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The War Machine Springs To Life Over Syria

NATO has drawn 1st blood. Will Russia respond?
Friday, April 13, 2018, 6:45 PM
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Update: Three hours after the initial posting of this report, the US, the UK and France conducted a missile air strike against Syria 

The events of the past few days involving Syria, the US and Russia are highly concerning.

Currently, the US is busy readying to drop just dropped ~120 missiles on Syria to punish it for an alleged poison gas attack on its civilians. I say "alleged" because no on-the-ground investigation has been conducted.

At this point, we don't really know with confidence what was done by whom. But America's war machine is straining hard against it's chain, eager to strike. And this poison gas atrocity may just be the excuse the West needs to unleash it.

Whodunit?

We do know that Syria at one time indeed had stockpiles of chemical weapons. But they handed them over to international inspectors some years back.  Could they have kept some stocks hidden? Sure.

But we also know that the rebel jihadists in Syria have been caught making and using chemical weapons many times in the recent past.  Russia has repeatedly brought forth evidence of chemical manufacturing sites (very crude basement laboratories, really), located in areas recently recaptured from Syrian jihadists and mercenaries. So it easily could have been the jihadists that conducted the gas attack.

Are these so-called “moderate rebels” morally capable of using poison gas on civilians, children especially?  You bet they are.  These are proven head-choppers, supported by the US, who have publicly posted numerous videos of themselves beheading children.  Morals are not part of their framework or this war.

Plus, the gas war crime certainly serves their interest more than it does Assad's at this time.

Between the two suspects, it's far more likely that the increasingly desperate jihadists, who are clearly losing the fight at this point, would use any and every method at their employ to their advantage. 

The West's response right now feels like a bad detective movie. Imagine the lead investigator of a grisly murder choosing to focuses first on the neighbor down the hall, while ignoring the spouse with a past history of domestic abuse and who recently took out a very large life insurance policy on the victim.  The current "Blame Assad!" narrative seems a poorly written script where you have to overlook a lot of gaping plot holes to get through the movie.

So there hasn’t been an independent investigation to clarify with confidence who is the guilty party here. But that hasn't stopped a swift verdict from circulating throughout the western press: "Assad’s government did it, and must be punished."

Keep in mind that US-made cluster bombs are busy killing children in Yemen. And nearly 130 Yemen children die every day from starvation thanks to the combined actions of Saudi and US forces blockading that nation's access to world markets. 

Suddenly, children in Syria matter a lot to the West, while Yemen's child victims are rarely ever mentioned. Suddenly there’s an urgent moral issue being rushed through the court of public opinion.

This has all the hallmarks of the prior propaganda campaigns we’ve seen before.  Scant evidence, immediate assignment of blame, and a quick rush to military action before anybody can really properly question the train of events.

The Rising Risk Of War

Which leads us to where we are now: the US and several NATO countries may attack just attacked Syria very soon with cruise missiles launched from ships (highest likelihood) and possibly airplanes.

Any such attack, it needs repeating, would be illegal under world laws if it happens without prior UN Security Council approval. Receiving such approval will be highly unlikely, because Russia sits on that council and has veto vote power.  So any attack will, by definition be illegal, and not a sanctioned affair.

However, the US and its allies have been operating illegally in Syria for many years. They haven't shown much concern to-date for securing international approval of their actions. It's unlikely to expect that to change anytime soon.

But the US isn't the only one on the schoolyard who can throw a punch. Russia, which has been supporting the Bashir al-Assad regime in Syria, is now taking a much harder line.

After years of being increasingly painted as the West's favorite villain (the latest campaign instantly blaming Putin for the poisoning of ex-spy Skripal was particularly hamfisted), Russia has made it clear: they are done being provoked. They won't backpedal any farther. If/when the US launches missiles at Syria, Russia has promised to shoot them down and fire a counter-strike at the launchers.

This is serious folks:

Russia will shoot down all US missiles and sources of fire, Russian Ambassador says

Russian Ambassador to Lebanon Alexander Zasypkin said in an interview with the Lebanese TV channel Al-Manar that Russia would shoot down all missiles in case of US military aggression against Syria, RIA Novosti reports.

Russian air defence systems will be used to destroy both the weapons and the sources of fire.

Earlier, The New York Times reported that US presidential aides recommended the head of the White House to inflict a series of fierce attacks on several targets in Syria in response to the alleged chemical attack in the city of Douma, even though the fact of the chemical attack itself was never proved.

If Russia shoots back at the “sources of fire”, that means the US ships and planes used to launch the cruise missiles

I’d personally be worried sick if someone I loved was on the USS Donald Cook right now.  This is the “source of fire” most likely to be employed. 

Oddly, it’s all alone there in the Mediterranean. Other US ships appear to be days away. Perhaps it's "odd" in the same way as when the best ships in the seventh fleet were conveniently out of harm’s way when Pearl Harbor was attacked, leaving only older less seaworthy ships to be sunk, and giving President Roosevelt the casus belli he needed to get America into WW2.

Will the USS Donald Cook be the neo-cons' sacrifice as they endeavor to get their war with Russia kicked into a higher gear?

The US, for its part, is apparently busy communicating with the Russians, communicating it will seek to avoid killing any Russians if at all possible should it strike Syria.  This will limit the range of targets, but the risks are still very, very high:

A strike against Syria will likely come in the form of missiles, as was the case last year.

The United States would not want to risk putting manned aircraft over Syrian air defenses — a shoot-down would send the conflict spiraling in unforeseeable new directions.

The USS Donald Cook, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, is within easy striking range of Syria, as is a French frigate with its own cruise missiles.

These two ships, possibly aided by a US submarine, are likely to play a role in a strike.

