Friday, October 9, 2015

Today's links

"I am tired and sick of war. Its glory is all moonshine. It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, for vengeance, for desolation. War is hell."

The primary target is the infrastructure the Islamic State and the other jihadi groups have created to support their military campaign against the Syrian government. In Shoigu’s words “command posts, ammunition depots, military hardware, and training camps for their fighters.”
It is the Islamic State and the jihadi rebels’ resources to conduct the war, rather than their fighters, who are the primary target. 
The Russians are not out to kill lots of jihadis. They are focused on destroying the Islamic State’s and the jihadis’ ability to wage war, so that the Russians and their allies can win it

2--Putin foils Brzezinski's plan to sow division and enmity across the ME and Asia

3--Why the US Owns the Rise of ISIS and the Syria Disaster
No elaborate conspiracy theories are needed to explain how US set up the current bloodbath in Syria - only the understanding of how short-sighted, feckless and aimless it really is

The actual creation of Islamic State is also directly linked to the Iraq War. The former U.S. commander at Camp Bucca in Iraq has acknowledged that the detention of 24,000 prisoners, including hard-core al-Qaida cadres, Baathist officers and innocent civilians, created a “pressure cooker for extremism.”
It was during their confinement in that camp during the U.S. troop surge in Iraq 2007 and 2008 that nine senior al-Qaida military cadres planned the details of how they would create Islamic State.
The Obama administration completed the causal chain by giving the green light to a major war in Syria waged by well-armed and well-trained foreign jihadists

Although the Assad regime undoubtedly responded to the firebombing of the Baath Party headquarters in Daraa in mid-March 2011 with excessive force, an armed struggle against the regime began almost immediately.
In late March or early April, a well-planned ambush of Syrian troops killed at least two dozen soldiers near the same city. Other killings of troops took place in April in other cities, including Daraa, where 19 soldiers were gunned down.

During the second half of 2011 and through 2012, thousands of foreign jihadists streamed into Syria. As early as November 2011, al-Qaida was playing a central role in the war, carrying out spectacular suicide bombings in Damascus and Aleppo.
Obama should have reacted to the first indications of that development and insisted that Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar keep external arms and military personnel and funding out of Syria in order to allow a process of peaceful change to take place. Instead, however, the administration became an integral part of a proxy war for regime change.

Seymour Hersh reported last year that an unpublished addendum to the Senate Intelligence Committee report on Benghazi revealed a covert CIA operation to arm Syrian rebels, in cooperation with Sunni allies’ intelligence services....

In early 2012, Hersh reported, following an agreement with Turkey, then-CIA Director David Petraeus approved an elaborate covert operation in which Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar would fund the shipment of weapons to Syrian rebels from stocks captured from the Gadhafi government.
The scheme employed front companies set up in Libya to manage the shipments of arms in order to separate the U.S. government from the operation. An October 2012 Defense Intelligence Agency report released by the Department of Defense to Judicial Watch confirmed the shipments of Libyan weapons from the port of Benghazi to two Syrian ports near Turkey beginning in October 2011 and continuing through August 2012.

A larger covert program involved a joint military operations center in Istanbul, where CIA officers worked with Turkish, Saudi and Qatari intelligence agencies that were also providing arms to their favorite Syrian rebels groups, according to sources who talked with The Washington Post’s David Ignatius.
By November 2012, al-Qaida’s Syrian franchise, al-Nusra Front, had 6,000 to 10,000 troops—mostly foreign fighters—under its command and was regarded as the most disciplined and effective fighting force in the field....

Meanwhile, as Vice President Joe Biden pointed out in October 2014, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were pouring “hundreds of millions of dollars and tens, thousands of tons of weapons” into Syria that were ending up in the hands of the jihadists

4---Airspace Violation, You Say? Turkey Slams Russia for What Ankara Does Daily

5--"Must Read" How Russia Is Deploying Its Military In Syria,

By October 1, 2015, the Russian strategy in Syria-Iraq was very clear.
The initial Russian effort was to consolidate and stabilize the areas adjacent to the ‘Alawite heartland and particularly the Russian defense zone. This meant focus on defeating the jihadist forces in north-western Syria; areas where the jihadists were supported and sustained by the U.S.-led sponsorship infrastructure in Hatay Province across the Turkish border.

