Syria -- Russia Challenge To U.S., NATO

Institute for Political Economy, The Fall Of The Unipower, Paul Craig Roberts, Oct. 17, 2015. (The conservative scholar Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, shown in a file photo) has been assistant Treasury secretary during the Reagan Paul Craig Robertsadministration, associate editor of the Wall Street Journal, and a research scholar at universities and think tanks.) The distinguished William Engdahl, in a superb statement here, has expressed the view I gave you that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s speech on September 28 at the 70th anniversary of the United Nations changed the balance of power in the world. It is clear that the neoconservatives are not sufficiently realistic to accept this change in the power balance and will resist it to the point of war. Until Putin’s speech, the world was intimidated by the Washington Bully. Resistance to Washington brought swift retribution. In the Middle East and Africa it brought economic sanctions and military invasions that destroyed entire countries.

Other countries felt powerless in the face of the arrogant hegemonic Unipower, which from time to time replied to noncompliance with threats, such as U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage delivered to Pakistan, to bomb non-compliant countries “back to the stone age.” President Putin of Russia brought all that to end on September 28. Putin denounced Washington’s threat to the sovereignty -- and thereby the freedom -- of peoples and countries. He denounced the heartless criminality of Washington’s destruction of the lives of millions of peoples on the basis of nothing other than Washington’s own arrogance. He denouced the illegality of Washington’s assaults on the sovereignty of other peoples, and declared that Russia can no longer tolerate this state of affairs in the world.

Independent (United Kingdom), Benghazi: Hillary Clinton Is Guilty But Not As Charged, Patrick Cockburn, Oct. 24, 2015. There is a strong case against Clinton’s actions in Libya, but they relate to her support for the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 and not the death of Christopher Stevens in 2012. There is no doubt that she played a crucial role, along with President Barack Obama’s advisers Samantha Power and Susan Rice, in the decision by the U.S. to intervene on the side of the anti-Gaddafi rebels. Although France and the UK played a more public role, the U.S. termed its strategy as “leading from behind.” Clinton was proud of her action, proclaiming in October 2011 after the killing of Gaddafi: “We came, we saw, he died.” She said during the recent Democratic presidential candidates’ debate that what she did in Libya was “smart power at its best.” Neither Clinton nor the Republican Congressmen showed much interest in the present calamitous state of Libya, which is divided into fiefdoms ruled by criminalized warlords reliant on terror and torture.

Benghazi is partly in ruins and is fought over by rival factions, while Islamic State has carved out enclaves where it decapitates Egyptian Copts and Ethiopian Christians. NATO’s military intervention in 2011 was justified by the claim that Gaddafi was about to massacre the people of Benghazi, which cannot be proved or disproved because it never happened. What is more certain is that, if the old regime was still in power, several thousand migrants from north and west Africa would have jobs on Libyan building sites instead of sailing from Libyan beaches and drowning in the Mediterranean.

Washington Times, Obama ignores generals’ advice on troop levels for unprecedented sixth time, Rowan Scarborough, Oct. 15, 2015. In the end, President Obama was forced to listen to his generals — not his political instincts — on Afghanistan troop levels, and he decided to split the difference. Mr. Obama is keeping 5,500 troops in Afghanistan beyond his presidency, about half the strength recommended by his top general in-country. It marks the sixth time he has rejected the advice of a ground commander on the force size in the long Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Military experts call that streak unprecedented for a commander in chief.

 

 

Two days later, he took over the war in Syria and began exterminating the Washington-financed and equipped Islamic State. Cruise missiles launched from the Caspian Sea hit ISIL targets with pinpoint accuracy and showed Washington’s EU vassals that Washington’s ABM system could not protect them if Europe permitted Washington to force Europe into conflict with Russia. Putin’s declaration of multi-polarity was seconded by the President of China, who said in his understated, mild way that every country must participate in shaping the future and not just follow the leadership of one.

The remaining danger is the crazed American neoconservatives. I know many of them. They are completely insane ideologues. This inhuman filth has controlled the foreign policy of every U.S. government since Clinton’s second term. They are a danger to all life on earth. Look at the destruction they have wreaked in the former Yugoslavia, in Ukraine, in Georgia and South Ossetia, in Africa, in Afghanistan and the Middle East. The American people were too brainwashed by lies and by political impotence to do anything about it, and Washington’s vassals in Europe, UK, Canada, Australia, and Japan had to pretend that this policy of international murder was “bringing freedom and democracy.” The neoconsevatives must be removed from power, arrested, and put on international trial for their horrendous war crimes before they defend their hegemony with Armageddon.

Washington Post, Top NATO general: Russians starting to build air defense bubble over Syria, Thomas Gibbons-Neff, Sept. 29, 2015. Gen. Philip M. Breedlove believes that Russia’s new presence in Syria is the first piece an intricate layer of defensive systems designed to hinder U.S. and coalition operations in the region. While Russia’s stated goal in moving into Syria is to fight the Islamic State, NATO’s top commander believes Russia’s new presence includes the first pieces of an intricate layer of defensive systems deployed to hinder U.S. and coalition operations in the region. “As we see the very capable air defense [systems] beginning to show up in Syria, we’re a little worried about another A2/AD bubble being created in the eastern Mediterranean,” said Breedlove to an audience at the German Marshall Fund Monday.

Washington Times, Obama ignores generals’ advice on troop levels for unprecedented sixth time, Rowan Scarborough, Oct. 15, 2015. In the end, President Obama was forced to listen to his generals — not his political instincts — on Afghanistan troop levels, and he decided to split the difference. Mr. Obama is keeping 5,500 troops in Afghanistan beyond his presidency, about half the strength recommended by his top general in-country. It marks the sixth time he has rejected the advice of a ground commander on the force size in the long Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Military experts call that streak unprecedented for a commander in chief.

NPR, We Ask Experts: Has The Situation In Syria Become A Proxy War? Eyder Peralta, Oct. 17, 2015. During a recent news conference, President Obama said he would not allow the current conflict in Syria to devolve into a proxy war between the United States and Russia. "That would be bad strategy on our part," he said. "This is a battle between Russia, Iran and [Syrian President Bashar Assad] against the overwhelming majority of the Syrian people." His comment came as Russia stepped up its military operations in the country with a bombing campaign that U.S. officials say has targeted CIA-backed rebels. That made us wonder: Is the situation in Syria already a proxy war, which is generally defined as a conflict between two countries that is fought on third-party soil? We took the question to three experts in the field, and they gave us three different answers.

Washington Post, Center for American Progress, poised to wield influence over 2016, reveals its top donors, Greg Sargent, Jan. 21, 2015. The Center for American Progress, the preeminent liberal think tank in Washington, is poised to exert outsized influence over the 2016 president race and — should Hillary Clinton win it — the policies and agenda of the 45th President of the United States. CAP founder John Podesta is set to run Clinton’s presidential campaign, and current CAP president Neera Tanden is a longtime Clinton confidante and adviser. CAP recently rolled out a major blueprint for combat wage stagnation and inequality that many view as a template for a Clinton economic agenda, and there are surely more major policy statements to come.

So interest in CAP’s funding sources — and its internal workings in general — is likely to intensify and take on a political cast. Today, CAP is revealing its major 2014 donors, after taking some criticism for lack of transparency. The organization provided me two lists of its donors. The first is for the C (3), the nonpartisan think tank arm; the second is for the more political, issue-advocacy-oriented c (4).

Perhaps most notably, given CAP’s advocacy for an economically progressive agenda, is that CAP’s top donors include Walmart and Citigroup, each of which have given between $100,000 and $499,000. Other donors to CAP — a leading advocate of health care reform — include the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, which represents leading biotech and bio-pharma firms, and Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, both of which have given up to $49,000. Still, many of CAP’s donations appear to be drawn from conventional funding sources for progressive organizations, including labor unions and charitable foundations.

The Washington Post, These new satellite images show how Russia is expanding its military presence in Syria, Thomas Gibbons-Neff, Sept. 22, 2015. Russia is continuing to expand its military presence in Syria according to new satellite images released Tuesday. The images, distributed by IHS Janes, a defense analysis organization, show that Russia is placing equipment at two facilities north of a newly-established Russian airbase in Latakia. One new facility, located outside the small town of Al-Sanobar, shows Russian activity in the form of newly-arrived vehicles, tents while the other, at the Istamo weapons storage complex, shows signs of freshly paved surfaces.

“The build-up so far is clearly a growing expeditionary force that will significantly boost Russia’s ground-attack capabilities, allowing it to boost the defense of the Latakia region,” said Robert Monks, the editor of IHS Janes’ Defense Review.

Monks added that he believes Russia’s next steps will include sending small communications detachments into the surrounding areas so that Russian forces will be able to better coordinate.

Already, some open source reporting has identified various Russian communication vehicles moving in Latakia Province.

The images, posted on the conflict monitoring site Oryx Blog, show what appears to be a Russian R-166-0.5 crewed by Russian soldiers. The vehicle, according to the site, provides “jam-resistant voice and data communications over a long range.”
Iran, Russia to work together to end Syria crisis
Play Video1:53

Russia and Iran, two major allies of Syrian President Bashir al-Assad, announced that they will work together to find a solution to the country's more than four-year-long civil war. (Reuters)

While Russia has longstanding ties with President Bashir al-Assad’s government and has maintained a small military presence in the country for some time, a growing number of Russian forces began appearing in Syria towards the end of August.

