US Risks Wider War by Downing Syrian Plane

Another U.S. military strike inside Syria — this time, shooting down a Syrian bomber — has escalated tensions with Russia, even opening the possibility that Russian anti-aircraft missiles will target U.S. warplanes, reports Gilbert Doctorow.

By Gilbert Doctorow

The Pentagon’s announcement that the U.S. military had shot down a Syrian warplane inside Syrian territory merited only inside-the-paper treatment at The New York Times and The Washington Post on Monday, but it became the featured article on the Russian version of Google News citing a Moscow newspaper reporting a warning from Russia’s Federation Council that “the USA can receive a return blow in Syria.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin answering questions from Russian citizens at his annual Q&A event on April 14, 2016. (Russian government photo)

The article in Moskovsky Komsomolets and several similar accounts in other leading Russian print media recounted the warning issued by the Deputy Chairman of the Committee on International Affairs in Russia’s upper house, Vladimir Jabarov, that the shoot-down of the Syrian SU-22 bomber on Sunday by the U.S.-led coalition can lead to “a major conflict.” The Senator noted that Syrian air space is protected both by a Syrian operated S-300 ground to air defense system and by Russian-operated state-of-the-art S-400 missiles.

Jabarov called for diplomats of the interested parties to meet as soon as possible to discuss the incident. And he warned, in dark tones, that the plane’s destruction could lead to a return attack from the Syrian armed forces. The article also quotes the first deputy chairman of Russia’s Committee on Defense and Security in the upper chamber, Frants Klintsevich, describing the shoot-down as “a provocation directed against Russia.”

The Syrian government said its bomber was operating against Islamic State forces near Raqqa, though the U.S. coalition claimed Syrian forces and the plane had attacked rebels, called the Syrian Democratic Forces and operating under the guidance of U.S. Special Forces.

It perhaps should go without saying that under international law the Syrian government has the right to operate inside Syrian airspace and that the U.S. military has no legal right to have personnel inside Syria (since they lack the Syrian government’s permission) let alone to attack the Syrian military or its allied forces. Another curious feature about this situation is that the U.S. mainstream media sees nothing illegal or unusual about the U.S. military operating inside another country uninvited and shooting down government aircraft.

That assumption that the U.S. military has the right to intervene in any conflict of its choosing was reflected in the decision by the Times and Post to minimize coverage of the shoot-down of the Syrian bomber and accept uncritically the Pentagon’s explanation that the shoot-down was in response to Syrian government attacks on U.S.-backed forces. (The Wall Street Journal did lead its Monday’s print edition with a story about the shoot-down of the Syrian plane, but also acted as if the U.S. military was within its rights in doing so.)

Given the potential for a dangerous U.S. military showdown with Russia, whose forces have been invited into Syria by the internationally recognized government, the Kremlin initially tamped down concern about the clash. Russian state television on Sunday night and into Monday paid almost no attention to the shoot-down, apparently awaiting a decision on a suitable response to the American “provocation.”

That response came on Monday when the Russian military command once again declared that the deconflicting hotline between U.S.-allied and Russian forces on air movements over Syria has been severed. That is to say the Russians reinstated the response they made following Donald Trump’s Tomahawk missile attack on a Syrian air base in April. In effect, this Russian action halts all flights into the area from the U.S. aircraft carrier that launched the plane that shot down the Syrian bomber. In line with that decision, the Kremlin warned that all allied air operations near where the Russian air force is flying will be targeted and destroyed.

U.S. Reactions

Only then did The New York Times and The Washington Post begin to react to the seriousness of the confrontation. The former produced an analytical article entitled “Russia Warns U.S. After Downing of Syrian Warplane,” published Monday at its Web site. The Post did the same under the heading “Russia threatens to treat U.S. coalition aircraft as targets over Syria.”

Map of Syria.

These articles are unusual in one respect: they quote extensively from official Russian sources, including the accusation that the U.S. actions in Syria are in violation of international law. They also mention the dynamism of the Syrian armed forces in bringing the fight to the east of the country even if this means pushing against U.S.-assisted rebels.

What these newspapers do not explain is how and why the Syrian army has been energized to pursue national unification: namely it is the direct result of freeing up Syrian forces, which had been tied down in the west, through the implementation of “deconfliction” settlements that Iran, Turkey and Russia hammered out in the so-called Astana talks earlier this spring.  Those settlements never received U.S. approval, though Moscow hoped they would become a platform for a broader U.S.-Russian understanding regarding possible areas of cooperation before the first meeting between Presidents Putin and Trump.

Instead, the U.S. shoot-down of the Syrian bomber, the first direct U.S. attack on a Syrian aircraft in the six-year conflict, signals a return to the Pentagon’s actions undermining the accommodating policies of a U.S. president in Syria. Last September, when Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov reached agreement on a partial cease-fire in Syria with the support of President Obama, a U.S. air attack killing Syrian troops in the besieged eastern outpost of Deir Ezzor scuttled the arrangement.

Now it appears that the Pentagon may be sabotaging another possibility of accommodation between Putin and Trump by escalating the U.S. military intervention in Syria at a time when the Syrian government has been consolidating its control over large swaths of Syria. The latest clash also heightens the possibility that Russian air defenses may shoot down a U.S. warplane and push tensions to even a higher level.

Gilbert Doctorow is an independent political analyst based in Brussels. His latest book Does Russia Have a Future? was published in August 2015. His forthcoming book Does the United States Have a Future? will be published on 1 September 2017.

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95 comments for “US Risks Wider War by Downing Syrian Plane

  1. Onyenwe
    June 19, 2017 at 6:08 pm

    This is pure madness from the US led coalition. Imagine coming to another country uninvited and attacking the country’s Airforce? First it was the bombing of government forces position last year, next was the launching of Tomahawk strike in Syrian airfield and now this? Where the fuc***k is international law?

    • Kiza
      June 19, 2017 at 9:42 pm

      You appear to have sucked up propaganda on several points:
      1) there is no US-lead coalition, this is a propaganda phrase to convince domestics that US is not a lone aggressor (which it is),
      2) US has been at war against Syria since it started arming, training and inserting terrorists into Syria to do regime-change, which means that US started the Syrian “civil” war, and
      3) the shoot-down of a Syrian plane is just an open act of war, compared with the past covert although obvious acts of war.

      It is funny how the US military is now working on “de-escalating” the conflict. The same as when the US airforce killed 66 Syrian soldiers for the benefit of ISIS at Deir Ezzor to claim that it was a mistake (for which nobody was even reprimand), oops we killed ourselves some folks (the best proof that it was not a mistake was that that was the only set of sorties of which the Russians were not notified).

      Perhaps the Japanese mistake after Perl Harbor was that they did not “de-escalate”. US, not only the biggest bully then also the biggest bull generator on the planet.

      Someone will have to back-down in Syria, either Russia or US, or there will be a big war obviously.

    • Zachary Smith
      June 20, 2017 at 12:25 am

      Where the fuc***k is international law?

      Perhaps you haven’t gotten the word that the US of A is so good and pure the rules don’t apply to us.

      Ronald Reagan – we’re “the “shining city on a hill”
      Obama – American Exceptionalism!

      The only people in the world who can top the US in the “holiness” field is the little outhouse of a nation named Israel. No matter what that bunch does, “Exceptional America” gives them more money and doubles down on their protection in the UN and elsewhere.

      • Mike Lamb
        June 20, 2017 at 6:16 am

        Zachary Smith,

        It is not “American Exceptionalism!”

