“I told you so…” – Idlib Province – re-posted 7 april 2017


Need I say more?  Really?  The jihadi bastards were given enough time to consolidate their position in Idlib Province after the liberation of Aleppo City and you see the result.   The White Helmet film and TV production crew are on the scene.  Jihadi doctors with high production values on camera have been brought in to star in new shows (soon to be screened).  The SOHR hermit is processing thematic material.  The combined forces of AQ derivative "resistance" fighters were unleashed upon northern Hama.  Well, that didn't go too well … But the forces of salafist jihad always have the internet and gullible reporters across the world.  Well, maybe not in Russia.  Israeli media today seem solidly behind the idea that the beast Assad must have personally ordered this massacre, this abomination against the children of Syria.  He MUST HAVE.  It is in the nature of the beast. 

Well, pilgrims, in 2013 we had Martin Dempsey who went to see Obama to tell him that the available intelligence did not support the idea that the SAA had attacked Ghouta with Sarin. Some of us know that US and UK government testing of the Sarin involved showed it not to be manufactured for military munitions.  But, alas, we have no Martin Dempsey, visible on the scene as yet.  The estimable Irishman has departed to a Carolina (?) university where he teaches a course on Yeats.  A far, far better thing he does … Ah, that's Dickens, isn't it? 

Well, OK.  IMO the R+6 should learn the lesson of this propaganda debacle and OVERRUN Idlib Province!!  pl

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

138 Responses to “I told you so…” – Idlib Province – re-posted 7 april 2017

  1. LeaNder says:

    Jihadi doctors with high production values on camera have been brought in to star in new shows (soon to be screened).
    To the extend I watched they seemed to have quite visible press labels.
    But concerning doctors, associatively: What this vaguely reminds me of are my early excursions into interviews with Islamists, soft spoken and somehow alluring.
    I wish, I would remember the ideologue you seemed to consider one of the more dangerous ones in — that’s all that stuck — in the larger North African context. Muslim Brotherhood ‘progeny’?

  2. Annem says:

    Unfortunately, when Obama received this information from Dempsey, he chose not to take on the “narrative” that had already been cemented in peoples’ minds thanks to our media. Instead, he decided he would not take military action against Syria and absorbed the criticism from his enemies for failing to go through with his “red lines” threat. Actually, he took advantage of the incident to get Russia to deal with whatever chemical weapons that the SAA did have.

  3. sid_finster says:

    Logic, facts and evidence are irrelevant when dealing with sociopaths. Right now, the Deep State or whatever you want to call it, wants its war and will use any means to justify it.

  4. zk@zk.com says:

    After 5 years of attrition it looks like the SAA has very limited resources and few competent combat units/commanders left, to do the overrunning with.
    The best they seem to be able to do are these “two steps forward, one step back” campaigns.
    ISIS looks more and more depleted, and everyone seems to be trying to “cheaply” grab as much land, positions and gas/oil sites as possible.
    Idlib is probably to hard of a nought to crack for now.

  5. Haralambos says:

    With all due respect, I think you were correct on General Dempsey’s teaching Yeats since he wrote his master’s thesis on The Irish Revival. There is something of a terrible irony in this conjunction given Yeats’ poem “The Second Coming” and our Eater Season: http://tinyurl.com/zgwjyto
    My takeaway lines are the following:
    “Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.”

  6. Jim MacMillan says:

    Russian news agency TASS reports that Syrian regime aviation inadvertently struck a jihadi chemical weapons lab. That report supposedly came from a Russian Defense Ministry spokesman, Major General Igor Konashenkov.

  7. turcopolier says:

    Other factors? Yes, but they were given too much weight. Well executed? Yes. Is that not obvious? pl

  8. turcopolier says:

    IMO you are incorrect in your estimation of the SAA. IMO the SAA has grown steadily stronger and more competent in the experience of war. pl

  9. Mac says:

    I get the sense this act was timed to follow up on Trump’s recent statement re Assad being secondary…who is trying to force his hand?

  10. Thomas says:

    “Right now, the Deep State or whatever you want to call it, wants its war and will use any means to justify it.”
    And they just may get it, all against them.

  11. Serge says:

    Why didn’t the Russians/syrians deny involvement in the incident altogether by blaming an AQ false flag,as they have done in the past,instead of cooking up this half baked story of chemical weapons stocks destined for IS in Iraq? IMO, because for whatever reason(someone,whether internal or external trying to take power and take out Assad by blaming him for this,maybe a rogue outfit in the armed forces,etc)some element within the SAA is guilty and has been caught redhanded. Article from bellingcat on the implausibility of Russian claim:https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2017/04/05/chemical-realities-russias-khan-sheikhoun-chemical-warehouse-attack-claims/

  12. robt willmann says:

    This new PsyOp and propaganda operation that Assad is “gassing his own people” is going full blast, reminiscent of Frank Wisner (sr.) and the Mighty Wurlitzer. Around the time the Syrian “opposition”, a/k/a proxies, launched their attack, this propaganda appears. What a coincidence!
    Donald Trump knows to be skeptical of claims during a real estate transaction — as the other parties would rightfully be skeptical of his — and he better be skeptical of the high decibel level of claims concerning this latest escapade in Syria, or he is going to be conned out of his shoes.
    In my opinion, Assad is not going to “go rogue” on the Russians, who have already saved his derriere more than once, initially on the issue of chemical weapons.

  13. maningi says:

    There are some strange rumors, that US is moving massive military equipment close to Damascus plotting an attack/invasion on Syria or Damascus. Anybody here able to confirm or reject this info?

  14. turcopolier says:

    or Sergei whichever it is, air targeting is an inherently imprecise process. There is nothing “half-baked” about the possibility of inadvertence in an air strike. pl

  15. turcopolier says:

    After listening to POTUS talk about Syria at the presser with Abdullah I think we are all in big trouble if CJCS and the Chiefs do not go tell Trump to stop watching CNN and the rest of those crazy buggers. pl

  16. b says:

    If the incident was staged (which I assume) it would have happened independent of an R+6 attack on Idleb governate. It probably would have been staged earlier, later or in a different place. It would not have mattered. The propaganda would be the same.
    The SAA has still too few ground forces available for a wide ranging attack. The strategy of the last months – wait for the enemy to come, move out of its way, bomb it to smithereens, move back in – has worked well in north Hama and elsewhere. Russia and Syria claim that the Hama attack cost al-Qaeda&consorts more than 2,200 men. A few such attacks and they are no longer a force.
    Also: 50-70 TOW were allegedly used by al-Qaeda during the Hama attack. An offense against them over wide open areas would be very costly.
    The media and the neocons try to goat Trump into attacking Syria. Netanyahoo joined publicly with them on the issue.
    One can only hope that Trump is smart enough to see what they try to do with him. Is he already defanged? I hope not. In his press talk today he tried to move away from the issue. That is probably a good sign.

  17. Peter in Toronto says:

    Trump lost his most powerful ally at the NSC today; Bannon was the ideologue behind the soft-nationalist platform that got Trump elected (which I doubt Trump himself understands). We’re in deep trouble, since the deranged zealot Nikki Haley is already doing the regime change circuit at the UN, and the POTUS is openly servicing the Neo-Con narrative.
    Amazing how the so-called Western media all obediently fall in line on a story whose principle source are Nusra Front Jihadists; there is practically NO divergence from the narrative, having scanned most of the network propaganda channels.
    This is a concerted effort, with every Borgist asset mobilized for the final push to regime change and the show-down with Iran.

