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Thread: Syria: The Never Ending Neocon Story

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    Default Syria: The Never Ending Neocon Story

    AS could easily be predicted, the last great battle for Syria, the Idlib enclave, is about to start properly. The US, UK and French are getting ready to militarily respond again - but apparently far more viciously - should a new chemical weapon / gas attack occur. The West has already pinned the blame firmly on the Assad government for this event that is yet to happen. And happen it almost certainly will.

    According to the Russians a a British military contractor, Olive Group, has been training Jihadists in Idlib to perpetrate a chemical/gas attack, with the White Helmets standing ready to publicise it to the Anglo-American-French camp waiting to pounce. People can read about Olive Group HERE. This entity almost certainly is a SIS/MI6 critter, which may be why the redoubtable Alastair Crooke in his recent article on the coming events at Idlib avoids mentioning their name. Crook used to be a senior officer of MI6. Crooke's article is HERE. It is a worrying analysis of what could be.

    Elsewhere the Middle Eastern expert, Elijah Magnier has penned his recent piece on the same subject HERE. Former British Ambassador to Syria, Peter Ford has also let loose on the madness being prepared to be unleashed, In his article he likens this last (hopefully) major battle in Syria to be akin to the Suez crisis of 1956 - which saw the end of the British Empire, followed shortly after, by the British Pound Sterling relinquishing its reserve currency status (circa 1960's), primarily because of the crippling debts it had incurred fighting WWII - that we now know (thanks to, for example, Guido Preparata), Britain had been craftily engineering since WWI (which the Brits also engineered in it's divide & conquer strategy for the Continent). Ford's piece is HERE.

    In rounding off, for the time being, the writers/bloggers I tend to favour, is former Green Beret Colonel and later CIA guy, Pat Lang HERE. It is worth taking the time to read the comments section of Lang's blog, as there are some very informed people posting there - including our very own Lauren Johnson.

    Not least, Caitlin Johnstone, "rogue journalist" and an admirably feisty one at that, has shredded Nikki Haley's recent pronouncements in the UN on the planned false flag event. No one deserves shredding than Nikki Haley in my opinion. I wouldn't let my grandkids near her in daylight let alone on a dark night. On the other hand if one had an ample supply of wooden stakes and garlic, others may well wish to meet her on a dark night. Not I though. Caitlin Johnstone's article is well worth reading and her many links worth checking out too. The one she has for a declassified CIA report from 1986 in which the CIA are blame-storming on ways to cause an uprising in Syria (HERE).

    She also links to one of my favourite Youtube clips (below) that I regularly show people who argue that the Western narrative on Assad and Syria is true (yes, there are millions and millions who still believe what the western media still say. Sadly. But then no one claims that being born with grey matter inside one's skull automatically translates to having a functioning brain did they...)

    If oner thing should be widely seen on the nasty, sad and awful years of war in Syria, it is this video:



    In closing I wonder if the Idlib battle is the US Neocon's last great effort to save their neoliberal dollar from eventually going belly-up thereby buggle-ing the Last Post to the end to their global hegemony?

    I sincerely hope so. The world could do with peace for a change.
    The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
    Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14

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    In rounding off, for the time being, the writers/bloggers I tend to favour, is former Green Beret Colonel and later CIA guy, Pat Lang HERE. It is worth taking the time to read the comments section of Lang's blog, as there are some very informed people posting there -- including our very own Lauren Johnson.
    One should note that I only posted Donald Trump's tweet warning the Russia and Iran not to get involved in the coming Indlib campaign, lest thousands of Syrian non-combatants die. I have been banned twice, or is it three times, for going too far into the deep political realm. You really don't want to suggest that ISIS is a NATO creation. The Moon of Alabama blogger, "b", apparently has been invited to not post, because he is too anti-American. Pat Lang is a very crabby guy. He tolerates some more than others.

    One of the better commentors is SmoothieX12, aka Andrei Martyanov, who writes for the Unz Review. His article, Russia as a Cat: My Response to Paul Craig Roberts, is an excellent discussion of what Russia is likely to do and what it should do. The conversation goes back to the days when The Saker was claiming Russia would strongly back the Donbass rebellion against the Nazi/oligarch Ukrainian regime. The answer of course was the Minsk Accords, which Ukraine has violated from the start, while the Kremlin still pretends that they are relevant. The debate is over whether Russia should continue to act in apparent weakness, which would only encourage NATO aggression. Here is his excellent article:

