US Intervention in Syria at Crossroads

Exclusive: The U.S. military incursion into Syria is literally at a crossroads, with U.S.-backed forces cut off at Al-Tanf where two strategic highways intersect and where President Trump may decide to escalate, says Daniel Lazare.

By Daniel Lazare

The U.S. has stumbled into a trap in the Syrian desert town of Al-Tanf, and the big question now is whether it will stay, leave, or try to save face by putting on a show of force. Given the crisis mentality in Washington these days, the answer is likely the last. If so, the effect will be to take a bad situation and make it much, much worse.

Map of Syria.

Al-Tanf is strategically important because it straddles an east-west international highway as it branches off to the north, crossing into southern Syria and continuing on to Damascus and Beirut. Since the highway serves as a supply line linking Shi‘ite population centers in Iran and Iraq with those in western Syria and southern Lebanon, the U.S. thought that by severing the supply line at Al-Tanf, located just a few miles north of the Iraqi and Jordanian borders, it could check a bid by Syria’s ally Iran to open up a corridor to the Mediterranean, strengthening the so-called “Shi‘ite crescent.”

But U.S. ambitions did not stop at dashing Iran’s strategic dreams in its regional Shi’ite-Sunni rivalry with Saudi Arabia. Beyond cutting off the road’s northern branch, the U.S. floated plans to convert the southern route into a modern U.S.-style toll road complete with service stations, rest stops, and cafés. The roadway would then be under the control of a military-linked security firm, the Reston, Virginia-based Constellis, which happens to be the owner of Academi, formerly known as Blackwater, whose heavily armed security guards were convicted of massacring 17 civilians in Nisour Square, Baghdad, in 2007.

So, instead of a supply route linking far-flung Shi‘ite population centers, the upshot would be a U.S.-controlled highway connecting Sunni-dominated Anbar Province in western Iraq with Sunni-majority Jordan – a neat trick if the U.S. could pull it off. In the interim, the United States, which does not have permission from the Syrian government to have military forces inside Syria, sought to expand the U.S. desert garrison in Al-Tanf by unilaterally declaring a “de-confliction zone” extending 34 miles in every direction and defending it by force.

On May 18, U.S. aircraft struck a column of pro-government fighters that had allegedly strayed over the perimeter. On June 6, the U.S. military struck other pro-government forces accused of doing the same, while on June 8, a U.S. warplane shot down an Iranian drone. With U.S. patrols ranging as far as 60 miles away, the United States was extending its sway over a larger and larger portion of southeastern Syria. Soon, no traffic would be able to enter from Iraq without express U.S. approval.

Of course, the ultimate goal may have even been bigger: to link up the Al-Tanf garrison with U.S.-backed forces fighting to oust Islamic State militants from their self-declared capital of Raqqa, some 150 miles to the north.

Letting ISIS Reposition

Indeed, Sergey Surovikin, commander of Russia’s Syria forces, accused the U.S. on June 9 of allowing hundreds of Islamic State fighters to flee Raqqa for Palmyra, a hundred miles or so to the south. With Islamic State (also known as ISIS) strengthened in the central part of the country, the effect would be to block the Damascus government’s drive to the east. With the Syrian army immobilized, U.S.-backed forces would be in a position to seize more territory as ISIS resistance crumbles.

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump join Saudi King Salman and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, May 21, 2017, in the opening of the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

But then the Syrian army did the unexpected. Racing down from the north, it swept across more than a hundred miles of desert to reach the Iraqi border between Al-Tanf and the Euphrates for the first time since 2015. By linking up with Iranian-backed Popular Mobilization Units on the Iraqi side, the effect was to cut off U.S. forces from the Euphrates. The outcome was ironic because the U.S. is fighting alongside the Popular Mobilization Units against ISIS in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, yet the PMU forces were now coordinating with Damascus to bottle up the U.S. in southern Syria.

“[T]he US invaders are now sitting in the mid[st] of a piece of rather useless desert around Al-Tanf,” the often insightful “Moon of Alabama” website chortled, “where their only option is to die of boredom or to move back to Jordan from where they came.”

Not that staying put is entirely pointless since it would allow the U.S. to maintain its roadblock on the Baghdad-Damascus highway. But with the Syrian army controlling the border zone farther to the east in conjunction with the Iranian-backed PMU, it’s hard to see how the Damascus regime will not be able to re-route traffic around it.

So ultimately the most sensible solution would be for the U.S. forces to pack up their bags and leave. But sensible solutions don’t count for much in an over-heated Washington in which President Trump is struggling to hold on amid intense pressure to get tough with Syria, Iran and Russia at all costs.

After all, the purpose of Trump’s visit to Riyadh last month was not just to sell arms, but to announce the formation of an all-Sunni “Arab NATO” aimed at launching a new anti-Iranian offensive across the entire region. More than an embarrassment, retreating to Jordan would therefore signal that the U.S. is over-extended and that its reliance on proxy forces like the Free Syrian Army or the Kurdish-backed Syrian Democratic Forces in Raqqa has come to naught. As currently formulated, the strategy is stuck – unless Trump orders a significant escalation.

Given all that, the military’s decision to move its High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) from Jordan to Al-Tanf is not a good sign. Manufactured by Lockheed Martin, such truck-mounted rockets have a range of 180 miles, nearly enough to reach the Euphrates. But to what end? The target can’t be ISIS since its local militants are already on the run. Instead, they seem to be aimed at the Syrian army whose forces are now blocking U.S. access to the east just as the U.S. had sought to block Syrian access.

A Plunge into Incoherence

After a series of potshots at pro-government forces in recent weeks, could it be that the United States is gearing up for something more serious? If so, it would be yet another step into incoherence.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Even though U.S. propaganda maintains that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has no interest in fighting ISIS and is in fact somehow responsible for its rise, the Syrian army is in fact the most effective anti-ISIS force on the field.

As IHS Markit, a London analytics firm with extensive aerospace and defense experience, noted in an April 19 report, government forces over the previous 12 months had engaged Islamic State in battle two and a half times as often as U.S.-backed forces had. “Any further reduction in the capability of Syria’s already overstretched forces,” it went on, “would reduce their ability to prevent the Islamic State from pushing out of the desert into the more heavily populated western Syria, threatening cities like Homs and Damascus.” [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Trump Submits to Neocon Orthodoxy.”]

If the U.S. is really preparing to challenge the Syrian army head on, in other words, ISIS will be the likeliest beneficiary since it will gain an opportunity to rally and regroup and break free of its desert confines. Syria’s agony will continue while the U.S. will find itself bogged down in a wider war.

In a recent appearance on RT’s Crosstalk television program, the Beirut-based journalist Sharmine Narwani noted that American reliance on diverse local forces may have sowed the seeds for the present impasse. The Syrian Democratic Forces, the mixed Kurdish-Arab force that the U.S. backs in Raqqa, is an outgrowth of the People’s Protection Units, known by the Kurdish acronym YPG, which are themselves a project of the separatist Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan views as no less a terrorist than ISIS or Al Qaeda.

“When the Americans told the Turks they had could have no part of the operations in Raqqa,” Narwani said, “the Turks understood that the Americans were looking to create a little Kurdish state in the north. And they collaborated, I believe, with their Qatari allies, and in this last month, we have seen all the Qatari and Turkish-back groups suddenly go really quiet in Syria, which allows the Syrian army to focus on their border with Iraq and on ISIS – which has not pleased the Americans.” (Quote starts at 2:40.)

Turkey and Qatar are getting back at the U.S. by giving Assad free rein. Both Turkey and Qatar are unhappy with various aspects of U.S.-Saudi policy – with U.S. encouragement of Kurdish separatism, for instance, or with a war drive against Iran that is plainly contrary to Qatar’s economic and political interests.

This is why Turkey is sending 3,000 troops to Qatar as protection against a Saudi incursion, why Qatar may be cooperating with Turkey in Syria, and why the U.S. finds itself stranded in Al-Tanf. It is also why Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Egypt’s pro-Saudi military dictator, has called on the Saudis to extend their boycott from Qatar to Turkey, a sign, perhaps, of a wider conflict to come.

Where Trump had hoped for unity against Iran, he has wound up with the opposite. Other than Egypt and Bahrain – virtually a Saudi protectorate at this point – few other Sunni countries have signed up for the new Saudi crusade against Qatar, which has important commercial ties with Iran. Oman and Kuwait are both holding off; Morocco has offered to supply Qatar with emergency food shipments; Iraq is neutral. The U.S. and Saudi Arabia are like a pair of generals charging out onto the battlefield only to discover that the army behind them has melted away.

So, will the U.S. do something drastic to break out of its encirclement in Al-Tanf, as foolhardy as that escalation might be? Knowing Trump and his desperation to change the subject from the Russia investigation, the answer may well be yes.

Daniel Lazare is the author of several books including The Frozen Republic: How the Constitution Is Paralyzing Democracy (Harcourt Brace). 

image_pdfimage_print

116 comments for “US Intervention in Syria at Crossroads

  1. June 17, 2017 at 5:44 pm

    Just when there was some hope, but how foolish to think that the evil empire might come to its senses. Abandon hope, all ye who enter here, if you expect anything good and just from the USA. Thank you, Daniel Lazare, for attention to this ongoing horror, and I wish the Syrian army all the best, they’re very courageous.

    • Peter Loeb
      June 19, 2017 at 6:33 am

      I totally agree with “Kiza”.Good luck to the Syrians.

      I cannot help but add that they have few “cheerleaders”…at
      least not in public.Most news/reports are buried in
      the western media. Obviously for “security reasons.”
      I have found Middle East Eye to be an excellent source.

      Special thanks to Daniel Lazare.

      —–Peter Loeb, Boston, MA. USA

      • Peter Loeb
        June 19, 2017 at 6:35 am

        APPOLOGIES: DELETE “kIZA” AND WRITE “JESSICA K”.d
        —-Peter :Loeb, Boston, MA, U

  2. mike k
    June 17, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    What the hell is the United States doing in he middle east? We have absolutely no business being there with all these weapons, bombs, spies, etc. As far as our own long term welfare, the sooner we get out of there the better off will our future be. The crazy world domination schemes of the neocons are the only reason we are there, plus of course the expansionist greed of the MIC and those making billions off of our escalating failures. Remove the dream of world domination from the equation, and the whole thing collapses. And realistically, that dream is never going to happen.

    It is time to cut our loses and get the hell out, but that will never happen because there are madmen at the helm of our Ship of State. Their power addiction has gone too far now to turn it around. I am afraid Mr. Lazare is correct, there will only be mindless escalation and more dangerous mistakes from here. Sometimes the truth really sucks, but it is what it is……

    • Bruce
      June 17, 2017 at 9:02 pm

      They are there to defend the petrodollar.

      • Sam F
        June 18, 2017 at 4:48 am

        The explanation of Mideast wars as controlling oil supply is an excuse offered by warmongers, but in fact
        1. The US can buy oil from whomever has it, at the same market price, and more easily without alliances;
        2. The US “ally” Saudi Arabia leads the OPEC efforts to drive up the oil price by cutting supply;
        3. The US got no oil price deals from Iraq despite its invasion, and most of that oil goes to China;
        4. Oil prices would not be an excuse for killing millions even if it worked, which it never has since the Iran coup in 1953.
        5. Imperialism has driven the national deficit to extreme levels, probably faster than the entire petroleum industry GP, so there is no possible gain there.

