For years, NATO has relied upon tough talk and promises of support for its member nations in order to reinforce an image of invincibility.
That image is supported by the implicit backing of the US military and Washington has been keen to perpetuate it in the past 48 hours by presenting the straw man argument that Moscow is set to inexplicably bomb Turkey (and if you follow geopolitics you know that that makes absolutely no sense at all) and so the West must do it what it has to in order to support its friends in Ankara in the face of “Soviet” (and we use that term on purpose because that’s how this is being pitched now by Western media) aggression. Continue reading »
As the propaganda “war” between East and West intensifies ahead of what might ultimately transform into an actual war in the skies above Syria, the world is transfixed with the scope of Russia’s week-old military campaign in support of the Assad regime.
Thanks to the fact that the West selected Islamic militants as its anti-Assad weapon of choice, Putin gets to pitch the entire effort as a “war on terror” which means The Kremlin effectively has a license to brag and sure enough, slickly-produced ISIS videos of beheadings have now been definitively replaced by slickly-produced videos of Russian warships launching cruise missiles at terrorist targets. Continue reading »
Russia has added a volatile new dimension to Syria’s four-year civil war after unleashing a wave of air strikes across the country.
Moscow has sent hundreds of troops, fighter jets, helicopter gunships, tanks, heavy artillery and other equipment, in response to a “request” by President Bashar al-Assad.
Assad’s regime has been teetering on the brink after a string of heavy losses to rebels and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), and the arrival of Russian troops is an attempt to stem the tide.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has allocated $60bn from a secret fund to accelerate the military buildup despite the country’s struggling economy. Continue reading »
On Monday evening, we detailed the Russian hardware being used in Moscow’s campaign to rout anti-regime forces and restore the government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria.
As we noted in our preface to that feature, “watching Russia effectively humiliate the West by bragging day in and day out is nothing if it’s not amusing, and indeed the leaked diplomatic cable from 2006 which outlines Washington’s intent to effectively start a civil war in Syria leaves one completely uninclined to be at all sympathetic to the ridiculous situation the US and its allies have found themselves in.”
That, along with the fact that Western nations like France are not only unwiling to admit that the West’s participation in Syria has been an outright disaster, but are now set to “correct” a refugee crisis by bombing the very place from which the refugees are fleeing leaves us inclined to highlight the following video (out today from the Russian Defense Ministry) that shows what happens when a military superpower decides that because an existing aerial campaign has become akin to shooting fish in a barrel, it might be time to do some sea-based target practice on a few Nike-wearing, black flag-waving jihadists…
In case it wasn’t clear enough what was set to happen soon after the Russian air force had spent a few days softening up anti-regime positions on the ground, allow us to spell it out: with the opposition on the run thanks to five days of aerial bombardment, Iran will now send in the Hezbollah/Shiite militia/Quds clean up crew, who will personally ensure that whoever is left in the wake of the Su-34 strikes is swiftly eliminated at close range.
You see, this is how you conduct an actual war and you needn’t be a West Point graduate to understand it. Russia has essentially debilitated Assad’s opposition from the air and now, Iran will (both figuratively and literally in all likelihood), simply walk up and execute anyone who’s left and that, as they say, will be that. Of course Damascus will get to claim that the SAA emerged victorious with the help of Russian air support, but in reality, there is no SAA. Just as we said weeks ago, the ground campaign is being orchestrated from Damascus by Quds commander Qasem Soleimani. Continue reading »
Tests on the Pentagon’s troubled F-35 fighter jet have exposed a potentially life-threatening blunder as its ejection seat could snap a slender pilot’s neck when attempting to save his life, Defense News reports, citing a source close to the program.
Ejection tests performed in slow flying speed mode in August revealed that the pilot’s US16E seat constructed by contractor Martin-Baker has an excessive forward rotating momentum, which – combined with the force of the ejected seat shot out of the aircraft – snapped a lightweight dummy’s neck. Continue reading »
H/t reader squodgy:
“Yes, the Saudis & israel (sic) do indeed look like confused, hapless, aimless bullies. America is desperately issuing disinfo to try to muddy the waters as its people (at least those not following the Kardassions or ‘Thrones’….yes all 125 of them) start to put 2 and 2 together and realise how dishonest and ruthless their jew owned government is.”