    Before I proceed in addressing some issues that Paul Craig Roberts raised in his article, partially addressed to me and Andrei Raevsky (aka Saker), I want to express my profound admiration for Dr. Roberts and his courageous civic position and his real, not for show, American patriotism. It is an honor and a privilege to be engaged in conversation with such an esteemed person, even when I disagree with him in some aspects of geopolitical reality when related to, the now official, Cold War 2.0 between the United States and Russia, and Russia’s posture in this conflict. Dr Roberts writes:
    As I have made the same points, I can only applaud Martyanov and The Saker. Where we might differ is in recognizing that endlessly accepting insults and provocations encourages their increase until the only alternative is surrender or war. So, the questions for Andrei Martyanov, The Saker, and for Putin and the Russian government is: How long does turning your other cheek work? Do you turn your other cheek so long as to allow your opponent to neutralize your advantage in a confrontation? Do you turn your other cheek so long that you lose the support of the patriotic population for your failure to defend the country’s honor? Do you turn your other cheek so long that you are eventually forced into war or submission? Do you turn your other cheek so long that the result is nuclear war?
    Here is where I and Paul Craig Roberts differ dramatically on the issue of Russia’s strategy. Yes, I agree with Dr. Roberts that, quoting William Fulbright, “words are deeds and style is substance insofar as they influence men’s mind and behavior”. But while insults and provocations are unpleasant and in some cases do influence mind and behavior of some, with modern day Russia it is different. I already laid out some basics of Russia’s strategy here at Unz Review, I will expand a bit more in answering Dr. Roberts’ undeniably valid question.
    The 19th Century classic Russian fable writer Ivan Andreevich Krylov, among many outstanding fables, which Russian children are subjected to in their Russian Literature course and carry them into their adulthood since the early 20th century, has one which describes current geopolitical reality perfectly. The fable is The Cat and The Cookin which the Cook, after having had it with his day and escaping to the tavern, leaves his cat to guard the food (chicken) against mice. As the fable goes, upon his return from tavern he sees all the results of the cat “guarding” his chicken–the cat finishing eating it. The cook breaks into shaming the cat–most of the fable is the cook’s monologue about cat (Vas’ka) being bad, arrogant, irresponsible and evil. The closing lines of the fable sum the situation succinctly:
    But, while he kept talking,
    The cat ate up the whole chicken.

    А я бы повару иному
    Велел на стенке зарубить:

    Now, I would tell this kind of cook,
    And would ask him to write this on the wall…

    Чтоб там речей не тратить по-пустому,
    Где нужно власть употребить.

    To make your speech less a waste,
    You’ve got to use your power.
    And here is the point–the United States cannot use this power against Russia without being annihilated itself, while Russia, as this proverbial cat Vas’ka continues to eat, against the background of a loud talk and nothing more. This reality, in a very both desperate and powerless manner, finally dawned on many in Washington. As Graham Alison notes:This is some progress in 2017, finally, when “esteemed” members of American geopolitical “academia” begin to grasp at least some limitations of their, grossly inflated to start with, power. This IS the progress, once we recall where the world was even in 2013. Despite wiping the floor with globalists’ stooges from Georgia in 2008, Russia still wasn’t taken too seriously by the globalist cabal in Washington. As late as 2014 all kinds of US military “experts” described a bulk of scenarios in which victorious US and NATO Armed Forces smash conventionally Russian Army in Ukraine. It was self-medicating against the background of Russia’s lightning speed operation in Crimea which forestalled US actions in turning Crimea into the NATO base. Russian counter-stroke caught everyone off-guard. How fast many forgot today what was accomplished then–this can hardly be described as turning the other cheek. If anything else it was a massive blow to an existing world order when Russia threw down the gauntlet. That is how honor is defended–by actions, not petty name-calling. Massive defeats of US “trained” Ukrainian Armed Forces followed in Donbass.
    I wrote in January 2015:Today, almost four years later, we live in the unrecognizable world and no-one in the US, unless they write for tabloids and don’t care about reputation, describes scenarios of Russia’s defeats. It is a world in transition to not just genuine multipolarity, we are already living in multi-polar reality, but to a world where the United States is effectively checked in its attempts to project power into Eurasia. The world where it is reduced to merely calling names, hurling insults, and doing provocations–because it cannot do anything else. Somehow people ignore this fact of a dramatic, incredibly fast in historic terms, decline of the American power. American post-WW II prosperity and influence, rested primarily with the myth and bluff of American military power, which was supposed to make everyone toe the party line and tremble in horror in face of a “punishment” for digressions. Russia called this bluff.
    Today, America’s actions represent increasingly pronounced symptoms of a declining power, which cannot face reality without going mad. And she is going mad, domestically, as well as internationally, the only force which is capable to keep this increasingly irrational and dangerous power from committing a suicide while taking everyone else with her is a threat of a massive military defeat. Russia has this force to do so, and so far it works. But I do have my own question: do orderlies in the asylum get offended, when overpowering the violent patient and restraining it to the bed, by this patient’s insults and resistance? I don’t think so–one does not get offended by a violent mental patient. Nor, orderlies defend their honor while restraining a patient. There could be no interactions involving honor between orderly and a violent mental patient. America is not treaty-worthy party, hasn’t been since early 1990s, thus there are no interactions involving honor in Russian-American relations on the American side.
    So, I ask then, is it legitimate to assess the situation by comparing two states of the world in 2014 and 2018? The answer is not only that it is legitimate but that it is the only way to do so. Clausewitz’ dictum still stands today: “It is legitimate to judge event by its outcome, for it is the soundest criterion”. With all American provocations, insults and Russia’s alleged turning the other cheek, one MUST ask the question–is Russia winning? Once one looks at the larger picture–the answer is unequivocal yes. It manifests itself in many things, from economy, to military to geopolitics. So:
    The zionist neoconsevatives who rule in Washington are capable of the same mistake that Napoleon and Hitler made. They believe in “the end of history,” that the Soviet collapse means history has chosen America as the model for the future. Their hubris actually exceeds that of Napoleon and Hitler.
    Neither Napoleon, nor Hitler dealt with the issues of nuclear deterrents, nor did they live in the world of an instant propagation of information. Judging by hysterical reaction of these very same neocons and their military “experts”, be it in 2015 to the events in Syria, or Putin’s March 1, 2018 speech to Federal Assembly–the message was heard. Hysteria is a first sign of weakness. Those neocons might be irrational, at least some of them, but even those understand that there is a price to be paid and there are reasons, to be discussed separately, to believe that there is an understanding of the severe limitations of America’s power. After all, Napoleon and Hitler marched into Russia after putting the Europe to its knees. They had highly deserved reputation behind both Grande Armee and Wehrmacht. The United States cannot win a single war against subpar opponent since 1950, once one discounts a turkey shoot against Saddam’s grossly inferior army.
    Per Semyon Bagdasarov. He is a good man and a Russian patriot, he is a former political officer, but I don’t take his suggestion “to sink” US Aircraft Carrier seriously. Patriotism is not an excuse for irrationality–the loss of a single carrier in case of a limited TLAM strike on some targets in Syria will create in the US a political crisis of such proportions that the world will stand on the very brink of the nuclear war. US was and is inherently biased towards nuclear response, with some short break in 1990s, when it saw itself as self-proclaimed greatest military in the world in the wake of Soviet collapse. Not doing stupid things but the ones which are necessary is what defined Russia’s responses in the last several years. This is the only correct strategy.

