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Week Five of the Russian Intervention in Syria: The Russians Are Digging in
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Whether this tragedy was directly linked to the war in Syria or not, there is no doubt that the downing of Kogalymavia Flight 9268 was the main event of the past week. Since I have covered this issue elsewhere, I shall not return to it in detail again here. I will just repeat here my personal conclusion that this tragedy will not impact the Russian operation in Syria or affect the political situation inside Russia. As for the cause of the tragedy, there are increasing indications that both western and Russian security services have come to a tentative conclusion that it was, indeed, a bomb. On Friday, the head of the Federal Security Service has recommended canceling all flights to Egypt and the evacuation of all the Russian citizens in Egypt (roughly 70,000 people). Several EU countries have also taken similar measures.

There has, however, been another interesting but less noticed development this week in the Russian operation in Syria: the Russians are quietly but very effectively “digging in”.

For the first time, Russia has officially declared that air-defense units were also deployed with the Russian forces. Until now, the main burden for air defense had fallen upon the Russian Navy and, specifically, the ships equipped with the naval variant of the S-300 missile system. This was not an optimal solution not only because it put the burden of defending land based assets from the sea, tying down the Russian navy expeditionary force, but also because this solution only “covered” about half of Syria.

TSaker-4W-1 The use of the Moskva guided missile cruiser was a stop-gap measure designed to protect the Russian force in Latakia, but now it appears that dedicated air defense units have been deployed. These are most likely the land-based versions of the S-300 missile, possibly in combination with point defense systems such as the Pantsir-S1 and other, shorter range, MANPADs such as the 9K338 Igla-S and the advanced 9K33 Verba.

There are also reports indicating that the Russians have deployed very sophisticated electronic warfare units including top-of-the line Krasukhka-4 EW systems which are amongst the most sophisticated mobile EW systems ever built and they are reportedly capable of jamming AWACS and satellites in space. Add to this the presense of SU-30SMs in the skies, and you have a force capable of controlling the Syrian skies.

When asked about this Russian officials gave a cute reply: they said that these air-defense systems were deployed in case of a hijacked being used to attack the Russian airbase in Latakia. Right.

The real purpose of these efforts is becoming obvious: Russia is trying to deny the US the control of the skies over Syria and, so far, there is very little the USA can do about it (short of starting WWIII). Furthermore, the Russians are also sending a message to Turkey, France and Israel – all countries which have, at different times and in different ways, indicated that they wanted to use the Syrian airspace for their own purposes.

There are now also reports of Russian special forces being sent to Syria. The WSJ suggested that these forces could be given the tasks of liaising with Syrian intelligence and acting as forward air controllers (FACs). I also personally see another important task for these units: to pre-position hidden fuel caches for the Russian helicopters should there be a need to send them to rescue downed Russian pilots in eastern Syria (Russian Spetsnaz units did create such fuel cashes in southern Afghanistan during the war).

TSaker-4W-2 Take a look at the combat radius of Russian helicopters in Syria. Ideally, a search and rescue mission would employ both a dedicated attack helicopter such as the Mi-24 and a multi-role helicopter such as the Mi-17, the former provider cover and protection for the latter. It would also be possible to have SU-25s protecting Mi-17s, but the best possible version would be to have a covert refueling base somewhere deep inside nominally Daesh territory to extend the range of the rescue teams.

Some western sources believe that Russian special forces might also be given direct action missions. This is absolutely possible and such missions are well within the capabilities of the Spetsnaz GRU. Still, there primary mission is a special reconnaissance one and while they might be used to destroy a high value Daesh target (material or human), we will probably never hear about it.

What is certain is that the Russians are steadily increasing their capabilities in Syria and that their presence is rapidly growing from a small and vulnerable force to a much more balanced and capable one.

The Syrians, in the meanwhile, might be achieving their first real successes in their counter offensive. While the Syrian government forces have been slowly pushing back Daesh on many fronts, this progress had, until now, failed to yield an operational breakthrough. This might be happening right now with the much awaited reopening of the highway to Aleppo.

The main problem for the Russians remains the fact that the Syrian military has not been able to capitalize on the Russian intervention. This is due to a combination of factors including the fact that the Syrian military is over-streched and unable to concentrate enough forces in one location to achieve a significant breakthrough and the fact that Daesh fighters are well dug-in and are, by all accounts, resisting with determination and skill. Still, the Russian air campaign is degrading the Daesh capabilities and it is possible that, eventually, this will result in a sudden collapse of the Daesh lines in a critical part of the front. For example, the Syrian army is, reportedly, only a few miles from liberating the Kuweyres military airbase and even though its progress is very slow it is likely that the Syrians will eventually break the Daesh siege of this crucial objective. Likewise, in Djobar neighborhood of Damascus is gradually being clearly in, again, a slow moving but successful operation.

All in all, I am very cautiously optimistic and I keep hoping for an operational victory for the Syrians. If it does not happen, the Iranians and Hezbollah will have to move much larger forces in.

Graphics by SouthFront

• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Russia, Syria 
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  1. Ron Unz says:

    On a somewhat related topic, I’m not at all surprised most people have concluded that an on-board terrorist bomb destroyed that Russian flight in Egypt, which seemed very likely to me from the beginning. Witnesses probably would have seen a missile, and an extremely unusual and coincidental catastrophic mechanical failure on a Russian jetliner flying out of heavily-Islamic Egypt very soon after the Russians became bombing the Islamic State seemed wildly implausible.

    But the real issue has been ignored by our worthless MSM. Within just a couple of days of the airliner’s destruction, America had already released satellite data showing a mid-air explosion, therefore strongly implying a bomb. However, after more than a year, the US has still failed to release any similar satellite data regarding the destruction of MH-17 in Ukraine, which occurred in a war-zone subject to far greater American surveillance.

    The only plausible reason I can imagine is that such data would totally refute the official story of the shootdown and instead implicate the Ukrainian regime as numerous analysts have charged. As of now, I’d raise the likelihood of that scenario to about 70-80%, and if that’s the case, I think there’s a 90% chance that various elements of the “American Deep State” either organized or approved the deliberate massacre of those hundreds of mostly Dutch civilians as a false-flag with which to blame the Russians and enact economic sanctions against initial German opposition. I’ve been making this obvious point to lots of people, but I can’t imagine any of our pseudo-journalists taking it up lest they lose “access” or be branded “conspiracy-nuts”.

    This further demonstrates that a considerable number of our ruling American elites are “bad people” who should surely all be sent to the gallows, but whether that might ever actually happen, I really can’t say…

  2. Avery says:

    {The only plausible reason I can imagine is that such data would totally refute the official story of the shootdown and instead implicate the Ukrainian regime as numerous analysts have charged}


    • Replies: @annamaria
  3. rod1963 says:

    Fine article.

    I have no doubt that what the Russians are doing are driving the Neo-Con gangsters running our government nuts. Not that they weren’t nuts anyway, but now they’re putting F-15C’s in Turkey and seeding Delta Force operators among terrorist groups to protect them from Russian attacks(if that is actually true, it truly ranks among the most insane decisions ever).

    Our leaders scare me. They seem to embody that special combination of stupid and dangerous that leads to really bad things happening.

    As it is, all of the instability in the ME and the Ukraine can be laid at Washington’s door step.

    • Agree: Realist
    • Replies: @WorkingClass
    , @annamaria
  4. @rod1963

    My father warned me against what he called “energetic idiots”. He said the lazy ones were not a problem.

    • Replies: @Jonathan Silber
  5. Realist says:
    @Ron Unz

    To show an example of the immense hubris and attitude of divine right held by our power elite, here is a comment made by the DEFSEC at the Reagan library Saturday.

    “We do not seek a cold, let alone a hot, war with Russia,” he said. “We do not seek to make Russia an enemy. But make no mistake; the United States will defend our interests, our allies, the principled international order, and the positive future it affords us all.”

    With this comment by Robert Burns AP NATIONAL SECURITY WRITER

    “The backdrop to Carter’s remarks is the reality that after more than two decades of dominating great-power relations, the United States is seeing Russia reassert itself and China expand its military influence beyond its own shores. Together these trends are testing American preeminence and its stewardship of the world order.”

