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01 September 2015

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Rocketrepreneur

Pat,

Thanks as always for an informative article. I had seen the first two items, but not the bit about the Patriot missiles. At some point we need to admit that providing air defense for guys who make Al Queda look sane, just so Bibi can keep Israel's neighbors chaotic and weak is not a good defense of US national interests.

~Jon

user1212

US policy inadvertently creates an east-west wall of chaos, stretching potentially from the mediterranean all across northern Iraq. Good for pipeline from Iran to Turkey (if terrain allows). Bad for pipeline from Saudi Arabia and gulf states.

If I was Russia and Iran, why not try to preserve this state of affairs in frozen-conflict mode? As an added bonus, they score PR points, as the US shares the blame for everything IS does. If Russia/Iran attacks IS and/or US asks them not to attack IS, they score additional PR points.

The Beaver

Colonel,

He is pushing the idea that the US should back the "moderates" in the Nusra Front (al-Qa'ida) That these people are the sworn enemies of the US means nothing to him. I wonder where he got that "idea."

The Israelis - wonder whether he made his annual visit this year after I read the following:
http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Iran/Ex-Obama-aides-US-should-give-Israel-bunker-buster-bombs-to-prevent-Iran-from-getting-nukes-413310

turcopolier

Beaver

It was a rhetorical question. pl

turcopolier

user 1212

"pipeline from Iran to Turkey (if terrain allows)." Another economic determinist heard from. pl

Kim Sky

Throw into this mess - the apparent health of ISIS.

For an eye-opening view into ISIS, what I believe is a must listen-to interview, made yesterday [monday 08/31] with author, Abdel Bari Atwan, about his recently published book "Islamic State: The Digital Caliphate".

A lot more in there than just the Internet!!!

http://archives.kpfa.org/data/20150831-Mon1000.mp3

user1212

Not ashamed to be one!

The Twisted Genius

I doubt the rumors of a full fledged Russian expeditionary force, but I could definitely see more advisors, trainers, intelligence support and radio electronic support. That would be a tremendous force multiplier for the SAA. I could also see more Russian PMOs moving in. A force of Kadyrovtsy would be an interesting development, but I think Putin would prefer they stay put and keep a lid on Chechenya.

And Petraeus is a sorry POS. I'd like to slap his mouth dry.

Fred

Col.,

It appears that to get effective combat forces on the ground to fight ISIS the US has decided to back off both the provocations in Ukraine and support of Erdogan (while he double crosses us with actions that support ISIS)? Does this free up more US forces for further coalition support in Iraq? It wasn't that long ago you were warning of the dangers faced by US forces in exposed positions like Habbaniya. Perhaps the added weight of opposing views like that of Gen. Mercier that Patrick linked to in June are now counterbalancing the Borg talking points. Surely the latest "Völkerwaenderung' is doing the same?

toto

Just as a reminder: voltairenet.org is a conspiracy website founded by the original 9/11 "truther", Thierry Meyssan.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thierry_Meyssan

bth

RT is denying the story. http://www.rt.com/news/314010-syria-russia-planes-isis/

Perhaps Iran, feeling flush with the imminent the end of sanctions, is purchasing new Russian hardware for the Syrians Army.

Cee

The Beaver,.

I'd pay to see the video and hear the tapes they have of him and whomever

alba etie

All
I am beginning to think (hope) that the Iran deal when it survives the neocon IO onslaught after 8 Sept will be seen as a pivotal moment in These United States MENA foreign policy. The beginning of this pivot will see the easing out of Assad and some type of political construct that will allow Syria to remain free of the liver eaters- Moreover possibly with perhaps the P5 t 1 being the leaders in the creation of this Syrian political solution . Certainly the EU is anxious to see some type of acceptable political solution to Syria to mitigate against the crush of refugees pouring in from the Levant . Could it be President Obama has been playing the 'long game ' against the neocons all along - and the Iran deal creates the opportunity to implement a more moderate MENA policy ?

b

Russia provides all hardware and munition Syria needs. Despite the monthly "Putin ready to let go of Assad" headline it will stick to backing the Syrian government including Assad.

There are more Russian advisers on the ground now but the pilots flying the Syrian jets all have Syrian passports.

Russia's involvement would change should Washington cross some Russian "red line" like initiating an serious attack on Latakia or Damascus.

elev8

If there is any truth to this, there will soon be confirmation by real journalists (which is a description that is not applicable to Thierry Meyssan). I can easily believe the part about satellite imagery. If the bit about the Patriots turns out to be true, that would be especially intriguing.

David Habakkuk

TTG,

Your reading seems to be in important respects close to that of 'the Saker'.

(See http://thesaker.is/a-russian-military-intervention-in-syria-i-very-much-doubt-it/ .)

As to Thierry Meyssan, it may or may not be relevant that there is a good deal of cross-posting between his site and a site called 'Strategic Culture Foundation'. This appears to provide an English-language outlet for the views of a section of the Russian security elite which has long been acutely suspicious of the United States – people like the members of the 'Izborsk Club'.

(On the linkages, see for example the denunciation by General Leonid Ivashov, a prominent member of the 'Izborsk Club', of the reneging on the agreement to sell the S300 missile to Tehran, published on the Voltairenet.site back in 2010, at

http://www.voltairenet.org/article167090.html .)

Over the past few years, Western policy has been very successfully pushing the views of figures like General Ivashov into the mainstream – and making the position of those who are both genuine Russian patriots and believers in cooperation with the West increasingly difficult.

(I am not talking about 'cheese eating surrender monkeys' like Martha Gessen, but about the kind of people who write for the 'Russia in Global Affairs' website: such as Sergei Karaganov and Fyodor Lukyanov. My suspicion would be that Lavrov's views may be close to theirs.)