    And here is my conclusion: being former military I give a full recognition to the fact that I am merely a writer who, as well as Bagdasarov, or any other “analyst” have no any access to a daily top secret briefings by Chief of General Staff and Russia’s intelligence to Vladimir Putin. Patriotism or, even, some residual professionalism is not a substitution to having a full situational awareness provided to Supreme Commander by thousands upon thousands people who even risk their lives to provide a key information for making this one and only right decision to prevent the world from annihilation. Russia knows where the Unites States is today and, when looking back at the last 5 years in world’s history, I see Russia as that proverbial cat finishing off the chicken, while those who are supposed to use the force cannot do so and speak loud and carry no stick. This chicken is Pax Americana. Russia will continue to do what she does, because it works, and because she knows how to fight wars, she knows how to defend herself and because we all live in a different world today, the way Russia, not the US, sees it. In this case hurling insults and even launching another useless volley of TLAMs in Syria, or “training” its Ukrainian stooges for military provocations is the limit for the United States and there is nothing honorable in that.
    "We'll know our disinformation campaign is complete when everything the American public believes is false." --William J. Casey, D.C.I

    "We will lead every revolution against us." --Theodore Herzl

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    Lauren, I agree that Pat Lang can be quite fierce in his opinions and does have a tendency to be rid of people he doesn't like or agree with. It's a fault of his, I think. But I still read him everyday and regard his blog as an important conductor of often insightful information and views.
    The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
    Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14

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    Quote Originally Posted by David Guyatt View Post
    Lauren, I agree that Pat Lang can be quite fierce in his opinions and does have a tendency to be rid of people he doesn't like or agree with. It's a fault of his, I think. But I still read him everyday and regard his blog as an important conductor of often insightful information and views.
    Same here. I have noted that over time he has been quietly shifting to a somewhat more deep state optic. He will never publicly go very far with it. After all, he's a spook.

    BTW, I just woke up this morning thinking of your conversations with Jan about the collective unconscious. My thought: "Hmmm. That explains it."
    "We'll know our disinformation campaign is complete when everything the American public believes is false." --William J. Casey, D.C.I

    "We will lead every revolution against us." --Theodore Herzl

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lauren Johnson View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by David Guyatt View Post
    Lauren, I agree that Pat Lang can be quite fierce in his opinions and does have a tendency to be rid of people he doesn't like or agree with. It's a fault of his, I think. But I still read him everyday and regard his blog as an important conductor of often insightful information and views.
    Same here. I have noted that over time he has been quietly shifting to a somewhat more deep state optic. He will never publicly go very far with it. After all, he's a spook.