    The complete article can be seen here:

  6. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    I’m looking forward to the Russians getting hold of ISIS files and passing around a lot of documents proving that Obama has always backed ISIS. I’d love to see that guy utterly disgraced by his terrorist prom-dates.

    • Replies: @annamaria
  7. If a bomb was responsible for the Russian plane,, then no one should hesitate to say the truth, that US/Israel were involved in another crime against humanity. The stupid propaganda by the criminals saying, ISIS did it, tells that themselves are involved in this act of terror, like in 9/11.
    This was a message from Obama regime, the mass murderers, to Russia that leave our terrorists alone.

    ISIS = US

    No doubt about it. Only dumb people don’t get it. Don’t be one of them.

  8. LondonBob says:
    @Ron Unz

    This must be the first article I have seen that hesitantly mentions some of the issues with MH17.
    One element not explored enough for me was the anonymous Ukrainian Interior Ministry advisor who seemed to immediately claim, via Interfax, over 300 dead with 23 Americans amongst them, widely reported initially. Odd in both the rapidity of the information and its falsity.

    Everything I am reading on Syria is slow but steady progress by the government forces, as long as the supply of new soldiers from Iran, and equipment from Russia, keeps flowing there can be only one outcome. There will be a tipping point eventually.

    Unmentioned in the MSM is that the Houthis and the Yemeni Army have captured territory in Saudi Arabia. Syria shouldn’t be seen in isolation.

    • Replies: @animalogic
  9. Kiza says:
    @Ron Unz

    Ron, you and I are in complete agreement, as usual. I have made virtually identical comparison between the two airline disasters to the Saker’s previous write up (linked in this one).

    Also, the US, Canada and UK have been supposedly bombing ISIS for more than a year and none of their civilian airliners got bombed, Russia starts doing “the same job” and four weeks later their civilian airliner gets bombed. Yet, the worthless Western media continue pushing desperately the same old story that the West is opposed to own son – the ugly Son of Frankenstein – ISIS.

    Finally, it is in the job description of the employees of the US Government to act surprised when a totally expected outcome happens. For example, they supply weapons to “moderate rebels” and when those weapons get passed on to the crazies, the employees must exclaim WHAT A SURPRISE! The level of surprise is a Key Performance Indicator of the job and the remuneration depends on it. The British invented this old trick referred to as “plausible deniability”:, but the US Gov made it a systemic feature.

  10. Kiza says:

    The Anti-Access/Area Denial (A2/AD) that the Russians have established in Syria is absolutely fantastic. This dozen of F15 dog-fighter jets that Obama added to Incirlik in Turkey will not fair well against S300 and Pantsir-S1. But those systems are much more targeted at Israel and Turkey, which provided the airforce to ISIS against SAA before.

    The Safe Heaven for civilians/terrorists that US wants to establish in Raqqa will fail big time. Eventually, even Kurds may turn to the Russians for cooperation on kicking ISIS out, in addition to the governments of Iraq and Jordan. Kurds may do this because the US does not protect them from the Turkish bombardment.

    When the Turkish planes take off from Incirlik they bomb the US allies Kurds. When the US planes take off from Incirlik, they (supposedly) bomb Turkish allies ISIS. What a swell arrangement.

  11. Rehmat says:

    Netanyahu during his recent meeting with Putin in Moscow got the assurance that Russia’s joining Iran and Hizbullah military assistance for Bashar al-Assad would be good for Israeli interests in the long run. Israeli propaganda site ‘The National Interest’ claimed a few days ago that Russia will “never attack Israel as result of what happened in Sinai Peninsula”.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  12. War for Blair Mountain [AKA "Groovy Battle for Blair Mountain"] says:

    If the Democratic Party retaliates and starts exterminating another three thousand Conservative Orthodox Christian Russian speaking Ukrainians in Eastern Ukraine…does Putin send in the tanks and Spetzsnatz this time?

    But perhaps we should be talking about our Fantasy Football draft picks for next week instead? This is obviously way more important. Just ignore the nuke flash and mushroom cloud twenty miles away….

  13. @Ron Unz

    Your comparison with the absence of a comparable satellite picture for MH17 sounds like your strongest point yet in favour of your false flag explanation of the MH17 downing. However, as counter speculation I would proffer the likelihood that in the immediate aftermath some cautious person who could have released a picture showing an explosion decided not to because it would disclose the capabilities (and perhaps limitations) of US satellite intelligence gathering and may also have been such that it would merely have shown that someone somehow caused a big and fatal explosion in the vicinity of MH17. That might be sufficient reason for the continuing non disclosure combined with the lack of need now to persuade anyone that it wasn’t a false flag operation.

    I haven’t seen, or even heard of, before reading your comment, the US satellite pictures of the latest disaster but they presumably don’t show much detail of the cause of the explosion or who caused it.

    My strongest point against the false flag version is that, to the distress of its allies, the US has proved absurdly incompetent at keeping secrets as the names Manning and Snowden remind one. Moreover, with millions of variously suitable people having formal or de facto access to classified material the idea that there wouldn’t be a single whistleblower is very hard to believe.

    By the way, do you buy the story that IS** is a deliberate creation of the US?

  14. War for Blair Mountain [AKA "Groovy Battle for Blair Mountain"] says:

    I think all Unz Review Readers can agree with Boomer and Carton,Mike Francessa,and Ira from Staten Island, that we must never let a large bright glowing rapidly expanding bright orange bubble, a large mushroom cloud, and a massive shock wave ruin your Fantasy Football Draft Pick Party with you and your buddies….Don’t be a party pooper!!!!

  15. anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Ron Unz

    This further demonstrates that a considerable number of our ruling American elites are “bad people”

    One can look at the false flag gas attack against Syrian civilians, now claimed to have been carried out by Turkish agents, that killed hundreds of people including many children. The photos of the pitiful remains of the victims, dead children lined up and such, provided a strong emotional boost for those agitating for direct intervention. Because the propaganda apparatus was so poised to immediately exploit this event I had a strong suspicion there was a foreknowledge that this was scheduled to occur if not an actual US hand in bringing it about. Add in the MH-17 affair, the murky authorship of the Maidan snipers and then go down the list of other things elsewhere and it becomes clear that the various ‘deep states’ of different countries are nihilistic mafias operating on a grand scale. The much ballyhooed Cosa Nostra have a greater sense of ethics than these types do. Just ponder for a moment on what the morality is of people who think nothing of destroying the lives of hundreds or thousands of uninvolved bystanders in order to gain some advantage for themselves. There can’t be anything much dirtier than this.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  16. @Wizard of Oz

    For what it’s worth, Wizard, I agree with you on this particular subject. One of the very first thoughts I had about MH-17 was that no satellite surveillance pictures of the incident were released because US satellite capabilities are actually very much less than they’re often thought to be, and any such pictures would make this patently obvious.

    But this does not void Ron Unz’s explanation, since they do not exclude each other. I still believe the downing of the jet was a Ukrainian job.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  17. RudyM says:

    “I’m looking forward to the Russians getting hold of ISIS files and passing around a lot of documents proving that Obama has always backed ISIS.”

    I would love to see this, but I don’t think it will happen. This is not Putin’s style, and perhaps not Russia’s style (or at least not the style of Russia’s leadership). Russian intelligence has to know a great deal about U.S./”western” support for terrorists that it has not made public so far.

    I dream of Russia releasing what it knows about 9/11, but I don’t think it’s ever going to happen.

    See, for instance, Sibel Edmonds’ comments on Russia’s arrest and release of Al-Zawahiri, including Russia’s access to his laptop (and their absurd official statement that since everything was in Arabic, they weren’t able to access it, since they couldn’t find an Arabic translator):

  18. annamaria says:

    “They seem to embody that special combination of stupid and dangerous…”
    Yes, the plutocrats [see main financiers] have lost a connection with the real world. The plutocrats expect various servants to clean everything in a sec. These reptiloids are still not able to comprehend the consequences of Fukushima disaster (where there is no end in sight of the highly poisonous, globally, process), as well as the possibility of their own families suffering and dying from a fallout of a major war. And of course, the unnatural selection of sycophants and yes-men and yes-women on the leading positions in a government has been showing its effect. No accountability on a top means danger for everyone, no exceptions.

