Flash! Washpost discovers that Syria War may be “winnable.”

Syria_Battle_for_Aleppo_September_23

" … the launch of the offensive called into question the entire premise of the agreement painstakingly negotiated by Kerry and Lavrov over the past eight months: that Russia shares the Obama administration’s view that there is no military solution to the conflict. On that basis, U.S. officials have explained, Moscow would be willing to pursue a negotiated settlement in return for a cease-fire and the prestige of eventually conducting joint military operations in Syria alongside the United States against terrorist groups.

At a news conference in New York, Lavrov offered a starkly different point of view. He said it is the United States that needs to come around to the idea that President Bashar al-Assad is the only viable partner in the fight against terrorism, calling his army “the single most efficient force fighting terror in Syria.”

“Little by little, life will make everyone understand that it’s only together that you can fight terrorism,” Lavrov said.

His comments, alongside the events of the past week, suggest that Russia and Syria still believe the war can be won outright, without recourse to negotiations that the United States has said offer the only way out of the Syrian tragedy."  Liz Sl at the Washpost.

———–

Well, pilgrims, this war was always winnable.  We have said that at SST for a long time and continue to believe that this is the truth.  IMO the Russians have also known it was the truth but have been willing to humor the Borgist foreign policy establishments to learn what possibilities there might be for a general improvement of Russian-US relations.  Having now been screwed by the US/the jihadis/and Gulfie "friends" in; a couple of ceasefires designed to allow the jihadi/unicorns to re-group and re-supply, the evidently treacherous attack on SAA forces at Deir al-Zor and the IO flim-flam over the Red Crescent convoy the Russians and their pals seem to have decided to go for the "win the war" option. 

As of today, forces have been massed at Aleppo for the purpose of eliminating the East Aleppo rebel pocket.  This pocket has now been without re-supply for an extended period.  This is true for both the jihadi rebels and the civilian population, many of whom are rebel supporters.

IMO the main effort by R+6 is taking place at the SE side of the East Aleppo pocket.  That is now underway with massive CAS from Russian aerospace forces.

At the same time Palestinian militia allies with CAS have attacked the fortified Handarat refugee camp at the NE corner of the pocket.  IMO this is a secondary attack intended to prevent the rebels moving forces south to oppose the main R+6 effort.

This is an excellent plan.

At the same time there is an unconfirmed report from SOHR in London (pro-rebel) that a Russian force with 3,000 men has been positioned at al-Safir about 12 km. SE of the main attacks on the Aleppo pocket.  If this report is correct this force is well positioned to reinforce the main attack or be used in a defensive move against a rebel effort elsewhere.  It would be in the Russian operational tradition to pass a reinforcing "wave" or echelon of forces through the initial assault forces when they become exhausted by combat.

At the same time the remarkably ineffective Turkish/FSA effort along the Turkish border NE of Aleppo ensures the distraction of IS forces which might interfere with R+6 efforts at Aleppo City.

The foreign policy establishment (Borg) in the West wants to believe that war is obsolete as a factor in the story of humanity.  People created by poly sci/ IR programs across North America and Western Europe are convinced that they are smarter, and more "evolved" than mere soldiers.  They believe that they have inherited the earth and that their cleverness will always prevail over mere force. 

We will now have a demonstration that this is not true.  pl          

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/a-ferocious-assault-on-aleppo-suggests-the-us-may-be-wrong-on-syria/2016/09/23/909e33b0-80d9-11e6-9578-558cc125c7ba_story.html

This entry was posted in As The Borg Turns, Borg Wars, Current Affairs, Middle East, Russia, Syria, The Military Art. Bookmark the permalink.

98 Responses to Flash! Washpost discovers that Syria War may be “winnable.”

  1. Avatar Degringolade says:

    Colonel et al:
    This article may help in understanding this issue
    http://journal.sjdm.org/15/15923a/jdm15923a.html

  2. Avatar Thomas says:

    “At the same time the remarkably ineffective Turkish/FSA effort along the Turkish border NE of Aleppo ensures the distraction of IS forces which might interfere with R+6 efforts at Aleppo City.”
    Looks like this Turkish offensive was a diversionary attack to assist their Northern and Southern neighbors in the hood to prove their intention is true and let bygones be bygones. It was interesting when the offensive started that the Sultan was quick to use the Free Syrian Army label for those Syrians assisting him as it appeared to be he was flipping the diplomatic finger at you know who.
    There is an article on Southfront today in which one of the points by the author is that the Turks have cut resupply to Aleppo.
    https://southfront.org/open-fracture-in-syria-war/

  3. All,
    Having followed comments on two rather different British sites – the ‘MailOnline’ and the ‘Financial Times’ – quite closely, I find the comments on this ‘Washington Post’ article fascinating.
    The ‘most liked comment’ reads ‘I am just glad the Clinton policy of shipping guns to terrorists is working out well for the US.’
    What surprises me, however, is that the ‘most liked’ comment has so few likes – 24.
    Another comment I appreciated – with 17 likes: ‘Hillary would fix this Syrian war easily. She would take the side of the largest donor to the Clinton Foundation then bomb the others. Problem solved!’
    It is unfortunate that ‘FT’ articles, and comments on them, are behind a subscription wall. Although the relevant pieces are not ones having a large response, the message coming over from readers’ reactions to the air strike at Deir ez-Zor, and the aftermath, is that this has been an ‘own goal’ on a quite spectacular scale.
    The notion that, as it were, it is only the ‘deplorables’ who dislike and distrust Hillary Clinton has always been nonsense.
    What is clearly happening on this side of the Atlantic, and I suspect is also
    happening, although at a slower pace, on yours, is that there is a large and growing section of ‘educated’ opinion – and I mean that in a good sense, on this occasion at least – who are perplexed.
    Such people commonly distrust the ‘populist’ revolt against the ‘Borg’, which is central to the Trump campaign.
    But they are also deeply distrustful of Hillary’s ‘Borgist’ tendencies, and the way both she, and also people like Ashton Carter and Joseph Dunford are behaving, is making them more and more distrustful – by the minute.

