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    Size does matter and so does range and speed whenever anyone talks about weapons. It seems that there is a great deal of confusion which perpetuates itself in regards to a relatively small Russian military contingent in Syria. The most popular indicator of this confusion is a never ending discussion of a possible American attack...
  • huh…

    funny what one can stumble on to just looking for J R Shepley’s book on “The Bomb”

    & yet, clearly our fearless leaders could care less…

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  • This otherwise enlightening paper seems to have missed an important point. It does not require a military-technology expert to assess the outcome of a military attack on Russian forces in Syria. So far, the Russians have held back from attacking America’s allies in the region in response to Western attacks on its ally Syria, but an attack on Russian forces proper would certainly change all that.
    The soft belly of the West is the Gulf. What are the consequences to the West if Russia chooses to retaliate by disabling much of the oil-export facilities in the Gulf along with much of the oil refining capacity there? The consequences are predictable with great certainty:
    1. The oil price could reach USD200-USD400 per barrel.
    2. The economic impact on the West will be far worse than that experienced during the 1973 oil-embargo in the wake of the October War. It is possible that the West will be plunged into an economic depression comparable to the Great Depression. The duration of that depression will depend on the response of the West, as discussed hereunder.
    3. The likely political fallout from a severe Western economic contraction triggered by Western Adventurism is political and social turmoil in the West that is likely to accelerate the political power shift in the West away from the plutocracy, which has grown increasingly powerful since the 1980s, to the masses. Indeed, this process is already underway in some degree as evidenced by the rise of the likes of Sanders, Trump, the failure of traditional political parties in France and elsewhere in Europe and so on so forth.
    4. As a result of this political shift, the warmongers in the West, particularly the neocons, will be discredited and replaced by more sensible elements, giving rise to more peaceful international relations.
    5. Established institutions such as NATO and even the European Union will be at risk of a break-up or major remodeling.
    6. Russian, Iranian and Iraqi oil facilities will remain secure because any damage to them will greatly exasperate the economic situation faced by the West.
    7. With their oil facilities intact, Russia, Iran, and Iraq will reap an enormous financial windfall from the tremendous rise in oil and gas prices.
    8. By disabling, but not obliterating the oil facilities in the Gulf, Russia can offer the West the option of a relatively quick resumption of oil exports from the Gulf provided the West accepts its conditions, which are likely to include:
    a. Removal of US bases from the Gulf.
    b. Reduction in the level of oil and gas production from the Gulf to maintain a higher level of oil prices.
    c. Recognition that the world has become multi-polar, requiring a major revision of the UN charter and relocation of its headquarters to reflect the new realities.
    In the light of the foregoing, it would be surprising if the Russians, noted for being accomplished chess grandmaster, don’t secretly welcome the opportunity that an American attack on their forces in Syria presents. Indeed, given the cards they can play they have been suspiciously docile to Western bullying in Syria. They seem to be heeding the advice of Napoleon: “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.”
    The writer is the author of Two Centuries of Parasitic Economics: The Struggle for Economic and Political Democracy on the Eve of the Financial Collapse of the West.

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  • @Y.L.

    Here, I diverge with author of otherwise thoughtful piece dramatically. As former military professional I, apart from considering resources factor, calculate forces on both sides and what they can do to each-other. April 13 salvo showed to those who have eyes not exactly what author tries to imply. In more general way, American military mythology is being destroyed on a daily bases.

     

    Thanks Andrei, that's why I asked for and appreciate your insight. Perhaps you'd consider expanding as an article for Unz, I hope.

    Thanks Andrei, that’s why I asked for and appreciate your insight. Perhaps you’d consider expanding as an article for Unz, I hope.

    Absolutely, I’ll try. I just need several days more to see how it plays out. Saker already posted two days ago a good piece on this matter.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Erebus

    US military knows the score.
     
    Maybe not all of them, but there's clearheaded men at the top.

    I'm familiar with Lang's site and "Publius Tacitus'" writing and have a high regard for both. It's where PT says "Frankly, General Mattis and General Dunford have dishonored themselves by going along with this charade." that I think he could have dug deeper and asked "Why did they do it?". He may have found that they weren't covering up an ordinary failure, but an intended failure. If he went on to consider some of the corollary questions that come along with asking that, I'd wager things would get interesting.
    Having said that, it's equally (or even more) possible that Dunford and Mattis et al weren't prepared for this level of failure and are a little shocked themselves.

    Maybe not all of them, but there’s clearheaded men at the top.

    As long as Shoigu talks to Mattis, Gerasimov talks to Dunford and Scaparotti–there is a certain air of certainty since those are professionals talking and at that level they, indeed, know the score.

    Having said that, it’s equally (or even more) possible that Dunford and Mattis et al weren’t prepared for this level of failure and are a little shocked themselves.

    This is most likely, once one begins to consider John Hyten’s public admission three days ago to Space Forum.

    http://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2018/04/rma.html

    It is difficult to overestimate what Hyten said. Except, of course, his lack of “desire” to reveal his sources since I would go an a limb here and propose that Russia, actually, deliberately “exposed” the progress on hyper-sonic weapons to US satellites.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Thud
    You do know that we are at full employment in U.K. ? insurgency here...oh you funny man ,please continue with the wankfest Boris.

    Your girls are raped by the tens of thousands, for decades, while your pussy formerly-great formerly-Britain submits to it. Yeah, you’re in a position to lecture Russia.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Andrei Martyanov

    I doubt that message sent with the latest “missile fiasco” will be able to penetrate the ideological shield defending Western capitalism’s strategy. Finessing a stronger, more violent message, or a series of them will require truly exceptional skill, lest one them provokes the response no-one wants to see.
     
    US military knows the score. Here is from someone who lives on those ever important operational levels:

    Do not believe a word you have heard from the Pentagon and the White House about the "success" of the cruise missile strikes on Friday last. A fraud is being perpetrated on the American people and the world at large. Frankly, General Mattis and General Dunford have dishonored themselves by going along with this charade.

    If you could go to the CAOC (i.e., the Combined Air Operations Center) located at the Al Udeid Air Force Base in Qatar and speak to officers working for CENTCOM, you would hear a mixture of disgust, shock and anger from many over the President's claim of "Mission Accomplished." And I am talking about people who have been supportive of President Trump. But Trump, with the sycophants at the Pentagon and the Joint Staff, has crossed a line into delusional thinking.
     
    The problem is two-fold: it is both existential in a sense of capitalism dying out across the board to a rather peculiar combination of traditional ignorance and arrogance embodied in Trump and his Administration--this is a local phenomenon. Albeit, truth to be told, Western institution can not produce anymore normal competent elites and this, of course, could be tried to this very crisis on a more general level.

    US military knows the score.

    Maybe not all of them, but there’s clearheaded men at the top.

    I’m familiar with Lang’s site and “Publius Tacitus’” writing and have a high regard for both. It’s where PT says “Frankly, General Mattis and General Dunford have dishonored themselves by going along with this charade.” that I think he could have dug deeper and asked “Why did they do it?”. He may have found that they weren’t covering up an ordinary failure, but an intended failure. If he went on to consider some of the corollary questions that come along with asking that, I’d wager things would get interesting.
    Having said that, it’s equally (or even more) possible that Dunford and Mattis et al weren’t prepared for this level of failure and are a little shocked themselves.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    Maybe not all of them, but there’s clearheaded men at the top.
     
    As long as Shoigu talks to Mattis, Gerasimov talks to Dunford and Scaparotti--there is a certain air of certainty since those are professionals talking and at that level they, indeed, know the score.

    Having said that, it’s equally (or even more) possible that Dunford and Mattis et al weren’t prepared for this level of failure and are a little shocked themselves.
     
    This is most likely, once one begins to consider John Hyten's public admission three days ago to Space Forum.

    http://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2018/04/rma.html

    It is difficult to overestimate what Hyten said. Except, of course, his lack of "desire" to reveal his sources since I would go an a limb here and propose that Russia, actually, deliberately "exposed" the progress on hyper-sonic weapons to US satellites.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Erebus
    That is a must-read article. The author pulls much of the big picture together. I encourage you to re-link it in other threads on UR (or I will!).

    I've been barking up this tree for a long time; Western capitalism has run out of real capital. Financialization papered over the cracks far better, and for longer than I imagined it could back in 2007/08, but the cracks are opening up again. It needs more real capital NOW!, or it will come crashing down. I don't know, but I suspect that it may have passed the point-of-no-return already.

    Russia, as one of the greatest repositories of real capital (land, natural & human resources), and having turned its recent resurrection to great power status to defending other nations' real capital, is a prize it must win or die trying.

    It's as simple, as complex and as existential as that.

    Recently, like the author, I too have developed some doubts that Russia's strategy of rope-a-doping can be maintained for long enough to see them through the crisis unscathed. I doubt that message sent with the latest "missile fiasco" will be able to penetrate the ideological shield defending Western capitalism's strategy. Finessing a stronger, more violent message, or a series of them will require truly exceptional skill, lest one them provokes the response no-one wants to see.

    That is a must-read article. The author pulls much of the big picture together. I encourage you to re-link it in other threads on UR (or I will!).

    Feel free; I’m glad you appreciated it.

    And I hope Andrei elaborates on the topic in a larger article for this site.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Andrei Martyanov
    Author is generally correct in economic political sense but we knew all along that the "model", financial capitalism is dying. It simply doesn't work. It, actually, never did. But author is missing one very important point and this is approach to war. What he calls appeasement is not appeasement at all and one is only left to wonder what is going on in Syria on Russian side since the flow of heavy equipment there is non-stop and massive. This hardly qualifies as "appeasement". It is also known that Air Defense there was improved greatly. So, here are the questions and answers to some of them:

    1. Is Russia preparing for war? Yes.
    2. Does Russia see Syria as possible theater where it all will start? Yes.
    3. Is Russia playing for time? Absolutely.
    4. Does United States have actual resources to fight Russia? No.

    I don’t see war can be avoided, i.e. conflict between U.S. and Russia. The old Soviets wouldn’t have put up with so much crap from NATO, Israel and America.
     
    War is already in progress and, as I stated not for once, it matters who controls escalation. There is a huge difference, again, between what United States call "our forces" meaning the bunch of jihadist proxies and Kurds and Russia's forces, which are Russian. I understand that there are many people who readily produce all kinds of cataclysmic scenarios but the scale of hysteria, not to mention a volume of self-assuring BS which US started already to use at the top political level testifies to the fact that as Graham Allison noted: “However demonic, however destructive, however devious, however deserving of being strangled Russia is, the brute fact is that we cannot kill this bastard without committing suicide." I wrote the book precisely on this matter and it is about the fact that American military-technological bluff was called. Russia controls escalation, she controls it, even in Syria, by:

    1. Readiness to bear the costs;
    2. Ability to exert an extremely high price from the US for any Syria's misadventure.

    Here, I diverge with author of otherwise thoughtful piece dramatically. As former military professional I, apart from considering resources factor, calculate forces on both sides and what they can do to each-other. April 13 salvo showed to those who have eyes not exactly what author tries to imply. In more general way, American military mythology is being destroyed on a daily bases.

    Here, I diverge with author of otherwise thoughtful piece dramatically. As former military professional I, apart from considering resources factor, calculate forces on both sides and what they can do to each-other. April 13 salvo showed to those who have eyes not exactly what author tries to imply. In more general way, American military mythology is being destroyed on a daily bases.

    Thanks Andrei, that’s why I asked for and appreciate your insight. Perhaps you’d consider expanding as an article for Unz, I hope.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    Thanks Andrei, that’s why I asked for and appreciate your insight. Perhaps you’d consider expanding as an article for Unz, I hope.
     
    Absolutely, I'll try. I just need several days more to see how it plays out. Saker already posted two days ago a good piece on this matter.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Erebus
    That is a must-read article. The author pulls much of the big picture together. I encourage you to re-link it in other threads on UR (or I will!).

    I've been barking up this tree for a long time; Western capitalism has run out of real capital. Financialization papered over the cracks far better, and for longer than I imagined it could back in 2007/08, but the cracks are opening up again. It needs more real capital NOW!, or it will come crashing down. I don't know, but I suspect that it may have passed the point-of-no-return already.

    Russia, as one of the greatest repositories of real capital (land, natural & human resources), and having turned its recent resurrection to great power status to defending other nations' real capital, is a prize it must win or die trying.

    It's as simple, as complex and as existential as that.

    Recently, like the author, I too have developed some doubts that Russia's strategy of rope-a-doping can be maintained for long enough to see them through the crisis unscathed. I doubt that message sent with the latest "missile fiasco" will be able to penetrate the ideological shield defending Western capitalism's strategy. Finessing a stronger, more violent message, or a series of them will require truly exceptional skill, lest one them provokes the response no-one wants to see.

    I doubt that message sent with the latest “missile fiasco” will be able to penetrate the ideological shield defending Western capitalism’s strategy. Finessing a stronger, more violent message, or a series of them will require truly exceptional skill, lest one them provokes the response no-one wants to see.

    US military knows the score. Here is from someone who lives on those ever important operational levels:

    Do not believe a word you have heard from the Pentagon and the White House about the “success” of the cruise missile strikes on Friday last. A fraud is being perpetrated on the American people and the world at large. Frankly, General Mattis and General Dunford have dishonored themselves by going along with this charade.

    If you could go to the CAOC (i.e., the Combined Air Operations Center) located at the Al Udeid Air Force Base in Qatar and speak to officers working for CENTCOM, you would hear a mixture of disgust, shock and anger from many over the President’s claim of “Mission Accomplished.” And I am talking about people who have been supportive of President Trump. But Trump, with the sycophants at the Pentagon and the Joint Staff, has crossed a line into delusional thinking.

    The problem is two-fold: it is both existential in a sense of capitalism dying out across the board to a rather peculiar combination of traditional ignorance and arrogance embodied in Trump and his Administration–this is a local phenomenon. Albeit, truth to be told, Western institution can not produce anymore normal competent elites and this, of course, could be tried to this very crisis on a more general level.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Erebus

    US military knows the score.
     
    Maybe not all of them, but there's clearheaded men at the top.

    I'm familiar with Lang's site and "Publius Tacitus'" writing and have a high regard for both. It's where PT says "Frankly, General Mattis and General Dunford have dishonored themselves by going along with this charade." that I think he could have dug deeper and asked "Why did they do it?". He may have found that they weren't covering up an ordinary failure, but an intended failure. If he went on to consider some of the corollary questions that come along with asking that, I'd wager things would get interesting.
    Having said that, it's equally (or even more) possible that Dunford and Mattis et al weren't prepared for this level of failure and are a little shocked themselves.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Y.L.
    Andrei, I have to pester you one last time. I read this article on SouthFront today:

    https://southfront.org/us-missile-strikes-in-syria-throw-down-the-gauntlet-to-russia-how-will-putin-respond/

    And I'd like your thoughts on these points the author makes. Is Putin making things worse? Are hardliners now finally getting through to him? Doesn't he realize the enemy is like Nazi Germany and will only be satisfied with:

    The U.S. strategy for full spectrum dominance over Eurasia will not be complete until the theocratic regime in Iran has been overthrown and a pro-Western puppet installed in power. Once this has been accomplished then the West can focus upon its ultimate goal of overthrowing the nationalist regime in Moscow and breaking up Russia into a myriad of small puppet states. The gigantic mineral resources and land mass would then be at the disposal of Western imperialism.

     

    And here then are the author's observations that interest me.

    In many respects Trump and his coalition of the killing have put the ball in back Putin’s court.

    Putin can continue to patiently play the diplomacy card while trying to build up Russia’s trade in non dollar terms, and acquiring more and more gold, while building ever closer economic, military and political links to China. Will this be enough to stave off further Western encroachments upon Russia’s economy and its geopolitical position in Syria and Eastern Ukraine?

    The history of the Cold War and the appeasement period of the 1930s show that trying to negotiate while building up your economic/military resources is not enough to stop a “Terminator’’ like aggressor who just will not stop their aggressive actions towards you. During the Cold War there were times such as the Cuban Missile Crisis where U.S. imperialism was prepared to see nuclear armageddon rather than negotiate a compromise solution to the situation. It was only Kruschev’s willingness to back down, which cost him his position a year later, that averted World War 3.
    Cuba was thousands of miles away from Russia so Khrushchev could afford to make such a climbdown. However, if he had been faced with U.S. aggression on Russia’s border then that would have been a completely different and much more difficult situation.

    During the Cold War American imperialism was the dominant economic power on the planet which led to its aggressive foreign policy in defence of that economic position. Now the American empire is in decline it has become even more aggressive in a desperate effort to maintain its hegemony over the global economy. This imperial overreach is driven by several interlinked processes. Central to these processes has been the qualitative change to the nature of capitalism itself.

    Global capitalism, whose epicentre remains the United States has been suffering from a general tendency towards stagnation since the 1970s. This has been partially solved for short periods of time by the financialization of the world economy that has provided an outlet for the development of a huge orgy of speculative capital to produce massive returns. This greater financialization of the global economy has increased the rate of wealth transfer to the super rich built upon a gigantic explosion of debt that has built instability into the foundations of capitalism. The dangers of this for the imperial centre of capitalism in Washington are clearly defined by the economic historians John Bellamy Foster and Fred Magdoff:

    “The financialization of capitalism has resulted in a more uncontrollable system. [They observe -Saltycat] … a clear sense of the growing volatility and instability of the system. It is characteristic of speculative bubbles that once they stop expanding they burst. Continual increase of risk and more and more cash infusions into the financial system therefore become stronger imperatives the more fragile the financial structure becomes. The whole context is that of a financialization so out of control that unexpected and severe shocks to the system and resulting financial contagion are looked upon as inevitable’’.

    U.S. imperialism has increasingly relied upon ever greater infusions of debt into the capitalist system to maintain profitable outlets for finance capital. Finance capital must have free rein over the global economy to do as it pleases. It cannot afford to let upstarts such as Russia and China challenge its position of dominance over the resources and people of Eurasia. It is forced to take economic. political and military action to defend its interests. At the moment those interests are focused upon preserving its position in the Middle East. After “victories’’ in Iraq and Libya the U.S. feels threatened by Assad’s regime in Syria that is trying to pursue an alliance with a newly resurgent Russia under Putin. The logic of this policy means that U.S. imperialism cannot even countenance a compromise deal over Syria with Russia. Nothing less than the overthrow of Assad and the installation of a pro-Western puppet government will do.

    This brings us back to Putin’s dilemma in Syria. The relative failure of the recent missile strikes in Syria has been celebrated by some in the alternative media as a ‘victory’ for Putin/Assad and that the U.S. will now refrain from any more attacks. Such a view fails to understand that U.S. imperialism, which is an empire decline, cannot afford to let its rivals such as Russia challenge its supremacy over the economic resources and politics of the Middle East. Putin understands this but is caught in a dilemma.

    Putin represents the interests of the billionaire oligarchs, who emerged after the collapse of Stalinism and the reintroduction of capitalism in the 1990s. In the 1990s Putin was part of Yeltsin’s inner circle known affectionately as the “Family’’. Was their major concern the well being of ordinary Russian citizens? Of course not. It was the re-establishment of capitalism in Russia under the control of the oligarchs. Once firmly in power Putin has taken a more nationalist position than Yeltsin but still his foreign policy has followed the same lines of trying to maintain friendly, conciliatory relations with Western imperialism.

    Circa 2018 Putin is subject to a number of major problems. Despite his election victory Putin is acutely aware that sections of the population, particularly the youth feel disenfranchised both economically and politically. Meanwhile, older generations still harken back to the stability and certainties of the Soviet period. Putin has played the nationalist card rather skilfully in an attempt to bolster support for himself while large sections of the public are critical of public institutions in general due to widespread corruption and poverty.

    The Russian intervention in Syria has been used by Putin to appeal to nationalist sentiment amongst the population while also being motivated by military and geopolitical concerns.

    Putin is no doubt happy with the progress of the Syrian Armed Forces and their shia allies, with the help of Russian air support, in gradually liberating region after region from jihadi control. However, he still has major problems with regard to his Syrian strategy.

    There are the Kurds protected in Eastern Syria by the U.S. which is actively building military bases in that area. Just as big a problem is the wild card of Turkey. Putin has successfully pulled President Erodgan of Turkey in to the Russian sphere of influence by the oil pipeline and nuclear power plant deals they have signed. However, Erdogan is an unstable and unreliable ally who is trying to play off the U.S., its ally for many decades, against his new found ally in the form of Russia.

    Putin now has the added complication of Western imperialism resorting to open military intervention, after the failure of their jihadi allies to overthrow Assad’s government. The U.S. has made it clear that any more chemical attacks and the next missile strike will be much more formidable. U.S. Vice President Mike Pence has warned Russia and Assad that President Trump has:

    “made clear that the United States of America is prepared to sustain this effort to re-establish the deterrent framework that exists in order that the Syrian regime and its patrons know there will be a price to pay if chemicals weapons are used again against men, women and children,”

    Recent history has show that as sure as night follows day the genocidal jihadi groups will try and repeat their tired old trick of screaming “chemical weapons’’ if they keep losing ground on the battlefield. The Russian Foreign Ministry have warned of these tactics repeatedly in recent months.

    Now Putin has to face up to the fact that Western imperialism will continue using this propaganda ruse as an excuse for much greater missile attacks against Assad and his military over the next period. What are his options?

    He can simply try and wait it out until the jihadi groups have all been defeated by the SAA and its allies. A dangerous tactic as this may take some time yet, particularly the jihadi bastions in Idlib province.

    Putin could try once again the diplomatic card and try to stall further U.S. military action. Yet he is aware the U.S. has no intention of leaving Syria over the next period and is waiting like a hawk for further excuses to attack/overthrow his ally President Assad.

    The problem with this approach is that Russia is continuing with its appeasement of Western imperialism. The general notes how Moscow has not armed Syria with S300 systems out of deference to its “Western partners’’. Has concern for Russia’s feelings stopped the U.S. from installing its Aegis Ballistic Missile Defence System in Poland and Rumania? Of course not.

    Putin could of course, promise Assad that Russia will shoot down any future missile strikes entailing the risk of course of open military confrontation with the U.S. and its allies. This is something he is loathe to do as ultimately he just wants peaceful cohabitation with the West not war.
     
    I don't see war can be avoided, i.e. conflict between U.S. and Russia. The old Soviets wouldn't have put up with so much crap from NATO, Israel and America.

    Author is generally correct in economic political sense but we knew all along that the “model”, financial capitalism is dying. It simply doesn’t work. It, actually, never did. But author is missing one very important point and this is approach to war. What he calls appeasement is not appeasement at all and one is only left to wonder what is going on in Syria on Russian side since the flow of heavy equipment there is non-stop and massive. This hardly qualifies as “appeasement”. It is also known that Air Defense there was improved greatly. So, here are the questions and answers to some of them:

    1. Is Russia preparing for war? Yes.
    2. Does Russia see Syria as possible theater where it all will start? Yes.
    3. Is Russia playing for time? Absolutely.
    4. Does United States have actual resources to fight Russia? No.

    I don’t see war can be avoided, i.e. conflict between U.S. and Russia. The old Soviets wouldn’t have put up with so much crap from NATO, Israel and America.

    War is already in progress and, as I stated not for once, it matters who controls escalation. There is a huge difference, again, between what United States call “our forces” meaning the bunch of jihadist proxies and Kurds and Russia’s forces, which are Russian. I understand that there are many people who readily produce all kinds of cataclysmic scenarios but the scale of hysteria, not to mention a volume of self-assuring BS which US started already to use at the top political level testifies to the fact that as Graham Allison noted: “However demonic, however destructive, however devious, however deserving of being strangled Russia is, the brute fact is that we cannot kill this bastard without committing suicide.” I wrote the book precisely on this matter and it is about the fact that American military-technological bluff was called. Russia controls escalation, she controls it, even in Syria, by:

    1. Readiness to bear the costs;
    2. Ability to exert an extremely high price from the US for any Syria’s misadventure.

    Here, I diverge with author of otherwise thoughtful piece dramatically. As former military professional I, apart from considering resources factor, calculate forces on both sides and what they can do to each-other. April 13 salvo showed to those who have eyes not exactly what author tries to imply. In more general way, American military mythology is being destroyed on a daily bases.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Y.L.

    Here, I diverge with author of otherwise thoughtful piece dramatically. As former military professional I, apart from considering resources factor, calculate forces on both sides and what they can do to each-other. April 13 salvo showed to those who have eyes not exactly what author tries to imply. In more general way, American military mythology is being destroyed on a daily bases.

     

    Thanks Andrei, that's why I asked for and appreciate your insight. Perhaps you'd consider expanding as an article for Unz, I hope.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @TheJester
    Your sources, please.

    “It was touch and go, just as risky as the Cuban missile crisis of 1962. The chances for total war were high, as the steely wills of America and Eurasia had crossed in the Eastern Mediterranean. The most dramatic event of September 2013 was the high-noon stand-off near the Levantine shore, with five US destroyers pointing their Tomahawks towards Damascus and facing them – the Russian flotilla of eleven ships led by the carrier-killer Missile Cruiser Moskva and supported by Chinese warships. Apparently, two missiles were launched towards the Syrian coast, and both failed to reach their destination. (We shall return to these two missiles later)….
    And now back to those two missiles of 2013. They were sent by the Israelis, whether they were trying to jump-start the shoot-out or just observed the clouds, as they claim. The missiles never reached its destination, shot down by the Russian ship-based sea-to-air defence system, or perhaps rendered useless by Russian GPS jammers….The Cape of Good Hope. http://www.unz.com/ishamir/the-cape-of-good-hope/

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Y.L.
    Andrei, I have to pester you one last time. I read this article on SouthFront today:

    https://southfront.org/us-missile-strikes-in-syria-throw-down-the-gauntlet-to-russia-how-will-putin-respond/

    And I'd like your thoughts on these points the author makes. Is Putin making things worse? Are hardliners now finally getting through to him? Doesn't he realize the enemy is like Nazi Germany and will only be satisfied with:

    The U.S. strategy for full spectrum dominance over Eurasia will not be complete until the theocratic regime in Iran has been overthrown and a pro-Western puppet installed in power. Once this has been accomplished then the West can focus upon its ultimate goal of overthrowing the nationalist regime in Moscow and breaking up Russia into a myriad of small puppet states. The gigantic mineral resources and land mass would then be at the disposal of Western imperialism.

     

    And here then are the author's observations that interest me.

    In many respects Trump and his coalition of the killing have put the ball in back Putin’s court.

    Putin can continue to patiently play the diplomacy card while trying to build up Russia’s trade in non dollar terms, and acquiring more and more gold, while building ever closer economic, military and political links to China. Will this be enough to stave off further Western encroachments upon Russia’s economy and its geopolitical position in Syria and Eastern Ukraine?

    The history of the Cold War and the appeasement period of the 1930s show that trying to negotiate while building up your economic/military resources is not enough to stop a “Terminator’’ like aggressor who just will not stop their aggressive actions towards you. During the Cold War there were times such as the Cuban Missile Crisis where U.S. imperialism was prepared to see nuclear armageddon rather than negotiate a compromise solution to the situation. It was only Kruschev’s willingness to back down, which cost him his position a year later, that averted World War 3.
    Cuba was thousands of miles away from Russia so Khrushchev could afford to make such a climbdown. However, if he had been faced with U.S. aggression on Russia’s border then that would have been a completely different and much more difficult situation.

    During the Cold War American imperialism was the dominant economic power on the planet which led to its aggressive foreign policy in defence of that economic position. Now the American empire is in decline it has become even more aggressive in a desperate effort to maintain its hegemony over the global economy. This imperial overreach is driven by several interlinked processes. Central to these processes has been the qualitative change to the nature of capitalism itself.

    Global capitalism, whose epicentre remains the United States has been suffering from a general tendency towards stagnation since the 1970s. This has been partially solved for short periods of time by the financialization of the world economy that has provided an outlet for the development of a huge orgy of speculative capital to produce massive returns. This greater financialization of the global economy has increased the rate of wealth transfer to the super rich built upon a gigantic explosion of debt that has built instability into the foundations of capitalism. The dangers of this for the imperial centre of capitalism in Washington are clearly defined by the economic historians John Bellamy Foster and Fred Magdoff:

    “The financialization of capitalism has resulted in a more uncontrollable system. [They observe -Saltycat] … a clear sense of the growing volatility and instability of the system. It is characteristic of speculative bubbles that once they stop expanding they burst. Continual increase of risk and more and more cash infusions into the financial system therefore become stronger imperatives the more fragile the financial structure becomes. The whole context is that of a financialization so out of control that unexpected and severe shocks to the system and resulting financial contagion are looked upon as inevitable’’.