        It is

        “American Except U.S. ionalism”

  2. mike k
    June 19, 2017 at 6:14 pm

    Fools rush in…. I guess we are going to find out just how stupid and foolhardy the US military really is. These idiots seem to have the same delusional invulnerability that is a hallmark of American egotism. The forbearance of the Russian leadership seems to make them think that they can get away with anything

  3. Cal
    June 19, 2017 at 6:19 pm

    ” That assumption that the U.S. military has the right to intervene in any conflict of its choosing….”

    Eventually the US will learn the lesson of the fox.

    “A fox looked at his large shadow at sunrise and said, “I will have a camel for lunch today.” And all morning he went about looking for camels. But at noon he saw his smaller shadow and he said, “A mouse will do.”

    ? Kahlil Gibran,

    • David Smith
      June 19, 2017 at 7:56 pm

      Interesting, Kahil Gibran was Syrian.

      • Michael Laughlin
        June 20, 2017 at 1:19 am

        Gibran was from Lebanon, I believe.

      • David Smith
        June 20, 2017 at 10:19 am

        M.L. incorrect. Approximately, the territory of Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, State of Palestine, and zionist entity correspond to Mandate of Syria(1918) which corresponds to Ottoman Eyalet(province) of Syria(1517). Mandate Syria was to achieve independence as one nation but was illegally subdivided into Syria/Lebanon/Jordan/Palestine. Gibran was born in Ottoman Eyalet of Syria.

  4. Virginia
    June 19, 2017 at 7:05 pm

    I wish I agreed with the 3 posts above. I’m afraid it’s very calculated, what the US is doing, and there’s no telling where it will end up — but not good! It would be wonderful to think the US would learn a lesson.

    • Kiza
      June 19, 2017 at 9:49 pm

      Virginia, thanks for recognizing that Cal/David Smith is a sockpuppetry troll.

      • Bart in Virginia
        June 20, 2017 at 9:11 am

        Kiza, I’m guessing that the camel represents the Misha and the mouse Somalia.

  5. mike k
    June 19, 2017 at 7:18 pm

    The US military only knows how to make a mess, it doesn’t know how to clean one up. And the Commander in Chief? He really doesn’t have a clue how to handle the situation in Syria; so it is in the hands of our incompetent Generals. Now the real stakes of the game our deep state is playing are becoming more evident. Nuclear powers start shooting down each other’s planes? Why not just take out a carrier or two?

    • June 19, 2017 at 11:19 pm

      I’ve seen photos of our brave commander in the bad hairdoo leading parades when he was in military school. He had a really cool hat and uniform. Sh-t , doesn’t
      that count for anything?

  6. mike k
    June 19, 2017 at 7:21 pm

    Or how about Russia sending a bunch of their deadly cruise missiles to visit our largest military base outside the US in Qatar? That would take care of a lot of US planes, and quite a few of the 10,000 US troops stationed there.

    • David Smith
      June 19, 2017 at 8:39 pm

      Fortunately, the Russians are a lot smarter than you, mike k. Shooting down the Syrian jet is an irrelevant act. The pilot has been rescued by Syrian special forces. The SAA will reach Deir Ezzor and then ISIS is finished east of Euphrates. The SAA will cross the Euphrates to the Iraqi border, then Syria and Turkey will give the Kurds an offer they can’t refuse.

  7. mike k
    June 19, 2017 at 7:25 pm

    Once the shooting starts, it is really hard to get it under control. Better not to start it. Does disarmament begin to make sense?

  8. mike k
    June 19, 2017 at 7:28 pm

    Those who destroy peace are criminally insane.

  9. June 19, 2017 at 8:28 pm

    Will the “Wider War “ become a Nuclear War?
    ——————————————————————-
    When the Nukes Start Flying

    When the nuclear missiles start flying
    The result will be many millions dying
    Planet earth will be all aflame
    Nothing will ever be the same

    “Our leaders” will be hiding in their safe quarters
    Hoping to escape the deadly horrors
    Mad men of the earth who caused this fiery hell
    “ Honourable” idiots with nothing left to sell

    Useless scumbags in a now useless world
    Their “victory” dreams are now fulfilled
    Now they have nowhere to run or go
    The stupid bastards now reap what they sow

    Sadly, many innocent people will also suffer and die
    Victims of the madmen who sent hellfire from the sky
    Hell on earth becomes the final solution
    Courtesy of maniacs who pay no restitution

    This is what happens when war criminals rule
    And people obey these bloody fools!
    A corrupt system brings death and dying
    This is what happens when the Nukes start flying

    [more info at link below]

    http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2015/02/when-nukes-start-flying.html

    • mike k
      June 19, 2017 at 9:06 pm

      Thanks Stephen.

    • Lee Francis
      June 20, 2017 at 5:08 am

      I suppose that in the age of total war, there may be some consolation, namely that all the armchair warriors will get theirs along with the rest of us. As George Orwell once put it: ”It will be gratifying at least to see a Jingoist with a bullet hole in him.”

      During the First World War on the western front British solidiers, as a result of being under the hammer from German artillery, coined an amusing little song. As follows:

      ”Hush, here comes a whizz-bang
      Hush, here comes a whizz-bang
      Come on you solider boys
      Get down those stairs
      Into your dug-outs
      And say your prayers

      Hush, here comes a whizz-bang
      And its headed straight for you
      And you’ll see all the wonders of No-mans land
      When that whizz-bank hits you”.

      Now here is my updated version:

      ”Hush here comes an RS28 Szarmat ICBM
      Hush here comes an RS28 Szarmat ICBM
      Come on you neo-cons
      Get down those stairs
      into your fall-out shelter
      And say your prayers

      Hush, here comes an RS28 Szarmat ICBM
      And its headed straight for you
      And you’ll see all the wonders of the nuclear holocaust
      When the RS28 Szarmat hits you.”

      It’s called gallows humour!

    • Mike Lamb
      June 20, 2017 at 6:19 am

      After the nukes start landing it will not be reported from the hole in the ground of the former CNN headquarters in the former city of Atlanta, Georgia.

  10. Stiv
    June 19, 2017 at 8:48 pm

    Please, quick…another Parry article on “fake news”! Rome will burn in the meantime…

    • Sharon Crane
      June 20, 2017 at 12:22 am

      TROLL!!

  11. Drew Hunkins
    June 19, 2017 at 8:51 pm

    The reason the Washington militarists can carry out such provocative and deeply irresponsible and destabilizing acts is because the domestic population has absolutely no conceptual framework to work with.

    The Western establishment mass media have hoodwinked and bamboozled tens of millions of US citizens as to who’s wearing the white hats in Syria — many of these tens of millions are otherwise decent liberal-minded, peace loving folks.

    Despite all that they’ve read and heard, the Kremlin and Damascus are fighting the good fight against the Salafist-Wahabbi terrorists (most of whom are foreign mercenaries) who are being funded and supported by the Washington Zio-Saudi Terror Network. This is simply too much cognitive dissonance for tens of millions of educated Americans to wrap their heads around.

    Until the Western public comes to understand that the hegemonic and sociopathic Washington Zio-Saudi Terror Network has tons and tons of blood dripping off their hands nothing is going to change except for the hands of the Atomic Doomsday Clock, which will move another minute toward Armageddon.

    • Dave P.
      June 19, 2017 at 10:14 pm

      Drew: You wrote, “The Western Establishment and mass media have hoodwinked and bamboozled tens of millions of U.S. Citizens. . . . – many of these tens of millions are otherwise decent. liberal-minded peace-loving force.” You are one hundred percent right. My wife is one of them. I came into the house from an errand and my wife was watching Judy Woodruff today with two usual suspects (of Middle Eastern decent) as guests, one from Atlantic Council, putting a spin on this downing of Syrian Jet’ blaming the Syrian Regime as they call it. CNN, MSNBC, and PBS is her total source for the real and true news.
      War is coming, and they are busy preparing the public for it.