  4. Avatar Nancy K says:

    So you can bullshit a bullshitter. I think I may have read that on a Deepak Chopra Twitter.

  5. Fred Fred says:

    David,
    “The notion that, as it were, it is only the ‘deplorables’ who dislike and distrust Hillary Clinton has always been nonsense.”
    To add to your perception the other piece of nonsense is that the “deplorables” are few in number.

  6. Avatar Jonathan House says:

    Here’s a link to Lavrov’s press conference following his UN General Assembly speech
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzZ2V8MzVwU
    Wouldn’t it be great if US government officials were typically as well spoken in English as is this Russian. (Not to mention how lovely it would be if they were also as smart.)
    Jonathan

  7. Avatar Bill Herschel says:

    I don’t share your view that the Clinton Foreign Policy Establishment believes that war is obsolete. To the contrary, I believe they are all in for war. War in Afghanistan. War in Iraq. War in Syria. War in Yemen. And, in fact, what they are completely batshit nuts about is the unwillingness of the current administration (the President, because Kerry is all in) to commit ground troops in Syria (not just a few hundred “special forces”).
    As long as the war-making power has been taken away from Congress and there is no draft, Presidents will commit as many troops as they possibly can to active wars, because then they are able to say that anyone who opposes them is committing treason against the United States and does not support our troops.
    Russia is trying to improve the situation on the ground before a possible Clinton election. Russia correctly sees what is going on in Syria as just another front in the Chechen war. Assad must go is not very good code for Putin must go.

  8. Avatar MRW says:

    But they are also deeply distrustful of Hillary’s ‘Borgist’ tendencies, and the way both she, and also people like Ashton Carter and Joseph Dunford are behaving, is making them more and more distrustful – by the minute.
    ✔✔✔

  9. Avatar turcopolier says:

    Bill Herschel
    Ah, but I did not express myself well. What the neocons like and want to use is in some cases signalling using military force or in others what the British used to call “wog bashing.” This is the use of military power against an obviously inferior enemy for a directly political advantage. Our adventure in Iraq was a great disappointment to the neocons and Borgists in that the Iraqis did not roll over and play dead when easily defeated in the field. Instead they resorted to a levee en masse and guerrilla war. this was not supposed to happen. In the same way the IDF general staff resists the idea of fighting Hizbullah again because they know that Hizbullah possesses the power to hurt Israel badly. The Likudniks do not want to accept that. What went wrong in Syria from the POV of the neocons and Israelis is that Assad’s armed forced did not collapse and lasted long enough to acquire potent allies. Now they have a REAL WAR in Syria and they can’t deal with REAL WAR in their brave new world. pl

  10. Avatar Babak Makkinejad says:

    Col. Lang:
    I read on a Persian language site that the Handarat refugee camp has now been captured by Syrian government forces, including Palestinian units.

  11. Avatar Tigermoth says:

    The Russians have truly had enough:
    US-led coalition must prove it really wants to separate Al-Nusra Front from rebels – Lavrov
    https://www.rt.com/news/360467-lavrov-syria-us-nusra/
    “Russia will “no longer take seriously” requests that its own or Syrian forces make unilateral concessions regarding the ceasefire, without the Western coalition providing proof it’s trying to separate moderates from terrorists, the foreign minister said.
    In an extensive interview with Russia TV’s Vesti v Subbotu (News on Saturday), Sergey Lavrov reiterated that “the revival of the ceasefire is possible exclusively on collective basis.” If the US and its coalition partners fail to provide credible proof that they have “a sincere intention” to dissociate terrorists from the so-called moderate opposition “our suspicions that this all is being done to take the heat off Al-Nusra Front will strengthen.”
    “…“If everything again boils down to asking Russia’s and Syria’s Air Forces to take unilateral steps – such as, ‘Give us another three- or four-day pause and after that we will persuade all opposition groups that this is serious and that they must cut ties with Al-Nusra Front’ – such talk will not be taken seriously by us anymore,” the Russian FM said.
    He noted that previous US-Russia-brokered short-term ceasefires around Aleppo did not live up to expectations and proved detrimental to peace efforts, as the 48-hour and 72-hour temporary truces were “used to back up the jihadists, including, Al-Nusra Front fighters, with manpower, food and weapons supplies.”
    “…Speaking about the US airstrike on Syrian armed forces near Deir ez-Zor, that left 62 troops dead and over 100 injured, Lavrov cast doubt on Washington’s assurance that the Syrian government positions were targeted purely by mistake.
    It is “very hard to believe that reconnaissance officers of the US-founded coalition that is fighting Islamic State [IS, formerly ISIL/ISIS] on the whole Syrian territory could forget about who is located where,” he said.
    “The situation in Deir ez-Zor, contrary to the situation in Aleppo, where the line of contact is constantly changing, has been stable over two years already. The Syrian troops have been besieged by IS there,” he added, calling the circumstances surrounding the attack “a bit strange.”

  12. Avatar Babak Makkinejad says:

    I raised a related issue a few postings back; why can’t any US or EU leader deliver an anti-war speech like that of FDR’s?
    Is there any elected official in US or EU that would go on record as state: “While we are prepared to defend ourselves, our posture is defensive and is not meant as a threat to others.”