  19. @WorkingClass

    My father warned me against what he called “energetic idiots”.

    Your father hit the nail on the head: most people are more inclined, and more able, to act than to think.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  20. Avery says:

    {I would love to see this, but I don’t think it will happen. This is not Putin’s style, and perhaps not Russia’s style (or at least not the style of Russia’s leadership). }

    You are correct: Russians, from way back, do not advertise what they know.
    And nobody but Putin and and a small circle – FM, DM, FSB head, etc – know what they are planning or going to do next in Syria or anywhere else.

    Two recent examples:

    1. “The little green men” of Crimea: while NATO was (apparently) trying to figure out what Moscow was planning to do in Crimea, it was all over. NATO may have known something and they are not telling, for obvious reasons. But given that they were caught completely unawares backs the general contention they knew nothing. Crimea was too big of prize for Neocons to let go. If they had known something in advance, they would have pulled all stops to thwart Putin there.

    2. The cruise missile salvo from the Caspian Sea: completely unexpected and shocking for NATO and Neocons.

    And to release stuff about what they know re 9/11 is no benefit to them.
    They could expose their agents or their methods as to how they came to know.
    And US would dismiss it as Russian-manufactured disinformation: majority of US public is predisposed not to believe anything out of Russia anyway.

    So zero benefit for Russians to tell anyone what they know.

    • Replies: @jjc
  21. KA says:
    @Ron Unz

    Only a hurt and damaged America could admit of remorse , could offer mea culpa,or offer excuses of doing something that other countries do all the time.

    After Iraq,Afghanistan,and Libyan wars we have seen all of the above at different times from different segments of these elite who plan, provoke,conduct,and wage wars .( Neocn like Perle and Ledeen have denied any roles , some have blamed the execution,some have admitted the status ante quo was better and safer)

    It is not the death,maiming and destruction of non Americans or non western forces that prompted the soul searching . It is something else.

    Cold acceptance of 500,000 children did not jolt anybody anywhere in the world and never evoked some soul searching . It even never entered into the hearts nd minds of average American or of the media that it might be overdue to stop the process .
    She coud say because she kne she could get away with it .

    But something slowly dawning .America feels the pain in many ways directly,indirectly,personally, impersonally,figuratively,economically,and perceives the wrong direction the country has marked on . It is this realization that is forcing the truth ,forcing opposition,forcing second thought and caution.
    Space and delay between this development and the demands for the trials of the elite are narrow ,short,and unpredictable.
    A cocky Bush jr can still refute his dad and say- Its me. Not Cheney, it’s me I am the decider. Only a threat of longterm hard labor jail threat can make him say- its not me . Ask my dad. Its not me. It’s Cheney.
    Only Cheney then can say sorry for saying -Go and F * yourself – to Senator Leahey before blaming it on the neocon .

    Until then only some ill conceived half baked specious remorse over the failures that impact the peasants at home and kills people abroad, could be detected in the tone of the tone deaf neocons.
    Peasants get to see the show and are persuaded to feel to be part of the big American Exceptionalism.

    • Replies: @Avery
  22. Sean C says:

    Looking at the areas of control of ISIS there are a lot of places that they could be surrounded and destroyed by a small force from a modern mobile military. Estimates I have seen has put ISIS military numbers at 9k to 200k. Out in the desert they can not move those numbers around to hot spots against a modern military.

  23. Avery says:

    {…that other countries do all the time.}

    Really ?

    What about your Turk kin in Türkiye: when did they offer “remorse”, much less accept their guilt about committing Genocide of about 4 million Christians – Armenians, Assyrians, Pontic Greeks,….

    • Replies: @KA
  24. Sean says:
    @Ron Unz

    They have capabilities although I think I remember reading that the cloud cover in that part of the world often obscured US attempts to surveil the Soviets with satellites. A powerful government agency could fake evidence for whatever they wanted so the absence of satellite evidence cuts both ways.

    There would be a good reason to stage an incident in Ukraine, if the US or some clique within it was interested in getting heavily involved against Russia but apparently no one in the US has any such goal. The disimulating US clique would be taking a big chance, because Putin would know he was being set up and protest publically, which would focus a lot of attention on the plotters. More seriously, there would be no way to predict his reaction to being framed, he might suddenly escalate militarily with consequences no one could accept.

    The US gave security guarantees two decades ago to Ukraine at the time it removed nuclear weapons from its territory so if the US chose it could have make good on those assurances saying Ukraine has been invaded, it didn’t need to manufacture a Gulf of Tonkin incident for economic sanctions. The MH-17 incident has demonstrated to Ukraine that it is on its own. Meashshemer warned them twenty years ago that this would happen.

  25. KA says:

    Memory of a fish tale has poisoned your capacity to think clearly.

    • Replies: @Avery
  26. Rehmat says:

    United States has practically become an Israel colony – thanks to country’s greedy and corrupt politicians. US lawmakers are more concerned about Israel and the Organized Jewry than looking after the welfare of American citizens.

    For example, on Tuesday, the US Congress unanimously (416-0) passed bill (H. Res. 354), calling upon US administration to use its muscles to force European governments to provide more protection to Jews living in their countries.

    On Thursday, US Foreign Affair Committee headed by Zionist Jew Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Florida) passed a non-binding resolution condemning Palestinians for the current knife terror in Israel.

  27. @Ron Unz

    This further demonstrates that a considerable number of our ruling American elites are “bad people” who should surely all be sent to the gallows

    Preach it, Ron!

  28. Present POTUS was still an activist when the Gulf Wars began. Prior to actual invasion of Iraq, the Bush regime had plans, en force, to invade but they needed a strong enough reason to do so. It was George Bush and the military industrial complex (MIC) who initiated, engaged, sought out and destroyed all Iraqi infrastructure. It did not help that US supported both sides in the Iran-Iraq war (of course, that assistance was adapted to which nation would be more of a threat, in the long run!). Chalabi, al Maliki, etc refused to make Sunni representatives a part of the national government and thus, enmity was born out of this. Then ISIS was born, out of this de Baathification process, and chaos becomes the Rule of Law.

  29. The Russians still have not learned form their tactical mistakes! They deploy the weapons of a great nation (Tupelov, HindXX, etc) the massing of air ground superiority, the building of strategic stockpiles of military hardware, etc but if it is found out that the Sharm el Sheikh incident could have been prevented, they are in some deep Shiite!

    Some of my sandbox acquaintances went to Sharm el Sheik for R&R in 2010 and from what they stated, the area is a cake walk for anyone bent on destruction of aviation assets. It is a vacation hub with all its benefits. Security is lax and obviously no one expected the current result. I also find it odd that even before forensic evidence has even been found, the assumption is made that ISIS is on the Sinai and that is bad for Israel! It is great ISIS propaganda that they responded that they did it at Week 5 of their Russia’s Syrian adventure so we already have boots on the ground in Sinai reporting, surveillance, etc for weakness of the area, and the alleged ‘local forces’ who appear to not exist, to quickly strike as they did , when they did.

    I would like to see forensic evidence that would indicate bomb material as opposed to the usual talking heads! I see no present use of surgical strike teams (whether Radoviki, Spetsnatz, etc) as a way to route potential threats though interoperability but I see ISIS using this concept between, within and outside of their AO with ‘minimal effort’ so the local concept is great though limited but if the visibility of the target is high enough, then local ISIS gets to graduate to other areas of command and control.

  30. “Russians digging in.” You think Assad may be a lil bit nervous about all this? “Its not that I don’t appreciate the help,cuz I do,but when its done you’ll be moving along right? Right? Guys?”

  31. annamaria says:

    This is not the first time you write about the “invasion” and US “security guarantees to Ukraine” and such, though this time you phrase your russophobic hasbara in a rather careful way. There is, indeed, the “cloud cover” created by the Kagans & Co over the corrupt minds of DC’ power brokers. The US have been pummeling the Middle East for the last 14 years, killing indiscriminately the civilians of all ages and creating a monster of fanatical jihadis. There is a wealth of primary sources testifying that this killing spree is just a collateral damage of fragmentation of the Middle East states that happen to be in a close proximity to the “nation of chosen.” The fragmentation and accompanying it bloodbath have been a fervent dream of Zionists for a long time.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    , @Sean
  32. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    I don’t think Putin is that stupid, he is very clever to say the least. Further I think that he is going after the FODs (forces of darkness) a word a friend of mine penned to me once that fits nicely. The actions taken by backing Assad is a threat to Israel because one of the terrorists strongholds is in Golan Heights, currently occupied by Israhell since 1967. Some of these territories have been re-taken by the Syrian army under Russian air cover.

