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Uncle Sam vs. Russia in Eastern Syria: The Nightmare Scenario
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The impending collapse of ISIS has touched off a race for territory in the oil-rich eastern part of Syria pitting US-backed forces against the Russian-led coalition of Syria, Iran and Hezbollah. This is the nightmare scenario that everyone wanted to avoid. Washington and Moscow’s armies are now converging on the same area at the same time greatly increasing the probability of a conflagration between the two nuclear-armed superpowers. The only way a clash can be avoided is if one party backs down, which seems increasingly unlikely.

The situation can be easily explained. The vast swath of territory captured by ISIS is steadily shrinking due to the dogged perseverance of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) which has liberated most of the countryside west of the Euphrates River including the former ISIS stronghold at Deir Ezzor, a critical garrison at the center of the fighting. ISIS is also getting pressure from the north where the US-backed SDF is pounding their capital at Raqqa while deploying troops and tanks southward to the oil fields in Deir Ezzor province.

Washington has made it clear that it wants its proxy-army to control the area east of the Euphrates establishing a soft partition between east and west. The US also wants to control Deir Ezzor’s vast oil resources in order to provide a reliable revenue stream for the emergent Kurdish statelet.

Syrian President Bashar al Assad has said many times that he will never agree to the partitioning of the country. But the decision will not be made by Assad alone. His coalition partners in Moscow, Beirut and Tehran will also help shape the final settlement. As far as Putin is concerned, it seems extremely unlikely that he’d risk a protracted and bloody war with the United States simply to recapture every square inch of Syrian territory. The Russian president will probably allow the US to keep its bases in the northeast provided that critical areas are conceded to the regime. But where will the line be drawn, that’s the question?

Military Situation in Eastern Syria.  Credit: Al-Masdar News.
Military Situation in Eastern Syria. Credit: Al-Masdar News.

The US wants to control the area east of the Euphrates including the lucrative oil fields. This is why they deployed troops from the SDF southward even though they’re still needed in Raqqa. Earlier in the week, it looked like the Syrian Army had a leg up on the SDF as troops and armored vehicles crossed the Euphrates headed east to the oil fields. But reports that appeared late Thursday indicate that the SDF has beaten them to the punch. This is from South Front:

“On Thursday, the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) …captured Tabiyeh and al-Isba oil fields in the northwestern Deir Ezzor countryside, according to pro-Kurdish sources. … If these reports are confirmed, the SDF will be in control over a half of Syria’s oil reserve. Moreover, that will mean that the SDF at least partly blocked the SAA way on the eastern bank of the Euphrates river.” (“Syrian Democratic Forces Capture Key Oil Fields In Deir Ezzor”, South Front)

This is a major setback for the Russian coalition. It means that the SAA backed by the Russian Airforce will have to fight a group which, up to this point, has been an ally in the war against ISIS. Now it’s clear that the mainly-Kurdish SDF is no ally, it’s an enemy that wants to steal Syria’s resources and carve a state out of its eastern flank.

The news about the SDF’s arrival at the oil fields came just hours after the Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov issued a terse warning to the US and SDF that Russia would retaliate if SAA positions were attacked again by SDF mortar or rocket fire.

Quote: “Russia unequivocally told the commanders of US forces in Al Udeid Airbase (Qatar) that it will not tolerate any shelling from the areas where the SDF are stationed (…) Fire from positions in regions [controlled by the SDF] will be suppressed by all means necessary.”

In retrospect, it looks like the SDF had already decided to make a clean break with the government leaving no doubt of where they stood. Washington is using the SDF to seize the oil fields and to claim to the entire east side of the Euphrates for its own. There’s no doubt that these combat units of the SDF are accompanied by US Special Forces who are providing critical communications, logistic and tactical support. This operation has Washington’s fingerprints all over it.

On Friday morning, loyalist forces led by the 5th Assault Corps ISIS Hunters, established full control over Khusham village on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River near Deir Ezzor city. The strategically-located village blocks a key road linking the area held by the SDF to the Omar oil fields.

Get the picture? US-backed forces and Russian coalition members are now operating cheek-to-jowl in the same theatre trying to seize the same oil-rich scrap of land. This has all the makings of a major head-on collision.

Putin is a cautious and reasonable man, but he’s not going to hand over Syria’s oil fields without a fight. Besides, Assad needs the oil receipts to finance the rebuilding of his decimated country. Equally important, he needs the territory east of Deir Ezzor to for an overland route connecting Beirut to Damascus to Baghdad to Tehran, the so-called Arab Superhighway. Putin’s job is to glue as much of the country together as needed to create a viable state. So while he may allow the SDF and US military to occupy parts of the northeast, he’s not going to surrender crucial resources or strategically-located territory.

So what does it all mean? Does it mean that Russia will support Assad’s attempts to liberate the oil fields even if it could trigger a broader war with the United States?

Yes, that’s exactly what it means.

Putin doesn’t want a slugfest with Uncle Sam, but he’s not going to abandon an ally either. So there’s going to be a confrontation because neither party is willing to give up what they feel they need to achieve success.

So there you have it. As the standoff begins to take shape in east Syria, the two rival superpowers are preparing themselves for the worst. Clearly, we have reached the most dangerous moment in the six year-long war.

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. AndrewR says:

    Thanks, Jews!

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Someone put the Kurds out of their misery as slaves of the ZOG.
    , @Anon
    A sophisticated and deep analysis on your part.
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  2. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @AndrewR
    Thanks, Jews!

    Someone put the Kurds out of their misery as slaves of the ZOG.

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  3. anon says: • Disclaimer

    From MOON OF ALABAMA ”

    Late afternoon today (local time) U.S. hired, equipped and advised Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighters killed nine Syrian Arab Army soldiers. The soldiers were in a boat crossing the Euphrates river near Deir Ezzor city.
    Two sources independently report the incident. There is so far no official confirmation. The following assumes that the above indeed happened.
    The killers were from a U.S. hired gang of Arab tribal fighters under one Ahmad Abu Khawla. He is well known as a local criminal who had earlier fought for the Islamic State (ISIS). His gang is nominally under the command of the YPK/PKK which is the main U.S. ally in north-eastern Syria. U.S. special forces are in the area as “advisors” to the various SDF groups.

