Quite a day or two then!

Written By: - Date published: 6:17 pm, September 18th, 2018 - 83 comments
Categories: capitalism, China, Europe, International, israel, Jeremy Corbyn, Russia, Syria, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, uk politics, us politics, war - Tags: , , ,

Donald Trump’s chances of boosting his popularity (and by extension, that of the Republican Party) before the US mid-terms by being all macho on Syria just got torpedoed by Turkey and Russia agreeing on a way to not blow the crap out of Idlib.

Though, unhelpfully, someone may have shot down a Russian IL -20 military plane* over the Mediterranean while Israel was launching an air strike while Israeli F-16 jets were airborne over Syria. And there’s some speculation a missile launched from a French ship may have brought down the Russian plane…or that it may have been the Israelis… or the Syrian defense forces…or something else entirely.

And Donald has landed another $200 billion worth of tariffs on Chinese goods, while Chinese citizens apparently throw tantrums on Swedish pavements (these two things may not be connected).

Oh. And in other weird shit – a social democrat threatening to rein in the financial system and bankers in the event they form a government is a clear case of antisemitism, according to a prominent Zionist.

  • The Ilyushin 20 (IL-20) surveillance turboprop plane is an Electronic Intelligence (ELINT) platform, equipped with a wide range of antennas, infrared and optical sensors

update (on the Russian military plane being downed over the Mediterranean)

“According to the Russian military, four Israeli F-16 fighter jets attacked targets in Syria on Monday night, approaching from the Mediterranean Sea at a low altitude. The Il-20 was on patrol in the same area, and was shot down by a Syrian S-200 surface-to-air missile that was launched in response to the Israeli attack.

“We consider these provocative actions by Israel as hostile. Fifteen Russian military service members have died because of the irresponsible actions of the Israeli military. This is absolutely contrary to the spirit of the Russian-Israeli partnership,”the statement said. “We reserve the right for an adequate response.””

83 comments on “Quite a day or two then!”

  1. corodale 1

    Sputnik is reporting missile attacks, from unknown drones, some countered by Syrian anti-missile defense, others striking Syrian military.

    Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to guess who Mr Unknown is. Will be interesting to see if Mr Unknown doesn’t also do some counter-strikes against the US on behalf of “Syrian Govt”. A sunken battleship or two would make the mid-term elections far more exciting for the Dems.

    I’ve read three reports of both White Helms and Al-Qaeda (if they are not the same thing) filming videos of chemical attacks in last three weeks, including the use of real people who have been kidnapped. One news source being the UK’s The Independent, quoting a US Senator saying, MI6 are involved.

    German newspapers saying, the German Govt is keen to send troops to Syria, but is waiting on (MI6 to release the manufactured) chemical attack evidence.

    Rumour is the drone attacks where in response to the bad/good news that China well be sending troops, probably keen to get there before the Germans. Iranian and Chinese military are officially training together. But the report didn’t say where. But the assumption is, they will be on their way to Syria together.

    • Jenny 1.1

      The Syrian government shoots down a Russian war plane by mistake.
      Despite the fact the Syrian opposition have no anti-aircraft defence, whacko conspiracy theorist comes out in full cry to try and blame the opposition. Even claiming that the rebels will be blowing up US warships next in a false flag attack’ (with their non-existent anti-ship missiles).

      Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to guess who Mr Unknown is. Will be interesting to see if Mr Unknown doesn’t also do some counter-strikes against the US on behalf of “Syrian Govt”. A sunken battleship or two would make the mid-term elections far more exciting for the Dems.

      I’ve read three reports of both White Helms and Al-Qaeda (if they are not the same thing) filming videos of chemical attacks in last three weeks, including the use of real people who have been kidnapped. One news source being the UK’s The Independent, quoting a US Senator saying, MI6 are involved.

      corodale

      How Syria’s White Helmets became victims of an online propaganda machine
      ‘It’s like a factory’
      Olivia Solon – The Guardian, December 18, 2017

  2. Jenny 2

    Though, unhelpfully, someone may have shot down a Russian IL -20 military plane* over the Mediterranean while Israel was launching an air strike while Israeli F-16 jets were airborne over Syria. And there’s some speculation a missile launched from a French ship may have brought down the Russian plane…or that it may have been the Israelis… or the Syrian defense forces…or something else entirely.

    Bill

    One thing is for sure. The Syrian opposition didn’t shoot down this plane.

    The Syrian opposition don’t have any air force, or any anti-aircraft weapons, leaving them completely at the mercy of the arrayed forces that do possess them, to use them with impunity to massacre the people of Syria from the air.

    The airspace above Syria has become so crowded with war planes queuing up to bomb Syrian towns and cities, that the rival powers doing the bombing have agreed protocols and agreements amounting to air traffic control. to stop running into each other.

    “U.S. Agrees With Russia on Rules in Syrian Sky”

    It is not surprising that sometimes this rule of
    conduct for perfect aerial murder sometimes breaks down.