What are the risks?

The reaction from Assad backer Moscow is unpredictable and Russia has threatened retaliatory action against the United States if missiles are fired at Syria.

The Russian army on Wednesday accused the White Helmets civil defense organization of staging a chemical weapons attack in Douma, where observers say more than 40 people died in a gas attack.

NBC News reported Tuesday that Russia has learned how to use GPS jammers to limit the capabilities of US drones operating over Syria.

“The US has to be very careful not to accidentally strike Russian targets or kill Russian advisors,” Ben Connable, a senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation, told AFP.

“That significantly limits the number of options available to the United States, because the Russians are embedded in many cases with the Syrians.”

Connable warned that if the US accidentally or purposefully kills uniformed Russian soldiers, there would potentially be a dangerous escalation between the two nuclear powers.

(Source)

The plan here is for Trump get to appear tough, garnering the praise of the war party in the US (which is solidly bi-partisan) and the war press (the entire MSM), while not killing any Russians and, frankly, not doing too much actual damage to Syria.

This is pretty much from the same playbook as last year's false-flag gas attack in Syria, when we fired 59 Tomahawk missiles. 

But this time, Russia has made it clear that any repeat of last year's missile attack will have consequences. It has moved its key naval assets out of port and into strike positions:

APRIL 12, 2018: RUSSIA STARTS EXERCISES OFF SYRIAN COAST, VOWS RESPONSE TO US STRIKES

The Russian Navy has launched live-fire exercises off the Syrian coast as the US is still preparing for a possible military action against the country’s government.

The Russian exercises will be held from April 11 to April 26, the period when, according to some experts, the US strike will be most likely if the administration of US President Donald Trump decides to attack Syria.

On April 10, Russia’s envoy to Lebanon Alexander Zasypkin once again confirming that Russian forces are ready to shoot down missiles and target the launchers in case of an escalation in the war-torn country.

Ali Akbar Velayati, the top adviser to Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei, vowed to support the Damascus government against any attack of the US and its allies.

So now we have Russian ships in the Mediterranean on live-fire exercises, bumping around a smallish sea with US naval assets, with everybody on pins and needles as NATO-Russia relations break down and tensions rise.

What could possibly go wrong?

Again, sane people ought to be asking why we are even in this position in the first place.  Exactly what US interests are at risk in Syria? Whatever they may be, is defending them worth risking a hot confrontation with a nuclear power over? So far, I've seen zero compelling explanations on this front.

A Dangerous Advertising Campaign?

Looked at from a different angle, here's an interesting article from a Russian newspaper (translated by Google so please read past the choppy writing…) which posits that the attack will be proven a useful test of Russia’s latest anti-missile systems.

If successful, Russia may well get to sell lots of them in the future. Great news comrades! We’re getting the chance to showcase our products!

The S-400 and "Pantsiri" are preparing for a grandiose exam in Syria

"Russian air defense systems in Syria have an opportunity to show everything they are capable of," a source close to the Russian Defense Ministry noted in a comment to the newspaper VZGLYAD. Such a check is worth a lot, the interlocutor notes.

"For the military all over the world, this will be an extremely important lesson - the analysis of this blow and its reflection will long be handled by the headquarters of all the leading military powers of the world," the general believes. The subject of analysis will also be how the electronic warfare complexes (EW) will work when reflecting missile strikes.

The number of downed enemy missiles is not an end in itself, Lieutenant-General Alexander Gorkov, head of the air defense missile forces in 2000-2008, remarked in conversation with the newspaper VZGLYAD. He stressed: "The air defense forces are designed to completely conserve the object. Therefore, if only one of the 100 rockets is shot down, but the one that flew exactly to the target, and because of this the object survived, this is considered a success. "

But there are objective criteria for anti-aircraft gunners.

This indicator means the probability of a target being hit by one missile. The number of intercepted targets is divided by the total number of missiles fired. For example, less than 0.7 means low efficiency; 0.8 and above - good, 0.9 - excellent, explained earlier to the portal " Economy Today " Lieutenant General Aitech Bizhev, former deputy commander-in-chief of the Russian Air Force on the CIS Joint Air Defense System.

"If we are talking about cruise missiles going at extremely low altitudes, then the efficiency should be at least 0.85-0.90,

As an example, Bezhev cited the result of the Syrian air defense forces, which recently repulsed the attack of  Israeli aircraft. F-15 planes fired eight missiles, the Syrians intercepted five of them. Thus, the coefficient was 0.6, that is 60% of the shot down missiles. This result is not very pleasing, Bezhev complained.

However, the expert of the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies (ACT) Vasily Kashin believes that the destruction of 50-60% of US missiles would be a huge success for Russian weapons. In fact, he added, even the destruction of 30% can be considered a great success, if we bear in mind both Russian and Syrian air defense forces.

It should be taken into account that the Syrians used old complexes, notes Bizhev. And the newest S-400 air defense systems are located at Russian facilities - the Khmeimim base and in Tartus. According to the Lieutenant-General, the efficiency of the S-400 for unobtrusive speed targets is 0.9, that is "magnificent", 90%.

In turn, Kashin recalls: in addition to our ground-based air defense in Syria will be two Russian frigates with the complex "Shtil-1", which stand off the coast of Syria. "Each of them has a vertical launch for 24 anti-aircraft missiles," the expert reminded VZGLYAD.

Potential buyers of weapons following the outcome of this conflict will draw conclusions about which weapon systems are more effective - American cruise missiles or Russian air defense systems. For a correct assessment, it is important to consider how many missiles are fired at the covered targets. "If the enemy will use a huge number of missiles, for example, more than 200, then you do not know exactly how many missiles will be on the target. Miracles do not happen, "Kashin said. He adds that it is impossible to completely repulse such a blow.