      The people in the West will only understand when the moment of Nuclear Annihilation comes close to being a reality. They are going to be in the streets of London, Paris, and Berlin in Millions protesting. They do not want to die. They have too much of this good life going here on Earth. Having lived here almost fifty two years now, I know them too well. My wife does not want to die either. She is going to in the front with her banner to stop the Wars we are waging.

      I have come to realize, explaining to them about the dangers of these wars leading to nuclear wars, is exercise in futility.

      • Dave P.
        June 19, 2017 at 10:22 pm

        A correction to above comments: ” . . . peace-loving folks.”

        • Drew Hunkins
          June 19, 2017 at 11:49 pm

          The dreadful groupthink has permeated everything. It’s actually causing strain on family and personal relations in some quarters.

          It reminds me of the classic film, ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers.’

          • Dave P.
            June 20, 2017 at 12:14 am

            Drew: One just have to ignore it, and keep on living. I wrote, because to make sense of what you wrote very accurately, one has to give some concrete examples. All this shows is, how this propaganda on TV has brainwashed millions of people in U.S. starting with when they were young. Here in U.S. , they have been doing this brainwashing so effectively, that by this standard, the Soviet Union was just a neophyte. U.S. deserves a Nobel Prize in this Art. And I do think, that the way the things are going, those “Very Advanced and Civilized Scandinavians” are going to set up a Nobel Prize in such an important Art. In Gore Vidal’s words : Do not underestimate the Scandinavian Wit.

          • backwardsevolution
            June 20, 2017 at 2:58 am

            Dave P. – “U.S. deserves a Nobel Prize in this Art.” No kidding! They are the masters. Nobody else comes close to their deviousness.

    • Gregory Herr
      June 19, 2017 at 10:21 pm

      Drew, your explanation is probably as good as any…people are hoodwinked and bamboozled by what they read and hear. But haven’t so-called educated people been given too much of a free pass on this? It doesn’t take much sentience, curiosity, or initiative to begin to figure a few things out. Vietnam (Cambodia and Laos) was an abomination, much has been written about American/CIA subterfuge and horror shows in Central and South America, the assassinations of JFK, RFK, and MLK stink to high heaven, and the results of the invasion of Iraq should be a pretty good indication to people that something is amiss in “what they’ve been told.” The history of the past 50 years are full of red flags.
      Let’s use Bill Maher as an example. He thinks he’s knowledgeable because he reads the papers and parts of 3 or 4 books a year…plus he talks politics. Yet he consistently exhibits little real comptehension about anything in real time, past or present. But he’s comfortable and gets to party a lot and yuk it up with people who don’t do much challenging thinking. And that’s as far as it goes with him. And that’s all too typical.
      Some people are reflexively suspicious of state-sanctioned violence and question it always, and some people rationalize it. I’m not making much of an inroad towards understanding the phenomena of the lazy group-think enveloping so much of what people repeat to themselves…it’s beyond me. I know you’re not “excusing” anything or anyone in particular Drew, but I can’t excuse people for buying into the garbage of television and newspapers anymore.

      • Drew Hunkins
        June 19, 2017 at 11:45 pm

        You make many valid and adroit points Mr. Herr. The masses do indeed share some of the intellectual and moral responsibility to seek answers and knowledge.

        Regarding Maher, don’t forget that he’s always been a reliable Islamophobe.

        • Gregory Herr
          June 20, 2017 at 4:37 am

          Such an endearing quality to many I suppose. Right you should bring it up because the way he has hammered away at it is what turned me toward the disgust I feel now.
          About “cognitive dissonance” …it is a good point you raise… don’t we all have to experience degrees of it from time to time as part of the natural process of growing up? If some of the assumptions of what we think to be true were never shaken up a bit, we wouldn’t evolve or grow. Reality isn’t intended to make us comfortable with ourselves all the time. The worldview I’ve come to develop has involved painful processes and admissions of much that I’d prefer weren’t true…the cookie crumbles but we have to eat it anyway.

      • Brad Owen
        June 20, 2017 at 4:36 am

        People here in USA have been carefully groomed to be casually amoral and self-absorbed, and powerless (the whole reason for the God is dead meme in the sixties). This is thanks to the Congress of Cultural Freedom(CCF). The Synarchists have been busy making the World safe for universal fascism, and after their fiasco in WWII, they realized that they first must secure USA for their cause to be successfully carried out, hence the rat lines into USA in the post-war period. Only The battlefield operatives were defeated in WWII, not the boardroom architects in the finance capitals of the western world. USA has been their primary target since the late forties and much effort has been put in to brainwashing Americans and keeping their wicked efforts below the threshold of alarm. This from EIR website search box.

      • Nancy
        June 20, 2017 at 9:17 am

        A lot of my relatives are the same way. They read the NYT and watch PBS and listen to NPR and actually think they are the best-informed folks around! They are very comfortable and smug about their view of the world, so don’t you dare try to question or challenge them about the obvious hypocrisy and contradictions of the liberal media. It is all so discouraging.

      • June 20, 2017 at 4:35 pm

        Yes, the intellectual class (or liberal class as Hedges would say) is the chief culprit of our current malaise. They pretend to be skeptical and/or open minded but they are as rigidly fundamentalist as any Christian sect. And you hit the nail on the head–the evidence against the official story on JFK, RFK and MLK is so obvious that only people who are not trained in history or logic could possibly believe the almost humorous narratives presented to us by the authorities. But this problem with the American intellectual class extends to almost all areas of knowledge and learning. I used to talk to a lot or intellectuals and academics and find them more narrow minded and uncivilized than the average person. I used to think Bill Buckley was an idiot when he said he’d rather be ruled by the first hundred names in the Boston phone book than the entire Harvard faculty but at least today I agree with him 100%.

    • June 20, 2017 at 10:22 am

      Fortunately, while I think your comment is on point and excellent, things are changing. Two years ago I was banned from Naked Capitalism (who at the time were trying to “normalize” discussions there so they would be acceptable to the WH who Yves falsely believed were interested in any left-wing discourse) for mentioning the term “Deep State” and when I defended my position I was dumped. Today “Deep State” is regularly mentioned all over the place and that term, in my view, makes all the difference in the world among an increasing percentage of the population. I think that, at this point, some sunlight is entering the collective conceptual framework of many Americans even on the left (it seems more prevalent on the alt-right for obvious reasons).

      Currently we are in a historical period of rapid dissolution. The Deep State itself is deeply divided into many factions and shifting alliances. Chaos reigns in Washington and even the Germans are questioning Washington’s leadership. Reform or revolution only comes after the establishment is thoroughly discredited by most people even in an oligarchy like the USA.

  12. Lois Gagnon
    June 19, 2017 at 8:53 pm

    To say that US misleadership is criminally insane would be a gross understatement. Not a single member of this club has the character and emotional stability to make decisions effecting the whole planet. What kind of system promotes its least qualified people to run it?

    • Cal
      June 20, 2017 at 2:00 pm

      ” To say that US misleadership is criminally insane would be a gross understatement. ”>>>

      To attain Neo/Zio and all other Evil leadership positions you must have the genetically acquired Dark Triad traits.

      The dark triad is a subject in psychology that focuses on three personality traits: narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy.[1][2][3][4] Use of the term “dark” implies that people possessing these traits have malevolent qualities.[5][6][7][8]
      Research on the dark triad is used in applied psychology, especially within the fields of law enforcement, clinical psychology and business management. People scoring high on these traits are more likely to commit crimes, cause social distress and create severe problems for an organization, especially if they are in leadership positions (for more information, see psychopathy, narcissism, and Machiavellianism in the workplace).
      All three dark triad traits are conceptually distinct although empirical evidence shows them to be overlapping. They are associated with a callous-manipulative interpersonal style.[9]
      Narcissism is characterized by grandiosity, pride, egotism, and a lack of empathy.[10]
      Machiavellianism is characterized by manipulation and exploitation of others, a cynical disregard for morality, and a focus on self-interest and deception.[11]
      Psychopathy is characterized by continuing antisocial behavior, impulsivity, selfishness, callousness, and remorselessness.[12]

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_triad

      • Lois Gagnon
        June 20, 2017 at 6:04 pm

        Thanks for the link. I’ll come back a little later and check it out.