        The primary cause of US Mideast wars is Israeli bribes to US politicians.
        1. Israel wants the US to attack everyone but themselves and any ally in the Mideast;
        2. Israel seeks to block Shiite support of Hezbollah in Lebanon, via Iran and Iraq and Syria.
        3. Most US politicians depend upon Israeli bribes fed back from US gifts to Israel;
        4. Zionists control most US mass media, and their opportunists in the oligarchy control the rest;

        Other factions that seek war there include
        1. The MIC which will support bullying any small country to pose falsely as heroes and generate arms sales;
        2. The politician tyrants who need foreign enemies to pose falsely as protectors and accuse opponents of disloyalty;
        3. The financiers with commitments to the MIC and specific oil arrangements;
        4. The oil industry protecting specific oil contracts and supplier regimes rather than the supply itself;

        The supremacy of the dollar is often argued as the cause of US imperialism, but the term “petrodollar” is illusory in linking dollar usage to oil payments, when currency is involved in all other industries as well.

        • June 18, 2017 at 7:51 am

          Global Control of traditional energy sources, is tantamount to control of global industry and commerce, plus more ( a speciffically stated USA policy). What a nation sources ( uses) and what it controls may be two different things.

          USA is destroying Syria as a step to destroy Iran and then Russia. Destroy seems correct considering past and present invasions. There are a few other motives such as the formation of a ” Greater Isreal” etc.

        • max wheeler
          June 18, 2017 at 8:41 am

          Spot on!! It isn’t difficult to understand how the happenings in the Middle East can be orchestrated with hardly a rebuke from anyone in the West, by the US and their sycophants, given the public apathy and the MSM bullshit and outright lies. Oh, did I mention the ‘involvement’ of Zionist Israel?

        • June 18, 2017 at 9:10 am

          I can’t agree with this. While Israel is a factor the Saudis throw even more money around Washington than the Israelis. Yes, Zionist oligarchs are a factor here as well but this is all secondary or tertiary. The real reason for this policy is that the U.S. Deep State requires permanent war to survive–if you actually follow the money it will lead you to the major “defense” contractors. The Deep State is a network or, as Varoufakis describes it as a “conspiracy without conspirators” or, to put it another way, it is a kind of artificial and emergent life-form under no one’s control i.e., “the Blob.” It is this entity that controls U.S. military and foreign policy because it feeds its major components. This is why this policy is so dangerous and many observers believe could lead us to nuclear war because, literally, no one in in charge. Realizing this is far more important than selecting out discrete parts like Zionists who play a role but do not control events. This is why the ME wars have no possible resolution and cannot be negotiated away without debunking a lot of myths. Your view is rooted in a mid-twentieth century viewpoint that there are discrete powers that assert their interests–that has all changed in the past seven decades–we are in an new world that defies even our language unless we dig deeper into systems theory where the heart of this analysis must start.

          • Sam F
            June 18, 2017 at 11:05 am

            Interesting idea that the deep state is “under no one’s control.” Certainly their groupthink is not rational despite their acceptance of rationales, and their powers have distributed control. Their factions are not independent, nor consistent across their membership, nor do they have unified control centers, nor meetings etc. But accepting all of that, I find it useful to identify major factions with distinct motives and powers, so as to model the cause and effect relationships.

            One could simply model the behavior based upon external inputs and outputs, but that would limit the analysis and make the causes too mysterious to deal with effectively.

          • AlmondEye
            June 18, 2017 at 3:58 pm

            Israel, occupied territories, Syria, Qatif …, in the middle east, is the most dangerourse geoplotical fault line. All other facts like oil, finacial oligarchy, zinoism, deep state, etc, etc, are trembling over this fault line. Sooner or later this trembelings will be amplifield and turns to the most castrophic historical geopolitical seismic com volcano. You may call it WW3 or else, does not matter, but the world and human race is not prepared to confront this castorphic earth quake. The depth of the fault line is not accessed and is not understood. The fundation of the monument of Wall Street is shifted to this line! Do not blame the fault line, see the structure of west Impreliaism is devouring itself and the world.
            Some geoplical wound heals in a century ( Berline wall), some heals in few century ( Hiroshima), some takes millinia or more.

          • Cal
            June 19, 2017 at 7:31 pm

            ” Your view is rooted in a mid-twentieth century viewpoint that there are discrete powers that assert their interests–that has all changed in the past seven decades–we are in an new world that defies even our language unless we dig deeper into systems theory where the heart of this analysis must start.”

            Sorry but that is a ridiculous statement.
            Discrete powers have always and still do assert their interest -and LOBBY for them,– —there is no need to try and promote that One segment like the weapons industry controls the US policy.

            Why don’t you explain what you mean by ” dig deeper into systems theory where the heart of this analysis must start.”—–explain exactly what you mean by that if you even know what you mean. What ‘systems theory are you referring to??

            Regarding the Zionist component —I cant tell if you are being a apologist for them or are just uneducated about the reach of their influence.
            if you don’t think the Israeli fifth column in the US is a major, the major, promoter of war in the ME and elsewhere then you must be a late comer to the world of US foreign policy and need to do the your research.

            These are the people who testify before congress and cultivate the politicians to expand wars and increase weapons industry and export and use. And they recruit retired US military officers with stipends to boost their importance and cloak themselves as ‘US interest and influence with congress.

            This(below) is a good expose of the rats in the wood pile of congress and wars and the arms industry.

            The Men From JINSA and CSP
            https://www.thenation.com/article/men-jinsa-and-csp

            JINSA (below) is your main lobby for arms and wars. It is interesting also to note that when this group originally formed the CEO s of Lockheed, Boeing and etc. OBJECTED to their little ruse as some kind of authority for the weapons industry —-but as one US CEO finally put it ‘if you cant stop ’em join them’,,,he was alluding to the fact that the Jewish element in this group had more control over congressmen than they did.

            http://www.jinsa.org/
            JINSA Mission Statement:
            The Jewish Institute for National Security of America (JINSA) is dedicated to educating Congressional, military and civilian national security decision-makers on American defense and strategic interests, primarily in the Middle East, the cornerstone of which is a robust U.S.-Israeli security cooperation. JINSA believes that a strong American military and national security posture is the best guarantor of peace and the survival of our values and civilization.
            JINSA Programs
            The Generals and Admirals Program to Israel
            The Law Enforcement Exchange Program (LEEP)
            Support Our Troops
            U.S. Military Study Program
            JINSA Publications
            The Journal of International Security Affairs
            Gemunder Center for Defense and Strategy Reports
            Newsletter – A monthly emailed newsletter of JINSA events and articles.
            With more than 30 years experience, JINSA has tremendous expertise in security matters. JINSA provides information, analyses and assistance to the defense establishment, the administration, Congress, the media, and JINSA members. JINSA designs its programs to promote American and Israeli security cooperation to benefit both countries. JINSA is Forward Looking – JINSA deals today with those issues that will impact upon American and Israeli national security tomorrow.

            Educate yourself…on all the discreet interest out there,,,,and this is one of the biggest if not the biggest.

        • rama
          June 18, 2017 at 9:18 am

          exactly Sam, you have summarised what most of us just can’t figure out. It is Israel always that seems to hold the compass of who to attack next. I remember vividly how they demonised Saddam as the arch supporter if Palestinian suicide bombers. Its recent attacks in Damascus and treatment of injured Jihadis clearly shows it is a major player in all the unwarranted invasion of Syria. and naturally, as the war drums beat, now the target – shown by al tanf and the overwhelming articles pre-condemning the likley formation by iran of a so called “shia crescent” shows they are deeply in it. given how Sadam’s iraq started a brutal war with iran with arms and support from the west, why would iran be considered unreasonable to ally itself with Shiit iraq and syria? or rather, why is iran not allowed o act in ways that protect its national security but israel, US and saudi arabia (ravaging yemen and blockading qatar today) are?

          • Zachary Smith
            June 19, 2017 at 1:23 pm

            Israel is the primary factor in the destruction of Syria, but it hardly ever gets mentioned. Witness how the text of the essay above didn’t mention the name.

            For some reason or other Israel is wanting to come out of the shadows. The reason for this may be related to the headline of a new story at the Russia Insider site:

            “Another Israeli Land Grab in Syria”

            For the last five years, Israel has been providing money, weapons, logistical support and even direct military assistance to “moderate rebels” with the goal of creating an Israeli-controlled “buffer zone” to ensure that the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights stay forever-occupied.

            Syria is an obstacle on the way to Lebanon, the last really good chunk of land surrounding the little cesspool.

            Another story on the same issue is at the Zero Hedge site:

            “Israel Has Been Secretly Funding Syrian Rebels For Years”

            And it has also been not-so-secretly intervening in Syria to help the nice head choppers.

            Courtesy of the WSJ, here is a chronology of Israeli involvement in the Syrian proxy war:

            2011:Syrian uprising against Iran-backed President Bashar al-Assad begins.

            2012: Syrian rebel group the Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade, which has a presence in the divided Golan Heights near Israel’s border, forms and later declares allegiance to Islamic State. It then joins with other groups to form the Khalid ibn al-Walid Army, an offshoot of Islamic State.

            2013: Israel acknowledges it is treating Syrians wounded in the war in hospitals near the border. Secretly, the military begins to build a relationship with rebel commanders on the Syrian side of the Golan and starts sending aid.

            January 2015: An alleged Israeli airstrike kills Hezbollah militants and a general in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps near Quneitra province in the Golan Heights. Israel later says the militants were planning to attack Israelis.

            June 2015: Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Ya’alon says Israel is helping Syrian rebels with medical treatment in return for assurances they won’t attack the Druse—a religious minority group that straddles the Israeli and Syrian sides of the Golan.

            September 2015: Russia enters the war on the side of the Assad regime, tipping the balance of power in favor of the Iran-backed president.

            December 2015: Lebanese Hezbollah militant Samir Kuntar dies in an alleged Israeli airstrike in Damascus suburb. Israeli officials later say he was planning attacks against Israel from the Syrian side of the Golan.

            2016: Israel secretly sets up an army unit and budget to manage relationship with rebels and civilians on the Golan Heights, say people familiar with the policy.

            November 2016: An Israeli airstrike kills four Khalid ibn al-Walid militants in Syrian Golan after Israeli soldiers come under fire.
            March 2017: Israeli warplanes carry out airstrikes inside Syria, drawing fire from antiaircraft missiles in the most intense military exchange between the two countries since the start of the Syrian conflict.

            June 2017: Syrian rebels say they have been receiving cash from Israel for the past four years that they use to help pay salaries of fighters and buy ammunition and weapons.

            Why the sudden burst of publicity? Probably the murderous and thieving little apartheid state feels emboldened because of the lunatic behavior of US Foreign Policy President Mattis.

            http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-06-19/israel-has-been-secretly-funding-syrian-rebels-years

      • David Walters
        June 24, 2017 at 10:27 am

        Bruce,

        Isn’t the petrodollar already in great danger?

        Please feel free to correct any misconception you find in my below statements as I’m rather new to the history of the petrodollar and would appreciate your view.

        Essentially, when Nixon took the U.S. off the gold standard and, instead, made the U.S. dollar a fiat currency he did so in tandem with negotiations with the Saudis to use the U.S. dollar as the only currency that other countries could buy Saudi oil and that the Saudis would buy U.S. Treasury notes with the profits from their sales which were then in dollars. Hence, the petrodollar was born and the U.S. dollar became the world’s reserve currency almost immediately.

        The advantage to the U.S. was that the U.S. could print endless numbers of U.S. dollars and even run up great deficits with the tacit collusion of the Saudis who would underwrite the U.S. economy, despite the fact that such huge deficits would have brought any other country to its financial and economic knees.

        I even wonder whether OPEC wasn’t part of the plan as with the Saudis basically controlling the supply of oil and, hence, the price of oil they could artificially keep the profits high and the U.S. on their side on virtually all international issues as the Saudi oil profits invested in Treasury bonds gave the U.S. the ability to finance a huge military, garrison the world and exercise great hegemony over much of the world.

