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19 May 2017

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different clue

james,

More specifically, to overthrough the Syrian Arab Republic and establish the Islamic Emirate of Jihadistan.

different clue

Why this total Trump-change away from "Assad can stay" ?

I begin to think that the multibillionaire Trump-backing Mercer family and their selected-for-Trump thinking-brain dog Bannon viewed Trump as being sort of like the super suit that figured in that movie Iron Man. Whenever the hero of the movie put on the suit, he could use all of its super powers from inside it.

Mercer and Bannon thought Trump would be Bannon's "Iron Man Suit". Bannon would put on the Trump-suit and become the secret President . . . the "president within a President" so to speak.

What Mercer, Bannon and everyone else are discovering is that if anyone takes off the Trump-suit, then anyone else can grab it and put it on, and then that "anyone else" becomes the "president within a President" as long as he or she or they is/ are wearing the Trump-suit. Right now the Assad-must-go crowd is wearing the Trump-suit. If they take it off for so much as five minutes, Bannon or someone else or some other different someone elses will try to grab it and put it on so they can be the "president within a President" for a day, or an hour, or even just 5 minutes.

If my feeling is metaphorically correct, then whatever Trump is doing "at this particular moment" can tell us who or what is wearing the Trump-suit "at this particular moment". It is a heavy price to pay for preventing "HanniBill Lecter" Clinton's wife from becoming President.

The Twisted Genius

pl and b,

Barish mentioned a separate attack on a PMU column approaching Al-Tanf from the Iraqi side. Al Masdar issued a report on it with film. This attack was lost in the coverage of the attack on the SAA column in Syria. The madness is breathtaking.

https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/another-us-airstrike-targets-pro-government-forces-near-syrian-crossing-video/

The Twisted Genius

different clue,

An empty suit. I think you're on to something. I'm of the opinion he lacks the concentration of a fruit fly except for when he feels slighted or wronged. Then he cannot let it go.

Kooshy

Israel and US/ Europe should take full responsibility for creating a military political environment in Lebanon that necessitated formation of Hizbollah as political security force protecting the Shia. This is also true for formulation of HalS (PMU) militias in Iraq under the highest religious fatawa. I suspect with ISIS militants moving to Afghanistan, Shia leaders will use same proven formula there, to protect Shia hazars. That may also become the medicine in north Arab golf area. There is nothing US or any Iraqi official can do, short of leaving, if a fatwa against US troops in Iraq is issued from Najaf.

plantman

This is just out on RT---"US forces are legally precluded from coordinating with the Russians, General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters at the Pentagon on Friday. However, the US and Russian militaries have been maintaining multiple communication channels to “deconflict” operations in Syria.

“We have a proposal that we’re working on with the Russians right now,” Dunford added, declining to offer any details. He did say that it would address the presence of a Syrian government pocket in Deir ez-Zor, halfway down the Euphrates River between the IS (formerly ISIS/ISIL) stronghold of Raqqa and the Iraqi border.

“The Russians are as enthusiastic as we are to deconflict operations” and focus on fighting IS, Dunford said.

The comments came after Moscow condemned the US airstrike against a government-allied force near the Jordanian border as “illegitimate and unlawful.” ...." (RT)

I could be wrong, but it sounds like Mattis and Dunford have changed their tune. Let's assume that the attack was a message to Russia that attacking US allies in the area was "off limits". But then the Russians respond by discreetly saying that they would have no option but to retaliate next time the SAA is fired on. I can see Putin doing this behind the scenes in order to avoid any embarrassment or confrontation.

So, immediately following this secret conversation, the US says "We have a (deconfliction) proposal that we’re working on with the Russians right now."

In other words, we have agreed to something, but what is it??

Not to attack unless we are attacked first? Is that it?

It sounds like Mattis and the Russians are trying to figure out how they can have their armies operating in the same area (with different strategic objectives) without blowing up the world in the process.

I'm not sure it can be done.

doug

I'm of the opinion that Trump is being used. The attacks by WaPo and the Times seem almost timed to produce pressure to yield to the desires of the S.A., Turkey, Israel, UAE and their supporters here. Of course they don't trust him but perhaps he can be manipulated then discarded after everything is set in motion and not revocable.

Castellio

Did Mussolini actually do that? I wasn't aware.