It is clear that Putin himself has been pushed a long way away from his early strong pro-Western orientation. However, he has always had a prudent sense of the unwisdom of making irrevocable decisions when this can be avoided.

If there is any possibility that that the sheer scale of the f-ups which the neocons have created in the Middle East and Ukraine will provoke any kind of substantive rethinking of either American policy – or European – he might still be keen to take advantage of this. It would seem likely that Russian 'Westernisers' have been watching the arguments over the Iran deal with great interest.)

It does not seem to be beyond the bounds of possibility that part of the point of the Voltairenet article is to warn that American overtures, if such are being made, are likely to be a 'baited hook'.

Patrick Bahzad

Some of the back noise that is being overheard here and there, is the possibility of seeing Russian advisers incorporated in higher numbers (up to a few thousand) into front-line SAA units and operations.

Syria being still a sovereign country and having a strategic defence agreement, there is certainly room for such a development. The justification for such a move might be twofold: 1. bolstering the SAA in its fight for areas of strategic importance to the regime (possibly in view of a coming partitioning of the country) and 2. prevent any direct Coalition airstrikes targeting SAA, in case the Coalition decides to give direct support to anti-Assad insurgency, whether with or without the "reconcilable" AQ fighters (expression, courtesy of Clown David) are part of it not.

As a sidenote, Syria has agreed to a second permanent Russian military base being built on the coastal strip South of Lattakia. This base should be even larger than the current one in Tartus.

Second side-note, regarding the so-called "reconcilables", Clown David always failed to understand that these AQ fighters might engage into a temporary agreement with the "Crusaders" when it serves their interest, just like the Prophet agreed to an 11 year cease-fire with some its ennemies, but in the end, when they have the choice between fighting other Salafi/Jihadi/Wahhabi/Takfiri groups and fighting the West, they will always turn against us.

turcopolier

All

Interesting piece in The Daily Beast http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/09/01/russia-puts-boots-on-the-ground-in-syria.html

pl

Patrick Bahzad

PL,

Thx for the link. Some of the hard facts mentioned have been confirmed already or sound plausible. The international context in which Russia is possibly reinforcing its presence on the ground is not mentioned however. I'm referring in particular to recent Russian-Saudi talks and visit by SAA senior officers in Moscow. Both these pieces of information would make for a stronger case supporting the views expressed in this article.

On the other hand, the author of this piece, Michael Weiss is well known for his belligerence and open hostility to Iran, Syria and Russia. It actually transpires very openly from certain statements he makes in his article.

Furthermore, I've heard him flat out lying about certain facts regarding AQ and ISIS in the past (making false statements or lying by omission) and have only very limited confidence in his work. He's also a regular writer for FP, which does not call for any further explanation.

But of course, he's quite good at what he does, so he knows when/how to mix fact with rumour and lie. We shall see ...

Will

all this discussion made me turn to debka which i visit 3 to 4 times a year. Somebody, maybe the Col., said it was basically a mouthpiece for Israeli intelligence?

http://www.debka.com/article/24858/Russia-gearing-up-to-be-first-world-power-to-insert-ground-forces-into-Syria

confusedponderer

Notable in the DB piece is the hostile undertone towards Russia.

So, when Russia props up Assad so that the Jihadis can't massacre the Alawites and Christians while or after undoing Assad's secular Syrian Republic it is "new Russian adventurism".

Naturally, when the US arms rebels here, there or somwhere else, sends special forces on a 'training mission' it is ... business as usual, foreign policy or somesuch, I guess. American adventurism? Hell no! It's hegemonic privilege.

confusedponderer

That said, on the facts it is an interesting read.

Patrick Bahzad

As an independent/reliable source of information, Debka is worthless.

If you're looking for an news outlet serving as mouthpiece for Israeli intelligence that provides at least for interesting news, I suggest MEMRI.

bth

An alternate hypothesis supported by confirmable evidence is that Syria needs new military equipment fast from Russia that the Russians want to sell. Armor recently photographed, is in terrible condition; lacking reactive armor and showing visible body damage. Also the Syrians were owed some planes previously purchased now being delivered. Now their ports, critical to Russian supplies, are being threatened not to mention Damascus. Then we know, that Soleimani flew to Russia a couple of weeks ago and where he goes interesting developments usually follow. And we know that since Iranian sanctions are being removed then something like $150 billion will be released. We also know that previous major arms shipments a couple of years ago, early 2014, to Syria from Russia required that the Iranians pay the Syrian bill for past equipment supplied by Russia. If in the coming month the Iran nuke treaty goes forward and a large commercial deal between Russia and Iran is announced, perhaps regarding large Russian purchases of Iranian oil or additional nuclear facility contracts to Russia, we might believe a cash flow driven arms deal best fits the facts. This would not be inconsistent with Russian trainers, contractors and spooks running around Syria or of a singular ship delivering new equipment models for test and evaluation.

David Habakkuk

All,

Michael Weiss is Editor-in-Chief of 'The Interpreter', a product of the 'The Institute of Modern Russia', which is largely funded by Khodorkovsky.

(See https://www.linkedin.com/pub/michael-weiss/51/850/7b5 .)

In an earlier incarnation, he was Research Director of 'The Henry Jackson Society', an influential neoconservative grouping in the U.K.

(See http://henryjacksonsociety.org/author/michael-weiss/ .)

Given that Senator Henry 'Scoop' Jackson was an early and highly successful practitioner of the art of threat inflation, it seems an appropriate choice of title for the organisation.

(See http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2000/dec/21/military-industrial-man/ .)

The fact that the former head of MI6, Sir Richard Dearlove, is a signatory to hte organisation's Statement of Principles may tell you most of what you need to know about the competence of that organisation.

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