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13 March 2018

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outthere

yes, a simple majority of the senate
and vp can break a tie vote

turcopolier

JPB

On further reflection i would guess that AIPAC and the neocons control her; Bolton, Keane, Woolsey, Wolfowitz, etc. with Trump's acceptance. pl

Nancy K

I believe Rep. Jane Harman was involved and probably should have been arrested but it involved Israel.

Sans Racines

Col. Lang

Infowar dialled up to 'BS Crazy' level in the UK just now - so building towards something. I guess we find out in the next 48hrs.

JamesT

Perhaps a small nuclear exchange against non-civilian targets is just what the world needs to realize this endless warmongering is not rational. If I were Putin, I would nuke the Ghawar field in KSA.

IDBI

Tea for the tillerman,anyone.the chinese oil maneuver enterprise,also known as COME,is one step closer to saudi oil now that tillerson has come and gone

DC

Yes, Sir, I stand corrected: a majority vote it is. I suppose I was getting ahead of myself with speculation.

ISL

Dear Colonel,

Stripping away all the claptrap about unicorn rebels and chemical weapons and human rights, the US is publicly and clearly stating that it will directly militarily intervene in defense of its demonstrably failing Syria policy; however, not with a ground invasion - there is no stomach for that. This is moronic (to use Rex's lexicon) - a missile attack on Syria will have no strategic effect on the Syrian conflict.

Is it coincidence that Russia just very clearly signaled that it has the capability and will to counter the US military strategy directly? Whereas one suspects few in the administration believe that history has any relevance, Russia is very history aware. Russia practices, every year, a nationwide, civilian response to a major nuclear attack. One cannot imagine such an exercise in the US (it would interfere with our duty to shop).

I cannot see how the US de-escalates if a US carrier group is sunk. Winds of 1914 indeed. Perhaps after a few metropolitan areas are nuked in each country (and probably someone glasses the chosen people's country, Israel) saner minds in the US will pull back. Or not.

So the US is willing to risk escalation that in gaming always seems to lead to a nuclear weapons exchange for an action with zero strategic benefit!

May God keep Mattis safe.

Barish

"Will CNN praise Trump for his new appointments, just like they praised the US cruise missile attacks on Syria in April 2017 after the alleged chemical attack on Khan Shaykhun?"

Regarding that, SAA have cleared access now for reporters to a very dodgy looking plant in Shifuniyah, SE of Douma. One of them was Mrs Narwani here who shot a few photos on-site:

https://twitter.com/snarwani/status/973661866395361280

and wonders out loud where her colleagues from "Western" agencies are.

There's also a video shot by Sama TV, with subtitles added by this Syrian Digital Media account here:

https://twitter.com/SyriaDM/status/973668324226883585

I seem to recall that the usual suspects were hollering about how "chlorine barrel bombs" or whatever was used in Shifuniyah when it had already been taken by SAA at that point...

Annem

I thought that Jaysh al Islam had the upper hand in East Ghouta given the arrangements that were made that allowed HTS guys and their families get out of jail there and move to Idlib. It sounds now that many of them are still in Ghouta. If that is the case, the "terrorism" issue is real. The US, along with Saudi Arabia, has kept Jaysh al Islam off the list at the UN and in the US. The presence of Jaysh al Islam is actually good for the SAG since they have their own reputation with regard to chemical weapons. One can cry wolf only so many times. We'll see what Mattis says after his trip to the reason, as it is expected that he will have something to say about the chemical weapons issue.

Harlan Easley

Why do the wolves insist on pushing Russia to the brink? They see Russia as an obstacle to destroying Syria before they destroy Iran? This is diabolical if true.

JPB

Larry Franklin? Or was that in a different timeframe?