    Abu Khawla is officially the commander of the “Deir Ezzor military council” – a body the U.S. advisors invented as umbrella for its collection of local mercenaries.
    The incident happened just a day after sharply worded statements by the Russian defense department, discussed in yesterday’s summary, had warned against further escalations.
    The Russian defense department accused the U.S. of having incited an al-Qaeda attack in Idleb and Hama province in west-Syria as a diversion and hindrance for the Syrian-Russian campaign in Deir Ezzor in east-Syria. During the AQ attack in north-Hama al-Qaeda attempted to catch or kill 29 Russian military police soldiers who were supervising a deescalation zone in the area. The AQ attack failed under a massive Russian air campaign.
    The killing of nine Syrian army soldiers, while these were in a defenseless situation, will surely lead to a harsh Syrian army and Russian military reaction. The U.S. supported SDF near Deir Ezzor will be the targets. http://www.moonofalabama.org/

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  4. Erebus says:

    From MoA

    UPDATE – 5:55PM:

    The alleged incident did NOT happen. (At least not the way describe below.)

    No SAA soldiers were killed by the U.S. proxy force near Deir Ezzor.

    I am sorry for the false alarm and any irritation it might have caused.

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  5. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    Incredible. Russia is legally in Syria with permission from the government. US is illegally there under some bogus pretext.

    What does that tell you?

    US is a totally rogue nation under globalist rule.

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    • Agree: Realist, polskijoe
    • Replies: @anon
    What was that loud American squeaking about when Crimea had a democratically arranged reunification with Russian Federation? -- the “sovereignty of Ukraine?” After the illegal US-made coup d’etat, Ukraine has been dying: https://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrapoza/2016/10/14/how-corruption-corrodes-ukraines-economy/#7f9ff22e124e
    Russians are legally in Syria, whereas American forces (ordered to Syria by the loyalists to the Bibi-land) are in Syria illegally. Russians have been fighting ISIS. Americans have been cooperating with "moderate" jihadists and arming (illegally, via the CIA channels) Al Qaeda and ISIS: http://news.antiwar.com/2017/08/27/us-allies-used-diplomatic-flights-to-send-weapons-to-terrorists/comment-page-1/
    There would have been no slaughter in the Middle East -- some 4 millions dead civilians, many children, and counting -- if not the Oded Yinon plan and PNAC: http://www.historycommons.org/context.jsp?item=complete_911_timeline_6370
    The US has been infiltrated and devoured by the ziocons and mega-war-profiteers
    , @Sam J.
    "...US is a totally rogue nation under globalist rule..."

    Here fixed it for you,"US is a totally rogue nation under Jewish rule."

    Don't bother telling me about all the collaborators. The branches may be many but they are the root of the disorder.

    “There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.” – Henry David Thoreau
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  6. peterAUS says:

    Does it mean that Russia will support Assad’s attempts to liberate the oil fields even if it could trigger a broader war with the United States?

    No it does not mean that.
    On the contrary.

    When push comes to shove the regime in Moscow will, as always so far, retreat.

    There could be clashes involving US and Russian soldiers losing life and limb but it will not escalate.

    Syria will remain partitioned and in ongoing strife.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    This isn't the 70s anymore. Its time for the Amerikwa to break and a single sharp blow will do.
    , @MD
    hello F. Jew
    , @Realist
    "When push comes to shove the regime in Moscow will, as always so far, retreat."


    It’s quite simple. If the Russia-Syria coalition allow any of the US-terrorist coalition to occupy any part of Syria…they lose. No compromise should be considered.
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  7. The United States controls ISIS, and could have ordered them to stand down months ago and alliow the Kurds to occupy the East Bank of Euphrates and the oil patch along it. If the Kurds haven’t done so it is because they don’t have the strength. The Kurdish move accomplishes nothing of significance as the SAA bridgehead is between them and the bulk of the oil patch to the south. The Kurds have advanced on a narrow front with long exposed flanks to the left and right. The Kurdish forces at the limit of their advance could end up encircled if the SAA makes a single or double envelopement out of their bridgehead on the East Bank that is assisted by the RuAF interdicting the Kurdish line of advance. This situation is no more than The United States burning their proxies to cause irritation to the SAA as it continues to win. There is no future for a Kurdish “statelet”, the Syrians don’t want it, the Iraqis don’t want it, and Turkey will attack it if necessary. The Kurds have only one option: acknowledge Syrian authority. Syria is in the process of regaining Eastern Syria and when that is accomplished they will turn to the Idlib Enclave and reduce it. The Kurds will then be given “an offer they can’t refuse”.

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  8. The author missed the key story. All of Syria and Iraq was once part of the Turkish Ottoman Empire, until the Brits and French stole it a hundred years ago to loot the oil. Now Turkey is massing forces to reclaim northern Syria foolishly occupied by the Israeli/American supported Kurdish forces. Turkey already invaded part and has even begun to show this region as its own on maps:

    http://foreignpolicy.com/2016/10/23/turkeys-religious-nationalists-want-ottoman-borders-iraq-erdogan/

    Assad tried to ally with the Kurds against ISIS, but they chose the promise of independence from our CIA backed by Israel. Now the Turks have massed their huge army and are ready to invade, and they are there and the USA and Israel will not/cannot stop them. They are there in force, we are not, so the Kurds will get mauled and retreat back to Iraq. Assad does not like the Turks moving in, but will enjoy this. If the USA is smart, it will quietly pull back, and recent news suggests American advisors are wisely leaving all of Syria.

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    • Replies: @Low Voltage
    You make a good point, but Russia and Iran will not permit the Turks to move in. The war will be fought throughout the entire region (especially the South Caucasus). The US will support the Turkish effort 100 percent (perhaps not officially?).

    Two years ago, Putin promised Erdogan his very own Stalingrad if he went ahead with it.
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  9. ” The strategically-located village blocks a key road linking the area held by the SDF to the Omar oil fields. ”

    It is very long ago that I arrived there by bus from Damascus.
    Just a sleepy town on the bank of the Euphrates.
    Nice tea house, with a view on the river.
    Key road, there were hardly any roads.
    From Damascus there is just one road, through desert, where a few nomads live in tents in the heat, how they survive, I do not know.

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  10. Wonder how we’d feel if some major power encouraged “moderate” rebels in Texas to split off it’s oil fields from us?

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  11. Ram says:

    The US wanted to liberate Syria FROM the Syrians. It has failed to do so, BUT would yet be happy with a partial “liberation”. The Syrians have a fight on their hands. Let us hope they succeed in getting rid of the invaders.

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  12. There’s no doubt that these combat units of the SDF are accompanied by US Special Forces who are providing critical communications, logistic and tactical support. This operation has Washington’s fingerprints all over it.