        But what happens when the Saudis cannot keep the price of oil artificially high which is a situation we see today?

        I understand that the Saudis are now selling oil below their costs of production. And, I think the U.S. had a hand in this lowering of the price of oil as Obama wanted to damage the Russian economy after it stood in the way of the West’s subversion of Ukraine and annexed Crimea. In addition, the low oil price has damaged other countries also dependent on the petroleum trade such as Venezuela, which is an added bonus for the U.S.

        Well, the Saudis will have to resort to tapping the sovereign financial reserves. I understand that is happening now. And, without significant oil profits they won’t be buying Treasury bonds and, instead, may be forced to sell some or even a large number of those bonds. Ultimately, if this continues to the logical extreme this would tend to limit the amount of debt the U.S. can take on, right?

        Have I missed something?

        David

    • Kiza
      June 17, 2017 at 9:20 pm

      Well, the justification for the heavy US presence in the ME has been to secure the vital supply of oil. Now that US has turned into an oil exporter, the US presence in the ME is standing bare as fighting for Israeli interests, such as cutting off this important Shia road.

      This is why I am putting the probability of escalation against Syrian government forces at about 80%. Obama has been doing only the bombing but Trump will add ground fighting in Syria for the benefit of Israel and ISIS. US has never fought ISIS sincerely and intensively, ISIS has always been an excuse in front of US people for getting involved. US indirectly created ISIS, by paying off the Sunni gerilas attacking US troops in Iraq.

      Eventually, there could be a direct confrontation with Russia, which Daniel does not even mention. Will Russia stand idly by as US keeps killing Syrian soldiers? Also, Russian advisers are mixed with Syrians, eventually US will kill some Russian officers. If Trump wants a war with Iran and Russia, he can have it in Syria. When US soldiers start coming back in body bags then there will be a real instead of the invented reason for orgasmic rage against Russia.

      • June 18, 2017 at 12:16 am

        Chomsky states the strategic plan is worldwide control of fossil fuel supplies, and that USA plans to source it’s own supply from the Atlantic Basin and domestically ( as stated in a Pentagon document).

        One report by Fort Rus states Russian advisors were killed at the USA bombing of Syrian troops at their airport hilltop position, which broke the truce and allowed jihadists to over run the airport. According to Fort Rus, Russia retaliated by destroying a coalition intelligence post, killing 30 coalition officers.

        • Kiza
          June 18, 2017 at 4:36 am

          Yes, I was aware of both parts of the story, which obviously has not been made public by either side. This is why it is at a level of rumor. This would be similar to US and USSR killing each other’s military, especially pilots, and then pretending that nothing happened. However, at some point there may be too many or too obvious to keep hiding and then the big one could be initiated. The US is more and more openly attacking the Syrian military, which has always been the key reason for their presence in Syria, under the excuse of fighting ISIS. There will be more Russians killed by US and things could easily escalate. The rhetoric coming from the US is reaching extreme and irrational levels of madness.

        • rama
          June 18, 2017 at 9:25 am

          “Chomsky states the strategic plan is worldwide control of fossil fuel supplies, and that USA plans to source it’s own supply from the Atlantic Basin and domestically ( as stated in a Pentagon document).”

          Fossil fuels are only a part of the spoils. the real aim is world domination and control. naturally, a plausible excuse is required to placate the population at home, hence the use of democracy – which so far has not been forwarded for lucky qatar. fossil fuels are not in all 49 african countries now “hosting” US military bases. the excuse was terrorism, yet the probability that terrorism (islamic) could be found in entirely christian countries in much of that continent is next to zero!

      • June 18, 2017 at 9:12 am

        This used to have something to do with energy but that time has passed. This is about feeding the Great Beast, i.e., the Deep State network or networks. The goal is not so much resources as to create and maintain a world where war is permanent and never resolved. Follow the money and look at the U.S. budget for “defense.”

    • David Smith
      June 17, 2017 at 11:03 pm

      Kiza, you do not have the faintest idea what you are talking about. U.S. Special Forces occupied Al-Tanf to secure the road to supply its proxies forces in Syria as the arrival of the SAA was imminent. The US proxie forces in SE Syria are losing and their defeat is inevitable, but the US is committed to supplying them, but that is as far as it goes. Even if the US intended to invade Syria, and it doesn’t intend to, it would require the cooperation of Jordan and Iraq, and that won’t happen. Endless truck convoys from Aqaba to Al-Tanf to supply “heavy maneuver” units to seize a patch of worthless desert in SE Syria? You’ve been reading too much Tom Clancey.

      • Kiza
        June 18, 2017 at 9:28 pm

        David, to have the full picture of why US is at Al Tanf, read moonofalabama. There is a plan to build a Sunni highway which would be owned by US private military contracting corporation, which owns Blackwater/Academy of the Baghdad massacre of civilians. The US military contractors are going beyond no-tender protection for US State Department staff in conflict areas and into direct investment and monopolisation by force of arms of the vital infrastructure in the regime-changed countries. Cut off Shia highway (for Israel) and build a Sunni toll-highway (for profit). Launder the dirty profits from the bloody war by investing them into highly profitable post-war “reconstruction” infrastructure.

      • David Smith
        June 19, 2017 at 9:51 am

        You claim an “80% probability” that “Trump will add ground fighting in Syria”. My reply addresses that claim. Stay on topic.

    • Realist
      June 18, 2017 at 4:35 am

      Washington is not going to get out as long as it thinks it is playing with the house’s money, that is the lives of Islamic jihadis rather than American troops and Saudi petrodollars rather than its own budget lines. American voters probably won’t even start whinging if numerous Blackwater mercenaries bite the Middle Eastern dust for their last meals. But that may be as far as they can go without blowback at the ballot box. The public does not want another Iraq with GI’s in body bags or a lifetime in a VA rehabilitation center, and it does not want to see that trillion-dollar-a-year deficit increase by multiple billions squandered on more immoral folly. If the Republicans allow that, it is they who will take a shellacking in 2018 or 2020. Geez, that might even get Killary elected because she won’t run on her intentions but what the public wants to hear.

      For the life of me, I cannot understand why the fate of the world should hinge on America going all-in militarily across the entire Middle East because it does not want Iran to have a relationship with Syria and Lebanon, especially when not one of those countries has ever committed military aggression against Israel (which is the usual excuse; but none of them can even remotely threaten the USA). They’ve all directed rhetoric at Israel, but talk is cheap and only Israel has invaded any of them (Lebanon and Syria).

      Maybe they think they are going to entrap Russia in another Afghanistan in its defense of Syria, but if they have to expend American blood and treasure on yet another front so far from home, I think it is they who will find themselves trapped, even if they start drafting millennials to serve as cannon fodder and defaulting on government pensions to pay for munitions–especially if they resort to such desperate moves. It’s a stupid risky gamble, even if you are deranged and think it is moral.

      • Sam F
        June 18, 2017 at 5:22 am

        Yes, creating another Vietnam war in Syria for Russia is likely the plan, as done to the USSR in Afghanistan in the 1980s. But the astounding folly of the US walking into its own Afghanistan trap in 2001 is topped only by Mattis deciding to go there again now, and even deciding to get directly involved in Syria by sending tripwire forces just as in Vietnam. Of course the MIC goal is not to win wars but to generate weapons sales and military perks by maintaining the supply of imaginary foreign monsters.

        It is hard to believe that the 9/11 blowback will not be repeated on a larger scale. Those the US has attacked by proxies, and even the proxies, are already arrayed against it in fact if not in declaration. If the blowback destabilizes KSA it could perhaps lead the jihadists to surround Israel, the only practical place for them. It is surprising that Russia and Iran have not offered KSA and Israel to AlQaeda and ISIS. But I still think that Jerusalem should go to Walt Disney.

      • June 18, 2017 at 8:01 am

        should be another “gas attack” any day now….

    • john wilson
      June 18, 2017 at 4:47 am

      Surely Mike K you know that the only losers in this madness is the US tax payer. There are no losses for the the likes of the son of Black water and those in the deep state who have financial interests in this horror. The very last thing the arms industry wants is to cut losses and run, because all that really means is a cut in arms sales profits. As for mindless escalation and dangerous mistakes, it won’t be mindless and it won’t be a mistake it will be calculated criminality for the purpose of gain and power.

      • June 18, 2017 at 7:56 am

        The greatest lost is suffered by the victims of Imperial Bankers wars.

      • June 18, 2017 at 9:18 am

        Exactly–but it is hard for most readers here to understand that we don’t live in the world of the mid-twentieth century. Wars today conducted by the Empire are not wars of conquest but wars to have wars. Resources may have a part in all this but the part is peripheral at this point. The monster of the National Security/Deep State has a mind of its own–it has emerged out a confluence of interests built up over time and is now a virtual emergent “being” that must be fed. No one is in charge and no specific network of interests are in charge. This is why it is more dangerous than most people can even imagine because its goal is to survive not to benefit any one, even the oligarchs.

        • Cal
          June 19, 2017 at 7:41 pm

          ” Wars today conducted by the Empire are not wars of conquest but wars to have wars.

          Again that is ridiculous,
          Seizing resources may not be the reason some ‘runt psychopaths’ like McCain & Co. like constant war but 99% of time it is for resources.
          Even in the case of ISS with their religious fanaticism the seizing of land and resources to control is a goal

    • george Archers
      June 25, 2017 at 7:24 am

      “What the hell is the United States doing in he middle east?”
      No brainier ! All these conflicts in middle east serve a purpose. Destroy 7 middle east countries for security of Israel. Only one of the 7, remains Iran.
      2nd benefit is Israel oil/gas route to EU and put Russia O.O.B.

  3. June 17, 2017 at 6:21 pm

    Forget NeoMcCarthyism and start prosecuting capital war crimes, such as the present USA ” War Against the Peace “. Is the USA judiciary able to be a just world actor?

    • Sam F
      June 17, 2017 at 9:02 pm

      No, not at all; the US judiciary is utterly corrupt from top to bottom: I have found no exceptions among 35+ judges well tested so far. Judicial corruption is top-down due to appointments, and gets worse as you appeal to the top. With the rarest and most meaningless exceptions, they oppose constitutional rights, with sonorous dedication to money and lying, their life skill. They will be just world actors when they are afraid for their own lives, and not a moment sooner.

      Restoration of democracy requires amendments to protect elections and mass media debate from economic power, better checks and balances within the government branches, purging the corrupt judiciary and Congress, monitoring of government officials for corruption, and regulation of business so that bullies and scammers do not rise to control economic power.

      We cannot stop the wars, establish a humanitarian democracy, nor achieve benefits for the people, until the oligarchy is deposed; this is the greatest problem of civilization. Apart from the revolutions of the largest present democracies (US and India), where the colonial power was small and remote, every solution to corrupt empire in history has involved external conquest (e.g. Rome) or violent revolution (e.g. Russia, China, and Cuba). Unfortunately the US is now in the latter category. We may seek and hope for new solutions, the only historical meaning of our lives, but more likely a long series of collapses will lead to violence and a long series of shabby reorganizations.

    • Joe Tedesky
      June 17, 2017 at 11:42 pm

      What is sickening and brutality sad, is how the U.S. ignores all laws pertaining to war. It just doesn’t matter anymore, whether it be international laws or the U.S. Constitution the U.S. is determined to do what it wants under the banner of exceptionalism. The closest bills to correcting any of this now floating around congress is Tulsi Gabbard’s two bills, the one hr608 is to stop arming terrorist, and her other bill hr4108 is to end efforts in Syria for regime change. Pay close attention to the lack of media publicity regarding Rep. Gabbard’s bill, and pay even more attention to those especially on the left who treat Tulsi as if she were a traitor. This societal dynamic in my mind is the most dangerous phase we Americans can find our country in at this moment in time. When honest upright peace seeking politicians are damned, then what have we become?