    The neo con plan all along was regime change in Syria another Libya so Israhell can further expand its parasitic infestation across the ME but it hasn’t worked and isn’t going according to plan. A real eye opener and in my opinion quite excellent in so much as the neo con plan is failing is confirmed at the link below. That is a direct link into the Armed Services Committee Hearing headed up by none other than love your brother bomb, bomb, bomb Iran McInsane McCain and other associated war mongers grilling Carter and Dumsford on the current situation in Syria. It’s a long session 3 hours but well worth it.

    In a nutsell – What is our ME military strategy? erm Sir we don’t have one we are just hoping for the best – no shit but see for yourself.

  33. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Ron Unz

    good post. Intelligent

  34. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Ron Unz

    Perhaps I am hopelessly naive but I can’t see that the government would be involved in hurting innocent people.

    • Replies: @Astuteobservor II
  35. @Intelligent Dasein

    My sceptical and contrarian nature and instincts, fortified by long experience, allow me to maintain no belief although I am perfectly capable of betting on the uncertain and I would happily put a large bet on the false flag theory being falsified within say 3 years by some reasonable standard of judgment. I would do so at even money.

    I would certainly not go so far as to suppose that the prospect of being found out through that leaky sieve which is US security would have had the rational effect of making false flag plotters hold off – after all Stalin did not apparently behave rationally when reliably told that Hitler was about to invade and investors everywhere are constantly proving that rational expectations don’t reach or don’t touch them. However, I simply can’t believe there isn’t a Daniel Ellsberg or Edward Snowden or simply a Deep Throat who is resisting the chance to set himself up for later fame and fortune by being the eventually ascertainable first leaker to the NYT or WP or Wall Street Journal or Guardian or BBC. If it were me I would find a totally reliable (OK 98 per cent) lawyer of status and nous who would start negotiating for me with a guarantee to start with of an almost unlimited indemnity for legal fees and an arrangement for getting out of the country. Once the whistleblower was safely protected by time or distance would he not be able to count on an advance of well over $10 million for the thrilling true story of the whistleblowing and the scheming to make sure he could blow the whistle safely? Fantasy? No. I put this up for serious consideration because I am open to someone explaining to me how a well place smart guy or gal couldn’t blow the whistle and cash in. Is it really conceivable that no one of the many people who must know about any such false flag operation, or at least US complicity in hiding the truth, is willing to put together at least a confected sense of righteous behaviour with a chance of fame and fortune? Come on cynics. At least explain why that is technically or logically or practically a non-starter as you can hardly put your money on the purity of US public officials’ loyalty to their fellow malefactors.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
    , @Anonymous
  36. @Ron Unz

    Was the explosion in Egypt seen by a satellite in low earth orbit (LEO) rather than geostationary orbit? If so, it must be noted that even the Americans do not have 100% LEO coverage of the Earth at all times. It is possible that their satellites were not in the right position to observe MH-17.

    Conspiracies are commonplace. Cock-ups are even more so.

    • Replies: @Kiza
    , @annamaria
  37. @Wizard of Oz

    Curious. On this computer using this browser the edit function is missing so I couldn’t change, e.g. “isn’t” to “is” where needed above. Excuse my literals please. BTW have you come across the oddity on UR that some commenters appear as if they are, although they are not, on one’s Commenters to Skip list? Charles Martel is one name that comes to mind and there are a few others.

  38. @anonymous

    You might care to consider how it is that none of this vast gang of psychopaths who must know enough of the truth to cause huge scandal have gone for fame and fortune under cover of righteous whistleblowing – as I replied above to Intelligent Dasein.

  39. @Jonathan Silber

    There is a related problem about which I was inclined to warn when writing the “Chairman’s Introduction” to committee reports. That is the impulse to “do something” (or make recommendations for change) when a task or inquiry has been committed to one. An individual may sit on things in some circumstances but a group that actually meets and talks rarely does.

    “Surtout pas trop de zèle” is a related item of wisdom from Talleyrand.

    • Replies: @krollchem
  40. @annamaria

    Well of course fragmentation of the ME into statelets is likely to benefit Israel but what has that got to do with Sean’s quite sober points about the Ukraine and MH17?

    • Replies: @annamaria
  41. @Sean

    Good points about the Ukraine an MH17. I am however, in totally agnostic spirit, about to add a point mildly supporting Ron’s version.

  42. Svigor says:

    The most important factor in MENA instability is that MENA peoples are unstable.

    Sort of like how it’s no coincidence that sub-Saharans are always being enslaved (most often by one another).

    • Replies: @Drapetomaniac
  43. Kiza says:
    @James N. Kennett

    You obviously can distinguish between LEO and geostationary satellites, but you are not even close to understanding that what you are suggesting does not stack up with 1 trillion dollars a year that the US spends on “defense”. Also, you are conveniently ignoring that, right after the MH17 shootdown, Kerry publicly claimed that US have images proving Russian involvement. This is the USG official story to this day – they know but won’t show.

    A geostationary satellite can capture images, including IR (heat signatures). But LEO satellites are much more common spy satellites. They operate in networks, never alone, which secures round-the-clock coverage of the targeted area. Thus, several satellites may cover the area over 24 hours, for a couple of hours each.

    Satellite imagery is only one part of military intelligence, there was constant monitoring of the Ukrainian war zone by electronic surveillance aircraft (for example, Boeing RC-135) flying over NATO members Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria, tactical ground station SIGINT/ELINT units in the Baltics and the signals monitoring ships in the Black Sea.

    All this intelligence (images and electronic recordings) are sitting somewhere inside the vaults of CIA or Pentagon, buried under maximum secrecy because the intelligence professionals refused to cook up intelligence, after Iraq War was blamed on “faulty intelligence” – that is them. It is a draw between the neocon rulers of the US (the deep state) and the intelligence community of the US – if it cannot be cooked up, then cannot be released.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  44. @Ron Unz

    After reading about the “satellite data” in your post I eventually got round to searching and/but found just similar accounts of a recording of infra red radiation which suggested an explosion inside the plane. I am a little surprised that you haven’t made specific reference to reports of some spokesman saying that the same infra red detectors would have picked up the trails of rockets fired at the plane because it is precisely those, if traceable from beginning to end of their flight, which one would expect the US to release if they showed the BUK missile coming from a rebel held area.

    Sean has suggested cloud cover problems and Intelligent Dasein that US satellite intelligence may have been embarrassingly inadequate as innocent reasons for not proving the US case with satellite evidence. I would add the likelihood that there was not 24/7 100 per cent coverage of all interesting parts of the world with efficiently working infra red detection and recording. How those last guessed circumstances weight the probabilities obviously I cannot speculate usefully. But maybe some commenter knows about that and can also say how much of a BUK missiles trajectory would be recorded if a satellite was in the right position.

    BTW your physics and computer expertise might give the best idea of what US satellites might show. What do we start with? A 360 degree fish eye lens covering whatever area it can from X thousand metres. Factor in later the complications from its being stationary with stationary neighbours to overlap reliably or from its being one of many that traverse the skies to cover Y per cent of the earth’s surface. For the moment just consider the power and storage capacity to pick up every fire larger than a pop concert’s barbeques and every explosive discharge of IR radiation greater than that of a grouse shooting party and then work out the storage capacity needed on the satellite and what it takes to download the data to base twice a day… I’m not suggesting any doubt about the likelihood that recordings of missile flights IR traces would be other than accurately diagnostic but such calculation might help give some idea of the probabilities of reliable evidence being regularly recorded.

    • Replies: @Art
  45. @Kiza

    Well there’s certainly superficial logic in your imagined stand off but I don’t think it overcomes the problem of there being no leaks from the US’s millions (OK thousands will do if you exclude the latest crop of Mannings and Snowdens) of potential leakers.