    The good news is, if it’s just Special Forces and they get KIA’d fighting alongside the Kurds, then Washington has some plausible deniability and life goes on. My only concern would be if Washington were actually seeking a pretext for war. They could then publicize the death of the Spec Forces troops and start banging the drums for war. That’s what worries me.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Simon in London
    Agreed. There's a small chance the generals could push Trump into a mad war, yes, but does not seem worth losing sleep over. Probably the chance of a nuclear US-NK war is higher.
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  13. I can think of much more nightmarish scenarios than Syrian/Kurd squabbling, even if a few Spec Ops & Spetznaz get to play Call of Duty on each other. They’ll probably both love having a ‘peer competitor’. Neither USA nor Russia will send regular ground troops or get in a major air war, though the US may ‘accidentally’ shoot down a Russian plane or two given the chance.

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  14. @Seamus Padraig

    There’s no doubt that these combat units of the SDF are accompanied by US Special Forces who are providing critical communications, logistic and tactical support. This operation has Washington’s fingerprints all over it.
     
    The good news is, if it's just Special Forces and they get KIA'd fighting alongside the Kurds, then Washington has some plausible deniability and life goes on. My only concern would be if Washington were actually seeking a pretext for war. They could then publicize the death of the Spec Forces troops and start banging the drums for war. That's what worries me.

    Agreed. There’s a small chance the generals could push Trump into a mad war, yes, but does not seem worth losing sleep over. Probably the chance of a nuclear US-NK war is higher.

    Read More
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  15. What this tells us is that Putin is hopelessly bogged down in Syria. Having committed himself to Assad, he is now forced to prop him up for all time and against all comers. “Worse” than that, from Putin’s point of view, the US has the initiative. It can lower the boom on Putin at any time just by hotting up the war again. All Putin can do is react to whatever the US does.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wally
    Wishful, hasbarist thinking.

    Your little boys are being found out.

    Why I Still Dislike Israel
    Netanyahu Should Leave Us Alone as a New Year's Present
    http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/why-i-still-dislike-israel/

    America's Jews Are Driving America's Wars
    http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/americas-jews-are-driving-americas-wars/#comment-2012898

    The Dancing Israelis
    Trump was right about 9/11 but they weren't Muslims
    http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/the-dancing-israelis/

    The True Cost of Parasite Israel
    Forced US taxpayers money to Israel goes far beyond the official numbers.
    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-true-cost-of-israel/

    Israel's Dirty Little Secret
    How it drives US policies exploiting a spineless Congress and White House
    http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/israels-dirty-little-secret/

    How to Bring Down the Elephant in the Room
    http://www.unz.com/tsaker/how-to-bring-down-the-elephant-in-the-room/
    , @peterAUS
    Agree.
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  16. TG says:

    An intelligent and well-argued commentary, as usual from this source.

    But here is something that nobody is talking about: sure oil is important. But Syria is mostly an arid plateau. Water is more important. Why is nobody talking about that?

    It gets zero press coverage, but the real trigger for Syria’s nasty civil war was the deliberately-engineered Syrian population explosion. The population doubled and doubled… and then the aquifers had been drained, and the mostly agrarian economy fell apart… Even without idiotic foreign meddling, one way or the other, good things would not have happened to Syria.

    http://globuspallidusxi.blogspot.com/2015/04/the-real-story-on-syria-forced.html

    So here’s my question: who controls the water supplies in Syria? What is the status of the aquifers? What has the war and the exodus of refugees done to the rate of population increase? I heard recently that one faction opened the spillgates on a dam to slow an enemy river crossing: how much water was wasted? What happens if one faction decides to drain the reservoirs before retreating?

    You say that Syria will want oil money to rebuild: but you can’t buy water, at least not enough to grow crops on a substantial scale. Sure, in theory networks of nuclear power plants running desalinization plants might work, but that would take about all the money in the world just to keep 30 million Syrians fed. Or perhaps people who until recently were goatherds and farmers will suddenly re-educate themselves into world-class computer programmers and within two years they will be beating the Singaporeans at their own game and have created a non-agrarian economy from scratch and they can import food from elsewhere. Good luck with that one.

    The mainstream press may not be talking about water, but I assure you, the Syrian government and the Syrian people very much aware of the issue.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Seamus Padraig

    So here’s my question: who controls the water supplies in Syria? What is the status of the aquifers?
     
    The Euphrates and the Tigris originate in Turkey, so it's really the Turks who ultimately control Syria's water supply. This has caused friction between the two countries in the past--especially whenever the Turks want to build a damn.
    , @Grandpa Charlie

    "deliberately-engineered Syrian population explosion" -- TG
     
    That concept reminds of the event, a few years back when US zoos were having a devil of a time getting their pandas to reproduce, and then in Mexico City they figured out how to "engineer" it. The Mexicans put one male in a cage with one female, and that resulted in a baby Panda! Now that's engineering.

    Or is TG one of those CTists who just has to find a CIA plot behind everything that happens ... I don't like being put into the position of an apologist for the CIA, but some things can happen without Langley's approval or support.
    , @Bliss

    Or perhaps people who until recently were goatherds and farmers will suddenly re-educate themselves into world-class computer programmers and within two years they will be beating the Singaporeans at their own game and have created a non-agrarian economy from scratch and they can import food from elsewhere. Good luck with that one.
     
    If IQ is destiny Syria looks hopeless. Singapore is 25 points ahead.

    Uganda, Nigeria, Sierra Leone etc have higher IQs than Syria and the rest of the Middle East (minus Israel).

    On the other hand Steve Jobs biological father was a Syrian muslim immigrant.....
    , @Thirdeye
    Also a very important point for understanding Israel's mucking about in Lebanon over the past 35 years. Israel's development is limited by water. They want control of Lebanese water.
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  17. From some of the replies here, the assumption that Russia will retreat, please go test this assumption. Same thing for China. Go ahead boys.

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    • Agree: Seamus Padraig
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  18. Ironsides says:

    Here is the original TASS article on the topic.

    Note that there is no mention of American involvement in the incident. Is this fake news?

    http://tass.com/defense/966624

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  19. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @peterAUS

    Does it mean that Russia will support Assad’s attempts to liberate the oil fields even if it could trigger a broader war with the United States?
     
    No it does not mean that.
    On the contrary.

    When push comes to shove the regime in Moscow will, as always so far, retreat.

    There could be clashes involving US and Russian soldiers losing life and limb but it will not escalate.

    Syria will remain partitioned and in ongoing strife.

    This isn’t the 70s anymore. Its time for the Amerikwa to break and a single sharp blow will do.

    Read More
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  20. ISIS aka AL CIADA is a creation of the U.S. and Israel and Britain and is supplied with men and weapons and equipment by them and the U.S. airforce acts as the ISIS airforce and most of all, the U.S. has no legal right to be in SYRIA where as Russia was invited in by the Syrian government.

    Russia and Syria are going to destroy ISIS and kick the U.S. the hell out of Syria and the Kurds will have to accept defeat as of now they are being used as a proxy army of the U.S. and the Kurds will be betrayed by the U.S. in the end in any event as this is what the U.S. does.