  18. Peter in Toronto says:

    The Russians aren’t helping here at all, that is hardly believable. I would expect some form of evidence when making a claim like that.
    How could they possibly know it’s a weapons factory without countless hours of surveillance or informant intel. Why not publish such materials in the face of worldwide condemnation.
    IMO, they are not being truthful.

  19. LondonBob says:

    Israel’s response to Putin slapping down Netanyahoo?
    So far the deplorables aren’t buying it, the internet and events have changed things.

  20. Robert C says:

    I think Obama deserves some credit for choosing Dempsey and after today’s presser, A LOT of people are going to miss his restraint.

  21. Jack says:

    The Borg may have finally rolled POTUS. Maybe, only Ivanka could stop it at this point.
    Wonder what McMaster and Mattis are telling him?

  22. Serge says:

    Serge, after my grandfather. The half baked I was referring to being the hamfisted Russian attempt to connect this to IS in Iraq.

  23. Peter in Toronto says:

    Colonel, from my limited observations, it seems that for the most part they (the SAA) have learned very little in these 6 years of warfare. I think their army is structurally incapable of using those men who have become battlefield proficient, and incorporating them into roles of limited leadership. Nepotism, tribal suspicions and loyalties, widespread corruption and an archaic conscription system are responsible for sending rookies into poorly led units where they are attrited until no longer combat effective.
    Even recently, in the Hama offensive, countless videos have emerged of groups of SAA being caught completely off-guard, in the open, in convenient clusters, being picked off by ATGMs, a nuisance since pretty much 2012. How have they not incorporated even the most basic countermeasures into their tactical behaviour?
    Their prospects for the total liberation of Idlib are not good, in my estimates, not with Turkish mercenaries roaming around, Israeli harassment, Gulf funding and countless unresolved pockets of resistance STILL dotting Damascus and its suburbs.
    Stalingrad was fought over a 5 month period, and resolved decisively, having consumed 1 million combatants. Yet the Arabs cannot achieve a decisive victory in 6 years of warfare… These are not warrior cultures like the mountain men of Yemen or the Teutons. They have no martial traditions. They are sedentary agrarian people (the first human settlements are thought to have been established in the Levant). I think they lack the temperament for war.

  24. Fred says:

    I’m pretty certain that the people who voted for Trump have zero desire to intervene in Syria for any reason.

  25. The Beaver says:

    FWIW and FYI: we have been beating that cat for a long time here on SST.
    No one believes Brown Moses aka Bellingcat who works for someone or an outfit within the beltway. Someone with a bookeeping diploma and no military or arms experience can’t be an expert by sitting in his living room and studying You Tube videos.
    Do a search of SST since 2011 and you will find what has been said about him.
    He was running with the same BS in 2013 , even being an expert for HRW and a feeder of disinformation to Elizabeth O’Bagy from ISW ( and an adviser of Sen McCain)until she was caught pretending to be a Dr (PhD)

  26. Kooshy says:

    Colonel, with regard to US’ policy on Russia and Syria, now, after I listened to this same news conference you referred to, my impression is that Borg has succeeded in reigning in (Boxing in) president Trump to continue existing posture. I believe general Matis,NSA, and EU are on board on continuation of Obama’ ME policies.

  27. Lars says:

    Since CNN is not known for kissing his keister, I doubt Trump is watching them. He seems to prefer Faux News, or worse.

  28. zk@zk.com says:

    It certainly has grown, but so has the opposition.
    In many aspects, Idlib is like an open wound and I believe if the government could’ve rectified the problem, they already would’ve.

  29. turcopolier says:

    IMO that is completely wrong. The SAG made a serious mistake in going after the eastern territories rather than clearing Idlib after Aleppo fell to them. Do you have any military qualifications? pl

  30. turcopolier says:

    He watches a variety of TV all day long; CNN, MSNBC and the various foxes. pl

  31. turcopolier says:

    His talk at the presser sounded very wild and rash to me. I am worried. pl

  32. turcopolier says:

    Peter in Toronto
    I do not value your opinion. You have no idea what you are talking about. pl

  33. turcopolier says:

    I have no idea what you are talking about. pl

  34. doug says:

    Trump has never had much interest in foreign policy. McCain was commenting to the press a week ago that he was in touch with the Mattis and McMaster nearly every day but the WH was pretty much absent.
    Not good.

  35. Yes sir, you were right. Now where does that leave us? For one, anybody with half a brain would have to ask themselves, Why would Assad use Gas right now when he is winning and in a much stronger position now than he was in 2013. The Russians are fully committed with forces unlike 2013 and didn’t International observers observe the dismantling of Syria’s chemical munitions?
    He wouldn’t, not even close. Why would he use chemical weapons to attack a small village? When the combined Air Forces of Russia and Syria are decimating the Wahhabi’s? There is the answer in the question. It’s common sense.
    Does it matter? No! The powers that want war don’t care about Truth. The ends justify the means. It almost worked with President Obama. But by a miracle he figured out he was being hoodwinked, and pulled the invasion at the last second, evidence by his interview in the Atlantic by Jeffrey Goldberg. In fact, paraphrasing he stated it was one of his better decisions referring to the Washington Playbook, euphemism for God knows what. Everything else he did in Syria was a disgrace and in a just world he would be judged accordingly. Well, we don’t live in a just world as of today. We live on a Glorious Hellhole called Planet Earth.
    Now President Trump. I voted Obama twice and for Trump this time. Don’t know if that makes me a deplorable. I agree with Colonel Lang. I watched the presser with Abdullah and Trump and it sent chills down my spine. This second false flag attack may work. Trump the nationalist I love. Trump the guy who has to have everybody believe he is the toughest and most fair guy in the world I worry. He doesn’t do nuance in my opinion. So the Salafist/Wahhabi curse nightmare trying to spread over Syria may have found their mark in President Trump. I say its highly likely they found their mark evidence by the presser. Interesting how it coincided with the arrival of the King of Jordan. Maybe just a coincidence, however, if President Trump escalates in Syria for regime change then I am no longer his man. My vote for him was driven by the fear of Hillary and WWIII in Syria which had too high of a probability for me.
    Syria reminds me of the French Revolution. Many parallels. There seemed to be an organizing force behind the curtain that no matter what efforts there were toward a peaceful resolution by certain parties would produce almost an immediate reaction by a reactionary element that destroyed the effort. No matter what there was going to be blood, tears, and anarchy until the reactionary elements succeeded in total destruction of all their opponents whether King, Queen, or the Altar.
    If Trump is hoodwinked by the neocons into escalating forward toward Regime change in Syria then I’m afraid he is going to release forces that he couldn’t contemplate in a million years. It will be his doom and hopefully not all of ours.

