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Ominous developments in East Syria have drawn the United States and Russia into closer proximity increasing the likelihood of a violent confrontation. The Trump administration has embarked on a dangerous plan to defeat the terrorist militia, ISIS, in Raqqa. But recent comments by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson suggest that Washington’s long-term strategy may conflict with Moscow’s goal of restoring Syria’s sovereign borders. Something’s got to give. Either Russia ceases its clearing operations in east Syria or Washington agrees to withdraw its US-backed forces when the battle is over. If neither side gives ground, there’s going to be a collision between the two nuclear-armed adversaries.

On Wednesday, the US airlifted hundreds of mainly-Kurdish fighters to an area behind ISIS lines where they were dropped near the town of al-Tabqa. The troops– who are part of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces or SDF– were accompanied by an undisclosed number of US Marines serving as advisors. Ostensibly, the deployment was intended to encircle ISIS positions and retake the area around the strategic Tabqa Dam. But the operation had the added effect of blocking the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) from advancing along the main road towards Raqqa, the so called Capital of ISIS. While the blocking move might have been coincidental, there’s a strong possibility that Washington is in the opening phase of a broader strategy to splinter the war-torn country and prevent the reemergence of a united secular Syria.

According to Almasdar News:

“The Coalition supported the offensive with air movement and logistical support, precision airstrikes, Apache helicopters in close air support, Marine artillery, and special operations advice and assistance to SDF leadership,” the US-led coalition said in a statement.” (AMN News)

In a matter of weeks, Washington’s approach to the war in Syria has changed dramatically. While the US has reportedly ended its support for the Sunni militias that have torn the country apart and killed over 400,000 people, the US has increased its aid to the SDF that is making impressive territorial gains across the eastern corridor. The ultimate goal for the SDF fighters is an autonomous Kurdish homeland carved out of West Iraq and East Syria, while US objectives focus primarily on the breakup of the Syrian state, the removal of the elected government, the control over critical pipelines routes, and the redrawing of national borders to better serve the interests of the US and Israel.

The idea of breaking up Syria is not new. The plan first appeared in an article by Oded Yinon in 1982 titled “A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties”. Yinon believed that– for Israel to survive– it must become an imperial regional power that “must effect the division of the whole area into small states by the dissolution of all existing Arab states.” (Israel Shahak)

The most recent adaptation of Yinon’s plan was articulated by Brookings Institute analyst Michael O’ Hanlon in a piece that appeared in the Wall Street Journal titled “A Trump Strategy to End Syria’s Nightmare”. In the article, O’ Hanlon states bluntly:

“To achieve peace, Syria will need self-governance within a number of autonomous zones. One option is a confederal system by which the whole country is divided into such zones. A less desirable but minimally acceptable alternative could be several autonomous zones within an otherwise still-centralized state—similar to how Iraqi Kurdistan has functioned for a quarter-century….

Security in the Sunni Arab and Kurdish autonomous zones would be provided by local police and perhaps paramilitary forces raised, trained and equipped with the direct support of the international community. …(“A Trump Strategy to End Syria’s Nightmare”, Wall Street Journal)

In an earlier piece, O’ Hanlon referred to his scheme as “Deconstructing Syria” a plan that “would produce autonomous zones that would never again have to face the prospect of rule by either Assad or ISIL.”

Many of the details in O’ Hanlon’s piece are identical to those in Trump’s plan which was announced by Secretary of State Tillerson just last week. The Brookings strategy appears to be the script from which the administration is operating.

In his presentation, Tillerson announced that US troops would not leave Iraq after the siege of Mosul was concluded which has led many to speculate that the same policy will be used in Syria. Here’s an excerpt from an article at the WSWS that explains this point:

“US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson declared Washington’s intention to keep troops deployed more or less indefinitely in the territories now occupied by Islamic State in Iraq and Syria in remarks delivered at the beginning of a two-day meeting of the US-organized anti-ISIS coalition in Washington.

“The military power of the coalition will remain where this fraudulent caliphate has existed in order to set the conditions for a full recovery from the tyranny of ISIS,” he told an audience that included Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. He gave no indication of when, if ever, US troops could be withdrawn from a war zone extending across Iraq and Syria, where there has been fighting of greater or lesser intensity throughout the 14 years since the US first invaded Iraq.” (Tillerson pledges long-term US military role in Iraq and Syria, World Socialist web Site)

US Defense Secretary James “Mad Dog” Mattis reinforced Tillerson’s comments adding that the US plans a indefinite occupation of Iraq (and, possibly, Syria) stating that it was in America’s “national interest.”

“I believe it’s in our national interest that we keep Iraqi security forces in a position to keep our mutual enemies on their back foot,” he said, as quoted by the Military Times. The US “needs to remain decisively engaged in Iraq and in the region.”

In response to Mattis’s comments, Syrian President Bashar al Assad said:

“Any military operation in Syria without the approval of the Syrian government is illegal, and any troops on the Syrian soil, is an invasion, whether to liberate Raqqa or any other place. …The (US-led) coalition has never been serious about fighting ISIS or the terrorists.”

Clearly, Washington is using the fight against ISIS as a pretext for capturing and holding territory in a critical, energy-rich area of the world. The plan to seize parts of East Syria for military bases and pipeline corridors fits neatly within this same basic strategy. But it also throws a wrench in Moscow’s plan to restore the country’s borders and put an end to the six year-long conflict.

ORDER IT NOW

And what does Tillerson mean when he talks about “interim zones of stability” a moniker that the Trump administration carefully crafted to avoid the more portentous-sounding “safe zones”. (Readers will recall that Hillary Clinton was the biggest proponent of safe zones in Syria, even though they would require a huge commitment of US troops as well as the costly imposition of a no-fly zone.)