    GOD BLESS SYRIA AND RUSSIA.

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  21. Janis says:

    The U.S. has no strategic national interest in Syria. I am convinced the only reason we are there is in the behest of Israel. We no longer have Perle, Wolfowitz or Feith impacting U.S. foreign policy, but we have other Israel firsters in government who have taken their place. Dual loyalty is a farce. I like what Barry Goldwater said on the subject in his book, “Goldwater.” He said: “I was never put under greater pressure than by the Israeli lobby, nor has the Senate as a whole. It’s the most influential crowd in Congress and America by far. The Israelis can come up with 50 votes or more on almost any bill in the Senate that affects their interests. They went to extraordinary lengths to get me to vote for them, even sending some of my dearest and closest Arizona friends, like Harry Rosenzweig, to lobby me in Washington. The Israelis never raised the fact of my being half Jewish, but they stressed protecting Israel in the event of war. I told them over and over, without a treaty we’ve already promised to go to war to protect Israel. And the United States is not getting all that much out of the deal. I think Israel is doing pretty well. I don’t worry about Israel when I go to sleep at night. I worry about the U.S. Constitution, which I’ve sworn to uphold–not Israel’s Constitution, not that of Saudi Arabia, Lebanon or anybody else in the Middle East or the world. That usually shut them up, but they often went away mad because I was not about to support everything they wanted.” That quote is from “Goldwater” page 16-17.

    Would to God we had more Goldwaters back in the day or now for that matter!

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  22. Wally says:
    @Michael Kenny
    What this tells us is that Putin is hopelessly bogged down in Syria. Having committed himself to Assad, he is now forced to prop him up for all time and against all comers. “Worse” than that, from Putin’s point of view, the US has the initiative. It can lower the boom on Putin at any time just by hotting up the war again. All Putin can do is react to whatever the US does.

    Wishful, hasbarist thinking.

    Your little boys are being found out.

    Why I Still Dislike Israel
    Netanyahu Should Leave Us Alone as a New Year’s Present

    http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/why-i-still-dislike-israel/

    America’s Jews Are Driving America’s Wars

    http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/americas-jews-are-driving-americas-wars/#comment-2012898

    The Dancing Israelis
    Trump was right about 9/11 but they weren’t Muslims

    http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/the-dancing-israelis/

    The True Cost of Parasite Israel
    Forced US taxpayers money to Israel goes far beyond the official numbers.

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-true-cost-of-israel/

    Israel’s Dirty Little Secret
    How it drives US policies exploiting a spineless Congress and White House

    http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/israels-dirty-little-secret/

    How to Bring Down the Elephant in the Room

    http://www.unz.com/tsaker/how-to-bring-down-the-elephant-in-the-room/

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  23. @TG
    An intelligent and well-argued commentary, as usual from this source.

    But here is something that nobody is talking about: sure oil is important. But Syria is mostly an arid plateau. Water is more important. Why is nobody talking about that?

    It gets zero press coverage, but the real trigger for Syria's nasty civil war was the deliberately-engineered Syrian population explosion. The population doubled and doubled... and then the aquifers had been drained, and the mostly agrarian economy fell apart... Even without idiotic foreign meddling, one way or the other, good things would not have happened to Syria.

    http://globuspallidusxi.blogspot.com/2015/04/the-real-story-on-syria-forced.html

    So here's my question: who controls the water supplies in Syria? What is the status of the aquifers? What has the war and the exodus of refugees done to the rate of population increase? I heard recently that one faction opened the spillgates on a dam to slow an enemy river crossing: how much water was wasted? What happens if one faction decides to drain the reservoirs before retreating?

    You say that Syria will want oil money to rebuild: but you can't buy water, at least not enough to grow crops on a substantial scale. Sure, in theory networks of nuclear power plants running desalinization plants might work, but that would take about all the money in the world just to keep 30 million Syrians fed. Or perhaps people who until recently were goatherds and farmers will suddenly re-educate themselves into world-class computer programmers and within two years they will be beating the Singaporeans at their own game and have created a non-agrarian economy from scratch and they can import food from elsewhere. Good luck with that one.

    The mainstream press may not be talking about water, but I assure you, the Syrian government and the Syrian people very much aware of the issue.

    So here’s my question: who controls the water supplies in Syria? What is the status of the aquifers?

    The Euphrates and the Tigris originate in Turkey, so it’s really the Turks who ultimately control Syria’s water supply. This has caused friction between the two countries in the past–especially whenever the Turks want to build a damn.

    Read More
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  24. Tom Welsh says:

    Who wants Syria to be restored to its previous integrity? Syria, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Russia, China, India, Egypt…

    Who wants Syria to be broken up? The USA, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the Gulf States.

    Looks like an easy choice.

    Read More
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  25. @TG
    An intelligent and well-argued commentary, as usual from this source.

    But here is something that nobody is talking about: sure oil is important. But Syria is mostly an arid plateau. Water is more important. Why is nobody talking about that?

    It gets zero press coverage, but the real trigger for Syria's nasty civil war was the deliberately-engineered Syrian population explosion. The population doubled and doubled... and then the aquifers had been drained, and the mostly agrarian economy fell apart... Even without idiotic foreign meddling, one way or the other, good things would not have happened to Syria.

    http://globuspallidusxi.blogspot.com/2015/04/the-real-story-on-syria-forced.html

    So here's my question: who controls the water supplies in Syria? What is the status of the aquifers? What has the war and the exodus of refugees done to the rate of population increase? I heard recently that one faction opened the spillgates on a dam to slow an enemy river crossing: how much water was wasted? What happens if one faction decides to drain the reservoirs before retreating?

    You say that Syria will want oil money to rebuild: but you can't buy water, at least not enough to grow crops on a substantial scale. Sure, in theory networks of nuclear power plants running desalinization plants might work, but that would take about all the money in the world just to keep 30 million Syrians fed. Or perhaps people who until recently were goatherds and farmers will suddenly re-educate themselves into world-class computer programmers and within two years they will be beating the Singaporeans at their own game and have created a non-agrarian economy from scratch and they can import food from elsewhere. Good luck with that one.

    The mainstream press may not be talking about water, but I assure you, the Syrian government and the Syrian people very much aware of the issue.

    “deliberately-engineered Syrian population explosion” — TG

    That concept reminds of the event, a few years back when US zoos were having a devil of a time getting their pandas to reproduce, and then in Mexico City they figured out how to “engineer” it. The Mexicans put one male in a cage with one female, and that resulted in a baby Panda! Now that’s engineering.

