Deir al-Zor: Was it really an accident?


(coming soon)

 "The US has expressed regret for the strikes, while Australia, which says its planes were among a number of international aircraft involved in the operation, expressed condolences to the victims' families.

Russia said Sunday that the blunder could place the delicate Syrian truce, in place for less than a week, under threat.
"We consider what happened as a natural result of the persistent refusal of the United States from the establishment of close cooperation with Russia in the fight against ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra and other affiliated terrorist groups," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement."  CNN
So, we and the Australians admit that we "done it."  The body count this morning is up to 83 and presumably will go higher.  Could it have been a real targeting error?  Yes.  People here on SST who have participated in air targeting know how easy it is to make a mistake.  But, there are some unusual things about this "error."  The SAA has been occupying these positions for six months or so.  Presumably US imagery and SIGINT analysts have been looking at them all that time and producing map overlays that show who is where in detail.  These documents would be widely available especially to air units and their targeteers.  US coalition led air has rarely struck in the Deir al-Zor area.  Why now?  Were they asked to strike?   The US does not talk to the Syrian government.  How would they have been asked?  Who would have designated the targets?  They struck in the presence of SAA troops without any ground liaison?  And what of the timing two days before the US-Russian deal was to be expanded into active cooperation?
And then there is the performance of Ambassador Samantha Power at the UN last night and today.  Last night she threw a hissy fit for the cameras outside the chamber in which the Security Council was meeting.  She seemed outraged to have had her Saturday Night interrupted for something as trivial as the Deir al-Zor attacks.  One can envisage her snuggled up with a good book in her apartment in the Waldorf Towers only to be be ripped away for this meeting.  And then, today she made a longer statement on Tee Vee in which she first expressed the regret of the US government for the devastation we had wrought, and then set forth her bill of particulars against the Syrian government, a statement so fulsome in its loaded up R2P/Borgist assertions (routine Chemical attacks on THE PEOPLE, etc.) that it is obvious that for her the SAA are as much the enemy as IS.  I conclude that she must think that bombing the evil SAA was a good thing.  She does not exist in a vacuum.  SECDEF Carter is a thoroughgoing  Russophobe.  General Votel, the US commander in Iraq and eastern Syria has expressed doubt about the wisdom of cooperating with the Russians.
IMO it is an open question as to whether these air strikes on the SAA were accidental.  pl

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167 Responses to Deir al-Zor: Was it really an accident?

  1. Will says:

    Anybody that has a torts class (includes negligent and intentional act that result in damage) has heard of U.S vs. Carroll Towing. When the consequence is catastrophic, even slight risks have to be addressed.
    Why no rational person should vote for Hillary, an inveterate, incorrigible, and unrepentant war-monger? think mushroom clouds
    “[Learned] Hand stated:
    [T]he owner’s duty, as in other similar situations, to provide against resulting injuries is a function of three variables: (1) The probability that she will break away; (2) the gravity of the resulting injury, if she does; (3) the burden of adequate precautions.”

  2. bolasete says:

    the obvious inference is that it was intentional and there is infighting within the ptb. obama wants to transit to retirement without further tarnishing his brand while hillary is intent on expanding warfare. the bankers and industrialists can’t keep holding their breath staving off the crash.
    i’m old and this pack of candidates is the worst in my more than half-century’s observations. from my high window i can see my city’s downtown. i’ve even used the available calcualtors and found i’m right at the edge of the fireball from a single likely russian nuke at the center. of course, i have progeny but the next few years will be unpleasant under any course of action.

  3. Les says:

    So blatant was the airstrike against the Syrian Army that even anti-Assad mainstream media in Australia have suggested that the airstrikes purposefully attacked their positions, supporting Russia’s claim.

  4. Anna says:

    If one wants to observe a perfect psychopath than here is a video of Samantha Powers speaking for the UN emergency meeting. She looks horrifyingly subhuman.
    Russia is trying to clarify the matters by pointing to the obvious (“Russia affirms the US works with ISIS” But these RF efforts are futile because ziocons have no shame and they are not interested in truth, facts, dignity and such.
    “Israel bombed the SAA earlier in the week and as a response from the SAA, had several of their crafts shot down. Of course the Obama administration is going to be pressured by its ‘only democratic ally in the region’ to take direct action against the SAA, diplomacy be damned. So of course the US had to do something…
    Samantha Powers statements at the UN were deplorable, a real ‘low point’ in the history of US diplomacy…
    It’s the Israelification of the US diplomacy.”

  5. Sans racines says:

    Colonel Lang
    Thank you for your words – I was watching Churkin address the press live last night – he was appalled, and as he said in outraged disbelief, what on earth has happened to the level of American diplomacy? It is as you have implied populated with characters with no real character or life experience. All you can say is ‘forgive them Lord, for they know not what they do…’

  6. Emad says:

    Subhuman? Is this what it inevitably boils down to?

  7. michael brenner says:

    Take heart, friends – enlightenment is dawning among the nation’s movers & shakers. Today, The New York Times editorial board called for a “review” of whatever it is we’ve been doing in Afghanistan for the past 15 years. So we can look forward to a similar forthright admission of the need for a rethink about Syria in 2031.

  8. JMH says:

    What I heard out of her was panic and desperation.

  9. BabelFish says:

    The first time in my life I have seen a U.S. UN Ambassador ‘spluttering’ on TV. It wasn’t a flattering moment, nor a professional one, either.

  10. Fred says:

    Apparently Ambassador Power has decided to follow the example of Premier Khrushchev and let the other shoe drop. Another fine example of our collegiate bull session strategic thinking. Create a provocation and then denounce any response. That strategy worked to launch most of these politicians on the path that put them in the jobs they currently hold. Sadly they’ll give us the same results that Khrushchev’s actions gave his country. Luckily for everyone not a neocon the R+6 leaders understand restraint:
    “Russia is exerting all possible effort to restrain (Syrian) government troops from returning fire,” Senior Army General Viktor Poznikhir said.” I’m sure that restraint has limits.

  11. OIFVet says:

    What panic and desperation?! It was a banshee wail, pure and simple. That particular banshee has wailed a lot, too…

  12. okanogen says:

    Unfortunately I just posted below on this, but it is more on topic here.
    There are many ways this could have been an accident, friendly fire on known friendly positions happens. But even assuming it was a mistake, conducting any strike at this politically delicate time was extremely risky given the consequences of a mistake.
    So, either this was a consequence of too loose or unclear civilian direction of military action, or it was incompetence. Either way, this is not good
    But, maybe “mistakes” like this are inevitable when a country has been at war against an ever-expanding list of foes in an ever-expanding theater, for literally over a decade: civilian control of military operations breaks down.

  13. FB Ali says:

    Considering all the circumstances – especially the fact that the US does not bomb IS in support of the Syrian Army – I am fairly certain this was intentional. Most independent observers would think so, too.
    I wonder what Obama will do in response to this open defiance by the Pentagon and US military.
    I saw Powers on TV last night outside the Security Council chamber. One struggles for words to adequately describe one’s reaction: Disgusting! Nauseating! Pathetic!
    Many observers are angry that Russia doesn’t take a stronger stand, and walk away from the table. But Putin doesn’t act on emotion. He knows that the best way of defeating Carter and the anti-Russia faction in Washington is to go ahead and force the US to implement its part of the agreement in Syria – or undertake more degrading contortions to avoid doing so.

  14. turcopolier says:

    FB Ali
    IMO the “rebellion” is bigger than DoD. Power is evidence of that. pl

  15. Emad says:

    IMHO, intentionality is irrelevant here. What matters is that R+6 believe that it was intentional, and there’s virtually nothing in the world that could change that belief.
    So the question R+6 are dealing with now is why. I don’t know the Russian thinking on this, but the Iranian thinking goes along these lines: This is the U.S. telling Russia “We’ll do whatever we damn well please and there ain’t nothing you can do about it.” Another version of Friedman’s “Suck on this”, if you will. The U.S. is counting on the Iranians getting back to Russians with another told-you-so (They’d a row with Russians after the Khan Tooman incident.) and Syrians fuming at the mouth, demanding a swift response i.e. escalation by R+6 leading to the collapse of the new COH, which Russians don’t want. Not just yet anyway.
    Basically the Iranians look at the incident as the U.S. signalling that it can’t or doesn’t want to abide by the COH and is looking for a way out (Whether this is deception or not is another matter). But for some reason they’ve convinced themselves that the new COH is good for R+6, so they’ve kept a low profile for now, letting Russia own the stage and play the aggrieved gentleman suckered into buying another bridge. They may also have calculated that pressing Russians to go back to beating the rebels militarily instead of wasting time on diplomatic shenanigans would make prestige-prone Russians insist even more on restraint. So they’re letting Russians “come to their senses” gradually.

  16. BraveNewWorld says:

    “US coalition led air has not struck previously in the Deir al-Zor area.”
    That isn’t correct. From Dec 2015.
    That just makes it worse since if the US military did do an investigation of the first attack they learned nothing from it. Ignorance just isn’t a plausible excuse in any way, shape or form.

  17. b says:

    The strike began in the early evening, when planes attacked a group of vehicles that ***American surveillance aircraft had been watching for several days***, according to a Centcom official who requested anonymity because the episode was still being investigated.
    The attack went on for about 20 minutes, with the planes destroying the vehicles and gunning down dozens of people in the open desert, the official said.

    The U.S. destroyed 3 tanks, three IFVs with 23mm guns, one anti-air gun and at least 4 mortars says the SAA. That was a very significant part of the heavier weapons the SAA in Deir Ezzor still has.
    The U.S. drones had seen those position for days (if not longer) and thought it was ISIS? What directions were those guns pointing? Who delivered food to those positions?
    I do not believe for a moment that this was a mistake. This was an intentional hit.
    The U.S. (Obama personally) wants, for propaganda reasons, ISIS out of Mosul and Raqqa. Where it is to go? Deir Ezzor lies in the middle of those but the SAA is major parts in good control. Was this attack designed to prepare the city as ISIS new home?
    Think of it. The Turks don’t fight ISIS. If they want to take a place they tell ISIS to move out and it moves out before Turkey “conquers” the town. What place did Turkey tell them to go?