    Can you give reliable sources for Kerry claiming that there was proof of Russian involvement, and of its being the official US government position today? And is that involvement spelled out in any way that suggests a clear test is available? It sounds as though no claim is being made that it was a Russian operation that brought down MH17. Right?

  46. Kiza says:

    Here is the ultimate explanation on what is going on in Middle East, by Pepe Escobar:

    Meanwhile, fomenting all sorts of wild speculation, ISIS/ISIL/Daesh still manages to collect as much as $50 million a month from selling crude from oilfields it controls across “Syraq”… The fact that this mini-oil caliphate is able to bring in equipment and technical experts from “abroad” to keep its energy sector running beggars belief. “Abroad” in this context means essentially Turkey – engineers plus equipment for extraction, refinement, transport and energy production. One of the reasons this is happening is that the US-led Coalition of the Dodgy Opportunists (CDO) – which includes Saudi Arabia and Turkey – is actually bombing the Syrian state energy infrastructure, not the mini oil-Caliphate domains.

    I do not understand why Ron Unz keeps publishing that CIA turd Margolis, when he may be able to get Pepe’s insights here.

  47. @Svigor

    Really? And I suppose that the US and its Perpetual War for Perpetual Hegemony is the height of stability.

    Try again.

  48. Avery says:

    {Memory of a fish tale has poisoned your capacity to think clearly.}

    The usual, desperate avoidance of painful reality by a denialist Turk suffering from Denialitis.
    But don’t worry: it is a curable mental disease.

  49. tbraton says:

    “There would be a good reason to stage an incident in Ukraine, if the US or some clique within it was interested in getting heavily involved against Russia but apparently no one in the US has any such goal. ”

    Surely you jest. Maybe there is “no one” in the U.S. urging U.S. boots on the ground in Ukraine–yet–but there seems to be many who are urging that the U.S. provide arms to Ukraine so it can fight Russia. I also seem to recall that there was a move afoot not long ago to have Ukraine–and Georgia—become members of NATO. If confrontation with Russia is not the goal, why is anybody promoting those crazy ideas? How does admitting Ukraine and Georgia to NATO add to the security of the U.S. in any way?

    • Replies: @Sean
  50. @Ron Unz

    The UK has technically been at war with Russia since Putin came to power. Egyptian leader visits UK with nothing positive announced, so bomb hits two birds with one stone. The UK audited the airport and passed it…were they casing the joint? I think the British are behind the bomb.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  51. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    If it were me I would find a totally reliable (OK 98 per cent) lawyer of status and nous who would start negotiating for me with a guarantee to start with of an almost unlimited indemnity for legal fees and an arrangement for getting out of the country.

    I doubt it. Just a lot of big talk. You’d be too chicken.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  52. Sean says:

    But the real threat to Israel is the Palestinians living inside it . Martin van Creveld:

    The second would be to hope for the collapse of the Hashemite Kingdom and its occupation by Daesh or some similar organization. That would create an opportunity to repeat the events of 1948 and throw the Palestinians of the West Bank across the River Jordan. This is the “solution” a great many Israelis secretly favor. And the longer the present uprising lasts, the larger their number will grow.

    • Replies: @annamaria
  53. Sean says:

    Ukraine can’t fight Russia, and Ukraine has realised that now The US has not given any meaningful help to Ukraine.

    How does admitting Ukraine and Georgia to NATO add to the security of the U.S. in any way?

    By decreasing the security of Russia . It is a zero sum game in which being aggressive pays off.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  54. annamaria says:

    As some commenters have noticed, there is a curious convergence of facts on the ground and various pronouncements of both Mr. Carter and the alleged masterminds of the recent tragedy.
    Namely, the US and her EU vassals have supposedly fought Islamic terrorists for four years. Enters Russian Federation and immediately produces undeniable positive results of a fight with the terrorists. At that point, Mr. Carter began taking about the inevitable punishment of Russians for fighting the terror (which is a real existential threat for RF, unlike the distant US). And, lo and behold, the Russian civilian plane was downed and a chat between the alleged masterminds, speaking with British accent, was detected. Two questions:
    1. Why the Islamists have never targeted Western airplanes, for four years? – not to disturb the flow of financial and material support from the “coalition of the willing” including the US/UK/Israelis? Meaning, has not been the “war on terror” in the Middle East just a pretense on a part of the US/UK/ Israel to remake the Middle Eastern maps for the benefit of Israel?
    2. How was Mr. Carter so sure that the Russian Federation will be targeted, whereas the US/UK (that have been “fighting” the Islamic terrorists for four long years) will not?

  55. @Anonymous

    Very odd. Why would you compose something of such uncertain meaning? A total diversion from the subject matter to exhibit your taste for women’s waiting room mags’ pop psych assessments of someone of whom you know nothing? What does that say about you one might ask, but only rhetorically, because I don’t see evidence of it being interesting to know anything much about someone allowed by Ron to call him- or herself “Anonymous”.

    It doesn’t help that you don’t seem to understand literary conventions whereby an expression such as “If it were me” is not necessarily, or even usually, a way of making a personal claim but a way of proposing an idea for consideration and criticism. (“Just a lot of big talk” suggests that misunderstanding on your part). Perhaps you might give your self another chance to contribute positively to the point – which is whether the conditions are such, both positively and negative ones such as limited risk, that whistleblowing should be probable – by starting again on my comment as a whole and substituting in the passage you are being cute about “If I were making suggestions to someone contemplating blowing the whistle I would say he should…”.

    You might care to consider the serious issues in the light of attempts being made by the cautious who don’t want to find out if being chicken comes into it at all to discover safe ways of disclosing information that the public should be made aware of.

    Words powered by a switched on brain please rather than silly jibes.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  56. @Sean

    But that presupposes that Russia’s security has to be or at least is inimical to US security. Does that depend on some special meaning of security for the US? Like (allegedly) reducing the future costs of maintaining world order by the hegemonic US?

    • Replies: @Sean
  57. @Carl Jones

    As that all sounds totally mad to me at first sight would you mind giving it a bit of a foundation for your readers. What do you mean by “technically [sic] at war with Russia” – for about 16 years.

    What sort of “audit” of an airport did or could guarantee that designed security measures worked prooerly in practice a week after the “audit”?

    Setting aside the fantasy that the Brits have such a stake in Syria that they would commit a truly appalling crime without it having any likely effect on Russian operations or plans in the ME what possible reason would the British government have for dealing a heavy blow to the Egyptian tourism industry and ultimately the stability of the Sisi government, without which you get an Islamist government and a huge number of Coptic refugees…?

    • Replies: @Carl Jones
  58. denk says:

    *The 10-day NATO exercise code named «BREEZE 2014» has ended in Black Sea. The exercise, which included the use of electronic warfare and electronic intelligence aircraft such as the Boeing EA-18G Growler and the Boeing E3 Sentry Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS), coincided with the shootdown of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 in eastern Ukraine, some 40 miles from the Russian border. NATO ships and aircraft had the Donetsk and Luhansk regions under total radar and electronic surveillance. *

    somebody is hiding something.

  59. denk says:

    mh370 flew right into the eye of a storm, a major nato air sea exercise bristling with awacs, aegis warships, spy ships, submarines, monitored by spy satellites overhead. not even a fly could moved in this electronic web undetected, yet the airliner simply *disappeared* out of thin air, incredible !

    ex malaysia pm dr mahathir , never one to mince words…
    *cia/boeing knew the whereabout of mh370* !

    mathias chang, dr mahathir’s legal adviser,
    *let this be the last false flag* !

    the sobs who *disappeared* mh370 replied with the middle finger,
    malaysia lost two more planes, a helicopter, another near miss in less than six months.

    those who havent watch these videos ought to, its worth your time,

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  60. denk says:

    its been raining air planes lately, and coincidences
    flight 9268 flew thru a major air exercise involving nato and israeli aircrafts, needless to say, accompanied by the ususal water tight electronic surveillence by spy satellites, planes, ships and ground radars.

    another drill that went live ?
    it wouldnt be the first time !

    ian fleming’s fundamental law of probability says,
    once an accident, twice a coincidence, thrice……enemy action !!!