    Or is TG one of those CTists who just has to find a CIA plot behind everything that happens … I don’t like being put into the position of an apologist for the CIA, but some things can happen without Langley’s approval or support.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Alden
    Click on the source TG cited. It's a population graph of Syria going back to 1950.

    But many countries, especially the USA had population explosions in the 1950s. The article cited stated that the Syrian government criminalized the sale of contraceptives. I guess that was the engineering. But so did some American states, most famously Connecticutt until 1966.
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  26. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @AndrewR
    Thanks, Jews!

    A sophisticated and deep analysis on your part.

    Read More
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  27. Wally says:

    [Spamming numerous comment-threads with the same laundry list of complaints, germane or not, isn't good commenting behavior. If you want your comments published, provide new ideas.]

    Truth hurts, don’t it?

    Jews:
    the bride at every wedding, the corpse at every funeral

    [MORE]

    Why I Still Dislike Israel
    Netanyahu Should Leave Us Alone as a New Year’s Present

    http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/why-i-still-dislike-israel/

    America’s Jews Are Driving America’s Wars

    http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/americas-jews-are-driving-americas-wars/#comment-2012898

    The Dancing Israelis
    Trump was right about 9/11 but they weren’t Muslims

    http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/the-dancing-israelis/

    The True Cost of Parasite Israel
    Forced US taxpayers money to Israel goes far beyond the official numbers.

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-true-cost-of-israel/

    Israel’s Dirty Little Secret
    How it drives US policies exploiting a spineless Congress and White House

    http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/israels-dirty-little-secret/

    How to Bring Down the Elephant in the Room

    http://www.unz.com/tsaker/how-to-bring-down-the-elephant-in-the-room/

    ‘Join the US army, Fight for Israel

    Israeli occupied territories

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wally
    "Germane or not" ??

    I guess we're at the 'Goolag'.

    Ah yes, shooting the messenger who carries the message you do not like.

    OK then, Mike
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  28. peterAUS says:
    @Michael Kenny
    What this tells us is that Putin is hopelessly bogged down in Syria. Having committed himself to Assad, he is now forced to prop him up for all time and against all comers. “Worse” than that, from Putin’s point of view, the US has the initiative. It can lower the boom on Putin at any time just by hotting up the war again. All Putin can do is react to whatever the US does.

    Agree.

    Read More
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  29. Alden says:
    @Grandpa Charlie

    "deliberately-engineered Syrian population explosion" -- TG
     
    That concept reminds of the event, a few years back when US zoos were having a devil of a time getting their pandas to reproduce, and then in Mexico City they figured out how to "engineer" it. The Mexicans put one male in a cage with one female, and that resulted in a baby Panda! Now that's engineering.

    Or is TG one of those CTists who just has to find a CIA plot behind everything that happens ... I don't like being put into the position of an apologist for the CIA, but some things can happen without Langley's approval or support.

    Click on the source TG cited. It’s a population graph of Syria going back to 1950.

    But many countries, especially the USA had population explosions in the 1950s. The article cited stated that the Syrian government criminalized the sale of contraceptives. I guess that was the engineering. But so did some American states, most famously Connecticutt until 1966.

    Read More
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  30. Wally says: • Website
    @Wally
    [Spamming numerous comment-threads with the same laundry list of complaints, germane or not, isn't good commenting behavior. If you want your comments published, provide new ideas.]

    Truth hurts, don't it?

    Jews:
    the bride at every wedding, the corpse at every funeral

    Why I Still Dislike Israel
    Netanyahu Should Leave Us Alone as a New Year's Present
    http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/why-i-still-dislike-israel/

    America's Jews Are Driving America's Wars
    http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/americas-jews-are-driving-americas-wars/#comment-2012898

    The Dancing Israelis
    Trump was right about 9/11 but they weren't Muslims
    http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/the-dancing-israelis/

    The True Cost of Parasite Israel
    Forced US taxpayers money to Israel goes far beyond the official numbers.
    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-true-cost-of-israel/

    Israel's Dirty Little Secret
    How it drives US policies exploiting a spineless Congress and White House
    http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/israels-dirty-little-secret/

    How to Bring Down the Elephant in the Room
    http://www.unz.com/tsaker/how-to-bring-down-the-elephant-in-the-room/


    'Join the US army, Fight for Israel
    http://68.media.tumblr.com/639563970a638b606f4adb0ef05c778b/tumblr_inline_o7t4eewwJn1r75mb5_500.jpg

    Israeli occupied territories
    https://codoh.com/media/files/cartoon24s.png

    “Germane or not” ??

    I guess we’re at the ‘Goolag’.

    Ah yes, shooting the messenger who carries the message you do not like.

    OK then, Mike

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon
    God, you're obnoxious.
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  31. MD says:
    @peterAUS

    Does it mean that Russia will support Assad’s attempts to liberate the oil fields even if it could trigger a broader war with the United States?
     
    No it does not mean that.
    On the contrary.

    When push comes to shove the regime in Moscow will, as always so far, retreat.

    There could be clashes involving US and Russian soldiers losing life and limb but it will not escalate.

    Syria will remain partitioned and in ongoing strife.

    hello F. Jew

    Read More
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  32. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Wally
    "Germane or not" ??

    I guess we're at the 'Goolag'.

    Ah yes, shooting the messenger who carries the message you do not like.

    OK then, Mike

    God, you’re obnoxious.

    Read More
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  33. Bliss says:
    @TG
    An intelligent and well-argued commentary, as usual from this source.

    But here is something that nobody is talking about: sure oil is important. But Syria is mostly an arid plateau. Water is more important. Why is nobody talking about that?

    It gets zero press coverage, but the real trigger for Syria's nasty civil war was the deliberately-engineered Syrian population explosion. The population doubled and doubled... and then the aquifers had been drained, and the mostly agrarian economy fell apart... Even without idiotic foreign meddling, one way or the other, good things would not have happened to Syria.

    http://globuspallidusxi.blogspot.com/2015/04/the-real-story-on-syria-forced.html

    So here's my question: who controls the water supplies in Syria? What is the status of the aquifers? What has the war and the exodus of refugees done to the rate of population increase? I heard recently that one faction opened the spillgates on a dam to slow an enemy river crossing: how much water was wasted? What happens if one faction decides to drain the reservoirs before retreating?

    You say that Syria will want oil money to rebuild: but you can't buy water, at least not enough to grow crops on a substantial scale. Sure, in theory networks of nuclear power plants running desalinization plants might work, but that would take about all the money in the world just to keep 30 million Syrians fed. Or perhaps people who until recently were goatherds and farmers will suddenly re-educate themselves into world-class computer programmers and within two years they will be beating the Singaporeans at their own game and have created a non-agrarian economy from scratch and they can import food from elsewhere. Good luck with that one.