      • Lois Gagnon
        June 20, 2017 at 7:33 pm

        Interesting read. How do we prevent people with these traits from obtaining positions of power before they get us all killed?

      • Joe Average
        June 22, 2017 at 7:07 am

        Thank you for that useful information.

        I would like to add some additional input. I’ll skip adding links, because the information is quickly retrieved from most search engines by simply using the name of the respective experiment as search term. The teacher Ron Jones used a hands-on approach (1967) to teach his students how the Nazi Party could get such a momentum in Germany. The story of The Third Wave experiment was adapted into a film and a novel in 1981. A few years prior to the experiment of Ron Jones, Stanley Milgram conducted an experiment in order to research obedience (and ethics). The Milgram experiment also was adapeted into a move with the title The Tenth Level. In 1971 Philip Zimbardo conducted the Stanford prison experiment. Similar to the experiment of Ron Jones, which had to be ended because it was going out of control, one participant of Zimbardo’s experiment ended his involvement ahead of time. Finally Solomon Asch showed with his research (Asch conformity experiments; starting in 1951) the effects of a group onto a single person.

        If someone considers the findings of the aforementioned experiments and thinks about the willful decision to put people with Dark Triad traits into positions of power / authority, then it’s easy to imagine what the possible outcome might be. Another quite scary aspect I stumbled across a few years ago is that US law enforcement has a set maximum IQ limit for applicants. The official line of reasoning is that people with an IQ higher than the limit may get bored too easily and leave to pursue more promising career paths. My personal take on the whole situation is that those in power want obedient servants who don’t question orders.

  13. June 19, 2017 at 8:56 pm

    Good article at link below: US and its “allies” in Syria “Illegally”
    —————————————————————–
    Why Are We Attacking the Syrians Who Are Fighting ISIS?
    Written by Ron Paul
    Monday June 12, 2017
    http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/june/12/why-are-we-attacking-the-syrians-who-are-fighting-isis/

  14. June 19, 2017 at 9:13 pm

    Here is a link below with sources that show illegal wars were planned by those in power.
    http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2016/10/the-evidence-of-planning-of-wars.html

  15. Tristan
    June 19, 2017 at 11:18 pm

    This article is a fine vehicle to further understanding of the present situation in Syria. Now again the U.S. has acted unilaterally, illegally, and criminally in the eyes of international law concerning the sovereignty of nations. This action is directly in support of anti
    Syrian government forces is blatant and obvious for what it is, an illegal attack.

    Consider if possible a reversal of such into a scenario where anyone, (who?), attacks in similar circumstances “friends and allies” of the U.S.? Where and how would that be the case? Where are forces capable of resisting the U.S. empire and if they are capable would they initiate such aggressive actions where the threat of much wider conflict could well be the result?

    Wonders abound in this first quarter of the new century. Yet they are not of a nature which inspires true awe, no, we witness spectacle presented as policy. All while the Queens of the military chessboard are unleashed due to incompetence of civilian leadership, a sign of the degradation of democracy, a democracy that is now more an name in the U.S. it like the human appendix, acknowledged, yet relegated to a “quaint” and ineffectual appendage. Only to be dealt with when it is offending, and then it is cut out.

  16. Zachary Smith
    June 20, 2017 at 12:03 am

    I’m beginning to wonder what actually happened with theSU-22 shoot-down. At first all I heard was that the evil Syrians were bombing America’s “pet terrorists”, and since we had sworn to protect them, it was time to call in the F-18s.

    Now I’m reading other things like this from the UK Guardian International edition.

    But the Pentagon insisted it was not seeking to escalate the conflict and had acted only after the Syrian jet in question had dropped bombs near US partner forces involved in the fight to wrest Raqqa from Isis control.

    “It’s important to point out that the incident that took place this weekend followed a combined arms movement by pro-regime forces. Subsequently, an SU [Russian-made Syrian regime] aircraft flew into the area,” Dunford said.

    Is this all that happened – a Syrian Air Force plane wandered into an area of Syria which the US had declared off-limits?

    From the US Stars and Stripes site:

    The Pentagon said Sunday’s strike against the Syrian fighter-bomber — a first in the six-year-old conflict in that country — was done to protect U.S.-backed troops on the ground who were under threat from the aircraft.

    Again, the strong hint that the good US terrorists weren’t actually harmed by the Syrian aircraft.

    There is either some incredibly crappy news reporting happening, or the US is throwing out different stories in all directions.

    Speaking of reporting, either Google News is suppressing any and all comments on this incident from Trump, my two Indiana Senators, and my solitary congressman, or those people are using lip glue. My searches didn’t locate a single instance of any of them saying a thing about the story.

    What the devil is going on in the heads of these people?

    • Realist
      June 20, 2017 at 3:20 am

      Moon of Alabama describes what all the players were trying to do in Northeastern Syria when this shoot-down occurred:

      http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/47273.htm

      Lots of accompanying maps in this one showing all the forces and their movements. Basically, Syria controls the major cities and ISIS seems to control the roads between them, laying siege to them and receiving many recent reinforcements from terrorists being given free passage from Mosul and Al-Raqqa by the US.

      In short, the SAA was trying to relieve the besieged city of Deir Ezzor, a key stronghold in the Northeast, by pushing well south of Al-Raqqa and north from Palmyra. To get there a couple of smaller cities held by ISIS had to be taken and were, probably involving the downed jet, but there was no attack on Kurdish or American troops anywhere near Al-Raqqa. The excuse for the shoot-down of the jet by the US was totally fabricated bullshit (as if Washington has any valid reason for being in country whatsoever). It was to stop the advance of the SAA on Deir Ezzor because Washington is still trying to effect regime change. In my opinion, it was also probably to send a message to Russia that the USA is taking control of the skies–no invitation from Syria or Russia needed. The bogus “deconfliction zones” are simply a repackaging of Hillary’s “no fly zones.” So, it’s ball in Russia’s court. Russia can either take no action and allow its allies to be decimated, or it can go tit-for-tat and risk an escalation by Washington until the countries are lobbing nukes at one another. Frankly, it seems that the latter is what Washington wants. It does not give a damn about human life, not even that of its own citizens. It is counting on the humanity of the “evil” Vladimir Putin to back down.

    • Realist
      June 20, 2017 at 3:31 am

      Okay, apparently my post got moderated for including a URL. Here it is without…

      Moon of Alabama describes what all the players were trying to do in Northeastern Syria when this shoot-down occurred:

      (Go look the article up at Information Clearing House)

      Lots of accompanying maps in this one showing all the forces and their movements. Basically, Syria controls the major cities and ISIS seems to control the roads between them, laying siege to them and receiving many recent reinforcements from terrorists being given free passage from Mosul and Al-Raqqa by the US.