Russia now has 28 jets — a mixture of multi-role and ground attack aircraft — as well as 14 helicopter gunships and transports stationed at the Bassel Al-Assad International Airport in Latakia, according to U.S. officials. In addition to the aircraft, satellite images have shown artillery positions, while officials have confirmed the presence of T-90 main battle tanks and surface to air missile systems.

On Tuesday Secretary of State John F. Kerry told reporters that the aircraft at the airfield “basically represents force protection,” as the majority of the jets stationed there are meant for ground attack.

Monks agreed,  saying the aircraft are consistent with “enhanced” force protection. However, a U.S. pilot experienced in close air support, pushed back against the idea of using jets as the primary means to defend the airfield.

[These are the 28 jets Russia now has in Syria]

“If all hell broke loose, yeah, use jets for base defense, but for planning purposes, no,” he said, adding that if helicopter gunships were available, they would be the first option. Gunships, he said, have an ability to get much closer to a target than a jet.

The pilot declined to be named because of his active duty status.

It’s unclear what Russia’s priorities are, and officials in Moscow have spoken of both helping fight the Islamic State and bolstering the government of President Bashar al-Assad.


 

 

Institute for Political Economy, The Fall Of The Unipower, Paul Craig Roberts, Oct. 17, 2015. The distinguished and knowledgeable international commentator William Engdahl, in a superb statement here, has expressed the view I gave you that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s speech on September 28 at the 70th anniversary of the United Nations changed the balance of power in the world. It is clear that the neoconservatives are not sufficiently realistic to accept this change in the power balance and will resist it to the point of war.Until Putin’s speech, the world was intimidated by the Washington Bully. Resistance to Washington brought swift retribution. In the Middle East and Africa it brought economic sanctions and military invasions that destroyed entire countries. In France and other US vassal states it brought multi-billion dollar confiscations of bank net worth as the price of not following Washington’s policies toward other countries.

Other countries felt powerless in the face of the arrogant hegemonic Unipower, which from time to time replied to noncompliance with threats, such as U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage delivered to Pakistan, to bomb noncompliant countries “back to the stone age.” President Putin of Russia brought all that to end on September 28. Putin denounced Washington’s threat to the sovereignty, and thereby the freedom, of peoples and countries. He denounced the heartless criminality of Washington’s destruction of the lives of millions of peoples on the basis of nothing other than Washington’s own arrogance. He denouced the illegality of Washington’s assaults on the sovereignty of other peoples, and declared that Russia can no longer tolerate this state of affairs in the world.

Two days later he took over the war in Syria and began exterminating the Washington financed and equipped Islamic State. Cruise missiles launched from the Caspian Sea hit ISIL targets with pinpoint accuracy and showed Washington’s EU vassals that Washington’s ABM system could not protect them if Europe permitted Washington to force Europe into conflict with Russia. Putin’s declaration of multi-polarity was seconded by the President of China, who said in his understated mild way that every country must participate in shaping the future and not just follow the leadership of one. The remaining danger is the crazed American neoconservatives. I know many of them. They are completely insane ideologues. This inhuman filth has controlled the foreign policy of every US government since Clinton’s second term. They are a danger to all life on earth. Look at the destruction they have wreaked in the former Yugoslavia, in Ukraine, in Georgia and South Ossetia, in Africa, in Afghanistan and the Middle East. The American people were too brainwashed by lies and by political impotence to do anything about it, and Washington’s vassals in Europe, UK, Canada, Australia, and Japan had to pretend that this policy of international murder was “bringing freedom and democracy.” The crazed filth that controls US foreign policy is capable of defending US hegemony with nuclear weapons. The neoconsevatives must be removed from power, arrested, and put on international trial for their horrendous war crimes before they defend their hegemony with Armageddon.

Neoconservatives and their allies in the military/security complex make audacious use of false flag attacks. These evil people are capable of orchestrating a false flag attack that propells the US and Russia to war.

The neocons are also capable of plotting Putin’s assassination. The crazed John McCain, whom idiotic Arizonians keep returning to the US Senate, has publicly called for Putin’s death, as have other former federal officials, such as former CIA official Herbert E. Meyer, who publicly called for Putin’s removal “wih a bullet hole in the back of his head.” I am confident that the neoconservatives are plotting Putin’s assassination with their Chechen terrorist friends. Unlike the US president, Putin often presents himself in open situations.

Putin is Defeating More than ISIS in Syria — William Engdahl

Russia and its President, Vladimir Putin, a little more than a year ago, in July 2014 were the focus of attention in Europe and North America, accused, without a shred of forensic evidence, of shooting down an unarmed civilian Malaysian airliner over eastern Ukraine. The Russians were deemed out to restore the Soviet Union with their agreement to the popular referendum of Crimean citizens to annex into the Russian Federation and not Ukraine. Western sanctions were being thrown at Russia by both Washington and the EU. People spoke of a new Cold War. Today the picture is changing, and profoundly. It is Washington that is on the defensive, exposed for the criminal actions it has been doing in Syria and across the Middle East, including creating the recent asylum crisis in Germany and large parts of the EU.

As a student of international politics and economics for most of my adult life, I must say the emotional restraint that Vladimir Putin and the Russian government have shown against tasteless ad hominem attacks, from people such as Hillary Clinton who likened Putin to Adolf Hitler, is remarkable. But more than restraint is required to bring our world from the brink or some might say, the onset of a World War III. Brilliant and directed action is essential. Here something extraordinary has taken place in the very few days since President Vladimir Putin’s September 28, UNGA speech in New York.

What he said . . .

What Putin said to the UN General Assembly must be noted to put what he and Russia did in the days immediately following into clear focus. First of all he made clear what the international law behind the UN Charter means and that Russia is scrupulously abiding by the Charter in actions in Syria. Russia, unlike the US, has been formally asked by the legitimate Syrian government to aid its war against terror.

To the UN delegates and heads of state Putin stated, “The decisions debated within the UN are either taken in the form of resolutions or not. As diplomats say, they either pass or they don’t. Any action taken by circumventing this procedure is illegitimate and constitutes a violation of the UN Charter and contemporary international law.”

He continued, “We all know that after the end of the Cold War the world was left with one center of dominance, and those who found themselves at the top of the pyramid were tempted to think that, since they are so powerful and exceptional, they know best what needs to be done and thus they don’t need to reckon with the UN, which, instead of rubber-stamping the decisions they need, often stands in their way.”

Putin followed this with a clear message to Washington and NATO governments on the subject of national sovereignty, something anathema to many who embrace the Nirvana supposed to come from globalization, homogenization of all to one level: “What is the meaning of state sovereignty, the term which has been mentioned by our colleagues here?” Putin rhetorically asked. “It basically means freedom, every person and every state being free to choose their future. By the way, this brings us to the issue of the so-called legitimacy of state authorities. You shouldn’t play with words and manipulate them. In international law, international affairs, every term has to be clearly defined, transparent and interpreted the same way by one and all.”

Putin added, “We are all different, and we should respect that. Nations shouldn’t be forced to all conform to the same development model that somebody has declared the only appropriate one. We should all remember the lessons of the past. For example, we remember examples from our Soviet past, when the Soviet Union exported social experiments, pushing for changes in other countries for ideological reasons, and this often led to tragic consequences and caused degradation instead of progress.”

Those few words succinctly point to what is fundamentally wrong in the international order today. Nations, above all the one proclaiming herself Sole Superpower, Infallible Hegemon, the USA, have arrogantly moved after the collapse of the main adversary, the Soviet Union in 1990, to create what can only be called a global totalitarian empire, what G.H.W. Bush in his September 11, 1991 address to Congress called a New World Order. I believe with conviction that borders do matter, that respect for different cultures, different historical experiences is essential in a world of peace. That is as much true with nations as with individual human beings. We seem to have forgotten that simple notion amid all the wars of the past decades. Vladimir Putin reminds us.

Then the Russian president goes to the heart of the matter. He lays bare the true activities of the Obama Administration in Syria and the Middle East in arming and training “moderate” Islamist terrorists to attack Washington’s bête noire, Syria’s duly-elected and recently re-elected President, Bashar al Assad.

Putin states, “instead of learning from other people’s mistakes, some prefer to repeat them and continue to export revolutions, only now these are “democratic” revolutions. Just look at the situation in the Middle East and Northern Africa…problems have been piling up for a long time in this region, and people there wanted change. But what was the actual outcome? Instead of bringing about reforms, aggressive intervention rashly destroyed government institutions and the local way of life. Instead of democracy and progress, there is now violence, poverty, social disasters and total disregard for human rights, including even the right to life.”

Then in a remark addressed to Washington and their NGO Color Revolutions known as the Arab Spring, Putin pointedly asks, “I’m urged to ask those who created this situation: do you at least realize now what you’ve done?“

Putin, without naming it, addresses the US and NATO role in creating ISIS, noting with precision the curious anomaly that the sophisticated new US Treasury unit to conduct financial sanctions against terrorist organizations, has utterly ignored the funding sources of ISIS, their oil sales facilitated by the Turkish President’s own family to name just one. The Russian President stated, “the Islamic State itself did not come out of nowhere. It was initially developed as a weapon against undesirable secular regimes. Having established control over parts of Syria and Iraq, Islamic State now aggressively expands into other regions. It seeks dominance in the Muslim world and beyond…The situation is extremely dangerous. In these circumstances, it is hypocritical and irresponsible to make declarations about the threat of terrorism and at the same time turn a blind eye to the channels used to finance and support terrorists, including revenues from drug trafficking, the illegal oil trade and the arms trade.