  36. Serge says:

    According to Konashenkov, on Tuesday “from 11.30 to 12.30, local time, [8.30 to 9.30 GMT] Syrian aircraft conducted an airstrike in the eastern outskirts of Khan Shaykhun on a large warehouse of ammunition of terrorists and the mass of military equipment”.
    Konashenkov said that from this warehouse, chemical weapons’ ammunition was delivered to Iraq by militants.
    same is said on RT but worded differently:
    The warehouse was used to both produce and store shells containing toxic gas, Konashenkov said. The shells were delivered to Iraq and repeatedly used there, he added, pointing out that both Iraq and international organizations have confirmed the use of such weapons by militants.
    Who else can they mean but IS in Iraq? Surely Russian MOD isn’t saying that the rebels are supplying the Iraqi government with chemical weapons. This is a hamfisted attempt to connect the story with ISIS, and as everyone knows, ISIS is bad.

  37. Serge says:

    For a long time on SST I’ve seen commented how important it is to learn to evaluate information independent from the source. Aside from gratuitous use of the word “regime”, I am hard pressed to find fault with the article as to its explanation for the technical improbability of a strike on a chemical depot causing the effects we have seen.

  38. Thirdeye says:

    Bellingcat makes a straw man argument, switching out “sarin” for “chemical weapons.” The evident toxicity is not consistent with sarin, which is so toxic that it is considered a weapon of mass destruction. “Witnesses” claimed smelling a gas cloud. Sarin in its pure form is odorless; if they were smelling impurities in a sarin-based gas they would be in no condition to tell about it. Photographs of “sarin victims being rescued” show the first responders wearing minimal or no protective gear. If they were sarin victims the first responders would also be afflicted. My conclusion is that the sarin story is bogus and there was either a controlled or incidental release of a less powerful agent.

  39. Thirdeye says:

    Prospectus on the next couple of months in Idlib and Damascus attributed to the SAA:
    Still a counterpunching strategy capitalizing on attrition in Jihadist attempts at offensives.

  40. Matt says:

    I didn’t vote for Trump. I wanted Sanders. Trump’s domestic agenda is despicable. Having said that, The Democrats have shown their capacity for self-deception (as Matt Taibbi has recently written in Rolling Stone) to know no bounds. They disgust me, and I consider myself to be to the left of these so-called “liberals”. This latest alleged gas attack in Syria has appeared to resurrect the neocon dream of continuing the regime change wars that started after 9/11. The Democrats have undertaken a strategy of harming the Trump Administrations’ reproachment with Russia by somehow painting his Administration as being a collection of Russian dupes. This is the Deep State, Military Industrial Complex, NeoCon warhawks and Liberal Interventionists at war with an Administration not willing to continue the madness however, watching Trump today at the Presser fall for the BS, I fear the NeoCons have rolled him.

  41. turcopolier says:

    I have supervised the targeting of a number of air campaigns. I do not find the probability of misadventure in striking a target like this without full knowledge of the contents of the target to be unlikely at all. We were always very careful in targeting places like tis not to throw a gas cloud into the air. Once again, what are your qualifications to make a judgment like this? pl

  42. zk@zk.com says:

    This conflict is being waged on many levels. Its military aspects, however horrific, are “just” the most obvious ones.
    Many mistakes were made or else there would not have come to this chaos.
    As for the military qualifications, mine are relatively modest.
    However, there are certainly a great many high ranking officers in Syrian, Russian and Iranian camps, and regarding Idlib, at least for now, they have opted for the policy of containment.

  43. turcopolier says:

    I find your e-mail address “Karl Marx” to be informative. It is well documented that both the IS and AQ factions in western Syria manufacture toxic gases. they are not hard to make if you have a chemist and a low level of care for the safety of those making them. pl

  44. turcopolier says:

    If so, they are mistaken. The Idlib cancer will devour the Syrian state. pl

  45. turcopolier says:

    The strategy was mistaken. Ground must be occupied and the enemy’s forces destroyed. pl

  46. I have no military experience at all. So, I base my opinions on nothing but my intuition, which of course is not infallible.
    However, I remember coming home from a spring break in San Diego where I was flabbergasted by all the people just itching for a war with Saddam.
    Then soon I was curled up in fetal position watching as they dropped the first bomb on Bahdad, knowing that it all just seemed to surreal and wrong.
    Our going into this now will not help any of those beautiful little children like the ones in the video. Please let cooler heads prevail. Is it not time for McCain to develop dementia, or maybe he already has.

  47. turcopolier says:

    b et al
    Some of the retired military people whom McMaster inherited on the NSC staff think that of the US intervenes against the Syrian government, Russia will back away from, us. I do not agree with this. pl

  48. Serge says:

    Please don’t, it’s my default junkmail address that I created in grade school. Not denying that they do, just pointing out how bizarre and out of place I found this Russian comment about sending chemical weapons to Iraq to be. whatever way you look at this situation, from either side’s explanation, something does not add up. I’m sticking with my gut feeling that this was the act of some rogue party within the SAA. If this was an Al Qaeda false flag then the Russians would never have come out with this chemical depot story. If they did indeed bomb a depot causing the documented effects we have seen, then this would be an event with no precedent in terms of the casualties resulting from such a strike, and why the bizarre non sequitur about Iraq? My qualifications,none, except for a part-time obsession with the ME since the 2006 Leb war

  49. VietnamVet says:

    Yes. A lesson that has been forgotten in the last 70 years. But, difficult to achieve if the opposing side has nuclear weapons and a conscript army defending their homeland. If the Trump Administration accepts at face value that there was a sarin gas attack on rebels by the Syrian government then there is no chance for Peace in the Middle East or Détente with Russia.
    This morning I awoke to what sounded like combat sorties. But, it was a crash of an F-16C several miles away. No lives lost and no civilian property damage. Lucky.

  50. Babak Makkinejad says:

    If you were on the bleeding edge of the job migration, then you would not have written that “Trump’s domestic agenda is despicable”. So many working people in the United States have vested their hopes in him against their loss of income.
    I doubt that you work for a living in an activity that can be off-shored or moved to Mexico, India, or China; likely in one of the protected professions – thanks to government regulations – like Medicine or Law or a variety of soft-positions created by the well-to-do European-Americans for the well-to-do European-Americans and their off-spring.

  51. Babak Makkinejad says:

    There will be no US action in Syria.

  52. sid_finster says:

    I wonder what more it will take to convince some of us here of this.
    Stop making excuses for the man. He’s the president, he has to own his policies.

  53. sid_finster says:

    I don’t think those people count.

  54. kooshy says:

    Two pints,
    One- after almost 15 years of internet accessible alternative media like this one, you are still amazed how come the so called MSM/Western Media is not reporting the truth and just reports the party line? Second with what is going on across the western world, IMO a confrontation with (the rising) Russia is more likely .
    as it seems the Borg under no circumstances is willing to accept a powerful comeback of Russians as a balancing power to uni-polar power position US has held for last two and half decades. And IMO, this has nothing to do with who and which party, holds the presidency in US, as we can see, if the POTUS resists, or not willing to follow, or even propose to make minor changes to the Borg’s posture/ global policy, he she will be removed at all costs. That is why and what has happened in this last few months.