  61. @denk

    I leave aside the question of Mathias Chang’s credibility and yours in treating him as a reliable source or authority because your own credit is totally destroyed by that nonsense about a NATO exercise anywhere near where where MH370 disappeared. You appear to know nothing about NATO and that means your earlier comment is also worthless for anyone wanting reliable information.

    • Replies: @denk
  62. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    because I don’t see evidence of it being interesting to know anything much about someone allowed by Ron to call him- or herself “Anonymous”.

    Is “Wizard of Oz” your real name? Why should you be “allowed” to call yourself such a fanciful name and not someone else with just plain old “Anonymous”? What’s the big difference? You’d prefer someone called themselves ‘Your Royal Highness’ for commenting purposes?

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  63. annamaria says:

    You mean, this Creveld?: “We possess several hundred atomic warheads and rockets and can launch them at targets in all directions, perhaps even at Rome. Most European capitals are targets for our air force…. Our armed forces, however, are not the thirtieth strongest in the world, but rather the second or third. We have the capability to take the world down with us. And I can assure you that that will happen before Israel goes under.”
    This lengthy documents that you have provided has not a single word about Stern Gang and its forceful attempts at collaboration with Nazis.
    And lets’ refresh the story of The Balfour Declaration, namely, what kind of people were involved in production of that letter: “The Balfour Declaration (dated 2 November 1917) was a letter from the United Kingdom’s Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour to Walter Rothschild, 2nd Baron Rothschild, a leader of the British Jewish community… “His Majesty’s government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.”
    The declaration was in contrast to the McMahon-Hussein correspondence, which promised the Arab independence movement control of the Middle East territories “in the limits and boundaries proposed by the Sherif of Mecca” in exchange for revolting against the Ottoman Empire.”
    In short, there were two contrasting letters presenting the diplomatic games. The second letter’s promises as valid as the promises of the first one. Both letters are the examples of private correspondence, filled with niceties, rather than an official document recognizing a state or some rights.

    • Replies: @Sean
  64. Sean says:
    @Wizard of Oz


    Given the difficulty of determining how much power is enough for today and tomorrow, great powers recognize that the best way to ensure their security is to achieve hegemony now, thus eliminating any possibility of a challenge by another great power. Only a misguided state would pass up an opportunity to be the hegemon in the system because it thought it already had sufficient power to survive


    • Replies: @Kiza
    , @Wizard of Oz
  65. annamaria says:
    @James N. Kennett

    But some conspiracies are more robust than others:
    “In the past month of intensifying Russian airstrikes, the CIA and its partners have increased the flow of military supplies to rebels in northern Syria, including of US-made TOW antitank missiles… In addition to the arms the US has agreed to provide, Saudi and Turkish officials have renewed talks with their American counterparts about allowing limited supplies of shoulder-fire man-portable air-defense systems, or Manpads, to select rebels. Those weapons could help target regime aircraft, in particular those responsible for dropping barrel bombs, and could also help keep Russian air power at bay, the officials said.”

    Again, why none of the US/UK/Israeli civilian airplanes has been targeted by the IS/ISIS/DAESH for the long four years of “fighting terrorists in the Middle East,” but the Russian airplane, with kids and vacationists on board, became a successful target as soon as the RF began a real fight with the liver-eaters? What did Mr. Carter know when threatening the RF with the fanatics’ acts of terror ?

  66. annamaria says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    “It’s not that the US does not have the information but rather that the evidence it has does not match the US propaganda line.”
    “MH-17 Final Report: Who Shot Down The Plane?” by Daniel McAdams:

    “CIA, Saudis To Give ‘Select’ Syrian Militants Weapons Capable Of Downing Commercial Airliners” by Tyler Durden:

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  67. @Wizard of Oz

    I tried to email you directly, rather than reply on here. [email protected] failed?

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  68. annamaria says:

    This article suggests that the downing of the Russian civilian airplane was suspiciously too convenient for US/UK/Israeli warmongers:
    “If the Sinai Attack was Terrorism, the Timing was Perfect for Western Geopolitical Strategy”

    • Replies: @Seamus Padraig
  69. jjc says:

    NATO was not caught off guard or surprised by the events in Crimea. A decade before, at the time of the so-called Orange revolution, NATO analysts outlined potential Russian responses to a major shift in Ukraine’s alliances. These analysts correctly pointed out that Russia would never allow their naval assets in Crimea to fall into NATO hands.

    The mock outrage over the Crimean referendum was highly theatrical, and if any NATO official was actually surprised then they should have been summarily fired because they or their staff was not doing their job of being informed. Rather, the NATO response seemed designed to try and fool the citizens of NATO countries and specifically eastern European countries into the belief that Putin “was trying to re-establish the Soviet empire”, and that forces needed to be deployed, war games engaged, and defense spending raised.

    • Agree: Seamus Padraig
    • Replies: @Avery
  70. Avery says:

    Yes, of course.

    NATO was not caught off guard in Crimea.
    NATO was also not caught off guard in Georgia: they knew exactly how Russia would respond.
    That’s why they organized their terrorist assault against South Ossetia during Beijing Olympics, while Russian leadership was distracted.

    Yeah, sure.
    Why not: All Knowing, All Seeing NATO.

  71. krollchem says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    “Surtout pas trop de zèle” — Above all do not be over zealous

    If only you could get the Zionists, Christian fanatics, Muslim brotherhood and Wahhabists to understand this simple point…

    Still waiting for what you recommend as a storage battery ( e.g. lithium/air, flow cell, etc…)

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  72. denk says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    a [most prolly paid] troll questioning others credibility, lol !

    bet u dont even heard about naato, the asian nato !

    i forgot to tell u’r in my bozo file,
    meaning not worthing wasting time.
    consider this a favor !

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  73. Art says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    “Sean has suggested cloud cover problems and Intelligent Dasein that US satellite intelligence may have been embarrassingly inadequate as innocent reasons for not proving the US case with satellite evidence. “

    No satellite coverage – how convenient – sounds like no NORAD on 9/11.

  74. @Carl Jones

    Even Ron’s amazing abilities, wrestling with computers and engaging in battles of manoeuvre with software, seem to leave some anomalies and even errors attached to the UR. (E.g. the list of Commenters to Skip seems to work eccentrically – skipping some novel names never listed and removing some from the list. And I was apparently barred when I simply added jocular inoffensive words to my pseudonym for an ad hoc piece of satire. No doubt other items could come to mind like – relevantly for present purposes – commenters’ email addresses being communucated with the notification of a reply, a bug which Ron fixed quickly.)

    However…. The [email protected] feature seems to work as expected and rationally intended. That is: it simply notifies a commenter that there has been a reply online and was never designed to facilitate private communication – much as I would like it to. Am I missing something?

    That said, I hope you didn’t take my nitpicking response as excessively crabby, even rude. Without being at all aspergerish (I think, unless it can be combined with its opposite) I tend to focus quickly and pedantically on less than perfect words, numbers, grammar and logic – not to mention factual nonsense like that of the incontinent blatherer who placed a huge NATO exercise in ir near the South China Sea!

    I think I practised on you what I do freely with family members starting with my highly intelligent late mother who backed broad brush statements from the head of the table with a strong personality that seemed to exude “don’t think facts can get me down”.

  75. Kiza says:

    Extended further, this kind of thinking comes to the old: there are only the masters and the slaves in this world. Because a hegemon would never pass up an opportunity to apply self interest to hegemony. I do not believe that Mearsheimer wrote this. But regardless who did, this is a typically US-Israeli point of view: only masters, slaves and rebellious slaves exist. The last are being crushed and pillaged regularly even after they offer to be compliant slaves: Iraq, Libya, Syria etc.

    I have never read Putin or other Russians saying something similar. Putin advocates cooperation between peoples and nations and respect of sovereignty. But Russia has very low chance of becoming a hegemon, thus Russia would be expected to argue for treating others how it wants to be treated herself. Russia is just a large rebellious slave due for pacification by the West.

    Not that everyone in the US and Israel is happy about the hegemonic point of view of the ruling class. But, once the West sinks, let us see what China has to say about the order of the world. Maybe China will do better, maybe worse, but I am curious to see a new approach, hopefully with fewer millions of dead bodies and less destruction.