"For example, there are 100 air targets, for each we spend two anti-missiles. With this amount you need to have a very high ammunition. Is there such a number of missiles in the ammunition of the grouping deployed in Syria? "Asks General Alexander Gorkov.

"The combat component of the S-300 division is 32 missiles (if there are eight launchers) or 48 missiles, if 12 units are available," the interlocutor points out. "If two rockets are used for each shooting, the ammunition will be enough for 16 or 24 launches, respectively." If the coefficient of 0.9 is shown in these shootings, this will be evaluated as a success, including potential buyers of Russian weapons.

Even if that was a little long and technical for you, just know I find it possibly comforting. If Russia is looking for a 'grandiose exam' of its war matériel, and the US is going to attack mainly to satisfy internal politics (and Russia knows this), then that may contain any military exchange to a relatively small skirmish (for now). 

But if not, and Russia is truly backed into a corner, tired of the West's vilification and NATO's encroachment, it will show it claws. History has long shown that the Middle East is a powder keg where conflicts can easily escalate quickly. Where escalation might lead in this case is very worrisome indeed.

Time To Prepare For War

There remains, as yet, no evidence proving Assad’s government was behind the alleged gas attack in Douma.

All that’s been presented to the world are video clips showing what appear to be stricken people. However, we have long learned that such videos prove to be fraudulent. The same White Helmets who released these clips have been caught many times before using crisis actors and staging events that look just like the videos released -- shaking cameras that sweep and lurch in tights shots over closely spaced bodies, poor lighting, etc. 

Moreover, the US and NATO blamed Assad and Russia within hours of these release of these videos, well before any actual evidence could have been collected and confirmed. As of course, they've similarly done time and again over the past years. Clearly, there's an eagerness on the West's side to find a reason to take harder action against Russia.

Will this one be it?

While the prospect of a kinetic (shooting) conflict between the West and Russia is obviously of greatest concern, the war could happen in one or several of many other forms (cyber, financial, trade, etc.) which I’ve written about extensively in the past.

We need to prepare ourselves for the prospect of war, even if this situation merely turns out to be an S-400 marketing blitz.  Because at the current trajectory, even if this event turns out not to be the flashpoint that ignites a larger confrontation, the odds of one that does happening soon is just too damn high.

It’s very clear that the US has embedded neocons that want a unipolar world where the US is top dog and gets to boss around China and Russia.  That makes war “highly likely” in our future. 

China and Russia quite rightly believe that they deserve to be treated on more equal footing and have their own national pride and internal political realities with which to contend, meaning they cannot appear to be pushed around by the US.  Saving face is important.

In Part 2: What To Prepare For we assess the most likely paths the current standoff may take, the probability of each, and what the ramifications of each would be. Knowing tomorrow's likeliest outcomes will help you best prepare today.

An escalating conflict between the US and Russia, even if limited to a proxy war in Syria, will result in tremendous casualites -- of life, of geopolicital relations, and of markets. Protect yourself, those you love, and your wealth from becoming part of the collateral damage.

Click here to read Part 2 of this report (free executive summary, enrollment required for full access)

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91 Comments

Adam Taggart's picture
Adam Taggart
Status: Peak Prosperity Co-founder (Offline)
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The War Machine Springs To Life...

While editing this piece, the song '99 Red Balloons' by Nena kept playing in my head. So I thought it appropriate to title the report based on one of the lyrics, which go in part:

Ninety-nine red balloons
Floating in the summer sky
Panic bells, it's red alert
There's something here from somewhere else
The war machine springs to life
Opens up one eager eye
Focusing it on the sky
Where ninety-nine red balloons go by

Ninety-nine Decision Street
Ninety-nine ministers meet
To worry, worry, super scurry
Call the troops out in a hurry
This is what we've waited for
This is it, boys, this is war
The president is on the line
As ninety-nine red balloons go by

Sure seems like the President and the neo-cons may well be whooping "This is it, boys!". Sad.

davefairtex's picture
davefairtex
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and the original, in German

There's something about hearing this song in German that really does it for me.

And the lyrics:

http://www.metrolyrics.com/99-luftballons-german-lyrics-nena.htm

Montana Native's picture
Montana Native
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Posts: 166
Thanks for the report....

Gore Vidal was famous for saying that we live in the United States of Amnesia. After the lies that led up to the Iraq war or the aftermath of trashing Libya for shit reasons, nobody remembers or cares. To think people could go back and look at Secretary McNamara's comments on the the Gulf of Tonkin incident or Lincoln's attempts to bust James K Polk for likely lying about Mexicans attacking us on US soil as justification for the Mexican-American war is far too much to ask. What the Lusitania was actually carrying or how the Maine likely came to explode....may as well be speaking Portuguese. I'm just hoping for the best as Russia and China back Assad while the West, Saudi "terrorist supporter" Arabia, along with our welfare queen Isreal push for all out war against a country ruled by a secular leader that harbors one of the last Christian communities in the Middle East. How many people in vagina hats will march for peace and the prevention of the slaughter of countless thousands of innocents? Next to none.....the TV didn't let them know this was a thing.

Time2help's picture
Time2help
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And...it's War

richcabot's picture
richcabot
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'White Helmets' Staged Syria Chemical Attack

Russia claims that the reported chemical attack in Syria last Sunday was staged by the "white helmets," a US-funded NGO lauded by mainstream media for their humanitarian work, while long-suspected of performing less-than humanitarian deeds behind the curtain.