  55. pmr9 says:

    Martin Chulov in the Guardian reports that samples are being collected.
    “Rescue workers have gathered soil samples from the scene of a chemical weapons attack in northern Syria and sent them to western intelligence officials, who are seeking to determine precisely what nerve agent was used in one of the worst atrocities of the country’s six-year war.”
    “Samples taken from the scene in Khan Sheikhun, as well as biological specimens taken from survivors and casualties, will be compared with samples taken by intelligence officials from the Syrian military stockpile when it was withdrawn from the country in late 2013. Syria’s stores of sarin are known to have particular properties which experts say can be forensically matched to samples taken in the field.”
    With modern mass spectrometry, chemical profiling of soil or other environmental samples can be used to match a sample of nerve agent to the facility where it was produced, and to reconstruct the synthetic pathway used. Seymour Hersh has reported that the chemical profiling of the Syrian military stocks of sarin binaries destroyed on the MV Cape Ray did not match the low-grade kitchen sarin recovered from Ghouta. This confirmed the earlier results from Porton Down showing that the Ghouta sarin was unlikely to have come from Syrian military stocks which were relayed to Dempsey in time for him to warn Obama on 30 August 2013.
    Up to now no journalist (with the exception of Allan Urry of BBC radio) has showed any interest up to now in the story of what the chemical profiling of Syrian military stocks might have revealed about the 2013 sarin attacks. Chulov’s story raises the possibility that some new deception is being planned. It’s possible that some intelligence agency has got hold of a small quantity of sarin binaries from the Syrian stocks that were destroyed on the Cape Ray, and that this will be used to generate a false match. On the other hand, this will inevitably reopen the story of how these stocks did not match those used in the 2013 sarin attacks. We can only hope that the Russians have made their own plans to collect and analyse samples, as they did in 2013.

  56. kooshy says:

    Colonel, I think we may see a UNSC resolution next week on this, blaming Assad ( tabled by Brits and or France), after the President’s coming meeting with Xi. On coming presser with Xi, may learn if it would it be a double veto again, or vetoed just by Russia alone? That will make a big difference on isolating Russia.

  57. turcopolier says:

    Your English is improving. Congrats. pl

  58. Jackrabbit says:

    Matt: “their capacity for self-deception … know[s] no bounds”
    It’s not self-deception. It’s just propaganda generated by partisans and repeated by party loyalists and friendly media.
    They believe that the left “has no where to go”. So the Clinton-Obama Centrists will continue to abuse the peoples trust.
    IMO, the best way to counter the money-driven duopoly is for alternative Parties to unite via a platform of Direct Democracy. The Pirate Party has already shown some promise with success in Iceland.
    PS Sanders was a ‘sheep-dog’. Yet delusional progressives still look to him for answers. Pathetic.
    Consider that he:
    > pulled many punches during the campaign, such as: not disputing the 6 coin tosses that went to Hillary in Iowa; defended Hillary (“enough with the emails”) and refused to attack Hillary or Obama on character issues;
    > didn’t try much to attract constituencies that Hillary laid claim to (like women and minorities);
    > didn’t try to create a Movement AND has refused to lead a Movement – even after Hillary lost the election and he went back to being a “social Democrat”;
    > didn’t counter Hillary’s claim (during the NY debate) of NEVER changing her vote to benefit a big financial donor despite the well-known (among progressives) example of her changing her vote to benefit the credit card industry (note: he acknowledged the example when talking with a reporter afterwards!);
    > endorsed Hillary after it was CLEAR that she colluded with the DNS (it was OK for republicans to denounce Trump, but not for progressives to denounce Hillary?!?);
    > refused to produce his 2014 tax returns despite insisting that he is squeaky clean (he produced his 2015 returns … when they were ready);
    Then there is Jill Stein. The other famous “progressive leader” in the race. Her appeals to disillusioned Sanders voters were meek and she requested recounts that could only have helped Hillary and must’ve been funded by Hillary supporters.

  59. Jackrabbit says:

    Great discussion.
    I went to youtube to watch the full news conference.
    b is right that Trump seemed to move away from the topic but then he returned and made some disturbing remarks:
    > that his position on Syria is ‘flexible’ and hinting that his position has already changed;
    > attacking the Obama Administration for NOT taking action in 2013 (um … I believe that most independent observers are convinced that the Ghouta attack was a false flag) – with such talk, Trump has foolishly put himself on the spot to ‘do something’;
    > saying, in a rather agitated, if not emotional way that the attack “crossed many many lines” (as if the multiple lines crossed were worse than crossing a ‘red line’) and talking of the “babies” that were killed (showing how much he has bought into the narrative);
    > essentially promising to take some sort of action (but he won’t say what) when asked about Iranian militias in Syria.
    Maybe it is bluster, but the borg will beat him with his own words relentlessly.

  60. ToivoS says:

    This story about Demsey warning Obama that the Ghouta sarin attack was not likely due to the Assad government forces is important. I was looking for a primary source and kept on hitting on Hirsh’s “Whose Sarin” article. Does anyone know of any other reference?
    In comments sections in a various of places when I have cited Hirsh a common response is to dismiss him as a has been or a nut. Sad but true. Hirsh is a great journalist. Most readers simply do not know what he has accomplished or simply trash him because he is not part of the borg. Some other link to the Demsey story would be appreciated.

  61. FkDahl says:

    Chulov is a dezinformatsia agent regarding Syria.

  62. Eliot says:

    “Some of the retired military people whom McMaster inherited on the NSC staff think that of the US intervenes against the Syrian government, Russia will back away from, us”
    Col. Lang,
    That’s somewhat alarming. Do you know why they think that? Are they simply ignorant of Russian character?
    – Eliot

  63. kooshy says:

    Only some of the times. thank you sir.

  64. eakens says:

    Interesting timing for this event, coming on the heels of Israel announcing that David’s Sling is fully operational.

  65. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Xi wants a quite Middle East; he does not want to see the hornet’s nest stirred more by US or anyone else.
    I think China will veto any UNSC resolution tabled by the Fortress West on this matter.

  66. different clue says:

    I wanted Sanders too. But the Inner Party Democrats wouldn’t let me have my Sanders. So I wouldn’t let them have their Clinton. ( And also considering the extreme war-danger which Clinton clearly posed).

  67. DH says:

    You say that so oracularly. Even if Trump has been rolled? I hope you are correct.

  68. different clue says:

    I think I just heard a discouraging word . . .
    Recently a commenter at Naked Capitalism offered a link to an obscure You Tube program purporting to raise questions about President Trump’s reading level or ability. I watched the video. It didn’t seem ranty or ravey or Clintonite-connected. It appeared to make a very slow careful case that Donald Trump either hardly is able to read or is not able to read at all. There were sections of Trump video which didn’t seem to me like they would illustrate the reverse of what the You Tube video claims they illustrate if only they were to be seen in some wider context.
    If this video had come out at the same time the “Clinton health problems” videos had come out, I would still not have voted for the Evil Clinton. But would I have voted for Trump? Maybe. Maybe I would have considered keeping the Evil Clintons out of the White House so important that electing an illiterate President would have been a price worth paying.
    Anyway, here is the link.
    If anyone else here watches this video, I wonder if they will end up thinking what I think I am thinking . . . Houston, we may have a problem.