    • Replies: @denk
  76. @Anonymous

    If you ever stopped to think – and of course I don’t know that I have all the posts by Anonymous and variants clear in my head which is a disadvantage of there being such monikers used on UR – you would have taken note of Ron having, or at least stating, some sort of rules for Anon etc. From memory it was meant to make it possible for his strict anti-sock-puppetry rules to be skirted by those who wanted to avoid disrupting their personal relations with a friend or colleague who would know their pseudonym. So I presume that your Anonymous persona is not plain vanilla pseudonym like my WoZ and trust you can now make the distinction behind my remark.

    Picking up on the problem you had with “If it were me” in reference to safe whistleblowing I now say carefully “If I were asked to advise how to use sock-puppetry on the UR…” Then I would suggest that one test Ron’s defences by first trying to use a sock puppet on one’s usual broadband service but different computer and email address (that is the possibly fictional one demanded), then, on failure, trying one’s mobile data service and different email as well as pseudonym. There is evidence that Ron isn’t wasting his time perfecting the software infrastructure but let’s assume this strategem also doesn’t work. So you go to your spouse or child’s computer which uses a mmobile data or broadband service separate from yours. Maybe it works but then you want to add another couple if Anons to say how brilliant Anonymous1 is (“I think I was there when he received the first call about his Nobel Prize”) so now you go to the nearest Internet café and start all over again as Biggest BS Artist in the World und so weiter…. Well that’s what someone might do who has a life to waste on blogs.

    Despite your attraction to the glib and less than thought through I detect capacities and tendencies which are by no means present in the majority of UR commenters. So I would really welcome your fully considered view of my case for rating as high the probability of their being a whistle blower already if the MH17 downing was a false flag operation (a fortiori I think for MH370).

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  77. Kiza says:

    Let us step back for a moment. By looking too much into tactics in Syria we are losing sight of the big picture. What is the true relationship between the West and ISIS? Let us disregard, for a moment, the interests and actions of the Turks, Saudis and Qataris and just analyse the West (US, boss Israel, Canada, UK, the rest of EU).

    The West is utilitarian as always. The story of ISIS is Sunni-Shiia Divide et impera. One could even conclude that ISIS is a better replacement for Saddam’s Iraq, which was used in the past to fight Iran, until discarded.

    The West midwifed the creation of ISIS, then it kept arming it and equipping it (through “moderate rebels”), all the while anti-propagandizing it just to create arms-length-distance, that is plausible-deniability for domestic cattle. The plan was that ISIS, as an extremist Sunni organization, will exhaust itself fighting the Shiia and vice versa. What is left would be easily crushed. Chaos around Israel brings more chance to grab additional Lebensraum containing oil (starting with integration of occupied Golan Heights into the State of Israel).

    This plan was thrown into disarray when Russia re-balanced the ME away from Sunni extremists and their sponsors. At the moment the situation in Syria is a draw between Sunni extremists and their sponsors and the Shiia countries with Russia. Although a draw, this is not a stable state. Depending on the moves of different parties, the situation may shift either way. For example, it is possible that exhausted Saudis may turn away from Israel towards Russia. Or, the US may send significant troops into Northern Syria (50 special forces are just human shields), or Turkey may finally move its troops assembled at the Syrian border into Syria.

    My personal view is that the Saudis are the weakest link in the Western alliance. Saudis are running out of money for the mercenaires in Yemen and Syria. Turkey will remain aligned with Israel, because both just must have the big prize – juicy pieces of Syria. The US will keep doing as told by Neocons. The most likely next move is the Turkish military move to occupy Northern Syria.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  78. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    Ok, maybe I’m being a nitpicker. Also, I prefer generic anonymity just to avoid the back-and-forth mudslinging between different personalities/handles.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  79. denk says:


    no need to fret about china, or russia for that matter,
    how could anyone be worse than the great satan [mh370, mh17, flight 9268 etc etc ]?
    here’s good comparison of china vs the snake,
    *china is governed by engineers, technocrats whereas unitedsnake is run by shysters lawyers, bankers, death merchants*,
    which is why china is a builder, the snake a destroyer.

    in the first place, all these msm meme about china being the next world hegemon are just craps,
    china has neither the heart nor muscle to rule the world like the great satan. !

    out of the loop for now.

    wooz the moron
    there were two massive air sea exercise going on back to back in scs when mh370 disappeared,
    cobra gold and tiger balm, involving US, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia and South Korea, .
    this is the de facto naato, aka asian nato.
    they never talk about such stuff in front of the children thats why.
    consider this a free education, a last favor from me.
    not going to waste time with unz’s resident troll any more.
    whoever paying u isnt getting their money’s worth !!


  80. @annamaria

    Thank you for the links to the Ron Paul Institute. I listened carefully to McAdams and McGovern and noted that, after deriding Kerry’s reference to social media – which was actually quite sensible when you read what he said to Dave Gregory (of CNN before being sacked); the derision reflects perhaps McGovern’s age and his not being up to date – McGovern’s accusation about Kerry claiming that they had evidence of the firing of the missile and exactly where it came from was that it was a lie! Nothing to explain except that Kerry over egged the pudding.

    Of course it would be a devastating reason for doubting the rebels-did-it version if there was in fact the clear evidence (of locality) Kerry claimed and yet the US wouldn’t allow it to be seen. No doubt there are lots of explanations. One might include the fact that other phenomena would appear as well that might serve to confuse the story. How about evidence of a Ukrainian fighter in proximity. Before the Dutch et al. report it would have left doubt about what downed MH17 and now it would distract attention from the report and also start hares running in the shape of “why are they only releasingvit now” questions.

    BTW my qualified approval of what McGovern can contribute was further qualified by his saying it was odd that a party to the conflict in the shape of the Ukraine was part of the investigation without any mention of Russia being part of the investigation and exactly the same point being applicable – if one thought it had any merit – to Russian participation. He also made some odd remarks about the black boxes which suggested he was an old man with limited access just winging it.

    Similarly he made some dubious argument based on the investigators not having accepted as the best evidence the Russian manufacturers’ claim that the missile was one of their old version that only the Ukrainians still used. I dont think Mr McG had read and remembered enough of the report to escape the conclusion that here was another case of an old warrior (or peace activist?) winging it.

    But my point remains: your authority was effectually saying the US had no evidence about the launch and flight of the missile which shot down MH17.

  81. @Anonymous

    No! I’m the Nitpicker. I insist. Your nits were dead on arrival and can’t be counted 🙂

    Now get down to work on the whistleblowers case. And I direct your attention to my reply to annamarina showing that her source doesn’t support the suppressed evidence case but suggests just a plain common or garden lie – getting in with the first lie because that would be likely to prevail.

  82. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Ron Unz

    I’ve been to Sharm el Sheikh and flown out of the airport there. The airport and the resort there are in the middle of nowhere in a desert. It doesn’t seem implausible to me that a missile could have hit it.

    • Replies: @Wizard of Oz
  83. @denk

    Please stop wasting people’s time with your discourteous and irresponsibly careless rubbish. And hire a competent translator so you can understand exactly what others are saying and then if you can think of something worth saying in your native language. If you are hoping to be employed as a Chinese troll on English language blogs I suggest that you go to English lessons as my impression of even Chinese government officials is that they are far too smart to buy shoddy goods.

    You referred to NATO in the area of MH 370’s disappearance and I called you on it. Now you, rudely, try and recover your balance by making some dubious reference to NAATO!!!

    More tellingly – and foolishly – you toss in reference to Cobra Gold and Tiger Balm exercises. My simple search shows Cobra Gold wrapped up in February but MH370 disappearing on 4th March. Tiger Balm was held in Hawaii.

    Do you want to destroy the credit of Ron Unz’s good work by such malign trolling?

    • Replies: @denk
  84. @Kiza

    I applaud your theorising. You may be wrong in some critical part of the scenario but at least it hangs together logically enough and it isn’t nearly as susceptible to undermining by what I suppose I could call the Whistleblower Test (the dog that didn’t bark test if one once read Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes mysteries). That no one has yet come out in righteous anger is no more surprising than the fact that Kissinger got away with his bombing campaigns for so long.