    U.S. imperialism has increasingly relied upon ever greater infusions of debt into the capitalist system to maintain profitable outlets for finance capital. Finance capital must have free rein over the global economy to do as it pleases. It cannot afford to let upstarts such as Russia and China challenge its position of dominance over the resources and people of Eurasia. It is forced to take economic. political and military action to defend its interests. At the moment those interests are focused upon preserving its position in the Middle East. After “victories’’ in Iraq and Libya the U.S. feels threatened by Assad’s regime in Syria that is trying to pursue an alliance with a newly resurgent Russia under Putin. The logic of this policy means that U.S. imperialism cannot even countenance a compromise deal over Syria with Russia. Nothing less than the overthrow of Assad and the installation of a pro-Western puppet government will do.

    This brings us back to Putin’s dilemma in Syria. The relative failure of the recent missile strikes in Syria has been celebrated by some in the alternative media as a ‘victory’ for Putin/Assad and that the U.S. will now refrain from any more attacks. Such a view fails to understand that U.S. imperialism, which is an empire decline, cannot afford to let its rivals such as Russia challenge its supremacy over the economic resources and politics of the Middle East. Putin understands this but is caught in a dilemma.

    Putin represents the interests of the billionaire oligarchs, who emerged after the collapse of Stalinism and the reintroduction of capitalism in the 1990s. In the 1990s Putin was part of Yeltsin’s inner circle known affectionately as the “Family’’. Was their major concern the well being of ordinary Russian citizens? Of course not. It was the re-establishment of capitalism in Russia under the control of the oligarchs. Once firmly in power Putin has taken a more nationalist position than Yeltsin but still his foreign policy has followed the same lines of trying to maintain friendly, conciliatory relations with Western imperialism.

    Circa 2018 Putin is subject to a number of major problems. Despite his election victory Putin is acutely aware that sections of the population, particularly the youth feel disenfranchised both economically and politically. Meanwhile, older generations still harken back to the stability and certainties of the Soviet period. Putin has played the nationalist card rather skilfully in an attempt to bolster support for himself while large sections of the public are critical of public institutions in general due to widespread corruption and poverty.

    The Russian intervention in Syria has been used by Putin to appeal to nationalist sentiment amongst the population while also being motivated by military and geopolitical concerns.

    Putin is no doubt happy with the progress of the Syrian Armed Forces and their shia allies, with the help of Russian air support, in gradually liberating region after region from jihadi control. However, he still has major problems with regard to his Syrian strategy.

    There are the Kurds protected in Eastern Syria by the U.S. which is actively building military bases in that area. Just as big a problem is the wild card of Turkey. Putin has successfully pulled President Erodgan of Turkey in to the Russian sphere of influence by the oil pipeline and nuclear power plant deals they have signed. However, Erdogan is an unstable and unreliable ally who is trying to play off the U.S., its ally for many decades, against his new found ally in the form of Russia.

    Putin now has the added complication of Western imperialism resorting to open military intervention, after the failure of their jihadi allies to overthrow Assad’s government. The U.S. has made it clear that any more chemical attacks and the next missile strike will be much more formidable. U.S. Vice President Mike Pence has warned Russia and Assad that President Trump has:

    “made clear that the United States of America is prepared to sustain this effort to re-establish the deterrent framework that exists in order that the Syrian regime and its patrons know there will be a price to pay if chemicals weapons are used again against men, women and children,”

    Recent history has show that as sure as night follows day the genocidal jihadi groups will try and repeat their tired old trick of screaming “chemical weapons’’ if they keep losing ground on the battlefield. The Russian Foreign Ministry have warned of these tactics repeatedly in recent months.

    Now Putin has to face up to the fact that Western imperialism will continue using this propaganda ruse as an excuse for much greater missile attacks against Assad and his military over the next period. What are his options?

    He can simply try and wait it out until the jihadi groups have all been defeated by the SAA and its allies. A dangerous tactic as this may take some time yet, particularly the jihadi bastions in Idlib province.

    Putin could try once again the diplomatic card and try to stall further U.S. military action. Yet he is aware the U.S. has no intention of leaving Syria over the next period and is waiting like a hawk for further excuses to attack/overthrow his ally President Assad.

    The problem with this approach is that Russia is continuing with its appeasement of Western imperialism. The general notes how Moscow has not armed Syria with S300 systems out of deference to its “Western partners’’. Has concern for Russia’s feelings stopped the U.S. from installing its Aegis Ballistic Missile Defence System in Poland and Rumania? Of course not.

    Putin could of course, promise Assad that Russia will shoot down any future missile strikes entailing the risk of course of open military confrontation with the U.S. and its allies. This is something he is loathe to do as ultimately he just wants peaceful cohabitation with the West not war.
     
    I don't see war can be avoided, i.e. conflict between U.S. and Russia. The old Soviets wouldn't have put up with so much crap from NATO, Israel and America.

    That is a must-read article. The author pulls much of the big picture together. I encourage you to re-link it in other threads on UR (or I will!).

    I’ve been barking up this tree for a long time; Western capitalism has run out of real capital. Financialization papered over the cracks far better, and for longer than I imagined it could back in 2007/08, but the cracks are opening up again. It needs more real capital NOW!, or it will come crashing down. I don’t know, but I suspect that it may have passed the point-of-no-return already.

    Russia, as one of the greatest repositories of real capital (land, natural & human resources), and having turned its recent resurrection to great power status to defending other nations’ real capital, is a prize it must win or die trying.

    It’s as simple, as complex and as existential as that.

    Recently, like the author, I too have developed some doubts that Russia’s strategy of rope-a-doping can be maintained for long enough to see them through the crisis unscathed. I doubt that message sent with the latest “missile fiasco” will be able to penetrate the ideological shield defending Western capitalism’s strategy. Finessing a stronger, more violent message, or a series of them will require truly exceptional skill, lest one them provokes the response no-one wants to see.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    I doubt that message sent with the latest “missile fiasco” will be able to penetrate the ideological shield defending Western capitalism’s strategy. Finessing a stronger, more violent message, or a series of them will require truly exceptional skill, lest one them provokes the response no-one wants to see.
     
    US military knows the score. Here is from someone who lives on those ever important operational levels:

    Do not believe a word you have heard from the Pentagon and the White House about the "success" of the cruise missile strikes on Friday last. A fraud is being perpetrated on the American people and the world at large. Frankly, General Mattis and General Dunford have dishonored themselves by going along with this charade.

    If you could go to the CAOC (i.e., the Combined Air Operations Center) located at the Al Udeid Air Force Base in Qatar and speak to officers working for CENTCOM, you would hear a mixture of disgust, shock and anger from many over the President's claim of "Mission Accomplished." And I am talking about people who have been supportive of President Trump. But Trump, with the sycophants at the Pentagon and the Joint Staff, has crossed a line into delusional thinking.
     
    The problem is two-fold: it is both existential in a sense of capitalism dying out across the board to a rather peculiar combination of traditional ignorance and arrogance embodied in Trump and his Administration--this is a local phenomenon. Albeit, truth to be told, Western institution can not produce anymore normal competent elites and this, of course, could be tried to this very crisis on a more general level.
    , @Y.L.

    That is a must-read article. The author pulls much of the big picture together. I encourage you to re-link it in other threads on UR (or I will!).

     

    Feel free; I'm glad you appreciated it.

    And I hope Andrei elaborates on the topic in a larger article for this site.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Y.L. says:
    @Andrei Martyanov
    Since I wrote this piece in September 2017 a lot, and I mean a lot, has changed in Syria re: Air-Defense. How many new complexes, apart from officially admitted 40 S1s delivered specifically to Syrian AD, Russia has now at her disposal in Syria--I don't know. I know the number grew dramatically, as did capability, since those assets, including now Syria's own AD, are fully integrated. State of Israel, who supports jihadists and terrorists of all kind is a huge part of a problem in the area, as I already pointed out in Israel Shamir's piece thread, and is going apoplectic as I type this. The reason being that IDF DOES KNOW the score of the latest attack and they do understand what appearance of increasing numbers of modern Russian AD systems means for Israel. Recent IAF's attack from Lebanon, where it obviously wanted to provoke Russian response speaks volumes. Considering a glittering track record of Israel in exaggerations, boasting and bluster it is not surprising to see their increased bellicosity because the bluff will be called. They know that. Considering Israel's influence on or, rather, complete ownership of totally corrupt American political "elite", Israel will continue her efforts to provoke the United States against Russia in Syria.

    Andrei, I have to pester you one last time. I read this article on SouthFront today:

    https://southfront.org/us-missile-strikes-in-syria-throw-down-the-gauntlet-to-russia-how-will-putin-respond/

    And I’d like your thoughts on these points the author makes. Is Putin making things worse? Are hardliners now finally getting through to him? Doesn’t he realize the enemy is like Nazi Germany and will only be satisfied with:

    The U.S. strategy for full spectrum dominance over Eurasia will not be complete until the theocratic regime in Iran has been overthrown and a pro-Western puppet installed in power. Once this has been accomplished then the West can focus upon its ultimate goal of overthrowing the nationalist regime in Moscow and breaking up Russia into a myriad of small puppet states. The gigantic mineral resources and land mass would then be at the disposal of Western imperialism.

    And here then are the author’s observations that interest me.

    [MORE]

    In many respects Trump and his coalition of the killing have put the ball in back Putin’s court.

    Putin can continue to patiently play the diplomacy card while trying to build up Russia’s trade in non dollar terms, and acquiring more and more gold, while building ever closer economic, military and political links to China. Will this be enough to stave off further Western encroachments upon Russia’s economy and its geopolitical position in Syria and Eastern Ukraine?

    The history of the Cold War and the appeasement period of the 1930s show that trying to negotiate while building up your economic/military resources is not enough to stop a “Terminator’’ like aggressor who just will not stop their aggressive actions towards you. During the Cold War there were times such as the Cuban Missile Crisis where U.S. imperialism was prepared to see nuclear armageddon rather than negotiate a compromise solution to the situation. It was only Kruschev’s willingness to back down, which cost him his position a year later, that averted World War 3.
    Cuba was thousands of miles away from Russia so Khrushchev could afford to make such a climbdown. However, if he had been faced with U.S. aggression on Russia’s border then that would have been a completely different and much more difficult situation.

    During the Cold War American imperialism was the dominant economic power on the planet which led to its aggressive foreign policy in defence of that economic position. Now the American empire is in decline it has become even more aggressive in a desperate effort to maintain its hegemony over the global economy. This imperial overreach is driven by several interlinked processes. Central to these processes has been the qualitative change to the nature of capitalism itself.

    Global capitalism, whose epicentre remains the United States has been suffering from a general tendency towards stagnation since the 1970s. This has been partially solved for short periods of time by the financialization of the world economy that has provided an outlet for the development of a huge orgy of speculative capital to produce massive returns. This greater financialization of the global economy has increased the rate of wealth transfer to the super rich built upon a gigantic explosion of debt that has built instability into the foundations of capitalism. The dangers of this for the imperial centre of capitalism in Washington are clearly defined by the economic historians John Bellamy Foster and Fred Magdoff:

    “The financialization of capitalism has resulted in a more uncontrollable system. [They observe -Saltycat] … a clear sense of the growing volatility and instability of the system. It is characteristic of speculative bubbles that once they stop expanding they burst. Continual increase of risk and more and more cash infusions into the financial system therefore become stronger imperatives the more fragile the financial structure becomes. The whole context is that of a financialization so out of control that unexpected and severe shocks to the system and resulting financial contagion are looked upon as inevitable’’.

    U.S. imperialism has increasingly relied upon ever greater infusions of debt into the capitalist system to maintain profitable outlets for finance capital. Finance capital must have free rein over the global economy to do as it pleases. It cannot afford to let upstarts such as Russia and China challenge its position of dominance over the resources and people of Eurasia. It is forced to take economic. political and military action to defend its interests. At the moment those interests are focused upon preserving its position in the Middle East. After “victories’’ in Iraq and Libya the U.S. feels threatened by Assad’s regime in Syria that is trying to pursue an alliance with a newly resurgent Russia under Putin. The logic of this policy means that U.S. imperialism cannot even countenance a compromise deal over Syria with Russia. Nothing less than the overthrow of Assad and the installation of a pro-Western puppet government will do.

    This brings us back to Putin’s dilemma in Syria. The relative failure of the recent missile strikes in Syria has been celebrated by some in the alternative media as a ‘victory’ for Putin/Assad and that the U.S. will now refrain from any more attacks. Such a view fails to understand that U.S. imperialism, which is an empire decline, cannot afford to let its rivals such as Russia challenge its supremacy over the economic resources and politics of the Middle East. Putin understands this but is caught in a dilemma.

    Putin represents the interests of the billionaire oligarchs, who emerged after the collapse of Stalinism and the reintroduction of capitalism in the 1990s. In the 1990s Putin was part of Yeltsin’s inner circle known affectionately as the “Family’’. Was their major concern the well being of ordinary Russian citizens? Of course not. It was the re-establishment of capitalism in Russia under the control of the oligarchs. Once firmly in power Putin has taken a more nationalist position than Yeltsin but still his foreign policy has followed the same lines of trying to maintain friendly, conciliatory relations with Western imperialism.

    Circa 2018 Putin is subject to a number of major problems. Despite his election victory Putin is acutely aware that sections of the population, particularly the youth feel disenfranchised both economically and politically. Meanwhile, older generations still harken back to the stability and certainties of the Soviet period. Putin has played the nationalist card rather skilfully in an attempt to bolster support for himself while large sections of the public are critical of public institutions in general due to widespread corruption and poverty.

    The Russian intervention in Syria has been used by Putin to appeal to nationalist sentiment amongst the population while also being motivated by military and geopolitical concerns.

    Putin is no doubt happy with the progress of the Syrian Armed Forces and their shia allies, with the help of Russian air support, in gradually liberating region after region from jihadi control. However, he still has major problems with regard to his Syrian strategy.

    There are the Kurds protected in Eastern Syria by the U.S. which is actively building military bases in that area. Just as big a problem is the wild card of Turkey. Putin has successfully pulled President Erodgan of Turkey in to the Russian sphere of influence by the oil pipeline and nuclear power plant deals they have signed. However, Erdogan is an unstable and unreliable ally who is trying to play off the U.S., its ally for many decades, against his new found ally in the form of Russia.

    Putin now has the added complication of Western imperialism resorting to open military intervention, after the failure of their jihadi allies to overthrow Assad’s government. The U.S. has made it clear that any more chemical attacks and the next missile strike will be much more formidable. U.S. Vice President Mike Pence has warned Russia and Assad that President Trump has:

    “made clear that the United States of America is prepared to sustain this effort to re-establish the deterrent framework that exists in order that the Syrian regime and its patrons know there will be a price to pay if chemicals weapons are used again against men, women and children,”

    Recent history has show that as sure as night follows day the genocidal jihadi groups will try and repeat their tired old trick of screaming “chemical weapons’’ if they keep losing ground on the battlefield. The Russian Foreign Ministry have warned of these tactics repeatedly in recent months.

    Now Putin has to face up to the fact that Western imperialism will continue using this propaganda ruse as an excuse for much greater missile attacks against Assad and his military over the next period. What are his options?

    He can simply try and wait it out until the jihadi groups have all been defeated by the SAA and its allies. A dangerous tactic as this may take some time yet, particularly the jihadi bastions in Idlib province.

    Putin could try once again the diplomatic card and try to stall further U.S. military action. Yet he is aware the U.S. has no intention of leaving Syria over the next period and is waiting like a hawk for further excuses to attack/overthrow his ally President Assad.

    The problem with this approach is that Russia is continuing with its appeasement of Western imperialism. The general notes how Moscow has not armed Syria with S300 systems out of deference to its “Western partners’’. Has concern for Russia’s feelings stopped the U.S. from installing its Aegis Ballistic Missile Defence System in Poland and Rumania? Of course not.

    Putin could of course, promise Assad that Russia will shoot down any future missile strikes entailing the risk of course of open military confrontation with the U.S. and its allies. This is something he is loathe to do as ultimately he just wants peaceful cohabitation with the West not war.

    I don’t see war can be avoided, i.e. conflict between U.S. and Russia. The old Soviets wouldn’t have put up with so much crap from NATO, Israel and America.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Erebus
    That is a must-read article. The author pulls much of the big picture together. I encourage you to re-link it in other threads on UR (or I will!).

    I've been barking up this tree for a long time; Western capitalism has run out of real capital. Financialization papered over the cracks far better, and for longer than I imagined it could back in 2007/08, but the cracks are opening up again. It needs more real capital NOW!, or it will come crashing down. I don't know, but I suspect that it may have passed the point-of-no-return already.

    Russia, as one of the greatest repositories of real capital (land, natural & human resources), and having turned its recent resurrection to great power status to defending other nations' real capital, is a prize it must win or die trying.

    It's as simple, as complex and as existential as that.

    Recently, like the author, I too have developed some doubts that Russia's strategy of rope-a-doping can be maintained for long enough to see them through the crisis unscathed. I doubt that message sent with the latest "missile fiasco" will be able to penetrate the ideological shield defending Western capitalism's strategy. Finessing a stronger, more violent message, or a series of them will require truly exceptional skill, lest one them provokes the response no-one wants to see.
    , @Andrei Martyanov
    Author is generally correct in economic political sense but we knew all along that the "model", financial capitalism is dying. It simply doesn't work. It, actually, never did. But author is missing one very important point and this is approach to war. What he calls appeasement is not appeasement at all and one is only left to wonder what is going on in Syria on Russian side since the flow of heavy equipment there is non-stop and massive. This hardly qualifies as "appeasement". It is also known that Air Defense there was improved greatly. So, here are the questions and answers to some of them:

    1. Is Russia preparing for war? Yes.
    2. Does Russia see Syria as possible theater where it all will start? Yes.
    3. Is Russia playing for time? Absolutely.
    4. Does United States have actual resources to fight Russia? No.

    I don’t see war can be avoided, i.e. conflict between U.S. and Russia. The old Soviets wouldn’t have put up with so much crap from NATO, Israel and America.
     
    War is already in progress and, as I stated not for once, it matters who controls escalation. There is a huge difference, again, between what United States call "our forces" meaning the bunch of jihadist proxies and Kurds and Russia's forces, which are Russian. I understand that there are many people who readily produce all kinds of cataclysmic scenarios but the scale of hysteria, not to mention a volume of self-assuring BS which US started already to use at the top political level testifies to the fact that as Graham Allison noted: “However demonic, however destructive, however devious, however deserving of being strangled Russia is, the brute fact is that we cannot kill this bastard without committing suicide." I wrote the book precisely on this matter and it is about the fact that American military-technological bluff was called. Russia controls escalation, she controls it, even in Syria, by:

    1. Readiness to bear the costs;
    2. Ability to exert an extremely high price from the US for any Syria's misadventure.

    Here, I diverge with author of otherwise thoughtful piece dramatically. As former military professional I, apart from considering resources factor, calculate forces on both sides and what they can do to each-other. April 13 salvo showed to those who have eyes not exactly what author tries to imply. In more general way, American military mythology is being destroyed on a daily bases.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Andrei Martyanov
    Since I wrote this piece in September 2017 a lot, and I mean a lot, has changed in Syria re: Air-Defense. How many new complexes, apart from officially admitted 40 S1s delivered specifically to Syrian AD, Russia has now at her disposal in Syria--I don't know. I know the number grew dramatically, as did capability, since those assets, including now Syria's own AD, are fully integrated. State of Israel, who supports jihadists and terrorists of all kind is a huge part of a problem in the area, as I already pointed out in Israel Shamir's piece thread, and is going apoplectic as I type this. The reason being that IDF DOES KNOW the score of the latest attack and they do understand what appearance of increasing numbers of modern Russian AD systems means for Israel. Recent IAF's attack from Lebanon, where it obviously wanted to provoke Russian response speaks volumes. Considering a glittering track record of Israel in exaggerations, boasting and bluster it is not surprising to see their increased bellicosity because the bluff will be called. They know that. Considering Israel's influence on or, rather, complete ownership of totally corrupt American political "elite", Israel will continue her efforts to provoke the United States against Russia in Syria.

    Hi, Andrei,

    Thanks. I read your blog post today and a lot of the technical language is beyond me but AD means Air Defense, not Area Denial I think?

    http://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2018/04/rma.html

    This part I understand:

    The issue here is extremely, like almost kindergarten level, simple—the US and her so called Russia’s “military expertdom”, bar some very few (and I mean a very small number: 5-6 at most, if not fewer) real professionals and true experts, is pathetic. It has a “stellar” record of neither predicting nor understanding Soviet/Russian military-technological realities nor operational, strategic or political ramifications of just about anything Russia (or USSR) ever produced in her military technology. It is akin to explaining the aliens from other galaxy who procreate by spawning what is the meaning of unprotected sex.

    I think your point is America-France-Britain-Saudi-Arabia-Israel have no counter measures now. But perhaps want to attack soon because Russia doesn’t have huge volume of such missiles yet. I wish Putin hadn’t jumped the gun with his speech. A.Z. Empire doesn’t either listen or talk; as The Saker says it only says, “Fall on your knees and worship me.”

    You wrote comment # 19 on Shamir’s post today this and I won’t disagree because you’re the expert.

    Anything Israel’s military says on this issue is irrelevant and, as always, driven by purely ideological and political considerations. Here is a taste:

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-19/new-russian-weapons-alarm-israel-may-trigger-next-syrian-crisis

    Israel’s worst nightmare is competent and properly armed Syrian Air Defense and this is precisely where it is going right now in the area. Per best–subsonic TLAMs of any variety represent with appropriate targeting within integrated system easy targets for something like S1s, which were created from the inception as anti-TLAM systems. Recent IAF strike in Syria (about couple weeks ago) was to prevent deployment of Iranian TOR-M1 in Syria. So, Israelis’ opinions on this issue can not absolutely, especially having IDF “stellar” record of bluster and boasting, be taken seriously. Here is an opinion of high ranking US military-intelligence officer which is rather revealing.

    http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2018/04/trumps-big-flop-in-syria-by-publius-tacitus.html

    What I think this means is that there is no way for America not to be pushed by its slave masters, not just Israel but the government and its global oligarchs appear to be the masters, into a war with Russia.

    I suppose the world is in God’s hands but this war is a terrible sin. So many evil people.

    https://russian-faith.com/culture/great-early-20th-c-russian-christian-philosopher-devils-role-history-n1370

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Y.L.
    Hi, Andrei, I tried commenting a few moments ago and was informed my comment was marked as spam. Here is the latest news from Bloomberg:

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-19/new-russian-weapons-alarm-israel-may-trigger-next-syrian-crisis

    Israeli analysts and former defense officials say there’s only one likely response from the Jewish state if the S-300 surface-to-air missile systems are delivered to Syria: An immediate attempt to blow them up.

    That would upend the delicate relationship between Israel and Russia, who’ve kept channels open despite supporting opposite sides in Syria. And it could create another dangerous moment with the potential to escalate the seven-year civil war into a wider conflict...

    “Syria already has some good short and medium-range systems,’’ said Jeremy Binnie, Middle East and Africa editor at Jane’s Defence Weekly. Add the S-300s, and “they would be able to form a fairly comprehensive, multi-layered air defense umbrella over their country.”

    In any attempt to destroy the new weapons, Israel would probably use U.S.-built F-35 stealth aircraft and electronic warfare, he said.

    Russian military experts say that while the S-300 is very powerful, it isn’t foolproof.

    “There’s no invincible air-defense system,’’ said Viktor Murakhovsky, a former army colonel who’s now a government adviser. “Just like there are no invincible aircraft.’’
     

    See also: https://kek.gg/u/CFhS

    What is odd is that, according to pro-Syrian regime sources, they’re unloading their cargo in secret — under the cover of smoke and aerosol gas intended to block prying eyes, satellite and drone sensors.

    What the ships are carrying is unknown. They have been tracked by military analysts and watchers passing through the Black Sea and the Bosphorus Strait into the Mediterranean in recent days.
     

    Since I wrote this piece in September 2017 a lot, and I mean a lot, has changed in Syria re: Air-Defense. How many new complexes, apart from officially admitted 40 S1s delivered specifically to Syrian AD, Russia has now at her disposal in Syria–I don’t know. I know the number grew dramatically, as did capability, since those assets, including now Syria’s own AD, are fully integrated. State of Israel, who supports jihadists and terrorists of all kind is a huge part of a problem in the area, as I already pointed out in Israel Shamir’s piece thread, and is going apoplectic as I type this. The reason being that IDF DOES KNOW the score of the latest attack and they do understand what appearance of increasing numbers of modern Russian AD systems means for Israel. Recent IAF’s attack from Lebanon, where it obviously wanted to provoke Russian response speaks volumes. Considering a glittering track record of Israel in exaggerations, boasting and bluster it is not surprising to see their increased bellicosity because the bluff will be called. They know that. Considering Israel’s influence on or, rather, complete ownership of totally corrupt American political “elite”, Israel will continue her efforts to provoke the United States against Russia in Syria.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Y.L.
    Hi, Andrei,

    Thanks. I read your blog post today and a lot of the technical language is beyond me but AD means Air Defense, not Area Denial I think?

    http://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2018/04/rma.html

    This part I understand:

    The issue here is extremely, like almost kindergarten level, simple—the US and her so called Russia's "military expertdom", bar some very few (and I mean a very small number: 5-6 at most, if not fewer) real professionals and true experts, is pathetic. It has a "stellar" record of neither predicting nor understanding Soviet/Russian military-technological realities nor operational, strategic or political ramifications of just about anything Russia (or USSR) ever produced in her military technology. It is akin to explaining the aliens from other galaxy who procreate by spawning what is the meaning of unprotected sex.


    I think your point is America-France-Britain-Saudi-Arabia-Israel have no counter measures now. But perhaps want to attack soon because Russia doesn't have huge volume of such missiles yet. I wish Putin hadn't jumped the gun with his speech. A.Z. Empire doesn't either listen or talk; as The Saker says it only says, "Fall on your knees and worship me."

    You wrote comment # 19 on Shamir's post today this and I won't disagree because you're the expert.


    Anything Israel’s military says on this issue is irrelevant and, as always, driven by purely ideological and political considerations. Here is a taste:

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-19/new-russian-weapons-alarm-israel-may-trigger-next-syrian-crisis

    Israel’s worst nightmare is competent and properly armed Syrian Air Defense and this is precisely where it is going right now in the area. Per best–subsonic TLAMs of any variety represent with appropriate targeting within integrated system easy targets for something like S1s, which were created from the inception as anti-TLAM systems. Recent IAF strike in Syria (about couple weeks ago) was to prevent deployment of Iranian TOR-M1 in Syria. So, Israelis’ opinions on this issue can not absolutely, especially having IDF “stellar” record of bluster and boasting, be taken seriously. Here is an opinion of high ranking US military-intelligence officer which is rather revealing.

    http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2018/04/trumps-big-flop-in-syria-by-publius-tacitus.html
     

    What I think this means is that there is no way for America not to be pushed by its slave masters, not just Israel but the government and its global oligarchs appear to be the masters, into a war with Russia.

    I suppose the world is in God's hands but this war is a terrible sin. So many evil people.

    https://russian-faith.com/culture/great-early-20th-c-russian-christian-philosopher-devils-role-history-n1370

    , @Y.L.
    Andrei, I have to pester you one last time. I read this article on SouthFront today:

    https://southfront.org/us-missile-strikes-in-syria-throw-down-the-gauntlet-to-russia-how-will-putin-respond/

    And I'd like your thoughts on these points the author makes. Is Putin making things worse? Are hardliners now finally getting through to him? Doesn't he realize the enemy is like Nazi Germany and will only be satisfied with:

    The U.S. strategy for full spectrum dominance over Eurasia will not be complete until the theocratic regime in Iran has been overthrown and a pro-Western puppet installed in power. Once this has been accomplished then the West can focus upon its ultimate goal of overthrowing the nationalist regime in Moscow and breaking up Russia into a myriad of small puppet states. The gigantic mineral resources and land mass would then be at the disposal of Western imperialism.

     

    And here then are the author's observations that interest me.

    In many respects Trump and his coalition of the killing have put the ball in back Putin’s court.

    Putin can continue to patiently play the diplomacy card while trying to build up Russia’s trade in non dollar terms, and acquiring more and more gold, while building ever closer economic, military and political links to China. Will this be enough to stave off further Western encroachments upon Russia’s economy and its geopolitical position in Syria and Eastern Ukraine?

    The history of the Cold War and the appeasement period of the 1930s show that trying to negotiate while building up your economic/military resources is not enough to stop a “Terminator’’ like aggressor who just will not stop their aggressive actions towards you. During the Cold War there were times such as the Cuban Missile Crisis where U.S. imperialism was prepared to see nuclear armageddon rather than negotiate a compromise solution to the situation. It was only Kruschev’s willingness to back down, which cost him his position a year later, that averted World War 3.
    Cuba was thousands of miles away from Russia so Khrushchev could afford to make such a climbdown. However, if he had been faced with U.S. aggression on Russia’s border then that would have been a completely different and much more difficult situation.

    During the Cold War American imperialism was the dominant economic power on the planet which led to its aggressive foreign policy in defence of that economic position. Now the American empire is in decline it has become even more aggressive in a desperate effort to maintain its hegemony over the global economy. This imperial overreach is driven by several interlinked processes. Central to these processes has been the qualitative change to the nature of capitalism itself.