Barish

I am as yet not quite certain how reliable this user here is:

https://twitter.com/WaelHussaini/status/865660032783970304

"The troops are now located 15Km west of #AlTanaf , waiting to for the #FSA militias to retreat from the area completely."

It's been picked up by another whose feed I keep in my bookmarks, with him adding info that US forces at Tanf would be allowed to withdraw:

https://twitter.com/WithinSyriaBlog/status/865702411507257344

Meanwhile Fadel Jr. advertised reports to be released tomorrow thusly:

https://twitter.com/leithfadel/status/865701070890291205

"Huge news from east Sweida and southeast Damascus tonight. Articles coming out soon. US-backed rebels suffer major setback."

"Southeast Damascus" probably referring to southeast Rif Dimashq, hence Tanf-area.

I do hope that somewhere down the US chain-of-command, someone somewhere decided they would not risk Armageddon over a backwater border-post in the middle of nowhere...

Jackrabbit

Cee: Trump has been taken over by the vipers around him ...

JerseyJeffersonian: Trump ... appears to have fallen under the nefarious influence of the NeoCons ...

I respect Cee and JJ but this strikes me as apologist talk. Isn't it more likely that the fix was in - just like with Obama? The parallels are eerie:

Obama was also politically weakened by crazy critics and his own quixotic desire for bi-partisanship. Apologists wrung their hands over his being forced FORCED to give in to dark forces.


kooshy

Northern Arab part of persian gulf

Alaric

"Cee: Trump has been taken over by the vipers around him ..."

Trump may be sincere in his desire to stomp out ISIS and even Nusra but he hates Iran at least as much so who knows. Everyone is blaming this attack n trump. It seems more likely that this decision made by the military but there is still no reason to trust Trump.

JJackson

TTG
As a military outsider it seems to me this is a growing trend in the way special forces are being employed. The aim seems to have changed in to hiding the numbers deployed. Anyone you can deploy and call something other than 'combat troops' is the aim. Advisors, trainers, medics,reconstruction assistance, contractors and spooks from the alphabet soup. It is a pop-up army complete with officer corp, budget, logistics, medics - just plug into the data net, add air power and unicorns. Shake well with plenty of propaganda before serving.
The beauty in the new system lies in the photo-op, the great leader of the day gets his 'and we did it with out deploying troops' sound-bite along with classic 'Job Done!' thumbs up in the rose garden for the art.
Special forces of all types seem to being used as the first tools out of the box and not reserved for the jobs only they can do. I assumed it was because they are good at getting the job done under the radar but avoiding press attention does not seem to be a very efficient use of a valuable resource. Is this how you or pl see it or is there something else going on?

turcopolier

b & TTG

Yes. I read of the bombing at Al-Bukamal. That sounds to me as though the US coalition intends to take control of Deir Az-Zor and wants to prevent an R+6 link up with Iraqi PMU on that axis as well as R+6 movement to the border at Al-Tanf. Someone asked why the R+6 forces are not moving through the Jebel Druze freely. I suppose the answer is that the Kurdish population that dominates the is not "on board." pl

Gene O.

Chicago has/had a street named after 'Italo Balbo' who was the Italian Governor General of Libya from 1934 to 1940. There is also a monument there named for him.

FB Ali

"...the US coalition intends to take control of Deir Az-Zor..."

That is what the US coalition intended. However, it seems the Russians have stepped in. Besides condemning the US air attack on the SAA at al-Tanf, they have warned the US about eyeing Deir az-Zor:

“We have a proposal that we’re working on with the Russians right now,” Dunford added, declining to offer any details. He did say that it would address the presence of a Syrian government pocket in Deir ez-Zor, halfway down the Euphrates River between the IS (formerly ISIS/ISIL) stronghold of Raqqa and the Iraqi border.

“The Russians are as enthusiastic as we are to deconflict operations” and focus on fighting IS, Dunford said.

( https://www.rt.com/usa/389015-pentagon-syria-russians-isis/ )

Gene O.

Colonel Ryan Dillon, Coalition spokesman, denied any US or CJTF coalition partner force participation in the Al-Bukamal strike. They had hit some Daesh controlled oil production facilities which were more than 50 kilometers from Al-Bukamal.

Unsaid by Dillon was who did conduct the strike. However, the Iraqi Air Force has been conducting strikes in Daesh-controlled Al-Bukamal since February. They believe Daeshis use it as a staging base for VBIEDs sent to Baghdad and other points in Iraq.