      In short, the SAA was trying to relieve the besieged city of Deir Ezzor, a key stronghold in the Northeast, by pushing well south of Al-Raqqa and north from Palmyra. To get there a couple of smaller cities held by ISIS had to be taken and were, probably involving the downed jet, but there was no attack on Kurdish or American troops anywhere near Al-Raqqa. The excuse for the shoot-down of the jet by the US was totally fabricated bullshit (as if Washington has any valid reason for being in country whatsoever). It was to stop the advance of the SAA on Deir Ezzor because Washington is still trying to effect regime change. In my opinion, it was also probably to send a message to Russia that the USA is taking control of the skies–no invitation from Syria or Russia needed. The bogus “deconfliction zones” are simply a repackaging of Hillary’s “no fly zones.” So, it’s ball in Russia’s court. Russia can either take no action and allow its allies to be decimated, or it can go tit-for-tat and risk an escalation by Washington until the countries are lobbing nukes at one another. Frankly, it seems that the latter is what Washington wants. It does not give a damn about human life, not even that of its own citizens. It is counting on the humanity of the “evil” Vladimir Putin to back down.

      • backwardsevolution
        June 20, 2017 at 4:06 am

        Realist – “It is counting on the humanity of the ‘evil’ Vladimir Putin to back down.” Yes, they keep pushing his buttons, keep pretending they made a mistake, but how long can Putin keep turning the other cheek? If Putin acts, he will be seen as the aggressor, but if he doesn’t act, they’ll be marching into Moscow and knocking on his front door. Bastards!

  17. Kozmo
    June 20, 2017 at 12:51 am

    The US media persists in referring to the “Syrian regime”, as if it is not a legitimate government. Our press always says “regime” when it seeks to demonize an enemy. So Americans are obviously expected to toe the line and regard the entire world as under our hegemony except where it is resisted by “regime” terrorists or such like.

    • mike k
      June 20, 2017 at 7:47 am

      Right. Only those who bow down to the American Empire are validated. Those not submitting must be demonized and destroyed. Standard operating procedure for Empires throughout history.

    • Nancy
      June 20, 2017 at 9:25 am

      They also like to refer to their leaders as “strongmen” or the extremely juvenile “bad guys.”

  18. Ludmila
    June 20, 2017 at 2:38 am

    Admiring the independence and honesty of the journalists of the Consortium. We are very worried about the situation in Syria and the relations between the USA and Russia. I’m 100% sure that there isn’t a single person in our country who wants any conflict between
    our countries.American polititians ought to know history better.
    Stephen’s anti-war poem is beautiful.
    With great respect and love from Russia
    Lucy

    • Realist
      June 20, 2017 at 3:28 am

      Appreciate the sentiments, Ludmila. Most American PEOPLE love you back.

      I find it absolutely surreal how much Russia loves its leader (Vladimir Putin) and how much America has loathed its president, whether Bush, Obama or Trump. Which country seems to be on the wrong track?

    • mike k
      June 20, 2017 at 7:49 am

      Thanks Lucy. Russians are always welcome here. Not everybody in America demonizes Russia.

    • Dave P.
      June 20, 2017 at 11:34 am

      Ludmila: It feels good to hear from you. Thanks for your thoughtful words. There are many here who love your people, and your culture.

      With best wishes – Dave

  19. June 20, 2017 at 3:33 am

    The Foreign Ministers of the BRICS nations met in Beijing Monday in a meeting emphasizing unity to respect Syria’s sovereign and territorial authority, as set out in UN Security Council Resolution 2254. They also urged in the meeting that the US engage in talks to further joint actions against ISIS, by which they are saying that the unilateral actions of the US are counterproductive because of noncooperation. This is reported on Russia Insider. They will meet on July 10 in Astana for further talks.

    From the same site another article states the Pentagon Joint Chiefs have met to change their plans once they got the ultimatum from Russia that Russia does not take this action lightly and have dropped the deconfliction zones. US military planes will be in jeopardy if they try another trick like that one again.

    • venice12
      June 20, 2017 at 6:26 am

      Anybody heard or read s.th. from the so called commander-in-chief regarding the incident? Obviously he is commenting only on whats really important.

  20. hans meyer
    June 20, 2017 at 3:55 am

    The potential problem I see with the Kerry’s episode and this one is that of a pentagone that acts for its own interest
    and would be ready to sabotage executive orders. With so many actors behind that kind of a aggressive policy, it is
    difficult to know if it is effectively the case – but if it is, it does not bode well for the future.

    • mike k
      June 20, 2017 at 7:57 am

      When there is no effective central control, government falls apart, and actors do as they see fit. When Trump realized that he didn’t have a clue how to operate in the complex field of international affairs, he threw up his hands and turned it all over to a few crazy generals. I think he had a dim sense that the US ultimately tries to conduct most international affairs by force and threat, so why not unleash the dogs of war to make America great again?

  21. backwardsevolution
    June 20, 2017 at 4:35 am

    Tucker Carlson interviewed Charles Krauthammer, who spelled out that within six months to a year ISIS will be finished, and that both the U.S. and Russia know this. The fight now is on who will get the spoils. He said, “It is like the last year of World War II, we are all fighting the Nazis, but we know that they’re finished. A lot of the maneuvering in that last year was between us and the Soviet side for what it would look like after the Nazis were finished.”

    Then he goes on to say that, “The Iranians want to inherit the territory that’s going to be lost by ISIS, and they showed that by launching rockets today over Iraq and into Syria, ostensibly at ISIS in retaliation for the terror attacks, but really a demonstration to Saudi Arabia, the Sunni Arabs and everybody in the region of their reach. The Iranian objective is to inherit the territory of ISIS, which gives them control of the entire northern part of the Middle East, from Iran, through Iraq, through Syria to the Mediterranean. The Persians have not had that in 2,000 years and it is within their grasp. So the Russians, the Iranians and the Syrian regime are all on one side, and the maneuver is to make sure they get the territory that ISIS loses. Our interest is to make sure that doesn’t happen. That’s why we attacked…..

    Our objective is simple: we don’t want to see Assad have a puppet regime which will be run by Iran and Russia in control of all of Syria. We don’t want them to inherit the ISIS territory. We would like to see that held by pro-Western/pro-Saudi/Sunni forces. One settlement would be that you’d get a rump regime in Damascus running the west side of Syria essentially, whereas the middle of Syria is controlled by the rebels. That is a far more advantageous, strategic ending to all of this. This I think is pretty high level chess.”

    He ends up saying that for Assad to try to control all of Syria now would mean perpetual war, and that’s not in the Russian interest. In other words, the U.S. would keep up the war until they broke the Russians – again! The U.S. want a settlement whereby Assad gets half a country.

    I always like to watch Tucker Carlson’s expressions; they often say more than when he opens his mouth. It starts at the 29:00 minute mark.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M54WG0kEHC8

    • Gregory Herr
      June 20, 2017 at 5:03 am

      Krauthammer, to put it politely, is full of shit. The pretzels of rationalization these cats twist and the webs of deceit they weave are stupefying.

      • Dave P.
        June 20, 2017 at 1:50 pm

        Krauthammer, Wolfowitz, Kristol, Kagan . . . are the problem America has, bigger than ISIS. These are the people who were behind the scene . . . collaborators which led to the creation of ISIS. There are no appropriate words to describe, how completely the American people have lost control of all the levers of the Government, Media, and Finance. In fact, Americans have lost control of their country, their own destiny. We know who controls the Country now. There are simply not voices to stop this.

      • backwardsevolution
        June 20, 2017 at 2:22 pm

        Gregory – yeah, what a guy that Krauthammer is! He says everything so nonchalantly, as if everything is a given. “Full of shit” is right.

        • Dave P.
          June 20, 2017 at 4:31 pm

          Watching them on TV, it is sickening to see the arrogance of these special people, as if they are the deciders (George W. Bush’s word!) of the events on the Planet.

  22. Brendan
    June 20, 2017 at 5:14 am

    The main reason that was given for the US-led coalition ignoring international law was that there was no effective Syrian government in large parts of eastern Syria. And if Assad won’t fight the head-chopping IS terrorists there, then we have do it ourselves, inside Syria, right?