    America bombs Syria
    Russia bombs Syria
    Syria bombs Syria
    Israel bombs Syria
    Turkey bombs Syria

    What all these arrayed regional and global powers have in common, (apart from their mutual enmity), is a greater fear that the Arab peoples achieving freedom out from under the rule of all the pro- imperial and autocratic regimes that oppress them and murder and rob them and repeatedly and continually sell them out.

  3. Ed 3

    Patrick Henningsen nails it on Twitter.

    “The events of this morning in #Syria are a stark reminder that the rogue state of #Israel is quite happy to drag the rest of the world down into #WW3 for its own selfish and psychotic ends. It does not, and never has recognized any form of International Law.”

    “If this report is true, I would tend to think a wider War is close to really breaking out over #Syria. The West won’t allow al Qaeda and ISIS to be defeated. This is becoming grotesque…”

    https://t.co/JVQhUcgAoO?amp=1

    • Jenny 3.1

      Ed your binary Cold War view of the world is completely out of date and shallow.

      When I was in Syria in 2010 the Palestinian refugees I spoke to told me that the Assad regime was no friend of theirs and had sold out to Israel long ago.

      This is where your conspiracy theory breaks down Ed. The fascist regime of Bashar Assad has had a longtime understanding and working relationship with the racist Zionist regime. And still does.

      Syria’s Assad Has Become Israel’s Ally
      Zvi Bar’el – Haaretz, July 5, 2018

      Israel ‘not ruling out’ eventual ties with Syria’s Assad
      Dan Williams – REUTERS, July 10, 2018

      Assad’s Syria sold Israel oil, businessman claims
      Elhanan Miller – Times of Israel, March 7, 2013

      The Assad family ties to Israeli business tycoon
      The New Arab, August 17, 2015

      DESPITE SYRIA, ISRAEL-RUSSIA RELATIONS ARE THE WARMEST IN HISTORY
      Both countries understand each other’s redlines and are cooperating on other fronts.
      Seth J. Franztman – March 25, 2017

      • adam 3.1.1

        Yeap the totalitarian are in in it together.

        So Jenny do you support the Kurds?

        • Jenny 3.1.1.1

          Who doesn’t.

          The history of the persecution and oppression of the Kurds is terrible, and none more so, than at the hands of the Assad regime. Though I never met any Kurds when I was in Syria, it was something that I heard about when I was in Latakia, from my Palestinian refugee friends.

          Repression of Kurdish Political and Cultural Rights in Syria
          Human Rights Watch, November 26, 2009

          • adam 3.1.1.1.1

            Turkey I consider in the totalitarian group these days, especially in relationship to the Kurds.

            https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leeds-45534483

            • Ed 3.1.1.1.1.1

              It is Turkish News that Jenny keeps posting as proof of the sanctity of the defenders of Idlib.

            • Jenny 3.1.1.1.1.2

              adam 3.1.1.1.1
              19 September 2018 at 1:15 am
              Turkey I consider in the totalitarian group these days, especially in relationship to the Kurds.

              I agree.

              Oppression of the Kurds by the Turkish state is long documented.
              Turkey has entered the war in Syria against the Kurds. This despite the fact that Turkey’s fellow NATO member the US is backing the Kurds. (Mainly for their own reasons, and partly because the Kurds in Iraq were the first to ably defeat Saddam Hussain’s forces on the Ground. A fact which has led to an ongoing alliance between the US and the Kurds, who the Americans see as useful allies).

              I think you might find the following essay useful Adam. As it mostly coincides with my views on the Turkish presence in Syria.

              Syria: Anti-Imperialism For Dummies
              Charles Davis – Lobe Log, December 1, 2015

              …..Such opponents of empire prefer the simplicity of a “regime-change” narrative that went from stale to rotten in 2013, when the U.S. eagerly embraced an Israeli-brokered deal with Russia to keep Assad in power. They long ago decided that all who fight the regime in Damascus are unthinking “Contras,” or mercenaries fighting not for their own reasons but for the reasons of the regime in Washington. They’ve maintained this belief despite the fact that when the U.S. tried to create an actual mercenary army to fight the Islamic State (IS or ISIS)—in coordination with the regime it ostensibly wants to change at all costs—it managed to recruit all of 54 people.

              The attraction of this narrative is not its factuality, but its familiarity and ideological convenience. By inflating U.S. support for the Syrian opposition and ignoring the actual targets of U.S. bombs, such anti-imperialists can cater to the narcissism of the Western left by repeating a few time-tested talking points. If something bad is happening in the world, like millions of people forced to leave their homes, it must be the exclusive fault of the United States.

              Those who embrace this storyline, such as the universally non-Syrian commentators who have published in the center-left Jacobin magazine, have inflated the role of imperialism with respect to the Free Syrian Army and downplayed U.S. support for the Syrian Kurds. The Kurds of the leftist PYD have accepted a mighty lot of U.S. assistance—more in fact than the “fascist” FSA—and yet somehow avoided the stigma of being associated with U.S. empire.

              As Abu Mohammad, a resident of the IS-occupied city of Raqqa, told The Guardian: “I like the FSA, but we need a real one; they are not organized and don’t have supplies.” That’s a marked contrast to the PYD and its militias, the only parties in Syria who can call in U.S. airstrikes, which they have been doing for just about a year now. In October, the leftist Kurds received a shipment of no less than “50 tons of ammunition” from Uncle Sam, the first of many to come.