Tillerson’s comments suggest that the Trump administration is deepening its involvement in Syria despite the risks of a catastrophic clash with Moscow. Ever since General Michael Flynn was forced to step down from his position as National Security Advisor, (Flynn wanted to “normalize” relations with Russia), Trump has filled his foreign policy team with Russophobic hawks who see Moscow as “hostile revisionist power” that “annex(es) territory, intimidates our allies, develops nuclear weapons, and uses proxies under the cover of modernized conventional militaries.” Those are the words of the man who replaced Flynn as NSA, Lt. General HR McMaster. While the media applauded the McMaster appointment as an “outstanding choice”, his critics think it signals a departure from Trump’s campaign promise:

“We will pursue a new foreign policy that finally learns from the mistakes of the past…We will stop looking to topple regimes and overthrow governments…. Our goal is stability not chaos, because we want to rebuild our country [the United States] …In our dealings with other countries, we will seek shared interests wherever possible and pursue a new era of peace, understanding, and good will.”

There won’t be any peace under Mattis or McMaster, that’s for sure. Both men are anti-Moscow hardliners who think Russia is an emerging rival that must be confronted and defeated. Even more worrisome is the fact that uber-hawk John McCain recently stated that he talks with both men “almost daily” (even though he has avoided talking to Trump since he was elected in November.)

According to German Marshall Fund’s Derek Chollet, a former Obama Pentagon official. “(McCain) is trying to run U.S. defense policy through Mattis and effectively ignore Trump.” (Kimberly Dozier, Daily Beast contributing editor) Chollet’s comments square with our belief that Trump has relinquished his control over foreign policy to placate his critics.

Washington’s Syria policy is now in the hands of a small group of right-wing extremists who think Russia is the biggest threat the nation has faced since WW2. That’s why there’s been a sharp uptick in the number of troops deployed to the region. This is from The Nation:

“On March 9, The New York Times reported that the United States is sending 400 troops to Syria…A week later, March 15, The Washington Post reported that the Pentagon has drawn up plans to send a 1,000 more troops within the coming weeks. Meanwhile, in anticipation of the coming … operation against the Islamic State, the administration has decided to send “an additional 2,500 ground combat troops to a staging base in Kuwait.” (“Congress Needs to Stop Trump’s Escalation of the War on Syria”, Nation)

Here’s more from Sputnik:

“Every two days the US deploys a large amount of weapons, primarily heavy armaments, to the region. They have sent tanks, armored vehicles, missiles, sniper rifles, mortar launchers and other types of weaponry…In addition, the United States has told us that a decision was made to send an additional 1,000 US troops to take part in the Raqqa operation,” he said, specifying that US troops will serve as military advisers during the operation and will not take part in the combat.” (Sputnik)

Washington is increasing its weapons stockpile to fend off any attempt by Russia and its allies to keep the battered nation together. A weaker, fragmented Syria governed by tribal leaders and local warlords will pose no threat to Washington or Tel Aviv’s regional ambitions. At least, that appears to be the thinking among US foreign policy elites.

But while Washington continues to pour gas on the fire, Russia remains committed to preserving what Putin calls “the fair world order”. In a recent speech he said:

“Russia opposes attempts to destabilize and weaken international relations, as this could lead to a chaotic and ever less controllable slide towards greater tension in the world.

We support joint action to ensure a democratic and fair world order based on strict respect for the norms of international law, the United Nations Charter, recognition of the unquestionable value of cultural and civilizational diversity, national sovereignty, and the right of all countries to decide their futures freely, without external pressure.”

The Trump administration’s plan to splinter Syria and establish a permanent garrison in the eastern part of the country won’t be stopped unless the American people express their opposition en masse. Investigative journalist, James Carden, recommends that Congress pass a “No Presidential Wars” resolution that “would prohibit the president from “initiating wars against state or non-state actors without prior congressional declarations under Article I, section 8, clause 11 (Declare War Clause).” It’s a great idea, but it won’t happen without pressure from below. People will have to get more involved if they want the bloodletting to end. There’s no other way.

MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com.

(Republished from Counterpunch by permission of author or representative)
 
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  1. This is very bad news indeed. It looks like Trump had completely reneged on his foreign policy campaign promises. There’s now a very good chance we’ll be at war with Russia soon.

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    • Replies: @annamaria
    In short, the US exists excessively for the pleasure of Israel. More slaughter of the innocent civilians and patriotic Syrian servicemen. More destruction. More pollution. The ZUS Empire of Evil wants this flesh.
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  2. Our military brass know full well they cannot prevail against Russia. Russia has the high ground in Syria.They have had a naval base in operation since 1970′s and will not remove accept at Assad’s request and maybe not then. The bluster and show of token force is what we are capable of as demonstrated over and over lately. But all the ho-ha makes the job of procurement brass a lot easier. Isis rides to battle on abandoned ordnance from the last really big shows. see http://noabominoidshere.blogspot.com/2012/04/test-of-true-conservative.html

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    • Replies: @Ned Ludlam
    You are right. The U.S. military is bluffing. They have not got the power to prevail against Syria and its allies assuming they act cohesively. What they're doing is 'showboat' stuff.

    Recall that after the Turkish shoot down of the Russian SU-24 Putin directed his front line commanders that if their forces were ever threatened by outside powers they should use tactical nuclear weapons in defense.
    , @edNels
    Nice idea, that, but no because Russia is what it is, because... ''We'' make it... ''what it is''.

    Russia is or was Communist... because ''we'' or ''thems'' made it what it was... and what it is!

    The bastards that thrive from war, or any of many enterprises we take for granted... parasite upon the ''We'' and we are just like we should be... oblivious...

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  3. The Trump administration’s plan to splinter Syria and establish a permanent garrison in the eastern part of the country won’t be stopped unless the American people express their opposition en masse.

    We already did that in the recent election. Well, about half of us did. We elected the man quoted above. It was worth a try. We knew exactly what Hillary was.

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    • Replies: @bluedog
    Indeed its the old saying I voted for the lesser of the two evils but yet its still evil, and our entanglements will still go on ,until we have reached a war with Russia which of course means little difference if we voted for Trump or Clinton,while I see good old Dick Chenny was in India saying the Russian hacking was a declaration of war..
    , @edNels
    Right! they just did another election to determine or to test the winds'' to see if anybody cares...