  13. Avatar turcopolier says:

    Bill Herschel
    I see that i have once again failed to utter a complete thought. My great fear is that the Borgists will blunder into a real war of roughly comparable opponents in the delusion that it is yet another exercise in wog bashing. You could see that in the statement yesterday by McCain that a NFZ could be imposed in Syria without war with Russia. pl

  14. Avatar Bill Herschel says:

    I’ll take your incomplete thoughts any day. It’s the complete thoughts I find at NYTimes, WaPo, LATimes, Guardian, etc. etc. that bother me.
    Crucial history:
    http://theduran.com/john-kerrys-final-trick-to-destroy-syria-no-fly-zone-for-russia-fly-zone-for-america/

  15. Avatar Bill Herschel says:

    It is theoretically possible that some of the statements of Donald Trump are open to that construction. Time will, or will not, tell.
    Jeremy Corbyn has already said that.

  16. Avatar plantman says:

    This might be your best post ever!
    This is really a chilling and spot-on analysis of a situation that all of us devoted Syria watchers (with no military experience) have been trying to understand.
    Am I right in assuming that you thought Putin was giving the Borgists a chance to climb down and end this thing peacefully?
    So what now? Does Aleppo become this year’s Debaltsevo????

  17. Avatar ex-PFC Chuck says:

    E Deploribus Unum

  18. Avatar b says:

    Pat says This pocket has now been without re-supply for an extended period.
    It has been w/o resupply for about a month. It also has, according to two reports quoting rebel supporters, basic food and medical items for at least three month stored in reserve. There are also at maximum(!) 40,000 people there – the need is not as big as assumed.
    What will run out first is ammunition. A lot was wasted in the unsuccessful siege breaking attempt. The Russians are systematically going against assumed storage sites. In a week or two we will likely see the first serious rebel ammo supply problems in east-Aleppo.
    Handarat camp was captured but some was again lost as the Palestinians of Liwa al-Quds (militant Sunnis fighting with the government!) failed to defend against a counter offensive. Fighting is ongoing.
    The Syrian army is actually attacking from three sides – north, south and west.
    A general counteroffensive by Jihadis is running from north towards Hama. Quite dangerous. Lots of Jihadi sleeper cells in Hama. I hope that the Syrian army is well prepared to counter that.
    A “rebel” told the Daily Star that he was told to now expect more and better artillery from the U.S. and its allies.
    Let’s all hope that Deir Ezzor holds and prevents the creation of the “Salafist Principality”.

  19. Avatar Jack says:

    David
    Mike Shedlock who is a financial blogger with one of the most frequented financial blogs and is an independent politically wrote this:
    https://mishtalk.com/2016/09/23/hillary-claims-terrorists-use-trump/
    Some independents in this election may not vote as the pundits expect. The electoral college however is in Hillary’s favor. California, New York and Illinois gives her a head start with 104. In addition to the usual need to win Florida and Ohio, Trump needs to also win either Pennsylvania, Virginia or Michigan. A tall order. So for him to win it has to be a change election with a big turnout of the working class vote. Similar to what happened with Brexit. Of course there could be other configurations but he has to win several states in the Rust Belt and Mid West that Romney lost in 2012.

  20. Avatar turcopolier says:

    b
    All good points. What do you think of the possibility of a Russian force at al-Safir? pl

  21. Avatar ex-PFC Chuck says:

    Col., French-American (mostly the former) demographer Emmanuel Todd coined a delicious term that encapsulates what you describe: “Theatrical Micro-militarism.” Todd, whose father is/was a US citizen, has to the best of my knowledge lived in France most of his life. He first came to prominence 40 years ago when he published his PhD thesis asserting that the USSR would collapse within a decade or two. About year 2000 he published another book predicting that the USA would lose its superpower status and become more dangerous to world peace as a result. He’s still rattling the cages of the powerful, most recently his home country’s responses to the Charlie Hebdo attack.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emmanuel_Todd

  22. Avatar turcopolier says:

    plantman
    IMO he was giving BHO a chance to “end it peacefully,” not the Borgists. pl

  23. Avatar turcopolier says:

    ex-PFC Chuck
    “Theatrical Micro-militarism.” I like that and will start using the term. pl

  24. Avatar Tigermoth says:

    The Bear is awakening. It must be spring.
    RUSSIA ANNOUNCES PUBLICATION OF AGREEMENT WITH US ON SYRIA
    https://southfront.org/russia-announced-publication-of-agreement-with-us-on-syria/
    All information about the agreement on Syria, concluded between Russia and the US, will be published, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said, speaking at the UN General Assembly in New York. The Russian Minister expressed misunderstanding of Washington’s position, which “deviates” from the publication of these documents.

  25. Avatar Lochearn says:

    “Now they have a REAL WAR in Syria and they can’t deal with REAL WAR in their brave new world.”
    This is one of those statements that most educated people will respond to with: “Well, yes, that’s obvious.” But it is not obvious at all. It is actually quite profound. In a similar vein a few weeks back someone wrote on b.’s site that Russia secretly wishes America to stay strong in order to counterbalance China. This led me to think of a Chinese empire where increasingly nationalist aspirations of providing jobs for people would involve imposing tariffs on Chinese goods, and would be met with the same belligerence as the U.S. now displays with anyone wanting to dispense with the dollar. By this logic enforced globalization of finance would be replaced by enforced globalization of goods.

  26. Avatar Imagine says:

    “Wog bashing”. Succinct and descriptive! See: “Battle of Isandlwana”.

  27. Avatar Ghostship says:

    It fixes a lot of “moderates” in northern Aleppo Governorate fighting ISIS so it won’t be easy for them to slope off to join their allies in East Aleppo City.
    BTW, I’d love to know who dreamed up the idea that the Russians would appreciate “the prestige of eventually conducting joint military operations in Syria alongside the United States against terrorist groups.” We are talking about the successors to the Red Army, the one that ripped the heart out of the Nazi war machine. I think they have enough prestige of their own, no disrespect to any members of the US military here. I think the Russians wanted the US military to become committed to the fight against al Nusra and the other jihadists.

