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02 December 2015


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Remember Boyd: War has 3 dimensions Moral, Mental and Physical of which the Moral is the most important.
Putin is waging war on all 3 fronts, including that all important 'Moral'.

The west is only fighting using (as usual) 'Physical', with a (very?) small smattering of 'Mental'.

US policy over Syria is set by 3 factors: Israel, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. By bribery, blackmail and clever politics this has meant their domination of US internal politics and the ascendancy of the 'old' neo-cons to determine US foreign policy in the ME.

Obama's challenge has been to appease all three of them, despite their contraditions.

Does anyone not think that if Israel suddenly turned around tomorrow to become a total supporter of Assad that the US (and the poodles UK, France, Germany, etc) would not follow very quickly, say by the end of the week?

Hence Putin's work on Israel, Turkey and Saudi Arabia to split that de-facto alliance, break/change them ...then the US will change.

It drives a lot of Americans up the wall when they realise that their policy is not driven by any 'national interest' but by clever lobbying and politics by some other countries.

The right is the worst on this (not by much though) by the brilliant capture of the US Christian extremists by Israel, which no GOP politican can ignore. That has to be one of the most clever and successful political moves ever achieved. It has also had the useful side affect of infiltrating a lot of the military, especially the air force.

The 'right left'(eg Obama, Clinton) are held just by the usual simple bribery/blackmail/lobbying/insiders/etc tactics which are inherently less stable.
A new 'left left' (eg Saunders) is emerging as an inevitable counter reaction to that, largely beholden to none, which in the end must be the single biggest threat to that I/SA/T ascendancy (similar in the UK with Corbyn). Though of course, by sheer momentum, even if he gets into power it will take ages (and a high degree of ruthlessness in cleaning out a lot of people) to change direction.

All the while the US economy continues to crumble away in a slow motion USSR style collapse.


Well, one of the odd reasons of Iraqis' funny thoughts about US-led coalition was mentioned at the Russian briefing: there are thousands of tanker trucks regularly running from Iraqi oil fields to Turkey, that traffic seems to be unaffected by the coalition bombing, even after Paris attack, when the coalition intensified bombing Daesh in Syria. They demonstrated satellite pictures of truck concentration areas, outlined their routes and destinations.

In spirit of cooperation with their coalition partners the Russians promised that all the details about Iraq - Turkey oil smuggling points and routes will be posted online, should the coalition want to do something about that. Looks like them Russkies have learned a thing or two about PR and customer service.


Sputnik is reporting two actions to be taken at the UN.

1). UNSC is expected to pass Russian-sponsored resolution regarding funding for ISIS.

2). Iraq will file a formal protest and request a formal UN investigation of ISIS oil operations


This raises a critical question: what are the implications for Israel ? Widespread reports have indicated that Israel is a primary purchaser of oil from ISIS.



IMO it is important to fight the infowar battle over Turkish/US/Israeli complicity in the IS oil trade. The infowar battle should be fought at the UN and on the internet. pl



But the citizens of all those democracies that are USNC voting members will be able to see just what their elected leaders support and make changes come election time.


The evidence presented in the youtube that robt willmann references--with English translation--is pretty compelling. Suggest using the Youtube gear lower-right to increase to 1.5X speed. Makes the English translation faster.

RT Twitter-like Timeline of that video:


LZA, any such investigation would immediately focus on Assad's buying his own oil, i.e., the oil stolen by ISIS and the general response would be a planned, "everyone is doing it."

Think of the hospital attack in Afghanistan. When the denials broke down, the propaganda organs immediately started talking about how Russia and Syris were routinely hitting hospitals.

Expect the same treatment over Turkey's embarrassment.


I cannot discount it but I find it implausible.

I believe that for the US, Erdogan, for a time, was who they wanted him to be, irrespective of him always having had an agenda of his own. They probably wanted to see him as an Islamic democrat, or to put it more pointedly, as a face of Islamic progress towards the end of history.

They way he behaved strongly suggests to me that not only the US did not own him, but that they could do little to stop him from doing as he saw fit.


Former 11B,
yes, that was it - Rove and where I read the signature thing. Thanks for clarifying.


The U.S. did make at least two air strikes within the last month on oil tankers- destroying over 300 in total. The question is why did we wait so long?

More on the briefing from the Guardian.

ex-PFC Chuck

Yes, Rove, in an interview with Ron Suskind.


On the question of whether the Russians have evidence of the Erdogan family's complicity in the oil trade, it is conceivable that they will wait to present it before an international forum. They way, they maximize the opportunity for the culpable parties and their accessories to make complete fools of themselves by lying about the matter in public. We should note that Obama already has done so by his repeated declarations that the United States is doing all within its power to cut off financing for ISIL while refusing to use its airpower to disrupt their main source of revenue over 13 months. He then initiated one strike (demonstrating its feasibility) in response to Putin's prodding before reverting to the status quo ante position of abstaining from direct action.