  69. Henshaw says:

    In terms of vesting irrational hope in someone/ something that is patently unlikely to deliver, this article in politico is relevant. On issues like this, people rarely do rational decision-making. http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/04/donald-trumps-fictional-america-post-fact-venezuela-214973

  70. different clue says:

    “Rescue workers”? “Rescue workers” have gathered soil samples? What kind of “rescue workers” . . . the White Helmets?
    Is there video of the heroic “rescue workers” digging up and collecting the soil samples? It would be fun to watch such videos to assess the forensic soil-sample-gathering professionalism level of those “rescue workers” as they went about “taking soil samples”.

  71. Bill H says:

    Yes, such thinking is far too common in Washington, and it makes me very nervous. Recall Obama’s statement along the lines of, “Russia does not want to fight a war with us because we have a vastly larger military.”

  72. Prem says:

    This looks like a false flag which was timed to coincide with an air strike (which are frequent).
    But Trump seems to have bought it, hook, line and sinker. It also looks like Kushner is pushing out Bannon – a bad sign for those who want a more rational foreign policy.

  73. Matt says:

    Did you not read that – I wanted Bernie Sanders? Whose domestic economic agenda would help those you describe far more than Trumps empty words?

  74. Tel says:

    It seems unlikely that Assad, who has been making good progress towards victory for the past 12 months, would organize a gas attack that killed a handful of people (mostly civilians) and has no strategic value other than attracting international condemnation.
    It seems even more unlikely that Putin would support such an action, given that it does not benefit his agenda and there’s no need for it. Besides that, it simply isn’t his style to go for random killings. If it was very specifically targeted killings then I might believe Putin was involved, but not this.
    It seems ridiculously unlikely that Assad would take an action to enrage Putin at a time when Assad is entirely the dependent party, and so far has cooperated very well.
    These things alone would be enough to make me confident that Assad didn’t do it.
    “Well, OK. IMO the R+6 should learn the lesson of this propaganda debacle and OVERRUN Idlib Province!!”
    That’s a fair suggestion, but I’m going to question whether that would solve anything. Let’s suppose sufficient force is actually available to achieve that (a valid question in itself) but anyone can make a media stunt, and the news reports just love to lap this up. I don’t think you can fight against lies with a gun. For what it’s worth, you can’t fight envy with a gun either.

  75. Hunsdon says:

    Why would the President want to meet with John McCain, one of his fiercest and most outspoken (also delusional) critics?

  76. Ghostship says:

    I read that article and I saw this:
    “To date, all of the nerve agents used in the Syrian conflict have been binary chemical warfare agents, so-named because they are mixed from several different components within a few days of use. ”
    From what I can make out, this demonstrates a considerable lack of knowledge on the part of the author of that article as binary agents are stored in the weapon and only mixed after the weapon is launched.
    Would any of the committee care to comment?

  77. LeaNder says:

    Cee, no idea why this memory popped up. It’s more then a decade ago I watched those vidoes. Obviously in English and not in Arabic.
    They weren’t medics really, but seemed rather well educated, expressing themselves in perfect English. My memory is weak. All I recall was this softness, low key, quietness, of their speech. Giving the impression of possessing some superior truth, maybe? On the surface contradicting the aggression of the 9/11 events. But somewhat accepting events as if some type of natural response, if I recall correctly. …
    Somewhat different to the self-thought ideologues, some of them converts, that later surfaced on German ground too.
    What impression would the videos leave after all these years? A lot changed since then.
    Anyway, I am connecting two different things.
    First my impression of those “soft-spoken” younger men. Who clearly were deeply rooted in an Islamist tradition, I do not really understand. Leave alone its history. But I sure was left with a strong impression that they somehow argued from earlier literature that influenced and inspired them.
    Second, maybe around the time of the Arab spring here on SST there were references to a scholar. Maybe I should reread the larger context, e.g. Dr. Amatzia Baram’s contributions about Egypt here. Or other articles at the time.
    Anyway: At that point an Islamist scholar surfaced who Pat considered dangerous. Which yes, kept me from taking a closer look. After all, do I really want to study Arab history, culture, literature, Islam more thoroughly? Although, it occasionally crossed my mind, and I read a little. Anyway, concerning the specific scholar Pat warned about, I don’t get further then Yusuf al-Qaradawi on fast checks.

  78. trinlae says:

    Here is Vijay Prashad’s latest:
    “Is Trump Going to Commit the Next Great American Catastrophe in Syria?
    It’d be extremely foolhardy to take military action when the details of the recent horrific gas attack lack expert examination.”
    (Disclaimer: I am not a big fan of alternet, but VP knows ME very well w several books on the topic)

  79. turcopolier says:

    I think you refer to the exchanges between “Yusuf,” a Nasserist Egyptian journo and A. Baram, an emeritus professor of Arab history at Haifa U. specialized in Iraq. Yusuf was filled with a great and IMO naïve enthusiasm for the prospects of a brave new Egypt. Neither Baram nor I shared his naiveté. they eventually stopped writing on SST. Yusuf was dangerous only to his fellow Egyptians who somehow expected the impossible from their own countrymen. pl

  80. turcopolier says:

    Bannon’s departure from the NSC staff working spaces and functions has nothing to do with Kushner. McMaster told the president that he did not want this man looking over his shoulder all the time. full stop as the Brits say. pl

  81. turcopolier says:

    I have direct access to witnesses of the event. pl

  82. turcopolier says:

    In my experience the process begins with someone’s deliberate evasion of the truth for political or policy reason and ends in mutual self-deception and groupthink. pl

  83. LeaNder says:

    thanks, Pat. For whatever reason, maybe due to a larger mental struggle at the time, it pops up again and again. I’ll follow your hint.

  84. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Should the United States intervene in Syria, she should include contingency plans for war with the Russian Federation, almost certainly with Iran, and a wider war as it expands to include Turkey and Gulfies.
    The leaders of the United States, at the same time, must articulate a positive vision of the future after the war as well as how victory is defined.
    The allies of the United States in the Fortress West will oppose the war against Syria – it is inconceivable for me that France and UK would introduce troops into Syria to fight against Russia and Iran and their allies.
    While China is powerless to stop a US war against Syria, she will offer no political cover. Even India would not support a US war against Syria.
    US can still wage a war, likely lasting decades, but the questions remains: “What for?”

  85. Clonal Antibody says:

    Col. Lang,
    I came across this today – Hillary Clinton Approved Delivering Libya’s Sarin Gas to Syrian Rebels: Seymour Hersh – Your comments would be appreciated.

    The great investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, in two previous articles in the London Review of Books («Whose Sarin?» and «The Red Line and the Rat Line») has reported that the Obama Administration falsely blamed the government of Syria’s Bashar al-Assad for the sarin gas attack that Obama was trying to use as an excuse to invade Syria; and Hersh pointed to a report from British intelligence saying that the sarin that was used didn’t come from Assad’s stockpiles.
    Hersh also said that a secret agreement in 2012 was reached between the Obama Administration and the leaders of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar, to set up a sarin gas attack and blame it on Assad so that the US could invade and overthrow Assad. «By the terms of the agreement, funding came from Turkey, as well as Saudi Arabia and Qatar; the CIA, with the support of MI6, was responsible for getting arms from Gaddafi’s arsenals into Syria».
    However, now, for the first time, Hersh has implicated Hillary Clinton directly in this «rat line». In an interview with Alternet.org,

    There is of course much more to the article, including some of the US/Saudi/Syrian history.