    BTW, I just woke up this morning thinking of your conversations with Jan about the collective unconscious. My thought: "Hmmm. That explains it."
    Btw, I thought that article you linked above by Andre Martyanov exemplary. I also read his one on Russian new weapon systems, which was also well worth reading.

    You'll have to explain a bit more about your meaning about the Collective Unconscious re conversations with Jan, as I'm not sure what you're saying... :-)
    The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
    Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14

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    You'll have to explain a bit more about your meaning about the Collective Unconscious re conversations with Jan, as I'm not sure what you're saying... :-)
    How would I know? I was still mostly asleep.

    But I sure wish I could remember. I'm sure it was incredibly profound!!
    "We'll know our disinformation campaign is complete when everything the American public believes is false." --William J. Casey, D.C.I

    "We will lead every revolution against us." --Theodore Herzl

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lauren Johnson View Post
    You'll have to explain a bit more about your meaning about the Collective Unconscious re conversations with Jan, as I'm not sure what you're saying... :-)
    How would I know? I was still mostly asleep.

    But I sure wish I could remember. I'm sure it was incredibly profound!!



    Jan and I were probably also asleep when we discussed this....
    The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
    Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14

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    Quote Originally Posted by David Guyatt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Lauren Johnson View Post
    You'll have to explain a bit more about your meaning about the Collective Unconscious re conversations with Jan, as I'm not sure what you're saying... :-)
    How would I know? I was still mostly asleep.

    But I sure wish I could remember. I'm sure it was incredibly profound!!



    Jan and I were probably also asleep when we discussed this....
    "We'll know our disinformation campaign is complete when everything the American public believes is false." --William J. Casey, D.C.I

    "We will lead every revolution against us." --Theodore Herzl

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    I think Eric Zuesse in the following article (at the Off-Guardian) makes a very important point. In war, the Anglo-American camp don't actually give a fuck about causing horrific death and injury to ordinary people of any and all ages - war aims and strategy is all that's important to them. The miseries war causes means nothing.

    That UK supported (the Olive Group military contractor according to the Russians) Jihadists in Idlib have, it is said, kidnapped a number of children between the ages of 2 and 10 years old and are holding them to gas to death with Sarin and Chlorine gas as a provocation, which almost certainly will be jumped on by the Anglo-Americans and the French to militarily attack Assad and his military forces.

    It is evident that this, if it occurs (and I really hope it doesn't) will be timed to trigger horror in the West that will be used by the compliant media to scream for retaliation and to quiet public opinion at yet another Anglo-French-Yank attack that could easily spin out of control and lead to a major war, possibly even a World War and nuclear exchange.

    Syria & Russia Accuse U.S. Coalition, ‘White Helmets’, of Preparing Chemical Weapons Attacks in Idlib