And what Putin is doing . . .

Russia in the last weeks has completely out-maneuvered the diabolical, and they are diabolical, agenda of the Obama Administration not only in Syria but also in the entire Middle East and now in the EU with unleashing the flood of refugees. He openly reached out to invite Obama in their New York September 30 meeting to cooperate together in defeating ISIS. Obama stubbornly insisted that first Assad must go, despite the fact that Christine Wormuth, the Pentagon Undersecretary responsible for the Syrian war, confirmed Russian statements about Assad’s essential role today in any defeat of ISIS. She told the US Senate that Assad’s military “still has considerable strength,” adding, “it’s still the most powerful military force on the ground. The assessment right now is the regime is not in imminent danger of falling.”

Now come the howls of protest from neo-con warhawks, like the ever-ready-for-war Senator John McCain, chairman of the NGO International Republican Institute of the democratic revolution exporting US-backed NGO, National Endowment for Democracy. Or we hear flaccid protests from President Obama. This is because Washington finds itself deeply exposed to the light of world scrutiny for backing terrorists in Syria against a duly-elected state leader and government. The US warhawks accuse Russia of hitting “the moderate opposition” or civilians.

Emperor’s New Clothes . . .

Russia’s Putin is playing the role ever so elegantly, even gracefully, of the small boy in the Hans Christian Anderson classic fairy tale from 1837, The Emperor’s New Clothes. The boy stands with his mother amid thousands of other villagers in the crowd outside the vain Emperor’s palace balcony, where the disassociated king struts around the balcony naked, thinking he is wearing a magnificent new suit of clothes. The boy shouts, to the embarrassment of all servile citizens who pretend his clothes are magnificent, “Mother, look the Emperor has no clothes!”

What do I mean? In the first four days of precision bombing of select sites in Syria Russian advanced fighter jets firing Kh-29L air-to-surface laser-guided missiles that strike targets with a precision less than two meters, managed to destroy key ISIS command centers, munitions depots and vital infrastructure. According to the Russian Defense Ministry official reports, with photos, Su-34 bombers attacked an ISIS special training camp and munition depot near Al-Tabqa, Ar-Raqqah province,” a critical ISIS outpost captured in August, 2014 after bitter battles. “As a result of explosion of the munition depot, the terrorist training camp was completely destroyed,” the Russian Defense Ministry spokesman stated. Russian Su-25 jets have also attacked training camp of the Islamic State in the Syrian Idlib, destroying a workshop for explosive belt production.

Moscow states its air force has “engaged 3 munition, fuel and armament depots of the illegal armed groups. KAB-500 aviation bombs detonated the munition and armament,” and they used BETAB-500 concrete-piercing bombs to destroy four command posts of the ISIS armed groups. The facilities with terrorists are completely destroyed,” the Moscow spokesman added. Russia’s aviation conducted 20 flights and carried out 10 airstrikes against facilities of the Islamic State (ISIL) terrorist group in the past 24 hours. Then Moscow announced they had also hit key outposts of other terror groups such as the Al Qaeda-franchise, Al Nusra Front.

These are the so-called “moderates” that McCain and the Washington warhawks are weeping over. Washington has been creating what it calls the “New” Syrian Forces (NSF), which they claim is composed of “moderate” terrorists, euphemistically referred to as “rebels.” Imagine how recruitment talks go: CIA recruiter, “Mohammed, are you a moderate Islamist? Why yes, my dear CIA trainer. Please take me, train me and arm me in the fight against the ruthless dictator Assad and against ISIS. I’m on your side. You can trust me…”

In late September it was reported that Major Anas Obaid a.k.a. Abu Zayd, on completing his CIA training in Turkey, defected from the train-and-equip program to join Jabhat al-Nusra (Al Qaeda in Syria) immediately on entering Syria. Incredibly, US officials admit that Washington does not track or exercise command-and-control of its Jihadist proxies once they enter Syria. Abu Zayd’s defection after being trained in advanced warfare techniques by the US, is typical. Other elements of the New Syrian Forces directly handed all their weapons to Nusra upon entering Syrian territory at the town of Atareb at the end of September.

These latest “moderate” defections to join Al Qaeda’s Al-Nusra Front affiliate in Syria come less than two weeks after Gen. Lloyd Austin III, head of the US “war against ISIS,” during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Syria, admitted that the US military program that intended produce 5,400 trained fighters a year has so far only resulted in “four or five” who still remain on the ground and active in combat. The rest have all joined ISIS or Al Nusra Front of Al Qaeda, the US-backed “moderate opposition” to ISIL.

What the successful Russian precision airstrikes have done is expose in all its ugly nakedness the Emperor’s New Clothes. For more than one year, the Obama Administration claims it has committed the most awesome airpower on the planet allegedly to destroy ISIS, which has been described as a “ragtag band of militants running around the desert in basketball shoes.”

Curiously, until last week, ISIS has only expanded its web of power in Syria and Iraq under US bombings. Now, within 72 hours, the Russian military, launching only 60 bombing runs in 72 hours, hitting more than 50 ISIS targets, has brought the ISIS combatants into what the Russian Defense Ministry spokesman described as a state of “panic” where more than 600 have deserted. And, according to Moscow, the fight is only beginning, expected, they say to last three to four months.

The Obama Administration has been training terrorists of Al Qaeda/Al Nusra, allegedly to fight ISIS, much like the disgraced General David Petraeus did in Iraq and Afghanistan along with Obama’s special ISIS coordinator, the just-resigned General John Allen. The US-trained “moderate” terrorists were being readied, it’s now clear to all the world, in reality, to battle Assad and open the way for a Muslim Brotherhood takeover of Syria and a real plunge into darkness for the world if that were to succeed.

Now, with the truth in the open, exposed by the remarkable successes of a handful of Russian fighter jets in four days against ISIS, accomplishing more than the US “anti-ISIS coalition” in more than one year, it is clear to the world Washington has been playing a dirty double game.

Now that hypocritical Obama Administration mask has been blown off with the precision hit of a Russian laser-guided Kh-29L missile. As German and other EU governments have admitted, much to the strong objection of Washington, Putin has demonstrated that Russia is the essential part of any peaceful resolution of the Syria war. That in turn has a huge bearing on the current asylum-seeker crisis in Germany and other parts of the EU. It also has a huge bearing on prospects for world peace. The Norwegian Parliament’s Nobel Peace Prize Committee, rather than consider John Kerry, might consider Vladimir Putin and Russian Defense Minister, Sergey Shoygu, for the prize.

F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

 

Oriental Review, Strategic implications of the Russian cruise missiles’ launch, Vladimir Kozin, Oct. 13, 2015. Vladimir Kozin is Head of Advisers’ Group at the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, Member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences and Professor of the Academy of Military Sciences of the Russian Federation. Last week the biggest event that took place in Syria as part of Operation Hmeymim was the use by the Russian Navy’s Caspian Flotilla of 26 seaborne land-attack cruise missiles (LACMs) that hit 11 Daesh and Jabhat al-Nusra military targets inside Syria, which were located about 1,500 km. away from the missile launch site: A massive blow using Kalibr-NK LACMs was struck from the southwestern Caspian Sea. The objects of the attack were factories producing shells and explosives; command posts; ammunition, weapon, and fuel depots; and terrorist training camps in the Syrian Governorates of Raqqa, Aleppo, and Idlib. The cruise missiles, with a Circular Error Probable of about three meters, hit every one of their targets that had been set two days earlier.

The Dagestan, a missile-armed frigate with a displacement of about 2,000 tons, acted as the flagship of the Russian naval assault force accompanied by the small missile patrol ships the Veliky Ustyug, the Grad Sviyazhsk, and the Uglich (with a displacement of about 1,000 tons). Kalibr-NK missiles are extremely difficult to detect: when maneuvering, an LACM flies at high speed in stealth mode, meaning that it emits no signals that would allow it to be tracked by radar.

What are the military and political implications of the launch? This was the first time that Russia’s armed forces had deployed this type of weapon in an actual combat situation – not during exercises – at targets that were so far away. The second important point is that every one of the 26 missiles that were launched struck their intended targets, none deviated from their previously calculated trajectory, not one experienced a technical glitch, and none fell to earth while still on its approach to the object of the attack. (CNN’s incorrect report about four missiles crashing in Iran has been discredited, not only by Russian and Iranian sources, but also by  State Department and  Pentagon speakers). Some targets were dealt a double blow. Thanks to a successful Caspian Operation, the Russian Aerospace Defense Forces have added an entirely new and quite significant element to their air-combat capabilities in Syria. The most important feature of an LACM is that it strikes instantly and with unparalleled accuracy.

 

Investigative Reports, Russia Challenge U.S., NATO 

Recent investigative reports and commentaries have sharply challenged the veracity and morality of the bipartisan U.S. foreign policy establishment and NATO in ways seldom seen since the Vietnam War era.

The attacks include a New York Times Magazine article on Sunday Oct. 18. The criticism comes at the same time as Western battlefield reverses, the new refugee crisis for Europe, and Russia’s bold initiative the past two weeks to mount surprise attacks with advanced weaponry against Western-backed rebels in Syria whom Russians describe as terrorists.