  28. Avatar Babak Makkinejad says:

    I think the Russian leaders, like those of Chinese and a number of other states are interested in the maintenance of global strategic stability.
    At times, the strategies that the United States employs, at least to some, smack of encouragement of global strategic and local instability.
    One case was Ukraine, which, left to herself, could have remained a neutral buffer state between the Atlantic Alliance and the Russian Federation. But the United States could not leave that one well alone.

  29. Avatar Pundita says:

    Regarding spectacular R+6 advances: If the US is using the war to create a version of the French Foreign Legion, it will continue mucking around in Syria for as long as it can while it scoops up anything willing to be cannon fodder for cash, limited training, no health and retirement benefits.
    If on the other hand the Pentagon actually wants to overthrow the Syrian government, we could see a serious attempt to establish no-fly zones and all manner of dirty tricks that make the earlier ones look like a game of bridge.
    Aside to ex-PFC Chuck: I like “E Deploribus Unum” so much I’m sequestering it — with H/T of course.

  30. Avatar VietnamVet says:

    Colonel,
    Apparently Russia has given up on pounding sense into the Western leadership. If Turkey agreed to cutting off supplies to Aleppo rebels; R + 6 will make gains. Turkey will keep its Sunni safe haven and may expand it. There will be beards shaved. But, without an American, Israeli and Saudi stand down, the Sunni rebellion continues and the Islamic State avoids collapse. The destabilization of Russia carries on. The Shiite Crescent stays cut or Israel jumps in. Before 1945, the mini world war would have blown up and everyone would be involved but nuclear weapons have inhibited it but not stopped the escalation.
    You can’t have your cake and it too. Either the wars end or the spreading chaos will engulf the West.

  31. Avatar ex-PFC Chuck says:

    The Middle East Eye has an extensive analysis up about the breakdown of the cease fire. From my observation point in distant flyoverland I don’t know much about this publication. Comments anyone?
    http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/how-pentagon-sank-us-russia-campaign-syria-and-ceasefire-1932525374

  32. Fred Fred says:

    Col.,
    The hope and change strategists in the oval office that gave us this great Sturm und Drang strategy are having one hell of a time dealing with the dawning of a new day; I’m sure it sounded great during all those late night collegiate style bull sessions.

  33. Avatar turcopolier says:

    pundita
    What does “a version of the French Foreign Legion” mean? pl

  34. Avatar Babak Makkinejad says:

    All:
    Does anyone know anything of the state of well-being (or lack thereof) of William R Cumming?

  35. Avatar turcopolier says:

    Vietnamvet
    “If Turkey agreed to cutting off supplies to Aleppo rebels” I don’t know what that means. I can read a map. There have been no routes for re-supply for quite a while. “The destabilization of Russia carries on …” I don’t know what that means either. Russia shows no signs of instability. Putin just won an election in parliament. pl

  36. Avatar Charles Michael says:

    French Foreign Legion ?
    Are you still munching ”Liberty Fries” ?

  37. Avatar Charles Michael says:

    Middle East Eye
    It is not a favorite of mine when searching for facts on the ground, can’t remember exactly why and where but I had the feeling of bias favoring interventionism.
    Gareth Porter delivered a good summary here, not sharp enough for my own biased anti-interventionism fundamental position.
    Good you cited Emmanuel Todd,anthropoligist and historian. His analyses of family structure from birth certificates, weddings and wills give a lot of enduring explanations about resilience (and evolution) of soicety cultures country by country.
    He did, more or less predicted also the Arab Spring in a book : the Confluent of Civilization.
    Thanks for:”E Deploribus Unum”

  38. The description at the end of the post about IR/Pol Science people reminds me so much of people I encountered at the University of Chicago, when I was in grad school there a few years ago

  39. Avatar Castellio says:

    I have my doubts that Ukraine, left alone, could have remained a neutral buffer. Ukraine is a failed state and it wasn’t all the fault of the neocons in America who, however, certainly took advantage of the faultline.
    Independent Ukraine never had a national government that wasn’t a reflection first and foremost of the oligarchic division of the country during the early 1990s, and it never created a national government that all thought dedicated to their welfare and strong enough to curtail the oligarchs.
    There was no time or period of national reconciliation or any genuine desire for a country free from competing spheres of influence – be it American/European or Russian. In fact, the very idea of the country as “neutral” drove people to anger. Neutrality was the last thing anyone wanted. Both sides firmly believed that a successful nation could only be achieved through non-neutrality.
    Not directly related, but perhaps of interest in terms of how the regions are currently being governed, there is:
    https://irrussianality.wordpress.com/2016/09/24/misgovernment-in-ukraine/

  40. Avatar F5F5F5 says:

    @ex-PFC Chuck
    Emmanuel Todd is French but his grand mother was British. I believe his father took the family name of his mother, Todd, because she raised him as a single mother.
    Anyway, the interesting thing is that he derives all his theories from the study of family structures and demographic data.

  41. Avatar F5F5F5 says:

    @Babak
    “At times, the strategies that the United States employs, at least to some, smack of encouragement of global strategic and local instability.”
    ex-PFC Chuck earlier mentioned Emmanuel Todd and “Theatrical Micro-militarism”. In Todd’s book After The Empire (2002), the idea is that the US will have to create instability to remain relevant, like a firefighter arsonist.

  42. Avatar Lemur says:

    Britain, US, and France have called a UN security council meeting over the campaign to end the Aleppo pocket.
    If the R+6 assault continues, I would not be surprised if ‘condemnation’ turns to overt saber rattling. Which sounds bad, until you remember if Clinton were in charge she’d have her’s drawn already.