    Global capitalism, whose epicentre remains the United States has been suffering from a general tendency towards stagnation since the 1970s. This has been partially solved for short periods of time by the financialization of the world economy that has provided an outlet for the development of a huge orgy of speculative capital to produce massive returns. This greater financialization of the global economy has increased the rate of wealth transfer to the super rich built upon a gigantic explosion of debt that has built instability into the foundations of capitalism. The dangers of this for the imperial centre of capitalism in Washington are clearly defined by the economic historians John Bellamy Foster and Fred Magdoff:

    “The financialization of capitalism has resulted in a more uncontrollable system. [They observe -Saltycat] … a clear sense of the growing volatility and instability of the system. It is characteristic of speculative bubbles that once they stop expanding they burst. Continual increase of risk and more and more cash infusions into the financial system therefore become stronger imperatives the more fragile the financial structure becomes. The whole context is that of a financialization so out of control that unexpected and severe shocks to the system and resulting financial contagion are looked upon as inevitable’’.

    U.S. imperialism has increasingly relied upon ever greater infusions of debt into the capitalist system to maintain profitable outlets for finance capital. Finance capital must have free rein over the global economy to do as it pleases. It cannot afford to let upstarts such as Russia and China challenge its position of dominance over the resources and people of Eurasia. It is forced to take economic. political and military action to defend its interests. At the moment those interests are focused upon preserving its position in the Middle East. After “victories’’ in Iraq and Libya the U.S. feels threatened by Assad’s regime in Syria that is trying to pursue an alliance with a newly resurgent Russia under Putin. The logic of this policy means that U.S. imperialism cannot even countenance a compromise deal over Syria with Russia. Nothing less than the overthrow of Assad and the installation of a pro-Western puppet government will do.

    This brings us back to Putin’s dilemma in Syria. The relative failure of the recent missile strikes in Syria has been celebrated by some in the alternative media as a ‘victory’ for Putin/Assad and that the U.S. will now refrain from any more attacks. Such a view fails to understand that U.S. imperialism, which is an empire decline, cannot afford to let its rivals such as Russia challenge its supremacy over the economic resources and politics of the Middle East. Putin understands this but is caught in a dilemma.

    Putin represents the interests of the billionaire oligarchs, who emerged after the collapse of Stalinism and the reintroduction of capitalism in the 1990s. In the 1990s Putin was part of Yeltsin’s inner circle known affectionately as the “Family’’. Was their major concern the well being of ordinary Russian citizens? Of course not. It was the re-establishment of capitalism in Russia under the control of the oligarchs. Once firmly in power Putin has taken a more nationalist position than Yeltsin but still his foreign policy has followed the same lines of trying to maintain friendly, conciliatory relations with Western imperialism.

    Circa 2018 Putin is subject to a number of major problems. Despite his election victory Putin is acutely aware that sections of the population, particularly the youth feel disenfranchised both economically and politically. Meanwhile, older generations still harken back to the stability and certainties of the Soviet period. Putin has played the nationalist card rather skilfully in an attempt to bolster support for himself while large sections of the public are critical of public institutions in general due to widespread corruption and poverty.

    The Russian intervention in Syria has been used by Putin to appeal to nationalist sentiment amongst the population while also being motivated by military and geopolitical concerns.

    Putin is no doubt happy with the progress of the Syrian Armed Forces and their shia allies, with the help of Russian air support, in gradually liberating region after region from jihadi control. However, he still has major problems with regard to his Syrian strategy.

    There are the Kurds protected in Eastern Syria by the U.S. which is actively building military bases in that area. Just as big a problem is the wild card of Turkey. Putin has successfully pulled President Erodgan of Turkey in to the Russian sphere of influence by the oil pipeline and nuclear power plant deals they have signed. However, Erdogan is an unstable and unreliable ally who is trying to play off the U.S., its ally for many decades, against his new found ally in the form of Russia.

    Putin now has the added complication of Western imperialism resorting to open military intervention, after the failure of their jihadi allies to overthrow Assad’s government. The U.S. has made it clear that any more chemical attacks and the next missile strike will be much more formidable. U.S. Vice President Mike Pence has warned Russia and Assad that President Trump has:

    “made clear that the United States of America is prepared to sustain this effort to re-establish the deterrent framework that exists in order that the Syrian regime and its patrons know there will be a price to pay if chemicals weapons are used again against men, women and children,”

    Recent history has show that as sure as night follows day the genocidal jihadi groups will try and repeat their tired old trick of screaming “chemical weapons’’ if they keep losing ground on the battlefield. The Russian Foreign Ministry have warned of these tactics repeatedly in recent months.

    Now Putin has to face up to the fact that Western imperialism will continue using this propaganda ruse as an excuse for much greater missile attacks against Assad and his military over the next period. What are his options?

    He can simply try and wait it out until the jihadi groups have all been defeated by the SAA and its allies. A dangerous tactic as this may take some time yet, particularly the jihadi bastions in Idlib province.

    Putin could try once again the diplomatic card and try to stall further U.S. military action. Yet he is aware the U.S. has no intention of leaving Syria over the next period and is waiting like a hawk for further excuses to attack/overthrow his ally President Assad.

    The problem with this approach is that Russia is continuing with its appeasement of Western imperialism. The general notes how Moscow has not armed Syria with S300 systems out of deference to its “Western partners’’. Has concern for Russia’s feelings stopped the U.S. from installing its Aegis Ballistic Missile Defence System in Poland and Rumania? Of course not.

    Putin could of course, promise Assad that Russia will shoot down any future missile strikes entailing the risk of course of open military confrontation with the U.S. and its allies. This is something he is loathe to do as ultimately he just wants peaceful cohabitation with the West not war.
     
    I don't see war can be avoided, i.e. conflict between U.S. and Russia. The old Soviets wouldn't have put up with so much crap from NATO, Israel and America.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Andrei Martyanov

    I just hope Syria gets more Pantsirs and S-300s.
     
    It is clear now that Syria WILL get S-300s for sure. Some country to the South of Syria may go apoplectic.

    Hi, Andrei, I tried commenting a few moments ago and was informed my comment was marked as spam. Here is the latest news from Bloomberg:

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-19/new-russian-weapons-alarm-israel-may-trigger-next-syrian-crisis

    Israeli analysts and former defense officials say there’s only one likely response from the Jewish state if the S-300 surface-to-air missile systems are delivered to Syria: An immediate attempt to blow them up.

    That would upend the delicate relationship between Israel and Russia, who’ve kept channels open despite supporting opposite sides in Syria. And it could create another dangerous moment with the potential to escalate the seven-year civil war into a wider conflict…

    “Syria already has some good short and medium-range systems,’’ said Jeremy Binnie, Middle East and Africa editor at Jane’s Defence Weekly. Add the S-300s, and “they would be able to form a fairly comprehensive, multi-layered air defense umbrella over their country.”

    In any attempt to destroy the new weapons, Israel would probably use U.S.-built F-35 stealth aircraft and electronic warfare, he said.

    Russian military experts say that while the S-300 is very powerful, it isn’t foolproof.

    “There’s no invincible air-defense system,’’ said Viktor Murakhovsky, a former army colonel who’s now a government adviser. “Just like there are no invincible aircraft.’’

    See also: https://kek.gg/u/CFhS

    What is odd is that, according to pro-Syrian regime sources, they’re unloading their cargo in secret — under the cover of smoke and aerosol gas intended to block prying eyes, satellite and drone sensors.

    What the ships are carrying is unknown. They have been tracked by military analysts and watchers passing through the Black Sea and the Bosphorus Strait into the Mediterranean in recent days.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
    Since I wrote this piece in September 2017 a lot, and I mean a lot, has changed in Syria re: Air-Defense. How many new complexes, apart from officially admitted 40 S1s delivered specifically to Syrian AD, Russia has now at her disposal in Syria--I don't know. I know the number grew dramatically, as did capability, since those assets, including now Syria's own AD, are fully integrated. State of Israel, who supports jihadists and terrorists of all kind is a huge part of a problem in the area, as I already pointed out in Israel Shamir's piece thread, and is going apoplectic as I type this. The reason being that IDF DOES KNOW the score of the latest attack and they do understand what appearance of increasing numbers of modern Russian AD systems means for Israel. Recent IAF's attack from Lebanon, where it obviously wanted to provoke Russian response speaks volumes. Considering a glittering track record of Israel in exaggerations, boasting and bluster it is not surprising to see their increased bellicosity because the bluff will be called. They know that. Considering Israel's influence on or, rather, complete ownership of totally corrupt American political "elite", Israel will continue her efforts to provoke the United States against Russia in Syria.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Andrei Martyanov

    I just hope Syria gets more Pantsirs and S-300s.
     
    It is clear now that Syria WILL get S-300s for sure. Some country to the South of Syria may go apoplectic.

    Syria needs to ring Al Tanf with an s-300 and about 20 Pantsirs and then attempt a reconciliation agreement with the “rebel” leaders there. Once that fails, they should announce a pending offensive, stockpile s-300 and Pantsir missiles, and then follow through with the offensive downing attacking aircraft as needed.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @myself
    How to hit back? A most vital question.

    Aside from the usual ways: In Iraq, in Afghanistan, possibly even in the Ukraine, there are some other possible avenues.

    One, America's allies must be made to feel pain. As bombs take Russian lives, and destroy Russian allies, America's allies must pay a price. Israel and Saudi Arabia can be attacked with ballistic and cruise missiles. The formulation is simple - when American/British/French cruise missiles and smart bombs rain down on Russian allies, ballistic, hypersonic and cruise missiles will rain down on Israel and Saudi Arabia. As Russia is made to look weak, America must be made to appear unable to protect allies. This sort of war can and would certainly go on for a very long time, a slow grinding war that is more a test of will than one of firepower.

    Does Saudi Arabia sponsor proxies in Syria? Does Israel sponsor portions of the "Free Syrian Army?" Do both nations seek to topple Russia's Syrian ally?
    Then loudly and constantly portray these groups as terrorists (a believable descriptor indeed). Portray the Syrian state as the victim, aided by their heroic Russian friends. Beyond that, there is the real option of arms and advisors to Yemen against Saudi Arabia, and the same to Hamas against Israel. Let your tormentors feel pain, the more pain for all, the better! You will feel it as well. But as Russia is under existential threat, what of it?

    Russia must be ready for a rekindling of Chechen hostilities, courtesy of the CIA, Mossad and MI 6. Russia must be ready for intense domestic terror.

    Russia can reply to this with recognizing the very real and growing ethnic divisions within the United States, Britain and France (if France looks like going neutral, leave them off the list).

    In Britain, Russia can exploit racial tensions that are ready to boil over. The disaffected millions of Muslim and African immigrants, most alienated and jobless, are rife for arming and organizing. Start a low-level but pernicious and ineradicable insurgency in Britain itself - a British analog to arming Hamas and the Yemenis.

    In America, there is the tens of millions strong and unassimilable Hispanic population in the south-western states, many of whom are keen on the idea of Mexican identitarianism. Perfect breeding conditions for a low-grade insurgency, long running guerrilla war. There are also large inner-city ethnic gangs all across America, most or all of whom have no stake in society, all of whom feel antagonistic to the law. Arm them and set them loose.

    NONE of these insurgent and criminal trends will topple the U.S. or British governments. That's unrealistic.

    The idea is simply to make the American and British populations know that the wars their leaders have begun, have come home to roost. Russia must force the United States and the United Kingdom to become increasingly and openly authoritarian or even totalitarian.

    Russia's living standards will fall, sanctions will bite, the luxuries and necessities will run low. Russia must draw on the strengths of the ethnostate, of a cohesive national patriotism, and exploit the many and deep fissures in America and Britain.

    Agony and Terror, Agony and Terror!

    THESE will be Russia's reality. Let them be undeniably real to Russia's enemies, in turn!

    You do know that we are at full employment in U.K. ? insurgency here…oh you funny man ,please continue with the wankfest Boris.

    Read More
    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    Your girls are raped by the tens of thousands, for decades, while your pussy formerly-great formerly-Britain submits to it. Yeah, you’re in a position to lecture Russia.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @myself
    The answer is BODYBAGS. LOTS OF BODYBAGS.

    We shall see if the Russians are truly as tough and resilient as history has made them out to be. The goal is indeed regime change in Moscow, and of course the break-up and essentially the erasure of Russia and all its people from history and memory.

    There are no more doubts about that, unless the Russian people are still delusional and oh-so-idealistic. Yes, starry-eyed idealism, one of the great failings of Russia - the whole-hearted support for the early Communist Revolution, and the belief that Utopia was just around the corner, was proof enough of that. Russians have a truly astounding ability to ignore real world evidence.

    In counter-balance , I suggest the approach of Vo Nguyen Giap, late of North Vietnam fame/infamy. He said, in the 1960s, something to the effect of "We will fight far, far beyond the year 2000. You will kill many of us, we will hurt few of you. In the end, you will lose. And we will still be here".

    So it came to pass.

    If Russia is to perish, then it must inflict as much pain and harm as it can on its tormentors in the process. It must become, to put it one way, "Asiatic". What that means is this: Russia must now accept that it will die, and decide to die heroically, sword in hand. To renounce reconciliation, and to choose as its legacy unyielding resistance.

    The ploy of the Empire is obvious. Signal willingness to compromise, say that we seek merely to inflict lessons, not total subjugation. Yes, muddy the waters and Russia's judgment with hopes of "partnership". All the while making real moves to weaken, erode and destroy Russia.

    I am reminded of something I read in some old Chinese strategy manual.

    "When the foreign state sends envoys and gifts, and uses words of respect and friendship, and yet they mass and meneuver their forces for war - it is a sure sign that they are about to attack". So it is with the Empire.

    Forget about not "upsetting" the West. Restart and widen the Wars and Insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan. Restart and intensify the Ukraine War. Give the latest arms and equipment to North Korea. Widely share advanced designs and technologies with China, Iran and other states targeted by the Empire.

    Escalate - and choose, nay embrace its own suffering, in the grim consolation that it delays the Empire's triumph. When it is nearing the point of no return, then Russia must make good on its promise - as America would in that circumstance - and unleash the unthinkable. Otherwise, the strategic arsenal will have been for nought.

    The supreme irony here, IMHO, is that in degrading Western power as it dies, Russia shall have posthumous vengeance.

    There is one power that shall greatly benefit from the West's exhaustion. It is not America.

    who gives a crap the Chinese will have bought Russia in a generation…cheaply too given its a dump.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Y.L.
    Thanks, Andrei. You wrote:

    Because it is not easy to wipe out 2017 Nobel Peace Prize nominees–yes, this terrorist and USAID (read: CIA) supported outlet was nominated by imbeciles in Nobel Prize Committee. There are huge reputational risks involved with wiping them out, technically, however, it is not difficult.
     
    But my point:

    Why aren’t those transmissions found and jammed?
     
    Perhaps because they use cell phones and Russia would have to disable the entire network? You see, I made suggestions other than military action. Although Russia shouldn't give a damn because as long as they live and breathe, the Neocons and their slaves will hate them no matter what they do.

    Anyway, thanks and again, I think many Americans--if not the majority--don't buy the propaganda and hate incessant hate towards Russia and don't want war. Look at Alex Jones, Michael Savage, Tucker Carlson and so many others, even Roger Stone the other day.

    https://stonecoldtruth.com/the-presidents-syrian-mistake/

    But I think no one in power will listen. I just hope Syria gets more Pantsirs and S-300s.

    Your latest is here and worth reading:

    http://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2018/04/publius-tacitus-brings-good-points.html


    I am not going to lie, I do not freaking enjoy writing on military and geopolitical issues—I would rather be writing about progressive rock, jazz and discuss architecture, nature and maybe write an article, here and there, on some strategic issues and history. I was denied this pleasure in 2014. I am, however, very encouraged by the fact that there are many American military professionals who are, well, professionals and as such remain true to their skills and knowledge. Doing so, they preserve their professional and human integrity which is not only admirable in itself but becomes increasingly important in the midst of media ignorant bacchanalia.
     

    I just hope Syria gets more Pantsirs and S-300s.

    It is clear now that Syria WILL get S-300s for sure. Some country to the South of Syria may go apoplectic.

    Read More
    • Replies: @The Scalpel
    Syria needs to ring Al Tanf with an s-300 and about 20 Pantsirs and then attempt a reconciliation agreement with the "rebel" leaders there. Once that fails, they should announce a pending offensive, stockpile s-300 and Pantsir missiles, and then follow through with the offensive downing attacking aircraft as needed.
    , @Y.L.
    Hi, Andrei, I tried commenting a few moments ago and was informed my comment was marked as spam. Here is the latest news from Bloomberg:

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-19/new-russian-weapons-alarm-israel-may-trigger-next-syrian-crisis

    Israeli analysts and former defense officials say there’s only one likely response from the Jewish state if the S-300 surface-to-air missile systems are delivered to Syria: An immediate attempt to blow them up.

    That would upend the delicate relationship between Israel and Russia, who’ve kept channels open despite supporting opposite sides in Syria. And it could create another dangerous moment with the potential to escalate the seven-year civil war into a wider conflict...

    “Syria already has some good short and medium-range systems,’’ said Jeremy Binnie, Middle East and Africa editor at Jane’s Defence Weekly. Add the S-300s, and “they would be able to form a fairly comprehensive, multi-layered air defense umbrella over their country.”

    In any attempt to destroy the new weapons, Israel would probably use U.S.-built F-35 stealth aircraft and electronic warfare, he said.

    Russian military experts say that while the S-300 is very powerful, it isn’t foolproof.

    “There’s no invincible air-defense system,’’ said Viktor Murakhovsky, a former army colonel who’s now a government adviser. “Just like there are no invincible aircraft.’’
     

    See also: https://kek.gg/u/CFhS

    What is odd is that, according to pro-Syrian regime sources, they’re unloading their cargo in secret — under the cover of smoke and aerosol gas intended to block prying eyes, satellite and drone sensors.

    What the ships are carrying is unknown. They have been tracked by military analysts and watchers passing through the Black Sea and the Bosphorus Strait into the Mediterranean in recent days.
     

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • How to hit back? A most vital question.

    Aside from the usual ways: In Iraq, in Afghanistan, possibly even in the Ukraine, there are some other possible avenues.

    One, America’s allies must be made to feel pain. As bombs take Russian lives, and destroy Russian allies, America’s allies must pay a price. Israel and Saudi Arabia can be attacked with ballistic and cruise missiles. The formulation is simple – when American/British/French cruise missiles and smart bombs rain down on Russian allies, ballistic, hypersonic and cruise missiles will rain down on Israel and Saudi Arabia. As Russia is made to look weak, America must be made to appear unable to protect allies. This sort of war can and would certainly go on for a very long time, a slow grinding war that is more a test of will than one of firepower.

    Does Saudi Arabia sponsor proxies in Syria? Does Israel sponsor portions of the “Free Syrian Army?” Do both nations seek to topple Russia’s Syrian ally?
    Then loudly and constantly portray these groups as terrorists (a believable descriptor indeed). Portray the Syrian state as the victim, aided by their heroic Russian friends. Beyond that, there is the real option of arms and advisors to Yemen against Saudi Arabia, and the same to Hamas against Israel. Let your tormentors feel pain, the more pain for all, the better! You will feel it as well. But as Russia is under existential threat, what of it?

    Russia must be ready for a rekindling of Chechen hostilities, courtesy of the CIA, Mossad and MI 6. Russia must be ready for intense domestic terror.

    Russia can reply to this with recognizing the very real and growing ethnic divisions within the United States, Britain and France (if France looks like going neutral, leave them off the list).

    In Britain, Russia can exploit racial tensions that are ready to boil over. The disaffected millions of Muslim and African immigrants, most alienated and jobless, are rife for arming and organizing. Start a low-level but pernicious and ineradicable insurgency in Britain itself – a British analog to arming Hamas and the Yemenis.

    In America, there is the tens of millions strong and unassimilable Hispanic population in the south-western states, many of whom are keen on the idea of Mexican identitarianism. Perfect breeding conditions for a low-grade insurgency, long running guerrilla war. There are also large inner-city ethnic gangs all across America, most or all of whom have no stake in society, all of whom feel antagonistic to the law. Arm them and set them loose.

    NONE of these insurgent and criminal trends will topple the U.S. or British governments. That’s unrealistic.

    The idea is simply to make the American and British populations know that the wars their leaders have begun, have come home to roost. Russia must force the United States and the United Kingdom to become increasingly and openly authoritarian or even totalitarian.

    Russia’s living standards will fall, sanctions will bite, the luxuries and necessities will run low. Russia must draw on the strengths of the ethnostate, of a cohesive national patriotism, and exploit the many and deep fissures in America and Britain.

    Agony and Terror, Agony and Terror!

    THESE will be Russia’s reality. Let them be undeniably real to Russia’s enemies, in turn!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Thud
    You do know that we are at full employment in U.K. ? insurgency here...oh you funny man ,please continue with the wankfest Boris.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @myself
    The answer is BODYBAGS. LOTS OF BODYBAGS.

    We shall see if the Russians are truly as tough and resilient as history has made them out to be. The goal is indeed regime change in Moscow, and of course the break-up and essentially the erasure of Russia and all its people from history and memory.

    There are no more doubts about that, unless the Russian people are still delusional and oh-so-idealistic. Yes, starry-eyed idealism, one of the great failings of Russia - the whole-hearted support for the early Communist Revolution, and the belief that Utopia was just around the corner, was proof enough of that. Russians have a truly astounding ability to ignore real world evidence.

    In counter-balance , I suggest the approach of Vo Nguyen Giap, late of North Vietnam fame/infamy. He said, in the 1960s, something to the effect of "We will fight far, far beyond the year 2000. You will kill many of us, we will hurt few of you. In the end, you will lose. And we will still be here".

    So it came to pass.

    If Russia is to perish, then it must inflict as much pain and harm as it can on its tormentors in the process. It must become, to put it one way, "Asiatic". What that means is this: Russia must now accept that it will die, and decide to die heroically, sword in hand. To renounce reconciliation, and to choose as its legacy unyielding resistance.

    The ploy of the Empire is obvious. Signal willingness to compromise, say that we seek merely to inflict lessons, not total subjugation. Yes, muddy the waters and Russia's judgment with hopes of "partnership". All the while making real moves to weaken, erode and destroy Russia.

    I am reminded of something I read in some old Chinese strategy manual.

    "When the foreign state sends envoys and gifts, and uses words of respect and friendship, and yet they mass and meneuver their forces for war - it is a sure sign that they are about to attack". So it is with the Empire.

    Forget about not "upsetting" the West. Restart and widen the Wars and Insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan. Restart and intensify the Ukraine War. Give the latest arms and equipment to North Korea. Widely share advanced designs and technologies with China, Iran and other states targeted by the Empire.

    Escalate - and choose, nay embrace its own suffering, in the grim consolation that it delays the Empire's triumph. When it is nearing the point of no return, then Russia must make good on its promise - as America would in that circumstance - and unleash the unthinkable. Otherwise, the strategic arsenal will have been for nought.

    The supreme irony here, IMHO, is that in degrading Western power as it dies, Russia shall have posthumous vengeance.

    There is one power that shall greatly benefit from the West's exhaustion. It is not America.

    Islam and China will benefit from the downfall of the USA. Both very bad for Russians. But the US is leaving Russia no choice but to distrust us, get closer to China than they otherwise would, and prepare for a wider war.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Andrei Martyanov

    Why doesn’t Russia and/or Syria prevent the White Helmets and their minions for staging another false flag, which is clearly asked for by the actions of the White House?
     
    Because it is not easy to wipe out 2017 Nobel Peace Prize nominees--yes, this terrorist and USAID (read: CIA) supported outlet was nominated by imbeciles in Nobel Prize Committee. There are huge reputational risks involved with wiping them out, technically, however, it is not difficult.

    Thanks, Andrei. You wrote:

    Because it is not easy to wipe out 2017 Nobel Peace Prize nominees–yes, this terrorist and USAID (read: CIA) supported outlet was nominated by imbeciles in Nobel Prize Committee. There are huge reputational risks involved with wiping them out, technically, however, it is not difficult.

    But my point:

    Why aren’t those transmissions found and jammed?

    Perhaps because they use cell phones and Russia would have to disable the entire network? You see, I made suggestions other than military action. Although Russia shouldn’t give a damn because as long as they live and breathe, the Neocons and their slaves will hate them no matter what they do.

    Anyway, thanks and again, I think many Americans–if not the majority–don’t buy the propaganda and hate incessant hate towards Russia and don’t want war. Look at Alex Jones, Michael Savage, Tucker Carlson and so many others, even Roger Stone the other day.

    https://stonecoldtruth.com/the-presidents-syrian-mistake/

    But I think no one in power will listen. I just hope Syria gets more Pantsirs and S-300s.

    Your latest is here and worth reading:

    http://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2018/04/publius-tacitus-brings-good-points.html

    I am not going to lie, I do not freaking enjoy writing on military and geopolitical issues—I would rather be writing about progressive rock, jazz and discuss architecture, nature and maybe write an article, here and there, on some strategic issues and history. I was denied this pleasure in 2014. I am, however, very encouraged by the fact that there are many American military professionals who are, well, professionals and as such remain true to their skills and knowledge. Doing so, they preserve their professional and human integrity which is not only admirable in itself but becomes increasingly important in the midst of media ignorant bacchanalia.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    I just hope Syria gets more Pantsirs and S-300s.
     
    It is clear now that Syria WILL get S-300s for sure. Some country to the South of Syria may go apoplectic.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Allow me to do some layman’s speculation and thought-experimentation.

    The premise: Here I will use the IMF (considered the gold standard when it comes to economic figures) data for GDP, and also the Purchasing Power Parity figure, which is a very much better reflection of actual national economic size than the Exchange Rate figure, which is in turn a better measure of a nation’s ability to import and to invest abroad. I am using the PPP figure often used by economists.

    2017 figures: Russia has a 4 Trillion Dollar economy, while the United States has a 19.3 Trillion Dollar economy. The America vs Russia contest is the primary one. America’s staunch allies, at least until the cost becomes unbearable, are Britain and France, each with 2.8 Trillion Dollar GDPs.

    In sheer warmaking capacity, it would seems that Russia has little prospect of surviving in the long run. The combined total of America, Britain and France is 24.9 trillion, facing Russia’s 4 trillion.

    But wait, not so fast. First, America, Britain and France are not ONE unitary nation state, they are 3 states. The fracturing and breaking of alliances is a time-honored tenet of grand strategy.

    I do not know precisely how committed the elites of Britain and France are to Russia’s destruction, but it must be an integral part of Russia’s strategy to convince and cajole France and Britain to break ranks with the United States.

    It has been done before, and with the right approach, can be done again. Witness the diplomatic defeat of America when it tried to convince its vassals not to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. Who was first to jump ship? None other than the noble, principled U.S. ally, the United Kingdom! The only hold-outs are the United States and Japan, with Japan not ruling out joining.

    So diplomacy for Russia remains a prime tool. They key is identifying who wants Russia dead at all costs, and who don’t mind seeing Russia dead, but only if it doesn’t cause too much pain. I think Britain and France fall into the latter category. They can, in time and with effort and smart diplomacy, be induced to break ranks with America.

    That would immediately remove 23% of the war-making power arrayed against Russia. A small but important victory, if it can be done. More importantly, it would make the geographical position of the U.S. more awkward in Europe. Without French ports to bring land forces to the the Ukraine (via Germany), the United States would have to access Polish and Baltic ports – which are much easier for Russia to interdict in case of a shooting war. Not to mention that American supply convoys in the narrow Baltic Sea are more easily targeted by aircraft and missile from Russia itself.

    (I did not bother mentioning ports in the Adriatic – the nations in that region much more aligned with Russia than the Empire.)

    So, it is essential to woo France and detach it from America.

    Then there are many Europeans not keen on the anti-Russian crusade. The chief of these is Germany, but there’s also Italy, the Low Countries and Scandinavia. If no shooting war is afoot, Russia can continue to have trade relations with much of Europe via the Baltic, North, Black and Mediterranean Seas. Germany would seem a prime target for Russia to engage. With Germany still trading with Russia, the access to European technology is secured. If BOTH Germany and France can be made to break ranks with America, that is so much better.

    As to Eurasia, the Russian southern and eastern theaters are secure and not cause for concern. China, S. Korea and Japan all but ignored the Empire’s sanctions during the Ukraine crisis. Iran will anchor Russia’s southern flank.

    Iran is most certainly a target for regime change and cultural erasure. The 3,000+-year-old Persian identity, callously and viciously threatened for destruction. More on that later.

    So, what fate awaits Russia?

    The most direct and existential, barring thermonuclear war (highly, highly unlikely) is a land invasion to install a Western puppet government. This can only be realistically mounted in Europe.

    A coalition of Americans, supplied via the Baltic and Polish ports, plus allied British, French, Polish, and Ukrainian contingents, would make massive inroads into Russia’s defenses. A great many Russians would suffer genocide. The cities would burn, and the armies be decimated.