      • Dave P.
        June 18, 2017 at 1:17 am

        The Dems and the Establishment are getting ready with their sharpened knives to go at Tulsi Gabbard. Last year during the Primary Campaign, I remember reading some derogatory articles about her, and her family – that they are Hare Krishna Devotees, and are Un-American. And there were some fabrications, and lies about her parents business – in health products I think. Depicted Tulsi gabbard as some kind of a weird Hindu. Her ancestry as we know is 3/4 West European, and 1/4 Samoan.

        So far what I have observed is that she is very brave,and has some moral principles. She is articulate, intelligent, and smart. She is the only hope there is on the Political Scene. And the utterly corrupt, vicious, and depraved Ruling Establishment – all it’s wings, Media, Political, Financial, Intelligence, and MIC – knows it. They will never accept her, and try to take care of her before the next congressional election. It is depressing to think though, but In every way this Ruling Establishment is beyond redemption now.

        Knowing who is in charge in Washington, in Syria, there be carnage on a big scale.,

        • Joe Tedesky
          June 18, 2017 at 5:18 pm

          Tulsi’s ethnicity is the future diversity mix that America will have as we progress as a population. I’m quite okay with this. I have 13 grandchildren, and I will only hope that their generation will deal quite well with all these diverse factions, whether it be race, or religion. In other words Tulsi Gabbard is the sign of things to come.

          Gabbard is alone on her quest to make sense, and bring peace to the Middle East. The only ones who will oppose her are the ones who represent the agendas of the MIC, Israel, and Saudi Arabia. Holy cow does Tulsi have her work cut out for her? I should say she does, and that’s why we should support her all the more.

          • Dave P.
            June 19, 2017 at 1:17 am

            I completely agree with you, Joe.

        • george Archers
          June 25, 2017 at 7:32 am

          You should read up on Nikki Haley and observe her fake name a 100% India Hindu and makes out as an Israel thumper at UN.

      • Skip Scott
        June 18, 2017 at 7:57 am

        Tulsi Gabbard truly is our only hope. Dave P is right that the powers that be are sharpening their knives. However, as the madness gets worse, and the body bags start showing up, there may be some hope for her and her message. The strangest thing about these times is how the two parties have both been splintered beyond recognition. The Republicans are divided by Trump, and the Democrats are divided by the Hillary faction. Maybe Rand Paul and Tulsi Gabbard should start a new party called the National Sovereign party. Then the other side could team up and call themselves the GCW (Globalizing Corporate Warmongers).

        • Sam F
          June 18, 2017 at 12:12 pm

          Could be difficult to distinguish them from the Gangster Oligarchy Party and the Demagogic Party

        • Joe Tedesky
          June 18, 2017 at 5:20 pm

          Rand Paul and Tulsi Gabbard start a new party, and I will be there for the grand opening.

          • george Archers
            June 25, 2017 at 7:38 am

            Never happen U dreamer. Did you know that in both major parties,there is a strict policy, all candidates must sign a declaration stating they support 100% Israel. If they do not sign up no funding and worse the all Jewish media will crucify them shortly.

  4. June 17, 2017 at 6:37 pm

    We’ve got to get some POA going, a Plan of Action, have to shake up and wake up the slumbering sheeple who don’t get it (you’d think they might have a clue their country is the greatest purveyor of violence in the world?). Call the White House and tell Trump to get the US the hell out of there! We should start to wear armbands for Syria, a visual or something. The surveillance state thinks the sheep are all in the corral, time to wake up now…

    • Anon
      June 17, 2017 at 9:25 pm

      Unfortunately the only plan that history suggests is:
      1. Direct action against mass media facilities and staff;
      2. Militias to seize gated communities and force the rich to militarize their defenses;
      3. Invite the militant victims of US aggression to come take out their oppressors among the rich and powerful.
      I would guess that the conditions for this will arise within 40-60 years unless surprises occur, which is common enough. Of course I would never recommend the only viable plan.

      • June 18, 2017 at 12:21 am

        Most successful revolutions occur when economic hardship reaches a critical level and mass of citizenry. The most successful method is a long term general strike. The Democrats smothered the general strike Occupy Wall Street attempted to initiate.

      • george Archers
        June 25, 2017 at 7:46 am

        Cure :Clean up the USA media.
        Pass laws that bite. Lie once,your license is revoked. Over 90% of Americans do not know what their politicians goals are. Millions world wide deaths. USA is world’s main terrorist.
        WWIII is around the corner.This time it will not just take place just in Europe/Russia but in America.

    • June 18, 2017 at 9:23 am

      Well, JK, “people” do not want to get it. Most people live within a mythological framework that includes the unexamined assumptions of American Exceptionalism. Myth always triumphs over reason and in a culture that actively is in rebellion against the foundational ideas of the 18th century enligtenment in particular and Western Civilization in general there is little chance that public opinion can go in the direction you indicate. However, we are no entering a period of dissolution and disenchantment that even the Deep State will not be able to block–where it goes is anyone’s guess but Trump is one symptom of all this and the result looks like it will move us all towards chaos in the next few years–and this is a good thing.

  5. June 17, 2017 at 8:08 pm

    Continuing to fire on Syrian and pro-Syrian forces, IN SYRIA, will get us into a hot war with the Russians…they are there at the invitation of the Syrian government, protecting their ally SYRIA…the US is in as illegal of an international position as it can be…The Russians will have every justification to repel American acts of war…period…

  6. mike k
    June 17, 2017 at 8:18 pm

    We are at war with Russia already. Our sanctions, threats and weapons on their borders are acts of war. A real hot shooting war can erupt any day now. The idiots in the White House have no idea what they are playing with, and no clue how to reign it in. They are playing a game of chicken that can quickly end in an incinerated Earth. That they are doing this is indisputable evidence of their insanity.

    • Dave P.
      June 18, 2017 at 2:32 am

      You are right mike, we are at war with Russia already. What I am concerned about is those two nuts sitting by the side of Trump – Mattis, and McMaster, his close advisors implementing their war plans in Syria, all in secret without any oversight. They look like a very dangerous pair to me. And that King Abdullah in Jordan is very loyal American poodle, trying to please the Masters at every opportunity. Sadly, it is going to be a very hot summer for the Syrians. As I write, my wife is watching Frontline (I think !) showing the fabricated videos of Assad’s Brutalities, and all that. People believe it; my wife believes it.

      They are preparing the public for the coming War on Syria.

    • June 18, 2017 at 9:31 am

      Maybe or maybe not. If we look at the Cold War as an example of how the Deep State functions (it cut its teeth on it) you can see that there was a subtle alliance between the U.S. and USSR oligarchs to maintain the Cold War to keep the factions in power in power. The U.S. requires an enemy and the more formidable the enemy the better. Russia is the most convenient enemy since, unlike China, its trade with the U.S. is almost nil, and it suffers from speaking English with an obvious accept that reminds everyone of all the American movies ever produced that almost always shows Russians as evil or in need of softening up (Ninotchka). So since, in our culture, fiction is always seen as more true than reality Russia is the perfect enemy. We will only, in my view, have war if there is a mistake–that is the real danger. The Deep State is a conspiracy that is not like any other in history–it is a virtual network with strong emergent properties and it’s virtual brain may miscalculate.

  7. mike k
    June 17, 2017 at 8:35 pm

    Does anyone defining EVIL require more than being willing to destroy the lives of billions of human beings for the sake of greed for wealth and power? This is what these wealthy, powerful people are about. Can you realize that these people are as EVIL as anyone is ever going to get??

  8. June 17, 2017 at 9:03 pm

    I’m completely in agreement with you, mike, it is completely EVIL, vile, and the same letters that create EVIL are used to create LIVE. These mad bureaucrats have no idea how to live and they’re ruining lives of others by the millions.

    You may have seen that in Europe there is already opposition to the new sanctions of the stupid Senate on Russia, as it will hurt buying capacity for gas through Nordstream and would force buying from LNG delivered by ship from USA, according to what I read today on Zero Hedge and Russia Insider. Merkel is apparently furious and Austria angry, too. The US senators are completely idiotic to get so hung-up in hurting Russia that they may hurt the US, that’s how out of touch they are.

    And Sam, you are correct, only failure will stop them, like the Roman Empire overextending itself. This time the barbarians are running the show!

    • Sam F
      June 18, 2017 at 6:04 am

      Interesting point about the US as Rome run by barbarians. I suspect that economic overextension will do them in this time, and that civilization will march economically to the gates. So far oligarchs have been able to hoodwink the media mass to believe that the rich are their saviors, and that their best bet is to aspire to join the oligarchy. The broad moral/ethical decay of the US under economic tyrants may preclude any restoration of democracy.

    • mike k
      June 18, 2017 at 7:54 am

      The insane policies of the US government put some of us at CN and other alternate sites in the uncomfortable position of pulling for our country to fail. This makes it hard to recruit people to our side, because so many have a “my country right or wrong’ attitude.

  9. June 17, 2017 at 9:28 pm

    Kiza, my intuition is telling me that’s not going to happen, sort of a psychic feeling I have that something is going to prevent escalation in Syria as before. I just feel that something big is going to happen that will move the game in a different direction. It may be a natural earth event, just a feeling I have that the grand chessboard of Brzezinski is changed. I may be wrong…

    • Kiza
      June 17, 2017 at 11:19 pm

      I wish the same as you. But I know that Israel never accepts defeat whilst Syrians are really close to cleansing their country of all manner terrorists. In addition, it does not cost them anything to push US into yet another war.

      I wish rationality prevails, but there is not much rationality left in the US establishment, as the “Russia elected US President madness” shows.

      • Kiza
        June 18, 2017 at 4:47 am

        A friend of mine calls US a shark, a remotely controlled shark from Tel Aviv, but still a shark. US has to keep crushing small countries to maintain its own cohesion, because the only glue keeping US together are money and the belief in its might. The same as a shark cannot stop swimming because it has no gills and would suffocate without fresh water passing over its lungs. If money (petrodollar) would crash or US would stop throwing small countries up against the wall, the US people could start fighting each other and US would start dissolving. This is why Syria could not be let win.

  10. Virginia
    June 17, 2017 at 10:19 pm

    Unfortunately I haven’t yet seen Oliver Stone’s 4-part series on Putin, but I did pick up from Parry’s synopsis that Putin thinks this madness is all going to eventually die down. Someone needs to tell him it isn’t. All free countries need to be thinking in the short term/long term, and think about how best not to wait it out. Did Jessica say above we need a plan of action — meaning us at CN? She’s right, because how long are we going to be allowed to “meet like this” See Teressa May’s speech with Macon in France on Rt OpEdge for what she said about cracking down on Internet communications. My, isn’t it convenient to have terrorists!

    • Skip Scott
      June 18, 2017 at 8:09 am

      Hi Virginia-

      I have been taking in Stone’s Putin interviews over at Information Clearing House. It is very convenient, and a great site to support. I too fear for the future of these independent sites on the internet. The powers that be realize that their propaganda is being short circuited. If we don’t start pushing back soon, it may be too late. Maybe Robert Parry should start selling a really good T-shirt from CN to increase his and our visibility. Obviously in the end it will take a lot more than that, but it might be a good start.

      • Virginia
        June 18, 2017 at 1:03 pm

        Good idea, Skip. Start with T-shirts. Also, Mr. Parry should know we would all like to hear from him directly by email if ever needed.