  18. mike says:

    The Colonel is right. “Why now? Were they asked to strike? The US does not talk to the Syrian government. How would they have been asked? Who would have designated the targets?”
    Those are the key questions in my mind.

  19. b says:

    As for the “rebellion”. It may well be that Kerry is fully behind it. He was behind the 51 State Department folks who wanted more war. Obama obviously, doesn’t care much (and never has) when the military or others acted against his orders. Has he ever really disciplined someone?

  20. DC says:

    One might well respect a proportional response from the Russians (or even the Syrians), resulting in the deaths of US servicemen. We would then be in the thick of it with Russia. For the sake of peace, it would behoove Obama to do all he can to convince them the Syrian deaths were truly a “mistake.” But that may be difficult to do, especially at a time when the election doesn’t seem to be going in his preferred direction.

  21. rjj says:

    “…what on earth has happened to the level of American diplomacy?”

  22. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    More alternatives should be considered, such as intentional misdirection originating from our unicorn ‘allies,’ willful disobedience somewhere in the chain of command, or a combination of some or all items on the list. I’m sure it will all be sorted out when the oversight committees in Congress do their usual thorough jobs. Cough.

  23. rjj says:

    is Powers’s offputtingness a bug or a feature?

  24. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I agree.

  25. Babak Makkinejad says:

    You cannot be serious; comparing Nikita Khrushchev (“the smartest man I had met” – as attested to by Nixon) and the savior of Mankind from real possibility of World War III in 1962 with Samantha Power.

  26. Anna says:

    Yes, it does. Samantha Powers has displayed a willful betrayal of human dignity.
    Listen carefully: she is a gifted propagandist and vicious opportunist. For instance, did not she imply that it was Russian federation that had started war in Syria and thus Russia is responsible for Syria’ woes?
    For those who took the proceeding of Nuremberg process seriously, Samantha Powers is a servant to the enemies of humanity. Of course she is just a useful peg in the machinery of the major war profiteers and “chosen” and yet her performance was exceptionally vile.

  27. Anna says:

    “A banshee, from Old Irish: ban síde, pronounced [bʲan ˈʃiːðʲe], “woman of the mounds,” is a female spirit in Irish mythology who heralds the death of a family member, usually by shrieking or keening.”
    Unfortunately Samantha Powers is more than just a commentator but an active provocateur and poison-brew maker.

  28. Kerim says:

    Well this is getting a bit worrying. It would confirm the fact that the ideologists are getting the upper hand. It’s also not particularly comforting if key military have jumped on that train.
    At some point this is going to have a life of its own.
    Powers show at the UN is beyond… words
    The US has probably lost the little respect people had for it.
    Frankly, it’s just sad to watch

  29. Anna says:

    Here is an important observation re the US/Australia bombing of Syrian army:
    “ISIS launched attacks on the Syrian army positions in Deir Ezzor only 7 minutes after the US-led coalition’s airstrikes on Saturday, a military source said, adding that the air and ground assault were highly coordinated, According to FNA report.” This seriously cuts against any US claims about this being an accident. additional information, in the below, also corroborates this…
    Israel bombed the SAA earlier in the week and as a response from the SAA, had several of their crafts shot down. Of course the Obama administration is going to be pressured by its ‘only democratic ally in the region’ to take direct action against the SAA, diplomacy be damned. So of course the US had to do something.”
    The above quote suggests that the US violated the agreement and bombed Syrian army in order to console the Israelis and ziocons. Israel is of course enraged by Russians fighting against the Israel-supported ISIS that has been helping Israel in grabbing the Golan Heights.
    It seems as if Israelis have been using the US military might at their Israeli pleasure. Ugly.

  30. mike says:

    I have never been a fan of Samantha Power and her militaristic tendencies. How Obama ever made her an ambassador is mind boggling and way beyond my ken. She has always promoted the use of our military to solve diplomatic problems. How did a sweet little Irish girl born in Dublin get to be so bloodthirsty?
    Obama should fire her and needs to do it soon. If elected Hillary will surely ask her to resign because of the “Hillary is a monster.” comment that Ms Power made back in 2008. Who turned out to be the real monster? Obama should get rid of Ms Power now to save face for both of them later.

  31. Charles Michael says:

    This ”error” hapening just after the public humiliations of US boots on the ground, broadly videoded, is bad, very bad.
    I lean to think it was deliberate, as reminded, the US do not give air support to SAA, could not ignore the positions in Der El Zor; then we add Ash Carter and Pentagon mouth piece. Samantha Power performance at the UN is ugly.
    It is to Obama to bring to reason these mutineers.
    I have little hope that in his new (?) lame-duck status he will for the first time show character.
    I am rather outraged.
    Considering the very tense and polarized situation amongst US citizen, the strong rejection in fact of both candidates, any adventure after November or even before could now be a possibility.

  32. turcopolier says:

    Like SWMBO you were probably always the smartest girl in the class. This is heady stuff for anyone but you both handled it better than Rice (NSC), Rice (State) or Power. IMO she cannot accept the idea that like the other kids in the class who always gave in to her, the Russians don’t give a s–t about her. pl

  33. Balint Somkuti says:

    Somehow I cant believe it was an accident.
    May God have mercy for all of us.
    What is next? Direct action against the russians in Syria?
    Has everybody gone nuts?
    Even tho the Red Army raped all females between 7-77 in the parts of Europe “”liberated”” by them it is still preferable to a nuclear holocaust.

  34. gemini33 says:

    RT reported that US airstrikes killed Syrian soldiers in Deir Ez-Zor on Dec. 7, 2015, killing 4 soldiers, 14 injured. The coalition said they had no airstrikes in Deir Ez-Zor.
    I thought today’s report on yesterday’s airstrikes was interesting. I’m not sure if these are different strikes than the ones that hit the Syrian army but the Operation Inherent Resolve CJTF describe them as:

    “Near Dayr Az Zawr, three strikes destroyed seven ISIL oil tanker trucks and damaged eight supply routes.”
    I’m curious about the Dec. 15 denial because one time, an OIR spokesman denied strikes on al Nusra, and made it clear that the coalition only targets ISIS, but said that CENTCOM has targeted al Qaeda. So apparently CJTF coalition could deny airstrikes in a particular area even though another US command could have done them. I reported this and cited Col. Garver’s statement here:
    This is what he said on Aug. 16:

    Garver: “No, that’s not true. The coalition has not done that. When you say CJTF, we have not done that. And the targeting of Khorasan Group, Nusra, that’s handled at CENTCOM and higher. It is not us that does that. We are focused on Daesh. If you go back and look at the press releases that CENTCOM puts out, they’re focused on the other operations ongoing in Syria. So that’s not a coalition operation.”

    I wonder if we have the same kind of situation with the strikes on Saturday. I find it confusing.

  35. turcopolier says:

    I am sure you know that SECSTATE has zero authority over the armed forces or the CIA unless POTUS gives him power in a particular matter. What his particular inclinations might be I know not, but his personal history of conniving deception is not a good sign. Rebellion in the military chain of command is unlikely in the US armed forces. These generals are all careerists in the worst sense of the term.. They made their way by kissing a-s and are unlikely to do anything else. IMO the decision to do this probably started with tha cabal of neocons and R2Peres at the top. Votel would not IMO have the balls to ask for presidential guidance before doing this. I am being driven towards Trump. I doubt that he is a risk taker. pl

  36. gemini33 says:

    Power is an embarrassment to this country, from my view. I can’t wait until she’s out of that position, or at least I hope she’ll be replaced by a better ambassador. I found it interesting that she was bending over backwards to try to persuade the UN journalists and the camera audience to her position. Doth protest too much. I was embarrassed by her.

  37. mike says:

    Were all the casualties from the SAA? Or were they from the Hezbollah and Iraqi Hashd Al-Sha’abi that are helping to defend Deir Ez Zor?
    And is there any truth to the rumor that a US drone took AAA fire earlier in the day before the attack?

  38. Tyler says:

    Putin’s patience is the stuff of legends, it seems. Thank God no Russians were killed.
    He seems to be channeling Reagan, letting the US over extend itself more and more until it finally stumbles over the cliff.

  39. rjj says:

    I was appreciating how well suited she is to represent a different official cabal of Deplorables.

  40. gemini33 says:

    I’m seeing reports that the ISIS offensive began 7 minutes after the airstrikes on the Syrian Army.
    The source is an anonymous military official, so grain of salt. But other reports said the ISIS offensive was “immediate” or “within an hour”.
    Flores (in that FortRuss article) suggests this US strike on the Syrian Army was retaliation for the missiles fired at the Israeli fighter jet and drone last week. I hadn’t even considered that. Not sure if it’s credible but it is an interesting speculation.
    I had thought it was more likely a way of sabotaging the US-Russia military cooperation aspect of the deal or to signal to the Syrian army to get out of Deir Ez-Zor before an operation to retake Raqqa and most of eastern Syria begins. Pro-Erdogan media reported that the Raqqa operation will begin soon (Yeni Safak article: )

  41. The Beaver says:

    @ rjj
    Check this :
    the spox of Russian Foreign Ministry:
    “Dear Samantha Power, in order to know the meaning of the word “embarrassed,” I highly encourage you to travel to Syria and talk to the people there for yourself. And by that I do not mean the Al-Nusra Front militants, nor the moderate opposition, whose humanitarian situation Washington seems to be so worried about. I likewise am not referring to the Western warriors for justice for Syria. I’m referring to the actual people that continue to live there in spite of the bloody experiment that has been waged on their homeland for over six years, with active participation by Washington.”
    “Let’s go there together,” she said, promising she would shoulder the expenses of Power’s Syria trip.
    “Do say yes. Don’t be frightened. Nobody will lay a finger on you in my presence. Unless, of course, your guys don’t again ‘mistakenly’ strike the wrong target. You’ll make lots of new memories. And find out what ‘embarrassed’ means in the process,”

  42. Sans racines says:

    Thank you rjj – I’ve only skimmed but it explains a lot. Cargo cult science.