  86. Jack says:

    It seems with the remarks by POTUS and the tweet by Ivanka, and with the rabid warmongers here at home and in Europe all amping up the “we will act” rhetoric, there clearly seems some serious momentum this time for the war party. Nikki was showing pictures of dead babies at the UN. Boris was speaking of the despicable Assad. Tillerson was saying that Russia should stop backing Assad. He’s gonna be meeting Lavrov next week. Is he going with an ultimatum?
    What is the probability you all assign that we are now going to attack Assad? And will we go all in to effect regime change? Will Putin back down and feed Assad to the wolves in the west?

  87. b says:

    Russia will not back off. It will stick with Syria.
    If U.S. goes in with forces overwhelming Russian capabilities in Syria then Russia will escalate elsewhere. Putin hasn’t been nasty or ruthless yet at all. I am sure he can be both when needed and he is a very capable man.

  88. Sam Peralta says:

    What will Xi and Putin do, if the warmongers in the west, use this false flag to push for regime change in Syria militarily?
    They must know that the western leadership are nuts and will easily become prey to the media and domestic political hysteria and consequently disregard any rationality with respect to adverse outcomes. The question is, will China and Russia risk a major global conflict and militarily oppose the US/EU/Israel march to regime change in Syria? I doubt. They will back down and sacrifice Assad & Iran.

  89. Jackrabbit says:

    >> “Someone’s deliberate evasion”
    I believe there is a hierarchy of political messaging, so that “someone” is generally Party leaders and their associates.
    >> “ends in mutual self-deception and groupthink”
    Agree. But its the Kool-Aid drinking grassroots that are most delusional and they get played time and time again.

  90. turcopolier says:

    “the Kool-Aid drinking grassroots that are most delusional and they get played time and time again” That is so but the leaders of the Borg convince each other of the truth of their own BS. pl

  91. Hood Canal Gardner says:

    Budget vote ‘noise’ close at hand, no serious tax health care plan at hand, infrastructure recipes ‘lost’ in FDR’s papers, immigration/ICE blow-back, wall cartoons being inked, drug war miasma…who pulled the trigger this time … accepted: lots of serious noise, but who’s got the Risk dice? The Gypsy King is still rolling, not the Wells Fargo Guy or the Sweeper.

  92. Babak Makkinejad says:

    You must be working for the government; city, county, state, or federal.

  93. Lefty says:

    different clue
    Seems more likely there are a couple of issues that make reading not much fun for Trump. ADHD with its corresponding short attention span, and a learning disability involving reading. It is a fairly common combination.
    ADHD makes it easier for something else shiny to catch his attention while the LD makes reading a chore. That would also explain TV as a primary source for him. Visual and auditory comprehension is easier for him and Fox News segments seemed timed for short attention spans.
    There are other things about Trump that cause a lot more concern. Disinclination to read much seems pretty trivial.

  94. Peter in T,
    Do yourself a favour, stick to commenting abt Toronto or buy yourself a history book about the ME !
    We been hearing the same crap about the inability of the regime and Russians to take back Aleppo as well … well, here we are.
    Best of luck with your experimental anthropology 😉

  95. Booby says:

    I guess the criticism of “White Hats” handling sarin victims with their bare hands & dust masks must have reached the head choppers. Just read a CBS article titled “Turkey says autopsies prove chemical weapons attack in Syria” that included a photo of 5 people in full chemical gear moving a person on a stretcher. Who knows where the photo came from. Looked like a chem. drill. Too neat & clean for an attack site.
    I really wonder what the Intel folks gave Trump in his morning brief. The bad guys have been killing their own people or innocents for the camera since Bosnia. Hopefully our intel is presenting the President with real evidence & not relying on the media (MSM or social)& AQ propaganda.
    Hopefully we’re not about to venture deeper into the rabbit hole.

  96. johnf says:

    Everything seems to be happening at such lightning speed now its difficult to keep up.
    Nunes has apparently stepped down because of an “ethics” enquiry:
    “The panel is looking into claims that the Republican disclosed classified intelligence.
    Mr Nunes called the charges “entirely false” and “politically motivated”.”
    ” there clearly seems some serious momentum this time for the war party.”
    I dunno. Here in the UK the two lead news outlets on the story – The Guardian and the Beeb – seem to have largely dropped it.
    ” But its the Kool-Aid drinking grassroots that are most delusional and they get played time and time again.”
    Again I’m not sure. The “Deplorables” seem to be fairly well innoculated against the excesses of the MSM. On the Fakenews Twitter thread the Syrian gas attacks seem to be on the same level of disbelief this week as the “Putin is Satan” memes were last week. Six Book Jonathan’s have overtaken Six Pack Joes in the Gullibility Stakes.

  97. Lefty says:

    My old Dad would from time to time shake his head and say variations on “The dumb bastards believed their own propaganda. Be careful you don’t fall into that trap kid, it’s among the worst mistakes you can make”.

  98. Fred says:

    They don’t count for the borg, that is for certain. Syrian’s don’t matter to them either.

  99. fanto says:

    Too many coincidences: Sean Connery in one of his movies – “if it happens once it is random coincidence, if it happens twice it is suspicious, if it happens three times – it is the action of an enemy”
    It happened once when the UN inspectors were in Syria and Gouta happened
    It happened twice when the Kiev’s war was not doing well for Kiev, and the MH-17 happened, and sanctions against Russia were immediately decided upon
    It happened now in Idlib, when Assad is winning.
    Not to mention the other strange coincidences
    It happened last September, when the US mistakenly bombed Deir Zor
    It happened in St. Petersburg metro bombing
    some of us paranoics may be seeing reality after all.

  100. Mikey says:

    This should help clarify the terminology:
    What we are talking about when we talk about “Binary Sarin”

  101. Jackrabbit says:

    What is your opinion of direct democracy (like Pirate Party) as a means of breaking the borg-infested duopoly’s grip on power?
    (apologies for the off-topic discussion)

  102. AK says:

    All of these are wise and salient considerations, but given the track record of the people in now in power, what indicates to you that they would pay any attention whatsoever to such “trivial details”? It seems that for these people, victory is defined as the start of yet another war. The bigger the better. An end to the war is not something to be considered or even desired.