Speaking with EuroNews, Russia's ambassador to the EU, Vladimir Chizov, said "Russian military specialists have visited this region, walked on those streets, entered those houses, talked to local doctors and visited the only functioning hospital in Douma, including its basement where reportedly the mountains of corpses pile up. There was not a single corpse and even not a single person who came in for treatment after the attack."

"But we've seen them on the video!" responds EuroNews correspondent Andrei Beketov.

"There was no chemical attack in Douma, pure and simple," responds Chizov. "We've seen another staged event. There are personnel, specifically trained - and you can guess by whom - amongst the so-called White Helmets, who were already caught in the act with staged videos."

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-04-11/there-wasnt-single-corpse-russ...

Barnbuilder's picture
Barnbuilder
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In other words we had nothing

(Meanwhile, the White House said that the US is confident the Syrian regime was behind the chemical weapons attack, based on: media sources, victims’ symptoms,  videos, and  “reliable information indicating coordination between Syrian military officials before the attack.”)

Mark Cochrane's picture
Mark Cochrane
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Any ideas what this entails?

 

Russia’s response to tonight’s extra curricular bombing. What are the consequences and when will we learn about them?

 

Here is the statement from Russia's ambassador to the US, Anataloy Antonov,

 

The worst apprehensions have come true. Our warnings have been left unheard.

A pre-designed scenario is being implemented. Again, we are being threatened. We warned that such actions will not be left without consequences.

All responsibility for them rests with Washington, London and Paris.

Insulting the President of Russia is unacceptable and inadmissible.

The U.S. – the possessor of the biggest arsenal of chemical weapons – has no moral right to blame other countries.

skipr's picture
skipr
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false flags on steroids

I wonder how many more times the majority of the people here in the states will swallow yet another staged gas attack.  How about some more "Poppy" Bush's incubator babies, Collin Powell's vial of anthrax, or Dubya's mushroom clouds and WMDs?  They haven't used those in awhile.  I personally know people that still believe that bin Laden's "Cheyenne Mountain", as described by Rummy, was real:

Here's a detailed analysis of a WW2 false flag operation based upon the Italian Nazi's own documents.

http://cassandralegacy.blogspot.com/2018/04/false-flag-operations-how-co...

Nothing ever changes.

 

aggrivated's picture
aggrivated
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?'s remain

How many missles were fired?
How effective were the Russian defense systems?
Have the Russians followed through with their threats of retaliation against the missle launch sites?
Where are the best sites to get these details?

I did note that all South Front video has been banned from Facebook. Is the timing of this a coincidence?

darcieg76's picture
darcieg76
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So, correct me if I missed

So, correct me if I missed something, but isn't all we have the assertions of the US et al saying that Assad was behind this and Syria and Russia saying it was staged? From the comments, it seems like people have concluded that it was a totally made-up attack. Aren't we lacking proof either way?

Mark Cochrane's picture
Mark Cochrane
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Reported so far

US says they fired twice as many missiles as in 2017 attack. That would mean around 120.

Syria claims to have shot down 13.

Doesn’t sound like the Russians shot at the ships and planes - yet.

What comes next as a Russian response? Who knows.  

Mark Cochrane's picture
Mark Cochrane
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Lack of proof

Yes we are lacking proof from either the US or Russian claims but only one side was compelled to shoot before the proof could be collected. Considering that the inspectors are supposed to be there working tomorrow, I’d say it looks like the US, UK, France didn’t feel they could wait for facts. 

nigel's picture
nigel
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It's difficult to prove a negative

As far as it goes they can't really do much more to prove a negative. It would be up to the individual to accept their proof or not. They have offered proof, plenty of it on rt.com, it would be fair to say you haven't accepted their proof as true.

That however doesn't really matter, it's the russian reaction to the situation as they understand it, or as they have stated it. If they understand this to be a test of their resolve they must hit back and hard. Then it becomes a series of escalations. Lets pray putin is smarter than trump and we avoid a nuclear exchange.

Hey, i wonder what a geiger counter is selling for on ebay?

thatchmo's picture
thatchmo
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Sigh.....and here I was,

Sigh.....and here I was, planning on ignoring that next "incoming missile" alert on my device.....Aloha, Steve

SagerXX's picture
SagerXX
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thatchmo wrote: Sigh.....and
thatchmo wrote:

Sigh.....and here I was, planning on ignoring that next "incoming missile" alert on my device.....Aloha, Steve

I think we're good, bro.  If we're not within 10 miles of Pearl or Barking Sands, probably OK.  

thatchmo's picture
thatchmo
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I was just having that

I was just having that discussion with the Sweetheart.  I think PMRF, as a testing and research facility, would make a pretty tasty spoil of war, so would probably be off the "A" list.  Thankfully, a big, wet mountain 'tween it and us...Pearl on the other hand, historically not a great place to be, and, unfortunately, upwind.  What a shitty thing to have to discuss, eh?  Take good care, Aloha, Steve.

Luke Moffat's picture
Luke Moffat
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Silver Lining

So this means that the Russians didn't hack the US election after all? That's a win, right?

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SYRIA - A CONSEQUENCE OF WESTERN POLICY

I intuitively doubt that the West's attack on Syria, crass in thinking though it is, will lead us to war. But if it does, it will be a confrontation almost entirely of the West's own making.

In September 2011, in written evidence to the UK's House of Common Defence Committee, I predicted that unilateral Western action in Libya would not only prove ineffective, but worse mistakenly inspire others in the Middle East, including Syria, to rise up in the (mistaken) hope that the West would support them, whilst at the same time causing the Russians and Chinese no longer to trust our use of the UN Security Council. It gives me no pleasure whatsoever, to be proved right. 