    Eric Zuesse

    The Governments of Syria and Russia claim to have proofs that the U.S. coalition that has invaded and now occupies Syria has prepared chlorine and sarin gas attacks for Idlib and other areas where Syria and Russia are trying to destroy all jihadists — prepared attacks designed to be blamed against Syria’s Government.
    Headlining on Friday, September 7th, “New details surface about terrorists’ preparations to stage chemical attack in Idleb and Hama”, the official Syrian Arab News Agency reports from its sources in both Idlib and Hama in Syria, that:
    The White Helmets have picked three new locations for carrying out the attacks after information was leaked about the previously-planned locations, and the three locations are: al-Najia town in Jisr al-Shughour countryside, al-Hamawsh town in the northwestern countryside of Hama, and Kafr Nubbul town in Idleb countryside.
    The sources affirmed that sarin gas and chlorine gas shipments have been transported to these three areas, and that dozens of children ages two to ten who had been abducted recently from a camp near Salqin now were transported from Jisr al-Shughour to an unknown location.
    The sources suggest that it’s likely that the White Helmets and the armed groups will carry out a real massacre this time to avoid the inconsistencies that surfaced in the staged chemical incident in Douma.
    The next day, SANA reported that Russian intelligence had confirmed that there was:
    full readiness of participants in such provocations, the play [or set-up] would be completed by Thursday evening September 13th, stressing that terrorists “are waiting for a special order from foreign contacts as a signal to start the practical phase.”…
    Terrorist organizations in cooperation with the so called “White Helmets” acting as an arm of the terrorists, “Jan” in Syria, have shipments of chlorine gas and sarin gas to several regions of idleb and Hama countryside, to move dozens of children from addicted hospital In the middle of nowhere who were kidnapped recently from a camp near the city of salqin aged between two and ten years in order to prepare for chemical play scenario in these areas to accuse the Syrian Arab Army…
    [And there are also] preparations for armed terrorist groups in Latakia and Aleppo, Idlib and surrounds, to use toxic chemicals against civilians and widely in order to disrupt the military operation against terrorism In those areas.
    On Saturday, September 8th, SyriaNews.cc bannered “Nine Civilians Killed as UN Warns Syria Not to Fight Terrorists” and reported:
    Nine civilians were murdered in Mhardeh today as UNSC President Nikki Haley warned Syria against fighting terrorism and terrorists in Syria.”
    The source for that allegation regarding Nikki Haley was unfortunately not linked-to but was this from the current President of the United Nations Security Council, America’s Ambassador, Nikki Haley, speaking on September 7th:
    The Assad regime and its enablers, Russia and Iran, have a playbook for this war. First, they surround a civilian area. Next, they make the preposterous claim that everyone in the area is a terrorist, so every man, woman, and child becomes a target. Then comes the ‘starve and surrender’ campaign, where they keep attacking until the people no longer have food, clean water, or shelter. It’s a playbook of death. The Assad regime has spent the last seven years refining it with Russia and Iran’s help.”
    Polling by a British pollster, Orb International, which has been done annually throughout Syria since 2014, has shown that Idlib province is by far the most pro-jihadist region of Syria, and that over 90% of the residents there support Al Qaeda and/or ISIS. Collateral damage is routinely accepted in war; and, when, in 1945, the U.S. and Britain firebombed Dresden, and the U.S. nuked both Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the slaughter of civilians wasn’t “collateral damage” but was actually the purpose.
    But now, the U.S. and its allies warn Syria and Russia not to bomb the only region of Syria that is overwhelmingly supportive of the very same “Radical Islamic Terrorism” that Donald Trump had railed against while running for the U.S. Presidency. Syria’s Government has been bussing all surrendered jihadists to Idlib, and so the percentage of jihadists there has increased even more, presumably to well over 90%. But U.S. President Donald Trump is threatening war against Russia, World War III, if Russia supports its ally, Syria’s, efforts to exterminate all jihadists in Syria. The United States Government cites ‘humanitarian concerns’ as the reason for threatening WW III.

    The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
    Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14

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    Alastair Crooke is a former senior man at Vauxhall Bridge (SIS). His below article is quite alarming, in that he thinks that a major war against Russia is quite possibly in the running.

    Alastair CROOKE| 01.09.2018 | FEATURED STORY


    Is a ‘Suez’ Event Being Prepared for Syria?