    So about almost 50% or more, didn't go for the main candidate Hildebeasty, but see now... the new boss is a little like the old one... a little lighter shade of...yellow...!
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  4. It is bad news for peace .
    Russia does not want to be confronted to the US or Israel and therefore unles the US or Israel starts shooting at the Russians in Syria, Russia will do Nothing against them. That is probably understood by the US’s hawks.
    This Kurdistan including Mossul in Irak and occupied by the US and in the South, the Golan occupied by Israel might solution the terrorism issue but it is not going to bring peace to the Middle-East. The Palestinians, the Hezbollah, in Lebanon, Damas and Bagdad will have to rely more on Iran’s strength and weapons to prevent further aggression from the US or Israel.
    Kurdistan might be tempted to make some ethnic cleaning that will increase further the number of displaced people. Syria is going to miss money to repair its infrastructure destroyed mainly by the US’s strikes. Irak will be poorer in loosing its oil rich northen region. Turkey’s reaction is a question marks as Erdogan is like a Sphinx.
    Yes it is sad. Russia’s regional influence will be drastically reduced by having shown their inability to confront the US and Israel. Iran will know for sure that war is coming but with the Hezbollah, Syria, Irak and the Palestinians, they may be able to reduced Israel to ashes.

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    • Replies: @annamaria
    For Israel this is all about Eretz Israel - the annihilation of all neighboring states and reducing Russia to a docile vassal. The US has been reduced already to a ZUS status.
    Paradoxically, Israel's relative proximity to Russia makes any ZUS aggression towards Russia into a deadly danger for the "only democracy in the ME". It would not be surprising if any such potential attacks have been already pre-synchronized with a deadly blow against Israel. Perhaps this is what works currently as a "warranty" for the world
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  5. RobinG says:

    “The War of Terror on Syria is, seemingly, approaching a clear and visible end, though like everything with the conflict so far, it doesn’t look pretty. Far from the ideal scenario of the Syrian Arab Army liberating every square inch of their civilization-state, an internal partition looks more likely than it ever has before, though it’s still NOT inevitable.” Andrew Korybko

    http://21stcenturywire.com/2017/03/28/syria-approaching-the-finishing-line-geopolitical-jockeying-for-position-intensifies/
    SYRIA: Approaching the Finishing Line, Geopolitical ‘Jockeying for Position’ Intensifies

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  6. mikhass says:

    IF indeed US and “israel” succeeds in implementing this part of the Yinon Plan, it will also render the occupied areas, snatched out of Syria, a hornets nests impossible to defend since the “Kurdistan” part requires local Arab tribes to be governed by Kurds who are not native to the area. Any attempts to subdue them to Washington/Tel Avivs desire and designs will fail miserably.

    The consolation prize to Turkey (for it’s failed neo-ottoman ambitions) of a US controlled “Sunnistan” run by Turkish cutthroat gangs will, like the above mentioned be under constant fire, and probably not survive a month.

    Russia has a naval base in Tartus, the Khmeimim airbase in Lattakia and more under construction, Iran has been granted a naval bases not far from the Khmeimim airbase and Hezbollah, experts in throwing out US marines occupation forces from the area never to return again (well, until the collective US amnesia from such fiasco’s kicks in) will remain in the area and, as said, US presence is illegal and any attempt to occupy parts of UN member Syria under whichever pretext is likewise illegal and Syria can at anytime call for assistance to defend it’s territory.

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  7. LondonBob says:

    Mattis is your typical General, believes US foreign policy is there to serve the US Military and his desire to make his name. Up to his neck in the swamp.

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    • Replies: @The Anti-Gnostic
    Sadly agreed, and he's a childless bachelor with no skin in the game for the future. He will spend his tenure back on the battlefield, war-gaming in the conference room this time, instead of cleaning house.
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  8. If the Americans are just trying to establish a small Kurdish state in northern Syria that might not be too bad. Certainly beats the prior Hell-on-Earth policy of supporting Sunni Islamists in overthrowing the Syrian government and creating a new Al Qaeda zone. Obviously both policies are illegal in international law, but a Kurdish state could potentially be stable when it eventually acquires the Kurdish bits of Iraq & Turkey. Maybe it’s a bad idea, but compared to the US alliance with ‘radical Islamic terrorism’ – the Salafism of Saudi Arabia/Al Qaeda/Daesh – it’s not obviously insane.

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    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    Cogent analysis, Simon.

    I'd add only that any Kurdistan will not include Turkish territory without a major war. Syrian and Iraqi territory, possibly.
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  9. Renoman says:

    Might as well just find out what Israel wants and plan on that happening. I doubt Russia will go to war with the US, what could possibly be in it for them? They made Vlad look good, they can get out soon and hold their head high, the US on the other hand will be there forever.

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  10. @LondonBob
    Mattis is your typical General, believes US foreign policy is there to serve the US Military and his desire to make his name. Up to his neck in the swamp.

    Sadly agreed, and he’s a childless bachelor with no skin in the game for the future. He will spend his tenure back on the battlefield, war-gaming in the conference room this time, instead of cleaning house.

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  11. Tom Welsh says:

    The Syrians and Russians should just keep rolling as if there were no US presence. If and when they reach American troops or their auxiliaries, they should tell them, “We appreciate your help, but as you must be aware, your presence in our country is illegal. Please leave”.

    It’s hard to imagine what reply the Americans could possibly give without appearing openly contemptuous of international law.