  103. John_Frank says:

    For those interested, a number of items:
    1. The UN press report on yesterday’s UN SC meeting to discuss the situation in Syria. Chemical attack, if confirmed, would be largest in Syria, UN Security Council told http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=56504#.WOZqArjDuzk
    2. For those who wish to watch the full event, the UN has posted the video of yesterday’s UN SC meeting http://webtv.un.org/watch/the-situation-in-the-middle-east-syria-security-council-7915th-meeting/5386184129001
    3. Yesterday, Russian FM spokesperson Maria Zakharova held her weekly press briefing. The Ministry has started the process of transcribing her remarks into English. What has been posted so far covers a number of matters, including the terrorist attack in St. Petersburg, Russia and developments in Syria. http://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/2717014
    4. Four reports from the Straits Times (Singapore). Do not live there, just a website I monitor. In the order of publishing time:
    AFP/Reuters – Initial probe suggests Syria attack victims exposed to sarin: Turkey http://www.straitstimes.com/world/middle-east/autopsy-results-show-chemical-weapons-used-in-syrian-attack-turkish-minister
    AFP/Reuters – Syrian govt says any inquiry into gas attack must not be politicised http://www.straitstimes.com/world/middle-east/syrian-govt-says-any-inquiry-into-gas-attack-mustnt-be-politicised-moscow-says-us
    AFP – Syria ‘chemical’ attack: What we know http://www.straitstimes.com/world/middle-east/syria-chemical-attack-what-we-know
    AFP – Syria foreign minister confirms airstrike on rebel depot containing chemical weapons http://www.straitstimes.com/world/middle-east/syria-foreign-minister-confirms-airstrike-on-rebel-depot-containing-chemical

  104. pmr9 says:

    This material is summarized, with links to other sources that corroborate it, on this page
    Hersh expanded on his original article in three interviews: one with DemocracyNow, one with the Turkish news portal Diken, and one with Telesur.
    There is corroboration for almost all the key points in his story, except that the role of Porton Down’s scientists has been played down, probably to protect them.

  105. Norbert M Salamon says:

    INMO Mr. Putin can not back down in Syria, for such would be a sign of weakness, and the Russian oligarch/ fifth columnists would attack him and the political stability of Russia might be upset.
    As Mr. Putin is a nationalist without empire ambitions, he will not chance the above scenario.

  106. Clonal Antibody says:

    I also came across this – Evidence Calls Western Narrative About Syrian Chemical Attack Into Question

    the evidence indicates that the intended target was not immediately in a civilian area and was in fact a location where Syrian White Helmets were on the scene with rebel groups at what observers have claimed was a storage facility for conventional and chemical munitions. Additionally, evidence indicates that rebel groups may have had prior knowledge of the attack and knew that there was a risk of chemical weapons being unleashed. The attack also came in the aftermath of a trip by Senator John McCain to meet with groups known to associate with radical jihadist factions in Syria
    I. Evidence From Khan Sheikhoun Does Not Support Assertions Of Airborne Chemical Weapons Use
    Observers further noted that on April 1st, 2017, a doctor on the ground in Khan Sheikhoun, Dr. Shajul Islam, had received several shipments of gas masks in the days running up to the chemical incident.
    Additionally, footage from the scene of the incident taken by the Syrian White Helmets appears to show that their operatives were not assisting victims in a manner that was consistent with established protocol on how to handle sarin saturated bodies
    II. Rebels Are Known To Have Possessed And Used Chemical Weapons In Syria For Some Time
    While the Syrian government surrendered their chemical arms stockpiles for destruction several years ago, evidence indicates that rebel groups in Syria have ramped up their own supplies of the deadly weapons systems and have not hesitated to deploy them in combat. On June 23rd, 2014, The Wall Street Journal reported that the Syrian government had completed the removal of all chemical weapons from the country per and agreement they had reached with the United States. The handover was confirmed by the United Nations Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. While the Syrian government have surrendered their chemical weapons, rebel groups have acquired and used them in increasing numbers.
    III. The Khan Sheikhoun Incident May Be Part Of An Ongoing Power Struggle Over U.S. Policy In Syria
    The chemical attack also appears to play into the ongoing power struggle between the American political establishment and members of the new Trump administration. Political figures who are hawkish towards the Syrian government have noted with some dismay that President Trump had until this week been apparently unwilling to prosecute the United States’ stated goal of enacting regime change in Syria, citing the larger threat of ISIS and other jihadist terror groups as a priority.
    The United States politicians who have taken funds from countries known to supply rebel groups with materials for the production of chemical weapons were also been meeting with rebel factions known to association with jihadist groups in the run up to the attack. On February 22nd, 2017, CNN reported that McCain had made a secret trip to northern Syria the week prior. McCain’s made the trip despite the fact that since late 2015, the Western media has finally admitted that there were no longer any “moderate” rebel groups in Syria.

  107. different clue says:

    Since a President needs to absorb and process and retain a lot of concentrated information and analysis to be able to do his best thinking about things and stuff, and somewhats what to DO about things and stuff; a deep disinclination OR a deep inability to read would render him information deprived in situations when being information supplied would make him more helpful and less harmful.
    If he has trusted people reading these threads and they privately know that he has an undisclosed reading-rejection problem or illiteracy problem, hopefully they will set up systems and get him to agree with those systems to have people read long dense difficult material to him and make sure he understands it.
    If he can’t or won’t read SST for example, he should have people read it to him . . . every post and then every comment. As it is, I see a risk of his getting Clintified and accepting the Clinton Imperative that “Assad must go.”

  108. Thomas says:

    “The question is, will China and Russia risk a major global conflict and militarily oppose the US/EU/Israel march to regime change in Syria? I doubt. They will back down and sacrifice Assad & Iran.”
    I disagree. They know what is going on with Syria and George Soros’ White Helmet helpers, if Trump bows to the Borganism, then they will understand no course correction is possible so the fight will be on.

  109. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I assumed that those decision makers have a moderate level of intelligence as well as certain amount of devotion to the well-being of the United States.

  110. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Thank you for your comments which I found educational.
    You won’t get any argument out of me in regards to clearing these sorts of semantic confusions; in fact, on several occasions on this forum I quoted the Sage in support of the Rectification of Names.

  111. John_Frank says:

    Six additional bits that people may find of value:
    Syria’s ‘moderate rebels’ to form a new alliance
    US funding for rebel groups in northern Syria has been partially restored, opposition sources tell Al Jazeera.
    The report by Mariya Petkova was originally published on April 3 https://twitter.com/mkpetkova/status/848955870549614593 (A scan of her twitter feed suggests her bias is towards the Syrian opposition.)
    A series of tweets by Elijah J. Magnier‏ on April 5 after he interviewed the UK FM Boris Johnson at the Brussels conference on Syria concerning European intentions for north eastern Syria. https://twitter.com/EjmAlrai/status/849637569558192129 As always his twitter feed is useful.
    An analysis by Mr. Magnier from late yesterday:
    Did Assad use chemical weapons on Khan Shaikhoun to score an own goal in the international arena? https://elijahjm.wordpress.com/2017/04/06/did-assad-use-chemical-weapons-on-khan-shaikhoun-to-score-an-own-goal-in-the-international-arena/
    Photo is released by rebels indicating location of the “chemical bombing”:A Civil defence” vehicle hiding inside man-made whole in mountain!
    AFP reports – #BREAKING Turkey slams Russian backing of Syrian regime as ‘utterly wrong’ https://twitter.com/AFP/status/850010911972741120
    Of course, and as Mr. Magnier observed:
    #Russia stopped #Turkey & its #Syrian proxies from attacking #Kurds who liberated territories from #ISIS v @MFS001
    Haaretz reports – Putin rebukes Netanyahu over ‘groundless accusations’ on Syria chemical attack https://twitter.com/ChemiShalev/status/849989868126187520

  112. Lefty says:

    We agree on the risk. I think Col. Lang has it right, staff at the NSC and Borgists all around discount Russian resolve and are itching for a fight. Syria is a likely site and a phony gas attack an excuse. My highest hope for Trump was that he would avoid that. This week those hopes are fading, and I, like you, fear we will get much what we would have gotten with Clinton.
    But as when flying, you haven’t actually crashed until you hit something, so there’s still time to change course. It won’t be easy with the current levels of hysteria.