These developments together have historic importance. They could potentially lead to a realignment of world power, including the lessening of military confrontations and orchestrated coups and rebellions.

Conversely, they could lead to mutual escalation in war budgets, direct military battles between major nations, and possibly world war — deriving not so much from investigative articles, of course, but instead from a U.S./NATO confrontation (possibly over a “No Fly Zone” in Syria) with Russia and its allies.

We begin with investigative reports regarding the death of Osama bin Laden, a London subway bombing in 2007 that constituted UK’s “9/11,” the Boston Marathon Bombing of 2103, and more current issues that include a bombshell report on Oct. 18 disclosing that Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair agreed in 2002 to support the Bush administration's Iraq War more than a year before either country told its citizens that war was justified. In other relevant current news, we cover Russia’s recent initiatives in Syria, including reports that it has used advanced technology to create a 600 kilometer square zone in Syria where Western electronics (including flight and satellite imagery) does not function. 

Hersh: Federal Authorities Might Lie About Sensitive Matters

In What Do We Really Know About Osama bin Laden’s Death?  the New York Times Sunday Magazine published a sympathetic examination by Jonathan Mahler of Seymour Hersh’s extraordinary challenge last spring in Hersh's The Killing of Osama bin Laden to the veracity of official accounts from the Obama administration and career military/intelligence sources regarding bin Laden’s capture and death.

Osama Bin Laden New York Times Neil KellerhouseThe cover story, illustrated by a deliberately blurry artist's rendering designer Neil Kellerhouse to suggest the mysteries involved, prompted a harsh against the newspaper and Hersh in Vanity Fair Magazine from Mark Bowden, an author of a book about the 2011 raid and a defender of the official story.

Mahler's reporting for the New York Times article profiled the acerbic and otherwise colorful Hersh and his sleuthing and did not attempt to resolve the mysteries surrounding bin Laden's death in a definitive manner.

Seymour HershNonetheless, Mahler's article was important because the Times, like other prestige outlets, tends to avoid high-profile treatment of claims that top government authorities might lie or otherwise deceive on important matters of national security. Therefore, these media tend simply to ignore criticism of official accounts of 9/11 and 1960s political assassination instead of covering it like other news with pro and con viewpoints.

Thus, any treatment of a critic of official wisdom on a matter so important as bin Laden's death is notable in itself, and potentially marks a turning point for the prestige media much like their first attempts to scrutinize official wisdom on the Vietnam War during the 1960s after a long period of essentially quoting government officials and covering battles without connecting the dots.

Any such transition takes a leader. In this case, Hersh has been there before. Hersh, 78 and shown at right in a file photo from a recent speech, is the iconic reporter who exposed the U.S. My Lai Massacre during the Vietnam War. Last spring, he drew on his sources to contradict, among other things, how U.S. authorities learned the Al Qaeda’s leader’s living quarters in a military community a decade after 9/11.

Hersh's reporting drew harsh attacks from the Obama White House and other defenders of the official story, who included major news organizations and film makers. President Obama and his advocates used the raid during the 2012 election campaign to portray his Middle East policies as largely successful, and thus many establishment figures in politics and the media are heavily invested in preserving the official story from criticism.

For more than two decades, Hersh has published his major national security reporting largely in the New Yorker Magazine and in books. But he had to use the London Review on last spring's story and also on two other controversial pieces contradicting official wisdom on the war against Syria.

Those earlier columns for the London Review of Books were Whose Sarin? in 2013 and The Red Line and the Rat Line in 2014 asserting that the West was falsely blaming Syria’s government for a gas attack that killed more than a thousand persons in August 2013. The articles suggested that the deaths were caused by the anti-government rebels backed by the United States, NATO, Turkey, and the Gulf monarchies. The Justice Integrity Project, among a few other alternative media, had previously made the similar argument albeit without so many confidential sources as Hersh within Pentagon and intelligence networks.

Last week, Bowden responded to Hersh and the New York Times by publishing in Vanity Fair online Oct. 16 There’s Just One Problem with Those Bin Laden Conspiracy Theories. 

Bowden's headline references the slur "conspiracy theory" that declassified documents now show as popularized by the CIA in the 1960s via its assets in journalism and academia. The CIA's purpose? To discourage questions about President Kennedy's assassination. The term is now used frequently by journalists (many of whom do not even know of the CIA's role in popularizing the term) as a way of signaling to their employers, sources, and readers alike that they do not tolerate allegations of sinister plots involving government officials. 

Based on an advance electronic copy of the Times article, Bowden defended as accurate his account of bin Laden death published in the 2012 book The Finish. Bowden said his account was based on so many named official sources that it was inconceivable they would deceive him and the public.

There are at least two big problems with Bowden's reasoning.

First, why did numerous government officials to discuss with one writer such highly classified matters that might otherwise be so secret that the officials might be imprisoned if they talked to someone else?  Could it be that Bowden was one of the select few "reporters" who could be entrusted to write for a friendly publication what he was told without asking too many questions?

Second, there are significant critics who believe the Obama raid story is so implausible (including the story of his burial at sea and the lack of photos) that even Hersh did not go far enough in debunking it.

In December 2001, Fox News reported bin Laden's death based on Pakistani news reports. Fox News then as later was a fervent supporter of the Bush administration. So, there was no obvious reason why it would concoct a news report on death, which was not unexpected since he suffered from kidney disease so serious that he needed dialysis not possible for a man living in a cave or on the run.  

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, a conservative scholar and commentator, is among those who have written for many years that the bin Laden photos and confessions after 2001 appear to have been faked the U.S. government and its contractors in order to create bogeyman that could justify Middle East wars and a trillion-dollar U.S. intelligence and military complex that the American taxpayers would not otherwise support.

For such comments, Roberts -- still a prolific columnist and broadcast pundit -- is no longer welcome by U.S. mainstream media. The former associate editor of the Wall Street Journal and assistant Treasury secretary during the Reagan administration therefore writes almost daily for alternative media and comments for international broadcasters, opening him to criticism as a fringe figure.

Roberts is far from alone in receiving such treatment for criticizing the bipartisan foreign policy consensus in the United State. The same thing has in effect happened to Hersh himself on his major stories. He has not complained and instead accepts that controversial work sometimes cannot be published in the United States by major media.

The New Yorker Magazine and Vanity Fair are both owned by Advance Publications, which are controlled by the Newhouse family dynasty comparable if not exceeding in media influence that of the New York Times Sulzberger family dynasty. It's that kind of background that makes significant what might otherwise seem a passing dispute over one magazine story published in the Sunday New York Times.

New Questions About London's 7/7 Underground Bombing In 2007

As noted, some researchers, commentators, and members of the general public accept the risks of daring to say that politicians, other officials, and members of the elite media routinely lie and provide deceptive half-truths on sensitive matters. The important topics involve political assassinations, political prosecutions, military strategies, intelligence operations, and that deadly false flag attacks (targeting innocents in order to blame an enemy falsely) have been documented as planned and perpetrated in both the United States and the United Kingdom. 

Long secret documents show that President John F. Kennedy rejected in 1962 Operation Northwoods, a now-notorious plan unanimously approved by the Pentagon's Joint Chiefs of Staff to kill innocent Americans and falsely blame the deaths on Communist Cuba to provide an excuse for the United States to overthrow its leader, Fidel Castro.

Any serious question of the official story of the 9/11 attack remains virtually off limits for the major media, and especially reporters who rely on sources within law enforcement, defense, or intelligence agencies. Although it might seem that international outlets would provide an alternative channel for reporting a close cooperation exists between U.S. and international intelligence agencies and their most relevant media.

A well-known German journalist this year published a best-seller there stating that almost all European reporters of high stature and assigned to important political and defense topics had close relationships with relevant intelligence agencies.

Our own 2013 book, Presidential Puppetry: Obama, Romney and Their Masters, illustrated the pattern here and the reasons: Control of politicians, intelligence agencies, and the media ultimately derives from the same high-level billionaire "puppet masters," albeit ones who have internal ideological divisions that encourage some like George Soros to support Democrats and some like Sheldon Adelson to support Republicans.

Reporting on evidence of suspected "false flag" attacks rarely appears in any kind of Western publication, unless the deviltry is ascribed to foreigners. Thus, it could be significant that reporting occasionally emerges, as it did last week, raising questions about the official story of 2005 terrorist bombing attacks on three underground trains and a bus on July 7. Fifty-two civilians were killed and over 700 more were injured in the attacks. The "7/7" attacks were that nation's equivalent of 9/11 and helped build public support for Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair's strong support for the Bush Administration's wars in the Middle East.

 
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The 7 July 2005 London bombings (often referred to as 7/7) were a series of coordinated suicide bomb attacks in central London which targeted civilians using the public transport system during the morning rush hour. On the morning of Thursday, 7 July 2005, four Islamist extremists separately detonated three bombs in quick succession aboard London Underground trains across the city and, later, a fourth on a double-decker bus in Tavistock Square. Fifty-two civilians were killed and over 700 more were injured in the attacks, the United Kingdom's worst terrorist incident since the 1988 Lockerbie bombing as well as the country's first ever suicide attack. The explosions were caused by homemade organic peroxide-based devices packed into backpacks. The bombings were followed two weeks later by a series of attempted attacks that failed to cause injury or damage. The 7 July attacks occurred the day after London had won its bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games, which had highlighted the city's multicultural reputation.[1] 

 

Ten years after 7/7: 13 holes in government & media account of 2005 London Bombings (video: 31-min.)