  43. rjj says:

    Barbarossa ending in scorched earth and 10 million dead might bring the worst out in people.

  44. Chris Chuba says:

    Since our military has accused the Russians of intentionally bombing moderates, I consider it probable that they recklessly decided to settle a score for this non-existent offense.
    I do not see any valid reason for us to bomb ISIS targets within 100 miles of Deir Ezzor unless the Syrian Army itself calls in the airstrikes.
    1. We don’t have any spotters on the ground, aerial drones aren’t sufficient.
    2. The SDF isn’t within 100 or possibly even 150 miles of Deir Ezzor, we have no business there.
    The Russians should install S300’s so that a radar lock will be a signal to the Coalition aircraft that they have lost their way and are in the wrong place. This is my free advice to R+6, my free advice to the coalition is to leave if they detect a radar lock. Perhaps Samantha Power will call a U.N. Security Meeting and say [while squinting with that mile long face of hers] ‘Really?’

  45. VietnamVet says:

    Nothing happens in isolation. We are all interconnected.
    My take is that there are way too many wars in too many places for the White House to analyze and approve each bombing strike. The President could never sleep or play golf. Someone up in the chain of command decided to give Israel a freebie and bomb Dier al-Zor since they perceive that Israel’s enemies are America’s enemies. If ISIS attacked 7 minutes after the bombing ended, it was coordinated. In American media Russia is now portrayed as an enemy.
    The primitives have taken control. Thousand year hatreds rule. Underneath is the insatiable craving to be one of the thousand families who have everything. All of the western democracies are in decline as their power is seized by transnational corporations, taxes cut and government privatized.
    Tribalism is superseding science and rational thought. On the internet Kevin Drum, Brad Delong and Paul Krugman are hippy punching former Bernie Sanders supporters who have not jumped on the Hillary Clinton bandwagon. Lefties are another basket of deplorables.

  46. oofda says:

    Trump not a risk taker? His comments on nuclear weapons are terrifying. The problem is that he doesn’t know when he is taking a risk. General Hayden is certainly not an HRC back but he expressed grave concern about Trump and nuclear weapons.

  47. turcopolier says:

    IMO it is all BS. I was in international business for ten miserable year at the corporate level. Were you or Haydon ever in a business that was not fed off the US government? People like him do not take other than carefully calculated risks. pl

  48. Jay says:

    It would be interesting to see what our reaction would be if the Syrians ordered us out of their airspace and off their turf?

  49. Sege says:

    US air has struck previously directly in the Deir al-Zor area, most significantly to my memory in the last most serious ISIS attempt to seize the airport in December 2014, in which hundreds of ISIS were likely amassed. A series of strikes “destroyed three ISIL vehicles, an ISIL excavator and struck an ISIL training camp,” 2 days into the 10 day offensive, and there were more following and further along along the iraqi border as reinforcements were being bussed in. This was a complete mistake on US part IMO, as there are precedents for them targeting massed up IS formations in the area. Although a few curious details such as australian participation,especially in this area, add an aura of strangeness to the whole thing(when, as I understand it,non-US participation in bombing raids is quite rare)

  50. robt willmann says:

    Samantha Power’s husband is Cass Sunstein. He had taught at the University of Chicago Law School. He was appointed by Obama in his first term to be the head of the The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, which is a statutory part of the Office of Management and Budget within the Executive Office of the President–
    There was some controversy over his appointment, but he was eventually confirmed by the U.S. Senate. As the description on the White House website says, “OIRA is the United States Government’s central authority for the review of Executive Branch regulations, approval of Government information collections, establishment of Government statistical practices, and coordination of federal privacy policy.” If anyone does not like regulations issued by the Obama administration during his first term, guess who was in charge of the office to review them.

  51. Haralmbos says:

    Col, Apologies for this but the referent of your “him” is unclear to me. Is it Haydon [sic] or Trump that you intended as only taking calculated risks?

  52. C L says:

    “People like him do not take other than carefully calculated risks. pl”
    You have touched upon the subject.
    Business people take carefully calculated risks when their own money is involved,
    unfortunately these same people happily squander others peoples’ money with no morals or shame.
    The US GOV is other peoples money & lives – woefully under-protected by ‘Human Morals’, “codes of conduct’, ‘Civil Servants’ and rules, most unenforceable rules.
    The ‘businessman’ cannot run the oval office, it is a not-for-profit org with the sole purpose of improving, protecting, policing etc.. the hoi polloi by the hoi polloi for the hoi polloi.
    Even worse in this case there is no bankruptcy court or deep pocket entities to buy out his failures.

  53. ToivoS says:

    Intentional or not is not important as was mentioned above, it is that R+6 believe it was intentional. This is what was so critical when the US bombed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade in 1999. I know a number of low level Chinese officials and academics — these were people who had positive views of the US and some even supported the Tien Mien Square demonstrators in 1991. After their embassy was bombed not one of these people doubted it was deliberate, that they saw the US as an adversary and felt eventually a major military confrontation between the US and China was inevitable. They all felt China was not yet ready but should be in one or two decades.
    So the question is: How will Russia respond?

  54. walrus says:

    I am afraid I have to believe this attack was intentional. To me, the reduction of Dayr ez zor is consistent with the removal of any shred of any effective Syrian governance in Eastern Syria. That then sets the stage for the alleged “conquest” of Raqqa and an overarching plan to partion Syria and create a “moderate” Sunni state in Eastern Syria.
    The Geopolitical intention is to prevent the creation of a “Shia Crescent” from Iran to the Mediterranean that would provide an opportunity for the termination of one arm of the Chinese one belt road and rail network to terminate at a Mediterranean port. Such an occurrence with its concomitant Syrian and Iranian economic development would be a nightmare for Israel and by definition, American influence in the region.
    Without an immediate mea culpa from Washington coupled with a detailed explanation of how these coordinates mistakenly found their way into mission control computers, I am afraid that whatever trust Kerry and Lavrov enjoyed is lost. Churkin seemed visibly angry on the video clip I saw. This is not good for any of us.

  55. Fred says:

    My friend, to quote the Bard, “all the world’s a stage”. Ambassador Power is in same role as Adlai Stevenson was in ’63; Ironic, isn’t it, that she of the temper tantrum is neither “the smartest man” nor the most honest. She may think she is being heroic but the play is turning to tragedy. Russia, lead by Putin, will not kneel in submission to repeated presentations of false evidence or the duplicity that the US has displayed most recently in Syria. I’d prefer a little less red(head) and more humility otherwise we’ll all see to much red blood. God knows she complicit in (by proxy) shedding enough of it in Syria. She should climb down from her unicorn.
    As to the “savior” , well your history is off. The taming of the shoe was in October of 1960 and in direct response to the statement of head of the Philippine delegate to the UN (Lorenzo Sumulong) that “the peoples of Eastern Europe and elsewhere which have been deprived of the free exercise of their civil and political rights and which have been swallowed up, so to speak, by the Soviet Union”. The “smartest man” didn’t order USSR nuclear weapons moved into Cuba – sparking the crisis – until two years later. He and Kennedy could have come to some damn agreement regarding nuclear weapons without going to the brink, but that’s another tale.

  56. Fred says:

    “Lefties are another basket of deplorables.”
    Like Trump said, he needs a bigger basket.

  57. Anonymous says:

    “I am being driven towards Trump.”
    See, Col. Lang!? The odious raven said you were becoming more like Tyler, and there you are almost a complete Deplorable!
    Most devilish of you doing these provocations, like that one about all things secession if Hillary was elected.
    That Gen. Hillary picture is great (the “stood by my man” medal is priceless.) Whenever Hillary wears green clothes she becomes outright cartoonish, besides giving the impression that the first thing she will do after taking them off is smoking them. The character that green Hillary most reminds me of is Mother Gruesome from The Impossibles, or rather Grandma Gruesome in her case:
    And the poor imperial America hydra, heads not good for cutting, but necks quite good for tangling. With a head in the sand, another in the clouds, yet another in its own ass, still it fights itself to death, even though all the countries around would rather have it stand in good health (especially of mind.)

  58. Anna says:

    “…enlightenment is dawning among the nation’s movers & shakers…”
    I am afraid that this is of no avail. Big money and power make people into subhumans; nothing sacred exists for the major war profiteers and supreme ziocons. There are no mechanisms of accountability to punish them for harming the large numbers of innocent people.
    They would not stop from the deadly war-making till they lose everything, including their own children and grandchildren… There are too many caligulas-in-power nowadays, playing with WMD.

  59. MRW says:

    I call bullshit on General Hayden. He’s just another DC insider they rolled out to discredit Trump. Hayden has never impressed me.

  60. Green Zone Café says:

    How did a girl from Dublin get to be so bloodthirsty? Listen to “Zombie” from the Cranberries.

  61. J says:

    Wonder when Putin is going to draw his red line in the sand, as it’s the only way I see that is going to get the immediate attention of errant OSD Carter and SECoState Kerry’s tunnel-vision.
    As I see it, S300/S400 immediate emplacements for Syrian support would do the trick. It would only take Moscow a few hours and then the Syrian regime would have a ring of protection that would make the errant secretaries think twice.

  62. Anna says:

    They had performed careful selection:
    The bloodthirsty liar Samantha Power for the US ambassador in UN, the zioconish Ashton Carter for the Sec of Def, the unprincipled Nuland-Kagan (a Jew fraternizing with neo-Nazis) for the State Dept., a “perfumed prince” Michael Morell and cowardly John Brennan (see torture story) for CIA. And the Noble Prize Laureate as a cherry on the cake… Sigh.