    Russia must trade space for time, conducting a fighting retreat, forcing the Empire’s Coalition to over-extend itself logistically – the classic Russian survival strategy. It must be prepared to retreat all the way to the Urals and beyond. At the same time, Russia’s population must prepare for insurgency in defense of the heartland. Caches of weapons and munitions must be made ready, and resistance units must be ready for activation from higher headquarters. Assume total enemy air-superiority, cyber-superiority and comms/sensor supremacy. Guerrilla units should be given broad instructions to raid and harass enemy rear area troops, and Russian special forces units must practice training and leading the insurgents.

    Russia must be prepared for rapid mass-evacuation of factories and machinery from the western regions, all under conditions of panic, chaos and under constant air-attack.

    4 trillion dollars per annum’s worth of Russian war capacity vs at least 19.3 trillion of the enemy’s, possibly as much as 24.9 trillion- those are fearful odds indeed! But these straight comparisons are a bit misleading, in themselves. 37% of the Russian economy is manufacturing, versus only 22% of the United States’. Inasmuch as industry is the portion of the economy most relevant to war, Russia’s prospects improve, but just a bit.

    Russia will have to display its legendary doggedness and will, in order to survive the ultimate threat of a land war.

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  • The answer is BODYBAGS. LOTS OF BODYBAGS.

    We shall see if the Russians are truly as tough and resilient as history has made them out to be. The goal is indeed regime change in Moscow, and of course the break-up and essentially the erasure of Russia and all its people from history and memory.

    There are no more doubts about that, unless the Russian people are still delusional and oh-so-idealistic. Yes, starry-eyed idealism, one of the great failings of Russia – the whole-hearted support for the early Communist Revolution, and the belief that Utopia was just around the corner, was proof enough of that. Russians have a truly astounding ability to ignore real world evidence.

    In counter-balance , I suggest the approach of Vo Nguyen Giap, late of North Vietnam fame/infamy. He said, in the 1960s, something to the effect of “We will fight far, far beyond the year 2000. You will kill many of us, we will hurt few of you. In the end, you will lose. And we will still be here“.

    So it came to pass.

    If Russia is to perish, then it must inflict as much pain and harm as it can on its tormentors in the process. It must become, to put it one way, “Asiatic”. What that means is this: Russia must now accept that it will die, and decide to die heroically, sword in hand. To renounce reconciliation, and to choose as its legacy unyielding resistance.

    The ploy of the Empire is obvious. Signal willingness to compromise, say that we seek merely to inflict lessons, not total subjugation. Yes, muddy the waters and Russia’s judgment with hopes of “partnership”. All the while making real moves to weaken, erode and destroy Russia.

    I am reminded of something I read in some old Chinese strategy manual.

    “When the foreign state sends envoys and gifts, and uses words of respect and friendship, and yet they mass and meneuver their forces for war – it is a sure sign that they are about to attack”. So it is with the Empire.

    Forget about not “upsetting” the West. Restart and widen the Wars and Insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan. Restart and intensify the Ukraine War. Give the latest arms and equipment to North Korea. Widely share advanced designs and technologies with China, Iran and other states targeted by the Empire.

    Escalate – and choose, nay embrace its own suffering, in the grim consolation that it delays the Empire’s triumph. When it is nearing the point of no return, then Russia must make good on its promise – as America would in that circumstance – and unleash the unthinkable. Otherwise, the strategic arsenal will have been for nought.

    The supreme irony here, IMHO, is that in degrading Western power as it dies, Russia shall have posthumous vengeance.

    There is one power that shall greatly benefit from the West’s exhaustion. It is not America.

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    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    Islam and China will benefit from the downfall of the USA. Both very bad for Russians. But the US is leaving Russia no choice but to distrust us, get closer to China than they otherwise would, and prepare for a wider war.
    , @Thud
    who gives a crap the Chinese will have bought Russia in a generation...cheaply too given its a dump.
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  • @Y.L.

    War is already raging, now it is just the matter of where the next theater of operations will completely open. It could be Ukraine, judging by drunk diatribe of Porky, who, obviously is losing his faculties from stress, or, indeed, it could be Syria.
     
    Andrei, back to Syria, since you have expertise that I acknowledge I lack. Why doesn't Russia and/or Syria prevent the White Helmets and their minions for staging another false flag, which is clearly asked for by the actions of the White House? As to those actions, if they cannot be identified and targeted, since we were told they transmit by satellites, why aren't those transmissions found and jammed?

    Just a thought. Thanks.

    Why doesn’t Russia and/or Syria prevent the White Helmets and their minions for staging another false flag, which is clearly asked for by the actions of the White House?

    Because it is not easy to wipe out 2017 Nobel Peace Prize nominees–yes, this terrorist and USAID (read: CIA) supported outlet was nominated by imbeciles in Nobel Prize Committee. There are huge reputational risks involved with wiping them out, technically, however, it is not difficult.

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    • Replies: @Y.L.
    Thanks, Andrei. You wrote:

    Because it is not easy to wipe out 2017 Nobel Peace Prize nominees–yes, this terrorist and USAID (read: CIA) supported outlet was nominated by imbeciles in Nobel Prize Committee. There are huge reputational risks involved with wiping them out, technically, however, it is not difficult.
     
    But my point:

    Why aren’t those transmissions found and jammed?
     
    Perhaps because they use cell phones and Russia would have to disable the entire network? You see, I made suggestions other than military action. Although Russia shouldn't give a damn because as long as they live and breathe, the Neocons and their slaves will hate them no matter what they do.

    Anyway, thanks and again, I think many Americans--if not the majority--don't buy the propaganda and hate incessant hate towards Russia and don't want war. Look at Alex Jones, Michael Savage, Tucker Carlson and so many others, even Roger Stone the other day.

    https://stonecoldtruth.com/the-presidents-syrian-mistake/

    But I think no one in power will listen. I just hope Syria gets more Pantsirs and S-300s.

    Your latest is here and worth reading:

    http://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2018/04/publius-tacitus-brings-good-points.html


    I am not going to lie, I do not freaking enjoy writing on military and geopolitical issues—I would rather be writing about progressive rock, jazz and discuss architecture, nature and maybe write an article, here and there, on some strategic issues and history. I was denied this pleasure in 2014. I am, however, very encouraged by the fact that there are many American military professionals who are, well, professionals and as such remain true to their skills and knowledge. Doing so, they preserve their professional and human integrity which is not only admirable in itself but becomes increasingly important in the midst of media ignorant bacchanalia.
     
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  • @Andrei Martyanov
    So many people think Trump and the Empire are bluffing and no attack will happen. To me it seems that war is inevitable.

    War is already raging, now it is just the matter of where the next theater of operations will completely open. It could be Ukraine, judging by drunk diatribe of Porky, who, obviously is losing his faculties from stress, or, indeed, it could be Syria. It is difficult to predict where but, one way or another Trump presidency is finished. He is not fit to run the country and I long ago do not view him as some kind of "hostage" of Deep State--he is himself blood and flesh of this very establishment he promised to fight in his desperate desire to get to the highest office. Appointing draft-dodger and coward (with his aggressiveness being an obverse side of him feeling how pathetic he is) Bolton as NSA was the last drop. In fact, combined West's slide into oblivion of totalitarianism and disintegration, fast--as a result of real war, or relatively slow is unstoppable now. If Russia will be able to control escalation, and there are some signs of that, we may yet live through it.

    War is already raging, now it is just the matter of where the next theater of operations will completely open. It could be Ukraine, judging by drunk diatribe of Porky, who, obviously is losing his faculties from stress, or, indeed, it could be Syria.

    Andrei, back to Syria, since you have expertise that I acknowledge I lack. Why doesn’t Russia and/or Syria prevent the White Helmets and their minions for staging another false flag, which is clearly asked for by the actions of the White House? As to those actions, if they cannot be identified and targeted, since we were told they transmit by satellites, why aren’t those transmissions found and jammed?

    Just a thought. Thanks.

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    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov

    Why doesn’t Russia and/or Syria prevent the White Helmets and their minions for staging another false flag, which is clearly asked for by the actions of the White House?
     
    Because it is not easy to wipe out 2017 Nobel Peace Prize nominees--yes, this terrorist and USAID (read: CIA) supported outlet was nominated by imbeciles in Nobel Prize Committee. There are huge reputational risks involved with wiping them out, technically, however, it is not difficult.
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  • @The Scalpel
    The difference between Syria and Afghanistan is that Syria contains a separationist population in the Kurds. Given air support, dislodging them would not be possible without unacceptable losses

    Yes, Syria is an artificial construct (because its borders were drawn by a Frenchman and an Englishman) – but there are tribes in Afghanistan who would be happy to form a separate nation given the chance.

    The Kurds’ territory was sliced-and-diced by Sykes and Picot – leaving some in Turkey, some in Iraq, some in Syria, and some in Iran; any attempt to sticky-tape that back together into a single political entity would be destined for significant pushback by Iran and Turkey.

    No Western nation has any incentive to stick their wang into that specific hornet’s nest for any length of time, and the Kurdish leadership know that full well: they are not silly enough to think that they can rely on the US or NATO to do anything concrete to advance Kurdish territorial aspirations for more than two or three news cycles.

    The Syrian Kurdish area is both a small part of the total Kurdish-inhabited region (5%), and a small part of Syria (about 7% – basically everything North-east of a line joining Eziziyr -> al-Mnajeer -> al-Hasakah -> al-Haul).

    More importantly, it’s the most fertile areas of the Syrian part of the al-Jazira region: it’s some of Syria’s best agricultural land, so Syria would not permit it to be lost.

    Bear in mind that the US has had untrammelled access to the sky above the region (neither the Syrian/Russian air defenses, nor the Turks, were prepared to risk the consequences of shooting down US planes that violated Syrian airspace in support of US-supplied terrorists)… but their preferred terrorists still lost.

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  • @Kratoklastes
    You appear to hold the view that once you can provide air support to an area, you somehow win it forever.

    To paraphrase your position: "If Syria cannot prevent US fighters from providing air support, Syria will be partitioned."

    That is unrealistic.

    Let's look at another example where the US has absolutely untrammeled air-superiority... you will recognise the name once it's mentioned.

    AFGHANISTAN.

    After a decade and a half, the US and its satraps and Quislings control maybe 5 city blocks in central Kabul, on a good day.

    The US's long-held plan to destabilise Syria (and Iran) has been going badly for three decades now - but it's immensely profitable for the cronies of the people doing the planning, so the plan doesn't change.

    That's a hint for anyone who is not caught up in some infantile nationalist fervour: a hint as to the actual aim.

    The aim of isn't to do anything specific, anywhere, ever... the actual aim is simply to ensure that the rich river of MIC-procurement gravy continues flowing into the pockets of political cronies - the US's own IG Farbens.

    The difference between Syria and Afghanistan is that Syria contains a separationist population in the Kurds. Given air support, dislodging them would not be possible without unacceptable losses

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    • Replies: @Kratoklastes
    Yes, Syria is an artificial construct (because its borders were drawn by a Frenchman and an Englishman) - but there are tribes in Afghanistan who would be happy to form a separate nation given the chance.

    The Kurds' territory was sliced-and-diced by Sykes and Picot - leaving some in Turkey, some in Iraq, some in Syria, and some in Iran; any attempt to sticky-tape that back together into a single political entity would be destined for significant pushback by Iran and Turkey.

    No Western nation has any incentive to stick their wang into that specific hornet's nest for any length of time, and the Kurdish leadership know that full well: they are not silly enough to think that they can rely on the US or NATO to do anything concrete to advance Kurdish territorial aspirations for more than two or three news cycles.

    The Syrian Kurdish area is both a small part of the total Kurdish-inhabited region (5%), and a small part of Syria (about 7% - basically everything North-east of a line joining Eziziyr -> al-Mnajeer -> al-Hasakah -> al-Haul).

    More importantly, it's the most fertile areas of the Syrian part of the al-Jazira region: it's some of Syria's best agricultural land, so Syria would not permit it to be lost.

    Bear in mind that the US has had untrammelled access to the sky above the region (neither the Syrian/Russian air defenses, nor the Turks, were prepared to risk the consequences of shooting down US planes that violated Syrian airspace in support of US-supplied terrorists)... but their preferred terrorists still lost.

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  • @Wally
    Got proof?

    You want him to prove the future? That’s kinda dumb.

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  • @CanSpeccy
    Excuse me for intervening in a conversation I have not followed, but will anyone cast light on the outcome of the US/Empire missile attack on Syrian targets. It was reported that 70 or so of the missiles were downed by Syrian air defenses, but US sources are saying all missiles reached their target. Who is lying? Or are both sides lying? Or is it impossible to know what happened?

    Oops. Ignore that. I see the discussion of the missile strike is on Karlin’s post.

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  • Excuse me for intervening in a conversation I have not followed, but will anyone cast light on the outcome of the US/Empire missile attack on Syrian targets. It was reported that 70 or so of the missiles were downed by Syrian air defenses, but US sources are saying all missiles reached their target. Who is lying? Or are both sides lying? Or is it impossible to know what happened?

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    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
    Oops. Ignore that. I see the discussion of the missile strike is on Karlin's post.
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  • Anonymous[418] • Disclaimer says:

    Russia and USA won’t go to war over Syria, please, let’s be realistic. Russia knows it cannot (with or without Iran) compete with NATO, nor would it benefit them at all to do so – and US top command are aware they are sitting ducks in the eastern Mediterranean. That’s Russia’s neighborhood.

    Could you imagine the disaster if Russian long-range missiles scuttle just the USS Truman? It would take them minutes to do so.

    The real worry here is, as usual, the dark horse: Turkey!
    Erdogan’s Turkey is the single biggest threat to the Western world right now, and it’s flying completely under the radar. Why do journalists barely mention Turkey’s role in all this?

    Remember the 2015 ‘migrant crisis’? – Turkey deliberately orchestrating migrant flow towards Europe, and then calling them “Europe’s responsibility”, because EU countries assisted the US intervening in Syria. Nevermind many of those ‘refugees’ were actually Pakistani or Afghan.

    Turkey profitted enormously from the crisis by blackmailing European governments, asking for billions of dollars to “seal the borders” (i.e. not giving them maps and free transport from east to west)

    And remember the Russian plane that was shot down, initially speculated to be a CIA-effort, almost escalating the conflict into a full-blown conflict between NATO and Russia? Turns out that was also orchestrated by Turkey, in an attempt to create bad blood between US/Israel/Saudi and Russia/Iran.

    And how did IS sustain their economy? They exported oil from Turkish harbors, and Erdogan was fully aware of it.

    IIRC Turkey even seized slices of territory in northern Syria during the conflict, when the other participants “weren’t looking”. I may be wrong on that though.

    Beyond Syria, Turkey has also been caught trading nuclear weapon-components and intelligence to terrorist organizations, turning a blind eye to human traficking of migrants (organized crime in Turkey has turned many Syrian women into sex slaves) – and not to forget: the conflict in Syria is weakening Kurdish resistance.

    I wish more attention would be paid to Turkey’s role here, and Erdogan’s dirty tactics to play other nations against each other. It’s more or less acting like rogue state at this point, and has become an enormous threat to Western stability under Erdogan.

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  • @Ron Unz
    In support of the strategic thesis advanced in this important article, I seem to recall that the original Russian military intervention in Syria was accompanied by a volley of ultra-long-range cruise missiles, whose capabilities greatly surprised American military analysts.

    At the time, such a high-tech attack on ISIS positions seemed rather cost-ineffective to me, but presumably a major purpose was to dissuade America (and Israel) from considering any future attack on what was a rather small and isolated Russian expeditionary force.

    Also, since Russia, Iran, and Iraq have become de facto allies in the Syria War, I'd think that the use of Iranian and Iraqi airspace as the launch point for the latest bombardment is also meant to raise much greater doubts in Trump's military advisors about the huge risks in any future attack against Iran or attempt to forcefully renegotiate the existing nuclear treaty.

    For the last hundred years Russia has been trying to invalidate the Sykes-Picot division of areas of influence in the Middle East. It never succeeded. The Western alliance formed in WWI is still operative and the old balance of forces has not changed.

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  • @Kratoklastes
    Google "Millennium Challenge 2002" and/or "Paul K Van Riper".

    Here's a LMGTFY ("Let Me Google That For You") link to Millennium Challenge 2002 - a link to LtGen Van Riper's bio should appear in the results.

    Van Riper - without advanced anti-shipping missiles - unambiguously sunk a carrier during MC02. Yes, it was only 'simulated', but for the purposes of the exercise: Blue had to admit that it lost a carrier.

    Carriers have been penis-extenders for Admirals and politicians since WWII - prior to that they used to get all tumescent about battleships, until they were shown to be insanely vulnerable to attack from the air.

    There has been no useful advance in defensive tools for warships since ARM (which is shit).

    To put vulnerability into context: consider an old-fashioned missile - an Exocet. Short range, sub-sonic, small payload, no volatile end-path guidance... 1980s battletech.

    Should be a non-starter, right?

    Well, now get this: AEGIS and PHALANX cannot acquire firing solutions between the time a missile is in sensor range, and the time it slams into the hull... even for an Exocet.

    I first wrote about the SS-NX-26 Yakhonts (now P-800 Onyx) in Reasons to be fearful - PArt 3 in November 2004; it's a bunch of things that an Exocet isn't - and all in very bad ways for anything blue-grey with a number on its bow... including aircraft carriers.

    Carriers have been penis-extenders for Admirals and politicians since WWII…

    However many penises need extending, geo-politically they used to project power. With todays’ wide distribution of effective anti-shipping missiles, their primary task has morphed into sovereignty/territory extension. Attacking a carrier, unlike lesser surface combatants, is the political equivalent of attacking the USA itself.

    IOW, they still project power against those unable to defend themselves against it, and act as trip-wire against those who can. That’s why one is sailing into the Med now.

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  • @Kratoklastes
    Google "Millennium Challenge 2002" and/or "Paul K Van Riper".

    Here's a LMGTFY ("Let Me Google That For You") link to Millennium Challenge 2002 - a link to LtGen Van Riper's bio should appear in the results.

    Van Riper - without advanced anti-shipping missiles - unambiguously sunk a carrier during MC02. Yes, it was only 'simulated', but for the purposes of the exercise: Blue had to admit that it lost a carrier.

    Carriers have been penis-extenders for Admirals and politicians since WWII - prior to that they used to get all tumescent about battleships, until they were shown to be insanely vulnerable to attack from the air.

    There has been no useful advance in defensive tools for warships since ARM (which is shit).

    To put vulnerability into context: consider an old-fashioned missile - an Exocet. Short range, sub-sonic, small payload, no volatile end-path guidance... 1980s battletech.

    Should be a non-starter, right?

    Well, now get this: AEGIS and PHALANX cannot acquire firing solutions between the time a missile is in sensor range, and the time it slams into the hull... even for an Exocet.

    I first wrote about the SS-NX-26 Yakhonts (now P-800 Onyx) in Reasons to be fearful - PArt 3 in November 2004; it's a bunch of things that an Exocet isn't - and all in very bad ways for anything blue-grey with a number on its bow... including aircraft carriers.

    Reply to self…

    Further to how vulnerable a CBG is: I forgot to mention two quite-interesting things that happened in the naughties – namely

    ① 2006: a Chinese Song-class deisel-electric sub was able to surface within 5km of the USS Kitty Hawk, having been undetected. Kitty Hawk’s CBG was in the middle of an actual exercise at the time, but apparently USN’s operational manual doesn’t include “It’s a good idea to look out for enemy submarines“;

    Now Kitty Hawk was an old lady – it was decommissioned in 2009, so, y’know, it’s not applicable to modern naval stuff. Plus, them Chinee – inscrutable, makin’ an old lady look bad.

    But wait…

    ② in 2005, a single Swedish Gotland-class sub was able to get inside the defences of the USS Ronald Reagan and its entire battle group, acquire targeting solutions and score at least 5 hits. (In other words, it was able to pretty much empty its torpedo arsenal). That time, the CBG knew that the sub was in theatre, because it was part of the exercise.

    So, y’know…

    “Sinking a 100,000 ton aircraft carrier has not yet been done”

    Should be translated as

    “No US Navy CBG has been involved in a real-life peer-rival blue-water engagement yet.”

    Think back to the Falklands (arguably the Argentines were not a ‘peer’ rival in the sense that Russia would be a peer rival to the US).

    The English kept HMS Hermes outside of the range of Argentine aircraft precisely because of the missile threat. That meant that her Harriers were operating right on the edge of their range.

    That’s an interesting thing – that your flagship is virtually kept out of the battle, because of its vulnerability to anti-shipping missiles.

    The other carrier – HMS Invincible – was permitted to get closer, and may well have been hit by the last Exocet the Argentines possessed. The Poms dispute this, however for some reason Invincible waited 2 months after the fall of Port Stanley to arrive in port there, and there was a big stripe of fresh paint on her port side.

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  • @The Scalpel
    Here is where I see things are heading:

    The Syrian government will retake the Damascus area, the Qualamoun area, the Homs area pocket, and the desert on the south and west of the Euphrates. Then things will get sticky.

    At that point,the Syrian government will come up directly against Turkey, Israel, or the US . Ultimately that boils down to coming up against the US. If diplomacy fails, there can be no further territorial gains by Syria if US aircraft are allowed to intervene.

    Russia will attempt to counter this both diplomatically and by significantly boosting Syrian SAM numbers, quality, and training. At this point, diplomacy does not appear to be close to any sort of overall solution to the crisis. If diplomacy fails, then ultimately, it all boils down to this:

    Will Syria (with Russian help) be willing to shoot down US fighter aircraft who are attacking Syrian ground forces?

    If the answer is no – then Syria will certainly be partitioned.

    If the answer is yes – will the US escalate?

    – If no, then Syria will eventually regain all of it’s territory.

    – If the US does escalate, will Russian SAM’s (fired by Syrian armed forces) be able to neutralize US aircraft?

    – If that answer is yes, the global balance of power will have shifted, the world will have entered a new era of warfare, and Syria will regain all of it’s territory

    – If that answer is no, then Syria will remain partitioned and the global balance of power will remain relatively unchanged

    You appear to hold the view that once you can provide air support to an area, you somehow win it forever.

    To paraphrase your position: “If Syria cannot prevent US fighters from providing air support, Syria will be partitioned.”

    That is unrealistic.

    Let’s look at another example where the US has absolutely untrammeled air-superiority… you will recognise the name once it’s mentioned.

    AFGHANISTAN.

    After a decade and a half, the US and its satraps and Quislings control maybe 5 city blocks in central Kabul, on a good day.

    The US’s long-held plan to destabilise Syria (and Iran) has been going badly for three decades now – but it’s immensely profitable for the cronies of the people doing the planning, so the plan doesn’t change.

    That’s a hint for anyone who is not caught up in some infantile nationalist fervour: a hint as to the actual aim.

    The aim of isn’t to do anything specific, anywhere, ever… the actual aim is simply to ensure that the rich river of MIC-procurement gravy continues flowing into the pockets of political cronies – the US’s own IG Farbens.

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    • Replies: @The Scalpel
    The difference between Syria and Afghanistan is that Syria contains a separationist population in the Kurds. Given air support, dislodging them would not be possible without unacceptable losses
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  • @unit472
    Sinking a 100,000 ton aircraft carrier has not yet been done. They are pretty resilient ships and unless you can catch them with their decks full of fueled and armed aircraft as happened to the Japanese at Midway or hole them with torpedoes they tend to stay afloat even after being hit with conventional explosives.

    The Forrestal survived multiple detonations and explosions on its flight deck back in 1967 though over 100 sailors died. Smaller US WW2 era carriers survived direct hits from Kamikazi attacks so it is one thing to knock them out of action but another to sink them.

    Google “Millennium Challenge 2002″ and/or “Paul K Van Riper”.

    Here’s a LMGTFY (“Let Me Google That For You”) link to Millennium Challenge 2002 – a link to LtGen Van Riper’s bio should appear in the results.

    Van Riper – without advanced anti-shipping missiles – unambiguously sunk a carrier during MC02. Yes, it was only ‘simulated’, but for the purposes of the exercise: Blue had to admit that it lost a carrier.

    Carriers have been penis-extenders for Admirals and politicians since WWII – prior to that they used to get all tumescent about battleships, until they were shown to be insanely vulnerable to attack from the air.

    There has been no useful advance in defensive tools for warships since ARM (which is shit).

    To put vulnerability into context: consider an old-fashioned missile – an Exocet. Short range, sub-sonic, small payload, no volatile end-path guidance… 1980s battletech.

    Should be a non-starter, right?

    Well, now get this: AEGIS and PHALANX cannot acquire firing solutions between the time a missile is in sensor range, and the time it slams into the hull… even for an Exocet.

    I first wrote about the SS-NX-26 Yakhonts (now P-800 Onyx) in Reasons to be fearful – PArt 3 in November 2004; it’s a bunch of things that an Exocet isn’t – and all in very bad ways for anything blue-grey with a number on its bow… including aircraft carriers.

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    • Replies: @Kratoklastes
    Reply to self...

    Further to how vulnerable a CBG is: I forgot to mention two quite-interesting things that happened in the naughties - namely

    ① 2006: a Chinese Song-class deisel-electric sub was able to surface within 5km of the USS Kitty Hawk, having been undetected. Kitty Hawk's CBG was in the middle of an actual exercise at the time, but apparently USN's operational manual doesn't include "It's a good idea to look out for enemy submarines";

    Now Kitty Hawk was an old lady - it was decommissioned in 2009, so, y'know, it's not applicable to modern naval stuff. Plus, them Chinee - inscrutable, makin' an old lady look bad.

    But wait...

    ② in 2005, a single Swedish Gotland-class sub was able to get inside the defences of the USS Ronald Reagan and its entire battle group, acquire targeting solutions and score at least 5 hits. (In other words, it was able to pretty much empty its torpedo arsenal). That time, the CBG knew that the sub was in theatre, because it was part of the exercise.


    So, y'know...

    "Sinking a 100,000 ton aircraft carrier has not yet been done"
     
    Should be translated as

    "No US Navy CBG has been involved in a real-life peer-rival blue-water engagement yet."
     
    Think back to the Falklands (arguably the Argentines were not a 'peer' rival in the sense that Russia would be a peer rival to the US).

    The English kept HMS Hermes outside of the range of Argentine aircraft precisely because of the missile threat. That meant that her Harriers were operating right on the edge of their range.

    That's an interesting thing - that your flagship is virtually kept out of the battle, because of its vulnerability to anti-shipping missiles.

    The other carrier - HMS Invincible - was permitted to get closer, and may well have been hit by the last Exocet the Argentines possessed. The Poms dispute this, however for some reason Invincible waited 2 months after the fall of Port Stanley to arrive in port there, and there was a big stripe of fresh paint on her port side.
    , @Erebus

    Carriers have been penis-extenders for Admirals and politicians since WWII...
     
    However many penises need extending, geo-politically they used to project power. With todays' wide distribution of effective anti-shipping missiles, their primary task has morphed into sovereignty/territory extension. Attacking a carrier, unlike lesser surface combatants, is the political equivalent of attacking the USA itself.

    IOW, they still project power against those unable to defend themselves against it, and act as trip-wire against those who can. That's why one is sailing into the Med now.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Y.L.
    Hello, Andrei,

    You were posted today on Sic Semper Tyrabnnis blog and I recommend everyone read it.

    http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2018/04/mutually-assured-suicide.html

    Most people in Pentagon and, obviously, some in the so called IC understand consequences of attacking Russians directly--they know the score, they have calculated probabilities for a number of contingencies and none of them, obviously, looks good for CENTCOM assets in the area. But for the BORG there is no way back--and the reasons for that are way larger than Syria. We are talking about global realignment and major shift in power balance. This is not an easy thing to take to self-proclaimed "exceptional" people in Washington plus add here their utter lack of grasp of scales and proportions involved in a purely military aspect--it is difficult to those who never spent a day in uniform and whose military "expertise" is limited to few seminars on strategy and weapons and on, not always first class, work by Congressional Research Service. Thus, on American side we have today not rational players." Pen Name - Smoothiex12

     

    But I wonder about these thoughts of Larchmonter445 posted on The Saker's site today. Do you think these are being considered? So many people think Trump and the Empire are bluffing and no attack will happen. To me it seems that war is inevitable.

    http://thesaker.is/what-price-will-mankind-have-to-pay-for-the-collapse-of-the-empire/#comment-509925

    In simple terms, Russia has to be more than willing to kill Americans inside Syria. Al Tanf and Hassake bases should be on the target list for retribution. They are indefensible and packed with troops, proxies and equipment. But neither is fortified nor could they sustain under Kalibr or better, Iskander ballistic missile attack.

    The defeat would shock the US public like the Tet Offensive did in ’68.

    More so, prisoners should be taken and held until the US withdraws.

    There is nothing the US public could accept if they saw a few hundred dead and a few hundred marched as prisoners. They would demand immediate withdrawal.