  113. DH says:

    I hope that’s the overarching logic, and not continual low grade war for the sake of keeping the ME/Russia/China off-balance.

  114. anon says:

    in my humble opinion russia,s flotilla on the med was a trap set by so called obama inaction to lure russian naval forces to the coast.they are now being held hostage by superior anti missile technology.they are the sitting ducks.assads end game has arrived.the skipping stones are headed for the coast

  115. Walrus says:

    Indications are that a coalition of the willing is going to invade Syria from Iraq.

  116. Chris Chuba says:

    Being that it would take time to overrun the Idlib province and even then Al Qaeda could stage another attack, I wonder if the Russians have some sort of quick strike force that could immediately seize control of the next Ghouta. They need to be able to preserve the forensics and make them available to the UN ASAP before the White Helmets get done changing all of the evidence.
    Since Al Qaeda had brilliant success here, why wouldn’t they follow it up with another chemical attack. The western MSM/Borg would bleat that Assad didn’t learn his lesson because we were too nice and demand that we strike all of his airfields.
    It may seem impractical to seize areas in rebel heartland and maybe it is but this last attack was in the outskirts and not a big city. I guess Al Qaeda didn’t want to poison their best places.

  117. turcopolier says:

    Chris Chuba
    Yes. Yes. You have to get moving and make it happen or it will happen TO YOU. I am amazed at what passive, easily screwed people a lot of you are. pl

  118. fanto says:

    history if modern chemical – gas warfare:
    Description of modern gas warfare: the english and german Wikipedia do not include the name of the scientist who invented it for the use in World War One. It was Fritz Haber, who received Nobel Prize for chemistry for 1918. His co-workers, according to the german Wiki were also the inventors of Zyklon B. His involvement is described in the third link.

  119. DH says:

    It’s possible he’s in the same position as Obama right after first elected. Ostensibly, he wanted to draw down in Afghanistan, but had his arm pinned behind his back and was forced into COIN. Trump may consider out-foxing the Borg a feather in his cap.

  120. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I think there also exists the possibility of war between Turkey and Iran over Syria and Iraq.
    Such a war could leave Turkey a smaller country – probably by 20%, territory lost on the East to Kurds with the subsequent mutual expulsions of Kurds and Turks en mass from the respective territories.
    I think Iranian leaders have bent backwards and forwards to try to get the Turkish leaders to “climb down from the Satan’s Ass” to no avail.
    But I also do not think that their forbearance can be counted on indefinitely.

  121. different clue says:

    Well, no . . . but you can fight fighters with a gun. And if the R + 6 are able to physically reconquer and re-occupy Idlib and exterminate all traces of rebel life from every square foot of re-occupied Idlib, then there will be no rebel scum left alive anywhere in Idlib to mount any more such false flag attacks.
    If every rebel and rebel-supporter can be killed in Idlib, and none left alive to hide or escape, then it won’t matter so much who outside of Idlib is envious of this or that.

  122. Bill Herschel says:

    This is worth reading. Particularly given its source. Trump lacks any sort of legal authority or even legal precedent for attacking Syria.

  123. Bill Herschel says:

    This is all about the American Health Care Act. I know that sounds like I’m trivializing a horrific crisis, but the process is very important.
    The people who are manipulating Trump, through Kushner, knew that he was incredibly weak and susceptible after the repeal of Obamacare failed and stayed failed. They knew they had him. How easy was it to stage the “chemical attack”? Just as easy as it was to destroy the airbase.
    This was all very well thought out, and we have a stupid child manipulated by very smart people running the country. It’s a very dangerous time.

  124. Colonel,
    A fake poison gas attack followed without further enquiry by a retaliatory strike is unequivocally neocon.
    Does this mean that the Trump movement has lost its figurehead?

  125. Fred says:

    You left out Christian thought which is far more fundamental to Western thinking than Confucius.

  126. Fred says:

    Putin needs to send a couple brigades of reinforcements. AQ stored their chemicals, which Susan Rice and company assured us they didn’t have four years ago, on the outskirts to keep from losing them.

  127. Fred says:

    Paul Ryan spent seven years screwing around on an ACA replacement bill so that the unicorns of the FSA could stage a false flag attack because everyone knew up front that we were going to invade Syria one day? That’s quite a stretch.

  128. The Beaver says:

    According to Politico:
    Several people say Trump relied on Defense Secretary James Mattis, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who kept in touch with him several times a day and answered his questions in “straightforward, to-the-point ways,” said one administration official. All three advisers supported the strike and wanted the president on board.
    Several top officials, including Tillerson, told Trump it was important to strike the exact airfield where officials believed the gas was made and from which the planes flew, according to two people, including a senior White House official. That would make the attack easier to justify and deem it “proportional,” a word they saw as key to ensuring the strike’s legality.

  129. BraveNewWorld says:

    From a military stand point the article is certainly a valid view point. But I am more focused on whether the government controlled parts of Syria can survive long with out the money from the oil & gas reserves, the water from the Euphrates and the power plants in the East.
    The US in Iraq carved off the bulk of the oil fields and gave then to the Kurds and the rest of Iraq is financially collapsing because of it. With the US having taken over two bases in Eastern Syria which are being turned into permanent bases the race is on to grab land there before the Kurds/US does. The plan is to create a failed state like in Iraq so the US doesn’t have to put enough man power on the ground to take the whole state.
    Israel is currently pushing for a buffer zone which if past is prologue will eventually be annexed by Israel. Turkey has said they still intend to seize Idlib. The plan is to turn the Syrians into the equivalent of the Palestinians. A people with out a country/citizenship and no voice in the world.

  130. Horatio Parker says:

    Sure he is – if he thinks Trump and Putin will combine to force a settlement on him. Haley and Tillerson both sent out signals that Assad could stay, which put Trump and Putin on the same page.
    This attack has buried that possibility.

  131. Peter AU says:

    A pic here of an expert gathering soil samples. Suitably attired in mask, gloves and flip flops.
    The site appears here in the guardian video
    Another pic floating around somewhere with two experts in masks gloves and flip flops gathering soil samples from this site.

  132. BraveNewWorld says:

    “The officer ultimately responsible for the planning and execution of the attack was General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the joint chiefs. From the beginning of the crisis, the former intelligence official said, the joint chiefs had been sceptical of the administration’s argument that it had the facts to back up its belief in Assad’s guilt.”
    If I remeber right the link to the MIT study is at the end of that one.
    “Hersh Vindicated? Turkish Whistleblowers Corroborate Story on False Flag Sarin Attack in Syria”

  133. Fred says:

    The oil is sold on the world market at the market price. What happened to all the existing oil tankers that should be part of your analysis?

  134. Pittsburgh Gal says:

    Fred- I am a “deplorable’ and you are correct. Many Trump supporters are not in agreement with this recent military action…

  135. Pittsburgh Gal says:

    May I suggest that you offer your services to POTUS?? No joke here; I am serious.

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