  85. @Sean

    A reasonable reply but it doesn’t deal with my underlying doubt that Russia has mattered enough since 1990 for the US to need to apply Mearsheimer’s point of view. Indeed if the US insisted on foolishly making an enemy of China instead of encouraging it to assist in policing the barbarous world it might have sensibly kept Russia on side.

  86. @Anonymous

    Again you are too cryptic. Expand please on your reasons for connecting the desert location to the chances of it being a missile that brought it down. I would have thought suburbs with gardens and rooftops near flight paths would be convenient for firing missiles at aircraft shortly after take off.

    I can see the argument for saying that the open desert location would make it unlikely that anything but a powerful medium range rocket would have sufficed but that hardly fits with what you seem to be saying.

  87. @krollchem

    Ask Elon Musk and then tell me. I’m still at the contrarian stage of insisting that my physicist friends who oppose climate “warmists” (alarmists) calculate for me the economics of using windpower for hydro storage to provide valuable peak load electricity.

    • Replies: @krollchem
  88. you guys read the news? putin just sent 4000 troops into syria.

    • Replies: @Seamus Padraig
  89. @LondonBob

    Great point.
    Reminds me how quickly someone released ( on most MSM) the (sooned to be discovered to be fraudulent and confected) tape of “rebels” discussing over the radio the downing of an airliner by their own missile.
    Only question remains whether the “tape” was already on the shelf waiting for the aircraft to go down, or whether some ambitious person/department was ready at a moments notice to “produce” this wonderful work of fiction.

  90. krollchem says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    In regards to your IS** question:

    “We are dealing with a criminal undertaking at a global level … and there is an ongoing war, it is led by the United States, it may be carried out by a number of proxy countries, which are obeying orders from Washington …The global war on terrorism is a US undertaking, which is fake, it’s based on fake premises. It tells us that somehow America and the Western world are going after a fictitious enemy, the Islamic state, when in fact the Islamic state is fully supported and financed by the Western military alliance and America’s allies in the Persian Gulf. …They say Muslims are terrorists, but it just so happens that terrorists are made in America. They’re not the product of Muslim society, and that should be abundantly clear to everyone on this floor. …The global war on terrorism is a fabrication, a big lie and a crime against humanity.” (source) (source) – Dr. Michel Choissudovsky, Canadian Economist & Ottawa’s Professor of Economics

    IS** is now operating in Libya, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkey, and Ukraine. The US used Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and other Saudi supported radical Wahhabists to help destroy Libya. Many of these same Takfiri were transferred by the US along with Libya weapons to Turkey where they received additional training.

    Several thousand of these Takfiri invaded Syria and attempted to take Latakia but were driven away by Syrian Arab Army forces. They then wheeled East and attacked Towns in Eastern Syria and joining with Saddam Hussein’s vice president and selected generals to take several Iraq cities and important military bases. The captured some 2,300 Humvees, 52 M198 howitzers, 40+ M1A1 tanks, and small arms including 74,000 machine guns. Several billion in loot from banks have allowed ISIS to setup and maintain a quasi-state.

    ISIS and Al-Qaeda in Syria (Jabhat al-Nusra) are primarily supported from “donors” in Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Training, resupply and sanctuary are provided in Turkey. Jordan serves as a secondary sanctuary for Al-Qaeda. Some 3,000 “rebels trained by the US (CIA?) and UK in Jordan took their training and weapons to Syria and immediately joined Al-Qaeda. Another 500 million was allocated to train “rebels” in Turkey from the pentagon budget and some 120 of these trainees immediately were either killed or joined Al-Qaeda (about five are still missing). ISIS has been joined by both Chechen and Uyghar brigades. The leadership from the Chechen brigade was trained by the US in Georgia.

    About 1,000 ISIS trained in Turkey have been sent to Yemen to fight alongside Saudi and UAE supported Al-Qaeda units. They have been joined by mercs from Eritrea and Somalia as well as some Egyptian troops and naval units. The US and NATO units continue to support the Saudi led effort in Yemen.

    Several hundred ISIS trained in Turkey have been sent to Ukraine to team up with Kolomensky’s (president of the European Jewish council) fascist “national guard units as well as the Chechen units.

    Until recently Israel provided medical support for Al-Qaeda in Syria (Jabhat al-Nusra) and limited bombing assistance when Syrian Army units attacked Al-Qaeda. The Druse in the Golan were successful in stopping this Israeli support for Al-Qaeda.

    After the burning alive of a Jordanian pilot by ISIS the Jordanian king has had a change of heart and has backed off from the US , NATO, Saudi Arabia/Qatar backed Takfiri units and has setup a joint coordination center with the Russians to bomb the Takfiri.

    So yes, the US is a catalyst in the formation of ISIS and the growth of Al-Qaeda and allied radical Islamists in their attempt to destroy Syria. US politicians support whomever provides contributions to their reelection campaign and Wahhabists are principle supporters as well as petrodollar allies. The US is in bed with some truely evil groups Fascists in Ukraine, Zionists in Israel and Wahhabists throughout the Islamic world.

    Throw in Israel’s strategy to create chaos in the Arab world and acquire oil resources of the Golan and offshore in the Med; Saudi Arabia and Qatar demands for oil and gas pipeline into Syria; Turkey’s efforts to destroy Kurds and the Syria drought from 2006-2011 and you have a makings for a war!

  91. krollchem says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    Use of windpower to pump water uphill as a kinetic energy storage is a great idea. In the Northwest non-peak and excess peak hydro power is used to pump water back up to reservoirs to be used for later peak power use.

    I was hoping to get you to commit to a battery storage solution.

    As for climate change, I have a great disdain for simplified models. Climate change is a very complex topic with dozens of factors both positive and negative in regards to warming. I even have a four hour power-point presentation that covers most of these factors going back several hundred thousand years. I have yet to come across anyone who incorporates all the factors in their model!

  92. @Astuteobservor II

    putin just sent 4000 troops into syria.

    Source please?

    • Replies: @Astuteobservor II
  93. @annamaria

    Thanks for the CounterPunch link, annamarina. Though I check in there regularly, I missed that one somehow. I was prepared to accept the possibility of a false-flag based on US/UK’s strange behavior, but I was lacking a motive for it.

  94. Sean says:

    There is no pleasing some people, I give an Israeli’s analysis of how ISIS conquest could work to Israel’s advantage and you irrelevantly ramble on about citing a source taking a Zionist view of Israel.

    • Replies: @annamaria
  95. denk says:
    @Wizard of Oz

    *Do you want to destroy the credit of Ron Unz’s good work by such malign trolling?*

    your notoriety as ron unz’s resident spoiler precedes you, it was even mentioned in other forums. if im ron doing house cleansing, u’d be the first in line, hehehe.

    me rude ?
    thats rich, coming from the incontinent blatherer himself !

    u should get an educaton before opening your big mouth,
    i didnt make up the term naato, or asia nato. its conceived in 2004 to form the backbone of the asia pivot.
    for all practical purposes its already in place, they just stop short of calling it so.
    cobra gold is an annual nato war game in thailand, the 2014 chapter officially ended 21 feb, but….it was immediately followed by another air sea search and rescue exercise , cope tiger, starting 9-3-14.

    mh370 *disappeared on 8-3-14 , right in the midst of two back to back nato exercise, at a time u bet scs was under saturation electronic surveillence, just like mh17, flight 9268 , 911.
    london bombing 7/7, oklahoma city bombing, norway oslo attacks, sandy hook etc…., so many *terrarist attacks* coincides with anti terro drills .
    there’s a clear pattern suggesting that terror drills, war games might be used as cover to commit false flags attacks, but trust the self confessed nitpicker here to quibble whether its nato or naato war games !

    in view of the vile crimes perpetrated right before our eyes,
    im making an exception of the golden rule which says *never feed a troll*.

  96. annamaria says:

    why are you so sure that your analysis is not a “ramble?” The Unz Review site is for the discussions outside the official party line. As it was noted before, personal insults on social media sites are often a trademark of hasbarists that use the insults as distraction when a discussion becomes uncomfortable for the Israel-firsters.

    • Replies: @Sean
  97. @Seamus Padraig

    it isn’t a secret, a simple google = a ton of news articles.

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