The West has failed to understand Syria, the inverse of Iraq, as a chapter in the struggle between Sunni and Shia that has been going on since the 7th Century.

In Iraq, a Sunni minority regime governed a Shia majority population. Our intervention, and the imposition of democratic processes ensured that Shia rule would ensue; a Shia regime with strong emotional links with Iran, the Shia centre-of-gravity. The Sunni countries, led by Saudi Arabia, were never comfortable with this predictable outcome, notwithstanding that they grudgingly supported the West's actions. 

In Syria, the situation is the reverse. Assad's Shia minority regime governed a majority Sunni population, and it is no surprise that the key backers of the Sunni uprising are the Saudis and Quataris. But the difference is that, unlike Saddam Hussein, Assad has powerful long-term backers, lRussia and Iran. Furthermore, Assad's Alwaites know that if the Syrian Sunni majority were to win, then the Alawites would be slaughtered as a people. So they have no reason to give in or compromise, and were always likely to fight to the bitter end. All of this, which was unclear to us, was always clear to Russia, who backed the likely winner from the outset.  None of these observations are intended to judgemental, about the rightness or wrongness of the dire situation on the ground, rather all is simply reflections of what got us to where we are.  As a result, we, the West, now find ourselves in a ludicrous and dire situation largely of our own making.

First, we have, through our actions in Libya all those years ago, encouraged an Arab Spring, which we've assumed is about democracy breaking out, whereas it is much more complex, and largely about economic failure and religious conflict. 

Second, we have failed to understand the specific politico-religious dynamics of the Syrian conflict, and how they interweave more generally into the wider Middle East.

Third, we have failed to understand Russia, a country that is naturally European in its cultural makeup, and instead - through our actions in Libya, and subsequently Ukraine and our recent responses to the UK nerve agent question - reduced the chances of diplomatic solutions and increased the chances of military mistake. 

And to top it all, at a time when we've increased the risks of military mistake, we are now taking military action, unsanctioned by our populations who are rightly more cautious than our bellicose politicians, that offers no prospect whatsoever of improving the situation. 

The brilliant American diplomat, George Kennan, said in February 1966, of the US involvement in Vietnam: 

If we were not already involved as we are today in Vietnam, I would know of no reason why we would wish to become involved and I can think of several reasons why we would wish not to. Vietnam is not a region of major military, industrial importance. It is difficult to believe that any decisive developments of the world situation would be determined by what happens in that country. If it were not for considerations of prestige that arise precisely from our present involvement, even in a situation in which South Vietnam was controlled exclusively by the Viet Cong, whilst regrettable and no doubt morally unwarranted, would not in my opinion present dangers enough to justify our direct military involvement. 

Replace 'Vietnam' with 'Syria', and the 'Viet Cong' with the 'Assad regime' and the statement holds good, in my opinion, for the West's involvement in Syria. 

My brother, a brilliant Arabist, has thought for some time that the West would have been better to back Assad, and I think he has a point. I have written elsewhere that a first principle when considering military intervention is the classic medical principle of 'First do no harm.' I think I would now add to this, 'If you have done harm, mistakenly, then don't do any more.' And certainly don't do anymore that increases the chances of conflict with Russia, one of the world's 2 leading energy suppliers and the primary supplier of natural gas to Europe. 

 

 

 

cmartenson's picture
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Interesting thoughts...and the Hypocratic Oath
stevejermy wrote:

My brother, a brilliant Arabist, has thought for some time that the West would have been better to back Assad, and I think he has a point. I have written elsewhere that a first principle when considering military intervention is the classic medical principle of 'First do no harm.' I think I would now add to this, 'If you have done harm, mistakenly, then don't do any more.' And certainly don't do anymore that increases the chances of conflict with Russia, one of the world's 2 leading energy suppliers and the primary supplier of natural gas to Europe. 

Yes, let's use the Oath!  Or something like it.  Here's a proposal.

The Hippocratic Oath is actually many paragraphs long, and contains several important principles.  "First do no harm" does not appear in the original texts (but does appear many centuries later.

The closest original line is "noxamvero et maleficium propulsabo"  or "I will utterly reject harm and mischief"

That works for me!  Let's roll with that one as a nation.  That would be swell.  Works for me.

I also like this line from the original text:  "Practice two things in your dealings with disease: either help or do not harm the patient"  

You either help your patient or you do not harm them.  In other words, if you cannot improve on the situation you do nothing.  Stand back.  Said differently, and which is in the podcast with Robert Whitaker on psychoactive drug addictions (coming out soon) the idea is that if you cannot improve upon a patient's natural rate of recovery and healing, don't do anything.

So if someone was going to get better in three weeks, you either administer a treatment that helped them get better in less time (or more completely) or you don't do anything at all.

So all of the poppycock about how "Iraq is better off without Saddam" and "Libya is better off without Ghaddafi" is a load of bollox.  Utter horsecrap.  Both places are desperately worse off today than when Dr. USA administered his treatments.

With any luck, the USA can someday begin to join the ranks of civilized nations that are able to adhere to principles that are thousands of years young.  /sarc./

I'm still digging around for clues as to how Russia will react...

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Epic Fail?

Does any country in the world believe that this was anything but a face-saving exercise by a coalition of the culpable?

Over 100 missiles used to ‘destroy’ three empty buildings/facilities, in a ‘one time’ attack. Syria and Russia weren’t told in advance that the attack was coming but the targets were announced days ago. Now Syria claims to have shot down 71 missiles (probably an exaggeration) with 30 year old equipment while the US claims that they hit nothing (surely an underestimation). Since the US announced they would hit 8 locations and wound up with three, who will win the propaganda wars now, especially given the transparent lying the US, UK and France have engaged in leading up to this farce?