I prefer the term Zionist owned government (instead of Jew owned government).
– Jews Against Zionism And Rothschilds (Video)
The power elite, the Illuminati (The Rothschilds and the 12 other elite families), are Jewish, but they are NOT real Jews.
They are Khazars and yes, they are satanists …
… and they have planned total economic/financial collapse, civil war and WW3 for us.
They have funded Hitler and told him what do do and he did what he was told by his masters, who were and still are Jewish by choice, but never were real Jews.
Which is why (again) …
Oct 6, 2015
With Russia now effectively controlling the skies over Syria and with the US chiding Moscow for “targeting” America’s CIA-trained proxy armies, everyone is anxious to know how long it will be before NATO’s F-16s have an actual, live fire run-in with Russian Su-34s.
As we noted on Monday, the biggest threat here is the close proximity at which everyone is now operating: “What happens next? Well, with the previously discussed Russian naval blockade of Syria as a likely next step, and with both US and Russian warplanes already flying back and forth above Syria, and now both superpowers having a legitimate, if only in the eyes of their own media, justification to dispatch land troops, what was until now a mere proxy war is about to become full blown land combat on Syrian soil, one which will soon involve both Russian and US ground, sea and airborne forces.”
Alexander Zhilin, Colonel in the army and military expert of the Russian Federation, explains in layman’s terms Russia’s national interests in supporting Assad.
A number of Russians, and Westerners as well, have some misunderstandings about Russia’s involvement.
Zhilin explains why this is not an optional fight for Russia. In the event that Syria fell, it would free up ISIS fighters for a renewed campaign in Chechnya, Dagestan and east of the Caspian as well, pushing north from Afghanistan into former Soviet central Asia. Continue reading »
In particular, MSF (Doctors Without Borders) quickly publicized numerous facts that cast serious doubt on the original U.S. claim that the strike on the hospital was just an accident. To begin with, the organization had repeatedly advised the U.S. military of the exact GPS coordinates of the hospital. They did so most recently on September 29, just five days before the strike. Beyond that, MSF personnel at the facility “frantically” called U.S. military officials during the strike to advise them that the hospital was being hit and to plead with them to stop, but the strikes continued in a “sustained” manner for 30 more minutes.
– From Glenn Greenwald’s article: The Radically Changing Story of the U.S. Airstrike on Afghan Hospital: From Mistake to Justification
By now, all of you will have read about the U.S. military’s recent bombing of a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan. What you may not be aware of, is how much the official story has changed in the days since this inexcusable act of barbarism became public.
Doctors Without Borders has been calling the attack a “war crime,” which to the average American sounds outlandish and impossible. The justification for this claim is simple — that the airstrike wasn’t an accident at all, and that the U.S. military intentionally targeted the hospital. As the days go by, it becomes increasingly clear that this is indeed the case, and the Pentagon is now scrambling to justify the intentional targeting of a hospital. Continue reading »
Had the President of Nobel Peace Prize-winning Doctors Without Borders not warned us of the “imminent threat to global health” posed by the TPP, would these 22 doctors and patients have lost their lives early Saturday?
“I don’t know exactly how long, but it was maybe half an hour afterwards that they stopped bombing. I went out with the project coordinator to see what had happened. What we saw was the hospital destroyed, burning,” describednurse Lajos Zoltan Jecs of the U.S. bombardment of a hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan.
Harsh criticism and skepticism surround what is being labeled an errant U.S. bombardment of a hospital in Kunduz that left 22 people dead — many of them volunteers with Médecins sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders, the humanitarian aid agency) — but doubt lingers about the vague official story for a reason.
While the US was been surprised and angered by the stunningly fast turn of events in Syria where in the span of less than a month Russia unleashed a massive, Syria-based airborne campaign against what it says are ISIS terrorists, even as the US accuses Putin of targeting “moderate rebels”, it has had little recourse in accusing Putin of violating Syrian sovereignty: after all Russia is the only nation that Syria has officially invited to eradicate the “terrorist threat” that is ISIS.