VietnamVet

Colonel
@22

Military Contractors have 400 lobbyists, revolving doors with military officers and civilian officials, jobs in congressional districts; plus, corporations and their employees contribute to election campaigns. Most importantly, they are part of the connected elite. You are groomed to succeed and are paid handsomely if you belong to their exclusive club. Unfortunately, today the system is corrupt and the global establishment has absolutely no concern for the well-being of American citizens.

Blaming Russia for the 2016 election and Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatening U.S. troops in Manjib Syria are signs of the House of Cards collapsing around us.

Richardstevenhack

I predicted Tillerson would be out by end of last year. So I was off by three months...

Rumor has it that Trump is looking for an excuse to launch an attack on Syria which will be "bigger" than the last one, and apparently Ghouta and alleged "chlorine attacks" will be the excuse.

U.S. warns it may act on Syria as onslaught against Ghouta grinds on
https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-mideast-crisis-syria/u-s-warns-it-may-act-on-syria-as-onslaught-against-ghouta-grinds-on-idUKKCN1GO288

Apparently the US also believes Syria violated a de-confliction zone which might be another excuse for a US attack:

U.S. calls urgent meeting in Jordan after Syria strikes reports
http://www.jpost.com/Breaking-News/US-calls-urgent-meeting-in-Jordan-after-Syria-strikes-reports-544921

As I noted yesterday, some believe Putin explicitly mentioned attacks on Russia's allies as a reason to use nuclear weapons. Whether Putin considers Syria an "ally" justifying the use of nukes is unlikely in my opinion. North Korea and the implicit threat to China if China intervenes probably would qualify.

So hopefully Trump will go to meet Kim. Yesterday's Crosstalk pointed out that there's a lot the Deep State could do to derail that, assuming Trump is even truthful about his intentions. Personally I suspect Kim is using the talks between NK and SK as a means to drive a wedge between SK and the US. This would be to the good. Yesterday's Crosstalk suggested the best outcome would be to get the US "out of the room" and let the two Koreas work it out. The problem with that is that Kim wants US forces out of SK and while SK might agree to that, they'll have to talk it over with the US which will be highly resistant since those forces are there not just for NK but for China. Mark Sleboda suggested Trump might well be going to Korea not to make things better but to reinsert the US into the SK/NK negotiatons to sabotage them. We'll see.

But it seems Trump intends Syria to be the next target. So the question remains how far will he go to attack Syria and how far will Russia go to defend Syria. If I were Putin, I'd be on the phone with Trump today reminding him that Russia has cruise missiles that can sink the entire US Med fleet (not in those terms, of course, but you get the idea.) He might also remind Trump that half the previous cruise missiles never reached their target even without Russian S-300's and Pantsirs being involved. This time, they might be.

The last cruise missile attacks was around 50 missiles. So if Trump wants a "bigger" attack this time, will it be 100 missiles? Airstrikes by US jets against the SAA since the cruise missiles might be ineffective against ground troop positions? What happens if the Syrian air defenses - even without Russian help - shoot down a US jet attacking SAA forces a la the Israeli incident earlier? How does Trump react to that?

ex-PFC Chuck

DC @ 16, you are way too optimistic in assuming that no Democratic senators will vote for Pompeo's confirmation. My guess is that even 20 Dem votes against cloture won't be sufficient.

Peter AU

Niki Haley hysterics at the UNSC over Ghouta? Going by what is starting to come out of Ghouta, there was much to cover up.

Sharmine Narwani a journalist who is on the front lines of east Ghouta. Photograghs of the jihadi CW factory recently captured, directly linking back to Saudi Arabia and US.
https://twitter.com/snarwani

East Ghouta civilians that recently escaped from East Ghouta, including a girl who was forced to appear on a Bana of Aleppo type video.
Worth watching a reporter interviewing these people. (English subtitles)
https://twitter.com/walid970721/status/973640510689763328

Pacifica_Advocate

You are most certainly leaving out the UK, here.