              And yet, the anti-imperialist left has not challenged Kurdish motives or denied them agency. Although U.S. support for the Kurds is flaunted near-daily at State Department briefings, Pepe Escobar downplays this, choosing to emphasize and condemn the “CIA weaponizing” of militias elsewhere, manned by “Islamo-Fascists.” He further neglects to mention that, since 2011, the CIA has worked to prevent rebels in Syria from obtaining—from the United States or from anyone else—the anti-aircraft weapons needed to challenge the Syrian government’s unchecked air supremacy. U.S. support for the avowedly leftist and secular PYD certainly points to a more complex picture that involves the U.S. having goals other than regime change……

    • reason 3.2

      100% correct Ed …. Israel is a dangerous dishonest rouge nation …. and as Robert Fisk has repeatedly reported, the Israel air-force on many occasions has attacked and bombed Syria …but only in support of Al Nusra / ISIS / ‘Rebels’.

      In other aid for the extremist muslim cause ….Israel has provided medical services and operations for the wounded Al Nusra / ISIS / ‘Rebel” fighters ….

      Israel is also a corrupt nation involved in all sorts of financial crime and weapons trading / smuggling.

      But it is Jenny being shallow …. her confusing Israels general support of embezzlement and corrupt states …. with their foreign policy desire and actions for the destruction and death of the Syrian state …… so they can legitimize their war crime theft of the illegally held Syrian Golan heights …

      Also Her bombing list was so shallow it was meaningless….

      Information is not her friend…. So I’ll add some and fill out her misleading simplistic sloganeering

      America bombs illegally and against international law in Syria …. & Iraq & Yemen & Afghanistan & Libya … the majority of its bombings in the middle east have been against Govt forces

      Russia bombs the violent and extremist Sunni fighters … ie those who have killed approximately 75000 Govt soldiers in their blood soaked proxy fight to overthrow the Syrian state …

      Syria bombs the western supported extremists committed to the destruction of Syria as a modern secular state.

      Israel bombs Syria … but only in support and towards the goal of destroying Syria …. Israel also bombs Gaza, Lebanon and Iran when its uber-zionist urges get strong.

      Turkey bombs Syria … but mainly so it can kill Kurds…….

      Ed like myself is genuine and would like to see a stop to the war against Syria … and Yemen … and Afghanistan etc etc .

      Its the Waynee mapps of this world … or others like him …. who do not give a shit about who or how many ‘ others get killed…..

      The jackasses who snort and bray …. Assadists…. are probably sadists

      17 mins

  4. Ed 4

    Peter Hitchens writes an ominous article.
    Is World War 3 about to break out?

    “Are we on the brink of a new war? It looks very much like it. Will it be justified? I do not think so. Can we stop it? It is worth a try.

    Almost everyone missed an amazing and worrying moment in Parliament last week, when Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt gave us a glimpse of the Government’s thinking. They will go to war without waiting for the facts to be checked, and without recalling Parliament.

    In a very brief debate about the war in Syria, he was asked about plans – now being openly discussed at high levels in Washington – for a devastating attack on Damascus.
    This will be in response to a supposed atrocity that has yet to take place but about which the Americans openly say they already have evidence – probably an alleged poison gas attack, in which we will see heartbreaking but unverified film of dead or dying children, from propaganda sources, and claims of multiple deaths from untraceable ‘eyewitnesses’.

    In my view, these claims are very similar to the claims of ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction’ (WMD) in Iraq, used to bamboozle the British and American people into that catastrophic war; and also to the claims of mass rape and massacre, equally unproven, which were the excuse for David Cameron’s disastrous attack on Libya.“

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-6172483/PETER-HITCHENS-brink-war-noticed.html

    • Jenny 4.1

      Another busy day at the ‘factory’ Ed?

      Ed, you still haven’t answered the question, that you inadvertently posed for yourself

      Do you want to bomb Idlib?

      Your silence tells me that you do.

      In your unexpressed wish, you expose yourself as a blood thirsty supporter of tyranny and genocide.

      • mauī 4.1.1

        Ed would have to be the least bloodthirsty person I know.

        Calling someone a tyrant and genocidal has led to millions of Syrians fleeing and an entire country destroyed.

        • marty mars 4.1.1.1

          Ha – he keeps telling people to go to war and die – you are delusional if you don’t think that is bloodthirsty warmongering. Sure he is all talk but that behaviour is wrong.

          • mauī 4.1.1.1.1

            Ed is correct that you’re tacit supporters of the mess this country is in now. You have seen the bed being made, now lie in it.

        • Jenny 4.1.1.2

          Kia ora mauī,

          Watch this video of the people of liberated Idlib, people that Ed routinely and racistly attacks as “head choppers” the language he uses to dehumanise them, in his support of their extermination at the hands of the Assad regime. And then tell me that Ed is not a bloodthirsty supporter of tyranny.