    With Pompeo bragging today at his confirmation hearing in the Senate about killing 200 Russians as punishment for Moscow, and bragging on America’s exceptionalism, it’s long past time to shame the American goon elite and shock their world with a counter-strike.

    As for Ukraine, there is a ready solution to the expense of taking on Novorossiya’s cost for rebuilding and development. China. They would come in with money to build and farm and extract minerals. Take Odessa, Mariupol and turn them into Chinese vacation locations, with casinos. Russia would have two huge cash cows, not losses sucking their treasury dry.

    Destroy as much of Ukraine as you can, take what you want, hand the rest over to China. They’ll move 30 million Chinese in and transform Ukraine completely.

    The loss of NS2 will be temporary. The Chinese will use the power in Ukraine.

    Eventually, the hold on Europe will be lost.

    The Empire cannot hold its colonies while it has to fight Russia, Iran and China. It is impossible.

    Defeat of the Hegemon is entirely possible.

    We don’t have to wait for some collapse, some falling apart, some Black Swan event.

    You do what Vietnam did. You kill them, break the public support, crush their will, and triumph.

     

    Thanks.

    So many people think Trump and the Empire are bluffing and no attack will happen. To me it seems that war is inevitable.

    War is already raging, now it is just the matter of where the next theater of operations will completely open. It could be Ukraine, judging by drunk diatribe of Porky, who, obviously is losing his faculties from stress, or, indeed, it could be Syria. It is difficult to predict where but, one way or another Trump presidency is finished. He is not fit to run the country and I long ago do not view him as some kind of “hostage” of Deep State–he is himself blood and flesh of this very establishment he promised to fight in his desperate desire to get to the highest office. Appointing draft-dodger and coward (with his aggressiveness being an obverse side of him feeling how pathetic he is) Bolton as NSA was the last drop. In fact, combined West’s slide into oblivion of totalitarianism and disintegration, fast–as a result of real war, or relatively slow is unstoppable now. If Russia will be able to control escalation, and there are some signs of that, we may yet live through it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Y.L.

    War is already raging, now it is just the matter of where the next theater of operations will completely open. It could be Ukraine, judging by drunk diatribe of Porky, who, obviously is losing his faculties from stress, or, indeed, it could be Syria.
     
    Andrei, back to Syria, since you have expertise that I acknowledge I lack. Why doesn't Russia and/or Syria prevent the White Helmets and their minions for staging another false flag, which is clearly asked for by the actions of the White House? As to those actions, if they cannot be identified and targeted, since we were told they transmit by satellites, why aren't those transmissions found and jammed?

    Just a thought. Thanks.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Andrei Martyanov
    Hopefully, this will not come to this.

    Hello, Andrei,

    You were posted today on Sic Semper Tyrabnnis blog and I recommend everyone read it.

    http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2018/04/mutually-assured-suicide.html

    Most people in Pentagon and, obviously, some in the so called IC understand consequences of attacking Russians directly–they know the score, they have calculated probabilities for a number of contingencies and none of them, obviously, looks good for CENTCOM assets in the area. But for the BORG there is no way back–and the reasons for that are way larger than Syria. We are talking about global realignment and major shift in power balance. This is not an easy thing to take to self-proclaimed “exceptional” people in Washington plus add here their utter lack of grasp of scales and proportions involved in a purely military aspect–it is difficult to those who never spent a day in uniform and whose military “expertise” is limited to few seminars on strategy and weapons and on, not always first class, work by Congressional Research Service. Thus, on American side we have today not rational players.” Pen Name – Smoothiex12

    But I wonder about these thoughts of Larchmonter445 posted on The Saker’s site today. Do you think these are being considered? So many people think Trump and the Empire are bluffing and no attack will happen. To me it seems that war is inevitable.

    http://thesaker.is/what-price-will-mankind-have-to-pay-for-the-collapse-of-the-empire/#comment-509925

    In simple terms, Russia has to be more than willing to kill Americans inside Syria. Al Tanf and Hassake bases should be on the target list for retribution. They are indefensible and packed with troops, proxies and equipment. But neither is fortified nor could they sustain under Kalibr or better, Iskander ballistic missile attack.

    The defeat would shock the US public like the Tet Offensive did in ’68.

    More so, prisoners should be taken and held until the US withdraws.

    There is nothing the US public could accept if they saw a few hundred dead and a few hundred marched as prisoners. They would demand immediate withdrawal.

    With Pompeo bragging today at his confirmation hearing in the Senate about killing 200 Russians as punishment for Moscow, and bragging on America’s exceptionalism, it’s long past time to shame the American goon elite and shock their world with a counter-strike.

    As for Ukraine, there is a ready solution to the expense of taking on Novorossiya’s cost for rebuilding and development. China. They would come in with money to build and farm and extract minerals. Take Odessa, Mariupol and turn them into Chinese vacation locations, with casinos. Russia would have two huge cash cows, not losses sucking their treasury dry.

    Destroy as much of Ukraine as you can, take what you want, hand the rest over to China. They’ll move 30 million Chinese in and transform Ukraine completely.

    The loss of NS2 will be temporary. The Chinese will use the power in Ukraine.

    Eventually, the hold on Europe will be lost.

    The Empire cannot hold its colonies while it has to fight Russia, Iran and China. It is impossible.

    Defeat of the Hegemon is entirely possible.

    We don’t have to wait for some collapse, some falling apart, some Black Swan event.

    You do what Vietnam did. You kill them, break the public support, crush their will, and triumph.

    Thanks.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
    So many people think Trump and the Empire are bluffing and no attack will happen. To me it seems that war is inevitable.

    War is already raging, now it is just the matter of where the next theater of operations will completely open. It could be Ukraine, judging by drunk diatribe of Porky, who, obviously is losing his faculties from stress, or, indeed, it could be Syria. It is difficult to predict where but, one way or another Trump presidency is finished. He is not fit to run the country and I long ago do not view him as some kind of "hostage" of Deep State--he is himself blood and flesh of this very establishment he promised to fight in his desperate desire to get to the highest office. Appointing draft-dodger and coward (with his aggressiveness being an obverse side of him feeling how pathetic he is) Bolton as NSA was the last drop. In fact, combined West's slide into oblivion of totalitarianism and disintegration, fast--as a result of real war, or relatively slow is unstoppable now. If Russia will be able to control escalation, and there are some signs of that, we may yet live through it.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @R3ALi5T
    US Aircraft Carrier versus RF Zircon Hypersonic Missiles = Watery grave for 4000+ US Navy Sailors / Carrier.

    Hopefully, this will not come to this.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Y.L.
    Hello, Andrei,

    You were posted today on Sic Semper Tyrabnnis blog and I recommend everyone read it.

    http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2018/04/mutually-assured-suicide.html

    Most people in Pentagon and, obviously, some in the so called IC understand consequences of attacking Russians directly--they know the score, they have calculated probabilities for a number of contingencies and none of them, obviously, looks good for CENTCOM assets in the area. But for the BORG there is no way back--and the reasons for that are way larger than Syria. We are talking about global realignment and major shift in power balance. This is not an easy thing to take to self-proclaimed "exceptional" people in Washington plus add here their utter lack of grasp of scales and proportions involved in a purely military aspect--it is difficult to those who never spent a day in uniform and whose military "expertise" is limited to few seminars on strategy and weapons and on, not always first class, work by Congressional Research Service. Thus, on American side we have today not rational players." Pen Name - Smoothiex12

     

    But I wonder about these thoughts of Larchmonter445 posted on The Saker's site today. Do you think these are being considered? So many people think Trump and the Empire are bluffing and no attack will happen. To me it seems that war is inevitable.

    http://thesaker.is/what-price-will-mankind-have-to-pay-for-the-collapse-of-the-empire/#comment-509925

    In simple terms, Russia has to be more than willing to kill Americans inside Syria. Al Tanf and Hassake bases should be on the target list for retribution. They are indefensible and packed with troops, proxies and equipment. But neither is fortified nor could they sustain under Kalibr or better, Iskander ballistic missile attack.

    The defeat would shock the US public like the Tet Offensive did in ’68.

    More so, prisoners should be taken and held until the US withdraws.

    There is nothing the US public could accept if they saw a few hundred dead and a few hundred marched as prisoners. They would demand immediate withdrawal.

    With Pompeo bragging today at his confirmation hearing in the Senate about killing 200 Russians as punishment for Moscow, and bragging on America’s exceptionalism, it’s long past time to shame the American goon elite and shock their world with a counter-strike.

    As for Ukraine, there is a ready solution to the expense of taking on Novorossiya’s cost for rebuilding and development. China. They would come in with money to build and farm and extract minerals. Take Odessa, Mariupol and turn them into Chinese vacation locations, with casinos. Russia would have two huge cash cows, not losses sucking their treasury dry.

    Destroy as much of Ukraine as you can, take what you want, hand the rest over to China. They’ll move 30 million Chinese in and transform Ukraine completely.

    The loss of NS2 will be temporary. The Chinese will use the power in Ukraine.

    Eventually, the hold on Europe will be lost.

    The Empire cannot hold its colonies while it has to fight Russia, Iran and China. It is impossible.

    Defeat of the Hegemon is entirely possible.

    We don’t have to wait for some collapse, some falling apart, some Black Swan event.

    You do what Vietnam did. You kill them, break the public support, crush their will, and triumph.

     

    Thanks.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Donald Trump has decided to keep US forces in Syria for a limited period, ending speculation about an immediate pull-out fuelled by the president himself. He agreed at a National Security Council meeting that the 2,000 US troops backed by massive airpower should stay in Syria where they support the Kurds in the east of...
  • Ah, a mommy jab. Had I known you were capable of such witty repartee, I wouldn’t have underestimated your powerful intellect.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Size does matter and so does range and speed whenever anyone talks about weapons. It seems that there is a great deal of confusion which perpetuates itself in regards to a relatively small Russian military contingent in Syria. The most popular indicator of this confusion is a never ending discussion of a possible American attack...
  • @unit472
    Sinking a 100,000 ton aircraft carrier has not yet been done. They are pretty resilient ships and unless you can catch them with their decks full of fueled and armed aircraft as happened to the Japanese at Midway or hole them with torpedoes they tend to stay afloat even after being hit with conventional explosives.

    The Forrestal survived multiple detonations and explosions on its flight deck back in 1967 though over 100 sailors died. Smaller US WW2 era carriers survived direct hits from Kamikazi attacks so it is one thing to knock them out of action but another to sink them.

    US Aircraft Carrier versus RF Zircon Hypersonic Missiles = Watery grave for 4000+ US Navy Sailors / Carrier.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
    Hopefully, this will not come to this.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Donald Trump has decided to keep US forces in Syria for a limited period, ending speculation about an immediate pull-out fuelled by the president himself. He agreed at a National Security Council meeting that the 2,000 US troops backed by massive airpower should stay in Syria where they support the Kurds in the east of...
  • @Ozymandias
    You really are an angry little man. Do you make everyone around you as miserable as you are?

    Thanks for sharing your opinion. Now, why don’t you run along and get back to your Talmudic studies, before your Mommy finds out you’re at the computer again.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • You really are an angry little man. Do you make everyone around you as miserable as you are?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Harold Smith
    Thanks for sharing your opinion. Now, why don't you run along and get back to your Talmudic studies, before your Mommy finds out you're at the computer again.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Ozymandias
    If Trump hadn't actually intended to pull out, it wouldn't have been necessary to gas the place to keep us there.

    Sorry, Trump haters.

    If Orange Clown wasn’t a liar, fraud, mass murderer, and jewish-supremacist-controlled-anti-American traitor, it wouldn’t have been necessary for him to illegally, unconstitutionally, immorally, foolishly, pointlessly, and self-destructively occupy Syria in the first place.

    Sorry, Orange Clown apologists.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • If Trump hadn’t actually intended to pull out, it wouldn’t have been necessary to gas the place to keep us there.

    Sorry, Trump haters.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Harold Smith
    If Orange Clown wasn't a liar, fraud, mass murderer, and jewish-supremacist-controlled-anti-American traitor, it wouldn't have been necessary for him to illegally, unconstitutionally, immorally, foolishly, pointlessly, and self-destructively occupy Syria in the first place.

    Sorry, Orange Clown apologists.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @jeff davis
    We get it that you are an extreme anti-Trumper. It reasonably to be expected that your analytical capability is as diminished as your bias is extreme.

    Enjoy your fantasy world and the emotional rewards you derive from that. Then there will be reality.

    “We get it that you are an extreme anti-Trumper.”

    What was your first clue?

    “It (sic) reasonably to be expected that your analytical capability is as diminished as your bias is extreme.”

    If you can’t by now see that Orange Clown is a liar, fraud, con man, traitor to America, and a piece of excrement, then it is your “analytical capability” that is called into question, not mine.

    “Enjoy your fantasy world and the emotional rewards you derive from that. Then there will be reality.”

    You’re supposed to be looking at your monitor, not your mirror, as you type your infantile statist drivel.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • We get it that you are an extreme anti-Trumper. It reasonably to be expected that your analytical capability is as diminished as your bias is extreme.

    Enjoy your fantasy world and the emotional rewards you derive from that. Then there will be reality.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Harold Smith
    "We get it that you are an extreme anti-Trumper."

    What was your first clue?

    "It (sic) reasonably to be expected that your analytical capability is as diminished as your bias is extreme."

    If you can't by now see that Orange Clown is a liar, fraud, con man, traitor to America, and a piece of excrement, then it is your "analytical capability" that is called into question, not mine.

    "Enjoy your fantasy world and the emotional rewards you derive from that. Then there will be reality."

    You're supposed to be looking at your monitor, not your mirror, as you type your infantile statist drivel.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @WorkingClass

    In recent weeks Mr Trump has been at odds with the Pentagon in promising a swift US withdrawal...
     
    The Pentagon is a building. Exactly who at the Pentagon is Trump at odds with. And why doesn't Trump fire him? Who has the authority to make the decision to withdraw from Syria? Is Trump afraid of his generals? It can't be that Trump does not trust his own judgement. What does he gain by saying I will and then I won't?

    Trump is not an idiot. Although he sometimes presents as an idiot savant. He must know that joining Russia and China is a better deal than fighting them. I would love to hear him say exactly that. Even if he walked it back the next day.

    “The Pentagon is a building. Exactly who at the Pentagon is Trump at odds with. And why doesn’t Trump fire him?”

    Exactly.

    The thing is, Orange Clown’s been contradicting himself practically since the day he was inaugurated. I remember when he first “articulated” his position on Crimea for example. IIRC it was something like: “Russia has to give Crimea back to Ukraine, and sanctions will not be lifted until it does. But I really, really, really, really, really want better relations with Russia.”

    At the time I thought, even Orange Clown, as dull as he is, must realize that Russia cannot give back Crimea, and the Russians probably believed that Orange Clown knows they cannot give it back. So why would Orange Clown make such an absurd statement?

    I believe it was a calculated absurdity. As I look back on the last 14 months of the Orange Clown presidency, I think it’s all part of an ongoing psyop (in which Orange Clown is a knowing, willing participant) to present Orange Clown as a sympathetic figure; a nice guy (with good intentions) in a bad situation; a political babe-in-the-woods, who’s in over his head, and just-happened-to-get-mixed-up-with-some-bad-people-kind-of-a-thing.

    And the strategy is brilliant. While everybody was guessing and trying to figure out who’s in charge, speculating that Orange Clown is playing some kind of 4D chess against the “deep state”, and making excuses for his behavior, Orange Clown is quickly moving 2000 more troops and military equipment into Syria, in pursuance of “plan B”, something that Clinton – who “carries [her] banner openly” – wouldn’t have been able to get away with.

    So apparently as part of their strategy, every so often our masters have to “throw us a bone” in the form of one of Orange Clown’s pretended acts of defiance; e.g., “oh look, he’s defying the ‘deep state’ by calling Vladimir Putin to congratulate him on his election victory”; or “oh look, he’s saying it’s time to get out of Syria, and the ‘neocons’ are screaming”. But it’s all just cheap talk from Teflon-Don-The-Con-Man.

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    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • the inbred demonic satanyahu will never allow his blood brother trump to exit Syria. another hollow statement like sending troops to the border. they will be unarmed and just process the illegals for faster entry into the uS

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • The last man standing between the U.S. and war with Iran may be a four-star general affectionately known to his Marines as "Mad Dog." Gen. James Mattis, the secretary of defense, appears to be the last man in the Situation Room who believes the Iran nuclear deal may be worth preserving and that war with...
  • @Harold Smith
    "All you are resorting to now is deflection."

    ROTFL! So, you're finally "throwing in the towel" are you? I think it's about time.

    I accept your resignation.

    “ROTFL! So, you’re finally “throwing in the towel” are you?” I think it’s about time. I accept your resignation.”

    Just what I thought. Running away from discourse, considering you have three inquiries you have yet to offer a robust response.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Donald Trump has decided to keep US forces in Syria for a limited period, ending speculation about an immediate pull-out fuelled by the president himself. He agreed at a National Security Council meeting that the 2,000 US troops backed by massive airpower should stay in Syria where they support the Kurds in the east of...
  • @WorkingClass

    In recent weeks Mr Trump has been at odds with the Pentagon in promising a swift US withdrawal...
     
    The Pentagon is a building. Exactly who at the Pentagon is Trump at odds with. And why doesn't Trump fire him? Who has the authority to make the decision to withdraw from Syria? Is Trump afraid of his generals? It can't be that Trump does not trust his own judgement. What does he gain by saying I will and then I won't?

    Trump is not an idiot. Although he sometimes presents as an idiot savant. He must know that joining Russia and China is a better deal than fighting them. I would love to hear him say exactly that. Even if he walked it back the next day.

    Who has the authority to make the decision to withdraw from Syria? Is Trump afraid of his generals? It can’t be that Trump does not trust his own judgement.

    Trump has no expertise, knowledge or experience that would allow him to argue effectively with either the military men or the diplomats in their own areas of expertise. He’s out of his depth in such matters, and knows it. That’s probably why he’s easily swayed by them in these areas. In these matters, he literally dare not trust his own judgement when it conflicts with the advice he is getting.

    He will acquire experience in the job, as most presidents do, but the question is will he do so quickly enough and how far can he be “shaped” by the lobby representatives surrounding him in the process? Time will tell.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @WorkingClass

    In recent weeks Mr Trump has been at odds with the Pentagon in promising a swift US withdrawal...
     
    The Pentagon is a building. Exactly who at the Pentagon is Trump at odds with. And why doesn't Trump fire him? Who has the authority to make the decision to withdraw from Syria? Is Trump afraid of his generals? It can't be that Trump does not trust his own judgement. What does he gain by saying I will and then I won't?

    Trump is not an idiot. Although he sometimes presents as an idiot savant. He must know that joining Russia and China is a better deal than fighting them. I would love to hear him say exactly that. Even if he walked it back the next day.

    Trump is not an idiot.

    Au contraire. He is very much an idiot. And further more he is a nutless idiot.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @WorkingClass
    Constant lying is the one aspect of Trump's persona that seems genuinely "presidential".

    Amen.

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    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @WorkingClass

    In recent weeks Mr Trump has been at odds with the Pentagon in promising a swift US withdrawal...
     
    The Pentagon is a building. Exactly who at the Pentagon is Trump at odds with. And why doesn't Trump fire him? Who has the authority to make the decision to withdraw from Syria? Is Trump afraid of his generals? It can't be that Trump does not trust his own judgement. What does he gain by saying I will and then I won't?

    Trump is not an idiot. Although he sometimes presents as an idiot savant. He must know that joining Russia and China is a better deal than fighting them. I would love to hear him say exactly that. Even if he walked it back the next day.

    Trump doesn’t trust his own judgement. You say this can’t be so, but it is so. Obama also didn’t trust himself much.

    Mortal men cannot resist the allure of the Neocons, generals, etc. and their claims of glorious expertise. Could Odysseus resist the Sirens’ songs?

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • In recent weeks Mr Trump has been at odds with the Pentagon in promising a swift US withdrawal…

    The Pentagon is a building. Exactly who at the Pentagon is Trump at odds with. And why doesn’t Trump fire him? Who has the authority to make the decision to withdraw from Syria? Is Trump afraid of his generals? It can’t be that Trump does not trust his own judgement. What does he gain by saying I will and then I won’t?

    Trump is not an idiot. Although he sometimes presents as an idiot savant. He must know that joining Russia and China is a better deal than fighting them. I would love to hear him say exactly that. Even if he walked it back the next day.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Weaver1
    Trump doesn't trust his own judgement. You say this can't be so, but it is so. Obama also didn't trust himself much.

    Mortal men cannot resist the allure of the Neocons, generals, etc. and their claims of glorious expertise. Could Odysseus resist the Sirens' songs?

    , @Realist

    Trump is not an idiot.
     
    Au contraire. He is very much an idiot. And further more he is a nutless idiot.
    , @Randal

    Who has the authority to make the decision to withdraw from Syria? Is Trump afraid of his generals? It can’t be that Trump does not trust his own judgement.
     
    Trump has no expertise, knowledge or experience that would allow him to argue effectively with either the military men or the diplomats in their own areas of expertise. He's out of his depth in such matters, and knows it. That's probably why he's easily swayed by them in these areas. In these matters, he literally dare not trust his own judgement when it conflicts with the advice he is getting.

    He will acquire experience in the job, as most presidents do, but the question is will he do so quickly enough and how far can he be "shaped" by the lobby representatives surrounding him in the process? Time will tell.
    , @Harold Smith
    "The Pentagon is a building. Exactly who at the Pentagon is Trump at odds with. And why doesn’t Trump fire him?"

    Exactly.

    The thing is, Orange Clown's been contradicting himself practically since the day he was inaugurated. I remember when he first "articulated" his position on Crimea for example. IIRC it was something like: "Russia has to give Crimea back to Ukraine, and sanctions will not be lifted until it does. But I really, really, really, really, really want better relations with Russia."

    At the time I thought, even Orange Clown, as dull as he is, must realize that Russia cannot give back Crimea, and the Russians probably believed that Orange Clown knows they cannot give it back. So why would Orange Clown make such an absurd statement?

    I believe it was a calculated absurdity. As I look back on the last 14 months of the Orange Clown presidency, I think it's all part of an ongoing psyop (in which Orange Clown is a knowing, willing participant) to present Orange Clown as a sympathetic figure; a nice guy (with good intentions) in a bad situation; a political babe-in-the-woods, who's in over his head, and just-happened-to-get-mixed-up-with-some-bad-people-kind-of-a-thing.

    And the strategy is brilliant. While everybody was guessing and trying to figure out who's in charge, speculating that Orange Clown is playing some kind of 4D chess against the "deep state", and making excuses for his behavior, Orange Clown is quickly moving 2000 more troops and military equipment into Syria, in pursuance of "plan B", something that Clinton - who "carries [her] banner openly" - wouldn't have been able to get away with.

    So apparently as part of their strategy, every so often our masters have to "throw us a bone" in the form of one of Orange Clown's pretended acts of defiance; e.g., "oh look, he's defying the 'deep state' by calling Vladimir Putin to congratulate him on his election victory"; or "oh look, he's saying it's time to get out of Syria, and the 'neocons' are screaming". But it's all just cheap talk from Teflon-Don-The-Con-Man.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • “Donald Trump has decided to keep US forces in Syria for a limited period ending speculation about an immediate pull-out fuelled by the president himself.”

    Of course he has; was there ever any reason to think otherwise? No. I’m surprised that there are still some people out there who “speculate” that something the pathological liar says can be taken at face value.

    “He agreed at a National Security Council meeting that the 2,000 US troops backed by massive airpower should stay in Syria where they support the Kurds in the east of the country.

    ‘We’re not going to immediately withdraw, but neither is the president willing to back a long-term commitment,’ said a senior administration official.”

    LOL! Another shameless lie. Of course it’s a “long-term commitment”, just like every other imperial “commitment.”

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • The last man standing between the U.S. and war with Iran may be a four-star general affectionately known to his Marines as "Mad Dog." Gen. James Mattis, the secretary of defense, appears to be the last man in the Situation Room who believes the Iran nuclear deal may be worth preserving and that war with...
  • @Corvinus
    All you are resorting to now is deflection.

    "Get it through your head: America’s decline is irreversible. Since the decline is irreversible, it is therefore collapsing, as it MUST."

    I get your opinion on this matter. Time to move on. Stay on task.

    "That corruption is the root cause of America’s irreversible decline is painfully obvious to any reasonable person paying attention (sorry if that leaves you out)."

    I get your opinion on this matter. Time to move on. Stay on task.

    Do you believe that “Christian virtue” is THE standard by which all other people must abide by? Yes or no–why.

    Is this massive spiritual revival squarely dependent upon people embracing “Christian virtue”? Yes or no–why.

    Do you believe I am morally incompetent and spiritually blind? Yes or no–why.

    “All you are resorting to now is deflection.”

    ROTFL! So, you’re finally “throwing in the towel” are you? I think it’s about time.

    I accept your resignation.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Corvinus
    "ROTFL! So, you’re finally “throwing in the towel” are you?" I think it’s about time. I accept your resignation."

    Just what I thought. Running away from discourse, considering you have three inquiries you have yet to offer a robust response.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Donald Trump has decided to keep US forces in Syria for a limited period, ending speculation about an immediate pull-out fuelled by the president himself. He agreed at a National Security Council meeting that the 2,000 US troops backed by massive airpower should stay in Syria where they support the Kurds in the east of...
  • Constant lying is the one aspect of Trump’s persona that seems genuinely “presidential”.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Realist
    Amen.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Haxo Angmark
    with the Pompeo and Bolton appointments

    behaviorally signalling that an Isramerican attack on Iran is now certain,

    Trumpenthal will not be removing any Imperial Stormtroops from Syria.

    with Trumpenthal, you can invariably predict behavior

    by inferring the opposite of any verbal signal.

    with Trumpenthal, you can invariably predict behavior

    by inferring the opposite of any verbal signal.

    Unfortunately that’s exactly what you can’t do, because his verbal signals (“we’re pulling out of Syria”, “we’re not pulling out of Syria yet”) are as mutually contradictory as his non-verbal ones.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • If the limited number of US ground troops were pulled out of Syria, along with – most crucially – the YPG’s ability to call in massive US airstrikes

    The YPG has no ability to “call in massive US airstrikes” unless the US is willing to fire on a NATO ally’s troops, which seem pretty unlikely in support of a mission in Syria which has long degenerated to damage limitation and which seemingly is viewed very differently by the US President and certain neocon-inclined members of the US regime and military.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Armed conflict between the US and Iran is becoming more probable by the day as super-hawks replace hawks in the Trump administration. The new National Security Adviser, John Bolton, has called for the US to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal of 2015 and advocated immediate regime change in Tehran. The new Secretary of State,...
  • Trump decided to withdraw from Syria… Brave enough to admit defeat or better than that? Or troops are needed elsewhere? The dual universe, East and West has arrived. More middle east war plans… well it’s going nowhere, too bad, goodbye NeoCON warmongering sad faces.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Donald Trump has decided to keep US forces in Syria for a limited period, ending speculation about an immediate pull-out fuelled by the president himself. He agreed at a National Security Council meeting that the 2,000 US troops backed by massive airpower should stay in Syria where they support the Kurds in the east of...
  • obama 2.0..
    Sad!

    Enjoy your 1 term, and crap legacy Mr Trump.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • with the Pompeo and Bolton appointments

    behaviorally signalling that an Isramerican attack on Iran is now certain,

    Trumpenthal will not be removing any Imperial Stormtroops from Syria.

    with Trumpenthal, you can invariably predict behavior

    by inferring the opposite of any verbal signal.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Randal

    with Trumpenthal, you can invariably predict behavior

    by inferring the opposite of any verbal signal.
     
    Unfortunately that's exactly what you can't do, because his verbal signals ("we're pulling out of Syria", "we're not pulling out of Syria yet") are as mutually contradictory as his non-verbal ones.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Armed conflict between the US and Iran is becoming more probable by the day as super-hawks replace hawks in the Trump administration. The new National Security Adviser, John Bolton, has called for the US to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal of 2015 and advocated immediate regime change in Tehran. The new Secretary of State,...
  • Two people are key to Trump’s political viability…Sheldon Adelson and Rupert Murdoch. Both want military action by the US against Iran. Both have supported Bolton, one way or another, for years.

    Bolton is a hack. He’s virtually unemployable. His role In life is to call for military action against anyone that may at some future time do something that Israel does not approve of.

    http://www.wednesdayswars.com

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Dogood
    Certainly Trump has appointed some neo-con warmongers. But I haven't seen any new war nor any big escalation on Trump's part. I hope Trump is just putting them in there as a negotiating position, to get our enemies afraid and acting more reasonable. And he's been talking of pulling out of Syria (whose side are we on over there anyway? There's no good group with which to side.)

    I guess we'll have to wait and see, what Trump's plans really are. Especially given his mixed campaign rhetoric on the Middle East: on one hand he promises to decimate ISIS (more or less accomplished) and on the other that our involvement over there is a mistake.