Real Independent News and Film via Washington's Blog, 7/7 led to wars abroad and loss of freedoms at home ... but do we know what really happened that day? Tony Gosling, Oct. 15, 2015. For the London media 7/7 is ‘done and dusted’, but for guest author, Tony Gosling, who helped cover the IRA London bombing campaign for the BBC, nothing could be further from the truth. The four simultaneous bombs, three on tube trains and one on a bus were supposed to have been a surprise attack. An Israeli firm had access to London’s tube tunnels, winning a CCTV contract when parts of the Underground were privatised a few months before the attacks. Verint Systems looked like a good bet but someone didn’t do due diligence because the fraudster chairman Kobi Alexander, of Verint’s parent company, Comverse Technologies, was on the run. He was evading the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) somewhere in Africa after disappearing with $13m of company money.

Leeds-based bombers Mohammad Sidique Khan and Shehzad Tanweer were both trustees of the Iqra bookshop in Bude Street, Beeston. The shop was managed day-to-day by former Royal Navy SBS special forces soldier Martin McDaid, who ran a terror training camp in the Lake District in his spare time. Speaking on the BBC’s Newsnight programme Iqra youth worker Mark Hargreaves, said McDaid had a hidden agenda in grooming young Muslim men to be terrorists. But Hargreaves was not the only person at Iqra who had suspicions about McDaid’s terror training: years before the bombings Leeds anti-war campaigner and computer expert Martin Gilbertson says he handed a ‘dossier of evidence’ to West Yorkshire police detailing his suspicions about Khan and Tanweer and giving police and MI5 two years notice the pair might be dangerous.

Pressed in 2006 West Yorkshire police force don’t just say they lost the documents. They deny ever having received them. These four anomalies are just a handful from a litany of fragmented evidence which provides an alternative narrative to the Blair government tale of four ‘lone nutters’ being behind 7/7, hell bent on vengeance for Afghanistan and Iraq. They point to British government, MI5 and special forces complicity in the attacks as well as throwing considerable doubt on whether the four alleged bombers went to London that day intending to die or whether they were lured to London on some other pretext.

Irish journalist Hugh O’Shaughnessy quotes convicted terrorist who worked for the Italian State Vincenzo Vinciguerra: ‘The political logic that lies behind all the massacres and the bombings which remain unpunished: because the State cannot convict itself or declare itself responsible for what happened.’

After a 1972 bomb killed three Italian police officers, police commanders ‘foiled a thorough investigation of the Peteano affair for years,’ he claims. ‘It was more convenient to cover it up than to turn on those who killed their comrades.’

The ‘False Flag’ attack is where corrupt powers murder their own people and blame an enemy to create a ‘causus beli‘ for intervention abroad or destroying civil liberties at home. Evidence that the 7/7 London Bombings were a false flag attack, to get the nation to back foreign invasions in the Middle East has been studiously ignored by government, media and judiciary alike.

The term ‘False Flag’ comes from naval warfare where a rival flag is raised on a warship causing the enemy to drop their guard and allowing the unscrupulous captain to creep close in for a surprise attack. Scholars and military historians believe Hitler’s own men set the 1933 Reichstag fire which was blamed on Dutch Communist Marinus van der Lubbe and the Goebbels media furore it created gave Hitler the excuse he needed to introduce dictatorial powers. Hitler’s 1939 invasion of Poland, which triggered World War Two, was built on a lie too. In August 1939’s ‘Gleiwitz incident’ the SS murdered Poles then use their bodies to stage a fake Polish attack on a German radio station. The lie was spread through the same Nazi propaganda machine as a pretext to invade Poland.

Anomalies ignored by press and courts alike

Former Dorset policeman turned ‘Disaster Management Consultant’, Peter Power, told the world’s media his ‘terror drill’ on the morning of 7/7 was at the same three tube stations, out of a total of 275 where the actual bombs exploded. On Canadian TV he described this as a ‘spooky coincidence’ which indeed it was at only around an eight billion to one chance (275 (no. of tube stations in London) x 3 x 365) of his ‘drill’ involving the same stations on the same day as the actual attacks.

Daniel Obachicke, whose front page story for black newspaper ‘The Voice’ quickly disappeared off the internet, says he was on the Number 30 bus which exploded in Tavistock Square and wrote a book, ‘The 4th Bomb’, about his experience that day. Daniel says he doesn’t believe alleged bomber Hasib Hussain was on the no. 30 bus, instead attributing the bombing to a white Caucasian man in his mid twenties with a grey two-tone rucksack, acting suspiciously who got off the bus just before it exploded.

Despite London’s public transport being at the time one of the most ‘camera’d up’ networks in the world, no CCTV footage has ever been revealed which showing any of the four bombers either in, or getting onto, the tube trains and bus where they are supposed to have blown themselves up. This glaring surveillance omission is even more shocking when it comes to the days and weeks before the 7th July 2005.

Three of the four bombers had been under close surveillance by Britain’s Security Service MI5 yet as the names emerged MI5 told the world, and victim’s families, that all four were entirely unknown to them, or ‘clean skins’.

Morality and Mistakes In Drone Warfare

The Intercept, The Drone Papers, Jeremy Scahill, Oct. 15 2015. (Article 1 of 8.) From his first days as commander in chief, the drone has been President Barack Obama’s weapon of choice, used by the military and the CIA to hunt down and kill the people his administration has deemed — through secretive processes, without indictment or trial — worthy of execution. There has been intense focus on the technology of remote killing, but that often serves as a surrogate for what should be a broader examination of the state’s power over life and death.

Drones are a tool, not a policy. The policy is assassination. While every president since Gerald Ford has upheld an executive order banning assassinations by U.S. personnel, Congress has avoided legislating the issue or even defining the word “assassination.” This has allowed proponents of the drone wars to rebrand assassinations with more palatable characterizations, such as the term du jour, “targeted killings.”

When the Obama administration has discussed drone strikes publicly, it has offered assurances that such operations are a more precise alternative to boots on the ground and are authorized only when an “imminent” threat is present and there is “near certainty” that the intended target will be eliminated. Those terms, however, appear to have been bluntly redefined to bear almost no resemblance to their commonly understood meanings.

The first drone strike outside of a declared war zone was conducted more than 12 years ago, yet it was not until May 2013 that the White House released a set of standards and procedures for conducting such strikes.

Russia's Campaign Against Islamic Terrorists, Rebels

Neo Journal, Putin is Defeating More than ISIS in Syria, William F. Eghdahl, Oct. 15, 2015. Russia and its President, Vladimir Putin, a little more than a year ago, in July 2014 were the focus of attention in Europe and North America, accused, without a shred of forensic evidence, of shooting down an unarmed civilian Malaysian airliner over eastern Ukraine. Today the picture is changing, and profoundly. It is Washington that is on the defensive, exposed for the criminal actions it has been doing in Syria and across the Middle East, including creating the recent asylum crisis in Germany and large parts of the EU. What Putin said to the UN General Assembly must be noted to put what he and Russia did in the days immediately following into clear focus. First of all he made clear what the international law behind the UN Charter means and that Russia is scrupulously abiding by the Charter in actions in Syria. Russia, unlike the U.S., has been formally asked by the legitimate Syrian government to aid its war against terror.

To the UN delegates and heads of state Putin stated, “The decisions debated within the UN are either taken in the form of resolutions or not. As diplomats say, they either pass or they don’t. Any action taken by circumventing this procedure is illegitimate and constitutes a violation of the UN Charter and contemporary international law.”

He continued, “We all know that after the end of the Cold War the world was left with one center of dominance, and those who found themselves at the top of the pyramid were tempted to think that, since they are so powerful and exceptional, they know best what needs to be done and thus they don’t need to reckon with the UN, which, instead of rubber-stamping the decisions they need, often stands in their way.”

Putin followed this with a clear message to Washington and NATO governments on the subject of national sovereignty, something anathema to many who embrace the Nirvana supposed to come from globalization, homogenization of all to one level: “What is the meaning of state sovereignty, the term which has been mentioned by our colleagues here?” Putin rhetorically asked. “It basically means freedom, every person and every state being free to choose their future. By the way, this brings us to the issue of the so-called legitimacy of state authorities. You shouldn’t play with words and manipulate them. In international law, international affairs, every term has to be clearly defined, transparent and interpreted the same way by one and all.”

Putin added, “We are all different, and we should respect that. Nations shouldn’t be forced to all conform to the same development model that somebody has declared the only appropriate one. We should all remember the lessons of the past. For example, we remember examples from our Soviet past, when the Soviet Union exported social experiments, pushing for changes in other countries for ideological reasons, and this often led to tragic consequences and caused degradation instead of progress. “

Those few words succinctly point to what is fundamentally wrong in the international order today. Nations, above all the one proclaiming herself Sole Superpower, Infallible Hegemon, the USA, have arrogantly moved after the collapse of the main adversary, the Soviet Union in 1990, to create what can only be called a global totalitarian empire, what G.H.W. Bush in his September 11, 1991 address to Congress called a New World Order. I believe with conviction that borders do matter, that respect for different cultures, different historical experiences is essential in a world of peace. That is as much true with nations as with individual human beings. We seem to have forgotten that simple notion amid all the wars of the past decades. Vladimir Putin reminds us.