          • Ed 4.1.1.2.1

            Idlib will be liberated once the foreign fighters from a wide range of extreme Jihadi groups surrender their hold on Syrian land.

            These are not Syrian people.
            They are foreigners.
            They are ISIS and a whole ‘alphabet soup’ of headchopping extremists.

            • Jenny 4.1.1.2.1.1

              Ed these are Syrians

              Ed you are either an unwitting tool of the Assad regime, or a knowing liar in the service of this fascist style regime, guilty of committing genocide against the Syrian people.

              It is glaringly obvious Ed that you haven’t watched the video. If you had you would have seen the citizens of Idlib, trying to go about their daily lives under the murderous bombing campaign of the regime.

              If you had of watched this video Ed and had even the slightest bit of decency you wouldn’t be spreading regime lies to justify the genocide being waged by the Assad regime against the Syrian people.

              Watch the video and then try and tell me these aren’t Syrians.

              Watch this video from the beginning and then continue your support for these people’s extermination. And become condemned by your words, as a knowing liar.

              • Ed

                Jeremy Scahill for you Jenny.
                One of. The many many reputable independent journalists I quote.
                Who do you use?
                The White Helmets, Turkish News and the Guardian.
                Laughable.

                • mauī

                  Thank you Ed. All the independent journos work for Asad apparently… what a joke.

                  • Ed

                    Syria seems to be Jenny’s blind spot.
                    No amount of evidence will persuade her.

                    • Jenny

                      But that’s just it Ed. You have never presented any evidence, just weaponised gossip spun from the pro-Assad echo chamber.

                      And when presented with undeniable evidence of mass murder you gutlessly turn away.

                      Not you, or Bill, or Mike Smith, not one of you, has ever dared to venture an answer to this question, that I have posed to you many times.

                      Who did this?

                      And is it not evidence of genocide?

                      https://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2016/feb/04/drone-footage-homs-syria-utter-devastation-video

                      Why can’t you answer this question? Because you know it is genocide, and you support it, but you dare not admit it, (possibly even to yourself).

                    • Ed

                      Jenny, I have shown my sources and a lot of evidence.
                      I cannot be bothered discussing this subject with you any more.

                    • Jenny

                      Ed the same reason that you cannot give an answer to the question of who destroyed Homs, is the same reason that you cannot even breathe the word Sednaya, even amongst yourselves.

                      And that reason is this; because with your deliberate silence you are showing your support for the atrocities being committed there.

                      Ed it is you who have the blind spot, which is wilful and deliberate and calculated, to cover up for the crimes against humanity being committed by the Assad regime against the Syrian people.

                      “All you see is blood”: life at a death camp where Assad has slaughtered thousands
                      Zack Beauchamp – Vox, February 7, 2017

                      Beatings. Starvation. Rape. And then death, administered quickly and with sickening efficiency.

                      Those are the hallmarks of Saydnaya Prison, a facility just outside of Damascus that the Assad regime has turned into a death camp. Many of the inmates are civilian dissidents, and they are mostly killed not long after their arrival. As detailed in Amnesty International’s newest report from Syria, “Human Slaughterhouse: Mass Hangings and Extermination at Saydnaya Prison,” between 5,000 and 13,000 people have been executed there since the civil war began in 2011.

                      Saydnaya is not a prison, since it’s not a place where people go to live out jail sentences before being released. It is a death camp, one designed to destroy the human soul and body.

                      This isn’t a dark chapter from a history book. This is happening right now, and the crimes are being committed by a leader President Obama did little to oust, and whom President Trump has suggested he might actually help.

                      Life and death at a Syrian prison you enter but rarely leave
                      Amnesty’s report is exceptionally well-documented. Researchers from the advocacy group spoke to 84 people with knowledge of what happens at Saydnaya, including 31 former inmates, four former guards, and three former judges at the prison’s kangaroo courts. Their testimony, for the most part, speaks for itself……

                  • Jenny

                    …All the independent journos work for Asad apparently… what a joke.

                    Maui

                    Yes it is a joke. Not a very funny one, but not far from the mark. The self styled “independent journos” work for RT “apparently..”

                    https://www.rt.com/op-ed/authors/eva-bartlett/

                  • Jenny

                    mauī …
                    19 September 2018 at 7:02 am
                    Thank you Ed. All the independent journos work for Asad apparently… what a joke.

                    Eva Bartlett explains her ‘independence’

                    ‘If I write in line with Russian media, it’s because we both tell the truth’
                    Eva Bartlett – RT, December 17, 2016

                • Jenny

                  Jimmy Dore, a raving crackpot a little less deranged than Alex Jones?

                  Jimmy Dore who is a 9/11 truther and comedian conspiracy theorist?

                  Really?

                  You expect us to believe that a viturative hyperactive nutcase is a valid commentator?

                  Yet you demand that we ignore the testimony of Médecins Sans Frontières and Amnesty International, the Guardian, and almost every other media outlet?
                  (Except of course, Fox News and RT).

              • Bill

                Talking of videos…fake, or fake fake? 🙂

          • Ed 4.1.1.2.2

            How reliable and unbiased is TRT?
            Turkish News. The views of Erdogan.