    • Kiza
      June 18, 2017 at 10:00 am

      Hello Virginia, 15 minutes ago I finished watching the first two of the four episodes. I do not live in US and I am not Russian by ethnicity. I find the interviews really interesting. They consist of many, many individual interactions over almost two years, like tidbits of information. For example, Oliver Stone calls it a four part film, not just a doco.

      There are many truly interesting situation, but if I were to pick a single thing that stood out the most it would be the mindlessness of this endless Western/US hammering about democracy. Yes, it is beyond stupid especially if one would assume even a minimal degree of sincerely in it, especially for a country such as Russia. What I mean is that this country of medium sized population called Russia is hanging by a thread off this man call VV Putin. Without Putin, Russia would fall back to the same Western tender mercies as under Yeltsin, that is it would be like the uncle who Kin Jong Il threw to the hungry dogs (just kidding, that was a US propaganda lie). So the West keeps harping about democracy in Russia just like Maria Antoinette, when she supposedly said during the French Revolution: “People are shouting because they are hungry because they do not have bread – but why do not they eat cakes?”. I repeat, this comparison would be valid only if the West/US were not using the democracy bull as an ideology for regime-change in targeted countries.

      I am absolutely sure that not one in a million US people could even imagine what the life in Russia looked like when it was a US protectorate under Yeltsin.

      Ok, one more impression from the interviews: Putin is truly a working class man (his family background is definitely such) and he launched himself above his base thanks to the completely free education and positive selection of promising children in the Soviet Union, If I saw Putin somewhere on a street I would have said – this is some bureaucrat, some paper pusher, he looks so bland. Yet, he speaks in such a measured and nuanced way that he reminds me of English lords from British movies (the rare ones who are not pedophiles). Putin’s fabled directness (George W Bush) comes from his working class background, but his intelligence has lead him to top behavior unmatched by any Western leader. Never one unpleasant word about any Western political scumbag he has been wrestling with (e.g. Billy Pantsdown, W, Obomba, Killary), even when Oliver asks directly about Killary who called him Hitler whilst half of Putin’s family was killed by Hitler, he just shrugs his shoulders and says – “I know her even personally as an intensive lady”, yes intensive.

      • Virginia
        June 18, 2017 at 1:13 pm

        Kiza, Thanks for sharing more about Putin. I’ve been very impressed with his manner, carriage, and diplomacy, plus what he says. The Russian diplomats show up their counterparts hands down. You’ve confirmed my thoughts of him.

        It’s occurred to me that we need to be promoting with friends and neighbors the idea (fact) that we (the USA, the world) are sooo fortunate to have someone as level headed as Putin as Russia’s President. I’ve started doing that. I call him aJFK type. That is one angle that might make people listen up.

        • Kiza
          June 18, 2017 at 7:57 pm

          That is a wonderful comparison Virginia. If USA did not have JFK in 1962, we probably would not be around now. In addition, Putin’s concept of serving the Russian nation strongly resembles the JFK’s it is not what the country can do for you, it is what you can do for the country.

          Things can muddle along imperfectly as long as at least one side has a Kennedy of restraint. A true nuclear disarmament would have a chance only if both sides had one at the same time, which would be impossible luck.

      • Dave P.
        June 18, 2017 at 2:35 pm

        Hello Kiza, Thanks. You have summarized very eloquently – on this topic of the Year “Russia and Putin” in U.S. – in three paragraphs, all there is to say. Every word speaks for itself. Everything you said is so true.

        • Kiza
          June 18, 2017 at 8:29 pm

          Thanks Dave, yes Russia definitely does not need Western-style politically correct democracy then railways runnng on time. Putin kicks some lazy Russian behind and this is why things now work in Russia, even quite well. One other interesting thing is that as a politician Putin is extremely low on empty rhetoric that we are so used to (a.k.a. politicians lying). It appears that Putin has above 80% approval rating because he achieves above 80% of what he promises. On the negative side, he appears to be a nut of self-control, which sometimes makes him look like a cold machine, not much emotion in these interviews, only jokes, sometimes ironic. But the faith of the whole Russian nation rests on his shoulders, therefore self-control is a personally expensive necessity.

          Overall, Putin is the only person standing between the now customary US generated chaos (Libya, Syria etc) and the Russian nation. Then, Russia has too much democracy now not too little.

          Finally, let me describe one more scene from the film, which Mr Parry described in his description of this doco but missed to include its most important part: Oliver asks if Putin ever has a bad day; Putin is a little surprised by the question but eventually attempts to make a joke about the question by saying no, because he is not a woman. Then, Oliver jokingly says that Putin has just offended one half of the US audience, which Putin takes almost seriously and tries to explain about female cycles and even says that men have them too just much less pronounced. The American out-of-control politicaly correct denial of nature versus the Russian nature/biology oriented approach to life and society. A misunderstanding between the interviewer and the interviewee which renders another fantastic insight. These interviews are a wonderful communication between Stone and Putin often through cultural misunderstandings.

          • Dave P.
            June 19, 2017 at 1:39 am

            Kiza: Your observations about Putin, and Russia are very penetrating. Over life time, I have read a lot about Russia and its great writers, and its Literature, and came to see the soul of Russia. Russia, exactly has the democracy, and a leader, which it needs. After reading about him, watching many of his speeches, and this Oliver Stone interviews, I have come to realize that Putin’s whole self is devoted to make Russia strong, make life better for its people, and take its rightful place in the family of Nations of the World. He has succeeded in doing so to quite a remarkable degree. Russia is lucky to have him as its leader.

            Russia extended it’s hand for friendship with U.S., but to no avail.

  11. Zachary Smith
    June 17, 2017 at 10:26 pm

    So, will the U.S. do something drastic to break out of its encirclement in Al-Tanf, as foolhardy as that escalation might be? Knowing Trump and his desperation to change the subject from the Russia investigation, the answer may well be yes.

    If I had to bet my own money on this issue, I’d also wager the answer will be “yes”. First, Trump it clueless, and probably Tillerson is too. Trump has handed US strategy to the tactically smart/strategically stupid generals. Worse, some of those generals are fanatics. And given the level of corruption these days, wouldn’t surprise me a bit if some of them aren’t in the pay of Israel. Partitioning Syria is still a priority for that greedy little craphole of a nation. Having US blood and money doing the job is the best of all possible worlds for them.

    If the US keeps on with the illegal attacks against Syrian forces without any response it is going to grow bolder with them. That’s going to pose a problem for the Syrians, Russians, and Iranians. Do they propose to risk a major shoot-em-up, and if so, when?

    • Joe Tedesky
      June 17, 2017 at 11:29 pm

      When you mention the stupid generals running the show, and how Trump and Tillerson are no doubt clueless, I recall Michael Hastings, the fearless journalist whose reporting brought down the career of General Stanley McChrystal. If you read Hasting’s Rocking Stone essay on McChrystal you would have learned how McChrystal made fun of Joe Biden, Richard Holbrook, and President Obama. Yeah, it showed how there was no respect from our military for it’s civilian leadership. I also sense that Trump, being loss to military strategy, has handed over the power to strategize to his Pentagon masters, and the rest will turn out to be mere history.

      • Joe Tedesky
        June 18, 2017 at 12:19 am

        Correction it should have read ‘Rolling Stone’ not ‘Rocking Stone’ I must have gotten the name confused with the beer.

    • David Smith
      June 18, 2017 at 1:29 am

      US air attacks on SAA are sporadic and reactive, to parry threats to US Special Forces. Not serving an initiative, these attacks are irrelevant and can be ignored. US air did not interfere with the SAA reaching the Iraqi border, the critical event that split Islamic State into two enclaves that cannot support each other, therefore IS defeat is inevitable. US proxie forces in SE Syria are in a permanent defensive posture therefore they are finished. The SAA has the initiative against the terrorist enclave in SE Syria and can “peel the onion” or subdivide the enclave, either way Syria wins. The US cannot invade SE Syria because they need the cooperation of Jordan and Iraq and they won’t get it. As US proxie forces in SE Syria have failed, the US prefers them to be “mopped up” by the SAA.

      • Zachary Smith
        June 18, 2017 at 11:47 am

        US air did not interfere with the SAA reaching the Iraqi border…

        If the link account isn’t in error, the US didn’t notice the Syrian move until it was too late.

        In essence, as Americans were busy bombing small Syrian groups entering their declared exclusion zone via the main road, a separate Syrian force staged a lightning-quick advance through roadless desert, well to the east of the “deconfliction” zone enveloping the Americans.

        http://russia-insider.com/en/military/breaking-syrian-army-has-reached-iraqi-border-cutting-americans-al-tanf-russian-mod/ri20066

        I have great faith of the local military commanders to have engineered another “accident” if they hadn’t been diverted. Like, ‘we thought ISIS was attacking us – who else would have been in that empty desert?’

        The US military has been given a free hand by Trump, and they have already demonstrated they’re not up to using it. I’m at least as pessimistic as Mr. Lazare on this issue.

      • David Smith
        June 18, 2017 at 4:28 pm

        The US commander stated the SAA move was both a surprise and observed by US recon. The Russiainsider account makes exciting reading if you are a twelve year old boy. Mr. Lazare, Kiza, and yourself are getting very excited over the prospect of a United States blitzkrieg into Syria but it ain’t gonna happen.

        • Kiza
          June 19, 2017 at 4:21 pm

          David, if you are prepared to believe every word the US military delivers to the sheeple, then you better go to comment at military.com. There is no more lying official organisation in the world than the US military. The official goal being – to confuse the enemy, to generate the fog of war, to promote the wins and diminish the losses. If you continue defending those lies you will start being ignored here very quickly.

  12. Abe
    June 18, 2017 at 1:32 am

    “The action to isolate Qatar was clearly instigated during US President Trump’s recent visit in Riyadh where he pushed the unfortunate idea of a Saudi-led ‘Arab NATO’ to oppose Iranian influence in the region.

    “The Saudi move, clearly instigated by Prince Bin Salman, Minister of Defense, was not about going against terrorism. If it were about terrorism, bin Salman would have to arrest himself and most of his Saudi cabinet as one of the largest financiers of terrorism in the world, and shut all Saudi-financed madrasses around the world, from Pakistan to Bosnia-Herzgovina to Kosovo. Another factor according to informed sources in Holland is that Washington wanted to punish Qatar for seeking natural gas sales with China priced not in US dollars but in Renminbi. That apparently alarmed Washington, as Qatar is the world’s largest LNG exporter and most to Asia.

    “Moreover, Qatar was acting increasingly independent of the heavy Wahhabite hand of Saudi Arabia and threatening Saudi domination over the Gulf States. Kuwait, Oman, as well as non-Gulf Turkey were coming closer to Qatar and even Pakistan now may think twice about joining a Saudi-led ‘Arab NATO’. Bin Salman has proven a disaster as a defense strategist, as proven in the Yemen debacle.

    “As to the future, it appears that Qatar is not about to rollover and surrender in face of Saudi actions. Already Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani is moving to establish closer ties with Iran, with Turkey that might include Turkish military support, and most recently with Russia. Kuwait and Oman are urgently trying to get Saudi to backdown on this, but that is unlikely as behind Saudi Arabia stands the US and promises of tens of billions of dollars in US arms. This foolish US move to use their proxy, in this case Riyadh, to discipline those not ‘behaving’ according to Washington wishes, could well be the turning point, the point of collapse of US remaining influence in the entire Middle East in the next several years.”