Russia now has reason to give Syria advanced weapons, Israel will scream. China now will openly oppose the US in Syria. Who wants to buy US missiles now? everyone is queuing up for Russian antimissile systems.

Good thing that the Deep State makes it’s own reality because they are quickly becoming the only ones living in it.

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Media Missiles?

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Proud?

Anyone here proud to be an Amerikan today?

Anyone think we are making Amerika great?

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Mohammed Mast
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Cops

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LesPhelps
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Boom!

This is how new “terrorists” are created.

If someone kept dropping bombs in my neighborhood, I’d react somewhat negatively.

 

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AKGrannyWGrit
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Proud - Yes

"Anyone here proud to be an American today?"

"Anyone think we are making America great?"

Your attempts to "SHAME" us - I am NOT biting.  My Father fought in WWII, I knew people who died in Vietnam and people who are serving in our armed forces today and they deserve our respect and support.  There is a HUGE difference between those who arrogantly wield power and those who bleed and die for the people they love.

Generalizations and contempt are NOT helpful.  Shame on you for lumping good people, people who are hardworking and our service personnel who are dying for our country with those who are corrupt and indifferent.  It's all a matter of perspective!

May Our Men and Women who serve our country come home alive.

AKGrannyWGrit

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"Raytheon predicts increased

"Raytheon predicts increased 2nd quarter profits.  Assures Pentagon replacement Tomahawk missiles can be delivered in 30 days."  I'm not sure if the previous is true, I just made it up....Aloha, Steve

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Ours but to do or die

Ours But To Do Or Die (The Automatic Earth)

Quote:

You see Reagan didn’t want to WIN the Cold War. He wanted to END it. The Cheney-Rumsfeld-Dr. Strangelove wing could never forgive that. His body wasn’t cold before they were back, this time behind Clinton, to finish the occupation of Russia as the last step to world domination. This is why the crazies back in the PNAC days were desperate to nuke the helpless Russia even then. They were right. If you didn’t nuke them, openly attack them, they would survive and escape, which would ultimamtely thwart the Neocon/Deep State plans to take over the world. And so they have.

But as we see today, they never give up. They’re still aching to start a world-wide nuclear exchange and openly agitating 24/7 on CNN to do so. No amount of bombing is enough, no number of bankrupted, shattered cities are too many just to get Russia out of the way, whose historic job, sadly but heroically, is to crush and utterly destroy the idiotic plans of meglomaniac warmongers from the West like Hitler and Napoleon, and dash them to pieces on the rocks of reality. Because the West never restrains its maniacs, it empowers them.

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Of Syria and Skripals

I wonder if somebody thought this also required some distraction.....

according to the independent Swiss state Spiez lab, the substance used on Sergei Skripal was an agent called BZ, which was never produced in Russia, but was in service in the US, UK, and other NATO states. Link

Curiouser and curiouser.  

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It’s about the Dollar

This attack is against Russia, which is replacing the US Dollar as its reserve currency and for settlement of international trade. Same as Iraq, Lybia, Iran, and China. That’s why these countries are on our shitlist and subject to sanctions, invasions, attacks, trade wars, and regime change. 

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Mohammed Mast wrote: Anyone
Mohammed Mast wrote:

Anyone here proud to be an Amerikan today?

Anyone think we are making Amerika great?

Dude, this country was essentially over with the 2010 coup d'etat of Citizens United.  Everything from there until whatever near-or-distant-term point at which it is replaced by whatever comes next is just a ragged epilogue.  

I say this not to be edgy or gloomy, but because I find it a useful filter/frame to interpret the current situation, current events, and future events.  I can't change the wave, but if I can see/predict it with any clarity, I can ride it and survive instead of getting tumbled by it.

The US had a decent run.  Turns out it wasn't immune to history/hadn't broken the wheel of history.

VIVA -- Sager

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AKGrannyWGrit wrote: "Anyone
AKGrannyWGrit wrote:

"Anyone here proud to be an American today?"

"Anyone think we are making America great?"

Your attempts to "SHAME" us - I am NOT biting.  My Father fought in WWII, I knew people who died in Vietnam and people who are serving in our armed forces today and they deserve our respect and support.  There is a HUGE difference between those who arrogantly wield power and those who bleed and die for the people they love.

Generalizations and contempt are NOT helpful.  Shame on you for lumping good people, people who are hardworking and our service personnel who are dying for our country with those who are corrupt and indifferent.  It's all a matter of perspective!

May Our Men and Women who serve our country come home alive.

AKGrannyWGrit

If I was a bumper sticker kind of guy, which I'm  not, I'd get one in response to the tacky "Support our Troops" ribbon stickers that says, "I appreciate the sacrifice, but I do not support our troops."

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AKGrannyWGrit wrote: "Anyone
AKGrannyWGrit wrote:

"Anyone here proud to be an American today?"

"Anyone think we are making America great?"

Your attempts to "SHAME" us - I am NOT biting.  My Father fought in WWII, I knew people who died in Vietnam and people who are serving in our armed forces today and they deserve our respect and support.  There is a HUGE difference between those who arrogantly wield power and those who bleed and die for the people they love.

Generalizations and contempt are NOT helpful.  Shame on you for lumping good people, people who are hardworking and our service personnel who are dying for our country with those who are corrupt and indifferent.  It's all a matter of perspective!

May Our Men and Women who serve our country come home alive.