            I’d prefer independent sources, Jenny.

            • Jenny 4.1.1.2.2.1

              So Ed. Do you view Amnesty International as an independent source?

              What do you think of Amnesty’s documentation of the Assad regime’s nazi style extermination camps?

              In particular Amnesty’s report on Saydnaya

              • Jenny

                Another question that you refuse to address, Eh Ed? in case you reveal yourself as a knowing supporter of mass murder and Syrian fascism.

                The Saydnaya extermination and torture centre. Everyone knows where it is.

                Just outside Damascus Coordinates: 33°39′54″N 36°19′43″E

                So Ed and Bill and Mike, why won’t any of your regime friendly so called ‘independent journalists’ ask for a tour?

                They more than anyone know what goes on there.

                Which is why they, (and you) refuse to talk about it. (at least publicly).

                In a private message exchange made public, Beeley admitted that systematic torture happens in Syria, “but it is largely irrelevant to the bigger picture….

                https://thesyriacampaign.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/KillingtheTruth.pdf

                https://saydnaya.amnesty.org/en/saydnaya.html

                • Ed

                  The SyriacCapaign.

                  Let’s investigate.

                  “The Syria Campaign is managed by Anna Nolan, who grew up in northern Ireland and has very likely never been to Syria. In addition to promoting the White Helmets, Syria Campaign promotes a new social media campaign called “Planet Syria”. It features emotional pleas for the world to take notice of Syria in another thinly veiled effort pushing for foreign intervention and war. According to their website, The Syria Campaign received start-up funding from the foundation of Ayman Asfari, a billionaire who made his money in the oil and gas services industry. …One of their first efforts was to work to prevent publicity and information about the Syrian Presidential Election of June 2014. Accordingly, “The Syria Campaign” pressured Facebook to remove advertisements or publicity about the Syrian election. Since then Syria Campaign has engineered huge media exposure and mythology about their baby, the “White Helmets” using all sorts of social and traditional media. The campaigns are largely fact free. For example, the Syrian election was dismissed out of hand by them and John Kerry but taken seriously by many millions of Syrians.”

                  http://www.wrongkindofgreen.org/tag/the-syria-campaign/

                  • Jenny

                    “The Syria Campaign” pressured Facebook to remove advertisements or publicity about the Syrian election. Since then Syria Campaign has engineered huge media exposure and mythology about their baby, the “White Helmets” using all sorts of social and traditional media. The campaigns are largely fact free. For example, the Syrian election was dismissed out of hand by them and John Kerry but taken seriously by many millions of Syrians.”

                    Ed

                    Jesus wept

                    The so called Syrian election is one of the most laughable (if it wasn’t so tragic), of all the pro Assad talking points.

                    Let’s look at it.

                    Bashar Assad won this election by a margin of 88.7%

                    This was almost exactly same margin that Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak won the elections in Egypt, just before he was toppled in a massive popular revolt. Mubarak’s tally a mere 88.5%

                    No surprise there. Because these are the sort of winning margins generally enjoyed by dictators.

                    Surely it must seem odd even to you, that when in real democracies like NZ where political parties struggle to get 50%, hereditary dictators for life, enjoy eye watering levels of voter support.

                    It seems that these huge winning margins have become a little embarrassing for dictators so often stop shy of 90%. However Kim Jong Il is not nearly so blushing as a Mubarak or an Assad winning the plebescite in his country by 100%

                    Egyptians tell a joke about a man who dares to vote against the government in a parliamentary election.
                    On his way home from voting, the man starts to imagine all the terrible things that could happen to him and his family if the authorities find out, so he hurries back to the polling station and speaks to the policeman in charge.

                    “I’m very sorry,” he says, “but I think I made a mistake on my ballot paper.”

                    “Yes, you did,” replies the policeman, “but not to worry. Fortunately we spotted your mistake and have already corrected it. Please be more careful next time.”

                    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2005/sep/13/worlddispatch.egypt

                • Ed

                  The Syrian Campaign.

                  Let’s investigate.#2

                  “The Syria Campaign presents itself as an impartial, non-political voice for ordinary Syrian citizens that is dedicated to civilian protection. “We see ourselves as a solidarity organization,” The Syria Campaign strategy director James Sadri told me. “We’re not being paid by anybody to pursue a particular line. We feel like we’ve done a really good job about finding out who the frontline activists, doctors, humanitarians are and trying to get their word out to the international community.”

                  Yet behind the lofty rhetoric about solidarity and the images of heroic rescuers rushing in to save lives is an agenda that aligns closely with the forces from Riyadh to Washington clamoring for regime change. Indeed, The Syria Campaign has been pushing for a no-fly zone in Syria that would require at least “70,000 American servicemen” to enforce, according to a Pentagon assessment, along with the destruction of government infrastructure and military installations. There is no record of a no-fly zone being imposed without regime change following —which seems to be exactly what The Syria Campaign and its partners want.

                  The Syria Campaign has been careful to cloak interventionism in the liberal-friendly language of human rights, casting Western military action as “the best way to support Syrian refugees,” and packaging a no-fly zone — along with so-called safe zones and no bombing zones, which would also require Western military enforcement — as a “way to protect civilians and defeat ISIS.”

