U.S. Senators, GOP presidential candidates and globalist foreign policy gurus led by Zbigniew Brzezinski continue to make threats of retaliating against Russia for its air campaign in support of the Assad regime in Syria. Russia responded overnight Wednesday by firing cruise missiles from the Caspian Sea at ISIS targets in Syria -- a distance of 1,500km through the air space of Iran and Iraq. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is asking the U.S. to identify the 'moderate rebels' Washington supports and present them for peace talks with Assad.[embed]https://twitter.com/russian_market/status/651771267234824192[/embed]
Cruise missile launches courtesy of RT, complete with an excerpt from Hans Zimmer's soundtrack to Gladiator
The Russian Embassy in the United Arab Emirates also 'trolled' Washington and the Sunni Persian Gulf states a bit by pointing out just how difficult it can be for outsiders, whether Russian or American, to determine which armed militia or faction inside Syria is 'moderate' and which ones are aligned with ISIS or the sworn allegiance to Al-Qaeda members of Al-Nusra Front.
A host of 'Free Syrian Army' fans and the usual pro-Kiev/NATO trolls we're used to seeing on Twitter (eg @NotMattBellamy) were not amused.
It's not known yet how the Obama Administration plans to respond behind the scenes to being humiliated by Putin once again (or 'we're now Putin's prison bitch', to put it in nasty Pentagon to the neocon Daily Beast language -- we wonder if the leaker knows the Russian equivalent word, suka). Obama gave a speech on Friday disavowing any direct clash with the Russians over Syria, although he insisted the Kremlin was headed for a 'quagmire' in backing Assad. As if the U.S. policy of backing every assorted Sunni jihadist under the sun to overthrow Assad has not been a costly quagmire of its own, starting with the reputational costs of making America's so-called 'war on terror' a joke, by arming 'our' jihadists.
Russian and American aircraft are now reportedly passing within 20 miles of each other in the skies over northern Syria. NATO chief U.S. Air Force Gen. Phillip Breedlove admitted last week that Russia has effectively set up it's own no fly zone over western and central Syria, and American warplanes are not flying anywhere close to the Russian bases in the Latakia region guarded by Pantsir SAMs, Su-30 combat air patrols and, unacknowledged by Gen. Breedlove, the S-300 long range anti-air missiles (120-150 mile radius) just offshore on the battle cruiser Moskva. Bowing to this reality rather than Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL neoconistan) WWIII triggering fantasy rhetoric, the American military is expanding its 'deconfliction' talks with the Russian Ministry of Defense. Thank God there are at least some sane adults left inside the E-Ring of the Pentagon, if not within the Washington Beltway.
That's according to Moscow's MoD Twitter feed, which the Russia Analyst has taken to following since the Kremlin began its air campaign over Syria last week...
Meanwhile, to the chagrin of many a Republican stuck in the 1980s, including talk radio host Mark Levin, official American allies led by Egypt and the U.S.-installed Iraqi and Afghan governments are now either endorsing Putin's air campaign in Syria, requesting air strikes against ISIS inside their borders, or at least establishing military-to-military hotlines with Russia to avoid unnecessary incidents. Including, most awkwardly for the neocons and assorted 'friends of Israel', the Benjamin Netanyahu government. At least we'll note with some satisfaction, Levin (unlike Sen. Mcinsane) did not call for arming 'Free Syrian Army' or other assorted riff raff known for surrendering (selling?) American weapons to ISIS or Al-Nusra with MANPADs that could be used to knock down airliners, simply to relive those golden Reagan second term years or some Rambo III /Charlie Wilson's War version of them.
Tuesday night we tuned in briefly to Mr. Levin's talk radio program while driving and had to smile as he ranted about "some people cheering for Putin -- finally somebody's doing something" [against ISIS after over a year of feckless half assed bombing against the terrrorist group by the U.S..? - JWS]" and Levin's guest the professional presidential candidate Rick Santorum declared U.S. allies and even Israel were turning to the new strong horse [actually RM braintrust godfather W's '1,000 ib grizzly Bear'] in the Middle East "due to the fecklessness of this Administration". Well at least now we know how Republican presidential candidates are avoiding any unnecessary cognitive dissonance about the 51st state cutting deals with Putin! To Republican presidential candidates like failed Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina who declared that her first act in office would be an apology to Benjamin Netanyahu while refusing to speak with Putin, this must seem so complicated.
Turning from the fantasies of Republican presidential candidates all trying to act super tough and their camp followers to reality, we noted early Wednesday an interesting article by Business Insider. For those who don't know, BI was co-founded by ex-Merrill Lynch dot com bubble pumping analyst Henry Blodget.