    Washington’s Dangerous Middle East Agenda
    F. William Engdahl
    http://journal-neo.org/2017/06/17/washingtons-dangerous-middle-east-agenda-2/

    • john wilson
      June 18, 2017 at 5:03 am

      And yet, Abe, the Americans have the largest military base outside the US in Qatar with over 10,000 troops stationed there. Plus the Americans are currently having naval exercises with the Qatar navy? The reason the base is there in the first place is because the Saudi’s wouldn’t let the Americans fly bombing raids to Iraq when this same base was in Saudi Arabia. Something very odd is going on here.

      • June 18, 2017 at 7:29 am

        would a US takeover in Qatar solve all problems for US and Saud? maybe precipitated by a major false flag event? Qatar is very strategically located in the gulf? hmmm…..

  13. June 18, 2017 at 4:47 am

    Putin has basically finished off ISIS. Why don’t we just leave. Or maybe the Pentagon would rather STAY for some reasons they don’t want to tell us. Let’s ask former General Clarke.

  14. Charles
    June 18, 2017 at 7:52 am

    The whole article reads like joyous dance at the fall of the American strategy and yet Ar Raqqa is falling extremely fast and the SDF controls the best oil fields in Syria along with its three major dams likely it will take most of the Euphrates.

    I’m sure the lost of this strategic location will hit hard but as Assad still slogs through FSA and ISIS forces the SDF will gobble up more and more territory, territory Assad with likely never get back.

    It seems to me that the likely end to the conflict will be Assad losing 15-25% of some of the most important parts of his nation likely forced to play nice with said portion to act as a Turkish buffer zone.

    • Rick Tasker
      June 18, 2017 at 2:43 pm

      I agree that the US-lead forces have their eyes focused on the great prize of Ar Raqqa. I don’t think that they ever really planned to move on to Deir Ezzor, from the north or the south. That would have been a step too far for the planned Kurdish-lead democratic federation in northern Syria. Even Raqqa and Tabqa may turn out to have been a step too far. :-)

  15. June 18, 2017 at 8:23 am

    Zero Hedge has two interesting developments in the US. The state of Illinois, land of Obama, may have to declare bankruptcy. They have been barely solvent for some time, but now looks like completely insolvent. They cannot pay their bills, and demands for payment are getting loud. Powerball may kick them out of the lottery (chortle). Illinois has a long history of corruption. Maybe the first domino to fall in the great land of war?

    Second, the Yellowstone caldera, the supervolcano that erupted last 640,000 years ago and is monitored carefully by USGS geologists, has been having earthquake swarms for awhile, but on Thursday a very large swarm occurred with more than 60 events, the largest being 5.0 on Richter scale, never up to 5.0 before. Geologists found the magma chamber beneath to be twice as large as thought, a fairly recent discovery. The physicist Michio Kaku was talking about that on TV. If the supervolcano does blow, there would be massive death and destruction in the west, especially the Rocky Mountain states, ash layers would affect crops and weather. The US government has a 10-year plan from 2014 to pay billions for evacuation of people to other countries that would take them. Where will they get the money, print it up? Of course, it’s easy to say that this event is not going to happen, but these events do happen, unpredictably, and geologists believe it is overdue to blow. Remember how Putin reached out to the US in sympathy and offered aid after 9/11? I doubt that he would do that this time. Maybe Mother Nature is getting ready to send a harsh lesson?

    • Realist
      June 18, 2017 at 9:59 am

      I wonder if Europe or Russia will allow in millions of North American refugees?

    • Kiza
      June 19, 2017 at 12:17 am

      Jessica, unfortunately, the Fed has never printed money to help ordinary US people, only for the bailouts and bonuses of the banksters.

    • Cal
      June 19, 2017 at 8:45 pm

      Unbeleivable !

      Democrat Illinois is broke and will cease all road work on July 1
      Canada Free Press-Jun 16, 2017

      The state of Illinois is broke, so broke that the state government sent a notice to contractors that beginning July 1, they are to halt all road work..

      BUT….

      Illinois taxpayers fund golden parachute for university president …
      American Thinker (blog)-Jun 18, 2017
      Illinois taxpayers fund golden parachute for university president ….

      The State of Illinois is so broke that Illinois owes contractors and suppliers a record $14.5 billion. It has $140 billion in unfunded liabilities for lavish government employee pensions. And it’s operated without a budget for three years, so it’s done nothing to address its problems.

  16. MaDarby
    June 18, 2017 at 8:25 am

    “If so, the effect will be to take a bad situation and make it much, much worse.”

    Sure, much worse for the peoples of the region no doubt. But sense when has the suffering of millions been of any concern to the Imperial apparatchiks bent on the policy formulated after WWII “Global full spectrum domination.”?

    Over and over though the years I have seen statements by generals and observers of the empire and its military goals and over and over one hears the same thing. The “low intensity warfare” in the middle east will last for most if not all of this century. Deliberate chaos and the destruction of the sovereign nation state is the Neoliberal goal continued “low intensity warfare” for generations to keep the Middle East in chaos so than no other power can move in and challenge US hegemony and commercial power.

    So when commentators talk about how “bad” things are they are talking about the helpless people on the ground they are not talking about the failings of US policy. The generals and the deep state apparatus of the oligarchy see Libya as a victory elimination of the nation state and social disorder being the short term goals further demonstrating that the Empire does not recognize the sovereignty of any nation including the US.

    So many seem to miss the meaning when high ranking imperial operatives make declarations and what the implications of these diktats are. G. W. Bush unilaterally and imperially declared the US’s “GLOBAL war on terrorism.” By so doing he declared that the US no longer recognizes the national sovereignty afforded to all nations. He declared that the US has the right to make war or kill anyone anywhere any time. It has the right to spy and pry into anyone’s life any time. Full spectrum domination includes cyberspace and space itself.

    To me it seems that war and chaos in the Middle East IS the policy and from the perspective of the imperial apparatchiks it is working.

    The empire has written off 80% of the global population as useless and dispensable the economy was re-engineered in the 70’s and 80’s to simply financially write off the vast majority of the human race. The economy and the empire have no use for billions of people and no interest in their survival. AI and robots will serve the oligarchy and increase their power – those marvelous technologies are not intended for the betterment of any lives not favored by the oligarchs. Musk is not interested in sending poor or even upper middle class people to colonize Mars, he is doing it for the oligarchs and their children who will pay him – everything is private nothing is public in the empire.

  17. F. G. Sanford
    June 18, 2017 at 10:07 am

    I guess there’s that Shakespeare play going on in New York, and I haven’t paid much attention. On the basis of the few blurbs I’ve managed to catch, it apparently portrays the murder of Julius Caesar by a guy who bears a remarkable resemblance to President Trump. Caesar’s murder was plotted on the favorite vacation spot of the contemporary Roman “one percenters”, a little island called Nissida. Sure, the coliseum is pretty impressive, but in reality, it offers little perspective or insight into what the Roman Empire really was. Granted, they lacked electric lights and automobiles, but there is nothing today that matches the scale of hegemony or omnipotence once wielded by the Romans. There were coliseums and temples just as impressive all over the Western world. Even Donald Trump could not build one today.

    So, where are they now, if one postulates that the notion of linear human progress is a reality? Our empire today relies on a mercenary military force maintained by a “poverty draft”, similar in every respect to that of the Roman Legions. Political corruption is rampant, taxes are not collected to pay for the overreach, and wealth is being secreted to safe havens, just as the corrupt Romans once moved from there to Byzantium, then to Venice, then to London, and finally today…to Rome on the Potomac. How many places are left?

    Then as now, the distant legions and the vassals they control are contentious. The blame is often laid at the feet of “the Zionists”, but does anybody really believe that Pontius Pilate was pulling the strings back in Rome? Do you think that Congress votes to support Israel because they love the Jews, or do you think it might be just as likely that they enjoy receiving the inevitable kickbacks? Rome on the Potomac exploits Israel as a pretext to support “democracy” in the Middle East, retain hegemony over energy resources and to sustain the chaos that keeps competitive nations embroiled in spiraling defense expenditures and political instability.

    Israel may not realize it, but they have entered into a “suicide pact” with Rome on the Potomac. Our “Julius Caesar” was not murdered at a play in New York. He was murdered in Dallas in 1963. Everything we’ve seen since has been a transition from the Roman Republic and “rule of law” to the Roman Empire and rule of the Praetorian Guard – the “one percent”.

    The tactical genius/strategic morons running the show have not considered the strategic options available to forces not constrained by the internal frictions of coalition among artificial alliances and loosely federated legions of “empire”. Loyalty is ALWAYS the first casualty of empire.

    Has anybody ever met a “real” deep state operative? I can say with some degree of certainty that I think I have. And believe me, they really, really, really REALLY do not like Jews. Take that for whatever it’s worth – or leave it. It’s just a personal observation.

    • Sam F
      June 18, 2017 at 12:58 pm

      No doubt the MIC and tyrants of “Rome on the Potomac exploits Israel… to… retain hegemony… and to sustain… spiraling defense expenditures.” Yet Israel has been the greatest obstacle in US Mideast policy, and as you note, “Congress votes to support Israel because … they enjoy receiving the inevitable kickbacks.” But we have the VIPs as examples of intel people who seem not to mind Jewish people as people; zionism may be another matter. Perhaps you are referring to CIA Operations rather than analysis.

  18. mike k
    June 18, 2017 at 10:53 am

    The “deep state” is not a homogenous or clearly defined entity. It is nevertheless real and powerful. There are bitter enemies, wannabes, and isolated individuals within it. It’s plans and intentions are always in flux, and often unclear to those involved in executing them. This is far from a smooth running machine; it is more like any dispersed and poorly organized human enterprise, carried forward by many agents with more or less common goals, but competing within their own ranks.

  19. mike k
    June 18, 2017 at 10:56 am

    The deep state is an aggregation of power players who try to keep their activities secret.

    • F. G. Sanford
      June 18, 2017 at 11:17 am

      Loyalty, loyalty, above all else, loyalty. It’s the lesson my first military mentor taught me. That lesson has been completely forgotten by “the deep state”, and will ultimately explain the looming disasters ahead.

      • mike k
        June 18, 2017 at 12:05 pm

        When people connive to weave a web of deceit, paranoia is the outcome. Trust and loyalty are thought to be for suckers.

  20. Zachary Smith
    June 18, 2017 at 1:16 pm

    Given all that, the military’s decision to move its High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) from Jordan to Al-Tanf is not a good sign.

    It depends on the “why” of the move. Possibly Mattis was embarrassed by the way he was snookered, and this is a face-saving measure.

    It’s also possible he plans to start a local war with Syria, Iran, and Russia. Two stories I’m combining here:

    Russia has no means to counter U.S.’s ‘instrument of genocide’ in Syria

    June 16, 2017 Igor Rozin, RBTH

    “The only way for Russia to neutralize the American HIMARS, recently deployed to Al-Tanf, is to “destroy them when they are being preparing for launch,” a Russian military expert, Dmitri Litovkin, told RBTH.”

    and

    Jason Ditz Mon, Jun 12, 2017

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, in a phone call Saturday with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, warned that Russia considers the recent US attacks on pro-government forces in southern Syria categorically unacceptable, and said the US must take steps to prevent any further clashes of this sort.

    I may be reading too much into these statements, but they could be interpreted as meaning that Russia is telling the US that if it wants a shooting war in Syria, it’ll get one.

    What is a little bit scary about all of this is the high possibility Donald Trump doesn’t have a clue about any of it.

    • Rick Tasker
      June 18, 2017 at 2:36 pm

      I would say that the HIMARS has been brought to Al-Tanf strictly to protect US-backed forces that have been recently threatened by over-zealous Iranian-backed militias. :-)

    • Gregory Herr
      June 18, 2017 at 6:03 pm

      “According to our data, there are no ISIL troops remaining in the area. Placing there such powerful weapons, which are not suited well to fight ISIL in the first place, is considered by some experts in Russia and other nations as an attempt to create an additional military force, which would prevent the creation of stable channels between government and pro-government forces in Syria and their partners in neighboring Iraq,” he said. (Lavrov)

      https://www.rt.com/news/392567-us-himars-syria-lavrov/

      I guess they are precise and pack a punch up to 70km.