  63. eakens says:

    Whose policies do you think are more likely to lead to the use of nuclear weapons, Trump or HRC?

  64. Anna says:

    General Hayden is an exemplary careerist devoid of any scruples; people in power like him have inflicted grave harm to the US. You might want to check a story of Trailblazer Project, a minor episode in a thoroughly corrupt Hayden’s career.
    “Hayden was the first NSA director to betray the country’s trust by ordering wholesale violation of what was once the First Commandment at NSA: “Thou Shalt Not Eavesdrop on Americans Without a Court Warrant.” While Hayden has implicitly offered a second-grader kind of excuse for his law-breaking, that President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney “made me do it,” that does not let Hayden off the hook. Hayden also lectured a press conference on Jan. 23, 2006, about his detailed knowledge of the Fourth Amendment, insisting that it does not require a showing of “probable cause” before a warrant is issued for searches and seizures.”
    Comment section: “Currently, Hayden is on the advisory board of LIGNET, an Israeli advocacy group and a principal at the Chertoff Group…. Chertoff is a US-Israel dual citizen and son of one of the founding member of Israeli Mossad.”

  65. LeaNder says:

    CNN’s interactive graphic is interesting.
    It would have helped if Powers had meditated a little over it. Seems her performance wasn’t diplomacy but kindergarten.
    I was puzzled by the camera shots and editing of the short UN report with Vitaly Churkin and Samantha Powers over here. It seemed as if she only entered after he had finished. Never seen something like this before. Now I understand, that’s exactly what happened.
    Churkin was upset with US ambassador Samantha Power, who lambasted Russia’s support of the Syrian regime to the media outside the meeting while he was speaking.

  66. Cortes says:

    Wearing my paranoid hat can I ask the assembly: if as a seasoned decision maker an accident should befall you, is it:
    A. An accident, a quirk of fate.
    B. Retribution by an enemy for earlier accident(s) – nothing personal. Or
    C. Convenient targeting of you by internal rivals to make a false flag and remove a rival?

  67. Harry says:

    Quite so, and Trump is singly risk adverse by business standards.

  68. LeaNder says:

    and as a response from the SAA, had several of their crafts shot down.
    Seen this, but did you see an Israeli confirmation? I checked and a couple of days ago I found no independent confirmation.

  69. Harry says:

    Indeed sir, but that particular band of weak little men are not intimidating.

  70. Mark Logan says:

    To me, that we would deliberately kill anybody in combat with DAESH as an extraordinary assertion requiring extraordinary evidence. I have a hazy notion that we have begun the long road towards reversing our ridiculous stance on the Syrian civil war, and sought to send a message by action, which our self and presidential campaign obsessed media would be very likely to miss. This change seems to me certainly not uniform or universal within the labyrinth of the US foreign policy system…if it exists. The Russo-phobes did not wait for the Russians to arrive and work deconfliction. Unwise at best.
    My nickel is on we confused the SA with DAESH because they pushed forward or moved to where we didn’t expect them to.
    Power’s hissy fit (exactly the words in my mind when I watched it) misses the need for the Russians and the Syrian people for some kind of reaction for this terrible tragedy. A true statesman would have sought to apologize and commiserate, offering compensation to their families…thereby ameliorating the damage and embarrassment and would have done so immediately after being informed(IMO). However she and her ilk are but self-important scolds. Disgusting.

  71. Chris Chuba says:

    If intentional how many would it take?
    Let’s assume that it was deliberate, what is the minimum number of people needed to go on Syrian Army hunt to kill mission?
    1. At least one high level officer.
    2. I would think at least one or two drone operators to spot the target.
    3. The pilots? Maybe not. We know from the Afghanistan hospital incident that the guys actually running the mission can easily mistake targets on the ground. I’ve never flown but there are enough incidents of friendly fire that it leads me to believe that it is not all that easy for the pilot to determine who the people on the ground are once they get there.
    I don’t know the answer to any of these questions but I wanted to look at it a little differently.

  72. crf says:

    Remember: Obama said he’d get out of Afganistan, and close Gitmo. Those were his two, publicly stated objectives. He got nowhere implementing them, and did nothing about it. This “team” failed their coach miserably, and now the players are just doing their own thing. Obama tuned out long ago.

  73. Per Terram says:

    I find it hard to not link the LOCSTAT of the Australian PM (once an employee of Goldman Sachs) during last week with this event coupled with the involvement of ‘coalition’ RAAF aircraft involved in this airstrike.
    In our ‘do nothing’ Senate & Federal Govt structures here ‘down under – on the island of ‘holes & houses’ I expect little in the way of serious debate about any ADF involvement.

  74. michael brenner says:

    Now that the shock of this latest juvenile escapade has been absorbed, one can offer some hypotheses as to what happened. Here is one.
    1. Kerry and Carter had a meeting of minds on the need to “push back” against the Russians. The former has been arguing for months the importance of doing so as essential leverage in his negotiations with Lavrov to offset direct Russian involvement on the battlefield. The aims: get Moscow to sign on to the idea of a joint, coordinated command (in the name of fighting ISIL)whose ulterior motive for some time has been to impose a de facto American veto on Russian air strikes; and fudge the cease-fire terms to allow continued support for al-Nusra as Washington has finagled things for the past 6 months. As for Carter, he foams at the mouth in anticipation of stick it to the Russians one way or another. ‘Ash’ acts as if he were auditioning for the starring role in a remake of Dr. Strangelove.
    The odd couple easily get Samantha on board. Brennan salivates at so ingenious an operation that will allow the CIA to continue its sandbox games with the “moderates” and jihadis. Together, they besiege the White House. Obama is so impressed to see his two rival Secretaries in agreement that he gives the plan the nod. Susan Rice & McDonough? They likely argue for plausible deniability so as to insulate Chapter 7 Vol 2 of Obama’s memoirs from being besmirched by any negative repercussions.

  75. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    Col. Lang: ” I am being driven towards Trump. I doubt that he is a risk taker.”
    Same here. If someone told me a year ago that I might vote for him I would have considered turning the person in to the DEA. As for Trump and risk taking Scott Adams, the author of the comic strip Dilbert, has a provocative blog post today about just that subject. Adams has been predicting Trumps nomination and election for over a year now, based on his intuitive understanding of persuasion skills.

  76. MRW says:

    Look at Churkin’s bio:
    Power doesn’t even come close, not in the same neighborhood diplomatically. Her bio for comparison:
    He’s the Russian AMBASSADOR to the United Nations. Power dismissed him as a “spokesman.” He’s her counterpart at the UN. This cheaky unprofessional upstart with an elevated view of her own importance and experience looks down on him? Her performance last night is enough to solidify my vote for Trump. 100%. Clinton would keep this broad on for at least a year just for continuity, and the two of them would start WWIII.
    Obama appointed this woman. His judgment in appointing officers and advisors has been appalling (Geithner, Emanuel, Rice, Power, John Holdren, Ash Carter). He didn’t have the balls to hang onto the excellent Chas Freeman in February, 2009. Threw him under the bus when he was a wildly popular new president because he couldn’t stare down and stand up to the rabid Pro-Israeli groups that were dictating national security advisors to him. Jesus. I can’t wait for him to get out of office. My shame and regret at having campaigned hard for him for free for two years is wide and deep.

  77. Earthrise says:

    I was drawn to your depiction of Samantha Powers as the ‘perfect psychopath’. The way she can lie and take offence with such conviction, my first thought was she is a psychopath. The more I look, the more I see that these pretend humans are everywhere in the corridors of power. I once thought that power corrupts, but now I see that power attracts the corrupted. These fake humans are a real danger to us all, and their assumption of power works to prevent the rest of us from picking up the torches and pitchforks and running them all out of town. With our morals and humanity, we are ill-equipped to take on these monsters. One day Humans will have to purge these parasites from our midst.

  78. Earthrise says:

    I have read a lot of frustration with Russia over these ceasefires, usually by the armchair warrior brigade. People are forgetting America is not an army, but a mafia protection racket (sorry vets). They don’t win wars on the battlefield, their army is not much more than a muscular Italian man in a tracksuit packing a Beretta and a bad haircut. Russia knows America wins it’s conflicts on the battlefield of public opinion, not by force of arms. But as we can all attest, American diplomacy is getting dumber and more unprofessional by the hour. Russia is slowly painting America into a corner, with a big label stuck to her head saying ‘warmonger’. Russia is countering all the future US propaganda lines of attack, leaving it one day soon with a fait accompli. Take notes everyone, Putin is giving us a master class in geopolitics; Check and Mate. Otherwise, duck and cover.

  79. Dubhaltach says:

    In reply to Mark Logan 18 September 2016 at 08:57 PM
    “My nickel is on we confused the SA with DAESH because they pushed forward or moved to where we didn’t expect them to.”
    Normally I would tend to agree that SNAFU is a better explanation than malice. Not this time.
    The Americans has the site they bombed under observation for several days – they admitted as much to the NYT.
    “The strike began in the early evening, when planes attacked a group of vehicles that American surveillance aircraft had been watching for several days, according to a Centcom official who requested anonymity because the episode was still being investigated. Military intelligence had identified the cluster of vehicles, which the official said included at least one tank, as belonging to the Islamic State, the official said.”
    U.S. Admits Airstrike in Syria, Meant to Hit ISIS, Killed Syrian Troops – The New York Times.
    The second part of that paragraph lacks all credibility. We’re really supposed to believe that American military intelligence is so dimwitted that they’re unable to work out what the fact that the tanks’ barrels were pointing at the Daesh positions meant?
    As our host points out above the US has had the area under close observation for months and as “b” points out below:
    “The U.S. destroyed 3 tanks, three IFVs with 23mm guns, one anti-air gun and at least 4 mortars says the SAA. That was a very significant part of the heavier weapons the SAA in Deir Ezzor still has.”
    I don’t for a moment believe that the US military is incapable of working out what the direction in which a weapon is pointed means.
    The US attack did what it was meant to do – to render the SAA position in considerably weaker, and the pack of fundamentalist head choppers with which America is allied did what they were meant to do and attacked the Syrian Government positions (MAJOR DEVELOPMENT: Russia affirms the US works with ISIS – Fort Russ).