  43. Avatar Balint Somkuti says:

    It is so disheartening to see people still talk about “the glorious Red Army” which was just about as wicked, crook and evil as the Nazis. If you add the misery the brought to the placed they occupied they were viler than the Wehrmacht.On the top of that the sins of the communist regimes, all of them, are known to everyone. It is beyond my comprehension how can someone still be openly stalinist or on a slighter note communist.

  44. Avatar Balint Somkuti says:

    His second book Apres l’Empire is a really good read. But like in the case of the Soviet Union he is wrong with a decade.

  45. Avatar b says:

    Don’t know for sure about al-Safir – rumors so far. But there are more Russian troops in Syria than one would probably think. Allegedly more than 4,500 votes for the Russian parliament election were cast at Hmeimim. That probably means that there is a brigade somewhere we do not know about. May not be regular troops. Chechens? They would be a trump card.
    Also some news (not confirmed) that SU-25 are back in Syria. Some with SM3 extensions: Precision targeting, AESA radar, active defense measures.

  46. Avatar ToivoS says:

    I had just listened to Lavrov’s press conference at the UN just before reading pl’s article here. Bingo! So that was what Lavrov was trying to tell the world — bs time is over. The Russian’s have been patient explaining things since December but it sounds like no one in Washington was listening. Will this turn out to be another one of those “surprises” for the borg: like Georgia in 2008, Crimea in 2014 and then those extremely well armed and led Donbass militias in 2014 and 2015?
    Stephen Cohen has been saying for a few years that no one should have been surprised if they just listened to what the Russians were saying.

  47. Avatar VietnamVet says:

    Colonel,
    You are correct. The Jihadists left inside Aleppo are encircled. My only excuse for not getting it is my old age and the Western press avoids telling the obvious but highlights the Syrian children’s suffering. I still think that Turkey reached an understanding with Russia that they will not contest R+6’s mopping up of Aleppo as long as they have a safe zone for their Sunni allies. Unresolved is the fate of the Sunni homeland in Syria and Iraq still controlled by the Islamists. I remained convinced that the western military support of factions within the Syrian and Ukraine civil wars is intended to get Vladimir Putin stuck in quagmires; destabilizing Russia once again.
    I still think that Turkey, USA, the Gulf Monarchies and Israel are trying to gestate a moderate Sunni Coalition to take Raqqa and finalize the partition of Iraq and Syria. I just don’t think the Jihadists have any reason to cut their beards to elect Hillary Clinton but may if the R+6 offensive gains momentum.

  48. Avatar Peter Reichard says:

    It is difficult to understand why Russia agreed to ceasefires as they always benefit the weaker side, particularly if the stronger side has air supremacy. This was especially true in Vietnam. I give them credit for going the extra mile to achieve a peaceful solution but think it showed a surprising naivety. Now, finally recognizing Washington was not negotiating in good faith, they seem intent on pursuing a military victory where the first act appears to be a drive from the southeast towards the ancient citadel to split the Aleppo pocket in two. Let us hope it is over quickly.
    The idiots running US foreign policy, ignorant of any subjects outside their narrow purview are oblivious to the limitations imposed on military operations by such things as logistics, geography and climate and have in the words of Robert Gates “a cartoonish view” of the US military. This leads them ever deeper into the morass.

  49. Avatar Will says:

    Elijah Magnier offers his view of why the USAF intervened in behalf of ISIS in Deir ez-Zor
    “Nevertheless, decision-makers have a different view of the event. No-one believes the US “mistake” or story of the event. The loss of Jabal Tharda was not followed by a correction of the mistake. The US and coalition jets did not return the next day to bomb ISIS. The real message behind the attack – as explained by my sources – is the advance of the Iraqi forces toward Jazirat al-Anbar, Baghdadi and Jazirat Hit, coming closer to their next target in ‘Ana, Rawa, in order to reach al-Qaim on the Iraqi-Syrian borders. If the Iraqi forces reached the border, ISIS would be caught between the two fires of Iraq and the Syrian forces, allowing a possible breach from al-Qaem and Albu Kamal toward Deir-ezzour. That would close any ISIS supply line from Iraq toward Raqqah, via Deir-ezzour and al-Badiyah.”
    https://elijahjm.wordpress.com/2016/09/25/the-mistrust-between-washington-and-moscow-portends-a-long-war/

  50. Avatar David Lentini says:

    Paul Craig Roberts thinks the Russians have gone one ceasefire too far.
    I generally find Roberts’s comments good. But I think he’s a bit too pessimistic on Putin.
    Thoughts?

  51. Fred Fred says:

    Chuck,
    That’s what the founders of the Republic thought.

  52. Avatar Anna says:

    Here is a much more pessimistic assessment of ongoing Syrian tragedy by Paul Craig Roberts:
    http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2016/09/24/he-who-hesitates-is-lost-and-russia-hesitated-paul-craig-roberts/
    It seems that he came to a conclusion that, with regard to human dignity, there is nothing too low for the US/Israel psychopaths-in-charge — that the deceit, outright lies, betrayal, land grab, and mass murder will continue in Syria and beyond because they ensure a flow of money and power for the major war profiteers.

  53. Avatar The Beaver says:

    Yep and the joker from London BoJo is saying that Russia could be guilty of war crimes whilst it is OK for UK to sell arms to KSA and to meddle in Yemen.
    Speaking out from both sides of his mouth.
    Still waiting for Ayrault from France after the circus of Power and BoJo.