  21. Rick Tasker
    June 18, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    You are correct that there are no long-term strategic options for Americans in Al-Tanf in Southern Syria. They will withdraw at the war’s end, if that time ever comes. I think they are now just using those forces to feint toward Deir Ezzor. This has caused some of the Syrian-allied forces to rush toward the Iraq border and to position their forces to block any American advance from the south.
    Meanwhile the US-backed forces are totally concentrating on securing Raqqa in the north. The US and the Kurds have never had a viable option for attacking ISIS in Deir Ezzor, and they realized that long ago. They are only after the great prize of Raqqa which is the realistic limit for their dreams of a Kurdish-lead democratic federation in the north of Syria. So far they seem to have out-maneuvered the Syrians, Turks, Russians, and all if the Iran-backed militias to that end. :-)

    • Gregory Herr
      June 18, 2017 at 6:11 pm

      Leaving aside the illegality of U.S. military presence in Syria, do you feel the theft of Syrian territory for the purpose of a Kurdish state is desirable?

      • Skip Scott
        June 20, 2017 at 8:35 am

        I’m no expert, but I think history has dealt the Kurds a raw deal. If they live in a geographically contiguous area, and desire more autonomy for themselves, I think they should have it. Of course it probably boils down to the existing nations desire to cling to the territory and resources.

  22. Abe
    June 18, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    “the House of Saud has rather shot itself in the foot by opening a solo-front against Qatar, a country that nevertheless has a big American military base and has on its side a powerful Arab ally, Turkey. What the whole episode has brought unmistakably to the forefront is that there exist a number of countries within the ‘Sunni coalition’ who do not see eye to eye with Saudi policies and are more comfortable in following rather independent course of action.

    “Apart from Turkey, whose president Erdogan went to the extent of relating the Qatar-blockade to a ‘death sentence’, a number of other countries both from Asia and Africa have refused to follow the House of Saud in its footsteps, marking yet another defeat for the king-to-be prince Muhammad bin Salman, who is not only known to have masterminded the Yemen war but also known particularly for injecting a new ideological framework to Saudi Arabia’s regional ambitions, a framework premised upon surgical weakening of countries that have the potential to challenge Saudi hegemony. This is becoming evident from the way people in Turkey have started to point fingers to UAE for spending US$3 billion for funding coup attempt in Turkey, a possible scenario which certainly points to the increasing Saudi dissatisfaction with the way regional politics has tilted to its disadvantage.”

    Blockade or no Blockade? Saudia’s ‘Mission-Qatar’ Tumbles Down
    By Salman Rafi Sheikh
    http://journal-neo.org/2017/06/18/blockade-or-no-blockade-saudia-s-mission-qatar-tumbles-down/

  23. June 18, 2017 at 3:59 pm

    Breaking news on RT about 30 minutes ago is that US downed a Syrian army warplane in southern Syria that was going after IS around Raqqa and the pilot is missing.

    • Realist
      June 18, 2017 at 5:49 pm

      From RT: The downing of the Syrian warplane, an Su-22, was confirmed by an official press statement from Operation Inherent Resolve, the US-led international task force against IS, which accused the Syrian government of targeting fighters from the Syrian Democratic Forces, a Kurdish-led militia.

      “At 6:43pm, a Syrian regime SU-22 dropped bombs near SDF fighters south of Tabqah and, in accordance with rules of engagement and collective self-defense of Coalition partnered forces, was immediately shot down by a US F/A-18E Super Hornet,” the statement read.

      Another shameless provocation by Washington to try to escalate the fighting and directly engage Syria and Russia.

      In further developments, Iran fired missiles into Syria in response to the terror attack in Iran earlier in the week.

      “Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have launched a mid-range ballistic missile attack on terrorist positions in the Syrian province of Deir-ez Zor in retaliation for terrorist attacks in Tehran, Tasnim news agency reports.”

      Washington may be getting the reaction it’s been trying to goad for years. You know how Washington and Tel Aviv respond to any use of missiles by Iran. No pun intended, but they go ballistic. I hope they are not crazy enough to bombard Iran, or its troops in Syria, with Tomahawks.

      • Gregory Herr
        June 18, 2017 at 6:40 pm

        The U.S. statement says the Syrians dropped bombs “near” SDF fighters (Kurds), while the Syrian statement says they were carrying out operations against Islamic State forces. Who is telling the truth? I guess there are no dead Kurdish forces from a bombing raid to verify. If bombs were dropped before the fighter was brought down, why didn’t they hit any Kurdish forces?

        If the Syrians are telling the truth, then I guess Washington has determined that it is okay to kill Syrians trying to free their own city from terrorists as long as you are “defending” the other faction fighting the terrorists in order to “take over” from the terrorists used by Sam in the first place to take their cities.

        • Gregory Herr
          June 18, 2017 at 6:49 pm

          Meanwhile ISIL has Iran pissed, the Kurds have the Turks pissed, and Russia has to decide where it draws a line. The American statement did go on to note “that its mission is to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria and that the Coalition does not seek to “fight Syrian regime, Russian, or pro-regime forces partnered with them, but will not hesitate to defend Coalition or partner forces from any threat.””
          Seems pretty dicey and dangerous to me.

          I wish we could just let the Syrians have their home and their peace.

  24. Zachary Smith
    June 18, 2017 at 9:44 pm

    So, will the U.S. do something drastic….

    As somebody has already noted, the US has just done something drastic in shooting down a Syrian SU-22. If and when Russia starts providing fighter escorts to the bombers, what then? Will Warlord Mattis escalate the war even more?

    While looking through Google News stories about this, one type was visibly missing. I didn’t see a single headline indicating anybody in Congress has squawked about this. I don’t expect very many tomorrow, considering how those worthy people are much more concerned about what Israel wants than the desires of their nominal constituents.

    Something else has supposed to have happened.

    In a day full of troubling firsts over battlefield Syria, which has included a US Navy fighter shooting down a Syrian attack jet, Iran has waded into the Syrian conflict in an entirely new and very concerning matter—by launching a ballistic missile bombardment on the long-contested city of Deir Ez-Zor in eastern Syria. The missiles were said to have been a retaliatory measure in response to an affiliate of the Islamic State’s attack on Iran’s parliament eleven days ago.

    Everybody knows Iran has missiles, but what surprises me is that they might have one accurate enough for tactical work at a range of at least 185 miles.

    It’s my opinion that Warlord Mattis is playing with fire, and if he is as fanatical as many reports say he is, the prospect of a little armageddon doesn’t worry him a bit.

    http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/11638/iran-launched-an-unprecedented-ballistic-missile-attack-on-syrian-city

  25. June 18, 2017 at 10:39 pm

    This is going off subject of Syria into the issue of the Putin interviews, but they have been taken off Information Clearing House and are only available for purchase. Also, it doesn’t appear to me that the interviews will help at all to open Americans’ minds to think about Russia and Putin. The level of screeds against any thought of curiosity tells me that the anti-Russia propaganda has done such a number that the Democrat groupthink is not going to be overturned anytime soon. A good term I picked up from the Natural News website called it “carpetbombing of the American psyche” and referred to journalists peddling propaganda as “journoterrorists”.

  26. June 19, 2017 at 2:06 am

    Thanks Daniel Lazare for a brilliant article detailing the present situation in Syria. It sounds only
    too likely that your fears will be realised of increased war-mongering by the US in tragically battered Syria, rather than taking rational action out of the hole the US has dug for itself, and getting out of the country. Would it be helpful if we were to bombard Trump and american embassies, calling for a change in foreign policy towards peace and reconciliation? Trump has been vilified by Democrats and some Republicans for wanting better relations with Russia, a very sensible idea; it would do his reputation a world of good, if he were now to upset American’s war establishment by calling for withdrawal of American forces from Syria,Iraq and Afghanistan.

  27. mike k
    June 19, 2017 at 9:55 am

    “Washington must be gradually acclimated to the idea that it no longer rules the world, that its interests aren’t served by its erratic and destabilizing foreign policy, and that it must comply with international law.
    Nudging the United States in the direction of a multipolar world in which its own narrow interests are not paramount, is going to take time. But what other choice is there; World War 3?
    Let’s hope not.”

    We all hope not too, but there is no certainty at this point. The instability and downright craziness of the players does not bode well.

    https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/06/19/the-syrian-nightmare-no-end-in-sight/

  28. Lee
    June 19, 2017 at 11:38 am

    The USA should leave Syria as soon as possible and ask the Syrian Gov to give the SDF areas autonomy within Syria and therefore protection from Turkey. The Syrian Gov coalition can defeat ISIL and negotiate a peace deal. After Raqqaa falls there is no reason for the USA to be in Syria.

  29. Bill Goldman
    June 19, 2017 at 3:20 pm

    Trump’s Generals are upping the ante by going after Syrian planes. Russia is getting pissed off. Turkey and Iran abhor Trump and admire Putin. The Syrian Army is having success on the ground. As Trump’s and his Generals get whipped and frustrated, they will escalate to the chagrin and regret of all the McCain/Trump supporters who naively believe he will make America Great Again.

  30. Anonymous
    June 19, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    We have seen how the American Shadow Regime has been able to Corruptly install Robert Mueller as special investigator against the President.

    This is because Muellerism, which includes the Mueller Team is Not an investigation, but it is Modern Day McCarthyism, because they are the Corrupt Puppets of the Shadow Regime.

    There are Many Americans who think that America Should be a Nation of Proper Laws, but they have seen Evidence of Criminality by the Unelected and Unconstitutional Shadow Regime and their Puppets.

    The Establishment Democrats and the Establishment Republicans, along with much of the Mainstream Media are the Puppets of the Unelected and Unconstitutional Shadow Regime.

    It is Illegal under American Law for Robert Mueller and his Team to be conducting this Sham McCarthy era ‘investigation’, because they have Definite Conflicts of Interests, and the Law says that, and the Attorney General Knows the Law, and he also Knows the Shadow Regime.

    Robert Mueller Conveniently was made the FBI Director by the Shadow Regime one week before the 11 September 2001 incident, and I use the word incident.

    This is because to use the word 11 September 2001 attack would overly suggest that foreigners where responsible for that, and there is No evidence that Osama bin Laden was responsible for that.

    There are some Americans who have a Theory that Osama bin Laden was responsible for that.

    We Know that Osama bin Laden could Not have done it on his own, if he did it.

    This Would then mean that there Would have to be more than one Person involved in that Crime, and that is the Legal Definition of a Conspiracy.

    This means that those who think that Osama bin Laden along and others were responsible for that are Conspiracy Theorists, but Real Evidence has Never been provided for that Conspiracy Theory at http://www.ae911truth.org/38-home-posts/78-education.html .

    There are other Americans who have another Conspiracy Theory that does Not contradict the Laws the Physics as Robert Mueller did with covering up with the Building 7 collapse, and they think that more than one Person was responsible for that, and so their Theory, is a Theory regarding that Conspiracy to commit a Crime at http://www2.ae911truth.org/11rfa911.php , and Danny Jowenko, who was a World Expert on Controlled Demotions died in a car accident 3 days after he said in an Interview that the Building 7 collapse was Definitely because of a Controlled Demolition, and there have been claims that modern cars can be hacked and remotely controlled, and this is Why there are People who do Not want so called ‘smart’ cars, and so there Could be People who think that People will say what Mueller and his Team want them to say, even if they are Innocent or have to Lie, because of Knowing the leverage of the Shadow Regime, and possibly the Attorney General may have heard of the leverage that can be used by Criminals in Court Trials.