  80. Earthrise says:

    Firstly, the Australians took some of the blame. Then I saw the Dutch do the same, now the British. This is all the ‘coalition’ is good for; perception management. And if you believe the pipe bombs yesterday were false flag media management, this incident is worse than we think.

  81. Balint Somkuti says:

    One misdeed can NEVER justify another.
    Besides those responsible for Barbarossa crimes were punished, while the so called liberators (and their toxic ideology) are still not.
    Not saying Russia will act like he Soviet Union, but to pick between an irrationally behaving USA and not-so altruistic Russia…

  82. LeaNder says:

    I am not sure, if the Powers video below is what people refer to here:
    I wonder if one could argue she offers something like a counter conspiracy theory, a nascent conspiracy theory.
    Keep in mind the theoretical arguments around responsibilities concerning the rise of ISIS. Including arguments like e.g. Assad’s indirect support of ISIS, like bying “their oil”.
    Minus 10 seconds–the time for her entrance up to her “good evening everybody”–she spends altogether 44 seconds or 6% of her time on the strike itself, including the regret for the loss of live. The rest of the time she dwells on the atrocities of the Assad regime. Not that some of it isn’t justified, at least as far as I am concerned. But doesn’t this leave a more indirect question between the lines: Can we trust him at all? After all: it’s still being investigated, and it supposedly targeted Isis.

  83. LeaNder says:

    4. some type of planted dis-information?
    What special interest parties wouldn’t be too fond of a US-Russia cooperation in Syria. Turkey? Saudis? … some in the career department of the American military?
    I only looked at this cursorily. What is the solid knowledge core of the military vehicles attacked? Sorry, not good in the precise military terms.

  84. Cee says:

    I do NOT believe this was an accident. I read an interesting tweet from a Ken Roth (HRW) saying it was done to pay Assad back.
    Watch how a professional handles this situation
    Dear Samantha Power, in order to learn the meaning of word ‘shame’ I would advise you to visit Syria and meet people there,” Zakharova wrote. “Not with Nusra, nor with the moderate opposition, about delivery of humanitarian aid for which Washington is worried so much, not with those living in the West who are so concerned about the prosperous future for that country, but meet people, who live there, despite the fact that for almost six years already their country undergoes a bloody experiment, with an active involvement of Washington.”
    Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova

  85. The Beaver says:

    Samantha Power is auditioning for a job because, come next January she would be out of the limelight, no matter who is in the WH. However,t should HRC win, Nuland could be the next Sec of State ( would like to see her against Lavrov) and Power may get a Bureau to manage just to stay in that power matrix.
    Personally I doubt HRC would keep her after being called a monster by the Irish woman back in 2008 but anything can happen.
    Should Trump win, I guess it would be back to academia like Anne Marie Slaughter and hanging out with the rich and powerful,

  86. Henshaw says:

    ABC News is still referring to it as ‘…the bungled raid …’. Non-Australians may not be aware that PM Turnbull is a highly skilled barrister. He made his name in the 1980s when he defeated the British Government’s efforts to suppress publication of the book ‘Spycatcher’ by ex-MI5 officer Peter Wright. Turnbull is a very smooth talker- please make allowance for this.
    Defense Minister did a press conference today, but added nothing other than saying that they would be waiting for the incident report from the US forces. Pressure must be very much on US military to come up with a narrative that not only holds water, but doesn’t let any blame travel further up the line.

  87. wisedupearly says:

    Britain lent a hand to bomb the SA?
    Who exactly has not bombed the SA recently?
    Obama probably too busy campaigning for HRC to care what the children are up to.

  88. irf520 says:

    That’s one way to look at it. The trouble is:
    (i) Anyone who has been paying attention already knows that the US position is that Assad has to go and, if that means Syria is overrun by jihadis, then so be it. And that is one of the more charitable interpretations.
    (ii) Syrian Government forces are already exhausted. I don’t see how they can take much more of this messing about whereby hard won gains, won at the cost of precious troops which are in short supply, are surrendered back to the terrorists in the next horseshit ceasefire.
    (iii) Does the US even care if their machinations are exposed? Who’s going to stop them?

  89. Ghostship says:

    According to Al Masdar News, the SAA captured Jebel Tardah from ISIS on June 6th and until yesterday there were no reports of it being recaptured by ISIS. What were the USAF/RAAF doing attacking a target so close to Deir Ezzor since the USAF has never offered CAS to the SAA nor the SAA ever requested CAS from the USAF.
    Also, there are reports that ISIS had a drone overhead on Jebel Tardah on Friday, did they already know something?

  90. LeaNder says:

    considered turning the person in to the DEA
    interesting way to put it. 😉

  91. Ghostship says:

    There is no evidence that the Red Army ordered or condoned the rape of about 300,000 women which it appears was largely carried out rear echelon troops, and the Russians were not the only ones raping Germans, although that is no real excuse.
    While it was unacceptable it is perhaps understandable in respect of the casualties suffered by the Red Army when further resistance by the Germans in Berlin was totally futile bearing in mind that the Germans including the supposedly principled Wehrmacht had never respected the laws of war with their treatment of Russians and other Slavs, why should the Germans have expected or had any right to quarter. The Germans needed to learn a lesson and they did.

  92. Bryn P says:

    Given the large level of resources allocated to the raid this was a well-planned operation and not an accidental one I have read elsewhere that, in addition to the US aircraft, British, Australian and even Danish forces were involved. I am just surprised that the casualties were not even higher than they were.

  93. LeaNder says:

    How far does it get you to sort her out as psychopath? And what exactly does it mean? Something similar to reptilians?
    I somewhat liked Kevin Dutton’s work on the topic. But without having taken a closer look, I am not too fond of a narcissist – psychopath juxtaposition either:
    Seems labels are around again lately. No wonder.

  94. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    Speaking of “torches and pitchforks and running them all out of town,” the writers and editors of The Onion are on the case:

  95. Babak Makkinejad says:

    So, Danes are enemies of Iran and the Shia. That is what I had observed last year on this forum.
    How did that happen?
    When did Danes decide that the more rational Muslims are their enemies and the emotional ones their friends?

  96. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    Syria declares seven day cease fire over:

  97. Fredw says:

    For once I find myself as confused as enlightened by the conversation on this site. I am persuaded that the strike was deliberate, but from there the conversation degenerates into the deplorable personal and ideological characteristics of various officials. If this was done deliberately, then it was done for a purpose. As Col. Lang notes, these are not casual risk takers whatever their personal views. The strike was too small and seemingly too incoherent to constitute general throwing around of our weight. That incoherence gnaws at me. Did this stop some particular action that we did not want? Was it in response to some (unreported?) action on the part of the SAA or the Russians? Why this and why now? Who was supposed to be intimidated? And were they?
    The Russians are furious, but they seem to want this cease fire far more than would be indicated by the reporting I have seen? Why do they want it so badly? If we are trying to intimidate them, we would seem to have succeeeded. But I don’t believe that for a moment.
    I think that the strike was coherent and specific for the people it was intended to influence. Nothing I have read so far has given me much insight into what it accomplished or who the intended audience was.

  98. Earthrise says:

    Apologies, Danish not Dutch.

  99. Vic says:

    This is what I also think happened. In the recent past when we have had problems with air support, it has been caused by so called allies who purposely misdirected the airstrike. As we don’t have FACs on the ground, I wonder what ally we got the strike location from? Since the administration is not saying anything, I wonder if it yet another “moderate” FSA group which is really aligned with ISIS/JN (making a lie out of the administrations claims that moderate rebel groups really exist).

  100. LeaNder says:

    Other then that you are cynical, I have to admit that at one point in time I wondered about one specific Danish angle too. 😉

  101. Ghostship says:

    The Reaper drones involved were being flown by the British.
    RAF Reaper drones were involved in the weekend airstrike that killed at least 62 Syrian government troops and threatened the fragile truce in the country, the Ministry of Defence has said.
    The British military is cooperating fully with an investigation by the US-led coalition into the incident, which led to dozens of soldiers being killed and injured, according to Syrian government reports.
    Australian, Danish and US air forces were also involved in the raid.

    As for the investigation, the conclusion will no doubt be along the lines of “nothing to see here, move along now”
    With my tin foil hat on:
    1. Why would the Americans need to use a British drone? Don’t they have enough of their own? So perhaps this is all a plot by the USG to incriminate the British and Danish so as to sow further discord in Europe.
    2. A report that a retired British general raised a memo claiming that all the Russians had to do to disable Britain’s air defences would be to assassinate 40 F-35 pilots, had me wondering why the Russian would want to assassinate British pilots. Now I know.
    That the memo surfaced on Saturday morning is totally irrelevant.

  102. mike says:

    Power is gone no matter who wins the election in November. There is bad blood between Power and Clinton. Hopefully Power will resign and save Clinton the problem of firing her without offending Obamites.

  103. jld says:

    Haven’t you noticed that ALL lefties (even the “moderately left” 😀 ) find that the head choppers are the best muslims?

  104. Anna says:

    Agree, they are indeed subhumans devoid of empathy and altruistic urges: they are a mortal danger to humanity.
    “She lied saying Saturday’s US willful, malicious and lawless terror-bombing of Syrian military personnel was done “in error.” There was nothing accidental about it, a flagrant breach of Geneva terms, a high crime of war, more proof America reviles peace and stability.
    Power sounded buffoon-like claiming “(t)he United States is extremely serious about making (Geneva) work.” It was dead-on-arrival because Washington rejects cessation of hostilities and diplomatic conflict resolution. Power is paid to lie for Washington’s criminal cabal in charge. Her despicable remarks show she does it with relish.”
    The DC deciders need the corrupted and they weed out the honest, principled, and knowledgeable individuals. The main trick for the deciders is to be shielded from any accountability. The US had fallen to the trick some time ago. I tremble for the future of our children.

