the permanent war state we find ourselves in today.”

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