    That excuse looks extremely weak now that Assad’s forces have recaptured huge areas of land from IS and have opened a corridor to the Iraqi border.

    As Gilbert Doctorow points out, that Syrian advance is only possible now after years of war because the Syrian army is no longer preoccupied with defending territory in the west with its overstretched resources. Populated areas like Homs and Aleppo were the top priority for a long time but they’ve now been liberated, allowing the army to concentrate on the east.

    It seems clear now that instead of fighting against IS, the US and its allies have been mainly trying to support it in order to weaken the Syrian government. Their anti-IS attacks have been carried out only to support the Kurds who have taken oven a large part of northern Syria from the control of the Damascus government.
    In the government-controlled areas, on the other hand, IS are free to move around to attack government forces.

    Up until now, the US strategy in eastern Syria has been just to do nothing to stop IS. The shooting down of the Syrian fighter jet is a serious escalation because it supports IS by preventing Syrian airstrikes against it.

  23. Brendan
    June 20, 2017 at 6:10 am

    “Another curious feature about this situation is that the U.S. mainstream media sees nothing illegal or unusual about the U.S. military operating inside another country uninvited and shooting down government aircraft.”

    Unfortunately the same is true outside the US as well. I don’t think I’ve seen any mainstream western journalist questioning the legality of the American military presence in Syria.

    On rare occasions, the violation of Syria’s sovereignty gets mentioned in passing, but only as a quote from the Russians or Syrians, who are presented as being biased. For example, when the Russian Ministry of Defence highlighted this violation of international law following the shooting down of the Syrian warplane, the BBC’s defence and diplomatic correspondent, Jonathan Marcus described this as “the usual rhetoric”.
    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-40329036

    Near the top of the same article in the second sentence, the BBC reported the US-led coalition’s claim that “the Syrian Su-22 had bombed US-backed fighters battling so-called Islamic State in Raqqa province.” The coalition’s version of events is reported in detail later in the piece. In contrast, the Syrian side of the story (that their warplane was on a mission to bomb IS at the time) only gets mentioned briefly in a single sentence near the end.

    • mike k
      June 20, 2017 at 8:08 am

      The Empire’s propaganda is meant to normalize and disguise it’s numerous violations of international law and human morality, so that they become unquestioned. The basic narrative is that we are always right and good, so whatever we do that violates ethical norms must actually be serving a higher purpose, which makes such norms irrelevant. The end justifies the illegal means. Black ops are a necessary evil that serves a higher purpose. Or more simply – Anything goes!

  24. June 20, 2017 at 6:18 am

    The USA is the number one nation that ignores international law, whenever international law gets in the way of its imperialistic/hegemonic plans. Other nations need to condemn the USA for its continued aggressive actions against world peace. The UN continues to be toothless when nothing is done to spearhead a condemnation of the United States government for the chaos they have created. But we see they won’t. Someone has to get the ball rolling. Maybe the BRICS?

    Thank you, Lucy, for your kind words from Russia. We are worried, too, in the United States, trying to push back against the warmongering monster our government has become.

    Can you believe that George W. Bush’s approval rating has climbed from 35% when he left office now to 59%? And Barack Obama’s approval rating is now 63%? Drew’s post about cognitive dissonance is exact. The Indian philosopher, Krishnamurti, wrote repeatedly about the conditioning of man’s mind as the number one obstacle to the mind’s freedom. That is what has happened to Americans, they are conditioned by their consumer society, which one can hardly even call “culture” anymore. They have lost their freedom when they cannot think on their own.

    • mike k
      June 20, 2017 at 8:19 am

      Krishnamurti had it right Jessica. He was one of the teachers who helped me free my mind. All of our world problems have their root in people’s thinking and feelings, and the myths and narratives they have bought into. If we would change the world, then we must change people’s minds. This is the main purpose of an investigative blog like this one. If people can begin to see through the false beliefs that have been foisted on them, then there is hope for positive changes. We go through all this ugly muck in order to reach the clear light of truth. Many of us here would prefer to explore the wonderful possibilities of a world without war and poverty, but we have to examine the obstacles to such a world if we want to get there.

      • Dave P.
        June 20, 2017 at 11:41 am

        mike: I read one of his books, many years ago.

  25. Kim Dixon
    June 20, 2017 at 8:16 am

    The great Russian scholar Stephen F Cohen points out the most dangerous aspect of the nonstop attacks on Trump’s “relationship” with Russia/Putin.

    When the crisis comes – when we kill a bunch of Russian troops, or they kill American flyers – a Kennedy/Khrushchev-like settlement will be impossible.

    Trump has been so demonized as a Russian stooge, that his only acceptable path, politically speaking, will be escalation. Anything else, and he’s the Manchurian Candidate, selling out his own nation to t?h?e? ?C?o?m?m?i?e?s? ?
    Putin.

    And, of course, the ugly Pence has always been a Neocon warmonger.

    • mike k
      June 20, 2017 at 8:44 am

      Stephen Cohen’s concerns are very real. We are in a very dangerous situation at this time. Whether you believe in prayer or not, this might be a good time to give it a shot- it might just be all that we’ve got left!

  26. Herman
    June 20, 2017 at 8:26 am

    “Another curious feature about this situation is that the U.S. mainstream media sees nothing illegal or unusual about the U.S. military operating inside another country uninvited and shooting down government aircraft.”

    That describes our posture with the rest of the world, limited only by the fact that some actions may come at too high a cost. Gilbert Doctorow is right in pointing it out and building a case that might eventually result in a change in policy. Never have we been so wrong as in Syria, and never has Russia been so right in taking the position they do. Russia, whatever its self interest if fighting to make a nation whole again, we are fighting for the opposite. .

  27. Mild-ly Facetious
    June 20, 2017 at 9:25 am

    Five takeaways from Iran’s missile strike in Syria

    Tehran’s strike was targeted at Islamic State but it also puts US bases in the region on notice and exposes the flimsiness of the Trump Administration’s Middle East policy

    By M.K. BHADRAKUMAR
    JUNE 20, 2017

    Iran says it fired six ground-to-ground missiles from Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) bases in Kermanshah and Kurdistan provinces, both in Western Iran, and that they “hit the targets in Deir Ezzur with high precision after flying through the Iraqi airspace.”

    The footage shows that at least one of the missiles was of the Zolfaqar class and at least one more was of the Qiam class, both indigenously developed missiles. Zolfaqar is the latest generation of Iran’s mid-range missiles. It can hit targets up to 700 kilometres away and is capable of carrying a Multiple-Entry Vehicle payload. Qiam is a surface-to-surface cruise missile.

    From all accounts, the missiles hit their target with devastating precision. Simply put, Iran has notified the US that its 45,000 troops deployed in bases in Iraq (5,165), Kuwait (15,000), Bahrain (7,000), Qatar (10,000), the UAE (5,000) and Oman (200) are highly vulnerable.

    The Chief of Staff of Iran’s armed forces, Gen. Mohammad Hossein Baqueri, said on Monday: “Iran is among the world’s big powers in the missile field. They (read the US and its allies) don’t have the capability to engage in conflict with us at present, and of course, we don’t intend to involve in clashes with them, but we are in permanent rivalry with them in different fields, including the missile sector.”

    Gen. Yahya Rahim Safavi, a military aide to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, had specifically forewarned Washington last Wednesday that “if the US decides to start any war against Iran, all its military bases in the region will experience insecurity.”

    Clearly, the missile strike constitutes a snub to the US Senators who passed a bill on Friday imposing more sanctions against Iran over its missile program. It is also a defiant response to US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s ill-conceived remark on Wednesday that the Trump administration’s policy towards Iran includes “regime change”.

    However, there are five other takeaways, all of which have downstream implications.