Then the Russian president goes to the heart of the matter. He lays bare the true activities of the Obama Administration in Syria and the Middle East in arming and training “moderate” Islamist terrorists to attack Washington’s bête noire, Syria’s duly-elected and recently re-elected President, Bashar al Assad.

Putin states, “instead of learning from other people’s mistakes, some prefer to repeat them and continue to export revolutions, only now these are “democratic” revolutions. Just look at the situation in the Middle East and Northern Africa…problems have been piling up for a long time in this region, and people there wanted change. But what was the actual outcome? Instead of bringing about reforms, aggressive intervention rashly destroyed government institutions and the local way of life. Instead of democracy and progress, there is now violence, poverty, social disasters and total disregard for human rights, including even the right to life.”

Then in a remark addressed to Washington and their NGO Color Revolutions known as the Arab Spring, Putin pointedly asks, “I’m urged to ask those who created this situation: do you at least realize now what you’ve done?“

Putin, without naming it, addresses the US and NATO role in creating ISIS, noting with precision the curious anomaly that the sophisticated new US Treasury unit to conduct financial sanctions against terrorist organizations, has utterly ignored the funding sources of ISIS, their oil sales facilitated by the Turkish President’s own family to name just one. The Russian President stated, “…the Islamic State itself did not come out of nowhere. It was initially developed as a weapon against undesirable secular regimes. Having established control over parts of Syria and Iraq, Islamic State now aggressively expands into other regions. It seeks dominance in the Muslim world and beyond…The situation is extremely dangerous. In these circumstances, it is hypocritical and irresponsible to make declarations about the threat of terrorism and at the same time turn a blind eye to the channels used to finance and support terrorists, including revenues from drug trafficking, the illegal oil trade and the arms trade.

And what Putin is doing…

Russia in the last weeks has completely out-maneuvered the diabolical, and they are diabolical, agenda of the Obama Administration not only in Syria but also in the entire Middle East and now in the EU with unleashing the flood of refugees. He openly reached out to invite Obama in their New York September 30 meeting to cooperate together in defeating ISIS. Obama stubbornly insisted that first Assad must go, despite the fact that Christine Wormuth, the Pentagon Undersecretary responsible for the Syrian war, confirmed Russian statements about Assad’s essential role today in any defeat of ISIS. She told the US Senate that Assad’s military “still has considerable strength,” adding, “it’s still the most powerful military force on the ground. The assessment right now is the regime is not in imminent danger of falling.”

Now come the howls of protest from neo-con warhawks, like the ever-ready-for-war Senator John McCain, chairman of the NGO International Republican Institute of the democratic revolution exporting US-backed NGO, National Endowment for Democracy. Or we hear flaccid protests from President Obama. This is because Washington finds itself deeply exposed to the light of world scrutiny for backing terrorists in Syria against a duly-elected state leader and government. The US warhawks accuse Russia of hitting “the moderate opposition” or civilians.

“The build-up so far is clearly a growing expeditionary force that will significantly boost Russia’s ground-attack capabilities, allowing it to boost the defense of the Latakia region,” said Robert Monks, the editor of IHS Janes’ Defense Review.

Monks added that he believes Russia’s next steps will include sending small communications detachments into the surrounding areas so that Russian forces will be able to better coordinate.

Already, some open source reporting has identified various Russian communication vehicles moving in Latakia Province.

The images, posted on the conflict monitoring site Oryx Blog, show what appears to be a Russian R-166-0.5 crewed by Russian soldiers. The vehicle, according to the site, provides “jam-resistant voice and data communications over a long range.”
Iran, Russia to work together to end Syria crisis

 r the next few months.’’ But after a little prodding, he relented and spent the better part of a day with me, describing his reporting as thoroughly as he felt he could without compromising his sources.

 

 
Contact the author This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
 

 

Related News Coverage

New York Times, Osama Bin Laden, Seymour Hersh

New York Times, What Do We Really Know About Osama bin Laden’s Death? Jonathan Mahler, Oct. 15 (published Oct. 18), 2015. The history of Obama’s most important foreign-policy victory is still being written. It’s hard to overstate the degree to which the killing of Osama bin Laden transformed American politics. From a purely practical standpoint, it enabled Obama to recast himself as a bold leader, as opposed to an overly cautious one, in advance of his 2012 re-election campaign. This had an undeniable impact on the outcome of that election. (‘‘Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive,’’ Joe Biden was fond of boasting on the campaign trail.) Strategically, the death of bin Laden allowed Obama to declare victory over Al Qaeda, giving him the cover he needed to begin phasing U.S. troops out of Afghanistan. And it almost single-handedly redeemed the C.I.A., turning a decade-long failure of intelligence into one of the greatest triumphs in the history of the agency.

‘‘The story stunk from Day 1,’’ [Seymour] Hersh told me. Within days of the bin Laden raid, Hersh told me, ‘‘I knew there was a big story there.’’ He spent the next four years, on and off, trying to get it. What he wound up publishing, this May in the London Review of Books, was no incremental effort to poke a few holes in the administration’s story. It was a 10,000-word refutation of the entire official narrative, sourced largely to a retired U.S. senior intelligence official, with corroboration from two ‘‘longtime consultants to the Special Operations Command.’’ Hersh confidently walked readers through an alternate version of all the familiar plot points in a dispassionate, just-the-facts tone, turning a story of patient perseverance, careful planning and derring-do into one of luck (good and bad), damage control and opportunism.

Vanity Fair, There’s Just One Problem with Those Bin Laden Conspiracy Theories, Mark Bowden, Oct. 16, 2015. They have no factual basis, despite what you may have read in ​​The New York Times Magazine,​ argues the reporter who pieced together the story from dozens of on-the-record interviews. Without a shred of evidence, without contradicting a word that I wrote, Jonathan Mahler in The New York Times Magazine this week suggests that the “irresistible story” that I told about the killing of Osama bin Laden in my 2012 book, The Finish (excerpted in Vanity Fair), might well have been a fabrication — “another example of American mythmaking.” He presents an alternative version of the story written by Seymour Hersh as, effectively, a rival account, one that raises serious doubts about mine, which is all but dubbed “the official version.” It’s not meant kindly. Mahler’s think piece about the iffiness of reporting and the hazards of trying to shape history into a narrative is a great gift to conspiratorial thinkers everywhere. It’s not often that the most distinguished journalistic institution in America wades so fully into the crackpot world of Internet theorizing, where all information, no matter its source, is weightless and equal. Mahler is careful not to side with either Hersh or me, but allows that “Hersh’s version doesn’t require us to believe in the possibility of a government-wide conspiracy.”

Insurge Intelligence via OpEdNews, The bin Laden death mythology, Nafeez Ahmed, July 3, 2015. The White House's story of how U.S. special forces hunted down and assassinated arch terrorist Osama bin Laden in his secret lair in Pakistan is unraveling. The official narrative of the bin Laden raid is that for over a decade, U.S. intelligence hunted for the terror chief until a surveillance/torture-enabled breakthrough tracked him to a secret compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan on May 1, 2011. The role of a former ISI officer in blowing the whistle on the ISI's protection of bin Laden in August 2010 brought his concealment out into the open and triggered high-level White House discussions on how to resolve the situation: to kill or not to kill? Declassified documents, official government reports and intelligence officials confirm that since before 9/11, and continuing for the decade after, the US intelligence community was systematically stymied from apprehending Osama bin Laden due to longstanding relationships with Saudi and Pakistani military intelligence. Despite specific intelligence available to elements of the US intelligence community on bin Laden's location in Pakistan, under the protection of US allies, no action was taken to apprehend bin Laden for years. That failure to act coincided with the launch of an anti-Iran US covert operations program around 2005, pursued in partnership with Saudi Arabia, to finance Islamist Sunni militants including al-Qaeda affiliated groups.

Barack Obama, Bin Laden killing photo at White House

Justice Integrity Project, Hersh Challenges Obama White House's Veracity On 2011 Bin Laden Raid, Andrew Kreig, May 14, 2015. Investigative reporter Seymour Hersh continued his assault on the Obama administration's veracity this week with a 10,000-word column in the London Review of Books disputing major White House claims about a 2011 raid in Pakistan that purportedly killed Osama bin Laden.
Among other major points, Hersh alleged that the Al Qaeda leader was killed at an urban compound in Pakistan because of a tip by a reward-seeking Pakistani and not because of expert sleuthing by U.S. personnel, as usually reported by the corporate-controlled media that rely primarily on official announcements and officially controlled leaks.

London Review of Books, The Red Line and the Rat Line, Seymour M. Hersh, April 4, 2014. In 2010, Barack Obama led an allied military intervention in Libya without consulting the US Congress. Last August, after the sarin attack on the Damascus suburb of Ghouta, he was ready to launch an allied air strike, this time to punish the Syrian government for allegedly crossing the ‘red line’ he had set in 2012 on the use of chemical weapons.​ Then with less than two days to go before the planned strike, he announced that he would seek congressional approval for the intervention. The strike was postponed as Congress prepared for hearings, and subsequently cancelled when Obama accepted Assad’s offer to relinquish his chemical arsenal in a deal brokered by Russia. Why did Obama delay and then relent on Syria when he was not shy about rushing into Libya? The answer lies in a clash between those in the administration who were committed to enforcing the red line, and military leaders who thought that going to war was both unjustified and potentially disastrous.