Last week, NATO’s supreme allied commander for Europe, General Philip Breedlove, suggested that Russia has effectively declared a no-fly zone in Syria.
That contention was supported by Moscow’s rather bold move to effectively instruct the US-led coalition to keep its planes out of the sky starting last Wednesday. Ultimately, The Kremlin has declared a monopoly on Syrian air space for the duration of Russia’s military campaign, marking an epic embarrassment for Washington, and serving notice to the anti-regime forces operating in Syria that there’s a new sheriff in town.
Well, don’t look now, but in addition to the de facto no-fly zone, some experts are out suggesting that Russia is set to use its Black Sea fleet to enforce a blockade on the Syrian coast. Here’s Sputnik:
Russia’s Black Sea Fleet may be used in Syria to blockade the Syrian coastline and deliver armaments, as well as possibly deliver artillery strikes, the head of Russian State Duma’s defense committee and former Black Sea Fleet commander Vladimir Komoyedov said. Continue reading »
H/t reader squodgy:
“After his UN speech, I guess this response was inevitable. Iraq was invaded and destroyed on dubious excuses which have subsequently been proven false. This has resulted in the gradual realisation by Iraqis that they’ve been truly screwed by the US, and it’s puppet Rothschild allies.
Libya, Afghanistan, Iran and now Syria join the club.
Now, the prospect of Russia being asked to protect Iraq from ISIL says it all.”
The Iraqi military has taken a brutal beating in its battles against ISIL. Even with the support of American and coalition airpower, the Iraqis have lost untold material and territory since ISIL overran much of the country’s Sunni Arab heartland these last months. News now that Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi welcomes Russian airstrikes may not be what the Obama administration foresaw, but it may well spell the end of ISIL in the region. Here’s a look at the situation on the ground. Continue reading »
H/t reader squodgy:
Apart from this little issue all goes well for Vlad at the moment…
His chess lessons are really paying off…
Former US army colonel and Chief of Staff for Colin Powell, Lawrence Wilkerson unleashed a most prescient speech on the demise of the United States Empire.
As Naked Capitalism’s Yves Smith notes,Wilkerson describes the path of empires in decline and shows how the US is following the classic trajectory. He contends that the US needs to make a transition to being one of many powers and focus more on strategies of international cooperation.
The video is full of rich historical detail and terrific, if sobering, nuggets, such as:
“History tells us we’re probably finished. Continue reading »
EXCLUSIVE-Strategika 51: Six Russian fighter jets type Multirole Sukhoi SU – 30 SM have intercepted 4 Israeli McDonnell Douglas F-15’s fighter bombers attempting to infiltrate the Syrian coast.The Israeli F 15 warplanes have been flying over Syrian airspace for months and in particular the coast of Latakia, which is now the bridgehead of the Russian forces in Syria.
The Israeli jets would generally follow a fairly complex flight plan and approach Latakia from the sea
On the night of 1 October 02, 2015, six Sukhoi SU-30 Russian SM fighters took off from the Syrian Hmimim airbase in the direction of Cyprus, before changing course and intercepting the four Israeli F-15 fighters off the coast of Syria, that were flying in attack formation.
Surprised by a situation as unexpected and probably not prepared for a dogfight with one of the best Russian multipurpose fighters, Israeli pilots have quickly turned back South at high speed over the Lebanon. Continue reading »
By way of excuse for what President Obama called “a tragic incident,” (and The UN called a ‘war crime’) US officials have claimed that the Taliban were fighting from within the Kabul hospital (which was destroyed by a US air strike yesterday killing at least 19 including 3 children) using aid workers as “a human shield.” However, this justification for the ‘collateral damage’ has been vehemently denied by Medecins Sans Frontier (MSF) who have issued a statement dismissing the US claims, “the gates of the hospital compound were closed all night so no one that is not staff, a patient or a caretaker was inside the hospital when the bombing happened…” but, the US strike has done one thing, as one local health official concluded, “this city is no longer for the living.” Continue reading »
Earlier today, we ventured to characterize the breakdown of Washington’s strategy in Syria as the worst US foreign policy blunder since Vietnam.