AKGrannyWGrit

I made no attempt to shame anyone, the corporate state has done a much better job than I ever could. By the way you did bite and you used it to go off on a rant which for the most part does not address the current situation, but does perfectly express the Amerikan mythology that is the reason we find ourselves where we are today Strawman arguments have little weight behind them. I asked a simple question. I can only assume you are proud of our actions and support bombing Syria. I am not about to get into a silly flame war about Amerikan history so I will leave you with a video fo someone who knew very well what our men and women are actually serving. (hint it aint "their" country)

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joeschreiber wrote: This
joeschreiber wrote:

This attack is against Russia, which is replacing the US Dollar as its reserve currency and for settlement of international trade. Same as Iraq, Lybia, Iran, and China. That’s why these countries are on our shitlist and subject to sanctions, invasions, attacks, trade wars, and regime change. 

I don't believe any of those countries are part of the international banking cartel.

 

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A fraying thread? Focus, folks!

Why I'm not worried -  perhaps it's time to unplug:

“Worry is wasting today’s time to clutter up tomorrow’s opportunities with yesterday’s troubles.”

 

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Phase 2

And now Israel attacks to provoke the Iranians. Coincidence? No. They are hoping that the Iranians will attack Israel while we have an armada steaming into the  Med. just in time to attack those pesky Iranians and make Bolton happy.

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OPCW
Mark Cochrane wrote:

I wonder if somebody thought this also required some distraction.....

according to the independent Swiss state Spiez lab, the substance used on Sergei Skripal was an agent called BZ, which was never produced in Russia, but was in service in the US, UK, and other NATO states. Link

Curiouser and curiouser.  

OPCW is unfortunately subject to politicization and undue influence most famously evident during the Cheney Administration by the US led ouster of it's first director Jose Bustani  who was attempting to bring Iraq and Libya  into the OPCW treaty regime and wanting inspectors on the ground in Iraq  and was therefore  deemed a hindrance to the already decided on war plans.  Designated point demon on that was our good friend John Bolton. 

The OPCW report on Skripal samples certainly appears to have selectively presented the availible facts from the Swiss lab results so as to narrowly support the plausibility of UK's bogus story.  However even that selective reporting includes the fact that the samples of the nerve agent were of high purity.  This implies all sorts of derivative inconsistencies with the official story regarding it's provenance and application with regard to observable facts. Not the least of which is that a pure version of a Novichok 'type' agent would have quickly killed any victims. 

https://thesaker.is/a-curious-incident-part-ix/

It will be interesting to see the results of OPCW's findings in Douma ( Now that Trump and May's brave and decisive missile strikes have forced the Russians and Syrians to consent to allow them access)

It is of note that the current head of OPCW is a Turkish diplomat who is a former ambassador to Israel. Regardless of his personal integrity, if there is leverage avail, we will know it and it will be used.

Hopefully he does not have children in New York or London that John Bolton can threaten like in the case of  former OPCW director Jose Bustani

In any case I suspect even with an unambiguous OPCW finding that there was no chemical attack in Syria, our side will simply result in obfuscation and propaganda,  You can see that Mattis engaged in some preemptive ass covering by foreshadowing an excuse that evidence of  these chemical agents degrade quickly with time.  Between that and the Syrian /Russian control of the site prior to OPCW arrival should be enough to blunt any unfortunate revelations.

 

mememonkey

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Perception

“I can only assume you are proud of our actions and support bombing Syria.”

Oh for Pete’s Sake, another snarky comment. Really??? 

I get your point -  my point is that I am old enough to remember the return of our Vietnam Vets and it WASN'T a hero’s welcome for many!  We got it then we get it now, somehow our troops deserve better!  Your post can be interpreted as contemptuous.  Our Service members deserve better.

Annoyed Granny

 

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attack poodles

So far at least, it looks like an attack similar to the one that happened last time.  Nobody died, some buildings got blown up, the foaming-at-the-mouth war-cheerleaders in the media got some shots of missiles being launched (war being an immediate ratings boost), and Trump gets to say "Mission Accomplished."

My guess: Trump has learned that its cheaper (in terms of his political capital) to appease the media-attack-poodles with a $100 million dollar symbolic act rather than to try and stand on principle.

But he can't really come out and tell us this, except obliquely.

I wonder if he learned from this event: perhaps next time he'll just quietly order the troops home rather than advertising it in advance.

 

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World peace

There are few things we can learn

1) Trump is smart enough to avoid provoking a nuclear war

2) Putin is smart enough to avoid reacting to provocations and therefore avoid a nuclear war

3) the war hawks will be encouraged by the lack of retaliation by Russia, so i still expect an escalation / false flag in the future.

Right now, this is great news, two smart people who sure may preen like a pair of peacocks but are both wise enough to fear a conflict between two nuclear powers. I am going to go have a beer and rest easy for a while, then go back to making the garden bigger.

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cognitive dissonance

One semi-amusing thought:

Those who were terrified of having Trump with his finger on the button are the same group basically saying he's a wimp if he doesn't more vigorously attack Syria - thus risking the very nuclear war they were terrified that Trump would start, because it was Trump who was the impulsive boob.

Ok, I lied, its not amusing at all.  One wonders if they realize where they are right now - that they've totally betrayed the historical anti-war wing of the Democratic party.

My only explanation: utter cognitive dissonance.  Anti-War + Hate Russia + Scary Trump = Trump Must Attack Russia, risking nuclear war.

I long for the day when the American People wake up from their slumber.

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All in agreement?

Granny,

I think that  everyone here agrees that the appropriate course of action is to honor and support those who served/fought while withholding support or even holding in contempt those who would put our young men and women in harms way for such a foolish action. (Could I  add greedy?, dangerously foolish? evil?).

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Granny,I think that 

Duplicate

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AKGrannyWGrit wrote: “I can
AKGrannyWGrit wrote:

“I can only assume you are proud of our actions and support bombing Syria.”

