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03 October 2016

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Castellio

I would say no so fast on the condemnation of Max.

I know Syrians who were very anti-Assad and public about it who have now decided that was a huge mistake and are supporting the government.

No-one always gets it right, and the telling features of hypocrisy or not is the direction the person moves when informed.

b

They not only opposed Assad but personally vilified anyone who dared to have a different point of view. Calling Cythia McKinney and Ramsey Clark shills for a mass murderer because the visited Damascus and spoke out against the war?

I have no problem with the first, but the second is disqualifying without a decent public apology. That is why I am harsh with him.

How can they now lament about being attacked by regime changers? They were part of that pack when it suited them.

They, as far as I can tell, still oppose Assad but now also oppose the opposition. The fact that the "revolution" was from the very beginning foreign instigated, partially armed and deadly (80 dead police/military in first month) still escapes them. The idea that Syria right now would fall apart without Assad has still not entered their mind.

MRW

Thanks for the update, robt.

Donald

Maybe Max thinks (correctly so as best I can tell) that there are plenty of murderers on all sides of the conflict. I myself get a little suspicious when writers on either side (Syrian government or rebel) speak in broad terms of "the Syrian people". A great many Syrian people seem to hate the government, while others support it. And if you say that the majority support Assad, that could be true for all I know, but it doesn't mean there aren't millions who don't. I've seen the polls. I wonder how reliable they can be in a civil war where all sides kill civilians.

The most relevant point from where I stand is that the US took a bad situation and made it much worse by supporting the rebels. Even if one thinks Assad is bad, it was obvious that supporting the rebels would lead to exactly the sort of chaos we had seen in Iraq. My only question is whether the pro-rebel people in the US knew this would happen or if they thought that this time they would "win".

Matthew

b: Those are good points. Assad is certainly the best available (non-unicorn) option.

A revolution that relies on jihadis is a revolution that must be put down. Brutally.

Anna

The lunatic perfumed princess and princesses have firmly removed themselves from common sense to ensure their paychecks coming regularly and in time.

Qoppa

A couple of days ago the NYT had some bits from a leaked audio tape of a discussion of Kerry with some Syrians from the civilian opposition:
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/09/30/world/middleeast/john-kerry-syria-audio.html

Now here is the full tape which provides the context of Kerry´s remarks
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3grHmI44mg

It hasn´t received the attention it deserves as there is a lot of "hidden information".

From 8:56 on I assume the person speaking is Raed al-Saleh, the public face of the White Helmets. He´s just been to Washington, speaking at the Atlantic Council
http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/new-atlanticist/waiting-for-death-in-aleppo

Kerry´s reaction (11:48) is highly revealing. In respect to the aerial attacks, including the one on the UN convoy: "Do you have any videos of the airplanes?"

Then someone else from the US side: "We get a lot of videos of the victims of these attacks that are terrible but they don´t help us. We need videos of the actual aircraft and ammunitions, and there is a lot of them on the internet and we don´t know whether they are real or not"

----> In short: they don´t trust the "documentation" of the White Helmets.
As for the attack on the UN convoy they don´t have any proof whatsoever!

Bonnie

Yep. Or they'll just assume it's down the memory hole and act like it never happened.

Matthew

The headchoppers are losing. Time for us to do something stupid. See https://twitter.com/lrozen/status/783367725888438272

Matthew

Update: Solipsism v. independent observer. (Rozen v. Magnier).

The world is more than just John Kerry's ego. See https://twitter.com/EjmAlrai/status/783350236475449344

Am I missing something, or do we still believe that Boris Yeltsin is president of Russia? Is this strategy still premised on a Russian stand down?

Imagine

Can the VP control the CIA, or is this only the job of the Pres?

Imagine

On Oct 1 '16 social media had references to a White Helmets chinese-firedrill hospital video, with one of the "injured patient" actors who thought he was off-camera laughing at the soap-opera-level absurdity of the "doctors". Does anyone have a link to this video?

b

Alternet has posted the second part of the Max Blumenthal story on the White Helmets.

/How the White Helmets Became International Heroes While Pushing U.S. Military Intervention and Regime Change in Syria
Created by Western governments and popularized by a top PR firm, the White Helmets are saving civilians while lobbying for airstrikes./
http://www.alternet.org/grayzone-project/how-white-helmets-became-international-heroes-while-pushing-us-military

Curiously that part of the story was posted on October 2, a day before the first part, but was NOT twittered by Max and NOT available at the Alternet homepage. Someone found it by chance. Max tweeted the link today AFTER other people had tweeted about it.

There is serious problem with it.
Max insists that the White Helmets really rescue people. He notes several numbers that other media have posted. He also notes that the WHs claim, 60,000 rescued, is likely wrong.
In my view the numbers by other media are just as wrong.

After reviewing hundreds of WH photos and videos I have found very little evidence that they ever rescued anyone.
At least 95% of the photos/vids are staged. It is impossible that 60-80 scenes of a "man with an (unharmed) kid in arm running towards the camera" get taken in excellent quality on a chaotic battlefields in mids of bombings. Impossible.

Also "miracle - kid (unharmed) pulled from under rubble - everyone happy" is a typical staged WHs video that has no connection to any real-life rescue situation.
(Just ask any professional in that business)

That boy on orange ambulance seat that hundreds of newpapers printed on page one is, in my view, also staged. Excellent production work, but staged.