  54. Avatar Anna says:

    “The idiots running US foreign policy, ignorant of any subjects outside their narrow purview are oblivious to the limitations imposed on military operations by such things as logistics, geography and climate …”
    These idiots have been carefully selected for this particular task by parasitic Israel-firsters and such “natives” as dishonorable Rumsfeld and Cheney.
    Money, power, and unaccountability make a strong witch brew. The Deep State’ demented deciders have been leading the world to the precipices of another major war. But look, none has been punished for the $6.5 trillion waste and the murder & ruin in Iraq. And it does not seem that the criminal Clinton and her handler Nuland-Kagan (not vise versa) are going to answer for the devastation of Libya and breaking of Ukraine. The US has been captured by a parasitoid that uses the host by controlling a “deciding” apparatus of the US.

  55. Avatar Haralambos says:

    I came across this today. Does anyone here have thoughts on the accuracy of the statement by Air Force Col. John Dorrian and wind direction at the time of the barrage?
    This is not the first time the US has been accused of using them in Iraq. I know they are not strictly forbidden, but they are when used near civilians or combatants. My interest stems from the fact that my paternal grandfather was wounded and was unconscious when the gas arrived in one of the last battles in the First World War.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2016/09/23/u-s-forces-are-using-white-phosphorus-munitions-in-iraq-/

  56. Avatar Old Microbiologist says:

    He could also win it with Colorado where she is weaker.

  57. Avatar Vic says:

    And yet America was allies with the Red Army in WW2.
    Why? Because it was a good way to defeat the Nazi’s. Destroying Germany was the main objective (the bigger evil). To do that we were willing to work with the Reds. We did not like them. We even had a little conflict with them after WW1. But by WW2 we needed them to make Germany fight on two major fronts.
    If our goal is the destruction of ISIS/JN, the most efficient way to do that is to ally (for now) with Syria, Russia, and Iran. Set aside the goal of regime change in Syria for a latter date. First destroy ISIS/JN!
    Vic

  58. Avatar Babak Makkinejad says:

    You might be right.

  59. Avatar Green Zone Café says:

    The Sanctimonious Banshee is speaking at the UNSC now. Complaining that Assad believes in a military solution, as if she doesn’t.

  60. Avatar Thomas says:

    “BTW, I’d love to know who dreamed up the idea that the Russians would appreciate “the prestige of eventually conducting joint military operations in Syria alongside the United States against terrorist groups.””
    My bet would be on the Russian diplomats to salve the egos of their psychopathic counterparts.
    I would also say that the Moderate Mujhids got the word that if you want to continue breathing it would be wise to join the Sultan’s side.

  61. Avatar Thomas says:

    “…people like Ashton Carter and Joseph Dunford are behaving…”
    Since the former wasn’t relieved of authority and the latter received an article 22, their behavior suggests they were following orders.
    Obama’s own behavior over the years shows that he would order an attack such as happened at Deir al Zor and then whine factions went against him to hide from his own complicity.
    As for changing public opinion, keep in mind many won’t reveal their true feelings in public.

  62. Avatar Pundita says:

    Colonel, I mean what is in essence a hybrid permanant fighting force — one composed of foreign fighters who act under the US command (generally via ‘special’ forces or CIA), trained and equipped by the US, and can be deployed to assist US warfighting across the globe.
    Essentially a largely off-the-record version of the French Foreign Legion which. as with the Legion, doesn’t require fighters to swear allegiance to the nation but to the Legion itself.
    So – my guess is that they’re creating an ‘informal’ formalization of the kind of military assistance the US provided to say, the Anbar tribes fighting AQ, Mujihadeen fighting the Soviets or the Northern Alliance fighting the Taliban. Only this ‘American Foreign Legion’ would be fungible — able to be deployed beyond a specific conflict to virtually anywhere — throughout the African continent and anywhere else where it’s too expensive and politically unpalatable to deploy large numbers of regular US troops.
    These troops have been fighting under mazes of laws and regulations that are intolerable given the kind of enemies they’re pitted against, whose only code of ethics in war is winning. The French and Saudi militaries aren’t putting up with this. My guess it that the Pentagon started asking, ‘If war is to be unending, why should we?’

  63. Avatar Chris Chuba says:

    Babak, bringing up FDR’s words of caution regarding the use of force makes me sentimental for the old Republic.
    I am rather fond of how John Quincy Adams put it, “She has, in the lapse of nearly half a century, without a single exception, respected the independence of other nations while asserting and maintaining her own. … She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. … But she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy…She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication…The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force…. She might become the dictatress of the world. She would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit.”
    https://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/jqadams.htm
    A common refutation to the Founders of the U.S. is that we did not become a world power until we shed their naive ideals. I don’t buy that, they provided the foundation for our country to grow into one.
    To answer your question, we have lost our way and our current leaders are incapable of comprehending this.

  64. Avatar Thomas says:

    He said he was going off line until after the election, it may have been for a long term traveling vacation with his SWMBO.

  65. Avatar jld says:

    No I don’t think the Russians “hesitate” or are delusional about the good will of the US.
    They HAVE to play the theatrics about their “partners” knowingly for both worldwide public opinion and the UN crowd, but it does seem it’s coming to an end.

  66. Avatar Thomas says:

    “Thoughts?”
    The Russians diplomatically played the Obama administration to prove to the worldwide public the monster behind the mask.

  67. Avatar jld says:

    Not to worry, Roberts is always (very) pessimistic and a bit conspirationist on the side but still a worthwhile read.

  68. Avatar turcopolier says:

    Pundita
    interesting but I don’t think anything like that is happening. pl

  69. Avatar Babak Makkinejad says:

    OK, thanks.

  70. Avatar Sam Peralta says:

    Assuming Trump wins all the states won by Romney including North Carolina as well as Florida and Ohio. Then he will need to also win Colorado, Nevada and Iowa or Pennsylvania or Michigan and either Nevada, Colorado or Iowa.
    An electoral college win for Republicans is always more difficult as several of the big states are reliably Democratic. Trump has at least the possibility of winning states like Michigan and Iowa which Romney lost in 2012.

