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06 October 2016

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J

The war in Syria is all about Assad rejecting the Turkey-Qatar natural gas pipeline in 2009 that would have blocked 80% of Russian natural gas export to Europe.

Here's an article worth reading by Robert Kennedy Jr.:

http://www.politico.eu/article/why-the-arabs-dont-want-us-in-syria-mideast-conflict-oil-intervention/

Fred

Kooshy,

"the answers is, to tighten the elections,"

What do you mean by this? Proof of citizenship to vote?

Fred

Tyler,

I believe the "official" credit would be the Syrian air defense forces. That would save face for all involved. Kim K might just be an insurance scam too.

Fred

Babak,

There is the multi-confessional force that is the army of Syria that has remained steadfast in the face of continued onslaught of jihadists and the machinations of President Arab Spring and the borg.

Pundita

Colonel, you've made a sharp distinction that doesn't seem clear in the public mind about the difference between conducting war and declaring war. And while such a discussion might have taken place in media outlets over the decades in relation to say, Vietnam and Iran-Contra, I can't recall any such specific discussion. Certainly, it hasn't been emphasized in the media.

Yet the distinction is critically important for the public to understand because what you're pointing to is a loophole that's a mile wide. Yet it's a loophole that keeps eluding the public when it argues that the president is fighting an 'illegal' war etc. because only the Congress has the ability to declare war.

This argument doesn't take into account what you've emphasized -- that the president has the authority to MAKE war for 60 days. But this means the president can unilaterally and unofficially declare war, and present it to the Congress (and voters) as a fait accompli.

So that loophole has to be closed. And soon, because of the very large number of actions that US 'special forces' are engaged in all around the world. Of course many of these are labeled something like 'train and assist' but as Bill Roggio pointed out in his recent article, "AFRICOM masks military operations in Somalia as ‘self defense strikes’ " the lines are very blurred.

http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2016/10/africom-masks-military-operations-in-somalia-as-self-defense-strikes.php

It would be great to do 'man in the street' interviews, and ask people if they're aware of the difference between making war and declaring it and can describe the difference. If the responders can't do this -- well, there's the battle, right there.

Anna

These people are deciders and they represent the states. Moreover, the incessant conditioning of the public against bad Russians could produce catastrophic results triggered on a petty level.

plantman

It seems to me that Ash Carter is precisely the WRONG person to head the Pentagon at this point in time. He seems to suffer from smartest-guy-in-the-room syndrome and really wants to prove he can outwit Putin.

It worries me about where this is all headed, after all, Putin doesn't really have that much wiggle room. He has to reestablish the central government's control over Aleppo before he can pack it in and get the hell outta there.

If Carter wasn't so obsessed with proving what a smart guy he is, he'd realize that Putin is looking for an imperfect "halfloaf" settlement that will probably piss off Assad, but allow the Russians to leave the conflict behind and get back to the business of selling oil and making money.

IMO, Putin is not a big fan of warmaking. He'd rather swap gas for euros and sleep better at night.

erichwwl

Strongly disagree. There is a GREAT deal of difference between "paper" powers and acutual power, depending on the degree to which people "down the chain of command" are willing to exercise THEIR powers. A POTUS has no "nuclear button to push". What (s)he has is an ability to transmit code, verifying that the "message" is indeed coming from POTUS. Recipients of that message must act in tandem to exercise that message, and still have the free will to do so. In the case of Russia, I am aware of two instances when such messages received were NOT enacted by the Russian recipient. Hopefully we have similar humanists in the US armed forces. In addition, for war in general, the Military is also required to carry out "Presidential (corporate handler)" druthers. In the current state of affairs, the fact the the POTUS and military are not on the same page is evident to anyone following how US military power works, particulkarly in the case of Syria.

Power can be thought of as "rights". Some (this author, apparently) conceive of rights as those specified by contract or law. The way property rights were (are?) presented in the UCLA-Univ. of Chicago paradigm, which make MUCH more sense to me, was (is) that rights have more utility when thought of as ACTUAL. Thus "rights are the "expectations a person has that his decision about the uses of certasin resources will be effective." see eg http://www2.bren.ucsb.edu/~glibecap/umbeckmightmakesright.pdf

It has been my experience that models predicting behavior on the basis of REAL rights will lead to better predictions that those based on "paper or legal rights" alone.

Anna

Curiosier and curiosier:
http://www.politico.com/story/2016/10/marc-turi-libyan-rebels-hillary-clinton-229115
"Turi was indicted in 2014 on four felony counts: two of arms dealing in violation of the Arms Export Control Act and two of lying to the State Department in official applications... In an interview last year, Turi said the U.S. was aware that weapons being shipped into Libya during the unrest there were being immediately diverted to Syria. Turi also said he came up with an idea he termed "zero footprint," where the U.S. would send weapons to Libyan rebels through Arab countries, like Qatar and the United Arab Emirates."
“Mr. Turi cooperated with the Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls in its review and proposed administrative settlement of the alleged violations,” said the official, who asked not be named."
Ah, these 'Libyan rebels:" http://www.activistpost.com/2015/11/hillary-clinton-and-the-funding-of-al-qaeda-terrorists-in-libya-and-syria.html

kooshy

"You still believe this to be a reasonable proposal"

Not really, but I can't think of any better alternative for a civilized polity. IMO adding more laws and more complications will not change a thing, like the 70s WPA made changed nothing. IMO Educating people in the route like this site does is doing is slow but more effective. I can't count how many wars, without authorization from congress US got into since the WPA of 1973.

turcopolier

erichwwl

You sound like some sort of professor. Law maybe? I don't know of you have been in the military, but soldiers live by what you choose to think is theoretical authority. pl

LeaNder

I have lost track of the consensus here on who ordered the Deir Ezzor attack

As far as I concerned, you didn't loose track of consensus, but yes there may have been one dominating hypothesis.