    The mainstream press may not be talking about water, but I assure you, the Syrian government and the Syrian people very much aware of the issue.

    Or perhaps people who until recently were goatherds and farmers will suddenly re-educate themselves into world-class computer programmers and within two years they will be beating the Singaporeans at their own game and have created a non-agrarian economy from scratch and they can import food from elsewhere. Good luck with that one.

    If IQ is destiny Syria looks hopeless. Singapore is 25 points ahead.

    Uganda, Nigeria, Sierra Leone etc have higher IQs than Syria and the rest of the Middle East (minus Israel).

    On the other hand Steve Jobs biological father was a Syrian muslim immigrant…..

    Read More
    • Replies: @Thirdeye
    Average IQ is correlated with overall social functionality but does not limit the technical achievements that can be achieved within a population. The best illustration of that point is India, which comes in on the low side of the average IQ spectrum but manages to produce lots of scientists and engineers. The key to elevating social functionality in a lower IQ situation is in finding the right political arrangements to make it work, which is largely a matter of fostering cohesive social values. As much as the hierarchical political arrangements in Syria might grate against our sensibilities, they may end up putting Syria in a better position in that respect than India or even the United States.
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  34. anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Anon
    Incredible. Russia is legally in Syria with permission from the government. US is illegally there under some bogus pretext.

    What does that tell you?

    US is a totally rogue nation under globalist rule.

    What was that loud American squeaking about when Crimea had a democratically arranged reunification with Russian Federation? — the “sovereignty of Ukraine?” After the illegal US-made coup d’etat, Ukraine has been dying: https://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrapoza/2016/10/14/how-corruption-corrodes-ukraines-economy/#7f9ff22e124e
    Russians are legally in Syria, whereas American forces (ordered to Syria by the loyalists to the Bibi-land) are in Syria illegally. Russians have been fighting ISIS. Americans have been cooperating with “moderate” jihadists and arming (illegally, via the CIA channels) Al Qaeda and ISIS: http://news.antiwar.com/2017/08/27/us-allies-used-diplomatic-flights-to-send-weapons-to-terrorists/comment-page-1/
    There would have been no slaughter in the Middle East — some 4 millions dead civilians, many children, and counting — if not the Oded Yinon plan and PNAC: http://www.historycommons.org/context.jsp?item=complete_911_timeline_6370
    The US has been infiltrated and devoured by the ziocons and mega-war-profiteers

    Read More
    • Replies: @Realist
    It's quite simple. If the Russia-Syria coalition allow any of the US-terrorist coalition to occupy any part of Syria...they lose. No compromise should be considered.
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  35. Realist says:
    @anon
    What was that loud American squeaking about when Crimea had a democratically arranged reunification with Russian Federation? -- the “sovereignty of Ukraine?” After the illegal US-made coup d’etat, Ukraine has been dying: https://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrapoza/2016/10/14/how-corruption-corrodes-ukraines-economy/#7f9ff22e124e
    Russians are legally in Syria, whereas American forces (ordered to Syria by the loyalists to the Bibi-land) are in Syria illegally. Russians have been fighting ISIS. Americans have been cooperating with "moderate" jihadists and arming (illegally, via the CIA channels) Al Qaeda and ISIS: http://news.antiwar.com/2017/08/27/us-allies-used-diplomatic-flights-to-send-weapons-to-terrorists/comment-page-1/
    There would have been no slaughter in the Middle East -- some 4 millions dead civilians, many children, and counting -- if not the Oded Yinon plan and PNAC: http://www.historycommons.org/context.jsp?item=complete_911_timeline_6370
    The US has been infiltrated and devoured by the ziocons and mega-war-profiteers

    It’s quite simple. If the Russia-Syria coalition allow any of the US-terrorist coalition to occupy any part of Syria…they lose. No compromise should be considered.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anon
    Expect a lot of whining, alternating with vicious blackmailing, such as threatening with "Samson Option" by the "most moral" and "most victimized." But first, the “most moral” would put the US personnel to fight for Israel’s territorial gains and the mineral resources of other people. As for the US, the CIA had lost any sense of dignity long time ago, therefore, anything could be expected from the Morell kind.
    And yet, the ziocon deciders are realizing, despite their incompetence, that the "Option" (and the CIA’ murderous tricks) mean the end to their enormous wealth, their precious families, and their own lives.
    It is amazing the speed with which the "shining city on a hill" has become an evil empire despised for its hypocrisy, lies, and psychopathic ease with which the livelihood and lives of millions of innocent people were destroyed for the gesheft-promising projects. The Jewish communities in the US/UK still do not want to accept the obvious truth that the slow-approaching global catastrophe is due, to a large extend, to Jewish solidarity and blindness towards and loyal support for the major war criminals. PNAC spelled it all. The Lobby et al. have nowhere to hide.
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article1665.htm
    http://www.historycommons.org/context.jsp?item=us_international_relations_41
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  36. Realist says:
    @peterAUS

    Does it mean that Russia will support Assad’s attempts to liberate the oil fields even if it could trigger a broader war with the United States?
     
    No it does not mean that.
    On the contrary.

    When push comes to shove the regime in Moscow will, as always so far, retreat.

    There could be clashes involving US and Russian soldiers losing life and limb but it will not escalate.

    Syria will remain partitioned and in ongoing strife.

    “When push comes to shove the regime in Moscow will, as always so far, retreat.”

    It’s quite simple. If the Russia-Syria coalition allow any of the US-terrorist coalition to occupy any part of Syria…they lose. No compromise should be considered.

    Read More
    • Replies: @peterAUS

    If the Russia-Syria coalition allow any of the US-terrorist coalition to occupy any part of Syria…they lose.
     
    Don't see it as that simple.

    Two viewpoints:

    1. "Western": get the regime in Moscow bogged down in Syria. Use that scenario for, essentially, regime change in Moscow.
    2. "Eastern": preserve strategic ally's regime and own presence in the region. Endure until The Empire implodes.

    So....both have merit,actually.

    Which one is more likely to win nobody really knows, IMHO.
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  37. peterAUS says:
    @Realist
    "When push comes to shove the regime in Moscow will, as always so far, retreat."


    It’s quite simple. If the Russia-Syria coalition allow any of the US-terrorist coalition to occupy any part of Syria…they lose. No compromise should be considered.

    If the Russia-Syria coalition allow any of the US-terrorist coalition to occupy any part of Syria…they lose.

    Don’t see it as that simple.

    Two viewpoints:

    1. “Western”: get the regime in Moscow bogged down in Syria. Use that scenario for, essentially, regime change in Moscow.
    2. “Eastern”: preserve strategic ally’s regime and own presence in the region. Endure until The Empire implodes.