    So, the metamorphosis is done. President Trump has finally, fully, shed his 2016 Campaign ‘skin’ of loosely imagining a grand foreign policy bargain that could be the foundation for “WORLD PEACE, nothing less!” as Trump tweeted when imposing sanctions on Iran. We wrote, on 3 August, quoting Prof Russell-Mead, that Trump’s ‘8 May metamorphosis’ (the US exit from JCPOA), constituted a step-change of direction: one that reflected “[Trump’s] instincts, telling him that most Americans are anything but eager, for a “post-American” world. Trump’s supporters don’t want long wars, “but neither are they amenable to a stoic acceptance of national decline”.It all began, very precisely, with Trump’s ‘8 May metamorphosis’ - which is to say, to the moment when the US president definitively took the Israeli ‘line’: exiting from the Iranian nuclear accord, deciding to sanction and to lay siege to Iran’s economy, and when he endorsed the (old, never materialized) idea of a Sunni ‘Arab NATO’, led by Riyadh, that would confront Shi’a Iran. In practical terms, Trump’s Art of the Deal geo-strategy, as we now see, became thus transformed into the search for radical US leverage (through weaponising a strong dollar and tariffs) -- looking always to the means to force the capitulation of the counter-party. This cannot be rightly termed negotiation: It is rather, more as if the script has been lifted from The Godfather.But, when Trump unreservedly took the Israeli (or, more properly the Netanyahu) ‘line’, he assumed to himself all ‘the baggage’ that comes with it, too. The 1996 Clean Break document, prepared by a study group led by Richard Perle for Binjamin Netanyahu, meshed the Israeli and US neocon camps into one. And they are still umbilically linked. ‘Team Trump’ now is filled with neocons who are unreserved Iran-haters. And Sheldon Adelson (a major Trump donor, a patron of Netanyahu, and the instigator for the US embassy move to Jerusalem), consequently has been able to implant his ally, John Bolton (a neocon), as Trump’s chief foreign policy advisor.The Art of the Deal has effectively been neocon-ised into a tool for enlarging American power – and there is nothing of earlier ‘mutual advantage’ to be heard of, or to be seen, these days.And now, this week, the metamorphosis has been cemented. After the Helsinki summit between Trump and President Putin, there seemed to have opened a small window of opportunity – for co-operation between the two states - to return stability to Syria. Many hoped that from this small terrain of tentative Syria co-ordination, some lessening of tensions between the US and Russia, might have found fertile soil. Trump said some positive things; the area around Dera’a, in south Syria, was smoothly cleared of insurgents, and was retaken by the Syrian army. Israel did not demur in having the Syrian army as their near neighbours. But then co-operation rather obviously stalled. It is not clear why, but perhaps this was the first sign of power fracturing apart in Washington. The Helsinki ‘understandings’ somehow were melting away (though military-to-military co-ordination continued). Putin dispatched the head of the Russian Security Council to a meeting with Bolton in Geneva on 23 August, to explore whether there was still any possibility for joint co-operation; and, if so, was such activity politically ‘viable’. But before even that bilateral meeting with a Russian envoy could be held, Bolton - speaking from Jerusalem (from what was billed as a ‘roll-back Iran’ brainstorming with PM Netanyahu) - warned that the United States would respond "very strongly" if forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad were to use chemical weapons in the offensive to retake Idlib province (expected to commence early September), claiming that the US had intelligence of the intent to use such weapons in Idlib.The Russian Defense Ministry spokesman, however, said on August 25 "Militants of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), [trained by a named British company], are preparing to stage a chemical attack in northern Syria that will be used as a pretext for a new missile strike by the U.S., the UK and France - on facilities of the Damascus government". Russian officials said they had full intelligence on this false flag operation.What is clear is that since early August the US has been moving a task force (including the USS The Sullivans and USS Ross) into position that would be able to strike Syria, as well as positioning air assets into the US airbase in Qatar. French President Emmanuel Macron too has declared that France was also ready to launch new strikes against Syria, in case of a chemical weapons attack there.The Turkish newspaper Hurriyet says that the US military is laying the groundwork to close the airspace over northern Syria. US military freighters are reported to have transported radar systems to the city of Kobanî, controlled by the Kurdish militia, and to the US military base in Al-Shaddadah in southern al-Hasakah. Hurriyet claims that the US plans to use these complexes to establish a no-fly zone over the territory between Manbij in Aleppo and Deir ez-Zor. (This claim however, is unconfirmed)Evidently, Russia takes this US threat seriously (it has deployed 20 naval vessels into the E. Mediterranean, off Syria). And Iran evidently takes the threat seriously, too. The Iranian Defence Minister on Sunday made a rapid unscheduled visit to Damascus in order to agree a tri-partite (Russia, Syria Iran) response to any US attack on Syria.Then, in the wake of Bolton’s chemical weapons claims, and the pre-positioning of US guided-missile vessels close to Syria, Petrushev and Bolton met. The meeting was a disaster. Bolton insisted that Petrushev admit to Russian interference in the US elections. Petrushev refused. Trump said we have ‘secret’ evidence. Petrushev retorted if that were so, what was the purpose of demanding admission. Bolton said effectively: We sanction you anyway. Well… not surprisingly, the two were unable to agree on Iranian withdrawal from Syria (which Petrushev put on the table). Bolton not only said flatly ‘no’, but afterwards went public with the Russian initiative to talk possible Iran withdrawal – thus killing it, and killing the initiative as a gambit to leverage further diplomacy. Even the customary, bland, uninformative, final communiqué that is usual in such circumstances, could not be agreed.The message seems clear: any Helsinki understandings on Syria are dead. And the US is prepared it seems (they have actually moved assets into position) to strike Syria. Why? What is going on?One obvious element is, that until now, Trump's hand in all this is not visible. Now, power appears to have fractured in Washington with regard to Middle East policy. The neocons are in the lead. This is very significant, since the slender pillar on which Trump's rapport with President Putin had been built, was the prospect of US-Russian co-operation over Syria. And that hat seems, now, to be a dead letter. Lawrence Wilkerson, now a professor, but formerly the Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell during the infamous Saddam Hussein’s ‘weapons of mass destruction’ episode says it ‘cold’:“It has to do… with the return of the Neoconservatives (Neocons)… what is happening today, as Trump is preoccupied increasingly with the considerable, ever-growing challenges to him personally and to his presidency institutionally, is the re-entry into critical positions in the government of these people, the people who gave America the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Even those many of them who declared “Never Trump”—as arch-Neocon Eliot Cohen summed it up—are salivating at the prospect of carrying out their foreign and security policy - while Trump essentially boils in his own corrupt juices.“A vanguard, of course, is already in our government to beckon, comfort, and re-establish others of their type. John Bolton as national security advisor to the president leads this pack though he’s not, strictly speaking, a card-carrying Neocon …“Presently, their first and most identifiable target is the unfinished business—which they largely commenced—with Syria and Iran, Israel’s two most serious potential threats. If the Neocons got their way—and they are remarkably astute at getting their way—it would mean a reignited war in Syria and a new war with Iran, as well as increased support for the greatest state sponsor of terrorism on earth, Saudi Arabia”.Bolton, Pompeo and the neocons have made it abundantly clear that they at least have not abandoned 'regime change' in Syria, as their objective - and they remain set on delivering somehow a strategic setback to Iran (Bolton has said that sanctions alone, on their own, and without Iran suffering some extra strategic blow, would be insufficient to alter Iranian ‘malign behaviour’).Whether or not Mattis and Votel are fully on board with Bolton’s “very strong” military reprisal on Syria threat (for alleged chemical weapons use) is not clear. (Mattis succeeded in mitigating the last missile strike by Trump on Syria, and to co-ordinating with Moscow a ‘nil response’ to Trump’s Tomahawk salvo). Will it be the same this time if the US again makes an unsubstantiated (and later unproven) claim of chemical weapons use by the Syrian government?Will Israel join in any attack – using the pre-text of its self-awarded ‘right’ to attack Iranian forces anywhere in Syria? Given the new strategic ‘fact’ of the Iranian Defence minister’s ‘surprise’ Sunday visit to Damascus to sign a common resolve on countering any such attack on Syria. Will Netayahu ‘bet’ on the Russians not responding to hostile Israeli aircraft entering Syrian airspace?Who will blink first? Netanyahu? Or will Trump surface from his domestic tribulations sufficiently, to take notice and to say ‘no’?Whatever happens, Presidents Putin and Xi can ‘read the runes’ of this affair – which is to say that President Trump’s highest officials remain committed, openly, or through ‘false flags’, to defend the American ‘global order’. These officials share a disdain for the Obama administration’s retrenchment and retreat. They want to arrest, and even truncate the rise of America’s rivals, whilst restoring to their former position, those former pillars to U.S. world power: i.e. America’s military, financial, technological and energy, dominance.Russia is trying to defuse the critical situation by sharing their intelligence with Washington that Tahrir al-Sham (formerly known as al-Nusra), was plotting a chemical attack that would then be misrepresented as another ‘atrocity’ committed by the ‘Syrian regime’. Eight canisters of chlorine have been delivered to a village near Jisr al-Shughur city, and a specially trained group of militants, prepped by a British security company, have also arrived in the area, to imitate a rescue operation to save the civilian ‘victims’. Militants plan to use child hostages in the staged incident, Russian officials say.But will Washington listen? From the moment that the Syrian or the Iranian ‘regime’ is subjected to a judgement of moral delinquency (irrespective of evidence) – in the context of America’s claim to its own Manifest (moral) Destiny – these ‘regimes’ become transformed from being a temporary, relative adversaries, into an absolute enemy. For, when one is upholding humanity’s ‘destiny’ and seeking “WORLD PEACE, nothing less!”, how can one wage war - unless it is in the name of a self-evident good. What is afoot is not attacking an adversary, but punishing and killing the guilty.Faced with the radical moral devaluation of the ‘Other’ across western media; and - on the other hand - with the virtue signaling of western good consciousness, can Russia’s rational presentations hope to carry weight? The only fact that might just weigh in the balance is the threat that Russia will use its missile arsenal assembling in the East Mediterranean. But what then?
    Crooke is far from alone in his analysis either. The next article is by Peter Ford at Middle East Eye. Ford was formerly British Ambassador to Syria.