Neo Journal, Putin is Defeating More than ISIS in Syria, William F. Eghdahl, Oct. 15, 2015. Washington is on the defensive, exposed for the criminal actions it has been doing in Syria and across the Middle East, including creating the recent asylum crisis in Germany and large parts of the EU. What Russia and its President, Vladimir Putin, said to the UN General Assembly must be noted to put what he and Russia did in the days immediately following into clear focus. First of all he made clear what the international law behind the UN Charter means and that Russia is scrupulously abiding by the Charter in actions in Syria. Russia, unlike the U.S., has been formally asked by the legitimate Syrian government to aid its war against terror.

Then the Russian president goes to the heart of the matter. He lays bare the true activities of the Obama Administration in Syria and the Middle East in arming and training “moderate” Islamist terrorists to attack Washington’s bête noire, Syria’s duly-elected and recently re-elected President, Bashar al Assad. Putin, without naming it, addresses the US and NATO role in creating ISIS, noting with precision the curious anomaly that the sophisticated new US Treasury unit to conduct financial sanctions against terrorist organizations has utterly ignored the funding sources of ISIS, their oil sales facilitated by the Turkish President’s own family to name just one. The Russian President stated, “…the Islamic State itself did not come out of nowhere. It was initially developed as a weapon against undesirable secular regimes. Having established control over parts of Syria and Iraq, Islamic State now aggressively expands into other regions. It seeks dominance in the Muslim world and beyond…The situation is extremely dangerous. In these circumstances, it is hypocritical and irresponsible to make declarations about the threat of terrorism and at the same time turn a blind eye to the channels used to finance and support terrorists, including revenues from drug trafficking, the illegal oil trade and the arms trade.

And what Putin is doing: Russia in the last weeks has completely out-maneuvered the diabolical agenda of the Obama Administration not only in Syria but also in the entire Middle East and now in the EU with unleashing the flood of refugees. He openly reached out to invite Obama in their New York September 30 meeting to cooperate together in defeating ISIS. Obama stubbornly insisted that first Assad must go. Now come the howls of protest from neo-con warhawks, like the ever-ready-for-war Senator John McCain, chairman of the NGO International Republican Institute of the democratic revolution-exporting, US-backed NGO, National Endowment for Democracy. This is because Washington finds itself deeply exposed to the light of world scrutiny for backing terrorists in Syria against a duly-elected state leader and government.

Revelations of Britain's Lies On Iraq War

Daily Mail, Leaked Memo Reveals Blair's 'Deal In Blood' With Bush Over Iraq War, William Lowther and Glen Owen, Oct. 18, 2015.

  • George W. BushTony BlairLeaked White House memo shows former Prime Minister's support for war at summit with U.S. President in 2002
  • Bombshell document shows Blair (in file photo) preparing to act as spin doctor for Bush (at far right), who was told 'the UK will follow our lead'
  • Publicly, Blair still claimed to be looking for diplomatic solution - in direct contrast to email revelations
  • New light was shed on Bush-Blair relations by material disclosed by Hillary Clinton at the order of the U.S. courts

A bombshell White House memo has revealed for the first time details of the ‘deal in blood’ forged by Tony Blair and George Bush over the Iraq War. The sensational leak shows that Blair had given an unqualified pledge to sign up to the conflict a year before the invasion started. It flies in the face of the Prime Minister’s public claims at the time that he was seeking a diplomatic solution to the crisis. He told voters: ‘We’re not proposing military action’ – in direct contrast to what the secret email now reveals.

The classified document also discloses that Blair agreed to act as a glorified spin doctor for the President by presenting ‘public affairs lines’ to convince a skeptical public that Saddam had Weapons of Mass Destruction – when none existed.

In return, the President would flatter Blair’s ego and give the impression that Britain was not America’s poodle but an equal partner in the ‘special relationship’.

The damning memo, from Secretary of State Colin Powell to President George Bush, was written on March 28, 2002, a week before Bush’s famous summit with Blair at his Crawford ranch in Texas.

In it, Powell tells Bush that Blair ‘will be with us’ on military action. Powell assures the President: ‘The UK will follow our lead.’

The disclosure is certain to lead for calls for Sir John Chilcot to reopen his inquiry into the Iraq War if, as is believed, he has not seen the Powell memo.

A second explosive memo from the same cache also reveals how Bush used ‘spies’ in the Labour Party to help him to manipulate British public opinion in favour of the war.

The documents, obtained by The Mail on Sunday, are part of a batch of secret emails held on the private server of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton which U,S. courts have forced her to reveal.

 

New Questions About London's 7/7 Underground Bombing In 2007

Ten years after 7/7: 13 holes in government & media account of 2005 London Bombings (video: 31-min.)

Real Independent News and Film via Washington's Blog, 7/7 led to wars abroad and loss of freedoms at home ... but do we know what really happened that day? Tony Gosling, Oct. 15, 2015. For the London media 7/7 is ‘done and dusted’, but for guest author, Tony Gosling, who helped cover the IRA London bombing campaign for the BBC, nothing could be further from the truth. The four simultaneous bombs, three on tube trains and one on a bus were supposed to have been a surprise attack. An Israeli firm had access to London’s tube tunnels, winning a CCTV contract when parts of the Underground were privatised a few months before the attacks. Verint Systems looked like a good bet but someone didn’t do due diligence because the fraudster chairman Kobi Alexander, of Verint’s parent company, Comverse Technologies, was on the run. He was evading the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) somewhere in Africa after disappearing with $13m of company money.

Leeds-based bombers Mohammad Sidique Khan and Shehzad Tanweer were both trustees of the Iqra bookshop in Bude Street, Beeston. The shop was managed day-to-day by former Royal Navy SBS special forces soldier Martin McDaid, who ran a terror training camp in the Lake District in his spare time. Speaking on the BBC’s Newsnight programme Iqra youth worker Mark Hargreaves, said McDaid had a hidden agenda in grooming young Muslim men to be terrorists. But Hargreaves was not the only person at Iqra who had suspicions about McDaid’s terror training: years before the bombings Leeds anti-war campaigner and computer expert Martin Gilbertson says he handed a ‘dossier of evidence’ to West Yorkshire police detailing his suspicions about Khan and Tanweer and giving police and MI5 two years notice the pair might be dangerous.

Pressed in 2006 West Yorkshire police force don’t just say they lost the documents. They deny ever having received them. These four anomalies are just a handful from a litany of fragmented evidence which provides an alternative narrative to the Blair government tale of four ‘lone nutters’ being behind 7/7, hell bent on vengeance for Afghanistan and Iraq. They point to British government, MI5 and special forces complicity in the attacks as well as throwing considerable doubt on whether the four alleged bombers went to London that day intending to die or whether they were lured to London on some other pretext.

Irish journalist Hugh O’Shaughnessy quotes convicted terrorist who worked for the Italian State Vincenzo Vinciguerra: ‘The political logic that lies behind all the massacres and the bombings which remain unpunished: because the State cannot convict itself or declare itself responsible for what happened.’

After a 1972 bomb killed three Italian police officers, police commanders ‘foiled a thorough investigation of the Peteano affair for years,’ he claims. ‘It was more convenient to cover it up than to turn on those who killed their comrades.’

The ‘False Flag’ attack is where corrupt powers murder their own people and blame an enemy to create a ‘causus beli‘ for intervention abroad or destroying civil liberties at home. Evidence that the 7/7 London Bombings were a false flag attack, to get the nation to back foreign invasions in the Middle East has been studiously ignored by government, media and judiciary alike.

The term ‘False Flag’ comes from naval warfare where a rival flag is raised on a warship causing the enemy to drop their guard and allowing the unscrupulous captain to creep close in for a surprise attack. Scholars and military historians believe Hitler’s own men set the 1933 Reichstag fire which was blamed on Dutch Communist Marinus van der Lubbe and the Goebbels media furore it created gave Hitler the excuse he needed to introduce dictatorial powers. Hitler’s 1939 invasion of Poland, which triggered World War Two, was built on a lie too. In August 1939’s ‘Gleiwitz incident’ the SS murdered Poles then use their bodies to stage a fake Polish attack on a German radio station. The lie was spread through the same Nazi propaganda machine as a pretext to invade Poland.

Anomalies ignored by press and courts alike

Former Dorset policeman turned ‘Disaster Management Consultant’, Peter Power, told the world’s media his ‘terror drill’ on the morning of 7/7 was at the same three tube stations, out of a total of 275 where the actual bombs exploded. On Canadian TV he described this as a ‘spooky coincidence’ which indeed it was at only around an eight billion to one chance (275 (no. of tube stations in London) x 3 x 365) of his ‘drill’ involving the same stations on the same day as the actual attacks.

Daniel Obachicke, whose front page story for black newspaper ‘The Voice’ quickly disappeared off the internet, says he was on the Number 30 bus which exploded in Tavistock Square and wrote a book, ‘The 4th Bomb’, about his experience that day. Daniel says he doesn’t believe alleged bomber Hasib Hussain was on the no. 30 bus, instead attributing the bombing to a white Caucasian man in his mid twenties with a grey two-tone rucksack, acting suspiciously who got off the bus just before it exploded.