  71. Avatar David Lentini says:

    I think this goes farther, to a group identified by Carroll Quigley in his books “Tragedy and Hope” and “The Anglo-American Establishment” as the heirs of Cecil Rhoades’s “Round Table Group” and the Rothschild banking family. In the end, these people want to create the sort of “rationalized” world of Huxley’s “Brave New World”—The New World Order.
    To do this, national borders and cultures must be smashed to homogenize mankind culturally and religiously. So, smashing the Middle East, using the resulting chaos to wreck Europe, instituting “free trade” agreements among the industrialized nations that eviscerate national laws, using UN agendas to push global environmental and “human rights” by military interventions and financial sanctions, all further this goal. And those close to the center make huge fortunes enabling this to happen.
    The problem is that Putin and Russia have had enough of that collectivist dystopian thinkging China is not interested in being the source of cheap global labor for Anglo-American bankers. So, the NWO is facing some serious resistance.

  72. Avatar David Lentini says:

    jld and Thomoas,
    I agree. It seems to me that Roberts is overlooking some important factors that would keep the Russians playing the game for awhile:
    1. U.S. Pressure on other fronts like Ukraine, Crimea, and along Russia’s frontier;
    2. Western financial pressure;
    3. Time to deploy additional weapons and sensors; and
    4. Developments with China.
    Also, no one mentions the growing unrest in Europe. From what I’ve read and heard, there could be serious civil unrest in France, Germany, and Italy by the end of the year. All of that could easily wreck the EU and NATO.
    And there’s the US election too. A Trump win would likely change things for at least a year as the neocons regroup and plan their revenge. (Assuming Trump is allowed to take office, that is.) A Hillary win, of course is likely war.
    But all that leaves me unsurprised that Russia will play Obama’s game in the short term.

  73. Avatar charly says:

    “the glorious Red Army” was definitely not as wicked as the Nazi’s which is obvious if you look at the the number of civilians they killed. What is true is that the Soviets colonized Eastern Europe. Colonization is always a very bloody affair. In fact so bloody that i think you would agree with me that Stalin would win the contest of nicest colonizer with not even hundred-thousand killed between end of WWII and the fall of the wall

  74. Avatar ex-PFC Chuck says:

    Pepe Escobar had a post up at Sputnik a couple of days ago but in it was the following paragraph:
    “The key here is Donald is receiving more publicity than Hillary, and by attacking him for being an America Firster his polls have risen dramatically. The public loves it so the Masters of the Universe are helping him. The military industries have to be repatriated as we no longer control the seas and this will require either currency adjustments or tariffs. Hence, Donald’s correct calls for an end to currency rigging which had as part of their purpose the building up of Germany and Japan at the sacrifice of our industries. Absurd that we did that but that is how it was. That is ending now with Donald and the emergency situation of lack of control of the Pacific Ocean for the component transportation by sea for our military production. Japan and Germany will be cut loose.”
    It was in italics and in quotes, but I didn’t see any attribution. I’ve seenassertions of the need to repatriate manufacturing capabilities for militarily important technologies, but the justifications had to do with vulnerability to built-in sabotage capabilities, not that we no longer dominate the Pacific Ocean sufficiently to assure shipping in hostile times. Is this recognized in DC and environs as the current or soon-to-be situation? Or is Escobar far off base here?

  75. Avatar ex-PFC Chuck says:

    PS to my immediately previous comment. The link to the Sputnik/Escobar piece:
    https://sputniknews.com/columnists/20160921/1045561397/us-election-circus.html

  76. Avatar Babak Makkinejad says:

    There are not that many smart people in the world who could carry out such a plan. ComIntern had many more smarty and truly dedicated agents and still failed.

  77. Avatar David Lentini says:

    Smart and sane aren’t always together. 😉

  78. Avatar mike says:

    I don’t believe that General Dunford has Article 22 authority. Although of course as Chairman of the JCS he can put pressure on someone who does.
    Or were you talking of something different than the UCMJ?

  79. Avatar turcopolier says:

    mike
    Article 22? I am more familiar with Article 15. pl

  80. Avatar Ishmael Zechariah says:

    GZC,
    Re: “The Sanctimonious Banshee”
    Very appropriate name. I cannot make up my mind whether La Powers is a banshee (bean sidhe) or a hag.
    Ishmael Zechariah

  81. Avatar mike says:

    Me too. I had to look up article 22. It deals with who has the authority to convene a General Court Martial:
    http://www.ucmj.us/sub-chapter-5-composition-of-courts-martial/822-article-22-who-may-convene-general-courts-martial

  82. Avatar Alexey says:

    >> It is so disheartening to see people still talk about “the glorious Red Army” which was just about as wicked, crook and evil as the Nazis.
    I think with your level of knowledge of WWII you’d rather refrain from commenting on this issue.
    You only disgracing yourself by showing that you are either deeply ignorant or a liar. Or may be both.
    Considering you are Hungarian, I’m inclined to believe you are a liar trying to whitewash crimes of your nation.

  83. Avatar Thomas says:

    Mike,
    My meaning was about Obama using his authority to issue an UCMJ article 22 on General Dunford if he went against his orders to abide by the recent ceasefire agreement.
    As we can see by the actions of Samantha Powers, a member of his kitchen coven, Obama never intended to keep the agreement and the view that people below him did their own thing while he was golfing is proven false.

  84. Avatar Ulenspiegel says:

    ” From what I’ve read and heard, there could be serious civil unrest in France, Germany, and Italy by the end of the year. All of that could easily wreck the EU and NATO.”
    You may get better sources. Why should there be civil unrest?
    As there is very likely no chance that NATO can be used for the war in Syria it is not under pressure. And what should wreck the EU?