Since the Edward Snowden leaks BI has published the work of ex-NSA 'counterintelligence' [read: disinfo specialist fired by the U.S. Naval War College - JWS] John R. Schindler aka @20Committee. BI reporters led by Michael B. Kelley have mostly promoted Ft. Meade's version of the NSA story. When the Ukraine conflict began BI reliably pushed the #RussiaInvadedUkraine narrative hard, at one point reporting that Russian soldier selfies picked up by cellphone towers a couple miles away on Ukrainian territory near the Russian border were proof of a Russian army incursion into Donbass. That there was not a single documented case of Russia using airpower against the Ukrainians or any quality satellite imagery of the kind of hardware we've seen of actual Russian forces deployed to Syria using did not dissuade BI or its more 'liberal' counterpart The Daily Beast from constantly repeating that #RussiaInvadedUkraine. Just like we fully expect BI to report various 'Free Syrian Army' or 'Army of Conquest' or Al-Shams claims of killing bazillions of Russians with CIA supplied TOW anti-tank missiles without the slightest proof over the next several weeks to months.
Given these patterns, it's rather not surprising to us that like Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington, Blodget has cashed in by selling his website to a much larger conglomerate that faithfully pushes the Washington propaganda line, in this case the Axel Springer group based in Germany. For those who do not know, the Springer press is notorious among German leftists for its staunchly pro-Washington/NATO/Atlanticist slant, and its CEOs have been mainstays of the annual Bilderberg meetings from the beginning of the globalist confabs in the 1950s. According to German journalist Udo Ulfkotte, Springer publishing group journalists and executives have literally been on the CIA payroll for decades.
So with that 'consider the source' set of caveats out of the way, we were intrigued to see Business Insider of all publications buck the party line that Russia must be doomed to a second Afghanistan in Syria, just as it somehow lost its (non-existent) bid to take over all of Ukraine.
Russia has already blundered by sending troops to Syria, according to President Barack Obama.
"A military solution alone, an attempt by Russia and Iran to prop up Assad and try to pacify the population is just going to get them stuck in a quagmire," Obama said in a Friday news conference.
"It won't work. They will be there for a while if they don't take a different course."
But what if Obama's wrong?
Russia's aims in its Syria intervention may actually be focused and attainable, at least in the near term. And its broader strategy of instilling havoc among the Assad regime's international opponents may already be working.
That's the start of Business Insider's piece. But wait, there's more.
The Russian deployment will "be a military game changer in a number of places where Assad is most vulnerable," [Emile] Hokayem [of the Middle East security at the International Institute for Strategic Studies] said. And as Adam Entous of The Wall Street Journal reports, that primarily includes CIA-backed Syrian rebels fighting to oust Assad.
"US officials say they now believe the Russians have been directly targeting CIA-backed rebel groups that pose the most direct threat to Mr. Assad since the campaign began on Wednesday, both to firm up regime positions and to send a message to Mr. Obama's administration," The Journal reports...
There's no mention here, unlike the fever dreams of Senator McInsane, of turning Syria into a second Afghanistan for the Russians. Perhaps because Mr. Hokayem, unlike the idiot Senator, understands the Russians have learned from their fathers' mistakes in the Soviet Afghan War. Russian objectives in Syria are to:
1) Prevent the U.S./NATO from imposing any no fly zone that would hinder or lead to the overthrow of Assad
2) Bolster the Assad regime by devastating the U.S. backed jihadists and ISIS at key pressure points, including ammunition, supply depots and defensive hardpoints, clearing the path for a Syrian Arab Army (SAA)/Iranian ground offensive.
3) Create an anti-ISIS coalition that will also form the structure of a Eurasian defense alliance, centered on the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) core members Russia, China and Iran with India and Pakistan also 'signing on'
4) Peel off U.S. allies in Cairo, Baghdad and possibly Amman, Riyadh and Kabul, demonstrating that Russia is a reliable and strong partner whereas the U.S. is both incompetent and malicious in its 'Empire of Chaos' policies
Notice what's missing from this list is 5) achieve an absolute victory for Assad, as opposed to merely forcing Damascus' enemies to the negotiating table for a partition settlement of the Syrian conflict.
And as we pointed out in a previous article here at RogueMoney, Al-Nusra front's Al-Qaeda allegiance pledging, shariah imposing jihadists are hardly poster boys for freedom fighting, unlike President Reagan's Afghans. Furthermore, the Russians are flying either quite low and fast, or at higher altitudes. Both of which make shooting their aircraft down with MANPADs difficult in the former case, and impossible in the latter.
If Washington wants Riyadh, Doha or Ankara to help Syria jihadists shoot down Russian planes, it will need to greenlight providing them with surface to air missile systems of a more advanced variety. Which is exactly what Washington has spent the past 15 months condemning Putin for allegedly doing on behalf of his Donbass rebels that supposedly shot down MH17. The risks that Washington's 'vetted' Islamo-warriors would either surrender or sell their SAMs to ISIS which the Islamic State would then use against airliners opens up an enormous, 'cover your ass' (CYA) bureaucratic can of worms. What CIA director or deputy would sign off on such a hairbrained scheme, knowing he could face civil or even criminal court proceedings? Can Obama, like the fictional president in the movie Clear and Present Danger, really just sign some 'get out of jail free card' for his minions to do this?
And all of this with the precedent of Benghazi's arms running blowing up in the Langley boys faces back in 2012 already set -- a mission that the Iranians and Russians both played a part in exposing?