    It has been claimed that the Records of Pentagon Spending were kept at Building 7 and at the Pentagon, along with Evidence and Papers for Court Trials for what happened to the Trillion of Dollars of Unaccounted for Pentagon Spending and where it went, and those who are Guilty did Not want to be Questioned under Oath in a Court.

    Robert Mueller and his Puppet Masters, along with the Establishment Democrats and the Establishment Republicans, have Bankrupted America with Illegal and Immoral Wars in the Middle East and Mueller spread Lies regarding Iraq to help enable that Act of Terrorism by America against the Iraqi People, and they are Involved in a Real Conspiracy to try to commit a Coup on President Donald Trump.

    There are People who think that Robert Mueller Should recuse himself from this matter, but the Shadow Regime may not let him, and those extra Unaccounted for Trillions of Printed Pentagon Dollars Should be added to the Debt and it Will be Paid by Americans by means of Inflation, because that is what happens with Money Printing, and the Bribed and Corrupt Puppet Media and the Attorney General Jeff Sessions are Aware of these things at http://www.usdebtclock.org/ .

    We Know that Senator Sanders said during the Primaries that he was Not in favor America’s involvement in Middle Eastern Quagmires, and we can see that because of Mueller and the Shadow Regime and their Puppets that every American has a Debt of $ 61,000, and every American Taxpayer has a Debt of $ 165,000 and Mueller Participated in Covering Up for the American Intelligence Agencies for the President George Bush the second Administration, and Mueller helped create the post 9/11 Surveillance State or SS, and that Mueller helped facilitate the Iraq War Propaganda Machine, and Osama bin Laden categorically Denied any involvement with 11 September 2001.

    We have seen America once again creating Divisions between Ethnic Groups of a Country, and it is Syria this this time, and this is a War Crime, it is a Crime Against Humanity, and it is Genocide.

    We Know that America’s Shadow Regime has a History of things like that with the Genocide of the Native American Indians.

    Britain and America did this in the Balkans with what is now Known as the Balkanization of the former Yugoslavia.

    America has Not as yet Confessed to their War Crimes against Slandered Innocent Serbia, and against the Slandered former Innocent President of Serbia, Slobodan Milosevic, or for Slandering of the Innocent Serbian People.

    There are Many Americans who think that America Should give Monetary Compensation to Serbia for the American Crimes of 1999, and Serbia is Filing Charges of War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity, and Genocide against America and other Countries at http://www.b92.net/eng/news/society.php?yyyy=2017&mm=06&dd=08&nav_id=101494 .

    There are People who think that America should not confess to this Evil Deed of 1999 or pay compensation.

    If this Evil Deed had been Confessed to by America, and if Compensation had been Paid, then America would have avoided their next War Crime of Iraq War, which will cost over 7,500 Billion Dollars.

    There are Americans who think that the Money wasted on the Iraq War and other Countries Should have been Spent in America, with some of it having being used for Lower Taxes.

    Then there is the other Trillions of Dollars that was Wasted on Illegal and Immoral Wars against other Middle Eastern Countries after the Illegal and Immoral Iraqi War.

    This is why there are Americans who think that paying Compensation to Serbia in 1999 along with a Confession of America’s Evil Deeds would have been a Good Investment for the American Taxpayers who have Paid Trillions of Dollars for Illegal and Immoral Wars, and they could have had better Infrastructure, and Lower Taxes, and either Free or Very Affordable Tertiary Education, and a Cleaner Environment.

    A News Article of by an Honest British Journalist written in 2006 says: “How much do you know about Slobodan Milosevic, the deceased former president of Yugoslavia? Here’s 10 statements that we’ve all heard many times in the western media these last seven days. But which of them are true and which are false? 1) Milosevic was a dictator. 2) He was a Serb nationalist. 3) He was responsible for the break-up of Yugoslavia. 4) His 1989 speech at Kosovo Polje was a nationalist rant that inflamed ancient ethnic hatreds. 5) He started four wars. 6) He was responsible for the massacre at Srebrenica 7) He ordered a systematic programme of ethnic cleansing in Kosovo. 8) He was toppled by a “democratic revolution” in 2000. 9) The trial at The Hague had produced evidence of his guilt. 10) He will be mourned by “only a few”. How many do you think are true? Seven, eight- all of them? The answer is zero. Every single statement is untrue” at https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2006/mar/21/tenquestionsonslobodanmilo , and there is the News Article Titled: The Demonization of Slobodan Milosevic at http://www.michaelparenti.org/Milosevic.html , and it says: “There is no better example of the tireless demonization of the Democratically Elected President Slobodan Milosevic, and of the American supported wars against Yugoslavia”, and the Bribed and Corrupt Media continue to Lie to this day, even though they Knew that it was a Lie way back in 1999, and America created and Funded the Sham court known as the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia or ICTY, and this Sham court Whitewashes America’s Crimes and Acquits America’s Guilty Accomplices and Wrong Convicts Innocent Serbs, and it is merely another manifestation of the Criminal American Establishment and its Puppets.

    America is doing the same thing to the Democratically Elected Legitimate President of Syria, and America and its Allies like Israel want the continued Balkanization of Syria, where the initial Balkanization of Syria began with Israel Illegally Occupying the Golan Heights, which Belongs to the United Nations Recognized Country of Syria.

    There are Countries near Syria who have Kurdish minorities that have Concerns that the American led attempt to Balkanize Syria may spread to the surrounding Countries, and Turkey has mentioned Concerns regarding that, because America wants to create a Country of Kurdistan on Syrian Territory, and there are thousands of Ethnic Groups, and Only appropriately 200 Countries in the World.

    We Know that the European Union was created to Prevent Balkanization, but the European Union became a Puppet of America who has a Policy of Balkanization of Countries, and that explains the European Union and the former Yugoslavia, and the European Union was created for the Advancement of Peace and Reconciliation, Democracy, and Human Rights in Europe.

    America has No legal or legitimate right to be in Syria, and America has Illegally attacked the Syrian Army who are Mandated to Defend Syrians against Enemies of the Syrian State and against Terrorists, and All People have the Human Right to Self Defense under International Law, and America is promoting Divisions between the Kurdish People of Syria and the Syrian Arabs, and America is doing this with promises of creating a Country of Kurdistan on Syrian Territory, whereas the Kurds are Syrian Citizens, and as such they should Not act as proxy for a Foreign Aggressor, and these Countries are mainly Britain and America, and America created their Secret Ally of ISIS as an Excuse to be in Syria, and ISIS along with the Kurds who want to create their own Country to be built on Syria’s Territory along with other Terrorists are America’s coalition partners in Syria, and this action of promoting Divisions among the different Ethnic Groups in Syria by America also Constitutes War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity, and Genocide, and People can follow the Syrian War and how the Syrian People are Defending themselves at the South Front Website at https://southfront.org/ , and the Establishment Democrats and the Establishment Republicans would Never want to Impeach any President for committing Genocide, because that goes against Every Fiber of their Evil Bodies.

    America’s Illegal and Immoral War in Syria has caused Many Syrian People to become Refugees from Syria, and they had to seek Temporary Asylum in Europe, and there could be Terrorists claiming to be Refugees, and the Syrian Government has asked European Countries for some assistance to Resettle Syrian Refugees back to Syria so that they can Rebuild their Country.

    • Gregory Herr
      June 19, 2017 at 6:32 pm

      It’s good of you to stand up for the Syrian people, for what is right, and for Truth.

  31. June 20, 2017 at 8:05 pm

    As that great American statesman and General, Yogi Berra, advised, “When you come to a crossroads, take it.” Our leaders haven’t just come to a fork in the road, they’re dissembling with forked tongues.

  32. Michael Kenny
    June 24, 2017 at 11:15 am

    As is clear from the article, Putin is the centrepiece of all this. US-backed forces are not, properly speaking “cut off at Al-Tanf”: they can always move back to Jordan. Precisely that is the strength of the US position in Syria and Putin’s weakness. Putin is at Trump’s mercy. As the foreign backer of the guerrillas, the US can turn the war on and off like a tap. Putin is stuck. By backing Assad, Putin has left himself no way out. From now on, he sinks or swims with Assad. Even if the fighting dies down, he has to be permanently on his guard for fear that it might start up again. He has to prepare for precisely the hypothesis that Mr Lazare mentions: that an increasingly cornered Trump, in desperate need of a war to validate his presidency, might decide to escalate the war in Syria, the only war he has any real chance of winning and the only war that will kill Russiagate stone dead (which may well be the real point of Russiagate in the first place!). Any other war will be interpreted as an attempt to divert attention away from Putin and will reinforce Russiagate as, indeed, will be any refusal to fight Putin in Syria.

  33. mark
    June 25, 2017 at 10:44 am

    US policy is so incoherent that they can achieve nothing but further mayhem that rebounds on them. The Pentagon, CIA, State Dept. and the rest are all pursuing contradictory policies supporting their own pet terrorist groups that are fighting with one another like rats in a sack. Then add snakes like Erdogan, Netanyahu, and the Sheikhs of Araby to this witches brew and give it a good stir. What could possibly go wrong? Cue another rip roaring foreign policy triumph for Trumpenstein and the U$A.

    This will continue for years – Syria/ Yemen/ Iraq/ Lebanon/ Palestine/ Afghanistan/ Libya/ Sudan/ nuclear armed Pakistan and their Indian friends/ Egypt and the tottering Gulf Dictatorships, all swirling round in the witches cauldron with assorted other jokers in the pack yet to come. Until one day it reaches a critical mass and ends in a big nuclear Gotterdammerung. Till then just sit back and enjoy the show (if you can steer clear of the refugee invasions and jihadi bombings.)

  34. mark
    June 25, 2017 at 11:35 am

    Syria will be seen by future generations as the Stalingrad of the Middle East, where US Aggression and Western Imperialism were finally turned back and broken, albeit at terrible cost. The Syrian Arab Army and their allies will be seen as the true heroes they are, fighting for all humanity against a tidal wave of barbaric terrorism created and orchestrated by US criminal neocon filth. They have thrown the kitchen sink at Syria and failed – tens of thousands of imported jihadi head choppers, tens of billions in transporting, arming and training terror groups, the most hysterical propaganda campaign of demonization and vilification in modern times, and now direct military invention in support of their pet terrorists. All this has failed. It is a busted flush. They stated openly that they would destroy Syria in a few months at the most. Now after 6 years they are running around like clueless headless chickens. This is like a rerun of February 1943 and the surrender at Stalingrad. Russia was supposed to be defeated in 6 weeks. In 1943, after millions of casualties and military disasters, there was nowhere to go. All Hitler could do was blame any convenient scapegoats and try to stave off defeat as long as possible. The results of the Syrian disaster will be like ripples in a pond. A catastrophic blow to the prestige and credibility of the people who engineered all this. The creation of a resolute alliance that cannot be defeated – Russia, China, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Hezbollah, like the coalition that destroyed Hitler, and the survival of all those (targeted) countries as independent states. The complete destabilisation of US satellites and satraps, particularly Turkey and the Gulf dictatorships, and with it the US position in the area. The example this sets to all other countries seen as prey by the neocons that they can resist and survive US aggression. Ultimately US Aggression has to be broken in the same way as Nazi Aggression. Then America too, like modern Germany, can become a normal state and international citizen contributing to the global community instead of preying upon humanity.

  35. gordon
    June 25, 2017 at 11:58 pm

    Alas Babylon

Comments are closed.