    So….both have merit,actually.

    Which one is more likely to win nobody really knows, IMHO.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    If you replace "Western" with "Zionist", then you would be accurate.

    For all of your rambles about the West, does it not occur to you that the main pillars of your "West" no longer have a population that supports this bullcrap? Leave us alone and go fight your own battles, god damn it.

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  38. anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Realist
    It's quite simple. If the Russia-Syria coalition allow any of the US-terrorist coalition to occupy any part of Syria...they lose. No compromise should be considered.

    Expect a lot of whining, alternating with vicious blackmailing, such as threatening with “Samson Option” by the “most moral” and “most victimized.” But first, the “most moral” would put the US personnel to fight for Israel’s territorial gains and the mineral resources of other people. As for the US, the CIA had lost any sense of dignity long time ago, therefore, anything could be expected from the Morell kind.
    And yet, the ziocon deciders are realizing, despite their incompetence, that the “Option” (and the CIA’ murderous tricks) mean the end to their enormous wealth, their precious families, and their own lives.
    It is amazing the speed with which the “shining city on a hill” has become an evil empire despised for its hypocrisy, lies, and psychopathic ease with which the livelihood and lives of millions of innocent people were destroyed for the gesheft-promising projects. The Jewish communities in the US/UK still do not want to accept the obvious truth that the slow-approaching global catastrophe is due, to a large extend, to Jewish solidarity and blindness towards and loyal support for the major war criminals. PNAC spelled it all. The Lobby et al. have nowhere to hide.

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article1665.htm

    http://www.historycommons.org/context.jsp?item=us_international_relations_41

    Read More
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  39. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @peterAUS

    If the Russia-Syria coalition allow any of the US-terrorist coalition to occupy any part of Syria…they lose.
     
    Don't see it as that simple.

    Two viewpoints:

    1. "Western": get the regime in Moscow bogged down in Syria. Use that scenario for, essentially, regime change in Moscow.
    2. "Eastern": preserve strategic ally's regime and own presence in the region. Endure until The Empire implodes.

    So....both have merit,actually.

    Which one is more likely to win nobody really knows, IMHO.

    If you replace “Western” with “Zionist”, then you would be accurate.

    For all of your rambles about the West, does it not occur to you that the main pillars of your “West” no longer have a population that supports this bullcrap? Leave us alone and go fight your own battles, god damn it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @peterAUS

    For all of your rambles about the West, does it not occur to you that the main pillars of your “West” no longer have a population that supports this bullcrap?
     
    No it does not occur to me.

    It will start occurring to me when:
    1. I see street protests of "Vietnam era" scale.
    2. More importantly, when I see NUMBER of officers from Major/Lieutenant commander/Squadron leader to Colonel/Captain/Group Captain rank voicing in public their dissent with current policies or resigning their commission in protest of current policies.

    Until then.....no....not at all......on the contrary actually.

    Leave us alone and go fight your own battles, god damn it.
     
    You mean stop posting here?
    How about this: explain why and I'll seriously consider it.
    , @anon
    You are correct. The "peter" is on a neocon/ziocon side. By the way, if you want to learn about military stuff re Middle East, here is a website run by a true expert: http://turcopolier.typepad.com
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  40. Mulegino1 says:

    Dramatis personae:

    The Russian Czar Vladimir Vladimirovich

    The Amateur Emperor Donald Trump

    The Lion of Damascus Assad

    The Ottoman Sultan Erdogan

    The Persians

    Hezbollah

    The Syrian Arab Army

    The Chorus of Vultures (Kurds, Israelis, Neocons and “the generals”).

    Number One Son Kim

    Narrator: President Xi of China

    Act 1, scene 1: The perfect storm.

    Trump had better wise up and quickly. Get rid of all those trashy ribbons and epaulets that keep you a prisoner of the White House, Mr. President. You were hired by the American electorate to make America great, not blow up the world.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Realist
    "Trump had better wise up and quickly. Get rid of all those trashy ribbons and epaulets that keep you a prisoner of the White House, Mr. President. You were hired by the American electorate to make America great, not blow up the world."

    Quite right. But he doesn't have the balls or brains.

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  41. Sam J. says:
    @Anon
    Incredible. Russia is legally in Syria with permission from the government. US is illegally there under some bogus pretext.

    What does that tell you?

    US is a totally rogue nation under globalist rule.

    “…US is a totally rogue nation under globalist rule…”

    Here fixed it for you,”US is a totally rogue nation under Jewish rule.”

    Don’t bother telling me about all the collaborators. The branches may be many but they are the root of the disorder.

    “There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.” – Henry David Thoreau

    Read More
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  42. peterAUS says:
    @Anonymous
    If you replace "Western" with "Zionist", then you would be accurate.

    For all of your rambles about the West, does it not occur to you that the main pillars of your "West" no longer have a population that supports this bullcrap? Leave us alone and go fight your own battles, god damn it.

    For all of your rambles about the West, does it not occur to you that the main pillars of your “West” no longer have a population that supports this bullcrap?

    No it does not occur to me.

    It will start occurring to me when:
    1. I see street protests of “Vietnam era” scale.
    2. More importantly, when I see NUMBER of officers from Major/Lieutenant commander/Squadron leader to Colonel/Captain/Group Captain rank voicing in public their dissent with current policies or resigning their commission in protest of current policies.

    Until then…..no….not at all……on the contrary actually.

    Leave us alone and go fight your own battles, god damn it.

    You mean stop posting here?
    How about this: explain why and I’ll seriously consider it.

    Read More
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  43. Miro23 says:

    Washington has made it clear that it wants its proxy-army to control the area east of the Euphrates establishing a soft partition between east and west. The US also wants to control Deir Ezzor’s vast oil resources in order to provide a reliable revenue stream for the emergent Kurdish statelet.

    A good article. Maybe it could have emphasized the need for US political control over ME oil resources (through proxies in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Libya and now a new Kurdistan?) to defend critical oil – US dollar linkage.

    Also, a independent Kurdish US client state would presumably have a large part of Kurdish eastern Turkey wanting to join it – so the US is also facing off against Turkey.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Thirdeye
    Holding oil fields is one thing. Turning oil into revenue is a very different thing. Oil in Kurdish areas is not going to be turned into revenue without an arrangement with neighboring Arabs or Turks, all of whom are adamantly opposed to Kurdistans. Arabs can make arrangements for Kurds to gain benefit from oil resources with the right political arrangements. The US can not. All the US can offer the Kurds is the blind alley of landlocked statelets with no economy surrounded by hostile neighbors.
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  44. Realist says:
    @Mulegino1
    Dramatis personae:

    The Russian Czar Vladimir Vladimirovich

    The Amateur Emperor Donald Trump

    The Lion of Damascus Assad

    The Ottoman Sultan Erdogan

    The Persians

    Hezbollah

    The Syrian Arab Army

    The Chorus of Vultures (Kurds, Israelis, Neocons and "the generals").