    Our enemies might start acting more reasonable once we start.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • The last man standing between the U.S. and war with Iran may be a four-star general affectionately known to his Marines as "Mad Dog." Gen. James Mattis, the secretary of defense, appears to be the last man in the Situation Room who believes the Iran nuclear deal may be worth preserving and that war with...
  • @Harold Smith
    "There’s no dishonesty or apparent dishonesty on my part. Just another mischaracterization on your part."

    LOL! You're lying; again. Your petty dishonesty is evident throughout this "discussion". You know I never said that you "made [the] statement" that "America is not collapsing now because it has never collapsed before".

    I said it was your "APPARENT" argument. It was what you implied.

    "Get it through your head. America has significant issues. It may or may not collapse."

    Get it through your head: America's decline is irreversible. Since the decline is irreversible, it is therefore collapsing, as it MUST.

    "You can assert all you want that corruption is THE major cause and cite numerous studies. You would be lending support to your argument."

    That corruption is the root cause of America's irreversible decline is painfully obvious to any reasonable person paying attention (sorry if that leaves you out).

    "Which is fine. But there are other factors involved that people legitimately can offer as well. You had cited some previously. Here are some additional reasons."

    (snip the first link)

    Why would you cite that article? That's a very poor essay which does nothing to support your position. To the extent the author's points are valid and relevant in the first place, they support my argument that America's decline is irreversible, directly or indirectly due to corruption.

    Let's look quickly at some of this hapless BS.


    "1. Productivity and wage growth have been decoupled...What this tells us is we’re able to produce more with less. Our businesses are more efficient, and we can get more out of our workers and raw inputs. That’s good for business owners but not necessarily for workers, who are no longer needed in high quantities. That means fewer jobs and more competition for the jobs that remain, which drives down wages."


    Taking this statement at face value, and doing some simple reasoning, the lower wages would be at least partly offset by the lower cost of the manufactured products. Also, other jobs are created since people are now needed to maintain the production machinery. Moreover, since production is now more efficient and prices drop, more manufactured items will be manufactured and sold, thus more service jobs will be created. Since the author doesn't mention any of these other things, he can't be taken very seriously, IMO.

    But to the extent he's correct, this situation is obviously irreversible; therefore it supports my position that the U.S. is in irreversible decline.


    "2. The basis of the economy has changed"

    This is a repeat of "1" with the added mention of "globalism". And there is an obvious corruption factor to "globalism." The off-shoring of U.S. manufacturing was a calculated act, designed to destroy the middle class; the socio-economic class from which political resistance to the overthrow of the constitution originates.


    "3. Education costs are skyrocketing...But as more people have started going to college, the cost has subsequently gone up significantly..."

    Funny that. What happened to the economy of scale? If there are 30 students in the classroom rather than 20, the cost per student should go down, not up. Why isn't it? For the same reason that it costs significantly more to educate a public school student in the U.S. than in Europe or Asia: Pure corruption at work here. Greed. Thanks for making my point. Corruption is trashing education in the U.S.

    "4. Income inequality is increasing"

    Well that's what happens when you trash the middle class. You can't have your cake and eat it too, right?


    "5. The government impedes businesses"

    LOL! So taking this at face value, if government exists ipso facto decline happens? Thus the decline is irreversible.

    "6. Isolationism changes the country’s image"

    ROTFL!

    "7. Life expectancy is rising"

    Wrong; not lately it isn't. But how do you explain the fact that U.S. life-expectancy went from the highest in the world in 1960, or something like that, to lagging behind 30 other countries today? There is only one explanation that fits the facts and that is CORRUPTION.

    But even if life-expectancy was rising, it's pure speculation to claim that this would contribute to America's decline. After all, what good is a longer life span without a longer health span to go with it?

    Finally if life-expectancy contributes to decline, why aren't Switzerland or Singapore in a state of decline? The both have significantly higher life-expectancy than America, and yet their economies are more stable, more competitive and with higher per-capita GDP. How do you explain that?


    "8. Retirement is out of reach"

    For many people, yes, and it's getting worse, but that's a consequence of America's corruption-driven collapse, not a cause.

    Your article is mostly BS, just like the rest of your nonsense; and to the extent it's not BS, it supports my position, not yours. Nice try though.

    More later if I get a chance.

    All you are resorting to now is deflection.

    “Get it through your head: America’s decline is irreversible. Since the decline is irreversible, it is therefore collapsing, as it MUST.”

    I get your opinion on this matter. Time to move on. Stay on task.

    “That corruption is the root cause of America’s irreversible decline is painfully obvious to any reasonable person paying attention (sorry if that leaves you out).”

    I get your opinion on this matter. Time to move on. Stay on task.

    Do you believe that “Christian virtue” is THE standard by which all other people must abide by? Yes or no–why.

    Is this massive spiritual revival squarely dependent upon people embracing “Christian virtue”? Yes or no–why.

    Do you believe I am morally incompetent and spiritually blind? Yes or no–why.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Harold Smith
    "All you are resorting to now is deflection."

    ROTFL! So, you're finally "throwing in the towel" are you? I think it's about time.

    I accept your resignation.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Corvinus
    "(Please try to keep your apparent dishonesty under control)"

    There's no dishonesty or apparent dishonesty on my part. Just another mischaracterization on your part.

    "Contrary to my assertion, you assert that America is not collapsing. And that’s what this “discussion” is about."

    Get it through your head. America has significant issues. It may or may not collapse. You can assert all you want that corruption is THE major cause and cite numerous studies. You would be lending support to your argument. Which is fine. But there are other factors involved that people legitimately can offer as well. You had cited some previously. Here are some additional reasons.

    https://www.cheatsheet.com/money-career/america-in-decline-reasons-the-american-dream-is-dying.html/?a=viewall

    http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/blog/10-reasons-us-declining

    People today debate in earnest and honestly about America's ills. If you have lost faith in people trying to reverse these trends, or that these trends will inevitably lead to America's "death", great. If you believe corruption is so massive, and the American people devoid of any moral fiber, that they lack the "spiritual renewal" to reverse course, that would be on you, not me. But, in the end, you are offering a position, one that is not the ultimate truth, but merely your line of thinking.

    Now, moving on, and staying on task, please respond to my inquiries, which are of complete relevance to our discussion. No hand waving, no beating around the bush.

    Do you believe that “Christian virtue” is THE standard by which all other people must abide by? Yes or no–why.

    Is this massive spiritual revival squarely dependent upon people embracing “Christian virtue”? Yes or no–why.

    Do you believe I am morally incompetent and spiritually blind? Yes or no–why.

    Concentrate...

    “There’s no dishonesty or apparent dishonesty on my part. Just another mischaracterization on your part.”

    LOL! You’re lying; again. Your petty dishonesty is evident throughout this “discussion”. You know I never said that you “made [the] statement” that “America is not collapsing now because it has never collapsed before”.

    I said it was your “APPARENT” argument. It was what you implied.

    “Get it through your head. America has significant issues. It may or may not collapse.”

    Get it through your head: America’s decline is irreversible. Since the decline is irreversible, it is therefore collapsing, as it MUST.

    “You can assert all you want that corruption is THE major cause and cite numerous studies. You would be lending support to your argument.”

    That corruption is the root cause of America’s irreversible decline is painfully obvious to any reasonable person paying attention (sorry if that leaves you out).

    “Which is fine. But there are other factors involved that people legitimately can offer as well. You had cited some previously. Here are some additional reasons.”

    (snip the first link)

    Why would you cite that article? That’s a very poor essay which does nothing to support your position. To the extent the author’s points are valid and relevant in the first place, they support my argument that America’s decline is irreversible, directly or indirectly due to corruption.

    Let’s look quickly at some of this hapless BS.

    “1. Productivity and wage growth have been decoupled…What this tells us is we’re able to produce more with less. Our businesses are more efficient, and we can get more out of our workers and raw inputs. That’s good for business owners but not necessarily for workers, who are no longer needed in high quantities. That means fewer jobs and more competition for the jobs that remain, which drives down wages.”

    Taking this statement at face value, and doing some simple reasoning, the lower wages would be at least partly offset by the lower cost of the manufactured products. Also, other jobs are created since people are now needed to maintain the production machinery. Moreover, since production is now more efficient and prices drop, more manufactured items will be manufactured and sold, thus more service jobs will be created. Since the author doesn’t mention any of these other things, he can’t be taken very seriously, IMO.

    But to the extent he’s correct, this situation is obviously irreversible; therefore it supports my position that the U.S. is in irreversible decline.

    “2. The basis of the economy has changed”

    This is a repeat of “1″ with the added mention of “globalism”. And there is an obvious corruption factor to “globalism.” The off-shoring of U.S. manufacturing was a calculated act, designed to destroy the middle class; the socio-economic class from which political resistance to the overthrow of the constitution originates.

    “3. Education costs are skyrocketing…But as more people have started going to college, the cost has subsequently gone up significantly…”

    Funny that. What happened to the economy of scale? If there are 30 students in the classroom rather than 20, the cost per student should go down, not up. Why isn’t it? For the same reason that it costs significantly more to educate a public school student in the U.S. than in Europe or Asia: Pure corruption at work here. Greed. Thanks for making my point. Corruption is trashing education in the U.S.

    “4. Income inequality is increasing”

    Well that’s what happens when you trash the middle class. You can’t have your cake and eat it too, right?

    “5. The government impedes businesses”

    LOL! So taking this at face value, if government exists ipso facto decline happens? Thus the decline is irreversible.

    “6. Isolationism changes the country’s image”

    ROTFL!

    “7. Life expectancy is rising”

    Wrong; not lately it isn’t. But how do you explain the fact that U.S. life-expectancy went from the highest in the world in 1960, or something like that, to lagging behind 30 other countries today? There is only one explanation that fits the facts and that is CORRUPTION.

    But even if life-expectancy was rising, it’s pure speculation to claim that this would contribute to America’s decline. After all, what good is a longer life span without a longer health span to go with it?

    Finally if life-expectancy contributes to decline, why aren’t Switzerland or Singapore in a state of decline? The both have significantly higher life-expectancy than America, and yet their economies are more stable, more competitive and with higher per-capita GDP. How do you explain that?

    “8. Retirement is out of reach”

    For many people, yes, and it’s getting worse, but that’s a consequence of America’s corruption-driven collapse, not a cause.

    Your article is mostly BS, just like the rest of your nonsense; and to the extent it’s not BS, it supports my position, not yours. Nice try though.

    More later if I get a chance.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Corvinus
    All you are resorting to now is deflection.

    "Get it through your head: America’s decline is irreversible. Since the decline is irreversible, it is therefore collapsing, as it MUST."

    I get your opinion on this matter. Time to move on. Stay on task.

    "That corruption is the root cause of America’s irreversible decline is painfully obvious to any reasonable person paying attention (sorry if that leaves you out)."

    I get your opinion on this matter. Time to move on. Stay on task.

    Do you believe that “Christian virtue” is THE standard by which all other people must abide by? Yes or no–why.

    Is this massive spiritual revival squarely dependent upon people embracing “Christian virtue”? Yes or no–why.

    Do you believe I am morally incompetent and spiritually blind? Yes or no–why.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Harold Smith
    "America is not collapsing now because it has never collapsed before'

    I never made that statement. I said, 'As I stated earlier, throughout our history America has experienced significant issues–see 'Gilded Age'."

    I didn't say you made that statement. I said it is your APPARENT argument. You clearly implied it. (Please try to keep your apparent dishonesty under control).

    "Again, for you to describe the problems as being insoluble, that would be an assertion on your part, not fact and certainly not truth."

    Yes, of course it is an assertion on my part. For that matter I also assert that today is Tuesday April 3. And in each case my assertions are based on observation and reasoning.

    You also made an "assertion". Contrary to my assertion, you assert that America is not collapsing. And that's what this "discussion" is about. And in support of your assertion you IMPLIEDLY argue that it is not collapsing because it has never collapsed before.

    "'Whether or not the 'trends' are irreversible depends on what’s causing them. Do you dispute that?

    Assuming that the causes will lead to something that is irreversible."

    LOL! Are you now implying that there is no such thing as a "cause" that would lead to an irreversible result? Perhaps a simple example will clear things up? Let's say "Bill" is sick in bed. Will he recover or will he die? That depends on what made him sick, right? If "Bill" is sick because he has the flu then he will most likely recover; whereas if he is sick because his wife put a lethal dose of poison in his food, then he will most likely not recover. I hope that little analogy helps.

    "'And the direct or indirect cause of most, if not all of these destructive 'trends' is massive corruption.'

    Massive corruption is one of several causes. It being THE cause is up for legitimate debate."

    Simple observation and reasoning shows that corruption is THE PRIMARY CAUSE of America's decline. Nothing else can adequately explain it. If the evidence you get from your own eyes will not suffice, there are peer reviewed studies available showing the massive corruption in the health care industry, the public school industry, etc.

    But it won't matter what argument I make or what studies I cite, you will disagree because it's clear that you're just being contrary.

    You disagree that corruption is the primary cause of America's decline? Then what are some of the other corruption-independent causes?

    "'And the only cure for such corruption would be a massive spiritual revival. Do you dispute that?'

    Let’s try again. This time, stay focused."

    Let's try. I'll try to stay focused if you try to be honest for a change. Can we begin by having you answer the question? The only cure for massive corruption would be a massive spiritual revival, do you dispute that?

    "Do you believe that 'Christian virtue' is THE standard by which all other people must abide by? Yes or no–why."

    That's a very poorly posed (and not very relevant) question. First of all why MUST people abide by anything? You're free to go on a rampage today if you feel like it, right? You can slaughter your neighbors, steal their possessions, abuse their wives, daughters, etc. Tell me what's stopping you from doing that? Is there such a thing as "right" and "wrong" when it comes to your behavior or human behavior in general?

    "Is this massive spiritual revival squarely dependent upon people embracing “Christian virtue”? Yes or no–why."

    If you look around in this corrupt contemporary American society, you see one constant theme: people screwing other people over.

    You see corrupt public employee unions using government power to rob their neighbors. You see a corrupt pharmaceutical industry and a corrupt health care industry pushing expensive, ineffectual, and many times dangerous, drugs. You see corrupt police departments doing ticket quotas and asset forfeitures. You see school boards padding their budgets and making people homeless, etc.

    And of course the U.S. government is a prime example. Whether it be killing people with bombs and missiles in Syria, staging coups to overthrow other governments, supporting terrorists, enabling a genocidal war in Yemen, deploying a missile system near Russia's borders, etc., the U.S. government goes all over the world interfering into the affairs of other sovereign countries. The U.S. government does things to other countries that it would never allow other countries to do here.

    You see this kind of evil EVERYWHERE in America today; do whatever you want. Anything you do to get ahead is okay. It's not just tolerated, it's celebrated; in fact it seems to almost have become a "requirement" in certain contexts.

    Christians endeavor to love their neighbors as themselves, i.e. "do unto others...". But this "Golden Rule" or "Doctrine of Reciprocity" or whatever you want to call it isn't unique to Christianity. In fact this moral sentiment predates Christianity; it's a maxim common to many cultures and religions.

    How can you have a successful society without it? You obviously can't. Do you dispute this?

    “(Please try to keep your apparent dishonesty under control)”

    There’s no dishonesty or apparent dishonesty on my part. Just another mischaracterization on your part.

    “Contrary to my assertion, you assert that America is not collapsing. And that’s what this “discussion” is about.”

    Get it through your head. America has significant issues. It may or may not collapse. You can assert all you want that corruption is THE major cause and cite numerous studies. You would be lending support to your argument. Which is fine. But there are other factors involved that people legitimately can offer as well. You had cited some previously. Here are some additional reasons.

    https://www.cheatsheet.com/money-career/america-in-decline-reasons-the-american-dream-is-dying.html/?a=viewall

    http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/blog/10-reasons-us-declining

    People today debate in earnest and honestly about America’s ills. If you have lost faith in people trying to reverse these trends, or that these trends will inevitably lead to America’s “death”, great. If you believe corruption is so massive, and the American people devoid of any moral fiber, that they lack the “spiritual renewal” to reverse course, that would be on you, not me. But, in the end, you are offering a position, one that is not the ultimate truth, but merely your line of thinking.

    Now, moving on, and staying on task, please respond to my inquiries, which are of complete relevance to our discussion. No hand waving, no beating around the bush.

    Do you believe that “Christian virtue” is THE standard by which all other people must abide by? Yes or no–why.

    Is this massive spiritual revival squarely dependent upon people embracing “Christian virtue”? Yes or no–why.

    Do you believe I am morally incompetent and spiritually blind? Yes or no–why.

    Concentrate…

    Read More
    • Replies: @Harold Smith
    "There’s no dishonesty or apparent dishonesty on my part. Just another mischaracterization on your part."

    LOL! You're lying; again. Your petty dishonesty is evident throughout this "discussion". You know I never said that you "made [the] statement" that "America is not collapsing now because it has never collapsed before".

    I said it was your "APPARENT" argument. It was what you implied.

    "Get it through your head. America has significant issues. It may or may not collapse."

    Get it through your head: America's decline is irreversible. Since the decline is irreversible, it is therefore collapsing, as it MUST.

    "You can assert all you want that corruption is THE major cause and cite numerous studies. You would be lending support to your argument."

    That corruption is the root cause of America's irreversible decline is painfully obvious to any reasonable person paying attention (sorry if that leaves you out).

    "Which is fine. But there are other factors involved that people legitimately can offer as well. You had cited some previously. Here are some additional reasons."

    (snip the first link)

    Why would you cite that article? That's a very poor essay which does nothing to support your position. To the extent the author's points are valid and relevant in the first place, they support my argument that America's decline is irreversible, directly or indirectly due to corruption.

    Let's look quickly at some of this hapless BS.


    "1. Productivity and wage growth have been decoupled...What this tells us is we’re able to produce more with less. Our businesses are more efficient, and we can get more out of our workers and raw inputs. That’s good for business owners but not necessarily for workers, who are no longer needed in high quantities. That means fewer jobs and more competition for the jobs that remain, which drives down wages."


    Taking this statement at face value, and doing some simple reasoning, the lower wages would be at least partly offset by the lower cost of the manufactured products. Also, other jobs are created since people are now needed to maintain the production machinery. Moreover, since production is now more efficient and prices drop, more manufactured items will be manufactured and sold, thus more service jobs will be created. Since the author doesn't mention any of these other things, he can't be taken very seriously, IMO.

    But to the extent he's correct, this situation is obviously irreversible; therefore it supports my position that the U.S. is in irreversible decline.


    "2. The basis of the economy has changed"

    This is a repeat of "1" with the added mention of "globalism". And there is an obvious corruption factor to "globalism." The off-shoring of U.S. manufacturing was a calculated act, designed to destroy the middle class; the socio-economic class from which political resistance to the overthrow of the constitution originates.


    "3. Education costs are skyrocketing...But as more people have started going to college, the cost has subsequently gone up significantly..."

    Funny that. What happened to the economy of scale? If there are 30 students in the classroom rather than 20, the cost per student should go down, not up. Why isn't it? For the same reason that it costs significantly more to educate a public school student in the U.S. than in Europe or Asia: Pure corruption at work here. Greed. Thanks for making my point. Corruption is trashing education in the U.S.

    "4. Income inequality is increasing"

    Well that's what happens when you trash the middle class. You can't have your cake and eat it too, right?


    "5. The government impedes businesses"

    LOL! So taking this at face value, if government exists ipso facto decline happens? Thus the decline is irreversible.

    "6. Isolationism changes the country’s image"

    ROTFL!

    "7. Life expectancy is rising"

    Wrong; not lately it isn't. But how do you explain the fact that U.S. life-expectancy went from the highest in the world in 1960, or something like that, to lagging behind 30 other countries today? There is only one explanation that fits the facts and that is CORRUPTION.

    But even if life-expectancy was rising, it's pure speculation to claim that this would contribute to America's decline. After all, what good is a longer life span without a longer health span to go with it?

    Finally if life-expectancy contributes to decline, why aren't Switzerland or Singapore in a state of decline? The both have significantly higher life-expectancy than America, and yet their economies are more stable, more competitive and with higher per-capita GDP. How do you explain that?


    "8. Retirement is out of reach"

    For many people, yes, and it's getting worse, but that's a consequence of America's corruption-driven collapse, not a cause.

    Your article is mostly BS, just like the rest of your nonsense; and to the extent it's not BS, it supports my position, not yours. Nice try though.

    More later if I get a chance.

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  • Armed conflict between the US and Iran is becoming more probable by the day as super-hawks replace hawks in the Trump administration. The new National Security Adviser, John Bolton, has called for the US to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal of 2015 and advocated immediate regime change in Tehran. The new Secretary of State,...
  • @Anonymous
    Perhaps Mr. Cockburn has missed the plot this time. All this sabre rattling is good for business, and Mr. Trump has certainly indicated business is a good thing. Price of oil goes up. US sells more weapons. Simply by bring in Bolton, it puts everyone on notice that Mr. Trump is "really serious" about "the awful Iran deal". He's staking out a strong negotiating position, eventually the Iranians will grow so weary of worry, they'll cut a deal somehow. What's the proof? Just look at N. Korea. Looks like they can't get a deal fast enough. Spin the wheel. Roll the dice.

    Bring it on!
    Ameruca talks when it knows opening mouth will hurt less than moving its legs.

    NK was not begging to talk .It gave more than one opportunities for US to strike at NK.

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  • The last man standing between the U.S. and war with Iran may be a four-star general affectionately known to his Marines as "Mad Dog." Gen. James Mattis, the secretary of defense, appears to be the last man in the Situation Room who believes the Iran nuclear deal may be worth preserving and that war with...
  • @reiner Tor

    It will come through Iraq and by sea
     
    Iraq is actually an Iranian ally. Sort of, anyway. All kinds of contingencies can and probably will happen. Like Iraq refusing to allow American troops to build up for the attack. Or suddenly raise objections and create obstacles while the operation is already underway, or shortly before.

    Like Iraq refusing to allow American troops to build up for the attack.

    You mean a puppet regime in a broken country controlled by US and already having plenty of US military presence doing that? O.K…..

    My take on possible war with Iran, as stated plenty of times before here:
    It shall happen save some major change in the world or US. Don’t see that change happening soon.

    What is given:
    The average Iranians will have a Hell on Earth.
    The US underclass will get another shit sandwich to swallow.

    And there will be winners in all that, as in all wars so far, unless it goes MAD which I believe it will not.

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  • “America is not collapsing now because it has never collapsed before’

    I never made that statement. I said, ‘As I stated earlier, throughout our history America has experienced significant issues–see ‘Gilded Age’.”

    I didn’t say you made that statement. I said it is your APPARENT argument. You clearly implied it. (Please try to keep your apparent dishonesty under control).

    “Again, for you to describe the problems as being insoluble, that would be an assertion on your part, not fact and certainly not truth.”

    Yes, of course it is an assertion on my part. For that matter I also assert that today is Tuesday April 3. And in each case my assertions are based on observation and reasoning.

    You also made an “assertion”. Contrary to my assertion, you assert that America is not collapsing. And that’s what this “discussion” is about. And in support of your assertion you IMPLIEDLY argue that it is not collapsing because it has never collapsed before.

    “‘Whether or not the ‘trends’ are irreversible depends on what’s causing them. Do you dispute that?

    Assuming that the causes will lead to something that is irreversible.”

    LOL! Are you now implying that there is no such thing as a “cause” that would lead to an irreversible result? Perhaps a simple example will clear things up? Let’s say “Bill” is sick in bed. Will he recover or will he die? That depends on what made him sick, right? If “Bill” is sick because he has the flu then he will most likely recover; whereas if he is sick because his wife put a lethal dose of poison in his food, then he will most likely not recover. I hope that little analogy helps.

    “‘And the direct or indirect cause of most, if not all of these destructive ‘trends’ is massive corruption.’

    Massive corruption is one of several causes. It being THE cause is up for legitimate debate.”

    Simple observation and reasoning shows that corruption is THE PRIMARY CAUSE of America’s decline. Nothing else can adequately explain it. If the evidence you get from your own eyes will not suffice, there are peer reviewed studies available showing the massive corruption in the health care industry, the public school industry, etc.

    But it won’t matter what argument I make or what studies I cite, you will disagree because it’s clear that you’re just being contrary.

    You disagree that corruption is the primary cause of America’s decline? Then what are some of the other corruption-independent causes?

    “‘And the only cure for such corruption would be a massive spiritual revival. Do you dispute that?’

    Let’s try again. This time, stay focused.”

    Let’s try. I’ll try to stay focused if you try to be honest for a change. Can we begin by having you answer the question? The only cure for massive corruption would be a massive spiritual revival, do you dispute that?

    “Do you believe that ‘Christian virtue’ is THE standard by which all other people must abide by? Yes or no–why.”

    That’s a very poorly posed (and not very relevant) question. First of all why MUST people abide by anything? You’re free to go on a rampage today if you feel like it, right? You can slaughter your neighbors, steal their possessions, abuse their wives, daughters, etc. Tell me what’s stopping you from doing that? Is there such a thing as “right” and “wrong” when it comes to your behavior or human behavior in general?

    “Is this massive spiritual revival squarely dependent upon people embracing “Christian virtue”? Yes or no–why.”

    If you look around in this corrupt contemporary American society, you see one constant theme: people screwing other people over.

    You see corrupt public employee unions using government power to rob their neighbors. You see a corrupt pharmaceutical industry and a corrupt health care industry pushing expensive, ineffectual, and many times dangerous, drugs. You see corrupt police departments doing ticket quotas and asset forfeitures. You see school boards padding their budgets and making people homeless, etc.

    And of course the U.S. government is a prime example. Whether it be killing people with bombs and missiles in Syria, staging coups to overthrow other governments, supporting terrorists, enabling a genocidal war in Yemen, deploying a missile system near Russia’s borders, etc., the U.S. government goes all over the world interfering into the affairs of other sovereign countries. The U.S. government does things to other countries that it would never allow other countries to do here.

    You see this kind of evil EVERYWHERE in America today; do whatever you want. Anything you do to get ahead is okay. It’s not just tolerated, it’s celebrated; in fact it seems to almost have become a “requirement” in certain contexts.

    Christians endeavor to love their neighbors as themselves, i.e. “do unto others…”. But this “Golden Rule” or “Doctrine of Reciprocity” or whatever you want to call it isn’t unique to Christianity. In fact this moral sentiment predates Christianity; it’s a maxim common to many cultures and religions.

    How can you have a successful society without it? You obviously can’t. Do you dispute this?

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    • Replies: @Corvinus
    "(Please try to keep your apparent dishonesty under control)"

    There's no dishonesty or apparent dishonesty on my part. Just another mischaracterization on your part.

    "Contrary to my assertion, you assert that America is not collapsing. And that’s what this “discussion” is about."

    Get it through your head. America has significant issues. It may or may not collapse. You can assert all you want that corruption is THE major cause and cite numerous studies. You would be lending support to your argument. Which is fine. But there are other factors involved that people legitimately can offer as well. You had cited some previously. Here are some additional reasons.

    https://www.cheatsheet.com/money-career/america-in-decline-reasons-the-american-dream-is-dying.html/?a=viewall

    http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/blog/10-reasons-us-declining

    People today debate in earnest and honestly about America's ills. If you have lost faith in people trying to reverse these trends, or that these trends will inevitably lead to America's "death", great. If you believe corruption is so massive, and the American people devoid of any moral fiber, that they lack the "spiritual renewal" to reverse course, that would be on you, not me. But, in the end, you are offering a position, one that is not the ultimate truth, but merely your line of thinking.

    Now, moving on, and staying on task, please respond to my inquiries, which are of complete relevance to our discussion. No hand waving, no beating around the bush.

    Do you believe that “Christian virtue” is THE standard by which all other people must abide by? Yes or no–why.

    Is this massive spiritual revival squarely dependent upon people embracing “Christian virtue”? Yes or no–why.

    Do you believe I am morally incompetent and spiritually blind? Yes or no–why.

    Concentrate...
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  • Armed conflict between the US and Iran is becoming more probable by the day as super-hawks replace hawks in the Trump administration. The new National Security Adviser, John Bolton, has called for the US to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal of 2015 and advocated immediate regime change in Tehran. The new Secretary of State,...
  • anonymous[204] • Disclaimer says:

    Why this embedded journalist is only interested in spreading the Western intelligence services against people of the middle east and not revealing the West and its dog Israel’s crimes against humanity? Why he does not write on Israel’s crimes against Palestinians, but only stays on the traitor kurds and their cooperation with the AXIS OF EVIL US-Israel-UK, copying the lies of US-Britain-Israel on Bashar Assad or Iraqis to fool people for the Western geopolitical interest?

    Don’t trust the embedded journalists and expose them all over the world.

    This is his description on the net:

    [Patrick Oliver Cockburn (/ˈkoʊbɜːrn/ KOH-burn; born 5 March 1950) is an Irish journalist who has been a Middle East correspondent for the Financial Times since 1979 and, from 1990,]

    Is apartheid entity not part of the Middle east????????