Despite London’s public transport being at the time one of the most ‘camera’d up’ networks in the world, no CCTV footage has ever been revealed which showing any of the four bombers either in, or getting onto, the tube trains and bus where they are supposed to have blown themselves up. This glaring surveillance omission is even more shocking when it comes to the days and weeks before the 7th July 2005.

Three of the four bombers had been under close surveillance by Britain’s Security Service MI5 yet as the names emerged MI5 told the world, and victim’s families, that all four were entirely unknown to them, or ‘clean skins’.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/7_July_2005_London_bombings
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The 7 July 2005 London bombings (often referred to as 7/7) were a series of coordinated suicide bomb attacks in central London which targeted civilians using the public transport system during the morning rush hour. On the morning of Thursday, 7 July 2005, four Islamist extremists separately detonated three bombs in quick succession aboard London Underground trains across the city and, later, a fourth on a double-decker bus in Tavistock Square. Fifty-two civilians were killed and over 700 more were injured in the attacks, the United Kingdom's worst terrorist incident since the 1988 Lockerbie bombing as well as the country's first ever suicide attack. The explosions were caused by homemade organic peroxide-based devices packed into backpacks. The bombings were followed two weeks later by a series of attempted attacks that failed to cause injury or damage. The 7 July attacks occurred the day after London had won its bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games, which had highlighted the city's multicultural reputation.[1]

Morality and Mistakes In Drone Warfare

Huffington Post, Drone Leak: 90% Of Killed Weren't Targeted, (Excerpt of The Drone Papers by Jeremy Scahill). Taken together, the secret documents lead to the conclusion that Washington’s 14-year high-value targeting campaign suffers from an over reliance on signals intelligence, an apparently incalculable civilian toll, and — due to a preference for assassination rather than capture — an inability to extract potentially valuable intelligence from terror suspects. They also highlight the futility of the war in Afghanistan by showing how the U.S. has poured vast resources into killing local insurgents, in the process exacerbating the very threat the U.S. is seeking to confront.

These secret slides help provide historical context to Washington’s ongoing wars, and are especially relevant today as the U.S. military intensifies its drone strikes and covert actions against ISIS in Syria and Iraq. Those campaigns, like the ones detailed in these documents, are unconventional wars that employ special operations forces at the tip of the spear.

The Intercept, The Drone Papers, Jeremy Scahill, Oct. 15 2015. (Article 1 of 8.) From his first days as commander in chief, the drone has been President Barack Obama’s weapon of choice, used by the military and the CIA to hunt down and kill the people his administration has deemed — through secretive processes, without indictment or trial — worthy of execution. There has been intense focus on the technology of remote killing, but that often serves as a surrogate for what should be a broader examination of the state’s power over life and death.

Drones are a tool, not a policy. The policy is assassination. While every president since Gerald Ford has upheld an executive order banning assassinations by U.S. personnel, Congress has avoided legislating the issue or even defining the word “assassination.” This has allowed proponents of the drone wars to rebrand assassinations with more palatable characterizations, such as the term du jour, “targeted killings.”

When the Obama administration has discussed drone strikes publicly, it has offered assurances that such operations are a more precise alternative to boots on the ground and are authorized only when an “imminent” threat is present and there is “near certainty” that the intended target will be eliminated. Those terms, however, appear to have been bluntly redefined to bear almost no resemblance to their commonly understood meanings.

The first drone strike outside of a declared war zone was conducted more than 12 years ago, yet it was not until May 2013 that the White House released a set of standards and procedures for conducting such strikes.

 

Russia's Campaign Against Islamic Terrorists, Rebels

Institute for Political Economy, The Fall Of The Unipower, Paul Craig Roberts, Oct. 17, 2015. (The conservative scholar Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, shown in a file photo) has been assistant Treasury secretary during the Reagan Paul Craig Robertsadministration, associate editor of the Wall Street Journal, and a research scholar at universities and think tanks.) The distinguished William Engdahl, in a superb statement here, has expressed the view I gave you that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s speech on September 28 at the 70th anniversary of the United Nations changed the balance of power in the world. It is clear that the neoconservatives are not sufficiently realistic to accept this change in the power balance and will resist it to the point of war. Until Putin’s speech, the world was intimidated by the Washington Bully. Resistance to Washington brought swift retribution. In the Middle East and Africa it brought economic sanctions and military invasions that destroyed entire countries.

Other countries felt powerless in the face of the arrogant hegemonic Unipower, which from time to time replied to noncompliance with threats, such as U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage delivered to Pakistan, to bomb non-compliant countries “back to the stone age.” President Putin of Russia brought all that to end on September 28. Putin denounced Washington’s threat to the sovereignty -- and thereby the freedom -- of peoples and countries. He denounced the heartless criminality of Washington’s destruction of the lives of millions of peoples on the basis of nothing other than Washington’s own arrogance. He denouced the illegality of Washington’s assaults on the sovereignty of other peoples, and declared that Russia can no longer tolerate this state of affairs in the world.

Two days later, he took over the war in Syria and began exterminating the Washington-financed and equipped Islamic State. Cruise missiles launched from the Caspian Sea hit ISIL targets with pinpoint accuracy and showed Washington’s EU vassals that Washington’s ABM system could not protect them if Europe permitted Washington to force Europe into conflict with Russia. Putin’s declaration of multi-polarity was seconded by the President of China, who said in his understated, mild way that every country must participate in shaping the future and not just follow the leadership of one.

The remaining danger is the crazed American neoconservatives. I know many of them. They are completely insane ideologues. This inhuman filth has controlled the foreign policy of every U.S. government since Clinton’s second term. They are a danger to all life on earth. Look at the destruction they have wreaked in the former Yugoslavia, in Ukraine, in Georgia and South Ossetia, in Africa, in Afghanistan and the Middle East. The American people were too brainwashed by lies and by political impotence to do anything about it, and Washington’s vassals in Europe, UK, Canada, Australia, and Japan had to pretend that this policy of international murder was “bringing freedom and democracy.” The neoconsevatives must be removed from power, arrested, and put on international trial for their horrendous war crimes before they defend their hegemony with Armageddon.

Washington Post, Top NATO general: Russians starting to build air defense bubble over Syria, Thomas Gibbons-Neff, Sept. 29, 2015. Gen. Philip M. Breedlove believes that Russia’s new presence in Syria is the first piece an intricate layer of defensive systems designed to hinder U.S. and coalition operations in the region. While Russia’s stated goal in moving into Syria is to fight the Islamic State, NATO’s top commander believes Russia’s new presence includes the first pieces of an intricate layer of defensive systems deployed to hinder U.S. and coalition operations in the region. “As we see the very capable air defense [systems] beginning to show up in Syria, we’re a little worried about another A2/AD bubble being created in the eastern Mediterranean,” said Breedlove to an audience at the German Marshall Fund Monday.

Washington Times, Obama ignores generals’ advice on troop levels for unprecedented sixth time, Rowan Scarborough, Oct. 15, 2015. In the end, President Obama was forced to listen to his generals — not his political instincts — on Afghanistan troop levels, and he decided to split the difference. Mr. Obama is keeping 5,500 troops in Afghanistan beyond his presidency, about half the strength recommended by his top general in-country. It marks the sixth time he has rejected the advice of a ground commander on the force size in the long Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Military experts call that streak unprecedented for a commander in chief.

NPR, We Ask Experts: Has The Situation In Syria Become A Proxy War? Eyder Peralta, Oct. 17, 2015. During a recent news conference, President Obama said he would not allow the current conflict in Syria to devolve into a proxy war between the United States and Russia. "That would be bad strategy on our part," he said. "This is a battle between Russia, Iran and [Syrian President Bashar Assad] against the overwhelming majority of the Syrian people." His comment came as Russia stepped up its military operations in the country with a bombing campaign that U.S. officials say has targeted CIA-backed rebels. That made us wonder: Is the situation in Syria already a proxy war, which is generally defined as a conflict between two countries that is fought on third-party soil? We took the question to three experts in the field, and they gave us three different answers.

Washington Post, Top NATO general: Russians starting to build air defense bubble over Syria, Thomas Gibbons-Neff, Sept. 29, 2015. Gen. Philip M. Breedlove believes that Russia’s new presence in Syria is the first piece an intricate layer of defensive systems designed to hinder U.S. and coalition operations in the region. While Russia’s stated goal in moving into Syria is to fight the Islamic State, NATO’s top commander believes Russia’s new presence includes the first pieces of an intricate layer of defensive systems deployed to hinder U.S. and coalition operations in the region. “As we see the very capable air defense [systems] beginning to show up in Syria, we’re a little worried about another A2/AD bubble being created in the eastern Mediterranean,” said Breedlove to an audience at the German Marshall Fund Monday.

The Washington Post, These new satellite images show how Russia is expanding its military presence in Syria, Thomas Gibbons-Neff, Sept. 22, 2015. Russia is continuing to expand its military presence in Syria according to new satellite images released Tuesday. The images, distributed by IHS Janes, a defense analysis organization, show that Russia is placing equipment at two facilities north of a newly-established Russian airbase in Latakia. One new facility, located outside the small town of Al-Sanobar, shows Russian activity in the form of newly-arrived vehicles, tents while the other, at the Istamo weapons storage complex, shows signs of freshly paved surfaces.