To be sure, that’s a bold claim, but it’s supported by the sheer number of missteps, bad outcomes, and outright absurdities that have developed in the Mid-East as a result of the effort to oust Bashar al-Assad.
At the most basic level, the support provided by Washington, Riyadh, and Doha for the various Sunni extremist groups battling for control of Syria has created a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions. Hundreds of thousands of people are dead and millions are displaced. As tragic as the situation already is, the conditions are ripe for it to get even worse if the move by Brussels to force recalcitrant EU countries into accepting a migrant quota system they are opposed to ends up triggering a dangerous bout of xenophobia in the Balkans. Continue reading »
One question that’s been asked repeatedly over the past thirteen months is why Washington has been unable to achieve the Pentagon’s stated goal of “degrading and defeating” ISIS despite the fact that the “battle” pits the most advanced air force on the planet against what amounts to a ragtag band of militants running around the desert in basketball shoes.
Those of a skeptical persuasion have been inclined to suggest that perhaps the US isn’t fully committed to the fight. Explanations for that suggestion range from the mainstream (the White House is loathe to get the US into another Mid-East war) to the “conspiratorial” (the CIA created ISIS and thus doesn’t want to destroy the group due to its value as a strategic asset). Continue reading »
Update 2: the death toll has risen to 16, including 9 hospital staffers and 3 children.
UPDATE: At least 16 people died- nine MSF staff, 7 patients from Intensive care unit, among them three children http://t.co/5puRbAlgXS
— Doctors w/o Borders (@MSF_USA) October 3, 2015
Update: and now the UN is getting involved, which means the US will have to spend even more taxpayer funds on bribes to make the “international community” forget this collateral damage incident and refocus on evil Russia.
#BREAKING: Kunduz air strikes ‘inexcusable’, ‘possibly criminal’: UN rights chief
— Agence France-Presse (@AFP) October 3, 2015
* * *
Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse for US foreign policy, or for the credibility of the US state department to slide further, it got much worse. Continue reading »
On Thursday, in “Mid-East Coup: As Russia Pounds Militant Targets, Iran Readies Ground Invasions While Saudis Panic”, we attempted to cut through all of the Western and Russian media propaganda on the way to describing what Moscow’s involvement in Syria actually portends for the global balance of power. Here are a few excerpts that summarize what’s taking shape in the Middle East:
Putin looks to have viewed this as the ultimate geopolitical win-win. That is, Russia gets to i) expand its influence in the Middle East in defiance of Washington and its allies, a move that also helps to protect Russian energy interests and preserves the Mediterranean port at Tartus, and ii) support its allies in Tehran and Damascus thus preserving the counterbalance to the US-Saudi-Qatar alliance.
Continue reading »
One of the United States’ strongest allies is currently inflicting as much carnage as any other nation in the world. Instead of being vilified for their part in a staggering amount of human rights atrocities, the critics go mute and the bloodshed is rewarded. The news regarding Saudi Arabia this week is too abundant to include in any one headline.
According to UNICEF, the ongoing attacks by a U.S.-backed, Saudi Arabian-led coalition in Yemen have resulted in the deaths of at least 505 children since March 26, 2015. Another 710 have been left injured, and 1.7 million are at risk of malnutrition. As Daniel Johnson with the U.N. pointed out, the grievous numbers are equivalent to eight children killed or maimed in Yemen every day for six months. Continue reading »
One narrative that’s parroted constantly when the US moves to bring about regime change in the Mid-East is that it’s necessary for the good of the people.
Typically, the citizenry is characterized as suffering under the brutal oppression of an autocratic regime which is sometimes accused of committing crimes against humanity in order to maintain an iron grip on power and ensure that the seeds of democracy cannot grow.
Of course this narrative is never wholly true and is rarely even partially so.
More often than not, the US has ulterior motives for covertly usurping Mid-East strongmen and the overarching goal is almost always to achieve some narrow geopolitical end. Continue reading »