  105. FB Ali says:

    Ockham’s Razor helps in such cases (“The simplest explanation is usually the better one”).
    Someone down in the chain of command didn’t like the idea of the US and Russia agreeing on a ceasefire and a joint anti-“terrorist” campaign. So they tried to sabotage it through this “regrettable error”.
    It having happened, those at the upper levels of the chain, who were similarly inclined, jumped into the fray to berate the Russians and Syrians, hoping for the same result.
    However, it seems Putin plays a cool hand. He isn’t falling into the trap by walking away in a huff. That now leaves the US in the same situation – either openly show their bad faith, or undertake more stupid contortions to avoid this.

  106. Ghostship,
    With my own tinfoil hat on, I can tell you that this is all a deep-laid Putin plot.
    A few days ago, Dr Patrick Armstrong, some of whose observations have appeared on SST, produced a post entitled ‘First You Ride the Meme and Then the Meme Rides You.’
    (See .)
    Discussing recent Western media coverage of the U.S. Presidential election, and other matters, Dr Armstrong points to the interpretation to which much of what is written in the Western MSM naturally leads:
    ‘Putin has the power to cloud minds at a distance: he operates at a more than merely human status and he’s using that power to reshape the world.’
    (Alternatively: ‘Cthulu rides again’ – as the relevant ‘Wikipedia’ entry has it: ‘Simply looking upon the creature drives the viewer insane, a trait shared by many of the Great Old Ones and Outer Gods’ – see .)
    You think I am joking?
    Sometimes, one simply has to use Occam’s Razor.
    On the ‘MailOnline’ site, you will find a report entitled ‘British drone took part in coalition air strike that left dozens of Syrian troops dead, Ministry of Defence reveals.’
    (See .)
    As so often, the comments are more interesting than the story. As of this writing – and the report has not been up very long – the ‘best rated’ one, with 128 up votes and 2 down votes, reads: ‘Has anyone told the US and our government that ISIS are the enemy?’ The other most popular comments follow in similar style.
    Look at the chronology: the Reuters report, explaining that ‘U.S.-led coalition jets bombed a Syrian army position at Jebel Tharda near Deir al-Zor airport on Saturday, killing dozens of Syrian soldiers, Russia and a war monitor said, paving the way for Islamic State to briefly overrun it.’
    The dignified response from Vitaly Churkin, and the hysterical ‘banshee-wailing’ from Samantha Power. And then the devasting ‘put-down’ from Maria Zakharova.
    And finally, the real knife thrust: not simply the Australians, and the Danes, but the our own Royal Air Force, are intimately involved in a military action which plays into the hands of people who almost everyone in this country (except perhaps for some readers of the ‘Guardian’ and ‘FT’) want to see exterminated.
    How else can one explain all this, except by attributing magical powers to Putin?

  107. Will says:

    i had been following Scott Adams (Dilbert cartoonist) on Twitter and his blog. He understands the psychology of the election but is an uninformed idiot on foreign affairs. Totally in the Borg bubble.
    In a periscope chat, he said bombing the Syrians was tit for tat for them not letting aid through. And it was sending them an appropriate message to ensure that aid would go thru.
    I regret having promoted the idiot. i have read his cartoon for years, but honestly, i never saw the humor in it. I had purchased and listened to a couple of his audio books. Just wish I could return them.
    But he could have something there, was it a message for the Russians to co-operate better with the Borg? Or was it a message to show how vulnerable the SAA is to attacks from Israel and the U.S.? they are very vulnerable. Don’t know how good the Russian air defenses are. They can’t match the F-22 Raptor. My hunch is somebody cracked the Russian Air defense code and succeeded in degrading it. This gives the Borg bombing impunity and they demonstrated it in a case where a mistake was out of the question, a besieged city out in the desert surrounded by ISIS and no “moderate rebels” around. Look boys, this is what we can do.

  108. b says:

    The strikes enables ISIS to take the heights defending Deir Ezzor airport and thereby the last supply line for the troops and 150000+ civilians there.
    Deir Ezzor is toast of counterattacks fail to regain the heights.
    Before this attack the U.S. instigated Kurds to suddenly attack government forces in Hadarath, another city in the east.
    With Deir Ezzor eventually falling the last government bastion in east Syria will be gone.
    The longterm U.S. plan for a “Sunni entity” in east-Syria west-Iraq can then be established.

  109. b says:

    The Australian, UK, Danish participation in the raid on Deir Ezzor is fantasy.
    They don’t have A-10/F-16 and Danish F-16 don’t fly in Syria. The drones were U.S. according to officials quoted by NYT.
    These folks “volunteered” to share the blame. That’s all.

  110. Fredw says:

    If the strike was a mistake, then it was a much worse mistake than has been admitted. The apparent amount of planning and the fact that the operation was WAY outside normal operating procedures suggests that someone (IS?) developed the ability to feed us bad intelligence over a long enough time period to draw us out of our normal routines. That is not likely to be given as the official explanation, but it seems more likely than “We were in the area, miles and miles from our usual stomping grounds, and just happened to see what looked like an IS operation. So without checking with anybody, we just hit them.” The reported immediate start of an IS offensive is consistent with the idea that they baited a trap and jumped off when it was sprung.
    Can anybody give me an idea of what would be required to accomplish such a thing? Could IS manage such a thing? The Russians?

  111. turcopolier says:

    Yes, IMO this was quite deliberate and Power’s reaction was frutration that the Russians did not accept a screwing gracefully. pl

  112. Castellio says:

    It was Sunstein who brought the term “cognitive infiltration” to the fore. By that he meant secret government infiltration, propaganda and undercover actions within groups opposed to government official narratives. He didn’t oppose it: he was for more of it.
    Honesty and transparency are the opposite of what Sunstein recommends.

  113. Ken Roberts says:

    MRW … Thanks for info. One nit: the period at end of wiki link for Vitaly Churkin invalidates the link. Best to leave space after a link before punctuation.
    Churkin asks if anyone is in charge in DC. I think that is accurate perception.
    Reaction of Russia is likely to be asymmetric. Perhaps towards the actors they believe responsible for this particular provocation? If no-one is in charge, then what would be point of responding back towards a central authority or figurehead. Rather try to adjust balances. Perhaps a “drain the swamp” approach?

  114. b says:

    “*if* counterattacks…”
    “Hasaka” (not Hadarath)

  115. Eric Dönges says:

    Does it even matter if the bombing was intentional ? What right does the U.S. or it’s allies have to bomb targets in Syrian territory without the consent of the Syrian government when they are not in a declared state of war with Syria ? Does sovereignty only have meaning when it applies to the U.S. ? If this is to be the future of NATO, I want no part of it.

  116. Will says:

    i agree w/ the Col. that it was deliberate. the techs found out a way, an electronic countermeasure, to nullify the Russian Air Defense bubble and this was a demo. hey guys, the SAA is vulnerable and can be destroyed at will. Start playing ball w/ us. Assad must go. Kind of like Hiroshima. Japan had been firebombed heavily. The Soviets had rolled them up in Manchuria and were about to attack Kyushu on the undefended side. the war was over once the Soviets declared war and the Japanese lost hope of soviet meditation. But the bomb was a demonstration to the Russians that we were in charge. And it kept them quiet until they got their own nukes.
    there will be no Russian response until they figure out whether their Air Defense has been compromised.

  117. Alexey says:

    There is a myth of large scale rape by Red Army soldiers born out of book from 50s I believe. Problem is the book is more Cold War propaganda thing than any real research into the issue.
    Reality is both rape and pillaging were prosecuted very severely in Red Army with often deadly consequences for perpetrators. So although such things certainly happened the scale was unlikely to be bigger than in case of American or British troops. Smaller I would even dare to guess due to harsher discipline and more puritan society (in memories of Soviet soldiers one can sometimes find disapproving passages on “lack of morals” and exhibitionism of German civilians).

  118. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I think that we are all around because N.K. showed sanity and withdrew those missiles from Cuba in 1962.

  119. turcopolier says:

    “the techs found out a way, an electronic countermeasure, to nullify the Russian Air Defense bubble” You are assuming that Russian air defenses would have been willing to engage US air in a context of a supposed cooperation against IS. Would Russian air defenses in western Syria have ranged Deir al-Zor? The aircraft entered Syrian air space coming from Iraq in the east. It will be interesting to learn what the Iaqi government has to say about this. pl

  120. Mark Logan says:

    Dubhaltach, Ghostship,
    Good questions which hopefully will be answered at some point.
    I doubt it for the moment because I can’t put together a risk/reward ratio and motive for a senior officer or civilian to order it. They would be putting their career on the line to do what? Hit a few guys out there?? The risk would be high due to all the “moving parts” in these things and at least several enlisted personnel and junior officers would be likely to smell the rat. Damn few people could be trusted to keep their mouth shut about us assisting DAESH in any way. Around the Unicorns maybe, in the western and northern sections, it might viewed as worth the risk but not out there.

  121. michael brenner says:

    The “power to cloud men’s minds” was an exclusive of THE SHADOW – vintage radio show. Lamont Cranston had learned that skill while living in the Orient (masking the truth of its Russian provenance). ‘The weed of crime bears bitter fruit; who knows what evil lurks in the heart of men” was his signature line. Of course, today it would require modification: “who knows what evil lurks in the minds of LGBTQs?”

  122. FB Ali says:

    David Habakkuk,
    Your tongue-in-cheek explanation (“Putin has magical powers”) is as plausible as some of the kooky conspiracy theories being advanced seriously by some people here.
    These news items about drones and Danish etc F-16s are also designed to confuse people. What does it matter who flew drones prior to the attack or flew air cover during it? The actual attack was carried out by the American A-10. The critical factor there is the coordinates put into the plane’s targetting computer.
    These are usually put in electronically from the command post controlling the strike. People should start looking from there all the way up to Ash Carter to pick their favourite culprit. But Occam’s Razor still applies.