    Number One Son Kim

    Narrator: President Xi of China

    Act 1, scene 1: The perfect storm.

    Trump had better wise up and quickly. Get rid of all those trashy ribbons and epaulets that keep you a prisoner of the White House, Mr. President. You were hired by the American electorate to make America great, not blow up the world.

    “Trump had better wise up and quickly. Get rid of all those trashy ribbons and epaulets that keep you a prisoner of the White House, Mr. President. You were hired by the American electorate to make America great, not blow up the world.”

    Quite right. But he doesn’t have the balls or brains.

    Read More
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  45. anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Anonymous
    If you replace "Western" with "Zionist", then you would be accurate.

    For all of your rambles about the West, does it not occur to you that the main pillars of your "West" no longer have a population that supports this bullcrap? Leave us alone and go fight your own battles, god damn it.

    You are correct. The “peter” is on a neocon/ziocon side. By the way, if you want to learn about military stuff re Middle East, here is a website run by a true expert: http://turcopolier.typepad.com

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  46. anon says: • Disclaimer

    “The US Grand Strategy”

    http://www.voltairenet.org/article198024.html

    Thierry Meyssan: “Neo-imperialism of the United States does not intend to offer anything for those states that are among the stable, nor for those that are a source of natural resources. Stable states will have access to resources, and the sources of natural resources will be completely destroyed, plunged into chaos. … none of the wars that started after September 11 is over.”

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  47. @Carlton Meyer
    The author missed the key story. All of Syria and Iraq was once part of the Turkish Ottoman Empire, until the Brits and French stole it a hundred years ago to loot the oil. Now Turkey is massing forces to reclaim northern Syria foolishly occupied by the Israeli/American supported Kurdish forces. Turkey already invaded part and has even begun to show this region as its own on maps:

    http://foreignpolicy.com/2016/10/23/turkeys-religious-nationalists-want-ottoman-borders-iraq-erdogan/

    Assad tried to ally with the Kurds against ISIS, but they chose the promise of independence from our CIA backed by Israel. Now the Turks have massed their huge army and are ready to invade, and they are there and the USA and Israel will not/cannot stop them. They are there in force, we are not, so the Kurds will get mauled and retreat back to Iraq. Assad does not like the Turks moving in, but will enjoy this. If the USA is smart, it will quietly pull back, and recent news suggests American advisors are wisely leaving all of Syria.

    You make a good point, but Russia and Iran will not permit the Turks to move in. The war will be fought throughout the entire region (especially the South Caucasus). The US will support the Turkish effort 100 percent (perhaps not officially?).

    Two years ago, Putin promised Erdogan his very own Stalingrad if he went ahead with it.

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  48. Thirdeye says:
    @Bliss

    Or perhaps people who until recently were goatherds and farmers will suddenly re-educate themselves into world-class computer programmers and within two years they will be beating the Singaporeans at their own game and have created a non-agrarian economy from scratch and they can import food from elsewhere. Good luck with that one.
     
    If IQ is destiny Syria looks hopeless. Singapore is 25 points ahead.

    Uganda, Nigeria, Sierra Leone etc have higher IQs than Syria and the rest of the Middle East (minus Israel).

    On the other hand Steve Jobs biological father was a Syrian muslim immigrant.....

    Average IQ is correlated with overall social functionality but does not limit the technical achievements that can be achieved within a population. The best illustration of that point is India, which comes in on the low side of the average IQ spectrum but manages to produce lots of scientists and engineers. The key to elevating social functionality in a lower IQ situation is in finding the right political arrangements to make it work, which is largely a matter of fostering cohesive social values. As much as the hierarchical political arrangements in Syria might grate against our sensibilities, they may end up putting Syria in a better position in that respect than India or even the United States.

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  49. Thirdeye says:
    @Miro23

    Washington has made it clear that it wants its proxy-army to control the area east of the Euphrates establishing a soft partition between east and west. The US also wants to control Deir Ezzor’s vast oil resources in order to provide a reliable revenue stream for the emergent Kurdish statelet.
     
    A good article. Maybe it could have emphasized the need for US political control over ME oil resources (through proxies in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Libya and now a new Kurdistan?) to defend critical oil - US dollar linkage.

    Also, a independent Kurdish US client state would presumably have a large part of Kurdish eastern Turkey wanting to join it - so the US is also facing off against Turkey.

    Holding oil fields is one thing. Turning oil into revenue is a very different thing. Oil in Kurdish areas is not going to be turned into revenue without an arrangement with neighboring Arabs or Turks, all of whom are adamantly opposed to Kurdistans. Arabs can make arrangements for Kurds to gain benefit from oil resources with the right political arrangements. The US can not. All the US can offer the Kurds is the blind alley of landlocked statelets with no economy surrounded by hostile neighbors.

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  50. Thirdeye says:
    @TG
    An intelligent and well-argued commentary, as usual from this source.

    But here is something that nobody is talking about: sure oil is important. But Syria is mostly an arid plateau. Water is more important. Why is nobody talking about that?

    It gets zero press coverage, but the real trigger for Syria's nasty civil war was the deliberately-engineered Syrian population explosion. The population doubled and doubled... and then the aquifers had been drained, and the mostly agrarian economy fell apart... Even without idiotic foreign meddling, one way or the other, good things would not have happened to Syria.

    http://globuspallidusxi.blogspot.com/2015/04/the-real-story-on-syria-forced.html

    So here's my question: who controls the water supplies in Syria? What is the status of the aquifers? What has the war and the exodus of refugees done to the rate of population increase? I heard recently that one faction opened the spillgates on a dam to slow an enemy river crossing: how much water was wasted? What happens if one faction decides to drain the reservoirs before retreating?

    You say that Syria will want oil money to rebuild: but you can't buy water, at least not enough to grow crops on a substantial scale. Sure, in theory networks of nuclear power plants running desalinization plants might work, but that would take about all the money in the world just to keep 30 million Syrians fed. Or perhaps people who until recently were goatherds and farmers will suddenly re-educate themselves into world-class computer programmers and within two years they will be beating the Singaporeans at their own game and have created a non-agrarian economy from scratch and they can import food from elsewhere. Good luck with that one.

    The mainstream press may not be talking about water, but I assure you, the Syrian government and the Syrian people very much aware of the issue.

    Also a very important point for understanding Israel’s mucking about in Lebanon over the past 35 years. Israel’s development is limited by water. They want control of Lebanese water.

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