                  Among The Syria Campaign’s most prominent vehicles for promoting military intervention is a self-proclaimed “unarmed and impartial” civil defense group known as the White Helmets. Footage of the White Helmets saving civilians trapped in the rubble of buildings bombed by the Syrian government and its Russian ally has become ubiquitous in coverage of the crisis. Having claimed to have saved tens of thousands of lives, the group has become a leading resource for journalists and human rights groups seeking information inside the war theater, from casualty figures to details on the kind of bombs that are falling.

                  But like The Syria Campaign, the White Helmets are anything but impartial. Indeed, the group was founded in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Office of Transitional Initiatives, an explicitly political wing of the agency that has funded efforts at political subversion in Cuba and Venezuela. USAID is the White Helmets’ principal funder, committing at least $23 million to the group since 2013. This money was part of $339.6 million budgeted by USAID for “supporting activities that pursue a peaceful transition to a democratic and stable Syria” — or establishing a parallel governing structure that could fill the power vacuum once Bashar Al-Assad was removed.“

                  https://www.alternet.org/world/inside-shadowy-pr-firm-thats-driving-western-opinion-towards-regime-change-syria

                • Ed

                  Amnesty in Syria

                  Let’s investigate #3

                  “Most of us living outside Syria know very little of the country or its recent history. What we think we know comes via the media. Information that comes with the endorsement of an organisation like Amnesty International we may tend to assume is reliable. Certainly, I always trusted Amnesty International implicitly, believing I understood and shared its moral commitments.

                  As a decades-long supporter, I never thought to check the reliability of its reporting. Only on seeing the organisation last year relaying messages from the infamous White Helmets did questions arise for me. Having since discovered a problem about the witness testimonies provided by Doctors Without Borders (MSF), I felt a need to look more closely at Amnesty International’s reporting. Amnesty had been influential in forming public moral judgements about the rights and wrongs of the war in Syria.

                  What if Amnesty’s reporting on the situation in Syria was based on something other than verified evidence? What if misleading reports were instrumental in fuelling military conflicts that might otherwise have been more contained, or even avoided?

                  …..Since it is not just the strength of the condemnation that is noteworthy, but the swiftness of its delivery – in ‘real-time’ – a question that Amnesty International supporters might consider is how the organisation can provide instantaneous coverage of events while also fully investigating and verifying the evidence.

                  My point for now is that Amnesty International itself had not independently justified its own advocacy position. This is a concern for anyone who thinks it should take full responsibility for the monitoring it reports. Further discussion has also to address concerns about what kinds of advocacy it should be engaged in at all.”

                  https://timhayward.wordpress.com/2017/01/23/amnesty-internationals-war-crimes-in-syria/

  5. Ed 5

    Tucker Carlson also seems to fear we are at a knife edge.

    • Jenny 5.1

      The new “daring” and “transgressive” rebels of The Standard.

      Hi Ed, I see you are again citing from the Right Wing Fox News in your support for the Assad genocide in Syria. How daring.

      Fox News, RT, RT Fox News, Liberty Report, Fox News, Brietbart News, Infowars. All the interlinked Right Wing and extreme Nationalist webcasters and news outlets that feed into the pro-Assad echo chamber. (And let’s not forget the whacky unfunny comedian and conspiracy theorist Jimmy Doyle),. This Far Right and pro-fascist echo chamber is where you and Bill and Mike Smith commonly take from, and feed into, in your chilling support for continuing the genocide against the Syrian people for standing up to fascist tyranny.
      (To back up their support for the war in Syria, Bill and Ed and Mike have directly cited from most of aforementioned sources).

      Why do Leftists side with fascists?

      This has been an enduring question since the rise of fascism. In Germany millions of former socialist and communist and liberal voters sided with the Nazis. (National Socialists).

      To my mind there are several reasons that Leftists have sided with fascists. Fascist demagogues (like Trump for instance), claim they are on the side of the little guy, the underdog. They also play the victim card. With HItler it was the so called “stab in the back” ie the unfair reparations forced on Germany at the end of the First World War that Hitler blamed on Jewish politicians. Trump makes out that America is the victim in trade with China.

      We also see the victim card played by Bashar Assad who claims that he (Syria) have been the victim of imperialism.

      All these claims of victimhood have at least some grain of truth to them which is what makes them so compelling to Leftists opposed to imperialism.

      What the propaganda of Assad fascism has in common with the propaganda of the German fascists, is a concentration on the sins of the Western imperialists. The nazis did this very effectively. German newsreels of time gave full coverage to the grisly crimes against humanity being committed by the British Imperialists in India and elsewhere. And it was all true. This convinced many Germans of the rightness of war against the allies and especially British Imperialism.

      Why Nazis from Charlottesville to Europe [to New Zealand]* love Bashar al-Assad
      James Snell – The NewArab, August 17, 2017

      ….Amid all this chaos, and the tumult in America more generally, some aspects of this march could be lost and forgotten. Etymological concerns abound. It concerns the “alt-right”, as they style themselves. Do we call them fascists?