  85. Avatar Thomas says:

    It was my mistake in using the term while making a quick summary in my reply to David Habakkuk as what Obama could do if people went against his orders and that the unfolding events shows no one did so.

  86. Avatar different clue says:

    Ishmael Zechariah,
    Perhaps that hybrid beast . . . the hagshee.

  87. Avatar Thomas says:

    David,
    You have a good sense of what is happening and the real weakness of the Borg.
    Another factor to consider is Hillary’s e-mail scandal in which she gave an easy opening to the professional intelligence agencies to tap into one and all on her federal friends and family plan so that Russia is probably reading in real time much of what is going on in the private corridors of DC and has been for years.

  88. Avatar shargash says:

    IMO, the Russians have been working very hard to make some kind of progress in Syria before Clinton becomes president (if she, indeed, does). They are running out of time, which is why I think the gloves have come off now.

  89. Avatar mike says:

    Thanks Thomas. I agree with you that the vitriolic Samantha Power is a member of a coven. Wouldn’t it be great if UN diplomats had a similar procedure to lawyers bar associations so that the un could be disbarred for conduct unbecoming?
    On the other hand I do not believe that Obama or any other American authorized a deliberate strike. Color me gullible if you want for believing that it was an accident. To quote Ronald Reagan – “Stuff happens!” And it happens a lot when you are a hotshot pilot dropping your load from five of six miles above the surface of the earth. Our record of Blue-on-Blue KIA is testimony to that. I remember a platoon patrol in Vietnam that was attacked by an airborne FAC. Two Americans KIA, and quite a few WIA. The platoon commander had to be medevacked, no wounds, just combat stress. He kept repeating over and over and over “pop another smoke”. He did it for hours. And that American plane that did the damage was a lot less the 25,000 feet, it was more like 5,000.

  90. Avatar bill says:

    In a review of the Libyan no-fly zone a UK cross-party Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee drew its very clear conclusions that the entire episode had been built around a tissue of lies and deceits.
    So is the raison d etre for US presence and attitude towards Syria aiming at regime change and sustained by huge propaganda.Bellingcat,The Syrian Observatory of HRs ,White Helmets etc all play their part in this deception.
    Syria like Libya was way way better off before US ” humanitarianism”- never has a word been so disgraced- turned up …DONT YOU GET IT YET????- the terrorists are your people..you use them as proxies. I would urge you to read this short interview of an al Nusrah commander in Aleppo http://www.moonofalabama.org/2016/09/todenh%C3%B6fer-interview-with-al-nusra-commander-the-americans-stand-on-our-side.html# to help open your eyes to the reality that these are your al Qaida,your terrorists,your people- you help pay them,arm them and recruit them. US role in Syria is a total scam and the lies keep you onboard.The terror is your terror and is aimed against innocent Syrian people -you have killed 100,000s and wrecked the lives of 1,000,000s- FOR REGIME CHANGE which you so nicely wish to postpone…

  91. Avatar bill says:

    Mike, ive struggled with this now for several hours – i just so hope that there is no tape of an alleged conversation between Daesh and US Military as if there is and its real the implications are huge and no longer will explanations of an internal war between Pentagon and CIA suffice or that the CIA is and has been alone responsible for organising the terror. A number of articles exist that this represents a breakdown between WH and Pentagon( the articles assume the attack was deliberate)or the eyes are all on the Presidential ” debates”( Saker)…. i would also doubt these.Obama must in such circumstances have always known that as in the Ukraine, the CIA( and in the Ukraine the State Dept) is behind the terror.In fact he cannot not have known and this would indeed be way bigger than Watergate.It would rightly and necessarily completely destroy him and ought send him to death row …… but one understands why service personnel might find this very very tough to believe

  92. Avatar turcopolier says:

    bill
    Are you new here? We have been discussing all this Syria business for years and I posted on the Nusra commander interview yesterday. pl

  93. Avatar gb says:

    much more respect to the “red army” than to all the other allied combatants. 24 millions soviets dead, a country destroyed by war and getting a satellite into space in 1957 and first man in 1961 does mean that there is something good, and something very powerful, that in itself contradicts all the idiotic propaganda written by zio-lickers and cryptofascist medias in the west about the “red army” wickery being like (if not worse) nazis. And don’t even start the retarded bullshit like “they won coz they are ruthless”, because if you have a hint about what’s war about you would not even dare to start believing such piece of shit of “argument”.

  94. Avatar Lord Curzon says:

    The Russians have released the terms of the CoH in totality:
    http://www.mid.ru/diverse/-/asset_publisher/8bWtTfQKqtaS/content/id/2473652
    There’s going to be a some serious finger-pointing tomorrow…

  95. Avatar Alexandria says:

    Mike Whitney gives a tip of the hat to Col. Lang in an article posted on Unz.com,
    http://www.unz.com/mwhitney/putin-ups-the-ante/

  96. Avatar Carol Davidek-Waller says:

    We meaning who? The golden age capitalist in the US and Britain who created the horrific recession (Hoover Flags for the 99%), who supported Hitler’s Procrustean efforts to reshape society and feared more people might decide that sharing the profits from their labor was a good idea?

  97. Avatar YT says:

    You beat me to it.
    I wanted to congratulate Vietnam Vet for grabbing the attention of Mike Whitney.

  98. Avatar Tol Tapen says:

    “… Palestinian militia allies with CAS have attacked the fortified Handarat refugee camp at the NE corner of the pocket. IMO this is a secondary attack intended to prevent the rebels moving forces south to oppose the main R+6 effort.”
    There are some reasons to believe that this isn’t what’s happening. It looks like the “R+6” is taking a good position for a long fight in the Northern part of the pocket with the purpose to exhaust the rebels and deplete their amunition stockpiles in the area of lower population density and simpler urban infrastructure.

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