Several website/blogs, which Max -it seems- all visited, have written at length about this. As he copied other findings I wonder why he didn't touch that.

Matthew

B: and then the madness comes. See https://twitter.com/Charles_Lister/status/783409122234335232

So "suppressible" means we can successfully attack the Russian sites.

Again, does every part of this strategy depend on the assumption that the Russians will back down?

kodlu

Interesting, do you have a reference to the soviet development of stealth mathematics?

Pundita

From my reading of PART TWO of Max Blumenthal's report, I'd say that White Helmets are a creature of the British government and USAID; the CIA, it seems, handles the gun-running into Syria not the propaganda end, of which WH is a part.

Actually Blumenthal had little to say about WH in Part 1 of his report. He saved that discussion for Part 2, headlined, "How the White Helmets Became International Heroes While Pushing U.S. Military Intervention and Regime Change in Syria"

http://www.alternet.org/grayzone-project/how-white-helmets-became-international-heroes-while-pushing-us-military

Here's what jumped out at me from Part 1:

Blumenthal was intent on discussing underlying factors fueling the Syrian conflict that have been COMPLETELY MISSED not only by the MSM but also the blogosphere.

One of those factors is an expat Syrian billionaire named Ayman Asfari. Another is a public relations firm called Purpose. The company, which can deliver regime change on demand for its clients, would look on the CIA's Cold War methods as hopelessly outdated.

A decade ago Purpose would have been a dystopian nightmare. It's here now, and next to a major asteroid strike and nuclear war it is the sum total of all fears.

While Blumenthal doesn't mention this, it is obvious that Purpose is making use of recent discoveries from US/EU government-funded brain research that leave the Pavlovian-based Behaviorist conditioning methods in the dustbin of history.

The research, already being used by Western governments to change behavior (see Charlie Rose's interviews with brain scientists in 2013), is now in the hands of private firms that use the research findings to successfully market anything to anyone, including support for violent overthrow of governments, as Blumenthal makes clear. It's no longer an art, it's a science. They know exactly which buttons to push to achieve a specific response from the target audience.

Again, Blumenthal does not go into this part, but he most certainly alludes to it by zeroing in on Purpose's boast, which "promises to deliver creatively executed campaigns that produce either a “behavior change,” “perception change,” “policy change” or “infrastructure change.”

It is not an idle boast.

Qoppa

@b

I think you are overstating your case in respect of WH fakery. I have seen many vids that appear to be genuine. After all, there is a bloody war, and there certainly are civilian victims, hence enough occasions for real footage.

I do understand your disgust at all the propaganda thrown at the Western public. However, if you want to convince people who happen to come to your blog but are not yet "on your side", it would be much better to concentrate on proven fakes. No need to doubt the humanitarian work the WH (presumably) do do. That is part of the trick: as they are so "demonstrably" GOOD, the public will not easily believe they can be complicit with BAD. The problem here is not that the humanitarian work is faked, but that it is used as a vehicle and shelter for propaganda messages.

turcopolier

pundit

"not the propaganda end, of which WH is a part" I guess you don't understand that the CIA would never launch a "gun running campaign" without the president's direction. pl

turcopolier

Imagine

Nobody has any authority over CIA but the president. pl

Imagine

Interesting. Thank you.

Chris Chuba

Kudos to Max Blumenthal for that excellent article that you posted Col.

The most dreadful thing that Mr. Blumenthal wrote about was in the section Targeting the UN in Damascus where the White Helmets undermine the UN's humanitarian work in Syria so that they can be the sole source of information in rebel areas. It's bad enough to be a political tool masquerading as an NGO doing humanitarian work but it's an order of magnitude more evil to prevent others from doing real humanitarian work.

The forces of hell are relentless and must suppress all other voices in order to get a lazy public to believe illogical things, such as a victory by govt forces will actually increase chaos, so it's better for the battle of Aleppo to drag on for weeks. One of our officials actually said that in an NBC report that someone posted. Yes, it's better to have a pointless battle than hope for a quick victory or a surrender; unreal.

turcopolier

pundit

Your previous statement implies a separate and non-Obama driven decision on the part of the CIA to run a covert war. That could never be. The CIA answers only to the president, as does USAID through the State Department. pl

robt willmann

James,

Good observation. That would also be part of the subtle psychological effect of the program.

Bill Herschel

In thinking the situation in Syria over, it is clear that the United States has only one active option: a truly massive build-up of force around Syria, obviously intended to annihilate the entire Russian presence in that theater in a matter of hours. This would mean perhaps two aircraft carrier groups, a huge build-up of ground forces in the area ready to invade, and the logistic support for a long campaign. It would also involve an affirmative commitment from Britain, France, Germany, etc. (think Iraq I).

Anything less than that will not make the Russians move an inch.

Hence, it will not happen.

I also think that we do not know what electronic counter-measures the Russians have. I'm sure they don't want to reveal what they have, but it may be considerable. Russia in Syria now is probably equivalent in preparedness to Russia at the end of WWII. A formidable foe.

Do I want to think about this? Who on earth wants to think about this?

Anna

War criminals, unite!
_________________________________________________
Presidential Proclamation -- Death of Shimon Peres

DEATH OF SHIMON PERES

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

As a mark of respect for the memory of Shimon Peres, former President and Prime Minister of Israel, I hereby order, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America, that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and on all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, on September 30, 2016. I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same period at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-eighth day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand sixteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-first.

BARACK OBAMA

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