Oh for Pete’s Sake, another snarky comment. Really??? 

I get your point -  my point is that I am old enough to remember the return of our Vietnam Vets and it WASN'T a hero’s welcome for many!  We got it then we get it now, somehow our troops deserve better!  Your post can be interpreted as contemptuous.  Our Service members deserve better.

Annoyed Granny

 

Have a blessed life. I am out

 

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Mohammed Mast
Mohammed Mast wrote:
AKGrannyWGrit wrote:

“I can only assume you are proud of our actions and support bombing Syria.”

Oh for Pete’s Sake, another snarky comment. Really??? 

I get your point -  my point is that I am old enough to remember the return of our Vietnam Vets and it WASN'T a hero’s welcome for many!  We got it then we get it now, somehow our troops deserve better!  Your post can be interpreted as contemptuous.  Our Service members deserve better.

Annoyed Granny

 

Have a blessed life. I am out

 

If you realy thought that, you wouldnt have replied at all. Saying have a blessed life in this context, is hte same as saying "bless your heart " which means, I know you are wrong and you are so naive I am not going to give anyother response.

 

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This attack is against the monetary system

Its dying, almost dead.  They need a reason to replace it.

 

look up, “the economist, new currency, Phoenix Funny how 2018 is the year they chose WAY back when....

 

 

joeschreiber wrote:

This attack is against Russia, which is replacing the US Dollar as its reserve currency and for settlement of international trade. Same as Iraq, Lybia, Iran, and China. That’s why these countries are on our shitlist and subject to sanctions, invasions, attacks, trade wars, and regime change. 

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vietnam

AKGranny-

FWIW, my uncle was deployed to Vietnam in 1968.  In the army, as an enlisted man, in combat.  He came back, but a lot of the people he served with didn't survive.

In other words, I know what you mean.  I honor my Uncle's service - but at the same time, I think the war itself was a tragedy that could have been avoided, had we been wiser as a country.

Perhaps only those who have friends or loved ones who served can understand this mind-set.

 

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2016: Either way we are screwed

Well I'm one who was terrified about Trump's finger hovering over the button before the election and more so now.  The "cackling over Qaddafi's murder" Hillary would have been equally scary.  I think the anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan said it perfectly before the election: 

"No matter who "wins" on Tuesday night, the main thing to remember is that 99% of us are going to be Big Losers and the only way to for the people to win is to organize on a massive scale to oppose the policies of US empire and to join with the rest of the world in liberation struggles for freedom and equality."

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Agreement?

Thanks Quercus bicolor - 

Granny,

I think that  everyone here agrees that the appropriate course of action is to honor and support those who served/fought while withholding support or even holding in contempt those who would put our young men and women in harms way for such a foolish action. (Could I  add greedy?, dangerously foolish? evil?).

 

For a number of years worked with a Vietnam Vet.  He explained that when he returned home he did not tell people he was returning from Service as he didn't want someone to call him a baby killer.  Unlike today the "anti-war sentiment" sometimes carried over to our returning men and women.  Today we hear people tell our service personnel "thank you for your service"!  It was not always the case.  My co-worker explained one day at lunch when we were discussing the post-war movie Coming Home (1978) he explained that he didn't see it for a few years and finally during a business trip he watched it, alone, in his hotel room and bawled like a baby.  It impacted him.

I don't know that everyone supports our men and women in service.  But I do know that sentiment can change and history may not repeat exactly but repeat in some form or fashion it does.  Obviously this is a topic few want to think about, remember or discuss.  Understandable.

Just a perspective very few of you have.

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An even better video

A piece of our history you may not know.

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pgp
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War may not be that inevitable.

Its easy to get swept up in the black and white of various "truths".  That's what the poltical/deep-state and corporate establishment rely upon indirectly to maintain control of the voting public.  Even the most intellectual of poeple get swept up in public opinion on either side or the argument but at the end of the day are still completely mislead.

What is still not answered in all the anti and pro warmongering is, what drives the whole us-and-them battle rhetoric?  Mostly likely it is simply the usual limbic impulses like those seen in a kindergarten playground.

However since the people playing this game are not four years old, have much more military experience than we do and think with defense department slyness, its really going to be very difficult to understand the exact motivations of the idiots in charge of this fracas.  On the other hand ascribing too much cleverness to the "intelligence community" is as foolish as claiming that our central bankers are actually organized.

Nevertheless it seems most likely that Syrians/Russians don't keep anything important at any one advertised military location.  The military institutions may be as inept as our governments but let's be realistic about their ability to formulate at least some basic strategy, like distributing valuable machinery over a wide area, too wide to bomb in any one act of aggression.  Consequently if nothing is gained or lost from such a staged attack why would the Russians really care, except to save face under the spotlight of their 6'o'clock news.  The inevitability of war is therefore not so assured, at least not until someone really gets hurt.

At the end of the day people in various branches of the government thrash about looking for consensus finally agreeing on trivial issues with the cognitive power equivalent to that of a four-year old.  So when it finally comes time to execute a plan, our leaders communicate it to the world while giving minions on both sides, time to mitigate the collateral damage of another pointless military action.

The story therefore hasn't changed.  The US and its puppets want control of the global economy or global political direction while the Russians and Chinese threaten that dogma.  The idiots on capitol hill can't do really anything about it so they run crying to the general public and media barons, threatening to break the other kids' toys.  The end result is embarrassment for the human race while little strategic harm is done.

The real take-away here is that we still don't have a global rule of law to keep the various government powers under control.  We won't have that until those governments are disempowered.  The amount of power a government controls needs to be curtailed.  Internally a country's law's do this well enough but globally the balance of power between the courts and the leaders is severely shifted in the wrong direction.

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