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  12. Want to build a fire from below? Institute an immediate resumption of the military draft with no deferments. Within six months we will be out of Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. Within a year we’ll close 500 bases around the world and start rebuilding major cities partially destroyed in the chaos.

    http://robertmagill.wordpress.com

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    • Agree: RadicalCenter, Dan Hayes
    • Replies: @nsa
    How about conscription just for jooies.....Uncle Samuel Wants You in the valiant battle for a Greater Israel? Might as well change all those 5 point stars adorning the chest of Mad Poodle Mattis into 6 pointers while you're at it. Kushner could be in charge of planning the campaign to make sure the muzzies get a fair shake.
    , @paddymick
    why no deferments? Let's give people making less than $30,000 a year an opt-out...when middle class whites are required to fight and die, the policy of dominating the planet will evaporate...
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  13. bluedog says:
    @WorkingClass

    The Trump administration’s plan to splinter Syria and establish a permanent garrison in the eastern part of the country won’t be stopped unless the American people express their opposition en masse.
     
    We already did that in the recent election. Well, about half of us did. We elected the man quoted above. It was worth a try. We knew exactly what Hillary was.

    Indeed its the old saying I voted for the lesser of the two evils but yet its still evil, and our entanglements will still go on ,until we have reached a war with Russia which of course means little difference if we voted for Trump or Clinton,while I see good old Dick Chenny was in India saying the Russian hacking was a declaration of war..

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  14. nsa says:
    @Robert Magill
    Want to build a fire from below? Institute an immediate resumption of the military draft with no deferments. Within six months we will be out of Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. Within a year we'll close 500 bases around the world and start rebuilding major cities partially destroyed in the chaos.

    http://robertmagill.wordpress.com

    How about conscription just for jooies…..Uncle Samuel Wants You in the valiant battle for a Greater Israel? Might as well change all those 5 point stars adorning the chest of Mad Poodle Mattis into 6 pointers while you’re at it. Kushner could be in charge of planning the campaign to make sure the muzzies get a fair shake.

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  15. There will be no fire from below. The people will have no clue. The Kurds (unsuprisingly) are said to be the good guys according to the usual story tellers. Hapless poster above says “shucks, it’d be fine if they carved out their own country”. Where do parrots come from? From the media they read.

    Matt Taibbi offers up the tale of left wing hero kids from the US who’ve decided to join up and start shooting out of the goodness of their hearts. Krugman et al remind the citizens that “Russia is evil”, without mentioning Syria.

    The House of Saud buys elections in the US but it’s “Russia the hackers” that is presented as being most important.

    Brookings is still referred to as a liberal think tank, which is appropriate, since liberals will kill and harvest the essence of every child, woman and man necessary to sustain themselves – while claiming they are the world’s leading white helmets.

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    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    Agree with everything you write except this: are the Kurds "bad guys" compared to the Turks, the Israelis, ISIS and other islamists, and the other scum in the region?

    We should withdraw from that region already. We don't "need" much of their (middle eastern) oil and gas.

    Keep increasing domestic oil and gas production, incentivize solar panels on homes and businesses and plugin hybrid vehicles, and sign larger long-term supply contracts to buy from Canada (a friendly country) and Russia (which can and should be a friendly country to some degree if the US Gov actually worked in good faith towards that end).

    It's not an unavoidable need for middle eastern oil and gas that keeps the US Gov killing, maiming, sanctioning, and aggressing nonstop in that region.
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  16. paddymick says:
    @Robert Magill
    Want to build a fire from below? Institute an immediate resumption of the military draft with no deferments. Within six months we will be out of Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. Within a year we'll close 500 bases around the world and start rebuilding major cities partially destroyed in the chaos.

    http://robertmagill.wordpress.com

    why no deferments? Let’s give people making less than $30,000 a year an opt-out…when middle class whites are required to fight and die, the policy of dominating the planet will evaporate…

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    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    Russia can't give up that critical naval base in Syria. The US and NATO will further encircle and encroach on Russia if Russia is foolish enough to surrender that base.

    It would quickly become a US base and another weapon in the drive to destroy or control Russia and its vast mineral and fossil fuel and agricultural resources.

    And giving up the base would embolden the US Gov to act even more aggressively and menacingly towards Russia and Iran, with no benefit to actual regular American people. As usual.
    , @RadicalCenter
    When the children of the RICH are conscripted to risk life and limb in utterly unnecessary non-defensive wars, then there will be change for sure.

    There must be no exceptions or deferments at all. And no ability to claim CO and avoid combat.

    Nobody should have to die in these unconstitutional and undeclared wars. But if someone must, then the children of the American-hating Christian-hating D.C., Manhattan, and LA elites suffer and die for the machinations of their parents, not just our children.

    Wouldn't many of the elite's kids be glad to die for Israeli or corporate (military-industrial complex) interests, after all?

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  17. rAM says:

    Trump has become a mere puppet and the soft coup has been successful beyond the dreams of the Zionists.

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  18. @Simon in London
    If the Americans are just trying to establish a small Kurdish state in northern Syria that might not be too bad. Certainly beats the prior Hell-on-Earth policy of supporting Sunni Islamists in overthrowing the Syrian government and creating a new Al Qaeda zone. Obviously both policies are illegal in international law, but a Kurdish state could potentially be stable when it eventually acquires the Kurdish bits of Iraq & Turkey. Maybe it's a bad idea, but compared to the US alliance with 'radical Islamic terrorism' - the Salafism of Saudi Arabia/Al Qaeda/Daesh - it's not obviously insane.

    Cogent analysis, Simon.

    I’d add only that any Kurdistan will not include Turkish territory without a major war. Syrian and Iraqi territory, possibly.

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    • Replies: @Simon in London
    Thanks - yes I agree. In the medium term we're likely to see Syrian & Iraqi Kurdish statelets with Turkey retaining territorial integrity. I can imagine the US State Dept at some point going to war with Turkey via "Responsibility to Protect" the Kurds, aiming to carve out a Kurdish state in Turkey. Depends on how much Erdogan screws up in losing all his friends, and how much hatred of Russia continues to dominate US policy.
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  19. MEexpert says:

    Israel’s policy has always been to divide the Muslim nations into small states that won’t be a threat to her Middle East monopoly. She can aim a nuclear warhead at each nation and live happily there after. The eye in the ointment is Iran which will not kneel to the Israel and/or the empire’s dictats.