  123. Chris Chuba says:

    “This was a complete mistake on US part IMO, as there are precedents for them targeting massed up IS formations in the area”
    I don’t buy this explanation. Unlike 2014, the RuAF is now available and capable of handling mass concentrations of ISIS formations at Deir Ezzor, especially now that they are not conducting operations in the Aleppo area. In fact, they are better suited because they have ground spotters and don’t have to rely exclusively on UAV’s. There was absolutely no reason for coalition aircraft to be in this area.
    If this was intentional, I also feel bad for the pilots because chances are that they were not in on it and were likely setup to do something that they had no intention of doing.

  124. Dubhaltach says:

    In reply to eakens 18 September 2016 at 07:32 PM
    On the basis of her past performance and stated policies Clinton by a country mile.

  125. Chris Chuba says:

    Here is a story from Southfront claiming that the ceasefire is now over
    Sometimes early reports end up being wrong but I think it also provides an excellent summary of the original known terms of the ceasefire. In fact, I was so impressed that I posted it on a forum where people are generally ignorant of the Syrian civil war asking them to contrast this explanation to the drivel that they will hear on CNN or FOX.
    This explanation is clear and straightforward while the news we get on our cable networks will use emotive terms to get us to feel anger and mistrust towards the Russians and Assad govt but if you think about the explanation that they offer on cable, it isn’t even especially logical or even coherent.
    From the Southfront story you immediately understand that the Russians wanted the U.S. sponsored rebels to separate from Al Nusra. In the U.S. reports ask yourself, can you even divine a logical motive why the Russians wanted a ceasefire?

  126. Will says:

    Iraq yes, but Iraqi Kurdistan. Something has changed. The strike was a message that we no longer fear your air defenses. they are nullified. Of course, there were no s400’s at Deir ezZor. But the message is we can do it here, and we can do it elsewhere. It’s like that strike on the alleged nuclear facility at the same location 9 years ago. Ironic. The Israelis with NSA help figured out how to spoof the Syrian radars thus giving them control of the skies.
    With the air defenses ineffective, no aircraft in the world can match the F-22 Raptor in establishing air supremacy.
    As a side note this shows that the F-35 Lightning 2 is a huge mistake. We should have been building more F-22’s and A-10’s.

  127. turcopolier says:

    Once again, do we know what air defenses at Deir al-Zor consisted of? If the place was not defended then there was no “lesson” for the Russians. I believe we are using Iraqi air bases both in and outside Iraqi Kurdistan. pl

  128. FB Ali says:

    To add to my previous comment.
    The real question to be asked is: Why was the A-10 there? The only combatants at Deir al-Zor were the Syrian army and IS. The last reported US action in that area was an air attack in 2015 that the Syrians claimed killed some of their soldiers (the US denied the attack took place). The US has never attacked IS in that area (presumably because it would aid the Syrian army). Why now?
    Who ordered the air attack on 17 Sept?
    That is where suspicion should be focussed.

  129. turcopolier says:

    FB Ali
    My SWAG would be that SECDEF himself ordered the strike as a way to thwart a possible cooperation with Russia. pl

  130. turcopolier says:

    “The Israelis with NSA help figured out how to spoof the Syrian radars thus giving them control of the skies.” I don’t think this would be an NSA mission. it would probably be some part of USAF’s technical organization. pl

  131. Chris Chuba says:

    This is actually an interesting reference. I am not endorsing the claims but it is a clever defense.
    The Dailybeast (Borg Central) claims that the troops killed were conscripts who lacked uniforms so this would explain the mistaken identity. Even more interesting the article cites’defense sources’ that Deir Ezzor is a frequent target of U.S. airstrikes, an average of 20 per week (more likely the province).
    This prompted me to do a little searching and on this page you can actually get a daily report of all U.S. airstrikes.
    I am really very sorry but it requires a little navigation.
    1. First click on the name ‘Syria’ on the second map titled ‘Strikes in Syria’
    2. Then click on ‘View information on Previous Airstrikes’ and then a window will pop up where you can scroll through well over a year for a daily report. I wish I could give you one link to get to it but I couldn’t figure it out.
    In any case, the first 20 or so airstrikes that I found “Near Dayr Az Zawr”, as they put it, were almost always on oil trucks or oil infrastructure. There might have been one or two on ‘ISIL staging area’.

  132. Antoine says:

    This is just a hypothesis but if you look at the attack of Mosul that will take place soon or is taking place, then the US needs this attack to go forward easily. The US needs to offer an exit way to ISIS from Mosul and Deir El Zor is the way out of Iraq and right now the SAA have still full control of the way out so we try to weaken them.

  133. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Yes, more Maria, less Samantha –

  134. rkka says:

    I find the relative ‘evil’ of Nazi Germany and the USSR illustrated by their relative treatment of each other’s POW:
    3.3 million Soviet POWs died in German captivity, out of 5.5 million taken. Death rate about 60%.
    0.3 million German POWs died in Soviet captivity, out of 2.3 million taken. Death rate about 15%.
    Someone will bring up Stalingrad, with ~6000 German survivors from ~91,000 taken prisoner. These men had fought for months while encircled, with only a trickle of aerial resupply. Typhus had broken out in the garrison due to the horrifically unsanitary conditions under which the German troops were living. The fact that many of them were dead men walking when Paulus capitulated was the fault of Paulus.

  135. rkka says:

    Indeed. In his “The Road to Berlin” John Ericson was given access to the voluminous records of field tribunals held for Soviet soldiers who committed crimes against German civilians. Erickson specifically noted that when a soldier pleaded that the Germans had killed his entire family as a mitigating circumstance, the tribunals rejected the idea that this mitigated the crime.
    And yes, the sentences of these field tribunals were dire.

  136. kao_hsien_chih says:

    If indeed the bombing was an intentional sabotage by those high in the US decisionmaking structure to advance their own political agendas, this would seem further evidence that we are slouching towards old Imperial Japan in 1930s.
    The Japanese imperialists were a strange lot: they were simultaneously deeply racist, but also believed genuinely in “liberating” Asian peoples from both their own ignorance and from oppression of the the Western Powers, and that it was irrational for other Asians to resist them. Consequently, they were simultaneously cruel and kind to their subject peoples, sometimes in course of the same policy, and elicited bizarre combinations of reactions: I had brought up the story of Korean pilots in the Japanese military who flew off on their final mission singing banned Korean nationalist songs (this recently became controversial because Japanese nationalist groups produced a movie about them some years ago that made these pilots look like unambiguously loyal Japanese soldiers, while their very existence is not spoken of in polite company in Korea). In a sense, this is echoed in our own liberinterventionism today: the advocates of bombing and invading for democracy(tm) and human rights(tm) are quite sincere in their own way, but are also given to, eh, a peculiar set of blinders that keep them from realizing how absurd their beliefs and actions are.
    Of course, the Japanese were also infamous for not having their act together at the high command level: civilian politicians, navy high command, army high command, and regional military commanders (most notably, their commanders in Manchuria and China proper) all pursued their own agendas and sabotaged the agendas of their rivals. This is how Japan started invading China–the local Japanese commander began the fight in Manchuria in 1931, then with China in 1937–and almost fought a full scale war against USSR in 1939 (when the local Japanese generals started a border war without informing Tokyo). So are we repeating their follies now?

  137. Chris Chuba says:

    The strike was a message that we no longer fear your air defenses. they are nullified.
    After scanning through the daily report summaries, it was just a simple subterfuge. The U.S. gives the Russians a deconfliction notice that we are going to do one of our semi-regular sorties in the Deir Ezzor Governate. They think, oh, they are probably sending out one or two F18’s to take out a few oil tankers somewhere well outside Deir Ezzor city. This allowed the coalition to send them into Deir Ezzor proper without much notice for a surprise attack.
    After reading all of these comments and parsing the public statements I am very much inclined to believe that this was a deliberate act on the part of the U.S.
    1. Yes, I agree that this was leaving a horse’s head in Assad (and Russia’s) bed (cit. the Godfather).
    2. I do NOT believe that the message is that ‘we are technically superior’ because the Russians could up the ante by adding S400’s. The message is ‘go pound sand, we are not going to work with you ever’. The Pentagon, especially Carter, was having a fit over the agreement so I think that the Col’s theory makes a lot of sense.

  138. turcopolier says:

    Chris Chuba
    But was there a defense over Deir al-Zor during the attack and if so, what? pl

  139. Walker says:

    This wasn’t addressed to me, but as a lefty, no, I haven’t noticed.

  140. Earthrise says:

    As our Host is saying, the fact this attack got through does not prove anything about Syrian (or Russian) air defences. The US and Russia have a Deconfliction agreement, which probably includes not using SAMs in Eastern Syria where the “Coalition” is active. That may all be about to change.

  141. Henshaw says:

    Well, the Brits and Danes seem to have been in on the action at Deir Ezzor too.
    Raises the question- did the USA apprise the Australian, British and Danish governments of any ulterior motive prior to the raid, or were they left in the dark? If the latter, then at least they can plead plausible deniability, but it isn’t conducive to continuing trust and cooperation- but then, neither is a targeting stuff-up.

  142. Cee says:

    The Daily Beast is ah, um reporting, that those who were killed were really prisoners forced to dress like soldiers!!!!
    Higher and deeper!