    Wake-up call

    For a start, the Iranian leadership seems to have concluded that the strategic restraint exercised over the past 3-4 years since negotiations on the nuclear issue began, is being misunderstood by the Trump team. On Sunday, Khamenei launched a vitriolic attack on US policies.

    As Tehran sees it, the Trump team, which lacks experience in international diplomacy, might harbour notions that Iran’s moderation in recent years is a sign of weakness or lack of political resolve on the part of the moderate-reformist leadership of President Hassan Rouhani.

    Most certainly, Tehran expects that its iron-fist display on Sunday will serve as a wake-up call to the Trump administration. This finds echo in the words of the influential Secretary of Iran’s Expediency Council Mohsen Rezayee, who is also a former IRGC commander: “After four years in office, Tillerson will come to understand Iran.”

    Setting a precedent

    Two, Iran has created a hugely consequential precedent. Make no mistake, Tehran will hit ISIS again, reckoning it to be “like a wild dog that we can annihilate easily along with its masters.” Of course, this will impact the overall military balance in both Syria and Iraq.

    Again, if ISIS can be targeted, why not other extremist groups affiliated with al-Qaeda, some of which might be enjoying covert support from the US or its regional allies?

    Quadrilateral cooperation

    Three, the fact that Tehran coordinated Sunday’s missile strikes in advance with Russia, Iraq and Syria is an important signal in geopolitical terms and in regional politics. Centered around Baghdad, the quadrilateral mechanism involving these four countries has openly acknowledged that such coordination took place. It didn’t have to do that, but it did so with deliberation.

    All-out rivalry

    Four, against the backdrop of a series of unfriendly and provocative moves by the US against Iran in recent weeks at different levels, it is a fair assumption that Iran’s willingness to cooperate with the Trump administration on the path to a settlement in Syria is now virtually nil. Equally, it remains to be seen what follows next in Iraq after the liberation of Mosul.

    Specifically, an all-out rivalry between the US and Iran can now be expected on the ground for control of the Syrian-Iraqi border and southern Syria. It will be a miracle now if the US beats Iran in the race to take control of the strategic city of Dier Ezzor, which has become an emblematic military front for the latter. Iranian statements claim that the terrorist attacks in Tehran on June 7 were masterminded and executed from the ISIS command center in Dier Ezzor.

    US policy adrfit

    Finally, Washington now has no option left but to accept Russian help to stabilize the “de-confliction” zones in southern Syria bordering Jordan and the Golan Heights. Yet, incredibly enough, the Pentagon chose just this moment to provoke Moscow by shooting down a Syrian jet on Sunday – albeit a few hours ahead of the Iranian missile strike.

    http://www.atimes.com/article/five-takeaways-irans-missile-strike-syria/

    • Gregory Herr
      June 20, 2017 at 5:59 pm

      “if the US decides to start any war against Iran, all its military bases in the region will experience insecurity.”
      “After four years in office, Tillerson will come to understand Iran.”

      The Iranians appear to have a clever aptitude for understatement. Thanks for this interesting article.

  28. June 20, 2017 at 9:50 am

    An article from Newsweek at link below:
    —————————————————————————
    Israel Secretly Paying Salaries of Syrian Rebels on Golan Heights Border: Report
    By Jack Moore On 6/19/17 at 9:34 AM

    Israel has previously treated wounded Syrian rebels in its hospitals but interviews with rebels conducted by the Wall Street Journal suggest that Israel is directly supporting opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the six-year-long civil war….
    [read more at link below]
    http://www.newsweek.com/israel-secretly-paying-salaries-syrian-rebels-golan-heights-627155

  29. June 20, 2017 at 10:05 am

    On RT (treason to read RT, a scandal!) a report that Germany’s parliamentary Defense Commissioner Bartels has renewed calls for a joint EU army amid concerns about reliability of the NATO alliance and “disorganization and fragmentation of national defense structures” and called on the 28-nation bloc’s militaries to unite into a single armed force. Good luck on that one! The EU in March announced opening of a “joint military headquarters” but they have only staff of 30 and only in Mali, Somalia, and Central African Republic. I can’t imagine the Africans are enthusiastic!

    And Jean-Claude Juncker, head of the EU, said to German press in 2015 that a “common European army would convey a clear message to Russia that we are serious about defending our European values”. What European values? What, is he nuts?

    And note the chaotic state of the world since the Bush/Cheney neocon war disasters opened up Pandora’s box! These whackos think they’ll pull this off to complete western domination of the world?

  30. June 20, 2017 at 10:26 am

    Last posts very interesting, especially about Iran. Lots of situations coming to a head what with world economic and sociopolitical crises, the hegemony of the Western nations is definitely being challenged and they will double-down with their stupid miscalculations. The BRICS are throwing bricks at them!

  31. Vera
    June 20, 2017 at 11:02 am

    Why are the NYT and the WaPo constantly being quoted??? Haven’t we had enough of all their lies? Why do we keep enduring more? A pedestal neither one deserves to be on.

    • backwardsevolution
      June 20, 2017 at 2:26 pm

      Vera – I agree!

    • Dave P.
      June 20, 2017 at 4:58 pm

      Vera – I completely agree with you. It is the same with quoting Krugman, and Stiglitz – they are part and parcel of Wall Street Financial Oligarchy, and NYT’s lies, all that.

  32. Abe
    June 20, 2017 at 11:51 am

    “With the United States now responsible for multiple strikes against the Syrian military as Syrian forces battle ISIS militants and attempt to retake eastern territory, it is clear that the US is willing to risk wider war in pursuit of the 2012 agenda of using ISIS to ‘isolate the Syrian regime.’

    “By hindering Syrian forces attempting to move east toward Raqqa, Deir ez-Zor, and beyond, the US hopes to continue stationing both its own forces, and armed proxies creating a de facto state within a state separate and opposed to the government in Damascus.

    “From this carved out territory – having long-since failed the outright overthrow of the Syrian government – the US plans to incrementally expand westward from ISIS-held territory – while Turkish forces and their proxies move south, and another contingent of US forces from Jordan attempt to move north-northeast – in an attempt to eventually consume the Syrian state.

    “US policymakers from the corporate-financier funded think tank, the Brookings Institution, have repeatedly published papers over the years detailing this plan. In a 2016 paper aptly titled, ‘Deconstructing Syria: A Confederal Approach,’ it’s stated clearly that;

    “‘…the United States and partners would seek to help local allies expand de facto safe havens and bring governance to them. It would not declare safe havens formally in the beginning, but could offer warnings to Assad not to bomb certain areas and neighborhoods lest his air force face reprisal action later. Over time, ISIS and related groups would have to be defeated. Assad or his close associates could be tolerated within a sector consisting mostly of Alawites and Christians. (Perhaps Assad could even nominally remain president for a time, if truly necessary, as long as he did not deploy security forces in those parts of Sunni-dominant Syria granted autonomy.)’

    “The Brookings paper also clearly contradicts both the Washington Post and the US military spokespeople it is citing, making it clear that the US aims to remove the Syrian government from power, and are not merely ‘targeting Islamic State militants.’ The report clearly states:

    “‘When appropriate, the safe zones would also be used to accelerate recruiting and training of additional opposition fighters who could live in, and help protect, their communities while going through basic training.’

    “It is clear that this plan, verbatim, began in earnest under the administration of US President Barack Obama and is being aggressively expanded under US President Donald Trump.

    “It is also clear that Syria and its allies are challenging it to the point where the US finds it necessary to use overt military force to establish its ‘de facto safe havens’ before expanding them and launching a larger scale regime change campaign from them.”