    General Mattis is living up to his moniker “the Mad Dog.” Under Trump, wars have escalated in all three fronts; Iraq, Syria, and Yemen. He wants to keep the military happy and busy so they won’t join in the intelligence community’s coup against him. Elected representatives of both parties are in no shape to address this situation. They are too busy chasing the “Russia stole the election” tiger.

    You would think there would be at least a few statesmen in both parties to say enough to these wars but sadly so far no one has come forward. Israel treats these politicians as she does the captive palestinians; on a tight leash.

    I think the solutions is, in addition to taking out our frustration by writing in these fora, we should start bombarding on a daily basis the elected representatives. Only then, may be, they will start listening. Writing these comments alone does not achieve anything.

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    • Replies: @Rurik

    You would think there would be at least a few statesmen in both parties to say enough to these wars but sadly so far no one has come forward.
     
    there is at least this guy..

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1zdvSsLBvM
    , @RobinG
    There can be no useful "pressure from below" unless more Americans get a clue as to what's really been happening with Syria, and the 'progressive' and 'left' gatekeepers are no help in this, most of them still pushing White Helmets fake news and 'Assad must go'.

    Stephen Gowans, in an earlier article, showed that the CRC (Congressional Research Service) had already named US support for Israel as a primary motivation for encouraging (and fostering) regime-change in Syria. Now, his book should be read by all who seek to end US destructive meddling in ME.

    “WASHINGTON’S LONG WAR ON SYRIA”

    Stephen Gowans, will launch his authoritative new book, “Washington’s Long War on Syria”, in a number of Central Canadian cities over the next two months.

    OTTAWA: Wednesday April 5.
    MISSISSAUGA: Sunday April 23
    TORONTO: Monday, April 24
    HAMILTON: Tuesday, April 25
    ST CATHARINES: Wednesday, April 26
    TORONTO: Thursday, April 27
    MONTREAL: Tuesday, May 2

    Details: https://www.facebook.com/events/1774137262902073/
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  20. @paddymick
    why no deferments? Let's give people making less than $30,000 a year an opt-out...when middle class whites are required to fight and die, the policy of dominating the planet will evaporate...

    Russia can’t give up that critical naval base in Syria. The US and NATO will further encircle and encroach on Russia if Russia is foolish enough to surrender that base.

    It would quickly become a US base and another weapon in the drive to destroy or control Russia and its vast mineral and fossil fuel and agricultural resources.

    And giving up the base would embolden the US Gov to act even more aggressively and menacingly towards Russia and Iran, with no benefit to actual regular American people. As usual.

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  21. @Inertiller
    There will be no fire from below. The people will have no clue. The Kurds (unsuprisingly) are said to be the good guys according to the usual story tellers. Hapless poster above says "shucks, it'd be fine if they carved out their own country". Where do parrots come from? From the media they read.

    Matt Taibbi offers up the tale of left wing hero kids from the US who've decided to join up and start shooting out of the goodness of their hearts. Krugman et al remind the citizens that "Russia is evil", without mentioning Syria.

    The House of Saud buys elections in the US but it's "Russia the hackers" that is presented as being most important.


    Brookings is still referred to as a liberal think tank, which is appropriate, since liberals will kill and harvest the essence of every child, woman and man necessary to sustain themselves - while claiming they are the world's leading white helmets.

    Agree with everything you write except this: are the Kurds “bad guys” compared to the Turks, the Israelis, ISIS and other islamists, and the other scum in the region?

    We should withdraw from that region already. We don’t “need” much of their (middle eastern) oil and gas.

    Keep increasing domestic oil and gas production, incentivize solar panels on homes and businesses and plugin hybrid vehicles, and sign larger long-term supply contracts to buy from Canada (a friendly country) and Russia (which can and should be a friendly country to some degree if the US Gov actually worked in good faith towards that end).

    It’s not an unavoidable need for middle eastern oil and gas that keeps the US Gov killing, maiming, sanctioning, and aggressing nonstop in that region.

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    • Replies: @bluedog
    Well Canada is not so flush with oil for if they were they would find some other source than the very expensive tar sands, and of course we will/would be in the Mid-East because of Israel and our dreams of an empire, and those dreams replace reality for there simply are to many players now for even our military which is by no means the best in the world..
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  22. @paddymick
    why no deferments? Let's give people making less than $30,000 a year an opt-out...when middle class whites are required to fight and die, the policy of dominating the planet will evaporate...

    When the children of the RICH are conscripted to risk life and limb in utterly unnecessary non-defensive wars, then there will be change for sure.

    There must be no exceptions or deferments at all. And no ability to claim CO and avoid combat.

    Nobody should have to die in these unconstitutional and undeclared wars. But if someone must, then the children of the American-hating Christian-hating D.C., Manhattan, and LA elites suffer and die for the machinations of their parents, not just our children.

    Wouldn’t many of the elite’s kids be glad to die for Israeli or corporate (military-industrial complex) interests, after all?

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  23. annamaria says:
    @Seamus Padraig
    This is very bad news indeed. It looks like Trump had completely reneged on his foreign policy campaign promises. There's now a very good chance we'll be at war with Russia soon.

    In short, the US exists excessively for the pleasure of Israel. More slaughter of the innocent civilians and patriotic Syrian servicemen. More destruction. More pollution. The ZUS Empire of Evil wants this flesh.

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  24. Rurik says:
    @MEexpert
    Israel's policy has always been to divide the Muslim nations into small states that won't be a threat to her Middle East monopoly. She can aim a nuclear warhead at each nation and live happily there after. The eye in the ointment is Iran which will not kneel to the Israel and/or the empire's dictats.

    General Mattis is living up to his moniker "the Mad Dog." Under Trump, wars have escalated in all three fronts; Iraq, Syria, and Yemen. He wants to keep the military happy and busy so they won't join in the intelligence community's coup against him. Elected representatives of both parties are in no shape to address this situation. They are too busy chasing the "Russia stole the election" tiger.