No, even if the CIA isn't worried about spetsnaz teams carrying out raids deep behind jihadist lines seizing proof that Langley has given satellite photos of Russian bases and advanced weapons to Al-Qaeda and then dumping the documents onto LifeNews.ru, RT or Sputnik...there's always the risk however slight of a whistleblower exposing the whole operation wide open from within.
Then there's arch-globalist Zbigniew Brzezinski's calls for retaliation against the Russians until they stop bombing CIA asset jihadists in Syria. Specifically, through some sort of blockade or effort to restrict Russian logistical support to Assad and its pilots fighting in the war-torn country.
Moscow's apparent decision to strike non-Islamic State targets and those of Syrian rebels backed by the Central Intelligence Agency "at best" reflects "Russian military incompetence," and worst, "evidence of a dangerous desire to highlight American political impotence," wrote Brzezinski, the national security adviser for former President Jimmy Carter and a strong supporter of current President Barack Obama.
And if Russia continues to pursue non-ISIL targets, the U.S. should retaliate, he added. "In these rapidly unfolding circumstances the U.S. has only one real option if it is to protect its wider stakes in the region: to convey to Moscow the demand that it cease and desist from military actions that directly affect American assets," he said.
"The Russian naval and air presences in Syria are vulnerable, isolated geographically from their homeland," Brzezinski noted. "They could be 'disarmed' if they persist in provoking the US."
It's curious, in light of the recent combat records of Russian trained versus American proxies, that Brzezinski describes the Russians as 'militarily incompetent'. Over the past 16 months, Russia's Donbass foreign legion the Novorossiya Armed Forces (NAF) have inflicted a series of humiliating defeats on the Ukrainian army backed by the U.S and Brzezinski's native Poland, despite no direct air support from Russia and being considerably outnumbered by Kiev's forces. America's Saudi ally is bogged down in a losing campaign against the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels and their Yemeni tribal allies whose blood ties and operational capabilities extend deep into Saudi Arabia's territory. The Russia Analyst has to chuckle a bit at the old fanatically Russophobic Pole's description of the Russians as 'militarily incompetent' -- Moscow and its proxies seem to be more than holding their own against the best thug warriors Washington can field.
But James, a smart Rogue Money reader may ask, aren't the Russians at the end of a long logistical tether extending overland and sea from their homeland? The answer to this question is: of course they are -- but the Russians are still operating closer to home than the Americans, as the Caspian Sea missile strikes reminded the Pentagon. Nonetheless, how Mr. Brzezinski believes the U.S. can 'disarm' the Russians in Syria without provoking WWIII with Russia, China AND Iran is an interesting question nobody seems to have pressed the old globalist on. Not only would Turkey closing the narrow Bosporus Strait to the Russians be a violation of its commitments under the 1936 Montreux Convention Regarding the Regime of the Straits, technically it would be an act of war.
There would also be the risk of massive Russian retaliation, not in the form of direct assault on the Turkish armed forces -- the last thing the Kremlin needs is a war with Turkey -- but more likely in the form of a gas supply cutoff during winter. And while ordinary Turks won't freeze to death since Turkey does not get as cold as Ukraine in the winter time except at high altitudes, many Turkish industries would essentially shut down laying off thousands. The Turkish lira, already under severe pressure, would likely collapse. And this is assuming Iran doesn't cut off the gas in solidarity with its Russian allies, leaving the Turks with reverse flow from their existing pipelines to Europe or burning oil and coal for energy. Not to mention what will happen to Turkish farmers if Russia decides to stop importing their produce this winter and go only with fruits and vegetables from Israel, former Soviet Caucuses countries, and Latin America instead. Does anybody least of all a man as intelligent as Brzezinski believe the Turkish military will stay loyal to Erdogan and in its barracks should the Turkish Deep State's business partners be faced with ruin? We don't think so. Military coups are as much an Anatolian tradition as Turkish baths or hookahs.
Therefore ZBig's fantasy that the Turks will slash their wrists if not throats economically and destroy their profitable energy and other trade with Russia to please Washington, Langley or Riyadh can be safely discounted. The Turks are not going to block Russian sealift to Syria now, after four and a half years of permitting Russian military aid to Assad to float under Istanbul's suspension bridges. Nor can Russia be blocked from airlifting assets into Syria via Iran and Iraq, as the Caspian Sea cruise missile launch and other Russian missions from that direction have amply demonstrated. The overland route is a bit more tricky and would cost much more than sealift, but with the Iraqi army poised to attack ISIS positions in eastern Syria with help from Russian airpower, a ground corridor can be widened for military supplies to flow BOTH BY TRUCK AND PERHAPS EVEN BY RAIL. Russian military engineers after all have already completed the foundations for the suspension bridge across the Kerch Strait to Crimea ahead of schedule. Building a rail line secured by Syrian and Iraqi troops to transport fuel and ammo through Iran, Iraq and Syria is not an insurmountable logistical challenge for the 21st century Russian army.
In conclusion, the Russia Analyst leaves RogueMoney readers with this amusing video by 'Angry Ivan Pobeda' (Victory) explaining why Russia is getting involved in Syria from an ordinary Russian's point of view.