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  • The last man standing between the U.S. and war with Iran may be a four-star general affectionately known to his Marines as "Mad Dog." Gen. James Mattis, the secretary of defense, appears to be the last man in the Situation Room who believes the Iran nuclear deal may be worth preserving and that war with...
  • @Harold Smith
    "YOU believe these trends are irreversible."

    Whether or not the "trends" are irreversible depends on what's causing them. Do you dispute that? And the direct or indirect cause of most, if not all of these destructive "trends" is massive corruption. Do you dispute that? And the only cure for such corruption would be a massive spiritual revival. Do you dispute that?

    "Anyone who says otherwise, to YOU, is dishonest."

    Anyone who says otherwise, apparently just for the sake of saying otherwise, without proffering any meaningful counterargument, while ignoring the painfully obvious corruption that touches every aspect of life in the U.S., is being dishonest, IMO.


    "YOU automatically dismiss any alternative point of view."

    I automatically dismiss any alternative point of view (such as yours) that has no substantive argument in support of it. Unfortunately your apparent "argument" that "America is not collapsing now because it has never collapsed before" doesn't rise to the level of substantive.


    "It is intellectually sterile on your part here."

    I'm sorry, but your lack of an argument and your studious refusal to accept the obvious, reflects poorly on you, not on me.

    “America is not collapsing now because it has never collapsed before”

    I never made that statement. I said, “As I stated earlier, throughout our history America has experienced significant issues–see “Gilded Age’. People at that time felt reforms could not ‘save’ the United States. They were proven wrong. Again, for you to describe the problems as being insoluble, that would be an assertion on your part, not fact and certainly not truth.”

    “Whether or not the “trends” are irreversible depends on what’s causing them. Do you dispute that?”

    Assuming that the causes will lead to something that is irreversible.

    “And the direct or indirect cause of most, if not all of these destructive “trends” is massive corruption.”

    Massive corruption is one of several causes. It being THE cause is up for legitimate debate.

    “And the only cure for such corruption would be a massive spiritual revival. Do you dispute that?”

    Let’s try again. This time, stay focused.

    Do you believe that “Christian virtue” is THE standard by which all other people must abide by? Yes or no–why.

    Is this massive spiritual revival squarely dependent upon people embracing “Christian virtue”? Yes or no–why.

    Do you believe I am morally incompetent and spiritually blind? Yes or no–why.

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  • @peterAUS

    ...an invasion has to come by sea or air (unless it comes through Iraq) and the buildup has to be at least as large as for the Iraq war (i.e. very large).
     
    It will come through Iraq and by sea; air (tactical) part will be integrated into those two.
    And the buildup is the key in all this. We aren't seeing it.............

    Well, that's by the book.

    Now...looking at the current elites and decision makers in Washington, is it really unlikely that they could start a serious confrontation with Iran without any serious thought ?

    I'd say "yes".

    I base that on how Trump won the election and how he's been managing his Presidency since.
    And actually all this shit in USA since the election.

    We are not ruled by smart puppet masters.
    Just look at them..........

    We are in uncharted waters here.

    It will come through Iraq and by sea

    Iraq is actually an Iranian ally. Sort of, anyway. All kinds of contingencies can and probably will happen. Like Iraq refusing to allow American troops to build up for the attack. Or suddenly raise objections and create obstacles while the operation is already underway, or shortly before.

    Read More
    • Replies: @peterAUS

    Like Iraq refusing to allow American troops to build up for the attack.
     
    You mean a puppet regime in a broken country controlled by US and already having plenty of US military presence doing that? O.K.....

    My take on possible war with Iran, as stated plenty of times before here:
    It shall happen save some major change in the world or US. Don't see that change happening soon.

    What is given:
    The average Iranians will have a Hell on Earth.
    The US underclass will get another shit sandwich to swallow.

    And there will be winners in all that, as in all wars so far, unless it goes MAD which I believe it will not.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Miro23

    It will come through Iraq and by sea; air (tactical) part will be integrated into those two.
    And the buildup is the key in all this. We aren’t seeing it………….
     
    That's true enough. There's the same Washington Neo-con war fever as pre-Iraq so the possibilities seem to be:

    1) We're waiting for the False Flag. The buildup comes after this.
    2) We're waiting for the False Flag. A purely aerial (missile and bombing) destruction of Iran follows without an invasion.

    The problem with 1) is that the US military is already over stretched, and probably couldn't mount an Iraqi scale invasion even if they wanted to, which suggests that the answer is 2), the aerial destruction of Iran.

    But 2) also has its problems - the missile/anti-missile question, and the exposure of launch ships/bases, plus, of course, possible Russian involvement and the risk of escalation.

    So, altogether an unbelievably stupid and dangerous project for the US, with plenty of potential political blowback domestically (we didn't vote for this) and in Europe (you broke our Joint Iran Nuclear Treaty) - not to mention from Russia and China.

    But 2) also has its problems….

    The biggest is the blocking of Hormuz.
    Or, who knows, maybe that’s something Washington wouldn’t mind. Hard to say. Hell, hard to say anything about what’s going on there and what could be going on in near future.

    And, as for false flag, not really.
    Washington can make happen a real attack, by Iran, on some ship or shooting down a plane. All they need to do is start provoking.
    Manufacturing “casus belli” shouldn’t be a problem for US elites.
    I mean….last time Trump did something stupid with weapons his ratings jumped up. And that was launching into the area with Russians.

    Voting you say?
    I am absolutely positive, should Washington launch any sort of conflict save direct with Russia and China, we’ll see again “support the troops”.
    Hell, Obama had TWO terms to pull out of Afghanistan and Iraq and he was elected into office based on “anti-Bush wars” mantra.

    I am not saying that the war with Iran is given.
    I am saying that the decision about it will be made solely based on US internal power play and politics. And so far all that has been simply chaotic.

    Dangerous uncertainty, we have zero control over, is the world we live in.

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  • @peterAUS

    ...an invasion has to come by sea or air (unless it comes through Iraq) and the buildup has to be at least as large as for the Iraq war (i.e. very large).
     
    It will come through Iraq and by sea; air (tactical) part will be integrated into those two.
    And the buildup is the key in all this. We aren't seeing it.............

    Well, that's by the book.

    Now...looking at the current elites and decision makers in Washington, is it really unlikely that they could start a serious confrontation with Iran without any serious thought ?

    I'd say "yes".

    I base that on how Trump won the election and how he's been managing his Presidency since.
    And actually all this shit in USA since the election.

    We are not ruled by smart puppet masters.
    Just look at them..........

    We are in uncharted waters here.

    It will come through Iraq and by sea; air (tactical) part will be integrated into those two.
    And the buildup is the key in all this. We aren’t seeing it………….

    That’s true enough. There’s the same Washington Neo-con war fever as pre-Iraq so the possibilities seem to be:

    1) We’re waiting for the False Flag. The buildup comes after this.
    2) We’re waiting for the False Flag. A purely aerial (missile and bombing) destruction of Iran follows without an invasion.

    The problem with 1) is that the US military is already over stretched, and probably couldn’t mount an Iraqi scale invasion even if they wanted to, which suggests that the answer is 2), the aerial destruction of Iran.

    But 2) also has its problems – the missile/anti-missile question, and the exposure of launch ships/bases, plus, of course, possible Russian involvement and the risk of escalation.

    So, altogether an unbelievably stupid and dangerous project for the US, with plenty of potential political blowback domestically (we didn’t vote for this) and in Europe (you broke our Joint Iran Nuclear Treaty) – not to mention from Russia and China.

    Read More
    • Agree: RadicalCenter
    • Replies: @peterAUS

    But 2) also has its problems....
     
    The biggest is the blocking of Hormuz.
    Or, who knows, maybe that's something Washington wouldn't mind. Hard to say. Hell, hard to say anything about what's going on there and what could be going on in near future.

    And, as for false flag, not really.
    Washington can make happen a real attack, by Iran, on some ship or shooting down a plane. All they need to do is start provoking.
    Manufacturing "casus belli" shouldn't be a problem for US elites.
    I mean....last time Trump did something stupid with weapons his ratings jumped up. And that was launching into the area with Russians.

    Voting you say?
    I am absolutely positive, should Washington launch any sort of conflict save direct with Russia and China, we'll see again "support the troops".
    Hell, Obama had TWO terms to pull out of Afghanistan and Iraq and he was elected into office based on "anti-Bush wars" mantra.

    I am not saying that the war with Iran is given.
    I am saying that the decision about it will be made solely based on US internal power play and politics. And so far all that has been simply chaotic.

    Dangerous uncertainty, we have zero control over, is the world we live in.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Corvinus
    "There you go again with another ridiculous strawman, implying that “Christian virtue”, e.g., trying to be honest with yourself and others, is some kind of esoteric, irrelevant, pie in the sky."

    There you go again completely mischaracterizing my statement. It's really simple. Do you believe that "Christian virtue" is THE standard by which all other people must abide by? Yes or no--why.

    "When I referred to you as an example to make the point that I have no control over your moral incompetence and your spiritual blindness..."

    Just stop. Do you believe I am morally incompetent and spiritually blind? Yes or no--why.

    "And being that it’s painfully obviously irreversible, yet you refuse to admit it, you’re being dishonest."

    YOU believe these trends are irreversible. Anyone who says otherwise, to YOU, is dishonest. YOU automatically dismiss any alternative point of view. It is intellectually sterile on your part here.

    “YOU believe these trends are irreversible.”

    Whether or not the “trends” are irreversible depends on what’s causing them. Do you dispute that? And the direct or indirect cause of most, if not all of these destructive “trends” is massive corruption. Do you dispute that? And the only cure for such corruption would be a massive spiritual revival. Do you dispute that?

    “Anyone who says otherwise, to YOU, is dishonest.”

    Anyone who says otherwise, apparently just for the sake of saying otherwise, without proffering any meaningful counterargument, while ignoring the painfully obvious corruption that touches every aspect of life in the U.S., is being dishonest, IMO.

    “YOU automatically dismiss any alternative point of view.”

    I automatically dismiss any alternative point of view (such as yours) that has no substantive argument in support of it. Unfortunately your apparent “argument” that “America is not collapsing now because it has never collapsed before” doesn’t rise to the level of substantive.

    “It is intellectually sterile on your part here.”

    I’m sorry, but your lack of an argument and your studious refusal to accept the obvious, reflects poorly on you, not on me.

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    • Replies: @Corvinus
    “America is not collapsing now because it has never collapsed before”

    I never made that statement. I said, "As I stated earlier, throughout our history America has experienced significant issues–see “Gilded Age’. People at that time felt reforms could not ‘save’ the United States. They were proven wrong. Again, for you to describe the problems as being insoluble, that would be an assertion on your part, not fact and certainly not truth.”

    "Whether or not the “trends” are irreversible depends on what’s causing them. Do you dispute that?"

    Assuming that the causes will lead to something that is irreversible.

    "And the direct or indirect cause of most, if not all of these destructive “trends” is massive corruption."

    Massive corruption is one of several causes. It being THE cause is up for legitimate debate.

    "And the only cure for such corruption would be a massive spiritual revival. Do you dispute that?"

    Let's try again. This time, stay focused.

    Do you believe that “Christian virtue” is THE standard by which all other people must abide by? Yes or no–why.

    Is this massive spiritual revival squarely dependent upon people embracing "Christian virtue"? Yes or no--why.

    Do you believe I am morally incompetent and spiritually blind? Yes or no–why.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Sean
    The Russians are committed in the Ukraine and serious support for the Iranian Regime would see the US giving crucial extra backing to the Ukrainian government forces.

    US program for crushing Iran
    Phase one: They will start with limited raids on suspected nuclear facilities to humiliate Iran, and extreme sanctions that will destroy the prospects of the disproportionately young middle class, thus creating discontent.

    Phase two: Covert military action against Iran will be designed to humiliate it and splinter minority statelets off of it (Iran is not immune to this).

    Phase three: The leaders of Iran having been made to look totally unable to uphold the integrity of the country or provide a standard of living for its population, an uprising will start.

    Phase four: To protect innocent civilians, the US will intervene and destroy the Iranian armed forces.

    Does anyone know how concentrated the Azeri population is in a particular corner of Iran?

    How well are the Azeris assimilated? Do most Azeris in Iran feel loyalty to Iran as a nation and a culture?

    Would the Azeris take the chance to break off a chunk of Iran for themselves if an outside power like the USA provided serious armaments and support?

    Would Azerbaijan (with the approval of big brother Turkey) send arms and volunteers to help an Azeri separatist revolution in Iran if it looked like they could win and gravely damage rival Iran?

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  • Armed conflict between the US and Iran is becoming more probable by the day as super-hawks replace hawks in the Trump administration. The new National Security Adviser, John Bolton, has called for the US to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal of 2015 and advocated immediate regime change in Tehran. The new Secretary of State,...
  • Trump is not going to take the U.S. into a un-necessary war of invasion in Iran or anywhere else. It is not in his nature. If you read his books he talks at great length about the mistake of Iraq and the mistake of getting deeply involved in an interventionist manner in the Middle-East. Or anywhere else for that matter. He may exit the Iran nuclear deal but that is only because it is a rotten deal not worth the paper it’s written on. Iran was cheating on the deal before the ink was dry. And as far as a war in any theater of the world that was much more likely had Hillary won the presidency. She is a noted hawk not necessarily a Neocon but a blatant hawk nevertheless. In my opinion Trump is one of the most level headed politicians of his time when it comes to foreign policy and or war. Now if we are attacked in our homeland that is a different story. But war just to change the power structure of certain countries is not likely with Trump as president. Is he bellicose in his rhetoric yeah at times but that is only for effect ——— notice North Korea is now ready to seriously talk. Something they never did under Obama and or Bush. Trump imposing new sanction on Iran is a long way from all out war and believe it or not something the Iranians fear a great deal.

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  • The last man standing between the U.S. and war with Iran may be a four-star general affectionately known to his Marines as "Mad Dog." Gen. James Mattis, the secretary of defense, appears to be the last man in the Situation Room who believes the Iran nuclear deal may be worth preserving and that war with...
  • @RadicalCenter
    Interesting comment, as usual.

    But I'd firmly reject the notion that Russian has nothing but land. It's hard to understand this claim given the enormous proven reserves of oil, natural gas, and commercially/industrially valuable minerals in Russia.

    As for war as a means of gaining territory being obsolete, what exactly is Turkey doing right now in occupying part of Syria? Turkey surely wants to kill some battle-experienced Kurds, prevent the formation/continuation of a de facto Kurdish State near Turkey, and prevent the Kurds on the Syrian and Iraqi sides from linking up with the millions of Kurds living in Turkey.

    I hit send before finished…… Clearly Turkey has non-territorial reasons for its incursion into Syrian territory. But there’s no reason to think that Turkey won’t simply keep its troops there longer-term, and eventually try to make that land effectively part of Turkey, if the USA or Russia don’t deter or threaten Turkey out of doing so.

    No way is war for territory a thing of the past. There’s no “end of history” in this respect like so many others. War for land — and especially war for WATER — will continue and likely intensify as the planet becomes more overcrowded relative to clean water supplies.

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  • @Sean

    Under your theory of surrender to terrorists (like the US), Russia should never use nukes, even if it is losing.
     
    According to me, Russia should say it would use nukes and that is what Putin is doing. Tis a bluff just like Cold War Nato implying they would use nukes to stop o Soviet invasion of western Europe, which the Soviets never had any intention or plan for anyway. The armed forces may think differently, but they are dreaming and the order would not be given.

    What people do and what they say they will do (to frighten anyone from testing them) are different. Russia talks big because it is relatively weak and getting weaker. The US is secure and does not have to be strident. Neither one would use nukes, both could reasonably expect to fight and win any conventional attack on its homeland. War to conquer territory as Hitler tried is obsolete and Russia has nothing else but land, so no one is going to invade them for that reason. Russia must inevitably fall under the sway of America and become part of an alliance against the mega power that China is destined to become. China might slap the Russians down by a conventional offensive.
    Jeremy Black writes


    The vulnerability of the Russian Far East to Chinese attack from Manchuria makes the situation very different to operating into Siberia. For the Chinese, an advance overland to the Sea of Okhotsk in order to cut off the region, followed by the capture of Vladivostok might appear a tempting 'small war'...
     
    There is not going to be any nuclear exchange because the US is not going to start one, and as already stated the US is not going to attack Russia with nukes under any circumstances. Kissinger was brought in to explain the facts of life to President Ray-gun, and Reagan was advised by Kissinger to never initiate the use of nuclear weapons.

    Interesting comment, as usual.

    But I’d firmly reject the notion that Russian has nothing but land. It’s hard to understand this claim given the enormous proven reserves of oil, natural gas, and commercially/industrially valuable minerals in Russia.

    As for war as a means of gaining territory being obsolete, what exactly is Turkey doing right now in occupying part of Syria? Turkey surely wants to kill some battle-experienced Kurds, prevent the formation/continuation of a de facto Kurdish State near Turkey, and prevent the Kurds on the Syrian and Iraqi sides from linking up with the millions of Kurds living in Turkey.

    Read More
    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    I hit send before finished...... Clearly Turkey has non-territorial reasons for its incursion into Syrian territory. But there's no reason to think that Turkey won't simply keep its troops there longer-term, and eventually try to make that land effectively part of Turkey, if the USA or Russia don't deter or threaten Turkey out of doing so.

    No way is war for territory a thing of the past. There's no "end of history" in this respect like so many others. War for land -- and especially war for WATER -- will continue and likely intensify as the planet becomes more overcrowded relative to clean water supplies.
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  • @Miro23

    You’re forgetting one point, Iran will wipe KSA off the map.

    Another issue, how will you support this American force ? ( It will not be a NATO one. )
    By air lift ?

     

    Quite right. It could well be the end of Saudi Arabia. The Saudis have vulnerable oil installations + a fragile society wholly based on oil revenue (plus plenty of hostile Shias in the oil region).

    I also agree that the logistics of a US invasion are very complicated, since an invasion has to come by sea or air (unless it comes through Iraq) and the buildup has to be at least as large as for the Iraq war (i.e. very large).

    The Neocons may try to resolve the question by leaving aside the "Regime Change" and simply getting the US to destroy Iran from the air. Either way Israel wins (and Iran & the US lose).

    …an invasion has to come by sea or air (unless it comes through Iraq) and the buildup has to be at least as large as for the Iraq war (i.e. very large).

    It will come through Iraq and by sea; air (tactical) part will be integrated into those two.
    And the buildup is the key in all this. We aren’t seeing it………….

    Well, that’s by the book.

    Now…looking at the current elites and decision makers in Washington, is it really unlikely that they could start a serious confrontation with Iran without any serious thought ?

    I’d say “yes”.

    I base that on how Trump won the election and how he’s been managing his Presidency since.
    And actually all this shit in USA since the election.

    We are not ruled by smart puppet masters.
    Just look at them……….

    We are in uncharted waters here.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Miro23

    It will come through Iraq and by sea; air (tactical) part will be integrated into those two.
    And the buildup is the key in all this. We aren’t seeing it………….
     
    That's true enough. There's the same Washington Neo-con war fever as pre-Iraq so the possibilities seem to be:

    1) We're waiting for the False Flag. The buildup comes after this.
    2) We're waiting for the False Flag. A purely aerial (missile and bombing) destruction of Iran follows without an invasion.

    The problem with 1) is that the US military is already over stretched, and probably couldn't mount an Iraqi scale invasion even if they wanted to, which suggests that the answer is 2), the aerial destruction of Iran.

    But 2) also has its problems - the missile/anti-missile question, and the exposure of launch ships/bases, plus, of course, possible Russian involvement and the risk of escalation.

    So, altogether an unbelievably stupid and dangerous project for the US, with plenty of potential political blowback domestically (we didn't vote for this) and in Europe (you broke our Joint Iran Nuclear Treaty) - not to mention from Russia and China.
    , @reiner Tor

    It will come through Iraq and by sea
     
    Iraq is actually an Iranian ally. Sort of, anyway. All kinds of contingencies can and probably will happen. Like Iraq refusing to allow American troops to build up for the attack. Or suddenly raise objections and create obstacles while the operation is already underway, or shortly before.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Harold Smith
    "'There you go again, implying that “Christian virtue”, e.g., trying to be honest with yourself and others, is some kind of esoteric, irrelevant, pie in the sky.'

    Yet another strawman on your part. Christian virtue is worthy…as are other virtues that people espouse."

    Sorry but you're not making very much sense.

    "'There’s nothing sophistic about the painfully obvious fact that in many if not most states…'

    I wasn’t referring to those trends as sophistry. I was referring to your insistence that Christian virtue is the end all and be all, and anyone who neglects to embrace is is other than honest and virtuous."

    There you go again with another ridiculous strawman, implying that “Christian virtue”, e.g., trying to be honest with yourself and others, is some kind of esoteric, irrelevant, pie in the sky.

    As I said, anyone who can look at something that's painfully obvious, and yet still deny it, is being dishonest.

    Consider the example of intellectual dishonesty that you demonstrated earlier in this discussion. When I referred to you as an example to make the point that I have no control over your moral incompetence and your spiritual blindness, you protested that it was not a rhetorical example. You apparently took the position that I was somehow impugning your character. Yet even after I pointed out to you the quotation marks I used, and demonstrated the generally accepted usage of quotation marks to denote "not literally", you refused to cede the point.

    It was "painfully obvious" from the context of the statement I made and from the quotation marks that my statement was purely rhetorical, and yet you still refused to acknowledge it.

    Please explain in what sense of "virtue" your refusal to admit that you were incorrect should not be seen as dishonesty.

    "'By “going down”, I meant that America’s “serious decline” is irreversible.'

    Now you offer clarification."

    LOL! As if was not obvious.

    "Do trends in current America indicate serious decline? Yes. Is it irreversible? No."

    Well of course it's irreversible. That's one reason why they're trying to start a world war, for example. And being that it's painfully obviously irreversible, yet you refuse to admit it, you're being dishonest.

    "As I stated earlier, throughout our history America has experienced significant issues–see "Gilded Age'. People at that time felt reforms could not 'save' the United States. They were proven wrong. Again, for you to describe the problems as being insoluble, that would be an assertion on your part, not fact and certainly not truth."

    Of course I am certainly making an assertion. I assert that America is going down because of corruption, which is everywhere, and which is irreversible. And you are also making an assertion, but unlike my assertion, yours is a completely unfounded bare assertion. You're just being contrary.

    “There you go again with another ridiculous strawman, implying that “Christian virtue”, e.g., trying to be honest with yourself and others, is some kind of esoteric, irrelevant, pie in the sky.”

    There you go again completely mischaracterizing my statement. It’s really simple. Do you believe that “Christian virtue” is THE standard by which all other people must abide by? Yes or no–why.

    “When I referred to you as an example to make the point that I have no control over your moral incompetence and your spiritual blindness…”

    Just stop. Do you believe I am morally incompetent and spiritually blind? Yes or no–why.

    “And being that it’s painfully obviously irreversible, yet you refuse to admit it, you’re being dishonest.”

    YOU believe these trends are irreversible. Anyone who says otherwise, to YOU, is dishonest. YOU automatically dismiss any alternative point of view. It is intellectually sterile on your part here.

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    • Replies: @Harold Smith
    "YOU believe these trends are irreversible."

    Whether or not the "trends" are irreversible depends on what's causing them. Do you dispute that? And the direct or indirect cause of most, if not all of these destructive "trends" is massive corruption. Do you dispute that? And the only cure for such corruption would be a massive spiritual revival. Do you dispute that?

    "Anyone who says otherwise, to YOU, is dishonest."

    Anyone who says otherwise, apparently just for the sake of saying otherwise, without proffering any meaningful counterargument, while ignoring the painfully obvious corruption that touches every aspect of life in the U.S., is being dishonest, IMO.


    "YOU automatically dismiss any alternative point of view."

    I automatically dismiss any alternative point of view (such as yours) that has no substantive argument in support of it. Unfortunately your apparent "argument" that "America is not collapsing now because it has never collapsed before" doesn't rise to the level of substantive.


    "It is intellectually sterile on your part here."

    I'm sorry, but your lack of an argument and your studious refusal to accept the obvious, reflects poorly on you, not on me.

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  • @aleksandar
    You're forgetting one point, Iran will wipe KSA off the map.
    Another issue, how will you support this american force ? ( It will not be a NATO one. )
    By air lift ?

    You’re forgetting one point, Iran will wipe KSA off the map.

    Another issue, how will you support this American force ? ( It will not be a NATO one. )
    By air lift ?

    Quite right. It could well be the end of Saudi Arabia. The Saudis have vulnerable oil installations + a fragile society wholly based on oil revenue (plus plenty of hostile Shias in the oil region).

    I also agree that the logistics of a US invasion are very complicated, since an invasion has to come by sea or air (unless it comes through Iraq) and the buildup has to be at least as large as for the Iraq war (i.e. very large).

    The Neocons may try to resolve the question by leaving aside the “Regime Change” and simply getting the US to destroy Iran from the air. Either way Israel wins (and Iran & the US lose).

    Read More
    • Replies: @peterAUS

    ...an invasion has to come by sea or air (unless it comes through Iraq) and the buildup has to be at least as large as for the Iraq war (i.e. very large).
     
    It will come through Iraq and by sea; air (tactical) part will be integrated into those two.
    And the buildup is the key in all this. We aren't seeing it.............

    Well, that's by the book.

    Now...looking at the current elites and decision makers in Washington, is it really unlikely that they could start a serious confrontation with Iran without any serious thought ?

    I'd say "yes".

    I base that on how Trump won the election and how he's been managing his Presidency since.
    And actually all this shit in USA since the election.

    We are not ruled by smart puppet masters.
    Just look at them..........

    We are in uncharted waters here.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Armed conflict between the US and Iran is becoming more probable by the day as super-hawks replace hawks in the Trump administration. The new National Security Adviser, John Bolton, has called for the US to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal of 2015 and advocated immediate regime change in Tehran. The new Secretary of State,...
  • Trump, Trump, Trump!

    If Presidents made any difference do you think that they would change them every few years?

    Bill Clinton once reportedly told senior White House reporter Sarah McClendon,“Sarah, there’s a government inside the government, and I don’t control it.”

    “The real rulers in Washington are invisible and exercise power from behind the scenes.”
    Felix Frankfurter (1882-1965), US Supreme Court Justice, (1939)

    ‘So you see, my dear Coningsby, that the world is governed by very different personages from what is imagined by those who are not behind the scenes. ‘
    – Benjamin Disraeli, British Prime Minister (1804-1881)

    It is all theatre, the President, the Cabinet, the whole process. Watch the GOP convention and the Dem convention, would you trust those screaming idiots to actually run things?

    Thankfully wiser heads prevail, unfortunately in the USA they happen to own ammunition and armament factories.

    Ah well, tempus vincit omnia.

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  • The last man standing between the U.S. and war with Iran may be a four-star general affectionately known to his Marines as "Mad Dog." Gen. James Mattis, the secretary of defense, appears to be the last man in the Situation Room who believes the Iran nuclear deal may be worth preserving and that war with...
  • @Sean
    After WW2 John Von Nuemann and Bertand Russell advocated disarming the Soviet Union before it could get the Bomb. The proposal on those noted superbrains was the Soviets (who still had no nukes) were to be disarmed by America using, or threatening to use nuclear weapons.. Russia wasn't important enough to conquer then, it isn't now, and it won't be in the future. However there may be an analogous to nuke-less-Russia situation in the future, if the technological transfers from the West are halted.

    if the technological transfers from the West are halted

    What, you mean Russians can’t use FuckBook or Scroogle any more to violate their privacy and sell all their data to the NSA/CIA? How sad for them!

    Russia doesn’t need anything from the Evil Empire; it will be trading just fine with China, Japan, S. Korea, Vietnam, India, and the rest of the non-Evil world. Of course it would be nice for Russia to make friends with Germany, but, you see, Germany’s a wild card, it may decide to kick out the occupying army at some point and regain its sovereignty. Clearly the traitor Merkel won’t do it but AfD very well may.

    The proposal on those noted superbrains was the Soviets (who still had no nukes) were to be disarmed by America using, or threatening to use nuclear weapons.

    The US has been an oligarchic dictatorship for some time, and at that point the oligarchs still had hope USSR could be returned to rule by Jews for the goal of Global Bolshevik Dictatorship, which the Evil Empire continues to pursue day-in, day-out. They were wrong, of course, but that is why the “West” helped the USSR after the war, and certainly didn’t consider attacking it. Your “noted luminaries” are entirely irrelevant to the decision-making process in the Evil Empire.

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  • @Harold Smith
    "'There you go again, implying that “Christian virtue”, e.g., trying to be honest with yourself and others, is some kind of esoteric, irrelevant, pie in the sky.'

    Yet another strawman on your part. Christian virtue is worthy…as are other virtues that people espouse."

    Sorry but you're not making very much sense.

    "'There’s nothing sophistic about the painfully obvious fact that in many if not most states…'

    I wasn’t referring to those trends as sophistry. I was referring to your insistence that Christian virtue is the end all and be all, and anyone who neglects to embrace is is other than honest and virtuous."