    You would think there would be at least a few statesmen in both parties to say enough to these wars but sadly so far no one has come forward. Israel treats these politicians as she does the captive palestinians; on a tight leash.

    I think the solutions is, in addition to taking out our frustration by writing in these fora, we should start bombarding on a daily basis the elected representatives. Only then, may be, they will start listening. Writing these comments alone does not achieve anything.

    You would think there would be at least a few statesmen in both parties to say enough to these wars but sadly so far no one has come forward.

    there is at least this guy..

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    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    Thank God for Rand Paul, and his father before him.

    If Trump sells us out on illegal immigration / border wall or starts a war against Russia or Iran, I'll gladly dump him for Rand in the 2020 GOP Primary.

    Is Rand awake about mass Third World immigration and its ongoing conquest of the American nation?
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  25. annamaria says:
    @Jean de Peyrelongue
    It is bad news for peace .
    Russia does not want to be confronted to the US or Israel and therefore unles the US or Israel starts shooting at the Russians in Syria, Russia will do Nothing against them. That is probably understood by the US's hawks.
    This Kurdistan including Mossul in Irak and occupied by the US and in the South, the Golan occupied by Israel might solution the terrorism issue but it is not going to bring peace to the Middle-East. The Palestinians, the Hezbollah, in Lebanon, Damas and Bagdad will have to rely more on Iran's strength and weapons to prevent further aggression from the US or Israel.
    Kurdistan might be tempted to make some ethnic cleaning that will increase further the number of displaced people. Syria is going to miss money to repair its infrastructure destroyed mainly by the US's strikes. Irak will be poorer in loosing its oil rich northen region. Turkey's reaction is a question marks as Erdogan is like a Sphinx.
    Yes it is sad. Russia's regional influence will be drastically reduced by having shown their inability to confront the US and Israel. Iran will know for sure that war is coming but with the Hezbollah, Syria, Irak and the Palestinians, they may be able to reduced Israel to ashes.

    For Israel this is all about Eretz Israel – the annihilation of all neighboring states and reducing Russia to a docile vassal. The US has been reduced already to a ZUS status.
    Paradoxically, Israel’s relative proximity to Russia makes any ZUS aggression towards Russia into a deadly danger for the “only democracy in the ME”. It would not be surprising if any such potential attacks have been already pre-synchronized with a deadly blow against Israel. Perhaps this is what works currently as a “warranty” for the world

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  26. annamaria says:

    It is impossible to get anything of this kind (clear and on point) from the US officials: http://thesaker.is/russian-foreign-minister-sergey-lavrovs-interview-to-the-national-interest-magazine-march-29-2017/
    Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview to the National Interest Magazine March 29, 2017

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  27. bluedog says:
    @RadicalCenter
    Agree with everything you write except this: are the Kurds "bad guys" compared to the Turks, the Israelis, ISIS and other islamists, and the other scum in the region?

    We should withdraw from that region already. We don't "need" much of their (middle eastern) oil and gas.

    Keep increasing domestic oil and gas production, incentivize solar panels on homes and businesses and plugin hybrid vehicles, and sign larger long-term supply contracts to buy from Canada (a friendly country) and Russia (which can and should be a friendly country to some degree if the US Gov actually worked in good faith towards that end).

    It's not an unavoidable need for middle eastern oil and gas that keeps the US Gov killing, maiming, sanctioning, and aggressing nonstop in that region.

    Well Canada is not so flush with oil for if they were they would find some other source than the very expensive tar sands, and of course we will/would be in the Mid-East because of Israel and our dreams of an empire, and those dreams replace reality for there simply are to many players now for even our military which is by no means the best in the world..

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    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    Good points all, azure canine.

    I'd note only that Canada is a net exporter of oil, with the lion's share going to the USA. But you're right that Canada isn't nearly as big a source of potentially increased non-Middle Eastern oil imports as Russia is.

    "Our" government ought to be negotiating greater oil and nat gas imports from Russia, to gradually replace some of our ME oil and natural gas imports. If we don't, China and eventually India will lock up more and more of Russia's supply with long term contracts.
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  28. @bluedog
    Well Canada is not so flush with oil for if they were they would find some other source than the very expensive tar sands, and of course we will/would be in the Mid-East because of Israel and our dreams of an empire, and those dreams replace reality for there simply are to many players now for even our military which is by no means the best in the world..

    Good points all, azure canine.

    I’d note only that Canada is a net exporter of oil, with the lion’s share going to the USA. But you’re right that Canada isn’t nearly as big a source of potentially increased non-Middle Eastern oil imports as Russia is.

    “Our” government ought to be negotiating greater oil and nat gas imports from Russia, to gradually replace some of our ME oil and natural gas imports. If we don’t, China and eventually India will lock up more and more of Russia’s supply with long term contracts.

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    • Agree: bluedog
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  29. @Rurik

    You would think there would be at least a few statesmen in both parties to say enough to these wars but sadly so far no one has come forward.
     
    there is at least this guy..

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1zdvSsLBvM

    Thank God for Rand Paul, and his father before him.

    If Trump sells us out on illegal immigration / border wall or starts a war against Russia or Iran, I’ll gladly dump him for Rand in the 2020 GOP Primary.

    Is Rand awake about mass Third World immigration and its ongoing conquest of the American nation?

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    • Replies: @Rurik

    Is Rand awake about mass Third World immigration and its ongoing conquest of the American nation?
     
    I suspect so RC,

    but it's when it comes to The Eternal WarsⓊ that he sounds like the only sane adult in the Senate

    I wonder what kind of toll it takes on a soul to be surrounded by so much treason and venality

    If through some miracle Trump lasts until 2020, I'd like to see Paul be the VP on the ticket

    He's not his dad, and doesn't have his dad's iron principles, but he sure seems better than most of those rotten swine.

    cheers
    , @Ace
    Rand's a libertarian and so should be assumed to be indifferent to closing the border.
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  30. @RadicalCenter
    Cogent analysis, Simon.