I would not be particularly surprised if one of those tankers were to be stopped by the Russian Navy.

It is in fact possible to characterize crude oil or refined products well enough to determine their origin - the Russians have labs that can do this, although if I were them I would send it to a nonpartisan industry lab in the US (as a blinded test).

scott s.

I have seen reporting of EIA data that show Iraqi oil production is up year over year by 1.1 million barrels/day. No indication of who is benefiting from that production, but it is a big part of the reason oil prices are where they are.


Dmitry Rogozin, Russian deputy prime minister, on Twitter, Nov. 28th: "Revenues from stolen oil in Syria are on bank accounts of those responsible for destructing the Russian bomber.


 Ishmael Zechariah


Here is an alternative reading:
1-"They probably wanted to see him as an Islamic democrat, or to put it more pointedly, as a face of Islamic progress towards the end of history" -or, perhaps, they created an islamic democrat since they needed one. Implausible?
2-"they could do little to stop him from doing as he saw fit." Or, perhaps he was behaving exactly as they wished and ordered-collapse of a unitary Turkey, a weak TSK, chaos in the ME, and some folks win big...Implausible?

There has been a very effective propaganda campaign, going on over a decade, selling tayyip. For example, do you remember all the "Turkish economic miracle" headlines? Who was/is behind this all? How can a debtor nation, with limited industry, no economic resources to speak of, a completely divided and polarized population, behave "independently"? Even Germany is acting like a poodle. Why?

In any case, now the Russian IC is on tayyip's tail-and, hopefully, they will disclose/document enough of what has gone on so that things will come to a head. obama, hollande, merkel and their "president erdogan" vs. "mister Putin". What a bunch of clowns.

Ishmael Zechariah


Buying oil from the rebels is an act of war against Syria. The oil does not belong to the rebels. It belongs to the Government of Syria.


The only none ISIS rebels that have potential access to oil fields are the Kurds. Since when do they seek the overthrow of Assad?


Foreign policy outside the near abroad is found by the citizens to be not really important

Bill Herschel

You are right. Letters to the editor of the NY Times asking why they have provided no coverage at all of Russian allegations of ISIS shipping oil to Turkey for a start.

But I will say right now that I read the Times fairly closely, and it's content is dictated at Langley. Eliminate the impossible...

Bill Herschel

The most important point to take away from the past 72 hours is that all this nothing whatever to do with Assad or Syria. This is all about regime change in Russia. At least now the Emperor's new clothes are clearly visible.


I suspect that the EU's removal on the embargo on buying oil from rebel territory is a secret side letter deal by Erdogan for stopping the refugee flow into Europe.

The question now becomes; what will the EU do when Russia continues to bomb the crap out of the rebel oil convoys?

Is America or the EU prepared to go to war with Russia over Syria? Does Washington think it can exert enough pressure for Putin to back down? What calculations are being made in Washington and by whom?

I think we are seeing the logical conclusion to Thirty years of "You don't need experience to manage anything, all you need are the appropriate academic qualifications" - the MBA mantra applied to foreign policy.

My opinion is events are spiralling out of control and the pace is accelerating. My gut feel is that Putin will not back down and is going to show Obama and the girls the real value of "experience".

Pray the confrontation does not end in nuclear war.

Bill Herschel

Okay, here it is:


The official position of the United States is that the Russians are lying. That Turkey is a loyal partner in the fight against ISIS and Assad.

Bill Herschel

As far as the American people are concerned, the war in Syria is now officially out of our hands.

As war becomes more automated and less reliant on large armies, it will become more prevalent and more the plaything of tiny cliques who answer to no one. Welcome to the 14th century and the Hundred Years War.

Recall that the Medieval nobility believed that their mission in life was combat.

Talleyrand said that excess is weakness. The actions of the United States are beyond excessive.



While channel switching last night, I caught this from Hillary Clinton’s interview with Charlie Rose:

‘…Clinton advocates is a no-fly zone over northern Syria. When asked about a possible Russian invasion of the no-fly zone, Clinton said that would not be possible because the Russians will be "clearly kept informed" about the area.
"I want them at the table. They don't have to participate in it, but I want them to understand that there has to be safe areas on the ground," she said.’

This is so ill-informed and crazy that for the safety of the TV I had to immediately switch channels. Either she doesn’t understand that Russia has the right to fly over all of Syria at the invitation of the sovereign government, the Syrian Arab Republic or she advocates the seizure of control of the air above the rebel controlled area of Syria which is a declaration of war with nuclear armed Russia.

Damn, I dread the possibility that I’ve got to vote for her in the general election to protect my government pension.

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