Iraqi Prime Minister Abadi has stated in the past that he "would not hesitate to strike terrorist sites in neighboring countries if they threaten the security of Iraq.” He claimed he “obtained approval from the Syrian government.”

Gene O.

I don't see McMaster and/or Mattis forcing Trump's hand on this. Trump has always been his own man. He is the boss, this is on him.

But I do not regret my vote. At least he is still upholding the 2nd amendment. For now anyway.

readerOfTeaLeaves

He's definitely unusual.
His failure to use conjunctions is noteworthy (i.e.: although, however, consequently, because, additionally).
Those words in English signify contrasts, nuance, and consequences.
They also signify coherence.
'Tis a puzzlement.

Henshaw

Whatever its significance in a longer term strategy, the attack has two important short term benefits for the USA.
– it's a great visitor's present for Trump to take when he goes to Saudi Arabia in the next few days. As a demonstration of his resolve, he may be able to better resist giving in on Saudi demands for more extreme action (assuming he wants to ...).
– it maintains the confidence of its Jordan-based rebels that the USA will stand by them. The moment they lose confidence in the USA's willingness to look after them, they'll go back to their less lucrative but safer traditional pursuits of smuggling, kidnapping for ransom, and goat-herding.

LondonBob

Trump and Tillerson are new to this. Changing the direction of the ship of state is a slow process, especially when one has few allies and a number who wish to sabotage. Change will, however, happen.

Obama was an ignoramus with zero executive experience, Trump isn't.

William Fitzgerald

A.W.,

The American agenda has been rather consistent, as far as I cam see. That is to dismantle Syria. There doesn't appear to be a rational strategic objective serving an intrinsic American interest. Instead, we have substituted a carefully nurtured hatred for Iran and Russia. All else, the bogus chemical weapons, human rights, defeating ISIS, etc. are merely tools. The other players have more defined interests in the destruction of Syria. For Israel, it's better to have a balkanized inert Syria than a coherent state. Also, the way would be cleared for another invasion of Lebanon, this time through the Golan and into the Bekaa Valley, thus taking the defenses from the rear. Perhaps they could finally receive a deed to more of the land they were sold by the great real estate agent in the sky.

The Saudi interest would be served through the establishment of sharia law and giving Iran a good poke in the eye. The Turks have their own ideas, and so forth.

The U.S. is "carrying water" for some dubious characters.

WPFIII

Jackrabbit

The 'forcing' is being done by political adversaries and media.

The pertinent question is: is this 'forcing' just an excuse for Trump to serve powerful interests. And further, is Trump deliberately ADDING to their case against him?

You say Trump is his "own man" but that man is very flawed by narcissism and greed. He is, by nature, ready to serve the elite. No 'forcing' necessary.

He just opened a golf course in Qatar with another on the way. He recently obtained financing to build a Dallas hotel with from Turkish and Qatari interests.

ex-PFC Chuck

The link below is pertinent to this thread at the meta level, since it's about Gen. McMaster who presumably was intimately involved in the decisions leading up to the Al-Tanf attack. Here is a key quote from the piece:

"The cheers that greeted his appointment in February were predicated on exactly this notion: that McMaster was a tenured radical, an establishmentarian committed to discarding whatever elements of the establishment that needed discarding. Yet McMaster remains a prisoner of ideas formed over half a century ago. He has never once doubted the underlying premises that have guided American foreign policy since World War II. He is unwavering in his belief that the US must continue to serve as the world’s policeman and retain its permanent military mobilization. He has never considered whether the imperial projects undertaken in Iraq and Afghanistan were illegitimate from the start and destined to fail. He has never questioned how Americans’ obsession with security might affect democracy at home. McMaster would have been an adequate, perhaps even excellent, leader if American imperialism had proven to be an unalloyed good. Recent history, though, has demonstrated that ours is a moment that requires a new, post-imperialist understanding of the US’s role in the world. This is something that McMaster is unlikely to provide."

https://nplusonemag.com/online-only/online-only/a-very-high-degree-of-certainty-in-future-military-operations/

ancient archer

Beautiful imagery @different clue
I think you might be right. Think how it will turn out to be if the suit can think after all.

Trump's current predicament reminds me of I, Claudius. If you gotta appear dumb to survive, then you do. If, to survive, you need to change colors, then you do. I think Trump's ability to survive will surprise all

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