    I'd add only that any Kurdistan will not include Turkish territory without a major war. Syrian and Iraqi territory, possibly.

    Thanks – yes I agree. In the medium term we’re likely to see Syrian & Iraqi Kurdish statelets with Turkey retaining territorial integrity. I can imagine the US State Dept at some point going to war with Turkey via “Responsibility to Protect” the Kurds, aiming to carve out a Kurdish state in Turkey. Depends on how much Erdogan screws up in losing all his friends, and how much hatred of Russia continues to dominate US policy.

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    • Replies: @MEexpert

    Depends on how much Erdogan screws up in losing all his friends, and how much hatred of Russia continues to dominate US policy.
     
    Well, it just got scalated. The top General in Afghanistan testifying in front of Congress accused Russia of supplying weapons to Talibans. Last week the US-NATO commander did the same. Chickens are coming home to roost. In the 1980s US was arming the Talibans gainst the Russians and the Russia backed Afghan government.

    Stay tune for more.
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  31. MEexpert says:
    @Simon in London
    Thanks - yes I agree. In the medium term we're likely to see Syrian & Iraqi Kurdish statelets with Turkey retaining territorial integrity. I can imagine the US State Dept at some point going to war with Turkey via "Responsibility to Protect" the Kurds, aiming to carve out a Kurdish state in Turkey. Depends on how much Erdogan screws up in losing all his friends, and how much hatred of Russia continues to dominate US policy.

    Depends on how much Erdogan screws up in losing all his friends, and how much hatred of Russia continues to dominate US policy.

    Well, it just got scalated. The top General in Afghanistan testifying in front of Congress accused Russia of supplying weapons to Talibans. Last week the US-NATO commander did the same. Chickens are coming home to roost. In the 1980s US was arming the Talibans gainst the Russians and the Russia backed Afghan government.

    Stay tune for more.

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    • Replies: @LondonBob
    The US is more militaristic than Wilhemine Germany, that gravy train just goes on and on. The mediocre intellects that run the Pentagon lack the imagination for anything else, hopefully Bannon can be a check upon them. Of course the Taliban are just the militia of the Pashtun people, the Pashtun's can't and won't be shut out of power there. Pakistan, with its sizeable Shia population, looks like ti is increasingly cosying up to Russia-Iran-China axis anyway.
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  32. Rurik says:
    @RadicalCenter
    Thank God for Rand Paul, and his father before him.

    If Trump sells us out on illegal immigration / border wall or starts a war against Russia or Iran, I'll gladly dump him for Rand in the 2020 GOP Primary.

    Is Rand awake about mass Third World immigration and its ongoing conquest of the American nation?

    Is Rand awake about mass Third World immigration and its ongoing conquest of the American nation?

    I suspect so RC,

    but it’s when it comes to The Eternal WarsⓊ that he sounds like the only sane adult in the Senate

    I wonder what kind of toll it takes on a soul to be surrounded by so much treason and venality

    If through some miracle Trump lasts until 2020, I’d like to see Paul be the VP on the ticket

    He’s not his dad, and doesn’t have his dad’s iron principles, but he sure seems better than most of those rotten swine.

    cheers

    Read More
    • Replies: @bluedog
    Be interesting but even if by some miracle Trump should last until 2020 with the mid-term elections, which could see many republicans loose, he would still be a lame duck president it looks like Trump is trying to cater to the wall street bunch saying he's going to remove more regulations for the crooks, while mad dog and his cronies are in McCain's pocket as I read they have daily communications so just who is the real Trump...
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  33. bluedog says:
    @Rurik

    Is Rand awake about mass Third World immigration and its ongoing conquest of the American nation?
     
    I suspect so RC,

    but it's when it comes to The Eternal WarsⓊ that he sounds like the only sane adult in the Senate

    I wonder what kind of toll it takes on a soul to be surrounded by so much treason and venality

    If through some miracle Trump lasts until 2020, I'd like to see Paul be the VP on the ticket

    He's not his dad, and doesn't have his dad's iron principles, but he sure seems better than most of those rotten swine.

    cheers

    Be interesting but even if by some miracle Trump should last until 2020 with the mid-term elections, which could see many republicans loose, he would still be a lame duck president it looks like Trump is trying to cater to the wall street bunch saying he’s going to remove more regulations for the crooks, while mad dog and his cronies are in McCain’s pocket as I read they have daily communications so just who is the real Trump…

    Read More
    • Replies: @Rurik

    so just who is the real Trump…
     
    perhaps his first real test

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/with-washingtons-blessing-telecom-giants-can-mine-your-web-history-1490869801

    if he doesn't veto this abomination, then I think we'll all know he was a ruse all along

    so far the drones and snuggling up to Goldman Sachs and other chilling decisions could be put down to protecting his arse from being JFK'd until he has a security apparatus in place.

    but this legislation is so momentously treasonous and indefensible, that there's just no rationalization

    if he signs it, I'll consider him a ringer for the PTB
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  34. LondonBob says:
    @MEexpert

    Depends on how much Erdogan screws up in losing all his friends, and how much hatred of Russia continues to dominate US policy.
     
    Well, it just got scalated. The top General in Afghanistan testifying in front of Congress accused Russia of supplying weapons to Talibans. Last week the US-NATO commander did the same. Chickens are coming home to roost. In the 1980s US was arming the Talibans gainst the Russians and the Russia backed Afghan government.

    Stay tune for more.

    The US is more militaristic than Wilhemine Germany, that gravy train just goes on and on. The mediocre intellects that run the Pentagon lack the imagination for anything else, hopefully Bannon can be a check upon them. Of course the Taliban are just the militia of the Pashtun people, the Pashtun’s can’t and won’t be shut out of power there. Pakistan, with its sizeable Shia population, looks like ti is increasingly cosying up to Russia-Iran-China axis anyway.