    There you go again with another ridiculous strawman, implying that “Christian virtue”, e.g., trying to be honest with yourself and others, is some kind of esoteric, irrelevant, pie in the sky.

    As I said, anyone who can look at something that's painfully obvious, and yet still deny it, is being dishonest.

    Consider the example of intellectual dishonesty that you demonstrated earlier in this discussion. When I referred to you as an example to make the point that I have no control over your moral incompetence and your spiritual blindness, you protested that it was not a rhetorical example. You apparently took the position that I was somehow impugning your character. Yet even after I pointed out to you the quotation marks I used, and demonstrated the generally accepted usage of quotation marks to denote "not literally", you refused to cede the point.

    It was "painfully obvious" from the context of the statement I made and from the quotation marks that my statement was purely rhetorical, and yet you still refused to acknowledge it.

    Please explain in what sense of "virtue" your refusal to admit that you were incorrect should not be seen as dishonesty.

    "'By “going down”, I meant that America’s “serious decline” is irreversible.'

    Now you offer clarification."

    LOL! As if was not obvious.

    "Do trends in current America indicate serious decline? Yes. Is it irreversible? No."

    Well of course it's irreversible. That's one reason why they're trying to start a world war, for example. And being that it's painfully obviously irreversible, yet you refuse to admit it, you're being dishonest.

    "As I stated earlier, throughout our history America has experienced significant issues–see "Gilded Age'. People at that time felt reforms could not 'save' the United States. They were proven wrong. Again, for you to describe the problems as being insoluble, that would be an assertion on your part, not fact and certainly not truth."

    Of course I am certainly making an assertion. I assert that America is going down because of corruption, which is everywhere, and which is irreversible. And you are also making an assertion, but unlike my assertion, yours is a completely unfounded bare assertion. You're just being contrary.

    Why are you debating this AI bot? If you enjoy the waste of time, all good, but if you think you can convince the sophomoric troll “Corvinus” the Sun rises in the East, you are completely mistaken.

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  • @Sean
    The Russians are committed in the Ukraine and serious support for the Iranian Regime would see the US giving crucial extra backing to the Ukrainian government forces.

    US program for crushing Iran
    Phase one: They will start with limited raids on suspected nuclear facilities to humiliate Iran, and extreme sanctions that will destroy the prospects of the disproportionately young middle class, thus creating discontent.

    Phase two: Covert military action against Iran will be designed to humiliate it and splinter minority statelets off of it (Iran is not immune to this).

    Phase three: The leaders of Iran having been made to look totally unable to uphold the integrity of the country or provide a standard of living for its population, an uprising will start.

    Phase four: To protect innocent civilians, the US will intervene and destroy the Iranian armed forces.

    Wow, how you pathetic little know-nothing piss-ants entertain your evil minds all day long.

    Phase one: They will start with limited raids on suspected nuclear facilities to humiliate Iran, and extreme sanctions that will destroy the prospects of the disproportionately young middle class, thus creating discontent.

    Iran’s nuclear facilities are deep underground, except for the commercial nuclear reactor, which, if attacked, would not only kill Russian engineers (drawing Russia into the war to sink the attacking Evil Empire’s death ships), but cause a humanitarian catastrophe which will result in global sanctions against the US Terror State.

    As to extreme sanctions, they have already tried that, for many years, including stealing hundreds of billions from Iran. China and Russia in any event (and many other countries) will not honor US sanctions. And US unlawful piracy at sea will be an act of war against whomever’s ship it is.

    Phase two: Covert military action against Iran will be designed to humiliate it and splinter minority statelets off of it (Iran is not immune to this).

    That did work briefly in Syria, which is far more fragmented than Iran, but in general, Iranians are loyal. Even the Kurds. Iraqis and Americans couldn’t turn anybody in the 10-year Iraq-Iran war, when Iran was exceptionally weak and isolated, so what makes you think they can turn them now? (And yes, the Evil Empire already fought a 10-year war against Iran, as I mentioned, when it was exceptionally weak and isolated.)

    Phase three: The leaders of Iran having been made to look totally unable to uphold the integrity of the country or provide a standard of living for its population, an uprising will start.

    Actually when oil hits $300 / barrel and the US economy collapses due to a stupid, illegal, immoral, evil war against Iran waged to serve the nefarious Jews supremacists who rule Washington and view Americans as their cattle in battle, it is the Jew supremacists/Zionists in US who better worry about an uprising.

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  • @Miro23


    @CalDre

    “Ruthless” air campaign means Russia sinks US aircraft carriers and blows up US airfields in the region.
     
    I disagree. Russia won’t attack the US, but it will supply arms to Iran.
     
    Russia won't attack the US, but there is the linkage Iran > Syria > Russia. If there was a Russian defensive commitment to Syria, there's logic for a Russian commitment to Iran. Without Iran, Russia looses Syria.

    One difference, is that in the Syrian war the US was using proxies (like it did in Libya), so US troops were not directly involved in ground battles. There aren't any proxies to do the fighting in Iran, so it's down to US forces, with "Regime Change" meaning ground troops.

    This a very big commitment for the US, posing military and political problems (Iran is a country of 80 million people and Trump was elected on no more ME wars) - so there almost inevitably has to be a major 9/11 style trigger to justify it - probably some fabricated attack on US military assets to set up the Iranians.

    It would be too risky to False Flag the Russians.

    As to the fighting itself, the US realistically can't occupy the whole of Iran, so it occupies the oil producing regions (across the Straits of Hormuz from Saudi Arabia), and runs an Iraqi style bombing campaign against the rest of the country - basically to destroy it. That would get control of Iranian oil and satisfy Israel, but at the same time, the US is weaker politically, economically and militarily than it was at the outset of the Iraq war, and there's the Russian involvement that was absent in Iraq.

    Altogether higher risk for the US than previous ME wars.

    You’re forgetting one point, Iran will wipe KSA off the map.
    Another issue, how will you support this american force ? ( It will not be a NATO one. )
    By air lift ?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Miro23

    You’re forgetting one point, Iran will wipe KSA off the map.

    Another issue, how will you support this American force ? ( It will not be a NATO one. )
    By air lift ?

     

    Quite right. It could well be the end of Saudi Arabia. The Saudis have vulnerable oil installations + a fragile society wholly based on oil revenue (plus plenty of hostile Shias in the oil region).

    I also agree that the logistics of a US invasion are very complicated, since an invasion has to come by sea or air (unless it comes through Iraq) and the buildup has to be at least as large as for the Iraq war (i.e. very large).

    The Neocons may try to resolve the question by leaving aside the "Regime Change" and simply getting the US to destroy Iran from the air. Either way Israel wins (and Iran & the US lose).
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Corvinus
    "There you go again, implying that “Christian virtue”, e.g., trying to be honest with yourself and others, is some kind of esoteric, irrelevant, pie in the sky."

    Yet another strawman on your part. Christian virtue is worthy...as are other virtues that people espouse.

    "There’s nothing sophistic about the painfully obvious fact that in many if not most states..."

    I wasn't referring to those trends as sophistry. I was referring to your insistence that Christian virtue is the end all and be all, and anyone who neglects to embrace is is other than honest and virtuous.

    "By “going down”, I meant that America’s “serious decline” is irreversible."

    Now you offer clarification. Do trends in current America indicate serious decline? Yes. Is it irreversible? No.

    "That means you believe there is going to be some kind of “miracle” that is going to save America from its apparently insoluble problems?"

    As I stated earlier, throughout our history America has experienced significant issues--see "Gilded Age". People at that time felt reforms could not "save" the United States. They were proven wrong. Again, for you to describe the problems as being insoluble, that would be an assertion on your part, not fact and certainly not truth.

    “‘There you go again, implying that “Christian virtue”, e.g., trying to be honest with yourself and others, is some kind of esoteric, irrelevant, pie in the sky.’

    Yet another strawman on your part. Christian virtue is worthy…as are other virtues that people espouse.”

    Sorry but you’re not making very much sense.

    “‘There’s nothing sophistic about the painfully obvious fact that in many if not most states…’

    I wasn’t referring to those trends as sophistry. I was referring to your insistence that Christian virtue is the end all and be all, and anyone who neglects to embrace is is other than honest and virtuous.”

    There you go again with another ridiculous strawman, implying that “Christian virtue”, e.g., trying to be honest with yourself and others, is some kind of esoteric, irrelevant, pie in the sky.

    As I said, anyone who can look at something that’s painfully obvious, and yet still deny it, is being dishonest.

    Consider the example of intellectual dishonesty that you demonstrated earlier in this discussion. When I referred to you as an example to make the point that I have no control over your moral incompetence and your spiritual blindness, you protested that it was not a rhetorical example. You apparently took the position that I was somehow impugning your character. Yet even after I pointed out to you the quotation marks I used, and demonstrated the generally accepted usage of quotation marks to denote “not literally”, you refused to cede the point.

    It was “painfully obvious” from the context of the statement I made and from the quotation marks that my statement was purely rhetorical, and yet you still refused to acknowledge it.

    Please explain in what sense of “virtue” your refusal to admit that you were incorrect should not be seen as dishonesty.

    “‘By “going down”, I meant that America’s “serious decline” is irreversible.’

    Now you offer clarification.”

    LOL! As if was not obvious.

    “Do trends in current America indicate serious decline? Yes. Is it irreversible? No.”

    Well of course it’s irreversible. That’s one reason why they’re trying to start a world war, for example. And being that it’s painfully obviously irreversible, yet you refuse to admit it, you’re being dishonest.

    “As I stated earlier, throughout our history America has experienced significant issues–see “Gilded Age’. People at that time felt reforms could not ‘save’ the United States. They were proven wrong. Again, for you to describe the problems as being insoluble, that would be an assertion on your part, not fact and certainly not truth.”

    Of course I am certainly making an assertion. I assert that America is going down because of corruption, which is everywhere, and which is irreversible. And you are also making an assertion, but unlike my assertion, yours is a completely unfounded bare assertion. You’re just being contrary.

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    • Replies: @CalDre
    Why are you debating this AI bot? If you enjoy the waste of time, all good, but if you think you can convince the sophomoric troll "Corvinus" the Sun rises in the East, you are completely mistaken.
    , @Corvinus
    "There you go again with another ridiculous strawman, implying that “Christian virtue”, e.g., trying to be honest with yourself and others, is some kind of esoteric, irrelevant, pie in the sky."

    There you go again completely mischaracterizing my statement. It's really simple. Do you believe that "Christian virtue" is THE standard by which all other people must abide by? Yes or no--why.

    "When I referred to you as an example to make the point that I have no control over your moral incompetence and your spiritual blindness..."

    Just stop. Do you believe I am morally incompetent and spiritually blind? Yes or no--why.

    "And being that it’s painfully obviously irreversible, yet you refuse to admit it, you’re being dishonest."

    YOU believe these trends are irreversible. Anyone who says otherwise, to YOU, is dishonest. YOU automatically dismiss any alternative point of view. It is intellectually sterile on your part here.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @myself

    One is “Internet blabbing” type. Like, a ball park thing; I can do that and anyone with a grain of expertise could shoot it down in 5 minutes. That’s not so bad because then we’ll have 500 comments article thread. Still, I’ll pass.
    To do it right I’d have to sit, full time and, say, in 2 weeks of hard work produce something of an educated guess. That could also be shot down in 5 minutes by a careful reader with expertise. Probably five guys here, tops.
    See where I am going?
    Bottom line, except top people in Pentagon nobody can,properly, answer that question.
     
    All we are doing is “discussing”. As long as we don’t make assertions that any of us 100% knows anything for certain, it can still be informative. At least it gets us all honestly thinking, eh?

    It has to secure Hormuz coast and be deep enough not be cut with, up to, a battle group Iranian effort. I say battle group because anything above it should be seen soon, from “above”, and made ineffective.
    So, taking above as basic input, say, all of that coast and up to 10 Kms inland. Approximately, of course, taking the TERRAIN into consideration (Anzio anyone?).
     
    It could well be the case that modern technology has solved the problem of Iran’s mountainous terrain. Such that formations larger than heavy brigade size can be detected as they form up for attack, and destroyed.

    It should be pointed out to others here that Iran’s terrain is rather different from Iraq’s – mountains (some of which are forest-covered) and plateaus vice open flood plains and desert. Not quite deep forest and triple canopy jungle, but presents its own problems of detection.

    In terms of recent war analogies, I think of Iran as a larger, greener, more populous Afghanistan

    Yes and no.
    They’ll stay there until the next phase. “Ideal” scenario is Iraq/Afghanistan model.
    As you say:

    Now, you COULD postulate an Afghanistan scenario – that NATO would keep an army in Iran for say 40 years (Afghanistan has not really stopped fighting since 1980). Bad analogy though, since there’s no end in sight for the Afghan War, and that’s with only Pakistani support for the Mujaheddin.
     
    - As you point out, that’s the “IDEAL” scenario. Basically, the Iranian state collapses completely, NATO troops pour in, and the long. long occupation begins.

    - I won’t talk of the “NIGHTMARE” scenario, which is North Vietnam 1945-1975. This only happens if the Iranians stand fast, start an resilient insurgency. and get substantial backing.

    - Let’s instead discuss the “MIDDLE” scenarios – analogous to say the Israeli occupied Sinai, 1967 to 1979. Whatever the merits of that occupation, and however it came about (1967 Six Day War), the loss of the Sinai did not substantially weaken Egypt. Instead it was induced to launch, the War of Attrition, and eventually the Yom Kippur War. Had there been no peace treaty, Egypt would have launched further wars, and continued the attrition, ad infinitum.
    ALL THAT TIME, Israel had to keep its guard up, lest the Egyptians return.

    A similar scenario seems plausible if America occupies the Iranian coast. The “middle-of-the-road” outcome, I agree.

    In which case, insurgency may or may not be a factor (depends on how populated that coastal strip is), but constant probing by Iranian forces of NATO lines seems very likely. An Iranian “War of Attrition”, directed at the Americans and British.

    A very debilitating posture for the occupiers. No, not immediately. All will seem well – at first.

    But give it around 5 years for the trickle of deaths and maiming to build up, and it might be a different story entirely.

    All we are doing is “discussing”. As long as we don’t make assertions that any of us 100% knows anything for certain, it can still be informative. At least it gets us all honestly thinking, eh?

    Around 10 % of posters here, tops.
    The rest are spanning the space populated by a handful of “employees” from one side to a couple of psychopaths at the other, with most in between.

    Such that formations larger than heavy brigade size can be detected as they form up for attack, and destroyed.

    I’d say larger than a combined arms battle group. In this case a mechanized battalion with required attachments and reinforcements. Not necessarily destroyed but simply stopped.
    Won’t be easy but won’t be a problem.

    As you point out, that’s the “IDEAL” scenario. Basically, the Iranian state collapses completely, NATO troops pour in, and the long. long occupation begins.

    Yup.

    I won’t talk of the “NIGHTMARE” scenario, which is North Vietnam 1945-1975. This only happens if the Iranians stand fast, start an resilient insurgency. and get substantial backing.

    Yup. But, again, even in that case the effect on US domestic policy/decision making won’t be the same. Underclass being cleansed up…versus college kids being cut down. What’s not to like if you are one of those winners in the current game, the upper 40 % of society?

    A similar scenario seems plausible if America occupies the Iranian coast. The “middle-of-the-road” outcome, I agree.

    It does. I’d give that around 20 % chance.
    More plausible scenario, IMHO, is the “next phase” into Iran. 80 %.

    But give it around 5 years for the trickle of deaths and maiming to build up, and it might be a different story entirely

    Well, it is possible. Americans already pulled one miracle, with electing Trump. Maybe we’ll see another then. Again, I’d give that around 30 % chance. 70 % is that dystopian future re “the underclass” and countries getting on the bad side of US foreign policy. Smallish countries that is.

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  • Armed conflict between the US and Iran is becoming more probable by the day as super-hawks replace hawks in the Trump administration. The new National Security Adviser, John Bolton, has called for the US to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal of 2015 and advocated immediate regime change in Tehran. The new Secretary of State,...
  • By this time, is there still anybody who would trust Washington’s words/agreements?!

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  • The last man standing between the U.S. and war with Iran may be a four-star general affectionately known to his Marines as "Mad Dog." Gen. James Mattis, the secretary of defense, appears to be the last man in the Situation Room who believes the Iran nuclear deal may be worth preserving and that war with...
  • @myself
    Oh yes. I certainly considered that very factor.

    The U.S. underclass, out of desperation, may indeed flock to the armed forces in return for steady pay, shelter and square meals.

    But will the underclass want to march to their doom in an unwinnable, endless war? Even the poorest and most undesired members of society want to live, and certainly want to keep their limbs and organs intact.

    ENOUGH death and maiming, going above a certain threshold, will convince even the underclasses NOT to volunteer and die or become physically disabled in some godforsaken field on the other side of the planet. Word will, eventually (emphasis on eventually) get around their communities that military service is a death sentence.

    In the absence of The Draft, what will happen then?

    The U.S. underclass, out of desperation, may indeed flock to the armed forces in return for steady pay, shelter and square meals.

    Yup.

    But will the underclass want to march to their doom in an unwinnable, endless war? Even the poorest and most undesired members of society want to live, and certainly want to keep their limbs and organs intact.

    “Doom” isn’t correct. “Risk” is.
    Risk-reward.
    So, I’d rephrase into:
    ..underclass will be compelled to participate in an unwinnable, endless war. Risk there is comparable to risk of death in urban ghettos and bleak places in “flyover states”. Benefits, especially for families, outweigh the risks.

    Word will, eventually (emphasis on eventually) get around their communities that military service is a death sentence.

    Eventually …perhaps.
    Not at this (Iran type) level of conflict.

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  • @reiner Tor

    “Ruthless” air campaign means Russia sinks US aircraft carriers and blows up US airfields in the region.
     
    I disagree. Russia won’t attack the US, but it will supply arms to Iran.

    “Ruthless” air campaign means Russia sinks US aircraft carriers and blows up US airfields in the region.

    I disagree. Russia won’t attack the US, but it will supply arms to Iran.

    Russia won’t attack the US, but there is the linkage Iran > Syria > Russia. If there was a Russian defensive commitment to Syria, there’s logic for a Russian commitment to Iran. Without Iran, Russia looses Syria.

    One difference, is that in the Syrian war the US was using proxies (like it did in Libya), so US troops were not directly involved in ground battles. There aren’t any proxies to do the fighting in Iran, so it’s down to US forces, with “Regime Change” meaning ground troops.

    This a very big commitment for the US, posing military and political problems (Iran is a country of 80 million people and Trump was elected on no more ME wars) – so there almost inevitably has to be a major 9/11 style trigger to justify it – probably some fabricated attack on US military assets to set up the Iranians.

    It would be too risky to False Flag the Russians.

    As to the fighting itself, the US realistically can’t occupy the whole of Iran, so it occupies the oil producing regions (across the Straits of Hormuz from Saudi Arabia), and runs an Iraqi style bombing campaign against the rest of the country – basically to destroy it. That would get control of Iranian oil and satisfy Israel, but at the same time, the US is weaker politically, economically and militarily than it was at the outset of the Iraq war, and there’s the Russian involvement that was absent in Iraq.

    Altogether higher risk for the US than previous ME wars.

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    • Replies: @aleksandar
    You're forgetting one point, Iran will wipe KSA off the map.
    Another issue, how will you support this american force ? ( It will not be a NATO one. )
    By air lift ?
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  • @peterAUS

    On problem, though. How big a “lodgement” are we talking?
     
    Well...a very good question. The Question in fact.

    There are two ways to answer it.
    One is "Internet blabbing" type. Like, a ball park thing; I can do that and anyone with a grain of expertise could shoot it down in 5 minutes. That's not so bad because then we'll have 500 comments article thread. Still, I'll pass.
    To do it right I'd have to sit, full time and, say, in 2 weeks of hard work produce something of an educated guess. That could also be shot down in 5 minutes by a careful reader with expertise. Probably five guys here, tops.
    See where I am going?
    Bottom line, except top people in Pentagon nobody can,properly, answer that question.

    Having said that, there are principles which could point to how big the "lodgment" should be.
    It has to secure Hormuz coast and be deep enough not be cut with, up to, a battle group Iranian effort. I say battle group because anything above it should be seen soon, from "above", and made ineffective.
    So, taking above as basic input, say, all of that coast and up to 10 Kms inland. Approximately, of course, taking the TERRAIN into consideration (Anzio anyone?).
    Again, to answer properly even that (10 kms) I'd need to spend all day, at least, poring over maps. Nahh...Prefer going for my stroll soon. Weather is very nice.

    So, back to


    It has to be large enough to “weaken” Iran.
     
    and

    OTOH, an occupied zone that might weaken Iran would have to be quite . . . extensive.
     
    Not really.
    The only purpose of the lodgment is to keep the Hormuz open.
    Weakening of the regime would be done "from the air/open sea". Hammer the country until the regime concedes. As Yugoslavia, for example.

    So, conventional NATO troops would stay there forever as shield against Iran’s conventional army..
     
    Yes and no.
    They'll stay there until the next phase. "Ideal" scenario is Iraq/Afghanistan model.
    As you say:

    Now, you COULD postulate an Afghanistan scenario – that NATO would keep an army in Iran for say 40 years (Afghanistan has not really stopped fighting since 1980). Bad analogy though, since there’s no end in sight for the Afghan War, and that’s with only Pakistani support for the Mujaheddin.
     

    Now imagine them with Great Power backing.
     
    Well, that's the game we are in. All of us.
    As long as it doesn't get nuclear that's the world we live in.

    One is “Internet blabbing” type. Like, a ball park thing; I can do that and anyone with a grain of expertise could shoot it down in 5 minutes. That’s not so bad because then we’ll have 500 comments article thread. Still, I’ll pass.
    To do it right I’d have to sit, full time and, say, in 2 weeks of hard work produce something of an educated guess. That could also be shot down in 5 minutes by a careful reader with expertise. Probably five guys here, tops.
    See where I am going?
    Bottom line, except top people in Pentagon nobody can,properly, answer that question.

    All we are doing is “discussing”. As long as we don’t make assertions that any of us 100% knows anything for certain, it can still be informative. At least it gets us all honestly thinking, eh?

    It has to secure Hormuz coast and be deep enough not be cut with, up to, a battle group Iranian effort. I say battle group because anything above it should be seen soon, from “above”, and made ineffective.
    So, taking above as basic input, say, all of that coast and up to 10 Kms inland. Approximately, of course, taking the TERRAIN into consideration (Anzio anyone?).

    It could well be the case that modern technology has solved the problem of Iran’s mountainous terrain. Such that formations larger than heavy brigade size can be detected as they form up for attack, and destroyed.

    It should be pointed out to others here that Iran’s terrain is rather different from Iraq’s – mountains (some of which are forest-covered) and plateaus vice open flood plains and desert. Not quite deep forest and triple canopy jungle, but presents its own problems of detection.

    In terms of recent war analogies, I think of Iran as a larger, greener, more populous Afghanistan

    Yes and no.
    They’ll stay there until the next phase. “Ideal” scenario is Iraq/Afghanistan model.
    As you say:

    Now, you COULD postulate an Afghanistan scenario – that NATO would keep an army in Iran for say 40 years (Afghanistan has not really stopped fighting since 1980). Bad analogy though, since there’s no end in sight for the Afghan War, and that’s with only Pakistani support for the Mujaheddin.

    - As you point out, that’s the “IDEAL” scenario. Basically, the Iranian state collapses completely, NATO troops pour in, and the long. long occupation begins.

    - I won’t talk of the “NIGHTMARE” scenario, which is North Vietnam 1945-1975. This only happens if the Iranians stand fast, start an resilient insurgency. and get substantial backing.

    - Let’s instead discuss the “MIDDLE” scenarios – analogous to say the Israeli occupied Sinai, 1967 to 1979. Whatever the merits of that occupation, and however it came about (1967 Six Day War), the loss of the Sinai did not substantially weaken Egypt. Instead it was induced to launch, the War of Attrition, and eventually the Yom Kippur War. Had there been no peace treaty, Egypt would have launched further wars, and continued the attrition, ad infinitum.
    ALL THAT TIME, Israel had to keep its guard up, lest the Egyptians return.

    A similar scenario seems plausible if America occupies the Iranian coast. The “middle-of-the-road” outcome, I agree.

    In which case, insurgency may or may not be a factor (depends on how populated that coastal strip is), but constant probing by Iranian forces of NATO lines seems very likely. An Iranian “War of Attrition”, directed at the Americans and British.

    A very debilitating posture for the occupiers. No, not immediately. All will seem well – at first.

    But give it around 5 years for the trickle of deaths and maiming to build up, and it might be a different story entirely.

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    • Replies: @peterAUS

    All we are doing is “discussing”. As long as we don’t make assertions that any of us 100% knows anything for certain, it can still be informative. At least it gets us all honestly thinking, eh?
     
    Around 10 % of posters here, tops.
    The rest are spanning the space populated by a handful of "employees" from one side to a couple of psychopaths at the other, with most in between.

    Such that formations larger than heavy brigade size can be detected as they form up for attack, and destroyed.
     
    I'd say larger than a combined arms battle group. In this case a mechanized battalion with required attachments and reinforcements. Not necessarily destroyed but simply stopped.
    Won't be easy but won't be a problem.

    As you point out, that’s the “IDEAL” scenario. Basically, the Iranian state collapses completely, NATO troops pour in, and the long. long occupation begins.
     
    Yup.

    I won’t talk of the “NIGHTMARE” scenario, which is North Vietnam 1945-1975. This only happens if the Iranians stand fast, start an resilient insurgency. and get substantial backing.
     
    Yup. But, again, even in that case the effect on US domestic policy/decision making won't be the same. Underclass being cleansed up...versus college kids being cut down. What's not to like if you are one of those winners in the current game, the upper 40 % of society?

    A similar scenario seems plausible if America occupies the Iranian coast. The “middle-of-the-road” outcome, I agree.
     
    It does. I'd give that around 20 % chance.
    More plausible scenario, IMHO, is the "next phase" into Iran. 80 %.

    But give it around 5 years for the trickle of deaths and maiming to build up, and it might be a different story entirely
     
    Well, it is possible. Americans already pulled one miracle, with electing Trump. Maybe we'll see another then. Again, I'd give that around 30 % chance. 70 % is that dystopian future re "the underclass" and countries getting on the bad side of US foreign policy. Smallish countries that is.
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  • @peterAUS
    Yup.
    There is more, perhaps.

    Those "dead and maimed" in "endless war" will be......who?

    I'd say troopers in infantry, SF and combat support. ..................
    The US underclass, mostly from the "basket of deplorables" and urban ghettos.

    Think about that for a second.
    You expect to see any public uproar there re "Vietnam era"?
    I don't.

    Oh yes. I certainly considered that very factor.

    The U.S. underclass, out of desperation, may indeed flock to the armed forces in return for steady pay, shelter and square meals.

    But will the underclass want to march to their doom in an unwinnable, endless war? Even the poorest and most undesired members of society want to live, and certainly want to keep their limbs and organs intact.

    ENOUGH death and maiming, going above a certain threshold, will convince even the underclasses NOT to volunteer and die or become physically disabled in some godforsaken field on the other side of the planet. Word will, eventually (emphasis on eventually) get around their communities that military service is a death sentence.

    In the absence of The Draft, what will happen then?

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    • Replies: @peterAUS

    The U.S. underclass, out of desperation, may indeed flock to the armed forces in return for steady pay, shelter and square meals.
     
    Yup.

    But will the underclass want to march to their doom in an unwinnable, endless war? Even the poorest and most undesired members of society want to live, and certainly want to keep their limbs and organs intact.
     
    "Doom" isn't correct. "Risk" is.
    Risk-reward.
    So, I'd rephrase into:
    ..underclass will be compelled to participate in an unwinnable, endless war. Risk there is comparable to risk of death in urban ghettos and bleak places in "flyover states". Benefits, especially for families, outweigh the risks.

    Word will, eventually (emphasis on eventually) get around their communities that military service is a death sentence.
     
    Eventually ...perhaps.
    Not at this (Iran type) level of conflict.
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  • @Sean
    What stopped them from exploiting those resources themselves and becoming the world's richest and most powerful state, eh?

    They are powerful other wise we would have attacked them long ago,and as far as their natural resources they are doing very well with those, and will only do better in the future,for you see they don’t exploit their natural resources like the west has done nor are they in debt as the west has become just waiting fort the next shoe to drop,no I would say Russia is in very good shape, I wish I could say the same for the U.S.A….

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  • @peterAUS

    The Russians are committed in the Ukraine and serious support for the Iranian Regime would see the US giving crucial extra backing to the Ukrainian government forces.
     
    Yup. Two "fronts". Even three. Syria.

    As for those phases, well, that's one option.

    There are other options, of course, and I am sure that Pentagon has been working hard on all of them.

    You must have your head up your backside for we can’t even handle one front not to mention three,and yes we have proven that over and over again….

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