    Is a Syrian Suez approaching?

    #SyriaWar


    Another tripartite aggression based on pretexts and plotting appears imminent, this time involving the US, UK and France















    Peter Ford


    Wednesday 29 August 2018 10:15 UTC


    Thursday 30 August 2018 16:59 UTC







    Topics: SyriaWar

    Tags:
    Syria War, US, UK, france, Conflict, politics, chemical weapons



    Show comments



    September 1 will mark the 62nd anniversary of the secret formal request by the government of France to Israel for Israel to attack Egypt.
    The plan was for France, soon joined by the UK, to invade Egypt on the pretext of safeguarding the Suez Canal, in hopes of precipitating the overthrow of President Gamal Abdel Nasser. The Tripartite Aggression, as the Arabs call it, was duly triggered on 29 October 1956, when Israel invaded.
    September 2018 is likely to witness another tripartite aggression based on pretexts and plotting, this time involving the US alongside the UK and France. The victim now is Syria.
    Chemical weapons allegations

    The three governments in April staged a rehearsal for the upcoming performance, responding with bombing raids to the alleged use of chemical weapons in Douma. While Plan A for the raids involved heavy attacks on presidential offices and armed forces command and control centres, President Donald Trump was reportedlytalked down from this by Secretary of Defence James Mattis, concerned by the prospect of possible clashes with Russia and risks to US forces stationed in Syria.
    Aspects of the Douma operation conspired to make it likely that Plan A would be given a fresh run, which is now imminent.
    From the point of view of the tripartite group, they painted themselves into a corner of bombing more heavily, because that is exactly what they promised to do
    From the point of view of the tripartite group, they painted themselves into a corner of bombing more heavily, because that is exactly what they promised to do after the Douma round in the event of further use of chemical weapons.
    The worst fears were not realised. It proved possible to bomb multiple sites without many civilian casualties or, more importantly, any significant military counteractions by Russia, Iran or Syria itself. And thanks to pliant media and legislators, it proved easy to bomb without having to go to the United Nations first, consult legislatures, or allow an inspection by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
    The bombing increased Trump’s approval ratings dramatically, and did no harm to the fortunes of UK Prime Minister Theresa May or French President Emmanuel Macron.
    From the point of view of the militants opposed to President Bashar al-Assad, the lesson can only have been that a further incident was something devoutly to be wished for, if not actually engineered.
    Ignoring evidence

    It is not necessary to rehash the mountain of evidence pointing to the probability that Douma was fabricated. Suffice to say that OPCW inspectors, in their interim report presented on 6 July, stated that they had found no evidence that chemical weapons such as nerve agents had been used, and that the evidence for the use of chlorine as a weapon was inconclusive.
    Helped again by pliant media and sleepy legislators, the tripartite governments have simply ignored this assessment, continuing brazenly to claim that President Assad was responsible.
    A photo released on 14 April 2018 on the website of the official Syrian Arab News Agency shows an explosion on the outskirts of Damascus after Western strikes (HO/Syrian Government’s Central Military Media/AFP)
    The joint statementof the US, UK and France issued on 21 August, threatening Syria with intervention if chemical weapons are used again, was peremptory. As regardless of grammar as of facts, the three said they “reaffirm [their] resolve to preventing the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime, and for holding them accountable … As we have demonstrated, we will respond appropriately to any further use.”
    Oblivious to the amassing in Idlib of a jihadi strike force of thousands of fighters, spearheaded by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, the powers claimed piously to be “gravely concerned over reports of a military offensive by the Syrian regime against civilians and civilian infrastructure”.
    Possibly calling to mind that their planned action will be illegal, they proclaimed that “the unchecked use of chemical weapons by any state presents an unacceptable threat to all states”, laying the groundwork for a flimsy legal defence.
    The precedents of Iraq and Libya

    Were there any doubt that skulduggery was afoot, it was removed by media reports, based on Russian statements and briefings, of the White Helmets being on manoeuvres in the vicinity of Jisr al-Shughur, and the transfer to a nearby village of canisters of chlorine, under the direction of English-speaking special forces or contractors.
    Simultaneously, reportsappeared of the US bolstering its naval presence in the Gulf and land forces in Iraq on the borders with Syria. Russia has moved more of its naval forces into Syrian territorial waters in response to the warning of imminent action, say reports.
    How could anybody be so credulous as to believe a conspiracy theory like this, and from such tainted sources? Was it for a moment believable that the British or the Americans could be so duplicitous as to create for themselves a pretext to bomb a weak country in the Middle East? No need to go back as far as Suez to answer that; a quick recap of events in Iraq (weapons of mass destruction again) and Libya (baselessly alleged imminent massacres in Benghazi) would suffice.
    But surely, it might be thought, wise counsels would prevail in Washington, London and Paris, given that Operation Douma did no great harm, but only because the scenario was pre-cooked with the Russians, on the basis that the targets were limited?
    Given also that the Iranians, with little to lose now that US sanctions are back on, would react if Assad and the Syrian state structure were threatened existentially? Or given that the 2,000 US troops in northeastern Syria and the al-Tanf enclave were hostages as well as tripwires, as exposed as any US troops ever were in neighbouring Anbar?
    Caution swept aside

    The precedent of Suez suggests that considerations of well-founded caution will be swept aside. Senior military and diplomatic advisers begged former British prime minister Anthony Eden not to attack. Is Trump, more under pressure even than he was in April to demonstrate that he is not subservient to Russia President Vladimir Putin, more likely to resist the temptation of the fuite en avantthan Eden?
    Assad has only to survive physically a few days’ barrage ... to emerge just as Nasser emerged from Suez, bloodied but unbowed
    Suez was a fiasco. While militarily it was a mitigated success, politically it achieved the opposite of what was planned. Nasser emerged stronger than ever.
    Will history repeat itself? Assad has only to survive physically a few days’ barrage (if he is wise, he will repair to the Russian base near Latakia for the duration) to emerge just as Nasser emerged from Suez, bloodied but unbowed. Eden’s career was over when he resigned two months after the armistice in Egypt.




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    The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
    Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14

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