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  35. Rurik says:
    @bluedog
    Be interesting but even if by some miracle Trump should last until 2020 with the mid-term elections, which could see many republicans loose, he would still be a lame duck president it looks like Trump is trying to cater to the wall street bunch saying he's going to remove more regulations for the crooks, while mad dog and his cronies are in McCain's pocket as I read they have daily communications so just who is the real Trump...

    so just who is the real Trump…

    perhaps his first real test

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/with-washingtons-blessing-telecom-giants-can-mine-your-web-history-1490869801

    if he doesn’t veto this abomination, then I think we’ll all know he was a ruse all along

    so far the drones and snuggling up to Goldman Sachs and other chilling decisions could be put down to protecting his arse from being JFK’d until he has a security apparatus in place.

    but this legislation is so momentously treasonous and indefensible, that there’s just no rationalization

    if he signs it, I’ll consider him a ringer for the PTB

    Read More
    • Agree: bluedog
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  36. @Robert Magill
    Our military brass know full well they cannot prevail against Russia. Russia has the high ground in Syria.They have had a naval base in operation since 1970's and will not remove accept at Assad's request and maybe not then. The bluster and show of token force is what we are capable of as demonstrated over and over lately. But all the ho-ha makes the job of procurement brass a lot easier. Isis rides to battle on abandoned ordnance from the last really big shows. see http://noabominoidshere.blogspot.com/2012/04/test-of-true-conservative.html

    You are right. The U.S. military is bluffing. They have not got the power to prevail against Syria and its allies assuming they act cohesively. What they’re doing is ‘showboat’ stuff.

    Recall that after the Turkish shoot down of the Russian SU-24 Putin directed his front line commanders that if their forces were ever threatened by outside powers they should use tactical nuclear weapons in defense.

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  37. edNels says:
    @WorkingClass

    The Trump administration’s plan to splinter Syria and establish a permanent garrison in the eastern part of the country won’t be stopped unless the American people express their opposition en masse.
     
    We already did that in the recent election. Well, about half of us did. We elected the man quoted above. It was worth a try. We knew exactly what Hillary was.

    Right! they just did another election to determine or to test the winds” to see if anybody cares…

    So about almost 50% or more, didn’t go for the main candidate Hildebeasty, but see now… the new boss is a little like the old one… a little lighter shade of…yellow…!

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  38. edNels says:
    @Robert Magill
    Our military brass know full well they cannot prevail against Russia. Russia has the high ground in Syria.They have had a naval base in operation since 1970's and will not remove accept at Assad's request and maybe not then. The bluster and show of token force is what we are capable of as demonstrated over and over lately. But all the ho-ha makes the job of procurement brass a lot easier. Isis rides to battle on abandoned ordnance from the last really big shows. see http://noabominoidshere.blogspot.com/2012/04/test-of-true-conservative.html

    Nice idea, that, but no because Russia is what it is, because… ”We” make it… ”what it is”.

    Russia is or was Communist… because ”we” or ”thems” made it what it was… and what it is!

    The bastards that thrive from war, or any of many enterprises we take for granted… parasite upon the ”We” and we are just like we should be… oblivious…

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  39. RobinG says:
    @MEexpert
    Israel's policy has always been to divide the Muslim nations into small states that won't be a threat to her Middle East monopoly. She can aim a nuclear warhead at each nation and live happily there after. The eye in the ointment is Iran which will not kneel to the Israel and/or the empire's dictats.

    General Mattis is living up to his moniker "the Mad Dog." Under Trump, wars have escalated in all three fronts; Iraq, Syria, and Yemen. He wants to keep the military happy and busy so they won't join in the intelligence community's coup against him. Elected representatives of both parties are in no shape to address this situation. They are too busy chasing the "Russia stole the election" tiger.

    You would think there would be at least a few statesmen in both parties to say enough to these wars but sadly so far no one has come forward. Israel treats these politicians as she does the captive palestinians; on a tight leash.

    I think the solutions is, in addition to taking out our frustration by writing in these fora, we should start bombarding on a daily basis the elected representatives. Only then, may be, they will start listening. Writing these comments alone does not achieve anything.

    There can be no useful “pressure from below” unless more Americans get a clue as to what’s really been happening with Syria, and the ‘progressive’ and ‘left’ gatekeepers are no help in this, most of them still pushing White Helmets fake news and ‘Assad must go’.

    Stephen Gowans, in an earlier article, showed that the CRC (Congressional Research Service) had already named US support for Israel as a primary motivation for encouraging (and fostering) regime-change in Syria. Now, his book should be read by all who seek to end US destructive meddling in ME.

    “WASHINGTON’S LONG WAR ON SYRIA”

    Stephen Gowans, will launch his authoritative new book, “Washington’s Long War on Syria”, in a number of Central Canadian cities over the next two months.

    OTTAWA: Wednesday April 5.
    MISSISSAUGA: Sunday April 23
    TORONTO: Monday, April 24
    HAMILTON: Tuesday, April 25
    ST CATHARINES: Wednesday, April 26
    TORONTO: Thursday, April 27
    MONTREAL: Tuesday, May 2

    Details: https://www.facebook.com/events/1774137262902073/

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  40. XYZFactor says:

    Assad: 1 / Neocons and Israel: 0

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  41. Ace says:
    @RadicalCenter
    Thank God for Rand Paul, and his father before him.

    If Trump sells us out on illegal immigration / border wall or starts a war against Russia or Iran, I'll gladly dump him for Rand in the 2020 GOP Primary.

    Is Rand awake about mass Third World immigration and its ongoing conquest of the American nation?

    Rand’s a libertarian and so should be assumed to be indifferent to closing the border.

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  42. I’m a lifelong libertarian who wants to close the border and end all Third World immigration both”legal” and illegal.

    See also Hans-Hermann Hoppe.

    But your point is well taken overall, Ace. I do know libertarians who somehow can’t see that their ideals will have zero chance of being implemented if we continue this importation of tens of millions of people from less evolved countries with little to no tradition of decentralization, individual freedom and choice, and free enterprise.

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