Imagine

Seconded.

Castellio

I believe this is one of the most central issues. Hiring policies (lets call them that) have aligned the "world view" of State, Justice and Treasury with the Neocon cabal. The one large institutional and ever-present counterweight was the Pentagon. However, we may have reached a turning point. In which case, where is the large ever-present institutional counterweight to neocon ambitions?

Imagine

U.S. mentions it's test-bombing dummy nukes in Nevada...just by the way...
http://www.defenseone.com/business/2016/10/us-air-force-just-dropped-two-fake-nukes/132180/

Ex-PFC Chuck

Then there was The Six Day War of 1967.

Ex-PFC Chuck

Re: "Kim K might just be an insurance scam too"

Or a PR scam.

Babak Makkinejad

Heard from a Trump supporter a few days ago - a humble baker - that he expects a President Trump to be not a coward like Obama; to show it to that guy in Russia (whose name he did not know).

It is like Rosalyn Carter said last year: "American people prefer war to peace".


Lemur

I really think the constellation of deep state interests in Washington want to go to war. All the major op eds are beating the drum. The atmosphere is precisely the same as before the Iraq War(s). The media blitz shows they're manufacturing consent.

Steve Cohen says in his estimation the decision has been made in the Kremlin to break the spine of the headchoppers once and for all no matter what the diplomatic, military, or economic cost.


http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/war-hawks-are-sensing-opening-syria/ri16880

RT wraps it up here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dlYHje-rv5w

kooshy

Fred although I fully agree with that, you must proof you are citizen (t least once) to be eligible to vote, that’s not what I meant by tightening the elections. I meant to make the campaigns more equal and more responsible for the information they put out, same with the media bring back the rebuttle right, limit and make equal the number and time for ad for each campaign, limit the 2 major parties so smaller parties can come up to have more chance then 2% that’ make the race more even and more chance for people to choose, limit the domestic or foreign special interests with very strict laws.
When I first registered to vote some 40 years ago, it was outside of a supper market without being asked for even an ID, somehow I think it makes you feel more responsible and more important to a national election when you have proof you are eligible and part of the nation, like applying for a passport. There are lots of ways to clean and take the poison out of the current lose system. I know all this is really hard to do getting it pass the congress, pass the supreme court since you will have multiple court cases. But outside of a new evolution I can’t see another way to elect the 537 fed elected offices.

ex-PFC Chuck

re: "In the case of Russia, I am aware of two instances when such messages received were NOT enacted by the Russian recipient. Hopefully we have similar humanists in the US armed forces."

A former USAF enlisted man has come forward with a tale that asserts we did have such a humanist, a USAF captain, at an Okinawa cruise missile base during the peak of the Cuban Missile Crisis:

http://thebulletin.org/okinawa-missiles-october8826

Thomas

"Who are they and why they want to escalate?"

The Usual Subversives with the delirious dream of being GoD(Globalists of Domination).

They are escalating to try and create a totalitarian police state here to bunker down in or destroy it all because irredeemable inferiors would not submit to their superior imperium. Also if the dream dies and reality hits the fan, they know they will be tried and punished for their criminal acts.

Kooshy

I wrote here on this site, a few days back, that IMO president Obama deserve another nobel peace prize, this time for leaving the office of president, of course pending he don't start WW3 before he leaves. Though not too optimistic with recent exchanges.

FourthAndLong

Perhaps OT: US Intel officially accuses RF of election hacking. According to WAPO & RT Oct. 7

Anna

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3lihkh182I
Ah, there is such a touching humanitarian concern in the voice of the interviewer:
Excerpt:
Interviewer:
"At the moment, there’s a seven-year-old girl, her name is Bana al-Abed, from Aleppo. She’s Tweeting about her life in the eastern part of Aleppo. She’s talking about the massive bombardment. She’s very scared, every time she wakes up and realizes, fortunately, she’s still alive. Do you trust her as an eyewitness?"
President Assad:
"You cannot build your political position or stand, let’s say, according to a video promoted by the terrorists or their supporters. It’s a game now, a game of propaganda, it’s a game of media. You can see anything, and you can be sympathetic with every picture and every video you see. But our mission as a government is to deal with the reality. You have terrorists in Syria, they are supported by foreign powers and foreign countries, and we have to defend our country. In some areas, the terrorists use the civilians as a human shield, but we have to do our job to liberate them, we cannot say “we won’t do anything because the terrorists are holding those hostages.” It’s our mission."

"Do you know the unicorn, the animal that’s like a horse, has a long horn? It’s a myth. And the moderate opposition is a myth. That’s why you cannot separate something that doesn’t exist from something that exists. All of them have the same grassroots, the same grassroots that used to be called “free Syrian army” four years ago, five years ago, then it became al-Nusra, then it became ISIS. So, the same grassroots move from group to another group. That’s why they cannot separate it. And they don’t want.."

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