The second priority was to clear the roads to Aleppo and lift the jihadist siege and occupation: again, confronting and defeating jihadist forces sustained from across the Turkish border. These jihadists also controlled the key supply roads from southern Turkey to the heart of the Caliphate’s Euphrates Valley bastion.
Only then, would the Syrian Armed Forces be in position to advance eastward into the Euphrates Valley.
Significantly, the Russians’ initial priority areas were also the priority areas of the U.S.-sponsored ji-hadists in their repeated efforts to reach Damascus and topple the Assad Administration, as well as de-stroy the ‘Alawite heartland in between. These U.S.-sponsored jihadists not only do not confront the Is-lamic State forces, but closely cooperate with them in the Aleppo area, the Damascus area, and the Homs pocket.
Rhetoric notwithstanding, any progress of the Syrian and Russian forces represents a setback to U.S. Pres. Obama’s pro-jihad/anti-Assad efforts.

The Russians would like to use the Kuweires airbase as a forward base for the liberation of Aleppo and the region. Hence, lifting the siege had become a priority. Large quantities of combat vehi-cles, weapons and supplies were delivered by the Russians to the Syrian forces....

At the request of Pres. Assad, the Russians agreed to “oversee the Syrian Armed Forces’ operations in northern Syria” and toward this end “have now taken complete command of the east Aleppo offensive to lift the siege of the Kuweires Military Airport.”...

Indeed, senior Syrian military officials stressed that all the illustrious Syrian senior commanders were “taking a backseat to the Russian military advisors overseeing the battle of east Aleppo.”...

The Kremlin considers the Baghdad center as the venue through which the great war for the elimination of the jihadists in the entire al-Jazira will be managed and waged. “The Russian Federation, the Syrian Arab Republic, the Republic of Iraq, and the Islamic Republic of Iran have decided to open an information cen-ter in Baghdad which will include the General Staff representatives from the named countries,” a Russian senior official noted. “The success of the center in the near future will create conditions for the formation on its basis of the coordination committee for the purpose of planning operations and control of units of the armed forces of these four countries fighting against [the Islamic State].” .....

By now, the Russians and their allies were settling in the Middle East for the long haul. The Kremlin was now formally committed to helping Damascus win and to the complete eradication of the jihadist scourge emanating from the heart of al-Jazira, no matter how long it would take.
On September 30, 2015, Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin formally articulated the objectives of the interven-tion:

“Syria is the issue here. The only real way to fight international terrorism ... is to take the initiative and fight and destroy the terrorists in the territory they have already captured rather than waiting for them to arrive on our soil. ... I want to stress the point though that the conflict in Syria has deep roots and is the result of many factors. This includes interstate and domestic political factors, and religious and inter-ethnic differences, which have been exacerbated by unceremonious foreign intervention in the region’s affairs.

Given these circumstances, we naturally have no intention of getting deeply entangled in this conflict. We will act strictly in accordance with our set mission. First, we will support the Syrian Army only in its lawful fight against terrorist groups. Second, our support will be limited to air strikes and will not involve ground operations. Third, our support will have a limited time frame and will continue only while the Syrian Army conducts its anti-terrorist offensive.
Our view is that a final and long-term solution to the situation in Syria is possible only on the basis of political reform and dialogue between all healthy forces in the country. I know that Pres. al-Assad knows this and is ready for this process. We are counting on his active and flexible position and his readiness to make compromises for the sake of his country and people.”...

On September 27, 2015, the Iraqi High command formally announced an agreement on “security and in-telligence cooperation” with Russia, Iran, and Syria in order “to help combat the Islamic State” forces. The statement elaborated that the coordination agreement would enable the participating militaries to “help [each other] and cooperate in collecting information about the terrorist DI’ISH group”.