      They were certainly behaving like fascists.

      Another thing these marchers seemed to have in common with Nazis was something that might seem initially incongruous: Love for the Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.

      When used in relation with such people, “love” might seem a strong word, but the sentiment was there and it was real. On film, marchers wearing Assad-themed t-shirts affirmed that Syria’s tyrant “did nothing wrong” in between chants of “blood and soil”.

      Referring to a crude, vicious means by which the Syrian air force kills civilians, the same people were positively gleeful. “Barrel bombs, hell yeah!” one said, promising to use the same weapons on “commies”.

      James Fields, the man who drove his car into a mass of people and vehicles protesting against the march, had, as Joyce Karam notes, posted a picture of Assad in uniform bearing the legend “undefeated” on his Facebook page….

      ……Nazis like Assad because he has killed, and is killing, a lot of Muslims. This is essential to their view of the world. Anyone who sets out to murder Muslims and Arabs can be considered a friend. In this sense the far-right love affair with Assad can be considered almost tactical, a means to an end.

      But there is more to it than that. The far-right seems to genuinely believe part of Assad’s rhetoric. Its proponents parrot Assad’s line that he is at the head of a force which is protecting Syria and therefore Europe from “Sunni barbarism”…..

      …..How neatly this slots into the far-right worldview. Sunni Muslims are, in Duke’s mind, “demonic forces”. That he [and Ed]* conflates Syrians protesting for freedom and an end to dictatorship with jihadists is almost incidental. The far-right and Assad share hatreds….

      …..Nazis across the world love Assad partly because it is transgressive to do so. Their governments, or most of them, acknowledge Assad’s crimes and so to downplay them or embrace them seems an exciting, daring act.*

      *(my edits, and emphasis J)

      Related comment:

      Your heroes are “irrelevant”

  6. Stuart Munro 6

    The Reuters report has Russia quite annoyed with Israel:

    Russia’s Ministry of Defence said on Tuesday that the Syrian military had accidentally shot down a Russian military plane over Syria, but said it blamed the incident on Israel, the RIA news agency reported.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-russia-airplane/russia-says-syria-shot-down-one-of-its-military-planes-blames-israel-ria-idUSKCN1LY10X

    I wonder how strident the calls will be for the Duma to rewrite their antisemitism definitions.

    • Jenny 6.1

      it was the White Helmets that did it

      Didn’t you read corodale’s off the wall conspiracy theory?

      • Stuart Munro 6.1.1

        I’m increasing thinking a lot of the stuff that ends up on the channels preferred by our conspiracy buffs is mostly intended for domestic consumption. Multiple conflicting attribution is not an issue if the audience is suspicious of foreign sources in the first place.

        As for the plane, taking responsibility for their own errors or blaming their sole regional ally is probably as safe as visibly vacillating in North Korea – one could die of it.

  7. adam 7

    So the trade war with China keeps escalating. Bolton has the ear of Trump, he and Pompeo are leading this. It’s truly frightening.

    • Bill 7.1

      It’s a crazy, fucked up space we’re in when the roadblock to a potential US war with Iran is a patchwork deal between Erdogan and Putin. I’m saying that in spite of previously saying that the US and EU would huff and puff and get the fuck out. But then Bolton, and then this “chemical attack” count-down.

      btw. For the first time in something like two years I can access RT. You know how sane and balanced the reporting I’ve read seems when compared to the BBC, CNN, MSNBC…The Guardian, Washington Post, NYT….?

      That shit to do with the military plane? RT has been reporting. If that had been a similar incident involving a US or European military aircraft, the fucking media we’re meant to listen to and respect would have had froth backing up and coming out their fucking ears over the lack of any instant cruise missile rain being visited on…whichever villain de jour.

      Anyway. The trade war with China….the US loses that one. We know that.

      • adam 7.1.1

        They will lose, but we going to cop a whole lot of kaka whilst it rains down trade embos and trade wars.

        Yeah it seems RT – well the US version at least, does try to keep it balance and measured. (I’d advise be weary of the English language version coming out of Russia, that can go all out like the BBC, CNN, MSNBC…The Guardian, Washington Post, and the NYT.)

        You do have to remember that the revolving door of US military personnel who work for the arms industry, then do media appearances – don’t do RT. Nor are the adds on RT paid for by either US nor Russian arms manufacturers.

        • Jenny 7.1.1.1

          Fox News???

          RT!!!

          What gets me is that people who have rubbished every major news outlet, and even Amnesty International, for documenting the genocidal crimes of the Assad regime, choose to get their views shaped by Fox News and RT. (Not to mention Far Right nut job and Tea Party Founder, Ron Paul, who has also been quoted in these pages in support of the Assad regime).

          People, you really need to broaden your reading circle.

          • adam 7.1.1.1.1

            RT america is just one of many I read and watch. Chris Hedges mainly, I watch the news from them with a very critical eye, as I do all media. You should look at my comment again. I’ve critical of them all, and spend give over time as well to see who is paying for ads being broadcast.