    US Downs Syrian Warplane Over Syria Amid War on ISIS
    By Tony Cartalucci
    http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2017/06/us-downs-syrian-warplane-over-syria.html

  33. June 20, 2017 at 11:56 am

    Isn’t it true that the US needs a sovereign nation’s permission to engage in military activities within the borders of that nation? Couldn’t Assad simply demand that the US get out of Syria?

    • Skip Scott
      June 21, 2017 at 8:24 am

      Yeah Mark, but who’s going to enforce his demand?

  34. Abe
    June 20, 2017 at 11:57 am

    “Upon realizing the success of anti-terrorist operation which Syrian armed forces were conducting together with Russian and Iranian forces in bid to liberate regions still under Islamic State control, Washington decided to establish a foothold in the country before the conflict ends. Once Syrian troops reached the border areas with Iraq, it jeopardized all plans Washington has been making toward the establishment of a large US-controlled zone in the east of Syria, a scenario that would have affected both the future of the country and the negotiation process to end the war.

    “Under these conditions, the United States rushed to redeploy its HIMARS multiple rocket launchers from Jordan to Syria’s Al-Zakf, in an urgent attempt to create yet another American military base in the war-torn country. It’s reported the operational range of HIMARS systems reaches 300 miles, which is critical for understanding Washington’s plans. The systems have been deployed near a strategically important border crossing at Al-Tanf, which means that they can block off the advancement of any government troops that would try to seal all border crossing in a bid to prevent new militants from entering the country.

    “The advancement of Syrian government troops with the support of Russia and Iran towards the At-Tanf border crossing is not just a strategic event, but a historical one. It won’t be an exaggeration to state that at this point in the Syrian war certain areas of Syria have been turned into disputed areas contested by opposing foreign interests. […]

    “Washington’s actions in Syria clearly show that its stated goals have nothing in common with the real goals the US has been pursuing in Syria, repeatedly committing acts of armed aggression against the legitimate government of the Syrian Arab Republic and the Syrian military. Today, everyone understands that by their actions, the Pentagon seeks to stop the the movement of Syrian forces eastward, and also to undermine the joint Syrian-Iraqi strategic defense project against ISIS before it takes off. After all, no opposition group, regardless of its affiliation (Kurds, local tribes, the so-called Free Syrian Army etc.) has the capacity to replace ISIS and its ability to fight Syrian forces, since none of these other proxies can resist the Syrian Arab Army.”

    Washington Crossed the Red Line in Syria
    By Jean Perier
    http://journal-neo.org/2017/06/20/washington-crossed-the-red-line-in-syria/

  35. June 20, 2017 at 12:40 pm

    Is this the planned scenario of the war criminals?
    They shoot down a Syrian plane and violate Syrian sovereignty.
    If Syria or Russia retaliates against the war criminals that are members of NATO, the U.S. and its “allies” that are NATO members could invoke “Article 5” of NATO, which states an injury to one is an injury to all. NATO has already encircled Russia. So are these mad evil war criminal bastards preparing for a World War 3?
    [More info at link below]
    http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2017/02/will-war-agenda-of-war-criminals-result.html

  36. Dr. Ibrahim Soudy
    June 20, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    O.K. there are lunatics in Washington and lunatics in Jerusalem………there are also lunatics in every corner of the earth…….The questions is “What are the “sane” people of the world are going to do before the “lunatics” destroy the whole planet??”

    Does anybody in his or her right mind really think that Russia will risk a real confrontation with the US because of “Syria”?! Really?!

    America (controlled from Jerusalem) is acting like “God on Earth” and the rest of the world will have to suffer the foolishness of “God on Earth” until that arrogant entity either destroys itself from within OR the rest of humanity will wise up and take the car keys away from it. The second option is possible if enough people in the world did to that arrogant entity what Gandhi did to bring the British Empire to its knees in India……..simply by “economic boycott”………………The “sane” people of the world can simply make their own stupid movies, wear their own stupid cut jeans, eat their own garbage fast food…………..get my point?! Economic and Cultural Boycott of the arrogant entity is the way to save life on earth……………

  37. Michael Kenny
    June 21, 2017 at 10:09 am

    “It perhaps should go without saying that under international law the Syrian government has the right to operate inside Syrian airspace and that the U.S. military has no legal right to have personnel inside Syria (since they lack the Syrian government’s permission) let alone to attack the Syrian military or its allied forces”. Very true, but that brings us to the nub of the problem: Putin. Under international law the Ukrainian government has the right to operate inside Ukrainian territory and the Russian military has no legal right to have personnel inside Ukraine (since they lack the Ukrainian government’s permission) let alone to attack the Ukrainian military or its allied forces. Putin has occupied and annexed part of Ukraine’s sovereign territory without the Ukrainian government’s permission and is supporting supposed “rebellions” in other parts of that territory, threatening to make war on Ukraine if it tries to re-assert its sovereignty over those parts of its territory. Assad has allowed Putin to act as his protector. Neither he nor Putin can therefore complain if the US does in Syria what Putin is doing in Ukraine. Putin is thus the lynchpin of all the problems. Removing Putin from power by defeating him in Syria is a lot easier than trying to remove him from Ukraine by force. Assad is having to choose between the interests of his own people and the interests of his political clan and of their Russian protector. He’s choosing the latter. On his own head be it!

    • Skip Scott
      June 21, 2017 at 2:52 pm

      Hi Mike-

      Late to the party again I see. The people of Crimea voted by an overwhelming majority to sever from Kiev and rejoin Russia. The vast majority living there are ethnic Russians. Crimea had only been part of Ukraine since 1954, when Ukraine was an SSR. The Russian navy base in Sevastopol has been there since the 1700’s. So it is OK for Scotland to vote to secede from the UK, but not for Crimea to vote to secede from Ukraine? How about Kosovo? Putin denied the request for the other areas of south and east Ukraine to rejoin Russia, but he no doubt is interested in protecting the ethnic Russians in those areas from the Nazis in Kiev, just as he protected South Ossetia. I frankly think he made a mistake by not allowing all of the majority ethnic Russian areas in Ukraine to rejoin mother Russia, they’d be a lot better off. As it is, his has accepted a lot of refugees from those areas.

      The USA and the Deep State oligarchs are the lynchpin to all of the problems. They must learn to wage peace in a multi-polar world, or we are all doomed. You would do better to pledge your allegiance to the human species, rather than Warmongers are US.

  38. gordon reed
    June 21, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    People should read the book “Alas Babylon” written in 1959.

  39. Curious
    June 22, 2017 at 3:20 am

    Mr Doctorow, I find it interesting that the group of fighters who were once the PKK, YPG, and the Syrian Cristian forces have rebranded themselves as the Syrian Democratic Forces. Is this because the word Democratic falls easier on US ears, or those who read? I’m sure some think tank thought this was a better use of the groups name and many fighters may even have purple fingers to prove their democracy. Even though Assad was voted in I suppose that doesn’t matter. I doubt the name has calmed Erdogen and he has found newfound fondness for the PKK despite the new propaganda involved in the SDF name.

    If the Americans were not embedded in this group, I doubt the Syrian jet would have not been attacked. it’s time to fire up the S-300s and the S-400s if only to show, after a few downed US planes, that Americans are in violation of International Law by even being in Syria to begin with. Let’s have the international lawyers hash the legalities in court for years on end and give Syria back to the Syrians. The lawyers have to be cheaper than the MIC after all.

    Then we could afford to build the wall in Israel even higher so planes couldn’t travel in or out and they could become their version of how they have treated the Palestinians. With no food, water, or control over their own taxes and no right to fish in their own waters it would be a form of justice. But I digress….

  40. June 25, 2017 at 11:29 am

    The Pentagon (NOT President Trump) looking for a permanent presence in Syria. Partition it to get a closer angle on Iran. You know, like attempting a coup in Ukraine so the Pentagon could build missile bases along the Russian border.

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