6---Toyota mystery uncovered

The Treasury Department is asking from where the Islamic State received all the Toyota Hilux cruisers it uses as weapon platforms. The Treasury will not have to look very far. The answer can be found via a simple web-search or nearby in the State Department:
Recently, when the US State Department resumed sending non-lethal aid to Syrian rebels, the delivery list included 43 Toyota trucks. Hiluxes were on the Free Syrian Army's wish list. Oubai Shahbander, a Washington-based advisor to the Syrian National Coalition, is a fan of the truck.
"Specific equipment like the Toyota Hiluxes are what we refer to as force enablers for the moderate opposition forces on the ground," he adds. Shahbander says the US-supplied pickups will be delivering troops and supplies into battle. Some of the fleet will even become battlefield weapons.
The British government delivered similar equipment as did the Turks and the U.S. Gulf allies. Guess where all those cars ended up. It now seems the so called Free Syrian Army was and is nothing but a weapon transfer shop to deliver weapons and equipment to the Islamic State and al-Qaeda....

Even Syria experts now admit that the major weapon flow was and is always in the direction of the worst Jihadis:
Probably 70% of US arms sent into Syria have ended up in Nusra hands. Idriss, Hazm, & Company 30 all had arms taken.
7--Santelli: Where will rates go?

8--The Syrian Offensive begins after 7 days of bombing

9--Putin: Who created ISIS?
10--Saudi Clerics Urge Jihad Against Syria, Iran, and Russia

11--Turkey is highly dependent on Russia's energy resources, with 55 percent of its natural gas consumption and 30 percent of its oil needs being met by the country. One cannot rule out the possibility that Moscow might use Turkey's reliance on Russian energy sources as a tool to raise the stakes against Turkey in Syria.

It would not be surprising to see the Syrian regime and its supporters launch a surprise ground attack in some strategic locations to further demoralize the opposition. In fact, Russian warships in the Caspian Sea fired cruise missiles on Oct. 7, as Syrian government troops launched a ground offensive in central Syria, in the first major combined air-and-ground assault since Moscow began its military campaign in the country last week.
Perhaps a thrust towards the Turkish border -- imagine the reaction in Ankara if Syrian flags reappeared along the border -- will mean that the game is over for Turkey

12--War is a social activity, fought by armed groups.  It is a process in which the mind of the enemy commander is the principle objective.Stonewall Jackson understood that.....He understood that in war one must move fast, fast enough to get "inside" your enemy's cycle of information, decision and action and once inside that cycle you must remain there, dominating and in some cases paralyzing his movements by your dynamism.  That truth remains.
.... the Russians learned the Stonewall way of thinking not in Afghanistan but rather in Chechniya and Georgia.  They seem to be applying it
sic semper tyrannus

13--NATO vows biggest buildup against Russia since Cold War

14--A crisis of global dimensions
Lawrence Summers, US treasury secretary under President Clinton, pointed to the crisis facing the ruling class in a comment published in the Washington Post on Thursday. Under the headline, “A global economy in peril,” Summers wrote that the dangers “are more severe than at any time since the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy in 2008.” He continued: “The problem of secular stagnation—the inability of the industrial world to grow at satisfactory rates even with very loose monetary policies—is growing worse in the wake of problems in most big emerging markets, starting with China.”

The world economy is faced with the “specter of a global vicious cycle in which slow growth in industrial countries hurts emerging markets, thereby slowing Western growth further,” Summers declared, adding, “Industrialized economies that are barely running above stall speed can ill afford a negative global shock.”

The economic crisis at once intensifies and is compounded by mounting geopolitical crises and international conflicts, driven above all by the relentless pursuit of global hegemony by American imperialism. For a quarter century, the American ruling class has been engaged in endless wars of ever-expanding geographical scope. For the past fifteen years, the military interventions have been waged under the banner of the “war on terror,” the ideological framework used by the American financial aristocracy to reorganize the Middle East and Central Asia through bloodletting and violence.

One country after another has been targeted for regime change or subversion by the US and its allies: Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen. The carnage produced by these wars has led to a virtual collapse of state structures throughout the Middle East, producing a flood of desperate refugees to which the ruling classes of Europe have responded with violence and repression.
Here too, the crisis is reaching a tipping point. The local wars in the Middle East are leading increasingly to direct conflict between the major powers. This week, French President Francois Hollande declared that the conflict in Syria risked devolving into “a total war, a war that will also affect our territories,” i.e., Europe.

17--China Threatens The U.S., Says Will "Not Tolerate Violations Of Its Territorial Waters"

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