            Edit: By the way I’ve never defended Assad, just pointed out some of the people you say are good guys are in bed with some really bad guys. Especially some of the fighting units.

            • Ed 7.1.1.1.1.1

              “By the way I’ve never defended Assad, just pointed out some of the people you say are good guys are in bed with some really bad guys. ”

              That’s exactly what I say, but Jenny has moved beyond reason on this issue.

              • Jenny

                Ed when you are challenged over your support for the regime you often precede your comment with, ‘I don’t support Assad’, BUT you do support the genocidal bombing campaign against people you constantly attempt to dehumanise as head chopping Jihadis.

                As the saying goes…

                Everything before ‘but’ is bullshit

                • Ed

                  If I as you say “support the genocidal bombing campaign against people” then so do a whole host of independent journalists. All I do is report their work. Do you really think all these people support ‘ genocidal bombing’?

                  By supporting the extremist rebels, you are inadvertently supporting a lot of unpleasantness – that’s a massive euphemism by the way.

                  You have gone beyond reason. Anyone who questions the war against Assad for you ‘defends genocidal bombing.’ You talk utter nonsense and no amount of emotive bullshit does anything but prove your case is very weak

                • mauī

                  Ed is not a regime supporter, that is a smear.

                  Ed, and he’s probably on the same page as me wants peace and that means the removal of insurgents and foreign fighters who have been trying to overthrow a sovereign nation.

                  • Jenny

                    Maui, you and Ed, are like Richard Nixon, who campaigned for the US presidency on a peace platform. And then sought to achieve peace in Vietnam through a genocidal bombing campaign, of North Vietnam and Cambodia.

          • Ed 7.1.1.1.2

            Jimmy Dore

            • Jenny 7.1.1.1.2.1

              Quoting from extreme Right Wing web sites and now a comedian conspiracy theorist?

              While rubbishing all other news outlets?

              Really Ed. Is this really what you base your support for the extermination of the people of Idlib on?

            • Jenny 7.1.1.1.2.2

              Let’s look at some of the independent sources quoted by Ed. compared to those he rubbishes.

              Liberty Report – Ron Paul.

              9/11 Conspiracy theorist – Jimmy Dore

              RT

              Fox News

              Vs.

              Snopes

              Fact Checker

              The Guardian

              Amnesty International

              • adam

                Snoops, really, the company now working hand in hand with facebook,
                pushing censorship – yeah that credible.

                As for you attack on Jimmy Dore – it’s an attack from the right, but hey I’m guessing you knew that, that why you wrote it – right?

      • SPC 7.1.2

        The hawks like Bolton are not trying to win a trade war, just slow the rate at which China is growing its economy to match that of the USA. The point is disruption of the path this was on.

        After decades in which they distinguished between foreign policy/defence and free trade, there is now an effort to use their economic (trade sanctions) power to bully others into line.

        From the hubris of the PNAC era (c2000) to a fading empire throwing its weight around while it still has some.

        • corodale 7.1.2.1

          Some of the economic war is just smoke n mirror stage work, for the Rating Agencies and currency speculators, as it only applies to trade in USD ie. SWIFT banking. The next few months (November) will see a big rise in direct trading between non-USD currencies. The western banking world will fall on it’s face.

  8. SPC 8

    This says all that needs to be said about the past, present and future in the ME.

    “The weak crumble, are slaughtered and erased from history, while the strong for good or ill survive. The strong are respected, and alliances are made with ther strong, and in the end peace is made with the strong.”
    PM of Israel August 2018.

    The crushing of the Palestinians underfoot is clearly then of a design to eliminate them from the future as a national people. Those who might demure are to be marginalised. This naked alliance with the powerful, rather than the just, would explain why criticism of the capitalist (banking) elite might be described as anti-semtism – now that the Zionist cause has chosen alliance with the powerful elites of society, not justice for the peoples and nations.

  9. Exkiwiforces 9

    It’s probably some poor overworked Erk/ Tech’o (ground crew) has loaded the wrong key aka codes into the IFF on the Russian Snoopy. So no need to worry about as it going to be a good day tomorrow.

    But…..

  10. corodale 10

    “(downed Il-20 aircraft) a chain of tragic accidental circumstances.” says pinko Putin (at a press conference with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban in Moscow!!!), maintaining posture as the charming diplomat.

    https://sputniknews.com/world/201809181068134163-putin-russia-il-20-syria/

  11. SPC 11

    “We are fighting an enemy that is different from us. Not open, but hiding; not straightforward but crafty; not national but international; does not believe in working but speculates with money; does not have its own homeland but feels it owns the whole world.”

    Orban of Hungary, condemned for not being democratic, or not being of a liberal global market neo-liberalism?

    As the editor of the Jewish paper in the UK calls Corbyn’s resistance to the powerful in the global market, anti-semitism, is he saying that those acting in the democracies to resist the powerful could be a potential roadblock on acceptance of a Zionist permanent occupation of the West Bank.

    “The weak crumble, are slaughtered and erased from history, while the strong for good or ill survive. The strong are respected, and alliances are made with the strong, and in the end peace is made with the strong.”
    PM of Israel August 2018.

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