Much of US foreign policy is first hatched in the UK, and then exported as a commodity; just as Israel is an undue influence on US foreign policy, so is the UK--except moreso.

turcopolier

VV

What they lobby for is procurement contracts not foreign policy. pl

DailyPlanet

Sir,
My favorite mole in all of this is the slippery Doug Feith. He is continnues to be more slippery than the Teflon Don, who by the way died in jail.

Lawrence Franklin, the former Defense Intelligence Agency analyst was another. https://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Larry_Franklin

Keith Weissman, the man once recognized as a top analyst at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee
https://forward.com/news/11608/embattled-aipac-lobbyists-take-divergent-paths-00474/

Another former Aipac analyst, Steve Rosen, has been accused of handing over top-secret American documents to foreign officials and journalists. Both plead not guilty.

https://forward.com/news/11608/embattled-aipac-lobbyists-take-divergent-paths-00474/

https://original.antiwar.com/justin/2005/08/05/aipac-spy-nest-exposed/

CONGRESSIONAL QUARTERLY REPORTS THAT REPRESENTATIVE JANE HARMAN WAS CAUGHT ON TAPE PROMISING TO LOBBY FOR REDUCED CHARGES AGAINST TWO ACCUSED SPIES, IN EXCHANGE FOR HELP SECURING THE CHAIRMANSHIP OF THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE:

http://www.weeklystandard.com/jane-harman-d-ca-sells-favors-to-foreign-spy/article/28490

Pat Buchanan was mostly right when he said that our U.S Congress is Israeli occupied territory.

turcopolier

PA

How does UK influence manifest itself in US policy? Baroness Thatcher did everything but fellate Bush 41 to get him to go to war over Kuwait.. Is that what you are talking about? pl

Terry

Ghouta, Duma particularly, is the base of operations for Jaysh al-Islam. A nasty terrorist group with a long pedigree and supported by Saudi Arabia. I would guess that the Saudis are pressing hard on this one behind the scenes. Remember the people in cages as human shields - that was these guys.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jaysh_al-Islam

luke8929

In a lengthy TV interview March 11, Putin spoke of an episode of his early years in St. Petersburg when he was chasing a rat from an apartment block house where he lived with his parents.

“So I cornered the rat,” Putin recollected, “and it suddenly turned back on me. I was scared and fled all the way back up to my apartment, but the rat continued to chase me.”

The lesson Putin said he learned from that incident was, “Never corner your opponent” to the point where they turn back and bite.

scott s.

I was curious about Pompeo's Army service. Best I could determine from some searching is that he was an armor officer and I'm guessing in an 11th ACR tank squadron?

Bandolero

PL

Do you really think a threat from Nikki Haley to attack is more credible when she repeats it several times?

I doubt it is. What did she threaten? From what I understand it was something like taking action and attack Syria like the US did it in April 2017 after the staged CW attack in Khan Sheikhun. The US fired several dozen uruise missiles worth plenty of Dollars on a military air field. Before the missiles were fired the US told the Russians the coordinates where they will hit, so as to ensure the US won't accidentally harm a Russian soldier. Of course, these missiles then hit nothing what had much worth, because everything of worth was qucikly removed before the missiles hit. So, does Nikki Haley now threaten a replay of that circus?

Anyway, the head of Russia's Gen. Staff V. Gerasimov seems not to be very impressed. He said today Russia will respond with certain measure to both “missiles” & “launchers” which are delivering these projectiles if the US attacks Syria again. So the US hits Syria and Russia hits the US launchers in response. So, and then what?

Will the US then want to start some minutemen to Moscow to get back some Sarmats to Washington? I doubt it. I think the US will just bark a lot then and suck it up.

Account Deleted

JohnsonR

Yes; imagination. In the era when our species has developed the weapons with which to destroy itself at the press of a button, an adequacy of this commodity in a few key individuals seems to be pretty much all that stands between us and oblivion.

As for opportunities to step off the escalation process, 1914 is a sobering reminder that such opportunities can come & go pretty fast.

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