  143. Babak Makkinejad says:

    At that time, Japanese though, like their Euro-American counter parts, in terms of Race and Race Destiny. They thought, as far as I can tell, that the time of White Races was over and it was the epoch of Oriental Races – under the tutelage of the Japanese, to steal the march on Euro-Americans.
    If Ignorance had a Prize, they would have been its highest recipient as well as exponent; a group of Medieval men strutting around as though they are Prussians.
    The contemporary discourse in US is ideological and not racial – anyone can become a Euro-American, it is claimed, but this sentiment was not shared by Western people during 1920s – as far as I can infer from their writings of that period. They were racialist as well.
    I was told recently that among well-to-do Northern European countries (Germany, UK, Denmark, France, Austria etc.), there is a new ethos; that EU is not built on the imprint of Christianity and the Classical Civilization but on the even older (and ill-defined identity)- the Celtic identity!
    It’s about …German-ness!! The German-centered Holy Roman Empire! But the Germanic people have a hard time to accept the barbaric past. Where do you think Wagner came about with the whole resurrected Nordic mythology? The envy of a glorious past they cannot claim and a religion that they evidently cannot fully grasp.
    It’s in fact racial supremacy masquerading as revisionist history.
    This also has echoes in the division of the world of Islam between the Seljuks and non-Seljuks.

  144. Imagine says:

    I believe the crisis was sparked by Kennedy first positioning Jupiter missiles in Turkey. K responded w/tit for tat, and backed down after Kennedy finally said he’d remove the Jupiter missiles.

  145. Imagine says:

    If Hillary wins I think she’ll stay.

  146. Imagine says:

    Israel is buying their oil through Turkey. Would be classic Big Lie.

  147. Poul says:

    The Danish Minister of Defence as confirmed that the F-16’s were Danish planes.
    Danish State Television: DR

  148. Poul says:

    Is this a responds to Deir ez-Zour? Syrian Arab Red Crescent convoy bombed.

  149. johnf says:

    Could you recommend a behaviour on this schizophrenic behaviour within the Japanese High Command, especially within China.
    Also one on the bizarre positive/negative reactions of the Chinese?
    I’d be very grateful.

  150. Ulenspiegel says:

    “There is a myth of large scale rape by Red Army soldiers born out of book from 50s I believe. Problem is the book is more Cold War propaganda thing than any real research into the issue.”
    Sorry, it was no myth. We can only discuss whether we Germans deserved it, not the fact.
    While the number of 2 million raped women is very likely too high, the serious numbers are around 800.000 women that were raped often multiple times after the occupation of Germany, more then half by members of the Red Army.
    In Berlin the situation was so severe that abortions became legal for some time.
    The Red Army had the same issue in 1945 as the Wehrmacht in 1941, crimes were often not prosecuted, here you can even find statements of Russian soldiers in serious historical literature.

  151. Ulenspiegel says:

    “I find the relative ‘evil’ of Nazi Germany and the USSR illustrated by their relative treatment of each other’s POW:
    3.3 million Soviet POWs died in German captivity, out of 5.5 million taken. Death rate about 60%.
    0.3 million German POWs died in Soviet captivity, out of 2.3 million taken. Death rate about 15%.”
    While the number of Russian who died in German is much higher than the number of Germans who died in Russina camps in serious literature, i.e. the 3 million number is correct, your number of German soldiers who died as POW is stupid propaganda.
    The minimum are 900.000 soldiers who were captured and never came back, the Russian bookkeeping during the transfer of POWs from the front to the camps was often not existent, the 2.5 million number are POW who very likely reached the camps, not the ones who were captured.

  152. b says:

    To my knowledge there was/is no air defense in Deir Ezzor except a few anti-air guns used as infantry support.

  153. rambondo says:

    Lebanese Journalist covering region for some time,
    his insights are not far off a lot of the time.
    he writes long-form analysis semi regularly on this blog; worth a read imo

  154. johnf says:

    The BBC is leading with a story in which someone – presumably the Syrians or Russians – have bombed a UN relief convoy near Aleppo.
    The Americans describe themselves as “outraged.”
    I thought at first that this could be a simple case of a rebel convoy containing arms and ammunition resupplies draping itself in UN flags. The Syrians themselves on Twitter have described it as such. But the UN itself, according to the BBC, have confirmed its convoy was hit, but as yet not apportioned blame.
    What would be the purpose of this strike (assuming it was not a mistake)? I know a whole lot of “high level signals” are being sent back and forth between the various participants that are often difficult for us underlings to interpret. Retaliation for Deir Ezzor? A warning that from now on the gloves are going to be taken off? A rogue Syrian air force officer? A rogue Russian? A false flag?
    Any theories?

  155. turcopolier says:

    I thought that must be so. It was like shooting fish in a barrel. If the attack on the Red Crescent convoy was a reprisal that was a very stupid move. pl

  156. LeaNder says:

    better suited because they have ground spotters
    do they?
    slightly off topic: I admittedly wondered how the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights could get information from there. Media information?

  157. LeaNder says:

    BS, are you completely sure that all Barbarossa crime related perpetrators were punished? With all it’s diverse angles? Concerning the rape issue. Would you be willing to at least ponder about this basic thesis: It might well be that United Nations Peace forces help to create a “flesh trade”, meaning forced prostitution.
    and not-so altruistic Russia
    For me as a probably rather nonpolitical person, at least if you don’t accept my core position from teenage days on that politics starts in everyday life: One of the memes that caught my attention in the aftermath of 9/11 was that “altruism” and values I basically support were turned into propaganda weapons. Never mind that reality or facts occasionally didn’t quite fit.

  158. LeaNder says:

    agree, rjj. Besides if I would have been able to choose, if I got into the hands of the Nazis’ “special cleaning forces” working alongside the Wehrmacht or simply be raped, I might well have chosen the latter.

  159. Joe100 says:

    Apparently the critical ground lost to ISIS because of the US strike was quickly retaken:
    “To be sure, the victory was only temporary, since the army retook Jabal Turdah the next day thanks to huge reinforcements from Damascus and intense regime and Russian airstrikes”
    I found a similar report on Xinhua news.
    It also appears that a serious ISIS attack had been underway for some time before the strike.

  160. rjj says:

    conspicuous display of competence and charm or microaggression???
    Samantha’s proxy (our elites hire talent) entry in the Diplomats can Dance competition:

  161. johnf says:

    Apologies, I meant book.

  162. F.B. Ali,
    Sometimes, with American – and British – policy relating to the Middle East, as also the post-Soviet space, the chaos and confusion is such that, as it were, Occam’s Razor can twist in one’s hand.
    But I agree that in this case it seems an appropriate tool.
    One of the things it suggests to me is that the claims about the involvement first of Australians, then of Danes, then of our own people, are not only designed to sow confusion, but are probably fabricated.
    This smacks to me of an ‘information operation’ orchestrated at a high level.
    So I would inclined to fall in with Colonel Lang, and think that this was organised, or at least approved, by Carter, as a way to thwart cooperation with Russia.
    The remarks by the current CJCS, General Dunford, claiming that the attack has not derailed the ceasefire, to which ‘Pundita’ linked on another thread, do not suggest to me a man who is seriously trying to cool things down.
    To suggest that ‘before we start going down a path of what went wrong let’s do an investigation and actually ensure that something did go wrong’ is hardly an emollient response.
    (See .)
    At the time when General Dempsey was CJCS and Lieutenant-General Flynn ran the DIA, the uniformed military looked like an oasis of sanity in American policy towards the Middle East. Unsurprisingly, there was pushback.
    After his nomination, General Dunford listed the security threats to the United States as Russia, China, North Korea and Islamic State, in that order. Meanwhile, Lt.-Gen Flynn appears to have been successfully ‘nobbled’ by Michael Ledeen.
    (See .)
    What however I do not think either Carter or General Dunford are capable of grasping – any more than figures like British equivalent Generals Richard Barrons and Richard Shirreff – is that there is a growing body of opinion in this country at least which thinks that they are dodos who haven’t realised that the world has actually changed somewhat since 1989.

  163. kao_hsien_chih says:

    Two that I can think of off the top.
    W.G. Beasley’s Japanese Imperialism, 1895-1945, is probably the best overview of the period that does not delve into a lot of overdone tropes.
    A very insightful backgrounder on the Japanese imperial mindset shows up in the first few chapter of Nomonhan by Alvin Coox, which is mostly about the border conflict between Japanese-controlled State of Manchuria and Soviet-dominated Mongolia.
    An interesting recent history of Japanese colonial policy in Korea is “Assimilating Seoul: Japanese Rule and the Politics of Public Space in Colonial Korea, 1910-1945,” by Todd Henry.
    One of my old teachers, Takashi Fujitani, had written a nifty book titled “Race for Emprie: Koreans as Japanese and Japanese as Americans during World War 2.”
    There were a few other books with similar themes whose titles I cannot remember for my life, unfortunately, though.

  164. Chris Chuba says:

    I have only heard about the Russians installing S3/400’s in western Syria and on their ships. Deir Ezzor would be well out of their range. However, the U.S. still gives deconfliction notices just in case the Russians have air assets in the area, I heard a CNN report where the Pentagon was adamant that they told the Russians about the mission. I believe them because I think they are telling the same half truth to the U.S. media, that they told the Russians by intentionally conflating Deir Ezzor city with Deir Ezzor governorate (a really huge area).
    It was reported that the U.S. stopped the attack as soon as the Russians contacted them but that took 30-40 minutes. So there was never a need for the Russians to challenge the U.S. in the air. The Syrians have negligible air defenses of their own at Deir Ezzor.
    LeaNder, sure the Russians have ground spotters at Deir Ezzor. The Russians have been bombing there for months. The only thing they need is for the Syrian army to provide GPS coordinates, I’m certain the Russians can provide that type of equipment. Also, nothing prevents them from providing their own personnel if they want to risk that.

  165. Alexey says:

    I’m not going to argue the matter in depth since I haven’t read enough about it and could be unaware of really good works about this. But as far as I remember fame of this matter started with research conducted in one nursery and than result was extrapolated to whole zone of occupation. And all who declared father of their child to be Russian were wrote down as victims of rape even though minority actually claimed to be raped. Such a statistical approach is somewhat dubious I would say.

  166. Ghostship says:

    The United States has a history of “using” ISIS when it wants – for instance, how else to explain a US Apache “escorting” an ISIS convoy of 75 brand new technicals out Iraq into Syria?.

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